Weathering the Storm in Ersama Explanation, Line by Line, Meaning of Difficult Words, Class 9  CBSE English Chapter 6 NCERT Moments 


(Explanation, Meaning of difficult words)

Author – Harsh Mander


Word Meaning
Block A group of many Tehsils
Headquarters Main office, Head office
Coastal area Area close to sea

On 27th October 1999, Prashant had gone to a town known as Ersama. His mother had died about seven years ago. Ersama was situated in the coastal area of Orissa state. This town was the headquarters of the block level administration. This town was about 18 kilometres away from the village of Prashant. He had gone to Ersama to be with his friend for one day.



Word Meaning
Menacing Dangerous
Gathered Generated, Started
Winds beat against the house Wind striking houses with great force
Fury Violent, Extreme power
Witnessed Seen

In the evening dark clouds started appearing in the sky. Very soon many clouds appeared in the sky. It looked as if a storm was about to come.  Speed of wind increased. Wind started striking the houses with great force. Prashant had never seen winds of such high speed and such extreme power.



Word Meaning
Heavy rain Rains of great intensity
Incessant rain Continuous rain, Non-stop rains
Ancient trees Very old trees,
Crashed Fell down
Screams Shouts
Rent the air Filled the air
Swiftly Quickly
Washed away Taken away by water

Rains of great intensity was falling continuously. The old and fully grown trees got removed from their roots and fell down. Shouts of people could be heard through the air. Meaning that almost all people were shouting because of fear. Very soon quantity and force of water increased. Several house were damaged due to water. Many were taken away by water.



Word Meaning
Angry water Force of water, Violent water
Swirled Moved with a rotating action
Devastation Destruction, Sever damage

Water entered into the house of the friend of Prashant. The force of water was high and it was rotating about itself. Water level was upto the neck of people living in the house. The speed of the wind was 350 km per hour. Walls of the house were made of bricks and mortar. Therefore even high speed wind could not cause any damage to walls.



Word Meaning
Cold terror Very strong terror

The family was already terrified to a great extent. Their terror grew even more when a tree fell on the roof of their house. It was almost midnight. The tree damaged the roof and walls of the house.



Word Meaning
Crazed destruction Sever damage
Wrought Caused
Surge Rise, Increase

The cyclone continued to cause severe damage. The water level of ocean continued to be at the increased level. Both these activities continued for next 36 hours. However, speed of wind had reduced to some extent by the next morning.



Word Meaning
Refuge Shelter
Taken refuge on the roof Shifted to roof to save life
Glimpse Sight, Scene
Grey light of morning Early morning

To save their life from the rising level water, Prashant and the whole family of his friend shifted to the roof of the house. Early in the morning Prashant saw the damage caused by the super cyclone. He will never be able to forget the scene of the destruction. 



Word Meaning
Raging Stormy, Strong, Violent
Deadly Dangerous
Fractured Broken
Bloated Swollen
Carcasses Dead bodies of animals
Corpses Dead bodies of human beings

Water was still violently moving. It was of brown colour.  It was spread all over the area. To the distance eyes could see, it was water.  Only at some places a few broken houses could be seen. Swollen dead bodies of animals were floating on water. Dead bodies of human beings were also floating on water. 

Author wants to say that water had spread all over the area. Most of the houses were washed away. There was loss of animal and human life.



Word Meaning
Blessing in disguise Something good in times of difficulty
Tender Not ripe
Trapped Confined, Enclosed

In the whole area many trees had fallen. Two coconut tress had fallen on the roof of his friend’s house. During the difficult situation these trees helped them a lot. There were some unripe coconuts on these trees. For many days after the storm, these were the only food for the family.



Word Meaning
Huddled Sat close to each other in a group

For next two days Prashant and the family of his friend were sitting together on the roof of the house.  They were feeling very cold because of wind and continuous rain.  Prashant was crying. His tears got mixed with rain that was falling on his face. He could not differentiate between the two.



Word Meaning
Flashed through his mind Came to his mind
Bereaved Tolerate death of a member of family

Only one thought was coming to the mind of Prashant. He wanted to know if his family in his village was safe. He wanted to know if all members of his family were alive in this storm. Or he will have to once again tolerate death of members of his family.



Word Meaning
Ceased Stopped
Recede To go back, To reduce the level
Seek out Search, Find out

After two days rains stopped. Water level gradually started reducing. These two days were equal to two years to Prashant. Prashant wanted to search and know about members of his family.  He wanted to do this work immediately.



Word Meaning
Pleaded Requested earnestly
Stay back To be where one is
A little while longer For some more time

But the situation was dangerous even after two days. So the family of his friend requested Prashant to stay at Ersama for some more time.  But Prashant was determined to go.



Word Meaning
Equipped himself Took with him
Sturdy Strong
Expedition Journey

Prashant took a long and strong stick with him. He thought the stick would be helpful to him. He started his journey towards his own village that was 18 km away. He had to walk through flood water. Level of water was more than that during normal situations. He would always remember this journey.



Word Meaning
Constantly Regularly
Locate To find

During his journey he regularly used the stick to find the road. He used it to determine depth of water. At some places where water was upto his waist, he had to walk slowly. Many times he could not locate the road. Many times he had to swim in flood water.



Word Meaning
Relieved Felt some relief

After travelling some distance alone, he met two friends of his uncle. He felt lot of relief after meeting them. They were also returning to the village. They decided that they will travel the remaining journey together. 



Word Meaning
Waded Walked with difficulty through water
Macabre Horrific, Terrible, Frightening
Cattles Animals
Swept against them Brought near them

With great difficulty they were walking thorough water. They saw horrific scenes. Such scenes became more as they progressed further. Many dead bodies of animals, dogs, men, women and children came floating near them. They had to push these away while moving ahead.



Word Meaning
Barely Hardly
Catastrophe Great destruction, Disaster

They passed through several villages. Hardly any house was standing in those villages. Most of the houses were completely broken. Prashant started weeping loudly. He wept for long time. He was sure that his family would have also died in this disaster.



Word Meaning
Eventually Finally
His heart went cold He became numb, He was not able to think
Remnants Remains, Smaller parts of something

Finally Prashant reached his village. Name of his village is Kalikudda. He became numb. He was not able to think anything. His house was destroyed. Only some parts of the roof of his house were there. Most of his house had been destroyed.



Word Meaning
Mangled Damaged
Shelter Temporary accommodation
Look for To search

Prashant saw that some of their belongings were stuck in the branches of tree. These were just above the dark coloured water. These belongings had been damaged. These were in twisted condition. So Prashant decided to go to the temporary houses constructed by Red Cross Society. He wanted to search his family members.



Word Meaning
Maternal grandmother Mother of mother
Rushed to him Ran towards him
Brimming Shining
Long given him up for dead Thought that he was dead

There was a huge crowd of people at the shelter. One of the first people Prashant met there was mother of his mother. She had become very weak due to hunger. She ran towards Prashant. Her hands were spread out. She wanted to embrace Prashant. Her eyes were shining. She was happy to see Prashant. They had been thinking that Prashant was not alive.



Word Meaning
Word spread Many people came to know
Extended family Family including relatives
Gathered Came near, came together, Collected
Anxiously Eagerly , Worriedly
Scanned Looked
Motley Crowd, Group, Several people
Battered Injured

Soon many people came to know about arrival of Prashant. His family and relatives came to him. They all hugged him. They were happy that Prashant was alive. It was a great relief to them. With great worry, Prashant looked at the group of injured people. His brother, sister, uncles and aunts were there in the group.




Word Meaning
Take in Understand
Get a grip over himself To control his emotions
Sensed Realised
Deathly grief Great sadness

By next morning Prashant was trying to understand the situation in the shelter. He decided that first of all he would need to control his own emotions. He realised that every one of 2500 people living in the shelter was very sad. They were sad because of the situation of themselves. They were sad because many of their relatives had died in the storm.



Word Meaning
Tumult of people Large group of people

Eighty-six people of his village had died. All the ninety-six houses of his village were destroyed due to flood. It was the fourth day for them in the shelter. Till now they have been eating green coconuts. That was the only food for them. But number of coconuts were very less for such a large group of people.



Word Meaning
Step in Involve, Become
Pressurise Persuade, Make someone to agree
Part with Give

Prashant was 19 years old. He decided to become leader for the village because no other person was taking any action. He collected a group of young and elderly people of his village. Together, they persuaded the businessman of their village to give rice to people.



Word Meaning
Delegation A group of representatives
Triumphantly Victoriously, With a win
Receding Going back, Lowering of level of water
Rotten Spoilt, Of bad quality

This time the group returned to shelter with a victory. With great difficulty they walked back to the shelter through the water. Level of water was now reducing. They had some food with them for all people. Nobody was worried that rice was already damaged.



Word Meaning
Gathered Collected
Reluctant Not agreeing, Unwilling
Bellies Stomach

People collected branches of the fallen trees. They wanted to ignite a fire to cook rice. But it was very difficult to ignite fire to wet branches of trees. Somehow the rice was cooked. People of the shelter had some food in their stomach. It was after four days that they had something to eat.



Word Meaning
Task Work, Job
Volunteers Those who work willingly
Filth Dirt, Sewage
Tend to Take care

Now Prashant worked for organizing a team of young volunteers. He wanted to clean the entire area of the shelter from the sewage, vomit and dead bodies of animals. Many people living in the shelter had injuries. Some had fractures. He wanted to provide treatment for the people living in the shelter.



Word Meaning
Youth task force Group of young people working for a cause

On fifth day a helicopter of military flew over their shelter. It dropped some packets of food. After that it did not come again. The group of young people collected some empty utensils from the shelter.



Word Meaning
Deputed Appointed, Asked to perform a task

The group then asked children to lie on the sand. The sand had got deposited in the shelter by the flood water. The children lied on the sand and kept those utensils on their stomach. They wanted to communicate to passing helicopters that they were hungry.



Word Meaning
Message got through Message was understood

The message was understood by the people flying the helicopter. The helicopter started making rounds of the area regularly. It dropped food packets and other things of daily needs.



Word Meaning
Orphans Children whose parents are not alive
Put up Installed, Made
Mobilised Motivated, Requested
Look after To take care
Secured Arranged

Prashant observed that many children had lost their parents. He gathered them together. He made a shelter for them. Polythene sheets were used for making this shelter. He requested and motivated women to take care of these children. Men were requested to make shelter and arrange food for these children.



Word Meaning
Recognize Understand
Sinking deeper and deeper in grief Becoming more and more sad
Persuaded Motivated

Many weeks passed. Prashant observed that women and children were becoming more and more sad. He motivated women to start working in the food-for-work programme. In such programmes people get food for their work. This programme was started by an NGO. Prashant started organizing sports events of children. This way he was trying to keep everyone busy.



Word Meaning
Engaged Occupied, Kept busy
Pick up broken pieces of life Make new beginning for life

Prashant liked to play cricket. So he organized cricket matches for children. Prashant kept other volunteers busy in helping children and women. He wanted all of them to make a new beginning for their life.



Word Meaning
Set up Establish, Start
Widow Woman whose husband has died
Resisted Opposed
Stigma Disgrace, Consider people away from society

Initially the government had planned to establish institutions for orphans and widows. But people of the village opposed this proposal. Finally they were successful and the proposal was withdrawn. Villagers were of the opinion that children living in such institution grow without love and care of society. Also, widows will feel that they are living away from society. They will suffer because of loneliness.



Word Meaning
Foster families Families who adopt children

Prashant’s group thought that orphans should also live within the society. Some arrangements should made for this purpose. They made new arrangements of families. The childless widows and orphans were brought together to live as a family.



Word Meaning
Wounded spirit Sad emotions
Healed Again become good, Cured

Six months have passed since the disaster by the super cyclone. The sad emotions of Prashant had cured because of only one reason. He did not have time to worry about his own problems. He worked to solve problems of others. 



Word Meaning
Seek out Search, Approach
Darkest hour of grief Situation of great sadness

Whenever orphaned children and widows of his village become very sad, they approach Prashant for guidance.





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