Category Archives: casual causerie

BOOK TALK: YAMMY BOY … by Riddhima Bagwe Pednekar

Copyright@shravancharity mission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative–

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

We have squeezed the entire book in about ten pages for your assimilation–You require only around half an hour to run through the book.

    One cloudy night when it was all, thundering outside. And appeared as if it was going to rain, when, it actually wasn’t. Just around then, somewhere in Mumbai in a lovely duplex house. One sweet senior retired couple beyond their 70s was relaxing after dinner at around eight in the evening.

    They were Mr Dumbledore (DD) and his wife Mrs (DD), leading, a happy and relaxed retired life. They had only one child by the name of David who was in the US. He was happily married there with his wife and kids. His visits to India were rare after going to the US some ten years ago. Therefore, Mr & Mrs DD as grandparents saw their grandchildren only through Skype. Most certainly they were Hitech grandparents!

     But Mrs and Mr DD didn’t feel sad about it. Because, the grandchildren, were, only born in their presence. And they were happy with that. They had a simple funda in life—live and let live.  Because, higher the expectation, more the trouble. So, they had made it very clear to David. We have brought you up. Rest you look after yourself. But yes. A trip to the US as a gift from David was assured every year.

    They were that typical, liberal independent parents. Who were smart enough to manage on their own. Their duplex house in Mumbai was in crores and still belonged to Mrs and Mr DD and not David. DDs had worked in good companies all their lives. David too was doing well and didn’t need any of their funds as he was self sufficient.

    DDs house was one simple but a marvelous piece of work. It was white in colour. They loved white. But it required maintenance. And it wasn’t the responsibility of Mrs DD alone. Rather it was the responsibility of Mr DD too, to maintain it.

    Mrs DD was clear since the very beginning. All work needs to be divided. Where, even David was taught to clear his dishes. When, he started understanding life. As Mrs DD was also working, so she couldn’t have been everywhere.  Therefore, this white and simple mansion had no servants. Which Mrs and Mr DD had intentionally planned, so that they have tasks to do the whole day. Or else, how will their period of retirement pass?

     Well by now, you must be thinking they had no real fear. And they were satiated to the core. But truly speaking that’s impossible. For everyone has a weakness a fear or even an insecurity in life. Mr and Mrs DD feared losing each other. This indeed was their biggest fear. Though, they were nearing God’s doors. They didn’t want to die separately. As not only did they love each other immensely. They shared everything together and that included fights, tears, happiness and joy.

    On the health front both had BP and where Mr DD even had a little diabetes. But he did not have a sweet tooth. Though, he had a high temper as his blood was hot when he was young. The after effects of which, he was bearing even now. But old age doesn’t guarantee you any alarms before death. Do they? Perhaps, sometimes they do.

    So, there they sat … Mr and Mrs DD, killing time. Mr solving crossword and Mrs reading books. Every day they retired at 10 pm and got up at 5 am in the morning to go for a walk together. Cooking was Mrs DDs duty. Meanwhile gardening, watering the plants was Mr’s duty. Then dusting, arranging household stuff, cleaning of vessels was Mr DDs duty. Vacuuming and washing clothes etc was Mrs DDs duty. Nicely they had divided the work.

   They always prayed before sleeping … ‘that they wake up together, or sleep together forever.’ That was the only wish they had. But then what about this beautiful house of theirs? Well they had already planned for it. It would later be given to an NGO. Who in turn would run it as an old age home, for couples who weren’t as lucky as the Dumbledores.

    Of their savings 50% was to go to the trust, for their grandchildren. But who would get it only in their 30s. And, 50% was to go to an NGO for street children. So meticulous were they in their planning. They had also done a proper enquiry of the NGO beforehand. Wow! So meticulous, nothing could have gone wrong. Well everyone thinks so. By now they were fast asleep. It wasn’t raining. But of course the same thundering and lightning was still going on.

    Krrrrrr! The door bell rang. Krrrrr! The bell rang again. Mrs DD was a light sleeper. She thought the thunders were playing up. So she didn’t budge. But again, third time it went off. This time it was for a longer duration … Krrrrrrrrrr! Mrs got up, a bit shaky. But she was sure. It was still dead of night and not morning and to make sure she even pinched herself. To, check if she was awake and not sleeping.   

    She switched on the night lamp and checked the alarm clock. A lovely piece gifted by Mr Dumbledore to her sometime ago. ‘What! 3 am? Who the hell is ringing the doorbell at this time? She got a bit worried and of course tensed. For the first time ever she hadn’t checked on Mr Dumbledore. Strange isn’t it. And it was for the first time the bell had rung at this weird hour.

       For convenience they had purposely kept their bedroom at the ground floor. Mrs  DD thought of hurrying. But now the door bell didn’t ring again. Which was even more creepy, so she wore her sweater and slowly moved towards the bedroom door. They never closed the bedroom door. She trembled like a tortoise, and slowly moved towards the main door.

    And, she was now, only a few inches away from the main door. When, she decided to move back as the door bell had stopped few minutes back. She was confused, scared and even relieved. At the same time she had mixed emotions.

    So she drew back to return to her bed and there it went again. Krrrrrrr! … krrrrrr! … krrrrr! Continuously, three times. Her face went pale white. In the windy cold night, sweat rushed through her. She gathered all her energy and moved back, and opened the door, with the safety door latch intact.

    What she saw, when she opened the door was like a bad dream. Through the safety door, a huge flood light was as if leering at her face, and that was almost blinding her. She saw a rugged and weirdly modified vehicle standing outside. Yes, there was no one in it. But the vehicle was standing there with those lights on.

    What the hell is that? Is it some kind of a ghost, or a stupid youngster zonked? Who has no work but to trouble others while sleeping?

    Scared and also swearing under her breath. She was about to slam the door. When, suddenly a horrible, weird and a blackish appearing figure was suddenly in front of her. But yes, beyond the safety door so she was safe. He said, ‘Madame! Please open the door.’ Almost in a tone, as if, she was the maid, and he the owner of the house.

    She said, ‘pardon? Almost chokingly. He repeated, ‘Madam, open the door.’ This time there was no ‘please’ and then he started. ‘I am not going to harm you. Get this wooden thing off, between us.’ Mrs DD had no idea about what she was going to do. But then all of a sudden she opened the door. And when she did, she felt like slapping herself hard.

    ‘Ahhhh’ he said with a grin. ‘Madam, you trusted me rather too quickly. The time has come. In another half an hour I will be gone.’ Mrs DD’s head was spinning, as for the first time she was seeing him properly. You call him human, half human or a nut. She asked herself. He was huge. Mrs DD suddenly realized. She was staring at the sky with her mouth wide open. She straightened herself. Person, standing in front of her was a giant. He was pitch black, and surprisingly in the night he was wearing glasses, which were fluorescent green. On his head, there was a cap with horns. Yes a metal cap with red horns. Mrs DD felt she was not in her senses. So she moved back. He was shirtless. And he wore a fluorescent green boxer pants matching his glasses. It was short enough. The sight of which embarrassed Mrs DD. To, look any further. But then she wanted to take a full view of this cartoon. As by now the fear of the person was done away with. He wore wooden sandals, those ‘Paduka’ types. He jibed again, “Madam, are you through, ogling at me? I know I am very attractive. So I repeat. I have half an hour, and your time is also half an hour. Mrs DD almost yelled, ‘what are you!’ Oops she actually wanted to say who are you? By now she was least scared of this nut.

    ‘Madame I am YAMMYBOY!’

    Pardon? Mrs DD retorted.

    ‘Yes! I am YAMMYBOY and meet him. He is my RATH.’

    ‘Who … he?’ pointed Mrs DD.

    ‘Yes he is my RATH, behind me.’ Replied, YAMMYBOY. Waving at the esoteric machine he had got. Now Mrs DD was losing cool. She bombarded. ‘What do you want? You know its 3 am in the night? Why have you come to disturb us?’ Suddenly she remembered and pondered about Mr Dumbledore. Where was he? It’s been long. How come he didn’t hear anything? And howcome she forgot him? Mumbling all this in her mind, she hurried back as if she was alarmed. She opened the bedroom door. And saw … Mr DD was sleeping away to glory. He wasn’t aware of anything. She called out his name, ‘Dev … Dev’ … but he didn’t budge. She tried to wake him up. Suddenly, she realized. Dev wasn’t moving. His flat tummy wasn’t going up and down. Oh Jesus!

    ‘Madame …!’ The voice came from behind. She froze. ‘OMG! I left the door open. O shit that nut.’ ‘Madame!’ he said again. She looked behind, and there he was, standing in flesh and blood in their bedroom, with his wooden sandals on. She nearly screamed. ‘Madame you have wasted my time. By now I’m sure you must have come to know.’

    ‘What?’ Asked Mrs DD and further added. ‘What’s your name?’

    ‘I am YAMMYBOY, Madame’ he said. ‘Haven’t you recognized me? I am the YAMMYBOY. Oh in the oldies language. I am God YAMM! But yes, of the new age. I’m the modified and stylish YAMM. That, no longer ride’s the bull. I come on my YOYO rath.’

    OMG! Mrs DD froze. Everything went silent. Now the puzzle fell in place. He was YAM GOD the courier vehicle for the dead. Now she knew why Mr DD wasn’t moving. Why his tummy didn’t go up and down. OMG! Is this true? Unknowingly tears came out of her old eyes.

    ‘Madame … I have come to take Mr DD. His time has come. Already a lot of time has been wasted. Please move aside. I have to take his soul.’ Mrs DD was shattered. Her only wish, to live together and die together is going to break. She was going to faint. Suddenly she saw the alarm clock on the pillow, which she had left there in a hurry. It was 3.20 am. All this drama was now going on for twenty minutes. But after what he had said. She felt it was going on forever. She said, ‘Sir! You can do what you want. You can do your duty. But please have some tea. I really make good tea. For a moment YAMMYBOY was dumb. Maybe, either he didn’t realise its night time or he loved caffeine a bit too much. He said ‘Madame … I don’t drink tea. I drink coffee. But madame I have to leave now. I have a job to do.’

    ‘No no don’t worry. I will make coffee in no time. Please don’t worry.’ And before even letting him say anything further, Mrs DD held his hand. Yes she held his hand and asked him to come to the drawing room instead. YAMMYBOY felt a tingle in his body. Oh come on. He couldn’t have had hots for an old lady. But no one had ever held him like this. Especially, when he had come to say you are dead.

    He sat there waiting and checking his watch. He still had eighteen minutes. When, Mrs DD screamed. ‘Yeaaaaaaa.’ YAMMYBOY rushed towards the kitchen from where the scream came. Mrs DD was hitting something with the broom. ‘Madame, what happened?’ ‘It’s there kill him, kill him.’ And before he could even understand anything he was hit on his head. BOINK!!

