Lost Spring

Lost Spring

Anees Jung


The ‘Lost Spring’ is an excerpt from ‘Stories of Stolen Childhood’ written by Anees Jung.

It exposes a national shame-children cleaning  floors and tables in shanty restaurants; making locks, slates and fireworks; rolling bidis ; weaving saris and carpets: packing and hauling loads in factories and stone quarries. With her trademark sensitivity and insight, she analyses the grinding poverty and tradition sanctified by caste and religion which condemn these children to a life of exploitation.

SUMMARY  Stories of Stolen Childhood

A Short Documentary on Child Labour 

E-Project on Child Labour : Shape Our Future Bright


The “lost spring” has a tinge of irony. Spring is the best season of a year. Being full of color, fragrance and freshness, it is also a season of renewal and growth. The childhood of human life is often likened to spring, as it marks the beginning of human life and has a tremendous scope for growth. It is full of joy, pleasure and play. Children anywhere in the world are a source of great joy. But, ironically, millions of children like Saheb and Mukesh experience no spring in their lives, for their childhood is consumed in making a living. Education, play and pleasure are not for them to enjoy. They must work to support themselves and their families.
Thus the title brings out the depravity of child labor in a very telling way.


Loss of Childhood means:

  • Loss of Freedom to enjoy
  • Involvement in menial jobs
  • Physical & mental sufferings
  • Don’t get education


Test Your Comprehension

Cloze Exercise on Gist of the Lesson


  • After viewing the e-project given above Shape Our Future Bright and the documentary on child labour, write a report on the Problem of Child Labour in India for your school magazine.
  • Being the headboy/girl of your school, write a notice  informing students about the ‘Anti-Child-Labour’ day going to be observed in your school.
  • Make a poster on ‘Stop Child Labour’.
  • Take an interview of a child labourer and write a paragraph on it in about 200 words.
  • A Paradox is (as defined by http://dictionary.reference.com)
  1. a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth
  2. a self-contradictory and false proposition
  3. any person, thing, or situation exhibiting an apparently contradictory nature
  4. an opinion or statement contrary to commonly accepted opinion.

After reading the above definitions, we conclude that Child Labour is a Paradox. Think of other paradoxes prevailing in our society and write an article on it in about 150 words.


Simile or Metaphor      Hyperbole       Paradox

Quiz : Simile & Metaphor

Quiz: Simile, Metaphor & Hyperbole


Test Your Vocabulary Quiz

Picture Aid

lost spring

Lines to PONDER

STORY 1:  “Sometimes I Find a Rupee in the Garbage.”

“…..garbage has different meaning ……..For the children it is wrapped in wonder, for the elders it is a mean of survival.”

Explanation: Garbage is gold to these rag-pickers. For elders it is source of their daily bread and a roof over their head even if it is leaky. For children it is a surprise as they may get a rare ten rupee note in the garbage.

“…….his name “Saheb-e- Alam” ……. Lord of the Universe”

Explanation: Saheb’s name is full of irony. The meaning of his name is ‘Lord of the Universe’, but he is poverty stricken, barefooted and homeless. He is rag-picker who gets up early in the morning, rushes barefooted to garbage bins and scrounges the garbage dumps of Delhi to have his bread.

“The steel canister seems heavier than the plastic bag he would carry so lightly over his shoulder…… Saheb is no longer his own master.”

Explanation: The life of Saheb as a rag-picker was very poor, but his life as a child labourer became even worst.

Steel Canister v/s garbage dump

Saheb’s Life as a Ragpicker & a Worker at Tea Stall

Garbage Dump

Steel Canister

Symbol of freedom for rag pickers Symbol of Slavery
Master of his own life and enjoyed life No longer Master of his own life
Full of Wonders Monotonous and dull
Under the control of no one Under the control of the owner

“… an army of barefoot boys who appear like morning birds and disappear at noon.”

Explanation: Due to poverty, these boys cannot afford slippers or shoes but are free spirited and enjoy an revel their freedom like birds.

These boys call it a tradition to walk barefoot, but in reality they cannot afford slippers or shoes. Their condition is poorer than the priest boys who could get shoes in life after a few decades but the rag-pickers suffer from depravation since generations and their is still no hope of change for them.

STORY 2: “I Want to Drive a Car.”

“His dream looms like a mirage amidst the dust of streets that fill his town, Firozabad, famous for its bangles.”

Explanation: The dream of Mukesh to become a motor mechanic is like a mirage which that appears possible but couldn’t be or their are very less chances of it. It is because he is worker in the bangle making factor and has very less chances to change his present occupation which he has got in heredity.

“Few aeroplanes fly over Firozabad.”

Explanation: The condition of workers in Firozabad is so poor that thy couldn’t even think of high things even in their dreams. Becoming a motor mechanic is a great challenge for Mukesh, he could never (even in his dreams) think of becoming a pilot.

MIND MAP Story No. 1

Lost Spring

MIND MAP Story No. 2

Lost Spring 2





B SUMMARY Click Here
D THEME & TITLE Click Here
E WORD BANK Click Here

20 comments on “Lost Spring

  1. The Chapter is very nice.Both stories show a different India…….One where everthing is possible and (where we live) & another where finding a 10 rupee note is the rarest happy moment of someone’s life.

  2. the life is given to us in a very lucky way we have everything we need yet we are selfish about having things more and more . when is this going to end .then only we will all progress

  3. they have nothing but they have everything..then know how to happy in their situation.but we jst wnt more n more..really we are lucky..

  4. Thank u Mam for making my students accessible to the world of self exploration where even chap like Lost spring also gains importance n memorable concept to ponder upon.

  5. While explaining the lines about the rag-pickers’ lack of footwear, it is written “…. the rag-pickerss suffer from DEPRAVITY …….”
    The children do not lead a life of ” depravity”. The word ought to be ” deprivation”.Please make the correction. Apart from this misuse of a word, the chapter has been dealt with very well.

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