Heritage: Crying wolf
Editorial

Heritage: Crying wolf

April 22, 2017

Mysureans are occasionally aroused about the various ingredients of the city and their heritage. While buildings with recorded times of their construction dating back to hundred years or more have been hogging media space on a scale not witnessed until just a few years ago, the residents of the city are also reminded of heritage foods (such as Mysurpak, attributed to a staff in the kitchen of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar at the turn of the last century, answering to the name Kaakasura Maadappa), heritage games (such as pagade, chowkaabaara), heritage adjuncts (such as betel leaf, brinjal, jasmine), heritage perfumes (such as now-gone brands of agarbathis, sandalwood oil and soap) and so on, not to forget now-chopped-off heritage trees in their large numbers. Priding about the city’s heritage as a legacy from the past, distant as well as near, resting as it does in the minds of old timers of Mysuru, has gone out of fashion in circles of gen next.

Barring a few cases of heritage buildings, Amba Vilas, known more commonly as Mysore Palace, taking the top spot, given the ongoing assault by JCB machines on many others which have seen halcyon days in the past, while raising voices in the cause of heritage structures in various circles reminds one of the wolf-wolf cries of the shepherd  boy in Aesop’s fables dating back to about 2,600 years.

Bestowing all attention on buildings for unquestionably strong reasons such as having been residence of eminent personalities (such as Thathaiah of Mysuru, famed teacher of philosophy Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Swami Vivekananda) has unarguably clouded our minds resulting in neglecting many other exciting constituents of heritage stated above. The razed heritage buildings, granting that none of them can be intact for eternity, may or may not be recreated to give them fresh life, but the rest of the heritage components may not even  find place in the pages of Mysuru’s history if succeeding generations turn a blind eye of them. According GI tag to some of them may not help their survival in days ahead.

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Apart from buildings, foods, games, adjuncts and others that bear the stamp of Mysuru of bygone days, one cannot but provide a prominent place to the now-almost-extinct profile of a typical Mysurean of old times, virtually living by Bobby McFerrin’s prescription Don’t worry, be happy. If Mysureans favour life disregarding their city’s heritage, why talk of heritage, like Aesop’s shepherd boy?

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