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BOOK REVIEW: SIDDHARTHA–An Indian Tale by Hermann Hesse

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Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

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

    Hermann Hesse is a Nobel Laureate. The copy of the book that I read, is published, by Amazing Reads—an Imprint of India Book Distributors Ltd. The discounted price of this book in Amazon is Rs 79. The subject book is a novella of 127pages.

     I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way, we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value. It is always possible—says the author in the book.

    Before I move forward let me give you brief about the author. Herman Hesse was born in Calw, Germany on July 2, 1877 to Johannes and Marie Hesse. They came from different European cultures and were involved in missionary work in India. On account of the parental influence Hesse too, was encouraged to follow the same path, but his love for poetry drove him to spend his early years publishing poems and writing prose.

    In 1904, Hesse published his first novel Peter Camenzind, which was well received and gave him his first breakthrough. He followed this book by another one titled, ‘Beneath the Wheel. In 1904, along with the release of his first novel, Hermann also found marital bliss with Maria Bernoulli and they went on to have three children. He continued to write novellas and short stories and, in 1910, he published Gertrude, (meaning a female, derived from Germanic roots that meant “spear” and strength). Hermann Hesse, while facing a personal crisis at home, protested German fighting in the First World War that brought him a lot of criticism.

    Mirroring his own travels and experiences, Hesse wrote Siddhartha in 1922 and many more books like Steppenwolf in 1927 and Narcissus and Goldmund in 1930. His last novel, The Glass Bead Game, which was published in 1943 took the longest time to complete, following which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1946—a laurel he could not receive personally owing to his deteriorating health condition, which led to his demise on August 9, 1962.

    Hermann Hesse was deeply influenced by the boundless nature of Indian philosophy—and that inspired him to write Siddhartha one of the most widely read novels of the twentieth century.

    Siddhartha, was born into an affluent and privileged Brahmin family, and was loved by one and all. Finding himself dissatisfied with the life he is expected to lead, he forsakes his place among the Brahmins and sets out on a spiritual journey to discover nirvana—a higher state of being. This pursuit leads him through a journey of suffering, self-denial, allurement of wealth and temptations of sensuality; eventually giving up the material world at the bank of a river, where he meets a ferryman who guides him towards his ultimate destiny and shows him how achieving nirvana cannot be taught but persevered by one’s own will. Here, at the river, he stops searching and submits to the oneness of all.

    The story is set up in the ancient Indian kingdom of Kapilavastu. Siddhartha decides to leave behind his home in the hope of gaining spiritual illumination by becoming an ascetic wandering beggar of the Samanas. Joined by his best friend, Govinda, Siddhartha fasts, becomes homeless, renounces all personal possessions, and intensely meditates, eventually seeking, enlightenment.

    Later, both Siddhartha and Govinda acknowledge the elegance of the Buddha’s teachings. Govinda, hastily joins the Buddha’s order, but Siddhartha does not follow suit, claiming that the Buddha’s philosophy, though supremely wise, does not account for the necessarily distinct experiences of each person. He argues that every individual seeks an absolutely unique, personal meaning of life that cannot be presented to him by a teacher. He thus resolves to carry on his quest alone.

    Siddhartha crosses a river where a generous ferryman, whom Siddhartha is unable to pay, merrily predicts that Siddhartha will return to the river someday to compensate him in some way. Venturing onward toward city life, Siddhartha discovers Kamala, the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. Kamala, a courtesan, notes Siddhartha’s handsome appearance and fast wit, telling him that he must become wealthy to win her affections so that she may teach him the art of love. Although Siddhartha despises materialistic pursuits as a Samana, he agrees now to Kamala’s suggestions. She directs him to the employment of one Kamaswami, a local businessman, and insists that he have Kamaswami treat him as an equal rather than an underling. Siddhartha, easily succeeds in that, providing a voice of patience and tranquility, which he had learned from his days as an ascetic, against Kamaswami’s fits of passion. Siddhartha gradually becomes a rich man and Kamala’s lover, though in his middle years he realizes that the luxurious lifestyle he has chosen is merely an illusion that lacks spiritual fulfillment. Leaving the fast-paced bustle of the city, Siddhartha returns to the river fed up with life and disillusioned, contemplating suicide before falling into a meditative sleep, and is saved only by an internal experience of the holy word, Om. The very next morning, by sheer coincidence, Siddhartha briefly reconnects with Govinda, who is passing through the area as a wandering Buddhist.

    Siddhartha decides to live the rest of his life in the presence of the spiritually inspirational river. He thus reunites with the ferryman, named Vasudeva, with whom he begins a humbler way of life. Although, Vasudeva is a simple man, he understands and relates that the river has many voices and significant messages to convey provided someone wants to listen to it.

    Some years later, Kamala, now a Buddhist convert, is traveling to see the Buddha at his deathbed. She is accompanied by her reluctant young son, and is bitten by a venomous snake, near Siddhartha’s river. Siddhartha recognizes her even after years and realizes that the boy is his own child. After Kamala’s death, Siddhartha attempts to console and raise the furiously resistant boy, until one day the child flees altogether. Although Siddhartha is desperate to find his runaway son, Vasudeva urges him to let the boy find his own path, much like Siddhartha did himself in his youth. Listening to the river with Vasudeva, Siddhartha realizes that time is an illusion and that all his feelings and experiences, even those that of suffering, are part of a great and ultimately jubilant fellowship of all things connected in the cyclical unity of nature. After Siddhartha’s moment of illumination, Vasudeva claims that his work is done and he must depart into the woods, leaving Siddhartha peacefully fulfilled and alone once more.

    Towards the end of his life, Govinda hears about an enlightened ferryman and travels to Siddhartha, not initially recognizing him as his old childhood friend. Govinda asks the now-elderly Siddhartha to relate his wisdom and Siddhartha replies that for every true statement there is an opposite one that is also true; that language and the confines of time lead people to adhere to one fixed belief that does not account for the fullness of the truth. Because nature works in a self-sustaining cycle, every entity carries in it the potential for its opposite and so the world must always be considered complete. Siddhartha simply urges people to identify and love the world in its completeness. He then requests Govinda to kiss his forehead, and when he does, Govinda experiences the visions of timelessness that Siddhartha himself saw with Vasudeva by the river. Govinda bows to his wise friend and Siddhartha smiles radiantly, having found enlightenment. The book ends there.

    This indeed is the true picture of life. We run after innumerous things yet we don’t find peace and enlightenment.

    It’s a very fast paced book. I did not like the construct of its sentences nor the punctuation yet the book carries a great message and a great story worth going through for which I would give it seven out of ten.   

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

MIRAGE

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

(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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FFQ: FACTS, FIGURES & QUOTES: THE NUREMBERG TRIALS

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   The Nuremberg trials were a series of military tribunals held after World War II by the Allied Forces (The Allies or the Allied Forces of World War II, were called so, by the United Nations, in their January 1 1942 declaration.) They were the countries that together opposed the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis powers during the Second World War (1939-1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and the Italian aggression under international law and the laws of the war. The trials were most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, judicial, and economic leadership of Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany was the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) ruled the country through dictatorship.

    Under Hitler’s rule, Germany became a totalitarian state when nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government who planned, supervised, and horrendously carried out the holocaust. The holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was World War II’s genocide of the European Jews, between 1941 and 1945 across German-occupied Europe when, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews, around two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population and committed other war crimes.

    War Crime is an act that constitutes a serious violation of the laws of war that gives rise to individual criminal responsibility. Examples of war crimes include intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, torturing, destroying civilian property, taking hostages, performing perfidy, raping, using child soldiers and pillaging. The trials were held in Nuremberg. Nuremberg is the second-largest city of the German federal state of Bavaria after its capital Munich. The trials marked a turning point between classical and contemporary international law.

    The first and the best known trials was that of the major war criminals before the International Military Tribunal (IMT). It was described as “the greatest trial in history” by Sir Norman Birkett, a British barrister, judge, politician and preacher who served as the alternate British judge during the Nuremberg trials, and one of the British judges present throughout. The trial was held between 20 November 1945 and 1 October 1946.

    The Tribunal was given the task of trying 24 of the most important political and military leaders of the Third Reich. Reich is a German word analogous to the English word meaning ‘realm of a king.’ Some important names that were put to trial were as follows:

    Let me begin with Martin Bormann who had died in May 1945 but the fact was not known to the allies and he was tried in absentia. Martin Ludwig Bormann was a German Nazi Party official and head of the Nazi Party Chancellery. He gained immense power by using his position as Adolf Hitler’s private secretary to control the flow of information and access to Hitler. After Hitler’s suicide on 30 April 1945, another defendant, Robert Ley, committed suicide within a week of his trial’s commencement.

    Adolf Hitler killed himself by a gunshot on 30 April 1945 in his Fuhrerbunker in Berlin. Eva Braun, his wife too committed suicide along with him by taking cyanide. In accordance with Hitler’s prior written and verbal instructions that afternoon, their remains were carried up the stairs through the bunker’s emergency exit, doused in petrol, and set alight in the Reich Chancellery garden outside the bunker. Records in the Soviet archives show that their burned remains were recovered and interred in successive locations until 1946. They were exhumed again and cremated in 1970, and the ashes were scattered. 

    Hitler had retreated to his bunker on January 16, after deciding to remain in Berlin for the last great siege of the war. Fifty-five feet under the chancellery (Hitler’s headquarters as chancellor), the shelter contained 18 small rooms and was fully self-sufficient, with its own water and electricity supply. He went out very rarely (once to decorate a squadron of Hitler Youth) and spent most of his time micromanaging what was left of German defenses and entertaining guests such as Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler, and Joachim von Ribbentrop. At his side was Eva Braun, whom he married only two days before their double suicide, and his dog, an Alsatian named Blondi.

    Warned by officers that the Russians were only a day or so away from overtaking the chancellery and urged him to escape to Berchtesgarden, a small town in the Bavarian Alps where Hitler owned a home, but the dictator instead chose suicide. It is believed that both he and his wife swallowed cyanide capsules which had been tested for its efficacy on his “beloved” dog and her pups. And for good measure, he even shot himself with his service pistol.

    The bodies of Hitler and Eva were cremated in the chancellery garden by the bunker survivors as per Der Fuhrer’s orders, and reportedly later recovered in parts by Russian troops. A German court finally officially declared Hitler dead, but not until 1956.

    Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels a German Nazi politician and a Reich Minister for Propoganda of the Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945, had both committed suicide in the spring of 1945 to avoid capture. Heinrich Himmler another leader of the Nazi Party, attempted to commit suicide, but was captured before he could succeed. He committed suicide one day after being arrested by British forces. On the other hand Heinrich Muller better known as Gestapo Muller the SS Gestapo chief of Hitler, who was central in planning the holocaust disappeared the day after Hitler’s suicide. He was the most senior figure of the Nazi regime whose fate remains unknown. He was neither captured nor confirmed to have died.

     Further Reinhard Heydrich a high-ranking German SS and police official of the Nazi era and the main architect of the holocaust was assassinated by Czech partisans in 1942. Josef Terboven another Nazi leader killed himself with dynamite in Norway in 1945. Adolf Eichmann fled to Argentina to avoid capture but was apprehended by Israel’s intelligence service (Mossad) and hanged after a trial in Jerusalem in 1962. Hermann Goring was sentenced to death but he committed suicide by swallowing cyanide the night before his execution.

    Primarily conducted in Nuremberg were the first initial trials, adjudicated by the International Military Tribunal. Further trials of lesser war criminals were conducted under Control Council Law No. 10 at the U.S. Nuremberg Military Tribunal (NMT), which included Doctors’ and Judges’ trial who too were part of war crimes.

    The categorization of the crimes and the constitution of the court represented a juridical advance that was to be followed afterward by the United Nations for the development of an international jurisprudence in matters of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and wars of aggression, and led to the creation of the International Criminal Court. For the first time in international law, the Nuremberg indictments also mentioned genocide (count three, war crimes: “the extermination of racial and national groups, against the civilian populations of certain occupied territories in order to destroy particular races and classes of people and national, racial, or religious groups, particularly Jews, Poles, Gypsies and others”).

    A precedent for trying those accused, of war crimes, had also been set up, at the end of World War I, in the Leipzig War Crimes Trials. The Leipzig War Crimes Trials were a series of trials held in 1921 to try alleged German war criminals of the First World War before the German Reichsgericht (the Supreme Court) in Leipzig, as part of the penalties imposed on the German government under the Treaty of Versailles. Only twelve individuals were brought to trial with mixed results, and the proceedings were widely regarded at the time as a failure. In the longer term, however, the trials were seen as a significant step towards the introduction of a comprehensive system for the prosecution of violations of international law.

 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)

MIRAGE

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

(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-43

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HITLER: FROM ONE WAR TO ANOTHER    Adolf Hitler, born in Austria, in 1889, developed political views that were shaped by his experiences during the First World War, and the defeat Germany suffered in 1918. At his first military screening, he was rejected for lack of physical vigour, but the demands of war changed the requirements, and in 1914 he joined the Bavarian Reserve Infantry. Awarded two Iron Crosses for bravery during World War I, Hitler believed that if Germans had all been loyal to the cause as he had been, the country would have won the war. He blamed Germany’s collapse on revolutionaries, who rose up in early November 1918, and caused Kaiser Wilhelm I (German Emperor) to abdicate, although Germany had in fact already lost the war when that uprising began. Overlooking the contributions of patriotic German Jews to the war effort, Hitler portrayed the November revolution as a “Jewish Bolshevik” conspiracy and made Jews scapegoats for Germany’s downfall.     These ideas evolved into a social philosophy. Misreading history, Hitler concluded that Germany could avenge its humiliation and dominate Europe if it regained its will to victory and eliminated those he accused of betraying the nation. His success in selling this myth to the public led to the Holocaust, in which millions of Jews were murdered, and exposed Germany and the world to even greater calamity in the Second World War than it suffered in the First.     At the age of 34, Adolf Hitler spent nine months in prison, accused of treason after fomenting rebellion among Bavarian soldiers against the prevailing Weimar Republic.

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The basis of life is desire. According to the Rig Veda, the universe came into being when ‘it’ desired so. When there is no desire, there is no life. We either choose life with all its ups and downs or opt for no desire and no life.

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That men do not learn much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach—Aldous Huxley, author.

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 Fish and chip paper: Means the things that seem to be novel and important today are quickly forgotten. The newspaper will be used tomorrow to wrap fish, or thrown away.

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 China, not India, is the world’s largest producer of onions. China grows some 20 million metric tons of allium produce (a genus that includes onions, scallion, shallot, garlic, chives, leek etc) compared to India’s 13 million metric tons. However, Chinese onion has few takers in South Asia because it lacks pungency of Indian onions, which the region prefers for cooking. But India can export onions only in good years (it raked in nearly $500 million in exports in 2018), and it ends up consuming most of what it grows during bad years, as is happening in 2019.     In fact, even is a good year, India is not the top onion exporter. Nor is China. This honour goes to tiny Netherlands, an agri hothouse that has found the most brilliant ways to grow enormous quantity of food produce in a country that is about the size of Kerala. The Dutch knocked up $676 million in onion exports in 2018, accounting for nearly 20% of the world onion trade, ahead of exports by China, Mexico, India, and The United States, all onion majors.

***

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)

*****

 

 

 

Author: Nikolai Gogol

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

    Short lifespan 43 years (31 March 1809–4 March 1852) was a Russian dramatist of Ukranian origin.

    The popularity of Nikolai Gogol in India can be judged by the fact that the main character in Jhumpa Lahiri’s 2003 novel The Namesake and its 2006 movie is named after Nikolai Gogol, because his father survives a train crash while clutching onto a copy of one of Gogol’s books in his hand.

    An eponymous poem “Gogol” by poet-diplomat Abhay Kumar refers to some of the great works of Gogol such as “The Nose”, “The Overcoat”, “Nevsky Prospekt”, “Dead Souls” and “The Government Inspector.”

    Gogol’s story “The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich” was adapted into a Marathi movie titled, Katha Don Ganpatravanchi in 1996. The movie was directed by Arun Khopkar and dialogues are written by Satish Alekar. The movie had Dilip Prabhawalkar and Mohan Agashe in lead roles.

    Although, Gogol was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the pre-eminent figures of the natural school of Russian literary realism. Later his critics have found in his work a fundamentally romantic sensibility, with strands of surrealism and grotesque in works such as, “The Nose”, “Viy”, (a horror story) “The Overcoat” and “Nevsky  Prospekt”. His early works, such as “Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka,” were influenced by his Ukrainian upbringing, Ukranian culture and folklore. His later writing satirised political corruption in the Russian Empire which includes (The Government Inspector and Dead Souls,). His novels “Taras Bulba” (1835) and his play “Marriage” (1842), along with the short stories “Diary of a Madman”, “The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich”, “The Portrait” and “The Carriage”, are all among his best-known works.

