Odisha State Board Plus 2 – The Portrait of a Lady

The Portrait of a Lady

Think it out 1

  1. Why was it hard for the author …………………… pretty?

Answer. .. His grandmother’s face was marked by wrinkles, loose hanging skin. Her voice was unsteady, and her lips quivered continuously. Her hair had turned completely grey. Seeing these, the author, then a young boy, couldn’t imagine that his grandmother could have been a very beautiful young woman during her youth.

  1. How did his grandfather …. Portrait?

Ans .. His grandfather looked handsome, imposing and manly in his turban and loose-fitting clothes.

  1. What sort of person he ……… portrait?

Ans .. He looked like a young man full of masculine energy who would raise a big family with lots of children and grandchildren.

  1. How does the author…… ………grandmother?

Ans .. The author saw his grandmother as a simple, un-intelligent, and homely woman. She was a bit fat, bent to one side, and un-spoilt by the crookedness of human existence.

  1. Why does he say “……………… revolting’?

Ans .. His grandmother was both pretty and pious. She was unpretentious too. To be mother of so many children, and be submerged in the lust of life was not in her character.

  1. The grandmother had a divine beauty. …………………..out?

Ans .. The grandmother had a serene and simple look. She exuded purity and peace. In the language of the author, she resembled the winter landscape of the mountains – clean and calm. This was the divine charm she wore.


Think it out 2


1. What was the grandmother’s …………  village?

Ans .. She was the mentor and caretaker of the author. She would visit the village temple on her way to school, feed some stay dogs on the way, and escort him back.

2. How did the grandmother ……………………….. writer in the village?

Ans ..Her job was to wake the author, then a young boy, and make him ready for school. She escorted him there. Before that she said her prayers in somewhat louder voice so that he could benefit from its spirituality. She made him feel loved, secure and comfortable, even without his parents being with him. She was his mentor and care taker.

3. What lessons ………… priest?

Answer .. The priest taught the boy the alphabets and the morning prayer.

4. How did the grandmother ……?

Ans.. She read the scriptures till the boy had finished the lessons under the priest.

5. Was she a religious …..?

Ans.. She was a religious person. She did her pujas sincerely, and fed the dogs out of her kindness.

Think it out 3..

  1. Why didn’t the grandmother………….. city?

Ans. The writer was growing up in age. His school changed. He went to a school in the city by bus, not on foot. There was no need of an escort, so the old lady didn’t go to the city with him.

  1. Why couldn’t the grandmother ………… school?

Ans.. The writer was growing up, and his curriculum in school changed dramatically. The new subjects he learnt were Greek and Latin for the grandmother. So, she couldn’t help him with his lessons.


  1. Why did the lessons … ……………grandmother?

Ans .. The school taught subjects that appeared so distant and irrelevant to the old lady brought up with traditional values. The school didn’t have scriptures in the syllabus. This horrified her, and she felt distressed.

  1. Why was she disturbed ……………………. School?

Ans.  The curriculum in the school was adapted to the Western model. More worryingly for the old-fashioned grandmother, they taught Music at school. The idea was repulsive to the old lady who felt music is degrading and vulgar. This is the reason she was so distressed to hear about the school teaching Music.

  1. What are the three ways ………………………….University?

Ans .. A spinning wheel was her companion from morning to evening. She spun, and recited her payers all through the day. In the evening, she would shred a few bread pieces, and strew them all around for big flock of little birds to feed on. This part of daily routine filled her heart.

  1. What was the happiest ……?

Feeding bread pieces to the large flock of birds gave her real pleasure. They took liberty with her, sitting on her head and shoulders, but she relished the experience.

  1. How did …… seclusion?

Ans .. She accepted her fate with equanimity and resignation.


Think it out 4

  1. How did the ………………………station?

Ans. The parting was unusually quiet. The grandmother didn’t let her feelings overwhelm her. She remained quiet, lost in her prayers and her beads. She bore the torrent of emotions like a rock. When the time came to leave, she kissed the forehead of the author. It was a remarkable show of self-control.

  1. How did she …… abroad?

Ans. She held back her joy choosing not to display it. She showed no jubilation, nor excitement. She came and hugged the author very warmly, but instead of saying anything, she kept to her silent prayers steadfastly. It was so very surprising.

  1. What were her happiest moments……………………..arrival?

Ans. On that evening, she appeared to be more than happy to feed her sparrows. She lavished her affection on them, often chiding them playfully for their naughtiness.

  1. How did she celebrate ……………odd to you?

Ans.. On the day the author arrived home, she took a break from her prayer. Instead, she gathered a few women from the neighborhood, and indulged in spirited singing of songs related to the theme of home-coming of warriors. The energy and the joy in her singing were astonishing. She continued to play the drum with her feeble arms. The gusto she exhibited was quite uncharacteristic of her. This was a bit odd for her frail mind and body.

  1. How did she pass away?

Ans.. The end came unannounced. She was very weak, and was made to lie down on the bed. She was telling her beads, very quietly, and suddenly, the lips stopped moving. She had departed from this world with no fanfare.

  1. How did the sparrows ………………. died?

Ans.. The sparrows appeared in the appointed time as usual. But, they sensed something was amiss. Their long time benefactor was not there to feed them. When the author’s mother gave away their food, they refused to partake it. Instead they flew off, perhaps heart-broken.

  1. “Next morning the sweeper ……………… imply?

Ans.. This concluding line has philosophical undertones. The bread crumbs were thrown to the garbage. The end was tragic, and abrupt, but everything appeared so routine. Life in the world is like this. All joys, sorrows, love, affection, bond and attachment are transitory. They will pass one day, but the life will go on.




————————-To be completed tomorrow——————-

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Tapaswini Parida
Tapaswini Parida
4 months ago

Here is some grammatical mistake.

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