The Proposal

The Proposal

The Proposal Summary

The Proposal Introduction

  • Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (29 January, 1860 — 15 July, 1904) is considered one of the greatest writers of short fiction in history.
  • He completed his school education in 1879.
  • He was a physician, short-story writer and playwright of Russia.
  • “The Seagull’, ‘Uncle Vanya’, ‘The Three Sisters’ and ‘The Cherry Orchard are some of his notable plays.
  • He was bestowed with the coveted Pushkin Prize for the best literary production.

Gist of the Lesson

In ‘The Proposal, the author Anton Chekhov has given a detailed description of the marriage. Its theme is based on two people who love each other by fighting. It is a story about Stepanovitch Chubukov and his neighbour Lomov. Natalya is the daughter of Chubukov. The main purpose of the play is to increase their estates and land properties.

Lomov enters the house of Chubukov with a request. Chubukov thinks that Lomov has come to take some money. But that is not true. Instead Lomov has come to ask for Natalya’s hand. At this, Chubukov gets happy and embraces Lomov. Chubukov gives his consent and also tells him that Natalya is also in love with him. Natalya is beautiful and educated. So he wants to lead a happy and married life with Natalya.

When Natalya comes and asks about his visit, he changes the track of conversation. Lomov tells that he has great respect for his family. When Lomov talks about Oxen Meadows, birchwoods, there starts a verbal duel between the two. At this, Natalya refuses Lomov’s claim.

Lomov calls Chubukov a land grabber and threatens to drag Chubukov into the court. They start abusing each other. Chubukov calls Lomov the villain and the scarecrow. Natalya calls Lomov ‘a rascal’. They also quarrel over their dogs. They also want to prove each other’s dog superior. Lomov’s heart starts palpitating. But after a few moment, he regains his consciousness and Chubok tells him that Natalya is ready to marry. But ultimately they tie a nupital knot. And they start leading their married life.

The Proposal Summary

Lomov and Chubukov meet: Lomov in a formal evening dress comes to visit Chubukov. He is so excited about the purpose of his visit that he beats around the bushes rather than saying his purpose.

Lomov asks for Natalya’s hand: After gathering courage, Lomov finally speaks up to Chubukov that he has come to ask for Natalya, his daughter’s hand in marriage.

Chubukov calls Natalya: Chubukov becomes very happy at the proposal of Lomov and calls Natalya. Lomov asks Chubukov whether she will accept his proposal. Chubukov consoles him by saying that she is like a lovesick cat and will accept his proposal.

Lomov’s thoughts about Natalya: Lomov thinks that Natalya is an amazing house-keeper, educated and beautiful. He should not miss this opportunity of getting married at the age of thirtyfive.

Lomov’s reasons of getting married: Lomov suffers from serious diseases like palpitation, excitement and insomnia. Therefore, he wants to settle down and have a peaceful married life.

Natalya enters the drawing-room: Natalya sees Lomov in drawing-room and welcomes him. She compliments his dress which excites Lomov before he can tell his proposal.

Lomov’s claim of Oxen Meadows: Lomov starts talking how their families had good relations over many decades and also his Oxen Meadows touch their birchwoods.

Lomov and Natalya quarrel: Natalya opposes Lomov’s claim of calling Oxen Meadows his as the meadows belongs to her family. They both quarrel over the ownership of the Oxen Meadows. Lomov goes out after listening to the insults of her family.

Natalya gets to know the proposal: Chubukov enters the drawing room and gets angry on how Lomov dared to come with marriage proposal for his daughter and insulted him afterwards.

Natalya feels sad: After knowing about the proposal, Natalya becomes sad and repents for the fight she picked up with Lomov. Chubukov goes out to call Lomov.

Natalya pacifies Lomov: Natalya calms down Lomov by saying that the Oxen Meadows belongs to him. But Lomov is still disturbed and therefore, he starts praising his dog Guess, that he purchased for 125 roubles.

