Grammar For You


An Approach to ICSE English provides a platform to contribute, discuss and comment on the various issues related to the study and practice of English for the students and teachers of ICSE syllabus. Even with its focussed nature, An Approach to ICSE English will be beneficial to everyone involved in the learning of the niceties of the English language.

Showing posts with label Short Stories Summary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Short Stories Summary. Show all posts

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Summary : My Lost Dollar Stephen Leacock

My Lost Dollar
Stephen Leacock
The author’s friend Todd was going for a short stay in Bermuda. Just before his departure, he borrowed a dollar from the author to pay off the taxi. 
When Todd wrote a letter to from Bermuda, the author expected a dollar bill in the envelope.
Todd has returned from Bermuda but has not bothered to return the one dollar to the author. The lender is too decent to offend his friend by demanding his dollar back. However, the thought that Todd had borrowed the dollar bothered the author, and he made some futile attempts to get back the dollar. 
First, he went to the railway station to receive Todd when he returned from Bermuda. He found Todd very cheerful, but at all ashamed that he had not returned his loan of a dollar. Later, during an evening tête-à-tête, the author raised the topic of the American dollar and asked whether it was used in Bermuda too. Todd did not get the hint about the unpaid dollar.
The author met Todd almost daily in the Club; however, Todd did not refer about the due dollar. One day, Todd is disapprovingly observed that Poland had defaulted its debts. The author was very much upset that Todd did not consider his un-paid debt. Annoyed at Todd’s irresponsible attitude, the author wrote off his loaned dollar and added Todd’s name to his list of defaulters of one-dollar loans. 
The author, offended and distraught, accepts that forgetting to repay loans was a human frailty.  The distressed by the thought that he could have taken such loans and not repaid it. Tormented with guilt, the author desired that his creditors would claim their repayments. Haunted by the disquiet of loan defaults, he wished to initiate a “Back to Honesty’ campaign. He is persuaded that honesty should be the core of all nations seeking greatness.
The author did not desire his ‘forgetful’ friend to know of the agony he had undergone because of the non-payment of the debt and exhorted his readers not to bring the copies of the story to the University Club Montreal patronised by Major Todd.

Summary:The Last Leaf O. Henry

The Last Leaf
O. Henry

A firm friendship bloomed between two young artists, Sue and Johnsy, based on reciprocal trust and shared artistic inclinations. They shared a ‘studio’ in the strange old Greenwich Village. Everything was going well till Johnsy fell ill with pneumonia in the wintry November. The illness affected her so much that she remained all day in bed sure of death. She lied down gloomily watching through her window the leaves fall off from a vine. The doctor did not have much hope of her recovery as she was utterly defeated by the sickness. When Johnsy confided to Sue that her passionate desire was to paint the Bay of Naples, Sue sat in the room sketching trying to draw her sorrow to her art. However, Johnsy was sure that death would come when the last leaf of the vine fell.
An old thwarted artist Behrman, who always declared that he would paint a masterpiece lived below Johnsy and Sue. Sue told him that her friend was dying and that Johnsy insisted that when the last leaf fell off of the vine outside her window, she would die. Even though Behrman derided the foolish notion, his protective attitude towards the two girls made him see Johnsy and the vine.
That night was horribly stormy, and icy rain spattered against the window. There was only one leaf left on the vine. Sue closed the window and pleaded to Johnsy to go to sleep because she did not want Johnsy to see the last leaf fall. Next morning, Johnsy was sure that the last leaf had fallen, and death beckoned her too, When they opened the window, they were astonished to see that there was still one leaf left. 
Johnsy judged that the leaf stayed there to show her sinfulness in accepting death without a fight. that made her resolve to live.  Her will to live made her recovery fully. 
In the afternoon, the doctor came and told Sue that Behrman was dead. But before his death,   Behrman had painted a masterpiece - the last leaf was Behrman’s masterpiece. He had painted the leaf after the last leaf had fallen off the vine.  His final act- the last leaf on the wall gave Johnsy hope and life.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Summary : The Kabuliwala Rabindranath Tagore

