Exclusive Interview! “This tribute means a lot to me” says Ranjit Dahiya who painted Irrfan Khan’s famous mural on the street of Bandra, Mumbai | Hindi Movie News

It’s almost a year that Bollywood actor and global icon Irrfan Khan has left for his heavenly abode. While fans continue to refer to it as a ‘personal loss’, several of them have paid tributes to the late actor in their own unique ways. Likewise, the city of dreams – Mumbai witnessed one such mesmerising ode in black, white, and yellow hues, standing tall and bright on a wall of a quaint street in the Ranwar village of Bandra, Mumbai. While it has now become one of the attractions in the city, ETimes dialed the artist duo, Ranjit Dahiya and Vikas Bansal from Bollywood Art Project- the mastermind who immortalised Irrfan in everyone’s heart.


What was the inspiration behind your murals?

Ranjit: Mumbai is the city of Bollywood and I thought let’s make it apt for its name as people come here out of curiosity for the industry. This is when we started creating Bollywood-inspired murals.

Vikas: While creating art or a mural, we always think about its social impact. For this case, Irrfan Khan’s mural was apt for Ranwar village of Bandra because the shooting of his film ‘Lunchbox’ was done there. The residents of the area are already connected with Irrfan through his film, hence we decided that it was the right place for him. According to me, ‘Lunchbox’ was his best film.

How was your reaction when you got to know about Irrfan’s demise?

Ranjit: Being his fan, I was really shocked for hours when I heard about his demise and then later realised that I need to do something about it and decided to make his mural. This tribute means a lot to me.

The mural was done after only a few days of his demise. How tough was it to complete it amid the pandemic?

Ranjit: Like I just mentioned, I was really sad after knowing that Irrfan is no more. Besides being my favorite actor, he was also a great person. While this happened during the lockdown, Vikas was in Mumbai, so we both decided to pay a tribute with whatever paint I had left at my house.

Vikas: It was a little tough, I won’t lie. There was the initial lockdown going on due to the pandemic. So, it was a challenge for us and we used whatever material we had left with us. But I think our love for Irrfan and art kept us going, after all, you only need a piece of charcoal to create art, if not anything else.

Was it tough to get a permit from the building owner?

Vikas: The building owner Mr. David is a cool person and most importantly, he is also one of Irrfan’s biggest fans. So, right when we called him to seek his permission for painting his walls he was very happy and supportive.

Ranjit: Besides, we were only two people out on the streets with all safety precautions. If you ask about getting permission, it isn’t easy usually but we knew the owner so it was fine.

What’s next for the Bollywood Art Project? Who you would like to paint next from Bollywood?

Ranjit: I have quite a few celebs on my bucket list. I want to paint Helen ji next.

And what about you?

Vikas: I am from Delhi but Mumbai
meri jaan hai! I might visit soon as work demands and the situation improves.

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