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Class 12 Compulsory English Short Stories [A Devoted Son] Full Exercise Question Answer Solution

A Devoted Son 

When the results appeared in the morning papers, Rakesh scanned them barefoot and in his pajamas, at the garden gate, then went up the steps to the verandah where his father sat sipping his morning tea and bowed down to touch his feet.

“A first division, son?” his father asked, beaming, reaching for the papers.

“At the top of the list, papa,” Rakesh murmured, as if awed. “First in the country.”

Bedlam broke loose then. The family whooped and danced. The whole day long visitors streamed into the small yellow house at the end of the road to congratulate the parents of this Wunderkind, to slap Rakesh on the back and fill the house and garden with the sounds and colors of a festival. There were garlands and halwa, party clothes and gifts (enough fountain pens to last years, even a watch or two), nerves and temper and joy, all in a multicolored whirl of pride and great shining vistas newly opened: Rakesh was the first son in the family to receive an education, so much had been sacrificed in order to send him to school and then medical college, and at last the fruits of their sacrifice had arrived, golden and glorious.

To everyone who came to him to say “Mubarak, Varmaji, your son has brought you glory,” the father said, “Yes, and do you know what is the first thing he did when he saw the results this morning? He came and touched my feet. He bowed down and touched my feet.” This moved many of the women in the crowd so much that they were seen to raise the ends of their saris and dab at their tears while the men reached out for the betel-leaves and sweetmeats that were offered around on trays and shook their heads in wonder and approval of such exemplary filial behavior. “One does not often see such behavior in sons anymore,” they all agreed, a little enviously perhaps. Leaving the house, some of the women said, sniffing, “At least on such an occasion they might have served pure ghee sweets,” and some of the men said, “Don’t you think old Varma was giving himself airs? He needn’t think we don’t remember that he comes from the vegetable market himself, his father used to sell vegetables, and he has never seen the inside of a school.” But there was more envy than rancor in their voices and it was, of course, inevitable—not every son in that shabby little colony at the edge of the city was destined to shine as Rakesh shone, and who knew that better than the parents themselves?

And that was only the beginning, the first step in a great, sweeping ascent to the radiant heights of fame and fortune. The thesis he wrote for his M.D. brought Rakesh still greater glory, if only in select medical circles. He won a scholarship. He went to the USA (that was what his father learnt to call it and taught the whole family to say—not America, which was what the ignorant neighbors called it, but, with a grand familiarity, “the USA”) where he pursued his career in the most prestigious of all hospitals and won encomiums from his American colleagues which were relayed to his admiring and glowing family. What was more, he came back, he actually returned to that small yellow house in the once-new but increasingly shabby colony, right at the end of the road where the rubbish vans tipped out their stinking contents for pigs to nose in and rag-pickers to build their shacks on, all steaming and smoking just outside the neat wire fences and well-tended gardens. To this Rakesh returned and the first thing he did on entering the house was to slip out of the embraces of his sisters and brothers and bow down and touch his father’s feet.

As for his mother, she gloated chiefly over the strange fact that he had not married in America, had not brought home a foreign wife as all her neighbors had warned her he would, for wasn’t that what all Indian boys went abroad for? Instead he agreed, almost without argument, to marry a girl she had picked out for him in her own village, the daughter of a childhood friend, a plump and uneducated girl, it was true, but so old- fashioned, so placid, so complaisant that she slipped into the household and settled in like a charm, seemingly too lazy and too good-natured to even try and make Rakesh leave home and set up independently, as any other girl might have done. What was more, she was pretty—really pretty, in a plump, pudding way that only gave way to fat—soft, spreading fat, like warm wax—after the birth of their first baby, a son, and then what did it matter?

For some years Rakesh worked in the city hospital, quickly rising to the top of the administrative organization, and was made a director before he left to set up his own clinic. He took his parents in his car—a new, sky-blue Ambassador with a rear window full of stickers and charms revolving on strings—to see the clinic when it was built, and the large sign-board over the door on which his name was printed in letters of red, with a row of degrees and qualifications to follow it like so many little black slaves of the regent. Thereafter his fame seemed to grow just a little dimmer—or maybe it was only that everyone in town had grown accustomed to it at last—but it was also the beginning of his fortune for he now became known not only as the best but also the richest doctor in town.

However, all this was not accomplished in the wink of an eye. Naturally not. It was the achievement of a lifetime and it took up Rakesh’s whole life. At the time he set up his clinic his father had grown into an old man and retired from his post at the kerosene dealer’s depot at which he had worked for forty years, and his mother died soon after, giving up the ghost with a sigh that sounded positively happy, for it was her own son who ministered to her in her last illness and who sat pressing her feet at the last moment—such a son as few women had borne.

For it had to be admitted—and the most unsuccessful and most rancorous of neighbors eventually did so—that Rakesh was not only a devoted son and a miraculously good- natured man who contrived somehow to obey his parents and humor his wife and show concern equally for his children and his patients, but there was actually a brain inside this beautifully polished and formed body of good manners and kind nature and, in between ministering to his family and playing host to many friends and coaxing them all into feeling happy and grateful and content, he had actually trained his hands as well and emerged an excellent doctor, a really fine surgeon. How one man—and a man born to illiterate parents, his father having worked for a kerosene dealer and his mother having spent her life in a kitchen—had achieved, combined and conducted such a medley of virtues, no one could fathom , but all acknowledged his talent and skill.

It was a strange fact, however, that talent and skill, if displayed for too long, cease to dazzle. It came to pass that the most admiring of all eyes eventually faded and no longer blinked at his glory. Having retired from work and having lost his wife, the old father very quickly went to pieces, as they say. He developed so many complaints and fell ill so frequently and with such mysterious diseases that even his son could no longer make out when it was something of significance and when it was merely a peevish whim. He sat huddled on his string bed most of the day and developed an exasperating habit of stretching out suddenly and lying absolutely still, allowing the whole family to fly around him in a flap, wailing and weeping, and then suddenly sitting up, stiff and gaunt, and spitting out a big gob of betel-juice as if to mock their behavior.

He did this once too often: there had been a big party in the house, a birthday party for the youngest son, and the celebrations had to be suddenly hushed, covered up and hustled out of the way when the daughter-in-law discovered, or thought she discovered, that the old man, stretched out from end to end of his string bed, had lost his pulse; the party broke up, dissolved, even turned into a band of mourners, when the old man sat up and the distraught daughter-in-law received a gob of red spittle right on the hem of her organza sari. After that no one much cared if he sat up cross-legged on his bed, hawking and spitting, or lay down flat and turned gray as a corpse. Except, of course, for that pearl amongst pearls, his son Rakesh.

It was Rakesh who brought him his morning tea, not in one of the china cups from which the rest of the family drank, but in the old man’s favorite brass tumbler, and sat at the edge of his bed, comfortable and relaxed with the string of his pajamas dangling out from under his fine lawn night-shirt, and discussed or, rather, read out the morning news to his father. It made no difference to him that his father made no response apart from spitting. It was Rakesh, too, who, on returning from the clinic in the evening, persuaded the old man to come out of his room, as bare and desolate as a cell, and take the evening air out in the garden, beautifully arranging the pillows and bolsters on the divan in the corner of the open verandah. On summer nights he saw to it that the servants carried out the old man’s bed onto the lawn and himself helped his father down the steps and onto the bed, soothing him and settling him down for a night under the stars.

All this was very gratifying for the old man. What was not so gratifying was that he even undertook to supervise his father’s diet. One day when the father was really sick, having ordered his daughter-in-law to make him a dish of soojiehalwa and eaten it with a saucerful of cream, Rakesh marched into the room, not with his usual respectful step but with the confident and rather contemptuous stride of the famous doctor, and declared, “No more halwa for you, papa. We must be sensible, at your age. If you must have something sweet, Veena will cook you a little kheer, that’s light, just a little rice and milk. But nothing fried, nothing rich. We can’t have this happening again.”

The old man who had been lying stretched out on his bed, weak and feeble after a day’s illness, gave a start at the very sound, the tone of these words. He opened his eyes— rather, they fell open with shock—and he stared at his son with disbelief that darkened quickly to reproach. A son who actually refused his father the food he craved? No, it was unheard of, it was incredible. But Rakesh had turned his back to him and was cleaning up the litter of bottles and packets on the medicine shelf and did not notice while Veena slipped silently out of the room with a little smirk that only the old man saw, and hated.

Halwa was only the first item to be crossed off the old man’s diet. One delicacy after the other went—everything fried to begin with, then everything sweet, and eventually everything, everything that the old man enjoyed.

The meals that arrived for him on the shining stainless steel tray twice a day were frugal to say the least—dry bread, boiled lentils, boiled vegetables and, if there were a bit of chicken or fish, that was boiled too. If he called for another helping—in a cracked voice that quavered theatrically—Rakesh himself would come to the door, gaze at him sadly and shake his head, saying, “Now, papa, we must be careful, we can’t risk another illness, you know,” and although the daughter-in-law kept tactfully out of the way, the old man could just see her smirk sliding merrily through the air. He tried to bribe his grandchildren into buying him sweets (and how he missed his wife now, that generous, indulgent and illiterate cook), whispering, “Here’s fifty paisa,” as he stuffed the coins into a tight, hot fist. “Run down to the shop at the crossroads and buy me thirty paisa worth of jalebis, and you can spend the remaining twenty paisa on yourself. Eh? Understand? Will you do that?” He got away with it once or twice but then was found out, the conspirator was scolded by his father and smacked by his mother and Rakesh came storming into the room, almost tearing his hair as he shouted through compressed lips, “Now papa, are you trying to turn my little son into a liar? Quite apart from spoiling your own stomach, you are spoiling him as well—you are encouraging him to lie to his own parents. You should have heard the lies he told his mother when she saw him bringing back those jalebis wrapped up in filthy newspaper. I don’t allow anyone in my house to buy sweets in the bazaar, papa, surely you know that. There’s cholera in the city, typhoid, gastroenteritis—I see these cases daily in the hospital, how can I allow my own family to run such risks?” The old man sighed and lay down in the corpse position. But that worried no one any longer.

There was only one pleasure left in the old man now (his son’s early morning visits and readings from the newspaper could no longer be called that) and those were visits from elderly neighbors. These were not frequent as his contemporaries were mostly as decrepit and helpless as he and few could walk the length of the road to visit him anymore. Old Bhatia, next door, however, who was still spry enough to refuse, adamantly, to bathe in the tiled bathroom indoors and to insist on carrying out his brass mug and towel, in all seasons and usually at impossible hours, into the yard and bathe noisily under the garden tap, would look over the hedge to see if Varma were out on his verandah and would call to him and talk while he wrapped his dhoti about him and dried the sparse hair on his head, shivering with enjoyable exaggeration. Of course these conversations, bawled across the hedge by two rather deaf old men conscious of having their entire households overhearing them, were not very satisfactory but Bhatia occasionally came out of his yard, walked down the bit of road and came in at Varma’s gate to collapse onto the stone plinth built under the temple tree. If Rakesh was at home he would help his father down the steps into the garden and arrange him on his night bed under the tree and leave the two old men to chew betel-leaves and discuss the ills of their individual bodies with combined passion.

“At least you have a doctor in the house to look after you,” sighed Bhatia, having vividly described his martyrdom to piles.

“Look after me?” cried Varma, his voice cracking like an ancient clay jar. “He—he does not even give me enough to eat.”

“What?” said Bhatia, the white hairs in his ears twitching. “Doesn’t give you enough to eat? Your own son?”

“My own son. If I ask him for one more piece of bread, he says no, papa, I weighed out the ata myself and I can’t allow you to have more than two hundred grams of cereal a day. He weighs the food he gives me, Bhatia—he has scales to weigh it on. That is what it has come to.”

“Never,” murmured Bhatia in disbelief. “Is it possible, even in this evil age, for a son to refuse his father food?”

“Let me tell you,” Varma whispered eagerly. “Today the family was having fried fish—I could smell it. I called to my daughter-in-law to bring me a piece. She came to the door and said no.

“Said no?” It was Bhatia’s voice that cracked. A drongo shot out of the tree and sped away. “No?”

“No, she said no, Rakesh has ordered her to give me nothing fried. No butter, he says, no oil.

“No butter? No oil? How does he expect his father to live?”

Old Varma nodded with melancholy triumph. “That is how he treats me—after I have brought him up, given him an education, made him a great doctor. Great doctor! This is the way great doctors treat their fathers, Bhatia,” for the son’s sterling personality and character now underwent a curious sea change. Outwardly all might be the same but the interpretation had altered: his masterly efficiency was nothing but cold heartlessness, his authority was only tyranny in disguise.

There was cold comfort in complaining to neighbors and, on such a miserable diet, Varma found himself slipping, weakening and soon becoming a genuinely sick man. Powders and pills and mixtures were not only brought in when dealing with a crisis like an upset stomach but became a regular part of his diet—became his diet, complained Varma, supplanting the natural foods he craved. There were pills to regulate his bowel movements, pills to bring down his blood pressure, pills to deal with his arthritis and, eventually, pills to keep his heart beating. In between there were panicky rushes to the hospital, some humiliating experience with the stomach pump and enema, which left him frightened and helpless. He cried easily, shriveling up on his bed, but if he complained of a pain or even a vague, gray fear in the night, Rakesh would simply open another bottle of pills and force him to take one. “I have my duty to you papa,” he said when his father begged to be let off.

“Let me be,” Varma begged, turning his face away from the pills on the outstretched hand. “Let me die. It would be better. I do not want to live only to eat your medicines.”

“Papa, be reasonable.”

“I leave that to you,” the father cried with sudden spirit. “Leave me alone, let me die now, I cannot live like this.”

“Lying all day on his pillows, fed every few hours by his daughter-in-law’s own hand, visited by every member of his family daily—and then he says he does not want to live ‘like this,’” Rakesh was heard to say, laughing, to someone outside the door.

“Deprived of food,” screamed the old man on the bed, “his wishes ignored, taunted by his daughter-in-law, laughed at by his grandchildren—that is how I live.” But he was very old and weak and all anyone heard was an incoherent croak, some expressive grunts and cries of genuine pain. Only once, when old Bhatia had come to see him and they sat together under the temple tree, they heard him cry, “God is calling me—and they won’t let me go.”

The quantities of vitamins and tonics he was made to take were not altogether useless. They kept him alive and even gave him a kind of strength that made him hang on long after he ceased to wish to hang on. It was as though he were straining at a rope, trying to break it, and it would not break, it was still strong. He only hurt himself, trying.

In the evening, that summer, the servants would come into his cell, grip his bed, one at each end, and carry it out to the verandah, there sitting it down with a thump that jarred every tooth in his head. In answer to his agonized complaints, they said the doctor sahib had told them he must take the evening air and the evening air they would make him take—thump. Then Veena, that smiling, hypocritical pudding in a rustling sari, would appear and pile up the pillows under his head till he was propped up stiffly into a sitting position that made his head swim and his back-ache.

“Let me lie down,” he begged. “I can’t sit up any more.”

“Try, papa, Rakesh said you can if you try,” she said, and drifted away to the other end of the verandah where her transistor radio vibrated to the lovesick tunes from the cinema that she listened to all day.

So there he sat, like some stiff corpse, terrified, gazing out on the lawn where his grandsons played cricket, in danger of getting one of their hard-spun balls in his eye, and at the gate that opened onto the dusty and rubbish-heaped lane but still bore, proudly, a newly touched-up signboard that bore his son’s name and qualifications, his own name having vanished from the gate long ago.