The Kabuliwala 
Rabindranath Tagore
The story The Kabuliwala is narrated by the father of a five-year-old Mini. The talkative and innocent Mini and Rahamat, a hawker of dry fruits from Kabul, are the central characters of the story. 
One morning Mini saw a Kabuliwala through her window and called out to him. He was a tall, untidily dressed man with a turban on his head and a bag slung over his shoulder. As soon as the Kabuliwala drew close the house, Mini ran and vanished inside.  Her father bought some dry fruits and chatted with him and came to know of him and his family at Kabul. Then he called Mini and introduced her to Rahamat, the Kabuliwala so that she would shed her fear of the Kabuliwala. Rahamat gave Mini some dry fruits from his bag.
Later Mini’s father found that his daughter and Kabuliwala had struck up a happy relationship, and the two of them met practically every day. The Kabuliwala was a patient listener to Mini’s tittle-tattle and also gave her loads of nuts and raisins. The Kabuliwala entertained Mini with stories of his motherland. 
Mini’s mother, Rama, was against the growing companionship between her daughter and the Kabuliwala and feared he would kidnap Mini one day and sell her off as a slave. 
All of a sudden disaster struck the Kabuliwala. He was arrested and sentenced to several years of incarceration for stabbing one of his customers who owed him money. After his release from the jail, the Kabuliwala went to Mini’s house to meet her. However, He found that Mini had grown up, and it was her wedding day.  
Mini’s father was not happy to see the Kabuliwala on that day and considered it inauspicious to let him see Mini. He persuaded the Kabuliwala to go away. Before going away, the Kabuliwala left a few grapes and raisins for Mini.  He then showed Mini’s father a tatty piece of paper with a charcoal print of a tiny hand. It was his daughter’s. Filled with pity for the Kabuliwala, Mini’s father called Mini. When the Kabuliwala saw Mini in her bridal dress, he was surprised to find a young woman he could not recognise. Mini was embarrassed when she thought of their long-forgotten companionship and shied away. The Kabuliwala found it extremely difficult to reconcile with the reality.  Seeing the predicament of the Kabuliwala, Mini’s father offered him enough money to return to Kabul to join up with his daughter. Even though he had to cut down some of the wedding celebrations, he was contented with his humanistic gesture to a distressed father. 

Summary: Princess September W. Somerset Maugham

Princess September
W. Somerset Maugham

The King of Siam had nine daughters named after the months of the year. The youngest daughter named September had a very pleasing personality. Her other sisters were all of sullen nature. One year on his birthday the King gave each of his daughters a beautiful green parrot in a golden cage. The parrots shortly learnt to speak. Unfortunately, the parrot of Princess September died. She was heartbroken.
Presently a little bird bounded into her room and sang a lovely song about the king’s garden, the willow tree and the goldfish. The princess was thrilled. The bird decided to stay with her and sing her beautiful songs. When the princesses’ sisters became jealous when they came top know of the sweet bird that sang better than their parrots. The malicious sisters urged Princess September to put the bird in a cage.
The innocent princess put the bird into a cage. The bird was bewildered but the princess justified caging the bird as she was afraid of the lurking cats. When the bird tried to sing, it had to stop midway as it felt wretched in the cage. The next morning the bird asked Princess September to release her from the cage, she did not listen to it. Instead she assured the bird that it would have three meals a day and nothing to worry all day. The bird was not happy with it and pleaded to let it out from the cage. September try to console the bird saying that she had caged the bird because of her love for it. The distraught bird did not sing the whole day and stopped eating its food. 
The next morning the princess noticed the bird lying in the cage still. Thinking that the bird was dead, she started weeping. Then the bird rose and told the princess that t could not sing unless it was free and if it could not sing it would die. Taking pity on the bird, the kind princess released the bird. The bird flew away. Yet, it returned to enchant the princess with its sweet songs. The princess kept her windows open day and night for the bird to come and go whenever it wanted.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Summary: Journey by Night Norah Burke

Journey by Night
Norah Burke

Sher Singh was the son of Sher Singh Bahadur - the brave and famous Shikari who had got the title Bahadur for his hunting skills. One day when his father was away in the jungle on a photographic expedition with some strangers, Sher Singh’s younger brother Kunwar fell seriously ill. His mother gave some home remedy to Kunwar without success. So she felt that Kunwar had to be carried to the hospital in Kalaghat. As his father and the elders in the village were away and as his mother ought to look after the cattle and the farming, Sher Singh decided to carry Kunwar to the hospital. She Singh’s mother made a sling from her sari for Sher Singh to carry Kunwar.
In the evening Sher Singh began the journey to Kalaghat carrying his brother in the sling. Kalaghat was at best fifty miles away, but Sher Singh thought that if he took the shortcut through the jungle and cross the two rivers, he might get a lift in a passing vehicle.
As he was moving through the jungle, his jungle sense helped him to escape from stepping on a cobra and sure death. As he walked through the forest, he was terrified. He felt the weight of his brother was too much for him. When he came to the river bed, he decided to take rest for a while.
When he placed Kunwar on the ground, he saw a herd of elephants jostling through the forest. Sher Singh was frightened and helpless. He could neither climb nor run carrying his brother. Fortunately, the herd left the brothers alone and went away.  He lifted Kunwar with great effort and trod into the shallow river. As he splashed on to the shore, he saw newly-made footprints of a tiger. However, he proceeded courageously and reached the second river by midnight.
The snow had melted, the river was full with a strong current and the Kutcha Bridge had submerged. Weaving some grass into a rope, Sher Singh tied it round his brother and himself to keep them together. And then he entered into the river and moved forward with great difficulty. He was careful to keep Kunwar’s head above water. Sher Singh found it an enormous struggle to carry the weight of his brother and move through the cold and strong current in the river. Eventually, after a determined struggle, he was able to cross the river and reach the road to Kalaghat. Then he was able to get a lift in a bullock cart and a truck and reach Kalaghat hospital to admit his ailing brother. After admitting his brother to the hospital, Sher Singh got some work in the rail yards and earned some money to get a few things to cook a meal.
At the hospital, the doctor was amazed that Sher Singh was the boy who brought the sickly Kunwar from Laidwani. The doctor called him ‘Sher Singh Bahadur’ and assured him that his brother would live.

