By Masti Venkatesha Iyengar
About the Author
Image Reference: tcy.wikipedia.org
Maasthi Venkatesa Iyengar was a well-known writer in Kannada language. He was born on 6 June, 1861 at Hungenahalli in Kolar district of Karnataka in a Tamil language speaking Sri Vaishnavaite family. He spent his early childhood in Maasti village. He obtained a master’s degree in English literature in 1914 from Madras University. After joining the Indian Civil Service, he held various positions of responsibility in different parts of Karnataka, rising to the rank of District Commissioner. After 26 years of service, he resigned in 1943, as a protest when he did not get the post equivalent to a Minister, which he deserved and a junior was promoted ahead of him. He wrote some pieces in English and then switched over to write in Kannada language. He used pen name Srinivasa to write short stories and novels in Kannada.
A prolific writer, he wrote more than 123 books in Kannada and 17 in English, for over seventy years. He won the Jnanpith Award in 1983 for his novel Chikkavira Rajendra.
He died on 6 June, 1986 on his 95th birthday.
The story depicts the life in Indian villages in the past when child marriage was a common practice. Ranga’s Marriage is an interesting story of how a person manipulates to get a young boy married to an eleven-year-old girl in a village. The story dates back to the early days of British rule when English was not used in a big way. Rangappa, the son of a village accountant returns from Bangalore after his studies. His homecoming after six month makes a big event. The curious villagers gather outside Ranga’s house to see how much the boy is changed. But they see no change in the boy. The narrator discusses the issue of marriage with Ranga. He talks to him to hear his ideas about marriage. He resolves to get the boy married to a very young and immature 11-year-old girl Ratna. He seeks the support of Shastri’s astrology to bring Ratna round. And Ranga forgets his idealism and settles down happily.
1. Shyama – The narrator, lives in Hosahalli village.
2. Ranga – son of the village accountant
3. Ratna – a girl of 11, Rama Rao’s niece.
4. Shastriji – a village astrologer
Ten years ago when the village accountant sent his son Ranga to Bangalore for studies, the situation in the village was different. People never used to use English words while talking in Kannada, their mother tongue. But now they do it with an abominable pride. For instance, Rama Rao’s son was not ashamed to use the word ‘change’ while buying some firewood from a woman who knew no English, thereby creating confusion.
Now people are so fond of the foreign language and education that Ranga’s homecoming is made a big affair. People crowd his house to see if he has changed. They return home on finding no significant change in him. The narrator is particularly happy to find the boy still quite cultured as he respectfully does ‘namaskara’. The narrator spontaneously blesses him saying ‘May you get married soon.’
But the boy is not ready for marriage, he says. He is of the opinion that one should better remain a bachelor than marry a young girl, as the custom of the village is. The narrator is disappointed to hear this, but as he sincerely wants Ranga to get married and settled to be of some service to the society, he does not lose heart. He takes a vow to get him married, and that to a young girl of 11 by the name of Ratna, Rama Rao’s niece, who has of late come to Hosahalli to stay for a few days.
Now the narrator plans to make the prospective bride and the bridegroom meet each other. So he does by asking Rao’s wife to send Ratna to his house to fetch buttermilk. As Ratna arrives she is asked to sing. As planned at that very moment Ranga arrives and gets mesmerized by Ratna’s singing and almost instantly falls in love with her being oblivious of his theories regarding child marriage. The narrator, from his experience, notices this quite well but purposely disappoints Ranga saying that Ratna is married.
The next morning the narrator meticulously plots with Shastri, the fortune teller, to trap Ranga and have him marry Ratna. He tutors him in what is to be said and done when he will bring the boy to him.
The narrator finds Ranga miserable that day. The latter complains of headache and the narrator suggests that they visit Shastri. Thereupon Ranga is taken to Shastri who cleverly reacts by saying that their visit has been a surprise. The narrator acts foolishly forgetting what he is supposed to say but Shastri cleverly manages the scene.
Everything goes well as per the plan. Shyama, the narrator, asks Shastri what might be worrying the boy. Shastri calculates throwing his cowries and suggests that it is about a girl. On further calculation he suggests that the girl’s name has connection with something found in the ocean. The narrator asks if it could be ‘Kamala’. Then he suggests ‘Pachchi’, meaning moss. When Shastri hints ‘pearl’ or ‘Ratna’, the narrator becomes jubilant and Ranga is amazed. Shyama further asks if there is any chance of negotiation of the marriage bearing any fruit, to which Shastri answered affirmative. But once again the narrator pours water on Ranga’s hopes by saying that Ratna is married.
However, on the way the narrator enters Rama Rao’s house and comes out of the house to inform Ranga that Ratna is unmarried and the previous information about her marriage was wrong. Now visibly Ranga’s joys have no limits. When the narrator asks him whether whatever the astrologer told is right, he admits that it is true and further adds that there is more truth in astrology than he thought.
Later the narrator informs Shastri about the success story and makes a sarcastic comment about astrology. But Shastri is not ready to accept. He says that the former gave only the hints and whatever he said was the result of his calculation.
Whatever the case might be, Ranga finally gets married to Ratna and fathers two children, moreover Ratna is now eight months pregnant. The narrator is invited to the third birth anniversary of Ranga’s child, who was named after the narrator as ‘Shyama’. On finding this, the narrator mildly chides Ranga saying that he knows that it is the English custom to name the child after someone one likes, but it is not fair to name him ‘Shyama’ because he is fair complexioned.
All said and done, it is interesting to find how Ranga forgets what he learned about happy marriages in cities and gives in to the far deeper influences the village customs and traditions have on him. And why not, is it easy to do away with all that one learns so unconsciously day and night in the society one grows up in?
Short Answer Type Questions
Q1. Where is Hasahalli? Why does the author talk about Hosahally with great enthusiasm?
Ans. Hosahalli is a place in Karanataka, the Erstwhile Mysore State. The author is greatly enthusiastic about Hosahalli because it is his birthplace.
Q2. What is Dr. Gundabhatta’s opinion about Hosahalli and the world outside?
Ans. Dr. Gundabhatta speaks so much glowingly about Hosahally as the author does. He is proud of Hosahalli. Though he has toured quite a number of places outside India, he admits that there is not such a wonderful place like Hosahalli.
Q3. How does the writer describe his village, Hosahalli?
Ans. In Hosahalli, the mango trees produce very sour fruits. There is also a creeper growing in the ever-so-fine water of the village pond. The flowers are a feast to behold and the leaves can be used to serve afternoon meals.
Q4. What was special about Rangappa? How did the villagers react to it?
Ans. After his return from Bangalore where he had been studying for six months, much to everyone’s surprise, he was just the same. His homecoming became a great event for the villagers. People rushed to his door step to have a look at him. An old lady even ran her hand over his chest, looked into his eyes and remarked that the janewara was still there. He hadn’t lost his caste.
Q5. Who was Ranga? What was special about him?
Ans. Ranga was the village accountant’s son who had gone to Bangalore to study. People thought that city education would change him but they were wrong. He still showed respect towards elders in the village and wore the sacred thread. However, his views on marriage had changed.
Q6. How does the narrator give us a vague picture of Indian villages during the British rule?
Ans. During the British rule, Indian villages were poor and undeveloped. Very few people could understand or speak English. So when Ranga was sent to Bangalore to study, it w’as a great event. Early marriage was a common practice. Ratna was married off when she was just eleven years old.
Q7. Who was Ratna?
Ans. Ratna was the eleven-year-old pretty niece of Rama Rao. She had lost her parents. Since she was from a big town, she knew how to play upon the veena and the harmonium. She also had a sweet voice. Shyama played a key role in her marriage with Ranga.
Q8. How did the narrator carry out his resolve to get Ranga married to Ratna?
Ans. The narrator felt that Ranga and Ratna was a suitable match for each other. He arranged a meeting in which Ranga could meet Ratna and get impressed with her quality of singing. He manipulated things in a clever way and made Ranga fall in love with her. He finally got them married.
Q9. What impression do you form of the narrator? How does he add to the humor of the story?
Ans. The narrator appears to be a very talkative man. He jumps from one topic to another. There are too many digressions in his narration. He takes a lot of interest in village affairs. He decides to get Ranga married to Ratna as soon as he realizes that they seem suitable for each other. His narration evokes the humor in the story when he manipulates the situation in a clever way. The astrologer’s remarks and the meeting between Ranga and Ratna add to the humor of the story.
Q10. Why was Ranga’s homecoming a great event?
Ans. Ranga was the son of the village accountant. He was sent to Bangalore to study in an English school. People were very excited when Ranga returned home after six months. They expected a big change in the boy. So they rushed to his doorstep. His homecoming became a great event.
Q11. What were Ranga’s views on the selection of a bride and marriage in general?
Ans. Rangappa had no intention to marry unless he found the right girl. He wanted a mature girl and also one whom he admired. He was against arranged marriage and against marrying an adolescent girl. If he failed to find the girl of his choice, he was ready to remain a bachelor.
Q12. How did the narrator bring Ranga and Ratna face to face?
Ans. The narrator called Ratna to his house to take away some buttermilk. He requested her to sing a song. He also sent for Ranga, so as to know how much he liked or admired the girl. His plan was successful. Ranga fell for the sweet-voiced young and pretty girl.
Q13. Why did the narrator resolve to get Ranga married?
