Tag Archives: shravan charity mission

INTERESTING FACTS: IS THE AGE OF 40 TOO LESS FOR HERCULEAN ACHIEVEMENTS–FIVE REAL LIVE CASES OF LIT-LUMANRIES

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    What is the right age to achieve something in life? Is 40 years, too less a time, or sufficient time to achieve something in life? In this context let me give you an example of 5 lit-luminaries of the 19th century who are more or less contemporaries and who became world renowned figures in their short lifespan. Let me start with Swami Vivekananda an Indian monk, a spiritual guru and also a lit-luminary, lifespan 12th January 1863 – 4th July 1902, a total of 39 years. Let me follow it up with American writer Edgar Allan Poe, born on 19th January 1809, died on 17th October 1849, a life span of 40 years. Then you have the French writer Guy De Maupassant, born on 5th August 1850 and died on 6th July 1893, a life span of 42 years. In the rostrum there is also, Nikolai Vasilie Gogol, a Russian writer of Ukraine origin, who was born on 20th March 1809 and died on 21st February 1852, a life span of 43 years. And last but not the least we have Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, a Russian playwright and short-story writer born on 29th January 1860, he died on 15th July 1904, at the age of forty-four. They all left behind a phenomenal legacy of success and heaps of lessons for the future generations within the ebbs and flows of their limited lifespan.

    The mean life expectancy in the 19th century was around 40-45 years. Life expectancy today is around 72 years. There are two off-shoots to this. One, they lived around hundred to ninety percent of the average life expectancy of those times. Two, they only lived for around forty years—a time period, much too less, for any significant milestone achievement barring sports and some other similar careers. When we compare 40 years with today’s life expectancy, it is only around 55%. So then, does life-expectancy, has anything to do with your achievements. The case-study of the quintet says no. There are some more authors, poets and lit-figures from various other countries who created a name for themselves and died very young, say between the age of 17 and 35 years, but I’m not discussing them in this short hypothesis. So, isn’t it, the irony of nature that some in a short lifespan of 40 years make gigantic strides, while others don’t even do that in a century?

    Second half of 19th century, when these five were alive and kicking saw some paradigm changes in their countries. Some major events were as follows. India had the First War of Independence in 1857. British East India Company was replaced by the British Crown in 1858. In Russia there was the Crimean War in 1856, Caucasian War in 1864 and the capture of Tashkent by the Russian Army in 1865, Sale of Alaska in 1867, Russian Turkish War in 1877, the severe famine in 1891, Death of Alexander-III in 1894, and the first party congress of Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP). In America and Europe Slavery was abolished, first and Second Industrial Revolutions which overlapped with the 18th and 20th centuries respectively led to massive urbanization. Construction of Suez Canal began in 1859, connecting Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea that enabled a more direct route for shipping between Europe and Asia. The Islamic gunpowder empires (Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal) were formally dissolved and European imperialism, brought much of South Asia, Southeast Asia and almost all of Africa under colonial rule. It was also marked by the collapse of the Spanish rulers, Zulu Kingdom, First French Empire, Holy Roman and the Mughal Empire.

    Even with all the hullabaloo in their country and continent there was still calm in these five luminaries. They had single focus, just like Arjun’s concentration—machli ki aankh (eye of the fish) and that was … write, write and write till their last moments. Though, born into an aristocratic Bengali Kayastha family of Calcutta, yet Swami Vivekananda was inclined towards spirituality. He was influenced by his guru, Ramakrishna, from whom he learnt, that all living beings, were an embodiment of the divine self. Therefore, service to God, could only be rendered by service to mankind and a lot of that came through texts. In particular I must also mention that Anton Chekhov fell sick in 1885 yet he kept writing till he died of tuberculosis in 1904. Some of them even had financial problems leading to trying times to obtain education and some even had to support their education by writing scripts for magazines and even by selling fish. Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, the second child of actors David and Elizabeth Poe. His father abandoned the family in 1810, and his mother died the following year. He became an orphan yet he fought back to become one of the most formidable writers of short stories. When Maupassant was 11, his mother, an independent minded woman took a divorce from her husband and Maupassant thereafter lived with his mother who was the single biggest influence on him but that entailed hardships. Gogol lost his father at the age of fifteen yet he aspired to become a writer.

    So then, what is the central idea of life? Well that is to have a mission within all the diversions. Nothing is possible without a mission. And if you can’t fix a mission for yourself follow your heart just as these luminaries did and that itself will take you to your mission.

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 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)  

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 the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

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)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June 15 & 20 2020; Indica 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu August 31 2020; Breaking Through the Chakravyuh September 30 2020.

(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: HOW LONG DO YOU WANT YOUR NAME TO LIVE by Kamlesh Tripathi

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Once a sadhu asked a devotee, a trader, who had come to see him, ‘How long do you want to live and how long do you want your name to live?’

    The trader was quite clear in his mind. He said, ‘Sadhu Maharaj, I want to live for hundred years.’

    ‘And how long do you want your name to live?’ The Sadhu repeated his question.

    ‘I’m rich and powerful so don’t worry about that, for my name will live through my shops in various cities and through my children.’

    Upon hearing this the Sadhu kept quiet and started meditating. After a little while he opened his eyes and said. ‘Tathasthu! May you live a long life but let me give you a word of caution. Build a serai and dig a well on the highway that goes to the north, where pilgrims can rest and have water from the well. And remember to name the serai in your own name.’

    The trader upon hearing all the cheerful things felt very happy and left for his house in a merry mood but only after doling out a handsome donation to the ashram. On his way back he thought about the Sadhu’s suggestion, of constructing a serai and a well, to promote his name, but discarded the same, as he was confident that his children and his business will take care of that angle of his life. After reaching home the trader got on with his ostentatious lifestyle, and so did the Sadhu with his austere living. Of course the trader did tell his wife that he can hope for a long and happy life, and that his name, shall keep shining through his children and shops as visualised by the Sadhu. But the sadhu had one worthless, expensive suggestion and that was to construct a serai and a well on the highway that goes up north.

    The wife took the suggestion of the serai and the well rather seriously, for she knew, enlightened people, make measured statements. With great difficulty she coaxed her husband to construct a serai and a well for the welfare of the pilgrims passing the highway, in his name. And after it was constructed, it was inaugurated by the trader and his family. But then, over a period of time it was left at its own mercy without the care of the family.

    A decade had passed after that. One day when the Sadhu was meditating in his ashram he saw a familiar looking person with a lady perhaps his wife approaching him in his ashram. He looked very unhappy and he introduced himself as the trader. The Sadhu recognised him almost immediately and asked after his business and his children.

    The trader replied, ‘Business is doing well and so are the children.’

    ‘Then why are you looking so despondent?’

    The trader hesitated for a few moments and then said, ‘Because, as predicted by you I do have a long life but I don’t have a tall name.’

    ‘But why? If I remember correctly, you had told me years back that you have your children and shops to look after you and take your name forward.’

    ‘Yes I did, but when my children grew up they divided the business among themselves and renamed the shops and left we two on the lurch. So now we neither have their loving company nor do I have my name on the shops.

    ‘But I had asked you to do something else also.’ The Sadhu tried to remember.

    ‘Yes, you had told me to construct a serai and a well on the highway in my own name, which my wife coaxed me to do and now it is always filled with pilgrims.’

    ‘So then you’ve not lost your name. Your name is as tall as it should be because of that serai which is in your name where hundreds of pilgrims come and stay and carry your name to the length and breadth of the country. So rejoice dear friend.’ Said the Sadhu.

    ‘No I can’t, because that is not all. I don’t have a place of my choice to stay.’

    ‘But you have. The ashram is open for you and moreover you have been sending your donation every year without fail to feed these needy people that you see here.’

    ‘Strange, I never sent any donation barring the one that I gave personally when I came here.’

    ‘No but I’ve received your donation every year. So welcome to the ashram.’ Said the Sadhu.

    The trader was surprised at what the Sadhu was saying, for he had not sent a penny to the ashram. Suddenly, he glanced at his wife and saw her smiling after ages and realised that she was the one was sending the donation to the ashram year after year.

    The story conveys a real life situation that we all face when we grow old and retire. Children get busy with their own lives. This is the time when one becomes frail. He is through with his position and power and what is left of his or her are only the dividends of his noble deeds. So, be ethically and morally savvy. Invest in things that will give you a name even after you’re gone.

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 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)  

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 the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

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)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June 15 & 20 2020; Indica 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu August 31 2020; Breaking Through the Chakravyuh September 30 2020.

(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 OVERCOAT’ – Nikolai Gogol

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read 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 Overcoat” sometimes also translated as ‘The Cloak’ was written by Ukrainian-born Russian author Nikolai Gogol. It is a short story that was published in the year 1842. Both the story and the author have had a great influence on Russian literature, as expressed in a quote about Russian realist writers, by French lit-critic Eugene-Melchoir de Vogue, often misattributed to Russian Novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky that says, “We all come out from Gogol’s ‘Overcoat’.” While writing in 1941, American-Russian novelist Vladmir Nabakov called it ‘The greatest Russian short story ever written.’ The story has been adapted into a variety of stage and film interpretations.

    The story narrates very sharply the life and death of a titular councillor Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin, an impoverished government clerk and copyist in the Russian capital of St. Petersburg. Although Akaky is dedicated to his job, he is faintly recognized in his department for his hard work. Instead, the younger clerks tease him and attempt to distract him whenever they can. His threadbare overcoat is often the centre of their jokes. One day Akaky decides it is now necessary to have the coat repaired. He takes it to his tailor Petrovich, who declares, the coat is now irreparable, and tells him that he must now buy a new overcoat.

    The cost of a new overcoat is beyond Akaky’s meager salary, so he forces himself to live within a strict budget to save sufficient money to buy the new overcoat. Meanwhile, he and Petrovich frequently meet to discuss the style of the new coat. During that time, Akaky’s zeal for his work of copying is replaced with excitement about his new overcoat, to the point that he stops thinking about anything else. Finally, with the addition of an unexpected large holiday salary bonus, Akaky has saved enough money to buy a new overcoat.

    Akaky and Petrovich go to various shops in St. Petersburg and pick the finest materials that they can afford. Marten fur is too expensive, so they use cat fur for the collar. The new coat finally emerges impressive and of good quality and appearance and becomes the talk of Akaky’s office on the day he arrives wearing it. His superior decides to host a party in the honour of the new overcoat, but Akaky who is habitually solitary feels out of place. After the party, Akaky goes home, far later than he normally would. But en route home, two ruffians short shrift him, take his coat, kick him down badly, and leave him in the snow to die.

    Akaky gets no help from the authorities in recovering his lost overcoat. Finally, on the advice of another clerk in his department, he asks for help from an important person, a Russian general recently promoted to his position who belittles and shouts at his subordinates to solidify his self-importance. After keeping Akaky waiting, the general demands of him exactly why he has brought such a trivial matter to him, personally, and not presented it to his secretary. Socially inept, Akaky makes an unflattering remark about departmental secretaries, provoking, so powerful a scolding from the general that he nearly faints and has to be led away from the general’s office. Soon thereafter, Akaky falls seriously ill with fever. In his last hours, he is delirious, imagining himself again sitting before the general. At first, Akaky pleads forgiveness, but as his death nears, he curses the general.

    Soon, a corpse, identified as Akaky’s ghost, haunts areas of St. Petersburg, taking overcoats from people. The police find it difficult to capture him. Finally, Akaky’s ghost catches up with the general—who, since Akaky’s death, had begun to feel guilty over having mistreated him—and takes his overcoat by frightening him intensely. Satisfied, Akaky is not seen again. The narrator ends his narration with the account of another ghost seen in another part of the city.

    Apparently it is a simple story of a common man and his tribulations, and the final denouement. But when you dig in deeper, you see the condition of Russia in the early 1800s, and a parable of the yoke of feudalism and how it crushes individuality. Akaky-Bashmachkin is the representation of the common man that is victimized under the feudal regime and its social and economic structure. He is a man who has no grasp at all of the true meaning of freedom. Gogol expresses it very well through the fabric of a simple, everyday story of that subaltern copying clerk.

    Gogol is considered the father of realism in Russian literature, and he, along with Pushkin brought about the emergence of Russian literature as we know it. He wrote about people on the ground and his protagonists and their troubles are troubles of your and mines. The Overcoat is a good read.

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 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)  

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 the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

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)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June 15 & 20 2020; Indica 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu August 31 2020; Breaking Through the Chakravyuh September 30 2020.

(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: TANTALUS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

In Greek mythology, Tartarus is the deep abyss that is used as a dungeon of torment and suffering for the wicked and as the prison for the Titans. Tartarus is the place where, according to Plato’s Gorgias (Plato was an Athenian philosopher and Gorgias was the Socratic dialogue written by Plato. In rhetoric, Socratic dialogue is an argument (or series of arguments) using the question-and-answer method employed by Socrates in Plato’s Dialogues. Also known as Platonic dialogue). So according to Plato’s Gorgias, souls are judged after death and where the wicked receive divine punishment. Tartarus is also considered to be a primordial force or a deity alongside entities such as the Earth, Night and Time.

    Tantalus, in ancient Greek is a mythological figure. He is most famous for his eternal punishment in Tartarus. He was also called Atys.

    He was made to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches, with the fruit ever eluding his grasp, and the water always receding before he could take a sip.

    He was the father of Pelops, Niobe and Broteas, and was the son of Zeus and the nymph Plouto. (Although the scholion ie interpretation of Euripides in his play Orestes, names Tmolos as the father). Thus, like other heroes in Greek mythology such as Theseus and the Dioskouroi, Tantalus had both a hidden and divine parent and a mortal one.

    The Greeks used the proverb “Tantalean punishments” in reference to those who have good things but are not permitted to enjoy them.

    The word tantalize comes from a Greek story about a guy named Tantalus who was so evil that the gods of the underworld came up with a special punishment just for him (they were really good at that). They put him in a pool of water that drained away every time he bent down to drink.

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 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)  

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 the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

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)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June 15 & 20 2020; Indica 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu August 31 2020; Breaking Through the Chakravyuh September 30 2020.

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

*****

INTERESTING FACTS: THE GUNPOWDER EMPIRES

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    The Period of the Gunpowder Empires is also known as the Era of the Islamic Gunpowders. It refers to the epoch of the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal empires from the 16th to the 18th century. The three empires were among the strongest and most stable out of the early modern period, leading to expansion and greater patronage of culture, while their political and legal institutions were consolidated with an increasing degree of centralisation. They underwent a significant increase in income and population and a sustained pace of technological innovation. These empires were spread from the Eastern Europe and North Africa in the west, to between today’s modern Bangladesh and Myanmar in the east.

    They were Islamic, and had, considerable military and economic success. Vast amount of territories were conquered by the Islamic Gunpowder Empires, with the use and development of the newly invented firearms, especially cannon and small arms, in the course of imperial construction. Unlike in Europe, the introduction of gunpowder weapons prompted changes well beyond military organization. The Mughals, based in the Indian subcontinent, are recognised for their lavish architecture, while the Safavids created an efficient and modern state administration for Iran, and sponsored major developments in the fine arts, and the sultan of the Constantinople-based Ottoman caliphate—an Islamic state, also known as the Caesar of Rome, was the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, and thus head of the Islamic world. Their powers, wealth, architecture, and various contributions significantly influenced the course of Asian history.

    The Period of the Gunpowder Empires refers to the epoch of the Ottoman, in present Modern Turkish, was a state that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. In addition you had the Safavid a Persian dynasty, romanized was one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Iran, from 1501 to 1736. The Safavid dynasty had its origin in the Safavid order of Sufism, which was established, in the city of, Ardabil in the Iranian Azerbaijan region. It was an Iranian dynasty of Kurdish origin, but during their rule they intermarried with Turkoman, Georgian, Circassian (Sunni Muslim people of the north-western Caucasus– between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea in Caucasia—the white skinned Europeans), and Pontic Greek  who are dignitaries that lived on the southern coast of Black Sea. From their base in Ardabil, the Safavids established control over parts of Greater Iran and reasserted the Iranian identity of the region, thus becoming the first native dynasty since the Sasanian Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians to establish a national state officially known as Iran.

    The Ottoman, Safa-vid and Mughal empires from the 16th century to the 18th century were the most muscular empires and amongst the most brawny.

        But how did this term Gunpowder Empire come into play. Well, it’s a Hodgson-McNeill concept. The phrase Gunpowder Empire was coined by Marshall G.S. Hodgson and his colleague William H. McNeill at the University of Chicago. Hodgson used the phrase in the title of Book 5 (“The Second Flowering: The Empires of Gunpowder Times”) of his highly influential three-volume work, The Venture of Islam (1974). Hodgson saw gunpowder weapons as the key to the “military patronage or military centered states of the Later Middle Period” which replaced the unstable, geographically limited, confederations of Turkic clans that prevailed in post-Mongol times. Hodgson defined a “military patronage state” as one having three characteristics:

    First, a legitimization of, independent dynastic law. Second, the conception of the whole state as a single military force. Third, the attempt to explain all economic and high cultural resources as appanages or grants of the chief military families.

    Such states grew “out of Mongol notions of greatness,” but such notions could mature fully and create stable bureaucratic empires only after gunpowder weapons and their specialized technology attained a primary place in military life of the state.

    McNeill argued that whenever such states “were able to monopolize the new artillery, central authorities were able to unite larger territories into new, or consolidate new empires.” So, monopolization was the key. Although Europe pioneered the development of new artillery in the fifteenth century, no state monopolized it. Gun-casting know-how had been concentrated in the Low Countries near the mouths of the Scheldt and Rhine rivers in Europe. France and the Habsburgs, generally the rulers of Germany, Austria and Spain divided those territories among themselves, resulting in an arms standoff. By contrast, such monopolies allowed states to create militarized empires in Western Asia, Russia, and India, and “in a considerably, modified fashion” in China, Korea, and Japan.

    More recently, the Hodgson-McNeill Gunpowder-Empire hypothesis has been termed into disfavour, as it offers neither “adequate nor accurate” explanation, although the term remains in use.

     Reasons other than or in addition to military technology have been offered for the nearly simultaneous rise of three centralized military empires in contiguous areas dominated by decentralized Turkic tribes. One explanation, called “Confessionalization” by historians of fifteenth century Europe, invokes examination of how the relation of church and state “mediated through confessional statements and church ordinances” led to the origins of absolutist polities.

    The first of the three empires to acquire gunpowder weapons was the Ottoman Empire. By the 14th century, the Ottomans had adopted gunpowder artillery. The adoption of the gunpowder weapons by the Ottomans was so rapid that they preceded both their European and Middle Eastern adversaries in establishing centralized and permanent troops specialized in the manufacturing and handling of firearms. But it was their use of artillery that shocked their adversaries and impelled the other two Islamic empires to accelerate their weapons programs. The Ottomans had artillery at least by the reign of Bayezid the Ottoman Sultan, and these were used by them in the sieges of Constantinople in 1399 and 1402. They finally proved their worth as siege engines in the successful siege of Salonica in the Ottoman kingdom in 1430. The Ottomans employed Middle-Eastern as well as European foundries to cast their cannons, and by the siege of Constanti-nople in 1453, they had large enough cannons to batter the walls of any city, to the surprise of the defenders.

    The Ottoman military’s regularized use of firearms proceeded ahead of the pace of their European counterparts. The Janissaries (Ottoman Sultan’s household troops) had been an infantry bodyguard using bows and arrows. During the rule of Sultan Mehmed II they were drilled with firearms and became “perhaps the first standing infantry force equipped with firearms in the world.” The Janissaries are thus considered the first modern standing armies. The combination of artillery and Janissary firepower proved decisive at Battle of Varna, eastern Bulgaria in 1444 against a force of Crusaders, Baskent in 1473 against the Aq Qoyunlu, (a Sunni Turkoman Tribal) and Mohacs in 1526 against Hungary. But the battle which convinced the Safavids and the Mughals of the efficacy of the gunpowder was Chaldiran in 1514. A victory of Ottoman over Sadavid.

  The musket gun later appeared in the Ottoman Empire by 1465. Damascus steel was later used in the production of firearms such as the musket from the 16th century. At the Battle of Mohacs in 1526, the Janissaries equipped with 2000 tüfenks (usually translated as musket) “formed nine consecutive rows and they fired their weapons row by row,” in a “kneeling or standing position without the need for additional support or rest.” The Chinese later adopted the Ottoman kneeling position for firing. In 1598, Chinese writer Zhao Shizhen described Turkish muskets as being superior to European muskets. 

