Bepin Choudhury’s Lapse of Memory
It was habit of Bepin Choudhury to stop on a book shop present in New market to purchase the books of his interest. But one day, he encountered with Parimal Ghose,who had recognised Mr. Bepin Babu but Bepin refused to identify him. As proof, Mr.Ghose narrate him Ranchi incident but Bepin replied that he had never been to Ranchi and told that he also don’t know Ghose. Later, Ghose described him his personal details as family-wife and kids, Dinesh Mukerji, his bungalow etc but Bepin Babu was not ready to believe.
Bepin think over it. He was confused whether he Ghose was telling lie or he was losing his memory then he decided to ring up Dinesh Mukerji so that he could confirm the matter. He talked to Dinesh but he also replied in positive and recollected all other events also, hearing all his head began to spin.
Next day when he reached home from office,his servant told him that Mr. Chunni Lal wanted to meet him. Chunni asked him for money but Bepin Babu refused, besides he began to confirms about the incident of Ranchi and his last job just to verify if he was losing his memory or not .But Chunni Lal also replied positively. Now he called for Dr. Paresh Chanda, who gave him remedy.
At the end of the lesson, Bepin himself went to Hudroo but couldn’t retrieve his memory. When he reached Hudroo, he felt unconsciousness there. He returned calcutta and feeling that he will lose everything, there is no hope left in him. Few minutes later Bepin’s servant brought a letter which was describing Chunni’s revenge for not helping him in at the time of need. Now Bepin understood all the matter. When Dr. Chanda again came to treat him, he was totally surprised when Bepin told him that he was better now. He just needed a pain killer as he has fallen in Ranchi.
Textual Questions and Exercises
Q1. Why did the man stare at Bepin Babu in disbelief?
Ans. The man stared at Bepin Babu in disbelief because Bepin Babu did not recognise him even though he was sure that he knew him and had met him in Ranchi.
Q2. Where did Bepin Babu say he went in October’ 58?
Ans. Bepin Babu said that he spent the Puja holidays in ’58 with a friend in Kanpur.
Q3. Mention any three (or more) things that Parimal Ghose knew about Bepin Babu.
Ans. Parimal Ghose knew following things about Bepin Babu:
- That Bepin Babu slipped near Hudroo falls and hurt his leg.
- That Bepin Babu stayed in a Bungalow because he preferred food by bawarchi.
- That Bepin Babu’s wife died 10 years ago.
Q4. Why did Bepin Babu worry about what Parimal Ghose had said?
Ans. Bepin Babu continuously worried about what Parimal Ghose had said because he had shown that he knew many intimate facts about him. He knew about the bag of books, his wife’s death and his brother’s insanity. Considering that Parimal Ghose knew so much about him, Bepin Babu couldn’t say with conviction that he was making a mistake about the Ranchi trip.
Q5. How did he try to decide who was right – his memory or Parimal Ghose?
Ans. He tried to decide whether his memory was right or Parimal Ghose by looking at his right knee where Parimal had claimed that there would be a cut. There was certainly a mark of an old cut. However, he could not decide if the cut was the result of his fall in Ranchi or due to some incident in his childhood. Then, he decided to ask Dinesh Mukherjee, who according to Parimal Ghose was with him in Ranchi. He felt that asking him would put an end to his confusion.
Q6. Why did Bepin Babu hesitate to visit Mr Mukerji? Why did he finally decide to phone him?
Ans. Bepin Babu hesitated to visit Mr Dinesh Mukerji because he was afraid of the ruthless sarcasm he would have to face. He felt that if the whole story about Ranchi was false, then Mr Mukerji would think that he had gone insane.
Being constantly troubled by the incident at the bookshop and having no other meansfor verifying the claims of Primal Ghose, Bepin Babu finally decided to ask Mr Mukerji. However, he decided to phone him because that way his embarrassment wouldn’t be visible to the latter.
Q7. What did Mr Mukerji say? Did it comfort Bepin Babu, or add to his worries?
Ans. Mr. Mukerji, after checking his diary ,said that they had visited Ranchi in October’58. This added to Bepin Babu’s worries as he could not figure out how he could possibly have forgotten about the trip.
Q8. Who was Chunilal? What did he want from Bepin Babu?
Ans. Chunilal was an old schoolmate of Bepin Babu. He had been having a rough time lately and had been coming to see Bepin Babu for a job.
Q9. Why was Dr Chanda puzzled? What was unusual about Bepin Babu’s loss of memory?
Ans. Dr Chanda was puzzled because he had never dealt with a case such as Bepin Babu’s. It was outside his field of experience.
