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Morning Star Beeta Publication || Workbook Answers of The Home-coming || Treasure Chest Short Stories

Multiple-Choice Questions

1. Phatik was the _____ among the boys of the village.

(a) youngest 

(b) ringleader 

(c) oldest 

(d) smartest

Answer: (b) ringleader

2. Why was Phatik frightened after Makhan beat him up?

(a) He will not be allowed to play near the river bank

(b) His mother would believe Makhan's version of the incident

(c) He would be sent to Calcutta

(d) He would lose his position of a leader.

Answer: (b) His mother would believe Makhan's version of the incident

3. Which characteristic trait of Bishamber's personality is revealed by his act of taking Phatik with him to Calcutta? 

(a) Compassionate 

(b) Selfish

(c) Egoist

(d) None of the above

Answer: (a) Compassionate

4. 'Screaming Like the Furies' means

(a) being happy

(b) being sad

(c) being extremely angry

(d) being excited.

Answer: (c) being extremely angry

5. Which figure of speech is used in the line “The servant was the master on this occasion"?

(a) Irony

(b) Alliteration

(c) Simile

(d) Metaphor

Answer: (a) Irony

6. What did Phatik bequeath to his brother before going to Calcutta?

(a) His fishing rod

(b) His big kite

(c) His marbles

(d) All of the above

Answer: (d) All of the above

7. What is meant by 'on pins and needles'?

(a) Being scared

(b) Getting hurt

(c) In a state of suspense

(d) Being happy

Answer: (c) In a state of suspense

8. Phatik asked his uncle ____ when he opened his eyes.

(a) what was the time 

(b) had the holidays come 

(c) why his aunt didn't like him 

(d) what day it was

Answer: (b) had the holidays come

9. The theme of the story is 

(a) State of confusion

(b) Isolation

(c) Responsibility

(d) Both (b) and (c)

Answer: (d) Both (b) and (c)

Extract I

Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow:

But just as the fun was about to begin, Makhan, Phatik's younger brother, sauntered up, and sat down on the log in front of them all without a word. The boys were puzzled for a moment. He was pushed, rather timidly, by one of the boys and told to get up but he remained quite unconcerned. He appeared like a young philosopher meditating on the futility of games. Phatik was furious. "Makhan," he cried, "if you don't get down this minute I'll thrash you!"

(i) Who was Makhan? Where was he? What is meant by "sauntered up"?
- Makhan was Phatik's younger brother. He was near the log where Phatik and his friends were playing. "Sauntered up" means he walked slowly and casually to the log.

(ii) What was the 'fun' that was about to begin? What did Makhan do to spoil the fun'?
- The fun was about to begin when Phatik and his friends were planning to roll the log. Makhan spoiled the fun by sitting on the log, preventing them from rolling it.

(iii) What did one of the boys do and why? How did Makhan react to it?
- One of the boys pushed Makhan timidly and told him to get up from the log. Makhan reacted by remaining unconcerned and did not move.

(iv) Why was Phatik furious? What did he ask his band of companions to do after this extract?
- Phatik was furious because Makhan was interrupting their game and not listening to them. After this extract, Phatik asked his friends to roll the log even with Makhan on it.

(v) Did Phatik hit Makhan? Why? Which two characteristic traits of Phatik are revealed in this extract?
- No, initially Phatik did not hit Makhan. He only threatened him. This reveals Phatik's leadership quality and his impulsive nature.

Extract II

Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
It was just at this critical juncture that the grey-haired stranger arrived. He asked what the matter was. Phatik looked sheepish and ashamed.

(i) What was the critical juncture'? What had happened before this critical juncture?
- The critical juncture refers to the moment when Phatik and Makhan were fighting. Before this, Makhan had blamed Phatik for an incident and their mother had believed Makhan.

(ii) Who was the grey-haired stranger? Why did he come there?
- The grey-haired stranger was Bishamber, Phatik and Makhan's uncle. He had come to visit his sister and her children.

(iii) Why did Phatik feel ashamed on seeing the stranger?
- Phatik felt ashamed because he was caught in the act of fighting with his younger brother in front of a respected family member.

(iv) How did Phatik react to the stranger's offer when he reached home? Which characteristic trait of Phatik is revealed by his reaction?
- Phatik was eager and excited about the stranger's offer to take him to Calcutta. This reveals Phatik's adventurous nature and his desire for a change in his life.

(v) State any two traits of the stranger's personality in the story.
- Two traits of the stranger's (Bishamber's) personality are his kindness and his sense of responsibility towards his family.

