I. Give the reasons for the following statements :
1. The article has been titled “Silk Road.”
2. Tibetan mastiffs were popular in China’s imperial courts.
3. The author’s experience at Hor was in stark contrast to earlier accounts of the place.
4. The author was disappointed with Darchen.
5. The author thought that his positive thinking strategy worked well after all.
1. The article has been titled ‘Silk Road’ as the writer goes for doing his ‘kora’ after travelling on the ‘Silk Road’. Most of his journey occurs on this road.
2. Tibetan mastiffs were very strong, sturdy and alert animals. They were popular in China’s imperial courts as the hunting dogs.
3. The author had come there for academic purpose actually. So he was not emotionally swayed as his earlier pilgrims the Swede or Japanese monks who were moved by the sanctity of the water of Mansarovar Lake.
4. Darchen was very dusty place. Heaps of garbage lay scattered here. Moreover, the life here was very unhurried and relaxed which didn’t appeal the author at all. The feeling of relax was a significant drawback according to the author. Moreover, the author had come a bit earlier to the season of pilgrimage. Hence there were no pilgrims. He didn’t want to do his ‘kora’ alone. For that he had to wait so he was disappointed after reaching.
5. The author had very limited consideration. After coming to Darchen, he felt lonely. Just then he met Norbu, though ill-equipped for the pilgrimage, still Norbu gave useful suggestions like, they should hire yaks to carry their luggage and he won’t like to prostrate to do ‘kora’. At this the author felt that his positive thinking strategy wras working well.
II. Briefly comment on :
1. The purpose of the author’s journey to Mount Kailash.
2. The author’s physical condition in Darchen.
3. The author’s meeting with Norbu.
4. Tsetan’s support to the author during the journey.
5. “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.”
1. He had come to do “kora’ for academic purpose. Possibly he wanted to write some academic-papers about it and its importance in the lives of pilgrims.
2. The author suffered severely from cold. He felt disturbed while sleeping as one of his nostrils was blocked. He felt his chest heavy. As he breathed in through mouth he felt strange. As he lay down to sleep, he felt he would never been able to wake up. So he spent his first night while remaining awake.
3. The author was feeling veiy disappointed in Darchen while Tseten had left, he had none to talk to (in English). As he was having his coffee and pondering over his limited consideration, Norbu entered. He sought permission to sit at the rickety table opposite the author. He had seen the novel in the writer’s hand and asked ‘English’ ? Soon after they struck in conversation.
4. Tsetan was the driver of the author’s vehicle. It seemed that he had undertaken journey to Mount Kailash many a times. He knew how to tackle the frozen tracks. He guided the author to have lunch breaths, tea and put up for the night. When the author spent a sleepless night at Darchen, he took him to medical-college treatment. However he was quite professional, as he sensed that something untoward could happen with the author as he felt heavy chest and blocked nostrills, he left the latter saying that being Buddhist it was O.K. but it was not good for his business.
5. Tsetan told the author that being Buddhist, it didn’t matter at all if the author passed away in Darchen. As Darchen was a holy place. So if the author died, it won’t be bad. But as Tsetan was a professional driver, it could affect his business adversely, as people could mistake him an ominous driver whose customers die even before doing ‘kora. ’
Talking about the text
Thinking About Language
1. Noti ce the kind of English Tsetan uses while talking to the author. How do you think he picked it up ?
2. What do the following utterances indicate ?
(i) “I told her, through Daniel…”
“It’s a cold,” he said finally through Tsetan.
(ii) “Until, that is, I met Norbu.”
3. Guess the meaning of the following words :