1.6 The Alchemy of Nature Questions & Answers
1.6 The Alchemy of Nature Questions & Answers
_By Raksha Bharadia
Std X: English-HL
Raksha Bharadia is the author of
‘All and Nothing’,
‘Me: A Handbook for Life’ and
‘Roots and Wings’: A Handbook for Parents.
Raksha has co-authored Chicken Soup for
the Indian Soul series for Westland.
About the text
An ancient forerunner of Chemistry, about attempts to convert base metals into gold.
(Here, it refers to a mysterious, magical process of transforming things.)
The text is about the transformative influence of nature on all beings. The message is that we should open our eyes to the marvels of nature and try to imbibe the lessons they teach us.
Nature gives us timeless wisdom about love, learning, compassion, a positive attitude & courage to overcome obstacles & encourages us to raise our consciousness and reaffirm our commitment to live life to the fullest.
Summary of the text
The Alchemy of Nature explains the power of elements of nature.
Nature has the power to soothe us, nourish us, relax us and enhance our well-being. So, we should go to nature to rejuvenate our being.
We should learn from nature and transform our life. Like-
• Hibiscus gives the message of living life to the fullest.
• Water can carve and sculpt the hard rock with its perseverance.
• Tiny blades of grass growing through the cracks in the concrete pavements gives us the message that there is always an opening.
• Like that the author has narrated the magical transforming power of nature.
It can change our lives in the most positive way.
1. How does the Hibiscus flower make the most of its short life span?
Ans: The Hibiscus flower smiles with the sun and dances with the wind and by next evening it dries and falls off. Although it comes to life only for a day it spreads beauty and joy. So, it makes the most of its short life span.
2. What role does nature play in our lives?
Ans: Nature relaxes us and enhances our well-being. It soothes and nurtures us as well as fulfils and motivates us. It also whispers and commands.
3. Who is stronger- water or rocks? Justify your response.
Ans: The water is stronger than the rocks because, by persistently flowing over the rocks every day, it is able to carve, sculpt and shape the rocks as it desires.
4. What teaches us that hard times do not last Forever? How?
Ans: A tree that is bare of all leaves in the cold winter months is once again full of leaves fruits and flowers as spring sets in, thereby teaching us that hard times do not last forever.
5. Guess the meaning of:
Ans: splendour: The quality of being magnificent, splendid, or grand
1. What things in nature teach us the following:
(a) Nothing is impossible to achieve: ants, small bits of grass peeping from cracks in the concrete
(b) Problems are not permanent: Bare trees in the winter
(c) Be humble and adjust: water
(d) Make the best use of time and opportunity: hibiscus flowers
(e) Be persistent: ants, water
(f) Many hands make work light: ants
(g) Delicate structures are not a sign of weakness: spider webs
2. Read the questions from the lesson.
What do they imply?
(a) Are you listening?
-It implies that one must listen.
(b) What if we too live our lives however short, to their fullest?
– It implies that we too should live our lives to the fullest, however short they may be.
(c) What if we too are consistent, organized, focused . . .?
– It implies that we too could do wonders if we were consistent, organized, focused…
3. Go through the lesson again and complete the flow chart that
highlights the life of a ‘hibiscus’ flower.
4. Fill in the web.
What does Nature do for human beings?
5. The writer explains the contrasting features of ‘water’ & ‘rock’ in the lesson. Write all the features of both water and rock in the given table.
6. The writer has very positively described the different things in nature.
Discuss with your partner the special features of each one of them. Add on the list.
Part of Nature
Be cheerful and spread happiness
A bright & beautiful future ahead
Live life to the fullest
Adjust to the situation
5. Bits of grass
Impossible things too have an opening
6. Bare trees
Difficult situation will not remain so forever
To adapt to other without any hint of ego
7. Think and answer in your own words.
(a) How should you deal with difficulties and problems?
Ans: We should deal with difficulties and problems with grit and determination. Not giving up is the key to success. At the same time, we should keep a positive attitude.
(b) ‘An oyster turns a grain of sand into a pearl.’ What can we learn from this example?
Ans: It teaches us that when challenges hit us, our response is all that matters. The so-called intruder sand is turned into something as valuable as a pearl.
Similarly, we can ace challenges bravely and turn them into opportunities to learn and grow.
(c) How does nature succeed in its ‘Alchemy’? What can it turn a small person into?
Ans: Nature teaches us some of the most invaluable lessons hidden in smallest of things. When we pay heed and learn from the nature. We turn into great individuals equipped to live life to the fullest.
Nature succeeds in tis alchemy by bringing about a positive transformation in us.
(d) Which two aspects of nature teach us to accept change & adjust according to the situation?
Ans: Water and Clouds teach us to accept change & adjust according to the situation. Water without hint of ego, changes its form according to the dictates of the sun and the wind. Even the clouds change their shape with each passing moment, giving us the message of acceptance & adjustment.
(e) Why does the writer begin by quoting the lines from William Blake’s poem
(Auguries of Innocence)?
Ans: The writer begins by quoting the lines from William Blake’s poem “Auguries of Innocence’ to set the mood for the message that follows in the lesson. She wishes to convey that we can find a whole lot of meaning and revelation in the smallest of things in Nature. Nature is ready to teach only if we are willing to learn.
8. (A) Pick out from the lesson – examples of each.
(that you can touch or see)
(that which you cannot touch or see)
(B) Underline the verbs in the sentences below and say whether they are Transitive (needing an Object) or Intransitive (need not have an Object).
(1) One can witness and experience the beauty of Heaven.
(2) It leaves me in complete awe.
(3) Nature soothes and nurtures.
(4) It withers completely.
(5) The flower comes to life only for a day.
(6) A rainbow colours the entire sky.
(7) It smiles and dances.