Class 12 “Lost Spring” Anees Jung Full Analysis

Lost Spring,Anees Jung,firozabad,Mukesh,Bangle

Chapter 2 “Lost Spring” by Anees Jung MCQ, Summary, Theme, Character Sketch, Important Lines, Textbook Questions and Extra Questions.

Chapter 2- Lost Spring by Anees Jung:

Next on Flamingo: Chapter 3- “Deep Water” by William Douglas

Vocabulary “Lost Spring”:

Apex: Refers to the pinnacle or highest point, potentially reflecting Mukesh’s aspirations.
Apathy: Reflects the resignation and indifference prevalent among the community.
Auspiciousness: Represents the cultural significance attached to bangles in Indian society.
Bleak: Describes Saheb’s world, indicating hopelessness and despair.
Burdened: Indicates the heavyweight or responsibility placed upon the children due to their circumstances.
Condemn: Reflects the notion of societal norms or traditions trapping children in exploitation.
Cooperative: Suggests a potential solution to break free from the cycle of poverty and exploitation.
Desolation: Reflects the abandoned state of the temple and the surrounding area.
Desperation: Reflects the extreme urgency or hopelessness experienced by impoverished families.
Embarrassment: Reflects Mukesh’s hesitation or discomfort in expressing his dreams.
Exploitation: Implies the harsh realities faced by families in Seemapuri.
Hollow: Describes the insincerity or lack of substance in the advice given to Saheb about schooling.
Initiative: Reflects the lack of drive or motivation due to years of poverty and exploitation.
Metaphorically: Indicates the symbolic distance between Seemapuri and Delhi.
Middlemen: Represent the exploitative forces that perpetuate poverty in Firozabad.
Mirage: Symbolizes Mukesh’s dream of becoming a motor mechanic amidst harsh conditions.
Primeval: Reflects the primitive living conditions in Seemapuri.
Resignation: Reflects the acceptance of fate or circumstances without resistance.
Resilience: Implies the ability to endure and persevere despite adversity.
Resonates: Suggests a deep emotional or cultural connection with the characters’ plight.
Sanctity: Reflects the reverence or sacredness associated with bangles in Indian culture.
Scrounging: Looking for gold in garbage dumps, indicating extreme poverty and desperation.
Squatters: Describes the status of families living in Seemapuri without legal rights or infrastructure.
Stigma: Indicates the burden of caste and social status faced by Mukesh’s family.

* Inferred meaning of the expressions based on the excerpt. 

*Dark hutments: Hutments” refers to small, simple dwellings or huts. The term “dark” suggests that these dwellings lack adequate lighting, possibly due to poor infrastructure or living conditions. It implies a dim or gloomy environment, contributing to the challenging circumstances in which the characters live.
*Flash of daring: This represents a glimmer of hope or ambition in Mukesh.
*Imposed the baggage on the child: This expression suggests that societal factors, including poverty, caste stigma, and exploitation, have burdened the child with various challenges and limitations. It implies that external forces beyond the child’s control have placed heavy burdens or responsibilities upon them, hindering their opportunities for growth and development.
*Looking for: In the excerpt context, “looking for” refers to scavenging or searching for valuable items in the garbage dumps. It reflects the desperate economic situation of the characters who engage in such activities to make a living.
*Perpetual state of poverty: This phrase suggests an ongoing condition of poverty that seems never-ending or continuous. It implies that poverty is a persistent and unchanging aspect of the characters’ lives rather than a temporary situation.
*Roof over his head: This phrase symbolises having shelter or a place to live. It indicates that despite the hardships and poverty, the character mentioned has managed to secure necessities like shelter.
*Slog their daylight hours: This expression describes children’s laborious and exhausting work during the daytime. They work relentlessly and tirelessly, emphasising the arduous nature of their daily activities.
*Vicious circle: Describes the poverty, exploitation, and injustice cycle that traps families.

Summary “Lost Spring” by Anees Jung:

  • The excerpt from “Lost Spring: Stories of Stolen Childhood” by Anees Jung delves into the lives of impoverished children in India, mainly focusing on Saheb and Mukesh, whose childhoods are marred by poverty and exploitation.
  • Saheb, a young boy in Seemapuri, scours garbage dumps for valuable items like coins, cherishing even the smallest finds. Despite promises of education, he remains entrenched in the cycle of poverty, eventually finding work at a tea stall and relinquishing his autonomy for a meagre wage.
  • Mukesh, from Firozabad, dreams of becoming a motor mechanic amidst the backdrop of his family’s bangle-making profession. He represents the aspirations of children trapped in intergenerational poverty, yearning for a better life but often restricted by societal norms and economic circumstances.
  • The excerpt illustrates the harsh realities faced by marginalised communities, where children like Saheb and Mukesh are born into predetermined destinies shaped by tradition, exploitation, and limited opportunities. Their dreams are tempered by the constraints of their environment, perpetuating cycles of poverty and hopelessness.

Theme “Lost Spring” by Anees Jung:

Central Theme: 

The central theme of “Lost Spring: Stories of Stolen Childhood” by Anees Jung revolves around the plight of street children forced into labour early in life and denied the opportunity of schooling. The narrative sheds light on the harsh realities faced by children like Saheb and Mukesh, who are compelled to engage in menial jobs due to grinding poverty and societal indifference. Through their stories, the author exposes the systemic issues that perpetuate child labour and inhibit access to education for marginalised communities.


The excerpt also highlights the callousness of society and the political class towards the suffering of the poor.

  1. Poverty and Exploitation: The excerpt vividly portrays the grinding poverty that forces children like Saheb and Mukesh into laborious jobs at a young age. Despite their dreams and aspirations, they are forced to work in hazardous conditions, such as rag-picking and glass-blowing, just to survive.
  1. Lack of Education: The absence of educational opportunities exacerbates the cycle of poverty and exploitation. Saheb expresses his willingness to attend school if one were available in his neighbourhood, indicating a desire for education among these children. However, the lack of schools further entrenches them in labour and deprivation.
  1. Broken Promises and Hopelessness: The protagonist’s promise to start a school for Saheb reflects the pervasive sense of hopelessness and broken promises in the lives of these children. Despite fleeting moments of optimism, such promises remain unfulfilled, highlighting the systemic neglect and indifference towards their plight.
  1. Tradition and Caste: The excerpt delves into the traditional occupations and caste dynamics that trap families like Mukesh’s into intergenerational cycles of poverty. The glass-blowing industry passed down through generations, perpetuates a cycle of exploitation and limited opportunities for upward mobility.
  1. Injustice and Apathy: The narrative highlights the indifference of society, including the political class, towards addressing the root causes of poverty and exploitation. Despite their struggles, street children and their families are marginalised and overlooked by those in positions of power.

Character Sketch “Lost Spring”:

Here are character sketches of the essential characters from the excerpt “Lost Spring” by Anees Jung:

  1. Saheb-e-Alam:
  • Saheb-e-Alam is a young boy living in poverty in Seemapuri, a squatter settlement on the periphery of Delhi.
  • He scrounges for gold in garbage dumps, highlighting his dire circumstances and the lengths he goes to survive.
  • Saheb is depicted as hopeful and willing to learn, as evidenced by his willingness to attend school if one were available.
  • Despite his hardships, Saheb retains a sense of innocence and wonder, particularly in his fascination with finding coins and watching others play tennis.
  1. Mukesh:
  • Mukesh is a young boy from Firozabad, which is famous for its bangle-making industry.
  • He dreams of becoming a motor mechanic, demonstrating a desire to break free from his family’s traditional occupation.
  • Mukesh’s determination and ambition are evident in his willingness to walk a long distance to learn the trade of motor mechanics.
  • Despite his aspirations, Mukesh is still a product of his environment, influenced by the poverty and limitations imposed by his family’s circumstances.
  1. Saheb’s mother:
  • Saheb’s mother represents the struggles and hardships faced by migrants who have left their homes in search of a better life.
  • She provides insight into the family’s backstory, including how they were forced to leave home due to natural disasters.
  • Despite her challenges, Saheb’s mother remains resilient and hopeful for a better future for her family.

3. Mukesh’s family:

  • Mukesh’s family, including his elder brother, grandmother, and other relatives, represents the entrenched poverty and generational cycle of occupation in Firozabad.
  • They are bangle makers, a traditional occupation passed down through generations despite the adverse health effects and limited opportunities it provides.
  • Mukesh’s family members, particularly his grandmother, embody the acceptance of fate and destiny, believing that their occupation is predetermined and immutable.
  1. The Ragpickers of Seemapuri:
  • The ragpickers of Seemapuri collectively represent the marginalised and disenfranchised population living in squatter settlements around Delhi.
  • They endure poverty, lack of basic amenities, and societal neglect yet demonstrate resilience and resourcefulness in their daily lives.
  • The ragpickers, including Saheb and his family, highlight the complex interplay of socio-economic factors and systemic injustice that perpetuate their marginalised status.

These characters collectively illustrate the themes of poverty, exploitation, resilience, and the pursuit of dreams amidst adversity portrayed in “Lost Spring.”

Important Lines “Lost Spring” Anees Jung:

  1. “Sometimes I find a Rupee in the garbage.” – This line reflects the poverty experienced by Saheb, a young boy who scavenges through garbage dumps to find valuable items, even small amounts of money like a Rupee.
  1. “There is no school in my neighbourhood. When they build one, I will go.” – Saheb expresses his desire for education but laments the lack of schools in his area. His statement highlights the barriers to education faced by marginalised communities.
  1. “I sometimes find a rupee, even a ten-rupee note.” Saheb reiterates the sporadic nature of his findings in the garbage, occasionally discovering higher denominations like ten-rupee notes. This highlights the unpredictability of his scavenging activities and the meagre income it generates.
  1. “I now work in a tea stall down the road.” – Saheb reveals his current employment at a nearby tea stall, indicating his transition to a different form of work due to the lack of educational opportunities.
  1. “Can a god-given lineage ever be broken?” – This rhetorical question reflects the fatalistic worldview prevalent among Saheb’s community, where destiny and social status are perceived as predetermined by divine forces.
  1. “Why not organize yourselves into a cooperative?”This line suggests a potential solution to the community’s economic challenges, emphasising the importance of collective action and solidarity in addressing shared issues.
  1. “It is his karam, his destiny.” – Mentioning “karam” highlights the fatalism ingrained in Saheb’s community, where individuals resign themselves to their predetermined fate, often determined by societal structures and circumstances beyond their control.
  1. “Years of mind-numbing toil have killed all initiative and the ability to dream.” – This poignant reflection highlights the devastating impact of generational poverty and exploitation on individuals like Saheb, stifling their aspirations and potential for personal growth.
  1. “Together they have imposed the baggage on the child that he cannot put down.” – This metaphorical statement emphasises the intergenerational cycle of poverty and hardship perpetuated by systemic injustices and societal norms, burdening children like Saheb with challenges they cannot escape.
  1. “He is content to dream of cars that he sees hurtling down the streets of his town.” – Despite his challenging circumstances, Saheb finds solace in his dreams of a better life symbolised by the cars speeding through his town, reflecting his resilience and capacity for hope amidst adversity.
  1. “For the children, it is wrapped in wonder, for the elders it is a means of survival.”- This line reflects the contrasting perspectives of children and elders regarding their living conditions. While children may find aspects of their environment fascinating, elders view them as necessities for survival. It highlights the innocence of childhood juxtaposed with the harsh realities of adulthood in impoverished communities like Saheb’s.
  1. “Through eyes filled with smoke she smiles.”- This evocative description portrays a woman, likely Saheb’s mother or another female figure, smiling despite the adverse conditions of their living environment. It highlights the resilience and finding moments of joy amidst hardship.
  1. “Despite long years of hard labour, first as a tailor, then a bangle maker, he has failed to renovate a house, send his two sons to school.”- This line reveals the struggles of Saheb’s father, who has labored tirelessly in different professions but has been unable to improve their living conditions or provide education for his children. It highlights the cyclical nature of poverty and the challenges faced by generations of marginalised families.
  1. “Their eyes are more adjusted to the dark than to the light outside.”- This imagery suggests that Saheb and others in his community have become accustomed to dimly lit surroundings due to their work conditions and living environment. It symbolises their familiarity with adversity and hardship.
  1. “And in dark hutments, next to lines of flames of flickering oil lamps, sit boys and girls with their fathers and mothers, welding pieces of coloured glass into circles of bangles.”- This vivid depiction portrays the intergenerational involvement of families, including Saheb’s, in the labour-intensive process of making bangles. It highlights the communal aspect of their work and the challenges families face working together in cramped, poorly lit spaces.
  1. “Their fathers are as tired as they are.”This line emphasises the shared exhaustion experienced by children like Saheb and their parents due to their strenuous labour and challenging living conditions. It highlights the pervasive impact of poverty on physical and emotional well-being.
  1. “One winter morning I see Saheb standing by the fenced gate of the neighborhood club, watching two young men dressed in white playing tennis.”- This observation highlights Saheb’s curiosity and longing for experiences beyond his immediate surroundings. It contrasts the leisure activities more privileged individuals enjoy with Saheb’s constrained reality.
  1. “That is why they often end up losing their eyesight before they become adults.”- This statement alludes to the detrimental effects of hazardous working conditions, such as exposure to smoke and intense heat, leading to vision impairment among children in Saheb’s community.
  1. “It will dawn on her suddenly one day when her head is draped with a red veil, her hands dyed red with henna, and red bangles rolled onto her wrists.”- This line foreshadows a significant moment in the life of a young girl, possibly Saheb’s sister or another female character when she experiences traditional rituals associated with marriage. It highlights the cultural significance of marriage and the transition to adulthood in their community.
  1. “He will go to a garage and learn.”- This line refers to Saheb’s aspiration to pursue education and acquire practical skills by apprenticing at a garage. It reflects his determination to break free from the cycle of poverty and explore alternative pathways to a better future.
  1. “For the children, it is wrapped in wonder, for the elders, it is a means of survival.” – This line reflects the differing perspectives of children and adults regarding their environment. For children like Saheb, the garbage dumps and streets hold a sense of curiosity and exploration, while for the elders, it represents a harsh reality of poverty and survival. Saheb and his friends find wonder and potential treasures in the garbage, while the elders view it as a necessary source of livelihood.
  1. “Few airplanes fly over Firozabad.” – This line highlights the economic and social marginalisation of Firozabad, a town where air traffic is minimal. The absence of aeroplanes symbolises the town’s isolation and lack of development, highlighting its residents’ challenges, including Saheb and Mukesh.
  1. “It still is, but it is no longer empty.” – This line describes how Firozabad lacks vibrancy and opportunities despite its physical presence. The town may exist geographically, but it needs more prosperity and progress. The emptiness alludes to the absence of hope and opportunities for advancement, particularly for individuals like Saheb and Mukesh.
  1. “Not much older in years, she has begun to command respect as the bahu, the daughter-in-law of the house.” – This line refers to a young woman in the story who, despite her youth, assumes the respected role of the daughter-in-law within her household. It highlights the cultural norms and expectations placed upon individuals within their familial and societal contexts, showcasing the dynamics of respect and authority within the family structure.
  1. In this case, the elder is an impoverished bangle maker.” – This line describes an elderly individual in the story who earns a living as a bangle maker, highlighting the challenges of poverty and limited opportunities faced by residents of Firozabad. The characterisation of older people as impoverished highlights the economic struggles prevalent within the community.

Video Explanation:Lost Spring” Chapter Synopsis:

Time Duration: 9 Minutes

Textbook Questions/Answers “Lost Spring”:

Think As You Read: 

Q1: What is Saheb looking for in the garbage dumps? Where is he, and where has he come from? 

