Now that I’m unemployed and don’t have to go into South Bombay every day, I’m spared the sight of the godawful graffiti that is splattered across the walls along Tulsi Pipe Road. The damn thing is the reason that graffiti gets a bad name: it’s ugly, badly-drawn, hideous colours, and slogans that sound like quotes from a Miss Universe pageant. Remarkably, the graffiti actually manages to make the decrepit walls worse than they used to, and that’s quite an achievement. Bandra graffiti used to be even worse. All you’d see on different walls would be nonsense like “J-Boyz Rulez” and “Game’s on” (yes, well, if it’s on, go and watch it instead of wasting spray paint and defacing walls). Then the Wall Project chaps came on and while not everything they’ve come up with is nice, they’ve made bits of Chapel Road and Waroda Road look adorable. When I went for a walkabout around Chapel Road the other day, I spotted a couple of new ones. Like the surly boy and the doe-eyed smoker chick (loved how her head popped up from the back of a beat-up, dusty little Maruti car).
And then I came across this one:
For those who aren’t able to read the words properly, it says, “Ghost of Bandra is Here to Protect You”. Ghost of Bandra, interestingly, has antlers, wears a swishy skirt (as you must in a Catholic neighbourhood, I suppose) and looks like it’s doing a curious mix of the “whoooo… I’m a skeleton!” gesture and the salsa. Or maybe it’s just drunk, which is rather fitting of anything representing Bandra. Unless of course the stoned-looking person with the long hair and cat T-shirt is the ghost of Bandra and the skeleton is what they’ll do to the person trying to harm you. Just why they have a weird molecular structure drawn on their skirt, I can’t say. But there’s Bandra for you: if you’re looking for help, turn to a stoner or a spook. Way more fun than a stodgy policeman.