Tag Archives: shravan charity mission

BOOK REVIEW: JINNAH – Often Came To Our House– Kiran Doshi

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

    Let me first begin by introducing the author Kiran Doshi. Kiran Doshi studied history, politics and law in Bombay before he joined the Indian Foreign Service in the year 1962, where, he had a 35-year-long career that frequently saw him tackling, India’s relations with Pakistan, always an important, exciting, but eventually a frustrating task.

    The book falls in the genre of historical fiction, published by Tranquebar Westlandbooks in 2015. It is available in both print and e-book format, and is a thick spine—some 490 pages. It is divided into 35 rhapsodic chapters and spans between the eventful years of the making of India. That is from 1904 to 1948 which includes the struggle for freedom, Partition of India and the formation of Pakistan out of India.

    Kiran has two more books in his oeuvre titled, ‘Birds of Passage’ which I believe is an engrossing and hilarious novel set in the diplomatic space of India-Pakistan-USA diplomacy, and the other book is titled, ‘Diplomatic Tales’ which is a collection of short stories in comic verse. Kiran lives in Delhi with his wife Razia.

    I’m not aware of the spark that prompted the author to write this book. But since the author has dedicated the book, to his mother-in-law Umrao Baig, (1915-1981), it does suggest, a character in the book could be resembling her. But this is only my hunch. Umrao Baig was expelled from her convent school for wearing khadi and singing Bande Mataram. She went on to study medicine at Grant Medical College and set up a hospital named after, Lokmanya Tilak in a part of Bombay, then inhabited, by mill workers.

    The book although titled Jinnah is a work of historical fiction cautions the author—all the incidents and characters in it (except those known to history) are fictitious—even if touched, here and there, by the brush of family lore.

    Coming to the brief plot. The young and dashing Sultan Kowaishi has just returned from London to Bombay after acquiring a barrister’s degree. Among the first persons he meets in Bombay is Mohammed Ali Jinnah, already a quintessential advocate, and is quickly drawn to him. It is around this time Jinnah decides to join the Indian National Congress, soon to become its brightest star in the fight for freedom. But the stir for freedom holds no interest for Sultan, but yes, it attracts his wife Rehana, and, inexorably weaves its way, into their lives. Another strong character happens to be Barri Phuphi. The main story is about Rehana opening a school, Sultan succeeding as a lawyer, them separating, and years later Sultan going in search of his children and finally his grandchild.

    The book has a large canvass of characters and events. It makes, its presence, felt in, more than one ways. It starts with the showcasing of, the lifestyle of, upper class Muslims, in Bombay, largely with, familial, connect, in Gujarat and Hyderabad around the beginning of the twentieth century.

    Kiran has focused on the core topic of freedom struggle leading to independence quite well. He brings alive the court cases along with decades of India’s struggle for freedom that is interrupted by the British in various ways, especially, when they change the laws for partition of Bengal, revocation of partition of Bengal. Tilak’s exile, Morley Minto Reforms, formation of Muslim League, the Rowlatt Act, the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms, Simon Commission and its opposition, the two World Words, provincial elections and Constituent Assembly and the Khilafat movement—linked to the Ottoman Empire and of course the partition of India.

    The book revolves around Rehana, Sultan and Jinnah mostly in Bombay, London, Delhi, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Afghanistan and Pakistan. It has many other characters such as Dhondav—Rehana’s thread brother and the tall politicians of those times. But Rehana happens to be the longest and the toughest string that connects the book from the beginning to the end.

    The book eventually serves India with independence but not before breaking and destroying the complete family of Sultan Kowaishi who on a mere doubt of infidelity, disowns his wife and children without realising how devious, can an Englishman of, the British Raj, could be. Shak destroys Sultan completely.  Jiska ilaj hakeem Luqman ke pas bhi nahi tha.

    The story thereon moves like a tragedy and finally ends like a family tragedy. The hatred between Hindus and Muslims has been captured quite comprehensively. The book picks up somewhere between page 23 and page 45. There are too many a characters in the story and it takes a while before one can actually imbibe and familiarise oneself with the characters.

