An Astrologers Day

An Astrologers Day.

C1. Answer the following questions:

Question 1.
What articles did the astrologer carry?
Answer:
The astrologer carried his professional equipment of a dozen cowry shells, a square piece of cloth with obscure mystic charts on it, a notebook and a bundle of palmyra writing.

Question 2.
What were the different names given by the nuts vendor for his business?
Answer:
R.K. Narayan highlights the creativity of the nuts vendor who refers to his business with different names. Bombay Ice Cream, Delhi Almond, and Raja’s Delicacy were the different names given by the nuts vendor for his ware.

 

Question 3.
What kind of life would the astrologer have in his own village?
Answer:
The strange turn of events transformed a farmer into an astrologer. If the astrologer had stayed back in his own village he would have carried on the work of tilling the land, which was the work of his ancestors. He would have married and grown old in his cornfield and ancestral home.

Question 4.
How much did the astrologer charge his clients?
Answer:
The astrologer charged his clients three paise per question.

Question 5.
Why did the astrologer remain silent for at least ten minutes, initially?
Answer:
Remaining silent for at least ten minutes initially was an intelligent move by the astrologer. The astrologer silently listened to his clients for the first ten minutes and gathered sufficient information to answer the questions of the clients.

Question 6.
What was the signal for the astrologer to bundle up?
Answer:
The astrologer conducted his business with the help of the lights in the shops around him and with the help of the flare of the nuts vendor. When the nuts vendor blew out his flare to go home, the astrologer also bundled up to go home.

 

Question 7.
How much did the astrologer demand from his new client to answer his question?
Answer:
At first, the astrologer demanded five rupees and then eight annas. After hackling for some time, the amount of one rupee was agreed upon to answer the questions.

Question 8.
What did the astrologer ask Guru Nayak to do?
Answer:
The astrologer recognized Guru Nayak the very minute he saw him. That is why he asked Guru Nayak to return to his village immediately and never travel southwards again.

C2. Answer the following:

Question 1.
Why did the astrologer have no light of his own for his business?
Answer:
The profession of the astrologer was such that semi-darkness added to the mystery of the set-up. That is why he was satisfied with whatever light was available from shop lights, a couple of hissing gaslights, some naked flares stuck on the poles. In fact, the astrologer did not want to be in the light. He just wanted enough light to give the impression that he was reading the face of his clients. He did not want the clients to read his face as he did not know anything about astrology.

Question 2.
Why did the astrologer close his business when the nuts vendor blew out his flare?
Answer:
The place, where these people conducted their business, did not have the benefit of municipal lighting. The nuts vendor had a flare stuck on the groundnut heap and the astrologer used to conduct his business by the light of flare that smoked up above the heap.

After his business was over, the nuts vendor used to blow out his flare and prepare to leave and the astrologer also used to do the same as there would be no light for him to continue with his business.

Question 3.
How efficient was the astrologer in his business?
Answer:
Despite the fact that the astrologer had no knowledge of astrology, he was efficient in his business. This was possible because he had a working analysis of mankind’s troubles, marriage, money and the tangles of human relations. Long practice had sharpened his perception. Within five minutes, he understood what was wrong. He would silently listen to his clients for the first ten minutes which provided him sufficient information to answer their questions.

In addition, he would make some general statements which would be true for all. The gullible client was easily led to believe that it was the power of astrology and was highly impressed.

 

Question 4.
“When shall I get him?”
Answer:

Who is the speaker?
The astrologer’s wife is the speaker.
Who does ‘you’ refer to?
‘You’ refers to the astrologer.
Why was he worried?
He was worried because he had seen the man whom he thought he had killed.
C3. Answer the following questions:

Question 1.
Why did the astrologer run away from his village?
Answer:
The astrologer ran away from his village because of a false impression. The astrologer as a youngster drank, gambled and quarrelled with other people. Once, under the influence of alcohol he had fought with a man, stabbed and pushed him down a well. He thought that the man had died and ran away from his village to escape punishment.

Question 2.
In the story, do you think the astrologer should be punished for his crime?
Answer:
The crime committed by the astrologer was indeed very grave. Even though he ran away, he was guilty of the act. He had not. tried to kill the man in a cold-blooded manner. The act happened due to his drunken state. As a result of this, he was unable to return to his village, which itself was a punishment to him. If he had continued with that kind of life, he deserved punishment. As he was repentant, the difficulties he faced to escape the punishment was a punishment by itself. No. further punishment is needed.

 

Question 3.
Describe how the astrologer felt at the end of the story.
Answer:
Though the man had escaped from his village and was settled in a town in the guise of an astrologer, he was bogged down with the guilt of killing a man. So when he came to know that the man was not dead, he felt a great load lifted from him. He thought he had the blood of a man in his hands for many years. When he knew it wasn’t so, he felt very much relieved and light-hearted.

Question 4.
Describe the role of fate and chance in the story.
Answer:
The story shows that our life changes according to our fate. None of us can escape what we are destined for. Fate plays a decisive role in the story. A villager turns into an astrologer because of his fate. Again, it is the fate that brings the enemies face-to-face. However, the story also shows that not everything is dependent on fate.

The way the astrologer deals with his enemy shows that the astrologer who was irresponsible as a youngster has changed for the better. He is now mature and is able to deal with a difficult situation. Thus, R.K. Narayan shows that though we are bound by our destiny, we can control it to some extent if we have self-control.

Question 5.
Does the story make you think that all the astrologers are false?
Answer:
Just because the astrologer in this story is a sham, we cannot conclude that all astrologers are liars. There are scholars who have learnt astrology and predict events that would take place in the future. India is a nation that is famed for Vedic Sciences like astrology, yoga, etc. Hence, to dismiss all astrologers as quacks is not a healthy trend.

Moreover, even in the case of the astrologer of the story, though he is not a genuine astrologer, we see that he does no harm to people. He uses his understanding of people to earn his living. We should also remember that people go to him of their own free will.

 

Question 6.
How has R.K. Narayan portrayed the attractive appearance of the astrologer?
Answer:
The portrayal of the astrologer shows R.K. Narayan’s keenness of observation and strength of description. The astrologer had an appearance that suited his profession. His forehead was resplendent with sacred ash and vermilion and his eyes sparkled with a sharp, abnormal gleam which was really the outcome of a continued search for customers. However, it made the astrologer look wise in an uncanny manner.

C4. Read the following sentences from the story and arrange them in the sequential order as they appear in the story:

Take the next train and go home.
The astrologer pressed his invitation.
He was as much a stranger to the stars as were his innocent customers.
The astrologer caught a glimpse of his face by the match light.
The place was lit up by shop lights.
The child has been asking for sweets since so many days.
The nuts vendor blew out his flare and rose to go home.
Answer:

The place was lit up by shop lights.
He was as much a stranger to the stars as were his innocent customers.
The nuts vendor blew out his flare and rose to go home.
The astrologer pressed his invitation.
The astrologer caught a glimpse of his face by the match light.
Take the next train and go home.
The child has been asking for sweets since so many days.
Additional Questions:

Question 1.
Why was the place a remarkable one for the astrologer to sit?
Answer:
A surging crowd always moved up and down on that narrow road from morning till night; so it was a good place to catch clients.

Question 2.
Name the traders who occupied that place.
Answer:
Medicine sellers, sellers of stolen hardware and junk, magicians, an auctioneer of cheap cloth and a vendor of groundnuts occupied that place.

 

Question 3.
What was the one question that the client wanted to know about?
Answer:
He wanted to know if he would succeed in his present search.

Question 4.
Describe the appearance of the astrologer.
Answer:
On his forehead, the astrologer had smeared sacred ash and vermilion. There was something special about his eyes. There was a sparkle in them that attracted people. This light was mistaken as prophetic light by his simple customers even though it was nothing but the continuous searching look for customers that reflected through his eyes. He had dark mustache that came down to his cheeks. To complete the look he had a saffron-colored turban as well.

Question 5.
How was the astrologer successful in pleasing his customers?
Answer:
Though the astrologer had no knowledge of astrology, he could manage to astonish people with what he said. This he made possible with practice and shrewd calculation. He was clever enough to trick others with his guesses. He managed to make a living as an astrologer because of his experience. He knew that people had problems due to money, marriage and household issues. Within five minutes he could guess what was wrong and never spoke for the first ten minutes.

He let his customers talk and gathered information for many of the answers from which he would create his advice for them. He had some questions which he usually asked to get clues as to what advice he should give his customers. This way he was successful in pleasing his customers.

Question 6.
What challenge did the man put before the astrologer?
Answer:
The stranger challenged the astrologer by saying that if the astrologer gave him right answers for his questions then he would give him eight annas and if he failed then the astrologer would have to pay him back twice the amount. The astrologer happily accepted the challenge.

 

Question 7.
Why could the astrologer not live like his forefather?
Answer:
The astrologer was forced to leave his village and home in a hurry, without telling anybody about it. He could not rest until he left his village behind a couple of hundred miles. All this was because he thought that he had the blood of a man on his hands. In his village, when he was still a silly youngster, he had quarreled with one of his companions.

They were drunk, they gambled and in a fit of anger the astrologer stabbed and pushed the man into a well. Later, thinking that the man was dead, he fled his village. Due to this, the astrologer was unable to live like his forefathers in the village.

Question 8.
What did the astrologer tell the stranger about his enemy?
Answer:
Very soon the astrologer realized that the new client was searching for none other than himself. The astrologer was the person who had tried to kill the man. It was to his advantage that the client did not recognize him. Therefore, the astrologer made the best use of the opportunity and told him that his enemy had died.

And to satisfy his client he even said that the enemy had died a brutal death, coming under a lorry and being crushed by it. He also told his client never to stir out of his village again, particularly southward, which was the direction of this town. He told him that he would live to be a hundred if only he stayed in his village.

Question 9.
What was the reaction of the astrologer’s wife, seeing his day’s earnings?
Answer:
The astrologer’s wife was very pleased that her husband had earned twelve and a half annas that day. She was also overjoyed because she could prepare some sweets for her daughter. The child had been asking for sweets for so many days. So, she decided to buy some jaggery and coconut with which she planned to prepare the sweets.

Multiple Choice Questions:

Question 1.
The astrologer used to begin his business punctually
A) in the evening
B) in the morning
C) at midday
D) at night.
Answer:
C) at midday

 

Question 2.
The astrologer’s eyes sparkled with a sharp abnormal gleam because
A) he had spiritual powers
B) he possessed magical powers
C) he looked continuously for customers
D) he was intelligent.
Answer:
C) he looked continuously for customers

Question 3.
…………. gave his ware a fancy name each day.
A) The medicine seller
B) The magician
C) The astrologer
D) The groundnut seller.
Answer:
D) The groundnut seller.

Question 4.
Though he was not a real astrologer, he said things which pleased and astonished everyone. It was because
A) he studied, practiced and did some guesswork
B) he said whatever came to his mind
C) another real astrologer was helping him
D) the groundnut seller helped him.
Answer:
A) he studied, practiced and did some guesswork

Question 5.
The astrologer never opened his mouth till his customer had spoken for about
A) five minutes
B) fifteen minutes
C) at least ten minutes
D) an hour.
Answer:
C) at least ten minutes

Question 6.
………… had sharpened the astrologer’s perception.
A) Mankind’s troubles
B) Practice
C) Money
D) The place.
Answer:
B) Practice

Question 7.
A stranger came when the astrologer was …………….. his professional equipment.
A) spreading out
B) giving away
C) packing up
D) selling.
Answer:
C) packing up

