PROSE:The Homecoming By Rabindranath Tagore
About the author
Rabindranath Tagore (7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)Gurudev, was a Bengali polymath(a person of wider knowledge) who reshaped Bengali literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of Gitanjali and its “profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse”, he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913.
He was highly influential in introducing the best of Indian culture to the West and vice versa, and he is generally regarded as the outstanding creative artist of the modern Indian subcontinent, being highly commemorated in India and Bangladesh, as well as in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan.
Phatik, his younger brother Makhan and their mother, that was his family. His father had died long ago and it was their mother who brought them up. Somewhere in the go, mother began to favour Makhan and poor Phatik was eventually ignored or feared. Phatik had to seek love and consideration outside his divided home. It was during this breaking away time that Phatik’s uncle paid an unexpected visit. Having heard from his sister, this uncle agreed to take Phatik home to Calcutta.
This story can be fully understood by those who have a younger brother or a younger sister. Besides, this story can be better understood by anyone who is Tagore’s countryman. In India, even in the 21st century, parents express different kinds of love for their children in different intensity. The first child is their dearest for a while but when the second is born, the first becomes ‘elder’ and goes forgotten. Parents are expecting an adult’s maturity from a three year old child because he is ‘elder.’ This story could not have been such a tragedy if Phatik’s mother hadn’t been prejudiced.
I. Answer with reference to context:
‘But now a servant came down from the house, and told Phatik his mother wanted him. Phatik refused to move. But the servant was the master on this occasion. He took Phatik up roughly, and carried him, kicking and struggling in impotent rage.’
(a) What did the servant convey?
(b) Why was he the ‘master’ on this occasion? What was the occasion?
2. Bishamber sent for Phatik’s mother. When the mother came like a wind, Phatik’s condition was still critical.
(a) Who was Bishamber and why did he send for Phatik’s mother?
(b) Why was his condition critical?
3. Phatik grew up but he was the worst in his school, hated by his aunt, avoided by his cousins, sympathised by his uncle, forgotten by his mother, brother…
(a) Why was Phatik called the worst in his school?
(b) What made everyone hate him so much?
II. Answer the following questions briefly:
a) What was Bhishamber’s kind offer?
b) What makes you think that Phatik’s mother was prejudiced and partial in loving the two children?
c) Why did Phatik have to carry out his plan of rolling the log with Makhan sitting on it?
III. Choose the correct answer from the options given below:
1. How did Phatik feel when he arrived at his uncle’s house?
(a) Phatik felt happy at his uncle’s house because he saw that he was welcomed warmly.
(b) Phatik felt confused at his uncle’s house because he saw that he was welcomed warmly.
(c) Phatik felt miserable at his uncle’s house because he saw that he was the unwelcome guest in his aunt’s house.
2. PhatikChakravorti was __________of the boys in his village.
(a) the leader
(b) the feared one
(c) the idol
3.When Bishamber kindly offered to take Phatik off his sister’s hands, and educate him with his own children in Calcutta, the widowed mother
(b) was very upset
(c) cried and threw a fit