1) Where was Abdul Kalam’s house ?
Ans: Abdul Kalam’s house was located on the mosque street in the town of Rameswaram in the state of Tamil Nadu.
2) What do you think Dinamani is the name of ? Give a reason for your answer.
Ans: Dinamani is the name of a local newspaper. It is because Abdul Kalam tried to trace the stories of the second world war in the headlines of Dinamani.
3) Who were Abdul Kalam’s school friends? What did they later become ?
Ans: Ramanadha sastry, Aravindan and Shivaprakasan were Abdul’s school friends. Ramanadha became the priest of Rameswaram temple. Aravindan took the business of arranging transport for visiting pilgrims. Shivaprakasan became a catering contractor for the southern railways.
4) How did Abdul Kalam earn his first wages ?
Ans: Kalam’s cousin asked kalam to help him in collecting the bundle of newspaper thrown out of a moving train. For this he earned his first wages.
5) Had he earned any money before that ? In what way ?
Ans: Yes, Abdul Kalam had earned some money before that. There was a sudden demand for tamarind seeds in the market. He would collect the seeds and sell them to a provision shop on Mosque street. This way he would get a sum of one anna.
1) How does the author describe : (i) his father .(ii)his mother, (iii)himself ?
Ans: (i) The author, Abdul Kalam describes his father as an honest and generous man. He had neither much formal education nor much wealth. He possessed great inate wisdom and a kind heart. He was self-disciplined and avoided in essential luxuries.
(ii) He describes his mother, Ashiamma as an ideal helpmate to her husband. She was a woman with a big heart who fed many people everyday.
(iii) He describes himself as a short boy with undistinguished looks. He possessed the qualities of honesty, self-discipline and kindness which he inherited from his parents.
2) What characteristics does he say he inherited from his parents ?
Ans: Abdul Kalam says he inherited honesty and self-discipline from his father. From his mother, he inherited faith in goodness and deep kindness.
1)”On the whole, the small society of Rameswaram was very rigid in terms of the segregation of different social groups, “ says the author.
(i) Which social groups does he mention ? were these groups easily identifiable (for example, by the way they dressed)
Ans: He mentions two social groups of orthodox Brahmins and Muslims. Yes, these groups were easily identifiable. They had their different dress codes and rituals. For example, Kalam used to wear a cap, while his friend Ramanadham used to wear the sacred thread.
(ii) Were they aware only of their differences or did they also naturally share their friendship and experience? (Think of the bedtime stories in Kalam’s house of who his friends were and what used to take place in the pond near his house)
Ans: No, they were not only aware of their differences but they also naturally shared friendships and experiences. Kalam’s mother and grandmother would tell the children the stories about Ramayana. During the annual Shri Sita Rama Kalyanam ceremony, his family used to arrange boats with a special platform for carrying idols of the lord from the temple to the marriage site, situated in the middle of the pond called Rama Tirtha which was near his house.
(iii) The author speaks both of people who were aware of the differences among them and those who tried to bridge these differences . Can you identify such people in the text?
Ans: The people who were aware of the differences were Kalam’s new teacher who tried to segregate pupils on the basis of religion. The wife of Sivasubramania Iyer (his science teacher) did not allow Kalam to eat in her pure kitchen.
Among the people who tried to bridge these differences were (1) Kalam’s science teacher, Sivasubramania Iyer who invited, served and dined with him to break social barriers.
(2) Lakshmana Sastry who conveyed the strong sense of conviction to the new young teacher not to poison the minds of innocent children with social inequality. The teacher regretted and was reformed.
(iv) Narrate two incidents that show how differences can be treated, and also how they can be resolved. How can people change their attitudes.
Ans: Two incidents that show how differences can be created are mentioned below:
First incident – when Kalam was in the fifth standard, he and Ramanandha Sastry always sat next to one another. The teacher was unhappy to see a priest son sitting next to Muslim boy. He made Kalam to sit on the last row. Both Kalam and his friend were extremely unhappy.
In the second incidence, Kalam’s science teacher Sivasubramania Iyer invited him for meal to his house. His wife was very conservative and got worried about a Muslim boy eating in her pure Hindu kitchen. So, she refused to serve him in her kitchen.
The other incidents showed that how difference can be resolved. In the first incident Lakshmana Sastry conveyed with a strong sense of conviction not to poison the minds of innocent children. This reformed the teacher. The science teacher of Kalam tried to bridge the differences between his orthodox Brahmin wife and Kalam. People can change their attitudes by observing no difference in the way of Hindu’s and Muslim’s eating of meals, drinking of water and cleaning of the floor.
2) (i) Why did Abdul Kalam want to leave Rameswaram ?
Ans: Abdul Kalam wanted to leave Rameswaram for further studies. He wanted to study at the district headquarters in Ramanathapuram.
(ii) What did his father say to this ?
Ans: Kalam’ s father said that he knew that one day Kalam had to go away to grow. He said that seagull fly across the sun alone and without a nest. He also quoted to Kalam’s mother that children are the sons and daughter of life’s longing for itself. The parents may give them love but not their thoughts. For they have their own thoughts.
(iii) What do you think his words mean? Why do you think he spoke those words ?
Ans: Abdul kalam’s father’s words bear great meaning. With his words he inspired his son to go ahead by giving the examples of sea gull. Secondly he explained Kalam’s mother to give her son opportunities to get higher education and to make progress. I think he spoke those words to encourage his son kalam and not to let her mother’s emotional attachment stop him from moving away to study further.