Chapter 3 Iswaran the Storyteller

Think about it
(Page 18)

Question 1.
In what way is Iswaran an asset to Mahendra?
Answer:
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 Mahendra at night. He obeyed his master with full dedication. So, he was an asset to Mahendra.

Question 2.
How does Iswaran describe the uprooted tree on the highway? What effect does he want to create in his listeners?
Answer:
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 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.

Question 3.
How does he narrate the story of the tusker? Does it appear to be plausible?
Answer:
Iswaran narrated the story of the tusker exaggeratedly. The Tusker, having escaped from the timber yard, stamped on bushes, tore up wild creepers and broke the branches at his will. The elephant became uncontrollable and entered the school ground. It created chaos there. Everyone in the school tried to escape. No one dared to face the tusker. In the meantime Iswaran grabbed a cane from a teacher and moved towards the elephant. He hit its third toenail and the beast collapsed. He claimed that he had used the Japanese art to control the tusker. But this story seems totally implausible as it is very difficult to believe that a child can control a mad elephant.

Question 4.
Why does the author say that Iswaran seemed to more than make up for the absence of a TV in Mahendra’s living quarters?
Answer:
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 could listen to and watch the development of the story. Thus Iswaran seemed to more than make up for the absence of a TV.

Question 5.
Mahendra calls ghosts or spirits a figment of the imagination. What happens to him on a full-moon night?
Answer:
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 got shocked to see the same figure and began to sweat profusely.

Question 6.
Can you think of some other ending for the story?
Answer:
The present story ends with Mahendra’s resolve to leave the haunted place. But it is not the appropriate ending. Mahendra should not have decided to leave the haunted place without knowing the reality. The story could end like this: Courageously Mahendra approached the woman and tried to know the reality. As soon as Mahendra caught the woman, it became the revelation of the mystery. It was none but Iswaran in the guise of a ghost of woman.

Talk about it
(Page 18)

Question 1.
Is Iswaran a fascinating storyteller? Discuss with your friends the qualities of a good storyteller. Try to use these qualities and tell a story.
Answer:
Undoubtedly, Iswaran is a fascinating storyteller. He is well-versed in story telling. Telling stories is an art. It is not everybody’s cup of tea. He has the quality of making others realise the true spirit of story. He makes use of gestures and dramatic skills to give sound effect.

A good story-teller should be an epitome of the qualities below mentioned:

  1. should have vivid imagination.
  2. should have good oratorical skills.
  3. should be able to act during narration.
  4. should use punctuation properly during narration.
  5. should have the ability to vary the tone according to the situation.
  6. should have amusing personality.
  7. should be capable of creating and maintaining interest of the listeners.

Students should tell their own stories in the class.

Short Answer Questions (2 marks each)
(About 30-40 words each)

Question 1:
What impact did Iswaran’s story of a female ghost have on Mahendra ? (SA-1,2014)
Answer:
Mahendra avoided looking out of the window when the moon was full. He went to bed with a certain unease and peered into the darkness to make sure that there was no movement of dark shapes outside.

Question 2:
Why did Mahendra become fond of Iswaran ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-013)
Answer:
Mahendra became fond of Iswaran because he was a very resourceful person and took very good care of him. He was a trained cook and could also arrange for things at a desolate place. In addition to this he took very good care of Mahendra.

Question 3:
Why did Mahendra decide to leave the haunted place ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-014)
Answer:
He was afraid of the haunted place after hearing and watching a ghastly experience at night. He
found that he often dreamt of that woman ghost. Therefore, he wanted to leave the place.

Question 4:
What sets Iswaran apart from other domestic helps ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-016)
Answer:
Iswaran was a class in himself. He was highly resourceful and a big help to Mahendra. He was a trained  cook and to top it he narrated captivating and interesting stories to Mahendra at night.

Question 5:
How did Iswaran tackle the elephant ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-017)
Answer:
The elephant had caused much terror, children and teachers ran here and there to save their lives.
Iswaran dared it and hit it on the third toe with a rod. Thus, the mad elephant was controlled.

Question 6:
Why was Iswaran called Mahendra’s asset ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-020)
Or
How did Iswaran show his usefulness to the narrator ?(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-031)
Answer:
Iswaran was not only a trained cook but also very attached to his master, Mahendra, as he followed him everywhere he was posted. He not only took care of him by washing his clothes and cooking food but also gossiped with him in the night and told him various modified folk tales.

Question 7:
What did Mahendra decide after he had seen the ghost ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-025)
Answer:
Mahendra was convinced that there were ghosts around his house. He was scared and did not want to live there any longer and so, he resigned his job.

Question 8:
Who was Iswaran ? What all he did for his master ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-026)
Answer:
Iswaran was Mahendra’s cook, he was an asset to him. He cooked for him, washed his clothes and chatted away with his master at night. He often narrated stories which were very convincing.

Question 9:
What impact did Iswaran’s story of a female ghost have on Mahendra ?
(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-027)
Answer:
Mahendra avoided looking out of the window when the moon was full. He went to bed with a certain unease and peered into the darkness to make sure that there was no movement of dark shapes outside.

