Thinking about the Text
I. Answer these questions in one or two sentences each.
Question 1. Where was Abdul Kalam’s house?
Answer: Abdul Kalam’s house was on the Mosque Street in Rameswaram.
Question 2. What do you think Dinamani is the name of? Give a reason for your
Answer: i think Dinamani is the name of a newspaper because kalam syas that when his brother in law would tell his stories of the war, he would later try to trace it in the ‘headlines’ of dinamani this implies that Dinamani would have been a newspaper.
Question 3. Who were Abdul Kalam’s school friends? What did they later become?
Answer: Ramanadha Sastry, Aravindan and Sivaprakasan were Abdul Kalam’s school friends. Ramanadha Sastry took over the priesthood of the Rameswaram temple from his father. Aravindan went into the business of arranging transport for visiting pilgrims. Sivaprakasan became a catering contractor for the Southern Railways.
Question 4. How did Abdul Kalam earn his first wages?
Answer: Abdul Kalam earned his first wages by catching bundles of the newspapers thrown out from the moving train on the Rameswaram Road between Rameswaram and Dhanuskodi and distributing them.
Question 5. Had he earned any money before that? In what way?
Answer: Yes, he had earned money before that too. He used to collect tamarind seeds and sell them to a provision shop on Mosque Street. A day’s collection would let him earn one anna.
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: i) The author describes his father as honest and self-disciplined. His father used to avoid inessential comforts and luxuries. The author tells that his father never had a formal education or much wealth but he possessed great wisdom and was very generous.
ii) The author describes his mother as being an ideal helpmate to his father. She used to feed a lot of outsiders along with her family members.
iii) The author describes himself as a short boy with undistinguished looks born to tall and handsome parents.
Question 2. What characteristics does he say he inherited from his parents?
Answer: He says that he inherited honesty and self-discipline from his father; and faith in goodness and deep kindness from his mother.
III. Discuss these questions in class with your teacher and then write down your answers in two or three paragraphs each.
Question 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)?
(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.)
(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?
(iv) Narrate two incidents that show how differences can be created, and also how they can be resolved. How can people change their attitudes?
(i) The social groups that he mentions are Hindus and Muslims. Yes, these groups were easily identifiable by their dressing, tradition, culture, etc. For instance, Kalam used to wear a cap on his head which identified him as a Muslim. Ramanadha Sastry wore a sacred thread.
(ii) They were not aware only of their differences. They also naturally share friendships and
experiences. Kalam’s mother and grandmother would tell events from the Ramayana and from the life of the Prophet as bedtime stories. All his friends belonged to orthodox Hindu families. During the annual Sita Rama Kalyanam Ceremony, his family would arrange boats with a special platform for carrying idols of the Lord from the temple to the marriage site situated in the middle of the pond called Rama Tirtha which was near his house.
(iii) The author speaks both of people who were very aware of the differences among them and those who tried to bridge these differences. Yes, we can identify such people in the text. The new school teacher and Sivasubramania Iyer’s wife were very aware of the differences among the social groups but Sivasubramania Iyer and Lakshamana Sastry tried to bridge these differences.
(iv) Two incidents that show how differences can be created, and also how they can be resolved are:
When Lakshamana Sastry got to know about the way the new school teacher had made Kalam sit on the back bench because he was a Muslim, he asked the teacher to apologize or quit the school. The new teacher not only regret his behavior but also was reformed by the Lakshamana Sastry’s strong sense of conviction. Kalam’s science teacher, Sivasubramania Iyer, asked Kalam to his home for a meal. His wife was horrified at the idea of a Muslim boy being invited to her pure kitchen. Sivasubramania Iyer served Kalam food with his own hands and sat down beside him to eat his meal. The next time he invited Kalam to his home, Sivasubramania Iyer’s wife served him food with her own hands inside the kitchen.
Question 2: (i) Why did Abdul Kalam want to leave Rameswaram?
(ii) What did his father say to this?
(iii) What do you think his words mean? Why do you think he spoke those words?
Answer: (i) Abdul Kalam wanted to leave Rameswaram because he wanted to study at the district headquarters in Ramanathapuram.
(ii) His father said, ““Abul ! I know you have to go away to grow. Does the seagull not fly across the sun, alone and without a nest?”
(iii) His words meant he understood that Kalam had to leave his house and get a good higher education to grow. He spoke these words because he knew the harsh reality of life that the children need to move away from their home and parents to make a career and earn.
