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A Baker from Goa Questions and Answers
By– Lucia Rodrigues
1. What did the baker mean to the narrator during his childhood? How many times did he pay a visit?
Ans. The baker or pader was an important person in the author’s life. He was treated like a friend. He used to come twice a day, once in the morning to sell the bread and then while returning after emptying his basket. The author used to run to meet him in order to take the bread-bangles. He chatted and gossiped with him.
2.What were the bakers called? Describe their peculiar dress.
Ans. The bakers were known as pader. These bakers wore a peculiar dress known as the ‘kabai’. It was a single piece long frock reaching down to the knees.
3. What was Kabai ? Give a brief description.
What did the bakers wear — (i) in the Portuguese days? (ii) When the author was young?
Ans. Kabai wan a particular dress — a single piece long frock reaching down the knees which the bakers used to wear in old days. Later it was replaced by a shirt and trousers which were longer than the shorts and shorter than the full length.
4. What are the elders in Goa nostalgic about?
Ans. In Goa, the elders are nostalgic about the good Old Portuguese days as well as the Portuguese and their famous loaves of bread.
5. How can you say, ‘bread-baking is still popular in Goa’?
Ans. Bread making is still very popular in Goa. Still, we can see the mixers, the moulders and those who bake the loaves. Most of their festivals and other occasions are meaningless without the loaves of bread.
6. “Even today any person with a jackfruit-like physical appearance is easily compared to a baker.” Explain.
Ans. Bakers had a plump physique which meant they were happy and prosperous and hence, even today, any person with a jackfruit like physical appearance is compared to a baker.
7.`Baking was, indeed, a profitable profession’. Justify the statement with reference to the extract ‘A Baker from Goa’.
Explain with examples that baking used to be a profitable profession.
Ans. Baking was indeed a profitable profession in the old days. The baker and his family never starved. He, his family and his servants always looked happy and prosperous. Their plump physique was an open testimony to this.
8. How did the baker attract the children?
How does the writer know about the arrival of the baker? Why are they anxiously waiting for him?
What role did the baker play in the childhood of the narrator?
Ans. The children would know about his arrival from the ‘jhang, jhang’ sound of his bamboo stick. They would run to meet and greet him. They tried to surround the basket but were pushed aside until the bread was delivered to the maid. Then they were allowed to choose their bread-bangles.
9. How did the baker make his entry?
Ans. The baker made his musical entry with the ‘jhang, jhang’ sound of his specially made bamboo staff One hand supported the basket on his head and the other banged the bamboo on the ground. He would greet the lady of the house and then place the basket on the bamboos.
10. How were the baker’s accounts maintained?
Ans. The monthly records/accounts of the baker were maintained on some wall in pencil.
11. Is bread an important part of Goan life? How do you know this?
Ans. Bread is still an important part of Goan life. Marriage gifts are meaningless and a party or a feast loses its charm without bread. Sandwiches are important for a daughter’s engagement. That is what that explains the fact that the bread makers are still there.
12. What marks of the Portuguese way of life can still be seen in Goa?
Ans. Goa was once occupied by the Portuguese. They were famous for preparing the loaves of bread. They left Goa long ago. But the traditional work of the bakers can still be seen in Goa. The furnaces in which the bread was baked still exist there.
13. What does the author recall about the visit of the baker to his village?
Ans. The author recalls that a baker used to visit the village twice a day. He used to be the author’s friend and guide. He used to carry a bamboo stick. The sound of this stick used to wake up the author and others from sleep
14. How was the village baker very important for special occasions in the village?
Ans. The village baker was especially important for festive occasions. The villagers were much fond of the sweet bread known as ‘bol’. Marriage gifts were meaningless without these sweetbreads. Sandwiches, cakes and bolinhas were a must for Christmas as well as other festivals. These were made with the bread.
15. Describe the bread-sellers dress.
Ans. The baker or the bread-seller wore a special, peculiar dress. It was known as the ‘kabai . It was a single-piece long frock. It reached down to his knees. During narrator’s childhood, Bakers wore trousers which were shorter than full-length and longer than half pants.
16. When did the baker collect his bills? What showed that the bakers were prosperous?
Ans. The baker usually collected his bills at the end of the month. In the household, the baker’s monthly accounts used to be recorded on some wall in pencil. Baking was a profitable business in those days. Their families never starved. Their plump bodies showed that they were prosperous.
17. When would the baker come every day? Why did the children run to the baker?
Ans. The baker would come twice a day. Once in the morning when he set out on his selling round, and then again after emptying his basket. In the morning the children ran to him to have bread-bangles.
18. How did the baker make his entry in the morning?
Ans. In the morning the baker made his musical entry on the scene with the ‘jhang–jhang‘ sound of his specially made staff. One hand supported the basket on his head and the other hanged the bamboo on the ground.
19. What are the childhood memories described by the author in this extract?
Ans. The author passed his childhood days in Goa. In this extract, he remembers his old days in Goa when the village baker occupied an important place in life. Although, with the passage of time, people do not eat so much bread, yet the sillage bakers are still there.
