Indigo: ISC Class 12 English workbook solutions, notes, summary

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Get summary, workbook solutions, questions, answers, notes, pdf, and extras to the story “Indigo” by Satyajit Ray, which is a part of Class 12 English syllabus for students studying under ISC.


Aniruddha is a 20-year-old bachelor living in Calcutta. He works at an advertising agency and lives in a flat on Sardar Shankar Road. He owns an Ambassador car. He has been writing stories and getting them published in magazines, though lately he has just been reading about 19th-century indigo plantations in Bengal and Bihar.

Aniruddha’s father was a well-known physician in Monghyr where Aniruddha was born. His older brother is 5 years older. Their father died when Aniruddha was 16, so he and his mother moved to Calcutta where he studied at St. Xavier’s and got a job in advertising due to his fluent English.

Aniruddha’s childhood habits stayed with him, including a desire to get away from the noisy, hectic city. His friend Pramode, a former classmate now posted with the Forest Department in Dumka, invited him to visit. Aniruddha set off on April 27, a date he’d never forget. Dumka was 200 miles away but Pramode didn’t suggest driving.

As Aniruddha prepared to leave after an early breakfast, his father’s friend Uncle Mohit and neighbour Bhola Babu delayed him with questions. He finally started his car at 10 past 11. He reached Burdwan at 12:30 and had a flat tyre at the Panagarh military camp. A few miles later he hit a thunderstorm and then had another flat. Lost in the rain, he made a wrong turn and reached a dead end, blocking the road for an oncoming truck. The Sikh driver and helper pushed his car aside. Realising his mistake, Aniruddha backtracked 3 miles to the right road.

Realising he likely wouldn’t reach Dumka that night, Aniruddha continued on until he saw a house’s orange light through tree branches. He locked his car and walked to the cottage, where a strong, moustached man answered his knock. Aniruddha explained his situation and was directed to a nearby Dak Bungalow for the night. The man and his wife gave Aniruddha food.

The large bedroom reminded Aniruddha that the bungalow was from British rule. The caretaker, Sukhanram, said it belonged to an old indigo planter whose factory was nearby. Settling in for the night, Aniruddha worried about his car on the road.

He was suddenly awakened by scratching at the door, realising it was a hound’s howl. His watch and suitcase were gone. His hands seemed pale, his voice was English, and his clothes had changed. Though his mind was his own, his body was acting independently.

He uncontrollably began writing a letter dated April 27, 1968. He wrote, fearing his impending death and regretting his greed and unfairness towards family. He wished to be buried with his wife and son and was worried for his dog Rex’s fate. Then he suddenly shot the dog dead.

The gunshot woke Aniruddha back to normal on April 28th. His car was repaired, and the caretaker offered tea. To Aniruddha, it had been a terrifying, unbelievable night—the 100th death anniversary of an English indigo planter. He doubts anyone will believe his strange tale.

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Workbook answers

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

1. Who is the author of the story ‘Indigo’?

A. Rabindranah Tagore B. Raja Rao C. Ray Bradbury D. Satyajit Ray

Answer: D. Satyajit Ray

2. What age of Aniruddha Bose is given in the beginning of the story?

A. 26 B. 27 C. 29 D. 28

Answer: C. 29

3. What did Aniruddha Bose buy two years ago?

A. a flat B. a car C. a motorbike D. a bungalow

Answer: B. a car

4. What was Aniruddha’s father?

A. a lawyer B. a businessman C. a physician D. a teacher

Answer: C. a physician

5. Monghyr is situated in:

A. Calcutta B. Bihar C. U.P. D. Maharashtra

Answer: B. Bihar

6. Which habit had Aniruddha formed when he was in Monghyr?

A. He started using alcohol. B. He had the urge to go away from the hectic life. C. He started liking solitude. D. He would suddenly leave his home.

Answer: B. He had the urge to go away from the hectic life.

7. On which date did Aniruddha set off to meet his friend in Dumka?

A. Twenty Fifth April B. Twenty Seventh May C. Twenty seventh April D. None of the above

Answer: C. Twenty seventh April

8. Aniruddha Bose’s friend advised him to:

A. postpone his programme B. arrange a driver C. beware of a thunderstorm D. carry wollen clothes with him

Answer: C. beware of a thunderstorm

9. Who was the truck driver?

(a) a Muslim (b) a Gorkha (c) a Sikh (d) an Assamese

Answer: (c) a Sikh

10. What kind of man was the chowkidar of the dak bungalow?

(a) lean and thin (b) strong and stout (c) irritable (d) cheerful

Answer: (b) strong and stout

Logic-Based Questions

1. Aniruddha was doing a bit of writing work also because

Answer: he had some of his stories published in magazines.

2. Aniruddha considered himself an expert on indigo plantations because

Answer: for the last few months he had been reading a lot about the 19th century indigo plantations in Bihar and Bengal.

3. Aniruddha and his mother had to shift to Calcutta because

Answer: his father passed away when Aniruddha was 16 years old.

4. He had made several trips in his car because

Answer: he had an overpowering desire to get away from the hectic city life from time to time.

5. Aniruddha left for Dunka because

Answer: his friend Pramode who was posted there invited him to visit.

6. Twenty-seventh of April was the day which Aniruddha could never forget because

Answer: that was the night he had the terrifying experience of transforming into an English indigo planter.

7. Uncle Mohit could not be treated lightly because

Answer: he was Aniruddha’s father’s old friend.

8. Aniruddha’s watch had turned muggy because

Answer: it disappeared when he transformed into the indigo planter, indicating the transformation.

9. Bursting of another tyre of the car was called another thunderclap because

Answer: it added to the obstacles and misfortunes Aniruddha was facing, like a clap of thunder.

10. The truckdriver was honking again and again because

Answer: Aniruddha’s stalled car was blocking the road and not allowing the truck to pass.

Short Answer Questions

1. What information does Aniruddha Bose share with the readers in the beginning?

Answer: In the beginning, Aniruddha Bose shares information about himself – that he is a 29 year old bachelor working in an advertising agency in Calcutta. He also shares details about his family background – his father was a well known physician in Monghyr where he was born, his brother is 5 years older than him and settled in England, his father died when he was 16 so he shifted to Calcutta with his mother.

2. Why did Aniruddha Bose consider himself an expert on indigo plantations?

Answer: Aniruddha Bose considered himself an expert on indigo plantations because for the last few months he had been reading a lot about the 19th century indigo plantations in Bihar and Bengal.

3. Who was Pramode? Why did Aniruddha Bose want to visit Dumka?

Answer: Pramode was Aniruddha’s classmate in school and was now posted in Dumka in the Forest Department. Aniruddha wanted to visit Dumka because Pramode had invited him to visit him there.

4. Which snags does Aniruddha mention that came initially?

Answer: The initial snags mentioned by Aniruddha are – one of the tyres of his car got punctured, he got caught in a thunderstorm called ‘norwester’, another tyre of his car burst and he took a wrong turn on the road.

5. What happened when Aniruddha took a wrong turn?

Answer: When Aniruddha took a wrong turn, he reached a dead end and his car blocked the road. A truck driver honked continuously as he could not pass due to Aniruddha’s blocked car.

6. Why could not Aniruddha forget the twenty seventh of April?

Answer: Aniruddha could never forget the 27th of April because that was the day he had the terrifying and haunting experience of transforming into an English indigo planter while spending the night at the planter’s bungalow.

7. What is norwester? How could Aniruddha face norwester?

Answer: Norwester is a thunderstorm with heavy rainfall that is common in eastern India during summer. When caught in the norwester storm, Aniruddha had to drive very slowly and carefully keeping the car windows rolled up.

8. How did the truck driver react at Aniruddha’s car standing in the way?

Answer: When the truck driver found Aniruddha’s car blocking the road, he blew the horn repeatedly and angrily. His helper had to get down and help push Aniruddha’s car to one side of the road.

9. Who was Sukhanram? What help did he render to Aniruddha?

Answer: Sukhanram was the chowkidar of the Dak bungalow where Aniruddha spent the night. He offered Aniruddha shelter for the night at the bungalow and also gave him coarse chapattis and dal cooked by his wife to eat.

10. What kind of bungalow did Aniruddha spend the night in? How did it affect him?

Answer: Aniruddha spent the night in a Dak bungalow that belonged to an English indigo planter. The large bedroom with high ceiling and old furniture had an eerie feel. Sleeping in the bungalow led Aniruddha to have a terrifying experience of transforming into the indigo planter.

11. How did Aniruddha feel himself transformed?

Answer: While sleeping in the indigo planter’s bungalow, Aniruddha felt his body transform completely – his skin turned pale, voice changed to that of an Englishman, the clothes he was wearing also changed. Though his mind was still conscious, his body was not in his control.

12. What do you learn about the indigo planter? What kind of person was he?

Answer: From Aniruddha’s paranormal experience, we learn that the English indigo planter was a greedy and unjust man. He had exploited the plantation workers for money. He felt lonely as his wife and son had left him and he had no friends. His letter showed he had no peace of mind and expected no one to mourn his death.

Long Answer Questions

1. ‘Indigo’ is a supernatural story. Discuss with close reference to the text.

Answer: ‘Indigo’ by Satyajit Ray is a supernatural story depicting paranormal events experienced by the protagonist Aniruddha Bose. While spending a night at an abandoned indigo planter’s bungalow, Aniruddha undergoes a shocking transformation – his body is completely changed, he writes a letter in the voice of the English planter who died years ago, and shoots the planter’s dog in a trance-like state. When he wakes up next morning, everything is back to normal. These strange happenings that defy logical explanation give the story a supernatural feel. The story follows all the conventions of the supernatural genre – an ordinary man faces extraordinary situations beyond rational understanding, there is an eerie isolated setting of the bungalow, and the events take place on the significant date of the planter’s hundredth death anniversary. The suspense and Aniruddha’s fear and confusion add to the supernatural atmosphere. Ray’s masterful storytelling makes the paranormal incidents seem convincing and real.

2. What happens with Anirudha in the dak bunglow of an English planter?

Answer: When forced to spend a night at the abandoned dak bungalow of an English indigo planter, Aniruddha has a terrifying supernatural experience. As he sleeps in the eerie setting of the large, empty bungalow, Aniruddha finds his mind and body possessed by the spirit of the greedy planter who died years ago. Aniruddha loses all control and transforms completely into the Englishman – his skin turns pale, voice changes accent, his modern clothes transform into Victorian attire. In a trance, he writes a letter in the planter’s voice full of anguish and guilt. Overcome by anger, he even shoots the planter’s dog with a pistol. The next morning when Aniruddha wakes up, everything is back to normal. But he is shaken by the paranormal happenings of the previous night that defied all logical explanation.

3. Explain the suitability of the title of the story.

Answer: The title ‘Indigo’ is highly suitable for this supernatural story. Indigo symbolizes the important themes that the story explores – greed, exploitation, guilt and the suffering of indentured laborers at the hands of white indigo planters in colonial India. The protagonist Aniruddha is possessed by the spirit of one such greedy indigo planter while spending a night at his bungalow. So ‘indigo’ ties directly into the core supernatural experience of the story. Also, Aniruddha’s deep research into indentured indigo farming in 19th century Bengal is what makes his mind so susceptible to the paranormal takeover by the indigo planter’s spirit. The title succinctly tells readers about the subject matter dealing with the dark oppressive history of indigo farming and trade in Bengal.

4. Who was Aniruddha Bose? What kind of life was he leading?

Answer: Aniruddha Bose, the protagonist, is a 29-year old bachelor working in an advertising firm in Calcutta. He was born in Monghyr, Bihar where his father was a well-known physician. His father passed away when he was 16, after which he moved to Calcutta with his mother. Aniruddha completed his bachelor’s from St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta. He leads a comfortable life, stays in his own flat and owns an Ambassador car. Since childhood, Aniruddha has had the habit of getting away from the hectic city every now and then. He often drives out to places like Diamond Harbour for weekend getaways. He also does a bit of writing and gets his stories published in magazines occasionally. Overall, Aniruddha comes across as an average, middle-class young man until his life is disrupted by supernatural events.

