Class 11 English Chapter 9 My Impression of Assam

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Class 11 English Chapter 9 My Impression of Assam

Also, you can read the SCERT Class 11 English Chapter 9 My Impression of Assam All Be Together” book Notes online in these sections Solutions by Expert Teachers as per AHSEC (SCERT) Book guidelines. Class 11 English Chapter 9 My Impression of Assam Notes are part of SCERT All Subject Solutions. Here we have given Assam Board Class 11 English Chapter 9 My Impression of Assam Solutions for All Subjects, You can practice these here.

My Impression of Assam

Chapter: 9

HORNBILL

PROSE

TEXTUAL QUESTION AND ANSWER

1. What does Verrier Elwin say about the tradition of courtesy and hospitality in the modern world? What advice does he give to the people of Assam on this Point?

Ans. Verier Elwin is of the view that the tradition of courtesy and hospitality are vanishing today. The modern world is obsessed with competition and rivalry, and these traditions have been left behind in humanity’s endeavour to strive ahead in the rat race.

Elwin urges the people of Assam to hold on to their values and traditions of hospitality and friendliness, for this is where lies the appeal of Assam. It is the one of the many qualities of this land which Verrier finds enchanting and beautiful. According to him, it sets the populace of Assam apart from the people of the other lands. Our tradition of courtesy and generosity is a  precious thing that we, the people of Assam have, and one which Elwin hopes will not be lost in our efforts to connect and adhere to the modern world and its ways.

2. What difference does Verrier Elwin draw between the Game Sanctuaries of Kenya and Kaziranga ?

Ans. The primary difference that Verrier Elwin draws between the Game Sanctuaries of Kenya and Kaziranga is that while we the people of Assam, claim to be a peace loving and non-violent group with values of kindness towards animals ingrained in  our culture, yet it is in our this very land that animals at the Kaziranga sanctuary are poached and their parts sold off. On the other hand, in the sanctuaries of Kenya, a land inhabited  by supposedly violent natives, the people all work together to make sure that the animals feel safe even in the presence of civilization and humans. Unlike us, they spend a lot of money to make sure that the sanctuaries are a success and the number of animals goes on proliferating. Man is their friend.

3. What appeal does the author make to the scholars of Assam concerning the songs and poems of the state ? Why does he make this appeal ?

Ans. Enthralled by the death chant performed by a group of tribal Naga youths, the author realised that the rich heritage present in the north eastern part of India supports many such ancient melodies. But along with the joy at having witnessed such a glorious scene dawns the realisation that no attempt has yet been made to preserve such melodies and chants which form an integral part of our traditions. And as the young generation veers away from the traditional ways, preferring to hum modern jazz songs rather than sing ancient melodies, it is but a matter of time before this aspect of our culture is lost to us. So, Verrier Elwin makes an earnest appeal to the scholars of Assam to  take the trouble and initiative to record such traditional songs and poems, so that these fascinating parts of our culture are  not forgotten with the passage of time.Verrier Elwin makes an earnest plea to the scholars of our state to record the various ancient melodies and poems found in our part of the state, because he considers them to be an asset and an integral part of our culture. As modernity spreads its wings over our state, such traditional things are slowly but surely being wiped out from the minds of our young generation, so in an effort to save the songs, poems and folk tales of our land, the author appeals to the scholars.

4. Why, according to Verrier Elwin, should wood carving be taught and encouraged in our educational centres?

Ans. Verrier Elwin wants wood carving to be taught and encouraged in educational centres because this is art found in our villages and among the natives here. The wood carvings created are of exquisite beauty, executed with such finesse and delicacy of touch that one cannot help but wonder about its creator’s innate sense of beauty. But along with the march of progress, much of this art is disappearing. The author fears that if not taught and encouraged at the educational centres. Wood carving might become a thing of the past.

5. You have a great treasure there.”- What treasure is Verrier Elwin referring to and what is his suggestion about the treasure?

