Her Head by Joan Murray

October 22, 2015 at 7:49 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Her Head by Joan Murray

Near Ekuvukeni,
in Natal, South Africa,
a woman carries water on her head.
After a year of drought,
when one child in three is at risk of death,
she returns from a distant well,
carrying water on her head.

Explanation …. Drought has ravaged the settlement named Ekuvukeni in the province of Natal in South Africa. Life has become scare making life for the women folk very hard indeed. As wells and water bodies have dried up in the parched land, a woman has to walk long distances to fetch water from distant wells. She brings the water by keeping the pail on her head.

The pumpkins are gone,
the tomatoes withered,
yet the woman carries water on her head.
The cattle kraals are empty,
the goats gaunt—
no milk now for children,
but she is carrying water on her head.

Explanation ….. The means of livelihood for the inhabitants of the area are nearly destroyed due to lack of water. Vegetable plants like pumpkin and tomatoes have shriveled, unable to survive in the parched earth. There is no respite for the woman. Water is indispensible for life. So, she continues to haul water on her head.

The engineers have reversed the river:
those with power can keep their power,
but one woman is carrying water on her head.
In the homelands, where the dusty crowds
watch the empty roads for water trucks,
one woman trusts herself with treasure,
and carries water on her head.

Explanation … The authorities have blocked the flow of water so that hydroelectric power plants have enough water to generate power. The privileged folks living in the upstream areas are much better off. Life in the downstream areas has become a real grind. People wait for water trucks winding their way in the mud tracks. Dust flies all round shrouding the thirsty folks waiting for the water trucks. But, the woman has no option but to trudge on with her load of water on her head.

The sun does not dissuade her,
not the dried earth that blows against her,
as she carries the water on her head.
In a huge and dirty pail,
with an idle handle,
resting on a narrow can,
this woman is carrying water on her head.

Explanation …. Undeterred by the scorching sun and the blasts of dust that buffet her along the way, she lumbers on carrying the large old pail on her head.

This woman, who girds her neck
with safety pins, this one
who carries water on her head,
trusts her own head to bring to her people
what they need now
between life and death:
She is carrying them water on her head.

Explanation … Water is the lifeline for her family. So, no matter how hard it is to bring it, she brings the water pail on her head. Her neck is girded by safety pins. She relies on her head to carry the load of water. She considers it her foremost duty to ensure her folks do not suffer thirst and perish. So, she does not demur to do the grueling work of fetching water.

———————————END————————–

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The Lotus by Toru Dutt

October 22, 2015 at 6:52 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The Lotus-Toru Dutt (1856-1877)

Love came to Flora asking for a flower
That would of flowers be undisputed queen,
The lily and the rose, long, long had been
Rivals for that high honour. Bards of power
Had sung their claims. “The rose can never tower
Like the pale lily with her Juno mien”–
“But is the lily lovelier?” Thus between
Flower-factions rang the strife in Psyche’s bower.

Explanation …. Love is the name of the beautiful princess who was courted by Cupid (the god of love in Roman mythology). Cupid wanted to make Love his wife. Love has the mythological name ‘Psyche’.

a. On one occasion, Love approached Flora (The Roman Goddess of flowers and spring) and asked for a flower that would have the magnetic seductiveness of the rose, and the majesty, grace and freshness of the lily.

b. For a long time, the rose and the lily had vied (competed) for the high throne of Queen of Flowers. The competition had become quite keen due to the patronizing of the two rival flowers by eminent poets.

c. The poets who adored rose criticized lily saying it looked pale and stood looking like the goddess Juno. Those who admired lily heaped praise on it profusely. Thus, the flower loving poet community was split into two factions – the rose camp and the lily camp. They engaged in their arguments sitting under the cool shade of the Psyche tree.

“Give me a flower delicious as the rose
And stately as the lily in her pride”–
“But of what colour?”–“Rose-red,” Love first chose,
Then prayed,–“No, lily-white,–or, both provide;”
And Flora gave the lotus, “rose-red” dyed,
And “lily-white,”–the queenliest flower that blows.

Explanation ….. d. Love came to Flora and asked for a flower that would have the elegance and charm of the red rose. Moments later, she changed her mind and opted for the fresh white lily. Still undecided on her choice, she asked Flora to give her a flower that would have the best of the both, the red rose and the white lily.

e. Flora quickly conceived the Lotus that had the attributes of both the red rose in colour and the majesty and towering stance of the lily. Love was greatly delighted as the Lotus was both red and stately in appearance.
—————————————-END——————–

Advanced grammar exercise 6

October 13, 2015 at 8:49 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Advanced grammar exercises 6 ….

[Use of whatever, whenever, whichever, wherever, whoever, however etc.]
Fill in the gaps using the appropriate word given in the bracket.
Example …
Whoever approaches you for a loan, tell him you have no money.
Questions ..
1. ……………….. you employ as driver, make sure he has a valid driving license.

2. Maintain your composure, ……. may be the provocation.

3. Tendulkar is welcome, ……….. country he goes.

4. Contrary to our fears, we found the people (of Kashmir) friendly  ………. we went.

5. You can stay with us …………… you like.

6. …………… you may preach to me, I will not follow your ways.

7. ……………. many times I explained the problem to her, she could not understand.

8. The final match is going to be pulsating one, ……… wins.

9. ………… the doctor wants to examine her eye, the child shuts it tight.

10. Keep your mouth shut, …….. much they deride you.

[Answers will be posted soon.]

Answers …

Answers …..

1. Whomever you employ as driver, make sure he has a valid driving license.
2. Maintain your composure, whatever may be the provocation
.3. Tendulkar is welcome, whichever country he goes to.
4. Contrary to our fears, we found the people (of Kashmir) friendly  wherever we went.
5. You can stay with us whenever you like.
6. Whatever you may preach to me, I will not follow your ways.
7. However many times I explained the problem to her, she could not understand.
8. The final match is going to be pulsating one, whoever wins.
9. Whenever the doctor wants to examine her eye, the child shuts it tight.
10. Keep your mouth shut, however much they deride you.

Writing a notice for school notice board

October 10, 2015 at 11:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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                                         NOTICE                                      

                                                                                       Date ………..
As most of you are aware, the much-awaited inter-school science exhibition for the year 2015 is going to be held in the 1st week of November in the R.K. College premises. There will be participants from nearly 30 schools.
Our school has won prizes in this event many times in the past.
The entrants must be from Class 7 & 8 only. There is no entry fee. All those who have interesting ideas and desire to participate in it must give their names to the Head Master’s office by 20th of October. Additionally, they should discuss their ideas with our science teacher Mr. ———-. All the assistance including the use of school’s computer lab and other inputs will be provided free to the entrants.
All students of Class 7 & 8 are hereby requested to come forward enthusiastically and submit their names to the undersigned.

Headmaster

Advanced Grammar Exercise 3

October 5, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Advanced grammar exercise 3

Fill in the blanks to complete the sentences. You will have to choose a suitable word from the list given in red and add a verb in the past tense / would + an infinitive.

Redecorate, Tidy up, Join, Not be, Go sailing, Convert, Bake, Care about.

1. If I had more energy, I — ——— the garden.

2. If I could find the recipe, I ——- ——— you a beautiful cake.

3. I’d read more poetry if most of it ——- ————- so boring.

4. We —– ——– the kitchen if we didn’t disagree passionately about the colour.

5. If you really — —- me, you would talk to me instead of watching football on TV.

6. If I were free on Saturdays, I ——– ——– on weekends.

7. If we ——— ———- the attic, it would make a nice playroom for the children.

8. Would you laugh at me, if I ——– —— the navy?

[Answers will be posted soon.]

 

 

Answers …..

1. If I had more energy, I would tidy up the garden.
2. If I could find the recipe, I would bake you a beautiful cake.
3. I’d read more poetry if most of it was / were not so boring.
4. We would redecorate the kitchen if we didn’t disagree passionately about the colour.
5. If you really cared about me, you would talk to me instead of watching football on TV.
6. If I were free on Saturdays, I would go sailing on weekends.
7. If we converted the attic, it would make a nice playroom for the children.
8. Would you laugh at me, if I joined the navy?

Advanced grammar exercise 2

October 3, 2015 at 4:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Advanced grammar test 2 …

Say if the following sentences are correct or wrong. Also, correct the wrong sentences.

1. My brother is hard to learn a new language.

2. When Lucy arrived in Bangalore, her English pronunciation was impossible to understand it.

3. Our guide is really interesting to talk to.

4. In our village, we made a mud house for our children to play in it.

5. This tree is much too slippery to climb.

6. I’d like to go away for the weak end, but I have got nobody to go with.

[Answers will be posted soon.]

————————————————–.—————————

Answers

  1. My brother is hard to learn a new language. Wrong   Corrected answer … Learning a language is hard for my brother.

    Or

    It is hard for my brother to learn a new language.

  2. When Lucy arrived in Bangalore, her English pronunciation was impossible to understand it. Wrong Corrected sentence … When Lucy arrived in Bangalore, her English pronunciation was impossible to understand.

  3. Our guide is really interesting to talk to.   Correct

  4. In our village, we made a mud house for our children to play in it. Wrong  

    Corrected answer …. In our village, we made a mud house for our children to play in.

  5. This tree is much too slippery to climb. Correct

  6. I’d like to go away for the weak end, but I have got nobody to go with. Correct

Grammar skill test

October 3, 2015 at 10:45 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Grammar skill test

Some sentences are given below. They have some words in italics. You have to choose the right word from the two or three choices mentioned side by side. Additionally, you have to insert the right word in the blank position. The list of possible words are given in red.
Reservation, Shares, Pass, Expenses, Election, Estimate, Company, Form
Sentences ….

1. If somebody stopped / stops / will stop you at the conference hall gate, show him this ——-.

2. If you fill / filled in the ——— —— last week, you don’t / didn’t need to do it again now.

3. I will be really upset if the Jan Sabha Party wins / will win the ———–.

4. How will you sustain yourself in Bangalore if the —— rolls down // will roll down its shutters?

5. If I sell / will sell my car, it reduces / will reduce my monthly ——– a great deal.

6. If we buy / will buy ———— of ONGC Ltd, will we earn a lot of money in a short time?

7. We decide / will decide whether to repair the roof when we get / will get the builder’s estimate.

8. If our office secretary has / had forgotten to make a ———, we probably don’t / won’t get a seat in the theatre.

[Answers will be posted very soon.]

————————————————————-.———————–

Answers …
1. If somebody stops you at the conference hall gate, show him this pass.
2. If you filled in the form last week, you don’t need to do it again now.
3. I will be really upset if the Jan Sabha Party wins the election.
4. How will you sustain yourself in Bangalore if the company rolls down its shutters?
5. If I sell my car, it will reduce my monthly expenses a great deal.
6. If we buy shares in ONGC Ltd, will we earn a lot of money in a short time?
7. We will decide whether to repair the roof when we get the builder’s estimate.
8. If our office secretary has forgotten to make a reservation, we probably won’t get a seat in the theatre.

Precis Writing exercise with answer

October 1, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Write a précis of the following write-up. You should reduce its word count to one third without omitting important points.
[Total words 171, Précis to have 57 to 62 words maximum.]

Write-up ..

One of our most difficult problems is what we call discipline and it is really very complex. You see, society feels that it must control or discipline the citizen, shape his mind according to certain religious, social, moral and economic patterns.

Now, is discipline necessary at all? Please listen carefully. Don’t immediately say YES or NO. Most of us feel, especially while we are young, that there should be no discipline, that we should be allowed to do whatever we like and we think that is freedom. But merely to say that we should be free and so on has very little meaning without understanding the whole problem of discipline.

The keen athlete is disciplining himself the whole time, isn’t he? His joy in playing games and the very necessity to keep fit makes him go to bed early, refrain from smoking, eat the right food and generally observe the rules of good health. His discipline and punctuality is not an imposition but a natural outcome of his enjoyment of athletics.

—————————————–.————————–

Model answer .. The word ‘discipline’ has an intriguing connotation. Society intends to ensure that all its members conform to certain religious, moral, and economic norms.
The perception about discipline changes with age. For the energetic, playful youngster, discipline is an undesirable fetter. But, for a grown-up competing to excel in the profession such as in athletics, self-imposed discipline becomes the key to success.
Word count in this précis .. 61 Ideal word count 57

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