4. Driving from my parent‘s home to Cochin last
Friday morning, I saw my mother, beside
me, doze, open mouthed, her face ashen like
that of a corpse and realised with pain
that she was as old as she looked but soon put
that thought away, and looked but soon put that
5. and looked out at young trees
the merry children spilling
out of their homes, but after the
security check, standing a few yards
away, I looked again at her, wan,
as a late winter's moon and felt that
familiar ache, my childhood's fear,
but all I said was, see you soon,
all I did was smile and smile and
6. In this poem, Kamala Das explores the theme of ageing and
death and isolation through a narration involving her mother.
While driving from her parent’s home to Cochin, she notices
her mother sitting beside her dozing, her face pale like a dead
body and her thoughts far away. This reminds her painfully
that her mother is old and could pass away leaving her alone.
Putting that thought aside she looked out at the young trees
speeding by and children running out of their homes happily
to play. These remind her probably of youth and life, her own
younger days and her mother when she was young.
7. But after the security check at the airport,
looking back at her mother standing a few
yards away, she finds her looking pale like
the winter moon. She feels that familiar pain
and childhood fear of the thought of losing
her mother and of being lonely just as she
had been when she was young because
she was different from other children. She
could only keep smiling and tell her ‘see you
soon’ knowing full well that she might not
1) Name the poem and the poet of these lines.
Ans- The poem ‘My mother at sixty six’ is written by kamala
2) Where was the narrator going and why?
Ans- The narrator was driving from her parent’s home to
Cochin on Friday morning.
3) What did the narrator see besides her?
Ans-The narrator saw her mother beside her on the seat. She
was dozing with her mouth open.
4) Who is the ‘I’ in the poem?
Ans- ‘I’ is the narrator- the poetess, kamala Das.
5) How did her face look like?
Ans- Her face looked colourless like that of a corpse.
1)What did the poetess realise?
Ans- The poetess realised the deep pain in her heart to see
her mother’s face like that of a corpse.
2)How did the poetess put away that thought?
Ans- The poetess put that thought away by looking at the
3)What did she look out?
Ans- She looked out at young trees running and the merry
children coming out of their home.
4)Trace the word in the stanza that means ‘jovial’.
Ans- Merry -jovial.
5)What do the children and the trees signify?
Ans- They signify life, vitality, movement and happiness
1)Who looked at young trees?
Ans- The poetess looked at young tress.
2)Which thought did she put away?
Ans- She put away the thought of her mother’s face which looked like
that of a corpse.
3)What do young sprinting trees signify?
Ans- Young trees signify life, vitality, movement and happiness.
1)Whose security check was done and why?
Ans- It was the narrator’s security check as she was going to cochin.
2)Who looked wan and pale and why?
Ans- The poetess’ mother looked wan and pale due to her old age.
11. 3)What is the comparison in the poem?
Ans- The mother’s colourless and pale face has been compared like late
4)Trace the word in the stanza that means ‘To suffer continuous pain’.
Ans- Ache – to suffer continuous pain.
5)What is childhood fear?
Ans- It is the fear of ageing and ultimate death.
1)Who is ‘I’ in the line?
Ans- ‘I’ is herself the narrator – the poetess kamala Das.
2)Who is ‘Amma’ in the line?
Ans- ‘Amma’ is the poetess’ mother.
3)What did the narrator say to her?
Ans- She said ‘see you soon, Amma’
4)What did the narrator conduct herself at that time?
Ans- The narrator smiled, smiled and smiled.