NIOS Class 10 English Chapter 25 Once Upon a Time

NIOS Class 10 English Chapter 25 Once Upon a Time Solutions to each chapter is provided in the list so that you can easily browse through different chapters NIOS Class 10 English Chapter 25 Once Upon a Time and select need one. NIOS Class 10 English Chapter 25 Once Upon a Time Question Answers Download PDF. NIOS Study Material of Class 10 English Notes Paper 202.

NIOS Class 10 English Chapter 25 Once Upon a Time

Join Telegram channel

Also, you can read the NIOS book online in these sections Solutions by Expert Teachers as per National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) Book guidelines. These solutions are part of NIOS All Subject Solutions. Here we have given NIOS Class 10 English Chapter 25 Once Upon a Time, NIOS Secondary Course English Solutions for All Chapters, You can practice these here.

Once Upon a Time

Chapter – 25


25.2.1 PART 1 (Stanzas 1, 2 and 3)

Once upon a time ……………….. shut on me.

The poet tells his son about the behaviour of people in the past and in the present, in the olden days and in the modern world. He remembers a time when people had true feelings for one another. They would laugh from the heart and meet one another with genuine feeling. But today in the modern, busy world people often greet each other without any warmth in their handshake. They greet each other with a smile or a laugh that does not reach their eyes or warm their hearts. When they say ‘come again’ to a guest they don’t really mean it, they only say it to be polite. According to the poet, people these days are often interested in meeting people only if they are rich, powerful, successful or famous, and do not value or respect those who have no wealth or position.


I. Answer the following questions with reference to the lines in the following stanzas:

1. Stanza – 1

“Once upon a time _______ my shadow”

(a) Who does the word ‘they’ refer to?

Ans. ‘They’ refers to people in modern times.

(b) What effect does the poet create by using the phrase ‘once upon a time”?

Ans. ‘Once upon a time’ means that poet is talking about something that happened a long time ago.

(c) How can a person laugh with his eyes and heart? 

Ans. We really laugh, we see reflection in our eyes.

(d) What human behaviour is being discussed in this stanza? 

Ans. In this stanza artificial and false behaviour is shown.

2. Stanza – 2

“There was a time _______ my empty pockets.”

(a) What do the words “there was a time” refer to?

Ans. These words denote a time long past.

(b) What happened at that time?

Ans. People greeted with happiness because of the true feelings they had with each other.

(c) …….while their left hands search…….’. What do they search? What is the significance of this ‘search’?

Ans. The search signifies that the search person is introduced to poet In this search the person is trying to find about being rich or poor.

(d) Based on the poem’s context what do you think will be the reaction of people who search the poet’s pockets and find them empty.

Ans. It they find poet’s pocket empty away.

3. Stanza – 3

“Feel at home _______ doors shut on me.” 

(a) What does the expression ‘feel at home’ mean? Does the poet ‘feel at home’ in the situation he describes in this stanza?

Ans. It means to feel comfortable. The poet does not feel comfortable even if he is told to come again.

(b) Which words or expressions are used by the poet to indicate that repeated visits are not welcome.

Ans. I find doors shut on me.

(c) Have you ever experienced a situation in which you believed completely in someone who offered to help you or promised something to you. Later you realized that he/she did not mean it? How did you feel when this happened to you? If this has not been your personal experience, imagine how would if you were let down. you feel.

Ans. When I realize that I did not get what had been promised, I felt shattered. It made one realize that whole is untrue and people around me can not be trusted.

Since times immemorial Indians have been well known for their hospitality (the way in which guests are served and taken care of).

Atithi Devo Bhava is a very old slogan What does it mean?

In the olden days when the means of communication were limited and slower than they are today, it was not possible to be prepared for the arrival of a guest. The word Atithi means a guest whose date of arrival is not known, or a person who arrives unexpectedly.

Atithi is made up of A+tithi, in which ‘A’ stands for not known and ‘tithi’ means date. Devo means God and ‘Bhav’ stands for ‘is’.

Atithi Devo Bhava hence means that the arrival of a guest at any time is like the arrival of God and the guest shall be treated thus. This sentiment is deep-rooted in our culture even today.

In recent times the Government of India through the Ministry of Tourism has used this slogan to promote tourism in India.

25.2.2 PART 2 (Stanzas 4 and 5)

So I have learned ……………….. after being bored.

