Creative writing exercises for high school students

March 28, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Simple writing exercises needing imagination and vocabulary …

1. You are a banker. Some of your borrowers are tea garden owners who have taken sizable term loan and working capital loans from you.
Read this article and write a 15-line answer as to why the changing weather pattern should worry you. Click here on this link and read the relevant article for your guidance.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26754121

2. You have bought a first class air-conditioned ticket from Bangalore to Delhi. You are traveling with your newly-married wife on a vacation. On stepping into the compartment, you don’t see the welcoming ambiance normally expected. Describe, in at least three sentences, how will you react

a. If you see two fat khadi-clad netas occupying your berths and having a drink, quite noisily.
Or
b. You notice some smoke emanating from the switch board.
Or
c. You see some blood stains on the pillow.
Or
d. You see a college boy and his girl friend locked in amorous embrace, oblivious of other passengers.

Hints for vocabulary … Gripe, Shriek, Recoil in horror, Scream, Holler, Gesticulate, Bemused, Exchange glances, Banal, Indiscretion, Race through

———-Send me your answers within a week. The best answer will get a gift. ———————

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Answers to Creme de la Creme words (Second part)

March 23, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Answers to Crème de la Crème Words (Second part) …..

Rancid & Rancour

RancidDictionary meaning …
First meaningOils or fats smelling or tasting unpleasant as a result of being old and stale:
My grandmother used to rub old ghee on my chest whenever respiratory infection troubled. Such ghee stored for years can’t be eaten because of their repulsive rancid nature.

Second meaningHighly unpleasant; repugnant:

a. The late Khuswant Singh derived great pleasure in lampooning the Indian dhoti-clad bloated Indian politicians. He could not finish his columns without mentioning an anecdote or a joke about the vainglorious nature of the Netas. While the infuriated politicians called Singh names for his rancid comments, scores of his readers reveled in his unique sense of humor.

b. To boost circulation and provoke the readers, the editors of Saamna, the mouthpiece of the Shiv Sena, intersperse the magazine with rancid comments about leaders of the rival parties and migrants from other states.

RancourMeaning .. Bitterness or resentfulness, especially when long standing:

a. In the novel The Serpent and the Rope, the husband, an Indian, and the wife, a French, part ways with little rancor.

b. It appears, the rise of Modi in the BJP and his projection for the prime minister’s post, has caused a lot of rancor among the old guard in the party.
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Alibi & Albeit

Alibi ..

Meaning 1A claim or piece of evidence that one was elsewhere when an act, typically a criminal one, is alleged to have taken place:

The bookie was in a hospital undergoing surgery when the prosecution said he planned the match-fixing operations. The defense lawyer used the bookie’s surgery as an alibi, saying mockingly that a heavily sedated human being with oxygen masks on his face needs superhuman powers to plan a match-fixing operation.

Meaning 2 .. An excuse or pretext (informal):

a. Some Republicans believe that Russia used Ukraine’s request for NATO membership as an alibi to adopt a belligerent stand on Crimea.

b. The truant student sustained a minor bruise while re-arranging the furniture in the class room. The teacher cautioned him not to use this as an alibi for remaining absent from school the next day.

Albeit …

Meaning 1Although

a. I reached the finish of the marathon albeit in the last place, nearly 30 minutes after the runner who won the race.

b. Italy is turning round its economy albeit very slowly.

Ponder, Pander & Pamper

Ponder…

MeaningThink about (something) carefully, especially before making a decision or reaching a conclusion:

a. The Congress Party in India ponders ways to check further exodus of its prominent members to the BJP.

b. President Obama, under pressure from the Republicans is pondering tougher sanctions against Russia.

PanderGratify or indulge (an immoral or distasteful desire or taste or a person with such a desire or taste):

a. Film producers in Bollywood are trying to intersperse their movies with risqué songs and dances in order to ensure commercial success of their films.

b. The courtesan pandered to the young prince’s demands to make a fortune.

Pamper .. Indulge with every attention, comfort, and kindness; spoil:

a. The new airline pampers its passengers with good food and wine to win their loyalty.

b. A pampered child is more likely to stray than one brought up in a Spartan household.

————————-More in the next post————————–
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Answers to Creme de la Creme words –First part

March 21, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Answers to Creme de la Creme words use ….

Insidious, Incipient

Insidious:
Dictionary meaning .. Proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with very harmful effects

a. Doctors always advise women to watch out for insidious signs of breast cancer. Minor lumps in the breast are wake-up call to visit the oncologist for a clinical check-up.

b. L. K. Advani is painfully aware of the insidious propaganda against him within the BJP. This explains why he was so miffed at the party’s decision to shift him to MP from his traditional constituency, Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

Incipient: – Beginning to happen or develop

a. Russian economy was already throwing up signs of incipient slide towards recession before the Ukraine crisis. The looming western sanctions will exacerbate the situation and might hasten the onset of a massive slowdown of the economy.

b. The Congress Party was always wary of the incipient voter disenchantment with its record of dismal governance and rampant corruption. To nullify this perception, it decided to spend a whopping 800 million dollars to give a facelift to Rahul Gandhi, its star campaigner.

c. The boy and the girl from an Indian village in Haryana decided to check into a hotel in a nearby town for some intimate moments. The boy made the girl wear a traditional saree and sport a fake Mangal Sutra around her neck to preempt any prying look from the hotel’s booking clerk. The girl also behaved like a newly-married wife. This maneuver camouflaged their intent as they looked like a married couple rather than incipient lovers out to engage in some romantic pleasures.

d. His insomnia and lack of appetite are signs of his incipient sickness.

Run away, Runaway

Runaway: –A person who has run away, especially from their family or an institution

a. Police are now resorting to use instant messaging sites like WhatsApp to trace cases of runaways.

b. When the loco driver went for a tea break, the train mysteriously began to move on its own. It picked up speed posing great problems of safety to houses situated on both sides of the rail track. Finally, the runaway train was stopped when the guard applied emergency brakes from his cabin.

Run away: Escape from a place, person, or situation

a. The Dalit boy ran away with the Brahmin girl causing a minor riot in the Indian town.

b. The Russian side has assured the Crimean citizens that Russia will never run away from its responsibility towards them.

Deprecate, Decrepit

Deprecate: Express disapproval of

a. The High Court judge deprecated the tendency of the defense counsel to seek repeated adjournments.

b. The father’s deprecating look silenced the sulking child.

Decrepit: Worn out or ruined because of age or neglect

a. In the absence of a building of its own, the school operates from an old decrepit warehouse.

b. When you go to the interior parts of the holy city of Benaras, you will come across many decrepit builds that used to ne the abode of Sadhus.

Decipher, Decode

Decipher: Convert (a text written in code, or a coded signal) into normal language
Succeed in understanding, interpreting, or identifying (something)

During the Second World War, the Royal Air Force engineers had tried very hard to decipher secret German messages related to their operations.

Decode: Convert (a coded message) into intelligible language

a. A compiler decodes a source program in high level language to machine language.

b. Very careful observation is needed to decode the secrets of Nature.

————————–Rest words in the next post—————–

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Vocabulary for the creme de la creme — CAT, GMAT, CS Essay

March 14, 2014 at 10:29 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Words for the crème de la crème List 1……
The following pairs of words have over-lapping meanings. Can you demonstrate their difference through sentences?
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Insidious, Incipient,
Runaway, Run-away,
Deprecate, Decrepit,
Decipher, Decode,
Rancid, Rancour,
Alibi, Albeit,
Ponder, Pamper,
Calibrate, Calculated,
Mollify, Mull,
Reverberate, Resonate,
Capitulate, Catapult,
Generous, Magnanimous,
Raucous, Bedlam,
Non-descript, Unknown
Portion, Potion,
Concussion, Révulsion
Meander, Minder,
Arrainged, Deranged
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Answers will be posted soon.
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Answer to creative Writing –Model letter to Principal for school menu

March 13, 2014 at 10:55 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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To
The Principal
Nehru International School
Bangalore                                                                                       Date …….

Subject … Suggestions for a better system of canteen procurement

Respected Sir,

I am Duncan Smith, a student of Class seven, Section D. Last week, you generously permitted the Hockey team of our school to go on a study cum recreation trip to a few villages in the outskirts of Bangalore. What we saw and learnt during this trip have opened our minds. Later, it has resulted in a frenzy of discussion among us as to how miserably we, the students of this elite school, are ignorant of our rural folks. As the Captain of the Hockey team, I express my deep gratitude to you for your kindness and sagacity.

The villages we went to are Rampur, Chenapatna and Haridaspur. We, the15 boys in the trip, have come back with some constructive ideas about the way our school can better the lot of the poor people who live so close to our city.

We saw cow herd boys with their cattle, the farmers toiling in their orchards of guava, pomegranate, mangoes etc., and the organic tomato, capsicum and carrot growers harvesting their crop. We saw the village pond and the high school.

I, like many of my friends, was moved by the poverty and helplessness writ large in everyone’s faces. The guava and pomegranate farmers’ story made us feel very sorry and ashamed indeed. They all are burdened with debts, well above what their small orchards can sustain. We saw the luscious, semi ripe fruits being plucked and kept in baskets. The yellow lemons were a treat to our eyes. ‘With such prized produce, how can a farmer be poor,’ we wondered.

A few minutes of chat with the farmers unraveled a truly horror story. The guava which my mother buys at Rs. 80 a kilo, is bought at Rs. 10 a kilo from the farmers by the middle man. He comes and collects it from them thrice a week. The red and yellow capsicums are bought at Rs. 40 a kilo and sold in the malls at Rs. 400 a kilo. Similar is the story for the pomegranate and the lemons. Obviously, the middlemen pocket the huge margin. The farmer, the real generator of this wealth of the country, languishes under a savagely exploitative, lopsided, and utterly unjust horticulture marketing system. No one cares, because no one is pinched, save the poor producer.

We, as high school boys, can do little to rectify the injustice rife in the system. But, we surely, can do one thing.

Our school canteen buys all these from the supermarket at set prices: Rs. 450 for the capsicum, Rs. 80 for the guavas, Rs. 5 for lemons and so on and so forth. I have spoken to the canteen manager who told me we buy nearly Rs. 30, 000 worth of fruits per month.

Why not we buy these items straight from the farmers, paying them the supermarket prices we are presently paying? We will get fresher fruits. Additionally, we will be giving the farmer the price that the archaic economy of our society denies them. Given these prices, the farmers, in a matter of just three to four years, can free themselves of the debt trap they are under now. It will be a great act of proactive intervention to ensure social justice.

Under your stewardship, our school has done great efforts towards alleviation of slum life, spreading awareness about AIDS, and spread of nutritional awareness among women. Apart from these highly acclaimed successes, if we can add this initiative of direct procurement of farm produce, it will be something that will make our school proud and unique. Much more than that, we all will derive from this, a lesson on caring and sharing that will make us better human beings in future.

Lastly, I must tell you the climax of happiness of that trip. Just when we were getting ready to board our school bus for the return journey, a farmer emerged from the dense sugarcane fields with cut and pruned sugarcane stems, and handed them to us with a broad grin. We were moved by this small show of friendliness by a tiny fellow citizen at the bottom of the social pyramid. We munched away the stems with great delight. But, the farmer’s small gift has left us hugely committed to the cause of these farmers.

Lastly, we must record our thanks to the games teacher Mr. Roy, who escorted us, and the driver of the bus, who was so co-operative towards us all the way.
Should you agree to our suggestion, I will be very grateful to come and discuss with you this matter along with our Canteen Secretary.
Thanking you,
Yours sincerely

(Duncan Smith)

[All names used here are imaginary.]

Answers to Creative Writing –Letter to bank for moratorium ofn farm loan repayment

March 11, 2014 at 4:27 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Answers to Creative Writing –Letter to bank for farm loan moratorium

Model letter …

From
R. K. Patil
Sholapur
Mobile number — …………….

To
The Manager
National Bank                                          Date ………….
Sholapur Branch
Maharashtra

Subject .. Request for moratorium on repayment of my loan account No ……………

Dear Sir,
I am an agricultural borrower of your bank. I had availed a loan of Rs. 5,00,000 two years ago for my horticulture project. As on today, there is a debit balance of Rs.2,80,670 in my account. Till the last month, I have cleared my interest and installment timely, and hence, I am not a defaulter.

However, the acute droughts of the last two years have completely ravaged my grape and mango orchards. Even my vegetable growing and diary trades have slipped to the red. My six cows and two buffaloes have stopped yielding any milk due to lack of fodder. Their skeletons are protruding out, making me feel very guilty.

