Sunday, November 23, 2008

Certified Samosas

I was shocked to see Lokesh wolfing down samosas and patties catered by the Indian Railways. His gastronomic preferences were well known - hygienic and vegetarian. He skipped food when he felt the quality was not upto the mark.He was known to consume soft drinks straight from the bottle since he was suspicious of the cleanliness of the straw. He washed the surface of soft drink cans before opening them. He would quote from www.breakthechain.org/ exclusives/ratcans.html that these cans were stored unhygienically and could lead to contracting to the deadly hanta virus transmitted by rat urine.

HACCP certified food being served on the Shatabdi Express


At home, all fruits and vegetables went through a Potassium Permanganate wash prior to use. He said that Cauliflower was often infected with tissue invading larval forms of the pork tapeworm "Taenia Solium". Cauliflower, therefore was taboo. I have even caught him washing bananas and oranges which are packaged by nature.He was upset with the order of the Railway Ministry to move from Styrofoam cups to earthenware cups.On railway journeys, which were frequent, Lokesh would eschew all food except the tetra packed juice and eclairs. When in doubt, he said, eat the humble banana - after washing.


On market visits, he insisted on eating only at McDonald's, though he hated burgers. He said that this was the only place where you got micro-biologically tested food. According to him, toilet water specification at MacDonald's are better that the Government specification for drinking water. He always said hygiene was important, taste and choice were not.

It, therefore, took me by surprise when I saw him gobbling down the stuff served on the train.When I questioned him about this, in-between samosa bites, he just pointed out to the words HACCP printed on the samosa wrapper.I just didn't get it. It only looked suspiciously similar to CCCP (the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics).

As Lokesh gobbled and the train wobbled at high speeds, he explained. "HACCP - you pronounce it as "hasup" - is for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. HACCP certification ensures that the vendor has identified Critical Control Points where hazards might occur. It ensures that monitoring procedures are instituted to ensure that safety lapses do not occur, and if they do they do not go uncorrected.So, from the time flour is received to the time finished samosas are delivered on the train, steps to check quality and prevent contamination are in place."

He continued with great enthusiasm. "This even includes ensuring that those who cook and serve wash their hands. Human hands - so important in many stages of food processing - are fertile breeding ground for bacteria, viruses and a host of other organisms, making them a prominent, yet often neglected, critical control point. A careless swipe across the face, an incautious trip to the restroom and billions of contaminants could be released into the processing system." The zest with which he went gaga over the Indian Railways HACCP certification got me wondering. Whenever his family went out for a meal he would now perhaps recommend they dine at the Railway Food Plaza on platform 4, with sterilized Styrofoam cups carried from home!

For more on this,click this link.

Scare in Scotland


Carlisle-Settle Railway Route


Train travel in UK should be a cinch, at least getting out of a first class compartment - specially if you have traveled all over India by all sorts of trains including the free-for all Mumbai local. Right? Wrong.

My wife and I were on a four-day trip to the UK, with first class rail travel courtesy the British Tourism Authority upon winning the Elizabeth India Today contest. We boarded the Virgin train at Glasgow Central station for a trip to Micklefield through the scenic Lake District of Scotland on the Carlisle-Settle route. "Get down at Lancaster and change for a train to Leeds to reach Micklefield", the friendly lady at the ticket counter had told me, after referring to a tome of a railway timetable. That sounded simple enough.


The four-hour journey to Lancaster had an absorbing view of the countryside and we reached Lancaster sooner that we wished to. On hearing the announcement "Approaching Lancaster" over the intercom of the compartment, we got up and stood near the exit hoping to get an early connecting train to Leeds.


The train stopped and I nonchalantly tried opening the door. But, what's this? There was no handle to open the door! How does one open this *&@#%/\ door? I panicked. There must be a button somewhere, my wife suggested. No button, no handle. No way to get out. Is there an instruction plate somewhere? None. There was no other passenger in the compartment from whom I could have sought advice. Oh hell!The train started moving. God!


Complete confusion.Would we now be charged for ticket less travel? Would we be shamed as Indian cheats? Visions of spending time in British prisons fleeted through my mind. We thought the best way would be to inform the conductor that is, if there ever was one in the system appearing designed for no human intervention.


When we finally managed to find the person in the last coach, I addressed him agitatedly but politely, "Excuse me Sir, we have a ticket till Lancaster but we were unable to get down there". The conductor stared at us quizzically. "May I know why you were not able to get down at Lancaster?" Embarrassedly I said, "Er.., we did not know how to open the coach door". The conductor burst out laughing, "You did not know what? Ha ha ha..... Where are you from, not Mars I hope? Ho ho ho...." "From India," my wife said in an almost inaudible whisper.

The laugh had produced enough dopamine in the conductor's brain to put him in a good enough mood to write out a chit:" Passenger over-carried, please allow to return to Lancaster", Giving it to us, he told us to get down at the next stop, Preston, and take a connecting train to Lancaster. But I persisted with my original problem. "When I was not able to open the door at Lancaster, how do I open it at Preston then?" I enquired.


You can't even imagine his instructions how to do the simple job/if you are used to traveling in the Mumbai suburban network, in trains without doors! "Simple," he said, "When the train stops, the glass window of the coach door will unlock automatically in this model of train. All that you have to do then is pull down that window, put your hand out. You can reach the door handle there on the outside; you just turn that handle and prestothe door opens!"


Well, I guess we all live to learn!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Macbeth - Act II - Scene IV

Macbeth


(Question taken from the Indispensable Work-Book on Shakespeare's Macbeth by Usha Nagpal published by National Publishing House. Suitable for class XI. Only Essay type questions answered here. If you have a doubt post a comment below. Leave your mail id if you need a personal response - else i will post my reply to this blog.)


Q1. Duncan's murder precipitates certain abnormal happening. Discuss with a close reference to the scene.

King Duncan's murder precipitates certain abnormal happenings. The old man says " threescore and ten, but this sore night hath trifled former knowings". The old man had not see such abnormal happenings in his seventy years. The day had turned dark and seemed as dark as night as if the earth was hiding its face. A falcon which was flying very high was attacked and killed by a mouse hunting owl - a very unnatural happening. King Duncan's horses which were docile and well trained had turned wild, they broke away from their stall and ran out and even bit each other. Lennox informed them that the chimney of his house was blown out from the house where he stayed. They could hear lamenting in the air, strange screams could be heard all around.


Thus there were a lot of unnatural happenings before and after king Duncan's murder.


Q2.How were the following persons affected, either in their fortunes or their feeling by the murder of Duncan: Malcolm, Macduff, Banquo, Macbeth, Ross.


The fortunes or feelings of the following persons was affected due to the death of king Duncan. The effect of the murder on their lives is as under:


a)Malcolm: Malcolm was the eldest son of king Duncan. He was anointed as the heir to the throne of Scotland and was proclaimed as the next king of Scotland. However, the murder of king Duncan forces him to flee to England in order to escape death. Thus Malcolm's life was thrown into disarray and difficulty on the death of king Duncan. Later however, Malcolm took help from the king of England to overthrow Macbeth to reclaim Scotland.

b)Macduff: Macduff was a loyalist of king Duncan in the kingdom of Scotland. Upon the death of king Duncan he decides to return to his hometown in Fife - where he was the Thene.

c) Banquo: Banquo was murdered by people who were hired by Macbeth. Banquo death follows the death of king Duncan.

d)Macbeth : Upon the death of king Duncan, Macbeth takes over as the king of Scotland.

e) Ross: When Macbeth becomes king, Ross goes over to England to tell Malcolm about the atrocities of Macbeth. He then joins the joint forces of England and Scotland to attack Macbeth.

Macbeth - Act II - Scene III

The Porter

(Question taken from the Indispensable Work-Book on Shakespeare's Macbeth by Usha Nagpal published by National Publishing House. Suitable for class XI. Only Essay type questions answered here. If you have a doubt post a comment below. Leave your mail id if you need a personal response - else i will post my reply to this blog.)

Q1. Give a vivid account of the porter scene.

The scene starts with the porter. The porter is very drunk after he has been "carousing" at the feast. Although the Porter is rather drunk, the jokes that he makes about keeping Hell's Gate become reality when Macduff discovers the terrible scene in the King's bedroom. He describes himself as the "devil-porter" letting people into "hell". He is really Macbeth's porter letting people into Macbeth's castle and he is calling the castle a type of hell on Earth. The porter describes the types of people who come to hell. He tells us of the farmer who committed because he did not get the profit that he was expecting. He talks of the equivocator who could argue convincingly on both sides but could not convince God to let him into heaven. Then he talks of the tailor who came into hell as he had stolen some cloth. The porter describes various types of people to show that all types of people who commit sin come to hell. He says that hell is very hot - i.e. they would suffer in hell for their mis-deeds. The porter says that so many people come to hell the a gate-keeper would grow old just opening and closing the gates of hell.

This is a good example of dramatic irony as the reader knows what has been going on in the previous scene. Shakespeare uses a lot of dramatic irony in this particular scene. Shakespeare uses sentences such as, "Here's a knocking indeed", "If a man were porter of hell-gate" and "turning the key. Shakespeare uses words related to hell to give the scene a lot more effect. He uses words such as "equivocator", nouns such as "Beelzebub" and phrases such as "have napkins enow about you, here you'll sweat".



Q2. List the dramatic functions of the porter scene.
The porter scene follows Duncan's heinous murder evokes some laughter and brings an element of relief in the play. Although the gatekeeper character brings in some comedy, it also has a deeper significance. This "thoughtful laughter" primarily provides comic relief, but it also contributes to the meaning of the work by comparing the castle of Duncan to the gate of hell.

Macbeth's porter scene functions above all as slapstick comic relief following the slaughter of King Duncan. The gatekeeper reduces the tension built in the previous scenes with his drunken talk. For example, he paints a darkly comic caricature of the suspense that now pervades the Macbeth household by making light of the sudden knocking at the gates that so startled Lady Macbeth. Yet this also serves as a paradox - the parody also furthers the tension by prolonging the time between Duncan's murder and the continuation of the plot. This scene immediately prompts laughter with both the porter's light soliloquy and the heightening of the suspense.
However, the character's drunken talk also gives rise to one of the second act's central theme - the house of Macbeth as the gates of hell. His speech refers to satanic images, and he views himself as Beelzebub's gatekeeper. In this act, Shakespeare sees Macbeth's as the central character of death and corruption, evidenced by the evil plans of its Lady and the bloodthirsty acts of its Master. The porter scene emphasizes the fact that all who enter the castle and stand in the way of Macbeth's ambition might as well have entered hell, as they will certainly find a fiery death within. While this scene elicits laughter, it also contributes to Shakespeare's condemnation of Macbeth's escapades.
Macbeth's porter scene also furthers the drama's structure. The previous deeds in Act II have all transpired in an evil supernatural settings - these shocking murders could not have occurred with Shakespeare's settings. The porter scene, by evoking laughter, serves as a movement from the supernatural world of murder to the more real world.
Shakespeare's porter scene causes "thoughtful laughter" and reduces the high tension.

Q3. Bring out the humour and irony of the Porter scene.
There is humour as well as irony in the porter scene. The irony is that the porter compares his letting in people into the castle as letting people into hell. He compares himself to the gate-keeper of hell. Little does the porter know that the events which had taken place (which he does not know of yet - the murder of king Duncan) makes his comparison very real. The murder of Duncan and his guards had indeed made Macbeth's castle a hell.
The humor comes from soliloquy of the porter. He says "who's there in the name of Beelzebub"?. He compares himself to be the gate-keeper of the devil. He then brings humour by describing the reasons why people come to hell. The farmer came to hell because he killed himself for not making the expected profit from his harvest. The equivocator, who could argue on either sides, came to hell because he betrayed his country. The tailor came to hell because he had stolen some cloth. This shows that all kinds of people go to hell - for offences big and small. He also bring humour by saying " having napkins enow about you, here you will sweat". Thus the dialogues and the descriptions both bring in humor.

Macbeth - Act II, Scene II

Macbeth enters king Duncan's room for the murder


(Question taken from the Indispensable Work-Book on Shakespeare's Macbeth by Usha Nagpal published by National Publishing House. Suitable for class XI. Only Essay type questions answered here. If you have a doubt post a comment below. Leave your mail id if you need a personal response - else i will post my reply to this blog.)

Q.Compare Macbeth and Lady Macbeth after Duncan's murder. Do they change later on? Justify your answers from the play.


Even before the murder, Macbeth was unsure if he was doing the right thing by murdering king Duncan. However, it was lady Macbeth who forced the issue and ensured that Macbeth carried out the murder.


After the murder, Macbeth is distraught. He is afraid the consequences of having committed the murder. However, lady Macbeth is composed and is in command of the situation. She tells Macbeth " Why worthy Thane do you unbend your noble strength". While Macbeth is nervous after committing the murder, lady Macbeth tell Macbeth to put the instrument back at the scene of the crime. When Macbeth is hesitant she herself does this job and smears blood on the guards of Duncan. Macbeth was completely shaken up by his act. He said " every noise terrifies me". He wondered whether he could ever wash the blood stains from his hands. He is repentant after the murder. When Macduff and Lennox knock at the castle gates, he secretly hopes that this loud noise wakes up the dead king Duncan. Macbeth had difficulty in pretending to be unaware of Duncan's murder. However, Lady Macbeth is in complete charge of herself. She even asks Macduff " What's the business, that such a hideous trumpet calls to parley" (why is there so much commotion). She expresses false shock on being told by Macduff of the death of king Duncan. Later, she pretends to faint on hearing about the death of king Duncan.


Macbeth is repentant about the crime,after having committed it. We know this when he says " Wake Duncan with thy knocking". He wishes that Duncan would wake-up to the knocking at the castle gate. However, Lady Macbeth is un-repentant. She says " I am ashamed to wear a heart so white" (I am ashamed that you are so fearful).


So we can say that while Macbeth wishes he had not committed the crime, lady Macbeth was unrepentant.



Macbeth - Act II Scene I

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth



(Questions taken from the Indispensable Work-Book on Shakespeare's Macbeth by Usha Nagpal published by National Publishing House. Suitable for class XI. Only Essay type questions answered here. If you have a doubt post a comment below. Leave your mail id if you need a personal response - else i will post my reply to this blog.)
Q1. Compare the state of mind of Macbeth to that of Banquo on the night of Duncan's murder.
On the night of king Duncan's murder, Banquo was happy,content and peaceful because he was unaware of the plot to kill king Duncan. However, Macbeth was in an agitated state of mind. This was because he was about to carry out the plan of murder. Banquo was in his normal frame of mind but Macbeth was very guarded in his speech. When Banquo said " I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters; to you they have show'd some truth" - Macbeth replied that " I think not of them". Macbeth uttered a lie. He was all the time thinking of the three sisters and their predictions and had planned to kill king Duncan taking guidance from their predictions that he would be the king of Scotland.
On that night Banquo was at peace with himself after having been played a vital role in the victory of king Duncan's army over the enemies. Even though Macbeth had played a more important role in the victory of king Duncan's army -his mind was turbulent because of the murder that he had planned. He was so stressed that he started hallucinating. He saw a dagger where there was none. He saw blood stains on this dagger. He was overwhelmed by the nature of the job which lay ahead - i.e. the killing of king Duncan.
While Banquo had a good night's rest - the night tormented Macbeth. When he was about to murder king Duncan even words failed him. He was not even able to say "Amen" when Duncan in his sleep said "God Bless Us". He was so scared that every noise terrified him. Even a knocking on the door terrified him. While all this was happening to Duncan, Banquo was fast asleep. Macbeth did not sleep all night - he did not even go to bed. Yet, he had to pretend to have gone to sleep - by wearing his night-gown - when somebody started knocking on the castle door. When Macduff came the next morning, Macbeth had to pretend that he slept well the previous night and had to take Macduff to king Duncan's room as if nothing had happened. When Macduff broke the news of king Duncan's death, Macbeth had to react with false shock and false grief. However, Banquo reacted in genuine grief when he heard of the murder.
Thus, Banquo and Macbeth had completely different states of mind on the night of the murder of king Duncan.

Q2.Critically analyse Macbeth's soliloquy in this scene. What light does it throw on his character? Just before the murder, Macbeth was very stressed. He was hallucinating about a blood stained dagger. He imagined a dagger with its handle turned towards him - as if inviting him to pick it up and kill king Duncan. His senses were playing a trick on him.This illustrates that he was not in control of himself. He kept talking to himself to relieve himself of his stress. He compared the deed he was about to commit with with that Hecate' (mistress of witchcraft - who used the dead for their sacrifices) offerings. He also compared the deed that he was about to commit with that of Tarquin's crimes against innocent women.
From this soliloquy, we come to know of the following elements of his character:
a) That he was not very keen or comfortable with carrying out the act of the murder of king Duncan.
b)That he was well educated. His conversation and the use of terms like "Hecate" and "Tarquin" indicates that he was well read.
c) That he was considerate even to his servants. This can be judged from the way he tells his servant to go to sleep after tell lady Macbeth to arrange for his drink.
d) A seasoned murder would not have so many self-doubts before commiting the crime.From this soliloquy it is clear that the act Macbeth was about to commit was a temporary aberraton in his behaviour.
e) This solioquy also tells us that he behaved well with his wife. He asked the servant to tell lady Macbeth to "ring the bell when my drink is ready". Had he been inconsiderate, he would have either asked lady Macbeth to get the drink or would have asked the servant to get it for him.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Julius Caesar - Act II, Scene II


(Julius Caesar - Act II, Scene II. Questions taken from Julius Caesar Workbook for ICSE by Xavier Pinto, published by Morning Star. Suitable for students of class IX and X. If you have a query, drop a comment in the comment box at the end of this post. Please leave your mail id if you need a personal response - else if will post my reply in the blog.)



i. In what mood does Calphurnia speak to Caesar? Why does she warn him? When earlier had he been warned of this day?
Calphurnia speaks to Caesar in a very frightened and disturbed framed mind. Calphurnia had cried out in her sleep the previous night that Caesar was being murdered. Now, she begs him not to go out of the Palace at all. She warns him because she feels that there are too many omens which indicate that something is about to go wrong. She tells Caesar that a lioness had given birth on the streets. Graves had opened up to give up their corpses. Clouds had rained blood on the Capitol. Horses neighing and dying men and groaning were, according to Calphurnia, indicators of something terrible to happen. Caesar had been earlier warned of this day during the feast of Lupercal. A soothsayer had warned Caesar to be careful about the Ides of March.

ii. What has Caesar noticed this is about the night? What did he ask his servant to do then? Why?
Caesar had noticed that the previous night was not a regular peaceful night. He had noticed that the omens that night did not appear to portend well for the future. He, therefore, asked his servant go to the priests to make them give a sacrifice immediately and get him their opinion on the result this sacrifice. He wanted to know whether the sacrifice indicated whether the omens were good or bad.
He wanted the opinion of the priests because he was not very sure about interpreting the omens himself.


