Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A tryst with India's history

Picture: Our Excursion group in front of Teenmurti Bhavan which served as Jawaharlal Nehru's residence. Left to Right: Jawed Akhtar, Siddhart Tewari (our teacher), Joseph Rai, Ashok Kumar, John basumatary.

Hello Folks,

What's on ?

Let me share with you all an acount of our class trip to Teenmurti Bhavan, 1 Safdarjung road and Dilli Haat.

Delhi, 19 Sept: Indian History is fascinating and equally fascinating and awe inspiring is the modern Political History of the nation. The leaders who had led the flame of resistance against the colonial rule still inspire us and make us proud to be Indians.

Last Saturday, the 2nd Year Print Batch had a stimulating experience with institutions of India’s modern political history. Siddhart Tiwari, lecturer of the Public Relations and advertising paper planned a trip to the Teen Murti Bhavan, residence Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru who needs no recognition to Indians and the world community.

The building is a mix of colonial and Indian architecture with halls and corridors supported by typical Raj-era pillars. Each room is well marked and distinguished as Pt. Nehru’s Study, Living room, Bedroom as well as some extra chambers. The rooms are well maintained and cleaned every week and every month with pots of living plants kept inside. To give in a little details about the rooms, one can see that they have thick glasses at the exteriors and locked handles at the bottom to prevent anyone from trespassing.

The halls lead to further corridors and empty chambers, the walls of which adorn rare photographs depicting Nehru’s childhood, family members, different stages leading to his educational qualifications and association with the veterans of the All India Congress Party

Also one can witness rare souvenirs like Hindustan Republican Association’s member, Bhatukeshwar Dutt’s wrist watch as well as a leaf from Nehru’s autobiography which shows details of Nehru’s ancestral descent in his own handwriting. The original constitution with the signatures of all veterans associated with the document in the first page is a memento that cannot be missed. Mr. Siddhart at this juncture commented that this is the “document which makes us Indians.”

Further, one can take a look at the Sherwani complete with the churidar pyjamas and the trademark Jawahar coat kept in glass cases with an artificial rose pinned on the button holes of each dress.

The compound houses a planetarium the corridor of which has another symbol of India’s achievement in regard to space travel. Here, one can find the space suit as well as the Lunar capsule of cosmonaut, Rakesh Sharma. His mention brings to an Indian’s mind the words he spoke from space to Mrs. Indira Gandhi when asked about as to how does India look from above, to which he had replied “ Sare Jahaa Se Aacha.”

The Students watched a 45 min show inside the planetarium which gave details on the workings of planets and galaxies.

Surprisingly the compound houses the archaeological remains of a Tughlak-era monument. It is marked as “Kushak Mahal.’’ The signboard outside the structure read that this monument which is built on rubble and sands was most probably used as a hunting lodge. The position of this structure is just opposite of the planetarium. 
Completing these, the group proceeded towards 1 Safdarjung Lane in South Delhi as famous as London’s 10 Downing Street. This street houses the famous residence of Mrs. Indira Gandhi and the erstwhile PMO of the late prime minister.

The Building is in pristine white and is again a mix of Raj-era and conventional Indian pattern architecture. Upon entering one comes across photographs depicting Mrs. Gandhi’s different stages to her winning elections successfully. There are front page news stories on her political career laminated on the walls from national dailies as the Statesman, Times of India as well as vernacular ones like the Aaj etc.

The building which leads to one hall after another gives visitors haunting and emotional memories of the late prime minister, moments spent with her family and important decisions taken at the venue which changed the course of India’s Political history which include liberating Bangladesh, the infamous emergency etc.

Besides these, one gets the opportunity to witness the rare personal belongings of this leader who had earned the sobriquet “ iron lady.” These include her dresses as well as the one she was wearing on the fateful morning when she was assassinated. She was an avid reader.Her childhood collection of books as well as her personal library speaks volumes of this fact.

Completing these, the group advanced towards Dilli Haat famed for the handicraft and indigenous ware it has to offer. There, the students along with their teacher settled for something to eat. 

The place has delicious fare to offer from all the states of the country. At the haat, Mr. Siddhart assigned the group to click 5 photographs each and collect some stories from whatever catches our journalistic sensibilities.

Having completed these they headed for the institute. It was an interesting day for the group with the right mix of grey cells and adventurous attitude.

Thank You all,

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Cheers and Peace...




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