Inscription Stones and Writing Histories

A reflection by Jerri after visiting the inscription stones in Allalasandra, Bangalore.

 

The inscription stone in Allalasandra tells a story of the city that I cannot read. An old man also looking at the stone tells us that it was written by the hand of God, just as the ten commandments were also written on stone by a divine power.

How do we write history? And whose history do we read? A stone with images and script becomes the foundation for telling the story of the city. History becomes a means to give us identity and meaning in the present – we can look at a stone and feel a sense of connection to a past where people were also creating and telling stories of their lives.

What do the inscription stones of Bangalore tell us? About its past peoples, languages, cultures, battles, landscapes? Our need for stories to give meaning to our lives makes us want the stones to speak to us in the present. History is etched into them, just as our lives are inscribed on our bodies, chiseled into the fabric of who we are, and how we tell our stories to the world. Our loves, tragedies, creations, and habitual patterns are furrowed into us over time.

Touching the stone, I feel a connection to the heart of the city, and the foundation of what the city has become.

But I cannot read what it says.