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Chapter 9 - Bholi

This article will help you to learn about the summary, characters and themes in the story “Bholi”.


This story is about a girl who is ugly and who stammers. As she is different from her siblings, she does not get proper care in her family. Her father sends her to a school because of a command from the ‘tehsildar’. The teacher in the school becomes the true mentor of Bholi and helps her gain some confidence. Time flies and with that Bholi becomes a young woman who is educated; unlike her sisters. Because of her ugly looks and a pockmarked face, her father agrees to marry her off to a person who is double her age. Bholi agrees with her parents’ decision. But when the bridegroom arrives he demands a hefty dowry to marry her. Her father somehow manages that money. Bholi is aghast at this development and decides to rebel against all. She decides to spend the rest of her life to serve her parents and to teach in the school.

Character List 

Bholi - Bholi’s real name was Sulekha but she was called Bholi, the simpleton as she was a backward child. She was the fourth daughter of the seven children of Numberdar Ramlal. Bholi remained a backward child due to an injury in her head when she was ten months old. She was fair and pretty at birth but at the age of two, she had an attack of smallpox which left deep black marks all over her body. She started speaking only when she turned five but she stammered when she spoke and as a result, she was always mimicked or made fun of by the other children. Therefore, Bholi talked very little.

Unlike her siblings, she was not healthy and strong. She was frightened at first when her father wanted to take her to school. But when she was bathed and given new clothes to wear, she began to believe that she was being taken to a place better than her home. Bholi did not know what exactly a school was and what happened there, but when she saw girls like her present there, she was elated. She hoped that one of those girls would become her friend. In the class when her teacher asked her name, she tried to say it but the girls started laughing when she stammered. This hurt her and she cried and kept her head down throughout the class. When her teacher called out her name softly after the class was over, she was very touched because no one had ever spoken to her in such a soft voice. The teacher was very encouraging and friendly to her and this made her gain the confidence to speak. She started seeing a ray of hope for a new life.

After years of gaining the education, and with the help of her teacher, Bholi turned into a confident woman. She no longer stammered and could speak properly. She even had the courage to refuse to marry the lame old man because he was greedy and asked money from her father to marry her. On seeing her father worried about her marriage, she said that he need not worry as she would teach in the same school where she learnt so much and would take care of him and her mother in their old age.


The major theme of the story Bholi is the impact of family on children. Bholi is a little girl who fails to develop self-confidence because of her parents’ attitude towards her. The story hints at why family support and emotional security are essential for proper child development. Also, disabled children must be given encouragement, love and, education like their normal counterparts.

This article is helpful for understanding Bholi Chapter Class 10, Class 10 English Chapter 9. 

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