“No Parking” signs are an ubiquitous part of life in India. We see them scattered all across the city, in main roads, in little alleys and on the gates of apartments. There is no escaping them and to me, they are the perfect metaphor for urban life.
These signs symbolise the hurried and unplanned growth of India. Often drawn or painted by hand with little prior planning, these signs pop up due to narrow roads, lack of parking infrastructure, combined with an increasing number of car ownership. They are now a common sight on the walls of many localities, houses and buildings across the country. Many companies also take advantage of them as a space for branding. I remember how ICICI started the trend, more than a decade ago, with metal ‘No Parking’ signs that featured the ICICI logo on the board.
Many questions pop into the head when you see these signs – under whose authority are they painted? How are they enforced? Will they stand up in a court of law? Do people even respect these signs?
This series of images is constantly evolving for me, I keep shooting and adding more to this bank of images and I honestly don’t know when I can call it a finished body of work. Here are a few shots for now.
Currently listening to – Ceremony by New Order
Currently reading – India After Gandhi by Ramachandra Guha
Currently watching – Derry Girls on Netflix
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