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BOOK TALK: PANCHANTRA by Vishnu Sharma

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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

PANCHTANTRA

By Vishnu Sharma

    Panchatantra moral stories are one of the most popular collections of animal-based fables. Originally written in Sanskrit, where, each of these fables have a concomitant moral. These stories are simple to understand. They are colourful and appropriate even for tiny tots and provide valuable lessons that stay in the mind … forever.

    The legend about the origin of Panchatantra goes back to times of King Amarashakti. Who had appointed a scholar by the name of Vishnu Sharma to educate his three sons. Vishnu Sharma soon realized that conventional tools and techniques of teaching will not work well with these princes, so he decided to teach them through stories instead. He, therefore, wrote a collection of stories under the following five volumes, and so it was named as Panchatantra (‘pancha’ – five and ‘tantra’ – systems).

  • Mitra labha (gaining friends)– Collection of stories relating to winning of friends.
  • Mitra bheda (losing friends)– Collection of stories relating to losing friends.
  • Aparïksitakárakam (acting without thinking) – Collection of stories relating to how imprudence leads to losing what is important.
  • Labdhapranásam (Loss of gains)– Collection of stories that mention how to come out of difficult situations without losing things.
  • Kákolùkïyam (Crows and owls)– Collection of stories about rules and strategies of war and peace.

The Panchatantra was translated into many languages, including English, Indian vernacular languages, Persian and Arabic.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

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Short story: Mongoose and the lady

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MONGOOSE AND THE LADY

    Once upon a time there lived a farmer who had a mongoose as a pet in his house. He was very clever and loyal to his master. One day the farmer went out on business and his wife too after feeding the baby and putting him off to sleep left for the nearby well, to fill water in her pitcher. She was relaxed as the mongoose was there to guard the baby.

    But after she left for the well a black snake came out from the nearby hole, close to where the baby was sleeping on the floor. And it started inching towards the infant. On seeing the threat, the mongoose pounced on the snake and attacked him. In the fight that ensued, the mongoose tore the snake into pieces and killed it. He then went to the main door of the house to wait for the farmer’s wife.

    The farmer’s wife soon returned after filling her pitcher when she saw the mongoose resting near the doorstep. But on seeing blood in his mouth she thought he had bitten her baby. She felt saddened and even angry for a moment. And then in a fit of rage she threw the heavy pitcher full of water on the mongoose. Poor mongoose could not withstand the impact of the heavy pitcher and died on the spot.

    Farmer’s wife then ran inside in panic, but only to find that her baby was peacefully sleeping, but close by, a dead snake was lying that was killed by the mongoose. The lady realised her mistake. She ran towards the dead mongoose and held it in her arms and started weeping. But by then it was too late. And that is why it is said:

    One should not act and react without ascertaining facts, and if you do so you’ll only mess up things and be laughed at by the world.

Translated by Kamlesh Tripathi

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