NCERT English - Class 9


Chapter 8: A House Is Not a Home


Question 1:

What does the author notice one Sunday afternoon ? What is his mother's reaction ? What does she do ?


One Sunday afternoon the author saw smoke coming in through the ceiling. His mother and he ran out into the front yard. His mother carried a small metal box. It had important documents. Then she ran into the house to get her husband’s pictures and letters.

Question 2:

Why does he break down in tears after the fire ? (CBSE)


The author’s pet cat was nowhere to be found. He also cried. He was suffering loss in the absence of his cat. He loved her dearly. Therefore, he broke down in tears.

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Question 3:

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


Why is the author deeply embarrassed the next day in the school ? (A House is Not a Home) (CBSE)


The author felt remorse the next day in school. His clothes looked strange. He had no books or homework. His backpack was gone. He felt that he was going to be an outcast and a geek. He was full of fear and insecurity. He wanted to die. The words are : “weird’, ‘outcast’, ‘geek’ etc.

Question 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 ?


The cat and the author are very fond of each other. This is seen in the author’s weeping and crying. After the fire the cat had run away a mile away. A woman saw it. The author’s telephone number was on its collar. She telephoned the author and delivered the cat to him.

Question 5:

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 ?


What gesture of his schoolmates touched the author’s heart in ‘A House is Not a Home ? (CBSE)


The schoolmates collected notebooks, clothes, tops and sweatsuits for him. People met him and showed concern. These actions changed the author’s understanding of life and people. This all touched him emotionally. He made many friends that day.

Question 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 ?


What did the author mean by “my cat was back and so was I” ? (CBSE)


The meaning is that his cat came back. He felt that he came to the earlier phase of life. In it he had lots of friends and had no worry. He had not gone anywhere. But he felt lonely in the change at his new school. He says so because now he has many friends. Also he does not feel lonely.