BOOK REVIEW: THE DOGS OF WAR BY FREDERICK FORSYTH

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Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

    The Dogs of War (1974) is a war novel by Frederick Forsyth featuring a small group of European mercenary soldiers hired by a British industrialist to depose the government of the fictional African country of Zangaro.

    An eponymous film was also released in 1980, based on the novel directed by John Irvin. The movie was filmed in Belize in Central America.

    The story details a geologist’s mineral discovery, followed by preparations for the attack that entails: soldier recruitment, training, reconnaissance, and the logistics of the coup d’état. Like most of Forsyth’s work, the novel is more about the protagonists’ art of espionage occupational tradecraft than their characters. The source of the title, The Dogs of War, is Act III, scene 1, line 270 of Julius Caesar (1599), by William Shakespeare: Cry, ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war.

    The mercenary protagonists are professional killers—ruthless, violent men, heroic only in the loosest sense of the word. Thus, they are anti-heroes. Initially introduced as simply killers, as the novel progresses they are gradually shown to adhere to a relatively moral mercenary code; however as the mercenary leader Shannon tries to explain at one point, it is difficult for civilians to understand this. I’ve divided the narration into three parts.

Part 1: The Crystal Mountain: Year 1970: The prologue shows “Cat” Shannon and his fellow mercenaries leaving a West African war they have lost, saying their goodbyes to the General, who employed them for six months.

    A few weeks later, a prospector employed by British based company, ‘Man-son Consolidated’ sends mineral samples, acquired from the “Crystal Mountain” in the remote hinterland of the African republic of Zangaro, to headquarters. When they are analysed, ruthless British mining tycoon Sir James Manson realises that there is a huge platinum deposit in Zangaro. The president of Zangaro, Jean Kimba, is a Marxist, homicidal, insane, and under Soviet influence, so any public announcement of the findings would benefit only the Russians. Confiding only in his top assistants, security chief Simon Endean, financial expert Martin Thorpe and Manson himself, they plan to depose Kimba and install a puppet leader who, for a pittance, will sign over Zangaro’s mining rights to a shell company secretly owned by Manson. When Manson Consolidated eventually acquires the shell company for a fair market price, Sir James Manson and his aides pocket £60 million.

    On the recommendation of a freelance writer (a thinly-veiled allusion to Forsyth himself), Endean hires Anglo Irish mercenary soldier “Cat” Shannon to reconnoitre Zangaro, and to investigate how Kimba might be deposed. After visiting the country posing as a tourist, Shannon reports that the army has little fighting value and that Kimba has concentrated the national armoury, treasury and radio station within the presidential palace in Clarence, the Zangaran capital city and principal port. If the palace is stormed and Kimba killed, there will be no opposition to any new regime. Because there is no organised dissident faction in Zangaro, the attacking force will have to be assembled outside the country and land near Clarence to launch the attack. Shannon prices the mission at £100,000, with £10,000 for himself. Although Shannon has dealt only with Endean who is using a false name, he has had Endean tailed by a private investigator and has discovered his true identity and his involvement with Sir James Manson.

    Although Manson has taken steps to silence the few people aware of the Crystal Mountain platinum deposit, the chemist who analysed the samples has inadvertently revealed his findings to the Soviets, who assign a KGB bodyguard to Kimba while they prepare to send in their own geological survey team. Manson learns from a Foreign Office bureaucrat that the Soviets have got wind of the deposit. He commissions Shannon to organise and mount the coup, to take place on the eve of Zangaro’s Independence Day, one hundred days hence, although he does not tell Shannon of the Soviet involvement.

