One of the reasons I wanted to visit Berlin, aside from the fact that it’s a global city with immense history and culture, was the Berlin wall. For, I was not only forced to learn about it in school but also an important topic for the exam.
Berlin wall attracts and engages visitors of all age groups
To get my (father’s) money’s worth, spent on my education, I decided to visit Berlin wall and see what all the fuss was about, albeit against my flatmate’s advice, who was an ex-Berliner. She warned me that the time could be well spent visiting something meaningful. I paid no heed, for only I know the hardship I had to go through for my exam.
The first thing I noticed as soon as we approached the dilapidated yet brilliantly coloured East Side Gallery was dog poop right next to the wall, where it began. I immediately regretted my decision.
While I was making up my mind whether or not to proceed further I walked a bit farther. A minute later, my eyes nearly popped out of their socket at the sight of, what looked like, a painting of Lord Shiva with His third eye and the name of an Indian artist “Narendra Kumar Jain” in Hindi. Now an Indian artist on Berlin wall was something I didn’t expect to see. I stood there and gaped at the painting, while the non-existent-artist in me appreciated it very much. Seeing just that one painting made my whole trip.
He called it “SIEBEN STUFEN DER ERLEUCHTUNG (SEVEN STAGES OF ENLIGHTENMENT)”
It’s incredible to see that Narendra Kumar Prakash Jain from India made it the list of 118 artists. Artists from 21 different countries painted the wall to celebrate the reunification of the East and West Germany in 1990.
The wall is one of the world’s largest and perhaps longest-enduring open-air galleries. But, as my roommate portrayed, the wall itself was not appealing. From a distance, it looked like just another wall subjected to Graffiti artists’ thought-provoking views of the world and other-worldly things. Only on close observation, the wall reveals its true colours, literally.
Here are some pictures of the East Side Gallery:
Perhaps the most photogenic wall ever.
Turns out very little of actual Berlin wall is still standing and artists repainted parts of it on occasions.
My Russian flatmate volunteered to elaborate on this exaggerated version of the fraternal kiss. It’s a Russian tradition, also followed in other parts of the world, which consists of a hug followed by three kisses on alternate cheeks. And between close friends and relatives, the kisses are given on the mouth.
There are many imitations of the Berlin wall within Berlin. Here’s an example.
Also, read how I get high on travelling here.