Look back at Bengaluru’s history with this book of stories from INTACH

To observe the 37th year of its founding, the Bengaluru chapter of The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has brought out a book Eleven Stops to the Present: Stories of Bengaluru (₹280); with 11 stories by 11 authors, the book “takes you on a tour of Bengaluru” from two millennia ago to the present day, says Meera Iyer, convenor, INTACH-Bangalore chapter.

Targeted at children primarily, the stories are woven around real events and people from the city’s past, she remarks. Each story features a brief, historical note at the end to provide context for the reader.

The featured authors were selected keeping diversity in mind, Meera adds. From lifelong residents of Bengaluru to people who relocated to the city for work, men and women, young and old to award-winners and rookies, the writers all “have a different approach”. Illustrated by Sarada Natarajan, the book features stories involving time travel, slice-of-life, and architectural fables.

For instance, Aditi De’s ‘Whose History is it Anyway’ is about a Jewish girl growing up in Bengaluru in the early 1900s and has an element of mystery in it. “Bengaluru was once home to a thriving Jewish community,” says Aditi, adding, “I chanced upon this information when I was editing a Bangalore anthology for Penguin India in 2006. I wondered how I could engage young minds with this bit of history. I thought a multi-layered plot disguised as a school project would work.”

Anitha Murthy’s ‘The Road Ahead’ is about the trials and ultimate triumph of a young girl during the plague of 1898. “Everything about the plague in the erstwhile state of Mysore interested me. The intersection of the current pandemic and historical fiction made it a good fit,” says Anitha.

Meera, who has also contributed to the book, sets her story in Bengaluru’s pre-historic past — a time when people built megaliths. “There was a time when there were megalith builders in and around the city including Bannerghatta, Devanahalli and Lalbagh. I used archaeological and literary evidence to tell the story of three siblings who save their village from an ambush,” says Meera.

The book is available at independent book stores and online.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 12:47:15 AM |

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