Cambridge was my metaphor for England, and it was strange that when I left it had become altogether something else, because I had met Stephen Hawking there.
It was on a walking tour through Cambridge that the guide mentioned Stephen Hawking, ‘poor man, who is quite disabled now, though he is a worthy successor to Issac Newton, whose Chair he has at the university.’
Firdaus Kanga writes about his experiences of visiting England in his travelogue. He specifically visits a place called Cambridge. Cambridge is a small city about \(80\)km north of London. It is specifically known for its university buildings and literary circles. The University of Cambridge is the second oldest University in the English speaking countries. It had existed for a long time now that it serves as a part of historical reforms. It was established by a group of research scholars from the Oxford University after a small dispute. The University has in its list of alumni, the world's most famous academicians, philosophers and scientists, from Charles Darwin to Stephen Hawking. This is probably the reason why Kanga says that Cambridge was a metaphor for England to him. A metaphor is a comparison and equates two things that have similarities. Kanga considers Cambridge as a benchmark with which he views the whole England. Cambridge serves as the real England for him. But he says that when he left England, he had only one thing to take away, which was his memories with Stephen Hawking.
University of Cambridge
During his travel, Kanga happened to visit Cambridge, where he was taken on a walking tour across the campus. He was shown the architecture, gardens, resources in the University by the guide. As a passing comment, the guide mentions the name of one of the renowned alumni and scientist and astrophysicist 'Stephen Hawking'. But rather than mentioning the numerous achievements and his theories, he is only sympathised for being disabled. The guide refers to Hawking as a mere poor man who is disabled, only after which is the fact that he is a worthy successor to Sir Issac Newton is mentioned. Hawking also holds the chair of Newton, the renowned physicist who formulated the theory of universal gravity. This serves as the major theme of the lesson as to how famous people are only recognised initially with their disability and not their contribution to the society.
Meaning of difficult words:
|Metaphor||Comparing two things that have similar features|
|Guide||A person who helps in showing tourists around|
|Disabled||A condition that limits movements, senses or activities|
|University||An educational institution which helps students get degree|
|Successor||The next person that takes over|
|Travelogue||A book that narrates one's travel experiences|
|Astrophysics||A branch of science that aims to explain the birth or death of objects in the Universe|
|Gravity||The force that attracts the body towards the centre of earth|
|Architecture||The structure or design of buildings|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2008). Honeydew. A Visit to Cambridge - Firdaus Kanga (pp. 96-104). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.