Monthly Archives: November 2012

Panchatantra – The Monkey & The Wedge

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This story told in rhyme is a continuation of the first book of the Panchatantra, which as we know, consists of five books – Mitra-bhed: The Loss of Friends; Mitra-lābha or Mitra-samprāpti: The Gaining of Friends; Kākolūkīyam: War and Peace; Labdhapraṇāśam: Loss Of Gains; Aparīkṣitakārakaṃ: Ill-Considered Action / Rash deeds. The Monkey & The Wedge is the second of the stories contained within “Mitra-Bhed”.

The Monkey & The Wedge

So Dama-nak-a heard from Kara-tak

The story of the monkey and the wedge

How a merchant once began to build up

A temple of wood at his garden’s edge

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Panchatantra – The Loss of Friends

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The following is all thanks to Wikipedia: The Panchatantra consists of five books – Mitra-bhed: The Loss of Friends; Mitra-lābha or Mitra-samprāpti: The Gaining of Friends; Kākolūkīyam: War and Peace; Labdhapraṇāśam: Loss Of Gains; Aparīkṣitakārakaṃ: Ill-Considered Action / Rash deeds.

The next few tales in verse are from

The Loss of Friends

The first strategy, it’s quite a patakha*

The loss of friends, as told by two jackals

They were Kara-taka and Da-ma-naka

And these are their tales, not one but all…

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Panchatantra in verse

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As Wikipedia will inform you The Panchatantra (Five Principles’) is an ancient Indian inter-related collection of animal fables in verse and prose, in a frame story format. What I am attempting to do is to treat these in a modern verse format while, hopefully, retaining the original spirit of the stories. I realise this is a daunting exercise, but it is an interesting challenge for me!

The Prologue

Once upon a time, a long time ago

There was a kingdom in south Indi-a

King Amar-a-sakti ruled it, you know

Mahi-la-ro-pyam of South Indi-a.

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Conversion of our Ancestors

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Written by Mrs. Pritilata Singha in 1995 on a visit to Halifax, NS, Canada

This was an article written by my mother for the St. Peter’s Church Birch Cove newsletter. This is our church in Halifax. Most of our congregation found this very interesting and fascinating. I’m placing it here for my family – immediate and extended as a story about their background and inheritance.

To understand conversion in India, I feel one must have a basic knowledge of the social, economic and religious structure of our great country.

The East has always been religious and most or almost all religions have sprung up from Asia and the Middle East. Some have been born in India. Man has dominated Man by superiority of intellect, economic power or sheer physical strength.

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Mystery Lady’s Poems in an old Bible

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I had in my possession an old family Bible, given to me for safekeeping almost twenty years ago. On the flyleaf is an inscription in almost fading black ink, its flowing cursive lines are testimony to an age when penmanship was considered of great importance. It is a simple dedication made out to my maternal grandmother from her aunt and dated June 26th 1913.

To be honest I had never really looked at the Bible much – I have one of my own of more recent vintage – and what’s more it was tied in an old handkerchief that has grown a pale yellow although it has retained its resilience. I thought it was time to pass it on to a family member who still carries my mother’s family name.

However, before I sent the Bible on to the next generation, I decided to look inside and within its secret pages I found some sheets from an old exercise book on which were written nine – I CORRECT MYSELF THERE WERE TEN – perfect little poems. Two of the pages have been eaten by time and so some of the words are lost. The handwriting is not familiar, it doesn’t belong to my mother and nor do I believe the pages are old enough to belong to my grandmother. Inside the Bible was also an Easter card addressed to my mother from my paternal grandaunt, who had never married. However, the handwriting in the poems doesn’t look as though it’s my grandaunt’s either.

So who wrote these poems? Are they verses written by some other poets and merely copied by the writer onto the exercise book sheets? Or were they written by some unsung unheard of poet in my family’s past, on either my mother’s or my father’s side.

I plan to list some of these poems here, so if anyone in the world – who visits this site and recognises the lines as belonging to another poet – do please leave a comment. If not, I think it’s time the Anonymous Poet of the 1913 Bible gets some appreciation.

 The Poems found in an old family Bible

The little things

Be careful of the little things you do

For often times they echo back to you

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