Category Archives: book talk,

BOOK STALL: TO BUILD A FIRE by Jack London

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.

    “To Build a Fire” is a short story by American author Jack London. There are two versions of this story. One published in 1902 and the other in 1908. The story that was written in 1908 has become an anthologized classic, while the 1902 story is lesser known. The 1908 version is about an unnamed protagonist who ventures out in the sub-zero boreal forest (located in the Arctic zone) of the Yukon Territory, along with his dog, to visit some of his friends. While doing so he ignores the warnings from an older man about the dangers of hiking alone. The protagonist underestimates the harsh conditions and slowly begins to freeze to death. After trying and then failing to build a fire, he slips into unconsciousness and dies of hypothermia—low body temperature.

    The 1902 version describes a similar situation, but with a different plot. Though the structure and storyline are similar in both. In 1902 the weather is not as cold and horrendous, and no dog follows the protagonist, the fire is not doused, and the man (named Tom Vincent) suffers only from permanent frostbite. And he survives to become a melancholic but wiser person.

    Whereas, the 1908 version of the story is an example of the naturalist movement that portrays the conflict of man versus nature. It also reflects what Jack London perhaps learned in the Yukon Territory. And it details as follows:

    An unnamed man sets out to hike through the forests bordering the Yukon River on a winter day when the temperature has reached -75°F (-59°C). Having ignored the advice of an old prospector against traveling alone in such weather, he is accompanied only by his large husky dog. The animal’s instincts warn about the dangers of the extreme cold weather. Yet, it follows the man unwillingly. And as they follow the course of a frozen creek, the man is careful to avoid patches of thin ice, hidden in the snow, that cover pockets of unfrozen water. His goal is to reach a group of prospectors (“the boys”) at their camp by 6:00 that evening.

    At half past noon, the man stops and builds a fire so that he can warm up and also eat his lunch. He shortly resumes his hike, when he breaks through the ice and drenches his feet and lower legs, forcing him to stop and build another fire. This one under a tree, in order to dry himself. But as he pulls the twigs, from the brush pile around the tree to feed the flames. The vibrations cause the snow to tumble down from the branches overhead and extinguish the fire. This creates a crisis. The man quickly begins to lose sensation in the extremities and hurries to light another fire. He now begins to premonition the life-threatening danger posed by the cold. He tries to light the fire by igniting all his matches and in the process he exhausts, all of it. Now with no more matches in hand, the man tries to kill the dog for warmth. But his hands are so stiff that he can neither strangle it nor draw his knife. Finally, he tries to restore his circulation by running towards the camp, but stumbles and falls in the snow. The man dies of hypothermia, imagining himself standing with “the boys” as they find his body. The dog leaves the body after dark to find food and shelter at the camp.

    The man and the dog’s relationship is followed throughout the story. The man is in absolute control of the dog, as explicitly mentioned by London. The dog is almost like a slave to him and is shown cowering before the man and following orders. However, there is no physical intimacy between the two. The man doesn’t pet the dog or treat him fondly. In fact, the man forces the dog to go ahead of him when he suspects the ice will break. This helps to build the idea that the man believes nature is intended to serve him. The man’s interactions, in this relationship, is how the reader discovers the man’s personality and character to be. By including the dog in the story, the author makes the man less likable. London even describes the dog as his “toil-slave”.

    “Man vs Nature” is one of the themes presented in this short story. The protagonist decides to face the brutal cold temperatures of the Yukon Territory, despite being warned by an older man. The short story depicts the protagonist’s battle of life and death while highlighting the importance of the fire.

    Another theme illustrated in the story is the man’s human sense of judgment contrasted with the dog’s animal instincts. Throughout the story, London hints that the dog has more knowledge of survival than the man. The judgment versus instinct theme is evident when the man builds the first fire. While the dog wants to stay by the fire to keep warm, the man is determined to keep moving. And as the dog reluctantly follows the man across a frozen river, the dog is more cautious than the man.

    The protagonist’s desperation is evident throughout the story. It is noticeable soon after the man falls into a frozen river. In order to save himself, he scrambles to build a fire but is too busy worrying about his health to notice the mistake of building a fire underneath a tree that has collected an enormous amount of snow. After the first fire is put out, his desperation becomes even more defined as he seemingly will do anything to survive. Including attempting to kill his dog for warmth and using all his matches at once in a final attempt to light his last fire. His desperation for survival and his fear of death causes his demise as he freezes to death at the end of the story.

    Another evident theme in the story is perseverance. Although the man makes several mistakes and is getting frostbite in his fingers and toes, he continues to fight for survival.

    Stupidity and arrogance are personified in the story’s protagonist. For example, he goes through the extremely cold territory alone, despite going for the first time. He laughs off the crucial advice of traveling with an acquaintance because he thinks he knows what he’s doing. This arrogance results in the protagonist putting himself in a dangerous situation that was preventable. At first, he thinks it’s nothing and that everything will be fine. By the end of the story, he dies as a result of his arrogance. Another example of arrogance occurs when the protagonist disregards the possibility that there may be situations he cannot overcome. The old man warns the protagonist of this and also seems to have a better understanding of the natural world, respecting the fact that there are some situations the man will be unable to control. Not only does the old man see the protagonist’s stupidity, but the dog notices the man’s lack of knowledge about the terrain and its obstacles after he fails to keep a fire going.

    Succumbing to death is another theme in the story: more specifically the peace that may be found in death. London foreshadows the death of the man early in the story, so it is not a surprise that the man dies. London depicts the death quite differently than many other authors do. The man drifts off into a calm and peaceful slumber devoid of suffering and pain. London’s use of relaxing words dissuades the reader from feeling a great deal of sympathy for the man, as the death is merciful and graciously anticipated, rather than sad. In contrast to more dramatic depictions of death, London’s depiction reveals death as a peaceful escape from tumult and pain.

    Individualism is another common theme London portrays in the story. The man only relies on himself to get him through the Yukon; he doesn’t believe that he needs any help. This theme can also be connected to the theme mentioned above of the man’s judgement, and the man’s arrogance.

Synopsis by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****

 

 

 

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BOOK CORNER: I AM ALWAYS HERE WITH YOU by Himanshu Rai

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.

 

I AM ALWAYS HERE WITH YOU

By Himanshu Rai

Publisher: Srishti Publishers

Price Rs 195

    They say love acknowledges no boundaries. I agree to that. But then love is also a state of mind that often stands on the crutches of tragedies. In this flurry of viewpoints let me add one more—‘Love knows no time, or distance, and it certainly knows no reason- says lady author Genevieve Dewey, and then again there is that famous Hindi song ‘janam-janam ka sath hai nibha ne ko. Sao sao bar mene janam liye, a Mohd Rafi song enacted on the screen by Babita and Shammi Kapur in film, ‘Tum se accha kaun hai’ released in the year 1966. So in sum, love is ever-green and the oldest plaything that mankind pulled out from the treasures of mother earth.

    I have just finished reading this title, ‘I am Always Here With You’ written by young author Himanshu Rai who happens to be a telecom professional and also a fraternity friend of mine. It so happened by the stroke of luck I had read one of his earlier titles, this being his second one. India being a young nation, is deep in love, and therefore a number of love stories are flowering all over the place. There was once the deluge of Mills & Boon that took the ‘rustic India’ by storm. And now we have the unlimited, ‘Indian love stories’ that is taking the ‘unrealised India’ by storm.

     Since the book was published only recently I’ll refrain myself from being a spoiler. But yes of course there is Kartik and Ashima entangled in deep puppy love. Both are good students studying in Dehradun. Kartik’s father wants him to be an engineer. But his love takes him somewhere else both academically and emotionally. This only creates a deep rift between the father and the son after Kartik’s marriage with Ashima. As the story unfolds, after seven years of courtship, and two years of marriage they are now about to graduate into the next hierarchy of life. And all along Kartik attempts to mend his relationship with his father where he even seeks the support of his wife Ashima.

    All is moving well until here. But then life is, so very, unpredictable as they say. And you’ll have to read the book to find out why Ashima is now marrying someone else? And why is Kartik accepting that helplessly?

    I would desist from going any further on the storyline. But yes, the book definitely appears to be written, keeping in mind the young readers. It goes on to pass the im-memorial message, that love is crazy.

    It’s an offbeat story. Where, the author has tried to bring in, some innovative ideas that are somewhat unconventional, but not filled with cheer. The book paces well but within the same context so it gets over-descriptive at spaces where it can be avoided. There are enchanting pages about school and college romance that will mostly delight the young age group. The author has used the methodology of quote-unquote where he could have used simple narration to make the story move faster. For in the first forty pages I found the book to be slow and it picks up a little after seventy pages. But then it slows down again before the end and that is because of some meticulous descriptions that the author takes us through. The book has titillating love scenes but they do not culminate at any point. It has well captured emotions. But the author could have done well with lesser of detailing and more of events in the story. Or he could have ended the book at around, a hundred and fifty pages. To me it was like a fairy tale. High on emotions that made my own love story look pale. Once again the book is descriptive where a plethora of emotions inter-twine within the ambit of high emotions with less of engaging events or episodes.

    Some books impact you for their meaty storyline, some for the wisdom, that they provide you, some for the narration and language, and some for all of these. So, the readers need to find it out for themselves by reading the book which way the book has impacted them.

    The book is around two hundred pages written in lucid language easy to understand.

    Overall, it’s a good read, for the college crowd and even other grown up youngsters where slow moving stories with high pitch emotions can be a selling point.

    A line that I liked out of the book was, ‘friendship is the start, but togetherness is the end.’

    I wish Himanshu Rai the very best in is his future titles.

Synopsis 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 CORNER: THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A F*CK–a counterintuitive approach to living a good life by Mark Manson

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.

 

    ‘Fuck’ is a scandalous and a vulgar cuss word not meant for the civilized society. But then it has a lot to do with the making and breaking of life. Before, I move ahead let me refresh you with the meaning of this word. One of course is the usual one—to have a sexual intercourse. And running alongside that, it is also used, while expressing, extreme anger, or to add force, to what is being said. Some words get ostracised because of its dirty meaning. According to Oxford dictionary, fuck also means ‘your ruins.’ Let me now construct, two sentences for you, using the four letter word. One is.

  1. I don’t give a fuck—which means I don’t care.
  2. I give a fuck—which means I care.

    I am telling you all of this, to make you understand the book even better. The book has a long title supported by an even longer sub-title that goes as, “THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A F*CK—a counter-intuitive approach to living a good life.” by Mark Manson. Counterintuitive means, contrary to intuition, or a kind of common-sense expectation. I would call this book a wonder book, because the author converts the four letter word ‘fuck’ into a handy an appropriate life lesson for readers. New York Times and Globe and mail a Canadian chronicle have declared it, as a bestseller. The other word extensively used in this book is sucks which is an expression of disappointment. The book is priced at $17.99, published in 2016 by Harperone.   The book lives up to its title in all boisterousness. Mark Manson is a star blogger, with more than two million readers. He lives in New York City. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, is his, first book.

     For this day and age the book is a self-help guide, written by a super-star blogger. It charts the course for us, to make us happier and stronger. The real panacea of which is how to handle adversity better, and stop trying to be positive all the time. Of course the gap between the two is quite wide.

    For the past few years, Mark Manson through his ecstatically popular blog, has been working on correcting, our delusional expectations, for ourselves and for the world. He now brings his hard fought wisdom to this ground breaking book. Manson makes the argument that human beings by nature are imperfects and even limited. As he writes, ‘not everybody can be extraordinary—there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know your limitations and accept them as they are. This he says, is the real source of empowerment. Once we embrace our fears, faults and uncertainties. Once we stop running from and avoiding, and start confronting, painful truths—we will begin to find the courage and confidence we desperately need.

    In life, we all have a limited amount of fucks to give. So, you must choose your fucks wisely. Manson brings a much needed, grab-you-by-the-shoulders-an-look-you-in-the-eyes moment, of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories, and profane, ruthless humor. This narration is a refreshing pat on the face of all, so that we can start living a more contented and grounded life.

     The book is a little over two hundred pages and if one goes at an uninterrupted pace, one could finish it within two days. It is in many ways a page turner written in lucid English quite easy to comprehend. It has long gripping sentences with appropriate pauses in terms of sentence breaks and well suited prepositions. The author has curtailed unnecessary flab in his narration. Within a para, the breaks are few and that gives a good flow of thoughts so very necessary for such life-lesson emitting books. Many sentences are somewhat unconventional, and more than that the thoughts are quite out-of-the-box. It is divided into nine chapters with sub-chapters. The book hinges on two prime words—‘fuck’ and ‘sucks.’

    Everyone believes. The key to a good life is a nice job, a sexy limousine, or a pretty girlfriend. The world keeps telling you over-and-over again, that the matrix for a successful life is to have more … more … and … more. Buy more, own more. You are constantly bombarded with messages to give a fuck about everything, and at all times. But the key to a good life is not giving a fuck about more; but giving a fuck about less, or giving a fuck about only what is true and immediate and important. I’m sorry for having used the four letter word so very often in this narration. But without which you wouldn’t have got the real feel of the book.

    The book has many interesting stories and anecdotes that I would not like to disclose in great detail. But yes of course. I liked the one about the Japanese second lieutenant and the Rock Star band. The book teaches that life is essentially an endless series of problems. Problems never stop they only get exchanged or upgraded. Happiness is a constant work-in-progress. It teaches you the value of suffering. Human beings often dedicate a large part of their lives to seemingly useless and destructive causes.

    It says happiness is a problem yet happiness comes by solving problems. And mind you, you are not special. The book defines certain values as shitty and even obsolete. It says a lot of time in our life is wasted in choosing. And of course failure is the way forward. It talks about action, inspiration and even motivation. Most of us commit to action only if we feel a certain level of motivation. And we feel motivated only when we find enough emotional inspiration.

    The book inspires you to believe that you’re wrong about everything. The author cites examples in terms of cartographers who some five hundred years ago believed that California was an island. Doctors believed that by slicing a person’s arm open (or by causing bleeding anywhere) one could cure a disease. Scientists believed that fire was made out of something called phlogiston (a combustible substance). Women believed that rubbing dog urine on their face had anti-aging benefits. Astronomers believed that the sun revolved around the earth. But then were they right?

    I would recommend this book. If not for anything else, at least it will advise you how to be comfortable in negative situations. While reading this book I was even reminded of my own poem that I wrote sometime back. The title of which is … ‘Bad times is a friend of all times’ published in a book titled, ‘Rhythm … in poems.’ I would give this debut book of Mark Manson eight out of ten.

   Synopsis 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 CORNER: PSYCHO by Robert Bloch

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.

Psycho was written in the year 1959 by American author Robert Bloch. The book is so-so-so-so very scary that one might even feel scared, in meeting its author.  The novel is widely recognized, as Bloch’s, most illustrious work. So intensely written, that even while narrating it to you now, I get a feeling as if someone is standing behind me.

    The book was later adapted into Alfred Hitchcock’s seminal 1960 film of the same name, and was loosely adapted into the Bates Motel television series of (2013-2017). Bloch later wrote two sequels, which are unrelated to any of the film sequels.

    The novel tells the story of Norman Bates, caretaker of an isolated motel who struggles under his domineering Mother and gets embroiled in a series of murders. 

     Norman Bates is the main protagonist of this novel, who traces his struggles with insanity, particularly, split personality disorder. In the novel, Norman is described, as in mid-forties, overweight, pale, and balding. As a child, Norman had an extremely dysfunctional, even abusive relationship, with his Mother that forever changed his ability to relate normally in society. As an adult, Norman lives alone with his Mother and runs the Bates Motel. When the novel opens, Norman is reading about the Oedipus Situation or Complex with the hope of understanding more about his strange relationship with his Mother. It’s clear that Norman’s relationship with his Mother has deeply affected the way he views all women, particularly women, to whom he is sexually attracted. Norman drinks as an excuse to block the strange voices in his head—arguably his Mother’s voice—telling him that he’s not good enough, and reminding him that he’s impotent.

    All in all ‘Psycho’ is a horror story of Norman Bates, and his strange relationship with his Mother, and the motel he runs on the side of a deserted highway.

