September 14, 2011
The Wall Project: Osian, Rajasthan
Up till now, all the walls that I have chosen to feature in the Wall Project posts have been works of minimalism; one or two salient defining features make them distinctive, compelling the eye towards them. Whereas, over here, this wall is patently anything but minimalist; there is so much going on over here, vying and jostling for attention, yet, each disparate aspect of the wall still manages to make itself visible.
For starters, the wall was clearly an advertisement/billboard space for a tea brand as the prominent black 'Chai' [Tea] in the Devanagari script and an accompanying image of a tea-packet reveals; the once brilliant mustard yellow paint has now faded and flaked away,the paint-free blotches so arbitrarily scattered across the wall that it is almost as if a child rubbed it away with an eraser. The vanishing paint reveals the previous advertisements below, suddenly made visible, as if soaked in lemon juice and held to the light. Meanwhile, signboards for State Bank of India and a Maheshwari Bhojanalya [Eating Place] obscure the upper portion of the wall along with an fragile parabola curve of a wire that loops across the wall. And finally, a faded red flag juts out of the tea-packet image.
I absently and quickly took this picture because I was more interested in the contrast presented between the little bit of green foliage in the corner, the dove blue dusk sky, and the wall itself; later, I realised that it is the wall that dominates the picture, the subdued tones of the time of the day unable to detract from its orderly cluttered-ness.