    When he got up he found himself on a chair in the drawing room. He felt it was raining. But suddenly realized it’s not. Someone was splashing water, on him. ‘I’m so sorry. I am so sorry.’ It was Mrs DD’s voice. ‘There was a big cockroach. I had to kill him. But it had wings. So it flew and sat on your head.’

    ‘Madame no problem.’ He then saw the YUMMY cup of coffee, and without any ado, he drank it. ‘Thank you Madame, it was nice. Now my job is calling!’ He checks the time … ‘OMG!! Its 4:30 am Madame. I will lose my job. I didn’t do what I was supposed to do. The time for death of Mr DD was 3 am. Now he can’t be dead. You are lucky Madame.’ After saying this he rushed. He didn’t get mad at Mrs DD for what had happened. He just rushed like a moving mountain and while breezing past he said. ‘I will come back after checking on the next time slot, else I’ll be late for my next job.’

    She couldn’t believe it, that she had won over death. Really, did she? OMG … her tricked worked. But don’t know for how long. But at least for today she had cancelled Mr DDs death. Happy in her heart she goes to the bedroom and starts praying to God and smiles while looking at Mr DD. He had shifted his position by now. His Tummy was sideways going up and down. And then something happens when she collapses on the bed, and at that very moment she storms out of her sleep. She sits on the bed. No one is besides her. Where is Mr DD? She rushes out of the room. Looking here and there in panic and gets relief when she finally sees him in the kitchen.

    He waves at her and says, ‘Good morning, you slept late. Hope you’re well?’ Now Mrs DD is not sure. She very well knows it was a dream. But she is relieved, because Mr DD is with her. She goes into the kitchen. What she sees there makes her face white in fear. Mr DD shouts from behind. ‘Sorry darling I forgot to pick up the wooden rod and the dead cockroach. But I am wondering how these things got there.’ Mrs DD is now trembling. When, she catches sight of the cup and the saucer hidden in the kitchen, which, Mr DD obviously hasn’t seen. But wait. There is something below the saucer. A letter, it read,

    ‘Dear Mr and Mrs DD. No I am not a fool to have the coffee and I didn’t faint by the wooden broom. I quickly understood what you were trying to do Madame. So, I pretended. Only because I was dumbfounded, at the love, the longing and the struggle you undertook. Just to keep your DD live. I have so many people today on my list. I wish I had taken their loved ones away. But you were trying every which way, to postpone the time of death. You were smart. You thought of a trick. But you forgot I am YAMM GOD. Therefore, I left Mr DD to live for some more time with Mrs DD. And, as a penalty, I will make sure. I take you both together to HEAVEN. Till then CIAO.’ Mrs DD was dumbfounded as if she had gulped a PUMPKIN.

    WILL YAMMY BOY return soon?

 

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

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

*****

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SHORT STORY: DISCRIMINATION

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Deep inside the forest at an isolated stretch, there lived some very poor families. Their children were unwashed, unkempt and so they smelt horrible. But nevertheless, they were a happy lot. Where, they looked forward to playing with children in the playgrounds beyond. Sukhi the more adventurous among them, ventured far and out when he came across some neat and clean children playing to the core. He went up to them and tried to make conversation, but to his dismay they refused. Crestfallen, he wandered aimlessly for sometime till he came across a temple. Where, he met a Pujari. Who gave him ‘prasad’ and asked him, what secret sorrow was he nursing. He narrated how the children ran away from him when he approached them. The Pujari understood the situation and asked him to take bath in the well behind the temple and then approach the children again. Sukhi did as he was told. And to his utter surprise the children this time welcomed him, and let him play with them. So, he happily returned home in the evening. Is when, Sukhi’s mother noticed something amiss in him. She somehow didn’t like the new clean look and the sweet aura of her son. She got angry and enquired. Who had brought about this transformation in him? Sukhi informed her that it was the Pujari. She immediately caught his hand and dragged him to the Pujari. There she berated him in no uncertain terms for changing his son, from an uncouth, slovenly and foul smelling child, into his present state. She asked the Pujari to restore her son to the original state. The Pujari made Sukhi bathe in another well and lo and behold he became his old self. Sukhi’s mother then explained that she liked her son the way God had made him, with all his smells and blemishes. Society must accept the way people are and not resort to cosmetic changes.

The narration is adapted from an American story. The wider connotation of which, could even remind you of the discrimination of the blacks especially in America, South Africa and many other countries practicing apartheid, and even the lower caste in India.

Let life be as simple as possible. Don’t complex it with superficiality.

Written by Mr Ajit Tripathi

–Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi–

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

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

*****

BOOK TALK: GOLDFINGER by Ian Fleming

Copyright@shravancharitymission

   Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get 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.

GOLDFINGER   … by Ian Fleming

Publisher: Penguin

The book comprises of 354 pages. But we have summarised it for you, in about eleven hundred words for your quick assimilation.

 

    I’m sure many of you must have already read this book or seen the movie. I recently finished reading it once again. But each time the thrill was no less and each time there was an adrenaline rush. Where, the narration is anchored by the precision of Fleming’s prose.

    The signature dialogue of the book, comes from the villain Goldfinger. When he threatens Bond: ‘Mr Bond they have a saying in Chicago:  “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time its enemy action.”

