Treasure Trove A Collection of ICSE Short Stories Workbook Answers Chapter 3 Notes A Horse and Two Goats – ICSE Class 10, 9 English
About the Author
Rasipuram Krishnaswami Ayyar Naranayanaswami was born in Madras, a large industrial coastal city in India, on October 10, 1906. He was known for his works set in the fictional South Indian town of Malgudi. He was a leading author of early Indian literature in English, along with Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao. His family was Brahmin, the highest caste of Hindu society. When he was still young, the rest of his family moved to Mysore, a smaller city in the heart of the country. Narayan stayed in Madras with his grandmother, who read him classic Indian tales and myths from an early age and encouraged his imagination. He was not a serious student; he believed that the educational system was too regimented and that it discouraged students from thinking creatively, so he decided not to work hard and ended up failing several subjects and his college entrance exams.
After graduation, Narayan went to work in a government office in Mysore, but he was no more suited for mundane office work than for formal education. He tried teaching for a while, but did not last long as a teacher, either. What he wanted to be was a writer. At first, most of his stories were rejected. For three or four years he lived at home and earned less than five dollars a year, worrying and embarrassing his family.
Narayan highlights the social context and everyday life of his characters, and he has been compared to William Faulkner, who also created a similar fictional town, and likewise explored with humour and compassion the energy of ordinary life. Narayan’s short stories have been compared with those of Guy de Maupassant, because of his ability to compress a narrative. However, he has also been criticised for the simplicity of his prose.
In a career that spanned over sixty years, Narayan received many awards and honours, including the AC Benson Medal from the Royal Society of Literature, the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan, India’s third and second highest civilian awards. He was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of India’s parliament.
In 1933 he married a woman named Rajam, who encouraged him in his writing. To help support his wife and daughter, he tried journalism, starting out as a correspondent for the ‘Madras Justice’ and working his way up to junior editor. Rajam lived only five years as his wife, dying of typhoid in 1939. By that time Narayan had published three novels, and had begun, under the shortened name R. K. Narayan, to attract international attention. Finally, he was able to quit his newspaper job and become a full-time fiction writer. His fourth novel, The English Teacher (1945), features a character patterned after Rajam and describes Narayan’s own struggles to deal with her death. All of his fiction, most of which takes place in the fictional town of Malgudi and all of which is in English, gives a realistic portrayal of middle-class life in India, with its caste system and long-standing traditions, and many of his stories are based on real events.
Narayan is one of the most widely read of the Indian authors writing in English. He has published more than thirty novels and collections of short stories and essays, and was still producing new work well into his eighties. He has been honored for his work in India, in Great Britain, and in the United States, where he has been made an honorary member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. His own humble views of his life and success are presented in his memoir, ‘My Days’ (1984).
About the Story
First published in Madras, India, in the newspaper, ‘The Hindu’ in 1960, “A Horse and Two Goats” did not achieve wide international audience until 1970 when it became the title story of R. K. Narayan’s seventh collection of short stories, ‘A Horse and Two Goats and Other Stories’. It reached an even wider audience in 1985 when it was included in ‘Under the Banyan Tree’, Narayan’s tenth best-selling collection. By this time Narayan was well established as one of the most prominent Indian authors writing in English in the twentieth century. The story presents a comic dialogue between Muni, a poor Tamil-speaking villager, and a wealthy English-speaking businessman from New York. They are engaged in a conversation in which neither can understand the other’s language. With gentle humor, Narayan explores the conflicts between rich and poor, and between Indian and Western culture.
Narayan is best known for his fourteen novels, many of which take place in the fictional town of Malgudi. Many of the stories in his thirteen short story collection also take place in Malgudi, but “A Horse and Two Goats” does not. This accounts for the fact that the story has attracted very little critical commentary; however, all of the attention it has drawn has been positive. The story is seen as a fine example of Narayan’s dexterity in creating engaging characters and humorous dialogue, but it is not considered one of his greatest works.
- Muni is a poor resident of Kritam, one of the thousands of inconspicuous villages situated in the Holy land of India. Muni was once a proud owner of a large flock of sheep and goats, but lost most of his riches, and is now the desolate owner of just two goats. He and his wife are in the last stage of their lives.
- Despite his poor life, Muni is a dreamer and an avid food lover. Away from the prying eyes of villagers, he spends most of his time idling near the rocky highway, where his usual seat is the pedestal of a large clay horse.
- One day, as he was sitting in his favourite place, an American comes to him to inquire about gas. As Muni knows just two words of English, Yes and No, he finds it difficult to satisfy the queer red man.
- The American is smitten with the chaste Tamil.
- The American notices the beautiful clay horse, is impressed with the unparalleled art, and makes an offer to Muni to buy the horse at an exorbitant price. As Muni sits on the platform nonchalantly, he has mistakenly identified him as the owner of the horse.
- The American is able to buy the horse, by giving a hundred rupee note to Muni, while Muni thinks that the stupid foreigner has paid him too much for two paltry goats and goes home happily.
- His wife thinks he has stolen the money and is angry.
The central theme of Narayan’s work, “A Horse and Two Goats,” is the clash of cultures, specifically the clash of Indian and Western cultures. Using humor instead of anger, Narayan demonstrates just how far apart the two worlds are: the two cultures exist in the same time and space, but literally and metaphorically speak different languages. The two main characters in this story couldn’t be more different: Muni is a poor, rural, uneducated, Hindu, brown; the American is wealthy, urban, educated, probably Judeo- Christian, white. As a good Hindu, Muni calmly accepts the hand that fate has dealt him, while the American is willing and able to take drastic and sudden action to change his life (for example, flying off to India, or throwing away his return plane ticket to transport a horse statue home on a ship). Each man is quite ignorant of the other’s way of life.Unlike many stories about culture clash, the conflict here is merely amusing. The inability to communicate in a common language in this story leads only to confusion, not to any real harm. In fact, although each feels vaguely dissatisfied with the conversation, the men do not realize that they are not communicating. Each speaks at length about his own life and local calamities, with no awareness that the other hears nothing. At the end of their encounter each man has what he wants or needs, and neither man has lost anything of value.
Another theme interwoven in this story is the disparity between wealth and poverty. The most important difference between Muni and the American is in their respective level of wealth. Narayan takes great pains in the opening of the story to show how desperately poor Muni is, and to emphasize that even in his time of “prosperity” his standard of living was still greatly below that of most Americans. The American takes for granted his relative wealth and seems unaware of the difference between Muni and himself. He casually offers cigarettes to a man who has never seen one, complains about four hours without air conditioning to a man who has never had electricity, brags about enjoying manual labor as a Sunday hobby to a man who grew up working in the fields from morning until night, and without a thought gives Muni enough money to open a business. He is not trying to show off; he simply accepts his wealth as his right. His very casualness emphasizes the gap between them. Narayan in no way condemns the man for being wealthy, or for not stepping in to aid poor Muni, but he wants the two men and their relative wealth to be clear, so that the relationship between wealth and poverty can be evaluated.
Knowledge and Ignorance is juxtaposed thematically in the story. “A Horse and Two Goats” explores the different ways that a person can be educated. Muni, who grew up a member of a lower caste at a time when only the Brahmin, the highest caste, could attend school, has had no formal education. He has not travelled beyond his village, and he likes to watch trucks and buses go by on the highway a few miles away so that he can have “a sense of belonging to a larger world.” He does not even know his own age. He does, however, have an impressive amount of knowledge of the two major texts of his literary heritage, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, which he has learned by acting in plays and by listening to speakers at the temple. He knows the stories, and he is able to mine them for truth and wisdom when he needs them.The American, on the other hand, has had the full benefits of an American education. He has a roomful of books that he values as objects:“you know I love books and am a member of five book clubs, and the choice and bonus volumes mount up to a pile in our living room”, but there is no evidence that he understands or values what is inside them. On one level, he is familiar with the larger world around him in a way that Muni never will be. However, even on this trip to India “to look at other civilizations,” he does not seem to be looking at India for what it is, but only for a reflection of—and ornaments for—his own life. The uneducated Muni tries to tell him the significance of the horse statue, but the American sees it only as a living room decoration. Of course, the language barrier prevents him from receiving Muni’s interpretation, but it never even crosses his mind to ask. Narayan, in this story shows that there are at least two ways to be ignorant.
