Dial 1 For Local History

Mason Ink’s exhibition at Rangoli marks World Heritage Day.

Published: 18th April 2016 04:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th April 2016 04:13 AM   |  A+A-

BENGALURU: Kempegowda Bus Station, more commonly known as Majestic Bus Station, was once a lake, reads a did-you-know card at the MG Road Boulevard.

This is your first peek into Mason Ink’s exhibition to mark World Heritage Day, celebrated on April 18. The show, which traces the changing cityscape of Bengaluru and its history, is part of the architectural firm’s Hands on Heritage initiative, and concludes on Monday.

Step in and a red telephone booth greets you. Pick up the receiver, press a number to choose a topic of your interest and hang up. When the phone rings soon after, you can listen to stories told by the city’s old-timers in the voice of a volunteer in English or Kannada.

Malleshwaram Calling had received a grant from Indian Foundation of the Arts and featured in last year’s edition of Project 560.

Newspaper clippings on struggles to conserve heritage, or ones detailing historical narratives make for an interesting read. Opposite this stands a storyboard with the timeline of how Bengaluru was formed — Kempegowda to the Wadiyars and the British, not to forget Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan.

Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage’s (INTACH) contributions can also be seen. Then-and-now photos hang on one section on the wall, with a focus on the old bungalows on the Cantonment side of the city.

Besides the telephone, the exhibition has other  interactive elements to engage visitors. You can try your hand at a jigsaw puzzle, created using a photographs of an old bungalow. In the middle of the room on a glass table is the front elevation of another bungalow. Sliding it over a plan of the structure results in an image of it.

The organisers document interest in conserving heritage across demographics. A sign requests every visitor to drop a button into a glass jar. The colour of the button and which jar you drop it in depends on your age group.


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