Lost Spring is the second chapter of the Class 12 book Flamingo, which has been authored by Anees Jung. This chapter is about the writer’s interactions with Saheb and Mukesh. This article includes a detailed summary of Lost Spring with the most important word meanings. After you have completed the summary do test your knowledge with MCQ quiz questions at the end.
The writer highlights the living conditions of these children. By the end of the summary, you will know why Saheb and Mukesh are forced to do what they do.
Writer– Anees Jung
Lost Spring is written by Anees Jung – an Indian author, journalist, and columnist for newspapers in India and abroad. The main theme of the chapter is Poverty and how it leads to child labor. The lesson has been narrated by the writer herself.
Childhood is the time when we get to learn, play and explore the world around us. A healthy childhood is the foundation of a great life. It is the time when a child is most sensitive to the environment around him.
The title “Lost Spring” is quite appropriate as childhood is the spring of life. Spring represents new beginnings, new life, and Joy. Lost Spring implies how childhood joy and excitement are lost somewhere in these children’s lives.
This lesson is about the story of two boys -Saheb and Mukesh. Their dreams and hopes are crushed by the system as they are forced to work for their survival. The chapter shows a contrast between an ideal childhood and the reality of these children.
Lost Spring Summary.
Saheb – The Ragpicker
Saheb is a ragpicker who picks garbage near the writer’s house. One day the writer advises him to go to school but there is no school near Saheb’s house. Saheb’s home was destroyed by a storm a long time ago. So his family came from Bangladesh to India and settled at Seemapuri.
Saheb’s full name is Saheb-e-Alam which means lord of the universe. It is ironic as this lord of the universe roams around the streets looking for garbage.
Saheb roams the streets with other ragpickers. They come early in the morning and leave by noon. They believe it is a part of their tradition to not wear shoes. The narrator thinks that this is just an excuse to hide their inability to buy a pair of shoes.
Saheb likes to watch other boys playing tennis. He has accepted his fate and is content with it. Other boys wear shoes now but many others like these ragpickers remain shoeless.
Seemapuri is a place on Delhi’s Border where more than 10,000 ragpickers live. Saheb lives here with his family. These families came from Bangladesh to Seemapuri in 1971 when their homes were destroyed.
These people don’t have any kind of legal rights over their homes. The only identity they have is a ration card which is required to get food. They are satisfied with their lives as long as they don’t have to sleep hungry.
Children start rag-picking at a very early age to help their parents to survive. For these people, rag-picking is just for survival but for children, it is like an exciting game.
Saheb gets a Job
After some time the author sees Saheb working at a tea stall. He gets paid 800 rupees and all his meals. It seems like he has lost his freedom and free will. This is because now he is not his own master as he works for the tea stall owner. The steel canister he carries seems heavier than the plastic bag he used while rag-picking.
NCERT Textbooks in English for class 12 – Flamingo and Vistas
Mukesh – The Bangle Maker
Mukesh is a bangle maker in Firozabad but, he dreams of becoming a car mechanic one day. He wants to learn to drive a car. His family has been making bangles for generations but, he dares to dream.
Mukesh’s family lives in stinking lanes which are chocked with garbage. His home has crumbling walls and it is not fit to live in. There is a lack of proper ventilation and drainage. People have to share their homes with animals.
There are five members in Mukesh’s family. Mukesh’s sister-in-law is in charge of three men – Her husband, Mukesh, and their father. She veils her face as Mukesh’s father enters the house.
Mukesh’s father has been working for a long time but still, he is unable to renovate his house and send his kids to school. He has only been able to teach them bangle-making.
Mukesh’s grandmother believes that bangle-making is their God-given lineage and it can’t be changed. Mukesh’s grandfather had lost his eyesight from the dust of polishing glass bangles.
Savita is a young girl wearing a dull – pink colored dress. Her hands move mechanically like the tongs of a machine. She sits along with an elderly woman soldering pieces of glass together.
The author wonders if Savita knows the significance of the bangles she is making. These bangles symbolize auspiciousness in marriage. She will realize their importance when she gets married.
Firozabad is a district in Uttar Pradesh that is famous for its glass blowing and bangle-making industries. Almost every household in Firozabad is a part of this industry. People have been making bangles and welding glass in this town for generations.
Even though it is illegal for children to work in these small and dark rooms with glass furnaces at high temperatures still more than 20,000 children are employed here. Every street in Firozabad is filled with these bright-colored bangles.
Little boys and girls sit with their parents and weld bangles in dimly lit huts. Many of them end up losing their eyesight even before becoming adults as their eyes get more adjusted to the dark than the light outside.
The main theme of the chapter is poverty and child labor. India has the highest number of child laborers in the world. Anees Jung highlights the state of these children in our country.
In Sahib’s story, we can see that freedom is more valuable to him than money. He was carefree and happy when he was rag-picking. Now even though he gets paid 800 rupees and all his meals but his freedom and happiness are gone.
On the other hand, Mukesh dares to break this vicious circle and decides to chase his dreams. He has a spark in his eyes and is willing to take a chance.
The writer also questions the authorities about this condition of the children. Children like Saheb have been made false promises all their lives. While in Firozabad if the authorities are willing to take action they can free more than twenty thousand child laborers.
The author of Lost Spring is Anees Jung
In nature, spring symbolizes new beginnings. Lost spring symbolizes how the joy and love of childhood are lost in these children’s lives.
Savita is a girl wearing a dull pink dress. Her hands move mechanically soldering pieces of glass.
Firozabad is famous for its glass blowing and bangle-making industries.
Lost Spring Summary-Word Meanings.
- Scrounging – Searching for something
- Apathy – Indifference
- Amidst – In the middle of
- Spring – Spring season
- Udipi – A town in Karnataka
- Distant – Far off
- Discarded – Given up
- Half-Joking – Not seriously
- Bleak – There is little hope for the future
- Mutters – To speak in a low voice that is difficult to hear
- Glibly – Without thinking about it properly
- Broadly- In General
- Abound – To exist in large numbers
- Roams – To walk or travel
- Squatters – Those who settle down illegally
- Distant – Far away
- Tattered – Torn in pieces
- Discolored – Faded
- Mirage – A hope or wish that can’t be achieved
- Tarpaulin – A tough waterproof cloth
- Looms – Spreads
- Periphery – Outskirts
- Slog – To work hard at something boring
- Hovels – A house that is in a bad condition
- Crumbling – To break into very small pieces
- Wobbly – Unstable
- Shuffles – Keep shifting
- Coexisting – To live together
- Hauled up – Dragged
- Primeval – Ancient
- Renovate – To repair
- Metaphorically – Symbolically
- Thatched – A house made from straws and dried grass
- Sizzling – The sound of food getting fried
- Stinking – To have an unpleasant smell
- Choked – Blocked
- Platters – Large-sized plated
- Frail – Weak
- Mounds – A heap or raised mass
- Unkempt – Neglected/Not cared for
- Hutments – A collection of Huts
- Bahu – Daughter-in-law
- Welding – A process to join metals
- Drab – Dull
- Sanctity – State of being holy
- Veil – A thin cloth used by women to cover their face
- Auspiciousness – Fortunate
- Custom – Ritual
- Impoverished – Very poor
- Karam – Destiny
- Lineage – Family Tradition.
- Implies – Means
- Mounds – Heaps
- Shanty – A small hut made of wood
- Sughaag – Being married
- Soldering – Joining
- Sanctity – Sacredness
- Draped – Covered with
- Drained – Removed
- Panting – Breathing heavily
- Perpetual – Never ending
- Henna – A reddish-brown dye used to decorate hands
- Mind-numbing – That stops the working of the mind
- Toil – To work very hard for a long time
- Apathy – Absence of emotion
- Vicious Circle – A situation in which an attempt to resolve one problem creates new problems
- Sahukar – Moneylender
- Flickering – A flame that is going on and off
- Bureaucrats – A government official
- Imposed – To make a rule accepted by using power