Saturday, September 25, 2021

NEB Grade XII Compulsory English Note | Language Development | Unit- 5 A Story of My Childhood | A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

NEB Grade XII Compulsory English Note | Language Development | Unit- 5 A Story of My Childhood | A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Unit: 5

A Story of My Childhood

Working with words

A. Match the words in column with their meanings in column.

a. expectantly - vi. in a way that shows you are hoping for something, especially something good or exciting

b. beckon – viii. to give signal to somebody to move nearer or to follow you

c. grapple - v. to try hard to find a solution to a problem

d. texture – ii. the way food or drink tastes or feels in your mouth

e. cobbled- vii. having a surface that is made of small round stones

f. flimsy - iv. thin and easily torn

g. attire - i. clothes, especially fine or formal ones

h. marvelous - ix. extremely good; wonderful

i. dynamics - iii. the science of the forces involved in movement

B. Use a dictionary and find the meanings of the following words related to people’s life stories.

hagiography – a book about the life of a person that praises them much

psychobiography- the intensive life span study of an individual of historic significance in socio-

cultural context using psychological and historiographic research methods

pathography – a biography focusing on a person’s negative aspects like failure, unhappiness, illness, etc.

chronicle – a written record of events in the order in which they happened

obituary – an article about somebody’s life and achievement, that is printed in a newspaper soon after they have died

character sketch – a short written description of a person’s characters, qualities, etc.

profile- a description of somebody / something that gives useful information

memoir- a written account of somebody’s life, a place or an event


A. Put the following events in the life of Abdul Kalam in a chronological order.

a. Abdul Kalam attended an elementary school at Rameswaram.

b. One day Abdul Kalam’s teacher visited them to share his pride and pleasure about his performance.

c. They celebrated happiness with poli.

d. A new teacher in the school forbade Abdul Kalam to sit together with his Bramhin friend.

e. Many students did not understand well of Sivasubramania Iyer’s lecture.

f. He then took the students to the seashore for a practical class.

g. Abdul Kalam was determined that he would make a future study about flight and flight systems.

B. Answer the following questions.

a. What were the causes of Abdul Kalam’s happiness?
The causes of Abdul Kalam’s happiness were his mathematics teacher’s visit to his family to share his result and his wonderful performance in the exam.

b. Which two places did Abdul Kalam visit before going to school?
Before going to school, Abdul kalam visited the Arabic tuition class and mathematics teacher’s house.

c. What did he like about mathematics?
He liked learning about numbers and their rules and patterns.

d. Why was the new teacher unhappy?
The new teacher was unhappy because a Hindu and a Muslim boy were sitting together.

e. Why did Abdul Kalam have to split with his intimate friend?
Abdul Kalam had to split with his intimate friend because the school in Rameswaram had classes only till the secondary level and to study further one had to go to the bigger towns nearby.

f. What was the topic of Sivasubramania Iyer’s class?
The topic of Sivasubramania Iyer’s class was birds’ flight. / He was teaching how birds fly.

g. How was the teacher’s reaction when the students told him that they did not understand his lecture?
When the students told him that they did not understand his lecture, he was neither upset not angry with them.

h. Why did Sivasubramania Iyer take his students to the seashore?
Sivasubramania Iyer took his students to the seashore to give them the concept of flight dynamics in birds.

Critical thinking

a. APJ Abdul Kalam became a renowned aerospace scientist in his later life. Do you find any association of his childhood days in shaping his career? Explain with specific instances from the text.

APJ Abdul Kalam was a renowned aerospace scientist who played a leading role in the development of India’s missile and nuclear weapons programs. He was president from 2002 to 2007.

There is an association of Kalam’s childhood days in shaping his career. Once his mathematics teacher visited the family to share Kalam’s result. He was very happy to hear the result. But he was even more happy because his teacher had taken the trouble to come all the way to his house to tell his family about the result.

Another teacher named Sivasubramania Iyer taught him when I was ten years old and in the fifth standard. He was a great teacher and all of them loved to attend his class and listen to him. One day, he was teaching how birds fly. Kalam as well as other students told him that they had not understood what he taught. He took them to the seashore to explain the flight of birds practically.

b. Kalam mentions an instance of discrimination against him in his school life. What picture of society does he want to depict by mentioning the incident? Discuss.

In India, history has cast its deep shadow on Hindu-Muslim relations. The extremists believe that their religious belief should be adopted as the national identity, and other groups should adjust their practices accordingly. It plays upon the pride of the majority group and attempts to demonize threatening minorities.

The incident reveals the religious issue existing in the Indian society of that time. Though the teacher represents the educated and intellectual mankind, he was guided with the deep-rooted religious dogma. As he was a member of the society, he was required to follow the social rules. However, there must have been a thin layer of hope of religious tolerance as Kalam’s father and the head priest of the temple told the teacher that he should not have brought the divisions of religion into the classroom.


Write a short autobiography featuring your childhood life using the following guidelines.

I was born on August 8, 1994 in Pokhara. I belonged to a middle-class family. My parents had a grocery. It was the only source of our income. My parents used to manage everything with earnings from our grocery.

My daily life was very simple. It began with my mother gently shaking me awake very early in the morning, before sunrise. I had to prepare myself for my morning class. I was thought to have been poor in mathematics so I used to go to my mathematics teacher’s house for the class. He helped me learn numbers and their rules and patterns very easily.

I would run back home when my tuition was over. My mother would have a hot meal ready. I would eat our fill and be ready for my school. My school days were so wonderful. Except books and pencils, we used to spend our time playing with friends, sharing snacks, and poking at each other. I was fond of my English class as I could listen to my teacher teaching stories and poems. She was very loving and helpful.

One day, my father came home with a renowned political leader and his friends. When he talked to us, I didn’t comprehend his utterance. However, his fluency and body language were amazing. Before leaving, he handed some books to me. They were about the leaders from the different parts of the world. Those books are still in my library. He visited our house 3-4 times. My father told me several inspiring stories about him.

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