Tag Archives: fire

SHORT STORY: BIRBAL’S KICHADI

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Once on a cold winter day, Akbar and Birbal were passing through a lake. Akbar stopped for a moment and put his finger into the freezing water and immediately took it out, saying, “I don’t think anyone can sustain a night in this cold water”. Birbal, took that, as a challenge, and said, that he would find someone who could do that. Akbar promised a sum of 1000 gold coins, to whosoever, who could spend a night, standing in the cold water of the lake. Soon, Birbal found a poor man who agreed to undertake the challenge for the 1000 gold coins. Guarded by two royal guards, the poor man spent the entire night standing in the freezing water.

    In the morning, the poor man was taken to court for the reward. Upon being asked by the king how he could stand in the freezing water, the man replied, “My lord, I kept looking at a lamp that was burning at a distance, and spent my entire night looking at it”. On learning this, the emperor said, “This man is not worthy of the reward as he could manage to stand in the lake only because he was getting warmth from the lamp”. The poor man felt doomed and heart-broken, and he reached Birbal for help. Birbal didn’t go to the court the next day. Akbar visited Birbal to find the reason. To his amusement, the king found Birbal sitting beside the fire with a pot hanging almost 6 feet above it. On being enquired, Birbal said, “I am cooking khichadi, my lord”. Akbar started laughing and said that is impossible. Birbal said, “It is possible My Lord—just as the poor man who can stay warm by simply looking at the lamp burning at a distance, I can cook this khichadi in the same manner.” Akbar understood Birbal’s point, and rewarded the poor man for the challenge.

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)

*****

 

 

 

Advertisements

BOOK STALL: TO BUILD A FIRE by Jack London

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.

    “To Build a Fire” is a short story by American author Jack London. There are two versions of this story. One published in 1902 and the other in 1908. The story that was written in 1908 has become an anthologized classic, while the 1902 story is lesser known. The 1908 version is about an unnamed protagonist who ventures out in the sub-zero boreal forest (located in the Arctic zone) of the Yukon Territory, along with his dog, to visit some of his friends. While doing so he ignores the warnings from an older man about the dangers of hiking alone. The protagonist underestimates the harsh conditions and slowly begins to freeze to death. After trying and then failing to build a fire, he slips into unconsciousness and dies of hypothermia—low body temperature.

    The 1902 version describes a similar situation, but with a different plot. Though the structure and storyline are similar in both. In 1902 the weather is not as cold and horrendous, and no dog follows the protagonist, the fire is not doused, and the man (named Tom Vincent) suffers only from permanent frostbite. And he survives to become a melancholic but wiser person.

    Whereas, the 1908 version of the story is an example of the naturalist movement that portrays the conflict of man versus nature. It also reflects what Jack London perhaps learned in the Yukon Territory. And it details as follows:

    An unnamed man sets out to hike through the forests bordering the Yukon River on a winter day when the temperature has reached -75°F (-59°C). Having ignored the advice of an old prospector against traveling alone in such weather, he is accompanied only by his large husky dog. The animal’s instincts warn about the dangers of the extreme cold weather. Yet, it follows the man unwillingly. And as they follow the course of a frozen creek, the man is careful to avoid patches of thin ice, hidden in the snow, that cover pockets of unfrozen water. His goal is to reach a group of prospectors (“the boys”) at their camp by 6:00 that evening.

    At half past noon, the man stops and builds a fire so that he can warm up and also eat his lunch. He shortly resumes his hike, when he breaks through the ice and drenches his feet and lower legs, forcing him to stop and build another fire. This one under a tree, in order to dry himself. But as he pulls the twigs, from the brush pile around the tree to feed the flames. The vibrations cause the snow to tumble down from the branches overhead and extinguish the fire. This creates a crisis. The man quickly begins to lose sensation in the extremities and hurries to light another fire. He now begins to premonition the life-threatening danger posed by the cold. He tries to light the fire by igniting all his matches and in the process he exhausts, all of it. Now with no more matches in hand, the man tries to kill the dog for warmth. But his hands are so stiff that he can neither strangle it nor draw his knife. Finally, he tries to restore his circulation by running towards the camp, but stumbles and falls in the snow. The man dies of hypothermia, imagining himself standing with “the boys” as they find his body. The dog leaves the body after dark to find food and shelter at the camp.

    The man and the dog’s relationship is followed throughout the story. The man is in absolute control of the dog, as explicitly mentioned by London. The dog is almost like a slave to him and is shown cowering before the man and following orders. However, there is no physical intimacy between the two. The man doesn’t pet the dog or treat him fondly. In fact, the man forces the dog to go ahead of him when he suspects the ice will break. This helps to build the idea that the man believes nature is intended to serve him. The man’s interactions, in this relationship, is how the reader discovers the man’s personality and character to be. By including the dog in the story, the author makes the man less likable. London even describes the dog as his “toil-slave”.

    “Man vs Nature” is one of the themes presented in this short story. The protagonist decides to face the brutal cold temperatures of the Yukon Territory, despite being warned by an older man. The short story depicts the protagonist’s battle of life and death while highlighting the importance of the fire.

    Another theme illustrated in the story is the man’s human sense of judgment contrasted with the dog’s animal instincts. Throughout the story, London hints that the dog has more knowledge of survival than the man. The judgment versus instinct theme is evident when the man builds the first fire. While the dog wants to stay by the fire to keep warm, the man is determined to keep moving. And as the dog reluctantly follows the man across a frozen river, the dog is more cautious than the man.

    The protagonist’s desperation is evident throughout the story. It is noticeable soon after the man falls into a frozen river. In order to save himself, he scrambles to build a fire but is too busy worrying about his health to notice the mistake of building a fire underneath a tree that has collected an enormous amount of snow. After the first fire is put out, his desperation becomes even more defined as he seemingly will do anything to survive. Including attempting to kill his dog for warmth and using all his matches at once in a final attempt to light his last fire. His desperation for survival and his fear of death causes his demise as he freezes to death at the end of the story.

    Another evident theme in the story is perseverance. Although the man makes several mistakes and is getting frostbite in his fingers and toes, he continues to fight for survival.

    Stupidity and arrogance are personified in the story’s protagonist. For example, he goes through the extremely cold territory alone, despite going for the first time. He laughs off the crucial advice of traveling with an acquaintance because he thinks he knows what he’s doing. This arrogance results in the protagonist putting himself in a dangerous situation that was preventable. At first, he thinks it’s nothing and that everything will be fine. By the end of the story, he dies as a result of his arrogance. Another example of arrogance occurs when the protagonist disregards the possibility that there may be situations he cannot overcome. The old man warns the protagonist of this and also seems to have a better understanding of the natural world, respecting the fact that there are some situations the man will be unable to control. Not only does the old man see the protagonist’s stupidity, but the dog notices the man’s lack of knowledge about the terrain and its obstacles after he fails to keep a fire going.

    Succumbing to death is another theme in the story: more specifically the peace that may be found in death. London foreshadows the death of the man early in the story, so it is not a surprise that the man dies. London depicts the death quite differently than many other authors do. The man drifts off into a calm and peaceful slumber devoid of suffering and pain. London’s use of relaxing words dissuades the reader from feeling a great deal of sympathy for the man, as the death is merciful and graciously anticipated, rather than sad. In contrast to more dramatic depictions of death, London’s depiction reveals death as a peaceful escape from tumult and pain.

    Individualism is another common theme London portrays in the story. The man only relies on himself to get him through the Yukon; he doesn’t believe that he needs any help. This theme can also be connected to the theme mentioned above of the man’s judgement, and the man’s arrogance.

Synopsis 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)

*****

 

 

 

Stone Soup

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

         Once upon a time a kind old stranger was walking through the forest when he came across a village. But as he entered the village he saw something very strange. The villagers were scared and started moving towards their homes, and even closing their doors and windows.

    The stranger could not understand this behavior of the villagers. So he smiled and asked, ‘friends how come you all are so frightened of me. I’m just a traveler looking for a safe place to stay and a warm heart for a meal.’

    But the villagers looked at him apprehensively and said, ‘there’s not a bite to eat. The whole province is under famine. As a result we have not eaten and have grown weak and even our children are starving. So you better keep moving on.’

     ‘Oh! You needn’t worry. I have everything I need.’ He said. ‘In fact I was planning to make some stone soup to share with you all.’ And with that he pulled out an iron cauldron from his luggage and filled it with water and began to build a fire under it.

    Then, in a ceremonial fashion he drew an ordinary looking stone from a silken bag and dropped it in the water.

    This spread a rumour about food. When, most villagers came out of their homes or started watching from their windows. As the stranger sniffed the “broth” and started licking his lips in anticipation. Is, when, hunger started overcoming fear in the village. 

    ‘Wow! What a soup!’ said the stranger, ‘I love this tasty stone soup.’ And of course, stone soup with cabbage—is hard to beat.’

    Soon a villager approached hesitantly. He was holding a small cabbage he’d retrieved from his place of hiding and dropped it in the pot.

    ‘Wonderful!’ cried the stranger. ‘You know, I once had stone soup with cabbage and a bit of mutton and believe me the dish was only fit for a king.”

    The village butcher managed to find some mutton and dropped it in the pot. And so the stranger went on and on. When, the villagers one by one dropped potatoes, onions, carrots, mushroom and some other vegetables and lentils until there was a sumptuous meal for everyone in the village to share.

    The villager elder offered the stranger a great deal of money for the magic stone, but he refused to sell it and decided to continue with his travel the next day.

    But as he left, the stranger came upon a group of village children standing near the road. He gave the silken bag containing the stone to the youngest child, while whispering to the group, “It was not the stone, but the villagers that had performed the magic.” 

Moral of the story:  There is no alternative to team work and team spirit.

*

     The story is based on Marcia Brown’s 1947 children’s book, Stone Soup 1947

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*****

POEM: I & U

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

‘I’ & ‘U’

I was right and you were wrong,

And that brought about the storm,

Where, you were the cacophony and I was the melody,

And the melody alone,

Made our lives float in the storm.

