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English CBSE Class 11 NCERT Hornbill Chapter 8 Silk Road- Line by Line Explanation and Meaning of Difficult Words

SILK ROAD – Explanation

Author – Nick Middleton

Ducking back Going back
Manoeuvres Movements – usually predetermined or predefined
Billowed Appeared
Swathe A narrow strip
Cairn of rocks Heap of stone made as a monument, landmark etc
Careered down Climbed down
Salt flats Area where salt has been deposited

 

Word Meaning
Flawless Without defects, Perfect, Clear
French loaves Pieces of French bread
Glow Shine
Splash Spread,
Tint Colour
Blush Shade, Tinge

When were departing in the early morning, a perfect half moon was shining in the clear sky. Colour of the sky appeared blue. The clouds were in the shape of large French loaves. When the Sun rose in the sky the clouds appeared pink. The rays of Sun were falling on the mountains. The mountains appeared of pink colour shade.

 

 

 

Word Meaning
Farewell present A gift given when someone is leaving
Heading Going
Kailash Kora Pilgrimage of Kailash
Ought Must, Should

We were leaving the place Ravu. Our host Lhamo wanted to give us a farewell gift. During one evening I had told Lhamo that I would be going to Kailash to complete the pilgrimage. Daniel translated this to her.  She advised me that I must buy some warmer clothes.

 

Word Meaning
Ducking back Going back
Emerged Appeared
Sized up Looked carefully
Clambering Walked with difficulty
Drokba Shepherd

Lhamo went back into her tent. She had to bend because the door was of lesser height. She brought a sheepskin coat for me. This coat had long sleeves. All men of this area wore similar type of coat. Tsetan carefully looked at me while we were getting into the car with some difficulty. He told me that I was looking like a shepherd.

 

 

 

Word Meaning
Get off Bypass
Involved Included
Mountain passes Roads made along mountains

We took a short cut route to bypass Changtang. Tsetan knew a route through south-west direction. This route would take us directly to Mount Kailash. He informed me that we would need to travel roads that were running through high mountains.

 

Word Meaning
Likelihood Possibility

He told us that if there was no snow, we would not face any difficulty. I asked him what the possibility of snow was. He did not know. He said we would come to know after reaching there.

 

Word Meaning
Gazelles Type of animal
Nibbling Eating
Arid Dry
Frown Slightly distort the face or eyebrows
Bounding away Running away
Void Open space, Place where nobody lives

From the gradually sloping hills of Ravu, we reached a huge open plain area between the mountains. Only some gazelles were grazing there. They were slowly eating the dry grass of the pasture. They would slightly distort their face before running away in the open space.

 

 

 

We moved ahead. The fields now had lesser grass. Only stone surfaces were now visible in the fields. Now we could see a big herd of wild asses. Tsetan told us that the herd has so far not seen us. We reached the field before the herd could see us.

 

Word Meaning
Kyang Wild ass of Tibet region
Pall of dust Cloud or layer of dust in the sky
Galloping Running quickly
En masse Together, Every body
Manoeuvres Movements
Plume of dust Cloud of dust
Billowed Appeared

He saw a cloud of dust in the sky far from us. He called it Kyang. When we came near the plain area, we saw a herd of wild asses that was running together. All the animals were moving close to each other. It looked as if a group was doing an exercise in a predetermined manner. Because of running of animals, a cloud of dust was generated in the sky.

 

 

 

Word Meaning
Wilderness From nowhere, Suddenly
Solitary Alone. Lonely
Tending Taking care of , Rearing
Well-wrapped Fully covered
Waving Signaling

Now once again hills had started appearing. Earlier there were rocks along the way. We saw shepherds who were alone and taking care of their herds of animal. These shepherds were both men and women. They had fully covered themselves with warm clothes. They used to stop and look at our car. Sometimes they waved their hands as we went ahead of them.

 

Word Meaning
Track Path
Evasive Try to avoid
Veering Change direction, Move to other direction

Whenever our path was close to animals, the sheep would try to avoid coming in our way. They would move away from our fast moving vehicles.

 

Word Meaning
Nomad Person moving from one place another,
Pitched Made
Splendid Amazing,
Isolation Alone
Mastiff Type of dog
Cock Tilt, Bend
Fix us in their sight Continue to stare

We crossed the tents of nomadic people. These tents were made at a lonely places. Usually a dog of mastiff breed used to be outside their tents. As soon as they saw our vehicles, these large dogs would tilt their heads. They continuously stared at our cars.

 

 

 

Word Meaning
Exploded into action Suddenly started taking action

When we reached closer to them. They would suddenly start running towards us at their full speed. They used to run very fast.

 

Word Meaning
Shaggy Full of long hair
Furious Frightening, Violent, Fierce
Massive Very big
Shooting Moving quickly
Swerve Abruptly change direction

These big dogs had long hair on their body and were dark black in colour. They usually had a collar of bright red colour around their necks. They had very big jaws. Their barking was frightening and violent. They were not afraid of our vehicles. They would quickly come right in the path of our vehicles. Tsetan had to apply brakes to the vehicle and abruptly change direction to avoid collision.

 

Word Meaning
Chase Follow
Easing off Stop or reduce the speed

These dogs would follow us for about one hundred meters. When we had moved out of their area, they would stop or reduce their speed.

 

 

 

Word Meaning
Imperial courts Kingdom

Now we understood why these dogs were popular among rulers of China. Chinese rulers used to use these during hunting. These used to be brought to China from Tibet through the Silk Road.

Silk Road refers to a route that was a famous and popular path for trade between China and other countries.

 

Word Meaning
Snow capped mountains Mountains that had snow at their top
Clogged Full of
Glinting Shining

Now we had reached at an area from where we could see mountains that had snow at their peaks. We came into a valley where the river was quite wide. It was full of ice. The ice was pure white and shining in the Sun.

 

Word Meaning
Trail Path
Hugged Very very close
Meanders Twisting path of river, Having many curves
Closed in Came nearer

Our path was very close to the river bank. The river and the path had many curves. Gradually we were moving to higher regions. Side of the valley were now closer to us. Meaning that on either side of path we had mountains.

 

 

 

Word Meaning
Bumpier More jumping

The turns of the road were now more sharp. The vehicle was jumping more because the road was not smooth. Tsetan was driving the car in third gear. Our car continued to climb up.

 

Word Meaning
Track Path
Labour To make large efforts
Sported Showed
Daubed Splashed, Stained
Lichen Type of plant
Hunks Lump, Chunk, Piece
Cling To stick

Now we moved away from the river. It was difficult to to drive on the road that was becoming steeper. Along the rocks we could see patches of bright orange coloured plants of lichen. It appeared that some portion of rocks never received sunlight. On these parts of rock snow had formed permanently.

 

Word Meaning
Tight bend Sharp bend

Now the pressure in my ears was increasing. I caught my nose and blew away through it. We had great difficulty in negotiating the next sharp bend. Suddenly Tsetan stopped the car.

 

I could not understand why he had stopped the car. Tsetan quickly came out of the car. Daniel also came out of car. Daniel shouted ‘snow’. He was very excited to see the snow. He blew some air out of his mouth. Its colour was white because of cold.

 

Word Meaning
Swathe A narrow strip
Petered out Decreased, Ended

We could see a white strip of about fifteen meter length, on the road. After this the earthen surface of the road could be again seen. On each side of the road there was snow. Therefore the sudden increase of height along the side of the road looked smooth.

 

The rocks along sides of the road were very steep. It was not possible to climb the vehicle on these and move ahead of the snow patch.

 

Word Meaning
Trail Path
Stepped on to To walk on, To stand on
Encrusted Gathered in a heap, Became hard
Slither Move smoothly
Stamping Putting foot on ground with force
Ascertain Assess, Understand
Sturdy Strong

I got down from the vehicle and stood near Daniel. Tsetan stood on the heap of snow. He started moving his feet on the snow to move it sideways. From time to time he was hitting the snow with his foot to understand how strong the snow was. I looked at my wristwatch. It was showing how high we had climbed. We were at 5210 meters above sea level.

 

Word Meaning
Fling Throw, Spread

According to me , depth of snow was not much. Daniel advised that the danger is not the depth of snow. The top surface of snow is always slippery thus more dangerous. Our car may slip and turnover. Tsetan picked some dust in his fists. He spread it on the surface of the snow.

 

Word Meaning
Pitched in Helped
Apparent Visible, Evident, Obvious

We both started helping Tsetan. Soon the entire surface of snow was covered with soil. I and Daniel remained out of the car to reduce weight of the car. Tsetan drove back to move the vehicle slightly away from the snow. Then he slowly moved the car on the snow and continued to drive slowly. He crossed the entire length of snow. It appeared to us that it was not a difficult task.

 

Word Meaning
Blockage Obstruction
Survey Examine

After about 10 minutes Tsetan again stopped the car. There was one more obstruction. He again came out of the car and examined the situation. This time he decided to drive the car around the snow.

 

Word Meaning
Studded with Full of
Negotiated Passed through
Lurching Swaying, Jumping over
Hairpin bend Very sharp curve
Drifted Spread,

The slope was now very steep. The path was full of rocks. With great difficulty Tsetan was able to drive our four-wheel drive vehicle through these roads. The vehicle was jumping over many obstacles of the uneven road. He negotiated several sharp bends. Finally we reached a portion of the road which did not have snow on it.

 

Word Meaning
Crept past Moved ahead slowly
Throb A fluctuating pain
Horribly Very painfully
Gulps Swigs, To drink in small quantity
Rapid Quick
Ascent Upward climb

I looked at my watch and noticed that we were continuously climbing to greater height. The sunshine was bright. We had climbed to more than 5400 meter above the sea level. I started feeling a very bad fluctuating pain in my head. Such pain may be caused when someone moves up quickly in hilly region. I took some swigs of water. It is said that it helps a lot in such pains.

 

Word Meaning
Cairn of rocks Heap of stone made as a monument, landmark etc
Festooned Decorated
Ragged Old and torn 

Finally we reached at the top of the valley which was at 5515 meters above sea level. At the top of hills a heap of stones was decorated with white cloths and old flags used for prayers.

 

Word Meaning
Unscrewed Opened by rotating
Emitted Gave, Generated, Created
Hiss A sound when air or vapours comes out of a container

We all walked round the cairn in clockwise direction. This was the tradition of the area. Tsetan checked tyres of the car. We stopped at the patrol filling station. Tsetan opened the lid of the petrol partially. A hissing sound was generated.

 

Because of lower pressure of atmosphere at high altitude, volume of petrol was increasing. I thought it was dangerous. Tsetan laughed at my fear. He said that petrol will not start burning. But one should not smoke while the lid is being opened.

 

Word Meaning
Careered Moved quickly

We quickly climbed down to the other side of the valley. Since we had climbed down my head was not aching now. We stopped for lunch at 2 PM. We ate noodles. The hotel was in a tent made of canvas. It was mainly for the people working in nearby dry salt lake.

 

Word Meaning
Plateau A flat are between hills
Salt Flats Area where salt has been deposited
Pockmarked Spread across, Exisiting at many places
Brackish Salty, Saline
Vestiges Reminders, Sign, indication
Great collision A very big change that occurred on earth

In the plateau of Tibet we can find many dry fields of salt and lakes of salty water. These are the indications that once Tibet was close to Tethys Ocean. But during a big change that had occurred on earth, this area was lifted up and now it is in hilly region.

 

Word Meaning
Hive of activity Place where many people work
Trudge Move slowly with lot of effort
Salt encrusted Covered with slat

Lot of people were working at this place. Men were having pickaxes and shovels. They were slowly walking ahead and coming back. They were wearing long coats made of sheepskin. Their boots were covered with salt.

 

Word Meaning
Glare Sharp light
Stream Line, Queue
Laden Full of
Piles Heaps

All people were wearing goggles to protect their eyes from the sharp shine of sunrays. A long line of blue colour was regularly coming out the lake. These trucks were full of salt.

By the end of the afternoon we had reached a small town  Hor. Now we were again on the main east-west highway. Through this route business was carried out between Lhasa and Kashmir.

 

Daniel was going back to Lhasa. He found a lift in one of the trucks going to Lhasa. We said good bye to him. We were at the tyre-repair shop.

 

Word Meaning
Quick succession Quickly one after the other
Fixed Repaired
Spare Extra

While driving down from the salt lake our vehicle had two punctures quickly one after the other. Tsetan was very eager to get these repaired because now we did not have any extra tyre. In addition to this, second tyre was very smooth. Hence it was necessary to get the tyres repaired.

 

Word Meaning
Grim Unattractive, Dismal, Dreary
Liberally Good quantity
Scattered Spread
Accumulated Gathered, Deposited
Refuse Waste
Venerated Highly respectable, Worshiped

The Hor village was an unattractive and horrible place. It did not have tress or other greenery. Lot of waste was scattered in the village that got deposited over a long period of time. This situation was certainly bad because this town was very close to Lake Manasarovar. This lake is worshiped in Tibet.

 

Word Meaning
Cosmology The science of origin of this world
Pinpoints Indicates precisely

Ancient Hindu and Buddhist culture regards Manasarovar as origin of four great Indian rivers – the Indus, the Ganges, the Sutlej and the Brahmaputra.

 

Word Meaning
Headwaters Source
Flanks Sides
Striking distance Very close
Forge ahead Move ahead

Only the Sutlej river starts from lake Manasarovar. All other rivers originate from the other sides of Mount Kailash. We were very close to the great mountain Mount Kailash. I was very eager to move ahead to reach there.

 

But I had to wait for some time. Tsetan advised me to drink some tea. There was only one café in the village. Similar to other building of the village this was made in concrete and poorly painted. It had three broken windows.

 

Word Meaning
Draught Flow of air
Compensate Reduce the effect

The air was very cool. I could see a view of the lake through one of the windows. And this view reduced the effect of flow of cool air.

 

Word Meaning
Filthy Dirty
Rag Torn cloth

A person from China served me tea. He was young and wearing military uniform. He cleaned the table with a dirty old cloth. So table became more oily. He brought me a glass and a thermos of tea.

 

Word Meaning
Relieved Released
Solitary confinement Alone in a room
Rubbish Refuse, Waste

I was alone in the tent. After half an hour Tsetan came into the café. We drove through many rocks and refuse. We were moving  in west direction to reach Mount Kailash.

 

Word Meaning
Stark contrast Exactly opposite
Accounts Description
First encounters First visit
Sanctity Purity, Holiness
Burst into tears Started crying

My experience in Hor was exactly opposite to the description provided by earlier visitors of their visit. A Japanese monk Ekai Kawaguchi had come to Manasarovar Lake  in 1990. He was so impressed by its purity that he had started crying.

 

Word Meaning
Hallowed Holy
Prone Vulnerable, To easily get affected
Sentimental Emotional
Outbursts Expression

After some years Sven Hedin, a person from Sweden had visited Lake Manasarovar. He was not a person to get easily affected by emotions. But he too started crying after seeing the holy water.

 

Word Meaning
Drew up Stopped
Turned out to be Proved, Evolved

When we started from Hor it was already dark. After 10:30 PM we stopped infront of a guest house in Darchen village for night stay. That night was yet another night full of troubles.

 

Word Meaning
Kicking around Walking

While walking around in the town of Hor, I had once again caught cold. Probably it was because of the waste that was lying in open in the town. But actually my cold did not get cured even after taking herbal tea.

 

My one nostril was once again blocked. I was trying to sleep. I was not sure if I would be able to breathe through the second nostril .We were now at 4760 meters above the sea level.

 

Word Meaning
Gasping Breathing deeply,
Accustomed In the habit of
Noctural Occurring in the night
Scared Frightened

The height of this town was not much higher than that of Ravu. But at Ravu many times during the night I felt the need to breathe deeply. Now I was getting used to such disturbances during my sleep in the night. But I was scared.

 

Word Meaning
Switched to Changed tp
Drifting off Sleeping
Abruptly Suddenly

I was tired and hungry I started breathing through my mouth. After sometime I started breathing through one nostril. Which for sometime appeared sufficient. I was trying to sleep. Then I suddenly woke up.

 

Word Meaning
Nasal passage Passage of nose, Nostrils
Instantly Immediately
Curious Strange

I felt something wrong was happening to me. I felt my chest had become heavy. I sat up. This immediately cleaned my nostrils. I was able to breathe. I felt relief in my chest. I found it strange.

 

Word Meaning
Land of nod State of sleep

I again lied down and tried to sleep. The same thing happened again. My chest started feeling heavy. I was about to again sleep but I felt I should not sleep.

 

Word Meaning
Impulses Waves, Shocks

It seemed to me that I was again getting electric shocks. But these shocks were not similar to the earlier ones. This time I was not breathing heavily. I was not able to sleep.

 

Word Meaning
Sinuses Nostrils,

As soon as I sat up, I started feeling better. I was able to breathe properly and my chest felt good. But when I tried to lie down, I had an obstruction in my nose. I felt something different in my chest.

 

Word Meaning
Propping Taking support
Drop off Sleep
Could not put finger on reason Could identify the reason

I tried to take support of the wall to sit up against the wall. But I did not get much relief. So I did not sleep. I could not identify the exact reason but I was afraid to sleep.

 

A voice within me was warning me. It told me that if I tried to sleep, I may never wake up. So I was awake throughout the night.

 

Word Meaning
Following morning Next morning
Monastery Place where monks live

The next morning , with Tsetan I went to the medical college of Darchen. The medical college was a new building. It looked like a place where monks stayed. It had a very strong door. From this door we entered a large open space.

 

Word Meaning
Paraphernalia Kit, Equipment
Pullover Coat

We went to the room of a doctor. This consulting room was dark and cold. A Tibetan doctor was sitting in the room. He was not wearing any kit or uniform that a doctor normally wears. He was not wearing a white coat. He was wearing a thick coat and a woolen hat. He looked like a normal Tibetan.

 

Word Meaning
Aversion Dislike, Unwillingness
Shot me a few questions Asked me a few questions

I explained to him that I was not able to sleep. I also explained what I felt during the night and my unwillingness to sleep. He asked me some questions. He checked my pulse.

 

He finally told through Tsetan that I was suffering from cold and the effect of high altitude. He said that he would give me some medicines. The doctor spoke through Tsetan because he could not speak the language spoken by the narrator.

 

I asked the doctor if I will become alright to complete my kora. He replied that I would soon recover.

 

Word Meaning
Clutching Holding
Stuffed Full of
Screws of paper Packets made in paper
Right away Immediately

I came out of the medical college. I was holding an envelop that had fifteen small packets made in paper. Doctor had given me medicines for five days. I immediately started taking medicine.

 

I opened package of the medicine that was to be taken after breakfast. It had brown powder that was to be taken with hot water. Its taste was similar to that of cinnamon. I could not identify the lunchtime and nighttime medicines.

 

Word Meaning
Spherical Round
Pallets Particles, Pieces
Suspiciously Doubtfully
Sheep dung Potty of sheep, Poop of sheep
Slept like a log Had sound sleep, Did not get up during sleep

Both paper packets had some tablets of brown colour and round shape. They looked like poop of sheep. But I took these medicines. I took complete course of medicines that day. I had a sound sleep in the night.

 

Word Meaning
Pass away Die

Now Tsetan understood that medicines were showing desired result. I will live some more time. So he decided to return to Lhasa. He told me that according the culture of Bhuddhism it does not matter if somebody lives longer or dies earlier. But death of a passenger is not good for the business of tourism.

 

 

Word Meaning
Derelict Negligent, Careless
Punctuated by Occurred at some distance to each other
Brilliantly Bright
Gurla Mandhata A mountain peak in Tibet
Wisp of something Very small  quantity

After a sound sleep of the night, the town of Darchen did not look so bad to me. It was full of dust and neglect. Many heaps of broken stones and waste were lying here and there. Sun was shining bright in the clear blue sky. Therefore I could have a glimpse of Himalayas in southern direction. The top of the Himalayas was full of snow. I could also see the Gurla Mandhata mountain, the highest peak of Tibet. Close to its peak, there was only a small amount of cloud.

 

Word Meaning
Rudimentary Old style, Elementary, Simple

Some old style basic general stores were there in the town of Darchen. These were selling cigarette and soap manufactured in China. These were also selling some basic items required day to day. These were also selling flags to be used in prayers.

 

Word Meaning
Pool A game of cards
Battered Worn out, Shabby
Supremely Extremely
Incongruous Not matching, Unsuitable
Brook Small stream of water
Babbled Flowed

In front of the shops, some men had gathered around a worn out table. This table was looking quite shabby and did not match with other surroundings. The men were playing pool. Women were washing their hair in the ice cold water of a small stream of river. This rivulet flowed close to my guest house.

 

Word Meaning
Significant Major, Important
Drawback Shortcoming, Disadvantage

The people of Darchen town seemed to be easy going. They did not hurry up for any activity. But the town had a major shortcoming for me. There was no other pilgrim in the town.

 

Word Meaning
Height of the season Most busy season
Bustling Full of activity
Enlarging Increasing
Spilled Extended

I was told that during peak season, the town is full visitors. Many visitors bring their own tents. So the area of town increases. These pilgrims establish their own tents. Many times tents are established upto the plain area of the town.

 

I had planned my journey so as to reach during start of the season. I wanted to avoid the rush. But it seemed to me that I had come too much early.

 

Word Meaning
Ponder Think
Consideration Thinking, Evaluation
Severely Very much

One afternoon I was having tea in the only café of Darchen. I started thinking about the things I could do in Darchen. I understood that opportunities were very less.

 

It appeared to me that I had not improved myself in positive thinking. Although I had read some books about it.

 

Word Meaning
Well-trodden Frequently travelled
Did not fancy doing it alone Did not want to do alone

I had many difficulties in getting sleep. But I had to wait for my onward journey to Mount Kailash. The path to Mount Kailash was frequently travelled by pilgrims. But I did not want to take up this journey alone.

 

Word Meaning
Seasonal During a season only. Intermittent
Blockage Obstruction
Chunks Small pieces
Clung Stuck

The pilgrimage to Kailash could be done in a particular season only. In other seasons the route used to get blocked by the snow. I did not know if the snow on the path had cleared. Some pieces of ice were still stuck along the stream running near Darchen. This was a discouragement to take up the journey alone.

 

After departure of Tsetan I did not meet any person in Darchen who could speak English. So I could not know if the snow along the way had cleared. This information was important to the author.

 

Word Meaning
Cavernous Having many parts

This was the situation till I met Norbu. The café in Darchen was small. It did not have enough lights. It had different section. A metal stove was put in the middle of the café.

 

Word Meaning
Wreathed Covered
Stout Strong
Voluminous Large

Walls and ceiling of the café were covered by the sheets. These sheets were made of plastic strips. These were of blue, red and white colour. The material used was same as that used for making strong big bags that are sold in China. Bags made of this material are also sold in other countries of Asia and some countries of Europe.

 

The highest export by China along the Silk Road is of materials made of plastic.

 

This café had only one window. I used to sit near this window. This helped me clearly see pages of my notebook. To pass my time I used to bring novel with me to the café.

 

Word Meaning
Gesture Signal, Indication
Rickety Unsteady, Shaky, 
Struck up Started , Initiated

When Norbu came in the café he saw my book. Through a signal he asked me if he could sit at the same table. The table was unsteady and shaky. He asked me if I was from England. He ordered tea for himself. We soon started talking.

 

I had a doubt that he did not belong to area around Darchen. He was wearing a windcheater. Rim of his spectacles was made of metal and of western style. He was from Tibet. He was working in Beijing in Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He had come here to do some field work .

 

Norbu said that he had come to perform Kailash kora. I was surprised. Norbu used to write many essays and reports about Kailash kora. Since many years he has been also writting about importance of  kora as per literature and customs of Budhist religion. But he had never done a kora.

 

After hearing from him, I told him the purpose of me coming to Darchen. There was shine of hope in his eyes. He told me that we could form a team. He called us as two scholars who had run away from library. Now I realized that my positive thinking was giving some result.

 

Word Meaning
Tempered Disturbed

My relief of meeting Norbu was soon disturbed. I understood that he did not have required equipment to complete the kora. I also did not have all the required equipment.

 

Word Meaning
Tiresome Something that will tire someone
Transpired Become known
Enthusiasm Passion, Eagerness

Norbu told me that he was fat. Therefore it was difficult for him to climb. He reminded me that at more heights one gets easily tired while walking. He did not completely followed Bhuddhism. But he was passionate. He was certainly a Tibetan.

 

Word Meaning
Envisaged Planned, Thought of
Devout One who has strong faith, Religious,
On reflection Thinking again, Considering again
Companion Colleague

Originally I had planned to complete kora with those who believed in Bhuddhism. But I again thought about it. I decided that probably Norbu would be a perfect person to travel with.

 

Word Meaning
Yak An animal found in mountains and used for carrying luggage
Interpreted Considered,
Intention Desire
Prostrate To become weak, To feel tired

Norbu suggested that we should hire some yaks to carry our luggage. I thought it was a good suggestion. Norbu did not have any desire to walk in the mountains with luggage. He thought he may get tired or start feeling  weekness.

 

Word Meaning
Collapsing Lying , Spreading
Hysterical Of very high intensity
Tummy Stomach

He said in a loud voice that he did not want to get tired. He started laughing very loudly. While laughing he spread his hand and body on the table. This was not his usual style. I observed that he had a large stomch.

****

Father to Son 

Explanation

Poet – Elizabeth Jennings

This poem is about relationship between a father and a son. The poet has expressed feelings of a father through this poem. Also expressed is the need to have a good communication between family members. Lack of communication may lead to several misunderstandings.

Poetic Devices
Though we have lived together now Alliteration
In the same house for years. I know Alliteration
He was when small. Yet have I killed Alliteration

Father expresses that he has not understood feelings of his son. Though they have lived together for a long time in a house relations between them are not healthy. Father realizes that he knows very little about his son. He wants to make one more attempt to build a healthy relationship with his son. He wants to recall all the time he has spent with his son since his childhood.

This stanza represents the gap between thoughts of a father and a son. Each of them wants to maintain his own thought process. They do not want to listen views of each other. But at a later date father realizes the pain of not having enough communications with his son. Now they are probably not talking often. Father feels the need to build a good relationship with his son.

 

Word Meaning
Sown Planted
Poetic Devices
The seed I spent or sown it where Alliteration
The land is his and none of mine Metaphor
We speak like strangers, there’s no sign Simile
This child is built to my design Simile

Father accepts that he was responsible for creating the communication gap with his son. Now the son does not expresses himself so father does not know what is going on in the mind of his son. They do talk to each other but do not express their feelings. Hence they are behaving like strangers. They do not try to understand each other. The child has a physical resemblance to his father. However the father does not know anything about likes or dislikes of his son.

This stanza expresses the helplessness of a father. He takes all the blame of lack of communication on himself. He accepts the importance of communication and the pain lack of it can cause. People can live together but still be far away from each other. This situation is very painful.

 

Word Meaning
Prodigal Spending too much,

Using something in large quantity

Poetic Devices
Silence surrounds us. I would have Alliteration
His father’s house, the home he knew, Alliteration
His father’s house, the home he knew, Metaphor
Rather than see him make and move Alliteration
Shaping from sorrow a new love. Alliteration

Because of lack of understanding, father and son speak less to each other . Father wants his son to speak more and more to him. Father wants his son to return to the house that was once a home for him. Father would prefer this rather than his son making a separate home for himself and live there. Father is ready to forgive his son. Father wants to forget all the sorrows of past and initiate love into their life.

In this stanza father has expressed his willingness to correct his own ways. He is not blaming his son. He takes all the blame on himself. Father wants to develop a new way of understanding between them after forgetting whatever happened in the past. He does not want that both should live separately. This separation could be physical as well as emotional or only emotional. Each of these situations is bad.

 

Word Meaning
Globe Earth, Universe
Longing Desire, Wish
Poetic Devices
On the same globe and the same land, Repetition
On the same globe and the same land, Metaphor
We each put out an empty hand, Metaphor

Father wants that he and his son should live together in the same house. They should also be part of the same universe. This sentence expresses need of emotional attachment. Father is sad that his son is away from him. He cannot understand why this sadness is causing anger in him. He wants that they should extend an empty hand to welcome each other. They both have a strong desire to be in the company of each other and to forgive each other.

In this stanza father expresses his wish to move ahead to forgive his own son. Living in the same globe and the same land has a deeper meaning. The word ‘land’ represents living under one roof. The word ‘globe’ represents the thought process or the emotional aspects of living. The father wants to have emotional interaction as well. Father wants to welcome his son into his abode once again without any pre-conditions. This is the meaning of ‘putting an empty hand’. He blames himself for lack of communication and is ready to forgive his son.

 

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