Ans. The narrator was pleased when Ranga brought him a couple of oranges. He thought that such a decent boy should marry and settle down. But Ranga had his own views about an ideal life-partner. He was willing to remain single until he found the right girl. So the narrator made up his mind to get the boy married soon.
Q14. What role does Shastri play in bringing about Ranga and Ratna together?
Ans. The narrator sought the help of Shastri in bringing Ranga and Ratna together. He tutored Shastri, the astrologer. He took Ranga to his house. Shastriji read the stars and made calculations. He finally declared that the girl in Ranga’s mind should have the name of something found in the ocean. It could be Ratna as well. Ranga was convinced and he agreed to marry.
Q15. Why did the narrator tell a lie about Ratna’s marital status?
Ans. The narrator noted Ranga’s growing interest in Ratna. Ranga enquired if she was married. The narrator told a lie that she was married a year ago. He said so to see Ranga’s dejection. Later on he declared that she was not married yet. Ranga was suiprised and happy to marry Ratna.
Q16. What role does the narrator play in the life of Rangappa?
Ans. Shyama, the narrator, resolved to get Ranga married. He lays a trap for it. He sends for Ratna and Ranga to his house. They see each other. Ranga after meeting Shastri, agrees to marry Ratna. Thus, the narrator plays the role of a marriage broker.
Q17. How did Ranga and Ratna express their gratitude to the narrator?
Ans. Several years passed after the marriage of Ranga and Ratna. They had a three-year-old son, now named after Shyama. Ranga visited the narrator for dinner at his house on the child’s birthday. That was how the two youngsters expressed their gratitude to Shyama.
Long Answer Type Questions
Q1. Give a brief account of Ranga’s education, his views on marriage and finally how he got married.
Ans. Ranga was the son of an accountant of Hosahalli village. He made a news when he went to Bangalore to study English. In those days, not many people could speak or even understand English. So when he returned home after six months, a curious crowd of villagers gathered at his house to see the change in the boy. They were disappointed.
Ranga was unwilling to marry a very young and immature girl. He was willing to remain a bachelor until he found the right girl. He was opposed to arranged marriage. A man should marry a girl he admired—that was his clear-cut philosophy.
But the narrator resolved to get Ranga married at the earliest. He so manipulated that Ranga saw young Ratna, got the sanction of Shastri’s astrology and married her.
Q2. Why and how does the narrator conspire to get Ranga married?
Ans. Ranga was a young, generous and promising boy. But he was adamant on not marrying a very young and immature girl, selected by his parents. He was bent upon staying single until he found the right girl whom he admired. The narrator resolved to get him married. He thought of Ratna, an eleven-year-old niece of Rama Rao. She could play upon the harmonium and even sang in a sweet voice. The narrator brought Ratna and Ranga face to face at his own house. He roused the boy’s interest in the girl. He declared that the girl was already married. But it was a lie. He conspired with Shastri to further Ranga’s interest in Ratna. With the approval of the Shastras, Ranga gave in and married the girl selected by the narrator.
Q3. This is a humorous story. Which part did you find the most amusing? Describe the narrator of the story.
Ans. Shyama, the narrator of the story ‘Ranga’s Marriage’ is also the central character. His style of narration evokes a lot of humor in the story. He is an elderly gentleman and refers to himself as a dark piece of oil cake. He is passionately in love with his village and the villagers and rambles incessantly while describing it. He is a keen observer of his surroundings and uses a colorful style of narration. He feels it is disgraceful to use English words in the native tongue. He is a good judge of people and regards Ranga as a generous and considerate fellow. He is conservative at heart and feels unhappy at Ranga’s decision to remain single. He means well and his intentions are good. He plans to get Ranga married. He calls Ranga when Ratna was singing. He also arranges a meeting with Shastri whom he had tutored thoroughly. He had decided that Ratna would be a suitable bride for him. He is a shrewd contriver as he tells Ranga that Ratna was married. This he does in order to rouse Ranga’s desire for the unattainable.
The description of the village of Hosahalli evokes some humor in the story. The narrator and Ranga’s visit to the astrologer and their conversation produce a few comic moments in the story.
NCERT Solutions For Class 11 English Snapshots Ranga’s Marriage
QUESTIONS FROM TEXTBOOK SOLVED
A. Reading With Insight
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?
The narrator says that dining the last ten years English language has made inroads into Indian countryside. Now there are many who know English. During the holidays, one comes across them on every street, talking in English. They bring in English words even while talking in Kannada. The narrator considers it disgraceful. He illustrates his point of view by giving an example. A bundle of firewood was bought at Rama Rao’s house. Rama Rao’s son asked the woman how much he should give her. When she said, “Four pice”, the boy told her that he did not have any “change” and asked her to come the next day. The poor woman did not understand the English word “change” and went away muttering to herself. Thus the use of English language before a native Kannada speaker caused confusion.
Ranga was influenced by the English way of life. Like them he wanted to marry a mature girl and not a young present-day bride. He told the narrator that he would marry when he grew a bit older. Secondly, he wanted to marry a girl he admired. He was not in favour of arranged marriages. This shows the influence of English way of life on modem young educated Indians. The narrator did not approve of it.
Astrologers’ perceptions are based more on hearsay and conjecture than what they learn from the study of the stars. Comment with reference to the story.
This story presents astrologers in an unfavourable light. The author seems to be having a dig at them through the words of the narrator. The story gives a graphic description of how the narrator employs the astrologer to trick an unwilling youngman to agree to marry a young girl. He tutors him in all that he wants him to say.
The narrator took Ranga to the astrologer. The Shastri took out his paraphernalia. These included two sheets of paper, some cowries and a book of palmyra leaves. He called astrology ancient science. He moved his lips fast as he counted on his fingers. He did some calculations before telling Ranga that he was thinking about a girl. She had the name of something found in the ocean. He assured them that their negotiations would definitely bear fruit. Ranga was impressed by the science of astrology.
That evening the narrator congratulated Shastri for repeating everything he had taught without giving rise to any suspicion. He mocked astrology by saying, “What a marvellous shastra yours is!” The Shastri didn’t like it and said that he could have found it out himself from his shastra.
This shows that astrologers’ perceptions are based more on hearsay and conjecture them what they learn from the study of the stars.
Indian society has moved a long way from the way the marriage is arranged in the story. Discuss.
In the past, marriages in India were usually arranged by parents/relatives. The story ‘Ranga’s Marriage’ shows how the narrator arranges Ranga’s marriage with the help of the astrologer. After independence, certain changes have come in the economic and social set-up of the Indian society. Women empowerment has made women men’s comrades and equals and not a mere prisoner confined within the four walls. Women education and access to jobs have changed the attitude of modem males towards them. A girl is now accepted as a partner in marriage for her worth or qualities rather than the dowry. Marriageable young boys and girls have now more say in the choice of partners. Early marriages have been banned legally. The minimum age for marriage for a girl is 18 and for a boy it is 21. By this time they attain physical, emotional and mental maturity. Indian society has certainly moved a long way from the time of arranged marriages when the formal consent of the bride/bridegroom was taken for granted and the elders fixed everything.
What kind of a person do you think the narrator is?
The narrator, Shyama, is dark in colour. He calls himself’ ‘a dark piece of oil-cake’. He is an elderly gentleman. He is keen observer of men and manners. He notices the influence of English—the language and the way of life on Indian society. He is a purist who is pained at the indiscriminate use of English words in Kannada conversation. He considers it disgraceful. He does not approve of the English custom of love-marriage either. He is a well-meaning gentleman who has the good of others in his heart. He learns of Ranga’s views about marriage from Ranga himself. He is a good judge of human character. He thinks that Ranga would make a good husband. The narrator is a good strategist. He cleverly calls Ranga to his home when Ratna is singing a song. He notices Ranga’s reaction and interest in her and arouses his curiosity by arranging a meeting with the astrologer. First he says that Ratna is married, but when he finds Ranga deeply interested in her, he confesses that he was wrongly informed. In short, the narrator tries his utmost to get the marriage settled.
The narrator loves fun and humour. He has the capacity to make others laugh at him. He employs a rambling style and gives many similes and metaphors to heighten the literary value of the story. The touches of local colour make the story full of ethnic colour and authentic.
MORE QUESTIONS SOLVED
A. Short Answer Type Questions
What does the narrator say about Hosahalli?
Hosahalli village is the scene of action. There is no mention of it in geography books written by the sahibs in England or Indian writers. No cartographer has put it on the map. The narrator highlights its importance by comparing it to the filling of the karigadubu—a festival meal.
What are the two special produce of Hosahalli and in what respect?
First is the raw mango. The sourness of its bite is sure to get straight to the brahmarandhra, i.e. the soft part in child’s head where skull bones join later. Second specialty is a creeper growing in the water of the village pond. Its flowers are a feast to behold. You can serve afternoon meal to the whole family on its two leaves.
What exactly had happened ten years ago? How important was it then?
Ten years ago, there were not many people in the village who knew English. The village accountant was the first one who sent his son Ranga to Bangalore to pursue his studies. It was quite an important event then. The narrator highlights it by saying that the village accountant was the first one who had enough courage to send his son to Bangalore to study.
What happened when Ranga returned to his village from the city of Bangalore?
Ranga’s homecoming was a great event. The crowds milled around his house to see whether he had changed or not. People were quite excited as the boy was returning home after studying English at Bangalore. Everyone was surprised to see that Ranga was the same as he had been six months ago, when he had first left the village.
How did the old lady satisfy herself about Ranga?
The old lady ran her hand over Ranga’s chest. She looked into his eyes. She was satisfied to find the sacred thread on his body. She was happy that he had not lost his caste.
“What has happened is disgraceful, believe me” says the narrator. What does he refer to? How does he illustrate his point of view?
The narrator refers to the practice of young persons who during the holidays in village, go on talking in English or bring in English words while talking in Kannada. He calls this mixing up of languages ‘disgraceful’. He gives the example of the use of the English word ‘change’ to an illiterate person. The old lady, being asked to come the next day, went away disgruntled.
Why does the narrator refer to the Black Hole of Calcutta?
During the British rule, hundreds of persons were kept inside a single room. The next morning most of them were found dead due to suffocation. The narrator uses the expression ‘Black Hole of Calcutta’ to suggest the large number of people who had turned out to see Ranga.
How did Ranga greet the narrator? In what respect did he differ from the present- day boys?
Ranga greeted the narrator with full devotion. He not only folded his hands, but also bent low to touch his feet. A present-day boy would stand stiff like a pole without joints, keep head towards the sun and jerk his body as if it were either a hand or a walking stick. The narrator, being old fashioned did not approve it.
When did Ranga plan to marry and why?
Ranga did not want to get married at an early age. He wanted to find the right girl. She should be mature enough to understand his love talk. Secondly, he wished to marry a girl he admired. He was against marrying quite young girls who had no manners or were not careful of their face or figure.
What examples did Ranga give to explain the importance of marrying late?
Answer: Ranga gave two examples. An officer about thirty, married a girl about twenty- five. Ranga hoped they would be able to talk lovingly to each other. The second example is that of Dushyanta falling in love with Shakuntala, who was quite mature.
“Ranga was just the boy for her and she the most suitable bride for him” says the narrator. Who is ‘she’? What led narrator to this conclusion?
‘She’ here stands for Ratna, the niece of Rama Rao. She was a pretty girl of eleven. Both her parents having died, her uncle had brought her home. Being a girl from a big town, she knew how to play the veena and the harmonium. She also had a sweet voice. All these qualities made her a suitable bride for a young, educated man like Ranga.
How did the narrator let Ranga have a glimpse of Ratna?
The narrator arranged the meeting very systematically. First he called Ratna on the pretext of sending buttermilk through her. Then he asked her to sing a song. Meanwhile Ranga, whom he had sent for, reached the door. He became curious to see the singer and peeped in. His presence at the door blocked the light and Ratna stopped singing abruptly.
How did Ranga and Ratna react at their unexpected encounter?
Ratna stopped singing abruptly on seeing a stranger outside the room. Ranga felt disappointed when the singing stopped. Ratna stood at a distance with her head lowered. Ranga repeatedly glanced at her. He blamed himself for the singing to stop and offered to leave. Ratna was overcome by shyness and ran inside. Ranga enquired about her.
How did the narrator handle Ranga’s inquiries about Ratna?
The narrator did not give him a straightforward reply. He said casually that it did not matter to either of them who she was. The narrator was already married and Ranga was not the marrying type. This aroused Ranga’s interest and excitement. He expressed the hope that she was unmarried. His face showed signs of disappointment on learning that she was married a year ago.
Why did the narrator tell Ranga that the girl was married a year ago?
The narrator had made up his mind that he would get Ranga married early. First he brought Ranga and Ratna face to face to arouse his interest in her. In order to test the strength of his emotions, he told Ranga that she was married a year ago. The shrivelled face of the young man betrayed his feelings.
Why did the narrator visit the village astrologer?
The narrator wanted to exploit the common human weakness—eagerness to know the future. He went to the village astrologer and told him to keep ready to read the stars. He tutored him in all that he wanted the astrologer to say when he would revisit him with Ranga.
In what mental /emotional state did the narrator find Ranga? What solution did he offer? How did Ranga react to it?
Ranga seemed to be lost in thought. Perhaps he was emotionally upset to learn that the girl he had seen that morning was already married one. The narrator offered to take him to Shastri to learn about the stars-whether Guru and Shani were favourable for him or not. Ranga accompanied him without any protest.
“What? Only this morning…” Why was this sentence cut off and by whom? What would have been the likely impact if the speaker had completed the sentence?
The narrator got angry when the astrologer said with surprise that he had not seen the former for a long time. The narrator shouted these words. The astrologer cut this sentence off and completed it in his own way. If he had not done so, the narrator would have ruined their plan by blurting out everything.
What according to the astrologer was Ranga’s cause of worry? How did the name Ratna’ crop up?
According to the astrologer the cause of Ranga’s worry was a girl. She probably had the name of something found in the ocean. When asked if it could be Kamla the astrologer did not rule out the possibility. When suggested if it could be Pacchi, moss, the astrologer put a counter question: “Why not pearl or ratna, the precious stone?” Thus the name Ratna cropped up.
“There was surprise on Ranga’s face. And some happiness.” What do you think had caused these feelings?
When the narrator learnt from Shastri—the astrologer, that the name of the girl Ranga was worried about could be Ratna, he was at once reminded of Rama Rao’s niece Ratna. He asked the astrologer if there was any chance of the marriage being fixed there, the astrologer gave a firm assurance. This caused happiness and surprise on Ranga’s face.
How did the narrator test the sincerity of Ranga’s feelings about Ratna?
The narrator employed the age-old trick ‘temptation for the unattainable’. He first mentioned that the girl had been married a year ago. He noticed Ranga’s disappointment. Ranga’s face fell when the narrator mentioned to the astrologer that Ratna was married. When he was sure of the sincerity of Ranga’s feelings about Ratna, he disclosed that she wasn’t married.
“There’s greater truth in that shastra than we imagine,” says Ranga. What truth does he refer to and how was he made to admit it?
After their visit to Shastri, the narrator disclosed to Ranga that Ratna was not married. He observed that whatever Shastri told them had turned out to be true. Still he could not believe that Ranga had been thinking of her. He asked Ranga to confirm it. Ranga frankly admitted the truth that he was thinking of her.
What did the narrator tell Shastri about his performance? How did the Shastri react to it?
The narrator told Shastri that he repeated everything he had told him without giving rise to any suspicion. He exclaimed “What a marvellous Shastra yours is!”
Shastri did not like his berating astrology. He retorted that he could have found out himself from the Shastras.
Comment on the ending of the-story ‘Ranga’s Marriage’.
The story has a happy ending. Ranga has been married to Ratna and they have a three year old golden boy named Shyama after their well-wisher, the narrator. Ratna is eight months pregnant and about to deliver another baby.
B. Long Answer Type Questions
“The best way of getting to know a place is to visit it.” Which place does Masti Venkatesha Iyengar refer to? What do you know learn about it?
The author refers to Hosahalli, the village of Rangappa and the narrator. From the narrator’s point of view it is an important village in the Mysore state. People may not have heard of it, as there is no mention of it in Geography books. The place has been ignored both by British and Indian authors. No cartographer has put it on the map.
The raw mangoes from the mango trees in the village are quite sour. The extreme potency of the sourness of these mangoes is amply illustrated by the comment: “Just take a bite. The sourness is sure to go straight to your brahmarandhra.” The creeper growing in the village pond had beautiful flowers and broad leaves. The latter can serve as plates for serving afternoon meal. The village doctor Gundabhatta also speaks glowingly of Hosahalli.
What was special about Rangappa? How did the villagers react to it?
Ten years ago, there were not many people in Hosahalli village who knew English. Rangappa, the accountant’s son enjoyed a unique distinction. He was the first one to be sent to Bangalore to pursue his studies. This was considered an act of courage on the part of his father. It was an important event in the village—a sort of first of its type.
Naturally, Ranga’s homecoming was a great event. The crowds of villagers milled around his house to see whether he had changed or not. People were quite excited because Ranga had returned home after studying English at Bangalore. An old lady ran her hand over Ranga’s chest. She looked into his eyes. She was satisfied to find the sacred thread on his body. She felt happy that he had not lost his caste. People disappeared from the scene, once they realised that Ranga had not undergone any material change.
Give a brief account of the narrator’s two meetings with Ranga after the latter’s return from Bangalore. What opinion did he form about the young man?
When Ranga returned home after getting his education in Bangalore, crowds of people collected round his home to see him. The narrator was attracted by the crowd. He too went and stood in the courtyard. Ranga came out with a smile on his face. After every one had gone, the narrator asked Rangappa how he was. Ranga noticed him and came near him. He folded his hands and touched the narrator’s feet. He said that he was all right, with the narrator’s blessings. The narrator blessed him and wished that he might get married soon. They exchanged some polite friendly remarks. Then the narrator left.
That afternoon, when the narrator was resting, Ranga came to his house with a couple of oranges in his hand. The narrator thought that Ranga was a generous, considerate fellow. He was of the opinion that it would be fine to have him marry, settle down and be of service to the society.
What were Ranga’s ideas about marriage? Do you find any change in them during the course of the story?
Ranga was influenced by the English way of life in the matter of marriage. He was not in favour of arranged marriages of the time where the brides were quite young. He told the narrator that he was not getting married just then. He gave two reasons. First, he must find the right girl. She must be mature enough to understand his love-talk. Avery young girl might take his words spoken in love as words spoken in anger. He gives examples of a thirty year old officer who married a twenty-five year old lady and that of king Dushyanta falling in love with Shakuntla. The second reason he gave was that one should marry a girl one loves.
