Snapshot Notes (Class 11)

CBSE Class 11 English Snapshot Chapter 3 Ranga’s Marriage

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Ranga’s Marriage – Masti Venkatesha Iyengar

 
Ranga's Marriage

Ranga’s Marriage – Masti Venkatesha Iyengar

 

Summary

This chapter is all about life in villages where child marriage is still a common practice. It is an interesting story of how a person manipulates to get a young boy married to an eleven-year-old girl.

It revolves around a boy namely Ranga, an accountant’s son, who returns back from Bangalore after six months, having completed his higher studies. A huge crowd of people gathers around his home to see whether there are any changes occurred in him or not and to see how fluently he speaks in English.

People even start touching him to make sure that he is not changed. When the narrator meets him and asks about his view of marriage. To his surprise, Ranga has a different view about marriages. According to him, one should get married to a girl who is mature enough to understand the things and the couple should look good together.

The narrator resolves that he will try his level best to get Ranga married. For that, he purposefully introduces Ratna, Rama Rao’s niece, an an-eleven-year-old girl who is well-versed in singing and playing musical instruments to Ratna. When Ranga sees her, he falls in love and starts enquiring about the girl. The narrator, Shyama, deliberately says that she is married to make Ranga realize and feel the importance of marriage and to change his view about marriage.
Having known that Ratna is married, Ranga feels depressed and does not talk to others for a few days. Then, the narrator takes him to Shashtri Ji, who is already foretold everything by the narrator about the girl Ranga loves and the things which Shastri Ji has to tell Ranga in order to impress him & to win his confidence. When they meet Shastri, the priest tells him that he seems to have fallen in love with a girl namely Ratna. Ranga gets shocked when he hears all about that but regrets as Ratna is already married.
But the narrator soon tells Ranga that he was unaware of the fact that Ratna is unmarried and soon they get married irrespective of their age. Now they have a son who is named after the narrator (Shyama) and they are expecting their second baby. In this way, the narrator gets both of them married.
 

Important Questions

Q.What does the narrator say about Hosahalli?

A. Hosahalli village is the scene of action. There is no mention of it in geography books written by the sahibs in England or Indian writers. No cartographer has put it on the map. The narrator highlights its importance by comparing it to the filling of the Karigadubu—a festival meal.


Q. What are the two special produce of Hosahalli and in what respect?

A. First is the raw mango. The sourness of its bite is sure to get straight to the Brahmarandhra, i.e. the soft part in the child’s head where skull bones join later. The second speciality is a creeper growing in the water of the village pond. Its flowers are a feast to behold. You can serve the afternoon meal to the whole family on its two leaves.


Q. What exactly had happened ten years ago? How important was it then?

A. Ten years ago, there were not many people in the village who knew English. The village accountant was the first one who sent his son Ranga to Bangalore to pursue his studies. It was quite an important event then. The narrator highlights it by saying that the village accountant was the first one who had enough courage to send his son to Bangalore to study.


Q. Why does the narrator refer to the Black Hole of Calcutta?

A. During the British rule, hundreds of persons were kept inside a single room. The next morning most of them were found dead due to suffocation. The narrator uses the expression ‘Black Hole of Calcutta’ to suggest a large number of people who had turned out to see Ranga.


Q.Why was there a huge crowd in front of Ranga’s home? What did they find on the contrary?

A. Ranga had gone to Banglore for his further studies for a long span of time. Meanwhile, people of his town had expected that a lot of changes would occur in him. In order to see or to observe those changes, people had gone to his home. On the contrary, they found that there was no major change in him.

Q.Why did the narrator want Ranga to get married? What stopped him to do so for a while?

Ans. The narrator was very much impressed with Ranga and his ability to speak English. He thought Ranga could prove to be a good husband for any girl. But, when he told the narrator about his views about marriage and expressed his desire to get married to a mature girl, the narrator had to give it a second thought before getting him married.


Q. Why did the narrator want Ranga to get married? What stopped him to do so for a while?

Ans. The narrator was very much impressed with Ranga and his ability to speak English. He thought Ranga could prove to be a good husband for any girl. But, when he told the narrator about his views about marriage and expressed his desire to get married to a mature girl, the narrator had to give it a second thought before getting him married.


Q. What were Ranga’s views about marriage?

A. Ranga was a young boy who was against child marriage altogether. He thought that one should get married to a mature girl who understands the things and not to the one who takes the things otherwise all the times. He cites some more examples to justify his thoughts in this chapter.


Q. “Ranga was just the boy for her and she the most suitable bride for him,” says the narrator. Who is ‘she’? What led the narrator to this conclusion?

A. ‘She’ here stands for Ratna, the niece of Rama Rao. She was a pretty girl of eleven. Both her parents having died, her uncle had brought her home. Being a girl from a big town, she knew how to play the veena and the harmonium. She also had a sweet voice. All these qualities made her a suitable bride for a young, educated man like Ranga.


Q. How did the narrator let Ranga have a glimpse of Ratna?

A. The narrator arranged the meeting very systematically. First, he called Ratna on the pretext of sending buttermilk through her. Then he asked her to sing a song. Meanwhile, Ranga, whom he had sent for, reached the door. He became curious to see the singer and peeped in. His presence at the door blocked the light and Ratna stopped singing abruptly.


Q. How did Ranga and Ratna react at their unexpected encounter?

A. Ratna stopped singing abruptly on seeing a stranger outside the room. Ranga felt disappointed when the singing stopped. Ratna stood at a distance with her head lowered. Ranga repeatedly glanced at her. He blamed himself for the singing to stop and offered to leave. Ratna was overcome by shyness and ran inside. Ranga enquired about her.


Q.How did the narrator handle Ranga’s inquiries about Ratna?

