Shahmal is one of the two main characters of Amin Kamil’s short story ‘COCK FIGHT’. She along with her adversary– Jani ‘ the skinny’ carry the entire dramatic action to its logical conclusion in an extremely befitting and flawless manner. She is a young lady married to one — Ghulam Khan, hardly a year or so before. She exhibits all the traits and features of a lower middle class illiterate and uncultured Kashmiri slum dweller.
She is an ill-mannered and ill-tempered young woman always hot under the collar and apt let loose a volley of abuses on small pretexts. She is jealous and bent upon competing with her neighbors at all costs. It is quite after a lot persuasion that she makes her husband – perhaps a daily wages earner, to concede to her demand of getting a cock to her house. It takes her at least a fortnight of persistence to get the demand fulfilled.
She is quite an expert in taunting others and does possess quite some expertise in giving abusive and insulting nicknames to others. She is always bent upon showing off of her new possessions with a bid to cow down her neighbors and thus to establish her superiority—an attempt in which she almost always feels except in the drop scene of the story when her new cock trounces Jani’s cock and make sit run for life. Needless to remark that Jani’s forehead is drenched in beads of sweat — certain indicator of shame and defeat.
She is ill-mannered to the extent that she visits her neighbor Samad, the clock slaughtered in an unwashed Pheran ( apron) just soiled by her newborn baby.
Like all her counterparts of the lower middle class, she is highly superstitious as is evidenced by her being tortured and troubled on account of her cocks crowing in the night and her insisting her husband to behead it. However, she possesses an appreciable trait namely hospitality which is evidenced by her extending an invitation for dinner to Samad when he asks for it. She is quite boastful and, more often than not, resorts to shameful lies and hyperbolic statements only to cow down Jani. Her fixing the new cock’s price, age and pedigree arbitrarily is a typical shameless lair.
It is a sort of detective short story written by Ralph E. Hayes– a West Virginian writer. It focuses on the undeniable truth that exteriors are deceptive and that humans should not be judged by their external appearances which are, more often misleading and beguiling.
The short story revolves around Addison Barnby- a secret service agent. Barnby has lost the trust of his superiors for quite some reasons. He has come of age being around 40, has put up fat, has balded considerably and also seemingly lost smartness He also lacks killer instinct, a trait inseparable from a detective. He never carries a sun lest he should kill anybody even by mistake.
It is because he loves mankind. However, later on, he starts carrying a gun in his holster but not before making sure that is unloaded and does not have a single bullet in the magazine. It’s because of these so-called disqualifications that he is posted in far off places like Africa.
Once the department assigns the task of testing Barnby’s “fitness” to another agent Brain Thompson, whose report would determine Barnby`s future in the department. Barnby is asked to carry a bag full of jelly explosives (actually Gum Drops) to Thompson`s hotel room. Thompson begins with irritating and insulting Barnby in order to test his patience, vigilance, keen observation and other such qualities necessary for a secret agent. Later the two are engaged in a scuffle in which Barnby overpowers
Thompson by using a trick or two of judo as a substitute for using a loaded gun. When he is about to leave Thompson handcuffed with the hotel room bedpost, the secret is disclosed to him with the news that he has passed the test.
CHARACTER SKETCH OF ADDISON BARNBY
Addison Barnby is the hero of Ralph E. Hayes- “The Gum Drop Affair” a deductive short story conveying the message that human personalities cannot be and should not be judged by exterior appearances but by inner content of the person.
Addison Barnby is a senior member of a detective agency. He has lost the goodwill of his superiors not because of any fault or mistake on his part but because of his growing years, adding weight getting bald and above all lacking “Killer Instinct” all too important a trait supposed to be possessed by secret agents. His lacking killer instinct is not because of cowardice but because of his unstable love for mankind.
However, he makes up for this lack by using a trick or two of judo, on his enemies to overpower such is his abhorrence for killing that, on departments’ insistence, he does carry a gun but not before making sure that is unloaded. He seems to have lost the distinctive traits of a secret agent namely vigil, keen observations, alertness, patience, etc. but he possesses them to the extreme when put to test. It is on account of his all too ordinary external appearance that the department always posts him far off places thus justifying the statement that he is “more sinned against the sinning”.
He is a dedicated, sincere and honest work as he gives extra time to his assignments and never leaves them unresolved.
Introduction: The British Empire is evidently the dominant historical setting for “Shooting an Elephant.” During the nineteenth century, the empire expanded quickly, spreading its territories to far off places like New Zealand and India. Burma (now Myanmar ) was the place where Orwell was located and the place was gained by the British in 1886. Burma obtained its freedom from Britain in 1948, a moderately short time after “Shooting an Elephant,” an affirmation of Orwell’s observation in the story that “the British Empire is dying.” Here George Orwell narrates an incident he had with an elephant when he was serving as a young police officer in Burma. The elephant had gone mad and killed an Indian coolie.
Orwell’s task was to shoot the elephant and thus prevent more damage. This story gives us the point of View of a white man, a colonial. It sensitively probes the subtle relationship between the colonizer (whites) and the colonized (natives).
About the Author: George Orwell (1903 – 1950) whose real name was Eric Arthur Blair was a noted British author, Journalist, novelist, a cultural commentator, and a noted essayist. His short life did not prevent him from producing many works Which are now considered masterpieces. His works Animal Farm and 1984 further glorified his fame.
I had halted …………. home
In this paragraph ‘we see Orwell coming face to face with the elephant, whom he will have to shoot, for the first time. Here he describes the thoughts that came into his mind as he watched the elephant. He says that he had ﬁrst decided to watch the elephant for a little while and not shoot him if he did not turn savage.
“must”: an attack of frenzy mahout: the man who looks after elephant savage: wild
But ………. laughed at
In this paragraph, Orwell describes his feelings as he sees the Burmans watching him. He was the only white man in the whole crowd. These were the days when the British used to rule to rule over many parts of the world; Orwell expresses his view that the Westerner who ruled over the East Was actually controlled by those whom he ruled over. He had to act in order to save his Sahib image or the impression the natives had about him as a sahib would be lost. He was thus a mere dummy playing his role. glanced: looked immense: huge garnish: showy conjurer: magician riﬂe: gun momentarily. : for a moment irresistibly: without any resistance futility: uselessness dominion: here, power unarmed: Without weapons native: people originally belonging to the place absurd: not reasonable puppet: a doll, (here) one who acts according to another’s instructions perceived: saw tyrant: an oppressor conventionalised: traditional sahib: master trail feebly: follow behind slowly
But ……….. better aim
Here we understand that Orwell was against shooting the elephant. But in his mind, he knew that he had to shoot the elephant. Otherwise, the Burmans would attack him or laugh at him. He gives many reasons why he had to kill an elephant. He makes plans on how to shoot the elephant. preoccupied: lost in thought squeamish: ” easily made nauseous”. (nausea => vomiting sensation) beast: animal charged: attacked poor shot: not able to shoot properly toad: big frog. pursued: to go after; followed trampled: to be smashed underfoot alternative: option, choice cartridges: Charges for gun magazine: gun from which shots can be fired without reloading
The crowd ……………… I lay
Orwell does not have much experience in shooting elephants. Therefore he aims incorrectly. The reaction of the crowd is also explained here. In these two paragraphs, Orwell also tells us what happens to the elephant when it is hit. still: silent, without moving innumerable: countless
glee: great joy mysterious: not very clear, secret stirred: moved altered: Changed stricken: wounded shrunken: to reduce in size immensely: greatly paralyzed: unable to move knocking: striking, making him fall sagged: to sink, to lose strength senility: the weaknesses of old age collapse: fall desperate: hopeless upright: straight agony: great pain jolt: strike remnant: remains, what is left behind tower: to rise in air toppling: falling Skyward: towards the sky trumpeted: the cry of the elephant
I got up …………. afternoon
Here Orwell gives you a vivid description of the last few moments of the elephant’s life. He also tells you about what the Burmans did to the elephant. obvious: very clear rattling: short, hard sounds jerk: shake torture: extreme pain remote: far away dreadful: very painful stripped: to remove covering; here remove flash and skin
Afterward ………….. fool
These were many opinions among the people about the shooting of the elephant. Orwell ends his essay by telling you the truth as to why he shot the elephant. furious. very angry legally: according to law pretext: reason grasped: understood solely: only
Comprehension Short Answer Questions
1 What was the author’s first thought as he looked at the elephant?
Ans: As soon as the author saw the elephant he thought that he should not shoot it. 2. Why did Orwell think that he ought not to shoot the elephant?
Ans: Orwell thought that he should not shoot the elephant because it was a working elephant and therefore very precious. Also, the elephant looked very peaceful as he stood eating. 3. Why is it a serious matter to shoot a working elephant?
Ans: A working elephant is equal to a huge and costly piece of machinery. Hence it is a serious matter to shoot a working elephant. 4. How did the elephant look from a distance?
Ans: The elephant looked no more dangerous than a cow from a distance. 5. What did Orwell think about the ”must” of the elephant?
Ans: He thought that the “must” was already passing off. If that was the case then he would merely wander harmlessly until the mahout came back and caught him. 6. What did Orwell plan at first?
Ans: Orwell decided that he would watch the elephant for a little while to make sure that he did not turn savage and then go home. 7. Describe the crowd that gathered around Orwell?
Ans: It was a huge crowd of at least two thousand people. It looked like a sea of yellow faces above colourful clothes. They were happy and excited about shooting the elephant. 8. What did the natives think of Orwell?
Ans: The natives did not like Orwell but with the rifle in his hand he was worth watching. 9. How did Orwell realize that he would have to shoot the elephant after all?
Ans. The people around him expected him to shoot the elephant. In order to fulfill their expectation, he realised that he would have to shoot the elephant after all. 10. Why does Orwell call the White man’s dominion over the East, futile?
Ans. The White man thinks that he is the real master over the natives. But according to Orwell, he is only a puppet who has to work according to the will of the native. 11. What is the actual condition of the White man?
Ans. The White man has to spend his life in trying to impress the natives. Therefore he has to do everything as the native expects him to do. 12. How does Orwell describe every White man’s life in the East?
Ans. According to Orwell, every White man’s life in the East was one long struggle not to be laughed at. 13. State two reasons why Orwell did not want to shoot the elephant?
Ans. Orwell had never wanted to shoot a large animal like an elephant. Besides he had to consider the owner also. 14. What did the Burmans say about the elephant?
Ans. The Burmans said that the elephant took no notice of anyone if he was left alone. But he might attack if anyone went close to him. 15. What were Orwell’s plans about shooting the elephant?
Ans. Orwell planned to walk up to twenty-five yards of the elephant and test his behavior. If he attacked, Orwell would shoot. If he did not then he would, leave him alone till his mahout came back to take him. 16. Why does Orwell dismiss the idea of walking up to twenty-five yards of the elephant?
Ans. The mud was soft and Orwell was a poor shot with the riﬂe. If the elephant charged then Orwell would find it difficult to escape. 17. What was the sole thought in Orwell’s mind as he watched the natives?
Ans. The sole thought in Orwell’s mind was that if anything went wrong the two thousand Burmans watching him would pursue him and kill him. 18. What was the only alternative according to Orwell?
Ans. The only other alternative was to shoot the elephant. 19. What did the crowd do when Orwell loaded his rifle?
Ans. The crowd grew very still and let out a deep, low and happy sigh. They were like people in the theatre watching the curtain go up after a long wait. 20. What was the right way of shooting an elephant?
Ans. In shooting an elephant one should shoot to cut an imaginary bar running from ear hole to ear hole. Orwell aimed several inches in front of the elephants ear-hole thinking that the brain was in front. He Was actually Wrong.
21. What did the crowd do when Orwell shot the elephant?
Ans. The crowd let out a devilish roar of glee.
22. What happened to the elephant at the first shot?
Ans. A terrible change came over the elephant. He became stricken and looked very old. He fell to his knees and his mouth slobbered. 23. What happened to the elephant at the second shot?
Ans. At the second shot he did not collapse but stood up slowly with his legs sagging and his head drooping. 24. What happened to the elephant at the third shot?
Ans. At the third shot, the last drop of strength went away from his body. He trumpeted for the first and only time. Then he fell down with a crash 25. What was the condition of the elephant after the three shots?
Ans. The elephant did not die. He was breathing heavily and painfully with his mouth open. 26. Why did the author send for his small riﬂe?
Ans. The author wanted to put an end to the agony of the elephant. 27. What did the Burmans do to the elephant?
Ans. The Burmans brought dahs and baskets and stripped the elephant’s body almost to the bones by the afternoon.
28. What was the owner’s reaction to the incident?
Ans. The owner was furious but as he was only an Indian, he could do nothing. 29. What does Orwell say about the legal aspect of the shooting?
Ans. Legally Orwell had done the right thing as he had killed a mad elephant whose owner had failed to control it. 30. What did the Europeans say about the shooting?
Ans. Among the Europeans, opinion was divided. The older men said that Orwell was right and the younger men said that it was a shame to kill a working elephant which was more valuable than the coolie it had killed. 31. Why does Orwell Say that he was glad that the coolie had been killed?
Ans. Orwell was glad that the coolie had been killed because it put him legally in the right and gave him a reason for shooting the elephant.
32. What does Orwell say about the killing in the end?
Ans. He wonders if others knew that he had done it to avoid looking like a fool.
Paragraph Questions & Answers
1. What were Orwell’s first thoughts as he saw the elephant?
Ans. As soon as Orwell saw the elephant, he knew that he ought not to shoot the elephant. He knew that it was a serious matter to shoot a working elephant. A working elephant was as valuable as a costly piece of machinery. Moreover, at a distance, the elephant looked very peaceful. Orwell thought that the ”must” was already passing off and therefore he would watch the elephant for a while to see if it turned savage and then go home.
2. What does Orwell say of the crowd that had gathered around him?
Ans. The crowd was immense. At least two thousand people were there and the number was growing. Orwell describes it as ”a sea of yellow faces above the garish clothes.” They were happy that the elephant was going to be shot. Though they did not like Orwell, they watched him as he had a riﬂe in his hands. Orwell knew that he would have to shoot the elephant because these people expected him to shoot it.
3. Why does Orwell say that the White man’s dominion in the East is futile?
Ans. As Orwell stood in front of the people with the riﬂe in his hands, he understood the hollowness and futility of the White man’s power in the East. The White man was like a puppet in the hands of these people. To appear to be powerful and to maintain the sahib image, he has to do what the natives expected him to do It was like wearing a mask.
4. Why does Orwell say he does not want to shoot the elephant?
Ans. As Orwell watched the elephant he knew that he did not want to shoot the elephant To kill the elephant would be like murdering it. He was against the killing of large animals. Besides, the elephant’ s owner had to be considered If the elephant was alive it was worth a hundred pounds If it was dead, then the owner would only get five pounds for its tusks. 5. What were the steps Orwell considered before shooting the elephant?
Ans. Orwell knew perfectly well what he ought to do. He decided to walk up to twenty-five yards of the elephant and test his behaviour If the elephant attacked, he would shoot. If not, then Orwell would just Watch him till the mahout Came back. But he soon gave up the idea because the mud was very soft. If the elephant attacked he would not be able to run fast in the mud and he was surer to be killed.
6. Describe the first three shots of Orwell and its impact on the Elephant.
Ans. At the first shot, a terrible change came over the elephant. It did not stir or fall, but every line of its body changed. It looked shrunken and very old as if the bullet had paralysed it. It sagged to its knees and its mouth slobbered At the second shot, it did not fall but stood very slowly to its feet, legs sagging and head drooping. The third shot took away all strength from its body. Its hind legs collapsed and it seemed like a huge rock that was falling. It fell down with a crash It trumpeted for the first and only time.
7. Describe the last minutes of the elephant’s life.
Ans. The elephant was not dead even after the three shots He was breathing loudly with a rattling noise. His mouth was wide open. Orwell continued to shoot him but he did not die. He did not even jerk. Blood poured out from him body Orwell took his small rifle and shot him in the heart and throat. But the elephant looked like he was in a world where no other pain could reach him. It took the elephant half an hour to die. 8. What are the varied opinions regarding the shooting of the elephant?
Ans. There were endless discussions regarding the shooting of the elephant. The owner was very angry. But he was only an Indian and could do nothing. Besides, Orwell had done the light thing legally by shooting the mad elephant that had killed a coolie. The European opinion was divided. The older men said that Orwell was right. But the younger men said that Orwell should not have killed the elephant for killing a coolie because the elephant was more precious than the coolie.
Vocabulary and Usage
(i) Pick out words from the text relating to (a) elephants (b) guns
Answer elephants – trunk, tusk, trumpet, mahout, ”must”, savage. guns – riﬂe, cartridge, magazine aim, trigger, bullet
(ii) Make a list of the similes used in the text
a) as much chance as a toad under a steam roller (meaning no chance at all).
b) to tower like a huge rock toppling (to describe the enormous elephant swaying with pain)
c) a happy sigh as of people who see the theatre curtain go up at last. (to describe the feeling at the commencement of a long-awaited event).
(iii) replace the italicised phase with one word.
a) According to law, she is my wife.
A: Legally, she is my wife.
b) He looked towards the sky to see if it would rain.
A: He looked skywards to see if it would rain.
c) When she saw the snake, she was unable to move.
A: When she saw the snake, she was paralyzed
d) They stood without moving until the bear had gone.
A. They stood still until the bear had gone.
Helen Adams Keller is regarded as the greatest woman of her age. She was one of those women who carve their own destiny by their hard work and struggle. Though nature deprived her of her eyesight and hearing, yet she acquired the highest university degree and established herself as a distinguished writer. She proved to the world that nothing is impossible even for a blind, deaf and dumb child.
Helen Keller was born at Tuscumbia (USA) on June 27, 1880, to Captain Arthur H. Keller and Kate Adams Keller. She was a normal child until the age of one and a half year. She had an inborn ability to imitate and learn. She was learning fast to speak. But unfortunately, she fell prey to a strange disease which deprived her of her eyesight and hearing. The disease was diagnosed as acute congestion of stomach and brain. The disease was cured but doctors could not bring back her eyesight and hearing. As she grew older the desire to communicate with other people grew stronger in her and she started communicating her ideas with the help of signs. Martha Washington, a six-year-old girl of her cook washer sole companion as she understood Habes language signs. She had over sixty home signs to communicate with her family. Besides, she was gifted with acute sensuousness. She could recognise which flowers blossomed in her garden and which fruit was getting ripe. She passed most of her time in her garden and was delighted in the midst of the various objects of nature.
Long Reading Text
In 1886, when Helen was only six years old, the important question before her parents was how to educate Helen. Fortunately, her mother was aware of Charles Dickens, American Notes of the successful education of another deaf and blind girl–Laura Bridgman. This made the task of educating her daughter easy and she made efforts to find out in what manner her daughter could be educated. There was no school for blind and deaf children in Tuscumbia. Her father took her to Dr J. Julian Chisolm in Baltimore who advised him to make contact with Dr Alexander Graham Bell who was working with deaf children at that time. Bell advised Helen’s parents to contact the Perkins Institute for the Blind. It was the school situated in South Boston where Laura Bridgman was educated. Michael Anagnos was the director of the institute. He was very kind to Helen. He persuaded Miss Anne Sullivan, herself visually impaired and then only 20 years old to become Helen’s instructor. Miss Sullivan agreed to it and arrived at Keller’s house in March 1887. Thus, there began a relationship between the two that lasted for 49 years. Miss Sullivan had her own peculiar way of teaching Helen. She used to spell the word on her hand. The first word she learnt was ‘water’. Her teacher spelt the word on her palm and released cool water over her other hand. In this way, Helen learned the names of different things. Then Miss Sullivan taught her with the help of Brail system. She began to speak words and framed short sentences. Helen travelled extensively in the company of Miss Sullivan. Starting in May 1888, Keller attended the Perkins Institute for the Blind. In 1894, Helen Keller and her instructor Miss Sullivan moved to New York to attend the Wright-Humason School and Horace Mann School for the Deaf. In 1896, they returned to Massachusetts and Keller was admitted to the Cambridge School for young ladies before gaining admittance, in 1900, to Radcliffe College. The great American novelist Mark Twain was one of her great admirers. He introduced her to standard oil magnate, Henry Huddleston Rogers, who, with his wife, paid for her education. In 1904, at the age of 24, Keller graduated from Radcliffe, becoming the first deaf-blind woman to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. She learnt Greek, Latin and French, besides English.
Her achievements were not only remarkable in the field of education but also in other spheres. She had varied interests in life. She was fond of reading books by great writers and learning foreign languages. She was a great lover of nature and visited places of natural beauty. She visited Niagara Falls and was delighted to be so close to it. Her picturesque description of the beauty of nature amazed people and they would ask in wonder what the beauty of nature meant to her when she could not hear the roar of the rolling waves of the famous Falls. In spite of being disabled, she knew how to swim and row a boat. She was equally interested in visiting cities. She would often visit the poor living in narrow and unhygienic streets. Sometimes, she would visit the theatre and enjoyed having a play described to her, while it was being staged. She had a wonderful memory and was gifted with the talents of creating something original. The urge to write something original impelled her to write a story—The Frost King, which turned out to be plagiarism of another story Frost Fairies, published before her birth. But it was not deliberate plagiarism. Later, it was discovered that the story ‘Frost Fairies’ might have been read to her and she absorbed it so thoroughly that it became a part of her recollections. When she sat to write her own story, ideas flowed to her so naturally that she thought that the story was the product of her own imagination. Helen Keller rose to eminence with the passage of time and became a world-famous speaker and author. She is remembered as an advocate for people with disabilities and numerous other causes. She was a member of the Socialist Party and actively campaigned and wrote in support of the working classes from 1909 to 1921. She joined the industrial workers of the world in 1912, saying that parliamentary socialism was “sinking in the political bog”. She wrote for the IWW between 1916 to 1918. At the age of 22, Helen Keller brought out her autobiography ‘The Story of My Life’. In it, she has recorded her life long struggle to overcome her disabilities. In 1908, she published ‘The World I Live In’ giving readers an insight into how she felt about the world. ‘Out of the Dark’, a series of essays on socialism was published in 1913. Her spiritual biography, ‘My Religion’ appeared in 1927. It was reissued under the title ‘Light in My Darkness’. It advocates the teachings of Enamel Sweden Borg, the controversial mystic who gave a spiritual interpretation of the ‘Last Judgment’ and ‘Second Coming of Jesus Christ’. Keller penned a total of 12 published books and several articles.
ABOUT THE BOOK
THE STORY OF MY LIFE is an autobiography of Helen Keller. It appeared in 1903. The book contains a description of the life and struggle of its author who was born on June 27, 1880, at Tuscumbia, a small town in Alabama. The book is important in the sense that it was written by a woman who became blind when she was only one and a half years old. It is really a miracle that in spite of being blind and deaf, she acquired education and received the degree of Bachelor of Arts. But still, the greater miracle was that she established herself as a prolific writer. She penned twelve books and a series of articles. An Interesting Autobiography The book is an autobiography which is different from fiction, yet the book is read like a novel. The author is successful in creating interest and curiosity throughout the book. There is no suspense, no turning point, no description of love in the book and yet it is one of the most popular books of the 20th century. Theme and Structure of the Book The book consists of twenty–three chapters, but a single theme runs throughout the book, i.e., how Helen struggled to overcome her disabilities. The first few chapters are devoted to the delineation of Helen’s birth, parentage and her strange illness. After it was declared that she was permanently impaired by the strange disease, efforts were made to find out how she could be educated. Doctors were consulted and educationists were approached and then a teacher named Miss Sullivan was found for Helen.
Helen had a strong desire to communicate with people living around her. The arrival of Miss Sullivan at Helen’s house was a turning point in her life. Miss Sullivan taught her how to speak. The subsequent chapters from chapter II to chapter XIX deal with Helen’s education. The author gives a vivid description of the difficulties and hardships that came in her way of acquiring education and skill in various other spheres and how she overcame those difficulties. She was admitted to various institutions and succeeded in getting admission in Radcliffe where she studied with other normal girls. Her extraordinary enthusiasm and strong will power paved her way to success and she became the first deaf and blind woman who graduated from Radcliffe.
Depiction of Nature
Another important feature of the book is the author’s love for nature and its picturesque depiction. Helen was very sensuous. She has given not only the names of various trees, flowers and fruits but a living portrayal of the beauty of hill stations also like Niagara Falls and roaring sea waves. She had the power to recognise flowers from their smell so she fully enjoyed the beauty and roaring sounds of Falls and Sea waves.
Main Events of The Story
1. Helen saw herself as a writer first as her passport listed her profession as an ‘author’. It was through the medium of a typewritten word that Helen communicated with Americans and ultimately with thousands across the globe. Since early ages, she championed the rights of the crushed and used her skills as a writer to speak truth to power. As a pacifist, she protested U.S. involvement in World War-I and as a committed socialist. She took up the cause of workers’ rights. She was also a tireless advocate for women’s suffrage and an early member of the American Civil Liberties Union. Her ideals found their purest, most lasting expression in her work for the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). In 1921, Helen joined AFB and worked for the organisation for over 40 years.
2. For those who once had no hope in life, Helen Keller became an inspiration to them. Although she became deaf and blind before she was two years old as a result of contracting suspected scarlet fever, she continued to accomplish a great deal. She was a very difficult child, given to tantrums, but Helen Keller’s breakthrough came when her teacher, Anne Sullivan, persisted in making her understand that touching shapes and letters were her means of communication. Helen Keller was the first deaf and blind person to graduate from college, finally publishing 14 books. She met with every U.S. president from Calvin Coolidge to John F Kennedy and wrote to eight U.S. presidents, from Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 to Lyndon B Johnson in 1965. She worked for many organizations for disabled and advocated against child labour and women.
3. Helen suffered a stroke in 1960 and from 1961onwards. She lived quietly at Arcan Ridge, her home in Washer last Connecticut, one of the four main places she lived during her lifetime. She made her last major public appearance in 1961 at Washington D.C, Lions Clubs International Foundation meeting. She received the Lions Humanitarian Award for her lifetime of service to humanity and for providing the inspiration for the adoption By Lions Clubs Foundation of their sight conservation and aid to blind programs. During that visit To Washington, she also called on President John F Kennedy at the White House. Helen Keller passed away On June 1, 1968; a few weeks short of her 88th birthday. Her ashes were placed next to her companions, Anne Sullivan, Macy and Polly in St.Joseph’s Chapel of Washington.
4. The name of Laura Bridgman and Helen Keller will always be linked together. Dr Sammuel Gridley Howe who taught Laura is the great pioneer on whose work that of Miss Sullivan and another teacher of the deaf-blind immediately depend. Dr.Howe always kept the scientific attitude.
He never forgot to keep Laura Bridgman’s records in the fashion of a laboratory worker. The result is that his records are careful and systematic. From a scientific point of view, it is unfortunate that such a complete record of the development of Helen Keller could not be kept. Laura always reminded an object of curious study. Helen Keller became so quickly a distinctive personality that she kept her teacher in a breathless race without time or strength to carry out a scientific study to meet her pupil’s needs. A definite goal passed as soon as a thing was done. The teacher didn’t look back and described her way.
5. Kate Adams Keller was the second wife of Captain Arthur and many years younger to him. She was a well-read woman from an intellectual family. She was very loving and careful to Helen from her early childhood. One day, her mother had just taken her out of the bathtub and was holding her in her lap, then she was suddenly attracted by the flickering shadows of leaves that dashed in the sunlight on the smooth floor. She slipped from her mother’s lap and almost a towards them. She fell down and cried for her mother to take her up in her arms. She Played an important role in shaping her child’s career.
6. Arthur Gilman (1837-1909) was a major figure in advancing higher education for women. Gilman was one of the founders of Redcliff college and served, as its first regent. He then founded The Cambridge school for young ladies where he shouldered the responsibility as director. Mr.Gilman learnt figure alphabet to give Helen instructions. He instructed Helen in English Literature. As he had a broad view of history and literature so his clever explanations made her work easier and full of pleasure. Mr Gilman was very humble and co-operative to Helen during the examination. He read all the papers to her by means of the manual alphabet. Mr Gilman was sympathetic so he spelt to her what she had written and Helen made such changes as she thought necessary. Foundation for the Blind (AFB). In 1921, Helen joined AFB and worked for the organisation for over 40 years.
The book, ‘The Story of My Life’ is very inspiring. It imparts to us two important lessons. First: Education is very important because it makes a man great. It gives us the idea that an educated man can do miracles. Second: If a man has a firm determination and strong will power, he can attain the height of success.
The different seasons of the year have also been favourite subjects of literary and artistic expression. Each season comes with its own charm and beauty. For many, Spring, with its lengthening days and reappearance of gentle greens, is the most beautiful season of the year; the long, warm days of Summer appeal to others; the bright oranges and browns and reds of Autumn bring delight to some; and the short, cold days of winter with its snow and wood fires bring a sense of comfort and rest to many. In an unusual take on autumn, the poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, portrays the season as a time of harsh cruelty and violent death. Autumn is symbolized as a period of misery and loss.
This is the way……….a single moan of protest.
In these lines, the poet shows autumn making its appearance as a harsh, aggressive person, who uses violence and force to strip the leaves off the branches of the trees. The leaves of the trees turn from green to yellow with the onset of autumn, and one by one fall to the ground below. (That is why this season is also referred to as “Fall” in America.) In these lines, the poet compares the bare trunks of the trees to the black slaves of Africa, who have had a long, tragic history of oppression and slavery, being enslaved for centuries by various civilisations, like the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, etc, till the early half of the previous century by the European colonists and the white Americans. (Ebony is a type of tree, unique to Africa, which is of a rich, intense black colour.) The yellowing leaves of the trees are like the hearts of these black slaves, being shaken and tortured by the slave-drivers and owners, as they are led off bound and chained, mute and silent in their suffering. Thus, autumn is depicted as a cruel, heartless oppressor bringing suffering and violence with him.
Trample=crush under ones feet
Moan= a soft sound of pain
The birds that herald…………….. strung his bow.
As days become colder and shorter, many birds start their migration to warmer lands and, thus, one can no longer hear the sweet songs of these birds during the autumn months. However, the poet, continuing with the theme of violence and cruelty, paints a vivid, moving picture of a heartless person brutally ripping out the voices (the vocal cords) of the birds from their throats, so that the birds drop dead to the ground. Even though the birds had been exiled, (or separated, from their songs), the person seems to perform this mindless act of cruelty, not giving them the chance or time to leave the land.
Oh, God of May………………..Let one bird sing.
Resurrection means to rise from the dead; in other words, to come back to life. In the given lines, the poet now appeals to the more merciful God or authority of the month of May to infuse or inject new life into the dried out, shrunken bodies of the birds and the trees, so that they too could come back to life. The seasons of the year symbolise the cycle of life and death, of regeneration, of continuity. The months of April and May are the time of new growth, of renewal.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE POEM
From our reading of When Autumn Came, it seems obvious that the season of autumn is a gloomy, dismal (depressing) time of the year for the poet. He sees it as a season that brings an end (and that too a violent and cruel end), to natural things like the trees and the birds. The shedding of leaves and the migration of birds to warmer lands, are portrayed in a very bleak and dark picture of untimely death at the hands of a brutal, vicious oppressor. He even ends on a pessimistic note, almost begging the God of May to give new life to at least one tree and one bird, as if he’s not certain his heartfelt plea/prayer will be answered.
Check Your Progress
1). Why does the poet say anyone could trample the fallen leaves out of shape? (Trample=crush under ones feet).
2). Why do you think they do not utter a single moan of suffering or protest? (Moan= a soft sound of pain)
(Hint: – leaves that are still yellow and have not yet turned dry and brown, are……..?). 3). Which words in these lines indicate use of violence and force?
3. A herald is a messenger, bringing news of something or someone that is to come. So, why do you think the birds are referred to as heralds in these lines? What dreams do they bring?
5. Autumn has already caused the death of the birds, in the above lines. However, a hunter, who was yet to come, was getting ready to string his own bow in order to kill these birds. Who or What do you think has been personified as the hunter in these lines? (Harsher even than Autumn!)
6. What appeal does the poet make to the God of May? Why do you think he appeals to the God of May and not to the God of some other month? 2. Read the last two lines of the poem. How hopeful does the poet seem to be that his prayer will be answered? What is the significance of the words ‘some’ and ‘one’ in these lines?
Solved Questions of When Autumn Came
Q. 1 The autumn season is characterized by few things. What are they?
Ans. Ripening of fruits, harvesting, falling of leaves from the trees, cooling of weather are the distinct features of the autumn season.
Q. 2 Does the poet talks about all those characteristics?
Ans. The poet does not talk about all those characteristics. He only talks about the falling of leaves from the trees.
Q. 3 What is the impact of autumn on the trees?
Ans. The autumn snatches the trees from their leaves and makes them naked.
Q. 4 What happens to the birds when autumn comes?
Ans. Birds are exiled from their own nests and deprived of their singing when autumn comes.
Q. 5 Why does the poet invoke the God of May?
Ans. The poet invokes the God of May so that the naked trees and exiled birds will bloom again with their pristine glory.
Reference to the Context
1.It shook out……. moon of protest.
a) Who is ‘it’. Whose yellow heart did it shake?
Ans. ‘It’ stands for the autumn season. It shook out yellow hearts of the trees by making their leaves fall on the ground. b) What happens to the leaves that are scattered on the ground?
Ans. The leaves that are scattered on the ground get trampled by the people. c) When will these withered trees bloom again?
Ans. These withered trees will again in spring season.
2. Give some trees…….. Let bird sing.
a) What is the gift of green? Who will receive it?
Ans. The gift of green refers to green leaves. The trees will receive it.
b) What is the poet asking for when he says let one bird sing?
Ans. The poet is asking for the arrival of the spring so that the trees will be restored with the green leaves and the birds will resume their singing.
c) What had happened to the birds in autumn?
Ans. The birds have been exiled from their nests and single.
Ordinary objects and wonders of nature have been most loved topics that have enlivened artists, journalists, story-tellers, poets etc through the ages. They have likewise kept on intrigueing researchers and scientists. In her poem, “Sunrise”, which has been written in free verse, the poetess Padma Sachdev portrays the regular marvel of the sun rising in a simple, colourful, though childish, way, comparing the sun with a bashful, nervous school boy, frightened of his stern school master.
The sun was descending………thundering in anger
In the first five lines of the poem, the early morning sun is covered by a veil of clouds. It has been a wet, rainy morning, with thunder showers greeting the new day. However, as the sun rises above the horizon, the rain stops and the clouds slowly begin to disperse, so that the sun is seen to shine weakly through the thinning clouds. The veil of clouds over the sun is compared to a white film of cataract (a disease or disorder of the eye), that covers the eye, causing blurred or opaque vision. In the poem, the eye of the sky is, of course, the sun. The sky is depicted as a person rendered soaking wet by the rain, who expresses his anger at being made to feel miserable and uncomfortable, by thundering. Thus, the thundering clouds are shown as the expression of annoyance and anger of the drenched sky.
The sun, seizing the………….the angry school master.
Switching the metaphor, the poet now shows the sun as a scared and nervous school boy who is late to school, and in order to avoid the attention of his strict school master, is slinking into class (i.e. entering in a quiet, unobtrusive manner) and hiding behind his class-fellows in the back row. He hopes his late entry into class will go unobserved by the school master.
Slowly the pale sun…………for the sun to rise?”
As the weak, pale sun emerges from behind the clouds, it begins to shine more brightly. And, as its bright golden light begins to spread around, it makes its presence felt. Carrying on with the metaphor above, the poet shows how the school boy, i.e. the sun, reveals or exposes his own presence at the back of the class to the school master, by shining more brightly and vividly. Immediately the school master demands an explanation from the sun for why he turned up late for class. He sarcastically asks the sun whether he was delayed due to work not timely done (i.e. not cleaning his slate in time) or because he was not served enough at breakfast, and so lingered to be fed more food by his mother.
“By now the sun……………..that is sunrise.”
Having fully emerged from behind the clouds, the sun is now shining in all its brilliance and glory. The timid school boy is transformed into a proud and confident young boy, no longer submissively listening to his school master’s scolding and sarcastic queries (questions)! Boldly, the sun asks the school master why he is so annoyed. He reminds him that the only one who can determine when the sun should rise is the SUN himself, that is why the time is called “Sunrise.” Therefore, it is quite unreasonable and inappropriate for the school master to be angry with the sun.
Sunrise by Padma Sachdev
SUMMARISING THE POEM
As one reads through this simple poem, it is easy to imagine a loving parent, or more likely, a grandparent, standing at the window with a small child, looking up at the cloudy sky at sunrise and listening to the growl of the thundering clouds! Through a simple metaphorical story, the child is made to visualise a commonplace act of nature in a fanciful, imaginative, delightful way. The conversion of a shy, timid, nervous school boy into a bold, assertive, arrogant person is imagery all children can relate to, and an almost magical significance is given to such an ordinary, commonplace natural phenomenon. That is the art of poetry or story-telling.
Questions of Sunrise Poem
Q.1 The sun is compared to a cataract because (Tick the correct option) a. it is full of sunspots b. it is not clear and is covered by clouds c. it is shaped like an eye
Answer: The sun is compared to cataract because it is not clear and is covered by clouds.
Q. 2 Why was the sky thundering? Who was it angry with?
Ans. The sky was thundering because it was very rash and angry for its loneliness. It was angry with the slow and late appearance of the sun.
Q. 3 What does the poet compare the sun to as comes out from behind the clouds? Why?
Ans. The poet compares the sun to a school boy who has reached school late. The comparison is made because the sun pushes away the clouds hesitatingly and starts shinning slowly in the sky fearing that the sky would rebuke it for its late appearance.
Q.4 Who questions the sun ? Why?
Ans. The sky or the school master questions the sun. The sky questions the sun because the later was hidden behind the clouds till afternoon. The sky asks the sun why it was late in its rising.
Q. 5 What is the sun’s reply?
Ans. The sun answered back proudly and boldly saying that there is no wisdom on part of the sky in being annoyed and displeased at its late rising. Though there may be scheduled time for everything but there is no fixed time for the sunrise, for whenever it rises it is sunrise.
Q. 6 What adjectives would you use to describe the sun: a. When it emerges from behind the clouds?
Ans. Timorous, frightened, cowering, fearful and shuddered are some adjectives that would be used to describe the sun when it emerges from behind the clouds.
b. When it shines in all its splendor?
Ans. Arrogant, gorgeous, magnificent, sparkling, proudy and glorious are some adjectives that would be used to describe the sun when it is shining in all its splendor.
Reference to Context (Sunrise)
1. “The sun was descending like a…….. And it was thundering in anger”
a. What time of the day is being described? How do you know?
Ans. The time of afternoon is being described. We know it because the sun was descending.
b. Which figure of speech is used here?
Ans. Smile has been used here as, “The sun was descending like a Cataract in the eye of the sky “.
c. Why is the sky angry?
Ans. The sky is angry over the late rising of the sun.
d. How does it express its anger?
Ans.It expresses its anger by thundering.
2. “By now the sun was shining in all its splendor,………. Whenever it rises, that is sunrise.” a. Explain the significance of the phrase ‘By now’.
Ans. ‘By now’ means that by the time the sky could express further anger and annoyance over the late rising of the sun, the sun had already risen and was scattering its bright light in all directions.
b. How is the sun different from what it was earlier in the poem?
Ans. Earlier in the poem the sun was gloomy and was covered by clouds. But now it pushed away the clouds and is shining brightly.
c. Who was getting annoyed? And why?
Ans. The sky was getting annoyed. It was getting annoyed because the sun was still hidden behind the clouds.
d. What qualities of sun is reflected in these lines?
Ans. Pride, arrogance and conference are some of the qualities described in these lines.
Explanation With Reference to Context
“What is the point of getting annoyed
There is no set time for the sun to rise
Whenever it rises, that is sunshine”
Context: These lines have been taken from the poem, “Sunrise ” written by Padma Sachdev. Here the poetry apparently describes the anger of the sky over the late rising of the sun but actually she wants to convey that there should not be hard and bound rules for broadening the mental horizon of the children. Explanation: In the lines here under discussion, the poet wants to present a valuable message that there is no fixed time for intellectual development and and spiritual enlightenment of the children. There should not be any sort of compulsion and imposition upon children for removing ignorance. They should not be rebuked if they are slow learners and come late for learning rather they should be appreciated and encouraged.
The story “Love Across the Salt Desert” by Keki N Daruwalla depicts a love affair of two true and sincere lovers namely Najab and Fatimah. There are many characters in the story but Najab has got a pivotal position.This specific story I am discussing is set in an Indian town at the outskirts of India and Pakistan in the Salty Deserts of the Rann of the Kutch (somewhere in Gujarat or Rajasthan).The village is completely parched and dry and it has not rained there for three successive years.Many villagers earn their livelihood by smuggling goods across the border braving the BSF(Border Security Force) , Pakistan Army and bringing back goods from Pakistan as exchange. Najab and his father Aftab too smuggle stuff into Pakistan and bring back spices from a Pakistan Village. In the early part of story, Najab is a very shy, introvert and reserved boy. He was known to have blushed at the mere mention of a girl. He had dreamy eyes. None of his friends had ranked him among the braves. Even his father Aftab feared the boy would waste away all what he had and his ancestors had acquired. He considered him too shy to be able to charge money what would he sell.
But all these predictions proved wrong in the later part of the story. Najab turned to be courageous, brave and determined son after his first meet with Fatimah who ignited a spark of love in him. On one visit. to Pakistan, The Hero meets the Spice Seller’s daughter. “Eyes Meet, Love at First Sight” – The Eyes do all the talking and it is understood that the Hero will come, “aur Dulhania Le Jayega”. The Hero returns home with his father then informs his mother of his love and that he will be going to bring home his bride. As do standard Indian Movie mothers she wants her son to be happy, but his concerned of his safety and finally she courageously sends off her son with some food and jewels. He undertook a dangerous journey, crossed the border and met his love. He did not care for bullets and difficulties. He faced all the hardships, he met during trip with a smiling face. He was true, sincere and faithful in his love. He had understood what love really means. He felt his love and saw the image of Fatimah in every object he touched, imagined and articulated. Najab braves the border forces in style . The Spice Seller is hesitant but he sees the love in their eyes and does not stand in between their love.
“The Rann of Kutch is a vast, lonely desert, almost impossible to cross, yet some people do cross it for reasons of their own.”
Yes, Najab Hussain wanted to be with someone he loved and he had already reached his destination mentally uniting him with ‘ hoor – eyed ‘ Fatima, the spice -seller’s daughter long before he could meet her physically overcoming every fatal impediment through the salt desert.
To reach Pakistan, Najab crossed the border and met Fatima there. While it wasn’t that easy for Najab to fight shy of Zaman, the cross – border trafficker, and Indus Ranger’s strict vigilance, Najab did it with all the strength of mind. His life was in stake but he didn’t bother. The storm of sand couldn’t keep him from being flooded with exuberant love feelings.
“At one level of consciousness he knew that this was madness.”
In the recent past, Najab had the opportunity to meet Fatima for the first time while traveling with his father. Fatima’s fascinating eyes did not take seconds at the very first sight to convince Najab of the most important discovery that he would no longer be called an ‘ introvert ‘ who, with his dreamy eyes, went out for his love, Fatima.
“What would he not do for her, the daughter of the spice-seller; she who smelt of cloves and cinnamon, whose laughter had the timbre of ankle-bells, whose eyebrows were like black wisps of the night and whose hair was the night itself? For her he would cross the salt desert.”
Najab was inspired by a sense of success as he saw that the Jackals had eaten up the food he offered to the Panchmai Pir on the hilltop according to the religious custom. Najab was blessed and set off on his journey. He firmly believed that the lamp on the hilltop would illuminate his hope every night in the honour of the Pir. The ignorance of Najab about the unfair means of crossing the border with Pakistan was a major mistake that might take his life. The BSF people at the border with Pakistan began firing and chasing him for a mile and then came the sand – storm that kept the hunters away saving the life of Najab.
“Najab was in a trance now, events flashing past him like figures on the screen.”
Najab waited for the night to cover his identity and then hobbled at the door of the clove – seller across a mile’s distance on his toe. Fatima heard the soft call and her glittering eyes spoke wordlessly of her uplifted heart as she opened the door silently and found Najab standing outside.
Najab’s mother’s gold bangle kept the hardcore businessman, Kaley Shah busy with buying Najab’s cloves who, finding Kaley Shah snoring in deep and profitable sleep, didn’t waste time setting for his return trip to Kutch. But he wasn’t alone this time. Fatima had deep love in her heart. She was offered by Najab to experience a maiden test – drive across the Runn on Allahrakha. Her silent approval of such an offer reciprocated the indomitable, free – flowing trust of Najab. They knew quite well that they could not be held back by any geographical border.
“For her it meant just a shift in dialect,
a smear of Kutchi added and a little of Sindhi sandpapered away.”
They reached Khavda carrying the blissful love among the rain drops that came down after three years of drought to quench the thirst of the land. Thus the success of love across the salt desert was proven by Najab and Fatima.The village hails the girl as the saviour.
Love Across the Salt Desert
Keki N.Daruwalla’s “Love Across the Salt Desert” is a love story based on the theme that true love transcends all barriers like Religion, Region, cast, colour, and creed. It depicts union between two lovers despite their hailing from two opposite sides of the International border between India and Pakistan — two hostile countries.
The story bears its title not only because of the fact that sole and main avenue of the entire dramatic action is the Thar or Kuchh desert, known for its salt lagoon, but also for other reasons like its being the hottest desert in the subcontinent and as such not so easy to cross unaided, its being devoid of water bodies; it’s being chequered by mirages and also because of its being guarded by Pak rangers on one side and BSF personnel from their watchtowers from the other side. Needless to mention that “Salt” is a symbol standing for a harsh and inhospitable nature.
Najab, a reticent and diffident budding youth from Khavda, Runn of Kutchh is captivated by the peerless and bewitching beauty of Fatima ( a clove seller’s daughter from Sindh, the Pakistani side of desert referred to as “Hoor” and elopes with Najab. None of the lovers spare even a moment’s thought to petty considerations like Nationality, linguistic barrier, Parental permission, etc. They are not even deterred by the danger of crossing the inhospitable and dangerous desert unaided illegally.
To start with, Najab is introduced as a diffident, strangely introverted youth with dreamy eyes notorious for blushing even at the mere mention of a girl. Despite his being only 20 years of age, he had trudged across the desert with his father Aftab—a smuggler— four times and knew everything about the desert and was confident enough of crossing the desert alone if so needed.
Fatima- a paragon of beauty, the daughter of Pakistani clove seller, a witty old smuggler – being under pressure of marrying Mehfooz Ali – a far off relative with extremely slurred speech, was taken by innocent and all smiling face of the young Najab who had come to stay at her house during his fourth illegal trip across the desert. Having failed to elicit even a word from Najab in the morning, she did receive a positive response from him in the evening thus brings about a sea change in his personality.
Najab, after falling in love with Fatima, turned out to be a “ Dare Devil” as for his return to Khavda, he shipped away alone with his camel Allahrakha determining to bring back Fatima as his mother’s daughter-in-law. He braved all the perils and dangers during his desert odyssey. His daring was crowned with success when he finally stepped on to the Khavdan soil with Fatima bringing in torrential rains which ended three years of death-dealing drought and thus bringing relief and new lease of life to Khavdans’ who in return welcomed Fatima with open arms as a bringer of joy to them.
Character sketch of Fatima
Fatima is the heroine of Keki N.Daruwalla’s “Love Across the Salt Desert”. She is referred to as “ Hoor” a paragon of heavenly beauty promised to the faithful by Allah to be their life partners in Paradise after their succeeding in presenting their true accounts to their Maker on the Day of Judgement. She is bestowed with such a captivating beauty as to be able to drag Najab- a lifelong reticent, shy and diffident youth off his stand and hold her in a tight embrace for quite a while.
She is the only daughter of the wily old clove seller and smuggler of Sindh. Having lost her mother quite early, she manages the domesticity quite appreciably. She is under a lot of pressure from Kaley Shah to marry Mehfoz Ali – a far off relative from her mother’s side—a proposal she abhors as Mehfoz Ali is notorious for his slurred speech and stammer so much so that urchins mimic him and get ready to hound him like a madcap.
Fatima falls in love with Najab at the first sight and it is so profound and strong that she gets ready to abandon her father, her country and everything else and run away with Najab—another far off relative from her mother’s side hailing from Indian part of the desert.
Fatima’s stepping on to the soil of Khavda is taken as ominous by Khavdan’s as torrential rains pour down the moment she steps in, thus ending three long years of death dealing drought.
Love Across The Salt Desert Discussion Questions
Q. Describe how Najab fooled Kaley Shah and brought Fatimah house?
Ans. Najab had fallen in love with Fatimah. He reached her house facing all difficulties and leading his life into danger. He had been chased by police also.
He was able to win the confidence of Kaley Shah by tempting him with a gold bangle. He assured him that he had come for business of cloves for gold.
While Kaley Shah was busy arranging clove for him, he was successful in befooling Kaley Shah. He brought Fatimah in his village Khavda on his camel Allarakha.
Thus, Najab was able to befool Kaley Shah and bring Fatimah, his love to his home.
Q. Why did Najab Hussain cross the Rann of Kutch alone?
Ans. Najab visited Pakistan with his father for business purpose. During one of such visits, he fell into love with Fatimah, the daughter of Kaley Shah, the clove-seller. Najab promised to visit her alone with no father or uncle. He made up his mind.
He didn’t tell anybody except his mother. The mother gave him a golden bangle and her blessings. On his way, he faced many obstacles but crossed the international boundary for the sake of him to bring his love to his motherland.
Love Across The Salt Desert Questions
Q.1 Why is the lesson has been titled “Love across the salt desert “? Why is the desert called a “Salt” desert?
Ans. The lesson has been titled “Love Across The Salt Desert” because a lover from India across the international border by entering in the territory of Pakistan to get his bride. While staying at Kaley Shah’s house, Najab had fallen in deep love with his daughter Fatima and had promised her that he would come again and take her away. He fulfilled his promise and eloped with her. The desert is called a salt desert because it is very difficult to cross.
Q. 2 Aftab asks Najab “Have you brought anything”? Do you think Aftab when he saw Fatimah?
Ans. Aftab was very worried about the safe arrival of his son Najab. He was happy when he saw his son along with Fatima though he does the express happiness on his face.
Q. 3 The story ends with the coming of the rain that swept away years of drought. Do you think this helps Fatima in being welcomed into her new home?
Ans. The drought in Kutch had lasted for three successive years and everything was badly affected. But with the arrival of Fatimah in the village, the clouds burst and the drought ended. The people heaved a sign of relief. This helped a lot to her in being welcomed into her new home. The people of the village still consider her arrival auspicious and a symbol of love across the border.
Q.4 How does the drought affect the following? Earth, Camel, Oxen, Cattle
Ans. Earth: the earth crakes and it looks as if chunks of it are being baked in a Kiln. Camel: The camel alone survives the drought comfortably. Oxen: The oxen die. Cattle: The cattle become thin and emaciate.
Q.5 Why was Najab’s father worried about Najab’s future?
Ans. There are two reasons that made Najab’s father worried about Najab’s future. First, his son had crossed the border without taking Zaman into confidence. He thought that Zaman might harm his son, for it was not easy to cross the border without his support. Second, he feared that he would grow too shy to charge the money on what he would sell and as such would spend wastefully every thing whatever his ancestors and he had acquired during a hundred years.
Q.6 Why was a visit to Kala Doongar important for the people of Khavda?
Ans. Visit to Kala Doongar was important for the people of Khavda because they would go there for seeking the blessings of the Panchamai Peer who had left his foot prints on the hill over hundreds years ago while trudging this salt desert and serving the people.
Q. 7 Was the trade that was carried on across the border legal? Give reason for your answer?
Ans. No, the trade was not legal. The people of Khavda and the adjoining area would smuggle Indian goods in to Pakistan and vice versa. They would bribe the officials and deputed troops through agents like that of Zaman. Had the trade been legal, there would have been no question of bribery.
Q. 8 When he heard about his son’s disappearance, what was Aftab’s first suspicion?
Ans. Aftab suspected that his son might have gone to Pakistan along with the bundles of tendu leaf which he had brought.
Q. 9 What made Aftab suspect that his wife knew about Najab’s going away?
Ans. Aftab had thought that his wife would faint on hearing that his son had disappeared. But his prediction proved wrong because his wife didn’t even blink in surprise. His eye fell on her bare arm and he found the gold bangle missing. All this made him suspect that his wife knew about Najab’s going away.
Q.10 Zaman was an important person in the village and was called the chief because (Tick the right answer) a) he was the strongest man in the village b) his family had ruled the village for years c) he arranged the smuggling trip across the border and had close contacts with officials on both the sides of the border.
Ans. Zaman was an important person in the village and was called the chief because he arranged the smuggling trip across the border and had close contact with officials on border the sides of the border.
Q.11 What was the Zaman’s reaction to Najab’s absence from the village? Why?
Ans. Zaman’s reaction was a great anger and disappointment to Najab’s absence from the village.He told Najab’s father that his son was not innocent and introvert as the world believed and there was no limit to his annoyance. He was the chief of the smugglers and none of them would cross the border without his permission.But Najab was the first person who had not sought his permission and for the same reason he was very much upset.
Q.12 The absence of man and a camel from the village was significant because (Say whether true or false)
a) It meant that someone had across the border
b) It meant someone had come into the country
c) It meant the camel would be confiscated by the officials
Q.13 Fatimah says ‘just my luck to run into mutes’? Who the mutes she refers to? Why does she make this statement?
Ans. Fatimah and Najab fell in deep love at the first sight. She had been under pressure to get engaged to a stammerer namely Mahfuz Ali. She wanted to elicit a word from Najab but could not, for he was a shy, quite and pleasant young man so ready with his smiles. So, Fatimah found herself in a dilemma and started thinking that there were mutes in store for her and the mutes were Mahfuz Ali and Najab.
Q.14 Najab knew that Fatimah loved him because ( Tick the right answer) a. She made special dishes for him to eat.
b. She told him that she loved him.
c. She made suggestive gestures.
Ans. Najab knew that Fatimah loved him because she made suggestive gestures.
Q.15 Was Kaley Shah happy to see Najab? How did Najab win his trust?
Ans. No, Kaley Shah was not happy to see Najab. He expressed his unhappiness saying that he had come unannounced, dragged the police behind him and had not brought tendu leaf with him. But Najab was very quick to understand the situation. After showing the gold bangle, he told Kaley Shah that he had come for cloves and would pay in gold. In this way, he won his trust.
Q. 16 Though Fatimah belonged to a different country she did not hesitate in eloping with a boy from another country. Give two reasons?
Ans. True love does not know boundaries, hurdles, bullets and reasons. It is madness to put hurdles in the way of true lovers. Though Fatimah belonged to a different country but she did hesitate in eloping with a boy from another country and the reasons are obvious. First, she did not want to marry Mahfuz Ali who was a stammerer. Second, she was in the true and deep love with Najab.
Q. 17 Fatimah calls Najab a mute yet he proposes to her. How does he do that?
Ans. Najab was known to be a shy and introvert boy. He fell in deep love with Fatimah at the first sight but could not tell her straight forwardedly about his love. So she called him mute. However, he proposed her through gestures. He flung his arms around her and promised that he would come again to take her to his home.
Q.18 Why did people of Khavda welcome Fatimah with open arms?
Ans. The people of Khavda had been in the grip of acute drought for three successive years and everything was badly hit. But when Fatimah stepped in the village, the clouds burst and the drought came to end.
Her coming to village proved auspicious occasion and brought prosperity to the villagers in the form of rain. So the people of Khavda village welcomed her with open arms and delight.
Q. 19 The writer has used number of colourful phrases to describe Fatimah’s beauty. Find the expression to describe the following: a. Eyes b. Hair c. Laughter d. Eyebrows e. Smell
Ans.a) Her eyes are so bright that they would have lit up the darkness of the under world
b) Her hair were as black as the night itself.
c) her laughter had the timbre of ankle bells.
d) Her eye brows were black wisps of the night
e) She smelt of cloves and cinnamon
Q.20 Najab as described in the early part of the story and Najab as we see in the latter part are different, but similar in some ways.Compare and contrast Najab’s characters before and after journey across the desert?
Answer. The story Love Across the Salt Desert depicts a love affair of two true and sincere lovers namely Najab and Fatimah. There are many characters in the story but Najab has got a pivotal position. In the early part of story, he is a very shy, introvert and reserved boy. He was known to have blushed at the mere mention of a girl. He had dreamy eyes. None of his friends had ranked him among the braves. Even his father Aftab feared the boy would waste away all what he had and his ancestors had acquired. He considered him too shy to be able to charge money what would he sell. But all these predictions proved wrong in the later part of the story. Najab turned to be courageous, brave and determined son after his first meet with Fatimah who ignited a spark of love in him. He undertook a dangerous journey, crossed the border and met his love. He did not care for bullets and difficulties. He faced all the hardships, he met during trip with a smiling face. He was true, sincere and faithful in his love. He had understood what love really means. He felt his love and saw the image of Fatimah in every object he touched, imagined and articulated. In the initial part of the story his character in marked by shyness and diffidence but in the later part of the story, his bravery and confidence is spoken off.
Q.21 Zaman, Aftab and Kaley Shah were all involved in same trade, yet they were different in many ways. Compare the three and rate them from the least villainous to the most villainous giving reasons for answer?
Ans. Zaman was a veteran smuggler .He was the chief of smugglers in the area where he lived.He would arrange illegal trips for the smugglers and keep the Rangers happy. He was a very influential persons so far as crossing of the border was concerned. Though Najab crossed the Rann without his consent but had a close Shave.
Aftab was father of Najab. He was also a smuggler. He would smuggle things from India to Pakistan.He would take tendu leaf and sell them across the border. He was not hopeful about his son and would say that he would waste away everything on account of his shyness.He had never expected any act of bravery from his son. He was an affectionate father. His heart sank with grief on hearing about disappearance of his son. He prayed that his son might come back safely.
Kaley Shah lived in Sindh.He was a spice seller. He would harbor the Indian smugglers and arrange spice like cloves and cinnamon for them. He thought only in terms of business.He got angry when he found Najab empty handed. He had links with their local police and the guardians of law could do nothing against him. There is hardly anything appreciable about his character.
Zaman is the most villianous character. He would do anything for the sake of money. It is Aftab who seems to be least villainous.He is trembled and terrified on hearing the news of his son’s disappearance
Explanation With Reference to the Text
What would he not do for her…… For her he would cross the salt desert
Context: These lines have been taken from the story, “Love Across the Salt Desert ” written by Keki N Daruwalla. Here the writer conveys a very important message that true love knows no boundaries, barriers and bullets but it brings nations closer by minimizing the impediments existing between them. Explanation: These lines express that Najab would do anything for his beloved Fatimah. Fatimah was a paragon of beauty. Her laughter had the the sound of ankle bells, her eyebrows were like wisps of the night and her hair was the night itself. To get his object of love, Najab was happily ready to face any challenge.
Dr. C.V. Raman, gone down in the annals of science (National as well as International) as celebrated genius rightly and deservingly so. He looked upon science as God and considered work as his religion. His unswerving dedication to the development of science and research in India (a county which did not figure anywhere on the map of science), is extremely laudable. He brought laurels not only to his own person but to India – an extremely backward country in science and this he did at a time when she (India) was panting under the colonial rule of the British.
Right from his early age, he displayed the signs of genius, and an undeniable fact evidenced by the fact that he passed his matriculation at the age of 11 with honors and graduated at 15-achievements almost unbelievable.
Hailing from extremely orthodox Brahman family of Tamil Nadu, he rose to the heights of occupying the Directorship of ‘The Institutes of Science and Technology’ at Bangalore— a post he held for 15 years till his retirement, needless to say, that he was the first Indian to occupy the post.
After having got his Masters in Physics and Literature and having qualified the competitive exams of Finance department– he started his career as assistant Account General in Calcutta – an extremely lucrative post that fetched him quite a handsome salary , but he did not feel contented as it pushed him away from his first and last love ‘science’.
It was his undying and never dwindling zeal and passion for science that bought him in contact with an institute named Indian ‘Association for Cultivation of Science’ at 210 street Calculate run by Amit Lal Sarkar. Such was his passion for science that he continued his research programme in the institute from six to nine in the morning and from five to ten in the evening, besides discharging his routine duties as Assistant Account General.
He was offered the Palit Chair of Physics AT Calcutta University by Dr. Mukherji and he accepted without sparing a moment’s thought — though the University paid him almost half the salary, he got from the government. It was as representative of Calcutta University that he had to make a voyage to Europe in 1921 to attend a science conference there and this voyage proved to be a turning point in his career as, having been inquisitive by nature since his birth. He was surprised by the deep blue coloration of Meditterian waters and his inquisitive mind ruled out the standing explanation that it must be due to the reflection of the blue sky. This triggered his exploring mind and ceaselessly for almost seven years to unravel the mystery and give the world his theory of Scattering.
The phenomenon of light while passing through different media, together with the Quantum theory of light which has gone under his name as ‘Raman Effect’. It was this discovery that won for him the much coveted and prestigious.
Nobel Prize. Thus he became the first Indian– nay Asian who rose to the status of Noble laureate. Raman had a very deep love for his country- India. This is evidenced by the fact that he suffered a nervous breakdown while receiving Nobel Prize from the hands the Swedish King Gustav and tears gushed down his cheeks when he realised that he was standing under the Union Jack (British Flag) and not the Indian tri-colour which meant that his poor country—India did not have a flag of her own. Besides, he never opted for a European hat and suit in place of a typical Madrasi dress.
It was in acknowledgment of his scientific genius that personalities like with great personality like Rutherford and Neil Buhr etc. established friendship with him.
C.V. Raman was so deeply obsessed by the passion of promoting science and research in India and setting up a research Institute of his own that he traversed the whole country, collecting money from every possible source.
This was necessitated by the unfortunate incident of his having lost the entire savings of his life in the ‘South Sea Babble’ catastrophe. He did not feel shy of it remarking that all great Indians like Shankara, Buddha, and Gandhi had been beggars. Finally, he did succeed in establishing the ‘Raman Institute’ on a piece of land (about 31 acres) donated by a local landlord who too had the similar desire to see India on the science map of the world.
Raman’s keen ear for music and it was this trait of his personality that brought him in touch with Lokasundri, a Vienna whom he finally wedded as a life partner. He confronted a lot of problems in his life, but never felt depressed and deterred. One of the major causes of these problems was his irritable temperament and too harsh a behavior.
He believed in simple living, close to Nature itself. His philosophy of life and concept patriotism were novelties and down to earth realistic. He believed in simple living and very high thinking. Patriotism for him meant the love of mother earth which could be exhibited by nurturing it, making it more and more productive without causing any damage to its texture. Simple things like a glass of plain water, a long walk in the woods, and a loaf of Ragi fascinated him more than anything else. He perceived Oneness in science and nature and never gave up serving them. He laid upon his countrymen to study science to be of some use to the country. He was a great and effective orator, educationist as well as a humanist. He preached that Indians needed to spend much of their time on the education of their children— spending money alone was not enough. To him, it was not just spending money that would transform the illiterate and scientifically backward India into the heaven of literacy. His speeches packed with wit and wisdom and spiced with humour inspired the youth all over the country and taught them not to lose heart and courage even in heavy odds– not to be deterred ever and never to say die.
1 How were the great men who Raman read about as a child reflected in the work he did later in life ? Ans. Dr C.V.Raman was a keen reader of books right from childhood. His interest in reading books with his father’s library at home has been further strengthened. He is both a savvy and voracious reader and anxiously pored over all the books in the collection of his father. Some of these are ‘ original writings of the exceptional scientists. He once said,“out of this welter of subjects and books, can I pick anything really mould my mental and spiritual outlook and determine my chosen path? Yes, I can and shall mention three books. These three were Edwin Arnold’s ‘Light of Asia’ which is the life story of Lord Gautama Buddha. Second one is titled ‘The Elements of Euclid’, is a treatise on Classical Geometry. ‘The Sensations of Tone’ is the last one and was authored by German scientist Helmholtz, on the properties of sound waves”.
Waves and Sound
These three were Edwin Arnold’s ‘Light of Asia’ which is the biography of Lord Gautama Buddha. Second one is titled ‘The Elements of Euclid’, is a treatise on Classical Geometry. ‘The Sensations of Tone’ is the last one and was written by German researcher Helmholtz, on the properties of sound waves”. These books have impacted Raman’s working style and critical thinking nature in his later life. It started with his Masters’ in Physics in Presidency school, Madras.
When there was a discourse hung on how light that fell on a screen placed in its way would get diffracted, or bent, when entering a tight slit in it. While the whole class was pre occupied with it, Raman thought about what might happen whether the light shone straight, not from an angle, on the screen. No student could show such elective reasoning as Raman. He contemplated it as well as published an research paper on it in Philosophical Magazine, a British Journal. He was the among the pioneer from Presidency school to publish an research paper. The sign of the extraordinary mind proceeded in his later research on melodic instruments.
Raman was entranced by waves and sounds and constantly carried in his mind the memory of reading Helmholtz’s book on ‘The Sensations of Tone’ in his school days. He got an opportunity to study and experiment in the IACS, he studied musical instruments first. He utilized a thought found in Helmholtz’s book, he clarified the working of the Ektara, which is a simple instrument made of a resonant box and a string extended to lie across the cavity. Beginning from his comprehension of this simple instrument, he created numerous thoughts that he called ‘remarkable resonances’. Amid this time, he took up the violin for study and built up a method for developing the quality instrument.
It was the first run a scientific understanding was built up, and it is utilized even today. Raman’s investigations on the violin were broad and published as a book entitled ‘On the Mechanical Theory of Musical Instruments of the Violin Family with Experimental Results: Part I.’ Raman’s revelation, while his voyage across the Mediterranean sea, that water molecules could scatter light simply like air molecules was essential and radical back then. It set him on the track to finding the popular Raman’s Effect. In 1922, he composed a splendid essay titled, “The Molecular Diffraction of Light”, in which he theorized that light may exist in quanta, that is, massless particles of energy. This is an acknowledged theory till today yet was most radical back then. In this way, the extraordinary personalities whom Raman read during his youth considered his scholarly and proficient career.
2. Why did Raman fail to impress his teachers when he joined Presidency College ?
Raman completed school when he was just eleven years old. He joined the BA course at Presidency College, when he was only thirteen years old. Being young for his class Raman failed to impress his teachers with his appearance. In the first English class that he had attended, Professor E.H. Eliot asked if he really belonged to the junior BA class.
3. What made Raman say of the Civil Surgeon of Madras, ‘I shall ever be grateful to this man’ ?
Ans.Raman was suggested to prepare for the Indian Civil Services (ICS) examination by his teachers. Raman had to undergo a medical examination to take the ICS test. But the Civil Surgeon of Madras declared him medically unfit to travel to England. This was the only exam Raman failed, and he would later remark in his characteristic style about the man who disqualified him because at that time, he simply put the attempt behind and went on to study physics.
4. Why was the day when Raman walked into the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science a historic moment ?
Ans. The day when Raman walked into the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science a historic moment because the building that became the laboratory where he and his team performed the legendary experiments on light.
5. Outline the subject of the first research Raman conducted in the IACS ?
Ans. The first research Raman has chosen was studying musical instruments. He explained the working of the ektara. He developed several idea that he called, ‘remarkable resonances’. He took up a violin for study and developed a way of characterizing the quality of the instrument. This was the first time a scientific understanding was established, and it is used even today.
6. What discovery did Raman make during his voyage across the Mediterranean and how did it prove to be important ?
Ans. Raman discovered that water molecules could scatter light like air molecules, during his voyage across the Mediterranean. It set him on the track to discovering the famous Raman effect. In 1922, he wrote a brilliant essay entitled ‘The Molecular Diffraction of Light,’ in which he speculated that light may exist in quanta, that is, as massless particles of energy.
More Questions of Dr CV Raman: The Celebrated Genius
Q. Why was the voyage C.V.Raman undertook in 1921 important in his life?
Ans. The voyage was important in his life because when he was crossing the Mediterranean Sea he wondered why it’s water has such a dark shade of blue. He started research about this apparently simple question and finally he got success. It was this very research that won him the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930.
Q. Raman was just an average student at school and college. Is this true or false? Give reason to justify your answer?
Ans. Raman was not an average student at school and college .He was very brilliant, intelligent and efficient. He passed his matriculation at the age of 11 and he was only 15 years old when he completed his graduation from The Presidency College Madras (now Chennai).
Q. Why could Raman not pursue higher studies abroad even though he was very keen to do so?
Ans. Though Raman was very keen to pursue higher studies abroad but he was disqualified by a British doctor on medical reasons.The doctor told Raman that he would would not be able to bear the severity of English climate.
Q. Give an example to show that Raman’s interest in science did not lessen even when he started working as an accountant general?
Ans.When Raman completed his masters degree, he took a job in Kolkata is an assistant accountant general but his interest in science did not show any sort of decline.He used to spend most of his spare time in the mornings and evenings in the laboratory of Indian Association for Cultivation of science.
Q. Why was there no Indian flag flying when Raman was awarded Nobel Prize? How did this effect him?
Ans. Noble Prize was awarded to Raman in 1930 for physics and at that time India was under the British rule. That is why, there was no Indian flag. When he saw himself under the British flag, he was so moved by emotions that tears started trickling down his face.
Q. Raman was proud to be an Indian. How does this manifest in his personal life?
Ans. Raman was proud to be an Indian. He would wear a closed coat and turban till his last breath. He did not give up his tradition Indian turban in favour of a European hat.
Q. The world was not slow to recognize the importance of CV Raman’s achievements? What are other important awards he won apart from the Nobel Prize?
Ans. Apart from the Nobel Prize, C.V.Raman was conferred many other important prizes. He won Bharat Ratan in 1954 and the International Lenin Prize in 1957.He was given Knighthood by the British Government in 1929. He was also made a fellow of the Royal Society London in 1924.
Q. “I can understand the difficulties that most of few graduates have to face”. How was this possible for him?
Ans. Raman himself had experienced a very tough and hard life. He had experienced poverty and miseries in his life. His life was not all milk and roses. Out of his personal experience, it was possible for him to understand the difficulties being faced by most of the graduates in India in those days.
Q. “I can admit success in life is always to the intelligent or the strong”. What are other qualities according to Raman bring success in life?
Ans. Rahman was of the opinion that success in life does not always come to intelligent or the strong.It is to some extent a bit of gamble. To be successful, one has to get one’s mind right and know one’s job well.
Q. What was Raman’s philosophy of life?
Ans. Raman’s philosophy of life was very simple. He was of the view that we should not get disappointed if we do not succeed in our life at the first attempt. We should not loose our heart rather we should continue efforts. We should face up life and take it as we find it. We should enjoy the common things in nature and life. He wanted us to appreciate the things that we see around ourselves.
Q.Three or four qualities of nature inspired Raman all his life. Which are they?
Ans. Raman appreciated nature. It was nature and her qualities that inspired him all his life. The wonderful bounties of nature, her marvelous ingenuity, he resourcefulness and her infinite variety are other qualities that inspired him.
Q. Raman had unusual view about Patriotism.What was it?
Ans. C.V. Raman had really unusual view about Patriotism. According to him, Patriotism is the love of the earth. It is earth and the things that grow upon it that make life possible. The love for land means the love of the earth which has borne us and which sustains us.The idea of the earth transcends the idea of national and international borders. By loving earth, we will be able to love all.
Q. The main purpose of Raman’s address to the graduates was to… a. advise them b. inspire them c. impress them
Ans. b) inspire them
Explanation with reference to the context
1. After ten years of government service……. research of his life.
Context: These lines have been taken from the lesson “Dr CV Raman- The celebrated Genius”. The lesson depicts Raman’s philosophy of life and his remarkable achievements.
Explanation: In these lines here under discussion depict that Raman did government service for ten years and then resigned. After that he worked as the Professor of Physics at Calcutta University on lower salary than he earned previously. He performed the most important research of his life at the University laboratory.
NCERT Solutions For Class 12 English-After Apple Picking
Introduction: The beautiful poem “After Apple Picking” by Robert Frost is written in the first person, and the speaker is a hardworking, straightforward man who has been picking apples in an apple plantation throughout the day, and is now overcome with fatigue because of all day work and on account of his huge experience of picking apples. The poet makes an imaginative flight into the eternal world and stresses for the execution of good deeds and avoidance of the evil deeds while living on the earthy world. It is winter, and the quick approaching night is making him sleepy. He realizes that he has still a great deal of apples to pick, yet wouldn’t like to work any longer. He feels the profundity of his experience is going to make him dream clearly about apple-picking even while he is sleeping. He attempts to shake the drowsiness off him, and endeavors to focus on picking apples since he needs to take extraordinary consideration and not let any apple tumble to the ground, as then it will be viewed as useless. The speaker considers how tired he is, and how he needs to give sleep a chance to wash away his exhaustion, and wonders if it will be an ordinary ‘human’ sleep, or a profound, hibernating sleep like the woodchuck.
In short, the poet looks back at his life and thinks about the mistakes he has committed as well as the happy times he has spent.
After Apple Picking
Summary of After Apple Picking
The poem describes his sleep and dream after a hard day spent in apple picking. The narrator is extremely exhausted and unable to escape the mental act of picking apples. He remembers the strange vision he had that morning when he looked at a bunch of grass through a sheet of ice he removed from a drinking trough. It looked like the world was melting, and then he dropped the piece of ice. He may or may not be falling asleep as he has these thoughts. He thinks of how he will dream about apples.
Though there is a barrel still left to be filled and a few apples left to be plucked he knows he has gathered quite a large number which have been stored in the cellar. He can feel the winter season approaching and his thoughts are filled with resting.He is quite certain that he will be dreaming of apples. He’s getting sick of harvesting apples. His feet ache from having spent hours on the rungs of the ladder while working. He has been very careful in handling the apples because if they had fallen they would be good only for making cider.
After Apple Picking
He imagines that these thoughts about worthless apples and dropping things will haunt his sleep. Finally, he wonders whether his sleep would refresh and rejuvenate him like the sleep of the woodchuck which hibernates during winter or whether it will just be a normal “human” sleep.
On a deeper level the poet talks about his imminent death which is symbolised as sleep. He still has a few desires left unfulfilled and regrets the mistakes he has made in life. He also cherishes sum of their memories he has and wonders whether there would be any life after death.
Hyperbole: The poet has used hyperbole as “ten thousand thousand apples” in the poem. “Ten thousand thousand” apples would be ten million! It was not possible for the poet to count all the apples that he had picked.Instead, he is exaggerating. The technical term for this device is hyperbole.
Personification: The poet has also used the device of personification in the poem.
He personifies the woodchuck as if it were a person who could read the poem and say, “Yup, sounds like you’re headed for hibernation, my friend!” or, “Nope, you’re still just a human being. Sorry!”
Metaphors: The poem is full of metaphors.The speaker’s strange view of the world, even since that morning, is compared metaphorically to sleep or to some other physical object that is caught in his eye. But he cannot “rub” out the strangeness in the way that you can rub out sleep in the morning.
Simile: He uses a subtle simile to describe the treatment of the fallen apples. They’re not really worthless because there’s still some value in the apple cider. But the point of the speaker is that they could also be worthless compared to the non – corrupted apples.
Solved Questions of After Apple Picking
Q.What does the pane of glass refer to? What is the poetic device used in the description?
Ans.The pane of glass refers to the sheet of ice that froze over the water because the speaker can see through it. A “glass” is also an old fashioned word for mirror. The poetic device metaphor is used in the description. The sheet of ice is described metaphorically as a “pane of glass”.
Q. What does apple picking refer to. Why has the poet given the poem this title?
Ans.Apple picking alludes to any human task to be performed after hard work and against all odds.The poet has given the poem this title because he wants to convey the readers the message that whatever work they perform while living in the world should be performed with hard labour, sincerity and devotion. “After Apple Picking” is a poem about life and death, the veil that isolates these, and the association among death and rest. Its key symbol, the apple, is one which has represented life in various societies—the apple reviews the Norse golden apples of Idun, which gods must eat so as to stay young and immortal.The poet has given the poem this title also because it is quite useful on the grounds that, without it, you may believe that the poem is set during the apple-picking. As the speaker is about the fall asleep, he envisions that he is back in the orchard. However his appearance is befuddled and disoriented. Aside from this useful help, the title is modest. It refers to a typical pre-winter work, at least for farmers who cultivate in New England.
Reference to the Context.
1. ‘I’ can not rub the strangeness……… and left it fall and break’.
a) What did the poet see through the pane of glass?
Ans. The poet saw the strangeness of the world through the pane of glass.
b) From where had he got this piece of glass?
Ans. He had got this piece of glass from drinking trough.
c) How could the glass melt? What does this indicate about the weather conditions?
Ans. The glass could melt with the heat of the sun. It indicates about the hot weather conditions.
d) Does this have a deeper significance for the poet?
Ans. This has really a deeper significance for the poet. As the glass melts with the heat of the sun, similarly human life melts with the passing of time and finally culminates in death.
2. ‘My instep arch not only keep……… For I have had too much’.
a) Why does the poet’s insteps arch ache?
Ans. The poet’s instep arch ache because he has been on a ladder for a long time. His instep keeps the pressure of the ladder.
b) What was he been doing?
Ans. He has been picking apples.
c) What is the rumbling sound that the poet hears?
Ans. The rumbling sound that the poet hears is the sound of the apples being in a cellar bin.
d) Why does the poet say he had “too much”? What is he referring to?
Ans. The poet says this because he was now overtired of apple picking. He is referring to old age and death.
e) Why does the ladder sway? What does it symbolise for the poet?
Ans. The ladder sways because the boughs of the tree bend. It symbolises for the poet that life is always in the power of death.
f) Explain the phrase ‘ ladder-round’.
Ans. The phrase ‘ladder round’ stands for journey of life from the eternal world in to the earthly world and back into the eternal world. The journey gets culminated on the same point from where it had emerged.
3. There were ten thousand thousand…. As of no worth.
a) Why is the poet careful to see that his apples don’t fall to the ground?
Ans. The poet is careful because if the apples fall to the ground they will be considered of the second grade or worthless. In other words the poet has realized the importance of good deeds.
He attempts to shake the drowsiness off him, and tries to focus on picking apples since he needs to take extraordinary consideration and not let any apple tumble to the ground, as then it will be viewed as useless.
b) What is the poet trying to express by using the symbol of an apple that is spiked or bruised?
Ans.The poet is trying to express the evil deeds which one performs during ones life span in the world.
c) What does he really mean by using the imagery of apples seeing cherished? What does one usually cherish?
Ans By using the imagery of apples seeing cherished, the poet means the good deeds that one executes during once life span in the earthly world. One usually cherishes such things that pay in the long run.
Explanation With Reference to the context:
1. I cannot rub the……. fall and break.
Context: These lines have been taken from the poem, “After Apples-Picking” written by Robert Frost. Here the poet makes an imaginative flight into the eternal world and stresses for the execution of good deeds and avoidance of the evil deeds while living on the earthy world. Explanation: In the given lines, the poet says that he was not able to erase the different and strange experience which he had got while living on the earthly world. He had spent his life in the world which is full of troubles and temptation. He wanted to live but the mighty power of death took him into his lap.
2. But I was well…. dreaming was about to take.
Context: same as above Explanation: In these lines, the poet says that he was well prepared before the power of death took him into his lap. He was so ready for death that he could anticipate what was going to happen after death in his dream.
Q. Try and guess what these objects mean in the poem: apples, barrel, ladder, swaying Answer Apples: Apples represent life in various societies.The apple reviews the Norse golden apples of Idun, which gods must eat so as to stay young and immortal. Barrel: Barrel symbolises the good deeds that one has performed in the world. Ladder: Ladder represents the journey of life from the earthly world to the eternal world. Swaying: Swaying symbolises that the life is full of troubles and difficulties. It also represents the life is always in the power of death.
NCERT Solutions For Class 12 English-The Letter ‘A’ By Christy Brown
1. How did Christy’s mother know that her son was physically impaired?
When Christy was four months old, his mother observed he was unable to support his head.His head had habit of falling backwards According to Christy, Bridget concluded “there was something wrong with me” and several years later he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Cerebral is Latin for a part of the brain while palsy refers to paralysis, although Brown’s biographer Christina Hambleton explains that doctors in 1930s Ireland considered cerebral palsy a difficult condition to understand . Brown’s form of cerebral palsy affected his movement and posture and his doctors and extended family recommended Bridget place him in care. However Christy’s mother decided to raise Christy at home.
Tag: Questions and Answers of The Letter ‘A’
2. ‘The doctors were so very sure of themselves that mother’s faith in me seemed almost impertinence. ‘
a. What did Christy’s mother think about him?
Ans. Christy’s mother thought that he was not imbecile as the doctors told her. She took him in her own hands. She was determined to treat her child in the same planes as other normal children. She believed that it was his body which was shattered not his mind. She loved him and believed in him. b. Why is her faith in him described as impertinence?
Ans. Her faith in him is described as impertinence because she refused to accept the expert opinion of doctors and specialists that he was imbecile. She treated him in the same planes as normal children. She believed that it was his body which was shattered not his mind.
3. In spite of all that doctors and specialists told her, Christy’s mother would not agree that he was imbecile. What does this reveal about her as a person?
Ans. It reveals that she was positive person. Her positive attitude made her believe that her son could not be completely crippled.She loved him and believed in him. She believed that her son could not be something to be fed and washed and then put away. She thought that Christy’s disability is a social construct, a consequence of negative attitudes or physical barriers that can be overcome.To her, it was his body which was shattered not his mind.
4. What did Christy’s mother hope to achieve by showing him pictures of animals and flowers?
Ans. Christy’s mother wanted to prove that her son was not an idiot but normal like other children. She set out to prove this. By showing her son pictures of animals and flowers she wanted that he could speak and understand things by this.
She struggled to obtain some proof of her faith. Children are usually fascinated by colorful pictures.Further, they can be moulded well not because of any rigid sense of duty but out of love.
5.What was the advice offered by relatives and friends? Why was it lucky for the writer that his parents didn’t heed the advice?
Ans.The relatives and friends contended that Christy was an idiot. He should be taken kindly and sympathetically but not seriously. They told Christy’s parents not to look Christy as they would other children. This would only break their heart in the end.
The writer was lucky that his parents held out against the lot of them. Christy’s mother even set out to prove this. She showed him pictures of animals and flowers, told him stories, helped him to write and gave him a lot of love. She did not give up her struggle. Ultimately, she was successful. 6. Christy’s mother believed he was not an idiot (Ticket the correct option.) ∆ he was her son ∆ it was her duty as a mother to defend him ∆ she loved him and believed in him
Ans. She loved him and believed in him.
7. Christy feels that not many mothers would have treated him the way his mother did. How would Christy have been treated in another household?
Ans. Christy feels that not many mothers would have treated him the way his mother did.This is a fact. They would have treated him kindly and sympathetically but not seriously. They would have not struggled to the extent Christy’s mother struggled to mould him. Many mothers would have treated him as a “queer one” in the back room who are never spoken of when there are visitors present in the household.
8. ‘That was a momentous decision. ‘ What decision his mother take about bringing him up? Why did Christy consider the decision a momentous one?
Ans. Christy’s mother decided to regard him on the same plane as the others. She thought that it was his body which was crippled not his mind. Therefore, she decided to raise him like a normal children.
Christy considered her mother’s decision a momentous one because it meant that his mother was always to be with his side, to fight all the battles that were to come in his way and to inspire him with new strength when he was beaten. Eventually, the decision proved to be s significant one in Christy’s life.
9 Despite being surrounded by a loving family what were Christy’s feelings as he lay on his back in the kitchen or in the garden?
Ans. Christy felt himself lonely and imprisoned in a world of his own. He could not communicate with others. He felt cut off from them as if a glass wall stood between his existence and theirs. He longed to run and play with the rest but he was unable to break loose from his bondage.
10. While his father was busy brick laying, his mother was ‘patiently pulling down the wall, brick by brick’. Which wall was the mother pulling down?
Ans. The mother was pulling down the barrier that separated Christy from the other children. She was slowly and patiently penetrating beyond the thick curtain that hung over his mind, separating from it from theirs. She believed that Christy was not an idiot but normal like other children. It was just his body which was crippled not his mind. She worked hard to remove all the obstacles that come in the way of Christy’s progress.
11.’They now spoke of an institution. ‘ a. Who is the ‘they’ in the above line?
Ans. ‘they’ refers to the relatives and friends of Christy. They contented that Christy was idiot and should be taken to an institution for the mentality challenged. b. What is the institution they are speaking of?
Ans. They are speaking of the institution for mentally challenged. c. How did Christy’s mother respond to their suggestion?
Ans. Christy’s mother fiercely rejected their suggestion. She told them that Christy was not an idiot. It was his body that was shattered not his mind and she was sure of that.
12. Christy’s mother and father and siblings saw his forming the letter ‘A’ as (Ticket the correct option) a. a sign of intelligence b. as merely an imitative gesture.
Ans. A sign of intelligence.
12. Why was Christy surprised to see himself holding a chalk stick between his toes?
Ans. Christy was surprised to see himself holding a chalk stick between his toes because he could not believe his eyes how he was able to grip the piece of chalk between his toes. He hardly knew how it got there. He was also not knowing what to do with it next. It was really a unbelievable achievement for him.
13. Why was everyone tense in the room when they saw Christy attempting to write?
Ans. Holding a piece of chalk between his toes and attempting to write surprised everyone in the room. Till then everyone except Christy’s mother thought that he was an idiot and didn’t possess any intelligence .But when they witnessed Christy holding a piece of chalk and trying to write, it was almost an impossible achievement for them. They were excited and tense simply because everyone now wanted to see the outcome of Christy’s struggle.
15. What do you think finally helped Christy achieve the ” impossible “?
Ans. Christy achieved the impossible simple because he was given the chance by his mother to express himself. His mother didn’t give up hope but struggled for him. She gave him all important help that moulded him right way. She didn’t give ear to the doctors,relatives and friends that her son was imbecile. She loved him and believed in him. She thought that Christy was not an idiot. She took Christy in her own hand and treated him in the same plan as others. To her it was his body that was crippled not his mind. She removed all the obstacles that came in his way. She spent hours with him; showing pictures, telling him names of animals and flowers and gave him all care and love. Finally, her faith rewarded her and her struggle changed into triumph.
Tag: Questions and Answers of The Letter ‘A’
Long Answer Type Questions
Q. What did the writer’s mother notice about the physical growth of her son (Christy Brown) after the age of four months?
Ans. The writer’s mother noticed that his head fell backward, whenever she tried to feed him. She could not succeed in correcting it by placing her hand on the back of his neck. As he got older, she saw his hands clenched nearly all the time.
His mouth could not grasp the teat of the battle because his jaws would either lock together tightly or would suddenly become limp and fall hanging, dragging his mouth to one side.
When he was six months old he could not sit up without having a no. of pillows behind him. Even when he was twelve months, it was the same. The mother became worried about her son. She told her husband and they consulted the specialist doctors about it.
Q. How did the mother take the writer seriously after he was even left by the doctor?
Ans. Even though the doctors declared Christy to be an imbecile. Mother’s faith in him did not shatter. She took it as a challenge in her life. In spite of her relatives and friends advice to put him in an institution for mentally related she rejected their suggestion.
She decided to nourished him on the same plane like her other five healthy children. She showed him the pictures of animals and flowers with a hope that he would start recognizing and identifying them.
The mother’s faith in the child and God resulted positively. Christy was able to write letter ‘A’ with a piece of chalk held between the toes of his mental freedom. It was all the fruit of his mother’s confidence and labour.
The Letter ‘A’
Q. Who Was Christy Brown?
Christy Brown was born on June 5th 1932, in the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin, into a working class family of 22 children. His mother Bridget experienced complications while Christy was being born and when Christy was four months old, she observed he was unable to support his head. According to Christy, Bridget concluded “there was something wrong with me” and several years later he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy . Cerebral is Latin for a part of the brain while palsy refers to paralysis, although Brown’s biographer Christina Hambleton explains that doctors in 1930s Ireland considered cerebral palsy a difficult condition to understand . Brown’s form of cerebral palsy affected his movement and posture and his doctors and extended family recommended Bridget place him in care. She decided to raise Christy at home. At five years of age Brown attempted to draw the letter ‘A’ by grasping a piece of chalk with his left foot and his mother subsequently encouraged Brown to write and paint in this fashion. His first glimpse of fame came in 1944 when he won a painting competition for children run by the Sunday Independent. The paper ran a story about Brown, featuring a picture of him painting with his left foot. As a young man Brown attended Ireland’s first cerebral palsy clinic, in Dublin. Although this clinic was of great benefit to Brown, he spent much of his life using a wheelchair and he depended on others for physical assistance with daily tasks, such as preparing food and attending to bodily functions. He lived with his parents and siblings in his family home in Kimmage, until he married his carer Mary Carr, in 1972. After he married, he moved to Kerry and then to England. He struggled with alcoholism and depression for much of his life and he died in Somerset in England in 1981, after choking on a dinner. He is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, in Dublin. Brown wrote and named his famous autobiography after his method of writing and painting. In My Left Foot, he reflects on growing up with cerebral palsy in mid-twentieth century Ireland. The book was an international success and in 1989, Jim Sheridan turned it into an Oscar winning film of the same name. In 1970, Brown published Down All the Days. This semi-autobiographical novel is told from the viewpoint of a mute, nameless teenager who has a disability similar to Brown’s. A lyrical and a dense novel, it shocked Brown’s friends and family for its portrayal of sex, disability, violence and alcoholism. It was a critical success. Brown went on to publish A Shadow On Summer in 1974; Wild Grow the Lilies in 1976 and a posthumously published work A Promising Career in 1982. He also penned several collections of poems; some relatively unsuccessful plays and he produced numerous paintings, for the Disabled Artists Association. Brown emerged as a writer during a time when Irish society held deeply conservative values about the suitability of certain publications. Historian Dermot Keogh describes how Archbishop McQuaid wrote to Taoiseach Eamon de Valera to thank him for enacting measures designed to prevent the “diffusion of evil books”, as well as works the Catholic Church objected to on moral grounds. This letter was written in 1953, just one year before My Left Foot was published. The chronology of Brown’s life is also significant from a disability studies perspective. For most of Brown’s lifetime, any consideration of what it meant to be disabled was framed under the medical model of disability. This model considers disability as a physical or mental condition of the individual, which requires a cure (Williams, 2001).
Throughout the 1960s and 70s there was a significant shift from locating disability within a person’s body towards considering society at fault for disabling an individual. This came to fruition in 1975 when the UK-based Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation (UPIAS) framed the social model of disability. This model considers disability as a condition imposed on top of a person’s impairment by society. It also regards people with disabilities as an oppressed group in society.
Professor Gaitonde, who is a historian, is on his way to lecturing in The Third Battle of Panipat on the implications of catastrophe theory when his car collides with a truck and he goes into a coma where he is now experiencing a completely changed history that is different from the real world. The Marathas were defeated in the real world in the Third Battle of Panipat Afghans and their leader Vishwas Ra was killed. But as Vishwas Rao narrowly escapes the bullet and survives, the parallel world in which the Professor now sees things for him Marathas won the war. According to him, this victory brought significant changes and reforms to the country.
When he regains his consciousness back, his friend Rajendra Deshpande tries to rationalize his experience based on two theories that are Catastrophe Theory and Quantum Theory’s lack of determinism. The narrator, meanwhile, is still talking about the parallel world in which Professor Gaitonde is on his way from Pune to Bombay. It’s a pre-independent India where he finds Anglo, Indians and Jack from Union.
The professor goes to the library where he reads four volumes of history books from the Asoka period up to Panipat’s Third Battle. Bhausahebanchi Bakhar’s fifth volume that he read tells a different story where Marathas won Panipat’s Third Battle. Absent as a proof, Professor tucks a copy of the book into his pocket and reaches Azad Maidan where a lecture is taking place. Without the chairman, the meeting is taking place and he decides to go on stage and snatch the mike he begins to speak. He wasn’t welcomed by the crowd and he was finally thrown out with eggs and tomatoes showered on him and then he gets lost in the crowd. After this strange experience, we find the Professor talking to his friend Rajendra in the real world.
Rajendra describes the two scientific theories responsible for Professor’s strange behaviour. According to the theory of Catastrophe, a small change can bring about a sudden shift in behaviour, and if the same is implied in the battle of Panipat, it can be seen that the Marathas went through a crucial time when their two leaders Vishwas Rao and Bhausaheb died, leading to a loss of morality. So, another way that the crucial event has gone may change the course of history. So, the copy of the book he’s supposed to keep in the pocket is nothing but the notes he’d prepared for his lecture where he’d imagined the battle’s fate would be different. The bullet hitting Viswas Rao was a catastrophic event and the present has been reached because of such a catastrophic incident in the battle.
According to the Lack of determinism in Quantum theory the behaviour of electrons orbiting the nucleus in an atom cannot be predicted. They are in higher and lower state and can jump from high to low energy level and send out a pulse of radiation that can knock it out from state number 2 to state number 1 and these can apply to the world too and therefore Professor Gaitonde made a transition from the world we live into a parallel world. He neither travelled to the past nor to the future in the fact he was experiencing a different world in present itself. At the time of the collision with the truck, he was thinking about the catastrophe theory and its implications in war. He was probably wondering about the battle of Panipat. Perhaps the neurons in his brain acted as a trigger and he made a jump from this world to the parallel world.
THINKING ABOUT LANGUAGE
1. In which language do you think Gangadharpant and Khan Sahib talked to each other? Which language did Gangadharpant use to talk to the English receptionist?
Ans. Gangadharpant and Khan Sahib talked to each other in Urdu or Persian. Gangadharpant used English while talking to the English receptionist.
2. In which language do you think ‘Bhausahebanchi Bakhar’ was written?
Ans. ‘Bhansahebanchi Bakhar’ was written in Marathi.
3. There is mention of three communities in the story, the Marathas, the Mughals, the Anglo-Indians. What language do you think they used within their communities and while speaking to the other groups?
Ans. Within their communities, the Marathas used Marathi, the Mughals used Urdu and the Anglo-Indians used English. While speaking to the other groups they used the language which was intelligible to the listener and helped them to express their thoughts. Sometimes it could be a mixture of two languages.
4. Do you think that the ruled always adopt the language of the rulers?
Ans. The masses do not always adopt the language of the rulers, but the classes always do so. It is because in courts, offices, banks, educational institutions, etc. the language of the rulers gets the place of pride. So, that section of the ruled who want to get any benefit from the rulers do adopt the language of the rulers.
WORKING WITH WORDS
I. Tick the item that is closest in meaning to the given phrases: 1. to take issue with (i) to accept (ii) to discuss (iii) to disagree (iv) to add 2. to give vent to (i) to express (ii) to emphasise (iii) to suppress (iv) to dismiss 3. to stand on one’s feet (i) to be physically strong (ii) to be independent (iii) to stand erect (iv) to be successful 4. to be wound up (i) to become active (ii) to stop operating (iii) to be transformed (iv) to be destroyed 5. to meet one’s match (i) to meet a partner who has similar tastes (ii) to meet an opponent (iii) to meet someone who is equally able as oneself (iv) to meet defeat.
Answers 1. (iii) to disagree, 2. (i) to express, 3. (ii) to be independent, 4. (ii) to stop operating, 5. (iii) to meet someone who is equally able as oneself.
II. Distinguish between the following pairs of sentences:
1. (i) He was visibly moved.
Ans. He was moved in a way that was easily noticeable.
(ii) He was visually impaired.
Ans. His sight was impaired.
2. (i) Green and black stripes were used alternately.
Ans. Green and black stripes were used one after the other.
(ii) Green stripes could be used to alternatively black ones.
Ans. Either green stripes or black ones could be used.
3. (i) The team played the two matches successfully.
Ans. The team achieved success in the two matches it played.
(ii) The team played two matches successively.
Ans. The team played two matches one after the other.
4. (i) The librarian spoke respectfully to the learned scholar.
Ans. The librarian spoke with respect to the learned scholar.
(ii) You will find the historian and the scientist in the archaeology and natural science sections of the museum respectively.
Ans. You will find the historian and the scientist in the archaeology and natural science sections of the museum in the same order as the people or thing already mentioned.
III. Notice these expressions in the text. Guess the meaning from the context:
blow by blow account
gave vent to
Ans. blow by blow account: a description of an event which gives you all the details in the order in which they happen morale booster: encouraging/increasing confidence relegated to: ignored/pushed to lower position political acumen: political sharpness
de facto: real, actual, in fact
astute: shrewd, crafty
doctored accounts: manipulated (false) descriptions
gave vent to: expressed.
The story deals with unreal condition and hypothetical situations. Some of the sentences used to express this notion are given below: 1. If I fire a bullet from a gun in a given direction at a given speed, I know where it will be at a later time. 2. If I knew the answer I would solve a great problem. 3. If he himself were dead in this world, what guarantee had he that his son would be alive. 4. What course would history have taken if the battle had gone the other way? Notice that in an unreal condition, it is clearly expected that the condition will not be fulfilled.
THINGS TO DO
I. Read the following passage on the Catastrophe Theory downloaded from the Internet.
Originated by the French mathematician, Rene Thom, in the 1960s, catastrophe theory is a special branch of dynamical systems theory. It studies and classifies phenomena characterized by sudden shifts in behaviour arising from small changes in circumstances. Catastrophes are bifurcations between different equilibria, or fixed point attractors. Due to their restricted nature, catastrophes can be classified based on the basis of how many control parameters are being simultaneously varied. For example, if there are two controls, then one finds the most common type, called a ‘‘cusp’’ catastrophe. If, however, there are more than five controls, there is no classification.Catastrophe theory has been applied to a number of different phenomena, such as the stability of ships at sea and their capsizing, bridge collapse, and, with some less convincing success, the fight-or-flight behaviour of animals and prison riots.
II. Look up the internet or an encyclopedia for information on the following theories: (i) Quantum theory (ii) Theory of relativity (iii) Big Bang theory (iv) Theory of evolution.
Answers (i) Quantum Theory. Quantum means a very small quantity of electromagnetic energy. Quantum theory is based on the idea that energy exists in units that can’t be divided.
(ii) Theory of relativity. Einstein’s 1905 paper ‘‘On the Electro dynamics of Moving Bodies’’ introduced the special theory of relativity. Special relativity considers that observers in inertial reference frames, which are in uniform motion relative to one another, cannot perform any experiment to determine which one of them is stationary. This is known as the principle of relativity. Einstein’s theory of relativity is his theory of universe which states that all motion is relative and treats time as a fourth dimension related to space.
(iii) Big Bang theory. The Big Bang theory is an effort to explain what happened at the very beginning of our universe. Discoveries in astronomy and physics have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that our universe did in fact have a beginning. Prior to that moment there was nothing; during and after that moment there was something: our universe. The big bang theory is an effort to explain what happened during and after that moment. After its initial appearance, it (the ‘‘Big Bang’’), apparently inflated, expanded and cooled, going from very, very small and very, very hot, to the size and temperature of our current universe. It continues to expand and cool to this day and we are inside of it: incredible creatures living on a unique planet, circling a beautiful star clustered together with several hundred billion other stars in a galaxy soaring through the cosmos, all of which is inside an expanding universe that began as an infinitesimal singularity which appeared out of nowhere for reasons unknown. This is the Big Bang theory.
(iv) Theory of Evolution. Biological evolution ia s genetic change in a population from one generation to another. The speed and direction of changareis variable with different species lines and at different times. Continuous evolution over many generations can result in thdevelopmentnt of new varieties and species. Likewise, failure to evolve in response to environmental changes can, and often does, lead to extinction. Charles Darwin modified his religious beliefs, as a result of the discovery of convincing proof of evolution. In his famous book, ‘On the Origin of Species’, Darwin states his theory of evolution. Simply put evolution is the process of gradual development of plants, animals features over many years from simple to more complex forms.
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS SOLVED
A SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS (Word limit: 40 words)
1. What plan of action had Professor Gaitonde arrived at?
Ans. Professor Gaitonde had decided to go to a big library at Bombay and browse through history books. Then he would find out how the present state of affairs was reached. On his return to Pune, he would have a long talk with Rajendra Deshpande. He hoped that Rajendra would help him understand what had happened.
2. Gangadhar Pant had not been to ‘this Bomabay before’. How was ‘the Bombay’ different?
Ans. This Bombay was under the British Raj. An Anglo-Indian in uniform checked permits. Each of the blue carriages of GBMR had the tiny Union Jack painted on it. The Victoria Terminus station looked very neat and clean. The staff was mostly of Anglo-Indians and Parsis along with a handful of British officers.
3. What led Professor Gaitonde to believe that ‘history has taken a different turn, perhaps before 1857?
Ans. Professor Gaitonde noticed an imposing building facing Bombay V.T. It was called East India House, Headquarters of the East India Company. He knew that the East India Company had been wound up shortly after the events of 1857. Yet here it was not only alive but also flourishing. So he concluded that history had taken a different turn.
4. How did the shops and office buildings along Hornby Road differ from those he knew well?
Ans. The Bombay he knew had a tower of OCS building. It peeped above the shorter victorian buildings. There was Handloom House also. There were no such buildings along the Road. Instead there were Boots and Woolworth department stores and offices of Lloyds, Barclays and other British banks.
5. ‘‘This was a blow, not totally unexpected.’’ What was the blow and how was it not totally unexpected?
Ans. At Forbes building, Professor Gaitonde made enquiries about his son Vinay Gaitonde. The English receptionist searched through the telephone list, the staff list and directory of employees of all the branches. She told him that she could not find his name there. This was a blow, but not totally unexpected one. If he himself were dead in this world, his son might not be alive or he might not even have been born.
6. Which according to Gangadharpant was the precise moment where history had taken a different turn?
Ans. The victory of the Marathas in the Battle of Panipat was very important. Abdali was defeated completely and pursued back to Kabul by the triumphant Maratha army led by Sadashivrao Bhau and his nephew, the young Vishwasrao.
7. ‘‘Gangdharpant read through the account avidly.’’ Which account is referred to here? Why did he read it avidly?
