Whether you’re zipping down vacant roads or trudging along busy streets, it is the sight of bright-hued murals that uplift your spirits. Narrating some or the other riveting story through their vivid colours and superior artistry, murals capture your attention and make the journey either less loathsome or more beautiful.

Artist S.M. Raza spotted barren walls across his city and painted them with captivating murals. However, here’s how his murals stand out from the milieu. Some of his striking murals are centred around the lives of street children. With the intention of evoking empathy rather than pity, his murals steer away from the repeated images of dirty faces and ragged clothes. Instead, we see aspirations and optimism allowing a refreshing change.

1. All She Wants Is a Pair of Wings

In his attempt to humanize the victims of society, S.M. Raza portrays the similarities between the lives of the haves and have-nots, rather than emphasizing on the differences. Bidding adieu to traditional portrayals, the artist defies odds and presents an image of hope rather than despair.

2. Mann-O-Salwa

Translating to heavenly food, this mural is an exemplar of the artist’s skill at retaining the childlike innocence of embedded in each of these children. More importantly, it also serves as an example of the timelessness of the art, as we see no hints of race, religion or nationality in these stirring depictions.

3. Heavenly Sleep

This black-and-white mural, in the true meaning of its colours, reflects the purity of their lives. Yet again focusing on the similarities of the privileged and the vulnerable, the mural looks familiar, heart-warming and honest—all at once—a fitting encapsulation of the lives of street children.

4. I Want to Be a Superstar

Picture a shirtless kid sitting against a pile of ragged clothes—a picture all too familiar, yet uninspired. Rob the pile of its colour and gaze into the confidence of the child and we have a model posing against a high-fashion backdrop. It all lies in a perspective, in both what we see and what we do for them.

5. Holding onto Hope

A riveting representation of the clash of reality and dreams!
Merging into the melancholic blue backdrop is a queue of girls. They’re no different than the less privileged girls who have to wait long hours and miss school only to secure water for the family—or are they?The buckets in the hands of these girls contain not water, but bright yellow crescents and stars—a metaphor for their dreams and aspirations. The facial feature of all except one of the girls are blurred—serving as a reminder of society’s heartless de-humanizing of the less fortunate.