Q. 1. “Listening to them, I see two distinct worlds .....” In the context of Mukesh, the bangle maker’s son, which two worlds is Anees Jung referring to? [Delhi/ Outside Delhi 2018]
Ans. Value Points: — Poverty stricken family/ burdened by stigma of caste — Vicious circle created by sahukars, middlemen, policemen, keepers of law, bureaucrats.
Detailed Answer: “Listening to them, I see two different worlds…”, the author here is talking about two families, one caught in the web of poverty, burdened by the stigma of caste in which they were born and the other is the vicious circle of sahukars, the middleman, policemen, the keepers of law, the bureaucrats and the policemen. All of them together they have put the burden on Mukesh that he cannot keep aside. Before he even becomes aware of what he has, he accepts it naturally like his father. For him to do anything else would mean to dare.
Q. 2. Was Saheb happy working at the tea stall? State reasons. [Comptt., Delhi/Outside Delhi, 2018]
What job did Saheb take up? Was he happy? [Outside Delhi Set-I, 2014]
Is Saheb happy working at the tea stall? Why/ why not? [Delhi Set-III, 2012]
Ans. Value Points : Subjective answer – either of the two with evidence from the text to be accepted No, not happy – long working hours; not his own master; burdened with responsibilities; no time to roam with friends; has to carry the heavy cannister. Yes, happy – secure life; getting salary; getting regular meals.
Detailed Answer: Saheb took up a job at a tea stall where he got eight hundred rupees a month. No, he was not happy there as he had become a servant. He was no longer his own master and had to work according to the whims and fancies of the tea stall owner. He had lost his freedom.
Q. 3. Why had the rag-pickers come to live in Seemapuri?
Why did Saheb become a rag-picker? What did he look for in the garbage dumps?
What is Saheb looking for in the garbage dumps? From where did he come and why?
Ans. Value Points: They had left Bangladesh because cyclones and storms in 1971 had destroyed their fields and dwellings; came to Seemapuri as refugees for food and shelter. Detailed Answer: Saheb’s family came from Bangladesh in 1971 to live in Seemapuri, Delhi. They had come there because their homes and fields were destroyed by storms. They had nothing left to live on. He was always searching for a coin or a rupee or something valuable in the garbage dumps. He did this as he had no other work to do. The garbage dump was a treasure box for Saheb.
Q. 4. Describe the irony in Saheb’s name.
Ans. Value Points: Saheb-e-Alam which means Lord of the Universe is a rag-picker, refugee from Bangladesh.
Detailed Answer: Saheb’s full name was Sahebe-Alam. It means the ‘Lord of the Universe’. But the irony was that the poor boy was not even his own master. He was a rag-picker and a refugee from Bangladesh whose family had settled down in Seemapuri after their fields were destroyed by storms and floods. Instead of being a lord, he wandered on the roads along with other barefooted poor boys like him.
Q. 5. It is ‘a tradition to stay barefoot’. What is the attitude of the rag-pickers of Seemapuri towards wearing shoes?
What explanation does the author offer for the children not wearing footwear?
Ans. The rag-pickers of Seemapuri do not have proper shoes to wear. They either, have mismatched shoes or have never owned a pair in their lives. They stay barefoot. But they explain it as a ’tradition’ rather than due to lack of money.
Q. 6. What does the reference to chappals in ‘Lost Spring’ tell us about the economic condition of the rag-pickers?
Ans. Value Points: – no money to buy chappals
– poor and impoverished
– engaged as rag-pickers
– hand-to-mouth existence
– exploited, have no work to do, no house to live
– unhygienic conditions of the slum dwellers
– negligence and apathy of the affluent people in society.
Detailed Answer: The economic condition of the rag-pickers is pathetic. They have no permanent place to live in. They live in temporary houses built of tarpaulin in an area with no sewage or water supply. They do not have sufficient food to eat and to feed their children, and even the children are involved in the work of rag-picking. Even small things like shoes are like huge dreams for them which they know will never be fulfilled as they have no money to buy chappals. The reference to chappals also points towards the negligence and apathy of the affluent people of the society.
Q. 7. Survival in Seemapuri means rag-picking. Comment.
Ans. The statement is absolutely correct. Rag-picking was the only job through which the residents there earned their living. Having no job, home or land, this was their only means to survive.
Q. 8. In what sense is garbage gold to the rag-pickers?
Ans. Garbage is gold to the rag-pickers because it is a means of sustenance to them, it gives them their daily bread and a roof over their heads.
Q. 9. What does Saheb look for in the garbage dumps?
Ans. Value Points: gold / anything valuable
Detailed Answer: Saheb is looking for coins, rupee notes and any other useful objects in the garbage dumps. Garbage to him is gold. He sometimes find a rupee, even a ten-rupee note. So he doesn’t stop scrounging because there is always a hope of finding more.
Q. 10. What did garbage mean to the children of Seemapuri and to their parents?
Ans. Value Points: – For elders – means of survival – For children – wrapped in wonder / they expect to get a coin / gives them the hope of finding
Detailed Answer: To the children, the garbage is wrapped in wonder. They keep looking for something exciting in it—a coin, a ten-rupee note. To parents, it was a means of survival as it is the only means of their earning.
Q. 11. Why did Saheb’s parents leave Dhaka and migrate to India?
Ans. Value Points: Repeated floods swept away their fields and homes, leaving them on the verge of starvation; came to India for better living conditions, livelihood opportunities. Detailed Answer: Saheb’s parents left Dhaka and migrated to India because repeated floods had swept away their fields and homes, leaving them on the verge of starvation. Here, they could find better living conditions and opportunities for livelihood.
Q. 12. What is Mukesh’s dream? Do you think he will be able to fulfil his dream? Why or Why not?
Ans. Value Points: To become motor mechanic; yes, he has a strong determination; wants to improve his living condition.
Detailed Answer: Mukesh is a young boy whose family is engaged in making bangles. Mukesh’s dream is to become a motor mechanic. Yes, he will be able to fulfil his dream as he has a strong determination and wants to improve his living condition.
Q. 13. Mention the hazards of working in a bangle factory?
Ans. Value Points: — Ill-lit, ill-ventilated, unhygienic, dingy hovels - high temperature. - bends the back of young children - loss of vision - become old before time.
Detailed Answer: In a bangle factory people work in ill-lit and ill-ventilated rooms in an unhygienic, dingy environment with high temperatures. Children have their backs bent at a very young age, they lose their eyesight and become old before time.
Q. 14. ‘‘It is his Karam, his destiny.’’ What is Mukesh’s family’s attitude towards their situation?
Ans. Value Points: Views bangle making as destiny / mute acceptance / cannot dream of any other option / no initiative left.
Detailed Answer: Mukesh’s family and other bangle makers have accepted their life as their destiny. They have been doing this work for generations and this is all they know now. Years of mind numbing toil has killed all their initiatives and they have accepted their miserable living conditions as their fate.
Q. 15. Why can’t the bangle makers of Firozabad organize themselves into a cooperative?
Ans. The bangle makers of Firozabad can’t organize themselves because even if they get organised, they are the ones who will be hauled up by the police, beaten up and dragged to jail for doing something illegal. There is no leader among them, no one who could help them see things differently.
Q.16. To which country did Saheb’s parents originally belong? Why did they come to India?
Ans. Saheb’s parents originally belonged to Bangladesh (Dhaka). They came to India to earn their livelihood because, in Dhaka, floods had damaged their fields and home.
Q. 17. A young man in Firozabad is burdened under the baggage of two worlds. What are they?
Ans. The two worlds are the family, caught in a web of poverty, burdened by the stigma of caste in which they are born and the vicious circle of the sahukars, the middlemen, the policemen-the keepers of law,the bureaucrats and the politicians. Together they have imposed the baggage on the child that he cannot put down.
Q. 18. How is Mukesh different from the other bangle makers of Firozabad?
Ans. Value Points : Insists on being his own master/dares to dream of becoming a motor mechanic/refuses to carry on the family tradition of bangle making/determined and focussed to achieve his dream.
Detailed Answer: Mukesh is different from the other bangle makers of Firozabad because unlike others, he wanted to break the chains of age-old family lineage and aspires to become a motor mechanic. He wanted to come out of the vicious circle of poverty.
Q. 19. How are Saheb and Mukesh different from each other? [Comptt., Outside Delhi Set-I, 2017]
Ans. Value Points : Saheb lost his freedom; lost glow on his face no longer his own master lost his dream. Mukesh dares to dream, his dream.
Detailed Answer: Saheb works for a dairy. He has lost his freedom and has no dreams. Mukesh on the other hand has dreams and aspires to become a motor mechanic.