The Portrait of a lady class 11 chapter 1 summary
The Portrait of a lady class 11 summary
In’the portrait of a lady ‘ Khushwant Singh an account of his grand-mother. he draws a life-like portrait. she was very old. her face was wrinkled. her hair was white. it was hard to be-lieve that once she had been young and pretty. his grandfather’s picture hung above the mantelpiece in the drawing room. he wore a big turban. his clothes were loose. he looked at least a hundred years old. it was hard to believe that he had once a wife or children.
Khushawant Singh’s grandmother was a short lady. she was fat and slightly bent. she couldn’t walk straight .she hobbled about the house. she had to keep one hand on her waist. it was to balance her stoop.In the other she held a rosary, she was always telling the beads. her lips constantly moved in prayer. she put on white clothes. her silver locks scattered over her pale face. she looked like snowy mountains in winter. she was a picture of peace and contentment. she was very old. perhaps she couldn’t not have looked older. she looked the same for the last twenty years.
Khushwant Singh and his grandmother were good friends. his parents went to city .they left him with her in the village .she took good care of him. she used to wake him up in the morning she got him ready for the school. she said her morning prayer in sing-song manner. she hoped that he would learn it by heart. he liked her voice but never bothered to learnt it. then she would fetch his wooden slate. she had already washed it and plastered it with yellow chalk. she would take an earthen inkpot and a reed-pen. she would tie them in a bundle and hand it to him. she would given him a thick stale chapatti with little butter and sugar spread on it. it was his breakfast she carried several stale chapattis with her for the village dogs.
His grandmother always went to school with him. the school was attached to the temple. the priest taught children the alphabet and the morning prayer. the children sat in two rows in the verandah .they would sing the alphabet or the prayer in a chorus. the grandmother sat inside the temple. she would ready holy books. then they would walk gather at the temple door. they threw chapattis to them. the dogs would growl and fight with each other.
The narrator’s parents sent for them in the city. it was a turning-point in their friendship. they shared the same room. but grandmother no longer went to school with him. the narrator used to go to an English school in a motor bus. there were no dogs in the streets. so grandmother took to feeding the sparrows.
Years rolled by. they saw less of each other. sometimes she would ask him what the teacher had taught him. she did not believe in the things they taught at the English school. she was unhappy she did not like English or science. she felt sad that there was no teaching about God and the scriptures at school. the narrator one day told her that they were being given music lessons. she was disturbed she thought music quite indecent. for her it was good only for prostitutes and beggar. it was not meant for gentle folk.
The narrator went to university. he was given a room of his own. the common link of friendship was broken .the grandmother accepted her loneliness quietly. she was always busy with her spinning wheel and reciting prayers. she rarely talked to anyone. In the afternoon. she relaxed for a while. then she would feed the sparrows .