    If you’re a Golfer, a frequent traveller, a car lover, Judo—karate exponent or even an avid reader, or an adventurer you are definitely in for a treat. Goldfinger is an outstanding novel of Ian Fleming. He wrote this book in Jamica where he had built his house. The book has three main parts and under that 23 chapters. It was published in 1959.

    What fascinates the most in the novel is the meticulous description of an 18 hole, golf game. Between, Goldfinger and James Bond. It is narrated in 36 pages (from 107 to 143). Where, each description of a golf shot, their conversation around that and even the murmurs with their caddies are just superlative. The way he describes every swing in the fairway and the putt around the greens, and the outcome of the shot is just fantastic. The game is being played in the Royal St Marks golf course in England. The book has some fascinating sentences too. Like …

    When Fleming moans in irony … ‘Many unlikely people play golf, including people who are blind, who have only one arm, or even no legs, and people often wear bizarre clothes to the game.’

    Fleming brings about an accurate description of Goldfinger through one of his characters—‘This man lived gold, thought gold, dreamed gold’—Colonel Smithers. And surely Ian Fleming was a big lover of cars. The way he makes Goldfinger describe his car … The ‘Rolls-Silver Ghost,’ is just impeccable. Smoking, definitely, was not a health down-point then, as Bond was, shades below a chain smoker and a distinct boozer … often without a hangover.

     A quote that crosses Bond’s mind—‘Some love is fire, some love is rust. But the finest, cleanest love is lust.’ Neither had regrets—Bond nor Jill Masterton.

         The book is just fantastic in terms of its narration of the dirty business of gold smuggling in which he integrates America, England, Europe and even India.

    The car chase that he has narrated across Europe is out of the world. Taking part in that were three heart throbs … a Silver Ghost Rolls, an Aston Martin and a Triumph

    The book was written when the world population was increasing at the rate of five thousand and four hundred every hour of the day.

PLOT

    Fleming structured the novel in three sections—‘Happenstance’, ‘Coincidence’ and ‘Enemy action’—which was how Goldfinger described Bond’s three seemingly coincidental meetings with him

Happenstance

    Whilst changing planes in Miami after closing down a Mexican heroin smuggling operation. British Secret Service agent James Bond is asked by Junius Du Pont, a rich American businessman (whom he had briefly met and gambled with in Casino Royale), to watch Auric Goldfinger, with whom Du Pont is playing Canasta (rummy) in order to discover if he is cheating. Bond quickly realises that Goldfinger is indeed cheating with the aid of his female assistant, Jill Masterton, who is spying on DuPont’s cards. Bond blackmails Goldfinger into admitting it and paying back DuPont’s lost money. He also has a brief affair with Masterton. Back in London, Bond’s superior, ‘M,’ tasks him with determining how Goldfinger is smuggling gold out of the country: M also suspects Goldfinger of being connected to SMERSH and financing their western networks with his gold. Bond visits the Bank of England for a briefing with Colonel Smithers on the methods of gold smuggling.

Coincidence

    Bond contrives to meet and have a round of golf with Goldfinger. Goldfinger attempts to win the golf match by cheating. But Bond turns, the table on him, beating him in the process. He is subsequently invited to Goldfinger’s mansion near Reculver. Where, he narrowly escapes being caught on the camera looking over the house. Goldfinger introduces Bond to his factotum, a Korean named Oddjob.

    Issued by MI6 with an Aston Martin DB Mark III, Bond trails Goldfinger as he takes his vintage Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost (adapted with armour plating and armour-plated glass) via air ferry to Switzerland, driven by Oddjob. Bond manages to trace Goldfinger to a warehouse in Geneva. Where, he finds that the armour of Goldfinger’s car is actually white-gold, cast into panels at his Kent refinery. When the car reaches Goldfinger’s factory in Switzerland (Enterprises Auric AG), he recasts the gold from the armour panels into aircraft seats and fits them to the Mecca Charter Airline, in which he holds a large stake. The gold is finally sold in India at a vast profit. Meanwhile, Bond foils an assassination attempt on Goldfinger by Jill Masterton’s sister, Tilly, to avenge Jill’s death at Goldfinger’s hands: he had painted her body with gold paint, which killed her. Bond and Tilly attempt to escape when the alarm is raised, and both are captured.

Enemy action

    Bond is tortured by Oddjob when he refuses to confess his role in trailing Goldfinger. In a desperate attempt to survive being cut in two by a circular saw. Bond offers to work for Goldfinger, a ruse that Goldfinger initially refuses, but then accepts. Bond and Tilly are subsequently taken to Goldfinger’s operational headquarters in a warehouse in New York City. They are put to work as secretaries for a meeting between Goldfinger and several gangsters (including the Spangled Mob and the Mafia). Who have been recruited to assist in “Operation Grand Slam” – the stealing of the United States gold reserves from Fort-Knox. One of the gang leaders, Helmut Springer, refuses to join the operation. When, he learns. The operation includes the killing of the inhabitants of Fort-Knox by introducing poison into the water supply. As a consequence he is killed by Oddjob. Bond manages to conceal a capsule containing a message into the toilet of Goldfinger’s private plane. He hopes it will be found and sent to Pinkertons, where his friend and ex-counterpart Felix Leiter now works.

