NCERT Solutions for class 10th English Chapter 1 A Letter to God


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Question1. What did Lencho hope for?

Ans. Lencho hoped for a good rainfall.

Question2. Why did Lencho say the raindrops were like ‘new coins’?

Ans. He called the drops of rain ‘new coins’ because good rainfall meant a good harvest. A good harvest will bring him a lot of money.

Question3. How did the rain change? What happened to Lencho’s fields?

Ans. Suddenly a strong wind began to blow. Along with the rain, very large hailstones began to fall. These were truly like silver coins. The boys ran out to collect the frozen pearls. The rain did not stop. For an hour hail rained everywhere. Lencho’s fields were white as if they were covered with salt. The corn was totally destroyed. The flowers were gone from the plants

Question4. What were Lencho’s feelings when the hail stopped?

Ans. Lencho’s soul was filled with sadness. When the storm had passed, he stood in the middle of the field. He told his son that even locusts would not bring about so much destruction. The hail had left nothing. He told them that year they would have no corn.


Question1. Was Lencho surprised to find a letter for him with money in it?

Ans. No, Lencho did not show the slightest surprise at seeing the money. Such was his confidence in God.

Question 2. What made him angry?

Ans. Lencho became angry when he counted the money. He had asked God to send him a hundred pesos. But he found only seventy pesos. He thought that the men in the post office had stolen thirty pesos. So he got angry.


Question1. Who does Lencho have complete faith in? Which sentences in the story tell you this?

Ans. Lencho had complete faith in God. The following sentences in the story tell us this:

(i) There was a single hope: the help from God.
(ii) God he wrote, ‘‘if you don’t help, my family and I will go hungry this year.’’
(iii) Lencho showed not the slightest surprise on seeing the money; such was his confidence—…
(iv)…, nor could he have denied Lencho what he had requested.

Question 2. Why does the postmaster send money to Lencho? Why does he sign the letter ‘God’?

Ans. The postmaster was very much impressed by Lencho’s faith in God. He didn’t want this faith to be shaken. So he sent the money to Lencho. He signed the letter ‘God’. In fact, he wanted to give Lencho the impression that it was really God who had sent him the money. This way Lencho would continue to have faith in God.

Question 3. Did Lencho try to find out who had sent the money to him? Why/Why not?

Ans. No, Lencho did not try to find out who had sent the money to him. This was because he had firm faith in God. He thought that God had sent him the money. There was no doubt about it in his mind.

Question 4. Who does Lencho think has taken the rest of the money? What is the irony in the situation? (Remember that the irony of a situation is an unexpected aspect of it. An ironic situation is strange or amusing because it is the opposite of what is expected.)

Ans. Lencho had asked God for a hundred pesos but he received seventy pesos. He thought that the post office employees had stolen the rest of the money. The irony in the situation is that it was the post office employees who had sent Lencho the money. He blamed those employees for having stolen the money. Not only this, he called them ‘a bunch of crooks’.

Question 5. Are there people like Lencho in the real world? What kind of a person would you say he is? You may select appropriate words from the box to answer the question.

greedy ,naive ,stupid ,ungrateful ,selfish, conical ,unquestioning

Ans. People do have faith in God in the real world but not the kind of unquestioning faith that Lencho had. Lencho was a naive kind of person because he believed that his letter could reach God.

Question 6. There are two kinds of conflict in the story: between humans and nature, and between humans themselves. How are these conflicts illustrated?

Ans. The conflict between humans and nature is illustrated by the hailstones destroying Lencho’s crop. The conflict between humans themselves is illustrated by Lencho’s mistrust of the post office employees. They had helped him with money but he called them ‘a bunch of crooks’.


I. Look at the following sentence from the story.

Suddenly a strong wind began to blow and along with the rain, very large hailstones began to fall.

‘Hailstones’ are small balls of ice that fall like rain. A storm in which hailstones fall is a ‘hailstorm’. You know that a storm is bad weather with strong winds, rain, thunder, and lighting.

There are different names in different parts of the world for storms, depending on their nature. Can you match the names in the box with their descriptions below, and fill in the blanks? You may use a dictionary to help you.

Gale whirlwind cyclone hurricane tornado typhoon

  1. A violent tropical storm in which strong winds move in a circle: _ _ c _ _ _ _
  2. An extremely strong wind: _ a _ _
  3. A violent tropical storm with very strong winds: _ _ p _ _ _ _
  4. A violent storm whose center is a cloud in the shape of a funnel: _ _ _ n _ _ _
  5. A violent storm with very strong winds, especially in the western Atlantic Ocean: _ _ r _ _ _ _ _ _
  6. A very strong wind that moves very fast in a spinning movement and causes a lot of damage: _ _ _ _ l____

Ans. 1. Cyclone 2. Gale 3. Typhoon 4. Tornado 5. Hurricane 6. Whirlwind.

II. Notice how the word ‘hope’ is used in these sentences from the story:

(a) I hope it (the hailstorm) passes quickly.

(b) There was a single hope: help from God. In the first example, ‘hope’ is a verb that means you wish for something to happen. In the second example, it is a noun meaning a chance for something to happen.

Match the sentences in Column A with the meanings of ‘hope’ in Column B.

III. Relative Clauses

Look at these sentences

(a) All morning Lencho—who knew his fields intimately— looked at the sky.
(b) The woman, who was preparing supper, replied, ‘‘Yes, God willing.’’

The italicized parts of the sentences give us more information about Lencho and the woman.

We call them relative clauses. Notice that they begin with a relative pronoun who. Other common relative pronouns are whom, whose, and which.

The relative clauses in (a) and (b) above are called nondefining, because we already know the identity of the person they describe. Lencho is a particular person, and there is a particular woman he speaks to. We don’t need the information in the relative clause to pick these people out from a larger set.

A non-defining relative clause usually has a comma in front of it and a comma after it (some writers use a dash (—) instead, as in the story). If the relative clause comes at the end, we just put a full stop.

Join the sentences given below using who, whom, whose, which, as suggested.

  1. I often go to Mumbai. Mumbai is the commercial capital of India (which)
  2. My mother is going to host a TV show on cooking. She cooks very well. (who)
  3. These sportspersons are going to meet the President. Their performance has been excellent. (whose).
  4. Lencho prayed to God. His eyes see into our minds. (whose)
  5. This man cheated me. I trusted him. (whom)

Sometimes the relative pronoun in a relative clause remains ‘hidden’. For example, look at the first sentence of the story:

(a) The house—the only one in the entire valley—sat on the crest of a low hill.

We can rewrite this sentence as:

(b) The house—which was the only one in the entire valley— sat on the crest of a low hill.

In (a), the relative pronoun which and the verb was are not present.


  1. I often go to Mumbai which is the commercial capital of India.
  2. My mother, who cooks very well, is going to host a TV show on cooking.
  3. The sportspersons whose performance has been excellent are going to meet the President.
  4. Lencho prayed to God, whose eyes see into our minds.
  5. The man whom I trusted cheated me.

IV. Using Negatives for Emphasis

We know that sentences with words such as no, not or nothing show the absence of something, or contradict something. For example:

(a) This year we will have no corn. (Corn will be absent)
(b) The hail has left nothing. (Absence of a crop)
(c) These aren’t raindrops falling from the sky they are new coins. (Contradicts the common idea of what the drops of water falling from the sky are)

But sometimes negative words are used just to emphasise an idea. Look at these sentences from the story:

(d) Lencho….had done nothing else but see the sky towards the north-east. (He had done only this)
(e) The man went out for no other reason than to have the pleasure of feeling the rain on his body. (He had only this reason)
(f) Lencho showed not the slightest surprise on seeing the money. (He showed no surprise at all)

Now look back at example (c). Notice that the contradiction in fact serves to emphasise the value or usefulness of the rain to the farmer.

Find sentences in the story with negative words, which express the following ideas emphatically.

  1. The trees lost all their leaves. ………………………………………………………………………………
  2. The letter was addressed to God himself. ………………………………………………………………………………
  3. The postman saw this address for the first time in his career. …………………………………………………


  1. Not a leaf remained on the trees.
  2. It was nothing less than a letter to God.
  3. Never in his career as a postman had he known that address.

V. Metaphors

The word metaphor comes from a Greek word meaning ‘transfer’. Metaphors compare two things or ideas: a quality or feature of one thing is transferred to another thing. Some common metaphors are

  • the leg of the table: The leg supports our body. So the object that supports a table is described as a leg.
  • the heart of the city: The heart is an important organ in the centre of our body. So this word is used to describe the central area of a city.

In pairs, find metaphors from the story to complete the table below. Try to say what qualities are being compared. One has been done for you.


Have you ever been in great difficulty, and felt that only a miracle could help you? How was your problem solved? Speak about this in class with your teacher.

Ans. Last July I was traveling by car from Delhi to Chandigarh. My father was driving the car and I was sitting beside him. It was a hot day. We had crossed Panipat and were going towards Karnal. Suddenly my father saw an oil tanker standing in the middle of the road about fifty metres away. The oil had leaked from the tanker and had slipped all over the road making it slippery. My father applied brakes to stop the car. But the car instead of stopping started slipping at great speed towards the tanker. I thought that our end was near and only a miracle could save us. But a miracle did happen. A few feet away from the tanker, the car suddenly turned to the left and stopped after moving a few yards in the nearby fields.


Listen to the letter (given under ‘In this Lesson’) read out by your teacher/on the audio tape. As you listen fill in the table given below:

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