Bihar Board Class 12 English Fire-Hymn Text Book Questions and Answers

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B. 1.1. Write T for true and F for false statements

(a) The poem describes the scene of a burning ghat.
(b) Passers-by tend to ignore the burning at the ghat.
(c) The sight of burning becomes frightening at night.
(d) The redness of fire appears cruel to the speaker.
(e) The half-burnt limbs at the ghat suggest the true working of fire.
(f) The speaker belongs to the Zoroastrian religion.
(g) The speaker is not pleased with the views of his father.
(h) The ‘first-bom child’ was consigned to fire, under compulsion.
(a) T (b) F (c) T (d) T (e) T (f) T (g) F (h) T

B.1.2. Complete the following sentences on the basis of what you have studied

(a) The wandering ghost lights passer-by.
(b) The grey ash all.
(c) The ghat is littered with.
(d) The fire at times it’s dead.
(e) I swore to save fire from the of forgetfulness.
(f) The nearest was a thousand miles.
(g) The speaker consigned him to the flames.
(h) The speaker was broken yet
(i) The second time the speaker swore to save the fire from the sin of
(a) Frighted'(b) Wallows (c) embers (d) Forgets (e) sin (f) tower (g) First-bom (h) rebellious (i) Forgiving.

B.1.3. Answer the following questions briefly

Question 1.
How did the passer-by get frightened?
The passer-by got frightened to see the fire and the dreadful scenes at the ghat.

Question 2.
Which event does the expression ‘the burning ghat’ refer to?
The expression “the burning ghat” refers to the place where dead- bodies are usually cremated.

Question 3.
Where do you think is the ghat located?
Hie ghat is located on the bank of the river.

Question 4.
What does the speaker see/observe in the morning at the ghat?
The speaker observes pieces of wood and coal, not burning but are still red in the morning at the ghat.

Question 5.
Why does he say that the redness of the fire is cruel?
He says that the redness of the fire is so cruel that is swallowed everything.

Question 6.
In what sense does the fire forget its dead?
The fire forgets its dead when it leaves the body half-burnt. The speaker feels it as the fire’s immoral behavior.

Question 7.
Why does the speaker reveal his religious identity?
The Speaker reveals his religious identity by telling that he is a “Parsi” by birth,-because a parsi believes that there is a continuing struggle in the world between the forces of light and dark and as such The “Parsis” dispose of the dead bodies on a structure called “Tower of Silence”.

Question 8.
Why did he consign his firstborn to the flames?
He (speaker) consigned (delivered) his first-bom to the flames (fire) because the nearest “Tower of Silence”, where the Parsis dispose up their dead-bodies, was a thousand miles away. So, he could not lodge (dispose of) the dead-body of his first-bom-child on that place (structure).

Question 9.
What did the firm hyam say to him?
The firm-hymn said to him (the speaker) that he had forgiven him and now it has taken oath to overlook and pardon him this time for the sin he committed.

Long Answer Questions

Question 1.
What are the different forms and roles of fire at the ghat?
The different forms and roles of fire at the ghat as mentioned in the poem, “Fire-Hymn”, are as hereunder

  • erupted phosphorescence
  • wandering ghost lights
  • embers losing their cruel redness
  • grey ash that swallows all

The forms and roles of fire as stated above has been very well depicted in the poem.

Question 2.
How does the ghat appear to the common people?
The ghat appears to be engulfed with the redness of the strong fire, which has been broken-out swiftly. It is shinning with a faint light looking like a wandering ghost. The moonlight runs fast through the bones scattered there by the burning fire. Pieces of wood and coal that are not burning but are still red lying there, gradually losing their cruel redness.

Question 3.
What is the fire’s debauchery?
The fire swallows everything and turns them into either grey ashes or half-burnt particles. The whole of the dead body transforms into black ashes and scattered bones. It does not leave anything intact in its original shape by its cruel acts. It can be said its immoral behavior or debauchery.

Question 4.
What has offended the religious sentiment of the speaker when he was a child?
The speaker happens to be a “Parsi” by religion. One morning, he went with his father on morning-walk, in his childhood. They were passing through a burning ghat located on the bank of a river. He saw there, a dead body being cremated. He noticed the brutality and the immoral behavior of the fire. This custom is against his religious tradition. As such it has offended the religious sentiment of the speaker when he was a child.

Question 5.
Why do you think the speaker consigned his firstborn to the flames?
The speaker is a ‘Parsi’ by religion. In his religion, the dead-body is not cremated. Parsis dispose of up their bodies in the “Tower of Silence”. The speaker consigned his first bom child to the flames for cremation because the nearest “Tower of Silence”, was one thousand miles away.

