Yesterday, Once More
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There was a surge of nostalgia as around 70 people gathered at the Lala Lane compound on Chapel Road in Bandra, Mumbai, to watch the 1953 Pradeep Kumar-Bina Rai starrer Anarkali. For the older audience, it was reminiscent of a bygone era, when the shores of the beach at Chapel Road, had public film screenings every week. For the youngsters, it was the thrill of watching a film outdoors. This, for the organisers of the Bollywood Art Project (BAP), was the inspiration behind paying a tribute to 100 years of Indian cinema through murals.
The first such art has been created on a wall on Chapel Road. "We hope to uncover facts and trivia to understand what Bollywood has meant to different people, and how it has unraveled into our culture," says Tony Peter, one of the founders of BAP.
Peter and his partner, Ranjit Dahiya, who has also painted Anarkali, are in the process of finalising the next mural, on Helen. "She is the original item girl of Bollywood who was way ahead of her time," says Dahiya. "It only makes sense that we pick someone as revolutionary as her for our second mural." The painting will depict the dancer either from Teesri Manzil or the original Don. Whether they will be able to hold a public screening of the film after its completion, is yet to be decided. "One of the biggest challenges is that it requires too many permissions," says Peter.
BAP plans on completing 150 murals by the end of 2012, although they are yet to seek permissions. Hence, a lot of ambiguity exists. "We have a list of obvious personalities to whom we want to pay tribute - Raj Kapoor, Guru Dutt, Dadasaheb Phalke, Madhubala, Feroz Khan and Sridevi," confirms Peter.
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