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For 2024 Board Exam
CBSE Competency Based Questions:
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Class 12

Lost Spring | | CBE-Based Questions | NCERT Solution |Board Exam 2024

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

NCERT Official Live Discussion by Dr. Meenakshi Khar


  • The story deals with the untold tale of slum children who live a life of depression and poverty for generations together.

  • Their forefathers are either immigrant from Bangladesh or migrant workers from different parts of the country.

  • This story is divided into two parts- the first part describes the deplorable state of Saheb and his family, who have migrated from Bangladesh during 1971 war. The second part of the story describes about Mukesh, whose family tradition of bangle making continues for generations tighter in spite of health hazards of working in dingy cells, where bangles are manufactured.

  • Mukesh belongs to a family which is engaged in bangle making like many other families.

  • Firozabad is the hub of India’s glass blowing industry where generation after generation has been involved in this business.


Lesson Summary

  • In this lesson ‘Lost Spring’ , spring has been used in the context of ‘Childhood’.

  • Spring is considered the most cherished season of the year when flowers bloom. Similarly, childhood is the most formative years of life .

  • The story describes the pathetic life of the innocent children losing their childhood in the vicious circle of poverty and illiteracy.

  • The deplorable condition of exploitation of slum children has been highlighted in the story.

  • Saheb and Mukesh are metaphors for all slum children who fall prey to the family tradition of ragpicking and bangle making profession respectively, with Mukesh being the exception as he wants to be a motor mechanic breaking the family tradition of bangle making.

  • The author’s acquaintance with Saheb and other barefoot ragpickers introduced her to Seemapuri.

  • Seemapuri consists of people who left Bangladesh in the 1971 war. Saheb’s family is among them. About 10000 ragpickers live here.

  • When Anees visits that place, she comes to know that these ragpickers have lived here for more than thirty years without any identity. They do not have permits but do have ration cards, thanks to the selfish whims and wishes of the politicians. With these they can get their name on the voter’s lists and buy grains.

  • The family tradition of rag picking in the case of Saheb and Bangle making in the case of Mukesh is a deterrent for both the boys to think big and do something out of the box.

  • However, Mukesh in the second part of the story wants to be a motor mechanic, something which is a night mare for his family members as they cannot afford to embrace any other profession besides bangle making. Therefore, Mukesh has been projected to be an iconoclast in the story.

  • Saheb, too lost his freedom when he was working at a tea stall and was paid eight hundred rupees as well as his meals. Saheb was not happy as the steel canister seemed heavier than the plastic bag. He wanted to be his own master. Therefore, the longing for living a normal childhood can be seen in both the boys.

  • The author feels that the slum people are caught in two distinct worlds. One is the family caught in the clutches of poverty and the stigma of caste and secondly the world of those rich people who exploit them for their selfish benefits. These people are caught in the vicious circle of Sahukars, middlemen, policemen, bureaucrats and politicians. It is because of these people that the child is weighed down with responsibilities at such a tender age.


NCERT Solution:

Think as You Read ( page 17)

1.What is Saheb looking for in the garbage dumps? Where is he and where has he come from?

Ans: Saheb is looking for coins, which is considered as ‘gold’ in the story, in garbage dumps.

He is presently living at Seemapuri, which is at the periphery of Delhi. He has come from Bangladesh in 1971.

2.What explanations does the author offer for the children not wearing footwear?

Ans: The narrator found that children across the country walk barefoot in cities and on village roads. It is not lack of money always, but a tradition to stay barefoot. But the narrator wonders about the fact that the children are walking barefoot to explain away a perpetual state of poverty.

3.Is Saheb happy working at the tea-stall? Explain.

Ans: No, Saheb is not happy working at the tea stall. As he was no longer his own master by working at the tea stall at a meagre salary of 800 with meals. The steel canister , which he was carrying in his hand, seemed heavier than the plastic bag he was carrying over his shoulder. Therefore, he left the tea stall.

Think as You Read ( page 17)

4. What makes the city of Firozabad famous?

Ans: Firozabad is famous for bangle industries. It is the centre of India’s glass-blowing industry. Families have spent generations working around furnaces, welding glass, making bangles for all the women in the land.

5. Mention the hazards of working in the glass industry.

Ans: The glass bangle industry offers very unhealthy environment to the people. They have to work in the glass furnaces with high temperature in dingy cells. Their eyes are more adjusted to the dark than to the light outside. This makes them blind before they become adults.

6. How is Mukehs’s attitude to his situation different from that of his family?

Ans: Mukush’s family looks at the family profession of bangle making as ‘karam’ or destiny. His grandmother perceives it as ‘god-given. They are ready to die out of blindness and grim poverty, but won’t defy this profession. On the other hand, Mukesh wants to be a motor mechanic and is therefore considered to be an iconoclast as he dares to deviate from taking to his family tradition of bangle making.


Short Questions:

7.Why does the author say that the bangle makers are caught in a vicious web?

Ans: Certain forces conspire to keep the workers in bangle industry of Firozabad in poverty. These include the money lenders, the middlemen, the policeman, the law keepers, the bureaucrats and politicans. They dictate their will to get their work done cheaply and impose a heavy burden on children.

8.Why could the bangle makers not organise themselves into a co-operative?

Ans: The bangle makers are trapped in the vicious circle of sahukars, middlemen, policemen, bureaucrats and politicians. If they tried to organise themselves, they would be beaten by police and pout in jail.

9.Garbage to them is gold. Why does the author say so about the ragpickers?

Ans: Garbage is gold to the rag pickers of Seemapuri because it provides them with food and is a means of survival. Moreover, it is gold also because the ragpickers can find stray coins and currency notes in it.

10. Can Mukesh realise his dream of becoming a motor mechanic?

Ans: Man is a product of his environment around him. It is difficult to realise his dream as he is torn between his desires and his family , which firmly believes that the art of bangle making is a God given lineage that cannot be escaped. However, he is ambitious and is willing to walk a long way to the garage to give wings to his dreams.

CBE-Based Extract Questions

1. ‘‘The young men echo the lament of their elders.’’ Select the option which indicates Anees Junge’s view on young men.

(a) They don’t take any initiative.

(b) They are as poor as their elders.

c) They are as helpless as their elders.

(d) They don’t support their elders. [CBSE Term-1 2021]

2. From this chapter, it is evident that the author has an attitude of:

(a) sympathy

(b) apathy

(c) empathy

(d) bewilderment [CBSE Question Bank 2021]

3. Choose the statement that is NOT TRUE about ragpickers in Seemapuri.

(a) Children are equally involved in rag picking as their parents.

(b) The ragpickers settle down in a place permanently.

(c) Rag picking has accomplished itself as a skill and form of art.

(d) Ragpickers live in unsteady shanties on the outskirts of Delhi. [CBSE Question Bank 2021]

4.. ‘Set amidst the green fields of Dhaka, his home is not even a distant memory’. What does the author mean when she says, ‘his home is not even a distant memory’?

(a) He doesn’t remember his home at all.

(b) He remembers his home a bit but it’s hazy.

(c) He tries to remember his home but can’t.

5. Why was the author’s advice to Saheb to go to school ‘hollow’?

(1) Because Saheb has a full-time job which he needs to go.

(2) Because it is not Saheb’s problem but the problem with a system.

(3) Because she realises Saheb is not playing truant.

(4) Because she knows that there are no schools around.

(a) (1) and (2)

(b) (2) and (3)

(c) (3) and (4)

(d) (1) and (3)

6. Select the suitable option for the given statements, based on your reading of Lost Spring.

(1) The writer notices that Saheb has lost his carefree look.

(2) Saheb has had to surrender his freedom for ` 800 per month.

(a) (1) is false but (2) is true.

(b) Both (1) and (2) are true.

(c) (2) is a fact but unrelated to (1).

(d) (1) is the cause for (2). [CBSE Term-1 SQP 2021]

7. Saheb’s full name, Saheb-e-Alam, means ‘lord of the universe’, and it is the exact opposite of his situation in life. He is figuratively at the bottom of the world. This is an example of which literary device?

(a) Simile

(b) Metaphor

(c) Irony

(d) Imagery

8. Which of the following quotes captures the essence of Saheb’s and Mukesh’s stories?

(a) As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality exist in our world, none of us can truly rest. —Nelson Mandela

(b) God does not create poverty; we do, because we do not share. —Mother Teresa

(c) Love conquers all things except poverty and a toothache. —Mae West

(d) Poverty is not just lack of money; it is not having the capability to realise one’s full potential as a human being. —Amartya Sen

9. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

Together they have imposed the baggage on the child that he cannot put down. Before he is aware, he accepts it as naturally as his father. To do anything else would mean to dare. And daring is not part of his growing up. When I sense a flash of it in Mukesh I am cheered. “I want to be a motor mechanic,’ he repeats. He will go to a garage and learn. But the garage is a long way from his home. “I will walk,” he insists. “Do you also dream of flying a plane?” He is suddenly silent. “No,” he says, staring at the ground. In his small murmur there is an embarrassment that has not yet turned into regret. He is content to dream of cars that he sees hurtling down the streets of his town. Few airplanes fly over Firozabad.

(A) Choose two meanings of the word ‘flash’.

(1) A long, deep cut, especially in the skin

(2) A sudden bright light that quickly disappears

(3) To run or move very quickly or hastily

(4) A sudden thought crosses one’s mind

(a) (1) and (3)

(b) (2) and (4)

(c) (1) and (2)

(d) (3) and (4)

(B) Why does Mukesh go suddenly silent when asked if he dreams of flying a plane?

(a) He doesn’t want to talk to the author.

(b) He did not think about planes.

(c) He has a secret desire to fly planes.

(d) He doesn’t want to talk about planes.

(c) Why has Mukesh’s embarrassment not turned to regret yet?

(a) He is too brave.

(b) He is too hopeful.

(c) He is too young.

(d) He is too tired.

Q10. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

Mukesh insists on being his own master. “I will be a motor mechanic,” he announces. “Do you know anything about cars?” I ask. “I will learn to drive a car,” he answers, looking straight into my eyes. His dream looms like a mirage amidst the dust of streets that fill his town Firozabad, famous for its bangles. Every other family in Firozabad is engaged in making bangles. It is the centre of India’s glassblowing industry where families have spent generations working around furnaces, welding glass, making bangles for all the women in the land it seems.

(A) How confident was Mukesh in pursuing his dream?

(i) Not at all confident (ii) Overconfident (iii) Underconfident (iv) Confident

Ans: (ii) Overconfident

(B) Why does the author compare Mukesh’s dream to a mirage?

(i) Because the author thinks it might not come true.

(ii) Because Firozabad lies in the middle of a desert.

(iii) Because the author can predict the future.

(iv) Because the author saw a mirage in Firozabad.

Ans: (i) Because the author thinks it might not come true.

(C) Choose the literary device used in this line: ‘His dream looms like a mirage…’

(i) hyperbole (ii) metaphor (iii) simile (iv) personification

Ans: (iii) simile

(D) From the passage which two adjectives best describe Mukesh?

(i) dreamer (ii) arrogant (iii) loyal (iv) funny (v) imaginative (vi) kind

(a) (2) and (4) (b) (2) and (5) (c) (3) and (4) (d) (1) and (5)

Ans: (d) (1) and (5)

CBE-based Short Questions

Q1. Do you believe that ‘God-given lineage can be broken’? Support your position with a rationale. [CBSE Question Bank 2021]

Ans. I strongly believe that our dream is not determined by lineage but by our skill and commitment. Therefore, I certainly believe that 'God-given lineage' can be broken by hard work and dedication towards one's goal in life. History is replete with examples where we can see that family lineage has nothing to do with the success of individuals in their chosen field. Santosh Yadan, Kalpana Chawla, A P J Abdul Kalam are just a few names to justify my views on this topic.

Q2. How do you think the author’s life might have been impacted after her interactions with the children and their families mentioned in ‘Lost Spring’? [CBSE Question Bank 2021]

Ans. The author might have become highly touched by the despicable life which the slum children and their families were living. They live under unimaginable circumstances and still get along with drudgeries of life without giving up. So the author might have also thought about extending his helping hands for the upliftment of these slum children with some charity work or by mobilizing human resources to donate money and uplift the deplorable lifestyle of these slum populace.

Q3. What does garbage mean to the adults and the children of Seemapuri? [CBSE 2015, 12]

Ans. The adults view garbage as a means of survival from their cash-strapped life. They can use whatever stray coins come on their way in buying the household essentials.

On the other hand, the children view garbage like a treasure hunt where they desperately forage through garbage on subsequent days to find ten rupee notes.

Q4. Is there gender equality amongst the bangle sellers? Explain why/why not.

Ans. Savita, the old woman, her husband and Mukesh’s family are all engaged in making bangles. Since both men and women are equally involved in bangle making there is some resemblance of gender equality. However, at home as in Mukesh’s sister-in-law’s case, it is always the woman’s responsibility to look after household affairs . In this sense, there is no gender equality.

Question for Practice:

1. Explain the societal problem that the bangle makers are caught in Anees Jung’s ‘Lost Spring’.

2. Validate how similar and different Saheb’s and Mukesh’s stories are.

Long Questions

1. Certain traditions and lineage, condemn thousands of children to a life of abject poverty and choke their aspirations.

• Do you agree? Explain.

• How can we change this? Suggest some ways to tackle this issue. [CBSE Question Bank 2021]

2. ‘Food is more important for survival than an identity.’ Examine ‘Lost Spring’ by Anees Jung in the light of this statement.

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