Recently on a very welcome visit by Longformliz, I was taken on a trip down memory lane. Other than leaving me nostalgic, the post about our trip to Wales reminded of the (then) new section that I had started and soon forgot about.
Today I try to catch up on lost time and regale you with an update of another adventure, which though 24 months late is full of colour and happiness. The tiny holiday was a treat to myself before I joined my new place of work, and unknown to me then, enjoy one last holiday before the baby arrived.
No, I did not take off to an exotic locale in the tropics or go on a one-woman adventure around the world. I had a weekend at my disposal and a very tight budget to boot. Bath had been done and dusted, and frankly I had no money to do another solo phoren visit. I had limited options, okay I had one option. Committed as I was to my resolve to fly solo, I went off to Brighton on my solitary expedition.If you live in this country, you have probably visited the sea-side town at least once. It is to London as Goa is to Mumbai, except for the sandy beach and King’s beer. so it is not Goa. But it is great in its own way. There are the quintessentials – the beach, the pier, and fish restaurants; and the unique – artisan cafes, shopping in the Lanes, museums, and the Brighton Pavilion. A special shout out goes to the Devil’s Dyke – great for hiking or a lazy picnic while enjoying a panoramic view of surrounding hills and valleys.
However, great as all this is, for me Brighton is special for a reason that has nothing to do with sea, sand (fine, pebbles) or sunshine. It is here that I fell in love. With art. The city wears its art on its streets. With pride. The graffiti draws you in one street at a time. It sits with ease among flashy window dressings, hangs around in the busy Lanes, it lurks in alleyways peeping out to catch your eye; it tells you stories you have heard before and some you are yet to behold. Some speak of angst, others of thrill, some take flights of fancy or dive deep. For those who are fans, there is even a Banksy on display near the mainline station.
Two years on I am still a fan, trying to capture images of the “rebel” art-form wherever I spot it. A trip back home (Delhi) last year, on the way from the airport I saw the usually drab wall of Tihar transformed into a canvas filled by a kilometer long graffiti. At the time, I was struck by the daring-do but later found that it was created by the blessing of the authorities. Not that it made the spectacle any less impressive. You can read here about that and the wave of street art that India has been engulfed in.
As for the colours of Brighton, they were still shining bright and we found them as welcoming a year later when we took the baby on his first visit to the sea-side. Of course, he was too tiny (and mostly asleep) to care but it is a start. Hopefully one day when he is a bit grown-up and interested (and awake!) we will go on a wall-to-wall adventure together.