scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

With Bollywood on its walls, Delhi’s Rail Museum gives real colour to reel memories

Enter Delhi's National Rail Museum, walk down to the souvenir shop and get ready to be greeted by larger-than-life murals of Rajesh Khanna along with Zeenat Aman, Sharmila Tagore, Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan.

Written by Kajol Rustagi | Delhi | Updated: October 11, 2018 6:46:38 am
With Bollywood on its walls, Delhi's Rail Museum gives real colour to reel memories The 117-year-old Darjeeling toy train forms a perfect backdrop for the romance between yesteryear stars Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore. The discussion of romance on trains remains incomplete without the song ‘Mere Sapnon Ki Rani’ from Aradhana. (Express photo by Kajol Rustagi)

From Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore’s dreamy toy train sequence in ‘Aradhana’ to the climax scene of Shah Rukh Khan extending his hand to Kajol in ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’, Bollywood’s fascination with trains goes way back. These iconic train sequences now adorn the walls of Delhi’s National Rail Museum and will surely trigger bundles of memories in the minds of the visitors.

Enter the museum, walk down to the souvenir shop and get ready to be greeted by larger-than-life murals of Rajesh Khanna along with Zeenat Aman, Sharmila Tagore, Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan.

With Bollywood on its walls, Delhi's Rail Museum gives real colour to reel memories Amitabh Bachchan’s Coolie is usually remembered for his near-fatal accident. This movie showed the plight of a railway porter and his struggle to make ends meet. Not many know that the movie was shot at Bangalore Railway station and not Mumbai, unlike the movie. (Express photo by Kajol Rustagi)

The museum’s drab walls recently got a colourful makeover courtesy Delhi Street Art (DSA), a collective, which was started in 2013 with the aim of promoting public art by young artists. The group has already travelled to more than 10 cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore, Rishikesh and Pune. Since then, the group has been credited with giving a makeover to places around the country which includes the Free School Under The Bridge to NHAI’s Delhi Meerut Expressway and even Mandoli and Tihar prisons.

With Bollywood on its walls, Delhi's Rail Museum gives real colour to reel memories Delhi Street Art started working at National Rail Museum nearly two years back when New Delhi Municipal Corporation was working with NRM to enhance the look and feel of the surroundings. (Express photo by Kajol Rustagi)

Yogesh Saini, the founder of Delhi Street Art, said the concept behind the Bollywood themed wall art originated about six months back during their conversations with the National Rail Museum director Amit Saurashtri. Delhi Street Art had already partnered with several school children to beautify the walls of the exterior walls of the museum and Saurashtri wanted something engaging for the inner walls of the museum as well.

With Bollywood on its walls, Delhi's Rail Museum gives real colour to reel memories It won’t be wrong to say that the star of the movie ‘Jab We Met’ was a train. Even the meeting point of the protagonists Geet and Aditya was a train in the movie starring Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor. (Express photo by Kajol Rustagi)

Speaking to indianexpress.com, Saurashtri said, “Bollywood and Railways are two things with which Indians connect the most. With this segment, we wanted visitors to get a feel of both as trains are an integral part of Bollywood.”

Saurashtri added that during one of the visits to the museum, Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani had mentioned that similar to the other walls how these exterior walls could also be beautified. Since general rail themes had been done time and again, Saini, while brainstorming with his team, decided to showcase 11 iconic Bollywood songs or scenes at the museum.

From Aradhna to DDLJ to Jab We Met: Delhi's National Rail Museum gets a bollywood makeover Aamir Khan starrer Fanaa also marked the comeback of Kajol after a gap of five years post-Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. Shot across Delhi, it was the song ‘Chand Sifarish’ which was filmed at National Rail Museum. (Express photo by Kajol Rustagi)

Saini told indianexpress.com that the whole project was completed in two phases by 10-15 artists. The first three to become part of the celluloid journey were ‘Aradhana’, ‘Coolie’ and ‘Veer-Zaara’. Scenes which were added later are from the movies ‘Tere Naam’, ‘Ajnabee’, ‘Chennai Express’, ‘DDLJ’, ‘Jab We Met’, ‘Fanaa’, ‘Dil Se’ and ‘Ki & Ka’.

Deepak Saini, one of the artists working with DSA, said that visitors would often stop by to identify a scene or actor. The artists also got requests for adding more scenes. “We told them these were in the process of being painted,” he added. The queries would vary from “Are you going to add DDLJ?” to “How about Jab We Met?”

From Aradhna to DDLJ to Jab We Met: Delhi's National Rail Museum gets a bollywood makeover Shah Rukh Khan and Malaika Arora Khan’s dance number ‘Chhaiya Chhaiya’ in an open carriage from ‘Dil Se’ had all the perfect ingredients to make it a super hit then and even now it continues to be one of the most popular Bollywood songs on a train. Chaiyya Chaiyya became the train song for a certain generation. (Express photo by Kajol Rustagi)

The DSA team also wanted to incorporate some movies which were shot at the museum which includes Fanaah and the recent Ki & Ka. Not many people know that the movies ‘Fanaah’ and ‘Ki & Ka’ were shot at the National Rail Museum in Delhi against the backdrop of vintage trains. The song ‘Foolishq’ from ‘Ki and Ka’ was shot in and around the Rewari Heritage train.

From Aradhna to DDLJ to Jab We Met: Delhi's National Rail Museum gets a bollywood makeover With Chennai Express, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol tried recreating the magic of DDLJ’s immortalised climax scene. From Rahul giving a hand to Meenamma and then to all the goons chasing her, this train sequence is a hilarious take on the original romantic one. (Express photo by Kajol Rustagi)

Sumit Singh, a visitor at the Rail Museum, said his childhood memories have been brought alive through these wall paintings. Singh reminisces how he used to watch movies with his family. “This was how family bonding used to take place then and even now it’s the same. From “Mere Sapno Ki Rani” to Chhaiya Chhaiya”, from ‘DDLJ’ to ‘Fanaa’, these scenes remind us how far we have come. There can be no better way to blend Bollywood and Railways than this.” he added.

Another young visitor, Adit Gupta, said he is a movie buff and just by looking at SRK and Malaika dancing on a train, he started humming Chhaiya Chhaiya. “My friend told me about this makeover and I had to come. My favourite Bollywood train moment is ‘Ja Simran Ja’ climax scene from DDLJ and was disappointed not to find it,” Gupta added. Saini confirmed that DDLJ scene would be added to the list and the team was planning to complete it soon as some finishing touches were still left.

From Aradhna to DDLJ to Jab We Met: Delhi's National Rail Museum gets a bollywood makeover Arjun Kapoor plays the role of Kabir in Ki & Ka who is obsessed with trains so much that even his dining table had a toy train taking rounds around it. He takes Kia, played by Kareena Kapoor, to a train museum on their first date. (Express photo by Kajol Rustagi)

Bollywood and Railway are inseparable so much that movies still have several scenes, songs and dance sequences surrounding trains. The trains symbolise several emotions for the filmmaker such as romance, drama, action or suspense. Over the years, the portrayal of trains might have changed but it continues to inspire songs in movies.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Delhi News, download Indian Express App.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement