Comprehension Check

Check 1 (NCERT Page 62)

1. Why did the man stare at Bepin Babu in disbelief ?

Ans. The man stared at Bepin Babu in disbelief because Bepin Babu refused to recognise him. The stranger mentioned that they had met each other for an entire week while Bepin Choudhury had visited Ranchi and have had conversation on various personal matters. Yet, Bepin Choudhury’s amusement at such a visit left him staring at Bepin Babu in sheer disbelief.

2. Where did Bepin Babu say he went in October, 1958 ?

Ans. Bepin Babu said that in October, 1958 he had gone to Kanpur to celebrate ‘Puja’. He was with his friend, Haridas Bagchi, during that time.

3. Mention any three (or more) things that Parimal Ghose knew about Bepin Babu.

Ans. Parimal Ghose knew quite a few things about Bepin Choudhury and his life.

(i) He knew that Bepin Choudhury’s wife had died about ten years ago.

(ii) Primal Ghose was also aware that Bepin Babu had no children.

(iii) Parimal Ghose could also tell that Bepin Babu’s brother had died of insanity and for this reason Bepin Babu did not like visiting mental hospitals.

(iv) He had a fair idea about Bepin  Babu’s likes and dislikes and therefore, knew that Bepin Babu was not fond of hotel food.

(v) The cut on Bepin Babu’s right knee during Ranchi visit was also known to Primal Ghose.

Check 2 ( NCERT Page 65 )

1. Why did Bepin Babu worry about what Parimal Ghose had said ?

Ans. Bepin Babu was worried about the thongs Parimal Ghose had shared with him because these were all intimate details of his life, not known to strangers. Parimal Ghose was correct about everything, except for Bepin being to Ranchi in 1958. Bepin began to worry if there was something wrong with his mental heath.

2. How did he try to decide who was right – his memory or Primal Ghose ?

Ans. Bepin Choudhury decided to call his friend, Harida Bagchi, with whom he had spent the ‘Puja’ OF 1958.

Since Bagchi was away to Japan, he rolled up his trousers to see for himself the cut on his knee. He, later, decided to call up to Dinesh Mukherji and Chunilal, to get a confirmation.

3. Why did Bepin Babu hesitate to visit Mr Mukherji? Why did he finally decide to phone him ?

Ans. Bepin Babu was a little hesitant to visit Mr Mukherji because he thought that it would be quite embarrasing for him to ask details of his life from his friend.

Also, if Dinesh Mukherji would confirm their Ranchi visit, Mukherji would get to know about his state of mind. Therefore, Bepin Babu decided to phone him.

4. What did Mr Mukherji say ? Did it comfort Bepin Babu or add to his worries?

Ans. Mr Mukherji confirmed that both of them had been to Ranchi in the year 1958. This quite obviously added on to Bepin Babu’s worries.

Check 3 (NCERT Page 68)

1. Who was Chunilal ? What did he want from Bepin Babu ?

Ans. Chunilal was a very old friend of Bepin Babu. They had been together at school. Chunilal was going through a very rough time as he didn’t have a job at present. He had been coming to meet Bepin Babu over and over again for job prospects.

2. Why was Dr Chanda puzzled? What was unusual about Bepin Babu’s loss of memory ?

Ans. Dr Chanda was puzzled because Bepin Babu seemed to remember everything about his life, except this one episode.

The peculiarity of Bepin Babu’s case was that unlike patients who seem to forget parts of their memory, Bepin Babu had forgotten just this one episode of his life.

Check 4 (NCERT Page 70)

1. Had Bepin Babu really lost his memory and forgotten all about a trip to Ranchi ?

Ans. No, Bepin Babu had not lost his memory or forgotten anything. He had been fooled to believe so by Chunilal that he had made a trip to Ranchi and then he was unable to remember it.

2. Why do you think Chunilal did what he did ? Chunilal says he has no money; what is it that he does have ?

Ans. Chunilal had been a very old friend of Bepin Choudhury. He was claiming help from Bepin Babu on account of this age old friendship. According to Chunilal, the privileged circumstances of Bepin Babu seemed to made him overlook the ill condition of his friend. This deeply hurt Chunilal. As his revenge, he played this trick upon Bepin Babu. Chunilal wrote in his letter that he had no money, but what he did have was his imagination. He was using his imagination now to write a novel which was being reviewed by a good publisher.

Working With the Text (NCERT Page 70)

1. The author describes Bepin Babu as a serious and hardworking man. What evidence can you find in the storu to support this ?

Ans. The author describes Bepin Babu as a hard and a responsible worker. He took his job quite seriously and did all his work with great dedication. The proof for this is the fact that even while Bepin Choudhury was quite unwell because of the Ranchi episode and when Dr Chanda recommended him to go to Ranchi once again, he called up at his office, gave a set of instructions before setting on this journey. This clearly proves that even in condition of ill health, he placed his office work at priority.

2. Why did Bepin Babu change his mind about meeeting Chunilal ? What was the result of this meeeting ?

Ans. Chunilal had been coming over and over again to meet Bepin Babu to make appeal for a job. Bepin Babu, therefore, asked him to leave. Immediately, however, Bepin Babu changed his mind because he thought Chunilal might have a fair idea about his Ranchi visit in 1958.

After this meeting, however, Bepin Babu was left further troubled, since Chunilal confirmed Bepin Babu’s Ranchi visit.

3. Bepin Babu lost consciousness at Hudroo Falls. What do you think was the reason for this ?

Ans. Bepin Babu lost consciousness at Hudroo Falls perhaps because that was his lost hope at regaining the lost parts of his memory.

He was already in bad health, worrying too much about his lapse of memory and at Hudroo Falls when he fails to recollect that episode, he probably got over burdened by his thoughts and lost consciousness.

4. How do you think Bepin Babu reacted when he found out that Chunilal had tricked him ?

Ans. Bepin Babu was shocked, dumb founded and embarrassed when he found out that Chunilal had tricked him. he didn’t wish to share his embarrassment with anyone and therefore, in keeping with Chunilal’s lie told Dr Chanda that on visiting Ranchi he had recollected everything.

Working with Language (NCERT Page 71 )

1. Look at these two sentences.

He had to buy at least five books to last him through the week.

Bepin had to ask Chuni to leave.

Had to is used to show that it was very important or necessary for Bepin Babu to do something. He had no choice. We can also use ‘have to’/ ‘has to’ in the same way.

Fill in the blanks below using ‘ had to ‘ / ‘have to’/ ‘has to’.

(i) I ………. cut my hair every month.

(ii) We ………….. go for swimming lessons last year.

(iii) She …………. tell the principal the truth.

(iv) They ……… take the baby to the doctor.

(v) We ……… complain to the police about the noise.

(vi) Romit ……….. finish his homework before he could come out to play.

(vii) I …… repair my cycle


(i) have to

(ii) had to

(iii) had to

(iv) had to

(v) had to

(vi) has to

(vii) had to

2. Here are a few idioms that you will find in the story. Look for them in the dictionary in the following way.

First, arrange them in the order in which you would find them in a dictionary. ( Clue: An idiom is usually listed under the first noun, verb, adjective or adverb in it. Ignore articles or prepositions in the idiom).

To help you, we have put  in bold the words under which you must look for the idioms in the dictionary.

(i) at/from close quarters (close : adjective)

(ii) break into smile (break: verb; look under ‘break into something’)

(iii) carry on (carry : verb)

(iv) have a clean record (you may find related meanings under both these words)

(v) beat about the bush (verb)

Now, refer to your dictionary and find out what they mean.

Ans. The dictionary order

(i) beat about the bush   (ii) break into a smile   (iii)  carry on    (iv) from close quarters    (v) have a clean record of


(i) Not to talk in a straight forward manner

(ii) smile abruptly or suddenly

(iii) to continue

(iv) Nearby or close by

(v) Without any blemish

3. Study the sentences in the columns A and B below.

Column A Column B
I saw this movie yesterday I have seen this movie already.
Bepin Babu worked here for
a week last year
Bepin Babu has worked here since 2003.
Chunilal wrote to a publisher
last week.
Chunilal has written to a publisher.
I visited Ranchi once, long ago. I have visited Ranchi once before.

Compare the sentences in two columns, especially the verb forms. Answer the following questions about each pair of sentences.

(i) Which column tells us that Bepin Babu is still working at the same place ?

(ii) Which column suggests that Chunilal is now waiting for a reply from the publisher?

(iii) Which column suggest that the person still remembers the movie he saw ?

(iv) Which column suggests that the experience of visiting Ranchi is still fresh in the speaker’s mind?


(i) Column B – Bepin Babu has worked here since 2003.

(ii) Column A – Chunilal wrote to a publisher last week.

(iii) Column B – I have seen this movie already.

(iv) Column B – I have visited Ranchi once before.

4. Given below are jumbled sentences. Working in groups, rearrange the words in each sentence to form correct sentence.

You will find that each sentence contains an idiomatic expression that you have come across in the lesson. Underline the idiom and write down its meaning. Then use your dictionary to check the meaning.

One sentence has been worked out for you as an example.

Jumbled sentence : vanished/ The car/ seemed to/ into thin/ have/ air

Ans. The car seemed to have vanished into thin air.

Idiom: vanished into thin air : disappeared or vanished in a mysterious way.

(i) stop/ and tell me/ beating about/ what you want/ the bush

(ii) don’t pay/ if you/ attention/ you might/ the wrong train/ to the announcement/ board

(iii) The villagers/ tried/ the crime/ on the young woman/ to pin

(iv) Bepin Babu/ orders to/ telling people/ under/ loved/ doctor’s/ eat early/ that he was

(v) the students/ the teacher/ his eyebrows/ when/ said that/ all their lessons/ raised/ they have revised


(i) Stop beating about the bush and tell me what you want.

Idioms: beating about the bush to not talk about something directly.

(ii) If you don’t pay attention to the announcement you might board the wrong train.

Idiom: Pay attention to be attentive

(iii) The villagers tried to pin the crime on the young woman.

Idiom: To pin the crime to accuse someone for any crime

(iv) Bepin Babu loved telling people that he was under doctor’s orders to eat early.

Idiom: Under orders to follow the instructions.

(v) The teacher raised his eyebrows when the students said that they had revised all their lessons.

Idiom : raised his eyebrows was shocked or surprise mildly.

Speaking and Wring (NCERT Page 73)

1. What do you think happened after Bepin Babu came to know the truth? Was he angry with this friend for playing such a trick on him ? Or do you think he decided to help a friend in need?

Ans. When Bepin Babu discovered the truth, he was completely shocked. He could never imagine in his wildest dreams that he would be fooled in this manner. Initially, he became quite upset with Chunilal and could not understand how Chunilal could play such a serious prank on a friend. he was also disturbed by the lie of Dinesh Mukherji, who has made him believe in the gravity of the situation.

However, he soon realised that what disturbed him most was that his friends were responsible for his present condition, his mental misbalance and ill health.

Bepin Choudhury did not then take very long in understanding how he was responsible for Chunilal’s poor economic condition. As a friend how he had failed to be a pillar of strength and help his friend in the hour of need.

he, therefore, decided to help his friend in whatever ways possible and do so without any delay. He also wrote an apology letter to his friend and went to see his friend in person and sought forgiveness from him.

2. Imagine you are Bepin Choudhury. You have received Chunilal’s letter and feel ashamed that you did not bother to help an old friend down on his luck.

Now, you want to do something for him. Write a letter to Chunilal promising to help him soon.


XYZ Street
Date- 25th January, 1965
Dear Chunilal,

Yesterday evening I received your letter. I had just been back from Ranchi and was in poor health when I was shocked by the revelation your letter made. I was dumb founded and went numb for a considerable time. I did not know how to react. The way I had suffered in the past week, I should have been very angry with you. But realising how you might have been suffering for past two months on my account left me speechless. I am really ashamed of how I handled your case. I could have put in a little effort and helped you gain a position or helped you otherwise. But , my unfeeling attitude has not just hurt you, but has also left me in pain today. My friend, I beg you for the sake of our old friendship to forgive me and I promise to help you out in the best possible way. I wish to meet you soon, but I am too embarrassed to come and face  you. Do let me know that you have forgiven me and I will make all things better.

Looking forward to a reply.

Yours truly,
Bepin Choudhury


A prank is a childish trick. Do you remember any incident when someone played a prank on you or your friends? Describe the prank in a paragraph.

Answer : When I was young, I was very scared of lizards. One day, one of my cousins threw a plastic lizard on me. I was scared to death, thinking it to be a real one. I was so scared that I wanted to have revenge on my cousin.

So, I called him from another phone and pretended to be his teacher and asked him to pass the phone to his father so that I could complain about his mischievous behaviour in class. Thinking of me as his teacher, my cousin was so apologetic for all his unruly acts that it gave me a lot of pleasure.