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A wall apart

THE ASIAN AGE. | PRIYANKA CHANDANI
Published : Jun 2, 2018, 12:38 am IST
Updated : Jun 2, 2018, 12:38 am IST

3,000 Mumbaikars have painted the wall of DN Nagar metro station in Andheri.

The newly painted wall at the DN Nagar metro station.
 The newly painted wall at the DN Nagar metro station.

The walls of DN Nagar metro station in Andheri (west) are no longer covered with paan stains and grime. Instead, they flaunt colourful drawings that tell the story of the city. If you haven’t seen the entire city yet, this 4,000-square-metre wall is the place to head to because on it, you will see drawings of all that is special in the city. From the city’s traffic-clogged streets to shouting fishermen to the ubiquitous nimbu-mirchi totka to the iconic Horn Nako Please, these murals capture the sense and essence of the city.

Painted by eight city artists and locals in and around the area, this wall is a sight to behold. But, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and this undertaking was no different.

The project took twenty days to complete and was a joint initiative by Fruitbowl

Digital and Mumbai Metro to mark the metro’s fifth annual art festival — Majhi Metro.  Every year, the fest encourages a range of activities such as poetry recitations, painting and photography competitions. This year, the theme was ‘Art in Motion’.

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Talking about the project, Sumitro Sircar from FruitBowl says, “We aimed to reach to the larger community through this wall art project in which a 4,000-square-foot wall was turned into a canvas. Therefore, this has become one of the largest crowd-sourced murals in the nation, with around 3,000 individuals participating in the project.” Commenting on the idea behind the artwork, he says, “We wanted to depict a version of the Majhi Metro Art Train on the wall. So, the wall was converted into a metro train with seven different compartments. Each compartment has a story to tell.”

Shadab Khan, a regular at the metro station, has fulfilled his childhood love for painting by participating in the project. “I was probably the first visitor to paint the wall. I saw some people opening their paint boxes and stopped to see what was happening. When they asked me to join in, Ireadily agreed. It was satisfying to see the paintings emerge on the wall and now, the finished project looks so soothing,” he says. Another commuter, Anirudh Sharma, hopes miscreants don’t mar the beauty of the wall. “Before it was just another wall for the people to pee and spit on; but now, this looks so attractive. I hope people don’t ruin the hard work put in by the artists,” he says.

For Karan Girkar, who was one of the painters in the project, this is one of the best moments in his life.

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“I am from Mumbai and this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to draw everything that the city has. There were other painters as well but they could not make it till the end. But I am happy that I did. I drew the sketches for this project and painted them as well,” says Karan.

He also says, “We had to work day and night. It wasn’t a smooth wall, so painting on the wall was another challenge. But that was creative. No one was from a painting background, but everyone did it out of love for art and the city.”

Tags: metro station, paan stains, fruitbowl