Page No: 100
Before you Read
Q. Have you ever stopped at a roadside stand? What have you observed there?
Answer:- The poet believes that when we encounter a beautiful thing, even for a small moment, the pleasure remains with us forever. It leaves a lasting impression that inspires us to live life with hope and optimism.
Page No: 102
Think about it
Q1. The city folk who drove through the countryside hardly paid any heed to the roadside stand or to the people who ran it. If at all they did, it was to complain. Which lines bring this out? What was their complaint about?
Answer:- “The polished traffic passed with a mind ahead,
Or if ever aside a moment, then out of sorts
At having the landscape marred with the artless paint
Of signs that with N turned wrong and S turned wrong”
According to the city folk, these stalls with inartistic signboards blemish the scenic beauty of the landscape.
Q2. What was the plea of the folk who had put up the roadside stand?
Answer:- The rural folks pleaded pathetically for some customers to stop by and buy some of their goods. City folks used to pass by on this road and hence the rural folk set up the roadside
stand to attract their attention and sell their goods.
Q3. The government and other social service agencies appear to help the poor rural people, but actually do them no good. Pick out the words and phrases that the poet uses to show their double standards.
Answer:- The poet criticizes the double standards of the government and other social service agencies who promise to improve the standard of living of the poor farmers and show them the rosy side of life. Yet, when the time comes to deliver their promise, they either forget them or fulfill them keeping in view their own benefits. The poet calls them “greedy good-doers” and “beneficent beasts of prey”, who “swarm over their lives”. The poet says that these greedy people make calculated and well thought-out shrewd moves, to which the innocent, unaware farmers fall prey. These humble and simple farmers are robbed of their peace of mind by these clever people. The poet says,
That are calculated to soothe them out of their wits,
And by teaching them how to sleep they sleep all day,
Destroy their sleeping at night the ancient way.”
Q4. What is the ‘childish longing’ that the poet refers to? Why is it ‘vain’?
Answer:- The poet thinks that the persons who are running the roadside stand, suffer from a childish longing. They are always expecting customers and waiting for their prospective customers. They keep their windows open to attract them. They become sad when no one turns up. They are always waiting to hear the squeal of brakes, the sound of a stopping car. But all their efforts go in vain.
Q5. Which lines tell us about the insufferable pain that the poet feels at the thought of the plight of the rural poor?
Answer:- Filled with empathy, the poet is unable to bear the plight of the unassuming and innocent rural people. The lines below show his insufferable pain:
“Sometimes I feel myself I can hardly bear
The thought of so much childish longing in vain,
The sadness that lurks near the open window there,
That waits all day in almost open prayer”
A Roadside Stand Extra Questions and Answers
A Roadside Stand Short Answer Questions
Q1. Why does the poet refer to the roadside stand as pathetic?
Answer:- The poet refers to the roadside stand as pathetic because it looked awkward and unattractive to the eye. Naturally, it failed to attract the sophisticated city people who drove past, without even a second glance.
Q2. Who do these pitiful kin refer to? Why will they be mercifully gathered in?
Answer:- These pitiful kin refers to the villagers who have been deprived of their home and land. They will be mercifully gathered in to live in villages near the theatre and the stores.
Q3. What is the party in power keeping from these rural poor?
Answer:- The government, and the civic authorities who appear to help them but actually end up harming them are relocating them to the vicinity of the towns near the theatre and the shops which is a great disservice to the people. They will be thus, robbed of their voices and their freedom and ability to find solutions to their problems.
Q4. What is the childish longing that the poet refers to? Why is it vain?
Answer:- Childish longing seems to emanate from the roadside shed, for a life that is described in ‘ the movies, a life so far removed from their life in the village. The thoughtless occupants of a car who stop at the shed to buy a gallon of gas, speaks of the disconnect that exists in the perceptions of town people with regard to the villagers.
Q5. What does the poet wish he could do for these people? Why does he change his mind?
Answer:- The poem is an expression of the rage that the poet feels on behalf of the farmers, with whom his sympathies lie. Enraged, the poet wishes he could put the farmers out of their pain at one stroke. However, he immediately checks himself and wonders how he would react if someone offered to do the same to him.
Q6. What kind of support do the country folks expect to receive from city dwellers?
Answer:- The country folks starved of cash, look for financial support and patronage from city dwellers. They feel that if they could have some cash with them, then they could lead a much better and prosperous life.
Q7. How does the poet criticise the city ways?
Answer:- According to the poet, the city folks are mean and selfish. They refuse to extend any kind of support to the rural poor. Although they are rich, yet they are very possessive about their money. The city folks are so carried by their lifestyle that they have no time to stand and appreciate the nature’s beauty. They show no compassion and concern for the poor villagers.
Q8. What empty promises are made to the country people?
Answer:- The people in power use the media to assure the country folks that they would be soon pulled out of their poverty. Such tall promises turn out to be false as they are never fulfilled.
Q9. Give examples of contrast and irony in the poem.
Answer:- The use of expressions ‘greedy good-doers’ and ‘beneficent beasts of prey’ bring out the use of irony and contrast by the poet.
Q10. What is the ‘open prayer’ made by the country folks?
Answer:- The people in the rural areas make an open appeal to the people of the city. The rural folks pray that they should not be so selfish. Instead, they should stop at the roadside stand and help them lead a better life.
Q11. State the reasons for which the cars from the city halt at the roadside stand.
Answer:- The people from the city halt their cars at times to plough the grass and use the yard to back and turn around. Sometimes, they stop to ask for the right way and path. At times, they stop to enquire about a gallon of gas.
NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Others Chapter
NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Flamingo Prose
- Chapter 1 The Last Lesson
- Chapter 2 Lost Spring
- Chapter 3 Deep Water
- Chapter 4 The Rattrap
- Chapter 5 Indigo
- Chapter 6 Poets and Pancakes
- Chapter 7 The Interview
- Chapter 8 Going Places
NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Flamingo Poetry
- Poem 1 My Mother at Sixty-six
- Poem 2 An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum
- Poem 3 Keeping Quiet
- Poem 4 A Thing of Beauty
- Poem 5 A Roadside Stand
- Poem 6 Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers