Memoirs of Chota Shahib Question Answer Class 12 | Notes

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The Memoirs of Chota Sahib question answers

Page no. 90
Think as you read

1. Briefly describe the scene observed by the author from the veranda of his bungalow on the bank of the Brahmaputra. (AHSEC 2020)
Ans: The author's bungalow was situated on the bank of the river Brahmaputra. From the veranda on the top of the bungalow, the author had a splendid view of the majestic river with the boats sailed over it and the Himalayas in the distance. Moreover, at the forefront, an island called Peacock island with the dome of a Hindu temple could be visible through the trees.

2. What is the belief about the dividing channel between Peacock Island and the mainland of Guwahati that the author mentions? (AHSEC 2015)
Ans: There is a belief that the British raj would come to an end in India if the channel between the Pea-cock island and the mainland ever dried up entirely. 

3. What does the author say about the importance of Guwahati? Is the statement true in our today also?
Ans: The author highlights the importance of Guwahati by describing it as the port entry into Assam. In earlier times most of the travelers passed through Guwahati on their way from Calcutta to Shillong or to districts lying further up the valley. At times, they used it as a resting place by staying overnight.

Yes, the statement is true in our time today also. Still, it connects the rest of India with the Northeast region and hence called 'Gateway to North-East India.' Moreover, tourists from across the country and abroad visit Guwahati in a large number and it is a transit spot for the people traveling to other parts of the North-East region. 

Page no. 91
Think as you read

1. What character of the North bank of the Brahmaputra does the author refer to?
Ans: The North bank, lying between the sandbanks of the Brahmaputra and the Himalayan foothills was a vast, solitary stretch of flat and age land. The specialty of the region was that during the hot weather the rivers dried up or suddenly disappeared underground. the dwellers of the region had to dig for water which was so dirty that it had to be cleaned by using alum to precipitate the mud.

2. What information does the author give us about Manas Wildlife Sanctuary? (AHSEC 2017)
Ans: The Manas Sanctuary, bordering the Himalayan state of Bhutan, was the habitat of a few rhinos. The rivers were full of 'mahseer', a kind of fish and their banks were favourite sites for the governor's Christmas camps. The sanctuary was also replete with cheetal fish, sloth bears, and deer. Amid the forest, a European and his spouse had leased a piece of land from the forest department to grow simul trees for the nearby match factory. They had put up miles of electric fencing in an attempt to keep out the deer, but with little success.

3. Describe the author's experience of crossing a flooded river on horseback on the North bank of the Brahmaputra. (AHSEC 2016)
Ans: The author has given a humorous account of his adventurous ride on horseback while crossing a flooded river. The author with much difficulty persuaded the horse to jump into the river but in the process, he slipped over the rump of the horse and hung onto its tail. The author used the tail as a rudder and pushed it right when he tried to push the horse to the left and vice versa. In this manner, they eventually, crossed the river safely and the ride came to an end.

Page no. 92
Think as you read

1. Relate the author's experiences of the road accident during the monsoon on the North Bank.
Ans:  Once, the author was touring the North bank with his family. They had either planned wrongly to return late after the monsoon or monsoon was early that year. Though the roads were still suitable for moto vehicles, but driving was extremely risky. Most of the roads were constructed on the top of embankments to raise them well above the normal flood level. Moreover, the roads were quite narrow and single-track. The road on which the author's car was running was extremely slippery. Consequently, the author's car went out of control and started sliding along the road, and fell into a paddy field six feet below the main road. The adventurous journey through the paddy field was quite jerky but they finally reached the road again. Fortunately, 20 damage was done to the motor car as well as the people inside it.  

2. Relate the author's reminiscence of the forest bungalow at Kulsi.
Ans: The bungalow at Kulsi was the author's favourite and it was beautifully situated on a raised and forested area above the river. It surrounded by teak plantation planted some sixty years back and was nearly matured. There was also a rubber plantation of the Ficus elastica of very close to the bungalow.

UNDERSTANDING THE TEXT

1 Give an account of the author's experiences of the floods on the North Bank of the Brahmaputra during the monsoon. (AHSEC 2018)
Ans: The author relates the various experience of the floods on the North- Bank of the river Brahmaputra during the monsoon. Once the author crossed a flooded river on horseback. He, with much difficulty, persuaded the horse to jump into the river but in the process, he slipped over the rump of the horse and hung onto its tail. The author used the tail as a rudder and pushed it right when he tried to push the horse to the left and vice versa. In this manner, they eventually, crossed the river safely.

