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INTERESTING FACTS: WHERE IS GANGARIDAI?

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    Gangaridai is a term used by the ancient Greek and Roman writers to describe the people or a geographical region of the ancient Indian subcontinent. Some of these writers have stated that Alexander the Great, the king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon withdrew from the Indian subcontinent because of the strong war elephant force of the Gangaridai. A war elephant was an elephant that was trained and guided by humans for combat. The war elephant’s main use was to charge the enemy, break their ranks and instil terror and fear. Elephantry is a term for specific military units using elephant-mounted troops. The writers have variously mentioned Gangaridai as a distinct tribe. However, the geographical region was annexed and governed by the Nanda Empire that ruled in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent during the 4th and possibly the 5th century BCE, at the time.

    A number of modern scholars locate Gangaridai in the Ganges Delta of the Bengal region, although, alternative theories do exist. Gange or Ganges, the capital of the Gangaridai (according to Claudius Ptolemy a renowned geographer who wrote many scientific treatises and lived in the Egypt-Roman Empire), has been identified with several sites in the region, including Chandraketugarh near Kolkata and Wari-Bateshwar in Bangladesh.

    The earliest surviving description of Gangaridai appears in Bibliotheca historica a work of universal history by the 1st century BCE writer Diodorus Siculus. This account is based on a now-lost work, probably, the writings of either Megasthenes or Hieronymus of Cardia a Greek general and historian from Cardia in Thrace, and a contemporary of Alexander the Great..   

    In Book 2 of Bibliotheca historica, Diodorus states that the territory of “Gandaridae” (i.e. Gangaridai) was located to the east of the Ganges River, which was 30 stades wide, an ancient system of measurement. He further mentions that no foreign enemy had ever conquered Gandaridae, because of its strong elephant force, and that Alexander the Great advanced up to Ganges after subjugating other Indians, but decided to retreat when he heard that Gandaridae had 4,000 elephants.

    River Ganges, which is thirty stades in width, flows from north to south and empties into the ocean, forming the boundary towards the east of the tribe of Gandaridae, which possesses the greatest number of elephants and the largest in size. Consequently no foreign king has ever subdued this country. All alien nations were fearful of both the multitude and the strength of the beasts. In fact even Alexander of Macedon, who had subdued entire Asia, refrained from waging a war on Gandaridae. When he arrived at the Ganges River with his entire army, after his conquest of the rest of the Indians, upon learning that the Gandaridae had four thousand elephants equipped for war he gave up his campaign against them.

    In Book 17 of Bibliotheca historica, Diodorus once again describes the Gandaridae, and states that Alexander had to retreat after his soldiers refused to take the expedition against the Gandaridae. The book (17.91.1) also mentions that a nephew of Porus fled to the land of the Gandaridae, although C. Bradford Welles translates the name of this land as “Gandara”.

    Once Alexander questioned Phegeus about the country beyond the Indus River, and learned that there was a desert to traverse for twelve days, and then the river called Ganges, which was thirty-two furlongs in width and the deepest of all the Indian rivers. Beyond this in turn dwelt the people of the Tabraesians and the Gandaridae, whose king was Xandrames. He had twenty thousand cavalry, two hundred thousand infantry, two thousand chariots, and four thousand elephants equipped for war. Alexander doubted this information and sent for Porus, and asked him, what was the truth of these reports? Porus assured the king that all the rest of the account was quite correct, but that the king of the Gandaridae was an utterly common and undistinguished character, and was supposed to be the son of a barber. His father had been handsome and was greatly loved by the queen; when she had murdered her husband, the kingdom fell to him.

    In Book 18 of Bibliotheca historica, Diodorus describes India as a large kingdom comprising several nations, the largest of which was “Tyndaridae” (which seems to be a scribal error for “Gandaridae”). He further states that a river separated this nation from their neighbouring territory. This 30-stadia wide river was the greatest river in this region of India (Diodorus does not mention the name of the river in this book). He goes on to mention that Alexander did not campaign against this nation, because they had a large number of elephants. The Book 18 description is as follows:

    … the first one along the Caucasus is India, a great and populous kingdom, inhabited by many Indian nations, of which the greatest is that of the Gandaridae, against whom Alexander did not aggress a campaign because of the multitude of their elephants. The river Ganges, which is the deepest of the region and has a width of thirty stades, separates this land from the neighbouring part of India. Adjacent to this is the rest of India, which Alexander conquered, irrigated by water from the rivers and most conspicuous for its prosperity. Here were the dominions of Porus and Taxiles, together with many other kingdoms, and through it flows the Indus River, from which the country received its name.

        Diodorus’ account of India in the Book 2 is based on Indica, a book written by the 4th century BCE writer Megasthenes, who actually visited India. Megasthenes’ Indica is now lost, although it has been reconstructed from the writings of Diodorus and other later writers. Scottish educator J. W. McCrindle (1877) attributed Diodorus’ Book 2 passage about the Gangaridai to Megasthenes in his reconstruction of Indica. However, according to historian A. B. Bosworth (1996), Diodorus’ source for the information about the Gangaridai was Hieronymus of Cardia (354–250 BCE), who was a contemporary of Alexander and the main source of information for Diodorus’ Book 18. Bosworth points out that Diodorus describes Ganges as 30 stadia wide, but it is also well-attested by other sources that Megasthenes described the median (or minimum) width of Ganges as 100 stadia. This suggests that Diodorus obtained the information about the Gandaridae from another source, and appended it to Megasthenes’ description of India in Book 2.

    The Battle with Porus depressed the spirits of the Macedonians, and made them very unwilling to advance farther into India. Regarding river Ganges they had heard, had a breadth of two and thirty stadia, and a depth of 1000 fathoms, while its farther banks were covered all over with armed men, horses and elephants. It is perceived that the kings of the Gandaritai and the Prasiai were reported to be waiting for Alexander with an army of 80,000 horse, 200,000 foot soldiers, 8,000 war-chariots, and 6,000 fighting elephants.

    Geographer Ptolemy (2nd century CE), in his Geography, states that the Gangaridae occupied “all the region about the mouths of the Ganges”. He names a city called Gange as their capital. This suggests that Gange was the name of a city, derived from the name of the river. Based on the city’s name, the Greek writers used the word “Gangaridai” to describe the local people.

    The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea which is a Greco-Roman document written in  Koine Greek also known as Alexandrian dialect, describes, navigation and trading opportunities right from Roman Egyptian ports, like Berenice Troglodytica, an ancient sea port of Egypt, along the coast of the Red Sea, and others along Horn of Africa, the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, including the modern-day Sindh region of Pakistan and up to south-western regions of India,  does not mention Gangaridai, but attests the existence of a city that the Greco-Romans described as “Ganges”:

    There is a river near it called the Ganges, and it rises and falls just like the Nile. On its bank is a market-town which has the same name as the river, Ganges. Through this place are brought malabathrum—certain cinnamon like aromatic plant leaves and an ointment prepared from those leaves and the Gangetic spikenard—a class of aromatic amber-coloured essential oil  and pearls, and muslin of the finest sorts, which are called Gangetic. It is said that there are gold-mines near these places.

    Dionysius Periegetes the author of a description of the then known world in Greek hexameter verse in 2nd-3rd century CE mentions “Gargaridae” located near the “gold-bearing Hypanis” (Beas) river. “Gargaridae” is sometimes believed to be a variant of “Gangaridae”, but another theory identifies it with Gandhari people. A. B. Bosworth dismisses Dionysius’ account as “a farrago of nonsense”, noting that he inaccurately describes the Hypanis river as flowing down into the Gangetic plain.

    Gangaridai also finds a mention in Greek mythology. In ‘Apollonius of Rhodes’ a Greek author’s Argonautica—an epic poem (3rd century BCE), Datis, a chieftain, leader of the Gangaridae who was in the army of Perses III better known in English as Persia, fought against Aeetes—the famous king of Colchis in Greek mythology during the Colchian civil war. Colchis was situated in modern-day Georgia, on the east of the Black Sea. Aeetes against whom Jason—an ancient Greek mythological hero and the Argonauts—a band of heroes in Greek mythology undertook their expedition in search of the “Golden Fleece—a symbol of authority and kinship. Perses III was the brother of Aeetes and king of the Taurian tribe.

The Roman poet Virgil speaks of the valour of the Gangaridae in his poem Georgics.

       Quintus Curitus Rufus a Roman historian possibly of the 1st century CE noted the two nations Gangaridae and Prasil. Agrammes or Xandrammes has been usually identified with Mahāpadma Nanda who was king of both Prasii and Gangaridae. Next came the Ganges, the largest river in all of India, the farther bank of which was inhabited by two nations, the Gangaridae and the Prasii, whose king Agrammes kept in field for guarding the approaches to his country with 20,000 cavalry and 200,000 infantry, besides 2,000 four-horsed chariots, and, what was the most formidable of all, a troop of elephants which he said ran up to the number of 3,000.

    Pliny the Elder, another Roman author (23-79 CE) states: The last race situated on the banks of Ganges was that of the Gangarid Calingae. The city where their king lived was called Pertalis. This monarch had 60,000 infantry, 1000 cavalry and 700 elephants always equipped and ready for active service. But almost the entire India and not only those in this district were surpassed in power and glory by the Prasi, with their very large and wealthy city of Palibothra—called Patna, from which some people give the name of Palibothri to the race itself, and indeed to the whole tract of country from the Ganges.

    The Wari-Bateshwar ruins of present-day Bangladesh have been identified as a part of Gangaridai. Archaeologists have considered it as the ancient trading hub of Sounagoura mentioned by Claudius Ptolemy.

    Archaeologists have considered Chandraketugarh of present-day Indian state West Bengal as the ancient city of Gange, the capital of Gangaridai

    The ancient Greek writers provide vague information about the centre of the Gangaridai power. As a result, the later historians have put forward various theories about its location.

    Pliny (1st century CE) in his work Natural History, terms the Gangaridai as the novisima gens (nearest people) of the Ganges River. But it cannot be determined from his writings whether he means “nearest to the mouth” or “nearest to the headwaters”. But the later writer Ptolemy (2nd century CE), in his Geography, explicitly locates the Gangaridai near the mouths of the Ganges.

    Historian A. B. Bosworth notes that the ancient Latin writers almost always use the word “Gangaridae” to define the people, and associate them with the Prasii people. According to Megasthenes, who actually lived in India, the Prasii people lived near the Ganges. Besides, Pliny explicitly mentions that the Gangaridae lived beside the Ganges, naming their capital as Pertalis. All these evidences suggest that the Gangaridae lived in the Gangetic plains.

    Diodorus (1st century BCE) states that the Ganges River formed the eastern boundary of the Gangaridai. Based on Diodorus’s writings and the identification of Ganges with Bhagirathi-Hoogly (a western distributary of Ganges), Gangaridai can be identified with the Rarh region an area in the Indian subcontinent that lies between the Chota Nagpur Plateau on the West and the Ganges Delta on the East.

    The Rarh is located to the west of the Bhāgirathi-Hooghly (Ganges) river. However, Plutarch a Greek historian (1st century CE), Curtius a Roman historian (possibly 1st century CE) and Solinus a Latin geographer (3rd century CE), suggest that Gangaridai was located on the eastern banks of the Gangaridai river. Historian R. C. Majumdar theorized that the earlier historians like Diodorus used the word Ganga for the Padma River (an eastern distributary of Ganges).

    Pliny names five mouths of the Ganges River, and states that the Gangaridai occupied the entire region about these mouths. He names five mouths of Ganges as Kambyson, Mega, Kamberikon, Pseudostomon and Antebole. The exact present-day locations of these mouths cannot be determined with certainty because of the changing river courses. According to historian D.C. Sircar, the region encompassing these mouths appears to be the region lying between the Bhāgirathi-Hooghly River in the west and the Padma River in the east. This suggests that the Gangaridai territory included the coastal region of present-day West Bengal and Bangladesh, up to the Padma River in the east. Gaurishankar De and Subhradip De believe that the five mouths may refer to the Bidyadhari, Jamuna and other branches of Bhagirathi-Hoogly at the entrance of Bay of Bengal.

    According to the archaeologist Dilip Kumar Chakrabarti, the centre of the Gangaridai power was located in vicinity of Adi Ganga (a now dried-up flow of the Hooghly River). Chakrabarti considers Chandraketugarh as the strongest candidate for the centre, followed by Mandirtala both near Kolkata. James Wise believed that Kotalipara in present-day Bangladesh was the capital of Gangaridai. Archaeologist Habibullah Pathan identified the Wari-Bateshwar ruins as the Gangaridai territory.

    Besides the above there are many other theories by historians and observers which might be unrelated and insufficiently related.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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BOOK REVIEW: SAPIENS–A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

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–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.

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

    Yuval Noah Harari is an Israeli historian and a professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

    100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today, there is one. That is us. Homo-sapiens. How did our species succeed in this battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights? Was it to trust money, books and laws, and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism? And what will our model be like in the millennia to come?

    In the book “Sapiens—A Brief history of Humankind”—Dr Yuval Noah Harari, spans the gamut of human history, from the very first humans who walked the earth to the radical—and sometimes devastating—breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing, on insights from biology, anthropology, and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities.

    But have we become happier, with the history unfolding? Can we ever, set ourselves free from the heritage of our ancestors? And can we do something to influence the course of the centuries to come?

    Bold, out-of-the-box and provocative, the book challenges everything we thought we knew about being human beings.

    What is the meaning of Species? Animals belong to the same species, if they tend to mate and give birth to fertile off-springs. What is the meaning of Genus? Species that have evolved from the common ancestor. They usually won’t mate but can be induced to do so. Eg. Mule a cross between (Horse and donkey), and the Liger a cross between (Lion and Tiger).

    Now that we know the terms Species and Genus, we can understand the meaning of Homo-Sapiens—‘Homo’ is the genus and ‘Sapiens’ (intelligent) the species. Some other members of our genus are, now extinct, Homo Erectus and Homo Neanderthalensis. Homo Sapiens closest living species is Chimpanzees.

THE COGNITIVE REVOLUTION—THE RISE OF HOMO-SAPIENS

    Homo genus has, unusually big brains that drains a lot of energy. A Homo Sapien brain consumes 25% of energy at rest, 8% is the norm for other apes. The big brain, is an even bigger cause of human infants which are born relatively premature (in terms of physical strength) compared to other species. The long gestation period and the raising of the child implied that the evolution favoured strong social ties in humans. Regular use of fire started about 300,000 years ago.

    The carefully managed fire was not only used to clear forests but was also used for cooking food as it was faster to digest. Long intestines and large brains both use a lot of energy, it is hard to have both. Since cooked food led to shortening of intestines it resulted in our brains to grow bigger. As Homo-Sapiens, spread from East Africa to Arabian Peninsula, Europe, and Asia, they drove other Homo species like the Neanderthals to extinction. Some interbreeding did happen but it was mostly the Sapien’s superior social skills that allowed them to make communities and drove other Homo species into extinction.

THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE

    About 100,000 years ago, Homo-Sapiens migrated out of Africa, but returned, after losing to Neanderthals. About, 70,000 years ago, they tried again, and this time they succeeded, due to, the invention of language which allowed them to invent, tons of things like boats, lamps, needles. This cognitive revolution allowed Homo-Sapiens to dominate earth. Anthropologists (people who study human societies and cultures and their development) believe that our complex language was used more for gossip than to discuss where to hunt. And from there evolved the ability to create and believe in myths. The myths allowed us to collaborate and cooperate in large numbers in the form of tribes and now, in the form of the nation.

    The author goes on to say that nations are a myth and so are religions, and all are creations of our imagination. Unlike animals, trees, fish, rivers, the above myths have no association with the real physical entity. These myths, surprisingly, allow believers to work together and collectively. Homo-Sapiens ability to believe in myths allow us to form big groups of millions of individuals who have never met each other. Thus the author takes you through a high illusionary trajectory.

    In animals these groups are limited to the size of 25-30, who know each other. These animals cannot form large groups. The other big advantage of passing myths via language, is that, that it doesn’t require any DNA mutations. Buddhist monks pass on the celibacy, not via genes but by imparting their religion (again a myth) to the followers, some of who, convert. And that’s probably how Homo-Sapiens defeated Neanderthals. While Sapiens would have lost one-on-one combat, they had the wisdom to form large groups which Neanderthals couldn’t.

THE HUNTER GATHERER SOCIETY

    Barring the past 10,000 years, Sapiens have evolved in pre-agricultural hunter societies. They shaped our psychological and social characteristics. These ancient hunters knew a lot more about their own surroundings than us. While we, collectively, as a human society knew a lot more, the individuals of today knew a lot less. Hunters societies tended to eat wide and varied diet and hence, had a lower chance of malnutrition than the farmers who ate just a few staple crops. Hunter’s working hours were much less (30-35 hours per week) and since they neither engaged in the domestication of animals nor stayed in dense settlements, the epidemics were rare.

AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION—HISTORY’S BIGGEST FRAUD

    Agriculture started in about 9000 BC and domestication of crops was over by about 3500 BC. Today, we eat the same crops—Wheat, Maize, Rice, Potato, Millet, and Barley. Where, only a few species could be domesticated, they were in the Middle East, China, and Central America but not in Australia or Africa. And that’s where, independent domestication of crops started.

    Wheat went from an unknown crop, to a crop that has spread across the planet. Human bodies were not designed for agriculture and farming. Wheat demands protection from pests, animals and even other human beings. The only advantage farming has is, that it leads to more food per unit area and allowed humans to multiply exponentially. Overall, the agriculture revolution in the short run made the life of human beings miserable, so then, why did it happen?

    Agricultural revolution led to permanent settlements that encouraged women to have more kids. Over time, as farmers multiplied, they cleared even more lands reducing the scope for hunters even further. Just like the modern day luxury treadmill, agriculture soon became a necessity to support the ever-increasing population. And there was no going back then. Similarly, domestication of animals proceeded with slaughtering the most aggressive, weak, and economically unworthy animals first.

    Over a period of time, domesticated animals, evolved, to become economically more worthy and even more submissive. Just like wheat, animals such as chicken, sheep, pig, and cow spread all over the world, but then they were treated brutally. From repeated impregnation (i.e. making female animals pregnant) to castration (i.e. removal of testicles of a male animals), their life became miserable compared to the life in the wild. Who else, but Homo-Sapiens were the culprits.

BUILDING PYRAMIDS

    The food surplus exploded the population from 8 million in 10,000 BC to 250 million in about 100 AD. The food surplus eventually led to the emergence of bigger political and social orders like cities and nations. Rather than being based on some ingrained human characteristics, these were imagined human orders based on shared beliefs and myths. “All humans beings are created equal” is completely incorrect from a biological standpoint. Human beings are all different from each other. Animistic beliefs (meaning a belief that objects, places, and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence) are a myth, so are human rights. There is nothing biological about them. They only exist in our shared imaginations.

