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Iswaran the Storyteller Short Question Answer
By- R.K. Laxman
Q.1. Who was Mahendra? What did he do?
Ans. Mahendra was a young man. He was a junior supervisor in a firm. His firm offered supervisors hire at different construction sites. His job was to keep an eye on the activities at the work site. He had flect quently to go from one place to the other. He was a bachelor and his needs were simple. He could adjust himself to all conditions.
Q.2. Describe Iswaran’s ‘amazing capacity to produce vegetables, etc.
Ans. Mahendra had a cook. His name was Iswaran. He was quite attached to Mahendra and went wherever Mahendra was transferred. Iswaran was a good cook. He had an amazing capacity to produce vegetables from nowhere and cook them. Even at a place where there were no shops visible for miles. he was able to cook vegetables. He would conjure up del iciousdishes made with fresh vegetables within an hourofreachingthat place.
Q.3. How did Iswaran manage to make even the simplest incident interesting? Give an example.
Ans. Iswaran was a master storyteller. He narrated even the smallest of incidents by creating a loss of suspense. For example, if he had to describe a fallen tree, he would not simply say that he saw an uprooted tree on the highway. He would say, “The road was deserted and I was all alone. Suddenly I spotted something .that looked like an enormous bushy beast. But as I came closer.I saw that it was only a fallen tree.”
Q.4. What did Iswaran do after Mahendra had left for office?
Ans. When Mahendra left for the office, Iswaran would do his work and take a leisurely bath. While taking bath, he kept muttering a prayer. After lunchtime, he would read for a while before going to sleep. He read popular Tamil thrillers. The stories that he narrated were greatly influenced by these novels.
Q.5. How did Iswaran add a prologue to his story of an elephant?
Ans. Before starting the story,.Iswaran gave a detailed description of the place. He said that the place was a richly wooded forest. The logs of wood were hauled by elephants on lorries. But sometimes, the elephants turned mad. When an elephant turned mad, not even a skilled mahout could control it.
Q.6. What did the elephant do before Iswaran controlled it?
Ans. A tusker escaped from the timber yard. It roamed here and there. Then the tusker reached the town. People ran here and there in terror. After some time, the elephant entered a school ground where children were playing. All the boys ran into the classrooms and shut the doors. The elephant pulled out the football goalpost, tore the volleyball net and broke the drum kept for water. Everyone watched helplessly.
Q.7. Why did Mahendra resolve to leave the haunted place the very next day?
Ans. Mahendra had almost forgotten the incident of the previous night. But in the morning, lswaran told Mahendra that he had also heard the moan at night. He had come to his room. He had seen that Mahendra was looking out of the window at the ghost of the woman. Mahendra was cold with fear. As soon as he reached the office, he handed in his papers for transfer from that place
Q.8. Do you think the ghost seen by Mahendra was only a trick played by his cook, Iswaran? Give reasons for your answer.
Ans. First, Iswaran created the background by telling Mahendra that the place used to be a burial ground. Then he told the story of a ghost. One night Mahendra saw a figure outside his window. The figure looked like the ghost described by Iswaran. The next morning, lswaran told Mahendra that he had seen Mahendra looking out of the window at the ghost. This shows that it was only a trick played by Iswaran.
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9. How did the mother distract the child’s mind from the toy-seller?
Ans. The mother pointed towards a flowering mustard-field. The child was attracted by the beauty of the field. He began to run after the colourful dragon-flies.
10. There were some things the child knew his parents would not buy for him, so he did not ask for them. What were these?
Ans. The child wanted to have a garland of gulmohur flowers. Next, he wanted to buy the colourful balloons. But he knew that his parents would not buy these things for him. So he did not ask for these things.
11. Who rescued the child? What did he offer to buy for him?
Ans. The child ran to a temple. It was crowded with people. A man in the crowd heard his cry. He lifted him up in his arms. He offered to buy him a garland, balloons and some sweets.
12. Why did the child go towards the temple? What happened there?
Ans. The child was panic-stricken. He ran towards a crowded temple. He hoped to find his parents there. He began to cry loudly for his parents. A man in the crowd heard his cry. He lifted him up in his arms.
13. Who was Mahendra? What did he do?
Ans. Mahendra was a young man. He was a bachelor. He was a junior supervisor in a firm. Mahendra’s job was to keep an eye on the activities at the work-site.
14. Describe Iswaran’s ‘amazing capacity to produce vegetables etc.
Ans. Iswaran could get vegetables from anywhere. He could cook them very easily. He made delicious dishes even though he could get nothing else for them.
15. How did Iswaran manage to make even the simplest incident interesting? Give an example.
Ans. Iswaran could create suspense round the simplest incident. Once he saw a fallen tree on the highway. He said he had seen a big beast lying across the road. Ongoing closer, he had found that it was only an uprooted tree.
16. How did Iswaran tackle the elephant in the school building? Does it appear to be likely?
Ans. Iswaran grabbed a cane from the hands of one of the teachers. He hit the elephant hard on its third toenail. The elephant collapsed. It is hard to believe that a huge elephant could be tackled by merely hitting on its toenail.
17. How did Iswaran describe the uprooted tree?
Ans. Iswaran said that the road was deserted. Suddenly he noticed something like a big bushy beast spread out across the road. He went closer and found that it was a fallen tree.
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18. ‘Iswaran would not pick up the thread of the story right away.’ How did Iswaran build up his ghost story?
Ans. Iswaran would first build up the background of the story. He told Mahendra that the whole factory area used to be a burial ground. Then one day he built up his story on it. He started telling Mahendra a ghost story.
19. Mahendra did not believe in ghosts. What happened to him on the last full-moon night?
Ans. On the last full-moon night, Mahendra heard a low moan close to his window. The moan became louder. He looked out of the window. He saw a dark, cloudy form clutching a bundle.
20. What part did Mahendra’s imagination play in his vision of the ghost?
Ans. The ghost that Mahendra saw was only a thing of imagination. It was a trick played by Iswaran. Iswaran enjoyed reading Tamil thrillers. His stories and activities were all influenced by these thrillers.
21. Describe Iswaran’s daily routine after Mahendra left for work.
Ans. After Mahendra left for work, Iswaran would clean the shed and wash the clothes. He would then have a bath. After taking lunch he read for a while. He then slept for some time.
22. What havoc did the elephant create in the school ground?
Ans. The elephant broke through the brick wall of the school. It pulled out the football goalpost. It tore down the volleyball net. It kicked and flattened the drum kept for water. It uprooted the shrubs
23. Describe Mahendra’s character in about 30 – 40 words.
Ans: Mahendra was a simple man with simple needs. He was a junior supervisor in a firm which offered to hire supervisors at construction sites like factories, bridges, dams etc. His work involved moving from one site to another as per the orders by his head office and keeping an eye on the activities at the work site. He was a devoted employee and a kind master.
24. Who was Iswaran? What did he do for his master?
Ans: Iswaran was Mahendra’s cook and a master storyteller. He cooked and washed for his master. He also enjoyed chatting and narrating interesting and convincing stories to Mahendra in leisure time.
25. What type of life did Mahendra lead?
Ans: Mahendra was an unmarried man with simple needs. He made his living by supervising construction work at different sites as per orders from his head office. He was always accompanied by his cook Iswaran who served him faithfully.
26. In what way is Iswaran an asset to Mahendra? (Textual)
Why was Iswaran called Mahendra’s asset?
Ans: Iswaran was called Mahendra’s asset because of his complete dedication and devotion to his master. He followed Mahendra to all his postings uncomplainingly and looked after his needs. He cooked excellently by improvising material even at the remotest place, washed clothes and also chatted with his master at night, often narrating interesting anecdotes and stories.
27. What sets apart Iswaran from other domestic help?
How was Iswaran more than a cook to Mahendra?
Ans: Iswaran was different from other domestic bits of help because, in addition to cooking delicious dishes, tidying up their makeshift shed, and washing clothes, he would also entertain Mahendra like a TV by narrating interesting stories. He would chat with him at night and give him company thus making up for his lonely, bachelor life.
28. Why does the author say that Iswaran seemed to more than make up for the absence of T.V. in Mahendra’s living quarters? (Textual)
Ans: The author says so because Iswaran was a fascinating storyteller who entertained Mahendra more than a TV could. Every day he narrated a new story packed with drama, adventure, horror and suspense.
29. How did Iswaran pass his time in Mahendra’s absence?
Ans: In Mahendra’s absence, Iswaran would tidy up the lodgings and wash the clothes. Then he would bathe leisurely and pray at the same time. This would be followed by his mid-day meals (lunch). Thereafter, he would read Tamil thrillers before taking a nap.
30. How did Iswaran manage to make even the simplest incident interesting? Support your answer with an example.
Ans: Iswaran managed to make even the simplest of incidents interesting by employing dramatic gestures and movements while narrating. He would always add suspense and a surprise ending to the account. For example, he would describe the branches of a fallen tree as an enormous bushy beast that lay sprawled across the road.
31. What influenced Iswaran’s style of storytelling? How?
Ans: Tamil thrillers that were very long and descriptive influenced Iswaran’s style of storytelling. He would be enthralled by such narratives and read them every day after lunch. He would sprinkle his tales with the imaginative descriptions that he read in these thrillers.
32. How did Iswaran begin his story of an escape of tusker from the timber yard?
Ans: Iswaran had the habit of setting up his stories in a dramatic manner with elaborate prologues. He narrated the story of a tusker’s escape from the timber yard in a similar manner. He described how the tusker roamed about, stamped on bushes, tore up wild creepers and broke branches as if he had gone mad.
33. What destruction did the elephant cause in the town?
Ans: The elephant entered the town by breaking down the fences like matchsticks. It came into the main road and smashed all the stalls selling fruits, mud pots and clothes. People ran here and there in fear and panic.
34. How did the elephant wreak havoc in the school?
Ans:The tusker entered the school ground by breaking through the brick wall. It wreaked havoc by pulling out the football goal-post, tearing down the volleyball net, kicking and flattening the water drums and uprooting the shrubs.
35. How did the children and the teachers react when the mad elephant entered the school ground?
Ans: The children who were playing in the ground at once ran into the classrooms and shut the doors tight. The teachers climbed up to the terrace of the school building and watched helplessly. the destruction caused by the elephant.
36. How did Iswaran give a personal touch to the anecdote of the elephant?
Ans: In order to give a personal touch to the anecdote of the elephant, lswaran excitedly got up from the floor while narrating. He jumped about stamping his feet as he had seen the mad elephant doing while kicking up mud and dust.
37. How did lswaran claim to have tackled and controlled the mad elephant?
Ans: lswaran tackled the elephant by grabbing a cane from a teacher and challenging the tusker. This angered the beast and it tried to frighten Iswaran by trumpeting loudly and stamping its feet, kicking up a lot of mud and dust. However, Iswaran mustered all his force and quickly whacked the third toenail of the tusker The beast looked stunned for a moment, shivered from head to foot and collapsed.
38. Why did the elephant collapse at merely being hit with a cane stick?
What special technique or power helped lswaran in making the mad elephant calm and quiet in no time?
Ans:lswaran told Mahendra that the elephant collapsed because of Japanese art called karate or ju-jitsu. It had temporarily paralysed the beast’s nervous system. Iswaran said that he had read about this art somewhere and used it to bring down the beast.
39. Why did Mahendra become fond of Iswaran?
Ans: Iswaran’s style of storytelling made Mahendra fond of him. In his inimitable style, lswaran would add elements of suspense, thrill, horror and adventure to his stories. Mahendra enjoyed them a lot and they made up for the absence of a television in his living quarters.
40. Why did Iswaran seek permission to cook a special dinner?
Ans: Iswaran sought Mahendra’s permission to cook a special dinner because it was an auspicious day and according to tradition, delicacies had to be prepared to feed the spirits of ancestors. Actually, he was laying the background for a ghost story.
