All posts by shravancharitymission

About shravancharitymission

Ex- Senior corporate- writer, author and social activist currently working for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases.

The Crows in The Kingdom

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Once on a fine sunny day, king Akbar and Birbal were taking a leisure walk in the palace gardens. Suddenly, king Akbar thought of testing Birbal’s wits by asking him a tricky question. The Emperor asked Birbal, “How many crows are there in our kingdom?” Birbal could sense the amusement in the king’s voice, and within a few minutes Birbal replied, “My lord, there are eighty thousand nine hundred and seventy-one crows in our kingdom”. Surprised and amazed, Akbar further tested Birbal, “What if we have more crows than this?” Without giving much thought, Birbal replied, “Oh, then the crows from the other kingdoms must be visiting us’’. “ What if there are lesser crows, asked Akbar?” “Well, then some of our crows must be visiting other kingdoms”, replied Birbal with a grin on his face. Akbar smiled at Birbal’s great sense of humour and wit.

Moral of the story:

There is always an answer to any question if one thinks with ease.

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)

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SHORT STORY: CHANGE

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    As we grow old ideas always undergo a sea-change. Our perceptions about everything changes with the passage of time. Just before the Battle of Kurukshetra, Arjun told Krishna with rigid and overconfident obstinacy: If a situation arises where I’m required to kill Bhishma Pitamah. I’ll rather die than even think of killing him.’ Krishna smiled and said to Arjun, ‘Drigo charam pashyanti’ –Let’s see, only time will decide.’ Needless to say, Arjuna, the apple of Bhishma’s eye, finally had to kill the venerable warrior during the battle.

   ‘Change today’s thoughts. Then only can you blossom into a competitive individual,’ said English philosopher John Locke.

    Khandanmandanam iti nihitam jeevanasya rahasyam—‘The essence of life lies in the refutation of one’s own values and beliefs.’

    Beliefs get fossilised when we refuse to change them.

Posted 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)

*****

 

 

 

MARK TWAIN-DID HE DIE AS PER HIS PREDICTION? FIND OUT

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Samuel Langhorne Clemens lifespan (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), was born in Florida, Missouri. Better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. He was lauded as the “greatest humorist the country had produced.” Nobel laureate William Faulkner called him “the father of American literature.” His novels include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), the latter often called, “The Great American Novel.”

   He was the sixth of seven children born to Jane and John Marshall Clemens, a native of Virginia. Mark Twain was a Cornish English and of Scots-Irish descent. Only three of his siblings Orion, Henry and Pamela survived childhood. His sister Margaret died when Twain was three, and his brother Benjamin died three years later. His brother Pleasant Hannibal (1828) died at three weeks of age.

    When Twain was four, his family moved to Hannibal Missouri, a port town on the Mississippi River that inspired the fictional town of St. Petersburg in his book ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ and the ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.’ Slavery was legal in Missouri at the time, and it became a theme in these writings. His father was an attorney and a judge, who died of pneumonia in 1847, when Twain was only 11. Thereafter, he went through a lot of struggle. Next year, Twain left school, after fifth grade, to become a printer’s apprentice. In 1851, he began working as a typesetter, contributing articles and humorous sketches to the Hannibal Journal, a newspaper that Orion his brother owned. When he was 18, he left Hannibal Journal and worked as a printer in New York City, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Cincinnati, joining the newly formed printers trade union. He educated himself in public libraries in the evenings, finding wider information than at a conventional school.

    He served as an apprentice with a printer and then as a typesetter, contributing articles in the newspaper of his older brother Orion Clemens. Later on, a Steamboat pilot, adopted Twain, as a cub pilot, and taught him about the river between New Orleans and St. Louis. Twain studied, river Mississippi extensively, by learning its landmarks, how to navigate its currents effectively, and how to read the river and its constantly shifting channels, reefs, submerged snags, and rocks that could tear the life out, of the strongest vessel that ever floated. It was an ordeal of more than two years before he received his pilot’s license. Piloting also gave him his pen name of “Mark Twain.”     

    As a young pilot, Mark Twain served on the steamer. While working, he convinced his younger brother Henry to work with him, and even arranged a post of mud clerk for him on the steamboat. But on June 13, 1858, sadly the steamboat’s boiler exploded. Henry was badly injured. He succumbed to his wounds on June 21. Twain claimed to have foreseen his death in a dream a month earlier, which inspired his interest in para-psychology. He was an early member of the Society for Psychical Research. Twain was guilt-stricken and held himself responsible for the rest of his life. He continued to work on the river as a river pilot until the Civil War broke out in 1861, when traffic was curtailed along the Mississippi River. He later wrote a sketch “The Private History of a Campaign That Failed.” He then left for Nevada to work for his brother Orion, who was the Secretary of the Nevada Territory.

    Twain was raised in Hannibal, Missouri. This, provided the setting for his books, ‘Tom Sawyer’ and ‘Huckleberry Finn.’ His humorous story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” was published in 1865, based on a story that he had heard in Angels Camp, California, where he had spent some time as a miner. The short story brought international attention and was even translated into French. Mark Twain earned a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, but he invested it, in wrong ventures and lost most of it. He invested mostly in new inventions and technology, and also lost money through his publishing house. He later filed for bankruptcy in the wake of these financial setbacks, but he eventually overcame his financial troubles with the help of a financier Henry Huttleston Rogers and paid all his creditors in full, even though his bankruptcy relieved him of having to do so.

    Twain and Olivia Langdon his wife corresponded throughout in 1868. She rejected his first marriage proposal, but they were finally married in Elmira, New York in February 1870. She came from a “wealthy but liberal family.” Through her, Twain met abolitionists, socialists, principled atheists, activists for women’s rights and social equality. The couple lived in Buffalo, New York, from 1869 to 1871. He owned a stake in the Buffalo Express Newspaper and worked as an editor and writer. While they were living in Buffalo, their son Langdon died of diphtheria at the age of 19 months. Thereafter they had three daughters: Susy, Clara and Jean.

    Later Twain moved his family to Hartford, Connecticut, where he arranged for a home in 1873. In the 1870s and 1880s, the family summered at Quarry Farm in Elmira, the home of Olivia’s sister, Susan Crane. In 1874, Susan got a study room built, so that Twain could have a quiet place to write. Also, Twain was a chain cigar smoker, and Susan did not want him to do so in her house.

    Twain wrote many of his classic novels during these 17 years in Hartford (1874–1891) at Quarry Farm. They include. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), The Prince and the Pauper (1881), Life on the Mississippi (1883), Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889).

    The couple’s marriage lasted 34 years until Olivia’s death in 1904. All of Clemens family are buried in Elmira’s Woodlawn Cemetery.

    Twain’s journey ended in the silver-mining town of Virginia City, Nevada, where he became a miner. But he failed as a miner and went to work at the Virginia City newspaper Territorial Enterprise, working under a friend. He first used his pen name here on February 3, 1863, when he wrote a humorous travel account titled “Letter From Carson” and signed it as, “Mark Twain”.

    His experiences in the American West inspired him to write ‘Roughing It,’ which was published in 1872. Further, his experiences in Angels Camp (in Calaveras County, California) provided him material to write, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” (1865).

    Mark Twain moved to San Francisco in 1864, as a journalist, and met many distinguished writers there. He may have been romantically involved with the poet Ina Coolbrith.

    His first success as a writer came when his humorous tall tale “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” was published on November 18, 1865, in the New York Weekly, The Saturday Press, bringing him national attention. A year later, he traveled to the Sandwich Islands (present-day Hawaii) as a reporter for newspaper ‘Sacramento Union.’ Where, his letters to the Union were popular and became the basis for his first lectures.

    In 1867, a local newspaper funded his trip to the Mediterranean and into the Quaker City (Philadelphia), including a tour of Europe and the Middle East. He wrote a collection of travel letters which were later compiled as, ‘The Innocents Abroad’ (in 1869). It was on this trip that he met fellow passenger Charles Langdon, who showed him the picture of his sister Olivia, with whom Twain fell in love almost at first sight.

    Upon returning to the US, Twain was offered honorary membership in Yale University’s, secret Scroll and Key society, in 1868. Twain was fascinated by science and scientific inquiry. He developed a close and lasting friendship with Nikola Tesla, and the two spent much of their time together in Tesla’s laboratory. In the process he patented three inventions—must say he was a genious.

    Twain was an early proponent of fingerprinting as a forensic technique. He featured it, in his tall tale, ‘Life on the Mississipi (1883) and as a central plot element in his novel Pudd’nhead Wilson (1894).

    Twain’s novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889) features a time traveler from the contemporary U.S., using his knowledge of science to introduce modern technology to Arthurian England.

    In 1909, Thomas Edison visited Twain at his home in Redding Connecticut and filmed him. Part of the footage was used in ‘The Prince and the Pauper’ (1909), a two-reel short film. It is, the only known, existing film footage, of Twain.

    There is a Plaque in Sydney Writers Walk, commemorating, his visit to Sydney, Australia, in 1895. Twain was in great demand as a featured speaker, performing solo humorous talks similar to modern stand-up comedy. He gave paid talks to many men’s clubs, including the Authors’ Club, Beefsteak, Vagabonds, White Friars, and Monday Evening Club of Hartford.

    In the late 1890s, he spoke to the Savage Club in London and was elected as its honorary member. He visited Melbourne and Sydney in 1895 as part of a world lecture tour. In 1897, he spoke at the Concordia Press Club in Vienna as a special guest, following the diplomat Charlemagne Tower Jr. He delivered a speech “The Horrors of the German Language”—in German—to the great amusement of the audience. In 1901, he was invited to speak at Princeton University’s Cliosophic Literary Society, where he was made an honorary member.

    In 1881, Twain was honored at a banquet in Montreal, Canada where he made reference to securing a copyright. In 1883, he paid a brief visit to Ottawa, and he visited Toronto twice in 1884 and 1885 on a reading tour with novelist George Washington Cable, known as the “Twins of Genius” tour.

    The reason for the Toronto visits was to secure Canadian and British copyrights for his upcoming book Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Publishers in Toronto had printed unauthorized editions of his books at the time, before an international copyright agreement was established in 1891. These were sold in the United States as well as in Canada, depriving him of royalties.

    He estimated that Belford Brothers edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer alone had cost him ten thousand dollars. He had unsuccessfully attempted to secure the rights for The Prince and the Pauper in 1881, in conjunction with his Montreal trip. Eventually, he received legal advice to register a copyright in Canada (for both Canada and Britain) prior to publishing in the United States, which would restrain the Canadian publishers from printing a version when the American edition was published. There was a requirement that a copyright be registered to a Canadian resident. He addressed this by his short visits to the country.

LATER LIFE AND DEATH

    Twain lived his later years in 14 West 10th Street in Manhattan. He passed through a period of deep depression which began in 1896 when his daughter Susy died of meningitis. Olivia’s death in 1904 and second daughter Jean’s death on December 24, 1909, deepened his gloom. As if this was not enough when on May 20, 1909, his close friend Henry Rogers too, died suddenly. In 1906, Twain began his autobiography in the North American Review (a lit magazine). In April, he heard that his friend Ina Coolbrith had lost nearly all that she owned in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and he volunteered a few autographed portrait photographs to be sold for her benefit.

    Twain formed a club in 1906 for girls whom he viewed as surrogate granddaughters called the Angel Fish and Aquarium Club. A dozen or so members in the age group from 10 to 16. He exchanged letters with his “Angel Fish” girls and invited them to concerts and theatre and to play games. Twain wrote in 1908 that the club was his “life’s chief delight”. In 1907, he met Dorothy Quick (aged 11) on a transatlantic crossing, beginning “a friendship that was to last until the very day of his death”.

    Oxford University awarded Twain an honorary doctorate of letters in 1907.

    Twain was born two weeks after Halley’s Comet’s closest approach to earth in 1835. He said in 1909 I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. Twain’s prediction was accurate; he died of a heart attack on April 21, 1910, one day after the comet’s closest approach to Earth. Twain and his wife are buried side-by-side in Elmira’s Woodlawn Cemetery.

