The Boy Who Broke The Bank Workbook Answers


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Section B: Context Questions

I. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

Nathu grumbled to himself as he swept the steps of the Pipalnagar Bank, owned by Seth Govind Ram. He used the small broom hurriedly and carelessly, and the dust, after rising in a cloud above his head settled down again on the steps. As Nathu was banging his pan against a dustbin, Sitaram, the washerman's son, passed by. Sitaram was on his delivery round. He had a bundle of freshly pressed clothes balanced on his head. 'Don't raise such dust,' he called out to Nathu. 'Are you annoyed because they are still refusing to pay you an extra two rupees a month?'

(i) Who was Nathu? Briefly describe what he was doing.

Ans: Nathu was a poor sweeper who works in the Pipalnagar Bank, owned by Seth Govind Ram. He was sweeping the steps of the Pipalnagar Bank. Nathu was using a small broom in a hurried and careless manner, causing the dust to rise in a cloud above his head and then settle down on the steps.

(ii) Why was he doing his duty hurriedly and carelessly?

Ans: Nathu was doing his duty hurriedly and carelessly due to his dissatisfaction with the job and working conditions, along with the frustration of even not receiving his regular pay from the last month and the bank's refusal to grant him a requested pay raise.

(iii) Why did Nathu bang his pan against the dustbin? What does this action tell us about Nathu's state of mind? 

Ans: Nathu banged his pan against the dustbin to emphasize his frustration and dissatisfaction. This action reflects his anger and resentment toward his current situation. It indicates that Nathu is feeling defiant and wants to assert himself, possibly as a way to cope with his perceived mistreatment and to find some sense of empowerment.

(iv) Who was Sitaram? What did he ask Nathu? How did he try to help Nathu?

Ans: Sitaram was the washerman's son. When he passed by Nathu, he asked Nathu, "Are you annoyed because they are still refusing to pay you an extra two rupees a month?" Sitaram tried to help Nathu by expressing concern for his situation and offering assistance. He mentioned that he would keep a lookout for any job opportunities that might suit Nathu, indicating his willingness to help him find alternative employment.

(v) Why was the incident of not paying the salary introduced in the beginning of the story? What were its consequences?

Ans: The incident of not paying the salary was introduced in the beginning of the story to highlight a significant issue faced by Nathu, the sweeper boy, and to establish a sense of dissatisfaction and frustration within the narrative. The consequences include Nathu's frustration and the overall turmoil caused by the bank's financial troubles.

II. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow: 

Mrs. Srivastava had to do some shopping. She gave instructions to the ayah about looking after the baby, and told the cook not to be late with the mid-day meal. Then she set out for the Pipalnagar market place, to make her customary tour of the cloth shops.
A large shady tamarind tree grew at one end of the bazaar, and it was here that Mrs. Srivastava found her friend Mrs. Bhushan sheltering from the heat.

(i) Who was Mrs Srivastava? How can you say that she cares for her family?

Ans: Mrs Srivastava was the lady of the fourth house Sitaram visited, who was in need of a sweeper. Mrs. Srivastava gives specific instructions to the ayah about looking after the baby and tells the cook not to be late with the midday meal. This shows that she takes the well-being of her family members seriously and is attentive to their needs.

(ii) What did she do at the market? Do you think it was a regular practice? Why?

Ans: Mrs. Srivastava had to do some shopping for clothes at the market. Yes, I think it was a regular practice by her. The phrase "to make her customary tour of the cloth shops" suggests that it was a habitual practice for her.

(iii) What did Mrs. Bhushan and Mrs. Srivastava talk about?

Ans: Mrs. Bhushan and Mrs. Srivastava talked about the summer, which was the hottest in the history of Pipalnagar, and then they talked about a sample of cloth that Mrs. Bhushan was going to buy. They discussed its shade, texture, and design for a brief period.

(iv) What apparently had happened to the Pipalnagar Bank? How did the news spread?

Ans: The Pipalnagar Bank was on the verge of collapse as even it couldn't pay its employees. The news quickly spread through the bazaar and the town, starting with Mrs. Srivastava informing Mrs. Bhushan. It travelled from shop to shop, circulated among customers, and reached different individuals and groups.

(v) Briefly describe the conversation between Mrs Bhushan and her husband. What does this say about them?

