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Street Art has been growing into an evolutionary act in India, making the process of inspiration real. The shape of street art has developed into a positive role which is constantly changing in the society.
With the narrow and congested alleys of Kasba Peth becoming every art lover’s delight, I decided to explore the unusual or quirky solutions adding an aesthetic appeal to one of the oldest residential areas of the city.
Before I summon the help of Google Map that came to our rescue as we forged ahead into the path less travelled, l should brief you about Pune’s long-running affair with street art.
The brainchild behind the emerging art project is none other than Harshvardhan Kadam who found his niche in the domain of street art after his graphic novels received accolades and international recognition in 2007.
In an interview with Better India, this is what Harsh had to say about choosing public space to demonstrate art,
“That is when the idea of storytelling as a long-lasting dialogue between an image and its surroundings found a pedestal. Leaving behind the comfort zone of working from a studio, I began traveling across the country and ventured out to public spaces to explore further”
Kasba Peth became the focal point of the Pune Street Art Festival in 2012 bringing together artists from across the globe who added color to the dry spaces by planning their creation in such a way that locals can relate to it.
Guess why the Punekars are so keen on preserving it?
Exploring The Outdoor And Indoor Spaces
Searching for the epic blog post to trace the treasures in this dusty and charming part of the city is the key to checking out this art on your own. Thanks to the Wanderer, I decided to begin my walk along with friends from Gaokos Maruti Temple.
You have to ask the locals around to actually know where the temple is. This is another map which was posted on the facebook page of the Pune Street Art Project.
We were winding our way straight through the lane towards Gaokos Maruti people from Harihareshwar Mandir when an alien ship by Maria of Vitae Viazi made an unexpected landing on a derelict wall nearby.
Next was a contemporary art figure of Mira Bai developed by the same artist in collaboration with Darshana Bhalgat singing her heart out through the crumbling architectures of the 18th century.
As we reached the diversion towards the end of the lane near Tilak Statue, another mural by Preetal aka zero made our heart see what was invisible to the naked eye.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find Kryptonite despite asking the locals and the auto-rickshawallahs who didn’t have any idea about any mural or missile nearby.
We took the straight road towards Sattoti Police Station when an expanded canon of an adorable Minion beckoned us to hug him from the towering wall beside the crowded hub of the city.
This was the first lane before reaching Sattoti Police Station. If you are careful enough, you need to walk through another lane beside the Police station towards Bhoi Ali.
A local guided me towards the rustically inclined cityscape and dwellers rhythmically set to the tune of household work in our full-scale search.
We had to ask everyone about the whereabouts of murals nearby. A stout guy was ready to spare a few minutes off repairing-a-deflated-tire to notify us about the Cat among pigeons.
You will be surprised to find a lot of cats dodging bikes or humans on the traffic-choked street.
A bunch of curious children were delighted to walk us through another piece of art that they assumed to be symbolic of the design of the circumference of the ball.
This is one of the series called Geometric Abductions by Miles Toland from the USA. Harmonic geometries recall the transcendence of space and time by representing the free fall through flying and abduction.
You can relish the glimpse of the remaining two murals from this series I managed to capture below.
After our successful unburying of the hidden gems at Powle Chowk, we tripped on a beautiful mural of a South American king or a tribal as we reached Tambat Ali popularly known as the area of brass/copper utensil makers.
Our last hub of street art was at Cycle Dawakhana Chowk. This part of Kasba Peth recently saw its walls break through the archaic texture.
We couldn’t find the mural of Pune’s traditional Dhol Phataks but lost art revived by the little girl and the tiger gazing into the unknown.
Our 30 bucks paid off in the end when the auto pulled over near Surya Hospital and we began our last sojourn.
While crossing the Shivaji Bride to the main bus station, the Crocodile Mural bade us goodbye from the point where the 1960 floods caused a huge population of the city to shift from Old Pune.
The Crocodile still watched over the unchanging soul of the city from across the river as the sun shone down creating an ethereal episode out of the fabulous murals.
Images: Author’s own