Unseen Passage: Long Summer Breaks

Do children really need such long summer breaks, was a question posed by some experts recently. Apparently, such a long break disrupts their development and comes in the way of their learning process. Let’s get the takes back to their books, is perhaps the expert view, if not in so many words. One would have thought the children are doing too much during their vacations and not too little, given the plethora of course, classes, camps and workshop involving swimming, art, personality
development, music, computers and the like that seem to cram their calendar. Even the trips taken in the name of holidays seem laden with exotic destinations and customised experience packed into a short period of time. We can do Europe in 10 days and Australia in a week and come back armed with digital memories and overflowing suitcase. Holidays are in some ways, no longer a break but an intensified search for experience not normally encountered in everyday life.

It is a far cry from summer holidays on experienced growing up. For holidays every year meant one thing and one thing alone—you went back to your native place, logging in with emotional headquarters of your extended family and spent two months with a gaggle of uncles, aunts and first and second cousins. The happiest memories of the childhood of a whole generation seem to be centered around this annual ritual of homecoming and of affirmation. We tendered tacit apologies for the separateness entailed in being individuals even as we scurried back into the cauldron of community and continuity represented by family. Summer vacation was a time sticky with oneness, as who we were and what we owned oozed out from our individual selves into a collective pot.

Summer was not really a break, but a joint. It was the bridge used to re-affirm one’s connectedness with one’s larger community. One did not travel, one returned. It was not an attempt to experience the new and the extraordinary but one that emphatically underlined the power of the old and the ordinary. As times change, what we seek from our summer breaks too has changed in fundamental ways. Today we are attached much more to the work and summer helps us temporarily detach from this new source of identity. We refuel our individual selves now; and do so with much more material than we did in the past. But for those who grew up in different times, summer was the best time for their lives.

Q. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions:

  1. Why do experts question about the summer breaks given to children?
  2. How are students kept busy during summer breaks?
  3. What is the central point of the writers happiest memories of childhood?
  4. What goal do the present summer breaks want to achieve?
  5. The synonym of ‘excessive’ as given in para 1 is __________.
    1. plethora
    2. plenty
    3. varied
    4. bizarre
  6. The synonym of ‘distinctively’ as given in para 3 is __________.
  7. The antonym of ‘decreased’ as given in para 1 is __________.
    1. posed
    2. packed
    3. intensified
    4. encountered
  8. The antonym of ‘permanently’ as given in para 1 is __________.
    1. underlined
    2. emphatically
    3. temporarily
    4. re-affirm


  1. Because they disrupt their development and come in the way of their learning process.
  2. They are given the plethora of courses, classes or camps and workshops. These works involve swimming, art, personality development, music and computers.
  3. The writers happiest memories mainly hings on annual ritual of home coming and of affirmation.
  4. The present summer breaks want to detach students from new source of identity temporarily.
  5. plethora
  6. emphatically
  7. intensified
  8. temporarily

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