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The Museum of Innocence


by Orhan Pamuk

translated from the Turkish
by Maureen Freely.
Knopf, 536 pp., $28.95


Secret Love in the Lost City

Pico Iyer
The New York Review of Books

Istanbul, with its many signs of the time when it was the center of the world, becomes something of a museum in the work of Orhan Pamuk, a writer clearly in love with memory itself, and his hometown, and everything that’s been lost there. In his 2003 memoir, Istanbul, the five-story Pamuk Apartments in which he spent nearly all his first five decades are described as a "dark museum house," cluttered with sugar bowls, snuffboxes, censers, pianos that are never played, and glass cabinets that are never opened. The people inside the rooms have something of a neglected and left-behind quality, too; they’re devoutly attentive to the fashions and perceived habits of Europe, and yet they know (or at least their sharp-eyed chronicler does) that Europe is spending very little time thinking of them.

Foreigners, Pamuk notes in that book, love to enshroud his city in easy, abstract terms of "East and West"; for him, the real division at the heart of his culture is between local tradition and the imported new. And it is in giving that tension a vividly human, private face — in showing how it plays out in every piece of chewing gum or choice of a Sophia Loren movie — that he gives his theme distinction. It was his growing up in a secular, westward-looking family, Pamuk suggests, that moved him to seek out his country’s indigenous, sometimes mystical traditions; a further irony is that he learned how to give Turkey its own voice by schooling himself in works from abroad.

As a young man, his great hope was to become a painter, and he started, he notes wryly, by producing imitations of Monet and Sisley and Pissarro in a city that Europe had always seen as alien, putting Utrillo shutters, as he has said, on Istanbul houses that had never known such. The result might have been odd and hybrid, but it was inarguably new, neither typically Western nor traditionally Turkish. It was the West, in fact, that showed him what to value in his own culture, and even how to dream of becoming a writer ("This isn’t Paris, you know," he quotes his mother saying, in trying to dissuade him from pursuing art).

Pamuk made himself up, in other words, by living in foreign books. Dostoevsky offered him the precedent of a ferociously energetic writer, just outside the boundaries of Europe, who turned his raging eye on the issue of how European — or otherwise — his country should become. Nabokov taught him how to caress every detail of the time-stopped, sensual world of his privileged boyhood. Most of all, Proust showed him how to create elaborate fantasies out of his memories, and how to find a universe of feeling in even the smallest detail. Pamuk looks at Europe’s great tradition with a fascination and devotion that few contemporary Europeans would muster (it’s hard to imagine Ian McEwan or Michel Houellebecq earnestly citing Sir Thomas Browne or Montaigne, as Pamuk does); and in doing so, he catches instantly his own — along with his country’s and much of the developing world’s — uneasy position between the indigenous ways they are determined to hold on to and the globalized world they long to belong to.

The Museum of Innocence
may be Pamuk’s most intimate and nuanced exploration of these stresses yet. On its surface it is a characteristically roomy and discursive love story that tells, across 530 pages, a relatively simple and conventional tale of Kemal, an idle, rich young Istanbullu (not so far from Pamuk, he implies), courting a teenage girl. Kemal runs an export company given him by his father, but spends most of his time slipping into a second apartment his family keeps in order to woo, obsessively, Füsun Keskin, an eighteen-year-old shopgirl at the S¸anzelise (as in "Champs-Élysées") boutique, whose mother sews dresses for society women like Kemal’s mother. Between 1975 and 1984 or so, the two come together, part, and circle around one another till she comes to seem indistinguishable from the beloved city of his youth. In creating, many years afterward, a Museum of Innocence that gathers together items associated with their courtship — "a porcelain saltshaker, a tape measure in the form of a dog, a can opener that looked like an instrument of torture, a bottle of the Batanay sunflower oil that the Keskin kitchen never lacked" — he is effectively constructing a monument to love and hopefulness and, most of all, to the place that nurtured them both.

In the many pages describing how Kemal collects 4,213 of Füsun’s cigarette butts, visits her family’s home for supper over 2,864 days, and recalls their early afternoons together, Pamuk unfolds a classic, spacious love story a little like a Nabokovian version of Love in the Time of Cholera (other books are so much a part of his sensibility that one finds oneself reaching for such comparisons). But for most readers, I suspect, what will bring the long, slow romance to life is the much more particular love story hidden within it, of the author’s real passion, for Istanbul. The engaging and somewhat awkward Kemal and his beloved, out of "old Persian miniatures," sometimes feel like archetypes; the uncertain, semi-cosmopolitan Istanbul of Pamuk’s upbringing is so specific, it comes to seem universal.

Pamuk’s great feat, in this novel, is to evoke the particulars of a society built on received ideas. The people of high-society Istanbul chatter about Harrod’s and go on skiing trips, bring back parasols from Nice and meet at the Cercle d’Orient. One character customarily dismisses others by calling them "too ‘à la Turca.’" Inevitably, these borrowed surfaces contain a poignancy. In the late 1950s, Pamuk tells us, Turks loved to boast of being the first to own an electric blender, or a can opener or an electric shaver. They eagerly brought back mayonnaise makers from Europe–only to find that no spare parts were available for them in Turkey, so these great symbols of the new became, very quickly, relics.

Kemal’s best friend in the city, Zaim, is — not coincidentally — introducing the first locally made soft drink to Turkey, plastering huge ads around Istanbul that feature a blond German model next to the slogan "You Deserve It All." The hunger for status symbols is so intense, in fact — some Muslims buy Christmas trees — that canny entrepreneurs acquire bottles of the trendy new drink and fill them with a much cheaper local equivalent, to sell at a profit. Some Turks wear "East-West" watches, with Arabic numerals on one face and Roman on another.
Every detail, in short, speaks of a culture of quixotic aspirations. And what gives Kemal’s position special drama is that even as he’s kissing Füsun in his apartment of stopped clocks, he is officially engaged to a much more socially approved woman, Sibel, who is newly returned from France, the daughter of a retired diplomat. The society pages are aflutter with reports of the perfect couple, at the very moment when Kemal is making love to Füsun, hours before his engagement party. Much like Turkey — and, again, like many places in the developing world, so confused in their hunger for global cachet — Kemal wants to be a good Turk, playing by society’s rules, even as he longs to be an honorary Westerner, taking pleasure wherever it suits him. Like his creator, however, he’s ruminative enough to see that neither he nor his country probably ever deserve it all.


The Museum of Innocence develops, therefore, into something of a rich and almost-modern Age of Innocence, translated to a confused world that doesn’t know quite how modern it wants to be. The affluent, internationally minded Istanbul that Pamuk describes from within has a crushing sense of comme il faut even as it yearns (as some would put it) to be au fait; and in the 1970s it is this mercilessly precise sense of hierarchy and custom that is trying to exert its power as more and more young Turks begin to sense larger freedoms and possibilities. The era in which the book is set (much like the America of twenty years before) is the time of the first disc jockeys in Istanbul and the first psychoanalysts, of anxious discussions of the first beauty contests and models, which many both disapprove of and hunger after in the same breath. It is even the time of the "first Islamic porn films," copied from European sex manuals bought off the black market and completed, somehow, without the principals taking off their underwear.

In his last novel, Snow, Pamuk homed in on the issue of headscarves in eastern Turkey, to see how much his country was ready to unveil itself; in his previous novel, My Name Is Red, he looked at the Ottoman miniaturists of the sixteenth century, trained to efface themselves in the creation of almost formulaic sacred art, at the very moment when they are encouraged by European trends to work out their own individual styles, with a man’s-eye (not a God’s-eye) perspective.

Now, in The Museum of Innocence, he extends his discussion of his country’s torn ambitions by concentrating on sexual freedom, and all the vexations of a society determined to be "liberated" even as it is reluctant to let go of its habitual assumptions. Pamuk’s young men are gawky and shy with women — his thirty-year-old protagonist has never seen a kiss offscreen in Turkey — even as they go off to "high-class brothels" in which girls make themselves up as Western movie stars; his young women swan off on shopping trips to Paris and London, while being told that they must be virgins on their wedding day (or discreet, at least, about their hypocrisies).

Pamuk misses nothing when it comes to the uncertainties and pretensions that result. It’s not quite a case of how will you keep the kids in Istanbul after they’ve seen Paris, but rather one of how to keep the young content with no sex before marriage after they’ve watched how it’s done in Europe. Women in gilded Istanbul don’t necessarily want arranged marriages, and yet they don’t know how to find men on their own. Turkish doesn’t even have a word, we learn, for "flirt." The upshot is a little like an Istanbul version, appropriately twelve years late, of Philip Larkin’s celebrated line, "Sexual intercourse began/In nineteen sixty-three."

These terrors and insecurities all come to a brilliant climax in the central set piece of the novel, a bravura forty-three-page chapter on the engagement party of Kemal and Sibel — held at the Hilton, of course (which sits in the center of Pamuk’s Istanbul like a great Trojan horse), and fueled by black-market "European" champagne acquired under the counter. All of Turkish high society assembles in this great tableau — a huge scene, after twenty-three earlier chapters of roughly five pages each, mostly focusing on the young lovers back in their shuttered apartment. Everyone present knows how to read appearances, even as the real concern of each one is the pressures building within.

Pamuk never dwells much on this, but for Kemal the afternoons he spends with Füsun, his secret love, are a kind of paradise, which he hopes somehow to preserve; yet within the unforgiving circles of a world that likes to consider itself conservative, however liberal its desires, these afternoons are really the opposite: they are his way of banishing his lover from Eden. In indulging his own pleasures, he has committed her to a kind of prison, as a girl who has lost her virginity and has nothing much to show for it.

It’s typical, indeed, of Pamuk’s precision that his character’s divided life plays out with reference to symbolic objects. Kemal first meets Füsun as an adult when buying from her a Jenny Colon handbag for his fiancée — and then draws closer when returning it after the fiancée realizes the bag’s a fake. Füsun, for her part, holds forth against the very brand-name consciousness that makes this issue of fakeness so important (and that generates, of course, a market for fakes). While she smokes Samsuns, Kemal wilfully champions fake Marlboros, "produced in the Socialist Republic of Bulgaria and smuggled into Turkey on ships and fishing boats." Kemal’s lover sells fake handbags; his fiancée is the one who acquires them.
The one thing Europe has that Turkey can never have, Pamuk shows us, is an indifference to what Europe does or thinks. "In Europe," Sibel says at one climactic moment, "the rich are refined enough to act as if they’re not wealthy." In Istanbul — though again Pamuk might be writing about Bombay or Caracas or Amman — everyone ends up homesick as soon as they locate their desires abroad.

At a very early point in The Museum of Innocence, the narrator refers to himself as an "anthropologist of my own experience." Later he will see himself as an "anthropologist" of his own society, as if describing it "to someone who knew nothing about Istanbul." And though Pamuk lavishes most of his pages and attention on Kemal’s reckless, somewhat Humbertian courtship of Füsun, who now bends toward him, now skitters away, and to the way he starts filching objects from her parents’ apartment for his museum of obsession, it is really his anthropological impulse that carries the book and gives it its savor. After a while, it comes to seem that the main character in the novel, since the central lovers are a little sketchy, is the city in which they live. At the moment when the two make love, after nine years of waiting, "images of Istanbul in old films, snowy streets, monochrome postcards passed before my eyes"; clearly it is his hometown that is Kemal’s (and Pamuk’s) true soulmate and better half.
Those who read the writer’s memoir, subtitled "Memories and the City," will recognize many things here, from the beautiful mother reading the society columns to the benign father who’s absent even when in the house; from the boyhood trips to buy coloring books from Alaaddin’s store to the adolescent rides with other young would-be Istanbullu playboys in their fathers’ Mercedes. Two foreign tankers collide in the Bosphorus here, as they did in Istanbul, causing much of the city to watch excitedly the fires that result. At the end, in a gesture that feels somewhat forced, Pamuk even suggests that Kemal is a mirror of himself — his Borgesian "Other" (to use a term he deploys in Istanbul and elsewhere) — who has asked "the esteemed Orhan Pamuk" to tell his story for him and whose secret apartment is only five doors away from the Pamuk Apartments.

As it follows Kemal on his long, slow journey back to innocence — turning away from Istanbul’s faux-European society, breaking his engagement with Sibel and going to spend every evening with Füsun and her parents in their modest flat, watching TV — the novel begins, in its second half, to show how, by trying to have everything, Kemal is left with nothing at all. Unlike Edith Wharton’s Newland Archer, he finds the courage to break away from his small world and its smaller rules, but, checking into a cheap hotel in an orthodox Islamic quarter, he ends up neither here nor there. He comes to know intimately the impoverished neighborhoods of Istanbul, as he chronicles "their muddy cobblestone streets, their cars, rubbish bins, and sidewalks, and the children playing with a half-inflated football under the streetlamps," finding in their restlessness and melancholy a reflection of his own. "As I walked these streets," he notes, "it was as if I was seeking out my own center."

This makes, ultimately, for an unexpectedly conservative position on Kemal’s (and perhaps on Pamuk’s) part, that it is only by immersing himself in the old ways of Turkey, favoring courtly romance over contemporary passion, that he can begin to find happiness. In a curious way, he and his lover start walking, hand-in-hand, backward, as into a black-and-white picture, till soon "we were as shy, quiet, and prudish as if we’d just been introduced by our families with marriage in mind." Pamuk has increasingly seemed given to nostalgia — much of his writing is set in an age of decline (there’s even a stray reference here to the Pamuks as one of the old rich families now living in the ruins of their glory) — and here, a little like A.S. Byatt in Possession, he seems to suggest that it is prohibitions and constraint that give the right meaning and pace to love. Füsun, a dyed blonde like many Turkish girls in the first half of the book, returns to her natural black hair in the second.

The second half of the novel, as is often the case with Pamuk, does not quite sustain the narrative excitement that propels the first — it is backstreets and lines of inquiry that hold Pamuk more than plots — but The Museum of Innocence points up, rather neatly, how this artist’s strengths are, in some ways, appropriately Janus-faced: no one has given us so unsparing and precise a sense of mock-sophisticated Istanbul society, and no writer has immersed us so passionately in a backward-looking, monochrome depiction of Istanbul in its neglected, traditional corners. As Kemal starts visiting Füsun and her parents for dinner every night, he might be romancing the indigenous city he’s never seen before, letting his chauffeur take him in his father’s ’56 Chevrolet to cinema gardens and restaurants along the Bosphorus, showing us old-money families who burn down their houses in order to erect apartment buildings in their place. Yet everywhere he comes across dividedness: we meet, in some of the book’s most delicious pages, the aspiring filmmakers of Istanbul in the late 1970s, who yearn to make their own versions of Godard or Truffaut. But they are left to support themselves by shooting soft-core porn.

I read The Museum of Innocence, as it happens, while staying in Istanbul, and at times in Pamuk’s own neighborhood of Nis¸antas¸ı, the city’s Belgravia, where I was surrounded by chic new all-white hotels and boys from the countryside leading their chador-clad girls by the hand into Starbucks. At one point I even found myself at a society wedding at the Çırag˘an Palace on the Bosphorus uncannily close to the one that Pamuk describes here. But it was also hard, in the fast-growing city, not to think of the India in which my parents grew up, or the Japan where I live now. As Pamuk has discovered, by drilling with such intensity and obsession into every corner of his own country’s insecurities, he has given voice to nearly every society in the world torn between the longing to be global and to be itself. If you watch the films of Mira Nair, for example, you will see, almost word for word, the same strains, as Indians in New Delhi mutter about the smoking and drinking habits their (often envied) relatives bring back from America.

As Kemal begins to describe the details of his museum project, and how he visited 5,723 museums around the world, alighting especially on those buildings that are like representations of a mind — Sir John Soane’s House in London, the Musée Édith Piaf in Paris — it becomes clear that this book is his own search for lost time. At one point, he specifically tells the character Pamuk about the Musée Marcel Proust, the Nabokov Museum, and the F.M. Dostoevsky Literary-Memorial Museum in Saint Petersburg, and even (a little implausibly since Kemal is a businessman not otherwise shown in the company of books) talks of reading Proust and visiting a museum just because Proust has mentioned it. It is Proust, clearly, who offers his Turkish disciple a way both to anatomize the small print of society and to amass, privately, and almost in response, a collection of madeleines.

As in Istanbul, though even more so here, memory becomes a kind of religion, and there is a sense, following Proust, that les vrais paradis sont les paradis qu’on a perdus. Yet for all his meditations on how "real museums are places where Time is transformed into Space," and for all his talk of Aristotle’s notion of time and his own attempts to conquer it, it is Pamuk’s details that convey the point most beautifully. In the 1970s, we read, TV sets began to replace grandfather clocks as the way people told time (and the "East-West watches" show how even time is split in a society moving forward with one foot as it stands in place with the other).

Pamuk’s last novel, Snow, was something of a breakthrough, as he cut through all his literary arabesques to deliver a pulsing, very forward-moving story that nonetheless addressed, at its heart, his country’s confusions. Gone were the elaborate, virtuoso feats of invention and experimentation of The Black Book and My Name Is Red, with their dizzying turns on Turkey’s various identity crises and growing pains. In Istanbul he closed in even more on a tone of lyrical mournfulness that has come to seem his own. Now, in The Museum of Innocence, he manages to tell a very straightforward story of a dreamer in love — rendered lucid and fluent and human in Maureen Freely’s translation — that is, beneath its romantic surface, strikingly exact. It’s no coincidence, we come to see, that Kemal and Füsun first met, as children, at the Feast of the Sacrifice, or that it’s Grace Kelly movies that they watch in the family living room.

In recent years, famously, Pamuk’s own life has come to resemble an ironic and implausible story by Orhan Pamuk. After he made a stray comment to a Swiss newspaper in 2005 about how it is taboo in Turkey to mention the slaughter of one million Armenians and up to 30,000 Kurds, his claim was confirmed as he was brought before a court to face a three-year sentence for "insulting national character." Though he was acquitted, and indeed was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006, he was also increasingly ostracized in the place he so loves. When I was in Istanbul this summer, I saw his books in every bookstore, but when I mentioned his name, I was faced, more often than not, by embarrassed silences or evasions.

Now mostly living in New York, Pamuk is perhaps more prey than ever to an exile’s sadness, as he finds himself removed from his youth not just by time but space. In response, he has taken to memorializing every last linden tree and halwa seller of his hometown, and to constructing a literal, physical museum of memories that he is planning to take around the world as an exhibition. Some readers may remember how in Istanbul, he described the Istanbul Encyclopaedia he loved as a boy as "not so much a museum as one of those curiosity chests that were so popular amongst European princes and artists between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries." His new book can be read as his own Istanbul Encyclopaedia, in which he gives dignity to Turkey by turning to Europe, and brings to life the pressures of the moment by looking to the past.



Filed under: Book of the week, ,

Special Library Bulletin: Jan 2010


Special Library Bulletin Library Bulletin

Filed under: Library Bulletin

New Books (as on 6/1/2010)


(as on 06th January 2010)

Call No.

001.076 THO-P

Thorpe, Edgar and thorpe, Showick

Pearson guide to the CDS examination

001.076 THO-P

Thorpe, Edgar and thorpe, Showick

Pearson guide to the LLB entrance examinations

001.076 THO-P

Thorpe, Edgar and thorpe, Showick

Pearson guide to the NDA examination

115 BAL-A

Bal Phondke

About time

154 DIC

Miller, Gustavus Hindman

Dictionary of dreams

158.1 SAP-J

Sapre, S A

Joy of work

303.4 TOF-F

Toffler, Alvin

Future shock

363.73 MAN-E

manivasakam, N

Environmental pollution

363.73 MON-H

Monbiots, George

Heat: How we can stop the planet burning

370 AGG-R

Aggarwal, J C

Recent develoopments and trends in education

500 HAW-B

Hawking, Stephen

Black holes and baby universes and other essays

580.12 DAN-T

Daniel, M

Taxonomy: Evolution at work

581.634 JAI-M

Jain, S K

Medicinal plants

611 BIJ-H

Bijlani, R L and Manchanda, S K

Human machine

616.0252 LAL-P

Lal, Kalpana Sood

Prevention of burns

660.6 DEB-B

Debeswar Roy


660.6 RAS-B

Rastogi, S C

Biotechnology: Principles and applications

660.6 VIT-B

Vittal, Ravishankar Rai, Ed.

Biotechnology: Concepts and applications

778.53 RAH-N

Rahmel, Dan

Nuts and bolts of filmmaking

822 CHR-W

Christie, Agatha

Witness for the prosecution and selected plays

823 AND

Andersen, Hans Christian

Andersen’s fairy tales

823 ASI-G

Asimov, Isaac


823 ASI-P

Asimov, Isaac

Prelude to foundation

823 CAB-M

Cabot, Meg

Mediator: Mean spirits

823 CAB-M

Cabot, Meg

Mediator 2: High stakes

823 CAB-M

Cabot, Meg

Mediator 5: Grave doubts

823 CAR-H

Carrey, Peter

His illegal self

823 CAR-T

Carey, Peter

Theft: A love story

823 CHA-T

Charles and Mary Lamb

Tales from Shakespeare

823 CHR-A

Christie, Agatha

At Bertrams hotel

823 COE-A

Coelho, Paulo


823 COL-A

Colfer, Eoin

Artemis Fowl and the Artic incident

823 COO-W

Coolidge, Susan

What Katy did at school and what katy did next

823 DAH-B

Dahl, Roald


823 DAH-C

Dahl, Roald

Charlie and the great glass elevator

823 DAH-G

Dahl, Roald

George’s marvellous medicine

823 DAL-C

Dalhl, Roald

Collected short stories of Roald Dalhl

823 DAL-C

Dalrymple, William

City of djinns: A year in Delhi

823 DAL-N

Dalrymple, William

Nine lives: In search of the sacred in modern India

823 DOY-R

Doyle, Arthur Conan

Return of Sherlock Holmes

823 ENG

English fairy tales

823 FUN-I

Funke, Cornelia


823 FUN-I

Funke, Cornelia


823 GIL-R

Gilbert, Henry

Robin Hood

823 KEE-N

Keene, Carolyn

Nancy Drew: Real fake

823 KEE-N

Keene, Carolyn

Nancy Drew: Chocolate covered contest

823 KIN-S

Kinsella, Sophie

Shopaholic and baby

823 KIN-U

Kinsella, Sophie

Undomestic goddes

823 LAN-T

Lang, Andrew

Tales of Troy and Greece

823 MON-H

Monica Pradhan

Hindi-Bindi club

823 MOR-C

Moran, Michelle

Cleaopatra’s daughter: Princess of Egypt ,prisoner of Rome

823 NES-P

Nesbit, E

Phoenix and the Carpet

823 NIS-F

Nisbit, E

Five children and it

823 PRE-M

Preston, Douglas

Monster of florence

823 ROH-S

Rohinton Mistry

Such a long journey

823 RON-W

Rong, Jiang

Wolf Totem

823 SEW-B

Sewell, Anna

Black Beauty

823 STI-R

Stine, R L

Rotten school

823 TWA-T

Twain, Mark

Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn

823 ULL-T

Ullas Karanth, Ed

Tiger tales: Tracking the big cat across Asia

823 WEB-K

Webb, Marion St. John

Knock three times

823.01 DAH-W

Dahl, Roald

Wonderful story of henry Sugar and six more

8H1.08 AHM-K

Ahmad Faraz

Khanabadosh(Gazals) (h)

8H1.08 PRA-G

Prakash pandit, Ed.

Ghalib : Life sketch and selected poems (h)

8H1.08 PRA-I

Prakash pandit, Ed.

Iqbal : Life sketch and selected poems (h)

8H1.08 PRA-N

Prakash pandit, Ed.

Nazir : Life sketch and selected poems (h)

8H1.08 PRA-S

Prakash pandit, Ed.

Shakil Badayuni: Life sketch and selected poems (h)

8H1.08 SRI-P

Srikanth and Shahrose

Pakistan ki shairi(Collection of poetry from Pakistan) (h)


Bhatnagar, Rajendra Mohan

Dilli chalo (h)



Mehfil (h)


nandan, Kanhaiya Lal

Aag ke rang (h)


Dave, Jyoteendra H.

Hasyam sharnam gachhami (h)


Nandan, Kanhaiya Lal

Shreshtha vyanga kathayen (h)


Pars, Hari Shankar

Apni apni beemari (h)

923.154 LIG-M

Lightfoot, Elizabeth

Michelle Obama: first lady of hope

923.154 SUD-M

Sudhir Kakar

Mira and the mahatma

923.554 TAP-R

Tapti Roy

Raj of the rani

923.7 KEL-S

keller, helen

Story of my life

928.H HAR-B.3

Harivanshrai Bachchan

Basere se door: Autobiography (h), Bhag 3

928.H HAR-D.4

Harivanshrai Bachchan

Dashdwar se sopan tak: Autobiography (h), Bhag 4

954 MOH-A

Mohinder Singh

Akali movement

H 158.1

Mehrotra, Ramesh Chandra

Sukh ki rahen (h)

H 158.1 BHA-T

Bhatia, Suresh Chandra

Time management aur safalata (h)

H 158.1 DEE-S

Deepak Chopra

Sukhmaya jeewan ke secrets: Power freedom and grace (h)

H 158.1 HAY-Y

Hay, Louise L.

You can heal your life (h)

H 158.1 PRA-A

Pramod Batra, et al.

Apane pariwar ko khush kaise rakhen (h)

H 158.1 VIR-M

Virendra Kumar

Meetha bolen, sukhi rahen (h)

H 180 DEE-S

Deepak Chopra

Safalta ke aadhyatmic niyam: Seven spiritual laws of success (h)

H 305.231 CLI-B

Clinton, Hillary Rodham

Bachche hamare bhavishya: It takes a village (h)

H 808.068 TIN-B

Tini Tat

Shikshaprad kahaniyam (h)

H 808.068 TIN-B

Tini Tat

Dakshin bharat ki lok kathayem (h)

H 808.068 TIN-B

Tini Tat

Bharatiya ithihas ke mahanayak (h)

H 808.068 TIN-B

Tini Tat

Akbar birbal ki prasidh kahaniyam (h)

H 808.068 TIN-B

Tini Tat

Hatim ki kahaniyam (h)

H 808.068 TIN-B

Tini Tat

Tenaliraman (h)

H 808.068 TIN-B

Tini Tat

Balramayan (h)

H 808.068 TIN-B

Tini Tat

Mugal shasak (h)

H 808.068 TIN-B

Tini Tat

Prerak kahaniyam (h)

H 923.254 NAR-A

Narasimha Rao, P V

Antargata: The insider (h)

H 808.068 SHY-

Shyam Duo

Bharat ke swarnim ithihas ki kahani (h)

R 001 MON-H

Monica Arora, Ed.

Hundred wonders of India: The finest treasures of civilisation and nature

R 001.076 ROB-C

Robinson, Adam, et al

Cracking the SAT

R 080 WOR

Munshi, R N

World famous quotations

R 4H3.1 BHA-A

Bhatia, K C , Ed.

Angrezi-Hindi abhivyakti kosh: English Hindi dictionary of phrase (h)

R 900 LEI-H

Leier, Manfred, Ed.

Hundred most beautiful cities of the world: A journey across five continents

R 371.4 JAY-E

Jayanti Ghose

Encyclopedia of careers

R 741 MIK-C

Mike Chaplin and Diana Vowles

Complete book of drawing and painting

Filed under: New Book Alert

Model Question papers of half yearly Exams

Model Question papers of Half  Yearly Exam KVS Bhopal Region

Filed under: Downloads, ,

Model Question papers of half yearly Exams

Model Question papers of Half  Yearly Exam KVS Bhopal Region

Filed under: Downloads, ,

A Ning for every Library

Online social networking is an area where more and more libraries experimenting with. The current flavour is Ning, a platform where you can create your own social network. Many organizations and groups use this as their live and interactive meeting places. Facebook, Myspace, Orkut, etc are also social networks but the control key is not with you. All the personal information you oblige to give when join the network are stored and used by the websites according to their will (may be for financial benefits). But in the case of Ning, the situation is a little different. Thousands for Ning networks are hosted by the mother Ning database. The creators of the Nings are given with some authorities to control the content and data flow. They can manage the members, change the appearance, decide which blog post, forum, image, multimedia to be published, etc. So the Nings became popular. You can visit networks of families, forums, clubs, schools, associations, institutions, etc on the Ningsphere.

Our question is how Nings can be used in Libraries? Many libraries (academic, public, etc) in Europe and USA have already added Nings as their user interactive tools. Based on initial observations, Nings can be used in the libraries as, 

* Networking tool to interact with users: Secured and library administered platform help the library staff to communicate and interact with the active users.

* Library promotional and publicity medium: The Library can promote and publicize its resources and services on the network.

* Library evaluation tool: The discussion forums on the Nings can be designed to collect user feedbacks and analysis.

* Online personal space within the Library: The user designed personal pages  act as personal spaces where they can express themselves through text, images and multimedia with in the wall of the library’s online interface.

* Collaborative sharing and learning  platform: The groups created on the network based on topics can facilitate sharing of ideas and conduct collaborative learning practices (teacher-student/student-student/teacher-teacher, etc).

Library Junction”  is a project to experiment with these ideas. This is a platform to share ideas or views on libraries, books, reading, web, networking and learning. Those who are interested can join the network.


Filed under: Snippets, , , , , , , , ,

You can become great: A P J Abdul Kalam

Address and interaction with Students from all over Kerala Colleges (4/1/2010)


“When you wish upon a star,
Makes no difference who you are”

I am indeed delighted to address and interact with the Students from different colleges of Kerala. My greetings to all of you. Dear friends, today I would like to talk to you on the subject “You can become great”. I realize how the contributions of the youth in the past have continuously contributed to the world of today in many fields. When you graduate and entering in to the career world you will have many challenges to face. You will be entering into the knowledge society where the competitiveness is the key.

Dimensions of Knowledge Society

In the knowledge economy the objective of a society changes from fulfilling the basic needs of all-round development to empowerment. The education system will be promoted by creative, interactive self learning – formal and informal education with focus on values, merit and quality. The workers instead of being skilled or semi-skilled will be knowledgeable, self-empowered and flexibly skilled. The type of work instead of being structured and hardware driven will be less structured and software driven. Management style will emphasize more on delegation rather than giving command. Impact on environment and ecology will be strikingly less compared to industrial economy. Finally, the economy will mostly be driven by knowledge and knowledge driven industry.

In order to promote national prosperity, it is essential that simultaneously a citizen-centric approach to evolution of business policy, user-driven technology generation and intensified industry-lab-academy linkages have to be established in every country. India based on its core competence need to evolve a world-class product and services using innovation, knowledge generation, knowledge sharing, and knowledge dissemination, to enhance its prosperity. For enhancing prosperity in the Global society competitiveness is the key. Competitiveness has three dimensions that are quality, cost effectiveness and just-in-time delivery to the market. The competitiveness can come if you have creativity and innovation in thinking and action.

Creativity and Innovation

In a knowledge society, we have to make innovations continuously. Innovations come through creativity. Creativity comes from beautiful minds. It can be anywhere and any part of the world. It may start from a fisherman hamlet or a farmer’s household or a dairy farm or cattle breeding center or it could emanate from classrooms or labs or industries or R&D centers. Creativity has got multi dimensions like inventions, discoveries and innovations. Creative mind has the ability to imagine or invent something new by combining, changing or reapplying existing ideas. Creative person has an attitude to accept change and newness, a willingness to play with ideas and possibilities, a flexibility of outlook, the habit of enjoying the good, while looking for ways to improve it. Creativity is a process through which, we can continuously improve ideas and find unique solutions by making gradual alterations and refinements to our works. The important aspect of creativity is: seeing the same thing as everybody else, but thinking of something different.

Today, I would like to talk about the life of four great minds that have made a difference to the society by being unique in creativity and innovation in thinking and action. First let me talk about a teacher who made difference to the life of many students.

Imparting value system

While I was in St.Joseph’s College at Tiruchirapalli, I remember the moral science lectures given by the highest authority of a Jesuit institution Rev Father Rector Kalathil. Every week on Monday, he will take a class for an hour. He used to talk about good human beings present and past and what makes a good human being. In this class, he used to give lectures on personalities such as Buddha, Confucius, St. Augustine, Califa Omar, Mahatma Gandhi, Einstein, Abraham Lincoln and moral stories linked to our civilizational heritage. In the moral science class, Father Kalathil used to highlight the best aspect of, how the great personalities have been evolved as good human beings through parental care, teaching and companionship of great books. Even though these lessons were given to me in 1950s during my college days, they inspire me even today. It is essential that in the schools and colleges, lectures are given by great teachers of the institution once in a week for one hour on civilizational heritage and derived value system. This may be called as Moral Science Class that will elevate the young minds to love the country, to love the other human beings with value system and elevate them to higher planes. Now let me talk about how a street boy became great overcoming all the challenges in life.

It does not matter who you are

Mario Capecchi had a difficult and challenging childhood. For nearly four years, Capecchi lived with his mother in a chalet in the Italian Alps. When World War II broke out, his mother, along with other Bohemians, was sent to Dachau as a political prisoner. Anticipating her arrest by the Gestapo, she had sold all her possessions and given the money to friends to help raise her son on their farm. In the farm, he had to grow own wheat, harvest; take it to miller to be ground. Then, the money which his mother left for him ran out and at the age of four and half years, he started sometimes living in the streets, sometimes joining gangs of other homeless children, sometimes living in orphanages and most of the time hungry. He spent the last year in the city of Reggio Emelia, hospitalized for malnutrition where his mother found him on his ninth birthday after a year of searching. Within weeks, the Capecchi and his mother sailed to America to join his uncle and aunt.

He started his 3rd grade schooling afresh over there and started his education, interested in sports, studied political science. But he didn’t find interesting and changed into science, became a mathematics graduate in 1961 with a double major in Physics and Chemistry. Although he really liked Physics, its elegance and simplicity, he switched to molecular biology in graduate school, on the advice of James D Watson, who advised him that he should not be bothered about small things, since such pursuits are likely to produce only small answers.

His objective was to do gene targeting. The experiments started in 1980 and by 1984, Capecchi had clear success. Three years later, he applied the technology to mice. In 1989, he developed the first mice with targeted mutations. The technology created by Doctor Capecchi allows researchers to create specific gene mutations anywhere they choose in the genetic code of a mouse. By manipulating gene sequences in this way, researchers are able to mimic human disease conditions on animal subjects. What the research of Mario Capecchi means for human health is nothing short of amazing, his work with mice could lead to cures for Alzheimer’s disease or even Cancer. The innovations in genetics that Mario Capecchi achieved won him the Nobel Prize in 2007. Noble laureate Capecchi life indeed reveals: –

“When you wish upon a star,
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you”

Now let me talk about a genius well ahead of time in the world.

A genius well ahead of time: Failure did not deter him

Ramanujan, born and raised in Erode, Tamil Nadu, first encountered formal mathematics at the age of ten. He demonstrated a natural ability at mathematics, and was given books on advanced trigonometry by S. L. Loney. He mastered this book by age thirteen, and even discovered theorems of his own. He demonstrated unusual mathematical skills at school, winning many awards. By the age of seventeen, Ramanujan was conducting his own mathematical research on Bernoulli numbers and the Euler–Mascheroni constant. He received a scholarship to study at Government College in Kumbakonam. He failed his non-mathematical coursework, and lost his scholarship. Srinivasa Ramanujan lived only for 33 years and did not have formal higher education or means of living. Yet, his inexhaustible spirit and love for his subject made him contribute to the treasure houses of mathematical research – some of which are still under serious study and engaging all-available world mathematicians’ efforts to establish formal proofs. Ramanujan was a unique Indian genius who could melt the heart of the most hardened and outstanding Cambridge mathematician Prof G H Hardy. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that it was Prof. Hardy who discovered Ramanujan for the world. Professor Hardy rated various geniuses on a scale of 100. While most of the mathematicians got a rating of around 30 with rare exceptions reaching to 60, Ramanujan got a rating of 100. There cannot be any better tribute to either Ramanujan or to Indian heritage. His works cover vast areas including Prime Numbers, Hyper geometric Series, Modular Functions, Elliptic Functions, Mock Theta Functions, even magic squares, apart from serious side works on geometry of ellipses, squaring the circle etc. One of the tributes to Ramanujan says that, ‘every Integer is a personal friend of Ramanujan’. He was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society (F R S) in 1918.

Ramanujan used to say “An equation means nothing to me unless it expresses a thought of God”. For him the understanding of numbers was a process of spiritual revelation and connection. In his investigations into pure mathematics, he drew extraordinary conclusions that mystified his colleagues, but were usually proven, eventually, to be right. He opened a universe of theory that still today is reaping applications. The landscape of the infinite was to Ramanujan a reality of both mathematics and spirit. His love for numbers led Ramanujan to number theory. Despite being affected by chronic health problems, he was breathing Mathematics throughout his short life and his genius was recognized internationally. So friends you saw, how great creative minds, gave problem to the problems to succeed through the instrument of knowledge.
Let me now discuss about how to work with integrity and succeed with integrity with live example

Work with integrity and succeed with integrity

The Delhi Metro Rail Project has given to the nation the potential of executing a fast transportation system using high technology with reliability through a time bound mission mode operation. Delhi, the Capital of the country with over 14 million population, has the distinction of having a world class metro rail with frontline technologies. The work on the metro rail commenced on 1st October 1998 and the first phase with three lines covering 66 kms has been completed by December 2005. The second phase with 121 kms of line length is in various stages of completion and they all will be functional before 2010.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has brought to the country, the most advanced rail technologies for the first time. The notable gains to the country are, light weight stainless steel, sleek, modern trains with pneumatic springs, regenerative braking, public information display, wide vestibules and automatic doors. The sophisticated coach technology which was not available in the country so far, has been transferred to M/s. Bharat Earth Movers Ltd., Bangalore, which is now assembling these trains with progressive indigenization. BEML is now in a position to supply train sets needed for Phase-II of Delhi Metro Rail Project and meet the requirement for Metros coming up in other cities of the country.

Mr. E. Sreedharan, the Managing Director of Delhi Metro has ensured that, all the scheduled sections were completed by their target date or before and within their respective budgets through his programme management skills. The dedicated and transparent leadership backed up with professional competence of Mr. Sreedharan has given to the nation, one of the best transportation systems of the world at the most economic cost. He is a recipient of many national and international awards. Also, he is in demand for undertaking the development of metro system in different countries of the world which he has politely declined due to pre-occupation with committed Indian programmes. Delhi rapid transportation system has made a great impact in public service. The nation is fortunate to have persons like Mr. Sreedharan to implement such a scheme. When we met, I asked him, “Mr Sreedharan, how a transparent and cost effective system you have brought to the nation in such record time?” His answer was – “developing and positioning the right type of leaders for the task at hand. Whenever there is a problem, the leader has to be present while executing critical missions”. Mr Sreedharan is an example for working with integrity and succeeding with integrity.

What we have seen in the above four lives establishes how one can become great, irrespective of the circumstances he or she is put into, the ability to overcome problems and achieve your mission and carving out a unique mission which others has not done so far. Dear friends, all of you should imbibe some of these unique qualities which will enable you to excel in the field of your choice.
Dear friends, what will be the type of India you will see when you grow into your prime age. I visualize India in the year 2020 to have the following distinctive competitive profile. Now, let me give my visualization of India during the year 2020.

Distinctive profile of the nation

1. A Nation where the rural and urban divide has reduced to a thin line.
2. A Nation where there is an equitable distribution and adequate access to energy and quality water.
3. A Nation where agriculture, industry and service sector work together in symphony.
4. A Nation where education with value system is not denied to any meritorious candidates because of societal or economic discrimination.
5. A Nation which is the best destination for the most talented scholars, scientists, and investors.
6. A Nation where the best of health care is available to all.
7. A Nation where the governance is responsive, transparent and corruption free.
8. A Nation where poverty has been totally eradicated, illiteracy removed and crimes against women and children are absent and none in the society feels alienated.
9. A Nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, devoid of terrorism, peaceful and happy and continues with a sustainable growth path.
10. A Nation that is one of the best places to live in and is proud of its leadership

Integrated Action for developed India

To achieve the distinctive profile of India, we have the mission of transforming India into a developed nation. We have identified five areas where India has a core competence for integrated action: (1) Agriculture and food processing (2) Education and Healthcare (3) Information and Communication Technology (4) Infrastructure: Reliable and Quality Electric power, Surface transport and Infrastructure for all parts of the country and (5) Self reliance in critical technologies.
Dear friends, each one of you should carve out one unique area among the 10 distinctive profiles, where you can make an important contribution for realizing the Distinctive profile of the nation.
Now let me talk about the present economic environment.

Economic Environment

I was asking myself what type of innovation is needed to enrich the Indian economy and other world economies which are presently in turbulence. I had discussion on this subject with the experts of many management institutions. It came to light that the Indian economy will be less affected due to the world financial crisis. This is due to (i) the Indian banking system has always been conservative which has prevented the crisis (ii) The liberalization process in India has its checks and balances consistent with the unique social requirements of the country (iii) The Indian psyche is generally savings oriented and living within means is part of the mind set. This situation has reduced the effect of global turbulence in the Indian economy. However, the resultant effect will be reduction in export and reduction in outsourcing. The drop in annual growth rate of GDP could be around two percent. This is the time we need innovation in our thinking to rejuvenate the agricultural sector particularly through value addition and the small and medium scale industries and enterprises for making higher levels of contribution to the GDP.

Simultaneously, we have to enhance the rural and urban infrastructure particularly through the establishment of 7000 PURA complexes (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) spread in different parts of the country. The mission of PURA is employment generation with value added skills through connectivities and gives a push to the growth in GDP of the nation.

PURA Mission for sustainable development: PURA envisages development of infrastructure for bringing rural prosperity through creation of three connectivities namely physical, electronic, knowledge leading to economic connectivity. The theme of PURA, apart from concentrating on reinforcing agriculture, will emphasize on agro processing, development of Rural Craftsmanship, dairy, fishing, silk production, so that the non-farm revenue for the rural sector is enhanced, based on the core competence of the region. Also the PURA complexes will be driven by renewable energy such as solar, wind, bio-fuel and conversion of municipal waste into power. In this approach, the aim is to make sustainable development using the core competence of the rural sector. Number of PURA complexes have emerged in the country with the initiative taken by educational institutions, societal reformers and healthcare institutions

Kerala PURA

On similar lines, the Engineering, science and humanities colleges of Kerala, with government and private may like to take up a rural development mission in their region using the core-competence of that region in, coconut, cashew nut, millet, grains, processed food, , rubber and craftsmen based items and many other agriculture and horticulture products and also tourism. The students of Kerala Colleges guided by their professors should form interdisciplinary teams which will enable them to participate in ground level implementation. The ground level experience can be used as a platform to create PURA courses in the colleges which will provide employment opportunities to both social and economic entrepreneurs.


When the child is empowered by the parents, at various phases of growth, the child transforms into a responsible citizen. When the teacher is empowered with knowledge and experience, good young human beings with value systems take shape. When individual or a team is empowered with technology, transformation to higher potential for achievement is assured. When the leader of any institution empowers his or her people, leaders are born who can change the nation in multiple areas. When the women are empowered, society with harmony in the home is assured. When the political leaders of the nation empower the youth through visionary policies, the prosperity of the nation is certain.

At this point, I would like to recall the inspiring advice to the youth by Swami Vivekananda, "how has all the knowledge in the world been gained but by the concentration of the power of the mind? The world is ready to give up its secret if we only know, how to knock, how to give it the necessary glow. The strength and force of the glow come through concentration. There is no limit to the power of the human mind. The more concentrated it is, the more power is brought to bear on one point that is the secret”. Dear friends, this thought has indeed influenced my conscience and I would suggest that the education system must develop this faith among our youth and the youth to practice this faith in all their actions.
My New Year greetings and best wishes to all the youth assembled here for success in their educational mission.
May God bless you.

Oath for the Youth

1 I will have a goal and work hard to achieve that goal. I realize that small aim is a crime.
2 I will work with integrity and succeed with integrity.
3 I will be a good member of my family, a good member of the society, a good member of the nation and a good member of the world.
4 I will always try to save or better someone’s life, without any discrimination of caste, creed, language religion or state. Wherever I am, a thought will always come to my mind. That is “What can I give?”
5 I will always protect and enhance the dignity of every human life without any bias.
6 I will always remember the importance of time. My motto will be “Let not my winged days, be spent in vain”.
7 I will always work for clean planet Earth and clean energy.
8 As a youth of my nation, I will work and work with courage to achieve success in all my tasks and enjoy the success of others.
9 I am as young as my faith and as old as my doubt. Hence, I will light up then, the lamp of faith in my heart.
10 My National Flag flies in my heart and I will bring glory to my nation.

Filed under: Article of the Week,

Revised Date Sheet for SECOND Common Pre-Board Examination for classes X & XII 2009-10 (KVS)



Class X

Class XII




Chemistry./Business Studies/History



English Core/English Elective




Hindi Core/Hindi Elective.



Social Studies









Science & Tech.




Science (MCQ)

Comp. Science./Informatic Practices/ Political Science/ Physical Education/ Accounting for Business-II




Filed under: Snippets,

Army Day Book exhibition


Army Day 2010

Exhibition of Books on Indian Army

04-06 January 2010

Filed under: Exhibitions,Displays,

Library Junction : Social Network of Library@KV Pattom


People, books, ideas and experiences decide the way in which history roles.

Library Junction(LJ)

is an online Meeting place for the lovers of Library, Books, Web and any thiing which promotes sharing, networking and collaboration to enrich knowledge.

Anyone who is interested in Books, Reading, Web, Ideas and innovations are welcomed to join this network.


How to Join

Students: When you sign up, spend a minute to give your Name, School, Location, Class and interests. Also write about your dearest book or website and interests.

Teachers, Parents and Others: Identify yourself with Name, Location and or organization working. Also write about your dearest book or website and interests.

Feel free to express yourself. Join the Groups and share ideas within the Group.

Every member will get own pages where they can upload text, images and video.

You can also start a group on a special topic.

If you face a problem when searching for information on internet, write a blog post or start a forum. Let other members of the Network to respond your queries.


Library Junction is not a Facebook or Orkut. It is safe.

Inspire book/library lovers to join the network.


Join Now !!

Library Junction:where minds meet and ideas pop up!

Filed under: Library activities, Snippets, ,




Real time News on Kendriya Vidyalayas on the web

Little Open Library (LOLib)

Tools for Every Teacher (TET)

Reader of the Month (Nov. 2019)

Nikhilesh Joshi

Master Nikhilesh Joshi (IX A)

Face a Book Challenge

e-reading hub @ Your Library

Follow Us on Twitter

Learn anything freely with Khan Academy Library of Content

A free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.

Interactive challenges, assessments, and videos, on any topic of your interest.

Child Line (1098)

CHILDLINE 1098 service is a 24 hour free emergency phone outreach service for children in need of care and protection.

CBSE Toll Free Tele/Online Helpline

Students can call 1800 11 8004 from any part of the country. The operators will answer general queries and also connect them to the counselors for psychological counseling. The helpline will be operational from 08 a.m to 10 p.m. On-line counseling on:

Population Stabilization in India Toll Free Helpline

Dial 1800-11-6555 for expert advice on reproductive, maternal and child health; adolescent and sexual health; and family planning.

Kendriya Vidyalaya (Shift-I)
Thiruvananthapuram-695 004
Kerala India

Mail: librarykvpattom at