Me at the Beginning of Life Class 10 NEB English Exercise

Explore 'Me at the Beginning of Life' - A Class 10 NEB Exercise. Uncover the insightful journey of self-discovery, hardships, and life's challenges in this thought-provoking exercise.

Me at the Beginning of Life

I have understood now that life is a beautiful flower of creation. Whether my own life falls within my definition of life, well, I do not know. When my heart wept I survived because inside the pain laughter was restless each moment. When I say that somehow or other I survived a burdensome life, few will believe me now. The truth is extremely bitter, the reality equally Insipid. Many times, while turning those pages of memory I myself have shed tears. Such unlucky lines of fate were inscribed for me when I fell to the ground from my mother’s womb.

On the sixth day after my birth, my mother bathed me and washed me and made me clean, and put me to sleep with an exercise book and a pen under my pillow. It was a folk belief that fortune would write my line of fate on that night. Mother, you wanted fortune to draw a good line of fate right across my brow. But that was just your belief. Yes, fortune did not draw my line of karma well that night, nor did it write a good line of fate.

Time had filled my pockets with packages of ill fortune. I was a girl who had been robbed by fate, who had neither the sweetness nor the joy of life. So how could life be as I had imagined? In the end I had to live, and so I did. But I lived as if there was no difference between the life of an animal and the life of a human being. The only difference was that even though I lived an animal’s life, I ate rice, that was all. A life without the invisible sympathies and sensations of the human heart, which has no hurt, no colour, no individuality: perhaps only a very few people get through this condition. A poet might want to write a beautiful poem about escaping from this kind of life, some sensitive person might like this story. But at that time my life was such a burden that it hurt me, and it had become hard to endure the pain.

In everyone’s eyes I was someone who the gods had cursed, because in this life I had received the fruit of sins from a former life. I had been born into a society whose culture said that people lived from one birth to another. So I was a thorn that pricked everyone’s When they saw me, those eyes did not fill with sympathy and that heart never melted with love. Who were very displeased with eyes. me, who were very angry. In the end, how right was it for them to be like this to a tender, innocent child? I had no option but to endure all of those things in silence. Inside my child heart, the question continually arose, ‘How am I to blame for all of this?’ I had no medium through which to express this, no language, no way of indicating through gestures, no power to utter it. I had life, and that was all, and the little breath that was tangled up with it. How suffocating was my life? There was no exit from it anywhere. If there had been any way out, a river of life would have flowed unceasingly along with time.

Blessed Nature! You gave birth to me to endure the cruel behaviour of human beings and you awoke the meaning of being me. When I was restless with suffering you became my mother and wiped the tears that seeped from my eyes. The mother who bore me also gave birth to me, even though it was to suffer pain, she fostered me for nine or ten months in her womb and gave birth to me. In this neither she nor I was at fault. It was the fault of fate. Is the definition of disability merely to be born with a bodily incapacity? If so, why do they not consider Homer incomplete? Why did the world never consider the Nikolai Otrovskys, the Helen Kellers incomplete? These people were weak in body, just like me. But they wrote history before they departed, they left us a different perspective, they set down the meaning of being human before they passed away.

But me? I was born in a world very different from theirs, born in a different geography. For this reason, I lived a life that was so unequal and low grade that maybe only an animal could have lived such a life before. When I achieved awareness, the shoots of consciousness had begun to sprout in me, I think. But even achieving awareness became like a curse. I did not have a voice with which to speak, nor any strength in my legs to walk. Nor was there strength in my hands that I could fill a basket with godavari, makhmali and sunakhari flowers. No, I had nothing of this at all. I was a helpless girl bereft of all these things, whose mind was filled with a longing to run on the hills, but whose feet did not have the strength to support her body. I longed to talk with others, but I had no voice! Because these desires were ones that would never be fulfilled, they fell upon me, wounded.

Yes, I was so robbed by fate that I was unable to even get up from my bed. My poor grandmother, white-haired like the moon over the hill. might have picked me up and taken me on her lap. How she must have longed that her son’s first offspring would call her ‘grandmother’ in its baby voice, that it would pull at the wrinkles on her face with its little hands. But grandmother, I could not fulfil your wishes. Your other grandchildren fulfilled them. All I did was hurt you when you carried me on your back, how you must have loved me, no?

At that time the economic condition of our home was not so good, to the extent that it was very hard to manage two meals a day, morning and evening. I have heard that mother and father often went hungry at mealtimes, but somehow or other they fed us. Grandmother, even if that was not enough for you, you fed me and made me greedy even though you went without food yourself. And on top of that, you took me to sleep with you and you gave me many different things to eat every time I woke up, all through the night. Aha, how good it tasted, the food you gave me!

Grandmother, if you had not wrapped me in a torn-up petticoat and put me in a bamboo basket I might still have been peeing and soiling in my bed today, or I may have already arrived with you in the heaven that people imagine. I don’t know. But because of you I touched the various colours of life understood life from various angles, and experienced the beauty of life myself. Grandmother, you are not with me now, that is your misfortune. But you are still living all through my heart and mind.

-Jhamak Ghimire (The opening chapter of Jivan Kanda Ki Phul, translated by Michael Hutt)

Glossary of the Text:

Belief [bɪˈliːf] – Trust or confidence in something or someone.

Bitter [ˈbɪtər] – Having a sharp, unpleasant taste; unpleasant or harsh in character.

Burdensome [ˈbɜːrdənsəm] – Difficult to bear or oppressive.

Cursed [kɜːrst] – Subjected to a curse; under a spell or negative fate.

Endure [ɪnˈdjʊə] – To suffer patiently; to tolerate or bear.

Fate [feɪt] – The development of events beyond a person’s control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power.

Ill fortune [ɪl ˈfɔːrtʃən] – Bad luck or misfortune.

Incapacity [ɪnˈkəpæsəti] – Lack of physical or mental ability.

Individuality [ˌɪndɪˌvɪdʒuˈæləti] – The quality or character of being individual or unique.

Insipid [ɪnˈsɪpɪd] – Lacking flavor or interest; dull or unexciting.

Invisible [ɪnˈvɪzəbl] – Unable to be seen; not visible.

Karma [ˈkɑːrmə] – The sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as influencing their future.

Meaning [ˈmiːnɪŋ] – What is meant by a word, text, concept, or action.

Medium [ˈmiːdiəm] – A means of conveying or transmitting information or a message.

Pain [peɪn] – Physical or emotional suffering or discomfort.

Perspective [pəˈspɛktɪv] – A particular way of viewing things; a standpoint.

Robbed [rɒbd] – To steal from or take something unlawfully from someone.

Sensitive [ˈsɛnsɪtɪv] – Easily affected or offended; responsive to stimuli.

Sympathy [ˈsɪmpəθi] – Feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune.

Thorns [θɔːnz] – A stiff, sharp-pointed spine on a plant.

Womb [wuːm] – The organ in the lower body of a woman or female mammal where offspring are conceived and in which they gestate before birth.

Awareness [əˈwɛənəs] – Knowledge or perception of a situation or fact.

Curse [kɜːs] – A solemn utterance intended to invoke a supernatural power to inflict harm or punishment on someone or something.

Geography [dʒiˈɒgrəfi] – The study of the physical features of the earth and its atmosphere.

Incomplete [ˌɪnkəmˈpliːt] – Not whole or lacking a part or parts.

Incapable [ɪnˈkeɪpəbəl] – Unable to do something; lacking the necessary ability or capacity.

Longing [ˈlɒŋɪŋ] – A strong desire for something or someone.

Misfortune [mɪsˈfɔːtʃən] – Bad luck or an unfortunate event.

Restless [ˈrɛstləs] – Unable to rest or relax; constantly moving or active.

Suffering [ˈsʌfərɪŋ] – The state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship.

Sympathetic [sɪmˈpæθətɪk] – Showing compassion or understanding for the feelings of others.

Unfulfilled [ˌʌnfʊlˈfɪld] – Not having achieved one’s goals or desires.

Unseen [ʌnˈsiːn] – Not seen or observed; invisible.

Awakening [əˈweɪkənɪŋ] – The act of becoming aware of something or someone.

Grief [ɡriːf] – Intense sorrow or sadness, often caused by loss or suffering.

Tangled [ˈtæŋɡəld] – Twisted or interwoven in a complicated way.

Breath [brɛθ] – The air taken into or expelled from the lungs during breathing.

Conveying [kənˈveɪɪŋ] – The act of communicating or transmitting a message or information.

Departed [dɪˈpɑːrtɪd] – Having died; no longer living.

Economic [ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪk] – Related to the production, consumption, and transfer of wealth and resources.

Greedy [ˈɡriːdi] – Excessively desiring more than one’s share; having an insatiable appetite for something.

Helpless [ˈhɛlplɪs] – Lacking the ability or means to accomplish a task or goal.

Incomplete [ˌɪnkəmˈpliːt] – Not whole or lacking a part or parts.

Misfortune [mɪsˈfɔːtʃən] – Bad luck or an unfortunate event.

Peeing [piːɪŋ] – The act of urinating or passing urine.

Soiling [ˈsɔɪlɪŋ] – The act of making something dirty or unclean.

Wrinkles [ˈrɪŋkəlz] – Small lines or creases on the skin, typically caused by aging.

Imagine [ɪˈmædʒɪn] – To form a mental image or concept of something in one’s mind.

Tasted [teɪstɪd] – Experienced the flavor or quality of something through the sense of taste.

Various [ˈvɛəriəs] – Different kinds or a variety of things.

Exercise of Me at the Beginning of Life

A. Find the words from the text that have the following meanings.

a. …..Insipid ….lacking taste
b. …..Inscribed …..wrote words
c. ….Tangled …..twisted together
d. ….Suffocating ……….causing difficulty in breathing
e. …Perspective ……..a particular attitude towards something
f. ….Offspring ……a person’s child or children
g. …..Misfortune …..bad luck

B. Complete the sentences below choosing the correct words from the text.

a. The word ‘calm’ is opposite in meaning to …..’burdensome’
b. The phrase ….’passed away’…. means ‘died.’
c. The word ….’invisible’… means incapable of being seen.
d. The word ‘wish’ and …’desire’ .. are synonyms.
e. The word …’soiling’ .. means making dirty.

C. State whether the following statements are true or false.

a. Jhamak Ghimire defines her life as a beautiful flower of creation. True
b. According to her, our fortune decides how our life will be. False
c. The author was happy with how she spent her childhood. False
d. People blamed Jhamak herself for her physical disability. True
e. According to the writer, Homer was incomplete because he was physically incapable. False
f. Jhamak could make grandmother happy with her voice. False
g. Jhamak’s grandmother still looks after her. False

D. Answer these questions.

a. Why does Jhamak think of her life as burdensome life?

Answer: Jhamak thinks of her life as burdensome because she has faced many difficulties and challenges.

b. When does fortune draw a line of fate?

Answer: Fortune is believed to draw a line of fate on the night when a person is bathed, washed, and put to sleep with an exercise book and a pen under their pillow.

c. How did people respond to her life? Was she happy with their behaviour?

Answer: People responded negatively to her life, blaming her for her physical disability, and she was not happy with their behaviour towards her.

d. Who does Jhamak compare herself with? What made them different from Jhamak?

Answer: Jhamak compares herself with famous individuals like Homer who were physically weak but achieved great things, highlighting their differences from her.

e. Did achieving awareness become a curse for her? Why?

Answer: Yes, achieving awareness became a curse for her because it made her aware of her limitations and unfulfilled desires due to her physical disabilities.

f. How does Jhamak picture her family’s economic condition during her childhood?

Answer: Jhamak describes her family’s economic condition during her childhood as challenging, struggling to manage two meals a day, and her parents often going hungry.

E. Read the opening chapter of ‘Jivan Kadan Ki Phul’ in Nepali and narrate the story of Jhamak’s life in your own words.

Jhamak’s life began in the midst of great struggle, forcing her to consider life as a wonderful creation. She questioned if her own life fit into this criterion. Despite significant difficulty and agony, she persisted. Jhamak saw her existence as heavy, full of painful facts and hard realities. She recalled that her fate appeared bleak from the minute she slipped from her mother’s womb. Her mother performed a ceremony on the sixth day after her birth, praying for a better fate. Nonetheless, Jhamak sensed that fortune was not on her side.

Throughout her existence, Jhamak felt deprived by fate, devoid of joy and sweetness. She experienced a lack of the invisible sympathies and sensations typically associated with the human heart, causing her to feel as though she led an existence akin to that of an animal. Society often regarded her as cursed, treating her with disdain and anger. Jhamak raised questions regarding why society perceived her as incomplete due to her physical disability, while simultaneously celebrating historical figures like Homer, Nikolai Otrovskys, and Helen Keller, all of whom possessed physical weaknesses but left an indelible mark on the world.

Jhamak conceded that she was born into a distinct world, leading a life that was characterized by inequality and low status. Acquiring self-awareness became a burden, as she lacked the ability to vocalize her thoughts and the physical strength to walk. She yearned to fulfill basic desires, such as running in the hills and engaging in conversations with others, but her limitations restrained her, leaving her emotionally wounded.

Jhamak fondly recalled the love and care bestowed upon her by her grandmother, even in the face of challenging economic circumstances within their household. Her grandmother selflessly provided for her, even at the cost of her own nourishment. Jhamak expressed deep gratitude for the affection she received and the enriching experiences she gained through her grandmother’s nurturing care.

Jhamak’s early life was marked by adversity, physical constraints, and economic hardships. Nonetheless, she derived solace and meaning from the love and support generously provided by her grandmother. Despite these daunting challenges, she demonstrated unwavering resilience and determination in navigating life.

Grammar I

A. Read the conversation below and underline the relative clauses used in it.

Swikriti : Abdul, look at this photo.

Abdul: Is this Sahara, the girl who plays the piano?

Swikriti: No, this is Reema, the girl who won the singing competition last year.

Abdul I know her, She is the girl who has long brown hair.

B. Fill in the gaps With the correct relative pronouns.

a. I admired the player….whose …. performance was fantastic.

b. We had some juice …which…. was in the fridge.

c. She didn’t tell her teacher about her problem …which…was her mistake.

d. My mother,……who…. is farmer, grows a lot of vegetables.

e. You are my friend…who….. I want to sit with.

f. I want to help those children …whose….economic condition is very bad.

g. This is the road ….where…. the accident took place.

h. The mobile phone, ..which……I bought six years ago, is still working.

i. It was in 2015 …..when….the earthquake hit Nepal badly.

j. Marima is a wonderful lady …..whom..everyone can trust.

C. Join the following pairs of sentences as in the example.

a. The letter, which my friend sent from abroad, reached me this morning.

b. This is the palace that Bhimsen built. 

c. The boy who committed cyber crime was sent to jail by the judge.

d. He is a liar whom you should not believe.

e. I know an artist who moves with an artificial leg.

f. Bring me the file which is about our new project.

g. We met a girl who had lost her way.

h. I saw a soldier whose bravery impressed everyone.

i. Once upon a time, there lived a giant in a forest where nobody dared to go.

j. The dog took away the ball that the kids were playing.

Writing I

Write a short biography of Nepali literary figure Til Bikram Nembang Limbu aka Bairngi Kainla.

Biography of Bairngi Kainla
Til Bikram Nembang Limbu, also known as Bairngi Kainla, was born on August 9, 1939, in Pauchthar, Nepal. Despite limited means and possibilities, he rose to prominence in Nepali literature, leaving an indelible mark with his efforts.

Bairngi Kainla had his primary education at home, where he was taught the fundamentals of letter formation by local tutors. His love of reading and language deepened as he immersed himself in the world of words, progressively polishing his abilities as a poet.

Bairngi Kainla published a number of significant books over his career. His works include “Bairagi Kainlaka Kavitaharu,” “Sappok-Chomen: Limbu Jatima Kokh-Puja,” and “Nawacoit Mundhum,” among others. These works demonstrate his extensive knowledge of language, culture, and spirituality.

Bairngi Kainla’s efforts are not limited to his literary accomplishments. He was the Chancellor of the Nepal Academy, where he was instrumental in promoting and maintaining Nepali language and literature. His passion to his profession, as well as his involvement in the literary community, have played an important role in developing and fostering Nepal’s literary scene.

Bairngi Kainla has garnered various honors and prizes in recognition of his outstanding ability and services. In 2076 B.S., he received the coveted Jagdamba Shree Award. He also received the Sajha Puraskar in 2031 B.S. and the Vishist Shrasta Samman in 2066 B.S., among other honors.

Bairngi Kainla’s literary journey and position as a pioneer in the Tesro Aayam (Third Dimension) movement have left an everlasting imprint on Nepali literature. His deep mastery of language, investigation of cultural intricacies, and creative expressions continue to inspire and resonate with readers, solidifying his reputation as a renowned and significant figure in Nepali literature.

Extra Questions to Practice

What does Jhamak Ghimire compare life to?

Jhamak Ghimire compares life to a beautiful flower of creation.

What kept Jhamak going during painful moments?

Laughter was restless and kept Jhamak going during painful moments.

How did Jhamak feel when she looked back at her past memories?

Jhamak often shed tears when she turned the pages of her past memories.

What did Jhamak’s mother do on the sixth day after her birth?

On the sixth day after Jhamak’s birth, her mother performed a ritual with an exercise book and a pen.

Why did Jhamak’s mother do this ritual with the exercise book and pen?

Jhamak’s mother performed the ritual with the exercise book and pen because it was believed to shape her line of fate.

What did people think of Jhamak in society?

People thought Jhamak had been cursed by the gods and viewed her as a burden.

How did people respond to Jhamak when they saw her?

People responded with displeasure and anger when they saw Jhamak.

What did Jhamak have in her life besides the little breath?

Jhamak had life and the little breath that was tangled up with it.

How did Jhamak feel about her grandmother’s unconditional love and care?

Jhamak felt blessed and grateful for her grandmother’s love and care.

How did Jhamak describe her family’s economic condition during her childhood?

Jhamak described her family’s economic condition during her childhood as extremely poor.

What role did Jhamak’s grandmother play in her life?

Jhamak’s grandmother was significant in providing love, support, and care throughout her life.

Why did Jhamak feel that life was burdensome?

What did Jhamak’s mother do with the exercise book and pen under her pillow?

Jhamak’s mother placed an exercise book and pen under her pillow as a ritual for fortune to draw her line of fate.

How did people respond to Jhamak’s life and physical condition?

People blamed Jhamak for her physical disability and treated her with displeasure and anger.

Whom did Jhamak compare herself with, and what made them different?

Jhamak compared herself to individuals like Homer and Helen Keller, who, despite physical disabilities, achieved greatness through their talents and contributions.

How did Jhamak describe her family’s economic condition during her childhood?

Jhamak described her family’s economic condition as very poor, struggling to manage two meals a day.

What role did Jhamak’s grandmother play in her life?

Jhamak’s grandmother showed her love and cared for her, but she could not fulfill her wishes due to Jhamak’s physical condition.

How did Jhamak’s grandmother nurture her as a baby?

Jhamak’s grandmother fed her throughout the night, providing different foods and taking care of her needs.

Why did Jhamak mention the torn-up petticoat and bamboo basket?

Jhamak mentioned them as symbols of her humble beginnings and how her grandmother took care of her despite their challenging circumstances.

How did Jhamak’s grandmother’s love and care impact her?

Jhamak’s grandmother’s love and care gave her a sense of belonging, happiness, and gratitude, leaving a lasting impression on her heart and mind.



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