We were waiting outside Imbiss for our turn at the lunch table this particular Sunday, when I noticed a foreigner walk up to the narrow lane opposite us with this big bag, take out cans of paint, brushes, wipes and then test the walls, perhaps for smoothness. Why yes, I had seen street art in the long stretch of the Tulsi Pipe Road near Dadar. And more, recently, in Mahim too. Aha, I pointed to Ridi, my 6-year old. This man is going to paint the walls. Let’s go watch him.
4-5 children too had walked up to him by now, curious to see what ‘designs’ he had for the walls! We watched him mix his paints, clean his brushes, scrape out the posters from the wall and start painting. And we struck up a conversation with him. He was a banker in Germany. Stephen. Was back-packing in India, loved the veg-thalis of the Gujju restaurants, wouldn’t want to step into Imbiss for some German-style meat – I eat them at home all the time, he said. Today was his last day in India, and tomorrow, he was off to Thailand. And on his last day in India, in the hot and sweltering Mumbai, instead of taking an AC cab to sight-see the city, here he was, painting it!!!!
Wow!! What a perfect little thing he taught us. Its summer holidays in almost every school in Mumbai. How about taking your child to one of Bandra’s old locatities and have them paint the walls? Teaches them to take pride in their city, build a sense of belonging in them, and most importantly, keep it well.
I promised Ridi, we will do this too!!
Note these points before you set out to do a graffiti in Mumbai:
- The neighbourhood you choose should allow graffitis. Best is to take the prior permission of the residents.
- As I mentioned, I have seen street art in Tulsi Pipe Road near Dadar. More recently, I saw it in Mahim too. Bandra’s old localities around the Veroda Road have many houses lined with graffiti.
- Since it’s very hot and humid these days, try to go early mornings. Carry enough water, energy drinks and snacks.