Category Archives: short story

SHORT STORY: NIRAV MODI AND THE CURSE OF MIDAS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Nirav Modi, the fugitive diamond merchant who fled the country after reportedly swindling the banks for over Rs 13,000 crore, has one thing in common with a character in Greek legend, King Midas of Phrygia: and that is insatiable greed.

    By all standards, Modi ran a successful diamond business and had amassed more wealth than most people can even dream of. The sale of his art collection alone is said to have fetched Rs 58 crore. He owns several properties in India, and at least two apartments in a tower block in Central London, which in themselves would cost several million British pound sterling.

    But I guess all these immense riches were apparently not enough to satisfy him, so he conspired to swindle the banks for thousands of crores of rupees.

    Now he is fugitive from the law in London. A prisoner who has been denied bail by a British judge and is facing extradition to India, where he is likely to do extended jail term.

    So then why, when he already had more money than anyone could possibly spend in several luxurious lifetimes was he compelled to become a cheat and land himself in such a mess as he is now in?

    The answer is, insatiable greed. Modi’s story parallels that of Midas. Who was granted a boon by Dionysus, the God of wine and revelry. Midas chose infinite wealth and was granted the golden touch whereby everything he laid hands on turned into precious metal.

    But Midas’s joy at having been given the golden touch was short-lived. As he could not eat nor drink anything, because whatever he came in contact with turned into gold, including his beloved daughter.

    Midas then realised that his golden touch, born out of uncontrollable greed, was not a boon but a curse. So, he went back to Dionysus and begged of him to take back his baneful gift. The God told Midas to go bathe in a river that would wash away the unbearable burden of his greed.

    The dietary disorder of bulimia turns people into obsessive eaters who cannot stop themselves from consuming much more than what their bodies actually require or what their constitutions can withstand. If untreated, bulimia leads to obesity and other life-threatening conditions. The unbridled greed for material wealth is a bulimia of the spirit, an uncontrolled and uncontrollable appetite that leads to grevious consequences.

    In Oliver Stone’s movie, Wall Street, the protagonist, Gordon Gekko, sums up the mantra of compulsive consumption: ‘Greed is good’. But greed, as Midas discovered, is far from being good; greed is another word for grief.

    The so-called ‘subprime crisis’, which started in the US in 2007 and led to worldwide financial turmoil, was caused by greed, and led to many millions losing their life savings, their homes and their jobs.

    Greed is harmful not just for our financial health. Greed for more and more of the planet’s limited resources has brought us to the brink of irretrievable environmental catastrophe.

    Collective human greed –particularly as evidenced by the world’s wealthiest nations, who have shown that the more you have more you desire to have—has endangered the Earth, perhaps beyond salvation.

    Not just Nirav Modi, we are all inheritors of the curse of Midas.

    This column is inspired by a recent article of Jug Suraiya in Speaking Tree.

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****

 

 

 

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SHORT STORY: MAHAVIRA AND HIS TEACHINGS OF AHIMSA

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    Mahavir Jayanti is one of the most significant festivals of Jain-ism. It is observed to commemorate the birth of Mahavira, the 24th and the last Jain tirthankara. A tir-thankara is an enlightened soul, who is born as a human being and attains perfection through intense meditation.

    Many incidents and stories reveal the character of Mahavira. Mahavira, once said that, “Anger causes degradation of soul.” A popular story talks about Mahavira and Chandkaushik (a poisonous cobra). Once on his way to village Vachala, where lived Chandkaushik, Mahavira heard that the people of the village near the forest lived in absolute terror. Mahavira stopped in the forest where Chandkaushik lived, and started meditating. Feelings of peace, tranquillity and concern for the well-being of every living being flowed in Mahavira’s heart. On the other hand, Chandkaushik, on encountering Mahavira, hissed in anger, but saw no sign of fear in him and this made him more angry and he blew poisonous venom at Mahavira three times, but still the tirthankara was in absolute meditation posture. Now Chandkaushik was really mad and concentrated on all his power and bit Mahavira’s toe. He saw white milk flow out of his toe. This was when Mahavira opened his eyes but was so calm and compassionate. He looked at Chandkaushik and said, ‘Hey Chand, shant ho ja, shant ho ja’ and requested the cobra to overcome his anger and bitterness and instead, forgive and remain peaceful. Chandkaushik acceded and became calm, and peacefully retreated back to his hole.

    Moral of the story: Peace and harmony in society come from the feeling of love and equality of all living beings. This is the concept of Mahavira’s non-violence.

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)

*****

 

 

 

SHORT STORY: TEN FOOLS

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    We spend a lot of time in knowing about others. But we hardly spend time, in knowing about our own ourselves. The reason is very simple, because we always think we know ourselves inside out. But the reality is quite the reverse.  The story below is a satire on this very thought process.

    Once there were ten friends who had embarked upon an adventure. They Crossed rivers, scaled mountains, traversed across forests, and finally they arrived in open fields. When suddenly one screamed. ‘O my God, one of us is missing. We started off as ten and now there are only nine.’ They hurriedly sat in a circle, and  started counting, and then started crying for the missing tenth. Once again, the first counted each one and wailed loudly as he reached the ninth. Number one was on his left and number nine was on his right. Where was the tenth? The second did the same and so did the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and the ninth … but the tenth was nowhere to be seen. They all kept crying till a wise man pointed out that each one counted everyone, except himself.

The moral of the story is, in this busy and crowded world keep good track of yourself, or you’ll get lost.

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)

*****

 

 

 

SHORT STORY: THE CAVE AND THE LIGHT

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    There was once a cave that lived underground as most caves do. The cave had spent its entire life in darkness. It had never seen light. One day, a voice came up to him and said, ‘Come up … into the light. Come up … and enjoy the sunlight.’

     ‘I don’t know what you mean by light. All I have ever known and seen is darkness.’ The cave replied. ‘Come and see it for yourself,’ said the voice again.

    The cave mustered up enough courage and climbed slowly up from the depths of the earth. Suddenly, it reached the top of the earth and was surrounded by magnificent light, the likes of which he had never seen before in its life.

    ‘This is beautiful,’ said the cave. And after enjoying the light for a while the cave said to the sunlight, ‘Now it is your turn to come with me and see the darkness.’

    ‘What is darkness?’ Asked the Sunlight. The cave answered, ‘come and see it for yourself.’ The Sunlight decided to visit the cave’s home. And as the Sunlight entered the cave, it said. ‘Now show me where your darkness is.’ But with the Sunlight there was no darkness to be found.

    What the anecdote illustrates is the power of light. Wherever there is light there can be no darkness. Whenever we feel we are in the dark spell of our life, we need only to tap into the light of our soul.

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****

 

 

 

SHORT STORY: THE FARMER AND THE WELL

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Once a farmer who was looking for a source of water for his farm bought a well from his neighbour. The neighbour was a cunning person. He refused/ to let the farmer take the water from the well. On asking why, he replied, “I sold the well to you, and not the water.” After saying this he walked away. The distraught farmer didn’t know what to do. So he went to Birbal, a clever man and one of the nine courtiers of Emperor Akbar, for a solution.

    The emperor called both the farmer and his neighbour and asked why the man was not letting the farmer draw water from the well. The cunning man said the same thing again, “Your majesty I sold the well, and not the water. So he cannot take my water.” To this, Birbal replied, “All that sounds fine to me. But if you have not sold the water and the water is yours, then you have no business keeping your water in his well. So remove the water or use it up immediately. If not the water will belong to the owner of the well or you may have to pay rent for keeping your water in his well.”

    The neighbour realising that he’s been tricked and even taught a lesson, immediately apologized and left.

    So the Moral of the story is: Cheating will never get you anywhere. If you cheat, you’ll pay for it soon.  And in Hindi as they say … ser ko sawa ser jaroor milta hai. Birbal was the sawa ser to the cunning neighbour.

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****

 

 

 

  

BOOK CORNER:GODS AND ROBOTS: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology … by Adrienne Mayor

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.

Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines and Ancient Dreams of Technology’

Adriyana Mayor in 2018.

Published by Princeton University Press, New Jersey

    Albert Einstein had once said. “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” So, let ‘imagination’ be the tagline of this write-up. As books are indeed an exercise of the author’s imagination. For who could first imagine the concepts of robots, automation, human enhancements, and Artificial Intelligence? Historians tend to trace the idea of automation back to the medieval craftsmen who developed self- moving machines.

    Let me now take you to a research scholar at Stanford University. Her name is Adrienne Mayor. She is a historian of ancient science and warfare, and a classical forklorist who investigates natural knowledge contained in pre-scientific myths and oral traditions. She has recently come out with a book titled, ‘Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines and Ancient Dreams of Technology.’ It’s a long title.

    Adrienne feels Hindu epics are full of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and robots, and legend has it, that they guarded Buddha’s relics.

    In this book the lady author explores how ancient culture imagined futuristic technologies and left behind those imaginations in epics and scriptures. She tells how Ashoka battled robots, and other tech tales from the past.    Faith can move mountains. There is a belief in India among the Hindus that ancient Indians had invented everything from spacecraft to missiles to the internet. Lady author tries to link this theory with her research work. She feels her research got her into the first inklings of the scientific impulse and that took her into the world of mythology, where ancient people first envisioned making artificial life, automation (or robots), self-moving devices, and other marvelous things long before the present day technology made them possible. She states these stories about robots and other machines in ancient oral traditions were first written down during the time of Homer, about some 2,700 years ago. But the Greeks were not the only people to imagine automation and machines in antiquity. Similar stories exist in the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and other epics. In Hindu myths, automations are made by the engineer God Vishwakarma and the sorceress or more appropriately the mystique of Maya. In Greek myths they are made by the God of technology. His name is Hephaestus—the Greek God of fire and metal working and the brilliant artisan Daedalus, a craftsman and artist again from Greek mythology. I consider such myths to be the world’s first science fiction stories. No single civilisation had a monopoly on such ancient dreams of advanced technology. Whether one looks at Greek, Egyptian, Hindu, Islamic, Chinese, Etruscan—the modern name given to the powerful and wealthy civilization of ancient Italy or any other ancient cultural myths about artificial life. They all contemplate what wonders might have been achieved if only one could possess the divine creativity and abilities of the Gods. But it’s not possible to draw a direct line of development from mythology over the millennia to the modern scientific knowledge.

    Further the lady author goes on to say that the Indian and Hellenistic cultures borrowed and influenced each other, beginning in about the fifth century BC, The syncretism only intensified, after Alexander of Macedon and King Porus began relations in the fourth century BC. Jain texts mention that the engineers of Ajatasatru, the  king of Haryanka dynasty of Magadha, invented armoured war chariots with spinning blades, which may have inspired later the Persian scythed chariots. Ajatasatru had powerful machines to hurl massive boulders,  even before Philip—II of Macedon obtained torsion catapults—those huge launchers. India was known for perpetually burning oil lamps, suggesting knowledge of naphtha, that was unknown to the Greeks and the Romans until much later. The travelling Greek sage Apollodorus of Tyana observed automated servants and self-propelled carts in the court of a ruler of India, and India was centuries ahead of Europe in the technologies of distillation and hydraulics. There was probably more give and take than we know about.

    Myths featuring flying chariots and synthetic swans, animated servants, giant robots, machines, and the like appear in the Mahabharata, Ramayana, Kathasaritasagara, Harivamsa, and other works. Self-navigating ships appear in Egyptian texts and Homer’s odyssey; android and animal automations are described in Homer’s Iliad and in Chinese chronicles. And further examples are myriad.

    The book goes on to share the story of android warriors guarding Buddha’s relics. The most detailed account is in the Lokapanatti, a complicated compilation of tales from Burma. After Buddha’s death, the story recounts that King Ajatasatru preserved his bodily remains in a hidden chamber under a stupa. The precious relics were guarded by ‘bhuta vahana yantra’ (spirit transporting machine). These were robotic warriors with whirling swords—reminiscent of the king’s novel war machines with spinning blades. Greek myths tell of automation guardians in human and animal form defending palaces and treasures, but the historical and technological details of this legend make it unique. The story says the robots were constructed from plans and were secretly transported to Patliputra from Romavisaya, the Greek-influenced west, by a yantrakara, that is a robot maker who was originally from Patliputra. The automation soldiers guarded Buddha’s relics until the great Indian emperor Ashoka heard about the secret chamber. Ashoka battled the robots and after he defeated them he learned how to control them. They obeyed him. Historically, we know that Ashoka did unearth and distribute long hidden relics of Buddha across the land.

    By third century BC, craftspeople and engineers in the Greek world, Alexandria, Arabia, India and China began making self-moving devices, flying bird models, animated machines, and automations like those described in myths. Some were miniature and some monumental, some had simple mechanisms but some were quite complex. These inventions were powered by springs, levers, pulleys, water, air, heat, and so on.

    Overall it’s an extremely interesting book of around three hundred pages. The book really impacts you and leaves you enlightened. Where, you might just be inclined to even change your mindset. But yes don’t rush through the book as it is a little complex in terms of old historical words and even geographies and names. You might even have to refer the glossary or even the dictionary a little too often. I would give the book eight out of ten.

Synopsis by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****

 

 

 

BOOK CORNER: “JAWS” by Peter Benchley

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.

    This book was written in the year 1974 by American writer Peter Benchley. It tells the story of a great white shark that preys upon a small resort town and the voyage and determination of three men trying to kill it. So it’s a superb adventure novel. The novel, emanates out of Benchley’s interest in shark attacks after he learned about the exploits of a shark fisherman Frank Mundus in 1964. Doubleday is the publisher of this book, who commissioned Benchley to write the novel in 1971, a period when he worked as a freelance journalist. The book was a great hit. It stayed in the bestseller list for 44 weeks. The novel was later adapted into an exciting movie, by film producers, Richard Zanuck and David Brown, at Universal Pictures.

    The story is set in Amity, a seaside resort town, on Long Island, New York. Before I enter the plot. Let me describe in brief, the main characters to you, because it’s a very fast moving story, where, one needs to be crystal clear about each character. There are eleven of them and their names and brief descriptions are as follows:

  1. Chrissie Watkins—she is the young lady tourist killed by the shark.
  2. Martin Brody—is the police chief of Long island.
  3. Larry Vaughan—is the mayor of the island.
  4. Harry Meadows—Editor of the local newspaper.
  5. Alex Kintner—a young boy killed by shark.
  6. Ben Gardner—Local fisherman.
  7. Leonard Hendricks—Deputy Police Chief.
  8. Matt Hooper—Marine Biologist and also the younger brother of David Hooper.
  9. Ellen—Brody’s wife.
  10. David Hooper—a man whom Ellen used to date earlier.
  11. Quint—a professional shark hunter.

    One night, a massive great white shark kills a young tourist named Chrissie Watkins while she skinny dips in the open waters. After finding the remains of her body washed up on the beach, the investigators realize she was attacked by a shark. Police chief Martin Brody orders closure of Amity beach. But the mayor Larry Vaughan and the town’s selectmen overrule him out of fear for damage to summer tourism, which happens to be the town’s main industry. So, with the connivance of Harry Meadows, the editor of the local newspaper, they hush up the attack.

    But a few days later, the shark kills a young boy named Alex Kintner and thereafter an old man not far from the shore. A local fisherman, Ben Gardner, is then sent by Amity’s authorities to kill the shark, but he too disappears in the water. Brody and his deputy Leonard Hendricks find Gardner’s boat anchored off-shore, empty but with large bite holes, one of which has a massive shark tooth stuck in it. Blaming himself for these deaths, Brody again tries to close the beaches, while Meadows this time investigates the Mayor’s business contacts, only to determine why he wants to keep the beaches open. Finally, Meadows, uncovers, the mayor’s links with the Mafia, who pressure Vaughan to keep the beaches open in order to protect the value of Amity’s real estate, in which the Mafia has invested a great deal of money. Meadows in the meanwhile recruits a marine biologist by the name of Matt Hooper from the Woods Hole Institute to advise them on how to deal with the shark.

    Meanwhile, Brody’s wife Ellen starts missing the affluent life she once had before marrying Brody and having children. She therefore starts a romantic relationship with Matt Hooper, the marine biologist who is also the younger brother of David Hooper, a man Ellen used to date earlier, and the two have a brief affair in a motel outside the town. Throughout the rest of the novel, Brody suspects Ellen and Matt to be having a relationship and is continuously haunted by these miserable thoughts.

    With the beaches still open, people pour into the town, hoping to glimpse the killer shark. Brody sets up patrols to track the fish. After a boy narrowly escapes another attack close to the shore. Brody this time closes the beaches and hires Quint, a professional shark hunter, to kill the shark. After which Brody, Quint and Hooper set out on Quint’s vessel, the name of which is Orca. But the trio are soon at odds with one another. Quint’s ways, anger Hooper, especially when he disembowels a blue shark, and then uses an illegally fished unborn baby dolphin for bait. All the while, Quint pokes fun at Hooper as a rich college boy when Hooper refuses to shoot at the beer cans with them. Brody and Hooper also argue, as Brody’s suspicion about Hooper’s possible affair with Ellen grows stronger; at one point, Brody unsuccessfully attempts to strangle Hooper.

    Their first two days at sea are unproductive, although they do come in contact with the shark by the end of the second day. Upon seeing it for the first time, Hooper estimates the animal to be at least twenty feet long. He is visibly excited and in awe at the size of it. Meanwhile Mayor Larry Vaughan arrives at Brody’s house before Brody returns home and informs Ellen that he and his wife are leaving Amity. But before he leaves, he tells Ellen that he always thought they would make a great couple. After he leaves, Ellen reflects that her life with Brody is much more fulfilling than any other life she might have had with Vaughan, and feels somewhat guilty for her prior thoughts of missing the life she had before marrying Brody.

    After seeing the size of the shark, on the third day Matt Hooper wants to bring along a shark-proof cage, to help take photos of it, and then to use it for killing it with a bang stick. Initially Quint refuses to bring the cage on board, even after Hooper’s offer of hundred dollars, considering it a suicidal idea, but he relents later after Hooper and Brody get into a big argument with him.

        Later that day, after several unsuccessful attempts by Quint to harpoon the shark, Hooper goes underwater and into the shark cage. Where, the shark attacks the cage, something Hooper did not expect it would do, and, after ramming the bars apart, kills and eats Hooper. In the meanwhile Brody informs Quint that the town can no longer afford to pay him to hunt the shark. But Quint no longer cares about the money and resolves to continue until he has killed it.

    When they return to sea the following day, the shark starts ramming the boat. Quint is able to harpoon it several times. The shark leaps out of the water and onto the stern of the Orca ripping a huge hole in the aft section of the boat thereby causing the boat to start sinking. Quint plunges another harpoon into the shark’s belly. With that it falls back into the water, but sadly Quint’s foot gets entangled in the rope of the harpoon, and he is dragged underwater to his death. Brody, now floating on a seat cushion, spots the shark swimming towards him and since he has no choice now he prepares for his death. However, just as the shark gets within a few feet of him, it succumbs to its many wounds, and rolls over in the water and dies before it can kill Brody. The deadly fish sinks down, and goes out of sight, dragging Quint’s still entangled body behind it. The lone survivor of the ordeal, Brody now paddles back to the shore on his makeshift float.

     It’s an excellent book both in terms of storyline, adventure, speed and even the narration. Where, the author has quite vividly described the action scenes in perfect vocabulary, which is not easy, on the contrary extremely painstaking. It leaves a spine chilling impact on you. You begin to hate sharks … at least for some time. I would give the book eight out of ten.

Synopsis by Kamlesh Tripathi

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