banner ads

Today's Main Post

For More Videos Visit Our Channel

Class 11, Language Development, Unit 10 Home Life and Family Relations


Class 11, Language Development, Unit 10 Home Life and Family Relations

Language Development

Unit-10, Home Life and Family Relations

 The Tattered Blanket

By Kamala Das

Kamala Suraiyya (born in Kamala, March 31, 1934 - May 31, 2009), also known by her former pen name Madhavikutty and Kamala Das, was an Indian English poet and literator and at the same time a prominent Malayalam author from Kerala, in India. Her popularity in Kerala is based primarily on her short stories and autobiography, while her English-language work, writing as Kamala Das, is known for her poems and explicit autobiography.


Theme: Family, love, selfishness, society

Originally it was written in Malayalam language and translated into English by K.M. Sheriff



v Exposes a bitter truth of life

v Condition of women and the way in which they are betrayed by society (Amma is betrayed by her son, Kamalam is betrayed by her husband)

v Mother desires for her son’s love,


Tattered Blanket- symbol of tattered soul of the mother because of her son’s selfish nature



1.   Aama- a 83 years old, wrinkled, forgetful mother of Gopi and Kamalam

2.   Kamala- Elder daughter of Aama, a widow

3.   Gopi- a fat, bald, middle aged man, selfish and materialistic



Summary of the Story

After five years Gopi comes to Village to see his mother. He is a government officer in Delhi living with his wife Bimala and their four children. He has come to Thiruvananthapuram as a part of his official assignment. He has just dropped in on his way back. His mother is 83 years old and has been living with her eldest daughter Kamalam-a widow. When he arrives unexpectedly at his home in the countryside, his mother is lying in an armchair on the veranda. His mother fails to recognize her son Gopi. She believes that Gopi is still a school boy. She doesn’t recognize anybody. Sometimes her memory is quite sharp, sometimes she forgets the present, but remembers the past.


When her memory is very sharp she asks about Gopi’s letters from Delhi. Kamalam tells her a lie that everything is fine with Gopi, his wife and kids. But Gopi has written any letters to his mother. Mother doesn’t recognize her son. She asks her son Gopi ‘Who is your Amma? What is her name? Where does she live? Is it far from here?’ But mother has the picture of her son in her mind. She says, “My son is in Delhi... a Government Officer. He has well settled.... He draws a salary of two thousand five hundred rupees”. Mother tells Gopi if he meets Gopi ask him to send her a blanket- a red one. She has a blanket, the one Gopi bought for her when he was studying in Madras. It is all tattered now, just a ball of knotted yarn. Gopi has come home to ask his sister to sell his share of land and get some money for him.


Kamalam knows that Gopi has come only for money, not to see his mother. It took more than five years for him to find time to come home. Kamalam says, ‘Amma is eighty three now. I don’t think she will pull on much longer. It took you so long to visit her after the last time.’ But Gopi has his excuses for not visiting Amma. He says ‘But Amma can’t remember who I am.’ The story ends with Kamala's question to Gopi, ‘But do you remember your Amma?’ Amma doesn’t recognize her son because she has lost her power of memory.



Answer the following questions:

a. Why didn’t the mother recognize her son Gopi?

Ans:- She didn’t recognize her son Gopi because she forgets most of the things now and even Gopi hardly visits her. Most of the old aged people don’t remember the things which are not in front of their eyes. Gopi has been shadowed from her eyes for more than five years; she has not seen and heard him so she doesn’t recognize him.


b. Why is the sister living with her mother?

Ans: Aama’s only son is living in Delhi with his wife and four children, and there is no one to take care of her as she is in her dotage, and even she is a widow so she is living with her mother.


c. What is the sister’s attitude towards her brother?

Ans:- When Gopi arrives to his home she feels very happy by seeing him here but When Gopi says that he has come to sell his properties she gets irritated. She becomes angry with Gopi because he has not come to visit his mother and sister for his love to them, but to ask the share of property.


d. Does the son love his mother very much? How do you know that?

Ans:- The son doesn’t love his mother because he hardly visits his mother in village. He met her five years ago, after he never wrote and met her. He is living happily with his wife and four children in Delhi. But his mother is using old tattered blanket for a long time which he had bought when he was a student in Madras. Since then he had not bought anything to her. Even in this visit he has not bought anything for his mother and sister but he has come to ask for the share of his family property. Otherwise he would not drop there. He is very selfish and totally ignores his mother in this old age.    


e. What does the mother actually need: a blanket or the warmth of her son’s love?

Ans:- The tattered blanket represents the torn or worn out love of Gopi to his mother. He has not bought anything for her since long. Actually she wants the warmth of her son’s love. If he loved his mother he would never let her need anything. He would provide every facility to his mother if he really loved here. Actually she needs her son’s love.


f. What does the phrase the ‘tattered blanket’ mean? Is it only the blanket that is tattered?

Ans:- The ‘tattered blanket’ means the tattered love of Gopi to his mother. It is a symbol of the tattered soul of Gopi towards his mother. Before marriage, when he was a student, he bought a blanket for his mother, but afterwards he had not given anything to her. He has become selfish and only thinks of his wife and children. Along with the blanked his love to his mother is also tattered.


g. The son says, ‘Amma can’t remember who I am’. Do you think that he remembered his mother? Why didn’t he answer when his sister asked, ‘Do you remember your Amma?’

Ans:- Aama doesn’t remember her son because of loss of her memory and his indifference to her. But as a young and having powerful memory power, he doesn’t remember his mother and sister because of his selfish nature so he didn’t answer when his sister asked, ‘Do you remember your Amma?’ He is speechless because he knows that he has become selfish.


Critical Thinking

a. What can be the expectation of the parents from their offspring at the old age?

Ans:- Old people want their offspring stay close to them providing care, love and affections. They don’t need anything except lots of love and care at old age. They want to see all family members living together sharing happiness with family members. They want their children understand their feelings and listen to them.


b. Some children who live in a distance tend to be indifferent to the feelings of their parents. Why do you think they are like that? Discuss.

Ans:- When the children are grown up they have to leave their birth place and family members for their study and job. For their study and career they fully dedicate their time and attention away from home and family members. They gradually tend to live away from family attachment and starts forgetting them. The gap in relationship created by geographical distance makes them forget their home and family. They are inclined to success and money and they fully concentrate on money and success and forget family. Gradually they settle in city away from home town, they get job, find girls, marry them, and start living own life being selfish. They forget the hardships done by parents for their growth and study. They become selfish and think of wives and children only.


c. A mother’s love is everlasting and indispensable. Justify.

Ans:- Children’s love to their mother is conditional. They want something back for their love to their parents. But the love of parents to their children is unconditional. When we talk of mother’s love to her children, it is eternal and unconditional. She loves her children till the last breath. Mother is a source of love and any love is incomparable to mother’s love. The children may be good or bad, kind of selfish; the love of her to them never dies. A mother can bear any kind of trouble for the sake of her children.

Post a Comment