At last the sky-blue Ambassador arrived, the cricket game broke up in haste, the car drove in smartly and the doctor, the great doctor, all in white, stepped out. Someone ran up to take his bag from him, others to escort him up the steps. “Will you have tea?” his wife called, turning down the transistor set. “Or a Coca-Cola? Shall I fry you some samosas?” But he did not reply or even glance in her direction. Ever a devoted son, he went first to the corner where his father sat gazing, stricken, at some undefined spot in the dusty yellow air that swam before him. He did not turn his head to look at his son. But he stopped gobbling air with his uncontrolled lips and set his jaw as hard as a sick and very old man could set it.

“Papa,” his son said, tenderly, sitting down on the edge of the bed and reaching out to press his feet.

Old Varma tucked his feet under him, out of the way, and continued to gaze stubbornly into the yellow air of the summer evening.

Papa, I’m home.”

Varma’s hand jerked suddenly, in a sharp, derisive movement, but he did not speak. “How are you feeling, papa?”

Then Varma turned and looked at his son. His face was so out of control and all in pieces, which the multitude of expressions that crossed it could not make up a whole and convey to the famous man exactly what his father thought of him, his skill, and his art.

“I’m dying,” he croaked. “Let me die, I tell you.”

“Papa, you’re joking,” his son smiled at him, lovingly. “I’ve brought you a new tonic to make you feel better. You must take it, it will make you feel stronger again. Here it is. Promise me you will take it regularly, papa.”

Varma’s mouth worked as hard as though he still had a gob of betel in it (his supply of betel had been cut off years ago). Then he spat out some words, as sharp and bitter as poison, into his son’s face. “Keep your tonic—I want none—I want none—I won’t take any more of—of your medicines. None. Never,” and he swept the bottle out of his son’s hand with a wave of his own, suddenly grand, suddenly effective.

His son jumped, for the bottle was smashed and thick brown syrup had splashed up, staining his white trousers. His wife let out a cry and came running. All around the old man was hubbub once again, noise, attention.

He gave one push to the pillows at his back and dislodged them so he could sink down on his back, quite flat again. He closed his eyes and pointed his chin at the ceiling, like some dire prophet, groaning, “God is calling me—now let me go.”


                  “A Devoted Son” is a short story by Anita Desai. The story appears in the collection, Games at Twilight and Other Stories. Desai’s collection of stories was published in 1978 by Vintage and received widespread popular praise. The stories, including “A Devoted Son,” reflect contemporary urban life in India and the characters are from all walks of life. Desai has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times and she served as the Emerita John E. Buchard Professor of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her daughter, Kiran Desai, is a Booker Prize winner.

“The Devoted Son” centres around Dr. Rakesh. He comes from a poor Indian village. His father, Varma, works as a vegetable vendor, and spent many years dreaming of having an educated son. Rakesh is the first in the family to get any education. When Rakesh finishes his medical examinations with top marks—the highest in the country—this is cause for celebration.

Varma tells everyone who’ll listen about Rakesh’s grades and how it means he can go to medical school in America. Neighbours come to pay their respects and wish them well, but some townsfolk worry this will make Rakesh conceited and forget where he comes from. Varma isn’t worried about this, however—he’s proud to have a son known now by everyone.

Rakesh spends a lot of time in America finishing his degree. He completes it with ease and has job offers at prestigious US hospitals. Awards he wins are sent back to his family for them to keep and admire. It’s Rakesh’s way of keeping in touch with them until he can return home.

Although Rakesh loves America and is admired by his colleagues for his aptitude, he loves his family more. He always planned on returning home, and this hasn’t changed. As soon as he has enough experience and money behind him, he returns home with the intention of working in his hometown.

His parents, however, aren’t so happy with his life choices. They don’t understand why he wants to come home and leave all this behind. They also don’t understand why he chooses to marry a village girl with no education—Varma believes he should have bigger dreams. This is the first real sign of conflict within the family unit. Rakesh refuses to listen to his parents, and he marries the girl.

He then starts working at the city hospital, which is quite different from the hospitals he’s used to working in. Rakesh, however, wants to work here and make a difference in his town. He quickly rises to the position of director, to the awe and joy of his entire family. Through all of this, Rakesh never seems conceited or ungrateful. There’s always a sense that he remembers who he is, and that he won’t let this go. When he has a son of his own, his life is complete.

Sadly, it’s not long before this that his mother passes away. Varma takes it especially hard. Rakesh is pleased he at least made her proud before she died, but he worries for his father and how he’ll cope. Now that Rakesh has a family of his own, he doesn’t have as much time to dedicate to Varma, but he does what he can as his father’s health declines. He doesn’t want to lose any time he has left with him, and he puts his medical skills to good use.

Rakesh imposes a ban on sweets for Varma, to look after his stomach. However, Varma tries to get them through Rakesh’s son, which enrages Rakesh. He worries that his father will make his grandson less honourable than Rakesh. Tensions rise between father and son, and Rakesh starts resenting how much time he spends looking after him—although he keeps doing it. For example, when everyone fears Varma is near death, they postpone a birthday party, only for Varma to be entirely fine. Rakesh wonders if he’s doing it deliberately for attention.

However, Rakesh doesn’t give up on his father—instead, he becomes more devoted to him. He wants his son to have a good relationship with Varma, just as he did as a boy. Varma tells Rakesh and his wife that he doesn’t like them, but even then, Rakesh looks out for him. As relationships deteriorate, Rakesh must choose whether to stay devoted to his father or leave him to die on his own.

Rakesh chooses to help his father. Desai’s message here is that we’re all faced with similar choices eventually and we shouldn’t forget to look after our elders the way they once looked after us. Although Rakesh can’t make his father better, and he’s struggling to keep his own life under control, he doesn’t abandon him. He shows Varma the same faith once shown to him when he wanted to become a doctor. When Rakesh must finally let Varma go, right at the end, he knows he did all he could for him.


 Rakesh is a clever young man who does well on his exams and grows up to be a rich and successful doctor. From his point of view, he remains a devoted son who does everything he can to take care of his father. In his father's old age, he supervises every bit of food his father eats and medicates him for every little complaint.

Varma is Rakesh's father. At first he is proud of his son's accomplishments, but as he ages and Rakesh takes tighter control over his health, Varma begins to resent his son and see him as a tyrant. As Rakesh monitors his father's diet, Varma complains that Rakesh never lets him eat or enjoy the things that he wants. Varma feels helpless and controlled and begins to begrudge his son and see him as his captor. While Varma and Rakesh are the main characters, there are some other characters that appear less prominently. These include:

Veena is Rakesh's wife. She is described as compliant, unimaginative, and docile. She follows Rakesh's orders regarding his father's diet, and Varma imagines that she gets perverse pleasure out of this tyranny.

Bhatia is an old neighbor and friend of Varma. He lives next door and often joins Varma to sit outside and complain about the hardships that the two of them are facing.

Varma's wife is briefly mentioned at the beginning of the story, but she is never named. She dies well before Varma does, and this contributes to his unhappiness.

Rakesh's children are also never named and really only appear in the story as vague references. Varma is briefly able to convince one of them to sneak him extra food.

Varma's neighbors also briefly appear in the text, mostly to highlight the jealously that the community feels about Rakesh's success. The only neighbor who is named is Bhatia.


Wunderkind (n.) : a person who achieves great success when relatively young sweetmeat (n.): a small piece of sweet food, made of or covered in sugar encomiums (n.): a piece of writing that praises someone or something highly desolate (adj.): feeling or showing great unhappiness or loneliness

Delicacy (n.): fine food item

Frugal (adj.): simple and plain and costing little

Gastroenteritis (n.): a disease triggered by the infection and inflammation of the digestive system

Supplant (v.): replace

Hypocritical (adj.): characterized by behavior that contradicts what one claims to  believe or feel

Ambassador (n.): an automobile manufactured by Hindustan Motors of India, in production from 1958

Hubbub (n.): a loud confusing noise

prophet (n.): a person regarded as an inspired teacher

 Understanding the text

Answer the following questions.

a.              How did the morning papers bring ambiance of celebration in the Varma family?



e morning papers brings ambiance of celebration in the Varma's family because Rakesh score high rank in the country for his medical Examination.

b.             How did the community celebrate Rakesh’s success?