A. The narrator did not give him a straightforward reply. He said casually that it did not matter to either of them who she was. The narrator was already married and Ranga was not the marrying type. This aroused Ranga’s interest and excitement. He expressed the hope that she was unmarried. His face showed signs of disappointment on learning that she was married a year ago.



Q.Why did the narrator tell Ranga that the girl was married a year ago?


A. The narrator had made up his mind that he would get Ranga married early. First, he brought Ranga and Ratna face to face to arouse his interest in her. In order to test the strength of his emotions, he told Ranga that she was married a year ago. The shrivelled face of the young man betrayed his feelings.



Q.What according to the astrologer was Ranga’s cause of worry? How did the name Ratna’ crop up?


A. According to the astrologer, the cause of Ranga’s worry was a girl. She probably had the name of something found in the ocean. When asked if it could be Kamla the astrologer did not rule out the possibility. When suggested if it could be Pacchi, moss, the astrologer put a counter question: “Why not pearl or Ratna, the precious stone?” Thus the name Ratna cropped up.



Q.How did the narrator test the sincerity of Ranga’s feelings about Ratna?


A. The narrator employed the age-old trick ‘temptation for the unattainable’. He first mentioned that the girl had been married a year ago. He noticed Ranga’s disappointment. Ranga’s face fell when the narrator mentioned to the astrologer that Ratna was married. When he was sure of the sincerity of Ranga’s feelings about Ratna, he disclosed that she wasn’t married.



Q.What did the narrator tell Shastri about his performance? How did the Shastri react to it?


A. The narrator told Shastri that he repeated everything he had told him without giving rise to any suspicion. He exclaimed, “What a marvellous Shastra yours is!”

Shastri did not like his berating astrology. He retorted that he could have found out himself from the Shastras.


Q.“The best way of getting to know a place is to visit it.” Which place does Masti Venkatesha Iyengar refer to? What do you know learn about it?

A. The author refers to Hosahalli, the village of Rangappa and the narrator. From the narrator’s point of view, it is an important village in the Mysore state. People may not have heard of it, as there is no mention of it in Geography books. The place has been ignored both by British and Indian authors. No cartographer has put it on the map.
The raw mangoes from the mango trees in the village are quite sour. The extreme potency of the sourness of these mangoes is amply illustrated by the comment: “Just take a bite. The sourness is sure to go straight to your Brahmarandhra.” The creeper growing in the village pond had beautiful flowers and broad leaves. The latter can serve as plates for serving afternoon meal. The village doctor Gundabhatta also speaks glowingly of Hosahalli.

Q.What was special about Rangappa? How did the villagers react to it?

A. Ten years ago, there were not many people in Hosahalli village who knew English. Rangappa, the accountant’s son enjoyed a unique distinction. He was the first one to be sent to Bangalore to pursue his studies. This was considered an act of courage on the part of his father. It was an important event in the village—a sort of first of its type.
Naturally, Ranga’s homecoming was a great event. The crowds of villagers milled around his house to see whether he had changed or not. People were quite excited because Ranga had returned home after studying English in Bangalore. An old lady ran her hand over Ranga’s chest. She looked into his eyes. She was satisfied to find the sacred thread on his body. She felt happy that he had not lost his caste. People disappeared from the scene, once they realized that Ranga had not undergone any material change.

Q. Give a brief account of the narrator’s two meetings with Ranga after the latter’s return from Bangalore. What opinion did he form about the young man?
A. When Ranga returned home after getting his education in Bangalore, crowds of people collected around his home to see him. The narrator was attracted by the crowd. He too went and stood in the courtyard. Ranga came out with a smile on his face. After everyone had gone, the narrator asked Rangappa how he was. Ranga noticed him and came near him. He folded his hands and touched the narrator’s feet. He said that he was all right, with the narrator’s blessings. The narrator blessed him and wished that he might get married soon. They exchanged some polite friendly remarks. Then the narrator left.

That afternoon, when the narrator was resting, Ranga came to his house with a couple of oranges in his hand. The narrator thought that Ranga was a generous, considerate fellow. He was of the opinion that it would be fine to have him marry, settle down and be of service to the society.

Q. What were Ranga’s ideas about marriage? Do you find any change in them during the course of the story?
A. Ranga was influenced by the English way of life in the matter of marriage. He was not in favour of arranged marriages of the time where the brides were quite young. He told the narrator that he was not getting married just then. He gave two reasons. First, he must find the right girl. She must be mature enough to understand his love-talk. Avery young girl might take his words spoken in love as words spoken in anger. He gives examples of a thirty-year-old officer who married a twenty-five-year-old lady and that of king Dushyanta falling in love with Shakuntala. The second reason he gave was that one should marry a girl one loves.

During the course of the story, we find a change in Ranga’s ideas about marriage. Not only is he fascinated by Rama Rao’s eleven-year-old niece Ratna, but he also marries her in the old traditional way of arranged marriages.

Q. Write a brief note on the ending of the story ‘Ranga’s Marriage’.
A. The ending of the story is superb. Like all the tales of romance where the hero and heroine are finally united, the caption “….and they lived happily ever after” is usually displayed. The writer goes here one step further. He presents Ranga as a happily married husband, a proud father and a good member of the joint family.

He has a three-year-old son, a golden child, whom he had named ‘Shyam’ after the narrator to express his love and gratitude to the elderly person. We also learn that Ratna is about to deliver another child and Ranga’s sister has come there with his mother. They will not only look after household affairs but Ratna as well.
The scene of a toddler putting his arms around the legs of an elder and the latter kissing him on his cheek and placing a ring on his tiny little finger as a birthday gift presents a lovely emotional scene full of tender affection and love. 

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