In this article, I shall love to boast like several Indians, that I have had touched history; meeting it upclose and personal.
After the previous day's bitter experience during the trip to Fagu and Chail, where, unfortunately for the clouds we couldn't absorb any beauty of the places mentioned, the bus driver presented us a platter full of wavy experiences, driving the coach like a mad man. I have had taken the bus ride round the wavy mountain terrains, but never felt so bad.
Hence, Day 2's trip to Naldegra was cancelled and I planned a historical trip. Heard about its beauty from the various shows conducted in the Discovery Channel or the History Channel. Read about it's significance, making the scars on the subcontinent prominent. We were about to visit the Shimla House (as commonly known as); but in original, its the Viceroy's House. The house, where the great Indian subcontinent was torn apart by the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League, under the supervision of the last Britton Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten...
(c) Somnath Paul, 2011. The Viceroy's House, Shimla.
Lush green garden, covering over 75% of the property, this building presently house IIAS. Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, which was gifted to the scholar fraternity, but the second President of India, Dr. Radhakrishnan. In his honour, the institute house his portrait at the entrance, being the founder of the institute and thanks for his pioneering activities, our teachers get a deserved day of treats; The Teacher's Day!
(c) Somnath Paul, 2011. The entrance of IIAS, Shimla.
IIAS is housed within the lavish house, which has 332 rooms in total. Un-altered since its 1921 costruct, the Viceroy's House is a marvel of interior decoration using wood! Cedar and Walnut wood have had borne the lustre over the years (and so have the German Switches, which are still being used, unrepaired for 90 years in running!!!)
Irony! German within the British Domain. No wonder, Indians and Germans have had good links!
What followed in the 20 minutes of guided tour, well narrated by the trained scholar of the institute. The pack of 30 odd tourists tried to grapple the history, (thankfully known by me), and hence I could indulge in my minor clicking! I guess you all can understand as to why I mentioned a word of Thanks for knowing the History by Luck! It was not snobbish!!!
The Viceroy's General Meeting room. Now a days used by the IIAS students as seminar room -
(c) Somnath Paul, 2011: Viceroy's meeting room.
The next room that followed, made me shiver once, down my spine. Within minutes I found myself standing infront of that great round table, that had smooth boundaries, but had played the crucial role in making a country's border; rough... Pakistan was carved out from India. And I was standing just behind where Mr. Jinnah sat!!!
(c) Somnath Paul, 2011. Replica of the Partition Table.
The artifacts were great. Had taken some great snaps, but its useless to share all of them here. So, just shared my pieces of emotions!
Emotions... being an Indian, its always high to see such places where the beautiful (geographically) Pakistan is now unreachable. More so, because it had taken away the Indus Valley Civilization with it! Lines of thoughts plagued my heart... when I encountered a beauty of a situation, which made my soul happy... Hence I have named it: Beche Thakar Akash.. Translated to English from Bengali, it means; The Sky to Live For!!!
(c) Somnath Paul, 2011.