Guiding Light of The Month

Tell me, wilt Thou grant me the marvellous power to give birth to this dawn in expectant hearts, to awaken the consciousness of men to Thy sublime presence, and in this bare and sorrowful world awaken a little of Thy true Paradise? What happiness, what riches, what terrestrial powers can equal this wonderful gift! - The Mother

Along the Way… December 2016 Walk Review

Coney Island formerly known as Pulau Serangoon and inherently famous for the lone bull found on the island generates a sense of curiosity and mystery. The walk on the 4th of December 2016 enabled my first visit to this tranquil island and it literally helped me get a breath of fresh air owing to its tall trees of varying types all around the island.

We assembled in front the Punggol Ranch at 8 am and had a good strength of people in a long time along with Uncle Kalu Sarkar. We started walking the short stretch to the West Entrance of the Coney Island and were invited with a huge gate with “Coney Island” inscribed on it. This was a gate separating the urban Punggol settlement from the dense natural world of Coney Island.

A dense forest awaited us not only making the environment around us healthy by providing us fresh air but also shielding us from the intensive heat of the sun. The trees were tall and close not allowing the sun to reach the bottom just like a tropical forest. The sun managed to peak out in some areas rewarding us we beautiful pictures of a morning in the natural world. We had the opportunity to walk on different terrains throughout the Island from the smooth manmade trails in short patches, the uneven forest trail to the sand beaches of white sand.

We visited 2 of the several beaches throughout the Island and were greeted by beautiful calm waves gliding across the clean white sand. The beaches were picturesque and we took short stops near them to appreciate their beauty and take some snaps. From one of the beaches we could get a glimpse of the resorts of vast Pulau Ubin Island. We also came across mangroves surrounding the island in some parts. We came across many people out for their morning walk around the Coney Island and also some cycling enthusiasts enjoying their ride along the natural trails.

The island not only boasts of a rich history but also a high valued biodiversity. It is home to 157 species of fauna and 86 species of trees. Around 80 bird species can be sighted but owing to the dense forest I was able to sight just one which I believe was an Oriental Magpie Robin. The island is buzzing with the sounds of insects and varying birds chirping occasionally from the depth of the forest. There is a bird watching hide for wild life observation. And to make the walk more adventurous we were about to encounter a Wild Boar but had to with a warning instruction for the same.

To avoid introducing manmade substances and polluting the forest with unnatural substances the wood from the uprooted trees in the forest were used to make park signage, seats, benches, a boardwalk and exhibits. Another fascinating thing we came across was the fungi growing on the wooden walkways forming beautiful and colorful patterns. We also came across demonstration plots for Coastal Forests, Black Mangroves and Mangroves which showcased potential species to be introduced on the island and which would add to the diversity and attract more fauna.
After an enriching walk in a rustic natural environment we headed to our host’s house. 

Ritesh and Upali hosted us in their new home. We began with meditation and Om chanting. The much awaited brunch was delicious and with loads of options. We would like to thank Ritesh and Upali for making us a part of their happiness and congratulate them for their new home.

-          Dhanashree Vaidya

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Coney Island is beautiful place with a superb sea view. It is full of nature and life, the feeling of enjoyment is very overwhelming to one. The history behind the island is just as puzzling. If the island is called Coney Island, why aren't there any cones on the island? Pinecones for example. I still have to find the answer to this puzzling question. Now where was I? Ah yes. Coney Islands’ waters are teaming with life as well. There are crabs, jellyfish, snails and lots of other sea creatures as well. There is also a beautiful river leading to the sea so if you like the subject of potamology you had better go look at it. Overall, Coney Island is a great place for everyone!

Anjali Curic

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