Tag Archives: mumbai

BOOK TALK: YAMMY BOY … by Riddhima Bagwe Pednekar

Copyright@shravancharity mission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative–

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

We have squeezed the entire book in about ten pages for your assimilation–You require only around half an hour to run through the book.

    One cloudy night when it was all, thundering outside. And appeared as if it was going to rain, when, it actually wasn’t. Just around then, somewhere in Mumbai in a lovely duplex house. One sweet senior retired couple beyond their 70s was relaxing after dinner at around eight in the evening.

    They were Mr Dumbledore (DD) and his wife Mrs (DD), leading, a happy and relaxed retired life. They had only one child by the name of David who was in the US. He was happily married there with his wife and kids. His visits to India were rare after going to the US some ten years ago. Therefore, Mr & Mrs DD as grandparents saw their grandchildren only through Skype. Most certainly they were Hitech grandparents!

     But Mrs and Mr DD didn’t feel sad about it. Because, the grandchildren, were, only born in their presence. And they were happy with that. They had a simple funda in life—live and let live.  Because, higher the expectation, more the trouble. So, they had made it very clear to David. We have brought you up. Rest you look after yourself. But yes. A trip to the US as a gift from David was assured every year.

    They were that typical, liberal independent parents. Who were smart enough to manage on their own. Their duplex house in Mumbai was in crores and still belonged to Mrs and Mr DD and not David. DDs had worked in good companies all their lives. David too was doing well and didn’t need any of their funds as he was self sufficient.

    DDs house was one simple but a marvelous piece of work. It was white in colour. They loved white. But it required maintenance. And it wasn’t the responsibility of Mrs DD alone. Rather it was the responsibility of Mr DD too, to maintain it.

    Mrs DD was clear since the very beginning. All work needs to be divided. Where, even David was taught to clear his dishes. When, he started understanding life. As Mrs DD was also working, so she couldn’t have been everywhere.  Therefore, this white and simple mansion had no servants. Which Mrs and Mr DD had intentionally planned, so that they have tasks to do the whole day. Or else, how will their period of retirement pass?

     Well by now, you must be thinking they had no real fear. And they were satiated to the core. But truly speaking that’s impossible. For everyone has a weakness a fear or even an insecurity in life. Mr and Mrs DD feared losing each other. This indeed was their biggest fear. Though, they were nearing God’s doors. They didn’t want to die separately. As not only did they love each other immensely. They shared everything together and that included fights, tears, happiness and joy.

    On the health front both had BP and where Mr DD even had a little diabetes. But he did not have a sweet tooth. Though, he had a high temper as his blood was hot when he was young. The after effects of which, he was bearing even now. But old age doesn’t guarantee you any alarms before death. Do they? Perhaps, sometimes they do.

    So, there they sat … Mr and Mrs DD, killing time. Mr solving crossword and Mrs reading books. Every day they retired at 10 pm and got up at 5 am in the morning to go for a walk together. Cooking was Mrs DDs duty. Meanwhile gardening, watering the plants was Mr’s duty. Then dusting, arranging household stuff, cleaning of vessels was Mr DDs duty. Vacuuming and washing clothes etc was Mrs DDs duty. Nicely they had divided the work.

   They always prayed before sleeping … ‘that they wake up together, or sleep together forever.’ That was the only wish they had. But then what about this beautiful house of theirs? Well they had already planned for it. It would later be given to an NGO. Who in turn would run it as an old age home, for couples who weren’t as lucky as the Dumbledores.

    Of their savings 50% was to go to the trust, for their grandchildren. But who would get it only in their 30s. And, 50% was to go to an NGO for street children. So meticulous were they in their planning. They had also done a proper enquiry of the NGO beforehand. Wow! So meticulous, nothing could have gone wrong. Well everyone thinks so. By now they were fast asleep. It wasn’t raining. But of course the same thundering and lightning was still going on.

    Krrrrrr! The door bell rang. Krrrrr! The bell rang again. Mrs DD was a light sleeper. She thought the thunders were playing up. So she didn’t budge. But again, third time it went off. This time it was for a longer duration … Krrrrrrrrrr! Mrs got up, a bit shaky. But she was sure. It was still dead of night and not morning and to make sure she even pinched herself. To, check if she was awake and not sleeping.   

    She switched on the night lamp and checked the alarm clock. A lovely piece gifted by Mr Dumbledore to her sometime ago. ‘What! 3 am? Who the hell is ringing the doorbell at this time? She got a bit worried and of course tensed. For the first time ever she hadn’t checked on Mr Dumbledore. Strange isn’t it. And it was for the first time the bell had rung at this weird hour.

       For convenience they had purposely kept their bedroom at the ground floor. Mrs  DD thought of hurrying. But now the door bell didn’t ring again. Which was even more creepy, so she wore her sweater and slowly moved towards the bedroom door. They never closed the bedroom door. She trembled like a tortoise, and slowly moved towards the main door.

    And, she was now, only a few inches away from the main door. When, she decided to move back as the door bell had stopped few minutes back. She was confused, scared and even relieved. At the same time she had mixed emotions.

    So she drew back to return to her bed and there it went again. Krrrrrrr! … krrrrrr! … krrrrr! Continuously, three times. Her face went pale white. In the windy cold night, sweat rushed through her. She gathered all her energy and moved back, and opened the door, with the safety door latch intact.

    What she saw, when she opened the door was like a bad dream. Through the safety door, a huge flood light was as if leering at her face, and that was almost blinding her. She saw a rugged and weirdly modified vehicle standing outside. Yes, there was no one in it. But the vehicle was standing there with those lights on.

    What the hell is that? Is it some kind of a ghost, or a stupid youngster zonked? Who has no work but to trouble others while sleeping?

    Scared and also swearing under her breath. She was about to slam the door. When, suddenly a horrible, weird and a blackish appearing figure was suddenly in front of her. But yes, beyond the safety door so she was safe. He said, ‘Madame! Please open the door.’ Almost in a tone, as if, she was the maid, and he the owner of the house.

    She said, ‘pardon? Almost chokingly. He repeated, ‘Madam, open the door.’ This time there was no ‘please’ and then he started. ‘I am not going to harm you. Get this wooden thing off, between us.’ Mrs DD had no idea about what she was going to do. But then all of a sudden she opened the door. And when she did, she felt like slapping herself hard.

    ‘Ahhhh’ he said with a grin. ‘Madam, you trusted me rather too quickly. The time has come. In another half an hour I will be gone.’ Mrs DD’s head was spinning, as for the first time she was seeing him properly. You call him human, half human or a nut. She asked herself. He was huge. Mrs DD suddenly realized. She was staring at the sky with her mouth wide open. She straightened herself. Person, standing in front of her was a giant. He was pitch black, and surprisingly in the night he was wearing glasses, which were fluorescent green. On his head, there was a cap with horns. Yes a metal cap with red horns. Mrs DD felt she was not in her senses. So she moved back. He was shirtless. And he wore a fluorescent green boxer pants matching his glasses. It was short enough. The sight of which embarrassed Mrs DD. To, look any further. But then she wanted to take a full view of this cartoon. As by now the fear of the person was done away with. He wore wooden sandals, those ‘Paduka’ types. He jibed again, “Madam, are you through, ogling at me? I know I am very attractive. So I repeat. I have half an hour, and your time is also half an hour. Mrs DD almost yelled, ‘what are you!’ Oops she actually wanted to say who are you? By now she was least scared of this nut.

    ‘Madame I am YAMMYBOY!’

    Pardon? Mrs DD retorted.

    ‘Yes! I am YAMMYBOY and meet him. He is my RATH.’

    ‘Who … he?’ pointed Mrs DD.

    ‘Yes he is my RATH, behind me.’ Replied, YAMMYBOY. Waving at the esoteric machine he had got. Now Mrs DD was losing cool. She bombarded. ‘What do you want? You know its 3 am in the night? Why have you come to disturb us?’ Suddenly she remembered and pondered about Mr Dumbledore. Where was he? It’s been long. How come he didn’t hear anything? And howcome she forgot him? Mumbling all this in her mind, she hurried back as if she was alarmed. She opened the bedroom door. And saw … Mr DD was sleeping away to glory. He wasn’t aware of anything. She called out his name, ‘Dev … Dev’ … but he didn’t budge. She tried to wake him up. Suddenly, she realized. Dev wasn’t moving. His flat tummy wasn’t going up and down. Oh Jesus!

    ‘Madame …!’ The voice came from behind. She froze. ‘OMG! I left the door open. O shit that nut.’ ‘Madame!’ he said again. She looked behind, and there he was, standing in flesh and blood in their bedroom, with his wooden sandals on. She nearly screamed. ‘Madame you have wasted my time. By now I’m sure you must have come to know.’

    ‘What?’ Asked Mrs DD and further added. ‘What’s your name?’

    ‘I am YAMMYBOY, Madame’ he said. ‘Haven’t you recognized me? I am the YAMMYBOY. Oh in the oldies language. I am God YAMM! But yes, of the new age. I’m the modified and stylish YAMM. That, no longer ride’s the bull. I come on my YOYO rath.’

    OMG! Mrs DD froze. Everything went silent. Now the puzzle fell in place. He was YAM GOD the courier vehicle for the dead. Now she knew why Mr DD wasn’t moving. Why his tummy didn’t go up and down. OMG! Is this true? Unknowingly tears came out of her old eyes.

    ‘Madame … I have come to take Mr DD. His time has come. Already a lot of time has been wasted. Please move aside. I have to take his soul.’ Mrs DD was shattered. Her only wish, to live together and die together is going to break. She was going to faint. Suddenly she saw the alarm clock on the pillow, which she had left there in a hurry. It was 3.20 am. All this drama was now going on for twenty minutes. But after what he had said. She felt it was going on forever. She said, ‘Sir! You can do what you want. You can do your duty. But please have some tea. I really make good tea. For a moment YAMMYBOY was dumb. Maybe, either he didn’t realise its night time or he loved caffeine a bit too much. He said ‘Madame … I don’t drink tea. I drink coffee. But madame I have to leave now. I have a job to do.’

    ‘No no don’t worry. I will make coffee in no time. Please don’t worry.’ And before even letting him say anything further, Mrs DD held his hand. Yes she held his hand and asked him to come to the drawing room instead. YAMMYBOY felt a tingle in his body. Oh come on. He couldn’t have had hots for an old lady. But no one had ever held him like this. Especially, when he had come to say you are dead.

    He sat there waiting and checking his watch. He still had eighteen minutes. When, Mrs DD screamed. ‘Yeaaaaaaa.’ YAMMYBOY rushed towards the kitchen from where the scream came. Mrs DD was hitting something with the broom. ‘Madame, what happened?’ ‘It’s there kill him, kill him.’ And before he could even understand anything he was hit on his head. BOINK!!

    When he got up he found himself on a chair in the drawing room. He felt it was raining. But suddenly realized it’s not. Someone was splashing water, on him. ‘I’m so sorry. I am so sorry.’ It was Mrs DD’s voice. ‘There was a big cockroach. I had to kill him. But it had wings. So it flew and sat on your head.’

    ‘Madame no problem.’ He then saw the YUMMY cup of coffee, and without any ado, he drank it. ‘Thank you Madame, it was nice. Now my job is calling!’ He checks the time … ‘OMG!! Its 4:30 am Madame. I will lose my job. I didn’t do what I was supposed to do. The time for death of Mr DD was 3 am. Now he can’t be dead. You are lucky Madame.’ After saying this he rushed. He didn’t get mad at Mrs DD for what had happened. He just rushed like a moving mountain and while breezing past he said. ‘I will come back after checking on the next time slot, else I’ll be late for my next job.’

    She couldn’t believe it, that she had won over death. Really, did she? OMG … her tricked worked. But don’t know for how long. But at least for today she had cancelled Mr DDs death. Happy in her heart she goes to the bedroom and starts praying to God and smiles while looking at Mr DD. He had shifted his position by now. His Tummy was sideways going up and down. And then something happens when she collapses on the bed, and at that very moment she storms out of her sleep. She sits on the bed. No one is besides her. Where is Mr DD? She rushes out of the room. Looking here and there in panic and gets relief when she finally sees him in the kitchen.

    He waves at her and says, ‘Good morning, you slept late. Hope you’re well?’ Now Mrs DD is not sure. She very well knows it was a dream. But she is relieved, because Mr DD is with her. She goes into the kitchen. What she sees there makes her face white in fear. Mr DD shouts from behind. ‘Sorry darling I forgot to pick up the wooden rod and the dead cockroach. But I am wondering how these things got there.’ Mrs DD is now trembling. When, she catches sight of the cup and the saucer hidden in the kitchen, which, Mr DD obviously hasn’t seen. But wait. There is something below the saucer. A letter, it read,

    ‘Dear Mr and Mrs DD. No I am not a fool to have the coffee and I didn’t faint by the wooden broom. I quickly understood what you were trying to do Madame. So, I pretended. Only because I was dumbfounded, at the love, the longing and the struggle you undertook. Just to keep your DD live. I have so many people today on my list. I wish I had taken their loved ones away. But you were trying every which way, to postpone the time of death. You were smart. You thought of a trick. But you forgot I am YAMM GOD. Therefore, I left Mr DD to live for some more time with Mrs DD. And, as a penalty, I will make sure. I take you both together to HEAVEN. Till then CIAO.’ Mrs DD was dumbfounded as if she had gulped a PUMPKIN.

    WILL YAMMY BOY return soon?

 

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: WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME? … by Ravinder Singh

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Read initiative–

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

TITLE: WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME?

RAVINDER SINGH

Publisher: Penguin

 Abridged in about thousand words for your quick assimilation

    There are times when a frightful mishap might instigate you to write a novel around it. This appears to be one such instance. Where, the author opens the book with an insinuation of a personal tragedy. He as if nudges his dad—who is enduring through the aftermath of a road accident, and then coming to terms with his life, which is not easy. Especially, when, life is not going to be the same there on.’

    This stimulates the author to make a valid point by highlighting some deplorable statistics that happens to be a sad reality of our country—‘Around a lakh and fifty thousand people die in road accidents each year in India. Just in case a disease would have taken these many lives. It would have been pronounced long back, as an epidemic. But sadly in India it is still not considered so. In less than every four minutes, carelessness claims a life on Indian roads. By the time you finish reading this book, probably, it would have claimed a lot many of us.’

