Thursday, October 28, 2010

Paint Conspiracy: the Wall Project

By Sadho Ram (with Swapnil Shahane [Photographer])

Hmm.., so how do you begin writing about something which starts with unpolished, unkempt and equally ugly looking walls and ends after 3 ½ of unseasoned but planned out festival of Holi in which people, who actually happen to be fervent artists from all around the globe, transform those same walls, the unpolished, unkempt and equally ugly looking, into an artistic magnificence? And then exactly how do you describe the spirit of awesomeness which seems to have entered into each one of the breathing soul present there, in this case – from one end to another of Chapel Road, Bandra West?
I have no damn clue. You see, my ability to describe events literally fail here, and I’m not at all amazed.

So, I’ll begin (if it can be called a beginning at all) with a very, very small story.

Once upon a time there was a wall, devoid of colours and thus void of any feelings. And in that same time, there was a group of young individuals with spirit as vibrant as rainbow itself, the only difference was that they did not needed rain to show their vibrancy.

The wall, to be very precise was in an Old East Indian Village – Bazaar Road in Bandra. And there’s a legend around that it is overflowing with artists of numerous talents but all hidden inside their tiny, little abodes and the legend is as true as the existence of Bazaar Road in Bandra.

So that vibrant group of young individual used to daily pass by that plain, boring wall, and each time they passed, their heart burned with a volcanic intensity which erupted at its decibel highest, proclaiming among them that – “Something has to be done to it.”

So one fine day, they sought out the owner of that wall, Mr. Glenford D’Mello, who turned out be an extremely kind hearted men and allowed them to ‘paint’ it. But what Mr. D’Mello didn’t know that it was not that normal, same old – paint the wall thing.
The Gonsalves wall, as it was known, became the foundation of what that vibrant group of young individuals today call – the Wall Project. In their own words – “It was an initiative to add visual elements of colour, form and texture to a space, to make the area more alive and generate a feeling among people who pass by it daily.”
So, that was the story of how the Wall Project got formed. And since then, since doing “something to the Gonsalves wall” they have been consistently conspiring “paint the wall” all around the city (Bombay). This week (Sunday 24th) it was the walls of Chapel Road, Bandra. The day was Sunday and the time “a really cool, colourful evening.”

The atmosphere was calm (even though cars honked horns as if it’s tyres can feel the road, and as if the road was made up of thorns), and people calmer (though few were confused as to why on earth are these firangi accent Indians and pani-puri eating Firangis painting the walls?)
But one thing that surprised me was the number of photographers present there. If my guess is right (which I know it is) then there were 2 photographers on every painter. This means more than the brushes there were clicks (and chicks [Beautiful, Warm, and Friendly Chicks]) which rolled on to the unpolished and unkempt looking walls of Chapel Road, Bandra.
Ok, enough of my rant. I’ll leave you with few of the true-colour pictures of the event clicked by my Photographer friend, Swapnil Shahane.
A few words on Swapnil: He is an awesome landscape photographer, probably one of the finest I’ve personally known/seen till date.

Due to some technical glitch, I'm not being able to upload more pictures of the event, So please refer to his Facebook page for more pictures of the Wall Project - Here

Sorry for the inconvenience. I hope you enjoy the visual treat.

Thank you.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Joy of Giving!

By Sadho Ram

“Sometimes the joy of giving has the amazing potential to surpass even the most strongest of feelings known to human being. Because when you give, you love; and love, I’ve experienced in my life is the purest of emotion.” – Gulab Ram [1960 - May 14, 2004]

Time 21:55 [October 18]

I've never actually given anyone anything except that once I gave out my heart to a pretty looking girl, who later “respectfully” returned it to me, when my childhood buddy offered her his own. Anyways, that doesn't count. Though I’ve always had this feeling deep down inside that one day when I’ll give, it will be substantial in many aspects. And currently I’m having this intuition that the moment has come.

Time 23:46 [October 18]

I’m going to give. Yup, I’m finally going to give something, and this something, as felt by me, is quite substantial in its nature, as it is one of the main sources of life inside human body, in fact it’s something that our heart pumps throughout it’s time – blood.

I don’t know how to say this, but I’m kind of really excited. I know most of you might be thinking – “Dude, what’s there to be so excited about?” Well, may be the reason that it’s my first opportunity to give something to anyone, and when that something is the synonym of life itself then I think, it, indeed, is the very reason to be excited about.

I don’t know the person who needs my blood. But the person happens to be a friend of my Facebook friend Rizvi Amir, who was introduced to me by another Facebook friend.

I’ve always believed in the saying that – “Everything happens for a reason, and the reason is always good.” So, when we, me and Rizvi, were introduced (without any particular reason), I immediately had this feeling, that it must be for a reason, which is not clear/known to us now, but when the moment will come, it will reveal itself. And see how it has unfolded itself.

A friend of Rizvi needs O Positive blood and Rizvi puts a request in his Facebook status asking if anyone is in his profile with this particular blood group. And call it co-incident or a cosmic conspiracy, I, who only few days ago became his friend via another friend, happen to be the one.

So, I’m expected at Tata Memorial Hospital (Bombay) around 09:00 and so I better get some sleep, as the Hospital is a bit far away from my place, and in the morning a tsunami takes place every day on the route (Vashi – Church gate) in which the Hospital falls (Parel).

Time 13:30 [October 19]

I can never, ever donate blood. I was tested positive for Hepatises B seven years ago, and thus my blood is not safe for others.

This was what I was told by the doctor who was questioning me. And the moment I heard it, believe it or not, I felt an strange kind of ache in my heart; an ache which I know will last till I last.

Time 18:40 [October 19]

When I came out of the room, I was feeling really sad, but then the one who needed my blood said – “You take care of yourself. You came here with good intention; intention to give something to someone whom you don’t even know, and that’s what really matters. It’s another thing that it didn’t materialise the way you had thought it will.” And other’s too, his wife, and my friend Rizvi Amir, and later my boss also said the same thing to me.

And coming to think of it now, I feel good inside that at least I had the right intention and went there with the heart to give, where there are people who, though completely capable of giving, mentally and physically, but never come out.

But then one thing is for sure that I will never experience that feeling, which in the word of my late father – “…has the amazing potential to surpass even the most strongest of feeling known to humans.”
I’m stripped off of that joy, even before I could have it.

About the person, who needed the blood, well, he has cancer and will be going through a major operation of Thursday. I hope, yes, that’s all I can do now, that everything goes well with him and that the operation be a successful one. I hope that when he comes out of that operation theatre on Thursday, he be gifted with a life, not only healthy but also prosperously long. I hope that he now not merely live, but also enjoy life to its fullest. Because somewhere in my heart I know that on Thursday, a new life will embrace him. A life, full of joy; joy of acceptance and humility towards others, and a life, full of love; love for life itself.

And, lastly, I also hope that all of you, who have come this far here, will also hope for him in the manner most hopeful for him.

Thank You