Spring Time. O Henry Story. Reintroduced by P S Remesh Chandran.

24.

Spring Time. O Henry Story. Reintroduced by P. S. Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 6th Jun 2011.  Short URL http://nut.bz/3rrqb.i5/
Posted in Wikinut  Short Stories

 

O.Henry’s stories are famous for the twist towards their end. William Sydney Porter was the real person behind this name. He wrote more than Two hundred short stories, almost all of them equally famous. His stories are noted for the great sympathy they show towards human life. Here in this story he is describing how the happiness of spring is returning to Sarah’s life after the cold of a winter.

Typewritten menus for a restaurant in exchange for three meals a day.

The O. Henry family in 1890s.

Sarah made her living through type writing. In the cold winter times, food was a problem. She made an agreement with the Schulenburg (Shoolenberg) Restaurant near her home. According to the agreement she would type the bill of fares for their twenty one tables each day and they had to provide her with three meals a day. When spring finally arrived it had no character of a spring. The snow of January still lay there in the streets even though it was March. And spring was already delayed a little in that American City of Manhattan. When spring arrived, there were changes in the menu of the restaurant. Soups became lighter, meat dishes changed and fried foods altogether vanished.

Life in distant farms in the countryside can be as calm, quiet and peaceful as a gently flowing river.

Typing away dreams.

While Sarah was typing the bill of fares for the restaurant, her mind flew back to the country side she visited during the last summer. Life in distant farms in the country side can be as calm, quiet and peaceful as a gently flowing river. After the tediousness and monotony of life in a city, the life in the country side seemed to her appealing and pleasant. She had there fallen in love with a young farmer by the name of Walter. He was a very clever and modern farmer who had a telephone in his cow-house. He could even calculate cleverly the effect of Canadian wheat crops on the American prices of commodities.

Heaven sent Dandelions to show how pleased and delighted the ethereal realms were with earth.

Distant farms are as quiet as a flowing river.

Sarah and Walter loved each other and he had decorated her hair with dandelion leaves and flowers as an expression of his love. She had left those flowers there for his caring and walked back home happily. We living in cities great and small can assume how much she might have wished to stay forever in those glens, vales and coves. How much will not an insecure girl wish for a safe and secure life under the protection of a loving husband! Her wishes were granted. They had agreed to get married in spring but he has not yet arrived in her town. She is awaiting him and she wept on her type writer.

No human beings are left alone. Teardrops of a loner are wiped away by invisible hands.

Two dandelion friends catching the Sun.

In the evening the waiter from the restaurant brought Sarah’s food and the next day’s menu. While typing, a dish item in the menu caught her attention. It was ‘Dandelion with Eggs.’ Dandelions are not only a food but a symbol of love also. While typing, the very word Dandelion made her remember her long awaited lover and weep again. In her grief and tears a strange thing happened. One tear drop fell on the type written menu and one word was mistyped.

It is an invisible God that leads the way and walks a few miles with us.

The last Typewriter Factory closed in 2011.

The next day, Walter from the country side arrived Sarah’s town, Manhattan searching for her. She had moved from her old address and the letter she sent him from the new address unfortunately had not reached him. Therefore he was not in a position to know about her whereabouts. He by chance stepped into the Schulenburg Restaurant and was given a menu of that day’s dishes. But what a bill of fare! There was the all distinguishable mark of a tear drop on it. ‘Dearest Walter with Eggs’ typed in place of ‘Dandelion with Eggs’. And there was the tell tale characteristic of his lover- the capital ‘W’ typed above the line! The instant he sighted this strange bill of fare, Walter knew who the typist who created this laughable thing was. Without waiting, obtaining her address from the restaurant, he rushed to her house.

 

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Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

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Dear Reader,

You are invited to kindly visit the Author’s Web Site of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum at:

https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

Translations of this article in French, German, Spanish and Italian published in Knol.com can be read by clicking here.

http://knol.google.com/k/psremesh-chandran/-/2vin4sjqlcnot/0#collections

 

Tags

American Literature, American Writers, Appreciations, English Literature, English Short Stories, English Short Story Writers, O Henry, P S Remesh Chandran, Reviews, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, Short Stories, Spring Time, Stories, Studies, William Sydney Porter

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan : The Intelligent Picture Book.

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The Nightingale And The Rose. Oscar Wilde Story. Reintroduced.

23.

The Nightingale And The Rose. Oscar Wilde Story. Reintroduced by P S Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books. Trivandrum.

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 6th Jun 2011.  Short URL http://nut.bz/13yul8ts/
Posted in Wikinut  Short Stories

 

Birds love for their life. They do not change partners in the middle of a stream. They do not know about the fickleness of human love. And they do not know about the instant fancies of immature human mind that we call love. Knowing not this cost a Nightingale its dear life. That is the story in Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Nightingale and the Rose.’

Human passions mostly are lust and licentiousness misnamed as love.

Universal messenger of fragrance delicacy and love

Human love does not deserve the attention of the creatures of ground, sea and air. The Nightingale and the Rose is a moral short story by Oscar Wilde, the famous English writer. It is the story of the sacrifice of a nightingale for the sake of human love. The moral of the story is that human love and sacrifice are worthless, deserving not the attention of the other creatures of the ground, sea and air. Even though there always are immortal love stories among the mortal human beings, most often their passions are lust and licentiousness misnamed as love. It is widely thought that the world did injustice to this great writer. This reintroduction of his famous story is a humble tribute to this great lover of man and bird and beast.

The fickle human emotion of the immature that is called love.

All creatures react in their own ways.

One day a young student was found weeping for a red rose so that he could present it to his lover and dance with her. The boy was such enamored with the girl that he thought, without her, his life was going to end. But in that time of the year there were no red roses. The nightingale and the other creatures in the ground, water and air who were listening to this lamentation of his reacted according to their natures. While the other creatures either ridiculed or pitied him, the Nightingale decided to help him. She straight went to a rose tree in the garden asking for a red rose for the boy-lover.

Why Nightingales alone warble unending love songs into the sky?

Warbling unending love songs into the sky.

The Nightingale was such an admirer of true love about which she had been singing and praising in her songs for years that she decided to help the true lover. The rose tree, though without any red flowers then, revealed to the nightingale that if she was willing enough to make a self sacrifice, she could produce one with her own blood. She only had to press her heart to a thorn and singing without stop in the moon light, inject her blood into the tree. If she could do this, a red rose will bloom in any of the branches before Sun rise. The Nightingale summarily agreed to create a red rose by paying the great prize of her life. And in that very night she caused a red rose to bloom on the tree by her self sacrifice.

Why birds are created such sympathetic and considerate to worthless human passions?

They do not change partners middle of a stream.

When morning arose, the boy-lover saw the red rose on the tree and rushed to his girl friend with the rose. But within that time she had promised to dance with another boy, a rich one who had offered her gold buttons instead of cheap roses. Thus the boy’s love ended in folly and disaster, unnecessarily causing the death of a Nightingale. The boy threw the precious red rose into the street where a cart-wheel went over it. We will wonder what preciousness is there in the supposed love of unripe human beings and why birds and other creatures are created such sympathetic and considerate to worthless human passions.

 

________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

________________________________

 

Dear Reader,

You are invited to kindly visit the Author’s Web Site of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum at:

https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

Translations of this article in French, German, Spanish and Italian published in Knol.com can be read by clicking here.

http://knol.google.com/k/psremesh-chandran/-/2vin4sjqlcnot/0#collections

 

Tags

American Literature, American Writers, Appreciations, English Literature, English Short Stories, English Short Story Writers, Nightingale And The Rose, Oscar Wilde, Reviews, Stories, Studies

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan : The Intelligent Picture Book.

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Comments

Rathnashikamani
7th Jun 2011 (#)

Great review.
You’re an expert in appreciating English literature.

PSRemeshChandra
7th Jun 2011 (#)

Might be, though I cannot play with words as you do.

 

 

The Indispensable Opposition. Walter Lippmann. Appreciation Study

20.

The Indispensable Opposition. Walter Lippmann. Appreciation Study by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 15th May 2011.  Short URL http://nut.bz/js8.djla/
Posted in Wikinut  Essays

 

A must read for all who love mankind and human speech. An apt admonishment from a long-gone American writer whose great eloquence and excellent arguments in favour of the liberty of speech is once more brought to public attention. His bold opinions are dire predictions which help envision the rise of China as the most oppressive tyrannical rule in the modern world. Going through the article we will wonder whether it is China’s story told 50 years in advance.

Man knows how to speak on one’s back, so freedom of speech exists.

Walter Lippmann. A Portrait.

Walter Lippmann was a famous American writer whose learned lips here speaks to the common man about the principles of freedom of speech in democracies and its suppression in dictatorships. The need for a good, creative and bold opposition in a civilized society is well established. Since the time of man’s formation of his society as clans and tribes, the question of whether all shall have an equal chance for expression of their opinions in the clans or tribes has been a subject for unending debate. Since man knows how to speak on one’s back, expression of opinions has been going on uninterrupted through ages irrespective of the system of rule. Though Lippmann’s ideas on the liberty of speech are too lofty to be compromised and his analysis comprehensive, it should be admitted that his language is not as liquid or lucid as the language of C.E.M. Joad, A.G.Gardiner or Robert Lynd.

Stability of civilization depends on the willingness to consider others’ opinions.

Benjamin Franklin’s Freedom of Thought. A Plaque.

Stability of a civilization depends much on the willingness of people to consider everyone’s opinions. The French philosopher Voltaire once said: “I wholly disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Opinions of opponents must be tolerated, because freedom of speech is an essential ingredient to civilization. Liberty of opinion is a luxury upon which is based the very life of civilization. But liberty of opinion is safe only in pleasant times and only with men of tolerance, for these magnanimous personalities are not deeply and vitally concerned about opposing opinions.

We pay doctors money for asking us embarrassing questions.

A scene from Charlie Chapline’s The Great Dictator

Freedom of speech as a constitutional right has a strong historic foundation. We want to hear what they have to say, so we must protect the right of our opponents to speak. That is why we pay the opposition salaries out of public money. Opposing opinions would improve our own opinions; thus the liberty of others to speak is our own vital necessity. Free thought should be cultivated among youngsters because such needed is the existence of freedom for the existence of civilization. Most often the opinions of opposition might be embarrassing, but we pay doctors money for asking us embarrassing questions. Even dictators tolerate doctors’ free questions.

Isn’t it the story of suppression in China told 50 years in advance?

The Great Dictator played by Charlie Chaplin.

Speaking and listening is the only way to arrive at truth. In totalitarian states also opinions of the opposition have to be heard to and discussed for arriving at the right decisions. But these rulers depend on secret police and party men who filter into the people’s ranks and send reports. Some autocrats rely on their own intuition and some others permit their officers to speak freely in their presence. All exile, imprison or shoot their opponents. A one-way system is established through which opinions of the rulers are broadcast. The official orators speak and the audience listens but they cannot speak back, exactly like George Orwell predicted in his book 1984. As time goes on, critical discussion totally disappears and the internal opposition is liquidated. Some are exiled, many put in concentration camps and a few terrorized. The despot shuts himself off from truth and finally falls into ruin. Hitler, Mussolini, Heyli Selassi, Napoleon First and Third, all met their destiny this way. In the earlier stages they succeed but in later stages they all fall tragically. In the totalitarian states some still manage to voice their opinions through pamphlets and secret radio. But the creative principle of the freedom of speech is not applicable in totalitarian states and dictatorships.

Permitted to proclaiming wisdom in the middle of the Sahara Desert.

Released in 1945 to trace a fugitive.

Things are different in democratic countries. ‘There anyone can stand on his little platform of a soap-box and speak anything as in Kipling’s poem.’ ‘Even in Russia and in Germany a man may still stand in an open field and speak his mind loudly.’ (This was written long before the fall of communism in Russia and Germany through Glasnost and Perestroika and China replacing them in their former positions). The wisest man shall not have to proclaim his wisdom in the middle of the Sahara desert. That would be only a shadow of liberty. The substance of liberty of speech is present only in those places where different opinions resound in the same hall to the same audience. In that sense, freedom of speech may be said to be existing in places like the American Congress, the British Parliament, the Court of Law and the Scientific Conferences. There opinions are not only tolerated but discussed too, which the essence of the freedom of opinion is.

It is not the opinion that is important but the debate that follows.

Tiananmen where Liberty of Speech was murdered.

It is not the opinion that is important but the debate that follows the benefit if which would be that fools would be compelled to listen and learn from the wise man and the wise man too would be compelled to take account of the fool and to instruct him. Radio, movies and newspapers will carry on this process of continued debate. Radio and movie cannot be spoken back to, but newspapers can be. Everything under the Sun can thus be examined and reexamined. As Socrates said, the unexamined life is unfit to be lived by man. Experience tells us that the seed of speech which our fathers planted produces seed only when freedom of opinion becomes the compulsion to speak and debate.

A successful statesman would pray to be left among opponents.

The Cradle of Liberty. Faneuil Hall in Boston.

In whichever angle we look, opposition seems indispensable. It is unavoidable for a good statesman for a good statesman won’t tolerate his mistakes punishing a nation. It is not our friends and supporters but our enemies who study us closely under a microscope and learn about our merits and worth. Living among his enemies and opponents brings out what excellence is there in a man. They show him where the dangers are and where the path of reason and good sense is. Like all sensible human beings, a good statesman learns far more from his opponents than from his fervent supporters. They are the rocks against which the sword of his intelligence is sharpened. A successful statesman would pray to be left among opponents.

________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.

________________________________

Dear Reader,

You are invited to kindly visit the Author’s Web Site of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum at:

https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

Translations of this article in French, German, Spanish and Italian published in Knol.com can be read by clicking here.

http://knol.google.com/k/psremesh-chandran/-/2vin4sjqlcnot/0#collections

Tags

American Essayists And Journalists, American Literature, American Writers, Appreciations, English Essays, English Literature, Essays, Freedom Of Opinion, Freedom Of Speech, Liberty Of Speech, P S Remesh Chandran, Poetry, Political Philosophy, Politics, Reviews, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, Studies, The Indispensable Opposition, Walter Lippmann

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan : The Intelligent Picture Book.

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Comments

PSRemeshChandra
16th May 2011 (#)

Does anyone remember, in the picture shown above, released in 1945 to trace a fugitive, who is the fugitive mentioned?

PSRemeshChandra
7th Jun 2011 (#)

It was one of those few pictures created by artists and released by Anti Nasi Forces to trace their fugitive Adolph Hitler.

Steve Kinsman
10th Jun 2011 (#)

Excellent article. Growing up, Walter Lippmann was a hero of mine.

PSRemeshChandra
11th Jun 2011 (#)

Yes Dear Kinsman,
It is a fine article of his and his arguments also are still very much relevant. He was a hero of democratic thoughts, liberty and freedom of thought. I was very late to come across this author and you were indeed very lucky to have inspired by him from your very early years. I read your poem On The Mountain Side and ran then and there to my mountain again because I was so fascinated by the mountain top atmosphere you created and reminded in the poem.

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