The Letter Extra Questions and Answers Class 10 English Literature

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The Letter Extra Questions and Answers Class 10 English Literature

The Letter Extra Questions and Answers Short Answer Type

Question 1.
Who was Ali? Where did he go daily?
Ali was an old coachman. He went to the post office daily in anticipation of receiving a letter from his daughter Miriam who had left him and gone to Punjab, after getting married to a soldier. His earnestness arose from the fact that he had no information about her for nearly five years.

Question 2.
‘Ali displays qualities of love and patience.’ Give evidence from the story to support this statement.
Coachman Ali, an erstwhile hunter turns over a new leaf when his daughter goes away. He is left to lead a life of loneliness. Ali is characterised as a person possessing a great deal of patience towards all the people who ridicule him. Also, the love for his daughter prods him to make daily trips to the post office which he indulges in, with a lot of patience, guided by his faith in the ways of God.

Question 3.
How do you know Ali was a familiar figure at the post office?
Ali would wake up every morning as early as 4 a.m, paying no heed to the changes in the weather. With a devout serenity born out of hope and faith. He would be the first to reach the post office everyday. This, was his place of pilgrimage. His relentless journey made him a familiar figure.

Question 4.
Why did Ali give up hunting?
Ali was a renowned hunter in his heydays. But as he was reaching the dusk of his life, his daughter leaves for her marital home. This affected Ali very severely. Realisation dawned on him. He understood the importance of love, separation and human relationship. He pined for his daughter, and regretted having orphaned the fledglings and calves of the several animals and birds that fell to his bullets. Subsequently, Ali the hunter laid down his rifle.

Question 5.
What impression do you form of the postmaster after reading the story?
The postmaster was quite cruel initially, as he maltreated the Coachman Ali. He did not consider him to be a sane person. In fact, once he called him a great pest and nuisance. Later, however, when his daughter fell sick and he was waiting for her letter, he got Miriam’s letter. At that time he felt guilty and repented for treating Ali badly.

Question 6.
The postmaster says to Ali, “What a pest you are, brother!” Do you agree with the statement? Give reasons for your answer.
The coachman had got accustomed to go and sit in the post office to get his daughter’s letter. He would go and come back every day without any positive result. People started calling him a lunatic. One day, when he asked the postmaster for the letter, the latter called him a pest. He should have not done so as Ali was waiting for his daughter’s letter and was not in any way trying to be a pest or annoying him.

Question 7.
Ali came out very slowly, turning after every few steps to gaze at the post office. His eyes were filled with tears of helplessness, for his patience was exhausted, even though he still had faith. Why were Ali’s eyes filled with tears of helplessness? What had exhausted his patience? How/Why was his faith still intact?
Ali’s eyes were filled with tears of helplessness as he got a scolding from the postmaster and was asked to go away. His patience had been exhausted since he received no news about Miriam. However, Ali was an optimistic man and believed that the letter would come one day.

Question 8.
How was the heart of the postmaster brimming with sympathy for Ali?
One day trouble came upon the postmaster. His daughter fell sick and was in another town. He was anxiously waiting for some news of her well-being. After spending just a single night in suspense, anxiously waiting for news of his daughter, his heart empathised for the old man who had spent nights in innumerable anticipation. His newly-awakened father’s heart understood Ali’s anxiety.

Question 9.
Explain Ali’s dictum, ‘The whole universe is built up through love and the grief of separation inescapable.’
Ali had a daughter, Miriam. He loved her a lot. After her marriage, she left him. He felt lonely and dragged a cheerless existence. He understood the meaning of love and separation. He could no longer enjoy the hunter’s instinct. He sat down under a tree and wept bitterly. He felt that this world is an amalgamation of both love and sorrow and we cannot escape from either.

Question 10.
“Tortured by doubt and remorse, he sat down in the glow of the charcoal sigri to wait.” Who is tortured by doubt and remorse? Why? What is he waiting for?
The post master was one among the numerous people who were extremely unkind towards coachman Ali. However, it was when he finds himself in a similar situation that he realises the pain and anxiety of a father. The postmaster was waiting for information from his daughter. He could not bear the anxiety even for a day or two. Ali had been suffering for more than five years. He was filled with remorse because of his behaviour towards Ali. The doubt pertained to the fantasy of having interacted with Ali, who was, on enquiry reported to have died three months ago. The post master sat by the hot sigri, waiting for his daughter’s letter, repenting for his act, and tortured by the meaning of the apparition, he had seen in the early hours of the morning.

The Letter Extra Questions and Answers Long Answer Type

Question 1.
The postmaster is ridden by a sense of remorse at what he had done to Ali and he decides to write a letter to his friend. Imagine yourself as the postmaster and write a letter on his behalf.
Sohan Nagar Post office,
20 October 1930 Dear Ranjan
Hope you and your family are doing well. Convey my regards to your family.
Hey! Ranjan, I am writing this letter to make a confession. I have been going through immense stress for the past few days. There was an old coachman, Ali, here at Sohan Nagar. He used to come to the post office everyday, hoping to receive a letter from his daughter, and all of us would tease him a lot. But I went a step further, and called him a ‘pest’ one day.
It was when I was waiting eagerly for a letter from Kajal, my daughter, who was unwell, that realisation of a father’s anxiety dawned on me. I am filled with remorse. I realised that experience does make a man wiser.

Yesterday while surfing through the letters, I was shocked to see a letter from his daughter Miriam, addressed to the old coachman. It was when we were trying to locate him, that we were informed of his demise three months ago.

My clerk Lakshmi Das then told me that on the last day Ali had come to the post office, he had given him 5 guineas and had requested him to place his daughter’s letter if and when it arrived on his grave. Respecting his wishes we went together and offered our respects to the dead man and placed the letter on his grave. Tortured by remorse, I have gone into a state of depression. However, I have decided to turn over a new leaf and become more humane. Perhaps that will be the way of seeking redemption.
My earnest prayer to God is to bless him.!
Thank you for being a great friend.
Yours sincerely
Sushil Jena

Question 2.
You are the clerk, Lakshmi Das, who received the five gold coins from Ali. Write a page in your diary describing your feelings from the time you received the coins to the time you laid the letter on Ali’s grave.
18 November 1930 9:30 pm
Dear Diary,
I was startled when the old man Ali stopped me at the post office and laid five gold guineas from an old tin box onto my hands. Seeing me surprised, he told me that these gold coins would be useful to me as these could never be of any use to him. In return, he asked me for a favour. He requested me to forward Miriam’s letter to his grave. I was even more shocked. As he left, there were tears in his eyes. I was touched by his emotions. Nevertheless, I was happy to have got the five golden guineas which I quickly put in my pocket. Ali was never seen again.

No one bothered to inquire about him. However three months later a letter addressed to ‘Coachman Ali’ finally did arrive. I was assigned the task of finding Ali. On inquiring, I found to my dismay that old Ali had died. I knew I had to fulfil his last wish, which he had requested of me with a lot of sorrow, eyes brimming with tears. I was shocked to see the rough and tough hunter crumble in this manner. I did not expect that to be the last interaction with the coachman.

Along with the postmaster, I went to Ali’s grave and placed the letter on it. I didn’t know why, but after doing so, I felt a sense of fulfilment within myself. Ali had given me the golden guineas in the presence of God, and somewhere deep within my heart I was extremely satisfied to fulfil the old man’s wish. Lakshmidas

Question 3.
Imagine you are Miriam, the daughter of Ali. You have learnt about how miserable your father is throqgh an acquaintance. You decide to write a letter to your father at once.
Punjab Regiment Amritsar (Punjab)
31 January, 1931
Dear Papa
Hope this letter of mine finds you in good health. How badly I miss you! I have been a very insensitive and heartless daughter! Papa, let me assure you that not a day of mine passes without remembering the days we spent together. How can I afford to forget you? You are my world. But I was always worried if you would forgive me for what I did. I know you would have married me off to Vikram if I had expressed my wish to do so. I was scared. Call it an act of immaturity committed by a young girl in love. I did request my husband to visit you but he remained occupied with his professional responsibilities. I could understand his limits. For a soldier, the nation is above everything. He is currently posted at the Wagah border.

I met Junaid uncle yesterday who told me about your pilgrimage to the post office. I feel ashamed of having been such an irresponsible daughter. Please forgive me Pa. I will come to Sohan Nagar as soon as I can. Miss you Papa.
Waiting for a reply from you
Yours lovingly

Question 4.
“Letters and envelopes are not merely dead pieces of paper. They are living documents of human love and concern.”
Write a letter to your father expressing the values you have learnt from Ali.
52, Park Road Dehradun
20th March, 2013
Dear Papa,
Today I read a wonderful chapter in my class. It is about anxiety and worry of a father for his daughter. The central character, coachman Ali has boundless love and affection for his daughter Miriam. Without her, he becomes extremely lonely and unhappy. The grief or pangs of separation is inescapable. This realisation makes him a totally transformed man. He gives up hunting. He can’t stand the sight of a helpless young animal separated from his parents. His only child Miriam got married and left him. No news of Miriam had come for the last five years. Everyday Ali visited post office in the hope of getting a letter from his daughter. This loving father was a marvel of patience and faith. For hours every day he waited patiently at the post office for a letter and silently bore the taunts of the post office employees.

Coachman Ali teaches us empathy, compassion, love and fellow feelings; we should respect others’ feelings and should not treat them harshly. It was really a great lesson. I learnt a lot today.
Hope Ma and Anuj are doing well.
Your lovingly

Question 5.
“No one can gauge the depth of human emotions till one identifies oneself with one’s fellow beings.” The postmaster realises the pain of Ali when his own daughter was sick. He was full of remorse, guilt and repentance for his ill treatment to Ali. What values do you learn from the condition of postmaster?
The postmaster like other fathers is loving and caring. Worried and anxious about his daughter’s sickness, he spends sleepless nights waiting for the news of her recovery and well-being. He rebukes Ali and considers him a mad man and ‘a pest’. However, his attitude undergoes complete transformation after he finds Miriam, Ali’s daughter’s letter while waiting for one from his own daughter.

He realises the pain, anguish and suffering of the coachman as he identifies his pain. He repented a lot and realises the need of empathy, compassion, love and fellow feelings for those suffering from the grief and pain of separation.

We should always respect other’s feelings. We should take care that we do not hurt others, and if we commit any mistake, we should at least apologise by saying “sorry”.
This helps us to reverse the effect of our mistake and at the same time, it increases our dignity and respect in other’s eyes.

The Letter Extra Questions and Answers Reference-to-Context

Read the extracts and answer the questions that follow.

Question 1.
“Now he understood the meaning of love and separation. He could no longer enjoy the sportsman’s pleasure and laughter. ”
(i) Who is ‘he’ referred to?
(ii) When did Ali understand the meaning of love?
(iii) What is the “sportsman’s pleasure” referred to in the above lines?
(iv) Why could he not enjoy his sport anymore?
(i) “He” refers to Ali.
(ii) It was when his only daughter Mariam left him to go off with a soldier, and remained incommunicado for more than 5 years, that .Ali understood the meaning and importance of love.
(iii) It refers to the pleasure he used to derive when he would see the fear and shock of the survivors of his hunt, as they watched their parents dying in front of them.
(iv) He could no longer enjoy hunting as he realised that it inevitably lead to death, loneliness and separation.

Question 2.
“Ali came out very slowly, turning after every few steps to gaze at the post office. His eyes were filled with tears of helplessness, for his patience was exhausted, even though he still had faith.”
(i) Why were Ali’s eyes filled with tears of helplessness?
(ii) What had exhausted his patience?
(iii) What did he still have faith in?
(iv) Why did he gaze at the post office?
(i) Ali’s eyes filled with tears of helplessness because he was getting exhausted and impatient and the people failed to empathise with him.
(ii) The futile wait for Mirriam’s letter exhausted his patience.
(iii) Ali still had faith in the ways of God, and continued to believe that the letter would certainly arrive.
(iv) Ali was conscious of his failing health. He was gazing at his “pilgrim center”, probably to swallow its image for the last time, to carry with him till eternity.

Question 3.
“After spending but a single night in suspense, anxiously waiting for news of his daughter, his heart was brimming with sympathy for the poor old man who had spent his nights in the same suspense for the last five years. ”
(i) Who has spent a single night in suspense?
(ii) Whose heart is brimming in sympathy?
(iii) For whom was his heart brimming with sympathy?
(iv) What did he sympathise with the old man?
(i) The postmaster was waiting in suspense for he had not received any news from his daughter who wa^s reportedly unwell.
(ii) It is the postmaster’s heart that is brimming with sympathy.
(iii) His heart was brimming with sympathy for Ali.
(iv) He sympathised with the old man and realised that the poor coachman had tided over several nights in the anticipation of receiving a letter from his daughter.

Question 4.
“He lifted his eyes and in them was a light so unearthly that the postmaster shrank back in fear and astonishment. ”
(i) In this extract who lifts his eyes?
(ii) Whose eyes emitted an unearthly light?
(iii) How did the postmaster react to this event?
(iv) Why do you think the light in his eyes was unearthly?
(i) It is coachman Ali, who is said to have lifted his eyes.
(ii) The eyes of Ali emitted an unearthly light.
(iii) The Postmaster shrank back in fear and astonishment.
(iv) The light in the eyes appeared unearthly probably because it was Ali’s apparition that was interacting with the postmaster.

Question 5.
“Tortured by doubt and remorse, he sat down in the glow of charcoal sigri to wait.”
(i) Who was tortured by doubt and remorse?
(ii) Why was he tortured by doubt and remorse?
(iii) What was he waiting for?
(iv) Why do you think he was sitting in the glow of the charcoal sigri?
(i) The postmaster was tortured by doubt and remorse.
(ii) He was tortured because he regretted the way he had behaved with Ali.
(iii) He was waiting for a letter from his own daughter.
(iv) He was probably sitting in the glow of the charcoal sigri to repent for his sins, while experiencing the pain of waiting for communication from a loved one.

Question 6.
“But when the evening of his life was drawing in, he left his old ways and suddenly took a new turn. ”
(i) What does the expression ‘evening of life’ mean?
(ii) What does ‘old ways’ refer to here?
(iii) Whose life is being referred to in the above lines?
(iv) Why has Ali’s life taken a new turn?
(i) The expression ‘evening of his life’ means the latter half of one’s life, or old age.
(ii) “Old ways” refers to what Ali used to do in the past, when he was younger.
(iii) The reference is being made to Ali’s life.
(iv) His life has taken a turn when his daughter has gone to live with a soldier with whom she has been married. In solitude and loneliness he realises the importance of life and its relationships and gives up his old ways.

Question 7.
“At last they had all gone. Ali got up too and saluting the post office as though it housed some precious relic, went off. ”
(i) Why does Ali salute the post office?
(ii) Who are ‘they’ here?
(iii) What do you mean by ‘precious relic’? What is the precious relic for Ali?
(iv) Name the chapter from which these lines are taken.
(i) Ali salutes the post office because it was a place of pilgrimage for him.
(ii) Here ‘they’ refer to the peons and clerks who had come from their departments to the post office to collect mail for their office.
(iii) A “precious relic” is something that is of great historical value. For Ali the most precious relic was the post office, his place of pilgrimage, which would probably preserve his daughter’s letter for years to come.
(iv) These lines are taken from the chapter ‘The letter’ by Dhumaketu.

Question 8.
“In his whole life he had never received a letter, but with a devout serenity born of hope and faith, he persevered and was the first to arrive. ”
(i) Who has not received a letter in his life time?
(ii) What is meant by “devout serenity”?
(iii) What had he persevered to do?
(iv) Who was the first to arrive and where?
(i) Ali had not received a letter in all his life.
(ii) “Devout serenity” means a calmness, or composure that one experiences in a state of spiritual ecstasy.
(iii) He had persevered the challenges posed by nature and life to visit the post office regularly in the hope of receiving his daughter’s letter.
(iv) Ali was always the first to arrive at the post office.

Question 9.
“But he is a bit touched sir. In the old days he committed many sins; and maybe he shed some blood within sacred precincts and is paying for it now. ”
(i) Who is the speaker?
(ii) To whom is he saying these words?
(iii) Who is Lakshmi Das referring to?
(iv) What sins had the person committed?
(i) The speaker is Lakshmi Das the clerk at the post office.
(ii) He is speaking to the post master.
(iii) Lakshmi das is speaking about coachman Ali.
(iv) Ali was a hunter, The ‘sins’ refer to the number of birds and animals that had been silenced by his rifle. Lakshmi das surmises that his misfortune could probably be the consequence of outraging the sanctity of sacred places by spilling blood.

Question 10.
“What a pest you are brother!” He exclaimed.
“My name is Ali”, answered Ali absent-mindedly.
(i) Who is the speaker of the first line?
(ii) Why does he call Ali a pest?
(iii) What light does it throw on the character of the speaker?
(iv) What does it tell us about the listener?
(i) The post master is the speaker of these lines.
(ii) The postmaster who was in a hurry to leave, gets irritated with Ali and calls him a pest. He got annoyed when Ali enquired if there was any letter addressed to him from Mariam.
(iii) The speaker, the postmaster is a haughty and insensitive person.
(iv) The listener is absent-minded and helpless.

A Long Walk to Freedom Question and Answers