UP Board Class 12 English Prose Chapter 1 A Girl with a Basket

UP Board Class 12 English Prose Chapter 1 A Girl with a Basket

सम्पूर्ण पाठ और उसका हिंदी अनुवाद

About the Author


William C. Douglas, a judge of the Supreme Court of United States of America, visited India in 1950. During his visit, he happened to travel from New Delhi to Ranikhet, a hill station in the Himalayas. He was a realist and supporter of labour. He also loved self-respect and self-confidence. He was fascinated and charmed with the natural beauty of India, ‘A Girl With A Basket’ is one of his famous essays.

About the Lesson


‘A Girl With A Basket’ has been written by William C. Douolas who came to India after the partition of the country in 1950. At that time, India was full of refugees who were driven away by the communal fanaticism of Pakistan. He had a unique experience at one of the railway stations. Many refugee children were selling small articles like baskets and fans. He was impressed with a little girl of nine years. This essay is the recollection of his valuable experiences.

FULL CHAPTER IN ENGLISH


I had left New Delhi for the Himalayas. I was going as far as Bareilly by train and then by car to Ranikhet-an old British army hill station located on a 6,000-foot ridge opposite a 120-mile stretch of snow-capped Himalayas. The train was slow; and it stopped at all the way stations. At every stop, I swung open the door of my compartment, and walked the platform.


The platforms were packed with peopleSikhs, Moslems, Hindus; soldiers, merchants, priests, porters, beggars, hawkers. Almost everyone was barefoot and dressed in loose white garments. I would ask at least three people before I could find one who spoke English. We would talk world affairs and every major topic, the news of the day produced. In this way I was trying to get a feel of the pulse of the nation, checking opinion against official attitudes and reports.


The route lay through one of the richest of India’s agricultural areas. This was the plain of the upper Ganga River, a thousand feet above sea level but tropical. The Ganga was brown silt, swollen with flood waters, its overflow inundating thousands of acres of rice. To the north were jungles-great expanses of grass, higher than a man’s head and unbroken except for an occasional clump of trees-the home of tigers, elephants, pythons, and cobras. Everywhere else there was flat land running to the horizon, but dotted here and there by the sacred banyan tree or by rows of pakar trees, shaped like elms and having thick twisted trunks. Hot, humid air was moving in from the south-west. Monkeyssome of them mothers with babies clinging to them and riding underneath-swung off trees at the stations, looking for food. The villages we passed, had walls made of mud mixed with water and cow-dung. Their peaked roofs were thatched-bundles of grass tied to bamboo poles, stretched across the rafters. That day the pumpkin vines that grew over them, were in bloom, trailing streaks of yellow over drab walls.


At one station, my routine of talking with the people was interrupted. As soon as I alighted, a group of young children gathered around me. They were selling basketshand-woven, reed baskets with simple designs and patterns. They held the baskets high, shouting words I did not know but conveying unmistakably their desire.


These were refugee children. When partition between India and Pakistan was decreed, hundreds of thousands of people pulled up their roots and changed their residences. Nine million people left Pakistan and came to India, driven by the fear of religious fanaticism. They were poor people to start with; they were poorer as they began their long trek, for all they could carry, was a bit of food and a few belongings. Soon they were out of food. A few days after they started, they began to fall by the way-side from the weakness of hunger, and died, where they fell.


The children selling baskets were sons and daughters of these refugees. They or their parents or relatives had gathered in the cities, setting up stalls, manufacturing simple articles, trying to make a living in markets, already overcrowded. They lived in cloth and grass sheds that lined the streets. The peasants among these refugees, had been accustomed to little all their lives for the annual income of an agricultural family does not exceed, on an average, one hundred dollars a year. The average unskilled labourer makes thirty cents a day or less than two dollars a week. There is one meal a day—an onion, a piece of bread, a bowl of pulse with milk, perhaps a bit of goat cheese. No tea, no coffee, no fat, no sweets, no meat. One hundred dollars a year is not two dollars a week, yet even that small amount is hard to earn by selling baskets to people too poor to buy them. That no doubt is the reason these little children descended on me like locusts. I, an American, was doubtless the most promising market they had seen.


I bought one tiny basket for a few annas, another fruit basket for a bit more, a beautiful waste paper basket for a rupee, a lovely sewing basket for a rupee, a few fans for an anna or two a piece. My arms were filled and I had not spent fifty cents. The children passed in, shouting their wares. I was a prisoner, completely surrounded, unable to move. The most diligent, aggressive vendor was a beautiful girl of nine right in front of me. She had a lovely basket with handle; and she wanted a rupee and a half for it or about thirty cents. She was an earnest pleader. There were tears in her eyes. She pleaded and begged in tones that would wring any heart.

My arms were full. I had no room, let along any need, for another basket. Balancing my baskets and fans on my left arm, I reached into my right coat pocket and got a handful of change—perhaps fifteen cents in all-which I deposited in the basket that the young girl held imploringly before me. I tried to explain that I could not buy the basket but extended the gratuity as a substitute. I realized at once what offence I had given. This child of nine, dressed in rags and on the edge of starvation, raised her chin, reached into the basket, and with all the pride and graciousness of a lady, handed the money back to me. There was only one thing I could do. I bought the basket. She wiped her eyes, smiled and dashed down the platform, headed for some grass hut that would have at least thirty cents that night.

I told this story to Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. I told him, it was one reason I had fallen in love with India.


The people I saw in India—those in the village as well as those in high office—have both pride and lively sense of decency and citizenship. They also have a passion for independence. This beautiful child-born in squalor and poverty, uneducated in both grammar and manners—had given me a glimpse of the warm soul of India.

सम्पूर्ण पाठ का हिन्दी रूपान्तरण
हिमालय की ओर बढ़ते हुए मैं दिल्ली को छोड़ चुका था । मुझे बरेली तक रेलगाड़ी से जाना था, और फिर कार से रानीखेत तक जो अंग्रेज सेना की पर्वतीय क्षेत्र थी और जो बर्फ से ढके 120 मील तक फैले हिमालय के सामने एक 6,000 फुट ऊँची पर्वतश्रेणी पर स्थित है । रेलगाड़ी धीमी गति से चल रही थी, और रास्ते में पड़ने वाले सभी स्टेशनों पर रुक रही थी । प्रत्येक स्टेशन पर मैं अपने डिब्बे (कम्पार्टमेंट) के दरवाजे को खोल देता था और प्लेटफार्म पर घूमता था ।

प्लेटफार्म लोगों से ठसाठस भरे होते थे जिनमें सिख, मुसलमान, हिन्दू, सैनिक, व्यापारी, पुजारी, कुली, भिखारी, फेरीवाले होते थे । प्रायः प्रत्येक व्यक्ति नंगे पैर होता था तथा ढीले सफेद कपड़े पहने होता था । मैं कम-से-कम तीन व्यक्तियों से पूछता तब मुझे एक ऐसा व्यक्ति मिलता जो अंग्रेजी बोल सकता था । हम संसार के मामलों और उस प्रत्येक महत्वपूर्ण विषय पर बात करते जो उस दिन के समाचारों में होता था । इस प्रकार मैं जनता के विचारों की सरकारी दृष्टिकोण और दी गई सूचनाओं से तुलना करके राष्ट्र की भावनाओं को जानने का प्रयत्न करता था ।

यह मार्ग भारत के सर्वाधिक विकसित कृषि क्षेत्रों में से एक था । यह ऊपरी गंगा नदी का मैदान था, जो समुद्र तल से एक हजार फुट ऊँचा होने पर भी काफी गरम था । गंगा का रंग मटमैला था, वह बाढ़ के पानी से उफन रही थी और इसके बाढ़ के पानी में हजारों एकड़ चावल के खेत डूबे हुए थे । उत्तरी दिशा में जंगलों का विस्तार था- अविच्छिन्न रूप से लंबी-लंबी घास फैली थी जिसकी ऊँचाई आदमी के सिर से भी अधिक थी, जिसके बीच-बीच में बड़े-बड़े पेड़ों के झुरमुट थे- जो बाघों, हाथियों, अजगरों व नागों के शरणास्थली थे । बाकी स्थलों पर सपाट मैदान ही थे जो दूर क्षैतिज तक विस्तृत दिखाई पड़ते थे लेकिन बीच-बीच में यहाँ-वहाँ बरगदों के पेड़, पाकड़ पेड़ों की पंक्तियाँ एल्म पेड़ों की तरह दिखाई देती थी जिनके तने घुमावदार मोटाई लिए हुए थे । दक्षिण-पश्चिम की ओर से गर्म और तर हवा बह रही थी । स्टेशनों पर खाने की खोज में बंदर पेड़ों से उछलकर आ जाते थे- उनमें से कुछ बन्दरियाँ भी होती थी, जिनके पेट से बच्चे चिपके होते थे । जिन गाँवों से होकर हम गुजरे थे उनकी दीवारें गोबर और कच्ची मिट्टी से बनी हुई थीं । उनकी नोकदार छतों पर छप्पर थे- ढलुवाँ बल्लियों पर फैले हुए बाँस जिन पर घास के बंडल बँधे थे । छप्परों पर फैली हुई कद्दू की बेलों पर उस दिन फूल खिले हुए थे और वे मटमैली मोटी दीवारों पर लटकी हुई पीले रंग की टेढ़ी-मेढ़ी रेखाएँ जैसी लग रही थी ।

लोगों से बात करने का मेरा यह सिलसिला एक स्टेशन पर टूट गया । जैसे ही मैं डिब्बे से नीचे उतरा, बच्चों की एक टोली मेरे चारों ओर एकत्रित हो गई । वे टोकरियाँ बेच रहे थे- हाथ से बुनी, सरकडे की टोकरियाँ जिन पर सादी डिजाइनें बनी हुई थीं । वे टोकरियों को ऊँचा उठाए हुए थे और जोर से ऐसे शब्द बोल रहे थे जिन्हें मैं नहीं समझ पा रहा था, किंतु उनके शब्द उनकी इच्छा स्पष्ट रूप से प्रकट कर रहे थे ।

ये शरणार्थी बच्चे थे । जब भारत और पाकिस्तान के विभाजन का निर्णय हुआ तो लाखों लोगों ने अपने मूल स्थानों को छोड़ दिया । नब्बे लाख लोग धार्मिक उंमाद के डर से पाकिस्तान से भागकर भारत आ गए । वे रवाना होते समय पूरी तरह से निर्धन थे; जब उन्होंने अपनी लंबी कठिन यात्रा आरम्भ की तो वे और भी गरीब हो गए क्योंकि जो कुछ वे ला सकते थे वह केवल थोड़ा-सा भोजन और कुछ सामान था । शीघ्र ही उनकी भोजन सामग्री भी समाप्त हो गई । यात्रा आरम्भ करने के कुछ दिन पश्चात् ही भुखमरी के कारण वे लोग सड़कों के किनारे ही गिरकर मरने लगे ।

टोकरियाँ बेचने वाले बच्चे इन्हीं शरणार्थियों के पुत्र-पुत्रियाँ थे । वे या उनके माता-पिता या रिश्तेदार नगरों में एक हो गए थे, छोटी खुली दुकानें लगाकर और साधारण वस्तुओं को बनाकर उन बाजारों में, जहाँ पहले से ही अत्यधिक भीड़ थी, जीविका कमाने का प्रयत्न कर रहे थे । वे कपड़े तथा घास से बनी झोपड़ियों, जिनकी गलियों में कतारें लगी हुई थीं, में रहते थे । ये शरणार्थी, जो छोटे किसान थे, जीवनभर थोड़े में जीवन-निर्वाह करने के अभ्यस्त थे क्योंकि उनकी वार्षिक औसत आमदनी वर्ष में सौ डॉलर से अधिक नहीं होती थी । साधारण अकुशल मजदूर प्रतिदिन तीन सेन्ट या सप्ताह में दो डॉलर से कम कमाता है । दिन में एक बार भोजन मिलता है-एक प्याज, एक रोटी, दूध के साथ एक कटोरी दाल, शायद थोड़ा-सा बकरी के दूध का पनीर । न चाय, न कॉफी, न चिकनाई (घी आदि), न मिठाई, न गोश्त । एक वर्ष में सौ डॉलर से सप्ताह में दो डॉलर भी नहीं हाते, फिर भी इतना थोड़ा-सा धन उन लोगों को टोकरियाँ बेचकर नहीं कमाया जा सकता था जो स्वयं इतने गरीब है कि टोकरियाँ नहीं खरीद सकते । निःसन्देह यही कारण है कि ये छोटे बच्चे मेरे ऊपर टिड्डियों की भाँति टूट पड़े । उनकी नज़र में एक अमेरिकी होने के कारण नि:सन्देह में सर्वाधिक आशाजनक खरीदार था ।

मैंने कुछ आने में एक छोटी-सी टोकरी खरीदी, थोड़े से अधिक पैसों में फलों की एक दूसरी टोकरी, एक रूपए में रद्दी कागज डालने की एक सुन्दर टोकरी, एक रूपए में सिलाई के सामान की टोकरी, एक या दो आना प्रत्येक में कुछ पंखे । मेरे हाथ भर गए थे और मैंने पचास सेन्ट भी खर्च नीं किए थे । बच्चे अपने माल की जोर से आवाज लगाते हुए घूम रहे थे । मैं चारों ओर से घिरा, आगे बढ़ने में असमर्थ एक कैदी बन गया था । सर्वाधिक परिश्रमी, चुस्त विक्रेता नौ साल की एक सुन्दर लड़की थी जो मेरे सामने खड़ी थी । उसके पास मूठ वाली एक सुन्दर टोकरी थी और उसके लिए वह डेढ़ रुपया या लगभग तीस सेन्ट चाहती थी । वह बहुत जोर देकर अपने बात कहने रही थी । उसकी आँखों में आँसू थे । वह बहुत आग्रह कर रही थी और उसके स्वर में ऐसे करुणा थी जो किसी भी ह्रदय को झकझोर दे ।

मेरे हाथ भरे हुए थे । एक और टोकरी के लिए, आवश्यकता की तो बात ही क्या, मेरे पास जगह नहीं थी । अपने बाएँ हाथ पर टोकरियों और पंखों को सँभालकर, मैंने अपने सीधे हाथ वाली कोट की जेब में हाथ डालकर थोड़ी-सी रेजगारी निकाली-शायद कुल मिलाकर पन्द्रह सेन्ट थे- जो मैंने उस टोकरी में रख दी जिसे वह लड़की मेरे सामने कातर ढंग से पकड़े हुए थी । मैंने यह समझाने का प्रयत्न किया कि मैं टोकरी नहीं खरीद सकता हूँ, परन्तु उसके बदले धन का उपहार दे रहा हूँ । मैंने तुरन्त अनुभव किया कि मैंने कोई अपराध कर दिया है । इस नौ वर्ष की बच्ची ने, जो फटे कपड़े पहने थी और भुखमरी के कगार पर थी, अपनी ठोढ़ी ऊपर उठाई, टोकरी में हाथ डाला और एक स्वाभिमानी स्त्री जैसे सम्मान और गौरव के साथ धन मुझे लौटा दिया । केवल एक ही काम था जो मैं कर सकता था । मैंने टोकरी खरीद ली । उसने अपनी आँखें पोंछी, मुस्कराई और प्लेटफार्म से तेजी से भागकर किसी घास की झोपड़ी की ओर बढ़ी जहाँ उस रात के लिए उसके पास कम-से-कम तीन सेन्ट हो गए होंगे । मैंने यह कहानी प्रधानमंत्री पं० जवाहरलाल नेहरू को सुनाई । मैने उन्हें बताया कि यह भी एक कारण है जिसकी वजह से मैं भारत से स्नेह करने लगा हूँ ।

जो लोग मैंने भारत में देखे– गाँव में तथा ऊँचे पदों पर आसीन भी- उनमें स्वाभिमान तथा अच्छे व्यवहार और सुयोग्य नागरिकता की भावना भरपूर है । उनमें स्वतंत्रता के लिए तीव्र लालसा भी है । इस सुन्दर बच्ची ने- जो गन्दगी और गरीबी में पली थी, जिसे भाषा और व्यवहार की किसी स्कूल में कोई शिक्षा नहीं मिली थी-मुझे भारत की गहन भावना-प्रधान आत्मा की एक झलक दिखा दी थी ।

located ……………… situated ……………. स्थित
ridge ……………… long mountain range ……………. लम्बी पर्वत श्रंखला
stretch ……………… continuous extent फ़ैली हुई
snow-capped ……………… covered with snow वर्फ से ढकी हुई
swing open ……………… threw open खुले में फेंकना
packed ……………… crowded भीड़ भाद युक्त
hawkers……………… vendors बेचने वाला
major topic ……………… important topic महत्वपूर्ण विषय
a feel of the pulse of the nation ……………… to know the attitude of the people of a country (एक देश के लोग)
opinion ……………… view विचार
attitude ……………… behaviour व्यवहार
route ……………… WAY रास्ता पथ
silt……………… loose sand; soil बिखी बालू
inundating ……………… covering जल प्लावन

expanses ……………… wide with open lands खुली भूमि में विस्तृत
unbroken ……………… continuous लगातार

clump ……………… group समूह

horizon……………… the place where the sky and the earth seem to meet क्षितिज
interrupted ……………………… disturbed (बाधित, व्याकुल)
alighted …………………………..got down (घोड़े पर से उतरना)
hand-woven ………………….hand-made (हाथ से बना)
conveying ………………….. saying (कहना, सन्देश देना)
unmistakably ………….correctly (त्रुटिरहित, सही)
decreed …………………declared (गजाज्ञा, निर्णय, घोषित कर दिया)
residences ……houses (घर)


fanaticism ……………………religious madness (धार्मिक पागलपन)
a bit ………………………………..a small piece (एक छोटा टुकड़ा)
belongings…………………..– things (वस्तु) –
manufacturing……………making (बनाना)
peasants …………………..farmers (किसान)
accustomed …………………habitual (आदती)
exceed …………………….go up (बढ़ना, ऊपर जाना
promising market ………a good buyer (एक अच्छा खरीददार)
shouting their wares………..shouting the names of their items (अपने सामानो
diligent ……………………..laborious (परिश्रमी)
agressive ……………………..forceful (आक्रामक)


earnest pleader ……………………..sincere supporter (गम्भीर तर्क देने वाला सहयोगी)
.pleaded…………………….. …………………….- requested (अनुरोध किया)
wring any heart ……………………….. move any heart हृदय पारिवर्तन
no room…………………….. no place (कोई स्थान नहीं
imploringly……………………..requesting earnestly (उत्साहपूर्वक प्रार्थना
extended……………………..gave (दिया)
gratuity……………………..money as a gift (धन दान)
substitute………………….something in place of another thing (विकल्प )
edge of starvation……………..almost dying of hunger (भूख से मरना) –
decency …………good manner (मर्यादा, सुशीलता, विनय)
squalor /…………………dirty condition (गन्दा वातावरण)
passion………………strong desire (दृढ़ इच्छा)
independence……………….freedom (स्वतन्त्रता)
glimpse……………………….a quick view (झलक)


Explain with reference to the context the following:

1–The platforms were………………… . who spoke English.


Reference to the context:–
These lines have been extracted from the chapter ‘A Girl with a Basket’ . It is written by William C . Douglas . The author was travelling from Delhi to Bareilly by train . At every station he got down and talked to the people .

Explanation:– In this passage, the author is describing his encounter at the platform of railway station . He observes a great variance there . He says that the platform was full of people who belonged to different religions like Sikh, Muslims, Hindus and different sections of society like soldiers, merchants, priets, porters, beggers and hawkers . Most of them were barefoot and dressed up in loose white clothes . To have a conversation, author had to ask at least three people before he could find one who could speak English .

2 — We would talk………………………………….attitudes and reports.


Reference to the context:–
These lines have been extracted from the chapter ‘A Girl with a Basket’ . It is written by William C . Douglas . After getting off the train the author was trying to find out someone who could speak English and he could talk to that person (or people) about the events in the world .

Explanation:– After asking atleast three people, the author found one . Then in their conversation, they talked about the major events which were occuring in the world . They talked about the important subjects and about the news of the day today . He was trying to know the people’s opinion and their view on the current scenario of the world and their feeling or reaction about the recent situations of the nation . Thus he was trying to know the feedback of people and their opinion against the official attitudes and reports in the nation .

3 — Monkeys.some of……………. . ……………yellow over drab walls.
Reference to the context:-
– These lines have been extracted from the chapter ‘A Girl with a Basket’ . It is written by William C . Douglas . In there lives, author is describing one of his sights he saw from the train compartment.

Explanation: — The author saw many monkeys some were mothers with their babies . Babies had clung to their mothers and mothers were riding underneath, swinging off trees at the station in search of the food . The train also passed though the villages . The walls in the houses of there villages were made of mud mixed with water and cow dung . Roofs were thatched made up of grass and bamboo poles which were stretched across the rafters . There were creepers of pumping on the thatches too . The ripe pumpkins had left trails (marks) of yellow colour over dull brown walls.

3– At one station my ………………………………. . unmistakably their desire .
Reference to the context:-
– There lines have been extracted from the chapter ‘A Girl with a Basket’ . It is written by William C . Douglas . When at one station, author was getting off on the platform he was surrounded by a group of young children .

Explanation:- In this passage as soon as he got down at a station, his routine of talking to the people was disturbed by some young children . They all gathered around him . They were selling handwoven, seed baskets with simple designs and patterns . They all were holding baskets high and shouting words to sell their baskets . The author did not understand their language but he surely understood any felt their desires .

5 — They were poor …………………………………… . died where they fell.
Reference to the context:
– These lines have been extracted from the chapter ‘A Girl with a Basket’ . It is written by William C . Douglas . In this passage the author is telling about the miseries of refugee children and their parents . It is about the time when partition of India and Pakistan was announced .


Explanation:- After India Pakistan partition thousands of people were homeless . Due to the fear of extremism, many people left Pakistan and came to India . Here, they had to made an arduous journey . They were very poor . They were just able to carry some food and a few belongings . The food did not last long . After few days, they had weakness and they starved . They started falling down due to it and died there too.

6.. The children selling ……………………….. . already overcrowded .
Reference to the context:-
There lines have been extracted from the chapter ‘A Girl with a Basket . It is written by William C . Douglas . In these lines, the author is describing the plights of refugees . He is telling about their struggles to survive in the cities.


Explanation: The author says that the children who were selling baskets on the platform were the sons and daughters of the refugees . There children’s parents or relatives had gathered in cities to earn their living . They had started small stalls . Some of them were manufacturing ordinary things like baskets and fans . They are struggling hard to earn a living through all there as the market was already full with such articles as well as people .

7– The most diligent …………………… . Would wring any heart .
Reference to the context:
There lines have been extracted from the chapter ‘A Girl with a Basket’ . It is written by William C . Douglas . In there lives, the authors is talking about the most hardworking and aggressive seller who was requesting him to buy the basket earnestly .


Explanation: Among the refugee children, there was a girl who was the most hardworking and aggressive seller . She was beautiful and just nine years old . She was earnestly requesting the author to purchase her lovely basket which had a handle in it . She wanted to sell it for thirty cents . Since the author had already purchased many articles, he was unable to buy more . Therefore the girl had tears in her eyes and she was pleading in a way that would squeeze anyone’s heart.

8– My arms were …………………………. . money back to me .
Reference to the context
: These lines have been extracted from the chapter ‘A Girl with a Basket’ . It is written by William C . Douglas . In these lines, a child pleads to the author to buy his basket too but he has already purchased many articles . So he offers her some money but she refuses . It shows here pride and integrity at such a tender age .


Explanation: In this passage, the author says that he purchased so much articles that his both arms were unable to hold them . Forget his need but he had no place to hold another basket offered by the small beautiful girl . Somehow balancing the articles, he took out fifteen cents and put it to the basket that she had hold high pleading before him . He tried to explain her that he was quite unable to purchase her basket and therefore offering their money to compensate it . The girl, who was just nine years old, who was poor and struggling in her life to survive refused this charity . At this the author realised that he had offended the little girl who wanted money through her hardwork and not though charity . Therefore she returned his money .


9 . I told this ………………………………. . and citizenship.
Reference to the context
: These lines have been extracted from the chapter ‘A Girl with a Basket’ . It is written by William C . Douglas . In these lines, the author is telling about the people he saw in India to Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru .

Explanation: Author here says that he had told this story of little girl to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru . He told him that the people like the nine years old small girl made him fall in love with India . Such people represented the beauty of a nation . The people he saw and met, whether they were from the villages or from high statues had pride, integrity and emotion of citizenship .

10- They also have ………. . …………….. . soul of India .
Reference to the context:
These lines have been extracted from the chapter ‘A Girl with a Basket . It is written by William C . Douglas . In these lines, writer says that the small girl who herself was struggling for her survival gave him the best glimpse of India .


Explanation: In this passage, the author says that people in India had great adoration for independence . All the people he met were dignified and full of selfrespect . The author was most impressed and inspired by beautiful child, who was just nine years old . She represented a brave and dignified citizen Though she was born in poverty, she did not beg . She was illiterate but knew the meaning and importance of hardwork . She was not trained in good and cultured behaviour but she was well aware that nothing is above than, one’s self respect . This girl had shown him the true and real India of pure soul .

Comprehension

Read the following passages and answer the questions below them:

1 — The platforms were ………………. . attitudes and reports.


Questions with their answer:
(i) How were the people on the platforms dressed ?
Ans . The people on the platforms were dressed in loose white garments.
(ii) How many persons the author found who spoke English ?
Ans . At every stop, the author would ask atleast three people on the platform before he could find one who spoke English .
(iii) Why was the author in search of a person who knew English ?
Ans . This is because in this way he was trying to get a feel of the pulse of the nation, checking opinion against official attitudes and reports.
(iv) What was the subject of conversation between the author and English knowing person ?
Ans . World affairs and every major topic the news of the day produced were the subjects of conversation between them .


(v) What was the intention of the authors talking to the people ?
Ans . The intention of the author talking to the people was to get to know the views and opinions about the situations and issues of the nation . Thus he wanted to get a feel of the pulse of the nation.
(vi) Who were the people crowding the platforms ?
Ans . The people like Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs; soldiers, merchan…………………………ts, priests, porters, beggers and hawkers were crowding the platform .

2 — There were refugee …………… . Where they fell .


Questions with their answer:
(i) Who were these refugees ? When did they come to India ?
……

(ii) How many refugees came to India ?
Ans . Nine million people as refugees come to India….

(iii) Why did many refugees die on the way ?
Ans . The refugees were poor people . They could carry a bit of food and a few belongings when they left Pakistan . As soon as they were out of food, they became weaker day by day due to hunger and die on the way .

(iv) Which refugee children are being referred to in the first sentence ?
Ans . The children who gathered award the author selling baskets are being referred as refugee children in the first sentence .

(v) Why did so many people come to India from Pakistan ?
OR
Why did the refugees leave Pakistan ?
Ans . Many people came to India from Pakistan, after the partition between India and Pakistan, by the fear of religious fanaticism .

(vi) How were they poorer as they began their long trek ?
Ans . They could carry only a little food and a few belongings . Soon they were out of food . Most part of the items brought by them was spent . so they were poorer as they began their long trek .

(vii) Could all of them reach India well ? If not, why ?
Ans . Due to the lack of food, many of them became weak . Starvation and weakness made them lifeless . They died where they fall . so all of them could not reach India well.

(viii) When did people pull up their roots and change their residences ?
Ans . When partition between India and Pakistan was decreed, hundreds of thousands of people pulled up their roots and changed their residences .

(ix) Why did people carry very little when they left for a long journey ?
Ans . During the time of partition, the condition of country was very sensitive . People left Pakistan by the fear of religious fanaticism . Due to such circumstances, they were unable to gather all their belongings and carry them . So whatever they could carry, they took with them .

3 — The children selling ………………………………. . market they bad seen.


Questions with their answer:
(i) Who were the children selling baskets ?
Ans . The children selling baskets were sons and daughters of the refugees who left Pakistan during India Pakistan partition .

(ii) Where did the children of the refugees, their parents and relatives make their sheds ? What didthey do for their livelihood ?
Ans . They made their sheds along the streets in the cities . They manufactured simple articles like baskets and fans to earn their livelihood .

(iii) How much did the parents among the refugees earn every year according to the author ? Ans . According to the author, the parents among the refugees earn about one hundred dollars a year.

(iv) What was the normal meal of these people ?
Ans . There people had only one meal a day . Their normal meal was an onion, a piece of bread, a bowl of pulse with milk, perhaps a bit of goat cheese .

(v) Why did the little children descend on the authors like locusts.
Ans . The little children descended on the author like locusts because he seemed to them the most promising market .

(vi) Complete the following statement by choosing the correct alternative .
To make a living means:
(a) making a house to live in (b) earning one’s bread . Ans . (b) Earning one’s bread .

(vii) Why did the refugee children consider the author, an American, a promising customer ? Ans . America was considered among the richest nation and the children might be aware of it . Therefore, they considered the author, an American, a promising customers .

4 — This child of nine ………….. . …………. . soul of India.


Questions with their answer:
(i) Which story did the authors narrate to Pt . Jawaharlal Nehru ?
Ans . The author narrated the story of the little refugee girl to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru that how the girl who was just nine years old returned gratuity to the author . This firmly shown that she believes in hardwork and not in begging or charity .

(ii) What was the reason that made the author the author full in love with India ?
Ans . The reason that made the author fall in love with India was a lively sense of decency and citizenship of people .

(iii) What do you understand by passion for independence ?
Ans . Passion for independence means to be independent individually and depend only on one’s work and diligence .

(iv) What virtues did the author discover in the Indian people ?
OR What type of people did the author happen to seen in India ?
Ans . The Author discovered the virtues of pride and lively sense of decency in the Indian people.

(v) How do you know that the people in the country hold self.respect in high esteem ?
Ans . A refugee, nine years old girl who was poor and on the edge of starvation refused charity . This clearly depicts that the people in the country held self respect in high esteem.

(vi) How has the child been described in the passage ?
Ans . The child was diligent and an aggressive vendor . She was dressed in rags and lived in squalor . She was poor, illiterate and knew no manners . Also, she was full of self respect and pride .

(vii) What is the impression of the authors about India ? Ans . The author was very much impressed by the pride, a lively sense of decency in the people and by the warm soul of India . He had high esteem for India .

(viii) Who is the author of this passage ?
Ans . William C . Douglas is the author of this passage.

(ix) Why did he feel that Indian people had both pride and lively sense of decency and citizenship ? Ans . People in India were struggling to survive at the time of Partition . They were starving and dying but still some people did not leave their self respect and dignity . They were still hopeful for their lives . Instead of all the sufferings, they were still full of pride and still had decency and a proud citizen of India .

(x) Write a couple of sentences about the ‘beautiful child’ mentioned in the passage .
Ans . (a) The girl was full of self respect and pride.
(b) She was honest and her dignity was very important to his.
(c) Though she was poor and on the edge of starvation, she still believed in hardwork and not in charity.

5 — My aims were ………………………….. . ………….. . that night.


Questions with their answer:
(i) Why was the author not interested in buying the basket from the girl in the beginning ?

Ans . The author had already bought many baskets and his arms were full with them . So he was not interested in buying the basket from the girl in the beginning .

(ii) Why did the girl return the author’s money that he had given her as gratuity ?
Ans . The girl wanted to earn had money through selling the basket, She believed in hard work and
diligence . She did not want charity .

(iii) Why was the author impressed with the girl ?
Ans . At this tender age, she was honest, hardworking and full of self respect so These qualities impressed
the author .

(iv) How did the author help the girl without hurting her feelings ?

Ans . The authors helped the girl without hurting her feelings by purchasing the basket from her.

(v) Did the girl become happy when the author bought her basket ? Describe according to passage . Ans . Yes the girl become happy when the author bought her basket . As soon as he bought the basket, she
wiped her teary eyes, smiled and went towards her hut .

Short Answer Type Questions
Answer the following in not more than 30 words each:

1 — Where was the authors going ? From where did he start ? How did he travel ?
Ans . The author was going to Ranikhet . He started from Delhi . He traveled Delhi to Bareilly by train and then by car to Ranikhet.

2 — Give a brief description of the train author was travelling by .
Ans . The train was slow and stopped at every station . At every stop, the author alighted on the platform . He also enjoyed the sights on the way though the train . He saw richest agricultural areas, a number of
forests, etc .

3 — What did the author do to get a feel of the pulse of the nation ?
Ans . To know more about people and their opinions about the current conditions of that time, the author
walked the platform and talked to the people about world affairs and the events of those days . Thus he
got a feel of the pulse of the nation .

4 — Describe the things and scenes the author saw on his way from New Delhi to Ranikhet ? Ans . On his way, the author saw the agricultural areas, the jungles, and flat land running to the horizon . He also
saw monkeys . Some of them were mothers . He saw villages which had huts made of thatch and mud .

5 — What disturbed the continuity of the author’s conversation at one of the stations ?

Ans . At one of the stations, the author alighted, a group of young children gathered around him . They were refugee children and they wanted to sell their articles to the author .

6 — What things did the author, William C . Douglas, buy from the refugee children so much so that his
arms were full ?

Ans . The author bought one tiny basket, a fruit basket, a beautiful wastepaper basket, a lovely sewing basket and few fans . These things made his arms full.

7 . What forced the author to buy the little girl’s basket ?
Ans . The author wanted to help the girl but could not buy more articles so he offered gratuity as substitute which she did not like . Thus the only option he left with to buy her basket .

8 . What made the author realize that he had given offence by extending the gratuity to the girl as
asubstitute for not buying the basket ?
Ans . As the author put the money in her basket, the girl raised her chin, took out the money from the basket and returned it to him with pride and graciousness . At this movement the author felt the he had offended her .

9 . What does the author William C . Douglas say in praise of the people of India ?

Ans . He found that the Indians are honest, diligent and decent . They have passion for their independence and citizenship .

10 . What picture did William C . Douglas carry back in the mind of our country and the people as a
whole ?

Ans . William C . Douglas carried a very high opinion about the Indians and their virtues with him . He was
impressed by the warm soul of India and like them in high esteem .

11 — Why did millions of people leave Pakistan for India ?
Ans . Due to the partition between Pakistan and India and by the fear of religious fanaticism, millions of
people left Pakistan .

Long Answer Type Questions Answer the following questions in hot more then 150 words each:

1 — Describe the scenes and sights that William C . Douglas saw during his journey from Delhi to
Ranikhet ?

Ans . William C . douglas started his journey from Delhi to reach Ranikhet . He went from Delhi to Bareilly by train and then by car to Ranikhet . The train was moving slowly and stopped at every station . On every platform, the author got down . He found the platforms crowded with all kind of people from different sections of society and religions . All were barefoot and dressed in loose white garments . There were also monkeys, some of them were mothers with babies . They were jumping off trees looking for food . The route of the train laid through one of the richest agricultural areas . This was the upper Ganga river plain . There were great expanses of grass higher than a man’s head . At some places, there were rows of banyan and the packers trees . He saw rice fields flooded with water . He passed by the villages which had muddy house with thatched roof . The pumpkin vines were growing over them and trailing down the drab walls.
All these scenes and sights were seen by the author and he was very delighted to see the nature’s beauty .

