City Moment – Monet’s Metro Station, Vaishali
The memorable instant.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Delhi is rightly chastised for its profound pollution. There are those ghastly days when the very air we breathe is accursed.
Even so. There can also be something akin to art in the skies of Delhi, at least when viewed in the winter season at certain hours and specific locations.
Such as the platform at Vaishali metro station at around 5:30 pm just after sunset. There’s still light – and it’s like a masterpiece by an impressionist painter like Monet. Turn your face westward and gaze upon the sky that opens out beyond the station’s curvy roof.
The sky is suddenly imbued with various tints and tones as the aftermath of a spectacular sunset. These coloured smears could well be the brush strokes of Monet or Turner. The very atmosphere seems to have been photoshopped into a texture of pointillist dots. But these bright shadings dissolve into approaching darkness even as you gaze. As the minutes tick by, the fragility of this fleeting beauty can evoke a sense of profound loss.
Landscape paintings by impressionist masters evoke these same feelings. Their conception of sky doesn’t at all resemble “the real thing”. But, rather, relates to the inner sense of the master himself—her “third eye”. And so it stands to reason that the post-sunset sky at Vaishali Metro — as seen from inside the platform — is depicting that very kind of artwork: To be embraced and treasured for the few minutes that it’s there. It’s a memorable moment.