NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 1 the Portrait of a Lady written by Khushwant Singh and the poem a Photograph by Shirley Toulson are given here for CBSE 2022-23. Get chapter end exercises question answer along with extra practice questions.

The three phases of the author’s relationship with his grandmother before he left the country to study abroad.

The author had three phases with his grandmother, one of which was, when his grandmother wakes him up in the morning, prepares for school, gives breakfast and escorts him till school. This was the time when the author was very young. The second phase was when they were called to the city and the author was going to school now via bus. But even now his grandmother used to wake him up in the morning but his conversation had reduced because more time of the author was spent in studies. The third phase was when author starts going university and he was given his separate room. His grandmother was now living alone. She used to worship all day except in afternoon when she used to feed sparrows.

Three reasons why the author’s grandmother was disturbed when he started going to the city school.

When the author moved to the city and started living with his grandmother, he had very little conversation with his grandmother. This was also because now most of his time was spent studying and with his friends and the lovely bond of grandma grandson was left behind somewhere. This was the first reason why grandmother was disturbed. The second reason was that he had to study in English, which was not understood by his grandmother at all.

She came from Pakistan and she was proficient in Hindi, Punjabi and Pashto language. She was strongly against speaking or writing of English. The third thing her grandmother disliked and was disturbed was the study of music at the author’s school. Music was not considered good in those days and the author was in a private school where it was a normal to have music as a part of academics.

Three ways in which the author’s grandmother spent her days after he grew up.

When the author is young, much of his grandmother’s time is spent in raising him. She prepares his food, drops him to school and comes home only after sitting some time in temple. When he goes to the city, and gets busy with his studies, his grandmother accepted her seclusion and started spending the majority of her time by the spinning wheel and reciting prayers. When she got some time from Khushwant and her prayers, she used to give grains to the birds. This is how she used to spend her time.

The odd way in which the author’s grandmother behaved just before she died.

Though his grandmother was less talkative and most of her time went in reciting prayers but when author came from abroad after higher studies, she didn’t pray that day and it was a surprise to see a lady who had not been giving up prayer for so many years. In the evening she calls the neighborhood ladies and starts playing the old drum and those songs were sung which are sung on the home return of warriors. She sang so many songs happily that the author had to convince her to stop. His grandmother also stopped talking to any one at home before she died.

The way in which the sparrows expressed their sorrow when the author’s grandmother died.

The grandmother used to feed the sparrows everyday in her verandah. She developed a special relationship with them. When she died, thousand of sparrows scattered on the floor without chirruping. It was a pin drop silence from sparrow’s side. Author’s mother fetched little crumbs of breads to them but they didn’t eat a single piece and flew away. This was sparrow’s way of expressing sorrow on the demise of his grandmother.

The author’s grandmother was a religious person. What are the different ways in which we come to know this?

When she lived in village with her grandson she used to sing prayer while getting him ready for school in the morning. Her effort was also that the author listened to her and became spiritual since childhood. She was annoyed when she came to know that his city school has English & Science subjects and not religious. When he went to University, she passed her time in wheel spinning and reciting prayers from dawn to dusk. In the last years of her life, the grandmother had stopped talking and used to do prayers throughout the day and used to feed the birds which are seen in association with religion.

Describe the changing relationship between the author and his grandmother. Did their feelings for each other change?

The author had a good relationship with his grandmother since childhood because there was no one else at home except both, so he used to spend a good time with his grandmother. His grandmother prepared him for school, feed him and escort him till school. After coming from school, she used to ask him what he studied that day. As he grew up and studies continued in city, he got lesser time to spend and their conversation also reduced. And when he went to university, the conversation was almost over. However, they both love each other very much despite lesser conversation.

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