Flamingo Book Chap 6 - Poets and Pancakes Important Question Answers

CBSE Class 12 English Lesson 6 Poets and Pancakes Question Answers (Important) from Flamingo Book

Class 12 English Poets and Pancakes Question AnswersLooking for Poets and Pancakes questions and answers (NCERT solutions) for CBSE Class 12 English Flamingo Book Chapter 6? Look no further! Our comprehensive compilation of important questions will help you brush up on your subject knowledge. Practising Class 12 English question answers can significantly improve your performance in the board exam. Our solutions provide a clear idea of how to write the answers effectively. Improve your chances of scoring high marks by exploring Chapter 6: Poets and Pancakes questions and answers now. The questions listed below are based on the latest CBSE exam pattern, wherein we have given NCERT solutions to the chapter’s extract based questions, multiple choice questions, short answer questions, and long answer questions

 Also, practising with different kinds of questions can help students learn new ways to solve problems that they may not have seen before. This can ultimately lead to a deeper understanding of the subject matter and better performance on exams. 




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Poets and Pancakes NCERT Solution

1. What does the writer mean by ‘the fiery misery’ of those subjected to make-up’?

Ans. By ‘the fiery misery’ of those subjected to make-up, the writer is trying to throw light upon the difficulties actors and actresses have to face because of half a dozen mirrors surrounded with large light bulbs. The bulbs generated a lot of heat and were definitely not a pleasure for the eyes.

2. What is the example of national integration that the author refers to?

Ans At first, a Bengali was the head of the make-up studio but then he outgrew Gemini Studios and left it for better opportunities. After him, it was supervised by a Maharashtrian who was assisted by a Dharwar Kannadiga, an Andhra, a Madras Indian Christian, an Anglo-Burmese and the usual local Tamils. The fact that people from different cultures worked together puts forward the post-independence national integration scenario. It shows that people were united way before All India Radio and Doordarshan raised the concept.

3. What work did the ‘office boy’ do in the Gemini Studios? Why did he join the studios? Why was he disappointed?

Ans. The ‘office boy’ had the duty of slapping paints on the faces of players at the time of crowd-shooting. He joined Gemini Studios with a dream of becoming a first-rate actor, screen-writer or producer.

4. Why did the author appear to be doing nothing at the studios?

Ans. The author’s job was to cut and collect newspaper clippings or sometimes even writing them by hand. This was easier and lesser in comparison to what others were doing at the Studio.

5. Why was the office boy frustrated? Who did he show his anger on?

Ans. The office boy was frustrated because he thought his literary talent was going wasted in a room full of barbers and make-up artists. He somehow managed to deviate his anger on Subbu.

6. Who was Subbu’s principal?

Ans. The Boss, SS Vasan, who was also the founder of Gemini Studios, was Subbu’s principal

7. Subbu is described as a many-sided genius. List four of his special abilities.

Ans. Subbu, as a man of many qualities, had the ability to look cheerful at all times, was an excellent actor who could portray his roles in several ways, was an accomplished poet, and loved anyone he met.

8. Why was the legal adviser referred to as the opposite by others?

Ans. The legal adviser was referred to as the opposite by others because he once resorted to blackmailing an actress by recording her while she was throwing tantrums on the set. This is not considered to be legal, thus he was usually called the opposite.

9. What made the lawyer stand out from the others at Gemini Studios?

Ans. Gemini Studios was filled with dreamers and creative personnel. A lawyer in between them was the only man with logic. The writer calls him a ‘neutral’ man.

10. Did the people at Gemini Studios have any particular political affiliations?

Ans. No, although they dressed up in Khadi, they did not have the slightest political affiliations.

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11. Why was the Moral Rearmament Army welcomed at the Studios?

Ans. Frank Buchman’s Moral Re-Armament army was welcomed at the studio mainly because of their political association. The MRA came as a welcome change to their monotonous days at the studio.

12. Name one example to show that Gemini studios was influenced by the plays staged by MRA.

Ans. Frank Buchman’s Moral Rearmament Army staged two plays“Jotham Valley” and The Forgotten Factor” in a most professional manner. The Gemini family of 600 and the people of Madras city watched them times and again.

13. Who was The Boss of Gemini Studios?

Ans. SS Vasan was The Boss of Gemini Studios.

14. What caused the lack of communication between the Englishman and the people at Gemini Studios?

Ans. The British accent of the Englishman caused lack of communication between him and the people at Gemini Studios.

15. Why is the Englishman’s visit referred to as an unexplained mystery?

Ans. The Englishman’s visit to the Gemini Studios is referred to as anunexplained mystery because no one could decipher his identity, whether he was a poet or an editor. Besides, when he spoke, no one at the studio understood what he intended to say as his accent was beyond their comprehension.

16. Who was the English visitor to the studios?

Ans. Stephen Spender

17. How did the author discover who the English visitor to the studios was?

Ans. Before investing money in participating in a short story contest organized by an English periodical- The Encounter, the author did a research on the magazine. He went to the British Council Library where, while going through an issue of that periodical, he discovered that its editor was Stephen Spender, the poet that had once visited the studio.

18. What does The God that Failed refer to?

Ans. The God that Failed refers to a collection of essays by six authors who wrote about their journey into Communism, one of them being Stephen Spender.

19. The author has used gentle humour to point out human foibles. Pick out instances of this to show how this serves to make the piece interesting.

Ans. The author portrays the make-up artists and the usage of the pancakes in an interesting way. Even the caricature of Subbu is hilarious. The way he tries to help his principal is quite amusing. The episode of the legal adviser that inadvertently causes the end of an actress’s career is yet another example. The frustration of the office boy, the superficial praising of Gandhi, hatred of Communism and the ‘mystery’ surrounding Stephen Spender are some of the instances where the author has incorporated gentle humour.

20. Why was Kothamangalam Subbu considered No. 2 in Gemini Studios?

Ans. Kothamangalam Subbu was succesful in securing the place closest to The Boss by means of flattery. He was not brilliant but a rather cheerful person and loyal to The Boss. He offered solutions whenever The Boss was in a fix. Thus, the staff considered him No.2 in Gemini Studios.

21. How does the author describe the incongruity of an English poet addressing the audience at Gemini Studios?

Ans. The English poet was addressing the Tamil audience at Gemini Studios in English with a typical provincial accent. He was talking about the thrills and travails of an English poet to a dazed and silent audience. This was the incongruity because his audience could not understand him at all.

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22. What do you understand about the author’s literary inclinations from the account?

Ans. The writer was a prose-writer. He wanted to send a short story for the short story contest organized by a British periodical by the name ‘The Encounter’.


Class 12 English Poets and Pancakes Question Answers Lesson 6 – Extract Based Questions

Extract-based questions are of the multiple-choice variety, and students must select the correct option for each question by carefully reading the passage.

. His success in films overshadowed and dwarfed his literary achievements-or so his critics felt. He composed several truly original ‘story poems’ in folk refrain and diction and also wrote a sprawling novel Thillana Mohanambal with dozens of very deftly etched characters. He quite successfully recreated the mood and manner of the Devadasis of the early 20th century. He was an amazing actor-he never aspired to the lead roles-but whatever subsidiary role he played in any of the films, he performed better than the supposed main players. He had a genuine love for anyone he came across and his house was a permanent residence for dozens of near and far relations and acquaintances. (CBSE QB, 2021)

1 Which of these statements is NOT TRUE about Subbu?
A) His literary accomplishments stole the limelight from his films.
B) He was a gifted poet and writer and his literary works were noteworthy.
C) He was selfless in nature and was empathetic towards others.
D) He never hankered after lead roles and performed minor roles in films.
Ans. A) His literary accomplishments stole the limelight from his films.

2 The word ‘sprawling’ has been used with the word ‘novel’. Pick the option with which the word ‘sprawling’ CANNOT be used.
A) metropolis
B) handwriting
C) campus
D) portrait
Ans. D) portrait

3 The phrase ‘deftly etched’ shows that Subbu
A) created the roles delicately.
B) was skilful in creating the characters.
C) pondered beyond necessity about the characters.
D) gave very little thought to the characters
Ans. B) was skilful in creating the characters.

4 Pick the option that best describes Subbu according to the extract

1. benevolent
2. powerful
3. accomplished
4. witty
5. generous
6. temperamental

A) 4, 5 & 6
B) 2, 3 & 4
C) 1,3 & 5
D) 3 ,4 & 6
Ans. C) 1,3 & 5


B. Barring the office boys and a couple of clerks, everybody else at the Studios radiated leisure, a prerequisite for poetry. Most of them wore khadi and worshiped Gandhiji but beyond that they had not the faintest appreciation for political thought of any kind. Naturally, they were all averse to the term ‘Communism’. A communist was a godless man-he had no filial or conjugal love; he had no compunction about killing his own parents or his children; he was always out to cause and spread unrest and violence among innocent and ignorant people. Such notions, which prevailed everywhere else in South India at that time also, naturally, floated about vaguely among the khadi-clad poets of Gemini Studios. Evidence of it was soon forthcoming. (CBSE QB, 2021)

1 Pick the option that uses the same figure of speech as ‘A communist is a godless man.’
A) She is as determined as Gandhi when it is a fight against injustice.
B) She is a Gandhi when she raises her voice against ‘hinsa’ or violence.
C) She, like Gandhi, feels that the earth is crying for deliverance.
D) She lives a life of opulence and calls herself a follower of Gandhi.
Ans. B) She is a Gandhi when she raises her voice against ‘hinsa’ or violence.

2 Based on the extract, choose the correct option with reference to the two statements given below.
Statement 1: At Gemini Studios, the poets had a profound knowledge about Communists.
Statement 2: Communists were responsible for anarchy and discontent in the country.

A) Statement 1 is true but Statement 2 is false.
B) Statement 1 is false but Statement 2 is true.
C) Both Statement 1 and Statement 2 cannot be inferred.
D) Both Statement 1 and Statement 2 can be inferred
Ans. D) Both Statement 1 and Statement 2 can be inferred

3 Why do you think leisure is a prerequisite for poetry?
A) Poetry means freedom of expression.
B) One can enjoy poetry when there’s free time.
C) In order to write poetry, one needs free time.
D) Poetry means freedom from work.
Ans. C) In order to write poetry, one needs free time.

4 Asokamitran says that leisure is a prerequisite for poetry. He says this because poets
A) need to relax for a period of time before composing lines.
B) maintain a leisurely pace in all tasks they do.
C) are creative and need to have free time to weave their thoughts.
D) begin poetic compositions in a rushed way and end in a relaxed manner.
Ans. C) are creative and need to have free time to weave their thoughts.


C. A girl from the countryside, she hadn’t gone through all the stages of worldly experience that generally precede a position of importance and sophistication that she had found herself catapulted into. She never quite recovered from the terror she felt that day. That was the end of a brief and brilliant acting career — the legal adviser, who was also a member of the Story Department, had unwittingly brought about that sad end. While every other member of the Department wore a kind of uniform — khadi dhoti with a slightly oversized and clumsily tailored white khadi shirt — the legal adviser wore pants and a tie and sometimes a coat that looked like a coat of mail. Often, he looked alone and helpless … (CBSE Sample Question Paper 2022)

1 Select the option that completes the given sentence appropriately.
‘Stages of worldly experience’ in the given context would refer to .
A. good education to gain knowledge.
B. situations that require one to be street smart.
C. smaller, not so important roles in acting.
D. training in soft skills.
Ans. B. situations that require one to be street smart.

2 Select the suitable word from the extract to complete the following analogy: sealed: closed :: propelled:___________
Ans. catapulted

3 Select the correct option to fill in the blank. The harm done to the actress was a/an_________
A. well-planned act.
B. unintentional act.
C. act of jealousy.
D. act of male dominance.
Ans. B. unintentional act.

4 Based on the above extract, choose the statement that is TRUE for the legal adviser.
A. He disliked the actress from the countryside.
B. He acted after thinking through things carefully.
C. He did not gel well with others in the Department.
D. He was always dressed smartly.
Ans. C. He did not gel well with others in the Department.

5 Identify the textual clue that allows the reader to infer that the writer is sympathetic towards the professional fate of the actor. (Clue: a phrase)
Ans.textual clue that allows the reader to infer that the writer is sympathetic towards the professional fate of the actor is “sad end”.

6 Complete the sentence with an appropriate explanation, as per the extract.
The writer uses the word ‘uniform’ to refer to the outfits of the Department members because just like a uniform____________. 

Ans. The writer uses the word ‘uniform’ to refer to the outfits of the Department members because just like a uniform is a common dress code for all, similarly, their apparel/dress was nearly the same- loose khadi shirt/khadi dhoti.


D. Subbu was the No. 2 at Gemini Studios. He couldn’t have had a more encouraging opening in films than our grown-up make-up boy had. On the contrary he must have had to face more uncertain and difficult times, for when he began his career, there were no firmly established film producing companies or studios. Even in the matter of education, specially formal education, Subbu couldn’t have had an appreciable lead over our boy. But by virtue of being born a Brahmin a virtue, indeed! he must have had exposure to more affluent situations and people. He had the ability to look cheerful at all times even after having had a hand in a flop film. He always had to work for somebody.

1 Why was Subbu considered No.2 at Gemini Studios?
A) Owing to his flattering of boss
B) Owing to his talent
C) Owing to his being Brahmin
D) All of these
Ans. B) Owing to his talent

2 Find out the antonym of the word ‘Affluent’ from the following?
A) Rich
B) Poor
C) Balanced
D) None of these
Ans. B) Poor

3 Which of the following adjectives suits Subbu?
A) Cheerful
B) Helping
C) Resourceful
D) All of these
Ans. D) All of these

4 Who was more talented than Subbu according to Asokamitran?
A) Lawyer
B) Office boy
C) Stephen Spender
Ans. B) Office boy


E. The lawyer was also officially known as the legal adviser, but everybody referred to him as the opposite. An extremely talented actress, who was also extremely temperamental, once blew over on the sets. While everyone stood stunned, the lawyer quietly switched on the recording equipment. When the actress paused for breath, the lawyer said to her, “One minute, please,” and played back the recording. There was nothing incriminating or unmentionably foul about the actress’s tirade against the producer. But when she heard her voice again through the sound equipment, she was struck dumb.

1 Foul here means-
A) smelling bad
B) bad
C) illegal
D) None of these
Ans. B) bad

2 What happened to the actress on the set?
A) She started hugging others
B) She got happy after her voice was recorded
C) She got angry
D) None of these
Ans. C) She got angry

3 Who recorded the actress’s voice?
A) Asokamitran
C) Lawyer
D) None of these
Ans. C) Lawyer

4 What happened when the actress heard her voice again?
A) She got dumbstruck
B) She got speechless
C) She got shocked
D) All of these
Ans. D) All of these


F. The great prose-writers of the world may not admit it, but my conviction grows stronger day after day that prose writing is not and cannot be the true pursuit of a genius. It is for the patient, persistent, persevering drudge with a heart so shrunken that nothing can break it; rejection slips don’t mean a thing to him; he at once sets about making a fresh copy of the long prose piece and sends it on to another editor enclosing postage for the return of the manuscript. It was for such people that The Hindu had published a tiny announcement in an insignificant corner of an unimportant page — a short story contest organised by a British periodical by the name The Encounter. Of course, The Encounter wasn’t a known commodity among the Gemini literati. I wanted to get an idea of the periodical before I spent a considerable sum in postage sending a manuscript to England. In those days, the British Council Library had an entrance with no long winded signboards and notices to make you feel you were sneaking into a forbidden area. And there were copies of The Encounter lying about in various degrees of freshness, almost untouched by readers. When I read the editor’s name, I heard a bell ringing in my shrunken heart. It was the poet who had visited the Gemini Studios — I felt like I had found a long lost brother and I sang as I sealed the envelope and wrote out his address.

1. Find a synonym of belief
Ans. Conviction

2. State true or false-
The staff at Gemini studios knew about the periodical named The Encounter.
Ans. False

3. What is a forbidden area?
a. Religious place
b. No entry area
c. High security zone
d. Court room
Ans. b

4. What does it mean by “there were copies of The Encounter lying about in various degrees of freshness”?
Ans. There were numerous copies of the periodical – The Encounter. Some had been read many times while some had not been read as many times. So some looked fresher than the others.

5. Who was the editor of The Encounter?
a. Asokamitran
b. Subbu
c. Stephen Spender
d. Vasan
Ans. c


G. It was obvious that he too knew precious little about the poet (or the editor). The speech was all in the most general terms but here and there it was peppered with words like ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’. Then the poet spoke. He couldn’t have addressed a more dazed and silent audience — no one knew what he was talking about and his accent defeated any attempt to understand what he was saying. The whole thing lasted about an hour; then the poet left and we all dispersed in utter bafflement — what are we doing? What is an English poet doing in a film studio which makes Tamil films for the simplest sort of people? People whose lives least afforded them the possibility of cultivating a taste for English poetry? The poet looked pretty baffled too, for he too must have felt the sheer incongruity of his talk about the thrills and travails of an English poet. His visit remained an unexplained mystery.

1. Find a synonym of sprayed
Ans. Peppered

2. Why was the audience dazed and silent?
a. They were sleepy
b. They could not understand
c. they were angry
d. They were forced to attend
Ans. b

3. Find a synonym of confusion
Ans. Bafflement

4. State true or false-
No one knew the purpose of the poet’s visit
Ans. True


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H. In those days I worked in a cubicle, two whole sides of which were French windows. (I didn’t know at that time they were called French windows.) Seeing me sitting at my desk tearing up newspapers day in and day out, most people thought I was doing next to nothing. It is likely that the Boss thought likewise too. So anyone who felt I should be given some occupation would barge into my cubicle and deliver an extended lecture. The ‘boy’ in the make-up department had decided I should be enlightened on how great literary talent was being allowed to go waste in a department fit only for barbers and perverts. Soon I was praying for crowd-shooting all the time. Nothing short of it could save me from his epics.

1. State true or false-
There were windows on two sides of the room
Ans. True

2. Did the boss think that the author did a lot of work?
Ans. No, the boss thought that the author was doing next to nothing

3. Find a synonym of rush
Ans. Barge

4. Why would people deliver an extended lecture?
Ans. They thought that the author did nothing and so, if they had any work for him, they would enter his room and give instructions like a lecture.

5. Why does the author say that he prayed for crowd shootings?
Ans. On days of crowd shootings, the office boy would get busy doing the make up of the crowd and the author would not have to listen to his stories.


Class 12 English Poets and Pancakes Question Answers (including questions from Previous Years Question Papers)


In this post we are also providing important short answer questions from the Chapter Poets and Pancakes for CBSE Class 12 Boards in the coming session. These questions have been taken from previous years class 12 Board exams and the year is mentioned in the bracket along with the question.

Q1. What kind of effect does Asokamitran’s style of writing have on the reader? (CBSE QB, 2021)
Ans. His works are distinguished by their simplicity and clarity of thought, and they are based on his professional and personal experiences. The majority of his stories are about middle-class people. As a result, he was able to touch the hearts and minds of countless readers both at home and abroad. His skill and imagination as a creative writer have led several generations of Tamil readers to a greater understanding of their plight in today’s world and, ultimately, a reflective assertion of their own humanity.

Q2. Discuss the significance of the make-up room in the chapter, ‘Poets and Pancakes’. (CBSE QB, 2021)
Ans. A Bengali was the head of the make-up studio at first, but he outgrew Gemini Studios and moved on to better opportunities. Ans was in charge after him. A Maharashtrian led the charge, with help from a Dharwar Kannadiga, an Andhra, a Madras Indian Christian, an Anglo-Burmese, and the usual local Tamils. The fact that people from various cultures collaborated promotes the post-independence national integration scenario. It demonstrates how people came together.

Q3. ‘In all instances of frustration, you will always find the anger directed towards a single person openly or covertly…’ Do you think it is right to direct our anger towards someone who is not responsible for the cause of anger? Justify. (CBSE QB, 2021)
Ans. No, it is not appropriate to direct our rage at someone who is not the source of our rage. We become angry when we encounter roadblocks on our path to growth, when someone challenges our authority, when someone mocks us and our self-esteem suffers, or when things are simply not the way we want them to be. Weaker people become the target for our rage because it is assumed they will not retaliate.
However, this is a bad practice, and one should try to control one’s anger to the greatest extent possible.

Q4. The people left in ‘utter bafflement’ after the English poet’s speech. Mention two things the speaker could have kept in mind before addressing an audience to avoid such a reaction. Give your rationale for it. (CBSE QB, 2021)
Ans. Stephen Spender was summoned to the Gemini Studios to speak with the staff about Communism, but what he said was about his struggles as a poet. Regardless of what he said, no one seemed to be listening. When Spender realized that his audience had not followed his talk, he came to a halt in humiliation at having given a speech to a deaf audience, while the Gemini staff dispersed in humiliation because Spender’s accent had failed them.
So the speaker should have anticipated the audience’s interest and spoken accordingly.

Q5. Why was the Moral Re-armament Army welcomed at the Gemini Studios? (2010 Outside Delhi; 2011 Outside Delhi)
Ans. The Moral Re-armament Army was a sort of anti-International Communist movement. Mr. Vasan, the CEO of Gemini Studios, literally played right into their hands. People at Gemini Studios were opposed to communism. So the Moral Re-armament Army couldn’t have asked for a better host in India than the Gemini Studios, which welcomed them with open arms.

Q6. Give one example to show that Gemini Studios was influenced by the plays staged by MRA. (2010 Outside Delhi)
Ans. ‘Jotham Valley’ and ‘The Forgotten Factor’ were staged by the MRA. These were delivered in the most professional manner possible. Because of the fantastic sets and costumes, the Gemini family of 600 people saw these plays several times. For years, the Gemini Studios imitated the ‘Jotham Valley’ sets and costumes. Also for some years almost all Tamil plays had a scene of sunrise and sunset in the manner of ‘Jotham Valley’.

Q7. How did the people of Madras and those at Gemini Studios respond to the plays staged by the Moral Re-Armament Army? (2010 Outside Delhi )
Ans. The Moral Re-Armament Army performed two plays, ‘Jotham Valley’ and ‘The Forgotten Factor,’ in an extremely professional manner. Gemini Studios employees saw the plays numerous times. Though the message was simple, the costumes and sets were excellent. These plays were performed several times in Madras and had a significant impact on the studios and Madras in general. For many years, almost all Tamil plays imitated the scenes of ‘Jotham Valley’ at sunrise and sunset.

Q8. Account for Subbus importance in Gemini Studios. (2009 Outside Delhi)
Ans. Subbu was an all-around genius. He was a great poet, writer, and actor. He gave Gemini Studios a new meaning and direction, as well as the art of filmmaking, by channeling all of his energy and creativity into the company’s benefit. Furthermore, almost everyone admired him for his noble and charitable nature.

Q9. Who was Subbu’s enemy? Why? (2008 Delhi)
Ans. The ‘boy’ in the make-up department was Subbu’s adversary. His rage and frustration were directed at him. Subbu, the boy was convinced, was the source of his woes and miseries. This ‘boy’ was envious of Subbu’s rising stars, success, and closeness to the boss.

Q10. What does Asokamitran’s narrative in Poets and Pancakes demonstrate about Subbu? (CBSE Sample Paper 2022)
Ans. In “Poets and Pancakes,” Asokamitran’s narrative delves into the character of Subbu, a young writer working for a magazine in Chennai. The story depicts Subbu’s struggles with creative expression and the pressures of the literary establishment through his experiences.
Subbu is portrayed in the story as a talented but insecure writer who frequently clashes with the conservative and commercially-driven ethos of his magazine. The story reveals the complexity of Subbu’s character and the conflicting motivations that drive him through his encounters with other writers and editors.


Class 12 Poets and Pancakes Long Answer Questions Chapter 6


Q1. Author has used gentle and subtle humor to point out human foibles and idiosyncrasies in the lesson ‘ Poets and Pancakes’. Elucidate.(CBSE Sample Paper 2019)
Ans. This piece contains several instances of gentle humor. The description of the make-up department consuming truckloads of pancakes (which they did not eat, of course) is particularly intriguing. The make-up room, complete with mirrors and lights, resembled a hair salon. Because there was a gang of people from different parts of India, the make-up department was a symbol of national integration. This gang of nationally recognised make-up artists could transform any decent-looking person into a hideous crimson-colored monster. The task of making actors look ugly was assigned to a strict hierarchy in the make-up department.
There was a young man in the office (though he was not a boy but a grown up man of forty). He had joined the Studios years before in the hopes of becoming a famous actor, screenwriter, director, or lyricist. He came to the author to inform him of how great literary talent was being squandered. The author, on the other hand, prayed for a crowd, shooting all the time to get rid of a genius of a bore.

Q2. Why is Subbu described as a many-sided genius? Give a reasoned answer. (2013 Comptt. Outside Delhi)
Ans. The author depicts a caricature of the so-called “go-getters” who are not actually talented but manage to create an aura of talent around themselves through the character of Kothamangalam Subbu. Though he worked in the Story Department at Gemini Studios, he was always with the boss. Subbu uses all of his energy and creativity to benefit his boss. He successfully delves into the various spheres of filmmaking, giving the impression of being a brilliant storyteller, a talented actor, and a man who is always ready with numerous solutions to any problem. He makes the art of filmmaking appear simple to his boss.
Thus, Subbu, with his cunning, exploits his boss’s gullibility and presents himself as a multi-faceted genius with multi-faceted abilities.

Q3. Subbu was ‘tailor-made for films’. How did he use his genius in various activities in the Gemini Studios? (2008 Outside Delhi)
Ans. Subbu is portrayed by the author as a man with diverse abilities who can successfully delve into various aspects of filmmaking. Subbu had mastered all aspects of filmmaking, from storyboarding to poetry and character development. He had been ‘tailor-made’ for filmmaking. Filmmaking appeared to be rather simple with an expert like Subbu walking around, as he understood all of the minutiae and technicalities of filmmaking. Subbu was the one who gave the Gemini Studios a “new direction and definition” during its golden years. Subbu focused all of his energy and creativity on his boss, Mr. Vasan.
If his boss was unhappy with one scene, Subbu would offer him several alternatives. He was familiar with all of the complexities of filmmaking and could demonstrate his talent in any artistic arena.

Q4. How was the Moral Re-Armament Army welcomed at the Gemini Studios? (2008 Outside Delhi)
Ans. In 1952, Frank Buchman’s Moral Re-Armament Army, consisting of 200 people from twenty different nationalities, paid a visit to Madras. The MRA was seen as a counter-movement to international communism, and the Gemini Studios did not hold communism or communists in high regard. But because Mr. Vasan, the boss at Gemini Studios, was fascinated by the MRA, they couldn’t have found a “warmer” host than Gemini Studios in India. The MRA performed two plays, ‘Jotham Valley’ and ‘The Forgotten Factor,’ in a professional manner. Six hundred Gemini Studios patrons saw the plays several times. Although the messages in these plays were simple, the sets and costumes were of the highest quality.
Both the Tamil drama community and Gemini Studios were impressed. The sunrise and sunset scenes from ‘Jotham Valley’ were copied for years.

Q5.‘Subbu was a troubleshooter.’ Do you agree with this statement? Give an account of Subbu’s qualities of head and heart. (2012 Outside Delhi)
Ans. Subbu was a self-centered go-getter whose subservience brought him close to his boss and propelled him to the number two position at Gemini Studios. He was a cunning individual who preyed on his boss’s gullibility and portrayed himself as competent and capable. Despite the fact that he was undeserving and lacked talent, he always maintained a positive attitude and refused to let anything dampen his spirits. He had something nice to say about everyone. With an expert like Subbu around, filmmaking appeared to be simple. He put all of his energy and creativity to work for his boss.
Subbu was also a fantastic poet and actor. He wrote truly original poems for the masses, and as an actor, he was better at playing secondary roles than the main actors. His adoration for his boss earned him enemies. He also enraged many of these people, who saw themselves as far more talented and deserving than him.

Q6. What political significance does Gemini Studios’ invitation to Moral Re-Armament army and Stephen Spender show? (2012 Outside Delhi)
Ans. The Moral Re-Armament army was a counter-movement to Communism, and the Gemini Studios had a natural dislike for Communists and Communism. They believed that the Communists’ goal was to sow discord and violence. By acting as a “warm host” to the Moral Re-Armament army, the Gemini Studios demonstrated a counter-movement to Communism’s ideas. The Gemini Studios invited Stephen Spender to highlight how a renowned English poet, who was once attracted to Communism, was later completely disillusioned by it. This fueled their antipathy towards Communism, which they were able to publicly express.

Q7. What was the Moral Rearmament Army? Describe their visit to the Gemini Studios.
Ans. In 1952, Frank Buchman’s Moral Rearmament Army paid a visit to the Gemini Studios. It was a theater company. In reality, it was an anti-international communist movement. It had 200 participants and was billed as an international circus. The players were from twenty different countries.They performed two plays in the most professional manner possible. The plays were simple homilies with fantastic costumes and sets. Their play, “Jotham Valley,” made an impression on the Tamil theater. For years, they imitated sunrise and sunset scenes in their own unique way. The scenes were performed on a bare stage with a white backdrop and a flute tune.
Though the MRA was anti-communist, and anti-communist sentiment existed at the Studios, the arrival of the MRA had no effect on the bosses’ attitude; their businesses continued as usual.

Q8.The ‘office boy’ of the Gemini Studios was not as blessed as Subbu. Explain.
Ans. According to the hierarchy in the make-up room, the ‘office boy’ was the junior-most and thus was in charge of the make-up of the players who played the crowd. He wasn’t exactly a ‘boy;’ he was in his early forties and had started working in the studios years before in the hopes of becoming a star actor, screenwriter, director, or lyrics writer. The ‘boy’ felt that his great literary talent was being squandered in a department reserved for barbers and perverts.
Subbu, on the other hand, had risen to the position of No. 2 at Gemini Studios solely because he was a Brahmin. He’d started out as a make-up artist in the movies.He must have had to deal with more uncertainty and difficulty because there were no well-established film producing companies or studios when he began his career.

Q9. After reading this story, you are impressed by the author’s use of gentle humor to point out human foibles. Evaluate whether using such humor contributes towards bringing about change in people’s attitude and accepting their foibles. (CBSE QB,2021)
Ans. Asokamitran employs subtle humor and satire in the chapter ‘Poets and Pancakes’ to highlight human foibles. Petty professional differences and insignificant differences not only keep our minds occupied, but they also bring out a subtle humor that is spontaneous but not superfluous. Subbu, the office boy, and the legal advisor are all played with a sense of humor. Asokamitran’s chatty demeanor quickly shifts from one thought to the next. For example, he mocks the makeup used by artists, which can transform any normal-looking person into a hideous crimson-colored monster. Such references make people laugh.
Everyone is perplexed by the Moral Rearmament Army’s and the English poet’s visits. Satire is also directed at those who are opposed to communism and will go to any length to oppose it. The writer’s tone of mockery is devoid of any trace of mockery, which is admirable.
In most cases, an individual’s use of such humor does not contribute to changing people’s attitudes and accepting their flaws. Instead, it is shame or embarrassment that causes emotional or mental distress. As a result, it causes more harm than good.

Q10. Imagine Asokamitran witnesses a film shooting and visits a film set of present day Bollywood. As Asokamitran wrote a diary entry penning down the transformation you notice between film making of yesteryears and today. (CBSE QB,2021)

XX May, 20XX
Dear Diary,                                                                                                                8 p.m.
I went to Gemini Studios today and was completely taken aback. There has never been a better time for aspiring filmmakers than now. Previously, films were stored in the form of negatives, which required a lot of space, infrastructure, and money. There have been instances where copies of films were destroyed due to natural and man-made disasters. We can now write off the loss of a cinema print as a thing of the past. The process of showing a movie has become simpler and less expensive. As a result, releasing a film across the country at the same time has become commonplace. Previously, analogue prints had to be physically delivered to various locations across the country.
As a result, not every location in the country had simultaneous access to a movie. Moviegoers had to wait months to see a highly anticipated film. Digital prints can now be sent via the infinitely simpler electronic route. Another significant benefit of cinema digitization has been in post-production. Computerized non-linear editing has increased flexibility and produced better results. Viewers’ cinematic experiences have been transformed by the use of Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), and advanced Visual Effects (VFX).
There is no reason why the final product cannot be good if the story is good and the execution plan is good. The audio-visual content is no longer consistent.

(Your Signature)


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