The Ghost Poem Question & Answers Meanings Summary

Solutions to the lesson ‘The Ghost’ are given here. Summary and meanings are also given. These notes will help students in understanding and writing their own answers. Click here for stanza wise explanation of the poem ‘The Ghost’.

Word Meanings

  • Transparent: Allowing light to pass through so that objects on the other side can be seen clearly.
  • Eerily: In a strange, mysterious, or unsettling manner.
  • Vapour: A visible suspension of particles in the air, such as mist or fog.
  • Station: A place where someone or something usually stays or is located.
  • Barge in: To enter a place abruptly or rudely without being invited.
  • Invitation: A request or welcoming to come to a place or event.
  • Omens: Signs or events that are believed to predict or foreshadow something, often considered to be bad.
  • Chimneys: Vertical structures on rooftops through which smoke and gases from a fire or furnace escape into the air.
  • Broom: A traditional tool used for sweeping, often associated with witches in folklore.
  • Creak: A sharp, high-pitched sound often produced by a door, floorboard, or other object when it moves.
  • Squeak: A high-pitched sound, similar to a creak, produced by friction between surfaces.
  • Chudails: A term used in Indian folklore for female demons or evil spirits.
  • Mussoorie: A popular hill station and tourist destination in India.
  • Dhoti: A traditional Indian garment, similar to a long loincloth, often worn by men.
  • Ethereal: Delicate, light, and otherworldly in nature; often used to describe something that seems heavenly or ghostly.
  • Fragmented: Broken into smaller pieces or parts.
  • Mystique: A sense of mystery, intrigue, or fascination that surrounds a person, place, or concept.
  • Paradoxical: Something that seems contradictory or goes against common understanding.
  • Enigmatic: Mysterious and difficult to understan
  • Litter: In this context, “litter” refers to scattered or untidy objects, like trash or debris, that are lying around in a disorderly manner.
  • Jitters: “Jitters” is a colloquial term that refers to feelings of nervousness, unease, or anxiety. It’s often used to describe a sense of apprehension before a particular event or situation.


Keki N Daruwalla’s poem humorously depicts the strange encounters one may have with ghosts. The most daunting aspect of these encounters, as per the poet, is their transparent nature, leaving one unsure of what they are facing. The poet recalls encountering a lady ghost in a Mussoorie hotel, notorious for being a ghostly abode. He heard the sound of her bangles and running water, but found an empty, dry bathroom upon entering. Additionally, the poet shares stories of encountering ghosts in a forest, another popular location for supernatural beings. Forest guards reported sightings of ghosts with only eyebrows and goatee or a floating dhoti. The poem also suggests that animals and birds behave unusually in the presence of ghosts. The poem concludes with the poet confessing to being scared by simply discussing this topic, ending on an abrupt note.

Textbook Exercise Solutions


  1. In fact you are up against a transparent vapour wall.
    a. In what context does the poet say this?
    b. What wall is he talking about?
    c. What does the poet imply by saying one is ‘up against’ a ghost?
  2. Another saw no legs, but sailing by he saw a dhoti.
    a. Who is referred to as ‘another’?
    b. What did the previous one see?
    c. Why did this one see no legs?
  3. But let’s end these stories
    for ghosts give me the jitters!
    a. What stories are being referred to?
    b. Do ghosts really give him the jitters?
    c. How are these lines ironical?


  1. a. The poet says this in the context of the transparent forms of ghosts.
    b. The wall is the ghost’s body.
    c. ‘Up against’ implies some kind of confrontation.
  2. a. ‘Another’ is the second forest guard.
    b. The previous guard saw a ghost with one-fifth of his face present, along with eyebrows and
    a goatee.
    c. The legs could not be seen because they were transparent.
  3. a. Ghost stories are being referred to.
    b. The jitters might be literal in case the poet is a superstitious person.
    c. The lines are ironic because it is the poet himself who had chosen to start telling ghost stories.
  1. Why is being transparent a good quality in people and a bad quality in ghosts?
  2. What information about ghosts does the poet want the readers to know?
  3. Why, according to the poet, are ghosts ‘bad hosts’ and ‘worse guests’?
  4. What general opinion regarding ghosts does the poet not believe in?
  5. Describe the story of the woman ghost in the poem.
  6. Imagine you are one of the forest guards. Describe your experience with the ghost.


1. In this verse, the poet plays with the double meaning of transparent. To be transparent can refer to someone who is truthful and straightforward, while a ghost is literally transparent in appearance, making it impossible to know if they are present.

2. Ghosts are bad hosts and worse guests.

3. Ghosts are bad hosts because they are always invisible and bad guests because they go wherever they want and whenever.

4. The poet does not think they are bad omens.

5. It was reported that in a hotel room in Mussoorie, one could hear the water run in the bathroom and the jingle of a woman’s bangles, but when the room was searched, they found no one and the bathroom floor was dry.

6. If I were one of the forest guards, I might describe seeing only a portion of the ghost’s face, specifically the eyebrows and goatee. Another forest guard observed the ghost with no visible legs but noticed a floating dhoti. These experiences convey the mysterious and incomplete nature of encounters with the ghost in the poem.

Another Set of Answers:

  1. Being transparent is a good quality in people because it means they are honest and open. However, it is a bad quality in ghosts because they are literally see-through, making them difficult to notice or interact with.
  2. The poet wants the readers to know that ghosts are not necessarily bad omens, they don’t bring doom, and they don’t fit the stereotypical images of riding brooms or entering through chimneys. Additionally, the poet shares anecdotes about encounters with ghosts, suggesting that ghost stories can be true.
  3. According to the poet, ghosts are ‘bad hosts’ because they are never in one place, making it difficult for guests to find them. They are ‘worse guests’ because they may enter a place without any invitation, barging in unexpectedly.
  4. The poet does not believe in the idea that ghosts are bad omens or bringers of doom. He challenges this common belief and provides a different perspective on ghosts in the poem.
  5. The poem briefly mentions a story about a lady ghost bathing in a Mussoorie hotel. Every night, the sound of water running and the clinking of bangles on her unseen hand could be heard. However, when someone went to check the bathroom, the floor was dry, and there was silence around the towel stand, creating an eerie and mysterious atmosphere.
  6. As a forest guard, my experience with the ghost would be surreal and unsettling. I might have seen only a portion of the ghost’s face—eyebrows and goatee. Another time, while the ghost sailed by, I might have observed only a floating dhoti, without any visible legs. These encounters would leave me both amazed and frightened, adding to the mysterious nature of the ghost in the poem.

Poetry Appreciation

A. Discuss and answer.

Ans. creak, squeak

a. In the silence of the night one could clearly hear the ……..of the clock.
b. The book fell on the floor with a …………
c. When Granny walks, we can hear the ………… of her silk sari.
d. We knew the rain had slowed down from the ………… of the water on the tin shed.
e. The class fell silent and the teacher could clearly hear the ………… of potato chips in someone’s mouth.
f. I can hear you ………… under your breath!

Ans. a. tick-tock b. thud c. rustle d. drip-drop (patter) e. crunch f. murmur

Perform – Extension

Answer: Students should attempt themselves to illustrate any scene of their choice and enjoy describing it imaginatively.

Here we are giving few samples as answers:

Sample one:

(Scene – Lady Ghost in Bathroom)

Story 1:

I can imagine being in the old Mussoorie hotel, standing in the dimly lit corridor outside the bathroom where the lady ghost is said to bathe. The air feels heavy with the weight of the past, and the creaking floorboards add to the eerie atmosphere. I can hear the distant sound of water running and the faint clinking of bangles, sending shivers down my virtual spine.

Peering into the darkened bathroom, I see the vintage bathtub and the ghostly figure of the lady, her form partially transparent and bathed in an otherworldly light. The water flows mysteriously from the old-fashioned tap, creating an ethereal and unsettling ambiance. Despite her transparent appearance, a sense of sadness and longing emanates from her as she goes about her nightly ritual.

The experience is both mesmerizing and chilling, leaving me with a profound sense of wonder and unease. This haunting encounter with the lady ghost bathing in the Mussoorie hotel lingers in my virtual memory, etching a ghostly presence that defies explanation.

Story 2:

Picture a bathroom in an old hotel. It’s small and a bit run-down, with blue tiles on the walls and a window that’s open to the cold night air.

You hear a tap running, drip-drip-dripping into the sink. Steam fills the room, making it hard to see clearly.

Through the steam, you think you see something moving in the bathtub. It’s like a shimmery shape, like someone is there but not quite there.

The water in the tub sloshes around, even though you can’t see anyone in it. A chill runs down your spine, like someone icy just brushed past you.

You smell something sweet, like flowers. It’s out of place in the damp, old bathroom.

Then, just as quickly as it started, everything stops. The steam clears, the water stops running, and the shimmery shape is gone.

But the smell of flowers lingers, like a ghost of a memory.

It’s creepy, right?

