Swami Vivekananda’s Chicago Speech of 1893 Summary Notes

Swami Vivekananda’s Chicago Speech of 1893 Summary Notes

Swami Vivekananda’s Chicago Speech of 1893 About the Author

Swami Vivekananda (12 January, 1863- 4 July, 1920)was an Indian Hindu monk, and a chief disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa. Vivekananda played a key role in the introduction of Indian Yoga and Vedanta philosophy in the West. He taught a philosophy of traditional meditation and selfless service.

The excerpt from the speech educates us on the cause of variance in religions and overcoming this variance through virtues of tolerance, harmony and peace. Swami Vivekananda had been an inspiration for the youth of his time, and continues to be an inspiration for the youth of today.

Swami Vivekananda heard about the World’s Parliament of Religions to be held in Chicago in 1893. His friends and admirers in India wanted him to attend the Parliament. He too felt that the Parliament would provide the right forum to present his master’s message to the world, and so he decided to go to America. Another seek financial help for his project of uplifting the masses.

Swami Vivekananda, however, wanted to have an inner certitude and divine call regarding his mission. Both of these he got while he sat in deep meditation on the rock-island at Kanyakumari. With the funds partly collected by his Chennai disciples and partly provided by the Raja of Khetri, Swami Vivekananda left for America from Mumbai on 31 May, 1893. Swami Vivekananda was overwhelmed by the grand welcome accorded to him at the World’s Parliament of Religions, to which he responded through his mesmerizing speech.

Swami Vivekananda’s Chicago Speech of 1893 Summary

On September 11, 1893, Swami Vivekananda delivered an iconic and eloquent speech at the Chicago Convention of Parliament of Religions. Introducing Hinduism to the world in 1893, Swami Vivekananda spoke about intolerance, religion and the need to end all forms of fanaticism. Such was the effect of the remarkable message that he was given a two – minute standing ovation. The extracts from his speech still continue to play a relevant role in society.

Response to Welcome

Swami Vivekananda began his speech by addressing the Americans as ‘Sisters and Brothers of America.’ He says that his heart is overwhelmed with joy and he is speechless to even respond to the warm and cordial welcome given to him. He thanks the audience in the name of ancient order of monks and the mother of all religions (Hinduism), people of India, delegates and speakers.

Swami Vivekananda refers to the delegates of the Orient and says that he is sure that they have the right to claim the honour of spreading the ‘Idea of Tolerance’. He proclaims that he is proud to belong to Hindu religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. He adds, that he is also proud to belong to India which has given shelter to the refugees of all religions, such as the Israeli Jews, who sought refuge in south India to escape Roman tyranny.

Why We Disagree?

In a speech made on 15 September 1893, the Swami speaks on why people of the world disagree with regard to religion. Before elaborating on the subject, the Swami quotes from the speech of another delegate, “Let us cease from abusing each other”. The speaker had been sorry that there was so much variance (disagreement) in the world. So the Swami narrates a story to illustrate the cause of variance.

The Story goes like this – Once a frog lived in a small well. It was bom and bred in the well. One day a sea – frog accidently fell into the well. They began to talk to each other. The sea – frog told the well – frog he was from a big sea. The well- frog wanted to know if the sea was bigger than his well.

The sea – frog told him that the well and the sea were incomparable. The well – frog argued that nothing can be bigger than his well and accused the sea – frog as liar and turned him out of the well Similarly, the Swami analyses, Hindus, Muslims and Christians, live in their own respective wells, thinking there own respective well is bigger than the other. The Swami thanks America for attempting to break such barriers and wishes them success.

Paper on Hinduism Read at the Parliament on 19 September

  • The Hindu religion was revealed through the Vedas
  • Vedas are without beginning and without end.
  • Vedas are not meant to be books but the accumulated treasury of spirited laws discovered by different sages and rishis in different times.
  • Laws that govern the spiritual world exist from the time of creation of the universe, similar to the laws of gravitation.
  • The moral, ethical and spiritual relations between soul and soul and between individual spirits and the father of all spirits existed before they were discovered and exist for ever.
  • Many sages were women
  • Creation is without beginning or end.
  • The Vedas declare, ‘No. I am a spirit living in a body. The body will die and I shall not die. Here am I in this body’ it will fall, but I shall go One living. I had no past.”
  • The soul is not created and it does not die.
  • A Man’s past actions determine his future happiness
  • God is everywhere. He is pure and formless one, Almighty and the All Merciful.
  • God is to be worshipped as the one beloved.
  • DOCTRINE OF LOVE: ”No. I am a spirit living in a body. I am not the body, dearer than everything in this and the next life.”
  • It is better to love God for love’s sake.
  • The Vedas teach that soul is divine, only held in the bondage of matter; perfection will be reached when this bond will burst.
  • Mukthi, means freedom from bonds of imperfection, freedom from death and misery.
  • Purity is the Condition of God’s mercy

Address at the Final Session – 27th September 1893

In the final session of the Religious Parliament, Swami Vivekananda complements the World’s Parliament of Religions for its accomplishment. He thanked the audience for their kindness and appreciation of thought that can smooth the friction of religions. He also thanks those who opposed his views which made general harmony sweeter.

He strongly opposes those who hope to propagate their own religion by destruction of other religious. He says that they are hoping for the impossible. Swami Vivekananda opposes religious conversion. He does not wish a Christian or Muslim or a Hindu convert to other religions. He is of the belief that religion is gained from birth and not acquired in life. A seeds only tendency is to grow into a plant. It assimilates the air, the earth and the water and grows into plant.

Every religion should assimilate the spirit of other religions but retain its own religious identity and grow, according to its own laws. He states that the Parliament of Religion has proved to the world that holiness, purity and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any church in the world, and every system has produced men and women of the most exalted character.

He concluded his speech with, “In the face of this evidence, if anybody dreams of the exclusive survival of his own religion and the destruction of the others, I pity him from the bottom of my heart, and the destruction of the others, I pity him from the bottom of my heart and point out to him that upon the banner of every religion will soon be written, in spite of resistance” Help and not fight”, “Assimilation and not Destruction”, “Harmony and “Peace and not dissension”.

Swami Vivekananda’s Chicago Speech of 1893 Glossary

  • Affinity: Natural liking or understanding
  • Ludicrous: ridiculous, unreasonable
  • Treasury: the funds or revenue of a state
  • Grovelling: act humbly to obtain forgiveness
  • Vigour: Physical strength and good health
  • Delusive: A mistaken belief
  • Dissension: Disagreement within a group
  • Assimilation: Absorb into a larger group
  • Anomaly: Something differing from what is normal or standard
  • Revelation: The act of revealing
  • Fiat: An official order

Swami Vivekananda’s Chicago Speech of 1893 Questions and Answers

Question 1.
What has Swami Vivekananda’s religion taught the world?
Answer:
Swami Vivekananda’s religion taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance.

Question 2.
What makes Swami Vivekananda proud of his nation?
Answer:
Swami Vivekananda is proud of his nation as it has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth.

Question 3.
Mukti ………….. freedom, freedom from the bonds of ……………, freedom from …………….. and misery.
Answer:
Mukti – freedom, freedom from the bonds of – imperfection freedom from – death and misery.

Question 4.
What do Vedas teach us?
Answer:
Vedas teach that the soul is divine, only held in bondage of matter, perfection will be reached when this bond will burst, and the word they use for it is therefore, Mukthi-freedom freedom from the bonds of imperfection, freedom from death and misery.

Question 5.
What is the doctrine of love declared in the Vedas?
Answer:
The doctrine of love declared in the Vedas is “He, is to be worshipped as one beloved”. “No” I am a spirt living m a body. I am not the body, dearer then everything in this and the next life.

Question 6.
According to Swami Vivekananda,Vedas are ………………
Answer:
According to Swami Vivekananda Vedas are the accumulated treasory of spiritual law discovered by different persons in different times.

II. Answer the Following Questions in About a Page:

Question 1.
How did Swami Vivekananda respond to the welcome given to him at the World’s Parliament of Religions Chicago?
Answer:
Swami Vivekananda began his speech by addressing the Americans as ‘Sisters and Brothers of America’. He says that his heart is overwhelmed with joy and he is speechless to even respond to the warm and cordial welcome given to him. He thanks the audience in the name of ancient order of monks and the mother of all religions (Hinduism), people of india, delegates and speakers.

Swami Vivekananda refers to the delegates of the Orient and says that he sure that they have the right to claim the honour of spreading the ‘Idea of Tolerance’. He proclaims that he is proud to belong to Hindu religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. He adds, that he is also proud to belong to India which has given shelter to the refugees of all religious, such as the Israeli Jews, who sought refuge in south India to escape Roman tyranny.

Question 2.
What story does Swami Vivekananda narrate to illustrate the cause of variance in religions?
Answer:
Swami Vivekananda narrates the story ‘Frog in a well’ to illustrate the cause of variance in religions.

A frog lived in a well. It had lived there for a long time. It was bom there and brought up there, and yet was a little, small frog. Of course the evolutionists were not there then to tell us whether the frog lost its eyes or not, but, for our story’s sake, we must take it for granted that it had its eyes, and that it every day cleansed the water of all the worms and bacilli that lived in it with an energy that would do credit to our modem bacteriologists. In this way it went on and became a little sleek and fat. Well, one day another frog that lived in the sea came and fell into the well.

“Where are you from?”
“I am from the sea.”
“ The sea! How big is that? Is it as big as my well?” and he took a leap from one side of the well to the other.
“My friend,” said the frog ofthe sea, “how do you compare the sea with your little well?”

Then the frog took another leap and asked, “Is your sea so big?”, “What nonsense you speak, to compare the sea with your wen!” ‘Well, then,” said the frog ofthe well, “nothing can be bigger than my well; there can be nothing bigger than this; this fellow is a liar, so turn him out.” That has been the difficulty all the while. I am a Hindu. I am sitting in my own little well and thinking that the whole world is my little well.

The Christian sits in his little well and thinks the whole world is his well. The Mohammedan sits in his little well and thinks that is the whole world. I have to thank you of America for the great attempt you are making to break down the barriers of this little world of ours, and hope that, in the future, the Lord will help you to accomplish your purpose.

Question 3.
Discuss Swami Vivekananda’s views on creation of body and spirit?
Answer:
Swami Vivekananda says that the Vedas declare, “No”. I am a spirit living in a body. The body will die, but I shall not die. Here am I in this body; it will fall, but I shall go on living. I had also a past. The soul was not created, for creation means a combination which means a certain future dissolution.

If then the soul was created, it must die. Some are bom happy; enjoy perfect health, with beautiful body, mental vigor and all wants supplied. Others are bom miserable, some are without hands or feet, others again are idiots and only drag on a wretched existence.

Why, if they are all created, why does a just and merciful. God create one happy and another unhappy, why is He so partial? Nor would God create one happy and another unhappy, why is He so partial? Nor would it mend matters in the least to hold that those who are miserable in this life will be happy in a future one. Why should a man be miserable even here in the region of a just and merciful God? In the second place, the idea of a creator God does not explain the anomaly, but simply expresses the cruel fiat of an all-powerful being.

There must have been causes, then, before his birth, to make a man miserable or happy and those were his past actions. There are other tendencies peculiar to a soul caused by its past actions. And a soul with a certain tendency would by the laws of affinity take birth in a body which is the fittest instrument for the display of that tendency.

This is in accord with science wants to explain everything by habit, and habit is got through repetitions. So repetitions are necessary to explain the natural habits of a newborn soul. And since they were not obtained in this present life, they must have come down from past lives.

The laws that govern the spiritual world exist since the beginning even before they were discovered, similar to the laws of Gravitation had existed even before its discovery and will exist forever. The moral, ethicai and spirital relations soul and soul and between individual spirits and the father of spirits, were there before their discovery and would remain even if we forget them.

Question 4.
What is Swami Vivekananda’s perspective of God?
Answer:
Swami Vivekananda talks about Gods nature. God is everywhere. He is the pure and formless one, Almighty and the All – Merciful. The rishis who composed the Vedas sang, “Those art the source of all strength; give us strength. Those art He that beareth the burdens of the universe; help me bear the burdens of the universe help me bear the of this life”. God should be worshipped through love. God is the spirit living in the body, but not the body, dearer than everything in this and the next life.

Swami, Vivekananda says that it is good to love God for hope of reward in this or the next world but it is better to love God for love’s sake. We should pray to God, ‘Lord, I do not want wealth, or children, or learning. If it be they will, I shall go from birth to birth, but grant me this, that I may love thee without the hope of reward-love unselfishly for loves sake’.

Question 5.
How does Swami Vivekananda put forth his views about love of God through the example of Yudhishthira?
Answer:
One of the disciples of Krishna, the then Emperor of India, was driven from his kingdom by his enemies and had to take shelter with his queen in a forest in the Himalayas, and there one day the queen asked him, how it Was that he, the most virtuous of men, should suffer so grand and beautiful they are; I love them.

They do not give me anything, but my nature is to love the grand, the beautiful, therefore I love them. Similarly, I love the Lord. He is the source of all beauty, of all sublimity. He is the only object to be loved; my nature is to love Him, and therefore I love. I do not pray for anything; I do not ask for anything. Let Him place me wherever He likes. I must love Him for love’s sake. I cannot trade love.”

III. Answer the Following Questions in About two Pages:

Question 1.
According to Swami Vivekananda, the banner of all religions will be‘Assimilation and not Destruction, Harmony and Peace and not Dissension’ – Justify?
Answer:
A general harmony among religious is sweet. There must be a common ground of religious unity. We cannot hope to achieve religious unity by the triumph of any one of the religious and the destruction of the other religions by destroying them is impossible, nearly hopeless.

Swami Vivekananda strongly opposes those who hope to propagate their own religion by destroying other religions. He opposes religions conversion. He does not wish a Christian or Muslim or a Hindu convert to other religious. He is of the belief that religion is gained from birth and not acquired in life. A seeds only tendency is to grow into a plant. It. assimilates the air, the water and grows into plant.

Hence every religion should assimilate the spirit of other religions but retain the own essence and identity and grow, according to its own laws, Holiness, purity and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any church in the world, every religion has produced men and womn of the most exlated character. Thus the banner of all religious will be ‘Assimilation and not Destruction, Harmony and Peace and not Dissension’.

Question 2.
It is good to love God for hope of reward in this or the next World, but it is better to love God for love’s sake – Elucidate?
Answer:
It is good to love God for hope of reward in this or the next world, but it is better to love God for loves sake. God should be worshipped through love. He is to be worshipped as one beloved. The dectrine of love declared in the Vedas is “No”. I am a spirit living in a body. I am not body, dearer then everything in this and the next life.”

One should pray to God with love. “Lord, I do not want health, or children, or learning. If it be they will, I shall go from birth to birth, but grant me this, that I may love without hope of reward-but love unselfishly for love’s sake”.

In Indian Mythology, Yudistira is considered^ the epitome of righteousness. He was disciple of Lord Krishna, the protector of this world. Their love and camaradeire was beyond description. Though he was under the protection and grace of Lord Krishna, he was driven out of his kingdom by this enemies, the Kauravas. He took shelter in the forest with Draupadi and his brothers.

One day, Draupadi asked him, being most virtuous man, why he should suffer, at the hands of his own cusion brothers, the Kaurava. Yudistira replied that his nature was to love the supreme being and therefore he loved his brothers. The Lord is the source of all beauty, of all sublimity. Yudistrira’s only object of love was the Lord, and his only aim was to love him.

Yudistira told Draupadi that it was his nature to love God and therefore he loved him. He told her that he did not pray to the Lord for anything nor ask anything from him. Even if the Lord placed him whereever he liked, Yudistira’s duty was to love him for love’s sake. He declared to his queen that he could not trade love for anything else.

Question 3.
Swami Vivekananda’s speech conveys the message of Indian Wisdom to the World. Substantiate?
Answer:
Yes, Swamy Vivekananda’s speech conveys the Indian wisdom to the world. He declares that he is proud to belong to a religion which is the mother of all religions, Hinduism. Hinduism has taught the world both tolerence and universal acceptance. Hinduism accept all religions as true the land of the Hindus has sheltered the presecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth.

His Peper on Hinduism Read at the Parliament on 19 Sep 1893

  • The Hindu religion was revealed through the Vedas
  • Vedas are without beginning and without end.
  • Vedas are not meant to be books but the accumulated treasury of spirited laws discovered by different sages and rishis in different times.
  • Laws think govern the spiritual world exist from the time of creation of the universe, similar to the laws of gravitation.
  • The moral, ethical and spiritual relations between soul and soul and between individual spirits and the father of all spirits existed before they were discovered and exist for ever.
  • Many sages were women
  • Creation is without beginning or end.
  • The Vedas declare, ‘No’ I am a spirit living in a body. The body will die and I shall not die. Here am I in this body’ it will fall, but I shall go one living. I had no past.
  • The soul is not created and it does not die.
  • A Man’s past actions determine his future happiness.
  • God is everywhere. He is pure and formless one, Almighty and the All Merciful.
  • God is to be worshipped as the one beloved.
  • Doctrine of love: ”No. lama spirit living in a body. I am not the body, dearer than everything in this and the next life.”
  • It is better to love God for love’s sake.
  • The Vedas teach that soul is divine, only held in the bondage of matter; perfection will be reached when this bond will burst.
  • Mukthi, means freedom from bonds of imperfection, freedom from death and misery.
  • Purity is the condition of God’s mercy.

Thus Swami Vivekananda’s speech surely conveys the Message of Hinduism and Hindu wisdom to the world.

English Summary

Bholi Summary Notes

Bholi Summary Notes

Bholi About the Author

Khawaja Ahmad Abbas (7 June, 1914-1 June, 1987) popularly known as K. A. Abbas, was a prolific writer, Indian film director, screenwriter, novelist, and a journalist in Urdu, Hindi and English languages. He won four National Film Awards in India.He is considered one of the pioneers of Indian Parallel or Neo-realistic cinema. The stories of Abbas focus on the much talked about ‘common man’.

The story, ‘Bholi’ highlights the vital role played by a motivational, teacher in the life of a student and how education becomes a lifeline for development and helps her staaiup for her rights.

Bholi Summary

Sulekha was the fourth daughter of Numberdar (revenue official) Ramlal. When she was ten years old, she had fallen off the cot on her head and maybe her brain must have been damaged. So she remained a backward girl. She was nicknamed Bholi, simpleton. She was bom pretty but when she was two years old, she was afflicted with small pox. Her entire body became disfigured by black pock marks. She was unable to speak even at the age of five. Though she learnt to speak, she stammered. The other children teased her by imitating her stammer and she was ashamed to speak and seldom spoke.

Ramlal was a prosperous farmer. He had three sons and four daughters including Bholi. His sons studied in the city. His eldest daughter Radha was married and Mangla, his second daughter’s marriage was fixed. He was not worried about finding a bridgegroom for his third daughter as she was also good – looking and healthy. Bholi was neither good looking nor healthy.

When Bholi was seven years old, a primary school for girls was started in the village. The Tehsildar compelled Ramlal to send his daughters to the school. His wife did not like the idea because she believed that it was difficult to get educated girls married. Ramlal was not courageous enough to disobey the tehsildar, so his wife suggested that they send Bholi to school as she had little chance of getting married.

Ramlal admitted Bholi to the school. At first she was frightened to go to school. She was given an oil bath and new clothes and her, hair was combed. Bholi began to think that she was being taken to a place better than home. At school she was made to sit in a comer. Though she was ignorant about what exactly a school was she was happy to see many girls there. She hoped to befriend one of the girls.

One of the teachers was very compassionate. She began to take great care of Bholi. When the teacher asked her name she began to stammer and all the children started laughing. The teacher called her by her name ‘Bholi’. Her voice was so soft and soothing. It touched Bholi’s heart. The teacher gently encouraged her until she could confidently pronounce her name.

The teacher told her affectionately, to forget her fear and then she could speak like everyone else. The teacher made her understand that if she would come to school everyday she would be able to speak normally without a stammer. The teacher gave her a book full of colorful pictures of animals and birds.

She promised Bholi that in one month she would be able to read the book. Then she would give her bigger books so that she would be more learned than anyone else in the village. Then none of the other people would laugh at her, they will begin to respect her.

As years passed, the village developed into small town. The school developed into a high school. There was also a make-shift cinema house and a cotton ginning mill. The mail-train stopped at the town railway station.

One day, Bholi’s father Randal; told his wife that he was considering the proposal of marriage for Bholi made by Bishwambar, a rich man with a big shop, a house and fat bank balance. This man was forty – five years old, about Randal’s own age, but was lame. He was a widower and had grown up children, His wife thought that it was an ideal match considering Bhili’s ugly looks and lack of intelligence. Moreover, she would remain unmarried if they didn’t accept the proposal.

So they arranged the marriage without the consent of Bholi. On the day of the marriage, the bridegroom arrived with much pageantry. Bholi was clad in a red silk saree and taken to the scared alter. Someone asked the bridegroom to garland the bride. A woman lifted Bholi’s veil showing her face to Bishwamber.

In a quick glance he noticed her pock – marked face. He was angry. He demanded a dowry of five thousand rupees to marry her. Ramlal obliged. When the veil was lifted again Bholi looked straight into her prospective husband’s eyes with abject contempt. As the bridegroom lifted his hands to garland her, she snatched it from his hands, and threw it into the sacred fire.

She resolutely asked her father to take back his money as she was not ready to marry him. Ramlal was distraught. He pleaded her to think of the family’s honour. Bholi answered with contempt that for the sake of the family’s honour she had agreed to marry the lame man. But she now didn’t want a mean, greedy and contemptible coward as her husband.

An old woman commented that she was a shameless girl and that they had always regarded her as a harmless dumb cow. Bholi pounced on the old women and without mincing words told her that she was right in calling her a dumb – cow because they were prepared to marry her off to a heartless creature. But now she was not that dumb – cow nor the stammering fool that they had always thought her to be.

The bride-groom left with his entourage. Ramlal stood rooted to the ground, his head bowed low with grief and shame. Later he sadly told Bholi that no one would marry her after the incident and he did not known what was in store for her in the future.

Sulekha calmly told him that he needn’t worry about her but she would take care of them in their old age and would teach in the same school where she had learnt so much.

Her teacher, who was standing all along in a comer, smiled and approved her decision. “And in her smiling eyes was the light of a deep satisfaction that an artist feels when contemplating the completion of her master piece.

Bholi Glossary

  • Simpleton: A foolish person easily tricked by others
  • Numberdar: An official who collects revenue
  • Matted: Entangled squatted:
  • Squatted: Sat on their heels
  • Scurried: Ran or moved hurriedly
  • Ginning: Separating raw cotton from its seeds
  • Downcast: Looking downwards

Bholi Questions and Answers

Question 1.
Why is Bholi’s father worried about her?
Answer:
Bholi’s father was worried about her as she neither had good looks nor intelligence. He did not know how he would find an ideal groom for her.

Question 2.
Who was instrumental in influencing Ramlal’s decision about Bholi’s education? Why?
Answer:
The Tensildar who had come to inagurate the primary school for girls urged Ramlal to send his daughters to school. Randal consulted his wife. She suggested him to send Bholi to school as she had little chance of getting married.

Question 3.
Why was Bholi diffident?
Answer:
Bholi was diffident as she was frightened and did not know what a school was like. She remembered how a few days ago their old cow, Lakshmi, had been turned out of the house and sold. She was terrified of being abandoned.

Question 4.
What difference does she find between the people at home and her teacher?
Answer:
The teacher was very compassionate towards Bholi. Her voice was so soft and soothing. In all her life, Bholi had never been called like that. It touched her heart. At home Bholi was neglected because of her ugly looks and lack of intelligence. No one cared to mend or wash her clothes. When she was taken to school, she had been given a hot oil bath and her hair was oiled and combed. She began to believe that she was being taken to a place better than school.

Question 5.
Why did Bholi’s parents accept Bishamber’s marriage proposal?
Answer:
Bholi’s parents thought that they were lucky to get such a well- to-do bride-groom as Bishamber. He owed a big shop, a home and fat bank balance. Moreover he was not asking for dowry. He was a widower and the children from his first wife were grown-up. Though he was forty – five years old it was not a great age for a man. They thought that they were lucky that he was from another village and did not know about her pock-marks and her lack of sense. They believed that if they didn’t accept the proposal, Bholi would remain unmarried all her life.

Question 6.
Why does Bholi refuse to marry Bishamber?
Answer:
Bholirefiied to marry Bishamber because he was such amean, greedy and contemptible coward and not worth to be her husband. He asked dowry to Marry her because she was ugly.

II. Answer the Following Questions in About a Page:

Question 1.
Why did Bholi consider school a better place than home?
Answer:
Ramlal admitted Bholi to the school. At first she was frightened to go to school. She was given an oil bath and new clothes and her hair was combed. Bholi began to think that she was being taken to a place better than home. At school she was made to sit in a comer. Though she was ignorant about what exactly a school was she was happy to see many girls there. She hoped to befriend one of the girls.

One of the teachers was very compassionate. She began to take; great care of Bholi. When the teacher asked her name she began to’ stammer and all the children started laughing. The teacher called her by her name ‘Bholi’ . Her voice was so soft and soothing. It touched Bholi’s heart. The teacher gently encouraged her until she could confidently pronounce her name.

The teacher told her affectionately, to forget her fear and then she could speak like everyone else. The teacher made her understand that if she would come to school everyday she would be able to speak normally without a stammer. The teacher gave her a book full of colorful pictures of animals and birds. She promised Bholi that in one moth she would be able to read the book. Then she would give her bigger books so that she would be more learned than anyone else in the village. Then none of the other people would laugh at her, they will begin to respect her.

Question 2.
How did Bholi’s teacher play an important role in changing the course of her life?
Answer:
One of the teachers was very compassionate. She began to take great care of Bholi. When the teacher asked her name she began to stammer and all the children started laughing. The teacher called her by her name ‘Bholi’. Her voice was so soft and soothing. , It touched Bholi’s heart. The teacher gently encouraged her until she could confidently pronounce her name.

The teacher told her affectionately, to forget her fear and then she could speak like everyone else. The teacher made her understand that if she would come to school everyday she would be able to speak normally without a stammer. The teacher gave her a book full of colorful pictures of animals and birds.

She promised Bholi that in one moth she would be able to read the book. Then she would give her bigger books so that she would be more learned than anyone else in the village. Then none ofthe other people would laugh at her, they will begin to respect her

Question 3.
Going to school was a turning point in Bholi’s life. Elaborate?
Answer:
Ramlal admitted Bholi to the school. At first she was frightened to go to school. She was given an oil bath and new clothes and her hair was combed. Bholi began to think that she was being taken to to sit in a comer. Though she was ignorant about what exactly a school was she was happy to see many girls there. She hoped to befriend one of the girls.

One of the teachers was very compassionate. She began to take great care of Bholi. When the teacher asked her name she began to stammer and all the children started laughing. The teacher called her by her name ‘Bholi’. Her voice was so soft and soothing. It touched Bholi’s heart. The teacher gently encouraged her until she could confidently pronounce her name.

The teacher told her affectionately, to forget her fear and then she could speak like everyone else. The teacher made her understand that if she would come to school everyday she would be able to speak normally without a stammer. The teacher gave her a book full of colorful pictures of animals and birds. She promised Bholi that in one moth she would be able to read the book. Then she would give her bigger books so that she would be more learned than anyone else in the village. Then none of the other people would laugh at her, they will begin to respect her.

As the years passed Bholi tinned into a confidant person and was able to talk without a slammer, she was able to read and write and gain knowledge. She become independent enough to refuse to marry a man because he was such a mean, greedy and contemptible coward, not fix to be her husband. She had gained courage and confidence to lead an independent life. She even assured her parents that she would take care of them in their oldage by working in the same school where she learnt so much.

Question 4.
Pick up relevant facts from the lesson which suggest that the society was against girls’ education?
Answer:
There wasn’t a school fo girls in the village until Bholi was seven years old. Bholi’s mother refused to send her other daughter’s to school because she believed that it would hamper their prospects of marriage. In fact Bholi was sent to school because there was little change of her getting married, with her ugly face and lack of sense.

III. Answer the Following Questions in About two Pages:

Question 1.
Bholi’s initial acceptance and final rejection of marriage to Bishamber depicts the transformation in her character. Elucidate?
OR
Question 2.
Education is empowerment. Explain with reference to ‘Bholi’?
Answer:
Bholi had accepted to many the lame old man initially to protect the honour of her father. Bholi was the youngest of Ramlal’s four daughters All other daughters were good looking and healthy. Bholi was a simpleton. She stammered badly, which made her a butt of jokes of the other children. Her whole body was disfigured by black pock marks. She had neither good looks nor intelligence. She was like a harmless dumb cow and couldn’t express her inner feelings.

Boli was sent to school because her parents thought that she had little change of getting married. Bholi’s teacher at the village primary school transformed her life. Bholi found a kind and Com-passionate and helpful human being in the teacher. The teacher gently thaught her to pronounce her name without stammer. She gave Bholi all the confidence and encouragement that she needed to transform her into a confident and useful human being. The teacher assured her that if she came to school regularly she would be more learned than anyone else in the village.

Bholi didn’t refuse to marry an aged and lame man, her father chose as her bride-groom, for the sake of her family’s honour. But the greedy and insensitive man, Bishamber, demanded a dowry of five thousand rupees to marry her, because of her ugly looks. She revolted and threw the ceremonial garland into the sacred fire. She refused to marry a greedy and mean man. She decided to dedicate her life to look after her parents in their old age. She declared that she would teach in the same school where she had leamt so much.

English Summary

The Last Song Summary Notes

The Last Song Summary Notes

The Last Song About the Author

Dr.Temsula Ao (1945): A recipient of ‘SahityaAkademiAward’ in 2013 for her collection of short stories ‘Laburnum for My Head’, is undoubtedly one of the country’s finest writers. She is is a retired professor of English from the North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong and has five books of poetry to her credit.

Ao traces a detailed, deep and intense narration of North East India through the art of storytelling. She has delineated the agonies and aspirations of her people – the Nagas – with deep understanding and compassion in her fictional work.

Her works depict the troublesome life of the Nagas tom in between terror and violence fraught between the various groups for power. In ‘The Last Song’, Temsula Ao, speaks about ‘the government forces’ determined to ‘teach’, all those villagers the consequences of ‘supporting’ the rebel cause. Even the house of God could not save them from the atrocities of the army.

The Last Song Summary

The given short – story ‘The Last Song’ is by Dr. Temsula Ao. She is a poet, short story writer and ethnographer. She is retired professor of English in North-Eastern Hill University, (NEHU) where shehas taught since 1975. In 2013, she received the ‘Sahitya Akademi Award’ for her short story collection ‘Laburnum for My Head’, given by the Sahitya Academy, India’s National Academy of Literature.

In the ‘The Last Song’ Temsula Ao narrates the chilling story of Apenya and her mother Libeni. The story portrays the traumatic life endured by the Naga people and their quest for identify. It reveals how human dignity andrights, self-esteem and justice are tom into pieces during several encounters in this conflict ridden hinterland.

The story is an eye-opener by bringing forth the socio-political issues. The conflicts and issues created by insurgency and counter insurgency attacks are widely known and north – East India has been considered as hot bed of such trials and turmoils. Temsula Ao traces a detailed deed and intense narration on North – East India through the art of story telling.

It depicts the trouble-some life of Naga people tom in between terror and violence fraught between various groups for power. Without taking sides she narrates the splight of ordinary people who are struggling to cope with violence as the innocent victims of rampage and systematic violence. It explores the causes and the aftermath of terror and structural violence in Nagaland in detail.

It so happened that the villager’s had collected money to build a new church to replace the old thatched church. The villagers were preparing for the opening ceremony six months away, with great enthusiasm. The Naga Liberation Movement was gaining momentum and had even spread to the remotest village of the North – East. It wag, however, troubled times for Nagas.

Many Nagas had become members of the ‘under ground army’ (Militant groups of the Naga Independent Movement).The villagers had to pay ‘taxes’ to the under ground army, every year, just before Christmas. The villagers were always prepared to pay the tax and the payment was made without any hitch.

But that particular year, the army had raided a underground hideout ofthe militia and had confiscated records of such collections made by the villagers. The Indian army was determined to ‘teach’ a lesson to all the villagers the consequences of ‘supporting’ the rebel cause by paying the ‘taxes’.

The Indian army hatched a secret attack on the ‘rebel forces’ to demonstrate to the entire Naga people the consequences of betraying their own government. The Indian army planned to visit the Apenyo’s village on the day when they were dedicating the new church building and arrest all the leaders for the ‘crime’ of paying taxes to rebels.

The unassuming villagers were busy preparing for the consecration of the church on a Sunday in December. The gaily attired villagers assembled in front of the new church. The Church choir had to perform on the front porch of the church before the formal inauguration. Apenyo, was the lead singer of the choir. She was dressed in a new lungi and shawl.

After the invocatory prayer by the pastor, the congregation was waiting for the choir to begin. Suddenly they heard the ominous sounds of gunfire. The Dobashi (Custodian of law) warned everyone to stay calm. The soldiers arrived and surrounded the congregation.

The choir went into silence. Apenyo burst out singing alone and then the entire coir joined in the song. The pastor and the Gaonburas (Leaders) were arrested and taken away. Those who argued with the soldiers were brutally assaulted. Some members of the congregation and the choir attempted to run away. But Apenyo held fast and sang on oblivious of the situation. She appeared to be guided by an unseen force as if to withstand the might of the guns with her voice raised to God in Heaven.

The leader of the army grabbed Apenyo, even before her mother could and dragged her towards the old church. But Apenyo, sang without stopping as if she was possessed. The army shot every fleeing villager. Libeni ran towards the old church, calling her daughter’s name loudly. When she saw what was happening there her stomach turned. The young but ruthless captain was raping Apenyo.

She rushed forward with an animal – like grow as if to push the man off her daughter’s body. But another soldier grabbed her and pinned her to the ground. She angrily spat on his face. The ruthless soldier bashed her head to the ground and knocked her unconscious and raped her limp body. Many soldiers took their turns to violate her already dead body. Apenyo was barely alive, bruised and dazed by what was happening to her.

When the soldiers left, the villagers tried to help the mother and daughter but the soldiers saw them. They were all shot dead. The soldiers didn’t want to leave any witnesses alive. The young captain set the old chinch on fire, but his hands were shaking as he thought that he could still hear the tune young Apenyo was humming while he was violating her virgin body. He thought of her unseeing eyes fixed on his face.

The old church was burnt to cinders. Even the new church was partially damaged. The marauding soldiers left the village with their prisoners. It rained the whole night. The next morning the yillagers came back to the old church. They found masses of human bones washed clean by the night’s rain.

They found apiece of Apenyo’s new shawl under the charred bones on the church porch. The bones of the mother and daughter lay together in a pile. They collected the bones and put them in a coffin. Thai the question arose about where to bury them. Though the villagers where followers of Christianity, the age old superstitions and traditions had not been completely abandoned.

The mother and daughter could not be buried in the village graveyard as they had died of unnatural causes. After much argument among the villagers theywere buried on the pheripery of the graveyard without headstones.

