Kerala Plus Two English Textbook Answers Unit 1 Chapter 4 Horegallu (Anecdote)
Read And Respond
What is a‘horegallu’? What is its purpose?
A horegallu is a stone bench. It helps tired persons to sit down and rest for sometime so that they can regain their energy.
What are the special memories the author associates with ‘horegallu’?
The special memories the author associates with ‘horegallu’ are about her grandfather sitting on the horegallu talking with villagers who work in the nearby fields. Her grandfather was a retired school teacher and he would sit on the horegallu under the banyan tree in the village. The tired villagers would come and sit on the stone bench and talk to her grandfather. When she felt tired after playing she would also sit near her grandfather listening to the conversations he was having with the villagers resting there.
How does the grandfather refresh the travellers?
The grandfather refreshed the travellers just by listening to them. The villagers would talk of their troubles to him and he would listen. This seemed to refresh them.
Is ‘horegallu’ essential in a journey? Why?
‘Horegallu’ is essential in a journey. Any journey involves some distance. Life itself is supposed to be a journey. Every now and then we need to sit down, and refresh ourselves. There is nobody in this world that does not have problems of some sort. A sympathetic listener will help the person with troubles to relieve himself of his burden at least temporarily.
‘Horegallu ’ gives everyone the opportunity to regain their strength. What does the author try to indicate her?
It is true that horegallu gives everyone the opportunity to regain their strength. Life is a journey and we all need horegallus every now and then to regain our energy. The author is trying to tell us that we too must be like the horegallu. We may not be in a position to help everybody’ to solve his problems, but at least we can give people a sympathetic hearing and it will help them.
Bring out the symbolic significance of the word ‘burden’.
‘Burden’ symbolically means our troubles and tribulations. There is nobody in the world that has no problems at all. Each problem is a burden. When we share our problem, our burden, with others, it will definitely relieve us.
Comment on the expression, ‘infectious cheerfulness’.
Infectious means ‘contagious’, something that spread fast. Like certain diseases, emotions are also infectious in the sense that they spread fast. When you attend a funeral, everyone wears a sad look. But when you attend a wedding, you have a happy look. A smiling person brings smile to your face. A cheerful person makes you also cheerful and this it is infectious.
What does Ratna do during lunch hours?
During lunch hours, Ratna would sit with some person in one of the rooms and they would be chatting.
What is Ratna’s simplistic outlook?
Her simplistic outlook is God has given her two ears to listen to others. She is not a trained counsellor or an intellectual and she can’t solve people’s problems. They have to do it themselves. She simply listens to the people with sympathy and without any judgment. She believes that when a person in stress finds an outlet for is worries, it relieves him a lot.
The author wishes there were many more of ‘horegallus’ in the world. Comment.
A horegallu is a stone bench on which tired people can rest and regain their energy. Such stones are usually under shady trees. Tired travellers unburden themselves, sit, and talk to some sympathetic listener. Life is a journey and we all are travellers. Each one of us carries burdens of various sorts. If there is some patient and sympathetic listener, we can unburden ourselves and feel relieved. The horegallu will not solve your problem but it gives you a temporary relief. The author expects each of us to be a horegallu.
Think And Write
Do you think that the grandfather and Ratna were doing some tremendous social service? Explain.
I do think that the grandfather and Ratna were doing tremendous social service. They used to sit down and calmly listen to the problems people have. They listened to people with sympathy and no judgment. By opening theirmind, people feel relieved. The grandfather and Ratna might not have solved people’s problems. But they were simply horegallus giving the people temporary relief from their inner burdens.
Can we relate grandfather and Ratna to a horegallu? Why?
We can definitely relate grandfather and Ratna to a horegallu because they helped people in unburdening themselves. A horegallu under a shady tree, sometimes with cool drinking water nearby, lets the people carrying burdens sit for a while and relax, getting back their energy. By talking to the grandfather and Ratna, people also felt relieved, Burdens are lightened when they are shared. In this sense they both are horegallus.
Activity I (Narration)
Ratna in ‘Horegallu’ says, “God has given me two ears to listen to others. I hear them out with sympathy and without any judgment. When a person in trouble or under a lot of strain finds an outlet for his worries, it relieves half of his burden. ”
a) Do you think mere listening can solve a problem? Identify the qualities of a good listener.
Mere listening can’t solve a problem. The qualities of a god listener include: attention, interest, sympathy, making agreements, giving suggestions and being non- judgmental.
b) Imagine Nomita gets a chance to talk to Ratna. How would she present her worries?
Begin as follows: I am Nomita. Yesterday I had a quarrel with my husband.
Nomita: I am Nomita. Yesterday I had a quarrel with my husband.
Ratna: What happened, Nomita?
Nomita: He received a letter written to me by my mother. He read and left it in his pocket. After 3 days when I checked his pockets before giving the dirty clothes to the washer¬man I found it there, crumpled and torn. When I asked him why he opened my letter and even refused give it to me later, he rudely told me he would do what he wants.
Ratna: He said that!
Nomita: He did. He further asked me what I could do. I was enraged. I saw a matchbox lying near, lit a match and put it to my sari which caught fire.
Ratna: Goodness! How could you do that?
Nomita: I was mad with anger. I wanted to tell him that l ean also do things.
Ratna: And then?
Nomita: Ajit was shocked and he came running and put out the fire. I could see remorse in his face. I am sure he will not challenge me again in the future.
Ratna: But Nomita, you had gone too far in setting fire to yourself.
Nomita: Well, men sometimes need shock treatments to bring them to their senses!
Activity II: (Language practice)
Read the passage on page 29 and pick out the adjectives and categorize them based on the nature of their description.
Adjectives: large, flat, vertical, stone, fellow, cool, earthen, their, similar, simple, sure
Adjectives of Quality: flat, two, vertical, stone, fellow, cool, earthen, simple, sure
Adjective of Quantity: large
Adjective of number: two
Adjective of Comparison: similar
Possessive adjective – their
Now rewrite the passage substituting the adjectives without any change in meaning:
It was a big, level stone placed horizontally over a couple of upright ones, thus making a hard bench on which anyone could sit and rest a while, chat with a co-traveler and exchange news of the road. Cold water would be kept in clay pots near the bench and people could quench thejr thirst before starting their journeys again. I am certain the same, easy arrangements can be found in the villages all over the country.
Activity III (Comparison)
In this unit, you have got acquainted with several women characters, both real and fictitious. The following excerpts present their ideas on empowerment.
“I always compare women to match boxes.” Ashapuma Debi
Tm the heat that warms the earth, which else were colder than a stone.” Katherine Tynan
“I don’t think there is a greater sin that betraying someone’s confidence.” Ratna
“For what reason should you open my letters? I told you a thousand times not to.” Nomita to Ajit
“I wish there were some horegallus on the world.” Sudha Murty
It’s time to create a world where women can meet their potential… and the world will reap the benefits.” Christine Lagarde
Now attempt a comparison of these women with regard to their ideas on being empowered.
There are six women in the above quotations giving their own views on empowerment. Ashapuma Debi thinks that women have a lot of power but they don’t utilise it properly. She feels women are like matchboxes which people keep in their kitchen, pantry, bedrooms, or even in their pockets. Katherine Tynan is sympathetic and kind. She is the epitome of a good mother, who gives her children unconditional love. SW thinks that only women have the power to give such love and warmth to the family members. Ratna is also sympathetic and she listens to the problems of others.
She never tells the secrets of those who trust her and tell her of their problems. Nomita wants to be independent, but her husband does not allow her to be so. She is severe and resentful of her husband’s behaviour but she can hardly change him. Sudha Murty wants people to be horegallus so that they can share the burden of others. Christine Lagarde wants women to work for meeting their potential. She feels women are denied opportunities in education, jobs and also leadership positions. She is very domineering and she wants women to assert themselves against all kinds of discrimination against them.
Activity IV (Comprehension)
→ Read the advertisement
Reading shapes you.
Kind attention passionate book nerds…
Books which take you to another world help you escape daily
problems. Books are beyond imagination. A good book is always
a reliable companion. Children in their care are always happy.
But today we are getting distracted by the digital world. The
best way to get focused again is to disconnect and read an
Here, you have the wonderland of sparkling letters.
A bookstore that has a spacious and air-conditioned reading
hall is at your service.
Our new bookstore
Come, drink to the lees…
1. Whatisthetheme of the advertisement?
The theme is the importance of reading.
2. According to the advertisement, what is the threat faced by readers today?
According to the advertisement, the threat faced by readers today is the digital world which takes people away from reading books.
3. What are the advantages of reading:
Reading has many advantages: It helps you to reach another world and thus you can escape from your problems. Books are beyond imagination. A book is always a reliable companion. In sorrow and joy, in disease and health books make good companions. Children who read books will be happy.
4. With books, you enjoy more than with a computer. OR
5. Pick out from the advertisement the words, phrases and clauses used for the purpose of description.
Take you to another world, escape daily problems, beyond imagination, reliable companion, happy, distracted by the digital world, wonderland of sparkling letters, spacious and air-conditioned reading hall.
Study the tips about clause, adjective clause, phrase and adjective phrase given on p. 31
Activity V: (Language practice)
What makes our speech ornamental, vivid and picturesque?
Have a look at the conventional similes given below:
As black as coal
As good as gold
As loud a thunder
As slow as a snail
a. Are these similes attractive? Why?
They are attractive because the pictures we get in those similes are vivid. We easily understand them. Similes are powerful ways of describing things.
b. Can you coin similar similes using appropriate adjectives?
Here are some adjectives: as black as hell, as blind as a bat, as bold as brass, as brave as a lion, as busy as a bee, as cheap as dirt, as clean as a whistle, as clear as day, as clumsy as an elephant, as cold as marble, as cold as steel/stone, as cool as a cucumber, as cunning as a fox, as dark as death
c. Given on p. 32 is the brochure of a female film festival. Go through it and fill in the blank spaces appropriately:
Hello and Welcome: as fresh as daisies; as gay as a peacock
Films at a Glance: as pure as a lily MITR, My Friend: as sharp as an arrow; as empty as a drum
English Vinglish: as sweet as a candy Makalkku: as heavy as lead; as soothing as a lullaby
Activity VI (Review)
Prepare a review of the films which influenced you the most.
(Hints: theme, screenplay, cast and credit, music, cinematography, etc.)
An enthusiastic and talented novelist (Madhu) comes to stay in a desolate mansion named Bhargavi Nilayam. The novelist and his servant Cheriya Pareekkanni (Adoor Bhasi) experience the presence of a strange entity here. They come to know from the local people that it is a haunted house. The story is that it is haunted by the ghost of the daughter of the previous owner. The novelist and his servant encounter strange happenings here – the gramophone plays on its own, objects move around. The novelist finds some old letters written to Bhargavi (Vijaya Nirmala) by her lover Sasikumar (Prem Nazir). It is believed that the ghost of Bhargavi now haupts this house.
The letters give some indication about their love affair and their tragic deaths. The novelist decides to probe the matter. He starts writing the story of Bhargavi. The information gathered from the local people and the hints in the letters help him in his writing. The story develops. Bhargavi falls in love with her neighbour Sasikumar who is a talented poet and singer. Bharagavi’s father’s nephew, Nanukuttan (P. J. Antony) is also in love with Bhargavi. But Bhargavi hates Nanukuttan who is a bad man. Nanukuttan tries all nasty tricks to separate the lovers. He kills Sasikumar. Bharagavi becomes furious when she comes to know of her lover’s murder. In a scuffle Nanukuttan pushes Bhargavi into a well, killing her. Nanukuttan spreads the news that Bhargavi had committed suicide.
The novelist reads out the story to the ghost who by now has become quite compassionate with him. Nanukuttan overhears the story. He fears that once the story is published the truth behind the death of Bhargavi and Sasikumar will be out. He attacks the novelist and a fight ensues. During the fight both Nanukuttan and the novelist reach the well in which Bharagavi was drowned. While trying to push the novelist into the well, Nanukuttan loses his balance. He falls into the well and is killed, while the novelist escapes. The novelist then prays for the peace of Bhargavi’s soul and the movie ends with the laugh of Bhargavi.
Bhargavinilayam means The House of Bhargavi’. It is a 1964 Malayalam horror-romance film written by Vaikom Muhammed Basheer and directed by A. Vincent. The film stars Prem Nazir, Madhu and Viiava Nirmala in the lead roles. Its story, screenplay and dialogues are written by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer. It was the directorial debut of noted cinematographer A. Vincent. The film is especially noted for its music by M. S. Baburaj. It was the first horror film in Malayalam and was one of the biggest hit films of all time.
Activity VII (Let’s edit)
Given below is the opening paragraph of a review prepared by a student of Class XII. There are a few errors in it Identify them and refine the paragraph.
Gone With The Wind
One of the classic films that define American cinema, Gone with the Wind, is a rare example of a collaboration involving hundreds of talents and the film turned out great. For millions of people, Gone with the Wind, has helped to define the myth and reality of the country’s most tragic period in history – the Civil War and Reconstruction. The popularity oflVIargaret Mitchell’s bestselling novel allowed the filmmaker to be confident of its success. Of course, proper attention to costumes and sets was paid. The film’s visual effects – especially the burning of Atlanta – are indeed effective and memorable.
Gone with the Wind deserves the label epic. It presents enough detail to be a facsimile of reality.
Activity VIII (Project)
Prepare a class magazine including stories, poems, anecdotes, reviews of prose and poems, etc.
Organize a Film Festival on women. Include films with strong women characters and films by women film makers.
Prepare a report on the Film Festival for your school magazine.
Our School Film Festival
The School’s Arts Club organized a Film Festival on women. We chose three films with strong women characters and films by women directors. The three films were: Daughters of the Dust, Down in the Delta, and City of Angels. The Festival lasted 3 days, 15-17 January 2015. The Festival was concluded with a ceremony presided overby Revathy, an actor and film maker from South India.
The first film shown was Daughters of Dust, released in 1991. It is the story of a family living in America whose ancestors were brought as slaves from Nigeria. The matriarch of the film summarises the issues presented in the story by saying, “We are two people in one body.” There is the African in them and then there is the Western. It talks of the generational split. The Direction and Screenplay is by Julie March. Music is by John Barnes. Barbara Jones, Alva Rogers, Cora Lee Day, Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor and Bahni Peazant play important roles. It is a good film that vividly portrays both Africa and American life.
The second film shown was Down in the Delta, released in 1998. In this film a family matriarch sends her two grandchildren and her drug-addicted daughter, Loretta, to small Mississippi town to save them from the dangers of the big city Chicago. There Loretta gets work in a chicken joint. There she and her children prosper. The film is directed by Maya Angelou. The main actors are Alfre Woodard, Wesley Snipes and Will Sinclair. It is a good film that tells us that even drug addicts can be reformed and brought back to’ gdod life.
The 3rd film shown was City of Angels, released in 1998. This is the story of Seth, an angel who wanders the Los Angeles area invisible to humans. As persons are about to die, he becomes visible to them and becomes their travelling companion during their trip to the other world. Soon angel falls in love with Maggie, a beautiful heart surgeon. She becomes interested in Seth, but his condition as an angel becomes a barrier than a gift. A choice must be made between celestial duty and earthly love. Although this is an impossible story, it is told in a nice way and thus it becomes an interesting film. The director is Brad Silberling, Music is by Gabriel Yared and the Screenplay is by Dana Stevens. Nicolas Cage, Meg Ryan Andre Braugher, Dennis Franz and Colm Feorare in the lead roles.
The Film Festival concluded by a closing ceremony presided over by the famous actor and director Revathy. She said that Indian women are not coming forward to make films because they think film direction is mainly meant for man. In Kerala we have so many famous film directors but they all are men. Not even a single female director with any name. This has to change. There are famous women directors like Meera Nair. She hoped that the new generation in girls will venture into film direction that they can tell the story the way they want. After a Vote of Thanks by the Secretary the Ceremony came to a close.
Secretary, Arts Club
Horegallu Edumate Questions and Answers
Ratna was Sudha Murty’s colleague in the early phase of her career. Now Sudha Murty is a successful business woman. Imagine that Sudha Murty invites Ratna to her office and felicitates her for her selfless services to mankind. How would Sudha Murty introduce her and appreciate herwork? Draft her speech.
I have great pleasure in introducing Ratna to you. She and I were colleagues a few years ago. I have learned a lot from Ratna and probably that is why I am now able to run this big business. It is from Ratna I learned what a “horegallu” really means. A horegallu is a stone bench. It helps tired persons to sit down and rest for some time so that they can regain their energy. Ratna was a horegallu in the sense she helped tired and miserable people to regain their energy, patiently listening to their problems.
Every day during lunch hour, she would sit with some person in one of the rooms, chatting with him/her.
I often wondered what they talked about. One day I asked her and Ratna told me that they shared their troubles with her. I then asked Ratna how she could help in solving their problems. Did she have an answer for them? She told me she only listened to them. I was young then and I wondered how merely by listening to somebody’s problem, it gets solved. She then told me she was not a’trained counsellor or an intellectual. Nobody can solve your problem. You have to solve it yourself.
Ratna explained things to me further. God has given her two ears to listen. She hears people with sympathy and no judgment. When somebody talks about his worries, it relieves him a lot. Ratna never revealed to others what people told her. This way Ratna helped people to be relieved and to go on with their journey of life. This way she was serving people in her own way.
I thank Ratna for what she did to all and to me.
Let us take a leaf from Ratna and become horegallus in our own way.
