Thursday, 14 January 2016

Freedom at Midnight - Synopsis

"Freedom at Midnight" book covers historical account of India's freedom struggle, the partition of subcontinent, and Mahatma Gandhi's assassination. It's written by an American and a Frenchman, Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre. 
The book starts with the account of the Final phase of the British Raj in India, covers Gandhi's struggles, the great partition and subsequent Independence, and finally, Gandhi's Assassination. In the process, lifestyle of Indian Maharajas and British Officers is also briefly described. The chapters dedicated to agony of the Partition, the stories of human suffering resulted by the political, social situations of those times. This book certainly comes in the latter category, making it an all time classic Indian History book.

There is a description of the British summertime capital Shimla in the Himalayas and how supplies were carried up steep mountains by porters each year. On the theme of partition, the book relates that the crucial maps setting the boundary separating India and Pakistan were drawn that year by Cyril Radcliffe, who had never visited India in his life before being appointed as the chairman of the Boundary Commission. It depicts the fury of both Hindus and Muslims, misled by their communal leaders, during the partition, and the biggest mass slaughter in the history of India as millions of people were uprooted by the partition and tried to migrate by train, oxcart, and on foot to new places designated for their particular religious group. Many migrants fell victim to bandits and religious extremists of both dominant religions. One incident quoted describes a canal in Lahore that ran with blood and floating bodies. Also covered in detail are the events leading to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, as well as the life and motives of British-educated Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistani leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Many Lives, Many Masters
-Dr Brain Weiss

Many Lives, Many Masters is the true story of a prominent psychiatrist, his young patient, and the past-life therapy that changed both their lives. As a traditional psychotherapist, Dr. Brian Weiss, M.D., graduating Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, from Columbia University and Yale Medical School, spent years in the disciplined study of the human psychology, training his mind to think as a scientist and a physician.

He held steadfastly to conservatism in his profession, distrusting anything that could not be proved by traditional scientific method. But when he met his 27-year old patient, Catherine, in 1980, who came to his office seeking help for her anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias, he was taken aback at what unfolded in the therapy sessions that followed, which jolted him out of his conventional ways of thought and psychiatry.
For the first time, he came face-to-face with the concept of reincarnation and the many tenets of Hinduism, which, as he says in the last chapter of the book, I thought only Hindus practiced.
For 18 months, Dr. Weiss used conventional methods of treatment to help Catherine overcome her traumas. When nothing seemed to work, he tried hypnosis, which, he explains, is an excellent tool to help a patient remember long-forgotten incidents. There is nothing mysterious about it. It is just a state of focused concentration. Under the instruction of a trained hypnotist, the patients body relaxes, causing the memory to sharpen eliciting memories of long-forgotten traumas that were disrupting their lives.
During the initial sessions, the doctor regressed her back to her early childhood and she strained and stretched her mind bringing out isolated, deeply-repressed memory fragments. She remembered from age five when she swallowed water and felt gagged when pushed from a diving board into a pool; and at age three when her father reeking of alcohol molested her one night.
But what came next, catapulted skeptics like Dr. Weiss into believing in parapsychology, and in what Shakespeare had said in Hamlet ,There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
In a series of trance-like states, Catherine recalled past life memories that proved to be the causative factors of her recurring nightmares and anxiety attack symptoms. She remembers living 86 times in physical state in different places on this earth both as male and female. She recalled vividly the details of each birth  her name, her family, physical appearance, the landscape, and how she was killed by stabbing, by drowning, or illness. And in each lifetime she experiences myriad events making progress to fulfill all of the agreements and all of the Karmic (from Hindu concept of Karma) debts that are owed.
Dr. Weisss skepticism was eroded, however, when she began to channel messages from the space between lives, messages from the many Masters (highly evolved souls not presently in body) that also contained remarkable revelations about his family and his dead son. Often he had heard his patients talk about near-death experiences when they float out of their mortal bodies guided towards a bright white light before reentering their discarded body once again.
But Catherine revealed much more. As she floats out of her body after each death, she says, I am aware of a bright light. Its wonderful; you get energy from this light. Then, while waiting to be reborn in the in-between-lives state, she learns from the Masters great wisdom and becomes a conduit for transcendental knowledge.

               Reflection- Murder on the Orient Express by- Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie is best known for her detective novels.
 I enjoyed reading Murder on the Orient Express which is considered one of the most ingenious stories ever written.
Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, a passenger lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer. Isolated by the storm and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer amongst a dozen of the dead man's enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.
The plot unravels- everyone on the train was connected to the Armstrong family. The annoying American woman, Mrs. Hubbard, is Linda Arden herself, the famous actress and mother of Daisy Armstrong's mother. At the end, Poirot proposes two possible solutions. In the first one, an outsider got on the train when it was stopped and killed Ratchett. The other, though, is the truth: the passengers were all in on it together in order to get justice for little Daisy Armstrong.
M. Bouc and Dr. Constantine choose to present the first, false solution to the police when the train starts moving again. This shows that they think Ratchett was not so much murdered as he was brought to justice.
The story is written in such an interesting and mysterious way that  till the last chapter I could not guess who would be the murderer and couldn’t contain my excitement that I read the last pages first.:)

Komal Thakur

The book,” Who Moved My Cheese ? “by Dr. Spencer Johnson is a must read for anyone who wants to initiate a discussion between one’s life’s decisions and changing scenarios around one self. The book deals with the different viewpoints a person may have regarding shifting from a comfortable zone to trying something new in life. It explores the unseen and motivates to learn from the new surroundings and adapt oneself and become better skilled.
The book is divided into three sections: the gathering, a story, and a discussion. It talks about the people who meet after a long time like a college alumini. They discuss various circumstances in their lives and the changing situations and how they find it difficult to deal with them.
The story talks about characters which are two mice: Scurry and Sniff and two little people: Hem and Haw. All of them look for their share of cheese on a maze. This maze being the metaphor for our desired things in life.
The book encourages us to think out of the box and not to take the known path every time in life. Thus coming out of our comfortable zone to look for cheese and not be afraid if someone moves our cheese. It has many interesting quotes that help one learn to adapt to the new and welcome it with open arms.
The book ends with a discussion of the college alumini once again to learn from the story of the two mice and little men and feel happy with the changing scenarios in life.
Pooja Kumar

Amity International School Sec -46 Ggn

Friday, 8 January 2016

BOOK REVIEW: synopsis


BY: Jack Canfield, AMY Newmark, and Mark Victor Hansen

The book is a collection of series featuring a collection of short and motivational stories. The book regales all educators with inspiring and humorous stories happening inside and outside the classroom. The book emphazisesthat there is that one special teacher and the student.
Some of the stories however ended with some sort of valuable lesson or a feeling of validation for those teachers who choose to sacrifice higher income and prestige to work in the schools, still some are heartbreaking.
At some places the author has tried to grab the attention of readers with the help of humorous remarks and at some points the reader whether he or she is an adult or a teenager will be forced to think the hard work and the sacrifice of the teachers especially the time devoted by them for their pupils .The book contains real life experiences provided by the teachers all around the world and the author has successfully drawn the inference from them for making the book. One thing which everyone will admire about the book is the neatness and clarity of words by the author.
This book gives more experiences to draw on and helped me to remember that teachers can really make a difference.

Book Review
Malgudi Days is a collection of short stories written by R.K. Narayan. These marvelous stories are based on R.K’s own experiences in his village- Malgudi (South) .These stories blend with the traditional Indian customs and styles. From courtyard ‘pyols’ to ‘payasam’ (kheer) and ‘jalebis’, this book has been a bestseller worldwide. If you want to know about the ancestral customs of our Indian culture you should definitely go through this book. I like R.K’s simple but brief style of writing in this book. This book has simply nailed it! The best stories from this book are- A Willing Slave and The Doctor’s Word. Each story teaches us any basic human value. For example- Never break a promise; don’t tell lies even if it comforts others. The age recommended is 10yrs - adults. You can read it any time- like a bedtime story while sleeping, lazing in the sun, etc. I would rate it as a five star book. This book is worth a read.

By : Richa Jha,1 B

The story “Call of the wild” written by Jack London is a story of a dog Buck who is turned from home dog  to the sledge dog from a comfortable life in Sunny California to frozen dunes of the arctic, down South. He was sold to a person heading south in search of gold by his loving master’s trusted servant .
Buck’s journey as a sledge dog from one master to another teaches him the  basic fact “ Survival of the Fittest” in the wilds.
Buck becomes the best sledge dog and fights to be the leader. Buck is a very nice dog who helps everyone in need including his master, who is saved from death by Buck.
He learnt ‘never to fall’ else he would be torn apart by other dogs.
The story awakens the desire to be truly free. It tells us about the hard lives of people of those times, who  left their comfortable lives in search of gold, just to prove


 Neeru Adlakha