English Language & Literature

Chapter 1: A Letter to God

Class 10

NCERT Solution

Oral Comprehension Check

Page 5

Question.1.
What did Lencho hope for?

Lencho hoped for a good rain as it was much needed for a good harvest.

Question.2.
Why did Lencho say the raindrops were like ‘new coins’?

Lencho compared the raindrops with new coins because they were promising him a good harvest resulting in more prosperity.

Question.3.
How did the rain change? What happened to Lencho’s fields?

The rain changed into hailstones as a strong wind began to blow and huge hailstones began to fall alongwith the rain. All the crops in Lencho’s field got destroyed because of the weather conditions.

Question.4.
What were Lencho’s feelings when the hail stopped?

Lencho was filled with grief after the hail stopped as everything was ruined and there was nothing that he could feed his family with. He could see a bleak future for him and his family.

Oral Comprehension Check

Page 6

Question.1.
Who or what did Lencho have faith in? What did he do?

Lencho had firm faith in God. He believed ‘ that God sees everything, even what is deep in one’s conscience and help everyone in one’s problems. He wrote a letter to God demanding him a hundred pesos to sow his field again.

Question.2.
Who read the letter?

Postmaster read the letter.

Question.3.
What did the postmaster do after reading a letter?

The postmaster laughed when he read Lencho’s letter but soon he became serious and was moved by the writer’s faith in God. He didn’t want to shake Lencho’s faith. So, he decided to collect, money and send it to Lencho on behalf of God.

Oral Comprehension Check

Page 7

Question.1.
Was Lencho surprised to find a letter for him with money in it?

Lencho was not surprised to find a letter with money from God as he believed that God will help him.

Question.2.
What made Lencho angry?

There were only seventy pesos in the envelope whereas Lencho had demanded a hundred pesos. The difference in the amount made him angry.

Thinking about the Text

Pages 7-8

Question.1.
Who does Lencho have complete faith in? Which sentences in the story tell you this?

Lencho has complete faith in God as he is instructed that God knows everything and helps us in our problems. There are few sentences which show this:

  1. But in the hearts of all who lived in that solitary house in the middle of the valley, there was a single hope help from God.
  2. All through the night, Lencho thought only of his one hope: the help of God, whose eyes, as he had been instructed, see everything, even what is deep in one’s conscience.
  3. “God”, he wrote, “if you don’t help me, my family and I will go hungry this year”.
  4. He wrote ‘To God’ on the envelope, put the letter inside and still troubled, went to town.
  5. God could not have made a mistake, nor could he have denied Lencho what he had requested.

Question.2.
Why does the postmaster send money to Lencho? Why does he sign the letter God?

The postmaster sends money to Lencho in order to keep Lencho’s faith in God alive and firm as he was completely moved by it. When postmaster reads the letter of Lencho to God, he becomes serious and does not want to shake his faith and decides to answer the letter. He gathers money with the help of his post office employees and friends on behalf of God and signs the letter ‘God’ so that Lencho’s faith does not get shaken.

Question.3.
Did Lencho try to find out who had sent the money to him? Why or why not?

Lencho did not try to find out who had sent the money to him because he never suspected the presence of God and had complete faith in God. He could not believe that it could be – anybody else other than him who would send him the money. His faith in God was so strong that he believed that he had sent money to him for his help in his problem.

Question.4.
Who does Lencho think has taken the rest of the money? What is the irony in the situation? (Remember that the irony of a situation is an unexpected aspect of it. An ironic situation is strange or amusing because it is the opposite of what is expected).

Lencho thinks that the post office employees have taken the rest of the money as he had demanded a hundred pesos from God and in the letter there was only seventy pesos and God cannot make such a mistake. So, he assumes that they have stolen the money.
The irony in this situation is that Lencho suspects those people who helped him in his problem and tried to keep his faith alive in God.

Question.5.
Are there people like Lencho in the real world? What kind of a person would you say he is? You may select appropriate words from the box to answer the question.Question 5

It is almost impossible to find a person like Lencho as he is an unquestioning and naive kind of person. He is not stupid if he doesn’t know who has sent him money or a letter will reach God without any address. It is Lencho’s faith in God. In real world, people are selfish and greedy and Lencho is totally lovable and different.

Question.6.
There are two kinds of conflict in the story between humans and nature and between humans themselves. How are these conflicts illustrated?

  • Conflict between Humans and Nature: The conflict between humans and nature is illustrated by the destruction of Lencho’s crop by the hailstorm as Lencho was expecting a good rain to have good harvest as that was the only hope he had for his earning. He worked so hard to feed his family, but nature turned violent and destroyed everything.
  • Conflict between Humans and Humans: The story also illustrated another conflict, between humans themselves as the postmaster alongwith his friends and staff sent Lencho money that Lencho demanded from God although they didn’t know Lencho. Lencho blamed them for taking away some amount of money. He called them “a bunch of crook”. This shows that man does not have faith in other man, thereby giving rise to this conflict.

Thinking about the Text

Pages 7-8

I. Look at the following sentence from the story.
Suddenly a strong wind began to blow and along with the rain very large hailstones began to fall.
‘Hailstones’ are small balls of ice that fall like rain. A storm in which hailstones fall is a ‘hailstorm’. You know that a storm is bad weather with strong winds, rain, thunder and lightning.

There are different names in different parts of the world for storms, depending on their nature. Can you match the names in the box with their descriptions below, and fill in the blanks?Question 1

Question.1.
A violent tropical storm in which strong winds move in a circle : _ _ c _ _ _ _. 

  • cyclone

Question.2.
An extremely strong wind : _ a _ _. 

Question.3.
A violent tropical storm with very strong wind : _ _ p _ _ _ _. 

  • typhoon

Question.4.
A violent storm whose centre is a cloud in the shape of a funnel : _ _ _ n _ _ _. 

  • tornado

Question.5.
A violent storm whose centre is a cloud in the shape of a funnel : _ _ r _ _ _ _ _ _. 

  • Hurricane

Question.6.
A very strong wind that moves very fast in a spinning movement and causes a lot of damage : _ _ _ _ l _ _ _ _. 

  • whirlwind

II. Notice how the word ‘hope’ is used in these sentences from the story:
(a) I hope it (the hailstorm) passes quickly.
(b) There was a single hope: help from God.
In the first example, ‘hope’ is a verb which means you wish for something to happen. In the second example it is a noun meaning a chance for something to happen.

Match the sentences in column A with the meaning of ‘hope’ in column B.

AB
1. Will you get the subjects you want to study in college? I hope so.– a feeling that something good will probably happen.
2. I hope you don’t mind my saying this but I don’t like the way you are arguing.– thinking that this would happen (it may or may not have happened.)
3. This discovery will give new hope to HIV/AIDS sufferers.– stopped believing that this good thing would happen.
4. We were hoping against hope that the judges would not notice our mistakes.– wanting something to happen (and thinking it quite possible)
5. I called early in the hope of speaking to her before she went to school.– showing concern that what you say should not offend or disturb the other person a way of being polite.
6. Just when everybody had given up hope, the fishermen came back, seven days after the cyclone.– wishing for something to happen, although this is very unlikely.
AB
1. Will you get the subjects you want to study in college? I hope so.– thinking that this would happen (it may or may not have happened.)
2. I hope you don’t mind my saying this but 1 don’t like the way you are arguing.– showing concern that what you say should not offend or disturb the other person a way of being polite.
3. This discovery will give new hope to HIV/AIDS sufferers.– a feeling that something good will probably happen.
4. We were hoping against hope that the judges would not notice our mistakes.– wishing for something to happen, although this is very unlikely.
5. I called early in the hope of speaking to her before she went to school.– wanting something to happen (and thinking it quite possible)
6. Just when everybody had given up hope, the fishermen came back, seven days after the cyclone.– stopped believing that this good thing would happen.

III. Relative Clauses
Look at these sentences
(a) All morning Lencho
who knew his fields intimately — looked at the sky.
(b) The woman,
who was preparing supper, replied, “Yes, God willing.’’
The italicised parts of the sentences give us more information about Lencho and the woman. We call them
relative clauses. Notice that they begin with a relative pronoun who. Other common relative pronouns are whom, whose, and which.

The relative clauses in (a) and (b) above are called non-defining, because we already know the identity of the person they describe. Lencho is a particular person, and there is a particular woman he speaks to. We don’t need the information in the relative clause to pick these people out from a larger set.

A non-defining relative clause usually has a comma in front of it and a comma after it (some writers use a dash (—) instead, as in the story). If the relative clause comes at the end, we just put a full stop.

Join the sentences given below using who, whom, whose, which, as suggested.

Question.1.
I often go to Mumbai. Mumbai is the commercial capital of India. (which)

  • I often go to Mumbai which is the commercial capital of India.

Question.2.
My mother is going to host a TV show on cooking. She cooks very well. (who)

  • My Mother who cooks very well, is going to host a TV show on cooking.

Question.3.
These sportsperson are going to meet the President. Their performance has been excellent. (whose)

  • These sportspersons, whose performance has been excellent, are going to meet the President.

Question.4.
Lencho prayed to God. His eyes see into our minds. (whose)

  • Lencho prayed to God, whose eyes see into our minds.

Question.5.
This man cheated me. I trusted him. (whom)

  • This man whom I trusted cheated me.

IV. Using Negatives for Emphasis
Find sentences in the story with negative words, which express the following ideas emphatically.
Question.1. The trees lost all their leaves.

  • Not a leaf remained on the trees.

Question.2.
The letter was addressed to God himself.

  • It was nothing less than a letter to God.

Question.3.
The postman saw this address for the first time in his career.

  • Never in his career as a postman had he seen that address.

V. Metaphors
In pairs, find metaphors from the story to complete the table below. Try to say what qualities are being compared. One has been done for you.

ObjectMetaphorQuality or Feature Compared
CloudHuge mountains of cloudsThe mass or ‘hugeness’ of mountains
Raindrops  
Hailstones  
Locusts  
  An epidemic (a disease) that spreads very rapidly and leaves many people dead
 An ox of a man 
Object Metaphor Quality or Feature Compared
Cloud Huge mountains of clouds The mass or ‘hugeness’ of mountains
Raindrops Coins Money that a good crop will bring
Hailstones Frozen pearls brightness of pearls
Locusts a plague of locusts The destruction caused by plague and its consequences
Locusts a plague of locusts An epidemic (a disease) that spreads very rapidly and leaves many people dead
Lencho An ox of a man strong

Speaking
Have you ever been in great difficulty, and felt that only a miracle could help you? How was your problem solved? Speak about this in class with your teacher.

  • Activity to be done by yourself.

Listening
Listen to the letter (given under ‘In This Lesson’) read out by your teacher/on the audio tape. As you listen fill in the table given below.

The writer apologises (says sorry) because 
The writer has sent this to the reader 
The writer sent it in the month of 
The reason for not writing earlier 
Sarah goes to 
Who is writing to whom? 
Where and when were they last together? 
  • Activity to be done by yourself.

Writing
Lencho suffered first due to drought and then by floods. Our country is also facing such situations in the recent years. There is flood and there is drought. There is a need to save water through water harvesting. Design a poster for your area on how to save water during summer and when it is available in excess.

  • Activity to be done by yourself.

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