|A Horse and Two Goats - Evergreen Publication|
COMPREHENSION (UNSOLVED PASSAGES)
(1) Muni had gone to the shop to get rice, dhal, spices, oil and one large potato on credit, but the shopman refused to give any item on credit. Rather, he was insulted by the shopman for making lame excuses and telling lies. He was disappointed and sad. He refers to his insult and disappointment as fatigue.
(ii) Muni asks his wife to cook drumsticks in a sauce. In order to cook drumsticks, she needs rice, dhal, spices, oil and a potato, but not a single item is there in the kitchen. The shopman refuses to give him any item on credit. Rather he insults him. He comes back and tells everything to his wife. So Muni's wife gets angry and tells him "fast till the evening, it will do you good."
(iil) Muni and his wife lead a poor life. They don't have anything to eat. Muni asks his wife to cook drumsticks in a sauce. But there is no sauce in the kitchen. Muni goes to the shop to get the essential items on credit, but the shopman refuses to give him any item on credit. Rather he insults him. He tells everything to his wife. So Muni's wife gets upset and angry because there is nothing to eat at home. She is upset and angry due to poverty and absence of eatables in the house.
(iv) Muni went away to graze his goats without eating anything. She asked Muni not to come back home before sunset because she would somehow manage some food for him in the evening.
(V) She planned to go out and grind corn in the Big House, sweep or scrub somewhere, and earn enough to buy foodstuff and keep a dinner ready for him in the evening.
(1) Muni uttered weird cries from time to time to urge the goats to move on. He was absorbed in his own thoughts and therefore did not want to talk to anybody.
(ii) The shopman asked Muni to clear his previous debt, only then could he be given him some items of food. He also asked Muni not to make false excuses of getting money from his daughter.
(iii) Muni was actually over seventy, though he had told the shopman that he was only fifty. He always calculated his age from the great famine.
(iv) Muni led his goats to a grassy spot near the horse statue on the edge of the village. He sat on the statue's pedestal while the goats grazed nearby.
(V) Years of drought, a great famine and an epidemic ruined Muni's several cattle. At present he is left with two goats.
(i) Muni had the advantage of watching the highway and seeing the lorries and buses pass through the hills and it gave him a sense of belonging to a larger world.
(ii) The statue of the horse was nearly life-size. It was moulded out of clay, baked, burnt and brightly coloured. Beside the horse stood a warrior with scythe-like moustachios, bulging eyes and acquiline nose.
(ii) Muni sat on the pedestal of the horse statue while his goats urged and bathed him meandered along to the foot of the horse statue on the edge of the village.
(iv) The horse was as white as a dhobi-washed sheet and had had on its back a cover of pure brocade of red and black lace, matching the multi-coloured sash around the waist of the warrior. This was the splendour of the horse.
The people of the village never noticed the splendour of the statue and so never recognized it.
(v) The young village lads gashed tree trunks with knives and tried to topple off milestones and inscribed lewd designs on the walls.
(i) As Muni drew a deep puff from the American cigarette, he started coughing. It was racking. His head began to reel with its effect. The American cigarette was made with roasted tobacco.
(ii) Muni thought that the card the American gave him was an arrest warrant for some big crime that he must have committed recently.
(iii) Muni wanted to beware of khaki lest he should be caught for some crime committed by him. He wanted to prove himself innocent.
(iv) He thought of the impending danger of being arrested by the khaki man for some crime. He planned not to be caught but give explanation of his not being guilty. He did not want to run.
(V) He tried to prove himself innocent by invoking God and swearing in his name that he knew nothing about any crime. Only God knows about the murder if ever committed anywhere.
(i) Muni refers to the case of murder that had taken place. He tells the American businessman that he knows nothing of the case. But the murderer would not be able to escape the law. He swears by God and says that he knows nothing about the murder.
He is afraid to confront the American businessman because he thought the American businessman to be either a policeman or a soldier.
(ii) Muni spoke in Tamil which the foreigner did not understand. So he nodded his head whatever Muni said about the murder.
The foreigner asks Muni if he knew when this horse was made.
(iii) Muni promised the foreigner that if they found the murderer, they would hold him for him. They would bury him up to his neck in a coconut pit if he tried to escape. He told him that their village had clean record. The murderer must be from some other village.
(iv) Muni, a South Indian Tamilian, speaks Tamil whereas the American businessman speaks English. They don't understand each other's language, and so they are unintelligible to each other. Still they continue to converse with each other because the American wants to get the horse statue as Muni goes on talking of his innocence.
(v) In the summer of last August, he was working in short sleeves in his office on the fortieth floor of the Empire State Building. There was a power failure that day. And he was stuck there for four hours because neither the elevator nor the air conditioning plant worked.
(1) The foreigner spoke English and tried to make Muni understand that he was referring to the horse, but Muni did not understand because he did not know English. So the foreigner almost pinioned Muni's back to the statue and asked, "Isn't this statue yours? Why don't you sell it to me?" Muni now understood that he was making reference to the horse.
ii) The American businessman guessed that Muni was the owner of the statue of the horse by the way he sat on the pedestal of the statue of the horse.
(iii) Muni followed the man's eyes and pointed fingers towards the statue and then dimly understood that the foreigner was talking about the horse.
(iv) Muni felt relieved that the theme of the mutilated body had been abandoned. So, he began to talk about the horse enthusiastically.
(v) Muni spoke Tamil in a stimulating manner and the foreigner listened to the sound of the language with fascination. He loved the sound of the language so much that he said, "Your language sounds wonderful."
(1) The foreigner was fascinated by the splendour of the white statue of the horse. He said that it looked marvellous and he wanted to buy it for himself.
(ii) Muni said that the horse was their guardian, and it meant death to the adversaries. At the end of Kali Yuga, this horse will come to life and redeem the world from destruction.
(iii) The foreigner assured Muni that he would have the best home for the statue in the U.S.A. In order to keep the horse in his house he would push away the bookcase or anything else.
(iv) Muni told the foreigner that the pundit in his discourse had said that this horse would grow bigger than the biggest wave when the ocean began to close over the earth. Then only this horse would be the saviour of only the good people. The bad would be doomed.
(V) The foreigner, who understood by the tone of Muni's question that he was asked something, replied that he was not a millionaire, but a modest businessman and that his trade is coffee.
LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS
ASSIGNMENT Develop the following hints into your own answers:
- misunderstanding due to different cultures and languages
- The American in Khaki asks something in English about the statue
- Muni thinks he is investigating a murder
- Muni explains the mythological significance of the horse
- American buys the horse statue
- Muni thinks he has bought his goats
- confusion increases as Muni reprimanded by wife
- humour affable and polite
- weaknesses and foibles of characters evoke laughter
- comic characters of Muni and the American
- situational humour-wife's treatment with Muni
- similar situation about the statue of the horse
- Muni fearing visiting card to be arrest warrant
- Muni's reply not in consonance with the questions asked
- a humble dwelling of Muni in a remote village
- acute poverty, facing starvation
- effect of great famine on their lives
- being of low caste, Muni not been to school
- leads a miserable life
- Muni's lack of education cause of confusion between Muni and the American
- life of a common villager depicted realistically