My Childhood | Question and Answer |
Thinking about the Text
Question I Answer these questions in one or two sentences each.
Question 1 Where was Abdul Kalam’s house?
Answer Abdul Kalam’s house was in Mosque Street in Rameswaram in state of Madras.
Question 2 What do you think Dinamani is the name of? Give a reason for your answer.
Answer Dinamani is the name of a newspaper because Abdul Kalam made an effort so that he could trace the stories of the second world war told by his brother-in-law which made headlines in Dinamani.
Question 3 Who were Abdul Kalam’s school friends? What did they later become?
Answer Ramanadha Sastry, Aravindan and Shivaprakasan were his close friends. Ramanadha became a priest, Aravindan had set up a business of arranging transport for visiting pilgrims and Shivprakasan had a catering contract with Southern railways.
Question 4 How did Abdul Kalam earn his first wages?
Answer Newspapers were thrown out in bundles out of a moving train during the second world war. This forced kalam’s cousin , a newspaper distributor in Rameshwaram to look for a helping hand to catch the bundles of newspaper. Abdul made the best use of this and earned his first wages by distributing these newspapers with his cousin.
Question 5 Had he earned any money before that? In what way?
Answer Yes , he had earned money before that by same method. When there was a sudden surge for tamarind seeds in the market when the Second World War broke. Abdul Kalam and his cousin collected the seeds and sold them at a provision shop on Mosque Street. They earned one anna per day.
Question II Answer each of these questions in a short paragraph (about 30 words)
Question 1 How does the author describe: (i) his father, (ii) his mother, (iii) himself?
Answer His father : Jainulabdeen was Abdul Kalam’s father. He was an honest and generous man but wasn’t wealthy or well educated. He lived like a simple man and avoided all luxuries. He possessed qualities of great wisdom and a true generosity of spirit.
His mother : Kalam’s mother, Ashiamma believed in kindness and was a pillar to her husband. His mother was a noble and kind- hearted woman. She used to feed a large number of people.
Himself: Physically he was a short boy with undistinguished looks. He considers himself one amongst many children. His childhood was very secure both materially and emotionally.
Question 2 What characteristics does he say he inherited from his parents?
Answer His parents were kind and generous individuals. He inherited self-discipline from his father and deep kindness and love for humanity from his mother.
Question III Discuss these questions in class with your teacher and then write down your answers in two or three paragraphs each.
1. “On the whole, the small society of Rameswaram was very rigid in terms of the segregation of different social groups,” says the author.
(i) Which social groups does he mention? Were these groups easily identifiable (for example, by the way they dressed)?
(i) The social groups mentioned by the author were Hindu and Muslims. Yes these groups were easily identifiable. The Muslims wore a cap while the Hindus wore a seared thread.
(ii) Were they aware only of their differences or did they also naturally share friendships and experiences? (Think of the bedtime stories in Kalam’s house; of who his friends were; and of what used to take place in the pond near his house.)
(ii) No, they were not aware of their differences as a child but naturally shared special friendships and experiences. Abdul kalam was a muslim and lived on the Mosque street whereas his friends belong to Hindu Brahmin family. Kalam’s mother and grandmother were liberal women who appreciated stories from across the world. They would tell the children stories from Ramayana as well as tales from the prophet. They even carried idols from the temple to the marriage site in Rama Tirtha, in boats. It was near their home and they enjoyed the event, irrespective of religion. All these incidents show that different social groups naturally co-inhabited Rameswaram.
(iii) The author speaks both of people who were very aware of the differences among them and those who tried to bridge these differences. Can you identify such people in the text?
(iii) The teacher who came to join Kalam’s Rameswaram elementary school was aware of the difference between the two religions, Hindus and Muslims. He did not allow Kalam to sit with the Ramanadha Sastry who was a Brahmin and the son of Hindu Priest. His wife used to serve in her ritually pulled kitchen but refused to serve Kalam since he was Muslim and her orthodox mindset didn’t allow her to serve him. His science teacher, Sivasubramania Iyer tried to bridge this and served and dined with him to break the social barrier which is superficial.
(iv) Narrate two incidents that show how differences can be created, and also how they can be resolved. How can people change their attitudes?
(iv) The first incident to show that how differences can be created is that when the new young teacher found a Muslim student sitting beside a Hindu student, he asked Kalam to sit in the last raw. His friend Ramanadha Sastry was heartbroken. When they this story to their parents , his father summoned the teacher and told him not to spread social inequality among the children. He also said that thought of communal intolerance should not be instigated in the mind of innocent children.
His science teacher, Sivasubramania Iyer was a very conservative and orthodox Brahmin but he tried to bridge the differences between them in every possible way. He invited him for a meal to his house but his wife did not like the idea of a Muslim boy eating in her pure Hindu kitchen. She refused to serve Kalam in her kitchen. However, Iyer decided to serve Kalam with his own hands and sat down beside him to eat his meal. He again invited him for the dinner next weekend. When kalam visited his teacher’s house next week , his teacher’s wife took him inside her kitchen and served him food with his own hands. So differences could be resolved and many people change their attitude.
2. (i) Why did Abdul Kalam want to leave Rameswaram?
(i) Abdul Kalam wanted to leave Rameswaram to study at the district headquarters in Ramanathapuram
(ii) What did his father say to this?
(ii) His father said that he knew he had to go away to grow. He gave the example of a seagull and said that a seagull flies across the sun alone and without a nest. He also gave an example of Khalil and said, “Her children were not their own children. They were the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through their parents, but not from them. They may give them their love, but not their thoughts as the children have their own thoughts.
(iii) What do you think his words mean? Why do you think he spoke those words?
(iii) His words meant that children have to become independent and gets separated from their parents at some stage of life. He wanted him to go beyond the place he grew up in and explore the essence of life further. He not only supported him to go further but also convinced his mother to allow her son to go and fly across alone. He shouldn’t be restricted in his life because of parental love and his duties towards them. He wanted him to live his own life too.
Thinking about Language
Question (I) Find the sentences in the text where these words occur:
Look these words up in a dictionary which gives examples of how they are used. Now answer the following questions.
(1) What are the things that can erupt? Use examples to explain the various meanings of erupt. Now do the same for the word surge. What things can surge?
Answer A few things that can erupt are anger, volcano, tooth, rash, riots, unrest, etc. Erupt has several meanings.
(i) Start Unexpectedly : Riots erupted in the city.
(ii) Start To Burn or Burst Into Flames : The spark soon erupted into flames.
(iii) Become Active and Spew Forth Lava and Rocks : The molten lava erupted out of the active volcano.
(iv) Forceful and Violent Release of Something Pent Up : The difference in their views soon erupted in a fight.
(v) Sudden Appearance on the Skin : On the day of the party, a pimple erupted on her face.
(vi) Break Out : Eruption of the wisdom tooth gives a lot of pain.
Things that can surge are pride, anxiety, waves, boats, the army, etc.
(i) Sudden Forceful Flow : The boy drowned in the surging waves.
(ii) Rise and Move Forward : The army surged towards their enemy.
(iii) Heave Upward Under the Influence of a Natural Force : The boat surged in the high tide.
(IV) See One’s Performance Improve: Hard work helped to surge Sandra’s scores.
(v) A Sudden or Abrupt Strong Increase : The surge in the stock market left people in shock.
(vi) Rise Rapidly : As time passed, her tension surged.
Question (2) What are the meanings of the word trace and which of the meanings is closest to the word in the text?
Answer The meanings of the word trace are Follow, discover, or ascertain the course of development of something, Make a mark or lines on a surface, To go back over again, Pursue or chase relentlessly, Find or discover through investigation, Make one’s course or travel along a path; travel or pass over, around, or along and Read with difficulty
The closest meaning of the word ‘trace’ in the text is ‘to find or discover through investigation’.
Question (3) Can you find the word undistinguished in your dictionary? (If not, look up the word distinguished and say what undistinguished must mean.)
Answer No, the word undistinguished does not exist in the dictionary. However, its meaning can be derived from the meaning of the word ‘distinguished’, which denotes the ‘special or eminent appearance or behaviour of a person. Thus, undistinguished symbolizes the ‘ordinary appearance or behaviour of a person.
II. 1. Match the phrases in Column A with their meanings in Column B.
|(i) broke out||(a) an attitude of kindness, a readiness to give freely|
|(ii) in accordance with||(b) was not able to tolerate|
|(iii) a helping hand||(c) began suddenly in a violent way|
|(iv) could not stomach||(d) assistance|
|(v) generosity of spirit||(e) persons with power to make decisions|
|(vi) figures of authority||(f) according to a particular rule, principle, or system|
|(i) broke out||(c) began suddenly in a violent way|
|(ii) in accordance with||(f) according to a particular rule, principle, or system|
|(iii) a helping hand||(d) assistance|
|(iv) could not stomach||(b) was not able to tolerate|
|(v) generosity of spirit||(a) an attitude of kindness, a readiness to give freely|
|(vi) figures of authority||(e) persons with power to make decisions|
Question 2 Study the words in italics in the sentences below. They are formed by prefixing un – or in – to their antonyms (words opposite in meaning).
• I was a short boy with rather undistinguished looks. (un + distinguished)
• My austere father used to avoid all inessential comforts.(in + essential)
• The area was completely unaffected by the war.(un + affected)
• He should not spread the poison of social inequality and communal intolerance. (in + equality, in + tolerance)
Now form the opposites of the words below by prefixing un- or in-. The prefix incan also have the forms il-, ir-, or im- (for example: illiterate –il + literate, impractical – im + practical, irrational – ir + rational). You may consult a dictionary if you wish.
III. Passive Voice
Study these sentences:
• My parents were regarded as an ideal couple.
• I was asked to go and sit on the back bench.
• Such problems have to be confronted.
The italicised verbs in these sentences are made up of a form of the verb be and a past participle. (For example: were + regarded, was + asked, be + confronted)
These sentences focus on what happens, rather than who does what. Notice that the doer of the action is not included in the sentences.
If necessary, we can mention the doer of the action in a by-phrase. For example:
• The tree was struck by lightning.
• The flag was unfurled by the Chief Guest.
IV. Rewrite the sentences below, changing the verbs in brackets into the passive form.
1. In yesterday’s competition the prizes (give away) by the Principal.
1. In yesterday’s competition the prizes were given away by the Principal.
2. In spite of financial difficulties, the labourers (pay) on time.
2. In spite of financial difficulties, the labourers were paid on time.
3. On Republic Day, vehicles (not allow) beyond this point.
3. On Republic Day, vehicles are not allowed beyond this point.
4. Second-hand books (buy and sell) on the pavement every Saturday.
4. Second-hand books are bought and sold on the pavement every Saturday.
5. Elections to the Lok Sabha (hold) every five years.
5. Elections to the Lok Sabha are held every five years.
6. Our National Anthem (compose) Rabindranath Tagore.
6. Our National Anthem was composed by Rabindranath Tagore.
V. Rewrite the paragraphs below, using the correct form of the verb given in brackets.
1. How Helmets Came To Be Used in Cricket
Nari Contractor was the Captain and an opening batsman for India in the 1960s. The Indian cricket team went on a tour to the West Indies in 1962.In a match against Barbados in Bridgetown, Nari Contractor (seriously injure and collapse). In those days helmets (not wear). Contractor (hit) on the head by a bouncer from Charlie Griffith. Contractor’s skull (fracture). The entire team (deeply concern). The West Indies players (worry). Contractor (rush ) to hospital. He (accompany) by Frank Worrell, the Captain of the West Indies Team. Blood (donate) by the West Indies players. Thanks to the timely help, Contractor (save). Nowadays helmets (routinely use) against bowlers.
Answer Nari Contractor was the Captain and an opening batsman for India in the 1960s. The Indian cricket team went on a tour to the West Indies in 1962. In a match against Barbados in Bridgetown, Nari Contractor got seriously injured and collapsed. In those days helmets were not worn. The contractor was hit on the head by a bouncer from Charlie Griffith. The contractor’s skull had fractured. The entire team was deeply concerned. The West Indies players were worried. A contractor was rushed to the hospital. He was accompanied by Frank Worrell, the Captain of the West Indies Team. Blood was donated by the West Indies players. Thanks to the timely help, the Contractor was saved. Nowadays helmets are routinely used against bowlers.
2. Oil from Seeds
Vegetable oils (make) from seeds and fruits of many plants growing all over the world, from tiny sesame seeds to big, juicy coconuts. Oil (produce) from cotton seeds, groundnuts, soya beans and sunflower seeds. Olive oil (use) for cooking, salad dressing etc. Olives (shake) from the trees and (gather) up, usually by hand. The olives (ground) to a thick paste which is spread onto special mats. Then the mats (layer) up on the pressing machine which will gently squeeze them to produce olive oil.
Answer Vegetable oils are made from seeds and fruits of many plants growing all over the world, from tiny sesame seeds to big, juicy coconuts. Oil is produced from cotton seeds, groundnuts, soybeans, and sunflower seeds. Olive oil is used for cooking, salad dressing, etc. Olives are shaken from the trees and gathered up, usually by hand. The olives are ground to a thick paste which is spread onto special mats. Then the mats are layered upon the pressing machine which will gently squeeze them to produce olive oil.