BOOK TALK: MRS FUNNY BONES

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Read–

MRS FUNNYBONES

TWINKLE KHANNA

    ‘A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one—George R R Martin—American novelist. The book only elucidates the above quote, in content, language and even the format. As, one truly lives through Twinkle Khanna’s day-to-day chores, while reading it. I would hesitate from calling the title, a book. As that is a misnomer in itself. Truly speaking it is only a collection of Twinkle’s Sunday columns, tied into one hilarious spine.

    In all the two hundred and twenty five plus pages, one only breezes past Twinkle’s flurry of activities. Goodness! She has so much to do, so much to brood, so much to improve and above all so much to … guftagoo. Nevertheless, it is written quite vivaciously, but mostly in present tense. Where, one gets to feel as if one is tied to a timepiece, as the narration keeps ticking episodically over the pages, seamlessly till chapters change: 8.15 a.m., 1.30 p.m., 1,45 p.m., 2 p.m., 2.30 p.m., 4 p.m., 4.15 p.m., 4.50 p.m., 5 p.m., 5.30 p.m., 7 p.m.

    It tosses out relevant day to day issues that are meticulously captured by the female author. She tries to scoop out something out of nothing most of the times which is not easy to do. But then you also require that hilarious frame of mind to keep receiving the humour one after the other, at close intervals—a kind of deluge of some … subtle side-splitting.

    The story builds around her routine activities. And where, one even gets an opportunity to peek into the life of her super star husband, referred all throughout as the ‘man of the house.’ And her son, mostly and mildly reproached as, ‘the prodigal son’ together with the infant daughter as, ‘the baby girl.’ Well that is not all. There is also an interesting quick-witted Punjabi Mummyji, Twinkle’s mother-in-law. Who keeps adding enough masala to the pantomime, periodically, over the fast turning pages. But where, pages can turn for more than one reason. To be frank it is quite a bhan-mati-ka pitara if I may say so. In a nutshell, many lady readers, on quite a few pages would like to identify themselves, as the chief protagonist or at least aspire, to be one.

     Well if you’re looking for a thumping storyline or a plot this is certainly not the book. Plus you also need a particular mood to enjoy its funny occurrences and laughter filled happenings. Which in the normal context, you would get to read in the newspaper column once a week on a relaxed Sunday morning. So even the state of mind and timing are important for such titles where the plot and storyline are amiss.

    The narrative connotes to be a personal account of Twinkle Khanna—a mightily placed business woman with two children and a high profile husband. I would say she milks her day well, and also doesn’t hesitate in making a mountain out of the mole hill. At times one also wonders if it is a detailed biography of the ‘daily chores’ per se or a ‘to-do-list’ in the metaphoric sense. The book of course is an accumulation of her columns. So, laugh it out there and then. For there are no carry forwards in it.

    The book doesn’t impact you in any significant manner. But yes, floods you each moment with some interesting vignettes and needle precision sentences. The effervescence of which is not felt for long, especially when the pages are over.

    In the little room that the lady author had without a storyline and a plot she has done a good job and so have the publishers.

    A good read if you’ve not picked it up already.

*****

    This is an attempt to create an interest for reading books. We may not get time to read all the books. But such reviews and synopsis will convey what the book is all about. 

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. 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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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. 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

(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: MY MUTE GIRL FRIEND

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

    –Read India Read–

  (Just launched)

MY MUTE GIRL FRIEND

Himanshu Rai

       The author of the book is an engineer and so is the place where the story unfolds, an engineering college, in Jabalpur.  The two main protagonists Vaidehi and Rohan are also engineering students. And that is where, one wonders. If it is a churn out of, the author’s own imagination or an … aap-beeti. But either which way. The piercing story line, takes over, after only, a few pages. It is an erupting and moving story with roller coaster emotions and captivating suspense that carries on, till the end. Not to be revealed here, as the book has just been launched.

   But yes. It does have, some good lessons for the college goers. In terms of how to manage their love life in the milieu of their professional springboard. The author has vividly described each happening that brings about a kind of visual effect. And has also handed out, some time tested tenets. Especially, when you are caught up between love, life and career.

    Overall a good read.

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. 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 characteristics. 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. Book 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

(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)

*****

 

   

Gorakhpur-The Cambridge and Oxford of Hindi language

Copyright@shravancharitymission

GORAKHPUR LIT-FEST ON 10TH & 11TH FEB, 2018

 

    In the present context when it comes to English. I’m reminded of its illustrious fountainhead, that is, Oxford and Cambridge. It was from there that the language flourished and travelled all across the globe. In the same manner when I think of present day Urdu. I’m reminded of Lucknow, Delhi, Agra, Hyderabad, and even some Urdu centric cities of Pakistan. That cradled and nourished the language to par-excellence. More than, any other city in the world and therefore they happen to be its nerve centre.

    In Gorakhpur … I saw that happening to Hindi. So, I would call it—‘The Cambridge and Oxford of Hindi language.’ In the two days that I spent there, participating in the Lit-Fest. It was Hindi-Hindi all the way and the best of it that I had heard up till now. So, the point to note is. Gorakhpur, which is otherwise a small town, happens to be a defining pivot of the Hindi language that is spoken by 300 million people across the world and is the fourth most spoken language of the world.

    But, even in that loud cheer of Hindi. The organizers had done well by including, a rich, regional Indian language, such as Bengali. And the lit-fest platter became even more spicy with the inclusion of Nepali, a SAARC lingo and of course in the presence of the ever green language—English.

    So, amid the composite cheer of these languages, my new title ‘Typical Tale of an Indian Salesman’ was launched in the presence of, senior journalist in Indian Parliament, Rahul Dev; film personality Raja Bundela; renowned Hindi author Dr Vidya Bindu Singh; and ex-M.P. Kanak Rekha Singh.

    The book is now available for sale in Amazon, Flipkart, Onlinegatha and other stores both in paper-back and e-book format.

*****

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. 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

(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)

*****

 

Rendezous with Yogendra Singh Yadav-Param Vir Chakra Awardee

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

PARAM VIR CHAKRA AWARDEE—YOGENDRA SINGH YADAV

You cannot meet a better Indian.

     I had a rare opportunity of meeting Subedar Major Yogendra Singh Yadav on 11th February 2018, at Gorakhpur, while participating in the Lit-Fest there. Believe me. Yogendra is an electrifying, ironclad personality that is full of inspiration. 

    Param Vir Chakra (PVC) is the highest gallantry award for officers and other enlisted personnel of military branches of India. Which is given for the highest degree of conspicuous valour shown in the presence of the enemy.

    Introduced on 26th January 1950. This award can also be given posthumously.   As of January 2018 the medal has been awarded 21 times. Out of which 14 were posthumous and 16 arose from actions in Indo-Pakistani conflicts. Of the 21 awardees, 20 have been from the Indian Army, and one from the Indian Air Force. There are only three surviving PVC awardees today. Out of which only two recipients are still in active duty: Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav and Naib Subedar Sanjay Kumar.

     Subedar Major Yogendra Singh Yadav is a Junior Commissioned Officer of the Indian Army. He was awarded the highest military honour of India that is Param Vir Chakra, for his 4 July 1999 action during Kargil War—battle of Tiger Hill in the Dras sector.

    He was born on 10 May 1980, in district Bulandshahr of Uttar Pradesh. He is currently 38 years old. He is from the Grenadiers and his service number is 2690572.

    The actions of the fictional war hero Karan Shergill played by Hrithik Roshan in the Bollywood film Lakshya on Tiger Hill. Are a screen adaptation of the heroic deeds undertaken by among others, the platoon of Yadav, and give a vivid description of their arduous journey to capture the strategically placed bunkers on the 5307 metre high Tiger Hill from Pakistan.   

    Only two Param Vir Chakra recipients are still in active duty: Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav and Naib Subedar Sanjay Kumar.

    A big salute to them.

***

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. 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

(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

(Archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 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. Book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

Story of an Indian salesman who is lowly qualified but fights his ways through uncertainities to reach the top. A good read for all salesmen. Now available in Amazon.com

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

*****

 

 

THE HAPPY PRINCE– By Oscar Wilde

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Read–

THE HAPPY PRINCE

Oscar Wilde

    Some souls think of others even after death and some don’t even while they are alive. Many of you may have read this beautiful story some time back. Nevertheless, let me narrate it for you, once again.

    Long ago, there lived a ‘Happy Prince’ whose statue was placed on a tall column in the city, at a height for all the citizens to see and admire. The statue was gilded all over with thin leaves of fine gold. And for the eyes, it had two bright sapphires with a large ruby glowed on to the sword-hilt.

    As a prince he was greatly loved and revered by the Mayor and even by the town councillors.  His sobriquet as ‘happy prince’ had become so famous that there was seldom a passer by, who did not appreciably comment on the statue. For example:

     ‘Why can’t you be like the Happy Prince?’ asked a sensible mother of her little boy who was crying for the moon. ‘The Happy Prince never dreams of crying for anything.’

    One night there flew into the city a little Swallow. Whose friends had gone off to Egypt some six weeks before, but he had stayed behind. For, he was in love with the most beautiful Reed. Whom, he had met early in the spring when he was flying down the river, after a big yellow moth. Since then he had been attracted by her slender waist and he had stopped to converse with her.

    But since the Swallow did not get proper response from the Reed he too decided to leave for Egypt to see the Pyramids. All day long he flew, and in the night he arrived at the city. Where, he was looking for a place to settle down when he saw the statue of the ‘Happy Prince’ on the tall column and alighted just between the feet of the statue.

     ‘I have a golden bedroom,’ he chirped. And then looked around and prepared to sleep. But as he was putting his head under his wings, a large drop of water fell on him. That got him curious. As there was not a single cloud in the sky and all the stars were twinkling.

     Then another drop fell.

     ‘What is the use of a statue if it cannot keep the rain off?’ he said; ‘I must look for a good chimney-pot,’ and he determined to fly away.

     But before he could even open his wings, a third drop fell. When he looked up, and saw – Ah! what did he see?

     The eyes of the Happy Prince were filled with tears that were running down his golden cheeks. His face was so beautiful in the moonlight that the little Swallow was filled with pity.

     ‘Who are you?’ he asked.

     ‘I am the Happy Prince.’

     ‘Why are you weeping then?’ asked the Swallow.

     ‘When I was alive and had a human heart,’ answered the statue, ‘I did not know what tears were, for I lived in the Palace of Sans-Souci where sorrow is not allowed to enter. In the daytime I played with my companions in the garden, and in the evening I led the dance in the Great Hall. Round the garden ran a very lofty wall, but I never cared to ask what lay beyond it, everything about me was so beautiful. My courtiers called me the Happy Prince, and happy indeed I was, if pleasure be happiness. So I lived, and so I died. And now that I am dead they have set me up here so high that I can see all the ugliness and all the misery of my city, and though my heart is made of lead yet I cannot choose but weep.’

     ‘What, is he not solid gold?’ murmured the Swallow to himself.

     ‘Far away’ continued the statue in a low musical voice, ‘in a little street there is a poor house. One of the windows is open, and through it I can see a woman seated at a table. Her face is thin and worn, and she has coarse, red hands, all pricked by the needle, for she is a seamstress. She is embroidering passion-flowers on a satin gown for the loveliest of the Queen’s maids-of-honour to wear at the next Court-ball. In a bed in the corner of the room her little boy is lying ill. He has a fever, and is asking for oranges. His mother has nothing to give him but river water, so he is crying. Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow, will you not bring her the ruby out of my sword-hilt? My feet are fastened to this pedestal and I cannot move.’

    ‘I am waited for in Egypt,’ said the Swallow.

     ‘Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘will you not stay with me for one night, and be my messenger? The boy is so thirsty, and the mother so sad.

     The Happy Prince looked so sad that the little Swallow felt sorry. ‘It is very cold here,’ he said ‘but I will stay with you for one night, and be your messenger.’

     ‘Thank you, little Swallow,’ said the Prince.

     So the Swallow plucked the great ruby from the Prince’s sword, and flew away with it, in his beak over the roofs of the town.

