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The Story of Rodriguez and the Learning it has for Everyone’s Life

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    There have been times in our career when we start questioning the value of the work that we do. It is quite easy for us to fall prey and sometime become doubtful about the meaningfulness of the work that we do. However, such doubts shouldn’t be a deterrent for us to give our best to the work that we do as you never know how this work will manifest in future?

    After some contemplation, I felt I should tell you a story. A beautiful story and a real one!!
    It is the story of Sixto Rodriguez, a Mexican migrant settled in downtown Detroit in 1970s. Sixto was a small time musician playing gigs in bars of rundown part of Detroit. Sixto caught attention of a producer of a big music label, as a result ‘Viola!’ Sixto’s first music album was out! However, it badly flopped. His second album did even worse. This setback pushed Sixto out of music industry and Sixto returned to a demolition company in Detroit working as a blue collar worker. Where, Sixto Rodriguez was living a simple, low-key life. Unbeknown to him, that a handful of his 1970 debut album, “Cold Fact,” had reached Austrailia months after it failed in America.
    Some Austrailian Radio DJs got their hands on the album and began playing “Sugar Man” on the radio. As a result the Australian record stores went crazy about the album. “Cold Fact” became as popular as an album could be in Austrailia. Sixto had no idea about all this.

    In Australia and then in South Africa, Rodriguez’s lyrics, about overcoming hardship, made him more popular than even Elvis Presley and also bigger than the Rolling Stones. Part of the reason why his album became so popular in South Africa was that many of his songs served as anti-apartheid anthems and were used in protests. Other than his music, people around the world knew nothing about “Rodriguez.” They had no idea what he looked like, where he lived, or anything about his personal life. He was an international man of mystery! There were also rumours that Sixto committed suicide during one of his live performances. This however didn’t deter some hardcore Australian fans to finally track down Sixto Rodriguez. They got him to Australia for a series of concerts in 1979. He had never played a concert before, just bars and clubs was all that he handled. This time Sixto Rodriguez played to 15,000 people in Sydney and the show was a roaring success with fans signing every word of his decades old songs. After this successful tour of his Sixto once again went back to work as a demolition man!

    While all this was happened, South Africa continued simmering under Rodriguez’s craze. A music journalist and Rodriguez”s fan Stephen Segermen  launched a website dedicated to him and was able to get in touch with Rodriguez’s daughter in 1997.Rodriguez’s was in awe to learn about his fame in South Africa. Rodriguez then went on tour in South Africa! He performed in 6 concerts, in front of thousands and thousands of fans! Sixto was now living his dream! His rediscovery in South Africa in 1998 allowed him to retire from his job, and tour the country for a couple of years. Afterwards, he began to perform in Europe.

    A Swedish filmmaker named Malik Bendjelloul first heard about Sixto Rodriguez while traveling through Africa. He immediately thought his story was incredible and wanted to capture his life into a short film for the Swedish television. Pretty quickly, Malik knew he had a huge story on his hands. But he had one main issue: funding. He decided to approach two of Britain’s top documentary producers for help. But even with the help of the two big-named producers, Malik Benjelloul only secured funding that covered a year of expenses and production costs. The film actually took three years to make! When funding ran out, Benjelloul used the one dollar Super 8 app on his iPhone to finish the documentary.

    There was only one other problem in the making of the film: Sixto Rodriguez initially refused to appear in it. “His kids told me I could probably meet him, but I shouldn’t get my hopes up about an interview,” Bendjelloul explained. “I went to Detroit every year for four years. He didn’t agree to be interviewed until my third visit.

    After overcoming all obstacles, Malik Benjellou’s film, “Searching For Sugar Man” was nominated for the best documentary feature at the Academy Awards. And it went on to win the award for the best documentary feature at the 85th Academy Awards in 2002. “Searching For Sugar Man” was a roaring success at the box office when it was released in the U.S. Malik Bendjelloul begged Rodriguez to attend the Oscars, but in vain. Sixto thought it would take the attention away from the filmmakers. Rodriguez said, “I was asleep when it won, but my daughter Sandra called to tell me. I don’t have TV service anyway.” So not only did he refuse to attend, he was asleep when the film won the award! Sixto Rodriguez’s life was totally transformed since “Searching for Sugar Man.” The Academy Award victory took his fame to the next level. After the Oscar win, Sixto began to play sold out shows all over New York and in music festivals around the world. Some of his shows even sell out in minutes!

    People just love to see him perform live and he loves to do that! Despite all the success and money, Sixto still lives in the same old modest house in downtown Detroit that he has for the last 40 years. Sixto Rodriguez has no computer, car or television. He still lives a very Spartan life. Sixto once told his daughter “there’s three basic needs – food, clothing and shelter. Once you get down to that level, everything else is icing.”
Sixto is still the same person he was before all the fame. He is friendly, down to earth and he is doing what he loves most-“creating music”!!

Posted by Niraj Trivedi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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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)

MIRAGE

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

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

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INTERESTING FACTS FIGURES & QUOTES 48: The Correlation between British Empire and English Language

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    There was a time when the sun did not set on the British Empire. The saying implied the vastness of the British Empire. Historians inferred that roughly 25% of the earth’s landmass was in control of the British. The Empire was so extensive, that at any point of time, there was daylight in one of its colonies. This resulted in English language, travelling to several continents and many countries across the globe. India was no exception. English gradually became the lingua-franca in many countries.

    There was also a deluge of Europeans who started migrating to America from the Continent and British Isles. So English language too, travelled with them to Amercia. Historically speaking, Europeans were one of the most aggressive and ambitious race on planet earth. They managed to change the name of New Amsterdam to New York (in the honour the Duke of York). They bought New Amsterdam from the local tribe (the Lenapes). And with all this the spread of English language continued hammer and tongs. Gradually, it even travelled, to down and under (Australia and New Zealand) and even Africa. In other words, wherever, British established colonies English language gained roots. Europe has given to the world great seafarers and explorers. English language concomitantly travelled to wherever they went. The language of English was also skilfully taught and used in administration and day-to-day living, and today it connects the world.

    British rule in India began around 1757. English language in India is therefore, over 250 years old. The British left India around 70 years ago, after which English language in India has stood on its own spine. Since then the language has Indianised and even undergone a change in tone and tenor. With the advent of social media English Language has even made deep inroads into rural areas.

    A number of high-flying authors have emerged in India and they have been able to decolonise the traditional English oeuvre. The assortment of Indian authors is wide. But there is a threat to English language in India and that is from Hinglish (a blend of Hindi and English) and conversely there is also a threat to Hindi from English.  

    There is nothing definitive about which way the camel is going to sit, but yes, one can only leave it to the long term opportunities that the languages wish to partner with.

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)

*****

 

 

 

BRIEF HISTORY OF NEW YORK

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    New York is the world’s first megacity. Most people know New York. Nevertheless let me tell you a few interesting facts about it.

    New York has always been a city of superlatives and first—the richest, most populated, most diverse, most innovative, home to the world’s longest bridge, tallest skyscraper, largest public park, most elaborate subway system, the first to have electricity, telephones, potato chips, pneumatic railway, teddy bears, credit cards, air-conditioning, Silicon Valley and Scrabble, among other things. It has attracted business people and artists, rich and poor, and privileged and persecuted. Today, let’s look at the journey of this vibrant city.

BORN FROM A SHEET OF ICE!

    New York originated when a massive sheet of ice started melting, some 12,000 years ago. Pine trees and grasses grew as the climate became warmer. Woolly mammoths, bison, bears and other large land mammals, as well as hunter-gatherers appeared. As many as 3,000 years later, those animals and humans vanished. The melting ice caused oceans to rise, turning valleys into estuaries and forming new islands and peninsulas. Soon, a new generation of human beings who called themselves “Lenape” arrived. Initially, they lived off deer, fish, nuts, berries and fruits. And about 1,000 years ago, they started growing their own food.

    In the 16th Century, Italian navigator Giovanni da Verazzano set out to find a shorter route to India and China. His quest was unsuccessful but it motivated other explorations, many of which ended up in Lenape-hoking. (Lenape-hoking is a term for the lands historically inhabited by the Native American people known as the Lenape in what is now the Mid-Atlantic United States), where the explorers started selling furs from Canada and Russia, as well as kettles, blankets, hoes, knives, etc., to the Lenape. In 1609, Henry Hudson, an English sailor, claimed an area up the North River (now the Hudson) for the Dutch East India Company. This area, was named New Amsterdam, and became a Dutch trading post in 1624.

    BOUGHT WITH GLASS BEADS

    In 1626, Dutch colonial governor Peter Minuit purchased New Amsterdam from the Lenape tribe, allegedly for glass beads worth $24. New Amsterdam’s population was just 1,500 people then, and included Dutch, Belgians, French and English. Dutch farmers built the earliest settlements. Jews and African slaves soon arrived, and by the 18th Century, it was an upmarket address. The Dutch eventually lost New Amsterdam to the British, who renamed it New York in honour of the Duke of York.

    In 1700, New York’s population was just 5,000 but it was growing rapidly. It multiplied 12 times within a century, and New York became an important trading hub with a slave-labour-driven economy. In 1785—almost 10 years after a failed attempt at achieving freedom from the British, and 13 years after the Great Fire of New York—President George Washington declared New York the largest city in the US, the capital of free America. (The capital shifted to Philadelphia later that year.) The Bank of New York was founded in 1784 and the New York Stock Exchange, in 1792.

    By 1810, New York was a major cotton trading port, and by 1817, thanks to the completion of the Erie Canal from Hudson river to Lake Erie, it was the undisputed trading capital with a population approaching 1,23,000. In the manner of rapidly growing urban spaces, the city’s growth was haphazard. To combat that, the governor appointed a commission to plan the layout of the city. In 1811, the “Commissioner’s Plan” proposed a neat, grid-like arrangement of streets and avenues for the entire city, including Manhattan. By the 1830s, the population swelled to 3,12,000 and efforts were initiated to provide clean water. The New York Police Department was established in 1844.

    THE 10-MILLION MARK

    Between 1892 and 1924, more than 12 million immigrants, arrived from Ireland, Germany, Europe, Asia and other places, and passed through New York and “settled” in the U.S.—forming communities, starting businesses and building places of worship. It was relatively recent, in the 20th century, that New York City took its present shape. Geographically, the city is situated on one of the world’s largest natural harbours and is composed of five boroughs—Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx and Staten Island. Each borough is a county in the State of New York. In 1895, the citizens of all five counties unanimously voted to merge with Manhattan to form Greater New York. Before the counties united, New York’s population was roughly two million people. After the merger, it increased to three million. By the 1920s, it had overtaken London, and by the 1930s, it had crossed the 10-million mark to become the first megacity in the world.

    The US economy, suffering after the Great Depression in the 1930s, picked up, because of increased wartime spending during World War II, and New York became the world’s leading city. Wall Street consolidated the country’s position in the global economy.

THE CITY TODAY

    New York continues to cope successfully with the pressures of explosive growth. The increased crime rates due to job losses triggered by industrial restructuring in the 1970s and 80s were effectively controlled by the 1990s. The 24-hour rapid transport system, buses, ferries and taxis continue to support the population that needs to be constantly on the move. Streets, expressways and nearly 2,000 bridges and tunnels—many of which are internationally acclaimed engineering marvels—link the various boroughs, supporting vehicles and pedestrians. The sprawling 843-acre Central Park, the New York Botanical Gardens, lavish baseball, soccer and basketball stadiums, internationally renowned museums, cultural institutions and historic sites, as well as Broadway—the dream destination for every theatre professional—provide open spaces as well as physical and intellectual stimulation.

    New York, symbolised by the iconic Manhattan skyline, altered, after 9/11, yet continues to be the world’s financial and architectural hub. It has something for everyone.

ACTIVITY

    The Empire State Building and Times Square are iconic spots in New York.

Posted 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)

*****

 

 

 

 

MARK TWAIN-DID HE DIE AS PER HIS OWN PREDICTION? FIND OUT

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Samuel Langhorne Clemens lifespan (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), was born in Florida, Missouri. Better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. He was lauded as the “greatest humorist the country had produced.” Nobel laureate William Faulkner called him “the father of American literature.” His novels include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), the latter often called, “The Great American Novel.”

   He was the sixth of seven children born to Jane and John Marshall Clemens, a native of Virginia. Mark Twain was a Cornish English and of Scots-Irish descent. Only three of his siblings Orion, Henry and Pamela survived childhood. His sister Margaret died when Twain was three, and his brother Benjamin died three years later. His brother Pleasant Hannibal (1828) died at three weeks of age.

    When Twain was four, his family moved to Hannibal Missouri, a port town on the Mississippi River that inspired the fictional town of St. Petersburg in his book ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ and the ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.’ Slavery was legal in Missouri at the time, and it became a theme in these writings. His father was an attorney and a judge, who died of pneumonia in 1847, when Twain was only 11. Thereafter, he went through a lot of struggle. Next year, Twain left school, after fifth grade, to become a printer’s apprentice. In 1851, he began working as a typesetter, contributing articles and humorous sketches to the Hannibal Journal, a newspaper that Orion his brother owned. When he was 18, he left Hannibal Journal and worked as a printer in New York City, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Cincinnati, joining the newly formed printers trade union. He educated himself in public libraries in the evenings, finding wider information than at a conventional school.

    He served as an apprentice with a printer and then as a typesetter, contributing articles in the newspaper of his older brother Orion Clemens. Later on, a Steamboat pilot, adopted Twain, as a cub pilot, and taught him about the river between New Orleans and St. Louis. Twain studied, river Mississippi extensively, by learning its landmarks, how to navigate its currents effectively, and how to read the river and its constantly shifting channels, reefs, submerged snags, and rocks that could tear the life out, of the strongest vessel that ever floated. It was an ordeal of more than two years before he received his pilot’s license. Piloting also gave him his pen name of “Mark Twain.”     

    As a young pilot, Mark Twain served on the steamer. While working, he convinced his younger brother Henry to work with him, and even arranged a post of mud clerk for him on the steamboat. But on June 13, 1858, sadly the steamboat’s boiler exploded. Henry was badly injured. He succumbed to his wounds on June 21. Twain claimed to have foreseen his death in a dream a month earlier, which inspired his interest in para-psychology. He was an early member of the Society for Psychical Research. Twain was guilt-stricken and held himself responsible for the rest of his life. He continued to work on the river as a river pilot until the Civil War broke out in 1861, when traffic was curtailed along the Mississippi River. He later wrote a sketch “The Private History of a Campaign That Failed.” He then left for Nevada to work for his brother Orion, who was the Secretary of the Nevada Territory.

    Twain was raised in Hannibal, Missouri. This, provided the setting for his books, ‘Tom Sawyer’ and ‘Huckleberry Finn.’ His humorous story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” was published in 1865, based on a story that he had heard in Angels Camp, California, where he had spent some time as a miner. The short story brought international attention and was even translated into French. Mark Twain earned a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, but he invested it, in wrong ventures and lost most of it. He invested mostly in new inventions and technology, and also lost money through his publishing house. He later filed for bankruptcy in the wake of these financial setbacks, but he eventually overcame his financial troubles with the help of a financier Henry Huttleston Rogers and paid all his creditors in full, even though his bankruptcy relieved him of having to do so.

    Twain and Olivia Langdon his wife corresponded throughout in 1868. She rejected his first marriage proposal, but they were finally married in Elmira, New York in February 1870. She came from a “wealthy but liberal family.” Through her, Twain met abolitionists, socialists, principled atheists, activists for women’s rights and social equality. The couple lived in Buffalo, New York, from 1869 to 1871. He owned a stake in the Buffalo Express Newspaper and worked as an editor and writer. While they were living in Buffalo, their son Langdon died of diphtheria at the age of 19 months. Thereafter they had three daughters: Susy, Clara and Jean.

    Later Twain moved his family to Hartford, Connecticut, where he arranged for a home in 1873. In the 1870s and 1880s, the family summered at Quarry Farm in Elmira, the home of Olivia’s sister, Susan Crane. In 1874, Susan got a study room built, so that Twain could have a quiet place to write. Also, Twain was a chain cigar smoker, and Susan did not want him to do so in her house.

    Twain wrote many of his classic novels during these 17 years in Hartford (1874–1891) at Quarry Farm. They include. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), The Prince and the Pauper (1881), Life on the Mississippi (1883), Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889).

    The couple’s marriage lasted 34 years until Olivia’s death in 1904. All of Clemens family are buried in Elmira’s Woodlawn Cemetery.

    Twain’s journey ended in the silver-mining town of Virginia City, Nevada, where he became a miner. But he failed as a miner and went to work at the Virginia City newspaper Territorial Enterprise, working under a friend. He first used his pen name here on February 3, 1863, when he wrote a humorous travel account titled “Letter From Carson” and signed it as, “Mark Twain”.

    His experiences in the American West inspired him to write ‘Roughing It,’ which was published in 1872. Further, his experiences in Angels Camp (in Calaveras County, California) provided him material to write, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” (1865).

    Mark Twain moved to San Francisco in 1864, as a journalist, and met many distinguished writers there. He may have been romantically involved with the poet Ina Coolbrith.

    His first success as a writer came when his humorous tall tale “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” was published on November 18, 1865, in the New York Weekly, The Saturday Press, bringing him national attention. A year later, he traveled to the Sandwich Islands (present-day Hawaii) as a reporter for newspaper ‘Sacramento Union.’ Where, his letters to the Union were popular and became the basis for his first lectures.

    In 1867, a local newspaper funded his trip to the Mediterranean and into the Quaker City (Philadelphia), including a tour of Europe and the Middle East. He wrote a collection of travel letters which were later compiled as, ‘The Innocents Abroad’ (in 1869). It was on this trip that he met fellow passenger Charles Langdon, who showed him the picture of his sister Olivia, with whom Twain fell in love almost at first sight.

    Upon returning to the US, Twain was offered honorary membership in Yale University’s, secret Scroll and Key society, in 1868. Twain was fascinated by science and scientific inquiry. He developed a close and lasting friendship with Nikola Tesla, and the two spent much of their time together in Tesla’s laboratory. In the process he patented three inventions—must say he was a genious.

    Twain was an early proponent of fingerprinting as a forensic technique. He featured it, in his tall tale, ‘Life on the Mississipi (1883) and as a central plot element in his novel Pudd’nhead Wilson (1894).

    Twain’s novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889) features a time traveler from the contemporary U.S., using his knowledge of science to introduce modern technology to Arthurian England.

    In 1909, Thomas Edison visited Twain at his home in Redding Connecticut and filmed him. Part of the footage was used in ‘The Prince and the Pauper’ (1909), a two-reel short film. It is, the only known, existing film footage, of Twain.

    There is a Plaque in Sydney Writers Walk, commemorating, his visit to Sydney, Australia, in 1895. Twain was in great demand as a featured speaker, performing solo humorous talks similar to modern stand-up comedy. He gave paid talks to many men’s clubs, including the Authors’ Club, Beefsteak, Vagabonds, White Friars, and Monday Evening Club of Hartford.

    In the late 1890s, he spoke to the Savage Club in London and was elected as its honorary member. He visited Melbourne and Sydney in 1895 as part of a world lecture tour. In 1897, he spoke at the Concordia Press Club in Vienna as a special guest, following the diplomat Charlemagne Tower Jr. He delivered a speech “The Horrors of the German Language”—in German—to the great amusement of the audience. In 1901, he was invited to speak at Princeton University’s Cliosophic Literary Society, where he was made an honorary member.

    In 1881, Twain was honored at a banquet in Montreal, Canada where he made reference to securing a copyright. In 1883, he paid a brief visit to Ottawa, and he visited Toronto twice in 1884 and 1885 on a reading tour with novelist George Washington Cable, known as the “Twins of Genius” tour.