      The community celebrates Rakesh's success by presenting the small yellow house at the end of the road to congratulate the parents of this Wunderkind, to slap Rakesh on the back and fill the house and garden with the sounds and colors of a festival.

c.              Why was Rakesh’s success a special matter of discussion in the neighbourhood?


      Rakesh's success a special matter of discussion in the neighbourhood because he was a first son in the family to receive higher education and he score top in the Medical Examination.

d.             How does the author make fun with the words ‘America’ and ‘the USA’?


     The author make fun with words 'America' and 'the USA' his father learnt and taught the whole family to say not America, which was what the ignorant neighbors called it, but, with a grand familiarity, “the USA”

e.              How does the author characterize Rakesh’s wife?


     The author characterize Rakesh's wife as an old fashioned uneducated, plump. She was lazy, placid and complaisant but she was too good-natured to even try and make Rakesh leave home and set up independently

f.              Describe how Rakesh rises in his career.


     Rakesh started his career in the city hospital, quickly rising to the top of the administrative organization, and was made a director before he left to set up his own clinic

g.             How does the author describe Rakesh’s family background?


      The author describe Rakesh's family background the man born to illiterate parents, his father having worked for a kerosene dealer and his mother having spent her life in a kitchen and grandparent worked as vegetable seller.

h.                       What is the impact of Rakesh’s mother’s death on his father?


     Rakesh father death from the mysterious disease named a peevish whim, his father was stricken with grief by the death of his wife as well as retirement.

i.                         What did Rakesh do to make his father’s old age more comfortable?


    Rakesh brought  his father morning tea, in one of the china cups in the old man’s favorite brass tumbler, and sat at the edge of his bed, comfortable and relaxed his father 's night-shirt, and discussed or, rather, read out the morning news to his father.

j.                         Why did the old man try to bribe his grandchildren?


    The old man tries to bribe his grandchildren because he wants to eat jalebis but his son prohibited to eat fried food and sweet food.  

k.                       Are Mr. Varma’s complaints about his diets reasonable? How?


     In my views Mr. Varma's complaints about his diets responsible, Rakesh is a profession doctor as well as he is devoted and obedient son, doctor right to performance  and activities because he conduct such activities to stay healthy and better life of his father.

Reference to the context 

a.              How did Varma couple make sacrifices for their son’s higher education?


     Rakesh was born in illiterate family and in middle class family. Rakesh's father worked in kerosene dealer and his mother in the kitchen. Even his grandparent worked in vegetable vendors. His parent worked hard and sacrifices their life for Rakesh's education in Higher Medical College to make them happy and successful in his life.     

b.             Mr. Varma suffers from diseases one after another after his wife’s death. Would he have enjoyed better health if she had not died before him? Give reasons.


     Mr. Varma suffers from disease one after another after his wife death. I think he have enjoyed better health if she had not died before him. Mr. Varma cause alone and emotional after his wife death which make him weaker and weaker. The old man was quickly fell sick and they fell alone if anything was happen on family member.

c.              Dr. Rakesh is divided between a doctor and a son. As a son, he loves his father and worries about his weakening health but as a doctor he is strict on his father’s diet and medicine. In your view, what else could Rakesh have done to make his father’s final years more comfortable?


     Dr. Rakesh is divided between a doctor and a son, As a son his father and worries about this weakening health but doctor he is strict on his father's diet and medicine. In my views, Rakesh could have done following think to make his father's final years more comfortable.

 Rakesh would have polite and respectable in his behaviors with his father's final years more comfortable but Rakesh should care his father health and balance diets which help to stay long life as well as more comfortable. He should spend his time near to his father to share the happiness and sorrow.     

d.             What does the story say about the relationship between grandfather and grand children?


      The story says about the relationship between grandfather and grandchildren. In the story there is a good bounding with grandfather and grandchildren, where grandfather spent most of their life with grandchildren. In the story grandfather attracted toward their grand children to get some sweet like 'jalebis' from them by using trick as oily fried food and sweet were prohibited by his son. In story we find good-bounding, trusty relationship between grandfather and grandchildren. 

e.              Do you call Rakesh a devoted son? Give reasons.