Another fight between Lomov and Natalya: Natalya says that her dog, Squeezer which she purchased for 85 roubles, is better than his dog Guess. They both start fighting over the qualities of their dogs.

Lomov falls unconscious: Chubukov also sides with his daughter rather than ending their quarrel. While throwing abuses at each other, Lomov falls into the armchair. Both Chubukov and Natalya think he is dead. She laments that her chance of getting married to Lomov has gone.

English The Proposal Important Questions and Answers

Short Answer Type Questions (20-30 words & 2 marks each)

Question 1.
What was Chubukov’s reaction when Lomov told him the reason of his coming home?
Lomov visited Chubukov to ask for her daughter’s hand for marriage. Listening that, Chubukov became overwhelmed with joy. He embraced and kissed Lomov and told him that he had expected that to happen. He further told Lomov that he had always loved him as his own son.

Question 2.
Why did Lomov want to marry Natalya despite knowing that Natalya was not his real love?
Though Natalya was not Lomov’s real love, he still wanted to marry her. It was so because he was already at a critical age of 35 and wanted to lead a quiet and regular life. Moreover, he would never get married if he kept looking for an ideal love and also Natalya was beautiful and educated.

Question 3.
Who is Lomov and why does he visit Chubukov?
Lomov is a landowner in Russia. He is about thirty-five years old which is a critical age for marriage. He visits Chubukov’s house in his best dress to put his proposal for Natalya. But Chubukov thought that he had come here to borrow money.

Question 4.
What did Lomov say to Nataya and Chubukov to prove that he is the rightful owner of Meadows?
Lomov told Nataya and Chubukov that his aunt’s grandmother had given the Meadows for free use of Chubukov’s grandfather’s peasants on temporary basis. That is why he is the rightful owner of Meadows.

Short Answer Type Questions (40-50 words & 3 marks each)

Question 1.
Was Lomov a quarrelsome person?
Yes, Lomov was a quarrelsome person. He came to Chubukov’s house to ask Natalya’s hand for marriage but started arguing about the meadow. Later, he kept on proving that his dog Squeezer was better than Chubukov’s dog Guess. During all this, he did not care of his health and his proposal of getting married to Natalya.

Question 2.
How was Natalya not convinced that Oxen Meadows were owned by Lomov?
When Lomov said that his Oxen Meadows touched Natalya’s birchwoods, a verbal duel started between them. Natalya asserted that they owned Oxen Meadows for nearly 300 years. It was ridiculous if somebody else claimed it to be his own. Natalya’s father, Chubukov also joined the quarrel.

Question 3.
Why did the marriage proposal remain unmade during Lomov’s first visit?
The proposal of Lomov remained unmade during his visit to Chubukov’s house as he was very nervous. He did not understand how to put forward his proposal of marriage. But, somehow he told about it to Natalya’s father. When Natalya came, they began to quarrel on a piece of land. He got very much excited and left the room, cursing and threatening the old
man and his daughter. In this chaos, he forgot everything about his proposal.

Question 4.
What happened when Lomov was thought to be almost dead?
Lomov had come with the proposal of marrying Natalya. When he fell unconscious in an armchair, both the father and the daughter got worried. Natalya started crying thinking Lomov to be dead. Chubukov called for a doctor and he threatned to shoot himself or cut his throat. When Lomov became conscious, Chubukov grabbed the opportunity to bless them for a happy married life.

Question 5.
What was the matter of controversy about dogs?
Natalya claims that Squeezer, her dog, is better than Guess, who is the dog of Lomov. He claims that Guess is a first rate dog. Each one wants to dominate the other on dog. Lomov says that Squeezer is overshot. His lower jaw is shorter than the upper. But Natalya says that Guess is very old and ugly. This was the only matter of controversy. 6. What do you learn about Natalya from the play, “The Proposal?? Ans. Natalya is the only daughter of the landowner, Chubukov. She was very possessive about her land. She was a short-tempered lady. She used to quarrel with anyone even on petty matters. She always pinpointed the amount of help she had offered to her neighbours. She did not want to give a part of it to anyone.

Essay Type Question

Question 1.
Justify the title of the play ‘The Proposal’.
The title of the play ‘The Proposal is very appropriate.A thirty-five year old bachelor, Lomov wants
to propose Natalya for marriage. He goes to her house with the same purpose. Being confused, he doesn’t propose at once. He beats about the bush. He talks irrelevantly. As Natalya doesn’t know that he has come to propose her, she thinks that he has come to claim Oxen Meadows as his own. She starts quarrelling. This results in one after another quarrel. After Chubukov’s interference, Natalya comes to know that he has come to propose her. Then atonce she forgets the issue of fighting. Then the proposal is made and accepted. Finally, they getengaged. Thus, it can be said that the title of the play is quite apt.

Question 2.
‘Discussions and disputes seldom solve a problem’. Describe the dispute between Natalya and Lomov over the dogs and their superiority.
Natalya and Lomov had a hot discussion over the superiority of their dogs – Squeezer and Guess. Lomov was aware of the fact that despite many qualities, Guess had two major defects, i.e., the dog was old and short in the muzzle. Lomov was proud of his dog’s pure breed and its well sprung ribs. It was also a good hunter. On the other hand, Natalya’s Squeezer was a bad hunter. Natalya pointed out that her dog Squeezer was better than Guess. She remarked that Guess was old, ugly and a worn out cab horse. She also called Guess a lame dog. Though Lomov had come there to propose Natalya as he wanted to marry her, they involved themselves in silly arguments – that also over petty issues. Their main purpose was sidelined in the dispute. But such petty arguments should never come in the way of matrimony. Rather it is the attribute of tolerance and acceptance that paves the way to good relationship.

Question 3.
What are the main points of pleading between Chubukov and Lomov over Oxen Meadows?
On hearing about quarrel between Natalya and Lomov, Chubukov comes at the spot.
Immediately Natalya asks her father about the ownership of Oxen Meadows. Chubukov too pleaded that these were the properties of theirs. But Lomov denied their ownership. He pointed out that it was his aunt’s grandmother who gave the meadows to the peasants of Chubukov’s grandfather on the pretext that they would prepare bricks for his aunt. 4. Neighbours must have a cordial relationship which Lomov and Natalya do not have.

Question 4.
Describe the first fight between them.
Lomov and Natalya were next-door neighbours. One day, Lomov came to Natalya to propose
her. Natalya, who didn’t know that he had come to propose her, thought that he had come to claim Oxen Meadows as his own. When Chubukov, Natalya’s father, interfered with them and also pleaded that the Oxen Meadows were the properties of Chubukov, the fight aggravated. For a few moments, Lomov’s real purpose was overshadowed by that issue and he continued the bias that meadows belonged to his aunt’s grandmother who gave them to the peasants of Chubukov’s grandfather on the condition that they would prepare bricks for her. So how it would be considered as Natalya’s property. Though both Lomov and Chubukov, Natalya’s father, were very rich landlords, they quarrelled over a tiny piece of land, called, “Oxen Meadows. But that was not the end of quarrel. Natalya didn’t agree with Lomov’s explanation. Instead, she offered to make a present of it to Lomov who, in turn, rejected the suggestion. And the quarrel continued endlessly. Such first meeting of Lomov and Natalya had in itself seeds of things (quarrels over petty issues)
to be expected in their married life.

