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Extra Questions, Notes, Assignment and study material for Class 9th as Per CBSE Syllabus
Chapter- 2 English Language and Literature
By- Anees Jung
About the Author
Anees Jung – A Short Biography
Anees Jung (b. Rourkela 1964), journalist and columnist for major newspapers in India and abroad, whose most noted work, Unveiling India (1987) is a detailed chronicle of the lives of women in India, noted especially for the depiction of Muslim women behind the purdah.
Theme / Central Idea of the Lesson. Analysis of Lost Spring
Spring is the season of bloom. Spring is a metaphor of childhood and is associated with every child at the beginning of a bright future. Childhood is associated with innocence, physical stamina and vitality. It is also the stage for gaining skill and knowledge, learning and going to school.
‘Lost Spring’ by Anees Jung is a description of those poor children who are condemned to poverty and a life of exploitation. The two protagonists of the chapter, Saheb-e-Alam and Mukesh, lose their childhood while carrying the burden of poverty and illiteracy. In their bleak stories of exploitation, the author finds glimpses of resilience and hope.
In this story, the author unveils the utter destitution of the ragpickers of Seemapuri and the bangle makers of Firozabad. This story describes the grinding poverty and traditions that compel the children to live a life of exploitation.
Justify the title of Lost Spring
Suitability and Appropriateness of Title
‘Lost Spring’ describes two stories of stolen childhood. Millions of children in India, instead of spending their days in schools and playgrounds waste their childhood in rag picking or hazardous industries. Childhood is the spring of life. But millions of unfortunate children like Saheb and Mukesh waste this spring either scrounging in the garbage dumps of Seemapuri or welding glass bangles in the blast furnaces of Firozabad. Their childhood is lost to the demands of survival. Hence, the title is quite apt.
Moral/ Message of the lesson – Lost Spring
The lesson ‘Lost Spring’ shares two ‘stories of stolen childhood’. The characters and places are different but the problem is the same. Thousands of Sahebs and Mukesh are condemned to live a life of misery and exploitation. Grinding poverty and traditions compel children to work in the most inhuman and hostile conditions. The author succeeds in highlighting the plight of such unfortunate children.
1.Ragpickers of Seemapuri (periphery of Delhi-miles away metaphorically-located nearby but lacks the luxury/glamour associated with the city). Squatters from Bangladesh came in 1971-10,000 ragpickers.
(i) Left homes in Dhaka-storms swept away fields & homes.
(ii) Prefer living here-with ration cards can feed families. Children partners in survival-rag picking-fine art-is gold-gets them a roof overhead.
For children-wrapped in wonder/for parents-means of survival.
(iii) Saheb E Alam—name ironical-means lord of the universe-scrounges in the garbage. Would like to go to school, but there is none in the neighbourhood, so, picks garbage.
(iv) Live in terrible conditions—structures of mud-roots of tin & tarpaulin, devoid of sewage, drainage, running water.
(v) Saheb unhappy at tea stall-gets Rs. 800, all his meals-but lost his freedom-bag his own-Canister belongs to the owner of the Tea shop.
(vi) Desire but do not own shoes. Most moved around barefoot, due to poverty, not tradition as one was led to believe.
2.Firozabad— the centre of glass blowing industry-Bangle makers-working in hazardous conditions.
(i) Mukesh’s family live in terrible conditions-work in glass furnaces with high temperatures, dingy cells, without air & tight, stinking lanes, choked with garbage, crumbling walls, wobbly doors, no windows, crowded with families of humans & animals co-existing in a primaeval state.
Often lose brightness of eyes.
(ii) Mind-numbing toil-all these years has killed all initiative & ability to dream.
(iii) Do not organize into the co-operatives-vicious circle of middlemen, if organized-hauled by police, jailed, beaten for doing something illegal. Life moves from poverty to apathy to greed & to injustice.
(iv) distinct worlds—one family caught in a web of poverty, burdened, by the stigma of caste in which they are born; the other a vicious circle of sahukars, the middlemen, the politicians, the policemen, the bureaucrats.
Daring-not a part of growing up.
Mukesh’s attitude different-dares to dream of being a motor mechanic.
(v) Miserable plight & occupation of the people in Firozabad-centre of the glass blowing industry.
Every family engaged in working at furnaces, welding glass, making bangles, for generations.
Has about 20,000children working in hot furnaces, slogging daylight hours, often losing the brightness of their eyes before they become adults.
(vi) The scene in Mukesh’s house-wobbly iron door, half-built shack. In one part, thatched with dead grass, a firewood stove over which was placed a large vessel of sizzling spinach leaves. More chopped vegetables in a large platter. A frail young woman, Mukesh’s elder brother’s wife was cooking the evening meal for the whole family.
(vii) Reaction to poverty-Resigned to their fate-born to the caste of bangle makers. Mukesh’s father was initially a tailor, then a bangle maker; had worked hard but had not been able to either renovate his house or send his sons to school. Could only teach them bangle making.
Mukesh’s grandmother had seen her husband go blind with the dust from polishing bangles.
Accepted fate-God gave lineage, that could not be broken.
(viii) Mukesh’s dream-wants to be a motor mechanic-decided to go to a garage to learn about cars. Will walk all the distance. (ix) Irony — Savita’s story-Young girl, working mechanically, soldering pieces of glass. Unaware of the sacred significance of bangles/ suhaag for Indian women. Would realize it when she became a bride. The old woman had bangles on her wrist but no light in eyes. Had not enjoyed even a full meal in her life. Husband knew only bangle making.
Had only built a house for his family.
Short and Simple Summary of the lesson in English– Lost Spring / Summary in simple Words/ Critical appreciation of the lesson – Lost Spring
‘Sometimes I Find A Rupee in the Garbage’
The author would come across Saheb every morning. She always found him searching for something in a heap of garbage. One morning she asked him, “Why do you do this?” He replied, “I have nothing else to do.” She told him to go to school but there was no school in his neighbourhood. She asked him whether he would study if she started school. Saheb was happy. He said he would go to her school. But she did not intend starting a school in the near future. She realized what an impact her words spoken casually had on Saheb.
Saheb’s full name is Saheb-e-Alam. It means the Lord of the Universe. But the poor boy wandered on roads along with other poor barefoot boys like him.
The author talked to Saheb’s companions. One of the barefoot boys told her that it was a tradition to walk barefoot. But the author does not agree with them. She asserts that a perpetual state of poverty is the real cause. Some children are lucky. Their prayer to get shoes has been granted but the ragpickers remain barefooted.
The ragpickers live in Seemapuri. Seemapuri is very close to Delhi, but there is a world of difference between the two places.
Like all other families of ragpickers, Saheb’s family had come from Bangladesh in 1971. They came here because their homes and fields were destroyed by storms. They had nothing to live on.
About 10,000 ragpickers live in Seemapuri. They live in mud structures with roofs of tin and tarpaulin. They lack all civic amenities like sewage and running water. They have voter identity cards and ration cards. This enables them to cast their votes and buy food. They move about and pitch their tents wherever they can find food. Ragpicking is their sole means of earning a livelihood.
Saheb used to stand outside a club. He watched young men playing tennis, a game, which fascinated him. He wished to play tennis. Someone gave him a pair of discarded tennis shoes. It was like a dream coming true. Of course, playing tennis was out of his reach.
Saheb got a job in a tea-stall. He was paid 800 rupees a month and all meals. Perhaps he was not happy. He had lost his carefree life and his freedom. He was no longer his own master.
‘I Want to Drive a Car’
The author visited Firozabad. Firozabad is famous for its bangle making industry. Almost every other family in Firozabad is engaged in making glass bangles for women all over India. Glass bangles are a symbol of a woman’s marital status.
Mukesh’s family was engaged in making bangles. Mukesh took the author to his house. They went through stinking lanes choked with garbage. Families of bangle makers lived there. Their houses had crumbling walls and wobbly doors.
They enter Mukesh’s house which was like any other house in the lane. A frail young woman was cooking meals on a firewood stove. Her eyes were filled with smoke. She greeted the author with a smile. She was the wife of Mukesh’s elder brother. She was respected as the daughter-in-law of the family.
Mukesh’s father also came in. The daughter-in-law covered her face with a veil as custom demanded. Mukesh’s father was old and weak. He had lost his eyesight with the dust from polishing glass bangles. He had worked hard all his life. But he could not afford to send his two sons to school. He could only teach them the art of making bangles. He had built the house but could not repair it.
Mukesh’s grandmother expressed her belief in destiny. She said that it was their karma (deeds) that they were born into the bangle maker’s caste. It was their destiny to suffer. But no man could change what was already decided by fate. In fact, her belief was shared by all the people of Firozabad.
Another woman told the author that despite hard work they had never had a full meal in their whole life.
The author could see bangles everywhere. She saw boys and girls welding pieces of coloured glass. Their eyes would get used to the darkness and they often lost their eyesight before they were adults. At home, families worked hard all day in front of furnaces with high temperatures. This led to many children becoming blind before they reached adulthood.
Generation after generation, families of bangle makers have been engaged in making bangles. They live in poverty, they work hard and die in poverty. Nothing has changed with the passage of time. They find themselves in the clutches of middlemen and moneylenders. If the youth try to organise themselves, they realise that the police and the administration will not help them. If they try to get out of the vicious circle, they are in trouble. The police beat them and put them in jail.
It is not easy for a bangle maker to do something different. The stigma of his caste always goes with him. But Mukesh wants to be a motor mechanic. He wants to learn this work at a garage far away from home. He wants to be his own master.
Saheb, son of a migrant family from Dhaka, is a ragpicker who lives in Seemapuri, at the periphery of Delhi, and goes about barefoot rummaging around in the heaps of garbage to earn his livelihood. For children like Saheb, a heap of garbage is like a gold mine. Thousands of such children live with their families in Seemapuri. They live in a slum with not even the basic amenities such as water and sanitation available to them. These families are living in utter poverty. The children have nothing else to do except ragpicking through which they earn something to eat at least. Garbage to the elders is a means of survival but for these children, it is a magical wonder. In order to earn better, Saheb starts working at a tea-stall where he is paid, Rs.800 per month but it seems he, after this, has lost his carefreeness. He works for someone else and is no longer his own master. This loss of identity weighs heavily on his tender shoulders.
AneesJung, then tells about Mukesh, another young boy, who wants to be his own master. He is a boy from Firozabad’s glass making industry and as a family tradition, he has always worked in the glass bangle factory. Here, the children work in close proximity of furnaces and in such high temperatures that they are exposed to various health hazards, even losing their eyesight.
Mukesh’sfamily, like other families of Firozabad, are victims of poverty. His father is blind, and they live in a small half-constructed house. These people of Firozabad are exploited by the sahukars, the middlemen, the policemen, the bureaucrats and the politicians. But Mukesh is different and confident, He wants to be a motor mechanic.
In the story, the author brings out the depravity of child labour. In fact, childhood is considered as spring of human life and should full of joy, pleasure and play. But ironically millions of children like Saheb and Mukesh have lost their spring, i.e. childhood by getting engaged in making a living.
Following is the complete question bank for – Lost Spring
MCQ Based Questions-
MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS (MCQ – TEST)
1.’Why do you do this?’ This question was asked by the author to
(a) the bangle sellers (b) Mahesh
(c) Saheb (d) Saheb’s mother
2.Saheb’s profession was that of a
(a) cook (b) rag-picker (c) bangle seller (d) driver
3.Saheb’s home, before Delhi, was in
(a) Bengal (b) Orissa (c) Dhaka (d) Bihar
4.Why did Saheb and his family move to Delhi?
(a) because storms had swept away their fields and homes
(b) their village was flooded
(c) there were landslides
(d) there was a deadly epidemic in the village
5.What were Saheb and his family looking for in Delhi?
(a) dollars (b) rupees (c) pounds (d) gold
6. The author advised Saheb to go to
(a) school (b) college (c) club (d) playground
7. ‘Is your school ready? Who asked this question?
(a) Saheb’s mother (b) Saheb’s friends (c) the author (d) Saheb
8. Saheb’s full name was
(a) Mughal-e-Azam (b) Saheb-e-Alam
(c) Shahenshah-e-Alam (d) Shah Jahan
9. One explanation which the author gets about children choosing to remain barefoot is
(a) they have no money (b) tradition
(c) no matching pairs (d) like to wear only chappals
10. The man from Udipi was the son of an
(a) doctor (b) teacher (c) priest (d) engineer
11. What did the man from Udipi pray for, when he was young?
(a) a pair of trousers (b) a pair of shoes
(c) a few friends (d) an opportunity to study in a school
12. The author visited the town and temple of Udipi after
(a) ten years (b) five years (c) thirty years (d) fifteen years
13. The colony of ragpickers is situated in
(a) the south of Delhi (b) Mongolpuri
(c) Jehangirpuri (d) Seemapuri
14. The squatters in Seemapuri arrived as refugees from Bangladesh in
(a) 1965 (b) 1971 (c) 1982 (d) 1986
15. The rag pickers have no identity, but they have
(a) permits (b) passports (c) ration cards (d) licenses
16. For the rag pickers, food is more important than
(a) clothes (b) shoes (c) identity (d) shelter
17. According to the author, rag picking has become, over the years, a
(a) profession (b) fine art (c) tradition (d) culture
18. Garbage to the rag pickers is
(a) money (b) daily bread, a roof over their heads
(c) gold (d) silver
19. One day, Saheb was seen by the author, watching some young men playing
(a) cricket (b) tennis (c) hockey (d) soccer
20. Saheb did not like to work in the tea-stall because
(a) he was getting only Z 800 (b) he hated the steel canister
(c) he was no longer his own master (d) he had to carry heavy bags now
21. Mukesh belonged to a family of
(a) farmers (b) rag-pickers (c) bangle makers (d) motor mechanics
22. What did Mukesh want to become, on growing up?
(a) a motor mechanic (b) a shopkeeper
(c) a bangle maker (d) a carpenter
23. Bangle industry flourishes in the town of
(a) Ferozepur (b) Firozabad (c) Ferozgarh (d) Farukhabad
24. The families of the bangle-makers live in
(a) comfortable environment (b) big houses
(c) very small houses (d) factories
25. If laws were to be enforced, it would bring about change and relief in the lives of about
(a) ten thousand children (b) twenty thousand children
(c) hundred children (d) a thousand children
26. Mukesh’s house is covered with
(a) stones (b) bricks (c) tiles (d) thatch
27. The frail woman in Mukesh’s house is his
(a) mother (b) elder brother’s wife (c) wife (d), niece
28. Mukesh’s father is a
(a) car-driver (b) bangle-maker (c) cracker-maker (d) mechanic
29. What was the profession of Mukesh’s father before he became a bangle-maker?
(a) tailor (b) carpenter (c) plumber (d) Mason
30. ‘Can a god-given lineage ever be broken?’ These words were spoken by
(a) Mukesh (b) Mukesh’s grandfather
(c) Mukesh’s grandmother (d) the author
31. Sunny-gold, paddy green, royal blue, pink, purple, every colour born out of the seven colours of the rainbow. What is this a reference to?
(a) clothes (b) birds (c) bangles (d) bindis
32. Savita, a young girl is seen by the author,
(a) stitching clothes (b) washing clothes
(c) soldering pieces of glass (d) embroidering a sheet
33. Which of the objects below best serves as a symbol of an Indian woman’s `suhag’?
(a) bindi (b) sindoor (c) bangles (d) henna-dyed hands
34. ‘She has not enjoyed a full meal in her entire lifetime’. Who is ‘she’ in the given sentence?
(a) the elderly woman sitting close to Savita
(b) Mukesh’s sister-in-law
(c) Mukesh’s mother (d) Mukesh’s grandmother
35. “One wonders if he has achieved what many have failed to achieve in their lifetime. He has a roof over his head”; these lines were said in reference to the condition of
(a) the elderly woman’s old husband (b) Mukesh’s father
(c) the bangle factory owner (d) Mukesh’s elder brother
36. Who will be hauled up by the police if they try to get organized?
(a) the old citizens (b) the owners of the factories
(c) the group of young men (d) Mukesh’s family
37. What bothers the author most about the bangle makers?
(a) the stigma of poverty and caste (b) the affluence of the landlords
(c) the behaviour of the factory owners (d) the labour laws
38. The sahukars, the middlemen, the policemen, the keepers of the law, the bureaucrats and the politicians. Together these people
(a) worked for the benefit or bangle makers
(b) imposed the baggage on the child that he cannot put down
(c) worked for the upliftment of women
(d) abolished child labour
39. Mukesh wants to learn to become a motor mechanic by
(a) finding a tutor (b) going to a garage to learn
(c) by reading books (d) by joining a school
40. He is content to dream of cars. Who is ‘he’ being talked about?
(a) Mukesh (b) Saheb (c) Sahukar (d) Politician
1. (c) Saheb
2. (b) rag-picker
3. (c) Dhaka
4.(a) because storms had swept away their fields and homes
6. (a) school
7. (d) Saheb
8. (b) Saheb-e-Alam
11. (b) a pair of shoes
12. (c) thirty years
13. (d) Seemapuri
14. (b) 1971
15. (a) permits
16. (c) identity
17. (b) fine art
18. (b) daily bread, a roof over their heads
20. (c) he was no longer his own master
21. (c) bangle makers
22. (a) a motor mechanic
23. (b) Firozabad
24.(c) very small houses
25. (b) twenty thousand children
26. (d) thatch
27. (b) elder brother’s wife
28. (b) bangle-maker
30. (c) Mukesh’s grandmother
31. (c) bangles
32.(c) soldering pieces of glass
33. (c) bangles
34. (a) the elderly woman sitting close to Savita
35.(a) the elderly woman’s old husband
36. (c) the group of young men
37.(a) the stigma of poverty and caste
38.(b) imposed the baggage on the child that he cannot put down
39.(b) going to a garage to learn
40. (a) Mukesh
Short Answer Type Questions (30 to 40 words)
SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Q1. What could be some of the reasons for the migration of people from villages to cities?
Ans. The people migrate from villages to cities because of natural disasters and resulting poverty. A rag picker recollects many storms that have swept away his fields and home in Dhaka. That is why they left, looking for gold in the big city where he now lives.
Q2. Would you agree that promises made to poor children are rarely kept? Why do you think this happens in the incidents narrated in the text?
Ans. I agree that promises made to poor children are rarely kept. It is easy to tell poor children that they should be in school, but are we ever in a position to start a school? As individuals, it is difficult to provide facilities and assistance that can remove poverty.
Q3. What is Saheb looking for in the garbage dumps? Where is he and where has he come from?
Ans. Saheb lives on the garbage dumps in Seemapuri on the outskirts of Delhi. His family came from Bangladesh. Survival in Seemapuri means rag picking. Garbage to them is gold. Saheb looks for coins in the heaps of garbage. He even finds a ten rupee note sometimes. When you can find a silver coin in a heap of garbage you don’t stop scrounging, for there is hope of finding more.
Q4. Describe Seemapuri.
Ans. Seemapuri is in the periphery of Delhi, yet miles away from it metaphorically. Squatters who came from Bangladesh in 1971 live here. Their shanties are devoid of sewage, drainage and running water. The main occupation of the people living there is rag picking.
Q5. What is the meaning of Saheb’s full name? What does he do the whole day?
Ans. His full name is ‘Saheb-e-Alam’. It means the lord of the universe. He does not know it. If he knew it, he would not believe it. He roams the sheets barefoot with other children carrying plastic bags and scrounging for garbage.
Q6. Describe the importance of garbage in the life of residents of Seemapuri.
Ans. Garbage has acquired the proportions of a fine art. For the elders, garbage is a means of survival and for the small children who scrounge heaps of garbage, it is wrapped in wonder. Sometimes they find a rupee or even a ten rupee note. This gives them hope of finding more.
Q7. Where does the author find Saheb one winter morning? What does a dream come true for him?
Ans. The author finds Saheb standing by the fenced gat of a neighbourhood club. He is watching two young men, dressed in white playing tennis. He is wearing discarded tennis shoes. One of them has a hole. Having walked barefoot, even shoes with a hole is a dream come true.
Q8. What explanations does the author offer for the children not wearing footwear?
Ans. Travelling across the country the author has observed children walking barefoot in cities and on village roads. It does not lack money but a tradition to stay barefoot is one explanation. The author wonders if this is only an excuse to explain away a constant state of poverty.
Q9. Is Saheb happy working at the Tea Stall? Explain.
Ans. Saheb has got a job at a small tea stall. He is paid 800 and all his meals. There seems to be some improvement in his condition but his face has lost the carefree look. The steel canister that he carries belongs to the owner of the shop. It seems heavier than the plastic bag he used to carry as a rag picker. ‘Saheb is no longer his own master’.
Q10. What makes the city of Firozabad famous?
Ans. Firozabad is famous for bangles. Every other family in Firozabad is engaged in making bangles. It is the centre of India’s glass blowing industry where families have spent generations working around furnaces, welding glass, making bangles for women all over India.
Q11. Mention the hazards of working in the glass bangles industry.
Ans. The glass bangle industry of Firozabad employs children and they work in very unhealthy and hazardous conditions. They are made to work in the glass furnaces with high temperatures, in dingy cells without air and light. Almost twenty thousand children work in the hot furnaces, often losing the brightness of their eyes. A number of workers become blind with the dust from polishing the glass of bangles. Many children lose their eyesight before they become adults.
Q12. How is Mukesh’s attitude toward his situation different from that of his family?
Ans. Mukesh insists on being his own master. He has seen enough of the poverty, the dangers and the sub-human living conditions of the glass bangle industry. He wants to be a motor mechanic. His resourcefulness and determination to break free are admirable, even though ‘his dream looks like a mirage’, amidst the dust of streets. He stands out with a positive attitude which is so different from that of his family. The people of Ferozabad are struggling to survive the burden of the lineage. Mukesh, on the other hand, wants to rebuild his destiny and not be a glass bangle maker.
Q13. What forces conspire to keep the workers in the bangle industry of Firozabad in poverty?
Ans. The workers in the bangle industry have remained in poverty and years of mind-numbing labour has destroyed their initiative and ability to dream. They cannot organize themselves into a cooperative as they have fallen into a vicious circle of middlemen who trapped their fathers and forefathers. The police beat them up if they get organized, there is no leader who can take up their cause. The author identifies the forces that conspire against them. They are the stigma of caste, a destructive cycle of the Sahukars, the middlemen, the policemen, the keepers of the law, the bureaucrats and the politicians.
Q14. How does the author focus on the ‘perpetual state of poverty’ of the children not wearing footwear?
Ans. Most of the young ragpickers do not wear footwear. The author noticed this. Some of them were even without chappals. The children wanted to wear shoes though some of then say that it is tradition to stay barefoot. The author attributes it to the scarcity of money. It is poverty that does not allow them to possess footwear.
Q15. Explain ‘For children, garbage has a meaning different from what it means to their parents’.
Ans. The small ragpickers scrounge heaps of garbage for some coin, note or valuable things. Sometimes they do find a rupee or even a ten rupee note. Then they hope to find more. They search excitedly. For children, garbage is wrapped in wonder. For the grown-ups, it is a means of survival. Hence, garbage has two different meanings.
Q16. Who is Mukesh? What is his dream? Why does it look like a ‘mirage amidst the dust’?
Ans. Mukesh is the son of a poor bangle maker of Firozabad, where every other family is engaged in making bangles. His poor father has been unable to renovate the house or educate his sons. Mukesh wants to be his own master and dreams of becoming a motor mechanic. He wants to drive a car. But the conditions under which he exists, make this dreamlike an illusion, a mirage.
Q17. What contrast do you notice between the colours of the bangles and the atmosphere of the place where these bangles are made?
Ans. The bangles made in Firozabad are of every hue (colour) born out of the rainbow. They are sunny, gold, paddy green, royal blue, pink and purple. Boys and girls work in dark dingy huts next to the flames of oil lamps around the high heat of the furnaces, blowing glass, welding and soldering it to make bangles. The colours of the bangles ironically have no meaning for the bangle makers.
Q18. The bangle makers are ignorant of something. What is it? What would happen if laws were enforced strictly?
Ans. The bangle-makers are unaware of the fact that child labour is illegal and has been banned by law. The industry is hazardous to their health. Many children become blind before reaching adulthood. If the law were enforced strictly, 20000 children would be released from working hard throughout the day at hot furnaces with high temperatures.
Q19. `Savita is a symbol of innocence and efficiency’. Comment.
Ans. Savita is a young girl. She has put on a drab pink dress. She is soldering pieces of glass. Her hands move mechanically and efficiently like the tongs of a machine. She is innocent and does not understand the sanctity of the bangles that she is working so hard to create.
Q20. Why can’t the bangle makers not organize themselves into a cooperative?
Ans. Most of the young bangle makers are subjected to exploitation at the hands of the middlemen. They are frightened of the police who usually haul them up, beat them and drag them to jail for daring to form co-operatives. There is no leader among them to help out and their parents are too old and helpless. Hence, the idea of organizing themselves into a cooperative becomes too far-fetched.
21. Who is Mukesh? What is his dream?
Ans. Mukesh is a young boy from a poor family of Firozabad. His family is under heavy debt and is working in a bangle-making factory for generations. But Mukesh is different and dreams of becoming a motor mechanic and drive a car.
22. Why could the bangle makers not organise themselves into a cooperative?
Ans. The bangle makers could not organise themselves into a cooperative due to being exploited by the middlemen. They are not able to break the vicious circle which is created by the middlemen, sahukars, politicians, bureaucrats and policemen.
23. How is Mukesh’s attitude to his situation different from that of his family members?
Ans. Though Mukesh belongs to a bangle maker family, he has his ambition to be a motor mechanic. He doesn’t want to be subjected to the exploitation of the middlemen. He wants to break the generations-old family tradition of bangle making.
24. Why had the ragpickers come to live in Seemapuri?
Ans. The ragpickers are the migrants from Bangladesh. They have been living at Seemapuri since 1971. They have no identity and no permit. They only have ration cards that get their names on the voters’ list and enable them to buy grain. These are refugees from Bangladesh who come and settled in Seemapuri 45 years ago.
25. To which country did Saheb’s parents originally belong? Why did they come to India?
Ans. Saheb’s parents originally belonged to Bangladesh. They left their village in Dhaka in 1971 due to extreme poverty and migrated to Delhi and started living at Seemapuri.
26. In what sense is garbage gold to the ragpickers?
What does garbage mean to the children of Seemapuri and to their parents?
Ans. Garbage is gold to the ragpickers because in the garbage, they hope to get something useful for them, or some money, or some articles which can be sold at the junk shop to fetch them money. For the ragpickers, garbage is a means of their livelihood. For children of the ragpickers, garbage is wrapped in wonder. They find new things in the garbage every day.
27. Whom does Anees Jung Name for the sorry plight of the bangle makers?
Ans. Anees Jung says the bangle makers of Firozabad are caught in the vicious circle of sahukars, middlemen, police, bureaucrats and politicians who keep on exploiting them. Due to this, bangle makers are not able to organize themselves into a cooperative.
28. How is Mukesh different from other bangle makers of Firozabad?
Describe Mukesh as an ambitious person.
Ans. Mukesh, a young boy of a bangle makers’ family in Firozabad, is different from others because he is ambitious and wants to break the generations-old traditions. He, unlike others, doesn’t want to make bangles. He wants to be a motor mechanic and drive a car.
29. How was Saheb’s life at the tea stall?
Ans. Saheb lost his freedom as a child at the tea stall. Though earning? 800 per month and two times meal, he was not happy. Now he was no more his own master. He had to obey his employer and had lost the carefree life that he had earlier.
30. Justify the title `Lost Spring’.
Ans. Spring symbolizes ‘childhood’. In the chapter ‘Lost Spring’, Anees Jung has described the lost childhood of thousands of poor children in our country who live in slums like Seemapuri or work in the bangle industry of Firozabad.
31. What was Saheb full name? Why was it ironical?
Ans. Saheb’s full name was ‘Saheb-e-Alam’ which means the master of the universe. But, on the contrary, Saheb is a victim of poverty. He lives in a slum and is not able to get a meal. So the name of Saheb is highly ironical.
32. ‘Seemapuri is on the periphery of Delhi yet miles away from it metaphorically.’ What does the author mean by this?
Ans. Seemapuri is on the periphery of Delhi which is a metropolitan city and the capital of India. The living conditions at Seemapuri are highly pathetic. This place is devoid of even basic facilities such as to as sewage drainage and running water. The houses are made of mud with the roof of tin and tarpaulin. It is beyond imagination that such a place is part of a progressive and developed capital of the country.
33. ‘Together they have imposed the baggage on the child that he cannot put down.’ Who do ‘they’ refer to? What is the ‘baggage’ and why can the child not get rid of it?
Ans. ‘They’ refers to the sahukars, middlemen, bureaucrats, politicians and policemen. Together all these forces have created a vicious circle for the bangle makers. The ‘baggage’ refers to the burden or the compulsion to work in the bangle factories. The child cannot refuse to work in these factories due to the heavy debt on his parents. As a result, they are compelled to work in hazardous conditions.
24. ‘When I sense a flash of it in Mukesh I am cheered.’ What is this a reference to and why does it make the author happy?
Ans. This refers to the fact that Mukesh had the courage to think differently and dream of a better life. Unlike others, Mukesh had dared to dream. This is something which makes the author happy. She is pleased to see the spark of optimism and determination in Mukesh’ eyes.
Important Long/ Detailed Answer Type Questions- to be answered in about 100 -150 words each
ESSAY TYPE QUESTIONS
Q1. ‘The beauty of the glass bangles of Firozabad contrasts with the misery of people who produce them’. Mention the hazards of working in the glass bangle industry. Discuss the endless spiral of poverty, apathy, greed and injustice present there.
Ans. The lesson ‘Lost Spring’ describes the pathetic condition of the bangle-makers. On the one hand, it is the plight of the street children forced into labour early in life and denied the opportunity of studying in schools. The glass industry has its own hazards. The illegal employment of very young children and the pathetic working conditions leads to many children becoming blind. They work in glass furnaces with high temperatures. Their dingy cells have no light, nor any ventilation. Boys and girls work under these conditions while welding pieces of coloured glass to make bangles. Their eyes are more adjusted to the dark than to the light outside. They thus often lose their eyesight at a young age.
Over and above this, it is the apathy and callousness of society and the political class to the sufferings of the poor that makes us feel sympathetic towards these bangle makers. The poverty-stricken bangle makers also suffer because of the exploitation at tthe he hands of the middlemen and politicians. They do not improve their lot and instead get only beaten up by the police. They are unable to organize themselves. Hence, their life is full of sufferings i.e. physical and emotional.
Q2. “For the children, it is wrapped in wonder, for the elders, it is a means of survival.” What kind of life do the rag-pickers of Seemapuri lead? Answer in about 120-150 words. [All India 2017]
Ans. Seemapuri is a settlement of ragpickers. It is a place on the outskirts of Delhi. Those who live here are squatters who came from Bangladesh in 1971. They live here without an identity and permits. They do have ration cards that enable them to vote and buy grain. Food is more important for them than their identity. Children grow up to become partners in survival. And survival in Seemapuri means rag-picking. Through the years it has acquired the ‘proportions of a fine art’. An army of barefoot children appears in the morning with their plastic bags on their shoulders. They disappear by noon. Garbage has a different meaning for children. For them, it is wrapped in `wonder’. They may find a rupee even a ten rupee note or a silver coin. There is always hope of finding more. But Seemapuri is a hell. Ragpickers live in structures of mud. They have roofs of tin and tarpaulin. There is no sewage, drainage or running water. It is unimaginable that it is a part of Delhi.
