A Roadside Stand – NCERT Solutions

Q. The city folk who drove through the countryside hardly paid any heed to the roadside stand or to the people who ran it. If at all they did, it was to complain. Which lines bring this out? What was their complaint about?

Ans. The people who drove through the countryside hardly paid any heed to the roadside stand or the people who ran it. The following lines bring this out:

“The flower of cities from sinking and withering faint.
The polished traffic passed with a mind ahead,
Or if ever aside a moment, then out of sorts….”

If ever they paid any heed, it was to complain. The following lines show it.

“At having the landscape marred with the artless paint
Of signs that with N turned wrong and S turned wrong..”

Their complaint was the the artless and clumsy paint on the roadside stand spoiled the beauty of the whole landscape. They were also irritated that even signs like N and S were turned wrong.

Q. What was the plea of the folk who had put up the roadside stand?

Ans. The folk who had put up the roadside stand expected that the city people would stop there to buy something or the other but they took the owners of the stand for beggars.

Q. The government and other social service agencies appear to help the poor rural people, but actually do them no good. Pick out the words and phrases that the poet uses to show their double standards.

Ans. The government and other social service agencies which appear to help the poor rural people, actually to them no good. The following words and phrases used by the poet show their double standard:

  1. greedy good-door
  2. beneficent beasts of prey
  3. Swarm over their lives enforcing benefits
    That are calculated to soothe them out of their wits,
    And by teaching them how to sleep they sleep all day,
    Destroy their sleeping at night the ancient way.

Q. What is the ‘childish longing’ that the poet refers to? Why is it ‘vain’?

Ans. The childish longing is that the poor people wait all day every day, hoping and praying that one of the cars will stop in front of their doors and the city dwellers will buy from them. However no car ever stops in front of their doors, and no city people ever wants to buy their things. Therefore, the poet calls their longing childish and done in vain.

Q. Which lines tell us about the insufferable pain that the poet feels at the thought of the plight of the rural poor?

Ans. The following lines tell us about the insufferable pain that the poet feels at the thought of the plight of the rural poor:

I can’t help owning the great relief it would be
To put these people at one stroke out of their pain.

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