Thursday, September 2, 2021

Silk Road;NCERT Solutions and Summary for Class 11

                                 Silk Road 
                                       -Nick Middleton

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"Silk Road" by Nick Middleton is a brief account of the narrator's journey from the slopes of Ravu to Mount Kailash to complete the 'Kora'.He hired Testan's car for his journey and took Daniel along with him to escort him to Darchen.

The story opens on a morning when the narrator was bidding farewell to his friends as he was undertaking a journey to Mount Kailash.Lhama gave him a long-sleeved sheepskin coats which would keep him warm.He took Daniel along with him as his companion.The narrator also hired Tsetan to drive him up to Mt.Kailash.

When they started their journey,Tsetan took a short-cut to the South-West which was actually a direct route to Mt.Kailash.They had to cross high mountain passes to reach their destination.Tsetan assured them there would be no problems at all if there would be no snow on their path.They also crossed a few gazelles,a herd of wild asses and shepherds tending the flocks.

As they neared the hills,they passed various dark tents which were home for nomads.He saw a Tibetan mastiff standing outside the tent as a guard.These mastiffs ran after his car as soon as they neared the tents with blazing speed often compelling the driver to brake and swerve.

As soon as they were entering the valley,snow-capped mountains were becoming visible gradually.They also witnessed rivers flowing which were blocked with ice.When they were riding through the hill,the turns became sharper and roads became bumpier.Tsetan was driving in the third gear and still then the narrator could feel the pressure in his ears.By checking his wristwatch,he found that they were 5210 meters above sea level.

They reached their first hurdle which was a road filled with snow.However,Tsetan threw dirt on the snow-covered roads and drove carefully on that road.This allowed them to continue their journey but the narrator felt his head was hurting.They were still climbing up the hills.Soon,they reached at 5515 meters above sea level.They stopped again and this time the fuel tank hissed when he unscrewed the top. He found that the petrol was expanding due to low atmospheric pressure and warned them not to smoke around it.

Soon, in the afternoon at around 2 o'clock,they stopped for lunch. The narrator's headache was gone by now. By late afternoon, they reached a small town called 'Hor'.They reached the east- west Highway again. It was the old route from Lhasa to Kashmir. Here, Daniel got off the car and took lift to Lhasa. There were many functions in the car by then which worried Tsetan. he got them fixed while the narrator took a cup of tea at a local cafe. He found 'Hor' to be a miserable place as it had no vegetation. After a while,Tsetan reached to him and they resumed their journey.

At night,around 10:30 PM,they stopped at a guest house in Darchen to spend the night.Here,the narrator fell ill and suffered from nose-congestion due to the sudden change in altitude and cold weather.He stayed awake all night.Tsetan took him to Tibetan Medical College where the narrator consulted a Tibetan doctor who gave him a five-day course of medicines.

After taking a full day of medicine,the author was feeling good.As he was starting to feel good,Tsetan left him for Lhasa.Now,the narrator described about Darchen.Darchen was a dusty,partially derelict and punctuated by heaps of rubble and refuse.The place had general stores,men playing pool and women washing their hair in brooks.However,the place had no pilgrims.

But he met a person called Norbu in Darchen's only cafe.He was a Tibetan working in Beijing.He had also came to Darchen to complete the 'Kora' just like the narrator.He was fat but the narrator found him to be the ideal companion.They hired yaks to carry their luggage.The narrator felt at ease at having Norbu as his travel companion.

Difficult Words:
1)Rose-tinted:A colour associated with pink.
2)Ravu:A place in Tibet.
3)Kora:The circumambulation of one's placeof worship.
4)Ducking Back:Quickly going inside and then coming out.
5)Sheepskin:Skin of a sheep used for textile purposes.
6)Clambered:Climb or move in an awkward and labourious way.
7)Drokba:A term which refers to the people who wonder as nomads in the region of Tibet.
8)Gazelles:A small,slender antelope.
9)Nibbling:Take small bites out of.
10)Galloping:Going at the pace of gallop.
11)En Masse:In group.
13)Billowed:Filled with air.
14)Manoeuvres:Military exercises.
16)Veering:To change direction suddenly.
17)Mastiff:A specific breed of dog.
18)Shaggy:Bushy or hairy.
19)Swerve:Change direction suddenly.
20)Glinting:Sparkle or twinkle.
21)Daubed:Spread a thick substance on a surface carelessly.
22)Swathe:A broad strip or area of something.
23)Petered:To gradually become smaller.
24)Lurching:Make an abrupt or uncontrolled movement.
25)Cairn:A mound of rough stones.
26)Festooned:To adorn a place with decorations.
27)Careered Down:Move swiftly in an uncontrolled way.
28)Salt-Flats:Areas of flat lands covered with salt.
29)Salt-encrusted boots:Shoes on which salt is encrusted upon.
31)Pickaxes:A tool used to break hard surfaces.
32)Venerated:Regard with great respect.
33)Draught:Denoting beverages served from a barrel or tank.
34)Sinus:A connected system of hollow cavities in skull.
35)Propping:To support or keep in position.
36)Monastery:A place of worship for Buddhist people.
37)Paraphernalia:Equipment needed for a particular activity.
38)Pellets:A small rounded body.
39)Rudimentary:Related to a basic form.
40)Incongrous:Out of place.
41)Cavernous:Like a cavern in size.
42)Voluminous:Very lengthy and detailed.
43)Windcheater:A thin fabric jacket designed to resist chill wind.   
44)Fieldwork:A process of observing and collecting data physically.
45)Ill-equipped:Not having the necessary resources.
46)Envisaged:Form a mental picture of.
47)Hysterical:Affected by uncontrolled emotion.

About Author:
Nick Middleton (1960-) is a British physical geographer.As a geographer who has travelled to more than 50 countries,he is a person with a ton of experience in this field.He has written a number of books regarding climate change.

NCERT Questions:
A)Understanding the text.

I)1)The title of the chapter has been rightly named in reference to the silk road or routes.It was a well-known trade relations path which helped in the expansion of trade with the rest of the continent.Textiles in general and silk in particular was traded along the route.Since the narrator explored this region,the chapter is aptly titled as "Silk Road".

2)Tibetan mastiffs were quite popular in China's imperial courts as they were simply great for hunting.They were brought along the Silk Road in ancient times as tribute from Tibet.They are usually ferocious and fast as bullets.

3)According to the author,'Hor' was a miserable town.The dust and rocks were scattered everywhere in abundance.There was little vegetation in the area.The place seemed dejected and unfortunate.This was a stark contrast to what he had read and heard.According to travellers,the place was totally fabulous.A Japanese traveller,Ekai Kawaguchi,had burst into tears upon seeing the sanctity of the Mansarovar lake.The good view of the lake though compensated for his disappointment.

4)The author felt disappointed at Darchen.The high altitude gave him health problems.He had a bad cold which didn't allow him to sleep at night.
The place was moreover dusty and derelict.This was all okay but his major problem was that there were no pilgrims.

5)The author was disappointed with Darchen.He also got a bad cold.He was feeling low as he also could not get anybody to start a perfect conversation.There were no pilgrims too.But he then met Norbu who agreed to accompany him on his journey to Mount Kailash as he also to complete his 'Kora'.The narrator's positive thinking was paying back finally.

II)1)The author is actually a geographer and loves adventure.He follows a difficult path and visits the Mount Kailash to complete his 'Kora'.

2)The author's physical condition at Darchen had completely deteriorated.He couldn't sleep in the night as he was having congestion in his nose.This was because he had rapidly ascended the mountains.

3)The author was feeling quite low at Darchen as he was all alone there.There were n't pilgrims at Darchen either which added to his disappointment.However,as he met Norbu who agreed to accompany him in his journey,he became cheerful.

4)Tsetan was accompanying the narrator in his journey as a driver.He was an efficient and experienced driver and drive the car carefully.He also kept the author informed about the places they were passing by.When the narrator fell ill at Darchen,he took him to a doctor.

5)Tsetan was a Buddhist and believed that death is not the end of life.However,it would be bad for his business as his credibility was at stake.He also helped the narrator in consulting a doctor.

B)Talking about Text.

1)People living up in the hills are unsophisticated and simple.They are God-fearing people.They are very much hospitable and take great care of the visitors from outside.

2)Humans have always craved for adventure and thrill.They undertake these journeys willingly despite knowing the fact that these are pretty risky. Sometimes people also undertake such journeys because of religious reasons.

3)There are many accounts of exotic places in legends and reality. Places like Mount Kailash, Mansarovar occupy a prominent place in legends. There are many articles written about these places.

C)Thinking about Language.

1)Tartan was a person living up in the
 hills.I think he might pick the the language by briefly conversing with fellow tourists. His English was broken.

2)i)This statement means the author conveyed his plans to Lhamo through Daniel as Lhamo did not know about English language.

ii)The doctor spoke in Tibetan language which Tsetan translated for the author.This meant that the doctor did not know about English and the author did not know about Tibetan language.

3)i)Kora:Circumbulate around a holy place.
iii)Kyang:Wild Tibetan Ass

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