Ans. Verrier Elwin is referring to our culture as a great treasure which needs to be guarded and nurtured. The simple and natural which things of our villages are our assets and they should not be overlooked or frowned upon during our pursuit of progress. Some of the simplest things turn out to be creations of extraordinary vigour and beauty, which speaks highly of their maker’s exquisite tastes and natural sense of beauty. Elwin suggests that our traditions should be honoured, nurtured, recorded and even studied for, it is our greatest treasure. 

TALKING ABOUT THE TEXT

Discuss the following statements in groups of four.

1. There is something to be proud of; it is a grand thing to see creatures of the wild feeling safe even in civilization.

2. The schoolboy prefers jazz music from Hollywood.

3. “The maidens of lovely Assam weave poems on their handlooms.”

Suggested Answer : (Each of the topics have been dealt with in the form of an imaginary dialogue between friends. Students can pick a few points from the given dialogues and then add their own thoughts about the given subject matter.)

1. There is something to be proud of; it is a grand thing to see creatures of the wild feeling safe even in civilization.

Anish: I agree with Verrier Elwin’s statement. It is indeed a great privilege if we can earn the trust of our wild animals and get them to feel safe in our presence. In today’s world with the man-animal conflicts grabbing headlines everywhere, I think it is vital that we allow each creature his own space. And our many natural parks and wildlife sanctuaries allow us to do just that.

Bidyut: Yes, Anish, I think it is imperative that we give each animal its own space where it can lead its life it its own element. The wildlife problems we are facing and the recent spurt in deaths of wild animals that we have observed are mainly caused when we intrude into their area, because this leads to the confrontations between humans and animals, which results in death for them. 

Gaurav: No doubt, our wild animals are scared to come out and be seen in the presence of humans and civilization. But friends, both of you have failed to mention the fact that human wants and greed have increased with time and I believe it is one of the main reasons for the man-animal conflicts. Even Verrier Eiwin mentioned this. The rate at which wild animas are poached in our part of the world is among one of the worst. And thís is something that has been going on for a long time.

Rahul : Indeed. As Elwin himself said, we the people of this state are supposed to be kind and compassionate in our ways, with kindness towards animals deep-rooted in our culture, but yet we prefer to kill them for personal gains. So, I feel, unless we start protecting our wildlife and abstain from such mindless killing, no animal will ever feel safe in our presence. And it is a matter of shame for all of us that we cannot even protect our natural world. The day wild creatures feel safe in our sanctuaries will truly be an accomplishment and a proud time for us all. And it all begins with protecting them and their habitat.

2. The schoolboy prefers jazz music from Hollywood.

Pranami : The current trend is to ape the West, and many of today’s youth are mislead to think that it would make them appear chic and fashionable amongst their peers. But in our haste to appear ‘modern’, we should nòt ignore our roots and our ancient melodies that have been sung by our ancestors for hundreds of years.

Rashmi : In some cases, it might be that they have not been fortunate enough to find an able teacher who could rekindle their interest in traditional songs. Often we are subjected to drab, hand me down versions of some of the most mellifluous tunes. This in turn causes many to lose interest in singing and learning such songs. I believe if they could hear the songs being sung by a true artist, they too would realise how valuable these melodies are. In fact, Verrier Elwin too was deeply influenced by the death chant being sung by the youths and believe, the setting, amidst the orange grove and the youths dressed in their traditional garbs, too played a part in him being bewitched by the ancient melodies he heard there.

Kunal : I agree with Rashmi. The ambience and’ more importantly the person who is singing the melody, can affect our perception towards these things to a large extent. if the singer is one who is well versed in the traditional ways and melodies and sings it in the way it ought to be, the listeners are sure to be captivated. Because nearly all of the ancient melodies are each pieces of art by themselves, being honed and passed down from generation to generation.

