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INTERESTING FACTS: WHERE IS GANGARIDAI?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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INTERESTING FACTS: NORTH EAST-THE DIMASA aka KACHARI KINGDOM

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Ruins of Dimasa Palace

    The Dimasa aka Kachari Kingdom also known as Kachari Hidimbā and Timisa kingdom was a major, late medieval, or an early modern kingdom in Assam—Northeast India, ruled by Dimasa kings, called Timisa in the Ahom Buranjis (the Ahom texts).

    The Dimasa kingdom and others (Kamata, Chutiya—kingdoms) that developed in the wake of the Kamarupa kingdom were examples of new states that emerged from indigenous communities in Medieval Assam, and that transformed these communities. The British finally annexed the kingdom: The plains in 1832 and the hills in 1834. This kingdom gave its name to undivided Cachar district of colonial Assam. Assam was a province of British India, created in 1912 by the partition of Eastern Bengal and Assam. Its capital was in Shillong. The Assam territory was first separated from Bengal in 1874 as the ‘North-East Frontier’ non-regulation province. It was incorporated into the new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam in 1905 and re-established as a province in 1912.

    After independence the undivided Cachar district was split into three districts, in Assam: Cachar, Dima Hasao and Hailakandi district, formerly North Cachar Hills, Cachar district, Hailakandi district. The Dimasa kingdom finds mention in Chinese chronicles. The Undivided Cachar district is congruous, to Govinda Chandra’s, the last king of the Kachari kingdom, a domain in the southern part of Assam.

    In the 18th century, a divine Hindu origin was constructed for the rulers of the Kachari kingdom and it was named Hidimba, and the kings as Hidimbesvar. The name Hiḍimba continued to be used in the official records when the East India Company took over the administration of Cachar.

    The origin of the Dimasa Kingdom is not clear. According to tradition the Dimasa had their domain in Kamarupa and their kings belonged to a lineage called Ha-tsung-tsa or Ha-cheng-sa, a name first mentioned in a coin from 1520. Some of them had to leave due to a political turmoil and while crossing the Brahmaputra some of them were swept away. Therefore, they are called Dimasa (son of the big river). The similarity in Dimasa traditions and religious beliefs with those of the Chutiya Kingdom a late medieval state that developed around Sadiya a town in Tinsukiya district of Assam, and adjoining areas in Arunachal Pradesh, supports this tradition of initial unity and then divergence. Linguistic studies too point to a close association between the Dimasa language and the Moran language that was alive till the beginning of the 20th-century, suggesting that the Dimasa kingdom had an eastern Assam presence before the advent of the Ahoms. The Dimasas had a tradition of worshipping Kechai Khaiti, the war goddess, common among all Bodo-Kachari people such as the Rabhas, Tiwas, Koch, Chutias, etc. According to an account in a Buranji, the first Ahom king Sukaphaa (1228–1268) encountered a Kachari group in the Tirap region (currently in Arunachal Pradesh), who informed him that, they along with their chief had to leave a place called Mohung (salt springs) losing it to the Nagas and that they were settled near the Dikhou river. This supports a tradition that the eastern boundary of the Kachari domain extended up to Mohong or Namchang (near Jeypore, Assam) beyond the river Dichang, before the arrival of Ahoms.

    It is perceived that the Chinese Ming dynasty had political interactions with the Dimasa Kingdom, which canonized it, as a tusi in 1406 named, “Di-ma-sa Pacification Superintendency.”

   According to a legend, Hachengsa or Hasengcha was an extraordinary boy brought up by a tiger and a tigress in a forest near Dimapur who replaced the existing king following some divine oracles, which indicates the emergence of a strong military leader able to consolidate power. Subsequently, the Hasengcha Sengfang (clan) emerged, beginning with Khorapha (1520 in Dimapur), the Dimasa kings continued to draw lineage from Hachengcha in Maibong and Khaspur till the 19th century. This legend of the origin of Hachengcha is recorded in an unpublished manuscript written by the late Rajkumar Janmejoy Barman, a member of the royal clan of the Dimasas.

    By the 13th century, the Kachari kingdom extended along the southern banks of Brahmaputra River, from Dikhow River to Kallang River and included the valley of Dhansiri and present-day Dima Hasao district. Dimapur was built by Raja Chakradhvaj after being driven from Ghergaon (present-day Dergaon) in Jorhat district. According to the Buranjis who called the kings Khun Timisa, the Kachari settlements to the east of Dikhou withdrew before the Ahom advance. The Chutiya Kingdom existed in the Northeast, and the Kamata Kingdom and the Baro-Bhuyans, to its west.

    In Dimapur, the remains of the Kachari city are still evident. The locals around Dimapur refer to the remains as the “Chess Pieces” of Dima Raja or the King of Dimasa. Only a few ancient temples and that too, only in upper Assam, were then built of masonry, whereas, the remains at Dimapur, for instance, which flourished, centuries before the Ahoms arrived, show us that Kacharis knew, all about the art of brick making and permanent buildings.”

    The Ahoms settled in the track between the Chutiya and the Kachari Kingdoms that was inhabited by the Borahi and Moran people. The first clash with the Ahom Kingdom took place in 1490, in which the Ahoms were defeated. The Ahoms pursued peace, an Ahom princess was offered to the Kachari king, and the Kachari took control of the land beyond Dhansiri. But in the meanwhile the Ahoms were getting powerful and they pushed the Kacharis back, west. In 1526 the Kacharis defeated the Ahoms in a battle, but in the same year, they were defeated in a second battle. In 1531 the Ahoms advanced up to Dimapur, the capital. The Dimasas in accordance to their animistic faith believed cows (Mushu) to be “Gushu” (impure). This belief is still held by the Dimasas. When the Ahom army attacked the Kachari army, they took the cover of cows. The king of the Kachari Kingdom along with his mother and many royals were murdered after the Ahoms reached the city. The Ahoms later installed Detsung as the king of the Kachari Kingdom with yearly taxes of 20 Elephant and 1 lakhs of rupees (mudras). But in 1536 the Ahoms attacked the Kachari capital once again and ransacked the city. The Dimasa abandoned Dimapur and retreated south to set up their new capital in Maibang. “Mai” means “Paddy” and “bang” means “Plenty or abundance”.

    At Maibang, the Dimasa Kachari kings came under Hindu influence. The son of Detsung took a Hindu name Nirbhay Narayan, and established his Brahmin guru as the Dharmadhi that became an important institution of the state. The titular deity of the Dimasas changed from Kechai Khaiti to Ranachandi in the 16th-century as a result of Hinduisation. The royal family came under Hindu influence at Maibang, though the first conversion of a Kachari king to Hinduism is recorded in Khaspur, much later. According to a legend coined at that time, the royal family descends from the famous Ghatotkacha, the son of Bhima of the Mahabharata fame, and Hidambi, a princess of the Kachari people.

    Chilarai the younger brother of Nara Narayan, the king of the Kamata Kingdom in the 16th century, attacked the kingdom on or after 1564, during the reign of either Durlabh Narayan or his predecessor, and made it into a tributary of the Koch Kingdom. Where, the size of the annual tribute was— seventy thousand rupees, one thousand gold mohurs and sixty elephants, and that testifies to the resourcefulness of the Kachari state.

    A conflict with the Jaintia Kingdom over the region of Dimarua led to a battle and the defeat of the Jaintia king (Dhan Manik). After the death of Dhan Manik, Satrudaman the Dimasa Kachari king, installed Jasa Manik on the throne who manipulated events to bring the Dimasa Kacharis into conflict with the Ahoms once again in 1618. Satrudaman, the most powerful Dimasa Kachari king, ruled over Dimarua in Nagaon district long before it was ruled by Tiwa tribal chief Jongal Balahu, which included, North Cachar, Dhansiri valley, plains of Cachar and parts of eastern Sylhet. After his conquest of Sylhet, he struck coins in his name.

    By the reign of Birdarpan Narayan (around 1644), the Kachari rule had withdrawn completely from the Dhansiri valley and it had reverted to a jungle forming a barrier between their kingdom and the Ahom Kingdom. When a successor king, Tamradhwaj, declared independence, the Ahom king invaded Maibong and destroyed its forts in 1706 and the king had to take refuge in Khaspur.

    Kacharis had three ruling clans (semfongs): Bodosa (an old historical clan), Thaosengsa (the clan to which the kings belonged to), and Hasyungsa (to which the kings relatives belonged).

    The king at Maibang was assisted in his state duties by a council of ministers (Patra and Bhandari), led by a chief called Barbhandari. These and other state offices were manned by people of the Dimasa group, who were not necessarily Hinduized. There were about 40 clans called Sengphong of the Dimasa people, each of which sent a representative to the royal assembly called Mel, a powerful institution that could elect a king. The representatives sat in the Mel mandap (Council Hall) according to the status of the Sengphong that provided a counterfoil to royal powers.

    Over time, the Sengphongs developed a hierarchical structure with five royal Sengphongs though most of the kings belonged to the Hacengha (Hasnusa) clan. Some of the clans provided specialized services to the state ministers, ambassadors, storekeepers, court writers, and other bureaucrats and ultimately developed into professional groups, e.g. Songyasa (king’s cooks), Nablaisa (fishermen).

    By the 17th century, the Dimasa Kachari rule extended into the plains of Cachar. The plains people did not participate in the courts of the Dimasa Kachari king directly. They were organized according to khels, and the king provided justice and collected revenue via an official called the Uzir. Though the plains people did not participate in the Dimasa Kachari royal court, the Dharmadhi guru and other Brahmins in the court cast a considerable influence, especially with the beginning of the 18th century.

    The region of Khaspur, was originally, a part of the Tripura Kingdom, which was taken over by Koch (Koch dynasty of North East) king Chilarai in the 16th century. The region was ruled by a tributary ruler, Kamalnarayana, the brother of king Chilarai. Around 18th century Bhima Singha, the last Koch ruler of Khaspur, didn’t have any male heir. His daughter, Kanchani, married Laxmichandra, the Dimasa prince of Maibong kingdom. Once the last Koch king Bhima Singha died the Dimasas migrated to Khaspur, thus merging the two kingdoms into one. Kachari kingdom under the king Gopichandranarayan, and the control of the Khaspur kingdom, went to the ruler of the Maibong kingdom, as inheritance from the royal marriage and established their capital in Khaspur, near present-day Silchar. The independent rule of the Khaspur’s Koch rulers ended in 1745 when it merged with the Kachari kingdom. Khaspur is a corrupted form of the word Kochpur. Gopichandranarayan (reigning1745-1757), Harichandra (reigning1757-1772) and Laxmichandra (reigning1772-1773) were brothers and ruled the kingdom in succession.

    Connect with Hindu Mythology

    The widely believed legend that was constructed by the Hindu Brahmins at Khaspur goes as follows: In Mahabharat during their exile, the Pandavas came to the Kachari Kingdom where Bhima fell in love with Hidimbi (sister of Hidimba). Bhima married princess Hidimbi according to the Gandharva system and a son was born to princess Hidimbi, named Ghatotkacha. He ruled the Kachari Kingdom for many decades. Thereafter, kings of his lineage ruled over the vast land of the “Dilao” river (which translates to “long river” in English), now known as Brahmaputra River for centuries until 4th century AD. It is believed that Kacharies participated in the Mahabharat war too.

    British occupation

    The Dimasa Kachari kingdom came under Burmese occupation in the late early 19th-century along with the Ahom Kingdom. The last king, Govinda Chandra Hasnu, was restored by the British after the Yandabo Treaty in 1826, but he was unable to subjugate Tularam Senapati who ruled the hilly regions. Senapati Tularam Hasnusa’s domain was Mahur River and the Naga Hills in the south, the Doyang river on the west, the Dhansiri River on the east and Jamuna and Doyang in the north. In 1830, Govinda Chandra Hasnu died. In 1832, Senapoti Tularam Hasnu was pensioned off and his region was annexed by the British to ultimately become the North Cachar district. In 1833, Govinda Chandra’s domain was also annexed to become the Cachar district.

    In the early nineteenth century, after being dislodged from Meitrabak (present-day Manipur), its princes made Cachar a springboard for the reconquest of the territory. In 1819, the three brothers occupied Cachar and drove Govinda Chandra Hasnu out to Sylhet (now in Bangladesh). The kingdom of Cachar, divided between Govinda Chandra Hasnu and Chaurajit in 1818, was repartitioned after the flight of Govind Chandra among the three Meitrabak princes. Chaurajit got the eastern portion of Cachar bordering Meitrabak which was ruled from Sonai. Gambhir Singh was given the land west of Tillain hill and his headquarters was at Gumrah, Marjit Singh ruled Hailakandi from Jhapirbond. The British annexed the Dimasa Kachari Kingdom under the doctrine of lapse. At the time of British annexation, the kingdom consisted of parts of Nagaon and Karbi Anglong; North Cachar (Dima Hasao), Cachar and the Jiri frontier of Manipur.

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)  

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; Available for reading in Indian National Bibliography, March 2016, in the literature section, in Central Reference Library, Ministry of Culture, India, Belvedere, Kolkata-700022)

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 the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

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)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception, 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message, 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June, 15 & 20 2020; Indica, 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu, August 31 2020; Breaking Through the Chakravyuh, September 30 2020. The Questioning Spouse, October 31, 2020; Happy Days, November 15, 2020; The Karma Cycle of Paddy and Wheat, December 15,2020;

(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-35

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Of all the waste we generate, plastic bags are perhaps the greatest symbol of our throwaway society: They leave a terrible legacy—ZAC GOLSMITH, UK politician.

The secret to modern life is finding the measure of time management. I have two kids, career and I travel, and I don’t think my life is any different than most couples. The most valuable commodity now for many people is time and how to parcel that out—Hugh Jackman.

An argument that has gained currency is that the economic motive for Bangladeshis to cross the border into India has begun to decline with an improvement in economic conditions at home. Data of last eight years lends credence to this argument.

Bangladesh has economically performed better since Census 2011. It has grown at over 7% over the last few years. IMF estimates that it’s likely to grow faster than India in 2019-20, at over 7.5%

The fact that 44.1% of the workers employed in agriculture produce only 15% of GDP means that output per worker in this sector is less than one-fourth of that in Industry and services combined.

Fire is generated by fire, fire is sustained by fire. Finally fire is consumed by fire.

The battle for the rosogolla has intensified with Odisha claiming that the legendary sweet wasn’t native of Bengal after all. This caused outrage among Bengalis who argued that those who attempt to take the rosogolla out of Bengal, deserve nothing but a (golla) zero in the mishti test.

Richness gives right direction to money, Whereas, greed gives wrong direction to money. Therefore, do understand that money is not the problem but your approach to money is the problem. The knife is not the problem but the one who uses the knife can use it either to cut a loaf of bread or someone’s throat.

Long back I read a book called the Richest Man in Babylon. A king approached a rich merchant and asked him, ‘How did you manage to earn money in this poor country?’ He said, ‘From whatever I earn, I give back 10% in charity.’ Even if you earn less give in charity, for then you are telling yourself that you’re bigger than money. It is only such a person who can create money.

‘When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways—either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits or by using the challenge to find our inner strength. Thanks to Buddha, I have been able to take the second way’—The XIV Dalai Lama

The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does, and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does. No country is correct all the time and criticising a wrong course does not make one unpatriotic.

When people are emotionally depleted, they stop focusing on their jobs and instead work on improving their moods.

Bosses with grit regard work as a marathon, not a sprint.

Myanmar ranks as the world’s most generous country, with almost all of its population donating for charity.

A recent CSDS opinion poll shows that 2014 onwards the support for Narendra Modi has grown dramatically in the 18-25 age group, up from 33% in 2018 to 40% in 2019.

Calmness of mind according to Patanjali, comes when we focus on a single thought for a long time. This process helps the brain to loosen other mental knots and allows the processing power of released neurons to focus on a single thought and helps in reducing traumatic memories.

India is world’s 3rd largest network of railways spanning 64,600 km and 25,000 km of new lines to be added by 2020.

Increase in infrastructure investments of 1% of GDP results in additional 34 lakh jobs in India (Compared to 15 lakh in USA and 13 lakh in Brazil).

Indian wedding industry is now valued at 25.5 billion dollars a year.

Hindu India has been the sole nation on earth where the Jewish community has never been persecuted even though they have been living here for more than two thousand years.

The slum population of India has increased from 5.23 crores in 2001 to 6.55 crores in 2011.

The value of goods that lay unused in urban India is pegged at over Rs 56,000 crore.

It takes Rs 2.5 lacs per minute to run the Indian Parliament.

More than 1 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day.

SUVs have grown to more than 30% of the total luxury vehicles sold in India.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****

 

 

 

BOOK CORNER: LAJJA by Taslima Nasrin

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

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)

*****

LETTER OF GURUDEV RABINDRANATH TAGORE: SHAZADPUR JULY 1891

Copyrigt@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.

SHAZADPUR JULY 1891

    There is another boat at this landing-place and on the shore in front of it a crowd of village women. Some are evidently embarking on a journey and the others seeing them off; infants, veils, and grey hairs are all mixed up in the gathering.

    One girl in particular attracts my attention. She must be about eleven or twelve; but buxom and sturdy, she might pass for fourteen or fifteen. She has a winsome face—very dark, but very pretty. Her hair is cut short like a boy’s, which well becomes her simple, frank, and alert expression. She has a child in her arms and is staring at me with unabashed curiosity, and certainly no lack of straightforwardness or intelligence in her glance. Her half-boyish, half-girlish manner is singularly  attractive—a novel blend of masculine nonchalance and feminine charm. I had no idea there were such types among our village women in Bengal.

    None of this family, apparently, is troubled with too much bashfulness. One of them has unfastened hair in the sun and is combing it out with her ringers, while conversing about their domestic affairs at the top of her voice with another, on board. I gather she has no other children except a girl, a foolish creature who knows neither how to behave or talk, nor even the difference between kin and stranger. I also learn that Gopal’s son-in-law has turned out a neér-do-well, and that his daughter refuses to go to her husband.

    When, at length, it was time to start, they escorted my short-haired damsel, with plump shapely arms, her golden bangles and her guileless, radiant face, into the boat. I could divine that she is returning from her father’s to her husband’s home. They all stood there, following the boat with their gaze as it cast off, one or two wiping their eyes with the loose end of their saris. A little girl, with her hair tightly tied into a knot, clung to the neck of an older woman and silently wept on her shoulder. Perhaps, she was losing a darling Didimani who joined in her doll games and also slapped her when she was naughty …

    The quiet floating away of a boat on the stream seems to add to the pathos of a separation—it is so like death—the departing one lost to sight, those left behind returning to their daily life, wiping their eyes. True, the pang lasts but a while, and is perhaps already wearing of both in those who have gone and those who remain,–pain being temporary, oblivion permanent. But none the less it is not the forgetting, but the pain which is true; and every now and then, in separation or in death, we realise how terribly true.

Posted 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)

*****

 

 

 

Literary Corner: Coffee House

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

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

(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 TALK: KALIGRAM–1891 by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore

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

KALIGRAM 1891

By Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore

    When Gurudev was young he had written many letters that later on got published as a book, after they were translated into English. In these letters Gurudev has mostly described a village scene in Bengal. He calls letter writing a form of literary extravagance. These letters have now become part of his published works. Kaligram 1891 happens to be once such letter and below is the synopsis of this letter.

    I am feeling listlessly comfortable and delightfully irresponsible. (Perhaps that gives him time to indulge in letter writing). This is the prevailing mood all around here. There is a river here. But it has no current to speak of. And is merely lying, snugly tucked up in its coverlet of floating weeds. Perhaps, it seems to think—‘since it is possible to get on without getting along. Why should I bestir myself to stir?’ The sentence has a deep meaning. The edge that lines the bank knows hardly of any disturbance until the fishermen come with their nets.

    There are four or five large size boats moored nearby. They are floating alongside. On the upper deck of one, the boatman is fast asleep. He is rolled up in a sheet from head to foot. On another, the boatman—while basking in the sun—is leisurely twirling some yarn into rope. And on the lower deck of another boat there is an oldish looking bare bodied fellow leaning over an oar, staring vacantly at our boat. God knows why.

    All along the bank there are various other people. But why they come and why they go, with the slowest of idle steps, or remain seated in their haunches embracing their knees, or keep on gazing at nothing in particular, no one can guess.

    The only signs of activity that one gets to see are the ducks. Who quacking clamorously, thrust their heads under and then bob up again to shake off water with equal energy. It appears as if they repeatedly tried to explore the mysteries below the surface, and every time, shaking their heads, had to report. ‘Nothing there! Nothing there!’

      The days drowse all their twelve hours in the sun. and then silently sleep away the other twelve, wrapped in the mantle of darkness. The only thing you want to do in a place like this is, to gaze and gaze on the landscape, swinging your fancies to and fro, alternately humming a tune and nodding dreamily, as the mother on a winter’s noonday, with her back to the sun, rocks and croons her baby to sleep.

***

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. 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

(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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BOOK TALK: LETTERS OF GURUDEV RABINDRANATH TAGORE

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.

LETTERS OF GURUDEV RABINDRANATH TAGORE

    If the razzmatazz of this hurly-burly digital life is beginning to throttle your peace, pace and cheer of mind? If the endemic digital platform—whatsapp, played, more by adults than children, since its invention has turned your life into a hackneyed saga. You need to go back in times for some more sans souci. Let me therefore take you through the synopsis of a letter written by Tagore. That winds-back in time and is indeed a refreshing read.

    Tagore had written many such letters during his lifetime in Bengali. Later, in 1920 he translated them into English. And it goes without saying, that these letters take you to that litterateur’s magnetic world almost immediately. It unleashes that ‘thinking English’ on you that revs up your literary appetite. When you go into a pleasant reverie. It of course, stay’s away from the current day ‘instant English’ with that digital makeup. He narrates each letter in that typical atavistic settings. Today, I have attempted to summarise one such letter for you.

BANDORA, BY THE SEA –written in October 1885

    I have turned twenty seven. While being seated by the sea side in Bandora, located in Ponda Taluka of North Goa. I’m able to capture the gestures of the unprotected sea that huffs and puffs. And while doing so it transforms into the tiresome froth. The sea equates with the feel of some shackled giant as if straining at its bonds. That too, right in front of the gaping jaws of the land. Where, we build our homes on the shore and watch it lashing its tail at the sea. Wow! What a massive show of strength that sends the waves splashing high, like the muscles of a giant.

    Primeval and from time immemorial this battle between the land and water has been going on. The parched earth slowly and steadily is only adding the sea to its kitty and thus spreading a broader apron for its children. Where, the ocean is receding under consternation step by step. Wailing and sobbing, beating its chest in despair, as if to a somber call of beating the retreat. One shouldn’t forget. Sea was once the sole monarch—utterly unencumbered.

    After all, land has only risen from its womb and usurped its throne. Since then sea has become the mad old creature with a heavy crest of foam. It moans and groans, and laments continually. Like King Lear … exposed to the fury of these elements.

    These events of land and sea keep impacting my mind on and on. As nothing else has happened of late apart from my turning, twenty-seven.

    But turning twenty seven is no trifling … happening for me. As I have crossed the meridian of the twenties. I am now progressing to thirty. They say I’m now headed towards maturity an age. Where, people begin to expect fruit rather than fresh foliage consumed hitherto. But alas, where is the promise of fruit. As I shake my head. Life still feels like a brimful of luscious frivolity, with not a trace of deep philosophy.

    Folks in general have started complaining: “Where is that something that we expected of you. In the hope of which, we absorbed the soft tenderness of your childhood? We can’t be putting up with immaturity forever? So, it is high time for us to know what we shall gain from you. We want an estimate of the proportion of oil which even, a blindfolded miller or an unbiased critic can squeeze out of you.”

    It is impossible to delude people into waiting expectantly any longer for results. While I was under age they trustfully gave me credit. But it is sad to disappoint them now that I am on the verge of thirty. But what am I to do? Words of wisdom will not come so easily. I am utterly incompetent to provide things that may profit the multitude. Except for, a snatch of a song, or some tittle-tattle, and a little merry fooling, that I’ve been able to advance. As a result, those who had high hopes will turn their wrath on me. But then, no one has ever begged them to nurse these expectations of me.

    Such were the thoughts that assailed me since a fine Bysakh morning. When, I wake up amidst the fresh breeze and light with a new leaf and flower. Only to find, that I had stepped into my twenty-seventh year.

    Even way back in 1885 Gurudev was able to comprehend the rivalry between the land and the sea. 

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. 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

(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)

*****