2 — Describe how the girl with the basket impressed the author William C . Douglas .
Ans . At one station, as soon as the author alighted from the train, some children gathered around him . They were selling baskets of different types like hard.woven, seed baskets with simple designs and patterns . They hold the basket high, shouting words that the author did not understand but it conveyed their desire . They were refugee children and helping their family in survival . The author bought the articles from them like few baskets and fans . His both arms were full . There was a beautiful, diligent but an aggressive vendor girl who also requested the author to buy her basket . The author arm was already full, so he refused . She pleaded and begged him that wring his heart . He offered her gratuity but she refused with pride and graciousness . So he bought her basket . The authors was
impressed by her virtues and diligence .

3 — How had the girl with a basket given the author a glimpse of the warm soul of India ?

Ans . The girl was among the refugee children who helped their families to survive during the partition . When the author alighted on the platform, the refugee children surrounded him to sell their articles . To help them the author bought few baskets and fans which had made his both arms full . Among the kids, there was a beautiful nine years old girl . She was a diligent and aggressive vendor . She also wanted to sell her but he was unable to buy it when she pleaded and begged to him, it melted his heart . So he extended the gratuity as a substitute which she returned him . This impressed the author . He was amazed that how a little girl who herself was struggling in her life to get one day meal, had not left her virtues . She represented the people who did not give up in hard times and remained dignified . Thus she gave him the glimpse of the warm soul of India .

Multiple Choice Questions
Choose the most suitable option:


1 — The author of’AGirl with a Basket’ is: William C . Douglas.
(a) Mathew Arnold (b) James Joyce (c) William C . Douglas (d) William P . Douglas

2 — William C . Douglas had left New Delhi for the Himalayas .
(a) New Delhi (b) Mumbai (c) Bareilly (d) London

3..Nine million people left Pakistan and came to India driven by the fear of Religious fanaticism.
(a) Social (b) Economic (c) Religious (d) Political

4 — The children selling baskets were sons and daughters of these refugees.
(a) selling (b) buying (c) seeing (d) colouring

5 — That no doubt in the reason these little children descended on me like Locusts .

(a) clouds (b) birds (c) locusts (d) flies

6 — The most diligent aggressive vendor was a beautiful girl of nine right in front of me .

(a) lazy (b) diligent (c) intelligent (d) carefree

7 . The people of India have a passion for independence .
(a) hope (b) passion (c) hatred (d) gratitude

8 . I bought one tiny basket for a few annas .
(a) small (b) great (c) tiny (d) big

9 . My arms were filled and I had not spent fifty cents.
(a) tied (b) filled (c) empty (d) vacant

10 . The average unskilled labourer makes thirsty cents a day or less than two dollars a week .

(a) trained (b) unskilled (c) aggressive (d) eligent

Language Skills
1 — Search the words as it is used in the chapter, with one of the meanings below:
(i) mountain range (ii) overwhelming (iii) ordered (iv) extremism (v) habituated (vi) dirt

(i) mountain range . ridge

(ii) overwhelming . inundating

(iii) ordered –decreed

(iv) extremism — fanaticism

(v) habituated –accustomed

(vi) dirt– squalor

2 — Give the synonyms of the following words:
(i) rafter (ii) clump (iii) vines (iv) trek (v) decency (vi) squalor (vii) offence (viii) passion (ix) warm soul


(i) rafter . beam
(ii) clump . cluster
(iii) vines . creepers
(iv) trek ..journey
(v) decency propriety
(vi) squalor dirt
(vii) offence breach
(viii) passion . devotedness
(ix) warm soul . good hearted

3 — Here are given some words . Find their antonym from the chapter:
(i) arid (ii) enclosure (iii) bright (iv) moderation (v) lazy (vi) friendly (vii) indifference (viii) cleanliness (ix) empty

(i) arid inundate
(ii) enclosure
expanse
(iii) bright
drab
(iv) moderation
Passion
(v) lazy
diligent
(vi) friendly
aggressive
(vii) indifference
worm soul
(viii) cleanliness
squalor
(ix) empty
full

4 — Here are some pairs of words which are pronounced similarly but have different spellings and
meanings
.


Use each of them in your own sentences to bring out their meaning clearly:
(i) feet, feat (ii) wine, vine (iii) fell, fail (iv) plain, plane (v) root, Rout (vi) week, weak


(i) feet, feat
feet . George was soon on his feet again.
feat . Winning the marathon was a feat for the one legged athlete .

(ii) wine, vine
wine – Sana does not like wine and beer.
vine . Rahul has broken the vine in the garden .

(iii) fell, fail
fell . They fell down from the cliff .
fail . Ram and Priya will not fail in this test .


(IV) plain, plane
plain . I’mjustaplain old office worker .
plane – She has flown to Canada on a plane with him


(V) root, rout
root . Money is therootofall evil.
rout . With the rout of the rebels, the village was left in peace .

(vi) week, weak
week . For a week, her mother is not going there.
weak . Grandfather has become very weak .

5 — Use the following idiomatic phrases in your own sentences:
(i) to pull down . (to deyrade) There is no need to pull down everyone .

(ii) to make out . (to from in the mind) I was unable to make out the traffic signs through the rain.

(iii) to run down . (fatigued, exhausted) After working for many days, Neha feels so run down .

(iv) to make for (to have or produce) She is very concerned about small details that make for
comfort .

(v) to run off.. (to get rid of) Children need to run off their energy .

(vi) to call off . ..(to cancel) Rehan has called off the Goa trip.

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