Sunday, 29 March 2020

A Letter to God class 10 CBSE

A Letter to God


·         Written by Gegorio Lopez y Fuentes, a Mexican novelist, a fisherman by profession
·         It depicts unwavering / unquestionable faith of Lencho in God.
·        The story also portrays an incessant struggle between humanity and nature which has   been foiling human endeavours and devastating his dreams since eternity.

Summary  / Synopsis

·        Lencho was a poor farmer who lived on the top of a hill. It was a solitary house on that hill and from that hill he could see entire valley along with his field. He had grown corn crop in his field. He prayed for rain showers to get a good crop in his corn field. His crop was ripe with flowers and it was promising a good harvest.
·        It started raining making him happy and his children danced in the rain. in happiness he started comparing rain drops to new coins which were shiny and beautiful. He hoped good rain would result in good crop. He started dreaming that good crop of corn would make him rich.
·        Suddenly the rain drops turned into hail stones which he compared to silver coins. in a while hail stones covered his entire crop of corn. It appeared as if his entire field is covered with salt. He thought even the locusts could have left something but the hail storm destroyed his entire crop.
·        Now, he was worried how he would feed his family. Then, he recalled what his elders had told him about God in his childhood. They told that God sees everyone and no one's pain is hidden from God. Since he had robust faith in God, he decided to write a letter to God. He explained his condition how his crop was destroyed and requested God to send him 100 pesos. He addressed his letter ‘To God’ and went to the post office to post it.
·        One of the postmen noticed it and was amused to find that it was addressed to God. He showed the letter to the Postmaster who could not restrain his curiosity and started reading it.
·        The Post Master, being a genuine person, was moved by Lencho’s problem and his faith in God. He didn't want that Lencho's faith in God should be broken and decided to help him by sending the money
·        He motivated his colleagues to contribute but could only collect 70 pesos as they were not earning good. He put the money in an envelope and sent it on Lencho’s address.
·        When Lencho received the envelope, he was not at all shocked; he knew the reply with money will come as he had immense faith in God.
·        But, when he counted the money and found only 70 pesos, he got angry with post office employees as he believed God can’t commit mistake. He could also not deny his request. 
·        He wrote to God, again. The postmaster was curious to know what Lencho might be writing. But, ironically he wrote that the post office employees are ‘a bunch of crooks’ who had stolen his 30 pesos and suggested God that next time he should not send money through post office.

The Post Master and other employees who displayed high sense of charity and spirit of compassion and helped Lencho ignoring their own needs and expenses deserved great admiration and applause. However, their generosity and sincere efforts were abused and questioned by the same Lencho who called them as ‘ a bunch of crooks’.

Important Question Answers

Q1. Who does Lencho think has taken the rest of the money? What is irony in the situation?

Ans. Lencho thinks that post office employees have taken the rest of the money. He demanded hundred pesos from God and received only seventy pesos. He cannot doubt God and, is certain that God must have given full amount and post office employees have stolen the rest of his money, therefore, called them ‘a bunch of crooks’.
It is very ironical that the people who should be praised and awarded for their charitable spirit and self-sacrificing nature are being abused, distrusted and condemned. We, as readers feel unable to decide whether to laugh at the innocence and foolishness of Lencho or feel sorry at the sad state of goodness being abused.

Q2. Draw a character sketch of Lencho with reference to the story ‘A Letter to God.

Ans. Lencho, a poor farmer possesses unquestionable and unshakeable faith in God. He is also naïve as he strongly believes in what he has been learning and nourishing since his childhood. He has nourished a belief that if God has given us birth, he would feed us, too. Such people are difficult to be changed or moulded. He is literate enough to write his name and letter. Nevertheless, he is very innocent and doesn’t question his beliefs. He doesn’t try to find out how he received the money, neither he bothers to think how his letter would reach God. The people like Lencho might exist in this world and we might find it difficult to accept them.

Q3. Draw a character sketch of Postmaster with reference to the story ‘A Letter to God.

Ans. Postmaster was a fat and amiable person. He was kind and helpful who motivates his colleagues and friends to help Lencho by donating money whatever they could. He was concerned and thoughtful about Lencho’s problem as well as his robust faith in God. He tried his best that Lencho's faith should remain intact. He was a fine gentleman who takes the trouble of reading the letter and helping an unknown man. He was a good natured and shares a good rapport with his colleagues who listen to him and follow him.

Video on 'A Letter to God'

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Important questions for class 10 English CBSE

Important Question Answers for class X CBSE Board Examinations

Class 10

English Literature
(First Flight)

Q1. Who does Lencho think has taken the rest of the money? What is irony in the situation?

Ans. Lencho thinks that post office employees have taken the rest of the money. He demanded hundred pesos from God and received only seventy pesos. He cannot doubt God and, is certain that God must have given full amount and post office employees have stolen the rest of his money.
It is very ironical that the people who should be praised and awarded for their charitable spirit and self-sacrificing nature are being abused, distrusted and condemned. We, as readers feel unable to decide whether to laugh at the innocence and foolishness of Lencho or feel sorry at the sad state of goodness being abused.

Q2. A simple moment proves to be very significant and saves the rest of the day of the poet from being wasted. Explain the statement on the basis of the poem 'Dust Of Snow'.

Ans. A crow is considered to be an ominous bird bringing bad news and hemlock tree is presented as the symbol of death, dejection and disappointment. The poet is buried in his sorrow that he fails to see the glistening and bright snow which is the symbol of brightness and positivity in life. When the dust of snow falls on the shoulder of sad poet, it is like a lightening among the dark clouds. Thus, the poet proved that the ominous and negative things like crow and hemlock can also be the instruments to bring cheer and positivity in life if we have right perspective and positive frame of mind. He teaches us to inculcate positive attitude and optimistic outlook in life.

Q3. How has the poet used the dust of snow and crow as the symbols to steer clear of the stereotypes? How can positive attitude turn a problem into an opportunity and make the world a better place to live in?

Ans. Robert Frost condemns stereotypes which are fixed beliefs as they are not healthy for our belief system.  For example crow is considered to be an ominous bird bringing bad news and hemlock tree is the symbol of death. The poet is so much engrossed in his sad thoughts that he fails to see the glistening and bright snow which is like a lightening among the dark clouds. But poet proved that the insignificant things like crow and snow can bring significant changes in our life. They can be the instruments to bring cheer and positivity in life if we have right perspective and positive frame of mind. He exhorts us to open our mind and see the worth of things however small or insignificant they are.

Q4. What is the underlying message of the poem ‘Dust of Snow’?

Ans. Sometimes, seemingly insignificant natural things or events do bring about a great change in our life. It depends on our perspective and the way we look at the things. However difficult phase of life we may be going through, there is always a ray of hope that the things will change. Even the darkest cloud has a silver lining in it. The message is clear enough that we need to have an optimistic outlook and positive frame of mind. 

Q5. ‘Depths of oppression create heights of character’ Illustrate.

Ans. Yes it is so true that ‘Depths of oppression create heights of character’. The height and greatness of our character are tested in the hot fires of adversity, struggles or oppression. A person who is great to the core never surrenders to injustice and oppression but survives to see the golden sunrise after the darkness of oppression. Nelson Mandela illustrates this statement by giving the examples of Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu and many other freedom fighters and revolutionary leaders.

Q6. How can you say 10th May is ‘an autumn day’ in South Africa?

Ans. 10th May is 'an autumn day' because South Africa lies in southern hemisphere, hence, experiences autumn season in the month of March and last till June-July. In autumn season the trees shed their leaves and new ones come. It is a metaphor as old order was changing in South Africa when the British rule ended up and a non-racial and Democratic government was established. It is symbolic and metaphorical presentation of a political change establishing that ‘Change is the law of nature’.

Q7. ‘Fear and lack of self-confidence stop one from learning new things’. Do you agree?

A. Definitely, I do agree that ‘Fear and lack of confidence stop one from learning new things as it happened with the young seagull. It wanted to fly but was afraid of falling. The fear of falling stopped it from even making an attempt. Moreover, it didn’t have faith and confidence on its wings. It thought that its wings won’t support it during its attempt to fly. Its fear of falling and lack of confidence stopped the young seagull from making an attempt to fly. Same is the case with all living creatures and even human beings. Out of fear and due to lack of faith in ourselves we don’t try out new things and get lost in the crowd.

Q8. What is the significance of repetition of the words ‘quiet’ and ‘brilliant’ in the poem?

Ans. Through the repetition of the two words ‘quiet’ in first stanza and ‘brilliant’ in the last stanza the poet wants to make a stark contrast between the tiger in cage and the tiger in jungle. First ‘quiet’ portrays tiger’s noiseless soles which are soft like velvet and apt for hunting. The second ‘quiet’ pictures grief and anger of a tiger but his anger is suppressed and controlled as he is not free and can’t show his anger. First ‘brilliant’ refers to stars shining brightly in the open sky and the second ‘brilliant’ refers to tiger’s sad and helpless eyes that are twinkling with the hope of living a free life again. Thus, the repetition conveys two contrary conditions of a tiger. Through this repetition the poet tries to highlight that the tiger in the zoo is not free but has every right to live freely.

Q9. “Freedom is everyone’s birth right”. How does the poet convey this message through the poem?

Ans. Not only humans but the animals too, cherish freedom and freedom can’t be bargained at any cost. The tiger may be well fed and protected in the zoo. However, he can’t stay happy until or unless he is free to live, hunt and run under the open sky. He is in quiet rage and longs for freedom. He is sad being in a cage and that too, he can’t express. He would have been a tiger in true sense if he had been free in jungle and live the way God has created him.

Q10. What does the poet want to convey through the poem ‘The Ball Poem’?

Ans.  John Berryman wants to convey the significance of loss in our life. He teaches how to cope up with the loss. Experiencing loss helps to grow up and face hardships. The poet makes the boy understand his responsibility when he loses his ball as the loss is inevitable. One needs to accept the loss as a part of life no matter how much it hurts. Life must go on. Life is to be lived and not wasted mourning over the loss which is past and clinging to something that is lost just like the boy who was trembling with grief when his ball went into harbour. He felt that all his childhood memories were lost. But the poet wants the boy to learn the epistemology of loss and understand that the past is gone and, will never come back. Staying strong is the only way to survive. Hence, it is important for everyone to experience loss, to stand up after it and to get on with life.

Q11. What does the poet mean when he says, “Money is external”?

Ans. In ‘The Ball poem’ Money is termed as ‘external in terms of the Loss which is immaterial. Money is external as it cannot buy memories. It can buy materials such as toys, gifts, houses, vehicles, etc. It can’t buy lost childhood, lost memories, lost relations, nor can it replace the things that we love and the things that really matter in our life. If such things are lost, they can’t be bought back. Money is external to such losses.

Q12. How does Wanda feel about the dresses game? Why does she say that she has a hundred dresses?

A. When Peggy and other girls teased Wanda by playing dresses game, Wanda must have felt embarrassed and humiliated as she was poor but she maintained her calm and remained silent. She was bullied again and again and asked, “How many dresses does she have?” To avoid their bullies and make them quiet she said that she had hundred dresses. As she was a self-respecting and talented girl, she drew hundred beautiful dresses to prove herself right.

Q13. Maddie thought that her silence was as bad as Peggy’s behaviour. Was she right? What do you think about it?

Ans. Yes, Maddie was right to think that her silence was as bad as Peggy’s behaviour. She could have stopped Peggy and saved her from humiliation. If we feel bad about any injustice being done to anyone and don’t do anything to stop it or don’t even express our displeasure about it, we are equally responsible for that injustice. On the contrary, we are worse than the one involved in injustice because the other person may not have the sensibility and sensitivity to realise what he/she is doing but we even after realising the gravity of issue don’t do anything to stop it.

Q14. What important decision did Maddie take? Why did she have to think hard to do so?

Ans. Maddie decided not to stand by and remain silent to see the injustice or bullying being done to anyone or people like Wanda but speak against it.
She had to think hard to do so as she might displease her friend Peggy and lose her friendship in doing so. She also had to gather lot of courage to do so as she wasn’t habitual of such bravery. She had been by the side of Peggy thinking she might be bullied for her borrowed clothes. She, being a poor girl might be an object of such bullies, too.

Q15. Was Anne right when she said, “ The world may not be interested in the musings of a 13 years old.”

Ans. No, Anne was not right when she said that the world might not be interested in the musings of a 13 years old girl as we all saw that the whole world gave a wonderful response to her diary and even now people are interested to buy and read the book. The book was a best seller and even included in the curriculum.

Q16. Why do you think the poet doesn’t mention in her letter the departure of the forest from the house?

Ans. It is because the poetess feels that humans won't be interested in knowing about the freedom of trees as she considers them insensitive and unconcerned about nature that's why humans want to captivate trees and animals for their selfish purposes. She feels there is no use mentioning of it in her letters as it would not invite anyone’s attention and interest.

Q17. ‘Beauty is only skin deep’. How does the poem ‘For Anne Gregory’ bring out the message?

Ans. W B Yeast tries to affirm that physical beauty is transient and disappoint the lovers whereas spiritual beauty must be real influencing agent as it is the real person and people don't have to fake for it. Hence lovers should seek love and admire the person for what he / she is.

Q18. How does the poet in the poem ‘Animals’ suggest that animals enjoy their present while human beings cry over past and worry for future? How are animals different from man according to the poet?

Ans. Walt Whitman admires the qualities of the animals and wishes to live with animals as they clearly understand what they want and when they get the thing, they enjoy it without pining for what other things they don't possess. Animals are contented and know how to be happy with their lot. The humans, on the contrary, always crave for the past and cry for the things they don't have instead of enjoying the bounties they have at the moment. They worry about the future and would always imagine that they would be happier with the thing they don't possess at the moment.

Q19. Why does the poet wish to turn and go to live with the animals?

Ans. Walt Whitman perceived the futility of civilisation and advancement because man is not able to enjoy his gains and cries for what he doesn't have. Hence he wants to go back to ancient period when men were like animals and happy and satisfied with their lot. All the progress and civilization is worthless if they can't make us happy.

Q20. How did Kisa Gautami come to realise the truth second time which she failed to do first time?

Ans. Buddha didn’t preach in beginning to a grieving mother but raised a hope in Gautami's heart that her son could be revived. But, the condition imposed by him was impossible for her to fulfil and she could not bring mustard seeds from the house no person lost his loved ones. The futile search of Kisa Gautami made her realise that birth and death are a part of life and the one who has taken birth has to die sooner or later. She also realised that she had been selfish in her love and failed to accept the truth of life. She learnt that one can attain peace only by acceptance.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Past Continuous Tense

Past Continuous Tense

Past Continuous Tense describes an action or event which began in the past and was continued, in progress and incomplete at some time in past when it is talked about or reported. That’s why it is also known as Past Progressive Tense. In simpler terms, it expresses an unfinished or incomplete action in the past.

Past Continuous Tense is used to –
1.    describe an action that was going on during some period of time in past :
·       We were listening to the radio all evening.
·       I was working in a construction company in 2012.

2.    describe an unfinished action that was interrupted by another event or action in past :
·       I was having a beautiful dream but the alarm clock woke me up.
·       I was going to spend the day at the beach but I was called back by mom.

3.    describe / express a change of mind / a temporary event or situation / shift from regular action in past :
·       It was raining, but suddenly the sun started shining.

4.    describe the background / setting of a story :
·       The sun was shining brightly, the birds were chirping and cool breeze was blowing when I happened to notice a cute cat on the river bank.

Adverbs used in the Tense
then                               in the morning
that time                       in 1990
last year this time         that day
when                             in the evening

Verb form used in the Tense :
Past continuous verb form consists of two things –
1. Past tense form of the verb ‘Be’ –       was (singular)
               were (plural)
2. Present particle form (V1+ing) of main verb
    e.g.   talk+ing = talking          play+ing + playing    
             smile+ing = smiling      swim+ing =  swimming    
             write+ing = writing       cut+ing  = cutting

Examples :
I was going to attend a family function that day.
The boys were playing football in lunch time.

Forms of be
Present Participle form of verb
was / were
Verb 1 + ing
Shyam was
playing in the park in evening.
She was
talking to her friend on phone when you came.
I was
reading ‘A Bend in the River’ that time.
You were
preparing for your class test when I called.
They were
going for a movie in evening.
My grandparents were
living with us those days.

Verbs not used in Continuous Tenses :

The verbs which convey sensory actions, perception, possession and state of mind are not used in Continuous Tenses. These verbs are enlisted below:

feel                      hear                     have (to possess)        
       smell                    measure             assume
believe                 consider             seem        
find                       suppose             forget                 
imagine                know                  mean                  
recognise             remember           understand       
        fear                       hate                    hope        
        love                      mind                   prefer    
        wish                     cost                     hold                    

Note: With verbs which are not normally used in the continuous form, Simple Past Tense is used.

For example – I was feeling bad.  ( Incorrect )
I felt bad.  ( correct )

He was knowing it would happen.  ( Incorrect )
He knew it would happen. ( correct )

More examples :

The baby was sleeping when you knocked at the door.
She was not going to meet her friends.
He was working in Mumbai Hotel that year.
Were you planning to visit Taj Mahal in summer?
Was John playing football match for the school?
Frank was talking on phone at that moment.
When the teachers entered, the students were shouting.
When my friend came, I was sleeping in my room.
They were waiting for the bus when the accident happened.
When we arrived, he was having a bath.
When the fire started, I was watching television.

Let’s practise
1.    The kids __________  in the ground in afternoon. (play)
2.    Caroline __________, when she broke her leg. (ski)
3.    Murli _____________ in the pool at that moment. (swim)
4.    We ________ to have dinner when uncle arrived. (go)
5.    The students ________  for Annual Function. (practise)
6.    What _____ you ________ in the holidays? (do)
7.    ____  you _________ in the weekend? (travel)
8.    It ____________ heavily in the morning. (rain)
9.    Which film ________ in Ansal Plaza yesterday? (run)
10. The students _________  in the first period. (play)

Answers :
1.    were playing       2. was skiing           3. was swimming         
4. were going          5. were practising    6. were - doing        
7. were – travelling      8. was raining     9. was running
10. were playing

      Past Tense