Neon lights from the neighboring hotel dimly lit up a corner of the upcoming flyer in Despur Guwahati. It was about twelve midnight when a group of boys and girls were busy on the bridge to give the finishing touches to their work. Midnight Painters in Guwahati.

Away from this group, 22-year-old Pojashri Konwar has been deeply involved in her painting on one of the walls of the 1,400-meter flyover, which Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma will dedicate to the people of the state in Deepawali.

Drenched in her imagination and a spray of a paintbrush on her face, little Porbashri was detailing the reed belt on the head of the Tiwa tribal woman and carrying a basket of cereal she was painting on her first day on the assignment.

“This is for ourselves and for everyone because that is what our culture and identity are. Art is something that not only looks good, but also feels good. It is what we put our heart and soul into. I draw a tribal woman carrying rice from the field in a basket supported on her head and representing the Tewa women of Assam. My parents were very supportive. All they want from me is to be a good human being. They have never stopped me from doing what I love. I believe in my instincts and they believe in me.

She added that no one had contacted her. “My brother-in-law shared some pictures of a painting that others have painted on the bridge wall. I reached out to these people and today is my first day. I am not a trained artist, but it is what I live for. I can leave anything for her, and I can I would die for this.”

Bojashri, who hails from the Golaghat district in upper Assam, recently completed her master’s degree in journalism from Guwahati University.

As the night progressed, the air filled with the cold of winter, but a group of young artists in T-shirts were immersed in their work and their short tea breaks.

On this day, there were four girls in the team, and surprisingly, they were all uneducated painters. She came across Neelim Mahanta, the tall young man responsible for charting the cityscape with the rich culture, traditions and heritage of Assam. He is not only a fine arts man, but a man in the throes of action. Neelim shared some moments with us.

“When I got the project, I called my friends and loved ones, who do street painting, about the collaboration. We started work on October 5th, now we need to speed up because we only have three days at hand. It’s a 1.5 kilometer wall and when we consider both The two sides, it is 3 kilometers of cloth.We are working on the topic of cultural representation of Assam.We have done a lot of research on the tribes, national parks and architectural heritage of the state.We divided the bridge into thirty sections on the basis of the 33 tribes of Assam.The work was divided on the basis of skill and mastery. Some did the outlines, some fill in the color and some were commissioned to do the details,” he said.

“The group has 20 members from different backgrounds and few of them take care of the management. No… I did a bigger project in Mumbai in 2019 where the wall was 40 feet high. I’m a dropout, quit architecture study in the middle and joined Fine Arts in Delhi, which I eventually left it. However, architecture has allowed me to understand space and its dynamics. I don’t attach much importance to the degree, but to what I have learned. I prefer to work at night because the nights are cooler and quieter and you can focus more on your work.”

This project reflects the rich culture of Assam in one canvas and gives a message of unity in diversity. Perhaps this is the need of the hour, problems need an urgent solution and there must be peace of mind.

The bridge which is supposed to ease congestion in Dispur between Assam Complex and Amana Complex is 1,400 meters long and has a budget of Rs 127.20 crore. Work on the bridge was inaugurated by former CM Sarbananda Sonwal on December 8, 2019 and was supposed to be completed within 36 months.

Not many days left for the Festival of Lights and the day the vehicles start running over the bridge, Kristi Sinha was about to finish her work. She was doing all the detailed work on the project and more with the intricate description of the tribal fabric.

My mother was hesitant at first. She asks why I’m so late, she wants me to be home by 11:30. It’s normal to be afraid and suspicious of the kind of news you hear every day. Yet I feel like a hard believer, it’s a dead end of the night. I don’t have any formal training in drawing but I’ve been involved in it since childhood. It started as a hobby and now it is meditation for me. This job was a learning experience for me. I would like people to see our work from their car or bus while crossing the bridge. We have depicted seven national parks and their rich fauna in one wall.

Although the painting was done using plastic paints, one of the concerns holding these young talented painters back is the red spots in their hard work. Some people are beyond repair. With no other way out, the civilian body in Guwahati had to hide the freshly painted fender to protect it from paan stains in 2019.

“We feel good doing this, I want people to feel good. We don’t want recognition, I ask them to respect our hard work and not spit. The art will remain long after the artist has stopped,” said young Pujashri with her curly hair that often bothers me to get a flick Its good for the article. It was now 1.30 am I realized it had been over four hours since I was a bridge and I didn’t feel cold anymore. Art certainly has its own warmth.

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