Get Class 11th NCERT Solutions for Chapter 1 from the English Hornbill Textbook. Chapter 1 is a story about how the author has drawn a portrait of his grandmother with a pen and tried to unfold the beautiful relationship with her while telling the readers about his grandmother’s appearance and daily-basis activities. The NCERT solutions of this chapter have been provided after a detailed analysis of the latest syllabus issued by CBSE. Students of Class 11th can study the answers provided here to score well in their school exams.
NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Textbook (Prose) - Chapter 1
Ques: Mention the three phases of the author’s relationship with his grandmother before he left the country to study abroad.
Answer: The three phases of the author’s relationship with his grandmother before he left the country to study abroad are:
- childhood – when he went to the village school and the grandmother helped him to get ready and went to school with him.
- boyhood – when he went to the city school in a bus. He shared a room with his grandmother but she could no longer help him in his studies.
- early youth – when he went to the university and was given a room of his own. The common link of friendship was snapped.
Ques: Mention three reasons why the author’s grandmother was disturbed when he started going to the city school.
Answer: The three reasons why the author’s grandmother was disturbed when he started going to the city school are:
- She hated western Science and learning.
- She was pained to know that there was no teaching of God and the scriptures there.
- She was allergic to music. She thought it was not meant for decent people and gentlefolk. It was the monopoly of prostitutes and beggars.
Ques: Which language do you think the author and his grandmother used while talking to each other?
Answer: The author’s grandmother was not much educated. So, I think the author and his grandmother used to talk in their mother tongue—in this case Panjabi.
Ques: Which language do you use to talk to elderly relatives in your family?
Answer: Do on your own
Ques: Notice the following uses of the word ‘tell’ in the text.
- Her fingers were busy telling the beads of her rosary.
- I would tell her English words and little things of Western science and learning.
- At her age, one could never tell.
- She told us that her end was near.
Given below are four different senses of the word ‘tell’. Match the meanings to the uses listed above.
- make something known to someone in spoken or written words
- count while reciting
- be sure
- give information to somebody
Answer: 1. Make something known to someone in spoken or written words: I would tell her English words and little things of western science and learning.
- Count while reciting: Her fingers were busy telling the beads of her rosary.
- Be sure: At her age, one could never tell.
- Give information to somebody: She told us that her end was near.
Ques: Mention the odd way in which the author’s grandmother behaved just before she died.
Answer: She had omitted to pray, she was not going to waste any more time talking to us. She lay peacefully in bed praying and telling her beads. Even before we could suspect, her lips stopped moving and the rosary fell from her lifeless fingers.
Ques: Mention the way in which the sparrows expressed their sorrow when the author’s grandmother died.
Answer: The author’s grandmother shared a unique bond with the sparrows. She seemed at her happiest self while feeding the sparrows.
The day the author’s grandmother died, thousands of sparrows sat scattered around her dead body. They sat there in utter silence mourning the death of the grandmother. They took no notice of the bread crumbs thrown at them and flew away silently after the body was carried for the final rites. The next morning, the bread crumbs were swept away into the dustbin by the sweeper.
Ques: The author’s grandmother was a religious person. What are the different ways in which we come to know this?
Answer: The author’s grandmother was a deeply religious lady. We come to know this through the different ways of her behavior. She visited the temple every morning and read scriptures. At home, she always mumbled an inaudible prayer and kept telling the beads of a rosary. She would repeat prayers in a sing-song manner while getting the writer ready for school. She hoped that he would learn it by heart. She didn’t like English school as there was no teaching of God and scriptures.
Even while spinning at her spinning-wheel she would recite prayers. Perhaps it was only once that she forgot to say her prayers. It was on the evening prior to her death when she felt overexcited while celebrating the arrival of her grandson with songs and beatings of the drum. She continued praying and telling beads of her rosary till her last breath.
Ques: Describe the changing relationship between the author and his grandmother. Did their feelings for each other change?
Answer: During his boyhood, the author was completely dependent on his grandmother. She was a part of his life. The turning point in their friendship came when they went to city. She could no longer accompany him to school as he went there by bus. They shared the same room but she could not help him in his studies. She would ask him what the teachers had taught. She did not believe in the things that were taught at school. She was distressed that there was no teaching about God and the scriptures. She felt offended that music was also being taught. She expressed her disapproval silently. After this, she rarely talked to him. When he went to university, he was given a room of his own. The common link of friendship was snapped.
However, their feelings for each other did not change. They still loved each other deeply. She went to see the author off at the railway station when he was going abroad for higher studies. She showed no emotion but kissed his forehead silently. The author valued this as perhaps the last sign of physical contact between them. When the author returned after five years, she received him at the station. She clasped him in her arms. In the evening she celebrated his homecoming by singing songs and beating an old drum.
Ques: Would you agree that the author’s grandmother was a person strong in character? If yes, give instances that show this.
Answer: Yes, I agree that the author’s grandmother was a person strong in character. She was a strong woman with strong beliefs. Although she was not formally educated, she was serious about the author’s education. She could not adjust herself to the western way of life, Science, and English education. She hated music and disapproved of its teaching in school.
She was a deeply religious lady. Her lips were always moving in silent prayer. She was always telling the beads of her rosary. She went to the temple daily and read the scriptures. She was distressed to know that there was no teaching about God and holy books at Khushwant’s new English school.
She was a kind lady She used to feed dogs in the village. In the city, she took to feeding sparrows. Although old in years and weak in a body she had the strength of mind. Just before her death, she refused to talk to the members of the family as she did not want to waste her time. She wanted to make up for the time last evening when she had not prayed to God. She lay peacefully in bed saying prayers and telling the beads of her rosary till she breathed her last.
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