During the course of the story we find a change in Ranga’s ideas about marriage. Not only is he fascinated by Rama Rao’s eleven year old niece Ratna, he also marries her in the old traditional way of arranged marriages.
What steps did the narrator take to get Ranga married to Ratna?
The narrator was intimate with Rama Rao’s family. He knew that his niece Ratna would be a suitable wife for Ranga. He proceeded systematically. First he created an opportunity where Ranga might listen to Ratna’s song and have a glimpse of her. He arranged this sudden encounter of two strangers at his home. The reaction of two youngsters was on expected lines. Ranga felt interested in her. Ratna felt shy, lowered her head and went to the other room.
In order to test the intensity of Ranga’s feelings towards Ratna, the narrator said that she had been married a year ago. Ranga looked crestfallen. Then the narrator tutored an astrologer and took Ranga to him. Shastri, the astrologer, gave sufficient assurance that there was no hitch in his marriage to a girl whose name was that of something found in the ocean.
While returning from the Shastri’s house, they saw Ratna standing alone in her uncle’s house. The narrator went in for a moment and brought the news that Ratna was not married. After ascertaining Ranga’s views, the marriage was settled.
What estimate do you form of Ranga?
Ranga is a typical South Indian young man whose feet are firmly entrenched in the traditional Indian culture but head is swayed by the latest acquisition of English language and ways of life.
He seems to have attained marriageable age according to the norms prevalent in society at that time. The narrator finds him generous and considerate. The young man could rightly assess a person’s worth and knew when it would be to his advantage to talk to someone.
At first, Ranga seemed to be in favour of love marriage—marrying a girl of one’s choice, whom one loved and who would be mature enough to understand love-talk and reciprocate it. The systematic steps taken by the narrator to rope in Ranga to marry Ratna shows that the young man has a sensitive heart. Ranga’s act of naming his golden boy ‘Shyama’ after the dark coloured narrator Shyama shows his adherence to the English custom of naming the child after someone you like.
On the whole, Ranga appears as a smart but lovable fellow.
Comment on the title of the story ‘Ranga’s Marriage’.
The title of the story is quite appropriate and suggestive. It at once sums up the theme of the story. The whole story has one central issue Ranga’s marriage. It begins with Ranga’s refusal to marry just then and ends with his blissful married life. All the incidents contribute to the central theme.
The writer has presented the working of a young educated Indian’s mind and heart. He is easily influenced by the English way of life and customs. He wants to adopt them in his own life as well. The narrator, who is his well-wisher takes deep interest in him and takes active steps to wean Ranga away from the fantasy of love-marriage. By arousing his interest and fascination in a young girl, Ratna, he makes Ranga agree to marry her. Thus Ranga’s one condition for marriage is fulfilled—he knows the girl and loves her. She does not fulfil the other condition of being a mature girl in twenties—she is just eleven at that time.
Write a brief note on the ending of the story ‘Ranga’s Marriage’.
The ending of the story is superb. Like all the tales of romance where the hero and heroine are finally united, the caption “….and they lived happily ever after” is usually displayed. The writer goes here one step further. He presents Ranga as a happily married husband, a proud father and a good member of the joint family.
He has a three year old son, a golden child, whom he had named ‘Shyam’ after the narrator to express his love and gratitude to the elderly person. We also learn that Ratna is about to deliver another child and Ranga’s sister has come there with his mother. They will not only look after household affairs but Ratna as well.
The scene of a toddler putting his arms round the legs of an elder and the latter kissing him on his cheek and placing a ring on his tiny little finger as a birthday gift presents a lovely emotional scene full of tender affection and love. What a happy ending!
MCQ Questions for Class 11 English Snapshots Chapter 3 Ranga’s Marriage with Answers
After reading “Ranga’s Marriage”, who (according to you) played a major role in Ranga and Ratna’s marriage?
(a) Rama Rao
Answer: (d) Shyama
Why does the narrator call the couple childish?
(a) Because they were immature
(b) Because they named their child after him
(c) Because they were playful
(d) Because they invited him for dinner
Answer: (b) Because they named their child after him
“There’s greater truth in that shastra than we imagine.” Who said this?
Answer: (d) Ranga
What sort of cue did Shastri suggest for the girl’s name?
(a) Something found in the forest
(b) Something found in the ocean
(c) Something found in the sky
(d) None of the above
Answer: (b) Something found in the ocean
Why was it not important to know Ranga’s star?
(a) Because Shastri already knew
(b) Because Shastri was taught beforehand by the narrator
(c) Because Shastri was not well versed
(d) All of the above
Answer: (b) Because Shastri was taught beforehand by the narrator
What is the name of the narrator of the tale?
