Friday, March 11, 2016

The Portait of a Lady by Khushwant Singh - Hornbill - Prose - Class XI- English Core Summary and Answers


Class XI- English Core

Chapter 1 - The Portrait of a Lady

by Khushwant Singh

Hornbill - Prose -  Summary and Answers

Question:
Mention the three phases of the author’s relationship with his grandmother before he left the country to study abroad.

ANSWER
The author mentions three phases in his relationship with his grandmother before he went abroad for studies.
The Early Childhood: During this phase, he lived with his grandmother in the village and was very intimate with her. The grandmother looked after him and took care of him like parents do. She woke him up, bathed and prepared him for school. Moreover, she used to accompany her to school as it was attached to the temple and she prayed there. The write is very close to her in this phase.
In the City: This is the second phase when they both shift to the city as the author's parents get settled there. The author shares a room with his grandmother, but she does not accompany him to school anymore and can't help him in his studies. They saw less of each other in this phase and this proved a turning point in their relationship.
The author gets a separate room: In this phase, the author gets a separate room as he joins university and the only common link of their friendship: room, is also broken. The grandmother takes up the wheel spinning, bird feeding, and prayers. She accepts her aloofness with resignation.

Question:
Mention three reasons why the author’s grandmother was disturbed when he started going to the city school.

ANSWER
The three reasons that the author's grandmother was disturbed when he started going to the city school are:
Firstly she could not help the author with his lessons.
Secondly, she did not believe in the things they taught at the English school and was distressed that there was no teaching about God and the scriptures.
And finally, she was very disturbed when she heard that her grandson was receiving music lessons. She believed that music had lewd associations and it belonged to harlots and beggars.

Question:
Mention three ways in which the author’s grandmother spent her days after he grew up.

ANSWER
The three ways in which the author's grandmother spent her days after he grew up are:
a)Most of the time she remained by the side of spinning wheel.
b)She talked less and her lips always moved in reciting prayers and fingers busy telling the beads of the rosary.
c)She also loved to spend her time with sparrows, feeding them.

Question:
The odd way in which the author’s grandmother behaved just before she died.

ANSWER
The author’s grandmother behaved in a very odd way just before she died. She did not pray. Instead, she collected the women of the neighbourhood, got an old drum and started to sing. This was very unusual for her and the family had to persuade her to stop.

Question: Mention the way in which the sparrows expressed their sorrow when the author’s grandmother died.

Answer:
Thousands of sparrows sat around the grandmother's dead body without any chirruping. All flew away silently when the body was taken away for cremation without eating any of the breadcrumbs offered to them by author's mother.

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