Look up: Mumbai’s cab ceilings make for the coolest art gallery
HT journalist Rachel Lopez takes a taxi to work every day and has been documenting images of the interiors of Mumbai kaali peelis all through May on social media. See some of the best ones heremumbai Updated: Jun 03, 2017 13:14 IST
Some time in April, I got into a taxi and happened to look up. The interiors of Mumbai’s kaali peeli or black-and-yellow cabs are often covered in protective plastic, and often that sheet carries some kind of kitschy decoration. This one’s ceiling had a chocolate brown background, on which were scattered ghastly blue and purple strawberries - I loved it!
I took a picture with my front-facing camera, saw a bit of me peeking out of the frame - and something clicked. I realised that while the graphic pop-art on India’s trucks and taxis has inspired countless books, posters and overpriced coasters, Mumbai’s colourful taxi decor was largely unnoticed. And as someone who took kaalipeelis every day, I was best placed to take this incredible, unusual art to the world.
All through May, I’ve been sharing one image every day of a colourful Mumbai taxi ceiling on my Twitter (@GreaterBombay) and Instagram (@TheGreaterBombay). It’s made for a gallery like no other, and has got friends, family and random strangers to look up and notice their rides too. Take a look at some of the images: