Chapel Road: The Most Badass Lane in Bandra!

April 17th, 2016

Among people who can’t draw or paint for nuts, there exists a common axiom -that we absolutely adore people who can. We adore every stray stroke of perfection, even the ones that seem routine and unspectacular to the trained hand. When we see a beautiful work of art, we stare wide-eyed at it in mute reverence, soaking in the splendor of the work, and all the while wondering about the eccentric artist behind the picture. Having a long-standing place in this club of admirers, I display a similar reaction on coming face-to-face with pictures of picturesque perfection. Last Friday, while ambling through Bandra’s beautiful Chapel Road, I was reduced to performing this gasp-point-stare routine several times and that wasn’t because I’d spotted my second favourite thing in the world, which is food, but because I’d spotted something even better – That zesty, zingy, rebellious wonder called graffiti.

For those of you who don’t know, many of Bandra’s winding bylanes and streets are bubbling over with graffiti. Chapel Road, for one, is full of these subversive pieces. The piece pops up when least expected, providing the unsuspecting pedestrian with a happy surprise and infusing colour into a shabby, decrepit stretch of wall. The best part about this street is the numerous bylanes it gives birth to and each narrow lane has its fair share of graffiti. Some lanes are so narrow, it’s impossible to walk side-by-side a stranger without feeling awkward, but even in the slimmest of lanes, one is sure to find at least one whimsical wonder. That’s why it’s fun to walk through these lanes, for you never know what you’re going to spot around the next corner. For me, it was like walking through a maze, all the while keeping an eye out for a burst of colour and thought in a desolate lane.

The graffiti here isn’t in ship-shape for it has probably been done a couple of years ago, but the cheeky slogans and free-spirited images are still as startling as they were intended to be. Some pieces are childlike and reminiscent of drawings one finds in school books, some are intellectual and aim at drawing attention to a social issue. Some are witty, some pay tribute to the work of other great artists, while some have themselves been done by famous international artists! It was a real pleasure, seeking out and capturing these defiant pieces of art. Here are some of the really interesting ones I spotted.

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