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This Is All I Have To Say

There is always a lesson to be learnt from failure.
Look for that lesson.
And learn it.
Suddenly, you’ll find success sitting beside you.
Winking at you.
– Swapan Seth

A few days back I read a small book—This Is All I Have To Say by Swapan Seth. I finished reading it in about 30 minutes. But it made me think for many days. The saying ‘small is beautiful’ is very true in this case.

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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

‘I cannot understand why you should wish to leave this beautiful country and go back to the dry, gray place you call Kansas.’
‘That is because you have no brains,’ answered the girl. “No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.”

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children’s novel written by L. Frank Baum . It was published in 1900, and has since become one of the most popular children’s books of all time. It has since been reprinted numerous times, most often under the name The Wizard of Oz, which is the name of both the 1902 stage play and the extremely popular, highly acclaimed 1939 film version by MGM.

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The Last Lecture

A few weeks back I read a book “The Last Lecture.” I had the book for a couple of months, but read it only last week. The book is about the final lecture given by a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)—Randy Pausch. The CMU has the practice of asking its professors to give talks titled “The Last Lecture,” where the professors are asked to think about their death and tell the audience about the lessons they learned and pass on their wisdom.

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Germinal is the thirteenth novel in Émile Zola’s twenty-volume series Les Rougon-Macquart. It is one of the most significant novels in the French tradition. The novel-an uncompromisingly harsh and realistic story of a coalminers’ strike in northern France in the 1860s-has been published and translated in over one hundred countries as well as inspiring five film adaptations and two TV productions. The title refers to the name of a month of the French Republican Calendar, a spring month. Germen is a Latin word which means “seed”; the novel describes the hope for a better future that seeds amongst the miners. [1]

Germinal is a resonant title, in every sense. Fifty thousand people followed Emile Zola’s funeral procession on 5th October, 1902 and among them was a delegation of miners from the Denain coalfield rhythmically chanting ‘Germinal! Germinal!’ through the streets of Paris. Even today, Germinal has a special place in the folklore of the mining communities of France. It also enjoys a critical reputation as Zola’s masterpiece.

Germinal tells the story of a young migrant worker Etienne Lantier, who is forced to take a menial job at the Le Voreux mine. He is soon horrified at the exploitation of the miners and the sufferings of his colleagues. Impassioned and articulate in his rage, Etienne rises through the ranks to lead the miners in their desperate strike against ever-deteriorating conditions.

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