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Class 9 Kathmandu Question Answer
Very Short Answer Type Important Questions
1. Which two temples did the author visit in Kathmandu?
Ans. The author visited Pashupatinath temple and Boudhanath stupa in Kathmandu.
2. What signboard is there outside the Pashupatinath temple?
Ans. The signboard outside Pashupatinath temple is ‘Entrance for Hindus only’.
3. What does everyone do to the Nepalese Princess in the temple?
Ans. Everyone bows to the princess and makes way for her.
4. Which river flows through Kathmandu?
Ans. The Bagmati river flows through Kathmandu.
5. How is the atmosphere at the Pashupatinath temple?
Ans. The atmosphere at the Pashupatinath temple is full of confusion.
6. How is the atmosphere at the Baudhnath Stupa?
Ans. At Baudhnath Stupa there is an atmosphere of stillness.
7. Who owned most of the shops in Kathmandu?
Ans. Tibetan immigrants owned most of the shops in Kathmandu.
8. Flow does the author decide to take his return journey to Delhi?
Ans. He decides to come back by the plane of Nepal Airlines.
9. Who does the writer see in at square of Kathmandu?
Ans. He sees a flute seller.
10. Who is the writer of the lesson Kathmandu?
Ans. The author of the lesson Kathmandu is Vikram Seth.
Short Answer Type Questions (30 to 40 words)
1. Where did the writer stay in Kathmandu? Which two different places of worship did he visit and with whom?
Ans:-The writer, Vikram Seth, stayed in a cheap room in the centre of Kathmandu town. He visited the Pashupatinath temple, sacred to the Hindus, and the Baudhnath stupa, the holy shrine of the Buddhists. He went with his acquaintances Mr Shah’s son and nephew.
Q2. What is written on the signboard outside the Pashupatinath temple? What does the proclamation signify?
Ans:-Outside the Pashupatinath temple, the signboard announces: “Entrance for the Hindus only”. It signifies the rigid sanctity that this place of worship associates with and the dogmatic discrimination practised saving this place from being treated like a tourist destination.
Q3.What does the author imply by ‘febrile confusion’ in the Pashupatinath temple?
What made the atmosphere in and around the Pashupatinath temple full of ‘febrile confusion’?
Ans:-The author makes this remark to show the hectic and feverish activity that causes utter chaos. Around the temple, there is a huge crowd of priests, hawkers, tourists, and even cows, monkeys and pigeons. Inside the temple, there are a large number of worshippers who elbow others aside to move closer to the priest. Together, they create utter confusion.
Q4.Why did the policeman stop the Westerners wearing saffron-coloured clothes from entering the Pashupatinath temple?
Ans:- The policeman stopped a group of the Westerners in saffron clothing from entering the Pashupatinath temple, as this temple does not allow non-Hindus to enter. He did not believe that they were Hindus despite their being in saffron garb.
Q5.How does the author describe the fight that breaks out between the two monkeys around the temple of Pashupatinath?
Ans:- The author describes a fight between two monkeys where one chases the other and the monkey chased jumps onto a Shiva linga, runs around the temple, and goes down to the Bagmati River.
Q6.What activities are observed by the writer on the banks of the Bagmati river?
Ans:-The writer observes some polluting activities on the banks of river Bagmati. He notices some washerwomen washing clothes, some children taking a bath and a dead body being cremated on the banks of this sacred river. He also observes someone throwing a basketful of wilted flowers and leaves into the river.
Q7. What is the belief at Pashupatinath about the end of Kaliyug? (Textual)
Ans:- There is a small shrine on the banks of the holy Bagmati in the Pashupatinath temple. Half part of this shrine protrudes from a stone platform. It is believed that when the shrine will emerge completely from the platform, the goddess in the shrine will escape and that will mark the end of the Kaliyug.
Q8. What are the author’s observations about the streets in Kathmandu?
Ans:-The author finds the streets in Kathmandu ‘vivid, mercenary and religious’. Extremely narrow and busy, these streets have many small shrines and some images clad in flowers. Stray cows roam about mooing at the sound of the motorcycles. Vendors sell their wares shouting loudly and radios are played at a loud pitch. In addition, the horns of the cars and the ringing of the bicycle bells increase this din.
Q9. What picture of the Baudhnath stupa does the author portray?
Ans:-The author gives a brief but vivid picture of the Boudhanath stupa. He admires the serenity and calmness of this shrine. There are no crowds even on the road surrounding the stupa which has some shops run by the Tibetan immigrants. The stupa has an immense white dome with silence and stillness as its distinctive features.
Q10. Describing the streets around the Baudhnath stupa, why does the narrator say this is a haven of quietness in the busy streets around?
Ans:-The narrator observes a sense of stillness at the Buddhist shrine, the Boudhanath stupa. Its immense white dome is ringed by a road with small shops selling items like felt bags, Tibetan prints and silver jewellery. The quietness of the stupa stands out amidst the busy business activities that go around it. Thus, the narrator regards this place as a haven of quietness in the busy streets around.
Q11. The writer says, “All this I wash down with Coca-Cola”. What does all this’ refer to?
‘Ans:-All this’ refers to the eatables that the writer enjoys on the road surrounding the Boudhanath stupa. It includes a bar of marzipan and a roasted corn-cob that he enjoys along with the fizzy, carbonated drink, Coca-Cola. Besides, he also gets some comics with love-stories and a copy of the Reader’s Digest magazine to indulge himself mindlessly.
Q12.Which is the longer route from Kathmandu to Delhi? Which route does the author opt for?
Ans:- The author takes the long route from Kathmandu to Delhi by traveling first to Patna and then over Benaras, Ganges to Allahabad, and finally crossing the Yamuna into Delhi. The shorter way is to take a flight from Kathmandu straight to Delhi.
Q13.Why does Vikram Seth decide to buy a ticket directly for the homeward journey?
Ans:-Vikram Seth has been away from home since quite some time. He is feeling very exhausted and homesick. Though his enthusiasm for travelling tempts him to take a longer route to reach back home, his exhaustion and homesickness impel him to buy an air-ticket directly for the homeward journey to Delhi.
Q14. What difference does the author note between the flute seller and the other hawkers?
How is the flute player’s way of selling flutes different from that of the other hawkers around?
Ans:-The author points out that while other hawkers shout loudly to attract the customers for their wares, the flute seller plays upon his flute slowly and meditatively. He does not indulge in excessive display nor does he show any desperation to sell his flutes. Although the flute player does not shout, the sound of the flute is distinctly heard above the noise of the traffic and of the hawkers.
Q15.What does Vikram Seth compare to the quills of a porcupine?
Where did Vikram Seth find the flute seller? What did he compare his flutes to?
Ans:- In Kathmandu, Vikram saw a flute seller in a corner of the square by his hotel. He was holding a long stick with an attachment to the top of it. This attachment held fifty-fifty to sixty flutes which bulged out in every direction. The author compares these bumps on the end of each flute to porcupine quills that stand up straight, sharp and stiff.
Q16. Name five kinds of flutes. (Textual)
Listening to the music of the flute in the square, the author is reminded of various kinds of flutes. Which kinds does he describe?
Ans:-As the author listens to the music of the flute being played by the flute seller, he is reminded of different kinds of flutes. He mentions certain kinds of them like the ‘cross-flutes’, the ‘reed new’, the recorder, the Japanese ‘shakuhachi’ and the Hindustani ‘bansuri’. Other flutes are distinguished by their tonal quality like ‘the clear or breathy flutes’ of South America and the ‘high-pitched’ flutes of China
Q17. What is the impact of the music of the flute on Vikram Seth?
Ans:-The music of the flute has a hypnotic effect on Vikram Seth. He finds it difficult to ‘tear’ himself away from the square where this music is being played by the flute seller. It has the power to draw him into the commonality of all mankind and he is moved by its closeness to the human voice.
Q18. Why does the author describe the music of the flute as “the most universal and most particular of sounds”?
Ans:- According to the author, the music of the flute is “the most universal” because this musical instrument made of hollow bamboo is found in every culture in the world. At the same time however, its sound is “the most particular” because each flute plays a unique musical sound emitted from it.
19. What did the saffron-clad Westerners want?
Ans. The saffron-clad Westerners wanted to go inside the temple of Pashupatinath. But the policeman stopped them. He did not let them go inside the temple because they were not Hindus. The entrance was only for Hindus in the temple.
20. How did the author want to return to Delhi? What made him change his mind?
Ans. From Kathmandu, the author wanted to go Patna by bus or train. Then he would sail the Ganga though Benaras to Allahabad. Then he would sail the Yamuna through Agra to Delhi. But the author was already very much tired. So he decided to return to Delhi by air.
21. Describe how the flute seller sells his wares?
Ans. The seller insists on offering his flutes for sale only through the act of musical performance, in which the flute plays itself from time to time. He has a casual demeanour and sometimes he makes a sale, but he mostly enjoys himself.
22. To hear any ‘flute is to be drawn into the commonality of all mankind.’ Explain.
Ans: The flute is found in each culture in one form or the other. Thus the sound of the flute draws a person into the commonality of mankind.
ESSAY TYPE QUESTIONS
Q.1.How does the author describe the flute seller? What does he say about the flute music?
Ans. The author finds a flute seller in a corner of the square near his hotel. There is a pole in his hand. There is an attachment at the top of the pole. Fifty or sixty flutes are stuck on it. These flutes protrude in all directions. The author compares these flutes to the quills of a porcupine. These flutes are made-of bamboo: From time to time, he stands the pole on the ground. Then he selects a flute and plays on it for a few minutes. The sound rises clearly above the noise of the traffic and the hawkers’ cries. He plays the flute slowly and thoughtfully. He does not shout out his wares. Occasionally someone buys a flute from him. But the flute seller’s attitude is carefree. The author likes his attitude. He imagines that this has been his pattern of life for years. The author finds it difficult to come away from there. He has always been attracted by the flute music: He says that the flute is a very common musical instrument. It is found in almost all cultures. It is the common link of all mankind.
2. Compare and contrast the atmosphere in and around the Baudhnath shrine with that in the Pashupatinath Temple. (Textual)
The Pashupatinath Temple, holy to the Hindu people, and the Baudhnath Shrine of the Buddhists stand in contrast with regard to their ambience. The noise and chaos of the Hindu Temple differs from the tranquility that reigns supreme in the Baudhnath shrine. There is a large number of unorganized worshippers at Pashupatinath temple who are pushing each other to reach closer to the priest and their deity. At Baudhnast, there aren’t many people inside the structure.
At the Pashupatinath Temple, the diverse crowd of priests, vendors and tourists make for a noisy scene. Cows and dogs roam around freely and these are accompanied by monkeys that also create additional noise. Expect to be flustered upon trying to enter the temple as Westerners will often get in your way right as you’re about to achieve enlightenment.
Despite being so full of striking beauty, Boudhanath is, to put it bluntly, a sanctuary of peace and stillness, where small but distinctive shops around the temple are run by Tibetan immigrants. There’s no noise or chaos to be found here. The author deeply appreciates that this serene haven of both human interaction and stillness stands silently amidst the busy streets.
3. How does the author describe Kathmandu’s busiest streets? (Textual)
The author points out the busy streets in Kathmandu, which can be found in all kinds of beautiful shapes, colors and designs. The name Kathmandu comes from a Hindu legend and is ‘mercenary’ because it’s a tourist destination that has a lot of money exchange happen in its narrow streets. There are sellers of all types in Kathmandu, such as fruits sellers, flute sellers, and hawkers. You can find people selling postcard photographs of tourist destinations, like in any European city. Along with retail shops selling western goods, you can also find antique shops that sell Nepalese goods like copper pots and pans.
There is a bedlam of noises created by radios playing film songs, car horns, bell sounds of bikes and vendors shouting as they invite customers. There are also the cows bellowing while they hear the sound of motorcycles. This is where Kathmandu’s streets are full of noise and din.
4.” To hear any flute is to be drawn into the commonality of all mankind.” Why does the author say this? (Textual)
Ans:-The author hears the music of a flute played by a flute seller in a square near his hotel in Kathmandu and is reminded of the various kinds of music produced by various types of flutes found in various cultures. However, the flute is universal because almost every culture has flutes, though each has a different tone and pitch.
The author further describes the variety of flutes named differently as the shakuhachi in Japan and the bansuri in India. They have different fingering methods and ranges of sound. The Indian bansuri has a deep sound, the South American flute emits clear, breathy sound and the Chinese flute gives out loud, high-pitched melodies.
Despite the variety of flutes and the variations in their music, the author emphasises that the music of all the flutes closely resembles the human voice. To produce music, every flute needs pauses and breaths in the same manner in which phrases and sentences are uttered in the human voice. These pauses and breaths are generated through fingering of the holes of a flute. This characteristic feature of the flutes gives the author a feeling of being “drawn into the commonality of mankind”, which gives him a sense of universality and harmony.
5. What idea do you get about the author from the extract “Kathmandu”?
Ans:-The extract “Kathmandu” taken from Vikram Seth’s travelogue, ‘Heavenly Lake’, brings forth certain traits of his personality. As a traveller, Seth displays a keen sense of observation, and as a person with a fine aesthetic sense, his ability to capture the vivid details comes to the fore.
The pictures of the temples of Kathmandu and its crowded streets become alive with his vivid descriptions. Though indirectly, he also appears to be a lover of serenity and tranquillity when he terms the stupa as a ‘haven of quietness’. He also shows his concern as an environmentalist who does not approve of the polluting activities carried on the banks of the Bagmati river. Vikram Seth’s fondness for travelling is obvious by the fact that although tired, he still contemplates taking a longer route back home to Delhi.
His fondness for music is brought forth when we find him so enchanted by the music of the flute that he has to force himself to leave the square where the flute is being played by the seller.
His choice of reading reveals that when tired, he prefers to read light and popular stuff. Like a typical traveller, he indulges himself with the eatables he finds available in the bazaar of Kathmandu.
Thus, the author emerges as a man with a profound fondness for travelling, love for music, a keen sense of observation, reflective mind, and an ability to portray places and people minutely and realistically.
6. The author has drawn powerful images and pictures. Pick out three examples each of (Textual)
(i) the atmosphere of febrile confusion outside the temple of Pashupatinath
(ii) the things he sees
(iii) the sounds he hears
Ans:- (i) Some examples of the atmosphere of ‘febrile confusion’ outside the Pashupatinath Temple:
- A huge crowd outside the temple that includes human beings, animals and birds
- Some Westerners in the saffron attire like Hindus trying to intrude into the temple and the policeman opposing them
- Two monkeys fighting, one chasing the other and jumping on a Shivalinga and then running to the river Bagmati
(ii) Some examples of the things that the writer sees:
- Women washing clothes on the banks of Bagmati river
- Children bathing in the river
- A corpse being cremated at the banks of the Bagmati
- A basket with withered flowers, leaves and old offerings being dropped into the river
- The Tibetan immigrants selling things on the road around the Baudhnath stupa
- The hawkers selling the postcards and other wares in the streets
(iii)Some examples of the sounds that the writer hears:
- The blaring horns of the traffic
- The sweet and hypnotic sounds of the flute
- The loud voices of the hawkers.
- The mooing of stray cows
- The film songs blaring out from the radios
- The sound of car horns
- The ringing of bicycle bells
- Where does the author find the flute seller and what are his observations about him? What draws the author to the music of the flute?
The author finds a flute seller along with many other hawkers in a corner of the square near his hotel in Kathmandu. But the flute seller’s style of selling his ware differs quite radically from that of other vendors. He does not shout to attract customers nor does he seem desperate to sell.
He carries a pole with about 50-60 flutes attached at the top. The author compares these flutes protruding in all directions to the sharp quills of a porcupine. Most of the flutes on the poles are of the varieties of “recorders” and “cross-flutes.” The flute seller, instead of hawking loudly, places the pole on the ground every now and then, selects a flute and plays slowly and meditatively without ever resorting to excessive display.
The sound of the flute playing in the air is distinct and clear and is audible over the noise created by the traffic horns and hawking. He doesn’t seem to be running a very brisk business and it appears as if playing the flute is his primary business activity, with selling flutes being incidental.
The mesmerizing melody of the flute draws the author to it. He is frozen in time by its hypnotic, engrossing sound. The impact is so indelible that he feels forced to stay and listen to more than just a moment before returning home in India.