Purpose of this Blog

This is my literary blog for helping students. It’s purely free. We need to improve us by thriving on educational activities .I am still a student ; on one hand I am pursuing my career , on the other hand I need to improve my knowledge and help the current generation by providing quality based materials in English . So that’s why my endeavour goes to this blog. Here we can just learn and interact about English Literature and it’s significance. Apart from this ,I am providing my quality based materials for VII – XII for both WBCHSE and CBSE boards. So let’s communicate with me and you may ask questions and give suggestions too. Education is all about first learning and then teaching.

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Karma by Khushwant Singh (XI)

1. Bring out the appropriateness of the title of the story “Karma” by Khushwant Singh.

Ans: According to Hindu scriptures, the word “Karma” signifies a moral judgement that according to your ‘Karma’ i.e. action you will get the prize. This concept gives birth to the well known adage “As you sow, so you reap”. The present story “Karma” narrates the unexpected predicament that the anglicised, highbrow, and tickety-boo Sir Mohan Lal suddenly finds himself in. Khushwant Singh has portrayed the character of Sir Mohan Lal ironically.
His rodomontade is his association with Oxford colleges and its dons, his sojourn in England for five years, rugby matches, mixed doubles, boat-races and nights spent with Picadally harlots. He denigrates everything that is Indian. Even his wife, simple native Lachmi is found to be an object of derision and odium to him as she is unable to fit into his idea of a fashionable wife. He used her only for satisfying his carnal pleasure. In a train journey, where his wife travelled in an ordinary compartment, he had the first class ticket with the hope of good conversation with some British. He was ready to show his foreign culture by his dress, Balliol tie, Times magazine, drinking whisky, foreign cigarettes etc. Seeing two British soldiers he was elated and preparing to welcome them. But to his utter surprise, calling him a ‘nigger’ they not only ill treated him but also threw him out of the train compartment along with his bag and baggages. On the otherhand, the simple and humble Indian lifestyle has gifted Lachmi a comfortable journey without any hindrance in an interclaas Zenana compartment. He finally reached the Christian realisation that mere imitation yielded no fruit. The British whom he admired most became the cause of his nemesis. So, the title stands fully justified marking the theme of the story.

2. ” I am only a native woman” – Who said this? To whom was it said? Describe the speaker’s character in the light of the above comment.

Ans : In the short story “Karma” written by Khushwant Singh, Lachmi, the wife of Sir Mohan Lal said this.

➡️ It was said to the railway coolie who carried her steel trunk and moved down the platform.

➡️ Lachmi is portrayed as a native Indian woman, typically an Indian housewife who usually talks in her native Hindustani language.The character of Lachmi betrays sharp polarity with that of Sir Mohan Lal. By the description of the author, it is clear that she is in her middle forties, fat, fair and short. She wears a dirty white sari with a red border. She is found sitting on a small grey steel trunk and fanning herself with a newspaper. Like most Indian woman, she loves to have a diamond nose ring on one side of her nose and several gold bangles on her arms. She is talkative and frankly speaks with the coolie. She chews betel leaves, eats chapattis with mango pickle. The way she mops her hand in her saree and emits loud belches, manifest her insouciance towards artificial etiquette. Unlike her husband she is not proud of her class. She prefers to travel in interclass Zenana compartment. Her address to the coolie as ‘brother’ and her meek obedience to her husband highlights her naivety. Her husband only meets her in the nocturnal hours only to satisfy his carnal pleasure.But she is still childless. She is not allowed to meet her poor, illiterate relatives. She, however, had no grudge against her husband. She is rather very happy and content with her situation. Finally her sending a jet of red dribble flying across like a dart concludes her apathy for western mannerism as well as so-called sophistication. On top of all she is devoid of any identity crisis unlike her husband. The incarnation of very naturalness and simplicity is a perfect foil to her husband.

Q.3. Narrate the incident in the compartment of Sir Mohan Lal when two English soldiers entered there.

Or, Narrate briefly the man-handling and humiliation of Sir Mohan Lal by two junior English soldiers. [WBCHSE Sample Question]

Or, How did Sir Mohan feel when he saw two Englishmen coming towards his coupe. [WBCHSE XI-2014]

Ans: In the story “Karma” by Khushwant Singh, while the bearer informed Sir Mohan Lal about the installation of the luggage in a first class coupe next to the engine, Sir Mohan Lal entered his reserved compartment calmly with his studied gait. Finding the compartment totally vacant, he was disheartened because he was eagerly waiting for some Englishmen to be his fellow passangers. His face lit up as he came to the sight of Bill and Jim, two English soldiers trudging along and looking for seats. For their accommodation in the same coupe, he even mediated to consult with the guard, if occasion demanded. One of the soldiers found vacant seats in that coupe and called the other. Entering into the compartment, noticing Mr. Lal, one called the other to make him out of the compartment calling him a ‘nigger’ meaning negro or black man. Mohan Lal became astounded and angered due to this derogatory remarks. He mildly protested maintaining his artistic decorum. The soldiers paused at first on hearing him speak English in Oxford accent, but out of their master like pride and racism they threw Sir Mohan’s suitcase, thermos flask, bedding and ‘The Times ‘ — in which he took so much pride. Being livid with rage, he finally threatened to have them arrested. This made the soldiers violent. Jim struck him flat on the face and with the whistle of the train, they flung him out of the train to the platform. He tripped on his bedding and landed on the suitcase, dumbfounded, being humiliated and disillusioned beyond recognition.

The Eyes Have It by Ruskin Bond

Q.1. ” I was becoming quite daring, but it was a safe remark” – Who is the speaker? Why was the speaker becoming quite daring? What made the remark safe? [1+3+2=6]

Ans : The speaker is the narrator of the story “The Eyes Have It”.

◼️ The speaker was becoming quite daring to know about the looks of the girl. The narrator was quite impressed with the girl’s voice which was likened to the sparkling of a mountainous stream. As the narrator was blind his eyes were sensitive only to light and darkness. There was no way to discover her appearance. At this point dejection haunts the narrator. Besides to praise an unknown girl openly might be considered daring.

◼️ What made the remark safe could be analysed in two ways.

Firstly, the remark was safe because few girls could resist from being flattered.

Secondly, the narrator called it a safe remark as he thought that she would not ask further questions that would reveal his blindness.

The Eyes Have It by Ruskin Bond

Q.1. “She would forget our brief encounter” – Who said this and about whom? What is the ‘brief encounter’ referred to here? Why did the speaker think this?

Ans: The sightless narrator in Ruskin Bond’s marvellous short story “The Eyes Have It” said this about the blind girl who had been his co-passenger during the train journey from Rohana to Saharanpur.

◼️ The ‘brief encounter’ referred to here is the short meeting between the blind narrator and the girl passenger from Rohana to Saharanpur. Though both of them were travelling in the same compartment, their destination is different. While narrator was going to Mussoorie, the blind girl had to alight at Saharanpur. During this short journey, the narrator talked with her about so many things for a while and became inquisitive about her looks, especially her hair whether it was in bun or plaited.

◼️ The narrator thought this because he had probably conjectured that such ordinary meeting with strangers during journeys didn’t leave much impressionable impact on people’s minds.

Q. 1. “Oh, how lucky you are” – Who said this? Who was considered lucky and why? How did the person react to the above remark?

Or, How did the narrator and the girl reminisce about the scenic beauty of Mussoorie?

Or, Describe the landscape of Mussorie in October.

Ans: The girl whom the narrator of Ruskin Bond’s short story “The Eyes Have It” met on the train said it.

◼️ The girl considered the narrator to be ‘lucky’. She liked Mussoorie, especially in october. She came to know that the narrator was going to Dehra and then to Mussoorie, her favourite place. More than that it was then October, the right time for one to have a ball (enjoy greatly) at the charming, panoramic setting of the hilly resort.(ভ্রমণ/বিনোদন এর জায়গা).

◼️The girl’s remark stirred the narrator’s imagination. Calling on his memories the narrator agreed that October was the best time to visit the hills. At that time the hills are adorned with wild dahlias and the warmth of the sun turns both congenial and enjoyable.Sipping or quaffing brandy in front of a logfire at night is also quite relaxing. The roads are tranquil and lonely as by that time most of the tourists have already left. Memories of this scenic beauty probably made both of them nostalgic and reflective.

Title of the Poem On Killing a Tree

Q.1.Bring out the appropriateness of the title of the poem “On Killing a Tree”.

Ans: To the world of human conscience, Gieve Patel’s poem “On Killing a Tree” extracted from the poet’s original work Poems does convey to us a sense irony that has been echoed through splendid piece of poetic exuberance. It feels like that cutting down a tree almost becomes a ceremonial task. At the surface level the readers are exposed to the time-consuming task of killing a tree and on a deeper level the perversity and tragedy of the action is implied as the tree stands as the symbol of the flame of life invariably implicating the sense of murder by the human beings. As a simple jab of the knife or hacking and chopping can’t not kill a tree, cruel man uses a number of ruthless methods to kill a tree. So in order to Kill a tree,its life-supporting root is to be removed from the earth. It has to roped, tied and pulled out or snapped out entirely from the ‘earth-cave’.Then as the process of uprooting is completed, the tree has to be browned, hardened, twisted and withered and choked in the air and the scorching sunlight. And finally the tree gets killed in the process, awakening our sense of spiritual values and reminding us as how brutally we treat the trees which, in reality, are our best friends.Thus,the title with an elegiac note points out the utter callousness and savagery of man towards trees and it brilliantly captures the mood of the poem. So the title is an excellent choice.

Message to my inner self after reading this poem is to plant more and more trees and saplings. So let’s not forget to give your opinion down below in the comment section.

1. How can a tree be killed in ‘On Killing a Tree’. Or, How does the poet describe the methods of killing a tree in the poem ‘On Killing a Tree’?
Or, “And then it is done” – How is a tree completely killed?
Or, Write a note on the substance of the poem.
Or, Describe the growth, struggle and ultimate death of a tree as depicted in the poem “On Killing a Tree”.

Ans: “On Killing A Tree” by Gieve Patel, is a graphic presentation of man’s barbaric cruelty towards Nature which is symbolised by the tree. The poet gives a vivid description of the total annihilation of a tree. The poet points out that the entire act of killing needs meticulous (সতর্ক)planning and chainwork of strategic activities that have to be well planned and executed with a degree of precision. Neither a simple jab of the knife nor hacking and chopping can kill a tree that has grown steadily consuming the earth’s nutrients, feeding upon the crust of the earth, absorbing years of sunlight, air, and water. Withstanding certain strokes and blows, the ‘bleeding bark’ heals itself in accord with the time.From the wounded trunk (বৃক্ষকাণ্ড) close to the ground curly ‘green twigs’ and tiny branches will sprout. Gradually, if not stunted, it grows to its original form. The tree is firmly fixed with its roots anchored in the soil.So in order to Kill a tree, its life-supporting root is to be removed from the earth. It has to roped, tied and pulled out or snapped out entirely from the ‘earth-cave’.Then as the process of uprooting is completed, the tree has to be browned, hardened, twisted and withered and choked in the air and the scorching sunlight. And finally the tree gets killed in the process, awakening our sense of spiritual values and reminding us as how brutally we treat the trees which, in reality, are our best friends.

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Quotes of mine

We sometimes hang onto old memories. Harking back the past will make our future turbulent . We need to learn how to let go of the good, the bad and the ugly. Only when we accept us being content with what is now, we can make sure that our future has a chance to write our fate.
– Sarbadaman Gop