The glow of the sun, running of the deer, temples of Chennai, paint brush, deforestation, water conservation, sponges, walls… Oh!! a random collection that I am trying to put here… Well this is about the fun that some of the Chennai folks had on a beautiful morning as the sun tried to peep out of the clouds.
Morning 6.45 and there were at least 25 young and elder folks down at one of the sub-urban area. Their objective was to have fun while painting the abandoned, peed walls of Chennai. This was the wall Opposite to the “National Institute of Wind Energy”. I have been through this area so many a times, and believe me it had been a mess. The Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI) sub-urban group along with “The Hindu” started this initiative of cleaning up places and giving a beautiful life to the walls.
While I have had a beautiful pleasure of seeing and capturing the artistic walls at Cochin fort, this was altogether a new experience. Here we the ordinary, non artists like me and many others were showing our talent on the walls.
The whole process, began with Shanmugam, the co-ordinator from EFI talking about the marsh lands, water bodies, forest cover and the three rivers that are there in and around Chennai. It was really interesting facts and figures to know that Chennai had 33 water bodies and at least 4 small forest covers that used to adorn the city. Off-course, thanks to we human efforts, they are in a depleating mode. And with that context setting, he beautifully shared the topic for today’s painting. It was on “nature” and the city.
Armed with the resources of paints, brushes, sponges… Yeah Sponges, we were pleased to dirty our hands with paints. The EFI team had ensured that the place was cleaned up and walls white washed so that we could get started. Off-course there were a couple of artists there who were the guide for us.
Some members requested the artists to create the outline and they could start colouring them while the adventurous like us, said attack without a plan. Well, we got to our wall space and started creating. The challenge was what and why. My partner and my son and I got into major argument. Well no marks for guessing who won.. 😉
And we started, the outline for the deer started, and then the free flowing tree. Off course, there was a helping hand from the artist who after our initial effort said, “No problem, do it… I will get it sorted”
We could only look perplexed and went on. Well I must say, we could not have done it any better. After close to 90 mins of beautiful toil and work, we managed to get our wall done.
What we loved the most was the part of sharing. No body was in a rush for the limited paint materials that was there. If there was a ask for a brush or any particular paint, the other waited and then pitched in to support. Well, we also had a great personality who loved to do borders on every paint work. He walked around with a black paint and draw lines. His standard statement was, “I think there needs to be a line here?”
It really did not matter, how busy the street was getting. All of us were well glued to create our own imagination and representations. It was good fun, while supporting a beautiful cause to beautify our city and walls.
Hopefully the smelly walls will breath easy and keep the city beautiful!!
Few things that we could think of doing as we planned for our next wall some other day:
- Plan the theme, what is that you would like to paint.
- Bring in a pencil to help outline what you want to draw.
- Water bottles, as you may feel thirsty.
- Invite more friends to join the fun.
- Always, remember not to pee on the walls.. you may be painting it someday.. 🙂
Chennai is a melting pot for art & culture and it certainly stays true to its nature. Will initiatives like these what EFI has been doing, it just adds to the flavour.
Come enjoy and unleash your happiness for a beautiful tomorrow at Chennai!!