Category Archives: column

SHORT STORY: THE VILLAGERS AND THE SNAKE

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    Thousands of years ago, a group of villagers approached a saintly man who was meditating inside a cave in a mountain. Years of meditation had given him the wisdom to solve any problem that came his way. Restless and scared the villagers approached him, when one out of them pleaded, ‘O Sadhu baba! Please help us. There is a large venomous snake that is terrorising the whole village.’ But the sage did not respond. As he was in deep meditation. The villagers looked at each other and then nudged their spokesman to speak again. ‘You can hear the hiss of the snake from miles. He cunningly bites anyone on his path, regardless of whether or not he is threatened. As a consequence of this, we are all fearful, to venture out in the fields all by ourselves, which has led to our crops dying for want of care. The snake’s venom is not the only thing that is killing us one by one. We are also dying because of starvation. So, we beg of you to help us.’

    The saint was compassionate, soft and a spiritual-minded person. After understanding the gravity of the situation. He got up from his straw mat and looked at the villagers. ‘Let’s find that snake,’ he said softly. The villagers cheered at this. They now saw hope, and thought, the Saint will solve their problem. So they trailed behind him in search of their hissing enemy.

    As they approached the deserted ghost land, which was once their home, the scary sound of the snake echoed from the other side of the village. It approached the group of villagers at great speed, paying no regard to their pitchforks nor their torches of fire. The villagers fled for their lives. But the saint stood there, undeterred by the hooded creature that came to attack him. The snake’s slithering and undulating green and black scales shimmered majestically in the sunlight. What beauty! The saint exclaimed.

    This confused the snake since the saint wasn’t fleeing like the rest of its prey. The snake stopped and stared at him. ‘Come ahead, you magnificent creature,’ yelled the saint. The snake, who had never been treated with such kindness before, was mesmerized by these fascinating words. The warmth of the saint’s words, replaced the heat of the blazing fire, it was used to. For a moment the snake lost all its ferocity, and glided towards the saint, and coiled up meekly by his feet in reverence. The villagers, some of them hiding in the trees, and some on the other side of the fields, couldn’t hear this conversation between the two. They looked on from a distance, astounded by what they were now seeing.

    ‘I am stunned by your beauty.’ Said the saint to the snake, as if they were old friends. ‘But why do you frighten these villagers? The snake responded by lowering its hood. ‘Leave your destructive ways and do not terrorise the poor villagers needlessly. Stop biting them—they are no match for you. There is plenty for you to eat in the forest.’ Rattled the saint. Upon hearing this the snake bowed at the saint, and resolved to leave the villagers alone. It had taken a new vow.

    Soon the snake began a new life of innocence, without attempting to harm anyone. From that day onwards the villagers had become elated. Their crop yield doubled, their cattle grazed without fear and even their children played games in the forest. The saint returned to his cave to continue his spiritual journey. A happy story? Not yet

    Some months later, the saint came down from the mountain to beg for food from the villagers, just enough to keep him alive. As he travelled to the village, he saw the same snake, coiled up near the root of a tree, lying mangled, practically dead, its scales had fallen off, it looked emaciated and injured, with sores all over his body.

    ‘My dear friend what happened to you? The saint enquired in deep concern.

    ‘This is the fruit of being good.’ The snake replied. Although, his venom had dried up, yet he spoke with bitterness. ‘I obeyed you. I gave up my tormenting ways. I left the villagers alone and stopped attacking them. But in the process see what has happened to me. Everyone pelts me with stones, beats me with sticks, and even children tease me and drag me mercilessly by my tail. I am now a laughing stock. However, I have kept my promise to you.’

    The saint smiled and said, ‘Dear snake you did what I had asked you to do. But you didn’t understand my discourse, in the right spirit. I had told you not to bite them, but I had said nothing, about stopping, your ferocious hiss, that could deter people for miles on end.’

    The snake uncoiled itself and finally understood what it had to do to survive. The villagers trembled once again as the hissing sound of the snake, returned to the area, like a bad dream. But now the snake exactly knew, where to draw the line, the laxman rekha. And thereafter both the villagers and the snake lived happily.

    Moral of the story: Humility or meekness does not mean you’re a weakling. Everyone was scared of the snake as long as he was wild and used to bite people. But when he adopted to a peaceful living the villagers started poking, fun at him. And when the saint re-appeared in his life, and advised him again, he was able to find the right balance to lead a happy life and so did the villagers.

