Iswaran the Storyteller Explanation, Line by Line, Meaning of Difficult Words, Class 9 CBSE English Chapter 3 NCERT Moments
ISWARAN THE STORYTELLER
(Explanation, Meaning of Difficult words)
Author – RK Laxman
|Supervisor||A person who supervises works|
|On hire||On a certain fees|
|And so on||And others|
Mahendra had told this story to Ganesh. Mahendra was a young person. He was a supervisor in an organisation. This company made available supervisor. For this service the organisation charged some fees. The supervisors were need at the locations where factories, bridges, dams and other structures were built.
|To keep an eye on||To supervise, to watch|
|Keep moving||Shift regularly|
|Now and then||Often, From time to time|
|Head office||Main office|
|Coming up||Being constructed|
Mahendra was required to supervise the activities being carried out at the location of construction or the location of work. He was required to shift from one place to another quite often. Orders for moving from one place to another were issued by the main office of his company. He had to shift from a coal mining area to a location where railway bridge was under construction. After some month he would shift from there to a chemical factory which was being constructed at some location.
|Bachelor||Unmarried male person|
|All kind of odd conditions||All types of different situations|
|Ill-equipped||Not having good facilities, With inadequate facilities|
|Circuit house||Guest House, Place where visiting officials stay|
|Canvas||A type of cloth|
|Asset||A useful person or thing|
Mahendra was an unmarried person. He believed in leading a simple life. His requirements were minimum. Therefore he was able to adjust to all types of different situations. He could live in a guest house that had inadequate facilities. He could also live in a temporary tent made of canvas which was installed in a stone mine. But he had one very useful person with him. His name was Iswaran. Iswaran was a cook.
|Attached to||Close to someone, Full of affection|
|Chatted away||Talked a lot|
|Weave out||Create, Narrate|
|Anecdotes||Incidents, Short story|
|Varied subjects||Several topics|
Iswaran, the cook, was very close to Mahendra. Without making any complaints Iswaran stayed with Mahendra to whichever location he was deputed. Iswaran cooked food for Mahendra, washed his clothes. Before going to bed Iswaran talked a lot to Mahendra. He could narrate a large number of stories and incidents on several topics.
|Desolate||Without any population|
|For miles around||Upto a great distance|
Iswaran had a wonderful capability. He could find vegetables and other things required for cooking even in those places where nobody lived upto a great distance. Even when not a single shop could be seen, Iswaran arranged constituents for cooking apparently from nowhere.
|Meticulously||Skillfully, To the perfection|
|Conjure up||Make or create as if by magic|
|Workplace||Location where someone works|
Sometimes they stayed in a shed that was made zinc coated iron sheets. Within an hour of reaching new place of work, Iswaran would make very tasty food. He would use fresh vegetables. The food would be made very skillfully. It appeared as if the food was made by magic.
|Up early in the morning||To wake up early in the morning|
|Tidy up||Clean and arrange things|
|Leisurely||In a relaxed manner without hurry|
|Muttering||Whispering, Reciting in a low voice|
Mahendra used to get up early in the morning. He would go to his work after taking breakfast. He would carry some prepared food with him for lunch. After Mahendra had gone to work, Iswaran would clean the shed and arrange things at their proper place. He would wash clothes. He would take his bath without any hurry. He would use several buckets of water for bathing. While taking bath he would recite prayers in a low voice.
|By then||At that time, Till that time|
|Thriller||Story having suspense, Detective book|
|Imaginative||Full of imagination|
|Hold in thrall||To have all the attention|
It would usually be lunch time till Iswaran completed these activities. After taking his lunch, Iswaran used to read for some time before sleeping. He usually read some detective novel written in Tamil. The book used to have couple of hundreds of pages. Iswaran liked description of imagination and action packed descriptions. He would give his complete attention to reading a book.
|Greatly||To a large extent|
|Ending into the account||Describing the last part of the story|
When Iswaran narrated a story, his descriptions were also affected by the books of Tamil authors he read. Even when he was narrating a small incident, he would try to create a suspense. After that he would describe the last part of the story or incident.
|Come across||See, Find, Meet|
|Deserted||Empty, Without any traffic or people|
If Iswaran were to describe that he had seen a fallen tree on highway, he would describe in a different way. He would curve his eyebrows, extend his hands in strange way, and start saying – The road was empty. I was alone on the road.
|Enormous||Huge, Very big|
|Bushy||Like a bush|
|Sprawled||Spread out, Laid|
|Half inclined||Had some intention|
Suddenly I saw something that looked similar to a huge animal with lot of bushes on it. The animal was lying across the width of the road. I had some intention to turn around and go back. But I went nearer to that animal. Then I realised that it was a fallen tree. Its dry braches had spread all over the road.
|Uncritically||Without criticizing it,
Without making assessment of it
Mahendra would then pull himself in his chair that was made of canvas. He used to listen to stories of Iswaran without making any assessment about its reality.
|Richly wooded forest||Forest having many trees|
|Logs||Big piece of wood|
|Well-fed||Those who are given proper food|
Iswaran used to say that his native place is famous for timber. All around our village we have a forest which has a large number of trees. The big pieces of wood is carried and loaded into the trucks by elephants. Those elephants are given proper diet.
|Turns wild||Becomes angry|
|Mahout||Person who controls an elephant|
Iswaran would say that when an elephant becomes angry even an experienced mahout cannot control it. After this brief introduction, he would start narrating details of an incident about an elephant.
|Tusker||A male elephant with big teeth|
|Roam about||Wander about, Walk around|
|Stamping||The act of loudly putting feet on something|
|Creepers||Climber, A plat that grows against a support|
|At will||As per wish|
One day a tusker ran away from the timber yard. It started walking freely. It crushed many bushes under its feet. It pulled away many climbers. It broke braches of many trees. An elephant behaves absurdly when it gets mad.
|Caught up||Involved, Engrossed|
Iswaran would get so excited that he would be completely involved in storytelling. He would get up floor and start jumping around. He would copy the action of stamping of the mad elephant.
|Outskirts of town||Outer parts of town|
|Helter-skelter||In confusion, Hurriedly, Haphazardly|
The elephant reached outer part of our village. It broke the boundary wall of many house as if these were matchsticks. Then it came to main road of the village. It broke all the stalls that were selling fruits, earthen pots and clothes. People were afraid. In confusion, people hurriedly started running here and there.
Then the elephant broke the brick boundary wall of a school and entered the playground of a school. Children playing in the playground. All the boys got afraid. they ran into their classes and shut the doors of classrooms.
|Grunted||Made a sound through throat|
|Flatten||To make flat|
|Uprooting||Pulling out of the ground|
The animal made a sound through his throat. It broke the boundary wall of the school which was constructed in bricks. It entered into the playground of the school. It pulled out goal-posts of football ground. It tore the volleyball net. Many drums had been kept in the playground. The elephant kicked all the drums and made them flat. It also pulled out many bushes that were planted around the playground.
|Meanwhile||During this time. In the meantime|
In the meantime all the teacher had climbed on the rooftop of the school building. From the terrace they watched the destruction being caused by the elephant. They were helpless. They could not do anything.
|Soul||Person (in this para)|
Not a single person remained on the ground. All had either climbed to rooftop or had shut themselves behind doors. Every street of the village was empty. It seemed as if all the residents of the village had suddenly disappeared.
|Junior class||Between class 6 to 10|
|Came over me||Influenced me, Occurred to me|
|Grabbed||Snatched, Grasped, Held|
During those days I was studying in junior class of my school. I was observing the total incident standing on rooftop of the school. Suddenly something occurred to me. I did not know what that was. I snatched a stick from hands of a teacher. I then ran down the staircase and in the open paly ground.
|Kicking up||Throwing in air|
The elephant made a sound through its throat. It dangerously started swinging a brach of tree. It was holding the branch by its trunk. It stamped its feet on ground. Lot of mud and dust was thrown in air because of stamping. It all lokked so terrifying. But I slowed moved towards the elephant. I was holding the stick in my hand.
