Adventures of Robinson Crusoe – Novel Review

Novel Title: Robinson Crusoe
Author: Daniel Defoe
Publication Date: 1719

Synopsis – Published in 1719, “Adventures of Robinson Crusoe” is an inspiring story of castaway named Robinson Crusoe who spends 28 heartbreaking years on an island.

Even though Robinson’s parents make him aware of the dangerous consequences of sea voyage, young Robinson Crusoe embarks on a sea voyage along with his crew. His voyage becomes the biggest nightmare of his life when his ship is wrecked in the storm and he is left alone on an island. Since there is no mankind on the un-inhabited island, Robinson must struggle to survive in the isolated island facing hunger, thirst and confronting pirates, mutineers and man-eaters.   In the midst of fatigue, depressive and heart breaking situations, Robinson has only one hope – to reunite with his family whom he left 28 years back.

Does Robinson Crusoe succeed in returning to his homeland? What effort does Robinson has to take to survive on the isolate island? Does Robinson become the victim of man-eaters? All these questions will unfold as you read Daniel Defoe’s masterpiece novel – Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. I appreciate the creativity of Daniel Defoe for writing such a beautiful novel which has slice of reality and highlights the struggle of man to survive even in the tough situations.


The role of Robinson Crusoe was portrayed by actor Pierce Brosnan in the 1997 Hollywood motion picture – Robinson Crusoe. Even the television series – Lost and Hollywood movie ‘Castaway’ were inspired by Robinson Crusoe.

                                    Poster from the Movie – Castaway

If you loved reading novels revolving around castaways, then Adventures of Robinson Crusoe lives up to your expectations. Once you complete reading this novel, also check out other classics such as Swiss Family Robinson, Mutiny onboard H.M.S Bounty, Treasure Island, Kidnapped and Moby Dick.

Why do I ‘really’ love to ‘write’?

Though I have written several blog posts, expressing my love for writing in a light hearted manner, this article is a bit fierce, harsh and true to the point.
Many a times, a writer is been ridiculed and criticized as a boring person by people. Unfortunately, this perspective is never right. A writer doesn’t just write; he pours his imagination, expertise, pain and experience in the article.
A worthy and committed writer never bothers about such remarks and keeps marching on his duty. I pity on such people who spend their entire life making mockery of a writer’s sensibilities, creativity and his dedication. Such people are like termites. Personally as a writer, I have also undergone such instances where people even discouraged me to leave the writing profession. But I have still continued writing, writing and writing.

Even great writers like Herman Melville, Louisa May Alcott, Stephen King and J.K.Rowling had to face criticisms in their career. It’s their dedication, commitment and writing works which always inspired me to keep writing.

Let me share one story about a woman’s struggle to raise her little daughter.
The divorce had not only shattered the dreams of a happy marriage for Joanne, but also had made her homeless and unemployed. The world was very harsh for Joanne and her child. But, instead of getting rude and bitter, she endured every hardship in life and focused her attention on writing. She wrote, wrote and wrote. Every word written in her story was phenomenal and magical.

It’s was her imagination and her writing skills that bought “Harry Potter” on the book shelf of every child. The books of “Harry Potter” were sold in millions all over the world and the sale of this book not only made this woman popular, but also made her the first richest writer in the world. This woman was none other than “J.K.Rowling”.

I had read this small piece of story in Arindam Chaudhari’s book – “Discover the diamond in you” and I was very keen to put this story in my article. It was J.K.Rowling’s vision and imagination which made her popular in the world of literature. “Little Women”, “Pride and Prejudice”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and “Lord of the rings” are some of the books which were written by great writers like Alcott, Austen, Stowe and Tolkien during their tough times. Writing is not just putting words, it is much than one had really imagined. It’s a vision, a spectacular experience, new world and memorable characters created by a writer from his imagination. Whether it is Kalidas, Saratchandra, Premchand or Shakespeare, their struggles shaped their lives and they went on to become the legendary authors of their generation. Their works still live on. I am proud to be a part of this noble profession which gave me a privilege to write out my thoughts with touch of philosophy and elegance. Everybody writes, but no one really ‘writes’ as a writer does. Every word written by a writer is valuable than a diamond and has the power to redefine the lives of readers who read it. As I conclude writing this article, I just have to say writing connects, defines and shape our lives as every word written by a writer is a gateway to eternity. Hope this article changes the misconception of people towards writers and writing.

Thanks
Prashant Badiger

The unsung heroes of Chittagong Uprising

This article is dedicated to the brave heroes of Chittagong uprising who sacrifice got dispersed in the pages of Indian history.

Recently a bollywood motion picture “Khelein hum jee jaan sey” came up depicting on martyrdom of the courageous patriots involved in the Chittagong Uprising. When I saw the movie, I realized that the history we read in our school days is completely different from the actual Indian history which is filled with sacrifice of several unnamed revolutionaries. Sadly, the history books contained only one or two lines on the armed revolutionary movements happened during the Indian freedom struggle. Among such revolutionary movements, “Chittagong Uprising” is regarded as one of the most thrilling and fierce revolutionary action that happened in Chittagong.

                            Surjya Sen(masterda) – the leader of Chittagong Uprising

Armoury raid – The Chittagong Uprising was planned by a calm and courageous teacher named Surya Sen. Along with his colleagues – Nirmal Sen, Lokenath Bal, Ganesh Ghosh, Anant Singh, Ambika Chakravarti and 54 teenagers, Surya Sen simultaneously attacked British cantonment, armoury, telegraph office, railway lines and European club on 18th April 1930. The aim of this revolutionary attack was to disable all the British resources and make Chittagong Independent from the tyrant supremacy.

Even though the mission was successful, their goal to liberate Chittagong was short-lived. Though the British armoury was filled with weapons, it didn’t have any ammunition. Despite of such misfortunes, Surya Sen and his brave team bravely faced the bullets fired by the British Army. Somehow, Surya Sen and his team managed to strike a terror in the hearts of the British soldiers and escaped to Jalalabad hills. The “Jalalabad encounter” is remembered as one of the violent and bloodiest encounter in the Indian history. On one side the Indian revolutionaries were equipped with minimum weapons and on other side the British soldiers were fully packed with heavy machine guns and 303 rifles. The British army shamelessly opened fire on the teenage revolutionaries and took the lives of several young boys participating in the revolutionary movement. Tegra, the younger brother of Lokenath Bal also lost his life in this bloody battle against the British force.

Capture and Martyrdom – The bloody encounter at Jalalabad Hills had completely devastated the hopes of Surya Sen and his fellow mates. In the later days, all the revolutionaries moved in different regions and carried out plans to continue the freedom struggle. Destiny still didn’t favour these revolutionaries. Netra sen, a member among the group turned approver and revealed all the details and plans made by Surya Sen and his friends. All the revolutionaries were either arrested or shot down by the British authorities. Though, Surya Sen evaded arrest and escaped from the eye of British soldiers, he too was arrested on February 1933 in Gairala Village.  Prior to hanging, the British officials tortured Surya Sen very painfully by breaking his teeth, limbs and joints with hammer.  Surya Sen was hanged unconsciously and later his body was put in a metallic cage and had thrown into the sea.

Role of Women in this uprising –

                                                           Pritilata Wadedar

Pritilata Wadedar took the revenge of Jalalabad encounter by attacking European Club on September 23rd 1932. But Pritilata was mortally wounded in this skirmish and later took her life by swallowing potassium cyanide.

Survivors of Chittagong Uprising – Kalpana Dutta was a prominent member in the team of Surya Sen. She was also arrested in Chittagong conspiracy case and was sentenced to transportation for life. After independence, Kalpana Dutta settled down by getting married to Puran Chand Joshi.

                                                               Kalpana Dutta

Story Retold – On the insistence of her daughter-in-law, Manini chatterjee, Kalpana Dutta retold the memoirs of the fierce Chittagong Uprising, its plan, execution and the martyrdom of Surya Sen, the great revolutionary of India. Kalpana Dutta expired on 8th February 1995. Later Manini Chatterjee wrote the story in form of a book titled Do and Die: The Chittagong Uprising 1930-34.

Do and Die: The Chittagong Uprising 1930-34, written by Manini Chatterjee is the best adapted book which uncovers the intimate details of the Chittagong armoury raid happened in Chittagong. Name of the revolutionaries who participated in the Chittagong Uprising
1) Surya Sen
2) Nirmal Sen
3) Pritilata Wadedar
4) Lokenath Bal
5) Hari Gopal Bal (younger brother of Lokenath Bal)
6) Kalpana Dutta
7) Jhunku
8) Naresh Roy
9) Ananta Singh
10) Ambika Chakravarti
11) Ganesh Ghosh
12) Jiban Ghoshal
13) Sasanka Dutta
14) Tarakeshwar Dastidar
15) Ardhendu Dastidar
16) Subodh Roy
17) Binod Bihari Chowdhury (The lone survivor of Chittagong Uprising. He is now 100 years old)
18) Kalinker Dey
19) Anand Gupta
20) Himanshu

This is just the list of the main revolutionaries of Chittagong Uprising. There are several other young boys whose identity remained missing in the pages of history .

Through this article, I have taken a small effort to highlight the “Chittagong Uprising” and retell the courageous saga of handful of patriots who dared to defy the British Supremacy.

The man in the iron mask – A thrilling novel by Alexandre Dumas

Novel – The Man in the iron mask               
Author – Alexandre Dumas
Genre – Action/Thriller/Drama
Ratings – Outstanding

The Man in the iron mask – Set during the reign of Louis XIV, the emperor of France, “The man in the iron mask” is a swashbuckler novel and the final chapter of Musketeer Series that marks the end of Musketeers – D’artagnan, Porthos, Athos and Aramis.

 Truly a thrilling masterpiece, “The man in the iron mask” is the conflict between the  emperor Louis XIV and his estranged twin brother, Philippe. When Aramis, one of the musketeers realizes that France needs a more responsible,  loyal and honest monarch, he decides to replace the cruel king with a honest look alike, who is none another than Philippe, the twin brother of Louis XIV. As the story advances, Philippe ascends on the throne as Louis while on the other side Louis is imprisoned in the dark prison of Bastille. The story of this novel takes a quick twist when Louis XIV is released from the prison by the governor and this is the phase where Louis XIV decides to seek revenge on Aramis, Porthos and Philippe. How Aramis and Porthos manage to resist the wrath of Louis XIV forms the crux of the story. I had read this novel in 2002 and became a true fan of Alexandre Dumas who wrote swashbuckling, thrilling and adventurous historical novels such as “Three Musketeers”, “Black tulip” and the phenomenal classic “The Count of Monte Cristo”.

 “The Man in the iron mask” was adapted and made into motion picture in 1998 in which Leonardo dicaprio portrayed the role of Louis XIV whereas Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich and Gabriel Byrne played the roles of musketeers. If you love adventurous novels, then you should definitely read other classics such as “Rob Roy”, “The prisoner of zenda”, “Captain Blood”, “Robinhood” and “King Arthur and knights of the round table”.

Bina Das – The unsung patriot

                                            

                                                                 Bina Das ( 24th August 1911- 26th December1986)

On 6th February 1932, the whole ambience of convocation Hall of Calcutta University was disrupted by volley of bullets fired by a young girl. The young and courageous girl was arrested on attempt of assassinating Stanley Jackson, the British governor of Bengal. This girl was none other than Bina Das, the courageous student who dared to shake the British Empire with her revolutionary action.

Even women have equally contributed to free India from foreign rule and Bina Das was one of them. Though Bina participated in rallies and protest marches, she started realizing that armed revolution is only the way to strike a terror in the minds of British. With a fierce resolution to gain freedom, Bina Das plunged into action by joining “Chhatri Sangha”, a revolutionary group in Calcutta. The first action of this revolutionary party was to kill a ruthless and tyrant British Governor during the convocation ceremony. Since Bina Das was also going to get her graduation degree on that event, she decided to take the initiative of assassinating the ruthless Governor. The convocation ceremony was filled with several young graduates and Bina Das was one of them. When Stanley Jackson was about to arrive at her side, Bina Das immediately fired five bullets from her revolver. But the governor managed to escape unscratched from the attack. Since Bina Das had just started practising shooting, her grip on the weapon was not strong. Bina Das was arrested and was sentenced to 9 years of painful imprisonment. Even though the mission was a failure, Bina Das was glad that she had succeeded in striking a terror in mind of British supremacy.

After her release in 1939, Bina continued her protests against the British rule. She was imprisoned for her participation in “Quit India movement” and had to suffer several hardships. Later, Bina Das got married to Jatish Chandra Bhaumik, a member from Jugantar Group.

Last Days – After the demise of her husband, Bina Das preferred to lead a solitary life and breathed her last on 26th December in Rishikesh, Uttar Pradesh. It is very sad to know that majority of Indians are unaware of the sacrifice made by countless revolutionaries and Bina Das was one of them. Through this blog post, I have taken a stride to throw a light on the struggle made by the courageous and strong willed patriots like Bina Das. Hope you like this article.

After 4 years of this article, I never realized that article will be a medium to connect one to lost relatives. On request of my senior colleague Jay Bhattacharjee, I am adding his contact details so that his relative can get in touch with him.

Contact Details – Jay Bhattacharjee
(jay.bhattacharjee@gmail.com) / 011-4182-8165/ 9810239986

Thanks
Prashant Badiger

How really a workplace should be?

The moment a person glances at the “Workplace”, a dynamic energy starts flowing in the veins and he pounces upon the workstation to bring out the creativity. Since I have been in this industry for past 6 years, I always wished that a workplace should be surrounded by motivating team leads, a supportive boss and bunch of loving colleagues. According to me, a workplace is not just a cubicle with a PC, notepad and stationeries. It’s much more. If I would have been the CEO of my organization, I would always take care to make my team members comfortable, happy and creatively free. Let’s take a glimpse at some crucial points which will definitely bring innovative changes in the workplace.

1) Transparent communication –
 If you want to increase the productivity of your company, the foremost important thing is to speak out your mind and convey your vision to your employees. This point is what actually missed out. If an employer takes one step to show the actual picture of his goals and requirements, there won’t be any conflict, confusion in minds of his workforce. This healthy communication won’t just build relationships, but will also boost the productivity of the organization.

2) Motivation – That’s what matters a lot!!!! It transforms a rookie intern into a dedicated, committed and hardworking professional. Motivation is the first step to team-building. Does motivation really exists in corporate sectors? The percentage of motivators in corporate sectors is very less. On the contrary, new joined employees don’t gain the expected support and co-operation from their senior members. Result! Either the employee loses his interest in the job or he starts surfing for new opportunities on job portals. It’s very essential for the company’s entrepreneur to monitor the performance of every employee and motivate him so that he gets a certain amount of time to overcome his flaws. Overall, motivation is really a must.

3) Awards and appreciations –Every person tirelessly works day and night to complete the company’s project. He not only put his efforts, skills and expertise in the work, but also puts the additional hours of his life for the organization’s growth. But how many people really realize that? Not a single one and the outcome is just resentment, frustration and disappointment which begins to grow in the heart of the person. I am completely against this approach. If the entrepreneur doesn’t appreciate the effort of his workforce, then who will? Just take an initiative to say 2 magical words “Well done” to your employees and witness the miracle.

4) Constructive criticism – Many a times, an employee is publicly humiliated or criticized for his weak performance. Insulting a person is neither a solution to any problem nor it is going to improve the productivity of the organization. There is a huge difference between Destructive criticism and Constructive criticism.

Destructive criticism is just bombarding on a person with harsh words, discouraging statements and hopeless comments. If you want to know what “Constructive criticism” really means, then see the movie “Taare Zameen Par” and you will discover the actual meaning of constructive criticism. Criticism is essential for improvement and progress, but it should be conveyed in a compassionate way in absence of public. Constructive criticism means not just making a person aware of his flaws, but also leading him to path of self-realization, improvement, growth and productivity.

These are some points I felt necessary to share with my readers. For me, the significance of a workplace matters a lot. It’s a professional home where we don’t just work, but also learn, share and interact. If you have any suggestions and vision about an ideal workplace, do let me know. I will be happy to include the suggestions in my blog post.

 Till then, have a happy working day and keep smiling

With Regards
Prashant Badiger