Part 2: The Hundred Days

Shannon reassembles his old team to execute the attack on Kimba’s palace that includes: German ex-smuggler Kurt Semmler, South African mortar expert Janni Dupree, Belgian bazooka specialist “Tiny” Marc Vlaminck, and Corsican knife-fighter Jean-Baptiste Langarotti. Semmler travels Europe looking for a suitable cargo ship to transport them and their equipment to Zangaro. Dupree remains in London to buy all their uniforms, boots, haversacks and sleeping bags. Langarotti travels to Marseilles to acquire inflatable boats for the amphibious assault. Vlaminck accompanies Shannon to Belgium to obtain one hundred ‘Schmeisser’   submachine guns from a former member of the SS, then remains in Belgium to prepare them to be smuggled out in oil drums. Shannon then travels to Luxembourg to establish a holding company to handle the purchase of the ship, to Spain to buy walkie-talkies, foghorns, flares, and 400,000 rounds of 9mm ammunition for the Schmeissers with a forged end user certificate, and to Yugoslavia to buy bazookas, mortars, and ammunition for them.

    Shannon also finds time for a brief sexual liaison with Julie Manson, Sir James Man-son’s daughter, from whom he learns the bare essentials of Manson’s true plans. Simultaneously, Charles Roux, one of Shannon’s rivals, tries to have Shannon killed since he is frustrated that Endean did not approach him for the contract despite the freelance writer recommending him. Upon this, Langarotti tips Shannon off and they lure the assassin hired by Roux into a trap, sending his severed head to Roux to permanently silence him.

    Martin Thorpe has in the meanwhile secretly purchased the controlling share in Bormac Trading, a mining and plantation-owning company which has long ceased trading, from Lady MacAllister, the ailing widow of the company’s founder. His and Manson’s involvement is concealed behind the names of several fictitious shareholders. Endean has simultaneously obtained the agreement of Colonel Antoine Bobi, a former commander of the Zangaran Army who fell out with Kimba and is now in exile, to participate in Man-son’s scheme. Once installed as president, the venal and illiterate Bobi will sign over the mineral rights of the Crystal Mountain to Bormac Trading for a nominal price but a large bribe for himself.

    The mercenaries get underway after Semmler acquires a nondescript cargo ship Toscana, for the operation. Hidden in oil drums, the Schmeissers are smuggled across the Belgian border into France and loaded aboard the Toscana at Marseilles, along with the uniforms and inflatable boats, marked supposedly for watersports in Morocco. They then sail to Ploce in Yugoslavia to load the mortars and rocket launchers purchased legitimately from an arms dealer, without telling the Yugoslavian authorities that they already have arms aboard. These weapons are then concealed below the deck and the ship sails to Castellon in Spain to collect the ammunition (supposedly sold to the Iraqi police force). The ship then travels to Freetown in Sierra Leone to pick up six African mercenaries, disguised as casual stevedores, who will also participate in the attack, and Dr Okoye, an African academic.

Part 3: The Killing Spree

    The attack on President Kimba’s palace takes place as planned. In the early hours of the morning, the mercenaries land on the shores of Zangaro and set up foghorns and flares to disorient the defenders and light their way through the attack. Dupree and two of the African mercenaries begin the assault by using mortars to bombard both a nearby army camp and the interior of the palace compound, thereby eliminating the palace guard, while Vlaminck destroys the compound gates with anti-tank rockets. As the bombardment ceases, Semmler, Shannon, Langarotti and the other four African mercenaries storm the palace, with Semmler shooting Kimba as he tries to escape through his bedroom window. Kimba’s KGB bodyguard escapes the firefight and shoots Vlaminck in the chest, but Vlaminck retaliates, killing him with his last bazooka rocket as he dies. Following the bombardment, Dupree and his two African mercenaries attack the nearby army camp. A Zangaran soldier throws a grenade at them as he flees and one of the African mercenaries throws it back, but it falls short and Dupree, deafened by the gunfire and shelling, fails to hear the warnings and is accidentally killed in the blast.

    Around midday, Endean arrives in Clarence to install Colonel Bobi as the new Zangaran president. He has his own bodyguard, a former East End gang enforcer. When Endean and Bobi arrive at the palace, Shannon lures Bobi into a room where a shot is heard; just as Endean realizes that Shannon has killed Bobi, Shannon then shoots Endean’s bodyguard as the enforcer, tries to draw his gun, and casually introduces Dr. Okoye as the new head of the government. At Shannon’s request, the Soviet geological survey team’s request to land in Zangaro is permanently refused.

Now we come to the aftermath

    As Shannon drives Endean to the border, he explains that Endean’s otherwise comprehensive research failed to note the 20,000 immigrant workers who did most of the work in Zangaro, but were politically dis-en-franchised by the Kimba government. A hundred of them, in new uniforms and armed with Schmeissers, have already been recruited as the nucleus of the new Zangaran Army.

    When Shannon tells Endean that the coup was really conducted on behalf of a Nigerian General, Endean is furious but Shannon points out that this government will at least be fair, and if Manson wants the platinum, he will have to pay the proper market price. Endean threatens revenge if he ever sees the mercenary in London, but Shannon is unperturbed with the warning.

    In the novel’s epilogue, it is revealed that Dupree and Vlaminck were buried in simple unmarked graves near the shore. Semmler, later sold the Toscana to its captain, and died while on another mercenary operation in Africa. Langarotti’s fate, is ambiguous; the novel tells only that after he took his pay, he was last heard of going to train a new group of Hutu partisans in Burundi against Michel Micombero, telling Shannon “It’s not really the money. It was never for the money.”

    The epilogue reveals that before embarking on the Zangaro operation, Shannon was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer (skin cancer in some American editions) with only a year to six months to live. Three months after the coup, he posts the remainder of his earnings to the surviving family members of his fallen teammates, and also sends a manuscript (presumably outlining the entire plan) to a journalist in London (presumably the aforementioned freelance writer). Lastly, Shannon walks into the African bush, whistling a favourite tune (“a Spanish Harlem”), to end his life on his own terms with “a gun in his hand, blood in his mouth, and a bullet in his chest”.

    Although each work by Forsyth stands individually, there are certain similarities which may be described as his stylistic formula for success: There is always an efficient hero who is at odds with the establishment; a historical backdrop frequently places the hero in contact with known public figures in known historical situations; intricate detail is offered, lending authenticity to the work; and ingenious plots, which resemble large jigsaw puzzles of seemingly disconnected actions or events, are developed. Other writers use one or more parts of the formula, but it is these four facets that, when used collectively, distinguish a Forsyth work.

My take eight out of ten.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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INTERESTING FACTS FIGURES & QUOTES-30

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By 2020, half of India’s internet users will be rural. Nine out of ten internet users are non-English speaking.

A study published in the University of Cincinnati Law Review suggests that CEOs are at twice the risk of developing depression as compared to the general population. Another comprehensive review of literature published in the Journal of Affective Disorders elucidates that people living in developed and wealthy countries have a greater risk of suffering from mood disorders than those living in developing nations.

Annually, on an average, 1.5 lakh people are killed and close to 10 lakh are injured in road crashes across India. As per ministry of road transport data, over 14% fatalities were due to overloading of vehicles. In 2017, 20,848 people were killed due to overloading of vehicles—an average of 57 deaths per day.

The fine currently for overloading trucks—a rampant practice is only Rs 2000. Motor Vehicle Amendment Board proposes to increase it to 20,000 to halt the practice.

Currently India has no central legislation governing the protection of pedestrians. The penalties for irresponsible road behaviour that lead to serious injuries or fatalities have remained minimal for the last three decades and have consequently failed to deter violators.

A recent study by SaveLIFE Foundation shows that 63.3% of the children who admitted to underage driving shared that they started learning how to drive between the ages of 9 to 14.

The proverb warns, ‘You should not bite the hand that feeds you.’ But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself—THOMAS SZASZ.

Congress has not won an election in Gujarat, whether Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha in 32 years.

 Achilles heel—An Achilles’ heel or Achilles heel is a weakness in spite of overall strength, which can lead to downfall. While the mythological origin refers to a physical vulnerability, idiomatic references to other attributes or qualities that can lead to downfall are common.

Whenever opportunities narrow down you start seeing protests.

Statues and pictures and verse may be grand, but they are not the life for which they stand—JAMES THOMSON, British poet.

Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not the thunder—Jalaluddin Rumi.

