Dear Kala Ghoda Arts Festival’s Heritage Walks organisers,
Greetings from a participant in your 2014 Heritage Walks
I almost ignored the Heritage Walks section of the 2014 edition of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (KGAF). It was not because I suspected the quality of the programmes (they are always good!), but because my previous experience with the Heritage Walks was not very nice.
This was in 2010 (or maybe 2011), when I participated in two walks — (i) Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and (ii) Ballard Estate. The CST walk called for registrations via email for 30 available seats; I was lucky to get one of them. When I arrived at the meeting point outside CST on the day of the walk and at the appointed time, I found a large crowd gathered there. Most of them had not registered and were determined to be on the walk one way or the other. And they succeeded as your people were just not able to turn them away. This meant that we ended up as a pretty large group and I barely got to hear what the guide spoke.
The Ballard Estate walk turned out to be even more chaotic. This walk had no pre-registrations and interested participants had to just up at the World War I memorial in Ballard Estate at the appointed day and time. About 150–200 people turned up that day and I left 5 minutes into the walk when I found that I could neither see the tour guide nor hear a word of what she spoke.
Thereafter, I restricted my KGAF participation only to the events on Rampart Row every year. Till I came across these words the page on 2014 Heritage Walks on your website. The “First come – First serve” [sic] and the “Maximum people – 50″ clinched it for me
Participants are welcome on FIRST COME – FIRST SERVE [sic] basis… (Maximum people – 50 on first come first serve [sic] basis)…
Note: Only 1 token would be handed over to one person. No email registrations would be accepted.
After choosing which ones to go for and applying for time off from work, I participated in 5 Heritage Walks and Tours at the KGAF 2014.
Every walk revealed yet another interesting aspect about this beautiful city of ours. Unfortunately, every walk also revealed how much things had not changed with regard to organising and conducting them. The words on your website just remained mere words and didn’t translate into action.
Let me elaborate with details from each walk: