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Summary of Memories of Childhood by Zitkala-Sa & Bama Class 12 English Vistas


Summary of Memories of Childhood by Zitkala-Sa & Bama Class 12 English Vistas

This chapter has extracts from the writings of two different female writers. The first one is titled 'The Cutting of My Long Hair' by Zitkala-Sa who was a native American writer. The second one is titled 'We Too Are Human Beings' by Bama who is a Tamil Dalit woman. In both these extracts, the writers describe the painful experiences of their childhood when they were subjected to humiliation simply because they belonged to backward tribes or communities.

Notes for The Cutting of My Long Hair

  • The first part deals with the account of Simmons, An American Indian, who fought against the prejudices of the society against American Indians.
  • She describes her experiences on her first day at the Carlisle Indian School.
  • The customs and rules of the place were strange and new to her.
  • She was forced to wear clothes that were considered undignified in her culture.
  • At breakfast, she was embarrassed as she did not know the routine of the place.
  • When she comes to know that they were planning to cut her hair, she protests by hiding under the bed, even though she knew it was futile. In her culture, it was the cowards whose hair was shingled.
  • She felt like an animal driven by a herder.


The Cutting of My Long Hair Summary in English

This extract is a painful revelation of a particular period of the life which the writer had to suffer during her hostel days. It was the first day of her boarding school situated in the land of apples. The children were given the task of apple picking in the bitter and biting cold. They were taken to the breakfast hall and the girl was feeling stressed. She did not know the table manners. She was being watched very carefully by a strange pale-faced woman. The girl felt very fearful and insulted.
Her friend who could understand some English, told her that the pale strange woman intended to cut her long hair. Zitkala-Sa learned from her mother that hair would be shingled only for the unskilled warrior, cowards and mourners.
She decided to fight back and got herself hidden in a dim room under the bed. Everybody looked for her and called her name but eventually caught. Her long hair was cut, although she resisted a lot. She spent her rest of the life there like a small animal being a part of a herd, which was driven by a herder.

Summary of The Cutting of My Long Hair in Hindi

पहले लेखांश का शीर्षक है - 'दि कटिंग ऑफ़ माय लांग हेअर' - जोकि ज़िटकला-सा के द्वारा लिखा गया है जो एक अमरीकी आदिवासी लड़की थी। लेखांश में लेखिकाएं अपने बचपन के पीड़ाजनक अनुभवों का वर्णन करती हैं जब उन्हें केवल इसलिए अपमान का सामना करना पड़ा क्योंकि वे किसी पिछड़े हुए कबीले या समुदाय से सम्बन्ध रखती थीं। ज़िटकला-सा आदिवासी अमरीकियों के एक कबीले से सम्बन्ध रखती थी। यह एक योद्धाओं का कबीला था तथा लम्बे भारी बाल रखना उनकी एक परम्परा हुआ करती थी। केवल ऐसे योद्धा जो बन्दी बना लिए जाते, उनके बाल गर्दन पर से काट कर बहुत छोटे बना दिए जाते थे। छोटे बाल वे लोग रखते थे जो किसी शोक में हों और गर्दन पर से ऊपर को कटे हुए बाल कायरों के होते थे। जब ज़िटकला-सा को एक स्कूल में दाखिल करवाया गया तो वहां के गोरे कर्मचारियों ने पहले ही दिन उसके बाल ज़बरदस्ती कटवा दिए। इस लेखांश में लेखिका अपनी उस पीड़ा को व्यक्त करती है जब उसने अपने सुन्दर लम्बे बाल खो दिए। उसे दिलासा देने के लिए वहां कोई न आया। स्कूल में सभी अन्य बच्चों के भी बाल कटे हुए थे। अब वह स्वयं को अनेकों जानवरों में से एक महसूस करने लगी जिन्हें कोई चरवाहा हांके जा रहा हो।

Notes for We too are Human Beings

  • The second part is an excerpt from the autobiography ‘Karukku’ by Bama – a Tamil Dalit.
  • She was in her third grade when she becomes aware of the indignities that the lower caste people face.
  • She happens to see an elderly person from her community abase himself in front of a higher caste person as he was not supposed to touch the food that he was ordered to fetch for the landlord.
  • Later, her brother explains to her that the incident was not at all funny as she initially thought, but very pathetic. The people from the lower caste were treated as untouchables.
  • She was deeply saddened and decided to study hard to overcome discrimination.


We too are Human Beings Summary in English

Bama was a student of third class. She never heard of the word untouchability during her childhood. Certain small events of her life made her feel that she was born in the marginalized caste. She was a happy peppy girl and once when she was in the third class, while going home she saw her people working hard for their land- lords. In spite of their hard work the landlords treated the workers very humiliatingly. She saw from the direction of the market an elder from their community was coming with a parcel in his hands. The manner he carried the poly bag, the manner he was carrying it with its strings, without touching the Vadas inside the parcel, really made him to be funny. He handed over the parcel to the landlord very sacredly too. She narrated the incident to her brother, taking the incident as humorous and funny. He told that it was not humorous but humiliating as the elderly person was not supposed to touch the item inside the parcel. On hearing that Bama felt infuriated.
She saw her people bowing, to the upper caste people. She was enraged why her elders work so hard for those people who despised them so much. She wanted her people to stop paying undue respect and reverences to these upper caste people. Her brother told her that if they study hard and make progress in their lives, it would help them in throwing away the indignities. Education is their weapon with which they fight back the society. Bama did the same and got many friends in her life. Education made her as double- sided sward to fight very sharply against the unjustified caste system.


Summary of We too are Human Beings in Hindi

दूसरे लेखांश का शीर्षक है - 'वी टू आर हयुमन बीइंग्ज़' - जो कि एक तमिल दलित औरत के द्वारा लिखा गया है। लेखांश में बामा वर्णन करती है कि उनकी गली के एक बुजुर्ग व्यक्ति को किस तरह एक अपमानजनक ढंग से व्यवहार करना पड़ता है, केवल इसलिए क्योंकि वह एक दलित समुदाय से सम्बन्ध रखता है। गांव का ज़मींदार उस बुजुर्ग आदमी को उसके लिए कुछ वड़े लेने के लिए भेजता है । वह आदमी पैकट को उसकी डोरी से पकड़े हुए लाता है। उसे पैकट को छूने की अनुमति नहीं है क्योंकि उसके छूने से बड़े प्रदूषित हो सकते हैं। इसी कारण से उसे पैकट को इसकी डोरी से पकड़ना पड़ता है। जब बामा का बड़ा भाई अनन उसे इसके पीछे का सब कारण समझाता है तो बामा का मन विद्रोह से भर उठता है। "हमें क्या ज़रूरत है कि हम इन लोगों के लिए चीजें उठाकर लाते फिरें? हमारा इतना प्रतिष्ठित बुजुर्ग विनम्रतापूर्वक दुकानों पर जाता है, खाने को कुछ लाता है, और इसे आदरपूर्वक, झुकते हुए, सिकुड़ते हुए इस आदमी को पकड़ा देता है जो मात्र वहां बैठा रहता है और इसे अपने मुंह में ठोसता रहता है।" उसका बड़ा भाई जो एक विश्वविद्यालय में पढ़ाई कर रहा होता है, छुट्टियों के दौरान घर आया होता है। वह उससे कहता है, "ध्यान से पढ़ा करो और जितना तुम सीख सकती हो, सब सीखा करो। यदि तुम अपनी पढ़ाई में सदा सबसे आगे रहोगी, तो लोग अपनी इच्छा से तुम्हारे पास आने लगेंगे और तुम्हारे साथ मित्रता करना चाहेंगे। मेहनत करो और सीखती रहो।" बामा ने अपने भाई की नसीहत का पालन किया। वह अपनी कक्षा में प्रथम आई। बहुत से लोग उसके मित्र बन गए।
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