Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Blast from our Ancient Past

Awards, felicitations, honorary doctorates, public recognitions... and a steady followership of idol worshippers. If you have contributed exceptionally well to any sphere of life that causes good to a large section of society, adulation becomes an obvious slice of life. One is never thankless, yet after a time it starts seeming preposterous, ironic. Your hordes of 'followers' who are ready to worship you year after year... even long after you are gone... People who would find every little excuse to build profitable businesses, institutions, monumental statues in public squares and memorials in your name.... are all ready to do anything in your honour... EXCEPT take your mission forward.

Try recalling the greats of various eras... the most popular ones... Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, Dadasaheb Phalke, saints and yogis like Dnyaneshwar, Tukaram, Namdev, Muktabai, Chokha Mela, Gora Kumbhar..... and these are just a few... solely from Maharashtra.

Amidst an ocean of followers who claim to be 'grateful' and 'indebted' to these icons forever, barely a numbered minority today is working towards taking the baton of their work forward.... and even much lesser out of them, striving to be the person that these revolutionaries were.



I was thereby pleasantly surprised to learn about  the agenda for 'celebrations' being planned for the birth anniversary Dr. Hasmukh Dhirajlal Sankalia, renowned Indian archaeologist and researcher. His birthday - 10th December - is hailed as Archaeology Day in India.

Archaeology is a mysterious subject, drawing enthusiasts from all spheres of life. Even commoners with little or no background of the subject are always curious to learn about secrets uncovered from deep under the land and sea. Secrets of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa, Dinosaurs and their fossils, ancient languages, life and lifestyle of our ancestors, their pottery, toys, languages, business and currency of that ancient era..... all of this makes up for intriguing stuff. It gets all the more worthwhile if you can actually participate in mock excavations and get a hands-on feel of the thrills and adventure surrounding the world of Archaeologists.

So here's your chance.... University of Mumbai - Center for Extra-Mural Studies (CEMS) has announced a two-day extravaganza to bring all of these wonders to you on the occasion of Archaeology Day. A similar event organized by CEMS received astounding public response last year. It was in this context that the celebrations were scaled up for 2013.


WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT : This year, you will get to participate in a mock excavation trench, learn archaeological methods and techniques. There will be sale of books and archaeological merchandise, Quiz competitions, Brahmi and Kharoshti script workshops, a stone tools workshop, fossil preservation workshop, Ancient Pottery workshop in which students will be able to participate. There are presentations on Warli and Dokra Cire-perdu metal art. Display stalls will have coins, stone tools, swords, idols and images, Harappan seals and images, books and many other artifacts and antiquities.

Also scheduled are career guidance lectures on Archaeology and allied disciplines by experts from the Deccan College and the University of Mumbai. Career specialists will counsel students in careers in Archaeology, Indology, Numismatics, Tourism and ancient Indian culture and Buddhist studies.

WHEN : December 10th & 11th, 2013 (10:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.)

WHERE :   
Center for Extra Mural Studies
Health Centre Bldg. Grounds, 
Vidyanagari Campus, Kalina, Santacruz (East),
Mumbai.
 
ENTRY FEES :  Entry Free !!!


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