By Ruchika Gupta
40 children from one of our schools looked enthralled as Shreemoyee from BDL told them all about the museum history – how it was Prince Albert’s personal collection that the museum housed and how it was named after Dr. Bhau Daji Lad for his efforts to raise money to create the museum.
We walked through shelves of artefacts – ivory carved artefacts, pottery, silver work, daggers and swords. There was as much that the adults learnt along with the children. The space itself held all of us in sheer wonder!
Did you know that the carpets there were made by prisoners, that what looked like tiling on the ground floor were actually pieces of stone that were 4 feet high and placed into the ground, or that the ceiling had real gold guilding and that one of the ships carrying the special tiles from England sank on-route.
It was amazing to watch the children who were fidgety and restless, lean forward and try to catch every part of the story and how they leaned over the glass case which had a 3D map of Mumbai – there is so much that we learn when we go out of the classroom, when we meet people who can answer our questions and who push the limits of our imagination.
To me, the highlight of the day was just this and the workshop on silverwork that followed and pushed the kids to put themselves into the shoes of artisans was just the icing on the cake! As a teacher, nothing can give you a bigger kick than to see students’ eye light up with a gleam when they connect with something or gasp with wonder! We look forward to many more workshops at the museum.