The Lost Child by Mulk Raj Anand - Class 9

Picture of Meenu Sethi
Meenu Sethi
3 years ago

Summary of The Lost Child, Class 9, NCERT English, Moments, written by Mulk Raj Anand. The Lost Child is a very thoughtful story forcing the reader to introspect. It carries within itself a crucial lesson on materialism and its fickle nature.

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Welcome to English Chatterbox! The Lost Child tells us a story of a boy who gets lost in a fair. Initially, he didn't value what his parents had given him but yearns for other things Later, when he loses his parents, he regrets it and desperately wants them back.

Let's start off from the very beginning to see the sequence of events.

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The story begins with the description. A lot of people are heading towards a fair in carts or on foot. Likewise, the child is going with his parents. He is repeatedly tempted by the things he sees on the way but his parents keep calling him to come.

  • Firstly, he wanted a toy but his father looked at him angrily and his mother diverted his mind towards the field.

  • Secondly, he was tempted by the butterfly and ran after it to catch it though he could not do so.

  • Thirdly, he liked to look at the little insects but he was called by his parents.

  • Fourthly, he went where his parents were setting under the shade of the trees. When petals fell on him, he forgot about his parents and started catching them. Then, he was distracted by the doves and rushed towards them. From there, he started running around the banyan tree.

In the fair the boy is tempted by many things.

  • Firstly, he wanted burfi as it was favourite sweet, but he didn't ask his parents as he knew that his parents would think he was greedy.

  • Secondly, he wanted a garland of gulmohar but he didn't say anything as he knew his parents would say that they were cheap and wouldn't let him buy it.

  • Thirdly, he wanted to have the balloon which were in all kinds of colours, but was aware that he was too old for such toys so he moved on.

  • Fourthly, he was fascinated by the flute of the snake charmer but as he was well aware of the fact that his parents had asked him not to hear such rough/coarse music he moved on. Finally, when he reached the roundabout the motion of it tempted him so much that he expressed his desire for a ride. But when he turned around there was no reply so he turned around to look for his parents.

He couldn't see them anywhere. He panicked and started to cry. He moved towards the shrine where he saw a lot of rush. He might have been crushed in that crowd but a man heard his cries of father, mother, and had lifted him. The man tried to divert his mind so,

  • Firstly, he took him to the roundabout and asked him if he wanted to ride but the boy refused and cried out for his parents.

  • Secondly, he took him to the snake charmer then also the boy wanted his parents and not the music.

  • Thirdly, he took him to the balloon seller but the boy just sobbed for his parents

  • Fourthly, he took him to a garland shop, but the boy refused that as well

  • Fifthly, he took him to a sweetshop, but the boy just wanted his parents.

Our story ends at this point, but it has a deeper metaphorical meaning. Human beings often get distracted by the materialistic things. In this story, the child represents humans and the parents represent the lord. The lord keeps guiding humans. It is only when human beings lose their lord that they realise his true worth and realise the worthlessness of other materialistic desires.

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