Highlights of Speech/or Summary
“A Horse and Two Goats” is set in Kritam, “probably the tiniest” of India’s 700,000 villages. It opens with a clear picture of the poverty in which the protagonist Muni lives. Of the thirty houses in the village, only one, the Big House, is made of brick. The others, including Muni’s, are made of “bamboo thatch, straw, mud, and other unspecified materials.” There was no running water and no electricity, and Muni’s wife cooked their typical breakfast of “a handful of millet flour” over a fire in a mud pot. Muni had shaken down six drumsticks from the drumstick tree growing in front of his house, and asked his wife to prepare them for him in a sauce. She agreed, provided he could get the other ingredients, none of which they had in the house: rice, dal (lentils), spices, oil and a potato.
Muni and his wife have not always been so poor. There was a time when he considered himself prosperous as then he had a flock of forty sheep and goats which he would lead out to graze every day. But life had not been kind to him or to his flocks: years of drought, a great famine, and an epidemic had taken their toll. As Muni belonged to a low caste he was never permitted to go to school or to learn a trade. Presently he was left with two goats, too scrawny to sell or to eat. He and his wife had no children to help them in their old age, so their only income was from the odd jobs his wife occasionally took on at the Big House. Muni had exhausted his credit at every shop in town, and so when he asked a local shopkeeper to give him the items his wife required to cook the drumsticks, he was sent away humiliated.
Muni’s wife sent him away with the goats saying, “Fast till the evening.” Muni took the goats to their usual spot a few miles away: a grassy area near the highway, where he can sit in the shade of a life-sized statue of a horse and a warrior and watch trucks and buses go by. The statue is made of weather-beaten clay and had stood in the same spot for all of Muni’s seventy or more years.
As Muni watched the road and waited for the appropriate time to return home, a yellow station wagon came down the road and pulled over next to him. A red-faced American man dressed in khaki clothing got out and asked Muni where to find the nearest gas station. He noticed the statue, which he found “marvelous.” Muni’s first impulse was to run away, assuming from the khaki clothes that the foreigner was a policeman or a soldier. But Muni was too old to run any more, and he could not leave the goats. The two began to converse—if “conversation” can be used to describe what happens when two people speak to each other in separate languages, neither understanding the other. “Namaste! How do you do?” the American said in greeting, using his only Indian word. Muni responded with the only English he knew: “Yes, no.”
The American, a businessman from New York City, lighted a cigarette and offered one to Muni, who knew about cigarettes but had never had one before. He offered Muni his business card, but Muni feared it to be a warrant of some kind. Muni launched into a long explanation of his innocence of whatever crime the man was investigating, and the American asked questions about the horse statue, which he wanted to buy. He told Muni about a bad day at work, when he was forced to work for four hours without elevators or electricity, and seemed completely unaware that Muni lived that way every day. By now he was convinced that Muni was the owner of the statue, which he was determined to buy.
The two talked back and forth, each about his own life. Muni remembered his father and grandfather telling about the statue and the ancient story it depicted, and tried to explain to the American how old it was. “I get a kick out of every word you utter,” the American replied. Muni reminisced about his difficult and impoverished childhood working in the fields, and the American laughed heartily. Muni explained about the statue: “This is our guardian. … At the end of Kali Yuga, this world and all other worlds will be destroyed, and the Redeemer will come in the shape of a horse.” The American replied, “I assure you this will have the best home in the U.S.A. I’ll push away the bookcase. . . . The TV may have to be shifted. … I don’t see how that can interfere with the party—we’ll stand around him and have our drinks.” It is clear that even if the two could understand each other’s words, they could not understand each other’s worlds.
Finally, the American pushes one hundred rupees into Muni’s hand—twenty times Muni’s debt with the shopkeeper. He considers that he has bought the horse, and Muni believes he had just sold his goats. Muni ran home to present the money to his wife, while the American flagged down a truck, got help in breaking the horse off its pedestal, and drove away with his purchase. Muni’s wife did not believe her husband’s story about where the money came from, and her suspicions only increased when the goats found their way home. The story ends with her shrieking at him, and Muni appears to be not much better off than he was at the start.
Muni, an old and desperately poor man, is the protagonist of the story. We know this when his wife tells him, “You only have four teeth in your jaw, yet you are craving big things.” Having very little teeth is often associated with being too young or too old.. The author also utilized the word “craving,” which is associated with longing, and more importantly, not having something you long for. This suggests that Muni and his wife lead very poor lives. He and his wife have almost no income and no children to help take care of them. Every day, Muni took the goats out to graze on the scarce grass outside of town, while his wife put something together for an evening meal. Although Muni is initially described as poor, the author then goes on to say that he wasn’t always as poor as he is. “In his prosperous days Muni had owned a flock of forty sheep and goats and sallied forth every morning driving the flock to the highway a couple of miles away. There he would sit on the pedestal of a clay statue of a horse while his cattle grazed around. He carried a crook at the end of a bamboo pole and snapped foliage from the avenue trees to feed his flock; he also gathered faggots and dry sticks, bundled them and carried them home for fuel at sunset.” The word “prosperous” is associated with wealth and success, which suggests that Muni had something of the sort. The author also utilizes words such as “sallied,” “carried,” and “bundled,” all of which are associated with labor and work. This suggests that he had enough animals to be able to perform manual labor on a daily basis and earn enough to be able to “sit on the pedestal of a clay statue of a horse while his cattle grazed around.” It is evident that while he worked hard, he trusted in the abundance of his stock enough to be able to sit down. The entire passage is written in the past tense, which highlights the fact that Muni was prosperous before the story takes place.
Muni is shown to be very cautious, paranoid to some extent. Like many poor and struggling people, he fears authority- figures, and so he fears the American who steps out of a strange car wearing khaki clothes. While the man tries to talk with him about the statue, Muni babbles on about a recent murder and the end of the world. This is portrayed in the passage during Muni and the foreigner’s encounter, “Muni shrank away from the card. Perhaps he was trying to present a warrant to arrest him. Beware of khaki, one part of his mind warned. Take all the cigarettes or bhang or whatever is offered, but don’t get caught. Beware of khaki.” Words such as “shrank,” “warned,” and “bewared,” are all associated with fear and dread, emotions which are associated with wariness.
Muni is also portrayed to be extremely distrusting, not only of others but also of himself, to some extent. “But all these seemed like memoirs of a previous birth. Some pestilence afflicted his cattle (he could of course guess who had laid his animals under a curse) and even the friendly butcher would not touch one at half the price…and now here he was left with two scraggly creatures. He wished someone would rid him of their company too. The shopman had said he was seventy. At seventy, one only waited to be summoned by God. When he was dead, what would his wife do? They had lived in each other’s company since they were children. He was told on the day of their wedding that he was ten and she was eight.” This passage mainly focuses on Muni’s recollections, which at his old age, seem to be faltering him. The usage of the words “seemed” and “guess,” both have connotations of uncertainty. Both these words are used in the context of Muni’s memories, suggesting that he is unsure of himself and does not trust even his own mind and experiences. Some other phrases which also suggest are “memoirs of a previous birth,” “he was told on the day of their wedding that he was ten and she was eight,” and “the shopman had said he was seventy.” These phrases utilize words such as “memoirs,” “told,” and “had said,” suggesting that these memories had to be reiterated to him, because he doesn’t trust himself and others don’t trust him to remember it well. The extent of Muni’s knowledge is also displayed. The fact that he does not trust his own knowledge shows that he is not confident about the information he knows, and does not know a lot and has not gone through proper schooling.
At the end he seems to have temporarily escaped his money troubles, but his bad luck continues when his wife suspects him of theft and threatens to leave.
The American comes riding into the story in a yellow station wagon. A businessman who works in New York and commutes from Connecticut. He is dressed in the khaki clothing worn by American tourists in the tropics. He speaks only English, and is surprised to find that Muni can speak only Tamil. Although he is in the tiniest village in India, he expects to find a gas station and English-speaking goatherds.
He shown to be a pleasant man and a businessman by trade. Although not much is said about his character, we can deduce that he is friendly and genuine. This is highlighted in the line, “The Tamil that Muni spoke was stimulating even as a pure sound, and the foreigner listened with fascination. ‘I wish I had my tape recorder here,’ he said, assuming the pleasantest expression.’” The line utilizes the words “fascination” and “pleasantest,” suggesting that the foreigner is being very gracious to Muni despite the fact that he can’t understand him.
Once he sees the statue of the horse, he must own it for his living room. He is astute enough to know that money talks, even when he can’t speak the language.
Muni’s wife has spent some sixty years with him (neither of them is sure about their ages), through prosperity and poverty. Although she is gruff with him now, she is willing ^ to indulge his request for a special meal. She works as hard as he does, or harder, getting up at dawn to fix his morning meal, and taking odd jobs at the Big House when their stores are low.
She often scolds him when he complains. This is reiterated in the line, when his wife says to him, ‘You are getting no sauce today, nor anything else. Fast till’ the evening, it’ll do you good. Take the goats and be gone now,’ she cried and added, ’Don’t come back until the sun is down.’” This entire passage is written in imperative form, and his wife uses many words and phrases that have negative connotations, such as “no,” “nor,” “be gone,” and “don’t come back.” This shows that she is exasperated with him and wishes him to be out of the house. Poverty has worn her down: her first reaction when she sees the hundred rupees is to accuse Muni of stealing.
The shopkeeper is a moody man who has given Muni food on credit in the past, but who has been pushed past his limit. Muni owes him five rupees, and although they share a bit of a humorous conversation, the shopkeeper will not give him any more.
The title is very apt as the whole story revolves around the statue of the horse and the two goats. Muni grazes his goats at a grassy spot near the highway and sits under the shade of the statue. An American stops by and wants to purchase the statue of the horse. Muni cannot understand the American and thinks he wants to buy his goats. The American thrusts hundred rupees into Muni’s hands, the two men leave the place where they met, each taking away something of value. The comic characters of Muni and the American, could be identified with the roles of the “two goats” in the title.
The story takes place in Kritam, “probably the tiniest” of India’s 700,000 villages. Its. four streets are lined with about thirty mud and thatch huts and one Big House, made of brick and cement. Women cook in clay pots over clay stoves, and the huts have no running water or electricity. A few miles away, down a rough dirt track through dry fields of cactus and lantana bushes, is a highway leading to the mountains, where a large construction project is being completed. The meeting between Muni and the red-faced man was intended to take place between about 1945, when televisions became generally available to Americans, and 1960, when the story was published, but the date is not central to the story. Even today there are many villages in the world without modern technological conveniences, and many travellers who do not realize that not everyone lives as they do.