Meena : I agree with all your points of view but I personally  feel that sometimes it is also a matter of exposure. Jazz songs and the other western melodies can be heard playing in every other yard but it is difficult to find an original rendering of the, ancient melodies. This might be one of the reasons that many of our generation have been drawn to the western melodies.

But they are integral part of our culture and we should hold onto them. So, my suggestion would be to popularise these Songs, so that the common populace too can learn and sing them. And in doing so, we would also be creating a record. Of sorts, ensuring that the tunes are never lost in the passage of time

3. “The maidens of lovely Assam weave poems on thel handlooms.”

Pranjal : I cannot agree more with Gandhiji’s observation regarding the maidens of Assam weaving poems on their handlooms. The artistic superiority and creativity of the maidens have been equated to poems by him. The plethora of motifs and patterns that the maidens weave are often the cynosure of all eyes. The various designs usually are inspired by nature and tend to increase the beauty of the yarn.

Ram : Truly it speaks volumes about the weaver’s innate sense of beauty. Even in the remotest villages, the maidens produce textiles of such exquisite beauty that can put many a sophisticated industrialisť’s products to shame. The sense of arrangement of colour and patterns is so refined that nothing ever clashes or seems out of place.

Mohan : Yes, but sadly, this beautiful tradition is on the wane, with a scarcity of space to set up looms in urbane households as well as the reluctance of some girls to learn and be a part of this beautiful tradition. Many others, though are interested, but have no viable source to teach them the intricacies of this glorious art. 

Saurav : I think to prevent this art form from dying; centres could be set up in our cities and towns, where any willing person would be initiated into the art of weaving. This will also ensure that the people understand the toil and genius that goes into the weaving of these beautiful clothes which we often take from granted. Weaving is truly a priced tradition of our state and we should hold on to it at every cost.

THINKING ABOUT LANGUAGE

An interesting aspect of Verrier Elwin’s use of language is seen in his fondness of paradox: he loves to present an improbable combination of opposing qualities. Note these expressions:

1. have now lived in India… for a quarter of a century, but I feal I know very little about it. On the other hand, I have spent about four months in Assam, and so, naturally, I know everything about it 

2. Last year I went to East Africa and there for two months I spent a lot of time in the game Sanctuaries…I did not succeed in seeing a single rhino. Yet, Assam, within a couple of hours I saw a dozen rhino.

3. The East Africans are carnivorous, violent people (but no one dreams of poaching); but here in India we are traditionally wedded to non-violence and to a real sense of brotherhood with animals, (but the animals are not altogether sure that they are safe.)

4. You can see more of the treasures of the Assam tribes at Oxford or Cambridge than you can here.

The pattern of contrast in the above sentences makes the language of Verrier Elwin distinctive. Look up the lesson closely and try to find out any feature of language that strikes you as special or distinctive.

Suggestion : Another feature of language present in the writing style of Verrier Elwin is the use of informal or colloquial words such as chap, buck up, old fellow, etc. Then he has also used humour to spice his writings. For e.g. he describes his chase by a rhino as a dubious privilege.

(Students can look for other language features too).

WORKING WITH WORDS

1. Notice the following uses of the word “art” in the text.

1. There is the art of work, the art of music.

2. ..the plastic and graphic art of a country.

3. The art of personal decoration is another thing.

4. Art, of course, is a big word.

Given below are four different senses of the word “art”. Match the meanings to the uses listed below.

1. thing produced to express beauty.

2. a skilful method of doing.something.

3. the making or expression of what is beautiful or true.

4.  fine skill in the making or doing of anything.

Ans. 

1. There is the art of work,the art of music.3. the making or expression of what is beautiful or true.
2. …. The plastic and graphic art of a country.4. fine skill in the making or doing of another thing.
3. the art personal decoration is another thing.2. a skilful method of doing something.
4. Art of course is a big word.1. Think produced to express beauty.

II  Notice the different senses of the word intoxicate

1.  to cause loss of control of action because of alcohol.

