Character Sketch of Saheb e Alam and Mukesh from Class 12 English Flamingo Book Chapter 2 The Lost Spring: Stories of Stolen Childhood





Character Sketch of Saheb e Alam


Saheb e Alam is a young boy who lives in the Seemapuri slum which is on the periphery of Delhi. His family is one of the squatters who came from Dhaka. According to the writer, Saheb would be in utter disbelief if he knew that the meaning of his name is ‘lord of the world’ which is ironic considering the conditions that he lives in. Saheb e Alam, like others who live in Seemapuri, is a ragpicker. He comes in the morning and disappears by afternoon along with a group of friends who roam around the streets barefooted. For Saheb e Alam ragpicking is a source of joy and mystery. This is because he sometimes  finds a rupee in the pile of garbage and once you find that, there is always some hope to find more. He lives in a deprived condition in seemapuri where even the most basic amenities are unavailable. As a ragpicker Saheb was his own boss, a free man but, when he took up a job at the tea stall, he sacrificed his freedom.

The Lost Spring: Stories of Stolen Childhood Overview – The sad position of poor children who are forced to have a wretched life and forgo the fun times of childhood due to their social circumstances is the subject of the story “Lost Spring.” These children are compelled to labour from an early age and are not given the opportunity to pursue an education. Anees Jung, the writer, makes a concerted effort to end child labour. She advocates for government enforcement of strict laws prohibiting child work as well as enforce the education of children. She talks about her encounter with a slum dweller kid named Saheb-e-Alam who is a ragpicker and wishes to play tennis and go to a school. However, these wishes remain unfulfilled. Another boy named Mukesh hails from a family of bangle makers from Firozabad. Their lives are miserable because the profession does not provide a good livelihood and harms them physically too. The boy dreams to do something different but his dreams are restricted to the life that he has seen in his hometown. He aspires to become a car mechanic.

Some Questions on Character Sketch of Saheb e Alam

Q1. Who is Saheb-e-Alam, and what is his occupation?
Q2. How does Saheb-e-Alam’s work reflect his personality?
Q3. What is the significance of Saheb-e-Alam’s name?
Q4. How does Saheb-e-Alam’s story reflect the larger theme of the chapter?
Q5. What similarity can be drawn between the parents of Saheb e alam, Mukesh and Franz?

Character Sketch of Mukesh

Mukesh is a young boy who appears in the chapter “The Lost Spring” from Class 12 English textbook. He lives in Firozabad which is the hub of India’s glass blowing industry. The people of Firozabad are engaged in making  bangles and so is Mukesh and his family. Mukesh lives in a small house which he proudly says is being renovated. It is situated in a small street which is filled with garbage and tightly packed houses. His  family consists of his grandparents, his elder brother and his wife who is just a few years older than Mukesh. In a place like Firozabad people have accepted bangle making as their ‘karam’ and  poverty, their fate. Nobody thinks of following a different path and the same is taught to their children. In such a place, Mukesh was courageous enough to dream of becoming a motor mechanic. He is determined to make this dream come true no matter what difficulty he faces. On being asked whether he would become a pilot, Mukesh shows a hint of embarrassment. His dream of becoming a motor mechanic might have arisen from the cars passing down the streets of the town but a plane would rarely fly over Firozabad.


Some Questions on Character Sketch of Mukesh

Q1. What is Mukesh’s occupation and how does he earn a living?
Q2. What are Mukesh’s aspirations for the future?
Q3. How does Mukesh represent the spirit of children living in poverty in India?
Q4. How does Mukesh’s character contribute to the overall theme of the chapter?
Q5. What similarity can be drawn between the parents of Saheb e alam, Mukesh and Franz?

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