By Vaishnavi Tyagi
CBSE Class 11 English Snapshots Book Chapter 3 Ranga’s Marriage Summary, Explanation with video and Question Answers
Ranga’s Marriage – CBSE Class 11 English Snapshots Book Lesson 3 Ranga’s Marriage Summary and Detailed explanation of the Lesson along with the meanings of difficult words.
Also, the explanation is followed by a Summary of the Lesson. All the exercises and Questions and Answers given at the back of the lessons have been covered. Also, Take Free Online MCQs Test for Class 11
Class 11 English (Snapshots book) Chapter 3 Ranga’s Marriage
By Masti Venkatesha Iyengar
- Ranga’s Marriage Introduction
- Ranga’s Marriage Video Explanation
- Ranga’s Marriage Summary
- Ranga’s Marriage Lesson Explanation
- Ranga’s Marriage Question Answers
Ranga’s Marriage Introduction
The story revolves around Ranga, the accountant’s son who got the opportunity to go out of the village to study. The narrator takes you through a journey where he changes Ranga’s perception about marriage, how he staged their union with the help of a Shastri and what role English has played in their village. The entire story involves funny instances and references for the narrator has made sure your mind stays occupied with the story.
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Ranga’s Marriage Class 11 Video Explanation
Ranga’s Marriage Summary
It all begins when Ranga, the accountant’s son comes back to his village Hosahalli after six months. He had gone to Bangalore to pursue his studies, which to mention, not many in the village get this opportunity. The whole village gets excited to see Ranga and thus, they gather around his home only to see how he would have changed.
The narrator has beautifully elaborated about their village Hosahalli and how every authority responsible forgot to mention it in the maps. Moving on, he admires Ranga and wants to get him married but to his dismay, Ranga has very different views about marriage at that point. The Narrator stages the entire union of Ranga and Ratna, Rama Rao’s eleven-year-old niece.
The girl has a very sweet voice and can play Veena and harmonium. At first, the narrator tells him that she is married to see how it affects Ranga. As expected, Ranga was disappointed. The narrator then manipulated the village Shastri to say things in his favor.
He then took Ranga to visit him where he predicted that Ranga has a girl on his mind and her name resembles something found in the ocean. Shyama, the narrator guesses her name to be Ratna but again, she is married. On their way back, they confirmed that Ratna is not married only to find Ranga happy and full of hope.
On the other hand, the Shastri disagreed on having staged anything predetermined. He claims to have said whatever his predictions showed. However, at the end, Ranga and Ratna are happily married with a three- year old son named after the narrator. Ratna is also pregnant with another child. To conclude, the narrator makes sure that he didn’t bore his readers.Class 11 Important Links
Ranga’s Marriage Lesson Explanation
Ranga, the accountant’s son, is one of the rare breeds among the village folk who has been to the city to pursue his studies. When he returns to his village from the city of Bangalore, the crowds mill around his house to see whether he has changed or not. His ideas about marriage are now quite different—or are they?
Rare breed- a person or thing with characteristics that are uncommon among their kind; a rarity
The lesson revolves around Ranga, the village accountant’s son who had just come back from Bangalore. At the news of his arrival, the villagers gather at his home to analyse if he had changed or not and what is his perception about marriage. Everyone was so excited because during those days, not everyone used to get a chance to go to cities for studying.
WHEN you see this title, some of you may ask, “Ranga’s Marriage?” Why not “Ranganatha Vivaha” or “Ranganatha Vijaya?” Well, yes. I know I could have used some other mouth-filling one like “Jagannatha Vijaya” or “Girija Kalyana.” But then, this is not about Jagannatha’s victory or Girija’s wedding. It’s about our own Ranga’s marriage and hence no fancy title. Hosahalli is our village. You must have heard of it. No? What a pity! But it is not your fault. There is no mention of it in any geography book. Those sahibs in England, writing in English, probably do not know that such a place exists, and so make no mention of it. Our own people too forget about it. You know how it is —they are like a flock of sheep. One sheep walks into a pit, the rest blindly follow it. When both, the sahibs in England and our own geographers, have not referred to it, you can not expect the poor cartographer to remember to put it on the map, can you? And so there is not even the shadow of our village on any map
Girija- female (here)
Kalyana- beautiful, lovely,auspicious in Sanskrit
Sahib- a polite title or form of address for a man
Like a flock of sheep- a group of people behaving in the same way or following what others are doing
Cartographer- a person who draws or produces maps
The narrator expects the readers to be questioning the simplicity of the title “Ranga’s Marriage”. He feels readers might be thinking of fancier titles like “Ranganatha Vivaha”,“Ranganatha Vijaya” or “Girija Kalyana”. He clarifies that although he had options of keeping such elaborate names, the reason why he chose the basic and casual one is because the story is about “our Ranga” as in, someone who is very close and dear to him. They live in a village called Hosahalli in Mysore. Not many people know of it and the narrator does not blame them because there is no trace of it in the geography books. Even the Englishmen have no idea about the place but they are also not to blame because our citizens too, are completely ignorant about his village. He refers to the people as “sheep” who blindly follow each other and do not use their logic or brain to justify or invent things. At last, he feels the cartographer is also not to be held responsible. As a result, there is no trace of their village on the map.
Sorry, I started somewhere and then went off in another direction. If the state of Mysore is to Bharatavarsha what the sweet karigadabu is to a festive meal, then Hosahalli is to Mysore State what the filling is to the karigadabu. What I have said is absolutely true, believe me. I will not object to your questioning it but I will stick to my opinion. I am not the only one who speaks glowingly of Hosahalli. We have a doctor in our place. His name is Gundabhatta. He agrees with me. He has been to quite a few places. No, not England. If anyone asks him whether he has been there, he says, “No, annayya , I have left that to you. Running around like a flea-pestered dog, is not for me. I have seen a few places in my time, though.” As a matter of fact, he has seen many.
Karigadabu- a South Indian fried sweet filled with coconut and sugar
Annayya- (in Kannada) a respectful term for an elder
Flea-pestered dog- A flea- pestered dog does not stick to one place but keeps roaming everywhere.Flea-pestered means being infested by fleas and ticks which can cause uncontrollable itching in animals
The narrator feels apologetic for getting carried away and deviating from the topic. He then again throws light upon the significance of the village Hosahalli. He says it is just as important as Mysore is to India, Karigadabu to a festive meal and filling is to Karigadabu. Thus, he can’t highlight its importance any more. Not only him, but the doctor named Gundabhatta feels the same. The doctor has been to many places except England but he still loves Hosahalli. However, an outsider might contest this but the narrator claims to stick to his opinion of the place.
We have some mango trees in our village. Come visit us, and I will give you a raw mango from one of them. Do not eat it. Just take a bite. The sourness is sure to go straight to your brahmarandhra . I once took one such fruit home and a chutney was made out of it. All of us ate it. The cough we suffered from, after that! It was when I went for the cough medicine, that the doctor told me about the special quality of the fruit
Brahmarandhra-(in Kannada) the soft part in a child’s head where skull bones join later. Here, used as an idiomatic expression to convey the extreme potency of sourness. In Sanskrit, “Brahmarandhra” means the hole of Brahman. It is the dwelling house of the human soul.
Then he tells the readers about their special mango trees in the village whose mangoes are famous for their special quality. He once took the fruit at home to make chutney and everyone suffered from a bad cough after eating it. It was only when he went to see the doctor, that he told him about the quality of mangoes of Hosahalli. The narratorasks the readers to take a bite and assures that the sourness of the mango will be felt by them till the top of their head (where Brahmarandhra is located).
Just as the mango is special, so is everything else around our village. We have a creeper growing in the ever-so-fine water of the village pond. Its flowers are a feast to behold. Get two leaves from the creeper when you go to the pond for your bath, and you will not have to worry about not having leaves on which to serve the afternoon meal. You will say I am rambling. It is always like that when the subject of our village comes up. But enough. If any one of you would like to visit us, drop me a line. I will let you know where Hosahalli is and what things are like here. The best way of getting to know a place is to visit it, don’t you agree?
Behold- see or observe (someone or something, especially of remarkable or impressive nature)
Rambling- (of writing or speech) lengthy and confused or inconsequential
Not only the mangoes, everything in and around this village is remarkable. The creeper growing in the pond and its flowers are also special. One can even serve an afternoon meal on its leaves, all you need to do is to grab two leaves when you are on your way to the pond to bathe. After speaking highly of his village, the narrator says if anyone wishes to see for himself/herself, one must contact him. He will help them to reach there. Also, he feels that there is no better way to know a place than to visit it.
What I am going to tell you is something that happened ten years ago. We did not have many people who knew English, then. Our village accountant was the first one who had enough courage to send his son to Bangalore to study. It is different now. There are many who know English. During the holidays, you come across them on every street, talking in English. Those days, we did not speak in English, nor did we bring in English words while talking in Kannada. What has happened is disgraceful, believe me. The other day, I was in Rama Rao’s house when they bought a bundle of firewood. Rama Rao’s son came out to pay for it. He asked the woman, “How much should I give you?” “Four pice,” she said. The boy told her he did not have any “change”, and asked her to come the next morning. The poor woman did not understand the English word “change” and went away muttering to herself. I too did not know. Later, when I went to Ranga’s house and asked him, I understood what it meant.
The narrator then brings about a comparison as to how things were different ten years ago when not many people knew or spoke English. Neither did people send their children to big cities like Bangalore to study. Back then, only the village accountant had the courage to send his son to Bangalore. According to the author, those times were simpler. He justifies his claim by telling an incident where he was at Rama Rao’s house and they had just bought a bundle of firewood from an old lady. Rama told her to come next morning as he did not have any change at the moment. The poor old lady did not know what “change” meant and she went away whispering to herself. Neither did the narrator know its meaning. It was only when he went to Ranga’s house, that he told him.
This priceless commodity, the English language, was not so widespread in our village a decade ago. That was why Ranga’s homecoming was a great event. People rushed to his doorstep announcing, “The accountant’s son has come,” “The boy who had gone to Bangalore for his studies is here, it seems,” and “Come, Ranga is here. Let’s go and have a look.”
However, ten years ago, english was not commonly spoken in this village and when the villagers came to know that Ranga, the accountant’s son was coming home from Bangalore, everyone got excited and rushed to his home to have a glance at him.
Attracted by the crowd, I too went and stood in the courtyard and asked, “Why have all these people come? There’s no performing monkey here.” A boy, a fellow without any brains, said, loud enough for everyone to hear, “What are you doing here, then?” A youngster, immature and without any manners. Thinking that all these things were now of the past, I kept quiet.
Fascinated by all the crowd, the narrator too, went there and asked people as to why they were gathered because he couldn’t see anything entertaining happening there like a monkey performing. A boy “without brains” shouted loud enough for everyone to hear and in a rude way. The narrator called him immature.
Seeing so many people there, Ranga came out with a smile on his face. Had we all gone inside, the place would have turned into what people call the Black Hole of Calcutta. Thank God it did not. Everyone was surprised to see that Ranga was the same as he had been six months ago, when he had first left our village. An old lady who was near him, ran her hand over his chest, looked into his eyes and said, “The janewara is still there. He hasn’t lost his caste.” She went away soon after that. Ranga laughed.
Janewara- (in Kannada) the sacred thread worn by Brahmins
All the people were waiting outside Ranga’s house because the place would look like the “Black Hole of Calcutta” if they all went inside. By saying this, the narrator means that there were so many people that the house would have fallen short to accommodate them all. Thus, Ranga came outside with a smile on his face. Everyone was so amazed to see that Ranga had not changed a bit after he left 6 months ago. An old lady even went to the extent of running her hands through his chest to check for a sacred thread. However, she went away after confirming that he had not forgotten about his caste.
Once they realised that Ranga still had the same hands, legs, eyes and nose, the crowd melted away, like a lump of sugar in a child’s mouth. I continued to stand there.
Also, see – Class 12 English Chapter wise Explanation
After everyone had gone, I asked, “How are you, Rangappa? Is everything well with you?” It was only then that Ranga noticed me. He came near me and did a namaskara respectfully, saying, “I am all right, with your blessings.”
Once the villagers realised that Ranga did not change even after moving to the city, they disappeared as fast as a lump of sugar does in a child’s mouth. The narrator waited till the crowd cleared and asked him about his well-being. Ranga noticed him and replied with full respect in a traditional way. Ranga had not noticed the narrator in the crowd before that moment.
I must draw your attention to this aspect of Ranga’s character. He knew when it would be to his advantage to talk to someone and rightly assessed people’s worth. As for his namaskara to me, he did not do it like any present-day boy—with his head up towards the sun, standing stiff like a pole without joints, jerking his body as if it was either a wand or a walking stick. Nor did he merely fold his hands. He bent low to touch my feet. “May you get married soon,” I said, blessing him. After exchanging a few pleasantries, I left.
Ranga was very well-behaved and well-aware as to who could benefit him. He was one of those who could analyse someone’s worth rightfully. For how he greeted the narrator, he bent low and touched his feet thereby seeking his blessings. It was not the present day namaskara where children would do it casually, it was a proper, traditional one. The narrator blessed him that he might get married soon and then, left.
That afternoon, when I was resting, Ranga came to my house with a couple of oranges in his hand. A generous, considerate fellow. It would be a fine thing to have him marry, settle down and be of service to society, I thought. For a while we talked about this and that. Then I came to the point. “Rangappa, when do you plan to get married?” “I am not going to get married now,” he said. “Why not?” “I need to find the right girl. I know an officer who got married only six months ago. He is about thirty and his wife is twenty-five, I am told. They will be able to talk lovingly to each other. Let’s say I married a very young girl. She may take my words spoken in love as words spoken in anger. Recently, a troupe in Bangalore staged the play Shakuntala. There is no question of Dushyantha falling in love with Shakuntala if she were young, like the present-day brides, is there? What would have happened to Kalidasa’s play? If one gets married, it should be to a girl who is mature. Otherwise, one should remain a bachelor. That’s why I am not marrying now.”
Considerate- thoughtful, concerned
Troupe- a group of dancers, actors or other entertainers who tour to different venues
That afternoon, Ranga visited the author with a few oranges which the narrator thought was quite thoughtful of him. Thinking of how nice Ranga is, the author thought it would be a good deed to have him married to a girl just as nice as him. They chatted for a while and then the narrator asked Ranga about his views on getting married. Ranga expresses that he doesn’t intend on marrying now because he intends on finding the right girl. He cites the example of an officer who got married at the age of thirty to a woman aged twenty-five. Now since these are both adults, they would understand each other’s actions and behaviour. Whereas suppose the narrator finds a girl who is very young, she could misunderstand his words or actions because she is not mature enough. He even mentions the love story of Shakuntala and Dushyantha from Mahabharata and that he would not have fallen in love with Shakuntala if she were too young. In that case, Kalidasa’s play also would have not existed. That is why he intends on staying a bachelor till he finds the right girl.
“Is there any other reason?” “A man should marry a girl he admires. What we have now are arranged marriages. How can one admire a girl with milk stains on one side of her face and wetness on the other, or so young that she doesn’t even know how to bite her fingers?” “One a neem fruit, the other, a bittergourd.” “Exactly!” Ranga said, laughing. I was distressed that the boy who I thought would make a good husband, had decided to remain a bachelor. After chatting for a little longer, Ranga left. I made up my mind right then, that I would get him married.
Rama Rao’s niece, a pretty girl of eleven, had come to stay with him. She was from a big town, so she knew how to play the veena and the harmonium. She also had a sweet voice. Both her parents had died, and her uncle had brought her home. Ranga was just the boy for her, and she, the most suitable bride for him.
Here, the narrator introduces us to a new character in the story named Ratna. She is eleven years old and is Rama Rao’s niece. She had lost both her parents so her uncle brought her from the big town to his home with him. She had a great voice and could play harmonium and veena. The narrator thought that Ranga and Ratna would make a great pair.
Since I was a frequent visitor to Rama Rao’s place, the girl was quite free with me. I completely forgot to mention her name! Ratna, it was. The very next morning I went to their house and told Rama Rao’s wife, “I’ll send some buttermilk for you. Ask Ratna to fetch it.” Ratna came. It was a Friday, so she was wearing a grand saree. I told her to sit in my room and requested her to sing a song. I sent for Ranga. While she was singing the song— Krishnamurthy, in front of my eyes — Ranga reached the door. He stopped at the threshold. He did not want the singing to stop, but was curious to see the singer. Carefully, he peeped in. The light coming into the room was blocked. Ratna looked up and seeing a stranger there, abruptly stopped
Threshold- a strip of wood or stone forming the bottom of a doorway and crossed in entering a house or a room
Ratna was quite familiar with the narrator as he visited Rama’s place frequently. The narrator thought of a plan to introduce Ratna to Ranga. He asked Rama to send Ratna to his place as he wanted to send some buttermilk for them. She came all dressed up. The narrator insisted upon her to sing a song while he sent someone to call Ranga. Just as she was singing, Ranga arrived at the door. Her melancholic voice touched his ears and thus, he did not want to interrupt the singing so he stood at the door. He was curious to see the singer and very cautiously he tried to have a look which disturbed the lighting in the room. On seeing a stranger, Ratna immediately stopped her singing.
Suppose you buy the best quality mango. You eat it slowly, savouring its peel, before biting into the juicy flesh. You do not want to waste any part of it. Before you take another bite, the fruit slips out of your hand and falls to the ground. How do you feel? Ranga’s face showed the same disappointment when the singing stopped. “You sent for me?” he asked as he came in and sat on a chair. Ratna stood at a distance, her head lowered. Ranga repeatedly glanced at her. Once, our eyes met, and he looked very embarrassed. No one spoke for a long while.
The narrator compares Ranga’s situation to the disappointment of dropping a best quality mango on the floor just before having to truly enjoy it. It was as if something great had been stolen before one could fully enjoy it. Ranga asked the narrator why he called for him. Ratna was shy and thus, looked downward whereas Ranga stealthily glanced at her. There was an awkward silence in the room.
“It was my coming in that stopped the singing. Let me leave.” Words, mere words! The fellow said he would leave but did not make a move. How can one expect words to match actions in these days of Kaliyuga? Ratna ran inside, overcome by shyness
After things went a bit awkward, Ranga said that he feels it was his coming that stopped the singing so he must leave. However, he did not. The narrator makes fun of him because he had no intention of going. He jokes about it and says one can not expect actions and words to match in the Kalyuga.
After a while, Ranga asked, “Who is that girl, swami?” “Who’s that inside?” the lion wanted to know. The he-goat who had taken shelter in the temple replied, “Does it matter who I am? I am a poor animal who has already eaten nine lions. I have vowed to eat one more. Tell me, are you male or female?” The lion fled the place in fear, it seems. Like the he-goat, I said, “What does it matter to either of us who she is? I’m already married and you aren’t the marrying kind.”
After a few minutes of awkward silence, Ranga finally asked the narrator about the girl. Now the narrator compares the situation with the infamous story of the he-goat and the lion where he is the he-goat and Ranga, the lion. The narrator replies very cleverly and intends on seeing Ranga’s interest in knowing about Ratna. Thus, he says that who she is, is not of that much importance because he is already married and Ranga doesn’t intend on marrying anytime soon.
Very hopefully, he asked, “She isn’t married, then?” His voice did not betray his excitement but I knew it was there. “She was married a year ago.” His face shrivelled like a roasted brinjal. After a while, Ranga left, saying, “I must go, I have work at home.” I went to our Shastri the next morning and told him, “Keep everything ready to read the stars. I’ll come later.” I tutored him in all that I wanted him to say. I found no change in Ranga when I met him that afternoon. “What’s the matter? You seem to be lost in thought,” I said. “Nothing, nothing’s wrong, believe me.” “Headache? Come, let’s go and see a doctor.”
Betray- portray (here)
Shrivelled- shrunken and wrinkled; especially as a result of loss of moisture
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Hearing the narrator’s reply, Ranga got excited, although he did not show it but was quite evident. Full of hope, he asks if she isn’t married yet to which the narrator replies that she is, probably a year ago. Ranga was disappointed and disheartened. It was clearly all over his face. He went away quoting some work. Our narrator, having staged certain liking in the mind of Ranga for Ratna, went on to complete his play. He went to the village Shastri and told him everything that had to be said and done. Then, he met Ranga that afternoon and he carried the same disappointment on his face. Upon asking if it’s a headache, the narrator tells him that they should go see a doctor.
“I have no headache. I’m my usual self.” “I went through the same thing when the process of choosing a girl for me was going on. But I don’t think that that could be a reason for your present condition.” Ranga stared at me. “Come, let’s go and see Shastri,” I suggested. “We will find out whether Guru and Shani are favourable for you or not.” Ranga accompanied me without any protest. As soon as Shastri saw me, he exclaimed, “What a surprise, Shyama! Haven’t seen you for a long time.”
Ranga insists that everything is fine with him and he is his normal self. Narrator, very wittily, makes a remark that he went through the same feelings when he was seeing girls for himself and immediately mentions that it could not be the reason for Ranga. Furthermore, he suggested that they go see Shastri to see if the stars (Guru for Jupiter and Shani for Saturn) are in their favour. Ranga went with him. On seeing Shastri ji, he implied not having seen the narrator in a long while, which is obviously not true as they had met before, the same morning.
Shyama is none other than your servant, the narrator of this tale. I got angry and shouted, “What? Only this morning…” Shastri completed my sentence, “You finished all your work and are now free to visit me.” Had he not done so, I would have ruined our plan by bursting like grains that are kept in the sun to dry. I was extremely careful of what I said afterwards. Shastri turned to Ranga. “When did the young son of our accountant clerk come home? What can I do for him? It’s very rarely that he visits us.”
Here, the narrator reveals his pet name, Shyama as they called him in the village. The narrator felt that Shastri was lying because they saw each other that morning and thus he immediately responded. However, Shastri completed his sentence and saved the entire situation. Shyama realised what he was just about to do and took extra care from that moment. Shastri continued his role and acted surprised on seeing Ranga.
“Take out your paraphernalia. Our Rangappa seems to have something on his mind. Can you tell us what’s worrying him? Shall we put your science of astrology to the test?” There was authority in my voice as I spoke to Shastri. He took out two sheets of paper, some cowries and a book of palmyra leaves, saying, “Ours is an ancient science, ayya. There’s a story to it… But I won’t tell you that story now. This is not a harikatha which allows you to tell a story within a story… You may get bored. I’ll tell it to you some other time.”
Paraphernalia- trappings associated with a particular institution or activity that are regarded as superfluous
Cowries- a marine mollusc which has a glossy, brightly patterned domed shell with a long, narrow opening
Palmyra- palm tree
Harikatha- Story of Lord
The narrator asks the Shastri to take out all his tools to help solve whatever is going on in Ranga’s mind with full authority. Shastri took out his essentials and told them that this is all ancient science but he won’t recite it now because then they both would get bored but he does intend on telling it some other time.