    There are certain pages in the book that I quite liked, such as, description of a voyage from Bombay to London which is now a rarity. The relation between Jinnah and Rehana is well written. The presentation of Gokhale, Tilak and Gandhi from time to time and some other leaders is interesting. The conversation about Rasool and Koran is quite informative. Overall, it’s a very happening book. But towards the last hundred pages it becomes quite depressing. Perhaps, had the author squeezed the book around 400 pages the action points of the novel could have been more intense.

The author pays homage to Shakespeare by using his quotes quite generously and aptly. His lines make for an engaging conversation-long repartee between Rehana and Jinnah.

The tone of the writer is quite flowing and inviting with the prowess to alter the reader’s emotion without provoking him. The author has used easy English with a mix of Urdu, Hindi and the colloquials.  

    The novel has a host of characters, some are well-known in history such as Gandhi, Tilak, Nehru, Subhash Chandra Bose and many are fictional characters such as, Dhondav, Griffiths, Pandey, Tehmina, Firoz, Hina and others whose lives change with the turn of pages. The rigour of writing is evident in how the writer ties up every thread and no character is left hanging. A resounding line that Kiran picks is attributed to Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, “Hindus and Muslims are the two eyes of India, they can never be separated. But sadly, the novel ends with the independence and partition of India,

    Through Jinnah and the Congress, the author shows how random laws define the fate of societies, through Dhondav he shows how bans on the freedom of press or media influence public opinion, through the main character Rehana and her travails at school, he shows how language and text books can become a conflict point.

For older readers, this novel would be a delight, but for the younger generation, twice removed from Independence and partition, the novel would serve as a space to reflect over the ironies of our times. For the sweeping story Jinnah… I would give the book four stars. A must read.

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)

*****

 

 

 

SHORT STORY: ARROGANT KING

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Many years ago there lived a deceitful king who always blamed God for anything wrong that happened in his kingdom by saying, “It’s all God’s doing.” But at the same time, for anything good that happened in his kingdom he always said, “It’s the king’s doing.”

    When there were floods in his kingdom he blamed God. When there was an epidemic he blamed God. When there was a war he blamed God. When there was a drought then too he blamed God. In utter disgust he often used to blurt, ‘it’s all God’s doing,’ and slowly that became his catchphrase. In a vast kingdom such as his, something was always going wrong and that gave him umpteen opportunities to curse God.

    Fed up, one day, God approached the king and said,

    ‘Rajan … While ruling over such a vast kingdom, many things will go wrong and many things will go right and it is but the king’s duty, to take the sum total of it, in his stride. But what I find here is something very strange. For all the things that go wrong in your kingdom, you pass it off as God’s doing, and for all the things that go right, you pat your shoulder, to pass it off as the king’s achievement. Now is that fair?”

    The king replied, ‘Prabhu … Of course it is fair.’

    ‘Then explain how.’ God reasoned.

    ‘Prabhu … blaming you is like blaming destiny which is ultimately God’s will. Now, who can question destiny that happens to be God in disguise. And yes, I definitely pat myself for things that go right in my kingdom because it only increases my halo, aura and my command over my subjects.’

    ‘God smiled at the king and said.’

    ‘Rajan … I suggest for some time now, reverse the trend and witness the change.’

    ‘Prabhu … I didn’t get you.’

    ‘Rajan, it’s very simple. For all the things going wrong in your kingdom take the blame upon yourself. Say, it’s the king’s doing and, for all the things going right in your kingdom say, it’s the God’s doing. And, I’ll meet you after a year when we’ll see how the change has affected you and your kingdom.’

    King folded his hands, closed his eyes and said, ‘As you wish Prabhu. After which God left for his heavenly abode.

    Soon, the king instructed his ministers, to badge him for everything, that was going wrong in his kingdom and praise God Almighty for whatever was going right in the kingdom. The ministers were surprised at this gesture of the king, but then they remained silent since they were subordinates.

