Kerala State Board New Syllabus Plus Two English Textbook Answers Unit 4 Chapter 2 Rice Text Book Questions and Answers, Summary, Notes.
Kerala Plus Two English Textbook Answers Unit 4 Chapter 2 Rice (Poem)
Read And Respond (Text Book)
Of all the memories of his homeland, the narrator thinks of rice’ first. What does this show?
It shows his extreme love for rice. He is a rice eater. For the last 4 years he has been eating chapattis. Now he is craving for rice.
What are the memories of the narrator about the paddy cultivating season?
He remembers his father in the fields below his house. He is wearing a handloom dhoti stained with yellow mud. He is excited about the water of the Varanganal canal. He also remembers his little brother carrying the tender saplings to be planted where the ploughing is done. On the dyke baskets full of seeds are kept. There is the noise of shouting as the oxen draw the plough in the field.
The narrator wants the train to move a little faster. What does this tell us about his feeling for his native village?
It tells that he loves his village dearly. He has been missing it for long. He wants to reach it as quickly as possible. We see his nostalgic feelings here.
What changes in the native village does the narrator notice on his return.
There are many changes in his native village. The palm-thatched houses are gone. There are only rubber plants there. There are no rice fields any more. There is no noise of people below. No shouts of ploughing. The whole field is planted with areca nut palms. In the corner, along the canal, there are the dealwood trees which were not there before.
Rubber plants have taken the place of paddy. What does this imply?
It implies that food crops are replaced by cash/commercial crops. People don’t any more cultivate their favourite varies of rice like athikira, modan and vellaran. Now they survive on their rations which consist of wheat.
“Only fools turn to rice farming for gain.” Why does the father say so?
The father says so because nobody promotes the farming of rice. Rice farming was quite inconvenient and the farmer gained nothing. Rubber brings better money. The government gives rice to those who have no paddy fields.
What does the ship of the sky represent?
It represents the aeroplane, as the ship of the desert represents the camel.
“Can we get some husk from the Centre, too, to make toys with it?” Bring out the satire in these lines.
The poet had gone to North India and did a 4-year research on making toys with husk. He got a doctoral degree at the end of his research. Now he comes back to Kerala to find out that there is no more rice cultivation here and consequently no husk to make toys with. To make toys with husk, he has to get husk from the Centre! He did the research to help the State to find employment and. income. What use the State will have now with his doctorate?
Think And Write
Why does the narrator feel confused as he walks home?
The narrator feels confused as he walks home because things were quite different from the state he had left them before he went to North India for his research that took him 4 years. The palm-thatched houses that were in the distance had gone. All around him he sees rows of rubber plants on the ridge. They have grown twice his height. He used to see modan and vellaran there in the past. Now nothing. So he is confused.
Why does the father wear a contented look?
The father wears a contented look because he is excited about the water of the Varanganal canal. He is getting enough water from the canal so that he can start his planting. He is happy with his work.
What changes have occurred in the lifestyle of the farmers when they shifted from food crops to cash crops?
Their life has become comparatively easy. They don’t have to struggle in the field wearing wet and muddy clothes. They are happy that they have stopped producing food crops. It was quite inconvenient. The farmer gained nothing. Cash crops bring more money and life is better. They feel good times have come. But they have to eat wheat instead of their favourite varieties of rice.
Read the lines “My father says ……….. quite inconvenient” (Page 118).
Cite other instances of satire in the poem.
- “Only fools turn to rice-farming for gain.”
- “The government gives rice to those who don’t have paddy fields.”
- The narrator wants to eat athirika rice but his younger brother is bringing the ration for the household which consists of only wheat!
- The Chief Minister flying like an arrow to the Centre to clamour for more gains.
- Can we get some husk from the Centre, too, to makes toys with it?” This is the bitterest satire because he has a doctorate on making toys with husk.
The poem is a contrast between expectations and reality. Prepare a write-up substantiating this.
The poem is definitely a contrast between expectations and reality. The narrator goes to North India to do a research on making toys with husk as there is a lot of husk in Kerala because of the huge amount of paddy produced at that time. He spends 4 years and gets a doctorate. Naturally he has plans to use his knowledge and expertise to make toys from husk and thus generate employment opportunities for others. But when he comes back with his doctorate what does he see? The paddy fields have been converted to rubber plantations. No husk!
He is tired of eating chapatti day after day and he longs to eat his favourite rice when he comes home. What does he see? His younger brother brings wheat as the ration for the whole family. Now he has to continue eating chapatti!
Comment on the style of writing of the poem.
The poem is written in a colloquial style. The poem is a translation from the Malayalam original. A number of Malayalam words are used in the poem. These words will not be understood by foreigners even with some explanations as they would not even know the various varieties of rice that we cultivate here. Such words are ‘athirika’, ‘modan’ and ‘vellaran’.
The imagery is quite good. The picture of the father wearing a mud-stained dhoti and working in his field is very touching. We see the ploughing scene. We can see the rubber trees on the ridge and dealwood trees along the canal. Then we see another picture of the father sitting and watching workers fixing the machine for making rubber sheets. We see the little brother of the narrator running in with the ration and tripping and falling down scattering the wheat he has brought. We see the aeroplane carrying the Chief Minister, flying to the Centre, to clamour for more grain. He is flying over the cash crops.
The stanzas are irregular – sometimes 4 lines, sometimes 5 lines and there are three 6-line stanzas. There is also a 2-line stanza in the end. It is a prose- poem. Being a satirical poem, the style is simple, direct and lucid and it suits the theme.
Rice (Poem) Edumate Questions and Answers
“… only fools turn to rice-farming for gains”
Do you agree with this idea expressed by the father in the poem Rice? Express your opinion/suggestion in three or four sentences. You may use expressions like ‘I think…, I feel…, I suggest…, In my opinion…’
I think the father is wrong here. I feel that saying that only fools turn to rice farming is an insult to the rice farmers who work hard to give us rice to eat. I suggest that the father should have told his son that any job is good provided one does it well. He should have given importance to the principle of dignity of labour. In my opinion rice farming is a good way of earning one’s livelihood and also a way of making good profits. My neighbour is a rice farmer and he is very rich and he lives in style in a palatial bungalow, with a pair of cars and a few servants working for him every day.
a) The poet in Rice finds his place totally changed in four years. What are the major changes mentioned by the poet?
b) Describe a place in your locality elaborating the changes it has undergone within a short period of time.
a) The poet in “Rice” finds the place totally changed in four years. The palm thatched houses are gone. There are only rubber plants now. There are no rice fields any more. There is no noise of people ploughing. The whole field is planted with areca nut palms. In the corner along the canal there are the dealwood trees which were not there four years ago.
b) My locality has undergone many changes in a short time. Mine was a village. In the junction there were a few shops. A grocery shop, a tea shop, a shop that sold tobacco, beedi, cigarette and ‘paan’, a stationery shop where one bought his pen, pencil, notebooks etc. There was also a barbershop. In the tea shop there would be some people all the time discussing all the things under the sun – from the foreign policy of Donald Trump to the love affair of a local boy and girl. But all this is gone.
Now there is a huge shopping mall there. If one left the place a couple of years ago and came back only now, he would not even recognize the place. So many changes have taken place in my locality.
Much of our water bodies are polluted by industrial waste and toxic chemicals and fertilizers from farmlands. Prepare an essay describing the increasing rate of water pollution in our state.
(Hints: reason for pollution – impact of pollution – remedial measures etc.)
Water covers two-thirds of the Earth’s surface, with over 97% present in the oceans and less than 1% in freshwater streams and lakes. Water is also present in the atmosphere in solid form in the polar icecaps and as groundwater in water-bearing rocks deep underground. Water is called a universal solvent because many things get dissolved in it.
Water pollution may be defined as any chemical or physical change in water, harmful to living organisms. It can occur through natural processes. For example, water can be polluted by sediments produced by natural erosion. Water bodies get polluted as they receive a lot of waste produced by human activity. This waste is discharged directly into the water bodies by sewers or pipes from factories and washed down from agricultural or urban areas, especially after heavy rains.
Sources of pollution may be domestic, agricultural or industrial. In the underdeveloped and developing countries human and animal waste and sediments from defective agricultural and forestry practices are the main pollutants. In developed countries, industrial pollutants such as toxic metals and organic chemicals add to the water pollution. This is more dangerous than the pollution caused by human and animal waste.
Water pollution is caused by different things. They include excessive plant nutrients, acidification by acid rain and acid mine drainage, organic compounds containing chlorine like DDT and other pesticides, oil getting into water sources through drilling or accidental spillage from oil tankers, the discharge of huge quantities hot water into water bodies causing thermal pollution, fluoride and arsenal pollutants. Now the question comes how can we prevent water pollution? If the water is polluted people and animals easily become sick and die. But we can do certain things to prevent or reduce pollution. First of all industries should not be allowed to discharge untreated chemicals into water bodies, especially rivers and lakes.
Secondly, the domestic sewage system should be designed in a scientific manner. Thirdly, Underground water can be saved from pollution if the land is not exposed to pesticides and other industrial chemicals. Farmers should be encouraged to do organic farming instead of using a lot of artificial fertilizers, pesticides and other such things that pollute the soil and later get washed into the water bodies.
In connection with the activities of the Haritha Keralam project, the Nature Club of your school has organized a programme for planting trees in the campus. You are asked to deliver a speech on the importance of preserving nature and natural resources. Draft the speech you would like to present there.
Respected Principal, dear teachers and friends,
As you are aware in connection with the activities of the Haritha Keralam Project, the Nature Club of our
School has organized this programme for planting trees in the campus. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Nature never hurries, atom by atom, little by little, she achieves’ fier work.” He is very right when we think how the trees grow taking their time to reach their full status as trees. Before a tree becomes a full-fledged tree it passes through many stages – seed, seedling, sapling and then tree. Some trees take years to become real trees. But look at man! How cruelly he cuts them down in just a few minutes to use it as fuel, for furniture work, construction works and even to make paper. Sometimes man destroys entire forests to convert them into farmlands or to make factories and residential areas. Large scale deforestation brings about climatic changes. Even in Kerala there are climatic changes because of the large scale destruction of forests.
Trees absorb the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and supply us oxygen. They prevent the soil from eroding. They help in blocking the clouds and bring rain. They supply us a lot of forest products like honey, wax and different kind of herbs and roots. Nowadays forests are converted into National Parks attracting tourists from all over the world. That way also, trees bring us money. Thus forests help us in so many ways and so destroying them will be suicidal.
We all should emulate Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan lady and the Nobel Prize Winner, who led a crusade against deforestation. She wanted each person to plant some trees as his duty to help himself and also posterity. In India we had the Chipko Movement. When the contractors came to cut down the trees, the women from the locality rushed to the forest and stood near the trees embracing them. Chipko in Hindi means embrace. The men who came to cut down the trees had to go back because of the people embracing the trees.
John Keats, the famous English Romantic poet said, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” I believe a tree is a thing beauty and we should do our best to preserve our trees and plant new ones. Today let’s pledge that each one of us will plant at least ten trees. Remember it Is not enough to plant trees, but make sure that they grow by giving the trees adequate care.
Let’s make our campus green and contribute our share to make the earth green.
Thank you all!
Read the following line from the poem Rice and answer the given question.
Handloom dhoti stained with yellow mud’
What does this line imply?
“Handloom dhoti stained with yellow mud” – This line describes a farmer working in the field. He is wearing a handloom dhoti. The field is full of muddy water and since he is working in it, his dhoti is stained by the muddy water, ft implies the hard work of a farmer.
The Nature Club of your school wishes to visit the Botanical Garden at Thiruvananthapuram. Draft a letter to the Director of Botanical Garden, Thiruvananthapuram seeking permission to visit the garden and to enquire about their research projects on food crop cultivation.
7 June 2017
Sub: Permission to Visit the Botanical Garden
The Nature Club Members of this school want to visit the Botanical Garden as part of their educational tour. We are 35 in number, including two teachers. We would lie to visit the place on Saturday the 25* of this month, from 10.00 a.m. We also want to make some enquiries regarding your research projects on food crop cultivation because we also want to do some agricultural production in our school. It has a lot of land which could be used for the cultivation of food crops.
Thanking you and hoping to get your positive reply very soon,
Reads the lines from the poem ‘Rice’.
Son, we’ve stopped working on all the rice.
It was quite inconvenient.
Now, answer these questions.
a) ‘all the rice’ means ………..
b) What does it tell us about the farmers?
(Hints: change in attitude-lifestyle-profit motive-job preferences etc.)
a) Different type or rice/Everything in connection with rice cultivation.
b) It tells that there is a change in the attitude of the farmers. Their life style has changed. They are now driven by the profit motive. They are also reluctant to work in the fields as such work makes their bodies and clothes covered with mud.
The bar diagram shows the production (in tonnes) of wheat, rice, coarse grains and oilseeds of different countries. Analysefit and prepare a write-up.
Foodgrain And Oilseeds Production In The world
A study was conducted in April 2011 to see the production rate of wheat, rice, coarse grains and oil seeds in countries like India, the USA, China and the rest of the world. The study has shown the following results.
The highest rate of wheat production per hectare went to China with 4.7 tonnes per hectare. It was followed by the USA with 31.1 tonnes. India and the rest of the world were equal with 2.9 tonnes each. In the case of rice, the USA had the highest rate with 7.5 tonnes per hectare. China came second with 6.7 tonnes. India had only 2.2, whereas the rest of the world produced more than India with 4.3 tonnes per hectare.
Coarse grains had a different story to tell. USA and China were equal in this regard with 9.0 tonnes per hectare. The rest of the world had 3.5 whereas India had the lowest with just 2.5 tonnes.
In oil seeds, USA topped with 2.7 closely followed by China with 2.1. India came third with 1.2 . Quite strangely the rest of the world did not have any oil seeds production at all.
“Can we get some husk from the Centre, too, To make toys with it? I don’t know.”
The poem ‘Rice’ ends with these sarcastic lines. Do you think the poem is a satire? If so, what does the poet try to satirise? Consider the poem as a satire and prepare a paragraph on your views.
Chemmanam Chacko’s “Rice” is not just a satire but a biting satire. It shows the greed of some people and how they misguide farmers to change their crop from rice to cash crops like rubber. We can’t eat rubber! For our rice we have to depend on our neighbouring States and the rice we get is contaminated in so many ways. The height of the satire is that the boy went to North India to get his doctorate degree by researching the uses of husk. He spent 4 years there researching on the topic of making toys with husk.
Because his father is a farmer producing rice, there would be plenty of husk even in his own house to work with. But when he comes back with his doctorate degree what does he see? The rice fields have been converted to rubber plantations. Where will he get the husk now? Maybe he will ask the Central Government to give him some husk to make toys! His four years’ research is rendered useless now!
Activity – I: (Critical Appreciation)
Prepare a critical appreciation of the poem in the light of your responses to pie questions above.
The poem “Rice” written by Chemmanam Chacko’ and translated by Prof. Ayyappa Paniker is a superb satire hitting hard at the greed of some farmers here. The poem is laced with scorn and sarcasm. The son of a rice farmer goes to North India to do a research on making toys with husk. He works hard for four years, eating chapatti day after day, and finally succeeds in getting a doctorate. He must have thought of doing research on the possibilities of husk because as the son of a rice farmer he had plenty of husk at home and also in the homes nearby. By using husk for toy making, a lot of people could find employment in a state notorious for unemployment.
