Precis / summary writing with tips

Read the following write-up of 4o2 words and write its precis in 134 words +10 words =144 words

 

Write-up …

To read The Babarnama is constantly to ask oneself what could possibly have prompted a man in Babar’s position to write his memoirs. Historically autobiography was not a form that flourished in Asia, certainly not in Central Asia where Babar’s roots lay. As for the Indian sub-continent, I know of only one autobiography written there before the 19th century: a brief account of the life of a merchant.

The closest Babar comes to explaining his motives is this: “I have simply written the truth. I do not intend by what I have written to compliment myself: I have simply set down exactly what happened. Since I have made it a point in this history to write the truth of every matter and to set down no more than the reality of every even, as a consequence I have reported every good and evil I have seen of father and brother and set down the actuality of every fault and virtue of relative and stranger. May the reader excuse me; may the listener take me not to task.”[vii] 

But he may have come closer to the truth in his first poem, a ghazal, written at the age of eighteen: Other than my own soul I never found a faithful friend/ Other than my own heart I never found a confidant
[1]

It was possibly a sense of loneliness, or rather apartness, that compelled Babar to set down these reflections on his life; it was probably the intimacy of that endeavour that led him to choose Turkish – his domestic language – rather than the courtly Persian that was generally used in his circle. The memoir he produced, as a result, was anything but the usual courtly chronicle of affairs of state and battles lost and won: written centuries before the discovery of the Self, TB is still astonishingly, a narrative of self-dsicovery. It s tone is a disarmingly trusting, confiding one, and in self-revelation it yields nothing to the confessional memoir of the 1990s.

Babar does not neglect to record the sexual hesitancies of his first marriage (‘since it was my first marriage I was bashful, I went to her only once every ten fifteen or twenty days’); he writes lyrically about an adolescent infatuation with a boy (‘before this experience I had never felt a desire for anyone, nor did I listen to talk of love and affection or speak of such things’). [Amitav Ghose blog]

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Precis …

To read The Babarnama is constantly to ask oneself what could possibly have prompted a man in Babar’s position to write his memoirs. Historically autobiography was not a form that flourished in Asia, certainly not in Central Asia where Babar’s roots lay. As for the Indian sub-continent, I know of only one autobiography written there before the 19th century: a brief account of the life of a merchant. [68]

Why Babar wrote his memoirs, “The Babarnama”, remains unexplained. Neither Central Asia, his homeland, nor India he ruled, had any tradition of autobiography writing. [24]

The closest Babar comes to explaining his motives is this: “I have simply written the truth. I do not intend by what I have written to compliment myself: I have simply set down exactly what happened. Since I have made it a point in this history to write the truth of every matter and to set down no more than the reality of every event, as a consequence I have reported every good and evil I have seen of father and brother and set down the actuality of every fault and virtue of relative and stranger. May the reader excuse me; may the listener take me not to task.” [109]

Baber was a chronicler, by nature. He was truthful about events that happened around him, and the strengths and follies of everyone, including his father and brother. He wants his listeners to understand that he wrote very truthfully. [38]

But he may have come closer to the truth in his first poem, a ghazal, written at the age of eighteen: Other than my own soul I never found a faithful friend/ Other than my own heart I never found a confidant. [42]

When 18, he wrote a ghazal where he candidly rues his loneliness. [12]

It was possibly a sense of loneliness, or rather apartness, that compelled Babar to set down these reflections on his life; it was probably the intimacy of that endeavour that led him to choose Turkish – his domestic language – rather than the courtly Persian that was generally used in his circle. The memoir he produced, as a result, was anything but the usual courtly chronicle of affairs of state and battles lost and won: written centuries before the discovery of the Self, TB is still astonishingly, a narrative of self-discovery. Its tone is a disarmingly trusting, confiding one, and in self-revelation it yields nothing to the confessional memoir of the 1990s. [113]

With none to confide in, Babar looked within, and wrote his reflections in Turkish, his native tongue, rather than in Persian  the court language. With remarkable honesty, he recorded the victories and defeats in battles, and state matters. [38]

Babar does not neglect to record the sexual hesitancies of his first marriage (‘since it was my first marriage I was bashful, I went to her only once every ten fifteen or twenty days’); he writes lyrically about an adolescent infatuation with a boy (‘before this experience I had never felt a desire for anyone, nor did I listen to talk of love and affection or speak of such things’). [70]

Babar faithfully records his shyness towards his young wife whom he met at long gaps. He also admits his adolescent attraction towards a boy – a tryst that triggered his sexual desires. [31]

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ANSWER ..

Why Babar wrote his memoirs, “The Babarnama”, remains unexplained. Neither Central Asia, his homeland, nor India he ruled, had any tradition of autobiography writing.

Baber was a chronicler, by nature. He was truthful about events that happened around him, and the strengths and follies of everyone, including his father and brother. He wants his listeners to understand that he wrote very truthfully. When 18, he wrote a ghazal where he candidly rues his loneliness. With none to confide in, Babar looked within, and wrote his reflections in Turkish, his native tongue, rather than in Persian  the court language. With remarkable honesty, he recorded the victories and defeats in battles, and state matters. [38] Babar faithfully records his shyness towards his young wife whom he met at long gaps. He also admits his adolescent attraction towards a boy – a tryst that triggered his sexual desires.

 

Word count of the write-up … 402

Word count of the précis …….. 144

 

 

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