    Operation Grand Slam commences, and it turns out that Leiter has indeed found and acted on Bond’s message. A battle commences, but Goldfinger escapes. Tilly, a lesbian, hopes that one of the gang leaders, Pussy Galore (leader of a gang of lesbian burglars), will protect her. But she is killed by Oddjob. Goldfinger, Oddjob and the mafia bosses all escape in the melee. Bond is drugged before his flight back to England and only wakes up to find. He has been captured by Goldfinger, who has managed to hijack a BOAC jetliner. Bond manages to break a window, causing a depressurisation that blows Oddjob out of the plane. He then fights and strangles Goldfinger. At gunpoint, he forces the crew to ditch in the sea near the Canadian coast, where they are rescued by a nearby weathership.

*****

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. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

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

*****

 

 

 

 

BOOK TALK: LETTERS OF GURUDEV RABINDRANATH TAGORE

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.

LETTERS OF GURUDEV RABINDRANATH TAGORE

    If the razzmatazz of this hurly-burly digital life is beginning to throttle your peace, pace and cheer of mind? If the endemic digital platform—whatsapp, played, more by adults than children, since its invention has turned your life into a hackneyed saga. You need to go back in times for some more sans souci. Let me therefore take you through the synopsis of a letter written by Tagore. That winds-back in time and is indeed a refreshing read.

    Tagore had written many such letters during his lifetime in Bengali. Later, in 1920 he translated them into English. And it goes without saying, that these letters take you to that litterateur’s magnetic world almost immediately. It unleashes that ‘thinking English’ on you that revs up your literary appetite. When you go into a pleasant reverie. It of course, stay’s away from the current day ‘instant English’ with that digital makeup. He narrates each letter in that typical atavistic settings. Today, I have attempted to summarise one such letter for you.

BANDORA, BY THE SEA –written in October 1885

    I have turned twenty seven. While being seated by the sea side in Bandora, located in Ponda Taluka of North Goa. I’m able to capture the gestures of the unprotected sea that huffs and puffs. And while doing so it transforms into the tiresome froth. The sea equates with the feel of some shackled giant as if straining at its bonds. That too, right in front of the gaping jaws of the land. Where, we build our homes on the shore and watch it lashing its tail at the sea. Wow! What a massive show of strength that sends the waves splashing high, like the muscles of a giant.

    Primeval and from time immemorial this battle between the land and water has been going on. The parched earth slowly and steadily is only adding the sea to its kitty and thus spreading a broader apron for its children. Where, the ocean is receding under consternation step by step. Wailing and sobbing, beating its chest in despair, as if to a somber call of beating the retreat. One shouldn’t forget. Sea was once the sole monarch—utterly unencumbered.

    After all, land has only risen from its womb and usurped its throne. Since then sea has become the mad old creature with a heavy crest of foam. It moans and groans, and laments continually. Like King Lear … exposed to the fury of these elements.

    These events of land and sea keep impacting my mind on and on. As nothing else has happened of late apart from my turning, twenty-seven.

    But turning twenty seven is no trifling … happening for me. As I have crossed the meridian of the twenties. I am now progressing to thirty. They say I’m now headed towards maturity an age. Where, people begin to expect fruit rather than fresh foliage consumed hitherto. But alas, where is the promise of fruit. As I shake my head. Life still feels like a brimful of luscious frivolity, with not a trace of deep philosophy.

    Folks in general have started complaining: “Where is that something that we expected of you. In the hope of which, we absorbed the soft tenderness of your childhood? We can’t be putting up with immaturity forever? So, it is high time for us to know what we shall gain from you. We want an estimate of the proportion of oil which even, a blindfolded miller or an unbiased critic can squeeze out of you.”

    It is impossible to delude people into waiting expectantly any longer for results. While I was under age they trustfully gave me credit. But it is sad to disappoint them now that I am on the verge of thirty. But what am I to do? Words of wisdom will not come so easily. I am utterly incompetent to provide things that may profit the multitude. Except for, a snatch of a song, or some tittle-tattle, and a little merry fooling, that I’ve been able to advance. As a result, those who had high hopes will turn their wrath on me. But then, no one has ever begged them to nurse these expectations of me.

    Such were the thoughts that assailed me since a fine Bysakh morning. When, I wake up amidst the fresh breeze and light with a new leaf and flower. Only to find, that I had stepped into my twenty-seventh year.

    Even way back in 1885 Gurudev was able to comprehend the rivalry between the land and the sea. 

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. 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

(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)

*****

 

 

 

 

SOMETHING ABOUT JAMES BOND

Copyright@shravancharitymisson

ROGER MOORE AS OO7-JAMES BOND
IAN FLEMING

 For any writer, the ultimate trophy is the sweeping popularity of his character. That brings me to James Bond—007 the all powerful secret service agent. Who is definitely more popular, than his own creator Ian Fleming. In fact between the two, Bond comes to my mind first (Bacha bacha janta hai) and Fleming only follows. And that surely speaks of, the writer’s success. Remember Bond has a licence to kill but he also has a conscience to keep. So, he doesn’t go all out for, fake encounters till he is pushed to the wall. And he continuously keeps dealing with dangerous situations. Many, secret service officers across the world, therefore, must be aspiring intensely. To relate themselves with the iconic image of Bond … James Bond. But then that is not the end of Bond.

    Fleming, through one of his nefarious characters (a villain) in one of his novels, largesse’s, if I may say so, an even more deadly title to Bond when the guy holds his hand out, and says, ‘Pleased to meet you Mr Bomb.’ And then the conversation between them quietens for a while and then recommences again after a short gap in the same setting when the villain again says,

    ‘Will you be staying long, Mr Bomb?’

    Bond smiles only to clarify, ‘It’s Bond, B-O-N-D.’ This devious character is around five feet tall with a big round head fixed atop his body like a pumpkin. Truly speaking. Bond surely was no less than a ‘Bomb’ when it came to attacking his enemy.

