Get here the summary and solutions of the chapter Jina and Etiben. However, the given notes/solutions should only be used for references and should be modified/changed according to needs.
SUMMARY: The poem “Jina-Etiben, A Romance Retold” is based on an Ao legend and is written by Nabina Das. In this poem, the poet tells the story of two an unforgettable lovers Jina-Etiben who despite every circumstance that was against them continued to remain in love and became the paramount example of true love.
There is an old village named Mopongchuket in Mokokchung district of Nagaland where Jina and Etiben lived. They loved each other very much and wanted to spend their lives together. Jina was ravine-hearted among all men and Etiben was amber faced and charming girl. That two lovers would meet in the mountains and near the water holes where Jina would play his Kota-Kongki and Etiben would clean her ornaments of gold. One day, Etiben’s parents came to know about their love and demanded dowry of cows and oxen from Jina for Etiben’s hand. As Jina was poor, he failed to fulfill the dowry demand of her parents.
In the meantime, a rich man named Tenyur appeared with cows and oxen and asked for Etiben’s hand from her parents. The parents agreed and Etiben got married to Tenyur though they tried all they could to stop the marriage from happening. Etiben even pretended to be ill to postpone the marriage, but all failed. The two lovers wear separated.
After the marriage, however, Etiben felt like a caged beast in her new home with Tenyur and continued to think about her lover Jina and soon they started meeting again until they were discovered by Tenyur.
After the discovery, Tenyur beat Etiben black and blue and left her unconscious in the field on the crops. Jina came to know about this and nursed Etiben very carefully. He stayed at her side secretly night after night and tried his best to console her. However, Etiben succumbed to her injuries. Jina too died soon after because of all the grief of the separation. Before the death of the lovers, they had promised each other to meet in the Netherworld.
When the villages were burning the dead bodies, they watched in awe two smokey figures rising high up in the sky holding hands that resembled Jina and Etiben.
A. Reference to Context
1.The mountains of Mopongchuket
Shining like emerald and sparkling jade
The hills of the Ao that echo like gongs
And even today call out in songs
To follow the jaunty footprints
And the eternal loving glint
In the eyes of the amber-faced Etiben
And the ravine-hearted Jina,
a) What are the mountains of Mopongchuket compared to?
b) The hills of Ao echo. Why do they do so?
c) What do the hills celebrate and sing about even today?
d) Jina is called ‘man among men’. What aspect of his character does this refer to?
Ans: a) The mountains of Mopongchuket are compared to emerald and sparkling jade.
b) The mountains do so to follow the footprints of Jina and Etiben and their eternal love.
c) The hills celebrate and sing the songs about the lovers Jina and Etiben that they witnessed.
d) Jina is called ‘man among men’ because he was a man of his words. Regardless of the circumstances, he never left Jina.
2. They fell in love, so rich and pure
It washed away Jina’s vice of being poor
Across the vales and
Of an eternal wish of togetherness like swans
In love’s tide to swim forever and ever
Sharing heart’s bounty, to lose each other never.
a) Who is ‘they’ in these lines?
b) What are they compared to? Why?
c) What was their intent?
Ans: a) They in these lines are Jina and Etiben.
b) Jina is compared to a ravine because he was strong and bold.
c) Their intent was to live together like swans.
He came with the dowry before Jina did
No one ever heard Jina’s heart plead
Not the parents, no friends, no gods saw the pain.
a) Who was Tenyur?
b) What did he do? Why?
c) How did Jina feel?
Ans: a) Tenyur was a rich man who was cruel and inhuman.
b) He came to meet Etiben’s parents with the dowry. He did so because he wanted to marry
c) Jina felt devastated that Etiben had to marry Tenyur because he loved her with all his heart.
4. His anger poured
Almost taking that breath from her precious
Left her lying among the helpless crops
a) Who was angry?
b) Why was he angry?
c) What did he do in anger?
Ans: a) Tenyur was angry.
b) He was angry because he discovered his wife Etiben and her lover Jina meeting secretly in the fields.
c) In anger, he beat Etiben mercilessly and left her unconscious among the crops.
5. A married woman who could never know another
The pearls of happiness in a home that’s a cage
She was worse than a beast in separation and rage.
a) Who is the married woman referred to in Line 1?
b) Why is her home described as a cage?
c) Pick out a simile in the above extract.
