Q. In what respect was Bholi different from her sisters?’
Ans. Bholi was the weakest and youngest child of Ramlal. Bholi had ugly looks and absence of brain. Her sisters Radha Mangla and Champa were healthy, strong and good looking. They had been happily married.
Q. Bholi’s heart was overflowing with a ‘new hope and a new life’. What does the phrase ‘the new hope and the new life’ means?
Ans. The phrase means Bholi’s heart was overflowing with a new hope and a new life when she took a vow to serve her parents in their old age and to teach the students in the same school where she had learnt a lot.
Q. How did Bholi react when her father caught her by the hand to take her to school?
Ans. Bholi’s father caught her by her hand to take her to school. She was scared as she did not know what the school was like. She remembered how her old cow had been turned out of the house and sold. Therefore she was frightened and reluctant to go to school.
Q. For what unusual reasons was Bholi sent to school?
Ans. The Tehsildar Sahib put the responsibility of sending the girls of the village on Ramlal, the revenue official as he was the representative of the village. Ramlal had not the courage to disobey him. He also felt that there was a little chance of Bholi’s getting married due to her ugly face and lack of sense.
Q. Why was Sulekha nicknamed Bholi?
Ans. When Sulekha was 10 months old, she fell from the cot. Due to that accident, her head and some part of brain got damaged. She also stammered. She remained a backward child. Being simple, she was nicknamed Bholi.
Q. Give examples from the text, that Bholi was a neglected child.
Ans. Bholi was quite a neglected child at home, and this is evident from the text. No new clothes were made for her and she was always passed on dresses of her elder sisters. No one cared to bathe her or oil her hair or even wash her clothes. The neglect was probably due to the fact that she was the youngest in a household of seven children. It might be that she failed to draw attention and affection of her parents because of her disadvantageous looks or her physical setbacks.
Q. Why did the other children make fun of Bholi?
Ans. Some part of Bholi’s brain had got damaged when she fell from a cot at the age of ten months. This made her a little backward and simpleton. She learnt to speak a little late and stammered a lot. Thus, the children made fun of her and mimicked her.
Q. Why was Bholi’s father worried about her?
Ans. Bholi’s father was worried about the fact how he would marry her. Not only did Bholi looked ugly due to the pock marks but also she was like a dumb cow. To top it all, she used to stammer also which caused her father to be very much concerned about her marriage.
Q. Why was Ramlal worried about Bholi and not about his other children?
Ans. Ramlal was more worried about Bholi because she was the weakest child in their family while her brothers and sisters were healthy. He was worried about her ugly looks because of the pock-marks all over her body and also because of her stammering. He was worried that no one would come forward to marry Bholi because of her being weak and ugly.
Q. How did Bholi’s fear disappear after she had gone to school?
Ans. Bholi, the weakest child of the family, was suffering from physical disability and mental infirmity, because of which she didn’t want to go to school. But then, her teacher proved a gem to her who always provided all possible help and assistance to her and turned her into a bold and confident girl. The teacher always encouraged her and asked her to come to school daily.
Q. Why did Bishamber’s marriage with Bholi not take place?
Why does the marriage not take place?
Ans. Ramlal had placed five thousand rupees at Bishamber’s feet. It made Bholi furious with cold contempt. She considered Bishamber, the lame old man as mean, greedy, contemptible, coward and a heartless creature. She refused to get married. So the marriage did not take place.
Q. How did Bholi find her school teacher different from her family members?
Does she find her teacher different from the people at home?
Ans. Bholi found her school teacher to be different from her family members because the teacher was a kind and considerate lady. She had a soft and soothing tone. She gave Bholi a lot of encouragement and inspiration which she was not getting from her family.
Q. How does Bholi become her teacher’s masterpiece?
Ans. Bholi was definitely her teacher’s masterpiece because under her guidance, she overcame her handicap of stammering. The shy and reticent child bloomed into a bold and confident girl. She was a true masterpiece because she had the courage to revolt against a social evil of dowry and refused to marry the greedy Bishamber Nath.
Q. Give the character sketch of Bholi’s teacher.
Ans. Bholi’s teacher was a gem. Such teachers are very rare. She gave congenial atmosphere to Bholi who was handicapped. She had full sympathies with Bholi who was suffering from physical disability as well as mental infirmity. She provided all possible help and assistance to her. She made her feel at home. She encouraged and inspired her to get over her stammer. She treated her like her daughter. She was her true guide. She inculcated the qualities of confidence and daring in her. She never scoffed at Bholi whom all the other girls mimicked. She urged her to make persistent efforts to get over her handicap. She enabled Bholi to challenge the dowry seeker.
Q. Describe Bholi’s first day experience at school. Did she enjoy it? Give a reasoned answer.
Ans. Bholi did not wish to go to school. But her father forced her and took her to school. When they reached the school, the children were already in their classrooms. Bholi looked at the headmistress with fear-laden eyes. The headmistress asked Bholi to sit down in a corner in one of the classrooms. The teacher who was in the class was saying something to the girls but Bholi could understand nothing. she looked on the pictures on the wall. The teacher talked to her very politely and gave her a book. Bholi was assured that she would be able to read the book within a month. Her heart throbbed with a new hope and a new life.
Q. Why did Bholi at first agree to the unequal match? Why did she later reject the marriage? What does this tell about her?
Ans. No doubt, Bholi agreed to an unequal match at first. A proposal of marriage came from a wellto-do grocer-called Bishamber. He was an aged man. He was almost the same age as her father was. There was another defect in him. He limped. Moreover, he had children from his first wife. They were quite grown up. No girl could like such a match. However, Bholi didn’t oppose the proposal. She didn’t agree because he was rich and had several thousands in the bank. But she agreed just to keep the honour of her family and her parents. In the end she rejected the marriage on the grounds of principles. The greedy bridegroom was demanding a dowry of 5000 rupees. He was ready to marry a girl with pock-marks only after receiving that sum. Even when Ramlal put his turban at Bishamber’s feet, his heart didn’t melt. Then, Bholi decided that enough was enough. She threw away the garland into the fire. She refused to have such a mean, greedy and coward as her husband. This shows that she was no more a hesitant, weak and stammering girl. Now she was a determined girl who could sacrifice anything for her principles and for the honour of her family.