In this busy world, one hardly stops by around a statue. If so, the reason could be a passive need – to click a photograph, draw a sketch, meeting point, the visitor is an historian or someone from the maintenance department.
Assume if statues could speak, what anecdote’s would they share? Would it be about the chronicles from their life archives or a narrative of all the observations gathered at the memorial site. Whatever it maybe, it would be our imagination.
Though motionless, the statues convey important stories ‘His- story’ and ‘Her-story’, and have become silent story tellers over the years. One just have to offer a little attention and decode their language of remembrance and sacrifice.
“History is like a frozen dessert, that melts our heart when consumed”. However, to maintain its consistency, the records and valuable material must be preserved for the forthcoming generations.
The colonial period of India reminds us of the trials and tribulations absorbed by our freedom fighters in the journey towards independence. The contributions made by the prominent leaders and average citizens has left a deep footprint that reflects in varied forms, such as – old architecture, museums, art and artifacts, statues, maps, documents, photographs, films, books and knowledge.
A statue erected at a public site symbolizes the events of the by gone era and the moral lessons learned from it. Statues therefore, are much more than mere physical structures. A carved out figurative image is a forever tribute to the distinguished personality and evokes emotions of patriotism, bravery and pride (unless the statue is of a controversial character).
Some statues like ‘The Statue of Unity’, ‘Statue of Liberty’, ‘The Thinker’, etc. have gained popularity in their own right. Represented in a larger-than-life-size figure, a statue is a viewable record of the past and a torchbearer of a countrys history.
I explored a series of statues in Mumbai that are mostly clustered in the Churchgate and Fort area. Thankfully, they are decently maintained except for the dust and bird droppings which is unavoidable.
Presenting to you, a virtual tour of all the sites I covered on a bicycle. Although painstakingly documented, the list is not all-inclusive.
Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai