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April 24, 2014 Thursday     
Satya Ke Prayog - Mahatma GandhiOne of the most famous/important books both in ‘World History’ and ‘Spiritual’ category, The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Satya Ke Prayog) is the autobiography of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, respectably remembered as ‘Father of the Nation” in India as well as all over the world.
Honestly, its really difficult to assume that one might not have heard about the book till now and still the other fact remains that many of us must have not read this book too, despite having it in our collection or seeing it several times on the shelf of a library or a decent book store. Probably the reason for this wide ignorance is that most of us strongly believe that we already know all about Gandhi from many other sources, so the book can be easily skipped just like that saving us a lot of time. However the reality is that if you haven’t read the two books mentioned below about Mahatma Gandhi, then you probably have only a vague picture of the person, his works, his spiritual journey, his oath of celibacy and his personal life other than the valuable contribution he made in the Indian movement of Independence.
Actually “Satya Ke Prayog / My Experiments With Truth” is not a complete autobiography (as popularly believed) but covers Gandhi’s life from early childhood to 1921 only, before he actively started participating in the Independence movement returning to the country (around 1915). It was reportedly written as a weekly feature in his published journals after 1925 and the process got initiated on the personal requests & encouragement of many associate workers and close friends. The book in its various chapters, mainly focuses on his childhood, the struggle in South Africa, the discovery of many new facts of life there, his experiments with medicine, food and then the beginning of civil disobedience movement as Satyagraha, meaning “holding on to the truth”. It reveals many unknown instances which helped Gandhi in discovering and experimenting with his own beliefs & principles living in South Africa.
Translated in almost all languages of the world, becoming one of the all-time bestsellers, the book is also included in the “Most Important and Best Spiritual Books of the 20th   Century” by many political, spiritual and religious authorities. So the inspirational document surely needs to be read as a must to know how it all started as a journey towards becoming a Mahatma or the father of a nation. And the book does feature some really amazing incidents, teaching you many valuable lessons of life related to truth, simplicity and decades lived without any material possessions at all.
Brahmcharaya Ke Prayog - Mahamta GandhiThe second book to be essentially read on the life of Mahatma Gandhi is “Brahmcharya Ke Prayog / Experiments of Celibacy” by Dayashankar Shukl Sagar which will actually introduce you to one of the most truthful personalities ever, who never felt shy of speaking about these rare sexual experiments and his close association with various women in his letters and public meetings in front of everyone openly.
This exclusive books mainly talks about the time when Gandhi’s life went completely public and he was just living for the people and his nation only with a clear objective. In other words it begins where “Satya Ke Prayog” ends and thus needs to be studied along with the autobigrophy to clear all the hidden controversies and doubts one might be having regarding this sensitive issue. An authentic study based on Gandhi’s own thoughts, public meetings, journals and writing of his close associates, the book enlightens you about what his tryst with Brahmcharya actually was even after marriage, when he took his vow around 1905. In Gandhi’s own words, it was an attempt to get closer to the divine power and seek purity thorough non-violence and celibacy, which did put many of his followers as well as close ones in double minds. And that is the reason why many a times the matter also resulted in few serious outbursts in the ashram as well in the public too in those important years.
Reading about these astonishing incidents for the first time is truly a remarkable experience, particularly studying the way Gandhi used to remain visibly undisturbed and tackled it all with his famous meaningful silence and calm attitude like a saint. But unfortunately what’s most disappointing about these precious references is that Gandhi didn’t reveal, talk or write about any particular result of these experiments in the end or maybe he didn’t get time to share more about the same due to his untimely murder.
The book effectively tries to analyze it with an honest or unbiased perspective and thus can easily be called a psychological biography studying the lesser talked about life-aspect of one of the greatest man of the recent world history.
Now admittedly, the rare revelations in the book are bound to be interpreted in different ways by the readers having their own set of perceptions which might be positive as well as negative. But without going into the negative mode, for me these books consolidated one major fact for sure that Mahatma Gandhi was undoubtedly one of the most truthful persons indeed who perfectly knew how to live the truth he used to preach in an unbelievably fearless manner and had no intentions to hide anything at all from anyone, just like an open book.
Hence do try to read these books to know more about Mahatma Gandhi and his various important experiments of life, keeping aside his more famous image of a non-violent freedom fighter and an influential political leader.
('Satya Ke Prayog' is available in various publications & translations, whereas "Brahmcharya Ke Prayog" has been published by Vani Prakashan, Delhi)
Tags : SATYA KE PRAYOG & BRAHMCHARYA KE PRAYOG Two highly recommended books related with Mahatma Gandhi, Book Review by Bobby Sing, Autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi, My Experiments With Truth, Bapu, My Experiments with Celibacy, Mahatma Gandhi's Controversial Experiments, Must Read Books on Gandhi.
20 April 2014 / bobbysing /
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Balraj-Sahni - Bobby Talks Cinema.com

Reading articles in film magazines penned by renowned artists themselves and listening to their personal interviews sharing a unique vision of life, indeed used to be an enriching experience, equivalent of going through some rich literature, back in time before the 80s. The views expressed in those articles/interviews had many great insights to share which could also enlighten the reader about many relevant unknown truths of life not exactly related to cinema.
Admittedly I realized this fact while going through many old journals and other valuable stuff of that golden era for a personal assignments and was literally taken back seeing the amazing quality of thoughts shared by many industry veterans like some revolutionary thinkers caring about their society around. One of those most important and must read documents happens to be the convocation speech by writer-thinker-social activist Balraj Sahni, the most natural actor of Hindi Cinema, speaking on his visit to Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi in the year 1972. And I am sure many of the friends reading it, would feel pleasantly shocked knowing the vision of this immensely talented artist, who liked to say the truth as it is without any hidden fear and therefore is considered as one of most respected names of our Hindi Film Industry unanimously.
Now looking at the 11 page long document, many might try to avoid it taking it as irrelevant or talking about something which might not be interesting enough. But for those friends, I would simply like to add that the long speech is unarguably going to change your whole outlook towards the actors of that Golden Era and perhaps your whole perception about ART, CINEMA and SOCIETY too in all possibilities. So to miss this, would be a major sin if I may call it in my humble opinion and if you still don’t feel like convinced then do read this small paragraph taken from the long text and then decide on your own.

Our little film world either offers the actor too little work, forcing him to eat his heart out in idleness; or gives him too much --so much that he gets cut off from all other currents of life. Not only does he sacrifice the pleasures of normal family life, but he also has to ignore his intellectual and spiritual needs. In the last twenty-five years I have worked in more than one hundred and twenty five films. In the same period a contemporary European or American actor would have done thirty or thirty-five. From this you can imagine what a large part of my life lies buried in strips of celluloid. A vast number of books which I should have read I have not been able to read. So many events I should have taken part in have passed me by. Sometimes I feel terribly left behind. And the frustration increases when I ask myself how many of these one hundred and twenty-five films had anything significant in them? How many have any claim to be remembered? Perhaps a few. They could be counted on the fingers of one hand. And even they have either been forgotten already or will be, quite soon.”
For online reading, the speech is available at the following official link of JNU website.
And For friends who wish to have it as a PDF format, then the same can be downloaded to read at your own convenience from the following link.
Have a good time reading & contemplating!
Tags : Balraj Sahni's remarkably inspiring speech at Jawaharlal Nehru University in 1972!, Did You Know Know Facts about Hindi Cinema at bobbytalkscinema.com, Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing, Unknown Bollywood Trivia by Bobby Sing, Balraj Sahni at JNU in 1972
08 April 2014 / bobbysing /
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Mera Daghistaan - Bobby Talks Cinema.com

Beginning the write up I am really struggling to find the exact words to describe this amazing piece of art in the form a book by Rasul Hamzatov, the world famous poet from Russia who wrote in a lesser spoken ‘Avar’ language, the language of mountains. And to admit it openly, this is one of the most insightful, enlightening and spiritual book I have enjoyed in a long time, written by a sincere poet talking about himself, his art, his country, his people, his language and his enriching life experiences in an astonishingly unusual format.
However making you aware of the writer first, Rasul Hamzatov was the son of Russia’s well known writer-poet Hamzat Tsadasa and is widely remembered as one of the most famous, legendary creative artists loving his country and the mother language with deep love and respect. His poetic works are cherished for their honest as well as a fresh portrayal of life and its profound relationship with music, poetry, nature and literature. Awarded with the Lenin Prize for poetry, Rasul Hamzatov was also honoured with the title of People’s Poet of Daghistaan and his works have been translated in various languages all over the globe as an important part of the world literature.
Coming to the precious book MERA DAGHISTAAN, it is Hamzatov’s first form of a novel full of many introspective expressions about life, written in a pretty unfamiliar yet lovable format as I personally felt. Recommended by one of my respected professors at Punjabi University, the book kept lying on my shelf for almost six months till I found the courage to pick it up finally. The listed chapters of its contents page always discouraged me to go further as they appeared to be quite uninspiring in the first look with a strange uninteresting sequence. But as they say, I was absolutely wrong in judging the book from its cover only and was simply stunned to read the immensely useful and in-depth references right in its first few pages itself shared in a highly poetic and impressive style along with a sharp wit.
The book is indeed a very engaging and unique account of the writer’s personal life and his love for the ‘Avar’ language. It beautifully describes the people of Daghistaan, their women, the creative artists of the region, the social traditions, their thoughtful psychology and Rasul’s own passionate encounters with existence, explained with numerous fascinating parables and anecdotes, turning it into a highly recommended and exclusive read.
Yet, the reason why I am calling it a unique, never before kind of attempt lies in its extraordinary format (mentioned below), which probably remains the one of its kind only as I strongly feel.
MERA DAGHISTAAN is divided into two parts which is quite common. But what’s really uncommon is the fact that the book actually begins from its second part onwards and the whole first section is just talking about what is going to be there in its next half, introducing a completely novel and unusual pattern (I have never seen before). In other words, Hamzatov begins his book from the second part intentionally and in the entire first half he just discusses about his preparations, language, technique, style and doubts on the content presented further. And when the book actually begins in its Part Two, we get to read much more deep and informative chapters on life accompanied by many famous folklores of Daghistaan in particular.
Now expectedly many friends might find the above mentioned subject matter of the book a bit unexciting and less inviting too. But that’s exactly the mistake I made by not reading it for almost 6 months frankly and by the time I reached its last chapter, MERA DAGHISTAAN easily became one of the most absorbing and pensive books I have read in a long time full of many intelligent, liberal and meditative quotes worth sharing. For instance, here are some chosen insights from the book to inspire you further which might help you to pick it up at the earliest.
“Agar Tum Ateet Par Pistol Se Goli Chalaaoge,
To Bhavishya Tum Par Top Se Goley Barsaayega”
(If you will try to destroy the past firing with a pistol, the future would attack you more severely like shooting from a tank.)
“Astr (Weapon), Jiski Keval Ek Baar Hi Aavyashakta Padey,
Jeevanbhar Apne Saath Rakhna Parhta Hai!
Kavitaayen, Jinhen Jeevanbhar Dohraaya Jaata Hai,
Ek Baar Ji Likhi Jaati Hain!”
(A weapon which might get used only once in life, still needs to be accompanied always. But meaningful verses (poems) which are written only once are recited and remembered repeatedly in a lifetime.)
“Sansaar Ki Srishti Se Ek Sau Baras Pehle……, Kavi Ka Janam Hua”
(The poet was born…………hundred years before the whole universe was created.)
“Heerey Ki Shobha Dekhi Jaati Hai Uske Set Mein……….Insaan Ki Ghar Mein”
(As the beauty of a diamond can be best judged in a well-designed set, a person’s inner beauty can also be estimated by his home.)
“Topi Ki Raksha Wahi Kar Sakega, Jiske Paas Topi Ke Neeche Sar Hai”
(Only that person can protect and maintain the respect of his cap, who has got a head beneath it.)
“Jo Kavitaayen Aasaani Se Likhi Gayi Thi, Unhen Parhna Kathhin Hota Hai,
Aur Jo Kavitaayen Mushkil Se Likhi Gayi Thi, Unhen Parhna Aasaan Hota Hai!”
(The poems written easily are tough to read and the poems penned after great difficulty, become an easy read.)
Describing it in the much famous FACEBOOK language, a reader would find a precious quote in almost every page of this book which he/she can go on using for months to update all those FB statuses. But on a serious note, if you are really interested in reading something exceptionally outstanding, presented in a highly unique format, then go for this classic as a must. Because MERA DAGHISTAAN is a kind of scripture which deserves to be read, understood and contemplated upon repeatedly by every thinking mind loving the artistic expressions of nature, tradition, language, music & poetry. And after experiencing its enriching creative thoughts, you are sure going to recommend it to many of your like minded friends further, whole heartedly.
MERA DAGHISTAAN - By Rasul Hamzatov (8 September 1923 – 3 November 2003)
(A very praise worthy Hindi Translation by Madanlal ' Madhu', published by Rajkamal Prakashan, Delhi.)

(A Doubt: Though the Hindi translation of the book states its writer’s name as Rasul Hamzatov, the writer’s official website mentions it as Rasul Gamzatov and the difference here seems to be a case of confusing pronunciation only.)
For more information on the famous poet, click the following link:
Bobby Sing
Tags : MERA DAGHISTAAN By Rasul Hamzatov, Book Review by Bobby, Articles on Famous Books of World Literature, Articles on Life music and poetry by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Rasul Gamzatov Book Review By Bobby Sing
12 March 2014 / bobbysing /
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