Very Short Questions

Question 1 : The boy was in which standard when the jalebi episode happened?

Answer : The boy was in the fifth standard at the government school in Kambelpur when the jalebi episode happened.

Question 2 : The boy fears that if he spent the money, he would not be able to show his face. Who were these people whom he would not be able to show his face to?

Answer : The boy fears that if he would spend the money he would not be able to show his face to Master Ghulam Mohammed at school and to Allah Miyan at Qayamat.

Question 3 : Who could have caught the boy as he purchased the jalebis?

Answer : The moment the boy purchased the jalebis, he saw his chchajaan (his father’s younger brother) returning from the court on his tongo.

If chachajaan would have seen the boy then, he would have got caught.

Question 4 : Whom does the boy compare himself to while distributing the jalebis to the children?

Answer : While distributing the jalebis, the boy compares himself to the Governor Saheb who used to distribute rice to the poor on Independence Day.

Question 5 : While distributing the jalebis, the boy assumes a certain importance. Which lines from the text indicate that ?

Answer : “If children could be elected to the Assembly, my success would have been assured that day.

Because one little signal from my jalebi wielding hand and the mob would have been willing to kill and get killed for me.”

Question 6 : What were the contents of the boy’s bag, when he was expecting God to have put for rupees in it?

Answer : The boy realised that God hadn’t put money in his bag. All that he had in his bag were a few textbooks and notebooks, one pencil, one sharpener and an Id card his mamu had sent him last year.

Short Questions

Question 1 : What all prayers did the boy promise to offer God?

Answer : The boy promised to offer Namzza, recite ten surats, Ayat-al-Kursi, Kalma-e-Tayyab and in fact everything he remembered in order to attain four rupees from God. When his various attempts failed, he even decided to do wazu, wear clean clothes and read namaaz from morning to noon.

Question 2 : How does the boy escape from the punishment for not having paid the fees?

Answer : On not being able to pay the fees, the boy feared the cane of Master Ghulam Mohammed. He left the school after recess, the time decided for collection of fees.

The next day, he left home for school but never went there, fearing punishment. On third day, too, he decided to do the same.

Question 3 : What did the oldest coin mean by, “kissa khatam, paisa hazam”?

Answer : The oldest coin was trying to persuade the boy to spend the coins on buying jalebis. It was trying to argue that he could buy jalebis with the fees money and pay fees with the scholarship money and that would be the end of the story, “kiss khatam, paisa hazam”.

Question 4 : “The coins were so eager to be spent that day.” Do you agree?

Answer : No. The truth is that the coins don’t speak. It is the boy’s greed and temptation to devour the hot, fresh and sugar syrupy jalebis that was becoming uncontrollable. All the arguments presented by the coins, in fact, was the debate going on in the mind of the boy.

Long Questions

Question 1 : Describe the tone of the second encounter between the boy and the halwai.

Answer : Not having been able to pay the fees, the boy left the school after the recess and came back when the school was going to get over to walk down home with the other children. On being asked by the halwai if he wanted to buy jalebis even today, the boy felt like telling him that he wanted to roast his liver and eat, instead. The boy was full of regret and anger which got reflected in their second meeting.

Question 2 : Describe the various metaphors employed in the story.

Answer : The story employs quite a few metaphors. The jablebis, hot and syrupy , stand as a metaphor for various temptations that young children could have. The boy is lured by the prospect of buying of buying jalebis with his fees money. The four coins, similarly, are metaphors in the story.

The noises produced by the coins, their jingle and clamour, is representative of the mental conflict going on in the boy’s mind. He was unable to control his temptation. Therefore, the ‘talking coins’, on whom he transfers the onus of his temptation.

Value Based Questions

Question 1 : What important lesson did the boy learn, with respect to money?

Answer : The boy had been warned by his elders never to misuse the fees money. Despite that , he spends the fees money on jalebis. The lesson he learns is that he should never misuse the funds and money for which his parents have worked hard to earn. Also, he learns that one can never be too sure of his circumstances.

The fate has its own role to play. Therefore, the scholarship money that he used to get every month was so late in coming on that particular day when he had already spent his fees money.