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2023 - The Year That Was

Places impact you for a variety of reasons. And the same place impacts different people in different ways. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual experiences, where every single person’s experience is unique. And personally, every spiritual experience is unique, the same person can have different deeply spiritual experiences at different places, at different times. This thought has emerged because of my own experiences over the years, but especially so this year, with different and unique experiences at various places I have visited recently. I began this year with a visit to Baroda (Vadodara) with friends. It was meant to be a relaxed trip, a touristy trip, with our sons. We enjoyed ourselves to the hilt, but the highlight of that trip was a visit to the Lakulisha temple at Pavagadh. It was the iconography of the temple that I connected with, and I spent a few hours simply lost in the details of the figures carved around the temple. There was an indefinable connect with

Rocks, Minerals and Fossils Exhibition... and a new geology enthusiast!

Returning home after a ten day break, completely offline and unreachable, it was a pleasure to get back to my computer, to open my mailbox and see what all I had missed! Yes, I am still catching up, so those of you to whom I have not replied, please bear with me! Logging on to Facebook, what do I notice first? Sudha mentioning a visit to the Rocks and Minerals Exhibition at Mumbai University Fort Campus! 

I vaguely remembered reading something about it before I left, and hunted out a mail giving me details, and Sudha also gave me further details, assuring me that Samhith would love it! With just two days left for the exhibition, and no time to lose, I decided to head out immediately, of  course, with Samhith in tow, as soon as he returned from school, never mind that the poor chap was tired after a full day of practicing for their sports day! One thing to be said for Samhith is that he is as eager as me to get out of the house and go anywhere, so off we went to catch the train to VT to reach the Convocation hall before the exhibition closed for the day! Thankfully, Central Railway co-operated, and we reached well in time..... and proceeded to enjoy the next two hours to the utmost! Join me as I take you along with me through my lens...

The University's convocation hall is impressive, but less so than this huge chunk of Amethyst!!
Samhith's attention was captured by this strategically placed exhibit, and never wavered again!!

My camera doesn't even capture a tenth of the beauty of this one!

I wish I had seen these when I was studying crystallography!

So many shapes, sizes and colours! we were awed!!

We were so thrilled to see that we own a small piece of a similar stone!!!!

This looks so beautiful!!!

And these are the special pieces - the precious stones and fossils!

We hadnt imagined eggs and starfish here!!!

and neither did we expect teeth and claws! a pleasant surprise, though!!

Samhith made a friend at once! Arnold gave him a couple of stones and absolutely made his day!!! That little bag Samhith is holding is now his prized possession!! Thanks Arnold!!

And we loved this one!! Though it has been made artificially!
Samhith now wants to do something similar with the stones he has!!!

The polished ones were a treat to watch!!

And we have a tiny piece of a similar stone too!!!

Watching the polished spheres.... Samhith says they are like the different planets!!

This one was our favourite!!
Moving to the fossil section, we met Prateek, a Ph.D student of paleontology, who patiently and enthusiastically explained to Samhith the whole story of evolution, the movement of landmasses, and how fossils are formed, how they are found, how they are studied and preserved!!

Fascinated by the ammonite fossils.... after all, snails are his favourites... and these would have been HUGE ones!!

Fish fossils of all sizes!!

Reptile teeth!!

The story of evolution and the extinction of dinosaurs

Rhino fossils....

And eggs... the one on the left is a fossilised dinosaur egg..
the centre ones are fossilized ostrich eggs, and the ones on the top right are recent emu eggs..
giving a perspective of time and fossilization!!

The emu eggs

awed by the sight of the fossilized dino egg shell pieces!

More stones!

This was the focal point of the exhibition!

Taking another look at the fossils

I loved this one!!

And the last exhibit..

A last look..

As we left the hall, well past the closing time of 7 PM, Samhith bidding goodbye to each one of his new friends, feeling extremely gratified by being asked to come again on Friday and Saturday, he remained awed by the exhibits he had seen. We had recently been talking about different professions and different courses to be pursued after school (a discussion initiated by some workshops in school), and he found himself realizing that this was yet another option for him. As he put it , "Amma, if I become a geologist, I can travel all over the world..... and collect everything I want. I dont even have to look for a place to keep all that I collect.I think I should become a geologist or a paleo.. whatever that Prateek bhaiyya is. He explained it so well, and I think I would like to become one too!! I can study history, geography, nature and stones, all of which I like!!!

Unfortunately, with so many things happening at once, it is impossible for us to attend the exhibition on friday or saturday, but we have already resolved to keep up with the events happening in the Department of Extra-Mural Studies, and attend the exhibition again next year... and in any case, keep in touch with the people we met! He now wants to take his stone collection over and get it classified!!! So, geologists, watch out! You are soon going to be bombarded with questions and stones galore to classify!!! Special thanks to Sudha for encouraging me to take Samhith to the exhibition!!


