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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

know thyself


I wrote this poem at the end of 12th grade and to this date, it hasn't failed to inspire me. here goes -

KNOW THYSELF

Open your eyes, O ignorant being,
Pause for a moment only to think
Of our own existence in this boundless cosmos,
In the infinitude of time - a mere blink.

Shield your eyes from mundane thoughts,
From the gory entrails of human desire;
Plunge to the depths of nature's divinity,
Purge your soul in the orb's fire.

Beyond the beyond, O myopic souls!
Ponder over results of today's sloppiness;
Quantify your dreams, qualify your actions,
Repay yourself this debt of happiness.

Wring your soul for the cause of others,
Quench their thirst with your sweat and blood;
The gratification that comes with kindness,
An unparalleled ecstasy rarely understood.

Get off your behind, O lazy being!
Lengthen your stride with spirited ease;
Be cautious about hasty ambition,
The joy en route it will only decrease.

So up and away O noble Brother!
always remember these truths of life;
Keep smiling, Keep working,
Know Thyself, My noble Brother.

- Akshay Surendra

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Winter at Corbett's place


We were fortunate enough to spend our vacation at a home stay in Chotti haldwani - the village in which houses Corbett's winter home. Here is a photo essay of the his winter house as it is now - A museum with his paraphernalia and photographs.



Corbett, his sister Maggie, his mother and two of his dogs - Robin and Roslyn.


This sambhar was shot by Corbett himself.


This table was designed by Corbett - the four legs like the four paws of a tiger.


These were his trunk and his lanterns. My grandma (in pic) had nostalgic feelings of her own as she chanced upon the large aluminium box. May I say she was tempted to take it!



If you are thinking the tree looks vaguely similar, you are right. The kanju tree and the wall still remain. This tiger was the Bachelor of Powalgarh, one of the biggest Bengal tigers ever shot. The Powalgarh area continues to house some of the largest tigers, as the locals pointed out.


You spend your childhood reading his books, pouring over his contents, quietly memorising the tiniest of detail - the tall Bombax with a handsome bole, deep valleys carpeted with spider webs moistened by morning due. You do not wish you were there, no. Its the comforting feeling of a surreal world that is your own - much like Hogwarts is to Harry Potter fans, only this is real. Every semblance to this place makes your heart skip a beat. And when you finally do arrive at the place, you are overcome with emotion. No, no tears. All those facts of Corbett country that I feverishly read over the journey to this place, it seemed okay to forget. Almost as if words no longer need to connect me to this magical place - I was one with it.
Thank you Amma and Pappa for making me live this small dream. And thank you Ajji and Shubha for being by my side.
And how can I forget, thank you Mr. Rajesh Panwar - you were not only a great host and a greater naturalist but a Corbett lover like me.

May His legacy live on.