“I hear them out with sympathy and without any judgement”, says Ratna in Horegallu.
As part of the World Mental Health Day, the Souhrida Club co-ordinator of your school asks you to prepare a chart on the topic ‘Listen to Others – Broaden your Mind’. Write a paragraph in about 80 words.
Listen to Others – Broaden Your Mind ” God has given us two ears but only one mouth. We have two ears so that we can listen more than we speak. There is a difference between listening and hearing. Listening is a voluntary activity but hearing is something that happens automatically. It is like the difference between looking and seeing. By listening to the people’s problem we help them to get some relief. A person feels happy and relieved when he tells his problems to a sympathetic listener. So we should learn to listen sympathetically to people without making judgments. By listening to others we broaden our minds as we learn newthings. By listening we can also be ‘horegallus’ to others. Some people say that only if we listen to others, God will listen to us!
Given above is a pie diagram that tells about the psychological assistance received by students of various age groups in the present-day world. It shows the percentage of students who seek assistance from various groups. Analyse the pie diagram and prepare a write-up.
(Hints: increasing number of counselling centres- students depending more on counsellors and friends – parents do not support)
Growing Significance Of Counsellors To Students
Teenage and adolescent students are the ones that need counselling most. Adolescence is considered to be a period of stress and strain and therefore adolescent students need counselling most. The modern students are baffled at the different ideas that are propagated by the various groups in the society. Some of these ideas are quite conflicting. The influx of mobile phones and the wide use of the internet have given the students a lot of choices, both for doing good and also for evil.
There are religious fundamentalist groups and terrorist groups that want to get the youths into their clutches. Students do not know what is right and what is wrong, whom to believe and whom not to believe. They are bombarded with information and they don’t know what to choose and what to reject. Hence comes the necessity to have counselling and counsellors. The pie diagram shows that 35% of the students approach counsellors with their problems. Friends come next in importance with 30%. The role of teachers is only 20% whereas the least in the group is parents with a mere 15%.
Students do not often go to their parents and teachers for counselling because of their sense of shame and fear. They want to appear good boys and girls before their parents and teachers. But the fact is their mind is not at ease because of the problems they face. So, for solutions they approach counsellors and to a lesser extent their friends. When children go to their parents with doubts about sex and sexuality, the usual answer is: “Don’t ask me these things!” or “Don’t you have shame to ask me such things?”
Imagine that a film festival was conducted in your school. The following points were jotted down by a journalist fordrafting a report. Prepare the likely report by him.
• Inauguration by Parvathi Menon
• Parvathi: “Films reflect the society”.
• Felicitation speech by Pramod Kumar, Staff Secretary
• Pramod: “Films should inspire and motivate students.”
• Films: ‘A Beautiful Mind’, ‘Dhoni: The Untold Story’, ‘Ottaal’
Film Festivalat Don Bosco Hss Thrissur
Thrissur: A one-day film festival was conducted on Friday, 5 June 2017 at the Don Bosco HSS Thrissur.
The Inaugural function began at 9.00 a.m. The welcome speech was done by the Secretary, Arts Club of the School. The Inauguration was by the popular actress Paravathi Menon. Parvathi said that films reflect the society. The film producers, directors, actors and all others connected with the film are members of the society and therefore naturally what they do and say in the film reflect the ideas of the society. Films have a big role to play in shaping the society.
The felicitation speech was done by Mr. Pramod Kumar, the Staff Secretary. He said that such film festivals increase the awareness of the students to the problems in the society. Films are not merely for entertainment but also for education. Seeing things on the screen will have a greater impact on the minds of the students. All good films will have something positive to teach. Films should inspire and motivate students to reach greater heights – to have high dreams and to work hard to realize them. Three films were shown after the inaugural function. The first film shown was “A Beautiful Mind”.
It is a 2001 American biographical drama Film based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. The film was directed by Ron Howard. Then the film ‘‘M.S.Dhoni: The Untold Story” was screened. It is a 2016 Indian biographical sports film written and directed by Neeraj Pandey. It is based on the life of Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni. It stars Sushant Singh Rajput as Dhoni. It chronicles the life of Dhoni from a young age and the series of life events that finally culminates in his stardom in the realm of cricket. The 3rd film was Ottal. It is a 2015 Malayalam film directed by Jayaraj. It is an adaptation of the short story “Vanka” by the Russian author Anton Chekhov. It tells the story of a young boy and his relationship with his grandfather, his only living relative in the world.
Of the three films, all were impressed by the film on MS Dhoni. The film festival ended at 6.00 p.m.