    CENTRAL THEME: Of course … it is a love story.  With an overdose of coincidences, that spirals into a stunning romance. That would generally appeal to the young and perky age group or the likes of them. There is also a life lesson that the book offers in the ultimate. But that could have been scripted, more forcefully, in all sincerity. The book tow chain’s between the regular chapters narrating the past and the in-between lackluster chapters narrating the present, titled as the ‘Present’ that comes at regular intervals. That is after the completion of a few regular chapters. The author could have avoided this to make the continuity of the plot more weighing and the end more wholesome.

    PLOT: The series of coincidences, commence, when Rajbeer and Lavanya are juxtaposed in an aircraft flying from Mumbai to Chandigarh. Rajbeer hails from Patiala, where he owns a garment store along with his brother and father. He comes from a Sikh background but he himself is a cut-sardar.     

    Lavanya is a girl from Assam who has spent her childhood and teens in Shillong. The scenic hill capital of Meghalaya. So we are now talking of a North and North-East alliance. She now works in Mumbai, and is on her way to attend her best friend Shalini’s wedding in Chandigarh. They both start chatting in the aircraft that soon evolves into a warm friendship with some rollicking banters. This is followed by another coincidence. When at the airport they inadvertently lift the wrong bags that looked similar. This warrants Rajbeer to return half way from Patiala. When, he realizes the mistake and decides to track down Lavanya through the airlines, to retrieve his bag that is laden with cash as her bag was with him. This gives them the opportunity to be together for some more time. After the wedding Lavanya goes back to Mumbai. This is followed by another coincidence when Lavanya gets her MBA admission in Indian School of Business at Mohalli. So she is back with Rajbeer once again when the courtship only grows and intensifies. But by now one begins to feel as if one is watching an Anand Bakshi movie of the seventies starring Rajesh Khanna. A quote from the book, ‘who knows if love is a creation of conspiracy’ surely justifies the string of coincidences.

    Gradually, the romance peaks into a full blown love story. When, the protagonists finally decide to spend their lives together by getting married. While doing her MBA, Lavanya also starts teaching destitute children in the slums. That happens to be her prime mission and passion of life. In fact earlier she had given up her Google job because of this undying passion of hers.  She is extremely talented—a graduate from IIT Bombay who follows her heart. Where, Rajbeer is from GuruNanak Dev Engineering College of Punjab that gives him a fleeting complex of sorts.

    But then Rajbeer’s family has reservations about Lavanya, because she has chinky features with ‘almond eyes’ so to say and is sadly described as a ‘Chinese’ by Rajbeer’s father. A typical mindset of North Indian’s when it comes to people from the North-East. To which Rajbeer revolts in a soft manner when he doesn’t go with his family to Darbar Sahab in Amritsar. Instead he escorts Lavanya to Shillong on a holiday. The trek scene of Shillong is described quite in detail by the author—especially for those who love trekking.

    Lavanya with her exceptional talent continues with her classes for the destitute. Soon she is shortlisted by her college for a debate. Where, she represents the state of Punjab even when she is from the North-East. And as luck would have it. She figures in a tweet sent out from the twitter handle of the Chief Minister of Punjab. This makes her a local celebrity overnight. When, the family of Rajbeer finally agrees to marry them.

    But then the story takes a bizarre turn from chapter twenty three. When, Rajbeer tries to locate Lavanya and Chutki the young daughter of a police constable Madhav Singh. Who regularly attends Lavanya’s classes in the slums, in the midst of a severe storm and rain, one evening. Where, his inveterate habit of breaking traffic rules and speeding to madness finally makes the horrendous dent in their lives. I should not reveal the suspense I guess.

    The story has a plethora of intimate scenes. Perhaps, that happens to be the key driver of, such romantic novels.

    On the whole it was not a very moving story for me. However the book has its strength in terms of detailing and imagination of the author that includes:

    A trek in Shillong/A Punjabi wedding/ Bhangra dance/A sensual scene in the kitchen while making tea/Description of Guwahati and Shillong/Passionate feelings of Lavanya and Rajbeer all throughout/Description of a … typical Punjabi family/Local market of Patiala/A well defined buying process of salwar kameez perhaps he had lived the role/ Detailing of Patiala town/A scene of the hospital.

    About running through this book. The choice is yours …..

 *****  

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

*

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. 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)

*****

 

 

 

 

THE EPIDEMIC OF LONELINESS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

 

 

 

 

    Things have changed, ever since, Vikram left for the US. He had promised he would return after completing his MBA. But then who returns? The opportunities out there are stupendous and galore. It stands out, living in the number one country of the world. Moreover, India couldn’t accommodate his dreams and aspirations so he had to be in the US. After MBA he was forced to take up a job. To repay the big loan that he had once taken for his studies. And by the time he finished paying it up. He was too well entrenched in the system, to return.