Q20. What do the elders reminisce about and why?
Ans. The elders reminisce nostalgically about the good old Portuguese days and the Portuguese loaves of bread. The loaves of bread were an integral part of Goan’s life. Marriages were meaningless without sweet bread. The lady of the house must prepare sandwiches on her daughter’s engagement. Christmas and other festivals must have cakes and bolinhas. They still remember the jingling thud of the baker in the morning.
Q22. How can you say that the makers of the famous Goan loaves are still there?
Ans. Many of those eaters of loaves might have died but their makers still exist. The mixers, the moulders and those who bake the loaves are still there in Goa. The fire in the furnaces has not yet been extinguished and the thud and jingle of the baker’s bamboo can still be heard in the morning in some places. These bakers, known as paders, exist in Goa even today. The family profession is still carried on.
Q22. How did the baker make his musical entry on the scene in the morning?
Ans. The baker made his musical entry in the morning. The jingling thud of his bamboo woke up the people in the morning. He used to come at least twice a day. The children ran to meet and greet him. For children, it was not just for the love of the loaf but for the love of the jingling music.
Q23. Why was the baker, the friend, companion and guide of the children?
Ans. For children, the very sight of the baker was quite exciting. He was their friend, companion and guide. The jingling thud of his bamboo put them in rapture. They ran to meet and greet him. It was not so much for the love of the loaf What they longed for were the bread-bangles. Sometimes they liked the sweet bread of special make.
Q24. What importance did the baker’s furnace have in the village in Goa?
Ans. The loaves of bread had become an important and integral part of the lives of the people in Goa. Marriages were meaningless without the sweet bread or the bol. No party or feast was possible without bread. The lady of the house would prepare sandwiches on the engagement ceremony of her daughter. Cakes and sweet breads were a must for Christmas and other festivals. The presence of the baker’s furnace was absolutely essential in the village.
Q25. Describe the changes in the dress of the baker or the pader with the passage of the time.
Ans. In good old days during the Portuguese rule, the baker or bread seller had a peculiar dress. It was known as `Icabar. It was a single piece long frock reaching down to the knees. These days a pader wears a shirt and trousers which are shorter than full lengths ones and longer than half pants.
Q26. What was the attitude of the baker towards
(i)the lady of the house
(ii) the children
(iii) the maidservant?
Ans. (i) First of all, the baker would greet the lady of the house with “Good morning” and then place his basket on the vertical bamboo before her.
(ii)He would push aside the children with a mild rebuke.
(iii)The loaves were delivered to the maid-servant.
Q27. How did the children behave when they have pushed aside with a mild rebuke by the pader?
Ans. The baker would push aside the children with a mild rebuke. But the kids would not give up. They would climb a bench or the parapet and peep into the basket. They longed for the bread-bangles. Actually, the jingling thud of the baker or the pader fascinated them.
Q28. Why would the children didn’t even care to brush their teeth or wash their mouths properly?
Ans. The jingling thud of the pader and his musical entry in the morning would wake up the children from their sleep.
They would run to greet and meet him. They didn’t even care to brush their teeth or wash their mouths. The tiger never brushed their teeth. There was no need of doing any such thing. Hot tea could wash and clean up everything so nicely, after all.
Q29. When did the baker collect his bills and how did he record his monthly accounts?
Ans. The pader usually collected his bills from his customers at the end of the month. He didn’t have a notebook to record his monthly accounts. Monthly accounts used to be recorded on some wall in pencil.
Q30. How would you prove that baking was a profitable profession in the old days in Goa?
Ans. Baking was quite a profitable profession in Goa in the old days. The baker and his family never starved. Even his servants could meet both the ends easily. He and his family always looked happy and prosperous. Their plump physique was an open testimony of their happiness and prosperity.
Extra Very Short Answer Type Important Questions
Q.1. What do the elders of Goa remember nostalgically? ‘ [H.B.S.E. March 2017 (Set-A)]
Ans. They remember nostalgically the old Portuguese days and the loaves of bread.
Q.2. What are the time tested things which still exist in Goa?
Ans. The furnaces of the bakers of Goa are time tested things which still exist there.
Q.3. When did the baker come daily?
Ans. He came daily twice. Once in the morning when he set out for his selling and the other time after selling the bread.
Q.4. What was the baker’s place in Goa is the author’s childhood days?
Ans. In those days the baker was the friend, companion and guide.
Q.5. How is the entry of the baker described?
Ans. The entry of the baker is described as musical.
Q.6. What did the author and the other children do to look into the baker’s basket?
Ans. They would climb a bench or the parapet to look into the baker’s basket.
Q.7. What is the name of the dress worn by the baker in olden days?
Ans. It was known with the name of kabai.
Q.8. What is the baker called in Goa?
Ans. baker is called ‘pader‘ in Goa.
Q.9. What is the financial status of a baker of Goa?
Ans. A baker of Goa is mostly in a sound financial position.
Q.10. What is a kabai?
Ans. A kabai is a type of frock made out of a single piece of cloth.