Silk Road by Nick Middleton - Solutions of CBSE Guess Questions for Chapter 8 Hornbill, Class 11 NCERT English


Class 11 Hornbill (NCERT English Core) – CBSE Guess Questions

Chapter 8, SILK ROAD by Nick Middleton

Solutions of CBSE Guess Questions - Short Answer Type

SILK ROAD – by Nick Middleton
Question 1: Why did the author take the short cut inspite of high mountain passes?
Solution: The short cut would take them southwest, almost directly towards Mount Kailash. Crossing high mountain passes posed breathing problems. Absence of snow meant a fairy good ride.

Question 2: Who are "drokbas"? What were drokbas doing in the "rocky wilderness"?
Solution: Drokbas are a hill tribe. They wear long-sleeved sheepskin coat to protect themselves from the cold of the high mountains. They would pause and stare at the travelers and their cars. Occasionally they waved at the passing travelers. Drokbas lived in dark tents guarded by huge black Tibetan mastiffs.
As hills started to push up once more from the arid pastures, solitary men or women drokbas were seen tending their flocks in the rocky wilderness.

Question 3: How did the author pass the first night at Darchen? How did he get relief?
Solution: It was a very troubled night. The author suffered from cold. He breathed through his mouth. His chest felt heavy as he gasped for oxygen. He tried his best to sleep but in vain. Almost the whole night, he kept awake.
Tsetan took the sick author to Darchen Medical College where, he was given a five-day course of Tibetan medicine, which helped him to get well.

Question 4: What did the author notice in the vast open plains after leaving Ravu?
Solution: These vast open plains had only dry pastures. A few gazelles could be seen nibbling the grass in those arid pastures. When the plains grew stonier than grass, great herds of wild asses or “Kyangs” were seen moving together.

Question 5: Who gave the narrator "a farewell present and was the present given at Ravu'?
Solution: The narrator was about to leave Ravu for Mount Kailash to do the kora when Lhambo, a Tibetan woman, wanted to give him a farewell present. She wanted to give the narrator some warm clothes. She gave one of the long sleeved sheepskin coats that all the men wore.

Question 6: Describe Tibetan mastiffs. Why did they become popular in China's imperial courts?
Solution:  Refer to the Answer of Question I No. 2 in Silk Road - Class 11, Hornbill - NCERT Solutions of English Core textbook exercise questions @

Question 7: Describe the first meeting of Norbu with the narrator.
Solution: The narrator met Norbu in a small and dark café in Dsrchen. Norbu came in and asked if he could sit opposite (to) him. He asked if the narrator was an English man and then they struck up a conversation. Norbu was a Tibetan who, like the author, was there to do Kora. He worked in Beijing at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences knew English.

Question 8: Why did the narrator feel that perhaps Norbu could turn out to be the ideal companion?
Solution: The narrator was heading for Mount Kailash to complete the kora. Originally, he had thought of making the trek in the company of devout believers. Then he met Norbu, who was a Tibetan and like the author, was there to do Kora. Norbu knew English and could answer many of his questions. He also suggested hiring some yaks to carry their luggage. All these things suited the narrator and so, he thought that Norbu could be an ideal companion for him.

Question 9: Do you think Norbu was a better substitute for Tsetan? Justify your answer.
Solution: The author was in a disturbed state of mind when he met Norbu at Darchen. He felt that Norbu could be an ideal companion for him. Since Tsetan had left, the narrator knew no one in Darchen who knew English to answer even his most basic questions. Then he met Norbu. He knew English better than Tsetan. Norbu was an academician who, like the author, was going to Mount Kailash to do the kora. So, I think Norbu was even a better substitute for Tsetan.

 Solutions of CBSE Guess Questions – Long Answer Type

Question 10: Describe Nick Middleton's journey from Ravu to the height of 5210 metres.
Answer: The author Nick Middleton started on a pilgrimage to Mount Kailash. He was to do the Kora. He left Ravu, one early morning in the taxi of Tsetan. A Lhambo woman gave him a long sleeved sheepskin coat as a farewell present. Such coats are worn by the Drokbas, to keep away the cold. Tsetan took a short cut that would take them directly towards Kailash. During the drive, they crossed vast, grassy plains followed by the stony plains and then arid pastures. They saw a few gazelles and wild asses called Kyang. Then came the hills where a few solitary, Drokbas tended to their flocks. There were nomads’ dark tents, guarded by Tibetan mastiffs. Soon they approached the snow-capped mountains, where the ride became bumpy with sharp turns. The car had to be stopped, as there was ice on the track for nearly 15 metres. Tsetan and the others threw dust on the ice and the car could move on. This happened at the height of 5210 metres. The author started developing a headache.

Question 11: Describe the author's journey from the top of the pass to his stay at Hor.
Answer: A large cairn of rocks marked the top of the pass at a height of 5515 metres. They took the car in a turn around the cairn, according to tradition. The author, Daniel and Tsetan, the driver, careered down the pass to the other side. The author's headache cleared and they stopped for lunch at 2 P.M. By late afternoon, they reached the small town of Hor, which was on the shore of the sacred lake, Manasarovar. Daniel parted company and went to Lhasa.Tsetan had to repair the punctured tyres, so he sent the author to a cafe for half an hour. The town did not attract the author. Though it was near Mansarovar, it was dirty and full of refuse. When Tsetan returned, the author was glad to continue on his journey.

Question 12: Write a note on the author Nick Middleton's stay at Darchen and his meeting with Norbu.
Answer: Nick Middleton and Tsetan, the driver, reached Darchen at 10:30 P.M. The author checked into a guesthouse for the night. He could not sleep because of a blockage in his nose. He spent a troublesome night. In the morning, Tsetan took him to the Darchen Medical College, where a Tibetan doctor gave him medicine. When the author got well, Tsetan went back. The author was alone in Darchen, waiting for the pilgrimage season to begin. He had arrived early and was disappointed to see no pilgrims. He became restless and forced himself to think positively. It was then that he met a man called Norbu, in a cafe. He was Tibetan, who worked in Beijing and was writing academic papers about the Kora to Mount Kailash. The author was relieved to meet Norbu as he was the ideal companion to do the Kora with.

Question 13: What impression do you form of the life on the hills in India from the account given by Nick Middleton in Silk Road?
Answer: The life of the people on the hills in India is very different from urban life. The people are simple, hard working, cut off from the luxuries of urban life. They are usually farmers or shepherds making a living in the grassy, arid plains. They live in a pollution free environment; some of them are nomads travelling from place to place. At the same time, they are gentle and kind. The poor Lhambo woman gave the author a sheepskin coat to keep him away from cold. Tsetan, the driver took good care of the author. He took him to a Tibetan doctor and ensured that he got well. The people have a simple heart and live on simple food. They are close to Nature and enjoy the lonely life.

 NCERT Answers for Chapter 8, Hornbill - Silk Road by Nick Middleton

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