Gulabi Mela or Q-Fete 2014, in its second year was bigger, bolder and bustling with revellers and fun activity. It was an instant hit from the word ‘go’. Firstly the venue, Bhalla House, located at the fag end of Hill Road, was just perfect. The spacious courtyard easily accommodated all the goodies and food stalls, thus giving it the apt ‘mela’ look-n-feel. Another very important aspect to note was the dance area that was separate from the stalls, avoiding discomfort to shoppers or those participating in games and fun activities.
Organized by the group ‘Yaariyan’, with a special mention to Sibi Mathen and Shruta Neytra, the event took off on time and attracted many regular shoppers, besides of course people from the community, which were almost 400 in number.
The event’s main objective was to raise funds for Queer Azaadi March or The Mumbai Pride and is one of the many happenings of the ‘pride’ month!
It was truly no less than a ‘mela’ with brands like Item Number (with their quirky, kitschy and colourful India & Bollywood-inspired designs on bags, cushion covers, mugs and more), Queer Ink (Publisher and Retailer of resources on Gender and Sexual Diversities in India), Awasme89 (a brand selling fetish undies) and others that were selling handmade accessories. Activity stalls included photography basics, games (Plug The Shit was my favourite one), tattoo art, tarot card reading and others. But a special mention for India’s first LGBTQ-themed shop/store, Azaad Bazaar. And going by the crowd-pulling stuff at their stall that shoppers went crazy buying, it was proof enough that these ‘AzBaz’ girls were being missed terribly by members of the community. (A big thank you for being there ladies). And to complete the experience we also had some food stalls selling finger-licking good food (yummy yummy) and a dance floor with a DJ that also hosted a Zumba choreographer, Tabi.
A small corner at the venue was dedicated to poster painting where anyone and everyone was provided free art material to bring out the artist in them. The posters would then be used at the Queer Azaadi March in February 2014.