41. What did Iswaran tell Mahendra about the factory area where they lived?
Ans:Iswaran told Mahendra that the entire factory area where they lived was once a burial ground. He added that he had seen a number of bones and human skulls lying on the path. He claimed to have seen a female ghost as well.
42. How did Iswaran build up his ghost story?
Ans: Iswaran built up the ghost story by first preparing a special dinner meant to feed the spirits of ancestors on an auspicious day. When Mahendra had just finished the delicious meal, he suddenly started to narrate how he sometimes saw ghosts at night. He told details about having seen an ugly female ghost holding a foetus in her arms.
43. How does Iswaran describe the female ghost?
What picture of the female ghost did lswaran paint?
Ans: Iswaran claimed that he had seen the ghost of a woman that appeared off and on at midnight during the full moon. He described it as an ugly creature with matted hair and a shrivelled face. It looked like a skeleton holding a foetus in its arms.
44. What was Mahendra’s suggestion to Iswaran when the latter continued narrating accounts about ghosts?
Ans: Mahendra admonished lswaran for his insane and nonsense description of ghosts and advised him to get his digestive system and his head tested. He told him that ghosts and spirits did not exist and were merely a figment of the latter’s imagination.
45. What behaviour was Mahendra expecting from lswaran when he had scolded him for telling ghost stories?
Ans: Mahendra expected lswaran to sulk for a few days after getting a scolding for telling ghost stories. However, the next morning he found the uncomplaining Iswaran to be as talkative and cheerful as always.
46. What impact did Iswaran’s story of a female ghost have on Mahendra?
What effect did Iswaran’s description of the female ghost have on Mahendra’s mind?
Ans: After hearing from lswaran about a female ghost, Mahendra became uneasy. Before going to bed, he would look into the darkness outside from his window to ensure that there weren’t any ghosts outside. He avoided looking out of his window particularly on full moon nights.
47. Do you think the ghost Mahendra saw on the night of the full moon was a real ghost?
Ans: No, the ghost seen by Mahendra was not real. Mahendra even reasoned with himself that the ghost-like figure seen by him was due to the fear that arose in his subconscious after he had heard about it from lswaran.
48. When did Mahendra believe that the factory site was really haunted by ghosts?
Ans: When Mahendra saw the female ghost on a moonlit night, he reasoned with himself that it must have been a figment of his imagination. However, the next morning when Iswaran told him that he too had heard loud moans the previous night, Mahendra believed that the place was a haunted one.
49. What did Mahendra decide after he was convinced that he had seen the ghost?
Why did Mahendra decide to leave the haunted place?
Ans:A chill went down Mahendra’s spine when Iswaran asked him in the morning if his opinion about the presence of ghosts had changed after witnessing one the previous night. Convinced that he had seen a ghost, Mahendra left immediately for his office to hand over his resignation and decided to leave that haunted place the next day.
50. Can you think of some other ending for the story? (Textual)
Ans:The other ending of the story could be that Mahendra sees this as a trick played on him by Iswaran to settle scores for scolding him. He does not resign but catches the truth behind the supposed horror. Iswaran apologises and mends his ways and gives up storytelling.
51. How was Iswaran’s style of storytelling interspersed with his childhood influences?
Ans: Iswaran had spent his childhood near thick forests where timber was procured with the help of elephants. He must have seen activities of beasts like elephants used in the transportation of timber logs. His childhood experiences thus came in handy while adding details to his stories.
52. Why was there never an end to Iswaran’s tales?
Ans: Iswaran’s tales never ended because he drew his stories from the Tamil thrillers that he read every day after lunch. These thrillers were imaginative, descriptive and narrative. The more he would read, the more stories he had to narrate to Mahendra, his master.
53. In what way is Iswaran an asset to Mahendra? (NCERT)
Ans. Iswaran was an obedient person. He was Mahendra’s cook. He was very caring and hardworking. He did all the jobs such as cooking meal, washing clothes and chatting with him at night. He obeyed his master with full dedication. So, he was an asset to Mahendra.
54. Why does the author say that Iswaran seemed to more than makeup for the absence of a TV in Mahendra’s living quarters? (NCERT)
Ans. Iswaran was an expert in telling adventurous and mysterious stories in a dramatic way. It was his daily routine to entertain Mahendra at night. Mahendra would like ten to and watch the development of the story. Thus Iswaran seemed to move up for the absence of a TV.
55. How does Iswaran describe the uprooted tree on the highway? What effect does he want to create in his listeners? (NCERT)
Ans. Iswaran was greatly influenced by the Tamil authors. He was in the habit of creating suspense. He had the quality of narrating even the smallest incident in an impressive way. He presented the incident related to the uprooted tree on the highway in a dramatic way. He was alone and the road was deserted. He saw something that looked like an enormous beast lying across the road. But as soon as he came closer, he found there nothing but a fallen tree. His main purpose was to create suspense and surprise.
56. Why did Mahendra have to keep moving from place to place?
Ans. Mahendra worked as a junior supervisor in a ‘Supervisors on Hire Firm’. His job sites kept on changing from place to place as ordered by his head office. So, he had to keep moving from place to place.
57. What did Iswaran do for Mahendra?
Ans. He cooked food for Mahendra, washed his clothes, cleaned the house and talked to him at nights. He used to tell him interesting stories and anecdotes and thus, entertained him.
58. How did Mahendra see the female ghost?
Ans. One full moon night, Mahendra heard the sound of mourning and wailing near the window. He looked out of his window. He saw a dark cloudy form clutching a bundle. He thought it to be a female ghost. He sweated and fell back on the pillow.
59. How did Iswaran entertain Mahendra?
Ans. Iswaran was a good storyteller. He was fond of reading books on thrill and mystery. He used to tell various stories to Mahendra. His stories were full of suspense, horror and adventures. He compared things with something imaginative.
60. Who was Mahendra? What was his job?
Ans. Mahendra was a young man. He was a bachelor and his needs were simple. But he had the ability to adjust himself to all types of condition. Mahendra was a junior supervisor in a firm. His job was to supervise the activities at the work site. As per his nature of the job, he had to move from one place to the other.
61. Why did Mahendra expect Iswaran to be angry?
Ans. One day, Mahendra interrupted Iswaran from telling a useless story. He scolded him badly. So, he expected him to be angry for some days. But Iswaran did not mind that and was before him, as usual, the next day.
62. What was the reason Iswaran gave to leave the story unfinished?
Ans. Iswaran often left the story unfinished to create curiosity in the listener about its end. He took the plea that he has to warm and serve the dinner.
63. How did Iswaran often make even the simplest incident interesting?
Ans. Iswaran was influenced by Tamil authors. He often read Tamil thrilling stories. Whenever he narrated even the smallest of incidents, he used to create lots of suspense. For example, he never described a fallen tree as he had seen an uprooted tree on the highway. Instead, he would say, “The road was deserted and I was all alone. Suddenly I spotted something that looked like an enormous bushy beast. But as I came closer, I saw that it was only a fallen tree”.
64. After Mahendra left for work, what was Iswaran’s usual routine?
Ans. After Mahendra left for work, Iswaran used to tidy up the shed and wash the clothes. Then, he would have a bath. After lunch, he would read for a while before dozing off. Its imaginative descriptions and narrative flourishes would hold him in thrall.
65. How did Iswaran control the wild elephant?
Ans. Iswaran controlled the wild elephant. He took a stick in his hand, moved forward and with all his might, whacked the elephant’s third toenail. The elephant looked stunned for a minute. Finally, it shivered and collapsed.
66. Mahendra calls ghosts or spirits a figment of the imagination. What happens to him on a full moon night? (NCERT)
Ans. Mahendra calls ghosts or spirits a figment of the imagination as he did not believe in ghosts. One day Iswaran told him about a female ghost holding a foetus in her arms. On a full-moon night, he woke up from his sleep and looked outside the window. He was shocked to see the same figure and began to sweat profusely.
67. How did Iswaran build up his ghost story?
Ans. Iswaran did not give the proper beginning to his stories. He was also in the habit of leaving the story incomplete in between. He prepared the background of the ghost story by saying ‘he saw a human skull lying on the path’. After this, he told the ghost story.