The Portrait Of A Lady || The Portrait Of A Lady Class 11

The Portrait Of A Lady

Class 11 Questions Answer By CBCS NOTE




Available Questions Answer:

1. The three phrases of the author’s relationship with his grandmother before he left the country to study abroad ?


 

Answer:- The first phase of the author’s relationship with his grandmother started when he was still a child. She used to tell him of the games she used to play as a child. “That seemed quite absurd”. The children treated them like the fables of the prophets she used to tell them.

                       The second phase of this relationship began when the narrator started going to school. His parents left him with her and they went to live in the city. They were constantly together. She used to wake him up in the morning and get him ready for school. Then she would fetch his wooden slate, a tiny earthen inkpot and a red pen. She would give him a breakfast of a thick, slate chapatti. Then they went to school. She carried several chapattis for the village dogs. The school was attached to the temple. She would sit in the temple and he in the school.

                        The third phase of their relationship began when the narrator’s parents sent for them in the city. That was a turning-point in their friendship. He used to go to an English school in a motor bus. As the years rolled by they saw less of each other. She didn’t like the English school. There was no teaching about God and scriptures in the English school. She hated western science and music. When he went up to university, he was given a room of his own. The common link of their friendship was snapped. His grandmother accepted her seclusion with resignation.


2. Three reasons why the author’s grandmother was disturbed when he started going to the city school ?




Answer:- When the narrator’s parents settled in the city, they sent for them. That was a turning-point in their friendship. They still lived in the same room. But the old lady was now quite disturbed. The narrator used to go to an English school in a motor bus. She couldn’t accompany him to the school as she used to do in the village. In the village she used to stay in the temple that was attached to the school.

                       In the city there was no dogs in the streets. The grandmother felt quite disturbed. She couldn’t throw chapattis to them now. The old lady took to feeding sparrows in the courtyard of their city house. As the years rolled by, the narrator and the grandmother saw less of each other.

                    The most disturbing factor for the grandmother was the English school where he used to study. She didn’t understand English words. Nor could she help him in his studies. She knew nothing about western science and learning. She did not believe in the topics they taught at the English school. She was distressed that there was no teaching about God and the scriptures. She was disturbed when she came to know that they taught music at the school. She hated music. She considered it fit only for harlots and beggars. It was not meant for gentle folks.




3. Three ways in which the author’s grandmother spent her days after he grew up ?

Answer:- The intimacy between the narrator and his grandmother was snapped when they were sent for in the city. As the years rolled by, they saw less of each other. When the narrator grew up, he went up to university. He was given a room of his own. The common link of friendship was snapped. The grandmother accepted it as her fate.

                  The grandmother soon found out new ways of spending her time. She now spent most of her time at the spinning-wheel. She rarely left her spinning-wheel to talk to anyone. From sunrise to sunset she sat by the spinning-wheel. While spinning, she continued reciting prayers. She relaxed only in the afternoon to feed the sparrows.

                       The third way in which the old lady spent her time, was her feeding the sparrows. She would sit in the verandah. She would break the bread into little bits. Hundreds of little birds collected around her. They created a ‘bedlam of chirrupings’. They came and perched on her legs and shoulders. Some even sat on her head. She smiled but never shooed them away. Feeding the sparrows used to be the happiest hour of the day for her.

Related Topic: Class 12 English Q & A


4. The odd ways in which the author’s grandmother behaved just before she died ?

Answer:- After five years the narrator came back home. He found the grandmother at the station. She didn’t utter any words but clasped him in her arms. He could hear her reciting her prayers. But in the evening a change came over her. Her behaviour was quite odd. She didn’t pray. She collected the women of the neighbourhood. She got an old drum and started singing. For several hours she thumped the drum. She sang of the homecoming of warriors. She was very much excited. They had to persuade her to stop to avoid over straining. That was the first time that she did not pray.

                        The next morning she was taken ill. It was a mild fever. But the grand old lady declared that her end was near. She was not going to waste any more time talking to them. She continued praying. They protested but she ignored their protests. She lay peacefully in bed praying and telling her beads. Her lips stopped moving. The rosary fell from her lifeless fingers. Her face turned pale. They knew she was dead. They lifted her off the bed and covered her with a shroud.

                        The grandmother behaved quite strangely just before she died. She was quite excited at the homecoming of her grandson. She tired herself and fell ill. She died while praying and telling her beads.



5. The ways in which the sparrows expressed their sorrow when the author’s grandmother died?

Answer:- The grandmother took to feeding sparrows in the city as she used to feed dogs in the village. Hundreds of little birds collected around her. Some of them perched on her head and legs. Feeding the sparrows was ‘the happiest half-hour of the day for her’. The sparrows and the old lady had developed an intimate companionship. When the grandmother died the sparrows expressed their sorrow in a unique and moving manner. 

                  The grandmother lay dead on the floor wrapped in the red shroud. Thousands of sparrows sat scattered on the floor. There was no chirruping. They felt sorry for the birds. The narrator’s mother fetched some bread for them. She broke he bread into little crumbs. She threw the crumbs to the sparrows as the grandmother used to do. The sparrows took no notice of the bread. When they carried the grandmother’s corpse off they flew away quietly. Next morning the sweeper swept the bread crumbs into the dustbin.

                    The sparrows paid their silent tribute to the grand old lady. They mourned her death like human beings. They didn’t even touch the bread crumbs thrown to them.



Also Read:  Assamese Questions Answer Class 11 

T. About Text:

1. 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 highly religious lady. Her one hand was always busy in telling the beads of her rosary. Her lips constantly moved in an inaudible prayer. She used to get up early in the morning. She said her morning prayer in ‘a monotonous sing-song’. The grandmother always went to school with the narrator because the school was attached to the temple. The grandmother would sit in the temple reading the scriptures.
                The old lady was quite conservative. She didn’t like the new English school in the city. She was unhappy because there was no teaching about God and the scriptures at the city school. She felt quite disturbed at this aspect of education. They gave music lessons at the English school. She considered music fit only for harlots and beggars. It was not meant for gentlefolks.
                 The only time when she didn’t pray was the day when the narrator returned from abroad. It was quite an odd thing for her. But she more than compensated for this lapse. When she realised that her end was near, she stopped talking. She lay peacefully in bed praying and telling her beads. Her lips stopped moving. The rosary fell from her lifeless fingers.


2. Describe the changing relationship between the author and his grandmother. Did their feelings for each other change?


Answer:- Circumstances did have a bearig on the relationship between the author and his grandmother. They had most intimate relationship when they were in village. They were ‘good friends’ then. His parents left him with her when they went to live in the city. They were constantly together. She used to wake him up in the morning. She got him ready for school. She would offer him a breakfast of a thick, stale chapatti with a little butter and sugar. Then they went to school. She always went to school because, the old lady sat in the temple reading scriptures.
                  Soon a turning-point came in their relationship. The narrator’s parents sent for them in the city. Now she couldn’t go to school with him as he went there in a motor bus. In the new English school, she couldn’t help him in studies. She hated English, science and music. As the years rolled by they saw less of each other. When he went up to university, the common link of their friendship was snapped. When he went abroad she came to see him off at the station and kissed his forehead.
                     No, their feelings for each other didn’t change. The grandmother was very much excited when the narrator returned from abroad. She celebrated the homecoming of her grandson in her own way. For several hours she sang and thumped the drum. She tried herself and fell ill.


3. Would you agree that the author’s grandmother was a person strong in character? If yes, give instances that show this.



Answer:- The grandmother was a very strong personality. She was a highly religious lady. She was a conservative lady who hated modern views and ways of life. She had very strong personal likings and dislikes. Being a religious lady and a widow, she could be seen hobbling about the house in a spotless white dress. She used to get up early in the morning. She said her prayers in a monotonous sing-song. One of her hands was always telling the beads of her rosary. She was like the ‘winter landscape in the mountains’. She breathed peace and contentment.

                     The grandmother was quite rigid in her views. She liked the villag school because it was attached to the temple. She sat in the temple reading the scriptures. She hated the English school in the city for various reasons. She was unhappy that there was no teaching about God and the scriptures there. She was quite disturbed at this. They gave music lessons at the school. To her music meant only for harlots and beggars and not for ‘gentlefolk’.

                       It is quite difficult to show complete agreement with her conservative views. But she was a strong and determined character. She led her own kind of life. She never compromised with her principles. She loved the narrator deeply but never tried to be sentimental.


4. Have you known someone like the author’s grandmother? Do you feel the same sense of loss with regard to someone whom you have loved and lost?



Answer:- Yes, I remember my grandmother with love and respect. She resembled the author’s grandmother in every respect. Like them, we were left together in the village. My parents went to settle in the city. My grandmother was an essential part of my life and personality. She woke me up early in the morning. She got me ready for school. We went to school together. She sat in the temple reading scriptures. The temple was attached to the school. We came home together. However, a turning-point came in our friendship when my parents sent for us in the city. I was admitted to an English school. My grandmother hated western science, English and music. When I went up to university, the bond of our relationship was broken. The grandmother accepted her fate silently.

               Definitely, we feel the same sense of loss with regard to someone whom we have loved. The death of my grandmother proves this point. I still remember the grand old lady. She is no more in this world but her memories are still fresh in my mind. These keep me alive.


Short Answer:

Thinking About The Text

1. Which language do you think the author and his grandmother used while talking to each other?


Answer:- Khushwant Singh and his grandmother lived in a village of Punjab. Naturally, they talked to each other in Punjabi.


2. Which language do you use to talk to elderly relatives in your family?


Answer:- I belong to a assamese speaking area. I use assamese language while taking to elderly relatives in my family.


3. How would you say ‘a dilapidated drum’ in your language?


Answer:- ‘A dilapidated drum’ in my language means “dhol”.


4. Can you think of a song or a poem in your language that talks of homecoming?


Answer:- Come back!

                 Back to the land of your birth.

                 Meadows are still green

                 Air as fresh as you left it.

                 Come and see those gurgling brooks

                 They will reflect your childhood.

                 Come back! Years that rolled by

                 Will come to life once again.




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