 

Question 8.
The astrologer caught a glimpse of the stranger’s face
A) in the shop’s light
B) in the light of the cycle lamp
C) by the match light
D) in the shaft of green light.
Answer:
C) by the match light

Question 9.
The astrologer wanted to go away without answering the stranger’s questions because
A) it was getting late
B) he was alone
C) he had recognized the stranger
D) he did not know the answers.
Answer:
C) he had recognized the stranger

Question 10.
The stranger was in search of the person who had
A) cheated him
B) taken away his property
C) tried to kill him
D) been very kind to him.
Answer:
C) tried to kill him

Question 11.
The stranger did not die in the well because
A) he climbed out of the well
B) a passerby rescued him
C) the villagers rescued him
D) his friends helped him out.
Answer:
B) a passerby rescued him

Question 12.
The astrologer knew the name of the stranger as Guru Nayak, because
A) he guessed his name
B) Guru Nayak told his name
C) Guru Nayak had tried to kill the astrologer
D) he had quarreled with him and stabbed him long ago.
Answer:
D) he had quarreled with him and stabbed him long ago.

Question 13.
Guru Nayak’s enemy
A) was living in the guise of an astrologer
B) died as he deserved
C) was crushed under a lorry
D) died four months ago.
Answer:
A) was living in the guise of an astrologer

 

Question 14.
The astrologer felt relieved because
A) he had killed a man
B) he was not a murderer
C) Guru Nayak had recognized him
D) Guru Nayak had gone away.
Answer:
B) he was not a murderer

Language Activities:

A) Vocabulary:

V1. Word formation:

Make new words by adding the ending given in the box to the root words. Fill in the table with the new words. You may have to add/drop a letter from the root word to make a new word. Put a cross (?) where the ending and the root word do not match.

ed ing er ty ful less
1. Help
2. End
3. Hope
4. Enjoy
5. Shape
6. Smile
7. Run
Answer:

ed in% er iy fill less
1. Help Helped Helping Helper ? Helpful Helpless
2. End Ended Ending ? ? ? Endless
3. Hope Hoped Hoping ? ? Hopeful Hopeless
4. Enjoy Enjoyed Enjoying Enjoyer ? ? ?
5. Shape Shaped Shaping Shaper Shapely ? Shapeless
6. Smile Smiled Smiling ? Smiley ? Smileless
7. Run ? Running Runner ? ? Runless
V2. Fill in the blanks with suitable letters to arrive at the given meaning:

…………sent = gift
…………sent = hate
………….sent = agreement
………….sent = approval
Answer:

pre
re
as
con

V3. Homophones are words that sound similar but are different in spelling and meanings. Here are a few words:

peace – piece
lone – loan
hour – our
died – dyed
fore – four
raze – raise
bear – bare
break – brake
pair – pear
role – roll
Find out the meaning of the above words and use them in sentences.

Peace – freedom from disturbance.
He just wanted to sleep in peace.
Piece – a part of something.
He cut the cake into six pieces.
Lone – single.
Thrishka was the lone survivor of the air crash.
Loan – credit.
The rate of interest for the housing loan has come down.
Hour – unit of time.
The train was late by an hour.
Our – belonging to us.
We should value our culture.
died – expired.
The old man died peacefully after meeting his grandson.
Dyed – colored.
Since the colour of her frock ran, Rani dyed it with red color.
fore – front.
The forelimbs grew rapidly.
four – a number.
India needed four runs to win.
Raze – demolish.
The bomb razed the building to the ground.
Raise – lift.
Sunil could not raise the heavy suitcase and put it under the table.
Bear – tolerate.
Women have great capacity to bear pain.
Bare – uncovered.
The scam has been unearthed and the truth remains bare.
Break – smash.
The fireman had to break open the window pane to save the child.
Brake – a mechanism to slow down.
The accident took place when the driver was unable to apply the brake.
Pair – two of a kind.
I can’t find a matching pair of socks.
Pear – the name of a fruit.
The pear is a juicy fruit.
Role – responsibility.
In my role as secretary of the student council, I had many responsibilities to shoulder.
Roll – revolve.
The vase rolled off the edge of the table and smashed.
V4. Match the meanings of the following phrases and use them in sentences of your own:

On account of – owing to
On account of the strike, many people starved for days together.
To bear with – to put up with
I have to bear with the trouble makers of my class.
In the midst of – in the middle of
She sang in the midst of all the disturbances created by the unruly children.
To be accustomed to – to get used to
We should get accustomed to the strange behavior of eccentric people.
To take a new turn – to begin a new course
Every girl takes a new turn in her life once she gets married,
Bereft of – deprived of
Bereft of her wealth, Ragini lost many of her money-minded friends.
B) Grammar And Usage:

G1. Reported speech:

Complete the following sentences:

Direct Speech Reported Speech
1. He said, “I live in New York”.
2. She said: “I am going to go shopping”.
3. He said, “I’ll see you later”.
4. Anu said, “I went to a movie last night”.
5. James asked: “Do you want to come out tonight?” He said that ………… in New York.
She said that ………….. going to go shopping.
He said ……………
Anu said that she ………… to a movie the previous night.
James asked if he wanted to go out that night.
Answer:

Direct Speech Reported Speech
1. He said, “I live in New York”.
2. She said: “I am going to go shopping”.
3. He said, “I’ll see you later”.
4. Anu said, “I went to a movie last night”.
5. James asked: “Do you want to come out tonight?” He said that he lived in New York.
She said that she was going to go shopping.
He said that he would see him later.
Anu said that she had gone for a movie the previous night.
James asked if I wanted to go out that night.
G2. After observing the changes from direct into reported speech, now change the following sentences into reported speech.

Imagine that you decided to pay a surprise visit to some friend’s house last week. Report the questions that your host asked you, using the phrases given below.

He asked if …………..
He tried to find out ……………
He wondered if …………..
He inquired me …………….
He wanted to know if ……………
Answer:

He asked when I had arrived.
He asked me whether I was all right.
He enquired when I had had lunch.
He asked whether I wanted coffee.
He suggested that I phone them.
G3. Error corrections:

I. Punctuate the following sentences:

Rashmi said Yamuna you are late today
Rashmi said, “Yamuna, you are late today”.
what a beautiful garden it is
What a beautiful garden it is!
people enjoyed the cricket match don’t they
People enjoyed the cricket match, didn’t they?
unless he improves his bowling he cannot be selected for the match
Unless he improves his bowling, he cannot be selected for the match.
II. Spot the errors in the following sentences and rewrite them:

They are going to Himalayas.
They are going to the Himalayas.
Raju prefers idli than chapati.
Raju prefers idli to chapati.
One of the boy looks sad.
One of the boys looks sad.
Mathematics are my favorite subject.
Mathematics is my favourite subject.
A bunch of keys were found in my room.
A bunch of keys was found in my room.
My neighbor is a honest man.
My neighbor is an honest man.
Rafi wanted an one rupee.
Rafi wanted a rupee.
Kiran’s brother is a M.L.A.
Kiran’s brother is an M.L.A.
Our school bought a lot of furnitures.
Our school bought a lot of furniture.
I met an European.
I met a European.
An Astrologer’s Day by R. K. Narayan About The Author:

R.K. Narayan was a well known Indian writer in English. He wrote a number of novels as well as short stories in English. He created an imaginary town called Malgudi in his writings. He is credited with bringing Indian literature in English to the rest of the world, and is regarded as one of the greatest novelists of India.

His works include ‘The Financial Expert’, ‘The Guide’, ‘The English Teacher’, etc. His writing career spanned over sixty years, earning him a number of awards and honors. These include the AC Benson Medal from the Royal Society of Literature and the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award.

