NCERT English - Class 9

Beehive (Poem)

Chapter 2: Wind


The wind blows strongly and causes a lot of destruction. How can we make friends with it?


Strong winds cause a lot of destruction and damage but its energy can be of great use once we make friends with it. This we can do by taking proper precautions and measures. For instance, we can build stronger homes, keeping in mind the fatalities of the wind. We can also build windmills to harness its energy that can be used to generate electricity.

Thinking about the Poem


Question 1: What are the things the wind does in the first stanza?


The wind breaks the shutters of the windows; scatters the papers; throws down the books from the shelf; tears the pages of the books; and brings showers of rain.

Question 2: Have you seen anybody winnow grain at home or in a paddy field? What is the word in your language for winnowing? What do people use for winnowing? (Give words in your language if you know them.)


Yes, I have seen women winnowing grain at home in the villages.

Winnowing is generally known as phatkna, pichorna or anaj parchana in Hindi.

The village people use the winnowing fork and more commonly, the winnowing fan, known as chhaaj in Hindi, for winnowing.

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Question 3: What does the poet say the wind god winnows?


The poet says that the wind god winnows the weak crumbling houses, doors, rafters, wood, bodies, lives and hearts, and then crushes them all.

Question 4: What should we do to make friends with the wind?


To make friends with the wind, the poet asks us to build strong homes, join the doors firmly and practice to make our bodies and hearts stronger.

Question 5: What do the last four lines of the poem mean to you?


In the last four lines, the poet inspires us to face the wind, which symbolises the hardships of our lives, courageously. He tells us that the wind can only extinguish the weak fires; it intensifies the stronger ones. Similarly, adversities deter the weak-hearted but make stronger those who have unfaltering will. In such a case, befriending the wind or the hardships of life makes it easier for us to face them.

Question 6: How does the poet speak to the wind”in anger or with humour? You must also have seen or heard of the wind crumbling lives. What is your response to this? Is it like the poets?


The poet speaks to the wind in anger.

Yes, I have witnessed stormy weather and I have seen the wind uprooting trees. I have watched on the television many instances where wind has caused destruction, crushing houses with people stuck inside.

No, my response would not be similar to the poet. Violent wind causes destruction but its energy, if harnessed, can be utilised in generating electricity and for other productive purposes.


The poem you have just read is originally in Tamil. Do you know any such poems in your language?


Yes, I have read another poem on wind. It is titled ‘Toofan’ and was originally written in Hindi by Naresh Aggarwal.