1: Why did the grandmother hate music?
Ans : The grandmother actually hated music. She was a conservative old lady who had her own beliefs and superstitions. She thought that music was meant only for prostitutes and beggars. It was not meant for gentlefolk. Music was not meant for school children from respectable families.
2: How did the grandmother appear like the 'winter landscape in the mountains'?
Ans : The grandmother always wore spotless white clothes. Her locks of hair also looked silver white. Her spotless white dress and silver white hair made her look like snowy mountains in winter. Actually, she appeared to be an expanse of spotless whiteness. She had a divine beauty.
3: What was the turning point of their friendship?
Ans : The narrator's parents sent for them in the city. It was the turning point of their friendship. The city life and The English school made all the difference. She didn't accompany him to his school.Nor could she help him in his studies. She didn't like the new English school either. They saw less of each other now.
4: How was the common link of their friendship broken?
Ans : In the village they had a very intimate relationship. But a turning point came when they were sent for in the city. The narrator went up to University. Now he was given a room of his own.It made all the difference. The common link of their friendship was broken. They saw very less of each other now.
5: How did the sparrows mourn the death of the grandmother?
Ans : The sparrows also joined the mourning. They sat in thousands around her dead body. They didn't chirrup. Nor did they touch the crumbs of bread thrown to them. They flew away quietly when the dead body was carried off for cremation.
6:Describe the friendship between Khushwant Singh and his grandmother?
Ans : The author's grandmother was closely involved in bringing him up when he was living with her in the village during his early life. She used to wake him up early in the morning.While bathing and dressing him she sang her prayers hoping that the young boy would learn it by heart. She then gave him breakfast a stale chapati with butter and sugar.Then they would go together to school that was attached to the temple.While the author learnt his lesson, the grand mother would read the holy books. They returned home together a turning point came in their friendship when his parents called them to the city. Although they shared the same room she could not help him much. She hated music science and western religion. The common link of their friendship gradually snapped.
7: How did the narrator's grandfather appear in the portrait?
Ans : His grandfather looked very old. He had a long white beard. His clothes were loose fitting. He wore a big turban. He looked too old to have a wife or children. He looked at least a hundred years old. he could have only lots and lots of grandchildren.
8: Why could the grandmother not walk straight? How would she move about the house?
Ans : The grandmother was short and fat.She was also slightly bent. She put one hand on her waist to support the stoop. She could not walk straight. She walked like a lame person. She limped or hobbled about while moving.
9: Explain: '' As for my grandmother being young and pretty, the thought was almost revolting".
Ans :The narrator's grandmother was terribly old. She could not appear young and beautiful. Her face was a criss-cross of wrinkles. She was short,fat and slightly bent. The very idea of her being young and pretty did not appeal to the mind.
10: Why did the grandmother take to feeding sparrows in the courtyard of their city house?
Ans : In the village, she used to throw 'chapattis' to the street dogs. But there were no dogs in the streets of the city.So, she took to feeding the sparrows in the courtyard of their city house.
11: When was the common link of friendship between the narrator and his grandmother finally snapped?
Ans : The narrator went to the university. Now he has given a room of his own. This separated the narrator from his grandmother. The common link of their friendship was thus finally broken.
12: What was the last sign of physical contact between the author and the grandmother? why did the author think that to be the last physical contact?
Ans : The grandmother kissed Khuswant Singh on his forehead. The author thought that this was perhaps the last sign of physical contactbetween them. He was going away for five years. she was extremely old adn at her age one could never tell whether she would be alive for long.
13: What image of the grandmother emerges from "The Portrait of a Lady"?
Ans : Khuswant Singh's grandmother has been portrayed as a very old lady. She was short statured, fat and slightly bent. Her face was wrinkled and she was always dressed in spotless white clothes. She was a deeply religious lady. Her lips were always moving in a silent prayer. She was always telling the beads of her rosary. She went to the temple and read the scriptures.
The grandmother was a kind lady. She used to feed dogs in the village. In the city she took to feeding the sparrows. She had great affection for her grandson. She looked after him in the village. Sh ecould not adjust herself to the western way of life, Science and English education. She hated music and was distressed to know that there was no teaching about god and holy bookjs at Khuswant's new English school. On the whole, she was anice, kind-hearted and religious lady.