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Mother Tongue PDF Free Download
Chapter 6: Mother Tongue
I approached a stem
Swinging on a reed
And asked him
To give me a quill.
Irritated, he said
I gave you one only the other day
A new one, what have you done with it?
Are you some sort of an accountant
With some Shah
Writing account books
Where you need a new pen
Every other day he asked.
No, I don’t work for a Shah
I said, but for a Shahni, very kind,
Very well off
And I am not the only one
Working for her
She has many servants
Ever ready to do her bidding
That Shahni is my mother tongue
Give me, a quill, quickly
She must be looking for me
The reed cut off its hand
Gave it to me and said
I too am her servant.
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NCERT Solutions Class 11 English Chapter 6 Mother Tongue
1. The quill is the central element in the poem—what does it symbolise?
The quill symbolises the Sharade script. A script is necessary to preserve and propagate any language. Here the poet wants to make a point for Dogri, her mother tongue, which was originally written in the Sharade script but due to unknown reasons it was written in Devanagiri script. The poet personifies the reed and requests it to give a quill to which the reed agrees, saying that it is the servant of Shahni like the poet and is ready to serve her.
2. You notice a sense of urgency in the poet’s request—what is the reason for this?
The sense of urgency shown in the poem is due to the fast depletion base of the language Dogri in its native speakers and the impact of other languages on it. The poet is worried that if the population speaking Dogri does not serve the Shahni (Dogri) then it will be difficult to save the language.
3. How has the poet brought out her emotional attachment to her mother tongue?
The poet has brought out her emotional attachment to her mother tongue in the form of a poem in which her mother tongue is treated as Shahni and considers herself as a maid to serve the queen. The heights of emotion are reached when the reed agrees to cut its hand for the service of Shahni in the form of a quill.
NCERT Class 11 English Textbook Chapter 6 With Answer PDF Free Download