Whenever I travel I make sure to squeeze some time for checking out non touristy places of a location. It’s the best way to feel the local vibe unbiased by clean, decorated, post card perfect exhibitions of monuments and museums and markets.
Avoiding the touristy circuit in Kolkata.
So of all the touristy things that I could have done in Kolkata, I chose to do what I believe in. Chuck the museums and malls, and wander to get lost for a while. Lo and behold, I came across lanes full of youth hotels, backpacker stays in narrow alleys around Park street in north Kolkata.
Discovering the graffiti lane.
While wandering I did come across a particular set of lanes, which intrigued me enough to deserve their own blog post. Entering deeper into the labyrinth of lanes, after a couple of turns, I was welcomed with a riot of color and art. It was spread over walls on both sides of a walk way.
A little googling later tells me that not many people are aware of the graffiti lane near Park street.
What did I find?
Graffiti as an art form is not an Indian creation. Yes, we have painted walls since stone age. But graffiti gained identity in the west to shout out thoughts of the average person. More so in days before Twitter and Facebook, very few means of expression could make common man heard.
So where mostly these days public walls are littered with ugly political slogans, here was some dash of color, intellect and comic relief for public display where it is not really expected.
I had fun clicking them and enjoying the mind of the artist. Here’s your turn to have a look.
P.S. if anyone can tell me who are the artists, I’d be thankful.