 *** 

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****

 

 

 

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TEN INTERESTING QUOTES

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He was a great patriot, a humanitarian, a loyal friend—provided of course he really is dead—French philosopher Voltaire

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If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine—Jim Barksdale

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The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones—John Maynard Keynes

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 Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past—George Orwell

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As the Americans say, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me-

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Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age—Victor Hugo

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We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.’ American author Rick Warren

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Personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures—F Scott Fitzgerald

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The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement—Navjot Singh Siddhu

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You cannot police a community without effectively working with the community-Willam Bratton

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Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****

 

 

 

SHORT STORY: FOUR FRIENDS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

    Once, there were four friends who didn’t enjoy studying. They were hard core party buffs. One day they partied all night before their exams and decided to skip the test by lying to the professor. So, they went up to the dean and told him that they had been to a wedding the previous night and on their way back, they had a flat tyre and couldn’t reach for the exam on time. And they continued saying that they had to push the car all the way back, as they didn’t have a spare tyre and hence were extremely tired, and therefore could not write the exam.

    The dean listened and agreed to let them take the test on a later date. Happy that they got a second chance, the four friends studied hard and were ready for the exam. On the day of exam, the dean asked the students to sit in separate classrooms, which the students agreed to.

The examination paper had only two questions, for a total of 100 marks. The questions were:

  1. Your name:
  2. Which tyre of the car burst: a) Front left b) Front right c) Rear left d) Rear right

Moral: You may be smart, but there are people smarter than you in this world.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

*

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****

 

 

 

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

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Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

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

LIFE’S AMAZING SECRETS

How to find balance and purpose in your life

By Gaur Gopal Das

Publisher: Penguin Ananda

Price Rs 250

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Synopsis by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****

 

 

 

ARTICLE: WAS NON-VIOLENCE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR INDIA’S INDEPENDENCE OR WAS THERE SOMETHING MORE TO IT?

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

    Hello friends welcome to this edition of editorial compass. A lot has been spoken about India achieving independence through the “Brahmastra” of non-violence. But then, there also, happens to be another view-point that calls non-violence a myth.

    The line between historical facts and fiction is more porous than students of history might think. It is not uncommon for countries to create self-suiting or sanitised historical narratives. As George Orwell once said, “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

    India’s Republic Day Parade this year featured for the first time veterans of the Indian National Army (INA) that waged an armed struggle against the British colonial rule. Four INA veterans in their 90s rode a jeep in the parade that, paradoxically, showcased the life experiences of the apostle of non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi, through 22 tableaux.

    India has long embellished or distorted how it won independence. The incongruous juxtaposition of the INA along with Gandhi at the parade inadvertently highlighted that. The INA veterans participation, in fact, helped underscore the Indian republic’s founding myth—that it won independence only through non-violence. This myth has been deeply instilled in the minds of almost all Indians since their school days.

    Surely, the Gandhi-led, non-violent independence movement played a critical role. Both in galvanising grassroots resistance to British rule and also in helping to gain independence. But the decisive factor was the protracted World War-II, which reduced to ruins large swaths of Europe and Asia, especially the imperial powers. The war between the Allied and Axis powers killed 80 million, or 4% of the global population of that time.

    Despite the Allied victory, a devastated Britian was in no position to hold on to its colonies, including “crown jewel” India. Even colonies, where, there were no grassroots resistance to colonial rule, won independence in the post-World War-II period.

    The British had dominated India through a Machiavellian divide-and-rule strategy. Their exit came only after they had reduced one of the world’s wealthiest economies to one of its poorest. Indeed, they left after they had looted to their heart’s content, siphoning out, at least 9.2 trillion (or 44.6 trillion$) pounds, according to economist Utsa Patnaik’s recent estimate.

    Had the post-1947 India been proactive and forward-looking in securing its frontiers. It could have averted both the Kashmir and Himalayan border problems. China was in deep turmoil until October 1949, and India had ample time and space to assert control over the Himalayan borders. But India’s pernicious founding myth of non-violence gave rise to a pacifist country that believed it could get peace merely by seeking peace, instead of building the capability to defend peace.

    Here’s the paradox: countless numbers of Indians died to the excesses of British colonial regime. Just in the man made Bengal famine of 1942-45, six to seven million starved to death (a toll far greater than the “Holocaust”) due to the British war policy of diverting resources away from India. Britian sent Indian soldiers in large numbers to fight its dirty wars elsewhere, including the two world wars, and many died while serving as cannon fodder. Indeed, the present Indian republic was born in blood in blood: As many as a million civilians died in a senseless violence and millions more were uprooted in the British-contrived partition.

