Wednesday 16 December 2020

The Home-Coming


The Home-Coming             


[Childhood is a time for constant care and nurturing. A boy of fourteen wants to fly and see the world. But at the same time he needs all the affection and attention of the people who are closer to him. What happens to a boy who leaves his home and stays with his relatives? Is his own home the only and real paradise for him? This is the issue that R.N. Tagore explores in this story.]

Phatik Chakravarti was the ring-leader amongst the boys of the village. One day a plan for new mischief entered his head. There was a heavy log lying on the mud-flat of the river, waiting to be shaped into a mast for a boat. His plan was that they should all work together to shift the log by main force from its place and roll it away. The owner of the log would be angry and surprised, while they would all enjoy the fun. Every one supported the proposal, and it was carried unanimously. But just as the fun was about to begin, Makhan, Phatik’s younger brother, sauntered up without a word and sat down on the log in front of them all. The boys were puzzled for a moment. One of them pushed him rather timidly, and told him to get up; but he remained quite unconcerned. He appeared like a young philosopher meditating on the futility of things. Phatik was furious. ‘Makhan’, he cried, ‘if you don’t get up this minute, I’ll thrash you!’ Makhan only moved to a more comfortable position. Now, if Phatik was to keep his regal dignity before the public, it was clear that he must carry out his threat. But his courage failed him at the crisis. His fertile brain, however, rapidly seized upon a new manoeuvre which would discomfit his brother and afford his followers added amusement. He gave the word and command to roll the log and Makhan over together. Makhan heard the order and made it a point of honour to stick on. But like those who attempt earthly fame in other matters, he overlooked the fact that there was peril in it. The boys began to heave at the log with all their might calling out, “One, two, three, go!’ At the word ‘go’ the log went; and with it went Makhan’s philosophy, glory and all. The other boys shouted themselves hoarse with delight. But Phatik was a little frightened. He knew what was coming. And he was not mistaken, for Makhan rose from Mother Earth blind as Fate and screaming like the Furies. He rushed at Phatik, scratched his face, beat him and kicked him, and then went crying home. The first act of the drama was over. Phatik wiped his face, and sitting down on the edge of a sunken barge by the river bank, began to nibble at a piece of grass. A boat came up to the landing and a middle-aged man, with grey hair and dark moustache, stepped on to the shore. He saw the boy sitting there doing nothing and asked him where the Chakravartis lived. Phatik went on nibbling the grass and said:

‘Over there’; but it was quite impossible to tell where he pointed. The stranger asked him again. He swung his legs to and fro on the side of the barge and said: ‘Go and find out’ and continued to nibble the grass. But, at the moment, a servant came down from the house and told Phatik that his mother wanted him. Phatik refused to move. But on this occasion the servant was the master. He roughly took Phatik up and carried him, kicking and struggling in impotent rage. When Phatik entered the house, his mother saw him and called out angrily: ‘So you have been hitting Makhan again?’  Phatik answered indignantly: ‘No. I haven’t! Who told you that I had?’

His mother shouted: ‘Don’t tell lies! You have.’ Phatik said sullenly: ‘I tell you, I haven’t. You ask Makhan!’ But Makhan thought it best to stick to his previous statement. He said: ‘Yes, mother, Phatik did hit me.’ Phatik’s patience was already exhausted. He could not bear this injustice. He rushed at Makhan and rained on him a shower of blows: ‘Take that,’ he cried, ‘and that, and that, for telling lies.’ His mother took Makhan’s side in a moment and pulled Phatik away, returning his blows with equal vigour. When Phatik pushed her aside, she shouted out: ‘What! You little villain! Would you hit your own mother?’ It was just at this critical moment that the grey-haired stranger arrived. He asked what had occurred. Phatik looked sheepish and ashamed. But when his mother stepped back and looked at the stranger, her anger was changed to surprise, for she recognized her brother and cried ; ‘Why, Dada! Where have you come from?’ As she said these words, she bowed to the ground and touched his feet. Her brother Bishamber had gone away soon after she had married, and had started business in Mumbai. She herself had lost her husband while he was there. Bishamber had now come back to Calcutta*, and had at once made enquiries concerning his sister. As soon as he found out where she was, he had hastened to see her. The next few days were full of rejoicing. The brother asked how the two boys were being brought up. He was told by his sister that Phatik was a perpetual nuisance. He was lazy, disobedient, and wild. But Makhan was as good as gold, as quiet as a lamb, and very fond of reading. Bishamber kindly offered to take Phatik off his sister’s hands and educate him with his own children in Calcutta. The widowed mother readily agreed. When his uncle asked Phatik if he would like to go to Calcutta with him, his joy knew no bounds, and he said: ‘Oh, yes, uncle!’ in a way that made it quite clear that he meant it. It was an immense relief to the mother to get rid of Phatik. * Now renamed Mumbai Kolkata respectively

She had a prejudice against the boy, and no love was lost between the two brothers. She was in daily fear that he would someday either drown Makhan in the river, or break his head in a fight, or urge him on into some danger. At the same time she was a little distressed to see Phatik’s extreme eagerness to leave his home.  Phatik, as soon as all was settled, kept asking his uncle every minute when they were to start. He was on pins all day long with excitement and lay awake most of the night. He bequeathed to Makhan, in perpetuity, his fishing-rod, his big kite, and his marbles. Indeed at this time of departure, his generosity towards Makhan was unbounded. When they reached Calcutta, Phatik met his aunt for the first time. She was by no means pleased with this unnecessary addition to her family. She found her own three boys quite enough to manage without taking any one else. And to bring a village lad of fourteen into their midst, was terribly upsetting. Bishamber should really have thought twice before committing such an indiscretion. In this world there is no worse nuisance than a boy at the age of fourteen. He is neither ornamental nor useful. It is impossible to shower affection on him as on a smaller boy; and he is always getting in the way. If he talks with a childish lisp he is called a baby, and if in a grow-up way he is called impertinent. In fact, talk of any kind from him is resented. Then he is at the unattractive, growing age. He grows out of his clothes with indecent haste: his face grows suddenly angular and unsightly. It is easy to excuse the shortcomings of early childhood, but it is hard to tolerate even unavoidable lapses in a boy of fourteen. He becomes painfully self-conscious, and when he talks with elderly people he is either unduly forward, or else so unduly shy that he appears ashamed of his own existence. Yet, it is at this age that in his heart of hearts, a young lad most craves recognition and love; and he becomes the devoted slave of any one who shows him consideration. But none dare openly love him, for that would be regarded as undue indulgence and therefore bad for the boy. So, what with scolding and chiding, he becomes very much like a stray dog that has lost its master. His own home is the only paradise that a boy of fourteen can know. To live in a strange house with strange people is little short of torture; while it is the height of bliss to receive the kind looks of women and never to suffer their slights. It was anguish to Phatik to be an unwelcome guest in his aunt’s house, constantly despised and slighted by this elderly woman. If she ever asked him to do anything for her, he would be so overjoyed that his joy would seem exaggerated; and then she would tell him not to be so stupid, but to get on with his lessons. There was no more backward boy in the whole school than Phatik. He gaped and remained silent when the teacher asked him a question, and like an overladen ass patiently suffered the many thrashings that were meted out to him. When other boys were out at play, he stood wistfully by the window and gazed at the roofs of the distant houses. And if by chance he espied children playing on the open terrace of a roof, his heart would ache with longing. One day he summoned up all his courage, and asked his uncle, ‘Uncle, when can I go home?’ His uncle answered: ‘Wait till the holidays come.’

But the holidays would not come till October and there was still a long time to wait. One day Phatik lost his lesson book. Even with the help of books he had found it very difficult to prepare his lesson. But, now, it became impossible. Day after day the teacher caned him unmercifully. He became so abjectly miserable that even his cousins were ashamed to own him. They began to jeer and insult him more than even the other boys did. At last he went to his aunt and told her that he had lost his book. With an expression of the greatest contempt she burst out: ‘You great, clumsy, country lout! How can I afford to buy you new books five times a month, when I have my own family to look after?’ That night, on his way back from school, Phatik had a bad headache and a shivering fit. He felt that he was going to have an attack of malaria. His one great fear was that he might be a nuisance to his aunt. The next morning Phatik was nowhere to be seen. Search torrents all night, and those who went out to look for the boy were drenched to the skin. At last Bishamber asked the police to help him. At nightfall a police van stopped at the door of the house. It was still raining and the streets were flooded. Two constables carried Phatik out in their arms and placed him before Bishamber. He was wet through from head to foot, covered with mud, while, his face and eyes were flushed with fever and his limbs were trembling. Bishamber carried him in his arms and took him inside the house. When his wife saw him she exclaimed: ‘What a heap of trouble this boy has given us! Hadn’t you better send him home?’ Phatik heard her words and sobbed aloud: ‘Uncle, I was just going home; but they dragged me back again.’ The fever rapidly increased, and throughout the night the boy was delirious. Bishamber brought in a doctor. Phatik opened his eyes, and looking up to the ceiling said vacantly: ‘Uncle, have the holidays come yet?’ Bishamber wiped the tears from his eyes and took Phatik’s thin burning hands in his own and sat by his side through the night. Again the boy began to mutter, till at last his voice rose almost to a shriek: ‘Mother!’ he cried, ‘don’t beat me like that …… Mother! I am telling the truth.’

