The Shehnai Of Bismillah Khan | Class IX English | Chapter 2 | Questions And Answers

You can find answers for the questions from the chapter The Shehnai of Bismillah Khan.

Class IX English | Chapter 2 | The Shehnai of Bismillah Khan

1. Tick the right answer.

1. The (shehnai, pungi) was a reeded noisemaker.

2. (Bismillah Khan, a barber, Ali Bux) transformed the pungi into a shehnai.

3. Bismillah Khan’s paternal ancestors were (barbers, professional musicians)

4. Bismillah Khan learned to play the shehnai from (Ali Bux, Paigambar Bux, Ustad Faiyaaz Khan)

5. Bismillah Khan’s first trip abroad was to (Afghanistan, U.S.A, Canada)


1. Pungi; 2. A barber; 3. Professional musicians; 4. Ali Bux; 5. Afghanistan

III. Answer these questions in 30-40 words.

1. Why did Aurangzeb ban the playing of the pungi?

Aurangzeb banned the playing of pungi because it had a shrill unpleasant sound.

2. How is shehnai different from the pungi?

Shehnai is a modified version of pungi. In order to make a shehnai, a pipe with a natural stem that is longer and broader than the pungi is chosen. Seven holes are made on the body of the pipe. When it is played by closing and opening some of the holes, it produces soft and melodious music.

3. Where was the shehnai played traditionally? How did Bismillah Khan change this?

Shehnai was traditionally played only in temples, royal courts and on the occasion of weddings. Bismillah Khan brought this instrument onto the classical stage.

4. When and how did Bismillah Khan get his first break?

Bismillah Khan got his first break when All India Radio was opened in Lucknow in 1938. He soon became a frequently heard shehnai player on the radio.

See also  Class IX English | Chapter 3 | The Little Girl | Questions And Answers

5. Where did Bismillah Khan play the shehnai on 15 August 1947? Why was the event historic?

When India won independence on August 15, 1947, Bismillah Khan became the first Indian to greet the nation with the shehnai. He played Raag Kafi from the Red Fort to an audience that included India’s first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru.

6. Why did Bismillah Khan refuse to start a shehnai school in the US?

Although Bismillah Khan had travelled all over the world, he was extremely fond of Benaras and Dumraon. The student who wanted Bismillah Khan to start a shehnai school in the US promised to recreate the atmosphere of Benaras there. Bismillah Khan refused that offer asking if he could transport river Ganga there as well. He loved India so much that whenever he left the country, he kept yearning to return.

7. Find at least two instances in the text which tell you that Bismillah Khan loves India and Benaras.

Once when a student asked him to start a shehnai school in the US, he refused the offer because he didn’t want to leave India. He loved Benaras and River Ganga so much that he hated the thought of leaving them. In another instance in the text, he says that when he went to Pakistan, he didn’t spend more than an hour there. He crossed the border just to say that he had been to Pakistan. The thought of leaving India and living in another country never crossed his mind.

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