Category Archives: casual causerie

Gorakhpur-The Cambridge and Oxford of Hindi language

Copyright@shravancharitymission

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

*****

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

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

*****

 

 

Burmese days–by George Orwell

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

The Burmese Days … By George Orwell

–Read India read–

–Books are like docile stack of papers. But when you start turning the pages. They become a gripping world of their own–

    I have always believed that books and movies are the best mirrors of times for they often spill the beans. If you want to visit Burma of the 1930s read this book. It gives you a good flavour of how the Britishers behaved during those times. It also sensitises you about how a handful of Indians sustained themselves between the heft of the British Imperialism and the spread of the local Burmese population. And of course how, the Burmese society managed under the stubborn aristocracy of the misbehaved system.

    In this scathing and zipping novel written way back in 1934. Indians and Burmese are referred as niggers and beggars in some pages: and thus denied membership in a local European club in Upper Burma. (George Orwell thus spills the beans).

    The book mentions that in British regime when an illiterate domestic servant used to misbehave. He was sent to a prison with a chit—15 lashes.

    Background: From 1922 to 1927 Orwell spent five years as a police officer in the Indian Imperial Police force in Burma (now Myanmar). Burma had become part of the British Empire during the 19th century as an adjunct of British India. The British colonised Burma in stages.  Only in 1885 when they captured the royal capital of Mandalay Burma was declared as part of the British Empire. Many people don’t know that Burma was the wealthiest country in Southeast Asia under the British rule. Therefore many workers from India and China supplemented the Burmese population. As a colony it was very much seen as a backwater.

MAIN CHARACTERS:

        James Flory: is referred as ‘Flory’ in the novel. He is the central character. A timber merchant in his mid-thirties. Blessed or disgraced with a dark blue birthmark that stretches from his eye to the side of his mouth on his left cheek. He therefore avoids flaunting the left side of his face to people. He is friendly to an Indian doctor by the name of Veraswami. He likes and even appreciates the Burmese culture. This brings him into a conflict with the members of the local club. Who, do not appreciate his radical views.

        Elizabeth Lackersteen: An unmarried English girl who has lost both her parents and comes to stay with her remaining relatives, the Lackersteens, in Burma. Before her flighty mother died, they had lived together in Paris. Her mother fancied herself an artist, and Elizabeth grew to hate the Bohemian lifestyle and cultural connections. Elizabeth is 22, ‘tallish for a girl, slender.” Throughout the novel, she seeks to marry a man because her aunt keeps pressuring her and she idolises wealth and social class, neither of which she could achieve without a husband during this time period.

    Mr Lackersteen: Elizabeth’s uncle and Mrs Lackersteen’s husband. Lackersteen is the manager of a timber firm. He is a heavy drinker whose main object in life is to have a “good time”. However his activities are curtailed by his wife who is ever watching “like a cat over a bloody mousehole” because ever since she returned after leaving him alone one day to find him surrounded by three naked Burmese girls, she does not trust him alone. Lackersteen’s lechery extends to making sexual advances towards his niece, Elizabeth.

    Mrs Lackersteen: Elizabeth’s aunt and Mr Lackersteen’s wife. Mrs Lackersteen is “a woman of about thirty-five, handsome in a contourless, elongated way, like a fashion plate”. She is a classic memsahib, the title used for wives of officials in the Raj. Both she and her niece have not taken to the alien country or its culture. (In Burmese Days Orwell defines the memsahib as “yellow and thin, scandal mongering over cocktails—living twenty years in the country without learning a word of the language.”). And because of this, she strongly believes that Elizabeth should get married to an upper class man who can provide her with a home and accompanying riches. She pesters Elizabeth into finding a husband: first she wants her to wed Verrall, then after he leaves, Flory.

    Dr Veraswami: An Indian doctor and a friend of Flory’s. He has nothing but respect for the British colonists and often refers to his own kind as being lesser humans than the English, even though many of the British, including Ellis, don’t respect him. Veraswami and Flory often discuss various topics, with Veraswami presenting the British point of view and Flory taking the side of the Burmese. Dr Veraswami is targeted by U Po Kyin in pursuit of membership of the European club. Dr Veraswami wants to become a member of the club so that it will give him prestige which will protect him from U Po Kyin’s attempts to exile him from the district. Because he respects Flory, he does not pester him to get him admitted into the club. Eventually U Po Kyin’s plan to exile Dr Veraswami comes through. He is sent away to work in another run-down hospital elsewhere.

    U Po Kyin: A corrupt and cunning magistrate who is hideously overweight, but perfectly groomed and wealthy. He is 56 and the “U” in his name is his title, which is an honorific in Burmese society. He feels he can commit whatever wicked acts he wants—cheat people of their money, jail the innocent, abuse young girls—because although, “According to Buddhist belief those who have done evil in their lives will spend the next incarnation in the shape of a rat, frog, or some other low animal”, he intends to provide against these sins by devoting the rest of his life to good works such as financing the building of pagodas, “and balance the scales of karmic justice”.[13] He continues his plans to attack Dr Veraswami, instigating a rebellion as part of the exercise, to make Dr Veraswami look bad and eliminate him as a potential candidate of the club, so he can secure the membership for himself. He believes his status as a member of the club will cease the intrigues that are directed against him. He loses pre-eminence when Flory and Vereswami suppress the riot. After Flory dies, Kyin becomes a member of the European Club. Shortly after his admission into the club he dies, unredeemed, before the building of the pagodas. “U Po has advanced himself by thievery, bribery, blackmail and betrayal, and his corrupt career is a serious criticism of both the English rule that permits his success and his English superiors who so disastrously misjudge his character”.

    Ma Hla May: Flory’s Burmese mistress who has been with him for two years before he meets Elizabeth. Ma Hla May believes herself to be Flory’s unofficial wife and takes advantage of the privileges that come along with being associated with a white man in Burma. Flory has been paying her expenses throughout their time together. However, after he becomes enchanted with Elizabeth, he informs her that he no longer wants anything to do with her. Ma Hla May is distraught and repeatedly blackmails him. Once thrown out of Flory’s house, the other villagers dissociate themselves from her and she cannot find herself a husband to support her. Encouraged by U Po Kyin, who has an alternate agenda to ruin Flory’s reputation within the club, she approaches Flory in front of the Europeans and creates a dramatic scene so everyone knows of his intimacy with her. This outburst taints Elizabeth’s perception of Flory for good. Eventually she goes to work in a brothel elsewhere.

    Ko S’la: Flory’s devoted servant since the day he arrived in Burma. They are close to the same age and Ko S’la has since taken care of Flory. Though he serves Flory well, he does not approve of many of his activities, especially his relationship with Ma Hla May and his drinking habits. He believes that Flory should get married. Flory has remained in the same reckless state that he was in upon arriving in Burma. In Ko S’la’s eyes, Flory is still a boy. Ko S’la, on the other hand, has moved on with his life as he has taken wives and fathered five children. He pities Flory due to his childish behaviour and his birthmark.

    Lieutenant Verrall: A military policeman who has a temporary posting in the town. He is everything that Flory is not—young, handsome, privileged. He is the youngest son of a peer and looks down on everyone, making no concessions to civility and good manners. His only concern while in town is playing polo. He takes no notice of a person’s race, everyone is beneath him. Verrall is smug and self-centered. Encouraged by her aunt, Elizabeth pursues Verrall as a suitor, but he uses her only for temporary entertainment. In the end, he vanishes from town without a word to Elizabeth.

    Mr Macgregor: Deputy Commissioner and secretary of the club. He is upright and well-meaning, although also pompous and self-important. U Po Kyin contacts Mr Macgregor through anonymous letters as he continues his attacks on Dr Veraswami to gain a position in the club. As one of the only single men left in the town, he marries Elizabeth.

