Vinod Gambtoo’s IELTS Speaking Conjecture, Part 12

  1. Describe a line (or a few words) that you remember from a poem or song.
  • What line it is
  • Which song or poem it is from
  • How you knew about it
  • How you feel about it
  • I’m a music lover, so I would prefer to talk about music than a poem
  • I vividly recall some lines of a song that my father used to sing when I was very young
  • This song was composed before I was born. In fact, I could say that I’ve grown up seeing my father sing this song heartily
  • It is a song sung by the great Freddie Mercury, a member of Queen Band. He is one of the most popular singers in the West, and some of his songs have become an anthem (=chant, chorus, hymn) for the class society
  • I can sing a few lines of it. The title is, “Too much love will kill you.” And here you are: “I’m just the pieces of the man I used to be. Too many bitter tears are running down on me. I’m far away from home. And I’ve been facing this alone for much too long. Oh, I feel like no-one ever told the truth to me. About growing up, and what a struggle it would be. In my tangled state of mind, I’ve been looking back to find where I went wrong. Too much love will kill you”
  • I love this song very much for varied reasons. First of all, I miss my daddy when I listen to this song. What he liked invariably came down to me the same way. Apart from this reason, whenever I’ve a bad day or have some down time because of the stressful work or some unwanted and annoying people, I’ve my ways to soothe (=cool, allay, assuage) my feelings and chill with music playing. This song calms my nerve for sure. Plus, I also love the voice texture of Freddie. Every song of him is always on my mind, and the moment I’ve my chill time, I start singing or humming softly to myself.
  • Why do children like the rhythm of songs or poems?

I guess it drives them and changes the mood of kids all of a sudden. Music has been a part of humankind over the centuries. The rhythm of songs or poems energizes them, and some of them dance to the tune of music. Plus, some stories are told through song and dance.

  • What can people learn from songs or poems?

Songs and poems reflect your mood and represent your culture. Some songs signify historical moments, and some of them are protest songs also. Hence, from happiness to sorrow to the freedom struggle to civil unrest, songs, and poems have instilled (=inject, engender, impart) positive or negative feelings in us about certain events. Mostly, they are used for happiness and sorrow. Every song or poem has some meaning and message to understand for us.

  • Do you think it is easier for children to learn a song or poem than for adults?

Yes, I agree with it. As we grow, we are besieged (=encircle, trap, beleaguer) with internal and external concerns that might weaken our retention ability. This may not be the case for children. They are young and enjoy the moments, and as they haven’t been as pressured for too many things as adults, they learn things easily and quickly. Children are, undoubtedly, well-placed to absorb and retain any learning much better way than adults.

  • Are you good at memorizing things?

No, I don’t think so. I remember that I hardly remember the tables when I was in school. I better write anything for the record because my memory is quite fragile. Luckily, I remember events and people. Lol! Additionally, I’m not worried about this deficiency as I’m a tech-savvy guy, so I always leave evidence for retrieval when needed and not concerned about memorizing anything.

  • When do people in your country sing songs together?

Singing is always attached to historical events, festivals, protests, civil agitations, and while partying with friends. For example, I come from Gujarat state, and we’ve ‘Navratri,’ so you will see boys and girls do ‘Garba’ all nightlong singing, chanting, and dancing also. Sometimes some historical events are also commemorated (=celebrate, memorialize, observe, remember) in song. And we’ve always a national anthem to perform for our beloved country time after time.

  • What types of songs do young children like to listen to?

The youth always enjoys the latest numbers (=song). Gone are the days when the youth was interested in listening to jazz, rock, or pop. They like to listen to rap songs – the music of the hip-hop generation – and house music while partying. But in India, it may not be the case for every kid. They also enjoy melodious and happy songs. We Indians give importance to the lyrics of the song.

  • Why are some singers so popular in the world?

There are several reasons for the success of any particular singer. It could be his/her voice texture, flamboyant stage persona, singing with an incisive sense of rhythm, and maybe the quality of great musicality. Apart from these qualities, some singers have magnificent phrasing with delicate, subtle, slamming, sweet or energetic. The combination of such attributes makes them popular. For example, Kishor Kumar possessed almost all these qualities, and he’s on the minds of people in the present day. No matter what and how things have changed over the decades, but he’s placed his position in the hearts of music lovers.