|Hypnotised||Fully engrossed, With full attention|
|Trumpeted||Made a voice, Shouted|
People were standing on the rooftop of nearby houses. They were observing the scene with full attention. Eyes of elephant were red. It looked at me and started running towards me. It lifted its trunk and made a loud voice.
|Whack||To strike with full force|
|Toenail||Nail of the feet|
|From head to foot||Whole body|
Then, that very instant, I moved forward. I gathered all my force and with full force hit the third finger of it feet on the nail. The big animal was surprised for a moment. Then its whole body trembled and it fell down.
|Mumbling||Speaking in a low and unclear voice|
|With rapt attention||With full attention|
|Would be left hanging||In suspense, Waiting for further discussion|
After narrating to this extent, Iswaran would get up. He would not complete the story. He would start speaking in a low and unclear voice that he had to light the fire to heat the dinner. Mahendra had been listening to the story with full attention. Now he will have the suspense as to what had happened after that part of the story.
|Pick up the thread||Start from where it was discontinued|
When Iswaran returned, he would not start narrating the balance part of the story. Mahendra had to remind him that story was yet to be completed.
|Veterinary doctor||A doctor that treats animals|
|Revive||To make conscious|
Then a veterinary doctor was called to bring the elephant to consciousness. Iswaran moved his shoulders and said that after two days the elephant was taken by its mahout to the jungle. Mahendra asked Iswaran how could he bring down the elephant and make it unconscious.
|Something to do with||Related to|
Iswaran replied that it is related to a Japanese martial art, which called either Karat or ju-jitsu. He had read about it in a book. This trick stops movements of the nervous system for some time.
|Not a day passed||Everyday|
|Packed with||Full of|
Every day Iswaran used to narrate a story. Every story used to be full of adventure, horror and suspense. Mahendra did not know if the story was a true story or just a narration. Mahendra enjoyed listening to the story because it was told in a unique and special manner.
|Make up||Compensate, Be a good replacement of something|
Mahendra did not have a TV in his house. But stories of Iswaran were a good replacement of TV.
|Auspicious||Fortunate, Pious, Religious|
|Delicacies||Special food, Special dishes|
|Ancestors||Forefathers, Those who lived before present generation|
One morning while Mahendra was having his breakfast, Iswaran asked him a question. He wanted permission of Mahendra to make special food for dinner. He said that that was a religious day. According traditions, special food was to be prepared. It was to feed the souls of forefathers.
|Culinary skill||Cooking skill|
|Launched into||Started narrating|
|Garish account||Unpleasant narration, Unpleasant description|
That night Iswaran prepared very tasty food for dinner. Mahendra certainly liked taste of that food. He appreciated the cooking skill of Iswaran. As such Iswaran was very happy to receive appreciation. But without any prior indication, he started narrating most unpleasant description about spirits and ghosts.
|Jerked out||Taken out, Pulled out|
|Reverie||In a happy mood|
|Drifted into||Moved to|
Iswaran told Mahendra that once upon a time the entire are of factory was a graveyard. The factory has been constructed on the graveyard. Mahendra had been in a happy mood after consuming an excellent food. But after listening to Iswaran he suddenly came out of the happy mood.
|Come across||See, Find|
Iswaran told Mahendra that he knew about it from the first day of their arrival .he had seen skull and bones of human being on a path of factory. Even these days Iswaran had seen many skulls and bones in the factory.
Iswaran continued to narrate. He told that sometimes he had seen ghosts at night. Iswaran did not easily get afraid because he was a brave person.
|Off and on||Periodically, Often, Usually|
|Matted hair||Hair tied together, Braid|
|Shriveled face||Wrinkled face, A face having lines and folds|
|Skelton||Bone structure of human being|
Iswaran further narrated that one terrifying ghost of a woman usually appears during full moon nights. It is very ugly looking ghost. It hair are tied together in the form of a braid. It has lot wrinkles on its face. It usually holds a small baby in its arms.
|Interrupted||Speak before other person has stopped talking|
After kistening to the narration Mahendra started trembling. He started speaking even before Iswaran completed his description. Mahendra angrily told Iswaran that he had become mad. In this world things like ghost or spirits do not exist.
Mahendra told Iswaran that such things were merely creation of his imagination. Iswaran should go to doctor get his digestive system and his mind examined. Iswaran was talking nonsense things.
|Sulk||Stop talking, Get annoyed|
|Talkative||One who talks a lot|
Mahendra went out of the room and went sleep. He thought that Iswaran would be annoyed for some days. But next morning Mahendra was surprised to see that Iswaran was happy. He was also talking a lot as he would usually do.
|Brave talk||Fearless words, Talks of bravery|
Though Mahendra had talked about being fearless but after that day he was bit uneasy while sleeping. During every night he looked his room outside through his window. He would try to find if any movement was happening near his room in the darkness.
|Sea of darkness||Darkness spread every where|
|Twinkling||Sparkling, Shine that increases and decreases|
But Mahendra could see only a darkness that was spread till very far from his room. Many miles away from his room he could see the twinkling lights of the factory.
Durign full moon night, the moonlight falls on earth. This creates a milk white appearance to the entre landscape. Mahendra had liked to look at the such milk-white landscape appearance of landscape. But after hearing the story of female ghost. Mahendra completely stopped looking outside his window on a full moon night.
|Moan||Voice of crying, Groan, Whine|
|Put it down||Assigned, Thought|
|Prowling||Moving in search of prey|
|Guttural||Harsh sound produced through throat|
Mahendra woke up during one night because of a low voice of crying of an animal. It seemed to him that the animal was crying just outside his window. Initially he thought that it was the voice of a cat that was searching for mice to eat. But the sound was a bit harsh. So it could not have been sound made by a cat.
|Resisted||Tried to avoid, Control|
|Lest he should||Otherwise he would|
|Behold a sight||See a scene|
|Wailing||Sound of crying|
|Feline||Related to cat, Cat-like|
|Temptation||Allure, Desire to do something that one should not do|
Mahendra tried to control his eagerness to look out of his window. He hought if looked outside he might see a scene which would be very frightening. His heart may stop beating and he may die because of fear. But the sound of crying of the animal became louder and louder. The sound did appear to have been made by a cat. Now he was not able to control the desire to look side.
|Windowsill||Bottom most part of window|
|Not too far away||Not at a great distance away|
|Broke into sweat||Suddenly started sweating|
|Panting||Breathing quickly through mouth|
Mahendra came near the window. He bent upto the windosull and looked outside. The whole area appeared white because of the moon light of the moon. Not very far away from the window, Mahendra saw a figure which was not clearly visible. It appeared like a dark cloud. It was holding something. Mahendra got afraid and suddenly he started sweating. He came to back to his bed. He was breathing had increased.
|Reason with himself||Think alone, Try to convince oneself|
|Auto suggestion||Because of thoughts of oneself|
|Subconscious played on him||His imagination affected him or overpowered him|
Mahendra slowly became normal after that frightening experience. He began to think why did he see such a scene. He concluded that it must have been because of his own thoughts. Or his imagination had somehow affected him so much that he saw such a figure. Mahendra was trying to convince himself that such figures did not exist in realty.
Mahendra got up in the morning, came out of his room to have breakfast. By this time, the fear of last night had reduced by a great extent. He did not remember much about it. When Mahendra was going out to his work place, Iswaran met him at the gate of the quarter. Iswaran gave lunchbox and the bag to Mahendra.
The very moment Mahendra was going out of his house, Iswaran came smiling to him. Iswaran asked mahendra to recall the narration he had describe about the female ghost carrying a baby in her arms. At that time Mahendra had become very angry with Iswaran for imagining such things. But last night Mahendra had himself seen the ghost. Iswaran heard the groaning sound coming from the room of Mahendra. Iswaran had come to the room of Mahendra at that time.
|Spine||The main bone of back|
|Chill went down his spine||He got frigthened|
|Handed in his papers||Resigned from his job|
|Haunted place||Place visited by where ghosts and spirts|
Mahendra got frightened. He did not wait at the doorstep to listen to full sentence of Iswaran. He quickly went to his office. He resigned from his job. He did not want to stay at the place that was visited by ghosts and spirits. He wanted to leave the place the very next day.