My Childhood – NCERT Solutions

Q. Where was Abdul Kalam’s house?

Ans. Abdul Kalam’s house was on the Mosque Street in Rameswaram.

Q. What do you think Dinamani is the name of? Give a reason for your answer.

Ans. Dinamani is the name of a newspaper. Abdul Kalam attempts to trace the second world war’s news in the headlines in this newspaper.

Q. Who were Abdul Kalam’s school friends? What did they later become?

Ans. Ramanadha Sastry, Aravindan and Sivaprakasan were his school friends. Ramanadha Sastry became the priest of the Rameswaram temple. Aravindan went into the business of arranging transport for visiting pilgrims. Sivaprakasan became a catering contractor for the Southern Railways.

Q. How did Abdul Kalam earn his first wages?

Ans. Abdul Kalam earned his first wages by distributing news papers.

Q. Had he earned any money before that? In what way?

Ans. Yes, he earned money before that also. He used to collect the tamarind seeds and sell there to a provision shop on Mosque street. A day’s collection would fetch him the princely sum of one anna.

Q. How does the author describe:

  1. his father
  2. his mother
  3. himself

Answer

  1. The author describes his father as a wise and generous person. He feels happy when he helps others. He did not have much formal education and riches. He was a man of confidence and great wisdom. He avoided inessential comforts and luxuries.
  2. His mother was a noble and kind hearted woman. She used to feed a large number of people. She had all the attributes of a typical Indian mother.
  3. He was one of many children. He was a short boy with rather undistinguished looks, born to tall and handsome parents. He was born into a middle-class Tamil family.

Q. What characteristics does he say he inherited from his parents?

Ans. The author inherited humility and benevolence from his parents. He learnt lessons in honesty and integrity from his parents. He was self-disciplined because of his parent’s exemplary life.

Q. ‘‘On the whole, the small society of Rameswaram was very rigid in terms of the segregation of different social groups,’’ says the author.

  1. Which social groups does he mention? Were these groups easily identifiable (for example, by the way they dressed)?
  2. Were they aware only of their differences or did they also naturally share 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.)
  3. 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?
  4. Narrate two incidents that show how differences can be created, and also how they can be resolved. How can people change their attitudes?

Answer

  1. The author talks about the people who belong to various castes and follow various religious preachings. Yes, these groups were easily identifiable. Their dressing, traditions, culture and rituals were different.
  2. They did share their personal experiences and friendships. Lakshmana Sastry summoned the teacher who separated the author and his friend and told him that he should not spread the poison of social inequality and communal intolerance in the minds of innocent children.
  3. The school teacher encouraged communal differences and Lakshmana Sastry and Sivasubramania Iyer discouraged this malpractice.
  4. The influential people can do both the things. A teacher has the ability to bridge communal differences and can play with sentiments of the innocent and ignorant people. This is what the new teacher did. But the Science teacher Sivasubramania Iyer changed his wife’s attitude and showed her the right path.

Q. Why did Abdul Kalam want to leave Rameswaram?

Ans. Abdul Kalam wanted to leave Rameswaram to study at the district headquarters in Ramanathapuram.

Q. What did his father say to this?

Ans. His father said that he knew he had to go away to grow. He gives the example of a seagull and says that a seagull flies across the sun alone and without a nest.

Q. What do you think his words mean? Why do you think he spoke those words?

Ans. He spoke these words because he intended to hone his children’s skills. He knew the harsh reality of life that children leave of their parents. So he showed his wisdom and intelligence in uttering these words.

Q. Find the sentences in the text where these words occur:

erupt, surge, trace, undistinguished, casualty

Ans. The sentences in the text where these words occur are the following:

  1. ……… a sudden demand for tamarind seeds erupted in the market.
  2. ……… I can still feel the surge of pride in earning my own money for the first time.
  3. ……… I would later attempt to trace in the deadlines in Dinamani.
  4. ……… a short boy with rather undistinguished looks, born to tall and handsome parents.
  5. The first casualty came in the form of the suspension of the train half at Rameswaram Station.

Q. What are the things that can erupt? Use examples to explain the various meanings of erupt. Now do the same for the word surge. What things can surge?

Ans. An earthquake can erupt. Emotions can erupt. Anger can erupt. Example: An earthquake erupted in Sicily last night.

