Question & Answers of the lesson “Iswaran the Storyteller” by R.K. Laxman: It is part of CBSE class 9 Supplementary Reader NCERT textbook ‘Moment’. Click here for other lessons of the NCERT Book ‘Moments’.
Think About It (Page 18)
1. In what way is Iswaran an asset to Mahendra?
Ans. Iswaran is an asset to Mahendra because he is a skilled cook who prepares delicious dishes for him. Additionally, Iswaran follows Mahendra wherever he is posted and takes care of his daily needs, such as washing his clothes and keeping their living space tidy. Moreover, Iswaran’s ability to weave captivating stories and anecdotes entertains Mahendra and helps him pass the time, making him a valuable companion.
2. How does Iswaran describe the uprooted tree on the highway? What effect does he want to create in his listeners?
Ans. Iswaran describes the uprooted tree on the highway in a dramatic and suspenseful manner. Instead of stating it plainly as an uprooted tree, Iswaran creates a vivid and thrilling narrative by saying, “The road was deserted and I was all alone. Suddenly I spotted something that looked like an enormous bushy beast lying sprawled across the road. I was half inclined to turn and go back. But as I came closer, I saw that it was a fallen tree, with its dry branches spread out.” He wants to create a sense of excitement and suspense in his listeners, making the ordinary incident more thrilling and engaging.
3. How does he narrate the story of the tusker? Does it appear to be plausible?
Ans. Iswaran narrates the story of the tusker with great enthusiasm and animation. He vividly describes the elephant’s wild behaviour, its rampage through the town, and his daring encounter with the beast. Iswaran’s storytelling makes the incident seem thrilling and action-packed, but it also carries a sense of exaggeration and dramatic flair. While the core of the story might be based on a real event, Iswaran’s narrative style adds elements of excitement and suspense, which may make it appear less plausible.
4. Why does the author say that Iswaran seemed to more than make up for the absence of a TV in Mahendra’s living quarters?
Ans. The author says that Iswaran seemed to more than make up for the absence of a TV in Mahendra’s living quarters because Iswaran’s storytelling skills and vivid descriptions provide entertainment and engagement similar to watching television. Iswaran’s ability to narrate captivating stories and keep Mahendra entertained compensates for the lack of modern entertainment options like television, especially in the isolated and desolate work sites where they reside.
5. Mahendra calls ghosts or spirits a figment of the imagination. What happens to him on a full-moon night?
Ans. Mahendra, who initially dismisses ghosts and spirits as figments of the imagination, experiences fear and unease on a full-moon night after hearing Iswaran’s story about the female ghost with a foetus in its arms. He avoids looking out of his window altogether when the moon is full due to the haunting description of the ghost. One night, he is woken up by a low moan and is too frightened to look outside, believing that he might see the ghost. Although he tries to rationalize it as auto suggestion, the fear and unease persist, indicating that Iswaran’s ghost story has had an unsettling effect on him.
6. Can you think of some other ending for the story?
Ans. As an alternative ending for the story, Mahendra could have confronted his fear and scepticism about ghosts by investigating the supposed ghostly presence or by seeking logical explanations for the haunting experiences he faced on the full-moon night. This could lead to a realization that there might be natural phenomena or psychological reasons for the eerie experiences he had, rather than supernatural causes. The ending could show Mahendra overcoming his fear and acknowledging that sometimes fear can be a result of one’s own imagination or misconceptions, rather than the existence of actual ghosts or spirits.
Talk About It (Page 18)
Is Iswaran a fascinating storyteller? Discuss with your friends the qualities of a good storyteller. Try to use these qualities and tell a story.
Ans. Yes, Iswaran is undoubtedly a fascinating storyteller. He possesses several qualities that make him captivating and engaging when narrating his tales. Let’s discuss some of these qualities that contribute to being a good storyteller:
- Vivid Imagination: A good storyteller has a rich and vivid imagination, which allows them to create captivating and detailed narratives. Iswaran’s ability to weave elaborate stories with imaginative descriptions adds depth and intrigue to his tales.
- Dramatic Flair: Iswaran’s storytelling is characterized by a dramatic flair. He knows how to build suspense, add twists and surprises, and create an emotional impact on his listeners, making his stories more captivating.
- Expressiveness: A good storyteller is expressive and uses body language, gestures, and facial expressions to enhance the storytelling experience. Iswaran’s animated mannerisms while narrating, like jumping about or mimicking the actions of characters, add excitement and entertainment to his stories.
- Ability to Connect with Audience: Iswaran knows his audience well, in this case, Mahendra, and tailors his stories to suit his interests and emotions. A good storyteller can gauge the reactions of their listeners and adjust the storytelling accordingly to keep them engaged.
- Command of Language: Iswaran’s command of language, particularly in his native Tamil, allows him to use expressive words and phrases, making his stories more vivid and captivating.
- Pacing and Timing: A good storyteller understands the importance of pacing and timing. Iswaran knows when to pause, when to build tension, and when to deliver the climax of his stories, keeping his audience on the edge of their seats.
Now, let me try to tell a story using some of these qualities:
Once upon a time, in a small village nestled amidst lush green fields, there lived a young shepherd named Ravi. Ravi was known for his exceptional ability to communicate with animals, especially the sheep he looked after. Every evening, as the sun painted the sky with shades of orange and pink, Ravi would gather his flock and lead them back to their cozy pen for the night.
One evening, as Ravi was guiding his sheep home, he noticed a lone wolf lurking in the shadows nearby. The wolf’s eyes glowed with hunger and determination. Ravi knew that the safety of his sheep was at stake, and he needed to act swiftly. He decided to confront the wolf with his wit and charm.
With a glimmer in his eye, Ravi approached the wolf and began to speak in a soothing tone. He shared stories of unity and friendship among animals, emphasizing how they could all coexist peacefully. The wolf, initially sceptical, found himself drawn to Ravi’s mesmerizing storytelling.
As the night grew darker, Ravi continued his tale, introducing the wolf to the joys of friendship and the warmth of a loving community. He painted a picture of a world where predators and prey lived side by side, supporting and protecting each other.
With each word, the wolf’s hostility began to melt away. He realized that there was more to life than hunting and survival. He longed for companionship and the sense of belonging that Ravi’s stories portrayed.
As the first rays of dawn appeared on the horizon, the wolf made an unexpected decision. He pledged to change his ways and befriend the sheep instead of preying on them. Ravi’s storytelling had touched his heart and awakened his empathy.
From that day on, Ravi and the wolf became the most unusual of friends. They roamed the fields together, spreading the message of unity and understanding among all the animals. Their bond inspired other creatures to put aside their differences and embrace the beauty of harmony.
And so, the village witnessed a transformation, all thanks to the power of a young shepherd’s storytelling. Ravi’s ability to connect with animals and share heartfelt stories had not only saved his sheep but also brought about a newfound harmony in the animal kingdom.
Storytelling is a powerful tool that can captivate audiences, create emotional connections, and convey profound messages. Iswaran’s qualities as a fascinating storyteller demonstrate how a well-told story can leave a lasting impact on both the storyteller and the listener.