    Gogol was born in the Ukrainian Cossack town of Sorochyntsi, in Poltava Governorate of the Russian Empire. His mother descended from Leonty Kosyarovsky, an officer of the Lubny Regiment in 1710. His father Vasily Gogol-Yanovsky, was a descendant of Ukrainian Cossacks who died when Gogol was 15 years old. He belonged to the ‘petty gentry’, who wrote poetry in Ukrainian and Russian, and was an amateur Ukranian-language playwright. As was typical of the left-bank Ukrainian gentry of the early nineteenth century. The family spoke Ukrainian as well as Russian. As a child, Gogol helped stage, Ukrainian-language plays, in his uncle’s home theatre.

    In 1820, Gogol went to a school of higher art in Nizhyn (now Nizhyn Gogol State University) and remained there until 1828. It was there that he began writing. He was not popular among his schoolmates, who called him a “mysterious dwarf”, but with two or three of them he formed lasting friendships. Very early he developed a dark and secretive disposition, marked by a painful self-consciousness and boundless ambition. Equally early, he developed a talent for mimicry, which later made him a matchless reader of his own works and induced him to toy with the idea of becoming an actor.

    In 1828, upon leaving school, Gogol came to Saint Petersburg, with vague but ambitious hopes. He wanted literary fame, and brought with him a Romantic poem of German idyllic life – Hans Küchelgarten. He had it published, at his own expense, under the name of “V Alov.” The magazines he sent it to, almost universally, derided it. He bought all the copies and destroyed them, swearing never to write poetry again. Gogol was always in touch with the “literary aristocracy.”

    In 1831 Gogol brought out the first volume of his Ukranian stories—‘Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka’ that met with immediate success. He followed it in 1832 with a second volume and in 1835 by two more volumes and in 1835 by two volumes of stories entitled Mirgorod as well as miscellaneous prose titled Arabesques. With all this Gogol emerged more as an Ukranian writer than a Russian one. The themes and style of Gogol’s prose were similar to the work of Ukranian writers.

    Gogol developed a passion for Ukranian history and tried to obtain an appointment in the history department at Kiev University. Where, despite the support of Pushkin and Sergey Uvarov the Russian Minister for education his appointment was blocked by a Kyivan bureaucrat on the grounds that Gogol was unqualified.

    In 1834 Gogol was made professor of medieval history at the University of St. Petersburg, a job for which he had no qualifications. At the final examination, he sat in utter silence with a black handkerchief wrapped around his head, simulating a toothache, while another professor interrogated the students. This academic venture proved a failure and he resigned his chair in 1835.

    Between 1832 and 1836 Gogol worked with great energy. It was, only after the presentation, at the Saint Petersburg, State Theatre, on 19 April 1836, of his comedy “The Government Inspector” that he finally came to believe in his literary capabilities. The comedy, was a violent satire of Russian provincial bureaucracy. From 1836 to 1848 Gogol lived abroad, travelling through Germany and Switzerland. Gogol spent the winter of 1836–37 in Paris, among Russian expatriates and Polish exiles, He eventually settled in Rome. For much of the twelve years from 1836 Gogol was in Italy developing an admiration for Rome. He studied art, read Italian literature and developed a passion for opera.

    In 1841 the first part of Dead Souls was ready, and Gogol took it to Russia to supervise its printing. The book instantly established his reputation as the greatest prose writer in the language.

   After the triumph of Dead Souls, Gogol’s contemporaries came to regard him as a great satirist who lampooned the unseemly sides of Imperial Russia.  

    In April 1848 Gogol returned to Russia from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and passed his last years in restless movement throughout the country. He fell into a state of deep depression. On the night of 24 February 1852 he burned some of his manuscripts, which contained most of the second part of Dead Souls. He explained this, as a mistake, a practical joke played on him by the Devil. Soon thereafter, he took to bed, refused all food, and died in great pain nine days later.

    Gogol was mourned in the Saint Tatiana church at the Moscow University before his burial and then buried at the Danilov Monastery. His grave was marked by a large stone (Golgotha), topped by a Russian Orthodox cross. In 1931, Moscow authorities decided to demolish the monastery and had Gogol’s remains transferred to a cemetery in Moscow, Russia.

    His body was discovered lying face down, which gave rise to the story that Gogol had been buried alive. The authorities moved the Golgotha stone to the new gravesite, but removed the cross. In 1952 the Soviets replaced the stone with a bust of Gogol.

