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Summaries of all chapters and poems of Flamingo and vistas.

For CBSE 12th Examination.

All the chapters are in chapter-wise order.

 If u find the font of the letters too small or too big then please continuously press ctrl button while scrolling your Mouse.(crl+scroll) >>



The Third Level---The Drain pipe, yes we all have the third level. xD
The Tiger King---My friend is not a King but a Queen 
Journey to the End of the Earth---No I’m better off in my home sweet home 
The Enemy---I have got many of them gonna screw them all once and for all 
Should Wizard hit Mommy---How the f am I concerned????
On the Face of It---He’s Sexy and he knows it..!!
Evans Tries an O-level---Duh…that old filthy little governor is just a piece of crap..!!
Memories of Childhood---I have mine and they are awesome..




The Last Lesson---It’s the real “Memories of Childhood” 
Lost Spring---I ain’t loosing mine…:P
Deep Water---I know how to swim 
The Rattrap---No rats in my house so I didn’t use one 
Indigo---it is History.. Gandhi and chapters about him 
Poets and Pancakes---I like both but the chapter is nowhere near to anyone o_O
The Interview---I’d give one after college.
Going Places---I’ve went to many places in reality don’t need to dream anything 


My mother at sixty-six---Mine is not even fifty yet…:\
An elementary School Classroom in a Slum---I never went to my own classroom T.T
Keeping Quite---beep xD
A Thing of Beauty---I have got mine 
A Roadside Stand---I have seen many, nothing new
Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers---I have a friend named Tiger…So What?????

Index By karthik gandikota .

Start of Vistas

Third level

Charley, the main character of the story finds a portal which leads to 1894. He tries to go to his hometown, Galesburg. But, as because he didn't have any currency of 1894, he had to postpond his plans for the future. He exchanged his 3 hundred dollar bills for less than 2 hundred dollars of that of 1894's currency. However, he never finds the third level again. When he tells this to his wife and his psychiatrist friend about this, both think that alike philately, this is also another way to take refuge from the realities of the world. However, the proof of the third level's existence comes from the most unexpected source, his psychiatrist friend - Sam. Sam sends Charlie a letter telling him about the third level. When Sam heads over to 1894 through the third level, he sends a first day cover to his Grandfather's address. His Grandfather thinking that the first day cover was sent to him by himself, adds it to his collection of stamps and never opens it thinking that there is nothing in that envelope but blank paper. In the story, you will find a line '...he started my collection'. It means that Charlie's Grandfather had a collection of stamps along with first day covers which was passed over to Charlie. When Charlie was looking at his collection, he found the letter which Sam had written to him and that letter gave solid proof of the third level's existence. You might be confused by the last part of the story, but it's really simple you see... the concept is something like something you do in the past which has direct effect on the present. Charlie received the letter because Sam wrote it to him in 1894. Charlie didn't exist in 1894 because in 1894, he wasn't born. So, Sam had to think and write a letter to Charlie's Grandfather who's hobby was to collect stamps alike Charlie and Sam knew that if somehow he could make his Grandfather into adding the letter to his collection, then it would straightly go off to Charlie as Charlie's collection was started by Charlie's grandfather. So, I think it's clear that Charlie got that letter only when Sam sent it to him. He didn't receive it until Sam actually went to 1894 and wrote a letter to Charlie's grandfather. It's like this...something someone does in the past which has a direct ( in this case immediate) effect on the present you are living in.


The Tiger King
When Maharaja Jilani Jung Jung Bahadur was born, the astrologers had foretold that one day the king would actually have to die. The ten day old Jilani Jung Jung Bahadur started speaking; he told them that all those who were born would have to die one day, he asked them to tell the manner of his death. Everyone stood stunned. An infant born just ten days ago was talking in such a manner .The chief astrologer told the Prince that he was born in hour of the bull. As bull and tiger were enemies therefore his death would come from tiger.

                The Maharaja grew stronger and took to tiger hunting. He was overjoyed when he killed the first tiger. When he told the chief astrologer about that, the chief astrologer told him that he may kill 99 tigers but he must be careful with the hundredth one. In ten years he killed 70 tigers .He banned the killing of tigers in Pratibandhpuram .The tiger population had become extinct at Pratibandhpuram . So the maharaja married to a royal family in a state where tiger population was rich . Thus thereby he killed 99 tigers but one was still left . There was no sign of tigers anywhere . Maharaja could not bear any more . He raised the land tax and also dismissed some of his men . There was a tiger brought later for Maharaja . Maharaja took his men for hunt . He shooted the tiger but it missed the tiger .Maharaja did not notice that . Maharaja’s men knew it but they  feared that if they tell it to Maharaja , then they may lose their job , so they  killed the tiger . But maharaja did not know that he still has one tiger left to be killed .

            Maharaja had to attend his 3 year old son’s birthday . He gifted him a wooden tiger . The tiger was made by an unskilled man .Its surface was rough , as a result its sharp edge pierced into Maharaja’s hand . Next day the infection spread into his whole hand and Maharaja at last died .

          Thus the fateful hundredth tiger though a wooden one was the cause of the Maharaja’s death and proved the prediction of the astrologer correct.


Journey to the end of the Earth

            The chapter is an adventurous experience of the author gained during his journey to the end of the earth- Antarctica. Headed by a Canadian, Geoff Green a group of 52 students along with the author has a thrilling experience, exploring the mysteries of this ice- region. Antarctica?s expansive white landscape and uninterrupted blue horizon is the source of profound wonder. Its immensity and isolation have a deep impact upon the visitors. It is like walking into a giant ping-pong ball devoid of any human markers ? no trees, billboards or buildings. Antarctica, because of her simple ecosystem and lack of biodiversity provides rare opportunity to study how the little changes in the environment can cause big repercussions and influential aftermath. The main aim of the ?Students on Ice? programme is to provide the new generation with inspiring educational chances to help them foster a new understanding and respect for the planet- Earth. It enhances the young generation about the preservation of natural resources.

            Antarctica is the best place, which helps to understand the past, to experience the present and to predict the future. In a Russian research vessel, the team of students, headed by Geoff Green, accompanied by the author moved towards the coldest, driest, windiest continent in the world- Antarctica. Six hundred and fifty million years ago, a giant amalgamated southern super continent ? Gondwana existed, roughly around the present- day Antarctica. Things were quite different then, the climate was much warmer. That big landmass in the long duration was forced to separate into continents, sub continents and countries, shaping the globe.

            Antarctica is devoid of human signs. The visual scale ranges from microscope to the mighty; midges and mites to blue whales and icebergs as big as Belgium. The 24- hour austral summer light, a ubiquitous silence, occasional avalanche on calving ice that purifies the place. In a short amount of time, the situation has changed- villages, towns, cities and mega cities have started dominating nature. The rapid increase of human population has left us battling with other species for limited resources. Unmitigated burning of fossil fuels has now created a blanket of carbon dioxide around the world. The average global temperature is slowly but surely increasing. Climatic changes are threatening the west Antarctic sheet and Gulf Stream Ocean current. Antarctica holds in its ice- cores half- million- year old carbon records trapped in its layers of ice. If we want to study and examine the Earth?s past, present and future, Antarctica is the place to visit.

            Antarctica exhibits and reflects how little changes in the environment can lead to big threats. It is wisely said that if we take care of small things the big things will take care of themselves. The author clearly explained this notion with an example of microscopic phytoplankton, small grasses of the sea that nourish and sustain the entire southern ocean?s food chain. If those small grasses were destroyed, the whole marine system would be in danger- the marine animals; the birds of the region and the global carbon cycle would face certain imbalance. Scientists warn that further depletion in the ozone layer will affect the activities of phytoplankton.

For Question & Answerson journey to end of the earth:-

The Enemy

“The Enemy” is a story about the World War, in which the Japanese and the American were enemies. During that time, an American prisoner is washed ashore in a dying state and is found at the doorstep of a Japanese doctor. The doctor faces a dilemma of whether he should hand the prisoner over to the Army as a patriot or should he save his life as a doctor. He and his wife decide to help him get better and then hand him over to the Army. Dr. Sadao operates over him and makes him well enough facing great difficulties and guilt of harbouring an enemy. His servants leave the house and the doctor and his wife are left alone to take care of everything. Unable to bear it anymore, he then tells about that prisoner to the General who was also under his treatment. But before the Army could be informed he helps the prisoner escape risking his own life. The General indebted to the doctor for his life does not arrest him. Thus, humanity wins against the patriotism of the doctor and he becomes free of all guilt. 

The Enemy
Summary and Analysis:
During the World War an American prisoner of war is washed ashore in a dying state and is found at the doorstep of a Japanese doctor. The whole fiction very poignantly deals with the doctor’s moral perplexity as regards making a choice between saving the dying man as a doctor and handing him over to the Army as a patriot. The story involves a doctor’s moral and ethical duties at professional level and patriotic devotion at national level. Moreover he can’t forget his familial duties as well. All these aspects make the story multidimensional and a classic piece of war literature.

Dr. Sadao Hoki is not only a good surgeon but also an accomplished scientist. He is perfecting a discovery that will render wounds entirely clean. Because of this and because the General might need an operation for a condition for which he is being treated medically at the moment, Sadao is kept in Japan instead of sending him abroad along with the troops. Apart from enjoying the status of being the best Japanese surgeon, Sadao is also an extraordinarily good individual with sterling qualities. His efforts to respond to the moral duties as a human being as well as the ethical call of his profession give him nearly a godly stature. Moreover his sense of responsibility as a doctor coupled with human fellow feeling is surely above all racist considerations.

But at the same time, we must not forget that Sadao’s father inculcated in him great values of patriotic devotion and national loyalty when the latter was very young. Sadao has grown up with such great values that it is now quite impossible for him not to respond to the call of his loyalty to the nation. But he can’t respond to the calls of both his professional ethics and the national loyalty simultaneously. This leads Sadao to undergo a very traumatic period right from the time he starts nurturing the wounded American soldier till he finally packs him off at the grave risk to his own life and his family.

Interestingly enough, Hana, Sadao’s wife, supports Sadao through and through. The question arises why she should have helped and supported her husband while neither has she any moral compulsions nor any ethical obligations to fulfill on one hand and on the other she is very much aware of her duties as a citizen of Japan. But we should remember here that Hana makes Sadao a fine wife and they are a happy couple on many counts. She solemnly considers it her sacred duty to help and support her beloved husband who has been going through an inexplicable mental trauma. On the other hand this is not unknown to Sadao that his wife has been going through a lot of trouble for his sake. This pains him so much that he decides to get rid of the white man as early as possible.

It is really strange that people suffer to a phenomenal degree because of their unflagging conscience. Sadao is no exception in this regard. Despite all moral dilemma, he listens to his heart every time and takes the right decision and his wife Hana very gently follows him. As they shelter the white man in their house despite knowing the identity of the man being one of the Prisoners of War and then save the man by means of a successful surgery, all their servants first go against them, criticize them openly and then finally leave the household causing the couple inordinate difficulties. But both Sadao and Hana stoically and undauntedly bear all this and come out victorious in helping their enemy out in the face of stiff opposition from the servants and their own pangs of conscience.

This story deals with a child's view of the world and the difficult moral questions she raises during the story session with her father. 

Jack (Joanne's father) had become accustomed to or putting it more precisely obligated to telling stories out of his head to his daughter Joanne during the evenings and Saturday afternoons. This tradition itself was now two years old and Joanne had been two when it started. These stories were almost the same except for some slight variations. It started with a creature usually named Roger (Roger fish, Roger squirrel, Roger chipmunk), who had some problem and went with it to the wise owl. The owl directed him to go the the magician, who would solve his problem in exchange for a few pennies more than the creature had and in the same breath would direct the creature to go to a place where he could find it. Then, the roger creature would be so happy and would return home just in time to hear the train whistle that brought his daddy home from Boston. 
On this particular day, a Saturday, it was time for Joanne's nap. So Jack had to tell her a story. So he began his story and asked Joanne what the creature should be named. It seemed they had studied about a new animal at school today for she enthusiastically said "skunk, Roger skunk". The character was set and so began the story. Jack was now ready to start the story and was filled with creative enthusiasm. The story started with the creature being unable to play and make friends with other creatures because he smelled awful. The creature having no other option went to seek the advice of the wise old owl who directed him to go the magician. Roger skunk found his way to the magicians house and sought his help. The magician with his magic wand turned the awful smell that roger had into a smell that was of roses. The roger creature then as directed gave the magician the pennies he had and as per the instruction of the magician went to the well to get the extra pennies. 
Then roger skunk went back home. As he reached home his mother was disappointed with roger skunk as she thought that it was not right to change one's identity to please their friends. She said real friends are the ones who accept you for who you are and not for who you want to become. She then took roger back to the magician and hit the magician with the umbrella she had been carrying. The magician then performed his magic and roger no longer smelled of roses. After that they returned home just in time to hear the whistle of the train blow that brought Roger skunk's father home and from that day on, Roger skunk was content in being himself. 
Throughout this story Jack wanted to teach his daughter Joanne about moral values, but his daughter Joanne (Jo), who was just a child, reacted differently to the story's ending. She want the wizard to hit Roger's mother and let Roger smell of roses and not change him. This was a child's perspective of things. To a child, friends mean everything and they do not understand moral values and the importance of parents. 
Jack had faced similar problems like roger had faced so he was trying to tell Jo that whatever parents say or do for them are in their best interest. But Jo was adamant and wanted another ending for the story. 
After the story ended jack went down to help his wife Clare paint the furniture. When he reached downstairs he saw that the woodwork, a cage of moldings and rails and baseboards all around them ,was half old tan and half new ivory and he felt caught in an ugly middle position, and though he as well felt his wife's presence in the cage with him, he did not want to speak with her, work with her, touch her, anything 
NOTE: Jack had a son named Bobby two years old, Clare was three months pregnant. 
thank you


On The Face Of It.

The main theme is that appearances are deceptive and most often, we go on dealing with impressions and prejudices about others without caring to know about them actually.People know Mr. Lamb as a lonely eccentric lame old man but in reality he is a very kind and generous man who longs for company and he loves his fellow human beings along with all the other creations of God. Similarly Derek appears to be an abominable ugly boy with a huge scar on his face whom no one loves or likes or befriends. He is the object of other people’s hateful stares ridicules and neglect. Even his mother does not dare to kiss him on the cheek with the scar. Yet this boy who is suffering from an acute inferiority complex has a tender and sensitive heart. He wants to love and be loved. Fortunately he meets Mr. Lamb who transforms him with his healing touch

Evans Tries an O-Level

Evans desired to have some sort of academic qualification while he was serving imprisonment. For this he wanted to give the o-level (ordinary certificate in secondary examination) in German. So, a German teacher comes to teach him for ten months. Then he gives the examination there in his cell. A parson called McLeery is called to invigilate for the exam. The Governor him self comes to supervise security arrangements as the prisoner is very cunning and had escaped three times earlier also. The parson left with all the papers after the exam got over.

However later it was discovered that Evans had escaped in the guise of a parson. Evans had badly wounded the parson behind the prison cell. The parson tells that he knew where Evan was. So he is sent in a police van to catch Evans. But since the parson was bleeding badly he was dropped at the hospital. Later it was found that no wounded parson had visited the hospital. So now it was obvious that the parson was a fake. But now they knew that Evans did not escape in the guise of Parson but he had stayed in the prison and fooled the entire prison staff. The blood that flowed from his head was that of a pig which was brought in by McLeery. Similarly McLeery was no Parson. The real McLeery had been tied up in a room by some of Evans’s friends.

Later the governor caught him in a hotel room, handcuffed him and sent him in a prison van with prison officers. Once again Evans got the better of the governor as the prison van as well as the officers was false and a part of the master plan drafted by Evans friend.

Now he was free once again and so he was rightly called ‘Evans the Break’

Summary- Memories of Childhood

Author-Zitkala Sa and Bama

>>>>   The chapter contains two extracts from two different autobiographical episodes from the lives of two women- Zitkala Sa and Bama- both are victims of social discriminations. Former is the victim of racial discrimination whereas Bama is the victim of caste discriminations. In both the extracts, the writers look back on their childhood and reflect on their relationship with mainstream culture, which ill-treated them when they were child.

            Gertrude Simmons adopted the pen- name Zitkala Sa and began publishing articles criticizing about her school. This extract is a painful revelation of a particular period of the life, which the writer had to suffer during her hostel days. It was the first day of her boarding situated in the land of apples. The children were given the task of apple picking in the bitter and biting cold. They were taken to the breakfast hall and the girl was feeling stressed. She did not know the table manners. She was being watched very carefully by a strange pale-faced woman. The girl felt very fearful and insulted.

            Her friend who could understand some English, told her that the pale strange woman intended to cut her long hair. Zitkala Sa learned from her mother that hair would be shingled only for the unskilled warrior, cowards and mourners. She decided to fight back and got herself hidden in a dim room under the bed. Every body looked for her and called her name but eventually caught. Her long hair was cut, although she resisted a lot. She spent her rest of the life there like a small animal being a part of a herd, which was driven by a herder.

>>>>       The second episode depicts the humiliations suffered by a Tamil dalit woman. She wrote her novels and articles by the name Bama.

            Bama never heard of the word untouchability during her childhood. Certain small events of her life made her feel that she was born in the marginalized caste. She was a happy peppy girl and once when she was in the third class, while going home she saw her people working hard for their land- lords. In spite of their hard work the landlords treated the workers very humiliatingly. She saw from the direction of the market an elder from their community was coming with a parcel in his hands. The manner he carried the poly bag, the manner he was carrying it with its strings, without touching the vadas inside the parcel, really made him to be funny. He handed over the parcel to the landlord very sacredly too. She narrated the incident to her brother, taking the incident as humorous and funny. He told that it was not humorous but humiliating as the elderly person was not supposed to touch the item inside the parcel. On hearing that Bama felt infuriated.

            She saw her people bowing, to the upper caste people. She was enraged why her elders work so hard for those people who despised them so much. She wanted her people to stop paying undue respect and reverences to these upper caste people. Her brother told her that if they study hard and make progress in their lives, it would help them in throwing away the indignities. Education is their weapon with which they fight back the society. Bama did the same and got many friends in her life. Education made her as double- sided sward to fight very sharply against the unjustified caste system.



End of vistas…

start of flamingos///

The last Lesson
The prose 'The last lesson',written by Alphonse Daudet narrates about the year 1870  when the prussian forces under Bismark attacked and captured France.The french districts of Alsace and Lorraine went into Prussian hands.The new Prussian rulers discontinued the teaching of French in the schools of these two districts.The French teachers were asked to leave.The story describes the last day of one such French,M.Hamel.Mr. M.Hamel had been transfered and could no longer remain in his old school.Still he gave last lesson to his students with utmost devotion and sincerity as ever.The story depicts the pathos of the whole situation about how people feel when they dont learn their own language and then losing an asset in M.Hamel.
One of his student Franz who dreaded french class and M.Hamel's iron rod, came to the school that day thinking he would be punished as he had not learnt his lesson.But on reaching school he found Hamel dressed in sunday clothes and all the old people of the village sitting there.It was due to an order on the bulletin board. That was the first day when he realised for the first time that how important french was for him, but it was his LAST LESSON in French.

Lost Spring by Anees jung
This story narrates about the children of the bangle makers of Firozabad. The essay does so through the lives of two children, Saheb-e-Alam and Mukesh whose spring or childhood is lost in misery and poverty. Saheb is the son of two parents who migrated from Bangladesh. They came to Delhi in 1971 as their house was swept away by repeated storms. Then they began to live in Seemapuri, a slum of Delhi. Saheb like many other children of the slum was a rag picker. They searched the rags and garbage and tried to find out coins. Sometimes they found one rupee coins and sometimes even ten rupee coins. Saheb did not attend any school as there was no school nearby. He was too poor to wear chappals. Saheb liked the game of tennis. Someone gave him a pair of tennis shoes. But he would never get the chance to play the game himself. At last, Saheb got employed in a tea stall. He was not happy as he had lost his freedom. But he had no choice in the matter. 
The life of Mukesh at Firozabad was no better. Mukesh lived with his elder brother who was a bangle maker. He wanted to be a driver and a motor-mechanic, not at all eager to continue bangle making. But the people thought that it was their karam or the result of their karma in the previous birth that they were born into the caste of bangle-makers. So they were destined to make bangles and they could not do anything else. Thousands of children are engaged in bangle making and many of them lost their eyesight before becoming adults. They did not know that it was illegal for children to work in that hazardous condition in the glass factories. The story is the same in every family. Mukesh took the writer to his house where the writer came to know that his grandfather had become blind working in the factory. Similarly in another family, the author came to know how the husband was happy that he had been able to make a house for his own family to live in but the wife complained that she did not get a full meal in her whole life.
Hundreds of years of slavery had killed the initiative of people to think of a better life. They carried on their miserable life as they did not have the courage to rebel against tradition. They did not have money enough to start their own new kind of enterprise. If someone dared to start a new line, there were police, middle-men, sahukars and politicians to persecute them. Police, middle-men and others would not allow them to take any other vocation. Justice after all is the right of the rich and the powerful, not of the helpless like Mukesh. The condition of the life of Saheb or Mukesh was far from desirable. It should not be allowed to continue. But some people must bell the cat. The writer was happy when he came to know that some young men like Mukesh was ready to take the plunge, rebel against tradition and start a new life.

