Taxi Fabric’s beautiful transformations of the interiors of India’s iconic kaali-peeli cabs and auto-rickshaws have had us transfixed for quite some time now. Right from their first rickshaw makeover by Sanuree Gomes, Pranita Kocharekar’s caricatures of Mumbai’s “busy people living busy lives in a busy city,” to Samya Arif’s designs that drew from the Partition – artists and designers have explored myriad themes upon the upholstery. An initiative set up by Sanket Avlani, Taxi Fabric provides artists and designers a platform to showcase their talents, explore their skills and create dynamic, experimental interiors. This creative endeavour has time and again captured the soul of India’s rich history, culture and people in the most visually dynamic manner, and today, we have something that doesn’t break from the creativity we’ve come to expect.
Following Jezreel Nathan’s one-of-a-kind taxi design is Designer Sanchit Sawaria’s auto-rickshaw called ‘Bazeecha-e-atfal (playground for kids),’ inspired by one of our most loved poets, Mirza Ghalib.
Titled after one of his most highly-acclaimed work, what made Sawaria a lifelong admirer of Ghalib’s work is the beauty that his words spin together while tugging on all your emotional strings.
When you think of Ghalib, you think of poetry - Urdu poetry - that so gracefully rolls of your tongue. As such, covering the rickshaw with script seemed most natural. But keeping in consideration people’s sentiments when it comes to the sanctity of the Urdu language, Sawaria instead adorned the rickshaw with intricate floral patterns, droplets of blood and tears with minimal text - all against a background in a stunning shade of blue.
While Ghalib was born in Agra, worked in Lahore and Jaipur, it’s Delhi that holds special meaning in his life and career. It is here that he was given the title ‘Mirza’ by emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar - he even resided in Ballimaran, Old Delhi, where his haveli is today a heritage site.
Sawaria’s tribute to one of the most quoted poets of all time will now drive around Ghalib’s beloved city, carrying on a kind of comtemporary legacy. If you’re lucky, you may get to experience it on your own, and for the others, like us here in Mumbai, here’s a peek at the Ghalib-inspired interiors of Bazeecha-e-atfal.
All photographs by Archisman Misra & Raghuvir Khare via Taxi Fabric.