Get summary, textbook solutions, questions, answers, notes, extras, mcqs, pdf of the chapter (prose) Bholi by K.A. Abbas for SEBA, (Assam Board) and TBSE (Tripura Board) Class 10 English (Second Language) from the book First Flight. However, the given notes/solutions should only be used for references and should be modified/changed according to needs.
Sulekha, a young girl, is the protagonist of the story. Because she was a simpleton, she was dubbed ‘Bholi.’ This was owing to a childhood injury that had injured a portion of her brain. She stammered and had pockmarks on her cheeks from smallpox when she was two years old. Everyone laughed at her. Ramlal, her father, worked as a Numberdar. Bholi was the youngest of three boys and four daughters.
Ramlal was always concerned about her since it appeared difficult to marry her because she had an unattractive appearance and a foggy intellect. The Tehsildar came to their village one day to open a girl’s primary school. Ramlal was encouraged to send his daughters to school by him. Ramlal’s wife urged that Bholi be sent to school, despite her opposition to girls going to school because no boy would marry such a girl. She reasoned that since Bholi had no chance of marrying, she could continue her education.
Bholi was initially afraid to leave her house, but when she was dressed up and her hair was washed and oiled for the first time in her life, she thought she was about to visit a better place. She met a teacher at school who was really friendly and kind to her. She urged her to study hard and talk confidently. Bholi became more optimistic as a result of this, and she began to attend school on a daily basis. Years passed, and her village grew into a little town with amenities such as a cotton mill, a cinema, and the conversion of the primary school to a secondary school.
Bholi’s parents agreed to marry her to a lame old widower who was wealthy and had not requested a dowry one day. They arranged her marriage since they thought it was the ideal marriage proposal for their foolish daughter. The bridegroom arrived with tremendous pomp and show on the wedding day, which filled Ramlal with excitement. Bholi’s pockmarks were discovered by the groom, who wanted a dowry in exchange for marrying her. He requested a payment of 5,000 rupees.
Bishamber Nath refused Ramlal’s request for mercy, even placing his turban at Bishamber’s feet. Ramlal had no choice but to give the money in order to save his family’s honour as well as his daughter’s wedding. All of this was too much for Bholi, so she refused to marry a ruthless old guy. She was accused of being a loudmouth. Her father was overcome with grief and expressed his concern that no one would marry her now, and that she would be left with nothing to do in the future. She responded by saying she would look after her parents as they aged and teach at her school. Her teacher, who was silently watching the happenings, was pleased with her choice.
Read and find out
1. Why is Bholi’s father worried about her?
Answer: Bholi’s father is concerned about her because she is unattractive and unintelligent.
2. For what unusual reason is Bholi sent to school?
Answer: Bholi is sent to school not to learn, but to cause concern among her teachers.
5. Does Bholi enjoy her first day at school?
Answer: Bholi was terrified of school at first, but once she got there, she absolutely loved it.
6. Does she find her teacher different from the people at home?
Answer: Yes, she notices a distinction between her teacher and the ones she knows at home. Her teacher’s voice is gentle and calming to her. She is overwhelmed with feelings of affection.
Think about it
1. Bholi had many apprehensions about going to school. What made her feel that she was going to a better place than her home?
Answer: Bholi has never been to school before. She was apprehensive about going to school. She was cleaned, dressed, and oil was put into her matted hair. This gave her the impression that she was leaving for a better place than her current residence.
3. Why did Bholi at first agree to an unequal match? Why did she later reject the marriage? What does this tell us about her?
Answer: Being a victim of circumstance, Bholi initially accepted an unequal match. She accepted in order to keep her father’s face.
However, she later declined because he sought a dowry of 5,000 rupees.
4. Bholi’s real name is Sulekha. We are told this right at the beginning. But only in the last but one paragraph of the story is Bholi called Sulekha again. Why do you think she is called Sulekha at that point in the story?
Answer: Bholi’s real name is Sulekha. She was nicknamed Bholi, the Simpleton, because of her lack of intelligence.
However, she was no longer known as Bholi. She was intelligent and self-assured. So she was called Sulekha.
Talk about it
1. Bholi’s teacher helped her overcome social barriers by encouraging and motivating her. How do you think you can contribute towards changing the social attitudes illustrated in this story?
Answer: With the use of education, we can influence people’s minds. Education dispels the darkness of superstition and many other forms of social injustice. Ignorance is the source of societal obstacles, and education is the only way to overcome ignorance.
3. Do you think the characters in the story were speaking to each other in English? In fact, in which language were they speaking?
Answer: The story’s characters conversed in Hindi rather than English. We can get the clue from the various names used in the story.
Additional Questions and Answers
1. Describe how Bholi has transformed as a result of her schooling.
Answer: Bholi, a country girl, was not only stupid but also unattractive. Sulekha was her real name, but she was nicknamed Bholi due to her lack of intelligence. She was, nevertheless, taken to class. She received the gleam of gained intelligence and education. Her self-assurance grew. Finally, she expressed her deep opposition to society’s injustices against young girls.
Bishambar, who demanded dowry, was rejected by her.
2. What was the reason for Bholi’s rejection of marriage? Discuss.
Answer: Bholi received education and grew to be self-assured. She agreed to marry at first to keep her father’s face and to avoid being a victim of circumstance.
She was enraged, however, when the bridegroom demanded dowry at the last minute. She immediately refused to marry Bishambhar and rejected the marriage proposal. She opted not to marry and instead pursue a career as a teacher.
6. Bholi’s parents approve Bishamber’s marriage proposal for what reason?
Answer: Bishamber’s marriage proposal was accepted by Bholi’s parents since they were pleased that he was well-off and had not requested a dowry.
7. Describe the mother of Bholi?
Answer: Ramlal’s wife, Bholi’s mother, was a conventional housewife who believed that educated daughters would find it difficult to find husbands. Because she was a slow student, she didn’t pay attention to Bholi.
8.’Bholi’ is a narrative about girl child discrimination. Analyse.
Answer: Nature is not prejudiced, but society is. The world has discriminated against girls from the dawn of time. Many examples can be found in the chapter ‘Bholi.’ Randal’s sons are educated and attend college. His daughters are not educated and have already married. Her mother does not believe Bholi’s consent is required for her marriage. The groom is a senile old man. He continues to seek a dowry. Her father is also willing to compensate him. The girl herself is the one who speaks out against the marriage. For sticking up for her dignity, she is chastised and humiliated. But she is a strong woman who makes her own decisions about her life.
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