    The novel opens with an image of a forty-year-old Norman Bates reading in his office. His Mother approaches and chides him for reading filthy material. The two get into a vicious fight is when the Mother lambasts Norman. He is too weak, and too afraid to stand up to her. She challenges everything of Norman, from his social skills to his sexual predilections while he silently takes the abuse. In his head, however, he imagines the release he would feel if he killed his Mother, but the buzzer ringing at the front door breaks him from his thoughts. Someone needs a room in the motel.

    Its a woman who needs a room. Mary Crane, has just driven across several states in the pouring rain. Norman doesn’t know that Mary Crane has stolen $40,000 from her real estate boss. She hopes to meet Sam Loomis, her fiancé with whom she’s been having a long distance relationship, and with this money she wants to settle his debts, and start a married life together. After getting lost on the highway, Mary pulls into the Bates Motel and asks for a room. Norman, who has clearly never interacted with young women, shyly asks Mary, up to the house for dinner. She accepts, but when she hears of the horrific, and seemingly abusive, relationship that Norman has with his Mother, she gently suggests that Norman put her in an institution. This idea outrages Norman, who shouts and screams that his Mother is normal: “She’s not crazy!” Mary quietly excuses herself, and returns to her motel room, and vows to return the money she’s stolen so that she doesn’t end up being tortured by guilt. Moments later, an old woman enters Mary’s room while she’s in the shower and beheads her.

    In the moments before Mary was murdered, Norman had been watching her undress through a peephole in his office. He was drinking at that time, and passed out in his chair. He awoke to find Mary’s corpse and immediately suspected his Mother to be the murderer. He momentarily considers letting Mother go to the prison, but the thought of being separated from her is too much for him. He knows he must protect her, help cover up her crimes. Norman methodically cleans up the murder scene, just as he remembers cleaning up the scene with Mother and “Uncle Joe” all those years ago. He deposits Mary’s corpse and the car into the sinkhole behind the motel and assumes he has got away with the murder. Meanwhile, Mary’s old boss, Mr. Lowery, hires a private detective to track Mary in order to recover his $40,000 that she had stolen. The detective, Mr. Arbogast, traces Mary to the motel and now stands knocking at the door, demanding to speak with Norman, or his Mother. Moments later, the same mysterious figure, who appears to be an old woman, attacks Arbogast and slits his throat. Norman deposits Arbogast’s body and the car in the same sinkhole.

    Unfortunately for Norman, Mary Crane’s little sister Lila by now had grown suspicious of her sister’s disappearance. She meets up with Sam Loomis to search for her. They too trace Mary back to the Bates Motel, Lila is now convinced that something terrible has happened to Mary in the motel only.

    She notifies the local sheriff, but he insists that she is wrong. He tells her that Norman Bates is harmless, and that his mother has been dead for years now (after she poisoned herself and her lover, “Uncle Joe”). Unconvinced, Lila arranges for Sam Loomis to distract Norman while she explores the house searching for clues. Although Sam does his best to distract Norman, he drops his guard when Norman smashes a whisky bottle over Sam’s head, knocking him unconscious. Meanwhile, as Lila explores the house, she finds a tiny shrivelled woman whom she assumes is Mrs. Bates. But as she approaches, she discovers that the woman is actually a taxidermal corpse or you could say a stuffed corpse. Norman appears behind Lila, dressed in his mother’s clothes and speaking in a high, affected voice saying, “I am Norma Bates.” He raises a butcher knife and pounces on Lila, but Sam, who wakes up from his stupor well on time, manages to wrestle Norman away from her and hold him there until he is arrested. In the weeks that follow, it is discovered that Norman only had murdered his mother and her lover, “Uncle Joe.” To mask the guilt he felt over the murders, Norman developed a split personality in which Mother became his alternate self. At the trial, Norman is found to be insane and is institutionalized or you could say imprisoned in a house prison for life.

Synopsis 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 CORNER: Amitav Ghosh … A CRITICAL COMPANION

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.

Amitav Ghosh

A CRITICAL COMPANION

Edited by Tabish Khair

    In the next twenty minutes or so I would take you through one of the finest pieces of narration. Where, one legend describes the other. Yes, when, Amitav Ghosh describes Satyajit Ray this is all one can say. Amitav Ghosh is a winner of 54th Jnanpith award and also a Padma Shri. I have pulled out this narration from a book titled ‘Amitav Ghosh … a critical companion.’ I have summarised and simplified the article for you to the best of my ability.

    Amitav in this article of his, has gone back to 1989. When he was enjoying his extended stay in the overwhelming city of New York. He had then finished writing of The Shadow Lines. The novel for some reason had a striking influence of Ray in it.

    He was then struck by a sudden wave of Ray nostalgia. And it struck to him that Ray too had once been a stranger in this city and that he too had walked the streets of Manhattan in Kolkata—bought shoes.

     One day, these pent up thoughts propelled Amitav to meet director James Ivory, who he knew to be a good friend of Ray. And later that week he went to interview Ivory, cassette recorder in hand. This is how Ivory described his first meeting with Ray, in the winter of 1960.

    “I looked him up in Calcutta,’ Ivory said. I had never met him. I had seen at that point, Pather Panchali (Song of the Road) and Aparijito (Undefeated). I knew that Apur Sansar (The World of Apu) existed and that sooner or later it would get to New York, but up till then it hadn’t come. And then some Indian friends of mine in Delhi said that apart from The Trilogy he had also made some other films in that time—the late fifties. They described Jalsaghar (The Music Room) to me and that sounded like something I would love to see. Then I made a long trip to Calcutta and went down to Puri and Bhubaneshwar and Madras. While I was in Calcutta I just decided to call him. Just to meet him, but also to ask him if it would be possible to see Jalsaghar. My friend in Delhi said he was very approachable (which he was) and I just called him up. He was in the phone book, so I just called him up and told him who I was. He said fine, he would try and arrange Jalsaghar for me. We agreed to meet in Coffee House and I went there. He was alone and we talked.

