Okay, so I accidentally happened to walk into by far the most colourful art installation in the city I have come across in recent times. Last fun street art scene was at Kala Ghoda, as it always is. But I was sad to see the Bollywood wall murals that Bandra had become famous for, now decaying and forgotten.
Back to the main story. So, I walked into the garden at Bandra Fort area and my eyes fell on a bunch of colourful elephants placed in the garden. I thought it must be some boring children’s park sh*t. But I casually decided to take a stroll anyways. One of them looked interesting. But on a closer inspection, I was blown away.
So, this exhibition was ( and it will be running until 18th March 2018 ) in view of spreading awareness for elephant conservation. We, the Homosapien take the award for being the most selfish creäture on earth, hands down. And these poor pachyderms bear the brunt of our deeds. As a result, there are few and few left each day. Unfortunately, people don’t realise this before buying ivory handicrafts, cutting trees and/or are completely unaware of the animal extinction problem, to begin with.Lord Ganesha, the elephant headed God is one of the most widely worshipped God’s in India. But perhaps not as popular as another God called ‘hypocrisy’ that India worships the most.
So, the message of conservation must be spread.
Elephant Family is a New York-based organisation that takes the responsibility of conserving Asian elephants in specific. And India has a big chunk in Asia. Hence it only makes sense to spread the word in a huge metropolitan city like Mumbai where lots and lots of people see, read and understand the message.
What is the message?
To encourage the building of 101 corridors or dedicated areas
in India where elephants can live unharmed.
It is not just the message, but the method that was chosen to spread the word is what I am excited about. Elephant Parade is a concept started in 2007 in Thailand by two people, Father-son duo Marc and Mike Spits. They got inspired after seeing the difficult life of Mosha, a baby elephant becoming handicap by stepping on a landmine. In elephant parade, many statues of elephants are made. Each is coloured and decorated/ designed with a particular theme in mind by experienced artists and sculptors like Arzan Khambatta and may more.
The elephant parade going on in Mumbai was inaugurated on 27th Feb and will go on until 18th March. The 101 colourful elephants can be seen all over South Mumbai places like Gateway of India, Siddhivinayak temple, Priyadarshini park, shopping malls etc, ending in Bandra Fort.
I absolutely loved the fact there are no restrictions on clicking pictures. One can click as many pictures and the organizers encourage you to spread them on social media. Also, one can bid for the statues and some part of the money goes for elephant conservation. One can also buy other merchandise related to the colourful artwork. In fact, these colourful pachyderms have their own Instagram account @elephantparadefan ( #helpthehathi, #elephantfamily, #101corridors ) and Facebook page. Check it out..!
Let me know what do you feel about the whole idea.