Comprehension exercise 19

Comprehension exercise 19 ————————————————————————.————— Read the following news item and answer the short questions that follow. Malaysian authorities have seized more than 5,000 baby turtles discovered in luggage at Kuala Lumpur airport. Two Indian men were arrested after the 5,255 red-eared sliders – a semi-aquatic … Read more

Words & Phrases 24

Words and Phrases 24 … Canary in the coal mine, Cry wolf, Rail as verb, Coterie, Ire, Penchant, Perfidy, Conflagration, Canary in the coal mine.. It means that something awful is going to happen. India’s falling car sales numbers and air traffic data are canary … Read more

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost –Analysis

 

Robert Lee Frost (1874-1963) was an American who scaled great heights of popularity among his native Americans, but among the vast number of English poetry readers who read his poems for pleasure and as a pastime. Like many other English poets of his time, he adored Nature and loved delving into the many riddles it offered. Frost’s own life was full of non-conventional decisions and a few twists and turns. At one stage, he even worked as a cobbler. But, by the time he wrote this poem, he had scaled great heights in the literary world. Perhaps, this poem ‘The Road Not Taken’ was written when he was in a reminiscent mood.

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The Man Who Knew Too Much by Alexander Baron

The Man Who Knew Too Much by Alexander Baron –Reassessing Private Quelch

Private Quelch, the army recruit around whom the story ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’ has been written, is a much maligned person. This story forms part of the English text book in countless schools across the world. Sadly, students and teachers often treat this profoundly learned person of astounding scholarship and boundless energy with mockery, calling him boastful, vainglorious, arrogant, pretentious etc.

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Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (1923)

by Robert Frost

Introduction … Robert Frost finished writing this small, simple poem in just one night. He had never imagined that it would attract such universal attention, and readers would discover so much meaning in it. This poem got him the prestigious Pulitzer Prize – the highest literary award of America. The poem has been acclaimed as a very powerful, thought-provoking, and inspiring literary work. Although the text is so simple and clear, critics  have interpreted it in so many philosophical ways. Such intense interest in this poem both pleased and surprised Robert Frost. In fact, he felt a little embarrassed to see critics discovering so deep meanings in the poem which never crossed his mind when he penned the poem.
As regards the central message of the poem, it can be said that it is an intensely inspiring poem. Because of its underlying message, it strikes a chord in the mind of even the most insensitive reader. Like the Hindu epic Bhagvat Gita, it gives a clarion call for duty-bound action. Responsibilities to the family and the society must outweigh all other distractions — moral or immoral.  It implores the reader to eschew escapist tendencies, and shun languidness. He must prod on, despite all odds.

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Virtually True by Paul Stewart

Virtually True by Paul Stewart

1. The newspaper headline screamed ‘Sebastian Shultz’. It was an unusual name to make the headline.
2. The person reading the newspaper was a woman whose face behind the paper. She was an elderly woman who apparently breathed with a little difficulty.
3. The newspaper story was about Shultz, the 14-year-old London school lad, who had come out of his coma the day before. His miraculous turn around had baffled the doctors, who had assumed the near-dead medical condition to drag on and on indefinitely.
4. I was curious because I had met a boy of this name before. I leaned forward to read the story in the newspaper in the woman’s hands.
5. A motor accident six weeks ago had nearly killed Shultz. From the accident site, he was carried to the General Hospital battling for his life. The doctors did their best to revive the boy, but he defied all their efforts. As he lay unconscious in the hospital bed, the doctors had no way but to inform Shultz’s parents that their boy had slipped to coma.
6. In the press conference, Mrs. Shultz, the mother profusely appreciated the untiring efforts of the doctors to resuscitate her son, but, at the same time, she admitted that his condition could only revive through a miracle.
7. It now appeared that the miracle had happened. …..
8. As the woman’s hand moved to clear the view, I could see from the photo that the boy was none other than Sebastian. I was soon lost in thought trying to figure out how such a tragedy had come to pass.
9. I pondered the travails of Sebastian Shultz in the hospital bed where he had remained immobile for days clinging to the last thread of life. His struggle made me anguished.
10. I stared out of the train window and began to imagine the sequence of events that had led to the tragedy.
11. A month ago, I had spent nearly the whole of a Saturday afternoon going round the Computer Fair.
12. My father is a computer enthusiast. He has a Pentium computer that can paint, play music, create displays, and even help me in my homework.
13. The most exciting features it has are the games – Tornado, Mebabash, Black Belt, Kyerene’s Kastle etc. When I played, it made me feel I was in the midst of the real action.
14. My father had a strong fascination towards the many new ideas, products and gadgets the fast-changing world of computers was churning out in quick succession. To have a first-hand feel of all these, we had been to the Computer Fair. We bought an array of gadgets with mind-boggling capabilities. Among them were the virtual reality visor, gloves, and some inter-active psycho-drive games. The visor and the glove offered very astonishing visual effect besides manipulating our mental faculties.
15. We later realized some of them were ‘used’ items.
16. But, that didn’t dampen my enthusiasm. No sooner had we got home, than I began to explore my high-tech toys. The first game I played was named, ‘Wildwest’.

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