Tag Archives: captain

BOOK REVIEW: TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA– by Jules Verne

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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.

    ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea’ is a classic science fiction, adventure novel, written in 1870 by French writer Jules Verne. The novel was first translated into English in the year 1873 by Reverend Lewis Page Mercier. 

    The book was highly acclaimed when it was published and remains so. It is regarded as one of the premier adventure novels and one of Verne’s greatest works, along with ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’ and ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth.’

    In the book the description and detailing of Nemo’s ship—the Nautilus, is considered to be way ahead of its time, as it accurately describes innumerable features of a modern submarine, which at the time of writing this book were very primitive vessels.

    The title ‘twenty thousand leagues’ refers to the distance travelled while under the sea. 20,000 leagues (or 80,000 km) is nearly twice the circumference of the Earth. The greatest depth mentioned in the book is four leagues. The book uses metric leagues, which are four kilometres each.

    During the year 1866, ships of several nations spot a mysterious sea monster, which some suggest to be a giant narwhal. (A narwhal, or narwhale, is a medium sized, toothed whale that possesses a large ‘tusk’ from a protruding canine tooth). The United States government assembles an expedition in New York City to find and destroy the monster. Professor Pierre Aronnax, a French marine biologist and narrator of the story, who happens to be in New York at the time, receives a last-minute invitation to join the expedition, which he accepts. Canadian whaler and master harpoonist Ned Land and Aronnax’s faithful servant Conseil are also brought aboard.

    The expedition departs from 34th Street Pier in Manhattan aboard the United States Navy frigate Abraham Lincoln and travels south around Cape Horn into the Pacific Ocean. After a long search, the ship finds the monster and then attacks the beast, which damages the ship’s rudder. The three protagonists are then hurled into the water when they get hold of the “hideout” of the creature, which they find, to their surprise, to be a submarine way far ahead of its era. They are forced to wait on the back of the submarine boat until morning when they are captured and brought inside the vessel, where they meet its enigmatic creator and commander, Captain Nemo.

    The rest of the story follows the adventures of the protagonists aboard the creature—the submarine, the Nautiluswhich was built in secrecy and now roams the seas free from any land-based government. Captain Nemo’s motivation is implied to be both a scientific thirst for knowledge and a desire for revenge upon (and self-imposed exile from) civilzation. Nemo explains that his submarine is electrically powered and can perform advanced marine biology research. He also tells his new passengers that although he appreciates conversing with such an expert as Aronnax, maintaining the secrecy of his existence requires never letting them leave. Aronnax and Conseil are enthralled by the undersea adventures, but Ned Land the harpoonist can only think of escape.

    They visit many places under the ocean, some real-world and others fictional. The travellers witness the real corals of the Red Sea, the wrecks of the battle of Vigo Bay, the Antarctic ice shelves, the Transatlantic telegraph cable and the legendary submerged land of Atlantis. The travelers also use diving suits to hunt sharks and other marine life with air-guns and have an underwater funeral for a crew member who died when an accident occurred under mysterious conditions inside the Nautilus. When the Nautilus returns to the Atlantic Ocean, a pack of “poulpes” (usually translated as a giant squid, although in French “poulpe” means “octopus”) attack the vessel and kill a crew member.

    Throughout the story Captain Nemo is suggested to have exiled himself from the world after an encounter with the forces that occupied his country that had devastating effects on his family. Not long after the incident of the poulpes, Nemo suddenly changes his behaviour toward Aronnax, avoiding him. Aronnax no longer feels the same and begins to sympathize with Ned Land. Near the end of the book, the Nautilus is attacked by a warship of some nation that had made Nemo suffer.

    Filled with hatred and revenge, Nemo ignores Aronnax’s pleas for mercy. Nemo—nicknamed “angel of hatred” by Aronnax—destroys the ship, ramming it just below the waterline, and consequently sinking it into the bottom of the sea, much to Aronnax’s horror, as he watches the ship plunge into the abyss. Nemo kneels before the pictures of his wife and children and is plunged into deep depression after this encounter. For several days after this, the situation of protagonists’ keeps changing.

