“People talk about escapism as if it’s a bad thing… Once you’ve escaped, once you come back, the world is not the same as when you left it. You come back to it with skills, weapons, knowledge you didn’t have before. Then you are better equipped to deal with your current reality.”
― Neil Gaiman
“Portrait of Adolf Hitler”
Collage-making, an act of painting, a beautiful art we possess. Collage-making is a precious talent that every human, from a child to an adult, loves to play around with. As a kid, I used to play around with different images, cut of one’s head and paste it on another (“Portrait of Adolf Hitler”), create worlds that can only exist in our imaginary land, in our imagination. Art is like an escape, and so is it with collage-making, an escape. Living a human life, we encounter many miseries, many problems, many tragedies. We become escapists.
“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.” ― Shirley Jackson,
“We watch over us”
We all need an escape to our happy land. To survive this chaotic world that we live in, we tend to run off to a world where everything is in order, everything goes our way, we can do all we want and attain our lost sanity and happiness. I am an escapist and, therefore, I frequently go to my scrapbook world full of collages, my happy place, where I am the key to every door, where my imagination comes to life, where I am the creator of all that exists there.
“Surprise me with flowers”
“There is nothing more to be said or to be done tonight, so hand me over my violin and let us try to forget for half an hour the miserable weather and the still more miserable ways of our fellowmen.”
― Arthur Conan Doyle,
Khirki Village is an urban village in South Delhi. It can be called as the “troubled village” due to the on going protests and “midnight raids” by the political parties and locals against the ‘unacceptable’ activities by the foreigners, as mentioned by the residents of that village in recent news articles. But despite of all the conflicts and issues between the Indian locals and foreigners living there, it is a hub of graffiti and street artworks that has been there in one piece for a long time unlike other wall murals and graffiti works around Delhi that tend to fade away as time passes.
I have been in Delhi for almost a year now, and have visited almost every place in here. It was my second photo-walk with the photography society of my college and we decided to explore the gamut of graffiti which is surrounded by posh lifestyle of South Delhi. It is not only the artistic walls that Khirki Village is famous for. It also has an ancient jewel, Khirki Masjid, which was build in the Tughlaq-era by Khan-i Junah Shah, who Feroz Shah’s prime minister from 1351 AD to 1386 AD.
The view from the roof of the Tughlaq–era monument is quite charming. The whole village can be witnessed from the terrace of the mosque. And most interestingly, the ‘Khirkis‘ (windows) of many houses in the village has some kind of artistic patterns drawn in it. Well, that maybe be the top reasons why this urban village was known as Khirki Village.
As I entered the village, I found the an amazing mural. It was a masked Buddha with greenery coming out of Buddha through the mask. It seems that the artist wanted to promote nature and technology working together for the betterment of the world.
Not only the masked Buddha but there were more and more wall artworks coming up as I went deeper inside the village. There was two giant squids painted on a wall, another was an arm with snakes around it, also few tribal designs all over the village walls.
The village was indeed colourful, and not only the street artworks that make Khirki Village picturesque, it’s also the people living there. Hindus and Muslims, even people from different nationality, all can be found staying together in here.
While the end of the village tour was coming close, I took a break and observed few Khirki kids who were playing Gilli-Danda. They may not live life like the privileged kids do, but they do not regret being born in such a charming village.
Problems and issues are part and parcel of life and is something inescapable. Likewise, political issues may surround Khirki Village, but the beauty of the graffiti in the village walls, the ancient jewel, i.e. the Khirki Masjid, and also the people living there, erase all the negative aspects of this classy and admiring village in South Delhi.
Street signs gone unnoticed.