‘Tears of Crocodile’ by R K Narayan: Notes, Question & Answers Class 8 English

“Tears of Crocodile” by R. K. Narayan: Here you would get a summary, word meanings and answers to Textbook exercise questions as given in the class 8 English book ‘Wind Chimes’.

Notes: “Tears of Crocodile” by R K Narayan

Summary

The story is a whimsical and imaginative look at the life and thoughts of a crocodile. The narrator feels that crocodiles are often overlooked and underappreciated creatures. The narrator is fascinated by crocodiles and enjoys observing them and reading about them in the news.

In the story, the crocodile imagines sharing its thoughts and frustrations. It is tired of people always associating it with “crocodile tears,” a phrase used to describe fake sadness. The crocodile explains that its eyes get misty when it is excited and that it truly cries when it misses a chance to catch prey because it cannot move well on land.

The crocodile talks about how humans, especially women with their water pitchers, often come to its pond despite warnings from scientists about the water’s danger. The crocodile humorously reflects on the disappearance of a policeman’s wife and how the village reacted to it.

The crocodile also recounts an encounter with a man-eating tiger that came to its pond. While a hunter took credit for getting rid of the tiger, the crocodile hints that it was the one who dealt with the dangerous animal.

In another amusing tale, the crocodile recalls biting the ankle of a local strongman named Gama, who was known for his incredible strength from eating almonds and drinking milk. Gama angrily dragged the crocodile to the village square, gave a lecture on physical fitness, and then threw the crocodile to the ground.

Throughout the story, the crocodile reflects on its place in the world, its interactions with humans, and its role in the ecosystem, all with a mix of humour and melancholy.

Vocabulary: Word Meanings

Neglected: Not given enough attention or care. Fascinated: Very interested or attracted to something. Sprawls: To lie or sit with arms and legs spread out. Conceivable: Able to be imagined or thought of. Geological: Related to the study of rocks and the earth. Zoological: Related to the study of animals. Unstirring: Not moving. Trance: A state of being half asleep or in a daydream. Revealed: Made known or shown. Significant: Important or meaningful. Treasure Trove Act: A law about who gets to keep found treasures. Establish their claims: Prove that something belongs to them.

Values: Beliefs or standards that are important to someone. Triumphs: Great victories or achievements. Despairs: Feelings of hopelessness. Habitual: Done regularly or repeatedly. Mistiness: A blurry or foggy look. Palpitates: Beats quickly and strongly. Anticipation: Expectation or excitement about something. Copiously: In large amounts. Wracked: Tormented or afflicted. Immobilize: To make unable to move. Samson: A biblical figure known for his incredible strength, which he lost when his hair was cut. Accommodation: A place to live. Disconcerted: Unsettled or worried. Posterity: Future generations. Rations: Food supplies. Drizzly: Light rain. Cordially: Warmly and kindly.

Bacteriologist: A scientist who studies bacteria. Shouted from housetops: Made a very loud and public announcement. Disturb: To interfere with or interrupt. Arrangement: An organized plan or structure. Test tube: A small glass tube used in scientific experiments. Bangle: A type of bracelet. Pitchers: Containers for carrying water. Made a lot of fuss: Created a lot of noise and commotion. Blaring: Making a loud noise. Gossips: People who talk about others, often in a negative way. Eloquent: Able to express ideas or feelings clearly and effectively. Shikari: A hunter, especially in India. Man-eater: An animal that has started eating humans. Prowled: Moved around stealthily or secretly. Disposed of: Got rid of. Blunderbuss: An old-fashioned type of gun. Snoring: Making a noise while breathing during sleep.

Intext-Question & Answers

Q. Why did the writer call the crocodile ‘the most neglected in God’s creation’?

Ans. The writer called the crocodile ‘the most neglected in God’s creation’ because people often overlook and ignore crocodiles. The writer believes that crocodiles don’t receive the attention or appreciation they deserve, despite being fascinating creatures.

Q. What do you think is the humour behind the crocodile’s invitation?

Ans. The humour behind the crocodile’s invitation lies in the irony and the playful tone it uses. The crocodile invites humans to visit its pond to see its smile, which is an amusing twist because it’s well-known that crocodiles are dangerous creatures. The idea of receiving a “cordial invitation” from a predator, which typically would see humans as potential prey, adds a layer of humour. This playful and ironic approach makes the reader smile at the absurdity of the situation.

Q. Why did the crocodile call the tiger’s dinner ‘ill-gotten’?

Ans. The crocodile called the tiger’s dinner “ill-gotten” because the tiger had hunted and killed humans, which is considered wrong and evil. The term “ill-gotten” means obtained in a dishonest or improper way.

Textbook Exercise Solutions and Q&A

Comprehension

  1. Why does the writer say that a crocodile looks a geological rather than a zoological specimen?
  2. What were found inside the crocodile?
  3. What explanation does the crocodile give for its tears?
  4. When does the crocodile feel nervous?
  5. When, according to the crocodile, will people talk about ‘crocodile smiles’?
  6. What reason does the crocodile give for never touching a scientist?

