And So It Eventually Happened: MBOSE Class 12 English Core notes, answers

And So It Eventually Happened
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Get summaries, questions, answers, solutions, notes, extras, PDF of Class 12 English Core textbook (Resonance), poem, Chapter 5 And So It Eventually Happened by R Parthasarathy, which is part of the syllabus of students studying under MBOSE (Meghalaya Board). These solutions, however, should only be treated as references and can be modified/changed. 

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The poem “And So It Eventually Happened” by R. Parthasarathy depicts a family reunion, evoking feelings of nostalgia and connection. It begins with the mention of a long-awaited family gathering, the first since the death of the poet’s grandfather in 1959. This significant reunion takes place in March of the current year in Tiruchchanur, with family members arriving in overcrowded private buses. The years of separation have created a distance, making immediate recognition challenging, described vividly as the “dust of unlettered years clouding instant recognition.”

As the family members reconnect, they sit cross-legged on the steps of the choultry, a large village hall, and share a familiar meal of coconuts, rice, and pickles, a staple that brings back memories of their shared past. Among them is Sundari, who, in their childhood, used to climb tamarind trees with the poet. Now, she stands before them, transformed by forty years, with her three daughters around her, likened to safe planets orbiting her.

The poem conveys a sense of continuity and change within the family. The past is brought into the present through the shared meal and memories, while the next generation, represented by Sundari’s daughters, ensures the family’s future. The poet’s imagery, such as “clouding instant recognition” and “squirrelled up and down forbidden tamarind trees,” effectively captures the essence of their youthful days and the passage of time.

In the poem’s second section, the focus shifts to Sundari. This change highlights her significant role and the passage of time, showing how the carefree girl of their childhood has become a mother, grounding the family’s continuity. Her daughters, described as “floating like safe planets,” emphasize the protective and nurturing environment she provides.

The poem ends on a note that might seem abrupt but resonates with the theme of time’s passage and the enduring nature of familial bonds. This ending encourages readers to reflect on their own family relationships and the cyclical nature of life.

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Line-byline explanation

And so it eventually happened / a family reunion not heard of / since grandfather died in ’59 – in March / this year.

After a long time, the family finally gathered for a reunion, something that hadn’t occurred since their grandfather passed away in March 1959. This year’s reunion marks a significant event for the family.

Cousins arrived in Tiruchchanur / in overcrowded private buses,

The cousins came to Tiruchchanur, traveling in private buses that were packed with people.

the dust of unlettered years / clouding instant recognition.

The years without communication and seeing each other had caused a layer of unfamiliarity, making it difficult for the family members to recognize one another immediately.

Later, each one pulled, / sitting crosslegged on the steps / of the choultry, familiar coconuts / out of the fire / of rice-and-pickle afternoons.

Later on, they all sat cross-legged on the steps of the assembly hall (choultry), reminiscing about their past by engaging in a familiar activity: pulling out coconuts from the fire, which reminded them of their traditional meals consisting of rice and pickles in the afternoon.

Sundari, who had squirrelled up and down / forbidden tamarind trees in her long skirt / every morning with me,

Sundari, who used to climb up and down the forbidden tamarind trees with the poet every morning during their childhood, wearing a long skirt,

stood there, that day, forty years taller, / her three daughters floating / like safe planets near her.

was now standing there, having grown and matured over forty years, with her three daughters close by her side, compared to safe planets orbiting around her.

Textual questions and answers

Answer these questions briefly

1. When was the last time the whole family got together? What was the general feeling of the family members at that meeting?

Answer: The last time the whole family got together was when grandfather died in ’59. The general feeling of the family members at that meeting was a mixture of nostalgia and unfamiliarity.

2. Where is the next reunion being held? What do you think could have been the common mode of transport there?

Answer: The next reunion is being held in Tiruchchanur. The common mode of transport there could have been overcrowded private buses.

3. ‘Clouding instant recognition.’ Why was it not possible to ‘recognise’? Explain ‘clouding’.

Answer: It was not possible to ‘recognise’ because the dust of unlettered years blurred instant recognition. ‘Clouding’ means blurring due to a long time without any communication.

4. How do the family members spend the afternoon?

Answer: The family members spend the afternoon sitting cross-legged on the steps of the choultry, pulling familiar coconuts out of the fire.

5. What is the familiar lunchtime meal?

Answer: The familiar lunchtime meal is rice and pickle.

6. a. Who is Sundari? b. How old do you think she is when the poet meets her at the reunion? c. What does he remember her doing?

Answer: a. Sundari is the poet’s cousin. b. She is forty years older when the poet meets her at the reunion. c. He remembers her squirrelled up and down forbidden tamarind trees in her long skirt every morning with him.

7. ‘Her three daughters floating Like safe planets near her ‘ a. Who is the poet referring to? b. What does he compare the mother and the daughters to? c. Explain the meaning of the lines above.

Answer: a. The poet is referring to Sundari and her three daughters. b. He compares the mother to a central figure and the daughters to safe planets orbiting around her. c. The meaning of the lines above is that Sundari’s daughters stay close to her, giving a sense of security and protection.

Answer these questions in detail

1. The poem can be analysed in two sections. The first section describes the family members arriving and then catching up with each other. The second section shifts to Sundari’s arrival. Why do you think the poet introduces this shift?

Answer: The poet introduces this shift to highlight the passage of time and the changes that have occurred over the years. While the first section sets the stage for the reunion by describing the arrival and interactions of the family members, the second section focuses on Sundari to provide a personal and emotional connection to the past. This shift emphasizes the contrast between the childhood memories and the present, underscoring the impact of time on relationships and individual growth.

2. Does the poem end abruptly? What do you think of the ending? Would you have ended it differently?

Answer: Yes, the poem ends abruptly. The ending leaves the reader with a poignant image of Sundari and her daughters, emphasizing the theme of continuity and change within the family. The abruptness can be seen as a deliberate choice by the poet to mirror the sudden realization of the passage of time and the emotions associated with it. I think the ending is effective in conveying the intended message. However, if I were to end it differently, I might include a reflection from the poet on how the reunion has impacted him, providing a sense of closure and personal insight.

Appreciating form and language

The poem is a description in verse of a family event, conveying great emotion as the poet reminisces of days gone by. In literature, the use ofwords and phrases that create a vivid image of something is called imagery. In this poem, the poet has created such images by using picturesque language. A phrase which captures one such image is ‘The dust of unlettered years’ which conjures up an image of the poet’s youthful years. Similarly describe the images in these phrases:

1. Clouding instant recognition

Answer: This phrase captures the image of the difficulty in recognizing family members immediately due to the passage of time and lack of communication. The word ‘clouding’ evokes a visual of something being obscured or blurred, much like how dust or fog can obscure vision, suggesting that the years apart have made it hard for them to instantly recognize each other.

2. Squirrelled up and down

Answer: This phrase vividly describes Sundari’s energetic and agile movements as a child. ‘Squirrelled’ conjures an image of a squirrel’s quick, nimble, and playful manner of climbing up and down trees, emphasizing her lively and spirited nature during her childhood.

3. Forty years taller

Answer: This phrase uses hyperbole to express the significant passage of time and the resultant changes. ‘Forty years taller’ is a metaphorical way of saying that Sundari has grown older and more mature over the forty years since the poet last saw her, highlighting the contrast between the past and the present.

4. Three daughters floating like safe planets near her

Answer: This phrase creates an image of Sundari’s daughters orbiting around her in a protective and harmonious manner. The comparison to ‘safe planets’ suggests stability, security, and the strong bond between the mother and her daughters, emphasizing their close-knit relationship and the sense of safety they find in her presence.


1. Imagine that the poem describes the beginning of a short story. What do you think happens next? Complete the story in your own words.

Answer: The afternoon stretched on as more and more long-buried memories were uncovered amidst peals of laughter and good-natured ribbing. Sundari’s eyes twinkled as she recounted tales of her childhood misadventures, climbing tamarind trees in her long skirt to the consternation of the elders. Her daughters looked on with amused disbelief, finding it hard to reconcile this spirited woman with the demure matriarch they knew.

As the sun began to dip below the horizon, the conversations gradually turned to catching up on the present lives of the far-flung members of the family. Careers, marriages, grandchildren – there was so much to discuss and so many introductions to make. The pangs of those separated by oceans and continents made themselves felt, but the joy of this reunion overshadowed any sadness.

When it was finally time to depart, there were teary promises to not let so much time elapse before the next gathering. Grandmothers firmly instructed the younger ones to ensure everyone congregated again soon, lamenting how quickly the years seem to slip by. As they boarded the buses amid warm embraces and backwards glances, there was contentment in knowing that while their lives had taken different paths, the bonds of family truly were eternal.

The choultry slowly emptied, but a lingering sense of connection permeated its aged walls. Like a heartbeat stirring to life after a long silence, the spark of this reunion would sustain the family members through the inevitable march of unlettered years until they could all converge again from their separate orbits, these long-adrift planets finally realigning.

2. Imagine you are a teenager who participated in this family reunion. Describe your emotions as you watch the elders of your family reliving old times or acting in a childish manner. What are your views?

Answer: Watching the elders of my family reliving old times fills me with a mix of amusement and nostalgia. Seeing them act in a childish manner, laughing and reminiscing about their youthful days, I feel a sense of warmth and connection. It’s fascinating to see a different side of them, one that is free from the responsibilities and seriousness I usually associate with adulthood. This experience helps me realize the importance of cherishing family moments and valuing the history that binds us together.

Extra fill in the blanks

1. When was the last time the whole family got together? (1959/1979)

Answer: 1959

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12. What is the poetic device used in ‘Three daughters floating like safe planets near her’? (Simile/Metaphor)

Answer: Simile

Extra true or false

1. The family reunion had not happened since 1959.

Answer: True

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12. The poet felt no emotions reminiscing about the past.

Answer: False

Extra question and answer

1. “And so it eventually happened, a family reunion not heard of since grandfather died in ’59-in March this year.”

(i) What event is described in these lines?

Answer: A family reunion.

(ii) When did the last family reunion occur before this one?

Answer: The last family reunion occurred when the grandfather died in 1959.

(iii) In which month of the current year did the family reunion take place?

Answer: The family reunion took place in March.

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10. Describe the atmosphere and activities during the family reunion as depicted in the poem.

Answer: The atmosphere during the family reunion is one of nostalgia and reconnection. Cousins arrived in overcrowded private buses, with the dust of unlettered years clouding instant recognition. The family members sat cross-legged on the steps of the choultry, reminiscing about familiar coconuts pulled out of the fire and rice-and-pickle afternoons. The poet highlights Sundari, who used to climb forbidden tamarind trees with him, now standing forty years taller with her three daughters nearby. This vivid imagery creates a sense of warmth and familial bond, despite the passage of time and changes in their lives.

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