NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 8 – Silk Road
Silk Road Understanding the text
I. Give the reasons for the following statements :
1. The article has been titled “Silk Road.”
2. Tibetan mastiffs were popular in China’s imperial courts.
3. The author’s experience at Hor was in stark contrast to earlier accounts of the place.
4. The author was disappointed with Darchen.
5. The author thought that his positive thinking strategy worked well after all.
1. The article has been titled ‘Silk Road’ as the writer goes for doing his ‘kora’ after travelling on the ‘Silk Road’. Most of his journey occurs on this road.
2. Tibetan mastiffs were very strong, sturdy and alert animals. They were popular in China’s imperial courts as the hunting dogs.
3. The author had come there for academic purpose actually. So he was not emotionally swayed as his earlier pilgrims the Swede or Japanese monks who were moved by the sanctity of the water of Mansarovar Lake.
4. Darchen was very dusty place. Heaps of garbage lay scattered here. Moreover, the life here was very unhurried and relaxed which didn’t appeal the author at all. The feeling of relax was a significant drawback according to the author. Moreover, the author had come a bit earlier to the season of pilgrimage. Hence there were no pilgrims. He didn’t want to do his ‘kora’ alone. For that he had to wait so he was disappointed after reaching.
5. The author had very limited consideration. After coming to Darchen, he felt lonely. Just then he met Norbu, though ill-equipped for the pilgrimage, still Norbu gave useful suggestions like, they should hire yaks to carry their luggage and he won’t like to prostrate to do ‘kora’. At this the author felt that his positive thinking strategy wras working well.
II. Briefly comment on :
1. The purpose of the author’s journey to Mount Kailash.
2. The author’s physical condition in Darchen.
3. The author’s meeting with Norbu.
4. Tsetan’s support to the author during the journey.
5. “As a Buddhist, he told me, he knew that it didn’t really matter if I passed away, but he thought it would be bad for business.”
1. He had come to do “kora’ for academic purpose. Possibly he wanted to write some academic-papers about it and its importance in the lives of pilgrims.
2. The author suffered severely from cold. He felt disturbed while sleeping as one of his nostrils was blocked. He felt his chest heavy. As he breathed in through mouth he felt strange. As he lay down to sleep, he felt he would never been able to wake up. So he spent his first night while remaining awake.
4. The author was feeling veiy disappointed in Darchen while Tseten had left, he had none to talk to (in English). As he was having his coffee and pondering over his limited consideration, Norbu entered. He sought permission to sit at the rickety table opposite the author. He had seen the novel in the writer’s hand and asked ‘English’ ? Soon after they struck in conversation.
Tsetan was the driver of the author’s vehicle. It seemed that he had undertaken journey to Mount Kailash many a times. He knew how to tackle the frozen tracks. He guided the author to have lunch breaths, tea and put up for the night. When the author spent a sleepless night at Darchen, he took him to medical-college treatment. However he was quite professional, as he sensed that something untoward could happen with the author as he felt heavy chest and blocked nostrills, he left the latter saying that being Buddhist it was O.K. but it was not good for his business.
5. Tsetan told the author that being Buddhist, it didn’t matter at all if the author passed away in Darchen. As Darchen was a holy place. So if the author died, it won’t be bad. But as Tsetan was a professional driver, it could affect his business adversely, as people could mistake him an ominous driver whose customers die even before doing ‘kora. ’
Silk Road Talking about the text
Discuss in groups of four.
1. The sensitive behaviour of hill-folk.
2. The reasons why people willingly undergo the travails of difficult journeys.
3. The accounts of exotic places in legends and the reality.
For Q. No. I.
The hill-folk people prostrate to take round while doing their ‘kora’, while the urban- people like Norbu or author laugh at such things.
For Q. No. 2. Just to abide by their tradition and customs.
For Q. No. 3. much different.
In legends and books Mansarovar lake is regarded the origin place of four rivers in India. In reality just one river rises from here.
In legend places are so beautiful and worth worshipping. In reality tourists don’t have that sacred feeling and increase the heaps of dirt and filth there.
Silk Road Thinking About Language
1. Notice the kind of English Tsetan uses while talking to the author. How do you think he picked it up ?
2. What do the following utterances indicate ?
(i) “I told her, through Daniel…”
“It’s a cold,” he said finally through Tsetan.
(ii) “Until, that is, I met Norbu.”
3. Guess the meaning of the following words :
In which language are these words found ?
1. Tsetan doesn’t seem to be a literate fellow. But as he is a driver, he might be driving foreigners to and fro Mount Kailash, hence he has learnt to speak English but only in phrases just to make the others understand. For example, ‘Not knowing, Sir, until we get there’, ‘but no smoking’. He might have picked up English but in phrases from his foreigner- customers only.
2. (i) It clearly means that the author and Mor Lhamo understood each other’s language. It is through Daniel; the translator, they talked to each other.
(ii) The author didn’t know regional language used in Darchen. Hence after Tsetan’s departure, he had none to talk to until he met Norbu, who could speak and understand English.
3. Kora : As per text is a sort of pilgrimage which is undertaken by the people by taking a round of Mount Kailash.
Drokba : Drokba is the shepherd who rears sheep in Durchen
Kyang : Kyang means wild ass.
These words are found in Tibetan language
Silk Road Working With Words
1. The narrative has many phrases to describe the scenic beauty of the mountainside like:
A flawless half-moon floated in a perfect blue sky.
Scan the text to locate other such picturesque phrases.
2. Explain the use of the adjectives used in the following phrases :
(i) shaggy monsters
(ii) brackish lakes
(iii) rickety table
(iv) hairpin bend
(v) rudimentary general stores
1. Extended banks of cloud like long french loaves glowed sink as the sun emerged to splash the distant mountain tops with a rose-tinted blush.
2. After ducking back into her tent, she emerged carrying one of the hng sleeved ‘
sheepskin coats that….
3. It involved crossing several fairly high mountain passes.
4. … I could see the herd galloping en masse, wheeling and turning in tight formation ° as if they were practising maneouvres or some predetermined course. Plumes of dust bil¬lowed into the crisp, clean air, etc. etc.
The list is really endless
2 (a) Shaggy monsters. Literally the phrase means monsters having long and untidy hair. Here monsters is used for the black Tibetan dogs which were used as the guards to nomads’s tents. They were very huge, big, ferocious and aggressive hence they are called monsters.
(b) Brackish lakes : salty lakes : The plateau was pockmarked with brackish lakes. It talks vividly about the non-existence of vegetation.
(c) Rickety table : The table was in worn out condition which indicates the type of the
only cafe in Darchen where the author put up. .
(d) Hairpin bend: The screw in the tyre which is quite bleak.
(e) Rudimentary general stores. Basic general stores. The provisional stores selling the essential commodities of daily use.
Silk Road Noticing form
The account has only a few passive voice sentences. Locate them. In what way does the use of active voice contribute to the style of the narrative.
1. My initial relief at meeting Norbu who was also staying in the guest house was tempered by the realisation that he was almost as ill-equipped as I was for the pilgrimage.
2. I had no idea whether or not the snow had cleared, but I wasn’t encouraged by the chunks of dirty ice that still clung to the banks of Darchen’s brook.
3. I’d been told that the height of the pilgrimage season, the town was bustling with visitors.
4. I was served by a Chinese youth in military uniform who spread the grease around on my table with a filthy rag before bringing me a glass and a thermas of tea.
5… Tsetan was eager to have them fixed.
6. Besides the second tyre he had changed had been replaced by one that was as smooth as my bald head.
Note : Only the underlined sentences are passive voice pi.
(b) Active voice talks volubly about the subject/doer. The action is secondary, whereas in Passive voice sentence action becomes primary and the subject/doer becomes secondary. So whersoever action was felt of supreme importance, it was written in passive form by the writer.
Notice this construction : Tsetan was eager to have them, fixed. Write five sentences with a similar structure.
(a) I am willing to have my meals finished by someone else now.
(b) Mohan was not at all interested in having his section changed.
(c) Sushma is eager to have his name cancelled from the list of picknickers.
(d) They wish to have their tents fixed for them
(e) The aeroplane is said to have crashed near Pataudi.
Silk Road Things to do
“The plateau is pockmarked with salt flats and brackish lakes, vestiges of the Tethys Ocean which bordered Tibet before the continental collision that lifted it skyward.” Given below is an extract from an account of the Tethys Ocean downloaded from the Internet. Go online, key in Tethys Ocean in Google search and you will find exhaustive information on this geological event. You can also consult an encyclopaedia.
Today, India, Indonesia and the Indian Ocean cover the area once occupied by the Tethys Ocean. Turkey, Iraq, and Tibet sit on the land once known as Cimmeria. Most of the floor of the Tethys Ocean disappeared under Cimmeria and Laurasia. We only know that Tethys existed because geologists like Suess have found fossils of ocean creatures in rocks in the Himalayas. So, we know those rocks were underwater, before the Indian continental shelf began pushing upward as it smashed into Cimmeria. We can see similar geologic evidence in the Europe, where the movement of Africa raised the Alps.
A travelogue presenting a panoramic view of Mt. Kailash.
Silk Road Extra Questions and Answers
Read the passages given below and answer the questions that follow :
We took a short cut to get off the Changtang. Tsetan knew a route that would take us south-west, almost directly towards Mount Kailash. It involved crossing several fairly high mountain passes, he said. ‘But no problem, sir” he assured us, ‘if there is no snbw.’ What was the likelihood of that I asked. “Not knowing, sir, until we get there.” From the gently rolling hills of Ravu, the short cut took us across vast open plains with nothing in them except a few gazelles that would look up from nibbling the arid pastures and frown before bounding away into the void.
Further on, where the plains became more stony than grassy, a great herd of wild ass came into view. Tsetan told us we were approaching them long before they appeared. ‘Kyang,’ he said, pointing towards a far-off pall of dust. When we drew near, I could see the herd galloping en masse, wheeling and turning in tight formation as if they were practising maneouvers on some predetermined course. Plumes of dust billowed into the crisp, clean air (Pages 74r-75)
(i) What could have created a hindrance in advancement of the writer ?
(ii) How does the writer describe the plains ?
(iii) What does ‘kyang’ mean ? Which language does it belong to ?
(iv) How did Tsetan know that they would soon come across a herd of kyangs ?
(v) Give the meaning of:
(i) The snow lying on the trail/mountain track could cause a hindrance in his advancement.
(ii) The writer doesn’t find the plains much attractive. There were only a few gazelles in that arid pastures. Without enough/lush green greenary the plains looked quite void.
(iii) ‘Kyang’ means wild ass in Tibetan language. Tsetan the Tibetan driver uses the word, naturally it is the word used in his own language.
(iv) Tsetan knew that they would soon come across a herd of kyangs as the plume of dust billowed into the clear sky.
(v) (a) routine practice
A swathe of the white stuff lay across the track in front of us, stretching for may be fifteen metres before it petered out and the dirt trail reappeared. The snow continued on either side of us, smoothing the abrupt bank on the upslope side. The bank was too steep for our vehicle to scale, so there was no way round the snow patch. I joined Daniel as Tsetan stepped on to the encrusted snow and began to slither and slide forward, stamping his foot from time to time to ascertain how sturdy it was. I looked at my wrist watch. We were at 5,210 metres above sea level.
The snow didn’t look too deep to me, but the danger wasn’t its depth, Daniel said, so much as its icy top layer. ‘If we slip off, the car could turn over,’ he suggested, as we saw Tsetan grab handfuls of dirt and fling them across the frozen surface. I’ve both pitched in and, when the snow was spread with soil, Daniel and I stayed out of the vehicle to lighten Tsetan’s load. He backed up and drove towards the dirty snow, eased the car on to its icy surface and slowly drove its length without apparent difficulty. (Page 76)
(i) In what form did the new hurdle come in the way of the author ?
(ii) What was the real cause of the fear of the team ?
(iii) Who came out with the solution to handle the situation ?
(iv) Why did Daniel and the author stay out while Tsetan drag the vehicle over the snowy-track ?
(v) Give the synonyms of:
(i) The new hurdle that came in the way of the author was a swathe of white snow lay across the track in front of the author. It spread for about 15 metres, on either side of the track. The banks were so steep that the vehicle could not go over it.
(ii) The team which consisted of the author himself, Daniel and Tsetan had the fear” that their car could slip off the top icy layer on their way. That way it would turn over. So not the depth but the slippery icy top layer was the cause of their real fear.
(iii) Tsetan, the driver came out with the solution. He first stamped his feet to deter¬mine the depth of the ice. Then he started spreading dirt over it so as to make the top rough enough for their vehicle to go over it.
(iv) Daniel and the author stayed out of the vehicle to lighten the load so that the vehicle didn’t slip over the snowy track. It really went over it easily afterwards.
(v) (a) covered with hard layer
(b) to slide, move in a smooth way.
Ten minutes later, we stopped at another blockage. ‘Not gopd, sir,’ Tsetan announced as he jumped out again to survey the scene. This time he decided to try and drive round the snow. The slope was steep and studded with major rocks, but somehow Tsetan negotiated them, his four-wheel drive vehicle lurching from one obstacle to the next. In so doing he cut off one of the hairpin bends, regaining .the trail further up where the snow had not drifted.