*

  But what had floated and what had drowned,

No one had any count,

For it had only become a one way war of ego,

Where arrogant ‘I’ had won,

But humble ‘U’ had drowned.

*

In the March-past of life,

I … was like fire and U … like water,

Where fire kept burning,

And water kept dousing.

*

And where in the meanderings of life,

‘I’ kept insinuating,

And ‘U’ kept giving,

Which, ‘I’ kept loving.

*

Until one day,

When ‘I’ thought,

She had outflanked ‘U’

*

And with that she had turned the tables,

And won the bastion,

But in all of this,

Only righteousness had drooped.

*

‘I’ said, you gave on your own—the riches,

And I never asked for it,

Where ‘U’ felt,

Only to save the embarrassment,

I didn’t wait for ‘I’ to ask for it.

*

So ‘U’ was hurt,

But ‘I’ was rejoicing,

For ‘I’ had thought she had won battle,

When ‘U’ had not even lost the prattle.

*

And all along in the prime of life,

‘U’ couldn’t learn,

What it had learnt,

In the decline of life.

*

But now there wasn’t any choice,

Thought ‘U’ at the twilight of his life,

As ‘U’ decides to walk away from ‘I’

Into his own private life,

*

Is when I rejoices,

And reclines to her own wayward life,

without realising,

What ‘U’ had done for her.

*

But ‘U’ is at peace … knowing well,

All equations are settled here,

Before you cross your death bed, 

And into the heaven or the hell.

*

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share 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)

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

*****

.

 

THE BLISS OF AYURVEDA

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 Posted by: Kamlesh Tripathi

ayurveda

According to Ayurveda everything in this universe comprises of various proportions of five basic elements (The panch mahabhutas): Space—Akasha, Air—Vayu, Fire—Agni, Water—Jal and Earth—Prithvi.

    The boundless combination of five elements gives rise to our staked individuality. And once there is a comprehensive knowledge of this ethereal combination in ourselves, we’ll be able to maintain a beneficial balance and harmony within ourselves. And wherever this balance is there; vibrant health is there.

Our natural constitution, more precisely the qualities we are born with, is called Prakriti. Qualities are important, not their statisitics. In Ayurveda, there is no generalised criteria, for maintaining health, individuality and individual constitution is more important. Some people need warm atmosphere, others prefer cooler atmospheres. Each one is a different individual. Ayurveda works with individual qualities of the person. Mind, body, and behaviour are consistently packaged together in subtle ways that are revealed only by knowledge of the five elements as dosas and gunas.

The predominance of elements (space, air, fire, water and earth) gunas (sattva, rajas, tamas) and dosas (vata, pitta and kapha) at the time of conception and during gestation decides the natural constitution of that individual. Prakriti is formed from the subtle qualities of the five elements. Vata is a combination of the subtle elements of air and space, pitta of fire and water and kapha of earth and water. Once this proportion is set, generally it remains permanent for the lifespan of the individual, but the best out of a person can be brought out through spiritual practice, like meditation, breathing and good association.

“Pra” refers to before, beginning, commencement, source or origin, in different contexts. “Kriti” means creation or to do. Therefore, Prakriti on the whole means ‘the first formed nature’ or ‘the original form of the being.’

If we understand the subtle qualities of air and space we will find qualities which are light, dry, cold, clear and moving. These are the main qualities found in a person with vata constitution, or Prakriti. In the same way, we find the subtle qualities of fire and water are hot, sharp, oily and liquid. These are the main qualities of a person with pitta constitution or Prakriti. A person of Kapha Prakriti has the subtle elements of earth and water and gives them qualities that are solid, cool, slow, liquid and dense.

Benefits of knowing Prakriti

By understanding the qualities of our natural constitution, or Prakriti, we are able to understand ourselves, how to live our life and to understand people around us, with awareness. Unlike western medicine, that aims, at only, physical, and mental health. Ayurveda, wants to lift every aspect of life to a higher level. Personal relationships, work satisfaction, spiritual growth and social harmony are all linked to mind and body very intimately. Therefore, they can be influenced through Ayurveda if its knowledge goes deep enough.

Prakriti plays an important role in understanding our health and how we function in the world and our relationship to others as well as ourselves. We become aware what health problems may occur based on knowing our Prakriti, or natural constitution. We become aware of certain like types of food, situations and seasons that affect our well being and are able to effectively manage these factors and promote health. One can take proper care, change or adjust diet and adopt daily and seasonal routines.

Additionally, prognosis of disease with respect to Prakriti is possible. In this way, knowledge of Prakriti is useful and helpful to maintain health.

And knowing your Prakriti can help you live a better life through a suitable diet, appropriate lifestyle, assessing your strengths and weaknesses, anticipating disease and preventing it, healthy interaction with friends and family.

A person is normally a combination of three constitutions. Few people can say their constitution is pure vata, pure pitta or pure kapha. And usually a person is a combination of vata, pitta, or kapha playing a dominant role, while the other two play secondary roles.

So you may find you are a P-K person, that is, pitta is dominant, while kapha is secondary and so on. Or a V-P person, with vata dominant and pitta secondary, and likewise all combinations are possible.

(Excerpts from a book on Ayurveda)