Monday, January 11, 2021

The Portrait of A Lady Summary And Question Answer PDF chse Odisha plus 2 class

Exam note on english the portrait of a lady by Khushwant Singh

THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY By Khushwant Singh 

The Portrait of A Lady Summary And Question Answer PDF chse Odisha plus 2 class

An Introduction to Khushwant Singh: 

         Khushwant Singh was born on 2 February 1915. A lawyer by training, his most enduring work has been done in the field of Sikh history and biography, and his full-length portrait of Ranjit Singh vividly brings out the leader, the ruler and the man. His famous works are - 

(1) Train to Pakistan (1956) 

(2) I shall not hear the Nightingale(novel) (3) A Bend in the Ganges. (novel) 

(4) The mark of Vishnu (short story) 

(5) A Bride for the Sahib (short story) 

(6) EK Chadar Maili Si (I take this Woman) (Translation work) 

          Khushwant Singh's works describe the partition tragedy chiefly, and the problem of infiltration afterward which cause rehabilitation problem, created instability in Indian continent He has accurately narrated the freedom struggle, the Gandhian ideology, the Hindu Muslim riot In 1981 when Indira Gandhi was assassinated by a Sikh and agitated people killed the Sikhs in Delhi, it shocked Khushwant Singh deeply and he wrote - "After 33 years of independence, the Sikhs are not free in India and they can't say India as their motherland." 

          Khushwant Singh's stories are short but thoughtful and appealing. They bear the feelings of romance, philosophy, blood and vein of Indian soil. That's why they touch the senses, to the emotion and bring tears to the eyes. The present story is not an exception to this rule. 

Introduction to "The Portrait of a Lady '': 

          In Indian culture and tradition, old grandmas are not useless creatures, rather the most adorable, most loving and caring lady in every household. She makes the house lively, complete. Without her we feel orphaned.

          The narrator had a grandmother who was a bit extraordinary and different from other old ladies of the age. She was active, sportive and a laborious lady who had love for household, pity for sparrows, She had established a pleasant friendship with the birds when her relationship with the human world was nearly cut off. Her behaviour seemed strange, unbelievable when her final stage came. The doctors assured that she would survive; but she predicted her own death and died as she wished. Her death was mourned by a group of sparrows. 

The Summary of The Portrait of a lady: 

           The narrator's grandmother was very old and wrinkled. But she was the same for the last twenty years. One can't guess her age and she looked younger than grandfather though he had died several years earlier and his photograph was hanging in the drawing room. She moved about the house like a spirit of happiness, telling the beads of her rosary. Her lips constantly moved in inaudible prayer. She was an expanse of pure white serenity breathing peace and contentment. 

           The narrator's parents were trying to settle in the city. So they had left him under grandma's custody. She was much careful for him. She made him ready for school, preparing food for him, taking him to school, and teaching him at home. The temple priest was teaching him at home. The temple priest was teaching the narrator in the temple premises while grandmother was reading holy scriptures. While returning, she was giving pieces of bread to the street dogs and they were following them. 

           The narrator's parents, after being well settled in the city, took him and grandmother to the city. He studied in an English medium school, went there by school bus and studied English which grandmother could not teach. So gradually grandmother remained out of the narrator's life. She of course tried to give him accompaniment, but in city life it was not possible. When the narrator went to university, the relationship between them was totally cut off. She accepted it with resignation. She spent most of her time near the spinning wheel and feeding sparrows on the roof in the afternoon. At that time she looked cheerful. 

         The narrator wanted to go to foreign country for higher studies. Grandmother came to the station to see him off. He neither wept nor showed much excitement. She had accepted everything without emotion. The day when he returned, she came to the station to receive him. She looked exactly the same as she was twenty years before. 

        That evening grandmother collected the women of the neighbourhood, played musical - instruments, and started to sing without rest. The next morning she fell ill. The doctor said that she would heal soon. But she predicted that her last day would come. She began praying and telling her beads. She died after some time. 

         The preparation for the funeral started. After preparation when people went to grandmother's room to bring her dead body, they saw that hundreds of sparrows were around her dead body without making any sound. Mother gave them bread, but they did not eat. They flew away when the dead body was taken off.

The Portrait of A Lady Prose Analytical Outlines : 

  • The writer's grandmother was an old woman. 
  • She had a wrinkled face, white hair. 
  • She was pretty in her youth. 
  • Grandfather's photograph was in the drawing room.
  • He looked above a hundred years old. 
  • Grandmother looked much younger than him. 
  • It seemed as if her age was not growing. 
  • She moved in the house like a white spirit. 
  • Her very presence was joy.
  • She was like the winter landscape in the mountains. 
  • The writer and grandmother were good friends. 
  • His parents were living in the city. 
  • They were trying to set up their house. 
  • The writer was staying at my grandmother's house. 
  • She bathed him, fed him, and dressed him.
  • She led him to school. 
  • The school was running in the temple. 
  • The priest was teaching the children. 
  • Grandmother was reading scriptures at that time. 
  • While returning she was offering pieces of bread to dogs. 
  • The writer and grandmother came to the city when the parents settled. 
  • The writer went to an English medium school. 
  • He went to school by school bus. 
  • Grandmother was feeding sparrows in the afternoon. 
  • She asked him what he read at school. 
  • She could not understand his English education. 
  • She could not understand the laws of gravity, the world being round etc. 
  • She criticised music lessons at school. 
  • The writer went to university. 
  • His relationship was totally cut off. 
  • She accepted it with seclusion and resignation. 
  • She spent time near the spinning wheel. 
  • She sang prayers. 
  • She fed the sparrows in the afternoon. 
  • They sat upon her and begged for her food.
  • The writer decided to go abroad for study. 
  • Grandmother accepted it detachedly. 
  • She came to the station to see him off.
  • He returned after five years.
  • She came to the station to receive him. 
  • She had not changed. 
  • She was reciting prayers constantly. 
  • In the afternoon she fed the sparrows. 
  • In the evening she collected the neighbours. 
  • She sang and played instruments.
  • She fell ill in the morning. 
  • The doctors said she would survive. 
  • She said, she was going to die. 
  • She prayed and told her beads. 
  • She died a peaceful death. 
  • Arrangement was made for the funeral. 
  • People went to the room to bring the dead body. 
  • They found hundreds of sparrows around the dead body. 
  • They were all silent. 
  • Mother gave them pieces of bread. 
  • They did not eat. 
  • They flew away when the corpse was off.


Exam note on english the portrait of a lady by Khushwant Singh

Prose / essay: the portrait of a lady

Writer: Khushwant Singh

The Portrait of A Lady Summary And Question Answer PDF chse Odisha plus 2 class

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Question.1. Why was it hard for the author to believe that this grandmother was once young and pretty? 

Answer. The author has seen his grandmother for the last 20 years. She was always wrinkled with white hair. So when people say that she was young and pretty in her youth, the writer could not believe it. 

Question.2. How did the grandfather appear in his portrait ?

Answer. In the portrait, the grandmother appeared to be a beard man with a big turban, loose fitting clothes. He seemed to a hundred years old. 

Question.3. What sort of a person did he look in his portrait ? 

Answer. In his portrait he looked as if he would only have lots and lots of grandchildren. 

Question.4. How does the author portray his grandmother ? 

Answer. The writer's grandmother was short, fat and slightly bent. Her face had wrinkles. She had grown older and had stayed at the same age for twenty years. 

Question.5. Why does he say "the thought was almost revolting "? 

Answer. The writer's grandfather appeared to be more than hundred years who could have lots of grandchildren. His grandmother appeared old, but pretty and a bit younger. He could not think that such a pretty lady could be the wife of such on oldman.

Question.6. The grandmother had a divine beauty. How does the author bring this out ? 

Answer. The grandmother always told the beads of rosary. Her lips constantly moved in inaudible prayer. Yet she was like an expanse of pure white serenity breathing peace and contentment. 

Question.7. What was the grandmother's routine in the village ? 

Answer. The grandmother used to wake up the writer every morning and got him ready for school. She bathed and dressed him and took him to school. 

Question.8. How did the grandmother take care of the writer during his childhood ? Was she a good companion of the writer in the village ? 

Answer. The grandmother woke him up every morning, bathed and dressed him, fed him and carried him to school. She was a good companion of the writer in the village, staying with him at every moment. 

Question.9. What lessons did the writer learn from the village priest ? 

Answer. The writer learnt the alphabet and morning prayer from the priest. 

Question.10. How did the grandmother spend her time at the temple ? 

Answer. Grandmother sat inside the temple and was reading the scriptures when the writer was studying near the priest. 

Question.11. Was she a religious person ? How ? 

