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Question 1 Describe the early morning scene, when Ali visited the post office.

Answer: The whole town was asleep at that time, more due to the cold and biting wind. Ali
plodded on his way to the Post office, drawing his tattered clothes tighter, to shield his body.
He heard the sound of grinding mills, singing of the women and the occasional barking of a
dog.
Question 2 Who was Ali? Where did he go every morning?
Answer: Ali was an old man, in the evening of his life. He was a good hunter in his youth
and was now known as "Coachman Ali" by the post office officials. He used to go to the post
office everyday, hoping to receive a letter from his only daughter Miriam who was married five
years ago and was living in the Punjab regiment with her soldier husband.
Question 3 How was Ali looked upon by the post office officials?
Answer: Ali had been visiting the post office every single day, at five in the morning,
expecting a letter from his only daughter Miriam. The officials at the post office poked fun at
him by sometimes calling out his name, making him jump, thinking it was a letter from his
daughter. They also called him "a mad man" who worried them everyday sitting for hours at
the post office.
Question 4 What did Ali do in his youth? What made him leave his old ways?
Answer: In his youth, Ali was a very skilled Shikari. He could trace and obtain the earthbrownpartridge from a bush, even when the dogs had failed to detect it. Ali was also a very
skilled points man. Besides being a shikari, he would often go out fishing with his friends. He
left his old ways became he had now grown old and there was no one to bring his rewards to.
He also realized how much pains the animal or bird was going through, being parted from its
loved ones so reflecting on all this, he gave up hunting.
Question 5 What view of life did Ali come to acquire and when?
Answer: Loneliness had come into Ali's life since his only daughter Miriam had married and
gone away to Punjab where her husband was a soldier in the regiment. He began to admire
the green cornfields and came to a conclusion on reflection - the whole universe was built up
on love and that grief of separation was inescapable. He wept bitterly on contemplating this
reality.
Question 6 How does the author describe the postmaster?
Answer: The postmaster had a sad and inexpressive face like a pumpkin. There was no
glimmer of animation in his features. He had the prominent features of village schoolmasters,
clerks, postmaster etc.
Question 7 What did the official at the post office have to say about Ali?
Answer: The postmaster thought that Ali was probably mad when informed that Ali used to
visit the post office everyday since the past five years, waiting for one single letter. Another
postman remarked that he had probably committed many sins and was paying for them now.
Each of the others started narrating their experiences about madmen. The postmaster then
said that madmen were strange people and lived in a world of their own making, somewhat
like a poet.
Question 8 Why did Ali go to the postmaster one fine day? How was he received by the
postmaster?
Answer: Ali hadn't been to the post office for several days. One fine day, breathing with
great difficulty he went straight to the postmaster. Ali requested him to note down his address
in case his letter came when he was not there. The postmaster lost his temper and calling him
a pest, asked him to go away. He coldly told Ali that no one was going to eat his letter. Ali felt
every humiliated at that and with tears of helplessness turned away.

Question 9 How did Ali react when the postmaster behaved very rudely with him?
Answer: When the postmaster called Ali a pest and spoke very rudely and coldly to him
asking him to go away, Ali came out slowly and gazed at the Post office. His eyes were filled
with tears of helplessness. His patience was exhausted. Yet he had hope that he would one
day hear from Miriam. He felt totally broken from within.

Question 10 The Postmaster says to Ali "What a pest you are brother!" Do you agree with
this statement. Give reasons for your answer.
Answer: Ali would go every single day to the post office for five years, waiting for a letter
from his daughter. He does not disturb anyone, nor does he complain or say anything to
displease anyone. Yet the officials there find his presence irritating and annoying and they do
not tolerate his being there; make fun of him. This only shows their own lack of sensitivity and
inhumanness.
Question 11 What did Ali do to ensure that he would get his letter even after his death?
Answer: One day, Ali came after several days of absence, with heavy breathing and looking
very sick to the post office. He went to the clerk and offered him five gold guineas to forward
his daughter Miriam's letter to his grave. The clerk, Lakshmi Das was shocked at his words,
but pocketed the money emotionlessly.
Question 12 How did the postmaster shed his haughty temper?
Answer: The post master's daughter fell very ill and lived in another town. He was
anxiously waiting for news of her. In the pile of letters, he saw an envelope of the colour and
shape he was expecting. He snatched it, but on looking at it closely, he saw that it was
addressed to Ali. He dropped it as if it had given him an electric shock. Thereafter his
haughtiness left him.
Question 13 What change came over the postmaster after he saw Ali's letter?
Answer: The postmaster was waiting to receive a letter from his own daughter who was
sick in another town. One day, on seeing a letter of the colour and shape he was expecting,
he snatched it, but saw that it was addressed to Ali. He dropped it as if it had given him an
electric shock. This made him shed his haughty temper. He now understood Ali's feelings. His
heart was full of sympathy for Ali who had waited patiently for five long years. He gave the
letter to Lakshmi Das, the clerk to deliver it to Ali.
Question 14 Describe the post master's encounter with Ali after his death.
Answer: The postmaster was anxiously waiting for news of his sick daughter who was living
in another town. He was unable to sleep all night due to his anxiety. He came to the post
office at 4 am hoping to receive some news of her. The day before, realization had dawned
upon him, how unmerciful he had been towards Ali. At the stroke of 5 am, he heard a soft
knock on the door. He saw Ali leaning against his stick, tears wet on his face; a soft look of
kindliness. The postmaster also saw a strange light in Ali's eyes. It was so unearthly that the
postmaster shrank back in fear and astonishment.
Question 15 What was the postmaster's state of mind after Lakshmi Das told him about
Ali's death?
Answer: The postmaster when told that Ali had died three months ago was shocked and
perplexed. He was so sure he had seen Ali in his office at 5 am as usual, enquiring after
Miriam's letter that he was filled with disbelief - had he really seen Ali or was it his
imagination; or was it Lakshmi Das whom he had been talking to. He was too confused at his
encounter with Ali.
Question 16

How is the postmaster's mind revealed in the end?

Answer: The postmaster is a changed person in the end. He now understands Ali's anxiety
and restlessness for news of his daughter. He is torn and tortured by doubt and remorse by
what has happened to him. He is perplexed and confused whether he has seen Ali or not. He
is filled with guilt at having treated Ali so unsympathetically.
Question 17 The Author, Dhumketu carefully builds up an atmosphere of loneliness and
grief in the story "The letter". Bring out this element with instances from the text.
Answer: The atmosphere of loneliness is built around the person - coachman Ali. Like him,
the streets he walks through are also lonely. It is "the grey sky of early dawn" when this old
man in tattered clothes walks through the silent streets every morning at 5 am. The sounds
which come from some houses "help him along his lonely way". Even the post office, which is
his destination, is quiet and forlorn.

The grief is also brought to the front when the author narrates how some clerks at the post
office play a practical joke on the poor man by calling out his name as if there is a letter for
him when in reality there isnt any. Also "although the hunter's instinct was in his very blood
and bones" he gave up hunting thinking about "the bewildered terror of the young partridges
bereft of their parents".
His only daughter, who has been married and who lives with her soldier husband in the Punjab
regiment has not written to him for the past five years. He realizes that the whole universe is
based on love and the grief of separation is inevitable. He was indeed a very lonely man.
Question 18 Describe the Postmaster's behaviour with Ali on the last day. How was the
Postmaster a changed man at the end of the story?
Answer: The Postmaster was in a hurry and was rude and impatient with Ali. He called him '
a pest' when Ali pleaded with him to note down Miriam's name, the postmaster got angry and
scolded him telling to 'get away'.
However, towards the end of the story, the postmaster was, indeed, a changed man. He was
anxiously waiting to hear from his daughter who lay ill in another town. Receiving Miriam's
letter reawakened the father's heart in him. He now understood Ali's anxiety and reproached
himself for his insensitive and harsh behavior towards Al
Question 19 In the story, 'The letter' is the title appropriate. Substantiate your answer with
instances from the story.
Answer: The story is about Coachman Ali, once a clever shikari, waiting for a letter from his
daughter, Miriam, for five long years. His daughter had got married and left him. He then
understands the meaning of love and separation and gives up hunting. He waits for a letter
from Miriam with boundless faith and patience tolerating the insults and teasing of the clerks
in the post office. It is the arrival of Miriam's which changes the insensitive Postmaster's heart.
His encounter with Ali's ghost come to collect Miriam's letter, leaves him absolutely shocked.
The postmasters attitude towards letters changes. He beings to perceive them as containing a
warm beating heart. He discover the essential human worth of a letter. Hence the title is
appropriate as it sensitizes the reader to the importance of a letter and the promise of
happiness, hope and emotion it carries with it.
Question 20 Ali had been a clever Shikari substantiate this statement with suitable
examples from the story 'The Letter' Do not exceed 75 words.
Answer: Ali was addicted to hunting. He could easily spot the earth brown partridge and
the hare crouching which were invisible to other eyes. The minute he set his eyes on the
animals they were as good as dead. His skill increased everyday and he was well know as a
clever shikari

Question 21 "The post office, one of the uninteresting buildings in the world, became his
place of pilgrimage". In this line who is being talked about here and how had the post office
become his place of pilgrimage.
Answer: Coachman Ail is being talked about here. He had been a clever shikari but had
given up hunting after his daughter married and left him. For five long years he visited the
post office everyday with the hope of getting a letter from Miriam. He always occupied a
particular seat in the particular corner of the building. He prayed for a letter everyday but his
prayers were not answered. But he had boundless faith and the post office because his place
of pilgrimage.

Name: REEMA
Date:
KALPANA
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Describe the early morning scene, when Ali visited the post office.
Who was Ali? Where did he go every morning?
How was Ali looked upon by the post office officials?
What did Ali do in his youth? What made him leave his old ways?
What view of life did Ali come to acquire and when?
How does the author describe the postmaster?
What did the official at the post office have to say about Ali?
Why did Ali go to the postmaster one fine day? How was he received by the
postmaster?
9. How did Ali react when the postmaster behaved very rudely with him?
10.
The Postmaster says to Ali "What a pest you are brother!" Do you agree with this
statement. Give reasons for your answer.
11.
What did Ali do to ensure that he would get his letter even after his death?
12.
How did the postmaster shed his haughty temper?
13.
What change came over the postmaster after he saw Ali's letter?
14.
Describe the post master's encounter with Ali after his death.
15.
What was the postmaster's state of mind after Lakshmi Das told him about Ali's
death?
16.
How is the postmaster's mind revealed in the end?
17.
The Author, Dhumketu carefully builds up an atmosphere of loneliness and grief
in the story "The letter". Bring out this element with instances from the text.
18.
Describe the Postmaster's behaviour with Ali on the last day. How was the
Postmaster a changed man at the end of the story?
19.
In the story, 'The letter' is the title appropriate. Substantiate your answer with
instances from the story.
20.
Ali had been a clever Shikari substantiate this statement with suitable examples
from the story 'The Letter' Do not exceed 75 words.
21.
"The post office, one of the uninteresting buildings in the world, became his
place of pilgrimage". In this line who is being talked about here and how had the post
office become his place of pilgrimage.

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