Q.1. What did the Guru and his disciple see in the Kingdom of the Fools? Why did the guru decide to leave the kingdom at once?
Ans. There was a Kingdom of Fools. In this country, the king as well as his minister, both were fools. They ordered all things to be reversed. People were ordered to work during the days and sleep during the nights. Anyone who did not obey this order would be put to death. So out of fear people obeyed the king. One day, a guru and disciple arrived in the city. They were surprised to find that everyone was sleeping during the day. There was no activity. Then the night fell and everyone got up. They started doing their normal work. The guru and the disciple were hungry. They purchased some food items. They were surprised to find that the price of everything was the same—one duddu. The guru realised that it was the Kingdom of Fools. He decided to leave the kingdom at once. He told his disciple that where fools ruled, their lives could be in danger. But the disciple was happy there. Everything was cheap in the kingdom. He did not want to go. So the guru left the kingdom. The disciple stayed on the sake of cheap food
Q.2. Describe in brief the strange case brought to the king and the king’s judgement.
Ans. One day, a thief broke into the house of a rich man, A wall of the house fell on him and he died on the spot. The brother of the thief complained to the king that the rich man was responsible for the thief’s death because the wall of his house was weak. The owner of the house was summoned. But he said that the bricklayer who had constructed the wall was responsible. The bricklayer said that when he was making a wall, a dancing girl passed several times through the street. She distracted his attention. So she was responsible. The dancing girl told the king that she had ordered a goldsmith to make jewellery for her. He did not make it in time. So she had to pass through the street several times. The goldsmith was called. He said that he had to make ornaments for a wedding in the rich man’s house. So he could not finish the jewellery of the dancing girl in time. He was the same owner of the house where the thief had died. He said that his father had placed the order. The king and his minister decided that since the rich man’s father had died, he would be executed in his father’s place
Q.3. Name all the people who are tried in the king’s court, and give the reasons for their trial.
Ans. The merchant was the first person to be tried in the king’s court because the wall in his house had collapsed and had killed the thief. The next person to be tried was the bricklayer because the merchant had claimed that his bad workmanship had led to the making of a weak wall. Then, the dancer was accused of distracting the bricklayer by the jingling of her ankles when she walked up and down the street during the construction of the wall. Next, the goldsmith was accused of calling the dancer time and again for picking up her jewellery. Then, the merchant’s father was blamed for pressurizing the goldsmith to complete his order first. Finally, the blame came back to the merchant who had inherited the house (where the thief died) from his father.
Q.4. How does the guru manage to save his disciple’s life?
Ans. The guru used his wisdom and magic powers to save his disciple’s life. He reached the kingdom instantly when his disciple prayed in his heart for help. He first confused the king by expressing his desire to be killed before his disciple. Then, he tricked the king by flattering him and telling him that the stake was the stake of the god of justice and whoever died first would become the king after rebirth. The second person to be executed would become the minister after rebirth. Ultimately the king fell in this trap and set the guru and his disciple free. He got his minister and himself executed in their place in the hope of being reborn as the rulers of their kingdom. Hence, the guru not only saved his disciple’s life but also got rid of the foolish king and his silly minister.
Q.5. Fools cannot continue with their follies for long. How can you justify this statement in relation to the story?
Ans. The king and his minister had made new but foolish laws for their people. They just wanted to be different from other kings, so they decided to change day for night and night for day. They continued with their follies for quite some time until they were caught in their own trap. The wise guru skillfully tackled them and not only managed to save his disciple’s life but also rid the kingdom of the foolish rule. The follies could not be continued for long since the king or his minister could not see through the plan of the guru. Not willing to give away his kingdom, the king and his minister disguised themselves as the guru and his disciple and walked into their self-made death trap.
Q.6. The guru was as wise as King Solomon. Discuss.
Wisdom and far-sightedness were the most important qualities of the guru’s character. Discuss.
Ans. By saving his disciple’s life and eventually becoming the ruler of the Kingdom of Fools, the guru exhibited the positive value of wisdom. He managed to solve even the most difficult problem only because he was wise enough to stay calm during the moments of crisis. His character proves that wisdom is an invaluable asset that helps one get over tricky situations. Like King Solomon of Israel, the guru too was able to accomplish the seemingly impossible task of rescuing his disciple from the senseless execution orders of the foolish king. Being a much travelled and learned man, he was quick to perceive that the Kingdom of Fools was being misruled and the follies of the king could not continue for long. The dangers sensed by him came true when his disciple was caught and condemned to be executed simply because he was fat and his neck could fit the stake. The wise guru made a clever plan not only to save his disciple’s life but also to get rid of the foolish king and his silly minister. Thus, wisdom triumphed over foolish and unbridled power.
