NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Chapter 13 – A Roadside Stand

Page No 100:

Question 1:

Have you ever stopped at a roadside stand? What have you observed there?

Answer:

One is bound to come across roadside stands while traveling on a highway. Having stopped a couple of times on such stalls, I have observed their pitiable condition. These roadside stands normally were set up on broken-down and dirty sheds. The food sold seemed unhealthy and contaminated, as flies could be seen hovering around. The so-called sitting area was bereft of any proper arrangement or even cleanliness. The strong stench of the overflowing sewer and freely parading rodents made it utterly unhealthy to buy or eat anything there.

(A model answer has been provided for students’ reference. It is strongly recommended that students prepare the answer based on their own experience and understanding.)

 

Page No 102:

Question 1:

Discuss in small groups.

The economic well-being of a country depends on a balanced development of the villages and the cities.

Answer:

The economic development of a country cannot stand independently on the shoulders of the cities. The villages play an integral role. Besides, the cities and villages are interdependent. The agricultural products grown by the farmers like the vegetables, cereals, oil, etc. bear importance for everyone, irrespective of the place they live in. On the other hand, the factory made products and employment avenues provided by the cities play their role in economic well-being of a society. In the poem, ‘A Roadside Stand’, the poet emphasises on the balance needed for a systemised growth. The poet feels that the villagers are unassuming and simple, and consequently, they are exploited by the politicians and other social agencies. The poet wants to remove these frauds and make the rural folk retain their self-respect and peace of mind.

(A sample answer has been provided for students’ reference. It is strongly recommended that students prepare the answer based on their own experience and understanding.)

Page No 102:

Question 2:

Notice the rhyme scheme. Is it consistent or is there an occasional variance? Does it indicate thought predominating over sound pattern?

Answer:

Although the poem is not in free verse, the rhyme scheme used by the poet is very inconsistent. The poet caters to a serious issue in this poem. His thoughts are oscillating between sympathy and rage. This seems to have affected the rhyme scheme of the poem as well. The differing rhyme scheme also shows that his main concern while writing this poem was to portray the plight of the villagers rather than merely beautifying his poem. Thus, his thoughts seem to predominate over sound pattern.

Page No 102:

Question 3:

Notice the stanza divisions. Do you find a shift to a new idea in successive stanza?

Answer:

The poet has divided the poem into four parts. Every stanza focuses on a different facet of the predicament of the poor villager running a roadside stall. In the first stanza, the poet introduces the character, the reason behind his setting up a roadside stand and his plight.  The second stanza focuses on how these poor farmers are exploited by the government and other social agencies. The poem explains the child-like waiting of these farmers and the attitude of the rich in the third stanza. In the last stanza, it focuses on the efforts required to change their lives.

Page No 102:

Question 4:

What is the ‘childish longing’ that the poet refers to? Why is it ‘vain’?

Answer:

The poet refers to the farmers’ longing for customers at their roadside stall as “childish longing”. This is because no one stopped and even if they did, it was for asking direction or to buy gas. Hence, this child-like wait is ‘vain’.

Page No 102:

Question 5:

Which lines tell us about the insufferable pain that the poet feels at the thought of the plight of the rural poor?

Answer:

Filled with empathy, the poet is unable to bear the plight of the unassuming and innocent rural people. The lines below show his insufferable pain:

“Sometimes I feel myself I can hardly bear

The thought of so much childish longing in vain,

The sadness that lurks near the open window there,

That waits all day in almost open prayer”

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