All you could here (hear) was the wind in the bamboo

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MaryamSeresht

Senior Member
Persian
Hello,

"Often the gompas{a monastery or nunnery} were deserted for the monks were also farmers, they were away at their fields and gathered only a few times a year for pujas{ a religious ritual performed by Hindus} and all you could here was the wind in the bamboo."


Could you guess where you could hear the wind in the bamboo? I guess in those gompas, maybe because monks were praying, there was completely silence there. What do you think?

Your ideas helps me a lot, and I appreciate that.

It's part of Inheritance of Loss, a novel by Kiran Desai.
 
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  • exgerman

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    When the monks are away farming, and the monasteries are deserted, there is nothing to hear except the noise the wind makes. There's no prayer, no chatting over dinner, no nothing.
     

    losvedir

    Senior Member
    English - California
    Hello,

    "Often the gompas{a monastery or nunnery} were deserted for the monks were also farmers, they were away at their fields and gathered only a few times a year for pujas{ a religious ritual performed by Hindus} and all you could here was the wind in the bamboo."


    Could you guess where you could here the wind in the bamboo? I guess in those gompas, maybe because monks were praying, there was completely silence there. What do you think?

    Your ideas helps me a lot, and I appreciate that.

    It's part of Inheritance of Loss, a novel by Kiran Desai.
    It's kind of a confusing quote. I read it as: "Often the gompas were deserted . . . and all you could hear was the wind in the bamboo." When the monks were out at their farms, the gompas were empty, so there were no human noises there.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    First, that should be a semicolon after "farmers," not a comma. (And "hear," not "here.")

    As to your question, I find the sentence somewhat ambiguous. I tend to think that the author means that when the gompas were deserted, with all the inhabitants away in the fields, you would not hear the ordinary sounds of human activity. However, it may be the case that the other interpretation is correct and that he means that during the pujas all you could hear was the wind in the bamboo. The sentence is somewhat loosely constructed, and I'm not sure it's possible to prove that the phrase you've put in red applies to one part or the other of the sentence.
     
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    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Often the gompas{a monastery or nunnery} were deserted for the monks were also farmers, they were away at their fields and gathered only a few times a year for pujas{ a religious ritual performed by Hindus} and all you could here was the wind in the bamboo."


    Could you guess where you could here the wind in the bamboo? I guess in those gompas, maybe because monks were praying, there was completely silence there. What do you think?
    The gompas were often deserted because the monks spent most of their time farming. If you were at a deserted gompa you would hear nothing but the wind in the bamboos.

    Hermione
     

    MaryamSeresht

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Thanks everyone, for correcting me about hear, and for all helpful ideas. But Glenfarclas understood the reason of my confusion well. Anyway, I think the first choice - that everyone agrees upon it- is more correct. Since they are at farms, so there's no sound in the gompas.
     
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