Bandra’s street art: The writing on the wall

Bandra has suddenly become the place to go to for me. Thanks to a combination of work and a friend moving to this area, I have made more trips to Bandra in the last month than in all the 21 years I have lived in Mumbai ! The visits to Bandra have also been more relaxed and I’ve had a great time walking and discovering interesting facets of this beautiful and charming suburb.

Take Bandra’s graffiti or street art for instance. I’ve been aware of them, read about them in newspapers, seen a few in passing, but never really stopped to have a look at them. So, a couple of weeks back, when I came across a series of them painted on the compound wall of St. Peter’s Church on Hill Road, I stopped. I looked. I read. I photographed. And now I’m sharing the best of them with you.

Laadli Girl Child Campaign, Bandra, Street Art, Hill Road, MumbaiAll the images I saw were on the theme of falling sex ratio and gender selection in India and part of a campaign initiated by Population First on the girl child called “Laadli”. According to information given on the campaign’s website, this is “a means of creating mass awareness and raising public conscience against the reprehensible practice of sex selection.” One might wonder, why such a campaign is being run in posh Bandra, in Mumbai even. Till you read what the campaign website has this to say:

The commercial capital of the country – Mumbai, has a sex ratio of 898.

The artwork has used nursery rhymes, clichéd perceptions of women, images, captions, and even games to get the message across. It is said and believed that pictures speak louder than words; I can’t think of a better example than the art I saw that day.

Nursery rhymes…

Laadli Girl Child Campaign, Bandra, Street Art, Hill Road, MumbaiLaadli Girl Child Campaign, Bandra, Street Art, Hill Road, MumbaiThat cliched image of the multi-tasking woman…

Laadli Girl Child Campaign, Bandra, Street Art, Hill Road, Mumbai Noughts and Crosses in a new avatar !

Bandra Street Art 6Slogan and captions…

Laadli Girl Child Campaign, Bandra, Street Art, Hill Road, MumbaiLaadli Girl Child Campaign, Bandra, Street Art, Hill Road, MumbaiNo captions needed here…

Laadli Girl Child Campaign, Bandra, Street Art, Hill Road, Mumbai Laadli Girl Child Campaign, Bandra, Street Art, Hill Road, MumbaiThe ambulance warning…

Laadli Girl Child Campaign, Bandra, Street Art, Hill Road, Mumbai

My favourite image is the one of Ardhanareeshwar or the “half-man, half-woman” form of Shiva (see the photograph below). If you look at the picture, you will see that the male portion is not exactly half; it is more than half — a reflection of the skewed sex ratio in India. Laadli Girl Child Campaign, Bandra, Street Art, Hill Road, Mumbai

Visual art in a public location is a powerful tool of communication and the Laadli campaign has used it brilliantly and effectively. Both the conceptualisation and its execution are fantastic and the mix of images, captions and clichés work wonderfully to get the message across and reiterate it over and over again. The artwork is simple, gritty and powerful and I wish I could meet the artist(s) behind the images.

The next time you’re in Bandra, do make your way to Hill Road to see these fantastic works of art. They are a must see ! 🙂


More Street Art from Mumbai: The writing on the wall | Nagrana Lane’s secrets | Bollywood on the walls | A fantasy world at Chapel Road | The St+art invasion of Bandra and a curated walkStreet art @ Reay Road


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33 thoughts on “Bandra’s street art: The writing on the wall

    1. Glad to see you here after so long, Ghumakkad. 🙂

      Street art is quite vibrant in Mumbai, at least in some places and i’m having fun discovering this side of the city. My next two posts are also on street art – but very different from this set.

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  1. Beautiful, Sudha. I have yet to see these works of art, and am so sorry now that I missed joining you the other day. Will definitely go, though, and if possible, with you :-). But I do wonder if people actually notice them, as in, their message, or simply walk past them, or at the most, give them a cursory glance.

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    1. Thank you, Anuradha. These are on Hill Road and just cannot be missed. But as you have rightly raised a point, will people see, or notice? Maybe yes, maybe not. But I feel that the mind notices a lot of things and somewhere the message also gets noticed. Also putting up a message like this is only the first part of communication. People like us visiting and writing about it and spreading the word is also important.

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    1. Ah ! But is not about living in Bombay; it is about living in Bandra. 🙂

      But seriously many of these are only a couple of years old or less. So, I’m not surprised if you have not seen them.

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    1. Glad you liked this, Amrita. Bandra is full of street art, though not all of them carry a social message like this. But without exception, all of them are mighty impressive. Watch out for my forthcoming posts 🙂

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    1. Blush Thank you Alarmelvalli. But you know what they say about people who wear glasses – they have 4 eyes 😛

      It is quite difficult to miss them you know, they are right there in front of you. Even I have walked past them many a times giving them only a cursory glance till that day when I stopped to see and read and then photograph every single one of them.

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  2. I have always seen the street art as my uncle lives on Chapel Road and taken a lot of pictures with my old Canon film camera. There were not many wall paintings, but it was a way of beautifying old and crumbling buildings, when heritage was not given much importance. Sadly, all those pictures were destroyed because of moisture.
    Your pictures are newer and definitely with a social message. I will try and take another walk one of these days and look at the street art with fresh eyes or rather your eyes.

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  3. Hi I am working on a dissertation on Street Art as a part of my Masters Degree. Would love to get some insight into the street art of Bandra. Can I contact you through your email ID?

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