Describe a Story Popular in your Country – IELTS Cue Card
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Describe a story popular in your country
You should say:
- what it is
- how you heard it
- what lesson or moral it teaches
- and explain why possibly this is a popular story in your country
Sample Answer 1
Like the diversity in language and culture, my country also offers variety in folktales. There are popular collections of stories like the Panchatantra, the Jataka Tales, Emperor Akbar and Birbal, Vikram and Betal, The Tales of Tenaliraman, Thakumar Jhuli (Grandmother’s Bag of Tales) to name a few. The story that I am going to tell teaches a very important lesson to the present generation and their fast paced lives – think before making hasty decisions.
The story has different names in different parts of my country. But the most popular name is ‘The Brahmin’s Wife and the Mongoose’. From the title, it can be understood that the story is about the wife of a brahmin and their pet mongoose. The story begins with the marriage of the brahmin and a young lady. In the first few years, they did not have a child. To make his wife happy, the brahmin bought a mongoose. They loved and cared for the mongoose like their own son. Later, a son was born to them who was very handsome. Now, the family of the brahmin became complete, and the mongoose and boy were treated as twin brothers. One day, while the baby was sleeping in the cot, the wife went to collect water from the river, and the brahmin went out for his work. A large venomous snake entered the house. The mongoose became alert as he had to protect his younger brother from the snake. After a long fight between the two, the mongoose killed the snake. To show his victory, he waited in the garden for his mother. When the wife returned home and saw the blood-smeared face of the mongoose, she thought that the mongoose might have killed the baby. She threw the heavy pot of water on the mongoose and killed it. Then she rushed inside to see the dead snake near the cot of the baby who was still sleeping. She realised the blunder she had done and started crying.
My grandmother told me this story when I visited her during summer vacation. She used to tell me similar stories, and I used to retell them to my friends when they came home. I enjoyed the way she told me the stories with different sounds and actions. Sometimes, I drew pictures of the stories and showed them to her. She used to keep them with her as if they were her most treasured gifts.
I learnt two things from the story, The Brahmin’s wife and the Mongoose. We should treat animals with respect and love. They can live with us like family if we take care of them. In the beginning, as we see, the mongoose protected the baby as an elder brother would do. It was great to see how the brahmin and his wife treated the mongoose as their son. But one hasty decision of the wife, which brings us to the second and most important lesson, took the life of an innocent, loving animal. My grandmother told me that we should not only be careful about the decisions that we take but also about what we say and our actions. If we do not observe and have patience, we might lose things or people who are valuable to us.
There are lots of popular and interesting stories, like this one, that I heard from my grandmother. But this one remained in my memory till today.
Sample Answer 2
India is a truly incredible country with its diversity not only culturally but also geographically. We have around 121 languages and a vast number of dialects of each. As a result, there are lots of stories that one get to read or hear at every footstep in my country. Apart from the numerous folk tales, there are multiple writers who have gained recognition globally, like R.K. Narayan, Rabindranath Tagore, Anita Desai, Jhumpa Lahiri, Ruskin Bond, Amitav Ghosh, to name a few. So, today, I am going to talk about one of my favourites that lists amongst the most notable tales, namely, ‘The Woman on Platform 8’.
The short story ‘The Woman on Platform 8’ is written by Ruskin Bond, an Indian author of British descent. I read for the first time in a short story collection that my mother bought. It is about a schoolboy named Arjun whose parents think that he is capable enough to travel by train alone. The locale of the story is the Ambala railway station at about midnight. After spending a long time at the station, he loses interest in the activities around him and is impatient when a lady approaches him. She is wearing a plain white saree and takes him to eat when she finds out he is alone. Arjun, hesitant and suspicious at first, gradually becomes friends. So, when his friend Satish’s mother lectures him about not talking to strangers, identifying the woman as his mother, Arjun replies that he likes strangers. Finally, at the end, when the boys are leaving, Arjun addresses the woman as ‘mother’ and she, too, seems to have formed an attachment towards him.
I think, through this simple story, Bond wants to tell us that strangers are not bad for us and we should trust our instincts to identify the wrong from the right. The story depicts that genuine attachment and affection cannot be shown by money but by simple actions of protecting, caring and making someone at home.
As I have already mentioned that my country, India, is a land of diversity, so this story has become popular among readers as it captures the true essence of love and care that every citizen feels for each other.
- Diversity – the existence of different kinds of people, things, and culture in one place
Example: The zoo is known for the diversity of plants and animals it protects.
- Hasty – in hurry
Example: She made a hasty decision.
- Cot – a small bed for a baby or young child with high bars around the sides so that the child cannot fall
Example: The guests brought a cot for the newborn.
- Blood-smeared – covered in blood
Example: The blood-smeared face of the boy frightened his mother.
- Treasured – to keep something carefully as it is highly valuable
Example: I treasure the moments we spent together as a family.