Poor fund allocation in R&D (less than 1% of india’s budget, as compared to 3-5% by countries like the US and China) inhibits innovation and hence prospects of jobs growth. A programme like ‘Small Business innovation and research’ (which provides enterprises with competitive R&D grants) proposed in a Niti Aayog Expert committee can be a game changer.

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light—PLATO.

Iceland is the only country that jailed its bankers in the 2008 recession (because Iceland has community norms) but US bailed out its bankers.

The general elections held in 1952, 1957, 1962, and 1967, were simultaneous polls held throughout the country. But this cycle was disrupted in 1969, with the premature dissolution of Loksabha.

Yiwu market is located in Zhejiang district of China. It is the world’s largest wholesale market where over 100000 suppliers exhibit over 400000 genre of products. Yiwu has tied up with leading logistics firms, for shop to door deliveries.

America is practically owned by china—TOMWINNIFIRT, UK journalist.

Germany today has absorbed over a million refugees and settled them across the country—Syrians.

In 2016, tourism and travel contributed 10% of India’s GDP. The largest part of this was domestic tourism, amounting to about 88%. India is the seventh-largest tourist economy globally. Given its riches, natural and manmade. It should be much higher.

The recent series on the Vietnam war produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick and written by Geoff Ward (a long time India friend and wildlife lover) makes just this point. After Vietnam, America may still be looking for a war to win.

Indian soldiers walked up the Icchogil canal and to the gates of Lahore in 1965, but came back, soon after, for territory was not on their minds. To this day people in India rue this decision. We all know which party was in power then.

Mahatma Gandhi once said that the future depends on what you do today.

One clear indicator of strain is annual per capita water availability. This was 5177 cubic metres in 1951 which declined to 1545 cubic metres in 2011, against the international threshold for water stress, pegged at 1700 cubic metres. However. National Institute of Hydrology pegs India’s utilisable per capita water availability at just 938 cubic metres in 2010 and expects this to drop to 814 cubic metres by 2025.

At one time a quarter of all American college men were buying or subscribing  to playboy magazine. ‘a woman reading a playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual’—Gloria Steinem.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

SHORT STORY: DESPERATION

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    One day, a strong and powerful hound was chasing a strongly built hare in the jungle. The hare was applying all kinds of tricks available in his quiver and within the purview of sam-dam-dand-bhed to save himself from this ferocious hound.

    After running for a long while, the tired hound finally gave up the hunt and stopped under a tree, gasping. A herd of goats that was watching this event from a distance mocked at the hound, by saying that the little hare was better than the beast. To this, the hound responded by saying: “The hare was running for his life, whereas, I was only running for my dinner. That was the difference between us.”

Moral of the story: Incentives stimulate action. There was a great difference between the incentives. Hare was running for his life. There, cannot be a bigger desperation than that, whereas the hound was only running for his dinner.

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

GEORGE ORWELL

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    Eric Arthur Blair, lifespan (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950) was better known by his pen name George Orwell. He was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and a critic. His work is prominent by his lucid prose, his fancy for social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support for democratic socialism.   Very few would know that George Orwell was born in Motihari, Bihar, under British India.

     As a writer, George produced literary criticism, poetry, fiction and polemical journalism. He is best known for his allegorical novella Animal Farm (written in 1945) and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (written in 1949). His non-fiction works include, The Road to Wigan Pier (written in 1937), documenting his experience of the working-class life, in the north of England, and his homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences, soldiering for the Republican faction, of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), are as critically respected, as his essay on politics, literature, language and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked George Orwell second among “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”. The book I liked the most out of George’s stable was the Burmese Days written in the backdrop of Burma during the British Raj. Since the book centrally is, anti-British, and publicises his opposition to totalitarianism it didn’t get the prominence it deserved. 

    Orwell’s work continues to remain influential and popular in various political and social cultures. The adjective “Orwellian” –describing totalitarian, and authoritarian, social practices – is part of the English language, like many of his, other neologisms, such as “Big Brother”, “Thought Police”, and “Hate week”, “Room 101”, the “memory hole”, “Newspeak”, “doublethink”, “proles”, “unperson” and “thoughtcrime”.

