Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Our Neglected Heritage

Recently I had the opportunity to shoot a song sequence for the film KADAKSHAM, at Kuthira Malika, Thiruvananthapuram, built by Maharaja Swati Thirunal more than a century and half back. There is also a museum in a part of the building and the archaeological survey of India is doing some maintainence work on the exteriors. But the interiors beloging to a Trust is not maintained properly with full of dust , bat droppings etc.
Panoramic view of Kuthira Malika

In the same complex there is a big Hall called LEVY HALL where during the British days Levy was collected. I one corner of the building I saw some Huge paintings ( About 9 ft by 4 ft) of bygone Maharajahs covered with dust and torn at some places too! Since I do not know the names I am just reproducing two of the paintings out of the four.

Maharaja with a court official

They are all equisitive paintings done by some master painter with an eye for detail and expressions. look at the Royal expression and that of the courtier who is holding an important document along with his eye glasses.

A Closer Look at the Painting

There is so much detail in that painting you can really feel the thread weaving in the Royal dress. Below is a closer view of the medals on the chest of the official. In one of them you can see the image of Queen Victoria and the words too. On the other "HEAVENS LIGHT OUR GUIDE" engraved clearly.

Detail from the Painting

There are also some beautiful wall mirrors and smaller paintings and old photographs too in theLevy Hall Building.

Old Mirror

It is quite unfortunate that these paintings of such quality and antiquity is gathering dust uncared and unseen in a corner of the Levy Hall though there is a Museum in an adjacent building! In any other country these paintingworth many crores would make a museum proud!

But This is INDIA, Mera Bharat Mahan!!

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