Gujarat Board GSEB Class 9 English Textbook Solutions Beehive Chapter 6 My Childhood Textbook Exercise Important Questions and Answers, Notes Pdf.
Gujarat Board Textbook Solutions Class 9 English Beehive Chapter 6 My Childhood
GSEB Class 9 English My Childhood Text Book Questions and Answers
Thinking about the Text
Find Dhanuskodi and Rameswaram on the map. What language(s) do you think are spoken there ? What languages do you think the author, his family, his friends and his teachers spoke with one another ?
According to me, Tamil and English are the two languages spoken there. Almost certainly, the author, his family and his friends spoke in Tamil with one another. However, his teachers probably spoke English with the students. (A model answer has been provided for students’ reference. It is strongly recommended that students prepare the answer based on their own understanding.)
I. Answer these questions in one or two sentences each:
Where was Abdul Kalam’s house ?
Abdul Kalam’s house was on the Mosque Street in Rameswaram.
What do you think Dinamani is the name of? Give a reason for your answer.
Dinamani is the name of a local newspaper. It is so because Kalam traced the stories of the war in the headlines in Dinamani.
Who were Abdul Kalam’s school friends ? What did they later become ?
Ramanadha Sastry, Aravindan and Sivaprakasan were Abdul Kalam’s school friends. Ramanadha Sastry became the high priest of the Rameswaram temple, Aravindan a transport businessman and Sivprakasan was the catering contractor for the Southern Railways.
How did Abdul Kalam earn his first wages ?
During the Second World War, the newspapers were bundled and thrown out of a moving train. He earned his first wages by helping his cousin, who distributed newspapers in Rameswaram, to catch these bundles.
Had he earned any money before that ? In what way ?
Yes, Abdul Kalam had earned some money before he started helping his cousin. When the Second World War broke out, there was a sudden demand for tamarind seeds in the market. He collected the seeds and sold them at a provision shop on Mosque Street. Usually, a day’s collection earned him one anna.
II. Answer each of these questions in a short paragraph (about 30 words):
How does the author describe : (i) his father, (ii) his mother, (iii) himself ?
(i) Kalam’s father, Jainulabdeen was not a wealthy or educated person. However, he was an honest and generous man, who possessed great innate wisdom. He was self-disciplined and avoided all inessential luxuries.
(ii) Kalam’s mother, Ashiamma was an ideal helpmate to her husband. She believed in goodness and profound kindness, and fed many people everyday.
(iii) The author describes himself as a short boy with undistinguished looks, who had a secure childhood. He is an honest and self- disciplined person, who believes in goodness and deep kindness.
What characteristics does he say he inherited from his parents ?
He says that he inherited honesty and self-discipline from his father. He further says that he inherited faith in goodness and deep kindness from his mother.
III. Discuss these questions in class with your teacher and then write down your answers in two or three paragraphs each:
“On the whole, the small society of Rameswaram was very rigid in terms of the segregation of different social groups,” says the author.
(i) Which social groups does he mention ? Were these groups easily identifiable (for example, by the way they dressed) ?
He mentions two social groups of Rameswaram – orthodox Brahmins and Muslims. Yes, these groups were easily identifiable. For example, by the way they dressed; Kalam wore a cap which marked him as a Muslim. Ramanadha Sastry wore a sacred thread which marked him a Hindu.
(ii) Were they aware only of their differences or did they also naturally share friendships and experiences ? (Think of the bedtime stories in Kalam’s house; of who his friends were; and of what used to take place in the pond near his house.)
No, they were not only aware of their differences but also they naturally shared friendships and experiences. Kalam’s mother and grandmother would tell the children of his family bedtime stories about the events from the Ramayana and from the life of the prophet. During the Shri Sita Rama Kalyanam ceremony, his family used to arrange boats with a special platform for carrying idols of the Lord from the temple to the marriage site, situated in the middle of the pond called Rama Tirtha which was near his house.
(iii) The author speaks both of people who were very aware of the differences among them and those who tried to bridge these differences. Can you identify such people in the text ?
The people who were very aware of the differences among them, were the young teacher who joined the Rameswaram Elementary School and came to teach Kalam’s class, the fifth standard; and his science teacher’s conservative wife who refused to serve Kalam in her ritually pure kitchen. Those who tried to bridge these differences were Kalam’s science teacher Sivasubramania Iyer who invited, served and dined with him to break social barriers so that people could mingle easily; and Lakshmana Sastry who conveyed the strong sense of conviction to the new young teacher to reform him.
(iv) Narrate two incidents that show how differences can be created, and also how they can be resolved. How can people change their attitudes ?
The first incident to show how differences can be created is that when the new young teacher found a Muslim student sitting beside a Hindu student, he asked Kalam to sit in the last row. His friend Ramanadha Sastry was heartbroken. They informed their respective parents Lakshmana Sastry summoned the teacher and conveyed the strong sense of conviction which ultimately reformed him. The other incident shows that how differences can be resolved. The author’s science teacher, Sivasubramania Iyer, though an orthodox Brahmin with a very conservative wife, tried to bridge these differences. People can change their attitudes by observing no difference in the way of Hindu’s and a Muslim’s eating of meals, drinking of water and cleaning of the floor.
(i) Why did Abdul Kalam want to leave Rameswaram ?
Kalam wanted to leave Rameswaram for further studies. He wanted to study at the district headquarters in Ramanathapuram.
(ii) What did his father say to this ?
Kalam’s father said that he knew that one day Kalam had to go away to grow. He gave him the analogy of a seagull that flies across the sun alone and without a nest. He then quoted Khalil Gibran to Kalam’s mother
Thinking about Language
I. Find the sentence in the text where these words occur:
Look these words up in a dictionary which gives examples of how they are used. Now answer the following questions:
What are the things that can erupt ? Use examples to explain the various meanings of erupt. Now do the same for the word surge. What things can surge?
A few things that can erupt are : anger, volcano, tooth, rash, riots, unrest, etc. Erupt has several meanings. Their explanation, with examples, is given as follows:
(1) Start unexpectedly
Example : Riots erupted in the city.
(2) Start to burn or burst into flames Example : The spark soon erupted into flames.
(3) Become active and spew forth lava and rocks
Example : The molten lava erupted out of the active volcano.
(4) Forceful and violent release of something pent up
Example : The difference in their views soon erupted in a fight.
(5) Sudden appearance on the skin Example : On the day of the party, a pimple erupted on her face.
(6) Break out
Example : Eruption of the wisdom tooth gives a lot of pain.
Things that can surge are : pride, anxiety, waves, boats, army, etc. The several meanings it has can be explained with the following
(1) Sudden forceful flow
Example : The boy drowned in the surging waves.
(2) Rise and move forward
Example : The army surged towards their enemy.
(3) Heave upward under the influence of a natural force Example : The boat surged in the high tide.
(4) See one’s performance improve Example : Hard work helped to surge Sandra’s scores.
(5) A sudden or abrupt strong increase
Example : The surge in the stock market left people in a shock.
(6) Rise rapidly
Example : As time passed, her tension surged.
What are the meanings of the word trace and which of the meanings is closest to the word in the text ?
The following are the meanings of the word trace:
- Follow, discover, or ascertain the course of development of something.
- Make a mark or lines on a surface.
- To go back over again.
- Pursue or chase relentlessly.
- Find or discover through investigation.
- Make one’s course or travel along a path; travel or pass over, around or along.
- Read with difficulty.
The closest meaning of the word ‘trace’ in the text is ‘to find or discover through investigation’.
Can you find undistinguished in your dictionary ? (If not, look for the word distinguished and say what undistinguished mean.)
No, the word undistinguished does not exist in the dictionary. However, its meaning can be derived from the meaning of the word ‘distinguished’, which denotes the ‘special or eminent appearance or behaviour of a person’. Thus, undistinguished symbolises ‘ordinary appearance or behaviour of a person’.
Match the phrases in Column ‘A’ with their meanings in Column ‘B’:
|1. broke out||a. an attitude of kindness, a readiness to give freely|
|2. in accordance with||b. was not able to|
|3. a helping hand tolerate||c. began suddenly in a violent way|
|4. could not stomach||d. assistance|
|5. generosity of spirit||e. persons with power to make decisions|
|6. figures of authority||f. according to aparticular rule, principle or system|
1. broke out – began suddenly in a violent way
2. in accordance with – according to a particular rule, principle or system
3. a helping hand – assistance
4. could not stomach-was not able to tolerate
5. generosity of spirit – an attitude of kindness, a readiness to give freely
6. figures of authority – persons with power to make decisions
Study the words in italics in the sentences below. They are formed by prefixing un- or in- to their antonyms (words opposite in meaning).
- I was a short boy with rather undistinguished looks, (un + distinguished)
- My austere father used to avoid all inessential comforts, (in + essential)
- The area was completely unaffected by the war. (un + affected)
- He should not spread the poison of social inequality and communal intolerance, (in + equality, in + tolerance)
Now form the opposites of the words below by prefixing un- or in-. The prefix in- can also have the forms il-, ir- or im- (For example : illiterate – il + literate, impractical – im + practical, irrational – ir + rational). You may consult a dictionary if you wish.
|………………… adequate||……………… acceptable|
|……………… regular||……………….. tolerant|
|……………… demanding||…………… active|
|……………. true||…………………. permanent|
|……………….. accessible||………………… coherent|
|………….. logical||…………. legal|
|………….. responsible||………….. possible|
III. Passive Voice
Study these sentences:
- My parents were regarded as an ideal couple.
- I was asked to go and sit on the back bench.
- Such problems have to be confronted.
The italicised verbs in these sentences are made up of a form of the verb be and a past participle. (For example : were + regarded, was + asked, be + confronted) These sentences focus on what happens, rather than who does what. Notice that the doer of the action is not included in the sentences.
If necessary, we can mention the doer of the action in a by-phrase. For example :
- The tree was struck by lightning.
- The flag was unfurled by the Chief Guest.
IV. Rewrite the sentences below, changing the verbs in brackets into the passive form:
(1) In yesterday’s competition the prizes (give away) by the Principal.
(2) In spite of financial difficulties, the labourers (pay) on time.
(3) On Republic Day, vehicles (not allow) beyond this point.
(4) Second-hand books (buy and sell) on the pavement every Saturday.
(5) Elections to the Lok Sabha (hold) every five years.
(6) Our National Anthem (compose) Rabindranath Tagore.
(1) In yesterday’s competition the prizes were given away by the Principal.
(2) In spite of financial difficulties, the labourers were paid on time.
(3) On Republic Day, vehicles are not allowed beyond this point.
(4) Second-hand books are bought and sold on the pavement every Saturday.
(5) Elections to the Lok Sabha are held every five years.
(6) Our National Anthem was composed by Rabindranath Tagore.
V. Rewrite the paragraphs below, using the correct form of the verb given in brackets:
How Helmets Came to Be Used in Cricket
Nari Contractor was the Captain and an opening batsman for India in the 1960s. The Indian cricket team went on a tour to the West Indies in 1962. In a match against Barbados in Bridgetown, Nari Contractor (seriously injure and collapse). In those days helmets (not wear). Contractor (hit) on the head by a bouncer from Charlie Griffith. Contractor’s skull (fracture). The entire team (deeply concern). The West Indies players (worry). Contractor (rush) to hospital. He (accompany) by Frank Worrell, the Captain of the West Indies Team. Blood (donate) by the West Indies players. Thanks to timely help, Contractor (save). Nowadays helmets (routinely use) against bowlers.
Nari Contractor was the Captain and an opening batsman for India in the 1960s. The Indian cricket team went on a tour to the West Indies in 1962. In a match against Barbados in Bridgetown, Nari Contractor was seriously injured and collapsed. In those days helmets ‘ were not worn. Contractor was hit on the head by a bouncer from Charlie Griffith. Contractor’s skull was fractured. The entire team was deeply concerned. The West Indies players were worried. Contractor was rushed to hospital. He was accompanied by Frank Worrell, the Captain of the West Indies Team. Blood was donated by the West Indies players. Thanks to the timely help, Contractor was saved. Nowadays helmets are routinely used against bowlers.
