Mirror of Innocence Summary Notes

Mirror of Innocence About the Author

Perumal Murugan is one of the prominent writers in Indian Literature. An author, novelist and a scholar, Murugan writes novels in Tamil. He was a Professor of Tamil at Government Arts College in Namakkal. He is both a controversial and a commercially successful writer.

He has penned six novels, four collections of short stories and four anthologies of poetry. Some of his famous novels that have been translated into English are ‘Seasons of the Palm’, ‘Current Show’ and ‘Part Woman’. He brings marginal characters to the center and depicts them with a touch of humility and sympathy.

The present short story ‘Mirror of Innocence’ is an extract from his collection of short stories titled ‘The Goat Thief’. In this short story, a small suger container becomes the central object of a child’s attention. Narrated in a simplistic and captivating style, the story is based on a real-life incident involving his daughter.

Mirror of Innocence Summary

The given short story ‘Mirror of Innocence’ is extracted from the author Perumal Murugan’s collection of short stories titled ‘The Goat Thief’. ‘Mirror of Innocence’ narrates a story of a child, who starts crying in the middle of the night. She wants a particular thing but nobody has an idea what is it?

The story is anecdotal, based on a real-life incident in the author’s life. One night Murugan’s baby daughter was howling non-stop. His mother gave her medicinal herbs, wife tried to feed her and the writer cajoled her but to no avail. Finally his mother handed her a small sugar container which she held tightly to her heart and dozed off.

The writer wrote the short story based on this incidents to show the subjective value people assign to objects, even the lifeless ones. It is written to highlight where man’s happiness lies. It shows that people develop a fascination for even inanimate things which they hold dearly to their hearts. Any loss of such objects will cause them untold, unex-plained and inconsolable agony.

The narrator begins the story telling the reader that his two year old baby daughter would usually fell asleep around eight in the evening and sleep soundly all through the night. She had the habit of wetting the bed but didn’t wake up in-spite of being drenched throughly.

But one night the baby girl put them through an unpleasant expe-rience. The child woke up in the middle of the night and started howling for some unexplained reason.

The narrator, his mother and his wife woke up anxiously and began asking the child what was bothering her. The child’s only response was to wail inconsoleably. Her grandmother applied holy ash on her forehead and sought Lord Muruga’s blessing for the child. The grandmother reasoned that the child might be afflicted by evil spirits. She blamed the child for wandering out of the house to play in the afternoon and disobeying them when told not to play outside.

The narrator suggested that she might have had a nightmare and asked the child if it had a bad dream, but the child did not respond. The child’s mother asked her if she felt thirsty or needed to go to toilet. But all the queries were ignored. The mother burst into tears seeing her child wailing uncontrolably. They assumed that see might be ill and took turns to feel her forehead. But she didn’t have any fever. They tried to pacify her with sweet words, biscuits and fruits but it failed to pacify her.

The little girl was too young to respond to their questions. To add to their agony their older child woke up and started crying more loudly then her younger sister. The narrator grew annoyed and told his wife that there was no point in crying or acting worried even though he him himself was worried and tried to control his inner turmoil.

Again the mother gently coaxed her little girl to tell her was both-ering her. This time the child relaxed a little and in between sobs said “ipunda… aa….aa”. Though none of them understood what it meant they were relieved that at least she gave them a hint what she wanted. In spite of them repeatedly asking her what she wanted, her only reply to all their questions was’ip-unda’, but she didn’t stop crying.

They assumed the child was asking for something and wondered what precious object could have woken her up in the middle of the night and induce uncontrolable crying tantrum. The mother and grandmother recalled all the objects the child played with and tried to unravel what ‘ip-unda’ meant. They went through all the objects with which the child usually, played with repeating the names to the child but she rejected all of them with a resolute ‘hmm’ and again started crying out alound ‘ip-unda’.

The narrator was annoyed at the ignorance of the two woman to comprehend the child’s language in spite of them being with the child the whole day. He angrily asked them why they couldn’t figure out what object the child was yearing with such intensity.

His wife retorted that keeping track of all the sundry things that the child played with, wasn’t the only job they had to do the whole day. Through the narrator wanted to argue with his wife he consoled himself murmuring to himself, ‘What other job do you have, then?’.

The narrator was apprehensive that the child’s continuous howling would trigger a full-fledged argument between him and his wife. He felt that every glance of exchange between him and his wife would lead to a nasty quarrel between them. The child’s wailing seemed like a relentless buzz of a fly to his ears and he assumed that this would go on till down.

But they were fortunate because, ‘the magic object surfaced in her (wife) conciousness suddenly. God himself must have desceaded on her tongue. ‘Was it uppukundaan, kannu?’ she asked’. The little girl nodded in agreement and began chanting the magic words again.

The mother beamed with pride for having been the person to solve the mystery of the unknown object that the child coveted and surprisingly it was the sugar bowl which they used in their kitchen (uppukundaan is a tamil word which means salt bowl). But the problem wasn’t over yet as they are yet to find the salt bowl and give it to the girl. The narrator was relieved as he could go back to sleep. But the problem was not yet solved. The mother explained that she had given the salt bowl to the child to play with, but she admitted that she didn’t know where the child threw it afterwards.

The narrator was irritated and wondered why his wife had given kitchen utensils to the child to play. He felt like slapping his wife on her face. His face turned red with anger at his wife’s irresponsible act which had given them a sleepless night. He angrily asked wife to look for the coveted salt bowl and give it to the child.

The grandmother started wondering where the child might have thrown the bowl. Both the grandmother and daughter-in-law started the quest diligently all around the house.

The narrator also joined the search and looked for it at all the nook and comer that he imagined it would be. He had never seen the bowl as it would be normally buried inside the suger tin. His wife give him a brief description of it – “It was made of lead. It was only as wide as one of those small earthen lamps and around five centimeters in height. There was a small fissure near the mouth”.

The child sat on the bed with a forlorn look on its face. She angrily brushed away the narrator’s hand when he tried to wipe her runny nose, but never stopped wailing.

When they couldn’t find the precious salt bowl inside the house, they ventured out of the house but to no avail. The child cried relentlessly. The father wondered how the tiny child had the energy and stamina to cry for such a long time. The mother got frustrated and twisted the child’s ears saying: ‘Why are you so stubborn? Is it the time to cry and throw tantrums?

Where have you gone and dumped the damn thing?’.

The narrator was also frustrated and didn’t reproach his wife. He felt like grabbing the child’s head and dashing it against the wall. He pacified himself thanking God that they were lucky as the child wasn’t ill. They would have had to trudge from street to street in search of a doctor who would oblige to treat the girl. They had been saved from the nerve-wraking anxiety about the child’s health.

The grandmother came to the rescue of the girl and prevented them from beating her. The narrator thought that one grew more compassionate and patient as one grew older. He wondered why the child remembered the bowl in the middle of the night. He imagined that the child might have dreamt that some thief had grabbed it from her and run off with it.

He pondered wheather God didn’t send beautiful angels to the dreams of young children. He wondered what precious thing the child might have stashed in the salt bowl, that made her yearn for it sobbing all through the night. He wondered why the beautiful angels didn’t come to their aid in their search for the coveted bowl, so that they could go back to sleep. The narrator further regreted the fact that he wasn’t a magician who could summon the angels to help them.

Their search was fruitless. They got hold of a torch and searched through all the dark comers of their house. The father felt very sleepy and was afraid that he might doze off. His wife sensed his helplessness and asked him to go back to sleep. Just then, she found the precious salt-bowl there.

She triumphantly handed over the bowl to the child saying, ‘Here is your salt bowl, ‘her voice full of pride and joy.

The family felt as if a huge burden had been lifted off their shoulders. The narrator scrutinized the bowl and found it to be an ordinary lead bowl. He wondered if even a junk dealer would buy it. The child grabbed her precious bowl as if it were made of gold and lay down and gradually sank into deep slumber.

Mirror of Innocence Glossary

  • Ordeal : very unpleasant and painful or difficult experience
  • Wail : long, high – pitched cry of pain or grief
  • Fissure : a long, narrow crack
  • Flail : move around wildly
  • Squirmed : wriggle, be embarrassed
  • Discernible : recognize or be aware of
  • Mewl : to cry weakly; whimper
  • Tantrum : an uncontrolled outburst of anger and frustration
  • Deflect : cause something to change direction
  • Trudge : walk with slow, heavy steps
  • Stash : to store or hide something
  • Cache : a hidden store of things
  • Twinge : a sudden, sharp localized pain
  • Inured : to accustom to hardship. difficulty,
  • Slumber : sleep, inactivity

Mirror of Innocence Questions And Answers

I. Answer the following questions in one or two sentences:

Question 1.
How did the family members console themselves about the child’s bed wetting?
Answer:
The child had the habit of wetting the bed during the night. The family members consoled themselves by thanking the child for not waking up in the middle of the night even though she would be drenched throughly. She would lie peacefully and would not disturb their sleep.

