Project to give Mumbai a Bollywood mural makeover

Wed May 16, 2012 3:14am EDT
 
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By Shilpa Jamkhandikar

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The raven-tressed heroine stares adoringly at the handsome Mughal prince, who gazes lovingly back at her - from where they are painted on a Mumbai wall.

The mural of the classic Bollywood film "Anarkali" is the brainchild of a pair of movie buffs, who hope to give Mumbai a distinct Bollywood identity through a series of murals, aiming for the iconic appeal of the "Hollywood" sign in California.

The mural from Anarkali, a 1953 film about a doomed love affair between the prince and a commoner, is just the first of many the pair, and their Bollywood Art Project, hope to create all over the city.

"Mumbai is the home of Bollywood, but it has no Bollywood flavor," said Ranjit Dahiya, who started the project with his friend, Tony Peter. "We wanted to change that."

They zeroed in on a wall in the posh suburb of Bandra, home to several Bollywood stars, and asked for permission to paint the 6 meter (20 foot) Anarkali mural, fully expecting to be rebuffed.

"But they had no problem at all," Dahiya told Reuters. "They happily handed over their wall to us for fourteen days and let us paint."

Over the weekend, the Art Project also screened the film with the wall as a backdrop, hoping to educate youngsters and help them relive Bollywood's golden past.

"We have a lot of indications around Mumbai of what Bollywood is today, in terms of posters of latest releases, but there is no indication of where we came from," Peter said.   Continued...

 
A man rides a motorbike past a mural of the classic Bollywood movie "Anarkali" on the wall of a building in Mumbai May 13, 2012. The mural is the brainchild of a pair of movie buffs, Ranjit Dahiya and Tony Peter, who hope to give Mumbai a distinct Bollywood identity through a series of murals, aiming for the iconic appeal of the "Hollywood" sign in California. The mural from Anarkali, a 1953 film about a doomed love affair between the prince and a commoner, is just the first of many the pair, and their Bollywood Art Project, hope to create all over the city. Picture taken May 13, 2012. To match story INDIA-BOLLYWOOD/MURAL REUTERS/Vivek Prakash