Iswaran the Story Teller
Question 1: In what way is Iswaran an asset to Mahendra?
Answer: Iswaran was a good domestic assistant for Mahendra. Apart from cooking and doing household chores he was a great entertainer for his master. He was good at managing resources as he could find vegetables out of nowhere. And to top it all he never had a complain while accompanying his master.
Question 2: How does Iswaran describe the uprooted tree on the highway? What effect does he want to create in his listeners?
Answer: Iswaran describes the tree as giving illusion of a giant monster. It was so huge with weird shape that even Iswaran was frightened initially, that is what Iswaran says.
This quality of describing even mundane things in an interesting way surely creates attention in listener. Weaving a magic with words is what good story telling is all about.
Question 3: How does he narrate the story of the tusker? Does it appear to be plausible?
Answer: First of all he creates the tension of fear by depicting how all students and teachers hid in the classroom. Then he gives an add-on effect by telling other people’s plight as well. Then he describes the havoc created by the elephant. And at last the saviour or the hero comes in the form of Iswaran to get rid of that menace. That is what we see in many Hindi movies. First the mayhem created by the villain which the all powerful hero stops at the end of the climax.
The act of Iswaran leading to the fall and collapse of the elephant is not plausible but makes an interesting story.
Question 4: Why does the author say that Iswaran seemed to more than make up for the absence of a TV in Mahendra’s living quarters?
Answer: Mahendra more often lives in isolated places which are usually construction sites. Living in those places can be difficult especially during spare time. You don’t get a means of entertainment. No TV, radio or anything. Remember the story is written in a period when elephants were used to ferry heavy goods.
If you happen to have a person like Iswaran around then life becomes easier. Iswaran works as 24X7 TV channel for Mahendra.
Question 5: Mahendra calls ghosts or spirits a figment of the imagination. What happens to him on a full-moon night?
May be because of effect of great narration by Iswaran or because of the ambience of isolated moonlit night Mahendra gets an illusion of seeing the ghost. No matter how courageous you are sometimes the fear factor tends to overpower you. This is what seems to have happened in Mahendra’s case.
Question 6: Can you think of some other ending for the story?
Answer: The story could have ended on a more positive note. Instead of resigning from his job, Mahendra could have been shown as a real courageous man and proving the ghost theory wrong.
Another ending can be of both Mahendra and Iswaran leaving the place together and in turn continuing their bond which is depicted earlier in the story. Iswaran has been explained as a man of all seasons for Mahendra.