1-“Tembu, the boy, opened his eyes in the dark…returned to swallow them up.”
a)Who is Tembu? Where is he? Why does he wonder if his father was ready to leave the hut?
Ans: Tembu is the twelve years old son of Baldeo, a khalasi at a small station signal stop. Tembu is lying in a corner of a hut near the station with his father. He suddenly woke up in the night and wondered if his father who used to go every night on duty at the railway signal stop had left for duty.
b)Where is Tembu’s father working? What is his nightly errand? How does the author describe the night as calm and still?
Ans: Tembu’s father was working as a watchman at a small wayside railway station. His nightly errand was to signal whether or not the internal was clear of obstruction the author describes the night as dark moon-like chilly having the deathly stillness of the surrounding which was occasionally book in by the shrill cry of cicada.
c)Give the meaning of: But these sounds were rare and the silence of the forest always returned to swallow them up?
Ans: The meaning of the given line is that there was complete silence on a chilly dark Night with only sounds heard occasionally being that of a cicada a woodpecker for the grunt of a wild Bear.
d)Why is the station, where Baldeo is working said to be a station in name only?
Ans: The station was said to be in name only because it was a small shack where male trains stop only for a few seconds before entering the tunnel.
e)Why do most trains slow down near the station where Baldeo is employed?
Ans: Most of the trains slowed down near the station because there was a sharp curve before the cutting which led to the terminal and to wait for the single to make sure if it was free of all the obstructions.
Also read the question-answer of reference to the context of the chapter The last leaf.
2-“Baldeo was responsible for signaling … Do not get up.”
a)What were the duties of Baldeo at the place where he worked?
Ans: Baldeo’s duties included checking whether the lamp was burning and using his handwork signal to signal whether the terminal was clear of obstructions or not.
b)Give a brief description of the surroundings of the station?
Ans: The station served as a wayside signal. It was surrounded by dense jungle with heels at deep cutting in the forest lead to a tunnel through which mail train used to pass.
c)What was the effect of the night on the station?
Ans: The darkness of the night heightened the eeriness of the station with black tunnel entrance looming up Menacingly.
d: Tembu normally used to sleep in his home in a small tribal village on the outskirts of the forest about three miles from the station where his father worked as a night watchman
d)Where did Tembu normally sleep?
Ans: Tembu normally used to sleep in his home in a small tribal village on the outskirts of the forest about three miles from the station where his father worked as a night watchman
e)What was the financial condition of Baldeo? Why did he consider himself lucky to have got the job of a Khalasi at the signal stop?
Ans: Baldeo’s financial condition was quite poor as his income from the small rice fields was not enough to provide for his family he considered himself lucky to get the job of khalasi. At the signal stop because that helped him to recover his near income from his land in the village.
3-“Still drowsy, Baldeo groped for his lamp……..had fallen asleep again.”
a)What did Baldeo do before leaving for duty?
Ans: Before leaving for duty Baldeo lifts his lamp and closes the door of his hut where his son le fast asleep.
b)What was he thinking on the way? How was the path that led to his working place? If he had his way, what he would have wished?
Ans: Baldeo thought whether the lamp on the single post would still be alerted the path leading to his workplace which is the station was marked by dense jungle and hills which overhung the main line of the railway if he had his way they would go back to his heart and feel a warm comfort there instead of working out in a chilling dark night.
c)What reminded Baldeo of the wild animals he might encounter on the way? What had he heard earlier about the tunnel tiger? What is said about the other animals?
Ans: The rock walls towering high above the rails reminded by the of the wild animals that he might encounter on the way he had heard that the tiger frequently visited the channel and was a man-eater other animals included panthers.
d)Describe the ax which Baldeo carried. How was the sentimentally attached to it?
Ans: Baldeo had a small ax whose head was made of pure steel. It was thin but ringing like a bell. though it looked fragile yet it was deadly when put to use. Baldeo could cut down a tree using his legs in just three or four hours with swift stroke. He was emotionally attached to his ax because it belonged to his forefathers and his ax had been made by his father over a charcoal fire.
e)State Baldeo’s skill in using his ax. Why was he proud of it?
Ans: Baldeo’s head excellent skull in using ax he could cut down a tree with just three or four sweet strokes using his legs as neatly as if it had been shown he was proud of it because of the skill he had acquired in killing wild animals with it.
4-“The cutting curved sharply … due in five minutes.”
a)What is a cutting? Give the meaning of loomed up menacingly?
Ans: The cutting refers to a narrow passage that is dug through the high ground for a railway tunnel or road it means that in the darkness the entrance to the eternal appeared dangerous.
b)What was the problem Baldeo faced before the arrival of the mail train?
Ans: Just five minutes before the arrival of the train the signal light was out and while they would have to rush back to his heart if the oil in the signal lamp had been finished.
c)State what made Baldeo hurry up. What steps did he take to make the signal light work? How did he ensure that the line was clear for the train?
Ans: The signal light was out and the mail train was about to pass in 5 minutes and with that time he had to check the tunnel of any obstruction in order to ensure that the line was clear. Baldeo took his own lamp in his hand walk down the channel and swinging his lamp which cast light to make sure that line was clear.
d)Explain the circumstances that caused Baldeo to almost doze off. What awakened him all of a sudden?
Ans: Baldeo was out in the dark chilly night at the railway signal. He walked from his hut to the station, lighted the single lamp, and check the channel of any obstruction. Since the train was late he huddled in the corner and dozed in the biting cold.
e)Briefly summarize how Baldeo is a responsible employee as well as a caring father.
Ans: Baldeo was a responsible employee. Every night he used to light the lamp and walk down the tunnel to check for any obstruction. Baldeo was a caring father who took up the job of a watchman. When he heard the role of the tiger, he first thought about his hut and his sleeping son.
5-“For some time there was only silence……..to wonder for long.”
a)What indicated that the tiger had sprung into the cutting?
Ans: The absence of usual jungle noises and the thump and rattle of small stones made by the forward march of the Tiger indicated that it had entered the tunnel.
b)What was Baldeo’s main worry? Why is it said: “He did not have to wonder for long”?
Ans: Baldeo’s main worry was whether the tiger was moving towards his hurt where his son Tembu was fast asleep and unprotected. It is said that he did not have to wander for long because he could see the tiger moving towards him.
c)How are the eyes of the tiger described in the story? Why, according to Baldeo, was flight useless?
Ans: The Tiger’s eyes have been described as the shining ring in the light from the signal lamp. Buldeo thought that running or fight would be useless because the man-eater would be faster than him.
d)How did Baldeo position himself as the tiger moved towards him?
Ans: As the Tiger moved towards Baldeo he stood with his back to the signal post without any motion with courage.
e)Briefly describe the courage of Baldeo.
Ans: Baldeo did not lose his control on seeing the Tiger. Although he was aware of the useless fight, he decided to fight back with the beast. As the tiger pounced on him, he hit it with his ax two times and wounded it. Unfortunately, Baldeo became its prey and at last, The Tiger became the prey of the mail.
6-“Baldeo, however, was ready…was left without a weapon.”
a)Where was Baldeo? Why had the tiger become fearless?
Ans: Baldeo was standing at the station. The Tiger had become fearless because it knew the different ways of the man and he had been hunting them for years.
b)Describe Baldeo’s encounter with the tiger.
Ans: The tiger attack value with his right paw. Baldeo made an agile leap and avoided its attack. He hit his ax on the tiger’s shoulder. The Tiger roared and tried to come closer to him. Again Baldeo attacked with a true aim but the ax got caught in the Tigers bone and made the fearless animal painful.
c)Describe the arrival of the overland mail. How did the tiger find itself trapped in the tunnel?
Ans: The overland mail entered the tunnel with its puffing engine. The Tiger saw the mail but it was trapped in the narrow cutting without space to run for safety.
d)How far is the title of the story appropriate?
Ans: The title of the story is appropriate because it is an encounter between the tiger and the watchman in the tunnel.
e)Write the theme of the story.
Ans: The theme of the story is courage and determination. Baldeo showed great courage when he encountered the tiger.
7-“At the next station, the driver slowed…cut in half by the engine.”
a)Explain how the tiger was cut into half by the engine.
Ans: The wounded Tiger failed to notice the train entering the cutting and was trapped in the tunnel. The train passed through the tiger and cut it into halves.
b)Where was Baldeo’s body? Who sat there beside the body guarding it? Who arrived early at the dawn?
Ans: Baldeo’s body was lying at the cutting. Baldeo’s son was guarding it against wild animals by sitting beside the corpse. The Watchman arrived early at dawn.
c)What was the impact of Baldeo’s death on his family?
Ans: Baldeo’s family was grief-stricken for two whole days. However, life has to be started again and Tembu took the job of his father of a watchman at the signal stop.
d)With what confidence did Tembu take up his father’s responsibility as the watchman? Why was he no longer afraid of anything?
Ans: Tembu took up his father’s responsibility as the watchman because he had his father’s ax and family’s blessings with himself. He was no longer afraid of anything because his father killed the most dangerous enemy the tiger.
e)Describe Balde’s courage while working at the signal post.
Ans: Baldeo did not lose control on encountering the tiger he had full faith in himself and showed great courage in fighting with the man-eater. He had an ax as his only weapon to fight with it and therefore used it in his own correct way. But at last, he becomes weaponless when the ax got stuck in the shoulder of the animal and he got encountered with his death.