Q. The article has been titled “Silk Road”.
Ans. The whole article gives the account of the Silk Road. It begins with the beginning of the journey along the Silk Road and ends on it. So, the article has been titled “Silk road”.
Q. Tibetan mastiffs were popular in China’s imperial courts.
Ans. The Tibetan mastiffs were very ferocious and powerful guards. They were brought to Chinese imperial court as hunting dogs and were considered as a tribute from Tibet. So, they were popular there.
Q. The author’s experience at Hor was in stark contrast to earlier accounts of the place.
Ans. The author had heard about the experience of Japanese monk who was so moved by the sanctity of the lake Mansarovar that he burst into tears. But author was disappointed when he himself visited Hor. It was a grim and miserable place. There was no vegetation. There were only dust and rocks. The town was on the banks of holy lake which was affected badly by the garbage of the town.
Q. The author was disappointed with Darchen.
Ans. The author had heard that the town was bustling with visitors in the pilgrimage season. The author was there at the beginning of the season. But he was disappointed to find that there were no visitors. He had come early.
Q. The author thought that his positive thinking strategy worked well after all.
Ans. The author had positive thinking. He wanted the co-operation of the other pilgrims. He said that they could be a team. Then they became friends. This seemed to be working when he met Norbu because the two together could plan the Kora.
Q. The purpose of the author’s journey to Mount Kailash.
Ans. The purpose of the author’s journey to Mount Kailas was to do the Kora. ‘ Kora is a religious act done by the devout Hindus and the Buddhists. And he had heard a lot about the lake Mansarovar. He wanted to see the snow capped Himalayas. Tibetan culture and people and had written a book based on the experiences of his journey.
Q. The author’s physical condition in Darchen.
Ans. Darchen is located at the altitude of 4760 metres from the sea level. The author felt it difficult to breathe due to lack of oxygen. His condition deteriorated. He was taken to Darchen medical college next morning.
Q. The author’s meeting with Norbu.
Ans. The author was mentally much troubled when he met Norbu. He was pondering his options over a glass of tea in Darchen’s only cafe. His self-help programme on positive thinking was also not very helpful. It was then Norbu come to him. He was a Tibetan who, like the author, was there to do Kora. Getting a companion for the journey gave the author his much needed positivity.
Q. Tsetan’s support to the author during the journey.
Ans. Tsetan was a great support to the author. The difficult, car journey could not have been possible without him. At Darchen, he took the sick author to Darchen Medical College where he was given medicines. These medicines restored his health. Without his help the author could not have visited the Kailash.
Q. “As a Buddhist, he told me, he knew that it didn’t really matter, if I passed away but he thought it would be bad for business.”
Ans. These apparently cruel comments by Tsetan are not at all cruel from the Buddhist point of view. Buddha says that life is full of sorrow and so one should not worry much about death. However, Tsetan was a taxi driver too. It would not help if any one who travelled by his car dies soon after the journey. He therefore, says that the author’s death would be bad for business.
Q. The sensitive behaviour of hill folk who live a different kind lifestyle than people who live in urban areas.
Ans. The life of the people on the hills is in many ways different from those who live in urban areas. The life is very hard on the hills. On the high hills, there is not much vegetation as is the case of Hor and Darchen. The main occupation of the people on the hills is tending their flocks. The sheep and goats supply their demands for cloth and food. The life on the hills is comparatively lonely. It will, however, be wrong to suggest that these people are more miserable, or sorrowful. It is human nature to adopt itself according to the circumstances. These people seem to be happy even in their hard life. They are very sensitive people and are always willing to help others. Thus, the poor Lhamo gave the author a long-sleeved sheepskin coat when she found that he did not have enough warm clothing for the cold at the high mountains.
Q. The reasons why people willingly undergo the travails of difficult journeys.
Ans. Many people willingly undergo the travails of difficult journeys. The people would over do it mainly for their love of adventure. In India such journeys are generally taken for some religious purpose. The desire to do something unusual makes many young men take these journeys across the globe. It has been so since time immemorial. That was how many hidden parts of the earth were discovered. Again that was how new routes from one country to the other were discovered. In India, some of the pilgrim centres are located at places where it is not easy to reach. Yet, people go to them in large numbers because doing so is considered as a religious act.
Q. The accounts of exotic places in legends and books and reality.
Ans. The accounts of exotic place in legends and books and the reality are often very different. It is so for more than one reason. First, we differ in our sensibilities. In other words, everyone does not have the same capacity for intellectual and aesthetic discrimination. As a result of this, a scene of Manasarovar may create different responses in different minds. For the devout Hindus and Buddhists, the beauty of the place is beyond description. The second point is equally important. When a writer writes about a place, he tries to paint a word picture. The pictures are always more interesting than the reality. Most of the people who have visited America are, no doubt, impressed by it. However, they are often found saying that they did not see as wonderful a country as the stories had described to them. Legends always exaggerate. Very often they add magical quality to a place of religious importance. Naturally, these things are far from reality. So, the accounts of exotic places in legends and books are not the same as reality.
Q. The narrative has many phrases to describe the scenic beauty of the mountain side, like: A flawless half-moon floated in a perfect blue sky. Scan the text to locate other such picturesque phrases.
- Vast open plains with nothing in them except a few gazelles.
- Plumes of dust billowed into the crisp, clean air.
- We could see snow-capped mountains gathering on the horizon.
- The plateau is pockmarked with salt flats and brackish lakes.
Q. Explain the use of the adjectives used in the following:
- shaggy monsters
- hairpin bend
- brackish lakes
- rudimentary general stores
- rickety table
- ‘Shaggy’ means with large untidy hair.
- ‘Hairpin’, as an adjective means, ‘very narrow’ and ‘sharp’.
- ‘Brackish’ means saltish or briny.
- ‘Rudimentary’ in this context means ‘things of basic needs’.
- ‘Rickety’ means very old and weak.