Detailed explanation of “Glimpses of India”, including definitions of difficult words. In addition, the explanation is followed by a lesson summary. Also, NCERT Question and Answers are also provided to help students understand this Chapter and do well in their exams.
A Baker from Goa – Introduction
The lesson reflects the strong Portuguese effect on the Goan culture, testifying the fact that the ideologies of the political powers have a strong influence on the lives of common people and also their lifestyles. For instance, bread as a steady food item is a traditional borrowed from the Portuguese , in contrast to chapati or rice as an essential part of a balanced diet in India. A Baker from Goa’ is a pen portrait of a traditional Goan village baker who still has an important place in his society. The narrator is travelling through the memory lane thinking about the loaves of bread a baker delivered every morning.
A Baker from Goa – Summary
The author recalls that a baker used to visit the village twice a day. He used to be the authors friend and guide. He used to carry a bamboo stick. The sound of this stick used to wake up the authors and others from sleep. The servants from the different houses bought loaves. But the author ran to the baker to buy bread-bangles.
The baker’s bamboo stick was a special one. He made the sound jhang, jhang’ by banging his bamboo on the ground. With one hand, the baker supported the basket of bread on his head and with the other, he struck the ground with the bamboo. Whenever someone came to him to buy bread, he placed the basket on the bamboo. The author and the others looked into his basket. In those times, it was a fashion to eat bread with hot tea. The author was so fond of bread that he would not even brush his teeth before eating it.
The village baker was especially important for all occasions. The villagers were much fond of the sweet bread known as “Bol’. Marriage gifts were meaningless without these sweetbreads. Sandwiches, cakes and bolinhas were a must for Christmas as well as for other festivals. All of these were made with the bread. Thus, the presence of a baker’s furnace was very essential in each village. On all occasions, the villagers needed one or another type of cake which could be baked in the furnace.
The baker or the bread-seller wore a special, peculiar dress. It was known as the kabai’. It was a single-piece long frock. It reached down to his knees. During narrator’s childhood, bakers wore trousers which were shorter than full-length and longer than half pants. Even today, if someone wears a half pant, he is said to be dressed like a baker.
The baker usually collected his bills at the end of the month. In the household, the baker’s monthly accounts used to be recorded on some wall with pencil. Baking was a profitable business in those days. The bakers used to be well off. Their families and servants never starved. Their plump bodies seemed like that of a jackfruit.
A Baker from Goa – Word Meanings
|reminiscing nostalgically||thinking fondly of the past||parapet||A low protective wall along the edge of a roof|
|loaves||a quantity of bread that is shaped and baked in one piece and usually sliced||fragrance||scent, smell|
|mixers||persons kneading the flour||prosperous||marked success or economic well-being|
|moulders||persons giving bread a particular shape||plump physique||pleasantly fat body|
|furnace||very hot enclosed chamber||open testimony||public statement about a character or quality|
|thud||a dull and heavy sound||rebuke||disapproval or scolding|
|jingle||a light ringing sound||heralding||announcing|
Coorg – Introduction
“Coorg is a coffee producing area in Karnataka State of India. It is situated midway between Mysore and the coastal town of Mangalore. This land is famous for its rainforests and spices. The writer seems to be fascinated by the beauty of the place and says that it must have come from the Kingdom of God.It is the smallest district of Karnataka.
Coorg – Summary
Coorg is a small district of Karnataka. It is also known as Kodagu. Coorg lies between the coastal town of Mangalore and Mysore. It is a very beautiful place. The writer says that it must have come from the kingdom of God. It is the smallest district of Karnataka.
Coorg is famous for its coffee plantations, evergreen rainforests and spices. Thirty per cent of its area is covered with the evergreen rainforests. The best season to visit this place is from September to March. The weather is perfect. The air is full of coffee flavour. There are beautiful colonial bungalows in prime corners.
The people of Coorg are independent and brave. They are possibly of Greek or Arabic descent. According to a story, a part of Alexander’s army did not return and was settled here. They married among the locals. This culture can be seen in the martial traditions, marriage and religious customs. Another theory says that these people are originated from the Arabs.
It is evident from the long, black coat worn by the people. It is like the kuffia worn by the Arabs and the Kurds. Coorgi homes have a tradition of hospitality. They are brave people. Their tales of bravery are famous. The Coorg regiment is one of the most decorated in the Indian Army. The first Chief of the Indian Army, General Cariappa, was a Coorgi. Even today, the Kodavus are the only people in India who are allowed to carry firearms without a licence.
There are a variety of natural scenes which can be enjoyed by the tourists. Kaveri, the only river of the area, gets its water from Coorgi hill. This river is full of Mahaseer, a large freshwater fish. One can see elephants, kingfishers, squirrels, and langurs enjoying themselves in the lap of nature. Birds, bees, and butterflies give one a good company here. Elephants enjoy being bathed here by their mahouts. The river and mountain offer various adventurous games like river rafting, canoeing, rappelling, rock climbing, and mountain biking. The trekkers find numerous walking trails in this area.
From the Brahmagiri hills, one can enjoy a panoramic view of the entire landscape of Coorg. There is a sixty-four-acre island of Nisargadhama nearby. It can be reached through a rope bridge. Buddhist monks are settled in Bylakuppe which is very close to this place. Their red, ochre and yellow robes are very attractive to look at, and are amongst many surprises India has to offer, right here is Coorg.
Coorg – Word Meanings
|drifted||separated||tales of valour||stories of courage and
bravery, usually in war
|martial||having to do with war||most decorated||having received maximum number of
awards for bravery in war
|plantations||an area planted with trees||permitted||allowed|
|pours||rains heavily||abound||exist in large numbers|
|Commences||begins||Scrubbed||to rub for purpose of clean|
|Invigorating||make one feel strong, healthy and
full of energy
|mahouts||the keepers of elephants|
|colonial||old British style||laidback||relaxed|
|tucked||hidden||rafting||travelling in a river in a raft|
|canopies||roof like coverings that
|canoeing||travelling in a river in a canoe|
|prime||the best||rappelling||going down a cliff by sliding down a rope|
|fiercely||powerfully||trails||paths created by walking|
|descent||origin||panoramic view||a view of a wide area of land|
|mainstream||a tradition which most people follow||misty||filled with fog|
|hospitality||generous and friendly treatment of
visitors and guests
|ochre||a moderate yellow-orange to orange
Tea from Assam – Introduction
This is a very short description of Assam, a Northern-Eastern State in India. This state is famous for its tea plantations. In this extract Pranjol, a youngster from Assam is Rajvir’s classmate at a school in Delhi. Pranjol’s father is a manager of a tea-garden in upper Assam and Pranjol has invited Rajvir to visit his home during the summer vacation.
Tea from Assam – Summary
Pranjol belonged to Assam. He was studying in a school in Delhi where Rajvir was his classmate.Pranjol’s father was the manager of a tea garden in Upper Assam. Pranjol invited Rajvir to visit his home during the summer vacation. Both of them travelled to Assam on a train. Rajvir is extremely excited to see the beautiful greenery and tea plantations outside. When the train stopped on the way at a station, a vendor called, ‘chai-garam garam-chai’. They bought some tea and started sipping it. Rajvir told Pranjol that over eighty crore cups of tea are drunk every day throughout the world.
The train pulled out of the station. Pranjol started reading his detective book again. But Rajvir looked out of the window of the moving train. There was a beautiful scenery outside. Soon, the soft green paddy fields were left behind and there were tea bushes everywhere. Rajvir was fascinated by the magnificent view of tea gardens. There were shady trees as well. He was very excited. Pranjol didn’t share Rajvir’s excitement because he had been born and brought up on a plantation. He told Rajvir that Assam has the largest concentration of tea plantation in the world.
Rajvir said that no one really knows who discovered tea. He told Pranjol that there are many legends attached to tea, to the discovery of tea. According to one story, a Chinese emperor discovered tea by chance. He always boiled water before drinking it. One day, a few leaves of the twigs, burning under the pot, fell into the water. As a result, the boiled water got a delicious flavour. It is said that they were tea leaves. According to another Indian legend, Bodhidharma, an ancient Buddhist monk, felt sleepy during meditations. So, he cut off his eyelids and threw them onto the ground. Ten tea plants grew out of the eyelids. The leaves of these plants, when put in hot water and drunk, banished sleep.
Rajvir told Pranjol that tea was first drunk in China in 2700 B.C. Words like ‘chai’ and ‘chini’ are Chinese. Tea came to Europe in the sixteenth century. At first, it was used more as a medicine than as a beverage. Both Rajvir and Pranjol reached Mariani junction. Pranjol’s parents received them on the platform, and soon their car sped off to Dhekiabari, the tea estate managed by Pranjol’s father. On both sides of the passage, were acres and acres of tea bushes.
Tea from Assam – Word Meanings
|steaming||very hot||legends||a story from the past that is believed by many
people but cannot be proved to be true
|buried his nose in||started reading||ascetic||a person with incredible self discipline|
|ardent||keen||dwarfing||making something appear small|
|backdrop||Scenery at the back||sturdy||strongly and solidly built|
|densely||thickly||billowing||a moving cloud or mass of smoke|