Father To Son Poem Summary in English by Elizabeth Jennings.
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Father To Son Poem Summary in English by Elizabeth Jennings
About the Poet Elizabeth Jennings
18 July 1926, Boston, United Kingdom
26 October 2001, Bampton, United Kingdom
St Anne’s College, Oxford High School
Father To Son Central Idea of the Poem
The central idea of the poem is the generation gap which occurs when the communication link between two generations breaks due to a mutual lack of understanding, tolerance and acceptance. The poem reveals an internal conflict that a father undergoes when his son grows up and possesses his own interests, ideas and perceptions. The unhappy father complains that he cannot understand his child despite having lived together, for so many years in the same house. Instead of bonding together, they have drifted apart. The gap has resulted in non-communication and non- understanding of each other. If both of them decide to take a lead and are willing to forget and forgive, their relationship may improve. Respecting each other’s differences is the only way out to diminish the distance between parents and children.
Father To Son Poem Summary in English
Father To Son Stanza Wise Explanation of The Poem
I do not understand this child
Though we have lived together now
In the same house for years. I know
Nothing of him, so try to build
Up a relationship from how
He was when small.
understand – know
for years – for many years
build up – develop
Explanation The father unhappily reflects on his inability to understand his own son. They have been staying in the same house for years but, due to non- communication and a lack of understanding, both son and father are not able to understand each other. The father does not know much about his son’s interests, likes or dislikes. Thus, he try to build up the same kind of relationship as he used to have when his son was a little child. The father has now perhaps realised that there is a lack of understanding between his son and himself and he wants to take measures so that their relationship improves.
Yet have I killed
The seed I spent or sown it where
The land is his and none of mine?
We speak like strangers, there’s no sign
Of understanding in the air.
This child is built to my design
Yet what he loves I cannot share.
strangers – unknown to each other
sign – indication
in the air – known
cannot share – do not
Explanation The father wonders whether it is he himself who is responsible for the failure of the relationship. The father feels that though the child is his son but perhaps he lives in a world different from him. Both father and son behave like strangers. There is lack of understanding and a communication gap which makes them behave not like father and son but more like strangers. The father says that physically the child resembles him but he does not appreciate what his son likes.
Silence surrounds us. I would have
Him prodigal, returning to
His father’s house, the home he knew,
Rather than see him make and move
His world. I would forgive him too,
Shaping from sorrow a new love.
silence – here it means lack of communication
surrounds – everywhere, all over
prodigal – extravagant, wasteful
move his world – shift to newer avenues
shaping from sorrow – making something new
Explanation: Silence surrounds their relationship because there is a complete lack of communication between them. The father sees his son as a prodigal (meaning, a child who foolishly mns away from home) and wants him to return to the home he has always known, so that they can rebuild the relationship to have a new start. He does not want the son to start life afresh without the father. He further says that he is willing to forgive his son for running away. Here the father’s tone is somewhat condescending, implying that the father is unable to let his son go, despite restricting the son’s independence and development.
Father and son, we both must live
On the same globe and the same land,
He speaks: I cannot understand
Myself, why anger grows from grief.
We each put out an empty hand,
Longing for something to forgive.
same globe – this world
grows from grief – develops from deep sorrow
put out – extend
longing – desiring keenly or strongly
Explanation: Both fathers and their sons all over the world must learn to live together in spite of their misunderstandings and differences. At this point in the poem, the son speaks for the first time and admits that he too feels the sadness of the broken relationship, but he is angry due to his confusion. Both father and son want to forgive each other, but neither is ready to take the first step of asking for forgiveness from the other. However, the situation can improve if they find a way of getting closer to each other.
Father To Son Poetic Devices Used in the Poem
Antithesis: In this figure of speech two contrasting or opposing ideas are put together. For example
(a) The land is his and none of mine
(b) Shaping from sorrow a new love
Alliteration: This indicates occurrence or repetition of the same sound or letter at the beginning or most of the words in a sentence. For example
(a) Silence surrounds us
(b) The seed I spent or sown
(c) The home he knew
(d) Shaping from sorrow
Metaphor: In this figure of speech, an implied comparison is made between two unlike things that actually have something in common. For example
(a) The land is his and none of mine
(b) We both must live on the same globe and the same land
Synecdoche: In this figure of speech a part is made to represent the whole or vice-versa. For example
(a) – Make and move his world
The Voice of The Rain Poem Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. The Voice of The Rain is written by Walt Whitman.
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The Voice of The Rain Poem Summary in English by Walt Whitman
About the Poet Walt Whitman
31 May 1819, West Hills, New York, United States
26 March 1892, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Leaves of Grass, Song of Myself, O Captain! My Captain!
Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Illustration
The Voice of The Rain Central Idea of the Poem
The poem The Voice of the Rain’ by Walt Whitman signifies the eternal role that the rain plays in nurturing, quenching and purifying the various elements of Earth. The rain returns the favour to its place of origin from where it rises unseen from the depths of the water and from the land. The rain itself is explaining to the reader about its origin, work and its cyclic movement. A comparison has also been drawn between rain and music as both of them make the world more lively and return to their place of origin after fulfilling their purpose.
The Voice of The Rain Poem Summary in English
The Voice of The Rain Stanza Wise Explanation of The Poem
And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower,
Which, strange to tell, gave me an answer, as here translated:
I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain,
thou – you
soft-falling – dropping softly
shower – raindrops when they fall continuously on Earth
Explanation: The poem begins with the poet asking for the identity of the soft-falling rain shower. Much to the surprise of the poet, the rain replies to his question which the poet translates for his readers. The rain in its own voice tells the poet that she is the poem of this Earth. The rain is trying to say that, as music or poetry gives pleasure to human beings, the rain gives happiness to mother Earth.
Eternal I rise impalpable out of the land and the bottomless sea,
Upward, to heaven, whence, vaguely form’d, altogether changed, and
yet the same,
eternal – everlasting
impalpable – unable to be felt by touching
bottomless – very deep
upward – towards a higher level
whence – from where
vaguely – unclearly
form’d – made into a specific shape or form
Explanation: The poet says that the rain is an eternal process, but it takes different forms at different times. It rises from the land and the deep sea in the form of intangible water vapour and goes up to the sky. There it takes an indistinct shape in the form of clouds.
Although it changes in its form or shape, its core matter remains the same. Since vapour and clouds contain water they can get transformed into the other. The words ‘impalpable’ and ‘eternal’ indicate that nature is not fully understood and some part of it always remains beyond our reach.
I – descend to lave the droughts, atomies, dust-layers of the globe,
And all that in them without me were seeds only, latent, unborn;
descend – move or fall downwards
lave – wash
droughts – dry spells
atomies – very tiny particles
globe – Earth
latent – dormant, inactive
Explanation: The raindrops pour down from above to wash away droughts and dust layers enveloping Earth. It satisfies the thirst of the dry Earth and heals everything that is degrading and is lying lifeless. The showers remove the dust particles and make Earth clean and green.
The rain also helps in the germination of seeds which were lying dormant due to a dry spell.
“And forever, by day and night, I give back life to my own origin, And make pure and beautify it;
(For song, issuing from its birth-place, after fulfilment, wandering Reck’d or unreck’d, duly with love returns.)
origin – source
beautify – make beautiful
issuing – originating/starting
fulfilment – completing the cycle
wandering – moving from one place to another
reck’d – cared about
unreck’d – uncared for
duly – properly, rightly
Explanation: The rain is involved in a continued process of giving life on Earth by providing water to dormant seeds and making the Earth more beautiful and full of greenery. Rain helps in enhancing the beauty of Earth as, in the absence of water, everything turns dull or lifeless and dust accumulates everywhere.
The last two lines are the poet’s own words and his reflections upon the answers given by the rain. The poet observes that the life of rain is similar to that of a song. A song or poem is creativity at its best. It has the power to calm, heal, rejuvenate, transform and thrill. In the same way, repeated evaporation and condensation purifies the rain. The entire environment gets drenched in the rain, dust particles settle down and there is greenery everywhere which makes the whole Earth beautiful to look at. The poet therefore draws a parallel between rain and music as both have rhythm and ability to thrill. Both of them rejuvenate and beautify life.
The Voice of The Rain Poetic Devices Used in the Poem
Personification: The rain has been personified as it has been given a voice in the poem.
Metaphor: “I am the Poem of the Earth”. The poet uses a metaphor to compare how the rain leaves the ground to come back to the ground, giving back to it much like a person who leaves its home, only to come back after fulfilling its journey.
Parallelism/Simile: In the last two lines, the poet has drawn a parallel between the rain and the song of a poet.
Hyperbole: ‘Bottomless sea’ is an example of hyperbole. The poet describes sea as bottomless which is an exaggerated statement to bring out the desired effect.
Imagery: In the first line of the poem, ‘Soft-falling shower’ gives the reader an image of gentle rain or drizzle. During the dialogue between the poet and the rain, it creates an image of showers or drops of water falling down from the heavens to Earth and infusing it with greenery, purity and beauty.
The Laburnum Top Poem Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. The Laburnum Top is written by Ted Hughes.
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The Laburnum Top Poem Summary in English by Ted Hughes
About the Poet Ted Hughes
17 August 1930, Mytholmroyd, United Kingdom
28 October 1998, North Tawton, United Kingdom
Pembroke College, University of Cambridge
Carol Orchard (m. 1970–1998), Sylvia Plath (m. 1956–1963)
Costa Book of the Year, Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, US & Canada, Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize
The Laburnum Top Central Idea of the Poem
The poem The Laburnum Top is a beautiful poem in which the poet has used the Laburnum Tree and goldfinches as a symbol of life and its fluctuations. In this poem, the poet describes how the visit of a goldfinch changes the Laburnum tree. The goldfinch transforms the tree and makes it come alive as the chicks of the goldfinch start to rustle and chirp on seeing her. Once the goldfinch leaves the tree, it becomes quiet and still again. The Laburnum tree symbolises the pattern of our life in general, which is usually dull and inanimate. The goldfinch breaks the usual pattern and makes it lively. Without the goldfinch, the Laburnum tree is just like another tree. In other words, it is the attitude of a person towards life that makes life meaningful and worth living.
The Laburnum Top Poem Summary in English
The Laburnum Top Stanza Wise Explanation of The Poem
The Laburnum top is silent, quite still
In the afternoon yellow September sunlight,
A few leaves yellowing, all its seeds fallen.
Laburnum top – top part of the Laburnum tree
Explanation: The poet describes a beautiful sunny autumn. The Laburnum tree is silent and still. It is laden with yellow leaves and yellow flowers in September. Its leaves have turned yellow because of the autumn season and all its seeds have fallen.
Till the goldfinch comes, with a twitching chirrup,
A suddenness, a startlement, at a branch end.
Then sleek as a lizard, and alert, and abrupt,
She enters the thickness, and a machine starts up
Of chitterings, and a tremor of wings, and trillings-
The whole tree trembles and thrills.
It is the engine of her family.
She stokes it full, then flirts out to a branch-end
Showing her barred face identity mask.
goldfinch – a small, yellow bird
twitching – a small, often involuntary movement of the body
chirrup – the sound made by a bird
startlement – amazement
sleek – smooth
abrupt – suddenly
chittering – sound made by baby birds
tremor – shaking
trilling – to sing a series of quickly repeated high notes
trembles and thrills – shakes violently
the engine of her family – the goldfinch
stokes – adds fuel (here the goldfinch is feeding her chicks)
flirts – moves abruptly or jerkily with light steps
barred – striped
Explanation: Just then a goldfinch alights on the Laburnum tree making short, high-pitched sounds. The goldfinch has her nest in the tree and her chicks are resting in the nest. On the mother’s return, a sudden movement stirs the tree. Her little ones are excited on her arrival and start chirruping. The cautious mother enters the tree with great care so that no predator can come to know that her babies are housed in the nest.
The poet has compared the alert, abrupt and sleek movement of the goldfinch with that of a lizard. The goldfinch has been called the engine of her family. Just as the engine starts up the machine, her arrival in the nest has suddenly started up the silent machine (nest) i.e. the young ones have started chittering and making noise. By feeding her young ones, she has added fuel to the machine and as a result the chicks now have the erergy to be active and make noise.
After feeding her chicks, the goldfinch flies up and rests on the end of a branch of the tree, her identity concealed behind the yellow flowers and yellowing leaves.
Then with eerie delicate whistle-chirrup whisperings She launches away, towards the infinite
And the Laburnum subsides to empty.
eerie – strange in a frightening or mysterious way
launches – flies
infinite – the sky
subsides to empty – becomes silent, just as earlier
Explanation: After some time, the goldfinch makes a strange short, high-pitched sound. Then she flies away towards the infinite sky. The Laburnum tree becomes silent again after the departure of the goldfinch and everything seems to be the same as it was before the arrival of the goldfinch.
The Laburnum Top Poetic Devices Used in the Poem
Simile: In this figure of speech, one thing is compared to another. An example of simile in this poem is ‘sleek as a lizard’.
Metaphor: In this figure of speech, a word/ phrase is used to represent something else. Examples of metaphor in this poem are ‘engine of her family’, where ‘engine’ represents the mother goldfinch, and ‘machine’ which represents the nest with its brood of bird chicks.
Alliteration: In this figure of speech, a number of words having the same first consonant sound occur close together in a series. Examples of alliteration in this ‘ poem are ‘September sunlight’, ‘A suddenness, a startlement’, ‘and alert and abrupt’ and ‘tree trembles and thrills’.
Onomatopoeia: In this figure of speech, a word is formed from a sound similar to it. Examples of onomatopoeia in this poem are ‘twitching chirrup’, ‘chitterings’, ‘trillings’ and ‘whistle-chirrup’.
Transferred Epithet: A transferred epithet is a 1 description which refers to a character or event but is used to describe a different situation or character ‘Her barred face identity mask’ is an example of transferred epithet in this poem. The flowers of the Laburnum tree fall like bars and, when the bird sits behind the flowers, the shadow of the flowers on her face looks like she is wearing a mask that has bars on it.
A Photograph Poem Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. A Photograph is written by Shirley Toulson.
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A Photograph Poem Summary in English Line By Line Explanation by Shirley Toulson
About the Poet Shirley Toulson
20 May 1924, Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom
15th May 2014
B.A Literature from Brockenhurst College in London
The Drovers, The Celtic Year a Celebration of Celtic Christian Saints Sites and Festivals More
A Photograph Central Idea of the Poem
Shirley Toulson’s poem ‘A Photograph’ is a tribute to her mother. The poem describes three stages in the passage of time. In the first stage, the photograph shows the poet’s mother standing at the beach enjoying her holiday with her two girl cousins. She was around 12 years old at that time. The second stage takes us twenty or thirty years later. The mother would laugh at the way she and her cousins were dressed up for the beach holiday. In the third stage, the poet remembers the dead mother with a heavy heart. The photograph revives a nostalgic feeling in the poet.
A Photograph Poem Summary in English
A Photograph Stanza Wise Explanation of The Poem
“The cardboard shows me how it was
When the two girl cousins went paddling,
Each one holding one of my mother’s hands,
And she the big girl — some twelve years or so.”
cardboard – very stiff paperboard on which the photograph was pasted
paddling – walking through shallow water in bare feet
big girl – mother is referred to as the big girl as she was the eldest among the three girls
Explanation: An old photograph of the poet’s mother which was pasted on cardboard makes the poet recall the old memories of her mother’s childhood. The photograph is a depiction of her mother’s enjoyable moments at a sea-beach with her two cousins who were younger to her. They were walking in shallow water with bare feet near the beach. The mother was standing in the middle and holding hands of her two cousins, who were standing on each side. The poet’s mother was twelve years old then. It shows that the photograph was very old but the poet has kept it very carefully as it reminded her of sweet memories of her mother’s childhood. The photograph also indicates how enjoyable her mother’s childhood was.
“All three stood still to smile through their hair
At the uncle with the camera. A sweet face,
My mother’s, that was before I was born.
And the sea, which appears to have changed less,
Washed their terribly transient feet.”
still – without moving or shaking
smile through – smiling faces could be seen through their hair which was flying over their faces
terribly – extremely
transient – temporary, lasting only for a short time
Explanation: The photograph shows that all three girls – the poet’s mother and her two cousins – stood still and smiled at the camera when their uncle clicked their photograph at the sea beach. As the weather was windy at that time, their hair was flying over their smiling faces. The expression on the faces of the poet’s mother and her cousins was that of happiness and enjoyment. The mother was looking very pretty at that time and the photograph was taken a long time ago.
Everything has changed since then, her mother grew up; now she was dead and the poet was reviving her memories. The only thing that has remained unchanged is the sea which was washing the feet of all three girls. The mention of the word ‘transient’ indicates the ever-changing lives of human beings as well as the shortness of their stay on this World, in contrast to the eternality of nature. The girls’ life changed drastically during this period but the sea has not changed. The stanza beautifully explains the transient nature of human beings.
“Some twenty-thirty – years later
She’d laugh at the snapshot. “See Betty
And Dolly,” she’d say, “and look how they
Dressed us for the beach.” The sea holiday
Was her past, mine is her laughter. Both wry
With the laboured ease of loss.”
snapshot – photograph
dressed us – put on clothes
wry – disgusted
laboured – achieved after a lot of hard work, done with great effort
ease – comfort
Explanation: Even 20-30 years later the mother would look at the photograph and laugh nostalgically remembering the happy memories of her past. Mother would look at the photograph and comment on the dresses worn by the cousins Dolly, Betty and herself.
Sea holiday was her mother’s past and her mother’s laughter has become a thing of the past for the poet as her mother was now dead. The poet still remembers how her mother would laugh at the photograph remembering the sea-holiday with a fondness as well as a sense of loss because that time would never come back. In the same way poet feels nostalgic thinking about her mother and her laughter which has become a thing of the past.
The words ‘laboured’ and ‘ease’ are opposite to each other, but describe the same entity, loss.
“Now she’s been dead nearly as many years
As that girl lived. And of this circumstance
There is nothing to say at all.
Its silence silences.”
circumstance – situation
silences – make someone unable to speak
Explanation: The poet recalls that it is nearly twelve years since her mother died. The poet is consumed with grief but is left with no words to express her loss and pain. The poet is totally absorbed in memories of her dead mother. The painful silence of this situation leaves the poet speechless. The poet can feel the grief but is unable to express it through words. The silence caused by death makes the atmosphere gloomy, where no one is able to utter words.
A Photograph Poetic Devices Used in the Poem
Allusion: An allusion is a reference or an incidental mention of something, either directly or by implication. An example of allusion in this poem is ‘cardboard’ which actually refers to the photograph.
Alliteration: Alliteration is the repetition of the initial letter (generally a consonant) of several words marking the stressed syllable in a line of poem. Examples of alliteration in this poem are ‘stood still to smile’, ‘terribly transient’, ‘Its silence silences’ etc.
Transferred Epithet: A transferred epithet is a description that refers to a character or event but is used to describe a different situation or character. ‘Transient feet’ is an example of the transferred epithet in the poem. It refers to human feet but it is used to describe the lack of permanence of human life.
Oxymoron: In this literary device, there are two opposite ideas that are joined to create an effect. ‘Laboured ease’ in the poem is an example of an oxymoron. Laboured meaning with ‘great difficulty’ and ease means ‘comfortably’. Both words have opposite meanings but here they are clubbed together.
Personification: The example is ‘Its silence silences.’ The situation has been given the human quality of silence.
Silk Road Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. Silk Road is written by Nick Middleton.
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Silk Road Summary in English by Nick Middleton
About the Author Nick Middleton
1960 (age 60 years), London, United Kingdom
Going to Extremes, Global Casino, Rivers: A Very Short Introduction
The Royal Geographical Society’s Ness
Silk Road Theme
This chapter is part of a travelogue about the author’s travel along the ancient trade route called ‘Silk Road’ regions as they are now. This account of the Silk Road, with its contrasts and exotic detail, describes the challenges and hardships the author faced while journeying to Mount Kailash on a pilgrimage.
Silk Road About the Characters
The Author: He is a Professor of Geography at Oxford University and an environmental consultant.
Tsetan: He is the owner of the car hired by the author for the journey, as well as being a tourist guide.
Daniel: He is an interpreter from Lhasa who travelled part of the time with the author.
Norbu: He is a Tibetan working at an academy in Beijing who wants to carry out the pilgrimage to Mount Kailash.
Silk Road Summary in English
Departure from Ravu
The author left Ravu along with Daniel, an interpreter, and Tsetan, who was a tourist guide. Before leaving, Lhamo, the lady who had provided them accommodation at Ravu, gave the author a gift of a long-sleeved sheepskin coat, as they were going to Mount Kailash, where it would be very cold. Tsetan knew a short cut to reach the mountain. He said the journey would be smooth if there was no snow.
They Saw Drokbas on the Way
As they passed through the hills, they saw individual drokbas (nomad shepherds) looking after their flocks. Both men and women were seen. They were wearing thick woollen clothes. They would stop and stare at their car, sometimes waving to them as they passed.
Encounter with Tibetan Mastiffs
As they passed the nomad’s tents, they saw some Tibetan mastiffs, which were dogs used by the shepherds. When the car came close to their tents, they would bark furiously and fearlessly. They would chase the car for some distance and would then go back. In earlier days, Tibetan mastiffs became popular in China’s imperial courts as hunting dogs. They were brought along the Silk Road as a tax payment from Tibet.
Ice Blocks the Road
The turns became sharper and more difficult as they climbed. The author started getting a severe headache. Suddenly snow started falling and soon blocked the route. Daniel and the author got out of the car to reduce its load on sharp bends. The altimeter watch on the author’s wrist indicated that they were at a height of 5210 metres above sea level. The icy top layer of the snow was dangerous, as the car could slip off the road. When they reached a height of 5515 metres, which was the top of the pass, the atmospheric pressure became so low that Tsetan had to open the lid of the petrol tank to release the evaporated fuel.
Back on the Highway
By late afternoon, they had reached the small town of Hor on .the shore of Lake Manasarovar, which was on the old trade route between Lhasa and Kashmir. Daniel returned to Lhasa from there. Tsetan got the flat tyre of the car repaired there. Hor was a grim, miserable place. There was no vegetation whatsoever, just dust and rocks. There was accumulated rubbish everywhere. Unlike the past, the place no longer appeared holy.
By 10.30 PM they reached Darchen, where they found a guesthouse to stay in. It was the end of the road. The author had a very troubled night. His nostrils were blocked and he was not able to get enough air into his lungs. Most of the night he sat up, as he was unable to sleep.
The next day Tsetan took the author to the Darchen Medical College. The doctor told him it was just the cold and the altitude which were giving him trouble. The doctor gave him some medicine and that night the author was able to sleep well.
Tsetan left the author in Darchen and went back with the car to Lhasa. He did not mind if the author would die in Darchen. He was a good Buddhist and believed in life after death. However, he was worried that the author’s death could affect his business, as he may not get more; tourists who required to be accompanied till where the road ended.
The Author Looks for a Companion and Meets Norbu
Like Hor, Darchen was dusty and a lot of rubbish could be seen all around. The town appeared to be sparsely populated. There were no pilgrims there, as the season had not yet started. He had reached there too early. He actually wanted to reach Mount Kailash to do kora to get a feel of what a pilgrimage was like. But he didn’t want to do it alone. He was looking for someone who could speak or understand English.
When he was sitting in the only cafe at Darchen, Norbu, a plump Tibetan working in Beijing at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, saw him reading an English book. So Norbu introduced himself to the author. He also was there to do kora, although he was not a religious person. So both of them decided to do kora together.
Silk Road Chapter Highlights
The author left Ravu with a gifted long-sleeved sheepskin coat accompanied by Daniel and Tsetan. Tsetan said that the journey would be smooth if there was no snow on the way.
As they passed by the hills, they could see the lonely drokbas looking after their herds.
As they passed the drokba tents, their guard dogs, which were Tibetan mastiffs, chased their car for some distance.
Soon the turns became sharper and bumpier as they climbed.
The sudden and unexpected fall of snow blocked their way a number of times.
After passing through the top of the pass, they went down to reach the small town of Hor, on the shore of Lake Manasarovar, by late afternoon.
It was a grim, miserable place without any vegetation; it only had a lot of accumulated rubbish, dust and rocks. Daniel went back to Lhasa from there. They repaired the puncrured tyres and carried on.
They reached Darchen at 10:30 PM and found a guesthouse to stay in.
The author had a very troubled night because of the cold. So the next morning, Tsetan took him to consult a doctor at the Darchen Medical College.
The doctor gave some medicine and that night he was able to sleep well.
Tsetan left the author in Darchen and went back with the car to Lhasa.
As the pilgrim season had not started, the author felt lonely. He was looking for someone who could speak or understand English as well as accompany him to do kora.
Then he met Norbu, a Tibetan who understood English and was there to do kora at Mount Kailash.
Both of them decided to go together.
Silk Road Word Meaning
Word – Meaning
French loaves – thin loaf of French bread commonly made from basic lean dough
ducking back – quickly going inside
kora – pilgrimage (in Tibetan language)
drokba – nomad shepherd (here it means, “You look like a nomad shepherd.”)
Changtang – plateau in Western Tibet
gazelles – small antelopes
void – empty spaces
kyang – wild asses
pall – cloud
en masse – together
manoeuvres – exercises involving a large number of animals
billowed – swelled out and went
mastiff – large and strong breed of dog
tribute – payment for tax
clogged – jammed
meanders – winding curves or bends of the river
daubed – spread on the surface
hunks – large pieces
snorted – made a loud sound by forcing breath through a nostril
exited – came out of
swathe – long strip
petered out – gradually came to an end
wristwatch – a watch having an altimeter eworn on the wrist
negotiated – went around
four wheel drive – having a transmission system to provide power directly to all four wheels
lurching – moving unsteadily
cairn of rocks – pile of stones marking a special place
festooned – ornamentally decorated
careered down – descended
salt flats – areas of flat land covered with a layer of salt
brackish – slightly salty
vestiges – remains
a hive of activity – full of people working hard
as smooth as my bald head – totally worn out
grim – bleak or dreary
refuse – rubbish
venerated – respected
cosmology – ancient history
headwaters – streams forming the source
striking distance – a distance from which it can be easily reached
draught – current of air
spread the grease around on – cleaned
solitary confinement – loneliness
sanctity – holiness
hallowed – holy
prone – inclined
kicking around – passing time aimlessly
set off – started
nocturnal – happening at night
power – breathing
drifting off – going to sleep
disappearing into the land of nod – going to fall asleep
put my finger on – pinpoint
paraphernalia – dress identifying his profession
screws of paper – small paper packets
derelict – run down
pool – game similar to billiards
incongruous – totally out of place
babbled – flowed with a babbling sound
cavernous – like a cave
struck up – started
escaped from the library – removed themselves from academic work
tempered – weakened
envisaged – thought of
yaks – Tibetan ox
prostrating – stretching and lying down with face down
tummy – stomach
The Adventure Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. The Adventure is written by Jayant Narlikar.
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The Adventure Summary in English by Jayant Narlikar
About the writer Jayant Narlikar
19 July 1938 (age 81 years), Kolhapur
Padma Vibhushan, Adams Prize, Padma Bhushan, Prix Jules Janssen
Steady-state model, Hoyle–Narlikar theory of gravity
The Adventure Theme
This is an extract of the later half of the story ‘The Adventure” by Jayant Narlikar. It is a science fiction story in which two theories, the Catastrophe theory and the lack of determinism in Quantum theory, are tried to be explained through an imaginary set of events which would have occurred in the life of a professor of history if the result of a battle more than 200 years earlier would have been different.
The Adventure About the Characters
Professor Gangadharpant Gaitonde: He is an eminent professor of history working in Pune. He has a catastrophic accident which causes him to transition to a parallel world for 60 hours.
Rajendra Deshpande: He is a mathematical and scientific expert who tries to rationalise Professor Gaitonde’s experience by applying the Catastrophe theory and the lack of determinism in Quantum theory.
The Adventure Summary in English
Earlier Part of the Story (Not the Part of Text)
Professor Gangadharpant Gaitonde was an eminent historian and a leading public figure of Pune. He was much in demand for presiding over public functions. He had just completed his 999th occasion for presiding at a function. He had decided that his thousandth appearance on the stage would be for history. That occasion was to come two weeks later at a seminar devoted to the Third Battle of Panipat.
While he was walking home, a truck on the road hit him. He lost consciousness. When he regained consciousness, he had transited to a parallel world (although he was not aware of this). He was in hospital. After recovering, he was discharged from the hospital the next morning. He tried to reach his home, but he found that it did not exist in the parallel world. He decided to go to Bombay because his son was working in a British company there. He went to Pune railway station and took a train to Bombay. The extract starts from here.
Gaitonde’s Journey to Bombay
When Gaitonde had to get a permit to visit Bombay, he was told that Bombay was British territory while the rest of India was independent. On the journey in a first class compartment of the Jijamata Express, he sat beside Khan Sahib, who would be going on to Peshawar from Delhi on business. Then he realised that there had been no partition of India (in this parallel world). On the route, the train stopped only at Lonavala, Karjat and the border town of Safhad, where the permits were checked. It did not stop at Kalyan, but finally terminated at Victoria Terminus in Bombay. While going through Bombay’s suburbs, he observed that the carriages of the local trains had the British flag painted on them, indicating that they were passing through British territory.
Gaitonde Fails to Find his Son
Gaitonde had planned out his activities on his visit to Bombay. He would try to meet his son and then go to a big library to solve the mystery of his transition. When Gaitonde stepped out of the railway station, he saw ‘East India House’, which indicated that the East India Company still existed in Bombay. Further, he found various British companies and buildings on the road. He visited his son’s office to meet him, but found that no such person worked there, although the company was the same one. This made Gaitonde realise the truth of what Rajendra Deshpande had told him earlier about the Catastrophe theory. He had really made the transition to a parallel world.
Gaitonde Finds the Information he Needed
He visited the Town Hall building in which the library of the Asiatic Society was located. Luckily for him, it also existed in the parallel world. In the library he also found the five books on Indian history which he had written. On going through the fifth volume, which gave India’s history after the death of Aurangzeb, he found that the result of the third battle of Panipat in 1761 was written differently from what he knew, although he was the author of this book in the parallel world.
It said that the Marathas had won the battle, whereas he knew that they had lost it. From here onwards, the history of India changed, which explained what Gaitonde had been experiencing for the last few hours.
He found confirmation in a Marathi journal about how exactly the Marathas had won the battle. The Marathi journal stated that a bullet fired by the Afghans in the battle just brushed the ear of the leader of the Marathas, Vishwasrao. Gaitonde in the real world had written in his fifth volume that Vishwasrao had been killed by a cannon shell in the battle and the Marathas lost their morale and the battle subsequently, because that was what earlier historians had written. In the parallel world, Vishwasrao survived, rallied his troops and won this battle.
India’s Remaining History in the Parallel World
The remaining history of India, as recounted in the fifth volume Gaitonde was reading, can be summarised by saying that India never went under British rule. The Marathas did not allow the East India Company to expand its influence in India. In fact, its influence was limited to a few places like Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. India gradually became a democracy but allowed the British to carry on in Bombay on a lease for commercial reasons. The lease was due to expire in the year 2001, 15 years after the time of this story.
Gaitonde Returns to the Real World
Gaitonde left the library when it closed in the evening, indicating to the librarian that he would come back next morning. After taking a meal, he went for a stroll to Azad Maidan. There was a lecture going on there. When Gaitonde saw a vacant presidential chair on the stage, he went and sat on it, thinking that it was for him, because in the real world he had been invited for such a seminar. The audience reacted by strongly protesting against Gaitonde sitting on the presidential chair.
The reason was that, in this world, the people had become sick of hearing long introductions, vote of thanks and remarks of the chair. They were only interested in what the speaker was speaking and had abolished the custom of having a chairman long ago. The chair kept on the platform was only symbolic.
Gaitonde got up and started speaking, but the audience pelted him with tomatoes, eggs and other objects as they did not want any remarks from him. When Gaitonde still did not stop speaking, the audience swarmed on to the stage to remove him. During the commotion, Gaitonde disappeared. Actually he had suffered another catastrophe by being knocked unconscious by the mob and returned to the real world, as he was found on the Azad Maidan the next morning with his clothes torn. He had no idea what had happened and so he returned to Pune.
Rajendra Deshpande Explains What Happened to Gaitonde
Gaitonde narrated his adventure to his friend Rajendra Deshpande, a mathematical and scientific expert. Rajendra tried to explain to him what had happened by explaining how the Catastrophe theory and the lack of determinism in Quantum theory applied to his adventure.
When Rajendra felt that Gaitonde had imagined- things because he may have been thinking about the third battle of Panipat at the time the truck hit him, Gaitonde showed Rajendra the torn-off page of the history book from the other world, about Vishwasrao escaping death. In the book in the real world, the account was given as Vishwasrao being hit by a bullet and dying. So in the real world, the Marathas had not won, the East India Company had flourished and so on.
At first, Rajendra was perplexed by this new evidence. But, after further discussion with Gaitonde, Rajendra Deshpande explained that he had come to the conclusion that there could be many ‘different worlds existing at different points of time’. They could all have a different history. Professor Gaitonde had been to another parallel world. The time was the present but its history was quite different.
Gaitonde Refuses to Chair any More Seminars
When Rajendra suggested that Gaitonde could recount his adventure at the thousandth seminar he was presiding over after a few days, Gaitonde told him that he had already declined the invitation, as he did not want to chair any more seminars. Probably he remembered the treatment he had received from the audience in the parallel world when he tried to chair a seminar.
The Adventure Chapter Highlights
Professor Gaitonde had a collision with a truck. At that time he was thinking of the Catastrophe theory and its implications for history.
He found himself in another Bombay, which looked more like England as it was much cleaner and had many big English shops). The East India Company was flourishing there.
In this Bombay, he went to the Asiatic Society library in the Town Hall to read some history books, including the ones he had himself written.
Most of the history was as he knew it in his world, but the point where the history had changed was the third Battle of Panipat. In this different world, the Marathas had won this battle.
Then the Marathas did not allow the East India Company to expand its influence in India. In fact, its influence was limited to a few places like Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. India had become a democracy but allowed the British to carry on in these cities for commercial reasons.
Gaitonde wanted to find out how the Marathas had won the battle. According to one history book in the library, the Maratha army’s morale was boosted when Vishwasrao managed to escape death narrowly.
After leaving the library in the evening, he went for a stroll to Azad Maidan. There was a lecture going on. When Gaitonde saw a vacant presidential chair on the stage, he went and sat on it, thinking that it was for him, because in the real world he had been invited for such a seminar. But in this world, people were fed up of long speeches and had abolished the ’chairing’ custom. They got angry because Gaitonde would not stop talking. They threw various things at him and then got onto the stage to throw him out. But suddenly Gaitonde vanished.
He was found in the Azad Maidan, in his own familiar world. Where had he been for two days?
He went back to Pune and showed Rajendra Deshpande the proof that he had been somewhere else and was not imagining things. It was the torn-off page of the history book from the other world, about Vishwasrao escaping death. In the book in his own world, the account was given as Vishwasrao being hit by a bullet and dying. So in our world, the Marathas had not won, the East India Company had flourished and so on.
Through discussions, Professor Gaitonde and Rajendra Deshpande came to the conclusion that there could be many ‘different worlds at different points of time’. They could all have a different history. Professor Gaitonde had been to another world. The time was the present but its history was quite different.
The Adventure Word Meaning
Word – Meaning
ghat section – section of railway track in the Western Ghats, i.e. the hilly region
landscape – painting of a countryside or rural scenery
roared through – passed through with a roaring sound without stopping
racing – fast thinking
state of affairs – situation
Sarhad – border town
Anglo-Indian – An Indian of English descent or of mixed English and Indian parentage
ventured – dared to ask
Central – Bombay Central railway station
been wound up – stopped its operations
blow – setback
volume – book in a series of books
blow-by-blow account – detailed description
morale booster – event that improved their confidence and raised their morale
from the sidelines – but not taking part in it
relegated to – assigned to a lower rank or position
political acumen – political shrewdness with keen insight
pockets – areas
puppet – actually under control of another
de facto – existing
astute – marked by practical intelligence
Shahenshah – ruler
rubber-stamp – formally approve
doctored accounts – narratives changed so as to deceive
after his heart – to his liking
throng – crowd
panda1 – temporary structure
gave vent to – expressed his feelings and ideas
valiantly – courageously
dumbfounded – greatly surprised
smugly – with a self-satisfied look
Bakhar – form of historical narrative written in Marathi prose
food for thought – something that requires serious consideration
pacing – walking to and fro
catastrophic – sudden happening causing damage and/ or suffering
take issue – disagree
definitively – finally with authority
ignoramus – ignorant
trajectory – path
proceeded – carried on
speculating – guessing
The Browning Version Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. The Browning Version is written by Terence Rattigan.
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The Browning Version Summary in English by Terence Rattigan
About the writer Terence Rattigan
10 June 1911, South Kensington, London, United Kingdom
30 November 1977, Hamilton, Bermuda
The Browning Version, The Winslow Boy
Trinity College, University of Oxford, Harrow School
Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Screenplay, New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Foreign Play
The Browning Version Theme
This extract from a play highlights the attitude of a teenaged student towards his teacher. His comments are shocking because they are very close to the truth. He calls the teacher almost inhuman, though not a sadist. He is mortally afraid of his teacher because his promotion depends on his teacher’s goodwill. When another teacher encourages him, the student becomes more frank. It appears that the teacher was strict and seemed to hate people who like him. This reflects on the teacher’s quality.
The Browning Version About the Characters
Taplow: He is a sixteen year old boy and presents his views about his teacher Mr Crocker-Harris in a very frank and straightforward manner. He is respectful towards his teacher and likes him although being much afraid of him.
Mr Frank: He is a young science teacher and shows better understanding of student behaviour. He envies Mr Crocker-Harris and thus likes him being criticised by Taplow.
Mr Crocker-Harris: He is a strict disciplinarian. He follows rules, unlike other teachers. He has a strong hold over his students. He hates flattery and does not want people to like him.
Mrs Millie Crocker-Harris: She is the young wife of Mr Crocker-Harris. She is a thin woman in her late 30’s. She is very kind-hearted towards the student.
The Browning Version Summary in English
Mr Frank Converses with Taplow
The scene of the play is set in a school. The play opens with a sixteen year old boy, Taplow, who has been detained by his teacher to compensate for his one days’ absence. He is waiting for his teacher, Mr Crocker-Harris, who has not yet arrived. Another teacher, Mr Frank, finds Taplow waiting in the room and starts talking with him.
Taplow introduces himself and informs him that he is a student in the lower fifth grade. He feels that he would specialise next term if he got promoted. He also tells Mr Frank that Mr Crocker-Harris does not tell the students their results beforehand like the other teachers. Mr Frank is surprised. He admits that the headmaster announces the results on the last day but that’s no criterion. Taplow says that it is only Mr Crocker-Harris who abides by this rule of not telling the students about their results before they are officially announced.
Mr Frank asks Taplow whether he would pursue science if he gets a favourable result. Taplow is elated by the thought. Mr Frank laments sadly that he gets all the poor students. But Taplow says that he is extremely interested in science. Moreover, he would not have to read useless plays like ‘The Agamemnon.’ Mr Frank is a bit astonished at the thoughts of Taplow about ‘The Agamemnon’. Thinking that he has gone too far, Taplow corrects himself, saying that the plot is good, but the way it is taught is terrible.
Discussion About Mr Crocker-Harris
Mr Frank thinks that Taplow sounds a little bitter as he has been detained. Taplow informs him that he is there for extra work. Mr Frank is more than surprised to hear that Taplow is doing extra work on the last day before the end of the term.
Taplow informs him that he had missed a day of school the previous week due to illness and so Mr Crocker-Harris asked him to do extra work in place of that. Mr Frank tries to calm him by telling him that he would certainly get his result the next day for being a good boy. But Taplow feels the other way. He asserts that such rules do not work with Mr Crocker-Harris, as he is not like other teachers who appreciate students who do extra work.
Taplow’s Criticism of Mr Crocker-Harris
The day before, Taplow had asked Mr Crocker-Harris about his result. He tells Mr Frank about what happened. He starts copying Mr Crocker-Harris voice. Mr Crocker-Harris had told him that he had given Taplow what he deserved, no less and no more. Taplow is afraid that Mr Crocker-Harris would have rather marked him down for doing extra work.
According to Taplow, Mr Crocker-Harris is a different kind of teacher. He is too strict and ‘hardly human’.
Mr Frank pretends to be unhappy, but encourages Taplow to imitate his teacher once again. Mr Frank asks Taplow at what time he was supposed to meet Mr Crocker-Harris. Taplow informs him that he was called at six-thirty.
Mr Frank points out that Mr Crocker-Harris was already ten minutes late. He suggests that Taplow could go off and play golf. However, Taplow seems shocked at this suggestion and is scared that Mr Crocker-Harris might follow him home. Mr Frank tells Taplow that he envies Mr Crocker- Harris because all the students are scared of him.
Mr Crocker-Harris’ Personality
Taplow makes fun of Mr Crocker-Harris by saying that it would have been better if he were a sadist, as it would mean he had some feelings. But he is hard like a nut. He is heartless. He possesses no feelings at all.
Taplow feels that Mr Crocker-Harris is all dried up and hates that people like him. Taplow finds it funny that in spite of all the crankiness, he somehow likes Mr Crocker-Harris.
Taplow recalls an incident when Mr Crocker-Harris made one of his classic jokes. It was in Latin, so nobody laughed. Out of sheer courtesy, Taplow laughed at the joke. This proved to be a bad move by Taplow.
Mr Crocker-Harris complimented him by saying that Taplow’s Latin had improved greatly. Mr Crocker-Harris then asked Taplow to explain the joke to the whole class. Just then the door opens and Millie Crocker-Harris enters.
Millie Crocker-Harris Brings Relief to Taplow
Millie Crocker-Harris, Mr Crocker-Harris’ wife, is a thin woman in her late thirties. She is smartly dressed, unlike other schoolmaster’s wives. She comes in unnoticed. Taplow was still imitating Mr Crocker-Harris when Mr Frank noticed her and broke off suddenly. Taplow gets frantic and asks Mr Frank if Millie Crocker-Harris could have heard their conversation. Mr Frank thinks that she did. Taplow fears that if she tells anything to Mr Crocker-Harris, then he will surely get a bad result.
Millie Crocker-Harris asks Taplow if he was waiting for her husband. She further informs him that her husband is busy at the Bursar’s and might get late. She asks him to leave. Taplow is doubtful and says Mr Crocker-Harris had particularly asked him to come.
She advises him to go away for a quarter of an hour and then come back. Taplow is scared and asks what if Mr Crocker-Harris comes back. Millie Crocker-Harris gives him relief by saying that she’ll take the blame. She gives him a prescription and sends him to the chemist to get it filled. Convinced, Taplow accepts the proposal and leaves happily.
The Browning Version Chapter Highlights
Taplow is waiting for his teacher, Mr Crocker-Harris, who has not yet arrived. Another teacher, Mr Frank, finds him waiting and starts a conversation with him.
Taplow informs that he has come to do extra work for his teacher as he had missed a day of school the previous week and so Mr Crocker-Harris asked him to compensate for that.
Taplow also tells Mr Frank that he is waiting for his result. Mr Frank is surprised to know that Mr Crocker-Harris follows the rule of the headmaster declaring the results on the last day of the term.
According to Taplow, Mr Crocker-Harris is very strict and hardly human. He then imitates his teacher’s voice. After doing so, he apologises to Mr Frank for talking too much.
Mr Frank pretends to be unhappy but encourages Taplow to repeat the imitation.
Mr Frank points out that Mr Crocker-Harris is late and Taplow has a chance to go and play golf.
Taplow seems shocked at this suggestion and refuses to leave due to his fear of Mr Crocker-Harris.
Mr Frank envies Mr Crocker-Harris for the effect he has on his students.
Taplow tells Mr Frank that Mr Crocker-Harris is not a sadist. He is tough and possesses no feelings at all.
While Taplow narrates an incident of a classical joke cracked by Mr Crocker-Harris, Millie Crocker-Harris enters the room. She is the wife of Mr Crocker-Harris.
Millie Crocker-Harris suggests Taplow to go away for a quarter of an hour and come back later as Mr Crocker-Harris is at the Bursar’s and may take quite some time to get back.
Millie Crocker-Harris then assures him to take the blame on herself and hands Taplow a prescription, asking him to take it to a chemist and get it filled.
Taplow accepts the proposal and leaves.
The Browning Version Word Meanings
Word – Meaning
excerpt – a short extract from a piece of writing
gather – understand
remove – promotion
form – class
criterion – standard
slackers – weak students
muck – rubbish
Aeschylus – a Greek dramatist
Agamemnon – drama written by Aeschylus
kept in – detained
got carried away – got excited and lost control
cut – go away without permission
sadist – person who gets pleasure from inflicting pain or suffering on others
all shrivelled up – having no feelings
shrivel him up – reduce his feelings
general run – normal group
cape – a shawl or stole
infinitely – very much
relieved – pleased, feeling relief
frantically – in a hurried way
it made up – the medicine prepared
The Ailing Planet: The Green Movements Role Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. The Ailing Planet: The Green Movements Role is written by Nani Palkhivala.
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The Ailing Planet: The Green Movements Role Summary in English by Nathalie Trouveroy
About the Author Nani Palkhivala
16 January 1920, Mumbai
11 December 2002, Mumbai
University of Mumbai, St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Government Law College, Mumbai
Amy Ranina, Behram A Palkhivala
The Ailing Planet: The Green Movements Role Theme
This newspaper article is a sad commentary on the gradual deterioration of Earth’s environment. Our planet is no longer a pleasant place to live in. Fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands need to be preserved and protected. The article suggests that we should try to limit the rise in population and stop the perpetuation of poverty. The Green Movement, started in 1972, is the only hope for the survival of this planet as well as that of the human race.
The Ailing Planet: The Green Movements Role Summary in English
The Green Movement
The Green Movement, which started in 1972, is one of the most important movements that captivated the imagination of the entire human race. At that time, the world’s first nationwide Green party was founded in New Zealand.
The movement has been a great success since then. A revolutionary change has come in the perception of human beings, bringing in a holistic and ecological view of the world. There has been a shift from the understanding developed by Copernicus.
Copernicus stated in the sixteenth century that the earth and the other planets revolved round the sun. For the first time, there is a growing worldwide realisation that the earth itself is a living organism. It has its own metabolic needs and fundamental processes which need to be respected and preserved. The earth’s vital signs reveal a patient in declining health. Humans have realised their ethical obligations to protect and preserve the needs of the planet.
The Concept of Sustainable Development
The concept of sustainable development was popularised in 1987 by the World Commission on Environment and Development. It defined the idea as the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. It means that we should pursue development for our present needs but we should be careful about the needs of the future generations as well.
Man and the Other Living Species
Man has been considered as the most dangerous being on the planet. In the zoo at Lusaka, Zambia, there is a cage where the notice reads, ‘The world’s most dangerous animal’.
Inside the cage, there is no animal but a mirror in which we see our reflection. With continuous and sustained efforts of a number of agencies in different countries, human beings are realising that they should not dominate Earth but respect it as a partner.
Man is thus learning to live in harmony with the other living species on the planet. Man’s existence is shifting from the system of domination to that of partnership.
There are about 1.4 million living species on Earth that have been listed. Biologists think that there are about three million to a hundred million other living species that are still unknown.
Earth’s Principal Biological Systems
The Brandt Commission was one of the first international commissions which dealt with the question of ecology and environment. An Indian, Mr LK Jha, was a member of this commission. The First Brandt Report raised the question that whether we want to leave behind a scorched and a sick environment for our coming generations?
Mr Lester R Brown, in his book, ‘The Global Economic Prospect’, points out Earth’s four major biological systems, that are fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands. These four are the foundation of the global economic system. Besides providing us food, they provide nearly all the raw materials for industries except minerals and petroleum derived synthetics. The demand of human beings on these systems is increasing to such an unsustainable extent that the productivity of these systems is being hampered.
The excessive demand has resulted in deterioration and depletion of resources leading to the breakdown of fisheries, disappearance of forests, deterioration of croplands and turning of grasslands into barren lands. In a protein conscious and protein-hungry world, over-fishing is common. In poor countries, local forests are destroyed to obtain fuel for cooking.
Mankind Destroys Forests
The ancient inheritance of tropical forests is now eroding at the rate of 40 to 50 million acres per year. The growing use of dung for combustion deprives the soil of an important natural fertiliser.
The World Bank estimates that a five-fold increase in the rate of forest planting is needed to cope with the expected fuelwood demand in the year 2000.
James Speth, the President of the World Resources Institute, revealed the very alarming statistic that we are losing the forests at an acre-and-a-half a second.
Article 48A of the Indian Constitution states that it is the duty of the states to make efforts to improve the environment and safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country. Unfortunately, laws are neither respected nor enforced in India. Over the last four decades ‘India’s forests have reached disastrous exhaustion’. India is losing its forests at the rate of 3.7 million acres a year. Large areas, officially designated as forest land, are virtually treeless.
The Menace of Overpopulation
The growth of world population is one of the strongest factors distorting the future of human society. Mankind reached the first billion mark in more than a million years of its existence. That was the world population in the year 1800. By the year 1900, a second billion was added. The twentieth century has added another 3.7 billion. Every four days, the world population increases by one million.
Fertility falls as income rises, education spreads and health improves. Development is the best method to limit the population. However, development may not be possible if population goes on increasing at this rate. The population of India was estimated to be 920 million in 1994.
The population of India is more than the entire population of Africa and South America together. More children do not mean more workers; it merely means more people without work.
The only solution to this is voluntary family planning. Population and poverty are directly proportional to each other. Thus, control of the population should be our topmost priority.
Era of Responsibility
Slowly but steadily, people are understanding the concept that the entire world should be treated as an integrated whole rather than a collection of separate parts.
For sustainable development of the world, everyone has to play one’s role, even the industries.
Margaret Thatcher and Lester Brown suggested that Earth is not our property. It passes on from one generation to another with the hope that each generation will take care of it so as to pass it on to the next with its resources intact.
The chapter concludes with the beautiful lines of Mr. Lester R Brown, “We have not inherited this Earth from our forefathers; we have borrowed it from our children.”
The Ailing Planet: The Green Movements Role Chapter Highlights
In 1972, the Green Movement started with the first nationwide Green party being established in New Zealand.
For the first time in human history, there was a realisation that the planet is a living organism in declining health due to the impact of human activities on its natural resources. The World Commission on Environment and Development popularised the concept of sustainable development in 1987.
Man has realised the wisdom of shifting from a system based on domination to one based on partnership. Biologists think that we may never discover many unknown species if we do not conserve their habitats.
Mr LK Jha in the Brandt Commission Report raised the question whether we wanted to leave behind a scorched, sick environment for our coming generations,
Lester R Brown’s book, The Global Economic Prospect’ identifies the principal biological systems of the earth as fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands. They provide food supply and raw material for our survival. According to the World
Bank, we need to increase the rate of forest planting by five times to cope with the expected fuelwood demand.
Though Article 48A of the Constitution of India provides that the state shall try to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country, this has not been implemented properly. Growing population is one of the strongest factors changing the future of human society.
As incomes rise and education spreads, the rate of population increase will decrease. This will improve health as well. Thus, development is the best way to check population.
The author claims that industry must join the cause and work towards becoming eco-friendly just as Du Pont under the leadership of Edgar S Woolard.
Margaret Thatcher also expressed her concern saying that no generation has a freehold on this earth. We live a life like tenants who have a full repairing rental contract.
Mr Lester R Brown says that we have not inherited this Earth from our forefathers; we have borrowed it from our children.
The Ailing Planet: The Green Movements Role Word Meanings
Word – Meaning
recall – remember
movement – mass campaign
gripped – controlled
irrevocably – permanently
mechanistic – related to machines
holistic – complete and comprehensive
ecological – concerned with the relation of living creatures to the environment of a place
consciousness – awareness
organism – living being
metabolic – related to a chemical process in living things that changes food into energy and materials for growth
ethical – connected with beliefs and principles about what is right and wrong
stewards – caretakers
trustees – trusted people
legacy – consequences
catalogued – classified; listed
species – varieties of animals and plants
languish – remain
in ignominious darkness – unknown
scorched – burnt
impoverished – deprived
ailing – sick
synthetics – chemical compounds
unsustainable – not possible to replace
impaired – harmed
barren – infertile
decimated – largely reduced
procure – obtain
tropical – hot and humid
evolution – development
face extinction – have no living members
precede – come before
patrimony – inheritance
eroding – gradually disappearing
catastrophic – disastrous
depletion – reduction
designated – named
contraceptive – way to control population
beget – give birth to
coercion – use of force
concern – major anxiety
demise – death
dissociated – separated
transformation – change
felicitous – appropriate
freehold – permanent occupancy
tenancy – temporary
lease – temporary stay
forefathers – ancestors
The Portrait of A Lady Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. The Portrait of A Lady is written by Khushwant Singh.
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The Portrait of A Lady Summary in English by Khushwant Singh
About the Author Khushwant Singh
2 February 1915, Hadali, Pakistan
20 March 2014, Sujan Singh Park, Delhi
Kawal Malik (m. 1939–2001)
GCU, Panjab University, King’s College London, The Dickson Poon School of Law, St Stephen’s College
Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Punjab Rattan Award
The Portrait of A Lady Theme
‘The Portrait of a Lady’ is part of an autobiography by Khushwant Singh. In this story, the author draws a pen portrait of his grandmother. He beautifully unfolds their relationship and how it undergoes several changes. In other words, the story is a loving tribute from a grandson to his grandmother. The story gives a picture of human relationships. It is a realistic account of how the grandparents give all their time, attention and love to their grandchildren.
The Portrait of A Lady About the Characters
Grandmother: Khushwant Singh’s grandmother is described as an extremely religious person. She was a very kind lady. She was short, fat and slightly bent. Her face was wrinkled and she was always dressed in spotless white clothes. In the village she took care of all the needs of the author when he was a child.
Khushwant Singh, the author: He recounts his childhood days and his relationship with his grandmother.
The Portrait of A Lady Summary in English
The Author Remembers his Grandmother and Grandfather
The author recalls his grandmother as a very old lady. For the twenty years that the author had known his grandmother, he had found her old and wrinkled.
It was hard for him to believe that she had once been young and pretty and she had a husband. Khushwant Singh’s grandfather’s portrait hung on the wall of the drawing room. He wore a big turban. His clothes were loose. He looked at least a hundred years old. Looking at his portrait, one could not imagine him in his youth with his wife and children.
The Author’s Grandmother
The thought of the grandmother being young and pretty was almost revolting to him. She was short, fat and slightly bent in stature. Her face was a criss-cross of wrinkles. Her silvery white hair was scattered over her wrinkled face.
The author remembered her hobbling around the house in spotless white clothes with one hand resting on her waist to balance her stoop and the other hand busy counting the beads of her rosary. Her lips constantly moved in inaudible prayer.
To the author, she could never have been pretty, but she reflected a divine beauty. She was like the winter landscape in the mountains.
The Author’s Childhood with his Grandmother
The author and his grandmother were good friends. His parents left him to stay with her when they shifted to the city. In the village, his grandmother took care of all his needs. She was quite active and agile. She used to wake him up in the morning and get him ready for school. She said her morning prayers in a sing-song manner while she bathed and dressed him in the hope that her grandson would learn them by heart. The author listened to the prayers because he loved her voice, but never bothered to learn them.
Then she would fetch his wooden slate which, she had already washed, and plastered it with yellow chalk. She would take an earthen inkpot and a reed pen and tie them in a bundle and hand it to author. After having a thick, stale chapatti with a little butter and sugar spread on it for breakfast, they used to leave for school. The author’s grandmother always accompanied him to the school as it was attached to the temple.
The Author at School
The priest taught children the alphabet and the morning prayer. The children sat in two rows in the verandah. They would sing the alphabet or the prayer in a chorus. While the author learnt his lessons at school, the grandmother would read scriptures in the adjoining temple. On their way back, they would feed stale chapattis to the dogs.
The Turning Point in the Relationship of Grandmother and the Author
The turning point came in their relationship when they moved to the city to stay with Khushwant Singh’s parents. In the city, the author went to an English school in a motor bus. The grandmother could not accompany him to the school. As there were no dogs in the streets, the grandmother took to feeding the sparrows.
As the years rolled by, they saw less of each other. In spite of her immense interest in his studies, she could not help him in his lessons as he was learning English, the law of gravity, Archimedes’ principle and many more such things which she could not understand, and this made her unhappy. Sometimes she would ask him what the teacher had taught him.
Grandmother Distressed and Disturbed
Grandmother didn’t believe in the things taught at the English school and was distressed to learn that there was no teaching about God and the scriptures in the school.
Moreover, she was very disturbed at the idea of music lessons being given at the English school. To her, music had lewd associations and she considered music to be unsuitable for gentle folk.
The Common Link of Friendship gets Snapped
The common link of friendship between the author and the grandmother was broken when the author went to the University and was given a room of his own. The grandmother accepted her loneliness and rarely spoke to anyone. All day long, she sat spinning the wheel and reciting her prayers.
Only in the afternoon she relaxed for a while to feed the sparrows. They perched on her shoulders and some even on her head but she never shooed them away. It used to be the happiest half-hour of the day for her.
The Author Leaves for Higher Studies
The author decided to go abroad for higher studies for five years. He was sure that his grandmother would be upset at his departure, but she was not even sentimental. She came to the railway station to see him off. She showed no emotion. She was absorbed in praying and counting the beads of her rosary. Silently she kissed his forehead. The author thought that perhaps it was the last sign of physical contact between them.
The Grandmother Celebrates the Author’s Return and Falls Sick
After five years, the author found his grandmother at the station when he returned. She held him in her arms. He found her more religious and more self-contained. He could hear her reciting prayers. Even that day, the happiest moment for her was feeding the sparrows herself. However, something strange happened to her in the evening.
For the first time ever, she did not pray. Instead, she collected the women of the neighbourhood, got an old drum and started to sing songs of the homecoming of warriors. They tried to persuade her to stop to avoid overstraining herself. But she didn’t listen. She fell ill the next morning.
The grandmother was diagnosed with a mild fever by the doctor but she insisted that her end was near. She told everyone that she did not want to talk to anyone and would rather spend her last moments praying. She ignored everyone’s protests and started counting the beads in her rosary while praying.
After a short while, the author noticed that his grandmother’s lips stopped moving and the rosary fell from her lifeless fingers. She died a peaceful death. She was covered with a red shawl.
The Sparrows Mourn her Death
When the author and others came to take away the grandmother’s body, they met a strange sight. To mourn her death, a lot of sparrows had surrounded the grandmother’s body. They were all silent. When the author’s mother offered the sparrows some bread, they refused to eat and quietly flew away after the grandmother’s body was carried away for the last rites.
The Portrait of A Lady Chapter Highlights
When the author, Khushwant Singh, was a little child, his parents left him in the village with his grandmother and went to live in the city.
The author’s grandmother was an old lady. She was very religious. The author shared a very close bond with his grandmother. They became very good friends.
The grandmother woke him up, dressed him and accompanied him to school. The school was attached to the temple.
While the author was at school, the grandmother used to read the scriptures in the temple.
When the author’s parents were well-settled, he and his grandmother also went to the city. It proved a turning point in their friendship.
In the city, Khushwant Singh attended an English school and travelled in a motor bus. He learnt English words and topics of Western Science.
The grandmother could no longer accompany him to his school nor help him in his studies. However, they shared the same room.