An Astrologer’s Day Summary in English
The story begins with the description of an astrologer who is sitting under a tamarind tree. On the forehead he has smeared sacred ash and vermilion. There was something special about his eyes. There was a sparkle in them that attracted people. This light was mistaken as prophetic light by his simple customers whereas R.K. Narayan describes this as the outcome of the continuous search for customers. He had dark mustache that came down to his cheeks. To complete the look he had a saffron coloured turban as well.

He had cowrie shells and a square piece of cloth with obscure mystic charts and a bundle of palmyra writing. He was always searching for a customer in the crowd. The place where he was seated was surrounded by a variety of other traders like medicine sellers, auctioneer of cheap cloth, magicians as well as people who sold stolen goods. There was a vendor who sold fried groundnuts but called his product by different names each day like ‘Bombay Ice-cream’, ‘Delhi Almond’, ‘Raja’s Delicacy’, etc. Most of the people who came to the vendor went to the astrologer too.

The entire place was lighted with shop lights. This is a very common sight in India. The astrologer was someone who knew very little of his own future. He was as much unaware of the stars as his customers, yet he could manage to astonish people with what he said.

This he made possible with practice and shrewd calculation. He was clever enough to trick others with his guesses. He managed to make a living as an astrologer because of his experience. He knew that people had problems due to money, marriage and household issues. Within five minutes he could guess what was wrong and never spoke for the first ten minutes. He let his customers talk and gathered information for many of the answers from which he would create his advice for them. He had some questions which he usually asked to get clues as to what advice he should give his customers. Each question was charged at the rate of three paise.

One evening, after the nut vendor had blown out the light and when every other trader was getting ready to go home, the astrologer saw a man before him. The man challenged the astrologer by saying that if the astrologer gave him the right answers for his questions then he would give him eight annas and if he failed then the astrologer would have to pay him back twice the amount. The astrologer happily accepted the challenge. But when he saw the man’s face from the light of a match stick, he quickly gave back the amount he had taken.

The man caught the astrologer by his wrist and said he could not back out now. The astrologer finally agreed to speak for a rupee and he began. The man was shocked by the astrologer’s revelations. He said that the man was once left to die and that he was stabbed with a knife once. He also said that the man was pushed into a well near a field. The astrologer even goes to the extent of calling the man by his name – Guru Nayak.

With this the man is very pleased and impressed with the all knowing astrologer’s knowledge. The astrologer advises the man to go back to his home town and never travel southwards again. He proceeds to say that the man who he was looking for is no longer alive. Four months ago he met with an accident and was crushed under a lorry. To this the man says that he was there in search of that man to take revenge and now that he was dead he would return home. The man leaves and the astrologer returns home. He tells his wife about his life before he met her.

He tells her that in his home town he used to play cards, gamble, drink and quarrel. It so happened that one day he picked up a quarrel with a man and in the heat of the moment stabbed him. He pushed him into a well and left him for dead.

He left his village thinking that he had the blood of another man on his hands. But now he says he can live peacefully not because Guru Nayak is alive but that after today’s session he would never come back there again. Guru Nayak could not identify the astrologer and the astrologer easily escaped from the hands of his enemy. After telling his wife of what had happened he stretched himself on the pyol and went to sleep. His wife was happy to get the money paid by the stranger as she could prepare some sweets for her child who had been asking for sweets for some days now.

Glossary:

obscure: difficult to understand
mystic: spiritual
prophetic: predictive
paraphernalia: belongings
mutter: incoherent/incomprehensible speech
gratified: thankful

The Portrait Of The Lady.

Chapter On Saying Please.

Chapter/Prose Mauritius.

Chapter/Prose An Astrologers Day.

Chapter/Prose A question Of Space – Questions And Answers.

Chapter – The Collecters.

Chapter – The Story Teller.

Chapter – The Best Advice I Ever Had.

Back To Home.

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