    The reason for the Toronto visits was to secure Canadian and British copyrights for his upcoming book Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Publishers in Toronto had printed unauthorized editions of his books at the time, before an international copyright agreement was established in 1891. These were sold in the United States as well as in Canada, depriving him of royalties.

    He estimated that Belford Brothers edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer alone had cost him ten thousand dollars. He had unsuccessfully attempted to secure the rights for The Prince and the Pauper in 1881, in conjunction with his Montreal trip. Eventually, he received legal advice to register a copyright in Canada (for both Canada and Britain) prior to publishing in the United States, which would restrain the Canadian publishers from printing a version when the American edition was published. There was a requirement that a copyright be registered to a Canadian resident. He addressed this by his short visits to the country.

LATER LIFE AND DEATH

    Twain lived his later years in 14 West 10th Street in Manhattan. He passed through a period of deep depression which began in 1896 when his daughter Susy died of meningitis. Olivia’s death in 1904 and second daughter Jean’s death on December 24, 1909, deepened his gloom. As if this was not enough when on May 20, 1909, his close friend Henry Rogers too, died suddenly. In 1906, Twain began his autobiography in the North American Review (a lit magazine). In April, he heard that his friend Ina Coolbrith had lost nearly all that she owned in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and he volunteered a few autographed portrait photographs to be sold for her benefit.

    Twain formed a club in 1906 for girls whom he viewed as surrogate granddaughters called the Angel Fish and Aquarium Club. A dozen or so members in the age group from 10 to 16. He exchanged letters with his “Angel Fish” girls and invited them to concerts and theatre and to play games. Twain wrote in 1908 that the club was his “life’s chief delight”. In 1907, he met Dorothy Quick (aged 11) on a transatlantic crossing, beginning “a friendship that was to last until the very day of his death”.

    Oxford University awarded Twain an honorary doctorate of letters in 1907.

    Twain was born two weeks after Halley’s Comet’s closest approach to earth in 1835. He said in 1909 I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. Twain’s prediction was accurate; he died of a heart attack on April 21, 1910, one day after the comet’s closest approach to Earth. Twain and his wife are buried side-by-side in Elmira’s Woodlawn Cemetery.

(Part 2 about his writings in detail)

    Twain began his career, writing light, humorous verses, but he became a chronicler of vanities, hypocrisies, and murderous acts of mankind. At mid-career, he combined rich humor, sturdy narrative, and social criticism in Huckleberry Finn. He was a master in rendering colloquial speech and helped to create and popularize a distinctive American literature built on American themes and language.

    Many of his works have been suppressed at times for various reasons. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been repeatedly restricted in American high schools, not least for its frequent use of the word “nigger” which was in common usage in the pre-Civil War period in which the novel was set.

    A complete bibliography of Twain’s works is nearly impossible to compile because of the vast number of pieces he wrote (often in obscure newspapers) and his use of several different pen names. Additionally, a large portion of his speeches and lectures have been lost or were not recorded. Thus the compilation of Twain’s works is an ongoing process. Researchers rediscovered published material as recently as 1995 and 2015.

    Twain wrote for the Territorial Enterprise, a Virginia City newspaper in 1863, when he met lawyer Tom Fitch, editor of the competing newspaper Virginia Daily Union, known as the “silver-tongued orator of the Pacific”. 

    Twain became a writer of the Sagebrush School. He was later known as its most famous member. His first important work was “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” published in the New York Saturday Press on November 18, 1865. After a burst of popularity, the Sacramento Union, commissioned him to write letters about his travel experiences. The first journey that he took for this job was to ride the steamer Ajax on its maiden voyage to the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii). All the while, he was writing letters to the newspaper that were meant for publishing, and chronicling his experiences with humor. These letters proved to be the genesis of his work with the San Francisco Alta California newspaper that designated him as a traveling correspondent for a trip from San Francisco to New York City via the Panama isthmus.

    On June 8, 1867, he set sail on the pleasure cruiser Quaker City for five months. This trip resulted in completion of his travel book The Innocents Abroad or The New Pilgrims Progress, published in 1869. In 1872, he published his second piece of travel literature, ‘Roughing It’ as an account of his journey from Missouri to Nevada, his subsequent life in the American West, and his visit to Hawaii. The book lampoons American and Western society in the same manner that Innocents critiqued the various countries of Europe and the Middle East. His next work was The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, his first attempt at writing a novel. The book, written with his neighbour Charles Dudley Warner, is also his only collaboration.

    Twain’s next work drew on his experiences on the Mississippi River. ‘Old Times on the Mississippi’ was a series of sketches published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1875 featuring his disillusionment with Romanticism. Old Times eventually became the starting point for Life on the Mississippi.

    Twain’s next major publication was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, which draws on his youth in Hannibal. Tom Sawyer was modeled on Twain as a child, with traces of schoolmates John Briggs and Will Bowen. The book also introduces Huckleberry Finn in a supporting role, based on Twain’s boyhood friend Tom Blankenship.

    The Prince and the Pauper was not as well received, despite a storyline that is common in film and literature today. The book tells the story of two boys born on the same day who are physically identical, acting as a social commentary as the prince and pauper switch places. Twain had started Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (which he consistently had problems completing—that included close to failure of nerves) and had instead completed his travel book A Tramp Abroad, which describes his travels through central and southern Europe.

    Twain’s next major published work was the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which confirmed him as a noteworthy American writer. Some have called it the first Great American Novel, and the book has become a must read in many schools throughout the United States. Huckleberry Finn was an offshoot from Tom Sawyer 

    Near the completion of Huckleberry Finn, Twain wrote ‘Life on Mississippi,’ which is said to have heavily influenced his novel on biography. The travel work recounts Twain’s memories and new experiences after a 22-year absence from the Mississippi River.

HIS LATER WRITINGS

    Twain produced President Ulysses S. Grant’s Memoirs through his fledgling publishing house. He also wrote “The Private History of a Campaign That Failed” for The Century Magazine. He next focused on ‘A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, written with the same historical fiction style as The Prince and the Pauper. A Connecticut Yankee showed the absurdities of political and social norms by setting them in the court of King Arthur. The book was started in December 1885, then shelved a few months later until the summer of 1887, and eventually finished in the spring of 1889.

    His next large-scale work was Pudd’nhead Wilson, which he wrote rapidly, as he was desperately trying to stave off bankruptcy. From November 12 to December 14, 1893, Twain wrote 60,000 words for the novel. It was first published serially in Century Magazine and, when it was finally published in book form, Pudd’nhead Wilson appeared as the main title; however, the “subtitles” make the entire title read: The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson and the Comedy of The Extraordinary Twins.

    Twain’s next venture was a work of straight fiction that he called Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc and dedicated to his wife. He had long said that this was the work that he was most proud of, despite the criticism that he received for it. The book had been a dream of his since childhood, and he claimed that he had found a manuscript detailing the life of Joan of Arc when he was an adolescent. This was another piece that he was convinced would save his publishing company. His financial adviser Henry Huttleston Rogers quashed that idea and got Twain out of that business altogether, but the book was published nonetheless.

    To pay the bills and keep his business projects afloat, Twain had begun to write articles and commentary furiously, with diminishing returns, but it was not enough. He filed for bankruptcy in 1894. During this time of dire financial straits, he published several literary reviews in newspapers to help make ends meet.

    Twain’s wife died in 1904. After some time had passed he published some works that his wife, his de facto editor and censor throughout their married life, had looked down upon. The Mysterious Stranger is perhaps the best known, depicting various visits of Satan to earth. This particular work was not published in Twain’s lifetime. His manuscripts included three versions, written between 1897 and 1905. The so-called Hannibal, Eseldorf, and Print Shop versions.

    Twain’s last work was his autobiography, which he dictated and thought would be most entertaining if he went off on whims and tangents in non-chronological order. But some archivists and compilers have rearranged the biography into a more conventional form, thereby eliminating some of Twain’s humor and the flow of the book.

    Twain’s works have been subjected to censorship efforts. According to Stuart (2013), “Leading these banning campaigns, generally, were religious organizations or individuals in positions of influence. In 1905, the Brooklyn Public Library banned both The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer from the children’s department because of their language.

    Twain’s views became more radical as he grew older.

    From 1901, soon after his return from Europe, until his death in 1910, Twain was vice-president of the American Anti-Imperialist League, which opposed the annexation of the Philippines by the United States and had “tens of thousands of members”. He wrote many political pamphlets for the organization.

    During the Philippine-American War, Twain wrote a short pacifist story titled The War Prayer, which makes the point that humanism and Christianity’s preaching of love are incompatible with the conduct of war.

    Twain was an adamant supporter of the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of slaves.

    About India he said. “So far as I am able to judge nothing has been left undone, either by man or Nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Where every prospect pleases, and only man is vile.”

    He was also a staunch supporter of women’s rights and an active campaigner for women’s suffrage.

    He created a reverent portrayal of Joan of Arc, a subject over which he had obsessed for forty years, studied for a dozen years and spent two years writing about. In 1900 and again in 1908 he stated, “I like Joan of Arc, best of all my books, it is the best”.

    Those who knew Twain well late in life recount that he dwelt on the subject of the afterlife, his daughter Clara saying: “Sometimes he believed death ended everything, but most of the time he felt sure of a life beyond.”

    Twain was opposed to the vivisection practices (practice of performing operations on live animals) His objection was not on a scientific basis but rather an ethical one. He specifically cited the pain caused to the animal as his basis of his opposition:

    He used different pen names before deciding on “Mark Twain”. He signed humorous and imaginative sketches as “Josh” until 1863. Additionally, he used the pen name “Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass” for a series of humorous letters.

    While Twain is often depicted wearing a white suit, modern representations suggesting that he wore them throughout his life are unfounded. Evidence suggests that Twain began wearing white suits on the lecture circuit, after the death of his wife Olivia (“Livy”) in 1904.

