Essay Writing Topics With Answer Class 8
1.A Daring Bank Robbery
It was the 17th of June 20__ when my mother had to go to the bank because she had to encash one of her fixed deposits which had matured on that date. She decided to take me along as my school was closed for summer vacation.
It took us about half an hour to reach the bank. My mother instructed me to be seated on a sofa lying near the door and herself proceeded to the ‘FIXED DEPOSIT counter.
People in the bank were busy depositing and withdrawing money. Suddenly a Maruti van came and stopped near the entrance of the bank. In a flick of a second, five masked young men with sophisticated weapons in their hands entered the bank. They overpowered the security guard and after taking positions warned the people of dire consequences if they tried to move. They told all the customers and the bank employees to stand up, raise their hands and turn their faces towards the wall. Filled with fear and terror everybody did as directed.
Two robbers then entered the Manager’s office and demanded the keys to the strong room. Help from outside was impossible as all telephone connections had been snapped. The robbers entered the strong room and instructed the cashier to open the cash box. They removed all the cash and filled it in the bag they were carrying. Even the “Payments” counter was not spared. Then the robbers hurriedly left the bank, but before departing they warned us that if anyone tried to follow, they would kill him. After this they made good their escape. The whole operation took not more than ten minutes.
Everybody in the bank was stunned and perspiring. The Bank Manager sounded the siren and within minutes the whole bank was crowded with police officials and public.
2.An Unwelcome Guest
Indians are known for their hospitality. They welcome their guests with open arms, for they feel that a guest is a person to be honoured and respected and to serve him is a sacred duty. But there are certain guests who are unwelcome and people really dread their visit.
Mr S.M. Narayan, one of my father’s friends, is a person whose visits we dread, as he disturbs our entire routine. He visits us frequently and comes without prior information. Whenever he comes from Bengaluru, my mother has to take leave because he takes his own sweet time to get up in the morning and is very particular to have proper breakfast and lunch. Not only this, he is very fussy about the food we eat and keeps complaining that the food is not properly cooked.
My mother is very particular about keeping things in their proper place, but the moment Mr Narayan arrives, our guest room as well as our drawing room is in total mess. He is not systematic at all and throws things here and there. He knows that there is no servant in the house, yet he expects my mother to wash and iron his clothes.
Mr Narayan is very inconsiderate and wants everything his way. He refuses to bring his own things and very freely uses the shaving kit of my father. He misuses the telephone by making not only local calls but also STD calls. He feels as if we don’t have to pay the telephone bill. Not only this, he invites his local guests and expects us to really look after them. He wants my father to provide him the car for his exclusive use. We are all forced to run errands for him. And yet he is never satisfied with our hospitality. As long as Mr Narayan is in the house, our whole routine remains upset and we all get tense. The moment Father goes to drop him at the station, we all heave a sigh of relief.
3.An Incident I Can Never Forget
During the summer vacation, I decided to visit my uncle, who was posted at Srinagar. I booked a ticket on a flight from Delhi to Srinagar via Amritsar. On May 26, I boarded an Air India airbus at 9 a.m. I got a comfortable seat and soon the plane took off. I was enjoying the flight and did not even come to know when the plane had landed at Amritsar.
At Amritsar, six passengers boarded the plane. Minutes after the plane took off, we were served breakfast. We were all enjoying ourselves when two passengers got up and took positions. One of them was holding a hand grenade. Soon there was an announcement by the crew that the plane had been hijacked and that the passengers should not panic but remain calm. The two hijackers were terrorists and wanted to take the airbus to Lahore and seek political asylum there. The pilot tried to persuade them but it was all in vain. They were determined to have their way. All the passengers were in a fix, for nobody knew what fate had in store for them.
Having no alternative, the airbus flew towards Lahore but at Lahore airport the Pakistani authorities refused permission for landing. We hovered over the airport for about ten minutes but our pilots could not convince the airport personnel. At this the hijackers ordered the plane to be taken back to Amritsar.
When we landed at Amritsar, the police had cordoned off the area and the Director General of Police was trying to persuade the hijackers to surrender. He was putting psychological and emotional pressure on them to surrender. At times the situation became so tense and explosive that we all became desperate. This drama continued for three hours. Then suddenly the plane was overpowered by Black Cat Commandos. Within seconds both the hijackers were arrested and the passengers freed. Some of the passengers broke down and started crying. I just cannot express how I felt at that moment, but till today whenever I remember this incident, I feel a chill down my spine.
4.An Autobiography of a Shoe
One fine morning about three years ago, I was given finishing touches by the workmen in the Bata Shoe Company and packed in a box ready to be transported to a Bata showroom in Mumbai.
We were loaded in a truck by the workers and we soon left for our new destination. I enjoyed the lovely scenic beauty and I do not know when I fell asleep. When I woke up, I found that the truck was passing by the Gateway of India. After about two hours we reached the showroom. We were unloaded, and after dusting me, the salesman placed me in the window of the showroom. I was so attractive that within hours of my reaching Mumbai, I was sold to a rich industrialist. From the showroom, I travelled to his house in a Mercedes. There was a world of difference between the journey in the bone-breaking truck and the luxurious Mercedes. I made friends in the palatial house of the industrialist. I saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, when I went on business trips abroad with my master.
My days were passing comfortably and I considered myself to be one of the happiest shoes of the world, when one night someone quietly entered my master’s bedroom. It took me no time to recognise that the person was none but his nephew. He took out a revolver and aimed it at him. I frantically cried for help and wanted to wake him, but nobody could understand my language. A shot rang and there were bloodstains all over my face-the blood of my beloved master. The wicked nephew escaped under the cover of darkness.
Next morning in the group of mourners I could spot the murderer but was helpless because of lack of communication. I was the mute eyewitness to that gory crime.
Till today with bloodstains on my face, I am lying on the shoe rack. I feel lonely since nobody visits this room after my master’s death.
5.A Dream I Cannot Forget
Introduction: Where there is light, there is darkness; where there is pleasure, there is pain. As such, life is an intermingled form of joy and sorrow. Dreams that are pleasant are loved by all, for they leave behind pleasant memories. But when they are unpleasant, their memories make a person shiver out of fear. Once I had such a horrible dream that the mere thought of it, haunts me, when I am alone.
The Dream: I dreamt that I was enjoying myself in a row boat in the company of my cousin Ashok. It was a bright sunny day and both of us were having great fun, singing, joking and teasing. All of a sudden Ashok’s bag fell in the water. He started groping for it with his hands. I tried to keep the balance of the boat but it turned upside down. We both fell in water. Suddenly, we both were startled by a sudden sound. We turned around and found ourselves staring down the throat of a crocodile nearly four metres long. Its opened jaws were like a giant trap. We were really frightened. Ashok raised his left arm in a gesture of defence and the bristling rows of sharp teeth snapped together. Its jaws firmly fixed on Ashok’s arm. He gasped in anguish and cried for help. As I saw blood gushing from Ashok’s arm, I stood unmoved with horror. He tried to free himself from the iron grip of the crocodile but the ugly monster tightened its hold on him.
Struggle with the crocodile: As soon as I recovered my wits, I realised that an oar was floating. I took hold of it and hit the crocodile with the oar. It released Ashok’s arm. But to my horror it broke through the water again and with a noisy splash came towards me. I struggled and failed to even swim properly. The crocodile jumped on me with its open jaws.
Conclusion: I woke up screaming desperately for help. I was surprised to find that I was in my bed and my brother was standing near me. For a moment, I could not believe that I had been dreaming. Even today, my heart starts pumping fast when someone invites me for a picnic near water.
6. An Unwelcome Guest
Indians are known for their hospitality. They welcome their guests with open arms, for they feel that a guest is a person to be honoured and respected and to serve him is a sacred duty. But there are certain guests who are not welcomed and people really dread their visit.
Mr. S.M. Narayan, one of my father’s friends, is a person whose visits we detest, as he disturbs our entire routine. He visits us frequently and comes without prior information. Whenever he comes from Bengaluru, my mother has to work a lot as he is always interested in lavish breakfast and lunch. Not only this, he is very fussy about the food we eat and keeps commenting that the food is not properly cooked.
My mother is very particular about keeping things in their proper places, but the moment Mr. Narayan arrives, our guest room as well as our drawing room is in a total mess. He is very unsystematic and throws about things here and there. He knows that there is no servant in the house, yet he expects my mother to wash and iron his clothes.
Mr. Narayan is very inconsiderate and wants everything his way. He refuses to bring his own things and very freely uses the shaving kit of my father. Instead of his mobile, he misuses the telephone by making not only local calls but also S.T.D. calls. He feels as if the telephone bill is not to be paid. Not only this, he invites his local guests and expects us to look after them. He wants my father to provide him with the car for his exclusive use. We all are forced to run errands for him. And yet he is never satisfied with our hospitality.
As long as Mr. Narayan is in the house, our whole routine remains upset and we all get tense. The moment father goes to drop him at the station, we take a sigh of relief.
7. A Meeting with a Ghost
The wind howled down as I mounted up the hill tracks. My destination was a ruined palace about which many weird stories were told by the people of Samchi. I wanted to experience for myself the strangeness and eerie loneliness of the place. I reached the palace at 3 p.m. The palace had fallen to ruins some sixty years ago when the local king of Samchi was mysteriously murdered while in Thimphu. I went into a room which was comparatively comfortable. The roof and the walls were intact except for a few chinks in the tiles and cracks in the walls Tunpacked my baggage and had a cup of tea from the big Chinese flask I carried along with me The November sun had already set and darkness descended on the hill like a murderous vulture. Chilly winds lashed the exterior of the palace But being accustomed to lonely places and to howling winds, I felt no fear.
My climb having been rather exhausting, I soon fell asleep. Did I hear scream in my sleep? Did I hear footsteps? I opened my eyes. I saw before me a man, tall, fair and handsome with a ceremonial sword belted to his waist. I was startled. I stared at him with fear. But he looked at me gently and said, “Don’t be afraid, I mean no harm,” I mustered up courage and asked, “Are you also a curious visitor like me?” Not exactly, I know the place. I used to live here a long time ago.” He said sadly. “But then why did you leave this place?” I asked, my heart pounding in my chest. The man looked at me with a calm dignity and then spoke, “I am Tekbir Gurung, the last king of Samchi. I left for Thimphu on March 30, 1933. But I did not return. They pierced a sword through my heart and threw my body down into the mountain river I am the king of this palace” The air froze and my hands became numb. I heard or thought I heard the sound of trumpets, laughter of children cries of women and a wild scream drifting in the wind I watched the man. His whole body shook and shuddered Blood gushed out from his chest. I moved close to help him “Don’t touch me I am beyond all help.”, he said and then he slowly staggered out I think I heard a piercing scream drifting in the wind and dying far away. Then all was quiet.
I had no doubt in my mind that I had met a spirit restlessly wandering about the hills.
8.A Visit to a Zoo
The first animal I saw was a lion. As he stood with his head held up, with his long mane đov along his neck, and his tail swinging to and fro, he looked very grand and royal-really the Ki of Beasts, I also saw tigers, leopards, and panthers. Their sharp teeth and flashing eves set shiver through my body. The monkeys vere very funny. They played with one another and jumped from one branch of a tree to another. They took cakes and fruit from our hands. But one monkey was very bad-tempered Putting his hands out through the bars, he snatched the cap off the head of a poor villager, and tore it to pieces with his teeth. Then I saw a large pond with alligators, crocodiles and tortoises in it. I also saw red, green, blue and yellow fishes darting to and fro in the water. I was greatly delighted to see the birds. Some were big, others were small; they had various colours Their bright feathers charmed the eye. Their sweet notes pleased the car. Sparrows chirped; the other birds seemed to have a chorus, they filled the air with their merry notes. I was about to leave the zoo when I saw three peacocks dancing merrily in the garden nearby. With their long graceful necks, coloured crests and gorgeous plumes spread out in the shape of a fan, they were so pretty to look at. In the evening. I returned home, having spent a pleasant day at the zoo.
9.A Picnic You Enjoyed
Last Wednesday our Headmaster gave us a holiday because our school had shown brilliant results in the High School Examination. The day was cloudy and a pleasant breeze was blowing Peter Tom and I were thinking of visiting the zoo in the afternoon, when Ashok suggested that we should have a picnic by the river. All of us welcomed the idea. We went to the bazaar and bought some fruit, cakes and sweetmeats as well as some milk for tea. We set off on our bicycles in high spirits, cach carrying a basket. We took the main road. The green fields of wheat and other crops, waving in the breeze, stretched far away on either side Some farmers were seen cutting crops and binding them into sheaves. How delightful it was to get away from the noisy streets and the smoky town! At last we reached the river. The water flowed quietly. We came upon a grassy spot under a large banyan tree. We placed out baskets and kettles there, but we had hardly placed them there when one of the baskets rolled down the slope into the river. So we had to go without our sandwiches We were now hungry. Peter and I went to gather some dry sticks. Peter lit a fire and placed the kettle on it. But one of the bricks slipped. However, he soon lit the fire again and prepared tea for all of us. Rashid opened the baskets. O, what a delicious feast it was! I have never tasted one like that since. We had a hearty lunch of sweetmeats, pastry, cakes, tea, apples, bananas and oranges. We made merry for hours. We sang, danced, and narrated jokes. In the afternoon we hired a boat and started rowing downstream. Ashok and I took the oars. Tom was in a jolly mood. He began to sing songs and rock the boat about. All of a sudden, he fell into the water rolling over the side of the boat. The next minute we were all in the water, struggling for our very lives. Ashok and I could swim. But Tom was nowhere to be seen! We all wondered where he was. But just then, we saw his head rise above the surface of the water. We swam up to him, caught hold of his clothes before he went down again, and pulled him out safe to the shore. So it all ended well. Though frightened, we were hungry. We ate all the sweets and fruit that were left over. We returned home late in the evening. We were all thankful to God that the picnic had ended happily after all.
10.Your Favourite Hero in History: Ashoka
My favourite hero in history is Ashoka the Great Many kings have lived and died, nobody remembers them at all but Ashoka’s name will live forever. Ashoka was a kind ruler. All his life was spent in thinking about the welfare of his subjects. He himself attended to even the minutest details of his administration. His only desire was to make his subjects happy. His subjects could meet him at any time, and in any place, even his private place was open to them at all times. He had trees planted on either side f the roads, he had wells dug by the roadside; he had rest houses and hospitals built for both men and women as well as animals. He, therefore came to be known as Ashoka the Great. He was a wise and righteous ruler, and was truly the Father of his people. Ashoka waged only one war, and that too, early in his reign. He saw the horror of it, he vowed never to go to war again. He said, “I have seen the horror of victory: I shall not draw the sword again except to defend my country against an invasion. My old dreams are broken and dead, but today I begin a new dream. Instead of the fear of wars I will give my people safety: instead of war. I will give them peace.” And he kept his promise. His reign was a reign of peace. He gave his people lasting peace, and made such laws for them as were just, wise and fair. Ashoka became a Buddhist, and sent out bands of missionaries all over the country to preach Buddhism. He is famous for the pillars he set up in all parts of his kingdom, pillars inscribed with his edicts. His aim in life was to establish in the hearts of his people Dharma or Righteousness. The chief principles of this Dharma were reverence to superiors, kindness to all including animals, and truthfulness in thought, in word, and in deed. He banned the killing of animals altogether. either for sport or meat-eating. Ashoka was more of a saint than a ruler. He was saint because his main desire was to make his subjects virtuous, noble and wise. He cared for their souls as well as for their bodies. What greater tribute can free India pay to the memory of this great and good king than this. namely that the Indian National Flag bears upon it the Dharma Chakra of Ashoka’s Lion Capital at Sarnath and that the Government’s National Seal is also based on it!
11.The Rainy Season
In India, the rainy season begins in the month of June or July. From the middle of July to the end of September we have most of the rains. The monsoon winds blow from the south-west during July, August and September, and bring rains with them Before the monsoon breaks, it is very hot and dry. But when the rains start, cool breezes begin to blow. Dark clouds, heavy with rain, gather in the sky. The life-giving rain pours down. It thunders and it lightens. The winds blow stronger and stronger and the rains fall in torrents for hours together; the whole countryside looks like a lake. Rivers and streams are sometimes flooded. Cattle are swept away, houses fall down, and standing crops are destroyed. But if the rainfall is normal, it is a blessing for the farmers. They then plough their fields and sow the seeds. Within a short time the fields are covered with rich crops. It is the dullest part of the year so far as business goes. All business comes to a standstill when there is a heavy rainfall. The streets become muddy and the roads get slippery. All outdoor work is suspended. Houses and lanes are full of dirty smells. The roofs often begin to leak. Sometimes malaria breaks out and people are laid low with fever. Yet the season is not without its advantages. The temperature comes down. The air gets cool and pure. Corn, vegetables and other foodstuffs become cheap. The weather becomes pleasant and people work harder. The farmer expects a rich crop and is full of joy. The earth becomes wet and soft. The grass grows and the trees spread out their green branches. All are glad; for if the monsoon fails, famine follows.
12.A Cricket Match
The other day, I went to see a very fine cricket match between the Gymkhana Club and the North Zone. A large crowd had gathered to watch the match in the National Park. The captain of Gymkhana team won the toss; so the Gymkhana team went in first to bat and the North Zone team took the field. The two batsmen who went in first to bat, we soon saw, were not good players. One of them was bowled out very soon. The score then stood at only ten. The next player who went in to bat was very careful. He did not care much for runs. He simply ‘blocked’ most of the time. In this way he tired the bowlers out. The bowling was strong, but he played a steady game. He was not able to make even a single run for the first ten minutes. But the other player was a good bat. He hit the ball well and hard whenever he got it. But he soon paid for it. The bowler sent him a slow ball. He hit it hard and was caught out. The next four men played out very quickly-two were bowled out, the other two were caught out. The score stood at fifty. We thought that the Gymkhana team would soon be all out. However, their captain made a stand. With the help of his steady partner, he was able to pull up the score to eighty. He played very cautiously, but before he could make more runs, he was run out. The other player went down one after another before the fast bowling. The whole team was out for 95 runs. The North Zone team made rather a weak start. Their first wicket fell in about five minutes, when the score stood at only five. They lost courage when their second player followed at the next ball. However, their captain cheered them up. He played a steady game. He made runs and won the match.
13.A Village Fair
Madhopur was celebrating “Basant Panchmi,” the festival of spring. Villagers in hordes were turning up for the fair held in a great ‘maidan’ on the outkirts of the little village. They were walking, they were riding in bullockcarts, even on donkeys. Everyone seemed happy, women were singing and little children were dancing all the way. You passed the small mud huts, fields of yellow golden mustard fields, you passed the small stream to reach the fair ground. Everywhere there was a golden glow-yellow being the colour of spring. Men, women and children were dressed in yellow-yellow ‘pugrees’ yellow ‘Lehangas’, yellow bangles and of course the yellow marigolds. Remember, the brightest colour in nature is not red but yellow! As you closed in on the fair ground the noise was deafening-cries of sweetmeat sellers, the flower sellers, the merry-go-rounds with squealing children in it, the cries of people sitting in the giant wheels were ear shattering. If your mouth watered to see the multicoloured sweets-“Barfis’, “Halwas’, and of course the yellow ‘Jalebis’, your eyes were captured by the multicoloured balloons, the Gulmohars and Marigolds. You were fascinated by the juggler performing incredible feats. But the fair had another objective also, which was not so obvious. The villagers had come to sell and trade their products. In one corner you could see secret deals were being made for the sale of cattle. The entire transaction was being done under a sheet where parties bargained by holding fingers! Not a word was said aloud, only a nod or a jerk of the head. Village handicrafts were sold by women-bamboos woven into various shapes as baskets, little purses with mirrors, skirts woven at home, even bed covers with gay bold prints. For men there were ‘dhotis’, little mufflers, colourful kurtas. The most popular business was going at the bangle shops, full of ‘bindis’, tasseled strings to tie your hair (Parandas). There were spices of all kinds, household tools, and Indian scents (‘Itars”). Every shop was crowded, people jostling each other in a good humoured manner. The happiest were the children allowed to have their fill of toys, sweets and other gifts. Indeed a village fair is an event one should attend. It gives such a vivid picture of village life-her simple joys and crafts.