       I had seen this happening to others in my corporate circle. When their children went abroad for higher studies and didn’t return. But I could never visualize, one day it’ll even happen to us. With children not around life becomes one long monotonous tunnel of darkness for the parents, when they gradually start aging.

    All those peppy expressions, like qualification, opportunity, career, job, profession, aspiration, passion and many more that I once rejoiced and aligned with, are now scary words for me. In fact they have come to haunt me, at the twilight of my life. And, it is only because of those promising words he left. Perhaps, I too had left because of them when I was young. So, the circle is now complete, and about which I shouldn’t be complaining.

    The four bedroom apartment I had bought some time ago. Thinking, it will be occupied by we four and the grandchildren—the happy family. Is now, quiet and vacant. It is rather too big for the two of us. I had built some other assets too, for my child, to secure him. But I guess it’ll only have to languish now. So, I live with my assets and he lives with his career.

    Thanks to the Americans. Through their inventions we can at least stay connected on a daily basis with Vikram, Smita and the kids—so a big Jai ho to whatsapp, facebook and the rest. Rest, is all left behind. Social media now drives our lives. The other day I read a quote of Albert Schweitzer, French-German Theologian that describes our lives so very well. “We are all so much together, but we are dying of loneliness.”

    Since our housing society is new. From the very word go I have cultivated a warm friendship with our neighbours. They too happen to be our age and sail in the same boat as we do, with a son and a daughter. Son is in Bengaluru and the daughter in Mumbai. I find similar exhaustive expressions on their faces too. Perhaps, the realities of a harsh life are the same for everyone. We both are in sync with each others thoughts, future uncertainties and even the devious possibilities of life.

    Off late. I have started taking good care of my spouse. As she is the only one now, available for my immediate beck and call, just as I am for her. She still feels a day will come when we all, will be together. Where, I don’t want to ruffle her. Or maybe she’s putting up such conversations just to cheer me up. Small problems appear big now. These days, God has become my fast and frequent friend. I visit him quite regularly. Say every morning evening and at times, even during the day. For, who knows when I’ll need him? And all the gadgets at home that help us in our day-to-day appear divine.

    I’m now very particular about my fitness and even happier to see that she too, has joined the health regimen. We go for long morning walks every day. A sure shot way to feel young, fit and even positive. For, I’m convinced now, nothing will change. The life situation handed out to us has come to stay. So there is no point in telling yourself, one day we all will be together. In fact we are together by living apart. So accept this as your life and be happy.

    I now have a good routine. I have also started socializing as much as I can to ward off any negativity, seclusion, insecurity or even threats. I have made known to my well wishers about my anxieties in case of any untoward. I don’t go to office anymore but I’ve not retired either. I can’t. Because, there are always challenges at hand.  They could be day-to-day, health and even emotional. And my hobby is now flourishing. Above all, life is a journey where I’m not lowering my guard. But I don’t know what’ll be the scenario when one of us will be left alone.

*

    The epidemic of loneliness is striking almost every household. I learnt about it more intimately after speaking to many old couples who don’t stay with their children. Most parents are left alone in their lives to fend for themselves. Where, children cannot be blamed either when the world has become their oyster.

    So, look after yourself and don’t just only depend on your children. As they have their own pressures of life to handle..

**

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

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

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RSS- a necessary counter balance ideology

Copyright@shravancharitymission

By Kamlesh Tripathi

 

    In the annals of Indian history compiled by historians who pledged their prolonged allegiance to Congress. RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) was always projected as an untouchable organization along with its off-shoots. One of which was even held responsible for the gruesome murder of Mahatma Gandhi—father of the nation. That is Nathu Ram Godse. And collectively they all are blamed for fueling communal disharmony in the country. So much so. That very recently, Congress leader and Rajya Sabha M.P. Ghulam Nabi Azad mindlessly compared RSS with ISIS. But, be that as it may. It may not be out of context to say. That Indian history was wrongly written on several pages by these historians. Reason being: Because it was biased, and cunningly against the RSS and not at all in sync with what was happening in the neighbourhood of newly born India. It did not even deal with the regional demography and its likely effect on India. So quite frankly it was devoid of prospective anticipation, of how the troublesome neighbourhood of India is likely to be after a bunch of few decades.

    I always feel. Any historical perspective should always be dipped at leisure in the demographic paste of the past the present and the anticipated gush of future. Much before it is presented to the world. To have an unbiased view. But unfortunately out here. It was not presented in that manner. Therefore, RSS & Co remained a villain of all times. RSS, was formed on 27th September 1925 on the day of Vijay-Dashmi, and would be celebrating its centenary in less than a decade. Thus, it has come a long way since then. It was banned during the British Raj and thereafter thrice in the post independence era. More for political reasons. But RSS couldn’t care less. As recently it has decided to graduate into trousers replacing those vintage shorts in an attempt to jerk off some of its ancient looks. But will it also change its inveterate mindset? Is something we need to wait and watch, but I’m sure. It’ll surely try and bolster its global image across the world.

       For Congress and other left-of-center pseudo-secular parties. RSS remains that untouchable ball of fire that will only disintegrate the country. But then the moot question is, who brought about the painful disintegration of India in 1947? For RSS was just about twenty-two years old then. When Congress was about fifty two and definitely more matured and resourceful. Moreover, Congress continues to plot. That typical, slippery and conniving kind of a mindset for a very long period of time now. That is, support the Muslim minority, but get the Sikhs massacred in riots, and still label yourself as secular. This is what Congress did in 1984 Sikh riots. So, can one call Congress a secular Party?

    As of now RSS bashing is vital and important for pseudo-secular parties. To survive and trade on vote bank politics. And, it will continue to be so as long as they can fool the Muslim minority of the country. That RSS is a threat to them. But with the continued peaceful co-existence of both RSS and the Muslims. The fear and misunderstanding falsely crafted by these parties, will only subside as per the law of time.

     The mission statement of RSS says it was formed:

    ‘For the welfare of entire mankind, Bharath must stand before the world as a self-confident, resurgent and mighty nation. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has resolved to fulfill this age-old national mission by forging the present-day scattered Hindu Society into an organized and invincible force both on the plane of Adhyaatma and on the plane of material life. Verily this is the one real practical world mission – if ever there was one.

    The mission of reorganizing the Hindu society. On the lines of its unique national genius, which the Sangh has taken up is not only a great process of true national regeneration of Bharat. But also the inevitable precondition to realize the dream of world unity and human welfare.  Our one supreme goal is to bring to life the all-round glory and greatness of our Hindu Rashtra.

    In order to take our nation to the pinnacle of glory, the first and foremost prerequisite is the invincible organized life of the people without which even the highest national prosperity will crumble to dust in no time.

    Expressed in the simplest terms, the ideal of the Sangh is to carry the nation to the pinnacle of glory through organizing the entire society and ensuring the protection of Hindu Dharma.’

    While some may find the mission statement to be bearable. Some others may find it as incendiary, but that’s up to them. But to me it appears. It delves more in uniting, the otherwise fragile Hindus and their ethos. Hitherto divided so much by caste, class, language and even state. In fact both the British Raj and Congress instead of bridging the gap. Tried their best to widen it. This is what RSS wants to rectify. So it should not be misunderstood as aggression, or a lurking danger against any minority community as often projected by pseudo-secular parties and the media. Hindus were never receptive to unite under any single temple or deity. Like the Muslims do under the name of ‘Allah.’ So in some ways RSS tried to act only as a counter balance in the demographic space of India, and I doubt if it will ever go ballistic first, and that too like ISIS.

    Political parties can’t be relied upon for protection of a particular religion or faith completely. As they first nurture their own selfish needs. Where, their first priority is always their vote bank. Congress today doesn’t know where to look at. Ever since other pro Muslim parties have sprung up. Because of which their own Muslim vote bank has shrunk (In Lok Sabha only 44 seats) and for the majority they never ever bothered. Most Muslims and Christians, even when they lean on left wing parties. Still cannot afford to stay away from their mosques and churches. That issues diktats about whom to vote. Which is not the case with Hindu temples. Political parties confine you to geographical boundaries and nations whereas mosques and churches make you global but that is not the case with Hindu temples.

    Hindus, though, intelligent, were never a marshal race. Rather for over four hundred years they have been gullible and subservient. Be it under the rule of the Mughal Sultanate or the British Raj. They were always naive and never united under one religious banner. They also had big individual egos. Therefore were always exploited individually by their opponents. Their temples never united them. On the contrary their day-to-day living only separated them by caste wars. As compared to Islam and Christianity where mosques and churches were heard and acted upon. Temples had practically no say in arriving at important milestones decisions of Hindus. Except for milestone rituals. So no temple could have brought Hindus together. And that is where RSS came into picture to hold the hands of Hindus and fill the gap. But the idea was not to launch an onslaught on any other religion. Earlier Sikhism was formed as a marshal force and religion to protect Hindus from the onslaught of Afghan and Mughal invasions.

    If we compare the world demographics and religions across various countries and colonies. We will find there are 161 countries where Christianity is in a majority; 49 where Muslims are in a majority. In 7 countries unaffiliated religions rule the roost; 3 countries where Hindus are in a majority; 7 where Buddhists are in a majority; 3 countries where Folk Religion guides the majority and 1 where Jews are in a majority. Whereas, Christianity is more predominant in other continents such as Europe, America, Australia, New Zealand just to name a few. Islam and Hinduism on the other hand largely dominate Asia and the Middle East, and that to neck-to-neck. As compared to Muslim adherents of 1.12 billion in the region. Hindus number around 1.03 billion. I’m placing these vital statistics on the table. As that will only expose the tilt of the heft and the crucible required to balance the heft.