Shastri moved his lips fast as he counted on his fingers and then asked, “What’s your star?” Ranga didn’t know. “Never mind,” Shastri indicated with a shake of his head. He did some more calculations before saying in a serious tone, “It’s about a girl.” I had been controlling my laughter all this while. But now I burst out laughing. I turned to Ranga. “Exactly what I had said.” “Who is the girl?” It was your humble servant who asked the question.
Shastri moved his lips while counting quickly and asked Ranga about his star which he did not know. Shastri implied that it’s manageable. He appeared to be doing certain calculations. After a moment, he indicated that Ranga has a girl on her mind. Even after trying his best, Shyama could not control his laughter. He thus, posed the question to Shastri asking about the details of the girl.
Shastri thought for a while before replying, “She probably has the name of something found in the ocean.” “Kamala?” “Maybe.”
“Could it be Pachchi, moss?” “Must it be moss if it’s not Kamala? Why not pearl or ratna, the precious stone?” “Ratna? The girl in Rama Rao’s house is Ratna. Tell me, is there any chance of our negotiations bearing fruit?” “Definitely,” he said, after thinking for some time. There was a surprise on Ranga’s face. And some happiness. I noticed it. “But that girl is married…” I said, Then I turned to him. His face had fallen
Shastri thought and thought and replied that the girl is likely to have a name of something found in the ocean. Their guesses include Kamala, Pachchi, moss, pearl and then suddenly Shastri said Ratna. All of it came together now to a girl named Ratna, who is the niece of Rama Rao. That’s it, Ranga was thinking about her only. Ranga was both surprised and happy because Shastri’s predictions were right. He immediately became disappointed when he recalled that she was married.
“I don’t know all that. There may be some other girl who is suitable. I only told you what our shastra indicated,” Shastri said. We left the place. On the way, we passed by Rama Rao’s house. Ratna was standing at the door. I went in alone and came out a minute later.
Shastri said that he did not know all that and there might be another suitable girl. To make it look real, Shastri interfered in their name guessing game and told them that he only told what can be read. Both of them left and crossed Rama Rao’s door where Shyama went to see Ratna for a minute and came back.
“Surprising. This girl isn’t married, it seems. Someone told me the other day that she was. What Shastri told us has turned out to be true after all! But Rangappa, I can’t believe that you have been thinking of her. Swear on the name of Madhavacharya and tell me, is it true what Shastri said?”
I do not know whether anyone else would have been direct. Ranga admitted, “There’s greater truth in that shastra than we imagine. What he said is absolutely true.”
Madhavacharya- an exponent of Vedantic philosophy from South India
When the narrator comes back, he announces that fortunately, Ratna is not married and someone might have wrongly conveyed it to him about that. The narrator expresses his amazement at the fact that he has been thinking about Ratna and asks him to swear upon the truth. To his surprise, Ranga told him the truth that whatever Shastri said is true. His belief in all the Shastras had strengthened.
Shastri was at the well when I went there that evening. I said, “So Shastrigale, you repeated everything I had taught you without giving rise to any suspicion. What a marvellous shastra yours is!” He didn’t like it at all. “What are you saying? What you said to me was what I could have found out myself from the shastras. Don’t forget, I developed on the hints you had given me.” Tell me, is this what a decent man says?
Marvellous- causing great wonder; extraordinary
Shyama went to see Shastri that evening when he was near the well and remarked about how well he did what Shyama told him to. Shastri seemed to not like what the narrator was saying. Thus, he says that whatever he said could very clearly be seen in the Shastras. He completely disagreed with having staged the entire conversation.
Rangappa had come the other day to invite me for dinner. “What’s the occasion?” I asked. “It’s Shyama’s birthday. He is three.” “It’s not a nice name —Shyama,” I said. “I’m like a dark piece of oil-cake. Why did you have to give that golden child of yours such a name? What a childish couple you are, Ratna and you! I know, I know, it is the English custom of naming the child after someone you like… Your wife is eight months pregnant now. Who’s there to help your mother to cook?” “My sister has come with her.” I went there for dinner. Shyama rushed to me when I walked in and put his arms round my legs. I kissed him on his cheek and placed a ring on his tiny little finger.
Now, the narrator takes us a few years forward where Ranga and Ratna are happily married, had a three year old son and Ratna was eight months pregnant.Ranga’s sister had come over to help them. It was Shyama’s birthday! Yes, the couple named their son after the narrator as it is a common foreign tradition to name your child after someone you truly admire. When the narrator went there for dinner, Shyama came running to him only to show his love by holding his leg. The narrator kissed him and gave him a ring.
Allow me to take leave of you, reader. I am always here, ready to serve you. You were not bored, I hope?
The narrator writes an ending note to all the readers hoping that they were not bored.
Ranga’s Marriage Question Answers
Reading with Insight
1. Comment on the influence of English — the language and the way of life — on Indian life as reflected in the story. What is the narrator’s attitude to English?
A. The story talks about the influence English language had decades ago in his village. Not many people in the village at that time could understand or talk in English. Only a few courageous people would send their children to study in cities like the village accountant sent Ranga to Bangalore. When Ranga came back to the village, everyone was keen on seeing how their culture had transformed him.
As far as cultural influence is concerned, the story mentions how Ranga wanted to marry a girl who was mature, someone who understands him and is compatible with him. This is completely in opposition to the arranged marriages that were widely prevalent in those times.
The narrator finds it disgraceful when people mix Kannada language with English. He recounts how one day a lady delivered firewood to Rama Rao’s place and he told her to come the next morning because he had no “change”. The lady did not know what “change” meant and left while muttering to herself. The narrator confesses that he too did not know what it meant until he asked Rama Rao.
2. Astrologers’ perceptions are based more on hearsay and conjecture than what they learn from the study of the stars. Comment with reference to the story.
A.The story throws light upon how Shastri predicted what was going on in Ranga’s mind. He did it using two sheets of paper, some cowries and a book of palmyra leaves in the form of his paraphernalia. He even revealed that Ranga has some girl on his mind whose name related to something that belonged to the ocean. All this made Ranga believe in the power of Astrology.
While in reality, it was our narrator Shyama, who had tutored Shastri to say so in a meeting prior to the one with Ranga. Shastri made it seem like no big deal when Ranga left and Shyama called it “his marvellous shastra”. He said he could have guessed it with his numbers even if Shyama had not staged it for him.
Hence, the story portrays Astrologer’s perceptions to be based more on hearsay and conjecture than what they learn from the stars.
3. Indian society has moved a long way from the way the marriage is arranged in the story. Discuss.
A.It is true that Indian society has moved a long way from the way the marriage is arranged in the story. Earlier, there was no concept of love marriage and only arranged marriages took place like the one being talked about in the story. Ranga’s marriage was arranged by his uncle Shyama. In present times, the bride and the groom have a say in the matter unlike decades ago where even their consent was not considered important.
Our society has come a long way since then, especially when it comes to the rights of females.
Earlier, the bride’s families were pressurized into paying dowry which has been illegalised now. It is also against the law to marry individuals who have not yet attained a specific age; 18 in case of girls and 21 in case of boys.
4. What kind of a person do you think the narrator is?
A.The narrator is a man of his land as he introduces his village with such enthusiasm that every reader would want to visit it at least once. His hospitality can also be appreciated as he promises to take good care of his readers. He is someone who believes in maintaining the authenticity of his culture that is why, he thinks it’s a disgrace to mix Kannada with English.
He is a man with good judgement of character. He knew what type of man Ranga was and that Rama Rao’s niece Ratna would be a perfect partner for him. Shyama seemed like someone who knows how to make his own way. The whole set-up he staged with the village Shastri in order to get Ranga and Ratna married, pose as evidence for that. He is also funny by way of which he teased the village Shastri. Although clever, he seems to be a man with best intentions at heart.
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