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English IInd yr.- Notes of Unit 4 (3 chapters) by Sajith M R,NVT in English, GVHSS,Vadakkadathukavu


                                                    RICE
          Chemmanam Chacko is a master of satire. He used his poems to express his protest against some social evils. The poem ‘Rice’ written by Chemmanam Chacko is a satire in Malayalam, which was translated to English by the famous poet and critic Prof. Ayyappa Panicker.The poem shows the greed of some people. The poet sarcastically tells about the change in attitude of the farmers whose interest turned to cash crops as they bring them easy money.
          The poem starts with the return of the poet to home from North India. He completed his research and earned a doctorate on making toys with husk. He was eagerly waiting to eat ‘athikara rice’ as he was bored with eating chappathies. He imagined that when he reached home his father would be in the fields stained with yellow mud and his brother would be carrying saplings. But when the poet reached home the scenario had changed a lot. He was shocked to see the changes in his native village. No palm thatched houses, no shouts of ploughing and no oxen were seen. Rubber plants were seen instead of paddy fields.  Basically food crops were replaced by commercial crops.
When the poet reached home, his father was watching the rubber sheet machine being installed. He justified his having switched over to rubber cultivation as rice farming had been a total loss and quite inconvenient. Only fools do rice farming. Commercial crops like rubber gave better money. His younger brother came with ration from the shop. The poet’s cherished desire to relish his favourite ‘Athikkara Rice’ to his fill remained an unfulfilled dream and he had to continue eating chappathies .
          When he saw the aeroplane flying in the sky the poet sarcastically remarks that the Chief Minister would be flying to centre with a request for  more quota for food grains. He wonder whether we will have  to beg in front of the centre for husk as well to make toys.
          Kerala, which was known for farming had been an agrarian  state  has now become a consumer state. Only 20% of the required food crops are grown in Kerala. We are highly depending on other states for food crops. Eventhough we have all the favourable conditions for farming like water, climate and farming tradition we threw away that agrarian culture for material benefits. Money tempted farmers to opt for cash crops. During the time of lockdown in the wake of Covid 19 it was clearly understood that an acute shortage of food grains made us realize what a grave mistake it was to discard our agrarian tradition blinded by our greed. It is high time, that Keralities start thinking of returning  to their roots and culture and enrich our resources to become self sufficient.
          Chemmanam Chacko ridicules the present agricultural system of Kerala in simple as well as colloquial language. A lot of beautiful images flash before our eyes as we go through the poem.  He narrates his own family story to attack the greedy and money minded generation.

Short Summary
          The poem ‘Rice’ is a satire, written by Chemmanam Chacko and is translated to English by Prof. Ayyappa Panicker. The poem shows the change happened to the farmers  whose interest shifted from food crops to commercial crops which gave them easy money.
          When the poet returned to his village after four years of research in North India, he was eagerly waiting to eat ‘Athikara Rice’. He was bored of eating chappathies. But on reaching   his village he found  the scene completelychanged. Paddy fields had given way to rubber plantations. His father told him only fools do rice farming and the rubber tree gives good profit. He saw his brother bringing ration from the shop. When he saw a helicopter flying in the sky the poet sarcastically thinks that the Chief Minister would be going to centre to beg for more food grains.
          The poet clearly pictures the greedy outlook of farmers as well as the indifference of the Government and policy makers towards paddy farmers.



                                                 DRUG ABUSE
Describe the mental as well as physical impacts of drug abuse
          Drugs which are generally called medicines prevent and cure physical as well as mental diseases. Use of drugs has become a habit among people and abuse of drugs become one of the dangers that our society faces.
          In the course of busy and hectic life in today’s age people are under the impression that  every problem of theirs whether it is big or small, physical or mental can be cured simply by a pill. People are so over dependant on drugs that they lose the capacity to deal with life’s situations. This has led to rampant drug abuse among them. The theories put forward by Hippocrates, the father of medicine regarding the controlled and careful use of drugs in treating aliments are totally ignored even by the doctors.
          Drug abuse has widespread impacts on the person both mental and physical. Sensual drugs are used to stimulate the brain’s pleasure centres. Gradually the chemicals in the drugs will start controlling the mechanism of pleasure and satisfaction. Thus the user will slowly reach a stage, where even with the use of drugs he will not get any pleasure. The user feels  physical discomfort and personality changes.  He becomes paranoid. The addict loses his sense of being alive; he feels dead inside. Once a person becomes addict it is difficult for him to free from it.
          Physical disorders related to drugs are manifold and varied. Dirty needles and solutions can cause abscess in the arms and veins. They cause liver disease and infection in kidney and brain. Sniffing cocaine and amphetamines can damage the tissues in the nose. Marijuana and tobacco smoking cause lung diseases. Use of alcohol and volatile drinks damage the liver permanently. There are also women addicted to opium. Their babies  born of drug addict mother are likely to be born addict  and are often found suffering  from withdrawal symptoms. Marijuana can damage cells. A drug addict is prone to pneumonia, tuberculosis and weight loss. Over dose of sensual drugs leads to respiratory or cardiac failure and death. As a whole, drugs cause degeneration of health, depletion of brain functions and abnormal mental mechanism.
          Drugs are a threat to our society. It is mostly the youth that fall prey to this menace.  It destroys not only the individual but the society as a whole. And it often remains a nagging flaw and order problem. Drug smuggling and violence associated with drug abuse hinder the growth and progress of a nation. 

Short Summary
          Drug abuse is a menace to our society. A drug addicts’ mental frame is like a paranoid. He loses his sense of being alive. He feels dead inside and always depressed and fails to respond to his situations. An addict slowly becomes reclused, absent minded and cut off from the rest of the world having no regard or care for  hygiene or orderliness. Dirty needles and solutions cause serious problems. TB, Pneumonia, weight loss are some common problems related to drug abuse. Damage in liver, kidney, heart, brain, and respiratory organs are the direct results of using drugs. Babies of a drug addict also suffer a lot. Violence and drug smuggling are the part and parcel of drug abuse. It drastically

                                      When a sapling is planted
                                                                         Wangari Mathai
          “It’s the little things that citizens do. That’s what will make the difference. My little things is planting trees”. These are the words of the famous Kenyan environmentalist and the first African woman who won the Nobel Prize for peace, Wangari Mathai. She founded the Green Belt Movement focussing on the planting of trees, conservation of environment and women’s rights. ‘When a sapling is planted’ is the Nobel Prize acceptance speech she delivered at Oslo.
          Wangari Mathai got inspiration from her childhood experiences and observation of nature in Kenya. She witnessed how the Government  policy of promoting and encouraging commercial farming was destroying biodiversity. She also noticed that destruction of forest and environment for facilitating commercial farming was severely  pushing Kenyan women to hardships as they found  it hard to access pure water, balanced diet, shelter and income. International trade controls the price of crops, thus it breaks the backbone of rural economy. Small scale farmers find it difficult to earn their living. The Green Belt Movement was a response to the basic needs identified by the rural women of Kenya.
          The planting became an appropriate method to satisfy the needs of women. This movement planted over 30 million trees all over Kenya. It not only provided the basic needs but improved the soil and water sheds. Initially the green belt movement did not address the issues regarding democracy and peace. But they understood that responsible democratic government could solve the issues of environment properly.
          It has been more than thirty years since Wangari Mathai started this movement. But barbaric  exploitation of  environment still continues in almost all parts of the world. Humanity should be aware of the fact that it is our life supporting system. Forgetting their selfishness people should  think that each individual belongs to a large family irrespective of all diversity. She calls the young people to work hard towards achieving their long term dreams and aspirations. She concludes it is our duty to recreate  and rebuild the same beautiful world inherited from our ancestors.
Short Summary
          Wangari Mathai is a Kenyan Environmentalist. “When a sapling is planted” is her Nobel Prize acceptance speech.  In the speech she said  that forests are cleared and commercial crops are planted in large scale in Kenya. It led to the long term destruction of  biodiversity, and capacity of the forests to conserve water. All the major problems like lack water, diet and shelter occurred and it was faced by the women of Kenya. So to address the problems of women she started the Green Belt Movement to plant trees all over her country. The movement became successful in its objectives to certain extent. But similar  problems still exist not only in Kenya, but almost all parts of the world. She exhorts the whole world in general and the young generation in particular to commit themselves to protect nature and to preserve its beauty and wonder for the coming generations.

Sajith M R
NVT in English
GVHSS,Vadakkadathukavu,Adoor

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