Get here the summary, questions, answers, textbook solutions, extras, and pdf of the chapter The Scarecrow by Satyajit Ray of the Assam Board (AHSEC / SEBA) Class 12 Alternative English (Vibgyor) textbook. However, the given notes/solutions should only be used for references and should be modified/changed according to needs.
Summary: “The Scarecrow” is the English translation of the Bengali short story “Kaktarna.” Mriganko Shekhar Mukhopadhyay, a well-known writer from Calcutta, became trapped outside a rice field on his way to the city when his automobile ran out of fuel. Mriganko Babu had informed the driver, Sudheer, of this. However, he paid no mind to his words. Mriganko Babu then instructed his driver to collect fuel from Panagarh while he remained in his vehicle. After a few moments, he exited the vehicle, stretched, lit a cigarette, and surveyed the northern side.
The vast, desolate pastures extended for kilometres. Aside from a cabin, there was no indication of human occupation. While on the western side, nothing was altered at all. There were a few trees and two huts, but no other inhabitants. In the centre of the field stood a scarecrow. Mriganka Babu felt hot after some time, so he went to the car. Suddenly, the weather changed, and a cool breeze began to blow. He was bored in the car, so he got out of the vehicle and started another cigarette. There was not a single living creature present, so he felt desolate. In the field, only a scarecrow was present. The sun’s rays penetrated the clouds and landed on them.
Mriganko Babu noticed that the creature was wearing a ripped, red-and-black-patterned shirt, which reminded him of a familiar face. Mriganko Babu returned to the car to drink tea from the flash once more. Mriganko Babu continued to feel an eerie attraction to the scarecrow. Suddenly, he realised that the scarecrow was alive and moving. As he approached, he introduced himself as Abhiram, a twenty-year family servant. Everyone in the family had faith in him. However, he was expelled for stealing a gold wristwatch. Mriganko Babu was assured by Abhiram that he was completely innocent. He inquired as to why Mriganko Babu had not believed him. Abhiram rejected the theft charge, but Mriganko Babu’s father contacted a watch doctor who pointed out that Abhiram, the twenty-year employee, was required to leave the position.
Abhiram became a scarecrow while he awaited Mriganko Babu’s confession that he was innocent. Again, Abhiram pled innocence and requested that Mriganko Babu inspect his home’s wardrobe. Upon leaving his home, Abhiram also told him the account of his death. After recounting the events, Abhiram’s figure grew blurry, and Mriganko Babu heard him say that he had finally found peace after so many years because he had told him the truth. Then Abhiram vanished. Mriganko Babu was startled awake by Sudheer’s voice. He observed that a scarecrow stood in its place. According to Abhiram, Mriganko Babu discovered the watch under the wardrobe upon his return home.
Answer the following questions in one or two words.
1. What was the name of Mriganko Babu’s driver?
Answer: The name of Mriganko Babu’s driver was Sudheer.
2. Where did he go to fetch petrol?
Answer: He went to Panagarh to obtain petrol.
3. Name the magazine that asked Mriganko Babu for a story.
Answer: The Bharat Magazine requested a story from Mriganko Babu.
4. Whose voice did Mriganko Babu recognise in the voice of the scarecrow?
Answer: Mriganko Babu recognised his former servant Abhiram’s voice in the voice of the scarecrow.
5. Where did the scarecrow ask Mriganko Babu to look for his watch?
Answer: Mriganko Babu was instructed by the scarecrow to search beneath his wardrobe for his watch.
Answer the following questions in a few words.
1. What did Sudheer not pay attention to?
Answer: When Mriganko Babu informed Sudhir that the petrol gange had not been operating correctly due to a lack of fuel, Sudhir paid no heed.
2. Why did Mriganko Babu go to Durgapur?
Answer: Mriganko Babu travelled to Durgapur since he was invited to a cultural event there by a club.
3. What kind of shirt was the scarecrow wearing?
Answer: The scarecrow had a damaged red-and-black-patterned shirt that was ripped.
4. Who was Abhiram?
Answer: Abhiram was Mriganko Babu’s old servant.
5. What did Mriganko Babu decide never to do again?
Answer: Mriganko Babu determined that he would never seek the assistance of a witch doctor in the event of a theft at his home.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
1. Describe the western side of the road as seen by Mripanko Babu.
Answer: According to Mriganko Babu, there was an empty, desolate field. Forty feet from the road, there was a small pond with some water. A small number of trees and prickly plants were visible from a great distance away. There were also two sheds and a scarecrow in the middle of the field, which was uninhabited.