Ans. It was not blow by blow account of the battle itself, but its consequences for the power struggle in India. The style of writing was unmistakably Gangadharpant’s own, yet he was reading this account for the first time. So he read it eagerly.
8. How did the Victory in the Battle of Panipat affect the balance of power?
Ans. It was a great morale booster to the Marathas. It established their supremacy in northern India. The influence of Bhausaheb and Vishwasrao increased. The East India Company postponed its expansionist programme. Vishwasrao and his brother Madhavrao had political sharpness and bravery. The Company’s influence was reduced to small areas near Bombay, Calcutta and Madras.
9. How was the balance of power maintained in the nineteenth century?
Ans. The Peshwas kept the puppet regime alive in Delhi. There were political reasons for it. The Peshwas were the real rulers from Pune. They recognised the importance of the technological age beginning in Europe. They set up their centres for science and technology. East India Company saw an opportunity to increase its influence. It offered aid and experts. These were accepted only to make the local centres self-sufficient.
10. What was the state of India Gangadharpant had seen during the twentieth century?
Ans. India moved towards a democracy. The Peshwas lost their enterprise. They were gradually replaced by democratically elected bodies. The Sultanate at Delhi survived even this change because it exercised no real influence. The Shahenshah of Delhi held a high position but no real power. He simply gave official approval to the ‘recommendations’ made by the central parliament.
11. Why do you think Gangadharpant appreciated the India he had seen recently?
Ans. It was an independent and self-respecting country. It had never been enslaved by the white men. It was self-sufficient. It has allowed the British to retain Bombay as their sole outpost. This was due to purely commercial reasons. The treaty was signed in 1908. That lease was to expire in the year 2001.
12. Where from did Gangadhar Pant get the clue for the question. ‘‘How did the Marathas win the battle?’’ and what did he think about it?
Ans. He got the clue from a book called Bhausahebanchi Bakhar. He found the Bakhars interesting to read, but he seldom relied on them for historical evidence. The detailed but falsified accounts were quite vivid but truth lay hidden somewhere.
13. Which lines revealed that Vishwasrao had come quite close to being killed?
Ans. The lines read: Then Vishwasrao guided his horse to the melee. Elite troops were fighting there. He attacked them. God was merciful. A shot passed by his ear touching it lightly. Even the difference of a til (sesame) would have led to his death.
14. Why was Professor Gaitonde staring at the platform in Azad Maidan as if mesmerized?
Ans. He found a lecture in progress there. He saw a table and a chair on the platform, but the presidential chair was unoccupied. The sight stirred him to the depths. He could not approve of the public lecture without a presiding dignitary. For him it was a sacrilege.
15. How did the audience react to Professor Gaitonde’s remarks: ‘‘an unchaired lecture is like Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ without the Prince of Denmark’’?
Ans. The audience reacted sharply. They were sick of remarks from the chair, of vote of thanks and of long introductions. They had abolished the old customs long ago. Hence that lecture series had no chairperson. The chair was symbolic. They only wanted to listen to the speaker. They asked him to vacate the chair and keep the platform empty.
16. What happened as Professor Gaitonde kept on trying valiantly to correct the sacrilege?
Ans. Professor Gaitonde kept on talking and reminding the audience of the importance of presiding dignitary. The hostile audience reacted sharply. First they showered tomatoes, eggs and other objects on him. Then they rushed to the stage to eject him bodily. He was lost in the crowd.
17. Why do you think Rajendra’s ‘smile’ was replaced by a ‘grave expression’?
Ans. Rajendra had smiled on hearing Professor Gaitonde’s strange narrative. Perhaps he thought that Gaitonde’s mind was playing tricks and his imagination was over excited. He became serious as he read a page torn out of a book. This page from Bakhar contained vital evidence about the different turn history had taken.
18. What do you think made Rajendra realize that ‘‘facts can be stranger than fantasies’’?
Ans. Professor Gaitonde presented two totally different written accounts of the Battle of Panipat as contained in Bhausahebanchi Bakhar. The one he had come across in the other world described how Vishwasrao narrowly missed the bullet. The other account which he had in the familiar world, described that Vishwasrao was hit by the bullet.
19. How does Rajendra explain the disparity in the two accounts of the same crucial event in the Battle of Panipat?
Ans. Rajendra applies catastrophe theory to the Battle of Panipat. The outcome of the battle depended on the leadership and the morale of the troops at the critical juncture. In one of them, the troops lost their morale and fighting spirit at the loss of their leaders. In the other, the bullet missed Vishwasrao and this boosted the morale of troops and they won.
20. ‘‘We live in a unique world which has a unique history,’’ says Professor Gaitonde. What prompts him to make this remark?
Ans. Rajendra tries to explain the outcome of the Battle of Panipat with the help of catastrophe theory. The Marathas might have won it, but actually they lost it. Napoleon could also have won the Battle of Waterloo, but he was defeated. The idea of ‘it might have been’ is all right for the sake of speculation but not for reality.
21. What do you know about ‘reality’ on the basis of your study of Jayant Narlikar’s ‘The Advanture’?
Ans. We can experience reality directly with our senses and indirectly via instruments. Reality is not limited to what we see. It may have other forms. Reality may not be unique. This has been found from experiments on very small systems such as atoms and their smallest parts.
22. What do you understand by, ‘‘The lack of determinism in quantum theory’’?
Ans. Quantum theory is based on the idea that energy exists in units that can’t be divided. Determinism is the doctrine that all events and actions are determined by external forces acting on the will. The phrase thus means that the energy contained in electrons is not determined by the external forces that fire it.
23. How, according to Rajendra, was Gangadharpant able to experience two worlds?
Ans. According to Rajendra, Gangadharpant made a transition from one world to another and back again. By doing so, he was able to experience two worlds, although one at a time. One has the history we know, the other a different history. The separation or bifurcation took place in the Battle of Panipat.
24. ‘‘But why did I make the transition?’’ asks Gangadharpant. How does Rajendra try to convince him with guess work?
Ans. Rajendra has no readymade answer or explanation for this query. He makes a guess. Some interaction is needed to cause a transition. Perhaps Gangadharpant was then thinking about the catastrophe theroy and its role in war. Or he may be wondering about the Battle of Panipat. The neurons in his brain triggered the transition.
25. What had Professor Gaitonde been thinking at the time of collision?
Ans. At the time of his collision with the truck, Professor Gaitonde was thinking about the Battle of Panipat. He was wondering what course history would have taken if the result of the battle had gone the other way, i.e. if the Marathas had won the battle.
26. What do you learn about Professor Gaitonde’s thousandth presidential address?
Ans. His thousandth presidential address was made on the Azad Maidan. He was then rudely interrupted. He wanted to tell the audience what might had happened if Marathas had won the Battle of Panipat. Since people had misbehaved, he could not deliver this address.
B. LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS (Answer in 100-125 words)
1. ‘‘Gangadharpant could not help comparing the country he knew with what he was witnessing around him.’’ Elucidate.
Ans. Gangadharpant was an eminent historian of Pune. He had written the History of India in five volumes. During his train journey he was wondering what course history would have taken if the result of the Battle of Panipat had gone the other way. This helped him to make a transition to the other world. India was altogether different country in this world. Unlike the India he knew so well, the India he was witnessing around him was self-sufficient and self-respecting. It was independent. It had never been enslaved by thwhite menmen. It had allowed the British to retain Bombay as their sole outpost. This was done for purely commercial reasons. The buildings and offices in this British Bombay were the same as in typical high street of a town in England. East India House, thheadquartersrs of the East India Company was housed in an imposing building outside Bombay’s VT. The station itself looked remarkably neat and clean. The staff mostly comprised of Anglo-Indians and Parsees along with a handful of British officers. The Bombay he knew was altogether different. The tower of OCS building peeped above the shorter Victorian buildings. There was Handloom House as well22. What, according to Gangadharpant, would have been the consequences if the Marathas had won the Battle of Panipat?
Ans. The consequences of Maratha victory in the Battle of Panipat would have beefafar-reaching. It would have boosted their morale and established their supremacy in northern India. The expansionist programme of the East India Company would have been shelved. The political cleverness and bravery of Maratha rulers would have helped them to expand their influence all over India. The East India Company would have been reduced to pockets of influence near Bombay, Calcutta and Madras, just like its European rivals, the Portuguese and the French. The Peshwas would have been real rulers of India. They would have kept the puppet Mughal government in office for political reasons. Recognising the importance of technological age in Europe, they would have set up their own centres for science and technology. The twentieth century would have moved India towards democracy. The Peshwas would have been replaced by democratically elected bodies. The Shahenshah of Delhi would then merely approve the recommendations made by the central parliament.
3. How does Rajendra Deshpande try to rationalize the experience of Professor Gaitonde about his transition to another world and back?
Ans. According to Rajendra, Professor Gaitonde had passed through a fantastic experience, or more correctly, a catastrophic experience. He tried to rationalize it on the basis of two scientific theories that were current then. One was the catastrophe theory. The result of the battle would have been determined by the acts of the leaders and the morale of troops at the critical juncture. The blow of losing the leaders would have led the o loss of morale and fighting spirit. An utter rout would have followed. If the crucial event had gone the other way, its effect on the troops would also have been the opposite. Their morale would have been boosted and they might have won. The course of history would have been different. The other explanation is through the lack of determinism in quantum theory. Catastrophic situations offer radically different alternatives for the world to proceed. All alternatives are viable so far as reality is concerned. However, the observer can experience only one of them at a time. Professor Gaitonde made a transition from one world to the other as he had been thinking about the catastrophe theory and Battle of Panipat. The neurons in his brain acted aa s trigger.
1. laugh with their hearts: laughter that is natural. 2. laugh with their teeth: the laughter that is artificial. 3. shake hands without their hearts: a handshake that does not show like dresses warmth but a routine formality. 4. shake hands with heart: a handshake that conveys feelings. 5. hands search my empty pockets: the relationship is measured in terms of how much money/ power one has. 6. feel at home: to feel comfortable. 7. there will be no thrice: one is no longer welcome if he/she visits someone very often. 8. learned to wear many faces: people can change their expressions to suit different occasions. 9. like a fixed portrait smile: a smile which remains fixed and does not change with personal feelings and moods. 10. I want to unlearn all these: I wish to forget modern trends and return muting things to a more natural style of living. 11. Cold eyes: emotionless eyes 12. Search: look for something indeed – something which does exist 13. Shut: closed 14. Conforming: normally acceptable 15. Portrait: picture 16. Good–riddance: a feeling of relief when an unwanted person leaves 17. Muting: expressionless/ not expressed in speech 18. Fangs: poisonous teeth of a snake
Once Upon a Time Summary
In the poem “Once Upon a Time”, the poet expresses his nostalgic feeling for the past when the people were genuine and honest. The poet has addressed this poem to his son. He tells his son about people’s actions in the past and in the present, in olden times and in the modern world. He recalls a time when people had genuine feelings. They would laugh with the heart and have a genuine feeling for each other. But today, people often welcome each other in the modern and busy world without any warmth. With a smile or laugh, you greet each other and do not reach your eyes or warm your heart. When you say to a guest that you’re coming again, you don’t really mean it, you just say it to be cunning. The poet says that people are often interested in meeting people this day only if they are rich, powerful and successful or famous, and do not value or respect those who have no wealth or position.
Once Upon a Time
Have you ever said something nice to someone without really meaning it? Why do you believe that you have spoken? Was it because you’ve been too busy and have not thought about what you said? Was it because in this situation it was the right thing to say? We must learn behaviour accepted in society in order to be separate from society. We start to learn this as we grow up and comply with the situation we find ourselves in. We learn this behaviour to slowly disappear our natural behaviour, and in every different situation, we act in such a way that this situation is deemed appropriate.
The poet says that in the office he behaved quite differently than he did on a party or on the street. And none of the faces he puts on is his natural self or true face. He says he also learned to say things that he doesn’t really mean because in this situation they’re the right things to say. The poet also says that he too sometimes politely greets a person in this way, even though he may not be interested in meeting him or her. He also teaches them to be “glad to meet you.” The poet is said to have forgotten how to be a natural person like other adults in today’s world.
The poet has a profound desire to return to childhood innocence. With his own changed self, his unhappy. He believes his son can truly learn to express his feelings honestly with genuine laughter. He would like to learn how to behave naturally. It is because he laughs his lips and teeth and not his eyes and his heart that his misbehaving makes his laugh unpleasant. He wants his son to teach him how to smile as he used to in the past.
As children, our feelings are innocent, loving and honest. However, with time, our personality and behaviour are affected by many social and cultural factors. Often these experiences remove our honesty and innocence. In the same way, the old way of life was innocent like a child because in those days people were more honest and caring about each other than they are in the busy, modern-day world. We often don’t mean what we say when we meet people today. We just tell them nice stuff because we don’t want to look rude. The poet wishes that the modern world would once again become innocent and childlike. He again wants himself to be as natural, honest and innocent as he was when he was a child.
Once Upon a Time
As we grow up, we lose some of our childhood’s simplicity and truthfulness. Similarly, we have forgotten some simple and honest human feelings and relationships in our advanced, globalised world of email, social networking sites, and so on. We’ve distanced ourselves because we’re too busy, or because we don’t need to meet people to talk or see them. Instead, we have learned to interact with other people in a formal, polite and correct but meaningless manner. But this doesn’t mean we don’t have any hope of learning again how to be natural, simple and true. This is only possible if we look at children and let their innocence and honesty be an example to follow.
Questions of Once Upon a Time
Q. What frightens the poet when he sees his smile is the mirror? What is the poetic device used here?
Ans.When the poet sees his smile in the mirror, his false laugh frightens him because that shows him the teeth like the bare fangs of a snake that has no real sensation. It reminds him of a person whose laughter is like a snake falsely pleasant and therefore dangerous and deceitful. Simile has been used here. The poet uses this simile to show that he forgot to laugh with real pleasure and feeling. He doesn’t laugh with his eyes and heart when he laughs, but only by showing his teeth.
2. The poem is a satire on modern life. It mocks and ridicules some of the common behavioural patterns of modern man. For example, “I have also learnt to say, “Goodbye” when I mean “Good-riddance”. This is a typical instance of double-talk- use of language that has more than one meaning and is intended to hide the truth. Can you pick out from the poem some more of such examples of double talk. Compare your list with your partner’s.
Ans. The poem is a satire on falsehood and the changing human behaviour in modern society. The poet expresses this by using contradictions and double-talk phrases such as people “laugh only with their teeth,” shake hands without hearts, “their left hands search my empty pockets.” By using phrases like “wear many faces” to show that people behave differently and have different attitudes in different situations and with different people instead of being one’s true self, the poet shows that people in modern society are like actors who change masks on the stage and act in a play. Their actions and feelings are not connected. In modern society, this is a serious problem, but the poet criticizes it in the true style of a satire.