Class 10 English

Glimpses of India

A Baker From Goa

Question 1: What are the elders in Goa nostalgic about?

Solution: Elders in Goa are nostalgic about good old Portuguese days, about the Portuguese, and their famous loaves of bread. Goa was a Portuguese colony. After independence Goa became part of India. Goa has distinct effect of Portugues and Anglo Indian culture. Christianity is one of the main religions in Goa. Elders usually fondly remember old days because once people grow old they accumulate rich experiences of their past. It is a normal human psychology that past always looks better than present.

Question 2: Is bread-making still popular in Goa? How do you know?

Answer: From the story it is clear that bread-making is still popular in Goa. The author has described about the existence of time-old furnaces and their still burning fire. The Goan society is still having moulders, bread mixers and bakers.

Question 3: What is the baker called?

Answer: Baker is called a Pader in Goa.

Question 4: When would the baker come every day? Why did the children run to meet him?

Answer: The baker usually comes in the morning everyday. The children are fond of his musical sales pitch. Moreover, they are unable to wait to savour the bread rings.

Question 5: Match the following. What is a must

  • as marriage gifts? – cakes and bolinhas

    Answer: sweet bread called bol.
  • for a party or a feast? – sweet bread called bol

    Answer: bread
  • for a daughter’s engagement? – bread

    Answer: sandwiches
  • for Christmas? – sandwiches

    Answer: cakes and bolinhas

Question 6: What did the bakers wear: (i) in the Portuguese days? (ii) when the author was young?

Answer: (i) In the Portuguese days bakers used to wear a knee length single piece frock known as kabai.

(ii) When the author was young bakers used to wear a shirt and a knee length pant.

Question 7: Who invites the comment — “he is dressed like a pader”? Why?

Answer: Even toady if someone wears a pant with length a little bit down from knees he invites the comment, “he is dressed like a pader”, because bakers used to wear such dresses in Goa.

Question 8: Where were the monthly accounts of the baker recorded?

Answer: Bakers used to record the monthly account on some walls with pencil. We still find this practice followed by panwallahs in many towns and villages in India. The panwallah write monthly dues account on their shops walls.

Question 9: What does a ‘jackfruit -like appearance’ mean?

Answer: A baker’s profession was apparently a profitable profession. This was evident from plump appearance of the baker as if he was well fed. A plump person can give a jackfruit like appearance.

Question 10: Which of these statements are correct?

  • The pader was an important person in the village in old times.

    Answer: Correct
  • Paders still exist in Goan villages.

    Answer: Correct
  • The paders went away with the Portuguese.

    Answer: Incorrect
  • The paders continue to wear a single-piece long frock.

    Answer: Incorrect
  • Bread and cakes were an integral part of Goan life in the old days.

    Answer: Correct
  • Traditional bread-baking is still a very profitable business.

    Answer: Correct
  • Paders and their families starve in the present times.

    Answer: Incorrect

Question 11: Is bread an important part of Goan life? How do you know this?

Answer: Some of the facts which show the importance of bread in Goan life are as follows. Sandwiches must be prepared on the occasion of a daughter’s engagement. Cakes and bolinhas are must for Christmas and other festivals.

Question 12: Tick the right answer. What is the tone of the author when he says the following?

  • The thud and the jingle of the traditional baker’s bamboo can still be heard in some places. (nostalgic, hopeful, sad)

    Answer: Sad
  • Maybe the father is not alive but the son still carries on the family profession. (nostalgic, hopeful, sad)

    Answer: Hopeful
  • I still recall the typical fragrance of those loaves. (nostalgic, hopeful, naughty)

    Answer: Nostalgic
  • The tiger never brushed his teeth. Hot tea could wash and clean up everything so nicely, after all. (naughty, angry, funny)

    Answer: Funny
  • Cakes and bolinhas are a must for Christmas as well as other festivals. (sad, hopeful, matter-of-fact)

    Answer: Matter of fact
  • The baker and his family never starved. They always looked happy and prosperous. (matter-of-fact, hopeful, sad)

    Answer: Sad


Question 1: Where is Coorg?

Answer: Coorg is situated in Karnataka. It is midaway from Mysore to Mangalore.

Question 2: What is the story about the Kodavu people’s descent?

Answer: It is believed that Kodavu people are of Arabic origin. It is said that some of Alexander’s armymen moved to south and settled there. Their costume, martial practices and marriage rituals also point to the fact that they are from Arabic origin.

Question 3: What are some of the things you now know about

  • the people of Coorg?

