The Legend behind a Legend
Answers for all the questions from the lesson ‘The Legend behind a Legend’ included in the CHSE +2 book ‘Invitation to English – 1’.
Think it out – 1
1. Who is Khairi?
Answer – Khairi is a tigress nurtured from its infancy by its benefactor Saroj Chaudhury. She grew up nicely under his care making the Similipal forest her habitat.
2. How did the writer come to know about Khairi?
Answer – The fascinating story of Khairi had appeared in The Statesman some time ago. [Tigers, being intrinsically very violent, do not tend themselves to rearing by humans. Khairi was a rare exception.] The author had read the story with interest., and got to know about the tigress.
3. Who was the foster father of Khairi?
Answer- Saroj Raj Chowdhury was the foster father of the domesticated Khairi. He was an avid animal lover with a benign disposition. He liked to spread the words about Khairi around.
4. Which state does the writer belong to?
Answer – The writer hails from Odisha.
5. What did he learn about Saroj Raj Chaudhury as a person?
Answer – Contrary to what he had heard about Saroj earlier, the author found him to be an avid animal lover with a benign disposition. He was friendly and welcoming in nature.
6. How did he contact Mr. Chaudhury?
Answer – The author wrote to Saroj Chaudhury seeking permission to visit him at Similipal.
7. Why did he refer some of his articles to Mr. Chaudhury?
Answer – The author possibly wanted to convince Saroj that he was a journalist of some standing, whose request deserved consideration.
8. Did Mr. Chaudhury reply to the author’s letter? What did he write?
Answer – Mr. Chaudhury replied to the author’s letter promptly and in a positive manner.
Think it out – 2
1. How did the writer come to Bhubaneswar?
Answer – This question appears irrelevant.
2. How did he go to Jashipur from Bhubaneswar?
Answer – The author made his journey to Jashipur by bus in a congested carriage.
3. How did the forest guard receive him?
Answer – A forest guard already waiting for the author at the destination station at Jashipur welcomed him cordially and escorted him to the guest house.
4. Why was he terror-struck?
Answer – After an hour’s nap, the author got up and heard a frightening sound that sent chills down his spine. A tiger had come avisiting to the bungalow, and stood just outside his door.
5. What did the bearer tell him about Khairi?
Answer – The bearer dispelled the fears from the nonplussed author’s mind by saying that Khairi, the celebrity tigress had come to pay a customary visit to the newly arrived visitor.
6. What was Mr. Chaudhury doing when the writer met him?
Answer – Seated on a wooden chair, Mr. Chaudhury was with a pet sloth bear enjoying its hug and playful caresses.
7. How did Mr. Chaudhury greet the author?
Answer – Mr. Chaudhury promptly got up from his chair to welcome the author before ordering the bear to move away.
8. What was the name of the bear?
Answer – The bear was named Jambu.
9. What was the physical appearance of Mr. Chaudhury?
Answer – Chaudhury appeared to be in his early fifties. With his receding hairline and not-so-robust build, he appeared to be just another friendly ordinary man.
10. What kind of man did the author find Mr. Chaudhury to be?
Answer – Contrary to the earlier dour descriptions about him, Mr. Chaudhury turned out to be a pleasant and interesting person. He had an abiding interest in wild life and was particularly attached to Khairi. He was quite knowledgeable about jungle animals.
Think it out – 3
1. What theory did Mr. Chaudhury prove wrong?
Answer – There is a popularly held belief that animals of different species have to grow up together from their infancy, so that they develop harmony and bonding. Khairi, from its infancy, grew up with other grown-up animals under Mr. Chaudhury’s care. Nothing untoward happened and they all gelled well. In this way, Mr. Chaudhury proved the aforesaid theory wrong.
2. What was his first story about?
Answer – The first story was about the encounter of Khairi with an intruder krait that later bit Mr. Chaudhury with terrible consequences.
Longer answer – On one occasion, Mr. Chaudhury found a young krait inside his house. He let Khairi interact with the intruder. She was curious and often ventured too close to the krait. Mr. Chaudhury pulled Khairi back by her tail, but after a while, the krait bit Mr. Chaudhury. He tied a cord to his limb to arrest blood flow and rushed to a doctor. Sadly, even after treatment, the bite left Mr. Chaudhury afflicted by hypo-glycaemia for the rest of his life.
3. Why is it so unique and amazing?
Answer – Despite the debilitating effect, Mr. Chaudhury appeared unruffled by the bite of the krait, and showed no anger. The encounter between Khairi with the krait was an experiment in animal interaction that Mr. Chaudhury willingly conducted at considerable risk. This was really amazing.
4. Why did Mr. Chaudhury allow Khairi to come near a krait?
Answer – Mr. Chaudhury was curious to know how Khairi, brought up in domestic environment, reacted with a cobra from the wild.
5. What was Khairi’s reaction to the presence of the krait?
Answer – Khairi was obviously curious to interact with the cobra without realizing that its bite could be lethal. She took hesitant steps towards the krait.
6. How did the experiment affect him?
Answer – Mr. Chaudhury took all precautions and availed prompt medical help. Yet, the bite left him with life-long hypo-glycaemia.
7. What did the bear try to do with the writer?
Answer – The bear was virtually pouring its love over the author, by hugging him warmy.
8. What prevented the bear from doing so?
Answer – A strong signal from Mr. Chaudhury made the bear to step back from the author.
9. What kind of family did Mr. Chauhury have?
Answer – Mr. Chaudhury had a big and varied family with jungle animals of many descriptions.
10. What was the relationship with different animals?
Answer – Mr. Chaudhury treated them all with tenderness and love as if they were all humans.
Think it out – 4
1. How and when did Mr. Chaudhury come across Khairi?
Answer – On October 5, 1974, a group of tribals brought a nice little two-month old cub to Saroj Chaudhury.
2. In what condition did he find it?
Answer – The little one looked hungry and disoriented. She showed her natural instincts through aggressive growls and scratching of claws.
3. How did he manage the hungry and confused cub?
Answer – Saroj Chaudhury mimicked the roars of a tigress to trick the cub to assume that she was among her kins.
4. How did he treat wild life in his young age?
Answer – Saroj as a youngster loved hunting. He had shot many a preys using the gun he got as a gift.
5. What did he say about his change of attitude towards wild life to the author?
Answer – Soon Saroj’s fascination with hunting wore off and he felt there was greater satisfaction in befriending the jungle animals.
6. What was his contribution to the tiger project?
Answer – Saroj Chaudhury was dedicated to the cause of the tiger project. With passion and zeal, he worked to make the project a success.
7. What was the guest house like?
Answer – The guest house stood deep inside a forest. Made mostly out of wood, it had basic facilities to the guests for short stays, and provided minimum comfort needed by the visitors. It stood on an elevated platform almost 15 ft above the ground.
8. What new experience did the author have in the Tiger Reserve area?
Answer – For the author, spending a night in a desolate forest lodge was a unique experience. He had never stayed in a machan, which the lodge resembled.
Think it out – 5
1. After what interval of time did the writer visit Mr. Chaudhury for the second time?
Answer – The author went again to Jashipur after three months.
2. What new addition to Chaudhury family did he find there?
Answer – A eight-feet long young python had joined the family.
3 Why did he get less time to interact with Mr. Chaudhury this time?
Answer – Mr. Chaudhury received an instruction to reach Delhi for an important meeting the next day. So, he had to rush, thus cutting short the author’s intended leisurely stay at the reserve.
4. Who died first, Khairi or Mr. Chaudhury?
Answer – Khairi’s passing away preceded Saroj’s.
5. Who are the two legends the writer talks about?
Answer – Khairi, the celebrity tigress and Saroj Chaudhury, the passionate animal lover are the two legends of the story.
6. The text is more about Mr. Chaudhury or Khairi?
Answer – The story revolves round Khairi, but Saroj’s role as an animal enthusiast makes the bulk of the story.
7. Can you guess now why the title of the text is “The Legend behind the Legend”?
Answer – Khairi made the Similipal Tiger Reserve famous through her readiness to adopt to rearing by humans. So, she must be treated as a legend. At the same time, Khairi wouldn’t have survived and risen to fame without the tenderness and love of her care-giver, Saroj Chaudhury. The latter’s love for jungle animals and their conservation was extraordinary. So, he too deserves to be treated as a legend.
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