Oil from Seeds
Vegetable oils (make) from seeds and fruits of many plants growing all over the world, from tiny sesame seeds to big, juicy coconuts. Oil (produce) from cotton seeds, groundnuts, soya beans and sunflower seeds. Olive oil (use) for cooking, salad dressing, etc. Olives (shake) from the trees and (gather) up, usually by hand. The olives (ground) to a thick paste which is spread onto special mats. Then the mats (layer) up on the pressing machine which will gently squeeze them to produce olive oil.
Vegetable oils are made from seeds and fruits of many plants growing all over the world, from tiny sesame seeds to big, juicy coconuts. Oil is produced from cotton seeds, groundnuts, soya beans and sunflower seeds. Olive oil is used for cooking, salad dressing, etc. Olives are shaken from the trees and gathered up, usually by hand. The olives are ground to a thick paste which is spread onto special mats. Then the mats are layered up on the pressing machine which will gently squeeze them to produce olive oil.
Think and write a short account of what life in Rameswaram in the 1940s must have been like. (Were people rich or poor ? Hard working or lazy ? Hopeful of change, or resistant to it ?)
In the 1940s, the life in Rameswaram might have been very simple. From the account of Abdul Kalam, we gather that the people were not very wealthy. Though religious based segregation existed, people lived in harmony with one another. Yet there were people who did not like different social groups to intermingle. The religions were demarcated by the clothes they wore or the area where they lived. Orthodox Hindu Brahmin families were more rigid, still,
GSEB Class 9 English My Childhood Additional Important Questions and Answers
Read the following passages and select the most appropriate for the given below them:
Every child is born, with some inherited characteristics, into a specific socio-economic and emotional environment, and trained in certain ways by figures of authority. I inherited honesty and self-discipline from my father; from my mother, I inherited faith in goodness and deep kindness and so did my three brothers and sister. I had three close friends in my childhood – Ramanadha Sastry, Arvindan and Sivaprakasan.
All these boys were from orthodox Hindu Brahmin families. As children, none of us ever felt any difference amongst ourselves because of our religious differences and upbringing. In fact, Ramanadha Sastry was the son of Pakshi Lakshmana Sastry, the high priest of the Rameswaram temple. Later, he took over the priesthood of the Rameswaram temple from his father. Aravindan went into the business of arranging transport for visiting pilgrims; and Sivaprakasan became a catering contractor for the Southern Railways.
1. Faith in goodness and deep kindness can be classified as ……………. qualities.
2. The meaning of the word ‘Orthodox’ is ………………..
3. As children Abdul and his friends never felt any difference amongst themselves because of ……………
A. their different religions.
B. their different nurturing.
C. their different dresses.
D. Both ‘A’ and ‘B’
D. Both ‘A’ and ‘B’
4. As career, Sivaprakasan chose to become ……………..
A. a priest.
B. a transporter.
C. a catering contractor.
D. a bank manager.
C. a catering contractor.
One day, he invited me to his home for a meal. His wife was horrified at the idea of a Muslim boy being invited to dine in her ritually pure kitchen. She refused to serve me in her kitchen. Sivasubramania Iyer was not perturbed, nor did he get angry with his wife, but instead, served me with his own hands and sat down beside me to eat his meal. His wife watched us from behind the kitchen door.
I wondered whether she had observed any difference in the way I ate rice, drank water or cleaned the floor after the meal. When I was leaving his house, Sivasubramania Iyer invited me to join him for dinner again the next weekend. Observing my hesitation, he told me not to get upset, saying, “Once you decide to change the system, such problems have to be confronted.” When I visited his house the next week, Sivasubramania Iyer’s wife took me inside her kitchen and served me food with her own hands.
1. What was the reaction of Mr Iyer’s wife when Abdul went for a meal at his place ?
A. She was greatly delighted.
B. She was greatly disturbed.
C. She was struck with horror.
D. She became greatly emotional.
C. She was struck with horror.
2. What was being observed of him by Mr Iyer’s wife, according to Abdul ?
A. His way of eating rice.
B. His way of drinking water.
C. His way of cleaning the floor.
D. All of these three
D. All of these three
3. Abdul was feeling hesitated when he was invited for dinner again the next weekend because ………………….
A. he could derive that Mr Iyer’s wife had not liked it.
B. he was not treated well that day.
C. Mr Iyer was not happy upsetting his wife again.
D. None of these three
A. he could derive that Mr Iyer’s wife had not liked it.
4. Problems have to be confronted when ……………….
A. we cannot face them.
B. we go against them.
C. one decides to change the system.
D. one decides to follow the tradition.
C. one decides to change the system.
Then the Second World War was over and India’s freedom was imminent. “Indians will build their own India”, declared Gandhiji. The whole country was filled with an unprecedented optimism. I asked my father for permission to leave Rameswaram and study at the district headquarters in Ramanathapuram.
He told me as if thinking aloud, “Abdul! I know you have to go away to grow. Does the seagull not fly across the sun, alone and without a nest ?” He quoted Khalil Gibran to my hesitant mother. “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts.”
1. The meaning of the word ‘imminent’ is ………………….
2. What was the reason of ‘unprecedented optimism’ of people of India ?
A. India’s freedom seemed close by.
B. Gandhiji’s speeches spread optimism.
C. The Second World War was over.
D. Both ‘A’ and ‘B’
D. Both ‘A’ and ‘B’
3. Who was not ready to allow Abdul to leave Rameswaram for further studies ?
A. His father
B. His mother
C. His elder brother
D. His grandfather
B. His mother
4. What cannot be inherited to children by parents ?
Answer the following questions in three to four sentences each:
Why did A.P.J. Abdul Kalam call his childhood a secure childhood ? OR
“Kalam’s childhood was a secure one, both materially and emotionally.” Illustrate the fact.
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam called his childhood a secure one because he had loving and caring parents. He had all necessary things which included food, clothes, medicines, etc.
Do you think the new teacher deserved the treatment meted out to him ? Why/Why not?
Yes, he deserved the treatment meted out to him. He was spreading the poison of communal intolerance among the young minds which was a serious crime. If a teacher indulges in such a mean act he deserves no sympathy.
What was the difference in the attitudes of the science teacher and his wife towards A.P.J. Abdul Kalam ?
Though his science teacher was an orthodox Hindu, he broke the social barriers, and mixed with other religions and communities. He invited Abdul home and served him meals and even sat and ate with him. On the contrary, his wife was conservative and refused to serve Abdul.
How did Second World War give opportunity to Kalam to earn his first wages ?
Kalam’s cousin was a news agent. Train halt at Rameswaram station was suspended. So, the newspapers were bundled up and thrown out from a moving train. Kalam helped his cousin to catch the bundles. He was given money for it.
How does Abdul Kalam describe his mother ?
Abdul Kalam describes his mother by saying that she was an ideal wife and a gentle lady. He learnt from his mother to be gentle and kind. She even used to feed a lot of outsiders every day.
What did Abdul Kalam’s family do during the annual Shri Sita Rama Kalyanam ceremony ?
Abdul Kalam’s family arranged for a boat with a special platform for carrying the idols of Lord Shri Sita Rama from the temple to the marriage site situated in the middle of a pond called Rama Tirtha. His mother and grandmother told him stories from the Ramayana and from the life of the Prophet.
What characteristics did Abdul Kalam inherited from his parents ?
Abdul Kalam inherited honesty and self-discipline from his father and faith in goodness and kindness from his mother. Like his parents even he respected all religions.
Answer the following questions in five to six sentences each:
What do you know about A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s family after reading the lesson ‘My Childhood’ ?
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam tells us that his family was a middle-class Tamil family from Rameswaram. His father Jainulabdeen was not much educated, wasn’t rich but was generous, wise, simple man but very strict and severe. His mother Ashiamma was a generous lady, and used to feed unlimited numbers of people in their home. Kalam’s family respected all religions. They took part in Hindu festivals. His mother and grandmother told him stories from Ramayana. They always showered their love on their children and never forced their thoughts on them.
What incident took place at the Rameswaram Elementary School when a new teacher came to the class ?
Kalam used to wear a cap which marked him as a Muslim and Ramanadha Sastry wore a sacred thread which marked him to be a Brahmin. When the new teacher came he could not tolerate a Hindu priest’s son sitting with a Muslim boy. He ordered Kalam to go and sit on the back bench. This made Ramanadha sad. Abdul started to sit in the last row but it left a bad impression on Abdul. Both the kids narrated the incident to their parents. As a result the teacher was rebuked and reprimanded for spreading communalism and hatred among children.
How did Abdul Kalam earn his ‘first wages’ ? How did he feel at that time ?
Kalam was only 8 years old when the Second World War broke out in 1939. Then there was a great demand for tamarind seeds. Abdul used to collect those seeds and sell them to a provision shop in the market. His cousin Samsuddin distributed newspapers. The train would not stop at Rameswaram and the bundles of newspapers were thrown from the running train. Abdul was employed by his cousin to collect them. This way he earned his first wages. He felt very proud on earning his first wage.
“Once you decide to change the system, such problems have to be confronted.” What system is being refer in the sentence from the chapter ‘My Childhood’ ? What are such problems ?
System means system of discrimination on the basis of religion. The system includes the narrow-mindedness and poison of social inequality and communal intolerance. The Brahmins did not allow Muslims to enter their kitchen. The science teacher – a rebel by nature, invited Kalam to his home and proved that if one is determined to face problems and change the system, he will definitely succeed. Though, such indifferences come in everybody’s life but a person should have a broader outlook and overcome the obstacles.
How was the science teacher Siva- subramania Iyer, though an orthodox Brahmin with a very conservative wife, a benefactor of Abdul Kalam ? Give incidents to support your answer.
The science teacher, Sivasubramania Iyer, wanted to break the social barriers between the Hindus and the Muslims. He wanted Kalam to be very highly educated as he recognized his intelligence. One day, he invited him over to a meal to his house. His orthodox wife was totally horrified at the idea of a Muslim boy dining in her ritually pure kitchen. He did not mind anything said by his very conservative wife. He rather served the food to Abdul by his own hands. He also sat with him and dined together as well as invited him over again for another meal the coming weekend. Thus, this shows that he was a benefactor of Abdul Kalam even though Kalam was a Muslim and he himself was an orthodox Brahmin.
Vocabulary And Grammar
Fill in the blanks choosing the correct words given in the brackets:
(1) (ancestral, born, undistinguished, handsome)
I was one of many children-a short boy with rather …………..a…………. looks, ………….b………… to tall and ………..c………….. parents. We lived in our …………..d………... house.
(2) (summoned, respective, presence, incident)
After school, we went home and told our …………….a………….. parents about the …………..b………….. Lakshmana Sastry …………..c…………… the teacher, and in our ……………..d…………….. and scolded him.
Rectify the errors in the passage:
Every child is born, with some inherent characteristics, into a specific social-economic and emotive environment, and trained in certain ways by figures of othoritty.
I inherit honesty and
self-disciplined from my father.
On the hole, the small society of Rameswaram was very rigid in terms of the sagregation of different social groups. Though, my science teacher Sivasubramania Iyer, still an orthodox
Brahmin with a very conserving wife,
was something of a rebellion
One day, he invited me at his home for a meal. His wife was horrify at the idea of a Muslim boy been invited to dine in her ritually pure kitchen, She refused serving me in her kitchen. Sivasubramania Iyer was not perturbed, or did he got angry with wife.
|(d) serving||to serve|
Fill in the blanks using article(s), conjuctions(s) and preposition(s) at the correct places:
(1) …………a…………… the annual Shri Sita Rama Kalyanam ceremony, our family used to arrange boats ………….b…………. a special platform ……………c…………… carrying idols …………..d………….. the Lord ……………e………….. the temple …………..f…………… the marriage site.
