The Portrait of a Lady: The author of this short story is Khushwant Singh. In this article we read the short story and will try to solve some important questions answers. Do you have any questions and suggestion, you can leave your message in the comment box.
The Portrait of a Lady Summary
The author remembers her Grandmother is short, healthy and slightly bent. Her hair was silver in color and scattered badly on her wrinkled face. He walked around the house dressed in white. She had one hand on her hip and the other on her rosary beads. The author thinks of her as not very beautiful but always beautiful. She compares her calm face to that of winter. During their long stay in the village, Granny woke her up early in the morning, plastered her wooden plate, made her breakfast, and sent her to school. The temple was connected to the school.
He sat inside and read the scriptures while the children read the alphabet. When they returned home, he used to give the street dogs the old chapatti. The change in their good relationship came when they moved to the city. Despite the fact that they shared a room, their relationship began to grow apart. Now, the writer used to go to town town by school bus and learn subjects such as English, Physics, mathematics and many other subjects that his grandmother did not understand at all. Granny could no longer go to school with him to send him.
He was angry that there was no teaching about God and the Scriptures in a city school. Instead, he was offered music lessons, but he said nothing. He thought the music was bad. It was just right for prostitutes and beggars, according to him. It was not intended for gentlemen. When the author went to university, he found a separate room in his house. The normal link between grandchild and grandma was now broken. Granny doesn’t usually talk to anyone in the house now. The author’s grandmother quietly accepted his loneliness. He was always busy with his spinning wheel and repeating prayers and had never spoken to anyone. He took a break that afternoon.
His daily routine was to break bread and give it to the birds. The birds lived on his legs, on his head, and even on his shoulders. When the writer traveled abroad to continue his studies, his grandmother was not disturbed at all. Instead he went to the train station to say good-bye, but said nothing and just kissed his forehead. Her lips quivered with prayer, her mind racing with her emotions, and her fingers tickling the floor of her bead. Seeing his grandmother so old, the author thought it might be the last time he would meet his grandmother. But when she returned home after 5 years, her grandmother was there to welcome her and saw her enjoying her return.
The next morning after her granddaughter returned she became ill. Although the doctor told them that it was a small flu and that it would soon end, he knew in advance that his time on earth was near. He did not want to waste his time talking to anyone. Her fingers were busy pointing to the bead floor in her rosary. She went to her bed praying and telling the beads until her lips stopped moving and the rosary fell into her lifeless hand. His body was found on the ground, wrapped in a red shawl after his death. To grieve his death, thousands of sparrows flew and scattered throughout his body. All the sparrows flew away without a sound as the corpse of an old woman was carried to perform the final ritual.
The Portrait of a Lady Important Questions Answers
Ques: What did grandmother want to do before she died?
Ans: Shortly before his death, the author’s grandmother refused to talk to him. Having stopped praying the day before and singing hymns home, he wasted no time. He did not pay attention to their protest. He lay quietly on the bed praying and talking about the beads.
Ques: How did the sparrows show their sorrow when the author’s grandmother died?
Ans: Thousands of sparrows sat quietly around the body of the author’s grandmother. There was no chirping. The author’s mother threw the crumbs at him. They did not pay attention to them. As soon as my grandmother’s body was exhumed, they flew in peace. Thus the sparrows express their grief.
Ques: Describe the line, ‘The author’s grandmother was a religious person.’
Ans: The author’s grandmother was a religiously devout woman. We know this by the way he behaved in many ways. He visited the temple every morning and read from the scriptures. At home he often muttered an inaudible prayer as he recited rosary beads. He repeated the prayers in the form of a song while preparing the writer for school. He hoped he would memorize it. He did not like English school as God’s teachings and scriptures were not available.
Even as he spun his spinning wheel he repeated the prayers. It was only once that he forgot to pray. It was the night before her death when she felt very happy as she celebrated her granddaughter’s arrival with songs and drumming. She continued praying and reciting her rosary beads until she breathed her last.
Ques: Describe the changing relationship between the author and his grandmother.
Ans: As a boy, the author had relied heavily on his grandmother. He was a part of his life. The change in their friendships took place when they went to town. She could no longer accompany him to school as she went there by bus. They slept in the same room but could not help her with her studies. He asked her what the teachers had taught her. He did not believe in the things taught in school. He was pressed that there was no teaching about God and scripture. He felt annoyed that music was also being taught. He expressed a silent refusal. After this he rarely spoke to her. When he went to university, he was given a room of his own. Normal friendly link disconnected.
Yet their feelings for each other did not change. They were still deeply in love. He went to see the author at the train station where he was going to study abroad. He did not show any sympathy but kissed her on the forehead in silence. The author appreciated this as if it were the last sign of physical contact between them. When the writer returned five years later, he welcomed her to the station. She puts her arms around him. In the evening he celebrated his return by singing songs and playing an old drum.
Ques: How do you know author’s grandmother was a person strong in character?
Ans: Yes, I agree that the author’s grandmother was a man of great character. She was a strong woman with strong convictions. Although he had no formal education, he was determined to pursue the education of an author. He could not adapt to western life, Science and English education. He hated music and did not approve of it at school.
She was a very religious woman. Her lips quivered as she mentally formed the words to express her pain. She often recited her rosary beads. He went to the temple daily and read from the scriptures. He was troubled to learn that there was no teaching about God and the holy books in the new English school in Khushwant.
She was a kind lady. She fed the dogs in the area. In the city he fed the sparrows. Although he was old and weak, he had a strong sense of humor. Shortly before his death, he declined to speak to family members as he did not want to waste his time. He wanted to close the time last night when he had not prayed to God. He lay quietly on the bed praying and talking about his rosary beads until he breathed his last.