Poetry on the walls of Nagpada! Mumbai gets its first mural — Mirza Ghalib

Mumbai: Mumbai’s first mural is as beautiful as a ghazal — it is that of Mirza Ghalib, a prominent Urdu poet in the last years of Mughal empire, in the mid-nineteenth century. The mural is on display on the walls in Nagpada and will be unveiled on January 28. The mural is 10 feet high and 42 feet long. It adorns the walls of the Padmakar Tukaram Mane Garden on Mirza Ghalib Road at Nagpada Junction.

“We have tried to recreate the environment of the last mehfil of Mirza Ghalibsahab, by keeping his portrait in the centre,” said Tushar Shinde, one of the two artists behind this project. Both Damodar Aware and Shinde worked for almost four months at an Asangaon farmhouse to recreate the last mushaira at Lal Qila and the first national uprising of 1857 on these walls. The project cost is estimated to be Rs 50 lakh.

“The mural depicts Ghalib in a historically important context. Cinemas and television serials have depicted him as a drunkard and gambler,” said Samajwadi corporator Rais Shaikh. Shinde believes that the cinema has been somewhat biased in its portrayal of Ghalib and there is much more to him in history, a revelation which unfolded itself to them during research.

The mural will be inaugurated by Javed Akhtar and officials from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. After the inauguration, the celebrations will shift to the Byculla zoo, where singer Puja Gaitonde will sing ghazals, while actor Suhail Warsi will present commentaries.  “This project will help create awareness about history and Urdu literature among the citizens of the area,” said Shaikh.

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