Thinking about Language
I. Find the sentences in the text where these words occur: Erupt, surge, trace, undistinguished, casualty Look these words up in a dictionary which gives examples of how they are used. Now answer the following questions.
Answer: Sentences in the text where these words occur are:
Erupt: “For reasons I have never been able to understand, a sudden demand for
tamarind seeds erupted in the market.”
Surge: “Half a century later, I can still feel the surge of pride in earning my own
money for the first time.”
Trace: “My brother-in-law Jallaluddin would tell me stories about the War which
I would later attempt
to trace in the headlines in Dinamani.”
Undistinguished: “I was one of many children — a short boy with rather
undistinguished looks, born to
tall and handsome parents.”
Casualty: “The first casualty came in the form of the suspension of the train halt at Rameswaram station.”
Question 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: Things that can erupt are: volcanoes, emotions, anger.
– A volcano erupted in the Mauna Kea last night.
– Ranjan’s anger erupted as a result of Ashima’s
continuous nagging. Things that can surge are: prices, wave, crowd, storm, etc.
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:
– to draw an outline
– to copy
– to find out
The meaning that is closest to the word in the text is ‘finding out’.
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, I cannot find the word undistinguished in my dictionary. The meaning of the word distinguished as given in the dictionary is specific, distinct.Thus, undistinguished must mean ‘not specific’, ‘not distinct’.
II.Question 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 in-can 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. adequate acceptable regular tolerant demanding active true permanent patriotic disputed accessible coherent logical legal responsible possible
inadequate unacceptable irregular intolerant undemanding inactive untrue impermanent unpatriotic undisputed inaccessible incoherent illogical illegal irresponsible impossible
• 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.
2. In spite of financial difficulties, the labourers (pay) on time.
3. On Republic Day, vehicles (not allow) beyond this point.
4. Second-hand books (buy and sell) on the pavement every Saturday.
5. Elections to the Lok Sabha (hold) every five years.
6. Our National Anthem (compose) Rabindranath Tagore.
1. In yesterday’s competition the prizes were given away by the Principal.
2. In spite of financial difficulties, the labourers were paid on time.
3. On Republic Day, vehicles were not allowed beyond this point.
4. Second-hand books were bought and sold on the pavement every Saturday.
5. Elections to the Lok Sabha are held every five years.
6. Our National Anthem was composed Rabindranath Tagore.
V. Rewrite the paragraphs below, using the correct form of the verb given in brackets.
Question 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.
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 was seriously injured and collapsed. In those days helmets were not worn. Contractor was hit on the head by a bouncer from Charlie Griffith. Contractor’s skull was fractured. The entire team was deeply concerned. The West Indies players were worried. Contractor was rushed to 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, Contractor was saved. Nowadays helmets are routinely used against bowlers.
Question 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.
Oil from Seeds 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, soya beans 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 grounded to a thick paste which is spread onto special mats. Then the mats are layered up on the pressing machine which will gently squeeze them to produce olive oil.
Let the class divide itself into three groups. Let each group take down one passage that the teacher dictates. Then put the passages together in the right order.
To Sir, with Love
1. From Rameswaram to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, it’s been a long journey. Talking to Nona Walia on the eve of Teacher’s Day, President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam talks about
life’s toughest lessons learnt and his mission — being a teacher to the Indian
youth. “A proper education would help nurture a sense of dignity and self- respect among our youth,” says President Kalam. There’s still a child in him though, and he’s still curious about learning new things. Life’s a mission for President Kalam. 2. Nonetheless, he remembers his first lesson in life and how it changed his destiny. “I was studying in Sta ndard V, and must have been all of 10. My teacher, Sri Sivasubramania Iyer was telling us how birds fly. He drew a diagram of a bird on the blackboard, depicting the wings, tail and the body with the head and then explained how birds soar to the sky. At the end of the class, I said I didn’t understand. Then he asked the other students if they had understood, but nobody had understood how birds fly,” he recalls. 3. “That evening, the entire class was taken to Rameswarm shore,” the President continues. “My teacher showed us sea birds. We saw marvellous formations of them flying and how their wings flapped. Then my teacher asked us, ‘Where is the birds’ engine and how is it powered?’ I knew then that birds are powered by their own life and motivation. I understood all about birds’ dynamics. This was real teaching
— a theoretical lesson coupled with a live practical example. Sri Siva Subramania Iyer was a great teacher.” That day, my future was decided. My destiny was changed. I knew my future had to be about flight and flight systems.
To Sir, with Love
From Rameswaram to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, it’s been a long journey. Talking to Nona Walia on the eve of Teacher’s Day, President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam talks about life’s toughest lessons learnt and his mission — being a teacher to the Indian youth. “A proper education would help nurture a sense of dignity and self-respect among our youth,” says President Kalam. There’s still a child in him though, and he’s still curious about learning new things. Life’s a mission for President Kalam. Nonetheless, he remembers his first lesson in life and how it changed his
destiny. “I was studying in Standard V, and must have been all of 10. My teacher, Sri Sivasubramania Iyer was telling us how birds fly. He drew a diagram of a bird on the blackboard, depicting the wings, tail and the body with the head and then explained how birds soar to the sky. At the end of the class, I said I didn’t understand. Then he asked the other students if they had understood, but nobody had understood how birds fly,” he recalls. “That evening, the entire class was taken to Rameswaram shore,” the President continues. “My teacher showed us sea birds. We saw marvellous formations of them flying and how their wings flapped. Then my teacher asked us, ‘Where is the birds’ engine and how is it powered?’ I knew then that birds are powered by their own life and motivation. I understood all about birds’ dynamics. This was real teaching — a theoretical lesson coupled with a live practical example. Sri Siva Subramania Iyer was a great teacher.” That day, my future was decided. My destiny was changed. I knew my future had to be about flight and flight systems.
Here is a topic for you to
1. think about;
2. give your opinion on.
Find out what other people think about it. Ask your friends/seniors/parents to give you their opinion.
‘Career Building Is the Only Goal of Education.’
‘Getting a Good Job Is More Important than Being a Good
You can use the following phrases
(i) while giving your opinion:
• I think that…
• In my opinion…
• It seems to me that…
• I am of the view that…
• As far as I know…
• If you ask me…
(ii) saying what other people think:
• According to some…
• Quite a few think…
• Some others favour…
• Thirty per cent of the people disagree…
• Fifty per cent of them strongly feel…
(iii) asking for others’ opinions:
• What do you think about…
• What do you think of…
• What is your opinion about…
• Do you agree…
• Does this make you believe…
Answer: Do it yourself.
Question 1: Think and write a short account of what life in Rameswaram in the 1940S must have been like. (Were people rich or poor? Hard working or lazy? Hopeful of change, or resistant to it?).
Answer: I think that life in Rameswaram in the 1940S must have been very different from how it must be today. People were orthodox and did not accept changes in their way of living. They would have been hard working and poor. The story mentions the way some people at Rameswaram used to differentiate among various social groups. They were more religious. Extract Based Questions (3 marks each)
Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow:
Question 1: During the annual Shri Sita Rama Kalyanam Ceremony, our family used to arrange boats with a special platform for carrying idols of the Lord from the temple to the marriage site,jsituated in the middle of the pond called Rama Tirtha which was near our house.
1. What was the annual event held in Rameshwaram ?
2. Where did the boats carry the idols of the Lord ?
3. Find a word from the passage that means “images of God”.
1. The annual event held in Rameshwaram was Shri Sita Rama Kalyanam Ceremony.
2. The boats carried the idols of the Lord in the middle of the pond on the site
of the marriage (or ceremony or function).
Question 2: During the annual Shri Sita Rama Kalyanam Ceremony, our family used to arrange boats with a special platform for carrying idols of the Lord from the temple to the marriage site, situated in the middle of the pond called Rama Tirtha which was near our house. Events from the Ramayana and from the life of the Prophet were the bedtime stories my mother and grandmother would tell the children in our family.
1. How did the speaker’s family help in Shri Sita Rama Kalyanam Ceremony?
2. What light does the passage throw on speaker’s family ?
3. Find the word in the passage which means the same “the place where some
event takes place”.
1. The speaker’s family used to help in Shri Sita Rama Kalyanam Ceremony by arranging boats with a special platform for carrying idols.
2. The passage shows that the speaker’s family is a truly secular family which respected other religions also.
After school, we went home and told our respective parents about the incident. Lakshmana Sastry summoned the teacher, and in our presence, told the teacher that he should not spread the poison of social inequality and communal intolerance in the minds of innocent children. He bluntly asked the teacher to either apologize or quit the school and the island. Not only did the teacher regret his behaviour, but the strong sense of conviction. Lakshmana Sastry conveyed ultimately reformed this young teacher.
1. What brought about a change in the teacher ?
2. What kind of society did the speaker live in ?
3. Find the word/phrase in the passage which means “strong opinion or belief”.
1. The strong sense of conviction that Lakshmana Sastry conveyed brought about a change in the teacher.
2. The speaker lived in a society which was truly secular.
His wife watched us from behind the kitchen door. I wondered whether she had observed any difference in the way I ate rice, drank water or cleaned the floor after the meal. When I was leaving his house, Sivasubramaniam invited me to join him for dinner the next weekend. Observing my habitation, he told me not to get upset, saying “Once you decide to change the system, such problems have to be confronted.” When I visited his house next week, Sivasubramaniam Iyer’s wife took me inside her kitchen and served me food with her own hands. 1. Why did the teacher’s wife watched them from behind the kitchen door ?
2. Why was the narrator hesitant to eat food, with a Hindu family ?
3. Find the word from the passage that means “to deal with”
1. The teacher’s wife believed in the segregation of different people. She did not want APJ Kalam to enter her kitchen and serve food. She as a result hid behind kitchen door and saw everything.
2. The narrator felt hesitant to eat food with a Hindu family because he felt he was not welcomed in the family.
3. Confronted One day, he invited me to his home for a meal. His wife was horrified at the idea of a Muslim boy being invited to dine in her ritually pure kitchen. She refused to serve me in her kitchen.
Sivasubramaniam Iyer was not perturbed, nor did he get angry with his wife, but instead, served me’ with his own hands and sat down beside me to eat his meal.
1. Who is “he” and “me” in the first sentence ?
2. Why was his wife horrified ?
3. Find the word from the passage that means “agitated/upset”.
1. “He” is Sivasubramania Iyer, and “me” is Abdul Kalam.
2. His wife was horrified at the idea of serving food to a Muslim boy in her kitchen.
Short Answer Type Questions (2 marks each)
(About 30-40 words each)
Why did A.P.J. Abdul Kalam call his childhood a secure childhood ?
“Kalam’s childhood was a secure one, both materially and emotionally”. Illustrate the fact.
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam called his childhood a secure one because he had loving and caring parents.-He had all necessary things which included food, clothes, medicine, etc.
Do you think the new teacher deserved the treatment meted out to him ?
Why/why not ?
Yes, he deserved the treatment meted out to him. He was spreading the poison of communal intolerance among the young minds which was a serious crime. If a teacher indulges in such a mean act he deserves no sympathy.
What was the difference in the attitudes of the science teacher and his wife towards A.P.J. Abdul Kalam ?
Though his science teacher was an orthodox Hindu, he broke the social barriers, and mixed with other religions and commjmities. He invited Abdul home and served him meals and even sat and ate with him. On the contrary, his wife was conservative and refused to serve Abdul.
How did Second World War give opportunity to Kalam to earn his first wages ?
Kalam’s cousin was a news agent. Train halt at Rameshwaram station was suspended. So, the newspapers were bundled up and thrown out from a moving train. Kalam helped his cousin to catch the bundles. He was given money for it.
How does Abdul Kalam describe his mother ?
Abdul Kalam describes his mother by saying that she was an ideal wife and a gentle lady. He learnt from his mother to be gentle and kind. She even used to feed a lot of outsiders every day.
What did Abdul Kalam’s family do during the annual Shri Sita Ram Kalayanam Ceremony ?
Abdul Kalam’s family arranged for a boat with a special platform for carrying the idols of Lord Shri Sita Ram from the temple to the marriage sites situated in the middle of a pond called as Rama Tirtha. His parents even told him stories from the Ramayana.
What characteristics did Abdul Kalam inherited from his parents ?
Abdul Kalam inherited honesty and self discipline from his father and faith in goodness and kindness from his mother. Like his parents even he respected all religions. Long Answer Type Questions (4 marks each)
(About 80-100 words each)
What do you know about A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s family after reading the lesson “My childhood”?
A.PJ. Abdul Kalam tells us that his family was a Tamil middle class family from Rameshwaram. His father Jainulabdeen was not much educated, wasn’t rich but was generous, wise, simple man
but very strict and severe. His mother Ashiamma was a generous lady, and used to feed unlimited numbers of people in their home. Kalam’s family respected all religions. They took part in Hindu festivals. His mother and grandmother told him stories from Ramayana. They always showered their love on their children and never forced their thoughts on them.
What incident took place at the Rameshwaram Elementry School when a new teacher came to the class ?
Kalam used to wear a cap and Ramanandha Sastry wore a sacred thread which marked him to be a Brahmin. When the new teacher came he could not tolerate a Hindu priest’s son sitting with a Muslim boy. He ordered Kalam to go and sit on the back bench. This made Ramanandha sad. Abdul started to sit in the last row but it left a bad impression on Abdul. Both the kids narrated the incident to their parents. As a result the teacher was rebuked and reprimanded for spreading communalism and hatred among children.
How did Abdul Kalam earn his “first wages” ? How did he feel at that time?
Kalam was only 8 years old when the second world war broke out in 1939. Then there was a great demand for tamarind seeds. Abdul used to collect those seeds and sell them in the market. His cousin Shamsuddin distributed newspapers. The train would not stop at Rameshwaram and the bundles of newspapers were thrown from the running train. Abdul was employed by his cousin to collect them. This way he earned his first wages. He felt very proud on earning his first wage.
“Once you decide to change the system, such problems have to be confronted.” What system is being refer in the sentence from the chapter “My Childhood”? What are such problems ?
System means system of discrimination on the basis of religion. The system includes the narrow-mindedness and poison of social inequality and communal intolerance. The Brahmins did not allow Muslims to enter their kitchen. The science teacher – a rebel by nature, invited Kalam to his home and proved that if one is determined to face problems and change the system, he will definitely succeed. Though, such indifferences come in everybody’s life but a person should have a broader outlook and overcome the obstacles.
How was the Science teacher Siva Subramaniam Iyer, though an orthodox. Brahmin with a very conservative wife, a friend of Abdul Kalam. Give incidents to support your answer.
The Science teacher, Siva Subramaniam Iyer, wanted to break the social barriers between the Hindus and the Muslims. He wanted Kalam to be very highly educated as he recognized his intelligence. One day, he invited him over to a meal. His orthodox wife was totally horrified at the idea of a Muslim boy dining in her ritually pure kitchen. He did not mind anything said by his very conservative wife. He rather served the food to Abdul by his own hands. He also sat with him and dined together as well as invited him over again for another meal the coming weekend. Thus, this shows that he was a friend of Abdul Kalam even though Kalam was a Muslim and he himself was an orthodox Brahmin. Value Based Question (4 marks)
‘Childhood’ is the formative period of a child’s life. The lessons learnt here always stays with a person. Comment on it in the light of the lesson A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is one of the finest scientists in our country and was also our eleventh President. From his autobiography “Wings of Fire” it is amply clear that lessons learnt in our childhood not only shape our personality but also decide the kind of person we become. He learnt the lessons of religious tolerance, honesty and self-discipline early in his life. These qualities stayed with him throughout his life and have helped to make him one of the finest President of our country with so many diverse cultures.
NO MEN ARE FOREIGN
Thinking about the Poem
Question 1. (i) “Beneath all unifor ms…” What uniforms do you think the poet is speaking about?
(ii) How does the poet suggest that all people on earth are the same?
Answer: (i) The poet is speaking about the various kinds of dresses and outfits people wear.
(ii) The poet says that the uniforms (outfits) must be different but there is a human body beneath those uniforms and all of us will lie in the same earth when we die.
Question 2. In stanza 1, find five ways in which we all are alike. Pick out the words.
Answer: The poet points out five ways in which we are all alike. Here are the words from the poem:
– no men are strange
– no countries foreign
– a single body breathes
– the land our brothers walk upon (the same planet)
– (the same earth) in which we all shall lie
Question 3. How many common features can you find in stanza 2? Pick out the words.
Answer: Following are the common features which we can find in stanza 2:
– aware of sun and air and water
– which means all humans have the need and awareness of the sun, water and air)
– fed by peaceful harvests – all humans are fed by peacefully harvested food and grains
– Their hands are ours, – they too have hands similar to ours
– in their lines we read a labour not different from our own – their hands also show the hard work and labor they perform
Question 4. “…whenever we are told to hate our brothers…” When do you think this happens? Why?
Who ‘tells’ us? Should we do as we are told at such times? What does the poet say?
Answer: We are told to hate other humans from different country, religion or social group during wars and fights. These are told by selfish people who want wars and revenge instead of peace. They instill bad thoughts and feelings for other humans for their own benefit and cause riots. No, we should not do as told at such times. We should try to make the world more peaceful.
• The poet says that we should always remember that the people we are told to fight against are also
• human beings like us. We are all the same. There is no foreign land and there are no ‘foreign’ men.