So where was Thomas Fanshawe Middleton the first Bishop of Calcutta buried? This question had always intrigued me for long, as there were no official document to backup. Many books, gazettes, and repots have mentioned him being buried at the altar of St. Jonh’s Church and the marble plaque at the altar of the church clearly mentions his name. Some reports state that he was buried on 11th of July whereas some put that date as 12th of July. Ultimately who know what lies beneath.
So was he buried at Fort William and not at St. John’s Church? The answer is “yes” and “no”. To understand lets go back in time and trip down history to get to know some fascinating story from a life of a person who forever changed the course of Christianity in India and beyond.
If you talk about book and libraries in Kolkata people
always think about the National Library. It is indeed one of the biggest
libraries in the country with a collection, which cannot be measured in money.
I have myself got many information verified for my blogs through the large
collection of old newspapers that it has in stock. What many including me did
not know that the National Library that we see now was not the actual building
that housed nations books but a completely different building, which almost all
It was the Metcalfe Hall, which was the nation’s first National Library and was once considered a landmark when it came to list of books that it had in its catalogue.
Foreign tourist coming to India are mostly bound to do a
common tourist circuit called the Golden Triangle. This Golden Triangle
consists of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Apart from this, there
is another very important site, which is referred to as the Diamond Triangle
and is a very important part of India’s Buddhist heritage.
Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri and Udayagiri are
referred to as the Diamond Triangle of Odisha and is often considered as
some of the most important Buddhist sites of the state. The name Diamond
Triangle is not due to the locations of these sites on map instead the very
root or sect of Buddhism from where these have evolved.
Vajrayana which when you translate from Sanskrit
would mean Thunderbolt Vehicle (Vajra = Thunderbolt and Yana
= Vehicle). In Sanskrit Diamond is also known as Vajramaṇi
thus Vajrayana was referred to as the Diamond Vehicle sect of Buddhism.
The year was 1990 and Bangalore then was still a small sleepy town. The city had very few cinema theatres and the number of them showing English movies were even less. Most of the theatres showing English movies were located on M. G. Road and Plaza was one of them. My introduction and in future addiction to Hollywood movies started from Bangalore and one movie that played a pivotal role was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. This was also the very first movie, which my father and me saw together. After this, there were several occasions when we had seen a Hollywood movie together.
My father was a fan of Steven Spielberg and over the years that same fan following was inculcated to me. I still remember some of the scenes from that movie where Harrison Ford was on a horse and last but not the least the scene on the Zeplin. I became a fan of Indiana Jones and that was something, which also made me the Indian Vagabond. My passion for exploring new and unknown places developed from the idea of Indiana Jones.
The proximity of Sir Stuart Hogg Market or I should say New Market from my office makes it an ideal location for my afternoon post-lunch walks. I have gone to this market so many numbers of times that I have got used to all the lanes and by-lanes that interconnect each other within the market premises. Being a blogger with a keen interest in the heritage of my city I always wanted to write a blog about this market but somehow it keeps getting delayed with other priorities.
While once photographing the outer sections of the market I came across a Coat of Arms which I initially thought that of Sir Stuart Hogg but it really did not make sense. A quick search led the logo or emblem to the erstwhile Calcutta Municipal organization. Now here things got little interesting, why would the city municipality have storks in their coat of arms? You actually do not see any storks in the city so why have them on your logo? As I searched deeper and deeper into old documents I got to know something which I was unaware of. Firstly, I got to know more about the city’s municipal organization and its heritage and secondly, about the real reason for having a stork in the coat of arms.
The only person to possibly have witnessed the Japanese bombing of Calcutta (Kolkata) during WWII were my paternal grandparents. I have never seen my maternal grandparents thus never would know their version of the history. My grandmother was a born storyteller, a prolific writer she had the finesse to tell stories and she told it in a way which would surely attract anyone especially a 10-year-old boy which was me. My grandfather was on the other had a man of few words and would be busy in his own world writing diaries and listening to radio something which he continued to do even when cable television had arrived and continued until his death.
Of all the stories that my grandmother would tell me the stories of war would interest me the most. She would tell us about how the windows were all covered up with newspapers to prevent light getting out during an air raid and how the street lights were all covered up from the top so that the lights would not show up skywards. There were also air raid shelters dug up in our locality and all the people would rush to them once the air raid siren would set off.