Saturday, 19 December 2020




Prose Lesson :

This lesson is an extract from Gandhiji’s autobiography titled ‘The Story of My Experiments with Truth’. Here he describes some incidents of his childhood. Gandhiji was then about twelve years old. The incidents he describes had a deep impression on his young mind. Read these incidents and think how different Gandhiji was from the other children of his age.

(The text has been slightly simplified.)

I must have been about seven when my father left Porbandar for Rajkot to become a member of the Royal Court. There I was put into a primary school. I can well recollect the names and other particulars of the teachers who taught me. I was only a mediocre student and there was hardly anything to note about my studies. From this school I went to a middle school, and from there to a high school.

By now I had reached my twelfth year.

During this short period, I don’t remember having ever told a lie to my teachers or my schoolmates. I used to be very shy and avoided all company. My books and my lessons were my sole companions.

To be at school at the stroke of the hour and to run back home as soon as the school closed – that was my daily habit. I literally ran back, because I could not bear to talk to anybody. I was even afraid lest anyone should poke fun at me.

There is an incident which occurred at the examination during my first year at the high school and which is worth recording. Mr. Giles, the Inspector of Schools, had come on a visit of inspection. He had set us five words to write as a spelling exercise. One of the words was ‘kettle’. I had misspelt it.

The teacher tried to prompt me with the point of his boot, but I would not be prompted. It was beyond me to see that he wanted me to copy the spelling from my neighbour’s slate. I had thought that the teacher was there to supervise us against copying. The result was that all the boys, except me, were found to have spelt every word correctly. Only I had been stupid. I could never learn the art of copying.

Yet the incident did not in the least diminish my respect for my teacher. Anybody, however highly placed, or howsoever wise, can at times be tempted to go wrong. To err is human. I was by nature blind to the faults of elders. I had learnt to carry out the orders of elders, not to scan their actions.

Two other incidents of the same period have always clung to my memory. I never had any taste for reading beyond my schoolbooks.

However, I disliked being taken to task by my teacher as much as I disliked deceiving him. Therefore, the daily lessons had to be done, but often without my mind in them.

Thus there was of course no question of any extra reading. Even the lessons could not be done properly. But somehow my eyes fell on a book that my father had bought. It was Shravana Pitribhakti Nataka – a play about Shravana’s devotion to his parents. I read it with deep interest. About the same time, there came to our place a group of itinerant showmen. One of the pictures they showed was of Shravana carrying his blind parents on a pilgrimage. He carried them on his shoulders by means of slings.

The book and the picture deeply touched my heart. ‘Here is an example for you to copy,’ I said to myself. The painful lament of the parents over Shravana’s death is still fresh in my memory. The melting tune touched me deeply. I played it on a concertina my father had bought for me.

I remember a similar incident connected with another play. Just about this time, I had got my father’s permission to see a play named ‘Harishchandra’. It was performed by a certain dramatic company.

This play captured my heart, and I could never be tired of seeing it.

But how often could I be permitted to go? It haunted me day and night. I must have acted Harishchandra to myself times without number. I asked myself day and night: ‘Why should not all be truthful like Harishchandra?’

I literally believed in the story of Harishchandra. The thought of it often made me weep. It inspired in me one ideal: ‘To follow truth and to go through all the ordeals Harishchandra had gone through.’

Both Harishchandra and Shravana are living realities for me. I am sure I should be moved as before if I were to read those plays again today.

New Words / Phrases and their Use

1. mediocre (not very good) – We don’t have any mediocre player in our team.

2. literally (exactly) – The rebukes of a mother should never be taken literally.

3. prompt (provoke, encourage) – His speech prompted the crowd to violence.

4. diminish (decrease) – The world’s resources are diminishing day by day.

5. tempt (attract) – Nothing can tempt me to do an act of dishonesty.

6. carry out (obey) – I always carry out the orders of my elders.

7. take to task (criicize badly) – The teacher took him to task for telling lies.

8. pilgrimage (religious journey) – Haridwar is a place of pilgrimage for all Hindus.

9. lament (expression of great sadness) – The mother’s lament over the death of

her child was heart-rending.

10. haunt (keep coming to the mind again and again) – The sad face of my mother

haunted me day and night.

Textual Comprehension

I. Tick () the correct option to complete each sentence:

a. Gandhiji would run back home after school because......

1. he was very shy by nature.

2. he was a mediocre student.

