Tag Archives: france

INTERESTING FACTS: IS THE AGE OF 40 TOO LESS FOR HERCULEAN ACHIEVEMENTS–FIVE REAL LIVE CASES OF LIT-LUMANRIES

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    What is the right age to achieve something in life? Is 40 years, too less a time, or sufficient time to achieve something in life? In this context let me give you an example of 5 lit-luminaries of the 19th century who are more or less contemporaries and who became world renowned figures in their short lifespan. Let me start with Swami Vivekananda an Indian monk, a spiritual guru and also a lit-luminary, lifespan 12th January 1863 – 4th July 1902, a total of 39 years. Let me follow it up with American writer Edgar Allan Poe, born on 19th January 1809, died on 17th October 1849, a life span of 40 years. Then you have the French writer Guy De Maupassant, born on 5th August 1850 and died on 6th July 1893, a life span of 42 years. In the rostrum there is also, Nikolai Vasilie Gogol, a Russian writer of Ukraine origin, who was born on 20th March 1809 and died on 21st February 1852, a life span of 43 years. And last but not the least we have Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, a Russian playwright and short-story writer born on 29th January 1860, he died on 15th July 1904, at the age of forty-four. They all left behind a phenomenal legacy of success and heaps of lessons for the future generations within the ebbs and flows of their limited lifespan.

    The mean life expectancy in the 19th century was around 40-45 years. Life expectancy today is around 72 years. There are two off-shoots to this. One, they lived around hundred to ninety percent of the average life expectancy of those times. Two, they only lived for around forty years—a time period, much too less, for any significant milestone achievement barring sports and some other similar careers. When we compare 40 years with today’s life expectancy, it is only around 55%. So then, does life-expectancy, has anything to do with your achievements. The case-study of the quintet says no. There are some more authors, poets and lit-figures from various other countries who created a name for themselves and died very young, say between the age of 17 and 35 years, but I’m not discussing them in this short hypothesis. So, isn’t it, the irony of nature that some in a short lifespan of 40 years make gigantic strides, while others don’t even do that in a century?

    Second half of 19th century, when these five were alive and kicking saw some paradigm changes in their countries. Some major events were as follows. India had the First War of Independence in 1857. British East India Company was replaced by the British Crown in 1858. In Russia there was the Crimean War in 1856, Caucasian War in 1864 and the capture of Tashkent by the Russian Army in 1865, Sale of Alaska in 1867, Russian Turkish War in 1877, the severe famine in 1891, Death of Alexander-III in 1894, and the first party congress of Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP). In America and Europe Slavery was abolished, first and Second Industrial Revolutions which overlapped with the 18th and 20th centuries respectively led to massive urbanization. Construction of Suez Canal began in 1859, connecting Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea that enabled a more direct route for shipping between Europe and Asia. The Islamic gunpowder empires (Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal) were formally dissolved and European imperialism, brought much of South Asia, Southeast Asia and almost all of Africa under colonial rule. It was also marked by the collapse of the Spanish rulers, Zulu Kingdom, First French Empire, Holy Roman and the Mughal Empire.

    Even with all the hullabaloo in their country and continent there was still calm in these five luminaries. They had single focus, just like Arjun’s concentration—machli ki aankh (eye of the fish) and that was … write, write and write till their last moments. Though, born into an aristocratic Bengali Kayastha family of Calcutta, yet Swami Vivekananda was inclined towards spirituality. He was influenced by his guru, Ramakrishna, from whom he learnt, that all living beings, were an embodiment of the divine self. Therefore, service to God, could only be rendered by service to mankind and a lot of that came through texts. In particular I must also mention that Anton Chekhov fell sick in 1885 yet he kept writing till he died of tuberculosis in 1904. Some of them even had financial problems leading to trying times to obtain education and some even had to support their education by writing scripts for magazines and even by selling fish. Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, the second child of actors David and Elizabeth Poe. His father abandoned the family in 1810, and his mother died the following year. He became an orphan yet he fought back to become one of the most formidable writers of short stories. When Maupassant was 11, his mother, an independent minded woman took a divorce from her husband and Maupassant thereafter lived with his mother who was the single biggest influence on him but that entailed hardships. Gogol lost his father at the age of fifteen yet he aspired to become a writer.

    So then, what is the central idea of life? Well that is to have a mission within all the diversions. Nothing is possible without a mission. And if you can’t fix a mission for yourself follow your heart just as these luminaries did and that itself will take you to your mission.

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 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)

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. It is 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.

(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: THE GUNPOWDER EMPIRES

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    The Period of the Gunpowder Empires is also known as the Era of the Islamic Gunpowders. It refers to the epoch of the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal empires from the 16th to the 18th century. The three empires were among the strongest and most stable out of the early modern period, leading to expansion and greater patronage of culture, while their political and legal institutions were consolidated with an increasing degree of centralisation. They underwent a significant increase in income and population and a sustained pace of technological innovation. These empires were spread from the Eastern Europe and North Africa in the west, to between today’s modern Bangladesh and Myanmar in the east.

    They were Islamic, and had, considerable military and economic success. Vast amount of territories were conquered by the Islamic Gunpowder Empires, with the use and development of the newly invented firearms, especially cannon and small arms, in the course of imperial construction. Unlike in Europe, the introduction of gunpowder weapons prompted changes well beyond military organization. The Mughals, based in the Indian subcontinent, are recognised for their lavish architecture, while the Safavids created an efficient and modern state administration for Iran, and sponsored major developments in the fine arts, and the sultan of the Constantinople-based Ottoman caliphate—an Islamic state, also known as the Caesar of Rome, was the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, and thus head of the Islamic world. Their powers, wealth, architecture, and various contributions significantly influenced the course of Asian history.

    The Period of the Gunpowder Empires refers to the epoch of the Ottoman, in present Modern Turkish, was a state that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. In addition you had the Safavid a Persian dynasty, romanized was one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Iran, from 1501 to 1736. The Safavid dynasty had its origin in the Safavid order of Sufism, which was established, in the city of, Ardabil in the Iranian Azerbaijan region. It was an Iranian dynasty of Kurdish origin, but during their rule they intermarried with Turkoman, Georgian, Circassian (Sunni Muslim people of the north-western Caucasus– between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea in Caucasia—the white skinned Europeans), and Pontic Greek  who are dignitaries that lived on the southern coast of Black Sea. From their base in Ardabil, the Safavids established control over parts of Greater Iran and reasserted the Iranian identity of the region, thus becoming the first native dynasty since the Sasanian Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians to establish a national state officially known as Iran.

    The Ottoman, Safa-vid and Mughal empires from the 16th century to the 18th century were the most muscular empires and amongst the most brawny.

        But how did this term Gunpowder Empire come into play. Well, it’s a Hodgson-McNeill concept. The phrase Gunpowder Empire was coined by Marshall G.S. Hodgson and his colleague William H. McNeill at the University of Chicago. Hodgson used the phrase in the title of Book 5 (“The Second Flowering: The Empires of Gunpowder Times”) of his highly influential three-volume work, The Venture of Islam (1974). Hodgson saw gunpowder weapons as the key to the “military patronage or military centered states of the Later Middle Period” which replaced the unstable, geographically limited, confederations of Turkic clans that prevailed in post-Mongol times. Hodgson defined a “military patronage state” as one having three characteristics:

    First, a legitimization of, independent dynastic law. Second, the conception of the whole state as a single military force. Third, the attempt to explain all economic and high cultural resources as appanages or grants of the chief military families.

    Such states grew “out of Mongol notions of greatness,” but such notions could mature fully and create stable bureaucratic empires only after gunpowder weapons and their specialized technology attained a primary place in military life of the state.

    McNeill argued that whenever such states “were able to monopolize the new artillery, central authorities were able to unite larger territories into new, or consolidate new empires.” So, monopolization was the key. Although Europe pioneered the development of new artillery in the fifteenth century, no state monopolized it. Gun-casting know-how had been concentrated in the Low Countries near the mouths of the Scheldt and Rhine rivers in Europe. France and the Habsburgs, generally the rulers of Germany, Austria and Spain divided those territories among themselves, resulting in an arms standoff. By contrast, such monopolies allowed states to create militarized empires in Western Asia, Russia, and India, and “in a considerably, modified fashion” in China, Korea, and Japan.

    More recently, the Hodgson-McNeill Gunpowder-Empire hypothesis has been termed into disfavour, as it offers neither “adequate nor accurate” explanation, although the term remains in use.

     Reasons other than or in addition to military technology have been offered for the nearly simultaneous rise of three centralized military empires in contiguous areas dominated by decentralized Turkic tribes. One explanation, called “Confessionalization” by historians of fifteenth century Europe, invokes examination of how the relation of church and state “mediated through confessional statements and church ordinances” led to the origins of absolutist polities.

    The first of the three empires to acquire gunpowder weapons was the Ottoman Empire. By the 14th century, the Ottomans had adopted gunpowder artillery. The adoption of the gunpowder weapons by the Ottomans was so rapid that they preceded both their European and Middle Eastern adversaries in establishing centralized and permanent troops specialized in the manufacturing and handling of firearms. But it was their use of artillery that shocked their adversaries and impelled the other two Islamic empires to accelerate their weapons programs. The Ottomans had artillery at least by the reign of Bayezid the Ottoman Sultan, and these were used by them in the sieges of Constantinople in 1399 and 1402. They finally proved their worth as siege engines in the successful siege of Salonica in the Ottoman kingdom in 1430. The Ottomans employed Middle-Eastern as well as European foundries to cast their cannons, and by the siege of Constanti-nople in 1453, they had large enough cannons to batter the walls of any city, to the surprise of the defenders.

    The Ottoman military’s regularized use of firearms proceeded ahead of the pace of their European counterparts. The Janissaries (Ottoman Sultan’s household troops) had been an infantry bodyguard using bows and arrows. During the rule of Sultan Mehmed II they were drilled with firearms and became “perhaps the first standing infantry force equipped with firearms in the world.” The Janissaries are thus considered the first modern standing armies. The combination of artillery and Janissary firepower proved decisive at Battle of Varna, eastern Bulgaria in 1444 against a force of Crusaders, Baskent in 1473 against the Aq Qoyunlu, (a Sunni Turkoman Tribal) and Mohacs in 1526 against Hungary. But the battle which convinced the Safavids and the Mughals of the efficacy of the gunpowder was Chaldiran in 1514. A victory of Ottoman over Sadavid.

  The musket gun later appeared in the Ottoman Empire by 1465. Damascus steel was later used in the production of firearms such as the musket from the 16th century. At the Battle of Mohacs in 1526, the Janissaries equipped with 2000 tüfenks (usually translated as musket) “formed nine consecutive rows and they fired their weapons row by row,” in a “kneeling or standing position without the need for additional support or rest.” The Chinese later adopted the Ottoman kneeling position for firing. In 1598, Chinese writer Zhao Shizhen described Turkish muskets as being superior to European muskets. 

     The Dardanelles Gun or the great Turkish canon was designed and cast in bronze in 1464 by one Munir Ali. The Dardanelles Gun was still present for duty more than 340 years later in 1807, when a Royal Navy force appeared and commenced the Dardanelles Operation. Turkish forces loaded the ancient relics with propellant and Projectiles, then fired them at the British ships. The British squadron suffered 28 casualties from this bombardment.

    It’s a long topic. I’ve just given you a flavour.

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 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)

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. It is 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.

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

*****

Book Review: ‘A Sale’ by Guy De Maupassant

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

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

    This is a unique and interesting story with a lot of tongue twisting French names. The story picks up only after the first half. It opens in the courtroom.

    There are two defendants, Cesaire-Isidore Brument and Prosper-Napoleon Cornu. They appear before the Court of Assizes of the Seine-Inferieure, on a charge of attempted murder, by drowning, of Mme (Madam)Brument, the lawful wife of Brument mentioned earlier.

    The two prisoners are seated side by side on a traditional bench. They are two peasants. The first one Brument is small and stout, with short arms, short legs, and a round head with a red pimply face, planted directly on his trunk, which is also round and short, and with apparently no neck. He is a raiser of pigs and lives somewhere in France at Cacheville-la-Goupil, in the district of Criquetot.

    On the other hand Cornu is thin, of medium height, with enormously long arms. His head was on crooked, his jaw awry, and he squinted. He wore a blue blouse, as long as a shirt that hung down to his knees, and his yellow hair, which was scanty and plastered down on his head, gave his face a worn-out, dirty look, a dilapidated look that is was frightful. He was nicknamed “the cure” because he could imitate to perfection the chanting in church, and even the sound of the serpent. This talent attracted people to his cafe — for he was a saloon keeper at Criquetot — a great many customers who preferred the “mass at Cornu” to the mass in church.

    The court scene begins with Mme. Brument. She is seated on the witness bench. She is a thin peasant woman who seems to be always asleep. She has been sitting there motionless, her hands crossed on her knees, gazing fixedly before her with a stupid expression.

    The judge continues with his interrogation.

    “Well, then, Mme. Brument, they came into your house and threw you into a barrel full of water. Tell us the details. Stand up.”

    She rose. She looked as tall as a flag pole with her cap that looked like a white skull cap. She said in a drawling tone:

    “I was shelling beans. Just then they came in. I said to myself, ‘What is the matter with them? They do not seem natural, they seem, up to some mischief.’ They watched me sideways, like this, especially Cornu, because he squints. I do not like to see them together, for the two collectively are good-for-nothing when they are in the company of each other. I said: ‘What do you want from me?’ They did not answer. And with that I had a sort of mistrust ——”

    The defendant Brument interrupted the witness hastily, saying:

    “I was full.” (Full means drunk here).

    Then Cornu, turned towards his accomplice and said in a deep tone … like the deep tone of an organ:

    “Say that we were both full, and you will be telling no lie.”

    The judge, intervened:

    “You mean by that that you were both drunk?”

    “There can be no question about it.” replied Brument.

    “That might happen to anyone.” said Cornu.

    The judge said to the victim: “Continue with your testimony, lady Brument.”

  Lady Brument continued, “Well, Mr Brument said to me, ‘Do you wish to earn a hundred sous?’ (French coins) ‘Yes,’ I replied. Then he said: ‘Open your eyes and do as I do,’ and he went to fetch the large empty barrel which was lying under the rain pipe in the corner, and he turned it over and brought it into my kitchen, and kept it in the middle of the floor, and then he said to me: ‘Go and fetch water until it is full.’

    “So I went to the pond with two pails and carried water, and still more water for an hour, seeing that the barrel was as large as a huge tank.

    “All this time Brument and Cornu were drinking, drinking and drinking—a glass, and then another glass, and then another. When they were finishing their drinks I said to them: ‘You are full, fuller than this barrel.’ Brument answered. ‘Do not worry, go on with your work, your turn will come, each one has his share.’ I paid no attention to what he said as he was full.

    “When the barrel was full to the brim, I said: ‘There, that’s done.’

    “And then Cornu gave me a hundred sous, and not Brument.

    Brument said: ‘Do you wish to earn a hundred sous more?’ ‘Yes,’ I said, for I am not accustomed to presents like that. Then he said: ‘Take off your clothes!

    ‘Take off my clothes?’ I reacted.

    ‘Yes,’ he said.

    ‘How many shall I take off?’

    ‘If it worries you at all, keep on your chemise on, that won’t bother us.’

    “A hundred sous is a hundred sous, even if I have to undress myself. But I did not fancy undressing before those two, good-for-nothings. I took off my cap, and then my jacket, and then my skirt, and then my sabots. Brument said, ‘Keep your stockings on, as we are good fellows.’

    “And Cornu added, ‘We are good fellows.’

    “So there I was, almost like mother Eve. And they got up from their chairs, but could not stand straight, they were so full, your honour.”

    “I said to myself: ‘What are they up to?’

    “Brument asked: ‘Are you ready?’

    “Cornu replied: ‘I’m ready!’

    “And then they lifted me, Brument by the head, and Cornu by the feet, as one might take, for instance, a sheet that has been washed. Then I began to bawl.

    “And Brument said: ‘Keep still, wretched creature!’

    “And they lifted me up in the air and put me into the barrel, which was full of water. I had a check of the circulation, a chill went to my very insides.

    “Brument said: ‘Is that all?’

    “Cornu said: ‘That is all.’

    “Brument said: ‘The head is not in, that will make a difference in the measure.’

    “Cornu said: ‘Put in her head.’

    “And then Brument pushed down my head down as if to drown me, so that the water ran into my nose. He pushed me down further and I disappeared.

    “And then he must have been frightened. He pulled me out and said: ‘Go and get dry, carcass.’

    “I took to my heels and ran to my father as far as M. le cure’s. He lent me a skirt belonging to his servant, for I was almost in a state of nature, and he went to fetch Maitre Chicot, the country watchman who in turn went to Criquetot to fetch the police who came to my house with me.

    “Then we found Brument and Cornu fighting each other like two rams.

    “Brument was bawling: ‘It isn’t true, I tell you that there is at least a cubic metre in it. It is the method that was no good.’

    “Cornu bawled: ‘Four pails that is almost half a cubic metre. You need not reply, that’s what it is.’

    “The police captain put them both under arrest. I have nothing more to tell.”

    She sat down. The audience in the court room laughed. The jurors looked at one another in astonishment. The judge said:

    “Defendant Cornu, you seem to have been the instigator of this infamous plot. What have you to say?” Cornu rose in his turn.

    “Your honour Judge,” he replied, “I was full.”

    The Judge answered gravely:

    “I know it. Proceed.”

    “I will. Well, Brument came to my place about nine o’clock, and ordered two drinks, and said: ‘There’s one for you, Cornu.’ I sat down opposite him and drank, and out of politeness, I offered him a glass. Then he returned the compliment and so did I, and so it went on from glass to glass until noon, when we were full.

    “Then Brument began to cry. That touched me. I asked him what was the matter. He said: ‘I must have a thousand francs by Thursday.’ That cooled me off a little, you understand. Then he said to me all at once:

    ‘I will sell you my wife.’

    “I was full, and I was a widower. That stirred me up. I did not know his wife, but she was a woman, wasn’t she? I asked him: ‘How much would you sell her for?’

    “He reflected, or pretended to reflect. When, one is full one is not very clear-headed, and he replied: ‘I will sell her by the cubic metre.’

    “That did not surprise me, for I was as drunk as he was, and I knew what a cubic metre is in my business. It is a thousand litres, and that suited me.

    “But the price remained to be settled. All depends on the quality. I said: ‘How much do you want for a cubic metre?’

    “He answered: ‘Two thousand francs.’

    “I jumped like a rabbit, and then reflected that a woman ought, not to measure more than three hundred litres. So I said: ‘That’s too dear.’

    “He answered: ‘I cannot do it for less, as I would lose.’

    “You understand, one is not a dealer in hogs for nothing. One understands one’s business. But, if he is smart, the seller of bacon, I am smarter, seeing that I sell them also. Ha, Ha, Ha! So I said to him: ‘If she were new, I would not say anything, but she has been married to you for some time, so she is not as fresh as she was. I will give you fifteen hundred francs a cubic metre, not a sou more. Will that suit you?’ said Cornu.

    “He answered: ‘That will do. That’s a bargain!’

    “I agreed, and we started out, arm in arm. We must help each other in times of need.”

    “But a thought came to me: ‘How can you measure her, unless you dip her in liquid?’

    “Then he explained his idea, not without difficulty for he was full. He said to me: ‘I’ll take a barrel, and fill it with water up to the brim. I’ll put her in it. All the water that comes out we will measure, that is the way to fix it.’

    “I said: ‘I see, I understand. But the water that overflows will run away; so how will you measure it? How will you gather it back?’

    “Then he began stuffing me and explained to me that all we will have to do would be to refill the barrel with the water his wife had displaced as soon as she comes out of it. All the water we pour in would be the measure. I supposed about ten pails; that would be a cubic metre.

    “We finally reached his house and I took a look at his wife. She was certainly not a beautiful woman. And anyone could see that, for there she is. I said to myself, ‘I am disappointed, but never mind, she will be off value handsome or ugly, it is all the same, is it not monsieur le president (your honour)?’ And then I saw that she was as thin as a rail. I said to myself: ‘She will not measure four hundred litres.’ I understand the matter better, being in liquor trade.

    “She has already told you about the proceeding your honour. I even let her keep on her chemise and stockings, to my own disadvantage.

    “When that was done she ran away. I said: ‘Look out, Brument! She is escaping.’

    “He replied: ‘Do not be afraid. I will catch her all right. She will have to come back to sleep, I will measure the deficit.’

    “We measured. It was not four bucket fulls. Ha, Ha, Ha!”

    At this Brument began to laugh so hysterically that a cop was obliged to punch him in the back. Having quieted down, he resumed:

    “In short, Brument exclaimed: ‘Nothing doing that is not enough.’ I shouted, and shouted and shouted again, he punched me, I hit back.

    That would have kept on till the Day of judgment, seeing we were both drunk.

    “Then came the gendarmes (policemen)! They stared at us, and took us off to prison.”

    Cornu finally He sat down after his long statement.

    Brument corroborated the statements of his accomplice. The jury, in consternation, retired to deliberate.

    At the end of an hour they returned a verdict of acquittal for the defendants, with some severe strictures on the dignity of marriage, and establishing the precise limitations of business transactions.

    Brument went home accompanied by his wife.

    Cornu went back to his business.

    I would give the story seven out of ten. As always if reflects how some perverted men get away with ghastly crime on women. And it happens even today.

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)

*****

 

 

 

INTERESTING FACTS FIGURES & QUOTES 49: THE BERLIN WALL

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Berlin wall is the wall that divided the world. More than a physical barrier the Berlin wall stood as a solid political and ideological symbol of the divide between a democratic Western Germany and a Communist Eastern Germany. Looking back on the rise and fall of the Berlin wall 30 years on:

WHAT WAS BERLIN WALL

    A guarded concrete wall that physically and ideologically divided Germany’s capital, the Berlin wall stood tall between 1961 and 1989.

    Construction of the wall commenced on August 13, 1961, by the German Democratic Republic (GDR) to ensure, people from East Germany did not emigrate to West Germany. The wall finally fell on November 9, 1989 after East Germany declared all the crossing points along the wall open.

BACKDROP TO THE BUILDING OF THE WALL

    In 1949 a war torn Germany formally split into two independent nations—The Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic—with the FDR allied to the Western Democracies led by the US and the GDR allied to the Soviet Union led by Russia. These superpowers had growing geopolitical tension between them, in what is today known as the cold-war. The city of Berlin, was at the centre of this heated split, with one part under the eastern bloc and the remaining three with the west under US, Britain and France.

    Needless to say that the ideologies of the two power blocs were enforced on the Germans, with East Germany following communism and the west following a democratic approach.

WHY WAS THE WALL BUILT

    Free flow of people between the two parts was allowed through Berlin as East Germany had sealed its mainland border from the west along the Elbe River and the mountains of Harz with barbed wire and fire-zones.

    As time passed, many people from East Germany migrated to the West in search of better jobs and infrastructure.

    One in six people fled from the east to the west. This irked the GDR as its economy was deeply affected due to this ‘brain-drain.’ Thus in a bid to halt this migration, East German Communists were given the permission by Moscow to close the border and build a physical barrier along it.

    With information from their informers in the western part, that the west will not react, East German Police in a top-secret operation, established a human cordon along the border with West Berlin. The border forces then went on to build a solid breeze block wall topped with barbed-wire from what was earlier just a wire-mesh fence.

THE WALL AND ATTEMPTS TO CROSS IT

    The Berlin Wall was more than 140 kilometres long. The houses contained between the fences were razed and the inhabitants relocated, thus establishing what later became known as the death strip. The death strip was covered with raked sand or gravel, rendering footprints easy to notice, easing the detection of trespassers and also enabling officers to see which guards had neglected their task. It offered no cover, and, most importantly, it offered clear fields of fire for the Wall guards.

    The top of the wall was lined with a smooth pipe, intended to make it more difficult to scale. The Wall was reinforced by mesh fencing, signal fencing, anti-vehicle trenches, barbed wire, dogs on long lines, “beds of nails” (also known as “Stalin’s Carpet”) under balconies hanging over the “death strip”, there were over 116 watchtowers, and 20 bunkers with hundreds of guards. This version of the Wall is the one most commonly seen in photographs, and the surviving fragments of the Wall in Berlin and elsewhere around the world are generally pieces of the fourth-generation Wall.

    There were nine border crossings between East and West Berlin. These allowed visits by West Berliners, other West Germans, Western foreigners and Allied personnel into East Berlin, as well as visits by GDR citizens and citizens of other socialist countries into West Berlin, provided that they held the necessary permits.

FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL

    Things started to deteriorate for the Eastern Bloc in the 1980s with the start of an energy crisis and political struggle within the bloc. Rising civil unrest also put pressure on the East German Government. However, what started the downfall of the GDR was the fail of the ‘Íron Curtain’ between Hungary and Austria. The opening of that border led to several East Germans migrating to West Germany through Hungary. However, this attempt was quickly blocked, but East Germans began to camp at the West German embassies across the Eastern Bloc and refused to return. Meanwhile, demonstrations began within East Germany in full swing.

    East Germany was pressurised to relax some of its regulations on travel to West Germany. On November 9, 1989, at a press conference to announce the same an East German spokesman Gunter Schabowski announced that East Germans would be free to travel into West Germany, starting immediately. However, he failed to clarify that some regulations would still apply. This led to the western media reporting that the border had been opened, leading to large crowds gathering at either sides of the checkpoints. Eventually, passports checks were abandoned and people crossed the border unrestricted. The evening on November 9, 1989 is known as the night the wall came down.

    The Berlin wall had fallen and this fall marked the beginning of the unification of Germany which took place on October 3, 1990.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****

 

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: THE MURDER ON THE LINKS by Agatha Christie

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.

Characters

  1. Hercule Poirot – The famous Belgian detective called in by the man who would be murdered.
  2. Captain Arthur Hastings – Poirot’s assistant on the case, accompanying him at his request, and the narrator of the story.
  3. Monsieur Giraud – Detective of the Paris Surete and the investigating officer. Considers Poirot to be his rival and resents his involvement in the investigation.
  4. Monsieur Hautet – Examining Magistrate, and Giruad’s assistant. More respectful of Poirot’s reputation, and thus more helpful to the Belgian detective.
  5. Paul Renauld/Georges Conneau – The victim of the case. Requested Poirot’s assistance for an unknown matter, prior to his murder. Involved in the Beroldy murder some 22 years ago, in which he was the killer, but escaped justice when caught.
  6. Eloise Renauld – Renauld’s wife, whom he met in South America. Helped her husband fake his kidnapping on the night of his death. Initially suspected of the murder by Poirot, until Eloise sees her husband’s body.
  7. Jack Renauld – Renauld’s son, born in South America, and raised both there and in France. Mistakenly suspected of murder by Giraud, due to an argument between him and his father. Formerly in love with Marthe, now in love with Bella.
  8. Madame Daubreuil/Madame Jeanne Beroldy – Renauld’s neighbour and blackmailer. Involved in plotting the murder of her husband 22 years ago, but escaped justice when exposed.
  9. Marthe Daubreuil – The killer. Madame Daubreuil’s daughter, who wants to marry Jack, but is unaware that he is in love with another woman.
  10. Gabriel Stonor – Renauld’s secretary. Absent at the time of the murder, and has no knowledge on his employer’s past.
  11. Bella Duveen – A stage performer, with whom Jack is in love, twin of Dulcie Duveen.
  12. Dulcie Duveen – A stage performer and Bella’s sister, who works under her stage name of “Cinderella” and the twin of Bella. She is the love interest of Hastings during the novel.
  13. Lucien Bex – Commissary of Police for Merlinville.
  14. Monsieur Marchaud – Police sergeant in Merlinville’s police.
  15. Dr Durand – Local doctor and police surgeon in Merlinville.
  16. Françoise Arrichet – An elderly servant of the Renauld’s household, one of three servants present at the Renauld’s house during the crime.
  17. Léonie Oulard – A young maid of the Renauld’s household, one of three servants present at the Renauld’s house during the crime.
  18. Denise Oulard – A maid of the Renaulds’ household and Léonie’s sister, and one of three servants present at the Renauld’s house during the crime.
  19. Auguste – Renaulds’ gardener. Absent from the house on the night of the murder.
  20. Joseph Aarons – A British theatrical agent.

    Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings travel to Merlinville-sur-Mer, France, to meet Paul Renauld, who has requested for their help. Upon arriving at his home, in the Villa Genevieve, local police greet them with news that Paul Renauld has been found dead that morning. Renauld had been stabbed on the back with a letter-opener and left in a newly dug grave adjacent to a local golf course. Renauld’s wife, Eloise Renauld, claims masked men broke into the villa at 2 am, tied her up, and took her husband away with them. Upon inspecting Paul Renauld’s body, Eloise collapses with grief at seeing her dead husband. Perhaps, she was not expecting this. Monsieur Giraud of the Sûreté leads the police investigation, and resents Poirot’s involvement in the case, where Monsieur Hautet, the Examining Magistrate, is more open to sharing key information with him.

    Poirot notes four key facts about the case: One, a piece of, lead piping, is found near the body. Two, only three female servants were in the villa, as both Renauld’s son Jack and his chauffeur had been sent away. Three, an unknown person visited the house the day before, whom Renauld urged to leave immediately. Four, Renauld’s immediate neighbour, Madame Daubreuil, had placed 200,000 francs into her bank account over recent weeks.

    When Renauld’s secretary, Gabriel Stonor, returns from England, he suggests blackmail, as his, employer’s past is a complete mystery prior to his career in South America.     Meanwhile, Hastings, Poirot’s number two, unexpectedly encounters a young woman he met before, known to him as “Cinderella”, who asks him to see the crime scene, and then mysteriously disappears with the murder weapon. Poirot later travels to Paris to research the case’s similarities to that of a murder case some 22 years ago, which has only one difference – the killer, Georges Conneau, later confessed to the crime, in which he and his lover, Madame Beroldy, had plotted to kill her husband and claim that the murder was carried out by masked intruders; and where, both disappeared soon afterwards.

    Returning from Paris, Poirot learns that the body of an unknown man has been found, stabbed through the heart with the murder weapon. An examination shows he has the hands of a tramp, that he died before Renauld’s murder from an epilectic fit, and that he was stabbed after death. Giraud the investigating officer arrests Jack Renauld on the basis that he wanted his father’s money. Jack admits to police that he had argued with his father over wishing to marry Madam Daubreuil’s daughter Marthe, whom his parents found unsuitable. Poirot reveals a flaw in Giraud’s theory, as Renauld had changed his will two weeks before his murder, disinheriting Jack. Soon afterwards, Jack is released from prison after Bella Duveen, an English stage performer he loves, confesses to the murder. Both had come across the body on the night of the murder, and assumed the other had killed Renauld. Poirot reveals neither did, as the real killer was Marthe Daubreuil.

    Poirot elaborates on his theory. Paul Renauld the victim was in fact Georges Conneau, while fleeing France, he changed his name in Canada to start a new life. After gaining a wife and a son, and making a fortune in South America, he returned to France to settle down with his new family. But by misfortune, he found that his immediate neighbour was Madam Beroldy, and like him, she too, had changed her identity to become Madam Daubreuil. Blackmailed by her, over his past, Renauld’s situation worsens when Jack his son gets attracted to her daughter. But when, a tramp dies on his grounds, he sees an opportunity to escape Madam Daubreuil. He uses the same ruse, as he had used before, while committing a murder, but with one difference. This time, he uses it to fake his own death. His plan was simple – staging his own kidnapping at night. He disfigures tramp’s body with a pipe, and then buries him as Paul Reynold beside the golf course, before fleeing the area by train. Anyone, who would recognise the body as not his, would be sent away, so as to assure that his wife Eloise will falsely identify the body as his. Poirot suspected Eloise’s involvement in the scheme, as her reaction, to her husband’s death, was not genuine until she saw his body.

    However, the plan was unfortunately discovered by Marthe, who overheard, the Renaulds, discussing it together. She for sure stood to gain financially if she married Jack Renauld, their son, but the success of this scheme would ruin her plans. So, she decides to follow Renauld and stabs him, after he digs the grave, for tramp’s body. To expose Marthe as the killer, Poirot asks Eloise to openly disinherit Jack Renauld. That night, Marthe attempts to kill Eloise when Jack leaves her alone in the villa, but dies trying, when Eloise is saved by Cinderella. Marthe’s mother disappears again. Jack and his mother plan to go to South America, joined by Hastings and Dulcie Duveen — who is his Cinderella and Bella’s twin sister.

    The plot is a little less scheming. I would give the book seven of ten.

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)

*****

 

 

 

INTERESTING FACTS FIGURES & QUOTES- 32

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Over 60 lakh applications are filed every year asking for information under RTI (Right to Information) ACT.

 The law in India allows a woman to undergo abortion only up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. But despite this law, 13 women die every day due to unsafe abortions carried out illegally.

 Before 1971 abortion was a crime in India.

  In India 26 million women are pregnant at any given time. Most of them are dependent on the healthcare facilities provided by the state.

 In order to avoid complex situations, doctors in the UK and even other western countries carry out a medical procedure that stops the beating heart before the abortion is induced. Indian doctors do the same procedure, but before 20 weeks. Abortions are indeed a sad reality of life.

What led to the removal of former Prime Minister Theresa May, was her inability to negotiate an acceptable Brexit. She conveyed the impression that she would be happy with an emasculated Brexit, a situation that put the UK outside the European Union but subject to control by Brussels. Boris was chosen to be the Prime Minister for his commitment to take the UK out of the EU, through a negotiated deal if possible or even unilaterally. He has given himself 100 days to accomplish his mission.

 Kamrup is the old name of Assam.

 Under the new “Digi Yatra” programme, airports at Hyderabad (and soon Delhi) have introduced a trial facial recognition system for passengers. Digi Yatra cheerfully invites people to “volunteer” their faces to be entered into a centralised government database.

An argument that has gained currency is that the economic motive for Bangladeshis to cross the border into India began to decline with an improvement in economic conditions back home. Data, from eight years ago, lends credence to this logic. 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%.

 Before the British arrived in India, stitched cholis and jackets were worn by the kings and warriors and not primarily by women. Sarees were functional garments that aided the work of the wearer. The drapes depended on the climate, geography, and culture of the group. Indian tribals wore their saris like a halter dress: hands free, short, and backless whereas those living in coastal areas wore them as shorts or pants—says Nikaytaa, a sari researcher and founder of The Indian Draping Company, on the past and future of the six yards.

 One big problem of India was that railways was not talking to roadways, and roadways was not talking to environment. Every department was working in the abstract and in isolation. But this is now beginning to change.

 China’s share in the world exports as recently as 2000 was only 4%.

 There are enough history books to note that India’s invaders were often more advanced than their local counter parts in warfare and administration.

There are 2.22 lakh fishing boats in India. According to a 2016 report, out of India’s 227 minor ports, 180 have minimal security, with 75 having no security cover at all.

Coal fired plants account for roughly 90% of the total productive capacities within the thermal power space of India.

 Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. It is a betrayal of nationalism—said French President Macron.

 Nationally India generates a staggering 38,000 million litres a day (mld) of sewage. Where, existing treatment capacity can only treat 12,000 mld and that too this facility is available only in metropolitan cities.

 If you want to build a shipdon’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea- said, French writer Saint-Exupéry.

 If the Lok Sabha passes a money bill the Rajya Sabha cannot stop it. It can only delay it by fifteen days.

 World War- 1 was not a war in which India was directly involved, yet our soldiers fought in it for the cause of peace. More than 74,000 Indian soldiers died fighting on the other side of the world.

 Sometimes the scandal is not what law was broken, but what the law allows—says EDWARD SNOWDEN, American whistle-blower.

 Try not to think of life as a battle because, if you regard life as a struggle, it will become one, and you will have little joy. It is far better to think of life as a journey in which the difficulties are hills to climb—says RICHARD E TURNER American expert card mechanic who is known for his card trick performances.

 INS Arihant is India’s first indigenously built nuclear ballistic missile submarine.

 Air pollution kills over a million Indians every year. Sceptics say air pollution is never mentioned as a cause of death on death certificates.

 Today, Google and Facebook dominate India’s digital advertising industry, cornering nearly 75% of the market. Google’s move to block “intrusive” ads is an example of how it dictates terms to Indian content producers. Rather than becoming a digital colony of American tech companies, the focus must be on enabling Indian start-ups to compete with global giants.

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)

*****

 

 

 

LIT-CORNER VIDEO: THE PIECE OF STRING BY Guy De Maupassant

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****

 

 

 

BOOK CORNER: THE PIECE OF STRING by Guy De Maupassant

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

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

 

THE PIECE OF STRING

By Guy De Maupassant

    The story is set in the little village of Norman. It is about several months into the life of Maitre Hauchecorne, an old peasant. On an autumn market-day in Goderville, Hauchecorne is about to enter the square when he sees a piece of string on the ground. And he being of the saving kind, picks the string and keeps it with him. As he does so, he becomes aware that an enemy of his, M. Malandain, the local harness maker, is watching him. Ashamed to be seen picking up a remnant of string, the protagonist furtively hides it in his clothing and then pretends to be looking for something of value on the ground. With his head bent over in his intent search, he moves on towards the market.

    A few hours later, Hauchecorne is having his noon meal at the local tavern, Jordain’s, which is filled with local peasants, their gossipy chatter, and the powerful odour of food cooking. Twice the meal and the chatter are interrupted. First, by the voice of the town crier, who gravely announces the loss by M. Houlbreque of a pocketbook containing five hundred franc. Second, by the appearance of the chief of gendarmes, who summons Hauchecorne to see the mayor on business.

    Leaving his meal, the protagonist hurries to the mayor’s office. Where, he is unofficially confronted with the charge of having found Houlbreque’s pocketbook and of keeping it. The sole witness to the incident is Malandain, says the mayor. Hauchecorne sputters in rage at the accusation coming from his enemy. His defense—one that he shouts over and over—is that no one could seriously mistake a pocketbook for a piece of string. Those present do not believe him, and they say so, which enrages Hauchecorne even more. Malandain appears, and his reiterating of the charge against the protagonist leads to a lengthy and bitter exchange between them. To prove his innocence, Hauchecorne insists on being searched. But no pocketbook or large sum of money is found on him. The mayor dismisses him with a warning that as mayor he will consult a higher authority in the matter.

    Out in the village again, old Hauchecorne finds that many of the peasants have already heard of the event. But to set the record straight Hauchecorne begins to restate what he told the mayor and the others. That he found a piece of string and came across no pocketbook. To dramatize his points he turns his pockets inside out. Both his friends and strangers boldly tell him that they place no faith in his story, and that he is indeed an old rascal and a rogue.

    On his way home that night, and after his evening meal, he again stops his neighbours and strangers and again goes over his litany of facts in relation to the string and the pocketbook and the mayor’s false accusation. But sadly no single peasant steps forward to support his claim of innocence.

    The day’s events have made him ill. The next day, however, the pocketbook and its contents are found on the road and returned to their rightful owner. In his hour of triumph, Hauchecorne goes into the village and endlessly recounts the charge made against him the previous day and then the good news that fully exonerates him. Indeed, he spends the rest of the day on the road, returning often to the square to spread the news. At first he is convinced that his big adventure has ended most favourably for him, but as the day wears on, he senses that something is still wrong. He was easy now, yet something was worrying him without his knowing exactly what it is. People had a joking manner while they listened to him. They did not seem convinced. He seemed to feel their remarks behind his back.

    A week later, having brooded over the collective reaction to his supposed vindication, the protagonist returns once more to the Goderville market and once more confronts his peers with the details of the found string and the lost and returned pocketbook. On the streets and in Jordain’s, the response to Hauchecorne is the same: That he is guilty and both he and they know it. From time to time that day, he is even told that he had an accomplice who gave back the pocketbook, once Hauchecorne’s name had become implicated in the theft.

    Angry, dejected, and confused, he is unable to finish his meal at Jordain’s and is forced to return home amid the sound of mocking laughter. Going over and over in his mind the events that began one week before, Hauchecorne tries to come to terms with what has happened to him. He is positive of one thing. He is unable to prove his innocence because his reputation in Goderville for being crafty is well-known. He is, perhaps, capable of having done what they accused him of and even of boasting of it as a good trick. In other words, his reputation has preceded him—and that did not stand him in good stead now.

    Once he had prided himself on these tricky business practices. But now he had understood that those practices had predisposed his peasant neighbours and friends to doubt his innocence. The Norman peasant, suspicious by nature, was ready to think the worst of old Hauchecorne, and what all he could do.

    The gross injustice weighs heavily on the protagonist’s mind. He sees himself as being alone in the community (in fact, Guy de Maupassant does not mention Hauchecorne’s family, if he does have one). He knows, he has no defenders and many accusers. His brooding continues. His mind begins to get affected by his need to convince them that he is no dissembler. Hauchecorne goes forth every day in the village, redoubling his efforts to persuade any and all that he spied a piece of string in the road and put it in his pocket, but about the pocketbook, he knows nothing. The cruelty of the peasants is such that Hauchecorne becomes in short order, a butt of public jokes. The more they ask him to recite his tale of woe, the more elaborate and the more subtle his argument for his innocence becomes; as always, he is never believed.

    The protagonist falls ill in late December and is bedridden for some time. Early in January, he dies. In his deathbed delirium, his denials of wrongdoing are focused in a single phrase uttered repeatedly: “A little bit of string—a little bit of string.”

***

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

(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)

*****

 

 

 

DHAKA AND NOW NICE DISPLAY A NEW PARADIGM IN TERROR STRIKES

Copyright@shravancharitymission

By Kamlesh Tripathi

 

Earlier Dhaka and now Nice where 84 French nationals were mowed down by a truck used as a weapon, driven by a lone wolf terrorist as they were celebrating the Bastille-day in Nice, calls for a deep introspection.

And off late one is really not sure of what one will get to see when you switch on the TV or get to read when you unfold the newspaper. Probably it will be about another terrorist attack.

After every terrorist attack we prominently see the head of the state issuing statements, denouncing the killings and cursing the terrorist organization responsible for the bloodshed and a reassurance of protecting the country from further attacks.