    He was immensely tall; he was probably the tallest Indian I have ever met and that seemed symbolically apt. He had a kind of straight forward majesty about him; he was obviously a king, but he was an approachable king. We were friends all his life as long as he lived. Whenever there was something he needed we tried to help. He always helped us. When there was some tremendous thing that would happen to us in the course of our own movie making in India—for instance when Utpal Dutt was put in prison (for his Maoist sympathies) while we were making ‘The Guru’ he helped to get him out. He called up or wrote to Mrs Gandhi and said this is a disgrace, this shouldn’t be allowed—things like that.”

    I asked Ivory what they talked about at that first meeting. ‘He was waiting in the coffee house.’ Ivory said, ‘while the censor was seeing Devi (the Coffee House was in the shadow of the Metro Cinema). Then somebody came from his staff and said that Devi had gone down well with the censors. He was kind of nervous about it because of the retrograde view of Hindu life at its most superstitious let’s say. He was afraid they would make him cut it. But no, it had gone down all right, and he said, would I like to come to the premiere of it, which I did, so I saw the film at the premiere and I was also introduced to Sharmila Tagore, who was very young then. And then he arranged for me to see ‘Jalsaghar’ so he went to the studio in Tollygunge where he made all his films and he sat next to me and translated for me at important moments. I thought it was a marvellous, marvellous movie and I jumped up and told him so at the end. He was surprised that I thought it was so marvellous. He said, well, he thought technically it wasn’t so good, wasn’t quite up to the mark. I said well, it didn’t strike me like that and I asked if there were any plans to show it in the west for I thought people would really like it. He said no, he didn’t have any plans. It had been shown at the Moscow Film Festival but the Russians didn’t like it because they thought it was decadent and that had discouraged him. I said, I thought he might get a different reception in the west if he pursued it. It was released here in the fall of 1963, and as you know a few years ago it was released in Paris and it was a tremendous success—ran for a year or something.’

    Ray was to collaborate with James Ivory and Ismail Merchant on two of their films: he wrote the music of Shakespeare-wallah and helped with the editing of ‘The Householder.’ I asked Ivory how the collaboration had come about.’ After ‘Householder’ was edited,’ he said ‘he still seemed very unwieldy, not very nicely done. I didn’t really have a very good editor—by this time I had met him (Ray) and I asked if I could bring the film to show him. He said sure come on. So Ismail (Merchant) and I climbed on the train—we took the Hindi version of it, all those cans, there must have 24 cans or something. We went from Bombay to Calcutta with all that film. He saw it and liked it—he thought there was something there to work with. I asked him whether he could give us any suggestions about the cutting and he said, yes. He would recut it, but he didn’t want me to interfere while doing that. He said let me have a go at it, I’ll do it my way, you can be in the editing room if you want to be, when we’re all done you can change it if you want to, that’s your business, but let me do what I want to do. So then, he and his editor Dulal Dutt recut the film. They took about four days, and gave it a new shape. It was he (Ray) who suggested that it go into a flashback form.

    Ray was always awfully generous with his time, always, always. I don’t know how he did it; because there was always many many people there, who wanted things done, people who just came to catch a glimpse of him and so on. How he had any kind of life of his own and how he made his movies I don’t know.

    Pather Panchali, to my mind the greatest of Ray’s films, was completed in 1955. It premiered not in Kolkata, but in New York, at the museum of Modern Art. This is how it came about: in 1954 Huston was on his way to India to scout locations for The Man Who Would Be King, when he came to hear of a young advertising-executive who was making a film on a tiny budget. By the time Huston arrived in Kolkata, the film had been stalled for several months, because of lack of money. At the time of Huston’s visit the dominant genre in India was the Bombay film. Ray’s work took Huston by surprise. It was apparent from the rushes that this film belonged in a different order of film-making. Huston was quick to recognize the genius of work. He viewed only twenty-minutes or so of the film, but recalling the occasion in 1987, he said: I’ recognised the footage as the work of a great film-maker.’ Returning to the United States, Huston’s reports of the film were instrumental in persuading the Museum of Modern Art to send Ray some money. MOMA’s advance went a long way towards the completion of Pather Panchali.

    Hollywood had long cast a binding spell on Ray: he was an ardent admirer of such American film-makers as John Ford and Billy Wilder. Although he never worked there. Hollywood came to play a peculiarly serendipitous role in his life; never more so than when one of his idols, John Huston, made it possible for him to complete Pather Panchali. And thus it happened that this most famous of contemporary Indian films premiered not in Kolkata or Mumbai, but in New York. It was first shown at the Museum of Modern Art in April 1955, to a small invited audience.

    Pather Panchali was released in the US (by Edward Harrison) in September 1958 at New York’s Fifth Avenue Theatre. The release was the occasion of Ray’s first visit to the country: he was then thirty-seven. The reception of the film was by no means uniformly enthusiastic. As Ivory describes it: ‘There was a famous review by Bosley Crowther which was meant to have been such a putdown. I read that again the other day and actually he was trying to like it. He was baffled, he made false assumptions, he didn’t really know what to say, but he had to admit that he knew or felt, somehow, dimly that there was something great there and he better not say something too bad about it. And apparently there were many people who wrote angry letters about his review.”