3. he had to finish his homework.

b. Gandhiji could never imagine that......

1. the teacher was there to supervise.

2. the teacher would not help him in copying.

3. the teacher wanted him to copy the spelling.

c. Gandhiji thought that the teacher had acted wrongly because......

1. to err is human.

2. the teacher was not wise.

3. the teacher was not highly placed.

d. Gandhiji always took care to do his daily lessons because......

1. he disliked reading.

2. he disliked his teacher.

3. he disliked being taken to task.

II. Answer the following questions:

1. Why did Gandhiji’s father leave Porbandar for Rajkot?

2. How old was Gandhiji when he was sent to a high school?

3. Why did Gandhiji make his books and lessons his sole companions?

4. Who was Mr. Giles? Why did he visit Gandhiji’s school?

5. What did the teacher want Gandhiji to do and why?

6. Why do you think Gandhiji calls himself ‘stupid’?

7. What opinion did Gandhiji form of his teacher and why?

8. What did Shravana do for his parents?

9. How did the story of Harishchandra inspire Gandhiji?

10. What idea do you form of Gandhiji as a child?


Vocabulary Enrichment

I. Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the given words:

1. Old: We should always respect our.

2. High: What is the of this building?

3. Deep: The cries of the poor woman touched my heart.

4. Wise: There is no in giving a child so much money.

5. Spell: There are many mistakes in your writing.

6. Truth: We should all be in our life.

7. Permit: He took my car without my.

8. Perform: The of our team was not so good this time.

9. Inspect: The Principal went on a tour of of all classes.

10. Supervise: Under whose did you leave the children?

II. Choose a suitable literary term to match each definition: play poem comedy

essay ballad biography

novel tragedy autobiography

1: It is a story or play that has an unhappy ending.

2: It is a writing that can be performed by actors on stage.

3: It is a book that a person writes about another person.

4. : It is a long and imaginary story in the form of a book.

5. : It is a simple song or poem, especially one that tells

a story.

6. : It is a light or amusing play or film, usually with a happy ending

7. : It is a book that a person writes about himself, his experiences, etc.

8. : It is a piece of writing, usually short and in prose on any one subject.

9. : It is a piece of writing in verse, especially one that expresses deep feelings or noble thoughts.

Grammar in Use

When two actions happen at the same time, we can use an -ing phrase

(i.e. a participle phrase) for the longer action; as ––

1. He was very shy.

He avoided the company of other boys.

Being very shy, he avoided the company of other boys.

2. Shravna carried his blind parents.

He went from place to place.

Carrying his blind parents, Shravna went from place to place.

I. Combine each pair of sentences, using an -ing phrase:

1. The boys saw the teacher.

They stopped talking.

2. The robber took out a revolver.

He threatened to kill the merchant.

3. The teacher raised his voice.

He asked the boys to stop talking.

4. I believed the beggar’s story.

I gave him some money.

5. The boys saw the gardener.

They ran away.

6. We lived in the same house.

We helped each other.

7. Kapil took up his bag.

He walked out of the room.

8. She is very poor.

She can’t send her child to school.

II. Fill in the blanks with ‘a’, ‘an’ or ‘the’:

teacher asked boys in class to copy

down words written on blackboard.


Pronunciation Practice

Read the words in the box. Write the words with the same short vowel

sound in the corect window. Then write your own words with the same

vowel sound on the other three lines.

top fit bus cab cup

jet pen pig rock wig

tub box tag step map

a e i o u

Composition Writing

I. Suppose you are the child M.K. Gandhi, and Mr. Giles came

on a visit of inspection to your school. Write a letter to your

father relating to him the whole incident that happened that


II. Complete the following sentences any way you like:

1. We should

2. We should not

3. We should

4. We should not

5. We should

6. We should not

On the midnight of August 14, 1947, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru

rose in the Lok Sabha to address the nation with these words :

“Long ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes to redeem our pledges. At the stroke of midnight, as the world sleeps, India shall awake to freedom.”

In his message to the press on August 15, 1947, he said:

“The appointed day has come, the day appointed by destiny, and India stands forth again, after a long slumber and struggle –– awake, vital, free and independent ...

“It is a fateful moment for us in India, for all Asia and

for the world. A new star rises, the star of freedom in the

East; a new hope comes into being; a vision long cherished

materializes. May the star never set and that hope never

be betrayed!

“The future beckons to us. Whither do we go and what shall

be our endeavour ? To bring freedom and opportunity to