Get here the summary, questions, answers, textbook solutions, extras, and pdf of the chapter The Testament of a Walker by R.K. Narayan 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: R. K. Narayan’s essay “The Testament of a Walker” is more about his lack of “automobile sensibility” and the misery of owning an automobile than it is about walking. The story’s narrator is blind to the subtler values of a car. For him, a car is merely a means to an end. He is completely blind to anything else in the car. Despite this flaw, he came to buy an imported car that was shiny and sophisticated. The car provided all the amenities that made every auto-pandit or expert ecstatic. Furthermore, the narrator believed that most of the buttons and switches on his imported car were unnecessary. Unlike most people, he considered the car to be a burden because it limited his mobility. Furthermore, it was needlessly pricey.
For some reason, the narrator is unable to appreciate the pleasure and passion of those who admired his car. Because the narrator had no interest in automobiles, he held fast to his conviction that a human being’s ultimate destiny is to walk because he is endowed with a pair of legs that can function without the use of gasoline or gears. Walking will eventually be the only mode of communication available to humans. After much bitterness, while dealing with the mechanics, the narrator realised that he had no need for a car, as he had no office and no outside commitments. His belief was bolstered by the several mishaps he suffered after purchasing the car.
However, the narrator also praised individuals, particularly one of his friends, who spent his spare time under the automobile, fixing damaged parts like a surgeon. The narrator’s friend also persuaded him not to give up his car, but the narrator was unconvinced. As a result, the story concludes on a hilarious note, with the narrator referring to his friend’s peculiarities and abnormalities.
Answer the following questions in one or two words.
1. What is an automobile, according to the author?
Answer: The author sees the automobile as merely a means to an end.
2. What causes ecstasy in every auto pundit?
Answer: Every auto-pundit was ecstatic about the author’s new imported, shiny, and sophisticated automobile.
3. In Narayan’s opinion, what does he lack?
Answer: He lacks auto-mobile sensibility, according to Narayan.
4. What are the things that the author values most?
Answer: The author values confidentiality and anonymity the most.
5. What name does the author propose for his most ambitious work?
Answer: The author proposed the title “Testament of a Walker” for his most ambitious endeavour.
Answer the following questions in a few words
1. Why do you think the author is indifferent to the mention of any petrol ‘hike’?
Answer: The author is uninterested in any petrol hike because he feels that walking is the ultimate destiny of a human being. As a result, he is bestowed with a set of legs that do not require fuel or gears to function.
2. What made the author fear that he would soon become bankrupt?
Answer: The author felt that if he had to visit Elite Shop every other week to spend his money on car repairs, he would soon go bankrupt.
3. Who fell on Narayan’s car when it was parked in front of the hospital?
Answer: When Narayan’s automobile was stopped in front of the hospital, two cyclists collided and fell on it.
4. Which part of the author’s car could not ordinarily be replaced?
Answer: Ordinarily, the parking light on the author’s car’s left side could not be replaced.
5. How, according to the author, did his friend spend his leisure hours?
Answer: According to the author, his friend spends his free time collecting automotive spare parts from far and wide. Whenever it became necessary, he would fix his wrecked car and replace the damaged part with a new one.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
1. Describe the author’s “imported car.”
Answer: The author’s imported automobile was shiny and sophisticated. The car had a recessed handle, a steering-manoeuvrable push button glass raiser, floating seats, a multicoloured speedometer, a disguised air conditioner, a tape recorder, and a digital alarm with a calculator. The car had all of the features that made auto experts ecstatic. Narayan’s imported car was a special car, a proof of ancestry, and he was not allowed to take it to a regular mechanic or workshop to repair even small damage.
2. Why do you think the author regards himself as a “fanatic” in the context of walking?
Answer: According to the author, he is a walking enthusiast. He is convinced that walking is man’s ultimate destiny. Man is endowed with a pair of legs that may be operated without the use of fuel or gears. The author had a tendency to walk; even in poor weather, he could get the mileage or distance covered by walking out on his verandah, though pacing up and forth resembled a bear in his cage. Even the author wanted to publish a book about walking called “Testament of a walker.” He was such a zealot that even owning a sophisticated and imported car made him feel like a nuisance and irrelevant.
3. What is Narayan’s opinion about his driver?
Answer: According to Narayan, his driver was someone who was used to the old ways of life. Despite the fact that the author owned an air conditioner car, the driver never let him use it. Indeed, anytime the air conditioner was turned on, the windows had to be closed, which hampered the author’s driver, who had a tendency to indicate a right or left turn by putting his arm out. The driver also had a propensity for gesticulating toward oncoming people. He felt cramped, contained, tongue-tied, and drove morosely since he couldn’t drive confidently with the air conditioner on. Narayan was constantly worried about his driver, should he be motivated to put the author’s imported car’s exceptional feature of reaching full speed in two minutes to the test. In truth, the driver was an old-fashioned oddball.
