Sunday Times 2

Mumbai murals recall old Bollywood as centenary nears


MUMBAI, (AFP) Frustrated by the lack of old Bollywood glamour on the streets of Mumbai, two film buffs are trying to brighten up India’s movie capital with mural tributes ahead of the industry’s 100th birthday.

An elderly Indian woman walks past a mural of Bolllywood actor Amitabh Bachchan from his classic film ‘Deewar’ in Mumbai (AFP)

The iconic image of a reclining, cigarette-smoking young Amitabh Bachchan, the biggest star of Hindi cinema, has been lovingly recreated on a roadside wall, replicating the dying style of hand-painted poster art.

Bachchan’s character Vijay joined the underworld of the city’s mean streets in the 1975 hit “Deewaar” (The Wall), but the film’s antihero now has pride of place on a lane in the hip Bandra suburb, home to many film stars.

Despite the abundance of slick new posters plastered around Mumbai, artist Ranjit Dahiya says he was struck at how the city’s rich film heritage was being forgotten in recent years.

“I couldn’t see any Bollywood in Bombay, yet this is the city of Bollywood,” Dahiya told AFP, using the city’s old name. “So I thought I should paint the walls on the street.” The mural in Bandra is the second to be completed as part of the Bollywood Art Project (BAP), a self-funded venture set up by Dahiya and his friend Tony Peter to create film artwork “accessible for everyone”.

The duo hope to finish about one painting a month in the run-up to May next year, when India will celebrate a century since its first silent feature film “Raja Harishchandra” opened in Mumbai in 1913.

Getting permission is not always straightforward, with plans for a 70-foot (21-metre) dancing girl thwarted by unimpressed locals.
“It depends on the people,” said Dahiya. “Some people are sensible and really know about the art.”

Share This Post

comments powered by Disqus

Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.