A1: Saheb is scavenging for valuable items like coins or notes in the garbage dumps of the author’s neighbourhood. Saheb comes from Dhaka, Bangladesh, but now lives in Seemapuri, a place on the periphery of Delhi where many squatters from Bangladesh settled in 1971.

Q2. What explanations does the author offer for the children not wearing footwear? 

A2: The author offers a few explanations for why children like Saheb do not wear footwear.

Tradition: The author mentions that walking barefoot is considered a tradition rather than a result of poverty in some areas.

Excuse for poverty: The author questions whether the tradition of walking barefoot is simply used as an excuse to explain away the perpetual state of poverty in which these children live.

Q3. Is Saheb happy working at the tea stall? Explain.

A3: Saheb’s demeanour suggests a mixed sentiment about working at the tea stall. Initially, he seemed content and enthusiastic about the job, mentioning that he earns 800 rupees and receives all his meals. However, the author notices a change in his demeanour, indicating that Saheb’s initial happiness has diminished. 

The steel canister he carries seems to symbolise the burden of his new responsibilities, as he is no longer his master. Therefore, while Saheb may appreciate the job for providing him with some income and meals, it’s apparent that the weight of the job has taken a toll on his sense of freedom and contentment.

Q4: What makes the city of Firozabad famous? 

A4: The city of Firozabad is famous for its bangles. It is the centre of India’s glass-blowing industry, where families have spent generations working around furnaces, welding glass, and making bangles for women.

Q5: Mention the hazards of working in the glass bangles industry. 

A5: The hazards of working in the glass bangles industry include:

  • Exposure to high temperatures: Children like Mukesh work in glass furnaces with high temperatures, which pose risks of burns and heat-related illnesses.
  • Lack of ventilation: The dingy cells where they work often lack proper air and light, leading to respiratory problems and discomfort.
  • Eye injuries: Working with glass involves eye injuries, and many children lose the brightness of their eyes due to prolonged exposure to glass dust and fumes.
  • Long-term health issues: Constant exposure to hazardous conditions can lead to long-term health problems, including respiratory disorders, eye problems, and other occupational hazards.

Q6: How is Mukesh’s attitude to his situation different from that of his family?

A6: Mukesh’s attitude towards his situation differs from that of his family in that he dreams of becoming a motor mechanic and expresses a desire for independence and a different future. Despite the challenges and limitations imposed by his family’s circumstances and the societal norms of his community, Mukesh dares to dream of a different path for himself. 

He desires to learn and work in a garage, indicating a willingness to break away from the traditional occupation of bangle-making. While his family seems resigned to their fate and the limitations of their caste and economic status, Mukesh shows a spark of determination and ambition, albeit tempered by the reality of his surroundings.

Understanding The Text: 

Q1: What could be some of the reasons for the migration of people from villages to cities? 

A1: There are several reasons for migrating people from villages to cities:

  • Economic Opportunities: Cities often offer more job opportunities, especially in manufacturing, construction, services, and trade. People migrate in search of better-paying jobs to improve their economic conditions.
  • Education: Cities usually have better educational facilities, including schools, colleges, and universities. Parents may migrate to cities to provide better educational opportunities for their children.
  • Infrastructure and Amenities: Cities typically have better infrastructure, including healthcare facilities, transportation networks, and access to amenities like electricity, water, and sanitation. People migrate seeking access to these amenities and services.
  • Escape from Poverty or Natural Disasters: Some people migrate from villages to cities to escape extreme poverty, drought, floods, or other natural disasters that make rural life difficult.
  • Social Mobility: Cities often offer greater social mobility, allowing individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds to access opportunities for advancement and upward mobility.

Q2: Would you agree that promises made to poor children are rarely kept? Why do you think this happens in the incidents narrated in the text? 

A2: Promises made to poor children in the text are rarely kept. This happens for various reasons:

  • Systemic Inequality: The promises made to poor children reflect a desire to improve their lives, but systemic inequality and lack of resources often hinder the fulfilment of these promises.
  • Limited Resources: Those making promises may genuinely intend to help, but they may need more resources, support, or means to follow through on their commitments.
  • Structural Barriers: The structural barriers such as poverty, lack of education, and limited access to opportunities make it challenging to fulfil promises made to poor children.
  • Institutional Failures: Institutions responsible for addressing poverty and providing education may need to be more effective or corrupt, further perpetuating the cycle of broken promises.
  • Lack of Accountability: There may be a need for accountability among those making promises, leading to a disregard for the well-being and future of impoverished children.

Q3: What forces conspire to keep the workers in the bangle industry of Firozabad in poverty?

A3: Several forces contribute to keeping workers in the bangle industry of Firozabad in poverty:

  • Exploitative Practices: The bangle industry often exploits child labour and pays low wages to workers, perpetuating poverty in the workforce.
  • Lack of Regulation: The absence or weak enforcement of labour laws and regulations allows employers to exploit workers and keep wages low without facing consequences.
  • Dependency on Middlemen: Workers in the bangle industry may depend on middlemen or contractors who control access to work and dictate terms of employment, further perpetuating poverty and exploitation.
  • Caste-based Discrimination: The caste system may also contribute to the marginalisation and exploitation of certain communities, keeping them trapped in poverty and limiting their opportunities for socioeconomic advancement.
  • Lack of Education and Skills: Limited access to education and vocational training opportunities restricts the ability of workers to seek alternative employment options, keeping them entrenched in the bangle industry and its cycle of poverty.

Talking About The Text: 

Q1: How, in your opinion, can Mukesh realise his dream?

A1: Mukesh can realise his dream of becoming a motor mechanic through a combination of factors:

  • Education: Mukesh should be provided with an education beyond the confines of his current environment. This might involve community outreach programs, NGOs, or governmental initiatives to ensure children like Mukesh have the opportunity to attend school.
  • Vocational Training: Mukesh can benefit from vocational training programs focusing on skills like motor mechanics. These programs can equip him with the necessary knowledge and expertise to pursue his chosen career.
  • Supportive Environment: Mukesh needs the support of his family, community, and society to pursue his dreams. This might involve financial assistance, mentorship, and encouragement to overcome his challenges.
  • Advocacy and Awareness: Advocacy efforts to highlight the potential of children like Mukesh and raise awareness about the importance of providing opportunities for them can also contribute to realising his dream.

Q2: Mention the hazards of working in the glass bangles industry.

A2: Hazards of working in the glass bangles industry include:

  • Health Risks: Working in environments with high temperatures and exposure to glass particles can lead to respiratory problems, eye injuries, and skin ailments.
  • Physical Hazards: Children working in glass bangles are often exposed to hazardous working conditions such as cramped spaces, sharp tools, and heavy machinery, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries.
  • Long-term Health Impacts: Prolonged exposure to the glass-making process can have long-term health implications, including respiratory diseases, vision impairment, and musculoskeletal disorders.
  • Lack of Education: Children engaged in labour-intensive industries like glass bangles often miss out on education, limiting their future opportunities and perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

Q3: Why should child labour be eliminated and how?

A3: Child labour should be eliminated for several reasons:

  • Protection of Rights: Child labour violates the fundamental rights of children to education, health, and a safe environment. Children have the right to enjoy their childhood free from exploitation and harm.
  • Health and Safety: Child labour exposes children to hazardous working conditions that endanger their health and safety. Eliminating child labour ensures that children are not subjected to physical, emotional, or psychological harm in the workplace.
  • Education and Development: Child labour deprives children of the opportunity to receive an education and develop their potential. Education is essential for breaking the cycle of poverty and empowering children to pursue better opportunities in the future.
  • Social Justice: Eliminating child labour promotes social justice by ensuring all children have equal growth, development, and success opportunities. It helps create a more equitable society where every child has the chance to thrive and fulfil their potential.

Thinking About The Language: 

Carefully read the following phrases and sentences taken from the text. Can you identify the literary device in each example?

1. Saheb-e-Alam which means the lord of the universe is directly in contrast to what Saheb is in reality.

2. Drowned in an air of desolation.

3. Seemapuri, a place on the periphery of Delhi yet miles away from it, metaphorically.

4. For the children it is wrapped in wonder; for the elders it is a means of survival.

5. As her hands move mechanically like the tongs of a machine, I wonder if she knows the sanctity of the bangles she helps make.

6. She still has bangles on her wrist, but not light in her eyes.

7. Few airplanes fly over Firozabad.

8. Web of poverty.

9. Scrounging for gold.

10. And survival in Seemapuri means rag-picking. Through the years, it has acquired the proportions of a fine art.

11. The steel canister seems heavier than the plastic bag he would carry so lightly over his shoulders.


  1. Irony: Saheb-e-Alam means “lord of the universe,” a grand and majestic title. However, the irony lies in that Saheb, the character, lives in poverty and squalor, far from being a lord of anything.
  1. Metaphor: “Drowned in an air of desolationdescribes the temple’s atmosphere. It suggests the temple is enveloped in a profound sense of emptiness and sadness, emphasising its desolate condition.
  1. Metaphor: Seemapuri being described as “a place on the periphery of Delhi yet miles away from it, metaphorically” employs metaphorical language to highlight the stark contrast between Seemapuri’s physical proximity to Delhi and its socio-economic distance from the city.
  1. Parallelism: This sentence draws a parallel between the perceptions of children and elders regarding garbage. It contrasts children’s sense of wonder with the practical necessity elders see in the garbage, emphasising their perspectives.
  1. Simile: Her hands move mechanically like the tongs of a machine” uses a simile to compare the mechanical movement of the girl’s hands to the repetitive, automated action of a machine, highlighting the monotony and lack of agency in her work.
  1. Metaphor: “She still has bangles on her wrist, but not light in her eyesis a metaphorical expression. It symbolises the loss of joy, hope, or vitality in the woman’s life despite the bangles on her wrist, traditionally symbolising happiness and auspiciousness.
  1. Hyperbole: Few airplanes fly over Firozabad” employs hyperbole, an exaggeration, to emphasise the rarity of airplanes flying over Firozabad. It highlights the relatively remote and underdeveloped nature of the town.
  1. Metaphor: “Web of povertyuses metaphor to describe poverty’s complex and entangled nature, likening it to a spider’s web that ensnares those caught within its grasp.
  1. Metaphor: “Scrounging for goldmetaphorically compares searching for valuable items in the garbage to searching for gold, highlighting the desperation and hope that drives individuals like Saheb to engage in such activities.
  1. Metaphor: Survival in Seemapuri means rag-picking. Through the years, it has acquired the proportions of a fine art” metaphorically describes rag-picking as a form of survival that has been refined and perfected over time, likening it to the mastery of an artistic skill.
  1. Contrast: “The steel canister seems heavier than the plastic bag he would carry so lightly over his shoulders” The line contrast emphasises the weight difference between the steel canister and the plastic bag Saheb used to carry effortlessly. This highlights the increased burden and responsibility he now faces in his new job.

