Aiming to facilitate informal conversations and open discussions on art and culture, the ‘museum katta’ organised by Bhau Daji Lad Museum at Byculla since March has been drawing art lovers in good numbers. During the four sessions organised so far, frequent visitors believe they are getting an opportunity to understand the nuances of art and culture very closely. For the organisers, ‘katta’ (which means a friendly place to hold talks) was an initiative to increase patronage of the museum. With the theme based on Marathi theatre and plays, the sessions have welcomed artistes and practitioners to discuss their experiences.
Talks on topics related to cinema, theatre, literature, folk culture and music are held. Visitors attending the session do not have to pay any fees. The past sessions have seen talks by eminent names like Marathi writer Madhuri Purandare, actor and director Amol Palekar, and photographer Sandesh Bhandare. It also featured a documentary to pay tribute to the works of Kishori Amonkar. Orgainsers claim the sessions have seen presence of visitors in good numbers.
“We have seen a strength of seventy-eighty people for each session. Katta aims to draw local crowds and build a community of art lovers. The idea remains to build a cultural hub,” Himanshu Kadam, curator of the museum, said. “I had attended the past session hosted by Amol Palekar. I was present for the same as I am a great fan of his work. The session also gave me an opportunity to ask questions to him,” Amoli Yeole, a visitor, said.
Organisers later plan to conduct talks by Sumitra Bhave (director of National Award winning film Kaasav) and famous Marathi director Mahesh Manjrekar. Marathi actor Sunil Barve will speak about reviving five famous Marathi plays of the past, in the discussions to be conducted on Sunday” “The aim remains to build an interactive platform. In such talks, the personalities whom we invite and listeners tend to come on the same platform and get a chance to interact and share their experiences. We plan to include more topics for these sessions,” he added.