    But there is another side to Bond. When you connect with his character at length. Where, one gets to feel. Fleming had not cultured Bond rationally, in his musings, and in certain ways I could deduce that. And can you imagine he had a particular detestation for … short men. Yes! I’m not joking.

    James Bond always mistrusted short men. He thought they grew up from childhood with an inferiority complex. For all their lives they would only strive to be—bigger than the others who had teased them in their childhood. He even supported his hypothesis with despots like Napoleon (1.69 metres) and even Hitler (1.75 metres). Both were short for their pedigree. 007 thought it was the short men who caused all the trouble in the world. Incidentally, Fleming had not asked Bond to go after Lal Bahadur Shastri (short in height again) in India. Else, he would have changed his opinion.

    Sadly Fleming and Shastri are no more. They both died within a span of two years. But Bond … James Bond is still going strong.

    I wonder. If Bond was ever able to grow out of this cynicism, of his, about short men. Even when, many of them were, and still are, great fans of his. And mind you his apprehension was only about short men and not about short women.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*****

 

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

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

*****

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOOK TALK: And Then There Were None–Agatha Christie

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 Khidki (Window)

–Read India Read Initiative—

Title: ‘And then there were none’

(Also published as—‘Ten Little Indians’)

Agatha Christie

St Martin’s paperback

A 275 page novel abridged to around eighteen hundred words (ten minutes) for your quick assimilation

Hindi movie ‘Gumnam’ was only an adaptation of this book. So, were the movies made in Hollywood on the theme of this novel.

    I’m sure many of you must have read this amazing novel sometime in the past. Well, I read it for the third time only recently. What an amazing book it is. A master suspense and a masterpiece, and the most difficult of her books to write confessed the lady author. It was first published in the UK by Collins Crime Club in November 1939, as Ten Little Niggers, after the British blackface song that serves as a major plot point. The US edition was not released until 1939. Its American reprints and adaptations were all re-titled as ‘And Then There Were None.’

    The narration is so precise and intricate that you tend to forget after a while. And when you read it again you get a feel as if you’ve not read it earlier. It is Christie’s best-selling novel with more than 100 million copies sold. It is also the world’s best-selling mystery and one of the best-selling books of all times. Publications international lists the novel as the seventh best-selling title. So, if you’ve not had the chance or time to read this book earlier  at least go through the synopsis below.   

CENTRAL IDEA

    The novel starts with a bunch of people being lured into coming to an island under various pretexts such as offers of employment, to enjoy a late summer holiday, or even to meet old friends. And mind you. All have been complicit in the deaths of some other human beings. But have either escaped justice or committed an act that was not legal. The guests and the two servants who are present there are ‘charged’ with their respective ‘crimes’ by a gramophone recording after dinner on the first night and informed that they have been brought to the island to pay for their sins.

    They are the only people on the island, and cannot escape due to the distance from the mainland and the inclement weather. Gradually all the ten are killed, one after the other. Each, in a manner, that seems to match, the nursery rhyme. Nobody else seems to be left alive on the island by the time of the last apparent death. A confession in the form of a postscript to the novel, unveils how the killings took place and who was responsible.

PLOT

    On a hot day in early August, sometime in the late 1930s, eight people arrive on a small, isolated island off the Devon coast of England. Each appears to have an invitation tailored to his or her personal circumstances. Such as, an offer of employment or an unexpected late summer holiday invitation. Where, they are received by Thomas and Ethel Rogers. The butler and the cook-cum-housekeeper, who state that their hosts, Mr Ulick Norman Owen and his wife Mrs Una Nancy Owen, whom they have not yet met in person have not arrived. But have left instructions, which strikes, as odd to all the guests.

    A framed copy of a nursery rhyme ‘Ten Little Niggers (called ‘Ten Little Indians’ or Ten Little Soldiers in later editions), hangs in every guest’s room, and ten figurines sit on the dining room table. After supper, a gramophone record is played. It contains a recording that describes each visitor in turn. And accuses each of having committed a murder but escaping justice, and then asks if any of the ‘accused’ wishes to offer a defence. All but Anthony Marston and Philip Lombard deny the charges, and Miss Brent even refuses to discuss the matter.

    They discover that none of them actually know Owens and conclude that the name ‘U.N. Owen’ is shorthand for ‘Unknown’. In the aftermath of the recording, Marston finishes his drink and immediately dies of from cyanide poisoning. The remaining guests notice that one of the ten figurines is now broken, and the nursery rhyme appears to reflect the manner of death (‘One choked his little self and then there were nine.’)

    The next morning, Mrs Rogers’ corpse is found in her bed. She had died in her sleep from an overdose of chloral hydrate. By lunchtime, General MacArthur is also found dead, from a heavy blow to his head. Two more figurines are found to be broken, and again the deaths parallel the rhyme. Miss Brent, who had refused to speak with the men present, relates the account of the gramophone charge against her to Vera Claythorne, who later tells the others.

     A search for ‘Mr Owen’ shows that nobody else is on the island except the remaining seven. The island is a ‘bare rock’ with no hiding places (see how Christie had planned the story) and no one could have arrived or left. Thus they uncomfortably conclude that any one of the seven remaining person is indeed the killer. Justice Wargrave leads the group in determining that as of yet, none of them can definitively be ruled out as the murderer. The next morning, Rogers is found dead while chopping wood, and after breakfast, Miss Brent is found dead in the kitchen, where she had been left alone after complaining of feeling unwell. She had been injected with potassium cyanide with a hypodermic needle.

