On Friday, an aerial shot of Kochi would have looked like a huge, lazy serpent basking in the seesawing sun and drizzle, thanks to the traffic congestion that held the city under siege for over two hours! Travellers, pedestrians, hawkers and everyone out on the road — no one was spared of the annoyance caused by the crater-ridden roads and the nil-moving traffic which brought the city to a standstill. That was when a unique protest got noticed.
It was the photograph of a pretty girl dressed in traditional attire arranging a floral carpet that caught the eye of netizens for its premises — a pothole-marred busy road! No sooner had the photo got uploaded on social media than it went viral. Anulal V., the man behind the viral photo shoot, explains how exasperation prompted him to act on the spur. “I was driving along the Kundannoor Bridge when my car’s undercarriage was damaged after scraping a pothole. Just a few metres forward, I saw a motorbike-borne guy lying on the road after he rode across a water-filled pothole. Bumpy ride is one issue, but what about lives? What if someone gets killed after falling into the crater-size deep hole,” asks Anulal, a fashion photographer, who channeled his anger into his ‘weapon’, the camera, and did the photo shoot with model Niya Sankarathil the same day!
Just a few days ago, a street artist sporting an astronaut’s silvery suit performed a ‘moon walk’ on Bengaluru’s lunar-like road surface to highlight its pathetic condition. But Anulal’s was not a planned act. “It was a quick decision. It’s the festival season and everyone is stuck on the road. There might be people who need immediate medical attention, people who might miss their flight. There hasn’t been such a miserable situation in the recent past. No one can differentiate between roads and drainage. If the situation continues, we will have to prepare floral carpets on potholes,” he sighs.
A freelance fashion photographer for over four years, the Idukki native usually holds photo shoots with models and celebrities and has not pointed his camera towards social issues like this. “Even pedestrians are walking along the road fearing for their lives. Dressed up in traditional wear during this festive season, youngsters are scared to even cross the roads. And look at the loss of money. The double and triple of what we pay as tax would not be enough to cover the damage these potholes cause to the vehicles,” fumes the 27-year-old, who has decided to take his mission forward and react to any social issue that affects the life of citizens.