Iswaran the storyteller, Class 9 English, Moments Supplementary Book
Detailed explanation of “Iswaran the storyteller”, including definitions of difficult words. In addition, the explanation is followed by a lesson summary. Also, NCERT Question and Answers are also provided to help students understand this Chapter and do well in their exams.
The story revolves around a junior construction supervisor, Mahendra and his cook Iswaran. Iswaran was fond of telling stories to Mahendra so he would narrate a story every evening. His stories were influenced by the popular Tamil thrillers that he read everyday. He get inspired by reading these stories. His one such story of a female ghost, disturbed Mahendra the most that he decided to leave the place the next day.
Mahendra was a junior supervisor in a firm. The firm offered various construction sites including factories, bridges, dams etc. to supervisors on hire. His job was to keep an eye on the activities at the work site. Due to his job, he had to move from one place to another. Mahendra was a bachelor who led a simple life. His requirements were less, so he could adjust to all conditions.
Mahendra had a cook named Iswaran. Iswaran did all household works of Mahendra. He would cook, wash his clothes and entertain him with his stories. Iswaran also had an amazing capacity to produce vegetables and cooking ingredients which were not found anywhere.
Mahendra would leave for work early in the morning with some food. After Mahendra left for work, Iswaran would clean the shed, wash the clothes and would take a bath while praying. After eating his lunch, he used to read popular Tamil thriller and then would go off to sleep. Iswaran was greatly influenced by the Tamil thrillers that he had read. This influence was visible in his methods of story telling. He would narrate even the smallest incidents with suspense and surprise. For example, he described an uprooted tree as a bushy beast (wild animal) by using dramatic expressions and movements. Iswaran’s imaginative stories entertained Mahendra who would listen to him without any judgement.
Iswaran narrate an incident about a mad tusker (elephant) to Mahendra. He narrate that one day a mad elephant escaped from the timber yard in his home town and destroyed everything that came in his way. It tore up the creepers and broke the branches. After sometime, the elephant reached the town. It came to the main road and smashed the stalls selling fruits, mudpots and clothes. Then, the elephant entered the school ground and destroyed everything in it. During this incident, all the boys of school had locked themselves in their classrooms and the teachers climbed to the terrace. Suddenly, Iswaran, a young boy of school, took a cane (stick) from one of his teacher. He ran to the ground and hit the third toenail of the elephant and the elephant fell down. At this point, Iswaran would leave the story unfinished.
After sometime, Iswaran conclude the story and told Mahendra that an animal doctor was called to examine the elephant.After two days, the elephant was taken to the jungle by his mahout. When Mahendra asked Iswaran, how he had controlled the elephant, then Iswaran told that it was either Ju-jitsu or karate which paralysed his nervous system.
One day, Iswaran prepared a delicious dinner because it was the auspicious day of feeding the spirits of the ancestors. While Mahendra had his dinner, Iswaran told Mahendra about the factory where they were staying.He informed Mahendra that this factory area was initially a burial ground. He himself had come across skulls and bones on the path and saw ghosts at night. He further told Mahendra about an ugly female ghost who would roam around at midnight during full moon. She would appear be a skeleton carrying a foetus in her arms.
Iswaran’s ghost story disturbed Mahendra a lot. He immediately called the story to be imaginative and went to sleep. However, the story had greatly affected Mahendra. From that day, Mahendra would look outside the window every night to make sure that there was no movement outside. Earlier, Mahendra used to admire the landscape on full moon nights but now he avoided looking outside. One night, Mahendra woke up when he heard a low moan or sound close to his window. At first, he decided not to look out but the sound became louder so, he looked out. He saw a dark cloudy figure holding a bundle. Mahendra was terrified by seeing it. Later he thought that it might have been some trick of his subconscious mind.
The next morning, Mahendra was ready to go to his office. He had completely forgotten his experience. But Iswaran reminded him about the ghost. He told Mahendra that he had heard the sound coming from Mahendra’s room and had come to see him. Mahendra was horrified at this reminder. He decided to leave the place next day and handed over his papers.
(1) Why Mahendra had to keep moving from one place to another?
(2) Describe Mahendra as a man?
(3) Describe how Iswaran made his narrative full of suspense and interesting?
(4) How did Iswaran make even the simplest incident interesting?
(5) How did Iswaran come to know that the factory where they were working was once a burial ground?
(6) How did Mahendra react when told about the female ghost?
(7) What was the effect of Iswaran’s story of a ghost woman on Mahendra? What did he start doing from that day?
(8) What kind of life did Mahendra lead?
(9) What did Iswaran do usually after Mahendra left for work?
(10) How did Iswaran describe the female ghost?
(11) Who was Iswaran? What sets him apart from other domestic helps?
(12) Describe the experience of Mahendra during the full moon night?
(13) In what way is Iswaran an asset to Mahendra?
(14) What were Iswaran’s duties in Mahendra’s house?
(15) How did Iswaran show his usefulness to the narrator?
(16) What made Iswaran so imaginative and a good narrator?
(17) What destruction did the elephant cause in the town?
(18) Why did Mahendra listen to Iswaran stories without interrupting him?
(19) Why did Iswaran want to cook something special for dinner?
(20) Do you think the ghost Mahendra saw on night of the full moon was a real ghost?
(21) What did Mahendra decide after he had seen the ghost? Why?
(22) ” Iswaran was a good cook as well as story teller”? Elaborate with the help of examples?
(23) How does Iswaran description of the uproated tree on the highway affect the listener?
(24) Why did Mahendra expect that Iswaran will sulk?
(25) How did Iswaran’s reading of Tamil thrillers affect his behaviour?
(26) Why did Mahendra resign his post?
(27) Describe Mahendra’s character in your own words?
|quarry||a deep pit from which stones are extracted|
|uncomplainingly||without any protest|
|anecdotes||real story about a person or an incident|
|desolate||isolated or uninhabited|
|running to||consisting of|
|hold in thrall||captivate attention|
|hauled||pull or drag with effort|
|mahout||person who controls an elephant|
|tusker||elephant with big tusks|
|smash||break something noisily|
|depredations||damage or destruction|
|trumpeted||cried loudly (for elephant)|
|mustering||to gain or collect|
|shrug casually||raise shoulders uncaringly|
|culinary skills||cooking ability|
|garish||detailed and showy|
|matted||tangled in thick mass|
|shrivelled||shrunken and wrinkled|
|sulk||be silent out of disappointment|
|moan||a low sound made by a person expressing suffering|
|prowling||move in a quiet manner|
|guttural||sound produced from back of throat|
|lest||to avoid at any risk|
|feline||like a cat|
|panting||breathing with short quick breaths|
|ghastly||causing horror or fear|