     He passed by the cathedral tower, where the white marble angels were sculptured. He passed over the river and various other places. At last he came to the poor house and looked in. The boy was tossing feverishly on his bed, and the mother had fallen asleep, she was so tired. In he hopped, and laid the great ruby on the table beside the woman’s thimble. Then he flew gently round the bed, fanning the boy’s forehead with his wings. ‘How cool I feel,’ said the boy, ‘I must be getting better;’ and he sank into a delicious slumber.

    Then the Swallow flew back to the Happy Prince, and told him what he had done. ‘It is curious,’ he remarked, ‘but I feel quite warm now, although it is so cold.’

     ‘That is because you have done a good action,’ said the Prince. And the little Swallow began to think, and then he fell asleep.

     When day broke he flew down to the river and had a bath.

         ‘To-night I go to Egypt,’ said the Swallow, and he was in high spirits at the prospect.

     When the moon rose he flew back to the Happy Prince. ‘Have you any commissions for Egypt?’ he cried; ‘I am just starting.’

     ‘Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘will you not stay with me one night longer?’

     ‘I am waited for in Egypt,’ answered the Swallow.

    ‘Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘far away across the city I see a young man in a garret. He is leaning over a desk covered with papers, and in a tumbler by his side there is a bunch of withered violets. His hair is brown and crisp, and his lips are red as a pomegranate, and he has large and dreamy eyes. He is trying to finish a play for the Director of the Theatre, but he is too cold to write any more. There is no fire in the grate, and hunger has made him faint.’

     ‘I will wait with you one night longer,’ said the Swallow, who really had a good heart. ‘Shall I take him another ruby?’

     ‘Alas! I have no ruby now,’ said the Prince; ‘my eyes are all that I have left. They are made of rare sapphires, which were brought out of India a thousand years ago. Pluck out one of them and take it to him. He will sell it to the jeweller, and buy food and firewood, and finish his play.’

     ‘Dear Prince,’ said the Swallow,’I cannot do that;’ and he began to weep.

     ‘Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘do as I command you.’

     So the Swallow plucked out the Prince’s eye, and flew away to the student’s garret. It was easy enough to get in, as there was a hole in the roof. Through this he darted, and came into the room. The young man had his head buried in his hands, so he did not hear the flutter of the bird’s wings, and when he looked up he found the beautiful sapphire lying on the withered violets.

     ‘I am beginning to be appreciated,’ he cried; ‘this is from some great admirer. Now I can finish my play,’ and he looked quite happy.

     The next day the Swallow flew down to the harbour. He sat on the mast of a large vessel and watched the sailors hauling big chests out of the hold with ropes. ‘Heave a-hoy!’ they shouted as each chest came up. ‘I am going to Egypt!’ cried the Swallow, but nobody minded, and when the moon rose he flew back to the Happy Prince.

     ‘I have come to bid you good-bye,’ he cried.

     ‘Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,’ said the Prince,’will you not stay with me one night longer?’

     ‘It is winter,’ answered the Swallow, and the chill snow will soon be here. In Egypt the sun is warm. My companions are building a nest in the Temple. Dear Prince, I must leave you, but I will never forget you, and next spring I will bring you back two beautiful jewels in place of those you have given away. The ruby shall be redder than a red rose, and the sapphire shall be as blue as the great sea.

     ‘In the square below,’ said the Happy Prince, ‘there stands a little match-girl. She has let her matches fall in the gutter, and they are all spoiled. Her father will beat her if she does not bring home some money, and she is crying. She has no shoes or stockings, and her little head is bare. Pluck out my other eye, and give it to her, and her father will not beat her.

     ‘I will stay with you one night longer,’ said the Swallow, ‘but I cannot pluck out your eye. You would be quite blind then.’

     ‘Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘do as I command you.’

     So he plucked out the Prince’s other eye, and darted down with it. He swooped past the match-girl, and slipped the jewel into the palm of her hand. ‘What a lovely bit of glass,’ cried the little girl; and she ran home, laughing.

     Then the Swallow came back to the Prince. ‘You are blind now,’ he said, ‘so I will stay with you always.’

     ‘No, little Swallow,’ said the poor Prince, ‘you must go away to Egypt.’

     ‘I will stay with you always,’ said the Swallow, and he slept at the Prince’s feet.

     All the next day he sat on the Prince’s shoulder, and told him stories of what he had seen in strange lands. He told him of the red ibises, who stand in long rows on the banks of the Nile, and catch gold fish in their beaks; of the Sphinx, who is as old as the world itself, and lives in the desert, and knows everything; of the merchants, who walk slowly by the side of their camels, and carry amber beads in their hands; of the King of the Mountains of the Moon, who is as black as ebony, and worships a large crystal; of the great green snake that sleeps in a palm-tree, and has twenty priests to feed it with honey-cakes; and of the pygmies who sail over a big lake on large flat leaves, and are always at war with the butterflies.

     ‘Dear little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘you tell me of marvellous things, but more marvellous than anything is the suffering of men and of women. There is no Mystery so great as Misery. Fly over my city, little Swallow, and tell me what you see there.’

     So the Swallow flew over the great city, and saw the rich making merry in their beautiful houses, while the beggars were sitting at the gates. He flew into dark lanes, and saw the white faces of starving children looking out listlessly at the black streets. Under the archway of a bridge two little boys were lying in one another’s arms to try and keep themselves warm. ‘How hungry we are’ they said. ‘You must not lie here,’ shouted the Watchman, and they wandered out into the rain.

     Then he flew back and told the Prince what he had seen.

     ‘I am covered with fine gold,’ said the Prince, ‘you must take it off, leaf by leaf, and give it to my poor; the living always think that gold can make them happy.’

     Leaf after leaf of the fine gold the Swallow picked off, till the Happy Prince looked quite dull and grey. Leaf after leaf of the fine gold he brought to the poor, and the children’s faces grew rosier, and they laughed and played games in the street. ‘We have bread nod’ they cried.

     Then the snow came, and after the snow came the frost. The streets looked as if they were made of silver, they were so bright and glistening; long icicles like crystal daggers hung down from the eaves of the houses, everybody went about in furs, and the little boys wore scarlet caps and skated on the ice.

     The poor little Swallow grew colder and colder, but he would not leave the Prince, he loved him too well. He picked up crumbs outside the baker’s door when the baker was not looking, and tried to keep himself warm by flapping his wings.

     But at last he knew that he was going to die. He had just strength to fly up to the Prince’s shoulder once more.’Good-bye, dear Prince!’ he murmured, ‘will you let me kiss your hand?’

     ‘I am glad that you are going to Egypt at last, little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘you have stayed too long here; but you must kiss me on the lips, for I love you.’

     ‘It is not to Egypt that I am going, ‘ said the Swallow. I am going to the House of Death. Death is the brother of Sleep, is he not?’

     And he kissed the Happy Prince on the lips, and fell down dead at his feet.

     At that moment a curious crack sounded inside the statue, as if something had broken. The fact is that the leaden heart had snapped right in two. It certainly was a dreadfully hard frost.

     Early the next morning the Mayor was walking in the square below in company with the Town Councillors. As they passed the column he looked up at the statue: ‘Dear me! how shabby the Happy Prince looks!’ he said.

     ‘How shabby indeed!’ cried the Town Councillors, who always agreed with the Mayor, and they went up to look at it.

     ‘The ruby has fallen out of his sword, his eyes are gone, and he is golden no longer,’ said the Mayor; ‘in fact, he is little better than a beggar!’

     ‘Little better than a beggar,’ said the Town Councillors.

     ‘And there is actually a dead bird at his feet,’ continued the Mayor. ‘We must really issue a proclamation that birds are not to be allowed to die here.’ And the Town Clerk made a note of the suggestion.

     So they pulled down the statue of the Happy Prince. ‘As he is no longer beautiful he is no longer useful,’ said the Art Professor at the University.

     Then they melted the statue in a furnace, and the Mayor held a meeting of the Corporation to decide what was to be done with the metal. ‘We must have another statue, of course,’ he said, ‘and it shall be a statue of myself.’

     ‘Of myself,’ said each of the Town Councillors, and they quarrelled. When I last heard of them they were quarrelling still.

