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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****

 

 

 

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

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

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

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

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

EARLY LIFE

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

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

EDUCATION

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

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

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

HIS RESTLESS EARLY LIFE

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

ABOUT HIS WRITING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JOYCE AND RELIGION

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

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

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

DEATH

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

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

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

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 AND QUOTES, EPISODE 31

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****

 

 

 

LITERARY CORNER: THE INDIAN MUTINY OF 1857

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 INDIAN MUTINY OF 1857

by

George Bruce Malleson.

Pages 278

Publisher: Rupa Publications.

Price Rs 278.

(Caveat: Most foreign writers especially of British origin call it a ‘mutiny’ which means a rebellion against authority. Whereas, Indian writers and more so Indians like calling it a ‘War of Independence)

    The fifth print or impression of this book came out in 2016. Malleson lived from (8 May 1825 to 1 March 1898). He was an English officer born in Wimbledon and educated at Winchester. Thereafter, he obtained a cadetship in the Bengal infantry in 1842, and served through the second Burmese War. He was a prolific writer. He had written extensively on the Sepoy Mutiny. His important works include, ‘History of the Indian Mutiny of 1857-58’ that runs into six volumes, ‘History of the French in India’ and the ‘Decisive Battles of India.’

    He even authored the biographies of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, the French Governor-General Dupleix and the British officer Robert Clive for the Rulers of India series. He died in London on 1st march 1898.

        Mutiny of 1857 remains an event shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Its very significance, whether it can be considered as the first war of Independence, continues to be questioned. The causes of the mutiny are many but all elusive, and so are the consequences of the mutiny. But the moot point is did the mutiny ring the death knell of the British Empire, or was it a mere speck of exaggerated trouble? The book takes you through that.

    It serves to fill a tremendous gap in narrative accounts of the mutiny, and demystifies lay assumptions. It begins with a sizeable background on the genesis of the British Raj in India—a move not deliberate but powerful enough to shape history for decades to come. The author delves in great detail into the causes of the mutiny, unlike preceding writers who mostly concentrated on the consequences. And this the author could do because he was a serving officer and therefore privy to many decisions and happenings. With the aid of personal knowledge and observation he attempts to pin-point the ‘latent power’ that drove the mutiny on.

    He provides a realistic account of all the important operations that took place, praising the heroic and criticizing the undeserving. He is careful not to overlay his work with too much tedious detail, where his writing remains lucid and interesting. 

    The subject book captures successfully, and even uncompromisingly, an event that was perhaps disorganized but large in scale. It deals with each individual and geographical area separately, analysing the causes and effects, both locally and nation-wide. It captures the spirit of the time, its people who fought and died, and the changing attitudes of the British Raj, which was gradually losing control of its Empire.

    In writing this short History of the Indian Mutiny of 1857. The author has aimed at the compilation of a work, which when complete in itself, should narrate the causes as well as the consequences of a movement unforeseen, and even undreamt of. For the mutiny as per the author was sudden and swift in its action, and therefore taxed utmost the energies of the British people. Preceding writers on the same subject, whilst dealing very amply with the consequences, have, with one exception, but dimply shadowed forth the causes. Even the very actors of the Mutiny failed to detect them.

    Sir John Lawrence the then Viceroy of India from 1864 to 1869, himself, writing with full knowledge of events in which he played a very conspicuous part, mistook the instrument for the chief cause. He stopped at the greased cartridge. But the greased cartridge was never issued to the great body of troops, if indeed to any. There must have been a latent motive power to make of an unissued cartridge a grievance so terrible as to rouse into revolting men whose fathers and whose father’s father had contributed in the making of the British Empire in India. The greased cartridge, too, did not concern those landowners and cultivators of Oudh and the North-Western Provinces, who rose almost to a man. What that latent motive power was, the author has described fully, in this volume.

    In the early chapters of the book the author communicates, ‘That his belief about the mutiny is founded on personal knowledge and personal observation. Locally chief of the Commissariat Department at Kanhpur when, in January 1856, Sir James Outram crossed the Ganges to depose or remove from office the King of Oudh, I had witnessed the indignation which the very rumour of his purpose caused among the sipahis of my own guard. I reported their excited state to my superiors, and was laughed at for my pains. But, impressed with the accuracy of my forecast, viz., that the annexation of Oudh would rouse indignation and anger in the sipahi army. Nevertheless, I continued. After my transfer, two months later, to an appointment in the Military Audit Department in Calcutta, to keep a careful record of several occurrences, all apparently of minor importance, which supervened when the effects of the annexation of Oudh had been thoroughly realised by the sipahis. My observations led to the conclusion that they were thoroughly angered, and, a little later, that their minds were being mysteriously worked upon. I kept copious notes of the matters I observed, and discussed them with my brother officers, without, finding that my views were shared by any one of them. Essentially, it was not alone the greased cartridge but a host of other factors that brought about the mutiny of 1857. It would seem, however, that the officer who held the responsible post of Town major. His name Major, Orfeur Cavenagh, had, from his own observation, arrived at conclusions not dissimilar. He has narrated in his admirable work the observations forced upon him by the changed demeanour of the natives of the North-Western Provinces in 1856. But he too, stood, amongst high-placed Europeans, almost alone in his convictions. The fact is that, up to the very outbreak of the mutiny at Mirath, which is present day Meerut, no one, from highest to lowest, believed in the possibility of a general combination. Those, and they could be counted on the fingers of one hand, who endeavoured to hint at an opposite conclusion were ridiculed as alarmists. So ingrained was the belief in the loyalty of the sipahis, and so profound was the ignorance as to the manner in which their minds were affected, that neither the outbreak at Mirath nor the seizure of Delhi entirely removed it.