Question 2.
What was the only response of the child to the queries of the adults?
Answer:
The child’s only response was crying uncontrollably through the night.

Question 3.
What did Paati do to silence the child?
Answer:
Paati got some holy ash and applied a little ash on the child’s forehead and sought Lord Murugan’s blessings. But the child didn’t yield.

Question 4.
According to Paati, what could be the reason for the child’s crying?
Answer:
Paati blamed the child for wandering out of the house to play in the afternoons, disobeying them when told not to play outside. She felt the child might be afflicted by evil spirits.

Question 5.
Why did the adults grow anxious about the child?
Answer:
The adults grew anxious thinking that the child might be ill and took turns to feel the child’s forehead to check for fever. But she wasn’t running a temperature.

Question 6.
Why did the child’s father want to slap his wife?
Answer:
The father was annoyed at his wife for letting the child play with kitchen utensils and badly wanted to slap her.

Question 7.
The child usually played with ___________.
Answer:
a set of miniature wooden toys.

Question 8.
The reason for the child’s crying according to the father was ___________.
a) She might have seen something scary in her dream
b) She might have been sick
c) She might have been afflicted by evil spirits
Answer:
a) She might have seen something scary in her dream.

Question 9.
What made the mother’s heart swell with pride?
Answer:
The mother was the only person in the family who was able to decipher that the child wanted the salt bowl and she also was the person to find it behind the grinding stone. Hence her heart swelled with pride, having been instrumental in solving the predicament, the family had to face in the middle of the night.

Question 10.
Where did the child’s mother find the salt bowl?
Answer:
Behind the grinding stone in the kirchen.

II. Answer the following questions in 80-100 words :

Question 1.
State the possible reasons for the child crying steadily?
Answer:

  1. The child’s grandmother reasoned that the child might be afflicted by evil spirits while playing outside the house during the after-noons.
  2. The child might have seen something scary in her dreams.
  3. The child might be thirsty.
  4. The child needs to go to the washroom.
  5. The child might be ill.

Question 2.
Why did Paati glance at her daughter-in-law? What does this ‘glancing’ indicate?
Answer:
Paati’s sideways glance at her daughter-in-law can be deduced as an understanding between herself and her daughter-in-law. The child being playful and stubborn, would not listen to them. Both of them could not admit to the narrator that they were careless enough to let the child play outside in the hot afternoon sun. Hence Paati gare a cautious glance at her daughter-in-law in warn her. Otherwise her son, the narrator would get angry at them for not looking after the child with care. ‘

Question 3.
What made the child’s mother burst into tears?
Answer:
The mother’s attempt to draw a response from the child failed and the crying didn’t let up seeing the child weeping with her mouth wide open, tears streaming down her cheeks, her mother burst into tears as well.

Question 4.
Describe the efforts of the adults to find out the meaning of the term ‘ip….unda’.
Answer:
The mother gently coaxed her little girl to tell her was bothering her. This time the child relaxed a little and in between sobs said “ipunda… aa….aa”. Though none of them understood what it meant they were relieved that at least she gave them a hint what she wanted. In spite of them repeatedly asking her what she wanted, her only reply to all their questions was’ ip-unda’, but she didn’t stop crying.

They assumed the child was asking for something and wondered what precious object could have woken her up in the middle of the night and induce uncontrollable crying tantrum.

The mother and grandmother recalled all the objects the child played with and tried to unravel what ‘ip-unda’ meant. They went through all the objects with which the child usually, played with repeating the names to the child but she rejected all of them with a resolute ‘hmm’ and again started crying out aloud ‘ip-unda’.

The narrator was annoyed at the ignorance of the two women to comprehend the child’s language in spite of them being with the child the whole day. He angrily asked them why they couldn’t figure out what object the child was yearning with such intensity.

His wife retorted that keeping track of all the sundry things that the child played with, wasn’t the only job they had to do the whole day. Through the narrator wanted argue with his wife he consoled himself murmuring to himself, ‘What other job do you have, then?’.

The narrator was apprehensive that the child’s continuous howling would trigger a full-fledged argumnt between him and his wife. He felt that every glance exchanged between him and his wife would lead to a nasty quarrel between them. The child’s wailing seemed like a relentless buzz of a fly to his ears and he assumed that this would go on till dawn.

But they were fortunate because, ‘the magic object surfaced in her (wife) consciousness suddenly. God himself must have descended on her tongue. ‘Was it uppukundaan, kannu?’ she asked’. The little girl nodded in agreement and began chanting the magic words again.

