The Home-Coming Workbook Answers
Section B: Context Questions
I. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow: But just as the fun was about to begin, Makhan, Phatik's younger brother, sauntered up, and sat down on the log in front of them all without a word. The boys were puzzled for a moment. He was pushed, rather timidly, by one of the boys and told to get up but he remained quite unconcerned. He appeared like a young philosopher meditating on the futility of games. Phatik was furious. "Makhan," he cried, "if you don't get down this minute I'll thrash you!"
(i) Who was Makhan? Where was he? What is meant by "sauntered up"?
Ans: Makhan was the younger brother of Phatik Chakravorti. He was sat on the heavy log lying on the mud-flat of the river, in front of the group. The phrase "sauntered up" means that Makhan approached or walked casually towards the group without any hurry or concern.
(ii) What was the 'fun' that was about to begin? What did Makhan do to spoil 'the fun'?
Ans: The "fun" that was about to begin was the boys' plan to shift a heavy log lying on the mud-flat of the river. They wanted to roll the log away, and angering its owner for their own amusement. Makhan spoiled the fun by sauntering up and sitting down on the log, refusing to move despite being pushed by one of the boys. Makhan's action disrupted the plan and puzzled the boys.
(iii) What did one of the boys do and why? How did Makhan react to it?
Ans: When Makhan spoiled the fun by sauntering up and sitting down on the log, one of the boys pushed him and told him to get up, as Makhan came in the way of their "fun".
Makhan remained quite unconcerned. He appeared like a young philosopher meditating on the futility of games.
(iv) Why was Phatik furious? What did he ask his band of companions to do after this extract?
Ans: Phatik was furious because Makhan's indifferent and detached behavior disrupted the group's unity and enjoyment, challenging Phatik's authority as an older brother. After this extract, he gave the word of command to roll the log and Makhan over together.
(v) Did Phatik hit Makhan? Why? Which two characteristic traits of Phatik are revealed in this extract?
Ans: Phatik didn't hit Makhan on the bank of the river. But, when Makhan told his mother he had hit him on the bank of the river, Phatik's patience was exhausted. He rushed at Makhan and hammered him with blows in front of Mother.
Two characteristic traits of Phatik that are revealed are: Impulsive and hot-tempered: Phatik's impulsive nature is evident in his quick and instinctive reaction to Makhan's false accusation. And Protective and fiercely loyal: Phatik's reaction to Makhan's false accusation demonstrates his loyalty and protectiveness toward his own reputation.
II. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
It was just at this critical juncture that the grey-haired stranger arrived. He asked what the matter was. Phatik looked sheepish and ashamed.
(i) What was the 'critical juncture'? What had happened before 'this critical juncture'?
Ans: 'Critical juncture' in the story refers to the moment when Phatik pushed her mother aside, as his mother was beating him with her hands for beating his younger brother, who had falsely accused Phatik of hitting him. At this critical juncture, the mother's anger turns to surprise upon recognizing her brother, and she bows to the ground and touches his feet as a sign of respect.
(ii) Who was the grey-haired stranger? Why did he come there?
Ans: A grey-haired, middle-aged stranger arrived at Phatik's home. He was the brother of Phatik's mother, Bishamber. He came there to meet her sister, as soon as he found out where she lives.
(iii) Why did Phatik feel ashamed on seeing the stranger?
Ans: Phatik felt ashamed upon seeing the stranger because he realized that his behavior was inappropriate and unjustified. The stranger arrived at a crucial moment when Phatik was engaging in a physical altercation with Makhan, and Phatik's mother was attempting to intervene. Phatik's aggressive actions showcased a lack of self-control.
(iv) How did Phatik react to the stranger's offer when he reached home? Which characteristic trait of Phatik is revealed by his reaction?
Ans: Phatik's uncle offered Phatik to go to Calcutta with him. Phatik reacted to the stranger's offer with great joy and enthusiasm when he reached home. He was impatient to leave. His reaction revealed his eagerness and genuine desire to accept the opportunity to go to Calcutta with his uncle. His openness to change, and get a new experience is revealed by his reaction.
(v) State any two traits of the stranger's personality in the story.
Ans: Two traits of the stranger's personality are:
i) Concerned and helpful: The stranger, Phatik's Uncle, shows concern for his sister and her children. He takes the initiative to visit them and offers to take Phatik under his care. He also takes care of Phatik when he falls ill.
ii) Observant and perceptive: When the stranger arrives at his sister's house and sees Phatik sitting on the barge, he immediately senses that something is wrong. He observes the situation and realizes that Phatik is not being treated well in his aunt's house. He pays attention to Phatik's behavior and emotions, understanding his longing for his village and his deep love for his mother. This perception leads him to take the step of bringing Phatik back to his mother.
III. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
He was told by his sister that Phatik was a perpetual nuisance. He was lazy, disobedient, and wild. But Makhan was as good as gold, as quiet as a lamb, and very fond of reading, Bishamber kindly offered to take Phatik off his sister's hands, and educate him with his own children in Calcutta.
(i) Who was 'He' referred to in the first line of the extract? What was Phatik's mother's complaint about him?
Ans: In the given extract, 'he' refers to Phatik. Pathik's mother complained that he was a perpetual nuisance. He was lazy, disobedient, and wild. And when Phatik's uncle offered Phatik to go to Calcutta with him, his mother got immense relief to get rid of Phatik.
(ii) How according to Phatik's mother, was Makhan different in his behaviour from his brother?
Ans: According to Phatik's mother Phatik was a perpetual nuisance. He was lazy, disobedient, and wild. But Makhan was as good as gold, as quiet as a lamb, and very fond of reading
(iii) What did Bishamber offer to do? Why?
Ans: Bishamber (uncle of Phatik) offers to take Phatik under his care and provide him with education and a better life in Calcutta. He offered this, as his sister was making complaints about Phatik's behaviour, and so as to help his widowed sister and Phatik.
(iv) How welcome was Phatik in Bishamber's family? What was its effect on Phatik?
Ans: Phatik was not very welcomed in Bishamber's family. His aunt was by no means pleased with the unnecessary addition to her family. She treated him with indifference, and at times, even with hostility. Phatik's presence in Bishamber's family had a profound effect on him. He experienced a sense of displacement and loneliness in the unfamiliar environment. Phatik longed for the love and familiarity he had left behind in his village. He missed his mother and the companionship of his friends.
(v) How is the theme of abandonment hinted upon in the story?
Ans: The theme of abandonment is hinted upon in the story through Phatik's departure from his village and his longing for home. He feels unwelcome in Bishamber's family, which intensifies his sense of abandonment. The story explores the emotional impact of leaving behind familiar surroundings and loved ones, emphasizing the theme of abandonment.
IV. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
The widowed mother readily agreed. When his uncle asked Phatik if he would like to go to Calcutta with him, his joy knew no bounds, and he said; "Oh, yes, uncle!" In a way that made it quite clear that he meant it. It was an immense relief to the mother to get rid of Phatik.
(i) Why did Phatik's mother agree to send Phatik to Calcutta?
Ans: Phatik's mother agreed to send Phatik to Calcutta because according to Phatik's mother, Phatik was a perpetual nuisance. He was lazy, disobedient, and wild. Moreover, she was in daily fear that he would either drown Makhan some day in the river, or break his head in a fight, or run him into some danger or other.
(ii) Why was Phatik excited to go to Calcutta? Explain 'that he meant it.'
Ans: Phatik was excited to go to Calcutta because it represented a world beyond his small village, offering new opportunities and experiences. He saw Calcutta as a place of possibilities. The phrase "that he meant it" emphasizes Phatik's genuine enthusiasm and determination. It suggests that his excitement was not merely fleeting or superficial, but a deeply held conviction to embark on a new journey and make something of himself in the bustling city.
(iii) Do you think Phatik's mother's decision to send Phatik to Calcutta was correct? Why?
Ans: Yes, Phatik's mother's decision to send him to Calcutta in "The Homecoming" can be considered correct due to better educational opportunities, discipline, exposure to a diverse environment, removal from negative influences, and improved future prospects. But at last, it proved to be wrong as Phatik tragically dies.
(iv) After seeing Phatik's eagerness to go to Calcutta, how does his mother feel? Which characteristic trait of his mother is revealed through her feelings about Phatik at that moment?
Ans: After seeing Phatik's eagerness to go to Calcutta, his mother feel somewhat distressed. The characteristic trait of Phatik's mother that is revealed through her feelings at that moment is her maternal love and protective nature. Despite her concerns, her willingness to let him go reflects her selflessness and her desire to prioritize her son's well-being and growth.
(v) How were Phatik's hopes dashed on reaching his uncle's house in Calcutta?