     ‘What a strange thing!’ said the overseer of the workmen at the foundry.’This broken lead heart will not melt in the furnace. We must throw it away.’ So they threw it on a dust-heap where the dead Swallow was also lying.

     ‘Bring me the two most precious things in the city,’ said God to one of His Angels; and the Angel brought Him the leaden heart and the dead bird.

     ‘You have rightly chosen,’ said God, ‘for in my garden of Paradise this little bird shall sing for evermore, and in my city of gold the Happy Prince shall praise me.’

*****

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. 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

(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

(Archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 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. Book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

Story of an Indian salesman who is lowly qualified but fights his ways through uncertainities to reach the top. A good read for all salesmen. Now available in Amazon.com

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

*****

 

THE MONK WHO BECAME CHIEF MINISTER

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

THE MONK WHO BECAME CHIEF MINISTER

By Shantanu Gupta

    I just finished reading the above book on UP’s, 21st Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath. The author refers to him as, ‘a man on a mission.’ I took the book to hand with a specific objective in mind. Where, I was not looking for any literary jewels, in it. But then, yes. I definitely wanted to understand. How, in this devious, fierce and cut-throat world of ours, a distinct ‘no-one’ becomes an illustrious ‘someone.’ What arsenal of characteristics; first as a child, then as a student and then as an adult did he possess to rise, up to such great heights. The answers to which were not very underlined. And it can’t be. But then you need to catch hold of, the latent hints, insights and even inferences provided by the author to ascertain the whys and wherefores. Where, for a moment let us keep the element of ‘destiny’ aside.

    Author has reinforced the title of the book by adding a sub-title, ‘The Definitive Biography of Yogi Adityanath’ as an inviting teaser on the cover page.  He deals with the subdued, non flamboyant and traction less childhood of the protagonist in the last chapter. Which, I would have loved to read first.  

    The book can be divided into five major areas if we go by the chronology of the protagonist:

  • Ajay Bisht’s childhood and how he became Yogi Adityanath
  • His life in the Gorakhdham Mutt
  • His arrival and evolution as a politician
  • Misconceptions about him as a Hindu hardliner
  • His chapter as the Chief Minister

    In the sleek book the author has but concisely described Ajay Bisht’s childhood. He hails from a low middle class background. In all they are seven siblings, three sisters and four brothers. Where, he happens to be at number five after three elder sisters and one elder brother. His father was a ranger in the forest department of Uttara Khand Government. Since childhood, Ajay was an avid reader of newspaper, so says his father and that meant. He was always aware of what was happening in the world. His educational life was spent in the hilly regions of Kumaon that now falls under Uttarakhand. He was always a subdued but a thinking child. Who loved nature, environment and even animals as can be seen, in the pictures filed in the book, and above all, a cow lover. In November 1993, Ajay left his village, his parents, his friends, and his studies and without disclosing much to anyone in the family, he left for Gorakhpur. And on 15 February 1994, on the auspicious occasion of ‘Basant Panchami’ he was anointed as a Nath Panth Yogi by his guru and Chief Mahant (priest) Avaidyanath.

    The book concisely describes his journey from college life where he was pursuing MSc in Maths to Gorakhdham Mutt and thereon, to the coliseum of politics. In detail it even describes his activities as a mahant  and even when he takes over as head mahant. Where, he operated as man for the welfare of the needy. In fact he was the person who broke the bastion of the mighty gangs of the poorvanchal led by people like Harishanker Tiwari and Virendra Pratap Shahi. He happens to be a workaholic and clocks some 18-20 hours in a day.

   The book juggles between his ascetic, as well as his political journey quite sharply. He happens to be a Hindu hardliner but only for a Muslim hardliner. Otherwise he doesn’t harbor any first breath animosity with anyone. Even in Gorakhdham mutt his main contractor is a Muslim by the name of Ansari who can enter the temple any time even when Hindus cannot enter Mecca or Madina. When, Indian Muslims go for Haj. Their passports bear them out as Hindus—the point he makes.

