Men and animals, at times, are best of friends. On the other hand, insensitivity of many a man towards animals characterizes the opposite form of the relationship between them. Animals are trapped, caged, mistreated, tortured and killed. It is not realized and recognized by man that animals too are sentient beings and suffer pain like all of us. Examples of cruelty abound but those of compassion are a few. Ms. Christine Townend conceptually believes in the harmonious and humane interaction between the two. These stories, poems and paintings by her are the sensitive expression of her positive philosophy for and intimate experience with animals.
These animal stories, poems and paintings have been beautifully drawn. They are not the boring accounts of the work of the animal shelter that she is running. The stories are not grim or tortuous to read, but rather uplifting and full of hope and compassion. They rejoice in the human/animal inter-relation. Each story, each painting, each poem is about a relationship, either failed or fulfilled. Each story, each painting, or poem, within the bounds of its structure, leaves the reader with a deeper hidden message to ponder.
The present work of Ms Christine Townend is the amalgam of her impeccable literary craftsmanship and practical compassion. She is a well-known author with six books, several poems, articles and short stories to her credit. The present set of stories also wears the refinement and virtuosity that are the hallmark of a well-known writer, which she is. The other aspect of her life is that her compassion has led her to run animal shelters in Jaipur and Kalimpong. While taking a round with her of animal shelter, one has the experience of unmistakably observing the mutual love, mutely but profoundly expressed both by her and her animals. Her shelters are epitomes of affection.
Most of us have neither the time nor the inclination to reflect on the purpose, particularly the spiritual one, of our lives. We often have a routine existence cast in a set mould, devoid of meaning. Ms Christine Townend is different. She has tried to seek her divine purpose. Further she has endeavored to achieve it. A book by her is a real treat.
Devendra Raj Mehta
Founder and Chief Patron
Prakrit Bharti Academy, Jaipur.