Tag Archives: river

BOOK TALK: THE HAPPY PRINCE– By Oscar Wilde

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Read–

THE HAPPY PRINCE

Oscar Wilde

    Some souls think of others even after death and some don’t even while they are alive. Many of you may have read this beautiful story some time back. Nevertheless, let me narrate it for you, once again.

    Long ago, there lived a ‘Happy Prince’ whose statue was placed on a tall column in the city, at a height for all the citizens to see and admire. The statue was gilded all over with thin leaves of fine gold. And for the eyes, it had two bright sapphires with a large ruby glowed on to the sword-hilt.

    As a prince he was greatly loved and revered by the Mayor and even by the town councillors.  His sobriquet as ‘happy prince’ had become so famous that there was seldom a passer by, who did not appreciably comment on the statue. For example:

     ‘Why can’t you be like the Happy Prince?’ asked a sensible mother of her little boy who was crying for the moon. ‘The Happy Prince never dreams of crying for anything.’

    One night there flew into the city a little Swallow. Whose friends had gone off to Egypt some six weeks before, but he had stayed behind. For, he was in love with the most beautiful Reed. Whom, he had met early in the spring when he was flying down the river, after a big yellow moth. Since then he had been attracted by her slender waist and he had stopped to converse with her.

    But since the Swallow did not get proper response from the Reed he too decided to leave for Egypt to see the Pyramids. All day long he flew, and in the night he arrived at the city. Where, he was looking for a place to settle down when he saw the statue of the ‘Happy Prince’ on the tall column and alighted just between the feet of the statue.

     ‘I have a golden bedroom,’ he chirped. And then looked around and prepared to sleep. But as he was putting his head under his wings, a large drop of water fell on him. That got him curious. As there was not a single cloud in the sky and all the stars were twinkling.

     Then another drop fell.

     ‘What is the use of a statue if it cannot keep the rain off?’ he said; ‘I must look for a good chimney-pot,’ and he determined to fly away.

     But before he could even open his wings, a third drop fell. When he looked up, and saw – Ah! what did he see?

     The eyes of the Happy Prince were filled with tears that were running down his golden cheeks. His face was so beautiful in the moonlight that the little Swallow was filled with pity.

     ‘Who are you?’ he asked.

     ‘I am the Happy Prince.’

     ‘Why are you weeping then?’ asked the Swallow.

     ‘When I was alive and had a human heart,’ answered the statue, ‘I did not know what tears were, for I lived in the Palace of Sans-Souci where sorrow is not allowed to enter. In the daytime I played with my companions in the garden, and in the evening I led the dance in the Great Hall. Round the garden ran a very lofty wall, but I never cared to ask what lay beyond it, everything about me was so beautiful. My courtiers called me the Happy Prince, and happy indeed I was, if pleasure be happiness. So I lived, and so I died. And now that I am dead they have set me up here so high that I can see all the ugliness and all the misery of my city, and though my heart is made of lead yet I cannot choose but weep.’

     ‘What, is he not solid gold?’ murmured the Swallow to himself.

     ‘Far away’ continued the statue in a low musical voice, ‘in a little street there is a poor house. One of the windows is open, and through it I can see a woman seated at a table. Her face is thin and worn, and she has coarse, red hands, all pricked by the needle, for she is a seamstress. She is embroidering passion-flowers on a satin gown for the loveliest of the Queen’s maids-of-honour to wear at the next Court-ball. In a bed in the corner of the room her little boy is lying ill. He has a fever, and is asking for oranges. His mother has nothing to give him but river water, so he is crying. Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow, will you not bring her the ruby out of my sword-hilt? My feet are fastened to this pedestal and I cannot move.’

    ‘I am waited for in Egypt,’ said the Swallow.

     ‘Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘will you not stay with me for one night, and be my messenger? The boy is so thirsty, and the mother so sad.

     The Happy Prince looked so sad that the little Swallow felt sorry. ‘It is very cold here,’ he said ‘but I will stay with you for one night, and be your messenger.’

     ‘Thank you, little Swallow,’ said the Prince.

     So the Swallow plucked the great ruby from the Prince’s sword, and flew away with it, in his beak over the roofs of the town.

     He passed by the cathedral tower, where the white marble angels were sculptured. He passed over the river and various other places. At last he came to the poor house and looked in. The boy was tossing feverishly on his bed, and the mother had fallen asleep, she was so tired. In he hopped, and laid the great ruby on the table beside the woman’s thimble. Then he flew gently round the bed, fanning the boy’s forehead with his wings. ‘How cool I feel,’ said the boy, ‘I must be getting better;’ and he sank into a delicious slumber.

    Then the Swallow flew back to the Happy Prince, and told him what he had done. ‘It is curious,’ he remarked, ‘but I feel quite warm now, although it is so cold.’

     ‘That is because you have done a good action,’ said the Prince. And the little Swallow began to think, and then he fell asleep.

     When day broke he flew down to the river and had a bath.

         ‘To-night I go to Egypt,’ said the Swallow, and he was in high spirits at the prospect.

     When the moon rose he flew back to the Happy Prince. ‘Have you any commissions for Egypt?’ he cried; ‘I am just starting.’

     ‘Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘will you not stay with me one night longer?’

     ‘I am waited for in Egypt,’ answered the Swallow.

    ‘Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘far away across the city I see a young man in a garret. He is leaning over a desk covered with papers, and in a tumbler by his side there is a bunch of withered violets. His hair is brown and crisp, and his lips are red as a pomegranate, and he has large and dreamy eyes. He is trying to finish a play for the Director of the Theatre, but he is too cold to write any more. There is no fire in the grate, and hunger has made him faint.’

     ‘I will wait with you one night longer,’ said the Swallow, who really had a good heart. ‘Shall I take him another ruby?’

     ‘Alas! I have no ruby now,’ said the Prince; ‘my eyes are all that I have left. They are made of rare sapphires, which were brought out of India a thousand years ago. Pluck out one of them and take it to him. He will sell it to the jeweller, and buy food and firewood, and finish his play.’

     ‘Dear Prince,’ said the Swallow,’I cannot do that;’ and he began to weep.

     ‘Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘do as I command you.’

     So the Swallow plucked out the Prince’s eye, and flew away to the student’s garret. It was easy enough to get in, as there was a hole in the roof. Through this he darted, and came into the room. The young man had his head buried in his hands, so he did not hear the flutter of the bird’s wings, and when he looked up he found the beautiful sapphire lying on the withered violets.

     ‘I am beginning to be appreciated,’ he cried; ‘this is from some great admirer. Now I can finish my play,’ and he looked quite happy.

     The next day the Swallow flew down to the harbour. He sat on the mast of a large vessel and watched the sailors hauling big chests out of the hold with ropes. ‘Heave a-hoy!’ they shouted as each chest came up. ‘I am going to Egypt!’ cried the Swallow, but nobody minded, and when the moon rose he flew back to the Happy Prince.

     ‘I have come to bid you good-bye,’ he cried.

     ‘Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,’ said the Prince,’will you not stay with me one night longer?’

     ‘It is winter,’ answered the Swallow, and the chill snow will soon be here. In Egypt the sun is warm. My companions are building a nest in the Temple. Dear Prince, I must leave you, but I will never forget you, and next spring I will bring you back two beautiful jewels in place of those you have given away. The ruby shall be redder than a red rose, and the sapphire shall be as blue as the great sea.

     ‘In the square below,’ said the Happy Prince, ‘there stands a little match-girl. She has let her matches fall in the gutter, and they are all spoiled. Her father will beat her if she does not bring home some money, and she is crying. She has no shoes or stockings, and her little head is bare. Pluck out my other eye, and give it to her, and her father will not beat her.

     ‘I will stay with you one night longer,’ said the Swallow, ‘but I cannot pluck out your eye. You would be quite blind then.’

     ‘Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘do as I command you.’

     So he plucked out the Prince’s other eye, and darted down with it. He swooped past the match-girl, and slipped the jewel into the palm of her hand. ‘What a lovely bit of glass,’ cried the little girl; and she ran home, laughing.

     Then the Swallow came back to the Prince. ‘You are blind now,’ he said, ‘so I will stay with you always.’

     ‘No, little Swallow,’ said the poor Prince, ‘you must go away to Egypt.’

     ‘I will stay with you always,’ said the Swallow, and he slept at the Prince’s feet.

     All the next day he sat on the Prince’s shoulder, and told him stories of what he had seen in strange lands. He told him of the red ibises, who stand in long rows on the banks of the Nile, and catch gold fish in their beaks; of the Sphinx, who is as old as the world itself, and lives in the desert, and knows everything; of the merchants, who walk slowly by the side of their camels, and carry amber beads in their hands; of the King of the Mountains of the Moon, who is as black as ebony, and worships a large crystal; of the great green snake that sleeps in a palm-tree, and has twenty priests to feed it with honey-cakes; and of the pygmies who sail over a big lake on large flat leaves, and are always at war with the butterflies.

     ‘Dear little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘you tell me of marvellous things, but more marvellous than anything is the suffering of men and of women. There is no Mystery so great as Misery. Fly over my city, little Swallow, and tell me what you see there.’

     So the Swallow flew over the great city, and saw the rich making merry in their beautiful houses, while the beggars were sitting at the gates. He flew into dark lanes, and saw the white faces of starving children looking out listlessly at the black streets. Under the archway of a bridge two little boys were lying in one another’s arms to try and keep themselves warm. ‘How hungry we are’ they said. ‘You must not lie here,’ shouted the Watchman, and they wandered out into the rain.

     Then he flew back and told the Prince what he had seen.

     ‘I am covered with fine gold,’ said the Prince, ‘you must take it off, leaf by leaf, and give it to my poor; the living always think that gold can make them happy.’

     Leaf after leaf of the fine gold the Swallow picked off, till the Happy Prince looked quite dull and grey. Leaf after leaf of the fine gold he brought to the poor, and the children’s faces grew rosier, and they laughed and played games in the street. ‘We have bread nod’ they cried.

     Then the snow came, and after the snow came the frost. The streets looked as if they were made of silver, they were so bright and glistening; long icicles like crystal daggers hung down from the eaves of the houses, everybody went about in furs, and the little boys wore scarlet caps and skated on the ice.

     The poor little Swallow grew colder and colder, but he would not leave the Prince, he loved him too well. He picked up crumbs outside the baker’s door when the baker was not looking, and tried to keep himself warm by flapping his wings.

     But at last he knew that he was going to die. He had just strength to fly up to the Prince’s shoulder once more.’Good-bye, dear Prince!’ he murmured, ‘will you let me kiss your hand?’

     ‘I am glad that you are going to Egypt at last, little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘you have stayed too long here; but you must kiss me on the lips, for I love you.’

     ‘It is not to Egypt that I am going, ‘ said the Swallow. I am going to the House of Death. Death is the brother of Sleep, is he not?’

     And he kissed the Happy Prince on the lips, and fell down dead at his feet.

     At that moment a curious crack sounded inside the statue, as if something had broken. The fact is that the leaden heart had snapped right in two. It certainly was a dreadfully hard frost.

     Early the next morning the Mayor was walking in the square below in company with the Town Councillors. As they passed the column he looked up at the statue: ‘Dear me! how shabby the Happy Prince looks!’ he said.

     ‘How shabby indeed!’ cried the Town Councillors, who always agreed with the Mayor, and they went up to look at it.

     ‘The ruby has fallen out of his sword, his eyes are gone, and he is golden no longer,’ said the Mayor; ‘in fact, he is little better than a beggar!’

     ‘Little better than a beggar,’ said the Town Councillors.

     ‘And there is actually a dead bird at his feet,’ continued the Mayor. ‘We must really issue a proclamation that birds are not to be allowed to die here.’ And the Town Clerk made a note of the suggestion.

     So they pulled down the statue of the Happy Prince. ‘As he is no longer beautiful he is no longer useful,’ said the Art Professor at the University.

     Then they melted the statue in a furnace, and the Mayor held a meeting of the Corporation to decide what was to be done with the metal. ‘We must have another statue, of course,’ he said, ‘and it shall be a statue of myself.’

     ‘Of myself,’ said each of the Town Councillors, and they quarrelled. When I last heard of them they were quarrelling still.

     ‘What a strange thing!’ said the overseer of the workmen at the foundry.’This broken lead heart will not melt in the furnace. We must throw it away.’ So they threw it on a dust-heap where the dead Swallow was also lying.

     ‘Bring me the two most precious things in the city,’ said God to one of His Angels; and the Angel brought Him the leaden heart and the dead bird.

     ‘You have rightly chosen,’ said God, ‘for in my garden of Paradise this little bird shall sing for evermore, and in my city of gold the Happy Prince shall praise me.’

*****

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

Story of an Indian salesman who is lowly qualified but fights his ways through uncertainities to reach the top. A good read for all salesmen. Now available in Amazon.com

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

*****

 

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THE FREEZING WINTER MORNING

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

–When I went for a morning walk–

    It was six in the morning. The weather stood like the halted debacle, likely to come through any moment. It was stormy and close to, pitch dark, numb and of course freezing. Foggy enough to, fog anyone’s senses. Where, the teasing breeze had only intensified the chill. That was now around six degrees—as displayed in my mobile. The streets were still barren. The amber streetlight round the corner was still glowing full bright. It had a sharp halo around it. In the backdrop of which, one could see the improvised screen of the cascading dew. That looked beautiful, yet frightful, to even touch. There weren’t any dogs in sight like in summers, for a change. Nor were there, mild growls, from any of the hidings around.

    By now, I had paced up, my walk. To, beat the chill. When, I could see a few newspaper walas on their bicycles, along with a few, milk boys racing up and down with their milk-carts to be on time. Everyone has a working world of his own. Some call it a career and some even a profession. That God mandates. My walking track, was laid out for the next one hour. Some priests along the roadside temples, had just about woken up their God’s. So they thought. In ten minutes of brisk walking I had reached the embankment of the twining river. It was calm. As if, away, from the tantrums of, the unruly gale.

    I looked back. Knowing well enough, no one was following me. Except for, the chilly wind, that too, in darkness. Though, my mind was in a slouch. Body was feeling energetic. Just then I could figure out. The first ray of the daylight that had breached the horizon to announce the dawn. When, I could hear the chatter of a few birds. And could also see a disheveled crow. Perched, on an electric pole, cawing away to glory. Suddenly I felt animated. A speeding car was now in sight. I’m sure. The driver of which must be feeling like a VIP with no traffic signals telling him to stop.

    Some street urchins were up by now. They were gearing up, for the hard day ahead, with their little knick-knacks. The redness of the sun was now in sight. And had as if, painted the skyline red. But I feared. It might, soon be overshadowed by the sulking winter clouds. The needs of the world are so strange. What one adores in winters is the sun and what one adores in summers is the shade. Conversely what one hates in summers is the sun. And, in the winter, is the shade. Nothing is constant.   Where, only time rules. But then it has strange ways.

    The warmth of the sun was now, in the air. I welcomed it, by opening my arms. As I slowly began with my routine calisthenics while I kept moving. My mind had leapt beyond the freeze for the first time in the morning. For light brightens you up, and light freshens you up.

    I was past the river embankment, by now. It had flowed all night. It never stops, like time. By now I was more than my, half way mark. Stray thoughts were now, all over me. But, superseding all of that was, the thought of work. Till you’re alive there will be work to do. It will never leave you. So continue doing something or the other, even if you don’t have enough to do.

    For life is all about karma and without karma there is no life. And it was about time to kick-off the day.

*****

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

(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)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

Story of an Indian salesman who is lowly qualified but fights his ways through uncertainities to reach the top. A good read for all salesmen. Now available in Amazon.com

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

*****

   

CONSCIENCE & CONFESSION

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

    It reminds me of a time when I used to go to a park every day, early in the morning. The place was still and quiet—reminding you of those famous words—pin drop silence. It was a long morning walk, from where I stayed and it was also mid-way for me. Where, I use to take a break. The park was located about twenty feet, above the banks of a river and in between the two there was a steep slope. To, secure the area from anyone, falling into the river. A rugged railing had been raised only recently. The other end of the park touched the busy road. Coming all the way from the airport and passing into the main city. Beyond the river, there was a tall dark and handsome hillock that gave a great sense of scenic fulfillment.

    All around, it was lush green, especially, during the monsoons. When, the water level at times used to rise and ripple past the edge of the gradient to enter the park. I normally sat there each day for about ten to fifteen minutes. Just for some meditation and introspection that refreshed me to take on the tough day ahead. I had relocated to the city some six months back as an Inspector in the police department. Out there. I also found many health freaks coming for morning walks but some just to lollygag.

    Close to the main gate of the park. There was a small tea stall. I guess. It grossed all its major revenues early in the morning itself while serving the morning walkers.  Once in a while it also served hot pakodas that tasted deadly, with that hot dhaba tea.

    I had become a little pally with the tea stall owner who was young and appeared somewhat educated. There was always a newspaper lying around the stall. Where, tea buffs often rushed through the headlines and exchanged informal barbs.

    As a regular visitor I had started recognizing quite a few faces. Gradually, I even got to know the names of some. One out of them happened to be an old person. About whom I noticed, was normally quiet. One day the stall owner. Who knew, I was a police inspector, introduced me to him. His name was Robert.

    In a matter of days I started interacting with him and referred to him as ‘uncle.’ He must have been around seventy. He spoke very less. But whenever he did, he was to the point. He was normally in his own world and nothing amused him.

    Days passed. When, one day he came up to me and asked,

     ‘Are you in the police?’

    I said, ‘yes.’

    ‘Then, can you do me a favour?’

     I said, ‘what favour?’ He looked at me for a while and said.

    ‘Many years back when I was young. While playing in this park I had a fight with my best friend and that escalated. As a result of which I pushed him down the slope over there. He fell into the river. It was monsoon season. When, the river was in full spate and he was swept away, and never returned.’

    ‘So then did you not tell the police, that you had pushed him?’

    ‘No.’

    ‘But why?’

    ‘Because I was scared I’ll be arrested. So the police registered a case of accident, that he didn’t know swimming so he drowned.’

    ‘So then, why are you telling me your story now and that too after so many years?’

    ‘After fifty years to be exact. To, clear my guilt or  you could say conscience. Because, you’re in the police and if you want, you can arrest me for the crime.’

    ‘But have you told this to anyone else?’

    ‘No.’

    ‘But why?’

    ‘Because he was my next door neighbour.’

    ‘So how does that matter?’

    ‘It matters, because, years later, I married his sister.’

    ‘But does she know you were the one who pushed his brother?’

    ‘A few years back I did tell her. She couldn’t bear the shock and expired within weeks.’

    ‘And what about your children?’

    ‘I have two sons. Both are in Australia. They don’t know about my crime. But maybe you can tell them after I’m arrested or I’m gone.’ After this he got up, picked his walking stick and started walking. Perhaps, he was heading home.

    After the conversation a couple of days had passed. I had not seen Robert. One day when I reached the tea stall. I was informed by the stall owner that Robert had committed suicide. I was shocked at the news. Perhaps, he was preparing for it mentally when he told me about his act of crime. I attended his funeral where I even got to meet his two sons Richard and Simon.

    Thereafter, I continued with my morning walk as usual. One day when I reached the tea stall. The owner gave me a sealed enveloped that Robert had left for me. I opened it. There was another sealed cover in it with the name and address of Richard in Australia with a request to send it across through a reliable courier. Which I did.

    Robert after losing his wife couldn’t have taken a chance on his sons. But anyhow he wanted to confess about his crime to his children. Which he did after he was gone.

    Moral of the story: Your conscience is the most endurable jury in you.

*****

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)

*****

 

 

 

 

THE ALLURING WORLD OF EARLY MORNING

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

 

    Each morning as I go and sit along the free flowing river under the old Banyan tree I get this tranquil feel of how little it takes for a man to smile. But the situation reverses when I reach my workplace, where, even a smirk is a task.

    The water is cold, just as cold as the human beings of today even when the globe is warming up. One can now see the redness in the sky announcing the arrival of the sun that is duty bound to give me light and energy. He is my old friend who comes to meet me daily in the morning, barring those cloudy days. A Few patches of dark clouds, semaphore from the sky about the arriving rain, realizing water on earth is only getting scarce. The birds around, up-tempo their melodious chorus, before the blasting car horns, beat their retreat.

    The river has a long journey to undertake. It has to meet the sea. Post which it’ll lose its identity. Yet it is calm barring the routine splashes that hit the shores. The embankment is still and unmoved with some stray dogs yawning and stretching. Early risers, for a longer and healthier life, are out for their morning walks, and even jogs. There is harmonious silence all around when you can hear the nature talking to you. It is my time to drench in her and her time to drench in me. Some birds, in formation, appearing like arrows in the sky, about twenty in number are crossing the river. No one knows where they are coming from and where they are heading to. They appear to be in a great hurry. Nevertheless, they are giving an excellent fly-past, reminding you of the Republic-day-Parade. One can distinctly hear their calls but can’t make out what they are saying. Perhaps, discussing about, human atrocities.

    Many things in my life have gone stale. But not this daily setting. Where, I come and perch everyday as it unshackles me from the enduring shackles of life for some memorable moments. Otherwise, there is always so much to worry, so little to rejoice, so much to plan and all the more to execute. But for the present everything is set aside as it is my divine time. That refreshes me to take on the grueling day.

    Slowly, I start walking back as the sun begins to tower up.  Morning and the remaining day are two different worlds. And only the ones who have experienced it, know about it.

*

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

Share if you like it

*

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

*****

 

 

PHILOSOPHER AND THE MERCHANT’S DOG

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

    Once, a rich merchant was crossing a turbulent river in a boat along with his dog.  With him there were some other passengers too, including a philosopher. It appeared the unruly dog of the merchant had never sailed earlier and therefore, it was not feeling at home in the changing surroundings. It was running helter-skelter, and in the process, it was brushing and pushing the passengers all over. The dog obviously was scared and in the process it was not allowing anyone to even sit peacefully.

    So much so, even the oarsmen, were feeling shaky about his movements that had unsettled all the passengers and everyone was somewhat panicky. The, boatman was now beginning to fear about the dog’s rowdy acrobats, that was swaying the boat excessively, where, it could have just overturned. In the process, everyone could have drowned including the mischievous dog.

   But the dog was unfazed and remained in a state of caper and romp. The merchant therefore, was regretting having brought him and was in a state of helplessness. But, he was unable to tame him. In the meantime the passenger who happened to be the philosopher in the boat couldn’t resist.

    He walked up to the merchant and said—‘Sir, if you permit me. In a minute or so I could set your dog right. Upon, hearing this, the merchant was greatly relieved and he gave him the permission forthwith.

    The philosopher with the help of two daring passengers lifted the dog and threw him in the river. Frightened, the dog started squealing on top of his voice and started swimming towards the boat. Soon, it even started pawing the boat fearing his life. The philosopher was watching the dog intently and after a little while he pulled him back. But the dog was now frightened. So he waddled to a corner of the boat and just sat there. The passengers and even the merchant were surprised at this docile behavior of his.

    Merchant too was surprised. He asked the philosopher—‘my dog was earlier caper romping all over the boat. But now he stands tamed, and is just sitting in one corner like a domesticated goat. How come?

     Philosopher said-

    ‘Sir, without experiencing pain, no one can imagine the agony of others. It was only when I threw him in the river. He could understand the might of the river, the utility of the boat and the struggle of the oarsmen.

     This story goes out to those ungrateful Indians. Who stay in India but keep abusing her all the time. They too should be thrown into Pakistan so that they realise the beauty of India.

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Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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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

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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Story: WASHERMAN AND THE DONKEY

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    There was once a lazy and a wicked dhobi (washerman) by the name of Nankau. He had an obedient and a long serving donkey at home. Whom he utilized, for transporting clothes to the banks of the nearby river, early in the morning for washing. Further, during the day he handed him over to his friend for a fixed amount. Who happened to be a contractor. Where, he was utilised for transporting sand from the river bed to his construction site. And, in the evening the listless and obedient animal used to return with his master. With bundles of washed clothes on his back. Devious Nankau, apart from making the donkey do all the work without any rest, even whipped him for small mistakes, and at times he even starved him for minor misdemeanors. But, he never complimented him for any good work. Rather, considered him as the jinx of his life.

    One day Gopal a friend of Nankau came to stay with him for a few days. And during that time he noticed how for no rhyme or reason Nankau whipped the donkey mercilessly and even cursed him loudly and that too quite often.

    One day Gopal asked Nankau. ‘My dear friend what on earth is the matter with you? As I always find you quite irritable, and you often keep whipping this poor soul in great anger for no fault of his. Why do you do this? Especially, when he is so obedient and does all your work?’

    Nankau ruefully replied, ‘arrey yaar! This donkey has been very inauspicious for me. Ever since it walked into my life I have been facing some problem or the other. Enough is enough. I now want to get rid of him, somehow. Even earlier, I tried to sell him but no one seemed interested. Maybe, because, I cursed and criticized him so much, in front of others that no one is ready to touch him even with a barge pole.’

    During his stay Gopal could assess the worth of the donkey. So, one day he told his friend, ‘brother, just in case you are unhappy with him. You could sell him off to me, and instead buy another one for yourself.’

    Nankau was delighted at this God gifted opportunity and didn’t want to lose it. So, he readily agreed, and sold the donkey to Gopal. Who happened to be a kind master and thereon he looked after the animal quite well.

    In the meanwhile Nankau bought a mule for himself. Thinking it will do more work, than the previous animal used to do. And, although, it had been a while since he had sold the donkey. Yet, he couldn’t forget the animal and often used to curse him for all the misfortunes in his life. But, now with the mule around he was hoping his luck would change and he will be a happy man.

    And by now Nankau had passed a couple of lacklustre months with the mule. Who, as compared to the donkey looked tougher, but very reluctantly did as much work as the donkey used to do. So, under the present scenario, Nankau didn’t have the wretched donkey, to curse and blame for his own failures each time things went wrong in his life. Therefore, the nemesis of his life was clearly missing, because the donkey was now someone else’s property. And the mule was too new to be held responsible for any ill luck. In other words he had no voodoo in life whom, he could have cursed for his misfortunes. And, he didn’t have the courage to blame and curse himself for his own mistakes, and this started worrying him beyond compare.

    One day when the mule was transporting sand from the river to the contractor’s site. The hind legs of the mule got stuck in the muddy waters of the river and as a result, it could not move. Soon, it slipped and fell, and fractured its leg, and within a few days the wound developed into gangrene and he died.

    Nankau was shell shocked at the mishap. He now had no means of transporting the clothes meant for washing, and was now constrained to do it on his own back. But then he had limitations. As he couldn’t carry too many clothes. So he started losing business. And, since the mule was now dead. He was also deprived of the daily rent that he used to get from the contractor. And that cheat of a contractor didn’t even bother to pay Nankau any compensation for the dead animal. So overall, he was at a loss of a lifetime.

    Suddenly, he realized, he now had no one to curse for his setbacks. Because, the ultimate anathema of his life—the donkey, stood sold. Therefore, it was not influencing his life anymore. So, the big question now in front of him was, who then was influencing his life if not the donkey?

    He decided to visit his learned friend Gopal for answers. Where, in his house, he once again found the nemesis of his life, the donkey, standing in a healthy and happy state. As Gopal was taking good care of him. Nankau, narrated the sequence of events to him.

   Gopal, first gave him a patient hearing and then said, ‘Dear Nankau, when I visited you last time. I knew you were a victim of your own circumstances. But you always wanted to play the victim card for every adversity that you came across in your life. For which you always wanted a villain whom you could blame and where this speechless donkey came in handy.

    But the real solution of life is to look for the hidden donkey within you, before you start cursing any other donkey outside. Moreover, you are just a human being, who is bound to make mistakes. So, if at all, you need to blame someone for your mistakes, blame the villain in you. And, for that, keep him alive. So that you don’t have to look for a villain outside, like this donkey.

    With this Nankau had got the message of life. He patted the donkey and returned home.

    Moral of the story: We often blame others for our own misfortunes which is not correct. When things start going wrong in your life confront the donkey that lies within you and don’t look for one outside.

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

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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

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Our publications

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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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)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

Story of an Indian salesman who is lowly qualified but fights his ways through uncertainities to reach the top. A good read for all salesmen. Book launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon.com and Flipkart

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

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SHORT STORY: GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES

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    In primitive times there was a Mahatma who lived in a village located on the banks of a river. Where, many villagers, from in and around and even far off places used to come to him for help and advice.

    One day a moorkh (simpleton) from the nearby village came to the Mahatma and started weeping. And, upon Mahatma’s enquiring about the cause he replied, ‘Guruvar, people in my village are very bad, they always misbehave with me. So what should I do to protect myself from such rogues. Please advice to help me out.’

    Mahatma consoled him and politely said, ‘don’t you worry and have confidence in God, for he will set everything right.’ And upon hearing this, the moorkh was happy and soon he left for his home.

    After a few months there were severe floods in the village when everyone started running helter-skelter to save themselves, but the moorkh was cool. He just climbed the roof of his house and started praying to God. And when the flood water started touching the roof a kind person spotted him and extended his hand to help him. But he refused to hold his hand and said, ‘I don’t trust you but I’m confident God will help me.’

    In the meanwhile the flood waters had climbed further and reached up to his neck and seeing this, some people perched in a passing boat offered to help, by asking him to jump but he again refused and said, ‘I only trust God.’

    After sometime he started drowning, when some kind people finally rescued him. They helped him back to consciousness. But the moorkh instead of thanking them, went up to the Mahatma and started complaining, ‘you had asked me to have faith in God, but this tip of yours nearly killed me, for he never came forward to help me.’

    Mahatama smiled at him and sweetly said, ‘Hey you simple soul, in response to your prayers only these people and the boat were sent to you, to save you. But you refused to take any help. Even then God almighty who wishes and desires everyones welfare, to save you, sent some kind people, otherwise by now you would have been dead.’ But Mahatma was not finished as yet when he further sermonized, ‘always remember in response to your earnest prayers God will not come and do your “karma” for you. He has given you brains and you need use it.’

    This story is from Puran (Hindu holy script) and conveys a simple message–“God helps those who help themselves.”

Share if you like it

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

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