Published: 02nd February 2022
What happened on February 2: India's oldest museum opens its doors and London gets its first toilet with a flush!
Located in the City of Joy, Indian Museum is, indeed, a joy to behold along with every artefact that it houses. Also, here's about London's 'public waiting room' and Ulysses
Did you know that the world's ninth oldest museum is in India? The same museum also happens to be the oldest and the largest one in India. It's called the Indian Museum and is located in the City of Joy, Kolkata. It all began on February 2, 1814.
Started with the name Asiatic Society Museum, as it was founded by the Asiatic Society of Bengal, which was then changed to Imperial Museum and finally, to Indian Museum, it is also known as Jadughar or Ajabghar among its visitors. Housing as many as 35 galleries in its six sections, it is currently under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. It has fossils, suits of armoor, antiques, Mughal paintings, skeletons and a whole lot more. All of this safely made room for in a large colonnaded palace with a beautiful green lawn.
READ ALSO : What happened on January 20: Kamala Harris sworn in as US Vice-President and how India celebrated it
What are its main attractions? The first painting on a palm leaf manuscript, the skeleton of Mammoth, an ancient mummy of Greece, second century BC Bharhut Gateway and one of the most oddball exhibits ever — seven kgs of rings and bangles found inside a stomach of a crocodile. Beat that!
Down the drain
A toilet that flushes! You would imagine when London's first modern public toilet opened its...umm...door on February 2, 1852. People, flabbergasted, would flock to check out the wonder of wonders. Well, it did cause two pence, so there is that fact. And it was only for men. Like for all things, women had to wait for this too. Nine days after the 'public waiting room', as delicately called by the British, at 95 Fleet Street for men came the one for women at Bedford Street.
Flyers were distributed to promote it, advertisements were given in the newspapers yet, in the first month, only 58 men and 24 women used it. And within six months, these public waiting rooms were closed for good. The case of an idea whose time was yet to come, eh?
Joy of James Joyce
What would be a befitting gift for a writer on their 40th birthday? How about their magnum opus being published in its entirety? This is the pleasure that was bestowed on Irish writer James Joyce when Ulysses was published on February 2, 1922. The modernist novel tells the tale of Odysseus, King of Ithaca. And as with all great works of literature, it has many memorable lines too. Here's one pearl of wisdom from its vast ocean:
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved heaven and earth; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield