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Journey to The End of The Earth Summary in English by Tishani Doshi

Journey to The End of The Earth by Tishani Doshi About the Author

Tishani Doshi (9 December 1975) is an Indian poet, journalist and a dancer based in Chennai. Born in Madras, India, to a Welsh mother and Gujarati father, she graduated with a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from the Johns Hopkins University. She received Eric Gregory Award in 2001. Her first poetry collection Countries of the Body won the 2006 Forward Poetry Prize for the best first collection.

Her First novel The Pleasure Seekers was published by Bloomsbury in 2010 and was long-listed for the Orange Prize in 2011 and shortlisted for The Hindu Best Fiction Award in 2010. She works as a freelance writer and worked with choreographer Chandralekha. Her poetry collection Everything Begins Elsewhere was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2013. Her most recent book of poetry, Girls Are Coming Out Of the Woods, was published by HarperCollins India in 2017. She writes a blog titled ‘Hit or Miss’ on Cricinfo, a cricket related website.

Poet Name Tishani Doshi
Born 9 December 1975 (age 44 years), India
Occupation Poet, writer, dancer
Awards Eric Gregory Award
Education Johns Hopkins University
Nationality Indian
Journey to The End of The Earth Summary by Tishani Doshi
Journey to The End of The Earth Summary by Tishani Doshi

Journey to The End of The Earth Introduction to the Chapter

Before human evolution, Antarctica was part of a huge tropical landmass called the Gondwana land which flourished 500 million years ago. Geological, geographical and biological changes occurred and Antarctica separated and moved away, evolving into what it is today.

A visit to Antarctica gave Tishani Doshi a deeper understanding of the earth’s history, ecology and environment.

Journey to The End of The Earth Theme

Tishani Doshi’s visit to Antarctica, the coldest, driest and windiest continent in the world, aboard the Russian research vessel Akademik Shokalskiy, gave her a deeper understanding and a better perspective to the damage caused by human impact on earth. Antarctica, though unpopulated, has been affected and there is a growing concern for its half a million year old carbon records trapped under its ice sheets.

The ‘Students on Ice’ programme takes high school students to Antarctica to create awareness in them, the future policy makers, and helps students realise that the threat of global warming is very real.

Journey to The End of The Earth Summary in English

Humans, who have existed a mere 12,000 years, have caused tremendous damage and played havoc with nature. Population explosion, strain on available resources, carbon emissions, fossil fuels and global warming have all resulted in climatic and ecological imbalances that have affected Antarctica too.

The ‘Students on Ice’ programme, an initiative of Canadian educator, Geoff Green, takes students—the future policy makers—to Antarctica, to create awareness in them. A stark proof of global warming and environmental threats helps students attain a greater understanding of the earth’s ecosystems and biodiversity.

Journey to The End of The Earth Summary Questions and Answers

Question 1.
What was Akademic Shokalskiy? Where was it headed and why?
Akademic Shokalskiy was a Russian research vessel which was heading towards Antarctica, the coldest, driest, windiest continent in the world to become a part of Geoff Green’s ‘Students on Ice’ programme.

Question 2.
Describe the author’s emotions when she first set foot on Antarctica.
Tishani Doshi’s initial reaction was relief as she had travelled for over hundred hours. This was followed by wonder at Antarctica’s white landscape and uninterrupted blue horizon, its immensity, isolation and at how there could have been a time when India and Antarctica could have been a part of the same landmass.

Question 3.
How is present day Antarctica different from Gondwana?
Gondwana was a giant amalgamated southern supercontinent. The climate was much warmer, hosting a huge variety of flora and fauna. Gondwana thrived for about 500 million years. Subsequently, when dinosaurs were wiped out and the age of mammals happened, the landmass separated into countries, shaping the globe as we know it today.

Question 4.
Why does the author say that to visit Antarctica is to be a part of history?
It is only when you visit Antarctica that you realise all that can happen in a million years, where we have come from and where we could possibly be heading. We understand the significance of Cordilleran folds, pre-Cambrian granite shields, ozone and carbon, evolution and extinction.

Question 5.
Why does Tishani Doshi describe her two weeks’ stay in Antarctica ‘a chilling prospect’?
Accustomed to the warm climate of South India, being in a place where ninety per cent of the earth’s total ice is stored was a chilling prospect—literally and metaphorically. It affected her metabolic and circulatory systems as well as her imagination.

Question 6.
Why does one lose all earthly perspective in Antarctica?
The author compares it to walking into a giant ping-pong ball, devoid of any human markers. There are no trees, billboards, or buildings. The visual ranges from the microscopic to the mighty, from midges and mites to blue whales and icebergs.

Question 7.
Describe the brightness and silence that prevail in Antarctica during summer.
Days go on and on in surreal twenty-four hour austral summer light, and an ubiquitous silence prevails, interrupted only by the occasional avalanche or calving ice-sheet.

Question 8.
Explain: ‘And for humans, the prognosis isn’t good’.
The human civilisation has been around for a mere 12,000 years—barely a few seconds on the biological clock. Yet we have managed to etch our dominance over nature with concretisation, battling for limited resources, and unmitigated burning of fossil fuel. This has created a blanket of carbon dioxide around the world, which is increasing average global temperature.

Question 9.
Why is Antarctica a crucial element in all debates on climate change?
Antarctica is the only place in the world that has never sustained a human population and is therefore, relatively ‘pristine’. More importantly, it holds in its ice cores half-million-year-old carbon records trapped in its layers of ice.

Question 10.
What was the objective of the ‘Students on Ice’ programme?
The ‘Students on Ice’ programme aims to take high school students to the ends of the world. It provides them with inspiring educational opportunities which fosters in them a new understanding and respect for our planet. It offers the future generation of policy makers a life-changing experience at an age when they are ready to absorb, learn and act.