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NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Chapter 5 - Short Stories

Last updated date: 19th May 2024
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NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Kaliedoscope Short Stories Chapter 5

NCERT Solutions Class 12 English Kaleidoscope Chapter 5 short stories are offered by Vedantu in a comprehensive way that benefits students. They can refer to these solutions whenever they wish to. The main idea behind making these English Class 12 NCERT Solutions Chapter 5 short stories and framing them in a step-by-step manner is to clear all the basics of students. It lets them prepare and tackle all kinds of questions in the school exams. Download the free solutions PDF now!


NCERT Solutions for Class 12


Class 12 English

Subject Parts:

Part 2 Kaleidoscope

Chapter Name:

Chapter 5 Short Stories - One Centimetre


Text, Videos, Images and PDF Format

Academic Year:



English and Hindi

Available Materials:

  • Chapter Wise

  • Exercise Wise

Other Materials

  • Important Questions

  • Revision Notes

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Access NCERT Solutions For Class 12 English Kaliedoscope Chapter 5 - One Centimetre

Stop and Think

1. What made Tao Ying decide whether to buy a ticket or not when she rode a bus alone?

Ans: When Tao Ying rides the bus alone, she usually does not pay for the ticket because she believes that her paying or not paying does not affect the bus's routine; however, she acts in accordance with the situation, paying for the ticket when the conductor appears responsible but not when he appears casual and careless.

2. Why did she insist on buying tickets both for herself and her son that day?

Ans: Xiao Ye insisted on buying a ticket for himself that day, but Tao Ying bought one for him as a symbol of sustaining his esteem, even though he didn't need one.

3. Were the old lady’s scales a reliable measure of height and weight? What convoluted logic were her measurements based on?

Ans: The scales on which the old lady measured her height and weight were unreliable. Because they were outdated and imprecise, they misrepresented the weight, and the lady had changed them to reflect more height. People want to picture themselves as thinner and taller, thus they were flattering to them, according to her thinking.

4. What was the conflict between the mother and son?

Ans: Xiao Ye believed Tao Ying only pretended he was short so she could avoid paying for his ticket, while in fact he was tall and distrusted his mother. As a result, the mother and son had a falling out.

5. Did Tao Ying really intend to cheat at the temple?

Ans: Tao Ying had no intention of cheating at the temple because she knew Xiao Ye was under a metre tall and hence did not need to purchase a ticket. He did, however, weigh more in the temple, which shocked her.

6. Why did Tao Ying change her intention to buy another ticket?

Ans: As the gathering grew larger and the ticket seller became agitated, Tao Ying realised she couldn't argue with a scale. She saw her son thinking negatively about her and decided to get a ticket.

Understanding the Text

1. How did Tao Ying's son influence the way she led her life?

Ans: Tao Ying, like her significant other, came from a low-income family and worked as a blue-collar worker. There was no surplus of money, but still, she led her life as an example for her son to follow. Her approach was gentle, and she changed how she leads her life so that her son Xiao Ye would respect her.

2. Pick out instances from the story to show that official rules are often arbitrary.

Ans: This story enlightens us that the scales used at the entrance of temples are not correct; still, Tio Ying is humiliated in front of the crowd and refused entry. While on the bus, she is asked not to pay even when she wants to pay for two tickets. She is even asked if she would want to cash her tickets even when she is clearly on an informal trip.

3. Tao Ying was very careful about spending money. What were her reasons for refusing the compensation offered by the temple officials?

Ans: Tao Ying didn't come from a rich family, but this does not imply that it was the only important thing in her life. After the unfortunate incident at the temple entrance, all she wanted was to gain her respect in her son's eyes. She wanted to prove to him that his mother would never do something unethical, and for that, he had to hear the truth about the misunderstanding.

4. Why was her final vindication important to Tao Ying?

Ans: Tao Ying bought a ticket on the bus even when she didn't have to because she wanted to set an example for her son. But the incident at the temple had left an image that she was trying to take her son without the ticket. Therefore, she wanted to give her son the reason to believe in her. She wanted her son to know that her mother was not lying.

Talking About the Text

Discuss the following in pairs or small groups

1. The way a child looks at the world is very different from that of an adult.

Ans: Children learn from the examples set in front of them. They don't have the habit of looking for a beneficial angle in every situation. They look at people from a moral point of view, and the way people react towards certain situations affects them. They do not think about the circumstances of their actions but only what is right.

