Saturday 21 March 2015

Meeting the Lion

It was never part of our Pune trip’s itinerary, but one fine rainy morning, we were off to one of the most famous forts of Maharashtra. I was too young then. But I remember every little thing that I liked about that journey. The curving roads; the pleasant weather; the cool breeze hitting my face; the green hills and the greener valleys; the chatter of my family, relatives, and cousins; and the beautiful, divine drizzle. I was transported into ‘Anotherland’!

It was so foggy that I could hardly see the humungous walls of the fort that were just three feet away from me. You see it now and now you don’t. Thrilling, for a kid of my age. Steep steps, sturdy walls, mysterious hideaways, secret paths, randomly wriggling snakes—it was unreal, and yet, it was all there.

Reaching the topmost point of the fort, I realised that nature is such a soothing element. For the first time in my life, drops of rain fell on me while I saw the clouds above, and the clouds below—and then, I touched a passing cloud. Unforgettable!

Standing there, the history of the fort unfolded in my mind. Shivaji. Tanaji Malusare. The famous ghorpad or monitor lizard, Yeshwant. The difficult climb, the great battle, the historic sacrifice. Stories have immense power, and as I soaked in that moment, I felt it all—the power of history, the power of heritage and legacy, the power of nature. The power of a fort called Sinhagad*!

*The fort, named Kondana earlier, was recaptured by Shivajis forces under the leadership of Tanaji Malusare. On hearing that the battle had claimed Malusares life, Shivaji had said, The fort is won, but the lion is gone. In the honour of the brave warrior, Shivaji then renamed the fort as Sinhagad—when translated from Marathi to English, Sinhagad means Lion's Fort’.


  1. Anotherland! What a lovely word that says so much!

    1. Thanks. Actually, a simple word too. And yet, like you say, it can mean so much.