    The book throws up certain insights which are not known to the masses. It even connects you to a number of reports and names of several journalists who have a pathological hatred for him. His speeches about minorities have been covered in detail. The narration is full of press release links, quotes of journalists. Including TV shows such as ‘Ap ki Adalat and AajTak.

    Most certainly one cannot determine whether a book can make or break a person’s image. But certainly it can change your opinion. It’s a good read if you want to know the person inside the sheath.

*****

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. 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

(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

(Archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 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. Book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

Story of an Indian salesman who is lowly qualified but fights his ways through uncertainities to reach the top. A good read for all salesmen. Now available in Amazon.com

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

*****

 

    

 

The Picture of Dorian Gray– by Oscar Wilde

Copyright@shravancharitymission

–Read India Read–

Khidki (window)

THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY

BY OSCAR WILDE

 

        This is an amazing novel of its times, but with an, unearthly theme. The biggest truth of life is. Everyone, wants to look beautiful and that too all throughout their lives. The offbeat novel profoundly captures this primeval topic. Even in present times. You will find many celebrities and even average, well-to-do individuals going in for various beauty treatments, to keep their looks shipshape. 

    Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland, in the year 1854. After a notable career as a poet, a lecturer, and even an editor, he published ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ in a monthly magazine in 1890. But he wasn’t satisfied with it. So he soon revised and lengthened it, for book publication in 1891. Wilde even wrote nine plays that included four celebrated comedies namely: Lady Windermere’s Fan, An ideal Husband, A Woman of No Importance, and The Importance of being Ernest. Sadly, Wilde died in Paris in the year 1900.

    I had read this eerie book long ago. The plot is not that easy to forget. As the essence of it keeps circling you, even, during your day to day existence—that is, how to keep your good looks alive. Remember, there are moments in life that can but change the drift of your pursuits.

    While waiting to begin his final sitting for artist Basil Hallward’s portrait of him. The beautiful, young Dorian Gray has a conversation that changes the very course of his life. Basil’s friend Lord Henry Wotton fills Dorian’s head with the idea that youth, beauty, and pleasure are all that matters in the world. He urges Dorian. To, indulge in all of life’s sensual joys. Before, age catches up and his good looks fade.

    When Dorian sees Basil’s, stunning finished picture. He is transfixed by its reflection on his own beauty. But he is also troubled by the insight that the image in the painting. Will forever remain, youthful and handsome while he himself would grow old, and be less desirable in times to come. So, he wishes aloud if the roles could be reversed. Saying that he would give his soul, if only the painting would suffer the ravages of time and instead he would remain young forever. But as the old adage goes: Be careful what you wish for.

    And that brings me to the point. If Oscar Wilde’s only published novel is at an elevation of hedonism? Or is it just a cautionary tale, or something else, altogether? In his preface, Wilde warns readers not to search for meaning in the story. He says ‘Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming.’ He further says ‘There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.’

    ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ is one of the most elegantly written books of all time. So I understand and even felt while reading.

    The chief protagonist ‘Dorian’ has some unusual emotions and beliefs when you find him saying. “How sad it is!” murmured Dorian Gray with his eyes still fixed upon his own portrait. “How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrible, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young. It will never be older than this particular day of June….If it were only the other way! If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that—for that—I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!”

    Some call it a philosophical novel. But I would also call it a controversial one for that era of time.    Since it has been published several times the plot of the novel varies between each of the published versions.  The summary below deals with the longest version the 1891 novel.                           

    ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ commences on a pleasing summer day of the Victorian era England. Where, Lord Henry Wotton, a dogmatic personality, is attentively observing the astute artist Basil Hallward while he is painting the portrait of Dorian Gray. A handsome young man who happens to be Basil’s ultimate muse.

    While posing for the painting, Dorian listens to Lord Henry, espousing, his hedonistic world view. When he begins to think that beauty is the only aspect of life worth pursuing. This prompts Dorian to incessantly wish that the painted image of his, would age, instead of himself. Under the hedonistic influence of Lord Henry, Dorian decides to fully explore his sensuality. When, he discovers actress Sibyl Vane, who performs in Shakespeare plays, in some dingy working-class theatre. Dorian approaches and courts her and soon proposes marriage. The enamoured Sibyl calls him ‘Prince Charming.’ She swoons with the ecstasy of being loved. But her over protective brother James Vane, warns, that in case ‘Prince Charming’ harms her, he will murder him.

