Summary and Questions of Sunrise by Padma Sachdev

Summary and Questions of Sunrise by Padma Sachdev

NCERT Solutions For Class 12 English


Ordinary objects and wonders of nature have been most loved topics that have enlivened artists, journalists, story-tellers, poets etc through the ages. They have likewise kept on intrigueing researchers and scientists. In her poem, “Sunrise”, which has been written in free verse, the poetess Padma Sachdev portrays the regular marvel of the sun rising in a simple, colourful, though childish, way, comparing the sun with a bashful, nervous school boy, frightened of his stern school master.

Sunrise by Padma Sachdev

Lines 1-5.

The sun was descending………thundering in anger

In the first five lines of the poem, the early morning sun is covered by a veil of clouds. It has been a wet, rainy morning, with thunder showers greeting the new day. However, as the sun rises above the horizon, the rain stops and the clouds slowly begin to disperse, so that the sun is seen to shine weakly through the thinning clouds. The veil of clouds over the sun is compared to a white film of cataract (a disease or disorder of the eye), that covers the eye, causing blurred or opaque vision. In the poem, the eye of the sky is, of course, the sun. The sky is depicted as a person rendered soaking wet by the rain, who expresses his anger at being made to feel miserable and uncomfortable, by thundering. Thus, the thundering clouds are shown as the expression of annoyance and anger of the drenched sky.

Lines 6-10

The sun, seizing the………….the angry school master.

Switching the metaphor, the poet now shows the sun as a scared and nervous school boy who is late to school, and in order to avoid the attention of his strict school master, is slinking into class (i.e. entering in a quiet, unobtrusive manner) and hiding behind his class-fellows in the back row. He hopes his late entry into class will go unobserved by the school master.

Lines 11-16.

Slowly the pale sun…………for the sun to rise?”

As the weak, pale sun emerges from behind the clouds, it begins to shine more brightly. And, as its bright golden light begins to spread around, it makes its presence felt. Carrying on with the metaphor above, the poet shows how the school boy, i.e. the sun, reveals or exposes his own presence at the back of the class to the school master, by shining more brightly and vividly. Immediately the school master demands an explanation from the sun for why he turned up late for class. He sarcastically asks the sun whether he was delayed due to work not timely done (i.e. not cleaning his slate in time) or because he was not served enough at breakfast, and so lingered to be fed more food by his mother.

Lines 17-21.

“By now the sun……………..that is sunrise.”

Having fully emerged from behind the clouds, the sun is now shining in all its brilliance and glory. The timid school boy is transformed into a proud and confident young boy, no longer submissively listening to his school master’s scolding and sarcastic queries (questions)! Boldly, the sun asks the school master why he is so annoyed. He reminds him that the only one who can determine when the sun should rise is the SUN himself, that is why the time is called “Sunrise.” Therefore, it is quite unreasonable and inappropriate for the school master to be angry with the sun.

Questions of Sunrise by Padma Sachdev

Sunrise by Padma Sachdev


As one reads through this simple poem, it is easy to imagine a loving parent, or more likely, a grandparent, standing at the window with a small child, looking up at the cloudy sky at sunrise and listening to the growl of the thundering clouds! Through a simple metaphorical story, the child is made to visualise a commonplace act of nature in a fanciful, imaginative, delightful way. The conversion of a shy, timid, nervous school boy into a bold, assertive, arrogant person is imagery all children can relate to, and an almost magical significance is given to such an ordinary, commonplace natural phenomenon. That is the art of poetry or story-telling.

Questions of Sunrise Poem

Q.1 The sun is compared to a cataract because (Tick the correct option)
a. it is full of sunspots
b. it is not clear and is covered by clouds
c. it is shaped like an eye
Answer: The sun is compared to cataract because it is not clear and is covered by clouds.

Q. 2 Why was the sky thundering? Who was it angry with?
Ans. The sky was thundering because it was very rash and angry for its loneliness. It was angry with the slow and late appearance of the sun.

Q. 3 What does the poet compare the sun to as comes out from behind the clouds? Why?
Ans. The poet compares the sun to a school boy who has reached school late. The comparison is made because the sun pushes away the clouds hesitatingly and starts shinning slowly in the sky fearing that the sky would rebuke it for its late appearance.

Q.4 Who questions the sun ? Why?
Ans. The sky or the school master questions the sun. The sky questions the sun because the later was hidden behind the clouds till afternoon. The sky asks the sun why it was late in its rising.

Q. 5 What is the sun’s reply?
Ans. The sun answered back proudly and boldly saying that there is no wisdom on part of the sky in being annoyed and displeased at its late rising. Though there may be scheduled time for everything but there is no fixed time for the sunrise, for whenever it rises it is sunrise.

Q. 6 What adjectives would you use to describe the sun:
a. When it emerges from behind the clouds?
Ans. Timorous, frightened, cowering, fearful and shuddered are some adjectives that would be used to describe the sun when it emerges from behind the clouds.

b. When it shines in all its splendor?
Ans. Arrogant, gorgeous, magnificent, sparkling, proudy and glorious are some adjectives that would be used to describe the sun when it is shining in all its splendor.

Reference to Context (Sunrise)

1. “The sun was descending like a…….. And it was thundering in anger”

a. What time of the day is being described? How do you know?
Ans. The time of afternoon is being described. We know it because the sun was descending.

b. Which figure of speech is used here?
Ans. Smile has been used here as, “The sun was descending like a Cataract in the eye of the sky “.

c. Why is the sky angry?
Ans. The sky is angry over the late rising of the sun.

d. How does it express its anger?
Ans.It expresses its anger by thundering.

2. “By now the sun was shining in all its splendor,………. Whenever it rises, that is sunrise.”
a. Explain the significance of the phrase ‘By now’.
Ans. ‘By now’ means that by the time the sky could express further anger and annoyance over the late rising of the sun, the sun had already risen and was scattering its bright light in all directions.

b. How is the sun different from what it was earlier in the poem?
Ans. Earlier in the poem the sun was gloomy and was covered by clouds. But now it pushed away the clouds and is shining brightly.

c. Who was getting annoyed? And why?
Ans. The sky was getting annoyed. It was getting annoyed because the sun was still hidden behind the clouds.
d. What qualities of sun is reflected in these lines?
Ans. Pride, arrogance and conference are some of the qualities described in these lines.

Explanation With Reference to Context

“What is the point of getting annoyed
There is no set time for the sun to rise
Whenever it rises, that is sunshine”

Context: These lines have been taken from the poem, “Sunrise ” written by Padma Sachdev. Here the poetry apparently describes the anger of the sky over the late rising of the sun but actually she wants to convey that there should not be hard and bound rules for broadening the mental horizon of the children.
Explanation: In the lines here under discussion, the poet wants to present a valuable message that there is no fixed time for intellectual development and and spiritual enlightenment of the children. There should not be any sort of compulsion and imposition upon children for removing ignorance. They should not be rebuked if they are slow learners and come late for learning rather they should be appreciated and encouraged. Summary of Sunrise by Padma Sachdev

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