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. However, post the independence period, there are instances in history where statues were vandalized due to the public anger, hence, they were relocated.
Presenting to you, a virtual tour of all the sites I covered on a bicycle. Although painstakingly documented, the list is not all-inclusive.
"With his Pedal and Tring Tring site, Vijay is bringing a loud, joyful voice to the global conversation around #bikes4all and #bikes4climate. He's been a resource for me in understanding the individuals and communities in India making a difference. This biking movement is a world-wide collective, and Vijay is making sure India's bike-loving community is in that lens" - Andrea Learned, Social Media Strategist, Writer and Climate Activist.
“I really enjoy reading Vijay’s blog posts and following his Instagram profile. The content is interesting, informative and international. And I particularly enjoy articles about India” – Helen Dominish, Founder, Uncoolcyclingclub.com
"No matter how my day is going, I can always count on Vijay's inspiring and informative posts to put a smile on my face. In just a few month's time, Pedal and Tring Tring has established itself as a valuable voice for cycling in Mumbai and cities around the world" - Chris Bruntlett, Co-Founder, Modacitylife.com and author of the book "Building The Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint For Urban Vitality"
"Congratulations on the first anniversary of your blog. I always enjoy reading it and I am impressed with the good work you are doing to promote cycling in India" - Don Porche, Teacher, Writer, Traveller and Founder operasandcycling.com
"Vijay is bringing authentic stories in his blogs. Thanks to his post I get to know the world of cycling from another perspective and discover new and interesting people through his interviews. His effort and dedication are unique. Congratulations and keep up with the good work" - Samanta Bullock, Fashion Model, Motivational Speaker, Owns a label 'SB' Samantabullock.com
"I really appreciate Pedal And Tring Tring’s efforts to create awareness on cycling in different levels. Sometimes pure joy, sometimes serious, always around: can’t think of my social media without a daily dose of cycling from Vijay". - Maud de Vries, Co-Founder and Managing Director, BYCS, Amsterdam.
"I would like to thank you for penning down your journey and experience at Ride to Mpower in such a wonderful and detailed piece! You are indeed a crusader who can create mental health awareness and stamp out stigma. Wish you all the luck for writing, cycling and your career. Its ok not to be ok". - Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson at Aditya Birla Education Trust, Mpower Minds.
"The global cycling community has very rich social fiber. The bicycle is an ever-present instrument of human mobility and transportation besides recreation and sport. Therefore every voice counts a lot. The cycling blog Pedal and Tring Tring of Vijay Malhotra is an instrumental communication tool for all of us who care about the well-being of cycling for all. Every post empowers and brings a ray of hope for those who advocate day in and day out for this most loyal staple for humanity that is with us for over two centuries. We need platforms like Pedal and Tring Tring to encourage citizens in developing countries to use bicycles as a primary mode of transportation without any stigma". - Leszek Sibilski, Founder of World Bicycle Day.