1st meeting of the day was a short one – a site visit of the famous Jehan Numa palace. IT was lovely to go there in the morning & experience the life of the royals. I would suggest that if someone is visiting Bhopal then one should take some time to visit the palace & have a cup of coffee – the coffee doesn’t matter but the history & the photographs of the royals will surely take you back. It’s a lovely experience.
1st meeting done & still had 2 hours to go for my next meeting. I decided to visit the Tribal Arts museum nearby. Reached there by 11 a.m. only to realize that the laid back attitude of Bhopal, coupled with governmental working timings, is indeed a potent combination. The museum would open only by 12 noon. The guard instead guided me to the next building – the State museum.
I am glad I went there as it was a treasure trove of knowledge & memorabilia. Giant fossils of animals & wood dating back to 25 million years ago welcomed me into this journey back into time. Each item was meticulously marked & well preserved.
The piece de resistance was the exquisite stone images & carvings dating back to the 3rd century AD. These gave glimpses of the thriving civilization & culture of medieval India when Europe was still in the dark ages & USA….. Well, was still waiting to be discovered.
These stone images were primarily of Shiva & of various forms of the Devi, revealing the flourishing worship of the mother goddess & in some parts that of Shiva. There were a few glimpses of Vaishnavism, but far & few.
The visit lasted more than an hour & before I realized it was 12 noon. I rushed to the tribal museum & was awed by the design & art of the tribal areas. Normally, people tend to dismiss local art forms, but those who do so, would be counted as fools, in front of such talent, using natural colors. The world has started to embrace eco friendly materials, without realizing that here is a set of people, who never gave them up.
The drawings, patterns & designs were stunning to behold & I stood mesmerized. This is something; I would say should be on the bucket list of every art lover who visits Bhopal.
It seemed like time was slipping past like grains of sand & before I realized, I had spent an hour there & had to leave for my meeting.
I still had a lot to cover in the city & had drawn up plans to visit as many as possible. For that, it was imperative that I do my meeting well & finish it on time.
Good things in life come in due course. A wait sometimes, is for the good.