    Dorian proudly invites Basil and Lord Henry to see Sibyl perform in Romeo and Juliet. Sibyl, too enamoured with Dorian to act, performs poorly on that day that makes both Basil and Lord Henry think. Dorian has fallen in love with Sibyl because of her beauty instead of her acting talent.  

     Embarrassed, Dorian rejects Sibyl. Telling her that acting alone was her beauty. Without which she no longer interests him. On returning home, Dorian notices that the portrait has changed. His wish has come true as the man in the portrait bears a subtle sneer of cruelty.

    Conscience-stricken and lonely, Dorian decides to reconcile with Sibyl, but he is too late, as Lord Henry informs him that Sibyl has committed suicide by swallowing prussic acid. Dorian then understands, where his life is headed, lust and good looks shall suffice. Dorian locks the portrait up, and over the next eighteen years. He experiments with every vice; influenced by a morally poisonous French novel that Lord Henry Wotton gave him. (The narrative does not reveal the title of the French novel. But during the trial, Wilde did say that the novel he had read was ‘A Rebours’ (Against the Nature, 1884), by Joris-Karl Huysmans.

    One night before leaving for Paris. Basil goes to Dorian’s house. To, ask him about the rumours of his self-indulgent voluptuary.

    Dorian does not deny his debauchery and takes Basil to see the portrait. The portrait has become hideous. Which Basil is able to identify as his work, only by the signature he affixes to all his portraits. Basil is horrified and beseeches Dorian to pray for salvation. But in deep anger Dorian blames his fate on Basil and stabs him to death. He then calmly blackmails an old friend, the scientist Alan Campbell into using his knowledge of chemistry to destroy the body of Basil Hallward. Alan not able to come to terms kills himself over the deed.

    To, escape the guilt of his crime. Dorian goes to an opium den. Where, James Vane is unknowingly present. James has been seeking vengeance upon Dorian, ever since Sibyl killed herself. But he had no leads to pursue. The only thing he knew about Dorian, was the name Sibyl called him by, ‘Prince Charming.’ In the opium den he hears someone refer to Dorian as ‘Prince Charming,’ and he accosts Dorian forthwith. Dorian deceives James into believing that he is too young to have known Sibyl, who killed herself 18 years ago, as his face is still that of a young man. James relents and releases Dorian. But is then, approached by a woman from the opium den who reproaches James for not killing Dorian. She confirms that the man was indeed Dorian Gray by explaining that he has not aged even in eighteen years. James runs after Dorian. But by then he is gone.

     James then begins to stalk Dorian, causing Dorian to fear for his life.  However, during a shooting party, a hunter accidentally kills James Vane, who was lurking around a thicket. On returning to London, Dorian tells Lord Henry that he will live righteously now on. His new probity begins with deliberately not breaking the heart of the naive Hetty Merton, his latest romantic interest. Dorian wonders if his new-found goodness has reverted, the corruption in his picture. But when he looks at it he sees even an uglier image of himself. This makes Dorian understand that his true motives for self sacrifice of moral reformation were only a vanity and curiosity of his quest for new experiences. Deciding, only full confession will absolve him of the wrongdoing. Dorian decides to destroy the last vestige of his conscience, and the only piece of evidence remaining of his crimes—the picture.

    In a rage, he takes the knife with which he had murdered Basil Hallward, and stabs the picture. The servants of the house awaken on hearing a cry from the locked room. On the street, passers-by who also heard the cry call the police. Upon entering the locked room, the servants find an unknown old man, stabbed in the heart. With his face and figure, withered and decrepit. The servants identify the disfigured corpse by the rings on its fingers that belonged to their master. And beside him is the picture of Dorian Gray, restored to its original beauty.   

*****

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. 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

(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

(Archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 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. Book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

Story of an Indian salesman who is lowly qualified but fights his ways through uncertainities to reach the top. A good read for all salesmen. Now available in Amazon.com

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

*****