Well…the Thar desert is still bubbling hot but at the Anokhi Museum everyone is looking forward to cooler days and the onset of the tourist season. Expectations are high as we enter our 11th season!
As you can tell from our last post, lots of hard work occurs over the summer from cleaning cases to more onerous repair jobs, plus everything in between. At this junction we thought it was a good idea to introduce you to the dedicated staff who make it all happen!
We will begin with our remarkable ‘Generals’ – Jitendra Chaturvedi, Museum Manager and Pavan Saini, Assistant Museum Manager as well as Shop Manager and Education Supervisor. They are both bonafide multi-taskers whose diligent efforts enable the smooth functioning of AMHP. No doubt, their boyhood friendship underpins the unique camaraderie of the entire museum staff.
Jitendra is the elder of the team, as well as the naughtiest in his youth! We all love hearing these local men reminisce about what the haveli was like during their childhood. Given its dilapidated state at the time, it is not surprising that village mothers warned their children to stay clear of the crumbling, monkey-infested building! Jitendra, it seems, was the one who ignored these words of wisdom and instead explored the dangerous yet mysterious nooks and crannies deep inside. No wonder he has such a fondness for the place! Today, he is amazed not only at the haveli’s current majesty, but also that he began at the ticket desk on opening day with Pavan closeby in the shop.
Although Jitendra still tends the desk, he now also manages the entire museum with the assistance of his old pal, Pavan. With Jitendra supervising the staff and dealing with daily issues, Pavan oversees a newly expanded shop while also administering our educational programs, so vital to the museum’s mission. They give exceptional tours that we encourage people to attend when visiting.
Both Jitendra and Pavan graduated from Rajasthan College in Jaipur with diplomas in computer science along with coursework in Indian history, political science and English. Pavan, a former English teacher, continues to tutor in the local schools. As respected members of Amber, both men have been an incredible resource for establishing the museum within the community and it is always fun when their friends or family members drop by for a visit. Over the years, the museum staff has enjoyed participating in their lives from celebrating weddings and births, or just enjoying family celebrations here in town!
Text & photos : Suki Skidmore