By- A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Short Answer Type Questions (30 to 40 words)
Q.1. What kind of poison was the young teacher spreading in the class?
Ans. He did not like that a Muslim boy was sitting with a Hindu Brahmin boy. Thus the young teacher was spreading the poison of social inequality and communalism. He was poisoning the minds of children.
Q.2. What was the reaction of Abdul Kalam’s father when he wanted to leave home? What was his mother’s reaction?
Ans. Abdul Katam’s father gave him his permission gladly. But his mother was a little worried. At this, his father told her that a child is like a seagull. One day, he has to learn to fly alone like the seagull. This cleared the doubts of his mother.
Q.3. What was Sivasuhramania lyer’s wife reaction when she came to know that a Muslim boy was invited to have a meal with them by her husband?
Ans. Sivasubramania lyer’s still life was horrified to know this. She refused to serve food to a Muslim boy in her ritually pure kitchen. But the teacher was not perturbed at this. He served Kalam with his
Q.4. What made Sivasubramania tier’s wife change his mind?
Ans. Sivasubramania lyer’s wife watched Kalam having his man from behind the kitchen door. She did not find any difference in the way he took his meal ‘fins made her change her mind. On his next visit to the teacher’s house, she took Kalin inside the kitchen. She served him food with her own hands.
Q.5. How did Lakshmana Sastry reform the young teacher?
Ans. Lakshmana Sastry was Ramanadha Sastry’s father. When he came to know that the young teacher had shifted Kahan to the last row he got very angry. He summoned the teacher. He told the teacher that he should not spread the poison of social inequality and communal intolerance in the minds of innocent children. He asked him either to apologize or quit school. Thus the teacher regretted and he was reformed.
Q6. What kind of a person was Kalam’s father?
Ans: Tall and handsome, Kalam’s father – Jainulabdeen, did not have much of formal education. He didn’t even have much wealth. However, he was a very practical man with a vast store of wisdom. He was generous and never obstructed the progressive ways of his children. As a responsible head of the family, he provided both material and emotional security.
Q7. How was Kalam’s mother ideal support to her husband?
Ans: Kalam’s mother, Ashiamma, was ideal support to her husband. She was a picture of goodness and deep kindness. She was tall, good looking and very attached to her children. Like her husband, she was very generous and fed a number of outsiders daily. Kalam inherited the values of kindness and generosity from her.
Q8. What did Kalam look like as a young child?
Ans: Kalam did not take after his tall and handsome parents. He was a rather short boy with average looks. With ordinary looks unlike that of his parents who had quite striking features, his appearance was undistinguished.
Q9. Where was Abdul Kalam’s house situated? (Textual) Ans: Abdul Kalam’s house was situated on Mosque Street in Rameswaram. This was his ancestral house and had been built in the middle of the nineteenth century. It was a fairly large, pucca house made of limestone and brick.
Q10. Why does Kalam say he had a secure childhood, both materially and emotionally?
Ans: Though not very well off, Kalam’s father made sure that he provided his family with all the necessities in terms of food, medicine and clothes. Apart from this, Kalam got all the love and parental guidance from them during his childhood. That is why he says that he had a very secure childhood both materially and emotionally.
Q11. How did Abdul Kalam earn his first wages? (Textual)
Ans: Abdul Kalam earned his first wages by catching bundles of newspapers from moving trains for his cousin Shamsuddin who used to distribute newspapers in Rameswaram. During the Second World War, the train halt at Rameswaram station was suspended, so bundles of newspapers were thrown off moving trains and had to be collected.
Q12. Why did the demand for tamarind seeds increase suddenly? How did it help Kalam?
Ans: When the Second World War broke out in 1939, there was a sudden demand for tamarind seeds in the market. Kalam collected these seeds and sold them to earn an anna which was a big amount in those days for a small boy like him.
Q 13. Right from his childhood Kalam was very enterprising. Discuss.
Ans: Kalam was an enterprising child who used to make full use of the opportunities that came his way. During the war, when there occurred a great demand for tamarind seeds in the market, he used to collect these seeds and sell them off to a provision shop. Thus, he was able to earn some money for himself. The incident shows that he was very enterprising.
Q14. What do you think Dinamani is the name of? Give a reason for your answer. (Textual)
Ans: Dinamani seems to be the name of a newspaper. Kalam mentions that he gathered information about the world war from his brother-in-law Jallaluddin. Later he tried to trace these stories in the headlines of Dinamani. Headlines are titles of news items, so Dinamani must be a newspaper.
Q15. What characteristics does Kalam say he inherited from his parents? (Textual)
Ans: Kalam inherited honesty and self-discipline from his father and faith in goodness and deep kindness from his mother. His socio-economic and emotional environment trained him as well as his three brothers and sister to acquire these characteristics.
Q16. Who were Kalam’s school friends? What did they become later? (Textual)
Ans: Kalam’s three close childhood friends were Ramanad Sastry, Aravindan and Sivaprakasan. All three of them settled well in life. Ramanadha inherited priesthood of Rameswaram temple from his father, Aravindan took up the business of arranging transport for visiting pilgrims and Sivaprakasan became a catering contractor for the Southern Railways.
Q17. What did Kalam’s family do during the annual Shri Sita Rama Kalyanam ceremony?
Ans: During the annual Shri Sita Rama Kalyanam ceremony, Kalam’s 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 Kalam’s house.
Q18. Who asked Kalam to sit on the back bench of his class? Why?
Ans: A new teacher at the Rameswaram Elementary School could not tolerate that Kalam, a Muslim, sat with Ramanadha Sastry, a sacred thread wearing Hindu. This was contrary to the teacher’s notion of social ranking. So, he ordered Kalam to sit on the back bench.
Q19. What happened when the new teacher at the Rameswaram Elementary School ordered Kalam to go to the last row of the class?
‘I felt very sad and so did Ramanadha Sastry’. What made Kalam and his friend feel sad?
Ans: Kalam and his friend Ramanadha Sastry became very sad when the new teacher ordered Kalam to go and sit on the back bench of the class. Ramanadha was absolutely crestfallen. While Kalam shifted his seat to the last row, there were tears in his eyes. Kalam could Id never forgets these tears all his life.
Q20. What did Ramanadha Sastry’s father do when his son told him that the new teacher had sent Kalam to the last seat? Or
Why did Lakshmana Sastry summon the new school teacher?
Ans: Ratnanadha’s father, Lakshmana Sastry was deeply distressed to learn that the new school teacher had shifted Kalam to the last bench. He did not approve of this disparity. So he summoned the teacher and told him not to spread the poison of social inequality and communal intolerance in young minds. He bluntly told him to either apologise or leave the school. The teacher not only regretted his action but also reformed himself.
Q21. Who was Sivasubramania Iyer? Or
In what sense was Sivasubramania Iyer ‘something of a rebel’?
Ans: Sivasubramania Iyer was Kalam’s science teacher. Though an orthodox Brahmin, he was something of a rebel. A man of liberal views, he wanted to change the society that was rigid in terms of segregation of different social groups. He knew that if one wished to change the system, one was bound to confront many problems.
Q22. Why did Sivasubramania’s wife refuse to serve food to Kalam in her kitchen?
Ans: Sivasubramania Iyer’s wife was an orthodox and conservative Brahmin. She had peculiar notions about the sanctity of her kitchen which she feared would be defiled if she served meals there to someone who belonged to a different faith. So, she refused to serve food to a Muslim boy in her kitchen.
Q23. How did Sivasubramania react to his wife’s behaviour when she refused to serve Kalam (a Muslim boy) in her kitchen?
Ans: Sivasubramania was mentally prepared for such behaviour from his conservative wife. So, without getting angry or perturbed, he served Kalam with his own hands and sat beside him to eat his meal.
Q 24. Why did Sivasubramania invite Kalam for dinner again the next weekend?
Ans: Kalam was visibly upset by Sivasubramania Iyer’s wife’s refusal to serve him food in her kitchen. This must have pained Iyer. So, in order to make amends and to ensure that Kalam overcame his disappointment and hurt, Sivasubramania Iyer invited Kalam to another dinner the following weekend. During the intervening time, Iyer must have wanted to speak with his wife on the issue. lyer wanted Kalam to brace up for such obstacles if he wanted to change the system.
Q25. While talking of segregation of the different social groups which social group does Kalam talk about? Were these groups easily identifiable? (Textual)
Ans: Kalam talks about Muslims when mentioning the segregation of different social groups. These groups were easily identifiable by the distinct cap that they wore just as the Brahmins wore the sacred thread. This cap marked the group as a Muslim.
Q26. What thoughts crossed Kalam’s mind when he was having food at Sivasubramania’s house for the first time?
Ans: Kalam noticed that Sivasubramania’s conservative wife was watching him from behind the kitchen door while he was having food. At this time he wondered whether she observed any difference in the way a Muslim ate rice, drank water or cleaned the floor after the meal.
Q27. What did the Indians feel when the nation’s Independence was in full sight?
Ans: Indians were filled with unprecedented optimism when India’s independence was in full sight at the end of the Second World War. Gandhiji’s declaration that Indians would build their own India made everyone hopeful.
Q28. Why did Abdul Kalam want to leave Rameswaram? (Textual)
Ans: Kalam wanted to leave Rameswaram because this place did not offer any options for higher education. It just had an elementary school. An ambitious Kalam who was keen to study further wished to go to the district headquarters at Ramanathapuram that had many educational facilities.
Q29. Why did Kalam’s father allow Kalam to leave Rameswaram and go to Ramanathapuram?
Ans: Though not educated himself, Kalam’s father understood the significance of education. He did not want to hinder the growth of his children in any way. Since Rameswaram had nothing more than an elementary school, his father willingly allowed Kalam to go to Ramanathapuram to pursue higher studies.
Q30. What did Kalam’s father say when Kalam sought his permission to leave Rameswaram and go to Ramanathapuram? (Textual)
Ans: Without expressing his opinion in words,. Kalam’s father told him that he trusted his son’s decision to grow. Just like the birds leave their nests to fly across the sun, so must the children be allowed to leave home and gain knowledge in the big world outside.
Q31. What did Kalam’s father mean to say when he quoted Khalil Gibran? Why do you think he spoke these words? (Textual)
Ans: Kalam’s father meant that every human being must be given the opportunity to build his life as per his wishes and parents should not hinder this effort. He spoke these words to convince Kalam’s mother that her son’s decision to leave home was right. She should allow him happily to shape his life according to his own ideas.