Have you ever said something nice to someone without meaning it? Why do you think you said it? Was it because you were too busy and did not think about what you were saying? Was it because it was the correct thing to say in that situation? To be a part of the society we need to learn behaviour that is accepted in society. We begin to learn this as we grow up and behave according to the situation we are in. We learn this behaviour so well that our natural behaviour slowly disappears, and in each different situation we behave in the way that is considered appropriate for that situation. The poet says that he behaves very differently in the office, compared to the way he behaves at a party, or on the street. And none of these different faces that he puts on is his natural self or his real face. He says that he has also learnt to say things that he doesn’t really mean, because they are the correct things to say in that situation. For example, when we are introduced to someone we are taught to say, “Glad to meet you.” So the poet says that be too sometimes politely greets a person in this way even though he may not be interested in meeting him or her. The poet feels sad that like other adults in today’s world he has forgotten how to be a natural person.


I. Answer the following with reference to the lines mentioned in the following stanzas:

1. Stanza 4. “So, I have learnt …………… like a fixed portrait smile.”

(a) What has the father learnt?

Ans. The father has learnt to wear many faces. He has learnt to act or behave according to heed to each situation.

(b) Explain “Like a fixed portrait smile.”

Ans. According to poet when adults smile it is a formality. The smile is without any feeling like smile in a future.

(c) What do the different faces stand for?

Ans. The different faces stands for different ways person conducts himself/herself according to situation.

2. Stanza – 5

“And I have learned too …………. after being bored.”

(a) Mention the other things that the father has learnt.

Ans. The father has learnt to say things opposite of real feelings. He has learnt to speak pleasant words while he has unpleasant words in mind.

(b) Which learnings by the father refer to emotionless relationships? 

Ans. These learning are to laugh only with his teeth, to shake hands without his heart.

(c) Select any two phrases that show the contrast between intention and action.

Ans. To say ‘good bye’ for ‘good riddance’ -to say glad to meet you without being glad.

II. Imagine the following situation:

Nisha’s friend, Sia has been sick and has missed a week of school. Nisha promises to share her notes with Sia and also to teach her whatever she cannot understand. But when Sia actually comes to ask her to explain something to her before the exam, Nisha makes an excuse and does not help her. Explain how this could affect Sia.

Ans. Sia would have totally depended on Nisha. When Nisha refuses Sia, it is possible that Sia refuses to appear for the exam that. Sia could have also shouted and gone into depression.

LET US DO 25.1

All of us need help at some point of time. Reflect on the fact how you would feel if someone committed to help you and then refused.

Ans. Once when I was in eight class I had brought rupees five hundred to pay for school any dues. Unfortunately I lost my money. I was very scared. It was very difficult for my father to pay the money again. One of my friend Abhishek assured me that next day he would bring the money from his pocket money. I was very sure. But next day he made a lot of excuses. I started crying. It was the last day to pay the dues. Because of this I was kept out of class for a week. Finally I had to get money from my mother.

25.2.3 PART 3 (Stanzas 6 and 7)

But believe me …………….. when I was like you.

The poet has a deep desire to go back to the innocence of childhood. He is dissatisfied with his own changed self. He thinks that his son’s genuine laughter can teach him how to express his feelings honestly. He wants to relearn how to behave in a natural way. He wants to get rid of the falseness in his behaviour that makes his laugh unpleasant, because he laughs with his lips and teeth and not with his eyes and heart.


Q.1. What does the father wish for in stanza 6? 

Ans. The father wishes he could once again be what be used to be. He wishes to be his true self. 

Q.2. In stanza 6 the teeth have been compared to _________.

Ans. In stanza 6 the teeth have been compared to a snake’s bare fangs.

Q.3. What does the simile “like a snake’s bare fangs” bring to your mind? Explain what the poet means when he uses this simile in stanza 6.

Ans. Phrase like a snake’s bare fangs means laugh without real feelings. The laugh is unpleasant and dangerous. The poet tells that he has forgotten to laugh without any feelings.

Q.4. What does father ask his son to do in stanza 7 and why?

Ans. The father wants son to teach him to be simple, honest, natural and innocent. The poet wants to get into old self.

Q.5. The word ‘relearn’ has ‘re’ as a prefix. Combine the prefixes in column A with the words in column B below to form new words. Make sure each prefix is used only once.


Ans. re – form.

de – activate.

un – timely.

il – literate.


Imagine you are the father in the poem. Think of one or two actions of your child that made you realise how your conduct differs from that of your child, and that made you admire him. These actions of your child inspire you to be like him. Record these actions in the form of a diary entry.

A page from the diary is given below with a few lines to help you begin your diary entry. 

Monday, ______ 20XX                                       9:30 pm.

Dear Diary,

For the past few days Rahul’s behaviour has been making me realise how I have changed with time. Just a week back ___________________________________.

I pray to God to help me change my ways and be my true self again.


Note: For tips on writing a diary entry refer to LET US WRITE in lesson no. 11 “My Elder Brother” and lesson no. 18 “The Little Girl”.


Monday, _______ 20XX                                     9:30 pm.

Dear Diary,

For the past few days Rahul’s behaviour has been making me realise how I have changed with time. Just a week back. I saw him helping a poor men with his money He also him his share chocolate.

Yesterday, I was amazed to find him telling one of his friends that we should always stay honest.

I I pray to God to help me change my ways and be my true self again. 



 Based on your understanding of the poem, match the following expression/phrases with their meanings. Please note there are extra options in the meaning column.


II. Answer the following questions: 

Q.1. What has the poet forgotten and what is his desire?

Ans. The poet has forgotten his true natural self. He wants to turn back to childhood where he could express his feelings honestly.

Q.2. In today’s world it is often difficult to know what to believe and what not to believe. What you see is often not the reality? Explain.

Ans. People in modern society do what ever is necessary to acheive their goals. Without any genuine feelings. The actions and words are opposite of thoughts. It is difficult to know what to believe and what not to believe.

Q.3. The father and son in the poem represent two different periods of time. Elaborate.

Ans. The father as an adult stands for modern period in which people are false and artificial. The son is a child and represents old days when people were natural and honest.

Q.4. Which time according to you is better? Why?

Ans. According to us old times were better when there was no hypocrisy. People were very honest and simple.

Q.5. By addressing his son who is the poet also addressing. 

Ans. By addressing his son the poet is addressing all the adults of the modern world who have lost their innocent. These people are artificial in their behaviour. He wants to tell them to relearn from their children to be natural and honest.

Q.6. When we use humour, irony, sarcasm or exaggeration to critize someone or something, it is called satire. The poem is a satire on modern society. With the help of examples from the poem support this statement.

Ans. The poem is a satire one falseness in modern society. The poet uses such expressions as laugh only with their teeth’ ‘shake hands without hearts’ ‘their left hands search my empty pockets’ In modern society the poet keeps on changing faces.



Once upon a time, son, they used to laugh with their hearts and laugh with their eyes: but now they only laugh with their teeth, while their ice-block-cold eyes search behind my shadow. 


1. Who are they’? 

Ans. They are father and his people.

2. What is meaning of laugh with their hearts’? 

Ans. It means to be happy from core of the heart.

3. What does ice-block cold eyes indiate?

Ans. It means that eyes have no emotions or feelings.

4. Give the antonym of word ‘cry’. 

Ans. Cry – laugh.


There was a time indeed they used to shake hands with their hearts: but that’s gone, son. Now they hands without hearts while their left hands search my empty pockets. 


1. What time is talked about? 

Ans. A nice time when things were full of joy and innocence talked about. 

2. How is the time changed?

Ans. The time is changing when feelings of heart are going away. 

3. What does empty pockets indicate? 

Ans. It indicates along with feelings money is also becoming less.

4. Give three forms of verb of ‘shake’. 

Ans. Shake – shook, shaken.


‘Feel at home”! ‘Come again’: they say, and when I come again and feel at home, once, twice, there will be no thrice – for then I find doors shut on me. 


1. Who is the speaker? 

Ans. Father is the speaker.

2. How many times does the speaker go?

Ans. The speaker goes three times.

3. Is the speaker happy? 

Ans. No, the speaker is not happy.

4. Give the past tense of ‘shut’.

Ans. Shut – shut


And I have learned too to laugh with only my teeth and shake hands without my heart. I have also learned to say, ‘Good bye’, when I mean ‘Good riddance’; to say Glad to meet you’, without being glad, and to say ‘It’s been nice talking to you’, after being bored.


1. What has ‘T’ learnt?

Ans. I had learnt to be a hypocrite.

2. Actually what does Good Riddance mean?

Ans. It means that one blanks to get rid off. 

3. Is the poet actually glad? 

Ans. No, poet is not all happy.

4. Give the meaning of ‘Glad’.

Ans. Glad – very happy.


But believe me, son.

I want to be what I used to be 

when I was like you. I want 

to unlearn all these muting things. 

Most of all, I want to relearn

how to laugh, for my laugh in the mirror 

shows only my teeth like a snake’s bare fangs!


1. What does the poet want to relearn? 

Ans. The poet wants to relearn how to behave in natural way.

2. Which kind of laugh he wants to enjoy?

Ans. He want to enjoy the laugh with his eyes and heart.

3. In which stage does the poet want to go back? 

Ans. The poet wants to go back into childhood.

4. Choose word which means ‘serpent’s venom’.

Ans. Fangs.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top