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Memoir of a Journey to An Aesthetic Shrine : Summary and Analysis


Analysis of Govinda Raj Bhattarai’sMemoir of a Journey to An Aesthetic Shrine

The essay “Memoir of a Journey to an Aesthetic Shrine” was written by Dr. Govinda Raj Bhattarai, a Nepali writer, who is the professor in the Department of English Education, University Campus, T.U., Kirtipur. The present essay is a memoir travelogue that depicts the great historic moments of his visit to YashayaPolyana, Russia the birth place and museum house of Leo Tolstoy, the great master of Russian literature.

Writer: Govinda Raj Bhattarai

Born: 1953

Nationality:   Nepali

Education: Ph.D.

Work Place: The Department of English Education,Central Campus, Kirtipur, T.U.

The essay “Memoir of a Journey to an Aesthetic Shrine” was written by Dr. Govinda Raj Bhattarai, a Nepali writer, who is the professor in the Department of English Education, University Campus, T.U., Kirtipur. The present essay is a memoir travelogue that depicts the great historic moments of his visit to YashayaPolyana, Russia the birth place and museum house of Leo Tolstoy, the great master of Russian literature.

The writer’s heart leaps with joy when he wakes up in the heart of the city of the Moscow. The bus by which the writer was travelling joins with a line of vehicles on the wet streets. The big bus drove along the great ancient city of Moscow. The writer viewed many beautiful and attractive, pure scenes in way. After the journey of three hours, the team reached a new small town crossing the historical city of Tula. They viewed different romantic and joyful scenes such as newly married couples, brides in white, and grooms in black suits walking gracefully. Many beautiful girls in gorgeous dresses moved around, they were smiling, frolicking and accompanying the newlyweds. They didn’t pay their much attention to them as their destination was Tolstoy’s birth place.

After viewing the beautiful sights in the ways they reached the Tolstoy’s place which was so peaceful and calm. Their caravan contained a team of fifty. It included those especial Nepalese residing in Moscow including Nepal’s Ambassador to Russia. The group pilgrimages were on a one day literary tour for a darshan of Tolstoy. Their guide was a young lady who speaks beautiful British English. She leads them towards the destination. She showed the sacred place where Tolstoy was born, grew up, lived and died.

The writer describes the place and aesthetic shrine in the sense that the writer’s visit to Tolstoy’s place was holy one for him. Art and literature are aesthetic aspects of life. He thinks that visiting such place inspires one to be a writer and respecting Tolstoy. Tolstoy writes many books like War and Peace, Master and Man, Anna Karina, The kings of God etc. that were read all over the world. He was a great humanitarian writer. His house was visited by thousands of people time and again. It was like a temple the writer felt himself great to have the opportunity to visit the shrine of Tolstoy.

At the grave of Tolstoy, they bowed their heads and prayed to him and asked for blessing them in successful writing. Especially, the writer shows a great respect to Tolstoy. They visited different rooms of the writer, the fourth one was Tolstoy’s study room where 29 thousands books that he had written in different 23 languages were kept, the room was a great treasure.

Again they returned to the Tolstoy’s grave where a great silence pervaded. They bowed their heads and hearts, expressed deep reverence and honor on behalf of the Nepalese people, offered some flowers and joined the unending queue returning home. The writer compared Tolstoy with Mahatma Gandhi. It shows that the writer’s visit to such sacred place was actually an aesthetic one.


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