On another occasion, the author was touring the North bank with his family. They had either planned wrongly to return late after the monsoon or monsoon was early that year. Though the roads were still suitable for moto vehicles, but driving was extremely risky. Most of the roads were constructed on the top of embankments to raise them well above the normal flood level. Moreover, the roads were quite narrow and single-track. The road on which the author's car was running was extremely slippery. Consequently, the author's car went out of control and started sliding along the road and fell into a paddy field six feet below the main road. The adventurous journey through the paddy field was quite jerky but they finally reached the road again. Fortunately, 20 damage was done to the motor car as well as the people inside it. 

2. Relate the author's observation on the use of mar boats as a mode of river transport in Assam.
Ans: The author presents a detailed description of a kind of special boat called 'mar' boats as a mode of river transport in Assam. Mar boat is a kind of ferry consisted of two open boats covered with a platform made of a wooden plank. These boats were paddled across the river or were propelled by the force of the current along a cable that connected the boats to another cable stretch across the river.

The mar boats as considered by the author was a brilliant device and it performed successfully. However, to balance the rise and fall of the river, continual modifications had to be made. A good number of landing ghats had to be constructed at different levels on the river bank for the landing of the travellers. Fortunately, at that time, traffic was light and though crossing overtook time, there were minimal delays.

3. Give the author's description of a sal forest.
Ans: The author compares the sal forest of Assam to the English woodland. The sal forest of Assam was found in the flat terrain of South-Bank. In this vast stretch of land, the reserve forests comprising particularly sal trees were mostly in one block, and the trees were scattered with villages and cultivation.

4. Describe the author's experience with the bats in the Rajpara forest bungalow.
Ans: The author John Rowntree has vividly described his experience with the bats at Rajapara Forest Bungalow. He expressed his view that Rajapara Forest Bungalow would have been beautiful and charming like the one at Kulsi if some bats had not lived in the roof. Their excrement droppings and fusty smell constantly reminded the author of their presence. The huge fruit-eating bats, with a wingspan of five feet, were less fusty and lived in a tree outside the bungalow. They flew out at dusk in search of food they appeared like uncanny figures gliding in the sky on silent wings.

IMPORTANT /PREVIOUS YEARS QUESTION FOR AHSEC

1. What does Rowntree talk often in 'Memoirs of Chota Sahib'? (2014)
Ans: In 'Memoirs of a Chota Sahib' John Rowntree often talks about the time he spent in Gauhati and its neighboring areas. 

2. What position did John Rowntree hold before leaving Shillong a few days after independence?  (2016, 20)
Ans: Senior Conservator of the Forests of Assam.

3. Give a brief description of peacock Island? (2014, 16, 19)
Ans: Peacock Island was located in the middle of the river Brahmaputra. When viewed from Rowntree's bungalow on the other bank, it offered a splendid view with the dome of Hindu temple just visible through the trees. But a funny contradiction was that unlike its name, Peacock island housed no peacocks but instead troops of monkey dominated the island.

4. What does Rowntree state about the large 'Bheel' close to the bungalow at Rajapara? (2015)
Ans: Rowntree mentioned that the bheel at Rajapara had been formed after an earthquake lowered the land which subsequently became inundated with water. He characterized it as an eerie spot because of the dead trees that rose out of the bheel. To Rowntree they seemed to resemble skeletons, serving as reminders of a past when the land was dry.

5. Who is 'Chota Sahib' in the 'Memoirs of Chota Sahib'? (2015, 18)
Ans: John Rowntree, the last British Senior Conservator of the Forest of Assam, is the 'Chota Sahib' in the 'Memoirs of Chota Sahib.'

6. Where did John Rowntree find the weather when he arrived at Gauhati? (2017)
Ans: John Rowntree and his family had made their first home in a bungalow at Gauhati.

7. How did Jhon Rowntree find the weather when he arrived at Gauhati? (2018)
Ans: John Rowntree, when he arrived at Gauhati, found the weather bearable.

8. What unusual visitor did Rowntree have in his bungalow one night? (2018)
Ans: The unusual visitor that Rowntree has in his bungalow one night was a tiger.

9. Name the book from which 'Memoirs of Chota Sahib' is taken. (2019)
Ans: It is taken from the book 'A Chota Sahib: Memoirs of a Forest Officer'.

10. What is mar boat and how is it operated? (2019)
Ans: Mar boat is a kind of ferry consisted of two open boats covered with a platform made of a wooden plank. These boats were paddled across the river or were propelled by the force of the current along a cable that connected the boats to another cable stretch across the river. 

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