Think it Out
1. What does the word `cardboard’ denote in the poem? Why has this word been used?
Ans. The word ‘cardboard’ denotes the snapshot posted on cardboard in the frame. This word has been used to denote that just like cardboard, human life is mortal. Both fade away with time.
2. What has the camera captured?
Ans. The camera has captured the photo of the three cousins—the poetess’s mother and her two cousins. They were enjoying a holiday on sea-side. The uncle was operating the camera.
3. What has not changed over the years? Does this suggest something to you?
Ans. All living things and creatures are undergoing changes with the passage of time. But there is little change in the sea waves rolling to the coast and going back. This suggests by contrast that human beings change rapidly.
4. The poetess’s mother laughed at the snapshot. What did this laugh indicate?
Ans. The poetess’ mother at that time was only twelve years old dressed in a pretty peach dress. So, she could not help smiling when she remembered how they had enjoyed that day.
5. What is the meaning of the line “Both wry with the laboured ease of loss”?
Ans. The word ‘wry’ here means sad and disappointed. The poetess has suffered the loss of her mother. The photo has over the years got, faded and paled. The poet has also learnt to bear her loss with the passage of time.
6. What does ‘this circumstance’ refer to?
Ans. This expression refers to the situation after the mother’s death. The mother’s sea holiday and her laughter are now things of the past.
7. The three stanzas depict three different phases. What are they?
Ans. The first phase is when the poetess’s mother was just a child enjoying a sea holiday. The second phase refers to the time 20 or 30 years .later when she looked at her old photo and smiled. The third phase refers to the period after the mother’s death. Three phases depict the periods in her life—childhood, womanhood and death.