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

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Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

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

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

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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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JAMES JOYCE–why did Ireland refuse to accept his dead body.

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.

    James Joyce is a 20th-century writer. His full name was James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (life span: 2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish novelist, short story writer, poet, teacher, and a literary critic. He contributed to the modernist avant-garde, and is regarded as one of the most influential and important authors of the 20th century. Joyce is best known for Ulysses (written in 1922), a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer’s Odyssey are paralleled in a variety of literary styles, most famously stream of consciousness (a narrative mode). In literature Ulysses was also the hero of Homer’s Odyssey.

    Other well-known works of James Joyce are the short-story collection ‘Dubliners’ (1914), and the novels, ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’ (1916) and ‘Finnegans Wake’ (1939). His other writings include three books of poetry, a play, his published letters and occasional journalism. Apart from writing he also had an accomplished tenor and therefore could sing well.

EARLY LIFE

    He was born on 2 February 1882, in Dublin, Ireland. Joyce’s father was John Stanislaus Joyce and his mother was Mary Jane “May” Murray. He was the eldest of ten surviving siblings; two died of typhoid. James was baptised according to the rites of the Catholic Church.

     In 1887, his father was appointed rate collector by Dublin Corporation. The family subsequently moved to the fashionable adjacent small town of Bray, 12 miles from Dublin. Around this time Joyce was attacked by a dog, leading to his lifelong cynophobia (fear of dogs). He also suffered from astraphobia (fear of thunder and lightning).

EDUCATION

    Joyce had begun his education at Clongowes Wood College, a Jesuit boarding school near Clane, County Kildare, Ireland, in 1888, but had to leave it, in 1892, when his father could no longer pay the fee. Joyce then studied at home and briefly at the Christian Brothers O’Çonnel School, on North Richmond Street, in Dublin, before he was offered a place in the Jesuits’ Dublin school, Belvedere College, in 1893.

    Joyce later enrolled at the established University College Dublin (UCD) in 1898, studying English, French and Italian. He became active in theatrical and literary circles in the city. Joyce wrote a number of articles and at least two plays (since lost) during this period. Many of the friends he made at University College Dublin appeared as characters in Joyce’s works. Joyce was first introduced to the Irish public by Arthur Griffith in his newspaper, United Irishman, in November 1901. Joyce had written an article on the Irish Literary Theatre and his college magazine refused to print it. Joyce had it printed himself and distributed it locally. In 1901, the National Census of Ireland listed James Joyce (19) as an English- and Irish-speaking scholar living with his mother and father, six sisters and three brothers at Royal Terrace (now Inverness Road), Clontarf, Dublin.

PERSONAL HABITS: A lot has been spoken about his drinking habit. His father John Joyce too, was into, heavy drinking and even lost his job because of that and the habit was imbibed by his son James Joyce. James occasionally even got into brawls because of his drinking habit. He also had a very restless life.

HIS RESTLESS EARLY LIFE

    After graduating from University College Dublin in 1902, Joyce left for Paris to study medicine, but he soon abandoned it. This may have been because he found the technical lectures in French too difficult. Joyce had earlier failed to pass chemistry in his own English language in Dublin. But Joyce claimed ill health as the problem and wrote home that he was unwell and complained about the cold weather. He stayed on for a few months, appealing for finance which his family could ill-afford. His mother was diagnosed of cancer, when his father sent him a telegram that read, “NOTHER DYING COME HOME FATHER”. (Nother—a non-standard spelling for another) Joyce returned to Ireland. Fearing for her son’s impiety, his mother tried unsuccessfully to get Joyce to make his confession and to take communion. She finally passed into a coma and died. James and his brother Stanislaus refused to kneel with other members of the family praying by her bedside. After her death he continued to drink heavily, as a consequence conditions at home grew quite appalling. He scraped together a living by reviewing books, teaching, and singing.

ABOUT HIS WRITING

        In 1904, while in his early twenties, Joyce emigrated to continental Europe with his partner (and later wife) Nora Barnacle. They lived in Trieste—Italy, Paris, and Zurich. Although most of his adult life was spent abroad, Joyce’s fictional universe centres on Dublin and is populated largely by characters who closely resemble family members, enemies and friends from his time there. Ulysses in particular is set with precision in the streets and alleyways of the city.

    In 1891 Joyce wrote a poem on the death of Charles Stewart Parnell. His father was angry at the treatment of Parnell by the Catholic Church. The elder Joyce had the poem printed and even sent a part to the Vatican Library.

    On 7 January 1904, Joyce attempted to publish ‘A Portrait of the Artist’ an essay-story dealing with aesthetics, only to have it rejected by the free-thinking magazine Dana. He decided, on his twenty-second birthday, to revise the story into a novel he called Stephen Hero. It was a fictional rendering of Joyce’s youth, but he eventually grew frustrated with its direction and abandoned this work. It was never published in this form, but years later, in Trieste, Joyce completely rewrote it, as ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.’ The unfinished Stephen Hero was published after his death.

    In 1904, he met Nora Barnacle, a young woman from Galway city, Ireland, who was working as a chambermaid. On 16 June 1904 they had their first outing together, they walked to the Dublin suburb of Ringsend, where Nora masturbated him sexually. This event was commemorated by providing the date for the action of Ulysses (as “Bloomsday”).

    Joyce and Nora went into self-imposed exile, moving first to Zürich in Switzerland, where he ostensibly taught English at the Berlitz Language School. Later he was sent to Trieste, which was then part of Austria-Hungary (until the First World War), and is today part of Italy. He later taught in Pola, part of Croatia today. He stayed there, teaching English mainly to Austro-Hungarian naval officers stationed at the Pola base, from October 1904 until March 1905. Later he moved back to Trieste and began teaching English there. He remained in Trieste for the next ten years.

    Later that year Nora gave birth to their first child, George (known as Giorgio). Joyce persuaded his brother, Stanislaus, to join him in Trieste, and secured a teaching position for him at the school. Joyce sought to augment his family’s meagre income with his brother’s earnings. Stanislaus and Joyce had strained relations while they lived together in Trieste, arguing about Joyce’s drinking habits and frivolity with money.

    Joyce became frustrated with life in Trieste and moved to Rome in late 1906, taking employment as a clerk in a bank. But he disliked Rome and returned to Trieste in early 1907. So it was either Trieste or Dublin for him. His daughter Lucia was born later that year.

    Joyce returned to Dublin in mid-1909 with George his son, to visit his father and work on getting Dubliners published. While preparing to return to Trieste he decided to take one of his sisters, Eva, back with him to help Nora run the home. He spent a month in Trieste before returning to Dublin, this time as a representative of some cinema owners and businessmen from Trieste. With their backing he launched Ireland’s first cinema, the Volta Cinematography, which was well-received, but fell apart after Joyce left. He returned to Trieste in January 1910 with another sister, Eileen, in tow. For Eva had become homesick for Dublin and returned a few years later, but Eileen spent the rest of her life on the continent.

    Joyce returned to Dublin again briefly in mid-1912 for publishing his book ‘Dubliners’ but landed into a disagreement with his Dublin publisher. His trip was fruitless and upon his return he wrote a poem “Gas from a Burner’ as an invective, against publisher Roberts. After this trip, he never again came closer to Dublin than London, despite many pleas from his father and invitations from his fellow Irish writer, William Butler Yeats.

    One of his students in Trieste, Ettore Smith Ettore Schmitz, better known by the pseudonym Italo Svevo. They met in 1907 and became lasting friends and mutual critics. Schmitz was a Catholic of Jewish origin and became a primary model for Leopold Bloom; (the fictional protagonist and hero of James Joyce’s Ulysses) most of the details about the Jewish faith in Ulysses came from Schmitz’s responses to queries from Joyce. While living in Trieste, Joyce was first beset with eye problems that ultimately required over a dozen surgical operations.

    Joyce concocted a number of money-making schemes during this period, including an attempt to become a cinema magnate in Dublin. In 1915, after most of his students in Trieste were con-scripted to fight in the First World War, Joyce moved to Zürich.  Joyce set himself to finishing Ulysses in Paris, delighted to find that he was gradually gaining fame as an avant-garde writer. A further grant from a well-wisher meant he could devote himself full-time into writing again, as well as consort with other literary figures in the city. During this time, Joyce’s eyes began to give him more and more problems and he often wore an eye-patch. He was treated in Paris, undergoing nine operations before his surgeon’s death in 1929. Throughout the 1930s he travelled frequently to Switzerland for eye surgeries and for treatments for his daughter Lucia, who, according to the Joyces, suffered from schizophrenia. Lucia was analysed by Carl Jung a Swiss Psychiatrist at the time, who after reading U-lysses, is said to have concluded that her father too had schizophrenia. Jung said that she and her father were two people heading to the bottom of a river, except that Joyce was diving and Lucia was sinking.

    In Paris, two litterateurs or say activists nursed Joyce during his long years of writing ‘Finnegans Wake.’ Had it not been for their support this book probably would not have seen the light of the day.

JOYCE AND RELIGION

    The issue of Joyce’s relationship with religion is somewhat controversial. Early in life, he gave up on Catholicism. He expressed—My mind rejects the whole present social order and Christianity. Six years ago I left the Catholic church, hating it most fervently. I found it impossible for me to remain in it on account of the impulses of my nature. I made secret war upon it when I was a student and declined to accept the positions it offered me. By doing this I made myself a beggar but I retained my pride. Now I make open war upon it by what I write and say and do.

    When the arrangements for Joyce’s burial were being made, a Catholic priest offered a religious service, which Joyce’s wife, Nora, declined, saying, “I couldn’t do that to him.”

    Some novelist and historians have argued that Joyce, later in life, reconciled with the faith he rejected earlier and that his parting with the faith was succeeded, by a not so obvious reunion, and that Ulysses and Finnegans Wake are essentially Catholic expressions. Likewise, Hugh Kenner and T.S. Eliot believed they saw between the lines of Joyce’s work the outlook of a serious Christian and that beneath the veneer of the work lies a remnant of a Catholic belief and attitude. Kevin Sullivan maintains that, rather than reconciling with the faith, Joyce never left it. 

DEATH

    On 11 January 1941, Joyce underwent a surgery in Zürich for a perforated duodenal ulcer. He fell into a coma the following day. He awoke at 2 a.m. on 13 January 1941, and asked a nurse to call his wife and son, before losing consciousness again. They were en route when he died 15 minutes later. Joyce was less than a month short of his 59th birthday. His body was buried in the Fluntern Cemetery, Zürich.   Although two senior Irish diplomats were in Switzerland at the time of his death, neither attended Joyce’s funeral, and the Irish government later declined Nora’s offer to permit the repatriation of Joyce’s remains.

    When Joseph Walshe secretary at the Department of External Affairs in Dublin was informed of Joyce’s death he remarked—‘If possible find out did he die a Catholic? Express sympathy with Mrs Joyce and explain inability to attend funeral.’ Buried originally in an ordinary grave, Joyce was moved in 1966 to a more prominent “honour grave,” with a seated portrait statue by American artist Milton Hebald nearby. Nora, whom he had married in 1931, survived him by 10 years. She is buried by his side, as is, their son Giorgio, who died in 1976.

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

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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: LESSON FROM LORD SHIVA

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    In Mahabharata, before the great battle, Arjuna went to the mountains for secret weapons that would help him win the battle. On the way he saw a deer and shot it dead for food. Simultaneously, a stranger also shot it and came to claim the deer. Arrogant Arjuna became arrogant and did not allow the stranger to touch it without a fight. But very soon, to his surprise, the unknown person set aside his quiver and all his arrows. Disarmed and ashamed, the greatest archer started praying to God with all humility for help. Suddenly he found that his adversary was no one else but Lord Shiva himself in disguise who came to advise him not to take the great venture without divine intervention. The power of the creator must be sought for winning the unknown.

    In the spiritual field, we generally behave like Arjuna and want to win all our battles all by ourselves with our limited intellect and big ego. Remember, the rich storehouse of hidden potential within us is only opened unto us when we are humble, devoid of ego and possessed by a total sense of surrender to God.

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)

*****

 

 

 

INTERESTING FACTS FIGURES AND QUOTES, EPISODE 31

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

There is a tendency in India if something is good, mix some kind of politics in it and destroy it. After all politics is the will of the people.

Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble.‘ is one of the most famous lines in English literature. These lines are spoken in unison by three witches who predict Macbeth’s future throughout the play. These lines show how what the witches say can have double meanings and can be contradictory.

Non-violence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article of my creed—Mahatma Gandhi.

A country has a trade-deficit when it imports more than it exports. Trump thinks of it as as something bad which it is not. I run a trade deficit with my domestic help and my local grocery store. I buy more from them then they do from me.

The greater misfortune is that the Englishmen and their Indian associates in the administration of the country do not know that they are engaged in a crime I have attempted to describe—Mahatma Gandhi in his oral statement on March 18, 1922.

That quintessential American product, the I-Phone, uses parts from 43 countries. As local products rise in price because of expensive foreign parts, price rise, demand goes down, jobs are lost and everyone is worse off.

According to a German philosopher, we are what we eat, as what we eat makes up not just our bodies but also shapes our tastes, inclinations and personality in general.

‘Don’t let the fox guard the hen house’ means don’t assign the duty of protecting or controlling valuable information or resources to someone who is likely to exploit that opportunity.

The proverb ‘fence eating the crop’ comes from a skepticism of those who break laws they are supposed to uphold.

When you are finished changing, you are finished—Benjamin Franklin.

The Kingdom of Nepal stands out today as the only Hindu Kingdom in the world whose independence is recognised by England, France, Italy and other great powers—Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, 1937.

One cannot believe that Indians are in any way inferior to the Japanese in intellectual capacity. The most effective difference between these two eastern peoples is that whereas India lies at the mercy of the British, Japan has been spared the shadow of domination—Rabindranath Tagore, 1941.

All brands of people are arrayed on Congress Platform. If there can be a magic box which contains a Cobra and a mongoose living together, it is Congress—Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya.

Britishers were a representative of the West, ruled this country for over a century and, during this period adopted such measures whereby in the minds of our people, a contempt for things Bharatiya and respect for everything Western were subtly created.—Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, 1965.

Mother Teresa believed that abortion is the highest form of evil, as it is the killing of a life that has already been conceived.

It is less important, I believe, where you start. It is more important how and what you learn. If the learning is high, the development gradient is steep, and, given time, you can find yourself in a previously unattainable place. I believe the Infosys story is living proof of this—Narayana Murthy.

Sometimes when you have a goal in front of you it is easy to focus. Cyclists have pelotons who give them that focus as to what they should achieve in short bursts—Viswanathan Anand.

China and India have two of the world’s four largest militaries.

The Folger Shakespeare Library is an independent research library on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., in the United States. It has the world’s largest collection of the printed works of William Shakespeare, and is a primary repository for rare materials from the early modern period (1500–1750). The library was established by Henry Clay Folger in association with his wife, Emily Jordan Folger. It opened in 1932, two years after his death.

From Alexander onwards, the Greeks, the Turks, the Moguls, the Portuguese, the British, the French, the Dutch, all of them came and looted us, took over what was ours. Yet we have not done this to any other nation. We have not conquered anyone. We have not grabbed their land, their culture, their history and tried to enforce our way of life on them. Why? Because we respect the freedom of others—APJ Abdul Kalam.

No matter how many people support you and help you, when you perform, you are alone—Abhinav Bindra.

I may never be perfect. That’s okay. But I can always be better than I was yesterday—Abinav Bindra.

India imports 90% oil, 100% gold and 100% copper.

There is an old racist saying ‘once you go black you can’t go back’ (a Google search will reveal its meaning).

What makes PM2.5 particles extremely dangerous is their cancerous ability to penetrate human body and stick onto to the insides of the lungs. According to a recent study conducted by IIT Kanpur the mix sources responsible for PM2.5 changes seasonally in the region. In winters vehicular emissions account for 25% of PM2.5; 30% is accounted for by sulphur and nitrogen oxide emissions from vehicles, industry and power generation facilities; 26% comes from burning of wood, cow dung, and agricultural waste for cooking and heating; 8% comes from burning of garbage; 5% from the burning of coal and fly ash; 4% from agricultural and road dust; and 2% from construction dust.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

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: THE DOGS OF WAR BY FREDERICK FORSYTH

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.

    The Dogs of War (1974) is a war novel by Frederick Forsyth featuring a small group of European mercenary soldiers hired by a British industrialist to depose the government of the fictional African country of Zangaro.

    An eponymous film was also released in 1980, based on the novel directed by John Irvin. The movie was filmed in Belize in Central America.

    The story details a geologist’s mineral discovery, followed by preparations for the attack that entails: soldier recruitment, training, reconnaissance, and the logistics of the coup d’état. Like most of Forsyth’s work, the novel is more about the protagonists’ art of espionage occupational tradecraft than their characters. The source of the title, The Dogs of War, is Act III, scene 1, line 270 of Julius Caesar (1599), by William Shakespeare: Cry, ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war.

    The mercenary protagonists are professional killers—ruthless, violent men, heroic only in the loosest sense of the word. Thus, they are anti-heroes. Initially introduced as simply killers, as the novel progresses they are gradually shown to adhere to a relatively moral mercenary code; however as the mercenary leader Shannon tries to explain at one point, it is difficult for civilians to understand this. I’ve divided the narration into three parts.

Part 1: The Crystal Mountain: Year 1970: The prologue shows “Cat” Shannon and his fellow mercenaries leaving a West African war they have lost, saying their goodbyes to the General, who employed them for six months.

    A few weeks later, a prospector employed by British based company, ‘Man-son Consolidated’ sends mineral samples, acquired from the “Crystal Mountain” in the remote hinterland of the African republic of Zangaro, to headquarters. When they are analysed, ruthless British mining tycoon Sir James Manson realises that there is a huge platinum deposit in Zangaro. The president of Zangaro, Jean Kimba, is a Marxist, homicidal, insane, and under Soviet influence, so any public announcement of the findings would benefit only the Russians. Confiding only in his top assistants, security chief Simon Endean, financial expert Martin Thorpe and Manson himself, they plan to depose Kimba and install a puppet leader who, for a pittance, will sign over Zangaro’s mining rights to a shell company secretly owned by Manson. When Manson Consolidated eventually acquires the shell company for a fair market price, Sir James Manson and his aides pocket £60 million.

    On the recommendation of a freelance writer (a thinly-veiled allusion to Forsyth himself), Endean hires Anglo Irish mercenary soldier “Cat” Shannon to reconnoitre Zangaro, and to investigate how Kimba might be deposed. After visiting the country posing as a tourist, Shannon reports that the army has little fighting value and that Kimba has concentrated the national armoury, treasury and radio station within the presidential palace in Clarence, the Zangaran capital city and principal port. If the palace is stormed and Kimba killed, there will be no opposition to any new regime. Because there is no organised dissident faction in Zangaro, the attacking force will have to be assembled outside the country and land near Clarence to launch the attack. Shannon prices the mission at £100,000, with £10,000 for himself. Although Shannon has dealt only with Endean who is using a false name, he has had Endean tailed by a private investigator and has discovered his true identity and his involvement with Sir James Manson.

    Although Manson has taken steps to silence the few people aware of the Crystal Mountain platinum deposit, the chemist who analysed the samples has inadvertently revealed his findings to the Soviets, who assign a KGB bodyguard to Kimba while they prepare to send in their own geological survey team. Manson learns from a Foreign Office bureaucrat that the Soviets have got wind of the deposit. He commissions Shannon to organise and mount the coup, to take place on the eve of Zangaro’s Independence Day, one hundred days hence, although he does not tell Shannon of the Soviet involvement.

Part 2: The Hundred Days

Shannon reassembles his old team to execute the attack on Kimba’s palace that includes: German ex-smuggler Kurt Semmler, South African mortar expert Janni Dupree, Belgian bazooka specialist “Tiny” Marc Vlaminck, and Corsican knife-fighter Jean-Baptiste Langarotti. Semmler travels Europe looking for a suitable cargo ship to transport them and their equipment to Zangaro. Dupree remains in London to buy all their uniforms, boots, haversacks and sleeping bags. Langarotti travels to Marseilles to acquire inflatable boats for the amphibious assault. Vlaminck accompanies Shannon to Belgium to obtain one hundred ‘Schmeisser’   submachine guns from a former member of the SS, then remains in Belgium to prepare them to be smuggled out in oil drums. Shannon then travels to Luxembourg to establish a holding company to handle the purchase of the ship, to Spain to buy walkie-talkies, foghorns, flares, and 400,000 rounds of 9mm ammunition for the Schmeissers with a forged end user certificate, and to Yugoslavia to buy bazookas, mortars, and ammunition for them.

    Shannon also finds time for a brief sexual liaison with Julie Manson, Sir James Man-son’s daughter, from whom he learns the bare essentials of Manson’s true plans. Simultaneously, Charles Roux, one of Shannon’s rivals, tries to have Shannon killed since he is frustrated that Endean did not approach him for the contract despite the freelance writer recommending him. Upon this, Langarotti tips Shannon off and they lure the assassin hired by Roux into a trap, sending his severed head to Roux to permanently silence him.

    Martin Thorpe has in the meanwhile secretly purchased the controlling share in Bormac Trading, a mining and plantation-owning company which has long ceased trading, from Lady MacAllister, the ailing widow of the company’s founder. His and Manson’s involvement is concealed behind the names of several fictitious shareholders. Endean has simultaneously obtained the agreement of Colonel Antoine Bobi, a former commander of the Zangaran Army who fell out with Kimba and is now in exile, to participate in Man-son’s scheme. Once installed as president, the venal and illiterate Bobi will sign over the mineral rights of the Crystal Mountain to Bormac Trading for a nominal price but a large bribe for himself.

    The mercenaries get underway after Semmler acquires a nondescript cargo ship Toscana, for the operation. Hidden in oil drums, the Schmeissers are smuggled across the Belgian border into France and loaded aboard the Toscana at Marseilles, along with the uniforms and inflatable boats, marked supposedly for watersports in Morocco. They then sail to Ploce in Yugoslavia to load the mortars and rocket launchers purchased legitimately from an arms dealer, without telling the Yugoslavian authorities that they already have arms aboard. These weapons are then concealed below the deck and the ship sails to Castellon in Spain to collect the ammunition (supposedly sold to the Iraqi police force). The ship then travels to Freetown in Sierra Leone to pick up six African mercenaries, disguised as casual stevedores, who will also participate in the attack, and Dr Okoye, an African academic.

Part 3: The Killing Spree

    The attack on President Kimba’s palace takes place as planned. In the early hours of the morning, the mercenaries land on the shores of Zangaro and set up foghorns and flares to disorient the defenders and light their way through the attack. Dupree and two of the African mercenaries begin the assault by using mortars to bombard both a nearby army camp and the interior of the palace compound, thereby eliminating the palace guard, while Vlaminck destroys the compound gates with anti-tank rockets. As the bombardment ceases, Semmler, Shannon, Langarotti and the other four African mercenaries storm the palace, with Semmler shooting Kimba as he tries to escape through his bedroom window. Kimba’s KGB bodyguard escapes the firefight and shoots Vlaminck in the chest, but Vlaminck retaliates, killing him with his last bazooka rocket as he dies. Following the bombardment, Dupree and his two African mercenaries attack the nearby army camp. A Zangaran soldier throws a grenade at them as he flees and one of the African mercenaries throws it back, but it falls short and Dupree, deafened by the gunfire and shelling, fails to hear the warnings and is accidentally killed in the blast.

    Around midday, Endean arrives in Clarence to install Colonel Bobi as the new Zangaran president. He has his own bodyguard, a former East End gang enforcer. When Endean and Bobi arrive at the palace, Shannon lures Bobi into a room where a shot is heard; just as Endean realizes that Shannon has killed Bobi, Shannon then shoots Endean’s bodyguard as the enforcer, tries to draw his gun, and casually introduces Dr. Okoye as the new head of the government. At Shannon’s request, the Soviet geological survey team’s request to land in Zangaro is permanently refused.

Now we come to the aftermath

    As Shannon drives Endean to the border, he explains that Endean’s otherwise comprehensive research failed to note the 20,000 immigrant workers who did most of the work in Zangaro, but were politically dis-en-franchised by the Kimba government. A hundred of them, in new uniforms and armed with Schmeissers, have already been recruited as the nucleus of the new Zangaran Army.

    When Shannon tells Endean that the coup was really conducted on behalf of a Nigerian General, Endean is furious but Shannon points out that this government will at least be fair, and if Manson wants the platinum, he will have to pay the proper market price. Endean threatens revenge if he ever sees the mercenary in London, but Shannon is unperturbed with the warning.

    In the novel’s epilogue, it is revealed that Dupree and Vlaminck were buried in simple unmarked graves near the shore. Semmler, later sold the Toscana to its captain, and died while on another mercenary operation in Africa. Langarotti’s fate, is ambiguous; the novel tells only that after he took his pay, he was last heard of going to train a new group of Hutu partisans in Burundi against Michel Micombero, telling Shannon “It’s not really the money. It was never for the money.”

    The epilogue reveals that before embarking on the Zangaro operation, Shannon was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer (skin cancer in some American editions) with only a year to six months to live. Three months after the coup, he posts the remainder of his earnings to the surviving family members of his fallen teammates, and also sends a manuscript (presumably outlining the entire plan) to a journalist in London (presumably the aforementioned freelance writer). Lastly, Shannon walks into the African bush, whistling a favourite tune (“a Spanish Harlem”), to end his life on his own terms with “a gun in his hand, blood in his mouth, and a bullet in his chest”.

    Although each work by Forsyth stands individually, there are certain similarities which may be described as his stylistic formula for success: There is always an efficient hero who is at odds with the establishment; a historical backdrop frequently places the hero in contact with known public figures in known historical situations; intricate detail is offered, lending authenticity to the work; and ingenious plots, which resemble large jigsaw puzzles of seemingly disconnected actions or events, are developed. Other writers use one or more parts of the formula, but it is these four facets that, when used collectively, distinguish a Forsyth work.

My take eight out of ten.

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)

*****

 

 

 

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

*

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

*

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)

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