Memoirs of Chota Sahib | AHSEC Class 12 English Question Answer | Class 12 English Important Questions Answers Assam | NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English | AHSEC English Textbook Question Answer Assam | HS English Question and Answer Assam | AHSEC English Question and Answer Assam | Class 12 English | Flamingo


Memoirs of Chota Sahib

Very Short Answer Type Questions: (1 Marks)

1. How did John Rowntree relate to Assam?
Ans: He was the last British Senior Conservator of Forests of Assam.

2. Here, in the lesson, the writer mentions about an Island. What is it?
Ans: Peacock Island.

3. Where is Peacock Island situated?
Ans: At Guwahati.

4. “Sometimes we have unusual visitors” Who were these unusual visitors?
Ans: Animals, one of which was a tiger.

5. What was the headquarter of the Kamrup District?
Ans: Guwahati.

6. What was the bordering Himalayan state of Manas Sanctuary?
Ans: Bhutan.

7. What was the favourite site for the Governor’s Christmas Camps?
Ans: The bank of the rivers of Assam.

8. What was the task given upon him by the Governor?
Ans: The writer’s task was to build Christmas Camps on the bank of the rivers.

9. Why are the paddy fields divided into small enclosures?
Ans: To prevent the flood water from running away.

10. Where were the two bungalows situated?
Ans: One at Kulsi and another at Rajapara.

11. What disturbed the writer at Rajapara bungalow?
Ans: Bats.

12. What type of trees surrounded the bungalow at Kulsi?
Ans: Teak trees.

13. Who is the ‘Chota Sahib’ in the ‘Memoirs of a Chota Sahib’? [2015, 2018]
Ans: He was the last British Senior Conservator of Forests of Assam.

14. What position did John Rowntree hold before leaving Shillong a few days after independence? [2016]
Ans: Senior Conservator of the forest of Assam.

15. