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Q.1. Which two temples did the author visit in Kathmandu?
Ans. The author visited Pashupatinath temple and Boudhanath stupa in Kathmandu.
Q.2. What signboard is there outside the Pashupatinath temple?
Ans. The signboard outside Pashupatinath temple is ‘Entrance for Hindus only’.
Q.3. What does everyone do to the Nepalese Princess in the temple?
Ans. Everyone bows to the princess and makes way for her.
Q.4. Which river flows through Kathmandu?
Ans. The Bagmati River flows through Kathmandu.
Q.5. How is the atmosphere at the Pashupatinath temple?
Ans. The atmosphere at the Pashupatinath temple is full of confusion.
Q.6. How is the atmosphere at the Baudhnath Stupa?
Ans. At Baudhnath Stupa there is an atmosphere of stillness.
Q.7. Who owned most of the shops in Kathmandu?
Ans. Tibetan immigrants owned most of the shops in Kathmandu.
Q.8. Flow does the author decide to take his return journey to Delhi?
Ans. He decides to come back by the plane of Nepal Airlines.
Q.9. Who does the writer see in at square of Kathmandu?
Ans. He sees a flute seller.
Q.10. Who is the writer of the lesson Kathmandu?
Ans. The author of the lesson Kathmandu is Vikram Seth.
Q.11. Where did the writer stay in Kathmandu? Which two different places of worship did he visit and with whom?
Ans. The writer, Vikram Seth, stayed in a cheap room in the center of Kathmandu town. He visited the Pashupatinath temple, sacred to Hindus, and the Baudhnath stupa, the holy shrine of the Buddhists. He went with his acquaintances Mr. Shah’s son and nephew.
Q.12. What is written on the signboard outside the Pashupatinath temple? What does the proclamation signify?
Ans. Outside the Pashupatinath temple, the signboard announces: “Entrance for the Hindus only”. It signifies the rigid sanctity that this place of worship associates with and the dogmatic discrimination practiced saving this place from being treated like a tourist destination.
Q.13. What does the author imply by ‘febrile confusion’ in the Pashupatinath temple?
What made the atmosphere in and around the Pashupatinath temple full of ‘febrile confusion’?
Ans. The author makes this remark to show the hectic and feverish activity that causes utter chaos. Around the temple, there is a huge crowd of priests, hawkers, tourists, and even cows, monkeys and pigeons. Inside the temple, there are a large number of worshippers who elbow others aside to move closer to the priest. Together, they create utter confusion.
Q.14. Why did the policeman stop the Westerners wearing saffron-colored clothes from entering the Pashupatinath temple?
Ans. The policeman stopped the saffron-clad Westerners from entering the Pashupatinath temple as the entry of non- Hindus is banned in this temple and he didn’t believe that they were Hindus, despite their saffron clothes.
Q.15. How does the author describe the fight that breaks out between the two monkeys around the temple of Pashupatinath?
Ans. The author describes the fight that breaks out between two monkeys in which one chases the other. The monkey being chased jumps onto a shivalitiga, then runs screaming around the temples and finally goes down to the holy river, Bagmati.
Q.16. What activities are observed by the writer on the banks of the Bagmati river?
Ans. The writer observes some polluting activities on the banks of river Bagmati. He notices some washerwomen washing clothes, some children taking a bath and a dead body being cremated on the banks of this sacred river. He also observes someone throwing a basketful of wilted flowers and leaves into the river.
Q.17. What is the belief at Pashupatinath about the end of Kaliyug?
Ans. There is a small shrine on the banks of the holy Bagmati in the Pashupatinath temple. Half of this shrine protrudes from a stone platform. It is believed that when the shrine will emerge completely from the platform, the goddess in the shrine will escape and that will mark the end of the Kaliyug.
Q.18. What are the author’s observations about the streets in Kathmandu?
Ans. The author finds the streets in Kathmandu ‘vivid, mercenary and religious’. Extremely narrow and busy, these streets have many small shrines and some images clad in flowers. Stray cows roam about mooing at the sound of the motorcycles. Vendors sell their wares shouting loudly and radios are played at a loud pitch. In addition, the horns of the cars and the ringing of the bicycle bells increase this din.
Q.19. What picture of the Baudhnath stupa does the author portray?
Ans. The author gives a brief but vivid picture of the Boudhanath stupa. He admires the serenity and calmness of this shrine. There are no crowds even on the road surrounding the stupa which has some shops run by the Tibetan immigrants. The stupa has an immense white dome with silence and stillness as its distinctive features.
Q.20. Describing the streets around the Baudhnath stupa, why does the narrator say this is a haven of quietness in the busy streets around?
Ans. The narrator observes a sense of stillness at the Buddhist shrine, the Boudhanath stupa. Its immense white dome is ringed by a road with small shops selling items like felt bags, Tibetan prints, and silver jewelry. The quietness of the stupa stands out amidst the busy business activities that go around it. Thus, the narrator regards this place as a haven of quietness in the busy streets around.
Q.21. The writer says, “All this I wash down with Coca-Cola”. What does all this’ refer to?
Ans. All this’ refers to the eatables that the writer enjoys on the road surrounding the Boudhanath stupa. It includes a bar of marzipan and a roasted corn-cob that he enjoys along with the fizzy, carbonated drinks, Coca-Cola. Besides, he also gets some comics with love-stories and a copy of the Reader’s Digest magazine to indulge himself mindlessly.
Q.22. Which is the longer route from Kathmandu to Delhi? Which route does the author opt for?
Ans. The longer route from Kathmandu to Delhi is to first reach Patna by bus and train. Then go past Benaras, sail on the Ganges and reach Allahabad. Then cross the Yamuna and finally reach Delhi via Agra. The shorter option taken by the author is to fly via air, straight from Kathmandu to Delhi.
Q.23. Why does Vikram Seth decide to buy a ticket directly for the homeward journey?
Ans. Vikram Seth has been away from home since quite some time. He is feeling very exhausted and homesick. Though his enthusiasm for travelling tempts him to take a longer route to reach back home, his exhaustion and homesickness impel him to buy an air-ticket directly for the homeward journey to Delhi.
Q.24. What difference does the author note between the flute seller and the other hawkers?
How is the flute player’s way of selling flutes different from that of the other hawkers around?
Ans. The author points out that while other hawkers shout loudly to attract the customers for their wares, the flute seller plays upon his flute slowly and meditatively. He does not indulge in excessive display nor does he show any desperation to sell his flutes. Although the flute player does not shout, the sound of the flute is distinctly heard above the noise of the traffic and of the hawkers.
Q.25. What does Vikram Seth compare to the quills of a porcupine?
Where did Vikram Seth find the flute seller? What did he compare his flutes to?
Ans. Vikram Seth found a flute seller in Kathmandu standing in a corner of the square near his hotel. He held a pole in his hand which had an attachment at the top. In this attachment, around fifty to sixty flutes were stuck that bulged out in all directions. The author compares these protruding flutes to the sharp, stiff and standing quills of a porcupine.
Q.26. Name five kinds of flutes.
Listening to the music of the flute in the square, the author is reminded of various kinds of flutes. Which kinds does he describe?
Ans. As the author listens to the music of the flute being played by the flute seller, he is reminded of different kinds of flutes. He mentions certain kinds of them like the ‘cross-flutes’, the ‘reed new’, the recorder, the Japanese ‘shakuhachi’ and the Hindustani ‘bansuri’. Other flutes are distinguished by their tonal quality like ‘the clear or breathy flutes’ of South America and the ‘high-pitched’ flutes of China
Q.27. What is the impact of the music of the flute on Vikram Seth?
Ans. The music of the flute has a hypnotic effect on Vikram Seth. He finds it difficult to ‘tear’ himself away from the square where this music is being played by the flute seller. It has the power to draw him into the commonality of all mankind and he is moved by its closeness to the human voice.
Q.28. Why does the author describe the music of the flute as “the most universal and most particular of sounds”?
Ans. The music of the flute, according to the author, is the most ‘universal’ because this musical instrument, made of hollow bamboo is found in every culture in the world. But at the same time, its sound is the most ‘particular’ because each flute, though played in an almost similar manner, emits a distinct, unique, and individual kind of music.
Q.29. What did the saffron-clad Westerners want?
Ans. The saffron-clad Westerners wanted to go inside the temple of Pashupatinath. But the policeman stopped them. He did not let them go inside the temple because they were not Hindus. The entrance was only for Hindus in the temple.
Q.30. How did the author want to return to Delhi? What made him change his mind?
Ans. From Kathmandu, the author wanted to go Patna by bus or train. Then he would sail the Ganga though Benaras to Allahabad. Then he would sail the Yamuna through Agra to Delhi. But the author was already very tired. So he decided to return to Delhi by air.
Q.31. Describe how the flute seller sells his wares?
Ans. The flute seller has tied fifty or sixty flutes on a pole. He does not shout out his wares. From time to time, he selects a flute and plays on it. He plays slowly and thoughtfully. Sometimes, he makes a sale. But his attitude is carefree.
Q.32. To hear any ‘flute is to be drawn into the commonality of all mankind.’ Explain.
Ans. The flute is found in each culture in one form or the other. Thus the sound of the flute draws a person into the commonality of mankind.