Sample Two

(Scene: forest guard encounters a fragmented ghost)

Story 1:

The scene I’d love to illustrate is the one where the forest guard encounters a fragmented ghost:

Imagine a misty forest path, dappled sunlight filtering through the leaves. The air is thick with the scent of damp earth and pine needles. Our protagonist (main character), the forest guard, walks with a steady pace, his boots crunching on the fallen leaves. Suddenly, he stops. A shiver runs down his spine, and the hairs on the back of his neck prickle.

In the corner of his vision, he sees a flicker of movement. He turns his head sharply, but there’s nothing there. Just the swaying trees and the silent undergrowth. But then, he sees it again. A flash of white, almost translucent, hovering just above the ground.

He squints, his heart pounding in his chest. It’s a face, or at least part of one. Two bushy eyebrows, arched in surprise, and a neatly trimmed goatee. The rest is missing, dissolved into the mist.

The ghost-face hangs in the air for a moment, then drifts away, swallowed by the shadows. The forest guard stares after it, his breath caught in his throat. Was it real? Or was it just his imagination playing tricks on him?

He continues on his path, but his steps are hesitant now. The encounter has shaken him. He glances around nervously, half expecting the ghostly face to reappear at any moment. The forest, once familiar and friendly, now seems strange and menacing. He quickens his pace, eager to put the unsettling encounter behind him.

Story 2:

Let’s imagine a scene from the poem “The Ghost.” Picture a dense and ancient forest where the trees stand tall and proud, their branches intertwined like an intricate web. The air is thick with an enchanting mist, adding an element of mystery to the surroundings.

Deep within the heart of the forest, there’s a small clearing surrounded by ancient, gnarled trees. The moonlight filters through the dense foliage, creating a mesmerizing play of shadows on the forest floor. In the center of the clearing, a ghostly figure materializes.

This ghost, unlike the others mentioned in the poem, appears more ethereal and wispy, almost like a shimmering mirage. Its form seems to shift and sway with the gentle breeze that rustles through the leaves. The transparency of the ghost allows the moonlight to pass through, creating a hauntingly beautiful glow.

The forest animals, usually chattering and rustling, fall silent as the ghost begins to move gracefully. It seems to dance with the very essence of the forest, gliding over fallen leaves without disturbing them. The ghost’s presence is both enchanting and eerie, as if it holds a connection to the ancient spirits of the woods.

As you watch from the edge of the clearing, you feel a mixture of awe and trepidation. The ghost moves with a silent elegance, leaving a trail of soft whispers in its wake. It doesn’t adhere to the conventional tales of doom or broomstick-riding witches; instead, it embodies the mystical harmony of the natural world.

Sample 3

(Scene: The Ghost Knocks without Invitation)

Let’s create a funny scene inspired by the poem “The Ghost.”

In a small town, there’s a legendary school known for its wacky talent shows. This year, a special guest is invited to participate – a friendly ghost from the poem. Instead of being spooky, this ghost wants to showcase its unique talents and prove that ghosts can be funny too!

The school hall is buzzing with excitement as the ghost, wearing its classic bedsheet, floats onto the stage. The kids, unaware of the surprise guest, gasp as they see a transparent figure. But, instead of screams, the ghost starts cracking hilarious jokes about how being transparent is like having an invisible cloak all the time.

“I’ve got the ultimate hiding spot during hide-and-seek!” the ghost exclaims, making the kids burst into laughter.

The ghost decides to perform a funny dance, inspired by the poem’s idea of ghosts being bad hosts. It does the “No-Invitation Boogie,” where it pretends to knock on an invisible door and then barges in with goofy dance moves. The kids can’t stop giggling at the silliness.

As part of its act, the ghost shares some “spooktacular” ghost stories from the poem. The tale of the lady ghost bathing in a hotel in Mussoorie becomes a hilarious recount with the ghost using a pretend shower cap and rubber ducky, mimicking the sound of water running.

To top it off, the ghost invites a brave volunteer from the audience to see if they can spot its eyebrows and goatee, just like the forest guard in the poem. The ghost pulls out a magnifying glass, creating a funny moment as it teases the volunteer with playful invisible antics.

The talent show ends with uproarious applause, and the ghost takes a bow, promising to visit again next year with even more funny ghostly antics. The kids leave the hall with smiles, realizing that not all ghosts are scary – some are just here to spread laughter and joy.



1. mystery 2. horror 3. fantasy 4. comedy 5. poetry 6. historical fiction 7. science fiction 8. biography 9. fairy tale


  1. more happily 2. badly 3. earlier 4. sooner 5. less dimly 6. most sweetly 7. more brightly 8. hardest 9. gladly 10. terribly

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  1. Sanjit

    I can’t find solution of the canterville ghost

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