“Yeh toh Jhansi ki Rani hai (This is the Queen of Jhansi),” Mohammad Ali, a rickshaw puller from Kolkata announces with more than a little pride. He is talking about a mural of Rani Lakshmibai, a much-loved warrior Queen, on the side of a residential block in Delhi’s Lodhi Colony. Created during another street art festival last year, this mural is the work of famous Japanese street artist Lady Aiko.
Earlier this week, Ali and I spend about an hour riding around what is believed to be the last colony set up by the British before they left India. Over the last two months, the drab yellow and pink walls of Lodhi colony, especially the stretch between Meherchand Market and Khanna Market have been the canvas for street artists from around the world. St+Art India roped in 13 artists from Iran, Germany and Japan among to paint vibrant Kathakali dancers, giant birds and geometric prints. While I took pictures, Ali tried to make sense of these works of art. “Jo bhi hai, bahut sunder hai (Whatever it is, it’s pretty),” he says as we ride off to see the next one.
Here are some of the murals (both old and new) that I spotted
“Sans serifs no letters
And no words to read
Sans words no signs
No names in the streets
Just rows of buildings
And gardens sans weeds.”