Thursday, November 19, 2009

An Eventful Evening

Driving, photography, and fretting about the car...those were the events that made my evening yesterday.

With free time at hand, I thought of visiting some places around the city. The first one I chose was Aga Khan Palace. It is a beautiful place. Built in 1892 and donated to the country in 1969, this palace is more known for the samadhis of Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai, Gandhiji's personal secretary. Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai both died here under house arrest.

Just four rooms are open for public in this huge palace. One was occupied by Sarojini Naidu, the other by Mahadev Desai, and the third by Gandhiji and Kasturba. The fourth room is a big hall with paintings, photographs, a sculpture, and some other informative writings, though not enough.

One room holds some things that were used by Bapu that include of all the things forks and spoons. I was amazed. Why did Bapu ever have to use forks? I am shocked and kind of disillusioned too. It has made me think if he really did live in as simple a lifestyle as it was known.

Anyway, the one room that was used by Ba and Bapu can be seen from outside. You cannot enter that room. It is this huge room with Bapu's charkha, and other things, a gaddi, some chairs, and other stuff. A huge bathroom is attached to this room containing a wash basin, a tub, and a western toilet. Really simple living!

The worst part of the rooms is that the paintings, photographs, writings, and other things on display are kept in such a bad condition. Decayed and not cared for, it is shameful that we can't preserve our history proofs in a better way.

The samadhis of Ba and Mahadev Desai are nicely made and lie in tranquility.

Inspite of all the neglect indoors, the grounds are beautiful and well-maintained. Beautiful green lawns, huge, green trees, fountains, and flowers are spread in the ground beautifully. The entrance fee for visiting the Palace are 5 Rupees and I suspect that all those are used to maintain the gardens and not the indoors. I had fun taking pictures in the grounds.

When we returned to the car park, we realised that the battery had run down because I had inadvertently left the lights on. I tried starting it. But it didn't work. Then I tried calling some emergency numbers, but that didn't work out too. Finally the security guards at the Palace helped me start the car by pushing it and starting it. Thanks to them all. I had always seen how cars are restarted when the battery is run down. But that was in movies. I now have a first-hand experience of how it all happens. Of course, I did not jump-start it, because I didn't know how to do it. I shall be able to do it next time, I am sure. I just hope I never have to do it again.

That was how the evening ended.

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