Bepin Chaudhury's Lapse of Memory
Question 1: Why did the man stare at Bepin Babu in disbelief?
Answer: The man was surprised because Bepin Babu was not recognizing him. Even when Bepin Babu confirmed that he was ‘Bepin Chaudhury’ then also he refused to recognize the man. This can happen to anybody. Usually people don’t talk to a person until and unless they are doubly sure about the person’s identity. Moreover, the way that man is giving detail of Bepin Babu’s Hudroo and Netrahat trips, it is very likely that he did what he was saying for somebody called Bepin Babu.
Question 2: Where did Bepin Babu say he went in October 58?
Answer: Bepin Babu said that he spent the Durga Puja of October 1958 in Kanpur and he didn't go to Ranchi at all.
Question 3: Mention any three (or more) things that Parimal Ghose knew about Bepin Babu.
Answer: Parimal Ghose knew following things about Bepin Babu:
- That Bepin Babu slipped near Hudroo falls and hurt his leg.
- That Bepin Babu stayed in a Bungalow because he preferred food by bawarchi.
- That Bepin Babu's wife died 10 years before his Ranchi trip in 58.
- That Bepin Babu's brother died insane and that is why Bepin Babu did not want to visit the mental asylum in Ranchi.
Question 4: Why did Bepin Babu worry about what Parimal Ghose had said?
Answer: Parimal Ghose knew so much detail about Bepin Babu's personal life. He knew about Bapin's wife, brother and Bepin's habit of carrying lots of books. If someone knows such details about you then he must have been very close to you. Yet Bepin Babu was perplexed how did Parimal talk about a trip which Bipin never made apparently. There must have been something wrong with either Parimal or Bepin.
Question 5: How did he try to decide who was right—his memory or Parimal Ghose?
Answer: Bepin thought of cross checking with either Haridas Bagchi or Deepak Mukherjee. Haridas Bagchi was his friend at Kanpur where Bipin claimed to visit during October 58. Deepak Mukherjee had been to Ranchi in October 58 as per Parimal’s statement.
Question 6: Why did Bepin Babu hesitate to visit Mr Mukerji? Why did he finally decide to phone him?
Answer: There was a fear of inviting acid lashed sarcasm from Mr. Mukherjee. Bepin Babu wanted to avoid that embarrassment. When the thought of Parimal’s conversation disturbed Bepin Babu then he decided to clear his confusion by talking to Deepak Mukherjee over telephone.
Question 7: What did Mr Mukerji say? Did it comfort Bepin Babu, or add to his worries?
Answer: Mr. Mukherjee confirmed that Bepin had been to Ranchi in October 58. This further made him uncomfortable. Bepin Babu became so worried that he even lost his appetite.
Question 8: Who was Chunilal? What did he want from Bepin Babu?
Answer: Chunilal was Bepin's school time friend. He was going through a bad phase and wanted some help from Bepin to land a job.
Question 9: Why was Dr Chanda puzzled? What was unusual about Bepin Babu's loss of memory?
Answer: Dr. Chanda was not a psychiatrist, so Bepin's case was out of his area of expertise. Chanda had never encountered such strange case of a perfectly normal person forgetting one important episode of his life.
Question 10: Had Bepin Babu really lost his memory and forgotten all about a trip to Ranchi?
Answer: Bepin Babu lost his memory and forgotten about his trip to Ranchi. But the moment he got off at Ranchi railway station he felt a pain in his hip. The pain helped him relive the memory of fall he had near Hudroo falls in 1958.
Question 11: Why do you think Chunilal did what he did? Chunilal says he has no money; what is it that he does have?
Answer: Chunilal was fed up of unfriendly behaviour of Bepin Babu. So he wanted to punish him by rekindling haunting memory of his fall near Hudroo. Chunilal seems to be a good writer with very fertile imagination. That is what he believes would help him to tide over his bad phase.
Question 12: The author describes Bepin Babu as a serious and hardworking man. What evidence can you find in the story to support this?
Answer: The author has mentioned that Bepin Babu had the reputation of being a tireless and conscientious worker. Bepin Babu was working in a big firm at a responsible position.
Question 13: Why did Bepin Babu change his mind about meeting Chunilal? What was the result of this meeting?
Answer: Bepin Babu thought that Chunilal may have some knowledge about the Ranchi trip. Hence, he decided to meet Chunilal. The meeting motivated Bepin Babu to take a trip to Ranchi so that he could remember the incidents at Hudroo and Netrahat.
Question 14: Bepin Babu lost consciousness at Hudroo Falls. What do you think was the reason for this?
Answer: Bepin Babu may have been hit on his head. Or he may have suffered from a bout of fluctuations in blood pressure.
Question 15: How do you think Bepin Babu reacted when he found out that Chunilal had tricked him?
Answer: Bepin Babu took the things in his stride and tried to behave normally when he found that Chunilal had tricked him. It is evident from the way Bepin Babu asked for a painkiller from the doctor.