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Adventures in a Banyan Tree

The old banyan tree was a friend of the boy even though it was older than the Grandfather and Dehra Dun.

The tree gave the boy happiness and he spends most of his time in it.

A small grey squirrel becomes his friend and takes food from his hands.

In spring, there are figs on the tree and various birds flutter on its branches.

The boy builds a platform on the tree with a cushion to read books.

He looks down to watch the beauty of the earth beneath.

One afternoon, he watches a fight between a cobra and a mongoose.

The mongoose is a clever and aggressive fighter.

The cobra is also skillful and experienced.

The mongoose moves and attacks the cobra.

Cobra strikes the mongoose. But suddenly it jumps to the back of its head and attacks it.

Crow and myna intervene and the crow is killed by the cobra.

Mongoose attacks and kills the cobra. The mongoose drags the cobra into the bushes.

Grandfather is happy to know that the mongoose is the winner.

The boy sees a new incident. A white rat and a grey squirrel develop a friendship.

Grandmother's knitting was missing.

Later, the boy found the knitting and the needle in a hole in the tree.

The boy also discovers three white baby squirrels in the hole.

Grandfather says that the white rat is the father of the white baby squirrels.

The Snake and the Mirror

Homeopath is engaged in a discussion about snakes with his friends.

He recalls an incident.

He was sitting in his room reading a book.

He looks at the mirror and admires himself.

He takes some earthshaking decisions to look more handsome.

His thoughts are interrupted by sounds from above.

Suddenly a snake falls from above with a thud.

It coils around his arm and spreads out its hood.

The terrified doctor sits like a stone image in flesh.

The snake sees its reflection in the mirror.

It starts admiring itself and moves down towards the mirror.

Homeopath gets up and runs out.

The next day he returns to his room and finds everything robbed.

Only his dirty vest remains.

Project Tiger

Hollywood is famous for making films with animals.

Animal actors earn the same amount as real film stars.

They also have stand-ins.

The narrator, Satyajit Ray, needs a tiger for a scene in his film.

He meets the circus manager and Mr Thorat, the ringmaster.

They agree to bring a tiger for shooting.

The lorry arrived with two well-fed tigers near the bamboo grove at Notun Gram.

The tiger jumps out of the cage and prances around scaring the villagers.

The shooting was a failure as the camera failed to work properly.

Reshooting was decided at Boral.

The tiger did its part well.

The shooting was successful.

The Best Investment I Ever Made

The narrator sees a passenger on the promenade deck.

He notices the man with his wife, the next day.

She compels her husband to talk to the doctor.

John offers his visiting card.

The narrator realizes John's field of work - youth welfare.

They help adolescents and bring them back to a good life.

The doctor recalls past incidents in the landlady's attic.

Young John falls into bad company.

He loses all his money in gambling.

He pledges all his belongings and borrows money from all sources.

Steals money from office safe.

Unable to replace the money, attempts suicide.

Saved by the doctor, landlady and Sergeant.

Gets a fresh start in life.

The sergeant agrees not to register the case

The doctor gives 7 pounds and 10 shillings to recoup the money.

The doctor feels proud of this investment and thinks it is the best.

The Danger of A Single Story

Chimmanda Ngozi Adichie introduces herself as a storyteller.

She was an early reader and writer.

Her early readings consisted of British and American books.

Adichie's early writings were influenced by these foreign books.

Her characters were white and blue-eyed, ate apples, played in the snow and talked about the weather.

Her opinion changed after she discovered African books.

She started writing about things she recognized.

Fide the domestic help in their house came from a very poor family.

Adichie visited Fide's house with her mother.

She is surprised to see the beautifully patterned basket made by Fide's brother.

Their poverty was a single story for her.

Her American roommate is shocked to hear her speak good English.

She is also surprised to know that Adichie listens to Mariah Carey and not tribal music.

Her professor also carries single stories of Africans.

Adichie warns the listeners against having single stories.

Single stories create stereotypes that are not untrue but incomplete.

The Scholarship Jacket

Martha is a student of a small Texas school

The school presents a scholarship jacket to the class valedictorian.

Martha dreams of getting the scholarship jacket.

Rosie her sister had won the jacket.

Martha was a straight-A student from her first grade.

She overhears an argument between Mr Schmidt and Mr Boone her two teachers.

Mr Boone asks Mr Schmidt to falsify the records so that Joann can get the scholarship jacket.

Mr Schmidt refuses to falsify records.

He says that Martha deserves the scholarship jacket.

Principal informs Martha about a change in the policy.

She will have to pay fifteen dollars to get the scholarship jacket.

Martha cries bitterly as she goes back home.

She informs her grandfather of the policy change.

She requests her grandfather to give her the money.

Grandfather refuses to give her the money

He tells her that if she pays for it then it is not a scholarship jacket.

The next day Martha informs her grandfather's decision to her principal.

Principal changes his mind.

He awards the jacket to Martha.


Lines Written in Early Spring

Sample Appreciation

"Lines Written in Early Spring" is a poem written by William Wordsworth. It is a landscape poem that is largely concerned with nature. It is composed of six four-line stanzas. The simplicity of the poem is representative of Romantic poetry. Nature, its beauty, the living beings and its seamless existence are the themes of the poem.

The connection of the poem with nature is very evident. In the quatrains, the presence of nature as a living thing strikes again. The poet admires the flowers – the primrose, the blue of the periwinkle, the greenness of the woodland area where he sits – and the birds which 'hopped and played' around him. The perfection of nature saddens the speaker. He talks about the plants and birds that live in nature. The birds, and the twigs on the trees, seem to exist in a world of pleasure. This is the way nature is, and nature is the work of God.

The poem follows a rhyme scheme 'abab', written in iambs. Bower –flower, wreaths – breathes, played – made, measure – pleasure, are the rhyming words from these lines. '…my faith that every flower' is an example of alliteration. Many images can be identified in these lines: tufts, flower, bower, birds, etc. are some of them. The flower enjoys the air it breathes – is an example of a metaphor.

I enjoyed reading this poem because the poet upholds hope in his poem. The poet generalises fearlessly: 'pleasant thoughts" invite "sad thoughts", and the whole constitutes a "sweet mood'. It seems to contain the wisdom that belongs to people, who have been uprooted from nature. Perhaps the keyword in the phrase "what man has made of man" is the human-made things like factories, mines and mills and groves.

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