HER name was Sulekha, but since her childhood everyone had been calling her Bholi, the simpleton.
 
     She was the fourth daughter of Numberdar Ramlal. When she was ten months old, she had fallen off the cot on her head and perhaps it had damaged some part of her brain. That was why she remained a backward child and came to be known as Bholi, the simpleton.
 
     At birth, the child was very fair and pretty. But when she was two years old, she had an attack of small-pox. Only the eyes were saved, but the entire body was permanently disfigured by deep black pock- marks. Little Sulekha could not speak till she was five, and when at last she learnt to speak, she stammered. The other children often made fun of her and mimicked her. As a result, she talked very little.
Explanation:
 
The lesson "Bholi" was written by Abbas. The lesson opens with the narrator introducing a young girl to the readers. The young girl's name was Sulekha. Since childhood, everyone has called her Bholi, the simpleton (a foolish person who cannot understand what others speak). Bholi was the fourth daughter of her parents, and her father was Numberdar Ramlal.
 
The narrator then narrates an incident which made Bholi become a simpleton. When she was ten months old, Bholi fell from the bed. While she fell, her head hit on the floor. As a result, some part of her brain was damaged. This was the reason behind her becoming a backward child. She understands and learns everything slowly compared to the other children of her age. This was the major reason she was known to be Bholi, the simpleton.
 
The narrator then tells his readers that Bholi looked very fair and beautiful when she was a newborn. Then he says that when she became two years old, she was affected by smallpox (a viral disease with a fever that usually leaves permanent scars). The entire body was deformed by smallpox, and the only place saved from the pockmarks was her eyes.
 
The narrator then says that the little Sulekha (Bholi) did not speak until she was five. When she started to speak, she stuttered with words. While hearing her sudden pauses and the difficulty in speaking, the other children of her age made fun of her and mimicked her. This made her stop speaking to others.
 
YCIND_220815_4288_Sick girl.svg
Bholi, the simpleton (at her young age)
 
Meanings of the difficult words:
 
S.No
Words
Meanings
1
Childhood The state or period of being a child
2
SimpletonA person without the usual ability to use reason and understand
3
PrettyOf a person, especially a woman or a child attractive in a delicate way without being truly beautiful
4
MimicImitate someone or their actions or words, especially in order to entertain or ridicule
Reference:
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). Bholi - K.A. Abbas (pp. 54-62). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.