Hyderabad, the city of love

Moshe Dayan’s watercolour paintings for Sekhar Kammula’s ‘Love Story’ highlight the love stories behind Hyderabad’s well known monuments

The song ‘Nee Chitram Choosi’ from director Sekhar Kammula’s forthcoming Telugu film Love Story, starring Sai Pallavi and Naga Chaitanya, would have been just another aching love ballad but for the added narrative of depicting Hyderabad as a city of love.

As Anurag Kulkarni croons Mittapalli Surender’s lyrics in the song composed by Pawan Ch, visuals from the film are interspersed with artist Moshe Dayan’s watercolour paintings in the lyric video unveiled on February 14, highlighting Hyderabad’s eponymous love stories.

Artist Moshe Dayan  

Oral history has it that Purana Pul in the Old City of Hyderabad was constructed by Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah when he learnt that his son Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah was swimming across the Musi to meet his lady love Bhagmati; Taramati Baradari is said to be a testament of the love story between Abdullah Qutb Shah and Taramati; the British Residency at Koti is a reminder of James Kirkpatrick and Khair-un-Nissa love story, and the Residency House (now Rashtrapati Nilayam) in Bolarum, Secunderabad, is a reminder of the romance between Winston Churchill and Pamela Plowden.

Naga Chaitanya and Sai Pallavi in the film  | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The video shows the watercolour paintings of these buildings, before culminating at Revanth Zumba Centre, which Naga Chaitanya’s character establishes in the film, as a mark of love for Mounika (Sai Pallavi).

“It’s an honour that Sekhar Kammula wanted me to do these paintings for the song video. I was told that these paintings will be used only for the promotional video, and I am happy it has caught huge attention online,” says Moshe.

One of the few Hyderabad artists who specialises in watercolour paintings, Moshe got noticed in art circles when he exhibited his paintings at Kalakriti art gallery in late 2019. He had depicted vignettes of everyday life in the city, with a pop of bright hues.

Moshe Dayan’s painting of Taramati Baradari, Hyderabad  | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Moshe is a self-taught artist who hails from Chirala and moved to Hyderabad in 2001. During the lockdown, in 2020, he got acquainted with Sekhar Kammula while helping stranded migrant labourers: “My wife and I, along with other like-minded volunteers, were organising food and transport for some of the workers at a camp in Medchal. We turned to social media to raise funds. One of our friends, writer Chaitanya Pingali, is an associate of the director. Though I hadn’t met him earlier, he also pitched in around ₹1.5 lakh to hire a bus to send migrant workers home.”

Later, when the opportunity of collaborating with the director came up for this film, Moshe was game. “Love Story is a unique film and these paintings are part of a campaign that will prepare the viewers to expect a story that’s different from the usual ones we see in Telugu cinema,” he says. The film is scheduled to release in April.

Some of these paintings were challenging, says Moshe, since there aren’t many pictorial archives of the buildings from their glorious past.

Next, Moshe is working on a collection of paintings on Hampi.

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