Ans: Mrs. Bhushan shared the news she heard from Mrs. Srivastava about the Pipalnagar Bank's financial troubles, mentioning that even the bank's sweeper hadn't received his wages for over a month. Mr. Bhushan seemed unperturbed, joking about his wife's search and the heat. This conversation portrays Mrs. Bhushan as an attentive and concerned individual who shares important information, while Mr. Bhushan appears more relaxed and less affected by the news, possibly indicating a difference in their personalities or levels of worry.

III. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

Deep Chand who was cutting the hair of an elderly gentleman, was so startled that his hand shook and he nicked his customer's right ear The customer yelped with pain and distress: pain, because of the cut, and distress because of the awful news he had just heard. With one side of his neck still unshaven, he sped across the road to the general merchant's store where there was a telephone.

(i) Who was Deep Chand? Who gave him the news? Why?

Ans: Deep Chand was a barber in Pipalnagar. The news about the impending collapse of the Pipalnagar Bank was given to him by Kamal Kishore, the owner of a photographic shop. Kamal Kishore gave this news to Deep Chand, as he has an account there in the bank.

(ii) How did he react to the rumour? Do you think he followed the advice given to him?

Ans: Deep Chand was startled by the news of the bank's collapse, and his hand shook, causing him to nick his customer's right ear. He was taken aback by the information and seemed concerned about the situation. He was given advice of withdrawing his money as soon as he can, he tried to follow the advice, but he was unable to at that instant.

(iii) How did his customer react? Was his reaction followed by other people in the town?

Ans: Deep Chand's customer reacted with pain and distress due to the cut on his ear and due to the awful news he had heard. With one side of his neck still unshaven, he sped across the road to the general merchant's store to call Seth Govind Ram. His reaction was followed by the other people in the town, and this news spread through the bazaar with the rapidity of the forest fire.

(iv) What was it that concerned the customer more than his injury? What does this reflect about the general tendency of the customers of the bank?

Ans: The customer's primary concern was not his injury but the news he had just heard about the impending collapse of the Pipalnagar Bank. This reflects that the customers of the bank were more worried about the potential loss of their money and the bank's financial stability rather than their own physical well-being. They were deeply concerned about the potential consequences of its collapse.

(v) ) Name two people who spread the rumour. How did each get the news and how he/she spread it?

Ans: Two people who spread the rumor about the Pipalnagar Bank were Kamal Kishore and Mrs. Srivastava. Mrs. Srivastava shared this information with Mrs. Bhushan during their conversation at the market. From there, the rumor started to circulate further. On the other hand, Kamal Kishore got the news from Mr. Bhushan and spread it by informing his neighbour, Deep Chand. 

IV. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

'The bird has flown! Seth Govind Ram has left town. Definitely, it means a collapse.' And then he dashed out of the shop, making a beeline for his office and chequebook.

(i) "The bird has flown!". What did Deep Chand meant by this?

Ans: When Deep Chand exclaimed, "The bird has flown!" he meant that Seth Govind Ram, the owner of the Pipalnagar Bank, had left town. This statement suggested that Seth Govind Ram had fled, indicating a sense of suspicion and implying that his departure was connected to the imminent collapse of the bank.

(ii) How did Deep Chand's action contribute to the possible collapse of the bank?

Ans: Deep Chand's action of spreading the rumor that Seth Govind Ram had left town, implying a connection to the bank's impending collapse, added fuel to the growing panic and uncertainty among the townspeople, prompting more people to withdraw their funds. This resulted in a rush of customers and a depletion of the bank's cash reserves, ultimately contributing to the worsening situation and increasing the likelihood of a bank collapse.

(iii) How did Deep Chand conclude that the bank had collapsed?

Ans: Deep Chand concluded that the bank had collapsed based on the rumor he heard about Seth Govind Ram leaving town. As he spread the rumor and observed the growing panic among customers, coupled with the bank's inability to meet withdrawal demands, he jumped to the conclusion that the bank had indeed collapsed.

(iv) Who was responsible for the apparent collapse of the bank? Why do you think so?

Ans: In my opinion, it was Nathu who was responsible for the apparent collapse of the bank. Nathu had complained to Sitaram about the irregular payment of his salary. In his idle conversation with Mrs. Srivastava, Sitaram mentioned that the bank could not pay its employees. Mrs. Srivastava informed her friend, Mrs. Bhushan, the rumour spread across the town in this way like wildfire.

(v) How does the story show that the people trusted one another without finding out the real cause behind the rumour?

Ans: The story demonstrates that the people in the town of Pipalnagar trusted one another without verifying the authenticity of the rumor regarding the bank's collapse. Despite the lack of concrete evidence or confirmation from reliable sources, the news spread rapidly throughout the town. People readily believed and acted upon the rumor without seeking factual information or investigating the real cause behind the bank's predicament. This suggests a strong sense of trust within the community.

V. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

Men stood in groups at street corners discussing the situation. Pipalnagar seldom had a crisis, seldom or never had floods, earthquakes or drought, and the imminent crash of the Pipalnagar Bank set everyone talking and speculating and rushing about in a frenzy. Some boasted of their farsightedness, congratulating themselves on having already taken out their money, or on never having put any in; others speculated on the reasons for the crash, putting it all down to excesses indulged in by Seth Govind Ram. The Seth had fled the state, said one. He had fled the country, said another, he was hiding in Pipalnagar, said a third. He had hanged himself from the tamarind tree, said a fourth, and had been found that morning by the sweeper-boy.

(i) What were the men who stood in groups talking about?

Ans: The men who stood in groups were discussing the situation surrounding the apparent collapse of the Pipalnagar Bank. They engaged in conversations and speculations about the reasons behind the bank's downfall. Some boasted about their foresight in withdrawing their money from the bank or not having invested in it at all.

(ii) How did the people react? What made them think that Seth Govind Ram had fled with their money?

Ans: The people reacted with panic and agitation upon hearing the news of the bank's potential collapse. The rumor that Seth Govind Ram, the bank's owner, had fled with their money added to their anxiety. The absence of Seth Govind Ram, who was actually on holiday in Kashmir, led them to believe that he had fled with their money.

(iii) What were the rumours about Seth Govind Ram?

Ans: There were many rumours about Seth Govind Ram were spreading all around in the town. Some said the collapse of the bank was due to the excesses and extravagance of the Seth, another said he had fled the state while a third was convinced the Seth had fled the country. One rumour that was rife was that the Seth was hiding somewhere in the town to escape facing the people and paying their money.

(iv) Why was the tamarind tree important?

Ans: The tamarind tree in the story holds significance because it becomes a focal point for spreading rumors and gathering people's attention. When the news of the possible collapse of the bank reaches Mrs. Srivastava and Mrs. Bhushan, they discuss it under the shade of the tamarind tree. Later, the tree becomes a symbolic gathering place where information is exchanged, rumors are fueled, and people come together to discuss the unfolding situation.

(v) Do you think that the way Seth Govind Ram behaved made the rumours easier to believe? Give reasons to support your answer.

Ans: Seth Govind Ram's sudden disappearance, coupled with his past financial troubles and lack of communication, fueled the rumors and made them easier to believe. The panic and frenzy among the people, along with the absence of any reassurance from Seth Govind Ram, created a climate of suspicion, leading many to speculate that he had fled with their money, further strengthening the rumors.

VI. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

People were turned back from the counters and told to return the following day. They did not like the sound of that. And so they gathered outside, on the steps of the bank shouting 'Give us our money or we'll break in!' and Fetch the Seth, we know he's hiding in a safe deposit locker!' Mischief makers who didn't have a paisa in the bank, joined the crowd and aggravated their mood. The manager stood at the door and tried to placate them.

(i) Who were the people at the counters? Why were they asked to return the next day?

Ans: The people at the counters were customers of the bank who had come to withdraw their money. They were asked to return the next day because the bank had run out of cash due to the panic and rush of customers trying to withdraw their funds. So, they have decided to temporarily suspend transactions and serve the customers at a later date.

(ii) What was their reaction? Why was anyone not able to 'Fetch' the Seth? Why?

Ans: The customers' reaction was one of frustration and anger. They were not satisfied with being turned away and asked to return the next day. They gathered outside the bank, shouting their demands. Nobody was able to "Fetch" the Seth because he was not present in the bank. The rumor of him fleeing or hiding was unfounded. In reality, Seth Govind Ram was on holiday in Kashmir, which was not known to the customers at the time.

(iii) Why did the mischief makers, who didn't even have a paisa in the bank join the crowd? How did the crowd mentality of the masses add to the confusion?

Ans: The mischief makers, without any paisa in the bank, joined the crowd to exploit the chaos for their amusement. The crowd mentality of the masses escalated the confusion as emotions intensified, rumors spread, and individuals fed off each other's anger and fear. The collective frenzy makes it easier for misinformation to circulate unchecked.

(iv) What, do you think, would have happened outside the bank after the brick was hurled through the air?

Ans: After the brick was hurled through the air, the situation outside the bank would have likely escalated into further chaos. The act of violence would have fueled the anger and frustration of the crowd, intensifying their determination to get their money back. The atmosphere would become more hostile, with potential clashes between the crowd and the bank staff or authorities.

(v) According to you, which incident reflected the madness of the town?

Ans: According to me, the incident where the brick was hurled through the air reflected the madness of the town. It demonstrated the height of the people's desperation and frustration, as well as their willingness to resort to violence in order to vent their anger and seek justice. The irrationality and chaos that ensued in the aftermath of the brick being thrown highlighted the collective madness that had gripped the town, fueled by rumors, fear, and a sense of betrayal.

VII. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

He declared that the bank had plenty of money but no immediate means of collecting it; he urged them to go home and come back the next day. We want it now!' chanted some of the crowd. Now, now, now!' And a brick hurtled through the air and crashed through the plate glass window of the Pipalnagar Bank.

(i) How did the manager try to pacify the crowd?

Ans: The manager tried to pacify the crowd by declaring that the bank had plenty of money, but the immediate means of collecting it was not available. He urged the people to go home and return the next day to receive their money. He attempted to assure them that their funds were safe and that the situation would be resolved.

(ii) Was he speaking the truth? What did the crowd do when they were asked to come the next day?

Ans: Yes, he was speaking the truth. However, when the crowd was asked to come back the next day, they were not willing to wait. Some members of the crowd chanted demands for their money immediately, and their frustration escalated to the point where a brick was thrown through the bank's window, indicating their anger and impatience.

(iii) Why did people want their money as soon as possible? Why didn't anyone believe the manager? Why did the townsfolk merely rely on the rumours?

Ans: People wanted their money as soon as possible because they were alarmed by the rumors of the bank's imminent collapse. They feared losing their savings if the bank actually failed. The townsfolk did not believe the manager because they had already heard various rumors spreading throughout the town, which had created a sense of panic and mistrust. The rumors seemed more convincing to them than the manager's reassurances.

(iv) What is the irony in the situation mentioned in the extract?

Ans: The irony in the situation mentioned in the extract is that the manager of the bank, who was actually telling the truth about the bank's financial stability and urging the crowd to come back the next day, was not believed. The irony lies in the fact that the truth was disregarded while baseless rumors gained more credibility.

(v) The tongue is mightier than the sword. How does this story support this statement?

Ans: This story supports the statement "The tongue is mightier than the sword" by showing how the spreading of rumors and false information can cause chaos and panic among people, leading to destructive actions. The power of words and gossip in shaping perceptions and inciting fear is depicted, highlighting that verbal communication can have a more profound impact than physical force.

VIII. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

He cried: 'Hooligans! Sons of donkeys! As though it isn't bad enough to be paid late, it seems my work has also to be increased!' He smote the steps with his broom scattering the refuse.
'Good morning, Nathu,' said the washerman's boy getting down from his bicycle. 'Are you ready to take up a new job from the first of next month'?

(i) What made Nathu angry enough to swear? What does this say about his status?

Ans: Nathu became angry and swore because he was frustrated with not being paid on time and now feeling overworked. This shows that he is discontented with his current situation and feels undervalued in his job. The delay in payment and increased workload likely reflect his low status and the difficulties he faces in making a living.

(ii) What new job is the washerman's boy talking about? How frequently does he meet Nathu?

Ans: The washerman's boy is talking about a new job of sweeping in Mrs. Srivastava's house for Nathu that would begin from the first of the next month. He meets Nathu very frequently, whenever he passes by Bank on his delivery round, he meets Nathu.

(iii) What had happened? Why would Nathu have to take up a new job?

Ans: Nathu has not received his regular pay from the Pipalnagar Bank for over a month. Nathu expresses his frustration and decides that he will leave the job if he does not receive his wages soon. And now the bank collapses and his work increases after an aggressive mob had thrown stones at the bank, breaking the windows. Therefore, Nathu would have to take up a new job.

(iv) What was supposed to happen later in the morning?


(v) The boy who broke the bank was the last to know it. Comment.

Ans: The statement "The boy who broke the bank was the last to know it" suggests that the person who caused or triggered the bank's collapse was unaware of the consequences or the extent of the damage until the news reached them. This phrase is often used metaphorically to highlight the irony or ignorance of someone who unwillingly sets off a chain of events leading to a negative outcome without realizing the impact of their actions.