But this is not sufficient, because the paradigm is fast changing. In Dhaka attack most terrorists were from high families and in Nice it was a lone wolf. The trend shows terrorists are well educated and could be self radicalized. The Islamic State has been losing territory but gaining wider popular appeal, with its call for individuals around the world to carry out jihad. The barbaric interpretation of Islam used to justify such heinous acts thus needs to be quashed.

At times one wonders as to what is driving these terrorists to massacre. They call it a holy war, where they kill hapless and innocent people to please ‘Allah.’ Definitely this cruelty is no jihad. And there is need for the entire world community and especially the Muslim community to run a structured parallel digital campaign against what these Muslim terrorist groups a trying to preach the capable, young and fresh Muslim minds.

The problem cannot be handled by authorities of any country alone. The civil society needs to pitch in very strongly and much before it’s too late as a handful of terrorists are giving a bad name to the entire community.

*****

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only a skilled nation can create national wealth

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

 

Analysis: 50% of the world’s wealth remains with 4-5 countries

    “National wealth” refers to the total value of wealth possessed by the citizens of a nation at a set point in time. That is, the total value of wealth and goods generated by all economic activity in a particular nation.

    It is also referred as the national (net) wealth, or the national net worth, or even the gross national wealth (GNW); summing up to the total national wealth and is the total sum value of wealth possessed by the citizens of a nation at any given point of time.

    This figure of national wealth is an important indicator of a nation’s ability to take on debt and sustain spending. It is influenced, not only by real estate prices, but also by the stock market, human resources, technological advancements which may create new assets or render other worthless. It is also steered by the national infrastructure and exchange rates. Remember, for value creation optimum skill levels are a must for any nation and therefore skill building is an important ingredient, required to augment national wealth.

    The most significant component by far among most developed nations is commonly reported as household net wealth or worth, and also reflects infrastructure investment. National wealth can fluctuate, as evidenced in the US data (to follow) following the financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent recovery.

    There are 196 countries in the world today. If we compare the national wealth figures of the first 30 major countries we will come across an interesting paradigm as below:

ANALYSIS … HOW CHINA FORGES AHEAD

  • The world’s wealth has grown from 117,225 billion USD in 2000 to 171,577 in 2005, up to 216,374 in 2010 and to 250,145 in 2015. This is a cumulative growth of 113% over the last 15 years and an average annual growth rate of 7.5%.
  • USA remains the richest in terms of national wealth and also a consistent performer since 2000 to 2015. In 2000 it had a national wealth of 42,941 billion USD which has grown to 85,901 billion USD in 2015. This is a cumulative growth of 100% over 15 years and an average annual growth rate of 6.67%.
  • The national wealth of the US in 2000 was 42,941 billion USD, a little more than the national wealth of Japan, UK, Germany, Italy and China, put together.
  • The national wealth of the US in 2005 was 59,664 billion USD, a little more than the national wealth of Japan, UK, France, Italy and Germany, put together.
  • The national wealth of the US in 2010 declined from 59,664 billion USD by 4.27% to 57114 on account of the economic crisis, but it still remained more than the combined national wealth of countries such as Japan, China and France, put together. China by 2010 had become a major skill development country and thereby started generating wealth. It would not be wrong to say that 50% of the wealth of the world is controlled by only four or five countries.
  • By 2015 the national wealth of the US had increased to 85,901 billion USD, a little more than the combined wealth of five economic super powers such as China, Japan, UK, France and Germany.
  • China’s policy of underscoring on skill development under the banner of human resources gave encouraging results when its national wealth from 4664 billion USD in 2000 went up to 8674 in 2005 and to 17505 in 2010 and finally to 22817 in 2015. And from 6th position in 2000 it has jumped to 2nd position in 2015 in terms of national wealth.
  • India on the contrary from 14th position out of 196 countries in 2000 jumped marginally to 12th position in 2005 and to 11th position in 2010, but slumped back to 14th position in 2015. Its national wealth was 1163 billion USD in 2000, 2142 billion USD in 2005, 3788 billion USD in 2010, and 3447 billion USD in 2015. It has cumulatively grown by 196% with an average growth rate of 13%. But it is not enough when we compare it with world standards and our political establishment needs to understand this. India requires wide spread skill development if it wants to grow its national wealth. A lesson we need to learn from China where there is no opposition when it comes to policies affecting national wealth.
  • 50% of the world’s wealth in the year 2000 was with super economic powers such as the USA, Japan and the UK. This changed somewhat in 2010 where 50% of the world’s wealth was held by the USA, Japan, UK and France, and this further changed in 2010 when 50% of the wealth of the world was held by USA, Japan, China (China replaced UK) and France. In 2015 the scenario further changed when China jumped to the second position next to the US leaving behind Japan to a close third.
  • Canada with 35 only million people has maintained a steady 8th position in the world. In 2000 it had a national wealth of 2,469 billion USD. This rose to 4277 in 2005, to 6212 in 2010 and finally to 6872 in 2015. Its cumulative growth in 15 years has been 178% with an average growth rate of 11.88%. But it has failed to take a quantum leap because it doesn’t have great reserve of skill bank which it is largely importing from other countries now. It also has a huge geographical territory and it remains to be seen how in times to come it will manage its huge assets with such a meagre population.
  • South Korea has turned into another industrial giant by lifting its skill levels. It rose from the 16th position where it had a national wealth of 1089 billion USD in 2000, to 2149 billion USD in 2005 at 11th spotBut it slumped back to 14th position in 2010 even when it increased its national wealth to 2791 billion USD. But in 2015 it jumped to 12th spot with a national wealth of 3545 billion USD.
  • Greece with its economic crisis, a typical example has crashed to the 30th spot in 2015 with 743 billion USD from the 23rd spot in 2000 with a national wealth of 493 billion USD.
  • Russia with the roots of once a super power has stagnated from 3150 in 2000 to 1284 USD billion in 2015 but has gone up notches from 30th to 23rd

    The point of essence—mere size of population doesn’t increase national wealth. One has to individually create it for the nation. And you can create, only if you have the skill. The US remains the leader in this field with a population of 310 million people which is less than one third of the population of India. Even Canada with only 35 million people generates more revenue than India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is by far on track by underscoring on skill development in India.

*

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

*****