Question 5.
Narrate the father’s frustration as depicted in the story.
Answer:
The narrator was deeply asleep when the child woke up in the middle of the night and started wailing uncontrollably. He felt that she might have had a nightmare and asked the child if it had a bad dream. But the child did not respond. The little girl was too young to respond to their questions. To add to their agony their older child woke up and started crying more loudly then the younger sister.

All their attempts to elicit a response from the child failed. The mother also burst into tears when she saw her child weep with her mouth wide open, tears streaming down her cheeks. Finally they were able to elicit a response from the child. The child desired an object which she referred to as ‘ip….unda’.

None of them could decipher what the object could be. The narrator was frustrated at the ignorance of the two women to comprehend the child’s language in spite of them being with the child the whole day. He angrily asked them why they couldn’t figure out what object the child was yearning with such intensity. The narrator’s eyes were burning for lack of sleep.

He felt that it would take the whole night to find the salt bowl. He dreaded the thought of a sleepless night. Moreover he was annoyed at them for giving kitchen utensils to the child to play with. He dreaded the agony he had to suffer the next morning due to lack of sleep.

Question 6.
How did the mother explain the meaning of UppuKundan to the family members?
Answer:
Eventually, the mother deduced that the child desired the salt bowl which they used in the kitchen. She explained that she had given the Kundaan to the child to play with the day before and she didn’t know where she had thrown it. She translated the child’s speech for the father. Salt meant sugar. Since there was no visible distinction between salt and suger, the child had adopted salt as the single name for both. She was referring to the small bowl that was used to scoop salt – that is, sugar – as ‘UppuKundan’. (salt bowl).

Question 7.
Recount briefly the search mission carried out by the adults.
Answer:
The grandmother started wondering where the child might have thrown the bowl. Both the grandmother and daughter-in-law started the quest diligently all around the house.

The narrator also joined the search and looked for it at all the nook and comer that he imagined it would be. He had never seen the bowl as it would be normally buried inside the sugar tin. His wife gave him a brief description of it – “It was made of lead. It was only as wide as one of those small earthen lamps and around five centimeters in height. There is a small fissure near the mouth”.

The child sat on the bed with a forlorn look on its face. She angrily brushed away the narrator’s hand when he tried to wipe her runny nose, but never stopped wailing. When they couldn’t find the precious salt bowl inside the house, they ventured out of the house but to no avail. The child cried relentlessly. The father wondered how the tiny child had the energy and stamina to cry for such a long time.

The mother got frustrated and twisted the child’s ears saying: ‘Why are you so stubborn? Is it the time to cry and throw tantrums? Where have you gone and dumped the damn thing?’ The narrator was also frustrated and didn’t reproach his wife. He felt like grabbing the child’s head and dashing it against the wall.

He pacified himself thanking God that they were lucky as the child wasn’t ill. They would have had to trudge from street to street in search of a doctor who would oblige to treat the girl. They had been saved from the nerve-wracking anxiety about the child’s health.

The grandmother came to the rescue of the girl and prevented them from beating her. The narrator thought that one grew more compassionate and patient as one grew older. He wondered why the child remembered the bowl in the middle of the night. He imagined that the child might have dreamt that some thief had grabbed it from her and run off with it.

He pondered whether God didn’t send beautiful angels to the dreams of young children. He wondered what precious thing the child might have stashed in the salt bowl that made her yearn for it, sobbing all through the night. He wondered why the beautiful angels didn’t come to their aid in their search for the coveted bowl, so that they could go back to sleep. The narrator -father regretted the fact that he wasn’t a magician who could summon the angels to help them.

Their search was fruitless. They got hold of a torch and searched through all the dark comers of their house. The father felt very sleepy and was afraid that he might doze off. His wife sensed his helplessness and asked him to go back to sleep. Just then, she found the precious salt-bowl there.

She triumphantly handed over the bowl to the child saying, ‘Here is your salt bowl, ‘her voice full of pride and joy. The family felt as if a huge burden had been lifted off their shoulders.

III. Answer the following questions in 200-250 words :

Question 1.
Give a description of the tantrums thrown by the child and the efforts made by the adults to calm her down.
Answer:
In the short story ‘Mirror of Innocence’ the narrator tells us that his two year old baby daughter usually fell asleep around eight in the evening and slept soundly all through the night. She had the habit of wetting the bed but didn’t wake up in-spite of being drenched thoroughly.

But one night the baby girl put them through an unpleasant experience. The child woke up in the middle of the night and started howling for some unexplained reason. The narrator, his mother and his wife woke up anxiously and began asking the child what was bothering her. The child’s only response was to wail inconsolably. Her grandmother applied holy ash on her forehead and sought Lord Muruga’s blessing for the child. The grandmother reasoned that the child might be afflicted by evil spirits. She blamed the child for wandering out of the house to play in the afternoon and disobeying them when told not to play outside.

The narrator suggested that she might have had a nightmare and asked the child if it had a bad dream, but the child did not respond. The child’s mother asked her if she felt thirsty or needed to go to toilet. But all the queries were ignored. The mother burst into tears seeing her child wailing uncontrollably. They assumed that see might be ill and took turns to feel her forehead. But she didn’t have any fever. They tried to pacify her with sweet words, biscuits and fruits but it failed to pacify her.

The little girl was too young to respond to their questions. To add to their agony their older child woke up and started crying more loudly then her younger sister. The narrator grew annoyed and told his wife that there was no point in crying or acting worried even though he him himself was worried and tried to control his inner turmoil.
The mother gently coaxed her little girl to tell her was bothering her. This time the child relaxed a little and in between sobs said “ipunda… aa….aa”. Though none of them understood what it meant they were relieved that at least she gave them a hint what she wanted. In spite of them repeatedly asking her what she wanted, her only reply to all their questions was’ ip-unda’, but she didn’t stop crying.

They assumed the child was asking for something and wondered what precious object could have woken her up in the middle of the night and induce uncontrollable crying tantrum. The mother and grandmother recalled all the objects the child played with and tried to unravel what ‘ip-unda’ meant. They went through all the objects with which the child usually, played with repeating the names to the child but she rejected all of them with a resolute ‘hmm’ and again started crying out aloud ‘ip-unda’.

The narrator was annoyed at the ignorance of the two women to comprehend the child’s language in spite of them being with the child the whole day. He angrily asked them why they couldn’t figure out what object the child was yearning with such intensity.

Question 2.
Comment on the significance of the title “Mirror of Innocence”.
Answer:
The short story ‘Mirror of Innocence’ by Perumal Murugan mirror the innocence of a two year old baby girl. In the short story ‘Mirror of Innocence’ the narrator tells us that his two year old baby daughter usually fell asleep around eight in the evening and sleep soundly all through the night. She had the habit of wetting the bed but didn’t wake up in-spite of being drenched thoroughly.

But one night the baby girl put them through an unpleasant experience. The child woke up in the middle of the night and started howling for some unexplained reason.

The narrator, his mother and his wife woke up anxiously and began asking the child what was bothering her. The child’s only response was to wail inconsolably. Her grandmother applied holy ash on her forehead and sought Lord Muruga’s blessing for the child. The grandmother reasoned that the child might be afflicted by evil spirits. She blamed the child for wandering out of the house to play in the afternoon and disobeying them when told not to play outside.

The narrator suggested that she might have had a nightmare and asked the child if it had a bad dream, but the child did not respond. The child’s mother asked her if she felt thirsty or needed to go to toilet. But all the queries were ignored. The mother burst into tears seeing her child wailing uncontrollably. They assumed that see might be ill and took turns to feel her forehead. But she didn’t have any fever. They tried to pacify her with sweet words, biscuits and fruits but it failed to pacify her.

The little girl was too young to respond to their questions. To add to their agony their older child woke up and started crying more loudly then her younger sister. The narrator grew annoyed and told his wife that there was no point in crying or acting worried even though he him himself was worried and tried to control his inner turmoil.

The mother gently coaxed her little girl to tell her was bothering her. This time the child relaxed a little and in between sobs said “ipunda… aa….aa”. Though none of them understood what it meant they were relieved that at least she gave them a hint what she wanted. In spite of them repeatedly asking her what she wanted, her only reply to all their questions was’ ip-unda’, but she didn’t stop crying.

They assumed the child was asking for something and wondered what precious object could have woken her up in the middle of the night and induce uncontrollable crying tantrum.

The mother and grandmother recalled all the objects the child played with and tried to unravel what ‘ip-unda’ meant. They went through all the objects with which the child usually, played with repeating the names to the child but she rejected all of them with a resolute ‘hmm’ and again started crying out aloud ‘ip-unda’.

The narrator was annoyed at the ignorance of the two women to comprehend the child’s language in spite of them being with the child the whole day. He angrily asked them why they couldn’t figure out what object the child was yearning with such intensity.

