Comprehension Check (Page 65)
- Why didn’t he pay the school fees on the day he brought money to school?
- (i) What were the coins ‘saying’ to him?
(ii) Do you think they were misguiding him?
- Why didn’t he take the coin’s advice? Give two or three reasons.
- (i) What did the oldest coin tell him?
(ii) Did he follow his advice? If not, why not?
- He reached home with the coins in his pocket. What happened then?
- The boy couldn’t pay the school fees on the day he brought to school because the teacher Master Ghulam Mohammed was on leave.
- (i) The coins in the boy’s pocket urged him to buy hot and fresh jalebis.
(ii) Yes, the coins were misguiding him because the money was meant for paying school fees.
- Initially, the boy didn’t take the advice of the coins seriously for a couple of reasons. He could not spend the money meant for paying school fees on jalebis. Secondly, the boy knew the harsh nature of the master and the punishment.
- (i) The oldest coin convinced him that they were telling him for his own good. He can pay his fee next day with his scholarship money. So he should not suppress his desire for jalebis. .
(ii) He didn’t follow his advice. He was a promising student. He was from a good family of repute. He didn’t want to get defame for it
- After reaching home he couldn’t suppress his temptation for fresh Jalabis. He rushed to the shop of halwai. He bought jalebis and enjoyed them.
Comprehension Check (Page 68)
- (i) Why didn’t he eat all the jalebis he had bought?
(ii) What did he do with the remaining Jalebis?
- “The fear was killing me.” What was the fear?
- “Children’s stomachs are like digestion machines.” What do you understand by that? Do you agree?
- How did he plan to pay the fees the next day?
- When it is time to pay the fees, what does he do? How is he disobeying the elders by doing so?
- (i) He had bought jalebis for one rupee. But he couldn’t eat all of them because of their quantity.
(ii) He distributed the remaining jalebis among the boys from the neighbourhood.
- He had eaten so many jalebis that there was the problem of digesting them all. His fear was that one jalebi or two would come out with a burp.
- It means that children have the capacity to digest a lot of things that they overeat. I agree with the statement but only partly.
- He planned to pay the fees the next day when he would get his monthly scholarship.
- When the time draws near to pay the fees, he tucked the bag under his arm and slips out of the school. He had disobeyed his elders by crossing the railway track.
Comprehension Check (Page 72)
- What was the consequence of buying jalebis with the fees money?
- His prayer to God is like a lawyer’s defence of a bad case. Does he argue his case well? What are the points he makes?
- He offers to play a game with Allah Miyan. What is the game?
- Did he get four rupees by playing the game? What did he get to see under the rock?
- If God had granted his wish that day, what harm would it have caused him in later life?
- As a result of spending his fees money on jalebis, he had to be absent from school for the first time in his life.
- He tries to please God with his requests and the recitation of the entire namaz. He admits that he made a mistake. He wouldn’t have spent his money on jalebis if he had known about the delay in scholarship. Thus, he argues his case like a lawyer.
- The game is that he will go upto the signal, touch it and come back. And in the meantime God should put four rupees under a big rock.
- No, he didn’t get four rupees by playing the game. When he lifted the rock, he saw a worm instead of coins.
- If God had granted his wish that day he wouldn’t have learnt a lesson to do no wrong in future. He would have been like a bird and learnt no skill.
EXERCISE (PAGE 72)
Work in small groups.
Select and read sentences that show
(a) that the boy is tempted to eat jalebis.
(d) that he is feeling guilty
(c) that he is justifying a wrong deed.
- Jalebis are meant to be eaten, and those with money in their pocket can eat them.
- But then, these jalebis are no common sort of Jalebis They’re crisp, fresh and full of syrup.
- My mouth watered. I rushed out of the house bare foot and ran towards the bazaar.
- My head started to spin.
- When the recess bell rang I tucked my bag under my arm and left the school.
- Now for the crime of eating a few Jalebis, for the first time in my life I was absent from school.
- Sitting under a tree, at first I felt like crying.
- I didn’t eat them all by myself, and I fed them to a whole lot of children.
- Allah Miyan! I am a good boy. I have memorised the entire namaz and the last – ten surats of the Quran by heart.
Discuss the following points.
(a) Is the boy intelligent? If so, what is the evidence of it?
(b) Does his outlook on the jalebis episode change after class VIII? Does he see that episode in a new light?
(c) Why are coins made to ‘talk’ in this story? What purpose does it serve?
(a) The boy is definitely intelligent. The first evidence is that he has won a scholarship. He is a promising boy. He knows what is right and what is wrong. He argues his case before God like a lawyer.
(b) Yes, his outlook changed after class VIII. He later realised that nothing comes without a price. If God were to grant all one’s wishes for the asking, man would not learn any skill. He would be no better than birds.
(c) The coins are made to talk because they reflect the conflict going on in his own mind.
MORE QUESTIONS SOLVED
I. SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
How did the coins persuade the boy to buy jalebis?
The coins told the boy that the jalebis were fresh, crisp and syrupy. They were meant to be eaten and only those with money in their pocket could eat them.
How did the boy respond to the coins?
The boy didn’t heed to the coins. He was a good and intelligent boy. He told the coins not to misguide him. He got so much at home that he considered even looking at something in the bazaar a sin.
Why did the boy hold all the four coins tight in his fist?
All the four coins began to speak at the same time in order to make the boy ready to buy the jalebis. There was such a clamour that passersby in the bazaar stared at him and his pocket. So, the boy grabbed all of them and held them tight in his fist to make them silent.
Did the boy eat all the jalebis by himself? How can you say?
The boy didn’t eat all the jalebis by himself. He ate himself to his heart’s content and distributed the rest among the boys from neighbourhood.
Why did the boy’s head start to spin in the school?
As soon as he reached the school, he came to know that the scholarship was going to be paid the following month. This news intensified his tension so much that his head started to spin.
II. LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Comment on the significance of the jalebis in the story.
Jalebis are central to the story. These are hot, fresh and syrupy. A school boy falls to the sweet temptation of jalebis. He spends all his school fees money in buying jalebis. He eats himself and also distributes them among children. He regrets his weakness later.
He prays to God to send him four rupees. But he gets no help from God. He realises in later life that God cannot meet everybody’s demand. Were he so generous, man would not have developed the skill of making jalebis.
Write a short note on the character of the schoolboy in Jalebis.
The schoolboy in the story Jalebis carries four rupees to school to pay the school fees. He is honest, God fearing and brilliant student. He has won a scholarship also. He has never been punished. He enjoys prestige. He feels shy of standing in the bazaar and eating jalebis.
But the coins in his pocket persuade him to go wrong. And he repents his foolishness. He asks for God’s help. He can recite the namaz and some portions from the Quran. His experience, however, teaches him a valuable lesson.
How does the schoolboy try to please God to come to his rescue?
The schoolboy faces a crisis after he has spent his school fees on the jalebis. He turns to Allah Miyan for help. He apologises to God. He promises to never repeat that mistake, and recites the namaaz and few verses from the Quran. He hopes in vain that God will put money under the rock. He plays a game with God. But he finds no coins but a hairy worm under the rock.