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****

 

 

 

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

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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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)

*****

 

 

 

INTERESTING FACTS FIGURES & QUOTES–28

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Some southern states of India have more doctors than WHO norms of 1 doctor per 1000 people.

Dozens of private radio stations have paid huge sums for spectrum, but cannot broadcast their own news and political analysis. They can buy news capsules from AIR. This merely reinforces the AIR monopoly. When private TV can carry news and analysis, the ban on private radio is absurd. This misuse of public radio is a Congress-era invention, adopted happily today by the BJP.

 Islam is the only religion where over a dozen countries are officially Islamic. Many of them are not democratic, and where, fundamentalists have a big say in how to run these countries.

A coach simply needs to understand the team, the individuals, their goals and the dynamics between them, in order to be successful.

 Sexual predators: Only one in four cases end in conviction.

 If you move into a new town, it is not easy to find an electrician or plumber quickly. Alexa is all about connecting seamlessly with apps, with services, with people. Alexa is now available in 14 languages.

Since 2017-18 states have passed laws protecting doctors and healthcare workers from attacks, but enforcement remains questionable.

According to an estimate, only around, one in five rural household has a piped water connection.

Israel recycles around 94% of the water that it uses. Recycling can increase water availability even in times of rainfall deficiency. This can end the perennial water crises Chennai suffers for instance.

Rate your police thana. State of country’s police forces, leaves a lot to be desired. Union Home Ministry kicked off an exercise to rank the country’s best police stations. A similar exercise had been taken in 2017. But this time the exercise is expected to be more comprehensive with the police stations being judged on seven parameters such as crime prevention, proactive measures adopted and citizen’s perception and feedback. The overall goal here is to spur competition between police stations and create incentives to improve policing.

Pure water is the world’s first and foremost medicine—a Slovak proverb.

 India will benefit hugely if it can position itself as an attractive investment destination for companies looking to relocate production from China.

 Guru Nanak believed there were only two kinds of people. Gurmukhi, the God-oriented and Manmukhi, those who are self-oriented. A Gurmukhi devotes himself to God. He preaches truth and works for the welfare of human kind. Whereas, Manmukhi follows his own thinking and practices falsehood and selfishness.

A New York times investigation uncovered a surveillance system manufactured by Huawei and a state backed Chinese company being used in Ecuador to track individuals through mobile phones.

 ‘Squaring off’ is a term of English language that means to ‘settle the difference.’

 The ‘chakra’ the Asoka wheel, which is there in our flag, embodies for us a great idea. It conveys Asoka was one of the greatest emperors. Look at the words of H.G. Wells regarding Ashoka, ‘Highnesses, Magnificence’s, Excellences, Serenities, Majesties;’ among them all, he shines alone a star Asoka, the greatest of all Monarchs.’

 Lorraine Toussaint, the Trinidadian American actress says: ‘We all have a dark side. Most of us go through life avoiding direct confrontation with that aspect of ourselves, which I call the shadow self. There is a reason why. It carries a great deal of energy.’

 One piece of log creates a small fire, adequate to warm you up, add just a few more pieces to blast an immense bonfire, large enough to warm up your entire circle of friends; needless to say that individuality counts but team work dynamities—Jin Kwon.

 A company is known by the salesman it keeps—a quote from a book—Typical Tale of an Indian Salesman.

Don’t blow off another’s candle for it won’t make yours shine brighter—JAACHYNMA NE AGU,  Nigerian writer.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

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

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

*****

 

 

 

LITERARY CORNER: THE NAMESAKE by Jhumpa Lahiri

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.

    Jhumpa Lahiri’s full name is Nilanjana Sudeshna “Jhumpa” Lahiri (born July 11, 1967) is an American author known for her short stories, novels and essays in English, and, more recently, in Italian.

    Her debut collection of short-stories, ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ (1999) won her the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN-Hemingway Award. Her first novel The Namesake (2003), was also adapted into a popular film of the same name. Her second story collection, ‘Unaccustomed Earth’ (2008) won the ‘Frank O’Connor’ International Short Story Award, while her second novel, ‘The Lowland’ (2013), was a finalist for both the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Award for Fiction. In these works, Lahiri explored the Indian-immigrant experience in America. In 2011, Lahiri moved to Rome, Italy and has since then published two books of essays, and has a forthcoming novel, written in Italian. She has also translated some of her own writings and those of other authors from Italian into English.

    In 2014, Lahiri was awarded the National Humanities Medal. She is currently a professor of creative writing at Princeton University. The novel begins in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1968. Ashima Ganguli, expecting a child, makes a snack for herself in the kitchen of her apartment, which she shares with her husband, Ashoke. The two met in Calcutta, where their marriage was arranged by their parents.

    Ashoke is a graduate student in electrical engineering at MIT. Though Ashima was afraid to move across the world with a man she barely knew, she dutifully did so, satisfying her family’s wishes. She gives birth to a boy in the hospital in Cambridge. Ashoke, nearly killed in a train accident as a young man in India, decides that the boy’s nickname, or pet name, should be Gogol, after Nikolai Gogol, the Russian writer. Ashima and Ashoke agree to register the boy’s legal name as “Gogol.” Gogol is Ashoke’s favorite author, in part because Ashoke was reading Gogol during the train accident. A dropped page of that book helped the authorities to recognize Ashoke in the wreckage, and they saved his life.

