Cherry Blossoms - 24' x 12'
All it took was a quick call from Suraj about the extremely interesting and ambitious project @recityindia was planning to implement in Mussoorie. Supported by @nestle.india, the Mussoorie Nagar Palika and Swach Bharat, @hilldaari is aiming to make Mussoorie one of the cleanest hill stations in the country by establishing an Integrated Plastic Waste Management system.
Within a few days, the Murals were planned and I was on my way to the "Queen of the Hills" The challenge for the project was to communicate a sense of responsibility towards the hills and the environment for which the city is so famous.
The inspiration for me came from not only the cherry trees for which Mussoorie is pretty well known, but a short story called "Cherry Tree" written by Ruskin Bond that I had read in school. It spoke about how a cherry seed about to be discarded was planted into the ground instead. It was then protected and nurtured by the young protagonist for years till one day he could taste the sweet fruits that tree itself bore. In a lot of ways, the Hilldaari campaign is exactly that. It asks the people of Mussoorie and those that visit it to protect and nurture the city and its environment so that it may reward them, now and in the future. The hope is that this bough reminds people to be kind to nature and each other, especially when looking to dispose of waste.
This was my first individual mural in 2 years (the last one painted in 2016) and also the first time I've painted completely alone. The warmth and genuine curiosity of locals and onlookers was extremely touching. The regular cups of hot Chai helped a lot! It was also great to find out that I am capable of painting at this scale in temperatures of 3° to 5°C It was an intense, sometimes frustrating but extremely exhilarating experience for which I am very grateful to the entire Recity team.
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