Question 5.
Natalya and Lomov lose their temper on trivial issues. It shows their poor skills at anger management. Suggest some ways that help you in maintaining cordial relationship with people around you.
Anger is a basic human emotion. Someone controls over anger but someone gets outburst
within a very short span of time. Angry people even lose their temper on trivial issues. But anger should be controlled. It always leads to destruction. In the play, Natalya and Lomov lose their temper on petty issues. It could somehow be controlled by them. Some ways that help us in maintaining cordial relationships with people around us are:

  • good behaviour
  • etiquette
  • manners
  • give due respect to others
  • be co-operative
  • patience

Question 6.
“In the first place, I’m already 35-a critical age, so to speak. In the second place, I ought to lead a quiet and regular life. I suffer from palpitations. I’m excitable and always in my right eyebrow. But the very worst of all is the way I sleep.” On the basis of the passage given what does the author want to say through this?
Through this passage, the author wants to highlight the physical features and mental state of Lomov. This is conversation between Lomov and Chubukov. Lomov was a funny man. He was physically weak but economically sound. He was a rich bachelor and he wanted to marry Natalya. He was 35 years old. He wanted to lead a quiet and regular life. But the worst things about him was the way he slept. He always suffered from palpitations. Sometimes he got upset. His tips also trembled with fear. At this critical age, be would never get married if he kept looking for an ideal life. So, the only intention of Lomov was to get married at any cost because he was just on verge of expiry of marriage. After getting married he wanted to lead a quiet and regular life.

Question 7.
“Don’t excite yourself, my precious one. Allow me, your Guess certainly has his good points. He’s purebred, firm on his feet, has well spring ribs, and all that. But, my dear man, if you want to know the truth, that dog has two defects he is old and he’s short in the muzzle.” In the given passage, what has been discussed here?
Through this passage, the author has discussed the merits and defects of Guess, the dog.
Chubukov tells that Guess has numerous merits. He has certainly some good points. His bred is pure. He has very firm or strong feet on which he can stand at stretch. He has well-spring ribs. But that is not the reality of the dog. There are two defects in dog. The dog is short and old in the muzzle. So, Chubukov asks Lomov not to excite himself. Guess is loyal and obedient to his master. He keeps a strict vigil on his master’s house. His master also likes him and takes proper care of the dog. This way Guess is a the good and loyal servant to his master. Except a few defects, Guess is a fit and fine.

English The Proposal Textbook Questions and Answers

Before You Read


1. The word ‘proposal has several meanings. Can you guess what sort of proposal the play is about?
(i) a suggestion, plan or scheme for doing something
(ii) an offer for a possible plan or action
(iii) the act of asking someone’s hand in marriage
(iii) The act of asking someone’s hand in marriage

2. Do you think Indian and Russian weddings have any customs in common? With the help of a partner, fill in the table below.

Customs similar to Indian ones Customs different from Indian ones


Customs similar to Indian ones Customs different from Indian ones
1. Reception No fight by the groom to get bride
2. Ring ceremony No need to answer any question
3. Organising contests No stealing of bride’s shoes
4. Wedding lasts for two days

Thinking about the Play

1. What does Chubukov at first suspect that Lomov has come for? Is he sincere when he later says “And I’ve always loved you, my angel, as if you were my own son”? Find reasons for your answer from the play.
Chubukov suspects that Lomov has come to borrow money. He is not at all sincere when he says so. He has decided that he will not give Lomov any money if he tries borrowing from him. If he had truly meant what he has said, then he would not have thought of not giving him money. He said so only because Lomov had come with the proposal to marry his daughter.

2. Chubukov says of Natalya: “… as if she won’t consent! She’s in love; egad, she’s like a lovesick cat…” Would you agree? Find reasons for your answer.
Chubukov thought that Lomov was a very suitable candidate for his daughter. He had been waiting for this proposal for a long time. When Lomov expressed his doubt regarding Natalya’s consent to the proposal, Chubukov immediately told him that she was in love with him. However, this was not true. Natalya did not seem to be in love with Lomov at any point in the play. It seemed that she was more attached to her land, meadows and dogs than to Lomov. Their argument of trivial matters suggests that neither Lomov nor Natalya was in love with each other.

3. (i) Find all the words and expressions in the play that the characters use to speak about each other, and the accusations and insults they hurl at each other. (For example, Lomov in the end calls Chubukov an intriguer; but earlier, Chubukov has himself called Lomov a “malicious, doublefaced intriguer.” Again, Lomov begins by describing Natalya as “an excellent housekeeper, not bad-looking, well educated.”)
(i) Lomov calls Chubukov – Intriguer, grabber
(ii) Lomov calls Natalya – Well educated, an excellent housekeeper, not bad-looking
(iii) Natalya calls Lomov – the rascal, monster
(iv) Chubukov calls Lomov – My precious

(ii) Then think of five adjectives or adjectival expressions of your own to describe each
character in the play.
Chubukov – cunning, mean, insensible
Lomov – weak, frail, stupid, simpleton
Natalya – immature, foolish, parsimonious, miserly, mingy

(iii) Can you now imagine what these characters will quarrel about next?
From the play, it is clear that they quarrel over petty matters and will do so even later on.

Thinking about Language

I. 1. This play has been translated into English from the Russian original. Are there any expressions or ways of speaking that strike you as more Russian than English? For example, would an adult man be addressed by an older man as my darling or my treasure in an English play?

1. Read through the play carefully, and find expressions that you think are not used in contemporary English, and contrast these with idiomatic modern English expressions that also occur in the play.
Expressions not used in contemporary English

  1. “my darling”; “my beauty”, “my precious”“my angel” (In this play, an older man is addressing to an adult man)
  2. “…and so on…” (It is used to complete a sentence)
  3. “…and all that sort of thing.”
  4. “the scarecrow”; “the stuffed sausage”; “the wizen-faced frump” (derogatory remarks to insult each other)

Modern English expressions

  • “Madam”, “my heart; “honoured Natalya Stepanovna” (used by Lomov for Natalya)
  • “Honoured Stepan Stepanovitch” (used by Lomov for Chubukov)
  • “My dear fellow” (Chubukov addressing Lomov)
  • “malicious, double-faced intriguer”; “fool” (Chubukov insulting Lomov)

2. Look up the following words in a dictionary and find out how to pronounce them. Pay attention to how many syllables there are in each word, and find out which syllable is stressed, or said more forcefully.

Do it yourself.

3. Look up the following phrases in a dictionary to find out their meaning, and then use each in a sentence of your own.
(i) You may take it that
(ii) He seems to be coming round
(iii) My foot’s gone to sleep
(i) You may take it that I am lying, but in fact it will help you in the long run.
(ii) He seems to be coming round after the trauma of his father’s death.
(iii) After the three hour long yoga session, my foot’s gone to sleep.

II. Reported Speech

A sentence in reported speech consists of two parts: a reporting clause, which contains the reporting verb, and the reported clause. Look at the following sentences.

(a) “I went to visit my grandma last week,” said Mamta.
(b) Mamta said that she had gone to visit her grandma the previous week.

In sentence (a), we have Mamta’s exact words. This is an example of direct speech. In sentence (b), someone is reporting what Mamta said. This is called indirect speech or reported speech. A sentence in reported speech is made up of two parts — a reporting clause and a reported clause.

In sentence (b), Mamta said is the reporting clause containing the reporting verb said. The other clause — that she had gone to visit her grandma last week — is the reported clause.
Notice that in sentence (b) we put the reporting clause first. This is done to show that we are not speaking directly, but reporting someone else’s words. The tense of the verb also changes; past tense (went) becomes past perfect (had gone).

Here are some pairs of sentences in direct and reported speech. Read them carefully, and do the task that follows:

1. (i) LOMOV : Honoured Stepan Stepanovitch, do you think I may count on her
consent? (Direct Speech)
(ii) Lomov asked Stepan Stepanovitch respectfully if he thought he might count on her
consent. (Reported Speech)
2. (i) LOMOV : I’m getting a noise in my ears from excitement. (Direct Speech)
(ii) Lomov said that he was getting a noise in his ears from excitement. (Reported Speech)
3. (i) NATALYA : Why haven’t you been here for such a long time? (Direct Speech)
(ii) Natalya Stepanovna asked why he hadn’t been there for such a long time. (Reported Speech)
4. (i) CHUBUKOV : What’s the matter? (Direct Speech)
(ii) Chubukov asked him what the matter was. (Reported Speech)
5. (i) NATALYA : My mowers will be there this very day! (Direct Speech)
(ii) Natalya Stepanovna declared that her mowers would be there that very day. (Reported Speech)

You must have noticed that when we report someone’s exact words, we have to make some changes in the sentence structure. In the following sentences fill in the blanks to list the changes that have occurred in the above pairs of sentences. One has been done for you.

1. To report a question, we use the reporting verb…………….asked……………. (as in Sentence Set 1).
2. To report a statement, we use the reporting verb
3. The adverb of place here changes to
4. When the verb in direct speech is in the present tense, the verb in reported speech is in the…………….tense (as in Sentence Set 3).
5. If the verb in direct speech is in the present continuous tense, the verb in reported speech changes to ……………. tense. For example, changes to was getting.
6. When the sentence in direct speech contains a word denoting respect, we add the adverb ……………. in the reporting clause (as in Sentence Set 1).
7. The pronouns I, me, our and mine, which are used in the first person in direct speech, change according to the subject or object of the reporting verb such as ……………., ………………. or ………….. in reported speech.
1. To report a question, we use the reporting verb asked.
2. To report a statement, we use the reporting verb declared.
3. The adverb of place here changes to there.
4. When the verb in direct speech is in the present tense, the verb in reported speech is in the past tense.
5. If the verb in direct speech is in the present continuous tense, the verb in reported speech changes to past continuous tense. For example, am getting changes to was getting.
6. When the sentence in direct speech contains a word denoting respect, we add the adverb respectfully in the reporting clause.
7. The pronouns I, me, our and mine, which are used in the first person in direct speech, change according to the subject or object of the reporting verb such as he/she, him/her, their or his/her in reported speech.

III. Here is an excerpt from an article from the Times of India dated 27 August 2006.
Rewrite it, changing the sentences in direct speech into reported speech. Leave the other sentences unchanged.

“Why do you want to know my age? If people know I am so old, I won’t get work!” laughs 90-year-old A. K. Hangal, one of Hindi cinema’s most famous character actors. For his age, he is rather energetic. “What’s the secret?” we ask. “My intake of everything is in small quantities. And I walk a lot,” he replies. “I joined the industry when people retire. I was in my 40s. So I don’t miss being called a star. I am still respected and given work, when actors of my age are living in poverty and without work. I don’t have any complaints,” he says, adding, “but yes, I have always been underpaid.” Recipient of the Padma Bhushan, Hangal never hankered after money or materialistic gains. “No doubt I am content today, but money is important. I was a fool not to understand the value of money earlier,” he regrets.
90-year-old A.K. Hangal, one of Hindi cinema’s most famous character actors, asked why we wanted to know his age. If people knew he was that old, he would not get work. For his age, he is rather energetic. We asked him what the secret was. He replied that his intake of everything was in small quantities and he walked a lot. He said that he had joined the industry when people retired. He had been in his 40s. So he did not miss being called a star. He was still respected and given work, when actors of his age were living in poverty and without work. He said he did not have any complaints, adding that he had always been underpaid. Recipient of the Padma Bhushan, Hangal never hankered after money or materialistic gains. He said that no doubt he was content at present, but money was important. He said regretfully that he was a fool not to understand the value of money before.

Speaking and Writing

1. Anger Management: As adults, one important thing to learn is how to manage our temper. Some of us tend to get angry quickly, while others remain calm. Can you think of three ill-effects that result from anger? Note them down. Suggest ways to avoid losing your temper in such situations. Are there any benefits from anger?
Anger is a basic human emotion. It is usually experienced as an unpleasant feeling. When it gets out of control, it can lead to numerous problems, like ill-effects to health, tension, accidents, etc.

  • Anger can result in domestic violence.
  • It affects rational thinking. Hence, it leads to wrong decisions.
  • It reduces emotional feelings and causes physiological arousal.

Tips to prevent Anger

Certainly, there is no benefit from anger. Following tips can be helpful.

  • Meditation
  • Sense of discipline
  • Improve your analytical capacity
  • Be sociable
  • Be tolerant

2. In pairs, prepare a script based on the given excerpt from The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore. You may write five exchanges between the characters with other directions such as movements on stage and way of speaking, etc.

One afternoon, when I happened to be specially busy, word came to my office room that Bimala had sent for me. I was startled.
“Who did you say had sent for me?” I asked the messenger.
“The Rani Mother”.
“The Bara Rani?”
“No, sir, the Chota Rani Mother.”

The Chota Rani! It seemed a century since I had been sent for by her. I kept them all waiting there, and went off into the inner apartments. When I stepped into our room I had another shock of surprise to find Bimala there with a distinct suggestion of being dressed up. The room, which from persistent neglect, had latterly acquired an air of having grown absentminded, had regained something of its old order this afternoon. I stood there silently, looking enquiringly at Bimala.

She flushed a little and the fingers of her right hand toyed for a time with the bangles on her left arm. Then she abruptly broke the silence. “Look here! Is it right that ours should be the only market in all Bengal which allows foreign goods?”

“What, then, would be the right thing to do?” I’asked.
“Order them to be cleared out!”
“But the goods are not mine.”
“Is not the market yours?”
“It is much more theirs who use it for trade.”
“Let them trade in Indian goods, then.”
“Nothing would please me better. But suppose they do not?”
“Nonsense! How dare they be so insolent? Are you not…”
“I am very busy this afternoon and cannot stop to argue it out. But I must refuse to tyrannise.”
“It would not be tyranny for selfish gain, but for the sake of the country.”
“To tyrannise for the country is to tyrannise over the country. But that I am afraid you will never understand.” With this I came away.
Sahib is sitting in his office room. It is afternoon. He seems to be very busy. All of a sudden, a messenger comes to him and says that Bimla had sent a message for him. Hearing this, he gets surprised.

Sahib asked the messenger suddenly. “Who did you had sent for me? The messenger speaks hesitatingly that the Rani Mother has sent me. Sahib tells Bara Rani? Messenger says, no, the Chota Rani Mother.

It seems that the Chota Rani had been sent for by her since ages. When the messenger entered the room, he gets surprised and asks Bimla to get dressed. The room was not properly arranged. The messenger stood there silently and enquired about Bimla.

Bimla flushed a little and the fingers of her right hand toyed with the bangles on her left arm. She broke the silence and told that it should be the only market in Bengal which allows foreign goods.

Sahib asked, “What would be the right thing to do?” The Rani Sahib ordered them to be cleared out. Sahib told that goods do not belong to him. It seems to be the trade done by the English merchants. But, let them sell Indian goods. Sahib does not approve it. He advocates for the traders. He seems a bit confused how to convey his thoughts to Rani Mother. He can’t stop selling foreign goods in Bengal. The Rani advocates for the country. But Sahib thinks it would be selfish to drive away the traders though he prefers ‘Swadeshi goods. Sahib fails to communicate and convey his feelings. Above all, he was busy and had no time to discuss over the matter for a long time. Taking an excuse he left the place, immediately.

3. In groups, discuss the qualities one should look for in a marriage partner. You might consider the following points.
Personal qualities
– Appearance or looks
– Attitudes and beliefs
– Sense of humour

Value system
– Compassion and kindness
– Tolerance, ambition
– Attitude to money and wealth

Education and professional background
Marriage partner should be co-operative, compassionate, tolerant and kind. She should have
sense of humour. Education also plays a significant role. She should be professional, rational and active. Money and wealth also should be taken into consideration. Honesty and integrity, respect and affection, etc. should be there.

4. Are there parts of the play that remind you offilm scenes from romantic comedies? Discuss this in groups, and recount to the rest of the class episodes similar to those in the play.
Do it yourself.

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