Friday, August 23, 2013

RAJAM AND MANI by R. K. Narayan (1906 - 2001): Sample Questions and Answers

1.       Answer any one of the following questions ( in about 50 words):  5x1=5
(i)                 Why did Mani decide to bundle up Rajam and throw him into the river ?
Or, How did Rajam appear to be a new menace in Mani’s life ?
Or, “This Rajam was a rival to Mani.” – Explain in brief why Mani thought that Rajam was his rival. (HS ’08)
Ans.       Mani was the overlord of the class. But Rajam, a newcomer, treated him indifferently. If Mani jabbed, slapped or kicked him, he returned those promptly. Everybody was impressed by his courage and brilliance. He could speak English fluently. He was a regular seventy percenter. Moreover, he belonged to a rich family. Gradually, he seemed to be a new power in the class. It was a hard challenge for Mani. Thus, Rajam appeared to be a new menace in Mani’s life. Mani regarded him as a rival and decided to throw him into the river. (94 words)
(ii)               What made Mani decide not to kill Rajam ?
Ans.      Mani planned to kill his rival, Rajam first but changed his decision later. He had been sleeping alone in the room since the death of his grandfather. He, now, thought if he would kill Rajam, his spirit might scare him at night by pulling his hair. So, it would be better not to kill him, but to injure him brutally and leave him to his fate.  (66 words)
(iii)             How had Rajam impressed his classmates on his very first day at school ? (HS ’07) Or, “He had impressed the whole class” – Who was ‘he’ ? How did he impress the whole class ?
Ans.     ‘He’ was Rajam, the son of a Police Superintendent.
On the very first day, he came to school by a private car smartly wearing socks and shoes, knickers, a fur cap, a tie and a beautiful coat. He proved himself to be a very good student too. He had a good command over spoken English like a European. He impressed the whole class through his style, manners and academic performance. (70 words)
(iv)              Why did the teacher punish Swaminathan ? What punishment did Swaminathan get and how did he feel about it ? (HS ’10)
Ans.    The teacher asked Swaminathan why Lisbon was famous. He also asked him about the climate of India. But he gave wrong answers to both the questions. So the teacher punished him for his inattentiveness to the lesson.
The teacher ordered him to stand up on the bench as a punishment. Swaminathan felt glad that instead of caning he was given such apparently degrading but light punishment. (66 words) 
(v)               “Swaminathan felt at perfect peace with the world.” – Who was Swaminathan ? Why did he feel perfect peace with the world ?
Ans.      Swaminathan was a simple natured and peace-loving boy.
              He had a constant loyalty to Mani, his friend and guide. But Rajam’s supremacy in almost all respect also drew his attention. Yet he could not express his feeling lest Mani should be angry with him. He was very much scared at the rivalry and enmity between them. The prospect of bloodshed at the duel shattered his peace of mind. So when Rajam and Mani forgot their quarrel and became friends, he was very happy with a feeling of perfect peace of mind. (91 words)
2.       Answer any two of the questions that follow (each in about 30 words):  3x2=6
(i)                 “Only Sankar, ...had the courage to face him...” – Why could only sankar, and not his other classmates, have the courage to face Rajam ? (HS ’08)
Ans.       Rajam spoke English fine like a European. His classmates were afraid of speaking with him with their poor knowledge of English. Only Sankar, the genius of the class, had the capability to interact with him, though his English sounded halting and weak in comparison to Rajam’s. (46 words)
(ii)               Mention two ways in which Rajam impressed his classmates on his first day at school. (HS Sample Question)
Or, How did Rajam impress the whole class on the very first day ? (HS ’10)
Ans.       On the very first day, Rajam impressed his classmates in two ways. First, he was very smartly dressed, with socks and shoes, a fur cap, a tie, a coat and knickers, and came to school by a private car. Second, he had a good command over English like a European. (50 words)
(iii)             “You are a nasty little coward...” – Who said this and why ?
Or, Who was called a coward and why ?
Or, “ Did you bring the thing I wanted ?” – What “thing” did Mani ask for ? Why could Swaminathan not get the thing ? (HS ’12)
Ans.       Mani said this. / Swaminathan was called a coward.
Mani asked Swaminathan to bring lime pickles from his house. But he could not get it as his mother was present in the kitchen all the time. So Mani called him a coward. (42 words)
(iv)              “River Sarayu was the pride of Malgudi.” – What evidence does R. K. Narayan give us to show that people of Malgudi took pride in river Sarayu ? (HS ’09)
Ans.        The Municipal President would take any eminent visitor to the top of the Town Hall and show him the beauty of the river Sarayu in moonlight from there. This fact proves well that the people of Malgudi took pride in river Sarayu. (42 words)
(v)                “Swaminathan’s services were dispensed with.” – How were Swaminathan’s services dispensed with ?
Ans.     while Rajam and Mani were exchanging their views through Swaminathan, suddenly they got so excited that Swaminathan got no scope to reiterate their words; they went on shouting excitedly at his ears very fast. So, his sevices were dispensed with. (40 words)
(vi)              “Swaminathan paid no attention to the rest of the lesson.” – What did he do instead ?
Ans.      While standing on the bench, Swaminathan, instead of paying attention to the rest of the lesson, got busy in classifying the types of caps the students had put on. He noticed four red caps, twenty five Gandgi caps and ten fur caps. (42 words)
(vii)            “There were vague rumours ...” – About whom were these ‘rumours’ ? What / Why were the ‘rumours’ ?
Ans.        These ‘rumours’ were about Rajam.
As Rajam was quite smart and adept in English like a European, some rumours were spread out from the school that he had come from some English boys’ school in Madras. (36 words)