Tag Archives: italy

POEM: THE CORONA STORY

Copyright@shravancharitymission

POEM: THE CORONA STORY

It all started in Wuhan,

Where Corona lived … behind a deadly micron,

They say he lived in a bat,

From where he was brought to a lab,

And from where he escaped,

Causing a worldwide … outrage.

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The world couldn’t see … the contagion coming,

Dr Li too, was silenced … when he tried to whistle,

China created a smokescreen in Wuhan,

Where seemingly,

Even … WHO was put in a trance.

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Countries and continents thought it’ll settle,

But Corona was now at a deadly level,

Italy battled … Spain fought,

UK … Germany overcame the hot-spot,

Yet Europe,

Went into a fraught.

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New York trembled … America fumed,

Challenge indeed … was too huge,

Where,

 Nothing seemed to work in the land of rules,

Yet US fought … with a determined sinew,

And where China remained in a beguile subterfuge.

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Korea fretted,

Middle East fumbled,

Latin America fought … like a brute,

Russia battled.

India grappled,

Australia brawled,

New Zealand braved,

Africa endured,

While the Chinese virus,

Had a roaring field day.

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The world kneeled,

As Covid rose,

From China’s core,

To mangle the world.

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 The fight was now on,

As mankind was stormed,

Civilizations had suffered,

But the world had no buffer.

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While everyone thought of,

Black Death and Spanish Flu,

It was Donald Trump,

Versus the Chinese Flu.

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The scenario was horrific,

With suffering galore,

And a flood of dead bodies,

That made the world look sore.

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And to save humanity,

Scientists had framed new rules,

Where mixing was banned,

And seclusion was in vogue,

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Things had changed,

Protocols had altered,

Social distancing was in place,

Handshakes and hugs had effaced,

And where, namaste was the order of the day.

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Touch and hugs had vanished,

Spice of life had tarnished

Tears were on,

Lockdown was prolonged,

Where migrants had an infinite marathon,

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Citizens had lost,

In the quagmire of pandemic,

Where a cure,

 Appeared invisible.

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But hope said,

Hold on,

As life will go on,

For it is not the end of the world.

And songs will return,

But to the tunes of upstairs,

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For once in century,

Through a pandemic,

God reminds,

Human beings of their atrocities,

So don’t feel disheartened,

For good days shall return.

****

Written 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)

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)

*****

 

 

 

FACTS & FIGURES: SPANISH FLU (1918)

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    In this dismaying season of Covid-19 here are a few facts about The Spanish Flu.

    The Spanish flu also known as the 1918 flu pandemic was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic. An influenza pandemic is an epidemic of an influenza virus that spreads on a worldwide scale and infects a large proportion of the world population.  Lasting from January 1918 to December 1920, it infected some 500 million people – say about a quarter of the world’s population at that time. The death toll is estimated to have been anywhere from 17 million to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, behind the Black Death.

    The Black Death, has many names such as Pestilence, the Great Bubonic Plague, the Great Plague or simply the Plague, or less commonly the Great Mortality or the Black Plague. It was the most devastating pandemic recorded in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia, peaking in Europe from 1347 to 1351.

    What is Eurasia? Eurasia is the largest continental area on Earth, comprising all of Europe and Asia. Located primarily in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres, it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, the Pacific Ocean on the east, the Arctic Ocean on the north, and by Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Indian Ocean in the south. 

    The bacterium Yersinia pestis is a kind of organism, which results in several forms of plagues such as septicemic, pneumonic and the most common bubonic. The Black Death was the first major European outbreak of plague and the second plague pandemic. The first being the Plague of Justinian.

    The Plague of Justinian (541–542 AD, with recurrences until 750) was a pandemic that afflicted the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire and especially its capital, Constantinople, as well as the Sasanian Empire and port cities around the entire Mediterranean Sea, as merchant ships harboured rats with plague that came from fleas a small flightless insect. Some historians believe the plague of Justinian was one of the deadliest pandemics in history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 25–100 million people during the two centuries of recurrence, a death toll equivalent to as much as half of Europe’s population at the time of, the first outbreak. The plague’s social and cultural impact has been compared to that of the Black Death, that devastated Eurasia in the fourteenth century, but research published in 2019 argued that the plague’s death toll and social effects have been exaggerated.

     The plague created religious, social, and economic upheavals, with profound effects in the course of European history.

    The Black Death probably originated in Central Asia or East Asia, from where it travelled along the Silk Road, reaching Crimea (a peninsula located on the northern coast of the Black Sea in in Eastern Europe) by 1343. From there, it was most likely carried by fleas again–a small wingless jumping insect that feeds on the blood of mammals and birds. It at times transmitted diseases through its bite also, including plague and myxomatosis, and lived on black rats that travelled on Genoese merchant ships of, The Republic of Genoa that lies in present day Italy and was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 on the north western Italian coast, incorporating Corsica an island, from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories, throughout the Mediterranean, reaching the rest of Europe via the Italian Peninsula.

    The Black Death also travelled through The Silk Road. Silk Road was a network of trade routes that connected the East and West, and was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions between these regions from the 2nd century BCE up to the 18th century. The Silk Road primarily refers to the land routes connecting East Asia and Southeast Asia with South Asia, Persia, the Arabian Peninsula, East Africa and Southern Europe.

    The Black Death is estimated to have killed 30 to 60% of Europe’s population. In total, the plague may have reduced the world population from an estimated 475 million to 350–375 million in the 14th century. It took 200 years for Europe’s population to recover to its previous level, and some regions such as Florence did not recover until the 19th century. Outbreaks of the plague recurred until the early 20th century. The point to note is that, even in Covid-19 pandemic, both Spain and Italy are very badly affected.

    To maintain the morale, World War I censors minimized early reports of illness and mortality in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States. But newspapers were free to report the epidemic’s effects in neutral Spain, such as the grave illness of King Alfonso XIII, and these stories created a false impression of Spain as especially hard hit. This gave rise to the name Spanish flu. This indeed is the reason why countries don’t want to name pandemics on names of countries. American President Donald Trump called Covid 19 as a Chinese Virus for which there was a lot of criticism. Historical and epidemiological data are inadequate to identify with certainty the pandemic’s geographic origin, with varying views to its exact location.

    Most influenza outbreaks disproportionately kill the very young and the very old, with a higher survival rate for those in between, but the Spanish flu pandemic resulted in a higher than expected mortality rate for young adults. Scientists offer several possible explanations for the high mortality rate of the 1918 influenza pandemic. Some analyses have shown the virus to be particularly deadly because it triggers a cytokine storm. Cytokine release syndrome (CRS) is a form of systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) that can be triggered by a variety of factors such as infections and certain drugs that ravages the stronger immune system of young adults. In contrast, a 2007 analysis of medical journals from the period of the pandemic found that the viral infection was no more aggressive than previous influenza strains. Instead, malnourishment, overcrowded medical camps and hospitals, and poor hygiene promoted bacterial super-infection. This super-infection killed most of the victims, typically after a prolonged bedridden illness. The Spanish flu was the first of two pandemics caused by the H1N1 influenza virus; the second was the swine flu in 2009.

    Covid19 is suspected to have come from the bats in China.

    Stay safe stay at home.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

*

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

*****

 

 

 

FACTS FIGURES & QUOTES (FFQ): THE MAKING OF FILM BENHUR

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    The making of a movie is extremely taxing. After watching a movie for three hours in a theatre we do get the flavour of the movie but not the aches and pains suffered by the team that brings the movie to you.

    Benhur is a 1959 American epic historical film directed by William Wyler, produced by Sam Zimbalist, starring Charlton Heston as the title character. It was actually a remake of the 1925 silent film with a similar title. It was adapted from Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel Benhur: A Tale of the Christ.

    I will not go to the plot of this movie as it a famous one. But yes let me take you through the film production of this great all time movie. Especially, the chariot race.  It may not be difficult to film such scenes today because of numerous computer aids available. But way back in 1958 it was one humungous task to accomplish

    The budget of Benhur was approximately $132 million. The chariot race in Benhur was directed by Andrew Marton and Yakima Canutt, both filmmakers The “pageantry sequence” before the race, is a shot-by-shot remake of the same sequence from the 1925 silent film version.

    Marton and Canutt wrote 38 pages of script that outlined every aspect of the race, including action, stunts, and camera shots and angles. Producer Sam Zimbalist was deeply involved in the planning and shooting of the chariot sequence, and the construction of the arena.

    The chariot arena was modelled on a historic circus in Jerusalem. Covering 18 acres (7.3 ha), it was the largest film set ever built at that time. Constructed at a cost of $1 million, it took a thousand workmen more than a year to carve the oval out of a rock quarry. The racetrack, featured 1,500-foot (460 m) long straightaways and five-story-high grandstands. Over 250 miles (400 km) of metal tubing were used to erect the grandstands. Matte paintings created the illusion of upper stories of the grandstands, and the background mountains. The production crew researched ancient Roman racetracks, but were unable to determine what a historic track surface was like. The crew decided to create their own racecourse surface, one that would be hard enough to support the steel-rimmed chariot wheels but soft enough, to not harm the horses even after hundreds of laps. The construction crew laid down a bed of crushed rock, topped by a layer of ground lava, and finely grounded yellow rock. More than 40,000 short tons (36,000 t) of sand were brought in from beaches in the Mediterranean to cover the track. Other elements of the circus were also historically accurate. Imperial Roman racecourses featured a raised 10 feet (3.0 m) high spina (the center section), metae (columnar goalposts at each end of the spina), dolphin-shaped lap counters, and carceres (the columned building at the rear that housed the cells where horses waited prior to the race). The four statues atop the spina were 30 feet (9.1 m) high. A chariot track identical in size was constructed next to the set and was used to train the horses and lay out camera shots.

    Planning for the chariot race took nearly a year to complete. Seventy-eight horses were bought and imported from Yugoslavia and Sicily, the largest Mediterranean island, near Italy in November 1957 that were exercised into peak physical condition, and trained by Hollywood animal handler Glenn Randall to pull the quadriga (the Roman Empire chariot drawn by four horses abreast).

    Andalusian horses (pure Spanish horses) played Benhur’s Arabians, while the others in the chariot race were primarily Lipizzans (originating in Lipica in Slovenia). A veterinarian, a harness maker, and 20 stable boys were employed to care for the horses and ensure they were outfitted for racing each day. When a blacksmith for making horseshoes could not be found, an 18-year-old Italian boy was trained in the art of blacksmithing in order to do so. The firm of Danesi Brothers in Rome built 18 chariots, each weighing 900 pounds (410 kg). Out of that nine were practice chariots. Principal cast members, stand-ins, and stunt people made 100 practice laps of the arena in preparation for shooting. Because the chariot race was considered so dangerous, a 20-bed infirmary, staffed by two doctors and two nurses was also built next to the set to care for anyone injured during shooting.

    Actors Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd both had to learn how to drive a chariot. Heston, an experienced horseman, took daily a three-hour lesson in chariot driving after he arrived in Rome and picked up the skill quickly. (He also learned sword fighting, how to throw a javelin, camel riding, and rowing). Heston was outfitted with special contact lenses to prevent the grit kicked up during the race from injuring his eyes. Stephen Boyd, however, needed four weeks of training to feel comfortable (but not an expert) at driving the quadriga. For the other charioteers, six actors with extensive experience with horses were flown in from Hollywood. Local actors also portrayed as charioteers. Among them were Giuseppe Tosi, who had once been the bodyguard for Victor Emmanuel III of Italy.

    The original shoot production schedule, called for the chariot race to be shot in the spring season, when the weather was cooler for the horses and when Wyler would not be placing heavy demands on Heston and Boyd’s time. But sadly, the arena surface was not ready; the arena set was not finished, and the horses had not finished their training. Shooting of the chariot sequence began on the same day as the principal photography (Principal photography is the phase of film production in which the bulk of the movie is filmed). So, for various reasons once again the filming was delayed. The racecourse surface provided was so soft that it slowed the horses down and a day of shooting was lost as the yellow rock and all but 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) of crushed lava was removed.

    Marton and Canutt filmed the entire, chariot sequence, with stunt doubles in long shot, edited the footage together, and showed the footage to Zimbalist, Wyler, and Heston to show them what the race should look like and to indicate where close-up shots with Heston and Boyd should go. Seven thousand extras were hired to cheer in the stands. Economic conditions in Italy were poor at the time, and as shooting for the chariot scene wound down, only 1,500 extras were needed on any given day. On June 6, more than 3,000 people seeking work were turned away. The crowd rioted, throwing stones and assaulting the set’s gates until police arrived and dispersed them. Dynamite charges were used to show the chariot wheels and axles splintering from the effects of Messala’s barbed-wheel attacks. Three lifelike dummies were placed at key points in the race to give the appearance of men being run over by chariots.

    The cameras used during the chariot race also presented problems. The 70mm lenses had a minimum focal length of 50 feet (15 m), and the camera was mounted on a small Italian-made car so the camera crew could keep in front of the chariots. The horses, however, accelerated down the 1,500-foot (460 m) straightaway much faster than the car could, and the long focal length left Marton and Canutt with too little time to get their shots. The production company purchased a more powerful American car, but the horses still proved too fast. Even with a head start, the larger American car could give the filmmakers only a few more seconds of shot time. Since the horses had to be running at top speed for the best visual impact, Marton chose to film the chariot race with a smaller lens, with a much shorter, minimum focal length. He also decided that the car should stay only a few feet ahead of the horses. This was highly dangerous, for if the car did not make its turns or slowed down, a deadly crash with the horses could occur. The changes, however, solved the problems the camera crew was encountering. As filming progressed, vast amounts of footage were shot for this sequence. The ratio of footage (raw unedited material) shot to footage used was 263:1, one of the highest ratios ever for a film.

    John Dunning and Ralph E. Winters edited the footage of the chariot sequence. The two editors decided that, once the race was under way, one of the charioteers should be killed immediately to demonstrate to the audience that the race was a deadly one. Inserts of the sharp barbs on the hub of Messala’s chariot were inserted repeatedly throughout the sequence to make it obvious that his chariot was highly dangerous. As the footage was shot, it was edited by Ralph Winters. If the footage was poor, the stunts didn’t come off on the camera well, and if the coverage was lacking, then more footage had to be shot. So, with all these uncertainties at the end of three months, Dunning says, ‘Winters had so much footage in hand that he asked Dunning to come to Rome to help him edit together the final sequence.’

    One of the most notable moments in the race came from a near-fatal accident. Joe Canutt, Yakima Canutt’s son, did Heston’s most dangerous stunts during the sequence. When Judah Benhur’s chariot jumps over the wreckage of a chariot in its path, Benhur is almost thrown out of his chariot. He hangs on and climbs back aboard to continue the race. While the jump was planned (the horses were trained to leap over the wreckage, and a telephone pole had been half-buried in the earth to force the chariot to jump into the air), stunt man Joe Canutt was tossed into the air by accident; he incurred a minor chin injury. Marton wanted to keep the shot, but Zimbalist felt the footage was unusable. Marton conceived the idea of showing that Benhur was able to land on and cling to the front of his chariot, then scramble back into the quadriga while the horses kept going. The long shot of Canutt’s accident was cut together with a close-up of Heston climbing back aboard constitutes one of the race’s most memorable moments. Stephen Boyd did all but two of his own stunts. For the sequence where Messala is dragged beneath a chariot’s horses and trampled to near death, Boyd wore steel armour under his costume and acted out the close-up shot on his back, attempting to climb up into the horses’ harness to escape injury. A dummy was used to obtain the trampling shot in this sequence.

    In all, the chariot scene took five weeks (spread over three months) to film at a total cost of $1 million and required more than 200 miles (320 km) of racing to complete. Two of the $100,000 70mm lenses were destroyed during the filming of the close-up shots. Once the “pageantry” and victory parade sequences of the race were finished, Wyler did not visit the chariot race set, again. Yet according to Zimbalist, Wyler said “it’s one of the greatest cinematic achievements” he had ever seen. Wyler did not see the final cut of the chariot race until the press screening of Ben-Hur.

    A total of 1,100,000 feet (340,000 m) was shot for the film. According to editor John D Dunning, the first cut of the film was four and a half hours long. William Wyler stated that his goal was to bring the running time down to three and a half hours. The most difficult editing decisions, according to Dunning, came during scenes which involved Jesus Christ, as these contained almost no dialogue and most of the footage was purely reaction shots by actors. When the film was edited into its final form, it ran 213 minutes and included just 19,000 feet (5,800 m) of film. It was the third-longest motion picture ever made at the time, behind Gone With The Wind and The Ten Commandments.

     We often belittle a movie that we don’t like. Henceforth before doing that think of the hard work that has gone to make that film.

 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)

*****

 

 

 

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

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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)

*****

 

 

 

LITERARY CORNER: CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller

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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.

    In our normal day-to-day life we often use the phrase Catch-22. It means a dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

    Catch-22 is a satirical novel by American author Joseph Heller who began writing it in 1953. The novel was first published in 1961. Often cited as one of the most significant novels of the twentieth century, it uses a distinctive non-chronological third-person omniscient narration, describing events from the points of view of different characters (where, the author has, or seems to have, access to knowledge of all characters, places, and events of the story, including any given characters and thoughts). The book has separate storylines which are out of sequence so the timeline of the novel develops along with the plot.

    The novel is set during World War II, from 1942 to 1944. It mainly follows the life of Captain John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 Bombardier (Bombardier is a member of the bomber crew in the US Air-force). Most of the events in the book occur while the fictional 256th Squadron is based on the island of Pianosa, in the Mediterranean Sea, west of Italy. The novel looks into the experiences of Yossarian and the other airmen in the camp, who attempt to maintain their sanity while fulfilling their service requirements so that they may return home.

    PLOT

    During the second half of World War II, a soldier named Yossarian is stationed with his Air Force squadron on the island of Pianosa, near the Italian coast in the Mediterranean Sea. Yossarian and his friends endure a nightmarish, absurd existence defined by bureaucracy and violence: they are like inhuman resources in the eyes of their blindly ambitious superior officers. The squadron is thrown thoughtlessly into brutal combat situations and bombing runs in which it is more important for the squadron members to capture good aerial photographs of explosions than to destroy their targets. Their colonels continually raise the number of missions that they are required to fly before being sent home, so that no one is ever sent home. Still, no one but Yossarian seems to realize that there is a war going on; everyone thinks he is crazy when he insists that millions of people are trying to kill him.

    Yossarian’s story forms the core of the novel, so most events are refracted through his point of view. Yossarian takes the whole war personally: unswayed by national ideals or abstract principles, Yossarian is furious that his life is in constant danger through no fault of his own. He has a strong desire to live and is determined to be immortal or die trying. As a result, he spends a great deal of his time in the hospital, faking various illnesses in order to avoid the war. As the novel progresses through its loosely connected series of recurring stories and anecdotes, Yossarian is continually troubled by his memory of Snowden, a soldier who died in his arms on a mission when Yossarian lost all his desire to participate in the war. Yossarian is placed in ridiculous, absurd, desperate, and tragic circumstances—where he sees friends die and disappear, his squadron gets bombed by its own mess officer, and colonels and generals volunteer their men for the most perilous battle in order to enhance their own reputation.