The mother had given a suger-bowl to the child to play with that night the child had woken up remembering the sugar-bowl and wailing uncontrolably for it. After long search they found the sugar- bowl in the kitchen behind the grinding stone.

After the child got the much coveted sugar bowl, she clutched it to her heart and went back to sleep. The story mirrors the innocence of the child. She cried uncontrolably for it the whole night. Being a two-year old child she could not express what she craved in words. But she was in a great agony craving for a thing, of which had no value in the real sense. It was a very small bowl made of lead, which the mother used it to scoop sugar from the tin. But to the innocent child it was priceless.

Question 3.
What picture of children and childhood do you get from story?
Answer:
The short story ‘Mirror of Innocence’ by Perumal Murugan mirror the innocence of a two year old baby girl. In the short story ‘Mirror of Innocence’ the narrator tells us that his two year old baby daughter usually fell asleep around eight in the evening and sleep soundly all through the night. She had the habit of wetting the bed but didn’t wake up in-spite of being drenched thoroughly.

But one night the baby girl put them through an unpleasant experience. The child woke up in the middle of the night and started howling for some unexplained reason.
The narrator, his mother and his wife woke up anxiously and began asking the child what was bothering her. The child’s only response was to wail inconsolably. Her grandmother applied holy ash on her forehead and sought Lord Muruga’s blessing for the child. The grandmother reasoned that the child might be afflicted by evil spirits. She blamed the child for wandering out of the house to play in the afternoon and disobeying them when told not to play outside.

The narrator suggested that she might have had a nightmare and asked the child if it had a bad dream, but the child did not respond. The child’s mother asked her if she felt thirsty or needed to go to toilet. But all the queries were ignored. The mother burst into tears seeing her child wailing uncontrollably. They assumed that see might be ill and took turns to feel her forehead. But she didn’t have any fever. They tried to pacify her with sweet words, biscuits and fruits but it failed to pacify her.

The little girl was too young to respond to their questions. To add to their agony their older child woke up and started crying more loudly then her younger sister. The narrator grew annoyed and told his wife that there was no point in crying or acting worried even though he him himself was worried and tried to control his inner turmoil.

The mother gently coaxed her little girl to tell her was bothering her. This time the child relaxed a little and in between sobs said “ipunda… aa….aa”. Though none of them understood what it meant they were relieved that at least she gave them a hint what she wanted. In spite of them repeatedly asking her what she wanted, her only reply to all their questions was’ ip-unda’, but she didn’t stop crying.

They assumed the child was asking for something and wondered what precious object could have woken her up in the middle of the night and induce uncontrollable crying tantrum.

The mother and grandmother recalled all the objects the child played with and tried to unravel what ‘ip-unda’ meant. They went through all the objects with which the child usually, played with repeating the names to the child but she rejected all of them with a resolute ‘hmm’ and again started crying out aloud ‘ip-unda’.

The narrator was annoyed at the ignorance of the two women to comprehend the child’s language in spite of them being with the child the whole day. He angrily asked them why they couldn’t figure out what object the child was yearning with such intensity.

The mother had given a suger-bowl to the child to play with that night the child had woken up remembering the sugar-bowl and wailing uncontrolably for it. After long search they found the sugar- bowl in the kitchen behind the grinding stone.

After the child got the much coveted sugar bowl, she clutched it to her heart and went back to sleep. The story mirrors the innocence of the child. She cried uncontrolably for it the whole night. Being a two-year old child she could not express what she craved in words. But she was in a great agony craving for a thing, of which had no value in the real sense. It was a very small bowl made of lead, which the mother used it to scoop sugar from the tin. But to the innocent child it was priceless.

Question 4.
Perumal Murugan has successfully captured the innocence of childhood in this story. Discuss.
Answer:
The short story ‘Mirror of Innocence’ by Perumal Murugan mirror the innocence of a two year old baby girl. In the short story ‘Mirror of Innocence’ the narrator tells us that his two year old baby daughter usually fell asleep around eight in the evening and sleep soundly all through the night. She had the habit of wetting the bed but didn’t wake up in-spite of being drenched thoroughly.

But one night the baby girl put them through an unpleasant experience. The child woke up in the middle of the night and started howling for some unexplained reason. The narrator, his mother and his wife woke up anxiously and began asking the child what was bothering her.