    Natural order is indeed the stable order. Even if people don’t believe in gravity, apples would still continue to fall. But if people don’t believe in human rights, society will collapse. While some aggression is a must in terms of police and army to enforce an order, but then the elites or the rulers themselves have to believe is such orders. Christianity, capitalism, democracy, all are imagined orders with a large number of believers.

    The two of the biggest imagined orders of the modern world are romanticism and consumerism. Romanticism teaches us that we must have as many experiences as possible to fulfil our expectations. Consumerism teaches us that we must consume as many goods as possible. The imagined order is inter-subjective. Radioactivity is objective, it happens whether you believe in it or not. An imaginary friend is subjective since it exists only as long as you believe in it. The preciousness of gold is inter-subjective since it exists not only in your imagination (belief system) but also in the belief system of millions of others.

    For changing an inter-subjective belief system, one has to convince everyone else, and to convince everyone else, they have to believe in an even bigger imaginary order.    Trust has replaced priceless things like honour, loyalty, morality, and love.

THE EVOLUTION OF MONEY

    A barter system does not measure accurately. If there are 100 types of goods then the two parties who are exchanging the goods have to know 4950 combinations of exchange rates every day. Money ends up being a central mechanism to linearize the problem since every seller has to know the price of their good in a single currency. Of course, just like religion, money is an inter-subjective reality which only exists in our imaginations. And it does not have to be coins or notes. In Nazi concentration camps, cigarettes were a currency.

    The only requirement is that it should be easy to transport, store, and has a wide enough acceptance. Money is the most useful and efficient system of mutual trust ever devised.

    The original form of money like Barley had an intrinsic biological value as compared to marked gold and silver coins, where, no weighing was required to find the value. Then came sanctioned currency which had no intrinsic value, and then to electronic currency which had no physical existence. When we use money as a medium of exchange, we don’t trust each other; we trust money. When someone runs out of money, we run out of trust in them. Money as a source of universal convertibility and trust has replaced priceless things like honour, loyalty, morality, and love.

IMPERIAL VISIONS

    An empire is characterised by cultural diversity and territorial flexibility. All empires have engaged in the brutal slaughter and assimilation of people outside its borders to extend its territory. Slowly, the newly acquired population forgets what they stood for. For example, in 7th century AD, Arab empire crushed Egyptians with an iron fist, today Egyptians think of themselves as Arabs.

    One major change that happened over a period of time in the imperial vision was that empires changed their imagined reality from ‘we are conquering you for our benefit’ to more of humanistic stance. Persian king changed his philosophy from ‘Persian King’ to ‘everyone’s king.’ This was the first time in history, Sapiens were (pretending) to get rid of “us” vs “them” feeling.

    However, this macho approach of the conqueror continued to assume the inferiority of those who were conquered. That’s why M.K. Gandhi, a London-educated, qualified barrister was thrown out of a train meant only for whites.

    Almost, all imperial empires follow a similar paradigm. First, they conquer territories, then those territories adopt the new culture. This is when the people of these territories demand equal stature. This leads to friction.

    The next stage of human history will not involve biological and technological changes alone, but also changes in human consciousness and identity.    Many people think the question we should ask to guide our scientific pursuit is, ‘What do we want to become?’ As we seem to be on the path of genetic engineering and programming,

    In the past 1000 years, human beings have evolved to take over the world and are acting and behaving like gods. Yet, we still seem to be unhappy in many ways and we are unsure of what we want. How many young college graduates have taken demanding jobs in high-powered firms, vowing that they will work hard to earn money that will enable them to retire and pursue their real interests when they are thirty-five? But by the time they reach that age, they have large mortgages, children to school, houses in the suburbs that necessitate at least two cars per family, and a sense that life is not worth living without some good wine and expensive holidays abroad. What are they supposed to do, go back to digging up roots? No, they double their efforts and keep slaving for it.

    You can never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in heaven. One of history’s few iron laws is that luxuries tend to become necessities and spawns new obligations.

    Anthropologist Christopher Robert Hallpike reviewed the book but did not find any “serious contribution to knowledge.”

    First published in Hebrew in 2011 and then in English in 2014, the book was translated into 45 languages (as of June 2017). It also made it to The New York Times best-seller list, and won the National Library of China’s Wenjin Book Award for the best book published in 2014. The Guardian listed the book as among the ten “best brainy books of the decade”. Bill Gates ranked Sapiens among his ten favorite books. I would give it eight out of ten, but it’s for a class of readers.

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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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)

*****

 

 

 

INTERESTING FACTS FIGURES & QUOTES-30

Copyright@shravancharitymission

By 2020, half of India’s internet users will be rural. Nine out of ten internet users are non-English speaking.

A study published in the University of Cincinnati Law Review suggests that CEOs are at twice the risk of developing depression as compared to the general population. Another comprehensive review of literature published in the Journal of Affective Disorders elucidates that people living in developed and wealthy countries have a greater risk of suffering from mood disorders than those living in developing nations.

Annually, on an average, 1.5 lakh people are killed and close to 10 lakh are injured in road crashes across India. As per ministry of road transport data, over 14% fatalities were due to overloading of vehicles. In 2017, 20,848 people were killed due to overloading of vehicles—an average of 57 deaths per day.

The fine currently for overloading trucks—a rampant practice is only Rs 2000. Motor Vehicle Amendment Board proposes to increase it to 20,000 to halt the practice.

Currently India has no central legislation governing the protection of pedestrians. The penalties for irresponsible road behaviour that lead to serious injuries or fatalities have remained minimal for the last three decades and have consequently failed to deter violators.

A recent study by SaveLIFE Foundation shows that 63.3% of the children who admitted to underage driving shared that they started learning how to drive between the ages of 9 to 14.

The proverb warns, ‘You should not bite the hand that feeds you.’ But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself—THOMAS SZASZ.

Congress has not won an election in Gujarat, whether Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha in 32 years.

 Achilles heel—An Achilles’ heel or Achilles heel is a weakness in spite of overall strength, which can lead to downfall. While the mythological origin refers to a physical vulnerability, idiomatic references to other attributes or qualities that can lead to downfall are common.

Whenever opportunities narrow down you start seeing protests.

Statues and pictures and verse may be grand, but they are not the life for which they stand—JAMES THOMSON, British poet.

Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not the thunder—Jalaluddin Rumi.

Poor fund allocation in R&D (less than 1% of india’s budget, as compared to 3-5% by countries like the US and China) inhibits innovation and hence prospects of jobs growth. A programme like ‘Small Business innovation and research’ (which provides enterprises with competitive R&D grants) proposed in a Niti Aayog Expert committee can be a game changer.

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light—PLATO.

Iceland is the only country that jailed its bankers in the 2008 recession (because Iceland has community norms) but US bailed out its bankers.

The general elections held in 1952, 1957, 1962, and 1967, were simultaneous polls held throughout the country. But this cycle was disrupted in 1969, with the premature dissolution of Loksabha.

Yiwu market is located in Zhejiang district of China. It is the world’s largest wholesale market where over 100000 suppliers exhibit over 400000 genre of products. Yiwu has tied up with leading logistics firms, for shop to door deliveries.

America is practically owned by china—TOMWINNIFIRT, UK journalist.

Germany today has absorbed over a million refugees and settled them across the country—Syrians.

In 2016, tourism and travel contributed 10% of India’s GDP. The largest part of this was domestic tourism, amounting to about 88%. India is the seventh-largest tourist economy globally. Given its riches, natural and manmade. It should be much higher.

The recent series on the Vietnam war produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick and written by Geoff Ward (a long time India friend and wildlife lover) makes just this point. After Vietnam, America may still be looking for a war to win.

Indian soldiers walked up the Icchogil canal and to the gates of Lahore in 1965, but came back, soon after, for territory was not on their minds. To this day people in India rue this decision. We all know which party was in power then.

Mahatma Gandhi once said that the future depends on what you do today.

One clear indicator of strain is annual per capita water availability. This was 5177 cubic metres in 1951 which declined to 1545 cubic metres in 2011, against the international threshold for water stress, pegged at 1700 cubic metres. However. National Institute of Hydrology pegs India’s utilisable per capita water availability at just 938 cubic metres in 2010 and expects this to drop to 814 cubic metres by 2025.

At one time a quarter of all American college men were buying or subscribing  to playboy magazine. ‘a woman reading a playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual’—Gloria Steinem.

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)

*****

 

 

 

SHORT STORY: DESPERATION

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    One day, a strong and powerful hound was chasing a strongly built hare in the jungle. The hare was applying all kinds of tricks available in his quiver and within the purview of sam-dam-dand-bhed to save himself from this ferocious hound.

    After running for a long while, the tired hound finally gave up the hunt and stopped under a tree, gasping. A herd of goats that was watching this event from a distance mocked at the hound, by saying that the little hare was better than the beast. To this, the hound responded by saying: “The hare was running for his life, whereas, I was only running for my dinner. That was the difference between us.”

Moral of the story: Incentives stimulate action. There was a great difference between the incentives. Hare was running for his life. There, cannot be a bigger desperation than that, whereas the hound was only running for his dinner.

Posted 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 REVIEW: IKIGAI BY HECTOR GARCIA AND CO-AUTHOR FRANSESC MIRALLES

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.

    Ikigai is a Japanese word. The meaning of which translates roughly to a reason for being in this world, it encompasses a sense of joy, a sense of purpose and meaning in life, and an overall feeling of well-being. The word derives from iki, meaning life and kai, meaning the realisation of hopes and expectations in Japanese.

    Japanese ikigai is the thing that makes you get out of bed happy every morning. A few years ago, everyone was talking about hygge, a Danish concept that cannot be translated to one single word but encompasses a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life. For example on a snowy day, you’ve might have experienced hygge without even knowing about it. In the same vein, another untranslatable word—ikigai—has captured the imagination of those searching for the key to living a long and happy life. Hector Garcia, a software engineer who was born in Spain but has lived in Japan for over a decade, and his co-author Fransesc Miralles delved deep into the secrets of Japan’s super-centenarians to distil the essence of this Japanese philosophy to produce a bestselling book titled ‘Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life’.

    Ikigai is a Japanese word, that’s almost, impossible to translate—that’s why we had to write a book about it, say the authors. You can think of it, as the thing that makes you, get out of bed happy every morning. The literal meaning of it is the purpose of your life, but it’s a lot more than that. For me, one of my most significant Ikigai is, writing the best I can, in order to make, other people’s lives better, says the author. The book is all about connecting with everything—what you love, what you’re good at, what you can be paid for and what the world needs.

    Ogimi is a village in Okinawa, Japan, where people live the longest in the world. The authors learn from their interviews with hundreds of elders there that they always keep themselves busy, but in a good manner. Elders shouldn’t have a dream that they’ll retire and then do nothing in life they say. In big cities, people are too busy racing through life. Their lifestyle is either doing a lot or doing nothing. That’s an extreme, and they need to find a middle ground.

    The book has some interesting tips on food and diet. These days there are thousands of diet charts out there, and each one tells you to do something different. It becomes very aimless and stressful to follow them. The idea here is you eat whatever you want, but you stop when you’re 80% full. That could mean not having that ice cream or a sweet to round off your meal.

    Start of the day is very important. So, ask yourself, what are the important things you want to do when you wake up in the morning? If that’s difficult for you to answer, you can spend some minutes every morning writing down what you’re looking forward to, in your day. After some days of doing this, you will start noticing a pattern. For example, you might realise that you enjoy your job, but don’t like your boss. So, you can try to find a job in the same industry. An interesting statistic that the author finds is that 90% of people in their 40s and 50s, have changed careers—and only 10% study something and then work on it forever. Connecting with your Ikigai isn’t going to be sudden, the key is discovering yourself and the things you like and dislike.

    But what does one do in cases where their Ikigai is financially unviable? It’s the most difficult question, and the one the author is still trying to find an answer to. With the internet, one can try various things while doing a job. Maybe, you can start pursuing whatever interests, one has, and slowly try to get paid for it. Interesting things start happening when one starts pursuing what one loves. It’s worse to not even try.

     There is a great amount of sense in being with a community for living a long and happy life. Ogimi is a small village full of people with similar life philosophies. But this indeed is a rare case as most of us live in unequal societies rife with disagreement.

    In Ogimi people are neither poor nor rich so it’s easy to make communities where everyone puts the same amount of money together for common goals. But this doesn’t work so smoothly in different environments. However, one can start developing these communities with the people they trust. Where, one will gradually feel supported, and the community will only grow.

    The book also talks about anti-fragility as a concept. It’s like bacteria—the more they get attacked, the stronger they become. In everyone’s lives, disaster and bad things happen. A family member may die, or you could get an illness. It’s important to remember that you get stronger by each damage done to you.

    The response to this book has been overwhelming. It is being translated into more than 54 languages around the world. In fact it has become the most translated Spanish book in history. Soon, it will be translated into Telugu, Hindi and Marathi. In case you have not found your Ikigai in life this indeed is the book. I won’t hesitate in giving it a rating of eight out of ten.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****

 

 

 

INTERESTING FACTS, FIGURES & QUOTES EPISODE 29

Copyright@shravancharitymission

According to Central Water Commission, India has 5,264 large dams in operation, of which 75% are over 25 years old and 164 big dams more than 100 years old. Until 2018, there were 36 large dam failures, possibly making recent Tiware breach the 37th failure. Maharashtra accounts for the largest chunk of India’s big dams—2069 dams.

The pre-monsoon season this year has been the second driest in 65 years with the country witnessing 99 mm of rainfall during this period as against the average of 131.5 mm. About 42% of the country is abnormally dry—6% more than last year. Add to this a delay in the onset of monsoon and circumstances are indeed grim.

It is projected that over the coming years there will be a deficit of 43% between water availability and requirement. This will increase to 50% by 2030 unless usage patterns change.

Asceticism doesn’t lie in mere words; he is an ascetic who treats everyone alike. Asceticism doesn’t lie in visiting burial places; it lies not in wandering about, nor in bathing at places of pilgrimage. Asceticism is to remain pure amidst impurities—Guru Nanak

BT cotton is the only transgenic crop approved for cultivation in India. In the 17 years since it was approved, successive governments have declined to approve any other transgenic crop even after the relevant regulator, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), recommended commercial cultivation.

In 2009, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) after a five year scrutiny, approved commercial cultivation of BT Brinjal. But it failed to win an approval at the next stage: political executive. Even a change in government didn’t matter. In 2017, GEAC approved cultivation of GM mustard, a variety developed at Delhi University. But it met with the same fate as brinjal.

According to government sources, the regulatory process for approval of transgenic crop covers at least six stages. In response to a question from a parliamentary committee, government said that, on an average, a proposal from lab stage to decision making on clearances takes at least 10 years.

A farmers organisation, Shetkari Sanghatana has come out in support of farmers who are growing transgenic crops without approval.

Grow organic, eat organic. If Sikkim can be a totally organic state why can’t others?

In almost all leading countries of the world a doctor in a government hospital checks a maximum of 30 patients a day. In India any doctor on an average checks at least 150 patients a day.

‘Golden Hour’ is the time when doctors put in their best efforts to save the life of a patient. In some cases they succeed. In some they don’t.

Garment factories are India’s second largest employer of women with 1.2 crore women.

1% owns 48% of global wealth since 2009. 1 in 9 people don’t have enough to eat.

The Fiscal Responsibility & Budget Management (FRBM) act prescribes that the central government deficit should not exceed 3% of GDP.

It is generally believed in the Indian context, the acceptable level of inflation is 4%, and the comfort zone is +/- 2%. In developed economies, the acceptable level of inflation is only 2%.

China’s economy today is 30 times larger than it was three decades ago. Indeed in PPP China’s economy is already larger than America’s.

The length of the Mexican wall to be built to stop illegal immigrants is 900 miles. It is the southern border of the US with Mexico.

Plan your work and work out your plan—SWAMI CHINMAYANANDA.

The saying goes that you become criminal only when you’re caught.

Conspectus means a summary or overview of a subject.

A typical 300 room five-star hotel generates direct employment for around 500 people, 90% of whom are waiters, housekeeping staff, front desk and concierge staff, besides cooks, chefs, managers, financial and clerical staff. There are a host of others employed in associated services such as the spa, gift shops and swimming pool.

When you compress the supply of cash and widen the tax net, money shifts from private hands to government.

It has always seemed strange to me … the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system—JOHN STEINBECK

There is a verse in Bhagavad Gita which means—masses follow the classes.

We re the world’s third most obese country and also the diabetic capital of the world—Sachin Tendulkar

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)

*****

 

 

 

WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT TREES

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Over the course of its life, an average tree can absorb a ton of carbon dioxide. Only about one in a million acorns makes it all the way to becoming a mature oak tree.

    Trees form by far the bulk of Earth’s biomass. In life and in death trees contribute to the biosphere by making oxygen, moving water, storing carbon dioxide, enriching soil with dead  and decaying parts, and recycling the nutrients that life on Earth depends on.

    Trees are vascular plants that develop a single woody stem known as a trunk. Generally, trees grow to 15 feet or taller. Trees differ from shrubs, which are shorter and usually have multiple stems. Trees span the three botanical groups that represent vascular plants—pteridophytes, gymnosperms, and angiosperms.

    Gymnosperms and angiosperms propagate by seeds. In the former type, seeds are exposed, or naked, on a structure such as a cone; on the latter, they are within the ovary of a flower. Pteridophytes, on the other hand, are seedless vascular plants such as the tree fern.

    Not all parts of a tree are alive at one time, especially, in mature trees. Keeping so much mass alive all the time would require more energy than a tree’s system could handle. The inner core of the trunk, called the heartwood, is composed of out-of-commission xylem that no longer transports water throughout the tree. Similarly, the oldest layers of phloem, which transports the food manufactured through photosynthesis, form the outer, dead bark of the tree’s surface.

    In between the heartwood and bark lies the tree’s sapwood, its living energy-storage tissue.

WHY DO LEAVES CHANGE COLOUR?

    As days grow shorter and temperatures cooler, deciduous trees prepare for winter dormancy. Lacking sufficient light and water, photosynthesis shuts down, and trees must live off food stored during the growing season.

    In spring, leaves lay the groundwork for their demise. A special layer of cells forms at the base of each leaf, called the abscission or separation layer. Its work is to transport water to the leaf and take food, created by photosynthesis, back to the tree.

    In autumn, the cells of this layer begin to swell and the bottom of this layer forms a corklike substance that eventually cuts off all transfer between leaf and tree. Meanwhile, the top of the layer begins to disintegrate, making it easy for the leaf to detach.

    As photosynthesis ceases, the leaves lose their chlorophyll, which gives them their green colour. Without chlorophyll, other colours emerge. Yellow and orange, for example, are normally present in the leaves but are overshadowed by the chlorophyll. Maple-leaf red occurs because glucose remains when photosynthesis shuts down. Drab oak-leaf brown represents wastes left in the leaves.

A TREE FROM AGES PAST

    The long-needled Wollemi pine is a survivor from the age of dinosaurs. While fossil records made the 200-million-year-old species known to us, it was believed to be extinct. Then, in 1994, an Australian parks officer found a single tree in the Blue Mountains in Wollemi National Park. Subsequently, a hundred adult trees were counted there. Conservation efforts funded in part from the sale of saplings go to save and strengthen the species.

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: PERCEPTION VS REALITY BY KAMLESH TRIPATHI

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Once a baby lamb was going with his mother. They were walking on a jungle road when all of a sudden they saw a tiger approaching them from the front. It appeared the tiger was either hungry or sick and therefore it was growling off and on. Upon seeing the hungry tiger both mother and the baby lamb froze, and stood on the road quietly as there was no time to hide. The tiger in meantime kept walking towards them. The mother lamb started worrying profusely. She signalled the baby lamb to remain quiet. Soaked in fraught she started getting horrible thoughts of they being, eaten up, by the hungry tiger. She decided she would offer herself to the tiger first, and in exchange plead, to let go, her baby lamb. With all these terrifying thoughts they were now waiting for the tiger to attack them. When the tiger was about twenty feet away there was a gush of strong breeze announcing a dust storm but the tiger was undeterred and kept walking towards them. Both mother and the baby were now shivering out of fear, but to their utter surprise the tiger soon went past them, when suddenly, a fowl ran out of the bushes that was close to the tiger. There was flapping of wings resulting in commotion. The tiger upon hearing the flapping sound, ran after the fowl and managed to lay his paw on the bird and killed it on the spot. In the meanwhile, the frightened mother and the baby lamb, tiptoed their way back to their home.

    Can you guess, as to why, the mother and the baby lamb were given a gift of life by the tiger? If not then let me tell you why. The fact is, that the tiger was blind so he couldn’t see the baby lamb and his mother standing there, and when he was about twenty feet away from the mother and the lamb, God created a dust storm to stop the body smell of the mother and baby lamb to reach the tiger. But the unfortunate fowl who was sitting pretty behind the bushes did not know that the tiger was blind even when he saw the tiger walking past the baby lamb and the mother, and so, he ran, out of the bush, to save himself, thinking that the tiger had seen him. But sadly for the fowl, the tiger could kill him only because of his sense of sound—the flapping of wings, as even his faculty to smell had momentarily vanished in the dust storm … and of course he was blind.

   Moral of the story: Stop worrying and never jump to fast conclusions for there could be a humongous difference between perception, optics and reality. Think of all possibilities before taking a leap.

    This short story of mine was published in Bhavan’s Journal, October 15, 2019 edition.

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)

*****

 

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: INSIDE THE HAVELI BY RAMA MEHTA

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.

    ‘Inside the Haveli’ is a novel written by Rama Mehta. For this novel Rama Mehta was conferred ‘Sahitya Akademi Award’ in the year 1979. The story of the novel revolves around a young girl from Mumbai, India. She gets married to the son of a former Indian prince and post-marriage she relocates to Udaipur, Rajasthan. This book was first published by Gulab Vazirani in 1977. The initial price of this book at the time of publication was Rs 40. The book completes in about 264 pages. But before I move ahead let me tell you a few things about author Rama Mehta.

    Rama Mehta was born in Nainital, India, in 1923. She rose to become a top sociologist, lecturer and even a novelist. Her non-fiction writings include The Western Educated Hindu Woman, The Hindu Divorced Woman, and ‘From Purdah to Modernity.’ One of the first women to be appointed to India’s Foreign Service, Rama Mehta was forced to resign from her position upon marriage. She died in 1978. The novel has received several compliments. Some are as follows:

    ‘A wonderfully interesting account … women should not miss it; neither should men—John Kenneth Galbraith, Canadian-born economist, public official, and diplomat.

    Says novelist Anita Desai, ‘I remember the surprised delight with which I first came upon Rama Mehta’s novel and encountered the freshness of her prose, the simplicity and tenderness of her evocation of an ancient and traditional way of life, and the understanding she brought to it.’

    Throughout her life, the principal theme of Rama Mehta’s writings was the position of women in tradition-bound but rapidly changing India. For, in addition to her three novels, she wrote a number of sociological books about the contemporary Indian woman including The Western Educated Hindu Woman and The Hindu Divorced Woman. And, just before she died in June 1978, Mehta completed a study of women in the Hindu nuclear family. It is, therefore, appropriate that her last novel, Inside the Haveli, should have won, though posthumously, that year’s Sahitya Akademy award for the best Indian novel in English.

    In essence it’s a modern classic about an independent young woman’s struggle to hold on to her identity in a traditional world.    The book in no manner has a very engrossing storyline. As mentioned earlier it is about Geeta, an educated and vivacious Bombay girl, who marries into a conservative family and abruptly finds herself living in purdah in her husband’s ancestral haveli at Udaipur. Faced with this and even certain other age old traditions that threaten to snuff out, her independence and progressive views, Geeta puts up an unnoticed fight to maintain her modernity that she has always lived by.

    It is always tough for an author to churn out a novel without a piercing story line, which Rama Mehta has done quite successfully. She has detailed it so very well that one gets to feel as if she was part of the family and has lived with them for a duration of time only to write this novel.

    Some other important characters apart from Geeta in the novel are Ajay Singh, husband of Geeta; Pari an old maid; Lakshmi another maid; Vijay Geeta’s daughter and Sita Lakshmi’s daughter.

    The novel depicts the beginnings of a social change in the life of the women from Mewar who continued, until 20th century, to practice the system of purdah long after Hindu women discarded it as an out-moded custom. It gives a detailed account of old Udaipur. Something like they eat in Silver thalis.

    In that manner ‘Inside the Haveli’ is an excellent novel about a young, college-educated girl of Bombay who marries the son of an ex-prime minister of the former princely state of Mewar and comes to her husband’s traditional haveli in Udaipur.

   The moment she steps out of the train, Geeta the main protagonist gets the biggest shock of her life, for not only is her face instantaneously covered by her women relatives and maid-servants who take complete charge of her, but she, also, immediately finds, herself, engulfed in a pattern of life which is totally alien to her modern upbringing in Bombay.

    As soon as she reaches “home”, she is further shocked by the realisation that the men and women live in different parts of the huge haveli, without any contact with each other. Indeed, life inside the haveli is governed by an impossibly rigid etiquette of dos and don’ts, and for her, as for all the other women, there is no life outside the high walls of the haveli.