But then there is the anticlimax. When the son returns home with his well-earned doctorate on making toys with husk, there is no husk at all in his house or around. Farmers had shifted to cash crops, especially rubber, as they found rice cultivation is inconvenient and non- profitable. Moreover, a lot of incentives were given by promoters to cultivate cash crops. The son finds his father watching people setting up a machine for making rubber sheets. All the paddy fields are gone and in their place what he sees are rubber trees and dealwood trees.
There is biting sarcasm in the description of the Chief Minister flying to the Centre to request for more food grains to feed the people here. There is no more rice to eat. People have to eat wheat. The son comes home after four 4 years with a desire to eat his favourite ‘athirika’ rice. But his desire will remain an unfulfilled desire as he too has to eat the wheat that is given to the household as ration. And his doctoral degree? How can he find husk to make toys?
I would not call it an exquisite poem comparable to the poems of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley or Keats. But it can stand comparison with the poetry of Alexander Pope who excelled in satire. The poem has excellent imagery. The poet has used a number of Malayalam words in the poem. The language is colloquial. The stanzas of the poem are irregular – ranging from 2 lines to 6. It is a prose-poem. Being a satirical poem, the style is simple, direct and lucid and it suits the theme. Chemmanam Chacko has done a good job in showing how the farmers have changed from simple people to shrewd commercially minded people.
Activity – II (Write-up)
Chemmanam Chacko is a master satirist who has fought many a battle with the system through his writings, laced with scorn and sarcasm. He says, ‘Socio-political sphere is much meek and limited compared with earlier times. Society has changed, and, with it, have the mass sensibilities.’ Consider his poem ‘Rice’ as a satire on the farmers who are forced to switch to cash crops when the market for food crops fell. Prepare a write-up.
Chemmanam Chacko is very right in observing that society has changed and with it the mass sensibilities have also changed. Chacko was born in 1926, when Kerala was very much an agricultural land. People cultivated mainly food crops. Hardly anything was brought from outside. This situation continued until the 1960s and 70s, when there was an exodus of Kerala people, especially the youth, to the Gulf Countries, America and Europe.
In most families in Kerala there will be at least one member who will be working abroad. These people working abroad send money to their parents and relatives at home. Soon the Kerala farmers stopped working hard on their farms. Often they left them without cultivating because money was coming from outside and they could buy their food.
Many farmers started cultivating cash drops, especially rubber. As we saw in the poem, rice cultivation is inconvenient and non-profitable. We all have heard the saying that Indian agriculture is a gamble on the monsoons. Once we change into cash crops we are not so heavily dependent on the monsoons. But crops like rice heavily depend on the rains. If there is too much rain, there is a problem. If there is too little rain, there is a problem. If the rains don’t come in time, there is a problem. So rice farmers started shifting to cash crops. There were many promoters, including the government, who encouraged cash crops.
The glitter of money was very tempting to our rice farmers. Farmers can’t go into the fields well-dressed and they can’t even keep their body clean all the time as they have to work in the muddy fields. Their love of luxury also made the rice farmers either quit or shift to other cash crops. The results are obvious. Kerala State has become a Consumer State. Today we get our food grains, vegetables and fruits from neighbouring states. We can’t blame the farmers. We all want to catch the fish without wetting our fingers. Hard work is no more considered a virtue. One who makes quick money will be considered a successful and smart person. No wonder, the farmers also want to be smart!
Activity – III: (Paragraph writing)
Instead of a system of values, we have the market ruling us, making-decisions for us. Consider this statement in the light of the poem ‘Rice’ by Chemmanam Chacko.
These days we are not ruled by any system of value, but by the market. The market decides what we should eat, what we should drink and what we should wear. It even decides how we should worship, and how we should behave in our families. In the past people cultivated food crops and most of the things they consumed came from their farms. But today we survive on fast foods.
Fashion Designers decide what we should wear, Soft Drink companies decide what we should drink. Our worship is often controlled by Tour Operators who organize tours to places of Pilgrimage. The Gold and Diamond merchants decide how we should show our love to the family members by giving what gifts on which occasion. Marriages are controlled by videographers! Markets rule us and we do as they dictate. Even our religious festivals have become occasions for discount shopping.
Read And Reflect
You have now understood the importance of protecting the world around us. Will-this be enough? Can a society survive without ensuring that its members have a healthy life style? Won’t it be dangerous if people surrender themselves to different kinds of addiction? Let’s find out.
Rice (Poem) About the Poet
Prof. Chemmanam Chacko was born in 1926, at Mulakulam in the erstwhile Travancore. He is a popular poet in Malayalam. He is a master satirist and he is fond of poking fun at the trivialities of people and their customs.
Rice (Poem) About the translator
Prof. K. Ayyappa Paniker (1930-2006) is a poet, literary critic, an academic and a famous scholar. He is pioneer of modernism in Malayalam poetry and his book “Kurukshetram” is a turning point. He taught English in various colleges and universities. He retired as Director, Institute of English, University of Kerala.
Rice (Poem) Meaning Of The Poem in English
Stanza 1: After four years of research in North India, I return home. I have received a doctoral degree. I also received a lot of praise for my work on making toys with husk. I am bored with eating chapatti every day and now I want to eat a meal of athikira rice (a variety of rice popular in central Kerala).
Stanza 2: When I get back home, it will be the planting season. My father is in the fields below our house. He is wearing a handloom dhoti stained with yellow mud. He is excited about the water of the Varanganal canal. He will greet me amidst the shouts of ploughing with several oxen.
Stanza 3: The oxen will stop when they see me walking with my suitcase. There is a smile coming to my father’s lips and he does not show it. From the field itself he asks me when I started my journey from there.
Stanza 4: My little brother is carrying the tender saplings to be planted where the ploughing is done. When he sees me he will run and shout so that the people at home can hear him, saying “Mother, brother has arrived.”
Stanza 5: I walk carefully along the dyke so that I don’t upset the baskets kept there. They are full of seed. At last I reach home. Mother has drained the well-cooked rice.
I tell the train to run faster so that I can get home quickly and eat to my satisfaction.
II (Page 116)
Stanza 6: The bus stops on the road close to my house. When I left the place palm-thatched houses could be seen in the distance on the right side. But now there is nothing. There are only trees. The place has changed completely.
Stanza 7: All around me I see rows of rubber plants on the ridge. They have grown twice my height. I used to see modan and vellaran (varieties of paddy) here. I am confused even about the path leading to my home.
Stanza 8: There is no noise of people below. No shouts of ploughing. The whole field is planted with areca nut palms. In the corner, along the canal, there are the dealwood (wood that is soft and easy to saw, usually used for making packing cases and boxes) trees.
Stanza 9: I get into the house. On the southern side, my father is watching workers fixing up the machine for making rubber sheets. He looks happy and contented.
Stanza 10: My father tells with some pride that he has stopped producing rice. It was quite inconvenient. The farmer gained nothing. Only fools will try rice-farming for any gain. Rubber money is better. Good times have come. The government gives rice to those who don’t have paddy fields.
Stanza 11: My small brother runs to meet me. I am eager to eat a full meal of athikira rice. He is carrying the rations for the entire household. He trips over something and scatters the wheat all over the yard.
Stanza 12: A plane is flying above us. It is going north. The noise of the plane drowns my brother’s loud cries. The Chief Minister is flying to the Centre to get more grains. He is flying above the cash crops which are now growing like trees. No one promotes the farming of rice here.
Stanza 13: Can we get some husk from the Centre to make toys? I don’t know.
Rice (Poem) Meaning Of The Poem in Malayalam
Rice (Poem) Meanings