    Ellis: A violently racist Englishman who manages a timber company in upper Burma. He is a vulgar and spiteful member of the club who likes stirring up scandals. He believes in the British rule of Burma and that the Burmese people are completely incapable of ruling the country themselves. His hatred of the Burmese culture causes some clashes with Flory due to Flory’s friendliness with the Burmese, especially Dr Veraswami. Ellis is in support of U Po Kyin’s plan to ruin the reputation of Dr Veraswami and needs no evidence whatsoever of Dr Veraswami’s guilt.

    Francis and Samuel: Francis is a Eurasian clerk to an Indian money lender, whilst Samuel is a clerk to some of the pleaders. Both are sons of Christian missionaries, the book explores attitudes towards their mixed heritage.

PLOT

    The novel is set in the imperial Burma of 1920s. In the fictional district of Kyauktada. The original of Kyauktada is Kathar (formerly spelled as Katha), a township where Orwell served. Kyauktada is the head of a branch railway line above Mandalay on the Ayeyarwady (Irrawady) River. The story opens with U Po Kyin, a corrupt Burmese magistrate. Who is planning to destroy the reputation of the Indian doctor Veraswami. The doctor looks for protection in this disaster from his friendship with Flory who happens to be a pukka sahib (European white man) who has a higher prestige. Dr Veraswami wants to become a member of the prestigious British club because he thinks his standing with Europeans is good. U po Kyin intrigues against him and refuses to cow down. He starts a malicious campaign against the doctor and persudes the Europeans that the doctor holds disloyal, anti-British opinions. He also releases false anonymous letter with false stories about the doctor and thinks it will work wonders. He even sends a threatening letter to Flory.

   Flory is a worn out 35 year old teak merchant. He is responsible for appropriation of jungle timber for three weeks in a month. He is unmarried and even friendless among his fellow Europeans. He has a ragged crescent of a birthmark on his face. Flory is disillusioned with his lifestyle. Living in a tiresome expatriate community centred round the European Club in a remote part of the country.

    On the other hand he has become so embedded in Burma that it is impossible for him to leave and return to England. Veraswami and Flory are great friends. Flory often visits the doctor for what the latter delightedly calls ‘cultured conversation.’ In these conversations Flory details his disillusionment with the empire. But the doctor flares up whenever Flory criticises the Raj and defends the British as great administrators who have built an efficient and unrivalled empire. Flory dismisses these administrators as mere money makers, living a lie. ‘The perennial lie that, we’re here to uplift our poor black brothers instead to rob them.’ Though he finds a temporary rejoice with his Burmese mistress. Flory is emotionally bedevilled. On the one hand Flory loves Burma and craves a life partner who will share his passion, which the other Europeans find incomprehensible. On the other hand, for essentially racist taste, Flory feels that only a European woman is acceptable as a partner.

    Flory’s dilemma seems to be answered when Elizabeth Lackersteen. The orphaned niece of Mr Lachersteen, the local timber firm manager arrives. Flory saves her when she thinks she is about to be attacked by a small water buffalo. He is immediately befriended by her and they spend time getting close, culminating in a highly successful shooting expedition. Where, after several misses Elizabeth shoots a pigeon, and then a flying bird. Flory shoots a leopard and promises the skin to Elizabeth as a trophy. Lost in, romance and fantasies. Flory visualises Elizabeth to be sensitive and non-racist. He so much desires a European woman who will understand him and give him the companionship that he needed. As a result he turns away Ma Hla May, his pretty, scheming Burmese concubine out of his house. Under the surface, however, Elizabeth is appalled by Flory’s relative egalitarian attitude towards the native, seeing them as ‘beastly’ while Flory extols the virtues of their rich culture. She finds the Burmese repulsive. Worse still are Flory’s interests in high art and literature, which remind Elizabeth of her boondoggling mother who died in disgrace in Paris of ptomaine poisoning as a result of living in squalid conditions while masquerading as a Bohemian artist. Despite these reservations, of which Flory is entirely unaware. She is willing to marry him to escape poverty, spinsterhood, and the unwelcome advances of he perpetually inebriated uncle.