Give suitable answers to the following.
1. Discuss the reasons for the author’s impervious attitude towards his car.
Answer: The author had a gorgeous, sophisticated imported automobile. Every auto-pundit who saw it was in a state of euphoria. However, the author felt the car to be a hardship because it limited his movement and was also too expensive. In the essay The Testament of a Walker, we learn that R. K. Narayan cherished privacy and anonymity the most, but these were lost when the author permitted himself to be chauffeured around in a showy car. Furthermore, if his car was damaged, he was not permitted to take it to a regular mechanic or workshop to be repaired. As a result, he had to go to Bangalore for minor repairs. He was told to buy from a business that sold imported spare parts and catered to the needs of the elite. He was afraid that if he had to visit this shop every other week, he would go bankrupt. Furthermore, the author was uninterested in autos. He had a strong opinion that walking is man’s ultimate destiny, and the several misfortunes he had after purchasing the car reinforced his belief. So, the author’s belief in walking, as well as the traumas induced by his imported car, were to blame for his impervious attitude toward his car.
2. Narrate the circumstances that led Narayan to decide to “get rid” of his car.
Answer: Narayan was uninterested in automobiles since he believed that walking was man’s ultimate destiny. However, Narayan had an imported car with all the essential features, and it became a source of frustration for him. Narayan treasured privacy and anonymity the most, but these were gone when he agreed to be chauffeured around in a showy car. Because Mysore was a small city, it was like sitting on the back of an elephant and being recognised. The author was not permitted to take his car to a normal mechanic or repair shop. As a result, he was forced to go to Bangalore for minor repairs. He was also advised to buy the car’s spare parts from a shop that sold imported spare parts. The author realised that if he had to visit the elite-only business every other week, he would go bankrupt. Two bicycles crashed and landed on his parked car, smashing the left side parking light. The elite shop charged Rs 2,000 for the item because it was not a common replacement. The mechanic also suggested that he go to New York and pick it up there. The events and expenses associated with the car annoyed him. It helped the author realise that he had no need for a car because he had no office and no outside obligations. He only used the car once, towards the end of a lengthy hike. As a result of the multiple disasters he had experienced after acquiring possession of the car, Narayan decided to not use his foreign made vehicle.
Extra/additional questions and answers/solutions of The Testament of a Walker
1. Who was R. K. Narayan?
Answer: R.K. Narayan was an Indian author best known for his works set in the fictitious South Indian town of Malgudi.
2. What is Narayan’s firm belief about “walking”?
Answer: Narayan thought that walking was man’s ultimate destiny, which is why he was born with two legs.
3. What is Narayan’s most ambitious project?
Answer: For years, Narayan had planned to write a novel called “The Testament of a Walker.”
4. What is Narayan’s persistent fear of the car and its driver?
Answer: Narayan used to live in continual fear that his driver would be motivated to put his car’s special feature of reaching full speed in two minutes.
16. What is Narayan’s friend’s favourite pastime?
Answer: On Sundays, Narayan’s companion enjoyed getting under his car. He spent his free time under his imported car, adjusting and improving it. Narayan had spent all of his time collecting spare parts from far and wide, and he believed he had enough pieces piled up to create a new car.
17. What type of vehicle did the author drive? What impact did it have on the auto-pundits?
Answer: The author owned a flashy, sophisticated imported automobile. All of the additional improvements and refinements had been made to the author’s automobile.
The auto-pundits, or so-called automobile experts, were excited to see the author’s new sophisticated car. They would rather touch each aspect of the car and express their disappointment. They looked admiringly at the handle, steering, glass raiser, push button floating seats, multicoloured speedometer, air conditioner, tape recorder, digital alarm with calculators, and dashboard.
18. What, according to R.K. Narayan, is a man’s ultimate destiny?
Answer: R.K. Narayan believed that walking was man’s ultimate destiny. That, according to him, is the explanation for man’s possession of a pair of legs that can operate without the use of gasoline or gears. He paradoxically states here that humanity will someday have to rely on walking as the sole mode of physical communication.
19. What were R. K. Narayan’s most important values? How did they get lost while he was being driven by a dazzling car?
Answer: R.K. Narayan stated in The Testament of a Walker that he treasured privacy and anonymity, which meant that he preferred to stay unknown in society. Both were lost, however, when he was whisked away by a showy automobile. Because it felt like he was sitting in a howdy on elephant back, hoping not to be noticed. However, in a city like Mysore, where everyone knew everyone, the author’s movements in the car were known to the entire town, and people used to comment on him whenever he was spotted driving to Market Road or elsewhere. As a result, his privacy was invaded.
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