At the heart of the city there lies a famous ground named (Khulla Manch ) erected to mark the advent of democratic freedom. The general masses witnessed fiery speeches, short lived promises and large political mobilizations in this historical ground but the failing government, disharmony between political parties and disputes with their agendas left the public very frustrated with no constitution in sight. This historic platform was neglected. The podium had a very dull, flaky wall with political posters sticking out. I wanted to break up the monotony. I saw the city an extended studio with thousands of open square feet, buckets of paints strewn, splashes of color and multiple tools, a perfect urban workshop. My idea was to paint a rainbow on this open theatre to bring about a social message of transformation and harmony to general public and all the political leaders. I was inspired by Nelson Mandela words in his inaugural address he said that his nation should become a Rainbow nation.
At first, I sought permission, however, it was not granted. I challenged the boundaries represented by those in power and asked, what If I do it without any permission? They warned, I will be in trouble. on 13th November 2013 After a weeklong surveillance, on the 7th day November 2013, I sneaked into the ground with a bunch of volunteers. We began by washing off all the political slogans and painted a rainbow.
We had to accomplish the mission without being caught despite only working with mobile phone lights in the dark. With the first light of a new dawn I had accomplished my little mission; together. The love was holding a rainbow from both ends, that’s how its balanced in the wind.
I anticipated for the trouble but I witnessed something else. They employed the wall painters to repaint the dome without erasing a rainbow. They re-painted a rainbow making it more explicit. They did not dominate the dialogue; but they were now part of this dialogue and collective imagination. Our ex- Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattrai and his supporters were seen under a rainbow that I painted. Over time we saw different political parties beneath the rainbow addressing their agendas from this Podium. Every time when a large political gathering takes place on this ground I imagine everybody going to see art which reflects the society in which it was made. In that sense art is not a separate product from the culture that produces but rather entwined.
Sometime ago, the campaigners of Occupy Tudikhel invited me to share my experiences of painting a rainbow in the dark. The event was held in the same podium accompanied by other campaigners, and political parties. One of the politician from congress party mentioned that, he dints knew the idea behind it but he liked the arrangement of colors and ordered to repaint it making it brighter. It made the vicinity vibrant - He added. An artist idea behind the rainbow and the politician who preserved it was revealed after years. We got introduced under the same rainbow. He said, he was inspired by the idea of using art to improve public spaces. This news got published after in a leading online media after seven years of its making.