Mother’s Tears: NBSE Class 9 Alternative English answers

mother's tears NBSE alternative english Class 9
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Here are the notes, questions, answers, solutions, Assam, pdf, and extras of the poem Mother’s Tears by Dr Sedengulie Nagi which is a part of the Alternative English Syllabus for Class 9 for students studying under the Nagaland Board of School Education. However, these notes should be used only for references and additions/modifications should be made as per the requirements.


Mother’s Tears by Dr. Sedengulie Nagi presents a subject that is universal in the grief that all mothers share at losing their sons. The poem talks about a mother who wanted to give the best she had to her son, whom she loved unconditionally. Though she did not have many resources, she tried to make it up with her love, affection and helping hand.

She tried to give her son everything he wanted and never refused him anything or questioned his habits and lavish lifestyle. She did not want to measure his joys in terms of ethics. But sadly, all of these only led him to go astray and indulge in substance abuse. The world started to make fun of him and hate him, but the mother could not be like the world. Seeing her son in this condition, her heart ached. She regretted how she raised him and realised that loving him was not supposed to mean giving in to all his demands.

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Explain with reference to context

1. Though I failed to offer him a silver spoon,
Endow him with a plate of gold and riches;
I did with the least I possessed, eked out
My love, affection and helping hand.

a. How did the mother compensate for her lack of riches?
b. Explain her frugality.
c. What is the underlying mood?

Answer: a) The mother compensated for her lack of riches but providing her son with everything she had and giving him all her love affection and helping hand.

b) The mother did not have much wealth or riches but she wanted to make up for it by showering him with utmost love, support and whatever she could afford.

c) The underlying mood is that of sadness and regret of the mother who is not able to offer Hasan all the wealth that could buy him anything.

2. Never had I refused a single coin;
Forbidden-not a word for this lovely lad;
Nay not, question his habits and lavish lifestyle;
I pondered, ‘why his joys should be measured in ethics.’

a. How does the mother regard her son? Identify the phrase.
b. What did the mother give her son in full measure?
c. When does the reader sense that there is trouble?

Answer: a) The mother regards her son with immense affection and unhealthy liberty. The phrase in question is “Forbidden-not a word for this lovely lad.”

b) The mother gave her son in full measure all the joys she could afford.

c) When the mother gives her son all the joy without thinking of ethics, we as readers sense that there is trouble.

Answer the questions

1. What does the phrase ‘mother’s tears’ evoke in you?

Answer: The phrase ‘mother’s tears’ reminds me of the unconditional love that a mother has for her children. In the poem, the mother did everything for her son’s happiness and gave him absolute liberty only to ruin him in the process. The mother’s tears remain a common factor both the times when she tried to give her son everything she could and when everything that she gave to her son made him a spoilt person.

2. Is this a personal tragedy, or is it a larger story? what makes you think so?

Answer: I think it is both a personal tragedy as well as a larger story. The mother in question in this poem love her son unconditionally like any mother would love her son. She tried to give him everything he demanded without thinking of ethics though she did not have many resources. In the process, she ruined her son he got indulged in drugs, drinks and harmful relationships.

This is not an individual story but a phenomenon that is becoming more and more relevant in the present context in which absolute liberty becomes hard to handle for many, and a lack of discipline and moral ethics facilitates liberty to ultimately ruin lives.

3. Is this a strong mother or a weak mother? Justify your answer.

Answer: The mother in question in this poem is not a strong mother because she easily gives in to the demands of her son and she does not make ethics a priority. While it is important to learn the needs of a child and try to provide him or her with whatever he or she needs, a mother should also understand that not everything her child demands is a need. There are times when she should say ‘no’. In this poem, however, the mother never tries to say no to her son, which ultimately makes him the person she would not want him to be. He becomes the reason for her tears. In a way, the ruined life of her son is also because of her.

Think and answer

1. Analyze the poet’s use of metaphors and symbolism in the poem, such as ‘a birth-pang for a new son’ and ‘if it could wash away his sins’. How do these literary devices contribute to the overall meaning and emotion of the poem?

Answer: The metaphors ‘a birth-pang for a new son’ and ‘if it could wash away his sins’ deeply enrich the poem’s emotional depth and thematic complexity. The ‘birth-pang’ metaphor suggests a painful rebirth or transformation, reflecting the mother’s hope for her son’s recovery and renewal despite his struggles. The idea of washing away sins with tears symbolizes a desperate wish for redemption and purification from past mistakes. Together, these images intensify the poem’s exploration of pain, hope, and the longing for change.

2. Think about how the poem shows a parent’s love that never stops, even when things are tough. How does this idea relate to people from various backgrounds who have felt their parents’ love and support?

Answer: The poem portrays a parent’s unconditional love that persists despite hardships, reflecting a universal theme that resonates with people across different backgrounds. This enduring love, exemplified in the mother’s unwavering support for her son amidst his trials, mirrors the experiences of many who feel a deep, comforting presence of parental love in their lives. It underscores the idea that such love is a constant, providing strength and hope even in the darkest times.

3. How do you think substance abuse affects not only the individual but also their family and community? Discuss the broader implications of the issue raised in the poem.

Answer: Substance abuse extends its impact beyond the individual, deeply affecting families and communities. The poem sheds light on the mother’s profound anguish and the disruption of familial peace, illustrating the emotional and social toll on those close to the sufferer. Broader community implications include strained resources, social stigma, and the erosion of community cohesion. This multi-layered impact highlights the importance of addressing substance abuse not just as a personal issue but as a communal challenge.

Going Beyond

1. What do you think is the duty of a child to his/her parents? Discuss your views in an essay of not more than 150 words.

Answer: The duty of a child to their parents encompasses a blend of respect, care, and gratitude. As parents invest their time, love, and resources into raising their children, it becomes a reciprocal responsibility for children to honor and appreciate these efforts. This duty doesn’t imply an obligation to repay, but rather to acknowledge their sacrifices through acts of kindness and understanding. As parents age, children should offer support and comfort, ensuring their parents feel valued and respected. Moreover, maintaining open communication and cherishing shared moments further strengthens familial bonds, enriching the lives of both parents and children. This approach fosters a healthy, loving family environment that benefits all generations.

2. What are the dangers that teenagers must steer clear of in their youth? Discuss your views in a short paragraph.

Answer: Teenagers face numerous dangers as they navigate their formative years, including substance abuse, peer pressure, and the risks of digital spaces. Substance abuse can derail a teenager’s health and future prospects, making it crucial to foster awareness and resilience against such temptations. Peer pressure can lead to compromising personal values and engaging in risky behaviors. Additionally, the digital world, while offering vast information and connectivity, poses threats like cyberbullying and privacy breaches. Teenagers must be equipped with critical thinking skills, strong moral foundations, and supportive networks to safely manage these challenges and make wise decisions during their youth.

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