    Flory is about to ask her to marry him, but they are interrupted first by her aunt and second by an earthquake.  Mrs Lackersteen’s interruption is deliberate because she has discovered that a military police lieutenant named Verrall is arriving in Kyauktada. As he comes from an extremely good family, she sees him as a better prospect as a husband for Elizabeth. Mrs Lackersteen tells Elizabeth that Flory is keeping a Burmese mistress as a deliberate ploy to send her Verrall. Indeed, Flory had been keeping a mistress, but had dismissed her almost the moment Elizabeth had arrived. Elizabeth is appalled and falls at the first opportunity for Verrall, who is arrogant and even ill-mannered to all but her. Flory is devastated and after a period of exile attempts to make amends by delivering to her the peopard skin. A bungled curing process has left the skin mangy and stinky and the gesture merely compounds his status as a poor suitor. When Flory delivers it to Elizabeth she accepts it regardless of the fact that it stinks and he talks of their relationship, telling her he still loves her. She responds by telling him that unfortunately the feelings aren’t mutual anymore and leaves the house to go horse riding with Verrall. When, Flory and Elizabeth part ways. Mrs Lackersteen  orders the servants to burn the reeking leopard skin, representing the deterioration of Flory and Elizabeth’s relationship.

    U Po Kyin’s campaign against Dr Veraswami is simply to malign him so that he can push his candidature instead for the membership of the European Club in Kyauktada. The club has been put under pressure to elect a native member and Dr Veraswami is the most likely candidate. U Po Kyin manoeuvres to let go a prisoner and plans a rebellion for which he conspires that Dr Veraswami should get the blame. The rebellion begins but is quickly put down. But in the process a native rebel is killed by the acting Divisional Forest Officer, Maxwell. Uncharacteristically courageous, Flory speaks up for Dr Veraswami and proposes him as a member of the club. At this moment the body of Maxwell, cut almost to pieces with swords by two relatives of the man he had shot, is brought back to the town. This creates tension between the Burmese and the Europeans which is exacerbated by a vicious attack on native children by the spiteful arch-racist timber merchant, Ellis. A large but ineffectual anti-British riot begins and Flory becomes the hero for bringing it under control with some support by Dr Veraswami. U Po Kyin tries to claim credit but is disbelieved and Dr, Veraswami’s prestige is restored.

     Verrall leaves Kyauktada without even saying goodbye to Elizabeth. Heartbroken she falls for Flory again. Flory is happy and plans to marry Elizabeth. However, U Po Kyin has not given up. He hires Flory’s former Burmese mistress to create a scene in front of Elizabeth during the sermon at the Church. Flory is disgraced and Elizabeth refuses to have anything more to do with him. Overcome by the loss and seeing no future for himself. Flory first kills his dog, and then himself.

    Dr Veraswami is demoted and sent to a different district and U Po Kyin is elected to the club. Devious plans of U Po Kyin have succeeded. He now plans to redeem his life and cleanse his sins by financing the construction of pagodas. He dies of apoplexy before he can start building the first pagoda. His wife envisages him returning to life as a frog or a rat. Elizabeth eventually marries Macgregor, the deputy commissioner, and lives happily in contempt of the natives, who in turn live in fear of her, fulfilling her destiny of becoming a ‘burra memsahib’ (respectful term given to white European women).

*****

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

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

*****

 

 

Happy birthday dear Shravan

Copyright@shravancahritymission

 

Dear Shravan,

Today is your 25th birthday. Sadly, for us it is also the 9th one, without you. I really don’t know where you are. But the spirit of time does tell me you are somewhere here and somewhere there for our care. In our deep loneliness I find your memories still coming to our rescue. The world has changed for us—almost an upside down. Where, the objectives have become hazy but the din of life has only increased. There was a lesson I had derived out of your untimely demise. To, work for poor children suffering from cancer. What you suffered. I now pursue the cause. Ma Prachi and Kartik, all help me in that. It gives us great satisfaction. Down the years I also realized. There are two different worlds for the parents. One, is of those, who have seen their children departing in front of them. The other is of those, that have seen their children flourishing in front of them. The former is very—very painful to accept. I have written two books about cancer patients. Just to, convey to the world. What it takes to fight the dreaded disease and the mental and physical suffering of the patients and their near and dear ones. The books have been well received by the readers.

    My temporal connect with the world has lessened but not my grit. It is said to every birth there is a death for sure. Yet I realized. It is not that easy to accept the departure of your child in front of you. It took a long time for me and Ma to accept life without you. Even today we are not hundred percent of what we used to be. Both of us keep working like mad. We don’t want to sit at home else we’ll go crazy with your fond memories.

    There is one person who calls me each year on the day you expired. He is a Sardar. A granthi in  a Gurudwara in Faridabad. Just a week before you left us and when you were in the hospital, his twenty year old son had expired in front of us in the same hospital. And he knows you expired a week later. So there is divine connect between me and him. The few consoling words that he says are enough to recharge me.

   What else to say. You came and you left. May God bless you and bless us too.

*****

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

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

*****

 

By the pricking of my thumbs–Agatha Christie

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

KHIDKI (WINDOW)

AGATHA CHRISTIE—By the pricking of my thumbs (Makes an interesting read)

    One and only one—Agatha Christie.

    Like a sinusoidal wave the excitement of her plot never wanes, and therefore her pen, never gets stale. Her works are now nearing a century. But, one still gets a feel. As if the crime was committed, only yesterday, and that too, in my own neighbourhood. The churning thrill of which, grips you tight. Both while you’re reading and even when you’ve kept the book aside. As the crime scene continues to remain in your psyche.

    Sunday Express describes the novel as. ‘The most macabre and eerie Christie I have read for a long time.’

    Title is halfway a Macbeth quote—‘By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.’

    It all happens when:

    Tommy and Tuppence Beresford  are an ordinary British couple. Their conversation with each other in the novel. Reminds you of those, eloquent British natives who are full of etiquette and punctuated verbose. Tommy is the husband and Tuppence is the wife. They happen to call on Tommy’s aunt Ada in a retirement home called the Sunny Ridge. Aunt Ada by nature is difficult. Therefore, a complex person. In the retirement home while Tommy is busy talking to his aunt. Tuppence enters into a conversation with a resident, Mrs Lancaster. When Mrs Lancaster unexpectedly says, ‘Was it your poor child? There behind the fireplace.’

    A few weeks later Aunt Ada dies of natural causes in Sunny Ridge. When, Tommy and Tuppence return to the retirement home after the funeral to make arrangements for Ada’s possessions. They find that Mrs Lancaster has suddenly vanished. The matron there informs them that a relative called Mrs Johnson took her away. Tuppence suspects there’s more to it than meets the eye and tries to find the relative. But the trail hits a cul-de-sac. One of the items that Aunt Ada had left is a painting of a house by the riverside.  The picture strongly reminds Tuppence of a house she once saw and took to immediate liking. The painting was supposedly given to Aunt Ada by Mrs Lancaster.   

    Tommy is away for a few days. So, Tuppence starts looking for the mystery house on her own. Eventually, she finds it in a small village by the name Sutton Chancellor. It turns out that the house is divided in a peculiar way. Front and back. The backside is rented to a middle-aged couple called the Perries. The front part has been vacant for several years now. Tuppence meets with the people of Sutton Chancellor. There is an elderly vicar, a talkative big and beautiful landlady called Mrs. Copleigh, and a Miss Bligh who seem to run the parish.

    Under the pretence of house hunting she tries to get more information about the house. Mrs Copleigh tells her a grim story about a spate of child killings some years ago. Then she fails to return home on the arranged day, having been concussed by a blow on the head.