The unusual thing about Bepin Babu’s case was that he remembered everything in his past except for one particular incident. Dr Chanda said that Bepin Babu must have been to Ranchi. However, due to some unknown reason, the entire episode had slipped out of his mind.
Q10. Had Bepin Babu really lost his memory and forgotten all about a trip to Ranchi?
Ans. No, Bepin Babu had not really lost his memory and forgotten all about a trip to Ranchi. It was a trick played by Chunilal.
Q11. Why do you think Chunilal did what he did? Chunilal says he has no money; what is it that he does have?
Ans. Chunilal did what he did because Bepin Babu did not help him at a time when he had no money and required a job. However, Bepin Babu did not do anything for him. So he wanted to punish him by rekindling haunting memory of his fall near Hudroo.
Chunilal seems to be a good writer with very fertile imagination. That is what he believes would help him to tide over his bad phase.
Q12. The author describes Bepin Babu as a serious and hardworking man. What evidence can you find in the story to support this?
Ans. The author has described Bepin Babu as a serious and hardworking man. He worked daily in his office. It was a big firm and he was doing a responsible job. He had been with the firm for twenty-five years. He had a reputation for being a tireless, conscientious worker.
Q13. Why did Bepin Babu change his mind about meeting Chunilal? What was the result of this meeting?
Ans. Bepin Babu changed his mind about meeting Chunilal because he thought that it might be possible that the latter remembered something about the Ranchi trip. When Chunilal confirmed that Bepin Babu had been to Ranchi, Bepin Babu decided to see a specialist doctor.
Q14. Bepin Babu lost consciousness at Hudroo Falls. What do you think was the reason for this?
Ans. Bepin Babu lost consciousness at Hudroo Falls because he had a fall. He had broken his hip.
Q15. How do you think Bepin Babu reacted when he found out that Chunilal had tricked him?
Ans. After finding out that Chunilal had tricked him, Bepin Babu must have been filled with remorse for his ‘unfeeling behaviour’ towards an ‘old friend down on his luck’. He would have realised that he had indeed been a victim of forgetfulness as he had forgotten the meaning of friendship in a time of ‘affluence’.
Working with Language
Q1.Fill in the blanks below using ‘had to’/ ‘have to’/ ‘has to’.
Ans. (i) I have to cut my hair every month.
(ii) We had to go for swimming lessons last year.
(iii) She has to tell the principal the truth.
(iv) They had to take the baby to the doctor.
(v) We have to complain to the police about the noise.
(vi) Romit had to finish his homework before he could come out to play.
(vii) I had to repair my cycle yesterday.
Q2. Study the sentences in the columns below.
|I saw this movie yesterday.||I have seen this movie already.|
|Bepin Babu worked here for a week last year.||Bepin Babu has worked here since 2003.|
|Chunilal wrote to a publisher last week.||Chunilal has written to a publisher.|
|I visited Ranchi once, long ago.||I have visited Ranchi once before.|
Compare the sentences in the two columns, especially the verb forms. Answer the following questions about each pair of sentences.
(i) Which column tells us the Bepin Babu is still working at the same the place?
(ii) Which column suggests that Chunilal is now waiting for a reply from the publisher?
(iii) Which column suggests that the person still remembers the movie he saw?
(iv) Which column suggests that the experience of visiting Ranchi is still fresh in the speaker’s mind?
Ans. (i) Column B
(ii) Column A
(iii) Column B
(iv) Column B
Q3. Given below are jumbled sentences. Working in groups, rearrange the words in each sentence to form correct sentences.
You will find that each sentence contains an idiomatic expression that you have come across in the lesson. Underline the idiom and write down its meaning. Then use you dictionary to check the meaning.
(i) Stop/and tell me/beating about/what you want/the bush
(i) Stop beating about the bush and tell me what you want.
Idiom: beating about the bush – avoiding the main topic, not coming straight to the point
(ii) don’t pay/if you/attention/you might/the wrong train/to the announcement/board
(ii) If you don’t pay attention to the announcement, you might board the wrong train.
Idiom: pay attention – listen carefully
(iii) The village/tried/the crime/on the young woman/to pin
(iii) The villagers tried to pin the crime on the young woman.
Idiom: pin the crime – place the responsibility of the crime
(iv)Bepin Babu/orders to/telling people/under/loved/doctor’s/eat early/that he was
(iv) Bepin Babu loved telling people that he was under doctor’s orders to eat early.
Idiom: under doctor’s orders – in complete necessity
(v)the student/The teacher/his eyebrows/when/said that/all their lessons/raised/they had
(v) The teacher raised his eyebrows when the students said that they had revised all
Idiom: raised his eyebrows – expressed doubt/surprise