2. to bring out strong feelings of wild excitement.

Locate the word in paragraph 2 of the lesson and match the meaning of the word “intoxicate” from the context.

Ans. “As a sort of poet and artist, I have always loved and sought for beauty, and here in Assam I have been intoxicated with the delight of the natural scene, the grace and charm of the people and also with a certain beauty in human relationship.

Meaning: 2. to bring out strong feelings of wild excitement.

III. The author uses a few colloquial words and expressions in the passage to make the language less formal. Note these expressions.

1. …the chap you ask the way on the road. 

2. ….a charming old fellow referring to a rhino).

3. …. buck up the Game Sanctuaries.

4. ….Do not throw it away too readily. (culture) These expressions bring the author closer to us. We feel as if he is talking to us informally.

THINGS TO DO

Collect some folk songs and folk tales your region by either interviewing some old persons of your locality who may have some interest in them or you can look up some books that are available in your language. Paraphrase/translate them into English.

Suggestion: Students shall do it themselves.

NOTES

Understanding the text.

The tasks given cover the entire lesson and help in skimming Scanning the text to locate the information sought and to dr inferences based on the facts presented.

Talking about the text : 

The tasks given require group work activities to enable students to develop oral communication skills. Students will give their own point of view orally before engaging them in writing what they. had talked about in the form of resumes.

Thinking about language : 

The aim is to enable the students to look at the text closely for distinctive features of the language used by the author.

Things to do

The aim is to relate the topic of the text to the students’ real-life experiences giving an awareness of the folk traditions in their culture.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS

1. What appeal does the author make regarding Kaziranga National Park ? Why ?

Ans. The author appeals to the populace of our state to join together in making Kaziranga a success story. Elwin compares and contrasts Kaziranga with the sanctuaries of Kenya and is surprised to find that even though we claim to be a peaceful group with values of kindness towards animals ingrained in our culture, it is here in our very land that animals are more unsafe than,anywhere else. Our animals are killed mercilessly and traded for their parts. A phenomenon not seen in the sanctuaries of Kenya. So the author makes an earnest appeal to the people of Assam to protect and preserve their wildlife, so, that the wild animals can feel safe in the presence of humans and civilization.

2. Describe the scene the author saw in the Kabul village. What was his reaction to, the scene ?

Ans. Once after climbing a difficult mountain, the author reached an orange orchard. In it about thirty young men were marching up and down with spears in their hands. They wereè wearing a gorgeous red material and their limbs were shining golden in the setting sun. They wore white wing-like crowns and were singing an ancient melody which was a death chant, all  in all they presented a mesmerising scene.

The scene captured and enchanted the author and he was awe of the ancient ritual he witnessed, It made him wish and realise that he would be honoured to have the same death chant sung over his own body when he died.

3. What are the author’s views regarding the art of self decoration in Assam ?

Ans. The author greatly appreciates the art of personal decoration found among the tribes of Assam. He himself possessed car ornaments made by the Kabuls and Kanchas, fashioned from the lovely blue wings of birds. The level of beauty and finesse possessed by the creators fascinate him. The author is of the view that so accurate is the use and arrangement of natural things, that nothing ever seems out of place, nothing clashes or strikes out as crude or harsh. The entire decoration of arrangement blends in as one, resembling in beauty a Symphony of wild flowers where everything matches

MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS

1. Verrier Elwin original purpose in visiting Assam was to- 

a) see and study the art of the hill people.

(b) see the game sanctuaries and study them.

(c) accompany Mr. Raymond Mortimer.

(d) evaluate the sense of hospitality prevailing here.

Ans. (a) see and study the art of the hill people

2. The traditional old songs are disappearing because – 

(a) the new generation prefers modern Hollywood songs.

(b) there are enough records available so no one needs to sing them anymore.

(c) they are not worthy to be remembered.

(d) the scholars are not interested in learning them.

Ans. (a) the new generation prefers modern Hollywood song

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