The child’s only response was to wail inconsolably. Her grandmother applied holy ash on her forehead and sought Lord Muruga’s blessing for the child. The grandmother reasoned that the child might be afflicted by evil spirits. She blamed the child for wandering out of the house to play in the afternoon and disobeying them when told not to play outside.

The narrator suggested that she might have had a nightmare and asked the child if it had a bad dream, but the child did not respond. The child’s mother asked her if she felt thirsty or needed to go to toilet. But all the queries were ignored. The mother burst into tears seeing her child wailing uncontrollably. They assumed that see might be ill and took turns to feel her forehead. But she didn’t have any fever. They tried to pacify her with sweet words, biscuits and fruits but it failed to pacify her.

The little girl was too young to respond to their questions. To add to their agony their older child woke up and started crying more loudly then her younger sister. The narrator grew annoyed and told his wife that there was no point in crying or acting worried even though he him himself was worried and tried to control his inner turmoil.

The mother gently coaxed her little girl to tell her was bothering her. This time the child relaxed a little and in between sobs said “ipunda… aa….aa”. Though none of them understood what it meant they were relieved that at least she gave them a hint what she wanted. In spite of them repeatedly asking her what she wanted, her only reply to all their questions was’ ip-unda’, but she didn’t stop crying.

They assumed the child was asking for something and wondered what precious object could have woken her up in the middle of the night and induce uncontrollable crying tantrum.

The mother and grandmother recalled all the objects the child played with and tried to unravel what ‘ip-unda’ meant. They went through all the objects with which the child usually, played with repeating the names to the child but she rejected all of them with a resolute ‘hmm’ and again started crying out aloud ‘ip-unda’.

The narrator was annoyed at the ignorance of the two women to comprehend the child’s language in spite of them being with the child the whole day. He angrily asked them why they couldn’t figure out what object the child was yearning with such intensity.

The mother had given a suger-bowl to the child to play with that night the child had woken up remembering the sugar-bowl and wailing uncontrolably for it. After long search they found the sugar- bowl in the kitchen behind the grinding stone.

After the child got the much coveted sugar bowl, she clutched it to her heart and went back to sleep. The story mirrors the innocence of the child. She cried uncontrolably for it the whole night. Being a two-year old child she could not express what she craved in words. But she was in a great agony craving for a thing, of which had no value in the real sense. It was a very small bowl made of lead, which the mother used it to scoop sugar from the tin. But to the innocent child it was priceless.

Mirror of Innocence Grammar And Composition

Report Writing :

Exercises :

Question 1.
The results of a college have been very poor for the last five years. The managing committee which runs the College has asked the Principal to make a recommendatory report for improving the results. Write the report including a brief statement of the finance required.
Recommendatory Report For Improving the Results of the College.
To : The College Managing Committee.
FROM : Principal of the College. MR …………… 27 NOV 2019.
TITLE : Recommendatory Report For Improving The Results of The College
INTRODUCTION :
Report submitted to explain the reason for very poor results of the college for the last five years.
REFERENCE :
Your Order Refrence Number 369, dated 26 NOV 2019 instructing the Principal to investigate the reasons for very poor results of the college for the last five years and to submit a recommendatory report for improving the results.

METHODOLOGY:
The Principal has thoroughly investigated the reasons for the poor results of the college by conducting meetings with lecturers, student leaders, parents and students.

FINDINGS :

  • Poor attendence of students to the classes.
  • Poor care by Parents.
  • Poor montering by the Kecturs
  • Poor Library facilities.

Question 2.
You have been asked to form and head a committee to organize an inter college cultural fest as a student council member. Write an activity report after the completion of the fest.
Activity Report : Inter College Cultural Fest Objective : To Form And Head A Committee To Organize An Inter College Cultural fest.

Members Involved:

  • Prof. A. R. Swamy
  • Prof. Nagraj – Activity Head (Extra Curricular)
  • Mrs. Anuradha / Mrs. Akshatha – Faculty in-charge.
  • Sujoy – Student Council Member
  • Sampath – Cultural in-charge
  • Organising Core Committee.

Mirror of Innocence Summary Notes 1
The Student’s Council is the representative body of the students of the college, responsible for organising all sports and cultural activi-ties.

Activity : Inter College Cultural Fest 2019-2020. 26 NOV 2019.

The annual inter-college cultural festival is the most looked for-ward event of our college. This year, ‘Parivarthana’ was celebrated with the theme ‘Climate Change’. The cultural event ‘Parivarthana’ was held on 26th and 27th of November 2019.