Q.7. Decisions should be made with a cool and rational mind. Discuss with reference to the story “In the Kingdom of Fools”.
Hasty decisions are often wrong decisions. Discuss with reference to the story “In the Kingdom of Fools”.
Ans. The story, “In the Kingdom of Fools” teaches us an important lesson that decisions should be made with a cool mind and rational thought. Hasty decisions always have dangerous consequences. The disciple got tempted by the cheap goods available in the Kingdom of Fools and did not heed his guru’s advice. Instead of thinking rationally, he made a hasty decision to stay back. Ultimately he fell a victim to the senseless judgement of the foolish king and came on the verge of losing his life. If he had taken some time to review his desire to stay back, he would have certainly realized the importance of the guru’s advice. The king’s and his minster’s decision too was in haste that cost them their lives. If they too had reviewed their decision of going to the stake to fulfil their greed to be the king and minister in their next life, they would have certainly lived on as the king and the minister. Thus, the story emphasizes the value of making decisions wisely by weighing all the pros and cons. A hasty or a foolish decision can have disastrous consequences.
Q.8. Arguing with a fool proves there are two. How does the wise guru find a way out without arguing with the king?
Ans. Arguing with a fool is a futile effort because he does not have the humility to listen to others. The foolish king misused his authority to force decisions on his subjects. No one could disobey his orders. This made him intolerant and he could not be made to see reason. The wise guru knew from experience that arguing with such a fool would make him also look like a fool. Hence, he found his way out of the difficult situation that threatened the life of his disciple by resorting to flattery and by appealing to the king’s dumbness. He aroused the curiosity of the king by faking a fight with his disciple over going to the stake. Then, he eulogized the king, his kingdom, and his fine sense of judgement. This entrapped the foolish king and eventually, he got himself and his minister killed in the place of the guru and his disciple. Thus, the kingdom got rid of the foolish king and his equally foolish minister and the guru and his disciple’s lives were saved, too. Thus, by not arguing, the wise guru resolved the tricky situation.
Q.9. What values set the guru apart from his disciple?
Values determine character. Discuss this statement with reference to the characters of the guru and the disciple.
Ans. The values of farsightedness, wisdom, calmness, and rationality made the guru different from his disciple. Although the guru and his disciple were both ascetics, it was the guru who made a good use of the knowledge that he had accumulated over the years. The danger of staying in the Kingdom of Fools was sensed very quickly by the guru while the disciple easily succumbed to the temptation of throw-away prices. Again, the wise guru left the kingdom but the foolish disciple stayed back and ultimately fell prey to the king’s whim. The values of calmness and rationality, possessed by the guru, stood in good stead whereas the anxiety and greed of the disciple put him in the throes of death. Thus, the positive values of the guru not only made him different from his disciple but also helped in saving the disciple’s life.
Q.10. Imagine you are the disciple. You have just been sworn in as the new minister of the Kingdom of Fools. Draft a speech to be delivered in the court-room addressing the people on the new vision with which the kingdom would be governed henceforth.
Ans. Dear Citizens of the Kingdom. It is a new morning and we are here to begin a fresh chapter in the history of this great kingdom. This beautiful land shall be different from other places because of its new vision. The senseless regime when the day was night, and the night was day is over and a new rule of reason and justice has dawned.
We shall move ahead together under the able leadership of our wise king, my guru. His fine sense of judgement and vast experience of the ways of the world shall guide us towards a promising future. Our coming generations shall be proud of us and this great kingdom shall stand as a tall example of good governance.
Our new king has revoked all previous orders from this moment onwards and commands you all to resume life in a normal way. Henceforth, no one will be denied the opportunity of presenting the difference of opinion and all decisions will be taken in a rational and just manner after proper consultation with the wise advisors of the royal court.
Let us dedicate ourselves to the well-being of our new kingdom. Hail the king and long live our great motherland! Thank you!
Q.11. Why, according to you, is it always risky to live among the fools? Elaborate your answer with reference to the story “In the Kingdom of Fools”.
