NCERT Class 10 English Glimpses of India

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A Baker from Goa

This is a pen-portrait of a traditional Goan village baker who still has an important place in his society. OUR elders are often heard reminiscing nostalgically about those good old Portuguese days, the Portuguese and their famous loaves of bread. Those eaters of loaves might have vanished but the makers are still there. We still have amongst us the mixers, the moulders and those who bake the loaves. Those age-old, timetested furnaces still exist. The fire in the furnaces has not yet been extinguished. The thud and jingle of the traditional baker’s bamboo, heralding his arrival in the morning, can still be heard in some places. Maybe the father is not alive but the son still carries on the family profession. These bakers are, even today, known as pader in Goa.

During our childhood in Goa, the baker used to be our friend, companion and guide. He used to come at least twice a day. Once, when he set out in the morning on his selling round, and then again, when he returned after emptying his huge basket. The jingling thud of his bamboo woke us up from sleep and we ran to meet and greet him. Why was it so? Was it for the love of the loaf? Not at all. The loaves were bought by some Paskine or Bastine, the maid-servant of the house! What we longed for were those bread-bangles which we chose carefully. Sometimes it was sweet bread of special make.

The baker made his musical entry on the scene with the ‘jhang, jhang’ sound of his specially made bamboo staff. One hand supported the basket on his head and the other banged the bamboo on the ground. He would greet the lady of the house with “Good morning” and then place his basket on the vertical bamboo. We kids would be pushed aside with a mild rebuke and the loaves would be delivered to the servant.

But we would not give up. We would climb a bench or the parapet and peep into the basket, somehow. I can still recall the typical fragrance of those loaves. Loaves for the elders and the bangles for the children. Then we did not even care to brush our teeth or wash our mouths properly. And why should we? Who would take the trouble of plucking the mango-leaf for the toothbrush? And why was it necessary at all? The tiger never brushed his teeth. Hot tea could wash and clean up everything so nicely, after all!

Think about the text

1. Which of these statements are correct?

(i) The pader was an important person in the village in old times.

(ii) Paders still exist in Goan villages.

(iii) The paders went away with the Portuguese.

(iv) The paders continue to wear a single-piece long frock.

(v) Bread and cakes were an integral part of Goan life in the old days.

(vi) Traditional bread-baking is still a very profitable business.

(vii) Paders and their families starve in the present times.

2. Is bread an important part of Goan life? How do you know this?

3. Tick the right answer. What is the tone of the author when he says the following?

(i) The thud and the jingle of the traditional baker’s bamboo can still be heard in some places. (nostalgic, hopeful, sad)

(ii) Maybe the father is not alive but the son still carries on the family profession. (nostalgic, hopeful, sad)

(iii) I still recall the typical fragrance of those loaves. (nostalgic, hopeful, naughty)

(iv) The tiger never brushed his teeth. Hot tea could wash and clean up everything so nicely, after all. (naughty, angry, funny)

(v) Cakes and bolinhas are a must for Christmas as well as other festivals. (sad, hopeful, matter-of-fact)

(vi) The baker and his family never starved. They always looked happy and prosperous. (matter-of-fact, hopeful, sad)


Please refer to attached file for NCERT Class 10 English Glimpses of India

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