    Yet the myth of India uniquely charting and securing its independence through non-violence was propagated by the interiors of the Raj, the British trained “brown sahibs.” No objective discourse was encouraged post-1947 on the multiple factors—internal and external—that aided India’s independence.

    The hope of Indian independence was first kindled by Japan’s victory in the 1904-05 war with Russia—the first time an Asian nation comprehensively defeated a European rival. However, it was the world war that Adolf Hitler unleashed—with imperial Japan undertaking military expeditions in the name of freeing Asia from white colonial rule—that acted as the catalyst. An emboldened Gandhi serve a “Quit India” notice on the British in 1942.

    While the Subhas Chandra Bose-led INA could not mount a formidable threat to a British colonial military, overflowing with Indian recruits. The Bombay mutiny and other sepoy revolts of 1946 triggered by INA prisoners’ trials undermined Britain’s confidence in sustaining the Raj, hastening its exit. Yet, independent India treated INA soldiers shabbily with many abandoned into penury.

    Against this background the rehabilitation of Bose and the INA has long been overdue. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done well to initiate the process, however low-key, to give Bose and the INA their due, including recently renaming one Andaman island after Bose and two other Andaman islands to honour INA sacrifices. Modi even wore the INA cap to address a public meeting in Andaman on the 75th anniversary of Bose’s hoisting of the tricolour there.

    Recognising unsung heroes is an essential step towards re-balancing the historical narrative. A rule-based international order, premised on non-violence remains a worthy aspirational goal. But Indian romancing of non-violence as an effective political instrument crimped national security policy since independence. The country hewed to pacifism (with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru publicly bewailing in 1962 that China had “returned evil for good”) and frowned on materialism (even after China surpassed India’s GDP in 1984-85).

    The burden of its quixotic national philosophy has imposed enduring costs, including an absence of a strategic culture, as the late American analyst George Tanham famously pointed out. Lack of a culture to pursue a clear strategic vision and policy hobbles India’s ambition to be a great power.

    Synopsis derived out of an article titled “The Non-violence Myth—India’s founding story bestows upon it a quixotic national philosophy and enduring costs by geostrategist, Brahma Chellany in TOI.

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****

 

 

 

BOOK CORNER: LAJJA by Taslima Nasrin

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****

THE GENESIS OF KUMBH MELA

    I have just returned from the pilgrimage of Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj. Where, I even dared to take a dip at Sangam in this biting cold. Sangam happens to be the holy confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. It is a blissful experience, to see so many Hindus gathered in such vast numbers. And this is when, one takes time off to think of the grip of faith, coming down from time primordial.

    Kumbha derives its name from both the original festival, being held according to the astrological sign “Kumbha” (Aguarius) and from the associated Hindu legend in which the Gods and demons fought over a pot, or a ‘Kumbh’ of nectar, that would give them immortality. A later addition to the legend says that after taking the pot, one of the Gods, spilled drops of nectar in four places where ‘Kumbha Mela’ is presently held. This is not found in the earliest mentions of the original legend of Samudra Manthan (churning of the ocean) as described in various ancient Hindu texts collectively known as the Puranas.

    The legend of Samudra Manthan tells of a battle between the Devas (benevolent deities) and Asuras (malevolent demigods) for amrita, the nectar drink of immortality. During samudra manthan, amrita was produced and placed in a Kumbha (pot). To prevent the asuras from seizing the amrita, a divine carrier flew away with the pot. In one of the most popular versions added to the original legend later, the carrier of the kumbha is the divine physician Dhanvantari, who stops at four places where the Kumbh Mela is celebrated. In other later additions to the legend, for which clarification is needed the carrier is Garuda, Indra or Mohini, who spill the amrita at four places.

    An entire temporary township covering 2,500 hectares has been constructed, at a cost of several thousand crores. In 2013, the last Kumbha, attracted, 120 million visitors , with 30 million congregating on a single day, Mauni Amawasya, making it the largest human gathering of the world. The Kumbh Mela is held at fixed cycles.

It is said that by bathing at the Sangam, during Kumbha, Moksha or salvation. It is for this reason that Mark Twain—who visited the Kumbha in 1895 wrote: “It is wonderful, the power of a faith like that, that can make multitudes upon multitudes of the old and weak and the young and frail enter without hesitation or complaint upon such incredible journeys.”

Since the dawn of time Kumbha has been a matter of great faith and faith indeed can move mountains.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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Share it if you like it

*

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****