Class 10, NCERT (CBSE) English Solutions
Interact in English Literature Reader
The Letter - by Dhumaketu
NCERT Guide for English Literature Reader (Communicative)
Sample Questions (following New CCE pattern)
Q.1: How does Ali feel when he sees the wooden arch of the post office building?
Answer: As soon as Ali saw the wooden arch of the post office he would be filled a similar joy and satisfaction that a pilgrim feels after reaching his destination. For Ali, the post office became a place of pilgrimage where he used to reach at 5 o’ clock in the morning and remain there till late evening daily for the last five years.
Q.2: Why did Ali give Lakshmi Das all the money he had saved?
Answer: Ali could realize that his end was imminent. But because of his love for his daughter and faith on God he still hoped to hear from his daughter Miriam. He did not want to miss the letter. Money was useless for him. One day Ali emptied old tin box and gave Lakshmi Das five golden guineas which he had saved. He asked hi to forward Miriam’s letter to his grave.
Q.3: Briefly describe how the post office became a place of pilgrimage for Ali. Also describe the attitude of the others towards him.
Answer: Ali is a passionate father who missed his only child (daughter) as she left him after marriage. Ali could realize the grief of separation and eagerly waited for a letter from her for the last five years. In spite of age and weakness he would reach the post office every day at 5 o’ clock in the morning ignoring the vagaries of weather for the last five years. It became almost a ritual for him. As soon as he saw the wooden arch of the post office he would be filled a similar joy that a pilgrim feels after reaching his destination. For Ali the post office had become a place of pilgrimage.
During these five years he became an object of fun, contempt and humiliation at the post office. People mocked at him, peons teased him, insulted him by making false statements. Even sometimes the postmaster reproached him harshly. They cited Ali as a lunatic.
Q.4: Describe Ali’s appearance when he came to the post office after a gap of several days.
Answer: Refer to the answer of Textbook exercise Q.V (7) in our separate post.
Q.5: What did the post master and Lakshmi Das do to Ali’s letter?
Answer: In the evening of the day Ali’s letter arrived, the post master and Lakshmi Das walked with heavy steps to Ali’s grave. They laid the letter on it and turned back. Thus they both helped in giving solace to Ali’s soul who had died waiting for this letter from his daughter for the last five years.
Q.6: What problem did the postmaster face? How did this bring a change in him?
Answer: Refer to the answer of textbook exercise Q No. V (8)
(i) In the story ‘The Letter’, Lakshmi Das is touched when Ali gave him five guineas to ensure that his daughter’s letter reach in his grave. He writes a letter to his wife describing Ali’s regular visit to the post office, the humiliation he had to encounter, also relating Ali’s handing over the five gold guineas to him (in 175-200 words).
(ii) Imagine you are the postmaster. Since you have realized the pain Ali has gone through, you are full of remorse. Write a letter to your friend.
12th Aug, 2010
My dear Anjali,
Hope everything is alright at home. Here I am so-so. I am attending my duties regularly. Today I am going to narrate you a real story about an old man named Ali, who, seemed to be very conspicuous by his nature.
Ali was an accomplished hunter during his young age. His life changed completely since his only child (daughter) left him after her marriage about five years ago. I think this incident turned this man into a passionate father who would have realised the grief of separation after missing his daughter. In spite of age and weakness Ali used to be present at the post office daily at 5 o’ clock in the morning ignoring the vagaries of weather for the last five years. He would come and occupy a particular seat in the corner of the post office, wait in anticipation of a letter from his daughter and return empty-handed in the late evening every day. During these five years Ali became a familiar face in the post office but no one bothered to understand about his feelings and emotions as how patiently he waited for his daughter’s letter. A number of times he was made an object of fun, contempt and humiliation. Of the late his health has been deteriorating fast and his visits became irregular. A few days back he suddenly gave me five golden guineas, his life’s savings, with a request to forward his daughter’s letter to his grave as and when it arrives.
I am completely moved by his gesture to see his faith in God, hope and determination not to miss the letter. I acceded to his request that I will definitely carry out this job if the letter comes.
More in the next letter. With love and best wishes for you and the children.
I remain yours,
Mrs. Anjali Das
Jeevan Aprts, B-4
Park Street, Kolkata
(ii) [Hint: => Answers to be written in the format of letter to a friend. => For the body of the letter refer to answer of textbook exercise Q No VII. => Add the following few lines before the end of the letter :- During these five years on a number of days he was humiliated by the people who laughed at him, made fun of him and also called him a lunatic. I too behaved with him harshly on quite a few occasions. Today I am torn by remorse and repentance. I must suffer for my misdeeds.]