After thirty years for that dreadful black Sunday, the graves of the mother and daughter are two grassy mounds on the boundary ofthe village graveyard. One can easily miss the graves if they were not aware ofthe history ofthe village. But their story lived on in the hearts ofthe survivors of that black Sunday.

No one knows what happened to the captain of the marauding band of soldiers. But die underground army had deftly gathered the identity ofthe captain. He was traced to a military hospital, where he was being kept in a maximum – security cell of a lunatic asylum.

In the recent times, on a cold night in December the children of the village had gathered around an old story teller, listening to her stories, beside a warm fire. The old woman tells them that on certain nights a peculiar wind blows through the village from the graveyard carrying the sounds of a hymn.

That night was one of those kinds of night, as it was the anniversary of that black Sunday. She asks them to listen to the wind. The students are skeptical as they can’t hear anything. But the woman urges them to listen carefully. A strange wind whirls past the house, it increases in volume and hovers briefly above the house.

Then it starts whirling again and moves quickly away. The students are stunned to hear the element in the volume and a certain distinct lilting tune lingers on even after the wind moves away. The old woman explains the students that it was ‘Apenyo’s Last Song’. The students are puzzled because they do not know about Apenyo. The old woman starts humming Apenyo’s last song. The students plead the old woman to tell them about Apenyo. The old women then start to tell them the story of Apenyo.

The Last Song Glossary

  • Piggyback: To carry on the back and shoulders (of another person)
  • Congregation: A group of people assembled for religious worship
  • Pensive: Deep or serious thought
  • Exquisite: Extremely beautiful and delicate
  • Soprano: The highest singing voice
  • Gaonburas: The village leaders
  • Dobashi: A custodian of Customary Law and practice in Nagaland, a person appointed as an interpreter to translate the local dialect.
  • Expectant: Having or showing ap excited feeling that something is about to happen, especially something good.
  • Spruced: Make someone or something smarter or tidier
  • Sinister: Threatening, frightening, alarming,
  • Porch: Entrance
  • Unfazed: Not disconcerted or perturbed.
  • Deacon: An ordained minister of an order ranking below that of priest.
  • Consecrated: (of a church or land) having been made or declared sacred.
  • Prodding: Poke with a finger, foot, or pointed object.
  • Incense: Very angry; enraged.
  • Semblance: Pretence, guise
  • Oblivious: Unaware, unconscious
  • Orgy: A wild party characterized by excessive drinking and indiscriminate sexual activity
  • Marauding: Going about in search of things to steal or people to attack.
  • Ferret: Discover, reveal

The Last Song Questions and Answers

Question 1.
How does Apenyo indicate that she is a singing genius?
Answer:
Her mother Libeni, recalls that ever since Apenyo was a baby she would start singing her own version of the church coir, whenever she took her to the church. Though it was amusing, it would irritate the singers, much to the embarrassment of her mother. As Apenyo grew up she hummed or made up silly songs to sing by herself.

He mother was convinced that her daughter had inherited her love of singing from her lather, Zhamben, a gifted singer both of traditional folk songs and Christian hymns. What the considered unreasonable behaviour in a child barely a year old, was actually he first indication of the singing genius she had given birth to.

Question 2.
Why does Apenyo’s mother take her to the church?
Answer:
When Apenyo, her to the church on Sundays because she could not be left alone at home on other could walk and talk a little, her mother would take days she was left in the care of her grandmother when the mother went to the fields; but on this day there was no one to take care of her as everyone had gone to church.

Question 3.
How did God reward Libeni?
Answer:
Lebini was rewarded by God through her beautiful and talented daughter.

Question 4.
Why were the villagers in an expectant mood?
Answer:
The villagers were in an especially expectant mood because there was a big event coming up in the village church in about six months. The consecration of a newly built church.

Question 5.
What was the plan of the government forces to punish the villagers for their ‘crime’?
Answer:
A recent raid of an underground hideout yielded records of all such collections of the area made to the ‘underground army’ by the Villagers and the government forces were determined to ‘teach’ all those villages the consequences of‘supporting’ the rebel cause by paying the ‘taxes’.

Unknown to the villagers, a sinister plan was being hatched by the forces to demonstrate to the entire Naga people what happens when you ‘betray’ your own government. It was decided that the army would go to this particular village on the day when they were dedicating the new church building and arrest all the leaders for their ‘crime’ of paying taxes to the underground forces.

Question 6.
What happened as the formal inauguration began?
Answer:
As the formal inaguaration of the new church was about to begin, there was the sound of gunfire in the distance. It was an ominous sound which meant that the army would certainly disrupt the festivities.

Question 7.
How did Apenyo defy the government forces the first time?
Answer:
Apenyo was undeterred by the presence of the soldiers. She burst into her solo number. The rest of the choir joined in, not to be outdone by the bravery and foolishness of the young girl and not wishing to leave the young girl exposed to the the soldiers.

Question 8.
What was the issue about the burial of the mother and the daughter?
Answer:
Though the whole village had embraced Christianity long ago, some of the age old superstitions and traditions had not been totally abandoned. Apenyo and her mother’s deaths were considered to be from unnatural causes and according to tradition they could not be buried in the village graveyard. After a long debate among the villagers they were buried on the periphery of the grave yard, without headstones.

Question 9.
What happened to the captain after the incident of Black Sunday?
Answer:
The underground network had deftly unearthed the where abouts of the inhuman army captain. He was traced to a military hospital in a big city where he was being kept in a maximum – securtiy cell of a lunatic asylum.

II. Answer the Following Questions in About a Page:

Question 1.
Why did Apenyo’s mother stop going to church?
Answer:
When Apenyo near to the church on Sundays because she could not be left alone at home. On other could walk and talk a little, her mother would take days she was left in the care of her grandmother when the mother went to the fields; but on this day there was no one to take care of her as everyone had gone to church.

When the congregation sang together Apenyo would join, though her little screams were not quite audible, because of the group singing. But whenever there was a special number, trouble would begin. Apenyo would try to sing along, much to the embarrasment of her mother. After two or three such mortifying Sundays, her mother stopped going to church altogether until Apenyo became older and learnt how to behave.

Question 2.
Write a short note on Zhamben?
Answer:
Zhafnben was Lebini’s husband and Apenyo’s father. He was a school teacher at the village. He was a gifted singer both of traditional. He songs as well as Christian hymns at Church.

Naga traditional songs consist of polyphonic notes and harmonizing is the dominant feature of such community singing. Perhaps, his experience and expertise in folk songs made him pick up the new tunes of hymns quite easily and he soon became the lead male voice in the church coir. He was suddenly taken ill while undergoing to teacher – training course in Assam. He was dead by the time the news of his illness reached his village. His friends brought his body back.

Question 3.
How did Libeni lead her life as a widow?
Answer:
Libeni slowly built a future for her daughter and herself, with the occassional help from her in – laws and her own relatives. Many of the relatives told her to get married again so that she and little Apenyo would have a man to protect and look after them. But Libeni would not listen and when they repeatedly told her to think about it seriously, she asked them never to bring up the subject again.

So mother and daughter lived alone and survived mainly on what was grown in the field. At the village school Apenyo did well and became the star pupil. When she was old enough to help her mother in spreading the thread on the loom, she would sit nearby and watch her weave the colourful shawls, which would be sold to bring in additional income. Libeni had the reputation of being one of the best weavers in the village and her shawls were in great demand.

Question 4.
What preparations did the villagers make for the big event?
Answer:
One particular year, the villagers were in an especially expectant mood because there was a big event coming up in the village church in about six months: the dedication of the new church building. Every member of the church had contributed towards the building fund by donating in cash and kind and it had taken them nearly three years to complete the new structure of tin roof and wooden frames to replace the old one of bamboo and thatch.

In every household the womenfolk were planning new clothes for the family, brand new shawls for the men and new skirts or lungis for the women. The whole village was being spruced up for the occasion as some eminent pastors from neighbouring villages were being invited for the dedication service.

Pigs earmarked for the feast were given special food to fatten them up. The service was planned for the first week of December, which would ensure that harvesting of the fields would be over and the special celebration would not interfere with the normal Christmas celebrations of the church. The villagers began the preparations with great enthusiasm, often joking among themselves that this year they would have a double Christmas!

Question 5.
How were the villagers involved in the Independence Movement?
Answer:
The Independence movement was gaining momentum by the day and even the remotest villages were getting involved, if not directly in terms of their members joining the underground army then certainly by paying ‘taxes’ to the underground ‘government’.

This particular village was no different. They had been compelled to pay their dues every year, the amount calculated on the number of households in the village. Curiously enough, the collections would be made just before the Christmas holidays, perhaps because travel for the collections was easier through the winter forests or perhaps because they too wanted to celebrate Christmas! In any case, the villagers were prepared for the annual visit from their brethren of the forests and the transaction was carried out without a hitch.

Question 6.
What did the villagers do after they found the charred dead bodies of the two women?
Answer:
After the marauding soldiers left the village, it rained the whole night. The next morning the villagers arrived at the burnt – out old church. They found a mass of bones on the porch of the old church. Through a twist of fate, a piece of Apenyos new shawl, still lay intact beneath the pile of charred bones. The villagers were able to identify the bones of the mother and daughter they put the bones in a seperate coffin and buried them at the boundary of the village graveyard.

Question 7.
What was the debate regarding the burial of the daughter and the mother?
Answer:
The old church was burnt to cinders. Even the new church was partially damaged. The marauding soldiers left the village with their prisoners. It rained the whole night. The next morning the villagers came back to the old church. They found masses of human bones washed clean by the night’s rain.

They found a piece of Apenyo’s new shawl under the charred bones on the church porch. The bones of the mother and daughter lay together in a pile. They collected the bones and put them in a coffin. Then the question arose about where to bury them.

Though the villagers where followers of Christianity, the age old superstitions and traditions had not been completely abandoned. The mother and daughter could not be buried in the village graveyard as they had died of unnatural causes. After much argument nmong the villagers they were buried on the pheripery of the graveyard without headstones.

III. Answer the Following Questions in About two Pages:

Question 1.
Describe the atmosphere in the village on the day of the dedication of the new church building?
Answer:
The unassuming villagers were busy preparing for the consecration of the church on a Sunday in December. The gaily attired Villagers assembled in front of the new church. The Church choir had to perform on the front porch of the church before the formal inauguration.

Apenyo, was the lead singer ofthe choir. She was dressed in a new lungi and shawl After the invocatory prayer by the pastor, the congregation was waiting for the choir to begin. Suddenly they heard the ominous sounds of gunfire. The Dobashi (Custodian of law) warned everyone to stay calm. The soldiers arrived and surrounded the congregation. The choir went into silence. Apenyo burst out singing alone and then the entire coir joined in the song. The pastor and the Gaonburas (Leaders) were arrested and taken away.

Those who argued with the soldiers were brutally assaulted. Some members of the congregation and the choir attempted to run away. But Apenyo held fast and sang on oblivious of the situation. She appeared to be guided by an unseen force as if to withstand the might of the guns with her voice raised to God in Heaven. The leader of the army grabbed Apenyo, even before her mother could and dragged her towards the old church. But Apenyo, sang without stopping as if she was possessed. The army shot every fleeing villager.

Libeni ran towards the old church, calling her daughter’s name loudly. When she saw that was happening there her stomach turned. The young but ruthless captain was raping Apenyo. She rushed forward with an animal – like grow as if to push the man off her daughter’s body. But another soldier grabbed her and pinned her to the ground. She angrily spat on his face.

The ruthless soldier bashed her head to the ground and knocked her unconscious and raped her limp body. Many soldiers took their turns to violate her already dead body. Apenyo was barely alive, bruised and dazed by what was happening to her. When the soldiers left, the villagers tried to help the mother and daughter but the soldiers saw them.

They were all shot dead. The soldiers didn’t want to leave any witnesses alive. The young captain set the old church on fire, but his hands were shaking as he thought that he could still hear the tune young Apenyo was humming while he was violating her virgin body. He thought of her unseeing eyes fixed on his face.

The old church was burnt to cinders even the new church was partially damaged. The marauding soldiers left the village with their prisoners. It rained the whole night.

Question 2.
Discuss the representation of Ethnic identity with reference to the story?
Answer:
In the ‘The Last Song’ Temsula Ao narrates the chilling story of Apenya and her mother Libeni. The story portrays the traumatic life endured by the Naga people and their quest for identify. It reveals how human dignity and rights, self – esteem and justice are tom into pieces during several encounters in this conflict ridden hinterland.

The story is an eye-opener by bringing forth the socio-political issues. The conflicts and issues created by insurgency and counter-insurgency attacks are widely known and north – East India has been considered as hot bed of such trials and turmoils. Temsula Ao traces a detailed deed and intense narration on North – East India through the art of story telling.

It depicts the trouble-some life of Naga people torn in between terror and violence fraught between various groups for power. Without taking sides she narrates the plight of ordinary people who are struggling to cope with violence as the innocent victims of rampage and systematic violence. It explores the causes and the aftermath of terror and structural violence in Nagaland in detail.

In ‘The last Song’, Temsula Ao, speaks about ‘The government forces’ determined to ‘teach’, all those villagers the consequences of ‘supporting’ the rebel cause. Even the house of God could not save them from the atrocities of the army.

The troublesome life of Naga people and the atrocities they face is told through the story of Apenyo, a girl bom to sing. Her mother Libeni recalls that ever since Apenyo was a baby she would start singing her own version of the church coir, whenever she took her to the church. Though it was amusing, it would irritate the singers, much to the embarrassment of her mother.

As Apenyo grew up she hummed or made up silly songs to sing by herself. He mother was convinced that her daughter had inherited her love of singing from her father, Zhamben, a gifted singer both of traditional folk songs and Christian hymns. He was a school teacher.

Apenyo ‘s father had suddenly taken ill and died, when she was only nine months old. Her Mother did not remarry, despite being forced by her relatives. Both mother and daughter eked a living from what was grown in their field. Apenyo was a brilliant student. Lebeni was a talented weaver she made beautiful shawls and sold them for additional income. Apenyo helped her mother with the weaving and gradually became an accomplished weaver herself.

By the time she was eighteen, Apenyo had earned the nickname ‘singing beauty’ in the village. Her mother was glad that she was blessed with not only a beautiful daughter but also a talented singer. It so happened that the villager’s had collected money to build a new church to replace the old thatched church. The villagers were preparing for the opening ceremony six months away, with great enthusiasm.

The Naga Liberation Movement was gaining momentum and had even spread to the remotest village of the North – East. It was, however, troubled times for Nagas. Many Nagas had become members of the ‘under ground army’ (Militant groups of the Naga Independent Movement). The villagers had to pay ‘taxes’ to the under ground army, every year, just before Christmas. The villagers were always prepared to pay the tax and the payment was made without any hitch.

But that particular year, the army had raided a underground hideout of the militia and had confiscated records of such collections made by the villagers. The Indian army was determined to ‘teach’ a, lesson to all the villagers the consequences of ‘supporting’ the rebel cause by paying the ‘taxes’.

The Indian army hatched a secret attack on the ‘rebel forces’ to demonstrate to the entire Naga people the consequences ofbetraying their own government. The Indian army planned to visit the Apenyo’s village on the day when they were dedicating the new church building and arrest all the leaders for the ‘crime’of paying taxes to rebels.

The Indian army attacked the congregation, killed many of them and raped and killed Apenyo and her mother, they gathered all the bodies in the old church and set it an fire before they left the village. In the recent times, the Children of the village gather around an old story teller and listen to the story of Apenyo.

Question 3.
Comment on the theme of violence in ‘The Last Song’?
Answer:
The Naga Liberation Movement was gaining momentum and had even spread to the remotest village of the North – East. It was, however, troubled times for Nagas. Many Nagas had become members of the ‘underground army’ (Militant groups of the Naga Independent Movement). The villagers had to pay ‘taxes’ to the underground army, every year just before Christmas. The villagers were always prepared to pay the tax and the payment was made without any hitch.

But that particular year, the army had raided a underground hide out of the militia and had confiscated records of such collections made by the villagers. The Indianarmywas determined to ‘teach’ a lesson to all the villagers the consequences of ‘supporting’ the rebel cause by paying the ‘taxes’.

The Indian army hatched a secret attack on the ‘rebel forces’ to demonstrate to the entire Naga people the consequences of betraying their own government. The Indian army planned to visit the Apenyo’s village on the day when they were dedicating the new church building and arrest all the leaders for the ‘crime’ of paying taxes to rebels.

The unassuming villagers were busy preparing for the consecration ofthe church on a Sunday in December The gaily attired villagers assembled in front of the new church. The Church choir had to perform on the front porch of the church before the formal inauguration.

Apenyo, was the lead singer ofthe choir. She was dressed in a new lungi and shawl. After the invocatory prayer by the pastor, the congregation was waiting for the choir to begin. Suddenly they heard the ominous sounds of gunfire. The Dobashi (Custodian of law) warned everyone to stay calm.

The soldiers arrived and surrounded the congregation. The choir went into silence. Apenyo burst out singing alone and then the entire coir joined in the song. The pastor and the Gaonburas (Leaders) were arrested and taken away. Those who argued with the soldiers were brutally assaulted. Some members of the congregation and the choir attempted to run away.

But Apenyo held fast and sang on oblivious of the situation. She appeared to be guided by an unseen force as if to withstand the might of the guns with her voice raised to God in Heaven. The leader of the army grabbed Apenyo, even before her mother could and dragged her towards the old church. But Apenyo, sang without stopping as if she was possessed. The army shot every fleeing villager.

