Category Archives: parable

THE STORY OF UTANGA & LORD KRISHNA … from Mahabharat

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    Once when the great battle of Kurukshetra was over, Lord Krishna bade farewell to the Pandavas and left for Dwarka. On his way he met his old Brahmin friend Utanga. Krishna stopped and alighted from his stupendous chariot and wished the Brahmin. Utanga, delighted at the sight of mighty Krishna, returned his greetings and proceeded to make the usual enquiries about the health and welfare of his relatives.

       He enquired if Krishna’s cousins Pandavas and Kauravas loved one another as brothers, and whether they all were flourishing well enough. The innocent Brahmin had not heard about the great battle of Mahabharat that had already been fought.     Lord Krishna was astounded by this question of his and for a moment he stood silent not knowing what to say in reply.

    He then softly narrated what all had happened. How a great battle had been fought where almost all the Kauravas had been exterminated. Upon hearing the story Utanga got very angry. He retorted at Krishna telling him forcefully that He had failed in His duties and warned Him to be prepared to receive his curse. In reply the Lord just smiled and asked him not to use up the fruits of his hard earned penances.

    He then proceeded to show Utanga his Visvarupa primarily to explain to him the message of Bhagavad Gita just as He had done for Arjuna. After this explanation of Krishna, Utanga recovered his calm and with that the Lord was at ease. He told the Brahmin to ask for any boon that he desired. Utanga said, that after having witnessed You—Lord Krishna in your Universal form there isn’t anything left in this world to be desired.

    But when Krishna insisted, Utanga relented by saying that he should be able to find water whenever he felt thirsty in his long journeys. The Lord thus blessed him and went on His way.

    Later when Utanga was passing through a desert he felt very thirsty and remembered the boon he had received from Lord Krishna. He decided to make use of it. The very moment, a nishad (Shudra) appeared before him attired in rags. He had five hunting hounds (dogs) in leash and an animal skin water bag strapped to his shoulder. He offered the bamboo spout of his water bag to the Brahmin to drink from.

    Utanga stared at the man in disgust and told him he was not thirsty and asked him to go. Having said this, he re-approached the Lord in his mind for the boon that He had granted him. The outcaste, meanwhile pressed upon the fastidious Brahmin Utanga, over and over again, to quench his thirst, but it only made Utanga more and more angry, and he refused to drink the water. Finally, the outcaste disappeared.

    Observing the strange disappearance of the Nishad the brahmin reflected, who was he? He could not have been a real Nishad. It was certainly my test where I blundered miserably. I rejected the holy water offered by the outcaste and proved myself to be an arrogant fool. Utanga was now in great anguish when a moment later Krishna Himself appeared before him with his conch shell and discus—Sudershan chakra.

    O Purushottama! Exclaimed Utanga, was it right of You to have sent an outcaste, to offer unclean water to a Brahmin like me? Was this a kind gesture on your part? Asked Utanga in a bitter tone.

    Lord replied smiling, Hey Utanga! It was only for your sake I had asked Indra to take ‘Amrita’ and give it to you as water. He said he would on no account give nectar to a mortal. But I prevailed upon him and he agreed to do so only if I allowed him to test you in the form of a chandal. I accepted the challenge believing you had attained that stage of understanding and wisdom. But you have made me suffer defeat at the hands of Indra. This story is from Mahabharat.

    Moral of the story: Although, the Brahmin asked the Lord only for water, Lord gave him nectar, out of His causeless mercy. The Lord always cares for us more than we do for ourselves. And we just need to have the vision to understand His mercy.

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)

*****

 

 

 

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INTERESTING FACTS & QUOTES EPISODE 21

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Floccinaucinihilipilification: is the longest non-technical word in the English language. It means an estimation of something as worthless. It has 29 letters which is more than the entire 26 letters of English Language.

Antidisestablishmentarianism: The word has 28 letters which again is more than the entire 26 letters of English language. It means opposite of disestablishment often used in the context of the Church of England.

                    Let’s not forget Christopher Columbus was looking for India when he lost his way to America. Funnily in his ‘letter of the first voyage’ explaining why he was looking for India, he mentioned the word ‘gold’ 17 times, while he mentioned the word ‘Lord’ and ‘God’ only once.

                ‘Lucky 7′ is the world’s favourite number. There are seven days in a week, seven colours in a rainbow, seven notes in a musical scale, seven seas and above all seven continents.

                Anytime you ask people about happy moments in their lives, they have to really think hard. But ask them about unpleasant or sad moments they will come up easily with many.

                Fake news: There are some 560 million or say (56 crore) internet users and 354 million or say (35 crore) smartphone devices that are either willing recipients, distributors or even victims of this growing phenomenon in India. In many cases all three.

                    Law of ‘diminishing returns’ means: Every incremental acquisition (maybe a costlier car) gives less incremental happiness than the earlier acquisition did.

Around 56% to 58% of GDP is generated by private consumption.

Meteorological department’s first 2019, southwest, monsoon forecast, puts it at, “near normal”, or 96% of the long period average (LPA) of 89 cm. Private forecaster Skymet Weather said, the monsoon would be below normal at 93% of LPA.

From a long term perspective, India is currently in the midst of a dry epoch. Government says that between 1951 and 2007, southwest monsoon has shown a decreasing trend. This monsoon provides about 75% of India’s annual rainfall, significantly influencing food production.

                    ‘Break water to storm’ is a type of phrase which means that we take a measure or make a structure with concrete or with rock at a sea shore to protect coastline from dangerous wave and storm which often take place in sea. Some are naturally created and some barriers made manually are known as breakwater.

            Ashvatta trees are those whose roots are in the air and branches touch the ground, symbolizing the subtle truth that the world we observe is the inversion of the real.

              Orwellian is an adjective describing the situation, idea, or societal condition that George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free and open society.

        MAM Ramaswamy- Chennai industrialist holds the record for the most wins in Indian Turf (horse-racing) history.

                  Barely 4% of all households in India are headed by women. Over 70% of currently married men are household heads compared to 3% of married women.

                 The average protein intake of a person in India through normal diet has dipped 6-10% in the past two decades with almost 86% of rural and 70% of urban population not getting the government designated 2400 kilo calories per day. While the richest get over 2518 kilo calories each day the poorest get less than 1679 kilo calories—a difference of almost 50%.

                US and India are able to export only about a quarter of what they import from China.

              In the 1950s private health costs were, just between, 5% to 10%, of the total health bill of the country. Today, the position is reversed and the change has not been in slow motion. There has been an eight fold increase in the number of private hospitals between 1980 and now. This is why, the NSS records, as many as 24% of rural households and as many as 18% of urban households fall into the debt trap on account of medical expenses.

               According to the most recent national survey, around 5 crore people in India are pushed below poverty line due to high out-of-pocket health expenditures.

                  As of the last count there were 20 lakh major temples, three lakh major mosques and thousands of churches in India.

               In the recent past UNESCO estimated that India had lost 50,000 artifacts till 1989. I would say the number is much bigger. India has been able to recover only about 40 pieces of stolen heritage since independence. Fascinatingly 27 of these have come back only in the last 4 years.

                  With half of India’s farm less than half hectare in size many of its farmers need decent jobs to escape poverty.

                In past centuries people suffered from a severe lack of information which made it difficult to verify what’s true. Today we suffer from too much information, so people are too distracted to investigate the truth.

Mountstuart Elphinstone was a Scottish statesman and historian, associated with the government of British India. He later became the Governor of Bombay where he is credited with the opening of several educational institutions accessible to the Indian population.

                 In a single day there are a 50 million exchanges on snapchat. 1.15 billion opinions on facebook, 500 million twitter feeds and a multitude of reactions on newspaper and TV.

And now some interesting lines:

               These days, to find fools is not difficult, and to find people who fool others, is even easier.

                 Tradition is a guide and not a jailor—said SOMERSET MAUGHAM

            George Mikes (Hungarian born-British journalist) said this of Englishmen and queues: ‘An Englishman even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one.’

              India has always been a difficult country for Indians.

                   If you are not born with a silver spoon, you better become a spoon.

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)

*****

SHORT STORY: LESSON FROM THE DONKEY

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    Once a washer man was going along with his donkey and a bucket filled with clothes. It was pitch dark. They were walking around a small hillock when the donkey fell into a ditch. After falling in the ditch the donkey went into a shock and could not stand properly and so it started braying (hee-haw-hee-haw).

    The washer man who was very attached to his donkey. Could not stand the braying of the donkey. So, he decided to bury it thinking its half dead. He soon started throwing bucket full of mud in the ditch to bury the donkey. But after sometime the washer man was shocked to see the donkey limping out of the ditch slowly and soon he started striding as usual.

    What had happened was, whenever, the mud was thrown in by the washerman, the donkey used to shake it off, and the mud became steps for him, and stepping on those steps the donkey came out.

Moral of the story: Don’t get disheartened when people throw muck at you. Just shake it off as that will further strengthen you to go up in life.

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)

*****

VAND CHAKNA … IN SIKHISM

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Vand Chakna in Sikhism, is best explained as “sharing and caring.” On one occasion, when Guru Nanak was with his two sons and Lehna (Guru Angad Dev) there was a corpse covered with a cloth lying there. He asked who will eat this. No one responded, but Lehna, having full faith in his master, accepted it and when he removed the cloth, he saw there was a tray full of sacred food, which he served to his master and ate the leftovers. On this Guru Nanak said, “Lehna, you are blessed with sacred food because you shared it. Similarly, people should use wealth, not only for themselves, but share it with others. If one consumes it only for himself then it is like a corpse. But when we share it with others it becomes sacred.”

    This constitutes the basis for “Langar” the community kitchen, and Dasvandh, that is sharing one-tenth of one’s earnings with the community.

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: LESSON FROM THE OAK TREE

Copyright @shravancharitymission

    Chinese sage Chaung Tsu narrates the story of a huge old oak tree that was declared worthless by a carpenter because its timber was of bad quality and anything made from it would break, rot or wither away. Subsequently, in the story, the tree told the carpenter that it had turned useless on purpose because it wished to live a natural and happy life. Had its timber been useful it would have been cut into pieces, made into something else and would have been dead long ago. The sage enlightens us further by saying that in trying to be valued, desirable and significant in the eyes of the world, we usually end up relinquishing our deeper essence and we start living artificially. Despite assuming a grandiose form, our life is then fraught with meaninglessness and misery.

    Moral of the story: Think of yourself before you think of becoming useful for the world.

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: JOB ENRICHMENT … learn it from a tehsildar in Karnataka

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Some bureaucrats have the gumption to transform even small positions, into powerful and meaningful ones, and some indolent bureaucrats would transform, even powerful and prestigious positions, into inconsequential jobs. So it’s all in the incumbent, and depends on the person occupying the chair. This is where B.N. Girish a tehsildar in Karnataka’s Shivamogga district outshines his bureaucratic fraternity. He shows the way as to how an upright bureaucracy can make a difference.

    As a tehsildar in Karnataka’s Shivamogga district he went undercover as a labourer to work at a stone quarry and check for irregularities then returned to raid the place.  This exemplifies the critical role of bureaucracy in India. Since January 2017, BN Girish has been on a crusade against illegal stone and sand mining in the taluk, following up on tips from local people, conducting raids and seizing vehicles. Sand mining owing to the construction boom has become a lucrative industry in rural India but the state’s limited capacity for regulation has inflicted severe ecological damage to hills, rivers and forests.

    Imagine, for a moment, if a corrupt or indifferent officer was in Girish’s place. He would have made enough black money for himself, and at the same time damaged the environment. Now size up the damage such rapacious mining in just one taluk wreaks on the environment, and the losses to public exchequer; and the weakening of law and order machinery when illegal activity gains impunity and profit. Then multiply this by the thousands of taluks in India and we will get a sense of the importance of the lower bureaucracy. Politics was meant to take power to the people and cut through red tape. But in India the Neta-Babu nexus has for long taken advantage of hierarchical inequalities to subvert the system.

    Says Girish. “Locals told me about the Gejjinahalli quarry in March. I had raided it earlier. But labourers stopped work when they spotted my vehicle. Miners have such a strong network that when unknown vehicles enter, they stop work and flee. That’s when I decided to go in disguise so that no one would recognise me.”

    He adds further. “They realised he was an officer only when he started the inquiry. Gejjenahalli has several stone quarries, but I could raid only four as the men in other places got information and ran away. I plan to use a similar method to tackle illegal sand mining problem in the taluk.”

    Such illegal happenings have run their course and have to change now. The RTI Act, the spread of education, ubiquitous smartphones, rising aspirations and worries over environmental degradation are empowering communities to speak up against illegality. It also helps when honest officers come to the aid of hapless citizens. Not surprisingly, the struggles of bureaucrats like Ashok Khemka against successive Haryana governments struck a chord with the public. Perhaps, a new breed of civil servants with a can-do attitude has emerged in recent years with popular following that even rivals politicians. But the likes of B.N. Girish who go the extra mile must become the norm, not the exception.

   So, a big salute to Tehsildar B.N Girish.

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)

*****

 

 

 

LITERARY CORNER: CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller

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.

    In our normal day-to-day life we often use the phrase Catch-22. It means a dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

    Catch-22 is a satirical novel by American author Joseph Heller who began writing it in 1953. The novel was first published in 1961. Often cited as one of the most significant novels of the twentieth century, it uses a distinctive non-chronological third-person omniscient narration, describing events from the points of view of different characters (where, the author has, or seems to have, access to knowledge of all characters, places, and events of the story, including any given characters and thoughts). The book has separate storylines which are out of sequence so the timeline of the novel develops along with the plot.

    The novel is set during World War II, from 1942 to 1944. It mainly follows the life of Captain John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 Bombardier (Bombardier is a member of the bomber crew in the US Air-force). Most of the events in the book occur while the fictional 256th Squadron is based on the island of Pianosa, in the Mediterranean Sea, west of Italy. The novel looks into the experiences of Yossarian and the other airmen in the camp, who attempt to maintain their sanity while fulfilling their service requirements so that they may return home.

    PLOT

    During the second half of World War II, a soldier named Yossarian is stationed with his Air Force squadron on the island of Pianosa, near the Italian coast in the Mediterranean Sea. Yossarian and his friends endure a nightmarish, absurd existence defined by bureaucracy and violence: they are like inhuman resources in the eyes of their blindly ambitious superior officers. The squadron is thrown thoughtlessly into brutal combat situations and bombing runs in which it is more important for the squadron members to capture good aerial photographs of explosions than to destroy their targets. Their colonels continually raise the number of missions that they are required to fly before being sent home, so that no one is ever sent home. Still, no one but Yossarian seems to realize that there is a war going on; everyone thinks he is crazy when he insists that millions of people are trying to kill him.

    Yossarian’s story forms the core of the novel, so most events are refracted through his point of view. Yossarian takes the whole war personally: unswayed by national ideals or abstract principles, Yossarian is furious that his life is in constant danger through no fault of his own. He has a strong desire to live and is determined to be immortal or die trying. As a result, he spends a great deal of his time in the hospital, faking various illnesses in order to avoid the war. As the novel progresses through its loosely connected series of recurring stories and anecdotes, Yossarian is continually troubled by his memory of Snowden, a soldier who died in his arms on a mission when Yossarian lost all his desire to participate in the war. Yossarian is placed in ridiculous, absurd, desperate, and tragic circumstances—where he sees friends die and disappear, his squadron gets bombed by its own mess officer, and colonels and generals volunteer their men for the most perilous battle in order to enhance their own reputation.

    Catch-22 is a law defined in various ways throughout the novel. First, Yossarian discovers that it is possible to be discharged from military service because of insanity. Always looking for a way out, Yossarian claims that he is insane, only to find out that by claiming that he is insane he has proved that he is obviously sane—since any sane person would claim that he or she is insane in order to avoid flying bombing missions. Elsewhere, Catch-22 is defined as a law that is illegal to read. Ironically, the place where it is written that it is illegal is in Catch-22 itself. It is yet again defined as the law that the enemy is allowed to do anything that one can’t keep him from doing. In short, then, Catch-22 is any paradoxical, circular reasoning that catches its victim in its illogic and serves those who have made the law. Catch-22 can be found in the novel not only where it is explicitly defined but also throughout the characters stories, which are full of catches and instances of circular reasoning that trap unwitting bystanders in their snares—for instance, the ability of the powerful officer Milo Minderbinder to make great sums of money by trading among the companies that he himself owns.

    As Yossarian struggles to stay alive, a number of secondary stories unfold around him. His friend Nately falls in love with a whore from Rome and woos her constantly, despite her continued indifference and the fact that her kid sister constantly interferes with their romantic rendezvous. Finally, she falls in love with Nately, but he is killed on his very next mission.

    When Yossarian brings her the bad news, she blames him for Nately’s death and tries to stab him every time she sees him thereafter. Another subplot follows the rise of the black-market empire of Milo Minderbinder, the squadron’s mess hall officer. Milo runs a syndicate in which he borrows military planes and pilots to transport food between various points in Europe, making a massive profit from his sales. Although he claims that “everyone has a share” in the syndicate, this promise is later proven false. Milo’s enterprise flourishes nonetheless, and he is revered almost religiously by communities all over Europe.

The novel draws to a close as Yossarian, troubled by Nately’s death, refuses to fly any more missions. He wanders the streets of Rome, encountering every kind of human horror—rape, disease, murder. He is eventually arrested for being in Rome without a pass, and his superior officers, Colonel Cathcart and Colonel Korn, offer him a choice. He can either face a court-martial or be released and sent home with an honorable discharge.But there is only one condition: in order to be released, he must approve of Cathcart and Korn and state his support for their policy, which requires all the men in the squadron to fly eighty missions. Although he is tempted by the offer, Yossarian realizes that to comply would be to endanger the lives of other innocent men. So he chooses another way out, deciding to desert the army and flee to neutral Sweden. In doing so, he turns his back on the dehumanizing machinery of the military, rejects the rule of Catch-22, and strives to gain control of his own life.

    So friends if you’ve not read this book you have indeed missed something in life. I would give the book eight out of ten.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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