Travelling Through the Countryside (Adapted from ‘ Ram Chander’s Story’ by Sir Mark Tully)
About the passage
A. Read to understand
1. Match these towns and villages with their descriptions.
where the marriage ceremony was to take place c
where an old family house stood d
where the eateries were located a
where Nirottam lived b
2. Answer the following questions.
a) What ensured the good quality of food at Rattan Singh’s dhaba?
Ans. Quality of food at Rattan Singh’s dhaba was good because of two reasons:
i. The owner of the dhaba was the retired wrestler and people were scared of him. Thus, his mere presence was enough to ensure the smooth flow of food in his dhaba.
ii. There were many dhabas lined up for the passengers to eat. The competition was stiff so the food was good.
b) What made the experience of eating at the dhaba an unpleasant one for the author? Why did he not complain?
Ans. Highly offensive odour from a chemical factory on the edge of the town made the experience of eating at the dhaba an unpleasant one for the author. He did not complain because he and his friends were hungry.
c) How do we know that the wrestler exercised great authority at the dhaba?
Ans. Though Ratan Singh spoke very little, his mere presence was enough to ensure the smooth flow of food in his dhaba. This shows that wrestler exercised great authority at the dhaba.
d) Why did the author and his friends not rest during their journey even though it was unbearably hot?
Ans. The author and his friends did not rest during their journey even though it was unbearably hot because they were late and they couldn’t disappoint Chandre, who had been there since morning.
e) The narrator mentions two things found in the Indian countryside that have been carried over from an older way of life. Name them.
Ans. Horse – drawn traps or tongas and bullock carts.
B. Read to infer
1. Which of the following statements reveals the author’s opinion about the black redstart?
a) It had probably forgotten its way back home.
b) It had probably gone out of its mind.
c) It was probably on its way to the Himalayas.
d) It was probably affected by the polluting phut-phuts.
2. ‘(The contractors) were just waiting to complete the transformation of Hasanpur into yet another hot and ugly concrete cauldron.’ This line tells us that
a) the author doesn’t have a very high opinion about cities.
b) the contractors were involved in the illegal demolition of old houses in Hasanpur .
c) Hasanpur was fast becoming a deserted town due to various construction activities.
3. Give two examples from the passage which show the author’s considerate behavior.
i. He had feeling that chemicals had penetrated the wrestler’s food, but he didn’t raise that question.
ii. Though it was unbearably hot, he did not stop the van as they were late and Chandre was waiting for them.
4. How do we know that the people living in the area just outside Hasanpur were not well off?
Ans. People living in the area just outside Hasanpur were not well off because
i. The houses were about to collapse and had shabby air around it.
ii. The date-palms had been mutilated by the villagers always short of fodder for their goats and cattle.
iii. In the countryside, horse-drawn traps or tongas and bullock carts were still in use.
More and more of the Indian countryside is slowly becoming city-like or urban. Even in the passage, the author talks about such a transformation taking place in Hasanpur. Why do you think changes occur? Can they be prevented? How does the growth of more and more cities change the countryside? Discuss in class.
Ans. (Answer will vary)