Lost Spring Summary Questions Answers

Lost Spring Summary Questions Answers Characters Analysis

The story “Lost Spring” written by Annes Jung revolves round the pitiable condition of poor children who are forced to live in slums and work hard in very unhygienic condition. The story is divided into two parts. The first part tells the writer’s impression about the life of poor rag pickers. The second part narrates the miserable life of the bangle-makers in the town of Firozabad. 

Lost Spring Summary 

First Part – Sometimes I find a rupee in the garbage

The first part talks about the writer’s impression about the life of the unfortunate rag pickers. The author here talks about the story of a rag pickers Saheb who was a Bangladeshi migrants. He is unable to study due to lack of schools in his neighbourhood. Then Saheb and his family come to big city to find a living. The author then watches Saheb every morning. He is always scrounging for “gold”. Garbage is actually the means of survival for the elders and it is something wrapped in wonder for the children.

Sometimes, the children find a coin or two from it. It is more of a traditional matter for the rag pickers to remain bare foot, though they yearn to possess a pair. The author then comments on the discrepancy between Saheb’s desire and the reality. For instance, these rag pickers have desires to have shoes, tennis and other similar staff but they have no clue about how to achieve them. At last, we find Saheb starts working at a tea stall where he earns Rs 800 but his job takes away his freedom. 

Second Part – I want to drive car:

In the second part, the author narrates the story of a boy called Mukesh who stays in Firozabad and belongs to a family of bangle-makers. Most of the families in Firozabad are engaged in making bangles. Almost 20,000 children are engaged in this glass blowing industry. They work in a pathetic environment. Children live in dingy cells and work around hot furnaces that even make them blind when they enter adulthood. As they are weighed down by debt, they can not think or find any way to escape this trap. 

Mukesh takes the author to his dilapidated house, located in stinking lanes. The author says that the cry of poverty rings in every home in Firozabad. These poor people are exploited by the politicians, policemen, bureaucrats. Most of women in such families think that this is their fate. The author feels happy that Mukesh has decided to be a motor mechanic. Dreaming of flying airplanes seems too distant and too big a dream for him. At least being a mechanic will help him be a master of his own. 

Lost Spring Characters Analysis

Character of Saheb:

Saheb-e-Alam is the chief character in the first part of the story “Lost Spring”. Through him the author has sketched the life of the young rag pickers whose dreams are nipped in their childhood. Saheb is a young boy whose family once lived in Dhaka. Violent storms swept away their fields and homes. So they shifted to India during famine. In India, he lived in Seemapuri on the outskirts of Delhi – UP Border. Saheb and many other children like him in Seemapuri work hard to earn for a living.

Saheb and other rag pickers roam the streets with barefoot scrounging in the garbage for valuable things to earn livelihood. Saheb who works in unhygienic place loves to attend school. But poverty deprives him to attend school. He is deprived of basic amenities of life. The author exposes the discrepancy between Saheb’s desire and reality.

Saheb represents deprived class of society who has desires and ambitions, but they have no clue about how to achieve them. Suddenly, one day Saheb starts working at a tea stall and abandoned rag picking. He earns Rs 800 and secures meals in his new job. Ultimately he has lost his freedom. 

Character of Mukesh:

Mukesh is the chief character in the second part of the story, “Lost Spring”. He is a poor boy who lived in Firozabad in a family of bangle-maker. Most of the families in Firozabad are engaged in making bangle making. Most women in such families think that this is their fate and they have to follow this tradition.

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Mukesh takes the author to his dilapidated house, located in stinking lanes. Though Mukesh’s father works hard but is unable to change the deplorable condition of his family. The elders of the families do not allow their children to look for any work other than bangle making. As a result, Mukesh and other children like him work in an unhealthy environment and around hot furnaces that make then blind when they enter adulthood. They can not but do anything to escape this trap.

Even the politicians, policemen, bureaucrats obstruct their way of progress. But Mukesh is very different from the rest of the folks there. His dreams are grounded in reality. He has a dream of becoming a motor mechanic. He does not aspire to fly a plane. He is determined and focused in his dream. At least being a mechanic will help him be a master of his own. He would be able to remain independent unlike Saheb. 

Theme of Lost Spring

The theme of the story “Lost Spring” deals with the poor children who are born with ill- fate to face the hard realities. The story brings out the pangs of the poor children who are deprived of fun times of the childhood. Thus the theme of the story explains the abject poverty. Saheb-e-Alam and Mukesh, the two chief characters of the story are compelled to labour from an early age of their lives.

Saheb-e-Alam along with his family settles in Seemapuri on the banks of the Yamuna river. Here he takes the work of rag-picking. His family lives a hand-to-mouth existence. So he is unable to pursue his education. Mukesh of Firozabad is forced to work in a glass bangle factory to pursue the family tradition. These children are forced to labour early in life and denied the opportunities of going to school. These children are trapped in the vicious circle of social stigma, tradition, poverty and exploitation. Thus the theme of story clearly brings out the depravity of child labour in our country. 

Lost Spring Questions Answers:

Lost Spring Descriptive Questions Answers

1. Give an account of the life and activities of people like Saheb settled in Seemapuri. 

Ans: Saheb belongs to a poor family who came from Bangladesh. His family came to India during a famine and started living on the outskirts of Yamuna area called Seemapuri. But life showed the harder side than they expected here. They searched for some works for living, but here they didn’t got any work to do. They took the work of garbage picking for their livelihood.

Saheb also, like others, looks and searches the garbage dumps for some coins. They leave their houses in the morning with a bag on their back to collect something valuable from the garbage. As these items can be traded for money, they are just like ‘gold’ for them. They don’t even get the habit of wearing footwear. The character of Saheb represents poor children of the society who deal with the problem of abject poverty. The bright hope of Saheb and also children like him is shattered in their early life. In absence of suitable work, they are compelled to work in hazardous conditions. 

2.How does Mukesh differ from Saheb in their attitude?

Ans: Mukesh is definitely more ambitious than Saheb with his strong will power. His strong will power enables him to come out from the prolonged family tradition of working in glass bangle industry. No one else could dare to think of breaking the conventional style of living. He is determined to become a motor mechanic. To fulfil his dream, he is prepared to walk a long distance to go to garage. Through his sincere efforts and hard work, he will surely be able to materialise his dream. 

Saheb, on the other hand, has sacrificed his life and freedom as a rag picker. He gave up the job as a rag picker and took up the job in a tea stall. This job secured him the salary of 800 rupees and his meals. But he was not happy because he was tied down by the work he had to do, thus losing his independence. He had lost his carefree life. Thus, it is the attitude which differs the two characters from each other. 

3. Describe the difficulties the bangle-makers of Firozabad have to face in their lives.

Ans: The bangle-makers of Firozabad live of life in utmost poverty for timelessness. They seem to born with ill-fate to work in the most unhygienic conditions. They can not help themselves to come out from the tradition of working in glass bangle industry. The tradition which is passing through generation after generation does not provide them the basic amenities in their life.

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The workers have to work around hot furnaces while polishing glass bangles. They are forced to sit near flickering lamps hour after hour. As a result, they become blind even before they become adults. Their life is embroiled in a vicious web created by money lender, politicians, policemen. Instead of helping them, the law enforcing authorities only prey upon their misfortunes. 

4. What did the writer see when Mukesh took her to his home?

Ans: The writer realised that it was  slum area. The lanes were stinking and were choked with garbage. The homes looked like dingy cells. The walls of the rooms were crumbling, the doors were wobbly without windows. The homes were crowded with humans and animals living together. Mukesh’s home looked like a half-built shack. In one of its parts, a firewood stove had a large vessel on it. A frail young woman cooked the evening meal. She was the wife of Mukesh’s elder brother.

As Mukesh’s father came in, she brought her veil closer to her face. Mukesh’s father was a poor bangle-maker. Even after long years of hard labour, he had been unable to renovate his house. He was unable to send his two sons to school. Mukesh’s grandmother was also there. Her husband had become blind with dust from the polishing of glass bangles. 

Lost Spring Short Questions Answers:

1. What is Saheb looking for in the garbage? Where is he and where has he come from?

Ans: Saheb-e-Alam is looking for some valuable things in the garbage dumps. These items are sold for cash. So these items can be considered as ‘gold’ for him.Saheb-e-Alam lives on the outskirts of Yamuna near Delhi (Seemapuri) and had come from Bangladesh. 
2. What explanation does the author offer for the children not wearing footwear? 

Ans: In order to describe the abject poverty of the rag pickers, the author puts the reference of ‘chappals’ which seems to be luxury for the rag pickers. The author gives more than one explanations for not using slippers by the rag pickers. She feels that it is simply an excuse to hide a perpetual state of poverty, as many families can not afford to buy footwear for their children or it may be the tradition of not wearing footwear by the rag pickers and so on.
3. Is Saheb-e-Alam happy working at the tea stall?
Ans: Saheb gives up the job of rag-picking and takes a job in a tea stall. But he is not happy working at the tea stall. The stell can seems heavier than the plastic bag that he used to carry while rag-picking. Moreover, he has lost his independence and he is bound by time to lead a life of servility.
4. What makes the city of Firozabad famous?
Ans: The city of Firozabad is famous for glass blowing industry. The families in Firozabad can be seen engaged in bangle making industry for generation after generation. 
5. How is Mukesh’s attitude to life different from that of his family?
Ans: Mukesh has a strong will power that helps him to break the family tradition of working in bangle industry. No one before him has ever tried to do this. Mukesh wants to carve a niche for himself. He wants to become a motor mechanic. His father who is bangle maker is even unable to provide basic amenities of life. So Mukesh does not want to pursue this trade.
6. What does the title “Lost Spring” signify?
Ans: It is obvious that Spring is the cheerful moment of whole season. Similarly, childhood period is the best time of life. So spring is associated with childhood. But the author shows how the spring of childhood in the lives of children like Saheb and Mukesh has been disappearing as they are compelled to do hazardous work to provide a living for their family and themselves. 
7. What forces conspire to keep the workers in the bangle industry of Firozabad in poverty?
Ans: The author says that the cry of poverty rings every home in Firozabad. These poor people are exploited by politicians, middlemen, policemen and bureaucrats. Any law that forbids child labour is brutally ignored here. Thus, the workers in bangle industry are trapped in the vicious circle of poverty that has shackled their lives. 
8. How does the author point out the irony in Saheb’s name? Ans: Saheb-e-Alam means Lord of the universe. But the irony is that the young boy Saheb was a rag-picker in the slums of Seemapuri. His days were spent in the heaps of garbage from where he dug out money for one square meal. 
9. What does the author mean by ‘promises like mine abound in every corner of this bleak world’? Ans: The author had half-jokingly told Saheb that she would start a school which he could attend. It was like one of the many false promises of a better life made to children like Saheb. They live in the hope of the promises being fulfilled, though that never happens. 

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