The opening event was short play on the environmental issues faced by the world in recent times. The play was very well appreciated by all because it was presented creatively and was very effective in creating a strong awareness about environmental issues and its effect on the earth on the lives of all living being of this earth. The entire play was concieved and enacted by our college students.

The other events presented were :

Solo Dance : The participating college students competed with each other in solo dancing, which they themselves had concieved and choreographed.

Duet Dance : Various themes were presented by the participants in duet dancing which include gender discrimination, caste discrimination, sexual harassment and host of social and environmental issues. They not only were successful in show-causing their talent but also effective in sending their intended massage to the audience.
27 NOV 2019.

Drama : Social and environmental themes were show-caused in the competitive event. A comedy based on Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night’s Dream was presented by our college drama troupe, which regaled the audience.

Fashion show : The students of Fashion Technology along with other students of the participating colleges presented a very creative and trending fashion show.

Pop-Music : Many student groups of all participating colleges presented a foot-thumping Pop music shows.

Conclusion : The ‘Parivarthana’ 2019-20 culminated at 7.00 M 27 NOV 2019 with the chief guest giving a very appreciative and inciteful speech to the students.

The event was a huge success, co-ordinated and well managed by the organising committee.

Question 3.
Your class has been reprimanded for violating the rules. Write a report to explain circumstances of the unruly be-havior.
Report to explain circumstances of unruly behaviour in class room.
TO : The Principal, National College, Bangalore
FROM : Mrs.’ Vandana Shivraj, Lecturer in English Language, B.SC, ‘F’ Sec 27 NOV 2019
TITLE : An explanatory report to explain circumstance of unruly behaviour in classroom on 26th Nov 2019.
INTRODUCTION :
Your Order Reference Number 963, dated 26th January, instructing the Lecturer to submit a report.
METHODOLOGY:
The lecturer has thoroughly investigated into the matter and all students were questioned and written apology letters were collected from the problem students.

FINDINGS :
It was found that three male students had come drunk to the classroom and sitting behind a bench occupied by three girls and mis-behaving with them, in the interval between lectures. A heated verbal duel broke out between them with most students supporting the girls. When I entered the classroom, it was chaotic with most of them shouting at the three culprits asking them to leave the classroom. I intervened and pacified the students and sent out the three drunk students out of the classroom. It took than 15 minutes to bring normalcy in the classroom.

Conclusion and Recommendation :
Based on my investigating the behaviour of the three culprit students, they were in the habit of coming drunk to classes. I suggest that the Principal may call their parents and counsel them of their wards behaviour. It would help if the security also are involved in checking and security such students from entering the college priemises and report them to the Principal immediately to prerent further incidences of such situations

Mrs. Vandana Shivraj
Lecturer in English Language

Question 4.
MHRD has directed all the States to conduct Two-Day “Career Conclave” for graduating class in all Government colleges. Prepare a report on the possible outcome of the programme. Report on the possible outcome of two-day ‘career conclave’ to be conducted for gradu-ating class in all government colleges of all states of india under the direction of mhrd.
TO : The Secretary, Ministry of Human Resources Development.
FROM : Special Officer, Govt of India.
DATE : 1 NOV 2019.
TITLE : Report on possible outcome of two-day ‘career conclave’ in all Government colleges of all states of India.
INTRODUCTION :
The MHRD, Government of India, has proposed to conduct ‘Career Conclave’ in all government colleges of all states. The con-clave is aimed at motivating the students to dream big and choose a career as per their interest and aptitude. Career Conclave is one such event that aims to bridge the gap between career information students have with them and the world of work in real time. Career Conclave attempts to provide a plateform to the students to explore various options.

METHODOLOGY:
Career Conclave is marked by the participation of more than 100 organization in each state and in every Government college in the state. This provides wide exposure to students for opportunities in technical, higher education, vocational and skill sectors. Talks and discussion by experts from different fields about possible career paths and job market trend to help students in understanding various courses and their future prospects. Educational and Vocational Counsellors provide one to one couselling to meet the individual needs of students for a focused, well-informed career planning.

Possible Outcome of The Career Conclave
Dessemination of information and creating awareness among students about various opportunities available in the field of educa¬tion and employment will be fulfilled. Helps students to plan their careers and also explore other avenues as per their aspirations and abilites. Helps them identify role models to understand the path towards realising their dreams. Helps organisations to choose ideal canditates for organizational needs. Helps students to choose ideal organizations of their choice to seek employment. Helps to mitigate unemployment or under-employment of the youth and will also fulfill the manpower requirement in all sectors of Industries trade commerce and services.

English Summary

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *