Friday, 13 September 2019

The Grief




A. Comprehension Questions

(i) Answer the following questions in 10-12 words:


1.     Why does the cab driver Iona Potapov look quite white?

Ans.  Iona has exposed his body to snowfall. Snow has fallen over his face. It has covered his eyebrows and other parts of the face. So he looks quite white.


2. Who is the first passenger and where does he want to go?

Ans. Iona’s first passenger is an officer. He wants to go to Viborg.


3. Is Iona Potapov driving the cab properly?

Ans. No, he is not driving the cab properly. He is lost in his grief. Passer-by are in danger of being hit by his cab.


4. Who has died in the story 'The Grief'?

Ans.  Iona’s only son has died.


 5. Why does Iona Potapov want to talk about it?

Ans. Iona’s heart is full of grief owing to death of his son. Taking about his son’s death, he wants to get rid of his grief.


1.     Who are the next passengers?

Ans.  The next passengers are three young men. Two of them are thin and tall. The third one is small and humpbacked.


2.     Do the three young men going to the Police Bridge listen to what Iona wants to say?

Ans. No, the three young men do not listen to what Iona wants to say. They spend their time in the cab by abusing one another and pay no attention to the statement of Iona.


4.     How do his young clients treat Iona?

Ans. His young clients do not treat Iona well. They want Iona to drive his cab at greater speed. They use highly abusive language to insult him, one of them hits him. 


1.     ‘Now I have only a wife and the moist ground.’ What does ‘moist ground’ refer to?

Ans.   The’ moist ground’ refers to the grave of Iona’s son who has died recently.


2.     Is Iona able to tell the passengers how his son died?

Ans.  No, in spite of his many efforts, Iona is not able to tell the passengers how his son died. They do not listen to him.




(ii) Answer the following questions in your own words in about 30-50 words each:




1.. Why is Iona Potapov yearning to talk about his son’s death?

Ans.   Iona wants to talk to his passengers about the death of his young son. There is a big burden of grief on his heart. He wants to unburden his heart to get some relief from this sorrow. So he is yearning to talk about his son’s death.




1.     Why don’t people listen to Iona Potapov?

Ans.   The people have neither time nor patience to listen to him. The officer is in a hurry.  He wants to reach Vibrog as quickly as possible. The three young men are interested in quarrelling among themselves. Thus people are so busy and impatient that don’t listen to him.


2.     Write a note on the character of Iona Potapov?

Ans.   Iona Potapov is an old cab driver. His heart is full of grief because his young son has died. He wants to speak to his passengers about the death of his son. But they pay no attention to him. He patiently bears the insulting treatment of three young passengers. At the end, he speaks out his grief to his horse. He is a sort of dead-alive human being. He says that no0w only two things are left for him in this world, his wife and his grave. Thus, he is a grief-stricken person in this story.


3.     What is the theme of the story?

Ans.   This is a story about an old man, Iona Potapov, who is full of grief because his young son has died. He is a cab driver. He wants to talk to his passengers about the death of his son. But the passengers do not listen to him. They are in a hurry. They insult him. At last, he tells his sad story to his horse and lightens the burden of his grief. Thus the writer wants to convey the message that man is selfish. He has no time to care for others. Even the beasts are better than man because they are more sympathetic to listen to the story of grief and sorrow of others.




(i)                Tick () the correct statement:


1. Potapov looked like a phantom because he was

(a) very old

(b) very sad

(c) covered with snow and did not move



2. Iona wanted to talk to the passengers because

(a) he wanted to pass his time

(b) he was very talkative

(c) he wanted to share his grief


3. People did not listen to him because

(a) they didn’t want to talk to a cab driver.

(b) they were busy with their own thoughts and did not bother about others.

(c) they were hard of hearing and could not properly understand Iona.



B. Vocabulary Exercises

(i) Match the words in column A with their meanings in column B

A                                                                B

twilight                                                       angrily

twirling                                                       snake

phantom                                                     tall and thin

descending                                                  apparently

assent                                                         thrown at

furiously                                                     ghost

equilibrium                                                 coming down

evidently                                                     agreement

hurled                                                         balance

serpent                                                        evening

lanky                                                                    turning round



Twilight                                                                                              evening  


Twirling                                                                                    turning round  


Phantom                                                                                              ghost


descending                                                                                 coming down


assent                                                                                        agreement


furiously                                                                                    angrily


equilibrium                                                                                balance


evidently                                                                                    apparently


hurled                                                                                        thrown at


serpent                                                                                                snake


lanky                                                                                         tall and thin




 (ii) Fill in the blanks with noun forms of the following words:




move                                                    seated                                                  plunged

exclaim                                                 angry                                                     stretches










1. The movements of the dancer were very agile.


2. It was a long stretch and the walk had tired us.


3. Anger is the cause of high blood pressure.


4. Mihir Sen was ready for the plunge into the water.


5. Why don’t you have the corner seat?


1.     I don’t like your exclamation, you frighten me.



(iii) Match the words in column A with their antonyms (opposites) given in column B :


























































C. Grammar Exercises

(i) Change the following sentences from Direct to Indirect speech:


1. I say to you, “You have failed in your mission.”

Ans. I tell you that you have failed in your mission.”


2. The teacher said to us, “Always speak the truth.”

Ans. The teacher advised us to speak the truth always.


3. The officer said to the peon, “Why have you come late today?”

Ans. The officer asked the peon why he had come late that day.


4. Seema said to me, “What were you doing out there last night?”

Ans. Seema asked me what I had been doing out there previous night.


5. The teacher said to the students, “Have you done your work?”

Ans. The teacher asked the students if they had done their work.


6. The preacher said, “Always speak the truth and do good to others.”

Ans. The preacher advised the listeners to speak the truth always and do good to others.


7. My brother said to me, “Do you have any money?”

Ans. My brother asked me if I had any money.


8. I said to him, “I shall always help you whenever you need me.”

Ans. I told him that I would always help him whenever he needed me.


9. “You do not know how to drive. Keep to the right,” said the officer angrily.

Ans. The officer told him angrily that he did not know how to drive and instructed him to keep to the right.


10. “Are you asleep, eh?” asked the passenger.

Ans. . The passenger asked him if he was asleep.


(ii) Join the following sets of sentences to make a simple sentence each:


1. I came home early. I wanted to meet a friend.

Ans. I came home early to meet a friend.


2. She made a loud cry. She wanted to attract attention.

Ans. She made a loud cry to attract attention.


3. My son plays with bad boys. I don’t like it.

Ans. I don’t like my son’s playing with bad boys.


4. The batsman lifted the bat. He wanted to hit the ball.

Ans. The batsman lifted the bat to hit the ball.


5. He fell down. He caught the ball.

Ans. While falling down, he caught the ball.


6. The elephant trumpeted loudly. It didn’t like the behavior of the crowd.

Ans. Not liking the behavior of the crowd, the elephant trumpeted loudly.


7. I go to college. I study there.

Ans. I go to college to study.



8. My father plays hockey. He loves it.

Ans. My father loves  to play hockey.


9. Do you like this? I go to pictures too often.

Ans. Do you like my going to pictures too often?


3.     I am fond of it. I take coffee frequently.

Ans. I am fond of taking coffee frequently.


(iii) Correct the following sentences:


1. The sceneries of Kashmir is charming.

Ans. The scenery of Kashmir is charming.


2. He has written many poetries.

Ans. He has written many poems.


3. The furnitures in my office are imported.

Ans. The furniture in my office is imported.


4. There are not much boys in the class today.

Ans. There are not many boys in my class today.


5. Please lay down.

Ans. Please lie down.


6. She is not angry at you.

Ans. She is not angry with me.


7. She was standing on the middle of the road.

Ans. She was standing in the middle of the road.


8. I don’t like him talking to you like this.

Ans.  I don’t like his talking to you like this.


9. Why you did not act on time?

Ans. Why did you not act on time.


10. Walk fast lest you will miss the train.

Ans. Walk fast lest you should miss the train.


D. Pronunciation Practice


Try to perceive the vowel sounds in the following sets of words and say them aloud:


A                                   B                                    C


last – lost                                 sop – soap                     tile – toil


part – pot                                hop – hope                             line – loin


sharp – shop                                     rob – robe                     buy – boy


calf – cough                             cost – coast                   vice – voice


large – lodge                            rod – road                      tie – toy



E. Creative Writing and Extended Reading

1. Find out the poem ‘Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead’ on the internet. Read it and bring out the tragedy contained in it.


2. Read the story “God Sees the Truth but Waits’ by LeoTolstoy. Write a few lines on the character of the unfortunate merchant in the story.


3. Write a small paragraph on: The Importance of Sympathy in Life.


4. Every human being needs to share his joys or sorrows with others. Why? Discuss.


5. Imagine that you are living all alone in a tent on a hill where all your material needs are being supplied to you. How would you take such a life? Say in 10-12 lines.



Just a little fun:

You beat you pate, and fancy wit will come;

Knock as you please, there’s nobody at home!