      Yes, I called Rakesh as a devoted son which are below in point.

i.         He shows great degree of tender regard of his mother.

ii.       He went to America for studies, He did not bring foreign bride to parent's home, he married with uneducated, old-fashioned village girls of his mother choosing

iii.    Thought he take of his father as son and professional doctors for the better health of his father.

iv.     He connected with his father in very problem and very good occasion.

v.       He becomes a good son on his parent views and society.

 Reference beyond the text

a.             Write an essay on The Parents’ Ambition for their Children in Nepali Society.

You must give at least five examples.


     Family is a group of persons united by the ties of marriage, blood, or adoption, constituting a single household and interacting with each other in their respective social positions, usually those of spouses, parents, children, and siblings. The family group should be distinguished from a household, which may include boarders and roomers sharing a common residence. There is good relationship with each other in family. Parents have great ambition for their children to be the best person in the society and nation to make their success life such as the best engineer, doctor, pilots, teacher and many more

i.                   Every parent wish them to make bright future and successful person in life

ii.                 Parent guide their children to lead in good or right path of success

iii.              Every parent scarifies their life to get better quality of education for children

iv.               Every parent wants to stay close to their children, stay together.

b.             Medicines replace our diets in the old age. What can be done to make old age less dependent on medicine?


    Medicines replace our diets in the old age. As we get older we loss our power of doing work and get sick. At this time we take medicine in old age to prevent from disease or to make healthy, but taking medicine is not good for health, in a day we take 4-5 of medicine which affect in our indirectly. Medicine replace our diets in the old age. To make old age less dependent on medicine following thing should be follow;

i.                   Eating of Healthy and plenty of fruit and vegetable such as pineapple, apple, cabbage, green leaf, papaya, carrot, etc help to old age less dependent on medicine.

ii.                 Taking regular exercise and yoga make us feat and fine and we have to live fresh environment to get healthy life.

iii.              Remove junk food, high cholesterol food, carbohydrate food etc we have to improve good cholesterol food, making balance of food while eating.

iv.               Eating of high protein, calcium, such as fish, milk, bread etc make healthy life.

v.                 Connecting, staying together, sharing love help to improve old age healthy.      

c.              Write an essay on Care of Elderly Citizens in about 300 words.


Elder citizen is a process of growing old with distinct physical, psychological and social change with the passing of time. It is important to visit them often. They need the social interaction with you and you get the reassurance that they are safe, healthy and in general, doing well. During your visit, it's always best to check around the house for any issues that may need to be addressed such as the overall cleanliness of the house or if anything is broken that may need to be fixed. Also, do a routine check of their food supply, laundry, mail, and plants.

    Be sure that they are appropriately supplied with their medications. It is important that all their prescriptions are filled and refilled as needed. If they are on a number of medications, it is best to buy a pill box organizer with compartments labeled with the days of the week as well as AM and PM doses. This can help simplify their medication taking process. Also, if a new medication is prescribed, be sure to ask the doctor or pharmacist about potential side effects or possible interactions with current medications.

  Most times your elderly loved ones are not comfortable or willing to talk about their finances. But you must try to have open discussions about their finances, especially if they live on a fixed income or there is a budget to be adhered to. It is important to keep your elderly loved one active and involved. Exercise is important to keep them healthy. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for the elderly to become isolated and lonely or even suffer from depression especially if they have lost their spouse. It is important that they remain involved with their family and friends or they may even want to venture out and make new friends. There are many resources in your community that offer things to do and place to go that will help your loved one stay social and active. Your loved one may not have the ability or desire to cook for themselves. It is important that they are well fed in order to stay healthy. You can prepare meals in advance for them. You can check into Meals on Wheels to see if they qualify. There are also many other deliverable meal plan options that your loved one may enjoy. Some of these meal plans can even accommodate special requests such as diabetic meals.

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