Word Meaning, Summary, Important Questions Of Chapter 1 My Mother at Sixty-six | Class 12

Chapter 4 A Thing of Beauty

Hindi Meaning Of Difficult Words | Chapter 1 My Mother at Sixty-six

S.No.WordMeaningsMeanings (in hindi)Synonyms
1Besidealongsideपास मेंnext to
2Dozenapझपकी लेनाblink, slumber, drowsiness
3Ashenpaleफीकाfaded, insipid, colorless
4Corpsedead bodyलाशcarrion, cadaver, stiff
5Spilling let outबाहर निकालनाknock out, betray
6Sprinting Moving fastदौड़ लगातेrun, race
7Wan dim, weakहल्काlight
8Paledull, colourlessफीकाfaded, insipid

About The Poet | Kamala Das | Chapter 1 My Mother at Sixty-six

Kamala Das (31 March 1934-31 May 2009) was an Indian English poet and at the same time a leading Malayalam author from Kerala, India. Kamala Das received many awards for her literary contributions like Asian Poetry Prize’, ‘Kent Award for English Writing from Asian Countries’ and many more.

Short Summary Of Chapter 1 My Mother at Sixty-six In English

The poet recalls a trip back to Cochin from her holiday at her parents’ house. It was a Friday morning and that morning she was driving with her mother next to her on the front seat. She was observing her mother who had fallen asleep on the front seat with her mouth slightly open. She could see her mother’s face which was pale and resembled to the nearly white face of a dead body. She realizes   that her mother is no longer younger and she has started looking very old. This became very hard for her to accept so, she was determined to shift her focus to something else. So, she turned her face away from her aged mother and started looking outside the window of the car. She started her mother appeared extremely pale and lacking looking at the trees they crossed while driving. vigor. The poet compared her mother’s face with It seemed to her that the trees were running at the winter’s moon which is slightly faded on full speed past her because of the moving car. It winter’s night. She recalled her childhood fear of seemed that those trees would have been young if losing her mother one day, that her mother would they could move at such a fast pace. She also saw die. This fear afflicted her many times before and children coming out of their house with their face again this thought was tormenting her. However, gleaming with excitement. After crossing these she did not let that fear show itself on her face. sights they reached airport. Till now, her mind was She smiled and waved a goodbye to her mother. busy and distracted due to those sights. But now, She gave the assurance that they would soon meet when they were going through the security check, she was standing a short distance away from her mother and saw her old mother. Again her mind was filled with the same thoughts. She could see again and throughout the conversation she put a brave face even though she was agonized   within.

Important Previous Year Questions From Chapter 1 My Mother at Sixty-six

SAI (2 marks)

  1. Why has the poet mentioned ‘ merry children spilling out of their homes’ in the poem? (2020)
  2. How does Kamala Das try to put away the thoughts of her aging mother? (Delhi 2014)
  3. What was the poet’s childhood fear? (AI 2014)
  4. Why has the poet’s mother been compared to the late winter’s moon’? (Delhi 2013)
  5. Why are the young trees described as ‘sprinting? (Delhi 2012)
  6. What were the poet’s feelings at the airport? How did she hide them? (AI 2012)
  7. What were Kamala Das’ fears as a child? Why do they surface when she is going to the airport? (AI 2011)

SA II (3 marks)

  1. What does the poet’s smile in the poem, ‘ My Mother at Sixty-six’ show? (2018)
  2. Why are the youngsters described as springing? (Delhi 2017)
  3. What were the poet’s feelings as she drove to Cochin airport? (Delhi 2015 C)

SA III (4 marks)

Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow:

  1. Driving from my parent’s

home to Cochin last Friday

morning, I saw my mother,

beside me,

doze, open mouthed, her face

ashen like that

Of a corpse and realized  with

pain

that she was as old as she

looked…….

 

(a) Where was the poet driving to? Who was sitting beside her?

(b) What did the poet notice about her mother?

(c) Which thought made the poet feel painful? (d) Name the figure of speech used in the expression: her face ashen like that of a corpse. (2020)

  1. but soon

put that thought away, and

looked out at young

trees sprinting, the merry children spilling

out of their homes.

(a) Name the poem and the poet.

(b) What thought did the poet put away?

(c) Why are the young trees described as sprinting?

(d) How do you know that the joyful scene did not help her drive away that thought’ from her mind? (AI 2019)

  1. I looked again at her, wan, pale

as a late winter’s moon and felt that old

familiar ache, my childhood’s fear,

but all I said was, see you soon, Amma

all I did was smile and smile and smile…

(a) Name the poet and the poem

(b) What was the poet’s childhood fear?

(c) What is the poetic device used in lines 1-2?

(d) Explain: ‘late winter’s moon.

  1. Old

Familiar ache, my childhood’s fear,

but all I said was, see you soon,

Amma,

all I did was smile and smile and

smile… … …

(a) What does the phrase, ‘familiar ache’ mean?

(b) What was the poet’s childhood fear?

(c) What do the first two lines tell us about the poet’s feelings for her mother?

(d) What does the repeated use of the word, ‘smile’ mean? (Delhi 2016)

  1. I saw my mother

beside me,

doze, open mouthed, her face

ashen like that

of a corpse and realized   with

pain……

(a) Who is ‘T?

(b) What did I realized   with pain?

(c) Why was the realization painful?

(d) Identify and name the figure of speech used in these lines. (AI 2016)

  1. I saw my mother,

beside me,

doze, open mouthed, her face

ashen like that

of a corpse and realized  with

pain

that she was as old as she

looked but soon

put that thought away,….

(a) What worried the poet when she looked at her mother?

(b) Why was there pain in her realization ?

(c) Why did she put that thought away?

(d) Identify the figure of speech used in these lines. (Delhi 2015)

  1. looked out at young

Trees sprinting, the merry children spilling

out of their homes, but after the airport’s

security, I looked again at her, wan, pale

as a late winter’s moon and felt that old

familiar ache, … …. ….. ……

(a) How can the trees sprint?

(b) Why did the poet look at her mother again?

(c) What did she observe?

(d) Identify the figure of speech used these lines.

  1. I looked again at her, wan, pale

as a late winter’s moon and felt that

old

familiar ache, my childhood’s fear,

……………………

(a) Who is ‘her’?

(b) Why did the poet look at ‘her’ again?

(c) What was the poet’s childhood fear?

(d) Identify the figure of speech used in these lines.

  1. …………….and felt that old

familiar ache, my childhood’s fear,

but all I said was, see you soon, Amma

All I did was smile and smile and smile…

(a) Name the poem.

(b) What was the poet’s childhood fear?

(c) What does her smile signify?

(d) What does the word ‘ache mean. (AI 2015 C)

  1. Driving from my parent’s

home to Cochin last Friday

morning, I saw my mother, beside me,

doze, open mouthed, her face ashen like that

of a corpse and realized   with pain

that she was as old as she looked…

(a) Where was the poet driving to?

(b) Why was her mother’s face looking like that of a corpse?

(c) What did the poet notice about her mother? (AI 2013)

  1. … but soon

put that thought away, and

looked out at young

trees sprinting, the merry children spilling

out of their homes,…

(a) What thought did the poet drive away from her mind?

(b) What did she see when she looked out of the car?

(c) What did she see that the joyful scene did not help her drive away the painful thought from her mind? (Delhi 2014 C)

  1. ….. but soon

put that thought away and

looked out at young trees

sprinting, the merry children spilling

out of their homes,

(a) Which thought did the poet put away?

(b) What do the sprinting trees’ signify?

(c) What are the merry children spilling out of their homes, symbolic of? (Delhi 2011)

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Answer Of Chapter 1 My Mother at Sixty-six ​ For The Above Questions

  1. The poet saw children running out of their houses, into the playground, they looked happy and unbothered full of life and energy. She used the paraphrase as a contrast to her aging mother who sat next to her.
  2. Troubled by the thoughts of her aging mother, Kamala Das tries to distract herself by not looking at her mother’s old, ashen face. Instead, she looks out of the car window at young trees sprinting and happy children running out of the their homes.
  3. Poet Kamala Das, in her poem, ‘ My Mother at Sixty-six’ says that since childhood, she feared separation from her mother. The thought of losing her mother has been making her uncomfortable ever since she was a little girl.
  4. The poet’s mother looks pale and worn out, devoid of the energy and enthusiasm of youth. In the twilight of her life, she appears as lackluster as the winter moon.
  5. The poet is in a car on her way to the Cochin airport. She looks outside from the moving car and feels the young trees seem to be running along with them. By describing the young trees as ‘sprinting’ the poet wants to show a striking contrast between their liveliness and her mother’s fading youth.
  6. At the airport, the poet feels worried about her aging mother. She is anxious that soon she is going to lose her mother; final separation (by death) from her mother scared her. To hide her fear and anxiety, she smiles and calls out see you soon Amma! A cheerful farewell allows her not to show her pain.
  7. As a child, Kamala Das feared losing her mother. When she is going to the airport, the fear resurfaces while she gazes at her mother. She realizes   that her mother is growing old and frail and nearing death.
  8. The poet’s smile is a deliberate attempt to hide her anxiety and fear of losing her mother and the final separation. Alternatively, it also shows that the poet hopes to see her mother again soon.
  9. The youngsters in the poem, ‘My Mother at Sixty-six are described as springing because they are symbolic of youth, liveliness and joy. contrast to the poet’s frail and aging mother the children appear to be young and spirited.
  10. As she drove to Cochin airport, the though that her mother looked old and withered, disturbed the poet. Her childhood fears haunted her again.
  11. (a) The poet was driving to Cochin. Her mother was sitting beside her.
  12. (b) The poet noticed that her mother was with her mouth open and she looked pale.
  13. (c) The thought of her aging mother made the poet feel painful.
  14. (d) The figure of speech used in the given expression is that of a simile.
  15. (a) The poem is My Mother at Sixty-six by Kamala Das.
  16. (b) The poet put the thought of her aging mother away. It pained her to see her mother’s declining health and impending death.
  17. (c) The young trees are described as sprinting because they are full of youth, energy and activity.
  18. (d) As the poet looked at her mother’s face again, she experienced the same old ache and her fear of losing her mother surfaced again. Even the joyful scene outside cannot help her drive away from that pain.
  19. (a) My Mother at Sixty-six by Kamala Das
  20. (b) The poet’s childhood fear was that of losing her Mother; the pain of ultimate separation.
  21. (c) Simile
  22. (d) The poet’s mother looks pale and worn out, devoid of the energy and enthusiasm of youth. In the twilight of her life, she appears as lackluster as the late winter’s moon.
  23. (a) The pain that her mother was growing old and the fear of separation.
  24. (b) The poet’s childhood fear was that of her mother growing old and final separation.
  25. (c) The poet loves her mother a lot and she feared losing her.
  26. (d) The word ‘smile’ was repeatedly used as the poet hid her feeling from her mother by smiling reassuring herself.
  27. (a) ‘T’ in the above extract is the poet narrating the incident from a daughter’s point of view.
  28. (b) The poet realized with pain that her mother is nearing old age.
  29. (c) The poet is pained by the realization  because her mother now looked as old as she was, her bodily infirmities that have come, show that she was approaching her death and it was a hard fact to accept for the poet.
  30. (d) The figure of speech used is simile and the line is, ‘ashen like that of a corps.
  31. (a) The poet was worried about her mother’s advancing age and she feared final separation from her mother.
  32. (b) There was pain in the poet’s realization  because her mother now looked as old as she was, her bodily infirmities that comes with old age were visible on her face. The poet was having a hard time accepting the thought of finally losing her mother.
  33. (c) The poet put that thought away because she was going away from her mother and the thought of separation was too painful for her to bear. The realization  that old age was quickly approaching her mother filled her mind with unpleasant thoughts about losing her, which saddened and scared her deeply.
  34. (d) The figure of speech used is a simile- “Like that of a corpse”.
  35. (a) The trees seem to sprint because as the car moves ahead, the movement of the trees is backward.
  36. (b) The poet’s feeling of anxiety and fear for her mother’s health made her look again at her mother.
  37. (c) She observed her mother’s pale appearance, resembling the late winter moon.
  38. (d) Simile-Pale as a late winter’s moon
  39. (a) ‘Her’ is poet’s mother.
  40. (b) The poet looked at her mother again due to anxiety and worry.
  41. (c) The poet’s childhood fear was that of losing her mother, the pain of ultimate separation. (d) Simile pale as a late winter’s moon.
  42. (a) The name of the poem is My Mother at ‘ Sixty-six.
  43. (b) Since childhood, the poet feared her ultimate separation from her mother.
  44. (c) She smiles in order to hide her true feelings, fear and anxiety.
  45. (d) The word ache means pain..
  46. (a) The poet was driving from her parents home to the Cochin airport.
  47. (b) Her mother’s face was looking like that of a corpse because she had aged quite a lot, was weak and had lost her youthful energy and enthusiasm.
  48. (c) The poet noticed that her mother was sleeping with her mouth open, her face had become ashen, lacking the youthful glow. This made the poet realize that her mother was “as old as she looked”.
  49. (a) The poet drove away from her mind the thought of her mother’s impending death.
  50. (b) When the poet looked out of car, she saw sprinting trees, happy children coming out of their homes to enjoy themselves.
  51. (c) The poet looked at her mother’s face once again and experienced the old familiar ache, the childhood fear of losing her mother. She gazed at her mother’s pale appearance the joyful scene did not help her drive away the painful thoughts from her mind.
  52. (a) The poet put away the thought of her aging mother and her gradual declining health. It pained her to think about losing her mother to death soon and the invertible final separation.
  53. (b) ‘Sprinting trees’ signify energy, youth and activity. The poet wants to contrast young trees with her old mother.
  54. (c) The merry children spilling out of their homes’ is symbolic of happiness, energy and playfulness. It can also be symbolic of poet’s sad thoughts being contrasted with ‘ merry children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more chapters word meanings click on the links given below.

Prose

Poem

Vistas

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