Obviously not! They’ve let us scribble on their walls for decades now and my absolute favourite dive bar in Bombay just got a new coat of crazy paint, just in time to ring in the new year! Who’s the artiste? The Republic, a Creative Design Studio in Bombay. I emailed their creative director Farah Ladhabhoy and this is what she had to say.
The art was very much a collective effort, so we’ve answered your questions the same way. [Being a writer at The Republic, I didn’t do much apart from paint within the lines :)]
I like that. I like that so much. Because basically, by that definition, that makes me a painter of blogs and I have ALWAYS wanted to draw, so boom. :o) Anyway I asked The Republic to answer some questions about their art and the bar where everybody knows your name, here’s what they said!
MissMalini: What’s your earliest memory of The Ghetto?
The Republic: Jim Morrison posed like the Vitruvian man. There’s another Morrison on one of the walls now, but we loved the first. Oh, and glowing white t-shirts!
MM: What are your favourite songs that play there?
TR: Everybody at The Republic has their own favourites. Maybe Da Funk and Roxanne? No more Coming Back to Life, please!
Hahaha, I couldn’t agree more on that last bit. And anyone who has rushed through a harrowing 1:15am attempt at one last game of pool (with Ghetto rules, last ball last pocket remember?) has definitely also suffered through a daily last track rendition of that Pink Floyd staple with the words “Wheeerrrrre were yoooouuuuu…” forever emblazoned in our heads :)
MM: Tell us a little about the inspiration behind the new art you have put on the Ghetto walls?
TR: The walls at Ghetto are deeply layered like some insane graffiti-fresco which tells the story of a bar and the people who love it and love its music. So to be given a whitewashed wall in that space for a day (with beer on tap and great, great music) is a seriously cool gift! You get to re-lay a first skin of culture, and it’s incomplete, a work in progress which will be added to by so many other people in various states of high and happy.
Also it had to be Jimi, because he is the symbolic shaman of our tribe, the man with deeply psychedelic hair who changed the rules about how you could use the guitar. There is also a smaller masterpiece just left of the bar: The Great Pig in The Sky is a terrific example of design that sets up a dialogue with a *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*.
MM: If you could put your art anywhere else in Bombay where would you choose and what would you out there?
TR: Our own work space is full of our art. We’re really not ambitious. However our services are free for a day for any community spaces that need art, provided there is good music, free flowing beer, and we like the space. A runway at the International Airport would be really cool.
MM: One song that describes your art?
TR: Definitely Little Wing. We’re going to pester Ravi to add it to his playlist.
MM: Three words that describe – Ghetto?
TR: We need just one. Home.
Well if that isn’t reason enough to go back to The Ghetto one last time in 2014 (and several more in 2015) I don’t know what is! Ravi I’m coming, rack me up a game…
Also leave me a comment with the first thing YOU wrote on the walls at Ghetto. Here’s mine :)
Man has places in his heart which do not yet exist, and into them enters suffering in order that
they may have existence. – Léon Bloy (from The End of the Affair)
PS. The Republic, Team MissMalini is moving headquarters and would love for you to splash some rainbow & unicorn love on our terrace walls, we have beer & bubbly, yes? :) xoxo