Wednesday, December 22, 2010

National Museum in Delhi

I visited the National Museum in Delhi last week. Once I made my way past the scaffolding put up for construction without any sense for safety, and learned to ignore the din from the hundreds of school students, it was a couple of hours well spent. A few exhibits to mention below:

-Indus valley civilization: There were quite a few related to Indus valley civilization dated 2500 BCE or so. They were more advanced than I thought, and surprised things hadn't changed for so long! Kitchen knives, pots in different shapes and decorations, similar to what I have seen in homes when I was young. Beaded jewelry that may pass fashionable even today. Even a buried woman skeleton from Indus valley!

-Several transparancies on Language Evolution. For example, how a symbol for Ka morphed from early civilizations or found in tamil caves into different scripts of today (devanagari, tamil, telugu, even tibetan, burmese).

-Armory over the years, including bows & arrows, swords, spears, armors (including for elephants!), shields.

-Plenty of statues, idols, stupas, paintings. Many are familiar from temple and monument visits, history texts etc. The idols are from various ages, but many paintings are relatively newer from 17th century onward (not from Indus valley!). There are also more paintings in the nearby National Gallery of Modern Art, again mostly covering just last 300 years.

Also, stopped by the cafeteria and gave up looking at the menu price!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Where the mind is without fear - In the context of India today

If Rabindranath Tagore was alive today, I think he would have written his poem as below! My little imagination based on India today!

Where the mind is without fear of blasts, kidnapping, rape or murder
Where the head doesn't refuse to think
Where knowledge is not sold for money
Where the world has not been broken up
Into fragments by WikiLeaks, regional parties, splittists or Maoists
Where words come out not just to discuss divorce and depth of scams
Where tireless striving is not a stretch, let alone striving for perfection
Where the clear stream of traffic has even a remote chance of finding its way
through the deadly city roads and dead signals
Where the mind is not led backward by anybody
Into ever narrowing thought and morals
Into at least that level of freedom, let my country awake