On Walking Notes | Grade 12 English Unit 11Notes | Hobbies Notes

Unit 11             Hobbies

 On Walking
Before you read
a. What is your best hobby?
b. How do you fulfil your hobby?
Now read the following text about the advantages of walking and do the given tasks.
Walking has always been one of my favorite activities. To me it is the beginning of travel.
The movement, the rhythm, the undulation of the senses and of the body that it initiates- I
enjoy the very physical sensation of walking. When I was younger, I used to love proving
how quickly and untiringly I could walk for long distances. I especially loved walking
on roads that were unpaved and uneven, like the paths around my mamaghar. But back
then, it was easy enough to find paths like that even in Kathmandu. Some of my most
vivid memories involve running down the slopes behind my house. You would begin by
taking the smallest steps to balance yourself, then without even realizing it you would have
broken into a run until you completely lost control over your body. You would reach the
bottom in such a state of thrill. I’m sure it can never be replicated, even by a ride on the
most beautiful and sophisticated roller-coaster.
As I grew older my adventures took on different shades and nuances. Walking became
a more social activity. In my teens, I began walking home from school with my friends.
Mostly we walked when we had stayed back for some after-school activity and the
buses had left, so it served as a sort of minor rebellion. Staying back after school in
itself made us feel grown-up, but it was our decision to take the long route home that
made it seem like a protest. During those walks, rebels against our regimented routine,
we could be free-willed masters of our time. We wanted to find our own way-so we’d
take shortcuts.
When I left school, my life changed drastically as I moved to a different country.
And there again I walked as a way of exploring this new world. On hot summer days
when the temperature climbed to forty degrees, I would walk leisurely, from school to home, ‘
this time alone. Sometimes I’d walk along a quiet residential street, with
fences creeping with jasmine vines, until I reached the main road with the funny set
of shops: A wedding-cake shop; a rather dilapidated second-hand clothes shop that
at one time must have had ambitions of being something more glamorous; a barber
shop. Institutions once, they had slowly begun to lose their sheen and were on their
way to being replaced by fancier stores and boutiques. On other days I’d walk down
the more exciting Norton Street lined with cafes and restaurants, and later a beautiful
mall designed in imitation of an Italian piazza. Though these walks were more an
expression of listlessness and confusion than conscious design, they helped me to
navigate not only the place where I was to spend the next few years of my life, but also
the renewed circumstances of my life and the changes that would inevitably stamp
themselves on my psyche. Amid all kinds of pressures I felt to fit in and adapt, walking
was both an escape and a search for a pace and a rhythm that felt most natural to me.
Australian streets were far quieter and organized when compared to the cacophonous
streets of Kathmandu. Yet in time, I grew to love the solitude they offered. Across the big
 Parramatta Road from Leichhardt, where the buildings of my high school stood, was the
completely nondescript Petersham, where I lived with my family on a street that faced the
 dreary backsides of shops along Parramatta Road. Dismal as it was, it had its treasures
. A tiny park no one visited was a minute down the road, and once you turned the corner to another park, with a huge rock at one end.
Perhaps it didn’t offer much in terms of access or glamour, but it was a good place
between the harsh and noisy highway and the more comfortable. It was a good
place to hide, a buffer zone suburb. As I walked uphill towards the train station the
street seemed to dip into the horizon and suddenly come to an end it made quite a
sight at twilight, against the backdrop of a darkening blue sky.
I walked the streets of Sydney in the cool morning, the blistering noon, at sunset,
and even at dawn, on my way home from certain unforgotten night outs that lie
listlessly in the trunk of my memory with no obvious purpose. I frequently walked
for an hour along Parramatta road to get to Sydney University. The sights I found
there were so different from those I had once been accustomed to, but slowly they
took the place of the familiar and my birthplace became a memory, too far and too
distant to have a distinct shape. And along this long, seemingly irreversible and
frequently disturbing journey only a few things remained constant: the earth and
the sky, the trees, water. For a long time in this journey they really were my only friends and companions, the only entities with whom I would share the secrets of
my heart. Or was it rather the painful lack of secrets because it had been emptied
of everything it had once known and loved? Walking became a conversation I
had with the world—the physical world around me and the natural world that
peeked from beneath paved roads and behind skyscrapers. It was my body’s way
of reminding itself of its naturalness and beauty when the mind had become home
to doubts and distress.
Even though culturally my journey had been westwards, towards those places
that people generally associate with material wealth and comfort, I felt that I had
journeyed to a desert, to emptiness, where there was no footing to be had, and
walking was perhaps the healthiest way to seek that lost footing. The further I
moved from the tumult of my hometown, the more solitary my walks became. In
the last years before I returned to Kathmandu, I was in the United States with a
definite purpose: To get a degree. Unlike the previous transitions in my life, I had
chosen this one myself. But simply because you make an intentional decision does
not mean that everything that follows conforms to your designs or expectations.
The years I spent in Minneapolis were perhaps the most solitary of my life:
Solitary in the sense that through experiences so new and unexpected that I barely
had language to understand them, let alone communicate them with someone. I
took long walks there. In retrospect I feel like walking became life: Solitary in
the sense that I went unexpected that I barely had communication with someone
almost an achievement in itself as the ostensible purpose for what had ended up
there dwindled away. I lived and walked in neighborhoods that were beautiful for
their sloping streets and proximity to water in a city mostly flat except when it had
risen to cup one of its hundred lakes. There was snow on the ground for almost
half of the year. As soon as the snow began to melt I broke in a new pair of shoes
accompany me on my walks. On Sundays, when I left for my walk rather early in
the morning there’d be hardly anyone on the streets. And the beautiful buildings
that had been erected few centuries ago in service of trade along the Mississippi
river seemed to lie waste or awaiting a revival. Sometimes a deer that had lost its
way would be grazing in the middle of the park by the river. This was during spring
and autumn. During the frigid winters I walked on a treadmill on the top floor of
my apartment building gazing that the pale blue sky and the eagles that flew in
circles repeatedly.
Even though I was a stranger to that city and I never stopped feeling a sense of hesitation
before walking into the doors of its buildings and houses, I felt as if the place itself
was known to me. I wondered about the people who had lived here before the city was
built and felt that their spirits were still around in the weeds that grew in the shallow
end of the lake, and in the old trees that had been left undisturbed for centuries. Every
time I was driven along highways and saw the vast uninhabited tracts of land beside it,
I was reminded that like every other place on earth this place too is ancient, with the
shape and texture of the land bearing witness to its age. In that sense, how far could I
really be from home? My head hurt to think of options and possibilities I’d inevitably
have to weigh once I left but my body had made itself at home there, like everywhere
else I had lived.
Our world is so populated with brilliant and imaginative ideas, beautiful songs, things
to look at, things to be in awe of and to revere, beauty and pleasure in all forms and
guises, that we often forget that the layers of beauty we perceive in our everyday
lives are built on something not of our making–this earth, and beyond it space, of
which it is a part. Walking makes us aware obliquely- of space, of that invisible and
intangible thing without which no object can exist, cohere and have meaning. The
space between two footsteps makes it possible for us to move, and as we walk, even
when we are keeping step on with ourselves, a million others walk with us, maintaining
the imperceptible relationship with space, which is governed by laws which we only
have the minutest clue about.
I have always known, since the first time I left home, that I’d love every place I’d visit,
maybe not the people, or the culture, but itself the trees, the way the land meets the
sky, the life it leads beneath the quotidian, its inhabitants and to which whether we are
aware of it or not, inextricably and fundamentally bound. Walking brought me close
places, made me notice the things around me, bound me to the places that became my
home because ultimately no matter where I went the air that brushed against me and
the light that poured into my eyes each morning, the sounds of birds and insects, or
machines were the same everywhere. It may sound ironic but walking kept me close to
my roots and gave me a sense of grounding, because no matter which part of the world
I happened to be in, when I walked, I was my intrinsic self.
Now, back home again, as I walk the streets of my beloved hometown, I am filled with
gratitude for all the streets that have given shape to my feet, my body and my being.
                                                                    – Sristi Bhattarai

Working with words

A. Find the words from the text which have the following meanings.
a.     a wave-like motion
b.     to make or do something again exactly in the same way
c.     decayed, deteriorated, or fallen into partial ruin especially through neglect or misuse
d.     a bright, smooth surface
e.     the feeling of having no energy and enthusiasm
f.     a state of noise, commotion and confusion
g.    being alone, often by choice
h.     to regard with respect, often tinged with awe
i     said in a way that is not direct, so that the real meaning is not immediately clear
B. Find the meaning of the following words from a dictionary.
sophisticated, conscious, blistering, proximity, invisible


Answer the following questions.
a. What is the author’s favourite hobby? Why does she like it so much?
b. What sorts of roads did the writer prefer to walk on when she was very young?
c. How did walking give the author and her classmates a sense of freedom?
d. In what ways were the roads in Kathmandu different from the ones in Sydney?
e. How did walking help the author in the new country?
f. What were the treasures of Petersham, where the writer lived with her family?
g. What things became her permanent friends with whom she could share her feelings?
h. Why did she feel that she had travelled to ‘a desert, to emptiness’ as she went to the United States?
i. Why did the author eventually feel that the strange city was known to her?
j. How did walking make her feel at home with different places she visited?

Critical thinking

a. Do you believe that walking helps us understand ourselves? Give reasons in support of your opinion.
b. Think of one of your hobbies. How does this hobby relate to your psyche and self?
c. Many people turn their hobbies into careers. Is it good to turn one’s hobby into a career?


Highlighting the advantages of walking, Henry David Thoreau says, “An earlymorning
walk is a blessing for the whole day.” Write an essay on the advantages of
morning walk.


Passive voice
A. Study the following sentences.
Sheela gave Milan a bar of chocolate.
Milan was given a bar of chocolate by Sheela.
A bar of chocolate was given to Milan by Sheela.
B. Change the following sentences into passive voice.
a. I want someone to love me.
b. Someone broke into our house while we were on holiday.
c. I don’t like people staring at me.
d. Is it true that someone stole your car?
e. The cat enjoys someone tickling him.
f. Would Swostika open the window?
g. Did they confess the crime?
h. He thinks that someone is teaching Jennie.
i. Sabina hates people laughing at her.
C. Complete the following sentences as in the example.
Example: People believe that the one billion defaulters are staying in the UAE.
The one billion defaulters are believed to be staying in the UAE.
a. English people think that the number thirteen is unlucky.
    The number thirteen…………………………unlucky by English people.
b. What are you wearing for the wedding?
    Actually, I am having……………………………………….. (a suit make). They will give it                 tomorrow.
c. The carpet in our drawing room is very dirty.
    It needs ………………………………. (clean).
d. There are rumours that the factory at the corner is manufacturing bombs.
    The factory at the corner is rumoured……………………………………bombs.
e. Some people believe that Silajit from Jumla cures all indigestion problems.
    Silajit from Jumla………………………………..all digestion problems.
f. People claim that Changu Narayan temple is the oldest temple in Nepal.
    Changu Narayan temple…………………………………the oldest temple in Nepal.
g. A: Your car is making a terrible noise.
    B: Thank you. I am not a mechanic and I will…………soon. (repair).
h. The police suspect that the criminal left the country.
    The criminal ……………………………………….the country.
i. A: Where are you going?
    B: I am going to the stationery to get……………(my document /photocopy)
j. People allege that the corrupt leader has embezzled millions of rupees.
    The leader………………………..millions of rupees.


A. Read the conversation below. Underline the expressions that are used for reminding.
Trishna: Hi, Bhim! What’s up?
Bhim: Hi, Trishna! Nothing much. What about you?
Trishna: Fine. By the way, have you started packing things?
Bhim: Yes, I have. Why?
Trishna: You won’t forget to take your guitar, will you?
Bhim: Yeah. Thanks. I must do that. But remember to carry plentiful of popcorns.
Trishna: Sure. That sounds exciting! Will you remind me how long the hiking to Ranimahal in Palpa                 is?
Bhim: Not much. We can get there within a couple of hours from Tansen. I have been there twice with             my family.
Trishna: But, I have never been there.
Bhim : You must hike to Ranimahal. Located by the side of the Kaligandaki River, the palace is                         marvelous. It’s thrilling to walk on a path right above a raging stream right before reaching                     Ranimahal. This monument is compared with the Taj Mahal in India. Do you know who                         built it?
Trishna: Wow! Sounds Marvelous! I think Ranimahal was built by Khadga Shamsher Junga Bahadur                     Rana in memory of Tej Kumari Devi, his youngest wife, who died in 1892.
Bhim: Excellent! You have good memories. You still remember the Social Studies teacher explaining about its history. But, it’s a pity! I don’t have a good
camera phone.
Trishna : Ah yes, I will take my father’s i-Phone. Well, Bhim, I don’t have an extension cord. Can I                     remind you to take one? Just in case we don’t get enough charging points at the hotel.
Bhim : Alright. I think we must share our preparations with other friends as well after the classes are                     over this afternoon.
Trishna : That’s a good idea. Actually, I have already shared it with Niroj and Nirjala. They have                             already agreed. Remember to call Shreejala who is absent today.
Bhim : That makes sense. Let’s get back to class. The break is about to be over
B. Say how one can remind someone in the following situations. Use different expressions for each.
a. You want your friend to return your books by Friday evening.
b. You want to remind someone about the upcoming meeting.
c. The driver wants to remind the passengers about having lunch at the next stop.
d. You have your birthday the next week and you have invited your teacher for it.
e. Your mother wants to remind your father about the loan payment schedule.
f. The final examination is coming near. The teacher wants to tell the students about it.

Project work

Take a short interview with three of your classmates about their hobbies. During the
interview, try to explore how these hobbies can have impacts on their everyday life and
career. Prepare a report including their responses and your opinions

All Units Notes

1Critical ThinkingKnow Thyself
3SportsEuro 2020
5EducationA Story of My Childhood
6Money and EconomyQR Code
7HumourWhy do We Laugh Inappropriately?
8Human CultureLand of Plenty
9Ecology and EnvironmentLiving in a Redwood Tree
10Career OpportunitiesPresenting Yourself
11HobbiesOn Walking
12Animal WorldThe Medusa and the Snail
13HistoryAfter the World Trade Centre
14Human RightsI am Sorry”- The Hardest Three Words to Say
15Leisure and EntertainmentA Journey Back in Time
16FantasyThe Romance of a Busy Broker
17War and PeaceTrain to Pakistan

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