I checked my watch again as we continued to climb in the bright sunshine. We prept past 5,400 metres and my head began to throb horribly. I’d thought that the labourers had left me some days previously, but they were back at work again. I took gulps from my water bottle, which is supposed to help a rapid ascent.
We finally reached the top of the pass at 5,515 metres. It was marked by a large cairn of rocks festooned with white silk scarves and ragged prayer flags. We«all took a turn round the cairn, in a clockwise direction as is the tradition, and Tsetan checked the tyres on his vehicle. He stopped at the loud hiss. The lower atmospheric pressure was allowing the fuel to expand. It sounded dangerous to me. “May be° sir”, Tsetan laughed “but no smoking.”
(i) ‘Not good, sir’ who spoke these words and why ?
(ii) What solution did Tsetan find out to the problem ? Did he succeed ?
(iii) What happened to the author as they reached the height of 5,400 metres
(iv) How did the author try to overcome the problem ?
(v) Give the meanings of:
(i) Tsetan spoke these words to the author and Daniel. He had noticed a blockage in the form of snow on their way. They were driving in the mountain trails. Their difficulties increased when there was ice on the tracks.
(ii) Tsetan decided to move round the snow. The track was steep and rocky on the sides hence he cut off one of the hairpin bends. But anyhow he got over the difficulty of snowy track.
(iii) As the team reached the height of 5,400 metres, the author’s head began to throb horribly.
(iv) He gulped water to overcome the problem. He knew that water would help him in coping with the fast ascent.
(v) (a) ragged: worn out/ very old and tom
(b) sounded: looked/seemed/appeared
Hor was a grim, miserable place. There was no vegetation whatsoever, just dust and rocks, liberally scattered with years of accumulated refuse, which was unfortunate given that the town sat on the shore of Lake Manasarovar, Tibet’s most venerated stretch of water. Ancient Hindu and Buddhist cosmology pinpoints Manasarovar as the source of four great Indian rivers : the Indus, the Ganges, the Sutlej and the Brahamputra. Actually only the Sutlej flows from the lake, but the headwaters of the others all rise nearby on the flanks of Mount Kailash. We were within striking distance of the great mountain and I was eager to forge ahead.
But I had to wait. Tsetan told me to go and drink some tea in Bor’s only cafe which, like all the other buildings in town, was constructed from badly painted concrete and had three broken windows. The good view of the lake through one of them helped to compensate for the draught. I was served by a Chinese youth in military uniform who spread the grease around on my table with a filthy rag before bringing me a glass and a thermos of tea. Half an hour later, Tsetan relieved me from my solitary confinement and we drove past a lot more rocks and rubbish westwards out of town towards Mount Kailash.(Pages 77-78)
(i) Why couldn’t Hor impress the author ?
(ii) What reason did the author find out for being Hor a grim place ?
(iii) What is the belief of the Hindus and the Buddhist about the Lake Mansarovar ?
(iv) Where did the author have his tea ? Who served him there ?
(v) Give the sytionyms of:
(i) Hor failed to impress the author possibly because there was no vegetation. Just dust and rocks scattered with years of collected refuse had given the town a grim and miserable appearance.
(ii) He assumed that Hor was a grim place possibly because it lay on the shore of Lake Mansarovar, Tibets most venerated stretch of water. Tourists and visitors
poured there in a large number and scattered the refuse.
(iii) They both have the belief that four great Indian rivers : the Indus, the Gangas, the Sutlej and the Brahmaputra rise from the lake Mansarovar. In reality only the .
Sutlej flows from the lake.
(iv) The author had his tea in Bor’s only cafe. A Chinese youth in military uniform served him there.
(v) (a) solitary: lonely, sole
(b) drought : cool air.
I didn’t think he was from those parts because he was wearing a wind-cheater and metal-rimmed spectacles of a Wester style. He was Tibetan, he told me, but worked in Beijing at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in the institute of Ethnic Literature. I assumed he was on some sort of fieldwork. ‘Yes and no,’ he said. ‘I have come to do the kora.’ My heart jumped. Norbu had been writing academic papers about the Kailash kora and its importance in various works of Buddhist literature for many years, he told me, but he had never actually done it himself.
When the time came for me to tell him what brought me to Darchen, his eyes lit up.‘We could be a team,’ he said excitedly. ‘Two academics who have escaped from the library.’
Perhaps my positive-thinking strategy was working after all. (Page 81)
(i) Who is ‘he’ here ? What was the author’s view about him ?