    Thirty one years later, in Columbia University’s Butler Library, I dug up a copy of an interview that Ray gave to Howard Thompson (of the New York Times) on the day of the release. Ray evidently made quite an impression on Thompson: ‘A strapping swarthy chap, with strong features, he (Ray) talks like a realistic poet, without the slightest foreign accent, looking fresh from the American gridiron.’

    Thompson continues: ‘On the day after his arrival he (Ray) stepped inside a fashionable hotel dining room, comfortably clad in occidental garb, and gamely stooped to let the head waiter pin on a Plaza tie. Presently, wearing a casually alert expression, the big rangy Calcuttan sat at a table, opening a package of cigarettes with long, tapering fingers. He had been up early, he said, just walking, camera in hand, an old habit of ‘an old film fam.’

    This is how Ray described the filming of Pather Panchali to Thompson: ‘We shot in and around Calcutta, then had to stop for six months because I was flat broke. I even sold part of my record collection, some old seventy-eights of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven—and part of my wife’s jewelry, not that her mother knew. All that was shown again to the same (financiers). No reaction. Then a year’s gap.’

    Ray was able to continue filming only because of an unlikely intervention: a powerful West Bengal politician, reputed to be ‘close’ to one of Ray’s aunts, authorised a grant from the state government. He was under the impression evidently, that Pather Panchali was a documentary about community development.

    In response to a question about the future of Indian film, Ray told Thompson: ‘I don’t know if our pictures generally will ever spread to a world market, though we have two or three young directors with the right ideas. Our industry centers productionally in Bengal, Madras and Bombay, but those from Bengal are better, more serious. As for why you don’t see more of ours—well, we have our own problems and we’re not so sure Westerners care.’

    ‘The generous mouth widened slightly,’ Thompson continues. ‘Do you?’ he enquired. The penetrating brown eyes twinkled pensively.

    Looking back now, I am sure more than ever aware of the part that Ray played in shaping the imaginary universe of my childhood and youth. I see this even in such details as my interest in science and science fiction; in ghost stories and the fantastical. One of my favourite Ray films to this day, remains Paras Pathar (The Philosopher’s Stone), a neglected masterpiece that deserves a place of honour in the canon of surrealist cinema. When I saw Agantuk (The Stranger), in which the main character is an anthropologist, I began to wonder whether my interest in anthropology too, owed something, perhaps subconsciously, to Ray: I recalled suddenly that references to anthropology go back to some of his earliest work, starting with the African mask in Apur Sansar.

    Ray’s influence extended even to the material world that I inhabited in my early years; a world which he formed to a quite astonishing degree through his influence on typography and through his visual style—a style that was itself a development on a distinctive design traditions of Bengal. That he could exert such great influence was due in part to the fact that this work extended and developed the legacy of the generations preceding his. His greatness as an artist is no way diminished by the fact that he was a rivet in an unbroken chain of aesthetic and intellectual effort that stretches back to mid-nineteenth century—a chain in which I too am, I hope, a small link.

    Ray was for me, not just a great artist; he was something even rarer; an artist who had crafted his life so that it could serve as an example to others. In a world where people in the arts are often expected, even encouraged, to be mindful of those around them, he was exemplary in his dealings with people. This was, I think one of the reasons why he was able to sustain his creative energies for as long as he did: because he refused to make a fetish of himself. As a student I had heard him speak on several occasions: it always seemed to me that there was something very private about his manner. I had the sense that it was by holding the world at arm’s length that he had managed to be as productive as he had. This was a stance I respected then and respect even more today, now that I am more aware of how easy it is to be distracted by the demands of public life.

    Ray was consistent in fighting off the pressures of the wider world. After the success of Pather Panchali he was feted by Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. It was a measure of his integrity that he never allowed their praise and attention to distract him from his own projects. Unlike many other film-makers in India, Ray consciously avoided seeking government financing for his projects, preferring to raise the money from commercial sponsors. He was always deeply aware of his audience in Kolkata and gloried in the discipline they imposed on him—primarily that of keeping his work accessible. This meant that he could never permit himself the luxury of avant-gardism in the manner of his European contemporaries such as Fellini, Bergman and Godard: nor indeed did he ever want to. To the end one of his greatest strengths was his ability to resolve enormously complex plots and themes into deceptively simple narrative structures.

    My favourite Ray story is one I came upon soon after I learnt of the appalling human cost of Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo. Once, while filming an overhead shot, a falling piece of machinery gravely injured a studio-hand who was working on one of Ray’s sets. Ray never used an overhead shot again.

    In 1992 when Hollywood awarded him an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement, Ray was so ill that he received the award lying in his hospital bed. The scene was broadcast on TV and when I saw it I realized that Ray’s illness was so serious that he might not recover. I had always assumed I would meet Ray one day, but I had never made an effort to seek him out. He was such an integral part of my imaginative world that I’d fought shy of meeting him face-to-face: what can one possibly say to someone to whom one owes so great a debt? In 1989 and 1990 I had had several telephone conversations with him. In one of them he’d told me that he greatly enjoyed my first novel, The Circle of Reason. Now I saw that it was I who had been remiss in expressing my admiration and gratitude. In light of his condition this assumed a sudden urgency. I decided to write a letter to Ray, asking if I could visit him. My letter began:

    Dear Mr Ray,

    I have wanted to write to you for many years now, but have always put it off because I knew it would not be easy to say what I wanted too …

It ended:

    The Japanese have a custom which allows people to pay homage to artists they admire by standing outside their houses, alone and in silence, until they are invited in. you are the only person in the world for whom I would gladly do that …

    The letter was dated February 6, 1992. I gave it to Shri Nirmalaya Acharya, a close associate of Ray’s and himself one Kolkata’s legendary literary figures (now sadly deceased and much-missed by all who knew him). Nirmalaya-babu promised to hand it to Ray once he was well enough to read. Alas that day never came: Satyajit Ray died on April 23 1992.

