Getting nostalgic with Delhi Heritage Foundation

This New Year opened on an exciting note.Seventh of January brought a surprise invite from Delhi Heritage Foundation an organisation working for reviving ancient culture and preserving heritage of Delhi the capital city of India.The organisation conceived and promoted by certain prominent citizens of old city has brought together bunch of city lovers enthused with past glory of the Shahjahanabad and fired with zeal for preserving it’s cultural heritage and traditions.Going through the Facebook page of the organisation and impressed by the committed, crusading spirit of the dedicated citizen vigilantes we promptly lapped up the invite.

The event titled Tangible and Intangible Heritage of City of Delhi opened floodgates of nostalgia about the old city popularly known as the walled city, having been protected by fortification by Mughal Emperors over middle ages. Several participants having been born and grown up in the city and others having migrated in course of their formative years in life spoke emotionally  about the ways of old Delhi. While someone spoke about the artistic ways of traders and market men other speaker gushed over the culinary delights of Chandni Chowk the Central market which was in historic times, and continues to be  the nerve centre of commercial activities. For everyone  mention of areas covered by narrow lanes and bye lanes evoked passionate memories of having discovered the charms of the city on foot.

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Secretary Dr.GG Saxena interacting with audience

The tone for the evening was set by Dr. SY Qureshi an eminent ex civil servant and leading light of the organisation who in keynote address recalled the lost glory of the city and shared his vision for preserving and recreating the lost heritage of city of Shahjahanabad . It transpired that The Delhi Heritage foundation has  on it’s own initiated moves  for preservation of several historic monuments by coming up with the novel scheme of encouraging educational institutions to adopt a monument.

Another highlight of the evening were the narratives on Cinema theatres of Delhi which were succumbing to loss of business in hard times.Even mention of names of of picture halls had element of excitement for everyone bringing back memories of a Mughal-e-Azam or Pakiza and excitement associated with queuing up for a first day first show ticket outside Regal in Connaught Place or Golcha in Daryaganj.Every one felt the need  for re energising the picture halls located on prime places in the city with innovative techniques.

The myriad suggestions for recreating the lost glory of city poured in  from enthusiastic participants. The phoenix like ability  of the city to reinvent itself was best summarised by Chairman in a poetic rendering of Mir Taki Mir which refers to a stage when the city was passing through times difficult.It is recalled that master of Urdu poetry had introduced himself in a mushaira  as

” Dilli Ek Shahar tha Aalamein Intikhab ..rahne wale hain hum us ujde dayar ke”

It is a matter of historical knowledge that the city later on rebuilt itself to take pride of place in leading cities of the world.

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Challenges of content sharing in social media

A bunch of old colleagues from a common cadre recently met over a batch party and thought of forming a What’s App group initially with the understood objective of saying Hi and Hello to each other.One of our colleagues with certain accomplishments by way of posts in social media chose to be the self appointed Group Administer (GA).

The group expectedly had some teething troubles as different participants looked towards each other with different colour shades.It also appeared that over the years people had developed different likes and dislikes.However everyone agreed to the rules set by the GA that personal prejudice should not come in way of appreciating efforts of the group members.

In any organised line of service a bunch of individuals start together on a common platform but things do not  stay as  such. A career in civil services offers myriad opportunities for interacting with high and mighty.Your growth over the years substantially depends also on your individual PR skills and in some cases ability to specialise with extra curricular achievements making yourself a box of choclate with attractive wrapping papers.With passage of time some figures come to pump up  as towering personalities and their administrative differences  tend to get blurred.

Like other segments of society our group also had fair share of generous hearted souls who enjoy the habit of massaging the egos of each other whereas other group members  may be less impressed with such achievers and their admirers. When such people come together to form a social networking group situation expectedly has risk of getting a bit chaotic.

At the initial stage the Group appeared to be periodically dormant as well as hyperactive since participants in their anxiety to register their presence passed on whatever contents they could lay their hands on.One colleague had great enchantment with ancient wisdom on medical science  and  generously  blessed the group with such posts on health matters with fair sprinkling of Sanskrit poetry with preachings for welfare of humanity.While I consider all such humanistic preachers and those relying on untested medical wisdom as ignorants , some would be willing to wade through rivers of blood to support such homely  preachings on lifestyle techniques.Everyone has a right to be his natural self.

Like other groups a participant in the group  has  ability to shine as  master of several languages and a person with literary achievements.  Therefore  his writings have fair share of pieces in exotic languages and are accompanied by  translations  in various other languages. While the practice happens to be puzzling for some  also for the reason that  the passages posted  are sometimes not  self written but  apparently copied from  twitter or  other sources yet there are others who fall head over heels for such erudite renditions .

The first genuine difference cropped up when a colleague posted a joke on behaviour of college girls. The Pahlaj Nihlani of the Group i.e. the Group Administrator was up with red flag  chastising others to be extra cautios with dignified  inputs on sensitive matters even in a closed group.In the present day atmosphere of universal connectivity on social media the Group Administrator appeared to be  justified in being upset as there are precedents of irresponsible contents inviting trouble on small issues.Therefore fires were quickly doused  with emotional appeals in the name of of group unity and our love and affection for each other. And…the group continues to roll on.

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