pigeon story-2

Though I did not read this book..yet my brief sting with pigeons pursued me to include it here.

Gay Neck, the Story of a Pigeon is a 1928 children's novel by Dhan Gopal Mukerji that won the Newbery Medal for excellence in American children's literature in 1928. It deals with the life of Gay Neck, a prized Indian pigeon. Mukerji wrote that "the message implicit in the book is that man and winged animals are brothers." He stated that much of the book is based on his boyhood experiences with a flock of forty pigeons and their leader, as the boy in the book is Mukerji himself. He did have to draw from the experiences of others for some parts of the book, such as those who trained messenger pigeons in the war. The book offers an insight into the life of a boy of high caste during the early nineteen hundreds and also into the training of pigeons. Several chapters are told from Gay-Neck's perspective, with the pigeon speaking in first person. Elizabeth Seeger writes in a biographical note about Mukerji that, "Gay-Neck was written in Brittany, where every afternoon he read to the children gathered about him on the beach the chapter he had written in the morning." In an article in the children’s literature journal The Lion and the Unicorn, Meena G. Khorana calls the novel one of the few children’s novels from Western or Indian authors to explore the Himalayas in a meaningful way (rather than simply using them as a setting), and notes the way Mukerji recalls their “grandeur and spiritual power”.

A brief glance:-

Gay-Neck, or ‘’Chitra-Griva’’, is born to a young owner in India. Gay-Neck’s parents teach him how to fly, but he soon loses his father in a storm and his mother to a hawk. His master and Ghond the hunter take him out into the wilderness, but he becomes so scared by the hawks that he flees and ends up in a lamasery where the Buddhist monks are able to cure him of his fear. When his young master returns home he finds Gay-neck waiting for him. But Gay-Neck decides to go on other long journeys, much to the boy’s consternation. Then, during World War I, Gay-Neck and Ghond end up journeying to Europe where Gay-Neck serves as a messenger pigeon. He is chased by German machine-eagles (planes) and is severely traumatized when one of his fellow messenger pigeons is shot down. Gay-neck and Ghond barely survive, and Gay-Neck is unable to fly. Ghond, Gay-Neck, and his master return to the lamasery near Singalila, where Ghond and Gay-Neck need to be cleansed of the hate and fear of the war. After that, Ghond succeeds in hunting down a buffalo that killed a villager, but feels remorse for having to kill the buffalo. Gay-Neck disappears once more, but when the other two return home, they find, to their joy, that Gay-Neck had already flown there ahead of them.

pigeon story-1

Pigeons are symbol of PEACE...

Yes I know I know, being a crusader of so called peace in the wake of war and political mayhem..I know that bird quite well...but may be not too well...then a few of its clan members..turned the peace of my house(though sometimes even that gives me the eerie feeling of gas chambers), into a hellish cacophony and a  smelling pit. the story can come later of course..but the prelude is equally important...for I have to tell you the ways in which I tried to think better of these Gaelic brutes and infidel peace keepers.

One of a related books or rather a title that could keep me thinking of not plotting heinous means of capturing or killing the noisy deep throat multitude was the breath taking-FLIGHT OF THE PIGEONS-written by Ruskin Bond. many of my readers might not have read the book, but might have chanced to see the movie-"Junoon"-a famous scene- A blood smeared face of Sashi kapoor, pleads to see the face of his  muse.

Any war or revolution or events like that give birth to lot of stories. This is one such story based around the period of Revolt of 1857 in INDIA.

This one is different among most of Ruskin Bond’s books, though I have not yet read all of his work. Most of his stories are either based on his own life’s experiences, involve nature in one way or the other,  and are concerned mostly with normal people and their normal lives and thats what makes them very realistic. This one is like a chapter from the history of our country, INDIA.

STORY: The story starts with the capture of Shahjahanpur, a small town village in U. P., from english army by Indian Freedom fighters. With that

starts killing and looting of english people settled over there with burning out their houses and capturing and imprisioning of their women, if there were any. Ruth,  her mother (Mariam) and rest of her family , all women, were one such group. First they take refugee in the house Lala Ramjimal, a friend of her father, but soon people around find out that there is  group of english women’s hiding in his house. Then a Pathan named Javed Khan, one of the man of then Nawab of that area, takes them to his house. He puts the proposal of marrying Ruth before her mother, though he can have her forcibly, but he wants to do so with the will of the girl. Well, its hard to know he loves her not, but surely he like her very much and is kaayal of her beauty. Mariam being a captive under Javed didnt have much options but somehow manages ot save her daughter for the Pathan using one excuse or th other. In the backdrop of this story the events of the Revolt of 1857 is presented beautifully in bits and pieces. Finally story ends with english army once again taking over the city almost after an year in 1858.
a bit about the movie:-
'A flight of Pigeons'.-the story by Ruskin Bond was transformed into Junoon by Shyam Benegal. Produced by Shashi Kapoor, the film was set against the backdrop of unrest of 1857 in the country. Shashi Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Jennifer (Kendal) Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah starred in the film. Nafisa Ali (then a national swimming champion) was introduced in this film. Vanraj Bhatia scored the music for the film. "Ishq Ne Todi, Sar Pe Qayamat..." sung by Mohd. Rafi and "Ghir Aayee Kaari Ghata Matwaari......" sung by Preeti Sagar became popular hits. "Khusro Rain Piya Ki Jaagi Pee Ke Sang...." a qawwali sung by Jamil Ahmad was also a highlight of the film. Made in 1978, Junoon went on to bag the National Awards for the Best Film, Best Cinematography (Govind Nihalani) and Best Audiography (Hitendra Ghosh) in 1979. A year later it captured eight Filmfare Awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Recording (audiography) Best Dialogues (Pandit Satyadev Dubey), Best Editing (Bhanudas Diwakar), Best Supporting Actor (Naseerudin Shah) and Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Kendal Kapoor).

Drop---inspired by eloquence redefined

A draught of life
a pint of wine
a vision of the holy grail
a breathe sublime..
a drop of lime..
the sizzling touch
a drop of tear
a crying heart
a drop of rain
at the summer end
a drop of life
to start from again...