Updated: May 12, 2022 11:10:20 am
Days after an ‘I Love Delhi’ signage was installed in the city’s Karol Bagh area, it was vandalised and the red heart sign went missing. Unhappy with the heartless ways of the city, a man has found the perfect solution that is, well, poetic.
With people documenting their lives on social media with selfies, more and more selfie-worthy points are emerging around the globe. Like foreign locations, Indian cities are also installing ‘I Love’ signs as an attraction. However, one recently installed sign by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) at Rajendra Place roundabout was stolen.
However, a musician and voiceover artist decided to replace it with something poetic. Getting down to business, Karshin Khatri tried to replicate the plastic heart with a handmade one. Using a huge heart-shaped paper cut-out — matching the sign of the original one — Khatri tried his best to resolve the matter.
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Colouring the paper heart by hand, he also wrote an emotional line: “Dil to aakhir dil hai; chahe plastic ka ho ya kagaz ka (A heart is a heart, whether it is made out of plastic or paper).”
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Talking to indianexpress.com, Khatri said he is a resident of the area and used to see the sign every day. He added he was disappointed to see the heart missing one day. But what really upset him was the slander on social media. “I saw people commenting on multiple social media posts that how the locals only must have stolen it, vandalised it and I just wanted everyone to know that we are not that bad,” he added.
Asked how he carried out the task, he revealed he had to lie a little. “It’s really a funny story. I took a measuring tape from my home and went there to take the measurements. But as it was crowded a lot, I put on a straight face and said I’m here on some official business like someone from the MCD.”
As he was low on budget, he couldn’t actually replace the heart with a new plastic one, but underlined how “thought matters”. Assembling a few cardboard cut-outs and then colouring them, he penned down his heartfelt message on it.
“The intention was never to go viral. I just wanted to spread some joy, as I thought people would be happy to see it,” he said. He added that while he had initially written his Instagram handle on the sign, he later covered it.
Khatri’s gestures comes after an emotional appeal by the NDMC, urging people to “steal hearts” of others and “not ‘heart signs from public places”. Vivek Prakash, NDMC’s Director (Press and Information), dubbed the incident as “unfortunate” and appealed to people to exhibit civic sense in public and help in making the city more beautiful.
“Delhi is a city of people who are full of spirits (Dilli dilwalon ka shaher hai). And, I would say, people should steal heart of others and not ‘heart’ signs from public place which have been put up as part of a beautification drive,” he told PTI.
Prakash said in these ‘I Love Delhi’ series, the first installation was done in Rohini and the ‘heart’ signs are still intact there. However, the recent one in Karol Bagh met a different fate.
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