MUMBAI MOULTING: ERASURES AND A PALIMPSEST -

Palimpsest is what is leftover from successive erasures. An indelible record, an archive, of the ghosts of erasures. Scars perhaps, that remain even when the animal is moulting.

Mumbai is moulting too, shedding its skin and metamorphosing.

Mills give way to malls, expansive chawls with teakwood rafters and wide wooden staircases worn down by several generations of footfall make way for cold towers of glass and chrome, the welcoming Irani cafe at every street corner is eased out by lounges, restobars and pubs, simple childhood games fade before gaming and gadgets, communities scatter before the massive JCB earthmovers ...and the megapolis carries out many erasures.


In the face of this rapid transformation we obliterate many aspects that have symbolized the ethos of the city. The erasures therefore are not only of structures but also of its history and character. Many of the things that stood as the essence of the spirit of the city seem to lose relevance. The erasures then, are obliterations from public discourse, public memory and from relevance. Erasures of context, of significance, of values, milieu, of a way of life, of aspirations and co existence.


As Mumbai hurtles towards getting itself shanghaied, these paintings seek to represent a few reminders from the margins and from the marginalized.

                                                                                                                                                                                  © anjali purohit 2013