ISWARAN THE STORY TELLER
R. K LAXMAN
R. K Laxman, the brother of the great Indian writer R.K Narayan, a well known cartoonist and story teller. ‘Iswaran The Story Teller’ is a story about Mahendra, a junior supervisor and his cook, Iswaran. The former had to keep moving from place to place as ordered by head office. But he had fortunately an expert caretaker; Iswaran who cooked his meals washed his cloths and chatted with him at night. Iswaran was very fond of reading Tamil thrillers during his spare time. As a result he innovated his own thrillers and would tell about it to Mahendra.The latter used to hear patiently without finding any loopholes in the story.
Iswaran often in his stories narrated about elephants. For example, he told a story about how he paralyzed a mad elephant that had gone berserk. He told that there were timber logs loaded on trucks. But if an elephant went mad, no mahout could control it.
The elephant now entered a school ground breaking through the brick wall were children were playing. Children and teachers ran helter-skelter to save their lives. The elephant was stunned when Iswaran then only a little boy, took a road and hit at the elephant’s third toe nail. The secret was if the elephant is hit there, his nervous system gets paralyzed.
Finally, one day talking about spirits of the ancestors, Iswaran began to talk of ghosts. He said that the place where they had their shed was, once a burial ground. He also had come across ghosts but he was not scared of them. He told Mahendra about a woman ghost seen only on a full moon night. She moaned and carried a foetus in her arms.
This terrified Mahendra very much that he finally thought of that woman ghost on a full moon night. He could hear a low moan outside his window. He peeped from his window and there stood the ghost of woman. He flung himself down and found that he was often dreaming of that woman ghost. Iswaran used to ask grinning at Mahendra, “Sir, you were angry with me the other day when I told you about the ghost but you didn’t you see her yourself last night?” Mahendra never used to listen to Iswaran’s questions and finally decided to resign from his job and leave that haunted place.
I. Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow.
A. “Sir, you were angry with me the other day when I told you about the ghost but didn’t you see her yourself last night?”
i. Who is the speaker? Whom was he addressing?
ii. What had the speaker spoken about? How had he been rebuked?
iii. How had this reference affected the person?.
B. “He was a bachelor. His needs were simple and he was able to adjust himself to all kinds of odd conditions, whether it was an ill equipped circuit house or a makeshift canvas tent in the middle of a stone quarry. But one asset he has, his cook.”
i. Who is ‘he’ in the passage?
ii. What adjustments did he have to make?
iii. What was his asset ? Why?.
II. Answer the following questions in 30-40 words.
i. How did Iswaran make his narration of stories interesting?
ii. Iswaran was a fascinating story teller. What other skills did he possess?
iii. What kind of a life did Mahendra lead?
iv. How did Iswaran describe the female ghost?
III. Answer the following question in 120-150 words.
i. In what way is Iswaran an asset to Mahendra?
Please click on below link to download CBSE Class 9 English Iswaran the Story Teller Worksheet Set B