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Chapter: ABHILEY | JKBOSE Class 10th English Notes

 Character Sketch of Abhiley : 

The writer ‘Abdul Gani Sheikh’ has beautifully portrayed a rendezvous of simplicity and ignorance with modernity in his short-story-Abhiley. The character of Abhiley is worth contemplating and we come across many such Abhileys in our day-to-day life. A woman who has led her entire life in sheer ignorance and simplicity is suddenly exposed to the complicated and abstruse world of modernity. Her reaction obviously would be sometimes humorous and sometimes pathetic. 

The very beginning of the story shows the apprehensions and fears that haunt in the old age. At the same time, we are also introduced to the indifference of others towards Abhiley. The younger generations mostly fail to understand elders love for them and when they realize it is already too late. While other family members take it easy, Abhiley is not ready to accept the separation from her loved ones. She always misses Ruksana her grand daughter and keeps asking everyone about her whereabouts. 

Abhiley is simple at heart. She knows nothing about modern technology and outside world. So her, Srinagar is as distant a place as Turkey. She is truly a very innocent and ignorant woman. If she hears of a mishap anywhere, she at once, becomes worried about her grand daughter, Ruksana. 

She is a talkative lady and loves to chatter with her friends about familiar matters. She loves to gossip. Once she went to see a movie. The movie bored her. It was a horrible experience to see moving images on the screen. Someone told her that it was about mother-in-law and their bad treatment of their daughter-in-law. The next day she sat on roof top with other lady and spewed poison on all mother-in-laws. Such was her innocence that she failed to understand that she herself was someone’s mother-in-law. 

Abhiley also suffered from the fear of crowds. Once she had gone to annual dormice festival. The hustle and bustle squeezed breath out of her and she decided never to go there again. 

She is a loving granny. Once she heard that there were floods in Srinagar, such was her love for her grand daughter, she ventured out of hamlet (which she would have never done before owing to some fears) just to know about the well-being of her grand daughter. Once convinced, she became so restless to go back to her home that compelled the author to purchase return tickets on the very same evening.

THEMES: The short story ‘Abhiley’ revolves around two grand themes: Tradition verses modernity, and the simplicity and innosence of rustics. The writer ‘Abdul Gani Sheikh’ has beautifully portrayed a rendezvous of simplicity and ignorance with modernity in his short story-Abhiley. Abhiley has led her entire life in sheer ignorance and simplicity. Her reaction obviously would be sometime humorous and sometimes pathetic. Her too much ignorance makes her a laughable character. Even the members of her own family giggle at her ignorance. 

Abhiley represents the simplicity of Ladakhi women. She is simple at heart. She knows nothing about modern technology and outside world. Respecting one’s tradition is a good thing but it shouldn’t mean that we don’t know even the difference between Srinagar and Turkey, or between Delhi and Srinagar. 

Generation Gap is another theme of the story. The younger generations are indifferent towards Abhiley. They fail to understand Abhiley’s love and concern. Instead of seeing things from her point of view, they make fun of her. 

GENERATION GAP: With the emergence of a new Generation, new values, new traditions, new ideologies and new aspirations also take birth. Youth stands for adventure and enterprise. It is full of energy and enthusiasm; initiative and activities. It believes in going forward. It is bubbling with new ideas on the other hand; age stands for old order or traditions. The younger generations fail to understand the morals and values to which the oldies stick to. They do not want to believe in readymade beliefs. At the same time, the older generations are not ready to change and accept the new ideologies of younger folks, with result, the two generations-old and new, are at loggerheads with each other. This gives birth to Generation Gap, or a conflict or clash between the father and the son, or between age and youth. With the result, distances are created leading to communication barrier. Parents can play a vital role in minimizing communication Barrier. This problem is found more in working parents they don’t have much time to spend with their wards. When they realize the problem, it’s already too late. So, parents must ensure to spend extra time with their children. The elders should change their mentality and attitude towards youngsters. Generation Gap can be abridged by sympathy and better understanding minor faults on both sides must be overlooked and shortcomings should be forgiven. 

The key to this problem is one word ‘ADJUSTMENT’. Parents must appreciate children for what they are and not for what they want to be. Parents should enter into an open discussion with their children regarding various issues- religious, morals, political, ethical, etc. Quoting examples and narrating stories of great men can be helpful in grooming the moral self of youngsters. What is needed is friendship, not animosity; sympathy, not criticism; understanding, not judgment; to abridge the Generation Gap. 

HOW’LL YOU RELATE BACKWARDNESS TO ILLITERACY: Some unfortunate folks unable to receive proper education because of poverty, gender or other such reasons tend to be illiterate. As we know, education helps in unfolding the mind. An educated man doesn’t simply know a few facts, he knows himself and his place in the society. Sadly an illiterate knows nothing about his status in a society. For him all faces remain insulated. He fails to understand the realities. He can’t differentiate between good and bad, and stays away from his responsibilities. An illiterate fellow lacks the qualities of the refinement of perception, depth of insight and sureness of perception. His illiteracy plugs him into the dark wells of superstition and blind beliefs. An illiterate is more gullible and gets easily cheated. Slavery, untouchability, dowry system, and other such social evils are prevalent only in literate societies. An illiterate farmer knows nothing of latest technologies and fails to improve the yield of crops. An illiterate businessman is not aware of latest market trends and fails to boost it resulting in huge losses. Be it a farmer, a businessman, or any other person, illiteracy halts their progress and thus keeps them backward thus, illiteracy itself is the root cause of backwardness of a person, a society or a nation. If we want to progress and curb backwardness, we need to be confident, responsible, and full of knowledge which can be attained only through proper education. 

Class : 10th Subject: English Topic: Abhiley (Questions &Answers) 

Ans1. Yes,we do think that Abhiley represents the simplicity of those Ladakhi women, who are not exposed to the rapid strides made by science and technology in today's modern world. In contrast to people (young and old) who know much about technology, even today people living in remote areas of the country are simple at heart and are unaware of the changes rapidly taking place around them. 

Abhiley is an old Ladakhi woman, who has never ventured far from her home. To her, distances are incomprehensible, and so Srinagar is as distant a place as Turkey. Thus, she suffered immensely when an earthquake hits Turkey, fearing her granddaughter in Srinagar would be affected too. When Dolma informs Abhiley that she resides in Delhi, she concludes that Dolma must be meeting Rukhsana daily, as she knows nothing about the distance between the two cities. If she hears of a bus breaking down on a road, she is certain that none of the passengers have survived. This shows her innocence and ignorance about things. A mishap anywhere sets her worrying, as she feels Rukhsana is harmed in the event. She immediately starts praying to God for her safety. The narrator himself has taken advantage of Abhiley's simplicity as he loves seeing her reaction to even the most trivial incidents happening around her. 

Ans2. Dolma, the daughter of a distant relative, was a young girl living in Delhi. She had not seen Abhiley for several years. Abhiley couldn't recognize her and hence kept on staring at her without saying a word when Abhiley was introduced to her, she was surprised and commented candidly that Dolma looked so different, unlike a village girl. She looked like a modern girl as she was wearing modern clothes. Abhiley called her 'Memsahib',a term used with respect for a European married woman. Here 'Memsahib' was used by Abhiley to refer to the girl who had dressed up in western style.

Ans3. Traditions and cultures are an integral part of heritage and should definitely be preserved and passed on from one generation to the next. The traditions which are good should be upheld and those traditions which imply backwardness should be ignored. Abhiley is an adorable and loving woman. She is a doting grandmother and mother-in-law but her unwillingness to change with time makes us laugh at her follies. Even the members of her own family chuckle at her ignorance. It is hilarious on her part to be perceiving threats in buses breaking down, earthquakes in distant places or people living in two different cities meeting everyday. 

Ans4. There are three major themes of the story; 

a. Tradition versus modernity, and the simplicity and innocence of boorish and uncouth people: 

The writer has given the vivid description of simplicity and tradition in contrast with modernity. Keeping traditional values alive and showing love and respect towards it is a good sign but it can never be taken positively to keep oneself deprived of modernity and outside world. Abhiley is a simple and uncouth Ladakhi woman who knows nothing about modern technology and outside world. This becomes the reason of laughter for her family members. Respecting one’s tradition is a good thing but no one should remain oblivious of simple things like the difference and distances between Srinagar and Turkey or between Delhi and Srinagar. 

b. Another theme quite evident in this story is love for one's own land or native place; 

No matter, how far one goes from his birthplace, one should not forget his cultural identity and roots. Abhiley ventures out to Srinagar to visit Rukhsana but within four days only, she starts feeling restless and yearns for going back home. This feeling shows that home is the only place which can appease one .So one should not break the ties rather love one's native place. 

c. GENERATION GAP: Another theme of the story is generation gap. Indifference of thinking, behavourism, perceptions between the two generations can be patently understood as generation gap. The younger generations are indifferent towards the older generations. Not only do they speculate and believe that they are capable enough to do things on their own but also think that they should be allowed to do them of their own accord. They do not want their elders to take decisions for them. They fail to comprehend the love and concern of their elders. They feel their elders incur themselves upon them which they dislike sternly. On the contrary, older generation, out of their love and concern keep on intervening in their children's life. They want to inculcate values and discipline in them. They worry about their zest, zeal, adventure and inexperienced way of living. Both the generations fail to see things from each other's perspectives. Same happens with Abhiley. Her love and care is never understood the way she wants it to be understood .Instead of understanding her perspective, her family members would always make fun of her. No doubt the two generations would differ in their ideologies, thinking, style or knowledge but both should try to respect and understand each other's perspectives. Moreover, younger generation needs to show respect towards the values and traditions that their parents try to inculcate in them and also acknowledge everything that their parents do for them.

Ans5. Abhiley had never ventured far from her Village in her lifetime. To her Srinagar, Turkey and Delhi meant the same thing it is true that she worried constantly about her granddaughter studying in Srinagar. She would cry when she heard reports of earthquakes ,floods or even buses breaking down as she would always imagine that something had befallen Rukhsana. 

When her family members took her to Srinagar so that she could see for herself that Rukhsana was hale and hearty. She felt reassured for a while, but on the 5th day of her visit in Srinagar she became restless and insisted on going back home. She said that she wanted to go back as she missed the children there, forgetting that Rukhsana was her child too. Ultimately, home is where the heart is and she opted for going back to the security of her own heart and the familiar homely ambiance.

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