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In The Kingdom of Fools
By- A.K. Ramanujan’s
SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS.
(to be answered in about 30 – 40 words each)
Ql. How was the Kingdom of Fools different from any other place?
What was so strange about the Kingdom of Fools?
The Kingdom of Fools was strange and different from any other place. It was governed by an idiot king and his silly minister. They passed an order according to which people had to work at night and sleep during the day. Even the cattle were made to sleep during the day. In addition, everything had the same cost – one duddu.
Q2. What are the two strange things the guru and his disciple find in the Kingdom of Fools? (Textual)
What two things were different in the Kingdom of Fools?
The two strange things that the guru and his disciple find in the Kingdom of Fools are that both people and their cattle worked at night and slept during the day. Also, the cost of all things was the same, a single duddu.
Q3. Why didn’t the people go against the order of the king and the minister?
The people did not go against the order of the king and the minister because of fear of death. They had been told that anyone who disobeyed would be punished with death.
Q4. Why did the guru not want to stay on in the Kingdom of Fools?
The guru did not want to stay on in the Kingdom of Fools because as a wise man he knew that fools are unpredictable and hence dangerous. In addition, he knew that the foolish system of governance and way of life would not last for long.
Q5. Why did the disciple not want to leave the Kingdom of Fools?
The disciple did not want to leave the Kingdom of Fools because here he could enjoy a comfortable life by getting good and cheap food for a nominal price. A measure of rice and a bunch of banana, both came for a duddu each.
Q6. Why did the thief’s brother accuse the rich merchant?
The thief had died because the wall of the merchant’s old house had collapsed and fallen on his head. According to the thief’s brother, the rich merchant was to be blamed for this because he had not built a good, strong wall.
Q7. Who was blamed by the merchant for the death of the thief?
The merchant blamed the bricklayer who had not built the wall right thus causing the thief’s death. This bricklayer had built the wall in the times of the rich merchant’s father.
Q8. Why was the bricklayer found not guilty?
The old bricklayer was found not guilty because he claimed that he got distracted by the jingling anklets of the dancing girl who went up and down the street many times on the day the wall was built by him.
Q9. What was ironical about the judgement passed by the king holding the dancing girl as the culprit?
In his judgement, the king termed the burglar as ‘poor’ and ‘innocent’. He blamed the dancing girl for causing the death of the ‘poor burglar’ and killing an ‘innocent man’. Expressing sympathy in this manner for a law-breaker was ironical.
Q10. How was the goldsmith able to escape punishment?
The goldsmith escaped punishment by pleading that he had made excuses to the dancing girl because of a rich merchant who had pressurized him to finish his order of jewellery first as there was a wedding in his family.
Q11. How, according to the king, had justice come full circle?
Justice had come full circle, according to the king, as the blame of the crime had come back to the rich merchant after being passed on to the bricklayer, the dancing girl, the jeweller, and his own father.
Q12. Why did the king want to punish the merchant?
The king wanted to punish the merchant because the thief had died due to the collapsing of a wall of the house owned by the merchant. Although the house had been built by his father just as he had inherited his father’s wealth, he had also inherited his sins.
Q13. Who was the real culprit according to the king? Why did he escape from punishment? (Textual)
The real culprit according to the king was the rich man’s father who had built the house. But he escaped punishment because he was already dead. This punishment got transferred to his son for inheriting both wealth and sins from his father.
Q14. What problem arose before the final execution of the criminal?
Minutes before the execution of the merchant, the minister realized that the merchant was too thin and could not be properly executed on the stake. So the problem was that the execution orders had been issued but could not be completed because the accused did not fit the stake.
Q15. Why did the king’s servants catch the disciple?
Why was the disciple chosen to replace the merchant at the stake?
The servants of the foolish king caught the disciple because they wanted a fat man to replace the rich merchant who was very thin and did not fit the stake. The disciple had grown fat after feasting for months on bananas, rice, wheat, and ghee and fitted the stake properly.
Q16. When does the disciple remember the words of his guru?
What are the guru’s words of wisdom? When does the disciple remember them? (Textual)
The disciple remembered the words of his guru when the king’s servants carried him to the place of execution. He remembered how his guru had warned him about the unpredictability of the fools’ behaviour and their irrational system of governance in the kingdom.
Q17. Why does the disciple decide to stay on in the Kingdom of Fools? Is it a good idea? (Textual)
The disciple decides to stay on in the Kingdom of Fools because he thinks that he can live comfortably and afford all pleasures of life over there since everything cost one duddu each. It certainly is not a good idea because such foolish things do not last long. This is proved true when he is caught to be executed for a crime he is not even remotely linked with.
Q18. Why did the guru want that he and his disciple should die first?
The guru claimed that whosoever died on the stake of the god of justice, would become the king and minister in the next life. He said that they were sick of their ascetic way of life and wanted to die first to enjoy themselves as a king and a minister in their next life.
Q19. What was the fight that the guru and his disciple got into? Why?
The guru and his disciple fought over the right to be the first one to die at the stake. They had got into this fight as part of the plan to rescue the disciple. They wanted to make the king believe that getting killed on the stake of the god of justice would make the person the next king.
Q20. Why did the king decide to postpone the execution of the guru and his disciple?
The king postponed the execution to the next day in order to consult his minister in secret and find a way to prevent someone else from becoming the king and the minister of their kingdom in the next life.
Q21. How did the guru get rid of the foolish king?
How did the guru succeed in befooling the king?
Why did the foolish king decide to die at the stake?
The guru succeeded in getting rid of the foolish king by befooling him. He convinced the king that the person to die first at the stake of the god of justice would be reborn as king. The foolish king believed this and readily agreed to die at the stake lest his kingdom was taken over by someone else.
Q22. What did the king and his minister decide in secret? Why?
The king and his minister decided to go to the stake themselves and be reborn as the king and the minister again. They decided so because they did not feel it right to give their kingdom to others in next life and also because they believed that holy man did not tell lies.
Q23. What was the final order of the king to the executioners?
The king told the executioners that two criminals would be sent to them at night and they should put them to death in the order they arrive. He instructed them not to make any mistake in executing this final order.
Q24. How did the executioners mistake the king and his minister for the guru and his disciple?
The king had ordered the executioners to kill the two men that would be sent at night. These two men were the king and his minister themselves. They had disguised themselves as the guru and his disciple respectively after setting the duo free. Th executioners made a mistake because they promptly followed the order without confirming the true identity of the two men sent for execution.
Q25. Why were the people of the kingdom confused when they saw the dead bodies of the king and his minister?
The people were confused when they saw the dead bodies of the king and his minister because they had no idea about the turn of events that led to the revised execution orders. Their kingdom was without a ruler and they did not know what to do.
Q26. Who became the king and the minister of the kingdom in the end? Why?
In the end, the guru and his disciple became the king and the minister respectively. It happened so because the people were worried about the future of their kingdom after losing the foolish king and his minister. They begged, argued and finally persuaded the two of them to agree.
Q27. On what condition did the guru and his disciple agree to rule that kingdom?
The guru and his disciple agreed to rule the kingdom on the condition that they could change all the old laws. They made the kingdom normal again by reversing the order of night and day and revising the prices of things.
Q.28. Why did the guru want to leave this Kingdom quickly? Why did the disciple stay on?
Ans. The guru realised that it was the Kingdom of Fools. He decided to leave the kingdom at once. He told his disciple that where fools ruled, their lives could be in danger. But the disciple was happy there. Everything was cheap in the kingdom. He did not want to go. So the guru left the kingdom. The disciple stayed on the sake of cheap food
Q.29. What was ‘foolish’ about the king’s trial of the merchant?
Ans. The merchant had not killed the thief. He was being punished only because his wall had fallen on the thief. Secondly, he said that his father had been to blame. But because his father had died, the king ordered the merchant to be executed in place of his father.
Q.30. Who were the people questioned during the course of the trial, and what was each person’s defence?
Ans. First, the owner of the house was summoned. But he said that the bricklayer who had constructed the wall was responsible. The bricklayer said that when he was making a wall, a dancing girl distracted his attention. The dancing girl said that a goldsmith did not make jewellery in time. So she had to pass through the street several times. The goldsmith said that he had to make ornaments fora wedding in the rich man’s house. So he could not finish the jewellery of the dancing girl in time. He was the same owner who had been summoned first of all.
Q.31. Who was finally blamed for the crime and why?
Ans. The rich owner of the house was finally blamed for the crime. He said that his father had ordered for the jewellery and he should have been responsible. But because his father had died, the king gave judgement that he would die in his father’s place.
Q.32. How did the king and his minister die in place of the guru and his disciple?
Ans. The king told the executioners to put to death the first and second man who come to them the next morning. That night, the king and the minister went secretly to the prison. They released the guru and his disciple. They disguised its the gum and the disciple. The next morning, the executioners killed them.
Q.33. How did the kingdom become normal again?
Ans. When the people came to know of the death of their king and minister, they mourned. They discussed the future of the kingdom. They requested the guru and the disciple to be their king and minister. They agreed to rule the kingdom, but on one condition. The old laws would be ‘changed. The good days returned to the kingdom. Thus the kingdom became normal again.