Tag Archives: russian empire

FACTS FIGURES & QUOTES: THE DOCTOR’S PLOT

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    It happened many years back in Russia.

    The Doctors’ Plot is also known as the case of saboteur-doctors or killer-doctors. It was an anti-Semitic campaign also called anti-semitism. Don’t confuse it with the Doctor’s trial in Nuremberg.

   What is anti-Semitism? Anti-semitism is the strong dislike, or cruel and unfair treatment of Jewish people. Anti-semitism in the Russian Empire included numerous pogroms, acts of cruel behaviour, killings, organized massacre, of a particular ethnic group, in particular, that of the Jews in Russia or Eastern Europe and the designation or areas of the Pale of Settlement. Pale of Settlement is the territory of contemporary Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Poland, from which Jews were forbidden to migrate into the interior parts of Russia, unless they converted to the Russian Orthodox state religion, in some ways the Moscow-Patriarchate or Moscow Church. The Pale of Settlement was a western region of the Imperial Russia with varying borders that existed between, 1791 and 1917, in which, permanent residency by Jews was allowed but beyond which Jewish residency, permanent or temporary, was largely forbidden.

    Now let’s come to the Russian Revolution of 1917: It was a period of political and social revolution across the territory of the Russian Empire, commencing with the abolition of the monarchy in 1917, and concluded in 1923 after the Bolshevik establishment (that is the radical far left Marxist faction), of the Soviet Union, along with five other Soviet Republics, namely Ukraine, Belarus, Amenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, resulting in the end of the civil war.

     Anti-semitism campaign in the Soviet Union was organized by Joseph Stalin. In 1951–1953, a group of predominantly Jewish doctors from Moscow were accused of a conspiracy to assassinate Soviet leaders. This was later accompanied by publications of anti-Semitic character in the media, which talked about the threats of Zionism (a political movement whose original aim was the creation of a country, for the Jewish people, and that now supports the state of Israel). The publications went on to condemn people with Jewish names. Many doctors, officials and others, both Jews and non-Jews, were promptly dismissed from their jobs and arrested. But only after a few weeks of Stalin’s death, the new Soviet leadership said there was a lack of evidence, so the cases was dropped. Soon after, it was declared to have been fabricated. This was the gist of the doctor’s plot. Let me now give you some details about it.

    The anti-Jewish campaign was presum-ably set in motion by Stalin as a pretext to dismiss and replace Lavrenty Beria his close aide, and prosecute some other Soviet leaders, and to launch a massive purge within the Communist Party, and, according to some, even to prepare and consolidate the country for a future World War III.

   In 1951, (MGB) the Soviet Secret Police investigator Mikhail Ryu-min reported to his superior, Viktor Aba-kumov, Minister of the MGB, that Professor Yakov Etinger, who was arrested as a “bourgeois nationalist” with connections to the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, had in fact committed malpractice in treating Andrei Zhdanov (died in 1948) and Alexander Shcherbakov (died in 1945), and allegedly had done so with the intention of killing them. However, Abakumov the minister, refused to believe the story. Etinger later died in prison on 2nd March 1951 due to interrogations and harsh conditions. Mikhail Ryumin was then dismissed from his position in the MGB for misappropriating money and was held responsible for the death of Etinger. With the assistance of Georgy Malenkov a Soviet politician who briefly succeeded Joseph Stalin, Ryumin wrote a letter to Stalin, accusing Viktor Abakumov of killing Etinger in order to hide a conspiracy to kill the Soviet leadership. On 4 July 1951, the Politburo set up a commission (headed by Malenkov and Beria) to investigate the issue. Based on the commission’s report, the Politburo soon passed a resolution on the “bad situation in the MGB” and Abakumov was fired. Later both Beria and Malenkov tried to use the situation to expand their power through gaining control of the MGB.

    Abakumov was arrested and tortured soon after being dismissed as head of the MGB. He was charged with being a sympathizer and protector of the criminal Jewish underground. This arrest was followed by the arrests of many agents who worked for him in the central apparatus of the MGB, including most Jews.

