Chapter 6 – The Ghat of the Only World Questions and Answers: NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English (Snapshots)

Class 11 The Ghat of the Only World solutions for Chapter 6 - English (Snapshots) Questions and Answers.

Question 1.
What impressions of Shahid do you gather from the piece?

Agha Shahid Ali was a poet of life. He was lively in the face of an impending death. He loved people, food, poetry, teaching, music and kept himself engaged in all these so he did not have time to be depressed about his approaching death. He was true to his vocation as a poet and believed that art and form should be as important to a poet as his subject.
He wrote poems, perhaps the finest ones, about the political condition and violence in Kashmir, but he did . not embrace the role of victim, proving himself a true poet at heart and not a political personality. He was an ardent believer of the separation of politics and religion and believed that people could be happy with food, clothes, music and everything that was available to them; everything that was beautiful and good.

Question 2.
How do Shahid and the writer react to the knowledge that Shahid is going to die?

There are two instances in the text when the author and Agha Shahid Ali talk about the latter’s impending death. Incidentally both the times they talk over phone. In both the instances, the author is dejected and at a loss as to how to respond to such a thing. Although he has known about Ali’s illness all the while, he finds it difficult to face, albeit not literally, the person who is going to die. But Ali seems quite in peace with this fact.

In both the instances, his voice sounds ‘quiet and untroubled’. In fact, in the first instance, his voice was, as the author puts it, ‘completely at odds with the content of what he had just said, light to the point of jocularity.’ This shows that Ali accepts his death and is at peace with his approaching end. In his last meeting with the author, he even says that he loves to think that he will meet his mother in the afterlife.

Question 3.
Look up the dictionary for the meaning of the word ‘diaspora’. What do you understand of the Indian diaspora from this piece?

The meaning of the word ‘diaspora’ is dispersion or spread of people from their original country to other countries. From the piece, we get a glimpse of the Indian diaspora living in the US. Agha Shahid Ali, his brother and two sisters, the writer Suketu Mehta and the author of the piece, Amitav Ghosh, are some of the names mentioned in the text who form part of the Indian diaspora in the US.

Bom in India, the people of the diaspora settle down in different countries for various reasons. But they often rekindle their memory of the country they left in the social gatherings. They talk and write about their homeland. Like this piece, which is full of references to India, the diaspora consciousness is shaped by the sense of a home one left behind, a nostalgia one often indulged in and an unforgettable love one can only talk about but not go back to


1. Draw a Character Sketch of Shahid from the Ghat of the Only World.

Ans: The piece, ‘The Ghat Of The Only World’, does great justice in bringing up the character of  Agha Shahid Ali in this brief sketch of the character. To begin with, this is a character that we can never judge completely. The way that Shahid is brought up in the story gives the readers an idea of a man who was dying. Throughout the piece, Shahid remains an extremely lucid person who didn’t drop a single bar on the enthusiasm of life. Yes, Shahid was afraid of dying, just like any other normal man but in the same place, he didn’t give up on living.
Shahid broadly ignored the reassurances given by and focused on living his life to the fullest till his last breath. He was a man who wanted to embark his journey onto the people’s memories and not through spoken recitatives that revolved around friendship but much relied on the written word. As the story proceeds, we notice how Shahid has reached a severe stage of his illness; however, he does not allow it to impede the progress of the friendship between him and the author.

2. What Were the Reactions of Shahid and the Writer Upon the Knowledge That Shahid Is Living on Limited Time?

Ans: As quoting the lines from the poem, “Oh dear! I can’t see a thing…I hope this doesn’t mean that I am dying,” readers can have a clear picture of the fear of death that Shahid had and the fear is also immensely visible in Shahid’s tone of voice and the choice of words in the poem. He was very scared when he got to know that he was dying, for the first time. Readers can notice the transition around the character when Shahidh comes across his occasional memory lapses that only become more serious as we progress through the poem. The vocabulary used in the poem only represents a strong urge for death drawing and only becomes more vital.
As the character was in conversation with Amitav Ghosh, Shahid spoke in a clear ringing voice – “When it happens, I hope you will write something for me.” The writer was amazed at the moment and had no idea about what he should reply at the exact moment. Considering the fact that the writer had no reply to such a topic, we can understand the graveness of the conversation. Lastly, he promises, “I’ll do the best I can.”