If you’ve driven on the Western Express highway, off Bandra Reclamation recently, you might have noticed a man perched on a crane against the MTNL building with buckets of paint. For the past week, Ranjit Dahiya, who has painted murals of Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna as part of the Bollywood Art Project, has been working on his biggest mural so far: a 120×150 foot tribute to the father of Indian cinema, Dadasaheb Phalke.
The mural is a part of the ongoing St+Art Mumbai festival. It shows Phalke stretching a roll of film against a bright yellow background, and is Dahiya’s tribute to the man who gave India its first full-length feature film, Raja Harishchandra (1913). Speaking about the mural Dahiya says, “MTNL is an iconic structure, and considering it is right off the highway and the sealink it enjoys good visibility. I was ecstatic when I got a chance to use this structure for a mural. Keeping in mind Mumbai’s love for cinema, I instantly thought of Dadasaheb Phalke, who truly deserves the most prominent mural.”
The mural, made by Dahiya in collaboration with Yantr, Munir Bukhari and Nilesh Kharade, will be unveiled today at 11am by Amitabh Bachchan and advertising guru Piyush Pandey.