    Gogol was a great destroyer of prohibitions, and of romantic illusions. He undermined Russian Romanticism by making vulgarity reign where only the sublime and the beautiful had been before.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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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)

*****

 

 

 

INTERESTING FACTS FIGURES & QUOTES-30

Copyright@shravancharitymission

By 2020, half of India’s internet users will be rural. Nine out of ten internet users are non-English speaking.

A study published in the University of Cincinnati Law Review suggests that CEOs are at twice the risk of developing depression as compared to the general population. Another comprehensive review of literature published in the Journal of Affective Disorders elucidates that people living in developed and wealthy countries have a greater risk of suffering from mood disorders than those living in developing nations.

Annually, on an average, 1.5 lakh people are killed and close to 10 lakh are injured in road crashes across India. As per ministry of road transport data, over 14% fatalities were due to overloading of vehicles. In 2017, 20,848 people were killed due to overloading of vehicles—an average of 57 deaths per day.

The fine currently for overloading trucks—a rampant practice is only Rs 2000. Motor Vehicle Amendment Board proposes to increase it to 20,000 to halt the practice.

Currently India has no central legislation governing the protection of pedestrians. The penalties for irresponsible road behaviour that lead to serious injuries or fatalities have remained minimal for the last three decades and have consequently failed to deter violators.

A recent study by SaveLIFE Foundation shows that 63.3% of the children who admitted to underage driving shared that they started learning how to drive between the ages of 9 to 14.

The proverb warns, ‘You should not bite the hand that feeds you.’ But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself—THOMAS SZASZ.

Congress has not won an election in Gujarat, whether Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha in 32 years.

 Achilles heel—An Achilles’ heel or Achilles heel is a weakness in spite of overall strength, which can lead to downfall. While the mythological origin refers to a physical vulnerability, idiomatic references to other attributes or qualities that can lead to downfall are common.

Whenever opportunities narrow down you start seeing protests.

Statues and pictures and verse may be grand, but they are not the life for which they stand—JAMES THOMSON, British poet.

Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not the thunder—Jalaluddin Rumi.

Poor fund allocation in R&D (less than 1% of india’s budget, as compared to 3-5% by countries like the US and China) inhibits innovation and hence prospects of jobs growth. A programme like ‘Small Business innovation and research’ (which provides enterprises with competitive R&D grants) proposed in a Niti Aayog Expert committee can be a game changer.

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light—PLATO.

Iceland is the only country that jailed its bankers in the 2008 recession (because Iceland has community norms) but US bailed out its bankers.

The general elections held in 1952, 1957, 1962, and 1967, were simultaneous polls held throughout the country. But this cycle was disrupted in 1969, with the premature dissolution of Loksabha.

Yiwu market is located in Zhejiang district of China. It is the world’s largest wholesale market where over 100000 suppliers exhibit over 400000 genre of products. Yiwu has tied up with leading logistics firms, for shop to door deliveries.

America is practically owned by china—TOMWINNIFIRT, UK journalist.

Germany today has absorbed over a million refugees and settled them across the country—Syrians.

In 2016, tourism and travel contributed 10% of India’s GDP. The largest part of this was domestic tourism, amounting to about 88%. India is the seventh-largest tourist economy globally. Given its riches, natural and manmade. It should be much higher.

The recent series on the Vietnam war produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick and written by Geoff Ward (a long time India friend and wildlife lover) makes just this point. After Vietnam, America may still be looking for a war to win.

Indian soldiers walked up the Icchogil canal and to the gates of Lahore in 1965, but came back, soon after, for territory was not on their minds. To this day people in India rue this decision. We all know which party was in power then.

Mahatma Gandhi once said that the future depends on what you do today.

One clear indicator of strain is annual per capita water availability. This was 5177 cubic metres in 1951 which declined to 1545 cubic metres in 2011, against the international threshold for water stress, pegged at 1700 cubic metres. However. National Institute of Hydrology pegs India’s utilisable per capita water availability at just 938 cubic metres in 2010 and expects this to drop to 814 cubic metres by 2025.

At one time a quarter of all American college men were buying or subscribing  to playboy magazine. ‘a woman reading a playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual’—Gloria Steinem.

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)

*****

 

 

 

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)

*****