BSEB Class 12 English Poem 10 My Grandmother’s House Summary, Explanation, and Question Answers from Rainbow Book 

 

My Grandmother’s House Class 12 English – BSEB Class 12 English Poem 10 My Grandmother’s House Summary and detailed explanation of the poem along with meanings of difficult words from Rainbow Book. Also, the explanation is followed by the literary devices used in the Poem. All the exercises and My Grandmother’s House Question Answers given at the back of the lesson have also been solved.

 

 

BSEB Class 12 English Rainbow Book Poem 10 – My Grandmother’s House

By Kamala Das

 
 

My Grandmother’s House Introduction

“My Grandmother’s House” is a short poem written by Kamala Das which focuses on love lost, nostalgia and emotional pain. Basically, the speaker is looking back to a time as a child when she could enjoy love in a comfortable and contented household. She contrasts this blissful existence with that of her current situation, which is loveless and horrible.
 
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My Grandmother’s House Summary

My Grandmother’s House by Kamala Das was an auto-biographical poem in which the poet memorized her past days at her grandmother’s house and how the love and affection she got from her grandmother had been lost since her death. The house had become deserted after the demise of her grandmother. It became a place of silence over the death of the old woman because her grandmother was the very soul of that house. After her grandmother’s death the snakes were moving on the books. The poet was too young, she couldn’t read anyway and she didn’t really understand what was going on. All these things made the house quite horrible and the poet’s blood turned cold like the moon. But still, the poet expressed her desire to go back to the house because she was emotionally attached to that house since her childhood. She wanted to look through and observe closely through the windows, which might be blind eyes as no one was there in the house. The air of the house was frozen, because no fresh air had circulated through the house since the death of her grandmother, as it was locked. The poet wished to pick up an armful of darkness which was a reminder of the past and wanted to take it back to her distressed, troubled and hopeless life so that even a pinch of darkness from her beloved grandmother’s house might provide her with security and warmth. This shows that her present life is worse than the darkness of the empty house of her grandmother. The poet was really desperate for her grandmother’s memories that even darkness would be enough to ease her current crisis. She told her husband that he could never believe that his wife once found happiness in the small house of her grandmother. In that house, she was very much loved and felt proud. Her marriage no longer assures her security and love. She knew well that she wouldn’t be able to get that much love but she still hoped for at least a part of it. Hence the poem ended with hope and despair. 
 
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Video Explanation of My Grandmother’s House

 

 
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My Grandmother’s House Poem Explanation

 

There is a house now far away where once

I received love. That woman died,

The house withdrew into silence, snakes moved 

Among books I was then too young

To read, and, my blood turned cold like the moon.

How often I think of going

There, to peer through blind eyes of windows or

Just listen to the frozen air,

Or in wild despair, pick an armful of

Darkness to bring it here to lie

Behind my bedroom’s door like a brooding

Dog …. you cannot believe, darling

Can you, that I lived in such a house and

Was proud, and loved ….. I who have lost

My way and beg now at strangers’ doors to

Receive love, at least in small change? 

Peer- observe closely, carefully or with attention

Wild- strong feelings, untamed

Brooding- contemplative, threatening

Despair- anguish, hopelessness 

In the poem ‘My Grandmother’s House’ written by Kamala Das’, the poet started the poem by describing a house that still might exist but was far away in her memory. The poet received love in that house. It was the house of her grandmother in which she spent the days of her childhood. However, that woman was dead and the home withdrew in silence by which the poet meant that the house was without any life because her grandmother was the very soul of that house. After her grandmother’s death snakes moved on the books. Snakes represent a symbol of danger and coldness. The poet was too young, she couldn’t read anyway and she didn’t really understand what was going on. All these things made the house quite horrible and the poet’s blood turned cold like the moon, to think of it. She only had dark feelings and was very unhappy. But still, the poet expressed her desire to go back to the house because she was emotionally attached to that house since her childhood. She wanted to look through and observe closely through the windows, which might be blind eyes as no one was there in the house. Perhaps she won’t be able to see anything at all and she won’t be able to go back in her memory to once again feel the love. The air of the house was frozen, because no fresh air had circulated through the house since the death of her grandmother, as it was locked.  Next, the poet said that she wished to pick up an armful of darkness which was a reminder of the past and wanted to take it back to her distressed, troubled and hopeless life so that even a pinch of darkness from her beloved grandmother’s house might provide her with security and warmth. The poet was really desperate for her grandmother’s memories that even darkness would be enough to ease her current crisis. She wanted to bring back some memories of her beloved grandmother into her room and place them behind her bedroom’s door just like a pet dog sits. She does such a comparison to indicate that the dog is faithful and obedient to the master just like the memories of her grandmother’s house which remind her of the affection and love. The poet was in conversation probably with her husband as she addresses her husband as ‘darling‘ and said that he could never believe that his wife once found happiness in the small house of her grandmother and she was quite proud of it. In that house, she was very much loved and that’s why she felt proud. The poet further said that she was so desperate to be loved that she had to beg at stranger’s doors asking for love. The poet tried to provide a fantastic contrast to her present life, where there was no one to provide her love. It appeared that her marriage no longer assured her security and love and therefore she recollected events of the past, about her days at her grandmother’s house when she was loved beyond any comparison. All she was now left with were memories of the past. She knew well that she wouldn’t be able to get that much love but she still hoped for at least a part of it. Hence the poem ended with hope and despair. 

 

Literary Devices

 

Following poetic/literary devices have been used in the poem My Grandmother’s House are as follows-

Simile- Simile is a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as. The poet has used the simile in the poem which are-

  1. My blood turned cold like the moon, 
  2. Lie behind my bedroom’s door like a brooding Dog 

 

Metaphor– it is a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it

does not denote a similarity. Example is – to peer through blind eyes of windows.

 

Personification- Personification is a poetic literary device in which non-living things are given human traits. Example is- ‘The house withdrew into silence’, 

Here, the poet uses personification, a house has been personified.

Blind eyes of the windows – window has been personified
 
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My Grandmother’s House Question  Answers

Exercises

 

B 1 Read the following sentences and write ‘T’ for true and ‘F’ for false statements:

a) The woman of the house is alive.

b) The snakes were seen in the house.

c) The speaker read the books with great interest.

d) The speaker wishes to peep through the window. 

Answer-

a) The woman of the house is alive. False

b) The snakes were seen in the house. True

c) The speaker read the books with great interest. False

d) The speaker wishes to peep through the window. True

 

B. 2. Answer the following questions briefly:

1) Who is ‘I’ in the second line of the poem?

Answer-

‘I’ is the poet of the poem ‘Kamala Das’ in the second line of the poem ‘My Grandmother’s House’.

 

2) Where did the speaker once receive love?

Answer-

The speaker once received love and found happiness in the small house of her grandmother in the past when she lived with her and she was quite proud of it. 

3) Why did the house go into silence?

Answer-

The house went into silence because the woman who used to live there was dead. The house was without any life because her grandmother was the very soul of that house.

 

4) Why was the speaker unable to read the books? 

Answer-

The poet was too young that’s why she was unable to read the book and she didn’t really understand what was going on. 

 

5) Why did the speaker often wish to go to that house?

Answer-

The poet often wished to go to that house because she was emotionally attached to that house since her childhood. She wanted to look through and observe closely through the windows. She wanted to bring back some memories of her beloved grandmother into her room. She once found happiness in the small house of her grandmother and she was quite proud of it. 

 

6) Why was the speaker proud of living in that house?

Answer-

The poet was proud of living in that house because she used to receive love there. She got a lot of affection and attention there. Her childhood was spent under the love and guidance of her grandmother.

 

7) Why does the speaker say that she has lost her way?

Answer-

The speaker said that she had lost her way because she was so desperate to be loved that she had to beg at stranger’s doors asking for love because there was no one to provide her love. It appeared that her marriage no longer assured her security and love. All she was now left with were memories of the past.

 

8) Is the speaker satisfied with her present life? If not, why? 

Answer-

No, the speaker is not satisfied with her present life because she lost her grandmother and the house where she received love. She feels a lack of love and loneliness because she is unable to get love and guidance, which she had at her grandmother’s house during childhood.

 

C. 1. LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS

  1. How does the speaker describe the condition of her grandmother’s house? Does it resemble to the house of any of your acquaintance?

