Pen Names of Some Authors

There are many reasons that authors chose to write under pseudonyms. Some were due to secrecy, others due to the social norms existed in author’s time. Some used the pen name for a short period of time whereas others stuck to a single pseudonym. Most of the pseudonyms have become etched in the memory of readers so much so that nobody ever have any doubts.

It also seems that the pseudonyms were popular in older days. Now except some authors seem to write under their real names.

Here are some famous authors with their real and pseudonyms.

Ayn Rand is the pen name of Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum.

George Orwell is the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair

Josef Conrad is the pen name of Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski. He chose the anglicised version of his name.


Lewis Carroll is the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.

Pablo Neruda is the pen name of Ricardo Eliecer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto.


George Elliott is the pen name adopted by Mary Anne Evans. Notice she adopted a male name as pseudonym.

J.K. Rowling is the pen name of Joanne Rowling , in between she also adopted another pseudonym as Robert Galbraith.

Mark Twain was the pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens.

Sylvia Plath has the Pen name as Victoria Lucas

What is Happening?

When someone asked the humorist writer Mark Twain which investment shall bring in the maximum profit, he had said “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore”. As always how true he was. The demand for land is rising and rising relentlessly. Our health quotient is improved day by day resulting in increased life expectancy. More people, more wealth they generate and with more wealth, everybody wants to live a life of comfort. Three basic needs: house, food and clothing are putting extreme pressure on our planet. Even though Sun is helping us in the synthesis of food, the area under agriculture is diminishing. As the demand is ever increasing, technologies are being developed to increase the yield of the crops. This invariably introduces bactericides and fertilizers which go towards harming our health in the long run. But modern humans have means to get treated, thus lending a big hand in the proliferation of medicines. Thus vicious cycles are being created every moment.

Where is the rural land going? The need to get the house to live in is the answer. We are so short of the land that we have begun to expand our living space vertically. We are thus loosing our touch with the soil from which we are constituted. We try to create replica of the gardens in our homes in the form of potted plants. The urban monster is like an octopus which is spreading its tentacles and grabbing the rural land ruthlessly. It is swelling day by day. The farmers are forced to sell their lands to make way for housing societies. The idioms like “How green was my valley” are getting redefined.

The prices of the land are increasing in an unthinkable manner and still there are buyers. There are financial institutions to make it possible and lure the people. In these circumstances, whole life of person goes into paying debts which are multiplied through installments and interest many times over.

In the featureless plains of Punjab, the land was as flat as drawing board. Not an inch of land is left which is not under the plough. The pressure on the land has been so heavy that its natural fertility has been reduced to almost nil. Now it has become simply a container in which unless you do not add fertilizers, water and other nutrients, you will not get anything. The water level beneath has gone down drastically. Whereas previously it was about 25-40 meters, now it has touched 100 meters. The agriculture has thus become an costly venture.

In the older times, in Punjab the girls when married generally never claimed their share in the parental land and it will go to the brothers after the father is gone. These are things of past now. With the land fetching exorbitant prices, there have been cases of husband sending the woman to go to her parents and ask  for her share. Even if she does not want, she is forced to. Some of the son-in-laws are threatening the parents of girls to keep the girls back or give her her share. There have been violent scenes at many houses. I know a family in which the woman had done the work in her in-laws place like an bullock. From morning till night, it has been all work , work and work. In addition, she had reared 5 children. The man had been many extra marital affairs which everyone knows. Despite all this, she had been happy and content. And now when her brothers sold their land, her husband sent her to get her share or otherwise don’t come back to his house. Such stories abound now.

While Riding a bus

I was in Panchkula a few days ago. I had to go to Chandigarh from there. Transport service is not good.You have to shell seventy to eighty rupees if you want to go immediately and have to catch an auto-rickshaw. A few rickshaw drivers park their vehicles and wait for any stray passenger. They sit in a group and play cards to while away the time. It must be very boring for them. There are simply not many takers of rickshaws. This is because most of the residents in the area have their own vehicles.

I decided to take the bus however long I have to wait. Bus came and thankfully it was not crowded because it was in the afternoon. I got a seat in the front next to the door. The problem with the bus is that it takes a sinuous route throughout Panchkula covering almost every sector. So the crow’s distance of about 5 kilometers becomes 25 kilometers.

When the bus was nearing my intended stop, one stop behind a labor boy came and stood in the steps of the bus obviously to alight at the stop. He was having a tiffin box in his hand and was bearing a black colored shirt. On the back was written following sentence.

“I was born intelligent but education ruined me”.

I began remembering the great humorist and novelist, Mark Twain who often quoted that education is not a great thing. It is not necessary that a successful person must be educated. So many examples can be cited about the business magnates and successful leaders and actors who were not educated at all. Rabindranath Tagore did not go to any school for formal education, Akbar the Great and Asoka were illiterates but so wise and able.

But I strongly doubt that the boy who was wearing this shirt have been able to go to any school. His parents must have been very poor otherwise in India parents can remain hungry to save money for the education of his children. Like so many people, his parents must have come here from Bihar or Eastern U.P. to earn a good living. Everyone dreams of good education for his children. Whether the children like it or not is another matter.

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