2. Why did Mriganko Babu feel a tremor?
Answer: On his journey back to the city, Mriganko Babu’s car ran out of fuel and stalled in a paddy field. There, he met a scarecrow that came to life and spoke to him in human language. The crow referred to him as Babu. This horrifying scene gave Mriganko Babu an eerie feeling, and he began to shake.
3. What happened to Abhiram after he left Mriganko Babu?
Answer: Abhiram, an old servant of Mriganko Babu, was dismissed for stealing a gold watch from Mriganko Babu’s residence. As soon as he lost his job, he became unwell and never worked again. He was afflicted with dropsy, which developed into a severe condition. Abhiram could not afford to see a physician. Due to a lack of funds, even he was unable to purchase medications or eat adequately. He died of dropsy after never recovering.
Give suitable answers to the following.
1. Describe the scarecrow as seen by Mriganko Babu from the beginning to the moment when it addresses him as ‘Babul’
Answer: He was returning to the city. Mriganko Babu’s vehicle ran out of fuel and therefore he was forced to spend some time in a paddy field. On the western side of the road, where he stood, he observed a scarecrow in the midst of the field. The structure consisted of a bamboo pole with two arms and legs. The scarecrow had a shirt on. The head of the scarecrow consisted of an inverted earthenware pot. The pot had been painted black and large white eyes had been drawn on it. The birds made a particular mistake in identifying an actual person as a bird. Mriganko Babu was unable to recall who the shirt of the scarecrow reminded him of, although it was a ripped red-and-black-printed shirt with holes.
A crimson sunbeam was falling upon the scarecrow. Mriganko Babu felt an odd attraction to the scarecrow and regarded it. Something caused his heart rate to increase. It was less stiffly standing and resembled a real man. It had actual legs as opposed to bamboo poles. Even the dark brown pot appeared considerably smaller. The scarecrow moved towards Mriganko Babu in this desolate, uninhabited region. Mriganko Babu was terrified by the scarecrow as it approached him. It walked with a limp, had a human head, and wore the blouse Mriganko Babu had given him together with a short, slightly filthy dhoti. Mriganko Babu was startled when the scarecrow came to life and addressed him as “Babu.”
2. Narrate the circumstances that led Abhiram to leave Mriganko Babu. What did the latter do on reaching home?
Answer: Abhiram was Mriganko Babu’s old servant. Twenty years ago, he worked for Mriganko Babu’s family. Everyone had faith in him. Once, he was accused of stealing a gold watch given to Mriganko Babu as a wedding gift. Abhiram pled not guilty. Mriganko Babu’s father subsequently contacted a local witch doctor, who cast a spell that caused a simple wicker tray to spin and whirl until it stopped. It indicated Abhiram. Everyone believed Abhiram to be guilty, and he consequently lost his job. Therefore, Abhiram lost his job and left Mriganko Babu’s residence.
As directed by the ghost, he went directly to his room and searched under his closet upon entering his residence. Finally, he discovered the watch and realised that Abhiram was innocent; he had been punished for something he did not commit.
Extra/additional questions and answers/solutions.
1. Who was Mriganko Babu?
Answer: Mriganko Babu or Mriganko shekhar Mukhopadhyay was a well-known writer.
2. Why was he stranded near a paddy field?
Answer: On his return voyage from Durgapur, he became trapped outside a rice field when his vehicle ran out of fuel.
3. Why did Mriganko Babu travel to Durgapur?
Answer: Mriganko Babu went to Durgapur because a club wanted to felicitate him by inviting him to a cultural event there.
4. Describe the situation he encountered on the eastern side.
Answer: Empty, barren fields extended for miles on the eastern side of the road. In the far distance, a little cabin stood close to a tamarind tree. There were no further traces of human occupation. There was also a row of palm trees, beyond which was a dense, dark jungle. On the eastern side, he was welcomed by a completely deserted scene.
11. What did Abhiram learn following his death?
Answer: After his death, Abhiram realised that even the dead could have a heart. If their desires were not satisfied before death, they will attempt to satisfy them after death.
12. What led Mriganko Babu to believe that all Bengalis were selfish?
Answer: While Mriganko Babu was sitting alone in his car, two Ambassador Cars and a lorry passed by. One of the vehicles headed for Calcutta. Mriganko Babu grew enraged when he realised that none of the drivers had stopped to enquire whether he required assistance. Then he concluded that all Bengalis were selfish.
13. When Mriganko Babu saw the scarecrow’s shirt, what was the first thing that crossed his mind?
Answer: Mriganko Babu observed that the scarecrow wore a printed shirt. He suddenly had the feeling that he had seen that clothing before. He noticed that it had been worn before. He tried hard but was unable to recall who wore a worm shirt. He was certain that someone wore that clothing many years ago.
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