Answer. Grandmother was a religious person. She said her morning prayer in a monotonous sing-song. She used to read the scriptures in the temple.

Question.12. Why didn't the grandmother accompany the writer to school in the city ? 

Answer. The writer went to school by bus. So the grandmother did not accompany him to school. 

Question.13. Why could not the grandmother help the writer with his lesson at the city school ? 

Answer. The writer was reading western science, law of gravity, Archimedes' principle, the world being round. Grandmother did not know it. So she couldn't help him in his lessons. 

Question.14. Why did the lessons at the English school distress grandmother ?

Answer. Grandmother was an old fashioned lady. To her reading scriptures was real education. As the English school taught western science instead of scriptures she thought it distressing.

Question.15. Why was she disturbed about music lessons at the English school ? 

Answer. Grandmother looked disturbed when she heard that music lessons were taught at the English school, because to her, music had leid association. It was the monopoly of harlots and beggars, not for the gentle folk. 

Question.16. What were the three ways in which the grandmother spent her days when the author went to university ? 

Answer. When the writer went to university, the grandmother felt lonely. She spent time sitting by spinning wheel, reciting prayers and feeding the sparrows. 

Question.17. What was the happiest time of the day for her ? 

Answer. In the afternoon, grandmother fed the hundreds of sparrows that gathered around her demanding bread. While feeding them she felt that the time was the happiest day for her. 

Question.18. How did she accept her seclusion ? Ans. When the relationship from the writer was cut off, grandmother did not complain, rather accepted it with resignation.

Question.19. How did the grandmother see the author off at the railway station ? 

Answer. When the writer decided to go abroad, grandmother came to see him off at the railway station. She kissed his forehead and saw him off. 

Question.20. How did she receive him when he came back home from abroad ? 

Answer. When the writer came back home from abroad, grandmother came to the station to receive him. She clasped him in her arms. 

Question.21. What were her happiest moments on the first day of his arrival ? 

Answer. On the first day of his arrival, her happiest moments were with her sparrows whom she fed longer and with frivolous rebukes. 

Question.23. How did she celebrate return in the evening? Does her behaviour appear odd to you? 

Answer. In the evening, she collected some women of the neighbourhood, played drum, sang of the home coming of warriors. 

Question.23. How did she pass away ? 

Answer. She lay peacefully in bed praying and telling her beads. Gradually her lips stopped moving and her rosary fell from her lifeless fingers. She died a peaceful death. 

Question.24. How did the sparrows react when the author's grandmother died ? 

Answer. When the author's grandmother died, the sparrows sat scattered on the floor, around the dead body without chirruping. They did not take away food. 

Question.25. "Next morning the sweeper swept the bread crumbs into the dustbin. "What does this line imply ? 

Answer. Mother offered few pieces of bread to the sparrows sitting around the corpse of grandmother. They did not receive it. So the next morning the sweeper swept the bread crumbs into the dustbin to clear the room.

Extra Question and Answer of the Prose The Portrait of A Lady



(a) What was the writer's grandmother like? 

(b) What did people say about the writer's grandmother ? 

(c)How did the writer's grandfather look in the portrait ? 

(d) What was revolting and why ? 

(e) What seemed absurd on the part of grandmother ? 

Answer : 

(a) The writer's grandmother was like anybody's grandmother. She had been old and wrinkled for the last twenty years. 

(b) People said that she had once been young and pretty and had even had a husband. 

(c) In the portrait grandfather looked at least a hundred years old. He could have lots of grandchildren. 

(d) Grandmother looked pretty young in comparison to grandfather. So it was a revolting thought to think that she was his wife. 

(e) Grandmother often told of the games she used to play as a child. That seemed quite absurd and undignified on her part.

Part -2


(a) Why didn't the writer tell his grandmother about his foreign tour? 

(b) How did she react when she heard about his tour? 

(c) How did she bid farewell to the writer?

(d) How did she welcome the writer when he returned? 

(e) Why did the writer decide to go abroad? 

Answer : 

(a) The writer didn't tell his grandmother about his foreign tour because he feared that she would be upset. 

(b) When she heard about his foreign tour, she did not show emotion. She came to leave him at the station as if nothing had happened. 

(c) She came to the station. Silently she kissed his forehead. She expressed her love through this silent kissing. 

(d) When the writer returned, she came to the station to receive him. She clasped him in her arms. 

(e) The writer wanted to go abroad for higher studies. 




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