Extract III

Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow: 
He was told by his sister that Phatik was a perpetual nuisance. He was lazy, disobedient, and wild. But Makhan was as good as gold, as quiet as a lamb, and very fond of reading, Bishamber kindly offered to take Phatik off his sister's hands, and educate him with his own children in Calcutta.

(i) Who was 'He' referred to in the first line of the extract? What was Phatik's mother's complaint about him?
- 'He' referred to in the first line is Bishamber. Phatik's mother's complaint about him was that he was lazy, disobedient, and wild.

(ii) How according to Phatik's mother, was Makhan different in his behaviour from his brother?
- According to Phatik's mother, Makhan was obedient, calm, and fond of reading, making him the opposite of Phatik in behavior.

(iii) What did Bishamber offer to do? Why?
- Bishamber offered to take Phatik to Calcutta and educate him along with his own children. He wanted to help his sister and also believed that a change of environment might be beneficial for Phatik.

(iv) How welcome was Phatik in Bishamber's family? What was its effect on Phatik?
- Phatik was not very welcome in Bishamber's family, especially by Bishamber's wife. This made Phatik feel isolated and unwanted.

(v) How is the theme of abandonment hinted upon in the story?
- The theme of abandonment is hinted through Phatik's experiences. First, he feels neglected by his own mother in favor of his younger brother. Later, he feels isolated and unwanted in his uncle's house in Calcutta. The theme of abandonment is suggested by the fact that Phatik's mother is willing to send him away to Bishamber, indicating that she finds him burdensome. This notion of being 'cast aside' or 'given away' hints at the theme of abandonment.

Extract IV

Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

The widowed mother readily agreed. When his uncle asked Phatik if he would like to go to Calcutta with him, his joy knew no bounds, and he said; "Oh, yes, uncle!" In a way that made it quite clear that he meant it. It was an immense relief to the mother to get rid of Phatik.

(i) Why did Phatik's mother agree to send Phatik to Calcutta?
Answer: Phatik's mother agreed to send Phatik to Calcutta because she found it challenging to manage him and his mischief in the village. She believed it would be a good opportunity for him to get educated and disciplined under the guidance of his uncle in the city.

(ii) Why was Phatik excited to go to Calcutta? Explain that he meant it.'
Answer: Phatik was excited to go to Calcutta as he believed it would be an escape from his mother's constant reprimands and the village's mundane life. He hoped to experience the city's wonders and perhaps find the love and care he missed in the village. The phrase "he meant it" indicates that Phatik genuinely wished to go and wasn't merely saying it out of impulse.

(iii) Do you think Phatik's mother's decision to send Phatik to Calcutta was correct? Why?
Answer: From Phatik's mother's perspective, sending him to Calcutta seemed like a good decision as it would provide him with better education and discipline. However, considering Phatik's emotional needs and the eventual outcome, it might not have been the best choice. The city life, far from his familiar surroundings and devoid of the love he craved, only added to his troubles.

(iv) After seeing Phatik's eagerness to go to Calcutta, how does his mother feel? Which characteristic trait of his mother is revealed through her feelings about Phatik at that moment?
Answer: After seeing Phatik's eagerness to go to Calcutta, his mother felt a pang of distress. This moment reveals a conflicting nature in Phatik's mother – while she often reprimanded and misunderstood Phatik, deep down, she did have affection for him and was concerned about his well-being.

(v) How were Phatik's hopes dashed on reaching his uncle's house in Calcutta?
Answer: Phatik's hopes were dashed as he realized that life in Calcutta was not as he had imagined. Instead of finding love and care, he faced neglect and indifference from his aunt. He felt isolated in school, where he was bullied, and even at his uncle's home, where he felt like an unwelcome guest.

Extract V

Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow: 
She was by no means pleased with this unnecessary addition to her family. She found her own three boys quite enough to manage without taking any one else. And to bring a village lad of fourteen into their midst was terribly upsetting. Bishamber should really have thought twice before committing such an indiscretion.

(i) Who is referred to as 'She' in the extract? What was the "unnecessary addition to her family?
Answer: 'She' in the extract refers to Phatik's aunt. The "unnecessary addition to her family" refers to Phatik.

(ii) Why was Phatik's aunt annoyed to see Phatik?
Answer: Phatik's aunt was annoyed to see Phatik because she already had her own three boys to manage, and she felt that adding another boy, especially a village lad like Phatik, to the household would be an additional responsibility and might disrupt the household dynamics.

(iii) Why was sending a village lad of fourteen to unknown people in an unknown place was terribly upsetting? Which theme is involved in Phatik's mother's decision?
Answer: Sending a village lad of fourteen to unknown people in an unknown place was terribly upsetting because the boy would be unfamiliar with the city's ways and might find it challenging to adjust. The theme involved in Phatik's mother's decision is the contrast between the innocence and simplicity of village life and the complexity and challenges of city life.

(iv) How correct was Bishamber in taking his nephew, Phatik to Calcutta?
Answer: Bishamber's intentions in taking Phatik to Calcutta were noble, as he wanted to provide him with better education and opportunities. However, given the emotional neglect and challenges Phatik faced in Calcutta, in hindsight, it might not have been the best decision.

(v) What were the consequences of taking him to Calcutta?
Answer: The consequences of taking Phatik to Calcutta were quite dire. He faced emotional neglect from his aunt, bullying in school, and felt isolated and unwelcome. The longing for his mother and the familiar comfort of his village weighed heavily on him, leading to his ill-fated attempt to run back home and his eventual tragic end.

Extract VI

Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow: 

One day he summoned up all his courage, and asked his uncle: "Uncle, when can I go home?" But the holidays His uncle answered; "Wait till the holidays come." would not come till November, and there was a long time still to wait.

(i) Who 'summoned up all his courage'? Why did he want to go home?
Answer: Phatik 'summoned up all his courage'. He wanted to go home because he was feeling isolated, neglected, and bullied in Calcutta and longed for the familiarity and comfort of his village and his mother's presence.

(ii) How did he feel when his uncle told him to wait till the holidays come? Why did his uncle not take him to his home immediately?
Answer: Phatik felt dejected and disappointed when his uncle told him to wait for the holidays. His uncle probably wanted Phatik to adjust to the city life and believed that with time, Phatik would settle down. He might have also thought that disrupting Phatik's studies by sending him home mid-term would not be wise.

(iii) Which characteristic traits of his uncle are revealed in the extract?
Answer: The uncle's characteristic traits revealed in the extract are his patience, belief in discipline, and hope that given time, Phatik would adjust to his new environment in Calcutta.

(iv) Did 'he' wait for the holidays to go home? Give reasons to support your answer.
Answer: No, Phatik did not wait for the holidays. Overwhelmed by his feelings of isolation and longing for home, he made an impulsive decision to run away and head back to his village.

(v) Which theme is highlighted in the extract?
Answer: The theme highlighted in the extract is the profound longing and yearning for one's roots, home, and the love and warmth associated with it.

Extract VII

Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

One day Phatik lost his lesson-book. Even with the help of books he had found it very difficult indeed to prepare his lesson. Now it was impossible. Day after day the teacher would cane him unmercifully. His condition became so abjectly miserable that even his cousins were ashamed to own him. They began to jeer and insult him more than the other boys. He went to his aunt at last, and told her that he had lost his book. His aunt pursed her lips in contempt, and said: "You great clumsy, country lout. How can I afford, with all my family, to buy you new books five times a month?"

(i) Why was it difficult for Phatik to prepare his lesson even with the help of books?
Answer: It was difficult for Phatik to prepare his lesson even with the help of books because he was not used to the rigorous city school curriculum and found it challenging to adjust to the new learning environment.

(ii) What was Phatik's image in the school? Did his teacher treat him according to the perception formed because of that image? Give a reason.
Answer: Phatik's image in the school was that of a backward and underperforming student. Yes, his teacher treated him according to that perception by caning him unmercifully when he didn't prepare his lessons.

(iii) Why were Phatik's cousins ashamed to own him? What was their fear in owning him?
Answer: Phatik's cousins were ashamed to own him because of his consistent poor performance in school and his frequent punishments. They feared that associating with him would tarnish their reputation among their peers.

(iv) Why did Phatik go to his aunt for helping him to get a new lesson-book? How did his aunt react to it?
Answer: Phatik approached his aunt for help because he had lost his lesson-book and hoped she would understand and help him get a new one. However, his aunt reacted with contempt and scolded him, highlighting the financial burden of frequently buying new books.

(v) How was Phatik's aunt similar to his mother in her treatment of Phatik? Give reasons to justify your answer.
Answer: Both Phatik's aunt and mother were quick to reprimand him and showed little understanding or sympathy towards his challenges. They often blamed him without trying to understand his perspective, making Phatik feel unwelcome and unloved.

Extract VIII

Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
The fever rose very high, and all that night the boy was delirious. Bishamber brought in a doctor. Phatik opened his eyes flushed with fever, and looked up to the ceiling, and said vacantly: “Uncle, have the holidays come yet? May I go home?"

