1st PUC English Textbook Answers Reflections Chapter 7 If I was a Tree

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Karnataka 1st PUC English Textbook Answers Reflections Chapter 7 If I was a Tree

If I was a Tree Questions and Answers, Notes, Summary

If I was a Tree Comprehension I

Question 1.
The speaker wants to be a tree because
(a) trees are not treated as objects of defilement.
(b) no other creature in nature has the concept of defilement.
(c) trees are more humane than humans.
Answer:
(b) no other creature in nature has the concept of defilement.

Question 2.
What wouldn’t the bird ask the tree before building its nest?
Answer:
The bird wouldn’t ask the tree what caste the tree belonged to.

Question 3.
When does the sacred cow scrape her body onto the bark?
Answer:
Whenever she has itching sensation, the sacred cow would scrape her body onto the bark.

KSEEB Solutions

Question 4.
How does the speaker want to be purified?
Answer:
The speaker wants to be hacked into pieces of dry wood and burn in the holy fire and become pure. The speaker would be happy to become the wooden frame on which a sinless dead body is carried.

Question 5.
How does the speaker view his friendship with the cool breeze and leaves?
Answer:
His friends would be sweet.

If I was a Tree Comprehension II

Question 1.
Why would mother earth not flee, according to the speaker?
Answer:
In the world of nature, there is no discrimination. Stratification in the name of caste is done only in the society of human beings. That is why when a tree tries to spread its roots, mother earth wouldn’t flee accusing the tree of defilement. Instead, mother earth would give strength to the tree to get stronger and stronger with its roots being spread wider and wider. Thus the poet shows that discrimination in the name of caste is prevalent only in human society and not in the world of nature. But when we remember that we too have come from nature and go back to nature, it is crystal clear that in the name of God and religion, we have been following this diabolic system of caste, discriminating against our own brothers and sisters.

Question 2.
How do the life forces – sunlight and the cool breeze – enforce nature’s idea of equality?
Answer:
The poem ‘If I was a tree’ is a satire in which the poet makes an attempt to expose the subtle ways in which the upper caste society has been discriminating against untouchables for centuries. The speaker juxtaposes the world of nature with the human world so as to accuse human beings of practising untouchability and being meaner than the world of nature.

KSEEB Solutions

The speaker speaks in the persona of an untouchable but asks the reader to imagine that he is a tree. Next, he presents a few everyday instances of untouchability. In the poem, the tree is a metaphor for the world of nature and, using the tree as the point of contact between nature and the people, he points out how elements of nature like the ‘cool breeze’ and the ‘sunlight’ do not discriminate between people and treat everyone equally. Thus he highlights nature’s idea of equality.

The speaker argues that if he was a tree, and when sunlight falls on him, his shadow would not feel defiled. On the contrary, if he were an untouchable and when sunlight falls on him and his shadow falls on a person of the upper caste he or she would feel that he or she has been defiled by the shadow of an untouchable. Similarly, since he is a tree and not an untouchable, the friendship between the cool breeze and the leaves of the tree would be sweet. On the contrary, if he were an untouchable there would be no such sweet friendship. Thus, the speaker wants to argue that the elements of nature enforce equality whereas some sections of human beings enforce inequality.

If I was a Tree Comprehension III

Question 1.
Why does the speaker want to be a tree?
OR
In what way would life have been different if the speaker were a tree?
OR
Why does the speaker believe he will be happier in the world of nature?
OR
Why does the speaker wish to be a tree?
Answer:
It is clear from the poem that the speaker has suffered the bane of discrimination in human society. His statement that if he were a tree no bird would ask him what caste he is, makes it clear that the speaker is made to feel ashamed of his caste repeatedly. When he states that the shadow of the tree which is formed on the ground when the sunlight falls on it, wouldn’t feel defiled, it is clear that people keep him at a distance and do not allow even his shadow to come in their way as he and his shadow are considered impure. When he talks about the sweet friendship with the cool breeze and leaves, it is clear that in society not many extend to him their hands of friendship.