    Gradually, the work pressure on the king, started increasing, when ‘destiny’ started turning into, shabby governance. The king was now feeling more responsible as he didn’t want his name to get spoilt—earlier it didn’t matter, as it was God’s name that was getting spoilt.  So, he immediately took some proactive measures and started participating much more effectively in the day-to-day running of the kingdom. He built suitable embankments before the floods arrived. He got wells dug up before the crop was sown, for irrigation. He built night shelters for the poor before arrival of winters. And when, the kingdom was attacked by enemies he led by example and fought the battle himself from the frontline. He was able to unearth the frauds that were being committed under the banner of destiny by his ministers. The king was now a changed personality.

    When the rising waters of the river could not enter the kingdom because of the embankment the king praised the God. Upon the bumper harvest because of the new wells that were dug up before the sowing, he praised God. On the day of inauguration of night shelter he again praised God. And thereafter whenever there was something good happening in the kingdom he only praised God Almighty and said it was all because of his grace.

    In a year’s time the reputation of the king took an about-turn. The citizens of his kingdom were now convinced that they couldn’t have had a better king than him. For he took direct responsibility in terms of tackling every challenge that erupted in his kingdom. And at the same time for any success he showed humility and praised God Almighty. This gave an impression to people that the king has become very humble. And with that his overall aura went up.

    After exactly a year God came to meet the king. The king was very busy sorting out urgent issues of his kingdom. He requested God to give him some moments so that he could close certain pressing matters and then sit with him with a free mind. God agreed to wait. But in the rush of work the king forgot that God was waiting for him. The king did return to his castle but only after finishing his work which was after a couple of days and found God still waiting for him. The king fell on God’s feet for the delay in attending to him and pleaded forgiveness, profusely.

    God helped the king to stand on his feet and then said.

    ‘Rajan I’m happy to see the change in you, and for worthy King’s like you God doesn’t mind waiting.’

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. 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)

*****

 

 

 

   

Facts & Figures: KHYMER ROUGE, The Story of Marxist Dictator Pol Pot, Cambodia

Copyright@shravancharitymission

(Pol Pot)

    The Khmer Rouge was a brutal regime that ruled Cambodia, under the horrendous leadership of Marxist dictator Pol Pot, from 1975 to 1979. Pol Pot’s attempts to create a Cambodian “master race” through social engineering ultimately led to the deaths of more than 2 million people in this Southeast Asian nation. Those killed were either executed as enemies of the regime, or they died from starvation, disease or overwork. Historically, this period—is depicted in a film titled, ‘The Killing Fields.’ Referred as Cambodian Genocide.  Cambodia as we all know is surrounded by Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and the Gulf of Thailand.

    Although, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge didn’t come to power until the mid-1970s, the roots of their takeover can be traced back to the 1960s, when a communist insurgency first became active in Cambodia, which was then ruled by a monarch.

    Throughout the 1960s, the Khmer Rouge, operated as, the armed wing of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, the name the party used for Cambodia. Operating primarily out of remote jungles and mountain areas in the northeast of the country, near its border with Vietnam, which at that time was involved in its own civil war. Khmer Rouge did not have popular support across Cambodia, particularly in the cities, including its capital Phnom Penh.

    After a 1970 military coup that led to the ouster of Cambodia’s ruling monarch, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, the Khmer Rouge decided to join forces with the deposed leader and form a political coalition. This was because the monarch had been popular among city-dwelling Cambodians, and through this coalition the Khmer Rouge began to garner more and more support of the city-dwelling Cambodians.

    For the next five years, a civil war unleashed between the right-leaning military that had led the coup, and those supporting the alliance of Prince Norodom and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Eventually, the Khmer Rouge side, seized the advantage of the conflict, after gaining control of, increasing amounts of territory in the Cambodian countryside.

    In 1975, Khmer Rouge fighters invaded Phnom Penh and took over the city. And with the capital in its grasp, the Khmer Rouge had won the civil war and, thus, started ruling over the country.

