Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Tales of Tenali Raman - Tenali Raman's Unmatched Wit

King Krishnadevaraya was brave and skilled in the art of war. He was a great soldier too. He conquered the neighboring weak and cruel kingdoms and added vast areas to the Vijaynagar Kingdom. 

Once he had to fight a decisive war with his enemy but he was worried as his enemy was very strong. Before the war, he wanted to be sure of his victory. So he called his royal astrologer to ask him for an auspicious time to march into the war which could lead him to a victory. 

The astrologer was a very wise scholar. He consulted his charts and calculated the positions of the stars and planets in conjunction with the king’s star sign. He made a favorable conclusion and told the king, “Your Majesty, you can start marching with your troops on the coming Sunday. I see that some stars favor you and some don’t. You will have to worship god in a particular way to appease him and only then the victory will be yours.”

However, the king could not follow his astrologer’s advice because his enemy had a huge army which already marched towards him. King knew he couldn’t afford disregarding his astrologer’s advice as he wanted to win the war. 

The king looked at his ministers but none said anything to him. He then looked at his favorite minister, Tenali but even he was quiet. Tenali Raman was blessed with Kalika Goddess and was very intelligent. Tenali could see the king’s predicament and he also shared the king’s worries. 

Tenali said to the king, “Your Majesty, let’s go to the battlefield.” The king accepted the challenge as he had a great respect for Tenali. When they reached the battlefield, Tenali saw that the rival army had already assembled. He made a keen observation of his and rival army’s strength and weaknesses. 

Tenali Raman said to the king, “Your majesty, I have analyzed both the army’s strength and weaknesses. I can now predict a victory for you.” The king was happy with this victorious outcome of the war but he was still uncertain about it because of what the astrologer had said. So he asked Tenali to explain the ideas and conclusions in detail. 

Tenali was very observant and he had judged the armies in a scientific way. He said to the king, “We can see a large number of elephants, less number of horses and a large number of soldiers in the enemy camp. On the other side, we have a few elephants but a powerful cavalry with specially trained Persian horses. We also have large number of young and energetic soldiers.”

He further added, “Our weapons are modern but enemy comes with old and traditional weapons. Their soldiers are old and don’t seem to have any of the enthusiasm. Our soldiers look confident and are highly experienced. You are also a great warrior and you have fought many wars and won them. Hence you have a great advantage over the enemy and more chances of winning.”

The king got a little thoughtful after hearing this. Tenali Raman said, “You don’t need to worry at all, your Majesty. All you have to do is forget that you consulted any astrologer. Leaver your worries aside and think like a great warrior. Decide your own military strategies. Strike the enemy’s elephants and create a havoc in the enemy camp. While the enemy would be in confused, you move in your cavalry and defeat them.”

The king did not show any reaction. Now Tenali spoke aggressively, “Your majesty, if the astrologer had predicted your defeat, then would you have surrendered your empire to the enemy without a fight?” The king replied authoritatively, “No, never! That is impossible! I would have still fought till my last breath.”

Tenali Raman said, “So, why don’t you forget what the astrologer foretold? Do not depend on your stars and planet for victory. I would suggest that you start your war at the right moment when your enemy is at the weakest point. To depend on astrology is a sign of weakness. The predictions of the astrologers differ from man to man. What matters the most is faith in God and faith in yourself. Man can achieve the impossible with the right efforts. All people including me will pray for you. You will definitely win.”

Then the king said with confidence, “Yes, I will win the war.” At that moment, the king realized that Tenali Raman was such an extraordinary person. The king won that war and many other wars too. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Tales of Tenali Raman - Tenali Raman and The Wicked Priest

Appalacharya was the family priest of King Krishnadevaraya.  He was also related the king and performed all the religious rituals for the king and his family. Appalacharya was a very talented scholar. He was respect by all in the court and the king would always consult him for certain issues. 

But even after all this, Appalacharya was neither happy nor satisfied. He always felt jealous of Tenali Raman. He thought he was way cleverer and more intelligent than Tenali Raman but his talent was not appreciated to that extent. After all, Appalacharya was just a priest and Tenali Raman was a minister. 

Whenever someone said anything good about Tenali Raman, Appalacharya got more and more jealous. He got more irritated towards Tenali. He started insulting Tenali often. 

There were two main sects during the time of Krishnadevaraya – the Smartha sect and the Vaishnava sect. Tenali Raman belonged to the Smartha sect and Appalacharya was from the Vaishnava sect. Appalacharya took advantage of this and started spreading rumors that the king was partial towards the Smartha sect and that was the reason why Tenali was made the minister. 

He gathered all the sect members and started misleading them by spreading such rumors. He also told them that Tenali hated the Vaishnava sect. He continued to spread such gossip to bring down Tenali Raman. 

The king was not aware of this jealousy and negative behavior of the priest but Tenali Raman was very much disturbed by this enmity from such a learned man. 

One early morning, Tenali went to Appalacharya’s house for some official work. Appalacharya saw him coming and once Tenali Raman came closer, Appalacharya covered his face with a cloth. Tenali Raman noticed it but did not comment. They discussed the official work and once concluding it, Tenali got up to leave. While leaving Tenali asked him, “Appalacharya, can you please tell me why did you cover your face when you saw me? Why is your face still covered?”

Appalacharya replied sarcastically, “Raman, you are very intelligent and knowledgeable so you should have understood my action. If we, Vaishnavas, see face of Smarthas first thing in the morning then we will be born as donkeys in our next birth.”

Tenali Raman was deeply hurt with this insulting reply. He had many friends from the Vaishnava sect and he knew this was not true. He decided to teach this arrogant and mean priest a lesson. 

Once, King Krishnadevaraya went on an outing with his courtiers. Tenali Raman and Appalacharya were also with him. They all saw some donkeys grazing in the nearby field. Tenali Raman went to the donkeys, knelt and bowed to the donkeys. The whole group stood in silence and looked at Tenali surprisingly. 

King knew about Tenali’s eccentric behavior and he knew there was some good reason behind his action. He asked Tenali, “Why are you bowing to the donkeys? Do they look like saint to you?”

Tenali replied, “No sir, it is nothing like that. I went to Appalacharya’s house sometime back for some official work early in the morning. Appalacharyaji covered his face when he saw me and when I asked him for the reason behind his behavior, Appalacharya kindly explained that when a Vaishnava sees Smartha’s face first thing in the morning, he becomes a donkey in his next birth. So, when I saw some donkeys here today, I thought they must be Appalcharya’s relatives so I felt it was my duty to bow down and kneel in respect and thus ask for their forgiveness on behalf of the Smarthas whose faces they had seen in their previous births.”

The king immediately realized what had happened. Some of his courtiers had disclosed the nefarious activities of Appalacharya to him. The king was appaled by Appalacharya’s behavior and Tenali Raman looked very hurt.

Before he could say anything, Tenali Raman spoke sadly, “Your majesty, I never hurt or harmed anybody. I never wish anything ill for anybody. We are what the God made us. Caste and religion are to worship God and achieve spirituality. It is not to measure one’s high or low position. I believe there is only one Supreme Power who can be called by many names so why do the learned try to hurt or harm us?”

The king felt sorry for Tenali Raman. He said, “Appalacharya, you are a scholar who is respected by everyone, even by me. You don’t have to be jealous about Tenali Raman or anyone. You have a distinctive place in my palace. You should have faith in me and my judgement. I don’t favor or discriminate anybody on the basis of their religion or language. The administration of this kingdom is based on the great Sage Vidyaranya’s principles. I am following his great teachings in all the matters of our kingdom. I can recognize merit and talent. I appoint my ministers and officers. I want my kingdom to flourish on good qualities of my ministers.”

The king further added, “I gave you many chances to prove your merit. It is not good on your part to behave in such manner. In future, if you indulge in activities unworthy of you, I shall not hesitate to send you away with punishment for your wrong actions. Consider this as a warning. Try to be a better man.”

Appalacharya took this advice in the right spirit. He begged the king for his forgiveness. He promised the king that he would behave properly and pledged his life for the betterment of the kingdom. He also assured Tenali Raman that he would only praise him in future and never ever hate him. 

Monday, December 4, 2023

Comprehension Passage - 2

Title: Bad temper - The vice of the virtuous

The next ingredient is a very remarkable one: Good Temper. "Love is not easily provoked". Nothing could be more striking than to find this here. We are inclined to look upon bad temper as a very harmless weakness. We speak of it as a mere infirmity of nature, a family failing, a matter of temperament, not a thing to take into a very serious account in estimating a man's character.

And yet here, right in the heart of this analysis of love, it finds a place; and the Bible again and again returns to condemn it as one of the most destructive elements in human nature. The peculiarity of ill temper is that it is the vice of the virtuous. It is often the one blot on an otherwise noble character. You know men who are all but perfect, and women who could be entirely perfect but for an easily ruffled, quick tempered or touchy disposition. This compatibility of ill temper with high moral character is one of the strangest and saddest problems of ethics.

 The truth is there are two great classes of sins - sins of the Body,  and sins of Disposition.  The Prodigal son may be taken as a type of the first, the Elder brother of the second. Now society has no doubt whatever as to which of these is worse.  Its brand falls, without a challenge, upon the Prodigal. But are we right? We have no balance to weigh one another’s sins, and coarser and finer are but human words; but faults in the higher nature may be less venial than those in the lower, and to the eye of Him who is Love, a sin against Love may seem a hundred times more base. No form of vice, not worldliness, not greed of gold, not drunkenness itself does more to un-christianise society than evil temper. 

For embittering life, for breaking up communities, for destroying the most sacred relationships, for devastating homes, for withering up men and women, for taking the bloom off childhood; in short for sheer gratuitous misery-producing power, this influence stands alone. 

Jealousy, anger, pride, uncharity, self-righteousness, touchiness, doggedness, sullenness - in varying proportions these are the ingredients of all ill-temper. Judge if such sins of disposition are not worse to live in, and for others to live with than sins of the body. There is really no place in Heaven for a disposition like this. A man with such a mood could only make Heaven miserable for the all the people in it.

                                                                                                    Henry Drummond


1. What is the popular notion about 'bad temper'?

Answer -  According to the author, bad temper is considered as a harmless weakness and is spoken merely as if it is a mere infirmity of nature, a family failing or as a matter of temperament. 

2. How is bad temper 'the vice of the virtuous'?

Answer - Bad temper is one blot on an otherwise noble character. Men and women could be entirely perfect except for a ill-tempered disposition. Hence bad temper is referred as the vice of the virtuous.

3. Which class of sins is the worse and why - sins of the body or the sins of the disposition?

Answer - Sins of the disposition are worse than the sins of the body because evil temper un-Christianise the society more than the bodily sins. 

4. Mention some evils of bad temper?

Answer - Evil temper can embitter life, break up communities, destroy most scared relationships, devastate homes, wither up men and women, for taking the bloom off childhood. 

5. Why, according to the author, will there be no place in Heaven for bad-tempered folks?

Answer - According to the author, there will be no place in Heaven for bad-tempered folks because people with evil-temper can only make heaven a miserable place for all the people in it. 

6. Who is the author of this passage?

Answer - Henry Drummond.

7. What could be the title for this comprehension passage?

Answer - Bad temper - The vice of the virtuous. 

8. Name any three ingredients of ill temper?

Answer - Jealousy, anger and cruelty.

9. What is the nearest meaning for the word 'ruining' in the passage?

Answer - Devastating.

10. Find words from the passage which mean : breaking up, ruining, scandalising, souring, easily or quickly offended.

Answer - 1. breaking up: destroying.

               2. ruining: devastating.

               3. scandalising: withering.

               4. souring: embittering.

               5. easily or quickly offended: touchy.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

The Farmer and the Donkey Story

 The Story of the farmer and his donkey

Author - Unknown

This is one story that I came across the internet and I was amazed with the positivity it set. This is how you shove out the dirt that is thrown at you and then you step up. Let's show the world what we are made of and how we never give up. 

Photo Courtesy: Google  

One day a farmer’s donkey fell into a well. The animal cried loudly for hours, while the farmer tried to find something to do to get him out.

Finally, the farmer decided that the donkey was old and the well was already dry and needed to be covered anyway; and also that it really wasn't worth pulling the donkey out of the well..

He invited all his neighbors to come help him. They each grabbed a shovel and began to throw dirt into the well.

The donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly loud. Then, to everyone's surprise, he quieted down after a few shovels full of dirt.

The farmer finally looked down into the well and was amazed at what he saw... with each shovel full of dirt, the donkey was doing something incredible: It was shaking off the dirt and stepping on top of the dirt.

Very soon everyone saw surprised how the donkey reached the mouth of the well, went over the edge and trotted out.

Moral Lesson from the story of the farmer and the donkey

Life is going to throw dirt at you, all kinds of dirt... the trick to getting out of the hole is to shake it off and use it to step up. Each of our problems is a step up. We can get out of the deepest holes if we don't give up...

Use the land they throw you to get ahead!!!

Remember the 5 rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hate.

2. Free your Mind of distractions.

3. Simplify your life.

4. Give more and expect less.

5. Love more and... shake the dirt, because in this life you have to be a solution, not the problem!

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Comprehension Passage - 1

Title: Mahatma Gandhi - The Great Internationalist

"People talk of memorials to him in statues of bronze or marble or pillars and thus they mock him and his message. What tribute shall we pay to him that he would have appreciated? He has shown us the way to live and the way to die and if we have not understood that lesson, it would be better that we raised no memorial to him, for the only fit memorial is to follow reverently in the path he showed us and to do our duty in life and death.

He was a Hindu and an Indian, the greatest in many generations, and he was proud of being a Hindu and an Indian. To him, India was dear, because she had represented throughout the ages certain immutable truths. But though he was intensely religious and came to be called the Father of the Nation which he had liberated, yet no narrow religious or nation bonds confined his spirit. And so he became the great internationalist, believing in the essential unity of man, the underlying unity of all religions, and the needs of humanity, and more specially devoting himself to the service of the poor, the distressed and the oppressed millions everywhere.

His death brought more tributes than have been paid at the passing of any other human being in history. Perhaps what would have pleased him best was the spontaneous tributes that came from the people of Pakistan. On the morrow of the tragedy, all of us forgot for a while the bitterness that had crept in, the estrangement and the conflict of these past months and Gandhiji stood out as the beloved champion and leader of the people of Indian, of Indians it was before the partition cup up this living nation.

What was his great power over the mind and heart of man due to? Even we realize, that his dominating passion was truth. That truth led him to proclaim without ceasing that good ends can never be attained by evil methods, that the end itself is distorted if the method pursued is bad. That truth led him to confess publicly whenever he thought he had made a mistake --- Himalayan errors he called some of his own mistakes. That truth led him to fight evil and untruth wherever he found them, regardless of the consequences. That truth made the service of the poor and the disposed the passion of his life, for where there is inequality and discrimination and suppression there is injustice and evil and untruth. And thus he became the beloved of all those who have suffered from social and political evils, and the great representative of humanity as it should be. Because of that truth in him wherever he sat became a temple and where he trod was hallowed ground."

                                                                                                                        - Jawaharlal Nehru. 


1. About whom is the passage written?

Answer - This passage is written about the great Mahatma Gandhi.

2. What great lesson did this great man show for life?

Answer -  This great man made us see the way we live and the way we die.

3.  How can we pay him a real tribute?

Answer - We can pay him a real tribute by following the path that he showed us and by doing our duty.

4. Mention why he is called 'the great internationalist'?

Answer - He is called a great internationalist because he was an intensely religious man yet no narrow religious or nation bonds confined his spirit.

5. What did "truth" mean to this great man?

Answer - Truth for him was his dominating passion which led him to fight evil, which led him to suppress the injustice, and which led him to offer service to the poor.

6. What did Mahatma Gandhi refer his mistakes as?

Answer - Mahatma Gandhi often referred his mistakes as Himalayan Errors

7. Give the meaning of the following: memorials, immutable, essential, estrangement, spontaneous, discrimination, dominating.

Answer -  1. Memorials  - Something that is built or done to remind of any person or any event.

                2. Immutable - Unchanging over time.

                3. Essential - Completely necessary.

                4. Estrangement - The fact of no longer being on friendly terms.

                5. Spontaneous - Not planned or happening suddenly. 

                6. Discrimination - Treating someone worse than others.

                7.  Dominating - To be more powerful.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Fifteen Best Ways for Women to Boost their Self Esteem

We all fight some or the other battles in our life, nobody is spared. These battles take a big chunk out of our confidence and make us doubt and wonder if we are going wrong. Women are the main victims to this. The main problem with us, women is, we are known to take the blame and allow others to treat us the way they wish. This has to be stopped and we shouldn't keep doing this any longer. Here are a few way we can stop self doubting and boost our self-esteem to rise and shine :) 

Fifteen Best Ways for Women to Boost their Self Esteem

1. The key is to stop self-doubting and keep fighting. When you self-doubt yourself, remember - nobody is perfect. 

2. Another key is to believe in yourself and to take action, no matter what the result be.

3. Being nice to yourself works a long way.

4. Give importance to yourself and to your decisions. 

5. Go for a walk. Walks have always proved to do wonders and change mood. 

6. Focus on what you can do to change rather than what you did wrong. 

7. Celebrate small victories, even if they aren’t long lasting or if they don’t matter much to others. They should matter to you.

8. Move on, don’t keep watering the dead plant. Go, plant a new tree… a new hope.

9. Get into some hobby or cultivate your interests. It could be anything, as long as it entertains you, relaxes you and makes you happy, that’s all matters. 

10. Don’t stress out thinking of something that is absurd or may happen. Who knows what happens next, so why worry and spend that precious moment!

11. Laugh when you do silly mistakes. Anybody could do mistakes but laughing on them and acknowledging them is done only by few. Many prefer blaming others for their mistake. 

12. Breathe and give it a moment.

13. Exercising is a best way to beat the stress out. 

14. Accept and love yourself the way you are. Nobody can be you, remember that and be proud of it.

15. Invest in yourself. If you feel that there is any shortcoming within you, or you need to improve in any areas, then go for it. Try and enroll for some course that can help you do better. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Comprehension Poem - 1 "A time to Believe"

Poem - A time to Believe

     - B. J. Morbitzer

"To believe is to know that
every day is a new beginning.
Is to trust that miracles happen,
and dreams really do come true.

To believe is to see angels
dancing among the clouds,
To know the wonder of a stardust sky
and the wisdom of the man in the moon.

To believe is to know the value of a nurturing heart,
The innocence of a child's eyes
and the beauty of an aging hand,
for it is through their teachings we learn to love.

To believe is to find the strength
and courage that lies within us
When it's time to pick up
the pieces and begin again.

To believe is to know
we are not alone,
That life is a gift
and this is our time to cherish it.

To believe is to know
that wonderful surprises are just
waiting to happen,
And all our hopes and dreams are within reach.

If only we believe..."


1. What should we know and trust everyday?

Answer - We should know and trust that everyday is a new beginning, and also that miracles do happen and dreams do come true.

2. What are the two super natural references in the second stanza?

Answer - The two super natural references in the stanza include angels and the man in the moon.

3. What two qualities are needed to recover, after a shocking event?

Answer - The two qualities that are needed to recover after a shocking event includes strength and courage.

4. Who is the poet of this poem?

Answer - The poet of this poem is B. J. Morbitzer.

5. What kind of attitude does the poet advise everybody to have?

Answer - The poet advises is to be positive and have an optimistic attitude. He wants us to believe that everyday comes with new opportunities and has a new beginning and miracles do happen. 

6. What does the poet have to say about nurturing?

Answer - Nurturing is caring. When someone nurtures us, be it our parents or our teachers; we should believe and try to value what they tell us based on their vast experience and wish to give us an advice. 

7. Any five qualities that you can pick up from the poem?

Answer - Love, Trust, Courage, Belief, Strength.

8.A. Write words from the poem that describe the following:

a) sky   -  stardust sky.

b) heart nurturing heart.

c) hand  ageing hand.

d) beginning - new beginning.

e) surprises - wonderful surprises.

8.B. Rearrange the letters to make meaningful words:

a) "clearmis" - miracles.

b) "sowmid"   - wisdom.

c) "gearuoc"  - courage.

d) "rissupser" - surprises.

e) "tabyue" - beauty.

f) "madres" - dreams.

g) "laveu" - value.

h) "downre" - wonder.

8.C. What do the following words mean?

a) aging - growing old.

b) nurturing - to provide nourishment and care.

c) pick up the pieces - return to normal after a shock.

d) cherish - hold something dearly and of great value.

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