Things To Do: 

The beauty of the glass bangles of Firozabad contrasts with the misery of the people who produce them. 

This paradox is also found in some other situations, for example, those who work in gold and diamond mines, or carpet weaving factories, and the products of their labour, the lives of construction workers, and the buildings they build. 

  • Write a paragraph of about 200 to 250 words on any one of them. You can start by making notes. 

Points to include in Note Making

  • Setting: Urban environment, characterised by towering skyscrapers and modern infrastructure.
  • Paradox: Contrasts between the city’s skyline’s opulence and construction workers’ impoverished living conditions.
  • Daytime labour: Construction workers toil tirelessly, contributing to constructing and developing the city’s buildings and infrastructure.
  • Nighttime living conditions: Workers retreat to bleak labour camps on the city’s outskirts, where they reside in makeshift shelters.
  • Physical labour: Workers engage in physically demanding tasks such as welding steel beams, pouring concrete, and operating heavy machinery.
  • Disparity: The disparity between the workers’ contributions to the city’s development and their living standards highlights the paradox of progress.
  • Symbolism: The skyscrapers symbolise progress and modernity, while the labour camps symbolise the hidden costs and inequalities of development.

Sample Paragraph:  

In the heart of the bustling metropolis, towering skyscrapers, symbols of modernity and progress, pierce the skyline. Yet, hidden beneath the glimmering facades lies a paradox that few care to acknowledge. Amidst the gleaming structures, construction workers labour tirelessly, their sweat and toil woven into the very fabric of the city’s landscape. By day, they scale dizzying heights, welding steel beams and pouring concrete, their hands calloused from the unforgiving work. However, as the sun sets and the city’s lights flicker to life, these workers fade into obscurity, banished to cramped labour camps on the outskirts of the urban sprawl.

In the shadow of the skyscrapers they helped erect, they dwell in makeshift shelters devoid of comforts and luxuries enjoyed by those who inhabit the lofty heights above. Their lives stand in stark contrast to the luxury surrounding them, a testament to the inner city’s skyline’s opulence and construction workers’ impoverished living conditions, and their existence remains marginalised, their voices drowned out by the din of progress. It is a paradox that speaks volumes about the price of development, where the gleam of steel and glass belies the darkness that lurks in the shadows below.

Extra Questions “Lost Spring”:

(Short-Answer type) 

Q1: Who is Saheb, and what is his daily routine?

A1: Saheb is a young boy who scrounges for valuable items in garbage dumps every morning. He searches for coins and other items that could provide value amidst the waste. His routine involves digging through the garbage for anything he can find to sell or use for survival.

Q2: What conditions led Saheb’s family to leave their home in Dhaka?

A2: Saheb’s family left their home in Dhaka due to numerous storms that destroyed their fields and houses. Their search for a better life led them to migrate to the big city, where they now live in Seemapuri, as ragpickers, struggling to make ends meet.

Q3: How does the author’s interaction with Saheb shed light on the community’s poverty and education challenges?

A3: The author’s interaction with Saheb highlights the stark realities of poverty and the lack of educational opportunities in their community. Despite the author’s suggestion of starting a school, Saheb and many children like him cannot attend due to the absence of educational facilities in their neighbourhood.

Q4: Describe the living conditions and circumstances of the ragpickers in Seemapuri.

A4: The ragpickers in Seemapuri live in dire situations, inhabiting mud structures with tin and tarp roofs. They need more basic amenities like sewage, drainage, and running water. Despite their lack of identity and permits, they have ration cards for survival. Garbage becomes their means of sustenance, with children growing up to become partners in survival through rag-picking.

Q5: What aspirations do Mukesh and his family have despite their challenging circumstances in Firozabad?

A5: In Firozabad, Mukesh and his family are determined to improve their lives despite facing various challenges. Mukesh harbours a desire to acquire motor mechanics skills and car driving skills. Although his family is deeply involved in the bangle-making trade, they encounter difficulties and social discrimination due to their poverty and caste status. Nevertheless, they hold onto their hopes for a better future.

Q6: How does the man’s story from Udipi relate to the footwear theme in the excerpt?

A6: The man from Udipi’s story adds depth to the footwear theme. His prayer for shoes as a young boy contrasts with the barefoot children in the narrative. It emphasises how possessing shoes, even those discarded by the wealthy, is a significant dream for those who have walked barefoot, highlighting the disparity in opportunities and resources.

Q7: What is the significance of shoes for the barefoot boys in the narrative, and how does it reflect the broader issue of poverty?

A7: Shoes hold significance for barefoot boys like Saheb and his friends as they represent a symbol of status and a dream fulfilled. The desire for footwear reflects the societal issue of poverty, where even necessities are considered luxuries. The fact that the boys cherish discarded shoes illustrates the stark contrast between their reality and the abundance elsewhere.

Q8: How does the author draw attention to the generational cycle of labour and poverty in Firozabad, particularly in bangle-making?

A8: In Firozabad, the author highlights the generational cycle of labour and poverty among families engaged in the bangle-making industry. Despite years of hard work, the older generation, like Mukesh’s father, has failed to break free from the constraints of poverty. The sons are taught the same trade, perpetuating the cycle of limited opportunities and unfulfilled dreams, emphasising these families’ deep-rooted challenges.

