For the love of Graffiti, we shall deface the wall

“i love Pooja’- so direct so clear and so effective, now that is how u communicate an emotion like love…even if pooja is a rather common name and even if the above stated line was written by scratching paint of a metal partition of a Mumbai local train.

Whether or not Pooja reciprocates the emotion, the manner of declaring love reminded me of all the times when monuments, rocks, walls, trees, school desks and even public toilets have become a banner for announcing love. While there are few writings that speak of patriotism or profanities a majority are declarations of love. From the anonymous declarations of love to the job advertisements and the ever assuring ‘Jesus loves u’ messages the train is full of it all. From the temples where people wait in queues to have a Darshan to the canteen tables are all places where we find affection expressed in ways that is unique.

There are notices in school which forbid students from sketching and writing on desks and they might get dirty and there are Municipal corporations that try to find ingenious ways to cover up the city facade. Few years ago Chennai’s street walls were all marked to be painted in a manner that depicted the culture and discouraged political or personal graffiti. It is amusing to have Read the scribbling on the day of valentines, it was fresh indeed but needless to say unless the anonymous lover was 100 per cent sure that the object of his affection would read it and know who wrote it- it was all a waste. Despite not being a sure shot of announcing love the number of scratched walls and painted stones keep increasing – perhaps the idea is just to say it out loud.

While it might seem like an act of defacing a public property or spreading a random rumor – it brings to light two explanations, either we fall in love and often fail to express it personally or we just love so much that we can not resist not sharing it with the entire world. Not just sentences, symbols of hearts with arrows, smiles, abbreviations of names and codes all have found their way to any an devery flat surface that could be scratching, etched, scraped or written or painted on.

But there is a thin line, like the arrow across the heart that usually carries the name of two loves, that differentiate defacing public property form free of expression. On other days i would think of how it makes our public transport look and the money spent on cleaning it up, but today i guess he really had to tell pooja.

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