Home >> Learn English >> Class 8>>

A Short Monsoon Diary , Class 8 CBSE English Lesson Summary, Explanation

By Ruchika Gupta

 

A Short Monsoon Diary, CBSE Class 8 English Honeydew Book Lesson 8 Explanation, Summary, Difficult words

 

A Short Monsoon Diary Class 8 English Honeydew Book Lesson 8 - Detailed explanation of the lesson along with the meanings of difficult words. Also, the explanation is followed by a Summary of the lesson. All the exercises and Question and Answers given at the back of the lesson have been covered

Class 8 English (Honeydew Book) Chapter 8 - A Short Monsoon Diary

By Ruskin Bond

a short monsoon diary

 

A Short Monsoon Diary- Introduction

A Short Monsoon Diary gives us a glimpse of the diary written and maintained by Ruskin Bond. A diary is a record of personal experiences written day after day over a long period of time. In his diary, Ruskin Bond wrote about the silent miracles of nature as the mountains receive monsoon showers. The monsoon season in Mussoorie begins around the last week of June and continues till the end of August. The cold rains are welcomed in October till the last darkest cloud in March which renders the sky clear for the rainbow after it hails.

 

Class 08th English Lessons Class 08th English MCQ Take Free MCQ Test English
Class 08th Science Lessons   Take Free MCQ Test Science
Class 08th Hindi Lessons   Take Free MCQ Test Hindi
CBSE CLASS 08th Social Science Lessons Take Free MCQ Test History

 

A Short Monsoon Diary- Summary

The lesson gives us a glimpse into the diary of Ruskin Bond and the first day being talked about is June 24, the time around which monsoon begins. He mentions how the mist silences the birdsong and conceals the hills making everything invisible. By June 25, humidity emerges as they begin receiving some early monsoon rain. The first cobra lily rears its head from the ferns. The author describes the hill station and valley in one sentence, “A paradise that might have been”. The rains also heralds the arrival of a few seasonal visitors like the leopard, leeches, scarlet minivets and drongos. Because of the downpour, there is no dearth of food for the insect-eating birds. He mentions how the rain continued all night on August 2. The springing leaks from the tin roof made him feel touched by the rain while actually remaining untouched. By the twelfth day of August, Mussoorie had been receiving showers for a stretch of eight to nine days straight. They had nowhere to go. One could only pace in the room or look out of the window. The last day of August marked the peak of the lush monsoon growth. The reddening of the seeds of the lily cobra signified that the rains are about to come to an end and the ferns will now start turning yellow. With October, comes the winter rain bringing snow on the higher altitudes. The late March marks the end of the winter season when the hill station experiences the darkest clouds that make way for a rainbow to form after it has hailed thus, leaving the sky clear.

A Short Monsoon Diary- Lesson and Explanation

June 24
The first day of monsoon mist. And it’s strange how all the birds fall silent as the mist comes climbing up the hill. Perhaps that’s what makes the mist so melancholy; not only does it conceal the hills, it blankets them in silence too. Only an hour ago the trees were ringing with birdsong. And now the forest is deathly still as though it were midnight.
Through the mist Bijju is calling to his sister. I can hear him running about on the hillside but I cannot see him.

Mist (noun)- a cloud of tiny water droplets suspended in the atmosphere at or near the earth's surface that limits visibility (to a lesser extent than fog; strictly, with visibility remaining above 1 km)
Mist (verb)- cover or become covered with mist
Melancholy- very sad (the mist is called melancholy because it makes people feel melancholy)
Conceal- not allow to be seen; hide
Blankets- covers

The lesson gives us a glimpse into the diary of Ruskin Bond and the first day being talked about is June 24, the time around which monsoon begins. As is written, June 24 is the first day when the mist appeared. The writer calls it “strange” how all the birds suddenly went silent as a cloud of tiny water droplets climbed up the hill. He tries to explain why the mist is called “melancholy” by giving two reasons. First, it covers up the mountains and hides the serene view. Second, it silences the birds, hereby bringing sadness. He writes how only an hour before the mist appeared, trees could be heard ringing with the chirping of the birds (birdsong) but now it was so still and silent that he called the forest “deathly” as it felt that it was almost midnight.

 

The writer could hear Bijju calling for his sister but could not see him through the mist. He could anticipate that Bijju was running about on the hillside.

cobra lily

June 25
Some genuine early monsoon rain, warm and humid, and not that cold high-altitude stuff we’ve been having all year. The plants seem to know it too, and the first cobra lily rears its head from the ferns as I walk up to the bank and post office. The mist affords a certain privacy. A school boy asked me to describe the hill station and valley in one sentence, and all I could say was: “A paradise that might have been.”

Cobra lily- common name of several plants
Rears- grow or cultivate (plants)
Ferns- a flowerless plant with feathery green leaves

On the twenty-fifth day of June that year, the hills witnessed some early monsoon rain, which brought with itself warmth and humidity. It’s different from the showers the hills receive all year that cools the environment at such high altitude. The plants also knew it very well that the monsoon had arrived as the first cobra lily of the season plunged its head making its way among the ferns as the writer walked till the bank and the post-office. Upon being asked by a school boy, the author described the hill station and valley as “A paradise that might have been”. It means that during monsoon season, the hill station and valley must feel heavenly which is why it has been referred to as a “paradise”.


June 27
The rains have heralded the arrival of some seasonal visitors—a leopard, and several thousand leeches. Yesterday afternoon the leopard lifted a dog from near the servants’ quarter below the school. In the evening it attacked one of Bijju’s cows but fled at the approach of Bijju’s mother, who came screaming imprecations.
As for the leeches, I shall soon get used to a little bloodletting every day. Other new arrivals are the scarlet minivets (the females are yellow), flitting silently among the leaves like brilliant jewels. No matter how leafy the trees, these brightly coloured birds cannot conceal themselves, although, by remaining absolutely silent, they sometimes contrive to go unnoticed. Along come a pair of drongos, unnecessarily aggressive, chasing the minivets away.

Heralded- announced or brought the news of
Imprecations- curses
Leeches- an aquatic or terrestrial annelid worm with suckers at both ends. Many species are bloodsucking parasites
Bloodletting- losing blood (decades ago, leeches were used to remove blood from a patient’s body)
Scarlet minivets- bright red bird like a cuckoo
Flitting- move swiftly and lightly
Contrive- manage to do something
Drongos- a song bird with a stout bill

 

 

The rain brought with itself the news of the arrival of a few occasional visitors like the leopard and quite a few thousand leeches. On the afternoon of the day before, the leopard picked up a dog from near the servants’ quarter which was below the school. Not only this, in the evening it ambushed one of Bijju’s cows but ran away as soon as Bijju’s mother came cursing.
With the leeches on the other hand, the writer says that he must get used to losing a little blood to them every day. He mentions a few other names that arrived with the rain such as the scarlet minivets; bright red birds that look like a cuckoo, however their female-counterparts are yellow in colour. They move swiftly and lightly among the leaves giving the appearance of brilliant jewels around them. These birds are so bright in their colour that regardless of how leafy the tree is, it is difficult for them to hide themselves. However, sometimes they manage to go unnoticed by remaining absolutely silent. A bird species named Drongos also comes along, quite unnecessarily aggressive in nature. They chase these minivets away.

A tree creeper moves rapidly up the trunk of the oak tree, snapping up insects all the way. Now that the rains are here, there is no dearth of food for the insectivorous birds.

Creeper- any plant that grows along the ground, around another plant, or up a wall by means of extending stems or branches
Snapping up- to take someone or something quickly or eagerly
Dearth- a scarcity or lack of something
Insectivorous- (of an animal) feeding on insects, worms and other invertebrates

During this time, a tree creeper climbs up the trunk of the oak tree, carrying insects with it. The rainy season ensures that there is no scarcity of food for the insect-eating birds.

II 

August 2
All night the rain has been drumming on the corrugated tin roof. There has been no storm, no thunder, just the steady swish of a tropical downpour. It helps me to lie awake; at the same time, it doesn’t keep me from sleeping.

Drumming- falling noisily
Corrugated- (of a material or surface) shaped into a series of parallel ridges and grooves so as to give added rigidity and strength
Swish- move with a hissing or rushing sound

The author wrote on August 2 how the rain had been falling noisily on the corrugated tin roof. There was no storm or thunder, just the smooth falling of the tropical raindrops. It made it easier for the author to lie awake, however at the same time, it didn’t prevent him from falling asleep.