    Tommy and his man Friday Albert are now worried about Tuppence. Tommy does some investigation on his own. First, he discovers the painting was by an artist called Boscowan. Who died several years ago. Next Tommy meets the doctor of Sunny Ridge. There have been some deaths that the doctor finds odd and he is worried about a possible foul play. Tommy then talks to an investigator friend, Ivor Smith. Who hints the house in Sutton Chancellor might have been used as a safe house for a criminal gang. Tommy shows the painting to Mrs Boscowan, who notes that someone has added a boat to the picture. At home, Tommy learns that Tuppence is in a hospital near Sutton Chancellor with severe concussion. Tommy and Albert then find a hidden letter from Aunt Ada. In which she suspects there is malice in Sunny Ridge.          

    Tuppence has recovered. An old doll that she found in the mysterious house turns out to contain uncut diamonds. A party is arranged in Sutton Chancellor. Sir Phillip Starke, the local landowner, and Mrs Boscowan are invited. Tuppence has the impression that Sir Phillip knows more about the whole affair. The next day Tuppence goes to the vicarage and confronts Miss Bligh, who she suspects was the one who hit her on the head.

    Alone, Tuppence goes to the mystery house. Where, to her surprise she finds the missing Mrs Lancaster. She takes Tuppence to a secret part of the house and proceeds to tell her life story. After her child was aborted against her will she became deranged and started killing children.   One of the other residents in Sunny Ridge had recognized her. So she had to be silenced. Miss Bligh, posing as a relative, resettled her into a new home. After her candour, Mrs Lancaster attempts to kill Tuppence.

     Tuppence is saved just in time. It is revealed that Mrs Lancaster is actually the wife of Sir Philip Starke. He had covered up her insanity and the crimes she committed. He assisted in the cover-up by Miss Bligh, his former secretary and confidante. Tommy and Tuppence then return home.

*****

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

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

*****

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE GOLF COURSE

Copyright@shravancharitymission

     I thought of locking the year with a few rounds of golf. So I played nine holes today. Shall continue with it, even tomorrow, and even day after, and positively on the 1st day of, 2018. They say what you do on the last day of the year, continues with you in the ensuing year. And what you do on the first day of the New Year remains with you throughout the year. Golf certainly is my vaunted lifeline.

     It was a wonderful experience in some months. When, you happened to be in the golf course, on a cold winter morning. That too, when, the visibility was poor. And where, the morning sun was as if, heckled by those seasonal miscreants, while it was is on its way up. To, greet the golfers.

    Of course it was a dare to reach the club early in the morning. As you don’t feel like leaving the warm bed in the accompaniment of the soft quilt. It was a frigid and shivering start, at hole number one. Climaxing, to a warm and cozy end, at hole number nine. The entire flora including the carpet of grass was covered with dew. On which the foot marks of the golfers were clearly visible. Perhaps, if you had seen their soles, you would have known who all were ahead of you. Even the bounce of the golf ball had left an impression on the gleaming blade of the grass, followed by its long roll all along the carpet that was noticeable to the eyes even from a distance. In all of this one could but feel the change setting in. That is the advent of the New Year.

    As we go from 17 to 18 one wonders how the year was spent. So it is time to introspect, over the year. What satisfied you …. What demeaned you? And what remained as a routine. Turn of the year is a big leveler. Where, one can start afresh, with hitherto, unaccomplished missions. I’m sure you’ve thought enough about it. So act now. For life is short. So do what you wish to do and do it now. Says the famous proverb—‘time and tide wait for none.’ 

………………………… have a great 2018

 

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

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

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STORY: WHY SHIVA REDUCES KAMDEV TO ASHES–Check, the arrogance in you

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    Powerful asura (demon) Tarkasur, after seeking the blessings of Lord God Shiva (also known as Sadashiv), conquered, all the three lokas (worlds). He then, threw, all the devtas (deities) out of Swarg (heaven) and started ruling the place all by himself. Terrorized, Devtas, then approached Lord Brahma.

