Summary of “The Passing Away of Bapu”

Book Name : Bliss English Textbook For Class X Second Language
Subject : Bliss
Class : 10 (Madhyamik/WB)
Publisher : Prof. Nabanita Chatterjee
Chapter Name : The Passing Away of Bapu (3rd Lesson)

About the Author

Nayantara Sahgal is an important Indian writer. She was one of the first female Indian writers in English to become famous. Her books talk about how India deals with big political changes. She won an important award in 1986 for her novel “Rich Like Us.” In her memoir “Prison and Chocolate Cake,” she writes about the sad time when Mahatma Gandhi passed away. It shows how she felt sad, and the whole nation was sad too.

(70 Words)

Introduction to the Story

The story revolves around the evening of January 30, 1948, when Nayantara Sahgal was called to Birla House upon receiving news of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination. The narrative vividly describes the initial shock and reactions of the people, leading to the funeral procession and the sense of loss that permeated India after Gandhi’s death.

(50 words)

Summary of the Story

Bliss X 29

On the fateful evening of January 30, 1948, Nayantara Sehgal received a shocking call. Mahatma Gandhi, fondly known as Bapu, had been shot on his way to a prayer meeting. The news spread like wildfire through Delhi, and people gathered around Birla House, where Bapu’s relatives and followers were in sorrowful silence.

Gandhiji’s funeral was scheduled for the next day, and people lined the procession route. Thousands watched as Bapu’s body, covered in flowers, was placed on an open truck. The crowd wept, trying to touch his feet. For many, walking with Bapu was more than a funeral procession; it held a special meaning as they had walked with him through India’s tumultuous history.

Gandhiji’s practice of walking symbolized slow progress, introspection, and simplicity. Days later, a special train carried his ashes to Allahabad. People on the train sang bhajans, feeling his presence amid flowers and songs. His ashes were immersed in the Ganges, and the nation mourned.

Nayantara Sehgal, like many, felt adrift without Bapu. However, she realized that his values would endure, and millions of Indians had been inspired to stand together. Bapu might be gone, but his legacy would live on in his children – the people of India.

(200 Words)

The Character of the Story

Nayantara Sahgal: In the story, Nayantara Sahgal is the narrator and central character. She is portrayed as someone who was enjoying a peaceful evening but was abruptly called to witness the tragic event of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination. Her character reflects the shock and grief felt by the entire nation.

Mahatma Gandhi (Gandhiji): Mahatma Gandhi is a prominent figure in the story. His assassination and the subsequent funeral procession form the core of the narrative. His character symbolizes the loss of a great leader and the impact of his principles on the people.

Padmasi: Padmasi, Mrs. Naidu’s daughter, speaks for the people in the story. She represents the collective sorrow and determination of the masses during the funeral procession, emphasizing the significance of walking with Gandhi.

The People: The people in the story, who gather around Birla House and join the funeral procession, represent the diverse but united population of India. They display shock, grief, and a strong connection to Gandhi’s ideals.

The Theme of the Story

The theme of the story revolves around the shock and mourning following Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination on January 30, 1948. It portrays the deep emotional impact on the author, Nayantara Sahgal, and the collective grief of the Indian people as they grapple with the loss of their beloved leader.

(50 words)

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