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Friday, February 05, 2010

History books

On my Hyderabad and Delhi-Agra vacation, I realized how much I love museums. In Hyderabad, I walked around the galleries of Salarjung museum all by myself without getting bored for even a minute. I walked, I stopped, I stared. I went closer to the display glass to get a better look of the artifact on display.

Apart from the realization of my love for museums, I realized the ineffectivity of the history textbooks that I had been taught from in school. All I saw about Harappan civilization was two scary-looking idols printed in a dot-matrix. The lack of any gray at all made the picture of the Harappan idols similar to the map of an African country. That totally justifies the animosity while writing my history exams. One short note on 'Harappan civilization', another on 'Mohenjodaro civilization' - five points per answer - I always messed up between the two.

At the National Museum Delhi, I experienced the Harappan civilization. I remembered the short note back in school which said, "The Harappan man used modern equipment of business, weaponry and animal husbandry." Today, I saw the equipment of business - the weighing balance and the standard weights. Wow! The insight of having a standard weight to measure things relatively is a bright sign of intelligence. I saw the equipment of weaponry - complex spears. I saw the bullock cart toys that the Harappans made and realized that they were very similar to the bullock carts of today. In fact, the utensils used by Harappans to cook were VERY SIMILAR to the ones from a brand that claims to specialize in non-stick.

Also in the Harappan gallery, I saw the Gods they worshipped - these Gods looked so similar to today's interpretation of aliens.

I literally experienced the Harappan civilization come alive around me. I was overwhelmed by the kind of knowledge and expertise that these relics displayed. I LOVED history today. I wondered why a fifth standard history textbook failed to do that to me.

1 comment:

  1. Aaditya.... long time dude sorry for tht.... by the way Kaabil ban gaya bachcha.... :D .... Hey I don't know somehow money losing its colour... premitive age was simple but really worthy... We may soon see Barter system may be in next century!! For Sure!