A House is Not a Home Explanation, Line by Line, Meaning of Difficult Words, Class 9  CBSE English Chapter 8 NCERT Moments 


(Explanation, Meaning of difficult words)

Author – Zan Gaudioso


Word Meaning
Awkward Strange
Junior High (School) 9th and 10th Standard of schooling
High School 11th and 12th Standard
High School freshman 11th Standard

The High School consists of 11th standard and 12th standard. Author says that he felt quite strange when he reached 11th standard. In 10th standard he was considered a senior student. This was because Junior High has 9th standard and 10th standard. And 11th is junior class of high school. Being a senior student of junior high school had some advantages. Those were not available to me now.



Word Meaning
To make matter worse To make situation more difficult
Isolated Alone

My new school was of double the size of my old school. My old friends of junior high school had gone to other high schools. This made the situation more difficult to me. I felt very lonely in the new school.



Word Meaning
Encourage me Inspire me, Motivate me
Get involved Start participating

I missed my teachers of junior school very much. I used to often go to meet them. They used to inspires me to start participating in activities of school. This way I would meet new people and have new friends.



Word Meaning
In time After some time
End up Reach a condition or situation

My old teachers told me that after some time I would adjust in the school. And possibly I would start liking my new school more than my old school.



Word Meaning
Come by A casual, friendly or informal visit
Took comfort Liked, Felt good
Nonetheless However, Still, In spite of

My old teachers advised me to make a promise that even after making new friends in high school I would keep visiting them without any formality. I understood what they were trying to tell. They were motivating me to make new friends. But still I liked what they were saying.



Word Meaning
Not long after Not after much time
Fire place Place where fire is burnt to keep house warm

It was afternoon of a Sunday. Not many days had passed after I had started going to high school. I was sitting in the dining room of our house. It was cold on that day. Wind was also blowing. So we had started a fire in the fireplace of our house. We wanted to keep our house warm on a cold day.



Word Meaning
Tabby cat Cat with stripes on it
Purring Sounds of a cat
Swat at To hit
For the sake of For the purpose of

I had a cat which had stripes on its body. Major colour of the cat was red. It was sitting on top of my papers. It was making a loud sound. Sometimes it used to hit my pen. She was doing this for entertainment.



Word Meaning
Rescued Saved its life
Kitten Baby of a cat
The good life Happy and comfortable life

The cat always used to be near me. I had saved her life when it was a baby cat. Probably she understood that I had given a happy and comfortable life.



Word Meaning
Stoking the fire Adding more coal or wood to fire
Pouring in Coming in
Seam Joints

My mother had been occasionally adding coal or wood to the fire. She wanted to keep the house warm and comfortable. Suddenly some strange smell entered my nose. I looked around to observe. Smoke was coming into our house from joints of ceiling.



Word Meaning
Barely Hardly
Groping Searching blindly by feeling with hands

Very soon our room was getting full of smoke. It was happening very quickly. We could hardly see anything. We searched our way by feeling things of house through our hands. We got out of the house through front door. Then we all ran into the open space in front of our house.


Word Meaning
Engulfed Surrounded

By the time we moved out of our house, the complete roof of our house was surrounded by flames. The flames were quickly spreading to other parts of house. I ran to reach the house of my neighbours. I made a telephonic call to the fire department. That time  I saw that mother was running back into the house.



Word Meaning
Crazed state State of madness, Behaving wildly
What she was after What she was looking for

My mother came out of house running. She was carrying a small box made of metal. This box had our important documents. She threw the box in the lawn. Behaving just like a mad person, she once again ran into the house. I knew what she wanted to bring from the burning house.



Word Meaning
Go up in flames Burn in a fire
Screamed Shouted

My father had died when I was a small child. I was sure that mother did not want that his pictures and letters should burn in fire. These were the only memories of my father with her.  In spite of that, I shouted and requested mother not to go into the house.



Word Meaning
Run after Run behind
Hold back Stop
Fireman Person who tries to control fire
Grasp Grip
Yelling Shouting
Fire truck Vehicles having arrangement to control fire

I was about to run after my mother. I big hand stopped me from moving. It was hand of a fireman. Owing to my anxiety, I could not observe that many fire trucks had reached our street. I tried to become free from the grip of the fireman. In a very loud voice I informed the fireman that my mother had gone into the house.



Word Meaning
Held on to me Did not release me. Continued to grasp me
If he were let me go If he allowed me to go

The fireman continued to grasp me. He did not allow me to go into the house. Other firefighters went into the house. He was aware that my thinking at that time was not correct. If he had released me, I would run into the house. And he was correct. The fireman told me that some firefighters had gone into the house. They will save my mother.



Word Meaning
Wrapped Covered
Emerged Appeared, Came out
In tow Just behind, Along with

The fireman covered me in a blanket and asked me to sit in our car. After a short time, I saw that a fireman was coming out of our house. My mother was also walking with him. That fireman took my mother to the firetruck. He put an oxygen mask on my mother’s face.



Word Meaning
Vanish Disappear

I ran towards my mother. I hugged her. Many times I had argued with her. Many times I hated her.  But such thoughts disappeared from mind as soon as I thought of losing her.  Actually the narrator loved her mother. 



Word Meaning
Inhaled Breathe in
Dazed Shocked, Not able to think anything

The fireman assured me that my mother would be okay very soon. She had breathed in some smoke. Then he ran towards my house to control fire. My mother and I were sitting together. We were shocked. We were not able to think anything. I was watching burning of my own house and I could not do anything. I remember the incident even today. 



Word Meaning
Fire was out Fire was completely controlled
It struck me Suddenly I remembered

After five hours the fire was completely controlled. Our house had almost completely burnt. Suddenly I remembered that I had not seen my cat during those five hours. I did not know where my cat was.



Word Meaning
Much to my horror I was terrified, shocked, worried or afraid
All at once it hit me I suddenly remembered
Broke down Started crying

I got very much worried because I had not seen it anywhere during last five hours. Then I suddenly remembered about my new school, the fire and my cat. I started crying. Tears were rolling down my cheeks. I thought that I had suffered a big loss.



Word Meaning
Regardless Anyway, nevertheless, But,

The firemen did not allow us to enter our house during that night. It was very dangerous. I did not want to leave the place without my cat. It was beyond my imagination to live without my cat. But I had to go from there.



Word Meaning
Piled into the car Got into the car
Made our way Started our journey

We got into our car. The only clothes we had with us were those we were wearing. Firemen had given us some blankets. We started out journey to the house of my grandparents. We wanted to spent the night at their house.



Word Meaning
Casualty of the fire Got burnt in the fire

The next day was Monday. I had gone to school. When the fire had started,  I had just come back from the church. So I was wearing the same clothes even now. But I was not wearing shoes. I had removed my shoes while doing homework. My shoes also got burnt in the fire. 



Word Meaning
Would not hear of it Did not agree to it
Embarrassed Ashamed, Feeling uneasy or uncomfortable

Therefore I borrowed tennis shoes from my aunt. I wanted to stay home. I did not want to go to school. My mother did not agree to me. I was ashamed of everything that was with me. I was not comfortable with borrowed articles.



Word Meaning
Weird Strange
Backpack Bag that is hung on back
Tried to fit in Tried to adjust

I thought my clothes were looking strange. I did not have any books. I had not completed my homework.  My bag was also burnt in the fire. Things in that bag were very dear to me. I was trying to adjust in the new situation but these were getting worse.



Word Meaning
Destined Predetermined by fate
Outcast Outsider
Geek person Inappropriate person, Unfashionable person
Curl up and die To feel very ashamed

I started thinking if, as per my fate, I would always be an outsider. Would I always be considered an unfashionable person? If the life was to be this way, I did not want to grow. I did not want to change or live this type of life. I was feeling ashamed of myself. Narrator is having these thoughts because he had lost almost everything in fire.



Word Meaning
Zombie A person without any desire or speech
Surreal Unreal, Strange
Ripped away Taken away, Lost

I walked in the school as a person without desire or hope. Everything around me appeared to be unreal and strange.  All the safety and comfort I had regarding my old school, my friends, my house and my cat had been taken away from me. I had lost everything.



After the school, while going to house of my grandparents, I crossed my house. I was shocked to see the extent of damage. Whatever was not burnt by fire was also destroyed. This was because firemen had spread water and chemicals to put out the fire.



Word Meaning
Heroically Bravely, Like a hero
Rescue Save
Ached Felt pain

Some material like photo albums, documents and some other materials were not destroyed. My mother had bravely taken those out of the burning house. But I had lost my cat. My heart pained for this loss.



Word Meaning
Grieve To feel sad
Rushed me out Quickly took me out.

But we did not have time to feel sad and sit idle. My mother quickly took me out of our house. We had to find a place to live. I would need to buy some clothes for school.



Word Meaning
Everything had gone up in smoke Everything had been burnt

We borrowed some money from my grandparents. We did not have any credit cards, or cash or any proof of identity. All these things were burnt in the fire. Therefore we could not withdraw any money from the bank.



Word Meaning
Rubble Debris
Cleared off Cleaned and thrown away
Debris Remains, Waste

Throughout that week people were collecting and throwing away the remaining parts of our house. It was being done in several lots. We had taken one apartment on rent near  our house. I used to go to my house and watch people who were removing debris of our house. I had a hope that I would find my cat.



Word Meaning
vulnerable Helpless, Unprotected
Kitten Baby of a cat
Tag along Follow someone even if  not wanted by others
Robe Dress
Crawl To move slowly

The cat had gone somewhere or had died. But I kept thinking about it. I still imagined her as a helpless small baby cat. Every morning after getting up I used to disturb her and then  get out of the bed. She would follow me wherever I went. She used to climb on my dress. She would slowly move into my pocket and sleep there. I was missing my cat too much.



Word Meaning
Plight Poor condition, Bad luck

A bad news always spreads everywhere very quickly. In my case also this happened. Everyone in my new school and all the teachers knew about my poor condition.



I felt ashamed of myself. I thought if in any way I was responsible for my bad luck. This was not the beginning I had imagined in a new school. I never wanted to draw attention of people for this reason.



Word Meaning
Milling around Gathering in large numbers

Next day people were behaving with  me more strangely. I was standing near my locker and was changing clothes for gym class. Many people gathered around me. They asked me to hurry up.



Word Meaning
In the light of Because of. In consideration of
Shove me Push me

This behaviour was very strange to me. But because of what had happened to me in last week, I was not greatly surprised. It appeared to me that they were trying to push me into the gym. When I reached gym I understood their behaviour.



Word Meaning
Set up Arranged
Stuff Material
School supplies Things required in school
Sweat suits Clothes worn while doing exercise, Track suit

I big table was there. Several materials were arranged on it. They all were for me. They had collected some money and bought these for me. It had everything I would require in school and some notebooks. It had clothes of all variety like jeans, shirts and track suits.



Word Meaning
Overcome by emotions Full of emotions

It was like a Christmas gift for me. I was full of emotions. Many people were speaking to me for the first time. They came and gave their introduction. I was invited to their houses.



Word Meaning
Outpouring Expressing freely
Touched me I was impressed
breathed a sigh of relief Felt relaxed, felt happy

They freely expressed their support to me. I was impressed by their support. Eventually I felt relaxed. For the first time during the week I thought that situation would improve for me. Many people became my friend that day.



My house was being built once again. After about a month I was standing in front of my house. But this time I was not alone. My two new friends from my school were also with me.



Because of fire in my house I understood that it is incorrect to focus on your insecurities (weaknesses). One should be open to all – meaning that one should mix with people. I was watching reconstruction of my house. I understood that simultaneously I was building new thoughts for my life.



Word Meaning
Curb A raised portion at the edge of a road

I was sitting on a raised portion at the edge of a road. I was doing planning for my bedroom. I heard footsteps of someone who had come near me from behind. A voice asked if it belonged to me. I turned to see who that was. I could not believe my eyes.



Word Meaning
Leapt Jumped
Grabbed Caught
Fur Hair of an animal
Purred Made sounds

A woman was standing there. My cat was in her arms. I jumped and caught the cat out of her arms. I held the cat very close to me. I started crying. My tears were falling in her hair of orange colour. My friends hugged me. Then they hugged the cat. We all started jumping with joy.



Word Meaning
Apparently Seemingly, As per the guess
Freaked Afraid, Confused

It appeared to me that the cat had got afraid and confused due to fire. She ran more than a mile away from the house.  Our phone number was written on the collar of the cat. But our phones were destroyed in fire. Thus the phone was disconnected.



Word Meaning
Wonderful Excellent
Took in Allowed someone to stay
Sorely missed Badly missed, Someone missing a thing or a person

This excellent woman had allowed the cat to stay at her home. She tried her best to find owner of the cat. Probably she knew that somebody loved this cat. She also knew that somebody was missing company of this cat.



Word Meaning
Curl up Sit comfortably
Overwhelming feelings Strong feelings
Diminish To reduce
Gratitude Thankfulness, feeling of appreciation to someone

I sat there. My cat and my friends were with. My cat comfortably sat in my lap. My strong feelings of great loss and tragedy started reducing. I wanted to be thankful to my life, to my friends and to the unknown woman. I felt happy to listen to the loud sound of my cat. My cat had come back to me. My life was also coming back to me. Author wants to say that now he wanted to lead a happy life same way as he used to live earlier.





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