Libeni ran towards the old church, calling her daughter’s name loudly. When she saw that was happening there her stomach turned. The young but ruthless captain was raping Apenyo. She rushed forward with an animal – like grow as if to push the man off her daughter’s body.

But another soldier grabbed her and pinned her to the ground. She angrily spat on his face. The ruthless soldier bashed her head to the ground and knocked her unconscious and raped her limp body.

Many soldiers took their turns to violate her already dead body. Apenyo was barely alive, bruised and dazed by what was happening to her. When the soldiers left, the villagers tried to help the mother and daughter but the soldiers saw them. They were all shot dead. The soldiers didn’t want to leave any witnesses alive.

The young captain set the old church on fire, but his hands were shaking as he thought that he could still hear the tune young Apenyo was humming while he was violating her virgin body. He thought of her unseeing eyes fixed on his face. The old church was burnt to cinders even the new church was partially damaged. The marauding soldiers left the village with their prisoners. It rained the whole night.

The story depicts the troublesome fife of Naga people tom in between terror and violence fraught between various groups for power. It narrates the plight of ordinary people who are straggling to cope with violence as the innocent victims of rampage and systematic violence.

Question 4.
Analyse the concept of the ‘Collective unconsciousness’ as narrated by the old storyteller?
Answer:
In ‘The Last Song’Apenyo, a young Naga women is poised to sing the group song ofthe choir for the dedication ofthe new Church on a Sunday along with the congregation of the Church. Unknown to them the Indian army arrives in their village when they were dedicating the new church to the community and arrest all leaders for their ‘Crime’ of paying taxes to the underground army.

Refused to be cowed down by the approaching soldiers Apenyo bursts into her solo number and the entire choir soon follows. Taking this to be an open act of defiance, the army retaliate by repeatedly rape her and her mother and buring their bodies on the porch of the old church. Gradually as the time passed by, only her memory remained tribe.

Collective consciousness is the set of shared beliefs, ideas and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society. It is a shared understanding of social norms. Collective conciousness integrates and develops solidarity in society. The concepts of an individuals concrousness are largely shared in common with all other members of their society creating a solidarity through mutual likeness.

The old story teller narrates the story of Apenyo to the children of the village. She describes the atrocities happened on the cold, dreadful, black Sunday to Apenyo. She warns them and tells them that Apenyo sang her last song even as one more Nago village began weeping for ravaged and ruined children.

Those people who are supposed to protect the common people from enemies, have themselves turned out to be a curse to them. Thus Temsula Ao points out the vulnerable condition and helplessness of women as a result of insurgency and countering surgency in Nagaland. She draws out attention to the condition, where normal people are compelled to give away all the hopes about peaceful life. The state and under ground forces made their lifes unbearable and tear it apart like a piece of paper.

English Summary

A White Heron Summary Notes

A White Heron Summary Notes

A White Heron About the Author

Sarah Orne Jewett (September 3, 1849 – June 24, 1909) was an American novelist, short story writer and poet, best known for her local color works set along or near the southern seacoast of Maine. Jewett is recognized as an important practitioner of American literary regionalism.

At age 19, Jewett published her first important story in the Atlantic Monthly, and her reputation grew throughout the 1870s and 1880s. Some of Jewett’s poetry was collected in ‘Verses’ (1916), and she also wrote three children’s books. Willa Cather described Jewett as a significant influence on her development as a writer. Feminist critics have siasrchanpioned her writing for its rich account of women’s lives and voices. ‘AWhite Heron’ (1886), is a collection of short stories and is one of her finest works.

The story deals with the strong bond between nature and human beings. The subtle eco-concem of the women is woven dexterously by the author.

A White Heron Summary

The given short story is by the American novelist and short – story writer Theodora Sarah Ome Jewett (1949-1909). She was bom into a New England family in the Coastal town of South Berwick, Maine, Her ‘The Country of the Pointed Firs’ (1891) is considered a masterpiece. ‘A White Heron’ is extracted from her short story collection, ‘A White Heron and Other Stories’. It is about a young city girl named Sylvia who came to live with her grandmother in the country.

She meets a young ornithologist hunter seeking to find a rare bird that he recently spotted in the area. As the story progresses, Sylvia is challenged with whether or not she should tell the hunter the she saw the bird. Awhite Heron She also discovers her passion for country life and her love and values for the animals that inhabit it.

The story begins on a lovely June evening. The woods are filled with long shadows. It was before eight O’ Clock and a bright sunset still flickered faintly among the tree trunks. Ayoung girl named Sylvia, who was nine years old, was leading her grandmother’s cow Mistress Moolly home. As it was getting dark Sylvia was in a hurry but the cow plodded and slowed her down. Sylvia loved the cow dearly. Since both knew the path back home, they were not in a hurry.

Sylvia was afraid that her grandmother, Mrs. Tilley would scold her for being late. But she knew that her grandmother had also experienced the difficulty in finding the cow in the woods and she would forgive her. Moreover, her grandmother was grateful for her help.

Sylvia was brought up in a crowded manufacturing town for eight years. The only greenery she had seen was her neighbour ’s ‘Wretched Geranium’ (a garden plant with red, pinkr or white flowers). Sylvia felt herself come alive when she came to live at her grandmother’s farm. Everybody thought that it was a good change for her. Sylvia loved the out – doors and spent most of her time loitering in the woods.

Her grandmother recalled that Sylvia’s mother had told her that she was afraid of people. As soon as Sylvia and her grandmother reached the farm, a cat came to her and rubbed itself against her, purring softly. Sylvia had felt that the firm was a great and beautiful place to live in. She never wished to go back to her parents.

As Sylvia and Mistress Moolly moved through the darkening woods towards the farm, she felt as if she were a part of the grey shadows and the moving leaves. She had been on the farm for a year now and wondered whether serything was fine back in the noisy town. Suddenly she recalled the ‘great red-faced boy’ back in the town who used to harass her. She felt afraid and hurried down the path to escape from the shadow of the trees.

Suddenly, the little girl was terrified to hear a clear whistle near by. She tried to hide in the bushes but she was spotted by the man who whistled. The stranger was a tall young man. He carried a gun over his shoulder. He asked her how far it was to the road Sylvia whispered that it was quite far away. The stranger walked along the path with her and explained that he had been hunting for birds and seemed to have lost his way. He asked her if he could spend the night at her house. Sylvia was alarmed because she did not know what her grandmother would say. She told him that her name was, Sylvia.

Her grandmother was standing at the door waiting for her. She thought that the stranger was one of the farmer – lads of the region and offered to take him in for the night.

The young man was surprised to find such a clean and comfortable house in the middle ofNew England wilderness. They had dinner together. He listened eagerly to Mrs. Tilley’s quaint talk but also watched Sylvia.’s pale face and shining grey eyes with curiosity.

Mrs.Tilley talked frankly with the stranger. She told him that her son, Dan, was a good hunter. He was an adventurous boy. He had left home and she did not know whether he was dead or alive. She had lost all her children except Sylvia’s mother and her grandchildren, who were in California. The stranger listened to Mrs. Tilley with great interest when she told him that Sylvia had be friended many animals in the near – by woods and she knew her way through the woods quite well.

She told him that Sylvia could charm squirrels to come and eat from her hands. Last winter, Sylvia had tamed some jay-birds. She had fed the birds with her own meals. The old told the stranger that her son, Dan and her husband did not get along well and he had left home in a huff His father had died pinning away for his estranged son.

The young guest ignored her tale of woes. He was only interested in Sylvia’s knowledge of birds. He told Mrs. Tilley that he was collecting birds since his childhood. He also had a few rare birds. When Mrs. Tilley asked him if he kept the birds in a cage, he revealed that he had stuffed and preserved dozens of birds. The young man was an Ornithologist (a person who studies about birds) and he had shot of snared every bird in his collection.

He told them that he had spied a white heron in the woods not far away from their house, last Saturday and he had followed it in the direction of the farm. He explained them that it was a little white heron that had never been found in the district at all. The young man looked at Sylvia and asked her if she was familiar with the heron. Sylvia was distraught of course, she had seen that strange white heron. She had seen it once when it stood in a swamp on the other side of the woods.

The young Ornithologist offered ten dollars to her if she helped him to find the great white heron. Sylvia was tom between the lure of the ten dollars and her love for animals and birds. That night she lay awake thinking of all the things she could buy with the ten dollars. The next day the young man took her along to the woods. Sylvia lost her initial fear of him as he proved to be kind and sympathetic.

Sylvia wondered why the charmingyourig man killed the birds which he sought out with great interest. She gradually fell in love with him. She felt sorry that the white heron was elusive. In the evening they headed to the farm. They reached a great pinee tree about half – a mile from the farm.

That great pine tree was the only surviving tree among its generation. It was left as a bounds mark wood-cutters who had cut down all the other pine trees were dead. It was the tallest tree in the entire forest. Sylvia believed that anyone who climbed to the top of that tall pine tree could see the ocean. She had always dreamt of climbing to the top of tree. That day she looked at the tree with a new excitement, she thought that if she climbed the top the tree early in the morning she would be able to easily discover the hidden nest ofthe white heron.

That night, Sylvia could not sleep. She lay awake thinking ofher impending adventure. She imagined the delight and glory she would earn after discovering the secret abode ofthe white heron.

The next day, she stole out ofthe house when it was still dark, afraid the morning would after all come too soon. She hunied’along pasture path through the woods, “Listening with a sense of comfort and companion ship to the drowsy twitter of a half-awakened bird, whose perch she had jarred in passing. Alas, if the great wave of human interest which flooded for the first time this dull little life should sweep away the satisfactions of an existence heart to heart with nature and the dumb life of the forest!”

Sylvia reached the great tall pine tree. The tree appeared to be asleep in the pale moonlight. The tree seemed like a monstrous ladder reaching up almost to the sky itself. She decided to first climb up an oak tree beside the great pine tree, she often had climbed.

She knew that top branches of that oak tree grew close to the lower branches at the pine tree and if she climbed to top branches of the Oak tree she could easily reach the lower branches of the pine tree and easily grab them and climb on to pine tree she knew it was dangerous but boldly climbed up the oak tree and made the dangerous maneuver to the lower branches of the pine tree.

As she boldly climbed up the pine tree, it seemed harder then she had thought. She had to reach far up and hold tight. The dry twigs scratched her all over. She had to hurry as sparrows and robins in the woods were beginning to wake and twitter to the dawn.

At last she triumphantly reached the top of the pine tree. She saw the ocean far away, the rising sun making a golden dazzle over it. She saw two hawks flying in slow circles. From the top of the pine tree, Sylvia felt that she could reach them easily. She felt that she too could go flying away among the clouds. The sun rose up spreading a bewildering bright fight. She looked around and wondered where the white heron had built its nest.

As she looked down at the green marshes among the birches and hemlocks (trees), she suddenly spotted the white bird, like a single floating feather, rise from the hemlocks and slowly fly past the pine tree with steady sweep of its wings and outstretched slender neck and crested head. Sylvia’s eager eyes followed the coveted bird. The heron sat on a ear- by pine tree. He sat on the branch calling his mate and pluming his feathers.

The heron flew away when some cat – birds came and sat on the tree. Sylvia watched it fly back to its secret abode. Now that she knew where to find the heron, she carefully came down the pine tree and went back home.

The young Omithlogist got up and hurriedly dressed up eager to go out on the hunt for the white heron. He was sure that Sylvia knew where to find the white heron. He saw her coming back to the farm and resolved to get the truth from her.

When her grandmother and the young stranger asked her where she had been, she remained resolutely silent. The young man looked straight into her eyes.

Sylvia is in a dilemma .She wonders what is keeping her from disclosing the white heron’s secret abode to the young stranger. She wonders if the white heron was more precious than the ten dollars that the stranger had offered her. She wonders if she was throwing away the only chance the great world had offered in her nine years of life.

She recalls the white heron flying through the golden air. Sylvia remains resolutely silent. The young stranger is looking at her with hope and asks her if she had seen the heron. But he is surprised when she remains silent. He goes away disappointed. As she grows older, Sylvia always wonders if she had made the right choice.

Many a night Sylvia heard the echo of the strangers whistle in the woods. She wonders if the birds were better friends than their hunter (the young man) might have been. The author wishes that the wood – lands and summer-time remember to brings gifts and graces and tell – their secrets to the lonely country girl, Sylvia, because she had lost a fortune to save the life of a white heron.

A White Heron Glossary

  • Inclined: In the mood
  • Wistul: With fonging or unfulfilled desire
  • Ceased: Stopped or discontinued
  • Ponderous: Slow and clumsy because of great weight
  • Premonition: A feeling, not based on reason, that something is so or will happen
  • Provoke: Tending to cause a reaction-typically an emotional reaction such as anger
  • Waned: Grew smaller (in this context,the amount of day that is left)
  • Twillight: The time of day between daylight and darkness just after sunset
  • Wavers: Moving back and forth
  • Discreetly: Inconspicuoously,in a manner unlikely to attract attention
  • Talons: Sharp hooked claws
  • Wary: Nervous or distrustful
  • Torment: To cause or to experience great mental or physical suffering
  • Wretched: Very bad
  • Dilatory: Slow, inclined to cause delay
  • Shoal: Stretch of shallow water
  • Demure: Modest, quiet and shy
  • Elusive: Difficult to get a hold of
  • Proffered: Offered,in this context a .suggestion ‘ criticize
  • Rebuke: Severely
  • Quaint: Unusual but in an interesting or pleasing way

A White Heron Questions and Answers

Question 1.
Who are Sylvia and Mistress Moolly? How does Sylvia feel about Mistress Moolly?
Answer:
Sylvia is the granddaughter of Mrs. Tilley. She is’ the daughter of Mrs. Tilley’s only surviving daughter. Her daughter lived in California an industrial town in the USA, Mistress Moolly was Mrs. Tilley’s milch cow. She had come to the country to live with her grandmother. Mistress Moolly was sylvia’s valued companion.

Question 2.
Why is Moolly considered a ‘valued companion’ of Sylvia?
Answer:
Sylvia’s grandmothers farm was on a lonley countryside beside a forest. There were not many children for her to play with. Her only companion were her grandmother, and the cow, Mistress Mooley Sylvia took the cow to graze in the woods. Sylvia had no playmates so she lent herself to the cow’s pranks, which hid among the tall bushes as if they were playing hide and seek. Besides the cow gave plenty of milk for the family. Moreover, by taking out the cow to graze in the woods, Sylvia had the opportunity to roam about in the woods. Hence Moolly is considered as a valuable companion.

Question 3.
What was the reaction of Sylvia when she heard the whistling sound the stranger?
Answer:
Sylvia was horror – stricken to hear a clear whistle not very far away. It was not a bird’s whistle, which would have a sort of friendliness but a boy’s whistle, determined and some what agressive. She left the cow and discreetly tried to step aside into the bushes.

Question 4.
Why does the young man decide to stay at Mrs. Tilley’s cottage?
Answer:
The young man came to know form Sylvia that the road was very far away from the woods. He had lost his way while he was hunting for birds in the woods. He wanted to start his hunting early in the morning and decided to stay at Sylvia’s house that night. Besides it was getting dark.

Question 5.
How does living in the farm suit Sylvia’s nature and personality?
Answer:
Sylvia loitered occasionally all alone in the woods. It seemed that it was a good change for little nine year old girl who grew up in a crowded manufacturing town. Sylvia seemed as if she never had been alive at all before she came to live at the farm. She was a bold and brave girl and she became well aquainted with the woods. She befriended birds and squirrels and many birds.

Question 6.
How does the hunter describe the heron to Sylvia?
Answer:
The hunter told them that he had caught a glimpse of a white heron a few miles from the farm and followed it in that direction. He told them that such white herons have never been found in the district. He described the White Heron as a queer tall white bird with soft feathers and long thin legs and it would have a nest perhaps in the top of a high tree, made of sticks, something like a hawks nest.

Question 7.
Why is the hunter determined to add a White Heron to his collection? What are some details that show this determination?
Answer:
The hunter was Ornithologist. He had stuffed and preserved dozens and dozens of birds. He had shot or snared each of those birds himself. He had been collecting birds since he was a boy. There were two or three very rare birds that he had been hunting for more than five years: He wanted to get them on in the district itself if they could be found, instead of hunting themin other districts.

He was determined to find that white heron’s nest. He would give a reward often dollars to anybody who would show it to him. He planned to spend his whole vacation hunting for it if it was needed.

Question 8.
How would Sylvia’s and her grandmothers lives have changed if they had the ten dollars from the stranger?
Answer:
Sylvia and her grandmother were poor. The young stranger could make them rich with the ten dollars he offered.

Question 9.
What creates suspicion in the grandmother’s and the hunter’s mind that Sylvia has seen the white heron at sometime?
Answer:
Sylvia’s grandmother knows that she knew every foot of the woods quite well. She knew that Sylvia was familar with all the birds and animals in the woods and also befriended them. The stranger was sure that sylvia had seen the heron sometime from the way the shy little girl looked once or twice that night.

II. Answer the Following Questions in About a Page

Question 1.
Describe Sylvia’s life in her grandmother’s farm?
Answer:
Sylvia is the grand daughter of Mrs. Tilley. She is the daughter of Mrs. Tilley’s only surviving daughter. Her daughter lived in California an industrial town in the USA Mistress Moolly was Mrs. Tilley’s Milch cow, had come to the country to live with her grandmother. Mistress Moolly was Sylvia’s valued companion.

Sylvia’s grandmothers farm was on a lonley countryside beside a forest. There were not many children for her to play with. Her only companion were her grandmother, and the cow, Mistress Moolly. Sylvia took the cow to graze in the woods Sylvia had no playmates so she’lent herself to the cow’s Pranks, whichhid among the tall bushes as if they were playing hide and seek.

Besides the cow gave plenty of milk for the family. Moreover, by taking out the cow to graze in the woods, Sylvia had the opportunity to roam about in the woods. Hence Moolly is considered as a valuable companion.

Sylvia loitered occasionally all alone in the woods. It seemed that it was a good change for little nine year old girl who grew up in a crowded manufacturing town. Sylvia seemed as if she never had been alive at all before she came to live at the farm. She was a bold and brave girl and she became well aquainted with the woods. She befriended birds and suqrrels and many birds.

Question 2.
Bring out the cordiality between Sylvia and her grandmother?
Answer:
Sylvia a nine year old shy girl had come to live on her grandmothers farm from a crowded manufacturing city. She had lived on the farm for a year now, Sylvia took the cow, named Mistress Moolly to graze in the near-by wood. Sylria loitered occasionally all alone and her grandmother understood that there weren’t many children who didn’t stray about out doors since the world was made.

One day, Mistress Moolly played traunt for a long time in the woods Sylvia took a long time to search for her it was very late in the evening when Sylvia found her and led her towards the farm. Sylvia wondered what her grandmother would say because she was so late. But she knew that even her grandmother had freed the difficulty of finding the cow in the woods, before Sylvia had come to five with her. Sylvia’s grandmother had been told that she was afraid of folks. Mrs. Tilley consoled herself that there weren’t many people around the farm for sylvia to be afraid of.

On the way back to the farm, she was accosted by a young hunter who requested her to provide him shelter for the night. She took him to her grandmother. Her grandmother was waiting at the doorway. She berated Mistress Moolly for being the cause of Sylvin coming home late. Sylvia’s grand mother was Proud that her grand daughter was well acquainted with the woods hear their farm, She was proud of her grand daughter’s ability to befriend squrriels and all sorts of birds.

Question 3.
Do you think the stranger tries to exploit Sylvia’s fondness for him and Mrs.Tilley’s need for money? Explain?
Answer:
No, I do not think the stranger tried to exploit Sylvia’s fondness for him. He was just interested in knowing the where abouts of the prized white heron. When he heard that Sylvia knew all about birds, he watched her with enthusiasm. He became sure that Sylvia knew the abode of the white heron from the way the shy little girl looked once or twice the day before.

The young man was impressed by Mrs. tilley’s hospitality and her clean anctcohfortable little dwelling. He saw that they were poor people so in return for their hospitality and to help them in their poverty he had offered ten dollars to Sylvia to show him the nest of the white heron. Moreover he was determined to have that white heron in his collection and he seemed to go to any length to obtain it.

Question 4.
Describe the efforts made by Sylvia to locate the heron’s nest?
Answer:
That night, Sylvia could not sleep. She lay awake thinking of her impending adventure. She imagined the delight and glory she would earn after discovering the secret abode of the white heron.

The next day, she stole out of the house when it was still dark, afraid the mrirriing would after all come too soon She hurried along pasture path through the woods, “Listening with a sense of comfort and companionship to the drowsy twitter of a half-awakened bird, whose perch she had jarred in passing. Alas, if the great wave of human interest which flooded for the first time this dull little life should sweep away the satisfactions of an existence heart to heart with nature and the dumb life ofthe forest!”

Sylvia reached the great tall pine tree. The tree appeared to be asleep in the pale moonlight. The tree seemed like a monstrous ladder reaching up almost to the sky itself. She decided to first climb up an oak tree beside the great pine tree, she often had climbed. She knew that top branches of that oak tree grew close to the lower branches at the pine tree and if she climbed to the top branches of the Oak tree she could easily reach the lower branches of the pine tree and easily grab them and climb on to the pine tree.

She knew it was dangerous but boldly climbed up the oak tree and made the dangerous maneuver to the lower branches of the pine tree. As she boldly climbed up the pine tree, it seemed harder then she had thought. She had to reach far up and hold tight. The dry twigs scratched her all over. She had to hurry as sparrows and robins in the woods were beginning to wake and twitter to the dawn.

At last she triumphantly reached the top of the pine tree. She saw the ocean far away, the rising sun making a golden dazzle over it. She saw two hawks flying in slow circles. From the top of the pine tree, Sylvia felt that she could reach them easily. She felt that she too could go flying away among the clouds.

The sun rose up spreading a bewildering bright light. She looked around and wondered where the white heron had built its nest. As she looked down at the green marshes among the birches and hemlocks (trees), She suddenly spotted the white bird, like a single floating feather, rise from the hemlocks and slowly fly past the pine tree with steady sweep of its wings and outstretched slender neck and crested head.

Sylvia’s eager eyes followed the coveted bird. The heron sat on a near – by pine tree, He sat on the branch calling his mate and pluming his feathers. The heron flew away when some cat – birds came and sat on the tree. Sylvia watched it fly back to its secret abode. Now that she knew where to find, the heron, she carefully came down the pine tree and went back home.

Question 5.
How does the author bring nature into the stoiy through the landscape of the farm and the area that surrounds it?
Answer:
The Story ‘A white heron’ deals with the strong bond between nature and human beings. Sylvia is a nine year old girl, who comes to live on her grandmother’s form She and her mother are the only surviving relatives of Mrs. Tilley Sylvia was bom in a crowded Manufacturing town and lived there for the first eight years of her life.

The story is set on a farm in the rural country-side surrounded by pristine green woods. Sylvia has a deep connection with nature she is very familiar with the woods and its animals and enjoys loitering about the woods the whole day. Though Mrs. Tilley’s farm is a beautiful place to live in Sylvia longs be in the natural surroundings near the farm.

At the beginning of the story Sarah Ome Jewett gives a vivid description of nature – ‘The woods were already filled with shad¬ows one june eveing, just before eight o’ clock, though a bright sunset still glimmered faintly among the trunks of the trees’. This creates the mood and atmosphere of the story.

III. Answer the Following Questions in About two Pages:

Question 1.
The writer blends the plot seamlessly with the pristine beauty of nature?
Answer:
The story ‘A white Heron’ is set in a farm in the American counry-side, surrounded by pristine green forests. Sarah Ome Jewett begins the story giving a vivid description of nature “The woods were already filled with shadows one june eveing just before eight o’clock, though a bright still glimmered fainally among the trunks of the trees”.

A little girl named Sylvia, a nine year old shy girlhad come to live on her grandmothers form from a crowded manufacturing city. She had lived on the farm for a year now, Sylvia took the cow, named Mistress Moolly to graze in the near-by wood. Sylvia loitered occasionally all alone and her grandmother understood that there weren’t many children who didn’t stray about outdoors since the world was made.

One day, Mistress Moolly played traunt for a long time in the woods Sylvia took a long time to search for her. It was very late in the evening when Sylvia found her and led her towards the farm Sylvia wondered what her grandmother would say because she was so late.

But she knew that even her grandmother had faced the difficulty of finding the cow in the woods, before sylvia had eome to live withher. Sylvia’s grandmother had been told that she was afraid of folks. Mrs. Tilley consoled herself that there weren’t many people around the form for Sylvia to be afraid of.

On the way back to the farm, she was accosted by a young took him to her grandmother. Her grandmother was waiting at the doorway. She berated Mistress Moolley for being the cause of Sylvin coming home late. Sylvia’s grandmother was proud that her ^ granddaughter was well acquainted with the woods near their farm. She was proud of her grand daughter’s ability to befriend squrriles and all sorts birds.

Both the lover of nature (Sylvia) and the destroyer (hunter) neet is the natural surroundings of the wood near Sylria’s farm house. The hunter is seeking a rare White heron, a part of nature Sylvia was fortunate to have had a glimpse of the white heron in the green mashes of the wood.

The hunter offer ten dollar’s to Sylvia for any information about the white heron for a little girl like Sylvia, ten dollars is riches beyond imagination. She climbs the tallest pine tree in the woods and finds out the abode of the heron. But in the end, her love for nature prevents her from disclosing the location of the white heron.

Question 2.
Nature nurtures while the hunter destroys. Discuss the reassertion of gender stereotypes in the story?
Answer:
Sylvia a nine year old, shy girl had come to live on her grandmothers farm from a crowded manufacturing city. She had lived on the farm for a year now Sylvia took the cow, named Mistress Moolly to graze in the near-by wood. Sylvia loitered occasionally all alone and her grandmother understood that there werent many children who didn’t strayed about out the cow, doors since the world was made.

One day, Mistress Moolly played traunt for a long time in the woods Sylvia took a long time to search for her. It was very late in the evening when Sylvia found her and led her towards the farm sylvia Pondered what her grandmother would say because she was so late. But she knew that even grandmother had faced the difficulty of finding the cow in the woods, before Sylvia had come to live withher. Sylvia’s grandmother had been told that she was afraid of folks. Mrs. Tilley consoled herself that there weren’t many people around the farm for Sylvia to be afraid of.

On the way back to the farm, she was accosted by a young hunter who requested her to provide him shelter for the night. She took him to her grandmother. Her grandmother was waiting at the doorway. She berated Mistress Mooli for being the cause of Sylvin coming home late. Sylvia’s grand mother was proud that her grand daughter was well acquainted with the woods near their farm. She was proud ofher granddaughter’s ability to befriend squarilles and all sorts birds.

The hunter was Ornithologist. He had stuffed and preserved dozens and dozens of birds. He had shot or snared each of those birds himself. He had been collecting birds since he was a boy. There were two or three very rare birds that he had been hunting for more than five years. He wanted to get them in the district itself if they could be found, instead of hunting them in other districts.

He was determined to find that white heron’s nest. He would give a reward of ten dollars to anybody who would show it to him. He planned to spend his whole vacation hunting for it if it was needed. The charaters of Sylvia, her grand mother and Mistress Moolly are all feminine. These female characters uphold the notion of feminity in the story and represent the protectors of nature. The character of the hunter reinforces the gender stereotype as destroyer of nature.

Question 3.
Sylvia’s sacrifice shows her undying love for the white heron. Substantiate?
Answer:
The young Ornithologist came to know that Sylvia was familiar with every part of the woods. He asked her if she had seen the strange white heron. Sylvia was distraught of course, she had seen that strange white heron. She had Seen it once when it stood in a swamp on the other side of the woods.

The young Ornithologist offered ten dollars to her if she helped him to find the great white heron. Sylvia was tom between the lure of the ten dollars and her love for animals and birds. That night she lay awake thinking of all the things she could buy with the ten dollars.

The next day the young man took her along to the woods. Sylvia lost her initial fear of him as he proved to be kind and sympathetic. Sylvia wondered why the charming young man killed the birds which he sought out with great interest. She gradually fell in love with him.

She felt sorry that the white heron was elusive. In the evening they headed to the farm. They reached a great pine tree about half – a mile from the farm. That great pine tree was the only surviving tree among its generation. It was left as a boundary mark: Even the wood-cutters who had cut down all the other pine trees were dead.

It was the tallest tree in the entire forest. Sylvia believed that anyone who climbed to the top of that tall pine tree could see the ocean. She had always dreamt of climbing to the top of tree. That day she looked at the tree with a new excitement, she thought that if she climbed the top the tree early in the morning she would be able to easily discover the hidden nest of the white heron.

That night, Sylvia could not sleep. She lay awake thinking of her impending adventure. She imagined the delight and glory she would earn after discovering the secret abode of the white heron.

The next day, she stole out of the house when it was still dark, afraid the morning would after all come too soon She hurried along the pasture path through the woods, “Listening with a sense of comfort and companionship to the drowsy twitter of a half – awakened bird, whose perch she had jarred in passing. Alas, if the great wave of human interest which flooded for the first time this dull little life should sweep away the satisfactions of an existence heart to heart with nature and the dumb life of the forest!”

Sylvia reached the great tall pine tree. The tree appeared to be asleep in the pale moonlight. The tree seemed like a monstrous ladder reaching up almost to the sky itself. She decided to first climb up an oak, tree beside the great pine tree, she often had climbed.

She knew that top branches of that oak tree grew close to the lower branches at the pine tree and if she climbed to top branches of the Oak-tree she could easily reach the lower branches of the pine tree and easily grab them and climb on to pine tree she knew it was dangerous but boldly climbed up the oak tree and made the dangerous maneuver to the lower branches ofthe pine tree. As she boldly climbed up the pine tree, it seemed harder then she had thought. She had to reach far up and hold tight.

The dry twigs scratched her all over. She had to hurry as sparrows and robins in the woods were beginning to wake and twitter to the dawn. At last she triumphantly reached the top ofthe pine tree. She saw the ocean far away, the rising sun making a golden dazzle over it. She saw two hawks flying in slow circles. From the top of the pine tree, Sylvia felt that she could reach them easily.

She felt that she too could go flying awayamong the clouds. The sun roseup spreading a bewildering bright light. She looked around and wondered where the white heron had built its nest. As she looked down at the green marshes among the birches and hemlocks (trees), she suddenly spotted the white bird, like a single floating feather, rise from the hemlocks and slowly fly past the pine tree with sweep of its wings and outstretched slender neck and crested head. Sylvia’s eager eyes followed the coveted bird. The heron sat on a near – by pine tree. He sat on the branch calling his mate and pluming his feathers.

The heron flew away when some cat – birds came and sat on the tree. Sylvia watched it flyback to its secret abode. Now that she knew where to find the heron, she carefully came down the pine tree and went back home.

The young Omithlogist got up and hurriedly dressed up eager to go out on the hunt for the white heron. He was sure that Sylvia knew where to find the white heron. He saw her coming back to the farm and resolved to get the truth from her. When her grandmother and the young stranger asked her where she had been, she remained resolutely silent. The young man looked straight into her eyes.

Sylvia is in a dilemma. She wonders what is keeping her from disclosing the white heron’s secret abode to the young stranger. She wonders if the white heron was more precious than the ten dollars that the stranger had offered her. She wonders if she was throwing away the only chance the great world had offered in her nine years of life.

She recalls the white heron flying through the golden air. Sylvia remains resolutely silent. The young stranger is looking at her with hope and asks her if she had seen the heron. But he is surprised when she remains silent. He goes away disappointed. As she grows older, Sylvia always wonders if she had made the right choice. Thus she proves her undying love for the white heron.

Question 4.
Sylvia’s love for nature and the hunter’s passion for taxi-dermy are juxta-posed in the story. Discuss?
Answer:
Sylvia a nine year old shy girl had come to live on her grandmothers farm from a crowded manufacturing city. She had lived on the firm for a year now, Sylvia took the cow, named Mistress Moolly to graze in the near-by wood. Sylvia loitered occasiomally all alone and her grandmother understood that there werent many children who didn’t strayed about outdoors since the world was made.

One day, Mistress Moolly played trant for a long time in the woods. Sylvia took a long time to search for her it was very late in the evening when Sylvia found her and led her towards the farm. Sylvia wondered what her grandmother would say because she was so late. But she knew that even grandmother had faced the difficalty of finding the cow in the woods, before Sylvia had come to five with her. Sylvia’s grandmother had been told that she was afraid of folks. Mrs. Tilley conso led herself that there weren’t many people around the form for Sylvia tobe afraid of.

On the way back to the farm, she was accosted by a young hunter who requested her to provide him shelter for the night. She took him to her grandmother. Her grandmother was waiting at the doorway. She berated Mistress Moolly for being the cause of Sylvin coming home late. Sylvia’s grand mother was provided that her grand daughter was well acquainted with the woods near their farm she was proud of her granddaughter’s ability to befriend squrriels and all sorts birds.

The hunter was Ornithologist. He had stuffed and preserved dozens and dozens of birds. He had shot or snared each of those birds hinmself. He been collecting birds since he was a boy. There were two or three very rare birds that he had been hunting for more than five years.

He wanted to get them on in the district itself if they could be found, instead of hunting them in other districts. He was determined to find that white heron’s nest. He would give a reward of ten dollars to anybody who would show it to him. He planned to spend his whole vacation hunting for it if it was needed.

The young man looked at Sylvia and asked her if she was familiar with the heron. Sylvia was distraught. Of course, she had seen that strange white heron. She had seen it once when it stood in a swamp on the other side of the woods. The young Ornithologist offered ten dollars to her if she helped him to find the great white heron.

Sylvia was tom between the lure of the ten dollars and her love for animals and birds. That night she lay awake thinking of all the things she could buy with the ten dollars. That night, Sylvia could not sleep. She lay awake thinking ofher impending adventure. She imagined the delight and glory she would earn after discovering the secret abode of the white heron. The next day, she stole out of the house when it was still dark, afraid the morning would after all come too soon.

Sylvia boldly climbed up the great pine tree. She discovered the white Heron abode. She fell in love with the bird. Sylvia is in a dilemma. She wonders what is keeping her from disclosing the white heron’s secret abode to the young stranger. She wonders if the white heron was more precious than the ten dollars that the stranger had offered her. She wonders if she was throwing away the only chance the great world had offered in her nine years of life.

She recalls the white heron flying through the golden air. Sylvia remains resolutely silent. The young Stranger is looking at her with hope and asks her if she had seen the heron. But he is surprised when she remains silent. He goes away disappointed. As she grows older, Sylvia always wonders if she had made the right choice.

Many a night Sylvia heard the echo of the strangers whistle in the woods. She wonders if the birds were better friends than their hunter (the young man) might have been.

The author wishes that the wood – lands and summer-time remember to brings gifts and graceatand tell – their secrets to the lonely country girl, Sylvia, because she had lost a fortune to save the life of a white heron.

Question 5.
Sylvia is an ecofeminist in her own right. Elaborate?
Answer:
Ecofeminist is a branch of feminism that sees evnironmentalism, and the relationship between women and the earth, as foundational to its analysis and practice. Ecofeminism is an activist and academic movement that sees critical connections between the domination of nature and the of women.

Yes, Sylvia is an ecofeminist in her own right. Sarah Ome Jewett’s ‘A White Heron’ is remarkable because the story is simple, but it converys the power of male dimination and the duty of woman to protect Nature. It is the story of, Sylvia, a young girl who comes from the city to live with he grandmother in the rural formland she feels this farm is better than the city because it the surrounding beautiful nature, friendly animals and birds and he kind grandmother.

She losters in the woods the whole day grazing her ‘valuable companion’ Mistress Molley – a cow but one day, her communion with nature is intruded upon by a young ornithologist with a gun. He is looking for a rare white heron. He wants to stuff the white heron as a part of his taxidermy collection.

He asks sylvia if she can tell him where the bird is sylvia makes the decision not to tell him the secret of the white heron although he offers her ten dollars for the information. At the end of the story, sylvia shows her strength and determinations in protecting the nature which she loves dearly from the young man. Her decision shows the nation that woman and nature can help each other and can be liberated together from the male – dominated society.

English Summary

The Adventures of Hanchi: A Kannada Cinderella Summary Notes

The Adventures of Hanchi: A Kannada Cinderella Summary Notes

The Adventures of Hanchi: A Kannada Cinderella About the Author

Attipate Krishnaswami Ramanujan (16 March, 1929-13 July, 1993) also known as A. K. Ramanujan, was a poet, scholar, philologist, folklorist, trans lator, and playwright. His academic research ranged across five languages: English, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, and Sanskrit. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award posthumously in 1999 for his collection of poems, ‘The Selected Poems’.

The story deals with the trials and tribulations Hanchi feces in her life. It shares the characteristics of a typical Indian folk tale with innumerable twists and turns which keeps the reader engrossed.

The Adventures of Hanchi: A Kannada Cinderella Summary

The Given Short story “The Adventures ofHanchi: A Kannada Cinderella” is by A.K. Ramanujan. Attipate Krishnaswami Ramanuj an (16 March, 1929-13 July, 1993) also known as A. K. Ramanujan, was a poet, scholar, philologist, folklorist, trans lator, and playwright. His academic research ranged across five languages: English, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, and Sanskrit. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award posthumously in 1999 for his collection of poems, The Selected Poems’.

The story deals with the trials and tribulations Hanchi faces in -.. her life. It shares the characteristics of a typical Indian folk tale with innumerable twists and turns which keeps the reader engrossed.

Once there lived an old woman with her son and daughter. The girl had beautiful golden tresses. As they grew up the girl turned out to be a beautiful young women. Her brother was enamored by her ’ beauty and fell in love with her. He decided to marry her. The old woman was horrified at his unethical and unnatural request.

She did not disclose her feelingsdo him but cleverly asked him to go to the near-by town and purchase all the things needed for the wedding After he left for the town, the aggrieved mother called her beautiful daughter and told her that she was too beautiful to live in the house and it was better she went away to a safe place. That night the old woman gave a potter a gold pot and purchased a clay mask to fit her daughter’s face. Later that night she asked her daughter to wear the mask and warned her not to remove the mask until it was safe enough to show her real face.

When the poor girl left her house, the old women committed suicide by poisoning herself. The son returned to find his mother dead and his bride – sister was no where to be seen. He was so shocked at the incident that he bst his mind and became of wandering madman.

The poor girl moved from place to place until the food that her mother had packed for her lasted. She changed her name to Hanchi. When she came to a place far away from her home. She befriended an old woman who gave her food and shelter. The old woman came to know that a ‘Saukar’ of the town needed a maid – servant and sent her to work there.

Hanchi was an expert – cook, and could make excellent sweet-rice dishes. One day, the Saukar decided to host a banquet and asked Hanchi to prepare her dishes of sweet rice. When everybody in the house-hold was enjoying the feast, Hanchi decided to take quick oil – bath before they came back.

She removed her mask and undid her golden tresses and started bathing. While she was bathing, the youngest on of the saukar’s sons, came back home, and called for her. She could not hear him and did not answer him He came in search of her and saw her in all her beauty. He ran away quickly before Hanchi could notice him. He fell in love with her glorious hair and immediately decided to marry her.

The young man told his mother about his resolution and she, wondered why he was fascinated by the dark maid-servant. She advised him not to be foolish enough to marry a dark and ugly girl. She tried to convince the young man saying that she would find him a pretty bride from a rich family.

The mother and son argued for a long time, but the young man held fast to his resolve. He took her to Hanchi, pulled off her mask and threw it away. His mother was stupefied at the natural beauty of Hanchi, crowned by her splendid golden tresses. She understood why her son had Men in love with Hanchi. After she heard Hanchi’s strange story she liked Hanchi much better thanbefore.Hanchi and the young man were married at the first auspicious occasion.

The newly married couple was as happy as two doves in love. But fate had other things in store for Hanchi. The rich man had Chief Counselor named Guruswami. He was known for his practice of‘secrete lore and black art’ (Black Magic). He lusted for Hanchi. Hanchi’s mother-in-law was eager for a grandson by Hanchi. She confided this with Guruswami. He assured her that he could make Hanchi conceive through magic art. He asked her to bring him plantains, almonds, betel leaves and nuts for the ritual.

When Guruswami found an auspicious day for the ritual, he summoned Hanchi. He placed the fruits and nuts in front of him and put a magic spell on them, praying that Hanchi should become his. He gave them to Hanchi and asked her to eat them. If Hanchi had eaten them she would have been hypnotized into obeying him. But being a clever girl, she knew the evil work of wicked magicians.

She hood-winked him by eating another banana which she had brought with her, while she dropped the enchanted banana into the pot. The wicked Guruswami went back to his room, believing that his magic would draw her to him. He lay on his bed, with lustful thoughts and dreams.

But to his predicament; a buffalo ate the enchanted banana and fell in love with Guruswami It was in heat and rushed to Guruswami’s room and pushed at the door. The hapless man opened the door, thinking that it was Hanchibut was bruised by the amorous buffalo.

Guruswami’s failure in getting his hands on Hanchi, made him more determined to ensnare her many a time. He convinced her mother-in-law to send Hanchi for certain rites. He tried to give her enchanted almonds, betel leaves and nuts. But Hanchi was careful not to eat them, and stored them in measures and pots.

When Guruswami eagerly awaited her, the pots and pans were attracted to him and knocked at his door. When he opened the door, instead of Hanchi, the lifeless vessels knocked against him leaving him with bruises. One day, Hanchi threw a nut at a broom-stick. The enchanted broom-stick knocked on his door, he unknowingly embraced the thorny broom-stick.

The wicked man then decided to change his tactics. He went to Hanchi’s father-in-law and entreated him to host another o f his magnificent banquets in the garden. The old man agreed and Hanchi prepared her delicious dishes made of sweet rice. She stayed back at the house.

This time, Guruswami had carefully plotted his plan to ensnare Hanchi. While everyone one was in the garden he excused himself saying he had left his magic books at home and hurried back home. On his way he collected many pieces ofmen’s clothing. He secretly entered Hanehi’s room and hid the cloth pieces there. He also threw some chewed betel and smoked cheroots on her bedroom floor.

After planting the false evidences he hurried back to the garden shouting out breathlessly “Your daughter-in-law is an immoral woman! I surprised her with a paramour (secret lover), just a moment ago. She has forgotten the dignity oilier family, her woman hood. This is sinful; it will bring misfortune to your door! O What wickedness!”

The family believed Guruswami as he was their trusted friend. When they rushed back home Guruswami proved his point by showing them the false evidences he had planted in Hanchi’s room The family was as surprised at Hanchi’s immorality.

She tried to prove her integrity by disclosing Guruswami’s unholy intentions towards her. But they were so enraged they refused to believe her. They beat her black and blue and locked her up in room and starved her for three days. Hanchi remained steadfast and refused to confess to the false accusations.

Guruswami was delighted that his plot has worked. He suggested the family to put her in a big-box and throw her into a river. The family agreed and they put Hanchi in a box and gave it to Guruswami. Guruswami’s plot succeeded and he carried away the box with Hanchi in it, a happy man.

Guruswami ordered the servants to take the box to an old woman’s house nearby and leave it there until the next morning. This old women was none other than the one who had helped Hanchi when she came to the town, by getting her the job of a housemaid. Guruswami told the old woman that the box was full of mad dogs and warned her not to meddle with the box

Later, the old women heard some strange sounds coming from the box. Hanchi had recognised the old woman’s voice and was calling out for her. The old women freed Hanchi from the box and saw her pitiable condition and quickly fed her.

Hanchi narrated her tale of woe to the old woman. The old woman thought of a plan to get rid of Guruswami. She managed to procure a muzzled mad dog and locked it up in the box after carefully removing the muzzle. She asked Hanchi to hide inside a room of her house.

The next day Guruswamy came to the old woman’s house full of lustful thoughts. He ordered her to leave him alone in the room for his evening prayers. He locked the door from inside and eagerly opened the lid of the box. He was horrified when he saw a hideous dog leap at him and mangle him with vicious bites.

The old lady could not rest until she had seen justice done to poor Hanchi. One day she invited Hanchi’s husband and his family to her house. Hanchi prepared her delicious sweet-rice dishes and the old woman served it to them. They were reminded of Hanchi’s sweet-dishes.

They were unhappy because they hadlost her. When they were curious to know who other then Hanchi could prepare such sweet-rice dishes as delicious as Hanchi. The old women presented Hanchi herself in flesh and blood. The family could not believe their eyes because they thought she was drowned in the river. They had wondered why their good friend, Guruswami, had gone mad after he had drowned Hanchi in the river.

The old women revealed the truth about Guruswami’s treachery. The family repented their folly and was ashamed that they had believed such a viper (poisonous snake) as Guruswami. They pleaded Hanchi to forgive them and took her home. “Hanchi’s good days had begun; he luck turned and furnished her with every kind of happiness from that day”.

The Adventures of Hanchi: A Kannada Cinderella Glossary

  • Auspicious: Conducive to success; favorable
  • Amorous: lust fill
  • Gullible: Easily persuaded to believe something credulous
  • ‘Planted’: positioned, placed, stationed
  • Resurrection: Raising from the dead, restoration to life.

The Adventures of Hanchi: A Kannada Cinderella Questions and Answers

Question 1.
What was unique about Hanchi?
Answer:
Hanchi had beautiful golden tresses.

Question 2.
What was the demand of the boy?
Answer:
The boy asked his mother to give his sister in marriage to him.

Question 3.
Why was the mother worried?
Answer:
The mother was worried because her son’s wish to marry his sister was unnatural and unethical.

Question 4.
What was Hanchi known for?
Answer:
Hanchi was an expert cook No one could equal her in making dishes of sweet rice.

Question 5.
Where was Hanchi sent to live?
Answer:
Hanchi was sent to the neary-by saukar’s house as a maidservant.

Question 6.
What were the things Guruswami gave to Hanchi?
Answer:
Guruswami gave Hanchi enchanted plantains, almonds, betel leaves and nuts.

Question 7.
Mention the three things that came bacj ti Guruswami by his own magic?
Answer:
The things that came back to Guruswami by his own magic are the measures and bowl sin which Hanchi had stored his enchanted almonds, leaves and nuts. A broom – stick at which Hanchi threw a enchanted nut and a buffallo which ate his enchanted plantain.

II. Answer the Following Questions in About a Page:

Question 1.
What plan did the mother hatch to avoid the marriage of Hanchi with her brother?
Answer:
When the mother heard her son ask her for his sisters hand in marriage, she was shocked and greatly distressed by the unnatural request but she hid her feelings and sent him to the near-by town to bring all the rice and flour and pulses necessary for the wedding. As soon as he left the house, she called her daughter and sadly told her that the time had come for her (daughter) to leave the house.

The mother told her daughter that she was as good as dead to her from that day and that she (daughter) was too beautiful to live in the house in Sofety. She reminded her that no one can gaze at her without desire because of her golden tresses.

She disclosed her plan to her daughter. She told her that she would get a mask made for her (daughter) which will hide her face and save her form further danger. That very night, the old woman went to the village potter, She gave him gold vessel and bought a clay mask to fit her daughters face that very night she sent away her daughter advicing her not to remove the mask from her face until the situation was better, the aggrieved old woman consumed poison and killed herself.

Question 2.
When was Hanchi’s beauty revealed to saukar’s son? What was his reaction?
Answer:
After the girl with golden tresses left her home, she wandered here and there and at last came to a place far away from her home. She changed her name to Hanchi.

She befriended an old woman who gave her food and shelter. The old woman came to know that a ‘Saukar’ of the town needed a maid – servant and sent her to work there. Hanchi was an expert – cook, and could make excellent sweet-rice dishes. One day, the Saukar decided to host a banquet and asked Hanchi to prepare her dishes of sweet rice.

When everybody in the house-hold was. enjoying the feast, Hanchi decided to take quick oil – bath before they came back. She removed her mask and undid her golden tresses and started bathing. While she was bathing, the youngest of of the saukar’s sons, came back home, and called for her. She could not hear him and did not answer him. He came in search of her and saw her in all her beauty. He ran away quickly before Hanchi could notice him He fell in love with her glorious hair and immediately decided to marry her.

Question 3.
What plans did Guruswami employ to entice Hanchi?
Answer:
The rich man’s son, for whom Hanchi worked as a house-maid, saw her in all her glory, when she was having a bath. He was enamoured by her beautiful golden tresses and fell in love with her he married her.

The newly married couple was as happy as two doves in love. But fate had other things in store for Hanchi. The rich man had Chief Counselor named Guruswami. He was known for his practice of ‘secrete lore and black art’ (Black Magic). He lusted for Hanchi. Hanchi’s mother-in-law was eager for a grandson by Hanchi.

She confided this with Guruswami. He assured her that he could make Hanchi conceive through magic art. He asked her to bring him plantains, almonds, betel leaves and nuts for the ritual.

When Guruswami found an auspicious day for the ritual, he summoned Hanchi. He placed the fruits and nuts in front of him and put a magic spell on them, praying that Hanchi should become his. He gave them to Hanchi and asked her to eat them. If Hanchi had eaten them she would have been hypnotized into obeying him.

Question 4.
How did Hanchi outsmart Guruswami?
Answer:
Hanchi’s mother-in-law was eager for a grandson by Hanchi. She confided this with Guruswami. He assured her that he could make Hanchi conceive through magic art. He asked her to bring him plantains, almonds, betel leaves arid nuts for the ritual.

When Guruswami found an auspicious day for the ritual, he summoned Hanchi. He placed the fruits and nuts in front of him and a magic spell on them, praying that Hanchi should become his.

He gave them to Hanchi and asked her to eat them. If Hanchi had eaten them she would have been hypnotized into obeying him. But being a clever girl, she knew the evil work of wicked magicians. She hood-winked him by eating another banana which she had brought with her, while she dropped the enchanted banana into the pot. The wicked Guruswami went back to his room, believing that his magic would draw her to him. He lay on his bed, with lustful thoughts and dreams.

But to his predicament, a buffalo ate the enchanted banana and feU in love with Guruswami It was in heat and rushed to Guruswami’s room and pushed at the door. The hapless man opened the door, thinking that it was Hanchi but was bruised by the amorous buffalo.

Guruswami’s Mure in getting his hands on Hanchi, made him more determined to ensnare her many a time. He convinced her mother-in-law to send Hanchi for certain rites. He tried to give her enchanted almonds, betel leaves and nuts. But Hanchi was careful not to eat them, and stored them in measures and pots.

When Guruswami eagerly awaited her, the pots and pans were attracted to him and knocked at his door. When he opened the door, instead of Hanchi, the lifeless vessels knocked against him leaving him with bruises. One day, Hanchi threw a nut at a broom-stick. The enchanted broom-stick knocked on his door, he unknowingly embraced the thorny broom – stick.

Question 5.
What was the punishment meted out to Hanchi?
Answer:
The family believed Guruswami as he was their trusted friend. When they rushed back home Guruswami proved his point by showing them the false evidences he had planted in Hanchi’s room. The family was as surprised at Hanchi immorality. She tried to prove her integrity by disclosing Guruswami’s unholy intentions towards her.

But they were so enraged they refused to believe her. They beat her black and blue and locked her up in room aind staiyed her for three days. Hanchi remained steadfast and refused to confess to the false accusations. Guruswami was delighted that his plot has worked. He suggested the family to put her in a big-box and throw her into a river. The family agreed and theyput Hanchi in a box and gave it to Guruswami Guruswami’splot succeeded and he carried away the box with Hanchi in it, a happy man.

Question 6.
How did the old woman rescue the girl at the end of the story?
Answer:
Guruswami ordered the servants to’ take the box to an old woman’s house nearby and leave it there until the next morning. This old women was none other than the one who had helped Hanchi when she came to the town, by getting her the job of a housemaid. Guruswami told the old woman that the box was full of mad dogs and warned her not to meddle with the box. Later, the old women heard some strange sounds criming from the box. Hanchi had recognised the old woman’s voice and was calling out for her.

The old women freed Hanchi from the box and saw her pitiable condition and quickly fed her. Hanchi narrated her tale of woe to the old woman. The old woman thought of a plan to get rid of Guruswami. She managed to procure a muzzled mad dog and locked it up in the box after carefully removing the muzzle. She asked Hanchi to hide inside a room of her house.

The next day Guruswamy came to the old woman’s house full of lustful thoughts. He ordered her to leave him alone in the room for his evening prayers. He locked the door from inside and eagerly opened the lid of the box. He was horrified when he saw a hideous dog leap at him and mangle him with vicious bites. He became a lunatic.

