Monday, May 31, 2010

రాముడికి సీత ఏమవుతుంది

పుస్తక పరిచయము : రాముడికి సీత ఏమవుతుంది
రచయిత : ఆరుద్ర
వెల : యాభయి రూపాయలు

రాముడికి సీత ఏమవుతుంది? ఈ ప్రశ్నకి జవాబు అందరికి తెలుసు కాని చాలా దేశాలలో చాలా రామాయణాలు ఉన్నాయి వాటి గురించి తెలుసుకున్నాక ఈ ప్రశ్న ఎందుకు వచ్చింది అని తెలుస్తుంది.

మన దేశములో మన అందరికి తెలిసినది వాల్మీకి రామాయణము. దీనినే శ్రీ మద్రామాయణము అంటారు. ఇందులో ఆరు ఖండాలున్నాయి. మొత్తము ఇరువది నాలుగు వేల శ్లోకాలున్నాయి. మన ప్రాచీన భారత దేశానికీ చాలా దేశాలతో వర్తక వాణిజ్య సంభంధాలు ఉండేవి. అలా రామ కథ ఆసియా ఖండమంత అలుముకొంది. శ్రీలంక, టిబెట్, ఖోటాను, మంగోలియా, సైబీరియా, చైనా, జపాను, చంప, కంబోడియా,తైలాండ్, ఇండోనేసియా, మలేషియా, ఫిలిప్పీన్స్, బర్మా దేశాలలో రామాయణ గాధ చాలా ప్రాచుర్యములో ఉన్నది. ఈ కథలలో వాల్మీకి రామాయణములో లేని విషయాలు ఎన్నో ఉన్నాయి.

బౌధ రామాయణములో రాముడికి సీత చెల్లెలు. ఒక్క చెల్లెలే కాదు భార్య కూడా. ఖోటాను రామాయణములో రామలక్ష్మణులు ఇద్దరికీ భార్య. లావోసు రామాయణములో హనుమంతుడు రాముని కొడుకు. మలేషియా రామాయణములో మండోదరి దశరథుని పెద్ద భార్య. సీత రావణుని కూతురు. దశరథుని కొడుకు రావణాసురుని పుత్రికని పెళ్ళాడి రావణాసురుని చంపుతాడు. ఆ పుత్రిక పుత్రకామేష్టి లో పవిత్రమయిన ఒక అన్నము ముద్ద వల్ల పుట్టినదే. విద్దురలలాగా కనబడే ఈ విభిన్న రామాయణం కథలను శ్రధగా పరిశీలించాలి.

జైన రామాయణము ప్రకారము రామునికి నలుగురు భార్యలు. సీత, ప్రభావతి, రతినిభ, శ్రీరమ అని వాళ్ళ పేర్లు. లక్ష్మణునికి ఎనిమిదిమంది భార్యలున్నారు. బౌధ రామాయణము ప్రకారము దశరథుని పట్టపు రాణి ద్వారా ఇద్దరు కొడుకులు ఒక కూతురు పుట్టారు. వాళ్ళే రామ పండితుడు, లక్ష్మణ పండితుడు. కుమార్తె పేరు సీతాదేవి. ఇంకొక భార్య కొడుకు భరతుడు. దీనిలో ఆఖరున సీతాదేవిని, రామపండితుడు, లక్ష్మణ పండితుడు వివాహ మాడుతారు.

కాని మనకు ప్రామాణికము వాల్మికి రామాయణము మాత్రమే.

ఆసియా ఖండములోని వివిధ దేశాలలోని రామాయణాన్ని తెలుసుకోవాలంటే ఈ పుస్తకము చదవాలి.

Friday, May 28, 2010

పుస్తక పరిచయం : ద్రౌపది

రచయిత : ఆచార్య యార్లగడ్డ లక్ష్మీప్రసాద్
వెల : నూట ఇరువది రూపాయలు
ఈ పుస్తకము రచయిత కి దూషణ, భూషణ తిరస్కరాదుల్ని, ప్రసంసలని సంపాదించి పెట్టింది. సాహిత్య అకాడెమి పురస్కారాన్ని కూడా తెచ్చి పెట్టింది.

ఈ పుస్తకము మహాభారతము లోని ద్రౌపది పాత్ర చుట్టూ జరిగిన కథ. ఈ కథ లో కొన్ని వ్యాస భారతము లోని అంశాలు, కొన్ని వివిధ పుస్తకాల నుంచి తీసుకొన్నవి, కొన్ని రచయిత కల్పించుకొన్నవి కలిపి చెప్పారు. ద్రౌపదికి ఐయుదుగురు భర్తలు ఈ జన్మలో ఎందుకున్నారు? రచయిత చెప్పిన ప్రకారము ఆమె గత రెండు జన్మలలో కూడా కామేచ్చ తీరని స్త్రీ. దీనికి మూలము సంస్కృత భారతములోను, నన్నయ భారతములోను కూడా ఉన్నది. ఇంద్రసేన అనే పేరుతొ మౌద్గల్య మహర్షి భార్యగా గత జన్మ వృత్తాంతము ఇవ్వబడినది. మేరీ జన్మ లో కసి రాజు కుమార్తెగా జన్మించి వివాహము కానందున శివుని గురించి తపస్సు చేయగా ఆయన ప్రత్యక్షము అయినప్పుడు ఆమె అయిదు సార్లు భర్త ని ప్రసాదించమని తొందరలో అయిదు సార్లు అదిగినదట, శివుడు మెచ్చి అటులనే నీకు తరువాతి జన్మలో అయిదుగురు భర్తలు ఉంటారని వరమిచ్చినందున ఈ జన్మలో పాండవులకి భార్యగా పుట్టి తన కోరికలను తీర్చుకున్నది. ఇది కూడా మహాభారతములో చెప్పబడినది.

ద్రౌపది మహోన్నత వ్యక్తిత్వాన్ని, ఆత్మవిశ్వాసాన్ని, ఆమె సౌసీల్యాన్ని, కుమార్తెగా, సోదరిగా, భార్యగా, తల్లిగా, శ్రీకృష్ణుని సఖిగా, మహారాజ్నిగా, రాజనీతిజ్నురాలిగా, ఉత్తమ ఇల్లాలుగా, గృహిణిగ వివరించడమే తన ఉద్దేశ్యమని రచయిత అన్నారు. కాని, దాని కంటే ద్రౌపది తన అయిదుగురు భర్తలతో ఎలా కామేచ్చ తీర్చుకొన్నది చాల వివరముగా, అశ్లీల అంచుల దాక వివరించారు.

అసలు మహాభారత యుద్ధానికి కర్ణుడు, ద్రౌపదియే కారణమని వివరించారు. కుంతీదేవి చాలముందు గానే కర్ణుడు తన కొడుకు అని చెప్పిన యుధము జరిగేది కాదని రాసారు. ద్రౌపది పుట్టుక నించి మరణము దాక , సవివరముగా రాసారు. ద్రౌపది కోపాన్ని, తనకు అవమానము,నష్టము జరిగితే ఎలా పాండవుల ద్వార కౌరవుల మీద, అశ్వద్ధామ మీద, సైంధవుని మీద పగ తీర్చుకున్నదో చెప్పారు.

ఈ పుస్తకాన్ని ఎందరు ప్రసంసించారో అంతకన్నా ఎక్కువ మంది దూషించారు. అందువలననే ఇప్పటికి అయిదు ముద్రణలు జరిగాయి. పుస్తకాన్ని అలా విమర్శలు ద్వార బాగా మార్కెటింగ్ చేసారు.

కాని ఎలా ఉన్నా ఇది కొని తప్పక చదవవలసిన పుస్తకము.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Romeo and Juliet - Love Saga by William Shakespeare

CHARACTERS:

Capulets, Montagues : Two chief families of Verona at war

Romeo : Son to the old lord of Montagues

Rosaline : Beloved of Romeo

Benvolio : Friend of Romeo

Mercutio : Another friend of Romeo

Tybalt : A nephew of lord Capulet

Juliet : Daughter and heir to lord Capulet

Lawrence : Friar to a monastery

count Paris : The groom fixed for Juliet by her father

The two chief families of Verona , the rich Capulets and Montagues are at quarrel with each other. Their enmity is so severe even if servants of the two families cross each other on the road, they will fight with swords. Old lord Capulet once gave a great supper to which many fair ladies and noble guests are invited except Montagues. Rosaline, beloved of Romeo, but who does not love Romeo also attended. Benvolio, a friend of Romeo persuaded Romeo to attend the party with masks so that they cannot be recognized. The plan is for Romeo to see many ladies more beautiful than Rosaline.so that he will forget her.

To this feast of Capulets, Romeo with his friends Benvolio and Mercutio has attended wearing masks. Old Copulet invited them and asked them to dance with ladies. Romeo was struck with the exceeding beauty of a lady who danced there and praised her. Tybalt, the nephew of lord Capulet has recognized Romeo by voice and could have killed but for the Capulet coming in between. That lady is Juliet the daughter of lord Capulet. Romeo has fallen in love and Juliet also loved him for his good manners, looks and such features.

While returning from the party, Romeo without informing his friends, leaped the wall of an orchard and entered Juliet's house and hid below the room of Juliet. Juliet not knowing that Romeo is below came out of the house and said openly to herself that she is in love with Romeo and how good it would be had he not been from Montagues. O Romeo, Romeo ! said she, where art thou Romeo, Deny thy father, and refuse thy name, for my sake; or if thou wilt not, be but my sworn love, and I no longer will be a Capulet. Hearing these words Romeo came to know that Juliet also is loving him as he is loving her. He came out of the bush and both Romeo and Juliet found that they love each other very fondly even though they are from two families are almost at war with each other They have decided to get married the next day itself.

Romeo has met the friar in the monastery and requested him to get his marriage performed with Juliet. The good friar Lawrence thinking that with this marriage both the families will become friends has agreed. The next day friar performed the marriage of Romeo with Juliet. Juliet returned to her home. When Romeo with his two friends is returning , Tybalt has met them and picked up a quarrel. Against the good counseling of Romeo, his friend Mercutio and Tybalt drew their swords and fought. In the fight Tybalt killed Mercutio and challenged Romeo.

Against all his efforts to avoid the fight as he is now married to a Copulet, Romeo was forced to fight and in the fight Tybalt was got killed. The lords of both the families and the Duke himself have come there. The Duke became very angry and banished Romeo from Verona. Romeo felt that it is a death sentence to move out of Verona and not able to see his beloved Juliet. First Juliet felt angry,but later realized that if Tybalt is not slain, he would have killed Romeo. Lawrence has asked Romeo to go and stay in Mantua , for some time and he will inform about their marriage and talk reason to them, and see that Romeo returns back to Verona and live happily with his love Juliet.

But the next day lord Copulet has proposed the marriage of Juliet with count Paris a gallant, noble and young gentleman, a worthy suitor to Juliet if she had not seen Romeo. Juliet met Lawrence and told that she will die taking poison rather than marrying Count Paris forgetting Romeo. Lawrence asked her to be patient and have confidence in him and gave a potion asking her to drink before going to the bed. With its effect, she will go cold and become as if dead for next 42 hours. She agreed for it. Lawrence said he will send the message to Romeo and her Romeo will come before she regains her consciousness and take her to Mantua .

Going back she met the young count Paris and informed that she will become his bride. Her father lord Copulet also felt very pleased and once again Juliet became her darling daughter. On Wednesday night, Juliet drank off the potion. Next morning when count Paris came to pick her up, he came to know that she is dead. The entire house is in deep sorrow , and marriage arrangement turned out to be her funeral arrangements. She was buried in the vaults of Copulets, nearer to the corpse of Tybalt.

Bad news always travels faster than good, news brought the dismal story of his Juliet’s death to Romeo at Mantua, before the messenger sent by Lawrence has arrived appraising him of the mock funerals and his dear lady will be in the tomb for a short while, expecting when her Romeo will come and release her from the dreary mansion. Romeo purchased poison and returned to Verona at midnight and started to break open the monument. At that time count Paris came to the tomb to stew flowers and thought Romeo being a Montague has come to do some mischief. Romeo urged Paris to leave him. But a duel has started and Romeo has slain Paris in the fight. The page of Paris ran to inform to lord of Copulet about the fight. He took the body of Paris into the tomb to bury along with Juliet.

Here Romeo took the last leave of his lady and drank the poison he brought from Mantua and lay dead near Juliet. As the time of Juliet to get up has come , the friar Lawrence has come to take her to his home and was astonished to see the corpse of Romeo lying there. Before he could understand what has happened Juliet awoke out of her trance and asked the friar for her Romeo. Meanwhile voices have come indicating that many people are coming and out of fear Lawrence has run away. Seeing Romeo dead with a cup in hand , Juliet realized that he has died of poison and she with her dagger stabbed herself and lay dead by the side of Romeo.

Copulets and Montagues have arrived and the prince also came knowing about the commotion. Somebody has caught Lawrence and brought him. Asked by the prince, Lawrence has informed about the marriage of Romeo and Juliet, and the magic potion and all. After seeing the letters in the pocket of Romeo every one believed the facts told by Lawrence. The prince, turning to these old lords , rebuked them for their brutal and irrational enmities, and showed what tragedy occurred because of them. These old rivals agreed to bury their rivalry and be friends. But had they became friends before the young lives of Romeo and Juliet would have been saved.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare

Characters:

Syracuse, Ephesus : Two states at variance.

Epidamnum : Another place

Aegeon : Merchant of Syracuse found wandering in Ephesus

Corinth : another place

Antipholus : twin sons of Aegeon

Dromio : twin sons of the slave

duke Menaphor : uncle of duke of Ephesus

Adriana : wife of elder Antipholus

Luciana : sister of Adriana

Two states of Syracuse and Ephesus are at variance. There is a law in Ephesus that if any merchant of Syracuse is found in their state he was to be put to death or pay a thousand marks to save his life. Aegeon , an old merchant of Syracuse is found in Ephesus and brought before the duke for death sentence as Aegeon has no money to pay the fine of 1000 marks. The duke asked him to tell his story why he came to Ephesus even daring death if found.

