Warning: Do not take it otherwise

W A R N I N G!
Tapaile dial garnu bhayeko number ma ahile samparka huna sakena. Kripaya kehi samaya pachhi puna prayas garnu hola.
D H A N Y A B A D!

Alas, this is not an unusual warning as you many of you are already aware how horrible and painfully inefficient our phone services are. For years Nepalis have been dealing with similar seemingly insignificant but otherwise momentous problems such as poor phone connection.  This is momentous because these frustrations have mounted into a larger wave of discontent that can have far reaching implications. While most of us have accommodated these inconveniences into our lives, others continue to find a source, an impetus to take these frustrations and anger to a new height.

Rainbow Warrior and Mr. K, as they call themselves, decline to reveal their identities and just refer to a patch of lettering W A R N I NG on the wall of the library opposite Biswojyoti Hall in Jamal. But this was not the beginning of their defiant artsy protest. Earlier, the pair collaborated on a project where they distributed the infamous warning sign stickers ‘with grunts in between to their friends’. The same warning message was later printed on t-shirts that made a few sales. The little money raised from the t-shirt sales bought them the paints and brushes to take their frustrations further into the public space.

W A R N I N G was the first creation. Noticed by commuters, students and other passersby’s, the street art generated a buzz as to who might have created the work. People also started noticing the art as more of it appeared on the walls every day. ‘Our intention was to bring smiles on the faces of those who pass by,’ said Mr. K who is Nepali, and an avid lover of art. ‘I think we have been very successful in doing this. It can be reflected in the way people have taken interest in it,’ added Rainbow Warrior who is an alien in Nepal. Warning, however did not limit the potential of the message they had to spread. Making an individual stance amongst the hordes of slogans and announcements too many times frequent with political agendas, Mr. K and Rainbow Warrior’s work can be seen around the capital and on its walls, especially in the hot public spots like Jamal, Ratnapark, and Thamel.

Mummy told me not to do politics appeared early one morning and was similarly noticed by all who passed largely due to its quirkiness and child like manner of addressing a serious issue. The message was simple: politics is not a thing in which one should get involved. A caricature of a small Mr. K, the child who is speaking these words, is to be found standing beside these letterings at Lainchour.  Rainbow Warrior, on the other hand, has his own project where the letter boxes in the streets are given a colourful makeover. These letter boxes, in their old and dry state, are painted in the hues of rainbow and are given a new life. He intends to take this project seriously and continue in other parts of the city the next time he visits the country.

Quipped if there is any political inclination to what they have been doing, Mr. K asserted, ‘even if there is that is not our intention at all. We did because it’s good way to bring changes in the walls of Kathmandu.’ He added, ‘it is fun too.’  Similarly Rainbow Warrior acknowledges, ‘I wouldn’t take it otherwise even if some kind of authority came and wiped the paints from letter boxes,’ he quickly then said, ‘I could paint it all over again.’

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