 

It is a good sound to read by — the rain outside, the quiet within — and, although tin roofs are given to springing unaccountable leaks, there is a feeling of being untouched by, and yet in touch with, the rain.

He explains how the sound of rain creates a nice atmosphere for reading with the rain outside and silence within. He mentions the usual leaks from the tin roof and how they give you the feeling of having touched you by keeping you untouched.

August 3
The rain stops. The clouds begin to break up, the sun strikes the hill on my left. A woman is chopping up sticks. I hear the tinkle of cowbells. In the oak tree, a crow shakes the raindrops from his feathers and caws disconsolately. Water drips from a leaking drainpipe. And suddenly, clean and pure, the song of the whistling thrush emerges like a dark sweet secret from the depths of the ravine.

Chopping up- to cut something into small pieces
Disconsolately- unhappily
Drainpipe- a pipe for carrying off rainwater or liquid refuse from a building
Thrush- a small or medium-sized songbird, typically having brown back, spotted breast and loud
song
Ravine- valley

As the rain stops on the 3rd day of August, the clouds begin to separate giving way to the sun on the writer’s left. A woman could be seen cutting sticks into smaller pieces and the tinkle of cowbells could be heard. A crow sitting on the oak tree shook itself to get away with the raindrops on its feathers as it cawed unhappily and water dripped from the leaking drainpipe that carried off rainwater from the building. As everything settled, the pure song of the whistling thrush could be heard like a “dark sweet secret” from the depths of the valley.

 

Bobbing-make a sudden move so as to appear or disappear
Lush- (of vegetation, especially grass) growing luxuriantly

By August 12, the hills had been experiencing continuous rain and permanent mist. They had not seen the light of the sun for about a good stretch of eight to nine days. Everything in the surroundings was slightly wet and moistened. One could not go anywhere. The only option was to move to and fro in the room or look out of the window at a few umbrellas moving suddenly. The author is pleased that it was not cold rain. The vegetation could be seen growing luxuriantly and abundantly on the hillsides as the last-monsoon flowers began to blossom. A few flowers that began to appear are wild balsam, dahlias, begonias and ground orchids.

 

august 31

August 31
is the last day of August, and the lush monsoon growth has reached its peak. The seeds of the cobra lily are turning red, signifying that the rains are coming to an end.

August 31, the last day of the month, also marked the nearing end of the monsoon season. The monsoon vegetation growth had reached its peak by that time and the colour changing of the seeds of the cobra lily to red hinted at the end of the rainy season too.

In a few days the ferns will start turning yellow, but right now they are still firm, green and upright. Ground orchids, mauve lady’s slipper and the white butterfly orchids put on a fashion display on the grassy slopes of Landour. Wild dahlias, red, yellow and magenta, rear their heads from the rocky crevices where they have taken hold.

Landour- a small cantonment town touching Mussoorie
Crevices- narrow openings or cracks in rock or wall

As the next few days pass, the flowerless plants or the ferns will begin turning yellow against their present fresh green colour as they stand firm and upright. He mentions how the ground orchids, white butterfly orchids and the mauve lady’s slipper made the grassy slopes of Landour look fashionable. Furthermore, the wild dahlias, red, yellow and magenta, turned their heads back towards the narrow openings in the rocks where they had taken hold.

 

Snakes and rodents, flooded out of their holes and burrows, take shelter in roofs, attics and godowns. A shrew, weak of eyesight, blunders about the rooms, much to the amusement of the children. “Don’t kill it,” admonishes their grandmother. “Chuchundars are lucky — they bring money!” And sure enough, I received a cheque in the mail. Not a very large one, but welcome all the same.

Burrows- a hole or tunnel dug by a small animal, especially a rabbit, as a dwelling
Attics- a space or room inside or partly inside the roof of a building.
Shrew- a small insectivorous mammal resembling a mouse, with a long pointed snout and tiny eyes
Blunders- act clumsily
Admonishes- warn or reprimand someone firmly
Chuchundars- hindi word for shrew

The snakes and rodents that have come out of their holes and burrows in huge numbers, took shelter in roofs, attics and godowns. A small insectivorous mammal resembling a mouse, namely a shrew, with quite a weak eyesight moved about clumsily in the room. It acted as a source of entertainment for the children. Their grandmother warned them not to kill it because Chuchundars, as they are called in Hindi, are known to bring money and prosperity. The author jokes about it and says that he surely received a cheque in his mail. Although not a huge amount, but welcome anyway.


 

Class 08th English Lessons Class 08th English MCQ Take Free MCQ Test English
Class 08th Science Lessons   Take Free MCQ Test Science
Class 08th Hindi Lessons   Take Free MCQ Test Hindi
CBSE CLASS 08th Social Science Lessons Take Free MCQ Test History

 

October 3
We have gone straight from monsoon into winter rain. Snow at higher altitudes. After an evening hailstorm, the sky and hills are suffused with a beautiful golden light.

Suffused- gradually spread through or over

The month of October took the mountains straight into winter rain as it marked the end of the extended monsoon season. The higher altitudes were covered with snow. On the 3rd day of October, the sky and hills were bathing in beautiful golden light after experiencing a hailstorm an evening before.

 

 

winter rains hills

January 26
Winter Rains in the Hills
In the hushed silence of the house when I am quite alone, and my friend, who was here has gone, it is very lonely, very quiet, as I sit in a liquid silence, a silence within, surrounded by the rhythm of rain, the steady drift of water on leaves, on lemons, on roof, drumming on drenched dahlias and window panes, while the mist holds the house in a dark caress.

Hushed- very quiet and still
Drenched- wet thoroughly; soak
Caress- touch gently

In the month of January, the hills receive winter rains. The author talks about the twenty-sixth day of January when he was all alone in the quiet and still house. The friend who accompanied him a while ago had also gone. He mentions how it was very lonely and quiet as he sat in complete silence experiencing the silence within. He was surrounded by the rhythm of the rain, the slow and gentle movement of water on leaves, lemons and roof as it drummed on already wet dahlias and window panes. The mist covered the house gently in its darkness.

 

As I pause near a window, the rain stops.
And starts again.
And the trees, no longer green but grey,
menace me with their loneliness.

Menace- be a threat or possible danger to

As the author stood still near the window, the rain stopped and showered again. He mentions that the trees were now grey and no longer green, threatening him with their loneliness.

March 23
Late March. End of winter.
The blackest cloud I’ve ever seen squatted over Mussoorie, and then it hailed marbles for half an hour. Nothing like a hailstorm to clear the sky. Even as I write, I see a rainbow forming.

Squatted- sat (here)

Next he writes about late March that marked the end of winter season. He recorded having seen the blackest and darkest cloud resting over Mussoorie. It poured hail that looked like marbles for about thirty minutes. He reveals how there is nothing like a hailstorm that clears the sky. He mentions that even as he was writing his diary, a rainbow was in its formation.

A Short Monsoon Diary- Question and Answers

Comprehension Check

1. Why is the author not able to see Bijju?
A. The author is unable to see Bijju because the mist has concealed the hills. Thus, he could only hear Bijju.

2. What are the two ways in which the hills appear to change when the mist comes up?
A. The author mentions two ways in which the hills appear to change when the mist comes up. First, it conceals the hills. Second, it blankets the singing birds in silence too, because of which the trees that were ringing with birdsong an hour before, are now deathly still as if it were midnight.

3. When does the monsoon season begin and when does it end? How do you prepare to face the monsoon?
A. The monsoon season begins in the last week of June and continues till the end of August. One generally prepares for the monsoon season by taking out raincoats and umbrellas.

4. Which hill-station does the author describe in this diary entry?
A. The author describes Monsoon and some part of the winter season in Mussoorie and Landour in his diary.

5. For how many days does it rain without stopping? What does the author do on these days?
A. It rained for almost eight to nine days straight without a break. The author mentions that there was nowhere to go and he passed his time by pacing up and down in the room and looking out of the window at a few bobbing umbrellas.

6. Where do the snakes and rodents take shelter? Why?
A. Snakes and rodents flood out of their holes and burrows, to take shelter in roofs, attics and godowns as their holes and burrows get filled with the water due to the continuous rain in the monsoon season.

7. What did the author receive in the mail?
A. The author received a cheque in his mail.

Working with the Text
1. Look carefully at the diary entries for June 24-25, August 2 and March 23. Now write down the changes that happen as the rains progress from June to March.
A. As the mountains experienced the first day of monsoon mist, somewhere in the last week of June, the birds fell silent and the forest became deathly still as though it were midnight. Not only this, the mist even concealed the hills. The plants sensed it and the first cobra lily reared its head from the ferns. The hills experienced downpour the entire night before August 3 which helped the author stay awake but couldn’t keep him from sleeping as well. As March arrived, the hills experienced dark clouds sitting over them. It hailed marbles for quite some time, only to leave the sky clear for the rainbow to form

2. Why did the grandmother ask the children not to kill the Chuchundar?
A. The grandmother warned the children not to kill the Chuchundar as they brought with themselves money and prosperity.

3. What signs do we find in Nature which show that the monsoons are about to end?
A. Nature shows quite a few signs to mark the end of monsoon season by the end of August, like the lush monsoon growth reaches its peak. The seeds of the cobra lily turn red. The ferns start turning yellow as against their firm, green and upright state. Ground orchids, mauve lady’s slipper and the white butterfly orchids put on a fashion display on the grassy slopes of Landour. Wild dahlias, red, yellow and magenta, rear their heads from the rocky crevices where they have taken hold.

4. Complete the following sentences.
(i) Bijju is not seen but his voice is heard because __________________.
(ii) The writer describes the hill station and valley as __________________.
(iii) The leopard was successful in __________________ but had to flee when ______________________________________________________.
(iv) The minivets are easily noticed because __________________.
(v) It looks like a fashion display on the slopes when __________________.
(vi) During the monsoon season, snakes and rodents are found in roofs and attics because __________________________.
Solution-
(i) Bijju is not seen but his voice is heard because the dense mist covered the hills making it impossible to see outside.
(ii) The writer describes the hill station and valley as “A paradise that might have been”.
(iii) The leopard was successful in lifting a dog from near the servant’s quarter below the school but had to flee when Bijju’s mother approached screaming imprecations.
(iv) The minivets are easily noticed because they are bright red (in case of males) and yellow (in case of females) in colour.
(v) It looks like a fashion display on the slopes when ground orchids, mauve lady’s slipper and the white butterfly orchids cover the grassy slopes of Landour.
(vi) During the monsoon season, snakes and rodents are found in roofs and attics because their holes and burrows are filled with water.

5. ‘Although tin roofs are given to springing unaccountable leaks, there is a feeling of being untouched by, and yet in touch with, the rain.’
(i) Why has the writer used the word, ‘springing’?
A. ‘To spring’ means to originate or arise from. The writer has used the word ‘springing’ to denote that although they had shelter over their heads,  the water droplets came inside from the tin roof leaks.
(ii) How is the writer untouched by the rain?
A. The writer is untouched by the rain because he is at a place covered with tin roofs that prevented the rain from directly affecting him.
(iii) How is the writer in touch with the rain at the same time?
A. Although sheltered by the tin roof, the writer could be in touch with the rain through the small unaccountable leaks that springed from the tin roof.

6. Mention a few things that can happen when there is endless rain for days together.
A. Endless rain causes permanent mist to persist. People don’t see the sun for a stretch of days. Everything becomes damp and soggy. One can not go anywhere. The only option left is to pace the room and look outside the window at a few bobbing umbrellas. Snakes and rodents, flood out of their holes and burrows to take shelter in roofs, attics and godowns. The shrews blunder about in rooms. The hillsides, however, are lush as monsoon flowers begin to appear.

7. What is the significance of cobra lily in relation to the monsoon season, its beginning and end?
A. The appearance of the cobra lily marks the beginning of the monsoon season. However, when the seeds of cobra lily are turning red, it signifies that the rains are coming to an end.

A Short Monsoon Diary- Grammar Exercises

 

1. Here are some words that are associated with the monsoon. Add as many words as you can to this list. Can you find words for these in your languages?

downpour

Floods

mist

cloudy

powercuts

cold

umbrella

Solution-

downpour

Floods

mist

cloudy

Power cuts

cold

umbrella

drenched

Rain coat

water

soggy

damp

thunder

mud

storm

hail

humid

Rain shower

 

 

 

 

2. Now look at the sentences below. They tell us about something that happened in the past. They also tell us about other things that happened continually, at the same time in the past. Put the verbs in the brackets into their proper forms. The first one is done for you.

Solution-
(i) We (get out) of the school bus. The bell (ring) and everyone (rush) to class.
Answer- We got out of the school bus. The bell was ringing and everyone was rushing to class.
(ii) The traffic (stop). Some people (sit) on the road and they (shout) slogans.
Answer- The traffic stopped. Some people were sitting on the road and they were shouting slogans.
(iii) I (wear) my raincoat. It (rain) and people (get) wet.
Answer- I wore my raincoat. It was raining and people were getting wet.
(iv) She (see) a film. She (narrate) it to her friends who (listen) carefully.
Answer- She saw a film. She was narrating it to her friends who were listening carefully.
(v) We (go) to the exhibition. Some people (buy) clothes while others (play) games.
Answer- We went to the exhibition. Some people were buying clothes while others were playing games.
(vi) The class (is) quiet. Some children (read) books and the rest (draw).
Answer- The class was quiet. Some children were reading books and the rest were drawing.

 

3. Here are some words from the lesson which describe different kinds of sounds.

drum

swish

tinkle

caw

drip

(i) Match these words with their correct meanings.
(a) to fall in small drops
(b) to make a sound by hitting a surface repeatedly
(c) to move quickly through the air, making a soft sound
(d) harsh sound made by birds
(e) ringing sound (of a bell or breaking glass, etc.)

Solution-
(a) to fall in small drops - drip
(b) to make a sound by hitting a surface repeatedly- drum
(c) to move quickly through the air, making a soft sound - swish
(d) harsh sound made by birds - caw
(e) ringing sound (of a bell or breaking glass, etc.) - tinkle

(ii) Now fill in the blanks using the correct form of the words given above.
(a) Ramesh ____________ on his desk in impatience.
(b) Rain water ____________ from the umbrella all over the carpet.
(c) The pony ____________ its tail.
(d) The _________________ of breaking glass woke me up.
(e) The ____________ of the raven disturbed the child’s sleep.

Solution-
(a) Ramesh drummed on his desk in impatience.
(b) Rain water was dripping from the umbrella all over the carpet.
(c) The pony was swishing its tail.
(d) The tinkle of breaking glass woke me up.
(e) The cawing of the raven disturbed the child’s sleep.

4. And sure enough, I received a cheque in the mail. Complete each sentence below by using appropriate phrase from the ones given below

Sure enough

Colourful enough

Serious enough

Kind enough

Big enough

Fair enough

Brave enough

Foolish enough

Anxious enough

 

(i) I saw thick black clouds in the sky. And ___________ ___________ it soon started raining heavily.
(ii) The blue umbrella was ___________ ___________ for the brother and sister.
(iii) The butterflies are ___________ ___________ to get noticed.
(iv) The lady was ___________ ___________ to chase the leopard.
(v) The boy was ___________ ___________ to call out to his sister.
(vi) The man was ___________ ___________ to offer help.
(vii) The victim’s injury was ___________ ___________ for him to get admitted in hospital.
(viii) That person was ___________ ___________ to repeat the same mistake again.
(ix) He told me he was sorry and he would compensate for the loss. I said, ‘___________ ___________.’

Solution-

(i) I saw thick black clouds in the sky. And sure enough it soon started raining heavily.
(ii) The blue umbrella was big enough for the brother and sister.
(iii) The butterflies are colourful enough to get noticed.
(iv) The lady was brave enough to chase the leopard.
(v) The boy was anxious enough to call out to his sister.
(vi) The man was kind enough to offer help.
(vii) The victim’s injury was serious enough for him to get admitted in hospital.
(viii) That person was foolish enough to repeat the same mistake again.
(ix) He told me he was sorry and he would compensate for the loss. I said, ‘fair enough.’

 

Class 08th English Lessons Class 08th English MCQ Take Free MCQ Test English
Class 08th Science Lessons   Take Free MCQ Test Science
Class 08th Hindi Lessons   Take Free MCQ Test Hindi
CBSE CLASS 08th Social Science Lessons Take Free MCQ Test History