My Mother at Sixty-six NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Chapter 1 with Answers

My Mother at Sixty-six NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Chapter 1 with Answers

We have Provided the NCERT/CBSE Solutions chapter-wise for Class 12 English Poems Chapter 1 My Mother at Sixty-six with Answers by expert subject teacher for latest syllabus and examination. Students also can take a free NCERT Solutions of My Mother at Sixty-six. Each question has right answer Solved by Expert Teacher.

NCERT Solutions Class 12 English Flamingo Poems


Page No. 91
THINK IT OUT

Q1. What is the kind of pain and ache that the poet feels?

Answer: The poetess feels pain on seeing the pale and corpse like face of her mother. There appears her old familiar pain of childhood in her heart. She realises that her mother’s face has become like the withered moon of the winter season. She feels that time and age spare none and both are inevitable.

Q2. Why are the young trees described as ‘sprinting’?

Answer: The poet is driving to the Cochin airport. When she looks outside, the young trees seem to be walking past them. With the speed of the car they seem to be running fast or sprinting. The poet presents a contrast—her ‘dozing’ old mother and the ‘sprinting’ young trees.

Q3. Why has the poet brought in the image of the merry children ‘spilling out of their homes’ ?

Answer: The image of the merry children ‘spilling out of their home’ suggests the idea of youth and beauty in contrast to the ashen-like pale wan face of the ageing mother of the poet. This image emphasises the fact that the old mother has lost vitality, energy, charm, beauty and youth.

Q4. Why has the mother been compared to the ‘late winter’s moon’ ?

Answer: With the growing age, the poet’s mother has started losing all her vitality and radiance. The poet uses the simile of ‘late winter’s moon’ for her mother to indicate her approaching death.

Winter, being the last season of the year, is synonymous with lifelessness and dormancy. And, a winter’s moon is also pale-white in colour bearing close resemblance with her mother who, having lost all her strength and beauty, looks ’wan’ and ‘pale’ to the poet. Her mother, too, is in the last phase of her life.

Q5. What do the parting words of the poet and her smile signify?

Answer: The poet’s parting words of assurance and her smiles provide a stark contrast to the old familiar ache or fear of the childhood. Her words and smiles are a deliberate attempt to hide her real feelings. The parting words: “See you soon, Amma” give an assurance to the old lady whose ‘ashen face’ looks like a corpse. Similarly, her continuous smiles are an attempt to overcome the ache and fear inside her heart.


EXTRA QUESTIONS OF My Mother at Sixty-six

Q1. All I did was smile and smile and smile. Why does the poetess repeat the word smile thrice ?

Answer: The smile of the poetess at the time of parting from her emanciated mother only hides her tears. She is not certain of meeting the old woman again. The mother is already ash-coloured like a dead body.

Q2. What are the words that convey the poet’s agony?

Answer: Looking at her mother, drained of colour, the poet realizes that her mother had grown old and weak and had come to the end of her life. The words “familiar ache” universalizes the emotion. She talks of her mother’s frailty by comparing her to a “corpse”. She desired to dispel the pain by looking out of the car window. In the end, she was unable to speak; she could only smile.

Q3. How does the poet describe her mother?

Answer: Kamala Das describes her mother as old, pale and senile. As she was asleep, the poet noticed that her mother looked as pale and colourless as a dead body. She seemed to have lost the vitality of life.

Q4. What is the poet’s familiar ache and why does it return?

Answer: The poet is pained at the ageing and decaying of her mother. The fear is that with ageing comes decay and death. The sight of her old mother’s ‘ashen’ and corpse-like face arouses “that old familiar ache” in her heart. Her childhood fear returns. She is also pained and frightened by the idea that she may have to face all these things herself.

Q5. What was the poet’s childhood fear?

Answer: The child is always in fear of being separated from his parents. In the same way, the poet’s fear as a child was that of losing her mother or her company.

Q6. Why are the youngsters described as springing?

Answer: Youngsters are described as springing because they are full of energy and vitality. They represent the vibrant youth. The poet is trying to bring in the contrast of her old and ageing mother with the energetic youth.

Q7. Ageing is a natural process; have you ever thought what our elderly parents expect from us?

Answer: Aged people usually undergo pangs of loneliness and need companionship. They long only for our love, care and attention. They expect their children to share the happenings in their lives with them and take their suggestions for making significant decisions. This will encourage them to live life enthusiastically.

Q8. The mood and setting in the poem comes a full cycle. Explain.

Answer: The poet begins with a concern and grief of the mother’s lifelessness in the car. The poet then describes the energy and jubilation outside. Once again, the mood recoils into sadness and worry, at the end of the poem, when the poet talks of her mother being pale like a late winter’s moon.

Q9. The poet’s repeated smile seems out of the place in a way. In which way is that appropriate?

Answer: The poet had no reason to smile at the time of separation from her aged mother. She was deeply distressed and pained to separate from her mother when she was so old. Yet, to make the mother feel ‘there is nothing to worry,’ the poet attempted to be glad, cheerful and reassured her by her extended smile.

Q10. What does the poet do after the security check-up? What does she notice?

Answer: They have to pass through a security check-up at the airport. After it, the poet stands a few yards away. Before saying parting words to her mother, she looks at her mother again. Her face looks pale and colourless like the late winter’s moon. She presents a picture of ageing and decay.

Q11. What does the poet realise with pain? Why does the poet ‘put that thought away’ and look outside?

Answer: The lifeless and faded face of the poet’s mother pains her heart. She looks lifeless like a corpse. She provides an image of passivity, decay and death. The old lady seems to be lost in her thoughts. The poet needs a distraction, a change. She puts that thought away and looks outside. There she gets a picture of life, happiness and activity.

Q12. Having looked at her mother, why does Kamala Das look at the young children?

Answer: Kamala Das looked at her mother and painfully realized that she had aged and was inching towards death. To distract herself, she started looking out of the window at the young children playing.

Q13. Why has the poet brought in the image of the merry children Spilling out of their homes?

Answer: The poet has used this imagery to bring out the contrast between children, who ard’energetic and full of life, and her mother, who is old, pale and lifeless.

Q14. What were Kamala Das’fears as a child? Why do they come back when she is going to the airport?

Answer: During her childhood, Kamala Das was insecure about losing her mother just as all young children often are. The same old feelings come back to haunt her when she sees her mother’s pale and lifeless face. She is tortured by the fact that she may not see her alive again. She hides her feelings by smiling.

Q15. What does the poet realise with pain? Why does the poet ‘put that thought away’ and look outside?

Answer: The lifeless and faded face of the poet’s mother pains her heart. She looks lifeless like a corpse. She provides an image of passivity, decay and death. The old lady seems to be lost in her thoughts. The poet needs a distraction, a change. She puts that thought away and looks outside. There she gets a picture of life, happiness and activity.


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