Viral mural: Arnold Schwarzenegger turns Arnold Subhashnagar for dilliwallahs

By, New Delhi
Jun 23, 2022 06:32 PM IST

Mohit Suneja, the man behind the viral wall art, tells us what inspired him to come up with the desi name for actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

How often have you tried pronouncing Schwarzenegger and failed? Well, don’t feel too bad, for industrialist Anand Mahindra has also sailed in the same boat. In a hilarious tweet, he shared an image of a mural of Arnold Schwarzenegger, which identified the actor and bodybuilder as Arnold Subhashnagar. And soon, the artwork went viral like how!

Mohit Suneja stands next to the mural where he wrote Arnold Subhashnagar alongside a sketch of the actor.
Mohit Suneja stands next to the mural where he wrote Arnold Subhashnagar alongside a sketch of the actor.

The mural, which was born out of a random idea in 2016, features a sketch of the Terminator actor by Delhi-based illustrator-designer Mohit Suneja, who works with Hindustan Times. He made the wall art on the terrace of his home in west Delhi’s Subhash Nagar. The aim, he tells us, was to give a “local twist” to the surname Schwarzenegger to allow easier pronunciation. “When spoken very fast with an accent, it sounds exactly the same! I came up with the idea out of boredom. It was in October of 2016, around the time of Diwali, when there wasn’t much to do. While cleaning the house, I found a big boxboard sheet, and I thought, why not make a graffiti out of it?” he recalls.

For Suneja, the actor has always been an inspiration, as evident in his art. “I admire Arnold. I’ve grown up watching all of his action movies. But Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991),Pumping Iron (1977), and Jingle All the Way are my favourites,” the 34-year-old says, adding that drawing Schwarzenegger’s “perfect physique” also helped him understand anatomy as an artist. “From an artistic point of view, Arnold’s aesthetically perfect physique from his prime days with picture-perfect muscle definition is the best in understanding anatomical and muscular structures for drawings. I’ve studied him a lot and still look up to his pictures to improve my drawings,” says Suneja, who is an alumnus of College of Art.

A sketch by the artist showing showing bodybuilders.
A sketch by the artist showing showing bodybuilders.

Even Bollywood actors such as Jaaved Jaaferi and Gul Panag have taken notice of the sketch and shared it on social media. “The reaction has been amazing. It’s good that people are enjoying it so much and creating their own versions of the name,” adds Suneja, who has, in the past, created illustrations for cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s autobiography Chase Your Dreams, and designed covers for books of authors Ruskin Bond and Khushwant Singh, among others.

“Be it a stamp or a wall mural, I love dabbling in various forms of art and work in various styles, sizes, and genres. I have been illustrating for over a decade for various Indian and international clients. I’ve also conducted art or design workshops for students and working professionals across various schools and colleges. When I’m not drawing, I love to travel and click pictures,” he sums up.

Author Tweets @Nainaarora8

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    Naina Arora writes on City, Art and Culture of Gurugram, for the daily Entertainment & Lifestyle supplement, HT City

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