Odisha CHSE 1 English Literature — Childhood by Jawaharlal Nehru

Odisha CHSE 1 — Childhood by Jawaharlal Nehru

Answers to questions ..

Think it out 1

  1. Why did Nehru resent the behaviour of Englishmen in general in India?

Answer .. Nehru, in his childhood, overheard the discussion in his house about the scornful ways the British officials treated the common Indians, especially in the railways and in public parks. The Englishmen travelled in royal comfort in railway compartments when the Indians had to suffer great discomfort in overcrowded compartments. Nehru resented their assumed superiority over Indians and felt happy when some Indian showed courage to stand up to them.


  1. How did he feel about the individual Englishman in India?

Answer .. Although he seethed in anger against the domineering attitude of the Englishmen, he had no ill feeling towards individual Englishmen some of whom he liked.


Think it out 2

Q1. How did Nehru’s father spend his evenings in Allahabad?

Answer .. He used his evenings to relax and entertain his close group of friends over drinks of different hues. They exchanged jokes that made his father burst into loud laughter.

2. How does Nehru express his admiration for his father?

Answer .. Nehru perceived his father as a robust person with strong intellect, and strong legal acumen. He admired him and dreamed of becoming one like him in the future. He was, however, scared of his wild temper.


Think it out 3

  1. Narrate briefly how Nehru became a victim of his father’s temper. What was the effect of this incident on him?

Answer … On one occasion, Nehru had picked up one pen out of two kept on his father’s table. He had taken away the pen without his father’s knowledge. Soon after, a feverish search was carried out in the house to locate the lost pen, and it was found to be in Nehru’s possession. His father flew into a blind rage on getting to know it, and whacked Nehru mercilessly. It left Nehru badly bruised both physically and mentally. He, however, realized his fault, and got reconciled to the punishment.

2. What impression of Nehru’s mother do you get from this unit?

Answer .. She was a loving mother who doted on her son. She was short and had a charming persona.


Think it out 4

Q1. … How does Nehru cherish the memory of Mubarak Ali?

Answer .. Nehru adored Mubarak Ali’s humility, and quiet demeanor. Ho offered solace to Nehru when the latter faced any grief. Moreover, Ali had an inexhaustible stockpile of stories that Nehru loved to listen to.


Q2…. How did Nehru acquire the knowledge of Indian folklore and mythology during his childhood?

Answer .. Nehru was fortunate to have two story-tellers in his childhood. One was Ali, and the other was his father’s widowed sister. The aunt was well-versed in Indian mythology, and narrated the stories to her nephew happily.


Think it out 5

Q 1. How does Nehru recall the religious atmosphere in his home during his childhood?

Answer .. Nehru did remember the many religious festivals of Hindus, Muslims, and Kashmiris. He enjoyed the festive occasions and was thrilled by the rituals associated with each of them. However, the festivities failed to install any religiosity in him. He just liked the fun and frolic of the holy days.


Q2. How did Nehru family observe various festivals when he was a child?

Answer .. The attitude of the elderly men folk and the women towards the festivals were starkly different from each other. The men were not emotionally involved in the festivals, and often talked mockingly about them. The women, however, observed the festivals with utter devotion and austerity.


Think it out 6

Q1. How did Nehru enjoy his birthdays during his childhood?

Answer … For Nehru, birthdays in his boyhood brought a lot of happiness, as he became the center of attraction for the family and friends. In the morning, he was weighed in a balance against equal quantities of wheat and other commodities. Later, the material was given away to the poor people. In the evening, a lavish party was thrown by his father. Affection and blessings were heaped on him generously. It made him feel important.


Q2. What was his grievance against this occasion?

Answer .. With age, he became wiser and realized that with each birthday, he was inching nearer to the end of his life span. This realization made him unhappy.


Think it out 7  

Q1. How did Nehru enjoy himself when his family visited relatives living in distant towns to take part in wedding ceremonies?

Answer .. Nehru immensely enjoyed the company of his cousins who were more or less his age. With full freedom, they played, did mischief, and engaged in childlike fun activities. For Nehru, the time was highly enjoyable.

Q2. How does Nehru view customs of Indian marriages?

Answer .. Nehru disapproved of the pomp and ceremony of the weddings because the families spent huge amounts on them. The short-lived celebrations meant back-breaking debts for the poorer and middle-class families. At times, the crowd engaged in distasteful fun that was an eyesore for Nehru. Because of these reasons, Nehru disliked the custom of extravagant ceremonies.

Q3. Why is he sympathetic to the poor with regard to their extravagant wedding ceremonies?

Answer .. Nehru knew how hard the poor slogged to eke out a living. For them, life was so drab and mundane. Marriage ceremonies offered a respite from such drudgery and boredom. So, he sympathized with the poor when they spent heavy amounts for their marriage festivities.

Q4. What is Nehru’s observation on the brighter side of wasteful marriage ceremonies?

Answer .. Marriage ceremonies resulted in old friends and distant relatives meeting one another to revive their family bonds. Such get-togethers brought joy and empathy to the family members.


Think it out 8

Q1. How does Nehru focus on the status of Kasmiri women in the society?

Answer .. Kashmiri women had no purdah system. They could freely move around and mingle with the men folk without raising other’s eyebrows. But, when they met with the people native to other parts of North India, they observed some self-imposed restrictions on their conduct and stayed away from the proximity of other men. Kashmiri boys and girls could freely meet each other, provided they didn’t indulge in anything immoral.


Q2. How does he record his adventure with horse-riding during his childhood?

Answer .. Nehru used to go on short horse-riding sessions with a sawar from the local cavalry regiment. On one occasion, he fell from the horse and lay on the ground helplessly. When the pony returned home without Nehru, his father and his tennis-playing friends became alarmed. They raced in their cars to spot Nehru. Finally, he was retrieved and brought home to receive a hero’s welcome.


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    Baliram bhatra

    What is nehru s observation on the brighter side of wasteful marriage ceremonies

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