(Part 2 about his writings in detail)

    Twain began his career, writing light, humorous verses, but he became a chronicler of vanities, hypocrisies, and murderous acts of mankind. At mid-career, he combined rich humor, sturdy narrative, and social criticism in Huckleberry Finn. He was a master in rendering colloquial speech and helped to create and popularize a distinctive American literature built on American themes and language.

    Many of his works have been suppressed at times for various reasons. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been repeatedly restricted in American high schools, not least for its frequent use of the word “nigger” which was in common usage in the pre-Civil War period in which the novel was set.

    A complete bibliography of Twain’s works is nearly impossible to compile because of the vast number of pieces he wrote (often in obscure newspapers) and his use of several different pen names. Additionally, a large portion of his speeches and lectures have been lost or were not recorded. Thus the compilation of Twain’s works is an ongoing process. Researchers rediscovered published material as recently as 1995 and 2015.

    Twain wrote for the Territorial Enterprise, a Virginia City newspaper in 1863, when he met lawyer Tom Fitch, editor of the competing newspaper Virginia Daily Union, known as the “silver-tongued orator of the Pacific”. 

    Twain became a writer of the Sagebrush School. He was later known as its most famous member. His first important work was “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” published in the New York Saturday Press on November 18, 1865. After a burst of popularity, the Sacramento Union, commissioned him to write letters about his travel experiences. The first journey that he took for this job was to ride the steamer Ajax on its maiden voyage to the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii). All the while, he was writing letters to the newspaper that were meant for publishing, and chronicling his experiences with humor. These letters proved to be the genesis of his work with the San Francisco Alta California newspaper that designated him as a traveling correspondent for a trip from San Francisco to New York City via the Panama isthmus.

    On June 8, 1867, he set sail on the pleasure cruiser Quaker City for five months. This trip resulted in completion of his travel book The Innocents Abroad or The New Pilgrims Progress, published in 1869. In 1872, he published his second piece of travel literature, ‘Roughing It’ as an account of his journey from Missouri to Nevada, his subsequent life in the American West, and his visit to Hawaii. The book lampoons American and Western society in the same manner that Innocents critiqued the various countries of Europe and the Middle East. His next work was The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, his first attempt at writing a novel. The book, written with his neighbour Charles Dudley Warner, is also his only collaboration.

    Twain’s next work drew on his experiences on the Mississippi River. ‘Old Times on the Mississippi’ was a series of sketches published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1875 featuring his disillusionment with Romanticism. Old Times eventually became the starting point for Life on the Mississippi.

    Twain’s next major publication was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, which draws on his youth in Hannibal. Tom Sawyer was modeled on Twain as a child, with traces of schoolmates John Briggs and Will Bowen. The book also introduces Huckleberry Finn in a supporting role, based on Twain’s boyhood friend Tom Blankenship.

    The Prince and the Pauper was not as well received, despite a storyline that is common in film and literature today. The book tells the story of two boys born on the same day who are physically identical, acting as a social commentary as the prince and pauper switch places. Twain had started Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (which he consistently had problems completing—that included close to failure of nerves) and had instead completed his travel book A Tramp Abroad, which describes his travels through central and southern Europe.

    Twain’s next major published work was the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which confirmed him as a noteworthy American writer. Some have called it the first Great American Novel, and the book has become a must read in many schools throughout the United States. Huckleberry Finn was an offshoot from Tom Sawyer 

    Near the completion of Huckleberry Finn, Twain wrote ‘Life on Mississippi,’ which is said to have heavily influenced his novel on biography. The travel work recounts Twain’s memories and new experiences after a 22-year absence from the Mississippi River.

HIS LATER WRITINGS

    Twain produced President Ulysses S. Grant’s Memoirs through his fledgling publishing house. He also wrote “The Private History of a Campaign That Failed” for The Century Magazine. He next focused on ‘A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, written with the same historical fiction style as The Prince and the Pauper. A Connecticut Yankee showed the absurdities of political and social norms by setting them in the court of King Arthur. The book was started in December 1885, then shelved a few months later until the summer of 1887, and eventually finished in the spring of 1889.