Question 6.
Why was the speaker ‘broken’ and how did he regard himself rebellious? ,
The speaker has lost his first-bom child. He consigned the dead- body of his first-bom to the flames for cremation. He is ‘parsi’ by religion, but he violated the tradition of his religion by cremating his child. This great loss had broken him and he regarded himself rebellious for going against his religious tradition.

Question 7.
Why did he swear twice to save the fire from two different sins?
He (the speaker) swore twice to save fire from two different sins. The first time, when he consigned his firstborn child to the flames. He is a ‘Parsi’ by religion, who do not cremate their dead bodies. But he did it because his religious place to perform rituals for the sad demise of his child was far away. The fire had forgotten that he is a ‘Parsi’ because it (fire) deals equally with everybody irrespective of their caste, creed, or religion. So he swore to save fire from the sin of forgetfulness. The next time he swore to save the fire from the sin of forgiving i.e. for its deviation. As such he swore twice to save the fire from two different sins.

Question 8.
Though the poem reveals the religious leaning of a Parsi, it still has its human appeal. Justify it with your own comments.
It is a fact, that the poem primarily reveals the religious tendency (inclination) of a “Parsi”. But at the same time, it has a compassionate appeal to humanity. The poet is a “Parsi”, dislikes the cremation of a dead body. As a poet and a human being, he has thrown light on this burning problem. It appears to be the most unpleasant, pathetic, and gruesome practice to offer (cosign) the dead-body to the flames of the fire. In my opinion, it is really the most unkind and made active. I think it should be stopped and some alternative arrangements should be made for the disposal of the corpse (dead body).

Question 9.
Give in short the summary of the poem, “Fire-Hymn”. Or, Write a short note on the poem, “Fire-Hymn”.
“Fire-Hymn” composed by Keki N. Daruwala is a serious and touching poem. It is the description of a burning ghat. The scene of the ghat is most dreadful. Ghosts with burning light are wandering there and the passerby becomes frightened to see them. One early morning the poet alone with his father passes through that ghat and finds pieces of woods and coal though not burning but are still red. Half burnt dead bodies are lying there. The poet is “Parsi” by religion.

Parsis instead of cremating their dead bodies, carry it to the “Tower of Silence” to put therein. He becomes horrified to see such cruel act. The narrator, the poet himself had consigned his first bom to the flames twenty years back because the Tower of Silence was a thousand miles away. It had shocked him much and he feels guilty of committing the same inhuman act, which other persons commit, and being a Parsi he has all along opposed this cruelty. The poem has a humanitarian appeal. Thejioet has successfully conveyed his motive to discard such a cruel practice.

C. 3. Composition

Write a short essay in about 150 words on the following:
(a) Concept of sin in modern life.
Good and evil are an inevitable part of human life. All have both of these in them. Of course, the ratio of both varies from person to person. We all want to live a peaceful and respectable life in the society. For this, we need to be away from all sin. Sin in modem life has changed its meaning. Now people think that such things which defy law are sin. They don’t give to its human approach vital importance. It is really taking our society towards disaster. We must take steps to improve it. It is high time for this.

(b) Forgetfulness is a matter of habit.
People have different habits. Habits are cultivated in oneself because of several factors. Forgetfulness is nothing but a matter of habit. People cultivate this habit without knowing its evils out of ignorance. They forget important works which they do. Through proper treatment, this can be improved. Such people should not be looked downtrodden but should be given a helping hand for their strength to fight against their drawbacks.

D. Word Study :
D.1. Dictionary Use :

Ex. 1. Correct the spelling of the following words:

phosphorescence — phosphorescene
scutled — scuttled
staulling — strolling
emberes — embers
Zorastrian — zoroastrian
consined — consigned
rebelious — rebellious
hym — hymn

Ex. 2. Lookup a dictionary & write the synonym of the following words:
dawn, losing, swallow, forget, pain, nearest, silence, save
dawn — morning light morning at sunrise
losing — To lose
swallow — accept
forget — miss
pain — sorrow
nearest — closest
silence — peace
save — preserve

D. 2. Word – Formation

Read the following line carefully :
The burning ghat erupted phosphorescence: And wandering ghost light frightened passers-by In the above lines burning in ‘burning ghats’ and wandering in ‘wandering ghost’ are verbs ‘ing’ (gerund) from. Such forms of verbs can be used as adjectives. Adding’ to the following verbs and fill in the blanks to complete the following sentences:
lose,  stroll,  cook,  swear,  break
(a) The…………….. news was quite sensational.
(b) People were in a long queue for……………. gas.
(c) The match was so fine that we admired even the…………….. team.
(d) The……………….persons have the opportunity to breathe fresh air.
(e) We could not attend the…………… ceremony.
(a) breaking (b) cooking (c) losing (d) strolling (e) swearing

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