Answer: (d) Shyama
Ranga was ________ about Ratna.
Answer: (a) curious
How does the narrator describe Ratna?
(a) Pretty girl of eleven
(b) From a big town
(d) Both (a) and (b)
Answer: (d) Both (a) and (b)
According to Ranga, what type of girl should one marry?
(c) Both (a) and (b)
(d) Not mentioned in the story
Answer: (c) Both (a) and (b)
“As for his namaskara to me, he did not do it like any present-day boy…” What does it tell about Ranga?
(a) He was well mannered
(b) He was disrespectful
(c) He was forgetful
(d) He changed his caste
Answer: (a) He was well mannered
After knowing that Ranga was the same, the crowd was __________.
Answer: (a) disappointed
Why was Ranga’s homecoming a big event?
(a) Because he brought gifts for everyone
(b) Because he was new in the village
(c) Because he returned from Bangalore after studying there for six months
(d) All of the above
Answer: (c) Because he returned from Bangalore after studying there for six months
Q1. What is the writing style of the author?
- None of the above
Q2. The story “Ranga’s Marriage” is set in a village of _________.
Q3. What is the name of the narrator’s village?
- None of the above
Q4. How does the narrator speak of his village?
- Both (A) and (C)
Q5. What does the narrator mention as a ‘priceless commodity’?
- To his native language
- To mangoes of his village
- To flowers of his village
- To English language
Q6. Who was Ranga?
- The narrator’s son
- The accountant’s son
- The doctor’s son
- None of the above
Q7. Why was Ranga’s homecoming a big event?
- Because he brought gifts for everyone
- Because he was new in the village
- Because he returned from Bangalore after studying there for six months
- All of the above
Q8. An old lady checked for Ranga’s ___________.
- sacred piercing
- sacred tattoo
- sacred thread
Q9. After knowing that Ranga was the same, the crowd was __________.
Q10. How does the narrator speak of Ranga’s character?
- Does not speaks of his character
Q11. “As for his namaskara to me, he did not do it like any present-day boy…” What does it tell about Ranga?
- He was well mannered
- He was disrespectful
- He was forgetful
- He changed his caste
Q12. What was Ranga’s initial take on marriage?
- He wanted to marry immediately
- He wanted to marry a girl chosen by his parents
- He wanted to remain a bachelor
- He wanted an arranged marriage
Q13. According to Ranga, what type of girl should one marry?
- Both (A) and (B)
- Not mentioned in the story
Q14. According to the narrator, who would make a suitable bride for Ranga?
- Narrator’s own daughter
- Rama Rao’s niece
- Narrator’s niece
- Rama Rao’s daughter
Q15. How does the narrator describe Ratna?
- Pretty girl of eleven
- From a big town
- Both (A) and (B)
Q16. When Ranga reached the narrator’s house, Ratna was __________.
Q17. Ranga was ________ about Ratna.
Q18. “She was married a year ago.” Hearing this, Ranga was ___________.
Q19. What is the name of the narrator of the tale?
Q20. “Come, let’s go and see Shastri.” Who was Shastri?
- The village doctor
- A village elder
- The astrologer
- Not mentioned in the tale
Q21. Why was it not important to know Ranga’s star?
- Because Shastri already knew
- Because Shastri was taught beforehand by the narrator
- Because Shastri was not well versed
- All of the above
Q22. According to the Shastri, what was Ranga’s concern?
- Concern for a girl
- Concern for his studies
- Concern for a job
- Concern for his village
Q23. What sort of cue did Shastri suggest for the girl’s name?
- Something found in the forest
- Something found in the ocean
- Something found in the sky
- None of the above
Q24. Later on, Ranga got to know that Ratna was __________.
Q25. “There’s greater truth in that shastra than we imagine.” Who said this?
Q26. “Don’t forget, I developed on the hints you had given me.” What does the line suggest?
- Narrator tutored Shastri for what to tell
- Everything that Shastri told was based on his predictions
- Both (A) and (B)
- None of the above
Q27. Why does the narrator call the couple childish?
- Because they were immature
- Because they named their child after him
- Because they were playful
- Because they invited him for dinner
Q28. “It’s Shyama’s birthday.” Who has been referred to in this line?
- Ranga and Ratna’s child
- The narrator
- A child in village
- None of the above
Q29. After reading “Ranga’s Marriage”, who (according to you) played a major role in Ranga and Ratna’s marriage?
- Rama Rao
Q30. What sort of intentions does the narrator seem to have towards Ranga?
- He is mean
- He feels responsible for his marriage
- He is manipulative
- He feels pitiful
Answer key for Class 11 English Snapshots Book Chapter 3 – Ranga’s Marriage