    Catch-22 is a law defined in various ways throughout the novel. First, Yossarian discovers that it is possible to be discharged from military service because of insanity. Always looking for a way out, Yossarian claims that he is insane, only to find out that by claiming that he is insane he has proved that he is obviously sane—since any sane person would claim that he or she is insane in order to avoid flying bombing missions. Elsewhere, Catch-22 is defined as a law that is illegal to read. Ironically, the place where it is written that it is illegal is in Catch-22 itself. It is yet again defined as the law that the enemy is allowed to do anything that one can’t keep him from doing. In short, then, Catch-22 is any paradoxical, circular reasoning that catches its victim in its illogic and serves those who have made the law. Catch-22 can be found in the novel not only where it is explicitly defined but also throughout the characters stories, which are full of catches and instances of circular reasoning that trap unwitting bystanders in their snares—for instance, the ability of the powerful officer Milo Minderbinder to make great sums of money by trading among the companies that he himself owns.

    As Yossarian struggles to stay alive, a number of secondary stories unfold around him. His friend Nately falls in love with a whore from Rome and woos her constantly, despite her continued indifference and the fact that her kid sister constantly interferes with their romantic rendezvous. Finally, she falls in love with Nately, but he is killed on his very next mission.

    When Yossarian brings her the bad news, she blames him for Nately’s death and tries to stab him every time she sees him thereafter. Another subplot follows the rise of the black-market empire of Milo Minderbinder, the squadron’s mess hall officer. Milo runs a syndicate in which he borrows military planes and pilots to transport food between various points in Europe, making a massive profit from his sales. Although he claims that “everyone has a share” in the syndicate, this promise is later proven false. Milo’s enterprise flourishes nonetheless, and he is revered almost religiously by communities all over Europe.

The novel draws to a close as Yossarian, troubled by Nately’s death, refuses to fly any more missions. He wanders the streets of Rome, encountering every kind of human horror—rape, disease, murder. He is eventually arrested for being in Rome without a pass, and his superior officers, Colonel Cathcart and Colonel Korn, offer him a choice. He can either face a court-martial or be released and sent home with an honorable discharge.But there is only one condition: in order to be released, he must approve of Cathcart and Korn and state his support for their policy, which requires all the men in the squadron to fly eighty missions. Although he is tempted by the offer, Yossarian realizes that to comply would be to endanger the lives of other innocent men. So he chooses another way out, deciding to desert the army and flee to neutral Sweden. In doing so, he turns his back on the dehumanizing machinery of the military, rejects the rule of Catch-22, and strives to gain control of his own life.

    So friends if you’ve not read this book you have indeed missed something in life. I would give the book eight 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)

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

*****

 

 

 

BOOK CORNER: ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY by Kamlesh Tripathi

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.

    Book review found in one of the blogs published in the year 2013.

    Publication is by: Pigeon Books India/ in 2012

    Pages 276

    Price 160. Available in mostly all the online stores as of now

    It is story of a single woman. The scene of enactment is Delhi. As we all know in this devious world, women who are single, face a lot of problems. The problems could be social, professional and even sexual. The world in many ways takes them for granted. So within this framework this particular novel was written. the review starts with a few quotes out of the book as follows:

    “The canvas of human life had many hues but none sweeter than love. But it was also the most ephemeral. Where, material world ruled the roost. Qualifications, jobs, career, consumerism were the primary colours people chased and mighty materialism thereafter … to run after, all their lives.”

    If one had to read the book, ‘One to Tango’ without knowing about the author’s gender, one would confidently say that the book was written by a woman. Such is the intensity and detail with which the novel is written. But, Kamlesh Tripathi is a man and, for a man to write a book like a woman about a woman protagonist ‘Ria’—clearly its hats off to him!