Surge means a sudden powerful forward or upward movement. A wave surges. A crowd surges. A storm surges. Example: Birds search for fish when waves surge towards the shore.

Q. What are the meanings of the word trace and which of the meanings is closest to the word in the text?

Ans. ‘Trace’ means to find out, to copy, to draw an outline, etc. ‘Finding out’ is the closest meaning to ‘trace’ in the text.

Q. Can you find undistinguished in your dictionary? (If not, look for the word distinguished and say what undistinguished mean.)

Ans. I can’t find the word ‘undistinguished’ in my dictionary because it is not the root word. It is there under the word ‘distinguished’ because ‘undistinguished’ is negative to ‘distinguished’. It means: not specific, not prominent, not distinct, etc.

Q. Match the phrases in Column A with their meanings in Column B.

AB
(i)broke out(a)an attitude of kindness, a readiness to give freely
(ii)in accordance with(b)was not able to tolerate
(iii)a helping hand(c)began suddenly in a violent way
(iv)could not stomach(d)assistance
(v)generosity of spirit(e)persons with power to make decisions
(vi)figures of authority(f)according to a particular rule, principle, or system

Answer

AB
(i)broke out(c)began suddenly in a violent way
(ii)in accordance with(f)according to a particular rule, principle or system
(iii)a helping hand(d)assistance
(iv)could not stomach(b)was unable to tolerate
(v)generosity of spirit(a)an attitude of kindness, a readiness to give freely
(vi)figures of authority(e)persons with power to make decision

Q. Now form the opposites of the words below by prefixing un– or in-. The prefix in- can also have the forms il-, ir-, or im– (for example: illiterate il + literate, impractical im + practical, irrational ir + rational). You may consult a dictionary if you wish.

____ adequate____ acceptable____ regular____ tolerant
____ demanding____ active____ true____ permanent
____ patriotic____ disputed____ accessible____ coherent
____ logical____ legal____ responsible____ possible

Answer

InadequateUnacceptableIrregularIntolerant
UndemandingInactiveUntrueImpermanent
UnpatrioticUndisputedInaccessibleIncoherent
IllogicalIllegalIrresponsibleImpossible

Q. Rewrite the sentences below, changing the verbs in brackets into the passive form.

  1. In yesterday’s competition the prizes (give away) by the Principal.
  2. In spite of financial difficulties, the labourers (pay) on time.
  3. On Republic Day, vehicles (not allow) beyond this point.
  4. Second-hand books (buy and sell) on the pavement every Saturday.
  5. Elections to the Lok Sabha (hold) every five years.
  6. Our National Anthem (compose) Rabindranath Tagore.

Answer

  1. In yesterday’s competition the prizes were given away by the Principal.
  2. In spite of financial difficulties, the labourers were paid on time.
  3. On Republic Day, vehicles are not allowed beyond this point.
  4. Second-hand books are bought and soldon the pavement every Saturday.
  5. Elections to the Lok Sabhaare heldevery five years.
  6. Our National Anthem was composed by Rabindranath Tagore.

Q. Rewrite the paragraphs below, using the correct form of the verb given in brackets.

How Helmets Came To Be Used in Cricket

Nari Contractor was the Captain and an opening batsman for India in the 1960s. The Indian cricket team went on a tour to the West Indies in 1962. In a match against Barbados in Bridgetown, Nari Contractor (seriously injure and collapse). In those days helmets (not wear). Contractor (hit) on the head by a bouncer from Charlie Griffith. Contractor’s skull (fracture). The entire team (deeply concern). The West Indies players (worry). Contractor (rush) to hospital. He (accompany) by Frank Worrell, the Captain of the West Indies Team. Blood (donate) by the West Indies players. Thanks to the timely help, Contractor (save). Nowadays helmets (routinely use) against bowlers.

Oil from Seeds

Vegetable oils (make) from seeds and fruits of many plants growing all over the world, from tiny sesame seeds to big, juicy coconuts. Oil (produce) from cotton seeds, ground nuts, soya beans and sunflower seeds. Olive oil (use) for cooking, salad dressing etc. Olives (shake) from the trees and (gather) up, usually by hand. The olives (ground) to a thick paste which is spread onto special mats. Then the mats (layer) up on the pressing machine which will gently squeeze them to produce olive oil.

Answer

How Helmets Came To Be Used in Cricket

Nari Contractor was the Captain and an opening batsman for India in the 1960s. The Indian cricket team went on a tour to the West Indies in 1962. In a match against Barbados in Bridgetown Nari Contractor was seriously injured and collapsed. In those days helmets were not worn. Contractor was hit on the head by a bouncer from Charlie Griffith. Contractor’s skull had been fractured. The entire team was deeply concerned. The West Indies players were worried. Contractor was rushed to hospital. He was accompanied by Frank Worrell, the Captain of the West Indies Team. Blood was donated by the West Indies players. Thanks to the timely help. Contractor was saved. Nowadays helmets are routinely used against fast bowlers..

Oil From Seeds

Vegetable oils are made from seeds and fruits of many plants growing all over the world from tiny sesame seeds to big, juicy coconuts. Oil is produced from cotton seeds, groundnuts, soya beans and sunflower seeds. Olive oil is used for cooking, salad dressing, etc. Olives are shaken from the trees and gathered up, usually by hand. The olives are grounded to a thick paste which is spread onto special mats. Then the mats are layered up on the pressing machine which will gently squeeze them to produce olive oil.

Q. Let the class divide itself into three groups. Let each group take down one passage that the teacher dictates. Then put the passages together in the right order.

To Sir, with Love

  1. From Rameswaram to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, it’s been a long journey. Talking to Nona Walia on the eve of Teacher’s Day, President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam talks about life’s toughest lessons learnt and his mission—being a teacher to the Indian Youth. ‘‘A proper education would help nurture a sense of dignity and self-respect among our youth’’, says President Kalam. There’s still a child in him though, and he’s still curious about learning new things. Life’s a mission for President Kalam.
  2. Nonetheless, he remembers his first lesson in life and how it changed his destiny. ‘‘I was studying in Standard V, and must have been all of 10. My teacher, Sri Sivasubramania Iyer was telling us how birds fly. He drew a diagram of a bird on the blackboard, depicting the wings, tail and the body with the head and then explained how birds soar to the sky. At the end of the class, I said I didn’t understand. Then he asked the other students if they had understood, but nobody had understood how birds fly,’’ he recalls.
  3. ‘‘That evening, the entire class was taken to Rameswaram shore’’ the President continues. ‘‘My teacher showed us sea birds. We saw marvellous formations of them flying and how their wings flapped. Then my teacher asked us, ‘Where is the birds’ engine and how is it powered?’ I knew then that birds are powered by their own life and motivation. I understood all about birds’ dynamics. This was real teaching—a theoretical lesson coupled with a live practical example. Sri Sivasubramania Iyer was a great teacher.’’ That day, my future was decided. My destiny was changed. I knew my future had to be about flight and flight systems.

Answer

To Sir, with Love

From Rameswaram to the Rashtrapati Bhavan. It has been a long journey. Talking to Nona Walia on the eve of Teacher’s Day, President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam talks about life’s toughest lessons learnt, and his mission—being a teacher to the Indian Youth. ‘‘A proper education would help nurture a sense of dignity and self-respect among our youth’’, says President Kalam. There’s still a child in him though, he’s still curious about learning new things. Life’s a mission for President Kalam.

Nonetheless, he remembers his first lesson in life and how it changed his destiny. ‘‘I was studying in standard V, and must have been all of 10. My teacher, Sri Sivasubramania Iyer was telling us how birds fly. He drew a diagram of a bird on the blackboard, depicting the wings, tail and the body with the head and then explained how birds soar to the sky. At the end of the class, I said I did not understand. Then he asked the other students if they had understood, but nobody had understood how birds fly’’, he recalls.

“That evening, the entire class was taken to Rameswaram shore”, the President continues. ‘‘My teacher showed us sea birds. We saw marvellous formations of them flying and how their wings flapped. Then my teacher asked us, ‘‘Where is the bird’s engine and how is it powered?’’ I knew then that birds are powered by their own life and motivation. I understood all about birds’ dynamics. This was real teaching—a theoretical lesson coupled with a live practical example. Sri Sivasubramania Iyer was a great teacher. That day, my future was decided. My Destiny was changed. I knew my future had to be about flight and flight systems.

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