Questions and Answers- A Leaf in the Storm by Lalithambika Antharjanam, Part-2

Here is the second part of Questions and Answers- ‘A Leaf in the Storm‘ by Lalithambika Antharjanam, PART 2


Table of Contents

Q1) Where were the fifteen veiled women kept and in whose house?

Ans) The reference to the fifteen women is taken from the short story “A Leaf in the Storm” by Lalithambika Antharjanam. The women were kept in a confined room, far inside the lady’s wing of the palace, in their neighborhood, wearing a ghoshah veil. They were kept in the house of Qasim Sahib, who was a good friend of Jyoti’s father. And Ayesha was Jyoti’s bosom friend. And gave them refuge to stay.

Q2) What did Ayesha plan to transfer the women safely to the border or refugee camp?

Ans) Ayesha was Jyoti’s bosom friend and kept her and the other women refuge in her house. Keeping them safe from the eye of her brother, Ali, who supported partition and didn’t want Hindus to stay back in Pakistan. She and her father had a full-proof plan to transfer the 15 women, through the Qasim Sahib bullock cart. As Qasim Sahib’s bullock cart was running on the same road for the last 50 years. So, nobody will doubt that he was carrying 15 women in his cart.

Q3) Did Ayesha’s planned workout?

Ans) Ayesha planned a full-proof plan, to transfer the fifteen women to a refugee camp with her father’s help. Through their bullock cart, as her father’s cart was running on the same road for the last 50 years and no one will doubt him. But that night, a miserable journey inside the bullock cart took place. Inside the iron cage, one woman felted choked among the violent bumps and jerks. The air was full of the smell of burning flesh, and loud slogan rent in the air. Qasim Sahib also shouted the slogan of “Pakistan Zindabad…Allah-ho-Akbar”, so that no one can doubt him. The women thought for a while that they were safe but suddenly the cart was stopped in spite of Qasim Sahib’s swearing and protests. Loud thunderous laughter and wild shouts were there from the protester and the fifteen women were dragged out from the cart one by one.

Q4) How did Jyoti feel before giving birth to her child?

Ans) Jyoti was a beautiful woman, who was unmarried but pregnant. In the short story, ‘A Leaf in the Storm‘ by Lalithambika Antharjanam, we have seen that Jyoti felt as if the mother came, and whispered in her ears, ‘Jyoti, I too went through his, My mother and mother’s mother… In fact, All mothers’. Then she started thinking of the prison where she lay unconscious, trying to recognize the devilish faces, reddened by fanatic hate and frenzy! to which one of the faces will her child resemble. Then suddenly she felt a deep convulsion from within, She felt hot and thirsty. She breathed hard and her body shook in agony and her child was born and came into this world.

Q5) HO! and so it ends. Was it really the end? Explain.

Ans) The question quoted line is taken from the short story “A Leaf in the Storm” by Lalithambika Antharjanam. The line was said when Jyoti’s child was born. And the pain and agony she was going through during childbirth ended. But the writer says that, is it the end? As now the child and Jyoti had to go through a lot of humiliation, shame, and whatnot. Maybe the physical pain of Jyoti was ended but the mental trauma that she have to go throughout her life was just started.

Q6) Why the reference to ‘a triumphant soldier’ had been used in the short story ‘A Leaf in the Storm’?

Ans) The word triumphant soldier means – the soldier who had won the battle. Here the reference to the triumphant soldier had been used to indicate Jyoti’s situation after giving birth to the child. The child was born and she was laying on the lawn as if, a soldier was lying out of exhaustion after winning a battle.

Q7) What was Jyoti’s first instinct towards the child after giving birth to it?

Ans) Jyoti was totally exhausted when she gave birth to the child. And she had already planned to kill the child after giving birth to it. Her first instinct was to close her eyes, search her way to the child( as it was dark at night) and choke her child to death with her own hands. Thinking that, by choking the child to die, she might will bury the misery and shame she was going on throughout these months. And she will bury the child under the tree, as she doesn’t want scavengers to drag it away.

Q8) ‘O, how warm it is! – locate and explain.

Ans)The question quoted line is taken from the short story ‘A leaf in the Storm‘ by Lalithambika. This line had been used in reference to the child. After giving birth to the child when Jyoti touched the child for the first time, she felt a mass of flesh, which was warm. She questioned herself did her body give the child so much warmth? She started hoping that the child may look like her and wanted to see it, its small eyes, just for once, before killing it.

Q9) “Resolved a complicated puzzle”- locate and explain.

Ans) This is the last line of the short story, ‘A Leaf in the Storm‘ by Lalithambika Antharjanam. Through this line the writer wanted to make us understand that, Jyoti was really confused about the child, that is, what to do with it. But at last, when she touched the child for the first time and felt its warmth, then she wanted to see the child. The voice of the child melted her heart and she felt it was the most tender and compelling voice ever. She doesn’t want the child to get carried away with the scavenger’s waste in the dustbin nor she wanted it to give to someone hand, who already had a child of their own and discriminate among the child. So, when she felt the child, her motherly instinct didn’t let her kill the child, rather she took the child in her arms and went towards the camps. And the puzzle of confusion was solved and the stars beamed from the heaven as if the whole universe wanted the child to live in this world.


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