Wall Painting

I drove out to do some errands today, determined that I would not return without at least one photograph. I was just rounding the corner from Kasturi Ranga Road into Cathedral Road, when a wall-painting of MGR (late filmstar-turned-politician) in his Douglas Fairbanks Jr. incarnation caught my eye.

My first thought was that you can tell elections are around the corner when they start trotting out images of MGR; then I wondered what he was doing in this neighbourhood. It’s true that the wall-painting was near the residence of the Chief Minister, who was at one time MGR’s political protégé, but on the other hand MGR’s appeal is mainly to the masses, and this was a wealthy area. I drove around in a circle, parked, and took pictures of the whole series of wall paintings.

They are an eclectic group, a backdrop to a vendor of wadais and tea, and a couple of tire and bicycle repairmen. Perhaps their customers are the target audience for the paintings. I photographed them in sequence — here, we are reading from right to left, beginning with MGR on the corner and moving backward:

Mother Teresa, with the Congress Party flag next on the right. To the right of the flag is the picture of MGR, shown above, representing the AIADMK Party — two political allies side by side

To the left of Mother Theresa, Jesus with collaged Ganesh calendar

Jesus abuts a cycle repair stand, with collaged filmstars

Ganesh and the Ka’aba

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