All Purpose Room, Acrylic on Canvas, 2012, 102x127 cms
An urban amalgam of residing in the city of Mumbai opens doors to the word Chawl.These living spaces are like human beehives that initially played a role in jumpstarting the economy of the city in the past. A single “all purpose room” which transforms from living, sleeping, studying, dining and cooking not only creates flexibility in living conditions but also acts as dynamics of energy and joy amongst the dwellers. On the other hand, the growing family size causes cramped living conditions. This push and pull rhythmic life of sharing and caring within a confined space has added the blessing of ‘hope’ as the country is becoming economically stronger.
The city in the process of catching up with growth has been expanding and redeveloping and Chawls are being replaced with new urban structures. The large families that once stayed in a single room are now benefited with bigger apartment spaces. Once living cozy in a community has been replaced with living in cozy apartments. To gain something, one has to loose something. Many Chawl dwellers are waiting “hopefully” to be next in the line, while gradually the Chawl culture is vanishing.
The painting captures morning scenario of yet another new day of hope irrespective of the monotonous and mundane activities of getting ready to go to work places, schools, cooking and cleansing. The bright colors represents a friendly atmosphere -while catching up with time, irrespective of the bottleneck of sharing common bathrooms and latrines.