Bhopal: Tragedy-struck morning comes alive through the artist’s brush

03:55 PM Dec 03, 2020 | Smita

BHOPAL: The city woke up to a smoke-laced tragedy-struck morning 36 years ago. The road from Somwara to Moti Masjid was strewn with human and animal bodies. Today’s generation cannot even imagine what had exactly happened then. Yet, for many old Bhopalis, that trauma is still open and hurts them.

That melancholic morning came alive in a semi-abstract water-colour painting of Faisal Mateen.


The work depicts how the tragedy snuffed out thousands of human lives, aqua-lives in the Upper Lake and hit the environment.


The painting has a leafless tree. It shows how the gas tragedy deprived a large number of trees of their leaves. Its bare branches portray the worst sufferings of residents of the city. They had none to listen to. The city wailed. This is the portrait of the painting.

The artist was a student of class seven when the tragedy had struck the state capital. The memory still haunts him. For this reason, he has used grey and black colours. This stirs up the emotions of the artist. The morning turned into a nightmare for him.

The wailing city, however, stood up. Its people have to struggle to deal with the tragedy.

To depict a bright future, Mateen has given a tinge of yellow and red to the painting. These two colours portray the city’s courage to endure the tragedy.

Mateen’s brush gives colours to dreams. This is the reason why the painting he has made shows hope amidst despair.

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