Imagine that Sudha Murty sends an e-mail to Ratna, thanking her for changing her outlook towards life. Draft the e-mail for Sudha Murty.
I want to thank you for all the valuable suggestions and advice you gave me. As a young girl, I did not know much about the importance of listening to others. When I saw you listening to people every day after lunch, I used to wonder why you were wasting yourtime listening to the trouble of others. Do you remember me asking you that question?
And then you told me “We are given two ears to listen.” It was a great answer. You further told me that even by listening to the problems of people you are helping them because they feel relieved by telling what they feel in their mind to some sympathetic listener.
Now I am running a big business and I have seen how helpful your suggestions had been. I too now practise what you taught me – to listen to people without prejudice or judgment. I have found it a good thing, both for me as well as the person to whom I listen.
Thank you, Ratna. Thank you very much.
Please do keep in touch!
Fill in the blanks with appropriate similes or adjectives from the brackets.
With technology at our fingertips, it is now as ….. (a) ….. (easy, complex, tough) as abc to scan across the world and explore the unexplored. The boundaries that are as thick as ….. (b) ….. (brick, iron, glass) crumble down to help us experience a unified existence. Now, man is as busy as a ….. (c) ….. (snail, bee, sloth), joyously defeating the conventions and customs of yesteryears. His vision is as ….. (d) ….. (clear, vague, dim) as crystal and his attitude is as stubborn as that of a mule.
a) easy, b) brick, c) bee, d) clear
Modern world offers us so many material comforts and we can easily satisfy all our desires. But Sudha Murthy says, ‘If ever now I happen to pass a horegallu in the village, I rememberthem and wish there were many more of them in this world’. What makes her say so? Give reasons. Answer in a paragraph.
When Sudha Murthy passes a horegallu in the village she remembers especially two people. One is her grandfather and the other is her colleague Ratna. A horegallu is a stone bench. It helps tired persons to sit down and rest for sometime so that they can regain their energy. Sudha’s grandfather was a retired school teacher. He would spend hours sitting under the banyan tree, on the horegallu there, talking to those resting there. Most of them told him their troubles and pains. He could hardly have done anything to solve their problems. But by patiently listening to them he was relieving them to a great extent. He was a horegallu on which the tired people unburdened their burdens.
Sudha met Ratna when she went to work in Mumbai. Ratna was her colleague. She was a middle aged senior clerk and she always smiled. Every day during lunch hour she would sit with some person in a room and chat with him/her. Sudha often wondered what they talked about. One day she asked Ratna what they discussed. Ratna told her that the persons with whom she talked shared their troubles with her. Sudha then asked Ratna how by listening to one person, she could solve his problems. Ratna said God has given us two years to listen. Even if we can’t solve problems for people, we can help them by listening to them. A troubled person feels relieved when he tells a sympathetic listener about his troubles. Sudha knew Ratna was right. So she wishes there were more horegallus like her grandfather and Ratna. It would make the world a better place to live in.
Imagine that your teacher asks you to narrate a situation in which a person acted as a horegallu or Ratna in your life and helped you to relieve you off your sorrows. How would you narrate that experience?
I had a sisterwhom I loved very much. She too loved me deeply. One day as she was going to school in the school bus, the bus collided with a truck and my sisterwas seriously injured. She was rushed to the hospital. She had a serious head injury and a surgery was done. We all prayed for her but the doctors could do nothing to save her. She died a couple of days later. I could not accept her death and my mind was always thinking about her. I was quite depressed and I lost interest even in my studies.
Then a distant relative of mine came to my house. He asked me why I always looked so morose and melancholic. I told him the reason for my sorrow. He asked me to tell him the incident in detail. I told him everything in complete details. He did not ask me any question but he listened to my story very sympathetically. At last he told me, “Son, you are not the only one who has suffered losses in this world. I had three children. They all died in an accident when the car in which they were travelling hit the railing of a bridge and fell into the river.”
I felt my sorrow was much less compared to his.
Childhood is a storehouse of memories and varied experiences. Sudha Murthy recollects her childhood experiences in the anecdote ‘Horegallu’. Write an anecdote on the basis of your own childhood experience.
I have many memories of my childhood but one incident stands out. It was a Sunday and I was in the church. A wedding was taking place that day. The bride, obvi’ojjftly from a rich family, was covered with different types of gold ornaments. She had many chains, necklaces, bangles, bracelets and rings. The reception was in the parish hall nearby. After the wedding, in the church, the people began to rush to the parish hall for the reception and the sumptuous meal awaiting them.
