Category Archives: Great Writers

Words Of Aurobindo Ghosh And Poetry Of Neeraj Besides Sanskrit Verses On India’s Glory!

 

Sri Aurobindo: His Birth Anniversary Falls On Day When India Got Independence!

Sri Aurobindo: His Birth Anniversary Falls On Day When India Got Independence!



The views expressed herein unfold Sri Aurobindo’s methadology to deal with huge challenges India was going to face in post-Independence era.  Sri aurobindo conveyed these views between 1910-1922 in Arya- an English monthly published by Sri Aurobindo.

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“How shall we recover our lost intellectual freedom and elasticity? By reversing, for a time at least, the process by which we lost it, by liberating our minds in all subjects from the thraldom to authority. That is not what reformers and the Anglicised require of us. They ask us, indeed, to abandon authority, to revolt against custom and superstition, to have free and enlightened minds. But they mean by these sounding recommendations that we should renounce the authority of Sayana for the authority of Max Muller, the Monism of Shankara for the Monism of Haeckel, the written Shastra for the unwritten law of European social opinion, the dogmatism of Brahmin Pandits for the dogmatism of European scientists, thinkers and scholars. Such a foolish exchange of servitude can receive the assent of no self-respecting mind. Let us break our chains, venerable as they are, but let it be in order to be free, in the name of truth, not in the name of Europe. It would be a poor bargain to exchange our old Indian illuminations, however dark they may have grown to us, for a derivative European enlightenment or replace the superstitions of popular Hinduism by the superstitions of materialistic Science.”

“Our first necessity, if India is to survive and do her appointed work in the world, is that the youth of India should learn to think, to think on all subjects, to think independently, fruitfully, going to the heart of things, not stopped by their surface, free of prejudgments, shearing sophism and prejudice asunder as with a sharp sword, smiting down obscurantism of all kinds as with the mace of Bhima….”

“Let us not, either, select at random, make a nameless hotchpotch and then triumphantly call it the assimilation of East and West. We must begin by accepting nothing on trust from any source whatsoever, by questioning everything and forming our own conclusions. We need not fear that we shall by that process cease to be Indians or fall into the danger of abandoning Hinduism. India can never cease to be India or Hinduism to be Hinduism, if we really think for ourselves. It is only if we allow Europe to think for us that India is in danger of becoming an ill-executed and foolish copy of Europe…. We must … take our stand on that which is true and lasting. But in order to find out what in our conceptions is true and lasting, we must question all alike rigorously and impartially. The necessity of such a process not for India, but for all humanity has been recognised by leading European thinkers. It was what Carlyle meant when he spoke of swallowing all formulas. It was the process by which Goethe helped to reinvigorate European thinking. But … Europe has for some time ceased to produce original thinkers, though it still produces original mechanicians…. China, Japan and the Mussulman states are sliding into a blind European imitativeness. In India alone there is self-contained, dormant, the energy and the invincible spiritual individuality which can yet arise and break her own and the world’s fetters.”

Source:  Bharat Vani

He Was The Most Perfect Manifestation Of Absolute!

He Was The Most Perfect Manifestation Of Absolute!

His Writings Soaked In Divinity Impressed Everybody!

His Writings Soaked In Divinity Impressed Everybody!


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These beautiful verses in Sanskrit unfold glory of India’s past. They make you aware of great souls who made their presence felt on this great divine land. The verses also let you know about beautiful places, rivers and mountains which make this part of the world a poetry carved on planet earth. I first noticed these verses on page of  Sri Vijay Krishna Pandey.

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ॐ नमः सच्चिदानंदरूपाय परमात्मने
ज्योतिर्मयस्वरूपाय विश्वमांगल्यमूर्तये॥१॥

 

प्रकृतिः पंचभूतानि ग्रहलोकस्वरास्तथा
दिशः कालश्च सर्वेषां सदा कुर्वंतु मंगलम्‌॥२॥

 

रत्नाकराधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम्‌
ब्रह्मराजर्षिरत्नाढ्याम् वन्दे भारतमातरम्‌ ॥३॥

 

महेंद्रो मलयः सह्यो देवतात्मा हिमालयः
ध्येयो रैवतको विन्ध्यो गिरिश्चारावलिस्तथा ॥४॥

 

गंगा सरस्वती सिंधु ब्रह्मपुत्राश्च गंदकी
कावेरी यमुना रेवा कृष्णा गोदा महानदी ॥५॥

 

अयोध्या मथुरा माया काशी कांची अवंतिका
वैशाली द्वारका ध्येया पुरी तक्शशिला गया ॥६॥

 

प्रयागः पाटलीपुत्रं विजयानगरं महत्‌
इंद्रप्रस्थं सोमनाथस्तथामृतसरः प्रियम्‌॥७॥

 

चतुर्वेदाः पुराणानि सर्वोपनिषदस्तथा
रामायणं भारतं च गीता षड्दर्शनानि च ॥८॥

 

जैनागमास्त्रिपिटकः गुरुग्रन्थः सतां गिरः
एष ज्ञाननिधिः श्रेष्ठः श्रद्धेयो हृदि सर्वदा॥९॥

 

अरुन्धत्यनसूय च सावित्री जानकी सती
द्रौपदी कन्नगे गार्गी मीरा दुर्गावती तथा ॥१०॥

 

लक्ष्मी अहल्या चन्नम्मा रुद्रमाम्बा सुविक्रमा
निवेदिता सारदा च प्रणम्य मातृ देवताः ॥११॥

 

श्री रामो भरतः कृष्णो भीष्मो धर्मस्तथार्जुनः
मार्कंडेयो हरिश्चन्द्र प्रह्लादो नारदो ध्रुवः ॥१२॥

 

हनुमान्‌ जनको व्यासो वसिष्ठश्च शुको बलिः
दधीचि विश्वकर्माणौ पृथु वाल्मीकि भार्गवः ॥१३॥

 

भगीरथश्चैकलव्यो मनुर्धन्वन्तरिस्तथा
शिबिश्च रन्तिदेवश्च पुराणोद्गीतकीर्तयः ॥१४॥

 

बुद्ध जिनेन्द्र गोरक्शः पाणिनिश्च पतंजलिः
शंकरो मध्व निंबार्कौ श्री रामानुज वल्लभौ ॥१५॥

 

झूलेलालोथ चैतन्यः तिरुवल्लुवरस्तथा
नायन्मारालवाराश्च कंबश्च बसवेश्वरः ॥१६॥

 

देवलो रविदासश्च कबीरो गुरु नानकः
नरसी तुलसीदासो दशमेषो दृढव्रतः ॥१७॥

 

श्रीमच्छङ्करदेवश्च बंधू सायन माधवौ
ज्ञानेश्वरस्तुकाराम रामदासः पुरन्दरः ॥१८॥

 

बिरसा सहजानन्दो रमानन्दस्तथा महान्‌
वितरन्तु सदैवैते दैवीं षड्गुणसंपदम्‌ ॥१९॥

 

रविवर्मा भातखंडे भाग्यचन्द्रः स भोपतिः
कलावंतश्च विख्याताः स्मरणीया निरंतरम्‌ ॥२०॥

 

भरतर्षिः कालिदासः श्रीभोजो जनकस्तथा
सूरदासस्त्यागराजो रसखानश्च सत्कविः ॥२१॥

 

अगस्त्यः कंबु कौन्डिण्यौ राजेन्द्रश्चोल वंशजः
अशोकः पुश्य मित्रश्च खारवेलः सुनीतिमान्‌ ॥२२॥

 

चाणक्य चन्द्रगुप्तौ च विक्रमः शालिवाहनः
समुद्रगुप्तः श्रीहर्षः शैलेंद्रो बप्परावलः ॥२३॥

 

लाचिद्भास्कर वर्मा च यशोधर्मा च हूणजित्‌
श्रीकृष्णदेवरायश्च ललितादित्य उद्बलः ॥२४॥

 

मुसुनूरिनायकौ तौ प्रतापः शिव भूपतिः
रणजितसिंह इत्येते वीरा विख्यात विक्रमाः ॥२५॥

 

वैज्ञानिकाश्च कपिलः कणादः शुश्रुतस्तथा
चरको भास्कराचार्यो वराहमिहिर सुधीः ॥२६॥

 

नागार्जुन भरद्वाज आर्यभट्टो वसुर्बुधः
ध्येयो वेंकट रामश्च विज्ञा रामानुजायः ॥२७॥

 

रामकृष्णो दयानंदो रवींद्रो राममोहनः
रामतीर्थोऽरविंदश्च विवेकानंद उद्यशः ॥२८॥

 

दादाभाई गोपबंधुः टिळको गांधी रादृताः
रमणो मालवीयश्च श्री सुब्रमण्य भारती ॥२९॥

 

सुभाषः प्रणवानंदः क्रांतिवीरो विनायकः
ठक्करो भीमरावश्च फुले नारायणो गुरुः ॥३०॥

 

संघशक्ति प्रणेतारौ केशवो माधवस्तथा
स्मरणीय सदैवैते नवचैतन्यदायकाः ॥३१॥

 

अनुक्ता ये भक्ताः प्रभुचरण संसक्तहृदयाः
अविज्ञाता वीरा अधिसमरमुद्ध्वस्तरि पवः
समाजोद्धर्तारः सुहितकर विज्ञान निपुणाः
नमस्तेभ्यो भूयात्सकल सुजनेभ्यः प्रतिदिनम्‌ ॥ ३२॥

 

इदमेकात्मता स्तोत्रं श्रद्धया यः सदा पठेत्‌
स राष्ट्रधर्म निष्ठावानखंडं भारतं स्मरेत्‌ ॥३३॥

जयति पुण्य सनातन संस्कृति…जयति पुण्य भूमि भारत…
सदा सुमंगल…वंदेमातरम…..
जय श्री राम

Source: Vijay Krishna Pandey

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These verses in Hindi written by famous poet Neearj unfold the charishma of  feeling called love!

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जब तक आँसू साथ रहेंगे,
मुझको याद किया जायेगा;
जहाँ प्रेम की चर्चा होगी,
मेरा नाम लिया जायेगा ।
जब भी कोई सपना टूटा,
मेरी आँख वहाँ बरसी है;
तड़पा हूँ मैं जब भी कोई,
मछ्ली पानी को तरसी है ।
गीत दर्द का पहला बेटा,
दुःख है उसका खेल खिलौना
कविता तब मीरा होगी,
जब हँस कर ज़हर पिया जायेगा ।
जहाँ प्रेम की चर्चा होगी,
मेरा नाम लिया जायेगा ।

   -By Neeraj

Neeraj: The Poet Who Talked About Love In Impressive Way!

Neeraj: The Poet Who Talks About Love In Impressive Way!

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Pics Credit:

Pic One

Pic Two

Pic Three

Pic Four

Allahabad: A City Wherein Global Salutes The Local (Photo Feature Part 3)

I have no hesitation in admitting that Allahabad (ancient name Prayag) redefined my beingness.It made me down-to earth, allowing me to view life in its true shades. Although I tried my best to capture all the shades of Allahabad, I am sure I would have missed some beautiful locations. I hope  future writers would explore these untouched places in a colourful way. However, in the last part of the photo feature, I have shifted my attention from modern landscape of Allahabad to areas which still remind of the ancient times. Infrastructural bottlenecks prevented me from using state-of-the-art technology in capturing  the images and that made me bit depressed. However, now in the aftermath of the publication of photo features, I feel pretty satisfied that I still came to do some good work. These photo features are a tribute to great city Allahabad- my birthplace. A city that taught me how to emerge successful in rising above contradictions to have glimpse of the Absolute!

 

Such roads making their way through dusty colonies of Allahabad remind me of Varanasi! This road connects Anand Bhawan area with Katra.  Katra is area very ppular among middle class section of Allahabad. It's also most favourite destination of student; after all, it lies close to Allahabad University :-)

Such roads making their way through dusty colonies of Allahabad remind me of Varanasi! This road connects Anand Bhawan area with Katra. Katra is very poular among middle class section of Allahabad. It’s also most favourite destination of students; after all, it lies close to Allahabad University 🙂

This area resembles Varanasi city in its style and mannerism!

Katra resembles Varanasi city in its style and mannerism!

It was  cold and foggy when I came to visit Katra but observe the rush at this place.  On ordinary days, this popular crossing at Katra is so full of  people that traffic policemen are reduced to caricature of sorts while managing them!

It was cold and foggy when I came to visit Katra but observe the rush at this place. On ordinary days, this popular crossing at Katra is so full of people that traffic policemen are reduced to caricature of sorts while managing them!

This road needs no introduction for Allahabadis :P It's University Road :-)

This road needs no introduction for Allahabadis 😛 It’s University Road 🙂

One of the eminent hostels associated with Allahabad University. It's named after Sir Sunder Lal, who in 1906 became the  the first Indian Vice Chancellor of Allahabad University!  He was by profession an advocate, who later also served as High Court Judge.

One of the eminent hostels associated with Allahabad University. It’s named after Sir Sunder Lal, who in 1906 became the the first Indian Vice Chancellor of Allahabad University! He was by profession an advocate, who later also served as High Court Judge.

Right in front of one of the gates of Allahabad University!

Right in front of one of the gates of Allahabad University-Oxford of the East !

 

One of things which separates Allahabad University from Benaras Hindu University is the quality of roads spread in University area :P :P .. The streets adjacent to Benaras Hindu University are so much in love with potholes that all the time you have to look downwards with fear ha..ha ..ha ..That's not the case in Allahabad :P :P :P

One of the things which separates Allahabad University from Benaras Hindu University, Varanasi,  is the quality of roads spread in University area 😛 😛 .. The streets adjacent to Benaras Hindu University are so much in love with potholes that while walking  you have to look downwards  all the time with fear ha..ha ..ha ..That’s not the case in Allahabad 😛 😛 😛

On The Campus Of Allahabad University :-)

On The Campus Of Allahabad University 🙂

Once upon a time I always ventured on these beautiful situated on the Allahabad University's Campus :-)

Once upon a time I always ventured on these beautiful  roads situated on the Allahabad University’s Campus 🙂

 A beautiful park on the campus of University..Notice no love birds are present :P :P :P

A beautiful park on the campus of University..Notice no love birds are present 😛 😛 😛

In my days it was not a Central University.  Today, it has attained the status of being a Central University!

In my days it was not a Central University. Today, it has attained the status of being a Central University!

Road adjacent to Allahabad University...When you move ahead on this road arrives Prayag Railway Station!

Road adjacent to Allahabad University…When you move ahead on this road arrives Prayag Railway Station!

Loitering on these University Roads was one of the main activities of College Days!

Loitering on these University Roads was one of the main activities during College days!

Don't be confused :P We are still inside University's Campus :P :P :P

Don’t be confused 😛 We are still inside University’s Campus 😛 😛 😛

Notice the activities on main Univesrity Road.  Streets remain the same but faces of students get changed!

Notice the activities on main University Road. Streets remain the same but faces of students get changed!

Main Katra Market!

Main Katra Market!

A prominent Goddess Kaliji temple  at  Katra, Allahabad !

A prominent Goddess Kaliji temple at Katra, Allahabad!

This time Lord Hanuman Ji is resting inside the Temple : -)

This time Lord Hanuman Ji is resting inside the Temple : -)

One of the street crossings at Katra :-)

One of the street crossings at Katra 🙂

A glimpse of life at Katra!

A glimpse of life at Katra!

Lonely Road in Allahabad :P

Lonely Road in Allahabad 😛

 The most prominent Sports Complex in Allahabad! It's named after movie superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who hails from this city :-)

The most prominent Sports Complex in Allahabad! It’s named after movie superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who hails from this city 🙂

Maharana Pratap Crossing :-)

Maharana Pratap Crossing 🙂

It's getting dark :-)

It’s getting dark 🙂

CMP Degree College in Allahabad- a constituent college of Allahabad Univesity.   It has produced great students in past.  And so when I hear about stories of viloence, disruption of studies on its campus, it really sadddens me!  I have been student of this college and we remember that in our batch most of the students came to score more than students of Allahabad University!

CMP Degree College in Allahabad- a constituent college of Allahabad University. It has produced great students in past. And so it really saddens me when I hear about stories of violence, disruption of studies on its campus.  I had been student of this college and we remember that in our batch most of the students came to score more than students of Allahabad University in prominent subjects like Philosophy, English Literature, Physics and etc. !

great discussions.  Long Live This Cute Tree :P :P :P

And under this great tree Philosophy and English Literature students often had great discussions. Long Live This Cute Tree 😛 😛 😛

At this place it was so hard to control the tears..At this place I found some great teachers like Anand  Srivastava Sir, Ghatak Sir  and many others who imparted so many  values to young and fresh minds like us!  In fact, they were generous enough to give additional lectures in staff room during lunch hours!

At this place it was so hard to control the tears..At this place I found some great teachers like Anand Srivastava Sir (Philosophy), K K Ghatak Sir (English Literature), K C Srivastava (Ancient History)  and many others who imparted so many  values to young and fresh minds like us! In fact, they were generous enough to give additional lectures in staff room during lunch hours!

Road that led to English Lectures in those days :-)

Road that led to English Lectures in those days 🙂

The park in which my science department friends played cricket during Chemistry hours :P

The park in which my science department friends played cricket during Chemistry hours 😛

 I hope new students who become part of this great college would keep its standards high. I am happy to notice that most of my friends from this college of that batch, from both Arts and Science Wings, have done exceptionally well in their post college lives!  And I should not hesitate that I also fell in love with someone at this place :-)

I hope new students who become part of this great college would keep its standards high. I am happy to notice that most of my friends from this college of that batch, from both Arts and Science Wings, have done exceptionally well in their post college lives! And I should not hesitate to state that I also fell in love with someone at this place 🙂

 

This cute Krishna Temple in Meerapur area makes me smile. That's because this area has prominent Shakti Peeths of Allahabad: Lalita Devi Temple And Kalyani Devi Temple!

This cute Krishna Temple in Meerapur area makes me smile. That’s because this area has prominent Shakti Peeths of Allahabad: Lalita Devi Temple And Kalyani Devi Temple!

Entrance gate of Krishna Pranaami Temple :P ..Name itself is so cute :P

Entrance gate of Krishna Pranami Temple 😛 ..Name itself is so cute 😛

Goddess Lalita Devi Temple In Meerapur Area!  It's one of the Shakti Pithas in Allahabad!

Goddess Lalita Devi Temple In Meerapur Area! It’s one of the Shakti Pithas in Allahabad!

Goddess Lalita Deviji :-0

Goddess Lalita Deviji 🙂

Actvities like Ved Paatha always takes place inside Lalita Devi Temple :-)  Sadly, I could not get a better image :-(

Actvities like Ved Paatha always takes place inside Lalita Devi Temple 🙂 Sadly, I could not get a better image 😦

Outside Kalyani Devi Temple :-) Beautiful structure :-)

Outside Kalyani Deviji Temple 🙂 Beautiful structure 🙂

Inside View Of The Kalyani Deviji Temple :-)

Inside View Of The Kalyani Deviji Temple 🙂

Another view of Kalyani Deviji's temple :-)

Another view of Kalyani Deviji’s temple 🙂

And life goes on at its usual pace outside Kalyani Deviji's temple!

And life goes on at its usual pace outside Kalyani Deviji’s temple!

Road Adjacent To Ewing Christian College!

Road Adjacent To Ewing Christian College!

On the way towards Muthiganj :-)

On the way towards Muthiganj 🙂

Life in another part of Allahabad away from the glamour of elite areas like Civil lines :-)

Life in another part of Allahabad away from the glamour of elite areas like Civil lines 🙂

Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Allahabad. It was established by by Swami Vijnanananda in year 1908! He was a monastic disciple of Sri Ramakrishna!

Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Allahabad. It was established by by Swami Vijnanananda in year 1908! He was a monastic disciple of Sri Ramakrishna!

Front View Of This Important Spiritual Center in Allahabad :-)

Front View Of This Important Spiritual Center in Allahabad 🙂

It has got its own wonderful library! No wonder this Mission is so popular among students!

It has got its own wonderful library! No wonder this Mission is so popular among students!

Meditation room inside this Mission having images of Sri Ramakrishna, Ma Sharda Deviji, Swami Vijnanananda ji  and Swami Vivekananda ji!

Meditation room inside this Mission having images of Sri Ramakrishna, Ma Sarada Deviji, Swami Vijnanananda ji and Swami Vivekananda ji!

Books For Sale Inside The Temple :-)

Books For Sale Inside The Temple 🙂

Close Look At The Books :-)

Close Look At The Books 🙂

Havana Taking Place On Occassion Of Vivekananda's Birth Ceremony At The Mission :-)

Havana Taking Place On Occasion Of Vivekananda’s Birth Ceremony At The Mission 🙂

Swami Nikhilatamanandaji, current head of this center in Allahabad, giving lecture on relevance of Swami Vivekananda's views in modern times!

Swami Nikhilatamanandaji, current head of this center in Allahabad, giving lecture on relevance of Swami Vivekananda’s views in modern times!|

Very Conscious Listeners :-)

Very Conscious Listeners 🙂

 Swamijis at Ramakrishna Mission  are very well-infomed, highly educated and down-to-earth  people!

Swamijis at Ramakrishna Mission are very well-informed, highly educated and down-to-earth people!

This tea stall has photo of Anna Hazare :P :P :P

This tea stall has photo of Sri Anna Hazare 😛 😛 😛

Sri Krishna Selling Jewellery :P :P :P

Sri Krishna Selling Jewellery 😛 😛 😛

Khusro Bagh in Allahabad...A place that glimpse about Mughal architecture.  It has tombs of tombs of Khusrau Mirza (died 1622), eldest son of emperor Jahangir, Shah Begum, Khusrau's mother (died 1604), a Rajput princess and Jahangir's first wife, and that of Princess Sultan Nithar Begam.

Khusro Bagh in Allahabad…A place that gives glimpse of  Mughal architecture. It has “tombs of Khusrau Mirza (died 1622), eldest son of emperor Jahangir, Shah Begum, Khusrau’s mother (died 1604), a Rajput princess and Jahangir’s first wife, and that of Princess Sultan Nithar Begam.” (Text borrowed from Wiki)

 

This place cultivates best varieties of Guava. This park is about to get the status of National Eco-Knowledge Park!

This place cultivates best varieties of Guava. This park is about to get the status of National Eco-Knowledge Park!

It has been rennovated to attract tourits :-) I am happy that it is close to my house :P

It has been renovated to attract tourist 🙂 I am happy that it is close to my house 😛

Peace  prevails here :P

Peace prevails here 😛

Besides Guava trees  a large number of mango trees are found here!

Besides Guava trees a large number of mango trees are found here!

As informed earlier such parks in Allahabad are often occupied by students preparing for competitive exams...See how they are engaged in studies :-)

As informed earlier such parks in Allahabad are often occupied by students preparing for competitive exams…See how they are engaged in studies 🙂

Eco friendly Hanumanji inside Khusro Bagh :P

Eco-friendly Hanumanji inside Khusro Bagh 😛

One of the tombs situated inside the Khusro Bagh!

One of the tombs situated inside the Khusro Bagh!

Green house plantation inside the Khusro Bagh!

Green house plantation inside the Khusro Bagh!

Very old Banayan Trees inside Khusro Bagh...If you sit under them you are bound to engage in deep meditation :P

Very old Banayan Trees inside Khusro Bagh…If you sit under them you are bound to engage in deep meditation 😛

Very Beautiful Scene Inside Khusro Bagh...Leaves Everywhere...A Very Striking Image Both Philosophically And Aesthetically :-)

Very Beautiful Scene Inside Khusro Bagh…Leaves Everywhere…A Very Striking Image Both Philosophically And Aesthetically 🙂

It was a delighful sight for me to see cricket match going at such a romantic place :P

It was a delightful sight for me to see cricket match going on at such a romantic place 😛

Cricketers giving  a pose :P :P :P

Cricketers giving a pose 😛 😛 😛

I had a hard time bringing this squirrel under the lens :P :P :P

I had a hard time bringing this squirrel under the lens 😛 😛 😛

Such Scenes Make You Fall In Great Romance With Nature :-) :-) :-)

Such Scenes Make You Fall In Great Romance With Nature 🙂 🙂 🙂

Another Tomb Inside Khusro Bagh!

Another Tomb Inside Khusro Bagh!

A flower fallen on ground yet it  has such a bright smile :P ..We should be like this flower: Broken and dejected yet always smiling :-) :-) :-)

A flower fallen on ground yet it has such a bright smile 😛 ..We should be like this flower: Broken and dejected yet always smiling 🙂 🙂 🙂 Anyway, it’s called flower of Semal Tree (Bombax cieba)

Khusro Bagh Has Awesome Sight :P

Khusro Bagh Has Awesome Sight 😛

PINKISH BLISS :P :P :P

PINKISH BLISS 😛 😛 :P…

 

That's called Cotton Tree (Bombax ceiba). In India it's called Semal.

That’s commonly called Cotton Tree (Bombax ceiba). In India it’s called Semal and we often notice this tree along the road in Allahabad!

Noticed this depressed motor bike inside Khusro Bagh :P :P :P  "Girls don't trust me"  :P :P :P

Noticed this depressed motor bike inside Khusro Bagh 😛 😛 😛 “Girls don’t trust me” 😛 😛 😛

May Lord Always Give Enough To Eat These Unfortunate Souls! I wonder why state-governments do nothing for these abandoned souls?  It's really sad scene!

May Lord always give such unfortunate souls enough to eat! I wonder why state-governments do nothing for these abandoned souls? It’s really a sad scene!

And these are fortumate souls, who came to take a dip at Sangam during Kumbh Mela..Now they are happily returning back to their respective places!  They come from distant lands, facing all sorts of hardships!

And these are fortunate souls, who came to take a dip at Sangam during Kumbh Mela..Now they are happily returning back to their respective places! They come from distant lands, facing all sorts of hardships!

Unlike women from cities, these rural woman are quite tough both physically and mentally! The city women are usually bit lazy types :P :P :P

Unlike women from cities, these rural woman are quite tough both physically and mentally! The city women are usually bit lazy types 😛 😛 😛

Varanasi sees foreign visitors throughout  the year but in Allahabad foreign visitors come only special occasions like Kumbh Mela, International Conferences and etc.  Here they are seen waiting for train at Allahabad Junction!

Varanasi sees foreign visitors throughout the year but in Allahabad foreign visitors come only during  special occasions like Kumbh Mela, International Conferences and etc. Here they are seen waiting for train at Allahabad Junction!

Hope they had nice experiences in Allahabad :-) :-) :-)

Hope they had nice experiences in Allahabad 🙂 🙂 🙂

A Bird's Eye View Of My Locality From Rooftop Of My House :-) :-)

A Bird’s Eye View Of My Locality From Rooftop Of My House 🙂 🙂

This pic is especially for the likes of Sucheta ji, living in foreign lands :-) I hope Suchetaji, living in USA,  at least come to notice one cute activity taking place on Indian roof :P :P

This pic is especially for the likes of Sucheta ji and Carmenji living in foreign lands 🙂 I hope Suchetaji, living in USA,  comes to notice at least one cute activity taking place on Indian roof 😛 😛 Kids from my family having a great time on the rooftop 🙂

Allahabadis love flying kites :-) View of the beautiful sky over my roof :-)

Allahabadis love flying kites 🙂 View of the beautiful sky over my roof 🙂

And these are students of the year :P :P :P

And these are students of the year 😛 😛 😛

Kids engaged in serious discussion right in the middle of the street! Kids have become so serious nowadays :P :P

Kids engaged in serious discussion right in the middle of the street! Kids have become so serious nowadays 😛 😛

This corner at my locality remains quite busy during festivals :-) :-)

This corner at my locality remains quite busy during festivals 🙂 🙂

walking in the middle of the railway tracks! That's why tragedies  take place!

A Railway Over-bridge close to my locality!! And notice one guy walking in the middle of the railway tracks! That’s why tragedies take place!

Sports Stadium Belonging To Railways!

Sports Stadium Belonging To Railways!

 

And evening prevails :-)

And evening prevails 🙂

On the road near Baluva Ghat!  This area is in old Allahabad!

On the road near Baluva Ghat! This area is in old Allahabad!

Activities Near Baluva Ghat. Well, ghat in India signifies that we are close to the bank of a river!

Activities Near Baluva Ghat. Well, ghat in India signifies that we are close to the bank of a river!

Lord Hanumanji in the making :P :P :P

Lord Hanumanji in the making 😛 😛 😛

Ma Yamuna ji ..She is very dear to Lord Krishna...And I am really disappointed to see so much garbage on its banks..Let's not forget that it's a very busy place owing to religious ceremonies taking place throughout the year.

Ma Yamuna ji ..She is very dear to Lord Krishna 🙂  And I am really disappointed to see so much garbage on its banks..Let’s not forget that it’s a very busy place owing to religious ceremonies taking place throughout the year.

Who has allowed black beauties ( read buffaloes) to take dip in Yamunaji  :-( :-( :-(

Who has allowed black beauties (read buffaloes) to take dip in Sri Yamunaji 😦 😦 😦

Scenes around Baluva Ghat made me feel I have traveled back in time!

Scenes around Baluva Ghat made me feel I have traveled back in time!

Black Beauties Have Now Attained  Regular Moksha :P :P :P

Black Beauties Have Now Attained Regular Moksha (liberation)  😛 😛 😛

Myself at Khusro Bagh :-)

Myself at Khusro Bagh 🙂

India is land of great rivers and great mountains. It's our duty to keep them clean. Why are we so casual in keeping them in good shape?  Hope Sri Yamunaji remains evergreen in this nation.  Just see what we have done to her in Delhi area?  Let's not the same happens to her in Allahabad. Jai Sri Yamunaji..Pranama to Everybody: Sri  Radha Krishna, Gopas, Gopikas And Cows  :P :P :P

India is land of great rivers and great mountains. It’s our duty to keep them clean. Why are we so casual in keeping them in good shape? Hope Sri Yamunaji remains evergreen in this nation. Just see what we have done to her in Delhi area!  Let’s not the same happens to her in Allahabad. Jai Sri Yamunaji..Pranama to Everybody: Sri Radha Krishna, Gopas, Gopikas And Cows 😛 😛 😛

P.S. :- The copyright of these images rests with the author of this post. Anybody making use of them without prior permission of the author, or without giving due credit to the author, could be penalized as per legal norms.

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Reference:

Allahabad: A City Wedded To Realism (Photo Feature Part One)

Allahabad: City Of True Beauty, Real Romance And Mysticism (Photo Feature Part 2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allahabad: A City Wedded To Realism (Photo Feature Part One)

Allahabad enjoys a glorious legacy. It’s a city that has been dominated by best minds since time immemorial. Its ancient name Prayag is associated with Rishis (saints) and Devas (demigods) eager to have an opportunity to live in this city.  Sri Rama, incarnation of Lord Vishnu,  and, Sri Shankaracharya, incarnation of Lord Shiva,  both came to interact with this city in their own ways.  Needless to state about Kumbh Mela, which provides it a global appeal.  And who can forget its role in Independence movement? And in post- Independence  era, it still continues to dominate the course of this great nation by giving birth to remarkable thought patterns. Leading politicians, top bureaucrats, great literary figures and etc.  all belong to this city. This city wedded to realism is very very slow in embracing ultra-modern changes, but now it has  started accepting bizarre changes all in the name of being in tune with time!

Even Allahabad's Skyline Above A Busy Corner Of The City Speak About Saints :-)

Even Allahabad’s Skyline Above A Busy Corner Of The City Speaks About Saints 🙂

This city has imbibed secular spirt so well without any adherence to so-called secularism demonstrated my modern India's so-called secular leaders. It's beauitul Central Methodist church located in Civil Lines.

This city has imbibed secular spirit so well without any adherence to so-called secularism demonstrated by modern India’s so-called secular leaders. It’s beautiful Central Methodist church located in Civil Lines.

Another beautiful church located in Allahabad called "All Saints Cathedral" ( Patthar Girja)!  Designed by William Emerson this church depicts Gothic style.

Another beautiful church located in Allahabad called “All Saints Cathedral” (Patthar Girja)! Designed by William Emerson this church depicts Gothic style.

A Busy Street In Chowk Area. It's always a great rush here!

A Busy street in Chowk Area. It’s always a great rush here!

Another corner of Chowk Area.  This area comes in old Allahabad.

Another corner of Chowk area. This area comes in old Allahabad.

Don't be confused! It's not a  gali of Benaras. It's Allahabad's Loknath Ki Gali :-) Here too, like Varanasi's gali, you would find Lord Shiva, Bull, Bhaang, Mithai, Chaat and sea of people :P :P :P

Don’t be confused! It’s not a gali of Benaras. It’s Allahabad’s Loknath Ki Gali 🙂 Here too, like Varanasi’s gali, you would find Lord Shiva, Bull, Bhaang, Mithai, Chaat and sea of people 😛 😛 😛

Yum! Yum! Yum! Sweets being made in Loknath Ki Gali. It's called Imarti :P :P :P

Yum! Yum! Yum! Sweets being made in Loknath Ki Gali. It’s called Imarti 😛 😛 😛

Parrots on sale :P

Parrots on sale 😛

 

This is Baldau's famous newspaper corner at very busy crossing of Johnstonganj :-) These two brothers  started this shop in late 90s and even in era of Internet they have done well to retain the flow of customers!

This is Baldau’s famous newspaper corner at very busy crossing of Johnstonganj 🙂 These two brothers started this shop in late 90s and even in era of Internet they have done well to retain the flow of customers!

And here Lord is on sale..I mean their images :P :P :P

And here Lord is on sale..I mean their images 😛 😛 😛

Hot Popcorns :P :P  Garma Garam Aur Karare :P :P

Hot Popcorns 😛 😛 Garma Garam Aur Karare 😛 😛

It's the place which defines the existence of Prayag..It's the place which bears testimony to one of the largest gatherings on planet earth called as Kumbh Mela..This is Sangam area, which is confluence of three rivers, namely, Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati!

It’s the place which defines the existence of Prayag..It’s the place which bears testimony to one of the largest gatherings on planet earth called as Kumbh Mela..This is Sangam area, which is confluence of three rivers, namely, Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati!

Visitors from distant lands arrive at this divine place :-)

Visitors from distant lands arrive at this divine place 🙂

These are Pandas-the people who perform religious rituals on banks of rivers...

Usually one finds  Pandas beneath such constructions-the people who perform religious rituals on banks of rivers…However, at this time, we are noticing only the devotees 😛

Well, it's a great feeling to be at this place...It fills you with positive energy!!

Well, it’s a great feeling to be at this place…It fills you with positive energy!!

 

Evening Hours At Sangam :-) So Beautiful :-)

Evening Hours At Sangam 🙂 So Beautiful 🙂

On Road To Sangam :P

On Road To Sangam 😛

During Mela time It's absolutely  jam-packed !

During Mela time it’s absolutely jam-packed!

This routes are created during Mela days to allow  smooth passage of vehicles!

These routes are created during Mela days to allow smooth passage of vehicles!

Beautiful View Of The Sangam Area!

Beautiful View Of The Sangam Area!

Now That's The Place Which Millions Of Devotees Each Year :-)

Now That’s The Place Which Witnesses Millions Of Devotees Each Year 🙂

I also left my footprints here :-) :-) :-)

I also left my footprints here 🙂 🙂 🙂

 A Bird's Eye View Of The Sangam Area :P

A Bird’s Eye View Of The Sangam Area 😛

Glimpse of Devotees At This Place. They come from various parts of India in a hope to have their wishes fulfilled.  But not without taking a dip in the icy waters :P :P :P

Glimpse of devotees at this place. They come from various parts of India with a hope to have their wishes fulfilled. But not without taking a dip in the icy waters 😛 😛 😛

This Is Allahabad's Fort built  by great ruler King Ashoka! Now it's under the control of Indian Army!

This Is Allahabad’s Fort built by great ruler King Ashoka! Now it’s under the control of Indian Army!

This beautiful fort was repaired by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1583 AD !

This beautiful fort was repaired by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1583 A.D. !

This is famous Akshayavat Temple situated inside Allahabad Fort.  This temple has so many great stories associated with it from being the only place to survive during great annhilation of universe by the Lord to a place associated with visit of Lord Rama, Sita Maiyya and Lakshmana!

This is famous Akshayavat Temple situated inside Allahabad Fort. This temple has so many great stories associated with it from being the only place to survive during great annihilation of universe by the Lord to a place associated with visit of Lord Rama, Sri Sita Maiyya and Sri Lakshmana!

In Uttar Pradesh very few cities have beautiful roads :P

In Uttar Pradesh very few cities have beautiful roads 😛

 

This is Bade Hanuman Ji's Temple located in Sangam Area. It's an extremely popular temple among the devotees!  Notice the huge number of devotees at this place!  Interestingly, it believes that every year Hanumanji, who is in lying position in this temple, is made to have total bath by Ganges at least once :-)

This is Bade Hanuman Ji’s Temple located in Sangam Area. It’s an extremely popular temple among the devotees! Notice the huge number of devotees at this place! Interestingly, every year Sri Hanumanji, who is in lying position in this temple, is made to have total bath by Ganges at least once 🙂

Life around this temple. It's so colourful and serene :-)

Life around this temple. It’s so colourful and serene 🙂

These three fellows were having great arguments among themselves..Later they became friends :P :P :P

These three fellows were having great arguments among themselves..Later they became friends 😛 😛 😛

Modern upper class women might not be interested in buying any item from these shops but women from rural belts spend a long time on these shops to have their beauty enhanced :P

Modern upper class women might not be interested in buying any item from these shops but women from rural belts spend a long time on these shops to have their beauty enhanced 😛

This is a temple dedicated to Sri Adi Shankaracharya ji.  Sri Adi Shankara ji was India's greatest philosopher who added new dimensions in Advaita Darshana. This temple is managed by Shri Kanchi Kamkoti Peeth.

This is a temple dedicated to Sri Adi Shankaracharya ji. Sri Adi Shankara ji was India’s greatest philosopher who added new dimensions in Advaita Darshana. This temple is managed by Shri Kanchi Kamkoti Peeth.

Entrance  Gate Of This Temple.

Entrance Gate Of This Temple.

Various episodes from the life of  Sri Adi Shankara have been shown via images carved on the walls of the temple. In this one, we find him having a dialogue with another great philosopher of his times Kumarila Bhatta :-)

Various episodes from the life of Sri Adi Shankara have been shown via images carved on the walls of the temple. In this one, we find him having a dialogue with another great philosopher of his times Sri Kumarila Bhatta 🙂

Now who can forget Sri Adi Shankara's debate with Sri Mandana Misra- a great Hindu philosopher :-) :-) :-)

Now who can forget Sri Adi Shankara’s debate with Sri Mandana Misra– a great Hindu philosopher ?  🙂 🙂 🙂

Just close to this temple one would find this beautiful shop selling decorative items made of brass and other metals!

Just close to this temple one would find this beautiful shop selling decorative items made of brass and other metals!

It's a beautiful affair to have a lonely walk on these roads in Sangam Area :-)

It’s a beautiful affair to have a lonely walk on these roads in Sangam Area 🙂

Close to the Sangam area lies Allahbad's  Daraganj area. Allahbadi's best remember it for Niralaji's presence, who happened to be doyen of Hindi literature. Notice his statue behind the vegetable shop!

Close to the Sangam area lies Allahbad’s Daraganj area. Allahbadis best remember it for Niralaji’s presence, who happened to be doyen of Hindi literature. Notice his statue behind the vegetable shop!

The rustic feeling which one gets on being streets leading to Daraganj is quite unique :-)

The rustic feeling which one gets on being streets leading to Daraganj is quite unique 🙂

This street is bit cleaner without losing  its rustic appeal :P

This street is bit cleaner without losing its rustic appeal 😛

And Daraganj area has its own railway station. Small stations have their own unique charm :P

And Daraganj area has its own railway station. Small stations have their own unique charm 😛

And I also came to notice these very beautiful calves in Daraganj area :P :P :P

And I also came to notice these very beautiful calves in Daraganj area 😛 😛 😛

Daraganj area has many well-known temples. One of them is associated with Goddess Shakti: Alopi Ma's Temple.  During Navratris there is huge flow of devotees :-)

Daraganj area has many well-known temples. One of them is associated with Goddess Shakti: Alopi Devi’s Temple. During Navratris there is huge flow of devotees 🙂

Inside view of Sri Alopi Devi's Temple :-)

Inside view of Sri Alopi Devi’s Temple 🙂

Now how can Lord Krishna remain far behind :P :P This temple known as  Rupa Gaudiya Math is part of Vaishnava cult. It's learnt that  Srila Prabhupada took initiation here from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati ji Maharaja!  Jai Sri Krishna :P :P

Now how can Lord Krishna remain far behind 😛 😛 This temple known as Rupa Gaudiya Math is part of Vaishnava cult. It’s learnt that Srila Prabhupadaji  took initiation here from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati ji Maharaja! Jai Sri Krishna 😛 😛

And the life goes on in routine way on streets running parallel to this temple :-)

And the life goes on in routine way on streets running parallel to this temple 🙂

And I also came to notice this Sanskrit College Associated With Sampoornananda University, Varanasi :-)

And I also came to notice this Sanskrit College associated with Sampoornananda University, Varanasi, in Daraganj area 🙂

Have you tasted Dehati Rasgulla :P  If not, then it's time for you to taste them :P. My favourite shop lies in Bairahana area..During my college days, this was my favourite place for Rasgullas :P ...And notice the huge crowd :P

Have you tasted Dehati Rasgulla 😛 If not, then it’s time for you to taste them :P. My favourite shop lies in Bairahana area..During my college days, this was my favourite place for Rasgullas 😛 …And notice the huge crowd 😛

They taste really good :P...Just have them before I come back with Part 2 of photo feature associated with Allahabad :P :P

They taste really good :P…Just have them before I come back with Part 2 of photo feature associated with Allahabad 😛 😛

P.S. :- The copyright of these images rests with the author of this post. Anybody making use of them without prior permission of the author, or without giving due credit to the author, could be penalized as per legal norms.

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 References:

Allahabad: City Of True Beauty, Real Romance And Mysticism (Photo Feature Part 2)

Allahabad: A City Wherein Global Salutes The Local (Photo Feature Part 3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Khushwant Singh: The Writer Who Made Reading An Interesting Affair!

I would not remember Khushwant Singh as a writer who dealt with women, wine, kisses and sex in his writings, but I would always remember him as a writer who made it easy for me to write simple English in an age when writing has got wedded to complexities!

I would not remember Khushwant Singh as a writer who dealt with women, wine, kisses and sex in his writings, but I would always remember him as a writer who made it easy for me to write simple English in an age when writing has got wedded to complexities!

I have always been a great fan of writings of Khushwant Singh. That’s because his style of writing made reading an interesting affair, an engrossing episode. In fact, I did not subscribe to his ideological leanings but, nevertheless, I always found enough time to have a look at his write-ups. In literary circles, he was known for bringing forth history of Sikhs. It was a voluminous affair and he did that with perfection. Besides that novels like Train to Pakistan substantiated his fame as a writer.

I remember well that I had habit of reading novels in college days but slow reading never allowed me to finish the novels in one go. Being student of English Literature my bond with English novels deepened with each passing moment in those years. One of my classmates, who loved to buy novels in his limited pocket money, bought this novel but kept it a secret, knowing well that if by chance I came to know about the whole thing, the novel would soon become a history for him. Unfortunately, all things hidden secretly are spotted easily by me. I carried this novel to my home, much against his desire, but I returned this novel to him just after few days. It came as a huge surprise for him since I was infamous for keeping novels for months at my home. I told him that this novel was written in such a lucid way that it made reading a pleasant affair.

Train to Pakistan records tragic events related with Partition of India. It was a complex theme of which I had become aware of through TV serials like Tamas. And so I was not interested in reading again anything related with same theme but once I started reading this novel not for a moment I found reading becoming a dull task. It was written in such a soul-stirring manner that you were left with no other alternative other than to read from start to finish, devoid of long breaks! That explains as to why he emerged as such a popular writer among all the class of people. His writings were devoid of flamboyant and bombastic expressions. He wrote in simple English- something that you also notice when you are reading works of R K Narayan- which attracted even those readers having aversion for anything written in English!

Nowadays I meet many readers who complain that reading has become such a difficult task because modern day writers, especially award-winners, have given way to complex phrases, weird expressions, and meandering sentence constructions which more often than not leave them confused and irritated. However, this was not the case with Khushwant Singh. His column “With Malice towards One and All” which featured in English dailies and “Na Kahu Se Dosti Na Kahu Se Bair” which found space in Hindi newspapers broke all records of popularity. The anecdotes, and daily dose of humour which marked these columns served as life-line for many readers besides ensuring a respectable circulation.

Now having turned writer myself, I feel grateful to writers like Khushwant Singh, R K Narayan and Ruskin Bond, who taught me the art of writing simple English. I mean they taught me how to narrate serious episodes in easy language without compromising with seriousness inherent in them! I would not remember Khushwant Singh as a writer who dealt with women, wine, kisses and sex in his writings, but I would always remember him as a writer who made it easy for me to write simple English in an age when writing has got wedded to complexities!

One of the most important works of Khushwant Singh!

One of the most important works of Khushwant Singh!

Pics Credit:

Pic One

My Recent Write-Ups Which Appeared In Blogosphere As Well As In Mainstream Media!

It’s quite a strenuous affair to be sandwiched between demands of social media and mainstream media. Both the mediums in our times have attained new heights. However, it’s a great accomplishment if a writer/journalist is getting sufficient space in both the mediums at the same time. Fortunately, my writings managed to appear in mainstream publications without much canvassing on my part. I never had to heed to confrontational attitude to convince the editors from mainstream media to understand the relevance of writings which had first appeared in virtual world. 

That’s because before I moved to virtual world I had already found space as Writer/Contributor/Freelancer/Letter Columnist in all leading national and International publications which include Time, Newsweek, The Hindu, The Telegraph, The Statesman, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, India Today, Outlook, The Week, Harmony, The Sunday Indian, Hardnews, Critique, Tehelka, Northern India Patrika and Soham, to name a few. Today when I have primarily got confined to virtual space, the write-ups still appear in Northern India Patrika- a leading newspaper published from Allahabad. It’s one of the oldest newspapers published in India, being sister publication of now defunct Amrit Bazar Patrika (Kolkata) which had started in 1868.

Recent write-ups which appeared in mainstream media:

1.  Vishal Bhardwaj: A Genuine Music Composer In Times When Indian Music Directors Have Become Copycats

Appeared in Media Musings Column of Northern India Patrika On December 08, 2014.

Appeared in Media Musings Column of Northern India Patrika On December 08, 2013.

2. Unleashing Magic Of “Triple S” Of Indian Cinema: Sahir Ludhianvi, Shakeel Badayuni and Shailendra!

Appeared in Media Musings Column of Northern India Patrika On December 22, 2013

Appeared in Media Musings Column of Northern India Patrika On December 22, 2013

3. Rape Allegation That Led To Suicide of Kurshid Anwar: A Resounding Slap On The Face Of Media!

Appeared in Northern India Patrika's Editorial Column On January 07, 2014.

Appeared in Northern India Patrika’s Editorial Column On January 07, 2014.

4. Swami Vivekananda: A Spiritual Powerhouse Who Really Understood The Potential Of Youths!

Appeared in Northern India Patrika's Editorial Column On January 18, 2014.

Appeared in Northern India Patrika’s Editorial Column On January 18, 2014.

5.  News Item Related With Speech I Gave In Allahabad On January 12, 2014, At Jagat Taran Girls Degree College.

News Related With Speech I Delivered As A Guest Speaker In An Event Organized At Jagat Taran Girls Degree College To Celebrate The Birth Anniversary Of Swami Vivekananda. It's The Same Venue  Where Couple Of Days Back President Of India Pranab Mukherjee Addressed The Gathering Of Students!

News Related With Speech I Delivered As A Guest Speaker In An Event Organized At Jagat Taran Girls Degree College To Celebrate The Birth Anniversary Of Swami Vivekananda. It’s The Same Venue Where Couple Of Days Back President Of India Pranab Mukherjee Addressed The Gathering Of Students! This News Item Appeared In Northern India Patrika On January 13, 2014.

5. The Times Of India’s News Coverage

The Times Of India News Item Related With Speech I Delivered.

The Times Of India News Item Related With Speech I Delivered. This News Item Appeared On January 21,2014

6. That’s Myself Giving Speech At Jagat Taran Girls Degree College On January 12, 2014.

Giving Speech In Allahabad Is A Great Feeling. After All, It's A Place Associated With Great Thinkers, Intellectuals And Writers!  I Gave The Speech At Jagat Taran Girls Degree College On January12, 2014. That's The Same Venue Where President Of India Pranab Mukherjee Also Delivered The Speech Some Days Back.

Giving Speech In Allahabad Is A Great Feeling. After All, It’s A Place Associated With Great Thinkers, Intellectuals And Writers! I Gave The Speech At Jagat Taran Girls Degree College On January12, 2014. That’s The Same Venue Where President Of India Pranab Mukherjee Also Delivered A  Speech Some Days Back.

 

 

 

Unleashing Magic Of “Triple S” Of Indian Cinema: Sahir Ludhianvi, Shakeel Badayuni and Shailendra!

Sahir: The Poet Very Close To My Heart!

Sahir: The Poet Very Close To My Heart!

  

         (Also published in Northern India Patrika, December 22, 2013)

Once upon a time Hindi movie songs acted as anti-depressants. Now Hindi film music gives rise to depression! Modern songs devoid of meaning and set upon incoherent beats in the name of music give rise to headache instead of removing it! Earlier songs depicted certain philosophy, which added a new dimension in the script of the movie. The movies made by Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt and Raj Kapoor effectively used songs to introduce new twist in the story. It’s altogether a different story in modern cinema. There are item numbers or poorly inserted hopelessly romantic numbers.

First, there is dearth of talented lyricists and, second, there is lack of good music directors. The bunch of music directors that we see are primarily technocrats, relying heavily on technology. Some will argue that we have talented lyricists but the ability to write one or two catchy one-liners doesn’t make anyone a lyricist! Listen the lyrics and it would be hard for you to decide whether it’s an English song, or a Punjabi song, or a Hindi song.  Look at the music compositions. It’s either for the hip-hop generation or it’s for the night clubs. It’s not merely that times have changed and we need to adjust to new trends. There is something terribly wrong with the creativity involved in making of songs! Should we not assume that capitalistic traits have murdered real creativity? Overseas rights of distribution, heavy fees extracted from rights of satellite channels and numerous other equations enjoy greater concern than ensuring bliss! 

I do not wish to appear stupidly nostalgic caught in the time warp. As an evidence of the creativity, which prevailed in 50s and 60s, I am presenting four songs of lyricists who have really inspired me a lot. Every time I come to hear a song written by them, it leaves me in state of intoxication. I am referring to trio comprised of Sahir Ludhianvi, Shakeel Badauini and Shailendra. These “Triple S” always stirred my emotions to no extent.  

Shakeel Badayuni: Great Poets Are Always Down-To-Earth!

Shakeel Badayuni: Great Poets Are Always Down-To-Earth!

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1. Ye Raat Ya Chandni Phir KahanListen this song from Hindi movie Jaal (1952). The heavenly voice of Hemant Kumar, wonderful composition by S D Burman and soul stirring  verses by Sahir Ludhianvi made this song timeless!  Guru Dutt was the director of this movie- a thriller which involved Dev Anand, Geeta Bali and Purnima. Excellent cinematography by VK Murthy has made this song a poetry carved on silver screen. As I said the songs of this era were borrowed from literature. This song echoes the eternal theme that “time and tide wait for no man” – “Ek baar chal diye ager tujhe pukar ke laut ke na aayenge kaafile bahar ke”. The movie depicted Goan Christian culture and so we find the music having western effect based on sweet Guitar pieces. However, the most important aspect about this song is that it’s based on Raga Kafi, which is a midnight raga. That matches with the picturization of the song, depicting a moonlit night! 

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Shailendra:  He Always Lived A Simple Life. That's Why He Emerged As Icon Of  Simplicity!

Shailendra: He Always Lived A Simple Life. That’s Why He Emerged As Icon Of Simplicity!

2. Suhana Safar Aur Ye Mausam Haseen

Bimal Roy’s Madhumati (1958) is very close to my heart. Not only it strengthens our belief in re-birth, a prominent concept in Indian philosophy, but also it makes us believe in the power of true love. As per this movie the impact of true love transcend many generations. This movie is really a classic in world cinema. Right from the first scene till the last frame of this movie, it keeps the viewer in state of trance with its gripping presentation of the story and its enchanting music. I remember when I went to see this movie in a theater couple of months ago in a film festival, the theater was jam-packed. Not a single seat was available. And I saw many of the viewers sitting on the floor of the balcony and many others still having argument with the gate-keeper to move inside even as the movie had started. Shailendra and Salil Chaudhary made each song a masterpiece. Well, this time I wish to introduce first song of this movie “Suhana Safar Aur Ye Mausam Haseen”. Every time I move on a beautiful passage passing through the valleys, I always come to remember this song. Shailendra has borrowed the appeal present in poems of Wordsworth. Nature has come alive in this song where one can actually feel that clouds are kissing the earth! – “Ye Aasman Jhuk Raha Hai Jameen Par”. Notice the wonderful prelude of this song. It’s so impressive that it has virtually become part of my consciousness! Immediately you come to realize that this song features mountains! That’s the magic of these songs. One of my favourite past-time in school and college days was to identify the song after listening clip of prelude. Anyway, it’s time to listen the whole song! Also notice the way how great maestro Bimal Da has picturized this song! 

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3. Aaj Purani Raho Se Koi Mujhe 

That’s  a song which speaks volume about the singing ability of Mohammed Rafi. It’s been so deeply and soulfully sung by Rafi that it leaves you speechless. Aadmi was released in 1968 which had music under direction of Naushad and songs were penned by Shakeel Badayuni. Naushad had a special place for Shakeel in his heart and he went out of the way to help Shakeel in his last days troubled both by financial crisis and bad health. The movie highlighted love triangle and fascinating performances on part of Dilip Kumar, Waheeda Rahman and Manoj Kumar made it an unforgettable movie. The song makes it clear that one can be strong willed even if one’s heart and mind have been shattered by the cruel twists and turns of the fate. The song has tragic melody which not only depicts personal loss but also highlights that pain ultimately leads to realization of highest type- perfect union with the Lord! The camera work is wonderful in this song as it captures the roaring sea waves hitting the rocks! The song makes an appeal that someone who has begun a new journey should not be haunted by the past episodes of life! 

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Shailendra’s fame attained new heights after the release of Vijay Anand’s Guide (1965). It is considered to be one of the finest movies made in Bollywood. Hats off to the courage of Vijay Anand, who went ahead with the release of this movie despite failure of  movie version of  R K Narayan’s ‘The Guide’ in English. The distributors were very much impressed with the efforts of Vijay Anand. The Hindi version proved out to be phenomenal success. S D Burman was seriously ill during making of this movie but he regained health to create some unforgettable numbers. “Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai” became one of the representative songs of women’s emancipation. However, I wish to present this number which represents the pinnacle of love, commitment and togetherness. Shailendra was a class poet, who had gifted ability to write verses in most simple language without losing sight of loftiness. When I hear these immortal songs and contrast them with songs made in present era a sense of discomfort prevails within. Well, instead of lamenting about the loss of creativity, let’s hear this song which is an ode to love and get lost in an era when music was a way to connect with higher forces!
 Pics Credit: 

Pic One 

Pic Two 

Pic Three

Meeting The Giants In World Of Writing: My Precious Moments With Ruskin Bond And Gulzar

Ruskin Bond: From His Writings I Learnt The Art Of Writing Simply!

