Monday, June 15, 2015


In the early 1950s, loads of waste was left over when Chandigarh, designed by Le Corbusier, was built up. A road inspector had a vision of creating art out of the bits and pieces of the litter dump around the city. He created a fantasy, which he called the Rock Garden.
Passages of rock and concrete open out into spaces with human figures studded with tiles and marble. Walls are studded with broken tiles, bathroom fixtures, old crockery and switchgear. Discarded water pots form fences. Whimsy birds fashioned of concrete sit on the roof of a little hut. A waterfall cascades over an open-air theatre paved with broken slate. Turquoise bangles make peacocks. An upturned enamel basin serves as a soldier’s hat! 
The Rock Garden is a legacy that will live even though its creator, Nek Chand Saini is no more! Nek Chand was honoured across the world for his work. While the Indian government conferred the prestigious Padma Shri, the French awarded him the Grande Medaille de Vermeil. His achievement seems more spectacular as he had no formal training in the art of sculpture.
Nek Chand showed that one man’s garbage can be another’s dream. While beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, some draw out this beauty from what seems to be useless and allow others to see it as well. Nek Chand’s fantasy teaches us that nothing is really litter… and that everything can be turned into a piece of art… when positive vision is backed with proactive action.
Look again... what seems litter is actually art,
Great possibilities awaits our proactive start!
- Pravin K. Sabnis
Goa, India

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