second long summery 

Raju works at a roadside dhaba for sixteen hours a day. Idrees has lost his memory and bears on his body the scars of being tortured at the carpet-manufacturing unit where he worked. Saheb scrounges the garbage dumps on the streets of Delhi for his daily wages. Munni has travelled long distances from her village home, looking for work as a domestic help in the city. Like Raju and Idrees, Saheb and Munni, millions of children all over the country are doomed to a life of backbreaking toil. Half adult, half children, victims of physical and mental abuse, they represent the dark underbelly of India's economic growth. In Lost Spring: Stories of Stolen Childhood, best-selling author Anees Jung exposes a national shame: children cleaning floors and tables in shanty restaurants; making locks, slates and fireworks; rolling bidis; weaving saris and carpets; packing and hauling loads in factories and stone quarries. With her trademark sensitivity and insight, she analyses the grinding poverty and traditions sanctified by caste and religion which condemn these children to a life of exploitation. In this bleak world, the author also finds stories of resilience and fortitude-children who have refused to accept their condition, thus opening new vistas for themselves and others like them. She also documents incredible profiles in courage-individuals and institutions who battle not only governmental and bureaucratic apathy but also social values and cultural norms that support and accept the concept of child labour

Deep Water

  The story, “Deep Waters” tells us how the writer overcame his fear of water and learned swimming with sheer determination and will power. He had developed a terror of water since childhood. When he was three or four years old the writer had gone to California with his father. One day on the beach, the waves knocked the child down and swept over him. The child was terrified but the father who knew there was no harm laughed. The experience bred a permanent fear of water in the child’s sub-conscious mind. Still another incident, more serious, increased his terror. The writer was trying to learn swimming in the Y.M.C.A. swimming pool in Yakima. One day while he was waiting for other boys, a big boy suddenly played a dangerous prank and pushed him into the water. The writer was terribly frightened. He went down nine feet into the water. His lungs were full of the unreleased air. When he reached the bottom, he jumped upward with all his strength. He came up but very slowly. He tried to catch hold of something like a rope but grasped only at water.
            He tried to shout but no sound came out. He went down again. His lungs ached, head throbbed and he grew dizzy. He felt paralyzed with fear. All his limbs were paralyzed. Only the movement of his heart told him that he was alive. Again he tried to jump up. But this time his limbs would not move at all. He looked for ropes, ladders and water wings but all in vain. Then he went down again, the third time. This time all efforts and fear ceased. He was moving towards peaceful death. The writer was in peace. When he came to consciousness, he found himself lying on the side of the pool with the other boys nearby. The terror that he had experienced in the pool never left him. It haunted him for years and years to come. It spoilt many of his expeditions of canoeing, swimming and fishing. It spoilt his pleasures in Maine Lakes, New Hampshire, Deschutes, Columbia and Bumping Lake etc.

            But the writer was determined to conquer his terror. He took help of a swimming instructor to learn swimming. The instructor taught him various actions necessary in swimming part by part. He put his face under water and exhaled and inhaled raising it above water. He practiced it for several weeks. He had to kick with his legs a few weeks on the side of the pool. At last he combined all these actions and made the writer swim. He learned swimming but the terror continued. So deep goes our childhood experiences! So fearful is the fear of fear! Whenever he was in water the terror returned. Hence forward the writer tried to terrorize terror itself. He tried to face the new challenge. When terror came, he confronted it by asking it sarcastically as to what it can really do to him? He plunged into the water as if to defy the fear. Once he took courage the terror vanquished. He faced the challenge deliberately in various places like the Warm Lake. He conquered it at last.
            The experiences of the writer throw some important lights on certain aspects of life. Experiences of pain or pleasure in childhood remain in the sub-conscious mind and influence our feelings later too. The fear of water acted on the writer in that way. Even after being an expert in swimming, the writer felt terror. There was no reason at all. Once he took courage, the fear vanished. That shows most of our fears are baseless. Fear creates dangers where there is none. The writer’s experiences further confirm the proverbial truth, “Where there is a will, there is a way.”


The Rat trap

There was a poor man who sold rat-traps and earned his livelihood. His income from the traps was not enough. So he also begged and stole petty things at times. He was not a born thief as no man is. Necessity compelled him in the petty thieving. He used to sleep at night in the houses of people if someone allowed him or some places like factories like Ramsjo Iron-Works. Once an idea struck him that the world is like a rat-trap full of temptations to trap men. If a man is tempted by the baits of wealth, power, etc. he is trapped like a rat in a rat trap. The man selling rat-traps lived a poor life without enough food or shelter. So he looked upon the world in the light of his own sufferings. Once he took shelter in the house of a man who was the crofter in Ramsjo Iron-Works. The man was lonely without any family. He welcomed the rat-trap man as he would get rid of his loneliness at least for a night.
The crofter told him about his life and showed him the thirty kronor that the crofter had kept near the window. Initially he was happy to get the money but very soon the rat trap began to work. He feared detection and avoided the highway. He walked through the forest and lost his way there. He then saw the forge of the Ramsjo Iron-Works and went there to spend the night near the forge. At that time, the iron-master, the owner of the factory, came in. The iron-master by mistake thought him to be his old friend, Nils Olof, with whom he had served in the regiment. To help his friend fallen on bad days, he invited the peddler to his house. The rat-trap man or peddler realized that the iron-master was making a mistake but he did not correct him in the hope that he might help him a little.
But he did not like to go into his house as he feared that he might be exposed and detected. But the kind-hearted daughter of the iron-master Edla Willmansson was too compassionate and loving to be resisted. She suspected even that the man might have committed some crime. But she ignored that and thought that the man, always haunted by fear and security, must have lived a miserable life. She wanted to give him at least a night’s peace and security. She assured the peddler that in her house, he would be safe from ant interference and he would be free to leave anytime. She persuaded him to be her guest on the Christmas Eve. The genuine compassion of Edla gave the man a sense of peace and security. He slept all the while as if he wanted to make up for the sleepless nights he had spent throughout his life.

