Rocks, minerals, fossils, and a meteorite…

“I’m taking the afternoon off,” I announced to my department colleagues.

“Ok,” they said.

“You are supposed to ask me why,” I growled at them.

“Er… you are the boss here,” they murmured. “You don’t really need to tell us. Maybe, you need to tell that to your boss.”

I glared at them.

“Ok, why are you taking the afternoon off?”‘, they asked resignedly. “You look very pleased with yourself,” they added for good measure.

“I’m going to see an exhibition on ‘Rocks, Minerals and Fossils’ at Mumbai University’s Convocation Hall today afternoon,” I announced grandly.

Silence. “An exhibition on rocks?” they asked with collective skepticism and disbelief. “What is so interesting about an exhibition on rocks and minerals?”

I looked down my nose at them (which was actually difficult as I was sitting and they were all standing) and announced haughtily, “I am not even going to bother to explain. When I show you the photographs, you will know.” And, indeed, when I showed them the photographs taken at the exhibition , they knew how interesting the exhibition was and what they had missed !

Presenting some of the highlights of the exhibition on “Rocks, Minerals and Fossils” organised by the Centre for Extramural Studies, University of Mumbai, in collaboration with Deccan College, Pune, Institute of Science, Mumbai, Mr. Muhammad Makki, Pune and INSTUCEN, and held at the gorgeous Convocation Hall in the Fort Campus of the University of Mumbai, from 4–7 January, 2012.  

The exhibition at the Convocation Hall, Fort Campus, University of Mumbai

Polished rock specimens
Amethysts from Brazil !
Barytes in their characteristic rosette formation
The pinkish red "blobs"are ruby crystals
The radiating, needle-like crystals of Scolecite
The iridescent Bornite
The bright blue crystals of Cavensite makes for a lovely contrast against the dull grey silica crystals
Rhodonite. Isn't this a lovely pink?
Malachite (green) and Azurite (deep blue) are ores of copper and used as semi-precious stones
Coral (red) and Lapis Lazuli (Blue)
Pearls growing inside a clam
Trilobites are ancestors of cockroaches and gave me a lot of grief during examinations !
A fossilised impression of a fish
Iron-Nickel meteorite from Eastern Siberia and discovered in 1948

Now, most of you may not know this, but I have a Masters in Geology and the exhibition was a “going back to school” thing for me. When I entered the Convocation Hall, it was like all the years between my Masters and the present had just melted away and I was back at the college/university. Seeing the familiar rocks, minerals and fossils made me feel so happy. I almost looked around for my classmates in the room! I spent about 2 hours wandering among familiar friends, remembering practicals and assignments and classes and yes, even examinations 🙂

And to think that I would have not known about this exhibition if not for an email from a travel acquaintance, who I had not heard from in quite a while. This person surely has some memory — he actually remembered my geology background (and I don’t even remember when I shared this information) and forwarded information about this exhibition to me.

Thanks to you, Arvind, 2012 has got off to a rocking start. Literally 😀

31 thoughts on “Rocks, minerals, fossils, and a meteorite…

  1. Fantastic post, Sudha!!! and written like a true geology student with all the correct names! i couldnt remember even half after I got back! and also some of my pics didnt come out well, and i lost that oyster pic 😦 now thanks to u can show them to ppl again!


    1. It would have been a shame if I had not written the names correctly. But I think you may have noticed that I did not name the fossils; paleontology was never my favourite subject.


  2. I love the Rhodonite and the Azurite. Oh to have sarees in those yummm shades. Our teeny tiny town lays claim to a rock museum too. You are welcome to come stay with us and make daily trips if you want.


    1. So, the next time you are in India you pick up sarees in these shades 🙂 And thank you so much for the invitation. When I cross the Atlantic some time in the future, I’ll remember this.


  3. I have no idea about rocks but the colours look wonderful. Fossils are also very interesting to me because I let my imagination fly thinking about how the particular specimen got impaled like that and how it met its end. Morbid did you say? 😀


    1. Such morbid imagination would have helped in our palentology class as out teacher would ask us questions on how the particular specimen died and how did the method aid in preservation and blah, blah, blah… I think my Paleontology professor would have loved you; he would always be deeply disappointed in our … er… lack of imagination 🙂


    1. You’re welcome, Deb. Glad you liked it. I don’t know where you are based, but if you are ever in Kolkata visit the Indian Museum there. Their collection of fossils, minerals and rocks is fantastic.


  4. Oh my God Sudha, are you sure this was an exhibition on rocks? The pictures are drop dead gorgeous. And the colours… the pinks, the blues, the purple. Brilliant. Now I know. The next time one of my colleagues tells me she is off to a rock exhibition, I know where I am going as well. 😀


    1. You needn’t wait for a colleague to make such an announcement. 😀 Since you are in Delhi, you can trot off to the National Museum in Delhi, which has a small collection. But the real treasure actually lies in the Indian Museum Kolkata, one that I would highly recommend.


  5. Trust you to make a celebration out of the most silent of things we have around us. Your perspective makes the difference. Rocking post, Sudha…and i did miss the exhibition i realize..


  6. That was really a rocking start! I have a few rocks in my collection in the form of jewellery but very much want to have that big Amethyst as well. 😛


    1. Ah that big amethyst ! It was beautiful no doubt, but was not of gem quality. It is not apparent in the picture, but it lacked uniformity in colour. Sorry to disappoint…


    1. Well, the Convocation Hall is actually about an hour away from my office — an hour’s ride in Mumbai’s (in)famous local trains !! 🙂

      Welcome here, Kartikay, and thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Glad you liked the photos.


  7. I have been Googling a way to legally purchase authentic meteorites in Delhi or adjacent areas and landed on your blog. Very interesting reading. Brilliant pictures. Nice blog! Also, since I did land up here, I have to ask, would you know any legal, accredited sources from where I could obtain authentic meteorite fragments? 🙂


    1. Hello Pranab, thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.

      I’m afraid that I have no idea how to purchase authentic meteorites or other interesting rock samples. I’m sorry I can’t help you here.


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