    The Gangulis wait for an “official” name for Gogol to come in the mail, from Calcutta. But Ashima’s grandmother, who has the ceremonial honour of naming the boy, suffers a stroke, and her letter with Gogol’s official name is lost in the mail. The family settles into life in Cambridge, with Ashima learning to take Gogol around on her errands. As the family prepares for its first trip back to Calcutta, Ashoke and Ashima learn that Ashima’s father has died suddenly. Their trip is shrouded in mourning. Ashima, especially, misses her parents and her home in Calcutta, despite the family’s growing network of Bengali friends in the Boston area. Around the peak of the story the lady author even brings up the abbreviation ABCD (American Born Confused Desi) and how they manage in the US.

    The Gangulis move to a Boston suburb, a university town where Ashoke has found a job teaching electrical engineering. Gogol begins pre-school, then kindergarten, and Ashima misses spending time with him, and walking around the neighbourhood. Gogol begins school, and although his parents have settled on an official name, Nikhil, for him to use there, Gogol insists on being called “Gogol,” and so the name sticks. And he is referred both as Gogol and Nikhil in the book. Ashima and Ashoke have another child, a girl named Sonia. Years pass, and the family settles into the modest house in the suburbs, on Pemberton Road. In high school, Gogol grows resentful of his name, which he finds strange, not “really” Indian. He learns about the life of Nikolai Gogol in a literature class, and is horrified by that man’s bizarre, unhappy existence. Ashoke gives Gogol a copy of Gogol’s stories for his fourteenth birthday, and almost tells him the story of his train accident, but holds back. Gogol hides the book in a closet and forgets about it.

    Gogol officially changes his name to Nikhil before going to Yale. He meets a girl there named Ruth, and they fall in love, dating for over a year. After waiting hurriedly for Gogol’s delayed Amtrak train, one holiday weekend, Ashoke tells his son about the train-wreck that nearly killed him, and that gave Gogol his name. Gogol was unaware of the story until this point. Nikhil develops a love for architecture, and after graduating from Yale, he attends design school at Columbia, then lives uptown and works for a firm in Manhattan.

    He meets a young woman in New York named Maxine, who leads a cosmopolitan life with her parent’s downtown. Nikhil essentially moves into Maxine’s home, and the two date seriously. Gogol introduces Maxine to his parents one summer, then spends two weeks in New Hampshire with Maxine’s family, the Ratliffs, believing that their life, as opposed to his parents,’ is paradise.

    Ashoke takes a visiting professorship outside Cleveland and moves there for the academic year. He comes home every three weeks to see Ashima and take care of household chores. Ashoke calls Ashima one night and tells her he has been admitted to the hospital for a minor stomach ailment. When Ashima calls back, she finds out that Ashoke has died of a heart attack. The family is stunned. Gogol flies to Cleveland and cleans out his father’s apartment. The family observes traditional Bengali mourning practices, from which Maxine feels excluded. Soon after this period is over, Maxine and Gogol break up.

    Gogol continues his life in New York, though he visits his mother and sister in Boston more frequently. Ashima sets Gogol up with Moushumi, a family friend from Pemberton Road, who now studies for a French-literature PhD in New York. Gogol and Moushumi initially resist this blind date, but later find that they like and understand one another. They continue dating and soon fall in love. After about a year, they marry in a large Bengali ceremony in New Jersey, near where Moushumi’s parents now live. They rent an apartment together downtown.

    Time passes. The couple takes a trip to Paris, where Moushumi delivers a paper at a conference. The marriage strains. Moushumi likes spending time with her artistic, Brooklyn friends, whereas Gogol finds them frustrating and selfish. Gogol also resents the spectre of Graham, Moushumi’s banker ex-fiancé, who was good friends with the artistic crew Moushumi still adores. Moushumi, feeling constricted in the marriage, begins an affair with an old friend, an aimless academic named Dimitri Desjardins. She keeps the affair a secret from Gogol for several months, but eventually Nikhil catches her in a lie, and she admits all to him. They divorce.

    Gogol returns to Pemberton Road for a final Christmas party. His sister Sonia is marrying a man named Ben, staying in the Boston area. Ashima decides to spend half her time in Boston and half in Calcutta, close to relatives. Gogol continues working as an architect in New York, but for a smaller firm where he has more creative input. Nikhil goes up to his room and finds the copy of Gogol’s stories his father gave him once, realizing how much the author meant to his father. Gogol, feeling close to Ashoke’s memory, finally begins reading Gogol when the novel ends.

    It’s a very sweet novel that will interest both Indians staying in the US and elsewhere and even Indians staying in India. The book does impact you, especially, because the world has now gone global with a stream of Indians settling down in the US and with many dreaming to be there. I would give the book eight out of ten. Do find time to read this book.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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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)

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