Discovering this set of street art was sheer luck. Serendipity indeed.
It was around 10 am on a Saturday morning in Bandra last month. I had just finished seeing and photographing the set of artwork on the compound wall of St. Peter’s Church on Hill Road. I still had those images of on the theme of child sex ratio and sex selection on my mind when I stopped near a roadside tea stall to put away my camera gear.
On noticing my camera, one of the men standing there said in Hindi, “Don’t put your camera away. There is a lane full of ‘paintings’ like this a little further down the road.”
“Do you mean the ‘paintings’ on Chapel Road?”, I asked.
“No, no. There is another chhota road here which has paintings. Very beautiful paintings.”
“Thanks. I’ll have a look.” I didn’t tell him, but I was a little dubious about this piece of information. I had walked down the road many times and never come across any lane like the one he had mentioned. Also, my good friend Google had never mentioned it, in the sense that all image searches would lead one to the wall art on Chapel Road.
Still… as I walked down the road, I kept an eye out. And then I saw it. If I had not noticed a flash of turquoise blue and red and then looked again, I would have missed it. What I had always assumed was the entrance to a housing society was actually a lane so narrow that if I had stood with my arms spread out, I would have touched the walls on either side.
This was Nagrana Lane. From the entrance to the lane, I could see a meandering, crooked lane bounded by high walls on both sides. One side of the lane or rather one wall was covered with art — vibrant, colourful wall art that seemed to flow with the contours of the wall.
A lush canopy of frangipani and bougainvillea at the entrance to Nagrana lane cast shadows on the walls adding to the effect and becoming part of the artworks themselves. The light fragrance of the frangipani and a cool morning breeze made it just perfect and welcoming to explore the lane. See what all secrets the lane hid !
Is the green colour from growth of moss or is it part of the paint?
Look into my eyes, the face on the right seems to say…
Will the umbrella help against the colourful rain?
Random art? Structured art? Does it really matter when it is so beautiful?
That sunny patch of yellow… made me so happy 🙂
So pensive, so calm, so contemplative, so beautiful…
A collage of some of the more fascinating works found at Nagrana Lane…
All the wall art at Nagrana Lane has been done by Harshvardhan Kadam of Inkbrush N Me (you can see the signature in the 4th picture). I loved every single one of them, especially the profile faces, which convey a range of emotions. I found from the Inkbrush website that there is a set of Kadam’s wall art in Pune as well. (Note to self: The next time you’re in Pune, you know what to do).
Isn’t it is amazing what a little art and colour can do to change your surroundings? Lift your mood and make you happy. I wonder why we don’t have more of public art initiatives around us.
Or maybe there are such initiatives and I’m just not aware of them or not seeing it. It’s a happy thought that perhaps there are many Nagrana Lanes, hidden and unknown and just waiting to be explored. 🙂
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 walk | Street art @ Reay Road