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Find Dhanuskodi and Rameswaram on the map. What language (s) do you think are spoken there? What language do you think the author, his family, his friends and his teachers spoke with one another?
Tamil is the language spoken in Dhanuskodi and Rameswaram. The author, his family, his friends and his teachers also spoke the Tamil language.
Discuss these questions in class with your teacher and then write down your answer in two or three paragraphs each.
"On the whole, the small society of Rameswaram was very rigid in terms of the segregation of different social groups," says the author.
(i) Which social groups does he mention? Were these groups easily identifiable (for example, by the way they dressed)?
(ii) Were they aware only of their differences or did they also naturally share friendships and experiences? (Think of the bedtime stories in Kalam's house; of who his friends were; and of what used to take place in the pond near his house.)
(iii) The author speaks both of people who were very aware of the differences among them and those who tried to bridge these differences. Can you identify such people in the text?
(iv) Narrate two incidents that show how differences can be created, and also how they can be resolved. How can people change their attitudes?