A River that separates two nations


Ichamati River, a distributary of the mighty Padma flows quietly, separating as it does the land masses of India and Bangladesh at places.

The town of Taki is one such place.

 I sat looking at the serenity of the Ichamati waters from my hotel room in Sonar Bangla.  As the tide ebbed, the river bed peeped above the water. As if separating the water itself between the banks of the two countries. The sad  impact of the river bed silting is so visible. Decades of uncontrolled construction, encroachment and forcible occupation of the land have contributed to this.

But Icchamati continues to mesmerize the visitor.

I am told the Durga Pujo immersion ceremony on the Ichamati is a unique spectacle with boats full of folks of both the countries immersing their respective Durga Protimas.

In the words of the famous Bengali writer Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay

‘The ashes of so many burnt bodies have been carried by the river to the blue ocean over millennia. The man who expected so much return from his plantain trees on the southern side of that green, and at the bend of the river put bamboo traps to catch fish, is lying today on the bank of the Ichamati – only his white bones remain, bleached by sunrays.

…….… one listens to the music of eternity when one spots the old flowers or smells the pungent fragrance of herbal plants in Autumn. Some can visualise and dream the unlimitable unknown eternity in the image of the Ichamati river during the turbulent rainy season.’

http://www.shaktighosal.com

India’s 75th year of Independence


‘Came the partition of the country and the independence speech of the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in which he proclaimed, “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom”.

What followed was something quite the contrary.

Rather than awakening to life, people were awakening to bloodshed, killings, rape and pillage. Rather than awakening to freedom to live where they chose to, people were being forced to leave behind everything they possessed and cross a newly created artificial border, homeless and penniless.

The above is an excerpt from Ashtami, one of the stories in ‘The Chronicler of the Hooghly and other stories’ which recently received the Nazm-e-Sahitya award for 2021.

On this day, as we mark the 75th year of India’s independence, the following excerpt from the section ‘Hebrews’ in the New Testament comes to mind.

“So since we stand surrounded by all those who have gone before, an enormous cloud of witnesses, let us drop every extra weight, every sin that clings to us and slackens our pace, and let us run with endurance the long race set before us.

We may feel alone, but we aren’t. We are surrounded by an army of witnesses. They have run the race of faith and finished well. It is now our turn.

Let us not forget all those who have gone before. Indeed, now it is our turn.

www.shaktighosal.com

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A discussion in the Metaphysical World


Goura Prasad from Odisha, a student of literature, has sent me this beautiful piece and I am copying it below:

“I’m an admirer of literature. I used to write short poems, few lines about my teachers and felt happy to write about that. I ‘m enjoying The Chronicler of the Hooghly on a fine Sunday morning.

The Chronicler of the Hooghly is a good book with a unique writing style. It can be best enjoyed at the dining table, a father with a copy of the book in his hand and his children as active listeners.

Goura Prasad further provides this so very interesting discussion in the metaphysical world!

(Topic- Author Shakti Ghosal)

If Shakespeare, George Benard Shaw, William Wordsworth, Robert Frost and some other contemporary writers of their level were to talk to each other in the metaphysical world regarding Author Shakti Ghosal they may be very much thankful towards him firstly.

How Shakti is deeply rooted in the field of literature with some advanced literary ideas; claps may come voluntarily from them while talking to each other in the metaphysical world.

Shakespeare might say this to Shakti, “I’ve written so many dramas and sonnets, but the way you present the incidents with appropriate scenes Hail Thee to it.”

George Benard Shaw might suggest, ” No foreigner can speak English with hundred percent accuracy but your writing style is worth observing.”

Robert Frost may confide, ” I could not stop in the forest to enjoy the growing darkness of an advancing evening as I was assigned with so many responsibilities and I ‘ve mentioned this also in “Stopping by Woods on Snowy Evening.” But from our discussion, I can assure you I’ll take leave to enjoy your The Chronicler of the Hooghly.”

And the discussion goes on……..

Thank you Goura for the above wonderful thought. You have indeed made my day!!

www.shaktighosal.com

#shaktighosal#chroniclerofthehooghly#nazmesahityaaward2021#bookofthemonth#novel,#readersgonnaread,#booklover,#bookworm,#ereader,#kindlebook,#bookrecommendation,#fiction,,#bookloversunite,#booksbooksbooks#booknerd,#bookobsessed,#bookaddict,#booksofig,#bookstherapy,#returntoreading,#rediscovergoodread,#happyreading,#bookishlife,#booksbrat

How can I come when I am not even here ?


“Hmm. Yes there is something but I am not sure if I should be speaking about it”, Anjan said. “I have been trying to make sense of an unusual incident that happened just a while back”.

The room quietened as everyone turned towards their host expectantly. Jaya too had come in, poured herself some red wine and sat down.

“Just before all of you came in, I was looking out of these French windows when I was somewhat surprised to see an old school friend of mine Savio on the walkway outside. We had lost touch for over two decades. Suddenly I see him outside my very window”.

“And you recognized him right away?” Akshay asked.

‘Right away, as if the years slipped away and I saw him just as I had last seen him two decades back’.

But when I invited him to join us for dinner tonight, he said something strange and vanished!

As his friends looked at each other in puzzlement, suddenly Anjan could hear shouts of “Anjan! Anjan!” coming from outside, accompanied by loud knocks.

To Anjan it seemed like Savio was calling him; he started getting up to go to the door.

****

The above is an excerpt from the story Faultlines, part of the Chronicler of the Hooghly collection. Emotionally gripping and a psychological page-turner, the book recently received the Nazme Sahitya award for 2021. Available worldwide on Amazon ( 180 excellent ratings and reviews) , Flipkart and select book stores.

www.shaktighosal.com

#shaktighosal#chroniclerofthehooghly#bookofthemonth#bookstagramfeature #booklife #bookaddiction #beautifulbooks #unitedbookstagram #bookishfeatures #bookgeek #bookprojects #readingforfun #addictedtobooks #readabook #becauseofreading #bookloversunite #bookaholic #booksandcoffee #readersgonnaread #booksinstagramindia #writersofinstagram #instaauthor #authorofinstagram

The Hooghly has seen it all….


A thrilling saga of a mystical pearl necklace which spins history and myth addictively across different dimensions.

Across time as it takes the reader on a two and a half centuries journey.

Across human failings and virtues of political intrigue, greed, betrayal, love and magnanimity.

The Chronicler of the Hooghly continues to make emotional waves worldwide.

In the words of The Telegraph, “…. it is the sensitive treatment of the characters battling these tragedies that enriches these tales.”    

http://www.shaktighosal.com

#shaktighosal#Chroniclerofthehooghly#bookofthemonth#bookcommunity#bookaholic#bibliophile  #shelfie#bookshelf#readers#bookoftheday#ilovereading#bookblog#bookgeek#bookalicious#readingforfun#ilovebooks#bookstagramfeature#booklife#bookaddiction#beautifulbooks#unitedbookstagram#bookishfeatures#bookgeek

Nazm-e-Sahitya Award 2021


Nazmehayat was conceived as a platform for worthy writers. Curated by its two founders Swapnil Singh and Anushree Goswami, Nazmehayat offers book recommendations, contests as also a blogging platform for writers. It has a significant presence on social media platforms.

Nazmehayat has the vision to become a leading Literature platform in the world.

www.nazmehayat.com

Today morning, I woke up to the pleasurable news that Nazmehayat has awarded me the Nazme Sahitya award 2021 for the Chronicler of the Hooghly and other stories.

Thank you Nazmehayat for the recognition.

Reimagining Leadership in the Digital Era


“Clearly, the thing that’s transforming is not the technology — the technology is transforming you.” Jeanne W. Ross, MIT Sloan’s Center for Information Systems Research

Moolya Foundation is a non-profit organisation that aims to transform public affairs through digital leadership. The mission of Moolya Foundation is to expand the conversation surrounding public affairs and empower every citizen in the digital age.

Moolya Summer School 2021`— 6 weeks internship cum training program — aims to engage with budding policy enthusiasts and familiarise them with the principles of policy research and practical approaches to policymaking and analysis.

I was recently invited to deliver an online address on ‘Reimagining Leadership in the Digital era.’.

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines ‘Reimagining as ‘to form a new conception of, to recreate.  What is Leadership? A great definition is ‘visualization of and moving towards a future that was not going to happen otherwise.

In the digital era, our world is increasingly granular- more number of players are entering every day & increasingly interdependent- more unknowable connections between them. Information availability & sharing is 24 X 7 binding us all together and creating a global awakening of expectations.

http://www.empathinko.in, http://www.shaktigosal.com

#shaktighosal #moolyafoundation #reimaginefuture #leadershiptransformation #coachingmentoring

The Brahman


‘ Deb returned to Calcutta, but to greater worldly burdens. One day, as he sat with his friend, he confided, “Having lost my father, I sought solitude. What I have got instead are never-ending duties and worldly commitments. There is a struggle going on inside me and I do not know who would win- the World or the Spirit.”

That night, Deb saw his departed mother in his dream, “Hast thou really become the One who knows Brahma? If so, sanctified is thine family, fulfilled is thine mother’s desire.”

Deb woke up to find all his worries gone and his mind feeling like a feather.

When Carr, Tagore and Company finally declared bankruptcy and with it the closure of all the businesses, Deb said to Sarada, “All our businesses and property have gone out of my hands. What I had prayed for has been granted and realised. As the moon gets freed from Rahu, so has my soul become free from the worries of the world and now feels the heaven of Brahman.”

Thus it was that the son of Prince Dwarkanath became Rishi Debendranath. The pearl necklace and the curse that accompanied it had come a full circle. It had journeyed from adorning Lord Krishna in Chandernagore to driving the scion of a business empire based in Kolkata to renounce everything and embrace spirituality.’

The above is an excerpt from the story ‘The Chronicler of the Hooghly’ from the book of the same name. The book continues to make emotional waves worldwide with more than one hundred and seventy excellent ratings and reviews on Amazon and Good Reads.

www.shaktighosal.com

#shaktighosal#chroniclerofthehooghly#debendranathtagore#bookofthemonth#emotionalread#bookshelf#readers#bookoftheday#ilovereading#bookblog#bookgeek#bookalicious#readingforfun#ilovebooks#bookstagramfeature#booklife#bookaddiction#beautifulbooks#unitedbookstagram#bookishfeatures#bookgeek#bookprojects#readingforfun#addictedtobooks#readabook

The 3 Laws of Performance


I had recently spoken about the 3 Laws of performance on the E- Bookery platform.

Are you willing to rewrite the future of your organization and Life? Watch this 30 minutes video to get a blueprint for achieving performance breakthroughs.

How can you shift from being disengaged to being proactive, from being resigned to become inspired, from being frustrated to becoming innovative?

http://www.empathinko.in

#shaktighosal #leadershipdevelopment #leadershipandperformance #performancelaws #leadershipcoaching #leadershiptraining #mentoring

The way of the pandemic- A shift of perspective


As I write this the pandemic has been with Humanity for a little over one and a half years. If History’s signposts are anything to go by, the pandemic would remain with us for another one to one and a half years. In between the viral waves ( third, fourth and so on) would wax and wane as surely as does the moon.

At this point in time, we are witnessing two discrete trends:

  1. The world as a whole is seeing a week to week increase in infections of 11%. Clearly the pandemic is waxing now, with large swathes of countries in Europe, South America and Asia adding to the numbers.
  2. Vaccination has picked up pace with most countries rapidly vaccinating their citizens. The developed countries in Europe and North America have largely vaccinated their population.

If we were to look at India, which just a couple of months back, had a world beating surge in excess of 400,000 new infections a day, the decline from those highs too was rapid. However, as we speak, the infection numbers seem to be flattening out at around 40,000 new cases a day. While this signifies a drop 0f 90% from peak levels, it is still a 400% above the bottom level witnessed at the end of the first pandemic wave last year end.

Thanks to News channels and social media, folks remain nervous about the virus variants. How the COVID 19 virus keeps on mutating, how the Delta  ( and other yet to come!) variants are leading to new infection surges all over. There is also widespread concern about the efficacy of the available vaccines against the mutating variants. Folks remain stuck in this narrative and feel confused and disempowered about what they should do.

People ask, “Are we into a no-win situation where a solution to a problem is leading to a new problem arising?”

Europe may provide an answer.  Let us look at what is happening in Europe excluding Russia.

  1. Week on week, infections have gone up by 41% ! Currently, new infections over the last week stands at 449,826. This could be partly due to the crowds gathering for the Euro Cup matches!
  2. Total deaths in the previous week has been a mere 1317. This, on a  base of 449,826, is a mere 0.3% ! I repeat the deaths as a % of infections is a mere 0.3% !!

What this means is that in Europe the deaths related to COVID 19 is now so miniscule that it might actually be lower than that being caused by common influenza.

What this implies is that while vaccination may not be preventing infection, it is surely diminishing fatalities and that too almost totally.

So where do we go from here? What could we do to shift the overall context so that we could return back to ‘normal living’?

What we could do is this.

  1. Shift our perspective and language from infections to fatalities. In the ultimate analysis, that is what matters (apart from hospitalization, which too gets diminished by vaccination)
  2. Stand in the cause of supporting vaccination. Each one of us could play an enabling role in this by getting one or two folks in our circle vaccinated expeditiously. For example, we could assist our service providers and household helps by registering them for free vaccination on the Government portal.

What will you do today to support your own and your family’s movement towards normal life? Apart from of course  circulating this post!

In learning……. Shakti Ghosal

#shaktighosal # Perspectiveshift #pandemicwayforward

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