    Wargrave then suggests searching of all the rooms, and locking up of any potentially dangerous items. Suddenly, Lombard’s gun goes missing from his room. When Vera goes upstairs to take a bath, she is shocked by the smell of seaweed left hanging from the ceiling of her room and screams. The remaining guests rush upstairs to her room. Wargrave, however, is still downstairs. The others find him seated, immobile and crudely dressed up in the attire of a judge. Wargrave is examined briefly by Dr Armstrong and pronounced dead from a gunshot to the forehead.

    That night, Lombard appears surprised when he finds his gun returned to his room. Blore catches a glimpse of someone leaving the house but loses the trail. He then discovers Armstrong is absent from his room, and the remaining three guests conclude that Armstrong must be the killer. Vera, Blore and Lombard decide to stay together at all times. In the morning, they unsuccessfully attempt to signal SOS to the mainland from outside by using a mirror and sunlight. Blore then decides to return to the house for food by himself—the others are not hungry—and is killed by a heavy bear-shaped clock statue that is pushed from Vera’s window sill, crushing his skull.

    Vera and Lombard are now confident that Armstrong is the killer. However, shortly afterwards, the duo come upon Armstrong’s body washed up on the beach, which they do not immediately recognise due to decomposition. They realise that Armstrong could not have killed Blore. Panicked, each concludes the other must be the killer, overlooking that neither had the opportunity as they were together on the beach and when they found Blore’s body. Quickly regaining her composure, Vera suggests moving the doctor’s body past the shore, but this is a pretext. She manages to lift Lombard’s gun. When Lombard lunges at her to get it back, she shoots him dead.

    She returns to the house in a shaken dreamlike state, relieved to be alive. She finds a noose and chair arranged in her room, and a strong smell of the sea. With visions of her former lover, Hugo, urging her on, in a post-traumatic state, she adjusts the noose and kicks the chair out from under her.

    Two Scotland Yard officials are puzzled by the identity of U. N. Owen. Although they can ostensibly reconstruct the deaths from Marston to Wargrave with the help of the victims’ diaries and a coroner’s careful report, they are forced to conclude that ‘U. N. Owen’ was one of the victims, but are unable to determine which one. They note that the chair on which Vera stood to hang herself had been set back upright, indicating that someone—presumably the killer—was still alive on the island after her suicide.

POSTSCRIPT FROM THE KILLER

    In a postscript, a fishing ship picks up a bottle inside its trawling nets. The bottle contains a written confession of the killings, which is then sent to Scotland Yard. It is not clear how long after the killings the bottle was discovered.

    In the confession, Justice Wargrave writes that he has long wished to set an unsolvable puzzle of murder, but is morally limited to victims who are themselves guilty and deserving of such an end. He explains how he tricked the gullible Dr. Armstrong into helping him fake his own death under the pretext that it would supposedly give him the freedom to help the group identify the killer, and also explains that after Vera died, he replaced the chair in her room neatly against the wall. Finally, he reveals how he used the gun and some elastic to ensure his own death matched the account in the guests’ diaries. Although he wished to create an unsolvable mystery, he acknowledges in the missive a “pitiful human” need for recognition, hence the confession.

He also describes how his first chronological victim was actually Isaac Morris, the sleazy lawyer and drugs trafficker who anonymously purchased the island and arranged the invitations on his behalf. Morris was poisoned before Wargrave departed for the island. Wargrave’s intention is that when the police arrive they will find ten bodies, with evidence that someone had been alive after each death, but nobody else on the island, and no way to trace the killer through his invitations or preparations. He states that, although there are three clues that could guide the police to the correct killer, he is confident they will be unable to do so and that the mystery will remain unsolved until the confession is retrieved.

Current published version of the rhyme

Ten Little Indians

Ten little Soldier Boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self and then there were nine.

Nine little Soldier Boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were eight.

Eight little Soldier Boys travelling in Devon;
One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.

Seven little Soldier Boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.

Six little Soldier Boys playing with a hive;
A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.

Five little Soldier Boys going in for law;
One got in Chancery and then there were four.

Four little Soldier Boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.

Three little Soldier Boys walking in the zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were two.

Two little Soldier Boys sitting in the sun;
One got frizzled up and then there was one.

One little Soldier Boy left all alone;
He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.

*****

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. 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

*

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

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

*****

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOOK TALK: RIP VAN WINKLE by Washington Irving

Copyright@shravancharitymission

KHIDKI (WINDOWS)

–Read India Read Initiative—

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

‘RIP VAN WINKLE’

WASHINGTON IRVING

    It is an old American short story that takes you back in times. Luckily, I got an opportunity to read it once again after many years in a book titled, ‘Great American Short Stories’ published by Barnes & Noble that has around thirty four short stories. Where, I would like to introduce the publication, through this evergreen fable, titled—RIP VAN WINKLE. Maybe, some other time I’ll take you through some other stories too, out of the book. The volume is illustriously introduced by Jane Smiley who happens to be an American novelist. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1992 for her novel ‘A Thousand Acres.’

    The setting of the story is in and around the Kaatskill mountains above the Hudson river. At the foot of these fairy mountains there is this antique little village founded by some Dutch colonists. The country side was then still a province of Great Britian. Where, a simple good natured fellow, of the name of Rip Van Winkle lived. He was a descendant of the Van Winkles who figured so gallantly in the chivalrous days of Stuyvesant of New Netherland now in the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennysylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, and Delaware. But he inherited little of the martial character of his ancestors.

    He was a simple good-natured man. A kind neighbour, and an obedient hen-pecked husband. He had a termagant wife by the name of Dame Van Winkle. The children of the village too, would shout with joy whenever he approached. He assisted at their sports, made their playthings, taught them to fly kites and shoot marbles. He also told them long stories of ghosts, witches and Indians. Whenever he went dodging about the village, he was often surrounded by a troop of them, hanging on to his skirts.

    The minus point in Rip’s composition was an insuperable aversion to all kinds of money making labour. He avoided work but spent time in helping others and gallivanting here and there for frivolous things.

    Rip Van Winkle was one of those happy-go-lucky types, of well oiled dispositions. Who took the world to be easy, ate white bread or brown, whichever could be got with least thought or trouble. He would rather starve on a penny than work for a pound. And his wife kept continually dining in his ears about his idleness, his carelessness, and the ruin he was bringing on his family.

    Rip’s sole domestic adherent was his dog Wolf. Who was as much hen-pecked as his master. For Dame Van Winkle regarded them as companions in idleness. For a long while he consoled himself, when driven from home, by frequenting a kind of perpetual club of the sages, philosophers, and other idle persons of the village, which helped its sessions on a bench before a small inn, designated by a rubicund portrait of His Majesty George the Third. They often gossiped when some old newspaper fell in their hands from some passing traveller. And how solemnly, they would listen to Derrick Van Bummel the school master. The opinion of this junto were, completely controlled by Nicholas Vedder, a patriarch of the village, and landlord of the inn, at the door of which he took his seat from morning till night.

    Gradually, poor Rip was reduced almost to despair. His only alternative, to escape from the labour of the farm and clamour of his wife, was to take his gun in hand and saunter away into the woods. Here he would sometimes seat himself at the foot of a tree, and share the contents of his wallet with wolf, with whom he sympatised as a fellow-sufferer in persecution. “Poor Wolf,” he would say, “thy mistress leads thee a dog’s life of it; but never mind, my lad, whilst I live thou shalt never want a friend to stand by thee!”

    One day while Rip was on a long ramble on a fine autumnal day. He had unconsciously scrambled to one of the highest parts of the Kaatskill mountains. Where, he was at his favourite sport of squirrel shooting in the desolate solitudes that echoed and re-echoed with the reports of his gun. Panting and fatigued, he threw himself, late in the afternoon on a green knoll covered with mountain herbage from where he saw the brimming Hudson below him. Slowly the mountains began to throw their long blue shadows over the valleys. So he lay there musing on this scene. He visualized it would be dark before he reaches the village. So he heaved a long sigh when he thought of encountering the terrors of Dame Van Winkle.

    And as he was about to, commence his descent, to the village. He heard a voice from a distance, hallooing, “Rip Van Winkle! Rip Van Winkle!” He looked round, but could see nothing but for a crow winging its solitary flight across the mountain. He thought his fancy must have deceived him, and turned to descend, when he again heard the same cry ring through the still evening air; “Rip Van Winkle! Rip Van Winkle!” He turned around and was surprised to see any human being in this lonely and unfrequented place. He thought it was some neighbour asking for assistance. Is when Van Winkle saw a man wearing antiquated Dutch clothing; he was carrying a keg up the mountain and required help. Together, the men and Wolf proceed to a hollow in which Rip discovered the source of thunderous noises: a group of ornately dressed, silent, bearded men who were playing nine-pins.

    Rip Van Winkle did not ask who they are or how they knew his name. Instead, he began to drink some of their jenever (liquor) and soon fell asleep. When, he awoke on the mountain. He discovered shocking changes: His musket was rotting and had become rusty, his beard was a foot long, and his dog was nowhere to be found. He returned to his village, where he recognized no one.

    Rip had returned just after an election, and people were asking how he had voted. Never having cast a ballot in his life, he proclaimed himself as a faithful subject of King George III. Unaware, that the American Revolution had taken place. He nearly got himself into trouble with the townspeople. Until one elderly woman recognized him as the long forgotten and the long-lost Rip Van Winkle.

    King George’s portrait on the inn’s sign had been replaced with one of George Washington. Rip learnt that most of his friends were killed while fighting in the American Revolution. He was also perplexed and disturbed when he found another man by the name of Rip Van Winkle. But surprisingly he turned out to be his own son, now grown up. Rip also discovered that his wife had died some time ago but was not saddened, by the sad news.

    He learnt that the men he met in the mountains are rumoured to be the ghosts of Hendrick (Henry) Hudson’s crew. Which had vanished long ago, and that he had been away from the village for at least 20 years. His grown up daughter finally takes him home. He resumes his usual idleness. His strange tale is solemnly taken to heart by the Dutch settlers. Particularly by the children who say that whenever thunder is heard, the men in the mountains must be playing nine-pins. The henpecked husbands in the area often wish they could have had a sip of Van Winkle’s elixir to sleep through their own wives’ nagging.

    In the ultimate analysis Rip Van Winkle suffered because of his laziness. His punishment was to remain asleep for 20 years, because a person asleep, naturally misses the advent of the setting change. So, he missed the change: both the pre-revolutionary and post revolutionary America. And that happens to be the central theme of the short story.

    *****

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. 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

*

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

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

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

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