    Answer: The people of Coorg are a proud martial race. Their women are beautiful. Martial race means those who have well developed fighting skills. They have a great tradition of hospitality. They would often recount stories of valour of their menfolks.
  • the main crop of Coorg?

    Answer: The description of abundance of coffee plantations indicates that the coffe is the main crop of Coorg.
  • the sports it offers to tourists?

    Answer: The sporting activities in Coorg are of high energy variety. They are river rafting, canoeing, rock climbing, rappelling and mountain biking.
  • the animals you are likely to see in Coorg?

    Answer: Macaques, Malabar squirrels, langurs and slender loris are widely found in Coorg. Apart from them elephants are also present.
  • its distance from Bangalore, and how to get there?

    Answer: Coorg is 252 kms from Bangalore. From Mysore it is 146 Kms and there is good train connectivity between Mysore and Coorg. From Bnagalore bus services are available. From the rest of India anybody can reach Bangalore airport by flight and proceed towards Coorg. (ref: )

Question 4: Here are six sentences with some words in italics. Find phrases from the ext that have the same meaning. (Look in the paragraphs indicated)

  • During monsoons it rains so heavily that tourists do not visit Coorg. (para 2)

    Answer: During the monsoons, it pours enough to keep many visitors away.
  • Some people say that Alexander’s army moved south along the coast and settled there. (para 3)

    Answer: As one story goes, a part of Alexander’s army moved south along the coast and settled here when return became impractical.
  • The Coorg people are always ready to tell stories of their sons’ and fathers’ valour. (para 4)

    Answer: Coorgi homes have a tradition of hospitality, and they are more than willing to recount numerous tales of valour related to their sons and fathers.
  • Even people who normally lead an easy and slow life get smitten by the high-energy adventure sports of Coorg. (para 6)

    Answer: The most laidback individuals become converts to the life of high-energy adventure with river rafting.
  • The theory of the Arab origin is supported by the long coat with embroidered waist-belt they wear. (para 3)

    Answer: The theory of Arab origin draws support from the long, black coat with an embroidered waist-belt worn by the Kodavus.
  • Macaques, Malabar squirrels observe you carefully from the tree canopy.

    Answer: Macaques, Malabar squirrels, langurs and slender loris keep a watchful eye from the tree canopy.

The Trees

The trees inside are moving out into the forest,
the forest that was empty all these days
where no bird could sit
no insect hide
no sun bury its feet in shadow
the forest that was empty all these nights
will be full of trees by morning.
All night the roots work
to disengage themselves from the cracks
in the veranda floor.

Most of us put beautiful plants inside our homes for decoration. As you know trees are also living beings. The poet has tried to describe their emotions in artificial forests. The gardens we make inside our drawing rooms are like artificial forests. This is same as putting an animal in a cage. No matter how much facility that animal is given, it will never be able to enjoy the freedom of the jungle.

The trees are kept somewhere else during the night, where they try to escape through the cracks of the veranda floor. Every morning they are moved to the artificial forest. The forest where no bird can sit, no insect can hide and where the sun can not hide behind a tree. It is like putting an animal away from its natural surroundings.

The leaves strain toward the glass
small twigs stiff with exertion
long-cramped boughs shuffling under the roof
like newly discharged patients
half-dazed, moving
to the clinic doors.

The leaves are trying to push through the glass window pane as if trying to escape the captivity. The branches are feeling cramped under the roof. This reminds the poet of a patient who is being discharged from the clinic and is moving with tired gaze and steps towards the clinic door.

I sit inside, doors open to the veranda
writing long letters
in which I scarcely mention the departure
of the forest from the house.
The night is fresh, the whole moon shines
in a sky still open
the smell of leaves and lichen
still reaches like a voice into the rooms.

Outside the captivity the night is full of freshness and the moon is shining. The smell of leaves and lichen is reaching those inside the captivity like a voice coming from far away. If you ever happen to travel through the jungles of Chhattisgarh or Jharkhand You may recall the musty smell of the flora. This distinct smell can’t be replicated in the drawing room gardens.

My head is full of whispers
which tomorrow will be silent.
Listen. The glass is breaking.
The trees are stumbling forward
into the night. Winds rush to meet them.
The moon is broken like a mirror,
its pieces flash now in the crown
of the tallest oak.

This is like a dream come true for those trees in captivity. The glass pane has broken and the trees are escaping. Now the moon is shining on top of the oak tree. It seems that the moon has broken like a mirror and its pieces have fallen all over the head of the oak tree to give it a crown of shining silver.


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