The next day Phatik, for a short time, became conscious. His eyes wandered round the room as if he expected someone to come. At last, with an air of disappointment, his head sank back on the pillow. With a deep sigh he turned his face to the wall. Bishamber read his thoughts, and bending down his head] whispered: ‘Phatik, I have sent for your mother.’ The day dragged on. The doctor said in a troubled voice that the boy’s condition was very critical. Phatik began to cry out: ‘By the mark-three fathoms. By the mark-four fathoms.’ By the mark. Many times had he heard the sailors on the river-steamers calling out the mark on the lead line? Now he was himself plumbing an unfathomable sea. Later in the day Phatik’s mother burst into the room like a whirlwind, and rocking herself to and fro from side to side, began to moan and cry. Bishamber tried to calm her, but she flung herself on the bed, and cried: ‘Phatik, my darling, my darling.’ Phatik stopped his restless movements for a moment. His hands ceased beating up and down. He said: ‘Ehtrs’? The mother cried again: ‘Phatik, my darling, my darling.’ Very slowly Phatik’s eyes wandered, but he could no longer see the people around his bed. At last he murmured: ‘Mother, the holidays have come.’                                                               Rabindranath Tagore



ringleader (n) : the leader in any prank or mischief. Phatik was the ringleader of the boys in the village.


mud-flat (n) : stretch of muddy land He got stuck in the mud-flat near his house.


unanimously (adv) : collectively, without opposition from anyone. He was elected leader of the party unanimously.


sauntered (v) : walked slowly and silently. The arrogant boy sauntered up to his father and started shouting.


timidly (adv) : couragelessly, in a cowardly manner She timidly said that she would obey as she was told.


meditating (v) : thinking deeply He was meditating on his future plans.


futility (n) : uselessness. A pessimist is convinced of the futility of life in this world.


furious (adj) : very angry He was furious when he was not allowed to enter.


thrash (v) : beat or flog The teacher thrashed the boy without much reason.


regal (adj) : royal The prince was wearing a regal dress.


carry out (v) : fulfill, perform You must carry out the orders of your father.


crisis (n) : difficult time He is upset as he is passing through a crisis.


fertile brain (n) : brain capable of plenty of thoughts. His fertile brain is full of new ideas.


manoeuvre (n) : clever plan The army displayed some excellent manoeuvres and impressed everybody on the scene.


discomfit (v) : annoy His foolish behaviour discomfited me a lot.


amusement (n) : happiness, entertainment The show was full of fun and amusement.


earthly (adj) : worldly His earthly ways show his humility.


peril (n) : danger You must know the perils involved in this project.


glory (n) : fame The glory of the great never fades.  shouted themselves hoarse (v) : shouted excitedly until their voices became rough. The boys shouted themselves hoarse with delight.


blind (adj) : unreasonable He is blind to his own faults.


impotent rage (n) : helpless anger He only shouted in impotent rage but could do nothing.


sheepish (adj) : embarrassed She felt very sheepish when she was proved to be a liar.


perpetual (adj) : never ending Your absence from home will be a perpetual problem.


nibble (v) : to chew She was nibbling at her nails when the teacher told her to behave properly in the class.


indignantly (adv) : annoyingly The servant answered back indignantly that he would like to quit.


sullenly (adv) : with a bad temper, sulkily She only sullenly told her father that she would give up all contacts with her friend.


stick to (v) : continue doing You should stick to your promise.


exhausted (v) : extremely tired I was totally exhausted after the day’s work. All the rations were exhausted by the end of the month.


vigour (n) : force You should work with full vigour to achieve success.


nuisance (v) : trouble This naughty boy is a perpetual nuisance in the class.


prejudice (n) : bias You should have no prejudice against manual work.


urge him into (v) : get him involved I shall urge him into taking interest in his job.


distressed (v) : disturbed She was distressed at his poor condition. on pins : extremely uneasy The young boy was all the time on pins when he was waiting for his turn.


bequeathed (v) : left behind, presented She bequeathed her belongings to her sister before she left home for good.


in perpetuity (adv) : forever He gave her all her property in perpetuity before she left for USA.


unbounded (adj) : unlimited This mother has an unbounded love for her only son.


upsetting (adj) : disturbing It was quite upsetting to learn that she had lost her wedding ring.


anguish (n) : deep mental pain I had to suffer a lot of anguish during those difficult days.


despised (v) : held in contempt I despised his habit of postponing things.


meted out (v) : gave The punishment meted out to him was greater than the crime he committed.

espied (v) : saw The policeman espied the thief running away and got him captured.

abjectly miserable (adj) : extremely miserable She was living in an abjectly miserable condition after the death of her husband.


to own (v) : to claim belonging I own a big house on the Mall.


jeer (v) : mock, abusing vocally People jeered at him when he failed to give a good performance on the stage.


lout (n) : ill-mannered person Nobody likes the ways of that country lout.


torrent (n) : heavy downpour A big torrent of rain flooded the city in no time.


flushed (adj) : reddened I found him flushed with anger when he failed to convince his father.

delirious (adj) : suffering from illusions, semi-conscious Phatik was in a delirious state when his mother came to see him.


read his thoughts : understood his feelings The mother could easily read the thoughts of her son even though he kept quiet.


critical (adj) : very serious He was in a critical state before he died.


by the mark - three fathoms etc : this is how sailors measure the depth of water The water was three fathoms deep.


fathom (n) : measure of six feet


lead line (n) : piece of lead attached to the end of a string to measure the depth of water. The sailor measured the depth of water with a lead line.


plumbing (v) : measuring out The official is plumbing out the depth of the hole.


whirlwind (n) : spiral windstorm He was caught in a whirlwind but was saved by timely action.




A. Comprehension Questions

(i) Answer the following questions in your own words:


1. Who was Phatik?

Ans. Phatik was a young boy of fourteen. He lived in a village with his mother and his younger brother, Makhan. He was the ring-leader of the boys of his village. He played games with them on the bank of the river.


2. What was the new mischief Phatik thought of?

Ans. A log of wood was lying on the bank of the river. Phatik thought of a mischief. If the log is rolled away into the water, its owner would be angry and surprised while all the boys would enjoy the fun.


3.. Why were Phatik and his friends annoyed with Makhan?

Ans. When Phatik and his friends were about to roll the log of wood into the river, Makhan came and sat on the log. He wanted to spoil their game. So Phatik and his friends were annoyed with Makhan.


1.     What was Phatik’s ‘new manoeuvre’?

Ans. Makhan’s refusal to leave the log was a challenge to Phatik. He thought of a new mischief. He decided to roll away both Makhan and the log. He issued orders and the boys rolled both Makhan and log into the water.


2.     Why did Phatik beat Makhan even in the presence of his mother?

Ans. Makhan told his mother that Phatik had beaten him on the bank of the river. This was a lie that made Phatik angry. So he beat Makhan in the presence of his mother. 


3.     Was Makhan speaking the truth?

Ans. No, he was not speaking the truth. Phatik had rolled into the water along with the log, but he told his mother that Phatik had beaten him.


4.     Why did Phatik’s mother want to send him away to her brother’s house?

Ans. Phatik’s mother wanted to send him away to her brother’s house because she wanted to get rid of this lazy, disobedient and wild son. She also feared that he would someday drown his brother in the river or hurt him seriously.


5.     How was Phatik received by his aunt?

Ans. The aunt was not pleased to find a new boy in her family. She regarded Phatik as an unnecessary addition to her family. This upset her.


6.     Why couldn’t Phatik do well at school in Calcutta?

Ans. Phatik could not do well at school because he was not treated well at his uncle’s house. When he lost his book, it became more difficult for him to do his school work.


7.     How did Phatik's aunt behave on learning about the loss of his book?

Ans. When Phatik told his aunt that he had lost his book, there was an expression of great contempt on her face. She called him a country lout. She told him that she could not buy new books for him again and again. She had her own children to look after.


8.     What was the immediate reason for Phatik’s departure from his uncle’s house?

Ans. Phatik was living with his aunt as an unwelcome nephew. One day he felt that he was going to have an attack of malaria. He did not want to create a trouble to his aunt. So he left his uncle’s house immediately.


9.     Why did Bishamber send for his sister?

Ans. Phatik was suffering from high fever. He was calling his mother in his critical condition. So Bishamber sent for his sister.


10.            What were Phatik’s last words?

Ans. When Phatik saw his mother in his critical condition, he had a feeling that he had return to his mother’s home. So he said,” Mother, the holiday have come.” These were Phatik’s last words.


(ii) Answer the following questions in about 50 words each:



1.     How does Phatik feel when he is at Calcutta?

Ans. When Phatik is at Kolkata, he feels very sad. His aunt regards him as a burden on her family. His cousins mock at him. His schoolmates avoid his company. He is regarded as the most backward student in his class. His teachers punish him daily. All this makes the life of Phatik very miserable and he wants to go back to village home.


2.     Why does Bishamber want to take Phatik to Calcutta?

Ans. Phatik’s mother tells her brother, Bishamber that the boy has become wild, lazy and disobedient. She feels that it is difficult for her to control him and teach him how to believe like a good boy. Then Bishamber takes pity on him and asks his sister to send Phatik with him. He wants to take Phatik to Kolkata to educate him with his children.


3.     Who is responsible for Phatik’s death?

Ans. The curel aunt of Phatik is responsible for his death. She regards him as an unwelcome guest in her house. Even when he is seriously ill and his life is in danger, she ill-treats him. She is responsible for driving him out into the rain when he is suffering from high fever. All this shows that cruelty of his aunt is responsible for death of poor Phatik.





4. Write a character-sketch of

a. Bishamber                     b. Makhan

c. Phatik’s aunt                d. Phatik’s mother



Bishamber:-Phatik’s uncle, Bishamber is a kind and sympathetic person. He lives at Kolkata. When he learns from his sister that Phatik has become a troublesome child for her mother, Bishamber takes pity on the boy. He decided to take him to Kolkata and educate him with his own children. We do not know whether he is aware of his wife’s ill-treatment of Phatik. But he treats the boy like his own son. He is extremely worried when Phatik suffers from malaria and runs away from his house. He sends for a doctor, but his effort fail to save the life of this young boy. Thus Bishamber is a nice character who is a loving brother and a loving uncle.           


Makhan:-Makhan is younger brother of Phatik. His elder brother is the ring-leader of village boys. But Makhan does not obey him. When he is ordered not to sit on the log, he refuses to leave that place. Consequently, there is a fight between the two brothers. Makhan reports the matter to his mother. He tells that Phatik had beaten him at the time when they quarreled. The mother has a soft corner for him. She believes his false story. Thus the rift between the two brothers widens. As a student, Makhan is obedient and hard-working. His mother regards him as a nice boy. But the story “the Home Coming” is largely about the tragedy of Phatik, so Makhan appears only in the earlier part of this story.


Phatik’s Aunt:- Phatik’s Aunt is unkind and cruel woman. She has no love for Phatik, and she makes no attempt to improve the life of this boy. She feels very upset when Phatik enters her house. She regards the boy as a burden on her family. When he loses his lesson book, she scolds him. As a result of her harsh attitude, the boy feels very miserable in her house.

The cruelty of Phataik’s aunt crosses all limits when the boy in the condition of high fever. She makes no effort to nurse him back to health. It is her cruel treatment which drives out the poor boy in the rain in this critical condition. His condition worsens, and he dies. All this proves that Phatik’s aunt is a cruel, selfish and heartless woman. She is responsible for the death of poor phatik.


4.     Give a pen-portrait of Phatik.

Ans.   Phatik is the ring-leader among the boys of his village and thinks of new mischiefs. He loves to play in the company of village boys. His mother does not like his ways. She regards him a lazy, irresponsible and disobedient child. One day Phatik’s younger brother , Makhan lies to his mother that Phatik has beaten him. Phatik becomes very angry and starts beating his brother. The mother then beats Phatik.

She sends him to Kolkata with his uncle. His aunt regards him as an unwelcome guest.  Phatik has an attack of malaria. He does not want to live in the house of his cruel aunt. He runs away at a time when there is a heavy rain. He suffers from high fever. His condition becomes critical and he dies helplessly. His longing for going back to his village remains unfulfilled.


5.     Describe the quarrel between Phatik and Makhan

Ans. Phatik and his friend are playing their games on the bank of a river. A log of wood is lying there. The boys decide to roll it away. Makhan, the younger brother of Phatik, appears on the spot. He sits on the log. Phatik asks him to move away. But Makhan continues to sit on the log.

Then Phatik asks his companions to roll down the log. Makhan falls on the muddy ground. But soon he gets up on his feet. He runs towards Phatik and begins to beat him. Then he goes home crying. Makhan lies to his mother that his mother that his brother has beaten him. Phatik cannot tolerate this telling of lies. He rushes Makhan and begins to beat him. The mother sides with Makhan and beats Phatik.


(iii) Tick () the correct statements as found in the lesson:


1. Phatik loved his brother Makhan.                                                                           False


2. Phatik was a perpetual nuisance to his mother.                                                      True


3. Bishamber wanted to help his sister.                                                              True


4. Phatik was welcomed by his aunt.                                                                           False


5. Phatik’s cousins too made fun of him.                                                           True



B. Vocabulary Exercises


(i) Fill in the blanks with adjective forms of the following words:

futility                            delirium


philosophy                     dignity                  fertility


1. Phatik had a fertile brain.


2. He behaved in a dignified manner.


3. He knew that it was a futile attempt.


4. By night he had become delirious.


5. Makhan sat on the log in a philosophical mood.



(ii) Match the words in Column A with their opposites in Column B:



          A                                                  B

unanimously                                            applaud

timidly                                                     liked

futile                                                        take, receive

furious                                                     invigorated

fertile                                                       individually

earthly                                                     boldly

impotent                                                  useful

exhausted                                                barren

bequeath                                                  calm

despised                                                   heavenly

jeer                                                           potent



Ans.             unanimously                          individually


timidly                                    boldly


futile                                        useful


furious                                    calm                    


fertile                                       barren


earthly                                     heavenly    


impotent                                 potent


exhausted                                invigorated


bequeath                                 take, receive


despised                                   liked


jeer                                          applaud



(iii) Makhan was ‘as good as gold’. Complete the following expressions in the same way:


1      as white as snow

2.     as black as coal

3.     as innocent as a baby

4.     as obstinate as a mule

5.     as gentle as a lamb



C. Grammar Exercises

III (i) Fill in the blanks with the correct verb form of the italicized words:

1. All Indians should try to glorify their motherland. (glory)

2. Makhan sat and sulked in a corner. (sulk)

3. Phatik was not amused  by Makhan’s antics. (amusement)

4. Mother was distressed at Phatik’s ways. (distress)

5. Phatik’s patience was already exhausted  (exhaust)

6. Phatik’s aunt constantly despised  him. (despise)

7. One day he lost his patience. (loss)




(ii) Fill in the blanks with suitable articles:

1. The Ganga is a sacred river.

2. He reads the Bible every day.

3. The man struck a match.

4. Where is the money to come from?

5. He began a series of experiments.

6. I was on an official visit.

7. There was an elephant on the road.



(iii) Fill in the blanks with the passive forms of the verbs given in italics to complete the following sentences:

1. Children were making a noise. The Principal was informed(inform)

2. This letter should be posted (post)

3. He is not well; he should be taken to the hospital. (take)

4. The child is crying; it should be helped (help)

5. It is getting dark; the shop would be closed (close)



(i)                Put proper punctuation marks in the following passage and use capital letters wherever necessary:


the effect of books is twofold. Books preserve knowledge in time and spread it in space suppose for example that you think of an important idea or a beautiful poem unless you can write it down your idea or poem will probably die.


Ans. The effect of books is twofold books preserve knowledge in time and spread it in space. Suppose, for example, that you think of an important idea or a beautiful poem. Unless you can write it down, your idea or poem will probably die.



D. Pronunciation Practice

Check up the pronunciation of the following words in the dictionary and say them aloud:

sugar                         tobacco                            soot

tomb                         colleague                         menu

career                        alcohol                            grammar

iron                           cadre                               climb

colonel                     echo                               woman

Don’t you think you should learn phonetic symbols to be able to read the correct pronunciation of words from the dictionary?


E. Creative Writing and Extended Reading

1. Write a paragraph on the psychology of the working of the mind of a boy at the age of fourteen. (Refer to the para beginning with : In this world there is ….)

2. Do you remember any particular incident of your childhood? Write a few lines about what you remember.

3. Read the following stories by R.N. Tagore:

a. The Cabuliwallah

b. The Postmaster

c. The Child’s Return

Do you see any similarity between these stories?

Discuss it with some of your class-fellows in the presence of your teacher.

4. Why do you (or don’t you, in case) like the story, The Home-Coming? Discuss with some of your class-fellows.


5. Write a paragraph on:

i.   East or West, Home is the Best.

ii. Role of Parental Love in the Life of a Child


Just a little fun:

A Turk named Abdullah Ben Barum

Had sixty-five wives in his harem.

When his favourite horse died,

“Mighty Allah,” he cried,

“Take a few of my wives. I can spare ‘em.”