The first sight of Goa from my train is that of the magnificent Dudhsagar waterfalls, a cascade of milky-white water from the misty mountains above.
Arriving at the Madgaon railway station, designed by none less than Charles Correa, a different but equally striking sight greets the eye; on the railway track is a long convoy of trucks, albeit parked on top of goods wagons, the truck drivers happy to relax at the wheel of their stationary vehicle while the railways ferries them to the neighbouring State.
Inside the station, adorning the walls at several places are distinctive caricatures that appear familiar and instantly grab attention. Two are at the main entrance, hidden by baggage-screening security devices; there is even one below the stairs leading to the retiring rooms.
While one image shows a fisherwoman taking her catch to the market, another portrays a town centre with a newly-married couple enjoying a dance performed by fisher folk. The Station Superintendent’s office is flanked by two images — one shows a bewildered, but smiling court officer, traditionally-dressed and carrying case briefs; the other has a villager climbing a coconut tree.
The Ladies’ Waiting-Room has on the outside wall a fish market scene, with a fish seller announcing his ware through a bulbous horn, while cheroot-smoking fisherwomen squat languidly beside their wares.
Inside are images of women waiting on a station bench, as well as a passenger train steaming into the station.
On the stairs leading to the overnight retiring-room, attendant Yogesh Naik points to another drawing alive with romance, music and dance — a newly-married couple emerging from a church, a violinist playing in the background, while village women dance in celebration further away.
These murals at a small-town railway station are precious reproductions of the works of Goa’s legendary artist-son, Mario Miranda, who passed away recently.
“Five years ago, we approached Mario and requested if we could use some of his drawings to decorate Madgaon Station. The artist readily obliged, and we commissioned a noted local mural artist to paint Mario’s illustrations. These murals have been delighting visitors and travellers at the station,” says Konkan Railway Official Baban Ghatge.
And despite the heavy footfall common to any railway station, the wonderfully recreated and well cared for images appear like new.
Towards evening, on a visit to the Goa Institute of Management’s Sankholim campus, there is more Miranda in store. Here it is an eccentric music teacher snapping at his pupils, while a lone pup nearby howls away in tandem.
“When we sat with our architects for the interior, the idea for a painting in the reception was suggested, and everybody wanted a work of our Mario,” says P.F.X. D’Lima, Director of the institute.
D’Lima got in touch with Miranda, who happened to be his friend, and a young, well-known painter called Hanuman Tari was commissioned to faithfully recreate the artist’s work.
Miranda, in fact, happened to see the painting while it was still in progress and even corrected it in two places; and once the painting was completed, the legendary cartoonist had praised the young artist’s work.
Courtesy : BL