    His next large-scale work was Pudd’nhead Wilson, which he wrote rapidly, as he was desperately trying to stave off bankruptcy. From November 12 to December 14, 1893, Twain wrote 60,000 words for the novel. It was first published serially in Century Magazine and, when it was finally published in book form, Pudd’nhead Wilson appeared as the main title; however, the “subtitles” make the entire title read: The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson and the Comedy of The Extraordinary Twins.

    Twain’s next venture was a work of straight fiction that he called Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc and dedicated to his wife. He had long said that this was the work that he was most proud of, despite the criticism that he received for it. The book had been a dream of his since childhood, and he claimed that he had found a manuscript detailing the life of Joan of Arc when he was an adolescent. This was another piece that he was convinced would save his publishing company. His financial adviser Henry Huttleston Rogers quashed that idea and got Twain out of that business altogether, but the book was published nonetheless.

    To pay the bills and keep his business projects afloat, Twain had begun to write articles and commentary furiously, with diminishing returns, but it was not enough. He filed for bankruptcy in 1894. During this time of dire financial straits, he published several literary reviews in newspapers to help make ends meet.

    Twain’s wife died in 1904. After some time had passed he published some works that his wife, his de facto editor and censor throughout their married life, had looked down upon. The Mysterious Stranger is perhaps the best known, depicting various visits of Satan to earth. This particular work was not published in Twain’s lifetime. His manuscripts included three versions, written between 1897 and 1905. The so-called Hannibal, Eseldorf, and Print Shop versions.

    Twain’s last work was his autobiography, which he dictated and thought would be most entertaining if he went off on whims and tangents in non-chronological order. But some archivists and compilers have rearranged the biography into a more conventional form, thereby eliminating some of Twain’s humor and the flow of the book.

    Twain’s works have been subjected to censorship efforts. According to Stuart (2013), “Leading these banning campaigns, generally, were religious organizations or individuals in positions of influence. In 1905, the Brooklyn Public Library banned both The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer from the children’s department because of their language.

    Twain’s views became more radical as he grew older.

    From 1901, soon after his return from Europe, until his death in 1910, Twain was vice-president of the American Anti-Imperialist League, which opposed the annexation of the Philippines by the United States and had “tens of thousands of members”. He wrote many political pamphlets for the organization.

    During the Philippine-American War, Twain wrote a short pacifist story titled The War Prayer, which makes the point that humanism and Christianity’s preaching of love are incompatible with the conduct of war.

    Twain was an adamant supporter of the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of slaves.

    About India he said. “So far as I am able to judge nothing has been left undone, either by man or Nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Where every prospect pleases, and only man is vile.”

    He was also a staunch supporter of women’s rights and an active campaigner for women’s suffrage.

    He created a reverent portrayal of Joan of Arc, a subject over which he had obsessed for forty years, studied for a dozen years and spent two years writing about. In 1900 and again in 1908 he stated, “I like Joan of Arc, best of all my books, it is the best”.

    Those who knew Twain well late in life recount that he dwelt on the subject of the afterlife, his daughter Clara saying: “Sometimes he believed death ended everything, but most of the time he felt sure of a life beyond.”

    Twain was opposed to the vivisection practices (practice of performing operations on live animals) His objection was not on a scientific basis but rather an ethical one. He specifically cited the pain caused to the animal as his basis of his opposition:

    He used different pen names before deciding on “Mark Twain”. He signed humorous and imaginative sketches as “Josh” until 1863. Additionally, he used the pen name “Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass” for a series of humorous letters.

    While Twain is often depicted wearing a white suit, modern representations suggesting that he wore them throughout his life are unfounded. Evidence suggests that Twain began wearing white suits on the lecture circuit, after the death of his wife Olivia (“Livy”) in 1904.

Posted 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)

*****

 

 

 

SHORT STORY: AKBAR’S DREAM

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Once when Emperor Akbar was dreaming. The dream began with Akbar and Birbal walking towards each other on a moonless night.

    It was so dark that they could not see each other and they collided and fell.

    “Fortunately for me,” said the Emperor. “I fell into a pool of payasam—Kheer. But guess, what Birbal fell into?”
    “What, your Majesty?” asked the courtiers.

    “A gutter!”

    The court resounded with laughter. The emperor was thrilled that for once he had been able to score over Birbal.

    But Birbal remained unperturbed.

   “Your Majesty,” he said when the laughter died down. “Strangely, I too, had the same dream. But unlike you, I kept sleeping till the end. And when, you climbed out of that pool, of delicious payasam—kheer, and I, out of that stinking gutter, we discovered there was no water with which, we could clean ourselves, so guess, what we did?”

    “What?” asked the emperor, cautiously.

    “We licked each other clean!”

    The emperor became red with embarrassment and resolved never to try to get the better of Birbal again.

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: BIRBAL AND THE CABBAGE

Copyright@shravancharitymission

One day Akbar and Birbal were riding through the countryside when they happened to pass by a field where cabbage was being grown.

    “Cabbage is such a delight. I love cabbage!” explained Akbar.

    “Cabbage is the king of all vegetables my lord!” said Birbal.

    A few weeks later they were riding past the cabbage field again.

    This time however, the emperor made a face when he saw the vegetables. “I used to love cabbage but now I have no taste for it.” said Akbar.

    “Cabbage indeed is a tasteless vegetable huzoor.” agreed Birbal.

    The emperor was astonished at this remark of Birbal.

    “But Birbal, last time you said it was the king of vegetables!” pointed Akbar.

    “I did,” admitted Birbal. “But I am your servant Your Majesty, and not of cabbage.”

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)

*****

 

 

 

SHORT STORY: BIRBAL’S KICHADI

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Once on a cold winter day, Akbar and Birbal were passing through a lake. Akbar stopped for a moment and put his finger into the freezing water and immediately took it out, saying, “I don’t think anyone can sustain a night in this cold water”. Birbal, took that, as a challenge, and said, that he would find someone who could do that. Akbar promised a sum of 1000 gold coins, to whosoever, who could spend a night, standing in the cold water of the lake. Soon, Birbal found a poor man who agreed to undertake the challenge for the 1000 gold coins. Guarded by two royal guards, the poor man spent the entire night standing in the freezing water.

    In the morning, the poor man was taken to court for the reward. Upon being asked by the king how he could stand in the freezing water, the man replied, “My lord, I kept looking at a lamp that was burning at a distance, and spent my entire night looking at it”. On learning this, the emperor said, “This man is not worthy of the reward as he could manage to stand in the lake only because he was getting warmth from the lamp”. The poor man felt doomed and heart-broken, and he reached Birbal for help. Birbal didn’t go to the court the next day. Akbar visited Birbal to find the reason. To his amusement, the king found Birbal sitting beside the fire with a pot hanging almost 6 feet above it. On being enquired, Birbal said, “I am cooking khichadi, my lord”. Akbar started laughing and said that is impossible. Birbal said, “It is possible My Lord—just as the poor man who can stay warm by simply looking at the lamp burning at a distance, I can cook this khichadi in the same manner.” Akbar understood Birbal’s point, and rewarded the poor man for the challenge.

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)

*****

 

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA– by Jules Verne

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.

    ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea’ is a classic science fiction, adventure novel, written in 1870 by French writer Jules Verne. The novel was first translated into English in the year 1873 by Reverend Lewis Page Mercier. 

    The book was highly acclaimed when it was published and remains so. It is regarded as one of the premier adventure novels and one of Verne’s greatest works, along with ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’ and ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth.’

    In the book the description and detailing of Nemo’s ship—the Nautilus, is considered to be way ahead of its time, as it accurately describes innumerable features of a modern submarine, which at the time of writing this book were very primitive vessels.

    The title ‘twenty thousand leagues’ refers to the distance travelled while under the sea. 20,000 leagues (or 80,000 km) is nearly twice the circumference of the Earth. The greatest depth mentioned in the book is four leagues. The book uses metric leagues, which are four kilometres each.

