Dressing up the iconic tram of Kolkata, Asian Paints imagines a cultural epiphany in West Bengal
OCT 23, 2023 | By Sanskriti Vashisth
An exquisite trajectory of the city of Kolkata is rekindled with a vivid imagery, perfect for the ongoing festive season in a surprising yet evoking intervention by Asian Paints, paying a cherishing tribute to the city’s historic 150-year-old tram. A deep dive into West Bengal’s longstanding culture, its evolution as well as a future that’s still building, Asian Paints envisioned the tram on the iconic Tollygunge to Ballygunge route into a living piece of art by introducing a heritage-themed package for their premium interior paints line, Royale Glitz, for the first time.
These unique endeavours beautifully encapsulate Bengal’s traditions and lifestyle, and an exemplar of the unparalleled portrayal of Goddess Durga by celebrating the city’s revered heritage. Asian Paints’ initiative and graphic representation aptly capture the strength of women through colours and charms.
The cheerful essence is splendidly captured by a limited edition festive pack for Royale Glitz with in-mould labelling (IML) packaging, which incorporates augmented reality (AR) integration, allowing patrons to dive into West Bengal’s colourful and cultural mosaic. The artwork in the AR depicts the Royal Bengal Tiger, the Howrah Bridge, the world-renowned Ilish fish, the Bankura House, the Chau Dance, Alpona art, and other iconic Bengali entities.
The exteriors of the first compartment of the tram depict Asian Paints and Sharad Shamman’s (APSS) remarkable association of 38 years in Kolkata. The company immersed itself in tradition, honouring the artists of Kumortuli, the potters’ quarters, with hand-painted artwork. The first print commercial and the first winning pandal, along with the sindoor khela and dhunuchi dance are featured.
The second compartment transports the travellers to a timeless Kolkata setting that mirrors the opulent allure of the paint. The artworks echo the stunning details of the set. The tram’s patterns pay homage to West Bengal’s Pujo legacy and spirit. It’s a recurrence of old Bengal’s beauty. The bogie additionally emphasises the unique stories accentuated in ‘People of Pujo,’ a video series that captures the lives and passions of those that make Pujo, ‘that time of the year’.
Inside the bogie, the revamp also features Pujo decor with cane installations, Alpona art, and a museum-style visual narrative of APSS’ revolutionary narrative. Visitors can also engage with ‘People of Pujo’ stories through interactive features and QR codes, bringing to life the knowledge on the people behind the Durga Puja festivities while travelling the tram. The interiors date from the British era which are a blend of Indo-Islamic and Indian architecture with borrowed details of Gothic revival and Neoclassical styles. The interiors have the ultra-sheen finish of Royale Glitz and a Glitz photo booth for a thrilling experience.
The tram’s captivating design will traverse the city from 16th October to 31st December 2023, inviting everyone to join the celebration and engage themselves in vibrant colours.
This initiative fosters a sense of community happiness, a core theme of Durga Pujo, a festival symbolizing the victory of good over evil and the way to new beginnings. For nearly four decades, Sharad Shamman has thrived thanks to the unwavering efforts of artists, sculptors, and committee members who work tirelessly behind the scenes. Since 1985, Asian Paints Sharad Shamman has upheld its reputation as Kolkata’s prestigious Pujo Awards, celebrating and promoting creative and aesthetic excellence in Durga Pujo pandals, transforming them into dynamic hubs of art, culture, and boundless expression.