The bridegroom, a handsome youth, was holding the hand of his bride and together they were walking towards the hall. Suddenly a poor woman, carrying a pale, sickly child appeared before them. The bride suddenly stopped and looked at the woman. The people around were trying to drive away the woman but the bride told them not to do that. She gave a sign to the poor woman to come closer. Then suddenly she removed one of her golden chains and gave it to the poor woman. To the wonderstruck bridegroom the smiling bride said, “Dear, I can manage with one chain less. Let the poor woman and her child have an enjoyable day today. I’m sure we’llbe more happy.”
I will never forget the smile on the face of the poor woman.
Sudha Murthy is a social activist and a teacher by profession. Imagine that she happens to address a noisy class in one of her sessions. She starts narrating the story of Ratna. How will she narrate it? Prepare the narration for her.
As you talk so eagerly and make so much of noise, l am reminded of my young days. Before I became a teacher, I worked for sometime in a business office in Mumbai. In the office there were many workers. One of them was Ratna. a middle-aged senior clerk. She has been working there for 25 years. She had a smiling face. It was a pleasure talking to her.
I used to see her talking with someone everyday during lunchtime. I often wondered what they were talking about. One day I asked Ratna what they discussed. Ratna told me that the persons with whom she talked shared their troubles with her. I then asked Ratna how by listening to one person, she could solve his problems. Ratna said God has given us two years to listen. Even if we can’t solve problems for people, we can help them by listening to them. A troubled person feels relieved when he tells a sympathetic listener about his troubles. I know Ratna was right.
So children, stop talking and start listening. Only by listening, you will know more things. By knowing more things you will be empowered and you can become what you want to become.
Most of our historical monuments and structures like horegallus are damaged by tourists and locals with drawings and other graffitti. With the consent of your teacher you decide to give awareness to students on the necessity of preserving them, in the school assembly. What would you say? Draft an awareness speech to be made in the school assembly.
My dear students,
Today I am going to talk to you about the necessity to preserve historical monuments and structures like horegullus. We hear a lot about building new things and making statues of great men and women. But we hardly hear of the importance of preserving our historical monuments and other ancient structures. Tourists and locals have the habit of writing things on such monuments. Sometimes they even break away small pieces to carry as mementoes of their visits to such monuments. This is.very bad as they disfigure them and spoil them.
Monuments cultivate pride of our past and heritage making us unique in the world. Paris is known for the Eiffel tower, London forthe Big Ben, China forthe Great Wall, Egypt forthe Pyramids and India for its Taj Mahal. If people go on disfiguring them, they lose their value. Historical monuments are great attractors of tourists. Everyone likes to experience the “spirit” of the place, which is most often represented through the monuments. Tourists can provide locals with jobs and extra income.
Historical monuments and structures like horegallus are environmental friendly. They add charm to our place without in any way harming the environment. So let us take a firm decision not to litter any monument or historical structure with graffiti or such unwanted things. Let us preserve them for posterity.
Thank you all!
Imagine that while going on a tour to a famous historical place some of your classmates try to write their names and comments on the walls. You decide to dissuade them from that activity. What advice would you give them? Write three sentences using the expressions. ‘You had better…, Why don’t you …, If I were you ’
You had better write what you want to write in the visitors’diary.
Why don’t you think this place as a national treasure and by writing your names and other things you are spoiling the beauty of this place?
If I were you, I would not write or draw on these walls.
After studying the anecdote ‘Horegallu’you realize that your parents and grandparents are a treasure house of knowledge. You start a bloggers’ group named ‘Unacknowledged Legacy’ to appreciate their contributions and to popularize their knowledge. What would be your blog entry to mark the beginning of the group?
6 June 2017
We all know the old adage “Old is Gold”. How many of us are really prepared to acknowledge that our parents and grandparents were a treasure house of knowledge and wisdom? Knowledge and wisdom come from experience. Many things are learned from experience and not merely from books. Our parents and grandparents have been imparting us their wisdom not only through their words but also their deeds. We are starting this Bloggers’ Group titled Unacknowledged Legacy to pay tribute to our older generations. Today we are what we are just because of our parents and grandparents.
They are the one who brought us up, taught us to dream high and work hard to achieve our dreams. Often, as young and inexperienced people, we may have resented their interference in our lives. We may have then thought that they are autocrats who want to keep us under their tight control. If they hadn’t exercised their authority and restrained us, many of us would have been abject failures. Thanks to their wisdom, we are today somebody and we should e ver remain grateful to them.
This blog invites members to contribute their stories of how they were assisted by their parents and grandparents to reach their present position. Make your contributions short and sweet. Brevity, they say, is the soul of wit.
You got inspired by the anecdote of ‘Horegallu’ and decide to visit an old age home. You are enthusiastic to know more about the old customs and traditions of our forefathers .You seek information regarding that from the inmates of the old age home. How would you seek information from them? Write three sentences using the expressions I would like to know…, Do you
mind telling me about…, Can I ask you …..
I would like to know how you happened to come to this Old Age Home.
Do you mind telling me about your family members and what they do.
Can I ask you to describe to me how marriages took place in your young days?
Horegallu About The Author
– Sudha Murty
Sudha Murty was born in 1950. She is an M.Tech in Computer Science and teaches Computer Science. She writes a lot both in English and Kannada. ‘Horegallu’ is taken from The Old Man and His God: Discovering the Spirit of India.
Horegallu Summary in English
Page 26: Hot summer days remind me of my childhood in a small village. There was a large banyan tree right in the middle of the village. During holidays I spent many hours playing under it. The tree was like a big umbrella. It gave much needed shade and comfort. Travellers spent some time sitting under it, taking some rest, before they continued their journey. To make them comfortable there was a ‘horegallu’ under the tree. ‘Horegallu’ means ‘a stone that can bear weight’.
It was a large flat stone placed horizontally overtwo vertical stones. It was a stone bench. People could sit on it, chat with a fellow traveller and exchange news of the road. Cool water was kept in earthen pots and travellers could drink the water. I am sure such simple arrangements are found all over the country.
The horegallu in our village brings special memories for me because it is connected with my grandfather. He was a retired school teacher. He would spend hours sitting under the banyan tree, talking to those resting there. When I got tired of playing I would sit next to him listening to their conversations and observing the people.
Page 27: Most of the villagers were taking a break from their work in the nearby fields. They had to walk long distances each day. They had to carry heavy burdens on their heads. Tired by the heat, they would drink the cold water, wash their faces and chat with my grandfather. They often talked about their lives and worries.
One man would say, “Masterji, this summer has been so hot. I have never seen such a dry weather.” Another would say, “Masterji, it is getting difficult for me to carry heavy loads on my head. Thank God for this horegallu. I want my son to help me but he simply wants to go to the city.” My grandfather listened to their talk and they felt refreshed. They would soon go away with their burdens. The horegallu was an important feature in their lives and I wondered why they blessed it so often.
It was just a stone bench. Then my grandfather told me that a horegallu is essential in any journey. We all carry burdens in our different ways. Once in a while we need to stop, put down that burden and rest. Only then we will be refreshed to carry the load again. The horegallu helps the people to regain their strength.
Later in life I happened to see something that reminded me of that horegallu. I was working in Mumbai. One of my colleagues was Ratna. She was a senior clerk, middle-aged and always smiling. She had been working in the company for nearly 25 years, after her graduation. She continued working with a cheerful face.
Every day during lunch hour, she would sit with some person in one of the rooms, chatting with him/her. I often wondered what they talked about. One day I asked what they discussed during the lunch hour. Ratna told me that they shared their troubles with her.
Page 28: I asked her how she could help in solving their problems. Did she have an answer for them? She told me she only listened to them. I was young and I wondered how merely by listening to somebody’s problem, it gets solved. She then told me that she was not a trained counsellor or an intellectual. Nobody can solve your problem. You have to solve it yourself. I then wondered what the point was of listening to somebody’s problem if no help can be given.
Ratna answered me patiently. She told me that God had given her two ears to listen to others. She hears people with sympathy and no judgment. When somebody talks about his worries, it relieves him a lot. I then wanted to know if she ever told other the secrets she heard. Ratna told me that not even in her dreams she would do that. Revealing somebody’s secret is the worst kind of betrayal. People told her of their worries because they were certain that she would never tell others about them. They relieve themselves by talking about their burdens and they continue with their life’s journey.
Ratna’s words reminded me of my grandfather sitting on the bench stone listening to people. Neither my grandfather nor Ratna were rich. But in their small ways they were doing great social service. No one thought of acknowledging their work or giving them any rewards. But they continue doing their service and it gives them joy. Whenever I pass by a horegallu anywhere, I think of my grandfather and Ratna. I wish there were more such ‘bench stones’ in this world.
Horegallu Summary in Malayalam