Dr. V is in his office. He is wearing thick, black-framed spectacles, and his head is bent attentively over a massive book. Approaching 24,000 lines, Savitri is reportedly the longest epic poem ever written in English. Composed in unrhymed iambic pentameter, its lines hold a rumbling grandeur.

All he had done was to prepare a field;

His small beginnings asked for a mighty end1

On the wall behind him are two black-and-white photographs. When Dr. V is at his desk, the portraits seem to look out over his shoulders. To the left is Sri Aurobindo, the man who penned the lines being read; he has a flowing white beard and a noble bearing. To the right is a woman, her gaze direct, her smile deep and warm. Mirra Alfassa ...

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