Delhi auto rickshaws get an artsy makeover in Dilli Haat and Ghalib theme

Updated on Jun 28, 2017 11:17 PM IST
Auto rickshaws in the Capital get a makeover as artists take inspiration from Dilli Haat and life of Ghalib, to redo the interiors of some three-wheelers.
Even Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, popularly referred to as Delhi’s oldest poet, wouldn’t have thought that his name will receive a tribute via a crucial medium of public transport in the city — an auto rickshaw.
Even Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, popularly referred to as Delhi’s oldest poet, wouldn’t have thought that his name will receive a tribute via a crucial medium of public transport in the city — an auto rickshaw.
Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

What if the boring, solid colours in an auto’s interior are replaced with calligraphic texts or iconic places of the city? Get set to ride fancy, as Delhi’s auto rickshaws get a makeover that will make you hop on to a three-wheeler, even if it’s just for the joy of appreciating the art inside it.

Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib’s love for Delhi has inspired a an artist to write the legendary poet’s name on the inside of an auto’s hood. Titled Bazeecha-e-atfal (playground for kids), the artwork on the auto’s upholstery is a floral landscape formed by drops of blood, ink and tears, depicting Ghalib’s journey as a poet.

“I am a huge admirer of Mirza Ghalib’s work. I thought it will be interesting to theme auto rickshaws on him and illustrate the intricacy of his poetry and life in the Capital,” says artist Sanchit Sawaria. The 28-year-old Delhiite explains how it was an enriching experience, for him, interspersed with challenges. “Since it was Ghalib, the obvious choice was to cover the fabric of the seats with his poetry. But for some people, the Urdu script is sacred and has religious connotations as well. I didn’t want to hurt their sentiments. Therefore, I took an alternate approach and kept the text as minimal as possible, to avoid offending anyone,” he adds.

Sawaria is working as part of a project — Taxi Fabric — with another artist Jyotirmayee Patra. Patra found her inspiration, to makeover an auto rickshaw, from the popular crafts bazaar Dilli Haat.

An auto rickshaw that has interiors done in the theme of Dilli Haat.
An auto rickshaw that has interiors done in the theme of Dilli Haat.

“Since this rickshaw will be plying in Delhi, I thought it should have a Delhi connect in its interior. Hence, I chose Dilli Haat instead of going for any random option. I visited the place and observed it very carefully, before setting down to give the auto a makeover. The cultural nuances and the artifacts for home décor is what I have used in my illustrations. I tried to give a completely different look to the vehicle,” says Patra, who worked over a month on the auto.

The co-founder of the project Taxi Fabric, Anant Ahuja, says that his group’s aim was to create movable pieces of art: “This is the first time we have given a makeover to Delhi’s auto rickshaws. They are a moving form of art and through these artworks we want to create a social and cultural impact. Also, it promotes and encourages an artist when he or she is brought on board to be part of such a project, so we keep looking out for those interested to work with us.”

The next time when you yell to stop an auto, must get in and check out the artworks painted inside it, because there are more makeovers expected in near future.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Ruchika Garg writes on Art and Culture, for the daily Entertainment & Lifestyle supplement, HT City

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