Ruskin Bond: From His Writings I Learnt The Art Of Writing Simply!



The world of writing is marred by strange twists and turns. It’s never easy for a writer, whether established or novice, to keep pace with time in an easy-going manner in world dominated by materialistic principles, which treats nurturing aesthetic pleasures as some sort of waste of time. When selling rose becomes more worthwhile task than to appreciate its scent, it’s quite certain that one would not gain much by falling in love with creative pursuits. I faced extremely tough conditions with humiliating episodes taking place quite frequently, but I always tried not to take them to heart, remembering that great writers of previous eras also received similar treatment. Pain and humiliation do not break a writer ( unless destiny has predestined such a fate) but make him gain more insights, not available to ordinary mortals. The other thing that really kept me going ahead with ease despite huge setbacks was constant support of extremely talented souls, who appeared at various stages of my life as friends and colleagues. Apart from them, I feel really privileged that I also got an opportunity to spent some precious moments with towering figures in world of literature. These very special moments still keep me spirited and cheerful in depressing times even as memories related with those meetings have been clouded by the affairs of time.

I met Ruskin Bond and Gulzar at a time when my bonhomie with the writing world was gaining depth. However, after meeting them, I became certain that being a writer was no crime! I always met people who stupidly asked me( and thereby revealing the actual worth of their grey cells) about my work sphere even as I told them that I write! ” It’s okay that you write but what work you do?” That’s the sort of queries which always chased me. Thank God such queries today neither appear nor they have any relevance left in my life. The sight of Gulzar and Ruskin had left me spellbound, although I had met them separately, but exhibition of feelings remained the same.

I became the fan of Ruskin Bond at the very moment when in one of the boring literature classes of my school, I first came to read his story “The Eyes Have It”. The intensity of emotions expressed in this story fascinated my young heart to great extent. Though my class teacher, the other school mates and the old-fashioned academic standards, compelled me to anticipate the story in a given way, I came to visualize many other things as I read this story. And that’s why I met Ruskin Bond not only as reader but also as a writer! It’s the writings of Ruskin which taught me that how you say is equally important as what you come to say! However, the greatest lesson Ruskin taught me was that great writing is simple writing! Never use bundle of complicated expressions, which make a reader be involved more in picking up a dictionary than being lost in the content of the post! It’s one of the reasons why I avoid reading Arundhati Roy unless I have to sleep early!

The impressions left by Ruskin can also be traced in my being!

The impressions left by Ruskin can also be traced in my being!

Ruskin Bond, the Sahitya Akademi and Padma Shri awards winner, visited Allahabad, circa 2003. He had come here to attend promotional event organised by a leading publisher Rupa & Co. I wasn’t prepared for this meeting, but the moment I heard news of his arrival, I got prepared my manuscript related with my first unpublished anthology- The Petals Of Life.  When I met him, I saw him surrounded by his well-wishers. I waited for my turn, and fortunately when my turn came he had some spare moments. He gave a fabulous smile when I introduced myself as a writer and informed him about my literary pursuits. When I handed him my poems, he seemed to be very pleased by this gesture. He patted my back and asked me to keep writing. Though he was tired but he still obliged me by giving me his autograph at number of places. Our conversations lasted for few minutes but the undercurrents still remain alive. And so I refuse to leave the company of pen!

Gulzar- the Oscar Award winner lyricist-also visited Allahabad, at the invitation of same publisher, during the same period. My meeting with him was once again a hurried affair than a pre-planned affair. When I reached the place where he was about to arrive after couple of hours, I was apprehensive about the meeting. However, call it my luck, despite presence of huge crowd, I created space for my meeting with this amazing man. It was hard for my eyes to acknowledge the fact that maker of landmark movies like Aandhi, Ijaazat, Kitaab, Parichay and Achanak, to name a few, was sitting right before my eyes. Like always, this time, too, he was clad in white kurta-pajama. And like always donned his lips a typical smile, which any Gulzar fan would easily recognize had he/she been noticing photographs of him quite sincerely. To be honest, I had not read enough literature penned by him but I had watched his movies and heard his songs with exceptional zeal and abnormal seriousness. And that’s why his “surrealism” permeated in my writings as well. Anyway, he remained seated in relaxed way. When I informed him about my credentials, his faced remained expressionless yet I noticed that he was pretty conscious! And as I finished saying what I had to say, he gave a very deep look at me. A stare that refused to leave me and became part of my being. I left the space after spending couple of minutes with him but as I came out of that place and headed towards my home these particular lines from this immortal song “Aknhon Mein Humne Aapke” kept appearing and disappearing within mind’s chamber-

              “नज़रे उठाई आपने तो  वक्त रुक गया

               ठहरे हुए पलो में जमाने बिताये है “

         – When you looked at me, the time stopped
         And in those moments I came to live many lives.

Many thanks to these gentlemen who appeared at a very important juncture in my life. I needed some genuine encouragement and their generosity in display of emotions proved to be a tonic for my spirit chased by uncertainties. The uncertainties remain the same but my spirit attained the required evolution and so my writings. And so I am still writing! Pervert critics remain the same and situation remains hopeless like always and yet I am above all these negative concerns. A proof that meeting such enlightened gentlemen did not go in vain.

Gulzar: I still remember that I met you!

Gulzar: I still remember that I met you!

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Excerpts from the story ” The Eyes Have It” :

“I wondered if I would be able to prevent her from discovering that I was blind. Provided I keep to my seat, I thought, it shouldn’t be too difficult.”

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“The man who had entered the compartment broke into my reverie.

‘You must be dissapointed,’ he said. ‘I’m not nearly as attractive a traveling companion as the one who just left.’

‘She was an interesting girl,’ I said. ‘Can you tell me – did she keep her hair long or short?’

‘I don’t remember,’ he said, sounding puzzled. ‘It was her eyes I noticed, not her hair. She had beautiful eyes – but they were of no use to her. She was completely blind. Didn’t you notice?’”

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Song: Ankhon Mein Humne Aapke..

Movie: Thodi Si Bewafai

Singers: Lata and Kishore

Lyricist: Gulzar

Music: Khayyam

Gulzar: That's The Way He Smiles!

Gulzar: That’s The Way He Smiles!

Reference:

Rupa & Co.

Penguin’s List Of Books Written By Ruskin Bond

Poems Of Gulzar-Kavita Kosh

Pics Credit:

Gulzar’s Image

In Conversation With A Well-Known Author: Revealing The Flaws Of Sourav Ganguly In Company Of Ramachandra Guha!

 

Sourav Ganguly: He also introduced divisive tendencies in the Indian Team!

Sourav Ganguly: He also introduced divisive tendencies in the Indian Team!


Sourav Ganguly’s 
contributions for the Indian Cricket Team cannot be ignored. He introduced the concept of aggressive captaincy.However, having said that, the fact that he systematically destroyed the harmonious unity which held the players together in previous eras is too bitter to be digested easily.The Indian Team, during his regime, also gave way to factionalism, wherein team spirit gave way to individualism of most worst type.  That’s why it’s hard to acknowledge him as a good captain. He might have been a successful captain but, in the same breath, it cannot be argued in his favour that he was a good captain.

That became clear as I discussed the same controversial aspect in conversation with Ramachandra Guha- the eminent historian whose passion for cricket makes us smile. He and Prabhash Joshi make it clear that even intellectuals dealing with grim issues can fall in love with charm of cricket! Anyway, this conversation took place some eight years back but that in no way undermines its relevance. After all, the game of cricket has shifted to lesser values in recent days.

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My Viewpoint:

This has reference to Ramachandra Guha’s article “Two cheers for Ganguly” published in The Telegraph on January 08, 2005. The naked truth about Ganguly is that he has failed to maintain a safe distance from narcissistic tendencies. Something that has always caused the downfall of the Emperors ( read Maharajas), who, however, were endowed with refined qualities. This fatal flaw in his personality has been behind the numerous judgmental blunders made by him in recent times- apparently a period that blemishes his stupendous achievements. The observation might sound cynical but the fact confirm this suspicion.

What could be the reason behind his strange absence from the crucial encounter with the Australians in the recent Border-Gavaskar Trophy? Well, cover-ups such as ‘mysterious injury’  aren’t enough to hide the glaring shortcomings in his mannerism, or, for that matter, satiate the curiosity, of his admirers, who unfortunately expect too much from him. Again he does not believe in the rule that match is open till the last bowl. His usual and the first line of defense at tense moments is either thrust himself or rope in one of his favourites. Instead of appearing composed, he looks more like wrecked ship in deciding hours.

Steve Waugh, Naseer Hussain and even Hansie Cronje depicted a much better attitude than him to safely rise above the critical situations. Without overshadowing his contributions, it would not be wrong to state that he does not qualify to share the platform with above mentioned gentlemen. They played solely for their teams and individual considerations never prevented them from framing innovative methods to take their team to glorious heights. Hasn’t Ganguly missed the bus?

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Ramachandra Guha: A Historian In Love With Cricket!

Ramachandra Guha: A Historian In Love With Cricket!

Ramachandra Guha’s Viewpoint:

Thanks for your mail, which very nicely elaborates which I had merely hinted at but not explicitly expressed.

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About Ramachandra Guha:

Ramachandra Guha (born 29 April 1958) is an Indian historian and writer whose research interests include environmental, social, political and cricket history. He is a professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) where he currently holds the position of Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs. He is also a columnistfor the newspapers The Telegraph (syndicated in several Indian languages) and Hindustan Times. A regular contributor to various academic journals, Guha has written extensively for the magazines The Caravan and Outlook.

His recent book “India after Gandhi” has managed to stir hornet’s nest.

Source: Wikipedia

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Even Serious Thinkers Cannot Remain Above Charm Of Cricket!

Even Serious Thinkers Cannot Remain Above Charm Of Cricket!

Suggested Reading: 

Ramachandra Guha: Two Cheers For Ganguly, The Telegraph, January 08, 2005.

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Pics Credit: 

Pic One 

 

In Conversation With A Well-Known Author: A Discussion On Future Of West Asia With Bill Kirkman

Obama: Trying To Change The Approach!

Obama: Trying To Change The Approach!



Not much has changed in Middle East since my last conversation with Bill Kirkman in 2006. Israel and Palestine relations continue to remain tense even as US has given way to tactical shift in its policies aimed at bringing stability in that region. It has become more people oriented than relying absolutely on state-to-state negotiations.

Obama’s words make that aspect very clear– “Speaking as a politician, I can promise you this: political leaders will not take risks if the people do not demand that they do. You must create the change that you want to see…..Look to the future that you want for your own children – a future in which a Jewish, democratic state is protected and accepted, for this time and for all time. … There will be many voices that say this change is not possible. But remember this: Israel is the most powerful country in this region. Israel has the unshakeable support of the most powerful country in the world. Israel has the wisdom to see the world as it is, but also the courage to see the world as it should be.” 

It would be interesting to know the views which flowed between us as we discussed this very sensitive issue seven years back.

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My Viewpoint:

This has reference to Bill Kirkman’s article A war that is morally indefensible published in The Hindu on August 06, 2006. Well, the kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers by the Hamas and brutal murder of some of its soldiers by Hizballah were enough to fan the suppressed desires of Israeli. It’s time to acknowledge the fact that in war both the sides end up as losers. Let’s not intercept it as clash of civilization but clash of religious ideologies. However, it’s a harsh reality that none of the religious ideologies advocate violence but the fallacious interpretation of them by their followers leads to volcanic atmosphere. A situation which is cashed-in-on by the US and its like-minded allies to serve their vested interests. Unless the followers come to elevate their consciousness, it would be nothing sort of foolhardiness to expect miraculous changes in the future. 

President Bush must heed to the words of Churchill: ” The statesman who yields to war fever ….is no longer the master of policy but the slave of  unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.” Surely, the way events have taken shape in Iraq, shattering American hopes one after another, should be enough for the US to intercept the dangers in pursuing imperialist designs in the name of restoration of human rights. 

However, Americans love to ignore the lessons offered by past debacle. Had US remembered setback it received in Vietnam, it would have certainly curtailed its habit of pulling the strings of weaker nation on one pretext or another.

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Words Of Bill Kirkman: 

Thank you for writing. I was interested in your comments. I agree that in war both sides end up as losers. I take a very gloomy view of the future of West Asia.

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About Bill Kirkman: 

” He began his career as a journalist on the Wolverhampton Express & Star, which he joined on graduating from Oxford. Bill then moved on to The Times, where he was Africa Correspondent and Commonwealth Staff Correspondent in the early 1960s, covering the period of rapid de-colonisation. He is the author of Unscrambling an Empire (Chatto & Windus 1966) and has been a columnist for The Hindu since 1994. He was a frequent broadcaster with the BBC World Service and Africa Service in the 1960s, and with BBC Radio Cambridgeshire in the 1990s. In 1983 Bill was awarded the MBE for services to journalism…..Bill was Head of the University Careers Service from his arrival in Cambridge in 1968 until 1992 (following four years as Careers Advisor at Oxford) and University Advisor on Public Relations 1992-1996.” 

Source: Wolfson College Cambridge

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A War Takes Its Toll On Innocents!

A War Takes Its Toll On Innocents!

Suggested Reading:

Bill Kirkman: A war that is morally indefensible; The Hindu, Aug 06, 2006.

Max Fisher: How Obama just reframed the Israel-Palestine conflict;  The Washington Post, March 21, 2013.

Pics Credit:

Pic One

Pic Two

In Conversation With Well- Known British Author Jeremy Seabrook On Education System

JeremySeabrook: Never Missed To Say Right Words Always

JeremySeabrook: Never Missed To Say Right Words Always!

In the long writing career, spanning over nearly two decades, I got many chances to interact with enlightened minds and share with them a piece of my mind in matters pertaining to critical issues. A long back ago when I was regular contributor for The Statesman’s Viewpoint Column ( Calcutta Edition), I came in touch with Jeremy Seabrook who was then writing for one of its popular columns.

This conversation related with falling standards of education system took place after I came to read his article” Learning Revisited” published in The Statesman on March 14, 2005.

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My  Viewpoint: 

Your write-up is an eye-opener, allowing one to reckon with the hidden facets of education. I am appalled at the manner in which institutions offering so-called gems of knowledge, which in reality are antithetical to creative tendencies lying latent within the recipients, have solidified their base. One reason for it could be that parents are now no longer interested in “value-oriented” teaching methods, simply because it stands in the way of attaining ‘name and fame’. No wonder this could be the reason behind the mind-boggling network of coaching factories, which are making huge profit in the name of offering conductive atmosphere for cracking the entrance tests. 

This attitude of parents has brought a sea change in the attitude of present day students, who weigh everything in materialistic yardsticks or, in other words, in rupee:dollar ratio. After all, who has time for values in the fast-paced life of ours! The real quest for supreme knowledge would always remain a distant dream in absence of change of mindset, especially the parents.  Well, it’s never too easy to change mindset without giving way to measures mired in transparent means. What has guaranteed failure of projects in this regard has been wide gap between theory and practice besides infrastructural bottlenecks. Let’s realize that mere propaganda is not going to solve this issue. 

Unfortunately, this is what both Left and Right wings are used to. Their stances, diametrically opposite to each other, have wiped out the vigour of those wishing to make worthwhile contributions, so much so that if one does not yield to their outdated notions one is bound to invite troubles of all sorts. The message is clear: Rise above ideological fanaticism to stop the degradation of education system, something so imperative to prevent the innocent minds turning into  robot. 

Vivekananda rightly remarked that ” education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and run riot there, undigested, all life. We must have life-building, man-making, character-making assimilation of ideas”. Will anyone please translate this into reality? 

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Jeremy Seabrook: One Of The Great Writers Who Inspired Me To Keep Writing!

Jeremy Seabrook: One Of The Great Writers Who Inspired Me To Keep Writing!

Jeremy Seabrook’s Viewpoint:

Many thanks for your helpful and kind e-mail. Indeed, education has become not an end in itself, noble and worthwhile, but an instrument for material gain and industrial conformism. In this sense, of course, the educational system is only an emanation of the society that produces it, and an expression of the social values and mores of which it is a symptom. Intervention for change involves a complete change in the social and moral structures of globalism-no small thing, but a project we should not abandon simply because of its apparent attainability. 

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About Jeremy Seabrook:

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My first book was The Unprivileged, 1967, the story of my own family, a path breaking oral history from the late 18th century to the 1960s. This was followed by City Close-Up, a portrait, through the words of the people, of Blackburn in Lancashire.
 
In the 1970s, I wrote What Went Wrong? Working People and the Ideals of the Labour Movement; a book which, when published in the USA, was sub-titled Why hasn’t Having More Made People Happier?
 

Mother and Son, a memoir, appeared in 1980, and an indictment of Thatcher’s Britain,Unemployment, in 1982.
 
Work on India and Bangladesh followed, notably, Notes from another India and Children of Other Worlds, a comparison of child labour in nineteenth century London and present-day Dhaka in Bangladesh. My book, Love in a Different Climate, described how male same-sex relationships in India differ from those in the West.

 I have contributed to most major newspapers in Britain over the years, and have written for Granta. I am a regular contributor to New Internationalist – which has published three of my books in the last decade, most recently Consuming Cultures: Globalization and Local Lives. I write for Race and Class and Third World Resurgence, based in Penang, Malaysia.

Courtesy: http://jeremyseabrook.net/biography.html

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More About Jeremy Seabrook:

“He became an associate honorary fellow at the University of Bradford’s Department of Peace Studies 1995 to 1998 and an associate at the Institute of Race Relations, UK, from 2004 onwards.

He has made several documentaries for BBC radio and TV on social, environmental and developmental issues.

Since 1963, Seabrook has written for publications including: New Society, the Guardian, the Times, the Independent, New Statesman, New Internationalist, Race and Class, Third World Resurgence, Third World Network and others.

He has also written over 40 books, including;

Travels in the Skin Trade – looking at the psychology of western men who travel to southeast Asia for sexual adventures (Pluto Press).

A World Growing Old – the implications of an ageing population, north and south (Pluto Press).”

Courtesy: The Guardian

What will be her future?

What will be her future?

References:

Jeremy Seabrook

Guardian

The Statesman ( Kolkata Edition)

Pics Credit:

 


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