This Article is From Nov 05, 2016

How Diplomats In Mumbai Are Connecting With The City

Dr Martin Ney a career diplomat takes his flute on his travels and postings across the world.

Mumbai: He takes his day job as seriously as he takes his passion for music performing at Mumbai's National Centre for the Performing Arts as a part of the Symphony Orchestra of India. Meet Dr Martin Ney, lawyer, economist and a career diplomat who is Germany's current Ambassador to India, who takes his flute on his travels and postings at different missions across the globe.

What started as a 30-minute meeting sometime last year with Khushroo Suntook, Chairman NCPA, has brought him back to Mumbai, this time in the avatar of a flautist.  

"I do have some spare time and that takes off my mind it helps me to connect people and that is part of my mission as well to connect people and music is just another way of communicating and you don't need a language for doing that," he says well aware of India's mythological connection to the flute, adding with a smile, "I'm just profiting from it."

Also transcending the barriers of language, are deputy Consul of Argentina, Andrea Alba Gonzalez and her artist husband, Pablo Ramirez who are quietly at work at the Mumbai Central Railway station. They are happy to lend a hand in beautifying this station, through a 44 foot high mural, as a part of the 'Mumbai First' initiative. It's a celebration of different cultures under the same sun and needed a special crane just so they could paint the over 40 foot high wall.

Andrea Alba Gonzalez, Deputy Consul of Argentina told NDTV, "We always have been working with this kind of project in Argentina and we work there in these kind of public spaces, we love to involve with the society we live in that's why we decided to do this."

The colourful mural that welcomes visitors to the busy railway station uses a lot of motifs and symbols that can be easily understood in both cultures.   

"I believe this is a combination of Latin American art and the most pure symbols that I have come across in India. In the mural, you can see calligraphy from India and the symbols and signs that speak about their hands and many other symbol that can be found here," says Pablo Ramirez.

Whether its fine arts or public art, through their passion, they are going beyond their diplomatic briefs, to connect with the cities they live in even in their after-hours.