    George Orwell described his family as ‘lower-upper-middle class.’ His father, Richard Walmesley Blair, worked in the Opium Department of the Indian Civil Service. His mother, Ida Mabel Blair, grew up in Moulmein, Burma, where her French father was involved in speculative ventures. George had two sisters: Marjorie, five years older; and Avril, five years younger. When George was one year old, his mother took him and Marjorie to England. His birthplace and ancestral house in Motihari have been declared a protected monument of historical importance.

    In 1904 Ida Blair settled with her children at Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. George was brought up in the company of his mother and sisters, and apart from a brief visit in mid-1907, the family did not see their husband or father, Richard Blair, until 1912. His mother’s diary from 1905 describes a lively round of social activity and artistic interests.

    Before the First World War, the family moved to Shiplake, Oxfordshire where Orwell became friendly with the Buddicom family, especially their daughter Jacintha. When they first met, he was standing on his head in a field. On being asked why, he replied, “You are noticed more if you stand on your head than if you are right way up.” Jacintha and Orwell read and wrote poetry, and dreamed of becoming famous writers.

    At the age of five, George was sent as a day-boy to a convent school in Henley-on-Thames, which Marjorie also attended. It was a Roman Catholic convent run by French Ursuline nuns, who had been exiled from France after religious education was banned in 1903. His mother wanted him to have a public school education, but his family could not afford the fee, and he needed to earn a scholarship. Ida Blair’s brother Charles Limouzin recommended St Cyprian’s school, Eastbourne, East Sussex.   

    He later took up a place at Wellington, where he spent the Spring Term. In May 1917 a place became available at King’s Scholar at Eton. George remained at Eton until December 1921, when he left midway between his 18th and 19th birthday. Wellington was “beastly”, George told his childhood friend Jacintha Buddicom, and he was “interested and happy” at Eton. George was briefly taught French even by Aldous Huxley. 

    George’s academic reports suggest that he neglected his academic studies, but during his time at Eton he worked with Roger Mynors to produce a college magazine. His parents could not afford to send him to a university without another scholarship, and they concluded from his poor results that he would not be able to win one. Steven Runciman a friend noted that he had a romantic idea about the East and the family decided that George should join the Imperial Police, the precursor of the Indian Police Service. For this he had to pass an entrance examination. In December 1921 he left Eton and travelled to join his retired father, mother, and younger sister Avril, who that month had moved to 40 Stradbroke Road, Southwold, Suffolk, the first of their four homes in the town. George was enrolled at a crammer there called Craighurst, and brushed up on his Classics, English, and History. He passed the entrance exam, coming seventh out of the 26 candidates who exceeded the pass mark.

    George’s maternal grandmother lived at Moulmein, Burma, so he chose a posting in Burma, which was then a province of British India. In October 1922 he sailed on board SS Hereforshire via the Suez Canal and Ceylon to join the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. A month later, he arrived at Rangoon and travelled to the police training school in Mandalay. He was appointed as Assistant District Superintendent (on probation) on 29 November 1922 with effect from 27 November and at a base salary of Rs 325 per month, with an overseas supplement of Rs 125/month and a Burma Allowance of Rs 75/month (a total of Rs 525). After a short posting at Maymyo, Burma’s principal hill station, he was posted to the frontier outpost of Myaungmya in the Irrawaddy Delta at the beginning of 1924.

     In April 1926 he moved to Moulmein, where his maternal grandmother lived. At the end of that year, he was assigned to Katha in Upper Burma, where he contracted dengue fever in 1927. Entitled to a leave in England that year, he was allowed to return in July due to his illness. While on leave in England and on holiday with his family in Cornwall in September 1927, he reappraised his life. Deciding against returning to Burma, he resigned from the Indian Imperial Police to become a writer, with effect from 12 March 1928 after five-and-a-half years of service. He drew on his experiences in the Burma police for the novel Burmese Days (which he wrote in the year 1934) and the essays “A hanging” (in 1931) and “Shooting an Elephant” (in 1936). In England, he settled back in the family home at Southwold, renewing acquaintance with local friends and attending an Old Etonian dinner. He visited his old tutor Gow at Cambridge for advice on becoming a writer. In 1927 he moved to London. In early 1928 he moved to Paris. In December 1929, after nearly two years in Paris, George returned to England and went directly to his parents’ house in Southwold, a coastal town in Suffolk, which remained his base for the next five years. 

