Question (1):   Describe Babuli’s feelings when he hears his wife discussing the things they would buy with the money they would get after selling their share of the land.

Answer:  Babuli thinks of the butcher. He feels his wife is insensitive and heartless. But finally, he also goes with her to the shops to estimate the costs of various commodities.
Question (2):   What were the changes Babuli noticed in the village home when he reached there?

Answer:  When Babuli reached his village home no one came to receive him. There was the silence of a graveyard. His sister-in law and nephews did not rush out to greet him. His second brother and his wife were nowhere to be seen.
Question (3):   How much did the second brother offer Babuli to buy his share of land?

Answer:  Babuli was offered Rs. 18,000/- to buy his share of land.
Question (4):   Quote two instances from the story highlighting his elder brother’s sacrificing nature.

Answer:  Even on a cold morning, he placed his blanket on Babuli and walked to the farm without a cover.

He mortgaged his watch to send Babuli to the interview at Delhi.

Question (5):   What does the act of leaving his share to his elder brother reveal about Babuli’s character?

Answer:  Babuli was a sensitive person who had behaved in a selfish and immature manner. In good time, he realises his mistake and shows his love for his elder brother.
Question (6):   How does Babuli manage to come out of the cobwebs that had settled around him?

Answer:  Babuli was caught in the strands of city life. He was preoccupied with his work and wife in the city. He had pushed back all thoughts of his brother and mother. But the letter from his brother woke up the dormant feelings. He was filled with shame on his way to the village. He felt as if everybody was accusing him of his behaviour. Past memories flooded his mind and he was reminded of his brother’s unconditional sacrifices. Finally, he makes the decision to leave his share of property to his eldest brother as a tribute to his love.
Question (7):   Imagine you are Babuli’s mother. Write a diary entry on the day of the partition after it is over.

Answer:  8.8.2000

It has been such a sad day. Today, the property was divided amongst the three children. I am glad my husband is not here to see this day. My heart was breaking when all the movables were brought outside to be divided. I feel most sorry for my eldest son.

My eldest son has been a father to his brothers. Kind and sacrificing, he has only wanted their good in his heart. How could Babuli forget all his kind acts of love? My second son is, of course, selfish and totally in his wife’s clutches. He has no feelings. But Babuli! How could he behave in such a way? He has become a ‘City Babu’ and forgotten all our love. Still, I hoped that he would be different.

Will these walls of stone and brick actually separate the love the three brothers shared? Can the younger two forget their childhood and the happy moments they all spent together? God! give courage to my eldest son to bear this partition. He must feel totally devastated! God Bless him!

Question (8):   You are Babuli’s wife. Write a letter to your sister about what happened in the village and your reaction to it.

Answer:  Meeta,
7, Bhubaneshwar
Orissa,
9.9.2000

Dear Seeta,

I hope this letter finds you in good health. Remember I had mentioned the partition of the village property to you? I had dreams of buying so many things. Now, there has been a twist in the events.

When Babuli set off to the village, I had many dreams in my heart. When he returned, I bombarded him with questions. He did not answer for a while. Then he broke the news that he had left his entire share to his elder brother! I was too stunned to speak. Slowly he talked to me, telling me things he had never done before – how his elder brother had been like a parent to him, how he had mortgaged his watch to send Babuli for an interview to Delhi! And how on cold winter nights he would put his own blanket on Babuli to make him comfortable, how he carried his bag for him when Babuli returned from his tuitions. His elder brother’s love is unconditional, and he has never wanted anything in return. Never a request. Never a complaint. Just a pillar of strength!
Babuli, overcome with feelings of shame and repentance, left his share of property to his elder brother as a tribute to his love. When Babuli stopped talking, tears flowed from my eyes. He held me and there was no need for words. I have forgotten the fridge, the scooter and the twenty thousand rupees. All I feel is the circle of love to which I been drawn after Babuli shared his feelings.

Hope you appreciate my feelings.
Write soon.

Your sister
Meeta

Question (9):   You are Babuli’s elder brother. You have received Babuli’s note and are replying to it. Write the letter.

Answer:  Kabuli
Sonepet
Orissa

9.9.2000

Dear Babuli

I was surprised to see your note. I know how much you love me and I never doubted it. It is your love, which has prompted you to do what you have done. But I cannot actually take your share.
However, I will always look after your land and send you the returns regularly. Partition cannot affect our relationship. We are all one and will continue to remain so. You have always occupied a special spot in my heart and I cherish our relationship.
Do come to the village often. Bring your wife too. My children miss you and talk about you often. My blessings remain with you. Hope you prosper in everything you do.

I hope you understand my feelings and respect them. Write back.

With love
Kabuli

Question (10):   You are Babuli’s elder brothers son. Make a diary entry on the day of the partition.

Answer:  8.8.2000
Today was a horrible day. The house has got partitioned. I felt so sad when I saw all the movables brought out. Even our toys were not spared. The last few weeks have been horrible with nobody talking to each other. I was so close to my cousins and Babuli uncle. Yet, today, we didn’t even talk to each other. He used to laugh and joke with us. He was our favourite uncle. All that has changed.
Everybody looked serious and behaved as if they were strangers to each other. The house has been deathly silent for so many days and I feel horrible!
I cannot show or share my feelings. Mother will scold me if I do. Father has completely withdrawn into a shell. He barely talks. I know he is also suffering inside, but doesn’t show it.
Oh God! Can the family not get back together? Please perform a miracle so that we are reunited.

Oh, please God, please!

Question (11):   Why was Babuli disturbed by the contents of his elder brother’s letter?

Answer:  Babuli was disturbed by the contents of his elder brothers letter because their father’s lands in the village were to be partitioned between the three brothers.
Question (12):   Why was there an abominable silence in the village home when Babuli arrived?

Answer:  The brothers and their families were all unhappy about the impending partition. Therefore, there was an abominable silence in the village home when Babuli arrived.
Question (13):   What does the reference to butcher symbolise?

Answer:  Butcher symbolises cruelty, heartlessness and death.
Question (14):   What did Babuli do with his share?

Answer:  Babuli gifted it to his elder brother as a sign of his gratitude for the many sacrifices made by him.
Question (15):  Why could Babuli not sleep the night before the partition?

Answer:  Babuli did not sleep the night before the partition because he realised how ungrateful he had been and was remorseful.
Question (16):   Why did Babuli feel guilty when he saw the letter?

Answer:  Babuli felt guilty when he saw the letter because he had neglected the family in the village and had not visited or written letters to them.
Question (17):   Cite examples to illustrate the elder brother’s affection towards Babuli during his child hood.

Answer:  The following incidents illustrate the elder brother’s affection towards Babuli during his child hood:

  • He escorted him back from tuitions.
  • He got a special dish of fish made for him.
  • He covered him with his own blanket.
Question (18):   In what way was Babuli ungrateful?

Answer:  Babuli was ungrateful towards his elder brother. He got his education and job because of the sacrifices of his elder brother, but

  • he had not paid his elder brother a visit for the past two years after his marriage.
  • he had not taken back gifts to his brother or his family even after he began to earn.
  • he had not written to his mother for the past two years after his marriage.
Question (19):   How did he feel when he saw his wife’s reaction to the news of the partition?

Answer:  Babuli felt unhappy and threatened. His wife was butchering his feelings.
Question (20):   What kind of a person was the second brother?

Answer:  Babuli’s second brother was money-minded and selfish. He paid heed thoughtlessly to his wife. He was ungrateful.
Question (21):   How did Babuli feel as he got into the bus?

Answer:  Babuli realised the long duration of his absence from the village. He felt they were all reprimanding him for not having visited the village. In his confusion, he dropped the ‘prasad’.
Question (22):   Perhaps a tear trickled down his cheek. Why did the elder brother behave in this manner?

Answer:  The elder brother felt that with the placing of the wristwatch, he was snapping all ties with the past.
Question (23):   Compare and contrast Babuli’s character with that of his second brother.

Answer:  Though both the brothers are selfish, Babuli is more sensitive and a better human being. Babuli’s love for his family lies dormant in his heart, but when he receives the letter about the partition, the floodgates of love open. He is ridden with guilt. He does not yield to his wife’s pressure. The second brother, on the other hand, though living in the village, has become very hard-hearted and money-minded. He is also weak-natured and gives in to his wife’s pressure. He is insensitive to the pain that his mother and elder brother are undergoing.
Question (24):   Describe Babuli’s feelings when, after the partition, Babuli’s brother shows him his share of the fields and how this influences the conclusion of the story.

Answer:  Babuli’s repentance is complete. He sees the fruits of his elder brother’s labour in every crop and compares the dewdrops to the sweat of his elder brother. He realises that his only true wealth is his brother from whom he has harvested everything in life.
Question (25):   Imagine you are the elder brother’s wife making a diary entry on the day Babuli has left his share to his elder brother and returned to Bhubaneswar.

Answer:  8.8.2000

Today, I feel ashamed of myself. After reading Babuli’s letter, I feel so bad. My sister-in-law and I fought over a trivial matter that finally ended in this partition. I am older and I should have behaved in a more mature manner. I realise the depth of love that lies between the brothers. The same love lies dormant in the second brother and needs to be wakened.

I must undo the wrong I have done. I will apologise to my sister-in-law, and talk about getting back together. I will beg for forgiveness from Ma. How sad she must be feeling! I know my husband is very hurt and sad, but he doesn’t express anything. Babuli’s letter has really opened my eyes. If he feels so much for his brother, who am I to come between them. We will look after Babuli’s share of property and send him the returns.

God, forgive me for my behaviour! My repentance will be complete when I get the family back together. How glad the children will feel! They love their cousins, but for my sake, they have stopped talking to them. God, give me the strength to rebuild the family, which means so much to my husband and my children!

Question (26):   Imagine you are Babuli’s second brother and make a diary entry on the day after the partition.

Answer:  I was surprised to know of Babuli’s decision. I thought he had become a ‘City Babu’ and thought only about his share. Yet, his offering his share to elder brother has surprised me. I offered him money, but he refused to sell his share. It’s strange how money holds no value for him. His love and respect for brother is so much that he could give up his entire share! And that too, despite sister-in-law’s pressure! This has set me thinking. Was I right in what I did? I have followed what my wife advised. I was fed up of the petty quarrels between my wife and my sister-in-law. The partition of property seemed the only solution to be happy. Yet, can we really be happy without elder brother’s love and encouragement? He has actually done so much for us. He has been like a parent. I know he is upset with the partition. He never expresses his feelings. Babuli has left me thinking. It is too late to patch up. Maybe I will ask for forgiveness from mother and brother. If we all try, we can reunite. I will have to talk to my wife. I hope I can convince her. God give me strength!
Question (27):   You are the second brother’s wife and write a diary entry on the day of the partition.

Answer: 8.8.2000

I had been waiting for this day. At last, I have managed to have my way. My husband was so much under the influence of his elder brother, that it took me some time to bring him to my way of thinking. Anyway, I always felt that elder brother was partial towards Babuli. My heart filled with triumph and joy as the partition details were discussed. We got whatever we wanted. Only Babuli refused to sell his share. He is a stubborn man.

How I hate my mother-in-law and sister-in-law! Now, the children are on my side and hate them too. With the land we have got, we can lead a happier and more comfortable life. I can start my life now without bothering about others.

Thank you, God.