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National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) Book for Class 10th
Chapter: Chapter 1 – Letter to God
Class 10th NCERT English Text Book Chapter 1 Letter to God is given below.
Oral Comprehension Check
Question 1: What did Lencho hope for?
Answer: Lencho hoped for rains as the only thing that his field of ripe corn needed was a shower.
Question 2: Why did Lencho say the raindrops were like ‘new coins’?
Answer: Lencho’s crops were ready for harvest. However, they required a good downpour before harvesting. After a downpour, he could sell the harvest and get money. That is why he compared the raindrops to ‘new coins’.
Question 3: How did the rain change? What happened to Lencho’s fields?
Answer: The rain was pouring down. But suddenly, a strong wind began to blow and very large hailstones began to fall along with the rain. The hail rained on the valley for an hour, because of which Lencho’s fields were destroyed. There was not a single leaf left on the trees and the flowers were gone from the plants. The corn was completely destroyed.
Question 4: What were Lencho’s feelings when the hail stopped?
Answer: When the hail stopped, Lencho’s soul was filled with sadness. He looked around at his fields and said that even a plague of locusts would have left more than what was left after the hailstorm. He said that they would have no corn that year and they would go hungry. He was full of sorrow.
Question 1: Who or what did Lencho have faith in? What did he do?
Answer: Lencho had faith in God. He had been instructed that God’s eyes see everything, even what is deep in one’s conscience. Therefore, he wrote a letter to God expressing his need for a hundred pesos so that he could sow his field again and live until the crop grew again.
Question 2: Who read the letter?
Answer: When the postman saw that the letter was addressed to God, he laughed and took the letter to the postmaster, who then read it.
Question 3: What did the postmaster do then?
Answer: In order to keep the writer’s faith in God alive, the postmaster decided to answer the letter. When he read that Lencho needed hundred pesos, he asked for money from his employees. He himself gave a part of his salary. He could not gather the entire amount, but managed to send Lencho a little more than half the amount. He put the money in an envelope addressed to Lencho and signed it ‘God’.
Thinking About the Text
Question 1: Who does Lencho have complete faith in? Which sentences in the story tell you this?
Answer: Lencho had complete faith in God. The sentences in the story that show this are as follows:
(i) But in the hearts of all who lived in that solitary house in the middle of the valley, there was a single hope: help from God.
(ii) All through the night, Lencho thought only of his one hope: the help of God, whose eyes, as he had been instructed, see everything, even what is deep in one’s conscience.
(iii) “God,” he wrote, “if you don’t help me, my family and I will go hungry this year.”
(iv) He wrote ‘To God’ on the envelope, put the letter inside and, still troubled, went to town.
(v) God could not have made a mistake, nor could he have denied Lencho what he had requested.
(vi) It said: “God: of the money that I asked for, only seventy pesos reached me. Send me the rest, since I need it very much.”
Question 2: Why does the postmaster send money to Lencho? Why does he sign the letter ‘God’?
Answer: The postmaster sent money to Lencho in order to keep Lencho’s faith in God alive. He turned serious when he read Lencho’s letter and wished he had the same faith in God. Even after he saw that Lencho had requested for money, he stuck to his resolution of answering the letter. He gathered as much money as he could and sent it to Lencho. He signed it ‘God’ so that Lencho’s faith would not get shaken.
Question 3: Did Lencho try to find out who had sent the money to him? Why/Why not?
Answer: No, Lencho does not try to find out who had sent the money to him. This is because he never suspected that it could be anybody else other than God who would send him the money. His faith in God was so strong that he believed that God had sent him the money.
Question 4: Who does Lencho think has taken the rest of the money? What is the irony in the situation? [Remember that the irony of a situation is an unexpected aspect of it. An ironic situation is strange or amusing because it is the opposite of what is expected.]
Answer: Lencho thought that the post office employees had taken the rest of the money. The irony of the situation was that the employees whom he called a “bunch of crooks” and suspected of taking some of the money were the same people who had contributed and sent him the money in the first place.
Question 5: Are there people like Lencho in the real world? What kind of a person would you say
he is? You may select appropriate words from the box to answer the question.
Greedy selfish Naïve comical
stupid unquestioning ungrateful
There might be a few people like Lencho in the real world. He is an unquestioning, naïve kind of a person.
Question 6: There are two kinds of conflict in the story: between humans and nature, and between humans themselves. How are these conflicts illustrated?
Answer: The conflict between humans and nature is illustrated by the destruction of Lencho’s crops by the hailstorm. Lencho had worked really hard on his fields and the harvest was really important for him. He required the money to feed his family. However, the nature turned violent. The rains were accompanied by a hailstorm, which destroyed the crops. The story also illustrates another conflict, between humans themselves. The postmaster, along with the help of the other post office employees, sent Lencho the money that they could manage to collect. They were not related to Lencho in any manner. It was an act of kindness and selflessness on their part. Even though they did a good deed, Lencho blamed them for taking away some amount of money. He called them “a bunch of crooks”. This shows that man does not have faith in his fellow humans, thereby giving rise to this conflict.
Oral Comprehension Check
Question 1: Was Lencho surprised to find a letter for him with money in it?
Answer: No. Lencho was not at all surprised to see the letter from God with money inside it. His confidence and faith in God was such that he had expected that reply from God.
Question 2: What made him angry?
Answer: He got angry when he counted the money. There were only seventy pesos in the envelope. He was confident that God could neither make a mistake nor deny him what he had requested. Therefore, he concluded that the post office employees must have taken the remaining thirty pesos.
Thinking About Language
Question 1: There are different names in different parts of the world for storms, depending on their nature. Can you match the names in the box with their descriptions below, and fill in the blanks? You may use a dictionary to help you.
gale, hurricane, whirlwind, tornado, cyclone, typhoon
1. A violent tropical storm in which strong winds move in a circle: __ __ c __ __ __ __
2. An extremely strong wind: __ a __ __
3. A violent tropical storm with very strong winds: __ __ p __ __ __ __
4. A violent storm whose centre is a cloud in the shape of a funnel: __ __ __ n __ __ __
5. A violent storm with very strong winds, especially in the western Atlantic ocean: __ __ r __ __ __ __ __ __
6. A very strong wind that moves very fast in a spinning movement and causes a lot of damage:
__ __ __ __ l __ __ __ __
Question 2: Match the sentences in Column A with the meanings of ‘hope’ in Column B.
Question 3: Relative Clauses
Join the sentences given below using who, whom, whose, which as suggested.
1. I often go to Mumbai. Mumbai is the commercial capital of India. (which)
2. My mother is going to host a TV show on cooking. She cooks very well. (who)
3. These sportspersons are going to meet the President. Their performance has been excellent. (whose)
4. Lencho prayed to God. His eyes see into our minds. (whose)
5. This man cheated me. I trusted him. (whom)
Answer: 1. I often go to Mumbai, which is the commercial capital of India.
2. My mother, who cooks very well, is going to host a TV show on cooking.
3. These sportspersons, whose performance has been excellent, are going to meet the President.
4. Lencho prayed to God, whose eyes see into our minds.
5. This man, whom I trusted, cheated me.
Question 4: Find sentences in the story with negative words, which express the
following ideas emphatically.
1. The trees lost all their leaves.
2. The letter was addressed to God himself.
3. The postman saw this address for the first time in his career.
Answer: 1. The trees lost all their leaves.
Not a leaf remained on the trees.
2. The letter was addressed to God himself. It was nothing less than a letter to God.
3. The postman saw this address for the first time in his career. Never in his career as a postman had he known that address.
Question 4: In pairs, find metaphors from the story to complete the table below. Try to say what
qualities are being compared. One has been done for you.
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