Short Questions and Answers

1. Why is Sulekha called Bholi?

Answer: Sulekha is called Bholi because she is a simpleton due to her suffering some brain damage after falling of a cot when she was ten months old. As a result, she is not as smart as children of her age. She is slow in learning things in comparison to others.

2. What happened to Bholi when she was two years old?

Answer: Bholi fell a victim to smallpox at the age of two years. Her face and body became full of pock-marks. She was still fortunate as her eyes have remained untouched and were fine. So her parents took her to be just an ugly burden.

3. How did Bholi react when the teacher asked her name?

Answer: Bholi stammered when she spoke and could not tell her name completely when the teacher asked her to do so. So she broke into tears. But her teacher asked her to be fearless and she spoke better.

4. Bholi was fascinated by the walls of the classroom why?

Answer: The walls of the classroom had bright and colourful pictures of a horse, a goat, a parrot and a cow they all look familiar to Bholi and where like the ones in the village. That is why she was fascinated to see those pictures. She was impressed by the realistic pictures of birds and animals.

5. Bholi found her teacher to be different from others how?

Answer: Others had always neglected Bholi. They made fun of her all the time. But, she found her teacher to be different. Her voice was calm, her manner comforting and touching was full of affection. She always encouraged her to do better than before.

6. What filled Bholi’, a dumb cow, with a new hope in her?

Answer: Bholi’s first day of school brought a hope of a new life. She had found a loving and kind teacher. The teacher has inspired her and given her a book and had made Bholi felt confident about herself and realised that a new life was begging for her.

7. In what way did the village change over time?

Answer: The village changed into a small town over a period of time. The primary school had become a high school. The village had a cinema and a cotton ginning mill. The mail train also stopped at the village railway station.

8. What objections does Ramlal have to Bishamber’s proposal?

Answer: Ramlal was not happy with the proposal. He did not like the fact that Bishamber was of his age. He had a limp (lameness, difficulty in walking) and children were quite grown up. It was not a very satisfactory proportion. But he could not do anything for her as Bholi was not a beautiful girl like others.

9. Why do Bholi’s parents accept Bishamber’s marriage proposal?

Answer: Bholi’s parents accepted Bishamber’s marriage proposal because they were happy that he was well off and had not asked for dowry. And they also realised that because of her looks, he would be the perfect match.

10. Why were Bholi’s sisters envious about her luck?

Answer: Bishamber Nath was.quite prosperous. The procession of Bholi’s marriage had a brass band and the groom rode decorated horse. Such pomp and show impressed everyone. All this made her sisters envious of her.

11. Why did Bishamber’s marriage with Bholi not take place?

Answer: Bishamber’s marriage with Bholi did not take place because he had demanded a dowry of five thousand rupees from her father for the marriage. So, Bholi refused to marry him and called him a greedy coward.

12. Why was Ramlal thunderstruck?

Answer: Ramlal had always taken his daughters to be dumb. He was thunderstruck when she loudly ask him to take back the money and declared that she was not going to marry Bishamber because of his greed. The incident also made him realised the value of education for girls.

13. The last line of the text talks about an artist and the masterpiece. Elaborate.

Answer: The artist is the teacher and the masterpiece is Bholi. It was her teacher who had turned Bholi into a strong and independent girl who was aware of a place in society. As an artist can make a masterpiece if he find the perfect material.

14. What kind of mother was Ramlal’s wife?

Answer:  Ramlal’s wife was a traditional housewife who believed that daughter should not be educated, as it would be difficult to find husbands for them. She neglected looking after her daughter Bholi because she was a slow learner.


Long Questions and Answers

1. Dowry is negation of the girl’s dignity. Discuss with reference to the story ‘Bholi’.

 Answer:  A girl is an individual in her own right. Equal opportunities in life can help her become independent and strong. She is not a burdensome object to be given away with money as compensation. Thus dowry negares the girl’s dignity and self respect.

The story ‘Bholi’ shows this in a dramatic manner. Bholi is thought to be ugly and dumb by her parents. So, they are willing to pay dowry to an old man with a limp. So that he marries her. Bholi, on the other hand refuses to marry that man. She is educated, assertive and capable of taking care of herself. She dedicates her life to service of her parents and teaching at school.

So, in the same manner, a girl should behave when the situation is not praiseworthy or causes trouble to the society and girls. Nowadays girls are empowering their thoughts and freedom of speech because of education and equal rights in the society. A society evil like dowry is not acceptable at any cost as it affects the dignity of a girl. And girls have all the rights to say ‘no’ to the person who demands it to prove his masculinity.

2. Bholi chose a dignified life of service rather than surrendering herself to a greedy old man for the rest of her life. Education provides the required stimulus to overcome one’s personal barriers. Explain the role of education in shaping the life of a child with respect to the lesson ‘Bholi’.


School education turned Bholi from a dumb cow into a bold girl. How did she save her father from a huge expense and become his support in his old age?

Answer: Gone are the days when girl’s education was considered as an unacceptable right as they were not allowed to come out of their houses. But education is the answer to all social ills. Illiteracy and ignorance bring nothing but poverty, suffering and misery. Bholi lacks confidence initially because of her disabilities. She is silent, timid and weak in mind. Her ugliness and her stammer do not let her progress. She is afraid to speak as others make fun of her.

School changes her life completely to open a new world of hope for her. Her teacher treats her with love and kindness. Her affection and support help Bholi to have faith in herself.

She studies and grows into a confident young women. She knows her rights and she asserts them as well. She refuses to marry a man who demands dowry. Thus, being educated changes the life of Bholi.

Here, Bholi represents all the girls of society who take stand for their rights and know what is right or what is wrong. This happens only due to proper education to girls. If a girl is educated, she can change the society and nation.

She is like the base of the family and imparts her knowledge and experience to her family and next generation. So education is the right and must for the girls.

3. “Put the fear out of your heart and you will be able to speak like anyone else.” These words of encouragement from the teacher highlight that change of social attitude and encouragement can help a child like Bholi to become confident and face the world bravely. Taking help from the lesson ‘Bholi’ write how the social attitude towards Bholi made her and introvert. What should be done to help the children to face the world bravely?

Answer: Bholi suffered a week mind due to her accident (falling from her cot) during her infancy. She also started to stammer while speaking. Then she became ugly due to pock-marks on her face and body on contracting the smallpox disease. All these made her family and other children treat her badly, resulting in her becoming an introvert. To help such children face the world bravely, we must treat them with love and affection and encourage them to join mainstream society. We must not mock their disabilities instead; we should give them hope that they can be as good as the other children by motivating uplifting them.

As we know that every child is special and proper guidance and support can boost up the morals and encourage them to do good in their lives. There are a lot of children like Bholi in our society who need utmost care and affection from us. And we can help them to improve their lives to excel in their future.