Thursday 12 November 2020

Glimpses of India

Glimpses of India



·       The chapter ‘Glimpses of India’ is written in three parts by three different writers from different parts of India, and that’s why they have successfully brought out true pictures of their regions reflecting essential feature of India.

·       This chapter presents a true glimpse of India which is varied in its heritage, rich in flora and fauna, land of cultural variety and a heaven for tourists.

·       The bread making tradition of Goa tells that people of India accept their rulers also and welcome all their good things making them a part of their culture for ever.

·       The chapter about Coorg demonstrates India’s richness in tourist destinations, cultural heritage, wildlife, flora and fauna and the chapter on Assam proves its geographical variety, agricultural richness and economical strength.


Synopsis / Summary 

Part I – A Baker from Goa by Lucio Rodrigues

The chapter dates back to pre independence era when the Portuguese ruled over Goa and influenced the local people with their culture and life style. The elders in Goa often fondly recall the time when bread making used to be an important profession. The importance of bakers is maintained even after the Portuguese have left. The bakers in Goa are known as ‘Paders’. The mixers, moulders and their time-tested furnaces even now, continue to be used in Goa as the profession is still being accepted by the bakers’ sons and families. The jingling sound and thud of bakers’ bamboo stick is still heard in the streets of Goan villages that would wake up the narrator and his friends in their childhood who used to run to him to take bread bangles. 

Bakery products mark great significance in the culture and tradition of Goa. Bol or sweet bread is an integral part of marriage gifts. Cakes and Bolinhas or cookies are exchanged at Christmas and other festivals. The lady of the house prepares sandwiches for her daughter’s engagement.

In the time of Portuguese rulers bakers wear a peculiar dress known as ‘kabai’ which was a frock of knee length but during the narrator’s childhood, they wore a shirt and trousers of length slightly shorter than the normal pants. Bakers used to keep the record of sale on the wall with pencil. Baking has always been and will always remain a profitable profession, and it would keep their families joyous and prosperous. It is believed that a baker’s family can’t die of starvation.

Part II – Coorg by Lokesh Abrol

The writer has depicted the beauty of Coorg, now called Kodagu which is the smallest district of Karnataka. It falls between Mysore and Mangalore. It attracts many visitors with its evergreen rainforests, spices and coffee plantations. It is more fascinating and favourable to visit between September and March It is not advisable to visit Coorg in rainy season.

This Coorgi people are a mixture of Greek and Arab cultures and there are stories behind the fact. Coorgi people are known for hospitality as well as their valour and boasts of the most decorated army regiment. General Kariappa who was a Coorgi, was the first field marshal of Indian army. It is believed that a part of Alexander’s army settled there. Their long black coat with embroidered belt reflect their connection with Arab culture.

Coorg is blessed with varied wildlife, birds, bees and butterflies such as langurs, squirrels, elephants, kingfishers, macaques, loris, etc. It is favourite destination of trekkers and adventure lovers who would enjoy rafting, canoeing, rock climbing, mountain biking, trekking, etc.

It abounds in flora and fauna and the Brahmagiri hills present a panoramic view to the visitors. The largest settlement of Buddhidst monks of a monastery at Bylakuppe near the island of Nisargandhama is a gift to the peace lovers. The fascinating geographical beauty, peaceful panorama of cultural heritage, variety of wildlife, flora and fauna of Coorg reflects India’s very heart and soul.

Part III – Tea from Assam by Arup Kumar Datta

Rajvir, a friend of Pranjol is going to Assam to acquire knowledge about tea gardens of Assam in his summer vacations as Pranjol is inhabitant of Assam and his father manages Dekhiawari Tea Estate. Assam is known to be the largest concentration of plantations in the world.

Rajvir is very excited about his trip and has done a good homework about tea and its cultivation. He wants to share his knowledge with Pranjol and tells that about 80 crores cups of tea are drunk every day around the world. He also tells him Indian and Chinese legends related to the discovery of tea. Rajvir tells a very interesting story of a Chinese emperor who discovered tea by chance when his water was boiling, tea leaves fell into water accidently and changed the colour and taste of water which the emperor liked. He also tells another story about the growing up of tea leaves out of the eyelids of an Indian monk and these leaves could remove sleepiness.

This way they both reached Mariani junction and after this, visited Dekhiawari Tea garden managed by Pranjol’s father. In the tea garden they saw groups of tea pluckers with bamboo baskets on their backs and a tractor carrying the load of tea leaves.

Rajvir shared another piece of information that second sprouting season of tea lasts from May to July, and it produces the best tea. This shows how much excited Rajvir was to enhance his knowledge about tea and its cultivation.

Difficult Terms

Bol                       sweet bread used as marriage gift

Bolinhas              coconut cookies exchanged during festivals

Pader                    a term used for baker in Portuguese language

Bread bangles     sweet bread in the shape of a bangle

Kabai                   a peculiar frock like dress worn by bakers      


Important Question - Answers

Q1. ‘India is a perfect picture of unity in diversity’. How does the chapter ‘Glimpses of India’ reflect the perfect picture of India which loves to assimilate foreign cultures and welcome other countries’ traditions?

Ans. India is diverse because it loves to welcome foreign cultures and traditions, followed and accepted the culture of bread baking from Portuguese, tea in Assam and coffee in Coorg from foreigners and all of them have become an integral part of our life, soldiers from alexander’s army settled here and we welcomed them and followed their martial culture.

Q2. Is bread making an important part of Goan life and culture? How do you know this?

Ans. Bread baking holds a great significance in the culture and traditions of Goa and breads are an integral part of people’s life there. Bol or sweet bread is an integral part of marriage gifts there. Cakes and Bolinhas used at Christmas and other festivals. The lady of the house prepares sandwiches on the occasion of her daughter’s engagement. Bread making is still a profitable occupation and it keeps a baker’s family joyous and prosperous.

Q3. The chapter ends with the phrase ‘visitors searching for the heart and soul of India, right here in Coorg’ Explain the phrase.

Ans. The author, Lokesh Abrol beautifully describes Coorg as a heaven for the visitors. Hospitable people of Coorg keep the very soul of Indian culture ‘Atithi devo bhava’ alive. Its hills, coffee plantations and evergreen forests truly present India as a land of geographical variety and agricultural richness. The Koorgi people are live example of India’s cultural variety and their mixed culture speaks profoundly about its unity in diversity. The Buddhist monastery at the island of Nisargandhama attracts peace lovers and help them find real peace and find the answers to the most puzzling questions of life.

No comments:

Post a Comment