Festivals in India are one of a kind!...especially if you can find a balance between fun and physical space to enjoy the celebrations!
People are just everything covered in colors, sweat and stains. Besides one stereo system is another and each blasts loud music off beat and unsych. You'll walk a few meters and you'll hear loud Bollywood electronic pop and a few more steps, the sounds blur into peppy folk songs blaring on soundspeakers with the bass turned up too high. As is obvious, this is a good example of the paradoxes of modern India and yet when its time to celebrate, it doesnt really matter.
This last month in Mumbai, the festival Ganesh Chaturthi took place and the city's vibe and landscape transformed into a huge, rowdy, raucous party, or Mumbai citizens could make the analogy of the crowded peak hour second class compartment on the local trains. I couldn't help thinking about how this city lacks space, and most of all, open outdoor free spaces - zones where all people from all communities can relax, use for activities and in this particular season, use for enjoying festivals (instead of crowd all the streets and shut down roads!)
This made me think of these 2 particular videos created by communities in Mumbai and Ahmedabad - both cities which are considered as metropolis cities of India. The first video by Apna TV is about the game of cricket and how there is no room for girls to play because public spaces are limited. It's an inspiring video which profiles a famous woman cricket player of the national Indian team!
The second video is made by young people as part of the Children's program at Samvad, and it's a very cute short film about the lack of recreational space and how policemen and adults harass children first to get off the streets!
Hope this gives you a sense of the issue of S P A C E in India!!!
Written by VVs online manager Ruchika Muchhalla.