A House Is Not A Home Class 9 | Chapter 8 | Moments | English | NCERT |

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A House Is Not A Home Class 9 | Chapter 8 | Moments | English |

Brief Introduction of A House Is Not A Home

A House Is Not A Home Class 9 : A House is made by walls; a home is made by love. The writer tries to bring out this idea through an incident of his childhood.

After completing his studies at junior school he had joined a high school. He missed his old school and had not made any friends at his new school. He used to live in a small house with his loving mother. He had a lovely cat and he was very fond of it. Author’s father had already died. One Sunday evening his house was set on fire. The author succeeded to escape with mother but they lost everything else. His cat was nowhere to be found. They had to spend that night at their grandparents’ house. The next day author was sent to the school. It was drag for him because he didn’t have his school uniform, bag and homework. He was wearing his aunt’s tennis shoes. He felt very depressed and embarrassed. He lost all the interest in his life. He didn’t want to live anymore and wanted to die. But after couple of weeks he got a big surprise from his new schoolmates.  His schoolmates gifted him all the things that he needed; clothes, books, shoes and stationary etc. They made friends with him. Some of them helped him rebuilding his house. One fine day a lady came there. She was having author’s cat in her hands. She said she had to work really hard to find the real owner of this cat. The author was really happy now. He forgot all about his loss. Recalling the incident he says,” My cat was back and so was I.” thus the author regained interest in his life and people around him.

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Summary of A House Is Not A Home

After completion of studies at junior school, the author had joined a high school. It was his first year at the new school. He had no friends. He felt very isolated. His closet friends had joined a different school. He missed his old teachers also. He would often go back to meet them.

Author used to live in a small house with his mother. His father had passed away when the author was quite young. One Sunday afternoon, the author was in his room and doing his homework. His little cat was on his papers. She was purring loudly. The day was cold and windy. Woods were burning in the fireplace.

The author was very much fond of his cat. She was never far away from him. The cat was rescued by the author when it was a kitten. Somehow the cat knew that the author was the person who had given her a good life. She loved her master a lot.

The author’s mother was stroking fire in the fireplace to keep the house warm. Suddenly the author smelled something strange. He saw the smoke coming from the wooden ceiling. The smoke filled the room so quickly that they were not able to see anything. They quickly rushed to the front yard. In no time the entire roof was engulfed in flames. The author ran to the neighbors to ring up the fire department.

The mother ran back to the home. She came out with a small metal box. It was full of important documents. Once again she ran back to the home. She wanted to save her late husband’s pictures and letters because these were the last memories of her husband. She couldn’t let them go up in the flames. She risked her life to save those memories.

The author ran to stop his mother but a fireman held him back. The fire trucks had already arrived. Some firemen ran into the house. They brought out author’s mother with great difficulty. They quickly took her over  to the truck and put an oxygen  mask on her face. The author ran over to her and  hugged her. The fireman said,” She is going to be OK.”  “ She just inhaled a little smoke.”

The house was completely destroyed by fire. The author saw his home burning helplessly. It took them five hours to overcome the fire completely. Suddenly the author thought of his cat. She was nowhere to be found. The author was filled with horror. Tears filled his eyes and he started to cry bitterly.

The author and his mother were left with their clothes on their back. They had to spend the night at grandparents’ house. The next day was Monday. The author didn’t wish to go to the school. But his mother insisted and sent him school. He was still wearing the same dress; he wore to the Church on Sunday. He had no shoes.  He had kicked them off while doing his homework. He had to borrow his aunt’s tennis shoes. He didn’t have books, homework, and school bag. This made him feel embarrassed. He felt like an outcast. He lost all interest in his life. He didn’t want to grow up. He just wanted to curl up and die.

After school, the author and his mother went to the place which used to be their house. They were shocked to see the horrible damage. Whatever had not burnt, was destroyed by water and the chemicals used by the firemen. The photo album and the documents were the only things that mother saved by risking her life.

Now they had to find a new place to live. The author needed some clothes for school. They borrowed some money from the grandparents.  They rented an apartment which was quite close to the place which used to be their house.

It took a week to clear the debris .The author often went there with the hope of finding his cat. She could not be found anywhere. The author kept thinking about his cat. He remembered how deeply the cat loved him. Sometimes he would get up quite early. Then the cat would tag along after him. She would climb up his robe and crawl into his pocket. There she would sleep comfortably. The author now missed her  terribly.

Everyone at the school had come to know of author’s plight. He felt embarrassed as if he was himself responsible for what had happened.  A few weeks later he was getting ready for his gym class. Some students gathered around him and asked him to hurry up. The author couldn’t understand why they were asking him to hurry up. But when he stepped into the gym, he understood why they had been doing that. Little did the author know that a big surprise was waiting for him. A big table had been set up with all kinds of things on It. Like the books, notebooks, and clothes.  The author was filled with emotion. It was like Christmas for him. People who have never spoken to him before, came forward to introduce themselves. The author got all kinds of invitations to their houses.  He was really touched. He made many friends that day.

A month later, the author was at his home. He was watching two of his friends who were helping him in rebuilding the house. Then a lady came there.  She was holding author’s cat in her hands.  He held the cat close to his heart and began to cry. The cat purred happily. His friends hugged the author and the cat. The cat had been so terrified by the fire that she ran over a mile away.  Her collar had the author’s number on it. But the phone had been destroyed by the fire and disconnected. So that lady had to work hard to find out whose cat it was.

As the author sat there with his friends and his cat, he forgot all the feelings of loss. He regained interest in his life and in people around him. He was full of gratitude for his new friends and people around him.

Textual Questions of A House Is Not A Home

Q.1 What does the author notice one Sunday afternoon? What is his mother’s reaction? What does she do?

Ans:-  The author notices smoke coming through the ceiling. He runs out with his mother. Soon the whole house was on fire. His mother went running into the house. She came out with a small metal box which was full of important documents. She ran back into the house. She wanted to bring out her late husband’s photos and letters She couldn’t let them go in flames. A fireman brought her out with a great difficulty.

Q.2 Why does author break down in tears after the fire?

Ans:- The author had a lovely cat. He was very fond of her. A fire broke out and the cat was not to be found anywhere. The house was completely burnt down. The author thought that the cat has been killed. That is why he started to cry bitterly.

Q.3 Why is the author deeply embarrassed the next day in school? Which words show his fear and insecurity?

Ans:  The author had lost everything in fire. He was not in his school dress. He had to wear the tennis shoes which belonged to his aunt.  He had no books or homework. It made him feel so embarrassed. He says,” I didn’t want to grow up…………………………………….I just want to die.”

Q.4 The cat and the author are very fond of each other. How has this been shown in the story? Where was the cat after the fire? Who brings it back and how?

Ans: The cat was saved by the author when she was a kitten. The cat was well aware about the fact that author was the person who had given her a comfortable life. She never remained away from the author. Sometimes, the author would get up very early in the morning and the cat would walk along with him and would get into his pocket and fall asleep there.

When there was fire, the cat ran away in fear. She goes a mile away. A kind woman took her back. She worked hard to find the owner of the cat. At last, after a month, she brought the cat back to the author.

Q5. What actions of the schoolmates change the author’s understanding of life and people, and comfort him emotionally? How does his loneliness vanish and how does he start participating in life?

Ans:-  The schoolmates knew that the author had lost everything in fire.  They made collections and bought all necessary things; books and clothes for him. They became friends with him. They helped in rebuilding his house. A kind lady brought his cat back. The author no longer felt lonely. He started to take part in life.

Q.6 What is the meaning of “My cat was back and so was I”? Had the author gone anywhere? Why does he say that he is also back?

Ans:  The author lost everything in the fire incident. He couldn’t find his cat anywhere. He lost interest in his life. He wanted to die. He thought his life was over. When a kind lady brought his cat back, so he was very happy to have her. So he said, “My cat was back and so was I”

Short Answer Type Questions of A House Is Not A Home

Q1. What happened to author’s mother when she had run into the burning house?

Ans: She inhaled a lot of smoke and fell unconscious in the burning house. Later a fireman rescued her. She was given an oxygen mask. She soon regained her sense and became alright.

Q2. How did author’s mother manage to save all important documents from the burning house?

Ans: As soon as the fire broke out, author and his mother ran out into the front yard. The author rushed to his neighbor’s house to call the fire department. Author’s mother risked her life and ran back to the burning house to bring the box of important document. In this way she managed to save all important documents from the burning house.

Q3. Why did the author continue to visit his old school?

Ans:  He used to feel awkward at his new school. He missed his old days a lot. He had spent a quality time there. This was the reason that the author continued to visit his old school. 

Q4.  What advises were given to the author by his old teachers?

Ans:  They suggested him to take part in activities so that he could meet new people. They assured him that by passing of time you will get settle there and start loving the new school.

Q5. Which incident changed author’s life?

Ans: One Sunday afternoon author’s house was set on fire. He lost everything in that incident. He lost his cat too. This fire incident changed his life completely.

Long Answer Type Questions of A House Is Not A Home

Q1. Describe the author’s love for his cat. Do you also feel same for your pet?

Ans. When the narrator lost everything in the fire, he did not cry but when he realized that his cat was missing, he broke down in tears. He visited his house almost every day in a hope that he will find his cat one day. A month later a kind lady came and returned his cat back.  After seeing his cat, he jumped in happiness and hugged his cat.’ He was very happy. He forgot all his pains. He said, ‘My cat was back and so was I’. It reveals the love for animals. Yes, I also feel same for my pet. I can’t live without him.

Q.2 Describe the fire incident in details.

Ans: The author’s mother was stroking fire in the fireplace to keep the house warm. Suddenly the author smelled something strange. He saw the smoke coming from the wooden ceiling. The smoke filled the room so quickly that they were not able to see anything. They quickly rushed to the front yard. In no time the entire roof was engulfed in flames. The author ran to the neighbors to ring up the fire department.

The mother ran back to the home. A small metal box was brought by her. It was full of important documents. Once again she ran back to the home. She wanted to save her late husband’s pictures and letters because these were the last memories of her husband. She couldn’t let them go up in the flames. She risked her life to save those memories.

The author ran to stop his mother but a fireman held him back. The fire trucks had already arrived. Some firemen ran into the house. They brought out author’s mother with great difficulty. They quickly took her to the truck and put an oxygen mask on her face. The author ran towards his mother and hugged her. The fireman said,” She is going to be ok.”  “ She just inhaled a little smoke.”  The house was completely destroyed by fire.

Practice Questions of A House Is Not A Home

Short Answer Questions

  1. What were the only things not destroyed in the fire?
  2. Why could the author not get money from the bank? How did they manage the funds?
  3. How did the author get rid of his feelings of loss and tragedy?
  4. What three things made author’s house ‘a home’?

Long Answer Questions

  1. The author in the lesson. ‘A House Is Not a Home’ had lost everything in the fire. Everyone in the school felt concerned and helped him. Their selfless love and concern touched his heart and changed his misconception about people. Do you agree that selfless love, concern for someone, compassion and gratitude one should always imbibe in one’s personality? Elaborate taking the examples from the story.
  2. “This was not the kind of attention I was looking for.” He did not want sympathy, he wanted self-respect and recognition. What kind of attention did the author get in his new school?

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