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BOOK CORNER: SHORT STORY–THE THREE QUESTIONS by Leo Tolstoy

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

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

THE THREE QUESTIONS

By Leo Tolstoy

    It once occurred to a certain king that if he only knew the right time to begin any task. If he knew, who were the right people to listen to and whom to avoid. And above all, if he always knew, what was the most important thing to do, he would never fail in anything he might undertake.

    With this thought in mind. He decided to announce in his kingdom. That he would give a handsome reward to anyone who could teach him. The right time for every action, and who are the most essential people and how he might know what was the most important thing to do.

    Many learned men came to the king but they all answered his questions differently.

    In reply to the first question some said that to know the right time for every action, one must draw up in advance a table of days, months and years and must strictly adhere to it. Only thus said they, could everything be done at a proper time. Others declared that it was impossible to decide beforehand the right time for every action. And, one should always attend to all that is going on, and then do what is most needful. Others said. However attentive the king might be to what is going on. It is impossible for one man to decide correctly the right time for every action. And that he should have a council of wise men who would help him fix the proper time for everything.

    But then again others said there were some things which could not wait to be laid before a council, and about which one needed to decide at once to undertake them or not. But in order to decide that one must know beforehand what was going to happen. It is only magicians who know that and therefore in order to know the right time for every action one must consult magicians.

    Equally, there were various other answers to the second question. Some said. The people, king needed the most were his councilors, priests and the doctors. While some said warriors were the most essential.

    Regarding the third question, as to what was the most important occupation. Some replied that the most important thing in the world was science. Others said it was skill in warfare and others said it was religious worship.

    Since all the answers were different. The king agreed with none of them and gave reward to none. But still determined to find the right answers to his question he decided to consult a hermit widely renowned for his wisdom.

    The hermit lived in a forest. Where, he received only common people and no VIPs. So, to match the hermit’s discipline. The king too, put on simple clothes and before reaching the hermit’s cell he even dismounted from his horse. Leaving his bodyguard behind. He was now alone.

    When the king approached the hermit. He was digging the ground in front of his hut. Seeing the king he greeted him but kept digging. The hermit appeared frail and weak. Each time he struck his spade on the ground and turned little earth, he breathed heavily.

    The king went up to him and said. ‘I have come to you wise man, to ask you to answer, three of my questions. One, how can I learn to do the right thing at the right time? Two, who are the people I need the most, and to whom, should I pay more attention than the rest? Three, what affairs are most important and need my attention on priority?’

    The hermit listened to the king, but answered nothing. In fact he just spat on his hand and recommenced digging.

    “You are tired,” said the king, “so let me take the spade and work awhile for you.”

    “Thanks!” said the hermit, and, giving the spade to the king, he sat down, on the ground.

    When the king had finished digging two beds, he stopped and repeated his questions. The hermit again gave no answer, but rose, stretched out his hand for the spade, and said:

    “Now you rest awhile – and let me work a bit.”

    But the king did not give him the spade, and continued to dig. One hour passed, and then another. The sun began to sink behind the trees, and the king at last stuck the spade into the ground, and said:

    “I came to you, wise man, for an answer to my questions. If you can give me none, tell me so. I will return home.”

    “Here comes someone running,” said the hermit. “Let us see who it is.”

    The king turned round and saw a bearded man come running out of the forest. The man had pressed his stomach with his hands and was bleeding profusely. And as he approached the king he fainted and fell on the ground and began moaning feebly. The king and the hermit unfastened the man’s clothing.

    There was a large wound in his stomach. The king washed it, as best as he could and even bandaged it, with his handkerchief and a towel of the hermit. But the blood didn’t stop oozing. So, the king removed, the warm blood soaked bandage several times. And he washed and re-bandaged the wound.

    Finally the bleeding stopped. With that the man revived and asked for something to drink. The king brought fresh water and gave it to him. Meanwhile the sun had set, and it had become cool. So, the king, with the hermit’s help, carried the wounded man into the hut and laid him on the bed. While lying on the bed, the man closed his eyes and was quiet. But the king was extremely tired on account of the tedious day. So, he crouched down on the threshold, and fell asleep–and so soundly that he slept all throughout the short summer night.

    When he woke up in the morning. It was long before he could remember where he was, or who was the strange bearded man lying on the bed and gazing intently at him with glistening eyes.

    “Forgive me!” said the bearded man in a weak voice, when he saw, that the king was awake and was looking at him.

    “I do not know you, and have nothing to forgive you for,” said the king.

    “You do not know me, but I know you. I am an enemy of yours who had sworn to take revenge of you, because you had executed my brother and seized my property. I knew you had gone alone to meet the hermit, and I had resolved to kill you on your way back.

     But the day passed, and you did not return. So, I came out of my ambush to look for you. But ill luck struck me. When, I bumped into your bodyguard, and they recognized me, and wounded me. I escaped from them and would have bled to death had you not dressed my wound so meticulously. I wished to kill you, but you saved my life. Now, if I live, and if you wish it, I will serve you as your most faithful slave, and will bid my sons also to do the same. Forgive me!”

    The king was very glad to have made peace with his enemy so easily, and to have gained him for a friend. He not only forgave him. But promised that he would send his servants and his own physician to attend to him, and even promised to restore his property.

    Having taken leave of the wounded man, the king went out into the porch and looked around for the hermit. Before leaving he wished to beg once more for an answer to his questions. The hermit was outside, on his knees, sowing seeds in the beds that had been dug the day before.

    King approached him and said, “For the last time, I pray to you to answer my questions, wise man.”

    “You have already been answered!” said the hermit, still crouching on his thin legs, and looking up at the king, who stood before him.

    “Answered but how? What do you mean?” asked the king.

    “Don’t you see?” replied the hermit. “If you had not pitied on my weakness yesterday, and had not dug these beds for me. And had gone your way, that man would have attacked you, and you would have repented not having stayed with me. So, the most important time was when you were digging the beds and I was the most important man and to do me good was your most important business.

    Afterwards, when that man ran to us, the most important time was when you were attending to him. For if you had not nursed his wounds he would have died without having made peace with you. So, he was the most important man, and what you did for him was your most important business.

    Remember then. There is only one time that is important – and that is now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any kind of power. The most necessary person is the one with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with anyone else, and the most important business is to do that person good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life.”

Synopsis by Kamlesh Tripathi

***

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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

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

*****

 

 

 

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BOOK TALK: THE MODEL MILLIONAIRE by Oscar Wilde

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

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

 

THE MODEL MILLIONAIRE

By Oscar Wilde

 

    Oscar Wilde was an Irish poet and playwright. He lived during 1854-1900.

    Unless one is wealthy there is no point in being a charming fellow. Romance is the privilege of the rich and not the profession of the unemployed. The poor should be practical and unsentimental. It is better to have a routine permanent income than to be a captivating personality. These were some great truths of life which Hughie Erskine never realised. Intellectually Hughie was of fair consequence. He had never said an anything brilliant in his life nor had he said anything offending. But yes. He was a wonderful person and good looking. He had brown hair with clear cut profile and grey eyes. He was popular with men as he was with women and he had every competence except that of making money. His father had bequeathed him his cavalry sword along with a history of peninsular war in fifteen volumes. Hughie had hung the first over his looking glass. And he had put the second on a shelf between Ruff’s guide and Bailey’s magazine. He lived on two hundred a year that was allowed to him by his old aunt.

    He had tried everything. He had worked in a stock exchange for six months but was a butterfly to do among bulls and bears. He had even been a tea merchant for a longer period of time but soon tired out Pekoe and Souchung (variety of tea). Then he tried selling sherry. But there also he didn’t n do well. Finally he became nothing but a delightful, ineffectual young man with a perfect profile but no profession.

     To make matters worse he was in love. The girl he loved was Laura Merton, daughter of a retired colonel who had lost his temper and digestion in India and had never found either of them again. Laura adored Hughie and he was ready to anything for her. They were the handsomest couple of London. But they did not have a penny-piece between them. The colonel was very fond of Hughie but could not hear about their engagement.

    And he used to say. Come to me my boy when you have ten thousand pounds of your own in your pocket and then we will see about it. This used to sadden Hughie who then used to look glum and go to Laura for consolation.

    One morning when he was on his way to Holland Park, where Mertons lived. He dropped by to see a great friend of his, Alan Trevor. Trevor was a greater painter. And an artist too. That was a rare combination. He was a strange rough fellow with a freckled face and a red ragged beard. But when he took up the brush he was a real master. Moreover, his pictures were largely sought after. He was very attached to Hughie mainly because of his personal charm. ‘The only people a painter should know,’ he used to say, ‘are people who are bete and beautiful, people who are artistic pleasure to look at an intellectual repose. To talk to, men who are dandies and women who are darlings rule the world, at least they should do so.’ After he got to know Hughie better he liked him quite as much for his bright buoyant spirits. And his generous reckless nature. Because of which he had given him the permanent entrée to his studio.  

    When Hughie came in he found Trevor applying finishing touches to a wonderful life size painting of a beggar man. The beggar himself was standing on a raised platform in a corner of the studio. He looked a wizened old man with a face like wrinkled parchment and a piteous expression. Over his shoulders was flung a coarse brown cloak all tears and tatters. His thick boots were patched and cobbled. And with one hand he leant on a rough stick, while with the other he held out his battered hat for alms.

    What an amazing model whispered Hughie as he shook hands with his friend.

    ‘An amazing model?’ Shouted Trevor at the top of his voice, ‘I should think so. Such beggars as he are not to be met everyday.’ And he goes on to praise the beggar.

    ‘Poor old chap.’ Said Hughie. ‘How miserable he looks! But I suppose, to you painters. His face is his fortune.’

    ‘Certainly,’ replied Trevor. ‘You don’t want a beggar to look happy, do you?’

    ‘How much does a model get for sitting?’ asked Hughie as he found himself a comfortable seat on a divan.

    ‘A shilling an hour!’

    ‘And how much do you get for your picture Alan?’

    ‘Oh! for this I get two thousand.’

    ‘Pounds?’

    ‘Guineas. Painters, poets and physicians always get guineas.’

    ‘Well I think the model should have a percentage.’ Cried Hughie, laughingly. ‘They work quite hard as you do.’

    ‘Nonsense … nonsense! Why look at the trouble of laying on the paint alone and standing all day long at one’s easel! Its all very well, Hughie, for you to talk, but I assure you that there are moments when art almost attains to the dignity of manual labour. But you mustn’t chatter; I’m very busy. Smoke a cigarette and keep quiet.’

    After some time, the servant came in and told Trevor that the frame maker wanted to speak to him.

    ‘Don’t run away, Hughie,’ he said as he went out. ‘I will be back in a moment.’

    The old beggar man took advantage of Trevor’s absence. He rested for a moment on a wooden bench that was behind him. He looked so forlorn and wretched that Hughie could not help pitying him, so he felt his pockets to see what money he had. All he could find was a sovereign and some coppers. ‘Poor old fellow,’ he thought to himself, ‘he wants it more than I do, but it means no hansoms for a fortnight,’ and he walked across the studio and slipped the sovereign into the beggar’s hand.

    The old man started, and a faint smile flitted across his withered lips. ‘Thankyou sir,’ he said, ‘thank you.’

    Soon Trevor arrived when Hughie took his leave blushing a little at what he had done. He spent the day with Laura, got an affectionate scolding for his extravagance, and had to walk home.

    That night he strolled into the Palette Club at about 11’o clock. He found Trevor sitting by himself in the smoking room drinking Hock and Seltzer.

    ‘Well Alan did you get the picture finished all right? He said as he lit his cigarette.’

    ‘Finished and framed, my boy!’ answered Trevor, and by-the-bye, you have made a conquest. That old model you saw is quite devoted to you. I had to tell him all about you—who you are, where you live, what your income is, what prospects you have.’

    ‘My dear Alan,’ cried Hughie. ‘I shall probably find him waiting for me when I go home. But of course, you are only joking. Poor old wretched! I wish I could do something for him. I think it is dreadful that anyone should be so miserable. I have got heaps of old clothes at home—do you think he should care for any of them? Why his rags were falling to bits.’

   ‘But he looks splendid in them,’ said Trevor. ‘I wouldn’t paint him in a frock-coat for anything. What you call rags I call romance. What seems poverty to you is picturesqueness to me. However, I’ll tell him of your offer.’

    ‘Alan,’ said Hughie seriously. ‘You painters are a heartless lot.’

    ‘An artist’s heart is his head.’ Replied Trevor, ‘and besides our business is to realise the world as we see it, not to reform it as we know it. A chacun son metier. And now tell me how Laura is. The old model was quite interested in her.’

    You don’t mean to say you talked to him about her? Said Hughie.

    ‘Certainly, I did. He knows all about the relentless colonel. The lovely Laura and the ten thousand pounds.’

    ‘You told that old beggar all my private affairs?’ cried Hughie. Looking very red and angry.

    ‘My dear boy,’ said Trevor, smiling, ‘that old beggar as you call him, is one of the richest men in Europe. He could buy all London to-morrow without overdrawing his account. He has a house in every capital, dines off gold plate and can prevent Russia going to war when he chooses.’

    ‘What on earth do you mean?’ exclaimed Hughie.

    ‘What I say,’ said Trevor. ‘The old man you saw to-day in the studio was Barron-Hausberg. He is a great friend of mine, buys all my pictures and that sort of thing and gave me a commission a month ago to paint him as a beggar. Que voulez? La fantaisie d’un millionaire! And I must say he made a magnificent figure in his rags or perhaps I should say in my rags, they are an old suit I got in spain.

    ‘Baron Hausberg!’ cried Hughie. ‘Good heavens I gave him a sovereign!’ and he sank into an armchair the picture of dismay.’

    ‘Gave him a sovereign!’ shouted Trevor and he burst into a roar of laughter. My dear you’ll never see it again. ‘Son affaire c’est I argent des autres.’

    ‘I think you might have told me Alan,’ said Hughie sulkily, ‘and not have let me make such a fool of myself.’

    ‘Well to begin with, Hughie,’ said Trevor, ‘it never entered my mind that you went about distributing alms in that reckless way. I can understand your kissing a pretty model, but your giving a sovereign to an ugly one—by love, no! besides the fact is that I really was not at home today. To anyone; and when you came in I didn’t know whether Hausberg would like his name mentioned. You know he wasn’t in full dress what a duffer he must think me!’ said Hughie.

    ‘Not at all. He was in the highest spirits after you left, kept chuckling to himself and rubbing his old wrinkled hands together. I couldn’t make out why he was so interested to know all about you; but I see it all now. He’ll invest your sovereign for you. Hughie pay the interest every six months. And have a capital story to tell after dinner.’

    ‘I am an unlucky devil,’ Growled Hughie.

    ‘The best thing I can do is to go to bed; and my dear Alan, you mustn’t tell anyone. I should dare show my face in the row.’

    ‘Nonsense! It reflects the highest credit on your philanthropic spirit, Hughie. And don’t run away. Have another cigarette and you can talk about Laura as much as you like.’

    However, Hughie couldn’t stop feeling horrible. He walked home feeling very unhappy and leaving Alan Trevor in fits of laughter.

    The next morning, when he was at breakfast, the servant brought him a card on which was written, ‘Monsieur Gustave Naudin! Dela Part De M. Le Baron Hausberg.’

    ‘I suppose he has come for an apology,’ said Hughie to himself, and he told the servant to show the visitor up.

    An old gentleman with gold spectacles and grey hair came into the room and said in a slight French accent, ‘Have I the honour of addressing Monsieur Erskine.’ Hughie bowed.

    ‘I have come from Baron Hausberg.’ He continued. ‘The Baron … I beg sir that you will offer him my sincerest apologies,’ stammered Hughie.

    ‘The Baron,’ said the old gentleman, with a smile, ‘has commissioned me to bring you this letter,’ and he extended a sealed envelope.

    On the outside was written, ‘a wedding present to High Erskine and Laura Merton, from an old beggar!’ And inside was a cheque of ten thousand pounds.

    When they married Alan Trevor was the best man and the Baron made a speech at the wedding breakfast.

    ‘Millionaire Models,’ remarked Alan, ‘are rare enough: but by love, model millionaires are rarer still.’

***

Synopsis by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

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

*****

 

 

 

Watch “Book Review: “Ice Station Zebra” by Alistair Maclean (Adapted by the film) | Baat Kitaabon Ki” on YouTube

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

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

*****

 

 

 

Book Talk: Ice Station Zebra by Alistair Maclean

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

Ice Station Zebra

Alistair Maclean

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.

    Ice Station Zebra is a 1963 thriller novel written by Scottish author Alistair Maclean. It marked his return to Arctic setting. After completing this novel, whose plot line parallels real-life events during the Cold War, Maclean retired from writing for three years. In 1968 it was loosely adapted into a film by the same name.

Plot

    Drift ice Station Zebra, a British metereological station built on an ice floe in the Arctic Sea, suffers a catastrophic oil fire. When, several of its men die, and their shelter and supplies are destroyed. The survivors hole up in one hut with little food and warmth.

    To salvage the situation. The (fictional) American nuclear powered submarine USS Dolphin is dispatched on a rescue mission. But just before it departs, Dr. Carpenter, the narrator, is sent to accompany it. Carpenter’s background is unknown. But he claims that he is an expert in dealing with frostbite and other deep-cold medical conditions. And, he carries his orders from the Chief of Naval Operations of the United States Navy. Commander Swanson, the Dolphin submarine captain, is suspicious of Carpenter. He calls in his superior Admiral Garvie. Garvie refuses to allow Carpenter on board without knowing his mission. So, under duress, Carpenter finally reveals that the ice station is actually a highly equipped listening post, keeping watch for nuclear missile launches from the Soviet Union, a statement that convinces both the commander and the admiral.

    The Dolphin reaches the Arctic ice-pack, and dives under it. It surfaces in a break in the ice and succeeds in making a tenuous radio contact with Ice Station Zebra. Carpenter confides to the Captain that the commander of the station is his brother. Having obtained a bearing on the station, the Dolphin dives again, and succeeds in finding a lead five miles from the station and breaks through a crack in the ice above. Carpenter, Executive Officer Hansen, and two of the crewmen are put above on the ice-pack. They make the journey to the station through an Arctic storm on foot. Taking with them as many supplies as they can. They reach Zebra after a near-impossible trek, only to find that eight of the men on the station are dead, while 11 others are barely alive. While investigating the corpses, Carpenter finds that one of them has even been shot. They find that their radio has been damaged, and so Carpenter and Hansen return to the Dolphin. The US submarine moves close to the station, and finding no open water, blows a hole in the ice using a torpedo.

    The sick men are taken care of by the Dolphin. Carpenter does some more investigation, and finds that the fire was no accident. In fact it was only a cover to hide the three dead men who were murdered, one of whom was his brother. He also discovers several unburned supplies hidden at the bottom of a hut, while Swanson finds a gun hidden in a petrol tank. The surviving members of Zebra are now brought on board the Dolphin, and the station is abandoned. While still under the ice, a fire breaks out in the engine room and the submarine is forced to shut down its nuclear reactor. Finally, the crew succeeds in saving the ship, after several hours of hard labour, where Swanson’s ingenuity plays a big part.

    Carpenter calls a meeting of the survivors, and announces that the fire was no accident. He reveals that he is an MI6 (British Intelligence) officer, and that his real mission was to retrieve photographic film from a reconnaisance satellite that has photographed every missile base in the US. The film had been ejected from the satellite so that Soviet agents operating under cover at Zebra could retrieve it. Carpenter’s brother had been sent to the station to prevent this. Carpenter finally reveals the identity of the Russian agents, and successfully retrieves the film.

Synopsis written by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

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

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Short story: LEGACY OF INVENTIONS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

 

 

 

    What might be good for you may not be good for your nation, and what might be good for your nation, may not be good for humanity. What is good for today, may not be good for tomorrow, but may be good for day after, and again a disaster for the day- day-after.

    Thinkers, scientists, innovators and inventors may create something with a noble intention. But crooked minds traversing mother earth may hijack it for sinister motives. To come to think of it, inventions leave a legacy behind. Where, some may turn out to be the serenades of life, while some the hounding baggage, difficult to carry.

    When Sir Alexander Fleming, Scottish biologist and botanist discovered Penicillin in 1928, he shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine the same year. Penicillin later developed into antibiotics used for killing microorganisms; and since then it has saved many lives and has reduced the agony of so many sick people. Fleming therefore must have left the world with pleasant memories about his invention.

    Realising what he had created—Dynamite! A high intensity explosive that could have been a bane for the society. Alfred Nobel bequeathed his fortune to institute the Nobel Prize for noble causes. Perhaps, he could visualise in his lifetime the ominous calamity that could be struck with dynamite that he had invented. And to offset that he instituted this prestigious award.

    While Eadweard Muybridge commonly referred as the ‘father of the motion picture’ must have exited the world with pleasant memories. The same can’t be said about Lieutenant General Mikhail Kalashnikov the inventor of AK-47 assault rifle, even when he invented it for his country. He was born to a peasant woman and was an Orthodox Christian. He rose to be a Russian General with sterling innovative attributes, but on hindsight his inventions appear to be for the wrong causes.

    Approximately 100 million AK-47 assault rifles were produced by 2009, and about half of them are counterfeit, manufactured at a rate of about a million a year. Kalashnikov maintained in his lifetime, that his rifle was a ‘weapon for defense and not a weapon of offence.’ Yet countless unwarranted killings must have taken place through this invention.

    Kalashnikov claimed he was always motivated by service to his nation than money. But then, what was once good for the nation could have been used by myriads of terrorists in illegal and dreadful killings.

    In the final years of his life he was saddened and anguished over his awry responsibility for the millions of deaths that his invention caused, reveals his published letter to the head of the Russian Church.

    In his various public interviews, Kalashiikov who died at the age of 94 insisted that he created the AK-47 assault rifle and dozens of other firearms as a means to protect his country, and rejected the responsibility for killings, perpetrated by militants and terrorists using his weapons.

    “My soul ache is unbearable and has one irresolvable question: if my rifle took lives, does it mean that I, Mikhail Kalashnikov, aged 93, a peasant woman’s son, an Orthodox Christian in faith, is guilty of those people’s deaths, even if they were enemies?” the leaked letter reads. He wrote the letter sometime before his death.

    Even when he was baptized as a child, he spent most of his life as an atheist, living in an officially atheist country. It was only at the age of 91 that he felt the call of faith and answered. And as he was approaching the end of his life some doubts lingered in his mind. That perhaps, through his invention he gave a chance to millions of miscreants … to massacre innocents.

    Surely, inventions do leave a legacy behind, and some legacies are insurmountable for the soul. But sadly the inventor only realizes this when its too late and when he is at the twilight of his life.

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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

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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Only a skilled nation can create national wealth

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

 

Analysis: 50% of the world’s wealth remains with 4-5 countries

    “National wealth” refers to the total value of wealth possessed by the citizens of a nation at a set point in time. That is, the total value of wealth and goods generated by all economic activity in a particular nation.

    It is also referred as the national (net) wealth, or the national net worth, or even the gross national wealth (GNW); summing up to the total national wealth and is the total sum value of wealth possessed by the citizens of a nation at any given point of time.

    This figure of national wealth is an important indicator of a nation’s ability to take on debt and sustain spending. It is influenced, not only by real estate prices, but also by the stock market, human resources, technological advancements which may create new assets or render other worthless. It is also steered by the national infrastructure and exchange rates. Remember, for value creation optimum skill levels are a must for any nation and therefore skill building is an important ingredient, required to augment national wealth.

    The most significant component by far among most developed nations is commonly reported as household net wealth or worth, and also reflects infrastructure investment. National wealth can fluctuate, as evidenced in the US data (to follow) following the financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent recovery.

    There are 196 countries in the world today. If we compare the national wealth figures of the first 30 major countries we will come across an interesting paradigm as below:

ANALYSIS … HOW CHINA FORGES AHEAD

  • The world’s wealth has grown from 117,225 billion USD in 2000 to 171,577 in 2005, up to 216,374 in 2010 and to 250,145 in 2015. This is a cumulative growth of 113% over the last 15 years and an average annual growth rate of 7.5%.
  • USA remains the richest in terms of national wealth and also a consistent performer since 2000 to 2015. In 2000 it had a national wealth of 42,941 billion USD which has grown to 85,901 billion USD in 2015. This is a cumulative growth of 100% over 15 years and an average annual growth rate of 6.67%.
  • The national wealth of the US in 2000 was 42,941 billion USD, a little more than the national wealth of Japan, UK, Germany, Italy and China, put together.
  • The national wealth of the US in 2005 was 59,664 billion USD, a little more than the national wealth of Japan, UK, France, Italy and Germany, put together.
  • The national wealth of the US in 2010 declined from 59,664 billion USD by 4.27% to 57114 on account of the economic crisis, but it still remained more than the combined national wealth of countries such as Japan, China and France, put together. China by 2010 had become a major skill development country and thereby started generating wealth. It would not be wrong to say that 50% of the wealth of the world is controlled by only four or five countries.
  • By 2015 the national wealth of the US had increased to 85,901 billion USD, a little more than the combined wealth of five economic super powers such as China, Japan, UK, France and Germany.
  • China’s policy of underscoring on skill development under the banner of human resources gave encouraging results when its national wealth from 4664 billion USD in 2000 went up to 8674 in 2005 and to 17505 in 2010 and finally to 22817 in 2015. And from 6th position in 2000 it has jumped to 2nd position in 2015 in terms of national wealth.
  • India on the contrary from 14th position out of 196 countries in 2000 jumped marginally to 12th position in 2005 and to 11th position in 2010, but slumped back to 14th position in 2015. Its national wealth was 1163 billion USD in 2000, 2142 billion USD in 2005, 3788 billion USD in 2010, and 3447 billion USD in 2015. It has cumulatively grown by 196% with an average growth rate of 13%. But it is not enough when we compare it with world standards and our political establishment needs to understand this. India requires wide spread skill development if it wants to grow its national wealth. A lesson we need to learn from China where there is no opposition when it comes to policies affecting national wealth.
  • 50% of the world’s wealth in the year 2000 was with super economic powers such as the USA, Japan and the UK. This changed somewhat in 2010 where 50% of the world’s wealth was held by the USA, Japan, UK and France, and this further changed in 2010 when 50% of the wealth of the world was held by USA, Japan, China (China replaced UK) and France. In 2015 the scenario further changed when China jumped to the second position next to the US leaving behind Japan to a close third.
  • Canada with 35 only million people has maintained a steady 8th position in the world. In 2000 it had a national wealth of 2,469 billion USD. This rose to 4277 in 2005, to 6212 in 2010 and finally to 6872 in 2015. Its cumulative growth in 15 years has been 178% with an average growth rate of 11.88%. But it has failed to take a quantum leap because it doesn’t have great reserve of skill bank which it is largely importing from other countries now. It also has a huge geographical territory and it remains to be seen how in times to come it will manage its huge assets with such a meagre population.
  • South Korea has turned into another industrial giant by lifting its skill levels. It rose from the 16th position where it had a national wealth of 1089 billion USD in 2000, to 2149 billion USD in 2005 at 11th spotBut it slumped back to 14th position in 2010 even when it increased its national wealth to 2791 billion USD. But in 2015 it jumped to 12th spot with a national wealth of 3545 billion USD.
  • Greece with its economic crisis, a typical example has crashed to the 30th spot in 2015 with 743 billion USD from the 23rd spot in 2000 with a national wealth of 493 billion USD.
  • Russia with the roots of once a super power has stagnated from 3150 in 2000 to 1284 USD billion in 2015 but has gone up notches from 30th to 23rd

    The point of essence—mere size of population doesn’t increase national wealth. One has to individually create it for the nation. And you can create, only if you have the skill. The US remains the leader in this field with a population of 310 million people which is less than one third of the population of India. Even Canada with only 35 million people generates more revenue than India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is by far on track by underscoring on skill development in India.

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share 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

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)

*****