Developing The Dunkirk Spirit

It is not Enough to reach your goal.
You must be emotionally ready
To face obstacles thereafter.
In the thrilling game called life,
You must be physically fit
Mentally prepared to deal with
The storms which winnows
The strong from the weak
And gives wind under the wings
Of those who are prepared to fight.
While crushing those whose wings
Were not strong enough to withstand
The gales of an endless stormy night
Inevitably followed by a merry morn
That makes things more  alluring
Wondrous and pure than ever before.

So pursue your dreams with zest,
Keeping in mind the challenges
That you shall have to tide.
Make the walls inside your self
Strong enough to withstand
The hurricanes and cyclones in life
Be steadfast through ups and downs
And with stoic endurance emerge –
Victorious in the battle of life.

NCERT English Beehive Class – 9 – Solutions Ch -2 :Part – 2 The Shehnai of Bismillah Khan

                                         

Thinking about the Text

I.Tick the right answer.

1. The (shehnai, pungi ) was a ‘reeded noisemaker.’ – Pungi

2. (Bismillah Khan, A barber, Ali Bux) transformed the pungi into a shehnai.  A barber

3. Bismillah Khan’s paternal ancestors were (barbers, professional musicians). – Professional musicians

4. Bismillah Khan learnt to play the shehnai from (Ali Bux, Paigambar Bux, – Ali Bux

Ustad Faiyaaz Khan).

5. Bismillah Khan’s first trip abroad was to (Afghanistan, U.S.A., Canada). – Afghanistan

II. Find the words in the text which show Ustad Bismillah Khan’s feelings about the items listed below. Then mark a tick (4) in the correct column. Discuss your answers in class.

Bismillah Khan’s feelings aboutPositiveNegativeNeutral
1. teaching children musicPositive  
2. the film world Negative 
3. migrating to the U.S.A. Negative 
4. playing at temples  Neutral
5. getting the Bharat RatnaPositive  
6. the banks of the GangaPositive  
7. leaving Benaras and Dumraon Negative 

III. Answer these questions in 30–40 words.

1.Why did Aurangzeb ban the playing of the pungi?

Ans. Emperor Aurangzeb banned pungi in the royal residence for it had a shrill, unpleasant sound. ‘Pungi’ became the generic name for reeded noisemakers.

2. How is a shehnai different from a pungi?

Ans. A pungi is a reeded noisemaker and has a shrill unpleasant sound. A shehnai is an improved version of the pungi. It has a pipe with a natural hollow stem that is longer and broader than a pungi and has seven holes on the body of the pipe which helps in playing classical music.

3. Where was the shehnai played traditionally? How did Bismillah Khan change this?

Ans. The sound of shehnai was considered to be auspicious and was played in temples and in north Indian weddings. In the past it was also a part of the naubat at royal courts.

4. When and how did Bismillah Khan get his big break?

Ans. Bismillah Khan got his big break with the opening of the All India Radio in Lucknow in 1938. He soon became an often-heard shehnai player on radio.

5. Where did Bismillah Khan play the shehnai on 15 August 1947? Why was the event historic?

Ans. On 15th August 1947, the shenai was played by Bismillah Khan at Red Fort.

         This event was historic since India became independent on this day and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru gave his famous speech ‘ Tryst with Destiny’.

6. Why did Bismillah Khan refuse to start a shehnai school in the U.S.A.?

Ans. Bismillah Khan was a very patriotic person and loved India. He refused to set up a school in U.S.A as he was extremely attached with Benaras, the banks of Ganga and Dumraon . When a student asked whether he would be amenable to move to U.S if the atmosphere of Benaras was recreated there; Khansaab retaliated by saying whether the Ganga could be transported there as well.

7. Find at least two instances in the text which tell you that Bismillah Khan loves India and Benaras.

Ans. Bismillah Khan’s love for India is reflected when he refuses to shift to the U.S to start a school there. He also said that he missed Benaras when he was in Mumbai and he missed Dumraon when he was in Benaras. He also refused to shift to Pakistan during separation.

Thinking about Language

  1. Look at these sentences

• Evelyn was determined to live a normal life.

• Evelyn managed to conceal her growing deafness from friends and teachers.

The italicised parts answer the questions: “What was Evelyn determined to do?”

and “What did Evelyn manage to do?” They begin with a to-verb (to live, to conceal).

Complete the following sentences. Beginning with a to-verb, try to answer the questions in brackets.

1. The school sports team hopes – to win. (What does it hope to do?)

2. We all want – to succeed (What do we all want to do?)

3. They advised the hearing-impaired child’s mother – to take her to a specialist. (What did they advise her to do?)

4. The authorities permitted us to -use the stadium. (What did the authorities permit us to do?)

5. A musician decided to – create a world record. (What did the musician decide to do?)

II. From the text on Bismillah Khan, find the words and phrases that match these definitions and write them down. The number of the paragraph where you will find the words/phrases has been given for you in brackets.

1. the home of royal people (1)  – royal residence

2. the state of being alone (5)    – solitude

3. a part which is absolutely necessary (2) – an indispensible component

4. to do something not done before (5) – improvise

5. without much effort (13) – effortlessly

6. quickly and in large quantities (9)  thick and fast

III. Tick the right answer.

1. When something is revived, it  – lives again (remains dead/lives again). 

2. When a government bans something, it wants it – stopped (stopped/started).

3. When something is considered auspicious, – welcome it (welcome it/avoid it).

4. When we take to something, we find it – interesting (boring/interesting).

5. When you appreciate something, you – find it good and useful (find it good and useful/find it of no use).

6. When you replicate something, you do it – for the second time (for the first time/for the second time).

7. When we come to terms with something, it is- no longer upsetting (still upsetting/no longer upsetting).

IV. Dictionary work

• The sound of the shehnai is auspicious.

• The auspicious sound of the shehnai is usually heard at marriages.

The adjective auspicious can occur after the verb be as in the first sentence, or before a noun as in the second. But there are some adjectives which can be used after the verb be and not before a noun. For example:

• Ustad Faiyaz Khan was overjoyed.

We cannot say: *the overjoyed man.

Look at these entries from the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2005).

elder adi., noun adjective 1 [only before noun] (of people, especially two members of the same family) older: my elder brother • his elder sister 2 (the elder) used without a noun immediately after it to show who is the older of two people: the elder of their two sons 3 (the elder) (formal) used before or after sb’s name to show that they are the older of two people who have the same name: the elder Pitt • Pitt, the elder.awake adj., verb adjective [not before noun] not asleep (especially immediately before or after sleeping): to be half/fully awake; to be wide awake. I was still awake when he came to bed.

Consult your dictionary and complete the following table. The first one has been done for you

adjectiveOnly before nounNot before nounboth before and after the verb be
indispensable         Yes
impressed    Yes Yes
afraid    Yes Yes
outdoor   Yes  
paternal   Yes  
countless   Yes  
priceless Yes  

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN – Summary: Question/ Answers : Literary Devices

                                                             

                                                                                                              

About the poet:

Robert Frost was born on March 26th, 1873 in San Francisco and died in January 29, 1963.  Frost mostly wrote about the life and landscape of New England. He avoided the poetic experiments of his time and was a poet of traditional verse forms and meter.  Frost, one of the best-known and most beloved American poets of the 20th century, won the Pulitzer Prize four times for New Hampshire (1924), Collected Poems (1931), A Further Range (1937), and A Witness Tree (1943).

             The Road Not Taken

                               Robert Frost

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

    And sorry I could not travel both

    And be one traveler, long I stood

    And looked down one as far as I could

    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,

    And having perhaps the better claim,

    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

    Though as for that the passing there

    Had worn them really about the same,

   And both that morning equally lay

   In leaves no step had trodden black.

   Oh, I kept the first for another day!

   Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

   I doubted if I should ever come back.

   I shall be telling this with a sigh

   Somewhere ages and ages hence:

   Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

   I took the one less traveled by,

   And that has made all the difference.

Summary of ‘ The Road Not Taken’

The poem ‘The Road Not Taken’ is about the choices that one makes in the journey of life. The road is the metaphor of that journey and the diversions in the road stand for the different choices that one comes across as one travels through life.

In the poem the poet describes his experience of a walk through the woods one autumn morning. As he walked through the wood he came across a diversion or a fork on the road. He wanted to make the correct choice and therefore found himself in a dilemma about choosing the right one. He wanted to travel through both the roads and felt sorry that he was unable to do so. Therefore, he looked as far as possible till the road curved among the bushes and was no longer visible.

After much contemplation he took the other road which looked just as good as the other. He thought that it had a greater claim for travelers as it was grassy and wanted people to travel through it. It wanted people to wear down the grassy road through use. Though, afterwards he felt that both the roads were walked on almost the same by travelers.

 It was early in the morning, and the fallen leaves were still fresh not having been stepped upon and turned black with the impact.  Therefore, the poet decided to keep the first well-travelled road for a later time and took the somewhat less frequented one. Though, in his sub- conscious mind he knew that it was a futile thought, as one way leads to the other and it was extremely doubtful that he would get the chance to travel the other road.

He then predicts that sometime in the distant future he would tell others with a sigh, that at some point in his life he had to make a choice between two options. He chose to take the less travelled road which made a difference in his life and decided his future.

Literary devices in ‘The Road Not Taken’

  1. Metaphor –  the road is the metaphor for journey of life
  2. Metaphor – the divergent paths are metaphors for choices in life.
  3. Symbolism – The roads symbolize the choices in our life.
  4. Anaphora – Repetition of ‘ and ‘ in lines 2, 3, 4
  5. Alliteration – ‘wanted wear’, ‘first for’, ‘then took’, ‘that the’
  6. Repetition – ‘ Ages and ages’ , ‘ and I / I took …’
  7. Repetition – ‘Two roads diverged in a’ (repeated I stanza 1 and 4)

Questions and answers:

1. Where does the traveller find himself?  What problem does he face?

Ans..The traveller finds himself in a wood during the autumn season. He comes to a point where the road diverges into two separate paths.

The road is the metaphor for the journey of life, and the fork in the road stands for choices in life’s journey.  The problem of the traveller is that he is facing a dilemma and is unable to decide which road or choice to take.

 2. Discuss what these phrases mean to you.
(i) a yellow wood

The yellow wood is the wood during autumn. The leaves have turned yellow and are about to fall. The autumn season is symbolic of the matured age of a man’s life.

(ii) it was grassy and wanted wear

The road was less travelled and was filled with grass. Here, the road is personified as it seems to want people to travel on that road, so that it could also become worn out like the other one.

(iii) the passing there

The passing there refers to the road on which people had trodden on the grass. To the traveller both the roads that morning seemed to be used almost the same. Here, the poet is using contrast and antithesis to express his repentance of having to make a choice as both options seemed to be equal.

(iv) leaves no step had trodden black

The traveller was travelling in the morning. So he finds that the freshly fallen leaves had not been walked over by anyone and hence they had not turned black and looked equally attractive and fresh. The roads symbolise equal opportunities.

(v) how way leads on to way

Although the traveller wanted to explore both the roads, he decided to take the less frequented one and keep the other one for future.  He also realizes that it was a futile thought as one way would lead to another and he would not be able to come back to explore the other road. Symbolically it means that the choices we make in life are permanent.

3. Is there any difference between the two roads as the poet describes them
(i) in stanzas two and three?

There wasn’t much difference between the two roads. Initially the traveller thought that he had chosen the less travelled grassy road, but after travelling for some time he realised that both roads were about the same. That is, he faced similar challenges in the path that he had chosen.

(ii) in the last two lines of the poem?

In the last two lines the travelled expresses his satisfaction in choosing the less travelled road. It was the correct choice which made a difference in his life. Though he sighs for lost opportunities, he is satisfied about the outcome of his choice.

Extra questions of ‘The Road Not Taken’

1. Discuss the appropriateness of the title ‘The Road Not Taken ‘.

Ans. The poet has chosen a negative sentence to convey to his readers that it was his wise decision not to make the common choice which made the difference in his life. The title thus appropriately brings out the wisdom of the poet’s decision to take the less travelled path.

2. What is the theme of ‘The Road Not Taken ‘?

Ans. The theme of ‘The Road Not Taken ‘ is the importance of making correct choices in life which decides our future.  It also points out the permanence of the choices that we take in our lives.

3. What is the message of ‘The Road Not Taken ‘?

Ans. The poem gives the message to its readers that it is important to take correct decisions at the correct time for living a life of satisfaction and success.

4. What is the rhyme scheme of the poem?

Ans. The rhyme scheme of the poem is abaab. The poem is written in four stanzas of five line each called quintain or quintet.

CONDITIONALS

English Literature and Grammar

If it rains, I shall stay at home.
Bob Clark

.

