I. In this story the author used past perfect tense (had + past participle) in many sentences. If you observe the following sentences from the story and the rules given under them, you will understand why and how the past perfect tense is used.
- It was 10.20 ....... My father had already left. (para 6)
When an action takes place before a point of time in the past, the action is expressed in the past perfect tense. (Sometimes the point of time can be understood from the earlier sentences and other contextual clues.)
- Finally we reached Dirang. The bus from Tawang had not yet reached Dirang.(para 11)
When two actions in the past are clearly separated by time, the earlier action is expressed in the past perfect tense.
- I quickly sat down on a rock. My father laughed at my plight. (para 7)
When two actions in the past happen simultaneously, both of them are expressed in the past tense.
- Sunitha never saw a bear before she was transferred to Maredumilli. (not from the story)
(b) Shindh closed the doors because she heard loud noises from outside.
(c) I never met him after I left India.
Normally, when the time relation is unambiguous, (by the use of before, after, because, etc.), simple past (past perfect is optional) is used to refer to both past actions.
Comment on the use of simple past tense / past perfect tense (as illustrated above) in the following sentences. Identify the tense and give reasons for the use of tense used.
- I had come home this time round for a special purpose: to get married. My parents had arranged my marriage according to the customs of our tribal society.
- Time flew, and five months into my marriage I realized it.
- But after some dilly-dallying I finally decided against it because marriage had increased my responsibilities and I had got into debt.
- On my way home from the bus stop my trunk had been carried by a porter. (para 3)
- A large crowd gathered at our place the day I was to leave. People had come to wish me luck.(para6)
- Father was quiet for some time. He thoughtfully looked at the sun for a moment, and then his eyes fell on the can of home-made wine that I was carrying. (para 9)
- I gave him the can of wine. He poured himself a mug and handed me the can. He drank all of it at one go. He then arranged the belt that was attached to the trunk carefully on his forehead. (para 10)
- I had never got used to physical labour having stayed in hostels right from my childhood. (para 11)
- His feet had developed cracks and somehow resembled those of an elephant. (para 14)
- I noticed this for the first time. I hadn't noticed that the road was uneven. (para 14)
- I checked my wallet and saw I still had around Rs.40 with me. (para 14)
- I then took out my pair of leather shoes from the trunk, and noticed my father's face lighting up with contentment. (para 15)
- I saw that the road we had come by looked like a giant motionless rope. (para 16)
- He stopped his business after he became old.
- I never ate 'haleem' before I visited Hyderabad.