He ate the Christmas delicacies. The daughter gave him the suit that he was given to wear and she invited him to the next Christmas and assured him of secrecy and security. The rat-trap man was overwhelmed. The next morning, he left the manor house. But before leaving, he left the packet containing the thirty kronor of the crofter. He wrote a letter to Edla asking her to return the money to the crofter. He wrote that she had treated him with respect as if he was a real captain. She had treated him as a man and not as a thief. That genuine regard had induced him to be a better man and giving up stealing. Thus, the genuine compassion and kindness of Edla changed the life of a thief and turned him to a better man.



This story portraits Gandhiji’s struggle for the poor peasants of Champaran. The peasants were share croppers with the British planters. According to one old agreement, the peasants had to cultivate indigo on fifteen percent of the land and give as rent. The British didn’t need the indigo crop any more when Germany had developed synthetic indigo. Just to release the peasants from the fifteen percent agreement they demanded compensation. Some illiterate peasants agreed but others refused. Later lawyers were appointed .At that time Gandhiji went to Champaran. He managed to get justice after a year long battle for the peasants. He also made arrangements for the education, health, and hygiene for the families of the poor peasants. He gave them the lesson of self reliance.



Poets and pancakes (my years with boss) by Asokamitran

for nearly thirty years from 1940, the Gemini Studios of Madras (Chennai) was the most influential film-producing organisation of India and its founder, the brilliant multi-faceted entrepreneur S.S. Vasan lent substance and quality to the rather fragile and unpredictable movie business. The Gemini emblem of two small boys with bugles was true to Vasan’s slogan for the Studios, ‘when the bugles blow, there is a great show,’ Gemini films entertained millions all over India and abroad.

Sahitya Akademi award-winning Tamil writer Ashokamitran worked for the Gemini Studios from 1952 to 1966. A full twenty years after he ‘renounced’ films, poet-editor Pritish Nandy persuaded Ashokamitran to record his reminiscences and the result was a series of articles making up My Years with Boss. The book covers only five of his fourteen years with the Studios but captures that phase of Indian movie business when the key factors of the box office were imperceptibly shifting from the studios to the stars.

My Years with Boss is one of the most unusual books to be written about the entertainment world and clearly indicates the enormous impact of the movies on virtually every aspect of life in India.

The author’s ability to capture the life and breath of people and events, and his puckish narrative make this a brief but special book of film history."


The Interview

Part - I
The Interview - a commonplace of journalism: Since its invention a little over 130 years ago, the interview has become a commonplace of journalism. All the literates must have read an interview at some point in their lives.
Different opinions about Interview: Some claim that an interview is a source of truth and in its practice,· it is an art. While some others think that interview is an unwarranted intrusion into their lives and somehow it diminishes them.
Umberto Eco is a professor at the university of Bologna in Italy. He has accomplished a good reputation for his ideas on semiotics (the study of signs). He has written'! wide range of books. His novel 'The Name of the Rose' brought him name and fame. Mukund asks Umberto how he can do so many things in his life. Eco reveals a secret about himself. He says that we all have a lot of' empty spaces' in our lives. He calls them 'interstices'. If we fill empty spaces with our work, we can achieve a lot of success in our life. He also tells Mukund that he considers himself a university professor who writes novels on Sundays. He became a novelist by chance.



Going Places

The theme of this story is adolescent fantasising and hero-worship.
The story revolves around the life of Sophie, a teenager, who, like others of her age, is filled with fantasies and desires. She comes from a poor financial background, but hopes to be sophisticated in the future. Sophie dreams of owning a boutique one day ot being an actress or fashion designer, but her friend Jansie believes that both of them are earmarked for the biscuit factory. Jansie, who is more realistic, tries to pull Sophie to reality, but in vain. 
Sophie lives in a small house with her parents and brothers, Geoff and little Derek. Though she voices her feelings and desires, her parents pooh-pooh her, because they, unlike her, are more mature and know the truths of life.
Sophie finds a sort of fascination for her elder brotherGeoff, who is tall, strong and handsome and reserved. She envies his silence and often wonders about his thoughts and areas of his life that she doesn't know about. 
The centre of this story is that Sophie fantasises about Danny Casey, an Irish football player, whom she had seen playing in innumerable matches. She makes up a story about how she met him in the streets and tells this to Geoff. Geoff, who is more sensible than Sophie, does not really believe her, even if she wants to. It seems an unlikely incident for Sophie to meet the prodigy in their street, but whe Sophie describes the meeting in all her details, he begins to hope that it could be true. She tells him that Danny has promised to meet her somewhere again.
Sophie gets so pulled into the story she made that she herself begins to believe that its true. She waits for the Irish player, but obviously, he never arrives. Then, she makes her way home, wondering how her brother would be disappointed on knowing that Danny Casey never showed up. However, Sophie still fantasises about her hero, unperturbed