Summary:India’s Heroes Anonymous

India’s Heroes

Mrs. Reeta Baruah Class Teacher of 8 A had asked the students to write a three-minute speech on what they wished to be when they were grown up. They need not speak on any particular profession but could speak of someone whom they would want to be like or even a particular trait that they admire in a person.
All forty students were eager to speak and Ajit Basu was the first speaker who wanted to be a cricketer like Sachin Tendulkar. Next, Gayatri Chhabra wanted to be a social worker like her mother; Sanjay Damle wanted to be a pilot thus the whole class spoke about actors, sports stars, politicians and so on.
When Kabeer’s turn came, he was slightly nervous. He knew that he was not good speaker and that his speech was different from others. His speech did not focus on any single person, profession or quality but was on a range of traits and people from varied walks of life.
Kabeer began his speech saying that when he grew up, he wanted to be brave like Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, the young NSG commando, who lost his life fighting the terrorists in Mumbai in November 2008. 
Kabeer continued - when he grew up, he wanted to be like Vishnu Dattaram Zende, an announcer with the Mumbai railways who fortunately escaped from terrorist’s bullets. On 26 November, when he heard a loud explosion on the CST platform, instead of panicking, he used the public announcement system to direct the public to safety. Kabeer also wanted to be like Karambir Singh Kang, the General Manager of the Taj Hotel, who helped the guests in the hotel to safety instead of running away or trying to save his family who were trapped in the hotel. He stifled a sob and continued that he wanted to be valiant like the Anti-Terrorism Squad Chief Hemant Karkare, who pursued the terrorists and was gunned down by them, along with his associates DIGs Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar.
Kabeer carried on ignoring the tear-filled silence of the class. He said that he wanted to be like Mohammed Taufeeq Sheikh, widely known as Chottu Chaiwala, a young boy who managed a tea stall outside CST station. Chottu Chaiwala was among the first who helped to move the injured to St George Hospital. Kabeer wanted to be like Sandra Samuel as well, who saved the life of two-year-old Moshe during the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.
Finally he said that when he grew up, he wanted to be like the caretakers of the Kabristans in Mumbai who refused to bury the dead terrorists there. The caretakers believed that terrorism has no religion. The only true religion is love and respect for the humanity. 
As Kabeer concluded, the class offered him a standing ovation. Mrs. Baruah’s eyes were brimming with tears. Nevertheless, she was proud that these children are the future of India and they will promote the merits of peace, tolerance and selflessness in the world.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Short Stories Summary Dusk Saki

Norman Gortsby considered dusk somewhat differently from others. To him dusk was a time when losers in life, ashamed to face the world during daytime, come out from concealment. These losers at dusk appear blurry and in all probability will not be recognised by snoops.
Sitting on a bench in Hyde Park on a March evening, Norman Gortsby was looking at thwarted people walk here and there with tattered dresses and stooped shoulders. Near him sat an old man with a feeble insolent air. Shortly, the old man left and his place was taken by a young man.
The young man was seemingly in an awful sulk, and Gortsby asked him the reason for his terrible temper. The young man said that his regular hotel had been razed to make place for a cinema. Hence, he had to stay at an unfamiliar hotel. As he did not like the soap provided by the hotel, he went around the city searching for a store to buy soap.
He bought the soap and to his dismay he found that he had forgotten the name and the address of his new hotel. Fortunately he had earlier written to his people the address of the hotel and he was waiting to hear from them. He could get the address of the hotel from them but his letter would reach them only the next day. Since he left the hotel with only the money to buy some soap and a drink, he was forced to spend the night in the outdoors, as he had no associates in London.
Gortsby realised that the young man had told his strange story to make him to loan him some money. When Gortsby asked about the soap he had bought, the young man could not show him the soap and said that he might have lost it. The young man had to leave without getting any money from Gortsby. Left alone again, Gortsby deliberated the young man's sob story. He thought that the purchase of soap was the crucial detail to make the young man’s story plausible.
After a while, when Gortsby was about to leave, he found a newly bought package of soap on the ground. He reasoned that it might have come out of the young man’s pocket as he sat down on the bench.
He hurried to find the young man. When he found the young man he apologised for doubting him and gave him the soap as well as a small amount of money. Gortsby also gave him his card and his address so that the young man could return the money later.
While Gortsby was returning home, he passed the bench he had been sitting. He saw the old man who had earlier sat with him searching for something. When Gortsby asked the old man what he was looking for, he told Gortsby that he had lost a cake of soap and he was searching for it.