“Wow,” Felix gazed in wonder. The four Mysticals were standing at the foot of a majestic building in New Delhi, India. Felix looked left and right to check if anyone was watching. The coast was clear. He flew to the top of the building. “This building is triangular in shape!” Felix exclaimed and quickly returned to the ground.

Verum grinned at her friend’s excitement. “This is India’s new Parliament House. On May 28, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the building. He dedicated the new building to the nation,” she said.

“But Verum,” Scorch had a doubt, “What’s a Parliament?”

“Well, Scorchie,” Verum explained, “A Parliament is the legislative body of India. It has the power to create or change the laws of the country. The members of the Parliament (MPs) are elected by the people. These members meet in the Parliament House.”

“Why did the government build a new Parliament House?” Orak wanted to know. “What happened to the old one?”

“You see, Orak, the old Parliament building is almost 100 years old. Its design was old and it had limited space. It also lacked the technology required to conduct meetings and day-to-day affairs. So, the government decided to build a better and bigger Parliament building,” said Verum.

“Let me tell you all about the exciting features of the new Parliament!” Verum gushed. She began, “The 64,500 square metre building is four-storey high. It was built for 9.7bn rupees. It is triangular because this shape allows the best use of space.

The building houses both the Lok Sabha (also known as the Lower House) and the Rajya Sabha (Upper House). Both these chambers can seat 1272 MPs, 888 members in the Lok Sabha and 384 members in the Rajya Sabha. The old building could only seat 793 MPs.”

“The building has a huge capacity,” Scorch was impressed.

“Yes, and the building also houses Central Lounge, Constitutional Hall, Committee Rooms, and other offices. Soon, it will have a dining hall and even a library,” said Verum.

“That’s nice,” Orak noted.

Verum said, “There’s something else. The building’s design is inspired by national symbols.”

“What do you mean?” said Scorch.

“The Lok Sabha chambers have been designed with a Peacock theme. Peacock is the national bird of India. The Rajya Sabha is shaped like a Lotus which is the national flower of India. And there’s a Banyan tree in the courtyard of the building,” answered Verum.

“Banyan tree is the national tree of India,” Felix added.

“You’re right, Felix,” said Verum, “PM Modi has also placed a gold sceptre (an ornamented staff) called Sengol in the Lok Sabha. The government said that it was the symbol of the transfer of power from Britain to India as it was first handed over to India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru by priests of Tamil priests on India’s independence.”

“What else? What else does the new building have?” Scorch asked excitedly.

Verum said, “Let’s talk about technology. Both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha chambers have display units, biometric systems, digital language translation, microphones, and more. It will help the members during the Parliament sessions.

The new building also has systems for rainwater harvesting and water recycling. These systems will help the building conserve water. It will help the building become environmentally friendly.”

“Splendid!” said Orak. After checking out the new Parliament building, the Mysticals were ready to go home. Orak and Verum began walking towards Orak’s Tempus Machine.

“Verum!” Scorch called from behind, “I think you missed out on an important detail of the building. You never told us who designed it,” she said.

“Oh, you’re right. Silly me,” Verum slapped a hand on her forehead for her forgetfulness, “It was designed by a renowned Indian architect named Bimal Patel.”

“Awesome work, Mr. Patel!” Felix cheered for him.

“Many political parties boycotted the inauguration ceremony of the new Parliament,” Verum said as the Tempus Machine took off.

“Why so?” asked a curious Scorch.

“In India, the President is the head of the Parliament. Many parties wanted President Droupadi Murmu to inaugurate the Parliament instead of PM Modi. But she wasn’t a part of this ceremony,” said Verum.