Ans. It is always risky to live among the fools as one never knows what a fool has in his mind. He can create any trouble for himself as well as for others. The guru in the story tells his disciple, “They are all fools. They won’t last very long and you can’t tell what they will do to you next. Their behaviour is not predictable”. The disciple did not follow the advice of his guru and got into trouble. The king, the most foolish creature of the kingdom, had a unique way of judgment. He did not apply his mind in passing judgement on cases. At last, with the wisdom of the guru, the disciple was saved and the king became a victim of his own foolishness and died.
Q.12. Discuss the importance of wisdom in life.
Ans. Life is a precious gift of God. We should enjoy it. We can make our lives both a bed of roses and a bed of thorns. It depends upon our wisdom. Life without wisdom is useless. It becomes dangerous too many a time. One who leads a life without wisdom can never enjoy it. We can enjoy our life when we are full of wisdom. Life is a combination of positive and negative aspects. It depends upon us what side we chose. It is our wisdom only that helps us distinguish between wrong and right. Wisdom makes our life full of comfort and provides us with various sources of enjoyment. Life without wisdom has no meaning.
Q.13. The disciple fails to obey his Guru and did not follow his advice. What was the danger that occurred to him?
Ans. Everything was cheap in the Kingdom of Fools. The disciple had a liking for food. He was tempted by the cheap food. So, he decided to stay in that kingdom. It was not a good idea to stay there for a long time as one could be in danger any time because of the unpredictable behaviour of fools. The king ordered him to be executed. But as soon as he was taken to the stake, the stake did not fit him. It was important to test the stake for the first time. Hence, the king ordered that a person should be found who could fit the stake. The king’s men caught the disciple and found him fit for the stake. The disciple had become healthy due to overeating. The king ordered him to be executed. But his Guru saved him. It was such a situation which none could imagine in real life. It becomes quite clear that living in such a kingdom is dangerous. Anything could happen here.
Q.14. The people of the Kingdom of Fools were not so foolish after all. They made the Guru as their kings. Comment.
Ans. In the Kingdom of Fools, everything looked odd. The disciple was arrested in place of the rich merchant. He was to be executed soon but the disciple started praying. The guru reached there and made a plan to save the disciple’s life. The king and his minister became the victims of this plan and got themselves executed. Now there was no king in the kingdom. The throne was vacant. People wanted that a wise person should become the king. After the death of the king and the disciple, the people were impressed by the wisdom and power of the Guru. They thought that if the Guru and his disciple became the king and the minister, there would be peace all around. So the people chose to crown the Guru and his disciple.
Q.15. What is the role of the guru (teacher) in our life? Comment with reference to the story ‘In the Kingdom of Fools’.
Ans. One who removes the darkness of our ignorance and gives the light of knowledge is called a guru. Guru is the person who guides us to take the right path. So, one who gives us knowledge is sacred and deserves the highest respect. Those who obey their guru and follow the guided path face no trouble. The teacher plays the greatest enabling role by helping one to cultivate and refine the use of one’s thinking ability. The knowledge provided by the teacher helps one to mould one’s character. In the story, “In the Kingdom of Fools” it was the guru who guided his disciple about impending danger in that kingdom of fools and when the disciple fell into trouble, he realised his mistake and remembered his guru. The guru came forward and saved his life with his wit.
Q.16. Does obeying guru (teacher) bring misery? Comment on the basis of “In the Kingdom of Fools”.
Ans. A Guru is always a well-wisher of his disciple. The disciple who does not obey his guru falls in misery while those who follow the path told by Guru live a happy and healthy life. In the story, the disciple did not obey his Guru and so fall into trouble. If he had followed his Guru and left the kingdom he would not have been in trouble. He was greedy and decided to remain in the kingdom because everything was so cheap there. He used to eat to his fill and became fat. One day he fell into trouble as he was chosen to be executed due to his fatness. The Guru was a wise man. He was right in his predictions. And his predictions came true. It was he who came on his call and saved his life with his wisdom.
Q.17. The Guru come back at the right time and saves his disciple. Comment on the love the Guru had for his disciple.
Ans. The disciple was arrested and was to be executed soon. At that moment, he recalled the words of his Guru and prayed to save his life. The Guru was a divine figure and heard the prayer. He reached there at once and created a drama. They started quarrelling for the stake. They expressed their willingness to choose the stake before the other. On seeing this situation the king got confused and could not decide what to do. On being asked, the Guru told that whoever chose the stake first would become the king in the next birth and whoever would die next, would become the minister. Both the king and the minister were tempted and chose the stake one by one. In this way, the Guru could save his disciple.