    When, Devtas narrated their plight to him. He said, ‘since Tarkasur has been blessed directly, by Lord God Shiva. There is no one else in the cosmos. Who, can intervene in this matter. So, the only person who can kill Tarkasur, is his own avatar (embodiment of God). As and when, he is born.

    ‘But how will that happen?’ asked Devraj Indra. Who was leading the team of Devtas. Replying to Indra, Brahma said.

    ‘If Lord Shiva falls for Girija, (Goddess Parvati) who is anyway in Himachal, where, Shiva is in dhyan (meditation). They can get married, and as a consequence of that, have his avatar. Who will be named, Rudra. He would then be empowered to kill Tarkasur. But this will not be easy. As, Lord Shiva, is beyond any worldly and even, cosmic allurement. So, it’ll not be that easy for Girija to attract him.’

    With the humungous challenge ahead, Devraj Indra suddenly thought of Kamdev (the god of love). And within no time Kamdev appeared with folded hands and said—Prabhu (God) what made you, think of me?

   Indra said, ‘Dear Kamdev. There is a demon by the name of Tarkasur. He is blessed by Lord God Shiva and that makes him invincible. As, no one, can kill him for now. Therefore, he is troubling the whole world. He has also conquered our abode—Swarg (heaven). He can only be killed by God Rudra. Who, happens to be an avatar of Lord Shiva. But he is yet to be born. This is what Lord Brahma has told us. And, Lord Shiva can have Rudra, only if he marries Girija. So, to get Lord Shiva attracted to Girija, is now your job.     Girija, in order to worship and serve Lord Shiva goes to him every day. If they both get married, the wishes of Devtas can be fulfilled—which is, the death, of Tarkasur.’

    After, patiently, listening to Devraj Indra, Kamdev said—‘Rajendra! (Indra) I will surely do this job for the welfare of the Devatas.’ Thereafter, Kamdev with all his paraphernalia reached the spot. Where, Lord Shiva was meditating.

     At the particular place, where, Shiva was sitting in dhyan (meditation), there, Kamdev, used his illusory tricks to arouse his feelings. He made the surroundings, look like, the beautiful erotic spring, where, the birds started chirping in melodious tones. The ambience soon got romantic that did not spare, even the Lord. When, he got the sudden whoosh of Goddess Girija, but nothing beyond that.

    Kamdev used all his five arrows on him. But he was unsuccessful in all his attempts. As, there, was no effect of his arrows on Shiva. After all, who had the power to unsettle Shiva? Most certainly, no one in the universe.

    During that time, Girija with a tray in her hands. Filled with flowers and ingredients, came there, for the puja of Lord Shiva. With her, she also had her friends. And coincidentally, even Lord Shiva, was out of his dhyan at the same time. Kamdev thought, this was the opportunity, and shot his arrow of crush on Shiva and thereafter in continuity. He shot, one arrow after another. This struck Lord Shiva momentarily.

   With that he got attracted to Girija at once.  But soon he realised, something abnormal was happening to him. He questioned—‘what is this! I’m nirvikar (changeless). Yet I’m impacted by this stroke of infatuation. If, as, God I’m affected. What will happen to the average people of the world? It surely, appears to be the job of Kamdev.’ He thought in some regret.

    Sure enough, when he turned to his left, he saw Kamdev standing there with his bow and arrow. He could not control his anger. And with that, all the three lokas started shivering. It appeared, as if, hell is about to swallow the universe. Just then his third eye opened and from that. In great velocity fire oozed out, and that reduced Kamdev to ashes. All the three lokas quaked in fright. Devtas saddened, but Asuras were happy. After Kamdev was dead. Even, Girija returned home with her friends, feeling devastated.

    Kamdev’s wife Rati, upon, seeing, her dead husband, fainted. When she regained consciousness. She started wailing—’Swami!   Why did you go to Shivlok at all, without telling me? What should I do now? Where should I go? All this is a result of the arrogant talk, you often made in Indralok (Indra’s abode). Devtas, have only done bad for me. They sent my husband here. Only to get him reduced, to ashes.’

    Moral of the story: One should know his limits. Kamdev tried to transgress his powers and had to pay the price.

    Later Devtas assembled around Lord Shiva. Shiva asked for the reason. Devtas said, ‘Lord you are antaryami (omniscient) and you know the reason.’ Shiva understood. They had assembled for Kamdev. He clarified—’whatever happened. Happened, because, of Brahma’s shaap (curse), which, can’t be reversed now. But yes. When, Lord Vishnu will take avatar as Krishna. Then Kamdev will be his son. His name will be Pradhuman. A demon by the name of Shambar will pick Pradhuman and throw him in the sea. Rati, Kamdev’s wife, during that time will be residing in the same city. That is Shambar. She will get her husband back, in this city only. Kamdev will kill Shambar and along with his wife, he will come to Krishna.

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Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

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

*****

 

 

 

TRAFFIC SIGNAL

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    It is office hours. Rush time and in the morning. The traffic is really heavy. Looks, as if, entire India is on the move and with that, India’s GDP too. Perhaps, it’ll go up substantially today. So will the sensex. But the very first few indications on the mobile say. Sensex is wobbling. Just like the morning hour traffic. It’ll settle and shoot up, maybe, after, traffic hours. Say towards the afternoon. Mind, as usual is filled with a lot of clutter, that keeps fogging me. There is always so much to do and so much to improve. But, where do I begin and where do I end.  

    Thank God, boss is not in town, today. O Jesus! … It’s already nine thirty. He might call anytime, on the office land line. Arrey! where is this idiot Ramesh. He still hasn’t given me the data. Without it, how do I prepare the power-point, for boss’s meeting tomorrow? Mobile rings—it’s a call from home. ‘Hello! Just, thought, of reminding you. Don’t forget, to pull out the cash, for Diwali shopping’—that was my evergreen wife. See the trust. The call is over, even without, my saying a word.

    Mobile beeps. There is a whatsapp message. This could be the routine good morning, from Shashi. Arrey what is so good about the morning. It is the same old, Ram kahani. Sala kuch bhi nahi badalta hai is Hindustan mein. Mobile rings again … O—O boss.

    ‘Good morning, sir!’

    ‘Morning Anand, have you got the data from Ramesh?’

    ‘No sir.’

    ‘Speak to him. Drop my name. I need both the data and the power-point first thing, tomorrow morning.’ the call is over.

    Arrey yaar. I forgot to recite hanuman chalisa today. ‘Jai hanuman gyan gun sagar … Mobile rings, yet again. This time it is Ramesh. ‘Arrey yaar when are you giving me that data? Boss called for it just now.’

  ‘I’m carrying it to the office. It’s nothing great. You can’t prove a thing with it.’

   I restart my hanuman chalisa. Suddenly, the traffic light goes green. The car in front refuses to move. But the rear one is honking full blast. It appears, he has a greater stake in India’s prosperity than anyone of us. He tries to prove it, by honking. I’m about to complete my chalisa.

   O God! What is this life? God retorts, ‘this alone is life.’ I put my car in gear. It slides into motion. When, Lord Hanuman says, ‘bye—bye, see you tomorrow. I’ll take the aerial route. As I need to remind others, too, about their Hanuman chalisa. They are ahead of you and on this very road. Even Durga and Mahadev are doing the same. Bhakts are under a lot of work pressure. No time.’ I remember Mom. Dad can be remembered later. I’m starved of time.

    My stomach churns—‘breakfast!!’ I remember its lying on the seat behind. It’ll now have to wait till I reach office.

    I raise the volume. The RJ is once again there. To tell me how exciting life is. She connects with me every morning like a soul mate. Plays a few peppy numbers for me, to, rev up my mood. By the time I reach office I’m all perked up. When, I’m sucked in for the day. And why only the day, it is day after day.

   And that’s life.  

*

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

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

*****