NCERT Class 9 English Solutions: Chapter 6 My Childhood Part 2
Discuss these questions in class with your teacher and then write down your answer in two or three
Q. “On the whole, the small society of Rameswaram was very stratified and 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)?
A. The social groups that he mentioned were the Hindus and the Muslims. Yes, these groups were easily identifiable. Abdul kalam wore a cap marking him as a Muslim. His friend Ramanandha Sastry, as a Hindu wore the sacred thread.
(ii) Were they aware only of their differences or did they also naturally shared 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.)
A. Kalam’s friends shared friendships and experiences. Although, Abdul Kalam was Muslim and his friends were from orthodox Hindu Brahmin families they were very close friends. There were more instanced depicting the harmony in various social groups:
During the annual Shri Sita Rama Kalyanam ceremony, Kalam’s family arranged boats with a special platform for carrying idols of the Lord from the temple to the marriage site.
Events from the Ramayana and from the life of the prophet made bedtime stories for children.
(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?
A. Among the people very aware of the differences:
One was the new teacher who taught Kalam in the 5th standard. He did not allow him sit with Ramanandha Sastry who was a Brahmin.
Wife of Sivasubramania Iyer (his science teacher) was conservative. She did not allow Kalam to eat in her pure Hindu Kitchen.
The people who tried to bridge these differences were Lakshmana Sastry (Ramanandha’s father) and Sivasubramania Iyer (his science teacher).
(iv) Narrate two incidents that show how differences can be created, and also how they can be
resolved. How can people in the text?
A. Following incidents are notable
In 5th standard, a new teacher came to Kalam’s class. Kalam sat in the front row next to Ramanandha Sastry. The new teacher did not like a Hindu priest’s son sitting next to a Muslim boy and asked Kalam to sit on the backbench making both Kalam and Ramanandha unhappy. Lakshmana Sastry asked the teacher to not spread the idea of social inequality and communal intolerance. The teacher apologized and regretted his behaviour resolving all conflicts.
In another incident, Sivasubramania Iyer- Kalam’s science teacher invited him for a meal to his house. His wife, was very conservative and refused to serve Kalam in her pure Hindu kitchen. However, Iyer, not disturbed by his wife’s behaviour, himself served Kalam and sat beside him to eat. When kalam was leaving, Sivasubramania Iyer again invited him for dinner. On seeing Kalam’s hesitation, he told him to fight such problems to change the system. Upon visiting the house second time Sivasubramania Iyer’s wife took him inside her kitchen and served him food with her own hands resolving all differences and changing Sivasubramania Iyer wifes’ attitude.
Q. (i) Why did Abdul kalam want to leave Rameswaram?
A. Kalam wanted to leave Rameswaram for further studies to study in the Ramanathapuram district headquarters.
Q. (ii) What did his father say to this?
A. Kalam’s father knew that one day Kalam had to go away to grow. This was like a seagull that flies across the sun alone and without a nest. Quoting Khalil Gibran to Kalam’s mother he said “nobody’s children were their own children, they were the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself. They come through their thoughts as the children have their own thoughts.”
Q. (iii) What do you think his words mean? Why do you think he spoke those words?
A. His meant that to grow children have to be separated from their parents. To realize their dreams and aspirations they should be set free like a seagull flying away alone for own food” The quote further means that although parents can give love, they cannot give children thoughts- these are their own. They should be given every opportunity to naturally develop these thoughts. Seeing Kalam’s mother hesitant about leaving him, Kalam’s father uttered these words.