My grape orchard of two acres that used to give me a guaranteed profit of nearly Rs.4,00,000 a year have wilted due to heat and dehydration. In the last season, I could get just Rs.30,000 from my grape orchards. I can’t water them as my tube wells have dried up. The cup of my woes is overflowing. The two labourers, I employed as farmhands, have left after waiting for their wages for two months. Now my wife and I, both graduates in Agricultural Engineering, do the cow shed and the orchard maintenance work with our own hands. At times, our two school-going daughters help us.

Defaulting in bank payment is what feels very humiliating for my wife and me. This is why, we have garnered all our liquid assets to pay our bank dues till the last month. Now, we have reached the end of our tether in trying to service the loan. We stare into an abyss now, as a default in repayment will disqualify us from all future assistance from bank.

Failure of rains for two consecutive years has driven us to the brink. We have done all we could to survive this calamitous failure of monsoon.

We, therefore, request you to grant us an immediate moratorium on our repayments for one year from this month till the next winter. If the monsoon remains normal in the coming season, we will be able to resume our payments again. In case you decline to extend this accommodation to us, we will be ruined to the point of no return.
Awaiting your approval,

Yours sincerely

(Names of the borrower)

[All names used here are imaginary.]

Creative Writing exercises — Model letter writing

March 10, 2014 at 3:53 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Creative writing exercises —Model letter writing ..

a. You are a farmer who has lost all his crops for two years consecutively due to acute drought. Write a letter to the bank requesting some relief in repayment of loan.

b. You are a student in a elite school. You have gone to a few villages nearby on a school trip. Write a letter to the Principal narrating the impact the trip had on you.

c. You are a student of class 9. Once you went to the local government hospital to visit your ailing neighbor. It was a very moving experience as you got to see the good and bad side of human nature. You also saw many areas where services in the hospital could be improved with not much additional investment.
Write a letter to the Health Minister apprising him of your observations and suggesting improvements.

d. You are a college student who was once arrested for taking part in an anti-government demonstration. It was not before 48 hours before you could be set free and return home. It was both a harrowing and thrilling experience. Write a letter to your grandma living in the United States about your experience.

——————–Answers will be posted soon. ———–
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Answer to Master Comprehension Exercise 3 –Vocabulary building

March 9, 2014 at 8:56 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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ANSWER

Master Comprehension Exercise 3 – Learning to use the right word in the right place.
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The following passages have gaps where appropriate words are to be inserted. A list of 12 such words is given below. It is more than that necessary for the nine gaps in the passages. So, you need to be discerning in your choice.
——————————–.—————
Foster, Festering, Sedition, Reeky, Wreck, Wreak, Discordance, Beleaguered, Disdain, Bedevil, Ominous, Fissure
————————————.—————-
Everyone thought the Cold War years would never return to bedevil the world again. But the recent events in Ukraine have come as a chilling reminder of the post WW2 days when the two power blocs — the Soviet Union and the Western nations– jostled with one another to spread their influence well beyond their borders.
The same sordid drama is being played out in Ukraine. The beleaguered nation passing through great financial hardship is being wooed too aggressively by two rival benefactors. The U.S. and the EU want Ukraine to align itself with them, become a member of the NATO, and distance itself from Russia. As a bait, they have offered sizeable cash assistance through the IMF.
Russia, on the other hand, sees such moves as ominous; a potential wolf in its backyard. It is convinced the Russian-speaking Ukrainians living in the Crimean part owe their allegiance to Russia. They have their heart and soul with Kremlin.
Hectic diplomatic parleys are going on. Ukraine is edgy, waiting nervously for the fear of looming disintegration to recede. The diplomatic and economic ties between Russia and the West that were fostered with such great sustained effort over decades suddenly seem to be frayed.
Continuance of the conflict will reopen the festering wound of mistrust and discordance that had undermined world peace for decades. It would wreak havoc in Europe and the rest of the world can’t escape the reeky stench of this wound. It would wreck the fragile economic recovery of the world at large.

Can Ban ki-Moon step in to stem the slide? If he can, it would be the best feather in the cap of the UN and his.
—————-Answer in the next post——————-
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Master Comprehension –Exercise 3 –Vocabulary building

March 9, 2014 at 8:46 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Master Comprehension Exercise 3 – Learning to use the right word in the right place.
——————————————-.————————————–

The following passages have gaps where appropriate words are to be inserted. A list of 12 such words is given below. It is more than that necessary for the nine gaps in the passages. So, you need to be discerning in your choice.
——————————–.—————
Foster,           Festering,               Sedition,                  Reeky,              Wreck, Wreak,               Discordance,                Beleaguered,                  Disdain, Bedevil,              Ominous,                    Fissure
————————————.—————-
Everyone thought the Cold War years would never return to ———- the world again. But the recent events in Ukraine have come as a chilling reminder of the post WW2 days when the two power blocs — the Soviet Union and the Western nations– jostled with one another to spread their influence well beyond their borders.

The same sordid drama is being played out in Ukraine. The ———– nation passing through great financial hardship is being wooed  aggressively by two rival benefactors. The U.S. and the EU want Ukraine to align itself with them, become a member of the NATO, and distance itself from Russia. As a bait, they have offered sizeable cash assistance through the IMF.
Russia, on the other hand, sees such moves as ———; a potential wolf in its backyard. It is convinced the Russian-speaking Ukrainians living in the Crimean part owe their allegiance to Russia. They have their heart and soul with Kremlin.
Hectic diplomatic parleys are going on. Ukraine is edgy, waiting nervously for the fear of looming disintegration to recede. The diplomatic and economic ties between Russia and the West that were ————– with such great sustained effort over decades suddenly seem to be frayed.
Continuance of the conflict will reopen the ———— wound of mistrust and —————- that had undermined world peace for decades. It would ————— havoc in Europe and the rest of the world can’t escape the —————- stench of this wound. It would ———— the fragile economic recovery of the world at large.

Can Ban ki-Moon step in to stem the slide? If he can, it would be the best feather in the cap of the UN and his.
—————-Answer in the next post——————-
——————————–END—————————–

Civil Service Essay — Power pricing in India — Some good work by CERC

March 6, 2014 at 4:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Kudos for the CERC

Power sector in India has been mired in a web of contradictory rules and rampant corruption in the last three decades or so. Such confusion, coupled with avaricious tendencies of some private players, has egregiously impeded power sector reforms. This is why the country repeatedly slips on its targets for power generation and distribution. To steamroll all these hurdles in such a crucial sector, there is the need for a powerful regulator who has to be bolstered by transparent, unambiguous and even regulation.

In recent weeks, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has taken two very pragmatic decisions that deserve to be lauded.

Case 1 … Let us take the example of Tata Power whose 4000 MW ultra mega power project (UMPP) in Mundra appeared to be still-born. Its fate was sealed when the Indonesian government imposed an export tax on sale of coal to overseas buyers. The Mundra project was envisaged with the assumption that all its coal needs would be met through imports. The export surcharge pushed up the input cost, making the projected sales price of generated power un-viable for Indian market. The project was doomed. The intervention of CERC has saved the Mundra project.

CERC is mandated to regulate all central generation and transmission utilities and projects that sell electricity in more than one State. It, therefore, has a pivotal role in stepping into such cases embroiled in difficulties.

Generation from the first unit of the high-tech facility was fatally impaired although the plant was built as per schedule. Tata Power’s balance sheet slipped to red due to no fault of the management. Facing a Hobson’s choice, the company approached the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) for permission to charge a higher price from its consumers to offset the higher cost of imported coal.
Much to the relief of Tata Power, CERC has allowed it to charge Rs.2.78 a unit – a mark-up of price by 52 paise per unit. Had the regulator adopted the typical Indian bureaucratic approach, it could have objected saying that Tata Power should have foreseen such an eventuality and planned its project accordingly. That would have killed the project and deprived the country of much-needed power.
Even after this enhancement of sales price, the consumer will find the power affordable – almost a life line in today’s situation of crippling power scarcity.

Case 2 … CERC’s another bold decision has also won plaudits. In a separate initiative, CERC has notified new tariff norms for the next five years for central generation and transmission utilities. The purpose is to encourage them to increase operating efficiencies and bring down tariffs.

As a result of this notification, the NTPC units will now find it imperative to increase its capacity utilization, failing which their incentives will decrease. The earlier model of linking sales price of power to the actual availability of power from the generation plants has been dispensed with. When the generating companies improve their capacity utilization, their unit sales price to the consumer would fall. This is a very happy situation for the economy. The utilities might perceive a fall in unit sales price as unpalatable in the short run, but as they begin to reach higher levels of efficiency, the bane of the revised pricing policy would prove a boon.
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