The slums and chawls of Mumbai will soon be host to a very unusual visitor: a brightly coloured, sumptuously illustrated, state-of-the-art bus.
The actual painting of the bus took place in a unique 3-day event between the 23rd and 25th of August. Illustrators, typographers, graffiti artists and truck painters came together at the Yusuf Meherally Vidyalaya in Tulsiwadi, Tardeo, Mumbai 400007, to cover the bus with funky, colourful graphics that capture the various aspects of a singular enterprise.

It's called Brainbox, and it's the brainchild of Yusuf Meherally Centre. The Brainbox bus will serve as a mobile knowledge centre and lecture room for the underprivileged of Mumbai - mainly the young, though people of all ages are welcome. What they will get here is a fun learning space with a library, a large-format video screen, internet access (the bus is equipped with a GPRS system) and something few schools offer - a chance to interact, one-on-one, with some of the leading lights in the fields of environment, health, and education.

Brainbox will also offer a mobile platform for agencies, institutions, partner NGOs and individuals with specific domain expertise to make an impact on communities they wouldn't otherwise be able to reach. The concept is to have complete flexibility to customise learning programmes to suit the needs of the pockets being addressed.
Bus Like No Other
The bus will also be a first step in rebranding YMC for the 21st century. "The idea is to create striking visual metaphors that will attract attention and raise curiosity about the initiative in the city," says Shabnam Sirur, a graphic designer and creative director. She has volunteered her expertise for the project, as have all the artists involved. The bus itself has been donated by the Rotary Clubs of Bayview and Seaface.