Like every Delhiwala, I too, took a trip to the mountains to escape the unbearable heat. This time, I went to Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh to escape from the monotony of my daily life.
Thanks to global warming, the weather was only slightly better there. I mean, I could not even use the hashtag chilling on any of my posts for Instagram.
Even though this trip did not give me any respite from the heat, but it gave me good content and memories that I will cherish for life. I met interesting people who had tales to tell. One such being was a Russian, Nikita Mykalnikov.
This blue-eyed, 25-year-old, Russian man was changing how the city of Mcleodganj looked through his wall art. It was his second visit to the land of cultures, India and his first to the city of Mcleodganj.
Nikita had been a nanny professionally and was now on a break. He came to India for a vacation but ended up staying longer than expected because of the love he developed for the culture and the people.
In the past, Nik had used drugs but now was clean and had discovered his passion for art, in India. He started his first project by painting mountains on a small cafe’s wall in Mcleodganj for free.
He found our country’s natural beauty so fascinating that he wanted to imitate it through his art. To him, the process of adding colours to the walls is very therapeutic and fulfilling.
I chanced upon him when he was completing his second project at a small residency in Naddi. The mountains and the colours looked breathtakingly amazing and I couldn’t help but ask him about them.
Upon enquiry, I discovered, that this was his sixth day on this particular one and he completely started from a blank-damaged wall. He strongly believed that all damage could be repaired and hence embarked upon his journey of colouring the city. Even though this process is not monetarily rewarding, but to him, it is a way of giving back to the loving people of Mcleod.
Nikita plans to do many more such projects in the city of Mcleodganj before he goes back to Russia. Heartwarming smiles and gratitude are what keeps him going with the wall art.
He also told me that he doesn’t measure satisfaction in terms of money anymore and he could spend his entire life adding colours to the lives of people living in the city if possible.
Nik doesn’t keep a track of time any more and told me to do the same. He believes that colours, a roof over one’s head and savoury dal-chawal topped with love are all one needs to transform the world.
P.S. Nik, if you are reading this, then thank you for giving back to the people of Mcleodganj and adding colours to their lives. You made me realise that goodness still exists in this world. I hope you keep my country in your heart forever. Your walls speak volumes, your walls speak love.
Image Credits: Blogger’s Own
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