    In December 1952, Stalin accused a large group of Jewish doctors, along with the minister of security Viktor Aba-kumov, and the head of the Kremlin Guards Nikolai Vlasik, and others of having participated in Zhdanov’s murder. The basis of this accusation was a letter written by Lidia Timashuk, the head of the Kremlin hospital’s, cardiographic unit, to Nikolai Vlasik, dated 29 August 1948, in which she warned that the doctors underestimated “the unquestionably grave condition of comrade Zhdanov,” and that “this regimen may lead to a fateful outcome.” Stalin claimed that this letter had been withheld from him by Abakumov. In January 1953, articles in Pravda and Izvestiia exposed the so-called “plot of the doctor-wreckers,” causing worldwide concern about the fate of Soviet Jews.

    From 1948 to 1952, Stalin schemed carefully to give the accusation credibility. Contrary to the legend, he did not discover Timashuk’s letter in December 1952. Rather, he had received it one day after it was sent and had filed it in his personal archive. He signed the document and wrote “archive” across the bottom. Among the doctors Lidia Timashuk accused none were Jewish. No conclusive evidence proved Timashuk’s charge of medical malpractice, but circumstantial evidence suggested that the doctors facilitated Zhdanov’s death, quite plausibly with Stalin’s approval.

    The plot assumed a Jewish character only after the death of the prominent Jewish doctor Iakov Etinger, arrested in November 1950 as part of the liquidation of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. Etinger died under mysterious circumstances in prison in March 1951. In July 1951, without any evidence, a “Secret Letter” composed by the Central Committee at Stalin’s behest alleged that Etinger had confessed to the medical murder in 1945 to the Central Committee secretary Aleksandr Shcherbakov; that this assassination was the work not of Etinger alone, but of a “conspiratorial group” of doctors; and that Victor Abakumov was implicated in the affair.

    From July 1951, when this “Secret Letter” was disseminated, to November 1952, the Ministry of State Security (MGB) sought to establish the specifically Jewish nature of the conspiracy by connecting the death of Zhdanov with the alleged confessions of Etinger.

    A key element in this was the effort to link Abakumov with the “Jewish conspiracy” and to prove that the conspiracy was directed by the American government. Abakumov was arrested in July 1951.

    The core group of 37 doctors (and their wives) arrested between 1951 and January 1953, when the “Plot” vastly expanded, included only 17 Jews. Many others were added between January and March 1953.

    In which a large number of prominent Jewish doctors were arrested. The interrogations of the doctors, were accompanied by torture, sought to establish links within a widespread conspiracy involving Jewish nationalists, and the American government.

    The reasons for Stalin’s actions are traceable to circumstances at the end of World War II: the onset of the cold war; Stalin’s failing physical condition; his desire to prevent the rise of any of his lieutenants to too dominant a role, particularly as undisputed heir apparent; and a revival of international Jewish solidarity associated with the founding of the State of Israel. Soon after the victory over Hitler, Stalin suffered some kind of physical collapse, which necessitated long periods of recovery in his Crimean residence. The exact nature of Stalin’s physical ailment is not known. This left Molotov and other members of the Politburo in charge of the daily affairs of the Soviet state. Western media speculated that Molotov would soon succeed Stalin. Molotov gave reason to believe that he favoured closer relations with the Western powers as well as a relaxation of censorship. Stalin criticized him bitterly for this, calling both him and Politburo member Anastas Mikoyan in December 1952 subversive.

    Upon Stalin’s death, the Doctors’ Plot was repudiated by Soviet authorities. The doctors were released from prison and rehabilitated, and those who put them in prison were themselves incarcerated. Eventually most of the latter were shot. Beria accused Mikhail Riumin, former deputy minister of the MGB, of having concocted the Doctors’ Plot out of opportunism. However, only Stalin had the comprehensive vision to guide the conspiracy from the Kremlin Hospital to the Ministry of Security to the Politburo and Central Committee, culminating in a possible nuclear confrontation with the United States.

    Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely is a famous quote. I end with that. Goodbye and see you next week.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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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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FACTS FIGURES & QUOTES: SALE OF ALASKA: A LESSON FOR THE WORLD

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    Flora and fauna are generally visible in the treasures of mother earth whereas, mines and minerals need to be dug out, in other words they need to be discovered. To simplify, what is overt is known to all. But what is covert needs to be discovered. “No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess.” said Isaac Newton. That brings me to the story of Alaska. The purchase of Alaska or the sale of Alaska was, United States’ acquisition of Alaska from the Russian Empire. Alaska was formally transferred to the United States on October 18, 1867, through a treaty ratified by the United States Senate and signed by President Andrew Johnson.

    History corroborates that Russia had established a considerable presence in North America during the first half of the seventeenth century, but few Russians ever settled in Alaska. In the aftermath of the Crimean War, Emperor Alexander II of Russia began exploring the possibility of selling Alaska, as it would have been difficult to defend it from Britain and other countries in the event of any future war. After the end of the American Civil War, U.S. Secretary of State William Seward entered into negotiations with Russian minister Eduard de Stoeckl for the purchase of Alaska. Seward and Stoeckl both agreed to a treaty on March 30, 1867. The treaty was approved by the United States Senate by a wide margin despite clashes between President Johnson and Congress over the sanity of its purchase.

    The purchase of Alaska added 586,412 square miles (1,518,800 km2) of new territory to the United States for the cost of $7.2 million. Say 2 cents per acre. Reactions to the purchase in the United States were mostly positive, as many believed possession of Alaska would serve as a base to expand and facilitate American trade into Asia. However, some opponents labelled the purchase as “Seward’s Folly“, or “Seward’s Icebox,” as they contended that the United States had acquired useless land mass that’ll not be of much use to the US in times to come.

    But Seward could prophesy. Or he could measure the future potential of Alaska and its future usefulness in the opportunities arising in the US. He knew Alaska’s potential and could visualise how USA will benefit with Alaska’s resources and strategic position in the globe. Over the decades, exploration led to the discovery of gold, oil and rich minerals, along with the world’s most abundant fisheries. And so decades later, Seward was posthumously vindicated.

    In the summer of 1899, gold was finally struck around Nome in west Alaska. That brings me to the point: Check what lies underground. For what lies underground could just be another gold mine just as Alaska. And on hindsight when we look back we find both, the Secretary of the State, William Seward and the United States of America, look like outright heroes, as compared to the Russian minister Eduard de Stoeckl  and Russia itself who look pale in front of them.

    In world history there have been many instances even after 1867 (when America purchased Alaska), where countries have divested their territories in settlement of disputes, and rogue countries have grabbed territories of civilised countries, names of which are pretty obvious and are available in history texts.  And why go anywhere else. Even India, was partitioned on the ground of religion, which the citizenry of India has not been able to reconcile to even after seventy years. But the case of Alaska was truly different where an Emperor on the possibility of a future war divested Alaska-then part of the North American Continent for a pittance without studying what lies underground.  

    This conveys an important lesson to our posterity and that is, underground is as important as over ground. Metaphorically also, what lies in our innate conscience is equally important to your external personality.

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)

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)

*****

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Nikolai Gogol

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Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

    Short lifespan 43 years (31 March 1809–4 March 1852) was a Russian dramatist of Ukranian origin.

    The popularity of Nikolai Gogol in India can be judged by the fact that the main character in Jhumpa Lahiri’s 2003 novel The Namesake and its 2006 movie is named after Nikolai Gogol, because his father survives a train crash while clutching onto a copy of one of Gogol’s books in his hand.

    An eponymous poem “Gogol” by poet-diplomat Abhay Kumar refers to some of the great works of Gogol such as “The Nose”, “The Overcoat”, “Nevsky Prospekt”, “Dead Souls” and “The Government Inspector.”

    Gogol’s story “The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich” was adapted into a Marathi movie titled, Katha Don Ganpatravanchi in 1996. The movie was directed by Arun Khopkar and dialogues are written by Satish Alekar. The movie had Dilip Prabhawalkar and Mohan Agashe in lead roles.

    Although, Gogol was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the pre-eminent figures of the natural school of Russian literary realism. Later his critics have found in his work a fundamentally romantic sensibility, with strands of surrealism and grotesque in works such as, “The Nose”, “Viy”, (a horror story) “The Overcoat” and “Nevsky  Prospekt”. His early works, such as “Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka,” were influenced by his Ukrainian upbringing, Ukranian culture and folklore. His later writing satirised political corruption in the Russian Empire which includes (The Government Inspector and Dead Souls,). His novels “Taras Bulba” (1835) and his play “Marriage” (1842), along with the short stories “Diary of a Madman”, “The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich”, “The Portrait” and “The Carriage”, are all among his best-known works.

    Gogol was born in the Ukrainian Cossack town of Sorochyntsi, in Poltava Governorate of the Russian Empire. His mother descended from Leonty Kosyarovsky, an officer of the Lubny Regiment in 1710. His father Vasily Gogol-Yanovsky, was a descendant of Ukrainian Cossacks who died when Gogol was 15 years old. He belonged to the ‘petty gentry’, who wrote poetry in Ukrainian and Russian, and was an amateur Ukranian-language playwright. As was typical of the left-bank Ukrainian gentry of the early nineteenth century. The family spoke Ukrainian as well as Russian. As a child, Gogol helped stage, Ukrainian-language plays, in his uncle’s home theatre.

    In 1820, Gogol went to a school of higher art in Nizhyn (now Nizhyn Gogol State University) and remained there until 1828. It was there that he began writing. He was not popular among his schoolmates, who called him a “mysterious dwarf”, but with two or three of them he formed lasting friendships. Very early he developed a dark and secretive disposition, marked by a painful self-consciousness and boundless ambition. Equally early, he developed a talent for mimicry, which later made him a matchless reader of his own works and induced him to toy with the idea of becoming an actor.

    In 1828, upon leaving school, Gogol came to Saint Petersburg, with vague but ambitious hopes. He wanted literary fame, and brought with him a Romantic poem of German idyllic life – Hans Küchelgarten. He had it published, at his own expense, under the name of “V Alov.” The magazines he sent it to, almost universally, derided it. He bought all the copies and destroyed them, swearing never to write poetry again. Gogol was always in touch with the “literary aristocracy.”

    In 1831 Gogol brought out the first volume of his Ukranian stories—‘Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka’ that met with immediate success. He followed it in 1832 with a second volume and in 1835 by two more volumes and in 1835 by two volumes of stories entitled Mirgorod as well as miscellaneous prose titled Arabesques. With all this Gogol emerged more as an Ukranian writer than a Russian one. The themes and style of Gogol’s prose were similar to the work of Ukranian writers.

    Gogol developed a passion for Ukranian history and tried to obtain an appointment in the history department at Kiev University. Where, despite the support of Pushkin and Sergey Uvarov the Russian Minister for education his appointment was blocked by a Kyivan bureaucrat on the grounds that Gogol was unqualified.

    In 1834 Gogol was made professor of medieval history at the University of St. Petersburg, a job for which he had no qualifications. At the final examination, he sat in utter silence with a black handkerchief wrapped around his head, simulating a toothache, while another professor interrogated the students. This academic venture proved a failure and he resigned his chair in 1835.

    Between 1832 and 1836 Gogol worked with great energy. It was, only after the presentation, at the Saint Petersburg, State Theatre, on 19 April 1836, of his comedy “The Government Inspector” that he finally came to believe in his literary capabilities. The comedy, was a violent satire of Russian provincial bureaucracy. From 1836 to 1848 Gogol lived abroad, travelling through Germany and Switzerland. Gogol spent the winter of 1836–37 in Paris, among Russian expatriates and Polish exiles, He eventually settled in Rome. For much of the twelve years from 1836 Gogol was in Italy developing an admiration for Rome. He studied art, read Italian literature and developed a passion for opera.

    In 1841 the first part of Dead Souls was ready, and Gogol took it to Russia to supervise its printing. The book instantly established his reputation as the greatest prose writer in the language.

   After the triumph of Dead Souls, Gogol’s contemporaries came to regard him as a great satirist who lampooned the unseemly sides of Imperial Russia.  

    In April 1848 Gogol returned to Russia from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and passed his last years in restless movement throughout the country. He fell into a state of deep depression. On the night of 24 February 1852 he burned some of his manuscripts, which contained most of the second part of Dead Souls. He explained this, as a mistake, a practical joke played on him by the Devil. Soon thereafter, he took to bed, refused all food, and died in great pain nine days later.

    Gogol was mourned in the Saint Tatiana church at the Moscow University before his burial and then buried at the Danilov Monastery. His grave was marked by a large stone (Golgotha), topped by a Russian Orthodox cross. In 1931, Moscow authorities decided to demolish the monastery and had Gogol’s remains transferred to a cemetery in Moscow, Russia.

    His body was discovered lying face down, which gave rise to the story that Gogol had been buried alive. The authorities moved the Golgotha stone to the new gravesite, but removed the cross. In 1952 the Soviets replaced the stone with a bust of Gogol.

    Gogol was a great destroyer of prohibitions, and of romantic illusions. He undermined Russian Romanticism by making vulgarity reign where only the sublime and the beautiful had been before.

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)

*****