Descriptive Questions Answers from Strong Roots by APJ Abdul Kalam

Questions Answers from Strong Roots by APJ Abdul Kalam 

The passage “Strong Roots” has been taken from the famous autobiography “Wings of Fire” of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam who was instrumental in developing ISRO. He is also known as the Missile Man of India as he took important role in developing many missiles like Agni, Prithvi in India.

The passage “Strong Roots” is an autobiographical description of Kalam’s childhood, his parentage, the influence of his father on him. The descriptive questions answers mentioned below will help to analyse the passage “Strong Roots.”

Important Descriptive Questions Answers from Strong Roots 

(1) What does Dr.Kalam say about his early life and his parentage?

Ans:- In “Strong Roots” taken from the first chapter of APJ Abdul Kalam’s autobiography “Wings of Fire”, Kalam gives us a vivid description of his childhood, parentage, the generosity of his mother, the practical wisdom and deep influencing thoughts of his father. Kalam tries to convey that all these help to make him a perfect man. Kalam belonged to a middle-class Tamil family. He was born in the island town of Rameswaram.

Though his family was not rich but Kalam frankly speaks out ‘mine’ was a very secure childhood, materially and emotionally. He got everything in terms of food, medicine or clothing. Kalam followed his father who tried to avoid nonessential luxuries.

Kalam’s ancestral house was made of bricks and limestone, built in the middle of the nineteenth century, was fairly large. It was on the Mosque Street at a short distance from the famous Shiva Temple of Rameswaram. Kalam recalled that his parents were highly respected by the people of the locality.

Though his father had no formal education, but the great innate wisdom of his father helped people in time of necessity. His mother came of a respectable lineage. She, too, was kind and hospitable to the people. Thus, Kalam’s childhood which was grown up in the soft and yielding soil of his family helped him to grow up as a large tree having a strong root.

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(2) What was Kalam’s father’s attitude towards adversity? How far was Kalam impressed by that?

Ans:- Kalam’s father expressed his attitude towards adversity to him when he was young in age. He conveyed complex spiritual concepts in simple down to earth Tamil. He once told Kalam that in his own place, in own time – every human being is a specific element of the manifest divine being.

So, one should not be afraid of difficulties, sufferings and problems ; though every human being tries to avoid it. According to Kalam’s father, difficulties, problems, sufferings are natural to human life. So one must not get nervous then but try to assess his power of resistance.

One must have to study his inner strength of forbearance at time of adversity. Then adversity must be taken as blessing – an opportunity for self-assessment and one should understand the relevance of his sufferings.

(3) What picture of communal harmony presented by Dr. Kalam in “Strong Roots?”

Ans:- Abdul Kalam in his autobiographical essay “Strong Roots” highlights the communal harmony while describing his locality, Rameswaram where he was born. The locality was then predominantly Muslims. But a great number of Hindu families lived there with their Muslim brethren.

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A sweet and cordial relationship existed between them. Rameswaram was famous to the pilgrims for the Shiva Temple. There was also an old mosque. Kalam said that the high priest of Rameswaram temple was a close friend of his father who was also a devout Muslim. But they often indulged themselves in the discourse on spiritual matters without any feeling of animosity.

Kalam’s father believed in the non-existence of spiritual barriers. He regarded everyone as a creation of same God. So people of different religions brought bowls of water to him. He dipped his fingertips and uttered a prayer. It was then carried home by them to cure the invalids. So, it was quite clear that there existed an amicable relationship between the two communities, the Hindus and Muslims.

(4) What was the fundamental truth revealed by Kalam’s father? How was Kalam influenced with the fundamental truths revealed by his father?

Ans:- The fundamental truth revealed by Kalam’s father was the perception in the existence of Divine power which helped everyone to overcome from all confusions, miseries, sufferings and troubles.

Kalam’s father believed that every human being is a specific element within the whole of the manifest Divine power which guides everyone to the true path of life. Kalam’s father also revealed the fundamental truth regarding the relevance of prayer.

His father believed that prayer made a possible communion of spirits between people. The prayer enables one to transcend his physical existence and become a part of cosmos where there is no difference of caste or creed; no difference of age or wealth. If a person can uplift himself from materialistic pleasures, he can achieve the path of freedom and peace of mind.

The realistic and wise teachings in discipline and austerity of Kalam’s father helped Kalam immensely in moulding his character. Even in his working field of science and technology, Kalam tried to follow his father’s beliefs. Kalam also believed that his father’s ideologies and spiritual notions helped him a lot to attain the path of success and peace of mind.

