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Saturday, October 7, 2017

A poem : "The Road not taken” by Robert Frost

                   “The Road not taken”   by Robert Frost 
       The poem “The Road not taken” is written by Robert Frost.  He is a famous American poet.  His poems are classics because they have many layers of meanings.  In the poem “The Road not taken”, he shared his views about decision making.  He revealed the importance of our decisions which can decide our destiny.
         On the road of life, the speaker arrives at a point where he must decide which of two equally appealing (or equally intimidating) choices is the better one. He examines one choice as best he can, but the future prevents him from seeing where it leads.

         The speaker selects the road that appears at first glance to be less worn and therefore less traveled. This selection suggests that he has an independent spirit and does not wish to follow the crowd. After a moment, he concludes that both roads are about equally worn. 
           The speaker remains committed to his decision to take the road he had previously selected, saying that he will save the other road for another day. He observes, however, that he probably will never pass this way again and thus will never have an opportunity to take the other road. 

           In years to come, the speaker says, he will be telling others about the choice he made. While doing so, he will sigh either with relief that he made the right choice or with regret that he made the wrong choice. Whether right or wrong, the choice will have had a significant impact on his life. 

A Drama : A Marriage Proposal -- Anton Chekhov

               “A Marriage Proposal” -- Anton Chekhov           
             In the short play “A Marriage Proposal,” Anton Chekhov. The play is set in the rural countryside of Russia during the late 1800s. Lomov, aged 35, is a long time neighbor of Chubukov. He is a landowner who has inherited property from his aunt. Though he is well fed and healthy, he is a health nut. He suffers from palpitations. He now knows that if he will search for an ideal woman or true love, he will never marry. So he is now desperate to marry Natalia. He thinks that she is not bad-looking and has some education. He wants to lead a steady and regular life. So, he visits the house of his neighbor Chubukov early morning dressed in formal suit.
      When Lomov arrives at the home of the Chubukov family, the elderly Chubukov assumes that the well-dressed young man has come to borrow money. Lomov asks him Natalia’s hand in marriage. Chubukov is also desperately looking for a suitable man for his 25-year-old daughter, Natalia. As a father of a grown-up daughter, he immediately gives joyful permission to marry Natalia.
       She is invited into the room. Lomov becomes nervous and instead of putting his proposal, he begins to beat about the bush. When he says that his Oxen Meadows touch her birch woods, she begins to argue with him about the ownership of that piece of land. After her father notices they are arguing, he joins in, and then sends Lomov out of the house. Chubukov then tells his daughter that Lomov was there to propose her.
      Natalia repents and asks her father to call him back. Lomov comes and she asks him about his hunting program. He says that he will start hunting after harvest because his best dog has gone lame. At this point, Natalia contradicts him again and claims that her dog Squeezer is better than his dog Guess. Thus the quarrel begins again till over-excitement makes Lomov faint in a chair. Seeing him quiet and unmoving, Natalia thinks that he is dead and becomes hysterical.

       At last Lomov comes into senses and Chubukov forces them to kiss each other and accept the marriage proposal. Immediately following the kiss, Natalia and Lomov start quarrelling. Chubukov shouts for Champagne because he wants to celebrate their marriage and at the same time he feels free by the burden of his grown-up daughter.

A Short story : An Astrologer’s day - by R K Narayan

              An Astrologer’s day - by R K Narayan
         In the story “An Astrologer’s day” there is an astrologer who punctually starts his business at mid-day. He sits under the boughs of a tamarind tree which stood on the side of a path running through the Town Hall Park. His professional equipment consists of dozen cowrie shells, a square piece of cloth with obscure mystic charts on it, a note book and a bundle of Palmyra writing .His forehead is resplendent with sacred ash and vermilion and the dark whiskers which streamed down his cheeks. He wound a saffron colored turban around his head. This colour scheme never failed. He attracts the people as bees are attracted to dahlia stalks.
          The astrologer transacts his business by the light and flare of a groundnut heap nearby and manages without lights of his own. He had left his village without any previous thought or plan. If he had been there, he would be in a good position. He had to leave home without telling anyone. He knew nothing about astrology but he had a working analysis of the troubles of mankind. He pleases others with his shrewd guesswork. He charges three pies per question and never opened his mouth till others revealed their problems which provide him enough stuff for a dozen answers and advices.
          When the astrologer was ready to go home, a man came there . The stranger flung an Anna at him and challenged him to answer his question. If the astrologer fails to tell the right answer, he has to give all his coins. After some haggling, the stranger agreed to pay a rupee if he is satisfied with the answer. The astrologer said the Stanger was left for dead, when he was stabbed and pushed into a well nearby his village and told stranger name. The stranger said that he was saved by some passer-by. He came to the city to take revenge against the person who tried to kill him.

         The astrologer said that person who tried to kill the stanger dies in a lorry accident. The Stanger felt happy and gave a handful of coins to astrologer and went to his village. The astrologer reached his house in the midnight and gave the money to his wife. He said that he was relieved from the guilty of killing a person. 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

I SEM Unit 2 : Is Progress Real?

         The essay “Is Progress Real” is written by William Durant. He believes that there is some tincture of evil with good in our progress in Science and technique.  We invent many things which give comforts to us.  But we utilize them to facilitate crimes and kill others. Modern people failed to utilize the comforts and conveniences in a meaningful way.
        Modern men found different procedures in modern medicine which are helpful for the cures and incisions for different diseases.  We applaud their effort if they bring no side effects worse than the disease.  We are grateful for the added years that medical science gives us if they are not burdensome prolongations of illness, disability and gloom.  Now we have developed to report the events of the day and planet but we envy our ancestors’ peace.
       We are unable to leave the instincts of pugnacity and degrading our civilization into greed, crime and promiscuity.  To avoid these, there should be moral and ethical development among the people.  We should not demand progress to be continuous.  Obviously there are retrogressions just as there are periods of failure, fatigue and rest in a developing individual.  We have to accept all these stages.  In the ancient days, there was high rate of infantile mortality.  But now we are successful to prolong our life span.  Our progress in science has helped us to grow enough food and send hundreds of bushels of wheat to nations in need.
        Some precious achievements like making of fire, wheel and other basic tools, language, art, agriculture, family and parental care, social organization and use of teaching to transmit the lore of the family and the race are some of the elements of civilization and they are maintained through the passage from one civilization to the next.

         Durant realizes the invaluable advantages of the spread of higher education.  If education is the transmission of civilization, we will be progressing.  For that every child should have education till at least his twentieth year and there should be free access to the universities, libraries and museums that gives information about ancient heritage and culture.  This knowledge helps for the enlargement of man’s understanding, control over environment, embellishment, and enjoyment of life.  

Friday, August 18, 2017

Unit 1 : The Power of Prayer by Dr A P J Abdul Kalam

             When Abdul Kalam visited the Bharatiya Temple & Cultural Centre (BTCC) in USA, he addressed and interacted with the members.  In his address, he discussed the topic “Faith, Religion & Spirituality in the 21st Century”. In his speech, he discussed about the importance of prayer.  He said that the prayer is a force which brings mental peace. . The Prayer is the unique power in the world that seems to overcome the power called laws of nature. Normally, people do prayers for themselves, for their family and friends. Many good hearts pray for the welfare of society and fellow human beings.
          Kalam’s teacher Rev. Iyyadorai Solomon brought two newspaper clippings and narrated two incidents which touched his heart.  The first news item and the most important one, which embedded in his memory, is about Mahatma Gandhi, walking barefoot in Calcutta in Bengal on 15 August, 1947, removing the pain of riot affected people.  As Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi would have been there at the Red Fort to unfurl the National Flag on Independence Day.  But Gandhi was not there at the Red Fort.  But he was in the riot affected areas to console people.  He had nurtured the leadership who could take charge of the nation during the freedom celebration. Mahatma Gandhi was as an  embodiment of nobility, elevated thinking and a leader with great concern for the sufferings of the human beings.  Kalam was inspired by his simplicity and opines that our country needs such type of leaders to make progress and shun violence and terrorism.
          Kalam narrated an incident about Abraham Lincoln, which influenced him a lot. This incident brings out the humility of a great leader and is a lesson for humanity.He was born in the state of Kentucky in USA.  Though he faced many hurdles ,He made extraordinary efforts to attain knowledge while working.  He lost the election for senator but he gained a national reputation that won him the Republican nomination for President in 1860. He issued the emancipation proclamation that declared freedom for those slaves within the confederacy.  He is remembered for this great action.
        One day in the senate, a senator who was very arrogant stood up before Lincoln and remembered him that he was a shoemaker’s son.  The whole senate laughed.  But it was difficult to humiliate a man like Lincoln.  Lincoln replied to him that he was tremendously grateful for the senator as he reminded him of his father who was dead.  He offered to mend their shoes if there is a trouble with their shoes as he learnt the art of shoe making from his father.  And tears came to his eyes in the memory of his great father.
During the year 2003, he visited a Buddhist monastery at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.  He stayed there nearly a day.  He observed happiness among all the villagers in spite of severe winter condition.  He asked the Chief Monk, how the people were always happy there.  The Chief Monk said that in the present world, we had the problem of distrust and unhappiness transforming into violence.  When we remove 'I' and 'Me' from our minds, we can eliminate ego, hatred towards fellow human beings, violence in thinking and action.  If violence is taken away, peace springs in human minds.  Then peace will blossom everywhere in the society.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Unit 3 : Secret of Work by Swami Vivekananda

        The world is filled with miseries and physical help alone cannot cure them. Until and unless man’s nature is changed, miseries cannot be removed completely by any of the physical help. In his opinion, the only solution to make people free from misery is to make men pure, spiritually strong and educated. Then alone misery will completely stop in the world.
     Swami Vivekananda described the nature of the work as the mixture of both good and evil. Good and bad both make a chain that bind soul. We should work with a spirit of non-attachment to it, so that we can work as masters, not as slaves. According to Bhagavad Gita, we must work incessantly but should not be attached to it. Every work we do, every move of our body and every thought we think leave an impression on the mind. They work in the subconscious mind and finally they determine our character.  This is what is called Samskara.     
         He compared human being with tortoise. The tortoise tucks its feet, head inside the shell, and will not come out even though you break the shell into pieces. In the same way the character of the man who has control over his thoughts and deeds would remain as unchangeably established character. He controls his own inner forces and nothing can draw him out against his will.
       By this continuous reflex of the good thoughts and good impressions moving over the surface of the mind, the tendency to do well becomes stronger. As a result, we will be able to control the Indriyas (sense organs).such is how the character of man is formed and only a man of character can get truth.
        He emphasized a theory called non-attachment in the work because both good work and bad work make the soul bonded with work. It makes us to do work as a slave, not like a master. If once we detach ourselves from the selfish slave’s work, we can receive love and become free. Real life makes us “unattached”.
             The two most important ways, in which we can work without expecting anything, in return, are to love the world and to become a giver without any thought return.Attachment comes only when we expect a return.
           Swami Vivekananda said “work, but let not the action or the thought produce deep impression on your mind”. He says the Lord himself works incessantly, but ever without attachment.                                    

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Phrasal Verbs

A phrasal verb is a verb plus a preposition or adverb which creates a meaning different from the original verb.

I ran into my teacher at the movies last night. run + into = meet 
 He ran away when he was 15. run + away = leave home

Some phrasal verbs are intransitive. An intransitive verb cannot be followed by an object.
He suddenly showed up. "show up" cannot take an object

 Some phrasal verbs are transitive. A transitive verb can be followed by an object.
I made up
the story. "story" is the object of "make up"

Some transitive phrasal verbs are separable. The object is placed between the verb and the preposition.
I talked
my mother into letting me borrow the car. 
She looked the phone number up.

 Some transitive phrasal verbs are inseparable. The object is placed after the preposition.
I ran into
an old friend yesterday. 
They are looking into the problem.

 Some transitive phrasal verbs can take an object in both places.
  I looked
the number up in the phone book.
  I looked up the number in the phone book.

NOTE: Although many phrasal verbs can take an object in both places, you must put the object between the verb and the preposition if the object is a pronoun.
I looked
the number up in the phone book.
 I looked up the number in the phone book.
I looked it up in the phone book. correct 
I looked up it in the phone book. incorrect

Here is a short list of common phrasal verbs.

back up - cause to move back; support

blow off - ignore

break down – stop functioning, separate into component parts

break off - cancel

break up – separate, stop dating

bring about - cause to happen

bring off - accomplish 

bring on – cause

bring up – introduce a topic, raise a child

call off - cancel; order away

call up – telephone

call on – ask a student for an answer

carry on - continue 

carry out - fulfill; complete; accomplish

cheer up - cause to become cheerful

clean up - clean

close down - close permanently 

close up - close temporarily 

count in - include 

count out – exclude

cross out – eliminate

drink up – ingest quickly

drop off – leave someone or something someplace

figure out - interpret; understand

fill in / out - complete (a printed form) 

find out - discover 

fix up - repair; arrange in a suitable manner 

get across - cause to be understood 

give back - return 

give out - distribute; announce 

give up - surrender something

have on - be dressed in 

have over - entertain someone informally

hold off - delay; restrain

keep up - continue; keep the same pace 

leave out – omit

look up – search for in a reference book

make up – invent, create

move over - move to the side 

pass out - distribute 

pass up - not take advantage of

pick up - come to meet; learn casually

point out – indicate

put off - postpone 

put on - dress in; deceive or fool

set up - arrange 

show off - exhibit ostentatiously

take out – remove, ask for a loan

take over – take control

take up – to begin to practice a hobby

tear down - destroy 

tear up - tear into small pieces 

tell off - scold; reprimand 

think over - consider 

think through - consider from beginning to end 

throw away - discard 

try on - put on a garment to verify the fit 

try out - test 

turn down - refuse; lower the volume 

work out - solve 

write down – record

back out of - fail to keep a promise

break into - go into room forcibly; suddenly begin 

break out – to begin suddenly

care for - like; guard; supervise

carry on with - continue

catch up with - cover the distance 

check up on - examine; verify

come across - find accidentally

come by - find accidentally

count on - rely on

do away with - abolish

do with – be useful

do without - deprive oneself of

drop in at/on - visit casually 

drop out of - leave; quit

fill in for - substitute for

get away with - do without being caught 

get in - enter (a vehicle)

get off - descend from; leave

get on - enter (a vehicle); mount

get on with - proceed with

get over – recover, recuperate

get through with - terminate, finish

give in – submit to the will of the other

go around – sufficient quantity for everyone

go on - continue

go over – review, visit informally

go out – date someone

hang around - remain idly in the vicinity 

keep up with - maintain the pace of

look after - take care of

look down on - feel superior to

look for - search

look forward to - anticipate

make up for - compensate for

pick on - tease; bully

put up with – tolerate

stop by - visit informally

take after - resemble

talk back to - answer impolitely

talk over - discuss

turn into - become

watch out for - be careful for

Find out the correct :

1. She ought to give in/off/up smoking. It's bad for the health.

2. She felt a little chilly so she put on/off/out her sweater.

3. He understands animals because he was brought over/up/in on a farm
4. He lives in London but often goes over/along/down to Paris on business.

5. She lives in Scotland but often goes over/along/down to London on    

6. Bob is not very dependable; you can’t count up/off/on him.

7. The baby has red hair. He takes up/in/after his Irish mother.

8. "Come on, John, drink down/up/in or we'll miss the train."

9. The shop was losing money, so they had to shut it up/off/down.

10. They took in/off/out a mortgage to buy their new house.