    The day of Satyajit Ray’s death was like none that Kolkata had ever seen before. When the news began to spread, a pall of silence descended on the city. Next morning hundreds of thousands of people filed past his body, braving the intense heat. In the evening when his body was taken to the crematorium, the streets were thickly lined up with people standing in silent vigil. Many held up placards which referred to him as ‘The King.’ The whole city was sunk in an inexpressible sadness: everybody knew that an era had ended, and with it, Kolkata’s claim to primacy in arts. The city was orphaned: its king was gone and there was none to take his place.

    I wandered the streets for hours that night, watching the silent crowds, reading the placards. I was surprised by the depth of my own sense of loss. Yet I was conscious also of an immense sense of privilege, of gratitude, that having been born in Kolkata I had, in some small way, been endowed with a special entitlement to Ray’s universe; gratitude at having had his work to illuminate my surroundings and my past. This is what narrative arts do, at their very best: they shape the world as they relate them. To this day Ray’s work is one of the main anchors that moors me—often despite myself—to the imaginative landscape of Bengal: indeed, to the essential terrain of my own work.

Amitav Ghosh

January 17, 2002

Posted 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

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****

 

 

 

BOOK CORNER: LIFE’S AMAZING SECRETS–How to Find Balance and Purpose in Your Life … by Gaur Gopal Das

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.

LIFE’S AMAZING SECRETS

How to find balance and purpose in your life

By Gaur Gopal Das

Publisher: Penguin Ananda

Price Rs 250

    GGD (Gaur Gopal Das) is one of the most popular and widely followed monks of present times. Especially, when it comes to the young corporate crowd, who incessantly indulge in social media. GGD is an Electrical Engineer by qualification. After a brief stint with Hewlett Packard, he decided to live as a monk in an ashram, in downtown, Mumbai. And he has now remained there for twenty two years. Where, he has learnt the antiquity of ancient philosophy, and the modernity of contemporary psychology, to become a life coach to thousands in the city.

    He has been travelling all around the world since 2005, to share his wisdom with corporate executives, universities and even charities. In 2016, his global popularity exploded, when he took to online discourses. The purpose of this publication is, to make the readers find a right balance in their lives. The book is inundated with quotes and thoughts from various important and renowned personalities just as most motivational books.

   The book is a little over 200 pages. Largely written in easy and lucid language. There is no piercing story line in this. But the narration takes you through both the visible and the non-visible merry-go-round of life quite royally. To be true. It impacts you positively by the time you complete it. In other words it delights you intrinsically.

    The narration begins with the monk first having a meal with one of his wealthy bhakt, or you could say devotee, Hariprasad, in short Harry and his wife at their posh residence in South Mumbai. Thereafter harry offers to drop GGD to his place of stay and that is how this interesting conversation starts between Harry and the monk in Harry’s luxurious car.

    In such motivational books, one normally comes across, interesting life-lessons that carry the essence of life. The idea of course is to present the amrit post the manthan (churning) that one can straightaway drink, and in that manner this book is no different. And without being a spoiler, since the book, has only, recently been published, let me in a jiffy take you through the book.

    It has some twenty chapters. With blessings of ISKCON and his divine grace A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI SRILA PRABHUPADA whose teachings have been the foundation of this book, coupled with the monks own experiences.

    The book starts with an interesting content list that deals with a gamut of virtues relevant for life, such as, moral, divine, spiritual and behavioural niches that cut across religions. Broadly speaking it is not a Hindu book, as one might make out from the picture of GGD, clad in his saffron robe. On the contrary it is a friendly present to human beings.

    In the journey of life any human being, and that includes even the toughest, will surely come across monotony, clutter, dread, fear, wrath, happiness, dislocation and even temper. The narration has answers for all situations.

    The book is rich with many potent thoughts that will help one take on this tough world. There are interesting chapters that deal with; seeing beyond the obvious; life’s journey; growing through gratitude; why worry; spiritual practice; how to talk sensitively; a virtuous vision; correcting cautiously; forgiveness; fruitful associations; competitive crossroads; self-discovery; decoding spirituality at work; integrity and character; selfless service; family first; the nation narrative and the holy aspect of service that brings joy in life.

    Although GGD is a Hindu monk. Yet he has not propagated, the spirituality route of Hinduism so blatantly. That shows he wants to connect, basically with human beings, and not Hindus alone. A kind of global talent on spiritualism.

    He cites some very beautiful examples such as that of, Joshua Bell, the internationally renowned, violinist, in tag with the experiment of Washington Post. The author also goes on to say he gets up at 4 a.m. for his morning meditation and talks about his strong morning ritual that gives him incessant focus for the day.

    He dwells on thoughts and ideas and how they can change a man’s life where he gives his own example. He says, we are not human beings having spiritual experiences; we are spiritual beings having human experiences—nicely plays with words.

    Most human beings have three things in common—we are all stuck, we all have a journey to complete and we all have a destination. He also goes on to describe God—there is one God. But is identified differently across different cultures.

    After every chapter the author has given a chapter summary which is very interesting as it comes in bullet points. The author raises an interesting question. Does spirituality kill ambition? Well, I’m not going to divulge the answer to the questions raised by the author in this book and the readers will only have to find their own answers by reading the book. The book is available both in print and e-book format. The book also has a few worksheets at the end. A kind of recall test.