(5) What did Kalam’s father tell Kalam about the relevance of prayer and spirituality?

Ans:- Kalam’s father was a devout person who regularly went to the old mosque of his locality in the evening for prayer. When Kalam was young in age he used to accompany him in the evening prayer. Although Kalam could not make out the sense of the prayer that was chanted in Arabic language; but he was fully convinced that the prayer reached God or Allah.

Kalam felt curious to know the relevance of prayer in life. Then his father explained to him in a very simple, down to earth Tamil language about the purpose of prayer. According to him, there was nothing mysterious in prayer. He explained that the prayer made a possible communion between people and divinity.

Kalam’s father also told him that through prayer one could transcend his mere physical existence and became a part of the cosmos.  The person then attained eternal peace and freedom in a divine communion without care for caste, creed, age or wealth. 

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Short Questions Answers From Strong Roots

(1) What is the full name of APJ Abdul Kalam? 

Ans: The full name of APJ Abdul Kalam is Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam. 

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(2) What is the source of the text “Strong Roots”? 

Ans: The source of the text ” Strong Roots ” is the autobiographical essay of APJ Abdul Kalam, “The Wings of Fire”.

(3) Why was Rameswaram famous to pilgrims?

Ans: Rameswaram was famous to the pilgrims for the Shiva Temple. 

(4) What were the names of Kalam’s parents? 

Ans: Kalam’s parents’ names are Jainulabdeen and Ashiamma. 

(5) How was Kalam’s mother lineage? 

Ans: Kalam’s mother had a very respectful lineage. One of her forebears was bestowed the title of’Bahadur’ by the British. 

(6) How was Kalam’s ancestral house?

Ans: The ancestral house of Kalam was built in the middle of 19th century. It was a fairly large pucca house made of limestone and brick, on the Mosque Street in Rameswaram. 

(7) What was the ethnic character of Kalam’s locality? 

Ans: Kalam’s locality was chiefly Muslim one but many Hindu families lived there peacefully. 

(8) What was one of the most vivid memories of Kalam’s early childhood? 

Ans: Kalam’s one of the most vivid memories was of his father and the high priest of Rameswaram temple discussing spiritual matters each in their traditional attires. 

(9) What did Kalam’s father say about the relevance of prayer? 

Ans: According to Kalam’s father there was nothing mysterious about prayer. According to him, prayer made possible a communion of the spirit between people. 

(10) What fundamental truth did Kalam’s father reveal to him? 

Ans: Abdul Kalam’s father revealed to him the fundamental truth of the existence of a divine power to protect and direct one’s life. 

(11) How was Kalam’s father described in the text Strong Roots? 

Ans: Kalam’s father was described as a very pious person who possessed great innate wisdom and true generosity of spirit. His father was widely respected by the people of the locality. 

(12) What type of childhood did Kalam experience? 

Ans: According to Kalam, he had a very secure childhood, materially and emotionally. All necessities were provided for Kalam, in terms of food, medicine of clothing without inessential comfort and luxuries. 

(13) What was the menu of Kalam’s meal described in the text “Strong Roots”? 

Ans: The menu of Kalam’s meal ad described in the text were rice, aromatic sambar, a variety of sharp homemade pickle and a dollop of fresh coconut chutney. 

(14) Why did people of different religion wait for Kalam’s father outside the mosque? 

Ans: Many people of different religion waited for Kalam’s father outside the mosque with a bowl of water in which he would dip his finger and say a prayer. Thus the water brought to home to cure the invalids. 

(15) What did Kalam’s father think about adversity? 

Ans: According to Kalam’s father, adversity always presents opportunity for introspection and also for understanding the relevance of suffering and problem. 

(16) How according to Kalam one can attain happiness and peace of mind? 

Ans: According to Kalam, one can attain happiness and peace of mind by severing his emotional and physical bond and becomes a part of cosmos. 

(17) What was Kalam’s father act to the distress of the people? 

Ans: Kalam’s father acted as a go-between in the efforts of the distressed people to propitiate demonic forces with prayers and offerings. 

(18) How did prayer help man according to Kalam’s father? 

Ans: According to Kalam’s father, prayer made a possible communion of spirit between people. One can transcend his body and become a part of the cosmos, where there is no division of wealth, age, caste of creed. 

(19) How did Kalam’s father look upon human beings? 

Ans: According to Kalam’s father, every human being is specific element within the whole of the  manifest divine being. 

(20) What was Kalam’s belief about prayer?

Ans: In his childhood, Kalam went to mosque with his father. He could not understand the meaning of the prayer chanted in Arabic language but he had the belief that it reached God. 

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