  1. I can imagine how excited Samhith would have been.

  2. you should have seen his excitement!! and for once, he wasnt jumping around, but was actually looking at things!!!

  3. The visit was useful. Content was really very informative. visit
    giftwithlove dot com(portal to send gifts and flowers to India.).


  4. Never ever in my wildest dreams I thought that geology exhibition can be so awesome !!

    Thanks Anu for sharing :)

    - Shyam

  5. Nice reading the post. Kindly allow (I beg) Samhit to choose whatever studies he wants to pursue unlike mom's bent upon thrusting Engineering, medicine and that kind.  Presently I am at Chennai and happened to visit the Egmore Museum along with my nephew (his first ever visit). He though an IIT topper, was thrilled.

  6. Thanks Shyam! great to see u here again! Honestly, even I didnt anticipate having so much fun! and esp didnt imagine that it would enthuse samhith so much!

  7. Thanks so much, PNS! I hope when the time comes he will choose something out of the oridinary and do something which he has an aptitude for, and interest in... and actually hope he doesnt get into the rat race of engg and medicine... it would be nice if he would explore new avenues and make his own way, which is why i take him to such events so that his outlook is broadened... and he can make the choice when the time comes...

  8. It was very Informative through your post.. Though I was not able to visit with my son this will a Very good virtual Visit for Him. Thanks for Sharing.

  9. Wonderful Anu...wish I'd joined you...

  10. Wonderful captures Anu! Nice that Samhith is showing a 'leaning' to new things...  kids love to be exposed to different experiences... The 'Agate- Polished' looks like the insides of a coconut shell :)

  11. Very interesting and educational. Lovely collection of pictures.

  12. wow i was amazed with the pictures.

  13. It was such a spur of the moment decision, I completely forgot to tell you Sonal! but it seems this is an annual exhibition. next time we will go together! and will attend the workshops too!

  14. Thanks Vidya! we can only expose our kids to such different things and keep our fingers crossed :D and yes, it does look like a coconut! u have an imagination to rival samhith's!

  15. Thanks a lot, Foram! This will be held next year too, so maybe u can make it then!

  16. Very nice Anu. Samhith is lucky to have such a versatile mum. This is what education should be all about. Fostering curiosity. Good luck to both of you

  17. Lovely exhibition, Anu. I particularly liked the multi gem plate. Glad you took Samhith there. Special thanks to Sudha.

  18. Glad you were able to make it and and super kicked that Samhith liked it. :-) This geologist volunteers to answer any question that you or Samhith may have to the best of her capabilities

  19. very nice job madam we liked it a lot.we would surely like to spend a day with u doing a research on many things:)!!!!!!

  20. very nice blog good job maam i am poonam teachers student  i would like to stu dy with you it'smind blowing 

  21. wow the pictures were really amazing and i would surely come with you for research on ancient thing

  22. it was an amazing exhibitionnnnnnnnnnnnnn !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. it was a amazing exhibitionnnnnnnnnnnnnn !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. hello my name is aditya gandhi and i r poonam teacher's students and this post is the topic is interesting to know and like 2 understand about  other as u r knowledgeable and good 2 know


  26. I liked all the photos and it was a good exhibition

  27. Thanks Nisha!! It was fantastic! If u had been here we could have gone.. u would have loved the univ building from up close!

  28. Thanks so much Sudha..... looks like blogger at last consented to allow you to post ur comment! and we are certainly going to take up ur offer and bombard u with loads of questions!

  29. Thanks a lot, Aditya! Glad to hear that you liked it...

  30. Thanks Harjan! We would love to spend time with you too! and guess all of us will learn something new when we do!

  31. Thanks a lot, Ilf Momin! You have a wonderful teacher who helps you learn so much!

  32. Thanks a lot, Janish! It would be great for all of us to get together and learn more about such things!

  33. thank you for posting this
    my daughter had seen this but now even i could.

  34. Amazing!! Gosh I wish I cld bring the kiddos there to see this.
    Why cant this be a permanent exhibition?
    BTW my Daughter too loves the Pre and historic studies....but Geology is not known to her/them..Please keep me informed if the exhibition is permanent, would love to bring kids to Mumbai to see it...or I hope it comes to Blore

  35. Sowmya, if u come to bbay or visit nasik or shirdi, there is a mineral and rock museum on the route.... haevnt seen it myself, but if u ever come here, we will go together and show the kids all the rocks! this really shold be permanent....

  36. Thanks Rinky! glad to have helped! u can take her next time!


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