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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Art Street: Much loved, hated, this Bandra installation was inspired by a song on motherhood

The installation titled 'A Child Gives Birth to a Mother' was built by hotelier Vithal Kamat in 2012-13 when he was asked to develop the green island at Bandra.

Written by Kabeer Murugkar | Mumbai |
Updated: January 15, 2022 12:09:11 pm
The installation has seen its share of controversy.

If you’ve stayed in Mumbai long enough, chances are you have come across the art installation in Bandra titled ‘A Child Gives Birth to a Mother’. It is one of those unique art works in the city that has perhaps earned an equal amount of praise as well as ridicule. But one thing is for sure, you cannot drive past the installation without it catching your eye.

Inspired by a Marathi song “Bala hou kashi utaraii, tuzhya mule mi zhale aai”, which loosely translates to “My child, how can I repay you, because of you I have become a mother”, written by P Savlaram, the installation was built by hotelier Vithal Kamat in 2012-13 when he was asked to develop the green island at Bandra. The song gives voice to the experience that a mother goes through, immensely grateful for her child, and who feels like goddess at the sound of the word “mother”.

The installation has seen its share of controversy. Kamat remembers a strange call he received one morning, summoning him to the then mayor’s office. He was told that the mayor intended to use the space for other purposes and wanted the structure demolished. Kamat says a senior Shiv Sena leader had to step in to ensure that the installation was left untouched.

In fact, soon after the structure came up, several citizens had written to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) complaining about it.

Kamat, who does not understand the opposition against the art work, points out that it is made entirely of waste material recycled during the construction of Hotel Orchid.

Talking to The Indian Express, he says, “The statue is to remind the public about the importance of recycling for the environment. I am a true environmentalist, not one of those who simply talk about it.”

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