Conditionals are sentences in which the main-clause as well as the subordinate-clause express conditions. In each of the clauses one event follows the other or depends upon the other.

Let us look at these sentences

If it rains, I shall stay at home. (1st Conditional)

I shall stay at home if it rains.

If it rained, I would stay at home. (2nd Conditional)

I would stay at home if it rained.

If it had rained, I would have stayed at home. (3rd Conditional)

I would have stayed at home if it hadrained.

We notice that in each of these sentences have two clauses – the main clause and the subordinate clause.

I will stay at home if it rains.

Main clause subordinate clause

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Teaching Digital and Media Literacy Skills in High School

The Unraveled Traveler

Media is around us all the time. We are constantly consuming media even when we don’t realize it. The digital age has brought an ever-present stream of media messages that are nearly impossible to escape. What does this mean for the high school English classroom? After a year of reflecting on this very question, I’ve decided to revamp how I structure my high school ELA classes. Instead of making short stories, novels, poetry, and plays the center focus of my units, I’ve started making media analysis the primary focus with those classic literature elements as supporting readings.

Students generally have a difficult time sorting through media and determining what is real or fake, or what is a paid ad. Take a look at this article from NPR, Students Have ‘Dismaying’ Inability To Tell Fake News From Real, Study Finds. Although the study mentioned is from 2016, it does a…

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Cyber Caution

Photo by Alex Knight

Don’t go digital
Don’t go digital
Don’t go digital guys
Connect through  your hearts
Connect through  your words
Connect through  your eyes.

That technology which helped us
To rule over other beings
Will be used by bots to rule humans
Making us useless things.

Hide from the servers
Protect all that you can
Before you know what hit you
Machines will rule over man.

In the polluted world we’ll venture not
Being dependent for every need
Today’s generation will be blamed
For sowing such slavery’s seed.

Let’s not let our wants
Grow like harmful weed
Let’s be happy with little things
Let’s not bow down to greed.

Don’t go digital
Don’t go digital
Don’t go digital guys
Connect with your hearts
Connect with your words
Connect with your eyes.

Ch – 2 Adventures of Toto -Class 9 – CBSE English – Moments – Question/ Answers NCERT

Adventures of Toto
Ruskin Bond


Think about It


Q.1. How does Toto come to Grandfather’s private zoo ?


Ans. Grandfather is fond of animals. When he sees Toto tied to the feeding-trough of a tonga-drivers carriage, looking quite out of place, he decides to add him to his private zoo. He buys Toto from the tonga-driver for a sum of rupees five.


Q.2.” Toto was a pretty monkey.” In what sense is he pretty?


Ans. Toto has bright, mischievous, sparkling eyes beneath deep set eyebrows. His teeth are pearly white which he displays in sparkling smiles that terrifies the Anglo-Indian ladies. Apart from which he has deft fingers and a long tail which he uses as a third hand and to swing himself around.

Q.3. Why does Grandfather take Toto to Saharanpur and how ? Why does the ticket collector insist on calling Toto a dog ?


Ans. 4. Grandfather needed to travel to Saharanpur to collect his pension. He is compelled to take Toto to Saharanpur as Toto would not let the other animals in the servant’s quarters sleep. Therefore, Toto is put inside a strong canvas bag which is impossible for him to bite through. As a result, the passengers at the Dehra Dun platform gets entertained by a canvas bag that keeps rolling and hopping.
Toto manages to put his head out and smile at the ticket collector, just when it is grandfather’s turn to produced his ticket at the turnstile. Since, there is no provision for issuing tickets for monkeys, the ticket collector insists that Toto is a dog and makes grandfather pay three rupees for carrying a dog.


Q.4. How does Toto take a bath ? Where has he learnt to do this ? How does Toto almost boil himself alive ?


Ans.4. Grandmother is a kind soul and gives a treat of a warm bath to Toto as well as the author. Toto checks the temperature of the water cautiously and then puts one feet after the other before submerging himself to his neck. Thereafter, he rubs himself with soap. When the water becomes cold he runs to the kitchen fire to dry himself. He is offended if anyone laughs at him to see him do so.
Toto has learnt to take his bath by observing the author when he took his bath.
A kettle full of water is put on the kitchen fire for tea. When Toto checks the temperature it is comfortably warm for a bath, so he puts himself inside the kettle. As the water becomes warmer he feels uncomfortable and raises himself out. But finding the temperature cold outside he gets inside the kettle. This continues till grandmother reaches there and hauls him out of the kettle almost half boiled.

Q.5. Why does the author say, “Toto was not the sort of pet we could keep for long ?’’


Ans.5. Toto’s antics are too expensive for the family to bear. He keeps destroying plates, dishes, curtains, clothes, wallpapers whose losses are too much for the family to afford, as they are not very well-off. Gradually, the author as well as his grandfather realises that they can not afford to keep him, and he is sold back to the tonga-driver by grandfather for a sum of rupees three.

Indian Heritage

Our country’s heritage has grown
For thousands of years.
Crafted through generations,
Into an exquisite tapestry
Of cultures across the world.

The ancient art of Ajanta Ellora,
Magnificent sculptures of Khajuraho,
Lingaraj , Kailashnath, Konark,
The brilliance of the Taj.
Stand witness to craftsmanship
Polished through millenniums.

Rich in texts, from Vedas to Gitanjali.
Dance forms of Odissi, Bharatnatyam
Kuchipudi, Kathak, Mohiniattam
Classical music, songs and folklore
Distilled refined tuned to perfection
Makes us swing to mellifluous tunes.

Languages, dresses and delicacies,
Of different cultures and traditions.
Create a motley of colours and gaity,
Enriching every soul that comes in touch.
This priceless heritage of ours,
We pledge to protect and preserve.

Photo by Sumita Tah
This wheel is a part of Konark temple crafted in the form of the chariot of Sun God driven by seven horses.
Each of these wheels tells a story as well the time to minutes as the rays of the sun fall on it.

Parental Home Sans Parents

Photo by Anastasiya Lobanovskaya

Memories drizzled as I gazed,
On my childhood haven.
Laughter, music , faces;
Glide through my mind.
A smile reaches my eyes,
Only to flow down in tears.
A dull ache brings up a lump,
To be swallowed down asap.
Dear voices no longer heard,
Love no longer visible to the eye.
I take refuge in the notion that
Everything’s transient, temporal
And shall fade away with time.
My journey too shall end,
Like those that are yet to be born.
Characters of an incomplete epic,
Authored by the omniscient, omnipotent.
I bow down with gratitude,
And leave the scene with a sigh.

Beehive : Ch -2. The Sound of Music -Questions and Answers

                  

     Part I 

     Evelyn Glennie Listens to Sound without Hearing It

Thinking about the Text

I.Answer these questions in a few words or a couple of sentences each.

1.How old was Evelyn when she went to the Royal Academy of Music?

Ans. Evelyn was seventeen years old when she went to the Royal Academy of Music.

2. When was her deafness first noticed? When was it confirmed?

Ans. Evelyn’s deafness at its primary level was noticed by her mother when she was eight years old waiting to play the piano.

It was confirmed by a specialist when she was eleven.

II.Answer each of these questions in a short paragraph (30–40 words).

1. Who helped her to continue with music? What did he do and say?

Ans. Ron Forbes (a percussionist) assisted her in continuing with music.

         He tuned two drums to higher and lower notes. He then advised her not to listen through ears but try to sense the vibrations. Evelyn realized that she could feel the higher notes waist up, and the lower ones waist down.

2. Name the various places and causes for which Evelyn performs.

Ans. Evelyn performs internationally in various concerts and provides pleasure to music lovers around the world. Apart from regular concerts she gives free performances in prisons and hospitals to make them happy. She holds classes for young musicians. She also performs and teaches in deaf schools to inspire and motivate deaf children to become successful.

III.Answer the question in two or three paragraphs (100–150 words).

1. How does Evelyn hear music?

Ans.  Evelyn feels music through her whole body. When she lost her sense of hearing and still wanted to learn xylophone, master percussionist Ron Forbes saw her potential and made her sense musical notes through her body. He tuned two drums to higher and lower notes and told her to feel the music. She began to realize that she could differentiate between higher notes which she could feel waist up, and the lower ones which she could feel waist down.

 She says that she feels music tingling in her skin, her cheekbones and even her hair. While playing the xylophone, she senses the vibrations passing up the sticks to her fingertips. By leaning against the drums she feels the resonances flowing through her body. She performs barefoot on wooden platforms so that she can sense the vibrations pass through her bare feet up her legs. Therefore, although she has lost her hearing she feels music through her entire being which makes her music so profound.