There is wise saw, “It is better to keep a second string to your bow.” I also personally fully agree with the view expressed in the saying. I do keep a second string to my bow. I am a college teacher but my avocation is writing. My vocation and my avocation supplement, they argument each other. Now that I am a very hard worker, I am proud of that, to me the term ‘over work is a misnomer for hard work. I believe that if your are tired, of doing one work, start doing another work. Change of work, diversion to another kind of work provides relief. The other work that we do to refresh ourselves, is called a hobby, and if fortunately that second, that other (type of) work happens to be the “second string to your bow,” nothing like that. That, particular hobby will put a new life into you, it will provide extra income plus enjoyment and this is the true purpose of a hobby. Hobbies are of two kinds : hobbies meant only for recreation and enjoyment such as boating, gardening, stamp collecting, painting, photography, hiking etc., and thus there is the other type of hobbies that is ‘paying type’ hobbies that combine in them the qualities of both reward and enjoyment, obviously the latter type are or at least should be, preferred to the former hobbies. The first mentioned hobbies are the luxuries of the rich who can afford to spend money on them. There is no limit to the number of hobbies that one can or should pursue, any one can have any number of hobbies, depending on the time at the disposal of the hobbyist and the other resources including the amount of money he can afford to spend on his hobbies. I pursue a few extra hobbies a part from writing (books). Though otherwise I am not a man of religion, I am never untrue to my diary. I enter faithfully, in my diary every thing of import that I see or do or that is done to me during the ‘past 24 hours. I do this last thing at night before going to bed. I am fond of photography also. I like photographing beautiful people, beautiful animals, beautiful plants and beautiful scenes. I am also fond of reading books. I am particularly interested in reading books and articles on science fiction, romantic and social novels, books on astronomy, and last but not the least, I like very much to read Juvenile (children) literature. When I read children’s books. I feel retransformed into a child and thus I re-live my childhood. I feel lightened and refreshed from the burdens and the sorrows and the cares of life….
India is a land of festivals. “Every day in India is a festival,” is not an overstatement, it is a fact. Every day, in some part of the country is a festival. Apart from that some national festivals, even some international festivals are observed in India with great excitement and enthusiasm. Diwali, Holi, Id, Dushehra…..are the national festivals and Christmas, Easter are international festivals. The Republic day and the Independence day are the ‘festivals’ that are observed and celebrated by every body, the Hindus, the Muslims, the Sikhs, the Christians and even the atheists………throughout India. These (last) two festivals are of course festivals, and of the national character. But here we shall speak of the DIWALI. The Diwali is the most famous festival in India although celebrated mostly by the Hindus, yet this festival is by no means a purely religious festival. Even Muslims and the Sikhs exchange greetings with their Hindu brethren on the eve of this festival. They give each other sweets and presents. On the eve of Id also the followers of other religious share the festivities along with their Muslim brethren. Diwali is also said to be celebrated in Indonesia (particularly in the predominately Hindu Island of Bali) and a few other countries where the traces of the Hindu culture still exist. Diwali is celebrated in the memory of Lord Rama’s return from the exile of fourteen years. He had been exiled by his father Dashratha, on the instigation of his wicked wife Kekai, who in turn had been incited to ask for the fulfilment of the two promises he had given her earlier, the first was giving the throne to Kekai’s son Bharat, and the other was that Rama, the eldest sons, would live in exile for fourteen years. The King Dashratha was so much grieved at that he was heart-broken and died because of the separation from his son, whom he loved dearly. Somehow or other, Lord Rama, Sita – his wife, and Lakshman – his brother passed the period of their exile. But during the fourteen years of exile, Sita was abducted by Ravana the king of Lanka. Ravana had carried away Sita to avenge the insult Lakshman had inflicted to his sister, Soorpenakha, by cutting off her nose. So far the reason, why Diwali is celebrated by the Hindus; now how this festival is celebrated. A few days before this great festival is due, people start making preparations, they get their houses white washed, bazars are decorated, as are the houses. Toys, the earthen ‘Diwali’ (an earthen model of a temple) and sweets are seen everywhere on the shops. Children enjoy themselves by playing fire works, and crackers. The shopkeepers start new accounts, the Hindu financial year starts on this day. Great harm is somehow caused on the Diwali day or night because many fires start, caused by the fire works and crackers. Some people are in the habit of gambling on the eve of Diwali, this is a very bad custom, this leads to the ruination of many houses at the cost of others. Those who lost their money) are deprived of the enjoyment of the festival and those who win do not enjoy much, because they are squandering money. Some funny people are in the funny habit of keeping all the door of their houses burning or switched on; they say Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, will come to their house to bless them and they will become rich. This is very funny habit because whereas it is very uncertain, if the goddess will come or not, the visit of the thieves and/or buglars is more probable. If these wrong practices are avoided, the Diwali, which comes in the month of October or November, on the ‘Amavasya’ (moonless night) will be more enjoyable and more enchanting. Let us observe this festival as national festival, by the people of all religions, let us make it a source of joy to all.
16.The Person I Hate Most
Hate is not my cult, though I hate to hate, yet as a human being I am liable to all the short-comings that all the human beings are prone to. However, I am proud that of all the sentiments of the mind, hate effects me the least. I have to look about very hard to see whom I hate and hate most. At last my ‘choice’ falls upon Mr. Ghrina Prashad ‘Nafrat am sorry to own (admit) that I hate Mr. Ghrina Prashad ‘Nafrat’ and I hate him the most, more than it lies in my power to hate and more than I could hate anybody. I say with all the emphasis at my command that it is with great effort that I bring into operation the sentiment the mechanic of hatred, much against my nature and temperament. Mr. G.P. Nafrat is a first class liar, a petty thief, a light fingered person, a ‘sound box’ ( a talking machine). He washes his dirty linen in public. He goes about carrying tales, most of which are “Cock’n bull” stories, the most incredible type. He has a dirty tongue, all the time he is calling names. He is swearing uttering ‘by-father’, ‘by you’, ‘on my honour’, ‘by God’..and what not, while all the time he knows he is telling a lie. A promise breaker, he is always inciting people to fight on trifles however petty the pretext might be. He is always poking his nose in other’s affairs. He is always an ‘uninvited guest at every party or function everywhere. He is very particular about ‘presenting’ himself at the maximum number of ‘eating function’, the feasts, he is a horrible eater, he eats like a bull, he grazes instead of eating. He is very short tempered, boils at the lowest temperature. When two persons are talking he must cut in. He must read as many ‘private letters from as many persons to as many persons as he can. Mr. Ghrina Prashad ‘Nafrat’ always stabs in the back, and hits below the belt, and ‘bites’ at the backs of people. He speaks so loudly that even when he is talking in his most ‘ordinary’ mood, he appears to be fighting. Mr. ‘Nafrať is a pretender to learning, knowing nothing about anything, but always making a show of his learning. He has notion that he is a man of great ability. He is great tell-tale. He is also a ‘peeping tom.’ Dis-sheviled hair, shabby dress, clumsy gait and a burly constitution comprise his personality, ‘his heaviness.’ Mr. Nafrat is always belching like a pig. He would not miss a single opportunity to make mischief. He is good for nothing fellow, very careless about whatever he says, or about the manner in which he gazes at people. Shri Ghrina Prashad ‘Nafrat’ finds it almost impossible to stick to a place or a profession. He is always making others ‘bore.’ Believing in nothing but himself, he is easily angered when people do not believe (in) his headless and tailless tales, his incredible yarns. Mr.Nafrat comes of a well-to-do family but he is a virtual bankrupt so far as good manners and toleration are concerned. No one can convince him of his follies. He is third class matriculate but he cannot produce a certificate but he cannot produce a certificate even to prove his ‘Third Class Matriculation ship.’ He has hung up a name plate on his house door, reading: P. ‘NAGRAT’, M.A. (B.Uf) : M.E. The initials of the ‘degrees’ stand for ‘Metric appeared but unfortunately failed. Master of Everything’. If people laugh at his ‘big’ degree, he shares the laugh and laughs at himself. If anybody paid him some money by way of bribe for bullying someone, he would most readily do it. To his credit, one day he actually stabbed a person for which purpose he was paid five hundred rupees. This act of ‘capable homicide’ landed him into jail, but as the man had not died, the accused Mr. Nafrat, was awarded only three years rigorous imprisonment. When he was released on the expiry of the term of imprisonment, he used to relate to people the story of his act and of chivalry, with pride. He even pretends to be doctor and administers whatever ‘medicine’ he can lay his hand upon, to his ‘patients’ One day he almost killed a gentleman, by giving him an overdose of MADRIBON, ‘six tablets, three times a day’ The ‘patient’ had slept for six days at a stretch, only a doctor woke him up with great difficulty. Mr. Nafrat is a sadist of worst type, he enjoys inflicting pain on others, mental pain or physical pain. He is a lost young man attaching the least importance to character which he calls the dope of on ailing minds’. He smiles only at the sight of suffering (mental or physical) human or animal. He is rude and disrespectful to elders, and inconsiderate to all, he is even cruel to children, his jokes are cruel. Mr. Nafrat is even a traitor. He is a blasphemous person. In spite of my policy of not hating any body, I am sorry I cannot help hating Mr. Nafrat, I hate him like poison.
17.What We Expect of Our Elders
Laws of nature are superior to the laws framed by man because laws of nature are inviolable, they cannot be disobeed, they are constant, unchangeable, ever true, eternal, today as they have been from times immemorial. One of the innumerable laws of nature is that the children do not generally repay or even reciprocate the love they get from their parents. Exceptions are always there but they are no bulkier than a mole hill whereas the love showered by parents on their children is mountainous, huge, enormous. But does love go waste? No. Love is indestructible. Through the medium of our children it passes to our children’s children. When our children become parents themselves they (re) shower all the love and affection they got from their own parents. That is the law of nature, the violation of which nature does not tolerate. Now leaving the “love” business to itself, we pass on to the factor that is: “what do we expect from our elders?” This is the only question which can be called relevant because it is only the Youngers who can expect anything from (their) elders, and the question of expecting anything by their elders is meaningless. They should cherish no expectations from youngers-except discipline and obedience which is again hoping against hope. The younger generation is rebellious. Another thing, elders are always elders till they are alive, in case of their kicking the bucket the eldership passes on to their immediate youngers, in that case they become elders. If I am 60 and my father is 80 healthy and good, he is my elder as I am elder to my youngers. My father and mother, to them I am and will always be their son, their younger. I expect from them that they should always look to my needs, and as far as their health and strength permits, they should provide all that I want. If they have nothing left to give me except LOVE I would expect LOVE which I ever need to shower on my children. When my elders have done all they could for me and are now unable to do more. I expect their blessings, and of course more and more love which they will surely give me as long as they live and from the next world when they are sent thither by Providence. Leaving the very few isolated instances of Patari-matri-;filli-; fratri-; etc. Cides that occur very rarely and are of course ignoble to the extreme, parents are never tired of showering their wealth of love on their children-their stock of love is inexhaustible-this love I expect from them and they will never day me this right. They will ever and ever give me LOVE which is the only thing I want from them, I expect from them. There is another reason for this. This commodity-LOVE-is not available anywhere, expect from the kindly eyes and kindlier hearts which are over-flowing with love a thing which all the wealth in the world can buy. I expect LOVE from my elders
18.Union is Strength
One of Aesop’s Fables tells a story of an old man who was troubled because his sons were always quarrelling. He was afraid that the family would be quite broken up when he died. So one day he called his sons together, and showed them a bundle of sticks, and asked them to break them for him. They tried in turn, but though they were strong, all of them failed. Then he untied the bundle and told them to break each stick by itself. This they did easily. In this way he taught them that union is strength. If they held together as one family, they would be strong: but if they quarrelled and separated, they would be weak.
Take a football or hockey team. If the members of the team play together and help each other, they will form a strong team. But if they are split up into parties, when they play in a match some will play badly or lazily, because they are jealous of the others, and the team will lose the match.
The same is true in war. A large army, whose officers hate each other and do not work together, has been beaten by a smaller united army. That is why the great French general, Napoleon, used to say, “Divide and Conquer” He won some of his great victories by attacking one of his enemies when alone before the others could come up to help; or he would weaken a whole nation by dividing it up into quarrelling parties.
A united nation, a united family, a united society of any kind, is strong. United they stand, divided they fall. Their motto must be, “One heart, one way.”
19.The Taj Mahal
I shall never forget my first sight of the Taj Mahal, in Agra. I had heard much about its beauty, and had read of how the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, to his great sorrow at the loss of his wife Mumtaz, and as a token of his great love for her had at enormous cost, built for her this wonderful and world-famous tomb. It is said that it took twenty years to build, and that twenty thousand men were employed at one time on the work So when my father took me with him on a visit to Agra, I was very happy, because I knew I would see wonderful building.
It was in the evening, just before the sunset, that I first saw it. We went into the beautiful peaceful garden, with its straight walks, tall dark cypress trees, smooth green lawns, beds of glowing flowers, and its flashing fountains, and there rose up before us this wonder of the world. It is all of white marble – a splendid white dome rising up in the midst, with four tall slender white marble minarets around it, one at each corner of the platform on which the great tomb stands At a little distance, the Taj Mahal looks small and delicate, like a fairy palace; but as we get nearer, we see how large and stately it really is. When we went up the marble steps, and stood close to it the dome seemed to soar high up into the blue sky and the clouds, now red and gold with sunset light.
It stands on the bank of the river Yamuna, the waters of which were all gold in the sunset and made the building look more beautiful than ever. We went inside and saw the marble tomb within, all decorated with precious stones, and the beautiful screens of carved marble that looked like delicate jeweller’s work in silver. And there we thought of the well-beloved queen whose body lies below and the great love of the king who had lavished his wealth in putting up this lovely memorial to her.
That evening I persuaded my father to take me again to see the Taj, and we saw it in the light of the full moon – a wonderful sight. It looked like a building of pearl or a palace made of silver; or, so bright and tender it might have been made of white clouds. The gleaming white marble, the black shadows, the dim light the silence, and the sweet scented gardens, all made it a sight never to be forgotten.
Have a look at the newspaper and you will find a lot of space devoted to advertisements. Watch TV or use the Internet for a few minutes and you will see several things advertised. Advertising has become a great social and economic force.
Advertising is the life of trade. It is essential for a business to advertise their products. Even old, well-established firms keep on advertising. In these days of keen business competition, it is the firm that shouts the loudest that attracts attention and draws customers. So advertisements appear on hoardings and fill the newspapers. Many business companies spend large amounts of money for advertisements on the radio and TV by sponsoring plays, films, sporting events, etc. Some firms float colourful balloons carrying the name of the product they want to sell. Another common form of advertising is sampling. A food manufacturer may introduce a new brand by offering free samples in stores or through door-to-door agents.
The first use of advertising is that it brings in profits to traders. It is also of great use to the public. The mass of the public would be ignorant of even the existence of many good things unless they were advertised. People who need certain things can learn from advertisements where and how to get them. Advertisements save a lot of time and trouble by putting sellers in touch with buyers in a quick and simple way.
Some advertisements make journals available at low prices. The money paid by advertisers for inserting their advertisements forms the largest part of the publishers’ profits. Many small newspapers owe their existence to such income. Radio and television, too, are largely supported by advertising.
But advertising has its abuses. Advertising often persuades people to indulge in extravagance. What is more, many advertisements have a tendency to deceive the public by falsifying the quality of inferior articles. Consumers should guard themselves against such frauds and gross exaggerations.
While some advertisements introduce the public to useful scientific discoveries and teach hygiene, some others stir up senseless fears of disease and induce people to use worthless and often dangerous drugs. The medical profession has to issue warnings against widely advertised preparations for self-treatment without prescription.
To sum up, advertising is a very rewarding device to traders and would be equally beneficial to consumers if founded on ethical standards.
21.My Best Friend
I still do not know why Balu is my best friend, We are two poles apart in looks, habits and temperament. Balu is tall, lanky with sharp features. I am short, round and with spectacles and a chubby face. Balu is a keen sportsman and I am studious. Balu is never serious and I am serious about everything. Inspite of all these differences we love each other and are always together much to the surprise of the whole class.
One thing which makes Balu so lovable is that he never hurts anyone. I have never heard him make a nasty comment about anyone whether a classmate or a teacher. He seems to find something good in everyone. He doesn’t have a jealous bone in his body and is very generous with his possessions. Even the severest teacher will find a word of praise from him. “He is not cruel, he only wants us to learn Maths properly,” he will say in defence of the teacher, even after getting punished for not doing the sums properly!
He has never made fun of me for not being able to take part in games. He is always encouraging me and because of him I have taken to playing chess seriously. He is the captain of the Middle School Cricket Team and Football Team.
How he loves practical jokes! And the strange thing is that even the teachers seem to enjoy them. One day, a teacher who uses reading glasses, left hers on the table and turned to write on the blackboard. When she finished writing, she picked up her glasses and started to read. To her horror, she couldn’t see a word in the book! She started rubbing her glasses with her handkerchief, put them on again, but to her consternation couldn’t see a thing again! She look off the glasses to take a close look and relized they were not hers. Balu had taken her glasses from the table, he was sitting with them on his nose! The teacher joined the class in the roar of laughter which followed her discovery.
21.The Prize Day at Your School
Our annual prize distribution took place yesterday afternoon. The function was held under a beautiful shamiana in the compound, as the school hall was not big enough to hold both the students and the visitors. It was beautifully decorated with flags, mottoes, potplants, and photos. A large platform had been put up and on this were the tables covered with prizes and chairs for the Governor and the high officials of the district. There were chairs for the guests, while we sat on the benches.
We were all in our seats at 4.30 p.m. The Governor arrived exactly at 5 p.m. He was received at the gate by the Principal and the President of the Governing Body and was profusely garlanded. When he entered the shamiana, we all stood up and cheered while the girls of our school sang Bande Mataram. After that, several boys recited poems or sang patriotic songs, and then came a play ‘The Rani of Jhansi”, staged by some of the tenth class students. The play went off well and the Governor seemed to like it very much. When this was over, the Principal came on the stage and read out the annual report. It was rather dull and nobody cared much for it, but the Governor seemed to be interested in it for he listened to it with rapt attention.
After the report had been read the Principal requested the Governor to give away the prizes. The Vice-Principal now came forward and called out the names of the prize-winner who walked up to the stage one by one to receive the prizes.
After the prizes had been given away, the Governor made a short speech. He praised the school for its achievements in sports and studies during the year. He also congratulated the Principal and the staff on the brilliant results the school had shown in the All-India Higher Secondary Examination and the Nehru Shield the school had won in sports.
When the Governor sat down, the Principal thanked him for his presiding over the function and called for three cheers which we gave very heartily. Then the Governor left and we were given a holiday in honour of his visit to our school.
Independence Day is one of the National Festival of India. It is celebrated on August 15. because on this day we got freedom from the British rule. On this day, the Prime Minister of India unfurls the national flag on the Red Fort. He also addresses the nation on this great historic date.
On this day, the Prime Minister reminds the people about the great sacrifices made by leaders of India to achieve independence for the country. Thus he emphasises the importance of national unity and integrity of India. He also analyses the achievements of his government and what it proposes to do in future.
Independence Day is celebrated in every village, town, city, school and college in India. It is also celebrated in Indian embassies and high commissions in foreign countries. Every state’s capital celebrates the day where the Governor or some other state dignitary unfurls the National Flag and takes the salute. In the evening. Kavi Sammelans, Music Concerts and enactment of plays are organised in the capital and at many other places.
Children also enjoy this day. On this day, all schools, offices, colleges, banks, etc. remain closed. Many people go for a picnic, movie, organise family get together, etc Everywhere there is an atmosphere of happiness and achievement. Children and adults fly kites on the Independence Day. Multicoloured (Tri colour) balloons are also released into the sky.
It is a festival of joy when people are full of high spirits. But we should not forget those noble souls who laid down their lives to give us this precious freedom.