(i) How did Phatik become ill? Why did he want to go home so desperately?
Answer: Phatik became ill after getting drenched in the rain while attempting to run away to his village. He wanted to go home so desperately because he missed the love and comfort of his home and hoped to find solace there.

(ii) What is meant by delirious? Why was he delirious?
Answer: Delirious refers to a disturbed state of mind characterized by restlessness, illusions, and incoherence, often caused by illness or fever. Phatik was delirious due to his high fever and the physical and emotional trauma he had been experiencing.

(iii) Why did he ask his uncle whether the holidays have come'? Did he get the 'holidays'?
Answer: He asked his uncle about the holidays because he associated the holidays with the possibility of returning home. Sadly, he did not get to experience the actual holidays as he was in a critical state of health.

(iv) How are the holidays' related to the title of the story?
Answer: The term 'holidays' is related to the title "The Home-Coming" as both signify Phatik's deep desire and longing to return to his home, to be with his family and to escape the hardships he was facing in Calcutta.

(v) What feelings do you have for Phatik at this juncture? Give reasons to support your answer.
Answer: At this juncture, one can't help but feel immense sympathy and sadness for Phatik. He is a young boy who has faced continuous adversity, lack of love, and understanding. His longing to return home and be with his mother, even in his delirious state, is heart-wrenching, underscoring the depth of his emotional pain and isolation.

Project Work

1. Compare Phatik's life in the village to his life in the city.

In the village, Phatik was a ringleader among his peers. He enjoyed the freedom of playing in open spaces, basking in the natural environment, and being the decision-maker among his friends. The village life was filled with rustic charm, simple games, and a sense of belonging. Despite having conflicts with his younger brother Makhan and facing prejudice from his mother, he still held a certain status and respect among his friends.

In contrast, the city life in Calcutta for Phatik was isolating and challenging. He was away from the familiar surroundings of his village and had to adjust to a completely new environment. In school, he was bullied and treated as an inferior. He missed being the leader and felt out of place in the structured and unfamiliar surroundings of the city. Furthermore, he had hoped to find warmth and acceptance in his uncle's home but was met with indifference from his aunt. The city's environment, both socially and physically, made Phatik long for his village and the love and acceptance he had there.


2. Who was Phatik? Draw a character sketch of him.

Phatik is the protagonist of the story "The Home-coming" by Rabindranath Tagore. He is a fourteen-year-old boy, characterized by typical teenage mischief and a longing for love and acceptance. In his village, he is a leader among his friends, often coming up with fun plans and games. Despite his playful nature, Phatik is sensitive and yearns for his mother's affection, which he feels is more directed towards his younger brother, Makhan.

Phatik's character is complex. While he displays the natural mischievousness of a teenager, he also shows maturity in certain situations, like when he gifts his belongings to Makhan upon leaving for Calcutta. He is resilient, trying to find his place in the city, but the hardships and lack of acceptance break his spirit. His longing for love, recognition, and a sense of belonging is a constant theme throughout the story.


3. Write a note on Phatik's different 'Homecoming'.

The term 'Homecoming' in the story is symbolic of Phatik's constant quest for love, acceptance, and a place where he feels he belongs. His first homecoming is when he returns home after a tiff with his brother, only to face his mother's wrath. Instead of finding solace, he is met with punishment. 

The second homecoming occurs when Phatik is sent to Calcutta with his maternal uncle, Bishamber. He hopes to find a new home, filled with love and warmth. Instead, he faces indifference from his aunt, bullying at school, and a profound sense of alienation. His attempt to run back to his village, only to be brought back, symbolizes his desperate need for a true homecoming.

The final, and the most poignant homecoming, is when Phatik is on his deathbed. In his delirium, he mistakes his mother's arrival as the commencement of holidays, a time when he can finally go home. Unfortunately, this homecoming is only symbolic, as Phatik never truly finds the home he yearns for in his short life.


4. How is the theme of abandonment highlighted in the story?

The theme of abandonment runs deep throughout the story. Phatik feels abandoned by his mother, who seems to favor his younger brother, Makhan. This feeling is intensified when she willingly sends him off to Calcutta with his uncle, thinking it's for his betterment. In Calcutta, Phatik faces another form of abandonment. He is not accepted by his peers at school, and even at his uncle's home, he feels like an outsider. His aunt's indifference and the lack of a supportive environment amplify his feelings of isolation. His attempt to run away back to his village is a direct result of this feeling of abandonment. Even though he physically returns to his uncle's house, emotionally and mentally, he feels more abandoned than ever. The story culminates with the ultimate abandonment – Phatik's death, where he departs from a world that never truly embraced him.

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