(ii) Who was Norbu ?
(iii) What brought Norbu to Darchen?
(iv) How did Norbu feel after meeting the author ?
(v) Give the meanings of:
(i) ‘He’ is Norbu here. The author’s view about him was that he (Norbu) didn’t belong to Hor/Darchen areas. He was an outsider as he was wearing a wind-cheater instead of sheep-skin-coat and metal-rimmed spectacles of western style.
(ii) Norbu was a Tibetan. He worked at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in the 11nstitute of Ethnic Literature.
(iii) Norbu had been writing academic papers about the Kailash kora and its importance in the various works of Bucfdhist-literature for many years. Now he had comp to do kora himself. He wanted to experience it himself.
(iv) He felt very enthusiastic and excited. His eyes lit up with joy as both had almost similar tastes and professional life. Two academic who have escaped from the library; he puts.
(v) (a) assumed : thought, estimated, guessed
(b) various : different
My initial relief at meeting Norbu, who was staying in the guest house, was tempered by the realisation that he was almost ill-equipped as I was for the pilgrimage. He kept telling me how fat he was and how hard it was going to be. “Very high up,’ he kept reminding me, ‘so tiresome to walk.’ He wasn’t really a practising Buddhist, it transpired, but he had enthusiasm and he was, of course, Tibetan.
Although I’d originally envisaged making the trek in the company of devout believers, on reflection I decided that perhaps Norbu would turn out to be the ideal companion. He suggested we hire some yaks to carry our luggage, which I interpreted as a good sign, and he had no intention of prostrating himself all round the mountain. ‘Not possible,’ he cried, collapsing across the table in hysterical laughter. It wasn’t his style, and anyway his tummy was too big. (Page 81)
(i) What tempered the initial relief of the author at meeting Norbu ?
(ii) Why did the author feel relieved on meeting Norbu ?
(iii) What made the author conclude that Norbu was not a derout believer ?
(iv) What was the only consolation in the company of Norbu ?
(v) Give the synonyms of:
(i) The initial relief at meeting Norbu was tempered by the realisation that the latter was also as ill-equipped as the former was for the pilgrimage.
(ii) The author had come a bit too early to do his kora. The season had not yet set in. He didn’t want to do it alone. So when Norbu came and told his purpose of coming there the author felt relieved as he had got a companion, though not much devout believer.
(iii) Norbu kept telling that he was very fat so it would be very difficult to walk so high up on the mountain-trail. He told that it would be really tiresome to walk. He also told that he was not a practising Buddhist. He also told that he cjidn’t want to prostrate all round the mountain to do kora. It all made quite apparent to the author that Norbu was not a devout believer.
(iv) The otily consolation which the author derived in the company of Norbu was that former got a companion to do his kora. Secondly, he gave valuable suggestions like they should hire yaks to carry their luggage.
(v) (a) Envisaged : imagined in anticipation
(b) tempered : hindered
Silk Road Extra Questions Short Answer Type
What present did Lhamo give to the author as he was leaving Ravu? What reason does he present for it ?
Lhano gave a long-sleeved sheepskin coat as a farewell present to the author as he was leaving Ravu. She told that he would need warmer clothes as he would head towards Mount Kailash.
Why did the author want to go to Mount Kailash ?
He wanted to go to Mount Kailas to complete his ‘kora’ a pilgrimage perhaps for some academic reason. He wanted to experience it in his life. He also wanted to do it in company of some devout believer.
What are the wild ass called at Ravu ?
The wild ass there are called ‘kyang’. Possibly it is a Tibetan word. Kyangs move in great herd galloping in the arid pastures of plains in Ravu.
How did the sheep behave on seeing the vehicle ?
The sheep would take an evasive action on seeing the speeding vehicle. They would just veer away. –
How did the Tibetan mastiff behave on seeing the car ?
The Tibetan mastiffs were strong, huge and sturdy. They took an offending and attacking action on seeing the car. Just as they located the car, they exploded in action and sped towards it. They chased it for a hundred metres or so fearlessly.
What change did the author notice as they moved towards the rocky area ?
The ride became bumpier and the atmosphere colder. He felt a pressure building up in his ears and blockage in his nasal passage. As the door of the car opened, he felt cold air looming in.
How was the author’s ride up in the mountainous trail ?
It was full of difficulties. The track was narrow, rocky. The ice blocked their way off on to make their ascent all the more difficult. The higher they went, the colder it became and finally at the height of 5,400 metres and above, the author had to spend sleepless nights due to his cold-stricken blocked nose problem.
