The Indo-German Urban Mela Chennai at the YMCA College of Physical Education, Nandanam, concluded on a high musical note on September 2. The 10-day event on the third stopover of its tour, was packed with remarkable activities, exhibitions, events and food to offer a unique experience for each and every visitor.
With a thrilling start on August 24th, 2012, a concert by star Indian percussionist Sivamani, German percussionist Christopher Haberer and flutist Michael Heupel, marked the opening of the Urban Mela.
The days to follow saw lot of activities, cultural events, interactive exhibitions and discussions. Among these, some of the memorable ones included -
Eumel, the puppet: A two meter high puppet, constructed with sticks and operated by five performers, this curious, playful alien, was a hit with the audience.
Graffiti workshop: Chennai's contemporary graffiti artist Joyston Christopher Vaz was at work every day to help students from different colleges paint the Mela – not just red but many more colours.
Shiven, the clown: Shiven, a clown with philosopher's soul and many cheeky pranks up his sleeves kept the crowd entertained.
Urban Campus: The critical urban talk series organised around a survey and practical design of urban development. In particular, the talks questioned the existing status quo of urban planning and critically addressed various issues related to urban transformation in Chennai and India in applied and innovative ways.
Rock Concerts: Chennai’s very own bands Witchouse, Ghostnote, Tails on Fire, 83 MPH, The Captains of Hook, Grasshopper Green, Muttu Sundu, Funkuation, Frank's got the Funk and TWKC performed to screaming fans.
Theatre: The plays Pied Piper by MOP Vaishnav College and Scandal in Fairyland directed by Hans Kaushik were a hit with the audience.
Apparat: The electronica sensation from Berlin enthralled fans with his soulful performance on August 28 as a part of his India tour.
Café Mela: Offering a mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian German delicacies, visitors could taste some authentic German dishes like German Potato Salad, Pan Fried Bavarian Meat Loaf, German Sausages, German Style Sausage Curry and more.
Special light installation: Apart from the gemstone-shaped pavilions, the light installation - bamboo poles topped with in-lit plastic pots as designed by Markus Heinsdorff - was a photographer's delight.
Contests: There was an overwhelming response to "What's your German Connect?" - the contest, as well as the photography contest that entailed clicking pictures of pavilions at the Mela from a unique perspective.
And the winners were-
What's your German Connect? contest:
1st prize - R. Panchanath
2nd prize - Roshini Sampath
3rd prize - Ramesh Pallikara
Photography contest: Abhijit Pratihari
The spectacular fiesta, that saw over 70,000 visitors, came to an end with a serenading performance by Madras Musical Association Choir.
Before you know it, it will be time for the Indo-German Urban Mela to open up to Delhiites, so keep your eyes peeled!