My Mother at Sixty Six

This poem revolves around the theam of advancing age and the fear adheared to it of loss and separation.
The poet is on the way to airport in Cochin ,when she is stuck by the realization of the advancing age of her mother.It is very difficult for her to accept that her mother is creeping into the grips of old age.When she looks at her mother sitting by her side ,she notices her corpse like ashen face which reminds her of her aproaching death.She is pale and worn out.
The green trees racing past the speeding car are grim reminders of time which has passed.The joyous children playing outside give her some respite a she is lost in her thoughts of old age.The children represent old youth,energy and life.she is probably driven back to the days of her idyllic youth when the mother had been young.Now she was encircled in the fear of losing her,this made her feel insecure.She had this feeling when ever she looked at her mother as she had lost the blush of youth and middle age and now in her twiligh years had become as pale as the winter moon.
She is happy to see her mother is still breathing.But she is beset with sorrow and insecurity as she departs at the airport bidding goodbye to her mother and trying to hide her fears by smiling as she looked at her.


An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

Stephen Spender highlights the plight of slum children by using vivid images and apt words to picture a classroom in a slum. Through this he touches, in a subtle manner, the themes of social injustice and inequalities.


Lines 1, 2

The opening line of the poem uses an image to contrast the slum children’s faces with those of others. The image used is ‘gusty waves’ indicating brightness, verve and animation. But these are missing from faces of these children. The next image of ‘rootless weeds’ produces double effect. ‘Weeds’ indicate being unwanted and ‘rootless’ indicates not belonging. The slum children are like ‘rootless weeds’ unwanted by society and not belonging to society. Their uncombed hair fall on their pale faces.


Lines 3 to 8

Next, a few of the slum children are described. There is a tall girl whose head is weighed-down with sadness, disinterestedness or shame or a mixture of all the three. She is probably over-aged for the class. Another boy is thin, emaciated like paper and his eyes pop out from his thin body looking furtive like rat’s eyes. He seems to have inherited stunted and twisted growth of bones from his father. Spender has used the word ‘reciting’ to show that instead of studying/reciting, a normal activity in school, the boy had only his inherited crippling disease to show/recite in the class. This could suggest that the boy’s condition seem to have arisen because of his poverty especially his inability to avail heath services at the right time. Right at the back of the badly lit room is an unnoticed young boy. He is probably too young for poverty to have stifled his childish imagination. He daydreams of the squirrel’s game and about the tree house, absent mentally from the classroom.


Lines 9 to 12

Spender then describes the classroom. The word ‘sour’ used to describe the cream walls of the classroom indicates its derelict condition. Contradicting this state and the slum children are Shakespeare’s head indicating erudition, the picture of a clear sky at dawn and a beautiful Tyrolese valley indicating beauty of nature and hope, dome of an ancient city building standing for civilization and progress and a world map awarding the children the world. The lines “Open-handed map / Awarding the world its world” could refer to the map of the world hanging on the wall of the classroom giving/showing (awarding) everyone (the world) the world out there to explore and know (its world).


Lines 13 to 16

But the world of the slum children is the limited world that can be seen though the windows of the classroom and not what the map promises. All these seem ironic when contrasted with the misery and hopeless condition of the slum children. Their future is foggy, bleak and dull. Their life/world is confined within the narrow streets of the slum enclosed by the dull sky far away from rivers, seas that indicate adventure and learning and from the stars that stand for words that can empower their future. 'Lead sky' means a dullsky or a dimly lit sky. This symbolises the bleak, dull life and future of the slum children.

Lines 17 to 24

The poet feels that the head of Shakespeare and the map are cruel temptations for these children living in cramped houses (holes), whose lives revolve around (slyly turns) dullness (fog) and hopelessness (endless night) as they imagine and long for (steal) adventure(ships), for a better future (sun) and for love. Their emaciated wasted bodies compared to slag (waste) heaped together seemed to be wearing the clothes of skin covering their peeping bones and wearing spectacles of steel with cracked glasses looking like bottle bits mended. The slum is their map as big as the doom of the city buildings and their life (time and space) foggy and dim. The poet repeatedly uses the word fog to talk about the unclear, vague and dull life of the slum children.


Lines 25 to 32

The only hope of a life beyond the slums that enclose their lives like catacombs is some initiative by the governor, inspector of schools or a visitor. The poem ends with the poet fervently hoping that slum children will have access to better education and a better way of life. He uses the words ‘Break o break open’ to say that they have to break out from the miserable hopeless life of the slum world so that they can wander beyond the slums and their town on to the green fields and golden sands (indicating the unlimited world). These can become their teacher and like dogs lapping up food hungrily, they can learn directly (run naked) from the open pages (leaves) of nature and the world which is sustained (whose language) by the sun standing for energy and life.


Keeping Quiet

This poem talks about the need for quiet introspection and creating feelings of mutual understanding, love and respect among human beings.
The poet suggests that he count to 12 and we all keep still. The purpose of this exercise, according to him, is to create a sense of togetherness in the minds of all people. In the twelve seconds of silence that the poet wishes to observe, he wants all the people on earth to not talk in any language, but to speak through their hearts and understand each other. He feels that it would be an exotic moment, with silence. There would be no rush and no noise and all the people in the world would be bonded by this sudden stillness.
Fishermen in the sea would stop their act of killing and men who gather salt would stop their work and look at their hands, hurt from the burdens of their toil. For once, they would be able to pay heed to their selves, rather than their work.
People who fight wars would stop and walk about with all others, like brothers, doing nothing.
The poet does not want total inactivity or death. He feels that today, all the people are so engrossed in keeping their lives moving and fulfilling their duties, that no one has time to think about themselves or others. He believes that if we observe these few moments of silence, it would unite us in a strange silence and help us understand ourselves better. It would foster a sense of brotherhood and unity among us.
According to the poet, we should all learn a lesson from the earth, who appears to be dead on the surface. But beneath the surface is amazing life, which proves that there can be life under apparent stillness.


The Thing Of Beauty

This poem tries to percieve the world through language.The believes that there are certain things which are beautiful and worth to be treasured.He points out the intransient nature of beautiful things.THese things leave a lasting impression on our mind .The pleasure got by them is not momentary.THey are very valuable as they provide peace to human mind.Life is full of tribulations.Loss of  faith and disappointment are the result of our own making.beautiful things make life worthwhile as they lift the veil of gloom, finding way for optimism and hope.

The poet names a few beautiful thing which are simplest of things .These include sun moon trees etc.even things like sheep daffodils ,clear springs ,musk roses growing in the wild are things that give joy and happiness to the human heart.beauties of nature have an elixir of life.It is like a precious gift from heaven.


A Roadside Stand by Robert Frost

In this poem, the poet contrasts the lives of poor and deprived countryside people who struggle to live, with the thoughtless city people who don’t even bother to notice the roadside stand that these people have put up to sell their goodies.

Lines 1 to 6
The poem starts with the description of the roadside stand and the intention behind it. A small time farmer builds a vegetable stand at the edge of the highway outside his house in the hope that passing cars would buy the produce and earn a bit of the money that supports cities from falling into ruin. He only wants to earn a living, he is not begging for money.

Lines 7 to 13
However, no cars ever stop and the ones that even glance in the direction of the stand without any feeling of compassion or relatedness (out of sorts) only comment about how the construction spoils the view of the surroundings or how badly painted the wrongly pointed North and South signs are or to notice without interest the wild berries and squash for sale in the stand or the beautiful mountain scene.

Lines 13 to 22
The farmer tells the rich travelers to keep their money if they meant to be mean and that the hurt to the view is not as important as the sorrow he feels on being ignored. He only wishes for some (city) money so that he may experience the plush life (make our beings expand) portrayed by the movies and other media, which the political parties are said to be refusing him.

Lines 23 to 31
Frost goes on to say that even though these people have benefactors (good-doers), who plan to relocate them in villages where they can have easy access to the cinema and the store, they are actually selfish (‘greedy good-doers’ and ‘beasts of prey’) and only help these "pitiful kin" to indirectly advantage themselves. The altruists wish to make these villagers completely dependent on them for all their benefits and comforts, thus robbing them of the ability to think for themselves and be independent. 'The ancient way' could mean the old way when people worked during the day and slept at night. This is being reversed by the new 'greedy good doers' who teach these people to not use their brain. They are unable to sleep at night because they haven't worked during day time or because they are troubled by their new lifestyle.

Lines 32 to 43
Frost then talks about his personal feelings, saying that he can hardly bear the thought of the farmer's dashed hopes. The open windows of the farmer's house seem to wait all day just to hear the sound of a car stopping to make a purchase. However they are always disappointed, as vehicles only stop to enquire the price, to ask their way ahead, to reverse or ask for a gallon of gas. 'The polished traffic' refers to the rich class who drive their cars to their destinations (with a mind ahead) probably to another city unmindful of the countryside roadside stand and if at all they did get distracted by the countryside (if ever aside a moment) they seemed out of place in it (out of sorts).

Lines 44 to 51
According to the poet, the progress required has not been found by these country folk (“the requisite lift of spirit"). Their lifestyles provide ample evidence to support this fact. He sometimes feels that it might be best to simply put these people out of their pain and hardships of existence. However, once rational thinking returns to his mind, he wonders how HE would feel if someone offered to do him this supposed service.


Aunt Jennifer's Tigers    

Adrienne Rich's "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers", depicts a woman trapped within the cultural constraints and responsibilities of married life.

In the first stanza, Aunt Jennifer’s situation and character is contrasted with her artistic creation that portrays her aspiration. The tapestry on which she has knitted tigers are very symbolic of what she wants to be in life - fearless, assertive, noble and powerful like the tiger as expressed in the words "They pace in sleek chivalric certainty". The word 'certainty' could portray the self-assuredness of the tiger or the confident bearing of the tiger as it is fearless of life.The tigers depicted as prancing across the screen bring to mind a being that is confident, self-assured and happy; all things that Aunt Jennifer is not. The use of colours implies that Aunt Jennifer's tigers and their land are more vital and enjoy a sense of freedom far greater than her. Yellow (bright topaz) connotes the sun and fierce energy, while green reminds one of spring and rebirth.

In the second stanza, Aunt Jennifer's present state is depicted. Her fingers are "fluttering through her wool" showing both physical and mental weakness. She finds it difficult to pull the needle. "The massive weight of Uncle's wedding band / Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer's hand" reminds us that her marriage responsibilities weigh her down which makes her unable to realize her full potential as a woman in a male-dominated society. She escapes from her difficult situation through art i.e. through knitting.

The final stanza contains imagery that reflects back on the first two stanzas. The reference of the hands symbolizes Aunt Jennifer as a whole. Though her death would free her from her present miserable state, her hands will remain terrified with the wedding ring which binds her to her ordeals that took complete control of her. The only sign of her freedom from her present life is the art work which she escapes into by depicting the prancing, proud and unafraid tigers which is what she really wants to be and which she attains through her imagination.




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