     The Dardanelles Gun or the great Turkish canon was designed and cast in bronze in 1464 by one Munir Ali. The Dardanelles Gun was still present for duty more than 340 years later in 1807, when a Royal Navy force appeared and commenced the Dardanelles Operation. Turkish forces loaded the ancient relics with propellant and Projectiles, then fired them at the British ships. The British squadron suffered 28 casualties from this bombardment.

    It’s a long topic. I’ve just given you a flavour.

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 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)  

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 the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

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)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June 15 & 20 2020; Indica 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu August 31 2020; Breaking Through the Chakravyuh September 30 2020.

(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 BLACK CAT by Edgar Allan Poe

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read 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.

    Edgar Allan Poe was born Edgar Poe (January 19, 1809 –October 7, 1849), was an American writer, poet, editor, and a literary critic. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. He is widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism, an intellectual and literary movement in the United States, and of American literature as a whole. He was one of country’s earliest patronisers of short story. He is also considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. Further credited, for contributing, to the emerging genre of science fiction. Edgar Poe was the first well-known American writer to earn a living through writing alone, even though, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.

    The Black Cat is one of Edgar’s popular short story. It was first published in August 19, 1843, in an edition of ‘The Saturday Evening Post.’ It is a study of psychology, a study of guilt, often paired, in analysis with Poe’s another short story titled, ‘The Tell-Tale Heart” where an unnamed narrator, endeavours to convince the reader, of the narrator’s sanity, while simultaneously describing a murder, the narrator has committed. In both the stories, the murderer carefully conceals his crime and believes himself unassailable, but eventually he breaks down and reveals himself, impelled, by a nagging reminder of his guilt.

    The story is written in first-person narrative using an unreliable narrator. But in reality he is a condemned man as detailed at the very outset of the story. The narrator tells us, that from an early age he loved animals. He and his wife had many pets, including a large, beautiful black cat named Pluto as described by him. The cat is especially fond of the narrator and it is also vice versa. Their mutual friendship lasts for several years till the narrator becomes an alcoholic. One night, after coming home completely intoxicated, the narrator believes, the cat is avoiding him. When he tries to catch him, the frightened cat responds by biting the narrator, and in a fit of drunken rage he holds the animal, pulls out a pen-knife from his pocket, and mercilessly gouges out the cat’s eye.

    From that moment onwards, the cat flees in terror upon his master’s approach. At first, the narrator is remorseful and regrets his cruelty. He says, “But this feeling soon gave to irritation. And then came, as if to my final and irrevocable overthrow, the spirit of perverseness.” Later, in another fit of drunken fury, the narrator takes the cat out in the garden one morning and ties a noose around its neck, and hangs it from a tree where it dies. But that very night his house mysteriously catches fire, forcing the narrator, his wife and their servant to flee the premises premisis.

    The next day, the narrator returns to the ruins of his home only to find, imprinted, on the single wall that survived the fire, the apparition of a gigantic cat with a rope around the animal’s neck.

    At first, the image deeply disturbs the narrator, but gradually he derives a logical explanation for it. Someone outside had cut the cat from the tree and thrown its corpse into the bedroom to wake him up during the fire. Soon the narrator begins to miss Pluto and hate himself for his actions, feeling guilty. Sometime later, he finds a similar cat in a tavern. It is the same size and colour as the original and is even without one eye. The only difference being a large white patch on the animal’s chest. The narrator takes it home, but soon begins to fear and loathe the creature, due to the fact that it amplifies his feeling of guilt. After some time, the white patch of fur begins to take shape and, much to the narrator’s horror, forms the shape of the gallows. This terrifies and angers him more, and he avoids the cat whenever and wherever possible. Then, one day when the narrator and his wife are visiting the cellar in their new home, the cat gets under his master’s feet and nearly trips him down the stairs. This amplifies the rage of the alcoholic narrator, and he grabs an axe and tries to kill the cat but is stopped by his wife. Being unable to take out his drunken fury on the cat, he angrily kills his wife with the axe instead. To conceal her body he removes bricks from a protrusion in the wall, and places her body there, and then repairs the hole. A few days later, when the police show up at the house to investigate the wife’s disappearance, they find nothing and the narrator goes scot free. The cat, which he intended to kill as well, has also gone missing. This grants him the freedom to sleep without the burden of a murder.

    But on the last day of the investigation, the narrator accompanies the police into the cellar. They still find nothing significant. With this the narrator lowers his guards. He is now completely confident of his own insulation from being arrested for the crime. This when he comments on the sturdiness of the building and taps the wall that he had built around his wife’s body. When a loud, inhuman wailing sound fills the room. The police alarmed tear down the wall and find the wife’s corpse. Sitting on the corpse’s rotting head, to the utter horror of the narrator is, the squealing black cat. The terrified narrator is shattered by this reminder of his crime, which he had believed to be safe from discovery, and the appearance of the cat. As he words it: “I had walled the monster up within the tomb!”

    The story is extremely well written if you like horror. I would give it seven out of ten.

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 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)  

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 the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

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)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June 15 & 20 2020; Indica 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu August 31 2020.

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

*****

INTERESTING FACTS: LIFE OF AUNG SAN SUU KYI

Copyright@shravancharitymission

       Aung San Suu Kyi was born in Rangoon, what was British Burma then, on 19 June 1945. Aung San Suu Kyi, like any other Burmese name, doesn’t comprise a surname. It is only a personal name, in her case, derived from, three of her relatives name that is: “Aung San” father, “Suu” paternal grandmother, and “Kyi” out of her mother—Khin Chi Kyi. For writing convenience let me refer her as Suu Kyi. She is a Burmese politician, diplomat, author and a 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. She happens to be the first State Counsellor a position equivalent to the Prime Minister of Myanmar. She is also the leader of the National League for Democracy and played a vital role in the state’s transition from the military junta to partial democracy.

    Suu Kyi is the youngest daughter of Aung San, the father of the nation of modern-day Myanmar, who founded the modern Burmese Army that liberated the country from Japanese occupation during World War II and his wife Khin Kyi. Khin Kyi, was a Burmese politician and a diplomat, best known for her marriage to the country’s leader, Aung San, with whom she had four children, including Aung San Suu Kyi. Suu Kyi was born in Rangoon, British Burma, the capital of Yangon region and the largest city of Myanmar. British Burma was under British rule that lasted from 1824 to 1948.

    After graduating from the University of Delhi in 1964 and University of Oxford in 1968, Suu Kyi worked at the United Nations for three years. There, she married Michael Aris in 1972, with whom she had two children. Suu Kyi rose to prominence in the 1988 Uprisings, and became the General Secretary of the National League for Democracy (NLD), which she had newly formed with the help of several retired army officials who had criticized the military junta. In the 1990 elections, NLD won 81% of the seats in Parliament, but the results were nullified, as the military refused to hand over power to the Parliament, resulting in an international outcry. She had already been detained under house arrest before the elections. She remained under a long house arrest for almost 15 of the 21 years from 1989 to 2010, becoming one of the world’s most prominent political prisoners. In 1999, Time Magazine named her as one of the “Children of Gandhi” and a keen follower of nonviolence.

    Her party boycotted the 2010 elections, resulting in a decisive victory for the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party. Suu Kyi became a Pyithu Hluttaw MP, the lower house of the bicameral legislature of Myanmar (Burma), while her party won 43 of the 45 vacant seats in the 2012 by-elections. In the 2015 elections, her party won a landslide victory taking 86% of the seats in the Assembly of the Union – well more than the 67% supermajority needed to ensure, that its preferred candidates, were elected President and Vice President in the Presidential Electoral College. Although she was prohibited from becoming the President due to an inconvenient clause in the constitution– that her late husband and children are foreign citizens, she assumed the newly created role of the State Counsellor, a role, akin to the Prime Minister or the head of the government.

    Since acquiring the role of the State Counsellor, Suu Kyi has drawn criticism from several countries, organisations and figures over her alleged inaction in response to the genocide of the Rohingya people in the Rakhine State and her refusal to accept that Myanmar’s military has committed massacres. Under her leadership, Myanmar has also drawn criticism for prosecutions of journalists. In 2019, Suu Kyi appeared in the International Court of Justice where she defended the Burmese military against allegations of genocide against the Rohingyas.

        When Suu Kyi was two years old, her father, who headed the shadow Burmese Government under the British rule, was assassinated by a political rival. Her mother, Khin Kyi, was later appointed Burmese ambassador to India.

    In 1962, democratic rule in Burma ended with a military coup headed by General Ne Win. For the next 26 years, the military enforced the ‘Burmese Way to Socialism’ which led to the establishment of one party rule under the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP) in 1974.

    In 1988, Suu Kyi, after delivering her two sons returned to Burma to care for her ailing mother. This coincided with a bloody military response, to some peaceful student demonstrations, against one party rule and the resignation of General Ne Win as head of the BSPP.

    On 26th August, in Rangoon, Suu Kyi stood under a large poster of her slain father and addressed a large gathering of democratic supporters and proposed the establishment of a People’s Consultative Committee to help resolve the crisis.

    In October, the democratic movement was brutally crushed by another military coup headed by General Saw Maung when Burma’s second struggle for independence began.

    Although Suu Kyi had lived overseas for most of her life, she could not ‘remain indifferent’ to Burma’s long struggle. She became the leader of the National League of Democracy and was first placed under house arrest in Rangoon in July 1989. Under martial law, this meant that she could be detained for three years without trial. Her husband and sons visited her for what would be, the last time, as a family in September 1989. The following year, the military government attempted to cut her contact with the outside world.

    Separated from her family and denied her personal liberty and freedom of speech, Suu Kyi continued to speak out against Burma’s military rule. A stance that saw her win the 1990 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought (awarded by the European Parliament), in the year 1991 Nobel Peace Prize and the 1992 Nehru Peace Prize.

    Although, she was released from house detention in 1995 and was briefly reunited with her husband, she refused to leave Burma because she knew she would not be allowed to re-enter her own country. As a result, all of Suu Kyi’s famous speeches were delivered by third parties, either by video or in essay form.

    The commencement address at the American University, Washington DC, on 26 January, 1997, was delivered on her behalf by her husband, Dr. Michael Aris, upon her receiving an Honorary Doctor in law. Although Michael Aris was sick with prostate cancer, the Burmese government which was renamed the Union of Myanmar by the military government in 1989 did not allow him to visit his wife.

    When her husband Michael Aris passed away in 1999, Suu Kyi confessed the separation as ‘one of the sacrifices she had had to make in order to work for a free Burma.’ Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest again in September 2000, but was freed after nineteen months. She was later held under ‘secret detention’ for three months before being returned to house arrest.

    Suu Kyi was released from house arrest in 2010. She led the National league for Democracy (NLD) to a majority win in Myanmar’s first openly contested election in 25 years in November 2015. Her official title is State Counsellor.

    Suu Kyi is often called ‘Daw’ Aung San Suu Kyi in her homeland, which is a title for affection meaning a favourite aunt.

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, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)  

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 the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

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)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June 15 & 20 2020; Indica 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu August 31 2020.

(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: MISINTERPRETING BUDDHA

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    When one, stops talking, and starts listening intently to the other person the relevance and meaning of what the other person is saying is understood much better. But here, the interpretation, of what one makes out, of what is being said is also of extreme importance. In this context let me narrate and episode out of Lord Buddha’s sermon. Once, it so happened Buddha was addressing a gathering in a very peaceful and focused manner. Where, he went on to say, ‘do not forget to complete all your duties before you go to sleep.’ His disciples who were keenly listening to him took his word as the gospel truth. They immediately started meditating after Buddha’s sermon was over. After which they made a to-do-list of all their duties and activities, and resolved, to have a discipline, of completing them, before they went off to sleep.

    But sadly in the audience there was also a thief who was following Buddha, quite eagerly. Soon thereafter, he went into an introspection. He was a professional thief so he questioned himself. ‘What is my job?’ His devious mind replied to him. ‘You are a thief and your job is to thieve and just now even Buddha has endorsed your profession and your actions.’

    So by interpreting Buddha’s teaching in the wrong manner to suit himself the thief continued with his treacherous acts of thievery day after day before he went off to sleep.

    It is very important to interpret what you hear in the right spirit and in the most dutiful way. God has given us one mouth and two ears so that we speak less and listen more and interpret our actions and deeds accordingly.

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, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)  

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 the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

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)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June 15 & 20 2020; Indica 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu August 31 2020.

(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: ‘ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT’ by Erich Maria Remarque

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read 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.

    All Quiet on the Western Front (German: Im Westen nichts Neues, literal German translation ‘Nothing New In the West’) is a novel by a German war veteran of World War I. The book describes the German Soldiers, extreme physical and mental stress during the war, and their detachment from the civilian life, felt by, many of these soldiers, upon returning home from the front. The novel was first published in November and December 1928 in a German newspaper, Vossische Zeitung and later, in book form in late January 1929. The book and its sequel, “The Road Back” (1930), were among the books banned and burned in Nazi Germany. All Quiet on the Western Front sold 2.5 million copies in 22 languages in its first 18 months in print.

    In 1930, the book was adapted as an Academy-Award-winning film of the same name, directed by Lewis Milestone. It was adapted again in 1979 by Delbert Mann, this time as a television film, starring Richard Thomas and Ernest Borgnine.

     The main characters of the novel are as follows:

 Paul Baumer is the main protagonist.

Albert Kropp: A classmate of Paul at school. He is described as the clearest thinker of the group as well as the smallest. Kropp is wounded towards the end of the novel and undergoes a leg amputation.

Haie Westhus: He is described as being tall and strong, and a peat-digger by profession. Overall, his size and behaviour make him seem older than Paul, yet he is, the same age as Paul and his school-friend.

Friedrich Muller: He is 19 and one of Bäumer’s classmates. He too joins the German army as a volunteer, ready to go to war. He carries his old school books to the battlefield that constantly reminds him of the importance of learning and education.

Stanislaus “Kat” Katczinsky: Kat has the most positive influence on Paul and his comrades on the battlefield. Katczinsky, a recalled reserve militiaman, was a cobbler (shoemaker) in civilian life. He is older than Paul Bäumer and his comrades, say about 40 years old, and serves as their leadership figure. Kit is hit by a shrapnel at the end of the story.

    The book tells the story of Paul Baumer, who belongs to a group of German soldiers on the Western Front during World War I. The patriotic speeches of his teacher Kantorek had led the whole class to volunteer for military service shortly after the start of World War I. He didn’t have any experience when going to the war but he still went in with an open mind and a loving heart. Paul otherwise lived with his father, mother and sister in a charming German village, and attended school, where, his class was scattered along the platoons, and amongst Frisian (Germanic) fishermen, peasants, and labourers. Baumer arrives at the Western Front with his friends and schoolmates named Leer, Muller, Kropp and a number of other characters. There they meet Stanialaus Katczinsky, an older soldier, nicknamed Kat, who becomes Paul’s mentor. While in the front, Baumer and his comrades engage in frequent battles and endure the treacherous and filthy conditions of trench warfare.

   At the beginning of the book, Remarque writes, “This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure for those, who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped (its) shells, were destroyed by the war.” The book does not focus on heroic stories of bravery, but rather gives a view of the conditions in which the soldiers find themselves. The monotony between battles, the constant threat of artillery fire and bombardments, the struggle to find food, the lack of training of young recruits with lower chances of survival, and the overarching role of random chance, in the lives and deaths of the soldiers are described in detail.

    The battles fought here have no names and seem to have little overall significance, except for the impending possibility of injury or death for Baumer and his comrades. Where, only, insignificant small pieces of land are gained, about the size of a football field, which are also lost again later. Remarque often refers to the living soldiers as old and dead, emotionally drained and shaken. He says, “We are not youth any longer. We don’t want to take the world by storm. We are fleeing from ourselves, from our life. We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces.”

    Paul’s visit to his home highlights the cost of war on his psyche. The town has not changed since he went off to war. However, he finds that he does not belong to here anymore, for it is a foreign world. He feels disconnected from most of the townspeople. His father asks him “stupid and distressing” questions about his war experiences, not understanding “that a man cannot talk of such things.” An old schoolmaster lectures him about strategy and advancing to Paris while insisting that Paul and his friends know only their “own little sector” of the war but nothing of the big picture.

    Indeed, the only person he remains connected to is his dying mother, with whom he shares a tender, yet restrained relationship. The night before he is to return from leave, he stays up with her, exchanging small expressions of love and concern for each other. He thinks to himself, “Ah! Mother, Mother! How can it be that I must part from you? Here I sit and there you are lying; we have so much to say, and we shall never say it.” In the end, he concludes that he “ought never to have come (home) on leave.”

    Paul feels glad upon being reunited with his comrades. Soon after, he volunteers to go on a patrol where he kills a man for the first time in a hand-to-hand combat. He watches the man die in pain for hours. He feels remorse and asks forgiveness from the man’s corpse. He is devastated and later confesses to Kat and Albert, who try to comfort him and reassure him that it is only a part of the war. They are then sent on what Paul calls a “good job.” They must guard a supply depot in a village that was evacuated due to heavy shelling. During this time, the men are able to adequately feed themselves, unlike the near-starvation conditions in the German trenches. In addition, the men enjoy themselves living off the spoils of the village and officers’ luxuries, from the supply depot such as fine cigars. While evacuating the villagers, the enemy civilians, Paul and Albert are taken by surprise by the artillery fired at the civilian convoy, when Albert is wounded by a shell. On the train back home, Albert takes a turn for the worse and cannot complete the journey, so he is offloaded from the train and sent to recuperate in a Catholic hospital. Paul uses a combination of bartering and manipulation to stay by Albert’s side. Albert eventually has his leg amputated, while Paul is deemed fit for service and is returned to the front.

    By now, the war is nearing its end and the German Army is retreating. In despair, Paul watches as his friends fall one by one. It is the death of Kat that eventually makes Paul careless about living. In the final chapter, he comments that peace is about to come, but he does not see the future to be bright and shining with hope. Paul feels that he has no aims or goals left in life and that their generation will be different and misunderstood.

    In October 1918, Paul is finally killed on a remarkably peaceful day. The situation report from the frontline states, a simple phrase: “All quiet on the Western Front.” Paul’s corpse displays a calm expression on its face, “as though almost glad the end had come.”

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, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)  

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 the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

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)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June 15 & 20 2020; Indica 15.8.20

(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 KARMA CYCLE OF PADDY AND WHEAT

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    One day a paddy plant was talking to his aged farmer Sardar Mahender Singh. Paddy said.

   ‘Master! I have never met a wheat plant in my life. By the time I’m sown wheat is harvested, and by the time I’m harvested wheat is not sown.’ Mahender thought for a moment and then said.

    ‘Yes, you’re right my dear Paddy. You both haven’t met. And you both are very different. I should say poles apart. Wheat is rough and tough, with long awns like stiff-bristles, just like my son Jagga and grows in leaps and bounds in the cold weather. Roots of wheat are the deepest. They can go up to two-metres. Irrigate the wheat on time, give it some seven-eight showers of water and up it comes. It even has the prowess to kill the weeds around it, unlike you my dear paddy. Yet, you, dear paddy, you are eaten, as kernels, I mean the whole grain, whereas, wheat is crushed to flour for consumption, what an irony.’

   ‘But why is that master?’ Asked Paddy.

    ‘Wheat is harvested from the very same place where it is sown. But you, my dear Paddy, your case is different. You are delicate. We first sow you in a nursery where we protect you from the weeds, otherwise, they’ll just throttle you to death. Once you are slightly old, say around forty days, we transplant you to the main field, which is first filled with water, where, we take good care of you again in terms of weeding and irrigation. You’re just like my daughter Preetinder, who too is very delicate, and who too, requires, as much water as you, for her livelihood. No wonder, you’re sown during the monsoon.  

    ‘But how and when can I meet my friend wheat in this field?’ Asked the Paddy.

   ‘Never.’ Said Mahender.

    ‘But why master?’ Asked Paddy.

    ‘Because, even though, you have the same karma of feeding the hungry and the same karma bhoomi, your timings to perform your karma are totally different. Imagine if your timings are reversed what’ll happen? Imagine what’ll happen if you’re sown in the freezing winters and wheat is sown under the scorching sun?’

    ‘Both of us will not fructify master.’

    ‘That’s right my dear paddy.’

    ‘So then, do you now understand the co-relation between Karma and timing?’ Asked Mahender.

    ‘Yes master I do.’ Replied Paddy.

    Moral of the story: Only when karma is done at the right time does one receive the fruits of it. God has created various time zones and seasons only to remind us that each karma should be done at the right time for best results and the seasons don’t really overlap to give man the scope to interfere with the seasons.

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, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management)  

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 the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

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)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June 15 & 20 2020; Indica 15.8.20

(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)

*****