Aegeon said that he is born in Syracuse and a merchant. H e is married to a very good lady. On the purpose of business, he went to Epidamnum for six months and as his stay is to be extended he called his wife to him. She gave birth to two identical twins both of whom are named Antipholus. Their slave lady also gave birth to two identical twins named Dromio. It is impossible to distinguish between the twins. As his wife asked to return to their native place, Aegeon has boarded the ship with his twin sons and twin sons of the slave to become slaves to his sons.

Suddenly, a dreadful storm broke. Aegeon has tied his younger son and the younger slave to the wooden mast and tied himself to the same. Before that, he tied his wife, elder twin and the elder slave to another wooden mast. The ship broke into two and both Aegeon and his wife are separated. He has seen that fishermen of Corinth have saved his wife and children . He himself also is saved by another ship and brought to Syracuse.

After eighteen years, his youngest son (Antipholus of Syracuse) with the permission of his father, accompanied by his slave went to other places in search of his mother and his identical twin but has not returned even after seven years. Hence Aegeon himself is touring in search of his both sons, wife and the attendants. In search of them only he entered Ephesus as he no longer cares for his life. Thus Aegeon told his story to the duke. The duke said he pities him but the law cannot be changed but if anyone pays the fine of 1000 marks today he will be set free.

Aegeon does not know that both his sons and the twin attendants are in Ephesus at the same time. His younger son Antipholus of Syracuse with his attendant Dromio entered Ephesus in search of his brother. As one of his friends informed him that any one from Syracuse will be put to death he disguised as a business man from Epidamnum. The eldest son (Antipolous of Ephesus) has lived for twenty years in Ephesus and became rich. The fishermen who saved him has sold him and his attendant to Duke of Menaphon who is the uncle of duke of Ephesus. Thus Aegeon, his two identical twin sons and the two identical attendants are in Ephesus at the same time to raise to comedy of errors.

The duke of Ephesus likes Antipholus and made him an officer in his army and once he saved the life of duke. Satisfied with this, the Duke married Antipholus to a rich lady Adriana.

The younger son (Antipholus of Syracuse) gave some money to Dromio and sent him to inn for arranging for the dinner. While he is thinking about how to find his brother, Dromio (as he thought) returned and asked him to come to the house for dinner as his mistress is waiting. What mistress asked Antipholus, Dromio replied your mistress, sir. Now, Antipholus having lost all patience beat Dromio as he does not know that he is not his attendant but of his elder brother. Dromio went to Adriana and reported the same and went out. Adriana went to the inn with anger and made the younger Antipholus and his attendant Dromio to come to the house and have dinner. During dinner, he is surprised to know that she is his wife and she has not agreed for his protests as the twins look alike. In the kitchen, Dromio also is surprised that the helper there called him as her husband.

When they are taking dinner behind the closed doors, the actual Antipholus and Dromio came home for dinner but the servants sent them away without even opening the door as Adriana instructed them not to disturb her as she is having dinner with her husband. After dinner, by some pretext Antipholus of Syracuse came out of the house and a goldsmith met him and gave a gold chain thinking him to be the Antipholus of Ephesus even without taking money. As the gold smith owes some money to another man and he has reported to an officer for the recovery, the officer arrested the goldsmith and asked for the money. Meanwhile, the original Antipholus came that way. The gold smith asked him to give the money for the gold chain but Antipholus of Ephesus informed that he has not taken any chain. Hence the officer has arrested the goldsmith and Antipholus of Ephesus also on the complaint of goldsmith. At that time, Dromio of Syracuse , his brother's slave has come there. He has asked Dromio to go home and get the money asking his wife thinking that he is his slave. Adriana gave money and sent Dromio.

Antipholus of Syracuse is walking in the streets. As Antipholus of Ephesus is well known in the city, everyone saluted his younger brother, some offered to return the money he gave to them, the tailor has shown the silks he has ordered and asked for the measurements to stitch, some invited him to come and see, some thanked him for the kindness he shown to him thinking him for his brother. His attendant Dromio came and asked him how the officer has released him and shown the money he brought from Adriana.

Another strange lady has come to him and asked him for the gold chain he has promised at dinner the other day. Younger Antipholus said that he has never seen her. She too mistook this man to be the married Antipholus. When he denied having seen her, she went to Adriana and told her that her husband has become lunatic. At that time, the husband of Adriana came with the jailor, given the money to him and became freed. When he and Dromio said that the money is not given to them , Adriana believed that her husband became mad and with the help of others confined him to a room and locked it.

After some time a servant came and told her that they escaped and are seen on the street near a convent. Adriana went there to fetch her husband. Seeing her, Antipholus of Syracuse ran into the convent and asked for protection of the abbess of the convent. Adriana has asked the abbess of the convent to handover her husband to her, who is lunatic and escaped the confinement. The lady abbess has refused to handover him.

Meanwhile, time has come for the death sentence of Aegeone. As the place is nearer to the convent, Aegeone is brought nearer to the convent and the Duke also came to oversee. Meanwhile, Antipholus and Dromio of Ephesus came there escaping the confinement Adriana has put them in. Antipholus of Syracuse came out of the convent with his attendant. The duke of Ephesus, Adriana, Aegeone and all others are surprised to see both the twins. Then the duke recognized them to be the sons of Aegeone who told his story in the morning and all are united. Another surprise is that abbess of the convent is none other than the wife of Aegeone and the mother of Antipholus.

Antipholus of Ephesus offered to pay the fine of 1000 marks for the release of his father. But, the Duke has said that he is waiving the fine. Thus the comedy of errors ended on a very happy note.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Merchant of Venice - Happy Story by Shakespeare!

Characters:
Shylock, the Jew                    :   Money lender and very cruel man in Venice
Antonio                                  :   Merchant of Venice , a very kind hearted man
Bassanio                                :   A good friend of Antonio
Portia                                     :   A rich heiress , lives in Belmont
Gratiano                                 :
Nerissa                                  :    waiting maid of Portia
 Bellario                                 :    Counsellor
Lorenzo                                  :   Son in law of Shylock
Balthasar                               :     Name of Portia when she acted as a male counsellor in disguise

                   Shylock,the Jew lived in Venice. He does money lending business and amassed an immense fortune. Shylock exacted his money with such severity that every one disliked him. Antonio is a merchant of Venice, a very kind hearted man, lends money to the people who are in distress and takes no interest. He is very kind, beloved by all the citizens. Hence he is much disliked by Shylock who secretly meditated to take revenge on Antonio.

                   Bassanio, a noble venetian is a good friend of Antonio. Bassanio has nearly spent all the money received from his parents. Antonio, being a friend assisted him with money whenever he needed. One day Bassanio told Antonio, that he loved one lady who has inherited large fortune from her father who has died recently and that he wants to marry her. But has no money to approach her properly, in good dress and to give good presents and he needs 3000 ducats for that. Antonio has no money with him at that time but as he is expecting his ships to arrive in short time. He told Bassanio that he will take loan from Shylock and give him.

                  Both of them approached Shylock and Antonio asked for a loan of 3000 ducats. Shylock thought this is the correct occasion when he can take revenge on Antonio. Shylock is ready to lend the money without interest if Antonio enters into a bond that if he did not repay the money by a certain day, he would forfeit a pound of flesh, to be cut off from any part of his body that Shylock pleased. Though Bassanio objects to this condition, Antonio thinking that his ships will return by that day enters into the bond.

                  Bassanio with this money went to Belmont with lot of followers and attended by a gentleman called Gratiano. Bassanio confessed to Portia that he had no fortune but a noble ancestry and a high birth. Portia says that she got a lot of fortune and wants a good hearted, noble man like Bassanio and agrees to marry him and gives a ring as present. Bassanio vowed never to part with it. Gratiano and Nerissa, the lady in waiting of Portia also wants to marry. Portia has agreed for their marriage.

                  At that moment, a messenger has come with a letter from Antonio, saying that all his ships were lost, his bond to Shylock is forfeited, he has to die as Shylock takes the flesh and wanted Bassanio to be by his side at that time.

                 Bassanio explained to Portia that his friend Antonio at the cost of life has lent him the money and he is now to die as he has not repaid within time. Portia sends Bassanio to Venice by giving lots of money and asks to plead with Shylock to take whatever money he wants and release Antonio. Portia immediately married Bassanio saying that the marriage will give lawful right to him on the properties of Portia.  After Bassanio has left, Portia thinks to go to Venice with her maid. She takes the advise of her friend, Bellario a good counselor and reaches Venice in a male counselor clothes on the day of the trial.

                 The cause was just going to be heard before the duke of Venice and senators in the senate. Portia in disguise  as a male counselor is defending Antonio. She told Shylock that he has got every right as per law of Venice to execute the bond but requested him to show mercy and take instead whatever money he wants . Shylock only answered her by desiring to have the penalty forfeited in the bond. Bassanio offered to take payment as many times as the Jew wanted. Portia said that laws once established must never be altered.  Portia said to Shylock a pound of Antonio's flesh is thine. The law allows it, and the court awards it. You get ready to cut the pound of flesh from his breast. When Shylock is ready with his knife, Portia said , this bond here gives you no drop of blood: the words expressly are a pound of flesh, not a pinch extra nor less. If a drop of blood comes, your lands and goods are by law to be confiscated to the state of Venice. Shylock having defeated in his foul act agreed to take the money. Portia again said Jew, by the laws of Venice your wealth is forfeited to the state, for having conspired against the life of one of its citizens and your life lies at the mercy of duke.

                   The duke proclaimed that he is pardoning his life but half his wealth goes to Antonio and other half comes to the state. Antonio said that he will give up his half share if Shylock promises to give that to his daughter who married Lorenzo against his wish. Shylock agreed. The court is closed. The duke offered the young counselor to have dinner with him, but she politely refused as she wanted to reach Belmont before Bassanio. As per the advise of the duke, Bassanio offered Portia 3000 ducats or more. But she has not accepted but asked him to give the ring that he is wearing. As Bassanio has promised to Portia not to part with the ring at any cost, he asked to take any thing but the ring. But she does not agree. Hence on the word of Antonio, he gives the ring to Portia who is in the disguise of young counselor. Nerissa who also gave her ring to Gratiano asked for it and he gave it to her.

                   After returning to their home, Portia and Nerissa waited for Antonio and Bassanio. When they returned during discussions Nerissa asked Gratiano for the ring and as he said that he gave it to the clerk , Portia asked Bassanio for the ring and he said that he gave it to the young counselor.  Portia, hearing this seemed very angry , and reproached Bassanio for giving away the ring. After reproaching Bassanio for some time she gave the ring to him and Bassanio recognized it and Portia that she is the young counselor and Nerissa her clerk. Meanwhile it has come to be known that the ships of Antonio were not lost but have reached the port safely and he again became very rich.

                   Thus the drama of Merchant of Venice ended on a very happy note.

శోభన్ బాబు జీవిత చరిత్ర

రచయిత : ఆకెళ్ళ రాఘవేంద్ర రావు
వెల : ౨౦౦ రూపాయలు

శోభన్ బాబు గారు మన అందరికి ఒక సినిమా నాయకుడు గానే తెలుసు. కాని అతను ఒక మహోన్నత వ్యక్తిత్వం గల మనిషి. నియమ నిబన్దలతొ జీవితాన్ని గడిపిన వ్యక్తి. ఎ పనిఅయిన ఎక్కడ మొదలు పెట్టాలో విజయం సాధించడానికి ఏమి చెయ్యాలో మన అందరికి తెలుసు. కాని ఎక్కడ ఆపితే ఆ విజయాన్ని ఆస్వాదించగలమో ఎంత మందికి తెలుసు . నిజానికి అది తెలియడమే విజయ రహస్యము . అది తెలిసిన వ్యక్తి శోభన్ బాబు గారు.

మనిషి అనేవాడు ఎలా ఉండాలి. తన తోటి మనిషి తో ఎలా ప్రవిర్తంచాలి నటుడు అనేవాడు
ఎలా ఉండాలి నడుకి సెట్ లో ఉన్న పరిమితులేమిటి ఒక నటుడు తోటి నటులతో ఎలా మెలగాలి, నిర్మాతను ఎలా మర్యాద ఇవ్వాలి దర్శకుల నుంచి లైట్ బాయ్ వరకు ఎలా పలకరించాలి అని తెలిసిన వ్యక్తీ శోభన్ బాబు గారు.

అతను చాల కష్టపడి పైకి వచ్చిన వ్యక్తి. డబ్బు విలువ తెలిసిన వ్యక్తి. డబ్బుని వృధాగా ఖర్చు చేయడము ఇష్టము లేని వ్యక్తి. అతనిలో ఒక పెద్ద ఆర్ధిక వెతను చూడవచు. ఈ పుస్తకములో అతను ఎన్ని సినిమాలలో నటించాడు ఎన్ని సత దినోత్సవాలు జరిగాయి ఎన్ని బాగా ఆడాయి అనే పట్టిక లేదు. కాని అతని వ్యక్తిత్వము గురించి ఉన్నది.

శోభన్ బాబు గారు నటనని ఒక వృతి గానే భావించారు. ఆదివారము పూర్తిగా సంసారినికి
కేటాయించారు. ఆదివారం షూటింగ్ లకు వెళ్ళరు. భూమిని నమ్ముకొన్న వ్యక్తి. మొదటినించి తన సంపాదన లో కొంత డబ్బు పెట్టి భూమిని కొన్నారు. అందరికి అదే సలహా ఇచ్హారు. ఆ సలహా విని ఎందఱో కోటీశ్వరులు అయ్యారు. సినిమాలు తీసి ఎందఱో నష్ట పొయ్యారని సినిమాలు తీయలేదు. పిసినారి అని అందరు అంటారు కాని డబ్బు విలువ తెల్సిన మనిషి అని అంటారు.

శోభన్ బాబు పుస్తకము ప్రతి ఒక్కరికి మార్గ దర్సకము కావాలి. మనిష వ్రుత్తి జీవితాన్ని విరమించే సమయానికి ఆర్ధిక భద్రతా అవసరము. రిటైర్ అయ్యాక కూడా హాయిగా బ్రతకాలి అంటే డబ్బు కావాలి. అందుకనే అయన స్తలాలు కొన్నారు. వ్యాపారము రాదు కాబట్టి ఆయనే ఆ స్తలాలలో బిల్డింగ్స్ కట్టి పెద్ద కర్పోరాటే ఆఫీసుస్ కి అద్దేకిచారు. అందరికి అందగాడు గానే గుర్తుండాలి అని అరవయి ఏళ్ళకే సినిమా లు మానుకొన్నారు. అతని జీవన విధానము ఒక పెర్సానాలిటి దేవేలోప్మేంట్ పుస్తకము.

అందరు కొని చదవవలసిన పుస్తకము ఇది.

Friday, May 21, 2010

King Lear!

                    Here is the famous and moving tragedy of a King who foolishly divides his kingdom between his two wicked daughters and estranges himself from the young daughter who loves him - a theatrical spectacle of outstanding proportions.
                   
Characters
Lear                        :      King of Britain
Goneril                    :      1st daughter of the king and wife of duke of Albany
Regan                      :     2nd daughter of the king and wife of duke of Cornwall
Cordelia                   :     3rd daughter of the king and to be married
King of France          :     Joint suitors who came to the court of king Lear to marry Cordelia
Duke of Burgundy     :
Earl of Kent              :    A good hearted man who loves the king very much

                          Lear, the King of Britain had three daughters. The first one Goneril is married to duke of Albany; the 2nd is married to duke of Cornwall. The King of France and Duke of Burgundy have come and staying in the court of the King to marry the third daughter Cordelia.

                          The king has become old and thought of giving the burden of governing the country to younger people. Hence he called his three daughters and asked which of them loved him the best.

                        The first daughter, Goneril has replied
                        
 Sir, I love you more than words can wield the matter,
                            Dearer than eye sight,space and liberty
                            Beyond what can be valued,rich or rare
                            No less than life,with grace,health,beauty,honor;
                            As much as child e'er loved,or father found;
                            A love that makes breath poor and speech unable,
                            Beyond all manner of so much I love you.

The king felt very happy and said that he will give one third of his kingdom to the eldest daughter. Then his second daughter said that she loves her father more than the first daughter and praised the king in many words. The king felt very happy and declared that he is giving another one third of his kingdom to his second daughter. Now lastly the third daughter Cordelia said that she loves him as has begot her, bred her, loved her and will return those duties as are right fit. She said after her marriage she will give half her love to her husband and half to father and will not give total love to father. The king became very angry and said that he is not giving any property to Cordelia and gave the balance one third kingdom to the first two daughters equally. 

             Earl of Kent who loved the king objected to this and told that the king can give the kingdom later but not now. King became angry on Earl of Kent and asked him to leave Britain in 6 days and on the seventh day, he will be killed if found in the country. 

            So, King Lear bifurcated his kingdom in two equal parts and gave to his first two daughters. The King said he will keep 100 knights with him and the fool to keep him company and also said he will stay with his two daughters by turns. He called the King of France and Duke of Burgundy and told them the same thing and asked who will marry Cordelia without any property. Duke of Burgundy refused to marry and left. But King of France said he wanted Cordelia only and not her kingdom and married and taken her to France to be her queen. The King Lear shifted to the house of the eldest daughter for the first month.

            Within no time Goneril, the first daughter has shown her true colors and started to ill treat the king. Her servants do not care for the orders of the King. She is constantly saying why 100 knights are required. Meanwhile Earl of Kent has not left Britain for the love of the king and with changed name as Caius and in disguise joined the king's men and started to serve his King Lear. At first, Lear could not believe his eyes and ears, nor that his daughter could speak so unkindly. 

             So the King Lear decided to move to his second daughter, Regan. Even before the King arrived, Goneril sent word to Regan that their father is speaking all lies and asked not to treat him properly. Regan and her husband have not received the king with pomp. Goneril herself came to Regan and set Regan against her father, the king Lear. Hence Regan also told the king Lear to dispense with the 100 knights and also not allowed her father into her palace. So these two wicked daughters surpassing each other has ill treated the king and shown cruelty.

             Thus King Lear became a beggar within no time and is on the streets accompanied by his faithful follower Earl of Kent in disguise as Ciaus. In no time, Lear became lunatic. This information has reached Cordelia and she with the permission of her husband with a small army reached Britain in search of her father. She found him in fields and with the help of many doctors she tried to cure the king of his illness. 

          Meanwhile, the two wicked sisters now started falling in love with another man, Earl of Glousester, Edmund, a very cruel person, neglecting their husbands. At this time, husband of Regan has died. Regan expressed to remarry the cruel Earl of Gloucester. But her sister, Goneril also loved the same man. As she also loved the same man, Goneril has poisoned her sister Regan. 

         At the same time, the two sisters have sent an army under the Earl to defeat Cordelia. Cordelia is defeated and prisoned. The Duke of Albany, who is innocent and does not know the cruelty of his wife to her father, came to know of the treachery of his wife and imprisoned her. This and other bad deeds have forced her to end her life. Thus the lives of the two cruel and wicked sisters ended. The poor and innocent, loving child Cordelia also died in the prison. Meanwhile King Lear who started to regain health also died.

      Later the Duke of Albamy defeated Edmund and became the king is not concerned to our story. It is great tragedy that king Lear once the monarch of Britain having given his kingdom to his two wicked daughters has died like a beggar, deceived and thrown away by the daughters. Codelia though good and loving her father also died. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Macbeth - By William Shakespeare

Characters:


Duncan the meek                  :    King of Scotland
Malcolm                                :    Son of the king
Donalbain                             :    Second son of the king
Macbeth                                :    Thane or Lord in Scotland and near kinsman of the king
Lady Macbeth                       :    Wife of Macbeth
Banquo                                 :    Co general of Macbeth and his friend
Fleance                                 :    Son of Banquo
Macduff                                 :     Thane of Fife 


                                             
   When Duncan the Meek reigned king of Scotland, there lived a great Thane or Lord called Macbeth who was a near kinsman of the king and in great esteem at court for his valor and conduct in the wars.




        The two generals Macbeth and Banquo are returning victorious by defeating a rebel army assisted by the troops of Norway. On their way, they were stopped by three witches near a blasted heath. The first of the three creatures saluted Macbeth with the title 'Thane of Glamis'. The general is not startled but when the second witch saluted and called him with the title of Thane of Cawdor, to which honor he had no pretensions. Again the third bid him "All hail! King that shalt be hereafter! ". Though Macbeth is amazed, he did not believe the prophecy as the king's sons lived, thus he cannot succeed to the throne. The witches turning to Banquo have prophesied though he will never become the king but his sons after him will be the kings of Scotland and vanished. 


       At that moment, two messengers have come from the king and informed that the king has bestowed the title of Thane of Cawdor on Macbeth. As the prophecy of the witches has come true, Macbeth believed the words and asked Banquo how he is feeling with the knowledge that his sons will become the kings of Scotland. Banquo replied that these ministers of darkness will tell us small truths in little things, to betray us into deeds of greatest consequence. But Macbeth believed the words of the witches that he will become the King and from that moment he is bent upon making ideas how to get rid of the present king.
   
       Macbeth had a wicked wife to whom he has informed that the witches had prophesied that he will become the king of Scotland one day. She has told Macbeth that the murder of the king is necessary to achieve this and is pestering him day and night to murder the King. It happened at this time that the king with his two sons Malcolm and Donalbain and accompanied by a numerous thanes and attendants visited the house of Macbeth to honour Macbeth for the triumphant success of his wars. The King felt well pleased with the place and the attentions and respect of his honored hostess, Lady Macbeth. The King being tired with his journey went early to bed and the grooms as per the custom also have slept in the same room with the king. 


         At middle of the night, the Lady Macbeth woke up and decided to kill the king herself as she doubted that Macbeth being kind hearted and good natured may not do the murder. She went into the room to kill the King. But at that time she has seen the face of her father in the king and so could not kill the king. She has returned to their chamber to confer with her husband. His resolution had begun to stagger. He thought there are strong reasons against the deed. In the first place, he was not only a subject, but a near kinsman to the king; and he had been his host and entertainer for the day and it is his duty to save the king from any murderers but not bear the sword himself and kill the king. And he thought that the king is very nice to him and because of that he stood he stood very high in the court. Hence he decided not to kill the king. But Lady Macbeth has not agreed to that and forced Macbeth to accomplish the murder. Hence Macbeth has killed the king with one stroke and Lady Macbeth has smeared the faces of the two grooms with the blood so that the suspicion will fall on them. 


        King's son Malcolm has escaped and took refuge in the English court and the second son Donalbain made his escape to Ireland. The king's sons, who should have succeeded him, having vacated the throne, Macbeth as the next heir was crowned king. But the entire suspicion on the murder has fell on Macbeth.
        
         Even after becoming the King, Macbeth and his wife could not forget the prophecy of the witches, though Macbeth should be the king, yet not his children, but the children of Banquo will be the kings after him. Macbeth has planned to kill Banquo and his son. Though he could kill Banquo , his son Fleance escaped and fled.


        Though he became King, Macbeth could not sleep, had no peace with the thought that their children will not become kings. He became a tyrant and all the people began to hate him. Hence Macbeth has tried to meet the three witch sisters again and seek from them the future and so he went to the cave. The three witches have come and the first greeted the King and told him to beware of Thane of Fife, Macduff. The second witch told not to fear for none of woman born (i.e. none who is born to a woman) should have power to hurt him and advised to bold, bloody and resolute. The third witch has comforted him against conspiracies saying that he should never be vanquished, until the wood of Birnam moves to Dunsinane. With this the witches vanished. And from this time, Macbeth became bloody and dreadful.


        The first thing Macbeth heard after that is that Thane of Fife, Maccduff , had fled to England to join the army being raised by Malcolm with an intent to displace Macbeth. Macbeth has killed the wife and children of Macduff left at Fife. The queen unable to bear the guilt has died leaving Macbeth alone. As Malcolm's army has approached, Macbeth became bold believing the words of the witches and decided to fight as none of woman born can hurt him and he can be vanquished only when the woods of Birnam comes to Dunsinane and waited for the arrival of Malcolm with his army. 


        Then, one day a messenger has come and reported that as he is seeing from the top of hill, he has seen that the wood of Birnam is moving. This is because Malcolm has asked his soldiers to hew down every one a bough and bear it before him to conceal their true numbers. Hence it appeared as if the woods are moving. Now Macbeth has become very bold and came out of the castle to meet the enemy. In the war, he came in front of Macduff and told him that he will not be hurt by any woman born. Macduff has told Macbeth that Macduff is never a woman born, never as ordinary manner of men is to be born but was untimely taken from his mother. With this Macbeth understood that his end has come and fought with Macduff and died in the war.


        Thus Macbeth, who is a very kind hearted general, loved by the king and the people died being hated by all believing the false words of the witches.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark By William Shakespeare

This is a summary of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.

Category: Tragedy
 
Characters:

Hamlet                   :  King of Denmark
Gertrude                 :  Queen of Denmark
Claudius                 :  Brother of King Hamlet
Hamlet                   :  Prince and son of king of Denmark
Horatio                   :  Bosom friend of Prince Hamlet
Marcellus               :  Guard
Ophelia                  :  Maid and lover of Prince Hamlet
Polonius                 :  Ophelia's father and the chief counsellor of King
Laertes                   :  Brother of Ophelia

                      The queen, Gertrude, married Claudius, the brother of Hamlet in less than two months of the death of Hamlet, the King of Denmark. Many, because of the hasty action of the queen to remarry in less than two months, believed that the death of The King is not natural. They doubted that Claudius had murdered his brother Hamlet with a view of remarrying his widow, and ascending the throne of Denmark through the exclusion of young Hamlet, the lawful successor to the throne. The Prince has not come out of the grief caused by the death of his father and believes the rumours that Claudius has murdered The King. All the attempts made by the queen and The King to divert the mind of the young Hamlet have failed. What troubled young Hamlet mostly was the uncertainity about the death of his father. He does not believe the word of Claudius that the King Hamlet has died because of the bite of a serpent.

                      Meanwhile, a rumour has come that an apparition, exactly resembling his father has been seen by the soldiers on the platform in front of the palace. Young Hamlet wanted to see it and goes to that place with his friend Horatio and the guard Marcellus. Exactly at twelve in the night, the ghost of The King has appeared and called the prince to come aside alone. Against the advise of Horatio and Marcellus, Prince Hamlet goes alone with his father's ghost. The ghost informs the prince that he was murdered by Claudius, his brother, in the garden by pouring the juice of poisonous henbane in his ear, while he is taking rest with the wicked view of succeeding his bed and throne. The ghost asked the prince to take revenge for his death and also asked not to take any action against his mother.

                      The prince with a view that his uncle Cladius does not suspect him acts wild and strange in his apparel, speech and behaviour and excellently acted as insane. Both the queen and the King believed that the prince has become insane because of the death of his father and also because of the distance from his lover Ophelia. During that time, few story players have come to the court. Since Hamlet knows them previously, Hamlet has asked them to replay the old story that they played of old Priam, King of Troy, with the grief of Hecuba his queen. They narrated the story so lively of the cruel murder of the old king, along with the destruction of his people and city by fire and followed it by the mad grief of the old queen.It was so lively that every one wept as if the story has just happened. After hearing that to the tale, young Hamlet got an idea to play a story resembling the death of King Hamlet
                      
                      The story of the play was of a murder done in Vienna upon a duke. The dukes name was Gonzago, and his wife's was Baptista. The played showed how one Lucianus, a near relation to the duke, poisoned him in his garden for his estate, and how the murderer in a short time got the love of Gonzagos wife. At the representation of the play, the King who did not know of the trap, was also present with his wife, young Hamlets mother. But when Lucianus, according to the story, came to poison Gonzago sleeping in the garden, the strong resemblance to his own wicked act upon his brother struck upon the conscience of the usurper, that he was unable to sit in the hall and left the theatre abruptly. Now, any doubt has gone from the mind of young Hamlet and he confirmed that his father is murdered by his brother.

                    Upon the advise of the King, the queen sent for young Hamlet to her chamber to know his mind . The king not believing the queen has planted Polonius, the father of Ophelia (lover of young Hamlet ) in the chamber behind curtains to hear the conversation and report to him. During the discussions, Hamlet gets angry and holds the hand of the queen. Polonius cries loudly to save the queen. Quickly, Hamlet draws his sword and killed Poloniuis thinking that he is the king himself behind the curtains.

                    The new king, Claudius, with an idea to get rid of young Hamlet, has sent him to England along with two courtiers and a letter to kill young Hamlet. But Hamlet suspecting treachery secretly opened the letter and erased his name skillfully and wrote the two names of the courtiers. Meanwhile, sea pirates attacked the ship and Hamlet jumped into the ship with his sword to fight them but taken him as prisoner. But, the pirates on knowing that he is the Prince of Denmark released him thinking that he may help in future.

                    Hamlet has returned to his place. From this point, there are a lots of unexpected twists and turns in the story which are no less to today's suspense novels or movies. Even though a lot of you might have read this story already, but in order not to reveal the end for those who have not read, we end this summary by repeating that this is a very tragic story. Try guessing the depth of tragedy in the story and read (at least the abridged one) if you have never done so to confirm.

Shakespeare Week At EveningHour!

Who would not have heard of William Shakespeare? The One and Only! The English Poet and Playwright, greatest writer in the English language and the world's preeminent dramatist.


Shakespeare was born in April 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon. His birthday is celebrated on April 23. He was one of eight children born to John Shakespeare. He had no university education. He is married at the age of 18 to Anne Hathaway eight years his senior. By 1592, Shakespeare had gone to London working as an actor and already known as playwright. In 1599, the Lord Chamberlains men built and occupied the Globe Theater in Southwark near the Thames River. Here, many of Shakespeares plays were performed by the most famous actors of his time. His 154 sonnets were published, probably without his authorization in 1609. He has written 37 plays. He died on April 23, 1616.

His books are broadly classified as comedies and tragedies.

The tragedies include

Hamlet
Othello
King Lear
Macbeth

Some of the comedies are

The Comedy of Errors
Much Ado about nothing
Measure for Measure

In order to honor and remember Shakespeare, EveningHour is celebrating this week as Shakespeare's week and write really really abridged summaries of some of his famous plays.


Keep following EveningHour!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pranic Healing

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.

This is a quote by none other than Albert Einstein! The Albert Einstein who is the father of modern physics. The Albert Einstein who is the best-known scientist and intellectual of all times! The famous scientist believes in the mysterious!

But, do we, the common man, believe in the mysterious ? I can safely say that at least 50% of the current generation are staunch believers, and there is another small percentage that do not believe in any such. But there is the remaining huge percentage of the current generation who are stuck between believing and non-believing. They have been raised to be believers but the science and the logical reasoning that they have learned do not make it easy for them to choose one over the other.

Pranic Healing is one such mysterious ancient science, paranormal healing process to which a lot of people have raised eye-brows the first they heard the word. But, listening about it and trying it, the majority of them have  become believers, followers and proponents.

So What is Pranic Healing ? Pranic Healing is the process of transferring vital energy or life force from the healer to the patient. It requires no physical contact since the healer works on the bioplasmic  body (Pranamaya Kosha) rather than on the physical body.

According to this science, man's whole physical body is composed of the visible physical body and the invisible energy body called the bioplasmic body. The bioplasmic body is that invisible luminous energy which penetrates the  physical body and extends beyond it by four or five inches.

Master Choa Kok Sui has rediscovered this ancient science and has written several books to make it easy for the normal person to learn and follow. They have set up offices all over the world and are teaching Pranic Healing at subsidized prices and also help treat different people with various physical or psychological problems. If you listen to followers of Pranic Healing, they will tell you tales and tales of what we call Miracles. To know more about them, check out http://www.fundpeaceandhealing.net/.

It is definitely a science that is worth keeping an open mind to. If you ever get the chance, listen about it. You can of course choose to believe or not. But, definitely try and learn about it.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

100 Reasons Why Reading is Important!

Reading is important because

  1. Best Way of Relaxation. 
  2. It makes you smarter.
  3. It develops the mind.
  4. It helps young kids learn language skills.
  5. It is how we discover new things.
  6. Reading develops imagination.
  7. Reading develops the creative side of people.
  8. It helps in developing a good self image.
  9. Reading expands vocabulary.
  10. It is important to development.
  11. Reading helps to know other people's perspective.
  12. Enhances social's skills.
  13. Enriches oneself in all aspects.
  14. Reading results in fruitful usage of time.
  15. Reading takes us to a new world where we forget our sorrows and fears.
  16. It helps us get rid of anxieties.
  17. Reading helps us from boredom and monotony.
  18. Reading before going to bed  helps a child feel secure and comfortable during sleep.
  19. Youngsters emulate the behaviors of their favorite story heroes.
  20. Reading helps shape a person's character.
  21. Reading helps shape a person's life.
  22. Emotions can be best understood through other people's stories.
  23. Reading can provide plenty of fun for children.
  24. Reading gives us power and understanding.
  25. Reading different varieties of books gives us solutions for our daily-life problems.
  26. It creates awareness.
  27. It encourages to be a thinker.
  28. Reading gives us various topics to be the center of attraction in gatherings.
  29. Reading at least 20 minutes a day means you read 4800 minutes in one year! Imagine how many books you would have read in 4800 minutes which is 80 hours. And 20 minutes a day is just 1.38th part of a day!
  30. Reading is the companions for life.
  31. Reading inspires you to do great things in life
  32. A fondness for reading changes the inevitable dull  hours of our life into exquisite hours of delight - Charles de Montesquieu.
  33. Life transforming ideas have always come to me through books-Oliver Wendall Holmes
  34. Reading is not to contradict or confute, or to believe and take for granted, but to weigh and consider. Take the good from reading. --Source from a proverb by Francis Bacon.
  35. Reading helps increase attention span.
  36. Reading regularly keeps the brain young and healthy.
  37. It lets us explore those that we cannot physically see. Example: Space, Far-off cities and continents.
  38. Reading allows children to do role play.
  39. Reading gets one out of depression.
  40. It lets you gain knowledge without having to ask or find someone.
  41. It lets you continue to keep motivated and not loose track.
  42. Reading gives you an edge over someone who does not read as much.
  43. In the least, read a newspaper. It is one continuous form of fiction.
  44. Reading good books helps you move toward your dream. Example: Alchemist, The Man Who Sold his Ferrari etc
  45. A Novel points out that the world consists entirely of exceptions.
  46. Books open your mind.
  47. Books strengthen your mind.
  48. Reading excites the reader to self-activity.-Thomas Carlyle.
  49. Voracious reading makes you an all-rounder.
  50. Reading creates and strengthens synapses in the brain.
  51. Reading regularly helps you learn to pick the correct information.
  52. Reading relieves stress.
  53. Routine reading expands our mind tremendously.
  54. Reading keeps the mind cool.
  55. It helps you be fresh through the day.
  56. Regular habit of reading keeps you and your mind occupied even in old age.
  57. Reading makes us self-assured.
  58. It makes you keep focused for long periods.
  59. Improves concentration.
  60. It also improves memory.
  61. It improves the discipline.
  62. Reading is inexpensive entertainment.
  63. Discover surprises.
  64. Reading lets you learn from the experience and knowledge of the authors.
  65. Reading lets you weigh things from a different perspective.
  66. One gets to experience the story by reading it.
  67. Reading emphasizes hierarchical thinking.
  68. Reading to your child encourages conversations.
  69. Reading encourages questions.
  70. It makes you a good person.
  71. When reading, the imagination has no visual limits.
  72. Reading non-fiction helps you read and understand the other important things of life - insurance policies, contracts etc.
  73. Reading on every day topics helps you learn the advantages and disadvantages of the topics and lets you make an informed decision.
  74. Reading to your child solidifies the bond.
  75. Reading lets you take an immediate break from the daily grind. Does not need any planning.
  76. Reading helps overcome social  anxiety. Books and the topics provide an instant ice-breaker.
  77. Reading takes you on a wondrous journey.
  78. It opens new possibilities.
  79. Reading nourishes your soul.
  80. Regular reading keeps you steady even during trouble time.
  81. Enjoyable reading is a deeply satisfying pursuit.
  82. Reading is exercising the mind. Otherwise the mind gets dumb.
  83. It challenges your core beliefs.
  84. Reading on varied topics gives you a bigger perspective of the world.
  85. Reading improves the grammar and sentence making skills.
  86. It helps increase fluency in communication.
  87. Reading helps shape your child's character.
  88. Reading aloud to your baby is an important form of stimulation.
  89. Reading aloud to the babies increases their listening skills.
  90. It allows the child to look, touch, feel and ask questions.
  91. Reading increases your literacy levels.
  92. Improved deduction skills.
  93. It also improves writing skills.
  94. One can learn from characters in a story and learn to apply in our daily lives.
  95. Reading rejuvenates your mind.
  96. It helps you to think from a different angle. 
  97. Reading books exercises your creativity.
  98. Reading motivates you.
  99. Reading may prevent old age memory loss.
  100. Reading is the best hobby one can have with at least 100 advantages.
    So, guys and  gals!
    Read!
    Read More!
    Read Even More!
    Source: Personal experience, inputs from various people and uncountable articles from the web. 

      Sunday, May 2, 2010

      Book Review - Balancing Act



      I chanced upon the book at the Mumbai airport bookstore. I wrote down the titles for three books by new authors that seemed intriguing, two were collections of short stories with a Mumbai theme and a novel about dilemmas of motherhood, aptly titled Balancing Act. I bought the novel because the description on the back cover sounded interesting. Wrestling with the subject of finding fulfillment in motherhood after having tasted professional success, a commonplace occurrence today, it appeared to be a contemporary, introspective read.

      As promised, the book deals with the subject through the eyes of Tara Mistri, a young woman with a husband who travels a lot and burdened with the domestic reality of caring for two young children in sunny San Diego. Tara is an architect with a track record, who chooses to stay home after the birth of the first baby but is not convinced whether she has made the right choice. Her confusion in fitting in as a stay-at-home Mom and her lure for finding meaningful work outside the home is aptly described in the 230-odd pages. But nothing really happens in the story.

      A bunch of characters, all women, appear in the narrative but are not of much consequence. The husband is a convenient place holder who gets a little more of writing space towards the end but the tone of the book is one of confusion. As with many authors, the novel appears to be a thinly disguised autobiographical first novel with personal observations but no insights into the issue at hand. Until the end, Tara is a housewife (a terms she despises) so the title of the book totally escaped me since there did not seem to be too much balancing going on. A lot of architectural details are woven into the narrative along with quotations by famous architects, including Louis Kahn, creator of the Salk Institute which lies in Tara’s neighborhood, a building that she reveres. Not surprising, considering that the field of architecture is the author, Meera Godbole Krishnamurthy’s primary area of expertise.

      The book suffers from a whiny protagonist who is difficult to empathize with. She is both blessed and cursed (misery of her own making) with what appears to be a perfect life, an apparently supportive husband, beautiful kids and a choice to make in the matter of her going back to work. The messages are mixed as author tries to present an equal view of both sides of the equation of working mothers. The pervasive perplexed undercurrent of the novel stems from the superficial treatment of the subject and a marked reluctance to dig deeper to answer the questions honestly. It is this aspect that dilutes the intent and presents the book as a lightweight attempt at what should have been a wonderful canvas to chronicle the contradictions of women of this generation.

      What the book needs, is a candid answer to the quintessential question posed by Kahn “What do you want, brick?” It is a shame that neither the editor nor the publishers chose to ask this question of the author herself.

      How to be 'Eco-Friendly'

      In an effort to increase environment awareness in the youngsters, we chose "How to be Eco-Friendly" as the topic for Elocution Meet conducted yesterday, May 1st. It's relatively tough topic for the youngsters as this is not a general topic taught in the schools. And the percentage of parents consciously teaching their kids about environment awareness is also minimal. But there was a decent response and the research done by the youngsters is very impressive.

      The following are the ways that were told as part of the elocution speaches.

      1. Conserve water during brushing. Do not let the water go waste from the minute you put the paste on to the brush till the entire brushing is complete.

      2. Use CFB bulbs and tube lights. They consume less energy.

      3. Prefer paper bags to plastic bags. Prefer cloth and jute bags to paper bags. By wasting paper, we are forcing trees to be cut down.

      4. Plant a tree. We all have learned in schooling - plants and trees release oxygen. If living in individual houses, take little effort to plant trees. It not only helps keep the clean green but it also makes the  room or home cooler, even if it is by just a degree.

      5. Print only when absolutely necessary. And when printing, print on both the sides.

      Last but not the least, spread the awareness. If we follow it diligently, at least one of our friends will adopt one or the other method and the awareness will further spread.

      It is appreciable of the participants that they did thorough research on the topic and presented it nicely. And they all promised to conserve water and electricity to begin with.