Ranga's Marriage by Masti Venkatesha Iyengar
CBSE Guide NCERT Solutions of Class 11 English Supplementary Reader
NCERT Answers of Chapter 3 Snapshots Exercise Questions
Question. 1: Comment on the influence of English- the language and the way of life- on Indian life as reflected in the story. What is the narrator's attitude to English?
Answer: The story 'Ranga's Marriage' gives us a realistic picture of rural India in the past years when there were hardly any people in the villages who knew English. And those who knew it never mixed up English words while talking in their own language. But no doubt, that the knowledge of English language and its use has greatly influenced Indian lifestyle. People who have learnt English often bring English words even while talking in their mother tongue. It may create confusion if the other person does not happen to know English. For instance, one day someone in the Rama Rao's house bought a bundle of wood from a woman. The woman asked to pay four pice for it. Rama Rao's son, who came to pay for it, told her that he did not have any "change". The poor woman couldn't understand the English word "change" and went away muttering to herself.
The narrator considers English to be 'a priceless commodity'. Though the narrator's attitude towards English seems to be positive but he does not approve the use or mixing of English words while talking in our own language. However, it is not necessary that English will have an adverse effect on the religious and cultural practices. For example Ranga who went to Bangalore and received education in English, did not forget his own culture. He was still wearing the sacred thread, 'the janeswara' and bending low to greet his elders with 'namaskara'.
Question. 2: Astrologer's predictions are based more on hearsay and conjecture than what they learn from the study of stars. Comment with reference to the story.
Answer: Astrology is based on the study of observing the positions and movements of the stars in belief that they have a certain influence on the affairs and activities of every human being. While there should not be any doubt about the effects of astrology, but the problem of finding a true astrologer is always there. Very few astrologers draw their perceptions from the study of stars. Nor do they have proper knowledge about the movement of the planets and their effect on human life. Most of them are like Shastri as we have seen in the story 'Ranga's Marriage' whose perceptions are based on mere hearsay and conjecture.
The narrator meets Shastri and tutors him beforehand in all what he wants him to say to Ranga. Thereafter the narrator takes Ranga to Shastri (the astrologer) and asks him the reason of Ranga's unhappiness. Shastri performs like a parrot and utters what the narrator had already asked him to say. He merely uses some false professional skills to give his words a touch of mystery and to impress the unsuspecting person. For instance, he pretends to utter something and make some calculations before saying in a serious tone, "It's about a girl". Knowing already that the girl's name is Ratna which is also the name of a precious stone found in the ocean, he says in a mysterious voice that she probably has the name of something found in the ocean.
The poor fellow (here Ranga, visitor to the astrologer) being ignorant of everything, believes that whatever the astrologer predicts is "absolutely true".
Question. 3: Indian society has moved a long way from the way the marriage is arranged in the story. Discuss.
Answer: In the story Ranga's Marriage, the marriage was performed in a remote village many years ago when old conservative values and customs were prevalent in our society. During those days a formal consent of bride or bridegroom was taken for granted and marriages in India were usually arranged by parents or relatives.
India has gone through many socio-economic changes during the past few years. The twenty-first century is not the age of arranged marriages. Though in the villages and some families still continue practicing arranged marriages, but boys and girls no more need a helper for this purpose. Women empowerment have prepared and given them a sense of equality with men and not to remain only in the confinement of home. Girl's education and employment have also changed the attitude of boys towards them. A girl is now looked upon as a partner in marriage for her worth, qualities and capabilities rather than the dowry or a mere home-maker.
Unlike as we see in the story 'Ranga's Marriage' where the girl was a minor, now there is a minimum age of 18 and 21 for marriage of a girl and boy respectively. At this age they attain physical, emotional and mental maturity. In fact, child marriages have been declared illegal.
Now-a-days marriageable boys and girls have more say in choosing their life-partners. Before deciding and going for marriage, they talk with each other over phone, chat over internet, and also meet to understand each other. The parents simply give their approval and grace the occasion. Thus, Indian society has really moved a long way from the way the marriage is arranged in the story.
Question. 4: What kind of a person do you think the narrator is ?
(Not so important)