Answers:

  1. The writer says a crocodile looks like a geological specimen because it appears more like a rock or ancient fossil rather than a living animal when it lies still on a rock.
  2. Gold and silver jewellery worth several thousand rupees were found inside the crocodile.
  3. The crocodile explains that its eyes get misty when it is excited and that it truly cries when it misses a chance to catch prey because it cannot move well on land.
  4. The crocodile feels nervous when scientists say the planet is drying up, but it doesn’t worry much since it believes this will affect future generations, not itself.
  5. According to the crocodile, people will talk about ‘crocodile smiles’ when it is happy and content after having enough food and enjoying pleasant weather.
  6. The crocodile avoids scientists because they are important for human progress, and it doesn’t want to interfere with that.

Another set of Answers:

  1. The writer says this because the crocodile, when lying still on a rock near a dirty pond, looks more like a rock or an ancient fossil than a living animal.
  2. Inside the crocodile, they found a lot of gold and silver jewellery worth several thousand rupees.
  3. The crocodile explains that its eyes get misty when it is excited, and real tears come when it realizes that people approaching the water’s edge don’t get into the water.
  4. The crocodile feels nervous when it hears scientists say that the planet is drying up, though it doesn’t worry too much as it will affect future generations, not the current ones.
  5. People will talk about ‘crocodile smiles’ when the crocodile is satisfied with its food and the weather is pleasant, making it feel completely happy and able to smile broadly.
  6. The crocodile avoids scientists because they are important for human progress, and it doesn’t want to disrupt that.
  1. ‘The loudest and nastiest among them was missing.’
    a. Who is being referred to as ‘the loudest and nastiest’?
    b. Who were loud and nasty?
    c. Why was ‘the loudest and nastiest’ missing?
  2. ‘On land I am like Samson minus his locks.’
    a. Who is being compared to Samson?
    b. When is this comparison made?
    c. Why is this comparison being made?
  3. I was the last to see him.’
    a. Who is ‘l’?
    b. Who is the speaker talking about?
    c. Why was the speaker the last to see ‘him’?

Answers:

1. ‘The loudest and nastiest among them was missing.’

  • a. The first Mrs. Policeman, the policeman’s wife who went missing, is being referred to as ‘the loudest and nastiest.’
  • b. The women in the village who gathered around the pond and gossiped were loud and nasty.
  • c. She was missing because she disappeared, and it is implied that the crocodile might have eaten her.

2. ‘On land I am like Samson minus his locks.’

  • a. The crocodile is being compared to Samson.
  • b. This comparison is made when the crocodile talks about how weak and immobile it feels on land.
  • c. This comparison is made because, like Samson who lost his strength when his hair was cut, the crocodile feels powerless and weak when it is out of water.

3. ‘I was the last to see him.’

  • a. ‘I’ refers to the crocodile.
  • b. The speaker, the crocodile, is talking about the man-eating tiger.
  • c. The speaker, the crocodile, was the last to see the tiger because it dealt with the tiger at the pond while the hunter was asleep in the village.
  1. Who all could claim the ownership of what was found inside the crocodile?
  2. When is the crocodile most happy?
  3. What mistake did the crocodile make and why did it call it a mistake?
  4. Why is the crocodile tired of people referring to its tears?
  5. In what context does the crocodile refer to the tooth-powder advertiser?
  6. The policeman waited for a week and married again.’ Comment on the tone of this sentence.
  7. What did the crocodile do to save the village?
  8. Why did the crocodile feel like ‘a damp cloth in a dhobi’s hand’?
  9. Narrate how the Gama would describe the crocodile incident.
  10. Society piece of writing which holds up a mirror to a person or s A satire is a piece of writing Discuss the ‘Tears of a Crocodile’ as a satire.

Answers:

1. The ownership of the jewellery found inside the crocodile could be claimed by:

  • The state under the Treasure Trove Act.
  • The survivors or families who can prove the jewelry belonged to them.
  • The person who shot the crocodile.

2. The crocodile is most happy when it has enough food and the weather is pleasantly drizzly.

3. The mistake the crocodile made was biting the ankle of the local strongman, Gama. It called it a mistake because Gama dragged the crocodile to the village square and humiliated it in front of the villagers.

4. The crocodile is tired of people referring to its tears because it believes humans are stuck in their thinking and can’t let go of the old idea that crocodiles cry fake tears, even though its tears are real and have a different reason.

5. The crocodile refers to the tooth-powder advertiser when it talks about being truly happy and smiling. It imagines its smile being so wide and bright that it could be used in a tooth-powder advertisement.

‘6. The tone of this sentence is casual and somewhat humorous, highlighting the indifference and quick resolution the policeman had after his wife went missing, as well as the social attitudes towards remarriage in the village.

7. The crocodile saved the village by dealing with the man-eating tiger that came to the pond. While the hunter took credit for getting rid of the tiger, it was actually the crocodile that disposed of it.

8. The crocodile felt like ‘a damp cloth in a dhobi’s hand’ because it was humiliated and thrown to the ground by Gama after being dragged to the village square. This comparison emphasizes the crocodile’s feeling of powerlessness and defeat.

9. Gama would likely describe the crocodile incident with bravado and pride, saying that he was washing his feet at the pond when the crocodile bit him. Without hesitation, he dragged the crocodile to the village square, gathered the people, and used the incident as an opportunity to demonstrate his strength and teach a lesson on physical fitness. He would highlight how he effortlessly dealt with the crocodile, showing his superiority and control.

10. “Tears of a Crocodile” can be seen as a satire because it uses humour, irony, and exaggeration to critique human behaviour and attitudes. The crocodile’s imagined thoughts and complaints about human misconceptions and behaviour highlight the absurdity of certain human tendencies, such as sticking to old beliefs (the idea of crocodile tears) and the quick resolution of serious matters (the policeman’s remarriage). The story also pokes fun at human self-importance and the tendency to misinterpret animal behaviour. By giving the crocodile a voice, Narayan cleverly reflects human flaws and societal norms, making readers question their own actions and beliefs.

Another set of Answers:

1. The ownership of the gold and silver jewellery found inside the crocodile could be claimed by:

  • The state, under the Treasure Trove Act.
  • The survivors, if they can prove the jewelry belonged to them.
  • The man who shot the crocodile.

2. The crocodile is most happy when it has had enough food, and the weather is pleasantly drizzly.

3. The crocodile made a mistake by biting the ankle of the local strongman, Gama. It called it a mistake because Gama got angry, dragged the crocodile to the village square, and humiliated it in front of everyone.

4. The crocodile is tired of people referring to its tears because it feels that humans have a habit of sticking to old, incorrect beliefs. It dislikes being constantly associated with fake tears just because of an ancient myth.

5. The crocodile refers to the tooth-powder advertiser when it talks about being truly happy and smiling broadly. It jokes that its big smile would look good in an advertisement for tooth powder, suggesting a genuine, wide smile.

6. The tone of this sentence is humorous and somewhat ironic. It highlights the policeman’s quick decision to remarry, suggesting that he wasn’t deeply affected by his wife’s disappearance and that life moved on swiftly.

7. The crocodile dealt with the man-eating tiger that had been terrorizing the village. It implies that it killed the tiger when it came to the pond to wash, while the hunter who was supposed to take care of the tiger was asleep in the village.

8. The crocodile felt like ‘a damp cloth in a dhobi’s hand’ because Gama, the strongman, threw it to the ground forcefully, making it feel weak and helpless, similar to how a wet cloth feels when being handled roughly by a washerman.

9. Gama would likely describe the incident by boasting about his strength and bravery. He might say how he was washing his feet when a crocodile bit him, but instead of being afraid, he dragged the crocodile to the village square, gathered the people, gave a talk on physical fitness, and then threw the crocodile to the ground to show his dominance and strength.

10. “Tears of a Crocodile” can be seen as a satire because it humorously critiques human behavior and beliefs. The crocodile’s perspective highlights how humans stick to old myths and misunderstandings, like the idea of “crocodile tears.” It also pokes fun at human vanity and the way people quickly move on from tragedies, as seen in the policeman’s quick remarriage. The story uses the crocodile’s voice to reflect on human foolishness, superstition, and the triviality of some societal norms, encouraging readers to question and laugh at their own habits and assumptions

Vocabulary

  1. blow up
  2. call off
  3. give away
  4. point out
  5. put out
  6. take down
  7. talk over
  8. make up
  9. look up

Answers: Here are the meanings and sample sentences for each phrasal verb:

1. Blow up
Meaning: To explode or destroy something with an explosion.
Sentence: The firework blew up in the sky with a loud bang.

2. Call off
Meaning: To cancel or postpone an event or plan.
Sentence: The concert was called off due to heavy rain.

3. Give away
Meaning: To give something free of charge or to reveal a secret.
Sentence: The company is giving away free samples of their new product.

4. Point out
Meaning: To draw someone’s attention to something or to identify something.
Sentence: The guide pointed out the famous landmark to the tourists.

5. Put out
Meaning: To extinguish a fire or to make something stop functioning.
Sentence: The firefighters put out the blaze in just a few minutes.

6. Take down
Meaning: To remove something from a higher position or to write down something.
Sentence: The teacher took down the student’s answer on the blackboard.

7. Talk over
Meaning: To discuss something with someone and come to a decision.
Sentence: The team talked over the project and finalized the plan.

8. Make up
Meaning: To invent or fabricate something or to reconcile with someone.
Sentence: The friends made up after their argument and moved on.

9. Look up
Meaning: To search for information or to gaze upwards.
Sentence: She looked up the definition of the word in the dictionary.



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