  • Do people in your country listen to songs from other countries?

Yes, we do. I’ve grown up listening to English and Hindi songs. Indians always value a good piece of music, no matter who has composed, written, or sung. You will also see some sort of permutation combination of fusion of western music in my country. For example, Elvis’s songs did influence some music in India during the 60s and 70s.

2. Describe a conversation topic that you were not interested in.

  • What the topic was
  • Who you talked with
  • When it was
  • Why you were not interested
  • Negative thinking is a much more usual problem than we may think. Many people experience the same every day, but it doesn’t mean that you keep on harping on (=dwell, nag) them all the time and don’t see any positive way out
  • I remember many such incidents.  Let me pick one of them. It was a summer break during my study intakes in Canada. I had only one semester to go, and then I was done with my studies
  • Due to this Chinese virus, everybody in our circle kept painting too much doomsday (=judgment day, last day, day of reckoning) picture as usual. Some of my friends lost their jobs and behaved as if the whole world came crashing down
  • A couple of friends decided to catch up to have some fun and coffee. My friends had only one topic: Chinese virus. And I was like, “Do me all a favor… get a life (=used to tell somebody to stop being boring and to do something more interesting)!”
  • I was sick of listening to those same stories of the virus and blah blah. I really wanted to have some good time with them, but they behaved as if the world would end then. I said to them, “Buddy, this shall also pass, and let’s not talk about this negative topic. Instead, they should focus on what best they can do from now on. Jobs come and go, but our skills will stay with us. This trying time is a litmus test (=acid test, base test) of our determination, courage, resilience (=flexibility, pliancy), and how well we move on”
  • You know I’m a very positive guy in my life. In fact, I enjoy such ups and downs in life. But people fear uncertainty, and such incidents knock them sideways. Because of this, their bad stuff and the negativity bias stick to them forever. Not only do we have media and newspapers working hard to flood all the sensationalized stories round the clock, but we’ve our own mindset working against us. I call them emotional vampires
  • Therefore, I try to stay off all such people and boring conversations that may influence my judgments, peace of mind, happiness, and positive behavior
  • How do you know if others are not interested in your conversation?

It is simple. When people find the conversation not interesting, they try to change the topic or don’t give any attention. Some people are straight talkers, and they will tell you on your face. Others try to ignore the conversation and get back to their job.

  • Do men and women talk about the same things?

‘Yes’ and ‘No’ both.  Some men and women have common topics to discuss, and they really enjoy them by adding valuable insights or further building on the subject. Maybe they’re like-minded. This may not be the same all the time.

  • What do you like to talk about?

To me, it’s all about mood and events. I discuss a range of topics with my friends and family. I love knowing about sports, music, business, research, innovation, life skills, and any other topics that can help me get better in my understanding of such topics. One thing I particularly remain interested in is the discussion over life hacks and health tips. Enlightenment on these two topics helps me get better in my day-to-day life. For example, health tips keep me fit so that I enjoy the world better, and life hacks make me whole and pragmatic to get better and succeed in life.

  • What topics do young and old people talk about?

I guess there’s a remarkable distinction between kids and older people. In most cases, children have no internal and external worries and live in a paradise. So, anything trivial (=frivolous, immaterial, insignificant) details about their role models, sportspersons, games, schooling, innovations, and others excite them beyond imagination. There’s a stark contrast when it comes to older people. They talk about health, finances, family, politics, and social issues. As we grow, our priorities change for good. And as long as we are young, we’re restless and find happiness in small things.

  • Does technological development have a negative impact on communication among people?

My answer will be ‘yes’ and ‘no’ both. As long as we use it for bettering our performance, it acts as a boon (=blessing, godsend, windfall). And, in no time, it turns out to be a bane (=burden, curse, calamity) when we use it for gossiping or leisure time. Again, it comes down to the purpose of utility. For example, business people always thank technological development as it saves time and helps them excel better, while most youngsters and others waste their precious time on social media. Last but not least, ‘WhatsApp’ is a disease in India.

  • Do you think women chat more than men?

Can’t say it for sure, maybe some but not all, I guess. It will be unwise to tar all women with the same brush (=to be thought to have the same faults, etc., as somebody else). In fact, it’s a misogynist (=typical of the behavior or beliefs of a person who hates women) attitude.

  • Do you think that it is polite to agree with another person during a conversation if you have another opinion?

I would term it as hypocrisy. It’s simple. If you don’t agree, tell them straight in a polite manner rather than be a ‘yes man’ (=bootlicker, ass-kisser, apple-polisher). Everyone is entitled to have his say. At the same time, everyone is entitled to disagree on any matter where he thinks so. But it has to be in a polite manner for sure.

  • Do you think that many children nowadays do not want to communicate with children of the same age?

No, I disagree with this statement. Children love to be in touch with their contemporaries. It’s a usual thing that they’ve both younger and older friends, but it’s acceptable. For example, when we played cricket in our school, sometimes the school organized tournaments with the senior teams. We were younger than our opponents. It also creates great bonding among students.

  • Why do you think it is important to communicate with others?

Communication is an integral part of life. It’s also a vehicle of success. I read an article online called ‘10 main goals of communication’ and couldn’t agree more. It says that it has a primary essence of influencing, informing, motivating, inspiring, learning, building a relationship, gaining inspiration, socializing, and promoting yourself, whether it’s personal or corporate communication. The absence of communication leads to misunderstanding or disrupts a smooth transition of information exchange. Such a blockade could be counterproductive in personal and corporate life.

  • What communication skills are important?

I guess I can write a paper on this question. I believe the person must be armed with superb communication skills to succeed in life. You’ve gotta identify, first of all, the areas of deficiency in your communication skills. After that, you’ll have to decide what you want to achieve before becoming a smart communicator. Sometimes you need to be a good listener to gather ideas for further communication. When somebody discusses any topic, you’ve got to be more engaging when communicating any message. These are a few life hacks to be a better communicator

3. Describe a time when you saw a child behave badly in public.

  • Where it was
  • What the child was doing
  • How others reacted to it
  • How you felt about it
  • I vividly recall an incident, which overwhelmed me extremely some days back
  • I went to Crossword to buy and see new novels for Diwali mini vacation. Outside the building, I saw adorable puppies, and their mother was there to protect and feed them. That scene tugged at my heartstrings (=to cause strong feelings of love or sympathy in somebody), and I immediately went to pick up some dog food from my car
  • When I returned to the spot, I was shocked to see the bad behavior of a toddler. She was threatening the puppies, and their mother was screaming and moving helplessly to protect her babies. She was completely flustered (=aroused, moved, upset)
  • On top of it, this toddler was screaming at the top of her lungs (=very loudly), and her mother didn’t even bother to discipline her daughter. Looking at this show, first of all, I gave the child’s mother dirty looks. More than the toddler, I felt angry at her because she was enjoying her child’s unwanted tantrum (=temper, outburst, flare-up)
  • Hence, I yelled and asked her to control her daughter. That was quite a scene, and I realized people around me also wanted the same. She also saw it coming, so she started to control her baby
  • But her daughter didn’t obey her command until her mother screamed and threw a hissy fit (=blowup, fit, outburst)
  • Her daughter continued with her wailing and thrashing on the ground for a few minutes
  • Then I went closer to the puppies and fed them
  • I don’t know what’s wrong with people. They’ve no mercy toward animals and mistreat them more often. These mute animals don’t harm humans at all, but I don’t know why some people enjoy others’ hardships. Maybe they get perverse (=sadistic) pleasure by doing such acts. Totally inhumane and savage!
  • What bad behavior do children usually have?

Generally, children throw tantrums to get your attention or get something they want. For example, they want a candy bar at the checkout when you are at the supermarket, and if you don’t buy them, they will throw a fit. So, you’ve got two options: Give in (=surrender) or discipline them. Apart from these two classic examples, there could be many more as well. Sometimes children are frustrated with their homework, and then you see them behaving like another species on this earth. They thrash on the ground, cry for some time, and at times, punch their siblings or parents. Some children are smart, and they emotionally blackmail you for the things that they want.

  • How should parents stop their children from behaving badly in public?

As I told you in my previous answer, there are only two ways that you can control the tantrums: give in or discipline. Suppose you have bought the candy bar to quiet him; it only teaches them to have a tantrum the next time you are in a store. You reinforce (=make a feeling, an idea, etc., stronger) their tantrum-throwing behaviors when giving them what they want. Once your child learns that temper tantrums get them nothing. They’ll realize that they’ll get nothing even if they become rebellious, and that will be a start for them to behave appropriately. In some cases, you need to be proactive in such situations and give them a warning in advance if they throw temper tantrums in public.

  • Are parents these days stricter than those in the past?

It’s hard to say whether the parents of today are more lenient than those in the past. I guess it has to do with how you try to discipline your children. Some parents are strict, and others fulfill all the desires of their children out of affection, or just they want to avoid their stubborn behavior for a while. These both situations set an unprecedented example and undesirable difficulties for parents in the future. Having said that, I cannot say for sure which generation of parents is strict with children.

  • Whose influence on children is more important, friends’ or parents’?

I guess it all depends upon how parents have raised their children. Smart parents who have raised their children with the right advice and right kind of inspiration generally tend to have a better say or control over children. This may not be the case where parents have failed to help children scale the ladder of success or inculcate (=impart, instill, indoctrinate) values. In such a situation, children become loose cannons, which can fire in any direction and rest on destiny. Children grown under the parents’ inadequate supervision believe in others like friends. This is human psychology, and I could be wrong because there’s no assurance of the positive outcome of whether parents are successful in raising or not.

  • What factors affect children’s behavior?

Several factors could affect children’s behavior. Let me tell you a couple of significant ones. Some children suffer from parents’ attention deficit as they’re super busy in their own business and chores. They feel neglected and lonely many times. Some children go through depression due to some untoward incidents and are unable to recuperate (=bounce back, get well, recover, heal, mend) the loss. For example, if a sibling dies of natural or unnatural death, the child usually doesn’t forget such a loss, and that sorrow keeps coming back to his life for a long time. They become irritable towards their parents and others. Apart from these environmental factors, some children also suffer from genetics for their bad behavior.

4. Describe an energetic person that you know.

  • Who this person is
  • How you know this person
  • Why consider this person energetic
  • How you feel about this person
  • There are a couple of people who I always adore, and I see them energetic and inspirational in life. Today, I’ve to pick one from them, and truly, it’s a hard job. But, anyway, I will speak about my aunt, Mrs. Nivedita Ahuja
  • I’ve grown up visiting her place, and she also frequents our home quite often. She’s in her 60s at the moment, but the way she carries herself, she looks quite younger than her age. On the first look, you might assume her in her early fifties
  • It’s because she’s a tremendously health-conscious lady. She wakes up at 5 in the morning and goes jogging, and does yoga then after. Because of her fitness regime, you’ll always see a different kind of gleam and positivity on her face. She is truly a loved one in our family, and many of us rush to her for advice when needed
  • I remember she motivated me to rise early and join her for jogging and yoga. In the beginning, it was tough for me to wake up so early. In fact, for the first few days, I felt half-asleep because that’s not my routine at all
  • She’s an extraordinarily thoughtful and pragmatic lady, and therefore, she sensed my trouble of waking up in the morning. She advised me to change my routine, and then everything was on track after a week
  • Initially, I could only jog for around 2 kilometers or so, whereas she completed 10 kilometers of jogging without effort every day. Frankly speaking,  I envied her energy, at the same time, that inspired me to catch up on, too
  • Apart from her energy and fitness regime, I hold great respect for this noble lady. Her experience stories are always worth listening to. She knows how to convert each misfortunate event as a hidden opportunity. She always tells me not to surrender ever whenever I feel any existential crisis. Instead, find the new meaning of life. She always tells everyone to focus on six elements in life to be joyful and successful. They are health, wealth, career, mental strength, spiritual wellness, and relationship
  • I always feel good about her and want her to have a healthy and long life so that she can be a remarkable guide to the youth like us
  • I’m proud of her in every sense she is associated with my life. With her, I never feel any generation gap at all
  • Do you think that nowadays all jobs could be done by robots?

I don’t think so. I guess it’s not possible yet. We need human intervention on many occasions. Yes, that’s true that most large corporations prefer to have an automated process in manufacturing units where you may see some robots helping other machines or humans. People say that robots will take us over in many jobs, but I don’t see this happening at least in my lifetime.

  • Do you think machines could replace human workers in the future?

No, I don’t think so again. Yes, they will be handy in easing our jobs, but, at the end of the day, we must not forget that they’re machines and can be malfunctioned at a critical time. It’s hard to take over the human brain when we compare it with any technology. Human brains have invented technologies, not technology.

  • What are the benefits of replacing human workers with robots?

There are advantages when we take the help of robots in the workplace or manufacturing units. They only understand the ‘command,’ so you don’t need to waste your precious time over and over again. Software designs standard operating procedures, and they are good to go. It saves time and money. The entire process becomes streamlined with precision. It also helps (to) maximize the top line and bottom line of any corporation. Most top 100 corporations are putting efforts to automate their processes these days.

  • How have robots and computers changed the way people work?

Every coin has two sides. They are boon (=blessing, godsend, windfall) and bane (=burden, curse, calamity) both. Let’s talk about their brighter sides to answer this question. They streamline any process, which is a big plus point. You don’t need to remember what you’ve said and committed to someone because everything is programmed in the machine, and you just need to click the button for any file. Unlike humans, they are heartless, so they don’t throw any tantrums and save your time for better productivity. They save our crucial time, which can be reinvested for other worthwhile jobs. I can go on and on. But I guess these are the headline benefits.

  • Which is more important for young people, an interesting or well-paid job?

It all depends upon what kind of person you are. If money is a key driver in your life, you will always see the remuneration first and put aside the satisfaction. The opposite is also true. For some young people, their passion has more intrinsic value than anything else.

  • What kinds of jobs are well-paid in your country?

In India, I guess doctors are coining money (=earn a lot of money quickly and easily). And if you’re not interested in medical occupations, I guess technocrats do very well in their jobs. India is famous for IT solutions, and there are enough ecosystem and good rates of pay. Then, you’ve sports. We know money rains if you are a successful player, especially in cricket and tennis. Let me think who else could be making good money in the occupation. Aha, architectural designers, chartered accountants, bank managers, financial officers, and undoubtedly, our corrupt bureaucrats and politicians do well financially.

  • What jobs do young people prefer?

In my country, most students want to become engineers, IT professionals, and doctors. I don’t know why, but this is the trend in my country. You talk to any parents, and they will have these choices in most cases. Maybe my country has a long way to go to generate other lucrative sectors that may attract young people.

  • How can people find a perfect job?

There are plenty of recruitment websites where they can post their resumes. Plus, we still have recruitment consultants who could connect you with the right organization based on your interest, qualification, and background. On top of these, some people get jobs through networking. It’s a common thing that your ex-colleague may drive you to his workplace.

  • What factors should people take into account when choosing a job?

I would see two elements first, and they are growth and learning. The working span of our life is around 40 years. One wrong decision in choosing the workplace could take you backward and may waste your precious time. I personally prefer to work for a mid-sized corporation because there’s a high probability that you learn more and harness your skills. With large corporations, you may make some extra bucks, and it’s a status symbol, but you end up being just an employee number. Learning is what shines on you in the long run.

  1. What kinds of jobs are unpopular in your country?

Working as a caller with call centers or BPOs is one of the most abusive jobs, I guess. I cannot think of calling strangers and may face their ire (=anger) on the phone. And you work during nights at some call centers, which is intolerable cruelty. Disturbing a natural cycle of sleep always invites illnesses later on, and it affects your body and mood plenty.  There could be others, but this is the one that pops into my mind at the moment.

5. Describe an occasion when you forgot something important.

  • What you forgot
  • Why you forgot it
  • When it was
  • How you felt
  • Forgetting is really a nasty habit, and it could put you in trouble many times. I try not to forget to pay my bills as it is my responsibility. Yet, it has happened several times that I missed my payment deadlines and had to pay my overdue charges
  • In fact, I went through the process of forgetting the last month. I had to make the payment of my credit card and missed it
  • I realized my mistake after two days’ of the deadline; it was too late to correct my mistake
  • Hence, I picked up the phone and talked to the helpdesk of HDFC bank. I admitted to having forgotten to make the payment and requested them to condone (=waive, forgive) the overdue charge and accrued interest on it. Luckily, the officer was co-operative and instructed to make the payment and wrote off (=cancel a debt) other costs
  • Generally, I never forget my bill payments, but this time I don’t know why it happened so. Maybe I was stressful as my inventory of pending jobs was piling up, and, all of a sudden, I had to take leave for two days, which again increased a tremendous backlog of paperwork to catch up on
  • After the coronavirus pandemic, the job has become stressful and trying (=arduous, demanding, irritating) because our company struggled to get back to past glory. Therefore, there’s immense pressure on the team to bring the business, and if we ain’t do it, anybody’s name will be on the layoff (=cutback, unemployment) list. Maybe this pressure painstakingly made me forget the things that I had to perform
  • Eventually, things got settled, especially when the bank officer waived off the penalty. I was both thankful and regretful for this incident
  • Why is it difficult for some people to remember things?

I guess there two things involved in this topic – natural and unnatural. I may be wrong because I’m not an expert on this subject. If I talk about natural tendency, some people are not programmed to remember things quickly or store them in their brains per se (=as such, by definition). Unnatural tendency refers to being involved in too many activities to focus on. People these days like to do too many jobs at a time, and hence, they tend to forget some during this process.

  • What kinds of people are more forgetful?

When you try to do too many jobs at a time, or you’re burdened with too many responsibilities to perform. I guess these two things could be possible for this bad habit of forgetting. Plus, I don’t know how far it is true that you tend to forget essential things as you age. Maybe people are besieged (=encircle, trap, beleaguer) with plenty of external and internal concerns that slow down their brains to retain and retrieve the information from the brain.

  • Do you think technology makes people forgetful?

Yes, to some extent. If I talk about myself, I generally don’t remember the phone numbers of my friends and relatives now, which was not the case when I was very young. It’s because the moment we’ve a new phone number of somebody, we immediately program it on our phone memory and care less to remember it ever. So I can say that technology is a boon (=blessing) and bane (=curse) both.

  • Do you think technology helps people remember past events?

Every coin has two sides. As I said that it has downsides in my previous answer, it also has brighter sides. I think I’ve lost the ability to remember phone numbers and birthdays. Who does this job of reminding? So, many apps and social sites remind me of them. Here it does a splendid job for everyone. I know the pain of forgetting. Once I forgot to wish my ex-girlfriend on her birthday because I didn’t remember her birthday. Guess what? We picked fights from that incident, and one thing led to another, and eventually, we parted ways (=to end a relationship with somebody) after some time. So, forgetting her birthday was just a trigger, which was beyond our control.

  • Is it possible that technology will replace human memory?

No, I don’t think so. Technology will always stand by (=to help somebody, even in difficult situations) humans for a lot many things. But it will be an exaggeration to say that.

  • Why do people sometimes forget things they do not want to do?

As I said, sometimes we are caught up with too many things to perform. Our brain and body also have some limits. Our brain cannot process too many pieces of information to store, retain, and retrieve all the time. Both underuse and overuse of anything may leave undesirable outcomes. I think this is the only reason where people forget the things, which they shouldn’t have.

  • Which do you think is more important to remember about, a business meeting or a meeting with a friend?

First of all, I will give importance to both occasions. But even if I’ve to decide on options, I will go for the business first. There is a reason. Business or a job is our livelihood, and we could be impacted by every wrong decision that we make while working. Plus, it leaves a bad impression when you miss a business meeting, and it could impact your business or job. With friends, we can convince them, or sometimes we don’t even need to convince them. That’s all about relationship, mutual understanding, affection, love, and respect. We cannot act this way in business.

  • In what situation is it important to remember information very well?

I guess we must try to remember all information on all occasions. But the first thing on my priority list will be to remember my passwords and verbal deals. Forgetting what you have told someone could turn out to be a loss-making equation in business. People will try to make you forget or manipulate the agreed talk, so we’ve gotta be careful. 

  • What can people do to help themselves remember information for their everyday needs?

There are ways to keep yourself disciplined in remembering and retrieving any kind of information. I would write it down any important piece of information or take a photograph of the written note and store it on my phone. I don’t think that we’ve gotta remember them as we perform some jobs every day for routine things. If somebody’s memory is weak, he should write the important things or events on ‘post-it’ yellow notes and stick to them on the fridge or by the bed.

  • What kinds of things do people forget easily?

It’s hard to generalize the things that people don’t remember. I guess we don’t bother to remember any inconsequential (=insignificant, unimportant) matter because our brain doesn’t work hard for trivial details on many occasions.  

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