3. ‘Grinding poverty and traditions condemn the children of ragpickers or bangle makers to a life of exploitation. Such children are deprived of all opportunities in life. Mukesh, who opts out of the existing profession of his forefathers by resolving to start a new job of a motor mechanic symbolises the modern youth. What lesson do we learn from Mukesh’s example?
Ans.No doubt grinding poverty and tradition have condemned the children of ragpickers and bangle makers to a life of exploitation. The ragpickers’ children have accepted their fate to be barefoot as their tradition. Similarly, bangle makers persist with bangle making, saying it is their karma. Their spirits due to constant suppression and servitude make them incapable of raising their voices against injustice and exploitation.
Mukeshsymbolises the modern youth who dares to fight with their destiny and change it. He has hope and aspiration to do differently and better his future. In spite of the environment, he is living in, and with no support from his family, Mukesh wants to break the age-old tradition to work as a bangle maker throughout his life. He wants to be a motor mechanic. This shows that one should not give up hope even in the worst circumstances and always strive to do better.
4. ‘Lost Spring’ explains the grinding poverty and traditions that condemn thousands of people to a lift of abject poverty. Do you agree? Why/Why not?
Ans. ‘Lost Spring’ is indeed a description of the grinding poverty and traditions that condemn thousands of people to a life of abject poverty.
Saheb, a young ragpicker is doomed to live a miserable life of poverty. He wants to go to school and play tennis. Due to poverty, he has to even give up his freedom and start working as a helper at a tea shop. Here he is burdened with the commands of his employer and is forced to live a miserable life. Another such example is that of Mukesh who belongs to a bangle makers family in Firozabad. He wants to be a motor mechanic. But his family traditions and poverty have forced him to work in the inhumane conditions of a bangle factory, in dark rooms and near hot furnaces.
Thus, the poor and destitute of both Seemapuri and Firozabad are caught in the web of poverty, servitude, suppression and exploitation.
5. Most of us do not raise our voice against injustice in our society and tend to remain mute spectators. Anees Jung in her story ‘Lost Spring’ vividly highlights the miserable life of street children and bangle makers of Firozabad. She wants us to act. Which qualities does she want the children to develop?
Ans. Anees Jung in her story ‘Lost Spring’ analyses the grinding poverty and traditions which condemn the small children to live a miserable life of exploitation. Street children or the ragpickers of Seemapuri are forced to either rely on the garbage for their livelihood or work as labourers. These children live in a condition of extreme exploitation throughout their lives due to their poverty. Similar is the situation of children from the bangle making families of Firozabad. Here the children are forced to accept bangle’ making as their doom due to poverty and family tradition.
The author has also given a story of resistance and fortitude. In spite of the harsh conditions of poverty and exploitation, there are children like Mukesh who have refused to accept their fate. They have their ambition to do something different and better. The author stresses the need to aspire for betterment. No doubt for this one needs to be daring, confident, diligent and hardworking.
6. Describe the circumstances which keep the workers in the bangle industry in poverty.
Ans. The bangle makers of Firozabad make beautiful bangles. But these people work in a very unhygienic atmosphere. They work in glass furnaces at high temperatures, in dingy cells without sufficient air and light. In spite of so much hard work, these people live in a state of poverty because they work in an unorganized manner and are exploited by the middlemen. This results in their poor state. Even if they try to get organized, they get beaten up by the police. They are not able to come out of the vicious circle of their exploiters: middlemen, policemen, sahukars, lawmakers, bureaucrats and politicians. They have been repeatedly exploited physically as well as economically for generations and so are forced to live a life of poverty.
7. Describe the life of ragpickers at Seemapuri. Why is this place, in spite of being on the periphery of Delhi, considered miles away from it?
Ans. In 1971, some families migrated from Bangladesh and took refuge, at the outskirt of Delhi, at a place called Seemapuri. It is a colony where about 10,000 ragpickers and their families live in structures of mud, with the roof of tin or tarpaulin. They are devoid of basic facilities like sewage, drainage or running water. They have no identity but a ration card to have their names on the voters’ list. They have never bothered for their identity because for them food is the prime focus. Children of these families work as ragpickers and garbage for them is the only means of survival.
The place Seemapuri, at the periphery of Delhi, the capital of India, yet is miles apart from Delhi metaphorically. The place is devoid of even basic amenities in contrast to the highly developed and progressive Delhi.
8. ‘Saheb is no longer his own master. Mukesh insists on being his own master.’ Discuss.
Ans. Both Saheb and Mukesh, symbolise the exploited children in India who are forced to live a life of poverty. Saheb is a ragpicker who lives at Seemapuri. His only means of survival is garbage. He lives in a subliminal condition. Finally, he starts working at a tea stall where he completely loses his freedom and childhood. But he has compromised with his fate. He has accepted his condition and has completely given up himself. Mukesh, on the other hand, is a boy who also belongs to a very poor family but doesn’t give up and compromise with circumstances. Though he belongs to a bangle maker’s family and is destined to work as a bangle maker, he refuses to accept it. He has his own ambition to become a motor mechanic. He doesn’t want to be dominated and exploited by others. He wants to be his own master and take his own decisions.
9. The paradoxes of the society that we live in are aptly featured in ‘Lost Spring’.Comment.
Ans. ‘Lost Spring’ is a vivid description of the grinding poverty and tradition that condemn the children in our country to a life of poverty and exploitation.
Saheb, a small boy, who is a ragpicker and relies on garbage for his living, seems to be very enthusiastic about going to school. But he never gets this opportunity and his entire childhood is lost in solving the greatest problem of his life, i.e. to earn a meal. He has to compromise with his freedom and joy of childhood and works at a tea stall to earn money.
Mukesh, who was born into a bangle maker’s family of Firozabad, wants to be a motor mechanic. He works in the most hazardous conditions in the glass furnaces with high temperature and no lights. People of his community are caught in the vicious circle of sahukars, middlemen, policemen, bureaucrats and politicians. Mukesh wants to be his own master and do something different.
The story very clearly describes the reality of our society.
10. Justify the title of the story ‘Lost Spring’.
Ans. Childhood is considered the spring of human life. It is full of exuberance and playfulness. But the children of ragpickers of Seemapuri and bangle makers of Firozabad are deprived of this period; their life. They never enjoy the carefreeness of their childhood. They have to assist their poor parents in earning their living since the very tender age.
In fact, the story brings out the reality of our society where poor children work as ragpickers and bangle bakers in inhuman and hazardous conditions. The plight of these children highlights the apathy of the rich and powerful people of the society who have no concern for them.
‘Lost Spring’ refers to those moments of childhood which are full of happiness, growth and carefree spirit and which have been snatched from the children of Seemapuri and Firozabad. The title justifies the story which makes an effort to sensitize the people towards these poor children. It emphasizes the need to save the childhood of these poor children and provide them with their basic rights of a decent life and good education.
11. “For the children, it is wrapped in wonder, for the elders, it is a means of survival.” What kind of life do the rag-pickers of Seemapuri lead? Answer in about 120-150 words. [All India 2017]
Ans. Seemapuri is a settlement of ragpickers. It is a place on the outskirts of Delhi. Those who live here are squatters who came from Bangladesh in 1971. They live here without an identity and permits. They do have ration cards that enable them to vote and buy grain. Food is more important for them than their identity. Children grow up to become partners in survival. And survival in Seemapuri means rag-picking. Through the years it has acquired the ‘proportions of fine art’. An army of barefoot children appears in the morning with their plastic bags on their shoulders. They disappear by noon. Garbage has a different meaning for children. For them, it is wrapped in `wonder’. They may find a rupee even a ten rupee note or a silver coin. There is always hope of finding more. But Seemapuri is a hell. Ragpickers live in structures of mud. They have roofs of tin and tarpaulin. There is no sewage, drainage or running water. It is unimaginable that it is a part of Delhi.
Value Based Questions and Answers of Lost Spring
VALUE BASED QUESTIONS
Q1. Most of us do not raise our voice against injustice in our society. Anees Jung in her story, ‘Lost Spring’ vividly highlights the miserable life of street children and bangle makers of Firozabad. What values do we need to inculcate among the people to bring back the spring in the lives of these children.
Ans. Anees Jung wants to uplift the cause of street children and bangle makers. Children living in Seemapuri do not go to school as there is no school. They are barefooted and spend their days scrounging for something wonderful in heaps of garbage. The children lead miserable lives, caught in the vicious circle of poverty into which they have fallen due to the middlemen, chukars, and law enforcement officials.
Media can create awareness about the underprivileged. We need to garner support from youngsters and start night schools for children like Saheb-e-Alam. There is hope when Anees Jung encounters youngsters like Mukesh who dare to dream. More people need to come forward and create an environment in which these children dare to dream.
Q2. “None of them knows that it is illegal for children like him to work in the glass furnaces with high temperatures”. What can be done to improve a lot of poor children in India?
Ans. The problem of employment of children in hazardous conditions is prevalent in India. The Government has taken measures to curb this malpractice. However, the implementation of the laws must be stringent. The children must be provided with education. Moreover, the parents also have to be made aware of the hazards and dangers their children face in such working in hazardous conditions.
Most of the children working in Firozabad lose their eyesight before they become adults. There is a vicious cycle of poverty due to middlemen, chukars and law enforcers. A situation must be created where the children can exercise their right to education and their parents receive their dues.
3.’None of them know that it is illegal for children like him to work in the glass furnaces with high temperatures in dingy cells without air and light—‘
‘ These words from ‘Lost Spring’ throw light on the grinding poverty that forces many children in India to lead a life of exploitation whereby they have to slog in subhuman conditions.
Driven by a concern for such children, who lose their childhood and who go through an unjust treatment, write an article in 100-150 words on ‘Child Labour in India.’
Ans. CHILD LABOUR IN INDIA
A child, whose childhood has been snatched away, now works hard, day and night, to earn a meagre pay.
This is the scenario with more than 10 million children who are employed in hazardous and dangerous trades and industries. At a tender age, they are forced to work for 10-15 hours under sub-human conditions. Fireworks factory, cashew nut industry, bangle-making factories, carpet industry—there are innumerable such factories prevailing in our country where these children are being exploited. They are underpaid and ill-treated. As a result, they develop many life-long deformities like losing their eyesight, asthma, bone deformity, etc.
In spite of the constitutional laws against child labour and RTE which enforces the right to education for each and every child below the age of 14 years, these children are deprived of any education. Their day starts in factories and ends there.
It is said that children are the future of a nation. We need to ponder on what kind of future are we building. With so many children stuck in the clutches of child labour, we are building an uneducated• unhealthy and diseased India. So, it is high time that the government and society work for these underprivileged children by strictly implementing the law and rehabilitating them.