5. How has Satyajit Ray made his story interesting?

Answer: Satyajit Ray makes the story engaging and interesting in multiple ways. Firstly, the everyday realism of protagonists like Aniruddha allows readers to immediately relate to him. The simple conversational narrative style also adds to the realism. Intriguing elements like the significance of the date, or the watch disappearing add mystery early on. The suspenseful plot structure where obstacles keep mounting builds steady tension. The climax where Aniruddha transforms completely is powerfully bizarre and haunting. Ray’s skillful use of vivid sensory details makes the supernatural events convincing. The story thus seems to realistically blend the ordinary and the extraordinary. The surprise ending leaves readers contemplating the blurring of normal and paranormal. Through all this, Ray maintains an understated subtle tone without exaggeration. The relatable character, realist style, escalating suspense, bizarre events and impactful ending all make this a very interesting short story.

6. Comment on the ending of the story.

Answer: The ending of ‘Indigo’ has a powerful impact on readers and perfectly complements the narrative. After the intense supernatural climax where Aniruddha is possessed by the indigo planter’s spirit, the abrupt return to normalcy next morning is unexpected. Details like the repaired car and offer of tea add to the surreal effect by denying any traces of the paranormal night. The story ends on an ambiguous, open-ended note as Aniruddha wonders if anyone would even believe his incredible story. This realistically emphasizes the blurring of boundaries between normal and paranormal realms. The open ending also lingers in reader’s minds, leaving them unsettled and intrigued just as Aniruddha felt. The matter-of-fact ending tone conveys his confused realization that such supernatural incidents cannot be easily explained or categorized. Thus, the ending provides satisfying closure to the narrative while deepening its ambiguous effect.

7. What do you learn about the indigo planter? Who was Aniruddha Bose? What kind of life was he leading?

Answer: The indigo planter was a greedy Englishman who exploited the poor Indian laborers working on his indigo plantations. He amassed wealth by forcing the workers into indentured labor and harshly punishing those who resisted. The planter’s guilty conscience is evident from the letter Aniruddha writes in a trance – he knows people will not mourn his death and he has been unfair to his family. His wife and son have left him and returned to England. He dies a lonely death, with only his dog for company.

Aniruddha Bose is a 29-year old bachelor living in Kolkata. His father was a well-known doctor in Monghyr, Bihar where Aniruddha grew up before moving to Kolkata after his father’s death. He completed his Bachelors from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata and works at an advertising firm. Aniruddha has a habit of taking short trips to the countryside to get away from the hectic city life. He stays in his own flat and owns an Ambassador car. Just before the supernatural events, he was planning to visit his schoolmate Pramode who worked in Dumka. Aniruddha was living a normal, urban middle-class life until it was disrupted by the paranormal experience.

Extra MCQs

1. What is the narrator’s profession?

A. Doctor B. Teacher C. Advertising professional D. Engineer

Answer: C. Advertising professional

2. Where does the narrator live?

A. Delhi B. Calcutta C. Monghyr D. Dumka

Answer: B. Calcutta

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21. What stops the narrator on the way to Dumka?

A. Accident B. Illness C. Car breakdown D. Road closure

Answer: C. Car breakdown

22. When did the narrator leave Calcutta?

A. April 28 B. May 27 C. April 27 D. May 7

Answer: C. April 27

Extra questions and answers

1. What is the narrator’s full name?

Answer: The narrator reveals right at the start that his full name is Aniruddha Bose.

2. How old is the narrator?

Answer: In the second paragraph, the narrator states clearly that he is twenty-nine years old and unmarried at the time he is telling this story.

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25. Why does Aniruddha transform into the British planter? What is the significance?

Answer: It seems to be a supernatural experience tied to the history of the dak bungalow and the cruelty inflicted by the British indigo planters. The transformation happens on the 100th death anniversary of the planter, suggesting Aniruddha is channelling his spirit. It symbolises the pain and guilt felt by the colonisers.

26. How does Aniruddha react when he wakes up from this experience?

Answer: When Aniruddha wakes up in the morning, he is back to normal with no sign of the transformation. He calmly drinks the tea brought by the caretaker, Sukhanram, and learns there is a mechanic shop nearby to fix his car. He does not tell anyone about the supernatural experience.

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