What was the highest point of the author’s ascent and what did the team do there ?
The highest point was at the height of 5,515 metres. There was a large cairn of rocks there festooned with white silk scarves and ragged prayer flags. As per tradition, they took a turn round the cairn in a clockwise direction.
When did Daniel leave the author ?
Daniel left the author after having a round at the highest point of their ascent at the height of 5,515 metres in Hor. He returned to Lhasa in a truck.
Where was Hor situated ?
For was situated at the height of about 5,000 metres, on the shore of lake Mansarovar, Tibet’s most venerated stretch of water.
What was belief about the Lake Mansarovar ?
Lake Mansarovar was the most venerated stretch of water in Tibet. According to ancient Hindus and Buddhists it was the origin place of four great Indian rivers; the Indus, the Gangas, tbo Catlej and the Brahmaputra.
Describe the author’s experience at Hor ?
The author was not much impressed by the village Hor, with no vegetation so to say md with lot of dust, dirt, rubbish and rocks . He found it rather grim and miserable place with lots of garbage accumulated in many years. He spent the first night in state of sleeplessness due to his attack of cold and heaviness in chest. As he lay down, his sinuses filled and his chest was odd. So he stayed awake all night.
What was significant drawback of Darchen ?
The author found Darchen a rather relaxed and unhurried town. It was significant drawback of the place. Moreover it was an off season for pilgrims. The author had come too early, so he was no qourse left except to wait. That made the place appear more uninteresting.
How did Norbu feel on meeting the author ?
As Norbu saw an English novel in the author’s hands, he couldn’t asking ‘English’. Later as the author told his purpose of coming to Darchens, Norbu’s eyes lit up with joy. He felt greatly elated on discovering that the author was also an academic.
Silk Road Extra Questions Long Answers Types
Describe the writer’s experience at Hor.
The writer alongwith Daniel and Tsetan reached the highest point at the height of 5,515 metres. It was marked with the cairn of rocks festooned with silk scarves and prayer flags. As per tradition they took its round in clockwise direction and started careering down. Then they stopped at Hor.
It had just one cafe where the writer had his tea. Hor was rather grim and miserable place with lots of garbage accumulated for many years. It was located on the shore of Mansarovar lake, Tibet’s most venerated place. The high altitude and low-atmospheric pressure created troubles to the author. At night he could not lie down in bed one of ris nostrils was blocked badly. He felt beavness in chest.
But as he got up, strangely he felt relieved. He was really horrified to lie down and kept awake through out night. He was afraid that if he slept, he would never be able to wake up again. So he spent the night sleeplessly. Next day, he got up and his driver Tsetan took him to the medical college. He got his treatment for cold. After a day’s treatment, he slept soundly next night.
Why did the author undertake such a difficult journey ?
The author undertook such a difficult journey to do ‘kora’. It’s a pilgrimage which is undertaken by the devout believers. The cairn of rocks at the height of 5,515 metres, is the destination where the pilgrims take around in clock-wise direction. It is a part of the tradition of the local people. The purpose of undertaking this ‘kora’ is not made clear in the entire extract. But it does have a very important place in the lives of the people believing in ancient religion.
The author also wanted to experience the importance of this pilgrimage. So he undertook this difficult journey. He did it in vehicle, through, but it was really very risky to ride in a car at such a great height, with steep slopes and rocks. The high atmospheric pressure took a heavy toll on his health. His sinuses increased and blocked his nasal passage. His chest also felt heaviness.
Describe the author’s meeting with Norbu ?
The author was left alone in Darchen guesthouse with Daniel and Tsetal gone. He was feeling rather disappointed as the place appeared quite grim and miserable to him. It was an off-season for pilgrimage. Hence there was no hustle-bustle of tourists or other activities. The town was in a state of unhurried relaxes state. The guesthouse itself presented no charms to the author. Its three of four windows were broken.
He took a position near the broken window. So that he could read from his novel in the light coming from the broken pane of the window. He was also having his tea. Just then a person came in and’ sought permission from the author to sit opposite him at the rickety table.
After taking seat, the person asked if he (the author) was English. At the latter he told his purpose of coming to Darchen and gave his own introduction Norbu was a Tibetan who worked in a Chinese Institute of Social Science. He had been writing academic papers on kora for many years. But this time he had come to do himself. In this way their first meeting turned out into a fruitful companion ship as both were the academics who had come to do kora for more academic reason than religious reason.