    During the year 1866, ships of several nations spot a mysterious sea monster, which some suggest to be a giant narwhal. (A narwhal, or narwhale, is a medium sized, toothed whale that possesses a large ‘tusk’ from a protruding canine tooth). The United States government assembles an expedition in New York City to find and destroy the monster. Professor Pierre Aronnax, a French marine biologist and narrator of the story, who happens to be in New York at the time, receives a last-minute invitation to join the expedition, which he accepts. Canadian whaler and master harpoonist Ned Land and Aronnax’s faithful servant Conseil are also brought aboard.

    The expedition departs from 34th Street Pier in Manhattan aboard the United States Navy frigate Abraham Lincoln and travels south around Cape Horn into the Pacific Ocean. After a long search, the ship finds the monster and then attacks the beast, which damages the ship’s rudder. The three protagonists are then hurled into the water when they get hold of the “hideout” of the creature, which they find, to their surprise, to be a submarine way far ahead of its era. They are forced to wait on the back of the submarine boat until morning when they are captured and brought inside the vessel, where they meet its enigmatic creator and commander, Captain Nemo.

    The rest of the story follows the adventures of the protagonists aboard the creature—the submarine, the Nautiluswhich was built in secrecy and now roams the seas free from any land-based government. Captain Nemo’s motivation is implied to be both a scientific thirst for knowledge and a desire for revenge upon (and self-imposed exile from) civilzation. Nemo explains that his submarine is electrically powered and can perform advanced marine biology research. He also tells his new passengers that although he appreciates conversing with such an expert as Aronnax, maintaining the secrecy of his existence requires never letting them leave. Aronnax and Conseil are enthralled by the undersea adventures, but Ned Land the harpoonist can only think of escape.

    They visit many places under the ocean, some real-world and others fictional. The travellers witness the real corals of the Red Sea, the wrecks of the battle of Vigo Bay, the Antarctic ice shelves, the Transatlantic telegraph cable and the legendary submerged land of Atlantis. The travelers also use diving suits to hunt sharks and other marine life with air-guns and have an underwater funeral for a crew member who died when an accident occurred under mysterious conditions inside the Nautilus. When the Nautilus returns to the Atlantic Ocean, a pack of “poulpes” (usually translated as a giant squid, although in French “poulpe” means “octopus”) attack the vessel and kill a crew member.

    Throughout the story Captain Nemo is suggested to have exiled himself from the world after an encounter with the forces that occupied his country that had devastating effects on his family. Not long after the incident of the poulpes, Nemo suddenly changes his behaviour toward Aronnax, avoiding him. Aronnax no longer feels the same and begins to sympathize with Ned Land. Near the end of the book, the Nautilus is attacked by a warship of some nation that had made Nemo suffer.

    Filled with hatred and revenge, Nemo ignores Aronnax’s pleas for mercy. Nemo—nicknamed “angel of hatred” by Aronnax—destroys the ship, ramming it just below the waterline, and consequently sinking it into the bottom of the sea, much to Aronnax’s horror, as he watches the ship plunge into the abyss. Nemo kneels before the pictures of his wife and children and is plunged into deep depression after this encounter. For several days after this, the situation of protagonists’ keeps changing.

    No one seems to be on board any longer and the Nautilus moves about randomly. Ned Land is even more depressed, Conseil fears for Ned’s life, and Aronnax, horrified at what Nemo had done to the ship, can no longer stand the situation either. One evening, Ned Land announces an opportunity to escape. Although Aronnax wants to leave Nemo, whom he now holds in horror, he still wishes to see him for one last time. But he knows that Nemo would never let him escape, so he avoids meeting him.

    Before the escape, however, he sees him one last time (although secretly), and hears him say, “Almighty God! Enough! Enough!” Aronnax immediately goes to his companions and they are ready to escape. But while they loosen the dinghy, they discover that Nautilus has wandered into the Moskenstraumen, a whirlpool more commonly known as the “Mael-strom”. They finally manage to escape and find refuge on a nearby island off the coast of Norway, but the fate of the Nautilus is unknown.

    It’s an excellent book to read. Even e-book is available quite cheap. So pick it up. The description and detailing especially done 150 years back is par-excellence. The author indeed was a genious.

    Novels are all about imagination. And I salute his imagination. I would give this novel 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)

*****