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The Story of Rodriguez and the Learning it has for Everyone’s Life

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    There have been times in our career when we start questioning the value of the work that we do. It is quite easy for us to fall prey and sometime become doubtful about the meaningfulness of the work that we do. However, such doubts shouldn’t be a deterrent for us to give our best to the work that we do as you never know how this work will manifest in future?

    After some contemplation, I felt I should tell you a story. A beautiful story and a real one!!
    It is the story of Sixto Rodriguez, a Mexican migrant settled in downtown Detroit in 1970s. Sixto was a small time musician playing gigs in bars of rundown part of Detroit. Sixto caught attention of a producer of a big music label, as a result ‘Viola!’ Sixto’s first music album was out! However, it badly flopped. His second album did even worse. This setback pushed Sixto out of music industry and Sixto returned to a demolition company in Detroit working as a blue collar worker. Where, Sixto Rodriguez was living a simple, low-key life. Unbeknown to him, that a handful of his 1970 debut album, “Cold Fact,” had reached Austrailia months after it failed in America.
    Some Austrailian Radio DJs got their hands on the album and began playing “Sugar Man” on the radio. As a result the Australian record stores went crazy about the album. “Cold Fact” became as popular as an album could be in Austrailia. Sixto had no idea about all this.

    In Australia and then in South Africa, Rodriguez’s lyrics, about overcoming hardship, made him more popular than even Elvis Presley and also bigger than the Rolling Stones. Part of the reason why his album became so popular in South Africa was that many of his songs served as anti-apartheid anthems and were used in protests. Other than his music, people around the world knew nothing about “Rodriguez.” They had no idea what he looked like, where he lived, or anything about his personal life. He was an international man of mystery! There were also rumours that Sixto committed suicide during one of his live performances. This however didn’t deter some hardcore Australian fans to finally track down Sixto Rodriguez. They got him to Australia for a series of concerts in 1979. He had never played a concert before, just bars and clubs was all that he handled. This time Sixto Rodriguez played to 15,000 people in Sydney and the show was a roaring success with fans signing every word of his decades old songs. After this successful tour of his Sixto once again went back to work as a demolition man!

    While all this was happened, South Africa continued simmering under Rodriguez’s craze. A music journalist and Rodriguez”s fan Stephen Segermen  launched a website dedicated to him and was able to get in touch with Rodriguez’s daughter in 1997.Rodriguez’s was in awe to learn about his fame in South Africa. Rodriguez then went on tour in South Africa! He performed in 6 concerts, in front of thousands and thousands of fans! Sixto was now living his dream! His rediscovery in South Africa in 1998 allowed him to retire from his job, and tour the country for a couple of years. Afterwards, he began to perform in Europe.

    A Swedish filmmaker named Malik Bendjelloul first heard about Sixto Rodriguez while traveling through Africa. He immediately thought his story was incredible and wanted to capture his life into a short film for the Swedish television. Pretty quickly, Malik knew he had a huge story on his hands. But he had one main issue: funding. He decided to approach two of Britain’s top documentary producers for help. But even with the help of the two big-named producers, Malik Benjelloul only secured funding that covered a year of expenses and production costs. The film actually took three years to make! When funding ran out, Benjelloul used the one dollar Super 8 app on his iPhone to finish the documentary.

    There was only one other problem in the making of the film: Sixto Rodriguez initially refused to appear in it. “His kids told me I could probably meet him, but I shouldn’t get my hopes up about an interview,” Bendjelloul explained. “I went to Detroit every year for four years. He didn’t agree to be interviewed until my third visit.

    After overcoming all obstacles, Malik Benjellou’s film, “Searching For Sugar Man” was nominated for the best documentary feature at the Academy Awards. And it went on to win the award for the best documentary feature at the 85th Academy Awards in 2002. “Searching For Sugar Man” was a roaring success at the box office when it was released in the U.S. Malik Bendjelloul begged Rodriguez to attend the Oscars, but in vain. Sixto thought it would take the attention away from the filmmakers. Rodriguez said, “I was asleep when it won, but my daughter Sandra called to tell me. I don’t have TV service anyway.” So not only did he refuse to attend, he was asleep when the film won the award! Sixto Rodriguez’s life was totally transformed since “Searching for Sugar Man.” The Academy Award victory took his fame to the next level. After the Oscar win, Sixto began to play sold out shows all over New York and in music festivals around the world. Some of his shows even sell out in minutes!

    People just love to see him perform live and he loves to do that! Despite all the success and money, Sixto still lives in the same old modest house in downtown Detroit that he has for the last 40 years. Sixto Rodriguez has no computer, car or television. He still lives a very Spartan life. Sixto once told his daughter “there’s three basic needs – food, clothing and shelter. Once you get down to that level, everything else is icing.”
Sixto is still the same person he was before all the fame. He is friendly, down to earth and he is doing what he loves most-“creating music”!!

Posted by Niraj Trivedi

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

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

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SHORT STORY– UBUNTU–I am because we are

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    The culture of ‘UBUNTU’ comes from Africa—I AM BECAUSE WE ARE

    I bring to you a very nice short story from Africa based on the motivational culture of ‘Ubuntu.’

    Once, an anthropologist, proposed a game to the tribal children of Africa. He placed a basket of sweets near a tree and made the children stand some 100 metres away. He then announced that whosoever reaches first would get all the sweets in the basket. When, he said ‘ready steady go!’

    Do you know what these children did? 

    They all held each others’ hands and ran together towards the tree. Divided the sweets in the basket equally among themselves and ate it and enjoyed it. 

    When the anthropologist   asked the why they did so, they answered,

‘Ubuntu.’

    Which meant

    How can one be happy when others are sad?

    Ubuntu in their language means …

    ‘I am because we are.’

    A strong message for all generations.

    Let us always have this attitude and spread happiness wherever we go.

    ‘Let ‘s have a ‘Ubuntu life.

    ‘I AM BECAUSE WE ARE’

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Posted 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. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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

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

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HAPPENING WORLD–FACTS & PROJECTIONS

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

 

 

By some accounts the Pakistani army chief bears a personal grudge against India—his uncle was killed in the 1965 war and his brother in the 1971

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India is known for producing CEOs of Google, Microsoft, Pepsico, Mastercard, Deutsche Bank, etc. And Pakistan? For hoisting heads of Al-qaida, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammed, Haqqani group etc.

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Gandhi arrived in South Africa in 1893 at the age of 23. Within a week he collided head on with racism. His immediate response was to flee the country that so degraded people of colour, but then his inner resilience overpowered him with a sense of mission, and he stayed to redeem the dignity of the racially exploited, to pave the way for the liberation of the colonised the world over and to develop a blueprint for a new social order. He left 21 years later, a near Mahatma (great soul).

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Valmiki gave up life as a robber and meditated for years in penance before he went up to compose the epic Ramayana. He is now revered as the ‘Adi Kavi,’ or the first poet, as he is said to have invented the ‘Shloka,’ the first verse, which defined the form of Sanskrit poetry.

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The trade unions represent 15% of the workforce in the organised sector. 85% represents the unorganised sector.

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Cities are our engines of growth and contribute around 63% of India’s GDP.

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Chikungunya was discovered in 1952, in Tanganyika. Indian dengue was first recorded in Madras in 1780, but the first proven epidemic was in west Bengal, 1963-64, also proving its first chief minister, BC Roy’s claim: ‘What Calcutta does today, the rest of India does tomorrow.’

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Total incidents of violent crime in UP fell dramatically from 1999 to 2003 at the rate of 16% per annum. This period coincided with the time when BJP was in power in the state. However, since 2003 when either BSP or SP have been in power, violent crimes in UP have increased significantly at the rate of over 7%. In comparison Bihar which is the closest to UP in its record of crimes, registered increase in violent crimes at 3% per annum.

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In 2014, violent crime in UP was 25% more than in Bihar.

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India’s direct tax payers form part of a narrow base which contributes more than 50% of the Centre’s total tax revenue.

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In 2012-13, tax department’s data showed that 28.9 million individuals filed tax returns, of whom only about 1.6 million people claimed income above Rs 1 million. When this number is juxtaposed with the 2.6 million cars sold the same year.

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India’s income tax base is unnaturally narrow. It spends less than a rupee to collect Rs 100 of direct tax.

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Indian railways continues to be the lifeline of the nation with over 800 crore trips annually

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Air travel in India is likely to continue to grow quickly for the next 10-12 years. To support this growth, investment in airports is expected to be upwards of Rs 2.5 lakh crore. Around 700 planes could be added to our current fleet of around 450 planes totalling an investment of Rs 3 lakh crores.

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Currently the aviation sector is estimated to directly employ 2 lakh people and 12 lakh people across various parts of the value chain, a multiple of 5.8x. in the next decade the sector could employ more than 5 lakh people directly and 30 lakh overall.

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From more than 90% of aspirants failing the central Teacher’s eligibility test year after year, to teacher absenteeism touching as high as 40% in the poorest states, to the prevalence of English Teachers who just can’t speak English. All around there are signs that teacher recruitment in India is in a bad shape.

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Environment: while the Montreal Protocal is now ratified by 197 countries, the Paris agreement has been ratified by 63 countries representing 52.11% of global greenhouse emissions

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The world bank/IMF estimates the size of Indian economy in 2016 at 2.28 trillion $ making it the world’s 7th largest. At $270 billion in 2015, Pakistan is the world’s 38th largest. India’s export of merchandise has powered past 300$ billion and is closing on $500 billion, if you count services, despite a slowdown in 2016. Pakistan’s exports are straining to get past #30 billion. India’s foreign exchange reserves stand at $367 billion; Pakistan is at $20 billion.

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Pakistan is one fourth of India’s size. Has a sixth of its population and poses an equal. Yet India cannot rid itself of Pakistani pestilence.

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Pakistan’s ministry of Overseas told the country’s legislature this week that Saudi Arabia and UAE together hosted nearly 90% of the total Pakistani workforce of 9,48,000 sent overseas last year. Jobs provided to Pakistani by some other counties: Germany 44, Turkey 57, Singapore 68, Japan 84, UK 261 and USA 350.

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MAKE #CRICKET AS POPULAR AS #SOCCER–START ANOTHER #WORLD #CUP AMONGST CRICKET PLAYING CONTINENTS

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

In the Cricket world cup 2015 only fourteen teams are playing. Which are divided into two pools that will play 49 matches in two countries, to decide the world cup title. International Cricket Council (ICC) recognizes more than 125 countries that play cricket. But many are not up to the mark to be included in the international circuit, such as the World Cup. ICC has 10 full members, 38 Associate Members and 59 Affiliate Members and that adds up to 107 countries. The West Indies cricket team does not represent a single country.

The world today has 196 countries and with that logic, cricket looks like an isolated game with only 14 countries, vying for the world cup which is far from a world phenomenon. Even when the cheer and clapping is getting louder each day as the tournament progresses in those 14 countries. And so, this magnificent pageant that is hosted every 4 years is only witnessed by a small section of the world. As the game is not as popular as soccer which is played in almost all the countries.

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In the same fashion we also have the shorter version of the game called the T-20 cricket world cup, every four years. And, in addition we keep having individual test matches, ODIs and T-20 series between countries which are generally followed by the supporters of their respective countries only. Recently, BCCI has also launched IPL series to promote, both domestic and international cricket. But, even with all of this, cricket is not getting sold exponentially beyond the 14 countries that participate in the world cup. So, there is a greater need to popularize cricket in less and non-cricket playing countries, by shedding traditional, autocratic and bureaucratic ways of thinking and dealing with cricket.

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The 14 countries that currently play in the international world cup circuit are- India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangla Desh, Australia, New Zealand, Afghanistan, UAE, South Africa, Zimbabwe, West Indies, England, Ireland & Scotland.

This more or less promotes cricket in their respective countries only, and to a certain extent in their neighbouring countries. But if cricket needs to spread to other countries by leaps and bounds. Something out-of-the-box needs to be thought through. A better way of popularizing cricket would be to have another world class tournament. Where, we could bunch teams of 3-4 countries, continent wise, and have a world cup tournament amongst them, such as;

Team 1: India, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh

Team 2: Australia, New Zealand

Team 3: Pakistan, Afghanistan and UAE

Team 4: South Africa, Zimbabwe

Team 5: West Indies, England, Ireland and Scotland

HOW WILL THIS HELP IN PROMOTING CRICKET?

Cricket was never played in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, since Adam was a lad. It only came along with the Britishers and became an endearing and formidable game, close to a religion. Which goes to show, if publicized, facilitated and marketed well. It has the potential to become a game as popular as soccer.

Individual countries, and more pointedly India, may have done well to promote cricket in their own country. But Cricket as such has not seen a deluge of popularity, breaking barriers of borders and continents. Rather, it cocooned in its ego and bureaucracy and never butterflied across the world as soccer or lawn tennis. To sight and example, for so many years Bangladesh had to wait to get Test status and same goes for countries like Ireland and Scotland, that are still waiting.

WHAT WILL CHANGE BY BUNCHING TEAMS AND HAVING A WORLD CUP AMONGST CONTINENTS?

Just citing an example. Increase the team members in the squad of Team 1, as referred above (India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) by 3-5 and include new talent from China, Nepal, Myanmar, Maldives or any other country close by and give them a chance in warm up matches, or even just let them be with the team or include them in practice sessions or as twelfth man to be viewed by spectators back home. As this also will popularize the game back in their countries in a big way. For, didn’t it suddenly make a world of difference when some of our athletes were seen on world stage, in various disciplines at the Olympics?

And, hold this world cup tournament among continents every two years. As this will help in good publicity and brand building because public memory is too short, and keep the venue in some non-playing country or countries that play, but are not world class like China, Nepal, Myanmar, Maldives, Kabul, Spain, or the US to name a few. Request their dignitaries or popular figures to inaugurate and play the game at these inaugural matches. ICC is rich and could allocate a budget for this. Also, give special incentives including discounted tickets to tourists who want to watch the game of cricket from non-cricket playing countries. And just before the tournament, legendary and star cricketers depending upon their popularity like Sachin Tendulkar, Imran Khan, Viv Richards, Ricky Ponting, Sanat Jaisurya, to name a few, could give cricketing lessons to youngsters who want to play cricket.

Give this world cup tournament a well thought through, heavy weight title, making it look like a competition among titans, continents, giants, bravo juggernauts or even ET. For, this will have a domino effect in popularizing the game by leaps and bounds. Especially, in non playing continents or even non-playing countries or countries where the game is not played to its full potential. For where is the continued rejoice if the game continues to hover and be competed around in the same surroundings. Perhaps, the present day cricket may give you a feeling. As if it has been discarded and rejected by rest of the world and only adopted by few countries, with world potential still to be realized; and all in the interest of cricket.

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