Thursday, March 11, 2010

Our Raja at Kala Ghoda

The Kala Ghoda Fest is an important event in the cultural calendar of Mumbai. This year Pratham Books had a on-hour reading from a Hindi book – Raja Nang Dhadanga. Ratna Pathak Shah, the well-known theatre, film and TV personality kindly agreed to do the reading. Dressed in a dramatic outfit befitting an emperor, she was wonderful and had the audience of children and adults enthralled by her rendition. She took care to explain some of the unusual words and brought the characters to life. After the reading, Ratna spent time talking to the children about books and reading and the children participated enthusiastically in the discussions. Thereafter Ratna obliged all those who wanted her autograph and pictures with her.

Dramatized Reading with Ratna Pathak Shah at the Kala Ghoda Art Festival

Reading out from one of our Hindi books was a conscious decision in keeping with our vision of promoting books in regional languages. 'Raja Nangdhadanga Hai' is a retelling of the Emperor’s New Clothes in verse, written by Kamala Bakaya and charmingly illustrated by a French artist, Audrey Kumar.

The Kala Ghoda Festival is held in the month of February. The fest offers a plethora of workshops, films, discussions, book readings, music concerts and literary events for children at the multiple venues in the heart of south Mumbai. The place gets its name from the exquisite life size sculpture of a black horse (kala ghoda in Hindi) cast in bronze mounted on a pedestal. The architectural beauty of the surrounding buildings contributes in no mean measure to the ambience of the festival that attracts innumerable people.

As part of this annual literary fest, the children’s events are held over the weekends to ensure a good turnout of kids. Pratham Books is proud to have engaged so many children and adults at the Kala Ghoda Festival this year.

Dramatized Reading with Ratna Pathak Shah at the Kala Ghoda Art Festival

View more images here.

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