Question 10:
How does Iswaran describe the story of the elephant ? Does it appear to be plausible?(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-028)
Answer:
One day an elephant went mad, stamping oh bushes, breaking fences, smashing fruit stalls, mud pots and clothes. He even entered a school ground breaking through the brick wall. Iswaran who was in the junior class, whacked its third toe nail with a rod and it collapsed. No, the story does not appear to be plausible.

Question 11:
What destruction did the elephant cause in the town ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-030)
Answer:
The elephant caused a lot of destruction in the town. He broke branches, fences and smashed stalls. He entered a school play ground and broke a brick wall, pulled out a football goal post, tore down a volleyball net and flattened a water drum.

Question 12:
Do you think the ghost Mahendra saw bn the night of the full moon was a real ghost?(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-034)
Answer:
No, I think the ghost Mahendra saw was a creation of a weak mind. Iswaran had made Mahendra’s mind a little weak by telling him the ghost story. When Mahendra rebuked him for believing in ghosts, he felt offended. To prove that he was right he himself posed as a ghost. So, that is why Mahendra thought that he had seen a ghost at that full moon night.

Question 13:
Mahendra calls ghosts or spirits a figment of imagination. What happens to him on full moon night ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-036)
Answer:
Mahendra never believed in ghosts and spirits but one night he had woken up from his sleep by a low moan near the window. He could not resist his curiosity and tried to look out. To his horror, he saw a dark cloudy form clutching a bundle. Mahendra was in cold sweat from top to bottom and fell back on the pillow panting.

Long Answer Type Questions (4 marks each)
(About 80-100 words)

Question 1:
What are qualities of a good listener ? Express your views in reference to Mahendra who a would listen to Iswaran’s tales uncritically. (Board Term, Sept 1,2013 9KK73AP)
Answer:
Listening is an essential part of any story telling. Being a good and a patient listener helps you achieve not only meaning of the story but also the expressions and the intentions of the story teller.Iswaran was an amazing story teller but Mahendra was an equally good listener, Iswaran used to create such a magnificent aura around the story that Mahendra used to listen to him with rapt attention he used to make eye contacts with Iswaran to either depict awe or horror depending upon the story. Mahendra would let his own mind and imaginations see the story in reality. For example, during the narration of tusker story, Mahendra could actually feel the tension and fear in his mind. Mahendra never spoke during the entire story telling session, he would never interfere in Iswaian’s story, he would occassionally nod his head and only towards the end of the story show his compressions. Mahendra would listen to Iswaran as incritically.

Question 2:
How can you say that Iswaran was a fascinating story teller ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-015)
Answer:
Iswaran was a very fascinating and a drama story teller. He gave imaginative descriptions of various events. He used dramatic language and gestures to describe events and changed a simple event in suspense. His stories had surprise endings and unexpected narrations. He was influenced by thrilling novels and stories of Tamil authors. All stories had adventure, horror and suspense. All these elements made him a fascinating story teller and he could captivate any audience with his stories.

Question 3:
How was Iswaran, the cook, an asset to Mahendra ? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-028)
Answer:
Iswaran, the cook, was very attached to Mahindra. He followed Mahendra whenever Mahendra got a posting. He not only washed his clothes but also chatted with him at night. He was a trained cook and could cook delicious meals really fast. He could tidy the sheds as well as narrate unbelieving accounts with utmost conviction and mostly were true accounts.

Question 4:
Write a brief character sketch of Iswaran. (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-034)
Answer:
Iswaran, Mahendra’s servant, was very devoted to him. He was not only a very welltrained and wonderful cook but also a good story teller. He was fond of reading thrillers and his narrations were influenced from those styles. He had to give up his job due to a practical joke played on Mahendra, his master. Life was not possible for Mahendra without him, as he was his asset, and he started living totally isolated.

Question 5:
“Iswaran was a good cook as well as a good story teller “Elaborate with the help of example.(Board Term 1,2012, ELI-042)
Answer:
Iswaran was Mahendra’s <Jook and wholesale caretaker of Mahendra. He had an amazing capacity to produce vegetables and cooked ingredients seemingly out of nowhere. He not only could cook delicious meals but he was a good story teller. His descriptions were influenced by the Tamil authors he read. Even while narrating the smallest of incidents, he would try to make the account thrilling and full of suspense. Mahendra enjoyed listening to the stories told by Iswaran because of the way they were told. Thus, Iswaran was a real asset for Mahendra.

Question 6:
Iswaran was a fascinating storyteller. What other skills he had ? How was he an asset to Mahendra? (Board Term 1,2012, ELI-060)
Answer:
Iswaran was a fascinating story teller. He read a lot of story books and narrated incidents in a very vivid manner to Mahendra, his master. He could perform all kinds of actions and gestures to make the stories extremely interesting. Other than storytelling, he had excellent culinary skills. He was a trained cook and could cook delicious meals for Mahendra in very less time. He proved to be an asset for Mahendra. On the other hand, Mahendra also loved his stories and the excellent way of telling them.