Wednesday, May 18, 2022

A Folk Festival of Arunachal Pradesh


Yesterday, I have received a unique souvenir from the state of Arunachal Pradesh. It's all about a Folk Festival of Singpho race, and which has been running since 1985 to the present year. Dr. Gumlat Ong Maio, one of its editorial members has been rushed it on my request. My only quest for knowing the culture and heritage of North Eastern states made me  read the material of its kind. This festival happened in the month of this February. But creating a book out of immense articles, photos and other contributions is  something like not an easy work. 

This souvenir got printed in a beautiful way with the articles of many sorts like Youngsters who penned for an essay competition, other ones focused on Singpho's Folk life. By the way, the festival is called by Shapawng Yawng Manau Poi. And it's the 38th year of celebration. Though, Singphos are basically Budhists, they are always trying to keep up their age old unique customs. Nat-Worshipping is the name for it. Many photographs of various cultural activities placed in this publication.

Some articles are in English and some are in their own native language, of course, with using English alphabets. Congratulatory messages from the Governor of the state and other dignitaries added. Bordumsa is the place where all these activities has taken place. My blog readers could already have known about the Dr. Gumlat Ong Maio was a well known writer apart from being a medical doctor. And his book was also reviewed in this blog some time back.  


Monday, August 9, 2021

"Fathers and Sons" a novel by Ivan Turgenev


(Google pic)

Ivan Turgenev's  novel "Fathers and Sons" comes to our mind when we ever thought of the ideology of  Nihilism. What is it all about and what kind of impact it laid on the generation of nineteenth century..? For all that, we have to read this novel. We can also know that how the philosophical currents of France and Germany influenced the whole Russia. Slavs of various countries like Bulgaria, Poland and other countries have common cultural framework and they are proud of being apart from western European influence. Even in Russia there was considerable chunk of population who support the idea of  Slavophile. Russian Orthodox Church played vital role in it.

Well, what is the concept of Nihilism..? ,broadly speaking, it  rejects all kinds of religious and moral values and opposes all kinds of authorities. Without proper scientific examination and scrutiny, Nihilists don't accept anything. Practical approach in everything. This novel based on the life of a nihilist. His name was Bazarov. Human life can be lived with some principles but at the same time it's very difficult to stick to them in all conditions.   

Now, let's get into the story. It was in the month of May,1859. A gentleman named by Nikolai Kirsanov was waiting for his son at the wayside of his nearby village. His son Arkady was studying at St.Petersburg university. His son arrived with his friend Bajarov. Nikolai received them wholeheartedly. Nikolai was a land owner of 5000 acres and owned 200 serfs also. Bajarov soon was disapproved by Nikolai and his brother Powell. Reasons are simple but bigger enough for the brothers of Nikolai to hate him.

Bajarov criticized Nikolai's liking towards classical music, poetry of Pushkin and other habits of  appreciation of Russian history. Nikolai argued that not every old thing is to be hated. With Powell too, he maintained strained relation. Bazarov criticized even Powell for his passion for English way of dressing and their magazines. Arkady placated his father and uncle when they were angry about Bazarov's character. Strangely enough, Bazarov later fell in love with Anna Odinstsova. He lost his  scientific temperament in this matter and also with the maid who kept by Nikolai. Bazarov was bound to face duel with Powell. There were many layers in the story. One should read it for having the real pleasure. 

He did not lead a happy life even with his parents because of his nihilistic approach of life. At last, he died when he was conducting an autopsy. It showcased the thinking trends of Rural and urban areas of  Russian society. This novel published in 1862 in Russian language. And made a sensation. Translated into English in the year of 1867. Captured the attention of whole Europe and was followed by Leo Tolstoy.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

"The Brothers Karamazov" : An epic novel of Dostoevsky

 I have recently gone through this much talked about novel ,"The Brothers Karamazov". And I would like to share my astounding thoughts in brief. Already a lot of people came out with their own interpretations on the theme,principal characters,ethical debates and so on.Trying my best to pick out some unique characters in the novel. In attitude and outlook,they would get us petrified and protracted. It's truly a classic novel.Not an easy reading at all.One should put a period of at least 15 days aside to read and understand its quality of eternity and spirit of life pestering questions.People simply say that it's a tale of murder mystery.And of course,that's true to some extent but it's far beyond such conclusion.To stir the attention of common reader,Dostoevsky might have taken such exterior and in reality he churned the entire human struggle in its interior layers.   

The descriptions some times longer than what we have expected but all these are worth reading.For example,it took almost fifteen pages when Alyosha entered the house of Ilyusha,the stone pelting brat, and was introduced to the family members of that drunkard captain. But there was a beauty in every sentence of that episode.Not only that,the psychological conditions of three characters like Lice,Father Ferapont and Michael,the brother of Zosima the elder.Lise,the crippled and rich young girl how she had tried to seduce the monastic young disciple Alyosha was a message to all spiritual seekers.The trickier part is when he yielded to household life with her,she intrigued to switch her priority to his brother by requesting a letter to pass him.

Father Ferapont was another character.He was an ascetic with extreme fasting by taking very little bread ,that too with  three or four days gap.Egoistic about his practices while he always was criticizing the elder Zosima for his popularity among the people.He didn't like confession taking from fellow brothers.And he was claiming that ghosts would personally talk to him,especially those who live on the trees of premises of monastery. The reader could identify many people with this character.His way of dressing,behaviour and talking ,everything could be seen in front of us. Dostovesky's selection of words,pattern of speaking styles invariably awesome.

Michael-the elder Zosima's brother, who was the reason to Zosima's saint like transformation was in fact nearing his death.How a human heart responds to the breath taking nature's bounty when it's under the knowledge of final journey was revealed through this character.The way he spoke with a bird and all other trivial activities strikes an unknown chord in us.Any many other things I like about this time tested novel.But it would be continued in the days to come whenever I feel for it.But it is wonderful to know that all this heavy duty psychological and philosophical thriller was written before Freud  came into arena with his groundbreaking psychoanalysis theories.

----Murthy KVVS

Saturday, June 27, 2020

A Review on my Kindle E-book

The Guest Obsessed ---------------------------------- This is the first story in KVVS Murthy' stories book "The Riverside man and other short stories". I am too obsessed with this story. I don't know whether there is true "love at first sight " or not but surely that is true when a human being encounters an animal. If you love and treat them at first sight, a melancholic relationship develops and later on their sudden disappearance makes you to feel the pain, whenever you happen to see the place where you saw them first with a loving attitude. If you tame or I'll treat them they become a menace to you in course of time and you will be constrained to adopt even inhuman methods to get rid of them. The story depicts this truth in a beautiful manner. The language in story is simple and touching. From the very moment I saw the cover page of story my inner voice told me perhaps stories might be beautiful in this book and the very first story provide that my premonition was correct.🙏 -----Reviewed by R.S.Venkateswaran


Saturday, September 28, 2019

My Tryst with Pondicherry and It's adopted Son Prof. Manoj Das

( With Prof.Manoj Das)

Whole world conspires to fulfill your dream if you have a longing for something without expecting anything in return,I mean, selfish in spirit.Prof.Manoj Das, the renowned Indo-Anglian writer came into my life during the days of graduation.Once I chose a book from our college library was on Sri Aurobindo and it was authored by Manoj Das. That was the very first time seeing his name and which appealed to me in an enigmatic manner.His style of writing had some magic and enthralling capability.

His books were read in later years also,of course with judicious intervals amidst my head-load of works.Among which 'The Tiger at Twilight (novella),The mystery of a missing cap (Stories) and selected fiction (Stories) are important to remember for me as they carried some flashes resembled  to my experiences of childhood. Especially 'Farewell to a Ghost' story is one that haunts right to this moment. It engulfed into subconscious level for its powerful presentation.

And I shouldn't forget Dr.Kulamani Dash, a staunch admirer of Manoj Das who rushed me a book titled 'The Bulldozers'. It was a melange of  diverse colors like sarcasm,comedy and a love story turned into a tragic situation at the end. All these are created by One great writer of our times and a resident of Sri Aurobindo ashram. He conferred with Padmasri,Kalidas Samman and many many  honors.A columnist for many publications like The Hindu,The Indian Express and The Hindustan Times.

Fortunately, I have met such a remarkable author on the 21st of this month at his residence. It was in Dupey road,Pondicherry. All the surrounding streets are having the Exotic French names. After having visited 'Maha Samadhi' of Sri Aurobindo Maharshi, knocked the door of the gentle man. He warmly received me and we have talked almost half an hour,though I was given ten minutes of appointment. He appreciated my book's cover page art when I presented him my latest title 'The Riverside Man & Other short stories'. He got amused on knowing that the art was drawn by a Bureaucrat named Sri Vadrevu China Veerabhadrudu.

I aspired to have clicked some monuments,library,sprawling heritage sites inside but photography was prohibited.Many people were in meditation beside the Maha samadhi of Sri Aurobindo. It became a global destination long back.Many tourists seemed to be from various parts of the world. What a calm,serene,greenish and beautiful place filled with glorious aura..! Apart from it, Pondicherry is creating abuzz as an important educational hub. Environment is clean and the sea breeze let you feel comfort anywhere in the city.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Dark Arena : A novel by Mario Puzo

I resumed reading this Puzo's novel in a journey. In fact, I should have read it long back since myself was and is an ardent fan of him for many of his deceptive tale telling techniques. This novel sets in the backdrop of second world war. Walter Mosca was a young war veteran of American origin. He returned to Germany after a few of days spent in his hometown,refusing a marriage proposal from Gloria. He also denied his mother's advice to settle down in a different way.

One fine morning, he sets out to the war zone of Berlin. Mosca met his German girl friend Fella again. War rules don't permit a relationship with local people. But you know love is blind as the age old adage goes by. In course of time, Fella became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy. He started his efforts to take Fella and the son to the US and for which some important legal papers to be approved by higher officials. There were some people who keeps playing against it.

The real troubles came upon while Fella caught up with he health problems. Military doctors were to  answer their superiors when they treated outsiders. It made the couple irksome to come up with their real identities. Mosca compelled to have drugs by adapting foul play or she would get affected miserably. Surprisingly, the most wanted currency then was not dollars or marks or anything else,but American cigarettes. In black market, those crates have great demand. He exchanged them for medicines. However, his son and girlfriend died due to the timely medical treatment at the bay.At last, he returned to the US  leaving his second son with a care taker in grief.

What Mario Puzo did want to tell us by this piece of work..? Well, the cruel face of war surfaced with many implications. Not only that, the way how Germans were being treated by the victorious nations was also described. Frankly speaking, this would nothing to do with Mafia like themes since Mario Puzo was acclaimed for his crime,manipulation,betrayal and Mafiaso saga.This novel had been written in 1955. That means his very first novel and it saw no big success comparing to The God Father. Perhaps he could have shifted to the genre of crime fiction seeing its fall.

But for some curious reason,I liked it for its quality of warmth,war time love and historical importance in descriptions. It showcased a different Puzo in spirit. He could definitely have inspired from Dostoevsky while he was writing some parts dealt with psychological suffering of the lovers and societal indifference towards human values. ---Murthy Kvvs            

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Riverside Man & Other Short Stories By Murthy KVVS

Sucharitha Publications
First print: June 2019
Price: Rs.100/-

For Copies: Navodaya Book house, Kachi guda, Hyderabad-500 027
                    Mobile:90004 13413

Murthy's "The Riverside Man&Other short stories" comprises of eleven enthralling short stories. He beautifully encapsulates his diverse experiences in these stories. This is his maiden attempt in English but he has successfully penned four titles in Telugu. His multiple interests in social activities speculate in these stories that will make you laugh and learn.

"The Guest Obsessed" articulates about obsession. Obsession with anyone or anything considers unscrupulous. This story brilliantly encompasses the obsession of monkeys and it's both consequences.

"Missing of an Old Woman" highlights the schizophrenia that rampant in the society. Every three out of five persons suffer from this chronic disease. One need not run away from harsh reality while one needs to face it boldly and find out solutions. This old woman has been portrayed symbolically and suggests that she can be anyone in the world. She roams and rests carelessly and recklessly by the side of dividers. The story emphasizes that our moral duty is to send off schizophrenic persons to hospitals rather we stand, stare and laugh at them.

"Rajanikant" The very name of this short story refers to Tamil superstar Rajanikant. Yes, it is because one of the students changed his name and is being called as Rajanikant. But after the headmaster's admonishing, he sticks to his original name and now continues his studies with pursuing business administration. It will definitely remind your "childhood should be like that, fun and frolic"(23)

"A Burial Ground and Memoirs" reveals the strong connection that lies between the place and our old experienced memories. Memory keeps us haunting and longing for bygone days and this story refreshes and rejuvenates the reminiscences.

"On the Fateful Day...!" reveals one's unplanned journey of life as one needs to adjust with moving time's plan. In one's life, everything occurs unpredictably in the domain of universal force.

"Dantewada" stresses on atrocities and terrorism. It also highlights the pathetic conditions of underpaid teachers and they are compelled to work another business to cope up in life.

"A Boulder in Stream" elucidates the story of a backbencher, silent, reticent boy. The teacher scolds him without knowing his mental condition for not responding to him. When the teacher came to know his family split through another student then he accepts his fault and said sorry. He says sorry to him.

"Polling Duty" energetic and enthusiastic spirit for one's work defeats the hunger of the stomach for sometimes. They work without having food but engulfing water time and again.

"The Riverside Man" deals with a missing girl and saint. The missing girl is found but can the life of saint valuable for his/her family? Why not her/his family members bring him back? The saint sits beside the river and chant deeply. When the narrator questions his life and belongingness and he politely replied and states everything is uncertain except death then why do we worry about. Enjoy each and every moment of your life.

"Memorabilia" throws light on the nostalgia of the CIIL Campus, Mysore. The author shares his varied experiences about visiting R.K.Narayan's house, nearby places like Coorg, Ooty, Nagara Hole etcetera and his encounters with diverse culturally and linguistically persons.

Murthy's each and every story carries a pinch of mystery that tightly intact your interests in these stories till you finished them off. These stories contemplate various societal issues at the same time advocate for moral lessons. Geographical locations and descriptions accentuate on the staunch and unfading memories of the author. His narration is flawless, lucid and coherent.

               -----Reviewed by Shivnath Kumar Sharma (Research Scholar),
                                         Dept. of English, Pondicherry University
                                         Puducherry- 605014