(2) He told me …………..a………….. thinking aloud, “Abdul! I know you have to go …………..b………. to grow. Does …………..c…………… seagull not fly …………….d……….. the sun, alone …………e………… …………f……………. a nest ?”
a. as if
Punctuate the following passage:
He told me as if thinking aloud abdul I know you have to go away to grow does the seagull not fly across the sun alone and without a nest
He told me as if thinking aloud, “Abdul! I know you have to go away to grow. Does the seagull not fly across the sun, alone and without a nest ?”
Rewrite as directed:
(1) Jainulabdeen had neither much formal education nor much wealth. (Use ‘either… or’.)
(2) I would say mine was a secure childhood. (Replace ‘mine’ with ‘my’.)
(3) The Second World War broke out in 1939 when I was eight years old. (Make it Simple.)
(4) Every child is born with some inherited characteristics. (Turn into Negative.)
(5) The new teacher could not stomach a Hindu priest’s son sitting with a Muslim boy. (Change the Voice.)
(6) I felt very sad, and so did Ramanadha Sastri. (Use ‘Both’.)
(7) He did his best to break social barriers. (Change the Degree.)
(1) Jainulabdeen had not either much formal education or much wealth.
(2) I would say that my childhood was secure.
(3) At my age of eight years, the Second World War broke out in 1939.
(4) No child is born without any inherited characteristics.
(5) A Hindu priest’s son sitting with a Muslim
(6) Both of us, Ramanadha Sastri and myself, boy could not be stomached by the new felt very sad. teacher.
(7) He did better than anybody to break social barriers.
My Childhood Summary in English
My Childhood Introduction:
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (15 October, 1931-27 July, 2015) was the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007. He was born and raised in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, and studied physics and aerospace engineering. He spent the next four decades as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the DRDO and ISRO.
He was intimately involved in India’s civilian space programme and military missile development effort. He came to be known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology. He has written many autobiographical motivational and books of vision like ‘Wings of Fire’, ‘Ignited Minds’, ‘You are Born to Blossom’, ‘Target 3 Billlion’, ‘Forge your Future’, ‘Advantage India’ and a book on his own realisation of spiritualism – ‘Transcendance’.
My Childhood Summary:
‘My Childhood’ is an extract taken from the autobiographical book, ‘Wings of Fire’ by
A. P.J. Abdul Kalam. Here Dr Kalam who is one of the greatest scientists of India and also the 11th President of India gives an account of his childhood days. His journey from a middle class family in Rameswaram to the President’s house has not been a smooth ride. He worked hard and faced all the challenges of life.
This great scientist and the missile man of India was born in a middle class muslim family in 1931 in the island town of Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. In his childhood he was greatly influenced by his parents, his teachers and his friends. His father, Jainulabdeen, was not much educated but he was very generous and kind person. He was not rich but provided a secure childhood to Abdul and his brothers and sisters. Abdul inherited honesty and self-discipline from his father and faith in goodness and deep kindness from his mother.
Kalam earned his first wages by working as a helping hand to his cousin, Samsuddin, who distributed newspapers in Rameswaram.
In his childhood he had three close friends – Ramanadha Sastry, Aravindan and Sivaprakasan. Once when he was in fifth standard, a new teacher asked him not to sit in the front row along with the high caste Brahmin boys. Abdul found Ramanadha Sastry weeping as he went to the last row. This made a lasting impression on Abdul.
Abdul was also greatly influenced by his science teacher, Sivasubramania Iyer. He learnt the lesson of breaking social barriers from him. Iyer invited him to his home for a meal. His wife was an orthodox Brahmin who refused to serve food to a muslim boy in her so called ritually pure kitchen. Iyer served him with his own hand and sat down beside him to eat his meal. He convinced his wife to serve meal with her own hands and thus was successful in changing the conservative attitude of his wife.
For higher education he sought permission from his father to leave Rameswaram and study at the district headquarters in Ramanathapuram. He said, “Abdul! I know you have to go away to grow. Does the seagull not fly across the sun, alone and without a nest ?” To his hesitant mother, quoting Khalil Gibran, he said, “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts.”