    If I need to describe the book, keeping my life in mind. I would say the book touches my soul several times during the day. Say from the time I open my eyes in the morning, till the time I close my eyes in the night.

    The book has been appreciated by, film star and M.P. Hema Malini and also by Central Minister in the BJP Government, Nitin Gatkari.

   I would give the book seven out of ten. It is a worthwhile read. Especially, for corporate executives who face a lot of ups and downs in terms of their career and even their future. It is not a literary masterpiece but yes it conveys some very valuable lessons.

Synopsis 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 CORNER: LAJJA by Taslima Nasrin

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.

    Taslima Nasrin is an award winning writer and a human rights activist. She is also known for her passionate writings on the oppression of women and criticism of religious fundamentalism. She was born in Mymensingh in Bangladesh in 1962. She started writing at the age of fourteen and was acclaimed as a major writer in Dhaka in her late twenties. Her writings also became popular across the border in West Bengal when she won the prestigious Ananda Purashkar in 1992 and then again in 2000. After being forced to leave Bangladesh in 1994, Taslima has lived in India, Europe and the US. She has written more than thirty books, including poetry, essays, novels and memoirs. Her works have been translated into over twenty Indian and European languages.

    Taslima detests fundamentalism and communalism. This was the reason why she wrote Lajja soon after the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on 6 December 1992. She says the book took her seven days to write, and deals with the persecution of Hindus, a religious minority in Bangladesh, by the Muslims who were in majority. ‘It is disgraceful that the Hindus in my country were hunted by the Muslims after the destruction of the Babri Masjid. All of us who love Bangladesh should feel ashamed that such a terrible thing could happen in our beautiful country. The riots that took place in 1992 in Bangladesh are the responsibility of us all, and we are all to blame. Lajja is a document of our collective defeat.’

    Lajja was first published in February 1993 in Bangladesh, and sold over 60,000 copies before it was banned. It even earned her a bounty on her head from Islamic fundamentalists and that forced her to flee from her country. Lajja is not only an invaluable historical document but also a text whose relevance has unfortunately not diminished in the two decades since it was published. The novel’s central concern is the evil of communalism that continues to plague the subcontinent, erupting from time to time like a dormant volcano.

    It chronicles the terrifying disintegration of a Hindu family living in Bangladesh in the aftermath of the riots that break out to avenge the destruction of the mosque in India. Hundreds of temples across Bangladesh are grounded to dust or desecrated. Hindu men are butchered, women raped, houses burnt to cinders, and property confiscated. Nasrin brings out the sufferings inflicted on the “minority” community through the trials faced by Sudhamoy Datta, an upright physician who had fought in the Liberation War of 1971 at immense personal cost, along with his family.

    The Dattas, as Nasrin reveals, are divided on the question of staying on, in the land they have always thought of, as their home. Their ancestral seat in the village, once thriving and prosperous, has been usurped by their Muslim neighbours, forcing them to seek refuge in a rented house in Dhaka. However, Sudhamoy stubbornly, desperately, and naively holds on to his faith in the inherent goodness of fellow human beings, even at a time when his allies are turning against his family. His son Suronjon is more vulnerable to the circumstances. Like his father, Suranjon refuses to run away from the country of his birth or give in to communal sentiments he had condemned all his life, but his feelings begin to shift after a terrible tragedy visits the family.

    Sudhamoy’s wife Kiranmoyee and daughter Maya are far less squeamish about making an exodus to India for the sake of their lives and dignity. But then the women, as Nasrin insinuates, are mere pawns in the hands of the men. Maya’s prayer for security is beggared by the lofty ideals of her indifferent, irresponsible and vagabond brother, who remains unemployed mostly for refusing to take orders from anyone. Kiranmoyee nurses a deep, intimate pain, sacrificing every chance of happiness for the sake of her husband’s unshakeable resolve to remain rooted to the land of his birth, even as the consequences of his choice are horrible.

    While focused on the plight of the persecuted, Nasrin’s plot never departs from an area of moral discomfort, never pitting one community against the other or shying away from showing up the prejudices that infiltrate the minds of both Hindus and Muslims.

    Yet, in spite of its sustained ethical complexity, Lajja is not a literary masterpiece but close to it in terms of narration. Nasrin’s plot is interrupted by long roll-calls of damages and killings every few pages. Frequent discourses on politics and power also slow down the pace, and the sub-plots, especially, related to Suronjon’s jilted romantic life. Perhaps, that deserved more attention.

   Secular was supposed to be one of the strong beliefs of the Bengali Muslim, especially during the war of independence, when everyone had to cooperate with one another to win victory. But now the spirit had not only dwindled but had exhausted completely.

    Though ‘Lajja’ is the story of the Duttas, they are reverted to the background, and the newspaper reports and eye-witness accounts, with facts and figures about the number of people killed, temples destroyed, properties looted and women raped, becomes the main theme of the book. This inter-mingling of numerous statistical data with a fictional plot is done with such subtleness and so seamlessly that it becomes a part of the story. The data is not just parroted in the book. It comes as a dialogue from anxious Bengalis living in fear  of their lives, and this is what adds life to these numbers. It makes you realise the enormity and graveness of the situation, and sympathise with the victims. In the ultimate the story ends as a tragedy when Maya who is Suronjon’s sister and Kiranmoyee and Sudhamoy’s daughter is at a point of no return—perhaps dead. Finally Sudhamoy agrees to the long drawn suggestion of his son Suronjon to move to India.

    If you’ve not read the book you’ve indeed missed an endemic view point of life. I would give the book eight out of ten.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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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)

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