iii. Caesar says: "Caesar shall forth." On what are Calphurnia's fears based? State two unusual things which she has heard to have happened.
Calphurnia's fears are based on her dreams the previous night. The previous night Calphurnia dreamt that Caesar was being murdered. It was also based on the very frightening omens that people had been witnessing since the previous evening. The two unusual things that she had heard to have happened were of the lioness giving birth on the streets and of graves opening up and giving up the corpses in it.

iv. What does Caesar say later about cowards? What does he say in the extract to show that he is not threatened?
Caesar says that cowards die many times in their imagination even before their actual death. However, brave men experience death only once. In order to show that he is not threatened, he tells Calphurnia that things looked threatening only because they looked only at his back. He also tells Calphurnia that these threats would no longer look formidable once they came face to face with him. He also tells Calphurnia that danger knows very well that Caesar was more dangerous than danger itself. Caesar tells Calphurnia that both the danger and Caesar are lions born on the same day and he was the more dangerous of the two. He tells Calphurnia that to stay home would be like behaving like an animal without a heart.

v. What aspect of the character of Calphurnia as well as of Caesar is hinted at the extract.
From the extract it is apparent that Calphurnia is meek and mild-mannered. She is superstitious and is influenced significantly by omens which she believes portends forthcoming events. She believes that one should pay heed to omens for one's own good. However, Julius Caesar does not believe superstitions, omens and other similar practices. Julius Caesar is a very confident person he depends on his abilities to tackle things as they come. Julius Caesar fears nothing. He feels that there is no situation or difficulty which he cannot tackle with his skill and power.

2.
i. What is meant by, "I never stood on ceremonies"? What is Caesar's normal opinion on such things?
Calphurnia says that "I never stood on ceremonies". By this she meant that she normally did not believe in omens was not superstitious in nature. She, however, says that the omens this time were so scary that it was not wise to discard the meaning of these omens. Caesar's normal opinion on such things was one of disdain. Caesar had only marginal belief in superstition. Even if he believed the superstition he would not turn his back to event just because the omen did not portend well for him. Julius Caesar was that brave man he would go and face the event even if the signs did not bode well for him.

ii. Mentioned any three other signs enumerated by Calphurnia in her speech. Why does she narrate such sights at this time?
The three other signs enumerated by Calphurnia in her speech are about violet soldiers in flames fighting on the clouds in perfect battle formation. Clouds raining blood on the capital the neighing of horses. She narrates all these sights to Julius Caesar at this time because she thinks that by telling Caesar about these unnatural happenings would make him reconsider his decision about going out on that day.

iii. What does Calphurnia's speech reveal about her character?
From the extract it is apparent that Calphurnia meek and mild-mannered. She is superstitious influenced significantly by omens which she believes portends forthcoming events. She believes that one should pay heed to omens for one's own good. Calphurnia speech also reveals that she genuinely cared about the well-being of Julius Caesar.

iv. What is Caesar's reaction to Calphurnia fears? What does he decide to do?
Caesar says that cowards die many times in their imagination even before their actual death. However, brave men experience death only once. In order to show that he is not threatened he tells Calphurnia that things looked threatening only because they looked at his back. He also tells Calphurnia that these threats would no longer look formidable once they came face to face with him. He also tells Calphurnia that danger knows very well that Caesar was more dangerous than danger itself. Caesar tells Calphurnia that both danger and Caesar were lions born on the same day and it was he who was the more dangerous of the two. He tells Calphurnia that to stay home would be like behaving like an animal without a heart. He therefore decides to go out and face the events.

v. What does Caesar a little later do to indicate that death is inevitable?
Caesar says that death is inevitable. He also says that cowards die several times even before their actual death. He says that death will come its appointed time. He also says that danger knows very well that he himself is more dangerous than danger. In order to prove that he was not afraid of any danger he decides go to the Capitol against the wishes of Calphurnia.

3.
i. Where are Calphurnia and Caesar at this moment?
Calphurnia and Julius Caesar are their palace at this moment.

ii. State two reasons offered by Calphurnia for wanting Caesar to stay at home.
The first reason offered by Calphurnia for wanting Caesar to stay was that all omens indicated that something frightful was about happen. The second reason that Calphurnia offered for wanting Caesar to stay at home was that his wisdom was eaten up by his self-confidence. Calphurnia also told Caesar , on her knees, to allow her to have her say in this matter.

iii. Bring out three arguments Decius puts forward to make Caesar change his mind.
The three arguments that Decius put forward to make Julius Caesar change his mind are :
a) that senators would laugh at him if he told them that Caesar would not be going to the Capitol, without assigning any reasons.
b) the second reason that Decius gave was that Calphurnia had interpreted her dream incorrectly. According to Decius, the interpretation Calphurnia's dream was that Rome would receive a new life from Julius Caesar.
c) the third reason that Decius gave Julius Caesar was that the Senate had decided to give the crown on that day. Decius felt that if Julius Caesar did not accept the crown the same day, the senators could even change their mind till Caesar's wife had better dreams.

iv. Explain clearly in your own words the meaning of "your wisdom is consumed in confidence". Was Calphurnia correct in her judgement of her husband? Why?
The meaning of "your wisdom is consumed in confidence" meant that Julius Caesar was making an error of judgement based on the confidence of his abilities tackle things they came. Calphurnia was absolutely correct in her judgement of her husband. We can say that Calphurnia was correct in her judgement her husband because of the events that followed. According to Calphurnia all the omens indicated that something evil was about to befall Julius Caesar. Caesar, of course, did not subscribe to these views fully. However, the assassination of Julius Caesar and the subsequent civil war in the country indicated that all these would not have transpired if Julius Caesar had listened to the pleas of Calphurnia.

v.What is revealed of Calphurnia's character in the above words? How is she contrasted with Portia who appears in the scene?
From these lines we can say that Calphurnia was genuinely concerned with the well-being her husband. We can say that Calphurnia was a good interpreter of omens.She could correctly decipher what was likely to happen on the basis of omens. From the lines it is also very clear that Calphurnia was a very persuasive person. Caesar was never an easy man to convince. Yet, Calphurnia managed to convince to stay back in the palace on the 15th of March - till Decius appeared on the scene. From these lines it is also apparent that under normal circumstances she had no say in the plans of Julius Caesar. It was only under special circumstances like these that she was able to exert some authority.
If we compare Calphurnia's character with Portia we find that Portia was a more forceful and a more determined woman. Portia demanded equality with Brutus. Portia even demonstrated to Brutus liability to withstand pain by cutting off a piece of flesh from her thigh letting the wound bleed without any treatment. However, both women were equally concerned with the decision-making and abilities their husbands. They knew that their husbands did not always take the right decision under stress.

4.
i. Where other speakers at this moment? What day is this?
The speakers are at Julius Caesar's palace this moment. This day is the 15th of March i.e. the Ides of March.


ii. What does Calphurnia dream? How did she interpret her dream? How does Decius interpret her dream?
Calphurnia dreamt ,the previous night, that the statue of Julius Caesar sprouted blood at a hundred places and that many strong and vigorous Romans came smiling and bathed their hands in it. She interpreted these as warnings and omens of disasters which were about to happen. However, Decius told Julius Caesar that this interpretation her dream was not correct. According to Decius, the sprouts of blood indicated that Rome would receive a new life from Caesar and that the Romans would crowd around Julius Caesar for colours to be added their coats of arms, objects of reverence, and badges of service.

iii. What other reasons did Calphurnia state for not wanting Caesar to go to the Senate?
The other reason that Calphurnia is stated for not wanting Caesar to go to the Senate was that according to her his wisdom was eaten up by his self-confidence. According to Calphurnia,Caesar was not acting rationally taking into account whatever the situation warranted.


iv. What other statements did Decius make to convince Caesar that he should attend the Senate. How was it that Decius has come on this scene at this time?
The Decius first tells Julius Caesar that Calphurnia had interpreted her dream incorrectly. Decius tells Julius Caesar that her dream indicated that he would give Rome a new lease of life. Roman life would prosper under him. Decius also tells Julius Caesar that the Senate had decided to give the crown that day. If Caesar did not go to the Capitol to accept the crown it was even possible that the Senate may even decide not to give the crown to Julius Caesar. Decius had come to this scene in pre-planned manner. It was decided earlier, when they had met at the residence of Brutus, that should Caesar decide not to go to the Capitol, on that day, for reasons of superstition then Decius would talk Caesar into making the trip to the Capitol.
v. What is your opinion of Caesar at this point in the play? Express your feelings for him when he's assassinated?
In my opinion, Caesar has been a very unreasonable person at this point of the play. It is important for the ruler of a country to heed to the advice of well-wishers. In this case, Julius Caesar was originally warned by the soothsayer to be careful of the ides of March. Subsequently, his wife Calphurnia beseeched him not to go out because the omens were very bad indicating that something was amiss. Not only that, Julius Caesar's own sacrifice animals by his priests indicated that he should not venture out on that day. However, Julius Caesar discarded all advice from well-wishers proceeded the capital for his coronation.
My feelings for him, on his assassination, are mixed. I feel sorry that he was assassinated for he may have proved to be a good ruler for his country. At the same time, I also feel that the deserved the fate that he met with. No ruler of any country can hope to govern well if he continuously ignores well-intentioned advice from people who love the ruler. In this case, he ignored well-intentioned advice paid the price for ignoring important advice. I therefore feel that also deserved the fate that he met with.

5.

i. What had Decius assured that the Senate was proposing to do on that particular day?
Decius had assured Caesar that the Senate was proposing to offer the crown on that particular day. Decius also told Caesar that in the event that he did not go to the capital the Senate could even change its mind about offering the crown to Julius Caesar.


ii. When was a similar thing already offered and what was the reaction of Caesar that time?
The crown was earlier offered to Julius Caesar during the feast of Lupercal. However, at this point of time he declined to take the crown though the crown was offered to him. Julius Caesar declined to accept the crown at this point of time because he wanted a bigger consensus to be built within the people of the country about his coronation before he accepted the crown.

iii. What interpretation had Decius offered to Calphurnia's dream what was his motive?
The interpretation that Decius had offered about Calphurnia's dream was that under the rule of Julius Caesar role would prosper. Decius said that the interpretation of blood gushing from his statue indicated that would infuse new life in Rome and that the people of Rome would thrive under his rulership.


iv. Earlier in the play, Caesar had expressed once to Antony and once to Calphurnia, other thoughts on the topic of fear. Described as closely as you can, anyone of the things that he says about fear.
Julius Caesar's had said that the danger knows very well that he was more dangerous than danger itself. He said that both danger and he were like lions born on the same day it was he who was the elder and the more terrible of the two.

v. Explain in your own words the meaning of the phrase "it were a mock/to be rendered". What is revealed by Decius character the passage.
The meaning of this phase is that if the Senate came to know that Julius Caesar did not turn up to accept the crown on account of Calphurnia's bad dreams, then the Senate could well joke that they should wait to give Julius Caesar the crown till such time his wife had better dreams.
These words revealed Decius' sinister character. Decius is a very skillful orator who can turn a situation with the use of his words. The conspirators have made very good use of Decius's skills b by bringing him the scene at the point where Caesar had almost decided not to go to the Capitol after having been warned by many well-wishers. However, Decius used his interpretation of Calphurnia's dreams to convey to Caesar that he would miss the chance of his life if he did not go to the Capitol on that day.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Blackberry - The call drops when you try to get it repaired



When the trackball on my Blackberry Pearl stopped working, I called up Airtel to book it for service. My experience was as under:
- for the device to be booked for repairs it needs to be dropped off at only the specified Airtel office.

- the cost of repair is Rs.5,600/- irrespective of the nature of the complaint.

- this amount has to be paid either by cheque or demand draft. Cash and credit cards not accepted.

- you get a standby device only if you insist and are persistent about it. If you do not know of this facility - Airtel does not educate you about this facility. The standard time quoted for the repair is two weeks. You can't get them to get it done earlier - no matter what.

- You cannot drop of the device directly to the service center. You have got to give it to the Airtel office who then have to send the device to the service center via the internal courier.

- It is difficult to located the people who are responsible for Blackberry service at the Airtel office. The front office staff are only interested in collecting payment against invoices. Giving information about Blackberry repairs and putting you in touch with the Blackberry team is not what they give any priority. (apparently Wipro provides this service in Bangalore).

- They are not very savvy about transferring data from the device in distress to the standby device. Please carry your laptop with you for the data transfer - at the time of giving the device for repair. Insist on getting the data transferred (if you so desire) else you will be stuck without your address book.

- Be nice to them, if you want your work done.They may or may not be nice to you.

Update on 9 November, 2008

I got back my Blackberry back, after repairs, on the 5th November as promised. The device looks like new. I don't know if this is a new device or the old one with the face-plate changed. Whatever it is, it works well now - and looks brand new. It was worth the wait and the Rs.5,600 charge.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

King Canute

(Question and Answers for King Canute.Questions taken from the workbook on Whispers of Immortality from Selina Publishers.Suitable for ICSE class X)

A. Read the extract given below an answer the questions that follow it.
" King Canute was _________ wild sea-shore".

i. What made king Canute weary-hearted?
King Canute thought about the futility of his victories. He had fought many wars and won them. Yet, he felt that he had not achieved much. His own sons wanted him dead.His achievement,suddenly, meant nothing to him. This made him sad and depressed.

ii. Where was he at the time? Who else were with him?
He was walking along the sea shore between the Chancellor and the Bishop. He was closely followed by various officials, military officers, personal attendants and others.

iii. What sort of people were these followers? Were they sincere people? Give reasons for your answer.

The people who were his followers were flatterers who wanted to be in the good books of the king. They were not sincere people. They followed him like a shadow. If the King frowned, they to had a sullen look on their faces. When he laughed, they echoed his laughter without knowing the actual reason for his mirth. They mimicked his action only to impress him.

iv.What was the king's state of mind at this time?
The King was sad and depressed wondering about his past activities like fighting plundering and killing. He was thinking whether his achievements, which were materially significant, amounted to anything at all. He felt that his entire life was wasted.

B. Read the extract given below an answer the questions that follow it.

"But that day a something ________ hold her tongue".

i. Who is being spoken about as his grace? What was his mood? What does yawned convey?
The reference that is being made is to the King. He looked distracted and worried. The very fact that he yawned when his favourite court singer sang conveyed that his mind was elsewhere.

ii.In what ways was the king's behaviour different from the usual?
Normally the king would enjoy when his favourite singers sang.He loved the delicacies that were served to him.However, on that particular day,he appeared to be distracted. He neither enjoyed his food nor did he enjoy the music.

iii. What did the attendants feel had vexed him?
The attendants thought that the king was displeased with the food that was served to him at dinner.

iv. How did the King react to this suggestion?
The irate king exclaimed in disgust that it was not the food, but his heart which was causing him discomfort.

V. What, does the King say, was the cause of his worry? What did the king bade the Queen?
The King says that the cause of his worry was his heart. He said that he wondered whether all his achievements were worth anything at all. His disenchantment with life was the cause of his worry.The king bade the queen not console him.

C. Read the extract given below an answer the questions that follow it.

"Leading on my fierce..... me all my kingdoms?"

i. What does the king want to convey through these lines:

'leading on my fierce companions, cried he, 'over storm and brine.'
I have fought and I have conquered! Where was glory to mine?

In these lines, the king recalls his glorious past and tries to convey that he was a king par-excellence. He had fought battles and conquered territories braving violent storms and rough seas.He says that no other king had achievements to match his.

ii. What does the courtiers' echoing the king's words tell us about them? What does the poet want to emphasise here?
The courtiers reaction to the king's words shows that they are not genuine. The poet wants to emphasise the hypocrisy that is prevalent in the society.

iii. What is the Kings tone in this stanza? What makes him feel this way?
The king speaks with great pride because he says that he has had a glorious past by conquering various kingdoms.He says that the glory achieved by him had seldom been achieved by anyone else.

iv. What does the say of his sons? Why does he mention them?
The King said that his sons are longing to see him cold and dead. He mentions them because he feels that his end is drawing closer and closer.He mentions them because the lack of affection from his sons was one of the reasons for his regret of his life.

D. Read the extract given below an answer the questions that follow it.

"Nay, I feel, replied the king...... live this fifty year".

i. What is the king replying to? What does he say?
King Canute thinks of his children and their attitude towards him which depresses him and makes him talk about his death which he feels was drawing closer.

ii. What do the courtiers say to this? Do they mean what they say? What tells us so?
The courtiers completely disagreed and assured the king that he was strong and healthy and that he would live another fifty years. The difficulty they have shedding tears to show their concern indicates that they are false.We can also say that they do not mean what they say because the Bishop said that King Canute could live for a thousand years - which is obviously untrue.

iii. What does the Bishop add to this exaggerated wish mentioned in the next few lines?
The Bishop chides the keeper for saying that the king would live for another fifty years when he would very well in for another thousand years. The Bishop cites the example of Jephthah, the Israeli general who stalled the sun and the moon by his prayer. If the king desired, his wish to live long would also be fulfilled.

iv.What does the poet want to convey through these flattering words?
The poet wants to convey that flattery leads to nowhere.

E. Read the extract one below an answer the questions that follow it.
"Did not once the...... were his sacred will."

i. Who is King Canute being compared to and in what respect? Explain the reference to the Jewish captain.
King Canute is being compared to the Jewish captain Jephthah who bid the sun and the moon to a standstill. The king's followers said that he too like Jephthah could command the sun and the moon.The reference to the Jewish captain is brought up here because the courtiers are trying to convey to the king that he too was all powerful like Jephthah.

ii.What effect do these words have on Canute?
Encouraged by the flattery the king regains his self-esteem.

iii.How does the King react on being compared to the Jewish captain?
The King feels happy on being compared to the Jewish captain - who had the power to stop the sun and the moon in the heavens.




iv. What does the king feel encouraged to do? What happens then?
Once again the King feels powerful. In order to demonstrate his powers he orders the waves to recede. To his surprise, the sea roared and the waves rushed with all their forces towards the shore.

v. What does the action of the waves conveyed to Canute?
The King realises that God is the Master of the universe and man can never dream of becoming his equal.

iv.How does Canute change after this incident? And what instructions does he give his followers?
King Canute who was obsessed with his power now realises that when confronted with the divine his powers were absolutely nothing. He is very weak compared to the powers of the universe. He instructs his followers never to bow down to mere human beings.

F. Read the extract given below an answer the questions that follow it.
"And he sternly bade -- -- -- never write he from that day".

i. What did the king strictly command his officers?
He commanded them strictly never to go down to any mortal human being but to praise and worship only the almighty.

ii. Who did he ask to praise and worship and why?
He asks to praise and worship the Supreme God because he was the one who controlled the entire universe and all the mortals.

iii.Do you agree with the king's final decision? Why?
I agree with the kings final decision. We human beings are mere puppets in the hands of our master. We can attain true happiness only by worshipping him.

iv.Comment on the Bishop's overflowing flattery to please the king.
In spite of holding a high rank, controlling the activities of a church, the Bishop chose to elevate the position of the king to that of God. He does this to win some personal favours. This goes to prove that irrespective of his position man indulges in sycophancy and flattery.

v.What message does this poem convey?
The poet conveys the message that sycophancy and flattery do not get us anywhere because powerful people are also as weak other human beings. Attributing divine powers to a king is not correct or justified.

Caught in the act!


This passenger bus (in Gurgaon) stopped at a traffic signal when a goods tempo glided next to it. The driver of the bus, then found it very convenient to put his hands out to (click on image to enlarge) pickup a packet of of noodles from the goods carrier.

This was the first time I was witness to an in-transit pilferage.

Monday, September 22, 2008

GATI se DurGATI

I bought this electric iron from indiaplaza.in, recently. This side of the box which has use instructions/features is plastered with the airway-bill.
Thus, nothing can be read.Internet shopping is now gathering momentum. The seller and the courier need to be more careful on how customer expectations are met.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Macbeth -Act I,Scene VII

(Macbeth - Act I, Scene VII. Questions taken from the Indispensable Work-Book on Macbeth published by National Publishing House.Suitable for ISC schools, class XI.If you have a query, please post a comment below.Leave your mail id if you need a personal response, else I will post the response on the blog.)


Lady Macbeth


Q1. Who is Macbeth addressing and where is he?
Here Macbeth is talking to himself. He has left the dinner table to without waiting for the king to complete his meal - which is not good manners. His mind is in turmoil. He does not know whether he should proceed to kill king Duncan or give up the plan. He feels that he should not proceed with the plan. This is because he feels that murdering king Duncan will not end the matter there. He feels that this issue would haunt him for the rest of his life. He also feels that there would be natural justice and he would be punished the same way (ie killed like Duncan). Besides Macbeth feel that as he was a cousin of King Duncan, his subject and his host he was duty bound to protect king Duncan and not put him to any kind of trouble.

Q2.There is a play on the word 'done' in the first line (pun). Explain the different meanings of the world as it is used here.
There is a pun on the word done. The first meaning of the word done refers to the act of killing king Duncan. The completion of the killing of king Duncan is one meaning of 'done'. The other meaning of "done" refers to the consequences of killing king Duncan. Macbeth wonders if the consequences of killing king Duncan would also be 'done' with the completion of the killing of Duncan. Macbeth feels that the consequnce of killing king Duncan would not be ' done ' with the killing of Duncan.

Q3.Explain he line 'could trammel up... success'.
This means that Macbeth thinks that if the consequences of killing king Duncan can be contained then it may be possible to execute the plan to kill him. He also thinks that not only must the consequences of the killing be contained but the plan to kill must be executed without failure.He knows that if his plan fails then the consequences of failure would be very dangerous.

Q4.What does macbeth mean by ' We'd jump the life to come"?
Here Macbeth means that he is not afraid of how he would face god on the day of judgement. He is worried about the time on earth after killing Duncan. He is worried about how people will judge him. He is not only worried about how people will treat him but is concerned that he may be treated the same way that he treats king Duncan, that he too may be killed in a similar manner.

Q5.Later in the speech Macbeth talks of "judgement here". What judgement does he mean?
By judgement here, Macbeth means the judgement of the people of the kingdom. He is afraid that he would lose his respect in the kingdom.Not only that he feels that people may treat him the same way that he treated king Duncan - that is, kill him.

Q1.Where is Duncan and why is he there?
King Duncan is at Macbeth's castle in Inverness. He is there to honour Macbeth for defeating enemy forces. He plans to spend the night at Macbeth's castle.

Q2.What "double trust" is Macbeth talking of?
Macbeth is not sure whether he should carry out his plan to kill king Duncan. He realizes that no only is king Duncan his cousin but he is also Macbeth's subject. Thus Macbeth feels that he should not betray this double trust in any manner.

Q3.Macbeth gives a third reason for not killing Duncan. What is it?
The third reason that Macbeth gives for not killing Duncan is that he is the host for the evening. Being the host, he is bound to protect and not harm his guest.

Q4.Pick out the simile in this speech and elaborate upon it.
The simile in this speech is '.. that his virtues will plead like angels". King Duncan was a virtuous king. He ruled his kingdom well. He took care of his subjects and the official of his kingdom. Therefore, Duncan feels that king Duncan was so virtuous that his virtues wills speak like angels in his favour. These virtues are so strong that it will take a lot of effort to attack king Duncan when he is unarmed and asleep.

Q1.Why is Lady Macbeth angry with Macbeth?
Lady Macbeth is angry with Macbeth because he is now reconsidering his plan to kill king Duncan.

Q2.What does Lady Macbeth consider 'ornament of life?
Lady Macbeth considers the crown of the King of Scotland as the ornament of life.

Q3.What adage is Lady Macbeth talking about? How does it apply to Macbeth?
The adage that Lady Macbeth is referring to is about the cat which wants to fish but does not want to get its paws wet. Lady Mabeth uses this old adage to tell Macbeth that Macbeth is like the cat. He wants the crown but does not want to take the effort in securing the crown for himself.

Q4.What does Macbeth say in answer to Lady Macbeth?
Macbeth answers that there is no man who can dare more than him.

Q5. What do we learn of Lady Macbeth's character from these lines?
From these lines that lady Macbeth has good understanding of a person's character. She knows what will provoke a man to act.She know the weakness of a person and is able to exploit these weaknesses. She knows what a person wants and what will make him act to fulfill those wants.

Q1.With which comparison does Lady Macbeth show Macbeth that she is firm in her intentions?
In order to show Macbeth that she is firm with her intention of killing king Duncan, Lady Macbeth tell Macbeth that if she were firm on her intention, then she would even kill her own new born baby no matter how helpless it was, in order to attain her goals.

Q2.What impression do you form of Lady Macbeth from these lines?
When Lady Macebth says that she would even kill her own new born baby in order to attain her ambitions, it becomes very clear that Lady Macbeth is a heartless woman who is ruthless, cunnning and will stop at nothing to attain here goals. This also means that she would betray anyone in order to get to her goals.

Q3. What is Macbeth afraid of "failing at"
Macbeth is afraid of failing at his attempt to kill king Duncan. Macbeth feels that if he fails in this attempt to kill king Duncan, then he will have to stand a trail by the people of Scotland and that he would completely lose all his standing and good-will in society.

Q4."We fail!" What feeling is Lady Macbeth conveying in this phrase?
The meaning that Lady Macbeth is conveying in this phase is that if they prepare right, they cannot fail.

Q5.Explain "screw" your courage to the sticking place and we'll not fail.
Lady Macbeth tell Macbeth that he must gather the required courage to execute his plans. She says that if he executes his plan courageously then he will not fail in the execution of his plans.

Q6.After listening to Lady Macbeth's brave words, what does Macbeth say?
Macbeth is inspired to carry out his plans after listining to Lady Macbeth's words. He is so inspired by Lady's Macbeths courage and fearlessness that he tell Lady Macbeth that she must give birth to boys only - for the boy's born to her will be manly and will be fearless.

Q1. Critically analyse Macbeth's soliloquy. What reason does he give for not murdering Duncan?
From Macbeth's soliloqy it is clear that Macbeth is not completely convinced that it is the right thing to kill King Duncan. The prediction of the witches that he would be the king of Scotland is weighing on his mind - yet he is not sure that he should hasten the natural course of events. He is not sure whether the murder of king Ducan would have a fallout which could lead to the popular opinion of the people of Scotland going against him. He says that the the king and the people of Scotand have bestowed many honours on him. He want to enjoy this honour and not squander it away. He feels that even though the guards of king Duncan will be blamed for the murder not everyone in the kingdom will believe this explanation. He fears that he may be put on trail for the murder. He think that god would punish him for this murder on the date of his final judgement but the people of Scotland will punish him sooner. He also believes that he too may be treated the same way that he treats king Duncan. Macbeth also realizes that as a subject of king Duncan,his cousin and his host for the night the has the responsibility of protecting king Ducan. Macbeth also realizes that king Ducan has been a just ruler. He has taken care of his people as well as of Macbeth. Thus, there is no real reason for him to kill king Duncan except for his ambition to become king of Scotland.

He thinks that becoming the king of Scotland is not adequate reason to kill the king of Scotland.

Q2.Compare Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in this scene?
In this scene, the behaviour of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is very contrasting. Macbeth initially doubts the correctness of his decision in attempting to kill king Duncan. He is not sure whether the murder of king Ducan would have a fallout which could lead to the popular opinion of the people of Scotland going against him. He says that the the king and the people of Scotand have bestowed many honours on him. He want to enjoy this honour and not squander it away. He feels that even though the guards of king Duncan will be blamed for the murder not everyone in the kingdom will believe this explanation. He fears that he may be put on trail for the murder. He thinks that god would punish him for this murder on the date of his final judgement but the people of Scotland will punish him sooner. He also believes that he too may be treated the same way that he treats king Duncan. Macbeth also realizes that as a subject of king Duncan,his cousin and his host for the night the has the responsibility of protecting king Ducan. Macbeth also realizes that king Ducan has been a just ruler. He has taken care of his people as well as of Macbeth. Thus, he feels, there is no real reason for him to kill king Duncan except for his ambition to become king of Scotland.

We can see in this scene that Macbeth is vacillating in his intention to kill king Duncan. The goodness of Macbeth's character is also visible in places. He is not all evil and ruthless. He is not single minded in his ambition to become king. He is respectful of the fact that king Duncan has treated him and rewarded him well. He does not want to over look this fact.If he could, he wants to give up his plan to kill king Duncan.

However, Lady Macbeth is a complelty contrasting character. She is the evil force which compels Macbeth into executing the evil plan to kill King Duncan. When Macbeth wants to give up his plan she uses her devious abilities to remind Macbeth,
"was the hope drunk wherein you dress'd yourself? She told Macbeth 'screw your courage to the sticking place". She motivated Macbeth by telling him that she would even kill her own new born baby in order to accomplish her objectives.Thus Macbeth was not all evil. He had a moderate side to him. However, Lady Macbeth was the force behind the evil deeds of Macbeth

Macbeth - Act I, Scene VI

(Macbeth - Act I, Scene VI. Questions taken from the Indispensable Work-Book on Macbeth published by National Publishing House.For ISC schools, class XI. If you have a query on these answers please use the comment tab below.Please leave your mail id if you need a personal response. Else,the response will be as a post on the blog.)

Q1.Where is Banquo and why is he there?
Banquo is outside Macbeth's castle in Inverness. He is there at the invitiation of Macbeth. King Duncan and Banquo plan to spend the night at Macbeth's castle in Inverness. This is to celebrate the victories of Macbeth and Banquo over the enemy forces.

Q2.What bird is he referring to and what is its special quality?
Banquo is referring to the Hunting Martlet. The special quality of the Hunting Martlet is that the atmosphere is very pleasant where ever the bird makes its home.

Q3.Explain the line, " The love that follows us sometimes is our trouble".
This means that the subjects of king Duncan love him so much they cause him some trouble. For example, in this case, in honour Macbeth he decided to spend a night in Macbeths castle in Inverness. This is trouble for king Duncan since he had to travel a long distance to get to Macbeth's castle.However, as king Duncan says, this kind of trouble is what he accepts with gratitude and prayer.

Q4.What is Duncan trying to teach his hostess?
Duncan is trying to teach the hostess that which his visit will cause some trouble to the the Macbeth's - this is the type of trouble they should accept with gratitude. Duncan says he too accepts such trouble with gratitude and prayer.

Q5.Comment on Duncan's use of the phase'our honour'd hostess.
King Duncan uses the phase 'our honour'd hostess as a mark of respect for Lady Macbeth. He shows this respect to Lady Macbeth on account of the significant services rendered by Macbeth to safeguard the kingdom of king Duncan.

Q1. Bring out the dramatic irony revealed in the scene.
The scene has dramatic irony. King Duncan and Banquo reach the castle of Macbeth in Inverness. King Duncan decides to spend a night at this castle to honour Macbeth. At the castle, they find the atmosphere very pleasant. Banquo even comments that the presence of the Hunting Martlet is a sign of the place being pleasant. The hostess for the evening, Lady Macbeth is so reverent and subservient towards king Duncan. It appears to be just the perfect setting for the evening to celebrate the victory of Macbeth and Banquo. The setting is very calm and serene. However, the irony of the situation is that while the setting appears peaceful, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are plotting to kill king Duncan and Banquo the same evening after they retire at night.The atmosphere is serene but the minds of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth in in great turmoil.They are busy plotting the killing. Therefore, there is only a deceptive calm in the setting.

The Corn Job

The "Bhutta" of the past has now been re-launched as American Corn. You will find them in malls,airports and on busy high streets.



The Hot & Juicy Stall at Mumbai's domestic airport (IB)



This is the same stall as above. Notice, this is the stall which has a queue. The other stalls (Hot Dog and Baskin Robbins) are deserted (pun unintended).

This just shows that a re-launch does not even need a lot of advertising. Just build a better mouse-trap and the world will beat the path to your door (provided there are mice to be caught by the better mouse-trap)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Macbeth - Act I, Scene V

(Macbeth - Act I, Scene V. Questions taken from the Indispensable Work-Book on Macbeth published by National Publishing House.Suitable for class XI of ISC schools)

Q1.Who is Lady Macbeth talking to and what are the circumstances?
Lady Macbeth is talking to herself in this extract. The circumstances are that lady Macbeth has just been informed by Macbeth, through a letter, that the witches have informed him that he would be the king of Scotland. In this extract she plan on how she will talk to Macbeth, once he reaches home, on her plan to kill Duncan and become the king of Scotland.

Q2.What is lady Macbeth referring to in the first line?
In the first line lady Macbeth says that Duncan would not do anything which is wrong.Lady Macbeth wishes that Macbeth would kill king Duncan to take over as the king of Scotland. However, she know that Macbeth is too kind to do such a dastardly act.She therefore plans to poison Macbeth's mind to make him strong-willed enough to carry out the plan to murder king Duncan.

Q3.In the line " Thus thou must do if thou have it". What do "thus" and "it" refer to.
Here Lady Macbeth wishes that Macbeth adopts the attitude of " I want to be the king of Scotland and therefore I will do whatever is required to achieve this goal" "Thus" refer to Macbeth getting convinced to kill king Duncan. "It" refers to the deed of killing king Duncan.

Q4.Explain the line "and that which..... undone"
This line is spoken by lady Macbeth when Macbeth is not present. Here Lady Macbeth tell herself that if Macbeth carry's out the act of killing king Duncan he would not regret the act.She goes on to think at once done, Macbeth would be so happy with the outcome that he would not want the act to be reversed even if that were possible.

Q5.Lady Macbeth calls Macbeth "hither".What does she propose to do?
Once Macbeth arrives she proposes to use the power of here speech to fill his mind with courage to take the decision to kill king Duncan. She want to motivate Macbeth to carry out the act of killing Duncan so that he could take over as the king of Scotland.

Q6.Earlier in the speech she says that " I fear thy nature" Why does she fear Macbeth's nature.
Lady Macbeth fear Macbeth's nature because Macbeth, by nature, is straightforward and would not do anything which is illegal or immoral. Macbeth does not believe in foul play.Macbeth was ambitious but would not adopt crooked ways to achieve his goals. Lady Macbeth fears this nature of Macbeth because she feels that because of his straightforward nature, Macbeth would not agree to her plan of killing king Duncan and becoming the ruler of Scotland.

Q7.What metaphysical "aid" is Lady Macbeth referring to? How has it helped Macbeth?
The metaphysical "aid" which Lady Macbeth is referring to is that meeting of Macbeth with the three witches where the witches had informed Macbeth that he would become the king of Scotland. By recalling the prophesy of the witches, Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to carry out the plan to kill king Duncan.


Q1.Who is Lady Macbeth talking to? What has she been told and by whom?
Lady Macbeth is talking to the spirits.She is asking them to make her cruel and without remorse and compassion. She is asking the spirits to make her unwomanlike in her attitude.She is saying this to get the courage to make Macbeth carry out the act of killing king Duncan. She has been told by the messenger that Macbeth and king Duncan are on the way to the castle.

Q2.Why does she wish to be "unsexed"?
She wishes to be unsexed becuase a woman is not normally capable of doing cruel deeds. She has to carry out the plan of killing king Duncan. She feels that her woman like qualities of compassion and kindness will come in the way of her executing the act of killing king Duncan. She therefore wishes her womanly qualities are take away to that she can carry out the killing of king Duncan without remorse.

Q3.What do you understand by "compunctious visitings of nature"?
This means that Lady Macbeth wants to steel herself so much that her womanly qualities do no women in the way of her plan to kill king Duncan.She does not want her feelings to come in the way of killing a person who was their guest.

Q4.What "fell purpose" is Lady Macbeth talking about?
The world "fell" means foul.This "fell" purpose refers to the Lady Macbeth's plan to kill king Duncan when he came to visit them at their castle in inverness.

Q5.Explain "nor keep... between the effect and it".
Lady Macbeth does not want anything to come between her desire to kill king Duncan and the execution of the deed.

Q1.How is Macbeth's face an "open book" and what "matter can people read?
Lady Macbeth tell Macbeth that his face is like an "open book". That is what goes on in Macbeth's mind is visible on this face. Lady Macbeth fears that Macbeth's the going ons in Macbeth's mind is so visible on his face that people will see on his face his plan to kill king Duncan.

Q2.Explain the line " to beguile the time/look like the time".
Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth that since his face was like an open book, he should "beguile the time" that is, his face and look must deceive the world.No one should know from this face what was going on in his mind. "Look like the time" means that Macbeth must show that he is happy and must welcome everyone to his castle.

Q3.Pick out the simile in the passage and explain it.
The simile in the passage is "Your face, my thane, is as a book...". This is a simile because Lady Macbeth compares Macbeth's face to a book. She compares his face to a book becuase she feels that people could read his face for his thoughts as easily as someone reads a book.

Q4.Who is expected and with whom?
King Duncan is expected to visit the castle at inverness. He was expected to arrive along with Macbeth.

Q5.What does Lady Macbeth plan to do?
Lady Macbeth plans to arrange to kill king Duncan while he slept at the castle in Inverness.

Q1.Write a note on the soliloquy uttered by Lady Macbeth. Give a brief impression of her character as revealed by Shakespeare in the scene.
Lady Macbeth's soliloquy is inspired by her obsessive desire to convince Macbeth to execute her plan to kill king Duncan.This soliloquy reveal her murderous thoughts. In the soliloquy she requests the spirits to take away her womanly qualities so that they do not create any remorse in her mind in planning the murder of kind Duncan. She request the sprirts to fill her with cruelty to enable her to execute her task successfully. In her soliloquy she asks the night to become so dark that no one can see the gleam of the sharp knife that would be used to kill king Duncan. Her soliloquy also reveals her fears.She feels that Macbeth is too soft an too kind to commit the act of murdering king Duncan.She thinks of what she would tell Macbeth to ensure that he has enough resolve to kill king Duncan.
Lady Macbeth is a very determined and ambitious woman. She is ambitious not only for herself but also for her husband. Her soliloquy reveals her mind on how she would convince Macbeth to undertake the task of killing king Duncan.

Q2."Lady Macbeth is not as ruthless as she appears to be" Contrast her character as shown in Act I, Scene V to Act V, Scene I , later on in the play.
In act I, Scene V, the ruthless personality of Lady Macbeth comes to the fore. Here she plots to kill king Duncan. She is shown here to strengthen her husbands resolve to kill king Duncan. She is seen a a tough woman who even asks the spirits to take away her womanly quality so that it does not come in the way of her executing her plans. She is shown being critical of Macbeths honest and transparent personality.She feels that Macbeths non-conniving nature is an impediment in the way of executing her plan. She even tell Macbeth that the plan would be executed under her supervision. Macbeth would only the the executor of the plans.

However, this behaviour is a complete contrast to her behaviour in Act V Scene I where she is a completely broken woman.She sleeps walks. She has no control over what she says. This is a complete contrast to her personality in the earlier act where she was in complete control of what she said and even what Macbeth said. In the latter act she is a broken-down woman who is regretting her action to killing king Duncan. This act has adversly affected her mental health. In the latter act she tries to get rid of imaginary blood stains from her hand. It is clear that her mental state is unstable. She is no longer the woman she was.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Macbeth - Act I, Scene IV

(Macbeth - Act I, Scene IV. Questions taken from the Indispensable Work-Book on Macbeth published by National Publishing house.Suitable for ISC class XI.)

Q1.Who is being talked about. How did he die?
The Thane of Cawdor is being talked about here. He died because he was executed on orders from king Duncan. King Duncan ordered him to be killed as he has rebelled against king Duncan and has assisted the king of Norway in attacking the forces of king Duncan.

Q2.Why did the man meet this kind of death?
The man (the Thane of Cawdor) met this kind of death as he has betrayed king Duncan of Scotland by assisting the king of Norway in attacking king Duncan.

Q3. Explain the line ' he died as one that had been studied in this death'.
This line means that the Thane of Cawdor was expecting to be put to death by king Duncan of Scotland as punishment for having assisted the enemy of the the King. The word 'studied' means prepared. The Thane of Cawdor was ready for death when he was executed.

Q4.What is Malcolm's attitude towards this man as seen in this speech?
Malcolm's attitude towards the Thane of Cawdor was one of casualness and disdain. " I have spoken to one who saw him die" shows this casualness. Malcolm's attitude is also of complete lack of sympathy for the Thane of Cawdor.Malcolm's felt that death was the only option to the Thane of Cawdor for his cowardice.

Q5.Comment on Duncan's word's. What is the dramatic irony here?
King Duncan says that there is no way you can read the mind of a person. One cannot know what the other person is thinking.King Duncan means that he trusted the Thane of Cawdor completely. However, the Thane of Cawdor betrayed his trust and sided with the King of Norway and attacked his kingdom. The dramatic irony of this is that king Duncan is now about to place a similar trust on Macbeth by making him the new Thane of Cawdor. As future events unfold, Duncan will be betrayed by Macbeth just the way he was betrayed by the earlier Thane of Cawdor.

Q6.Where is scene taking place? What is the occasion?
This scene is taking place in Forres in the palace of king Duncan.The occasion is the return of Macbeth and Banquo from the battlefield after defeating the Thane of Cawdor and the King of Norway.

Q7.Explain the line "That the proportion... been mine.
These words spoken by king Duncan means that king Ducan feels that he cannot thank Macbeth enough for protecting his kingdom from the enemy forces. King Duncan means that the enormity of the service rendered by Macbeth is so much that no compensation will be adequate to repay the services rendered by Macbeth.Duncan means that the pleasure of rewarding Macbeth cannot be his because there is no reward worth the service rendered by Macbeth. If Macbeth had deserved less then king Duncan could have rewarded him adequately.

Q8.What has Macbeth done to make the king grateful to him?
Macbeth defeated the combined forces of the Thane of Cawdor and the King of Norway to save the kingdom of Scotland from the invaders.They also defeated the forces of Macdonald the rebel. This made king Duncan grateful to Macbeth and Banquo.

Q9.Just before these lines, Duncan uses a metaphor to express similar feeling of gratitude. What was the metaphor?
The metaphor that Duncan uses is " the swiftest wings of recompense is slow to overtake thee".By this he means that by the services rendered by Macbeth he had gone so far (in term of obligation to king Duncan) that even the best compensation could not over take the services rendered by Macbeth.

Q10.What is your reaction to Macbeth's answer in view of his later action?
King Duncan tell Macbeth that there was no reward good enough to compensate Macbeth for his services to the kingdom. To this Macbeth replies that whatever he did was as per his oath of loyalty.Macbeth said that he was duty bound to do what he had done. My reaction of Macbeths's answer is that Macbeth was completely dishonest in his reply.His reply was untruthful.He was scheming to kill the king yet was talking about his loyalty to the king and the kingdom.

Q11.Who is the prince of Cumberland?
King Duncan announced that his eldest son Malcolm would be appointed as the king of Cumberland.

Q12.Why is Macbeth perturbed at the thought of his name?
Macbeth is perturbed at the thought of his name because Macbeth was nursing the ambition of becoming the king of Scotland after king Duncan.The appointment of Malcolm as the price of Cumberland as the heir to Duncan's throne perturbed Macbeth as this would prevent him from becoming the king of Scotland.

Q13. What does he mean by 'on which i must fall down, or o'rleap?
By this Macbeth means that the appointment of Malcolm as the price of Cumberland is a stumbling block in his ambition of becoming the king of Scotland. Macbeth means that the appointment of Malcolm as the price of Cumberland is a step over which he must lead (overcome) or stumble (fail).

Q14.What are Macbeth's "black and deep desires"?
Macbeth's black and deep desires are about overthrowing king Duncan to become the ruler of Scotland.

Q15.Explain the expression, 'The eye wink at the hand'.
Macbeth's burning desire, after the witches had told him that he would be king of Scotland, was to take over as the ruler of Scotland. However, the announcement of Malcolm as the price of Cumberland and the future king of Scotland, upset Macbeth's plans. He therefore plots to kill king Duncan and take over as the ruler of Scotland. He knew that his was an dastardly act and says that his eyes must not see what his hand does - that is his deed must remain a big secret.

Q16.Comment on the dramatic irony in the scene(scene IV of Act I).
This scene has dramatic irony. In this scene, the victorious Macbeth and Banquo come back to the palace of king Duncan in Forres.They are warmly welcomed by king Duncan and greatly rewarded for accomplishing their task. King Duncan is upset that the earlier Thane of Cawdor, on whom he put his complete trust, betrayed him. He says that is it impossible to say what is going on in a man's mind.
Nevertheless, he makes Macbeth the new Thane of Cawdor and reposes full trust in him. He also indicates to Macbeth that there would be more rewards for him in future. In order to honour Macbeth, he decides to spend a night in Macbeth's castle in Inverness.
The dramatic irony in this scene is that while on one hand king Duncan is felicitating Macbeth, on the other hand Macbeth is planning to betray king Duncan. He is planning to do what the earlier Thane of Cawdor did to king Duncan ie betrayed him and the trust that was placed in him. Macbeth plans to kill king Duncan and take over as the king of Scotland.

Q17.Express your views on the line: " There's no art, To find the mind's construction in the face.
When king Duncan thinks about the betrayal by the Thane of Cawdor, he thinks about the trust that he had placed on the Thane of Cawdor and how he was betrayed by the very person on whom he placed his trust. Then he thinks that there is no way one can find out what a man is thinking. How does one know or find out who is trust worthy and who is not by just looking at a man's face.
He is now going to place his full trust on Macbeth and is going to make Macbeth the new Thane of Cawdor. However, as the future events will tell us, even this trust is going to be misplaced. He would once more be betrayed by Macbeth - thus history repeats itself. King Duncan's misgivings that one cannot know who to trust is there for his bane. The lack of trust has caused his downfall.

Q18. Give your own views of the character of Duncan, supporting your statements with quotations from the play.
King Duncan was a kind hearted, generous,trusting and caring ruler. He gave the Thanes (the head of each district who reported to the king) of his kingdom respect and autonomy.The fact that he gave the Thanes autonomy was apparent from the the fact that the Thane of Cawdor could put together an army to attack king Duncan and even side with an enemy - the king of Norway. We can say that king Duncan was generous from the way he treated Macbeth and Banquo after they returned victorious from the battlefield. They were generously rewarded. Yet, king Duncan felt that no reward could compensate them for the bravery they displayed in the battle-field.

King Duncan also treated his lieutenants almost like his equal.We can say that because in order to honour Macbeth, he decides to spend a night at Macbeth's castle in Inverness. King Duncan's weakness was that he was too trusting and not a very good judge of people. We can say that becuase even though he realizes, after the betrayal by the Thane of Cawdor, that one cannot find out what a person is thinking he make the mistake of trusting Macbeth too much.His trusting nature leads him to his death.

(Check this additional reference on the web which you may find useful:http://www.megaessays.com/essay_search/king_scotland.html)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Problem of Poverty in India

(The Problem of Poverty in India. Questions taken from ISC Economic published by Frank Bros.Suitable for class XI ISC schools)

Q1.What do you mean by the "Poverty Line" in the Indian context. Explain the extent of poverty in India.
Poverty is defined as that situation in which an individual fails to earn income sufficient to buy him the bare means of subsistence. "Bare means of subsistence" consists of minimum quantities of cereals,pulses,milk butter etc. If a person does not have sufficient income to enable him to purchase this he is categorized as poor.

To measure the number of poor people in the country the concept of poverty line is used.Poverty line has been defined in term of food poverty.The poverty line indicates the income level which is just sufficient to buy the basic minimum quantity of food required for subsistence. The Planning Commission has defined the poverty line in terms of nutritional requirement of 2,400 calories per day per person for rural areas and 2,100 calories for urban areas.

During the period of 1956-57 about 65% of the rural population was below the poverty line. This decreased to about 46% in 1973-74.The percentage of urban poverty was about 50% during this period.The total number of people below poverty during this period was about 215 million. However, with the increasing GDP poverty has been coming down steadily. Only 22% of the population was estimated to be below poverty in 2004-05. On account of the population increase the total number of people below poverty is estimated to be about 260 million.

Q2."Despite economic growth massive poverty continues to exist in the country". How would you explain this phenomenon?
Upto the Fourth Plan, the government focused on economic growth to reduce poverty. It was thought that the trickle down effect of economic growth would reduce poverty. However, inspite of economic growth, poverty continues to exist in the country on account of the big increases in population.The current economic growth of about 8% cannot eliminate poverty as long as the population keeps increasing.Besides, on account of the lack of education the benefits of economic growth has not percolated to the less educated groups and the weaker sections of the society. Economic growth has been driven by the growth in the service sector. As a result the rural poor have not significantly benefited by this growth and therefore poverty continues to exist in this country.

Q3.Discuss briefly three special poverty alleviation programmes presently in operation in India.
Since the Fifth Five Year plan onwards (1974-79)Poverty Alleviation Programmes(PAP) have been an integral part of the attack on the problem of poverty.Various Poverty Alleviation Programmes have been launched to eliminate poverty.These schemes generate employment for the poor residing in rural areas and small towns. Some of these are:
Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yogna
Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana
Employment Assurance Scheme
Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana
Food for Work Programme
National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
Prime Minister's Rozgar Yogna

A detailed description of three of these are :
Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS): EAS was implemented from October 1993 in 1778 backward blocks situated in drought prone, desert,tribal and hilly areas. It was subsequently expanded to all rural blocks in the country.The cost of this scheme was shared by the Center and State governments in the ratio of 75:25.
The two main objective of the EAS are:
- to provide 100 days of work for 2 members of a rural family in an agricultural lean season.This is to create wage employment opportunities for rural people living below the poverty line.
- to use this scheme to provide the community with a durable productive community asset like irrigation canals,roads etc.

Food for Work Programme(FWP):This programme was launched in 2001.This programme was launched in drought affected rural areas of eight states. Under this scheme wage employment was created. Wages were paid party in foodgrains and partly in cash.This scheme was implemented by state governments.The Central Government helped the state government by providing food grain to be used as wage payment,free of cost.

Indira Awaas Yojana(IAY):This scheme is a poverty alleviation program used for constructing houses go be given to the poor.The rural poor were employed for the construction of houses for the poor,SC/ST and freed bonded labourers. This scheme is funded by the center and the states in the ratio of 75:25. Upto the end of 2006 153 lakh houses have been constructed under this scheme.

Q4.Assess the efficacy of poverty alleviation programme in the country.
Poverty alleviation programmes have been implemented from the Fifth Five year plan (1974-79). Since independence till the early 1970's there was no significant reduction of poverty in India. However, after the introduction of poverty alleviation programmes there has been a significant reduction in poverty.
The main achievement of the Poverty Alleviation Programmes are:
- the population below poverty has reduced from 55% in 1974-79 to 26% in 1999-2000.A 29% reduction in poverty is a significant achievement.
- the introduction of PAP has lead to an increase in wages in their area of operation.
- nutrition level of the poorest has improved.
- about half the increase in the income of the poor has been account of PAP.

All these achievements in about 17 years indicates that Poverty Alleviation Programmes have been successful in the country.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Unemployment in India

(Unemployment in India. Questions and Answers from Principles of Economics suitable for ISC class XI)

Q1. Give a brief account of the nature of unemployment in India. How does it differ from unemployment in developed countries?
Unemployment is when a person who need work is not gainfully employed in any productive activity.

Normally unemployment, in India, is of the following reasons:
a)Voluntary and involuntary unemployment : Voluntary unemployment is when people do not want to take up available employment at the prevailing wage rate. Involuntary unemployment is when people do not get jobs even when they are willing to take up jobs at the prevailing wage rate.

b)Frictional unemployment: This occurs when there is unemployment on account of of the closing of firms or due to the preference of the people for only some types of jobs.

c)Structural Unemployment:This occurs when the population of the country grows faster than the rate of employment in the country.

d)Cyclical employment : This occurs when there is unemployment on account of industrial recession due to low demand for goods and services.

Unemployment, in India, differs from unemployment in developed countries for the following reasons:
- Indeterminate:In India the extent of unemployment cannot be easily determined. This is because there is a lot of disguised unemployment.Disguised unemployment is when people appear to be employed but contribute nothing to overall output of goods and services.
- Seasonal: The component of seasonal unemployment is high in India. This is because in India a large part of the agricultural land is not irrigated.Thus there are jobs in farm sector only when there is good monsoon. When the monsoon is weak the no of jobs available in the farm sector also reduces.
- Population:Unemployment in India is high due to population pressure.The population increases faster than the rate of job creation.
-Inadequate Irrigation : Inadequate irrigation leads to seasonal unemployment in the agricultural sector.
-Faulty Education System: Lack of vocational educational system leads to unemployment in India.

Q2. How is rural unemployment different from urban unemployment in India?
Unemployment in India is of two kinds. Rural unemployment and Urban unemployment:

Rural Unemployment : This is unemployment in the rural areas mainly connected with the farm sector.Rural unemployment is different from urban unemployment for the following reasons:
a) Seasonal:Rural unemployment is seasonal in nature. This is because the farm sector in India is not well irrigated. It has to depend on the monsoon for irrigation. As a result there is a big demand for people during the sowing and harvesting season. After the end of these seasons, there is no employment. Due to the lack of man-made irrigation, multiple cropping is not possible.Only about 40% of the farm land is irrigated. If irrigation is increased, seasonal unemployment will reduce.
b) Disguised:There is disguised unemployment in rural areas.Since all members of a family work in the farm, it appears that all members are gainfully employed.However, even if the service of a few members of the family is removed, the output of the farm will not drop. This indicates that all members of the family are not fully utilized and therefore there is disguised employment - that is appearing to be employed not not actually employed.
c) Chronic:Chronic unemployment is prevalent in rural area.This means that a person is unemployed for more days in a year than he is employed. A person is said to be chronically unemployed if he works for say only 100 out of 356 days.

Urban employment, on the other hand arises out of the migration of population from rural areas and the slow growth of jobs in the industrial sector.The other feature of urban unemployment is the presence of a large number of educated unemployed due to th lack of job oriented educational courses.

Q3.Describe the magnitude and pattern of unemployment in India?
It is estimated that the number of unemployed in India in 1956-57 was about 5.3 million. This increased to about 34 million in 2002. According to Prof.K.B.Sahay the actual number of unemployed people in India may even be about 132 million.

The pattern of unemployment in India has two distinct tracks. These are:
- Urban unemployment
- Rural unemployment.

Rural unemployment is on account of the lack of opportunities in the farm sector. Since only about 40% of all cultivable areas are irrigated, farmers are not able to sow multiple crops.They can harvest only one two crops a year. This leads to seasonal unemployment,disguised employment and even chronic unemployment.

In the urban areas,the industrial and service sectors provide jobs. There is unemployment in the urban areas for the following reasons:
- there is migration of people from the rural to urban areas.The rate of increase in jobs is not adequate to provide jobs to all.
- there is a mis-match between education and the requirement of jobs.There is a lack of vocational training which hampers employment.
- the service industry requires better qualified people.Thus even if there are jobs in the service sector, there is a lack of qualified people to take-up these jobs.

Q4."The unemployment problem can be solved by making an all-out frontal attack".Discuss.
An all-out frontal attack on poverty can reduce the extent of unemployment in India considerably. To make an all-out frontal attack on unemployment short-term and long term measures have to be undertaken.These are :

Short term measures:
Special employment generation programmes:These employment programmes increase the income in the hands of the landless agricultural labourers,marginal farmers,village artisans etc. Government programmes like the Employment Assurance Scheme(EAS), the Jawahar Rozgar Yogna create employment opportunities and reduces unemployment.

Long Term Measures:
1.High Rate of economic growth:
If the rate of economic growth is high then there will be low levels of unemployment. High economic growth leads to larger production and therefore higher employment.In order to maximize employment there has to be high growth in sectors which has high employment potential like construction.

2. Increasing investment: If there is investment in road-building, construction, transportation then employment increases.

3.Investment in the agricultural sector: Increase in irrigation facilities will lead to multiple cropping and higher employment. Focus on high value and labour intensive crops (like fruits and vegetables) are labour intensive.

4.Animal Husbandry and Fishing : Investment in these labour intensive areas will reduce unemployment.

6.Rural Industrialization : These include cotton ginning, processing of milk products, jute goods manufacturing etc.Encouraging small scale industries in rural areas based on local resources will also bring down unemployment.

7.Rural Development: Other activities like Rural Development Schemes ( like irrigation projects, drainage works), the use of labour intensive techniques and investment in Social Services (like education, health etc) will reduce the amount of unemployment in the country)

8.Reforms : Reforms in the eduction system with emphasis on skill development will reduce unemployment. This along with population control will control unemployment.