Read the following extracts and answer the questions that follow :
Q1. ‘‘I hope the part calls for some dialogue ?’’ ‘‘Certainly. It’s a speaking part. You have acted before, haven’t you?’’
(a) Identify the two people exchanging the above dialogue.
Ans: This dialogue is between Naresh Dutt and Patol Babu.
(b) What reservations are expressed by the first person? Why?
Ans: Patol Babu wishes to confirm if he has a speaking part.
(c) Do you believe the information given by the second speaker is truthful? Why/Why not?
Ans: No, Patol Babu did not have any dialogue to speak. He just has to utter one monosyllable ‘Oh!’
Q2. Patol Babu hadn’t expected such news at the start of the day. That an offer to act in the film would come to a 52 years old nonentity like him was beyond his wildest dreams.
(a) Why didn’t Patol Babu expect such news?
Ans: He hadn’t got any acting offers for the last 52 years for a film.
(b) Why did he consider himself a nonentity after acting in theatre?
Ans: He was extremely modest and there was a large gap of years between his theatre days and this offer.
(c) What was his reaction?
Ans: He was thrilled and very pleasantly surprised.
Q3. ‘‘Counting your chickens before they’re hatched, are you? No wonder you could never make a go of it.’’
(a) Describe the context of the above statement.
Ans: Patol’s wife believes that Patol Babu was too happy prematurely.
(b) Why does the speaker use the expression, “never make a go of it’’?
Ans: His wife believes that Patol Babu could not be successful after so many years.
(c) Do you think that the prediction made above proved to be true? Why/ Why not?
Ans: No, Patol Babu did perfectly the part he was given to play, even if it was a tiny role.
Q4. ‘‘Is that so? Well, I suggest you go and wait in the shade there. We have a few things to attend to before we get going ?’’
(a) Who is the speaker and the listener?
Ans: The speaker is Naresh Dutt and the listener is Patol Babu.
(b) What is the context of the above statement?
Ans: This is said when Patol Babu reports for shooting at the set.
(c) What does the above statement reflect on the speaker’s attitude?
Ans: The speaker is not much bothered about Patol Babu’s arrival.
Q5. ‘‘As an artist your aim should be to make the most of your opportunity and squeeze the last drop of meaning out of your lines.’’
(a) Who was supposed to have said these lines and to whom?
Ans: These lines were spoken by Gagon Pakrashi to Patol Babu.
(b) Discuss the relevance of the above statement in the given context?
Ans: Patol Babu is trying to derive inspiration from his mentor’s advice.
(c) Do you think the listener followed these instructions? How? To what extent?
Ans: Yes, Patol Babu perfected the little role he was given after remembering his mentor’s words.
SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS
Q1. Who was Nishikanto Babu and what proposal did he bring for Patol Babu?
Ans: Nishikanto Babu was Patol Babu’s neighbor and he brought a film offer for Patol Babu. Nishikanto’s relative, Naresh Dutt was looking for someone like Patol Babu for his film and Nishikanto had suggested Patrol's name.
Q2. This kind of offer was ‘‘beyond his wildest dreams’’. Why?
Ans: Patol Babu was already 52 years old and virtually unknown, in the field of acting. So he was pleasantly surprised that a nonentity like him had received a film offer. Moreover, he was very modest in his bearing and for quite some time had nurtured such kind of dreams.
Q3. What kind of fame had Patol Babu achieved in ‘Jatras’?
Ans: At some time in his life, Patol Babu had a real passion for the stage. He had been simply obsessed. In the ‘Jatras’ he was very well-known and always in demand. His name appeared in handbills many times and people bought tickets especially to see him perform.
Q4. What desperate efforts were made by Patol Babu to earn a decent living? [C.B.S.E. 2012 (T-2)]
Ans: Initially Patol Babu had a job in a railway factory. In 1934, he was offered a higher salary as a clerk in a famous company. Later he shifted to Calcutta and soon lost his job due to war. He tried his hand at a variety store which only lasted for 5 years. He worked in a Bengali firm, then as an insurance agent but nothing lasted.
Q5. What details of the role were furnished by Naresh Dutt, the film’s director, to Patol Babu?
Ans: Patol Babu was supposed to enact the role of a pedestrian who is absent-minded and short-tempered. There were some dialogues also according to Naresh Dutt and it was supposed to be a proper speaking part.
Q6. Describe the scene outside the Faraday House briefly.
Ans: A big crowd had already gathered outside the building. A bus was carrying the equipment, There were cameras, stands, crowds of people everywhere. Most of the people were busy carrying the equipment, carting it here and there.
Q7. Why was Patol Babu particular about getting his dialogues in advance?
Ans: Patol Babu was a perfectionist. He wished to practice his dialogues beforehand so that he did not make
a spectacle of himself in front of the lead actors. He was too enthusiastic and didn’t wish to make any mistakes in his performance.
Q8. ‘‘Patol Babu glanced at the paper... and found a sudden throbbing in his head. The heat was unbearable.” Why did this happen? [C.B.S.E. 2012 (T-2)]
What were Patol Babu’s ‘dialogues’ and what was his reaction on seeing them?
Ans: Patol Babu found that he had to speak just one word, that too a monosyllable ‘Oh!’ He had been promised a proper speaking part and after a long wait and great expectations, he felt too depressed to see his small role. He felt cheated and quite demoralized.
Q9. What kind of practice did Patol Babu do?
Ans: Patol Babu practiced speaking ‘Oh!’ a thousand times. He tried to give it a different inflection, add all kinds of emotions and styles to this word. He practiced his body language, how he would act during the collision with the hero, how he would fling his arms, how his body would crouch in pain and surprise.
Q10. What justification is rendered by Sasanko regarding Patol Babu’s speaking role?
Ans: Sasanko was a very clever and tactful person. He told Patol Babu that he had a regular speaking part and he was indeed very lucky to get such a part in Baren Mullick’s film. Most of the people had only crowd scenes and even the lead actor had no lines to speak that day.
Q11. Why did Patol Babu disappear before collecting his payment? [C.B.S.E. 2012 (T-2)]
Ans: Patol Babu was happy at his performance because he felt that he had done his best. But he was crestfallen at the indifferent behavior of the film people. So he felt that no money could compensate for his great efforts and the hard work he had put in. He had been simply exhausted after the long wait and hard work he had put in. Now the reward of twenty rupees looked too meager and insufficient.
Q12. Which message is the author trying to convey through the lesson ‘Patol Babu’? [C.B.S.E. 2012 (T-2)]
Ans: Through the lesson, Patol Babu, the writer depicts the dreams and aspirations of the small timers and the apathy of film-makers for whom making films is a business. Patol Babu, a talented and emotional artist, who is an artist at heart and full of dramatic skills, was asked to perform a role after 52 years. Quite excited, he rehearsed the single word (oh) he was asked to speak. Everybody praised his performance but he did not wait there to collect his remuneration. Naresh Dutt asked for him but the next minute all that was forgotten and the camera started rolling for another shot