Why Mumbai's iconic railway station has turned into a blob of (hideous) blue
On Saturday night, thousands of people who passed by the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in south Mumbai were greeted with an unusual sight. Instead of the yellow light that on most evenings excessively accentuates the building’s iconic Malad and Porbandar stone, the entire station had been adorned with uniform lighting that flattened its features into a giant blob of neon blue.
There is a reason for this. The terminus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. October 24, which was Saturday, marked 70 years since the United Nations was formed. To celebrate the anniversary, more than 200 heritage structures around the world switched their lighting to blue – the colour of the UN symbols. As seen here, most structures took to the blue remarkably well – neither the Great Wall of China nor the Tree of Life in Italy look glaringly worse for the lighting. Some, however, such as the Gediminas Castle in Lithuania or the Cibeles Palace in Spain seem afflicted by either too much blueness or a shocking clash of colours because of amber streetlights in the vicinity. Victoria Terminus, as Mumbai's iconic station is still popularly called, suffered from both.
Four evenings later, authorities at the station appear to see no need to switch the lights off. Its startling blueness continues to accost unsuspecting passersby who seem dazed at the transformation and stop to take photographs even more than usual.
This isn't the first time the iconic building has had a taste of, well, unusual lighting. In 2014, after much planning, authorities at the station commissioned and began to test its new light display. The results weren't very encouraging, and looking at the images from then, it is difficult to decide whether the current blue is any worse.