    But notably, the Khmer Rouge opted, not to restore power to Prince Norodom, and instead, handed it over to Pol Pot, leader of the Khmer Rouge. And Prince Norodom was forced to live in exile.

    As a leader of the Khmer Rouge during the days of insurgent movement, Pol Pot had come to admire the tribes in Cambodia’s rural northeast. These tribes were self-sufficient and lived on the goods that they produced through subsistence farming.

   The tribes, he felt, were like communes that worked together, shared the spoils of their labour, and were untainted by the evils of money, wealth and religion, the latter being the Buddhism, quite common in urban Cambodia.

    Once installed as the country’s leader by the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot and the forces loyal to him quickly set about, remaking Cambodia, which they had renamed Kampuchea, in the model of these rural tribes, with the hopes of creating a communist-style, agricultural utopia.

    They declared 1975 as the “Year Zero” in the country. Pol Pot isolated Kampuchea from the global community. He resettled hundreds of thousands of the country’s city-dwellers into rural farming communes and abolished the country’s currency. He also outlawed the ownership of private property and the practice of religion in the new nation.

    Workers on the collective farms established by Pol Pot soon began suffering from the effects of overwork and lack of food. Hundreds of thousands died from disease, starvation and even damage to their bodies sustained during back-breaking work or abuse from the ruthless Khmer Rouge guards overseeing the camps.

    Pol Pot’s regime also executed thousands of people that it deemed as enemies of the state. Those seen as intellectuals, or potential leaders of a revolutionary movement, were also executed. Legend has it that, some were executed for merely appearing to be intellectuals, because they wore glasses and were able to speak a foreign language.

    As part of this effort, hundreds of thousands of the educated, middle-class Cambodians were tortured and executed in special centres established in the cities. Most infamous of which was Tuol Sleng jail in Phnom Penh, where nearly 17,000 men, women and children were imprisoned during the regime’s four years in power. In what became to be known as the Cambodian Genocide, an estimated 1.7 to 2.2 million Cambodians died during Pol Pot’s regime.

    Finally, the Vietnamese Army invaded Cambodia in 1979 and dislodged Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge from power, after a series of violent battles on the border between the two countries. Pol Pot had sought to extend his influence into the newly unified Vietnam, but his forces were suitably rebuffed.

    After the invasion, Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge fighters quickly retreated to remote areas of the country. Where, they remained active as an insurgent group, albeit with declining influence. Vietnam retained control of the country, with a military presence, for much of the 1980s, even over the objections of the United States.

    After the fall of the Khmer Rouge that happened decades back. Cambodia has gradually re-established ties with the world community, although the country still faces problems, including widespread poverty and illiteracy. Prince Norodom returned to govern Cambodia in 1993, but he now rules under a constitutional monarchy.

    Pol Pot himself lived in the rural northeast of the country until 1997, when he was tried by the Khmer Rouge for his crimes against the state. The trial of course was an eyewash, and the former dictator died while under house arrest in his jungle home. Since he had died in his jungle house his body parts were sent for a DNA test.

    The stories of the suffering of the Cambodian people at the hands of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge have garnered worldwide attention in the years since their rise and fall, including through a fictional account of the atrocities in the popular 1984 movie The Killing Fields.

    Corona Virus reminds me of the filthy communist dictator Pol Pot.

    Stay home. Stay safe.

***

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)

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)

*****

 

 

 

SHORT STORY: BIG JOB WRONG MESSAGE

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    There was once a king who had this strange habit of meeting all the wrong kind of people in his kingdom. He met prisoners charged with murder, theft, so on and so forth. He had directed his prison chief to send him five prisoners every night for a one-on-one. He used to meet them alone but no one knew why.

    He had also left instructions that post his meeting no one should cross check with the prisoner about the conversation the king had had with him. And, if ever, it came to his notice that someone in the prison has tried to coax the prisoner to reveal the conversation the prisoner had had with the king that person’s head would be guillotined … he would be beheaded.

    The learned class in the kingdom could not comprehend this uncommon trait of the king. Failing which, they became extremely weary of this habit of his.

    Unable to hold the suspense one day the queen asked the king.

    ‘I understand from the wives of the courtiers that the courtiers are extremely unhappy and suspicious of your habit of meeting prisoners every night. What is it that you want to know from them?’

    The king said, ‘I get a lot of ground level wisdom from them.’

    ‘Maharaj … wisdom and ground level don’t go hand in hand. Moreover, you have your guru, teachers, scriptures and your courtiers for the wisdom required to govern the kingdom. Why don’t you keep consulting them on a regular basis instead of meeting these prisoners?’

    ‘Maharani, I keep doing that from time to time. But for governing a kingdom that alone is not sufficient.’

    ‘But why Maharaj? Who could be more intelligent than you and your courtiers? They are the cream and elixir of your kingdom.’ The king remained quiet.

    One day when the king was passing through his office he saw without being noticed that his courtiers were having a serious discussion. The topic, of course was, the king’s meetings with the prisoners. But the king chose not to disturb them. Rather, he remained unfazed and continued with his normal duties.

    One day the chief-Priest approached the king. It appeared he wanted to say something. The king got up from his chair with folded hands and said, ‘pranam acharya.’

    ‘Aayushman vatsya.’ replied the chief priest. But he did not stop there and continued.

    ‘Maharaj! You are such a wise and vivacious personality. In addition, you have, intelligent and renowned courtiers too, and that includes me, yet you keep meeting these immoral prisoners. What wisdom do you derive out of them? Our scriptures alone are so very rich that you could efficiently rule your kingdom with the help of them.’

    The king looked at the Chief-Priest and politely said,

    ‘Be that as it may. There is no denying the fact that I have the best of courtiers, and I too, am intelligent enough, to rule the kingdom in the most quintessential manner. But then there are certain limitations.’

    ‘What limitations Maharaj?’

    ‘Limitation of … grassroots wisdom.’

    ‘Can you please explain Maharaj?’ said the Chief-Priest.

    Hey Acharya, ‘Crime is a symptom and not the disease. I meet different kinds of criminals only to find out where I’m faltering in ruling my kingdom. For example when I meet a thief, he gives me, grassroots reality, of why he stole, which my official, may not give me. The information that I get from the prisoner, gives me a sense of, what is in short supply, and where and when. Theft, also conveys to me, that the wealth of the country is disproportionately distributed and that indeed is the reason why some are stealing and some are amassing. A murderer tells me why he murdered a person. He narrates the softer issues, whether it was for money, love or revenge and that conveys to me the unease in the society.

    After the crop is harvested, the incidents of food thefts come down because, food is abundantly available, but after a few months it starts all over again when the stocks start depleting. When the crop is sown, theft of water goes up because more water is required to irrigate the crops. This teaches me the equation of demand-supply. So, by meeting prisoners I get these titbits. That gives me the ground sense of the happenings in my kingdom.’

    The Chief Priest after a while, thought, it was pointless attempting to convince the king so he left for the day. Nonetheless, the king continued meeting prisoners every day as his routine. While the courtiers did not appreciate the king’s gesture of meeting prisoners, the citizenry of his kingdom on the contrary admired and appreciated the gesture.

    Time flew. One day the king was interfaced with a young thief. The king asked why he committed the theft.

    The young thief replied, ‘Maharaj I committed the theft only to meet you. I had heard, every night you meet five criminals … five criminals, so I took a chance and here I am in front of you. Please bless me.’

    The king froze as if he was struck by a thunderbolt.

    Moral of the story: Although, the king was doing a great job, he was passing the wrong message. The young thief took the easiest route to meet the king by becoming a criminal.

    The story goes out as a caution for our rulers and the media.

                                    

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. 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)

*****

 

 

 

     

   

   

SHORT STORY: The Wise Blind Man

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    There was once an old blind man who was walking past his farm located near a jungle in the night. He was carrying a lantern … so that he could see his way through.

    On the way he met a fellow villager who recognised the blind man. The villager asked.

    ‘Bhaiya if you can’t see where is the need to carry a lantern?’

    The old blind man halted where he was and said.

    ‘So that fools don’t stumble against me and thieves should know that I can see.’

    The fellow villager was stunned at the blind man’s clever logic.

Moral of the story: You don’t always get hit by your own mistake always. You could be hit by other’s foolishness too. And don’t always put your shortcomings in front of the public.

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. 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)

*****

 

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: THE KITE RUNNER by Khaled Hosseini

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.

    If you want to discover Afghanistan this indeed is the book. Afghanistan always gives you that eerie feeling because of its difficult terrain and the exploitation and devastation by Taliban. In The Kite Runner the author while narrating the story takes you through the length and breadth of Afghanistan in terms of its socio-politico nuances. From an Indian perspective it even highlights the similarities between the cultures of the two countries and that makes the book even more interesting.

    ‘The Kite Runner’ is the first novel by Afghan American author Khaled Hosseni. It was published in 2003 by Riverhead Books. The price of this book in Amazon is Rs 319 for a print copy and Rs 179 for a kindle copy. It tells the story of Amir, a young boy, a Pashtun, from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, whose closest friend is Hassan of Hazara tribe, and therefore, considered a lesser human being in Afghanistan and especially among the Pashtuns. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan’s monarchy through the Soviet military intervention, and the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime.

    Hosseini considers The Kite Runner to be a father–son story that emphasises familial aspects of the narrative, an element that he continued to use in his later works also. Themes of guilt and redemption feature prominently in the novel, with a pivotal scene depicting an act of sexual assault that happens against Hassan that Amir fails to prevent. The situation is the primary reason why Amir and Hassan’s friendship ends. The latter half of the book centers on Amir’s attempts to make amends for this mistake by rescuing Hassan’s son two decades later.

    The Kite Runner became a bestseller after being printed in paperback and was popularized in book clubs. It was a number one New York Times bestseller for over two years, with over seven million copies sold in the United States. Reviews were generally positive, though parts of the plot drew significant controversy in Afghanistan. A number of adaptations were created following publication, including a 2007 film of the same name, several stage performances, and a graphic novel. The book classifies under Historical fiction and completes in about 372 pages.

    I particularly liked the flow, the language, the construction of sentences and the analogies used in certain sentences to explain what the author intended to say in the book. The detailing is superb and so are the coincidences. The language is high-flown, verbose but to give parochial affect the author has often used local Afghan words. Upon completing the book an Indian reader will be able to make out the similarities between the cultures of India and Afganistan, even when the author touches Hindi at one place in a slightly derogatory manner.

    Khaled Hosseni worked as a medical internist at Kaiser Hospital in Mountain View, California for several years before publishing The Kite Runner. In 1999, Hosseini learned through a news report that the Taliban had banned kite flying in Afghanistan, a restriction he found particularly cruel when that was the biggest sport of Afghanistan. The news “struck a personal chord” in him, as he had grown up with the sport while living in Afghanistan. He was motivated to write a 25-page short story about two boys who fly kites in Kabul. Hosseini submitted copies to Esquire and The New Yorker, both of which rejected it. He later discovered the manuscript in his garage in March 2001 and began to expand it into a novel format at the suggestion of a friend. According to Hosseini, the narrative became “much darker” than he originally intended. His editor, Cindy Spiegel, “helped him rework the last third of his manuscript”, something she describes as relatively common for a first novel.

    The Kite Runner covers a multigenerational period and focuses on the relationship between parents and their children. Hosseini developed an interest in the theme while in the process of writing. He later divulged that he frequently came up with pieces of the plot by drawing pictures of it. For example, he did not decide to make Amir and Hassan brothers until after he had doodled it.

    Like Amir, the protagonist of the novel, Hosseini too was born in Afghanistan and left the country as a youth, not returning until 2003. Thus, he was frequently questioned about the extent of the autobiographical aspects of the book. In response, he said, “When I say some of it is me, then people look unsatisfied. The parallels are pretty obvious, but … I left a few things ambiguous because I wanted to drive the book clubs crazy.” Having left the country around the time of the Soviet invasion, he felt a certain amount of survivor’s guilt. “Whenever I read stories about Afghanistan my reaction was always tinged with guilt. A lot of my childhood friends had a very hard time. Some of our cousins died. One died in a fuel truck trying to escape Afghanistan [an incident that Hosseini fictionalizes in The Kite Runner]. The book talks about his guilt. He was one of the kids who grew up with flying kites. His father was shot.” Regardless of that, he maintains that the plot is fictional. 

    Riverhead Books published The Kite Runner, ordering an initial printing of 50,000 copies in hardback. It was released on May 29, 2003, and the paperback edition was released a year later. Hosseini took a year-long sabbatical from practicing medicine to promote the book, signing copies, speaking at various events, and raising funds for Afghan causes. Originally published in English, The Kite Runner was later translated into 42 languages for publication in 38 countries. In 2013, Riverhead released the 10th anniversary edition with a new gold-rimmed cover and a foreword by Hosseini. 

    Plot

Part I Wazir Akbar Khan neighbourhood in Kabul

    Amir, a well-to-do Pashtun boy, and Hassan, a Hazara who is the son of Ali, Amir’s father’s servant, spend their days kite flying in the hitherto peaceful city of Kabul. Flying kites was a way to escape the horrific reality the two boys were living in. Hassan is a successful “kite runner” for Amir. He knows where the kite will land without watching it. Both boys are motherless. Amir’s mother died during childbirth, while Hassan’s mother, Sanaubar, simply abandoned him and Ali. Amir’s father is a wealthy merchant. Amir affectionately refers to him as Baba, who loves both the boys—Amir and Hassan. He makes a point of buying Hassan exactly the same things as Amir, much to Amir’s annoyance. He even pays to have Hassan’s cleft lip surgically corrected. On the other hand, Baba is often critical of Amir, considering him weak and lacking in courage, even threatening to physically punish him when he complains about Hassan. Amir finds a kinder fatherly figure in Rahim Khan, Baba’s closest friend, who understands him and supports his interest in writing. In a rare moment when Amir is sitting on Baba’s lap rather than being shooed away as a bother he asks why his father drinks alcohol which is forbidden in Islam. Baba tells him that the Mullahs are hypocrites and the only real sin is theft which takes many forms.

    Assef, an older boy with a sadistic taste for violence, mocks Amir for socializing with a Hazara, which according to him, is an inferior race whose members belong only to Hazarajat. Assef is himself is half Pashtun, having a German mother and a typical blond haired blue eyed German appearance. One day, he prepares to attack Amir with brass knuckles, but Hassan defends Amir, threatening to shoot out Assef’s eye with his slingshot. Assef backs off but swears to take revenge one day.

    One triumphant day, Amir wins the local kite fighting tournament and finally earns Baba’s praise. Hassan runs for the last cut kite, a great trophy, saying to Amir, “For you, a thousand times over.” However, after finding the kite, Hassan encounters Assef in an alleyway. Hassan refuses to give up the kite, and Assef severely beats him and buggers him. Amir witnesses the act but is too scared to intervene. He knows that if he fails to bring home the kite, Baba would be less proud of him. He feels incredibly guilty but knows his cowardice would destroy any hopes for Baba’s affections, so he keeps quiet about the incident. Afterwards, Amir maintains a distance from Hassan. His feelings of guilt prevent him from interacting with the Hassan. Hassan’s mental and physical well-being gradually begins to deteriorate.

    Amir begins to believe that life would be easier if Hassan were not around, so he plants a watch and some money under Hassan’s mattress in hopes that Baba will make him leave; Hassan falsely confesses when confronted by Baba. Although Baba believes “there is no act more wretched than stealing”, he forgives him. To Baba’s sorrow, Hassan and Ali leave anyway, because Hassan has told Ali what happened to him. Amir is freed of the daily reminder of his cowardice and betrayal, but he still lives in their shadow.

Part II

In 1979, five years later, the Soviet Union militarily intervenes in Afghanistan. Baba and Amir escape to Peshawar, Pakistan, and then to Fremont, California, where they settle in a run-down apartment. Baba begins work at a gas station. After graduating from high school, Amir takes classes at San Jose State University to develop his writing skills. Every Sunday, Baba and Amir make extra money selling used goods at a flea market in San Jose. There, Amir meets fellow refugee Soraya Taheri and her family. Baba is diagnosed with terminal cancer but is still capable of granting Amir one last favour. He asks Soraya’s father’s permission for Amir to marry her. He agrees and the two marry. Shortly thereafter Baba dies. Amir and Soraya settle down in a happy marriage, but to their sorrow, they learn that they cannot have children.

    Amir embarks on a successful career as a novelist. Fifteen years after his wedding, Amir receives a call from his father’s best friend (and his childhood father figure) Rahim Khan. Khan, who is dying, asks Amir to visit him in Peshawar. He enigmatically tells Amir, “There is a way to be good again.”

Part III

    From Rahim Khan, Amir learns that Hassan and Ali are both dead. Ali was killed by a land mine. Hassan and his wife were killed after Hassan refused to allow the Taliban to confiscate Baba and Amir’s house in Kabul. Rahim Khan further reveals that Ali was sterile and was not Hassan’s biological father. Hassan was actually the son of Sanaubar and Baba, making him Amir’s half-brother. Finally, Khan tells Amir that the reason he has called Amir to Pakistan is to ask him to rescue Hassan’s son, Sohrab, from an orphanage in Kabul.

    Amir looks for Sohrab, accompanied by Farid, an Afghan taxi driver and veteran of the war with the Soviets. They learn that a Taliban official comes to the orphanage often, brings cash, and usually takes a girl away with him. Occasionally he chooses a boy, recently Sohrab. The orphanage director tells Amir, how to find the official, and Farid secures an appointment at his home by claiming to have “personal business” with him.

    Amir meets the Taliban leader, who reveals himself as Assef. Sohrab is being kept at Assef’s house as a dancing boy. Assef agrees to relinquish him if Amir can beat him in a fight. Assef then badly beats Amir, breaking several bones, until Sohrab uses a slingshot to fire a brass ball into Assef’s left eye. Sohrab helps Amir out of the house, where he passes out and wakes up in a hospital.

    Amir tells Sohrab of his plans to take him back to America and possibly adopt him. However, American authorities demand evidence of Sohrab’s orphan status. Amir tells Sohrab that he may have to go back to the orphanage for a little while as they have encountered a problem in the adoption process, and Sohrab, terrified about returning to the orphanage, attempts suicide. Amir eventually manages to take him back to the United States. After his adoption, Sohrab refuses to interact with Amir or Soraya until Amir reminisces about Hassan and kites and shows off some of Hassan’s tricks. In the end, Sohrab only gives a lopsided smile, but Amir takes it with all his heart as he runs the kite for Sohrab, saying, “For you, a thousand times over.”

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)

*****

 

 

 

SHORT STORY: AKBAR’S DREAM

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Once when Emperor Akbar was dreaming. The dream began with Akbar and Birbal walking towards each other on a moonless night.

    It was so dark that they could not see each other and they collided and fell.

    “Fortunately for me,” said the Emperor. “I fell into a pool of payasam—Kheer. But guess, what Birbal fell into?”
    “What, your Majesty?” asked the courtiers.

    “A gutter!”

    The court resounded with laughter. The emperor was thrilled that for once he had been able to score over Birbal.

    But Birbal remained unperturbed.

   “Your Majesty,” he said when the laughter died down. “Strangely, I too, had the same dream. But unlike you, I kept sleeping till the end. And when, you climbed out of that pool, of delicious payasam—kheer, and I, out of that stinking gutter, we discovered there was no water with which, we could clean ourselves, so guess, what we did?”

    “What?” asked the emperor, cautiously.

    “We licked each other clean!”

    The emperor became red with embarrassment and resolved never to try to get the better of Birbal again.

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)

*****