As I was glancing through my Facebook feed, a notification pinged in to notify me about an event which was promising me to “Travel the world without a Passport”. You guessed it right! It was a Travel Festival. With a majority of youngsters flooding the music concerts and other fests, nothing much could have excited me better than a Travel Festival which guaranteed to provide me with a Virtual Passport! I jugged my mind to go for it; it is my first ever experience with Travel Fests. The festival was held in the sprawling heritage lanes of The Ballard Estate in the Southern part of Mumbai. The charming architecture of the Ballard Estate held a perception sufficient to convince me of the excitement hidden within the hearts of the foreigners participating in the festival.
The fest was spread across the wide streets of the Estate with corners decorated with vintage cars, replicas of world popular locations and food stalls. The soft continental music binged into our hearts and made us tempt the sensation, even more, when the dance crews lined up for their regional/traditional dances! With costumes coloured in vibrant yellows, reds, and greens, the fest had engaged us with a feel so nouvelle
Edging from the stalls belonging from the African sub-Saharan regions, gleeful South American trendsetters, Brazilian cult, Asian dance troops to the Indonesian food..the fest offered us all that we could take in to be granted as a Virtual Passport Holder!
Scroll down to know more about how I enjoyed the festival-
- The Artwork by Cosmic Heart Gallery-
Promised the art fanatics a mild yet blissful art display by the streets!
- The Land of Pharaohs in Mumbai? ‘Tashraftubimarifatika’..the only phrase I know of Arabic which initiated our conversation and humble bargain deals-
When Mehmood (An Egyptian volunteer) invited us to visit his “Land of Pharaohs”, I got more inquisitive to check out the goodies he had brought in there all the way from Egypt! Some of the rarest, finest and the artistic jewellery, bags, and many other such goodies filled in his stall. Also, I was mesmerized to know that a Black cat in Egyptian culture is considered as a symbol of Good luck and Prosperity!! Goods ranged here from a pocket-friendly price of Rs-50 to Rs-600 only!
- Colombia welcomed us in Yellow, Blue & Red-
Tapping their footsteps to Salsa and Vallenato, the Colombians spiced up the festival in real. And the stall added some more charm with sassy colours and unique accessories
- Hailing from the Pearl of the Indian Ocean-
Shone just another image of a woman personifying innocent conversations and mild gestures! Chathuri Wimaldre was a designated volunteer from Sri Lanka who was extremely generous with her customers and gave us discounts without even asking for it! Ranging from beautiful Sri Lankan postcards to crafty bookmarks and some traditional Sri Lankan stuff she had a unique aura in her stall. You would be surprised to know that you could find Sri Lankan products starting from Rs.5/-.
- A spirit of the Javanese in Mumbai-
The aroma of the Indonesian ‘Bawang Goreng’ and ‘Kacang Mede Pedas’ painted the food stall anchored by beautiful Javanese ladies & invited us to taste hints of Indonesian food and have a glimpse of Indonesian handicrafts! You could buy products starting from Rs.100/-.
- With love from Brasil-
Came Matheus an artistic Rastafari dressed in a raw avatar cheering visitors all over the streets of the festival! Matheus had an aesthesis of his own, having been inked a tattoo in Sanskrit and tapping his foot to Samba he mesmerized the people around like nobody else!
- Ethiopian Spicery-
The aroma of different spices heralding from Ethiopia was great to experiment in a land which is patented for many of world’s wallowing spices!
- Hello, Mandarin!
Chinese goods publicized once again in India in a travelling fest! But this time it was more of products hailing from pristine Chinese cult to cosmetics of Aromatherapy and Naturopathy.
What the Virtual World Tour taught me?
There has always been a prominent margin among the blacks and the whites, among the Eastern culture and the Western culture, about the linear structure of the West and the curvy outlook of the East. Yet people, no matter how different they look or appear or belief in, tend to still have a sufficient amount of love and affection which will make the world a better place to live in. We might hail from different regions, speak different languages, follow different traditions but at the end of the day glancing at the shining moonlight.. we just pray for someone to shower love upon us, we just seek for love in each other to ponder ourselves and the people around! From the farthest corners of the world, this fest brought about people to connect to each other and respect each others presence in the form of either dance, music or art!
Despite knowing the differences in people around us, we still wish to string up to each other, we still look for comfort and we still show affection, there’s something deeper than love and something far distant than hatred. So, we Connect.
How could the Fest have been better?
Being conducted as one of the rare themed festivals; although the crowd blew bubbles to keep us well engaged, an addition of more stalls and a good number of cultural events could have literally added magic to this festival.
However, the endemic vibe among the people belonging from far off destinations freed the soul of a city nomad in the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai!
Heading over to you now, Have you ever been to a travel festival? How did that add sparkles to your inner city nomad?