Oil on Canvas

Sunday evening,
busy town,
at the station
up and down
the platform go
those migrant bodies,
departing now
p’rhaps back to studies,
or to weekly work away,
missing family every day,
or returning to their homes.
Break is over, check the phones,
messages to meet at 9,
that is, if the train’s on time!

‘Hanging out’ takes a literal meaning if you were travelling in the Mumbai local trains. With minimal evidence of strokes and seamless blending of the almost pastel looking colours, Abid Shaikh captures, in hyperrealistic fashion, a moment at the station that could determine the outcome of the rest of the day for the average Mumbai citizen. The struggle of life itself seems to be reduced to this one moment requiring grit and determination to earn your place on that train, to show one is capable. He stakes his claim for a one square foot space for that short transitory period with the constant challenge of losing it to competition. Getting in, getting out, precariously hanging or just standing there unyielding, tells the commuter’s story, shows his tenacity and reflects the defining moment of decision and truth that is the result of the combined weight of life’s expectations from him. Life, like the Mumbai Local, does not give it to you easy, at least not without a little jostling, struggle, moments of despair and triumph, and some deep creases on the shirt. Time, the locals say, runs faster in Mumbai, and their hope of keeping up is a train that is on time. 

Abid Shaikh, born in October 1977, in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, graduated in fine arts from J.J. School of Art, Mumbai in 2002. His works of realism revolve mostly around the mundane, everyday lives of the common people. He has participated, apart from many solo and group shows, at the Singapore Art Fair, 2008. He now resides in Mira Road, a suburb in the outskirts of Mumbai.

Explore other artworks that we have curated for you:

Sources of inspiration:

Spread the love

Leave a Reply