NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English First Flight Chapter 1 A Letter to God
Oral Comprehension Check (page 5)
1. What did Lencho hope for?
Answer: Lencho hoped for a good rain for his crop field.
2. Why did Lencho say the raindrops were like ‘new coins’?
Answer: Lencho compared the raindrops with new coins because they were promising him a good harvest resulting in substantial profit.
3. How did the rain change? What happened to Lencho’s fields?
Answer: The rain changed into hailstones as a strong wind began to blow and huge hailstones began to fall alongwith the rain. Lencho’s crop fields got withered, the trees had shed their leaves and the flowers had fallen.
4. What were Lencho’s feelings when the hail stopped?
Answer: Lencho was filled with immense sadness after the hail stopped as everything was ruined. He could see a bleak future for him and his family.
Oral Comprehension Check (page 6)
1. Who or what did Lencho have faith in? What did he do?
Answer: Lencho had firm faith in God. He wrote a letter to God conveying his grievances and a hundred pesos to sow his field again.
2. Who read the letter?
Answer: The Postmaster read the letter.
3. What did the postmaster do after reading a letter?
Answer: The postmaster laughed when he read Lencho’s letter but he didn’t want to shake Lencho’s faith. So, he decided to collect money from his friends and colleagues and send it to Lencho on behalf of God.
Oral Comprehension Check (page 7)
1. Was Lencho surprised to find a letter for him with money in it?
Answer: Lencho was not surprised to find a letter with money from God as it is what he was expecting. In fact, he was angry when he found that the money was less than what he had asked for.
2. What made Lencho angry?
Answer: Lencho was angry because he found that the envelope contained only seventy pesos whereas he had demanded a hundred pesos.
Thinking about the Text (Page 7,8)
1. Who does Lencho have complete faith in? Which sentences in the story tell you this?
Answer:Lencho has complete faith in God. There are few sentences in the story which show this
- All through the night, Lencho thought only of his one hope: the help of God, whose eyes, as he had been instructed, see everything, even what is deep in one’s conscience.
- “God”, he wrote, “if you don’t help me, my family and I will go hungry this year”.
- He wrote ‘To God’ on the envelope, put the letter inside and still troubled, went to town.
- God could not have made a mistake, nor could he have denied Lencho what he had requested.
2. Why does the postmaster send money to Lencho? Why does he sign the letter God?
Answer:The postmaster sends money to Lencho in order to keep Lencho’s faith in God alive and firm. The postmaster signs the letter ‘God’ to conceal his real identify as he wanted Lencho to belive that the letter was actually a reply from God so that Lencho’s faith does not get shaken.
3. Did Lencho try to find out who had sent the money to him? Why or why not?
Answer: Lencho did not try to find out who had sent the money to him because he had complete faith in God. He could not believe that it could be – anybody else other than Him who would send him the money. His unshakable faith in God made him to belive that He had sent money to him for his help in his problem.
4. Who does Lencho think has taken the rest of the money? What is the irony in the situation? (Remember that the irony of a situation is an unexpected aspect of it. An ironic situation is strange or amusing because it is the opposite of what is expected).
Answer: Lencho thinks that it is the postmaster or employees of the post office have taken the rest of the money as he had demanded a hundred pesos from God but in the letter there was only seventy pesos and God cannot make such a mistake. The irony in this situation is that Lencho suspects those people who tried to keep his faith in God intact.
5. Are there people like Lencho in the real world? What kind of a person would you say he is? You may select appropriate words from the box to answer the question.
Answer: No. It is almost impossible to find a person like Lencho in the real world. Such a man is unquestioning, naive, stupid and comical.
6. There are two kinds of conflict in the story between humans and nature and between humans themselves. How are these conflicts illustrated?
Answer: Conflict between Humans and Nature: Lencho was expecting a good rain to have good harvest but nature turned violent and destroyed his crops.
Conflict between Humans and Humans: The employees of the post office gave Lencho money that he had demanded from God but he blamed them for taking away some amount of money and called them “a bunch of crook”.
Thinking about Language (Page 8,9,10,11)
I.Look at the following sentence from the story.
Suddenly a strong wind began to blow and along with the rain very large hailstones began to fall.
‘Hailstones’ are small balls of ice that fall like rain. A storm in which hailstones fall is a ‘hailstorm’. You know that a storm is bad weather with strong winds, rain, thunder and lightning.
1. There are different names in different parts of the world for storms, depending on their nature. Can you match the names in the box with their descriptions below, and fill in the blanks?
1. A violent tropical storm in which strong winds move in a circle c__.
2. An extremely strong wind __ a __.
3. A violent tropical storm with very strong wind __ p __.
4. A violent storm whose centre is a cloud in the shape of a funnel __n__.
5. A violent storm with very strong winds, especially in the Western Atlantic Ocean __ r__.
6. A very strong wind that moves very fast in a spinning movement and causes a lot of damage __l__.
II.Notice how the word ‘hope’ is used in these sentences from the story:
(a)I hope it (the hailstorm) passes quickly.
