Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something valuable or unique is formed. Creativity can be tangible like a piece of art or it may take an intangible shape of a musical composition. In either case, when a new idea is entertaining, solves a problem or is never done before finds acceptability in public domain earns a tag of ‘Creative work’.
A theory on creativity by Robert E. Franken in his book ‘Human Motivation’ says “The true test of creativity is to view situations in new ways, have different perspectives or generate new possibilities or alternatives. More importantly, what matters is the uniqueness of the alternative and not just the number of alternatives”
The idea of a ‘Living Statue’ is equally creative as the idea of building a ‘Statue’. While you may have seen a number of Living Statues across the world, the concept is still new to be seen on Indian soil. Girjesh Gaud a 22 year old boy is the first street artist to stand like a mannequin in Mumbai. Every evening between 9 pm to midnight Girjesh entertains hundreds of tourist at the promenade of Bandstand in Bandra. He impresses by staying motionless non-stop for several minutes and at times strikes a pose to engage with public. He is often seen surrounded by tourists taking photos and videos with him and uploading on social media. Girjesh has gained popularity on youth platforms like Instagram and Tik Tok very quickly and gives credit to the masses for whatever fame he has able to garner.
Girjesh arrives at the performing site 30 minutes before and gets ready in the open with onlookers waiting to see him in his attractive golden outfit. He wears self designed trouser, shirt, waist coat, neck scarf, a hat, gloves, glasses and shoes all shining in glossy gold. Before every performance, a touch up is given to a few rough patches on the outfit with a spray paint. His single pair of outfit is laundered twice a month. The crowd silently observes him standing on rocks with waves splashing in the backdrop as he organizes himself for a show.
His 1st act was in October 2018 at the Gateway of India “Standing under a tree, I painted my face and costume, stood still for a good 45 minutes and earned 800 rupees, my highest income ever since i came to Mumbai” recalls Girjesh. Soon the cops objected to his act and advised him to do something meaningful. He agreed and left. Few days later he tried performing at different tourist spots before shifting his performance arena to Bandstand.
Born in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, Girjesh always wanted to be an actor and follows his icon Rajnikanth. His family pushed him to study at least till class 10 to be able to secure a job. Raised in a town called Tumkur in Bangalore, his brother helped him with some money to do an acting course which didn’t work in his favor. Girjesh returned to his hometown to Gorakhpur and convinced his family that he wanted to come to Mumbai to make his career. Initially they disagreed but when he lied that he had secured a job of a security guard they approved.
“In October 2017, when I arrived in Mumbai I spent full 24 hours at Borivali Station as I was clueless from where to start” says Girjesh. He struggled to find roof and work. He visited Filmcity at Goregaon where most Bollywood Films and TV Series are shot to fetch work. After several visits he got an opportunity to appear in the Studio Audience where he had to invest 12-14 hours a day and got a mere 350 rupees for it. Disappointed, he quit after 3 months and worked as a camera attendant. He continued giving auditions for serials and films and one day while browsing through internet, he saw a Living Statue video on YouTube. His research revealed that no one had tried it before.
Girjesh Gaud became the first Living Statue of Mumbai and continues with his struggles and pursuit for acting to make a mark.
Ways to connect with Girjesh Gaud:
Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai