Deep Water by William Douglas
Deep Water shows how scared of water Douglas had been as a boy. His very first experience was when he first went to the sea beach with his father and a powerful wave swept over him. Although the wave had receded still it left him terrified. But then to overcome his fear. He made up his mind to learn swimming. He went to the Y.M.C.A. pool which was two feet at the shallow end and nine feet at the deep end.
One day a strong big boy picked him up and threw him into the deepest part of the pool. He sank to the bottom but he tried to jump and come up gradually. As fear had gripped him all his efforts went in vain. He was nearly drowned. He tried to breathe but swallowed water. He lay there in complete peace without sensation or fear of death. But someone saved him.
He was so terrified that the sight of water made him sick. He could not go fishing or canoeing. So to overcome his fear he found an instructor who trained him as a swimmer bit by bit. He was able to overcome his fear completely. This experience of fear at first and then conquering it made his life worth living.
Indigo by Louis Fischer
This story portraits Gandhiji’s struggle for the poor peasants of Champaran. The peasants were sharing crops with the British planters. According to one old agreement, the peasants had to cultivate indigo on fifteen per cent of the land and give as rent. The British didn’t need the indigo crop any more when Germany had developed synthetic indigo. Just to release the peasants from the fifteen per cent agreement they demanded compensation. Some illiterate peasants agreed but others refused. Later lawyers were appointed. At that time Gandhiji went to Champaran. He managed to get justice after a year long battle for the peasants. He also made arrangements for the education, health, and hygiene for the families of the poor peasants. He gave them the lesson of self-reliance.
A Thing of beauty by John Keats
This poem is a revolt against the commonplace reality. According to Keats the object of beauty differs from an ordinary object. The ordinary object appeals us only temporarily. Its effect is short lived and its loveliness decreases with the passage of time. But the object of beauty appeals to our senses permanently. It cannot be destroyed by time and space. It is a temporal and its loveliness does not fade. It is a ray of light and hope that consoles man in his miseries and misfortunes. Then Keats mentions the objects of beauty one by one. The sun, the moon, the old trees, the daffodils, the clear streams and the forest which is rich with beautiful flowers-all these objects of beauty are a source of consolation in a world Keats found that a beauty(a beautiful thing) is a source of perennial joy and happiness. it leaves an indelible mark on our mind and provides us with etetnal happiness whenever we think about it. our joy increases as we keep on remembering the beauty. It is just like Endymion looking for Cythisa as his everlasting love. (according to Greek myth)
An Elementary school classroom in a slum Stephen Spender
Children who have no future because they are a symbol of the lower class ruled by the higher class/ donators/ bourgeoisie, and there is a contrast between the rich and the poor. also, they are without hope for most of the poem unless govenor, teachers, inspectors can actually come and help them escape their future which is fogged by poverty and social injustice by the donators/ or common class.
Aunt Jennifer's Tigers by Adrienne Rich
Aunt Jennifer, though she is "mastered by" an abusive husband, finds an artistic outlet in her needlework. The embroidered tigers stride proudly and without fear across the screen she designed. Through Aunt Jennifer's art, Adrienne Rich suggests that women who are not able to live freely do triumph in some way because their imaginations cannot be captured or controlled. Aunt Jennifer is able to imagine and create a world where men are nothing to fear.the poet depicts the pain of a woman who is living with a brutal husband who dominates her in all respects. She does not have her own freedom. She is more like a slave to him. She makes tigers by embroidering them on cloth. Her tiger appears to have a life. They are bright, lively and are ready to prance. Their character is totally opposite to hers. They appear wild and free. They look like the denizens of the green forest. They are supposed to be fearless and jump around with confidence. But Aunt Jennifer is nervous. Her hands tremble as she tries to search for something in the wool. Her hands are so shaky that it is difficult for her to pull the ivory needle. It is due to her wedding. Her marriage has proved to be detrimental for her. It’s a doubt, that even after death will she be free? Still, her tigers would continue to prance across the screen unafraid as usual, and this artistic vision outlives her small, "terrified" hands.
Going Places by A.R. Barton
the theme of this story is adolescent fantasising and hero-worship.
The story revolves around the life of Sophie, a teenager, who, like others of her age, is filled with fantasies and desires. She comes from a poor financial background but hopes to be sophisticated in the future. Sophie dreams of owning a boutique one day of being an actress or fashion designer, but her friend Jansie believes that both of them are earmarked for the biscuit factory. Jansie, who is more realistic, tries to pull Sophie to reality, but in vain.
Sophie lives in a small house with her parents and brothers, Geoff and little Derek. Though she voices her feelings and desires, her parents pooh-pooh her, because they, unlike her, are more mature and know the truths of life.
Sophie finds a sort of fascination for her elder brother Geoff, who is tall, strong and handsome and reserved. She envies his silence and often wonders about his thoughts and areas of his life that she doesn’t know about.
The centre of this story is that Sophie fantasises about Danny Casey, an Irish football player, whom she had seen playing in innumerable matches. She makes up a story about how she met him in the streets and tells this to Geoff. Geoff, who is more sensible than Sophie, does not really believe her, even if she wants to. It seems an unlikely incident for Sophie to meet the prodigy in their street, but whe Sophie describes the meeting in all her details, he begins to hope that it could be true. She tells him that Danny has promised to meet her somewhere again.
Sophie gets so pulled into the story she made that she herself begins to believe that its true. She waits for the Irish player, but obviously, he never arrives. Then, she makes her way home, wondering how her brother would be disappointed in knowing that Danny Casey never showed up. However, Sophie still fantasises about her hero, unperturbed.
The Tiger King by Kalki
When Maharaja Jilani Jung Jung Bahadur was born, the astrologers had foretold that one day the king would actually have to die. The ten days old Jilani Jung Jung Bahadur started speaking; he told them that all those who were born would have to die one day, he asked them to tell the manner of his death. Everyone stood stunned. An infant born just ten days ago was talking in such a manner. The chief astrologer told the Prince that he was born in the hour of the bull. As bull and tiger were enemies, therefore, his death would come from a tiger.
The Maharaja grew stronger and took to tiger hunting. He was overjoyed when he killed the first tiger. When he told the chief astrologer about that, the chief astrologer told him that he may kill 99 tigers but he must be careful with the hundredth one. In ten years he killed 70 tigers. He banned the killing of tigers in Pratibandhpuram. The tiger population had become extinct at Pratibandhpuram. So the maharaja married to a royal family in a state where tiger population was rich. Thus thereby he killed 99 tigers but one was still left. There was no sign of tigers anywhere. Maharaja could not bear any more. He raised the land tax and also dismissed some of his men. There was a tiger brought later for Maharaja. Maharaja took his men for hunting. He shot the tiger but it missed the tiger. Maharaja did not notice that . Maharaja’s men knew it but they feared that if they tell it to Maharaja , then they may lose their job , so they killed the tiger . But maharaja did not know that he still has one tiger left to be killed .
Maharaja had to attend his 3 year old son’s birthday . He gifted him a wooden tiger . The tiger was made by an unskilled man. Its surface was rough, as a result, its sharp edge pierced into Maharaja’s hand . Next day the infection spread into his whole hand and Maharaja at last died .
Thus the fateful hundredth tiger through a wooden one was the cause of the Maharaja’s death and proved the prediction of the astrologer correct.
The Enemy by Pearl S. Buck
Dr. Sadao and Hana stood outside their house. A man was suddenly seen in the ocean. They ran towards him. They were shocked to see that he was an enemy soldier and badly in need of medical aid. He was unconscious. As loyal citizens, it was their duty to hand over the soldier to the officials but they took him inside into their house. For this, they saw rebel from their domestic helps. Though for such a deed they could have been arrested but Dr. Sadao knew that he would not be arrested by the general as he himself might need his services any time for an operation. The man recovered. Dr. Sadao desired to get rid of him now. So as soon as he was out of danger, he told him to escape from the house.
Journey to the End of the Earth by Tishani Doshi
The chapter is an account of the author’s unique experience on an expedition to Antarctica in 2006:
The Lesson At A Glance
Given below is the summary of the lesson. Some words and phrases have been left out and have been placed below the paragraphs as hints in bullet form. Before directly picking up the hints, attempt first to fill in the blanks independently, in order to test your understanding.
The writer started her journey to the coldest, driest and windiest continent: Antartica by a ________________________________________, Akademik Shokalsky. The journey began 13:09 degrees north of Equator in Madras, and involved crossing nine time zones, six checkpoints, three bodies of water, and ecospheres (regions fit for living). It took them ___________________________________________,
travelling by car, aeroplane and ship. It was and overwhelming experience filled with wonder on seeing Antarctica’s _______________________________________ and uninterrupted blue horizon but the first emotion _________________ after the long journey. What amazed her was its immensity, its isolation and that there was a time when India and Antarctica were ___________________.
• expansive white landscape
• 100 hrs to reach Antarctica
• Russian research vessel
• was of relief
• part of the same landmass
Part of history
The Gondwana super continent that existed ______centred around present day Antarctica. It was a time when the humans hadn’t arrived on the global scene and the climate _____________________________ with an immense variety of flora and fauna. Gondwana thrived for 500 million years but when the ___________________________ out and the age of mammals evolved, the landmass was separated into countries giving the globe its present shape. ________________________ is to get an idea where we’ve come from and where we are heading to. It’s to understand the significance of Cordilleran folds and precambrian granite shields (geological and geographical terms); ozone and carbon, _____________________________. It is unbelievable to imagine: India pushing northwards jamming against Asia to buckle its crust and form the Himalayas; South America drifting off to join North America, opening up the Drake passage to create a cold circumpolar current, keeping Antarctica cold desolate and _____________________________
· evolution and extinction
· at the bottom of the world .
· six hundred and fifty million years ago
· was much warmer
· dinosaurs were wiped
· To visit Antarctica90 percent of the Earth’s total ice volumes are stored in Antarctica. Being there is like walking into a ping pong ball devoid of humanity, trees, billboards or buildings. One _________________ and days go on for 24 hours. The all pervading silence is broken either by an _______________ or the breaking of an ice sheet. There are midges and mites, mighty whales and ice bergs - the largest _______________________________ so far was of the size of Belgium.
Human civilizations have been around only for 12000 years. Rapid increase in population __________________________ .Uncontrolled burning of fossil fuels has created a blanket of carbondioxide, which has led to an increase in _____________Climate change has led to the receding of glaciers and melting of ice shelves. Antarctica is a place for the study of the
___________________________,as half a million old carbon records are trapped in the icy layers.• global warming
• have depleted natural resources
• recorded iceberg
• loses an earthly sense of time
• past, present and future
The writer says that the ‘Students on Ice’ programme focuses on taking high school students to the ends of the world and providing them with inspiring educational opportunities which will help them foster a new understanding and respect for our planet. The group of 52 students went aboard the Russian vessel _______________________________ and was headed by a Canadian, Geoff Green. The future generation thus had a life changing experience at the appropriate age when they were ready to absorb, learn, and act.
Being a part of the expedition and actually seeing glaciers retreating and ____________melting makes one realize the reality of global warming. The simple ecosystem and the lack of diversity of plant and animal
life makes Antarctica the perfect place to bring forth the idea that little changes in the environment can have big repercussions. For example the Phytoplankton, the microscopicgrasses form the food chain of the entire Southern ocean’s __________________. Scientists warn that ____________________________________ will affect the activities of the phytoplankton which will further affect the marine life of the region. Hence the lesson learnt is that if small things are taken care of then ___________________________________• big things will take care of themselves.
• a further depletion in the ozone layer.
• Ice shelves
• marine life
• Akademik Shokalskiy.
The writer had an exciting experience just short of the Antarctic circle at 65.55 degrees south. The Shokalskiy got stuck into a _________________________ between the peninsula and Tadpole Island. They were all then instructed by the Captain to ____________________________ on the ocean. So all the _____________________ wore their waterproof garments and started walking on the ice. Underneath their feet was a metre thick ice pack, and below that 180 metres of living, breathing, salt water. At the outside edge they saw ______________________ sunning themselves on ice floes which reminded them of _________________________ under the banyan tree. It brought the revelation that everything has a connection. After covering nine time zones, six checkpoints, three bodies of water and many ecospheres the writer marvelled at the ________________________ working on our planet.
The writer wonders how the world would be if Antarctica were to become a warm planet once again and would we be there to see it? He ends the chapter on a positive note saying that the younger generation alive with the idealism to save the world can make a lot of difference.• climb down and walk -
• Crabeater seals
• beauty of balance
• the thick white stretch of ice
• 52 travellers
• stray dogs sunning
The Last Lesson by Alphonse Daudet
the prose 'The last lesson', written by Alphonse Daudet narrates about the year 1870 when the Prussian forces under Bismark attacked and captured France. The french districts of Alsace and Lorraine went into Prussian hands. The new Prussian rulers discontinued the teaching of French in the schools of these two districts. The French teachers were asked to leave. The story describes the last day of one such French, M.Hamel.Mr. M.Hamel had been transfered and could no longer remain in his old school. Still, he gave the last lesson to his students with utmost devotion and sincerity as ever. The story depicts the pathos of the whole situation about how people feel when they dont learn their own language and then losing an asset in M.Hamel.
One of his student Franz who dreaded french class and M.Hamel's iron rod, came to the school that day thinking he would be punished as he had not learnt his lesson. But on reaching school he found Hamel dressed in sunday clothes and all the old people of the village sitting there.It was due to an order on the bulletin board. That was the first day when he realised for the first time that how important french was for him, but it was his LAST LESSON in French.
The Third Level by Jack Finney
Charley explains that one evening while hurrying home, he decided to take the subway from Grand Central Station, and became lost. He eventually found himself on a strange third level with spittoons on the floor, oddly dressed people, and a locomotive from 1894.
Understanding he'd somehow gone back in time, Charley tries to buy tickets to Galesburg, IL,
During his lunch break the next day, Charley withdraws nearly all their savings and buys old-style currency. But he can never again find the entrance to the third level at Grand Central Station.
Charley finds evidence the third level actually exists when he discovers a letter to him, dated July 18, 1894, from Galesburg, IL. It seems Charley's psychiatrist was not as incredulous of the third level as he appeared.
My Mother at Sixty Six by Kamala Das
The poem named My Mother at Sixty Six deals with the subtleties of human relationships...
On my drive from my parents home in Cochin, I saw my mother beside me dozing open-mouthed. Her face looked ashen like that of a corpse. Then i realised with pain the fact that my mother has grown OLD....I stumbled on the dreadful reality that this might be the last time that I see her. My mother was near death. I couldn't bear the thought n tried desparately to evade it. Finally, I found refuge in the freshness of the lush green trees that passed by the roadside. I noticed children spilling out of there homes for their routine play. The contrast between the mood in my car n is beyond words. After the airport's security check, I saw my mom standing about a yard away, pale n colourless like a late winter's moon. Over the years she has lost her vibrancy n cheer and have now become dim and unclear. I felt my heartache but I didnt show it coz i didn't want my mother to be sad....So I told her "goodbye Amma..See you soon" though I didn't believe that I could see her again...As I went to board the flight, I took once last look at her, I could see divine love which hasn't changed a bit............
Guys n girls...this is the best time of our lives...Youth.....the vibrancy n freshness that we have now will soon leave us because everyone has to grow old....So as long as we have this jubilance use it to the fullest....and always remember to take care of your parents n elderly ones, because we will also be like them one day....
A Roadside Stand by Robert Frost
this poem is about a farmer who puts a little new shed in front of his house on the edge of a road. Several thousands of cars speed past it. He desires to sell wild berries, squash and other products. He believes that by that he can earn some money and improve his life style as he saw in movies. But all his hopes remain just dreams. The car speed past without even noticing the shed. Some of them if notice the shed also notice the badly painted sign board and feel that such signs spoil the beauty of the country side and so they must be removed.
But once or twice a car stopped to ask the way or enquire about petrol. One car took a u turn and entered the farmer’s yard, thus spoiling the grass.
The poor village people had little earning. They have not seen much money. They lead a life of poverty. Some’ greedy good doers’ plan to buy their properties on the road side and build theaters and stores. They plan to shift the villagers into the village huddled together and teach them the ways that could change their good and healthy habits. They even aimed to teach them to sleep at day.
The poet feels quiet miserable at the pitiable sufferings of the poor village folk. He even had a childish desire for all the poor to be done away with at one stroke to end their pain. But he knew what he desires is childish and will not materialize. So he desires that someone relieve him of his pain by killing him.
Keeping Quiet by Pablo Neruda
This poem-KEEPING QUIET by Pablo Neruda is about the necessity of quiet introspection and creating a feeling of mutual understanding among human beings.
In our present day fast moving lifestyle we people are least concerned about our own innerself and instead of moving ahead finding faults in others. Today, we have reached a stage where we need to find the cause of sadness and the void that has filled the major part of our life marring even the happiest moments. Life today is all about wars and misunderstandings which is because of least knowledge of our innerself which can be achieved only by self introspection at some quiet place.
And believe me, friends it's a good way to know yourself and your dreams as i have tried this myself. So today only, find a few minutes for yourself and let this trick work on you and you will get a new life with all your answers about life.
The poet, Neruda, basically questions the way we move through our lives without pausing or caring for the world around us or the suffering of nature, the world and other people. He exhorts the reader to stay still and count till twelve, pause and look at the world around. He also asks us to think about what we see, how we can bring about change in things that are wron, stop fighting "green wars" and be friendly to each other and nature for a change.
poets and pancakes (my years with the boss) by Asokamitran
for nearly thirty years from 1940, the Gemini Studios of Madras (Chennai) was the most influential film-producing organisation of India and its founder, the brilliant multi-faceted entrepreneur S.S. Vasan lent substance and quality to the rather fragile and unpredictable movie business. The Gemini emblem of two small boys with bugles was true to Vasan’s slogan for the Studios, ‘when the bugles blow, there is a great show,’ Gemini films entertained millions all over India and abroad.
Sahitya Akademi award-winning Tamil writer Ashokamitran worked for the Gemini Studios from 1952 to 1966. A full twenty years after he ‘renounced’ films, poet-editor Pritish Nandy persuaded Ashokamitran to record his reminiscences and the result was a series of articles making up My Years with Boss. The book covers only five of his fourteen years with the Studios but captures that phase of Indian movie business when the key factors of the box office were imperceptibly shifting from the studios to the stars.
My Years with Boss is one of the most unusual books to be written about the entertainment world and clearly indicates the enormous impact of the movies on virtually every aspect of life in India.
The author’s ability to capture the life and breath of people and events, and his puckish narrative make this a brief but special book of film history."
The rattrap by Selma Lagerlof
the rattrap seller is a homeless fellow who stays in the crofter’s cottage for a night. The crofter entertains him as a guest and friend. But the rattrap seller returns later the next day, smashes the window pane and steals the money of the crofter.
The fortune however turns later when the iron master mistaking him to be an old comrade takes him home. There he stays for two days as his guest. Once again he is on his way to continue his usual profession of selling rattraps, thievery and begging. But he sends a letter to the iron masters daughter telling her that she was a wonderful hostess and he cannot lie to her. He also returned the money that he had stolen from the crofter and asked her to return it. He lets her know that this whole world is like a rat trap. Just like the rats are trapped by cheese and food similarly men are lured by land, food, shelter, clothing etc. these are baits. Those who touch them are trapped.
Lost Spring by Anees Jung
Raju works at a roadside dhaba for sixteen hours a day. Idrees has lost his memory and bears on his body the scars of being tortured at the carpet-manufacturing unit where he worked. Saheb scrounges the garbage dumps on the streets of Delhi for his daily wages. Munni has travelled long distances from her village home, looking for work as a domestic help in the city. Like Raju and Idrees, Saheb and Munni, millions of children all over the country are doomed to a life of backbreaking toil. Half adult, half children, victims of physical and mental abuse, they represent the dark underbelly of India’s economic growth. In Lost Spring: Stories of Stolen Childhood, best-selling author Anees Jung exposes a national shame: children cleaning floors and tables in shanty restaurants; making locks, slates and fireworks; rolling bidis; weaving saris and carpets; packing and hauling loads in factories and stone quarries. With her trademark sensitivity and insight, she analyses the grinding poverty and traditions sanctified by caste and religion which condemn these children to a life of exploitation. In this bleak world, the author also finds stories of resilience and fortitude—children who have refused to accept their condition, thus opening new vistas for themselves and others like them. She also documents incredible profiles in courage—individuals and institutions who battle not only governmental and bureaucratic apathy but also social values and cultural norms that support and accept the concept of child labour.
Should Wizard hit Mommy by John Updike
This story deals with the worldview of a little child, and the difficult moral questions she raises during the story session with her father.
Jack(joannes father) had become accustomed to or putting it more precisely obligated to telling stories out of his head to his daughter joanne during the evenings and saturday afternoons. This tradition itself was now two years old and joanne had been two when it started..........these stories were almost the same except for some slight variations ..it started with a creature usually named roger(Roger Fish, Rogersquirrel, Roger chipmunk), who had some problem and went with it to the wise owl. The owl directed him to go the the magician, who would solve his problem in exchange for a few pennies more than the creature had and in the same breath would direct the creature to go to a place where he could find it. The Roger creature would be so happy and would return home just in time to hear the train whistle that brought his daddy home from boston.
On this particular day a saturday and it was time for joannes nap..so jack had to tell her a story. So he began his story and asked Joanne what should the creature be named. It seemed they had studied about a new aniaml at school today for she enthusiastically said skunk..roger skunk. The character was set and so began the story. Jack was now ready to start the story and was filled with creative enthusiasm. The story started with the creature being unable to play and make friends with other creatures...the reason was he smelled awful. The creature having no other option went to seek the advice of the wise old owl who directed him to go the magician. Roger skunk found his way to the magicians house and seeked his help. The magician with his magic wand turned the awful smell that roger had into a smell that was of roses. The Roger creature then as directed gave the magician the pennies he had and as per the instruction of the magician went to the well to get the extra pennies.
Then roger skunk went back home. As he reached home his mother was disappointed with roger skunk as she thought that it was not right to change one's identity to please their friends. She said real friends are the ones who accept you for who you are and not for who you want to become. She then took Roger back to the magician and hit the magician with the umbrella she had been carrying. The magician then performed his magic and roger no longer melled of roses. After that, they returned home just in time to hear the whistle of the train blow that brought roger skunks father home................and henceforth Roger Skunk was content in being himself.
Throught this story jakc wanted to teach his daughter joanne about moral values, but his daughter joanne who was just a child reacted differently with th stories ending. She wants the wizard to hit Rogers Mommy back and let Roger smell of roses and not change him.this was a childs perspectivbe of things...for a child, their friends mean everything and they are not much of moral values and the importance of parents.
Jack had faced similar problems like roger had faced so he was trying to jo that whatever parents say or do for them are in their best interest. But jo was adamant and wanted another ending for the story.
After the story ended jack went down to help his wife clare paint the furniture . When he reached downstairs he sawt that the woodwork, a cage of moldings and rails and baseboards all around them, was half old tan and half new ivory and he felt caught in an ugly middle position,and though he as well felt his wife's presence in the cage with him, he did not want to speak with her, work with her, touch her, anything
NOTE: Jack had a son named bobby two years old, Clare was three months pregnant.