    No one seems to be on board any longer and the Nautilus moves about randomly. Ned Land is even more depressed, Conseil fears for Ned’s life, and Aronnax, horrified at what Nemo had done to the ship, can no longer stand the situation either. One evening, Ned Land announces an opportunity to escape. Although Aronnax wants to leave Nemo, whom he now holds in horror, he still wishes to see him for one last time. But he knows that Nemo would never let him escape, so he avoids meeting him.

    Before the escape, however, he sees him one last time (although secretly), and hears him say, “Almighty God! Enough! Enough!” Aronnax immediately goes to his companions and they are ready to escape. But while they loosen the dinghy, they discover that Nautilus has wandered into the Moskenstraumen, a whirlpool more commonly known as the “Mael-strom”. They finally manage to escape and find refuge on a nearby island off the coast of Norway, but the fate of the Nautilus is unknown.

    It’s an excellent book to read. Even e-book is available quite cheap. So pick it up. The description and detailing especially done 150 years back is par-excellence. The author indeed was a genious.

    Novels are all about imagination. And I salute his imagination. I would give this novel eight out of ten.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

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Short story: ‘MORAL DILEMMA’ … science fiction

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Inter galactic expansion had followed the development of humungous hyperspace cruisers and precision drives that had enabled man to colonize far flung frontiers of space. However, these giant cruisers were unsuitable for the short haul emergency calls. Starship cruisers did not use conventional rocket fuel but nuclear power and carried limited amount of bulky liquid fuel. For short emergency trips small space ships were designed made of light metal and plastics to be run on liquid fuel to be spared by cruisers that housed these ships. One drawback was that these ships carried only that amount of fuel which was enough for their mission, not an ounce less or an ounce more. Extra weight would jeopardize their mission at the cost of necessary payload.

The small ship ‘Twinkle’ was speeding along into the dark bowels of space carrying essential medical supplies on which lives of several colonists depended. Captain Schmidt did a bit of isometrics and thought about a cup of coffee from the vacuum dispenser. Suddenly the corner of his eye caught the dial of the fuel gauge. It was showing a little above zero. Fuel consumption was not normal. It was but a natural corollary for the captain to divine that some extra unauthorized and unexplained weight was on board. He looked at the closet containing the only empty unused space. The heat gradient indicated the presence of a human being.

‘Come out’ gently intoned Capt Schmidt.

After a pause of several seconds a coy, diffident and a spry girl appeared and gently walked to the captain’s desk.

‘Who are you and what are you doing here?’ asked the captain softly, in order, not to frighten the child, who was barely 12 years old.

‘I am Zoya from the Southern Nebula. I was stealing a ride to meet my parents who are stranded in AlphaZ2.’ She answered confidently despite her distraught demeanour.

The captain stared in disbelief. ‘But how in the devil did you get into the ship.’

‘It was not difficult to enter unnoticed. People thought I had come to bid farewell to my folks. Later on I stumbled on to this small cabin. You are going to fine me or give me some sort of punishment?’ The girl asked apprehensively.

‘My dear girl you have put me into a great problem. The rules are very strict. Unauthorized persons, objects and any living organism are to be thrown out or jettisoned.’ He said almost in a whisper, not trying to panic the girl.

‘You mean you will leave me in space to die for something I am not responsible.’ The girl was now almost in tears.

‘Please try and understand- the mission is important but your body mass has increased the fuel consumption jeopardizing the mission. The colonists who are awaiting life-saving drugs will also die.’ The captain said as if pronouncing a death verdict. Never in the galactic frontiers was such a situation encountered by anyone before.

The captain put the ship into auto-mode and fine tuned the astral bearings of the planet the ship was headed for.

‘My child you are not going to die’ said the captain happily, as if solving an intricate puzzle.

‘Everything is on auto mode. You will reach the target planet. Only don’t answer any calls or messages which may flash on the console.’

Having, said that the captain slowly walked out of the air lock and into the evacuation tunnel.

This story is based on one of the finest SCI-FICTION stories of America and is more than 60 years old. Probably it was published in 1963. When, I had read it. The language sequence of, the plot are entirely mine and not copied from anywhere. I am happy that I have been able to dig out the scientific space diction without much of a difficulty. The point is whether the captain was morally justified in leaving the ship in the hands of a child, thereby endangering the lives of so many. Well there are so many angles to this dilemma. (As narrated by Ajit Kumar Tripathi)

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. 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)

*****

CASUAL CAUSERIE: NO ONE KNOWS-WHO HELPS WHOM

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

affinity destiny helping hand

NO ONE KNOWS—WHO HELPS WHOM

    At an era, when there used to be long queues for domestic flights in India. My boss, who had once come visiting me. Got a sudden call from the HR Head. Asking him, to report back immediately for an urgent and important meeting at Head Office.

