Catching the Art Train

NSPA joins Mumbai's Central & Western Railways, to greet commuters with music and theatre

By Natural Streets for Performing Arts

NSPA is Proudly Sponsored by Quantum Asset Management Company

Even during the “slow” afternoons, there is constant hustle and bustle at the stations by NSPANatural Streets for Performing Arts

‘Locals’ – The network connecting Mumbai

Mumbai intra-city trains, or ‘locals’ as they are called, are quite honestly the central nervous system for the city. They are often the fastest, cheapest, and most convenient way to travel across the city, and as such, are used extensively by a majority of the city’s populace.

Trains offer Mumbaikars opportunities to build lasting relations with fellow travellers by NSPANatural Streets for Performing Arts

Busy bees

The Mumbai Suburban Railway network, comprises the Western line operated by Western Railways, the Central line and the Harbour line operated by Central Railways. It is one of the most over-crowded and busiest commuter rail systems in the world. With a total length of the rail lines adding up to more than 400kms, and servicing what is estimated to be over 7.5 million people a day! But busy or not, these ‘locals’ are essential to the functioning of the entire city.

Heading home after a long day by NSPANatural Streets for Performing Arts

A hard day’s work

As a city Mumbai can be quite daunting to make your mark in. Like any fast-paced city it's extremely competitive and can take a toll on the best of them. From stressful work hours, long commutes, long queues, loud and incessant traffic, and a hot, sticky, and muggy climate for most of the year, this is not a city for the faint hearted. It can leave the most determined and positive people worn out at the end of the day.

All eyes on our performers by NSPANatural Streets for Performing Arts

NSPA to the Rescue!

NSPA founder Mr. Ajit Dayal was hunting for a way to bring a bit of culture back to people’s long, tiresome days, as he knew the rejuvenating powers that a simple performance could have. With this idea, he approached many people, and pitched his thoughts. Many turned him down, but he was not to be easily deterred. Ultimately, acceptance came from an unlikely, and completely unexpected source. The authorities at the Central Railways decided to give it a shot, thinking the idea innovative, and ideal for weary travellers.

Guest performers Brass Achaar busk at Churchgate by NSPANatural Streets for Performing Arts

Next Station - Churchgate

NSPA started its performances with a bang on 8th October 2012 at Mumbai's Churchgate station, and artists began performing regularly at three stations on Western Railway – Churchgate, Bandra, and Borivali and – a beautiful friendship was born, that went on to grow and spread.

Artists from NSPA enthral and captivate local commuters in the city of Mumbai by NSPANatural Streets for Performing Arts

Growing from strength to strength

Slowly, but surely, more stations joined the bandwagon, with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), Byculla, Ghatkopar, Thane, Dadar, Vikhroli joining the NSPA train, as well as Western Railway stations Andheri, Mumbai Central, and Virar. As the number of stations grew, so did the reach of NSPA artists across the city, and the plan of spreading smiles and art throughout the city was well on its way to becoming a reality.

NSPA artists carrying out their part in various Railways’ initiatives by NSPANatural Streets for Performing Arts

Mission to Succees

NSPA, along with the Railways, carried out several successful drives and campaigns to spread awareness on a host of issues, all through the power of music and theatre.

NSPA artists partake in a 'say no to litter' campaign by NSPANatural Streets for Performing Arts

Mumbai Railways Cleanliness Drive on Gandhi Jayanti

October 2nd, 2014 saw artists from NSPA conduct a simultaneous busk at a whopping 22 stations!

24 street performers celebrate Gandhi Jayanti with Mumbai's railway stations! by NSPANatural Streets for Performing Arts

The task was undertaken by 24 of NSPA’s home artists, and it was a grand success, delighting people all over the city.

All aboard the music train by NSPANatural Streets for Performing Arts

Safety Week

Mumbai Railway Safety Week, organized by the Government Railway Police (GRP), saw NSPA artists showcasing the importance of obeying safety rules while travelling, to ensure a better commute not only for oneself, but fellow passengers as well.

NSPA: Street musicians at Mumbai Railway Safety WeekNatural Streets for Performing Arts

Several artists came up with original work to help promote this message through their music.

Age no bar by NSPANatural Streets for Performing Arts

The Perfect ‘Platform’

It was truly heartening to see the support that NSPA received from the Railways.

Entertaining commuters at Railways Stations by NSPANatural Streets for Performing Arts

Artists across the city are always looking for that perfect platform to help their creations reach people. We at NSPA will always be grateful to the Railways for this wonderful association, and look forward to rekindling this bond in the future.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Related theme
Indian Railways
151,000 km of laid track, 1 billion people, and an infinite source of memories
View theme
Google apps