When he avers that raindrops wouldn’t turn back from him considering him a dog eater, it is understandable that people from whom he hoped for sustenance just as a tree gets its sustenance from water, he got only abuse and rejection. When he writes that mother earth wouldn’t flee from him with the fear of getting defiled, the picture of upper caste people shooing him away forms in the imagination of the readers. The phrase ‘branching out’ makes it clear that the hopes and aspirations of the lower caste people are curbed and they are not allowed to make use of their potential.

Through the image of the sacred cow coming to the tree and giving the tree the joy of being touched by the three hundred thousand gods sheltering inside her, the speaker shows that entry to sacred places is denied to him. It could even be an ironical reference to the higher caste people who worship cows as divine but fail to see divinity in their fellow human beings. It could even be a mockery of the upper caste people who worship thousands of gods but have no respect for their brethren.

Finally, when the speaker says that if he were a tree he would have the privilege of being burnt in the holy fire or becoming the bier, it is clear that, as a human being, he knows that he would be shunned even after death and wouldn’t be allowed a decent death. Thus, as a human being, in life and death, he would be condemned, but as a tree, he would live a life of dignity and joy. Thus the speaker makes it clear that instead of being born as a human being in a society which practises discrimination, it is better to be bpm as a tree or any other creature in nature, as in nature there is no discrimination.

Question 2.
The poem is a satire of social discrimination. Discuss.
OR
How does the poet bring out social discrimination in society?
Answer:
The poem is a social satire. By juxtaposing the world of nature and the world of human beings, the poet points out that human beings, who are supposed to be God’s supreme creation, have gone against the natural order of nature and have made life miserable for their fellow human beings. Caste is purely a man-made construct and with this diabolic idea, powerful sections of society have managed to put down the meek, age after age. The poem voices the injustice meted out to certain sections of society in the name of caste.

KSEEB Solutions

Question 3.
The speaker brings out the concepts of defilement and purification. How is the meaninglessness of the practice brought out?
OR
Analyse the concepts of defilement and purification as illustrated in ‘If I was a Tree’.
Answer:
The poem makes it very clear that the question of defilement and purification are man-made concepts. How can one human being be different from another? What is meant by purification?

The poem makes it very clear that the concept of defilement is in the mind of man and hence purification should be the purification of such evil thoughts in the mind of man. Ironically, purification doesn’t mean the purification of the so-called outcasts. The purification is the purification of those who have by mistake come into contact with the outcasts. There are different rituals which are performed in the name of purification.

If I was a Tree Additional Questions and Answers

I. Answer the following questions in a word, a phrase or a sentence each:

Question 1.
What does the speaker want to be?
Answer:
A tree.

Question 2.
When does the poet feel that his shadow wouldn’t be defiled?
Answer:
If he were to be a tree.

Question 3.
How many gods take shelter inside the cow, according to the speaker in ‘If I was a Tree’?
Answer:
Three hundred thousand.

Question 4.
Where are the three hundred thousand gods sheltered?
Answer:
Inside a cow.

KSEEB Solutions

Question 5.
Who wouldn’t flee shouting for a bath?
OR
_______ wouldn’t flee shouting for a bath in the poem, ‘If I Was a Tree’.
(a)
Mother Earth
(b) Raindrops
(c) Leaves.
Answer:
Mother earth.

Question 6.
With whom would the friendship of the speaker be sweet?
Answer:
With the cool breeze and the leaves.

Question 7.
What would not turn back taking the speaker for a dog-eater?
Answer:
Raindrops.

Question 8.
Who would not ask the caste of the tree before building its nest in ‘If I was a Tree’?
Answer:
In the poem, ‘If I was a Tree’, no bird would ask the caste of a tree before building a nest in it.

Question 9.
What wouldn’t feel defiled when sunlight embraces the tree in ‘If I was a Tree’?
Answer:
In the poem, ‘If I was a Tree’, the shadow of the tree would not feel defiled when sunlight embraces it.

Question 10.
The _______ would embrace the tree in the poem ‘If I was a Tree’.
(a) cow
(b) sunlight
(c) bird.
Answer:
(b) sunlight.

Question 11.
Whose friendship with the cool breeze would be sweet, in ‘If I was a Tree’?
Answer:
In ‘If I was a Tree’, the friendship of the tree with the cool breeze and the leaves would be sweet.

KSEEB Solutions

Question 12.
______ would not turn back taking the speaker for a dog-eater if he was a tree.
(a) The Mother Earth
(b) Raindrops
(c) The sacred cow.
Answer:
(b) Raindrops.

Question 13.
According to the speaker, when would not the Mother Earth flee shouting for a bath in ‘If I was a Tree’?
Answer:
According to the speaker in the poem, ‘If I was a Tree’, the Mother Earth would not flee shouting for a bath, if the tree branched out further from its roots.

Question 14.
Who are sheltered inside the body of the cow?
Answer:
Three hundred thousand gods are sheltered inside the body of the cow.

Question 15.
What would scrape her body on the bark of the tree in ‘If I was a Tree’?
Answer:
In the poem, ‘If I was a Tree’, the sacred cow would scrape her body on the bark of the tree.

Question 16.
When would the three hundred thousand gods touch the speaker if he was a tree?
Answer:
According to the speaker, the three hundred thousand gods sheltering inside the body of a cow would touch the speaker whenever the cow scraped her body on the bark of the tree.

Question 17.
Name any one of the uses of the tree, according to the speaker, in the poem, ‘If I was a Tree’.
Answer:
According to the speaker in the poem ‘If I was a Tree’, the dried pieces of wood got from the tree can become the bier for a sinless body to be borne on the shoulders of four good men.

Question 18.
When is the tree made pure, according to the speaker, in the poem ‘If I was a Tree’?
Answer:
According to the speaker in ‘If I was a Tree’, the dried pieces of the wood obtained from the tree may be made pure when it is used to make the holy fire.

KSEEB Solutions

Question 19.
The ______ is hacked into pieces of dry wood to burn in the holy fire.
(a) Mother Earth
(b) tree
(c) sacred cow.
Answer:
(b) tree.

Question 20.
What becomes a bier for a sinless body in the poem, ‘If I was a Tree’?
Answer:
The dried pieces of wood obtained by hacking the tree can become a bier for a sinless body.

Question 21.
The speaker of the poem ‘If I Was a Tree’ wants to be a tree because
(a) trees are not useful to people
(b) trees are not treated as objects of defilement
(c) trees live longer than human beings.
Answer:
(b) trees are not treated as objects of defilement.

Question 22.
The tree wants to become a bier for a ______ body in ‘If I was a Tree’. (Fill in the blank)
Answer:
a bier for a sinless body.

II. Answer the following questions in 80 – 100 words each:

Question 1.
What does the poem tell us about the sad plight of the untouchables?
OR
How is the problem of untouchability brought out in the poem ‘If I was a Tree’?
Answer:
If western society is guilty of apartheid, India is guilty of the practice of untouchability. No other country is as stratified as India is as far as the caste system is concerned. It is clear from the poem that the speaker has suffered the bane of discrimination in human society. His statement that, if he were a tree, no bird would ask him what caste he is, makes it clear that the speaker is made to feel ashamed of his caste repeatedly.

When he states that the shadow of the tree which is formed on the ground when the sunlight falls on it, wouldn’t feel defiled, it is clear that people keep him at a distance and do not allow even his shadow to come in their way as he and his shadow are considered impure. When he talks about the sweet friendship with the cool breeze and leaves, it is crystal clear that in society not many extend to him their hands of friendship. When he avers that raindrops wouldn’t turn back from him considering him a dog eater, it is understandable that people from whom he hoped for sustenance just as a tree gets its sustenance from water, he got only abuse and rejection.

KSEEB Solutions

When he writes that mother earth wouldn’t flee from him with the fear of getting defiled, the picture of upper caste people shooing him away forms in the imagination of the readers. The phrase ‘branching out’ makes it clear that the hopes and aspirations of the lower caste people are curbed and they are not allowed to make use of their potential. The image of the sacred cow coming to the tree and giving the tree the joy of being touched by the three hundred thousand gods sheltering inside her, the speaker shows that entry to sacred places is denied to him. It could even be an ironical reference to the higher caste people who worship cows as divine but fail to see divinity in their fellow human beings. It could even be a mockery of the upper caste people who worship thousands of gods but have no respect for their brethren.

Finally, when the speaker says that if he were a tree he would have the privilege of being burnt in the holy fire or becoming the bier, it is clear that, as a human being, he knows that he would be shunned even after death and wouldn’t be allowed a decent death. Thus, as a human being, in life and death, he would be condemned, but as a tree, he would live a life of dignity and joy. Thus the speaker makes it clear that instead of being born as a human being in a society which practises discrimination, it is better to be born as a tree or any other creature in nature, as in nature there is no division.

Question 2.
How does the poem ‘If I was a Tree’ express the pain and plight of a particular community?
Answer:
The poem, ‘If I was a Tree’ presents a satirical account of the cruel and inhumane practise of caste discrimination practiced in Indian society. The poem presents the impersonal and large-hearted treatment of nature vis-a-vis the pettiness of man. The speaker speaks in the persona of an untouchable and presents some instances of untouchability that he/she is subjected to. He uses the tree as a metaphor for representing the plant world and highlights how agents of nature like the sunlight, the cool breeze and the raindrops would have treated an untouchable if he were not a tree when they come in contact with him.

The speaker says that if only he was not a tree his shadow would feel defiled when the sunlight embraced him; his friendship with the cool breeze and the leaves would not be sweet; the raindrops, taking him as an untouchable, would refuse to give him water to quench his thirst and the mother earth would flee him asking for a bath if she came to know that he was branching out further from his roots.

Similarly, taking the bird as a representative of the animal world, the speaker says that if he were not a tree the bird would have asked him what caste he was if he wanted to build its nest on the tree. Similarly, if he were not a tree the sacred cow would not scrape her body on him scratching whenever it itched her and incidentally all the three hundred thousand gods sheltering inside her would not have touched him.

The speaker concludes optimistically, hoping that, because he is a tree at least, after its death the tree would be hacked into pieces of dry wood, and would be either used as fuel for the holy fire or a bier for a dead body. The pieces of wood, when they burn as fuel in the holy fire, would make him pure and if not, as a bier for a sinless body he would be borne on the shoulders of four good men. Thus the poem expresses the anguish and desperation of the untouchables.

III. Answer the following questions in 200 words each:

Question 1.
How does the poem ‘If I was a Tree’ bring out nature’s acceptance of all its creatures as a contrast to man’s rejection of his own kind?
OR
Describe the vision of equality portrayed through the natural elements in ‘If I was a Tree’.
OR
How does the poet bring out the relationship between man and nature in ‘If I was a Tree’?
OR
How does the poet reveal that the things in nature do not make any discrimination like human beings do?
Answer:
The poem ‘If I was a Tree’ places before the readers an age-old custom of discrimination practised in India. The poem satirises the idea of defilement and purification. The unasked but implied question in the poem is about the defilement of the mind. The poem implies that the ones who practise caste system go against God’s design. In the different creations of God, there is not a single creature that is considered superior to other creations.

KSEEB Solutions

It is clear from the poem that the speaker has suffered the bane of discrimination in human society. His statement that if he were a tree, no bird would ask him what caste he was, makes it clear that the speaker is made to feel ashamed of his caste repeatedly. When he states that the shadow of the tree which is formed on the ground when the sunlight falls on it, wouldn’t feel defiled, it is clear that people keep him at a distance and do not allow even his shadow to come in their way as he and his shadow are considered impure. When he talks about the sweet friendship with the cooly breeze and leaves, it is crystal clear that in society not many extend to him their hands of friendship.

When he avers that raindrops wouldn’t turn back from him considering him a dog eater, it is understandable that people from whom he hoped for sustenance just as a tree gets its sustenance from water, he got only abuse and rejection. When he writes that mother earth wouldn’t flee from him with the fear of getting defiled, the picture of upper caste people shooing him away forms in the imagination of the readers. The phrase ‘branching out’ makes it clear that the hopes and aspirations of the lower caste people are curbed and they are not allowed to make use of their potential. Through the image of the sacred cow coming to the tree and giving the tree the joy of being touched by the three hundred thousand gods sheltering inside her, the speaker shows that entry to sacred places is denied to him. It could even be an ironical reference to the higher caste people who worship cows as divine but fail to see divinity in their fellow human beings.

It could even be a mockery of the upper caste people who worship thousands of gods but have no respect for their brethren. Finally, when the speaker says that if he is a tree he would have the privilege of being burnt in the holy fire or becoming the bier, it is clear that as a human being, he knows that he would be shunned even after death and wouldn’t be allowed a decent death. Thus, as a human being, in life and death, he would be condemned, but as a tree, he would live a life of dignity and joy. Thus the speaker makes it clear that instead of being born as a human being in a society which practices discrimination, it is better to be born as a tree or any other creature in nature, as in nature there is no discrimination.

Question 2.
How does the speaker in the poem, ‘If I was a Tree’ respond to the issue of caste discrimination?
Answer:
The poem, ‘If I was a Tree’ is a veiled and a bitter attack on the cruel and inhumane practice of caste discrimination practiced in Indian society. It is a social satire in which the poet by juxtaposing the world of nature with the human world accuses human beings of being meaner than the world of nature for practicing untouchability against their own fellowmen. The speaker intends to highlight the fact that caste is purely a man-made construct and with this diabolic idea, powerful sections of society have managed to humiliate and suppress the meek for centuries.

The poet adopts a logical approach to present before the reader, the impersonal and large-hearted treatment of nature vis-a-vis the pettiness of man. The speaker speaks in the persona of an untouchable and presents some instances of untouchability that he is subjected to. He uses the ‘tree’ as a metaphor for a representative from the plant world and highlights how agents of nature like the sunlight, the cool breeze and the raindrops would have treated him if he were not a tree when they come in contact with him.

The speaker says that if he was not a tree his shadow would feel defiled when the sunlight embraces him; his friendship with the cool breeze and the leaves would not be sweet; the raindrops taking him as an untouchable would refuse to give him water to quench his thirst and the mother earth would flee him asking for a bath if she came to know that he was branching out further from his roots.

Similarly, the bird is representative of the animal world. The speaker says that if he were not a tree the bird would have asked him what caste he was if it wanted to build its nest.

Similarly, if he were not a tree the sacred cow would not scrape her body on him, scratching whenever it itched her and incidentally the three hundred thousand gods sheltering inside her would not have touched him.

KSEEB Solutions

The speaker concludes optimistically, hoping that because he is a tree, at least after its death, the tree would be hacked into pieces of dry wood and would be either used as fuel for the holy fire or a bier for a dead body. The pieces of wood, when they burn as fuel in the holy fire, would make him pure and if not, as a bier for a sinless body that would be borne on the shoulders of four good men. Thus, the poem expresses the anguish and desperation of the untouchables.

Question 3.
Nature nurtures all living beings, whereas humans fail to accept their own kind. How do you explain this with reference to ‘If I was a Tree’?
OR
Compare and contrast the treatment of equality in nature to that of discrimination among humans as illustrated in the poem, ‘If I was a Tree’.
Answer:
The poem, ‘If I was a Tree’ is a social satire in which the poet makes a veiled and bitter attack on those who discriminate against untouchables, who are also members of the human society and are entitled to all the benefits and comforts given by the world of nature to mankind.

The speaker, by juxtaposing the human world with the world of nature, speaks in the persona of a ‘tree’ to express the anguish and humiliation suffered by an untouchable on those occasions in which the tree would come into contact with sunlight, cool breeze, raindrops and the Mother Earth.

On each of these occasions, the poet hypothetically places himself as an untouchable in place of the tree and expresses the likely comments the upper caste people would have made in the human world, even to let the untouchable to share the resources of nature for which he also has equal rights. First, the poet gives the example of the likely interaction between a bird and a tree. The bird would not ask the tree its caste if it wants to build its nest on the tree. On the contrary, an upper-caste would certainly ask the house owner, what caste he is before asking for shelter in his house.

The poet then cites the instances of the interaction between the tree and the elements of nature – the sunlight, the rain drops, the cool breeze and the Mother Earth.

It is quite natural for the sunlight to embrace a tree and the tree to cast its shadow on the ground. While this is accepted as ‘natural’ in the world of nature, in the world of human beings the upper caste people would feel that the shadow of the untouchable has defiled them.

Similarly, while the raindrops are meant to provide water to the Earth in order to quench everyone’s thirst, the upper caste people would refuse to share the resources of the Earth with the untouchables.

In the same way, in the world of nature the Mother Earth would support the tree to expand further from its roots, but in the world of human beings, if an untouchable attempted to expand his space and flourish, the upper caste people would flee to escape any contact with the untouchable and call for purification. Thus the speaker (as an untouchable) voices his anguish and humiliation for being denied the resources of nature though they also have equal rights to enjoy them.

KSEEB Solutions

Question 4.
How effectively does the poem present the caste system as one of the burning social problems in Indian society?
Answer:
The poem, ‘If I was a Tree’ is a veiled and a bitter attack on the cruel and inhuman practice of caste discrimination practiced in Indian society. It is a social satire in which the poet by juxtaposing the world of nature with the human world accuses human beings of being meaner than the world of nature for practicing untouchability against their own fellowmen. The speaker intends to highlight the fact that caste is purely a man-made construct and with this diabolic idea, powerful sections of society have managed to humiliate and suppress the meek for centuries.

The poet adopts a logical approach to present before the reader, the impersonal and large-hearted treatment of nature vis-a-vis the pettiness of man. The speaker speaks in the persona of an untouchable and presents some instances of untouchability that he is subjected to. He uses the ‘tree’ as a metaphor for a representative from the plant world and highlights how agents of nature like the sunlight, the cool breeze and the raindrops would have treated him if he were not a tree when they come in contact with him.

The speaker says that if he was not a tree his shadow would feel defiled when the sunlight embraces him; his friendship with the cool breeze and the leaves would not be sweet; the raindrops taking him as an untouchable would refuse to give him water to quench his thirst and the mother earth would flee him asking for a bath if she came to know that he was branching out further from his roots.

Similarly, the bird is representative of the animal world. The speaker says that if he were not a tree the bird would have asked him what caste he was if it wanted to build its nest.

Similarly, if he were not a tree the sacred cow would not scrape her body on him, scratching whenever it itched her and incidentally the three hundred thousand gods sheltering inside her would not have touched him.

The speaker concludes optimistically, hoping that because he is a tree, at least after its death, the tree would be hacked into pieces of dry wood and would be either used as fuel for the holy fire or a bier for a dead body. The pieces of wood, when they burn as fuel in the holy fire, would make him pure and if not, as a bier for a sinless body that would be borne on the shoulders of four good men. Thus, the poem expresses the anguish and desperation of the untouchables.

If I was a Tree by Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy A Note on the Poet:

Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy (b.1954) is a well known Kannada poet who hails from Mudnakudu village in Chamarajanagar District of Karnataka. He has two post-graduate degrees viz., M.Com., and M.A., with a D.Lit. in Social Sciences. He is Director (Finance) in Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) by profession.

Poetry is his passion but has worked in other genres of literature as well, besides having a wide range of interests in culture, theatre and social work. He has brought out 24 books so far, which include six collections of poetry, four of essays, three plays and a collection of short stories.

He is widely translated into many” Indian languages apart from English, Spanish and Hebrew. An anthology of his selected poems in Spanish has been brought out by the Government of Venezuela under ‘World Poetry Series’.

If I was a Tree A Note on the Translator

Rowena Hill was born in England in 1938 and went to school in New Zealand. She attended universities in New Zealand, Italy and India (University of Mysore). She taught English Literature at the f Universidad de Los Andes in Merida, Venezuela, where she lives. She has published four books of poems in Spanish, as well as poems, essays and translations in periodicals in Venezuela, Columbia, India and USA. She has translated some of Kannada’s best-known poets into Spanish. More importantly, it is to her credit that she has translated several literary works in Indian languages into English and Spanish.

If I was a Tree Summary in English

The poem ‘If I was a Tree’ places before the readers an age-old custom of discrimination practised in India. The poem satirises the idea of defilement and purification. The unasked but implied question in the poem is about the defilement of the mind. The poem implies that the ones who practise caste system go against God’s design. In the different creations of God, there is not a single creature that is considered superior to other creations.

KSEEB Solutions

It is clear from the poem that the speaker has suffered the bane of discrimination in human society. His statement that if he were a tree, no bird would ask him what caste he was, makes it clear that the speaker is made to feel ashamed of his caste repeatedly. When he states that the shadow of the tree which is formed on the ground when the sunlight falls on it, wouldn’t feel defiled, it is clear that people keep him at a distance and do not allow even his shadow to come in their way as he and his shadow are considered impure. When he talks about the sweet friendship with the cooly breeze and leaves, it is crystal clear that in society not many extend to him their hands of friendship.

If I was a Tree Summary in Kannada 1

When he avers that raindrops wouldn’t turn back from him considering him a dog eater, it is understandable that people from whom he hoped for sustenance just as a tree gets its sustenance from water, he got only abuse and rejection. When he writes that mother earth wouldn’t flee from him with the fear of getting defiled, the picture of upper caste people shooing him away forms in the imagination of the readers. The phrase ‘branching out’ makes it clear that the hopes and aspirations of the lower caste people are curbed and they are not allowed to make use of their potential. Through the image of the sacred cow coming to the tree and giving the tree the joy of being touched by the three hundred thousand gods sheltering inside her, the speaker shows that entry to sacred places is denied to him. It could even be an ironical reference to the higher caste people who worship cows as divine but fail to see divinity in their fellow human beings.

It could even be a mockery of the upper caste people who worship thousands of gods but have no respect for their brethren. Finally, when the speaker says that if he is a tree he would have the privilege of being burnt in the holy fire or becoming the bier, it is clear that as a human being, he knows that he would be shunned even after death and wouldn’t be allowed a decent death. Thus, as a human being, in life and death, he would be condemned, but as a tree, he would live a life of dignity and joy. Thus the speaker makes it clear that instead of being born as a human being in a society which practices discrimination, it is better to be born as a tree or any other creature in nature, as in nature there is no discrimination.

KSEEB Solutions

If I was a Tree Summary in Kannada

If I was a Tree Summary in Kannada 2
If I was a Tree Summary in Kannada 3
If I was a Tree Summary in Kannada 4

Glossary:

  • defile (v): to make something dirty or no longer pure
  • branch out (phr. v): to start to do an activity that you have not done before
  • bier (n): a frame on which the dead body is placed

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