Part of the fairy-tale element in this story is the result of the author’s use of coincidence. From a Western point of view, the story’s big coincidence—Muni’s opportune meeting with a rich American—may seem a fault: It undercuts the Western sense of probability, of order. However, that is apparently R. K. Narayan’s purpose. From a Hindu point of view, which sees the universe in flux, the coincidence is quite logical. In the Hindu view, anything can happen, though contingencies (or actions of the gods) usually balance out over time: Muni is wiped out by the pestilence but reinstated by the American. Just as Muni sells the American an avatar of a Hindu god, so Narayan slyly introduces the Hindu context into this story, complete with a lesson in theology, a reference to the great Hindu epics, and a wild conversation that mirrors the Hindu universe.
Narayan’s ability to present Hindu culture to the West is aided by one of the smoothest English styles in the world. Narayan has developed,his style over a long career, and “A
Horse and Two Goats” shows the style at its best—simple, supple, subtle, able to encompass the Hindu worldview and the demands of story writing at the same time. The style entertains without calling attention to itself.
Over a prolific career spanning more than fifty years, Narayan has published fourteen novels, thirteen collections of short stories, and eleven other volumes of essays, translations and memoirs. He is known primarily for his many novels and short stories set in the fictional, small Southern Indian town of Malgudi, and most critics and reviewers focus on these stories. Reaction to Narayan’s work has always been quite positive. P. S. Ramana, in a short section of his Message in Design: A Study of R. K. Narayan’s Fiction, focuses on “how, by manipulating the narratorial position, focus, tone, attitude and commentary, the author is able to almost overlook the darker side of the experience to produce a highly humorous and ironic tale.
In this story of paradoxes and conflicts, Narayan touched many issues, be it the curse of childlessness, the crude apathy of mankind to the lesser mortals, or the irrepressible instinct of a man to show off his intelligence. The story is quite rich in mythological stories as well. Muni is an old man seeped in religion and is able to rattle off the avatars of Vishnu in his rustic easy manner, impressing the American unknowingly. As two protagonists indulge in a directionless dialogue, it is only the reader who knows both sides of the story and is able to laugh at the idiosyncrasies of life.
Once the nature of Muni’s world has been established by Narayan, both the plot and the comedy of the story hinge on the disruption of that routine .This is a formula Narayan uses frequently, and always with consummate skill. In “A Horse and Two Goats” the seemingly timeless routine is interrupted when a car stops and a “red-faced foreigner,” an American whose vehicle has run out of petrol, asks for directions to the nearest gas station.
“A Horse and Two Goats” is narrated in the third person by an omniscient narrator who reports clearly and objectively on the characters’ words, actions, and memories, but who does not comment or judge. The narrator describes Kritam’s erosion and Muni’s decline dispassionately, without regret; conversations between Muni and his wife, or Muni and the shopman, are told from Muni’s perspective, but with his calm acceptance of whatever fate brings him. This restraint is important to the understated humour of the dialogue between Muni and the American; Narayan trusts the reader to interpret the absurd conversation without his having to explain his point of view through his narrator, “Notice that this response has nothing to do with the question asked,” or “See the irony in this remark.” When the two men leave the place where they met, each taking away something of value, neither has been accused by the narrator—nor by the reader—of foolishness or evil. By creating a narrator who tells the story without judging it, Narayan presents two believable characters with human flaws, but two characters for whom the reader can feel compassion and sympathy nonetheless. The conflict is between two like able characters, or two worthy cultures, not between good and evil.
Narayan makes adept use of realism In his fiction one finds simple and accurate presentation of common, everyday life as it is lived by identifiable characters. Narayan pays careful attention to the small details of Muni’s life: where he lives, what he eats, how he coughs when he smokes his first cigarette. Although many of the small details, like the drumstick tree and the dhoti where Muni puts his hundred rupees, are particularly Indian, they are also basic enough to human experience and so are easily understood by an international audience.
An integral part of Narayan’s art is the humour and understanding the humour in his fiction is important to understanding his world view. Humour which is affectionate and sympathetic to humanity and human foibles, is often distinguished from wit, which looks more harshly on human fallibility. For Narayan, who looks at the world through the lens of his Hindu faith, weakness and strife are to be accepted and transcended, not railed against. When he creates the comic characters of Muni and the American, which could be identified with the roles of the “two goats” in the title, he laughs at them gently and kindly, not critically.
A very different story indeed, written in the affable style of Narayan. A situational comedy where each misunderstanding brings a fresh peal of laughter. A perfect amalgamation of religious philosophy and modern thought!
Muni, the central character of the story, is a typical Narayan hero who has achieved little, and who feels he has been dealt with unsympathetically by the world around him, and by fate. Unlike most of Narayan’s heroes, though, he is a lower-class village peasant, rather than the usual middle-class Malgudi-dweller, and he is very poor, as the appalling conditions of his life, always present behind the humour of the story, attest. Indeed, on one level this tale provides the non-Indian reader with a glimpse of the type of poverty and hardship that must be endured by the millions of Indians who, like Muni, have barely enough food to keep them alive:
His wife lit the domestic fire at dawn, boiled water in a mud pot, threw into it a handful of millet flour, added salt, and gave him his first nourishment of the day. When he started out, she would put in his hand a packed lunch, once again the same millet cooked into a little ball, which he could swallow with a raw onion at midday.
- Dotting: spread out.
- Flourish: thrive.
- Microscopic: very small.
- Revenue: the income of a government from taxation.
- Sprawled: stretched out.
- Furrowed: long, narrow, shallow trench made in the ground.
- Hooped: encircled with.
- Grandiose: impressive.
- Gorgeous: very attractive.
- Gargoyles: A comically carved human or animal face or figure.
- Balustrade: A railing.
- Sallied: marched out.
- Crook: a bent or curved implement, sickle.
- Snapped: broke
- Faggots: a bundle of sticks bound together as fuel.
- Miller: one who works in a mill.
- Nourishment: the food necessary for growth.
- Tethered: fastened.
- Craving: strong desire.
- Sauce: a semi-liquid substance served with food to add flavour.
- Upturned: upward directed.
- Imp: a small devil.
- Eloped: ran away secretly.
- Itinernt: wandering, roving.
- Displaying a remarkable memory for old facts: showing the old debts.
- Observations: scrutiny, calcualtions figure.
- Impelled: forced.
- Swarga: heaven.
- Mumbled: murmured.
- Sneered: gave a mocking smile.
- Shearing: cutting the wool off a sheep.
- Elated: carried away.
- Pestilence: epidemic.
- Scraggy: thin and bony.
- Summoned: called.
- Thrashed: hit.
- Progen: offspring.
- Barren: childless.
- Spurn: turn away.
- Pedestal: base on which a statue is mounted.
- Crouch: bend down.
- Scythe: a tool with curved blade especially for cutting long grass.
- Bulging: swelling eyes, when the eye balls look large.
- Brocade: a rich fabric woven with a raised pattern, typically with gold or silver thread.
- Sash: waistband.
- Vandals: persons who deliberately destroy or damage property.
- Novelty : something unfamiliar or new.
- Spectacles: shows that are exciting to watch.
- Assortment: a varied mixture.
- Sputtered: produced explosive sound.
- Mauled: attacked and wounded.
- Extricate: release.
- Fidgeted: made small movements through nervousness.
- Gainsay: deny.
- Slanderers: the people who spread rumours.
- Undaunte: not afraid.
- Wary: suspicious.
- Reeling: tottering
- Unimpeded: unhindered.
- Ingratiatingl: intending to gain approval.
- Camphor: a substance with an aromatic smell and bitter taste.
- Reminiscence: memories.
- Stimulating: arousing interest.
- Adversaries: enemies.
- Progeny: children.
- Wayfarers: travellers.
- Yama Loka: Hell.
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