Winter in Kolkata is like an oh-I-blinked-and-missed episode. But we, Calcuttans / Kolkatans grab on to what we have and enjoy each and every those wintry days and nights. This is the time when going out with our friends and family for that day out or spending an evening with makes life worthwhile.
Then when suddenly we hear about this Street Art Festival in our city and that too in one of the most upcoming food and fashion streets of Kolkata, we just had to cancel everything and run there to soak into that festival feel.
Art Rickshaw organized Kolkata Art Lane Festival 2019 on 6th January, Sunday at Hindustan Park in the lane opposite to Bunkari India shop.

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They had a whole bunch of programs arranged throughout the day starting at 11 am and wrapping up at 10pm.

One Day. One Street. One Festival.

Yes it was that unique. I was there for an hour recuperating from an ailment and I thought it will be just that distraction I needed to forget the pain. Distraction became interest when I entered the lane. The lane was painted with bright colors on the road and also on the walls of the buildings.

As we entered the lane, we were greeted by a beatiful art installation made with colourful bamboo baskets which formed a bright canopy over the Art Street. I thought that this art installation was a beatiful Bengali take on the Portugal’s now famous Umbrella Sky – quite like Kolkata’s own Bansh-Jhuri Sky or Bamboo Basket Sky.

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Bansh-Jhuri Sky or Bamboo Basket Sky

After that, I was really confused where to look. Every nook and corner of that otherwise peaceful lane had been dotted with small shops showcasing our unique culture in a visually striking and interesting manner whether it was the earthen tea cups or Bengal’s quintessential Chayer-Bhaar dotted on a wall or double unique sculptures visiting or hand-crafted bags.
Naturally all the people were gleefully taking selfies and enjoying the atmosphere.
Isn’t that’s how a festival pans out these days?😉
Then there was this magical door with letterboxes, each one for that letter we never posted, for that someone we forgot to thank, for that someone we lost…

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And when we talk about art and culture in Kolkata, can we miss our world famous artisans from Kumortuli?

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No. I found this lone Durga in otherwise odd time of the year, being completed by a potter on the footpath. Alone, yet everyone’s attention was on her. After all, She is our Mother, autumn or winter.
When there is a festival, there has to be music. A Baul who had come from Goa (yes, you heard that right! Eternal nirvana!) for just that afternoon gig, rocked everyone.
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Want to listen? Play on!

Just behind the stage, was the Art Rickshaw premises and the whole building had undergone a makeover with paintings across the length and breadth of the building. It also had this cute window through which people can pose and it was an excellent thought-out place for photo op.
Mood was set. Sun was setting. The twinkling bulbs were now beginning to light up.IMG_20190106_170501-01.jpg

Souls, till now hungry of craft, were now hungry for food. Food for stomach was calling and no one was to be disappointed. From waffles to pizzas, dosas to chai – all “insta”-snacks were present to satisy that hungry Kolkatan.
And there was something for all ages. Kids had a place to play and also there were puppet shows and Chinese dragon dance (I missed those!). There was a wall of selected photographs from the city’s own lens catcher.
But what enticed or amazed this Honuman the most?
On one small corner of the lane, a number of old world type-writers were kept and anyone could come and type out the next pages. But the interesting part was the pages which were already typed out – Shahid Bhagat Singh’s letter to the jailor, Gandhi’s letter to Hitler and Martin Luther King Junior’s famous one. It was heartening to see even kids coming up and trying to type in a few words.

An afternoon which slowly gave way to an otherwise idle Sunday evening, content in mind and soul painted with the colors of what makes Kolkata unique.
Our other Honuman couple – Sohini and Priyodarshi were equally ecstatic when they visited later in the night!

Leaving behind few more images from the evening.
We will be back with more such unique experiences of this world.
Till then, good bye from your friendly Monkey.

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