Graphic designer and illustrator Garima Gupta’s animated video tribute to the Khada Parsi statue in Byculla, is a quick, engaging reminder of the plight faced by the city’s countless neglected statues
Until a few years back, the 40-feet tall Khada Parsi statue in Byculla was a forgotten structure ignored by most Mumbaikars as they whizzed past the two flyovers that flank the statue. However, the cast iron statue that had been vandalised and left bereft of its beautiful lanterns was restored by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and reopened on June 20. Twenty nine-year-old graphic designer and illustrator Garima Gupta’s animated video is a sweet tribute to this landmark.
A still from the video tribute to the Khada Parsi statue
“The statues in our city are neglected. I would spot these everyday. This is why I have shown a weeping Flora Fountain statue at the start of my video,” says Gupta, who is from Delhi, and arrived in the city two years ago.
What Gupta is referring to is a scene where iconic sculptures from the city — Flora Fountain, the faces on the façade of Regal Cinema, the gargoyles at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the face on the front of the David Sassoon Library, Hutatma Chowk — are depicted in sad avatars. Fascinated by the city’s rich history, Gupta has been reading about Mumbai’s past and hopes to make more videos under her project, Project Bambai.
The statue was inspired by a fountain (of goddess Ceres) in Concepción, Chile, which was also restored recently. The Khada Parsi statue was commissioned by Manockjee Cursetjee in memory of his father Shet Cursetjee Manockjee.
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