When the author went to the University, he was given a separate room, Thus, the last link of their friendship was broken.
The grandmother kept herself busy in her prayers and spinning the wheel. Her favourite part of the day was feeding the sparrows.
When the author went abroad for higher studies, the grandmother came to see him off at the station but she showed no emotions and was not even sentimental.
The author came back after five years and was received by his grandmother at the station. She was unchanged and did not look a day older.
In the evening, the grandmother did not pray and instead collected the women of the neighbourhood and celebrated her grandson’s homecoming,
The grandmother fell ill the next day and she knew that her end was near.
She stopped talking and closed her eyes. She was lost in her prayers and counting the beads of her rosary. Suddenly, the rosary fell down and her lips stopped moving. She was dead.
Thousands.of sparrows assembled in the room and sat quietly to mourn her death. They did not even eat the crumbs given by the author’s mother.
After the grandmother’s body was taken for cremation, the sparrows flew away silently.
The Portrait of A Lady Word Meanings
Word – Meaning
portrait – true picture
mantelpiece – shelf above a fireplace
absurd – ridiculous
fables of the prophets – stories of the Sikh Gurus
hobbled – walked with difficulty
stoop – bent body due to old age
telling the beads – counting the beads while chanting prayers
rosary – a string of beads used for counting prayers as they are chanted
puckered – wrinkled
inaudible – which cannot be heard
serenity – calm and peaceful
monotonous – unchanging
stale – not fresh
in a chorus – together
courtyard – an open space just outside the house
lewd – indecent
harlots – prostitutes
bedlam – confusion
thumped – beat hard
dilapidated – falling to pieces
pallor – pale colouring of the face
shroud – a piece of cloth used to cover a dead body before cremation
crude – made in a simple manner
scattered – lying here and there
took no notice of – did not care
The Tale of Melon City Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. The Tale of Melon City is written by Vikram Seth.
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The Tale of Melon City Summary in English by Vikram Seth
About the Poet Vikram Seth
20 June 1952 (age 67 years), Kolkata
Corpus Christi College, St. Michael’s High School
National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography
Padma Shri, Sahitya Akademi Award
The Tale of Melon City Theme
‘The Tale of Melon City’ by Vikram Seth is a satire about a king, his ministers and the kingdom. The king has been ironically called lawful. But in reality, he stretches justice too far. Due to this quality of his character, one day he himself is hanged. The ministers also are a group of fools who decide an odd way to choose the next king. An idiot announces that a melon should be the king and people inhesitatingly crown a melon as their king. People also do not bother who their king is as long as they enjoyed their freedom.
The Tale of Melon City About the Characters
The King: He has been mockingly portrayed as just and quiet. But in reality he was not an intelligent person, and did not have any decision taking ability. Because of his foolishness he had to lose his life.
The Architect: He was a smart person who is able to frustrate the king. When his turn came to be hanged, he pointed out .something which put the king in a tricky situation and made him angry.
The Wisest Man: He is very old. He can neither walk properly nor see well. He is picked up by the council of ministers to give a wise decision to the king. But unfortunately the decision given by him was not wise at all.
The Idiot: He is a man of low intelligence and does not art rationally. His advice is asked for choosing the king. Without thinking, he says a melon should be made the king, as he was very fond of melons.
The Tale of Melon City Summary in English
The King Orders an Arch to be Built
This story is about a city whose king was lawful’ and gentle. He orders an arch (curved structure) to be built which would become a symbol of his triumphs and accomplishments. The arch would be constructed on the main road and it would inspire and motivate the people who would see it. As per the orders of the king, the arch was built. The king rode down the main road to inspire others.
The King Loses his Crown and Gets Angry
The arch was built too low and the king’s crown fell down when it struck the arch. It was a disgrace for him. He ordered that the chief of builders should be hanged for this mistake. The arrangements for the hanging were made. The chief of builders was called.
The Blame Game Begins
The chief of builders pleaded that it was not his mistake; it was rather the workmen’s fault. So the king stopped the hanging of the chief builder. He ordered that all the workmen must be hanged instead. The workmen claimed that the bricks used were not of the right size. So the masons were called. They were trembling in fear. The masons in turn blamed the architect for a wrong design.
The King Gets Stuck in a Tricky Situation
The architect was called. The king ordered that the architect must be hanged. The architect reminded the king that he himself had changed the original plan of the arch when it was shown to him sometime back.
The king realised that the blame had shifted to him. It was a tricky situation. The king withdrew for consulting some wise people. He asked for the wisest man in the country. The wisest man was chosen on the criteria that he should be very old.
The person chosen could not walk or see properly and he was carried there by other people. The wisest man said in a shaking voice that the culprit should be punished. He announced that it was the arch which banged against the crown, so it should be hanged.
The Nation Wants a Hanging
The arch was being taken for the hanging when one of the councillors said that the arch actually touched the royal head with respect. The king agreed, but the crowd was getting restless and wanted a hanging. Perceiving the situation, the king ordered that someone must be hanged, guilty or not.
A loop of rope was set up quite high and each man was measured to its height. Only one was tall enough to reach it and that was the king himself. So the king was hanged. The ministers heaved a sigh of relief that someone was hanged or else the crowd might have turned against them.
The ministers now faced the dilemma that the country had no king. They followed their old custom and sent out messengers to proclaim that the next person who would pass the city gate would choose the next king. After some time, an idiot passed the gate and the guards stopped him.
When they asked him to name the king, the idiot said ‘a melon’. This was his standard answer to all the questions as he was very fond of melons.
The Melon King
After the answer given by that idiot, a melon was made the king of the city. The ministers respectfully carried the melon to the throne and set it down on the king’s throne.
This happened long ago. If you now ask the people why their king appears to be a melon, they reply that it is a customary choice. It makes no difference to them if their king is a melon. They are happy because the king doesn’t interfere in their lives. They live in peace and harmony.
The Tale of Melon City Chapter Highlights
Once there was a king of a city who pretend to be lawful and gentle.
The king ordered construction of an arch over the main road in the city to motivate the people.
Soon the arch was built. When the king rode through it, his crown hit the top of the arch and it fell from his head.
As it was a disgrace for the king, he lost his temper instantly and ordered the chief of builders to be hanged.
The chief of builders cried out that he was not guilty and blamed the workmen.
So the workmen were brought to be hanged.
The workmen cried out that it was not their fault. They blamed the masons who made the bricks of the wrong size.
The masons were brought, but they blamed the architect who had made the plans.
The architect was smarter; he told the king that he was forgetting that he himself had made some changes in the plans when they were shown to him.
Everyone turned to the king. The king realised that he had brought this onto himself, He said that in this tricky situation he needed some advice from the wisest man in the country.
People of the kingdom were equally foolish; so they brought a very old man presuming him to be the wisest man.
The wise man was of the opinion that the king was not guilty, but the arch was guilty, so the arch should be hanged.
While the arch was being taken to be hanged, a Councillor remarked that the arch touched the king’s crown respectfully, so it should not be hanged.
The nation wanted a hanging. So the king asked for the loop of rope to be used for the hanging to be set high and anyone whose head reached it would be hanged.
One by one all the people were measured but nobody reached its height except the king himself, as he was the tallest. So, as per the royal order, the king himself was hanged.
Now a new crisis arose: who would be the king?
The ministers decided that the next man who passed the City Gate would choose the king and then they sent out messengers to tell everyone about this.
An idiot, who was fond of melons, happened to pass the gate first. The guards asked him about who should be the king to which his answer was, ‘A melon’.
So a melon was nafned the king and was crowned in a proper ceremony. The people were happy to have a melon as king as long as it left them in peace and at liberty.
The Tale of Melon City Word Meanings
placid – even-tempered
notion – concept
proclaimed – announced officially
arch – gate structure with a circular top
triumphally – delightfully
span – pass over
thoroughfare – main road
edify – enlighten
spectators – people standing
he lost his crown – his crown struck the arch and fell down
frown – expression of displeasure
gallows – structure on which criminals are hanged
proceedings – activities
placider – calmer
summon – call
quivering – trembling
architect – planner
do ordain – order
amendments – changes
saw red – became angry
lost his head – lost control over his emotions
counsel – advice
nay – no
quavering – shaky
culprit – offender
banged – hit
scaffold – a raised wooden platform used for hanging
mused – thought carefully
muttering – talking in low voices
consideration – thinking
noose – a loop of rope with a knot used for hanging criminals
standard – fixed
decree – order
unruly – uncontrollable
crown – ruler
pondered – thought over
dilemma – perplexing situation
heralds – messengers
enforced – implemented
with due ceremony – ceremonially
by and by – one after another
customary – natural
rejoice – feels great joy
liberty – freedom
laissez faire – the policy of leaving things to take their own course