Sunday 24 January 2016

Class 12 - English - My Mother At Sixty-Six (Q and A)

My Mother at Sixty-Six

-By Kamla Das
Questions and Answers

Class 12 - English - My Mother At Sixty-Six (Q and A)

Memory Card
  • Poetess is travelling back in a car from her parent's place to Cochin 
  • Old mother also accompanying-to see her off at the airport 
  • Poetess notices that she has dozed off and mouth remained open 
  • Her face has a dull, colourless appearance- reminds her of a corpse 
  • Thought is painful, realizes she is now an old woman and could be nearing death 
  • Turns to look at the racing green trees outside, sees happy children running out of their homes 
  • A welcome change from the gloomy thoughts that grip her 
  • Reaches the airport, after the security checking, looks at the mother again 
  • Sees her pale and ageing face, is reminded of the winter moon with all the vitality and brightness gone 
  • Feels pained at being reminded of a childhood fear- had always been scared of losing her mother one day 
  • Does not want to show her agony and fear to her mother now 
  • Tells her that she would see her soon and bids her goodbye with a fake bright smile 

Q1: What is the kind of pain and ache that the poet feels?

Answer: Kamla Das is in pain by seeing her mother pale and weak like that of a corpse. The fear of losing her mother was her familiar ache, which she was unable to accept.

Q2: Why are the young trees described as 'sprinting' ?

Answer: Poetess has used Personification in "Young Trees sprinting". It personifies the youth who is rushing and running so fast, which is a contrast to the ageing process of her old mother.

Q3: Why has the poet brought in the image of merry children spilling out of their homes?

Answer: Metaphor and Imagery are used to describe 'the merry children spilling out of their homes'. The happy children who are so energetic that they run and vanish quickly shows the contrast to the pale and ageing mother. By bringing this image to context, poetess put the painful thought of her mother approaching to end away.

Q4: Why has the mother been compared to the 'late winter's moon' ?

Answer: Kamla Das has used simile to compare her mother to the 'late winter's moon'. A late winter's moon is a lusterless, dull, blur moon which is just like a wan, pale face of her mother.

Q5: What do the parting words of the poetess and her smile signify?

Answer: The parting words of the poetess i.e, "See you soon, Amma" showed her hidden painful emotions. It signifies her pain and fear of losing her mother. The fake bright smile tells us that the poetess was self-assuring herself that she would find her mother alive when she would next meet her.


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