Sunday, November 29, 2009

Graffiti on a Ten Rupee Note

My WordWeb defines 'graffiti' as "a rude decoration inscribed on rocks or walls" and the Merriam-Webster has it down as "usually unauthorised writing or drawing on a public surface."

These definitions are archaic, I think. Graffiti can be authorised — like the Wall Project by the BMC in Bombay, which you can read about on the Indian Express and DNA website. Graffiti can also be considered an alternate art form, a tool to express one's views in a visual way, on a completely different canvas. Idea-Smithy has photographed some of their graffiti along the Mahim–Matunga railway station wall.

The graffiti I came across was orchestrated on a 'different' canvas alright. A currency note. And it was rude. Not very, actually. Since we live in a city where we hear far worse words than "Motu, Gandu, Saala". I do not think the Books o' Law have anything on the act of writing on Indian currency notes. So there. Graffiti in its various forms. This one, on a ten rupee note. The Father of our Nation still manages to hold that smile while staring at those words..

Andheri East: Chakala — A Jungle Gym

A long time ago I had posted something about the pathetic state of the road at Chakala, just off the highway in Andheri East. In that post, I had shown images of the road opposite the Guru Nanak Petrol Pump. That time the construction work for the metro was yet in its initial stages. Later on that work spread across the breadth of the road and now large dugouts and pillars have replaced what you see here. Last year, it was possible to walk to work, there was a pavement.

Notice that a year ago, one could just look down the road and see people standing outside the Maharaja Restaurant at the end of the road.

As the construction work expanded, even the pavement started being eaten up. So much so that today there is practically no pavement and pillars appear to have cropped up outside some of the buildings.

Now it is not possible to do that any more. A metal scaffolding has been built on the very stretch I took a picture of. Honestly, looking at the old pictures, it feels so weird now. I had to weave through one corner of the scaffolding to get to the other side of it and walk towards the highway. When you walk through the 'jungle gym', you do it single file.

These photos were taken from this 'other side', which is nearer to the flyover and highway.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Kala Ghoda Festival 2009: Mini Version

Paid a visit. Finally took some photographs of the place. They are a little shaky because I had my son in one hand and I was working the camera with the other. And daylight was slowly fading. That did not help me one bit. I got myself a nice t-shirt from the NGO stand called Jungle Lore. This time we did not pick anything from WSD. We are full up with their stuff already.
The trees above house some huge fruit bats. They must easily span almost two feet -- tip to tip. The bats were busy pushing each other off their perches, using their hooked claws to clamber along branches and nibble on the berries growing on the peepal tree. Yes, I spent a great deal of time watching them. I have never done this before and one has to find interesting pass times when the better half decides to spend more time at the handicraft stands!


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