I absolutely love art projects. I love little excerpts of real stories from the lives of people. There is something very endearing about pictures of common people, with their common dreams and common lives. They do not come with the boredom of seeing something that is staged or artificial. Humans of New York (HONY) is all of them.
Last year this time, I was all into Postsecret, an online community where anonymous people sent in creative postcards with their secrets. I had read almost all the books published by Postsecret. Somehow, things mellowed for me. Once in a while I still love a weekly secret for all its boldness, spunk, and honesty. But overall, things mellowed.
HONY is different. I look forward to seeing the pictures everyday and more than that, reading little excerpts that seem so apt. HONY is an art project I absolutely love. It makes me wish for two things- first, that I lived in New York City and was featured in HONY, and second, that I started my own art project wherever I live. Come to think of it, I would love an art project like this based on people of Calcutta. A priest praying in Dakshineshwar. A couple holding hands in Millennium Park. An office commuter hurrying to take the train near Fairlie Place. A tourist looking at the Howrah Bridge and admiring it. An art connoisseur waiting for his friends in Nandan. The retail stores of Burrabazar. The glitz of Camac Street. Puppy love blooming in front of schools. Thousands of stories unfolding right in front on our eyes, stories of common people, their common lives, and the extraordinarily beautiful tales that weaves out of it.
For once, I will not be upset if someone in Calcutta, or Bombay, or New Delhi for that matter gets inspired from this and start their own project. I would love to see it all.
(Picture: Victoria Memorial, Calcutta)