    The book is divided into twenty eight chapters that begins with the introduction and then talks about the conspirators, to the first mutterings of the storm and the happenings at Barrackpur, Calcutta and the North-West. The revolt at Mirath present day Meerut is significant along with the seizure of Delhi. The effect of the seizure of Delhi across India. The author then goes on to describe the progress of the insurrection in the North-West. There are several other chapters as a spill over of the mutiny that leads to the march to Delhi and the author has listed the reactions and activities that flared up in Kanhpur, Lakhnao, Allahabad, and Calcutta. It also describes in great detail the Britishers taking back famous monuments from the mutineers such as ‘The Residency’ at Lucknow after Havelock’s first attempts to relieve it failed.

    The other places that the book covers are the events in Sagar and Narbada territories, Central India, Rajputana, the Mirath Districts, Rohilkhand and the Punjab province and even Gwalior.

   It then talks of the second attempt to takeover Lakhnao Residency and the Gwalior contingent. It also describes how Sir, Colin Campbell recovers the Duab area of Punjab.

    The book also covers the rebellion in Eastern Bengal, Eastern Bihar, Azamgarh, Allahabad and Eastern Oudh.

    The author has used the old names of the cities and places as they were spelt during those times.

    The book does impact you only if you read it in a continuous stretch. It brings you to a point where you start thinking that sure enough the ‘mutiny of 1857’ the forerunner to the fight for freedom in India that the Indians launched on the British Raj in the twentieth century under Mahatma Gandhi.

    Overall the book is a treat for history lovers. It is meticulously punctuated and that changes the style of writing automatically, and with that the speed of reading, where, you might take some extra hours to finish the book, as compared to some other present day book of similar pages. I would give the book seven out of ten. A must read for history students.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

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BOOK TALK: THE NECKLACE by Guy De Maupassant

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 THE NECKLACE

By Guy de Maupassant

 

 

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 short story was first published on 18 February 1884, in a French newspaper named Le-Gaulos. The story is known for its twisty ending … or you could say ironic end which indeed is the hallmark of De Maupassant’s writing style. The original French title of this book is ‘La Parure.’

    The story revolves around, only a few protagonists. Prime being Madame Mathilde Loisel. Who always imagined herself to be an aristocrat despite being born in a lower middle-class family. And she describes that as an ‘accident of fate.’ She marries a lowly paid clerk who tries his best to make her happy but has little to offer. Through lots of begging at work, her husband is finally able to get an invitation for both of them to the ministry of education’s royal ball and party. Where, Mathilde refuses to go for she has nothing good to wear and desires not to be embarrassed there.

    Her husband is upset to see her displeasure. So, he uses all his money that he has saved or was saving to buy a hunting rifle, and gives Mathilde four hundred francs to use. Mathilde buys a dress. But is still unhappy because she has no jewels to wear along with it. The couple does not have much money left. Her husband suggests that she should buy flowers to wear along with the dress. But Mathilde disagrees. He then gets a brainwave and suggests borrowing of jewelry from her friend Madame Jeanne Forestier for the evening. Mathilde jumps at the suggestion and visits her friend at once and borrows the fanciest peace. A huge scintillating diamond necklace.

    They then go for the ball. Where, Matilde outshines other women both in looks and waltz. Even the minister makes a comment on her accomplishments. After attending the party when they return home early in the morning Mathilde discovers the ‘Necklace’ has gone missing. Mr Loisel immediately goes in search of the necklace but is unable to find it. The couple is aghast. They try to find a quick way to replace it. They go to a shop and buy a similar looking necklace for thirty six thousand francs. But in doing so the couple has to sell everything they owned to secure loans at high interest rates to pay for the it.

    Ten years later, one day while walking along the Champs-Elysees, Mathilde suddenly sees Madame Forestier. She still looks as majestic as she looked ten years back. But she barely recognizes Mathilde. Mathilde is now haggard and in a shabby state. Where, she, really has to introduce herself.  The two then get around talking. Mathilde recounts the story of losing and replacing of the necklace. In a way she also points a finger that it was only because of her friend Madame Forestier that she has lived a terrible life thereafter and during the last ten years.

    Horrified Madame Forestier takes Mathilde’s hands in her own, explaining that the original necklace that she gave her was a fake one or ‘made of paste’ and was nothing more than five hundred francs.

LESSONS;

    One of the lessons out of the story is the dichotomy of ‘reality versus appearance.’ Mathilde is indeed beautiful outside. But inside she is discontented with her less-than-wealthy status and lifestyle. This reinforces the idea that wealth means happiness. Mathilde is gripped by a greed that contrasts with her husband’s kind generosity. She believes that material wealth will bring her joy, and her pride prevents her from admitting to Madame Forestier that she is not rich and that she has lost the necklace she borrowed.

    Because of her pride and possession with wealth, Mathilde loses years of her life and spends all of her savings on replacing the necklace, only to find out that the original necklace was a fake one to begin with. The story demonstrates the value of honesty. If Mathilde had been honest to Madame Forestier she’d likely have been able to easily replace the necklace and enjoy the prosperity she wanted but never had.

    The story has been adapted by many movies, sound tracks and stage plays. Some are:

  • The Diamond Necklace 1921. A British film
  • A String of Pearls. (1926) a chinese film
  • Sound track played in All India Radio’s ‘Hawa Mahal’ in Hindi.
  • Vennila Veedu a Tamil play uses a similar story line as a main theme.  

   *****

 

Synopsis by Kamlesh Tripathi

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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. 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)

*****