    The youthful Geeta finds herself unable to reconcile with the idea of spending the rest of her life in purdah. But at the same time she sees no escape from this out-dated way of life, for her husband is too deeply rooted in his traditions and too deeply attached to his parents to take up a job in some other city.

    Moreover, she gradually comes to realise that, in spite of their exacting demands of conformity with the family tradition, her parents-in-law are essentially warm hearted and generous.

    Slowly and painfully Geeta finds herself adjusting with the life in the haveli with the thought of merging her identity and that of her children in the tradition of her husband’s ancient family.

    But in the process she succeeds in initiating certain reforms for the women of these ancient havelis by starting literacy classes for them and by sending the female children to school. Her women relatives, of course, oppose her plans, but her father-in-law, realising that with the end of the princely era, the old pattern of life could not possibly continue for long, supports Geeta’s attempt to make the women less dependent on the havelis.

    It is a fascinating novel in which the author has succeeded in conveying the essence and feel of a world which is fast disappearing.

    Jeewan Niwas is the centre-stage around which the entire clan of the ruling class, Rana’s stay. Traditionally these families have also served the Maharana of Udaipur, who was like God to them. They all seem to be together but yes there are internal rivalries too.

    A change of mindset is in the offing when Geeta is blessed with a daughter and celebrations break through. Lakshmi their maid leaves the haveli on some misunderstanding. Thereafter her daughter Sita is brought up by Bhagwat Singh ji’s wife who is Geeta’s mother-in-law.

    There is almost a chapter on young Sita’s wedding who is daughter of Lakshmi. The scene is very emotional and well described. It gives a vivid description of such marriages.

    Author has crafted some original and interesting words such as, ‘twig fire lit in a earthenware pot,’ than you have butter lamp’ and ‘fire-hot rotis’ to name a few.

    Overall it’s a very slow moving book, but well detailed with precise punctuation and simple language easy to understand. The book doesn’t sink in you unless you complete it in five to six sittings, nor does it have any recall quotient barring a peep into the havelis this is because of the faint story line. It has too many characters difficult to remember especially when it’s not a very happening book.

    You can pick up this book to understand what really goes on inside a haveli. I would give it eight out of ten for it meets the purpose for which it was written.

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)

*****

 

 

 

  

BRIEF HISTORY OF CONTINENTS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

CONTINENTAL AREAS

ASIA: 17,208,000 SQUARE MILES

AFRICA: 11,608,000 SQUARE MILES

NORTH AMERICA: 9,449,000 SQUARE MILES

SOUTH AMERICA: 6,880,000 SQUARE MILES

ANTARCTICA: 5,100,000 SQUARE MILES

EUROPE: 3,841,000 SQUARE MILES

AUSTRALIA: 2,970,000 SQUARE MILES

    Out of the total earth area, around one-third is land, and balance two-third is water–ocean. Yet, the major land divisions—the continents—are the ones that give shape and physical identity to the planet.

    The seven continents represent some 57 million square miles in area, portioned unequally among them. They range in size from Asia, being the largest, to Australia, being the smallest. Although Europe and Asia form one large mass, they are usually regarded as two continents, mainly due to the cultural differences between their peoples.

    The seven continents as they appear today represent just one episode in an ongoing scenario of the wandering land masses. It is a process whose history dates back to the initial formation of continental material on Earth’s crust almost four billion years ago—a process called ‘plate tectonics.’

    The crust and the top portion of the mantle form a rigid shell around the planet that is broken up into 16 large sections known as plates. Heat generated inside Earth is distributed through convection current which causes the plates to move slowly. This sort of movement has been going on for hundreds of millions of years.

    Most geologists believe that the ‘continents’ were created when vast plates of rock collided, forcing one to slide under another in a process called ‘subduction.’ The crust then melted and formed magma, or molten rock. Erupting to the surface, the magma built volcanic islands that eventually fused with other islands on adjoining plates—becoming the first continental material.

HOW WERE CONTINENTS FORMED

    As Earth’s continental masses grew bigger, moving all the while, they shifted in relation with each other and coalesced into different arrangements over hundreds of millions of years. The current configuration of continents is just a temporary one in the eons-long process of the plate tectonics.

    Three times during the past billion years, drifting landmasses have merged to form supercontinents.

    In between these stages of continental drift, they split into smaller landmasses before recombining again. Scientists predict that a new supercontinent, ‘Pangaea Ultima,’ will eventually form, 250 million years from now.

TERMINOLOGY 

CONTINENT: Comes from the Latin continens, “held together.” One of Earth’s seven large masses of land.

TECTONICS: Comes from the Greek tekton, “builder.” Study of the changes in Earth’s crust and the forces that produce such changes.

SUBDUCTION ZONE: The oceanic trench area in which the seafloor ‘underthrusts’ an adjacent plate, dragging, accumulated sediments, downward into Earth’s upper mantle.

ALFRED WEGENER THE EARTH SCIENTIST

    German Earth Scientist Alfred Wegener (1880-1930), was among the first to use balloons to track air currents. He participated in expeditions to Greenland to study polar air circulation but became better known for his theory of continental drift. People had already noticed that the coastlines of western Africa and eastern South America seemed to match, but Wegener found evidence that the continents had been joined: because of similar fossils from both sides of the Atlantic and tropical species in Arctic areas. He posited the existence of a supercontinent, Pangaea (All Lands) that eventually broke up, and he presented his ideas in the Origin of Continents and Oceans—but few believed him. In the 1950s and 1960s, studies of the ocean floor demonstrated a mechanism for crustal movement, is when Wegener’s theory of continental drift gained acceptance.

BRIEF HISTORY OF EARTH

500 MILLION YEARS ago, a chunk broke off a single continent. Shallow waters spawned the first multicellular creatures.

300 MILLION YEARS ago, some of today’s mountains formed. A new ice age covered Earth’s southern regions.

225 MILLION YEARS AGO, the earliest dinosaurs roamed a single continent that stretched from Pole to Pole.

100 MILLION YEARS ago, cracks across the one continent, known as Pangaea, formed rifts that evolved into oceans.

50 MILLION YEARS ago, a climate changing meteor crashed into Earth and the highest mountains began their uprise.

20,000 YEARS ago, ice sheets a mile deep gouged out the Great Lakes and then receded, raising sea levels.

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)

*****