    As luck would have it. There was no chance of getting a confirmed flight ticket before three days, as it was all jam packed. Therefore, there was every likelihood. That he would have missed the important meeting. So, we decided to take a chance at the airport. Those days nothing was computerized. Personal relations with airport staff and their whims and fancies mattered a lot. Therefore, he was carrying an open ticket. And in the middle of all the din and rush. The counter clerk had asked us to wait. Just in case of a last moment cancellation or a no show.

    We were waiting patiently. When, I saw the captain of the aircraft hovering near the check-in counter puffing a cigarette. Those days we didn’t have smoking zones like today.

    Suddenly, the counter clerk called for my boss, ‘Mr Datta.’ We quickly walked up to him. When he politely said, ‘Sorry Datta sahab. There is just no seat as the flight is absolutely full. Please take a chance tomorrow morning.’

    I pleaded, citing the urgent meeting. As I could see the tension rising on my boss’s face. Is when the captain of the aircraft. Who was standing close to the counter walked up and said to the counter clerk. ‘Please issue him a boarding pass. Only, if he has cabin baggage. I will take him in the cockpit, since he has an urgent meeting.’

    With that I guess Mr Datta’s day was made. When he happily said to me, ‘bye, and see you soon.’

    After a month. I happened to be in the Head Office, on a visit. When I congratulated him on his well deserved promotion and casually asked about the flight that day. He remembered the captain in a pleasant way and this was what he had to say.

    ‘Arrey, I was extremely lucky. That the captain took me along with him, in the cockpit that day. Otherwise, I would have missed my appraisal meeting with the Marketing Director. But as the flight took off. The captain asked in Bengali,

    “Kaimon achain, Dutto babu. Apni comfortable?”

    And, before he could load on some more Bengali. I promptly replied, ‘sorry captain I am a Punjabi Datta. Not a Bengali Dutto.’

    ‘Oh-oh-oh sorry. But, I thought. I heard the counter clerk calling you as Mr Dutto and not Mr Datta. Anyways, sorry, sorry, very sorry, once again.’

    By then the flight was more than airborne. After that we didn’t have any exchange of conversation in the flight. Though, on landing. I said goodbye to him. To which he didn’t respond warmly. But in his own subtle way he had ensured my promotion.

    In life. You just don’t know who lends you a helping hand where, and who comes to your rescue.

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POETRY: GLAMOUR VS HONOUR … in honour of defence forces

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SOLDIER 3 SOLDIERSOLDIER1

GLAMOUR VS HONOUR

(In honour of defence forces)

Away from the glamour and in a corner,

I lead a life of honour,

Where I defend my motherland,

While you claim all the glamour.

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For me my motherland is my honour,

About which there is no clamour,

Where in the line of control,

I often display my valorous banner.

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And when I stand in the border alone,

I find it is bereft of any glamour,

Where in the dredge and murk,

I defend my honour,

While you sleep at home,

In those serene corners.

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When I enter the martyr’s memorial,

I find it is decorated with honour,

But there is no glamour.

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And one day when honour met glamour,

Glamour had lots to clamour,

But only about glamour,

For glamour felt,

Honour had not made glamour,

But glamour had made honour,

But I didn’t realise,

Without honour there isn’t any glamour.

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Honour returns disillusioned,

As glamour refuses honour’s honour,

And while keeping a watch at the LOC,

The soldier in me clamours,

About the dishonour by glamour.

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But the call of duty,

Sweeps aside all the dishonour,

Where once again,

In the pitching sun, hitting rain,

and frosty cold,

I embark upon my duty,

To defend my my motherland,

For let my dues remain my dues for my needy countrymen.

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And the “honour” of my nation is my “soldier,”

 And the glamour–anything that dishonours my “soldier.”

***

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. 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

(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

(Archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 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. Book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

Story of an Indian salesman who is lowly qualified but fights his ways through uncertainities to reach the top. A good read for all salesmen. Now available in Amazon.com

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

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