12th std English Yuvakbharathi Chapter 1.1 An Astroger’s Day Answers
Maharashtra Board Class 12 English Yuvakbharati Solutions Chapter 1.1 An Astrologer’s Day
Balbharti Yuvakbharati English 12th Digest Chapter 1.1 An Astrologer’s Day Notes
Balbharti Yuvakbharati English 12th Digest Chapter 1.1 An Astrologer’s Day Textbook Exercise and Questions and Answers
Maharashtra State Board Class 12 English Yuvakbharati Solutions Chapter 1.1 An Astrologer’s Day
12th English Digest Chapter 1.1 An Astrologer’s Day Textbook Questions and Answers
An Astroger’s Day
R. K. Narayan (1906 to 2001)
Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami is one of the best known novelists among Indian English writers. He is the author of fourteen novels, five volumes of short stories, and a number of travelogues, and has a collection of nonfiction to his credit. He also has written his memoir ‘My Days’ (1975). Narayan has created the imaginary town of Malgudi, where realistic characters in a typically Indian setting lived amid unpredictable events. His stories are grounded in compassionate humanism and celebrate the humour and energy of ordinary life. His stories are characterized by a simple style and subtle spirit.
Narayan was introduced to American readers in 1952 by the Michigan State University Press. These include, ‘Swami and Friends’, ‘The Bachelor of Arts’ (1937), ‘The Dark Room’ (1938), ‘An Astrologer’s Day and Other Stories’(1947), ‘Mr Sampath ‘(1949), ‘The Financial Expert’ (1954), ‘Waiting for the Mahatma’ (1955), ‘The Guide’ (1958), and many other books.
His novel, ‘The Guide’, won him The Sahitya Akademi Award in 1961, the most coveted literary honour in India. His writing is distinguished by humour and unoffending irony, a unique Indianness and a simplicity which is utterly charming and authentic. Narayan typically portrays the peculiarities of human relationships and the paradoxes of Indian daily life. His style is graceful, marked by genial humour, elegance and simplicity.
1. Discuss with your partner and complete the table:
|Your Strengths||Why do you feel so?||Your Dream career|
|painting and drawing||can visualise, express||commercial artist, cartoonist|
|dancing||Graceful moments||Give stage performance, start my own dance academy|
|singing||Have a melodious voice||singer|
|Designing||Great fashion sense||Fashion designer, jewellery designer|
|cooking||Prepare tasty dishes||Chef, start own catering business|
|music||Can play a piano and drums||Create music|
2. The scene in a local market of a village/ town/city is very attractive. People with different occupations sell their wares. Discuss with your partner the variety of activities at the local market.
- selling flowers, selling grocery
- selling plastic, steel and earthen items
- selling clothes
- selling snacks and variety of fast food
- selling foot ware and jewellery
3. In a village/town/city it is quite a common sight to see an astrologer sitting by the roadside with his professional equipment. Discuss with your partner and list the requirements for his trade.
- parrot, cards, etc.
- saffron clothes – turban, dhoti – kurta
- cloth with mystic signs to display his wears
- rudraksha mala, coins, shells, punchang, etc.
- books, photos of deities, etc.
4. There are certain unreasonable beliefs among people living in our society.
Certain common events are linked with superstitions. List such events, discuss the superstitions linked with them and the means of their eradication.
1) A cat crossing your path
2) To cut the nails at night.
3) To sit on the threshold.
4) To blow the burning diya.(oil lamp)
5) To touch the trees at night.
6) To remove the foot wears in front of the door.
7) to cut nails at night
8) whistling in the house
9) Howling of dog.
10) Boiled milk overflowing from vessel.
11) Sacrifice of animals toward of evil.
12) Marriage of frogs to ward off drought and bring rain.
13) Hang lemon and chillies.
14) Hang black doll on the door.
15) Donating amounts in figures of 11, 21, 51 ……
16) Breaking of mirror brings bad luck.
17) Sweeping of home at night.
18) Putting a black spot to an infant.
Means to eradicate the superstitions:
1. having a scientific attitude.
2. creating social awareness through street plays, songs, poster, etc.
3. proving it wrong through scientific analysis.
