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Durable Link to this BlogThursday, February 24, 2011

Musings on Egypt

The recent events in Egypt have provided a lot of fodder for contemplation. Being a student of history, her ancient heritage and unparalleled cultural past came to my mind. Buried over centuries, the richest artifacts came to light, thanks to British and other world archaeologists. Though I could not go to Egypt, my husband Dr. Krishnanand Kamat did. Yes, with meager funds, an old hand-camera and short time, he clicked the great Pyramid, the Sphinx and tourists of yesteryears. Here are the pictures he clicked on August 15, 1965, on his way back to India, after completing his doctorate in United States. The Pyramids continue to be eternal attraction to world tourists. But Kamat's camera clicked the old tripod with black cloth and a team of photographers waiting for the right light to appear for clicking.


Team of Photographers, waiting with tools for correct lighting (1965)

The sphinx is a mysterious and mute spectator of world happenings and endless turmoils of her own country. Only if we could have an inkling of her reflection over cruelty of humans to fellow-beings!


The ever-watchful sphinx

Tourists then, as now poured into the land of Cleopatra to have a feel of the romantic past by riding on camels and wearing Egyptian caps.


Tourists on camel with Egyptian caps and escort.

I was drawn by the images of Egyptian Soldiers who carried spears. There is so much similarity between carvings of soldiers on hero-stones of Karnataka and these soldiers with very little clothing, bare feet and long spears.


Ancient Egyptian soldiers resembling Indian contemporaries.

Egypt is known as "Mishra desh" in North India. It was once Gateway of India to Western world. Mishra means "mixture". Egypt in ancient times, was an admixture of various tribes communities races and cultures. It opened new vistas. Let us hope that new regime in Egypt brings peace and prosperity as also ancient glory to its citizens.


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Jyotsna Kamat

Jyotsna Kamat Ph.D. lives in Bangalore.


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