23.The Day I Saved a Pickpocket’s Life
Last Sunday began like any other. A couple of hours after breakfast, I decided to go for a swim at the nearest swimming pool. The pool is only a short bus ride away from my home. I boarded a bus and got a seat by the window as it was not too crowded. I plugged in my earphones and was soon lost to the latest pop tunes. I looked out of the windows taking in familiar scenes. I was busy admiring the lush, post-monsoon greenery of my part of the town, when suddenly through my earphones I heard a loud commotion behind me.
I was about to look when the bus braked harshly and screeched to a halt. I recovered my balance and turned around. I saw a lady clutching her purse with a very offended look and the bus conductor holding a thin man who looked very scared. A crowd began to form around them and I joined them. The lady was shouting now. You won’t even let us travel in a bus on a Sunday morning in peace. All thieves belong in jail,’ she was saying. It became clear that the man detained by the conductor had tried to lift the purse out of the lady’s bag. Thankfully, the conductor spotted him in the act and nabbed him before he could do the deed.
Other passengers, particularly men, also felt it was time to step in. One moustachioed man declared, “Everybody should check their belongings. Is anything missing?’ This led to a flurry of opening of bags and patting of pockets. I looked at the man. Tears were streaming down his face. He was wearing a threadbare shirt and a faded pair of trousers. Taking a close look at him, I realised he must be very young, barely out of his teens. Despite his actions I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. Meanwhile, things were getting very heated. The man with the moustache shouted, ‘Why did you do it? Tell us. Why?’ The pickpocket could barely speak. He started stammering, at which the man slapped him. Others also looked ready to express their anger by punching the one wrongdoer they had managed to catch.
I didn’t want to watch. I had a sick feeling in my stomach. No matter what he had done, wasn’t it better to let the law take its course instead of beating him black and blue? Besides, he could hardly have been a habitual criminal if he thought it was a good idea to rob a lady in broad daylight in a bus that wasn’t even crowded. In my mind I decided he must have a strong reason, like hungry brothers and sisters at home, to have done it. Suddenly I remembered that I could actually intervene. There had been a presentation in my school a month ago which taught us how to reach the police in case of an emergency. I quickly took out my phone and dialled 100. When the operator picked up, I quickly explained the situation. Within another five minutes we could hear the blaring sirens of the police cars. I heaved a sigh of relief as uniformed police officers boarded the bus. They gave a lecture to the people manhandling the pickpocket about taking the law into their own hands. The inspector said, “You can be put in jail for this kind of behaviour. You cannot beat anyone up. She was looking at the loud man with the moustache. I was happy to see he was suitably embarrassed and even seemed a little ashamed of himself.
24.An Evening at a Railway Station
As the 5 p.m. local train chugged into the station, there was a lot of commotion on the platforms. Those who wanted to board the train-mostly people who work in the metropolis but live in the suburbs-got up from their seats and lined up along the platform. The women, in bright colourful sarees and the occasional kurtas, lined up in the front because the first compartment is reserved for them. Hawkers with various wares jumped down from the opposite platform and daringly ran across the lines.
The train only stops for a few minutes. As it slowed to a halt, there was much pushing and shoving as commuters struggled to get off and others were equally determined to get on and grab the vacated seats. Those who lost this jostling match and got on the train after everyone else resigned themselves to standing. Most positioned themselves near the gates where they had a chance of catching a respite from the sweltering heat.
Food sellers and beggars started going from one window to the next. The food sellers had their distinctive calls to advertise their wares. The tea seller shouted out his distinctive cry of ‘chai garam’ in a high-pitched voice. The samosa seller called out to people to sample his mouth watering snack in a deep voice. The roasted peanut seller made a din by banging a spoon against a metal utensil holding his goods. The beggars, mostly children cradling infants, plied their trade by looking sorry and holding up their palms in an earnest manner. Most felt sorry for their dirt streaked faces and torn clothes. Some gave money while others looked away, betraying their discomfort.
A lady by a window bought a packet of candies and gave it to one of the beggars, a small girl. Her face lit up as she stuffed one in her mouth and offered one to her infant brother. Even as the younger child was inspecting the candy, a gaggle of their friends surrounded them. One of them, a boy taller than the others seemed to be the gang leader. ‘Give us the candies,’ he demanded. The girl was loud in her protests ‘It’s mine. I got it. Why don’t you get yours?’ She started to walk away tossing her hair back in a huff. The boy couldn’t help teasing her to cover up his embarrassment for losing to a younger child and pulled her plait. She immediately turned around with murder in her eyes. She slowly put her baby brother on the ground and stood with her hand on the hips. The boy who teased her made a face to display mock fear but didn’t dare to do anything else. After staring him down for a good thirty seconds, the girl went her way, making quite a show of stuffing her face full of the sticky candies.
While this scene was being played out, the train suddenly gave a shrill whistle and slowly began to pull away. The sound woke a man who was fast asleep on a bench on the platform. He woke up with a start and cursed seeing the train had pulled away. The small snack and tea stall, meanwhile, was making brisk business selling tea and pakoras. A few dogs hung around the shops, hopefully wagging their tails in front of the tea-drinkers. Occasionally, a kind person would give them a biscuit or two. Gradually, the stationed emptied out as evening fell. The lights came on one by one. A long goods train passed by slowly. The chaiwala was preparing to close shop. He gave a sharp whistle and poured some watery milk into a bowl. A dog with a collar came running clearly she was his favourite. The dog lapped up the milk noisily. Only a few people were moving about in the station now. The dogs had gone back to sleep here and there. It was the end of another busy day at the station.
25.The Autobiography of a Magic Wand
I remember the moment when I first realised that I was alive. I was lying in the hands of an old man with silvery hair and twinkling eyes. We’ll expect great He was smiling, triumphant. He spoke to me, ‘ things from you. Your brother is out in the world creating trouble. But nonetheless he is very powerful. The way he said it made me anxious, but curious too. Then Mr Nikolai, as my creator is known and I later found out, shut me inside a box. You see, I am a rare, handcrafted, Nikolai magic wand-one of the best in the world, even if say so myself.
For years and years, it was just dust and darkness. Then one day, the lid was taken off my box. I was dazzled by the light. I felt my maker’s hand reaching out for me. Mr Nikolai was talking. ‘Perhaps, young Master Xavier should try this,’ he said. could see an extremely handsome young boy standing across the counter from me. He was accompanied by a woman, probably his mother. She would have been beautiful too but for her haughty expression.
I was transferred to the smaller palms of the young boy. I was so excited, was he going to be my master? Horace, as the boy was called, swiped at the air with me. ‘I feel nothing,’ he exclaimed. Nor do I, I privately thought I felt crushed by disappointment, readers, I cannot lie. But deep in my core I was aware of the ancient wandlore the wand chooses the wizard/witch and not the other way round. My day would come too, I consoled myself.
Over the years, many eleven-year-old witches and wizards held me in their hand. There were nervous and sweaty palms, as well as cool and confident ones. learnt to recognise those who outwardly looked sure of themselves, but were weak-hearted inside. I wanted to be owned by none of them. Sometimes I would feel worried: would I survive the long waiting time, if my master was to come only in the distant future? I waited Wands are nothing if not patient.