(b)There was a single hope: help from God.
In the first example, ‘hope’ is a verb which means you wish for something to happen. In the second example it is a noun meaning a chance for something to happen.
Match the sentences in column A with the meaning of ‘hope’ in column B.
|Column A||Column B|
|1.Will you get the subjects you want to study in college? I hope so.||thinking that this would happen (it may or may not have happened.)|
|2.I hope you don’t mind my saying this, but I don’t like the way you are arguing.||showing concern that what you say should not offend or disturb the other person a way of being polite.|
|3.This discovery will give new hope to HIV/AIDS sufferers.||a feeling that something good will probably happen.|
|4.We were hoping against hope that the judges would not notice our mistakes.||wishing for something to happen, although this is very unlikely.|
|5.I called early in the hope of speaking to her before she went to school.||wanting something to happen (and thinking it quite possible)|
|6.Just when everybody had given up hope, the fishermen came back, seven days after the cyclone.||stopped believing that this good thing would happen.|
Look at these sentences
(a)All morning Lencho — who knew his fields intimately — looked at the sky.
(b)The woman, who was preparing supper, replied, “Yes, God willing.’’
The italicised parts of the sentences give us more information about Lencho and the woman. We call them relative clauses. Notice that they begin with a relative pronoun who. Other common relative pronouns are whom, whose, and which.
The relative clauses in (a) and (b) above are called non-defining, because we already know the identity of the person they describe. Lencho is a particular person, and there is a particular woman he speaks to. We don’t need the information in the relative clause to pick these people out from a larger set.
A non-defining relative clause usually has a comma in front of it and a comma after it (some writers use a dash (—) instead, as in the story). If the relative clause comes at the end, we just put a full stop.
Join the sentences given below using who, whom, whose, which, as suggested.
1. I often go to Mumbai. Mumbai is the commercial capital of India. (which)
Answer: I often go to Mumbai which is the commercial capital of India.
2. My mother is going to host a TV show on cooking. She cooks very well. (who)
Answer: My Mother who cooks very well, is going to host a TV show on cooking. / My mother who is going to host on cooking, cooks very well.
3. These sportsperson are going to meet the President. Their performance has been excellent. (whose)
Answer: These sportspersons, whose performance has been excellent, are going to meet the President.
4.Lencho prayed to God. His eyes see into our minds.(whose)
Answer: Lencho prayed to God, whose eyes see into our minds.
5. This man cheated me. I trusted him. (whom)
Answer:This man whom I trusted cheated me.
Sometimes the relative pronoun in a relative clause remains ‘hidden’. For example, look at the first sentence of the story:
(a)The house — the only one in the entire valley — sat on the crest of a low hill.
We can rewrite this sentence as:
(b)The house — which was the only one in the entire valley — sat on the crest of a low hill.
In (a), the relative pronoun which and the verb was are not present.
IV.Using Negatives for Emphasis
We know that sentences with words such as no, not or nothing show the absence of something, or contradict something. For example:
(a)This year we will have no corn. (Corn will be absent)
(b)The hail has left nothing. (Absence of a crop)
(c)These aren’t raindrops falling from the sky, they are new coins. (Contradicts the common idea of what the drops of water falling from the sky are)
But sometims negative words are used just to emphasise an idea. Look at these sentences from the story:
(d)Lencho…had done nothing else but see the sky towards the northeast. (He had done only this)
(e)The man went out for no other reason than to have the pleasure of feeling the rain on his body. (He had only this reason)
(f)Lencho showed not the slightest surprise on seeing the money. (He showed no surprise at all)
Now look back at example (c). Notice that the contradiction in fact serves to emphasise the value or usefulness of the rain to the farmer.
Find sentences in the story with negative words, which express the following ideas emphatically.
(a) The trees lost all their leaves.
Answer: (a) Not a leaf remained on the trees.
(b) The letter was addressed to God himself.
Answer: (b) It was nothing less than a letter to God.
(c) The postman saw this address for the first time in his career.
Answer: (c) Never in his career as a postman had he seen that address.
The word metaphor comes from a Greek word meaning ‘transfer’. Metaphors compare two things or ideas: a quality or feature of one thing is transferred to another thing. Some common metaphors are
•the leg of the table: The leg supports our body. So the object that supports a table is described as a leg.
•the heart of the city: The heart is an important organ in the centre of our body. So this word is used to describe the central area of a city.
In pairs, find metaphors from the story to complete the table below. Try to say what qualities are being compared. One has been done for you.
|Object||Metaphor||Quality or Feature Compared|
|Cloud||Huge mountains of clouds||The mass or ‘hugeness’ of mountains|
|Raindrops||Coins||Money that a good crop will bring|
|Hailstones||Frozen pearls||brightness of pearls|
|Locusts||a plague of locusts||An epidemic (a disease) that spreads very rapidly and leaves many people dead|
|Lencho||An ox of a man||strong|