Madame Tussauds, the famous wax museum has opened in New Delhi recently. I went with my relatives staying in Delhi to see the Delhi version.
It is situated in the same building as the Regal Cinema in Connaught Place. I found the approach to be a little crowded and was simply following my mother. Suddenly, there was a doorway next to a café and I was surprised to note that the entrance to such a famous place was ordinary and plain. Yes, there was a board, but nothing grand. Anyhow, we got our wrists stamped and bought the tickets and went inside. The first statue we saw was that of Bajrangi Bhaijaan Salman Khan. He was shown pulling a rickshaw and I sat pillion in it. There were also some gaudy props like an umbrella in case people wanted to pose. The next statue was of Tom Cruise on a Ducati superbike. My father helped me get on the bike and I posed as Papa took a picture of me. Slowly, I got myself clicked with all Bollywood stars’ statues. I did not recognize a few of them but I was told there was one of Madhubala and Ranbir Kapoor’s grandfather Raj Kapoor, with whom my mom posed. Ranbir Kapoor’s statue was quite realistic and I thought it looked exactly like him. Mom told me how carefully measuring the height, noting the hair colour and even matching the colour of the eyeballs make the statues. I was looking with amazement, thinking how much effort would have gone into making just one statue!
Then we came across a photo booth in which select one can select the favourite ‘poster’ or frame. The in-built camera takes your photo and mixes it with a poster. I chose a space movie poster that made me look like an astronaut. We then met several other Bollywood and Hollywood stars. There was a nameplate that said ‘Asha Bhonsle’ but there was no statue. One of the ushers told us that the statue had gone for ‘maintenance’. I was wondering what this ‘maintenance’ would be when I heard little murmurs and whispers. I asked Mom what the fuss was all about and she told me that one ‘poser’ had apparently broken Tom Cruise’s nose! Oh my god! How sad that people mishandle the statues that are made with so much effort and hard work. Anyhow, we moved on to the next gallery that was of sportspersons. There was Mary Kom, David Beckham, Usain Bolt, Milkha Singh, Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev, Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo. There was a game of hockey and I played it a number of times. My mom got very upset as she saw a lady kissing Sachin Tendulkar’s statue and leaving a lipstick mark on his cheek! Urgh!!!
We then moved onto a gallery of Indian personalities. There was Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Sardar Patel, and Bhagat Singh, though I did not like Bhagat Singh’s statue at all. It looked like a cartoon. Maybe this was because the makers have not seen Bhagat Singh and only made a statue by looking at his pictures. There was an interactive computer where I played a quiz on freedom fighters. I got all my answers right!
We saw people posing with the statues of Narendra Modi and APJ Abdul Kalam.
We also saw an exhibit where the whole process of making the statue was explained.
On our way out, we passed through a small souvenir shop where nothing really caught my fancy.
Though I did enjoy my visit to Madame Tussauds, I do have some suggestions:
- There should be some sort of barricade around the statues so people don’t touch the wax statues and damage them.
- The souvenirs should also have books that talk about the history of Madame Tussauds.
- I would love to see picture postcards in the souvenir section.
- The entry and exit to Madame Tussaud’s should be cleaner!
- The ushers and minders should be able to fine people who touch the statues.
Text by Angadveer Singh
Images by Aarti Kapur Singh