Precis Writing :
Read the following passages and answer the questions that follow.
Sita went to her grandfather and sat down beside him.
‘When you are hungry, tell me,’ she said, ‘and I will make the bread.’
‘Is your grandmother asleep?’
‘Yes. But she will wake soon. The pain is deep.’ The old man stared across the river, at the dark green of the forest, at the leaden sky, and said, ‘If she is not better by morning, I will take her to the hospital, in Shahgunj. They will know how to make her well. You may be on your own for two or three days. You have been on your own before.’
Sita nodded gravely. She had been alone before…but not in the middle of the rains with
the river so high. But she knew that someone must stay behind.
She wanted Grandmother to get well and she knew only Grandfather could take the small boat across the river when the current was so strong. Sita was not afraid of being left alone but she did not like the look of the river.
That evening it began to rain again. Big pellets of rain were scarring the surface of the
river. But it was warm rain and Sita could move about in it. She was not afraid of getting
wet. She rather liked it. In the previous month, when the monsoon showers had arrived,
washing the dusty leaves of the trees and bringing up the good smell of the earth, she had
exulted in it and she had run about shouting for joy. She was used to it now, even a little tired of the rain. But she did not mind getting wet. It was steamy indoors and her thin dress would soon dry in the heat of the kitchen fire.
She walked about barefooted, bare legged. She was very sure on her feet. Her toes had
grown accustomed to gripping all kinds of rocks, slippery or sharp, and though thin, she
was surprisingly strong.
Brown hair streaming across her face. Black eyes. Slim brown arms. A scar on her thigh,
when she was small, visiting her mother’s village, a hyena had entered the house where she was sleeping, fastened on to her leg and tried to drag her away but her screams had roused the villagers and the hyena had run off.
She moved about in the pouring rain, chasing the hens into a shelter behind the hut. A
harmless brown snake, flooded out of its hole, was moving across the open ground. Sita took a stick, picked the snake up with it, and dropped it behind a cluster of rocks. She
had no quarrel with snakes. They kept down the frogs and the rats. She wondered how
the rats had first come to the island - probably in someone’s boat or in a sack of grain.
She disliked the huge black scorpions who left their waterlogged dwellings and tried to
take shelter in the hut. It was so easy to step on one and the sting could be very painful.
She had been bitten by a scorpion the previous monsoon and for a day and a night. She
had known fever and great pain. Sita had never killed living creatures but now, whenever
she found a scorpion, she crushed it with a rock! When, finally, she went indoors, she was hungry. She ate some parched gram and warmed up some goat’s milk.
Grandmother woke once and asked for water, and Grandfather held the brass tumbler to
her lips. The roof was leaking and a small puddle formed on the floor. Grandfather kept the kerosene lamps alight. They did not need the light but somehow it made them feel safer. It rained all night.
What kind of a girl is Sita? Describe in sixty words.
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