    I say this because the novel reads almost like a journal with a women’s innermost emotions spread across the pages of the book. Many women who have seemingly crossed the age of marriage according to the superficial rules of the society might identify with this book. The review sheet further quotes from the book

    “She was once stunned at a feeler from one of her seniors that she ought to be available for a quickie as she too needs to satisfy her physical lust … a kind of open license … a never ending fright.

    Some of her married male cousins and friends had the birth right to hug and feel her body curves … if lecherous eyes could make love, she would have been mother of many bastards by now.”

    Ria is a single woman with a desire to get married like many bright intelligent working woman but, destiny has other plans for her. Suitors come and go, boyfriends woo and then leave only giving her pain and hurt. Ria thinks she is a jinx until that somebody special enters her life. But, is he the man of her dreams? His destiny has already been worked out for bigger things than just plain love, lust and relationship. So, where does that leave Ria? Does she finally get what she so badly wants and so very much deserves?

    Kamlesh’s narrative style keeps the flow of the plot moving even when Ria’s life stagnates. One wonders while reading the book—what more can the author offer? Is that it? And quite unlike other novels, the ending is unexpected, non-stereotype. That’s what makes the book stand out apart from the fact that the novel also single handedly concentrates on the theme of single women” and their personal pain. But, of course, the perspective differs from woman to woman.

Classified as a good read

    The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and with Pigeon Books India. Basis the review I of course would ask you to read it. It is also archived in a GOI library in Delhi and a prestigious library of Chennai.

***

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

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

(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)

*****

 

 

 

SHORT STORY: THE HAPPY MAN’S SHIRT

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 HAPPY MAN’S SHIRT—an Italian folktale, retold (Italo Calvino)

    Once there was a king by the name of Giphad. He ruled a very peaceful … yet powerful kingdom. All his people loved and adored him. Everything was just going fine in his kingdom. Except for his son Jonash. Jonash was very unhappy for some unknown reason. He would sit is his room staring blankly out of the window at the lands and frown.

    The king addressed his son one day, ‘What on earth is upsetting you, Jonash? What is it that you don’t have? What is making you so distraught?’ The young king only shrugged his shoulders. The king added, ‘could that be a girl, a particular woman that has caught your eye? Tell me her name and I will move mountains to have the two of you married at once.’

    ‘No, it’s not the girl. I don’t know why I’m so unhappy.’ The king nodded at this and walked off. Later the king pondered if such a situation continues with his son he might die out of melancholy.

    He thought his son required professional help. So, he issued a decree inviting all the top physicians, astrologers and wise men of the kingdom come to him. When they arrived, the king made them meet his son. And after three days of deliberations the astrologers finally came up with a solution. ‘Your Majesty,’ Janklo, the head astrologer spoke. ‘We have thought through the problem in great depth. In order, to help your son, you must find a happy man. A man who is happy without any possessions and desires.’ The king raised an eyebrow at this. ‘I now have to find a happy man?’

    ‘Yes,’ replied the head astrologer, ‘and when you find the happy man you must trade his shirt for your son’s shirt, then all will be fine.’

    The king agreed and dismissed them. He called his Prime Minister and other dignitaries to his court and told them to go out and find for him a truly happy man. He had posters placed all over the kingdom offering a handsome reward to anyone who could find a truly happy man.

    the first person who was made to appear before the court was a priest. “Are you happy?’ The king’s question was simple and to the point. ‘Yes, milord, I am very happy.’

    ‘Well then, how would you like to be my bishop?’ At this the priest perked up. ‘Oh yes, your majesty, nothing would bring me greater joy.’ The king got very angry at this. He ordered the priest to leave at once before he decided to imprison him. ‘You are an absolute liar, and on the lookout to better yourself. So, get out of my castle.’ He shouted as he got furious.      

    Nevertheless, the search for a happy man continued. A week had gone by when there was news that the neighbouring king was a real happy man. He had a lovely wife and many children. He had no enemies and had a peaceful but powerful kingdom. Thinking this to be a possible solution, the king sent his ambassador to enquire after him.

    ‘It is true that I have everything I wanted. But I fear I may die soon and lose it all. Every night I lie in bed thinking I will lose it all.’ With this answer, the ambassador thought it wise not to ask for the kings shirt. And when king Giphad was given this news he was furious. For he had no clue what to do next. His son was getting more and more depressed and as a result of that, he could have expired.

    So, in desperate need for a change and some fresh air the king decided to go for a shoot. When he reached the outskirts of the city the king noticed a hare a few meters away and tried to shoot it with his arrow. But the arrow only grazed the hare and the animal escaped into the woods. Following the hare, the king moved away from the rest of his party. After a few minutes, he gave up looking for the hare and decided to head back but suddenly stopped. There was a sound coming from his left. He discreetly drew closer. Someone was whistling a small tune. Coming close to the whistle he saw a dashingly handsome blond youth lying on the reeds. The lad was on his back gazing at the many clouds in the sky.

    ‘Hey you there! Boy! Tell me … how would you like to be appointed to the highest position in the land as the king’s personal advisor?’

    ‘Advisor eh?’ The youth sat up at once and scratched his chin. ‘Such a troublesome position. Sorry I’ll have to pass it. For I’m fine without it.’ The king beamed at this answer.

    ‘You’re the one! Come on! On your feet boy!’ He grabbed the youth and dashed back to the men in his camp. ‘My son is saved! My son is saved!’ He turned to the young man and gestured warmly. ‘You boy, you can have from me anything that you wish. But I need … I need.’ The terrified youth looked at the king strangely and asked, ‘You need what?’

    King replied.

    ‘My son the prince is dying and only you can save him. Come closer.’ The king grabbed the youth, smiling in his brightest of smiles and quickly began to unbutton the youth’s jacket, and then suddenly stopped. His arms dropped to his sides.

     The happy man wore no shirt.

***

Synopsis by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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

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BOOK TALK: MERCHANT OF VENICE by William Shakespeare

ONE TO #TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY- BOOK BY KAMLESH TRIPATHI

T150_6248_9789382025030

Book on Singlehood

NOW ARCHIVED IN PRESTIGIOUS CONNEMARA STATE PUBLIC LIBRARY, CHENNAI

EXCERPTS

ONE
All this modern brag about #women’s-lib, male-bashing appeared as poster signs for the erudite to read and jostle through this not-so-good world, as you still had the Ria’s of the world to be saved from the callous studs and bitchy hens of the ‘scheming jungle’ called the ‘society.’
TWO
‘Come to the point, Zarine …. What do I do to sort out lives?’
‘What do you dream for Ria?’
‘Good question … Viren- no- Viren … I want Ria to be happy in her forced singlehood,’ replied Viren.
‘Then don’t think of moving out on her, plan to rust on her …. in the sense create situations where she comes and tells you she is not interested in you because of … these … these reasons …. It appears she holds you on a high pedestal. Start lowering your pedestal and do all of that in a subtle way and in no way direct.’
THREE
‘The premise of your friendship is quite chaste as I understand from your e-mail. She was ditched by her boy- friends … rejected by suitors, cold shouldered by sister and left to live by … helpless friends. A personality afflicted and wounded by fellow human beings … and in the middle of all this, she found you as her saviour and fell in love. I don’t blame her … Viren. You represent the … Dodos on this planet, they are not extinct, they live in you. Why couldn’t I get this Dodo when I was undergoing my bad time,’ the affection in Zarine’s tone was, as if oozing out of the mouth-piece.
FOUR
‘#Singlehood’ … to her was a curse. An assortment of … personal abuse, insecurity, vulnerability … incest, dirty eyes and hands.
FIVE
Unusual … end

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