Postcards from the past

Sunset and lights_800

Yesterday (30 Aug 2018), I visited an exhibition that fascinated me. Held at the Brunei Gallery on the campus of SOAS in London, it will continue until 23 September 2018.

United services club

The exhibits are replicas of postcards sent from Bangalore and Madras (Chennai) during the early 20th century when India was part of the British Empire. I have visited both Chennai and Bangalore many times, but it is the latter that I know best.

Club panorama_1024

The building that housed United Services Club, which used to be a place that British Officers relaxed in Bangalore, still stands today. It is now the main building of the prestigious Bangalore Club.  Unlike so many old buildings in Bangalore, this one has been well-preserved.

Comm Str

Commercial Street was and still is an important shopping street in Central Bangalore, but it has changed in appearance greatly since this postcard was produced. It has changed yet again since my coloured photograph was taken.

Commercial Sunset_800

Queen Victoria’s statue in Cubbon Park was placed by the British near the end of her reign. It still stands today, but the cannons in the postcard are no longer in place.

Queens statue

That this statue of a former foreign ruler still stands is a tribute to Indian tolerance, as i point out in my latest book, “TRAVELS THROUGH GUJARAT, DAMAN, AND DIU” (see:

It is a sign of Indian tolerance that a monument celebrating the deeds of invaders has been left intact. I have seen examples of this elsewhere in India. For example, Cubbon Park in Bangalore has two well-maintained British statues, one of Queen Victoria and the other of King Edward VII, and in Calcutta there is the Victoria Memorial.”

The late queen_800

If you can find a short time, I can strongly reccommend visiting this fine temporary exhibition.

exhibition leaflet