It took Rs 19 crore, over a month, several experts on Sikhism, and a digital team from a Gurgaon-based private company to put together a digital museum, a light and sound show and a floating show to depict life and times of Guru Nanak Dev, being showcased on the first Sikh master’s 550th birth anniversary celebrations.
The mobile digital museum was inaugurated by Cabinet ministers Charanjit Singh Channi and Balbir Singh Sidhu at Mohali on Monday. The mobile digital museum, created after joining four trucks, and the light and sound shows would be showcased at 26 places including all 22 districts, and three places – Dera Baba Nanak, Sultanpur Lodhi and Batala – associated with the life of Guru Nanak. It will also be showcased in joint capital Chandigarh.
Punjab government decided to choose CS-Direkt, a Gurgaon based company, through a tendering process after going through presentations. The company was behind laser and sound show at 350th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh in Patna.
Considering the sensitivity of the issue the government did not want to take any chances, “We had an expert who is a Padam Shri and other Sikh scholars to vet the script before finalising the shows. It is a sensitive issue and we wanted to make sure that we did not make any mistakes so as to hurt anyone’s religious feeling,” said Anindita Mitra, director, department of public relations.
She said, “We wanted the teachings of the Guru to be conveyed to people through a novel concept. All the ‘sakhis’ and ‘udasis’ of the Guru are included in the brief narration of less than half an hour”.
She said that in Sultanpur Lodhi, where the main celebratory function is being organised, a novel light and sound show would be presented at the main pandal every evening from November 5 to 15. “The show will have live actors to tell the story of the Guru.”
The museum depicts the life of the Guru at the time of his birth, youth, engagement, at Sultanpur Lodhi, and Kartarpur Sahib. It also had his ‘udasis’ (travels).
According to Palak Datta from CS-Direkt, the museum and the shows showcase the life of the Guru on a real time space and 270 degree projection. The museum was transported from Delhi where it was fabricated and created. “It can accommodate 20-25 people at a time. Behind the facade of the museum is a pandal for light and sound shows, to accommodate 2,000 people.”
“We have a large team of researchers, IT experts, animators and designers. A number of them will move with the mobile museum to ensure that shows work well,” said Datta.
The entire project also includes a floating light and sound show with water used as projector screen for the digital shows. It would be undertaken at Sukhna lake in Chandigarh and Beas and Satluj rivers.
As per the contract, the state government would have Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) of the shows. While the company would be allowed to take away the hardware part, the creative and the soft material would be state’s property. The government is mulling to use these creatives at one of state’s heritage museums, said a source.