Lesson 7: Dreams

Rina works in Shruti’s house. Both the girls are the same age, twelve years old.
As she cleans the house, Rina often sees Shruti sitting in her room, quietly
absorbed in a book.

One morning, Rina asked Shruti what she was reading.
Shruti smiled and said, “I’m reading a book called The Little Princess. A kind-hearted princess
helps people by making their dreams come true. Tell me, Rina, do you have any dreams?”
“I would like to study and learn,” said Rina. “But it is difficult to achieve my dream
because I have to work and earn money to support my family.”

That evening, as Rina walked to her home, tired after a hard day’s work, she
wished that her life could be different. How wonderful it would be if she could
read and write, learn about new things, and maybe even go to school.

The next morning, Rina’s mother woke her up and told her that there was
someone waiting to see her. Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, Rina stepped out of
her little home and saw a young woman in a blue and white kurta standing outside.
“Hello, Rina,” said the woman, smiling. “I am your new teacher, Ms. Verma. From
today onwards, you will be going to Shruti’s house, not to clean and scrub, but to
learn to read and write. So hurry up and get ready. I’ll be waiting for you there.”

Rina was very surprised and didn’t know what to say. How could this have
happened? She quickly got ready and went to Shruti’s house. She was still in a daze
when she sat down at a table opposite her new teacher, ready to start her very first

From behind the door, Shruti watched Rina and Ms. Verma talking and looking at
a book together. She smiled happily. Later she would tell Rina how, like the kind-
hearted princess in the book she had been reading, she had convinced her parents
to arrange and pay for Rina’s education and to help make her dream come true.

A) Discussion: What Are Your Dreams?
1. Do you have a dream?
2. Is there something you have always wanted to do since you were a child?
3. Is there something you have discovered recently that you are passionate about and
want to pursue?

B) Vocabulary. Make your own sentences with the following words.
Absorb – to take in, to hold the interest of, to pay attention to something
Scrub – to rub hard in order to clean or wipe something
Daze – a state of confusion
Convince – to make a person believe something by discussing it, or by producing
evidence or proof

C) Complete the following sentences with the appropriate nouns.
1. Rani usually washes the _______.
2. Let’s play _______.
3. My father listens to _______ on the radio.
4. He is talking on the _______.
5. We study _______ at school.
6. I usually cook the _______ at home.
7. At school we learn to speak _______.
8. My sister always sweeps her own _______.

D) Dreams
By Langston Hughes
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams

For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
Langston Hughes (February 1, 1901 – May 22, 1967) was an American poet,
social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist.

Revised July 2020

Audio courtesy Tara Kriplani: