The wind of change forever blows
Across the tumult of our way,
To-morrow’s unborn griefs depose
The sorrows of our yesterday.
Dream yields to dream, strife follows strife,
And Death unweaves the webs of Life.
The fragment of the poem quoted above is, as you might have guessed, from Golden Threshold, the book of Sarojini Naidu’s poems that was first published in 1905 (and which still seems to be in print, from Dodo Press).
Sarojini Naidu has, through her legacy played a large role in the creation of our University, most famously by the donation of Golden Threshold, the iconic building in the centre of Hyderabad where the University took seed. I recall coming to the University in the early 1980’s and setting off for the Gachibowli campus from there. At the time, the building itself seemed nice but unremarkable, and since I was there so briefly it made no particular impression on me. Since coming back, its been quite another story…
In the last few years with all changes that our University has been going through, the GT campus has undergone many changes. The premises occupied earlier by the SN School now houses our Centre for Distance Education, the Gopal Clinic hosts the Ranga Reddy District’s Jana Siksha Sansthan, and the original GT building is unoccupied. But it is in sad disrepair, the years of poor maintenance, whimsical remodeling, inappropriate conservation measures having taken their toll. The building has its beauty and charm, but it takes little to see that there is much more under the layers of lime. The view from the top shows the tarring of the roof- and in the past few years, the city has grown, buildings coming up cheek by jowl, painted which ever way, unplanned and chaotic- the image at the top of this post is the view from the roof of our building housing the CDE.
About a month ago, Anuradha Reddy of the Hyderabad chapter of INTACH, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage and her colleagues came to GT to talk with us about what they could do, and we initiated a conversation on what conservation measures we could take to preserve the building. More, what we could do to restore the building to its earlier condition and to make it take its place among the other marvelous buildings in the city. Restorations of the Falaknuma palace, Chowmahalla, Purani Haveli and other heritage sites have brought back a lot of pride to Hyderabadis!
Well, INTACH is helping us assess what needs to be done. A conservation architect is coming over to advise, and together we hope to make the main building a worthy addition to the landscape of our city. After all, we do still have a tree planted by Mahatma Gandhi at GT…
What more can we do there? How do you see the GT campus playing a role in the life of the city? Ideas and suggestions would be very welcome-
One last thing. The Wikipedia entry for our University is really incomplete… It would be good if it can be updated and corrected- and I guess that’s up to us to do it. Any volunteers out there?