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In the Kingdom of Fools Class 9 Explanation Line by Line CBSE English Chapter 4 NCERT Moments and Meaning of Difficult Words

IN THE KINGDOM OF FOOLS

(Explanation)

AK Ramanujan

Folk Tales of India

 

 

Word Meaning
Idiots Fools
Run Function, Operate, Administer

Once upon a time there was a kingdom. It was called the Kingdom of Fools. The king and the ministers were fools. They did not want to administer their country like kings of other kingdoms did. Therefore they ordered that nights would be called days and days would be called nights. Hence all the works that were being done  in day time would now be done in night time.

 

 

Word Meaning
Till Plough
Go to bed Sleep
Sun came up Sun rose in the sky, It became morning

They passed an order that no person in their kingdom should sleep during the nights. They should remain awake at night. Farmers should plough their fields during night time. Businessmen should open their shops during night time. Everyone should sleep as soon as sun rose in the sky. They further ordered that anybody who did not follow this rule would be sentenced to death.

 

 

Word Meaning
Delighted Were happy
Guru Teacher
Disciple Pupil
Broad daylight It was sunlight
No one about Nobody could be seen

Every person of the kingdom followed the orders. Nobody wanted to die. They all were afraid. The king and the ministers were happy because their orders were being obeyed. One day a guru and his pupil reached the city. The city was beautiful. At that time the Sun was up in the sky. The sunlight had spread everywhere. But they did not see even a single person in the city.

 

 

Word Meaning
Stir Move
Cattle Animals  – usually domestic animals
Sleep by day Sleep during day
Strangers Unknown persons, Visitors
Amazed Surprised
Wandered Moved around
Went about Began, Started

Every person in the city was sleeping. Not even a mouse was moving in the city. All the animals had been taught to sleep during the day. The two visitors were greatly surprised to observe that nobody could be seen in the city. They continued to move in the city till evening. Suddenly everybody in the town woke. They stared doing their routine activities.

 

 

Word Meaning
Groceries Rations, Provisions
Astonishment Great surprise
Duddu A small value of money
Measure of rice Quantity of rice, One packet of rice
Bunch of bananas One lot of bananas, One cluster of bananas

Guru and his disciple were hungry. The shops had opened. So they went to a ration store to buy something. There were greatly surprised to know that cost of everything was same. The cast was one duddu. Cost of a packet of rice was one duddu. Cost of one lot of bananas was also one duddu.

 

 

Word Meaning
Realised Understood
Would not be a good idea Improper, Not a good decision

The guru and his pupil were very happy. They had never known of such a situation of every material being available at same price. In one rupee they bought all the things they wanted to buy. They cooked food and ate. After this the guru understood that it was a kingdom of fools. He thought that it would not be a good decision to stay in that city.

 

 

Word Meaning
No place for us Not the right place to stay
Won’t last very long Would not continue for long time

The guru told his disciple that it was not the suitable place to stay. He suggested that they should go away from the city. But the disciple did not want to leave that city because everything was very cheap there. He wanted good food at cheap rates and it was available at that city. The guru warned him that such situation will not continue for a long time. Everybody living there was a fool. One can never be sure what could happen to him the next day.

 

 

Word Meaning
Wouldn’t listen Did not obey, Did not understand
Gave up Stopped making efforts

But the disciple could not understand the wise advice his guru was giving. The disciple wanted to stay there only. After advising him several time the guru stopped making efforts. He told his disciple to do whatever he wanted to do. Guru left the city.

 

 

Word Meaning
Stayed on Continued to stay
Ate his fill Ate to satisfy his hunger

The disciple continued to stay in the city. Every day he used to buy food and eat till his stomach was full. He used to eat bananas, ghee, rice and wheat. Very soon he became fat. He was as fat as a bull roaming in a street. The bull in Indian culture is regarded holy. It is free to roam in streets. The disciple also used to eat and freely roam in the city. 

 

 

Word Meaning
Broke into Enter in a place for theft
Merchant Businessman
Sneaked in Enter a place without making sound

Once, during day time, a thief entered into the house of a businessman. He made a hole in the wall and quietly entered in the house. While he was stealing things, the wall of the house fell down on his head. The thief was killed at that spot itself.

 

 

Word Meaning
Your highness Manner of addressing a high official
Pursuing Doing
Trade Business, Work

The brother of thief hurriedly went to the king to complain. He said to the king that his brother was doing his usual business. He has been doing this business since very long time. While my brother was doing his business,  the wall of the house of a merchant fell on him and he died. The merchant is responsible for death of my brother.

 

 

Word Meaning
Wrongdoer One who has done something wrong
Compensate Give money for the loss
At once Immediately
Summoned Called

Brother of the thief told king that the merchant should have built a strong wall. The king should punish the merchant because he had not built a strong wall. Our family should be given some money to make up for the loss that has happened. Injustice has been done to our family.

The king assured him that justice would be done. He immediately called the merchant who was owner of the house.

 

 

Word Meaning
Such and such This is used to indicate something was told
Burgled Entered into

When the merchant arrived the king asked him what his name was. The merchant told his name to the king. The king asked if the merchant was at his house when the thief had entered his house.

 

 

Word Meaning
My Lord Manner of addressing a high official
Broke in Enter in a place for theft
Accused One who is blamed
Pleads guilty Accepts mistake

Respectfully, the merchant told the king that the person had broken the wall to enter into his house. The wall was weak and it fell on the thief.

The king said to the merchant that he had accepted his mistake. Your wall has killed the brother of this person. We will  punish you.

 

 

Word Meaning
Put up Make, Construct

The merchant could not request help from anyone. He said that he had not constructed the wall. It is mistake of the person who had built the wall. He did not build a strong wall. The merchant requested king to punish that person. The king asked who that person was.

 

 

Word Meaning
Bricklayer Mason
Tied hand and foot Hands and feet were tied

Respectfully the merchant said to the king that the wall had been built when his father was alive. Meaning that his father had got the wall constructed. I know the person who had constructed the wall. He lives very close from here.

The king sent his messengers to bring the mason. The mason was brought before the king. Hands and feet of the mason were tied.

 

 

Word Meaning
You there Manner of addressing someone
Poor Helpless

The king asked the mason if he had constructed the wall when father of the merchant was alive. The mason accepted that he had built the wall.

The king told the mason that he had not built a strong wall. The wall fell on a helpless person. That person died. We will give a death sentence to you.

 

 

Word Meaning
Execution Death sentence
Pleaded Requested, Respectfully argued
It was no good It was useless, It was not correct
Mind was not on it I was not paying attention

The helpless mason made a request to the king even before the king could order the death penalty. He requested king to listen what he had to say. The mason said that it was true that he had built the wall. It is also true that the wall was not built correctly. But it was because I was not paying proper attention to the work.

 

 

Word Meaning
Going up and down the street Walking many times in the street
Anklet An ornament worn around the ankle
Jingling Making a ringing sound

The mason said that he, very clearly, remembers activities of that day. Throughout that day a dancing girl was walking many times in the street. While she walked, her anklet was making a ringing sound. Because of that ringing sound I could not concentrate on my work of building that wall. The mason suggested that the king should call that dancing girl. The mason knew where that dancing girl was living.

 

 

Word Meaning
The case deepens The case has become complicated
Look into Examine

The king agreed with the mason and said that the case was now complicated. He said that that aspect should also be examined. He further said that it was difficult to give judgment on such complicated cases. He ordered to bring the dancer to the court.

 

 

Word Meaning
Trembling Shivering 

The dancing girl was now an old woman. When she came to the court of the king she was shivering because of fear.

The king asked her if she had walked many times in the street when mason was building the wall many years ago. He further asked the woman if she had seen the mason.

The woman accepted and said she remembered it very well.

 

 

Word Meaning
Distracted Diverted, Disturb
Burglar Thief
Innocent Not guilty

The king told the dancing girl that she had agreed having walked up and down the street. While you were walking your anklets were jingling.  That time you were young and because of you the mason got disturbed. Therefore he did not construct a good wall. The wall fell on a helpless thief and he got killed. You have killed a person who was not guilty. You should be punished.

 

 

Word Meaning
Scoundrel One who intentionally does wrong, Rogue
Goldsmith One who make ornaments of gold and silver

The dancing girl thought for a moment and requested king to wait for some time to announce punishment. She told that now she remembered the reason for walking up and down the street. I had given some gold to goldsmith to make some ornaments for me. But that goldsmith intentionally delayed the work.

 

 

Word Meaning
Excuses Pretext, Wrong reason,
Damned Wicked, Disrespectful person,
A dozen times Several times

The goldsmith kept on changing the time the ornaments would be ready. Again and again he asked me to come after some time. Therefore I had to go to his house several times. During this period the mason saw me. It is not my fault that I had to walk many times up and down the street. It is the fault of goldsmith.

 

 

Word Meaning
Poor thing Bad situation
Absolutely right Perfectly right
Weighing Evaluating, Considering
Evidence Proof
Culprit Wrongdoer, Criminal, Lawbreaker

The king thought that that was a bad situation. The dancing girl is perfectly correct. He was evaluating all proofs. He said that finally he knew who the real criminal was. He ordered to immediately bring the goldsmith to the court. Goldsmith should be brought even if he was hiding somewhere.

 

 

Word Meaning
Bailiffs An official to call someone or arrest
Accusation Allegation, Complaint

The officer of the court searched for the goldsmith. He was hiding in a corner of his own shop. The goldsmith heard the complaint against him. He had his own reasons to tell the king.

 

 

Word Meaning
To my door To my house
Impatient In a hurry, Not ready to accept delay

The goldsmith said that he was very poor. He accepted that the dancer had come to his house many times. I could not complete her ornaments because I was making ornaments for a rich businessman. They had a wedding in their house therefore they were in a hurry. They forced me to complete their ornaments before taking up any other job. Sir, you are aware that rich people are always in a hurry.

 

 

Word Meaning
A mess of wall Wall was wrongly built

The king asked goldsmith who was that rich businessman. He had stopped you from making ornaments of this poor woman. She had to walk many times in the street. The mason was disturbed. Thus he wrongly constructed a wall. The wall fell on an innocent man and killed him. The king asked to tell name of that rich merchant.

 

 

Word Meaning
Had come full circle Came back to the initial situation

The goldsmith told the name of the merchant. He was the same merchant who was owner of the house whose wall had fallen. The king thought that now the situation had come back to the initial situation.

 

 

Word Meaning
Rudely Impolitely, Unpleasantly

The merchant was impolitely called back to the court. When he came there he was crying. He told that his father had asked to make ornaments. Now his father was dead. The merchant tried to say “I am innocent.”

 

 

Word Meaning
Consulted Talked, Took opinion
Ruled Decided, Ordered
Decisively Final decision

But the king talked to his minister. He ordered his final decision. The king told the merchant that it was the true his father was responsible for the murder of an innocent person. Your father is dead. Therefore instead of him somebody else needs to be punished.

 

 

Word Meaning
Inherited Received from forefathers or earlier generation
Set eyes on you Saw you
Root of this horrible crime Main person responsible for this horrible crime

The king told that the merchant had received all the wealth and money from his forefathers. So the merchant should be held responsible for the sins committed by them. The king further told that the merchant was the main person responsible for the horrible crime. The crime of death of an innocent person. The king had understood this as soon as he had seen the merchant for the first time.

 

 

Word Meaning
Stake A pointed object for giving death to criminals
Execution Giving death penalty
Impaling To push a sharp object
To occur To understood, To realise

The king ordered that a new stake should be made to give death penalty to the merchant. Servants of the king started sharpening the stake. They wanted to make it ready to push the stake into the body of the merchant. At that time the minister understood that the rich merchant was very thin. Therefore he was not suitable for execution on the stake.

 

 

Word Meaning
Appealed Requested
Struck him He realised, He got an idea

The minister requested the king to think about it. The king also got worried. He asked his minster what should be done. Suddenly an idea came to the king. He thought that they need to find a person who was fat so that he fits according to the size of the stake.

 

 

Word Meaning
Look for Search, Find
Eyes fell on Saw, Noticed
Fattened Become fat

The servants were immediately sent to the city. They were ordered to find a person who would be so fat to suit the stake. The servants saw the disciple. For many months the disciple had been eating bananas, rice and ghee. So he had become fat.

 

 

Word Meaning
Sanyasi Monk
Decree Order
Royal decree Order of a king

The disciple asked what his mistake was. He said that he was a monk and innocent. He started crying. The servants replied that it could be true. But they were obeying the orders of the king. The order was to find a person so fat that he would be suitable to put on the stake. The servants carried the disciple to the place where death penalty was to be given. 

 

 

Now the disciple recalled the words of his wise guru. The guru had said that that was a city of fools. We cannot predict what they will do in future. The disciple was waiting for his death. During this period he prayed in his heart. He requested his guru to immediately come there. He prayed that his guru might hear his request wherever he was.

 

 

Word Meaning
Scrape Difficulty, Dangerous situation

The guru had supreme powers. He was able to see things even while being far away. He was able to see activities of present, past and future. To save life of his disciple the guru immediately reached there. The disciple had got into a dangerous situation because he liked to eat lot of food.

 

 

Word Meaning
Scolded Rebuked, Shouted angrily
Whisper To speak in a low voice
Addressed him Spoke to him

As soon as the guru reached there, he shouted angrily at his disciple. Then in a low voice he told something to his disciple. After that the guru went to the king. The guru addressed the king as the wisest king and asked him a question. Who is greater the guru or the disciple?

 

 

Word Meaning
Clamour Shout loudly

The king replied that the guru is greater than the disciple. There is no doubt about it. The king wanted to know why the guru had asked this question. The guru replied that he should be put to the stake first. My disciple should die after me. The disciple heard this. Now he understood meaning of what his guru had told him in a low voice. The disciple started shouting that first he himself should be put to death.

 

 

Word Meaning
Clamour Shout loudly
Puzzled Confused, Perplexed

Now a fight started between the guru and the disciple. They both wanted to die first. The king was confused by the behaviour of guru and disciple. The king asked the guru why he wanted to die first. The king further told that they had selected the disciple because a fat person was need to suit the stake.

 

 

Word Meaning
Mystery Secret
Make me understand Explain to me

The guru replied to the king that he should not ask such questions. The guru again requested to put him to death first. The king thought that there must be some secret behind the request. The king requested the guru to explain the secret of the request.

 

 

Word Meaning
Solemn word Sincere promise
Out of earshot Away from hearing distance

The guru told that the king should promise to put him to death first. Then only he will tell the secret to the king. The king made a sincere promise. The guru took the king a bit away so that servants could not hear their discussion. The guru asked the king if he really wanted to know why each of them wanted to die first.

 

 

Word Meaning
Been all over the world Have visited the entire world

The guru told the king that they had travelled the entire world. But they had never seen a city like that or the king like him. The guru told that the stake is not merely a stake. It should be regarded as god of justice. This stake is new. It has not been used for any criminal. Anyone who dies first on this stake will become king of this country in his next birth.

 

 

Word Meaning
Sick of Bored
Ascetic life Life of a monk, Simple life
For a while For some time
Keep your word Do what you had promised

The guru told that the second person to die on this stake will be the minister of this country. The guru and the disciple were bored of their life of monks. They want to enjoy the life of king and minister of this country – atleast for some time. The guru requested the king to do what he had promised – to put the guru to death first.

 

 

Word Meaning
Thrown into deep thoughts Started thinking deeply
Talk in secret Discuss secretly,

Other people are not present during such talk

Now the king started thinking deeply. Even in the next birth he wanted to be king of his country. He needed some time to finalise his thoughts. So he ordered that execution will be done the next day. He started a separate discussion with his minister. Nobody else was present during this discussion.

 

 

The king told his minister that it was not correct to give our country to other people in next birth. It is our kingdom so we should keep it. Therefore the king said that they should put themselves to the stake. This way I will be born as a king and you will be born as minister. The king said that monks do not tell lies. The minster agreed with the king.

 

 

Word Meaning
Executioners Person who puts people to death

The king told the executioners that the criminals will be sent to them during the night. The person who reaches first should be put to death first. And the person who reaches second should be put to stake second. The king further told that the executioners should not make any mistake.

 

 

Word Meaning
Disguised Hide true identity to avoid recognition
Beforehand Prior, Previous
Promptly Immediately

That night the king and the minister secretly went to the prison. The guru and the disciple were released from the prison. The king and the minister wore the dress of the guru and the disciple. This way nobody could recognize them. This arrangement was previously done with the help of their loyal servants. Next morning they were taken to the stake and immediately put to death.

 

 

Word Meaning
Panicked Shocked

Later the bodies were removed from the stake. The dead bodies were to be thrown to crows and vultures. When people saw those dead bodies they got confused. Those dead bodies were of the king and the minister.

 

 

Word Meaning
Mourned Feel sad because someone had died
Caught up with them Found them
Unnoticed Without anyone knowing

The villagers expressed their sorrow and discussed the future of their kingdom among themselves. The discussion went on throughout the night.  Some people thought about the guru and the disciple. Villagers searched for them and found them. They were getting ready to go away from the town. They did not want any other person to know about their departure. 

 

 

Word Meaning
Begged Requested earnestly
Persuade Convince, To make people to change opinion

One villager said that a king and a minister was needed for their country. They all requested the guru and the disciple to become their king and their minister. The villagers easily convinced the disciple. But it required more efforts and more time to convince the guru.

 

 

Word Meaning
Silly Foolish
From then on Immediately after that

Finally the guru and the disciple agreed to rule the kingdom. The kingdom which was called the kingdom of foolish king and the silly minister. But they put a condition that they will change all the old rules. Villagers agreed.

Immediately after that, the night was called the night and the day was called the day. Price of everything was more than a duddu. This country was now similar to any other country.

 

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