Answer-

The speaker described the condition of her grandmother’s house as hopeless because the home withdrew in silence without any life because her grandmother passed away and she was the very soul of that house. A death-like silence reigned in the house after her exit from this world. Being deserted, the snakes were moving on the books. Snakes represent a symbol of danger and coldness. All these things made the house quite horrible and the poet’s blood turned cold like the moon. She only had dark feelings and was very unhappy. The air of the house was frozen, because no fresh air had circulated through the house since the death of her grandmother, as it was locked. The condition of the doors was bad and at any time it may fall. The house was vacant. No, it does not resemble to the house of any of my acquaintance’s houses because the house of the poet’s grandmother was in a really terrible condition.

 

  1. What type of love or relation do you find between the grandmother and the speaker?

Answer-

The speaker and her grandmother had a close knit relationship and even though her grandmother was no more the poet still remembers every detail about her and reminisces her memory. She was emotionally attached to her grandmother since her childhood. Her grandmother provided her a lot of affection and attention. She was loved by her grandmother and she loved her grandmother very much. The relationship between the grandmother and the speaker was very deep and pure.

 

  1. What changes have taken place since the speakers grandmother died?

Answer-

With the death of the poet’s grandmother the house withdrew into silence, the house seemed to share her grief. Many changes took place after her death. Nothing was left behind in the house. Wild animals used to move inside. Snakes were found in that lonely house. When the poet was young everything was at its right place, but when her grandmother died everything became scattered, leaving behind an unusual silence.

 

  1. Point out the similes in the poem. 

Answer-

Simile is a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as. The poet has used the simile in the poem which are-

A. My blood turned cold like the moon, 

B. Lie behind my bedroom’s door like a brooding Dog 

 

C. 3. COMPOSITION

a. Write a letter describing your neighbours to your friend in Delhi. Do not exceed 150 words.

Answer-

A-45

Chennai 

December 10, 2022

Dear Ranbir

I hope you are doing well. I miss the days when we were neighbors and used to go to school together. Guess what I have to tell you. A couple of days ago, Mr. Kapoor and his family have come to be our next door neighbors. They seem to be nice people. They have 2 children. They are very kind and disciplined. I enjoy going outside with them and running around. It is fun, even though running around with you was even more fun. My family and the neighbors occasionally have dinner with each other. After dinner, we play board games. We share a strong bond among us. We are fortunate to have such neighbors. I really miss you, though. I hope to see you next year over the summer sometime. Maybe you can come see me and then the neighbor’s kids, you and I could play together. 

 

With love,

Alia 

 

b. Write the summary of the poem in about 150 words. 

Answer-

“My Grandmother’s House” is an autobiographical poem written by an Indian writer Kamala Das. It is a short poem which focuses on love lost and emotional pain, where the poet recollects the days spent with her grandmother in her childhood. The poet now lives somewhere far away from the house which once provided her with every comfort and happiness of life. All these things are now missing in her life, her house turned silent. Snakes move freely over the old books that once belonged to the poet’s grandmother. The poet never got a chance to read those books because she was too young to understand books. The air of the house is frozen. But the poet is so desperate to visit that house that she would even be happy to stand there and feel the frozen air. She tells her husband that he could never believe that his wife once found happiness in the small house of her grandmother. In that house, she was very much loved and felt proud. Her marriage no longer assures her security and love. 

 

D. WORD STUDY

D.1. Dictionary Use

Ex. 1. Correct the spelling of the following words:

D.2. Word-formation

Read the following lines from the poem carefully: 

 

E. GRAMMAR

Ex. 1. Fill in the blanks, using the appropriate prepositions from the list given below

 

into to of in at through among

 

i. Grandmother threw the letter …………….. fire.

ii. My grandmother’s house is ………… the hills.

iii. Ramesh died  ……………. an accident.

iv. Come  ………………. nine in the evening.

v. The mathematics book is kept ……… the piles of computer books. 

vi. The grandmother pushed her way ………………….. the crowd.

vii. The grandmother is going   …………… meet the grandfather. 

viii. The Ganga flows …………. Patna.

ix. Prabhu is cleared ……………. all blames. 

Answer-

i. Grandmother threw the letter into the fire.

ii. My grandmother’s house is among the hills.

iii. Ramesh died  in an accident.

iv. Come at nine in the evening.

v. The mathematics book is kept in the piles of computer books. 

vi. The grandmother pushed her way into the crowd.

vii. The grandmother is going  to  meet the grandfather. 

viii. The Ganga flows through Patna.

ix. Prabhu is cleared of all blames. 
 
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