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2023 - The Year That Was

Places impact you for a variety of reasons. And the same place impacts different people in different ways. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual experiences, where every single person’s experience is unique. And personally, every spiritual experience is unique, the same person can have different deeply spiritual experiences at different places, at different times. This thought has emerged because of my own experiences over the years, but especially so this year, with different and unique experiences at various places I have visited recently. I began this year with a visit to Baroda (Vadodara) with friends. It was meant to be a relaxed trip, a touristy trip, with our sons. We enjoyed ourselves to the hilt, but the highlight of that trip was a visit to the Lakulisha temple at Pavagadh. It was the iconography of the temple that I connected with, and I spent a few hours simply lost in the details of the figures carved around the temple. There was an indefinable connect with

Indo German Urban Mela

Its not everyday that you get a piece of another country in  Mumbai... So, when the opportunity knocks, I try not to miss it!! The Indo German Urban Mela is one such opportunity knocking at the door of us Mumbaikars... We took the opportunity to visit on Saturday, and had a wonderful time! Let me take you along with me to give you a glimpse of what it is like..........

To begin with, the Mela is being held at Cross Maidan. For those of you who do not know where that is, it is the ground opposite Churchgate Station.. the one behind the Western Railway Headquarters... the ground behind Fashion Street... There is a huge board right at the entrance. You cant miss it!!! It had a set of 'instructions', which I loved, because right at the top was the line - Please click as many photos as you can, and share with your friends!!! I wanted to click the board, but it took too long to get my camera out and Samhith was already running in, so I had no choice but to follow!

We were told by the helpful volunteers at the entrance that the Table Football tournament was on, so thats where Samhith headed at once....

Most of the players were young adults, but Samhith soon found a bunch of kids looking for others to form a group. The volunteers and staff were really helpful, explaining the rules, helping the kids find partners... being patient with them....

And while he played, I roamed around and took pics of the entire exhibition... the stalls were made in such a beautiful manner, I wasnt the only one who kept clicking away!!

The sight of the Western Railway Headquarters against the background of the exhibition was a contrast of the old and the new...

I was fascinated by the stalls and kept on clicking!!

The kids section was visible, even from a distance!

and inside were loads of books! Unfortunately, they were not for sale, but we could read them if we wished...

There were stalls of really interesting shapes...

Each and every stall had something interesting...

Such as this sofa made out of wood-substitutes... based on renewable raw materials... the sofa had panels that could be pulled out to display the different materials used!

Informative displays....

But most of all, what impressed me was the fact that each and every stall had something for the kids... games such as these which kept them engrossed while we adults looked over the displays...

Again, the staff and volunteers were extremely helpful.... 

and the attractions for the kids were well thought of..

Samhith especially enjoyed playing the fire safety game! Though he kept getting it wrong!

The Sustainability Balance at the BASF Stall was another interesting display...

But it wasnt just about learning....  The BASF mascot was a big hit with the kids, who lined up for a pic!

And spotting the hidden messages with the red tinted glasses was fun for kids and adults alike!!

My favourite display was the model of the Efficiency House Plus in Berlin...

This is apparently the model of an actual house built in Berlin which produces more energy than is used by those living in it!!! There are solar panels not just on the roof but on the walls too, and the photovoltaic cells are such that they work not just in the presence of sunlight, but also in daylight.. so you dont need the harsh sun to produce energy, but even the least bit of light..... the house produces a lot of energy in this way, and every appliance of the house works on this energy... even the car is charged this way... and it doesn't need to be connected to an energy outlet.. it gets charged even as it stands in its garage!!!! 

And this is just one example of the way the house works. There are many more ways that the house has been made energy efficient!! And the best part of this whole model is that a family has apparently been living in such a house for over a year now!! Just imagine what it would be like!!!!

As night set in, the stalls all lit up, giving an entirely different feel to the place...

Each stall looked like a lantern, the light peeping out from in between the layers....

What a festive feeling it was!

And then it was time for the event we had been looking forward to... the Parada Narrnia a half hour performance by a Berlin based experimental theatre group featuring stilt walkers and characters from the fairy tale world such as the big white bird, the sad prince, the unicorn princess and others...

As the performers walked in, people gathered around, and sat down, very naturally forming a circle. The completely silent half hour performance had the spectators riveted!

The performance was surely the perfect end to a wonderful day, reinforcing the idea that no words are needed to put ideas and thoughts across and that ideas and thoughts transcend borders and boundaries of language.... After all, that is the whole idea of bringing such events to different countries - transcending the differences brought in by borders and languages! 

The Indo German Urban Mela is on at Cross Maidan till the 22nd of April. It then moves on to Bangalore,  Chennai, Delhi and Pune. You can check out the complete list of events here

Indo German Urban Mela. Click to download programme

Indo German Urban Mela. Click to download Event List
P.S. We came back with a bunch of free postcards..... glow in the dark ones.. These are ad cards published by the Goethe Institut, Max Mueller Bhavan, and are lovely ones!! Take a look.... and if anyone wants a copy, please let me know!


  1. The pictures look very colorful and Samhith looks very happy!

    1. he had a blast, Mridula!!take chhavi when it comes to delhi... am sure she will enjoy the events too

  2. Looks like a wonderful event and you covered it so very beautifully! The pictures are all terrific! I especially loved the house model, it would be great if we could have something like that in India too!! Lovely coverage, Anu!

    1. It was awesome, Arti!! Go if u can .. am sure u will enjoy it! about the house, I was so interested only because it was apparently a real one where people actually lived! there are so many prototypes, but few have actually been tried out! and yes, that was my main thought too.. if only we had something like this!

  3. This is an exciting mela to watch for. Trust the Germans to do things in style, and in simple style.

    Thanks for sharing it with beautiful photographs and details.

  4. That's very interesting facts and activities at the mela. I love playing's a fun game. The stalls are artistically done. Sure your kiddo enjoyed it so much!

  5. This Indo-German fair somehow reminds me of the Kala Ghoda festival held annually in Mumbai. Though this fair seems to be held on a larger scale!

    The exhibits are wonderful and the pictures of the play look like they've come straight out of a comic book...

    Very interesting fair indeed!!!

    1. well, this is actually much much better than kala ghoda.. the exhibits and stalls are much better organised.. there is much more space.. and the crowd is practically non existent!! it was just too wonderful!!

  6. Hi Anuradha,

    Greetings from "Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities", the organizing team for The Indo-German Urban Mela! Thank you so much for blogging about us. We have posted a link to it on our official facebook page -

  7. Thank you for blogging about us! We have posted a link on our official facebook page -

  8. Hi Anuradha,

    Thanks for the wonderful presentation. Event is happening in bangalore, and i will take my daughters, (12 yrs and 6 yrs). Anything special to carry like photo, note book etc., pl revert,

    shashi S Jois

    1. Thanks Shashi!! DO go and enjoy the event at Bangalore! and I dont think you need to carry anything. If there are games or contests or even workshops happening there, they usually provide the materials,. so go empty handed and just enjoy!

  9. The Indo German Urban Mela is one such opportunity knocking at the door of Mumbaikars... Take the opportunity to visit and have a wonderful time!


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