English CBSE Class 12 NCERT Flamingo Poem 5 A Roadside Stand Line by Line Explanation and Meaning of Difficult Words
A ROADSIDE STAND
The little old house was out with a little new shed
In front at the edge of the road where the traffic sped,
A roadside stand that too pathetically pled,
|Sped||Crossed with high speed|
|The little old house was out with||Alliteration|
|The little old house was out with a little new shed||Repetition|
|A roadside stand that too pathetically pled,||Alliteration|
|A roadside stand that too pathetically pled,||Personification|
A small house is situated along the roadside. Residents of this house have extended front of their house to construct a small shed. In this shed they sell some food articles. So it is a shop. The traffic is speeding past the shed. It appears that the shopkeeper is requesting the travelers to stop so that they can sell some goods.
It would not be fair to say for a dole of bread,
But for some of the money, the cash, whose flow supports
The flower of cities from sinking and withering faint.
|Dole||Gift, Free of cost|
|Withering||Decay, Getting bad|
|The flower of cities||Metaphor|
It was not correct to say that they wanted to give bread or any other thing free of cost. They want to sell something to earn some money. Availability of money is more in cities. It is money which is supporting development of people staying in cities. The flow of money or availability of money in cities helps people to lead a better life and without problems of adequate food. [Those living in city are able to buy food and those living in villages are not able to buy their food]
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
|Landscape||Scenery, Topography, View|
The traffic consists of beautiful vehicles. They cross the shed while going ahead on the road. Sometimes people look towards the side of the road for a moment. They consider the shed as some ugly construction that has destroyed beauty of the area.
Of signs that with N turned wrong and S turned wrong
Offered for sale wild berries in wooden quarts,
Or crook-necked golden squash with silver warts,
Or beauty rest in a beautiful mountain scene,
|Wild berries||Berries grown in jungle|
|Crook-necked||Having long neck|
|with N turned wrong and S turned wrong||Repetition|
|wild berries in wooden quarts||Alliteration|
|golden squash with silver warts||Alliteration|
|Or beauty rest in a beautiful mountain scene||Alliteration|
There is signboard near the shed. The letter ‘N’ is wrongly written. The letter ‘S’ is wrongly written. The shop offers to sell wild berries in a wooden container. The squash is being sold in containers. These containers have long neck and are of silver colour. Some sceneries of beautiful natural scenes of mountains are also being sold.
You have the money, but if you want to be mean,
Why keep your money (this crossly) and go along.
The hurt to the scenery wouldn’t be my complaint
|You have the money, but if you want to be mean||Repetition|
|You have the money, but if you want to be mean||Alliteration|
You may have the money but still you may not like to spend. You may be selfish and feel that things are costly. In that case you can keep your money with you and go ahead on your journey. [The shopkeeper is expressing his anger]The people of the shop will get disappointed but they will not complain.
So much as the trusting sorrow of what is unsaid:
Here far from the city we make our roadside stand
And ask for some city money to feel in hand
|Here far from the city||Alliteration|
They believe that their life is full of sorrow. But they do not express their sorrow. They feel that they have their shop so far from the city. They also want to earn some money just like people living in city earn.
To try if it will not make our being expand,
And give us the life of the moving-pictures’ promise
That the party in power is said to be keeping from us.
|Expand||Grow, Become rich|
|party in power is said to be keeping||Alliteration|
With the money earned from selling things, they hope to grow at least to some extent. They also want to have a meaning to their life. They want to lead a comfortable life as shown in movies. They are aware of the promise made by those in power. But none of the promise has been fulfilled.
It is in the news that all these pitiful kin
Are to be bought out and mercifully gathered in
To live in villages, next to the theatre and the store,
Where they won’t have to think for themselves anymore,
|Mercifully||With mercy, Showing mercy|
|It is in the news that all these pitiful kin||Alliteration|
It becomes a big news when some people try to help them and their families. Their land has been purchased and they are shifted from villages to cities where cinema halls, shops and big stores are so near. They are promised that their life will be easier cities. They will not need to bother about their future because opportunity to earn is more in cities.
While greedy good-doers, beneficent beasts of prey,
Swarm over their lives enforcing benefits
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.
|Swarm||To make a group, Crush|
|Soothe||Reduce the problem|
|Wits||Being alert and active|
|Greedy good doers||Alliteration|
|beneficent beasts of prey||Alliteration|
|how to sleep they sleep all day||Repetition|
But in fact those who promise to do something good for villagers are themselves greedy people. They are pretending to benefit these villagers but actually they are making a profit for themselves. Many such people come to village. They affect thinking of villagers which forces villagers to shift to cities. Villagers start thinking that shifting to city will reduce their current problems. In the city the life is different. Many times they need to work in nights so they need to sleep during the day. Their life style goes under a total change. It is not the same old style.
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,
|In vain||Not successful|
|Lurks||Spreads, Moves close by|
|Sometimes I feel myself I can||Repetition|
|The sadness that lurks near the open window there||Personification|
Sometimes even I feel that it is difficult for villagers to tolerate their the poor condition. The hope of getting a customer is like a wish of a child. Not many customers come and buy form villagers. A feeling of sadness and sorrow is spread across everywhere.
That waits all day in almost open prayer
For the squeal of brakes, the sound of a stopping car,
Of all the thousand selfish cars that pass,
Just one to inquire what a farmer’s prices are.
|Squeal||A sharp sound (of brake)|
|That waits all day in almost open prayer||Alliteration|
|squeal of brakes, the sound of a stopping car||Alliteration|
Throughout the day they pray God for customers. It is their prayer that some cars should apply brakes, stop their car and come to their shop. Among thousands of cars, some cars do stop there. But the travelers are interested in knowing rates of things in the village. It is just for comparison of prices.
And one did stop, but only to plow up grass
In using the yard to back and turn around;
And another to ask the way to where it was bound;
And another to ask could they sell it a gallon of gas
They couldn’t (this crossly); they had none, didn’t it see?
|Plow up||To turn|
|Gallon||Equal to about 4.2 liters|
|one did stop, but only to plow up||Alliteration|
|And another to ask the way||Alliteration|
|ask the way to where it was bound||Alliteration|
|They couldn’t ; they had none,||Repetition|
One car stopped but it had stopped to take a turn. While taking turn it used the open space that was in the front of the shop. So it disturbed the lawn. Another car stopped only to enquire where the road was leading to. [They wanted to confirm if they were travelling in correct direction] . Yet another car stopped to ask if the shopkeeper was selling fuel. The shopkeeper angrily though if they could not see what was being sold.
No, in country money, the country scale of gain,
The requisite lift of spirit has never been found,
Or so the voice of the country seems to complain,
|No, in country money, the country scale of gain,||Repetition|
|voice of the country seems to complain||Metaphor|
The money available through the sale of things is not sufficient. The villagers have not been to uplift their lifestyle. Hence the villagers always complaint about poor conditions and lack of money.
I can’t help owning the great relief it would be
To put these people at one stroke out of their pain.
Sometimes I imagine to solve all the troubles of villagers in one go itself. This could be a big relief for them. [This could be achieved if everybody buys from villagers.]
And then next day as I come back into the sane,
I wonder how I should like you to come to me
And offer to put me gently out of my pain.
|I wonder how I should like you to come to me||Repetition|
|to put me gently out of my pain||Alliteration|
But immediately I realise that this would not be the good for anyone.
I do not know why people living in cities should come to villages. They will not come to village just to respect my thoughts. [To relieve me of my pain]. Or for taking care of people of villagers. [Author himself is sad because of problems faced by villagers. So he equates their sadness to his own sadness]