4. through workshops, seminars and scientific forums at school and
cowrie : a sea animal
obscure : difficult to understand
mystic : Something that relates to supernatural powers and is not easily understood
palmyra: a kind of palm
resplendent : bright, dazzling and impressive
vociferousness : being loud and noisy
dallied : wasted time just hanging around enchantment : magical effect or charm bewildering : confusing, baffling
shrewd : good at judging people, clever
impetuous : impulsive endeared : made likeable
paraphernalia : a large number of small articles used in a particular activity or personal possession
piqued : irritated, annoyed or resented
cheroot : a cigar
jutka : horse-driven cart
disgorge : yield or surrender under pressure incantations : supposedly magical words haggling : bargaining
gratified : pleased, satisfied
Guess the meaning :
1) pies – a former monetary unit of India, equal to 1/12 of an anna
2) tilting – move or causing to move in sloping position
3) bluffing – trying to deceive someone as to someone’s abilities or intentions
4) glimpse – a momentary or partial view
5) passer-by – a person who happens to be going past something, especially on foot
6) peep – look quickly and furtively at something especially through a narrow opening
7) overwhelmed – overpowered or have strong emotional effect on
8) groaned- made a deep, inarticulate sound conveying despair or pain
Extra Textual Questions:
Q. If the astrologer had stayed in the village then he would have carried on ………………….
Answer: If he had stayed in the village then he would have carried on the work of his forefathers – namely, tilling the land, living, marrying, and ripening in his cornfield and ancestral home.
Q. The astrologer could understand the problem in five minutes. How?
Answer: The astrologer could understand the problem in five minutes as he had a working analysis of mankind’s troubles: marriage, money, and the tangles of human ties. Long practice had sharpened his perception.
Q. How could the astrologer tell the person about his life?
Answer: He had a working analysis of mankind’s troubles. Long practice had sharpened his perception. He never opened his mouth till the other had spoken for at least ten minutes, which provided him enough stuff for a dozen answers and advices.
Q. The man was left for dead because …………….
Answer: One day in the village when the astrologer was a youngster, he had drunk, gambled and quarreled with Guru Nayak and in a fit of rage had stabbed Guru Nayak. He thought that he had killed him and to save himself he had pushed Guru Nayak in the well.
Q. What was the load on the astrologer’s mind?
Answer: One day in the village when the astrologer was a youngster, he had drunk, gambled and quarreled with Guru Nayak and in a fit of rage had stabbed Guru Nayak. He thought that he had killed him and had blood on his hands. This was the load on the astrologer’s mind.
(A1) (i) Given below are some descriptions. Discuss them with your partner and find out one word for each of them. An example is given for you.
(a) The scientific study of the universe and the objects in it, including stars, planets, nebulae and galaxies – Astronomy
(b) The study of the movements of the planets, Sun, Moon, and Stars in the belief that these movements can have an influence on people’s lives – Astrology
(c) A prediction of what will happen in the future – Prophecy
(d) Scientific discipline that studies mental states and processes and behaviour in humans and other animals – Pscychology
(ii) In the story we are told that the Town Hall Park was a remarkable place in many ways for the astrologer to build his business. Discuss it in a group and list the exceptional qualities of the place.
(a) A surging crowd
(b) A variety of trades and occupations
(c) A vendor of fried groundnut, who gave his ware a fancy name each day
(d) The enchantment of the place was due to the fact that it did not have the benefit of municipal lighting.
(e) The place was lit up by shop lights
(f) It was a bewildering crisscross of light rays and moving shadows.
(iii) The astrologer never opened his mouth till the other had spoken for at least ten minutes. Discuss the reasons behind his act.
(a) He is good at reading the people.
(b) It provided him enough stuff for a dozen answers and advices.
(c) It gave him time to analysis the person.
(d) It gave him time to prepare his questions and predictions.
(A2) (i) The tactics used by the astrologer to earn his wages are…
(a) analysis of human troubles
(b) dressed like a mystic
(c) never opened his mouth till the other had spoken for at least ten minutes, which provided him enough stuff for a dozen answers and advices.
(d) frame questions in such a way that nine out of ten were disposed to agree.
(ii) An astrologer’s appearance helps to create an impression on his clients. Complete the following.
(a) The turban on his head
(b) His forehead was resplendent with sacred ash and vermilion,
(c) his eyes sparkled with a sharp abnormal gleam
(d) the dark whiskers which streamed down his cheeks
(iii) Read the following sentences and choose the correct one.
(a) The astrologer says that if Nayak leaves his village again, he would –
(1) return the money
(2) face danger
(3) go back home and stop looking for the man who tried to kill him
(4) not find the killer.
Answer: (2) face danger
(b) According to the narrator the astrologer’s success in his profession is primarily due to –
(2) the bargains he drives
(3) his appearance
(4) his understanding of people.
Answer: (4) his understanding of people.
(c) The story suggests that the astrologer’s comments and observations please people by –
(1) promising them success and good fortune
(2) proving, as time passes, to have been true
(3) flattering them or supporting their own views
(4) helping them to learn to solve their own problems.
Answer: (3) flattering them or supporting their own views
(d) Guru Nayak consults the astrologer because he wants to –
(1) understand the past
(2) find out who the astrologer is
(3) make some money through a bet
(4) get the answer to a specific question.
Answer: (4) get the answer to a specific question.
(e) Guru Nayak is looking for the man who tried to kill him –
(1) to take revenge
(2) to get an apology
(3) to demand an explanation
(4) to prove that the man was unsuccessful.
Answer: (1) to take revenge
(f) The astrologer’s remark makes Guru Nayak feel all of the following except-
Answer: (2) suspicious
(g) Reactions of the astrologer’s wife to his news suggest that she –
(1) was unaware of his past
(2) has been worried about his safety
(3) has known him since he was young
(4) is concerned about her future with him.
Answer: (1) was unaware of his past
(iv) Read the following sentences and find out True and False sentences. Correct the False sentences.
(a) The astrologer gave a correct prediction to the client about his past that he was stabbed, thrown into a well and left for dead.
(b) When the astrologer came to know that the man whom he killed is alive he felt that he was relieved of his guilt.
(c) The astrologer tried to back out of the deal and talked about the client’s past.
Correct Statement – The astrologer struck a bargain and talked about the client’s past.
(d) The astrologer rescued himself from Guru Nayak’s revenge.
(e) The moral of the story is that we must be responsible about what we have done and should not run away from our mistakes.
(v) The astrologer has changed his appearance and his persona when he arrived in the city. Give specific reasons.
Answer: The astrologer had thought that he had killed a man and so had run away from the village. In order, not to get detected and arrested for the crime, he had changed his appearance and persona when he arrived in the city.
(vi) ‘The darkness load that was inside the astrologer has disappeared’. Through this sentence, explain the significance of the title ‘An Astrologer’s Day’.
Answer: The astrologer had thought that he had killed a man and so had run away from the village. In order, not to get detected and arrested for the crime, he had changed his appearance and persona. But he still carried the guilt of killing a person. When he saw that the person is alive he felt relived and the darkness load that was inside him, disappeared. It was the biggest day of his life and there for the title, ‘Astrologer’s Day is significant to the story.
(vii) The astrologer feels relieved to know that Guru is not dead as it reduces a great burden from him. Critically justify the statement and explain it.
Answer: The astrologer had thought that he had killed a man and so had run away from the village. In order, not to get detected and arrested for the crime, he had changed his appearance and persona. But he still carried the guilt of killing a person. When he saw that the person is alive he felt relived and a great burden was lifted from him.
(viii) The astrologer wins/gets the sympathy of criticism of the reader in the end. Express your opinion with the support of the main story.
Answer: The astrologer had run away after committing a crime and had changed his appearance and persona. Though the crime was committed unintentionally, it was not morally right to run away, as he should have taken responsibility of the crime. As the story unfolds the reader is made aware that he still carried the guilt of the crime. In the end when he is able to convince the man to return back without taking any revenge and thus averting further confrontation. He is able to save the day through his shrewdness, tact and presence of mind and is thus able to gain the sympathy of the readers.
(ix) If we have to eradicate the superstitions and other ill practices from our society, what steps would you like to suggest?
Answer: In order to eradicate superstitions and other ill practices from our society, the following steps can be taken-
(a) Schools and college students should be made to inculcate a scientific and a rational mind set.
(b) People should be made aware of the ill effects of following superstition and blind beliefs.
(c) By exposing the people practicing such trades and showing to the general public how they are being taken for a ride by playing with their emotions.
(x) In the story, astrologer has a great listening power. Listening helps in developing good relations with people. Express your opinion.
Answer: One of the characteristic features of a good communicator is being a good listener.
When we listen attentively we can grasp the meaning well and enhance our understanding towards the topic and the speaker. It also helps in avoiding the embarrassment of being misunderstood. If someone is sharing their problems, listening to them we help us console them effectively. Thus listening does help in developing good relations with people.
(A3) (i) In the story, the following characters reveal their qualities through words and actions. Pick out the words that describe them from the box and write in the appropriate columns.
shrewd, clever, suspicious, gullible, arrogant, demanding, antagonistic, quarrelsome, overconfident, manipulative, skeptical, mystical, smart, caring, protective, sharp, rational, mean, intuitive, aggressive, worried, cunning, humanistic, impetuous.
|Astrologer||Guru Nayak||Astrologer’s wife|
(ii) Match the suffixes with the words and make nouns. One is done for you.
(iii) ‘An Astrologer’s Day’ has ironic elements where the astrologer pretends to have ‘supernatural knowledge’ that coincidently turns out to be the truth. Irony means a situation or statement characterized by a significant difference between what is expected and what actually happens, or between what is understood and what is meant. Find out the examples of irony from the story and write them down. One has been done for you.
(a) He knew no more of what was going to happen to others than he knew what was going to happen to himself the next minute.
(b) He was as much a stranger to the stars as were his innocent customers.
(c) He said things which pleased and astonished everyone : that was more a matter of study, practice, and shrewd guesswork.
(d) All the same, it was as much an honest man’s labour as any other, and he deserved the wages he carried home at the end of a day.
(iv) In the story, many Indian words are used.
• ‘Cowrie shells’. This is an example of code-mixing.
Find out other such words from the story and write them down.
Answer: pies, anna, cheroot, jutka and pyol
(v) There are some phrases where the word crown is used with different shades of meaning. Use the following phrases to complete the sentences meaningfully. One is done for you.
crowning achievement, To crown the effect, crown of thorns, crowning glory, to crown it all.
To crown the effect, he wound a saffron-coloured turban around his head.
(a) The works of Shakespeare are the crowning glory of English drama.
(b) Amitabh has given us awesome movies throughout five decades. But his crowning achievement is his performance in the movie ‘Black’.
(c) In her pursuit of success, Radha has distanced herself from her family. Her fame has become a real crown of thorns.
(d) They threw a wonderful party for me with costumes, games and to crown it all my favourite kind of ice cream.
(e) Medical science has great inventions, but organ transplantation is definitely a crowning achievement for human beings.
(A4) (i) Word Usage
Use the words given in the brackets and rewrite the sentences.
(a) The power of his eyes was considerably enhanced. (enhancement)
Answer: There was considerably enhancement in the power of his eyes.
(b) He had a working analysis of mankind’s troubles. (worked)
Answer: He had worked on the analysis of mankind’s troubles.
(c) He knew what was going to happen to himself next minute. (happening)
Answer: He knew what will be happening to himself next minute.
(d) If you find my answers satisfactory, will you give me five rupees? (satisfaction)
Answer: If you find satisfaction in my answers, will you give me five rupees?
(e) He shook his head regretfully. (regret)
Answer: He shook his head with regret.
(f) It was a bewildering crisscross of light rays. (bewildered)
Answer: It was a crisscross of bewildered light rays.
(g) “I should have been dead if some passer-by had not chanced to peep into the well,” exclaimed the other, overwhelmed by enthusiasm. (enthusiastically)
Answer: “I should have been dead if some passer-by had not chanced to peep into the well,” exclaimed the other, enthusiastically overwhelmed.
(h) You tried to kill him. (killing)
Answer: You tried killing him.
(i) I will prepare some nice stuff for her. (preparation)
Answer: It will be my preparation of some nice stuff for her.
(j) The other groaned on hearing it. (heard)
Answer: The other groaned when he heard it.
(A5) (i) Prepare a speech on Science and Superstitions.
Good morning respected principal, teachers and my dear friends. On the occasion of National Science Day, which is celebrated on 28th February, I am now going to put forth my thoughts on the topic ‘Science and Superstition’
Science is a systematic study of physical and natural occurrences through experiments and proofs. On the other hand superstition is an irrational belief in supernatural influences leading to good or bad luck. We see that the two are totally opposite of each other. It is science that has lead man forward on the path of progress whereas superstition has compelled man to move backward.
Even though science has proved many of the superstitious beliefs wrong, there are many people who still continue in their blind beliefs in the name of religion. For example people take a dip in the Ganges in the belief that their sins will be cleansed. Often parents are to be blamed for encouraging superstitious beliefs in children. They will ask their kids to have sweet curds before going for an examination for good luck or will give them pictures of gods and goddess or a prayer book or tie a sacred thread on their wrist as a blessing from gods.
It is ignorance, illiteracy and lack of knowledge that encourages superstition. Therefore, the government along with the education department should work hard and come up with various programmes, talk shows, street plays, seminars, etc to educate the masses. Children should be taught not to believe these superstitions through audio-visual clips and science experiments. It is only through the light of knowledge that we can dispel the darkness of superstition.
(ii) Read the following proverbs. Share your views and expand the ideas.
(a) Actions speak louder than words.
The literary meaning of this ancient proverb is that doing the action has more impact than mere empty talk. The message it is conveying to us is that we will gain respect through our actions rather than our speech. Actions builds a person’s character and personality. By doing a particular task, one can gain immense knowledge and understanding rather than just reading about it.
In history we have many examples of people who were doers rather than just speakers. For example Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, etc. just did not give long speeches but proved through their actions. These personalities have thus gained people’s love and respect for them. On the other hand we find today’s politicians giving long, boring speeches and then disappearing, and so people mistrust them.
As students too we have to learn a lot of concepts and facts. If we learn them through hands-on experience and experiments we can learn and remember them better. A child can’t be thought to ride a bicycle or learn to swim by reading or listening to instructions. He will have to be made to ride a bicycle or taken into the swimming pool to learn.
A farmer can’t just throw the seeds in the soil and ask the crops to grow. He will have to get down on his hands and knees, get his hands dirty, nurture the crops day in and day out, only then will they bear fruit. So also, in order to build our personality, character and worth we just can’t collect degrees and certificates, we will have get into action and gain a lot of experience.
(b) The face is the index of the mind.
The meaning of this proverb is that when we look at the face of a person we can judge what that person may be thinking. In other words our facial expressions portray what is going on in our mind. If a person is happy, the happiness will show on his face. On the other hand if a person is sad or angry, the sadness or anger will also show on his face. Therefore the face is regarded as the index of the mind.
Some people try to hide their emotions by putting up a blank face. But a trained mind of a doctor, psychologist and sometimes a teacher or parent can easily detect the emotion behind the face. Often we too can judge the feelings of the people close to us, be it our friends or family members.
Our face is one of the powerful tools in communication. For example, if we just hear an audio tape of a person’s speech, sometime it is difficult to decipher the true meaning of the person’s speech. But when we see the person speaking, we can interpret the emotions behind the words. Thus get a 360 degrees view of what the person wants to convey.
It is said that our emotions are contagious. For example if a person is happy, he will spread positivity all around. On the other hand if he is sad or angry, then that may pass on to the people around him. Thus we can conclude that, just as the eyes are the mirror to ones soul in the same way a face is the reflection of the mind.
(c) Speech is silver and silence is golden.
This is a Biblical proverb, ‘If speech is silver, then silence is golden.’ We notice that silence is given more importance than speech. One of the valuable qualities of a good communication is to be a good listener.
We have this misconception that, in a conversation, we will be appreciated if we speak. But we should remember that communication is a two way affair, speaking and listening are the two sides of a conversation. When we speak we are sharing all that we know but when we listen we can gain extra knowledge from other speaker’s experience. Therefore, it is rightly said, ‘Give every man thy ear but few thy voice.’
Listening is an art. A good listener will pay keen attention by putting aside all distractions. He may even take down notes to reflect upon and remember it later. A good listener may even ask a few questions if he has not understood something. When we are silent, it not only gives us an opportunity to reflect on the topic but also makes us aware of the speaker’s thoughts.
Many a times people want to share their problems, at such times we should be sensitive enough to listen to them, which may make them feel better. It is also important to think before we speak because words are like arrows that cannot be taken back. A person who continuously speaks may rattle away irrelevant nonsense and be awarded with the title, ‘Empty vessel makes the most noise.’
In conclusion, when we speak, we show case the depth of our knowledge and understanding. But when we listen we can gain an ocean of valuable insights of the speaker’s experience. Therefore, we should keep silent; listen to what others are speaking. Only when we feel that we have understood the topic and feel that we can add value to the conversation, we should speak. Educated and knowledgeable people will always remain quiet, listen and observe, for they know that, ‘Still waters run deep.’
(d) Argument is the worst kind of communication.
Communication means an exchange of ideas, knowledge and thoughts. Often communication is mixed with human emotions. And we all know that human emotions are contagious. When someone is happy everyone wants to share in the happiness and whereas someone is sad everyone feels sorry for that person. When we are communicating, we should try to keep the right mood and tone so that the audience can decipher the exact meaning of what one wants to say.
When we communicate, our words should spread love and positivity. When a person is arguing, he spreads hatred and negativity. He may lose the respect of the listener and thus lose some good friends and companions. Polite communication helps one to gain friends and develop relationships.
When a person is argumentative, he may not be in a proper frame of mind and end up uttering hateful phrases. On the other hand the other person in self defense may say something harsh. Both may end up regretting their actions, but it could be little too late.
A valuable advice to all who wish to have a effective communication is, ‘Words are like arrows, once shot cannot be taken back.’ Therefore we should always ‘Think before we speak.’
(e) Attitudes are the real figures of speech.
A figure of speech is a word or phrase to give a vivid or rhetorical effect. Figures of speech are the ornaments that enhance the beauty of a language. At the same time the attitude of a person determines his character. Therefore an attitude of a person discloses his personality.
Just like there are a wide range of figures of speech to describe different situations, so also we show a wide range of attitudes depending on the given situation. A person’s personality can be judged by the attitude he/she displays in reaction to a particular incidence. Often we find people hiding their real emotions. At such times it becomes very difficult to clearly understand them. In the same way a poet or author may try to hide his feelings and emotions behind figures of speech and leave it to the reader to decipher them.
Attitude brings out the character and personality of a person. A figure of speech brings out the emotional aspect of the literary work. Thus we can rightly conclude that attitudes are the real figures of speech.
(f) The wise man has long ears and a short tongue.
The proverb uses the metaphor of the ears and tongue to convey to us, to listen more and speak less. The art of communication is a two way affair-listening and speaking. By listening attentively we can decipher accurately what the speaker wants to convey. Only when we have understood correctly can we respond and give our opinion.
Often people are busy with other tasks while listening to someone or their mind may waver and drift away mid – conversation. At such times there will be a gap in comprehending the topic and come to a wrong conclusion and judgment.
A wise person will speak at the right time, only after he has patiently heard everything. He knows that words are like arrows, once shot cannot be taken back. Therefore he will spend more time listening than speaking.
It is not without reason that we all have been blessed with two years but only one tongue. An intelligent person listens carefully and speaks only when he can add value to the conversation. This brings to mind the wise saying, ‘Give every man thy ear but few thy voice.’
(A6) (i) Bill Naughton has written a collection of wonderful stories which you can read in his book ‘The Goal Keepers Revenge and Other Stories’. Read all the stories and discuss their theme/s with your partner.
(ii) Read R.K. Narayan’s humorous collections of short stories and novels. Here are some titles you can read.
(a) ‘Under The Banyan Tree’
(b) ‘The Doctor’s Word’
(c) ‘Lawley Road’
(d) ‘A Horse and Two Goats’
(e) ‘Gateman’s Gift’
(A7) Surf the internet and find out the career opportunities in Astronomy.