    66% of the world’s Muslims reside in Asia and the Middle East. They are 27% of the total population of Asia and the Middle East. With around 1.12 billion adherents and thus the heart of Muslim civilization on earth. And it is noticeable. They share space with over a billion Hindus in the same region. But there is always a tug-of-war between the two on strength and mettle.

    If we further zero in on South Asia. That includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. We will find 48 crore Muslims stay in South Asia which is about 28% of the world’s Muslim population and 30% of the population of South Asia and in comparison there are around 102 crore Hindus residing in South Asia. Which is around 98% of the total Hindu population of the world and around 64% of the total population of South Asia. And with a little over 95% of world’s Hindus living in India alone, a mind game of sorts is always on the prowl. Where RSS plays the card of Hindu saviour, and where Congress and other pseudo-secular parties are considered minority protectors.

    RSS came into wider relevance and recognition ever since terrorism escalated in J&K. Where Kashmiri Pandits had to flee the valley and the Congress government in the centre did nothing effective about it. It also raised its voice whenever Hindu minorities were crushed in Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries. Even the illegal entry of Bangladeshis into Assam was overlooked if not encouraged by the Congress government. That changed the demographic pattern of Assam. Thus, one can say. It was also because of the Congress that RSS started gaining traction in India. Today the antenna of RSS goes even beyond the borders of India and stands as a peaceful Hindu insignia. Whether you like it or not.

    But times have changed. Besides trousers RSS should also think of broad banding their base. To get in their fold dalits and minorities. And India needs to realise. As long as you have vote bank politics, organisations like RSS will come up to take the cause of the neglected.

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KANERI CAVES

Copyright@shravancharitymission

By Kamlesh Tripathi

 

    Some may not know that Kaneri caves are neatly nestled inside the SGNP (Sanjay Gandhi National Park) in the Borivali region of Mumbai which is now a high end residential area of Mumbai. Mumbai has this characteristics of springing up surprises. In the past we saw the population of big cats rising in and around SGNP when every else in India it is was only going down, and in the same breath one finds these beautiful hand crafted caves in the midst of the concrete jungles and the financial capital of India–Mumbai. Mumbai otherwise is all about the great Indian Corporate Inc. On my two earlier postings I never could find time to visit these lovely creations even when we were staying close to SGNP in Kandivali where I have a flat. But, better late than never; this time we managed to visit the caves during a short holiday around the new-year while visiting our daughter-in-law and son. It was quite a breath taking view as we parked our car in the morning amidst the lush green surroundings of the SGNP just two km before the caves and started walking.

Before the merger of the seven-isles after the land reclamation during the 19th and 20th century this area was known as Saksette island. It happens to be one of the most populated islands of the world. It is bounded by Vasai Creek in the north; Ulhas-river in the north-east; Thane Creek and Bombay Harbour in the east and the great Arabian Sea in the south and west.

A Cluster of Rock Cut Monuments

 

    There is lot’s to see and assimilate in the Kaneri Caves that has a rich Buddhist legacy (Incidentally there are approx 50 crore Buddhists in the world today and it is the fourth largest religion in terms of adherents); and one goes spellbound as you go in and around the caves. A meticulous count revealed there are about 34 unfinished paintings of Buddha within the caves. Since we had gone in winters and that too in the morning, there was a certain nip in the air as we enjoyed the morning sun arching up. Apart from the paintings one should also see the ‘Vihara’ (The prayer hall) and the various different monasteries around the cave for a satiating fill of the ancient and historic Buddhist occupation and life.

 

And if you’ve had enough of history in your lifetime and are now looking for some fun and excitement then plan your trip accordingly that may include adventure sports such as rappelling, trapeze and treks around the fascinating lush green jungles of SGNP or the Silondha Trail that can be arranged by local tourist guides. The hilly terrain of the caves naturally creates several small waterfalls which are beautiful to watch especially during monsoon. Natural streams and rivers around the Kaneri Caves presents a stunning view of the area and exquisite locations for families to group and enjoy a small picnic while sightseeing the caves.

 

Being a Buddhist site, Kaneri could not have avoided its comparison with the other famous sites like Ellora, Ajanta and Nasik. Scholars have tried in the past to establish some kind of relationship between these Buddhist centers. Ellora has clear evidences suggesting the influence of Vajrayana Buddhism in later periods. Presence of female companions with Avalokiteshvara on few sculptures at Kaneri instigated scholars to suggest Vajrayana influence over Kaneri. Dulari Qureshi is among the recent ones to advocate this hypothesis. However, Debala Mitra is not in full support of it as he mentions that though we find female divinities in company of Bodhisattvas however full-fledged deities of the typical Vajrayana pantheon like those of Ellora are absent at Kaneri.

 

    Water System at Kanheri – It is a fact that almost all visitors of early 19th and 20th century appreciated the water system of this cave complex. Dr. Suraj Pandit writes that Kaneri had developed its own peculiarities like a well-developed water system, its own agricultural land, satellite settlements and resources for subsistence. There are water-cisterns provided at the entrance of almost each cave at Kaneri. An inscription also mentions the construction of a dam, of course to maintain the water resources.

 

Most of the caves are located at the southern hill. To support water supply to all these caves, five water tanks were constructed. Most of the cisterns are connected to these tanks and each other with a network of small channels. On the eastern hill, there is a place known as Gomukh where natural spring water was collected. It seems that the inhabitants tried their best to utilize every drop of rain water, states Dr Pandit. His study of water management system at Kaneri provides a glimpse of changes and restorations of rain water harvesting techniques spanning across a millennium.

 

While returning from Kaneri I had one thought in mind: Many of the things that the world claims to have developed in the contemporary were already there in India—Indic civilisation. So does it mean the entire Indic civilization degenerated post those times?

 

There are no places to shop inside the SGNP. There are a number of local eateries outside the SGNP. Borivali and Malad stations are the closest disembarkation.

 

 

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THE CLASSY ICON- #ANAND #MAHINDRA- CMD, #MAHINDRA GROUP

Copyright@shravancharitymission

By Kamlesh Tripathi

New Doc 6_1 (1)

Some personalities happen to impress you at times, but some always. He happens to be one of them. And, I would desist from venerating him; in some paltry words of mine. For words will fall short in contouring this supersonic icon of Indian business. But yes, he is inherently original, beamingly creative, and knows well how to welcome the future in all humility. A role model for many. He does complex things in simple and novel ways.

And, this time he conjoins the childhood favourite board game of Snakes and Ladders to the health regimen and shares it on Instagram for better recall value. This interesting creation of his was published in ET Panache, around the World Health Day (April 7). Wherein, he makes some simple but interesting observations in the colourful boxes of snakes and ladders,  where ladders you need to climb and snakes you need to avoid:

  • Ladder: High fibre meals (>30 gms/day), controls Blood Sugar and cholesterol.
  • Ladder: By consuming fruits and vegetables regularly, one can be at low levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Snake: Aerated drinks, fruit juices and maida items lead to high blood sugar levels.
  • Ladder: Exercise (5-6 days/week) leads to significant control of lifestyle diseases.
  • Snake: Waist size (>43” M; >38” F) is a direct market for heart attack.
  • Snake: Papad, pickle and processed food increases risk if obesity.
  • Ladder: Quit smoking, it decreases the risk of heart attack.
  • Snake: Sedentary lifestyle increases waist circumference and weight.
  • Ladder: Taking the stairs increases the fitness levels.
  • Snake: Fried snacks, farsan, bakery products increase high risk of high cholesterol.

Wishing Mr. Anand Mahindra health, wealth and fame.

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#KISHORE-KUMAR- NOT A RECIPIENT OF ANY “PADMA” AWARD EVEN AFTER 27 YEARS OF HIS DEATH

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Does it require something more than sterling- unquestioned-talent to earn these awards?

    It is already stinking. But before it starts rotting. The present government should correct, one of the biggest follies of the previous governments of not awarding any ‘Padma’ award to legendary, genius and ever green Kishore Kumar. One of the biggest all time singers of India- who died 27 years ago.

    He spent 41 years in the industry as an actor and a singer and that too par excellence. And all rolled into one as a producer, director, lyricist, music director and a scriptwriter. So, it is indeed intriguing to note why government after government failed to include him in the awardee list- not even a Padma Shri … which is so very pathetic.

    Kishore Kumar was a cynosure of every Indian, cutting across religion, mother- tongue, regions and states. And, I’m more than sure. Indians will be most eager to know as to why this son-of-the-soil has been denied the prestigious ‘Padma’ award. Especially, when we compare this iconic film personality with many others who have received ‘Padma’ awards much earlier in their careers. It gives you an eerie feeling loaded with bias.

    By not including him in the awardee list we have not only insulted Kishore Kumar but every Indian who has a song or two of Kishore on his lips. And may curse be upon all those, who with ulterior motives, kept omitting his name from the list of awardees year after year.

    But a ray of hope comes from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is now busy correcting many wrongs of India, committed in the past and I am sure he will take up this wrong too.

    Kishore Kumar has sung 2,703 songs in 1188 Hindi films. He has also sung 156 Bengali and 8 Telugu songs. May Kishore Da rest in peace.

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

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