Question 7.
‘The adventures’of Hanchi’ is a typical folktale. Discuss?
Answer:
The ‘Adventures of Hanchi’ is a typical folktale broadly based on the very famous English folktale ‘Cindrella’The author A.K. Ramanujan deftly tells the story of Hanchi, a Kannada Cindrella. The story deals with the trials, and tribulations that Hanchi feces in her life. It shares the characteristics of a typical folktale with innumerable twists and turns which keeps the reader engrossed.

A folktale is a traditional story common to a specific culture. They often contain a lesson to be learned. They try to make sense of human existence, help man to cope with the world or explain the orgin of somethmg. Most folktales have a common setting, character, plot, theme and Conflict and style. In a folktale, characters are without liveliness or interest. Most characters are bad.

The hero and heroine are very young. The heroine is very beautiful and has beautiful tresses and she is kind, charitable and caring. The hero is honoroble, courageous, unselfish and caring, One of the characters in the story is an evil magician. The hero or the heroine have special powers and abilities.

In the folktale ‘The adventures of Hanchi’ Hanchi is a beautiful girl with lovely golden tresses. Her mother is a widow who single – handed brings up Hanchi and her elder brother. Hanchi’s brother fells in love with her beautiful tresses and wants to marry her. The conflict is that such a marriage is unnatural.

The mother gets a mask the hide Hanchi’s beauty and sends her away to protect her from her brother. Later she kills herself. Hanchi is a bold girl she wanders aroundand befriends another old women in a fer-off town. The woman gets her employed in a rich man’s house as a house-maid. Hanchi has a special ability. She can cook delicious dishes made of sweet-rice, which no one else can equal. One day, the family is out enjoying a feast in the garden.

Hanchi’s decides to take a bath and removes her mask while she is bathing, the rich-man’s younger son sees her in all her glory and falls in love with her. He marries her. The family’s trusted friend, Guruswami has an evil eye on her. He knows the art of black magic.

He tries to ensure Hanchi, through his black magic, but Hanchi is clever, and dodges all his ploys. The evil man hatches a plan to felsely prove that Hanchi is a immoral woman. The family disowns her. The evil Guruswami has his chance now. He suggests the family to lock her in a box and throw her in the river.

The family agrees and locks Hanchi in a box and give it to Guruswami. He takes the box to an old woman’s house near the river. The old woman is none other than the one who sent Hanchi to the richman’s house as a house – maid. She frees Hanchi and gets a mad-dog and locks it up in the box. When Guruswami comes back and opens the box, the rabid dog pounces and bites him. He becames a lunatic. The old woman, asks Hanchi to prepare her famous dishes made of sweet-rice and invites the rich man’s family for lunch.

She serves them Hanchi’s sweet-rice dishes. They ask her if there was anyone other than Hanqhi who could prepare sweet rice dishes as delicious as Hanchi. The old woman narrates Guruswamis tale of treachery. They are ashamed Mid take back Hanchi. The tale ends on a happy note.

III. Answer the Following Questions in About two Pages:

Question 1.
Bring out the trials and tribulations faced by Hanchi?
OR
Question 2.
Hanchi inspires you to overcome the adversities of life. Elucidate?
Answer:
Yes, Hanchi inspires me to overcome the adversities of life. In the folktale ‘The adventures of Hanchi’ Hanchi is a beautiful girl with lovely golden tresses. Her mother is a widow who single – handed brings up Hanchi and her elder brother. Hanchi’s brother Ms in love with her beautiful tresses and wants to marry her. The conflict is that such a marriage is unnatural.

The mother gets a mask to hide Hanchi’s beauty and sends her away to protect her from her brother. Later she kills herself. Hanchi is a bold girl she wanders around and befriends another old women in a far-off town the woman gets her employed in a rich man’s house as a house-maid. Hanchi has a special ability. She can cook delicious dishes made of sweet-rice, which no one else can equal. One day, the family is out enjoying a feast in the garden ‘Harichi’s decides to take a bath and removes her mask while she is bathing, the rich-man’s younger son sees her in all her glory and fells in love with her.

He marries her. The family’s trusted, friend, Guruswami has an evil eye on her. He knows the art of black Magic. He tries to ensure Hanchi, through his black magic, but Hanchi is clever, and dodges all his ploys. The evil man hatches a plan felsely proves that Hanchi is a unmoral woman. The family disowns her. The evil Guruswami has his chance now. He suggests the femily to lock her in a box and throw her in the river. The family agrees and locks Hanchi inbox and give it to Guruswami.

He takes the box to an old woman’s house near the river. The old woman is none other than the one who sent Hanchi to the richman’s house as a house – maid. She frees Hanchi and gets a mad-dog and locks it up in the box. When Guruswami comes back and opens the box, the rabid dog pounces and bites him.

He becames a lunatic. The old woman asks Hanchi to prepare her famous dishes made of sweet-rice and invites the rich man’s femily for lunch She serves themHanehi’s sweet rice dishes. They ask her if there was anyone who could prepare sweet rice dishes as delicious as Hanchi. The old woman narrates Guruswamis tale of treachery. They are ashamed and take back Hanchi. The tale ends on a happy note.

Question 3.
The women in the story represent resilience and courage of the women folk. Elaborate?
Answer:
Yes the women in the story represent resilence and courage of the women folk-. ,
Hanchi mother is a courageous women. She gives up her life to protect Hanchi. Hanchi herself is a bold and resilent girl. In spite of all the adverties she faces all along she remains resilent and emerges yictrorious in the end. The old women whom Hanchi – be friends is clever and cunning she is Compassionate and protective of Hanchi. She protects Hanchi as if she were her own daughter and saves her from disgrace and death.

In the folktale ‘The adventures of Hanchi’ Hanchi is a beautiftil girl with lovely golden tresses. Her mother is a widow who single – handed brings up Hanchi and her elder brother. Hanchi’s brother Ms in love with her beautiful tresses and wants to marry her. The conflict is that such a marriage is unnatural.

The mother gets a mask the hide Hanchi’s beauty and sends her away to protect her from her brother. Later she kills herself Hanchi is a bold girl she wonders around and befriends another grand old women in a far-off town the woman gets her employed in a rich man’s house as a house-maid. Hanchi has a special ability.

She can cook delicious dishes made of sweet-rice, which no one else can equal. One day, the family is out enjoying a feast in the garden. Hanchi’s decides to take a bath and removes her mask while she is bathing, the rich-man’s youngerson sees her in all her glory Mid fells in love with her. He marries her.

The family’s trusted friend, Guruswami has an evil eye on her. He knows the art of black magic. He tries to ensure Hanchi, through his black magic, but Hanchi is clever, and dodges all his ploys. The evil man hatches a plan felsely proves that Hanchi is a immoral woman. The family disowns her. The evil Guruswami has his chance now. He suggests the femilyto locks her in box and throw her in the river.

The family agrees and lock Hanchi in a box and give it to Guruswami. He takes the box to an old woman’s house near the river. The old woman is none other than the one who sent Hanchi to the richman’s house as a house – maid. She frees Hanchi and gets a mad-dog and locks it up in the box. When Guruswami comes back and opens the box, the rabid dog pounces and bites him.

He becames a lunatic. The old woman asks Hanchi to prepare her famous dishes made of sweet-rice and invites the rich man’s family for lunch. She serves them Hanchi’s sweet-rice dishes. They ask her if there was anyone who could prepare sweet rice dishes as delicious as Hanchi. The old woman narrates Guruswamis tale of treachery. They are ashamed and take back Hanchi. The tale ends on a happy note.

English Summary

Nine Gold Medals Summary Notes

Nine Gold Medals Summay Notes

Nine Gold Medals About the Author

David Lee Roth (October 10, 1954) is an American rock vocalist, musician, songwriter, actor, author, and former radio personality. Roth is best known as the original and current lead singer of hard rock band, Van Halen.

He is a successful solo artist, releasing numerous RIAA-certified Gold and Platinum albums. In 2012, Roth and Van Halen released the comeback album ‘A Different Kind of Truth’. In 2007, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Van Halen. His autobiography is titled‘Crazy from the Heat’.

It is said that the poem is based on a real incident where two athletes helped the fellow athletes who had fallen down. The poem celebrates the spirit of care and compassion, draws our attention to the humane quality of selflessness and conveys the message of co-operation and collaboration.

Nine Gold Medals Summary

The given poem ‘Nine Gold Medals’ is by David Lee Roth (October 10,1954). David Lee Roth is an American rock vocalist, musician, songwriter, actor, author, and former radio personality. Roth is best known as the original and current lead singer of hard rock band, Van Halen.

He is a successful solo artist, releasing numerous RIAA-ceriified Gold and Platinum albums. In 2012, Roth and Van Halen released the comeback album ‘Different Kind of Truth’. In 2007, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member ofVan Halen. His autobiography is titled ‘Crazy from the Heat’.

It is said that the poem is based on a real incident where two athletes helped the fellow athletes who had Men down. The poem celebrates the spirit of care and compassion, draws our attention to tl\e humane quality of selflessness and Conveys the message of co-operation and collaboration.

The poem describes an inspiring incident of a hundred meter surprisingly, turned out quite different from the other competitive races because when one of the participants fell down, the others rather than running ahead, turned back and helped him to get up. Afterwards, all the participants moved towards the finish – line together. All the nine participants were awarded Gold Medals in recognition of their compassion and sportsmanship. It is a heart – warming poem that brings cheer to the reader.

The athletes had come from so many countries.
To run for the gold and the silver and bronze
Many weeks and months in training
All budding up to the games.

David Roth begins the poem by describing the ‘Special Olympics’ organized for differently – able children. These athletes had come to participate in the games, from many countries from all over the world. They had come there with the hope and determination to win a Medal-gold, silver or bronze. The contestants had put in a lot of effort and time to train for the event. Every one hoped to win a Medal.

All round the field spectators were gathered
Cheering on all the young women and men
Then the final event of the day was approaching
The last race about to begin.

The spectators had gathered around the field. There was a lot of excitement around the field. They were cheering and encouraging the contestants – the young women and men. They were awaiting the final event of the day. The last race was about to begin. It was
the most prestigious event of the special Olympics.

The loudspeakers called out the names of the runners
The one hundred metres the race to be run
And nine young athletes stood there determined
And poised for the sound of the gun.

The names of the participants were announced. The one hundred meters race was about to begin. The nine-young athletes took position on the start-line. Each one had a determined look on his face. Each one was determined to win a Medal. They stood on the start-line waiting for the sound of the gun.

The signal was given, the pistol exploded
And so did the runners on hearing the sound
But the youngest among them stumbled and staggered
And he fell on his knees to the ground.

As soon as the gun was fired, they began to run as fast as they could. But unfortunately the youngest child among the runners stumbled and staggered and fell down on his knees to the ground.

He gave out a cry of frustration and anguish
His dreams and his efforts dashed in the dirt
But as sure as I’m standing here telling the story
Now it’s a strange one, but here’s what occurred.

The little boy fell dowa He cried out in pain of disappointment. He had trained hard but now he had lost the opportunity to show his talent. All his dreams of winning the Medal are broken and destroyed. David Roth says that a strange thing happened afterwards. But it was as true as he stood there and narrating the story. This is what happened.

The eight other athletes stopped in their tracks
The ones who had trained for so long to compete
One by one they turned round and came back to help him
And lifted the lad to his feet.

When the other eight athletes realized that one of the contestants had Men down, they stopped in their tracks, instead of continuing the race. All these athletes who had trained hard for a long time to compete and win in the prestigious event, turned back one by one and came back and helped the fallen athlete to his feet. They forgot their dream to win the competition and came to help the little one.

Then all nine runners joined hands and continued
The one hundred metres reduced to a walk
And the banner above that said “Special Olympics”
Could not have been nearer the mark.

Then all the nine contestants walked hand-in-hand to the finish line. It is to be noted that they did not run, but walked to the finish line, fearing that the little athlete would fall down again. All the contestants, instead of competing against each other walked one hundred meters, hand – in – hand to the finish – line. There was a banner above the finish-line that said ‘SPECIAL OLYMPICS’.

All the contestants displayed empathy turning the ‘Special Olympics’ into a really ‘Special One’. The poet says that the words ‘Special Olympics’ could not have been off the mark, as those little children proved that it was indeed a ‘Special’ Olympics.

That’s how the race ended, with nine gold medals
They came to the finish line holding hands still
And the banner above and nine smiling faces
Said more than these words ever will
Said more than these words ever will.

All the nine Participants reached the finish line together still holding hands. The poet says that the race ended with all the nine participants receiving the prestigious Gold- Medal. The nine participants stood below the banner smiling jubilantly. The banner ‘ Special Olympics’ above those beaing children said more than words ever could.

The poet repeats the line, ‘Said more than these words ever will’, to emphasize the noble act of those differently – able children. All the contestants had displayed exemplary behavior. Their fallen competitor might have forced them to think ‘What would I have felt if I had fallen’ and they knew exactly what they had to do.

By awarding Gold Medals to all the nine contestants, the special Olympics organizers honored their display of Sporting spirit, empathy, helpful nature and human values.

Nine Gold Medals Glossary

  • Spectator: A person who watches a show, game, or other event
  • Stumble: Trip or momentarily lose one’s balance; almost fall
  • Stagger: To walk with weak unsteady steps
  • Dash: To destroy by striking (against)

Nine Gold Medals Questions and Answers

Question 1.
Why had the athletes come from different countries?
Answer:
The athletes had come from so many contries to run for the gold and the silver and bronze medals in the special Olympics organised for differently able children.

Question 2.
How long had the athletes undergone the training?
Answer:
The athletes had undergone the training for many weeks and months.

Question 3.
What was the event?
Answer:
The event was one-hundred metres race.

Question 4.
Which athlete fell on his knees to the ground?
Answer:
The youngest among the nine athletes, stumbled and staggered and he fell on his knees to the ground.

Question 5.
How did the fallen athlete express his agony?
Answer:
The fallen young athlete gave out a cry of frustration and anguish.

Question 6.
For whom was the special Olympics meant for?
Answer:
The special Olympics was meant for differently – able children.

Question 7.
How did the event end?
Answer:
The event ended with all the nine participants winning gold Medals.

II. Answer the Following Questions in About a Page:

Question 1.
Describe the zeal of the athletes as brought out before the event began?
Answer:
These athletes had come to participate in the games, from many countries from all over the world. They had come there with the hope and determination to win a medal – gold, silver or bronze. The contestants had put in a lot of effort and time to train for the event. Every one hoped to win a nedal.

The spectators had gathered around the field. There was a lot of excitement around the field. They were cheering and encouraging the contestants – the young women and men. They were awaiting the final event of the day. The last race was about to begin. It was the most prestigious event of the Special Olympics.

The names of the participants were announced. The one hundred meters race was about to begin. The nine – young athletes took position on the start-line. Each one had a determined look on his face. Each one was determined to win a Medal. They stood on the start – line waiting for the sound of the gun.

Question 2.
Write briefly about the tone of the poet?
Answer:
The poet is enthusiastic to narrate the story of nine differently – able little athletes. He creates a kind of curiosity among the readers.

At the end of the poem the readers are thrilled to know about outstanding show of empathy and compassion shown by the atheletes for their fellow competitor. The song inspires human compassion and co-operation. The poem delivers a great feeling and a great lesson that words cannot express. The poet wants to’ cbnvery that sharing and caring are as important as winning and achieving.

Question 3.
How does the poem bring out the camaraderie among the athletes?
Answer:
In the poem ‘Nine Gold Medals’ poet David Roth narrates a true story of nine young childen who prartieipated in the one hundred metre race of the special Olympics for different – able children. All the nine had come from different countries to participate in the event.

They had trained hard for months. Each one hoped to win. A Medal at the appointed time the nine athletes stood at the start line with a determined look on their face. As soon as the signal was given they began to run as fast as they could. But, unfortunately the youngest child among the runners, stumbled and staggered and fell down on his knees to the ground. He cried out in pain of disap-pointment. He had trained hard but now he had lost the opportunity to show his talent.

All his dreams of winning a Medal are broken and destroyed. But a strange and unnancipated thing happened the other eight athletes realized that one of the contestants had fallen down, they stopped in their tracks, instead of continuing the race. All these athelets who had trained hard for a long time to compete and win in the prestigious event turned back one by one and came back and helped the Men athlete to his feet.

They forgot their dream to wip the competition and came to help the little one. They Lifted the Little boy to, his feet and walked hand-in-hand to the finish line. It is to be noted that they did not run, but waked to the finish line, fearing, that the little athelete would fall down again.

The benevolent contestants showed a great empathy and ca-maraderie towards the fallen athlete though they knew that their hope of winning a Medal would be lost, they returned to help the little boy and helpedhim to the finish – line.

III. Answer the Following Questions in About two Pages:

Question 1.
Discuss the relevance of the poem in the present day competitive world?
Answer:
In the present day world everything from education to sports has become highly competitive. The primary goal of all is to win or succeed otherwise there,is no value in life if one does not win. Sports have turned into a mimic – war fare. People go on a rampage if their favourite team does not win.

The poem ‘Nine Gold Medals, celebrates human values of co-operation, compassion, empathy, feimess and concern. The differently – able athletes who had trained hard for the prestigious racing event hoping to win a Medal, gave up their dreams and caine back to help their fallen competitior and together walked to the finish-line, They did not hesitate to help the little boy.

In life, we prioritize competitions and focus on winning them at any cost irrespective of what comes in the way. But the nine special athletes proved that there are even bigger things in life than just winning. The poem emphasizes on the sportsmanship, kindness, camaradeire and sacrifice exhibited by the nine children.

So in recognition of their exemplary attitude all the nine athletes were awarded gold Medals. Their spirt of empathy, consideration and brotherhood surpasses the achivement of merely winning a competition.

Question 2.
The nine athletes made the Special Olympics a special one indeed.Explain?
Answer:
The poem celebrates the spirit of care and compassion, draws our attention to the humane quality of selflessness and conveys the message of co-operation and collaboration.

The poem describes an inspiring incident of a hundred meter race in which nine differently disabled children took part. The race, surprisingly, turned out quite different from the other competitive races because when one of the participants fell down, the others rather than running ahead, turned back and helped him to get up.

Afterwards, all the participants moved towards the finish – line together. All the nine participants were awarded Gold Medals in recognition of their compassion and sports manship. It is a heart warming poem that brings cheer to the reader.

David Roth begins the poem by describing the ‘Special Olympics’ organized for differently – able children. These athletes had come to participate in the games, from many countries from all over the world. They had come there with the hope and determination to win a Medal – gold, silver or bronze. The contestants had put in a lot of effort and time to train for the event. Every one hoped to win a Medal.

The spectators had gathered around the field. There was a lot of excitement around the field. They were cheering and encouraging the contestants – the young women and men. They were awaiting the final event of the day. The last race was about to begin. It was the most prestigious event of the special Olympics.

The names of the participants were announced. The one hundred meters race was about to begin. The nine – young athletes took position on the start-line. Each one had a determined look on his face. Each one was determined to win a Medal. They stood on the staff-line waiting for the sound of the gun.

As soon as the gun was fired, they began to run as fast as they could. But unfortunately the youngest child among the runners stumbled and staggered and fell down on his knees to the ground. He had trained hard but now he had lost the opportunity to show his talent. All his dreams of winning the Medal are broken and destroyed. David Roth says that a strange thing happened afterwards. But it was as true as he stood there and narrating the story. This is what happened.

When the other eight athletes realized that one ofthe contestants had Men down, they stopped in their tracks, instead of continuing the race: All these athletes who had trained hard for a long time to compete and win in the prestigious event, turned back one by one and came back and helped the fallen athlete to his feet. They forgot their dream to win the competition and came to help the little one.

Then all the nine contestants walked hand-in-hand to the finish line. It is to be noted that they did not run, but walked to the finish line, fearing that the little athlete would fell down again. All the contestants, instead of competing against each other walked one hundred meters, hand – in – hand to the finish – line. There was a banner above the finish-line that said ‘SPECIAL OLYMPICS’.

All the contestants displayed empathy turning the ‘Special Olympics’ into a really ‘Special One’. The poet-says that the words ‘Special Olympics ’ could not have been off the mark, as those little children proved that it was indeed a ‘ Special’ Olympics.

All the nine participants reached the finish line together still holdinghands. The poet says that the race ended with all the nine participants receiving the prestigious Gold – Medal. The nine participants stood below the banner smiling jubilantly. The banner ‘Special Olympics’ above those beaming children said more than words ever could.

The poet repeats the line, ‘Said more than these words ever will’, to emphasize the noble act of those differently – able children. All the contestants had displayed exemplary behavior. Their fallen competitor might have forced them to think ‘What would I have felt if I had fallen’ and they knew exactly what they had to do. By awarding Gold Medals to all the nine contestants, the special Olympics organizers honored their display of sporting spirit, empathy, helpful nature and human values.

Question 3.
In a competition, the means are as important as the end. Discuss?
Answer:
The poem describes an inspiring incident of a hundred meter race in which nine differently disabled children took part. The race, surprisingly, turned out quite different from the other competitive races because when one of the participants fell down, the others rather than running ahead, turned back and helped him to get up.

Afterwards, all the participants moved towards the finish – line together. All the nine participants were awarded Gold Medals in recognition of their compassion and sportsmanship. It is a heart – warming poem that brings cheer to the reader.

David Roth begins the poem by describing the ‘Special Olympics’ organized for differently – able children. These athletes had come to participate in the games, frommany countries from all over the world. They had come there with the hope and determination to win a Medal – gold, silver or bronze. The contestants had put in a lot of effort and time to train for the event. Everyone hoped to win a Medal.

The spectators had gathered around the field. There was a lot of excitement around the field. They were cheering and encouraging the contestants – the young women and men. They were awaiting the final event of the day. The last race was about to begin. It was the most prestigious event of the Special Olympics.

The names of the participants were announced. The one hundred meters race was about to begin. The nine – young athletes took position on the start-line. Each one had a determined look on his face. Each one was determined to win a Medal. They stood on the start – line waiting for the sound of the gun.

As soon as the gun was fired, they began to run as fast as they could. But unfortunately the youngest Child among the runners stumbled and staggered and fell down on his knees to the ground.

The little boy fell down. He cried out in pain of disappointment. He had trained hard but now he had lost the opportunity to show his talent. All his dreams of winning the Medal are broken and destroyed. David Roth says that a strange thing happened afterwards. But it was as true as he stood there and narrating the story. This is what happened.

When the other eight athletes realized that one of the contestants had Men down, they stopped in their tracks, instead of continuing the race. All these athletes who had trained hard for a long time to compete and win in the prestigious event, turned back one by one. and came back and helped the Men athlete to his feet. They forgot their dream to win the competition and came to help the little one.

Then all the nine contestants walked hand-in-hand to the finish line. It is to be noted that they did not run, but walked to the finish line, fearing that the little athlete would fall down again. All the contestants, instead of competing against each other walked one hundred meters, hand – in – hand to the finish – line. There was a banner above the finish-line that said ‘SPECIAL OLYMPICS ’.

All the contestants displayed empathy turning the ‘Special Olympics’ into a really ‘Special One’. The poet says that the words ‘Special Olympics’ could not have been off the markkas those little children proved that it was indeed a ‘ Special’ Olympics. All the nine Participants reached the finish line together still holdinghands.

The poet says that the race ended with all the nine participants receiving the prestigious Gold – Medal The nine participants stood below the banner smiling jubilantly. The banner ‘Special Olympics’ above those becoming children said more than words ever could.

The poet repeats the line, ‘Said more than these words ever will’, to emphasize the noble act of those differently – able children. All the contestants had displayed exemplary behavior. Their fallen competitor might have forced them to think ‘What would I have felt if I had fallen’ and they knew exactly what they had to do.

By awarding Gold Medals to all the nine contestants, the special Olympics organizers honored their display of sporting spirit, empathy, helpfiil nature and human values.

The-poem teaches us the value of true sportsmanship, winning Medal is important, but is not the most important thing. Sports should teach us human values. By displaying their sportive spirit the young athletes proved that winning is about of great impartance and means are as important as the end. They were all awarded Gold Medals for their exemplary show of sportsmanship.

English Summary

Vachanas of Akkamahadevi and Satyakka Summary Notes

Vachanas of Akkamahadevi and Satyakka Summary Notes

Vachanas of Akkamahadevi and Satyakka About the Author

Akkamahadevi: (1130-1160) was one of the early women poets ofthe Kannada language and a prominent personality in the 12th century. Her Vachanas, Mantrogopya and the Yogangatrividhi are considered, the most notable contributions to Kannada literature. She achieved the height of mysticism, and raised her voice against patriarchy, monarchy, rigid customs and traditions.

She rejected the institution of marriage and accepted the immortal, Orrmi – present Lord Chennamallikariuna as her husband thereby conforming to ‘bridal mysticism’ a concept of Bhakti Movement. The intensity of emotion, the difficulties the feces and her longing for Chennamallikarjuna, are the recurring themes. The following Vachana depicts how the poet accepts the immortal Lord as her husband.

Vachanas of Akkamahadevi and Satyakka Summary

I ‘loved a handsome youth,
Formless, deathless and beyond destruction.
I loved a handsome youth,
Placeless, infinite, entire
And without a sign, O mothers!
I loved a handsome youth,
Who is birthless and fearless and bold,
I loved a youth
Who being boundless is immeasurable.
O Mothers, I lovedmy husband
Chennamallikarjuna passionately!

The given ‘Vachana’ is by Akka Mahadevi (1130-1160). Akka Mahadevi was a twelfth century Kannada Poet, Saint and mystic, who followed the Veerashiva Bakthi tradition. She was bom in Udutadi, Karnataka to Nimalshetti and Sumathi. Akka Mahadevi was the first women to have written Vachanas in Kannada.

Through her Vachanas she immortalized her views against women’s traditional gender roles, the prevalent caste practices of the time, Hindu Orthodoxy and lack of recognition for female mystics with her Patriarchal society. For these reasons, other Veerashiva saints like Basavanna and Allama Prabhu bestowed upon her the title of “Akka”, meaning elder sister.

Akkamahadevi’s devotion to Lord Shiva began from her childhood days. As her devotion to the Lord grew, her worship of Lord Shiva took on a ‘Madhurya’ from of devotion, where she saw the Lord as her only true love. She named him ‘Chennamallikaijuna’ meaning “Lord as white as Jasmine”.

Akkamahadevi was known for her stunning beauty, and described as having long black sensual tresses of hair. According to the popular and widely – accepted legend, She caught the eye of a local Jain king, Kaushika, who approached her for marriage. Akka Mahadevi reluctantly accepted, but only after the king agreed to her conditions of not interfering in her devotion to Lord Shiva or touching her in any way without her consent.

As time passed, Kaushika was unable to bear that his wife was devoted to another man (Lord Shiva) and prevented her from worshipping her Lord. Akka left the palace renouncing any material wealth, She declared that Lord Shiva is her one and only husband and proceeded to Srishilam, the place she believed to be Lord Shiva’s abode and became one with Lord eventually.

In the given Vachana Akka Mahadevi declares to all the mothers that she loved a handsome youth in honest and powerful terms. This handsome youth is formless, deathless and beyond destruction. She is in love with this youth who is placeless, infinite and immense, and without a sign. From her description of the recipient of her love, we can easily conclude that it is none other than Lord Shiva.

Akka Mahadevi is in love with this birthless, fearless and bold youth. He encompasses everywhere and everything, (boundless and immeasurable). Akkamahadevi sees the manifestation of Lord Shiva in her village deity ‘Chennmallikarjna’. She loved her husband Chennamallikarjuiia passionately.

Akkamahadevi has accepted Lord Chennamallikaijuna (Lord Shiva) as her husband. Her love for him is boundless and immortal. She does not fear to declare her love for him. She and her husband Chennamallikaijuna have an everlasting bond of love. Akka describes her beloved as being transcendent beyond death and decay and no physical form which gives him a quality of immortality.

The idea of felling in love with a non – physical entity is unusual, which lends a spiritual nature to her love. She refers to him as birthless, placeless, infinite, entire which implies immortality and permanence for the holy entity, she in love with.

It the youth being fearless suggests that he possesses a significant power and commands great respect. Akkamahadevi calls her husband ‘Chennamallikaijuna’ – ‘Lord as white as jasmine’ or Lord Shiva, who has enormous power.

Satyakka

Satyakka was a 12th Century Vachana poet she is from Hirejamburu near Shiralakoppa of Shimoga district in Karnataka. Her kayaka was seeping the floors of the Sharana’s houses. Her motto was ‘One should not touch anything that one has not earned through Kayaka’ She was regarded as the embodiment of truth.

Satyakka was a very versatile Vachana Poet. Her simple life style reflected her decency, honesty and integrity. Apart from the supremacy of Lord Shiva, she focuses on gender equality. The given Vachana is about the formless immortal Lord and the realization of one’s inner self.

Thinking that he is outside I talked foolishly.
He lives in my heart-without letting me know it.
I cannot describe the unborn,
Who is everywhere?
I lost my heart in his void.
What shall I do, O mother, O mother,
If I forget, my formless husband reminds me?
Our Sambhu Jakkesvara
Is good to those who know Him.

Satyakka writes that she was a fool to think that the Lord resided somewhere outside her heart and soul. But now she has realized that he lives in her heart. She hadn’t realized this feet that the Lord resides in her heart and foolishly searched for him elsewhere.

She now knows that the Lord definitely resides in her heart but she is in a dilemma. If she tells anyone that the Lord resides in her they will ask her to describe the Lord. But the feet is that she cannot – describe the Lord as he is unborn. He is everywhere. He is all encompassing entity. Hence she does not know how to resolve the question of his description as he is formless.

But she has given her heart to this formless, all encompassing entity. She pleads her mother as to what to do, because this all encompassing entity, whom she considers as her husband, envelopes her heart, reminding him to her always and so she cannot forget him.

Her Lord reminds himself to her if she forgets him. Her Lord – husband is formless. Thus her Lord can be none other than Lord Shiva. She sees Lord Shiva manifest in her village deity ‘Shambu Jakkeshwara’. She has accepted ‘Shambu Jakkeswara’ as her husband. He blesses those who have realized him.

Satyakka implies that it is no good to search for the Lord externally, when he himself is in our heart and soul. She may also mean that our thoughts and deeds should be a manifestation of the Lord. Then we will lead a blessed life.

Vachanas of Akkamahadevi and Satyakka Glossary

  • Formless: Without a clear or definite shape or structure. Here the abstract God.
  • Everywhere: In various forms of flora and fauna, in every creature.
  • Deathless: Eternal.
  • Chennamallikaijuna: Akkamahadevi’s tutelary deity and her signature.
  • Sambhu Jakkeshwara: Presiding deity of Satyakka’s native place, Hirejamburu and her signature.

Vachanas of Akkamahadevi and Satyakka Questions and Answers

Question 1.
Who is the‘handsome youth’ in Akka’s Vachana?
Answer:
The ‘handsome youth’ was Akka Mahadevi’s beloved ‘Chenna Mallikarjuna’ – Lord Shiva.

Question 2.
Why does Akka call him formless and deathless?
Answer:
Akka calls him formless and deathless because Lord Shiva means the deathless, changeless, timeless, formless all prevading absolute essence of the universe. Shiva also means eternal consciousness.

Question 3.
Who is the ‘I’ referred to in Satyakka’s Vachana?
Answer:
The “I” referred to in Satyakk’s Vachana is Satyakka herself. “I may also refer to ego”

Question 4.
Who does Satyakka refer to as ‘the formless’?
Answer:
Satyakka refers to Lord Shiva or her village deity ‘Shambu Jakkesvara’ as formless because Lord Shiva is an all encompassing entity who has no physical form. He is omnipresent.

Question 5.
Why is Satyakka unable to describe the Lord?
Answer:
Satyakka is unable to describe the Lord because he is ‘unborn’ and omi – present and formless.

Question 6.
What does the formless husband of Satyakka remind her of?
Answer:
Even if Satyakka forgets about him, her formless husband reminds her about himself because he is Omni-present and can be felt every where. The formless husband is none other than Lord Shiva, or Shambhu Jakkesvara, her village deity.

II. Answer the Following Questions in About a Page:

Question 1.
How does Akkantahadevi express her feelings about her eternal, formless husband?
Answer:
Akka Mahadevi was a devotee of Lord Shiva, right from childhood. She had completly given herself to Lord Shiva. She looked upon him as her husband and lovingly called him ‘Chennamallikaijuna’ – Lord as white as ‘Jasmine’.

In the given Vachana she declares to one aid all that she loved a handsome youth. The youth she loved was formless, deathless and beyond. This youth that she loved was formless, deathless and beyond destruction. He had no physical shape, he was deathless because he was unborn and beyond destruction, because he himself was the destroyer.

She says that the handsome youth was placeless, infinite and entire and without a sign. The handsome youth whom Akka thus describes is none other then Lord Shiva.

Again she emphasizes that she loved a handsome youth is birthless and fearless and bold. That youth is also boundless all encompassing therefore immeasurable. Thus the yourth that Akka loved is none other than Lord shiva.

Akka sees the Manifestation of Lord shiva in her Village diety ‘Chenna Mallikaijuna’. She has developed a strong bond with this youth and has accepted him as her husband. She loves Chenna Mallikarjuna passionately. He love for him is boundless and immeasurable.

Question 2.
Write about Satyakka’s views on the Lord Shiva?
Answer:
Satyakka was a 12th Century Vachana poet she is from Hirejamburu near Shiralakoppa of Shimoga district in Karnataka. Her kayaka was seeping the floors of the Sharana’s houses. Her motto was ‘One should not touch anything that one has not earned through Kayaka’ She was regarded as the embodiment of truth. Satyakka was a very versatile Vachana Poet. Her simple life style reflected her decency, honesty and integrity. Apart from the supremacy of Lord Shiva, she focuses on gender equality.

The given Vachana is about the formless immortal Lord and the realization of one’s inner self. Satyakka writes that she was a fool to think that the Lord resided somewhere outside her heart and soul. But now she has realized that he lives in her heart. She hadn’t realized this feet that ‘ the Lord resides in her heart and foolishly searched for him elsewhere.

She now knows that the Lord definitely resides in her heart but she is in a dilemma. If she tells anyone that the Lord resides in her they will ask her to describe the Lord. But the feet is that she cannot describe the Lord as he is unborn. He is everywhere. He is all encompassing entity.

Hence she does not know how to resolve the question of his description as he is formless. But she has givenher heart, to this formless, all encompassing entity. She pleads her mother as to what to do, because this all encompassing entity, whom she considers as her husband, envelopes her heart, reminding him to her always and so she cannot forget him.

Her Lord reminds himself to her if she forgets him. Her Lord – husband is formless. Thus her Lord can be none other than Lord Shiva. She sees Lord Shiva manifest in her village deity ‘Shambu Jakkeshwara’. She has accepted ‘Shambu Jakkeswara’ as her husband. He blesses those who have realized him.

Satyakka implies that it is no good to search for the Lord externally, when he himself is in oiir heart and soul. She may also mean that our thoughts and deeds should be a manifestation of the Lord. Then we will lead a blessed life.

English Summary