The Secret Garden Weekend, Pune – Day 2 – Muzenly Stories

The Secret Garden Weekend, Pune – Day 2


the-secret-garden-weekend-pune-day-1
Day 2 dawned bright and sunny with no promise of any rainy respite. Troopers that we are, we were up and at it from late afternoon. Running around with my camera, I met a lot of interesting people throughout the day. There was a massive influx of Bombay peeps and a great mix of Indian and foreign festival goers overall. I loved how people had made an effort with their outfits and the general feel was of good looking people in beautiful clothes. Great crowd I would say – friendly vibes and a treat for the eyes. Kicking off Day 2 On Day 2, I had more of a chance to look at the little stalls selling quirky merchandise in the shopping section. Vests, scarves, dream-catchers, blinking glasses and an array of other random festival gear was on display.I quite enjoyed my browse through the section – my personal favourite being a vest imprinted with bicycles and neon colours. Prices were high though leaving me empty-handed at the end of my sojourn. Funky festival gear Colourful dreamcatchers I left the shops lured away by the lilting strains of Kabir Café playing at the indoor stage – Ithaca. Their lovely, instrumental, folk-y sound made me feel emotional and uplifted in spurts. The gig had an intimate feel with only a few people braving the inside heat and it felt like the musicians were playing a home-performance only for us. Mumbai based outfit Filter Coffee, was another highlight on the indoor stage. The tabla player, Swarupa, trained by maestro Zakir Hussain himself, was a dream to watch and listen to. This band is playing at Glastonbury in the UK this year as well, so watch out for them – I have a feeling they are going to be huge. After dark acts Wandering outside in search of something electronic, we chanced upon Romeo and Dheepesh. They call themselves Designer Hippies and man, did they take the Zeitgeist stage by storm. Romeo understands and feels his music so well. He has an intense, powerful aura – I think the crowd was partially tripping on his energy and partially on his music. Expectedly, I really enjoyed the psy-trance. A groovy twilight set got my blood pumping as I immersed myself in the trance dance experience, being one with a giant, energized crowd. DJ Arsh from Bombay and Oozeundat, a local Pune collective provided the more crowd-friendly techno, deep house sets for the night. Groovy and inviting, the beats sucked in the EDM set, creating a powerful and foot-stomping audience for the closing acts. More night stage Neon lights All that furious dancing got us hungry and finally we had a taste of the food. My personal favourites were the chicken shawarma from Maroush, the kheema pav from the Keys Club stall and the beef chilli from Fast Supper. The bar and the food stalls were all well-stocked and easily accessible – no ridiculously long lines or waiting times. Post the food, relaxing hammocks awaited us on the sidelines, primed for exhausted dancers and stuffed foodies. Once you sat down in one though, it was incredibly hard to get active again! We were suitably entertained by malkhamb artists, who contorted themselves about a wooden pole in incredible feats of strength and balance. A trampoline kept the more active folks engaged while street magicians and clowns on stilts wandered around adding to the fantasy feel. Firedancer The second day also had its share of festivity, with organic colour bombs going off near the main stage area. It felt like Holi – another attempt at awakening the sense of ‘touch’, I’m told. Not as effective as the thermocol balls, but fun nevertheless. A trampoline on the side provided jumping space for the more active. The day culminated with a ‘Walk of Fire’ workshop for those brave enough to attempt something that crazy. All in all, TSGW housed an electric atmosphere. The mood was upbeat and light for the most part and the crowd seemed engaged. There were a couple of glitches like cracking speakers, a bleed of sound between stages and delays between acts on the first day. But these are regular ýoung’ festival issues, most of which I’m sure will be sorted out over future editions. The setbacks were offset by a couple of thoughtful touches like segregated trash cans for garbage (going green is good) and easy access to the bathrooms. Did my 5 senses awaken? Yes. The sixth one? Not so sure. But if given a choice, I’d slide down that rabbit hole again, no question. Reviewed by Radhika Pendse
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