Glimpses of India
A Baker From Goa
Question 1: What are the elders in Goa nostalgic about?
Solution: Elders in Goa are nostalgic about good old Portuguese days, about the Portuguese, and their famous loaves of bread. Goa was a Portuguese colony. After independence Goa became part of India. Goa has distinct effect of Portugues and Anglo Indian culture. Christianity is one of the main religions in Goa. Elders usually fondly remember old days because once people grow old they accumulate rich experiences of their past. It is a normal human psychology that past always looks better than present.
Question 2: Is bread-making still popular in Goa? How do you know?
Answer: From the story it is clear that bread-making is still popular in Goa. The author has described about the existence of time-old furnaces and their still burning fire. The Goan society is still having moulders, bread mixers and bakers.
Question 3: What is the baker called?
Answer: Baker is called a Pader in Goa.
Question 4: When would the baker come every day? Why did the children run to meet him?
Answer: The baker usually comes in the morning everyday. The children are fond of his musical sales pitch. Moreover, they are unable to wait to savour the bread rings.
Question 5: Match the following. What is a must
- as marriage gifts? – cakes and bolinhas
Answer: sweet bread called bol.
- for a party or a feast? – sweet bread called bol
- for a daughter’s engagement? – bread
- for Christmas? – sandwiches
Answer: cakes and bolinhas
Question 6: What did the bakers wear: (i) in the Portuguese days? (ii) when the author was young?
Answer: (i) In the Portuguese days bakers used to wear a knee length single piece frock known as kabai.
(ii) When the author was young bakers used to wear a shirt and a knee length pant.
Question 7: Who invites the comment — “he is dressed like a pader”? Why?
Answer: Even toady if someone wears a pant with length a little bit down from knees he invites the comment, “he is dressed like a pader”, because bakers used to wear such dresses in Goa.
Question 8: Where were the monthly accounts of the baker recorded?
Answer: Bakers used to record the monthly account on some walls with pencil. We still find this practice followed by panwallahs in many towns and villages in India. The panwallah write monthly dues account on their shops walls.
Question 9: What does a jackfruit -like appearance mean?
Answer: A baker’s profession was apparently a profitable profession. This was evident from plump appearance of the baker as if he was well fed. A plump person can give a jackfruit like appearance.
Question 10: Which of these statements are correct?
- The pader was an important person in the village in old times.
- Paders still exist in Goan villages.
- The paders went away with the Portuguese.
- The paders continue to wear a single-piece long frock.
- Bread and cakes were an integral part of Goan life in the old days.
- Traditional bread-baking is still a very profitable business.
- Paders and their families starve in the present times.
Question 11: Is bread an important part of Goan life? How do you know this?
Answer: Some of the facts which show the importance of bread in Goan life are as follows. Sandwiches must be prepared on the occasion of a daughter’s engagement. Cakes and bolinhas are must for Christmas and other festivals.
Question 12: Tick the right answer. What is the tone of the author when he says the following?
- The thud and the jingle of the traditional baker’s bamboo can still be heard in some places. (nostalgic, hopeful, sad)
- Maybe the father is not alive but the son still carries on the family profession. (nostalgic, hopeful, sad)
- I still recall the typical fragrance of those loaves. (nostalgic, hopeful, naughty)
- The tiger never brushed his teeth. Hot tea could wash and clean up everything so nicely, after all. (naughty, angry, funny)
- Cakes and bolinhas are a must for Christmas as well as other festivals. (sad, hopeful, matter-of-fact)
Answer: Matter of fact
- The baker and his family never starved. They always looked happy and prosperous. (matter-of-fact, hopeful, sad)