There I was travelling in a Harbour Line local train that hot April afternoon.
I had just woken up from a short nap when the train halted at Cotton Green station. I was still drowsy when the train crossed the beautiful drinking water fountain (that I always look out for whenever I travel by train on this route) just before Reay Road station. I noted that the water fountain was there, a little more decrepit than ever before, a little more lonelier and a… wait a minute… what was the flash of colour on the wall behind the fountain? It looked like graffiti, but I couldn’t be sure.The train had already crossed that patch and was slowing down for its Reay Road station halt.
A week later, I was back on the train travelling the same route at round the same time. This time I did not sleep. And this time I saw that my guess was right. There was not just one wall with graffiti, but what looked like a lot of them. My first impulse was to get off the train and explore the area immediately. But the deserted area, run-down buildings and a general sense of unease at going alone made me postpone the visit to another day and with company.
So a month later, I was back on the train and this time alighted at Reay Road station to wait for Rushikesh Kulkarni, a fellow blogger, the guy who runs Breakfree Journeys, and the guy who very readily agreed to
be my bodyguard and explore the area with me. 🙂 A short walk from the station and I was looking at the first of the many works of art I saw that afternoon at Reay Road.
Peek-a-Boo ! Continue reading “Street art @ Reay Road”
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.
Continue reading “Bandra’s street art: Nagrana Lane’s secrets”
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.
All 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.
Continue reading “Bandra’s street art: The writing on the wall”