2. There is always a gap between what we are and what we wish to appear to be to others.

Ans: We always have an image of ourselves, the way we want society to view us. We often pretend to have certain attributes to be viewed as good people, even when we don't necessarily possess them. Hence, the image we show others is always different from what we are.


1. Comment on the significance of the first sentence of the story to its theme.

Ans:  The first sentence shows how Tao Ying is not a believer of the world's ways as she knows that more often than not, they pretend to be someone they are not. Like what she does, she puts on a show for her son to make him abide by the rules and respect her for doing the same.

2. Would you describe the author's portrayal of Tao Ying's character in the story as sympathetic, critical, or realistic?

Ans: The narrator portrays Tao Ying as a realist, as she does not abide by the norms set by society. Instead, she chooses what's best for her and her family. Also, she makes sure to set an example for a son to grow up to be a man of values.

3. Identify the episodes that bring out the ambivalent attitude to ethics commonly seen in human life?

Ans: Tao Ying pays for her child's ticket when she doesn't need to to set an example. She does this to comply with her son's demands. She wouldn't have done this if she were alone. The older woman adjusts her scales with the goal that individuals will accept themselves as taller and more slender. She gives them a flawed perusing intentionally to compliment them.

4. How effectively does the narrative technique adopted in this story illustrate 'unity of thought"?

Ans: The narrator depicts the unity of thought by showing that the characters are using the opportunities presented to them for their benefit. Their actions may or may not be morally correct, but they are sure of their actions and analyze the situation to find a way to benefit them. 

Language Work

A . Figures of Speech

a. Simile

Notice the underlined phrases in the following sentences

(i) As the doors shut her jacket is caught, ballooning up like a tent behind her. The comparison here is between the ballooning of the jacket and a tent made explicit by the use of the conjunction, ‘like’.

(ii) The white of the wall looks like a virgin canvas and Xiao Ye a painting filling up the space.

The comparison in (ii) is between the whiteness of the wall and a virgin canvas made explicit by the use of ‘like’. In the second ‘like’ is understood. Xiao Ye is like a painting…

Such explicit comparisons are called similes.

b. Metaphor

Sometimes comparisons are made by the application of words or phrases to a concept that they do not literally denote.

An example of this is

“But in order to melt the ice in her son’s eyes, she must do something.”

Here the ice stands for the coldness and distance in her son’s eyes and how she wishes to make him come closer to her.

The comparison of a mental attitude to ice is not explicitly emphasised but is understood. Similes and metaphors add to the richness of language and help to make the reader visualise more vividly the thoughts of the author.

Pick out examples of simile and metaphor from the story and state the two elements or concepts that are compared and the manner of comparison.

Ans: Some examples of simile are:
(i) When the bus conductor looked like the responsible type,

Here, his behaviour towards duty is compared with the behaviour of responsible people.

(ii) ballooning up like a tent

Jacket that was filled with looked similar to a tent

(iii) as a bundle of straw

Rough hair is compared with a bundle of straw

Some examples of metaphor are:

(i) an open fire

Here it means the oven

(ii) door to life

the infant’s soft part of the skull is compared with door to life

(iii) centre of the universe

Mother is considered the centre of the universe because she is everything for her 

B. Pronunciation

Look at the word ‘object’

We can see that

(i) It is a two-syllable word: ob - ject

(ii) It can be used as both a noun and a verb.


(i) Place the ‘object on the table. (noun)

(Pronounce ob as in bob)

(ii) I ob’ ject, your honour. (verb)

(Pronounce ob as in hub)

  • The stress and the way the word is pronounced change accordingly.

  • You will notice that, when used as a noun, the word carries the stress on the first syllable; when used as a verb, the stress is received on the second syllable.

  • Also, the way you pronounce the initial syllable would change.

The following words can be used as both a noun and a verb

conduct protest permit

progress desert

(a) Where would the stress fall? Mark the stress when the word is used

(i) as a noun

Ans:  Conduct: His /c/on/d/uct is good.

Protest: There is a /p/ro/t/est march tomorrow.

Permit: You must have a proper /p/er/m/it to go inside.

Progress: You must show your /p/rog/r/ess report to your parents.

Desert: Sahara /d/e/s/ert is the largest desert in the world.

(ii) as a verb

Conduct: He has /c/on/d/uc/t/ed a blood donated camp.

Protest: You should /p/ro/t/est against wrong things.

Permit: You are not /p/er/m/itted to go inside.

Progress: He /p/rog/r/essed in his life.

Desert: He /d/e/s/ert/ed us.

(b) Is there a change in the pronunciation of the first syllable? Form words that rhyme with the pronunciation of the first syllable, as in the example of ‘object’ given above.

Ans: No change happened in the pronunciation of the first syllable. The words that rhyme with the pronunciation of the first syllable are: Subject, Reject and Convict.

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Kaliedoscope Short Stories Chapter 5 - One Centimeter

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English – Free PDF Download 

Class 12 English NCERT Solutions Kaleidoscope Ch 5 can easily be downloaded on Vedantu’s website. When students refer to these solutions, it helps build their concepts. The tutors have framed the solution in a clear and precise way after a lot of research. Students can get all their doubts cleared when they refer to these solutions. 

Chapter 5 – One Centimetre

One Centimetre is a short story written by Bu Shu-Min, which is about the protagonist named Tao Ying. When Tao ring rides on a bus, she does not understand why she should always buy a ticket. She feels that whether or not she travels, the bus will still move and stop at every stop. There will be a conductor, and a driver and the bus would use petrol whether or not she rode on it.

Tao Ying was employed as a cook where she baked wheat cakes. Today she is travelling on the bus with her son Xiao Ye. When she gets on the bus, her son goes first, and she follows him. The child reminded his mom that she needs to buy a ticket. The child is fed well, but his hair is a real mess. The child has very little hair, and the mother feels overwhelmed when she touches the aperture on her child's head. She has brought this child into the world, and she sees it as her responsibility that everything goes well for the child. Even though she feels that she is of no value, she knows that she is the centre of the universe for her son. The mother wants to be flawless.

Now Tao Ying is not from a well to do family. She did not have a privileged background and had also not read a lot. However, she is gracious and gentle, and she wants to be like this to set a good impression on her son.

Her son is still short and has not crossed the 1.10 m mark. He will need a ticket only when he crosses this mark. The child starts to shout at his mother because the last time he was short and the mother did not buy him a ticket. However, that makes it 20 cents if she has to buy a ticket for her son. She starts to wonder about all the things that she can buy with that money. However, today she asked for two tickets, one for her and one for her child. The conductor says that the child has still not crossed the mark, but now it is about the pride of the child and the mother wants to buy the ticket.

The mother and child now have to disembark the bus from the front. The conductor wants to know whether she would want to claim the tickets. Being a blue-collar worker, any savings would have been a lot for the family. The child asks if it is fine to claim tickets on a private outing and the mother could not lie.

Yes, it can be exhausting to follow the right rules, but Tao Ying wants to be an ideal mother to her child. She wants to set up a good example for her son. Tao Ying knows that if a child needs to behave cultured, the parents should set an example. This is because kids imitate what they see.

Tao Ying is now taking the child to a temple today. She was given the tickets to the temple as a gift by a friend. The checker takes the ticket and lets the son enter. However, he stops the mother and asks her for her ticket. The mother says that since her son is less than 110 cm, he does not need a ticket but the guard pesters her saying that the child is well above 110 cm and thus needs a ticket. They then get into an argument.

The child starts to shout at his mother when the mother says that she forgot to buy a ticket for him. The guard starts to fight when she tells him that the ticket is complimentary, but she controls her anger as she does not want to lose her pride in front of her son. She takes the boy out with her without seeing the temple.

The woman sees her child shouting because he thinks that his mother wants him to be short so that she does not want to buy tickets for him. That night when the child was asleep, she took out the scale and saw that her child was only 1.09 m. She thought to write to the temple. She waits for some time, and then one day, two people come from the temple and take the boy's measurement to see if he indeed has crossed the mark. Though they realize that the child was not as tall as to pay for a ticket, the mother feels that the temple memories will always be sour for them. The people from the temple give her two tickets to the temple, but she returns it to them and tells them to explain to her what happened that day and why she was not a bad mother to not buy a ticket for her son.

Key Features of NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Chapter 5

NCERT Class 12 English Chapter 5 One Centimetre is created by experts at Vedantu who have explained the chapter in a clear and precise way and great detail. This helps students to score well in their exams. NCERT Solutions Class 12 English Kaleidoscope Chapter 5 lets students get a good grasp of the concepts and answer any question from the chapter.

  • The in-house has answered the questions with many examples so that it builds on the knowledge of the student.

  • They have used many examples to ensure that students understand the concepts well and can attempt any question from the topic with ease.

  • Download these solutions in PDF format for free and brush through it before the examination.

  • The foundation that is built helps to strengthen the concepts in the later stages of life.

FAQs on NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Chapter 5 - Short Stories

1. How did the mother lead her life?

Tao Ying was very particular about being an ideal mother for her child. She tries to do everything right. She thus never tries to show her anger and kills her pride when she is with her son. However, one day at the temple when the authorities were doing wrong to her, she stuck to her morals and did not pay to buy a ticket for her son who was eligible to enter the temple without a ticket. She also feels that children imitate their parents and if the parents are not careful to portray a good impression on their children, their children would follow the same.

2. Tao Ying and her husband had blue-collared jobs. Why did she still pay for her son on the bus?

The mother wanted her son to be happy. This is the reason why when the son showed excitement to purchase a ticket on the bus, the mother gave into it. However, on the other hand, when the guard forced her to pay money even though her son was not tall enough to take a ticket, she got angered and left without seeing the temple. The mother displayed that she stuck to what is right but at the same time when it comes to her son, she is ready to bend down and break the rules just for her son’s happiness.

3. What is the storyline of Chapter 5 Class 12 English Kaleidoscope?

Chapter 5 ‘One Centimeter’ of Class 12 English Kaleidoscope is about a mother named Tao Ying and her son Xiao Ye. Tao Ying was not from a privileged family. She doesn’t have a well-settled background. She was a cook who baked wheat bread for a living. She used to set an example in front of her son by staying flawless. She never understood the need to buy tickets to travel on a bus. Her son thought she always wanted him to remain short so she wouldn't need to buy tickets for him. 

4. Why are Tao Ying and Xiao Ye not allowed to enter the temple?

Xiao Ye was less than 1.10 m and according to the rules, he was not eligible for a ticket. He can travel and enter the temple without buying a ticket. When Tao Ying showed her ticket at the entrance of the temple and reminded the guards that her son is shorter than the mark, they started arguing with her. They claimed that her son has grown enough and has to buy a ticket for himself. As they didn’t have one more ticket, they were not allowed to enter the temple.

5. Why did Xiao Ye shout at her mother when they entered the bus?

Xiao Ye always felt that her mother purposely wanted him to stay short so she didn't need to buy a ticket for him. The last time when they travelled by bus, he remembered that her mother hadn't bought his ticket because he was shorter than the 1.10 m mark. He started shouting at his mother for the act. He also thought that her mother did not want him to grow up so she could save money by not buying tickets for her son. 

6. What are the key pointers to choose Class 12 English Kaleidoscope Chapter 5 ‘One Centimeter’ Solutions?

The Solutions for Class 12 English Kaleidoscope Chapter 5 is prepared by subject matter experts who are experienced in this field for a long time. These solutions are prepared in a simpler language to make you understand the meaning of each question properly. With these solutions, you can gain a better understanding of the chapter. It will also help you to frame your responses in the proper format so you can gain maximum marks on each question. 

7. Where can I find a downloadable PDF for Class 12 English Kaleidoscope Chapter 5 Solutions?

To find the PDF for Class 12 English Kaleidoscope Chapter 5 Solutions, carefully follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • First, click on this NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Kaleidoscope.

  • The solution page of Vedantu for Class 12 English Kaleidoscope Chapter 5 ‘One Centimeter’ will open.

  • At the top left side of the page, you will see a link to download the pdf for solutions of chapter 5.

  • Click on this link and your pdf will start to download.

  • After downloading, it will be automatically saved on your device.

You can access this PDF whenever you want and practice the correct format for each question thoroughly. The PDFs of these NCERT Solutions can be downloaded from the Vedantu app and the Vedantu website at free of cost.