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Extra Questions, Notes, Assignment and study material for Class 11th as Per CBSE Syllabus
Chapter- 6 English Language and Literature
The Ghat of the Only World
By- Amitav Ghosh
Introduction of the lesson- The Ghat of the Only World
The write-up by Amitav Ghosh is a glowing tribute to his Kashmiri friend Shahid who died of cancer in America. Shahid was a poet. He also taught at various colleges and universities in the US. His brother and two sisters were also settled there. He was adored by his students, loved and admired by his friends. He himself had a broad and secular outlook. He condemned fanaticism and violence in Kashmir. But he did not allow politics to overshadow his literary skill. It was in February 2000 that he had a sudden but short blackout and loss of eyesight. The tests revealed that he had a brain tumour. He struggled against this disease for some 14 months and died in his sleep on 8 December. Before his death, he had requested Amitav to write something about him. The writer highlights Shahid’s love of old film music, of Kashmiri dishes, of the lively company of his friends, of his sharp sense of repartee and appreciation of art.
Important Word-Meanings of difficult words from the lesson- The Ghat of the Only World
Word-meanings and References
expatriate– a person sent back to his own homeland,स्वदेशी भेजे जाने व्यक्ति; approaching–not far, drawing near, निकट आती; routinely–usual or commonplace,दैनिक कार्यानुसार; apartment–flat, house,घर; lucid–clear headed,सुबुद्ध; lapses–decline, पतन; pause–silence, gap in speech, interval,ठहराव; respond–reply,उत्तर देना; at odds with–contrary to,विपरीत; light–not serious; jocularity–joking, merriment; mumbled–muttered,बुड़बुड़ की ; innocuous–harmless,हानिरहित; quizzical–comical,विनोदी; blackout–unconsciousness,बेसुधी; revealed–showed,दर्शाया; malignant–harmful to life,घातक; tumour–growth, swelling,गाँठ ; ignored–did not pay heed to,ध्यान नहीं दिया; reassurances–consolation,आश्वासन; entrusting one–assigning,सौंपा जाना; specific–particular, definite,स्पष्ट ;
charge–responsibility, दायित्व; recitatives–passages in an opera, narrative,कथन; inbuilt–strong, inner,मजबूत; resistance–opposition, विरोध; bereavement–loss by death,मृत्युलोक; instincts–impulses,मूल प्रवृत्तिया ँ; routes–excuses, tries to avoid,बहाने; imperative–essential, command,आदेशात्मक; acknowledge–be accepted,स्वीकृत किया जाना ; pledge–promise,वचन ; impression–effect,छाप; fiercely–greatly,अत्यधिक; contemporary–of the same period,समकालीन ; bardic register–poetic style ,काव्यात्मक भाषा ; conceive–think,विचार करना; overlapped–spent together,साथ साथ बिताया गया ; acquaintances–persons known to each other,जान पहचान वाले व्यक्ति; occasional–frequent,अक्सर ; Impede–obstruct बाधा डालना ; roster–list,सूची ; mutual indifference–common dislike, lack of interest,दोनों की उदासीनता; attachment–liking,love,लगाव, ; trivial–of little worth,मामूली ; poignance–pain, quality of deeply moving,पीड़ा की तीव्रता; instance–example,उदाहरण ; hatched–made,बनाई agenda–work list,कार्यसूची ; conviviality–merry making,मौज मस्ती ; enthusiastic–full of zeal, उत्साह पूर्ण ; crew–group of people come for a special purpose, टोल ी; put out–depressed, downcast,उदास ; sorceries–magician,जादूगर; transmute –change,रुपांतरित करना ; mundane–worldly. ordinary,सांसारिक; fetch–bring,लाना; intended–aimed at, for the purpose of, के उद्देश्य स े; relieve–cure, reduce, make free from,राहत पहुँचाना; tumour–clot, गाँठ ; scalp–head,खोपड़ी,कपाल; edges–border,बाहरी रेखा ; sutures–thread,धागे जो टाँके या लगाए गए थे ; escort–helper, orderly,मददगार , groggier–unsteady,डगमग पैरों वाला; buckled–bent,मुड़ गए; corridor–covered verandah or gallery,गलियारा; rapture–ecstasy, joy,परमानन्द; descended–affected, come to,आ गया; gleefully–joyously,प्रसन्नतापूर्वक; gregariousness–sociability,मिलनसारी ; festivity– rejoicing,उत्सव ; depressed–in Iow spirits, sad,उदास; spacious–big enough,extensive, आकार में बड़ा; renovated–given a new look, renewed, नई साज सज्जा वाली ; caverrnous–like a cave, गुफा समान ; terrace–balcony, flat roof of a house ,छज्जा छत ; foyer–the entrance hall way,प्रवेश कक्ष ; voyage–long sea journey,कठिन सफर; fragrance–Pleasant smell,सुगन्ध; dour–sulle , grim, obstinate,खिन्न,हठी; elevator–lift,लिफ्ट ; flinging–throwing with a hard push,जोर से खेलते हुए ; frosty–cold, ठण्डा
Invariably –without fail; consumed–destroyed, eaten up,नष्ट हो रहा थ ा; perpetual–constant, unbroken,निरन्तर; carnival–riotous festival, आनन्दोत्सव; distracted–forgetful, lost in talks, भुलक्कड़; sniff–breath in. blow of air through nostrils, सूँघना; legendary–well known,विख्यात; prowess–skill,कौशल; radically– essentially, fundamentally, greatly,तत्व रूप से ; alter–change,बदल देना; encounter–chance meeting,भेंट,मुलाकात ; explicitly–clearly, frankly,साफ शब्दों में ; prefigured–imagined beforehand, पूर्व कल्पना; authenticity–genuineness,यथार्थता ; exactitude–correctness,सही तरीका ; deviation–change,भटकना; recipes–formula,बनाने का तरीका ; region–territory,क्षेत्र; variant–changed style, new dish,नई पाक कला ; recurrent–returning again and again,बार-बार आने वाला ; vanished–gone away. left,चले गए; extinct–no more in existence, लुप्त; nightmare–bad dream,दु:स्वप्न; haunted–troubled,तंग करना ;
cuisines–cookery, style of cooking, पकाने की विधि ; in his teens–somewhere from 13 to 19, किशोर; repartee–witty and quick smart reply,मजेदार उत्तर; exasperated–made angry,क्षुब्ध wildean–of the English novelist, Oscar Wilde,ऑस्कर वाइल्ड ,जो मजेदार उत्तर देने में प्रवीण था से संबंधित; evident–clear,स्पष्ट ; adored–worshipped, liked and respected,पूजा करते थे ; dedicated–gifted, समर्पित किय ा; subdued–made weak, defeated,दब जाना ; sparkling–brilliant,प्रतिभाशाली ; diva–a great female singer,महान महिला गायक; incarnate–in human form,अवतार; brimming–filled to the top,लबालब भरा हुआ ; subcontinental– (here) Indian,उपमहाद्वीप भारतवासी; clasping–holding,पकड़े हुए ; feigned–pretended, falsely showed,झूठा दिखावा किया ; swoon–fainting,मूर्च्छ ा; stirs–creates, produces,उत्पन्न करना; tide–strong wave,लहर; behold–see,देखना; unmitigated–immense, downright, not reduced,अत्यधिक पक्का ; fell in–joined,से जुड़ गया ; vibrant–lively,जोशीला; creative–original and literary,सृजनात्मक ; doing a brief stint–short stay, doing a temporary job; blackout–state of losing consciousness,मुर्च्छित हो जाना ; intermittent–occurring in intervals, not regular,समय-समय पर आने वाला ; mounting–growing rising,बढ़ती; seized the region–that spread in the area, क्षेत्र में फैल गए ; steady–slow but notstop,धीमे-धीमे ; deterioration–decline, worsening,गिरावट;
irony–opposite in meaning,विडम्बना; inclination–nature or willingness,प्रकृति,स्वभाव; anguished–pained,पीड़ित होना,दुखी; destiny–future, fate,भाग्य,भविष्य; resolutely–firmly, दृढ़तापूर्वक; embrace–take on, adopt,धारण कर लेना ; fixture–permanent central,स्थायी केन्द्रीय; calling–mission, profession,पेशा,धंधा ; vision–sight,द्रष्टि,कल्पना; inclusive–that includes all, uniting members of all religions,समष्टि वाली ; ecumenical –involving members of different religions, universal,सार्वभौमिक
; initially in the beginning,प्रारंभ में ; responded–fulfilled his desire, answered,पूर्ति कर दी; accoutrements–other necessary things needed,साज –सज्ज ा; assiduous–hard working,परिश्रम ी; fanaticism–too much zeal,हठधर्मिता,कट्टरत ा; closest–nearest, most fit for the honour,सर्वधा उपयुक्त; keeper–care taker,रखवाला; vanished–disappeared, falling,जर्जर होती;
archive–a place where public records are stored,पुराने ग्रंथों को सुरक्षित रखा जाने वाला स्थान; images—images,चित्र; inextricably–firmly, that cannot be untied,जटिलतापूर्वक; censored–criticised ,निंदित; saffron–(here) of Kashmir where saffron is grown,केसर; scan–medical examination,परीक्षण ; chemotherapy–treatment of cancer with the help of radiations or chemicals,रासायनिक मिश्रण या किरणों द्वारा केंसर का इलाज ; alternative therapies—other courses of treatment,वैकल्पिक उपचार पद्धतियाँ ; scheduled—fixed,निशिचत किया गया था ; response—reply,उत्तर; preambles—preliminary statement,भूमिकाएँ; radiation—diffusion of rays of light to burn the affected part,विकिरण; dazed—confused, stunned,स्तब्ध; mess—in disorderly manner,गड़बड़ वाला ; siblings–भाई-बहन; logistical—pertaining to reasoning,तार्किक; vicinity—neighbourhood,पड़ोस; sacred—made holy,पावन
Imagery —fiction, काल्पनिक; converse—talk,बातें करना; anguish—pain,पीड़ ा; supreme—greatest, सर्वोच्च; void—शून्य,खालीपन
Short and Simple Summary of the lesson in English– (The Ghat of the Only World)/ Summary in simple Words/ Critical appreciation of the lesson – (The Ghat of the Only World)
Agha Shahid Ali was a Kashmiri, settled in the US. He was a cancer patient. He had been under treatment for 14 months. But he was still on his feet and cheerful. Only sometimes he became unconscious, lost his memory and his eyesight for a short while. On 25 April 2001, he spoke to the writer about his approaching death. The writer tried to console him, but he was cut short. Shahid, however, made a request. He wanted the writer to write something about him after his death.
Shahid and the author had studied together at Delhi University. But they had never met. In 1998 and 1999 they had several conversations on the phone and also met a couple of times. But the acquaintance could not grow until both moved to Brooklyn, US. They were in the same neighbourhood. Shahid lived in a building some eight blocks away. He had his sudden blackout in February 2000. He had a malignant brain tumour. So from Manhattan, he moved to Brooklyn, where his youngest sister Sameetah lived. When Shahid spoke about his approaching death, he laughed but he was dead serious. He entrusted a great responsibility to the author. ‘You must write about me,’ he said. And the author promised to grant his wish. Since that day he started noting down all his conversations with Shahid. And that record helped him keep his word.
Shahid was a poet who wrote in English. The author had read his 1997 collection The Country without a Post Office. He was greatly impressed also. Once they became neighbours at Brooklyn, they began to meet very often for meals. Shahid’s condition was serious but that illness did not depress him. The author and Shahid had many common friends. They also had a shared love of rogan josh and liking for Kishor Kumar’s songs. Both disliked cricket and loved old Mumbai films. They began to meet regularly.
One day the author went along with Shahid’s brother and sister—lqbal and Hena – to fetch him home from the hospital. It was on 21 May. Shahid had already been through several operations that failed. A hospital orderly arrived with a wheelchair. But Shahid sent him back. He thought he was strong enough to walk out of the hospital on his own. But his knees buckled after only a few steps. The hospital orderly was summoned again with the wheelchair.
Shahid loved company, partying and shared meals. He didn’t have time to be depressed. His apartment was on the seventh floor. But it was worth going all the way up. There was the fragrance of rogan josh and songs to welcome the visitor. Shahid would open the door and clap his hands joyously. There were poets, students, writers and relatives in the house. Even though his health was failing, he loved to talk, laugh, eat and, of course, enjoy poetry. His deep interest in kitchen matched with his skill as a poet. James Merrill had great influence on his poetry. He dreamt that he was at the ghat of the only world.
Shahid was not a fanatic. He regretted that Pandits had left Kashmir, and he expressed that feeling in his poetry. He loved Bengali food also. He loved the poetry of Begum Akhtar. His repartees were equally sharp. Once at Barcelona airport, the security guard, a woman, asked him what he did. His answer was he was a poet and his vocation was to write poetry. Finally, that woman asked if he was carrying anything that could be dangerous to the other passengers, Shahid cried ‘only my heart.’
He was very popular as a teacher. He taught at several colleges and universities. He was appointed a professor in 1999, and he had his first blackout in Feb. 2000. After 1975, Shahid lived mainly in America where he joined his brother and two sisters. His parents continued to live in Srinagar. The political violence in Kashmir had a great effect on him. But he was not a political poet. He was true to his art form of language. His vision was all-embracing. He had a secular outlook. In his childhood, he once created a small Hindu temple in his room in Srinagar. His parents never stood in his way.
On 4th May, he had gone to the hospital for a test to discover whether the course of chemotherapy had the desired effect or not. The next day he told the author that the doctors were going to stop all his medicines and there was not much hope. He wanted to go back to Kashmir to die, to be with his father. But for certain reasons, he changed his mind. He died in the US and he was laid to rest in Northampton. He died peacefully in his sleep at 2 p.m. on 8th December.
Summary in Hindi
आग़ा शाहिद अली कश्मीरी था, पर अमेरिका में जाकर बस गया था I वह कैंसर पीड़ित था I उसका उपचार 14 माह से हो रहा था I पर वह अभी भी चल फिर लेता था तथा खुश रहने की कोशिश करता था I केवल यदा कदा वह होश खो देता था, उसकी याददाशत शून्य हो जाती थी तथा उसकी दृष्टि भी कुछ समय के लिए मंद पड़ जाती थीI 25 अप्रैल 2001 को उसकी लेखक के साथ वार्ता हुई थी जिसमें उसने अपनी आसन्न मृत्यु का जिक्र किया था I लेखक ने उसे ढाढ़स बंधाना चाहा पर शाहिद ने बोलने नहीं दिया I पर उसने निवेदन अवश्य किया I उसने इच्छा व्यक्त की कि मेरी मृत्यु के पश्चात मेरे बारे में एक लेख अवश्य लिखना I
शाहिद तथा लेखक दोनों ने ही दिल्ली में शिक्षा पाई थी पर उनकी भेंट कभी नहीं हो पाई थी I 1998-99 में कई बार दोनों ने फोन पर बातें की तथा एक दो बार मिले भी I पर यह जान-पहचान बढ़ नहीं पाई जब तक दोनों अमेरिका में ब्रुकलिन नहीं पहुँच गए I वे पड़ोस के घरों में ही रहते थे I शाहिद कोई आठ भवनसमूह(blocks) परे रहता था I 2000 में अचानक उसकी स्मृति धोखा दे गई I उसके मस्तिष्क में एक संघातिक गिल्टी या गाँठ बन गई थी I इसलिए वह मैनहाटल से ब्रुकलिन आ गया था जहाँ उसकी सबसे छोटी बहन समीथा रह रही थी I जब शाहिद ने अपनी निकट आती मृत्यु के बारे में कहा तो वह साथ ही हँस दिया पर था वह नितान्त गंभीर I उसने लेखक को एक महान दायित्व सौंप दिया I ‘तुम मेरे बारे में अवश्य लिखना’ वह बोला I और लेखक ने उसकी इच्छा शिरोधार्य कर ली I उस दिन से शाहिद के साथ हुई बातचीत का हर शब्द लिखना शुरू कर दिया और उसी रिकार्ड ने उसे शाहिद के बारे में यह लेख लिखने में मदद की I
शाहिद एक कवि था जो अंग्रेजी में लिखता था I लेखक ने उसका एक काव्य संग्रह ”The Country without a Post Office” 1997 में पढ़ा था I उससे बहुत प्रभावित भी हुआ था I एक बार जब वे ब्रुकलिन में पड़ोसी बन गए तो अक्सर ही खाने पर मिलने लगे I शाहिद की दशा नाजुक थी पर उसकी बीमारी उसे उदास नहीं कर पाई I दोनों के साझे मित्र थे I दोनों को रोगनजोश प्रिय था, किशोर कुमार के गीत पसंद थे I दोनों को क्रिकेट में अरुचि थी तथा पुरानी मुंबईया फिल्मों से प्रेम था I वे नियमित रूप से मिलने लगे I
एक दिन लेखक शाहिद के भाई बहन‑‑ इकबाल तथा हिना के साथ उसे अस्पताल से लाने आया I 21 मई का दिन था I शाहिद के कई असफल ऑपरेशन हो चुके थे I अस्पताल का एक कर्मी पहिया गाड़ी लेकर आ गया I पर शाहिद ने उसे वापस लौटा दिया I उसने सोचा कि अभी उसमें पैदल चलने की शक्ति शेष है I पर उसके घुटनों ने कुछ कदम पश्चात ही जवाब दे दिया I अस्पताल कर्मी को पुनः व्हीलचेयर लेकर बुलाया गया I
शाहिद को सभी साथी तथा पार्टियों में खाना पसंद था I उसके पास उदासी के लिए समय ही नहीं था I उसका घर सातवीं मंजिल पर था I पर वहाँ ऊपर तक जाने में हमें कोई तकलीफ नहीं होती थी I ऊपर पहुँचते ही रोगन-जोश की सुगंध तथा गायन स्वागत करते थे I शाहिद दरवाजा खोलता तथा खुशी से ताली बजा देता था I वहाँ कवि, छात्र, लेखक तथा संबंधी बैठे होते I यद्यपि उसका स्वास्थ्य गिरता जा रहा था, उसे बातें करना, हँसना और खाना-पीना पसंद था और साथ ही काव्य पाठ भी I रसोईघर में उसकी उतनी ही गहरी रुचि थी जितनी कि उसकी काव्य कुशलता थी I उसे सपना आया कि वह इस मात्र संसार के घाट पर आ पहुँचा है I
शाहिद कोई धर्मान्ध नहीं था I उसे अफ़सोस था पंडित कश्मीर से पलायन कर गए थे तथा वह इस भाव को अपनी कविताओं में व्यक्त भी करता था I उसे बंगाली भोजन भी पसंद था I बेगम अख्तर की आवाज पसंद थी I वह तीखे नुकीले उत्तर देने में निपुण था I एक बार बर्सिलोना हवाई अड्डे पर सुरक्षा कर्मी महिला ने उससे पूछा आप क्या काम करते हैं I उसने उत्तर दिया मैं कवि हूँ और कविता लिखना ही मेरा धंधा है I अंत में महिला ने पूछा क्या आपके पास कोई ऐसी वस्तु है जो यात्रियों के लिए खतरा बन जाए I शाहिद बोला ‘केवल मेरा दिल है I’
वह शिक्षक के रूप में भी लोकप्रिय था I उसने अनेक कॉलिजों तथा विश्वविद्यालयों में शिक्षण कार्य किया I 1999 में उसे प्रोफेसर नियुक्त किया गया और 3 फरवरी 2000 में ही उसके मस्तिष्क में अंधेरा छा गया था I 1975 के पश्चात शाहिद मुख्य रूप से अमेरिका में ही रहा जहाँ उसका भाई था तथा दो बहनें थी I उसके माता-पिता श्रीनगर में ही बने रहे I कश्मीर में चल रही हिंसा ने उसे बहुत व्यथित किया I पर वह राजनीति का कवि नहीं बना I वह तो भाषा की कला का पुजारी बना रहा I उसका दृष्टिकोण व्यापक था, धर्मनिरपेक्ष था I बचपन में उसने अपने कमरे में श्रीनगर में एक हिंदू मंदिर बना रखा था I उसके माता-पिता ने कोई एतराज नहीं किया I
4 मई को वह अस्पताल में एक टेस्ट के लिए गया ताकि पता चले कि केमोथेरेपी का कुछ लाभ भी हो रहा है अथवा नहीं I अगले ही दिन उसने लेखक को बताया कि डॉक्टर ने सभी प्रकार की दवाइयाँ बंद कर दी है और बता दिया था कि बचने की कोई उम्मीद नहीं है I मैं कश्मीर में घर पर मरना चाहता था ताकि पिता के साथ रह ले I पर किन्हीं कारणों से उसने विचार बदल दिया I उसकी मृत्यु अमेरिका में हो गई तथा उसे नार्थम्पटन में ही दफना दिया गया I वह नींद में रात दो बजे 8 दिसंबर को भगवान को प्यारा हो गया I
Following is the complete question bank for The Ghat of the Only World
The Ghat of the Only World Extra Questions and Answers
Short Answer Type Questions (30 to 40 words)
Short Answer Questions
1.What information do you gather about Shahid from this lesson?
Ans. Shahid was a Kashmiri by birth. He had migrated to the US. He was a man of letters, a poet and professor. But he contracted cancer there. He was under treatment for 14 months. He was operated upon thrice for a brain tumour. But no treatment could save him from his untimely death.
2. How did the author come to know of Shahid’s approaching death?
Ans. Once while scanning and thumbing through his engagement book Shahid spoke that he could not see a thing. He added that he hoped he did not mean that he was dying. This telephonic talk between Shahid and the author gave the author a feeling of Shahid’s approaching death.
3. When and where did Amitav and Shahid become friends? How did their friendship grow?
Ans. Shahid and Amitav became friends in Brooklyn, US. They lived a few blocks apart. But they began to meet for occasional meals. By that time Shahid’s condition was already serious. But that did not stand in the progress of their friendship.
4. What responsibility did Shahid entrust to the writer? How did Amitav keep his promise?
Ans. The first time Agha Shahid Ali spoke to the writer about his approaching death was on 25 April 2001. He had been under cancer treatment for some 14 months. He had already suffered a few lapses of memory. He requested Amitav to write something about him after his death. And Amitav kept his promise.
5. What was Shahid’s profession? How much success did he become in his field?
Ans. Shahid was a poet and a teacher. His first collection of poems was The Country without a Post Office. No one had a greater influence on his poetry than James Merill. He taught at Baruch college in 2000, the University at Amherst, and finally the University of Utah. He was very popular among the students who almost adored him. He was all success.
6. In what spirit did Shahid receive his approaching end?
Ans. Shahid had his first blackout in February 2000. By 21 May, he had already undergone several unsuccessful operations. He had a malignant brain tumour. But he had no time to be depressed. He remained lively, sociable and a food lover till the end. He spoke about his approaching death to Amitav on 25 April 2001.
7. What do you know about Shahid’s likes and dislikes? Which things were most dear to him?
Ans. Shahid was a wonderful friend and brilliant poet. He was fond of Kashmiri food, of partying at his house, of music and of Mumbai films. He loved the camera, the rogan josh and the songs of Kishore Kumar as well as Begum Akhtar. He had no interest in cricket.
8. How can you say that Shahid was gregarious and sociable?
Ans. Shahid’s gregariousness or love of company had no limit. Almost every evening his friends used to gather in his living room. They sang songs and shared food. He enjoyed their company and was always ready to serve. This showed his spirit of festivity.
9. Shahid’s vision was secular and all-inclusive. Give an instance from his childhood to support the statement.
Ans. Shahid had his roots in Kashmir. He kept a constant watch on his native state. He was deeply pained to see violence there. But he was never a political poet. He did not believe in mixing politics with religion. In childhood, the had set up a small Hindu temple also in his room. He condemned fanatic people.
10. Describe the incident of the wheelchair at the hospital.
Ans. On 21 May, the writer went to fetch Shahid from the hospital. Award boy arrived with a wheelchair. Shahid sent him back. He declared that he was strong enough to walk out of the hospital on his own. But his knees failed after a few steps. The hospital orderly had to be called again with the wheelchair.
11. Where did Shahid want to die? Was his last wish fulfilled?
Ans. Shahid loved his homeland although he, along with his brother and two sisters, had spent many years in the US. He wanted to go back to Kashmir to die. But for some reasons. he changed his mind. He died in America and was laid to rest in Northampton,
12. What do you know about Shahid’s love for cookery?
Ans. Shahid was an expert in cookery. He used to spend days over the planning and preparation of a dinner party. He stuck to traditional methods and recipes. He had a special passion for Kashmiri dishes. He could tell from the smell alone which stage the rogan josh had reached. He did not like shortcuts while cooking a dish.
13. Which English poet influenced Shahid’s poetry most?
Ans. Shahid’s poetry was at once lyrical and disciplined. While in Arizona, he met James Merill. This American poet changed the direction of his poetry. No one had a greater influence on Shahid’s poetry than Merill. After his encounter with him, Shahid started experimenting with metrical patterns and verse forms.
14. Shahid was no mean practitioner of repartee. Recall the occasion at Barcelona Airport.
Ans. Shahid had so many stories to tell about Begum Akhtar’s sharpness in repartee. He himself was no less witty. He was good at the art of giving sharp and clever answers. At Barcelona airport, the woman guard asked him what he did and if he was carrying anything which could be dangerous to other passengers. He said that he was a poet and was carrying only his heart with him.
15. How did the development in Kashmir affect Shahid in the USA?
Ans. The political situation in Kashmir was full of violence. It affected him greatly. But he was not a political poet. He respected his art of writing more than what he was writing about. He respected religion but believed firmly in its separation from politics. Development in Kashmir pained him a lot.
16. Describe the last moments of Shahid’s life. What was his supreme consolation?
Ans. Shahid struggled with cancer for over 14 months. Even during the last days of his life, Shahid was the centre of a perpetual carnival, always surrounded by his friends, food, laughter and of course poetry. He wished to return to Kashmir to die. But he couldn’t make it to his homeland. He died in America and was buried in Northampton. He had made his peace with the approaching death. His greatest consolation was that he would meet his mother in the afterlife.
17. How did the writer feel after Shahid’s death?
Ans. Amitav felt the loss of his friend Shahid deeply. His friendship with Shahid was brief, yet Shahid’s death created a vast void in his life. He missed his great friend and his memories haunted him time and again.
18. Comment on the title of the lesson The Ghat of the only World.
Ans. The title of this article has been taken from a poem of Shahid. It sounded as his farewell to the world. He knew for certain that his death was near. So he regarded himself like a loner standing on the bank of the only world. He wrote—”I dream I Am At The Ghat of the Only World.”
Important Long/ Detailed Answer Type Questions- to be answered in about 100 -150 words each Value based questions-
Long Answer Questions
1. Who was Shahid? Trace the story of his painful struggle through life.
Ans. Shahid was a young Kashmiri who had migrated to America. He studied in Arizona and later taught at various universities across the U.S. But he was deeply attached to his parents in Kashmir. He used to visit his homeland off and on. He was a poet who wrote in English. His poetry was greatly influenced by James Merrill. His brother and two sisters were also settled in America. His destiny played a cruel joke on him. He had a blackout in 2000. Tests revealed that he had a malignant tumour in his brain. Several operations were performed but to no avail. His friendship with Amitav in Brooklyn consoled him a little. He knew his end was approaching. He made his peace with it. He requested Amitav to write something about him after his death.
2. Give a brief character sketch of Shahid. What were the things he was most fond of?
Ans. Shahid was born in Kashmir but settled in America. He had his education in Delhi. He was a brilliant poet. He taught literature at several colleges and universities. But his life was cut short because of a brain tumour. He suffered from cancer for about 14 months. But all operations and therapies failed to do any good. In spite of his approaching death, he remained lively and cheerful. He was by nature fond of Kashmiri dishes and a fan of Begum Akhtar. He was broad-minded and secular. In childhood, he had set up a Hindu temple in his room. He loved Kashmir but hated violence. He had made peace with his approaching death and died in sleep on 8th December.
3. How did Amitav, the writer, come in contact with Shahid? How did he fulfil his friend’s last wish?
Ans. Amitav first came to know about Shahid through his collection of poems “The Country without a Post Office”. The two had studied in Delhi but had never met. They had a few common friends and they talked on the phone. Then in February 2000, Shahid moved to Brooklyn where Amitav also lived. His condition was serious. He had a sudden blackout. He lived some eight blocks away. Their casual acquaintance changed into friendship. Amitav and Shahid had common likes and dislikes. They met at Shahid’s house regularly. Other friends also joined them. In 2001, Shahid requested the writer to write something about him after his death. And he promised to oblige Shahid.
4. Give a few instances of Shahid’s liveliness, gregariousness and sharpness in repartee.
Ans. Shahid never accepted defeat even after knowing that his death was approaching. He tried to be cheerful, lively, witty and sociable. His gregariousness had no limit. He loved company. His house was the meeting place of his friends. Even during the last days of his life, Shahid surrounded himself with friends and laughter. There was always food, tea and poetry being discussed in his living room. He also had a sharp wit. Once at Barcelona airport, he was stopped by a woman guard for questioning. She asked about his vocation. His answer was that he was a poet who wrote poetry. The woman finally asked him if he was carrying anything that could be dangerous to other passengers. He declared that he was carrying only his heart. This was an instance of his repartee.