Q9: How does the author use the example of Mukesh’s family to illustrate the entrenched caste system and its impact on occupational choices and opportunities in Firozabad?

A9: Mukesh’s family in Firozabad epitomises the entrenched caste system’s impact on occupational choices and opportunities. Born into the caste of bangle makers, they are bound to the tradition and profession passed down through generations. 

Despite the toil and hardships, they remain confined to their predetermined roles, unable to break free from societal expectations and explore alternative paths due to the stigma associated with deviating from their caste’s occupation.

Q10: What role do middlemen, police, bureaucrats, and politicians play in perpetuating the cycle of poverty and exploitation among the bangle makers in Firozabad?

A10: Middlemen, police, bureaucrats, and politicians perpetuate the cycle of poverty and exploitation among the bangle makers in Firozabad by exploiting their vulnerabilities and lack of resources. They control the distribution channels, use labour, and maintain the status quo to serve their interests. 

Their collaboration reinforces systemic oppression and prevents the bangle makers from organising or advocating for their rights, further entrenching them in poverty.

Q11: Discuss the symbolism behind the bangles and their significance in Indian culture as depicted in the excerpt.

A11: Bangles symbolise tradition, auspiciousness, and cultural significance in Indian society. They represent a woman’s marital status and are integral to ceremonies and rituals. However, in the context of the excerpt, they also symbolise the cycle of poverty and exploitation. 

The bangle-making industry, while culturally significant, perpetuates the exploitation of child labour and keeps families trapped in poverty, revealing the darker side of a tradition deeply ingrained in Indian culture.

Q12: How does the author juxtapose the dreams and aspirations of children like Saheb and Mukesh with the harsh realities of their surroundings and societal expectations?

A12: The dreams and aspirations of children like Saheb and Mukesh starkly contrast the harsh realities of their surroundings and societal expectations. Despite their optimism and aspirations for a better life, they face systemic barriers, societal prejudices, and economic hardships that limit their opportunities and hinder the achievement of their dreams. 

Their innocence and hopefulness serve as poignant reminders of the resilience and determination inherent in the human spirit, even in the face of adversity.

Q13: Reflecting on the excerpt, how does the author highlight the importance of education as a pathway to breaking the cycle of poverty and exploitation experienced by the children in the narrative?

A13: The author highlights the importance of education as a pathway to breaking the cycle of poverty and exploitation experienced by the children in the narrative. Education offers them the opportunity to escape the confines of their circumstances, pursue their aspirations, and break free from the intergenerational cycle of poverty. 

By providing access to education and empowering children with knowledge and skills, society can dismantle systemic barriers and create pathways to a more equitable and just future for all.

Q14: What parallels can be drawn between the experiences of Saheb in Seemapuri and Mukesh in Firozabad despite their different circumstances?

A14: Parallels between Saheb in Seemapuri and Mukesh in Firozabad:

Despite their geographical locations and specific circumstances, Saheb in Seemapuri and Mukesh in Firozabad share several parallels in their experiences:

  1. Poverty and Exploitation: Both Saheb and Mukesh come from impoverished backgrounds where they face exploitation due to their socio-economic status. Saheb’s family lives in Seemapuri, a squatter settlement lacking basic amenities. In contrast, Mukesh’s family is part of the bangle-making industry in Firozabad, where they face exploitation and hazardous working conditions.
  1. Limited Opportunities: Saheb and Mukesh have limited opportunities for education and advancement. Saheb needs access to formal schooling in Seemapuri, while Mukesh needs help accessing resources and opportunities for skill development in Firozabad despite his aspiration to become a motor mechanic.
  1. Generational Cycle of Poverty: Saheb and Mukesh are born into families trapped in a generational cycle of poverty. Their families’ socio-economic circumstances dictate their limited options and perpetuate their vulnerability to exploitation and marginalisation.

Q15: Discuss the significance of the title “Lost Spring” and the themes explored in the excerpt, particularly regarding childhood, poverty, and exploitation.

A15: The title “Lost Spring” symbolises the loss of innocence, hope, and opportunity experienced by the children depicted in the excerpt. It evokes the theme of childhood lost to poverty, exploitation, and societal neglect.

  1. Lost Innocence: The title suggests the loss of childhood innocence as children like Saheb and Mukesh are forced to confront harsh realities and assume responsibilities beyond their years due to poverty and exploitation.
  1. Lost Opportunities:Spring” symbolises youth, vitality, and new beginnings. The title implies the loss of opportunities and potential that should accompany childhood but are denied to marginalised children like Saheb and Mukesh due to socio-economic constraints.
  1. Lost Dreams: “Lost Spring” reflects children’s shattered dreams and unfulfilled aspirations growing up in impoverished communities. Saheb’s desire for education and Mukesh’s ambition to become a motor mechanic represent deferred dreams and the human spirit’s resilience in adversity.

The title encapsulates the childhood, poverty, and exploitation themes explored in the excerpt. It serves as a poignant reminder of the systemic injustices and societal neglect that rob children of their rightful opportunities and communities of their potential for progress and prosperity.

(Long-Answer Type) 

Q1: How does the author use symbolism throughout the excerpt to convey deeper themes of hope, resilience, and societal inequities?

A1: Anees Jung utilises symbolism adeptly throughout the excerpt to delve into profound themes of hope, resilience, and societal inequality. 

Shoes: Shoes symbolise aspirations and social status, representing the disparities in opportunities and resources among marginalised communities. The contrast between barefoot children and discarded shoes highlights systemic inequalities.

Bangles: Bangles symbolise tradition and cultural significance and remind the bangle-making community of exploitation and poverty. They highlight the complexities of societal structures and economic systems.

Title: “Lost Spring”: The title encapsulates the loss of innocence and hopes experienced by children due to poverty and societal neglect. It serves as a poignant reflection of the broader societal inequities perpetuating poverty and exploitation cycles.

Through these symbols, the author invites readers to empathise with the struggles of marginalised communities while shedding light on the systemic inequities that shape their lives. Using symbolism adds depth and complexity to the narrative, allowing for a nuanced exploration of themes such as hope, resilience, and societal injustices.

Q2: Reflecting on the excerpt, how do societal perceptions of caste and socio-economic status contribute to the perpetuation of poverty and exploitation among marginalised communities like those depicted?

A2: Societal perceptions of caste and socio-economic status significantly contribute to the perpetuation of poverty and exploitation among marginalized communities represented in the excerpt.

  1. Caste-Based Discrimination: The caste system creates a rigid social hierarchy, limiting occupational opportunities and social mobility. Lower caste individuals face discrimination and limited access to education and employment opportunities, perpetuating poverty and reinforcing cycles of economic disadvantage.
  1. Socio-Economic Status: Poverty leads to stigmatisation, marginalisation, and limited opportunities for upward mobility, trapping individuals and communities in cycles of poverty and exploitation.
  1. Inequitable Access: Societal perceptions of caste and socio-economic status contribute to inequitable access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities. Discrimination and prejudice marginalise already vulnerable communities, perpetuating systemic injustices and hindering efforts to address poverty and exploitation.

By reinforcing hierarchies and restricting opportunities, societal perceptions of caste and socio-economic status perpetuate poverty and exploitation among marginalised communities, entrenching them in cycles of disadvantage and marginalisation.

Q3: Discuss the role of gender dynamics within the communities portrayed in the excerpt, particularly in terms of labour, expectations, and opportunities for girls and women.

A3: In the communities represented in the excerpt, gender dynamics significantly influence labour roles, societal expectations, and opportunities for girls and women.

  1. Labour Division: Gendered labour division in some communities reinforces societal expectations and perpetuates inequalities in access to resources and opportunities. Women are often relegated to domestic tasks while men engage in wage labour or specific occupational roles.
  1. Expectations and Social Norms: Women in traditional communities must prioritise household duties over education and career aspirations. Social norms limit their participation in formal education and economic activities.
  1. Limited Opportunities: Gender disparities in income and employment are perpetuated by limited access to education and economic opportunities for girls and women. Discrimination and barriers to resources further restrict their ability to break out of poverty and exploitation cycles.
  1. Impact on Empowerment: Gender dynamics significantly shape the empowerment and agency of girls and women in these communities. Structural inequalities and gender norms restrict their ability to exercise autonomy and pursue opportunities for personal and economic advancement.

Gender roles in marginalised communities limit women’s access to education and empowerment. Challenging entrenched norms is critical to promoting equality and advancing women’s rights.

Q4: In what ways does the excerpt highlight the importance of community and solidarity among marginalised groups in coping with the challenges of poverty and exploitation?

A4: The excerpt highlights the vital role of community and solidarity among marginalised groups in confronting the challenges of poverty and exploitation.

  1. Mutual Support and Collective Action: Community-marginalised groups rely on mutual support and collective action to navigate poverty and exploitation.
  1. Sense of Belonging and Security: Community networks offer belonging and security for marginalised groups, buffering against exploitation and marginalisation.
  1. Empowerment and Advocacy: Solidarity empowers marginalised communities to demand social and economic justice through collective action and advocacy.
  1. Amplifying Voices for Reform: Marginalised groups unite to amplify their voices and push for systemic reforms to combat poverty and exploitation, driving community change through solidarity.

“Lost Spring” emphasises the importance of community and solidarity in empowering marginalised groups to overcome poverty and exploitation. These support bonds provide emotional resilience and encourage collective action for social and economic justice.

Q5: How does the author balance portraying the harsh realities of poverty and exploitation while celebrating the resilience and dignity of the individuals and communities depicted?

A5: Anees Jung portrays poverty and exploitation while celebrating resilience and dignity through subtle storytelling and empathetic characterisation.

  1. Vivid Depictions of Adversity: The author vividly portrays the harsh realities of poverty and exploitation faced by marginalised communities through poignant anecdotes and scenes depicting hazardous working conditions, lack of access to basic resources, and systemic injustices.
  1. Acknowledgement of Systemic Injustices: Through storytelling, Anees Jung exposes the systemic injustices and societal neglect perpetuating poverty and exploitation cycles.
  1. Celebrating Resilience: The story portrays characters with depth and humanity, highlighting their resilience and dignity in navigating adversity with courage and grace. Moments of bravery, unity, and optimism during tough times are showcased, reaffirming their worth and power.
  1. Inviting Empathy and Understanding: The author presents a nuanced perspective on poverty and exploitation, encouraging empathy towards marginalised communities. The narrative serves as a call to action, inspiring readers to advocate for social and economic justice.

MCQ “Lost Spring” Anees Jung:

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