My grandmother finished her single and simple widow's meal at about three
o'clock in the afternoon at our village Kalikutch. After that, she usually
sat down at the door of the hut, either telling us stories or watching us
play. She had a high-pitched voice, but having lost many of her teeth was
not distinct in speech. Thus, it happened that when she talked and more
especially when she scolded, there was just a suggestion of clucking. That
however, was not unbecoming in the old lady, for with us all around her, she
had the air of a very experienced hen keeping an eye on her fluffy brood.
At this time, and also in the morning, her most frequent visitors were two
women of the farmer class, called Pashani and Kali. I believe Pashani was a
widow, but unlike a Hindu widow she chewed the pan or betel-leaf, and was
always chewing it. I do not know how she managed about livelihood for I
never saw her doing any work. She was either visiting others or receiving
visitors herself. Her hut was one of the cleanest and neatest places I have
ever seen anywhere. it was in her hut that I saw for the first time the old
Bengali colored rope-hangers. she was considerably younger than my
grandmother but older than my mother and she was one of the best friends of
The other woman Kali, bore herself like an orthodox Hindu widow. She was a
tall, dark, plump but flabbily built woman. She must have been quite a
well-to-do person for besides having a house which was very much better than
my grandmother, she had had a tank dug with her own money before her house,
which passed with us under the name of Sister Kali's tank. We used to bathe
in it and drink its water till the big tank in my grandmother's house was
re-excavated in 1907. Kali was rather peevish to look at but that was only a
superficial impression, for in reality she was a very witty person and was
always spouting poetry.
Kali also satirized the cultivation of jute, for which the peasants had
begun to give up growing paddy because jute brought in more ready money.
Jute growing was becoming the means of getting rich quickly. Our Kali said
"There's no farmer like farmer Jute. For God or man he cares not a hoot."
Here I must say a word about the love of music and music facility of the
common folk at Kalikutch. It has a great reputation for folk music and folk
poetry. The common folk would burst into song at the least provocation.
Most of the peasants here were Hindus. Besides being the particularly
worldly animal that the Hindu peasant was, he was also the carrier of a
tradition of religious faith and morality which was Hindu spirituality
reduced to its lowest and simplest and which in addition was the heritage
alike and of the naive and the sophisticated. To a person of higher social
rank the peasant would, out of a sense of propriety alone and with no
intention to deceive, reveal only that part of his being which he thought
was common ground between him and the other man.
The spirit of the people here is meek and contented without share in the
kingdom of the earth, occasionally disposed to grumble at the fact but more
often happy to forget it, judging everything that could not be won by the
toils of their limbs as things lying within the gift of gods, praying for
these boons, resigned to the inscrutable will of Providence.
Based on the passage given, write
a summary about
* description of life at
* the people who lived there
Credit will be given for use of
own words but care must be taken not to change the original meaning. Your
summary must be in continuous form and not longer than 130 words,
including the 10 words given below.
Begin your summary as follows :
"The narrator's grandmother told
stories and monitored the children constantly ..."
The narrator's grandmother told stories and monitored the
children constantly. She had two frequent women visitors who are family
friends of the farming class: Pashani and Kali. The former was a widow and
defied Hindu traditions by chewing the betel leaf constantly. She never
worked and was always visiting others or receiving visitors. Her hut was
clean and neat. Kali was a conservative Hindu widow and rich as she had her
own tank. The narrator and his friends use it for bathing and drinking. She
was witty and good at poetry, satirizing the jute cultivation which replaced
paddy for monetary reasons. The people loved folk music and poetry. the
Hindu peasants were worldly, religious and carrier of traditions. Being meek
and contented, they accept the divine will without complaining. ( 130 words )