1. What are the things the child sees on his
way to the fair? Why does he lag behind?
= Out of a gaily clad of humanity, emerged a
little boy brimming over with life and laughter, agitated by the festival of
spring. The little boy is too young to be repelled by various things exposed to
the fair. On his way, he gets fascinated by every little thing he sees. He saw
a lot of toy shops. In the flowering mustard field, he sees dragonflies
intercepting the flight of a lone black bee, butterflies fluttering around the
flowers. Then, while walking on the footpath, he is distracted by the insects and
worms teeming out from their hiding places to enjoy the sunshine. When a shower
of young petals falls upon the child as he enters the grove forgetting his
parents, he begins to gather the raining petals in his hand. The cooing of
doves drives him back to his parents. A sweetmeat seller selling sweets like
burfi, Gulab-jamun amazes him and a little further he finds a flower seller
selling Gulmohar. Walking ahead, he sees a man selling rainbow-coloured
balloons. He also sees a snake charmer playing the flute to the snake. He sees a
roundabout in full swing but by that time he.
We find the child to be irresistibly drawn by all the
fascinating toys, flowers, roundabouts, shops, and almost everything he led his
eyes onto. No wonder, he is a child who was both repelled and fascinated by the
world we see him enter. He was swayed at the beautiful sight and thus, he
2. In the fair, he wants many things. What are
they? Why does he move on without waiting for an answer?
= The child was engrossed and swayed by the beautiful
sight at the fair. As he neared the village, he could see many other
footpaths full of throngs, converging to the whirlpool of the fair, and felt at
once repelled and fascinated by the confusion of the world he was entering. He
wanted toys as he headed towards the toy shops, burfi from the sweetmeat
seller, the garland of Gulmohar from the flower seller, the coarse music played
by the snake charmer that had all his ears and last but not the least – a ride
in the roundabout.
The child was forbidden to buy or eat anything at the fair
because of his parents, it’s an act of greediness. He wasn’t even allowed to
listen to the coarse music the snake charmer played. He was simply carried away by
the rainbow glory of their silken colours and he was filled with an overwhelming
desire to possess them all. But he well knew his parents would never buy him
the balloons because they would say he was too old to play with such toys. So,
even though he couldn’t suppress the irresistible desire of his heart, he had no
other way than to recede away by the old and cold stare of refusal in their
3. When does he realise that he has lost his
way? How have his anxiety and insecurity been described?
= The little boy’s eyes lingered on the receded
toys and other shops. It was near the roundabout when he realized he has lost
his way. He was so engrossed in observing it moving in full swing, men and
women shrieking and shouting with dizzy laughter that he lost his way. It was
when he called out his parents to allow him a ride in the roundabout that he
turned back and understood they weren’t with him. He looked around but there
was no sign of them.
His anxiety and fright are well described in
the chapter. We found him frantically hither, thither in all directions. A
full, deep cry rose within his dry throat and with a sudden jerk of his body he
ran where he stood, crying in real fear. He screamed out loud “Mother, Father”
but there was no reply. He was lost amidst the crowd. Tears rolled down from
his eyes, hot and fierce; his flushed face was convulsed with fear.
Panic-stricken, he ran to one side first, knowing not where to go. His yellow
turban came untied and his clothes became muddy. He ran to and fro in rage and
stood defeated with moist eyes. The child went on to wept turning his cries to
sobs and shouting “Mother, Father” but not even their shadows could be seen
4. Why does the lost child lose interest in the
things that he had wanted earlier?
= Having lost his parents, the child was panic-stricken and was in deep fright. His voice shook and tears rolled down his cheeks. The same eyes which lingered on the fascinated toys in the fair are searching his parents. The attractive no longer attracts him. He was petrified by the separation from his parents and all he wanted that time was to be united with his parents. The snake charmer could no longer charm the child with his
music. The flowers smell stale to him. The child stood defeated and was
quietened in the chaos. He realized the worth of being with parents. The child’s throat tore into a thousand shrill sobs and he reiterated, “I want my mother, I want my father!
5. What do you think happens in the end? Does
the child find his parents?
= The story ends abruptly deprived of proper
closure. Mulk Raj Anand left our thoughts floating in a hypothetical situation and lets us interpret and decide it’s future coarse. The man the boy meets at
the end of the story is very gentle and caring. He must have asked minute
details of his parents and helped him reach to them. On the other hand, the
parents must have noticed that their child isn’t with them and has left no
stones unturned to search for him. Also, the story talks about a village, not
be a metropolitan city. So, we can assume that the child and his parents would be reunited eventually at the end.