Q.1. Why does the speaker take more than ten minutes
on her way from school to home?
~ It was
actually possible to walk the distance in ten minutes but it usually it would
take her thirty minutes at the very least to reach home as she would dawdle
around watching all the fun and games going on along with entertaining
novelties and oddities is the streets. These included the performing monkey,
the snake-charmers snake, the cyclist who had kept on biking for three days,
the spinning wheels, the Mariyaata temple and the huge bell hanging there. She
also noticed the Pongal offerings being cooked in front of the temple. Even the
articles fascinated Bama which was in the flit shops and stalls. The different
sorts of entertainments which attracted the passers-by also never allowed her
to reach home in time.
Q.2. What sort of food item would there be on her way
~ As she
would move through the street, she would get to observe a lot of fruits and
sweet delicacies according to the season. There would be mango, cucumber,
sugar-cane, sweet potato, palm-shoots, gram, palm-syrup, palm fruit, guavas and
jack fruit. She would see people selling sweet and savoury fried snacks,
payasam, halva, boiled tamarind seeds and iced lollies each day. She was
fascinated with every sort of thing she could observe in the street.
Q.3. What sort of shows would she enjoy on her way?
~ Apart from
the delicious foods which were available along the streets, Bama would enjoy
every sort of shows or entertainments which attracted the passers-by. Sometimes
various political parties put up a stage and addressed people through their
mikes. There might be a street play, a puppet show, or a “ no magic, no
miracle” stunt performance. There was some entertainment or the other happening
there from time to time. She watched how each waiter in the various coffee
clubs would cool the coffee. She also observed how the people, chopping up the onion, would turn their eyes elsewhere to avoid irritation in their eyes.
Q.4. How varied would be the things on her way home?
~ Bama’s home
was a ten-minute walking distance from her school but it usually took her from
half an hour to an hour to reach. On her way back, many activities and sights
caught her attention. Bama got attracted to many novelties and oddities on the
street like the performing monkey, the snake-charmer’s snake, the wild lemur in
the cage, the cyclist and the spinning wheels, the Maariyaata temple and its
huge bell, etc. She also noticed the Pongal offerings being cooked in front of
the temple. There was a dried fish stall near the statue of Gandhiji. Puppet
shows, street plays, public meetings of political parties were other
entertaining activities. She would see and admire the various fruits that
flooded the market according to the seasons.
Q.5. Do you think it is very common for a girl of this
age to be attracted by the fun and attractions? Give logics.
~ It is very
obvious for a kid who is in the third standard to be attracted to every sort of
thing which is funny and attractive. All the entertaining novelties and
oddities in the street would never allow her to go home quick as she would
dawdle along the bazaar. The street plays and the puppet show taken together
would tether her legs and stop her from going home. Gazing at all these any kid
would take more than thirty minutes to cover a distance of ten minutes.
Q.6. Tell us about the incident on the threshing floor.
~ As she
would gaze around at various things, she came across a threshing floor which
had been set up in the corner of the street. People were hard at work driving
cattle in pairs, round and round, to thread out the grain from the straw. The
animals were muzzled so that they couldn’t eat the straw. Bama stood there
watching for fun. The landlord was watching the proceedings and was seated on a
piece of sacking spread over a stone ledge.
Q.7. Why did the narrator feel like laughing and funny
at the sight and act of elderly gentleman?
~ As Bama
moved across the threshing floor, she saw an elder of their street coming along
from the direction of the bazaar. He
was a big ma. He was carrying a small packet holding it out by its string. The
manner in which he was walking along made Bama want to double up. She wanted to
shriek with laughter at the sight of such a big man carrying a small packet in
such a fashion until it was the elder brother who said it was not funny.
Q.8. How does the incident of carrying the food packet
reflect the degrading human values in society?
~ The incident of carrying the food packet highlights the humiliations faced by the
untouchables who were never given any, honour, dignity, respect as they were
born in lower classes. They were made to run apart, run errands and bow humbly
to their masters. They scrupulously avoided direct contact with the people of
higher classes or the things used by them. The upper classes exploit them
shamelessly and heap humiliations on them.
Q.9. How did the elder brother react when the incident
was narrated by the narrator?
~ Bama saw an
elder of their street coming along the direction of the bazaar with a small
packet which seemed funny to the narrator and wanted to shriek with laughter at
the sight until it was Annan who said it wasn’t funny at all. Annan told Bama
that the man was not being funny when he carried the packet by the string for
his landlord. The upper caste people believed that others must not touch them.
If they did, they would be polluted. That was the reason why he had to carry
the packet by the string.
Q.10. How did the narrator feel when she was explained
about the real truth behind the incident?
~ Bama became sad on listening to how the upper
caste people behaved towards lower caste persons like them. She felt provoked
and angry and even wanted to touch the packet with her hand straightaway. She
wondered why the elders of their caste to run errands for the miserly rich
upper caste landlords and hand them over things reverently, bowing and
shrinking all while.
Q.11. How was the elder brother of the narrator
checked through his identity once in the village?
narrator’s elder brother had come home for the holidays who was studying at a
university. He would often go to the library of the neighbouring village to
borrow some books until one day he came across one of the landlord’s men. The
man thought Annan looked unfamiliar and asked his name respectfully. However,
his manner changed as soon as Annan told his name. The purpose was to identify
his caste from the name of the street.
Q.12. What advice did the elder brother advise to the
narrator? How did the narrator react to that?
~ Annan said
that the lower caste people were never given any honour or dignity or respect.
They were deprived of all that. Thus, the caste system was discriminatory but
if they studied and made progress, they could throw away those indignities.
Annan advised Bama to study with care and learn all that she could. If she was
always ahead in her lessons, people would come to her out of their own accord
and attach themselves to her. Bama followed her brother’s advice and studied
hard. She stood first in the class and many people became her friends.
Q.13.How according to you are the ways to eradicate
the social filth like Casteism and untouchability from society?
Untouchability has been plaguing our society for many years. Social change is
the need of the hour for eradicating untouchability, which continues to play
havoc in the country. We need the fight against caste oppression waged through
peaceful, constitutional and democratic means. A cultural revolution will be
able to put an end to caste oppression the Indian society. An integrated
struggle combining political, ideological and economical aspects will bring
about a change.