    In April 1932 George Orwell became a teacher at The Hawthorns High School, a school for boys, in Hayes, West London. This was a small school offering private schooling for children of local tradesmen and shopkeepers, and had only 14 or 16 boys aged between ten and sixteen, and one other school master. While at the school he became friendly with the curate of a local parish church and became involved with activities there. There he joins hands in the publishing of ‘A Scullion’s Diary for forty pounds advance.

    At the end of the summer term in 1932, Blair returns to Southwold, where his parents had used a legacy to buy their own home. Blair and his sister Avril spend the holidays making the house habitable while he also works on his novel ‘Burmese Days.’ He was also spending time with Eleanor Jacques, but her attachment with Dennis Collings remained an obstacle to his hopes of a more serious relationship. He later takes up a job in Hampstead to sell second hand books.

    George Orwell sets out for Spain on about 23 December 1936, dining with Henry Miller in Paris on the way. He returns to England in June 1937, and stays at the O’Shaughnessy home at Greenwich. He finds his views on the Spanish Civil War out of favour. Publishers reject two of his works.

    He later publishes Animal Farm in 1945 and 1984 in the year 1949. Orwell was an atheist who identified himself with the humanist outlook on life.

    It is sad when you discover many of these iconic writers of the past have seen very bad times financially, yet they still shine like bright stars.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: IKIGAI BY HECTOR GARCIA AND CO-AUTHOR FRANSESC MIRALLES

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

    Ikigai is a Japanese word. The meaning of which translates roughly to a reason for being in this world, it encompasses a sense of joy, a sense of purpose and meaning in life, and an overall feeling of well-being. The word derives from iki, meaning life and kai, meaning the realisation of hopes and expectations in Japanese.

    Japanese ikigai is the thing that makes you get out of bed happy every morning. A few years ago, everyone was talking about hygge, a Danish concept that cannot be translated to one single word but encompasses a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life. For example on a snowy day, you’ve might have experienced hygge without even knowing about it. In the same vein, another untranslatable word—ikigai—has captured the imagination of those searching for the key to living a long and happy life. Hector Garcia, a software engineer who was born in Spain but has lived in Japan for over a decade, and his co-author Fransesc Miralles delved deep into the secrets of Japan’s super-centenarians to distil the essence of this Japanese philosophy to produce a bestselling book titled ‘Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life’.

    Ikigai is a Japanese word, that’s almost, impossible to translate—that’s why we had to write a book about it, say the authors. You can think of it, as the thing that makes you, get out of bed happy every morning. The literal meaning of it is the purpose of your life, but it’s a lot more than that. For me, one of my most significant Ikigai is, writing the best I can, in order to make, other people’s lives better, says the author. The book is all about connecting with everything—what you love, what you’re good at, what you can be paid for and what the world needs.

    Ogimi is a village in Okinawa, Japan, where people live the longest in the world. The authors learn from their interviews with hundreds of elders there that they always keep themselves busy, but in a good manner. Elders shouldn’t have a dream that they’ll retire and then do nothing in life they say. In big cities, people are too busy racing through life. Their lifestyle is either doing a lot or doing nothing. That’s an extreme, and they need to find a middle ground.

    The book has some interesting tips on food and diet. These days there are thousands of diet charts out there, and each one tells you to do something different. It becomes very aimless and stressful to follow them. The idea here is you eat whatever you want, but you stop when you’re 80% full. That could mean not having that ice cream or a sweet to round off your meal.

    Start of the day is very important. So, ask yourself, what are the important things you want to do when you wake up in the morning? If that’s difficult for you to answer, you can spend some minutes every morning writing down what you’re looking forward to, in your day. After some days of doing this, you will start noticing a pattern. For example, you might realise that you enjoy your job, but don’t like your boss. So, you can try to find a job in the same industry. An interesting statistic that the author finds is that 90% of people in their 40s and 50s, have changed careers—and only 10% study something and then work on it forever. Connecting with your Ikigai isn’t going to be sudden, the key is discovering yourself and the things you like and dislike.

    But what does one do in cases where their Ikigai is financially unviable? It’s the most difficult question, and the one the author is still trying to find an answer to. With the internet, one can try various things while doing a job. Maybe, you can start pursuing whatever interests, one has, and slowly try to get paid for it. Interesting things start happening when one starts pursuing what one loves. It’s worse to not even try.

     There is a great amount of sense in being with a community for living a long and happy life. Ogimi is a small village full of people with similar life philosophies. But this indeed is a rare case as most of us live in unequal societies rife with disagreement.

    In Ogimi people are neither poor nor rich so it’s easy to make communities where everyone puts the same amount of money together for common goals. But this doesn’t work so smoothly in different environments. However, one can start developing these communities with the people they trust. Where, one will gradually feel supported, and the community will only grow.

    The book also talks about anti-fragility as a concept. It’s like bacteria—the more they get attacked, the stronger they become. In everyone’s lives, disaster and bad things happen. A family member may die, or you could get an illness. It’s important to remember that you get stronger by each damage done to you.

    The response to this book has been overwhelming. It is being translated into more than 54 languages around the world. In fact it has become the most translated Spanish book in history. Soon, it will be translated into Telugu, Hindi and Marathi. In case you have not found your Ikigai in life this indeed is the book. I won’t hesitate in giving it a rating of eight out of ten.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

INTERESTING FACTS, FIGURES & QUOTES EPISODE 29

Copyright@shravancharitymission

According to Central Water Commission, India has 5,264 large dams in operation, of which 75% are over 25 years old and 164 big dams more than 100 years old. Until 2018, there were 36 large dam failures, possibly making recent Tiware breach the 37th failure. Maharashtra accounts for the largest chunk of India’s big dams—2069 dams.

The pre-monsoon season this year has been the second driest in 65 years with the country witnessing 99 mm of rainfall during this period as against the average of 131.5 mm. About 42% of the country is abnormally dry—6% more than last year. Add to this a delay in the onset of monsoon and circumstances are indeed grim.

It is projected that over the coming years there will be a deficit of 43% between water availability and requirement. This will increase to 50% by 2030 unless usage patterns change.

Asceticism doesn’t lie in mere words; he is an ascetic who treats everyone alike. Asceticism doesn’t lie in visiting burial places; it lies not in wandering about, nor in bathing at places of pilgrimage. Asceticism is to remain pure amidst impurities—Guru Nanak

BT cotton is the only transgenic crop approved for cultivation in India. In the 17 years since it was approved, successive governments have declined to approve any other transgenic crop even after the relevant regulator, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), recommended commercial cultivation.

In 2009, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) after a five year scrutiny, approved commercial cultivation of BT Brinjal. But it failed to win an approval at the next stage: political executive. Even a change in government didn’t matter. In 2017, GEAC approved cultivation of GM mustard, a variety developed at Delhi University. But it met with the same fate as brinjal.

According to government sources, the regulatory process for approval of transgenic crop covers at least six stages. In response to a question from a parliamentary committee, government said that, on an average, a proposal from lab stage to decision making on clearances takes at least 10 years.

A farmers organisation, Shetkari Sanghatana has come out in support of farmers who are growing transgenic crops without approval.

Grow organic, eat organic. If Sikkim can be a totally organic state why can’t others?

In almost all leading countries of the world a doctor in a government hospital checks a maximum of 30 patients a day. In India any doctor on an average checks at least 150 patients a day.

‘Golden Hour’ is the time when doctors put in their best efforts to save the life of a patient. In some cases they succeed. In some they don’t.

Garment factories are India’s second largest employer of women with 1.2 crore women.

1% owns 48% of global wealth since 2009. 1 in 9 people don’t have enough to eat.

The Fiscal Responsibility & Budget Management (FRBM) act prescribes that the central government deficit should not exceed 3% of GDP.

It is generally believed in the Indian context, the acceptable level of inflation is 4%, and the comfort zone is +/- 2%. In developed economies, the acceptable level of inflation is only 2%.

China’s economy today is 30 times larger than it was three decades ago. Indeed in PPP China’s economy is already larger than America’s.

The length of the Mexican wall to be built to stop illegal immigrants is 900 miles. It is the southern border of the US with Mexico.

Plan your work and work out your plan—SWAMI CHINMAYANANDA.

The saying goes that you become criminal only when you’re caught.

Conspectus means a summary or overview of a subject.

A typical 300 room five-star hotel generates direct employment for around 500 people, 90% of whom are waiters, housekeeping staff, front desk and concierge staff, besides cooks, chefs, managers, financial and clerical staff. There are a host of others employed in associated services such as the spa, gift shops and swimming pool.

When you compress the supply of cash and widen the tax net, money shifts from private hands to government.

It has always seemed strange to me … the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system—JOHN STEINBECK

There is a verse in Bhagavad Gita which means—masses follow the classes.

We re the world’s third most obese country and also the diabetic capital of the world—Sachin Tendulkar

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT TREES

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Over the course of its life, an average tree can absorb a ton of carbon dioxide. Only about one in a million acorns makes it all the way to becoming a mature oak tree.

    Trees form by far the bulk of Earth’s biomass. In life and in death trees contribute to the biosphere by making oxygen, moving water, storing carbon dioxide, enriching soil with dead  and decaying parts, and recycling the nutrients that life on Earth depends on.

    Trees are vascular plants that develop a single woody stem known as a trunk. Generally, trees grow to 15 feet or taller. Trees differ from shrubs, which are shorter and usually have multiple stems. Trees span the three botanical groups that represent vascular plants—pteridophytes, gymnosperms, and angiosperms.

    Gymnosperms and angiosperms propagate by seeds. In the former type, seeds are exposed, or naked, on a structure such as a cone; on the latter, they are within the ovary of a flower. Pteridophytes, on the other hand, are seedless vascular plants such as the tree fern.

    Not all parts of a tree are alive at one time, especially, in mature trees. Keeping so much mass alive all the time would require more energy than a tree’s system could handle. The inner core of the trunk, called the heartwood, is composed of out-of-commission xylem that no longer transports water throughout the tree. Similarly, the oldest layers of phloem, which transports the food manufactured through photosynthesis, form the outer, dead bark of the tree’s surface.

    In between the heartwood and bark lies the tree’s sapwood, its living energy-storage tissue.

WHY DO LEAVES CHANGE COLOUR?

    As days grow shorter and temperatures cooler, deciduous trees prepare for winter dormancy. Lacking sufficient light and water, photosynthesis shuts down, and trees must live off food stored during the growing season.

    In spring, leaves lay the groundwork for their demise. A special layer of cells forms at the base of each leaf, called the abscission or separation layer. Its work is to transport water to the leaf and take food, created by photosynthesis, back to the tree.

    In autumn, the cells of this layer begin to swell and the bottom of this layer forms a corklike substance that eventually cuts off all transfer between leaf and tree. Meanwhile, the top of the layer begins to disintegrate, making it easy for the leaf to detach.

    As photosynthesis ceases, the leaves lose their chlorophyll, which gives them their green colour. Without chlorophyll, other colours emerge. Yellow and orange, for example, are normally present in the leaves but are overshadowed by the chlorophyll. Maple-leaf red occurs because glucose remains when photosynthesis shuts down. Drab oak-leaf brown represents wastes left in the leaves.

A TREE FROM AGES PAST

    The long-needled Wollemi pine is a survivor from the age of dinosaurs. While fossil records made the 200-million-year-old species known to us, it was believed to be extinct. Then, in 1994, an Australian parks officer found a single tree in the Blue Mountains in Wollemi National Park. Subsequently, a hundred adult trees were counted there. Conservation efforts funded in part from the sale of saplings go to save and strengthen the species.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****