4 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2017
    1. He lay there he did not know how long. He strained his ears to catch the sound of the train, but he heard nothing more than a vague rattling and buzzing far off . . . Presently he grew tired of lying down there. He rose and walked back to the station. There was a good crowd on the platform. He asked someone, ‘What has happened to the train?’‘A goods train has derailed three stations off, and the way is blocked. They have sent up a relief. All the trains will be at least three hours late today . . .’‘God, you have shown me mercy!’ Rama Rao cried, and ran home.His wife was waiting at the door, looking down the street. She brightened up and sighed with relief on seeing Rama Rao. She welcomed him with a warmth he had not known for over a year now. ‘Oh, why are you so late today?’ she asked. ‘I was somehow feeling very restless the whole evening. Even the children were worried. Poor creatures! They have just gone to sleep.’When he sat down to eat she said, ‘Our tenants in the Extension bungalow came in the evening to ask if you would sell the house. They are ready to offer good cash for it immediately.’ She added quietly, ‘I think we may sell the house.’‘Excellent idea,’ Rama Rao replied jubilantly. ‘This minute we can get four and a half thousand for it. Give me the half thousand and I will go away to Madras and see if I can do anything useful there. You keep the balance with you and run the house. Let us first move to a better locality . . .’‘Are you going to employ your five hundred to get more money out of crossword puzzles?’ she asked quietly. At this Rama Rao felt depressed for a moment and then swore with great emphasis, ‘No, no. Never again.’

      So fate offers a twist just at the most crucial point.

    2. People came to him when the patient was on his last legs. Dr Raman often burst out, ‘Why couldn’t you have come a day earlier?’ The reason was obvious—visiting fee twenty-five rupees, and more than that, people liked to shirk the fact that the time had come to call in Dr Raman; for them there was something ominous in the very association. As a result, when the big man came on the scene it was always a quick decision one way or another. There was no scope or time for any kind of wavering or whitewashing. Long years of practice of this kind had bred in the doctor a certain curt truthfulness; for that very reason his opinion was valued; he was not a mere doctor expressing an opinion but a judge pronouncing a verdict. The patient’s life hung on his words. This never unduly worried Dr Raman. He never believed that agreeable words ever saved lives. He did not think it was any of his business to provide comforting lies when as a matter of course nature would tell them the truth in a few hours. However, when he glimpsed the faintest sign of hope, he rolled up his sleeve and stepped into the arena: it might be hours or days, but he never withdrew till he wrested the prize from Yama’s hands.Today, standing over a bed, the doctor felt that he himself needed someone to tell him soothing lies. He mopped his brow with his kerchief and sat down in the chair beside the bed. On the bed lay his dearest friend in the world: Gopal. They had known each other for forty years now, starting with their kindergarten days. They could not, of course, meet as much as they wanted, each being wrapped in his own family and profession. Occasionally, on a Sunday, Gopal would walk into the consulting room and wait patiently in a corner till the doctor was free. And then they would dine together, see a picture and talk of each other’s life and activities. It was a classic friendship, which endured untouched by changing times, circumstances and activities.

      Notice in this exposition how the writer covers an expanse of narrative time, in order to build up Dr Raman's character, his relationship with Gopal, and introducing the story problem. This is 'telling,' rather than 'showing.' The rising actions, will show the detail. How important is this technique to story-telling? All kinds of narratives?

      Furthermore, the conflict suggested here is between the doctor and Death itself. How do you respond to this?

  2. Mar 2017
    1. ‘Ah, tell me more.’‘A knife has passed through you once?’ said the astrologer.‘Good fellow!’ He bared his chest to show the scar. ‘What else?’‘And then you were pushed into a well nearby in the field. You were left for dead.’

      Narayan leaves details here and there, without explaining their significance. Earlier on, the narrator informs us that the Astrologer "caught a glimpse of the stranger's face", which makes him "uncomfortable". At which point of your reading did you notice its significance? Here, or elsewhere? What can you say about Narayan's story-telling?

  3. Jan 2017
    1. THE SNAKE-SONG

      In this story, identify the exposition, rising action, turning point and resolution.

      Once you have identified the plot structure, can you put it all into a statement about life that has relevance universally? This statement should be specific, but not so narrow that it is only about the text.