One day I heard a great commotion in the shop: Mr Nikolai was pulling out boxes all around me. The voices were muffled, so I could not make out what he was saying. What was going on, I wondered. Suddenly in a flash of light I was revealed from my dark resting place. Try this, then,’ said Mr Nikolai and handed me to a short and thin boy. As I came level with his face, I saw his brilliant green eyes behind a taped pair of spectacles. I immediately felt a connection. There were scores of wands scattered all over the counter top. We were both having difficulty finding our magical match. Could he be the one? The boy seemed troubled, hesitant even. Rejection from the wands had shaken his confidence. But I could sense courage and determination in those eyes. He gripped me lightly in his hand. I immediately felt it-a warm, happy feeling running through me. I knew he felt it too as he gripped me tightly and confidently slashed through the air. If I were a human being, I would have whooped with joy. But being a wand, I did the wand-equivalent of it: I showered the air with sparkling golden stars. This was the beginning of a great adventure, I was certain, and boy, was I right!
26.More Freedom for Greater Responsibility
Parents and teachers are always complaining about how irresponsible young people are these days. At the same time teenagers strain against restrictions imposed on them. While parents fear that teenagers, if given freedom, will misuse it, we feel frustrated that we need to be bound by so many rules. Perhaps the solution lies somewhere in between.
We wish parents and teachers started trusting our judgement more. As teenagers, we should not be protected from the harsh realities of the world. There are so many people of our age who are forced to fend for themselves. While we are fortunate to have a more sheltered life, we should also be given the freedom to understand the adult world and what it expects of us. It is also time grown-ups realised that having fun is not necessarily a bad thing. Going to watch a film with friends one evening or a day spent reading a book instead of studying will not result in any great harm, but wil definitely help us in the long run by opening our minds to the larger world. It would be helpful if young people are taught to understand their limits, or how much of something is good for us.
Adoloscence is also a time in our lives when we start developing our own outlook about things around us. We become closer to friends and people nearer our age. Adults should encourage these firm friendships instead of worrying about how distant we are from them.
To instil greater understanding of what freedom means, parents should perhaps also allow teenagers to take up small jobs, which is common in many countries. This would be better than restricting them to a monthly allowance. A job teaches us responsibility about spending and saving money-a life skill that everyone needs. Rather than scolding us for the occasional extravagance, it would be more useful if we were made responsible for managing our own expenses, especially for activities such as buying the latest comics or sharing a pizza with friends.
We might slip up and make mistakes. But to err is human. We all make mistakes. We should be given the opportunity to learn from our failures and take responsibility for them instead of being taken to task.
It is important to point out, though however, that there should be checks and balances to freedom. Freedom without restriction can also have serious consequences. Who hasn’t heard of promising youth going astray, including losing focus on studies? At the same time, we should remember that giving freedom does not mean removing the safety net to catch someone if they slip up. A lot of teenage offenders have slipped through social nets and have had no one to watch out for them. Overall, it may be better to give teenagers more freedom, but with limits, to help them blossom into more responsible adults.
27.A Village Fair
My grandparents live in a village far away from the city we live in. A big fair has been held every year in their village for the past one hundred years. Every year on the day of the full moon, in the month of November, the fair begins. It goes on for about two weeks. Though it is organized in the village by a special organizing committee, the fair belongs to everyone in the village. Everyone in the village looks forward to this annual celebration of harmony and togetherness.
There is a ground at the centre of the village, earmarked as the site for the fair. Hundreds of craftsmen from different places come to this small town with their best wares to display and sell at the fair. There is a special entertainment corner. This corner has circus shows, giant wheels, a death well, magic shows and musical performances. This corner is the centre of attraction not only for children, but also for adults. A long queue seems to be a constant scene outside the tent of the circus company. All the shows are houseful. People of the village do their shopping for the household for the entire year from this fair.
There are shops for utility items such as furniture, upholstery, utensils, decorative items, plants, clothing, handicrafts and so on. The fair is also very important for the economy of the village. The village carpenters, blacksmiths, potters and craftsmen make special items especially for this fair. The decorators and caterers do good business during the fair. The whole village turns into a big market during these few days.
The fair also offers an opportunity for relatives living outside the village to visit. It is a time for family get-togethers for the village members. The fair unites people of different cultures, castes and communities on the one hand, while recognizing their differences on the other. The presence of the fair makes people forget their day-to-day mundane problems and worries, and celebrate life itself. The fair upholds the spirit of our country which is diverse, peace-loving and harmonious.
The issue of growing environmental pollution should be considered as one of grave importance. The environment comprises the air we breathe, the water we drink, the trees and plants that bear food for us and the animal kingdom. All of these together form the circle of life on earth.
Pollution is a process by which the natural elements of the earth are negatively affected, causing harm and damage to this circle of life. There are various components that cause pollution and these may be categorized according to the element they affect. Thus, we have air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, sound pollution, etc.
Civilization of mankind has played a silent role in environmental pollution over the years. Growth in population has led to the greater use of the natural resources that the environment provides. Human intelligence uses technology to achieve greater benefits from minimum resources, resulting in fast depletion of certain elements. For example, excessive use of fertilizers to maximize yields damages the soil and enough time is not given for the land to regenerate in the natural process. To grow more crops and to acquire space for human settlement for the growing population, forests are cut thoughtlessly. Indiscriminate felling of trees to generate forest produce, mainly wood, has led to the decrease in the
percentage of forest coverage of the earth. This has led to grave and life-threatening problems for mankind.
Air pollution is a major undesired effect of the misuse of technology and natural resources. The harmful, poisonous and noxious gases that are released from the multitudes of machines and factories have led to the greenhouse effect. The hydrofluorocarbons released from various kinds of machinery with poor technology have affected the upper layers of the atmosphere and have caused holes to appear in the ozone layer, rendering us vulnerable to the harmful rays of the sun.
A high concentration of carbon dioxide and other harmful soluble gases also causes acid rain. Unplanned drainage and disposal of waste matter from factories is a major source of water pollution. amination of rivers has led to ecological imbalance. Similarly, oil spills int the oceans and seas have adversely affected the marine life.
Aggressive human development has also led to the extinction of several plant and animal species, such as the Caspian tiger and many others. Pollution of the environment is a major source of diseases that reduces the standard of life. This applies to both the flora and fauna of the earth, including mankind.
However, mankind has woken up to the realities of the effects of environmental pollution. The leaders of all the nations of the world have come together to combat the progressive destruction of the earth. Several steps have been taken by various international and national organizations to check the various kinds of environmental pollution. Awareness of the hazards of environmental pollution is of the utmost necessity. The future of the earth is in the hands of every individual and it is our duty to make conscientious efforts to protect Mother Earth and to make this world a better place to live in.