Ans: a) The married woman is Etiben.
b) Her home is described as a cage because she was not happy there, had to spend most of her time inside it and was away from Jina.
c) In the above extract, comparing the home to a cage is a simile.
6. As the villagers smoked the lover’s bodies
For the last rites, they
At the tuso smokes rising high up in the air
Holding hands in
a) Explain ‘as the villagers smoked the lover’s body’.
b) Why did they watch in silent awe?
c) Pick out the antonym of the word ‘agony’.
Ans: a) By ‘as the villagers smoked the lover’s body’, the poet means that as the villagers cremate the bodies of Jina and Etiben.
b) The watched in silent awe because they witnessed two smokey forms rising up in the air and holding hands.
B. Read and Write
a) he was poor.
b) he belonged to a different tribe.
c) he did not have a good reputation.
Ans: a) He was poor.
2. They asked him to bring a dowry if he wanted Etiben’s hand. What was the dowry that they asked for? What was their intention?
Ans: The dowry that they asked for were cows and oxen. Their intention was to separate Jina and Etiben as Jina was poor and he would certainly fail to get the dowry.
3. Who was Tenyur?
Ans: Tenyur was a rich man’s son who wanted to marry Etiben.
4. What did Etiben do after her marriage?
Ans: Etiben felt like a beast in a cage after her marriage with Tenyur and continued to long for Jina. She used to think about him and write to him. Finally, she started meeting Jina secretly in the fields when Tenyur would be away.
5. Briefly summarise the end of the story.
Ans: Towards the end of the story, Eitben falls gravely ill after she was beaten mercilessly by Tenyur and Jina stayed by her side throughout her illness. He gave her all the comforts he could till she died singing a song in which she asked Jina if he would marry her in the Netherworld. She said that she would wait for him there.
Jina assured her that he couldn’t help but hurry to be there together. Etiben died and Jina fell so sick after her death that he didn’t survive too. After their death, the villagers cremated their bodies together and witnessed in awe two smoky human figures rising in the air while holding their hands. Jina and Etiben were finally together.
Extra questions and answers
1. They made it sure to meet in the fields
When Tenyur was away from Etiben’s heels
Jina came with a piglet, just a clever front
To meet his ladylove, to have his face gaunt
Light up and fill with the brightest smile
a) Where did the lovers meet?
b) What did Jina do? Why?
c) What was the hurdle on their way?
Ans: a) The lovers met in the fields, near the vales and mountains and the riverside.
b) Jina came to met Etiben with the piglet as a clever front to escape prying eyes.
c) The hurdle on their way was Tenyur.
2. Why is Jina referred to as ‘ravine-hearted’?
Ans: Jina is referred to as being ‘ravine-hearted’ because he was very strong and bold.
3. Where did Jina and
Ans: Before she was married to Tenyur, they used to meet near the vales and mountains and the rivers.
4. Why couldn’t Jina get the dowry demanded by Etiben’s parents?
Ans: Jina couldn’t get the dowry demanded by Etiben’s parents because he was a poor man.
5. How did Etiben feel in Tenyur’s house?
Ans: In Tenyur’s house Etiben health like a caged beast.
6. Whose mind was ‘harsh and treacherous’?
Ans: Tenyur’s mind was ‘harsh and treacherous’.
7. Describe the meeting between Jina and Etiben.
Ans: Jina and
8. How did Tenyur discover the meetings between Jina and Etiben?
Ans: After Etiben was married to Tenyur, Jina and Etiben started their secret meetings in the fields when Tenyur was away from home. Tenyur doubted his wife and spied on her. He discovered their meetings in the fields. Tenyur was in a rage and had beaten Etiben mercilessly and left her in terrible condition.
9. Why did Jina meet Etiben at night when she was ill?
Ans: Jina met Etiben at night when she was ill because he didn’t want her parents and the other members of the family to speak ill of Etiben’s character and spoil their true relationship.
10. What were Etiben’s last words?
Ans: Etiben’s last words were she wished to marry Jina in heaven and live together because the world had denied their true love and left them in pain.
Ron’e Dutta is the Co-Founder and Editor of Online Free Notes. He is a journalist, a blogger, a creative writer, and a teacher. He is currently writing his first thriller novel on time-travelling. Read the prologue of the novel here. Connect with him on social media.