Ans: Upon reaching his uncle's house in Calcutta, Phatik's hopes are dashed in several ways. Phatik is not warmly received by his uncle's family. Instead, he is treated as an unwelcome burden. Phatik's uncle and aunt pay little attention to him and provide minimal care. He is left largely on his own, feeling neglected and isolated in an unfamiliar city.
V. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
She was by no means pleased with this unnecessary addition to her family. She found her own three boys quite enough to manage without taking any one else. And to bring a village lad of fourteen into their midst was terribly upsetting. Bishamber should really have thought twice before committing such an indiscretion.
(i) Who is referred to as 'She' in the extract? What was the "unnecessary addition" to her family?
Ans: In the given extract, 'She' referred to the Phatik's aunt. The "unnecessary addition" to her family was Phatik. When Phatik reached Calcutta to live with his uncle, his aunt was pleased, as she has already three boys, and she didn't want one more to care about.
(ii) Why was Phatik's aunt annoyed to see Phatik?
Ans: His aunt was not at all happy to see him. For her Phatik was an unnecessary addition to her family because she had already three children who were quite unmanageable. To bring a village boy of 14 was very much upsetting to her. So, she was annoyed to see Phatik in her house.
(iii) Why was sending a village lad of fourteen to unknown people in an unknown place was terribly upsetting? Which theme is involved in Phatik's mother's decision?
Ans: Sending a village lad of fourteen to unknown people in an unknown place was terribly upsetting because it involved the separation of a young boy from his familiar surroundings, family, and community. The theme involved in Phatik's mother's decision is sacrifice or the struggles faced by marginalized communities, where families make difficult choices in hopes of providing better opportunities for their children.
(iv) How correct was Bishamber in taking his nephew, Phatik to Calcutta?
Ans: Bishamber's decision to take his nephew, Phatik, to Calcutta can be seen as both correct and flawed. While it aimed to provide better opportunities for Phatik's education and future, it also involved uprooting him from his known environment at a young age, potentially causing emotional distress.
(v) What were the consequences of taking him to Calcutta?
Ans: Taking Phatik to Calcutta had mixed consequences. He gained educational opportunities and exposure to city life, but he also faced challenges in adapting to the fast-paced urban environment. He felt disconnected from his family and village, and his emotional well-being was affected. He didn't get the love and care he needed in his uncle's house.
VI. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
One day he summoned up all his courage, and asked his uncle: "Uncle, when can I go home?"
His uncle answered; "Wait till the holidays come." But the holidays would not come till November, and there was a long time still to wait.
(i) Who 'summoned' up all his courage? Why did he want to go home?
Ans: Phatik summoned up all his courage. He wanted to go home because he felt overwhelmed by the unfamiliar and chaotic city life of Calcutta. Moreover, the cramped atmosphere of neglect in his aunt's house oppressed him so much that he felt that he could hardly breathe. He missed the simplicity and familiarity of his village, where he had a sense of belonging.
(ii) How did he feel when his uncle told him to wait till the holidays come? Why did his uncle not take him to his home immediately?
Ans: When Phatik's uncle told him to wait until the holidays come, Phatik felt disappointed and dejected. He was eager to return home and was longing for the familiar surroundings of his village. However, his uncle did not take him to his home immediately because it was not convenient for him at that time. He had his own responsibilities and commitments in Calcutta that prevented him from taking Phatik back to the village right away.
(iii) Which characteristic traits of his uncle are revealed in the extract?
Ans: In the given extract, two characteristic traits of Phatik's uncle are revealed. Firstly, his uncle is depicted as authoritative or commanding. He orders Phatik to wait until the holidays before returning home, implying that he has control over the situation. Secondly, his uncle is portrayed as having a lack of immediate concern or empathy for Phatik's longing to go home. Despite Phatik's, his uncle does not prioritize his nephew's desire to return to his village and instead focuses on his own convenience and responsibilities in Calcutta.
(iv) Did he' wait for the holidays to go home? Give reasons to support your answer.
Ans: No, Phatik did not wait for the holidays to go home. He decided to run away from his uncle's house and return to his village without waiting for the holidays. The reason for this is that Phatik felt a strong sense of homesickness and longing for his family and familiar surroundings. He was unable to bear the separation and yearned to be reunited with his loved ones.
(v) Which theme is highlighted in the extract?
Ans: The theme highlighted in the extract is the longing for home. Phatik, with great courage, asks his uncle when he can go back home. However, his uncle tells him to wait until the holidays in November. This extract underscores Phatik's strong desire to return home and his impatience due to the long wait ahead. The theme of longing for home and the associated emotions of nostalgia and yearning are depicted in this interaction.
VII. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
One day Phatik lost his lesson-book. Even with the help of books he had found it very difficult indeed to prepare his lesson. Now it was impossible. Day after day the teacher would cane him unmercifully. His condition became so abjectly miserable that even his cousins were ashamed to own him. They began to jeer and insult him more than the other boys. He went to his aunt at last, and told her that he had lost his book.
His aunt pursed her lips in contempt, and said: "You great clumsy, country lout. How can I afford, with all my family, to buy you new books five times a month?"
(i) Why was it difficult for Phatik to prepare his lesson even with the help of books?
Ans: It was difficult for Phatik to prepare his lesson even with the help of books because he was in an unfamiliar environment. Being away from his village and the support of his family, he lacked the comfort and familiarity that aided his concentration and focus. Additionally, the bustling atmosphere of Calcutta and the new experiences he encountered have been distracting and overwhelming for him.
(ii) What was Phatik's image in the school? Did his teacher treat him according to the perception formed because of that image? Give a reason.
Ans: Phatik's image in school was that of a mischievous troublemaker. Due to this perception, his teacher treated him accordingly, with low expectations and limited support. And when he lost his lesson-book, it was impossible for him to prepare his lessons. Day after day the teacher cane him unmercifully.
(iii) Why were Phatik's cousins ashamed to own him? What was their fear in owning him?
Ans: Phatik came from a village and a poor background and moreover after he lost his lesson-book, the teacher cane him unmercifully. His condition became so abjectly miserable that even his cousins were ashamed to own him. They feared that associating themselves with him would tarnish their own social status and reputation.
(iv) Why did Phatik go to his aunt for helping him to get a new lesson-book? How did his aunt react to it?
Ans: Phatik lost his lesson-book one day. So, it became impossible for him to prepare his lesson. Day after day the teacher cane him unmercifully. So, at last, he went to his aunt for helping him to get a new lesson-book. His aunt pursed her lips in contempt and said: "You great clumsy, country lout, How can I afford, with all my family, to buy you new books five times a month?"
(v) How was Phatik's aunt similar to his mother in her treatment of Phatik? Give reasons to justify your answer.
Ans: Phatik's aunt and mother both display similar traits in their treatment of Phatik. They both exhibit a level of strictness and discipline towards him. Phatik's aunt scolds him for his mischievous behavior, just like his mother does. This suggests a shared expectation of proper behavior and adherence to rules.
VIII. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
The fever rose very high, and all that night the boy was delirious. Bishamber brought in a doctor. Phatik opened his eyes flushed with fever, and looked up to the ceiling, and said vacantly: "Uncle, have the holidays come yet? May I go home?"
(i) How did Phatik become ill? Why did he want to go home so desperately?
Ans: Phatik became ill due to the mistreatment he endured at his aunt's house, and also in his school, including caning and the loss of his lesson book. He desperately wanted to go home because he felt unloved and unwanted in his aunt's house, longing for the warmth and comfort of his mother's presence in the familiar village environment.
(ii) What is meant by delirious? Why was he delirious?
Ans: "Delirious" refers to a state of mental confusion and disorientation, often accompanied by hallucinations. Phatik was delirious because of his high fever and physical illness. The combination of his sickness and the harsh conditions he experienced at school and his aunt's house caused him to lose touch with reality, leading to his delirium.
(iii) Why did he ask his uncle whether the holidays have come? Did he get the 'holidays'?
Ans: Phatik asked his uncle whether the holidays had come because he wanted to know if he could go home. The holidays represent a break from school, and Phatik desperately desired to return home and be with his family. However, he didn't get the 'holidays' he was asking for. And also due to his illness, he was unable to go home.
(iv) How are the 'holidays' related to the title of the story?
Ans: In the story "The Homecoming," the term "holidays" refers to the break from school when students are allowed to return home to be with their families. The title "The Homecoming" suggests a longing for home and the anticipation of reuniting with loved ones during the holidays. The protagonist, Phatik, desperately desires to go home and be part of the festive atmosphere that accompanies the holidays.
(v) What feelings do you have for Phatik at this juncture? Give reasons to support your answer.
Ans: At this juncture in the story, I sympathize with Phatik due to his deteriorating health and his desperate longing to go home for the holidays. Phatik's illness and his yearning for the familiar comforts of home evoke feelings of empathy and concern. His repeated inquiries about the arrival of the holidays demonstrate his eagerness to be reunited with his family and enjoy the festive season.