Important Question and Answers
Q. Why has the narrator not given some mouth filling title to his story ‘Ranga’s Marriage’?
Ans. The narrator has not given his story some mouth filling title like ‘Jagannatha’s Vijaya’ or ‘Girija Kalyana’ because this is not about Jagannatha’s victory or Girija’s wedding. Its about the marriage of Ranga, the accountant and native of the village Hosahalli quite insignificant.
Q. What does the narrator say about Hosahalli?
Ans. Hosahalli village is the scene of action. There is no mention of it in Geography books written by the sahib in England or Indian writers. No cartographer has put it in on the map. The narrator highlights its importance by comparing it to the filing of the Karigadabu–a festival meal.
Q. Mention two distinctive features of village Hosahalli.
Ans. There are some mango trees in the village. If one happens to taste a raw mango from one of them, one comes to knows the extreme potency of sourness. Then, there is a creeper growing in the water of the village pond. If one gets two leaves from the creeper while bathing in the pond, one will not need the afternoon meal.
Q. What are the two special produces of Hosahalli and in what respect?
Ans. First, is the raw mango. The sourness of its bites is sure to get straight to the Brahmarandhra i.e., the soft part in child’s head where skull bones join later. Second speciality is a creeper growing in the water of the village pond. Its flowers are a feast to behold. You can serve afternoon meal to whole family on its two leaves.
Q. Describe the narrator’s experience of tasting a raw mango from the mango trees growing in the village.
Ans. Once the narrator took a raw mango home and chutney was made out of it. The whole family tasted it. They suffered from severe cough. The narrator had to go to the doctor to get cough medicine.
Q. Does the narrator approve of bringing in English words while talking in one’s mother tongue? Why/why not?
Ans. The narrator does not approve of bringing in English words while talking in one’s mother tongue. He considers it disgraceful. Moreover, it creates confusion if the other person does not know English.
Q. What exactly had happened ten years ago? How important was it then?
Ans. Ten years ago, there were not many people in the village, who knew English. The village accountant was the first one who sent his son Ranga to Bengaluru to pursue his studies. It was quite an important event then. The narrator highlights it by saying that the village accountant had enough courage to send his son to Bengaluru to study.
Q. Describe the incident which took place at Rama Rao’s house when they bought a bundle of firewood from a woman?
Ans. One day, Rama Rao bought a bundle of firewood from a woman. His son came out to pay for it. He asked the woman how much he should give her. The woman demanded four paise. The boy said that he did not have any “change” and asked her to come the next day. The poor woman didn’t understand the English word “change.” She went away muttering to herself.
Q. Why was Ranga’s homecoming a great event?
Ans. Ranga, the accountant’s son, was one of the rare breed amongst the village folk who had been to the city of Bengaluru to pursue his studies. When he came back home after six months, it was a great event. A large number of villagers crowded around his house to see whether he had changed or not.
Q. Why were people surprised to see Ranga after his home coming?
Ans. People were surprised to see that he was the same old Ranga who had left the village six months ago. They had hoped that he would be a changed man after his stay in the city. They were utterly disappointed and dispersed.
Q. Ranga’s homecoming was a great event for the villagers. Give reasons.
Ans. Ranga’s father was an accountant. He was the first person in the village who had the courage to send his son to college. Ranga was the first ever person who had gone to Bangalore for further study from the village. Ranga could speak English and people from village knew it. That is why Ranga’s homecoming was a great event for the villagers.
Q. Why does the narrator refer to the ‘Black Hole of Calcutta’?
Ans. During the British rule, hundreds of persons were kept inside a single room. The next morning most of them were found dead due to suffocation. The narrator uses the expression ‘Black Hole of Calcutta’ to suggest the large number of people who had turned out to see Ranga.
Q. How did Ranga greet the narrator? In what respect did he differ from the present day boys?
Ans. Ranga greeted the narrator with full devotion. He not only folded his hands, but also bent low to touch his feet. A present day boy would stand stiff like a pole without joints, keep head towards the sun and jerk his body as if were either a hand or a walking stick. The narrator, being old fashioned did not approve of it.
Q. Why was the narrator impressed by Ranga?
Ans. When the narrator greeted Ranga, he came near him, did a namaskara respectfully in a traditional manner. He bent low and touched his feet. The narrator felt that Ranga, unlike the present day boys, was a well-behaved boy who knew how to respect his elders.
Q. Why was the narrator distressed to know that Ranga had decided to remain a bachelor?
Ans. Ranga was a generous, considerate fellow. The narrator thought that it would be a fine thing to have him marry, settle down and be of service to society. He was distressed to know that Ranga who he thought would make a good husband, had to remain a bachelor.
Q. Why had Ranga decided to remain a bachelor?
Ans. Ranga did not believe in arranged marriage. He thought that one should marry a girl he admires. Secondly, one should marry a girl who is mature. Since, it was difficult to find the right girl so he had decided to remain a bachelor.
Q. When did Ranga plan to marry and why?
Ans. Ranga did not want to get married at an early age. He wanted to find the right girl. She should be mature enough to understand his love talks. Secondly, he wished to marry a girl he admired. He was against marrying quite young girl who had no manners or was not careful of their face or figure.
Q. Who was Ratna?
Ans. Ratna was a pretty girl of eleven. She was Rama Rao’s niece. Her parents had died. Her uncle Rama Rao brought her home to stay with her. Since, she was from a big town she knew how to play the veena and harmonium. She also had a sweet voice.
Q. How did Ranga and Ratna react at their unexpected encounter?
Ans. Ratna stopped singing on seeing a stranger outside the room. Ranga felt disappointed when the singing stopped. Ratna stood at a distance with her head lowered. Ranga repeatedly glanced at her. He blamed himself for singing to stop and offered to leave. Ratna was overcome by shyness and ran inside. Ranga inquired about her.
Q. How did the narrator manage to bring Ranga and Ratna together?
Ans. The narrator frequently visited Rama Rao’s house. Ratna was quite free with him. One day he went to their house. He told Rama Rao’s wife that he would send some buttermilk for her and asked to send Ratna to fetch it. When Ratna came he requested her to sing. In the meantime, he sent for Ranga. Thus, the narrator managed to bring them together.
Q. How was Ranga affected by Ratna’s song?
Ans. When Ranga reached the narrator’s house, Ratna was singing a song. Ranga stood at door spellbound. Seeing a stranger there, Ratna abruptly stopped singing. There were signs of disappointment on Ranga’s face when the singing stopped.
Q. What changes came in Ranga after his meeting with Ratna?
Ans. Ranga had decided not to get married at an early age. But one day when he went to the narrator’s house, he stopped at the threshold as he heard Ratna’s singing. He was enchanted by her and kept glancing at her.
Q. How did the narrator let Ranga have glimpse of Ratna?
Ans. The narrator arranged the meeting very systematically. First, he called Ratna on the pretext of sending buttermilk through her. Then he asked her to sing a song. Meanwhile Ranga, whom he had sent for, reached the door. He became curious to see the singer and peeped in. His presence at the door blocked the light and Ratna stopped singing abruptly.
Q. Why did the narrator tell Ranga that the girl was married a year ago?
Ans. Ranga asked the narrator curiously who was the girl that was singing. The narrator wanted to know the mind of Ranga whether he was serious about the girl. So he told a lie that she was married a year ago. On hearing this, Ranga’s face changed colour. The narrator was convinced that Ranga was genuinely interested in the girl.
Q. Why did the narrator visit the village astrologer?
Ans. The narrator wanted to exploit the common human weakness. He was eager to know the future. He went to the village astrologer and tutored him in all that he wanted the astrologer to say when he would revisit him with Ranga.
Q. What, according to the astrologer, was Ranga’s cause of worry? How did the name Ratna crop up?
Ans. According to the astrologer the cause of Ranga’s worry was a girl. She probably had the name of something found in the ocean. When asked if it could be Kamla the astrologer did not rule out the possibility. When suggested if it could be Pachchi, the moss, the astrologer put a counter question. “Why not Pearl or Ratna the precious stone ?” Thus the name Ratna cropped up.
Q. The narrator took Ranga to Shastri. Describe their meeting with Shastri.
Ans. The narrator had already tutored Shastri what he wanted him to say. He asked Shastri what was worrying Ranga. Shastri made some calculations and declared that it was a girl. He added that the girl probably had the name of something found in the ocean, like Ratna. The narrator said that Ratna was the name of the Rama Rao’s niece and the girl was married. But Shastri stuck to his words.
Q. Why do you think Ranga and Ratna named their son after Shyama?
Ans. Ranga and Ratna named their son after Shyama to pay respect to the narrator i.e. Shyama, who was the one to unite both of them in the bond of marriage. Moreover, it is an English custom to name the child after someone whom a person likes and both Ranga and Ratna liked Shyama.
Q. “There was a surprise on Ranga’s face and some happiness.” What do you think caused these feelings?
Ans. When the narrator learnt from Shastri, the astrologer, that the name of the girl Ranga was worried about, could be Ratna, he was at once reminded of Rama Rao’s niece Ratna. He asked the astrologer if there was any chance of the marriage being fixed there, the astrologer gave a firm assurance. This caused happiness and surprise on Ranga’s face.
Q. Comment on the ending of the story ‘Ranga’s Marriage’.
Ans. The story has a happy ending. Ranga has been married to Ratna and they have a three years old golden boy named Shyama after their well wisher, the narrator. Ratna is eight month, pregnant and about to deliver another baby.
Q. “The best way of getting known to a place is to visit it.” Which place does Masti Venkatesha Iyengar refer to? What do you learn about it?
Ans. The author refers to Hosahalli, the village of Rangappa and the narrator. Hosahalli is a nondescriptive village in Mysore State. There is no mention of the village in any geographical book. Nobody in the outside world probably knows that such a place exists. Even the car drivers knew nothing about it. However, the writer gives a detailed description of the village. He mentions some of its specialities. There are some mango trees in the village. If you happen to taste a raw mango from one of them, you will come to know the extreme potency of sourness. Once the writer took one such fruit home and a chutney was made out of it. All of them ate it. They suffered from severe cough and had to get cough medicine from the doctor. Then, there is a creeper growing in the water of the village pond. Its flowers are very beautiful to look at. If you get two leaves from the creeper while bathing in the pond, you will not need your afternoon meal.
Q. Why was Ranga’s homecoming a great event? What was the reaction of the people when they saw him?
Ans. Ten years ago Ranga, the son of the village accountant, had gone to Bengaluru for studies. Those days very few people in the village knew English. They talked in Kannada and rarely brought in English while talking. Ranga came back home after six months. His homecoming was a great event. When the news of his arrival spread, there was a great stir in the village. The people flocked to his home in a large number. They were eager to know what changes had occurred in Ranga. When they found that it was the same old Ranga who had left six months ago, they were greatly disappointed. An old woman who was standing close to him ran her hand over his chest, looked into eyes and said, “The Janewara is still there. He hasn’t lost this caste.” She went away soon after that. Slowly the other people also melted away.
Q. How did the narrator come to know Ranga’s views about marriage? Why was he distressed to know them?
Ans. A large number of people came to have a look at Ranga when he came back home. The narrator was also amongst them. When everyone left, he went to Ranga and greeted him. Ranga came near him and did a ‘namaskara’ respectfully in a traditional manner. He bent low and touched his feet. The narrator blessed him, “May you get married soon.” After exchanging a few jokes he left. That afternoon Ranga came to the narrator’s house with a couple of oranges. The narrator thought it would be a fine thing to have such a considerate and generous fellow marry, settle down and be of service to the society. He asked Ranga when he plans to get married. Ranga said that he was not going to get married. He said that he was against traditional arranged marriage. He must find the right girl. The girl must be one that he admired and who was mature. He had decided not to marry since it was difficult to find the right girl. The narrator was distressed to know that the boy who he thought would be a good husband had decided to remain a bachelor.
Q. Why and how did the narrator bring Ranga and Ratna together?
Ans. The narrator had made up his mind to get Ranga married. He knew Rama Rao’s niece Ratna, who had recently come to the village. She was a pretty girl of eleven. She had come from a big town. She knew to play veena and harmonium. She also had a sweet voice. Her parents had died. So Rama Rao had brought her home. The narrator thought that Ranga was a suitable boy for her. He worked out a clever plan to bring them together. Ratna was quite free with him as he visited Rama Rao’s house frequently. The next morning he went to Rama Rao’s house and told his wife that he would send some buttermilk for her so she should send Ratna to fetch it. When Ratna came, he made her sit in his room and requested her to sing a song. In the meantime he sent for Ranga. When Ranga came to his house, Ratna was singing.
Q. What estimate do you form of Ranga?
Ans. Ranga is a typical South Indian young man whose feet are firmly entrenched in the traditional Indian culture but head is swayed by the latest acquisition of English language and ways of life. He seems to have attained marriageable age according to the norms prevalent in society at that time. The narrator finds him generous and considerate. The young man could rightly assess a person’s worth and knew when it would be to his advantage to talk to someone. At first Ranga seemed to be in favour of love marriage—marrying a girl of one’s choice, whom one loved and who would be mature enough to understand love talk and reciprocate it. The systematic steps taken by the narrator to rope in Ranga to marry Ratna shows that the young man has a sensitive heart. Ranga’s act of naming his golden boy ‘Shyama’ after the dark coloured narrator Shyama shows his adherence to the English custom of naming the child after someone you like. Above all, Ranga appears as a smart but lovable fellow.
Q. Comment on the title of the story ‘Ranga’s Marriage’.
Ans. The title of the story ‘Ranga’s Marriage’ is quite appropriate and suggestive. It at once sums up the theme of the story. The whole story has one central issue — Ranga’s Marriage. It begins with Ranga’s refusal to marry just then and ends with his blissful married life. All the incidents contribute to the central theme. The writer has presented the working of a young educated Indian’s mind and heart. He is easily influenced by the English way of life and customs. He wants to adopt them in his own life as well. The narrator, who is his well wisher takes deep interest in him and takes active steps to wean Ranga away from the fantasy of love marriage. By arousing his interest and fascination in young girl, Ratna, he makes Ranga agree to marry her. She does not fulfil the other condition of being a mature girl in twenties she is just eleven at that time.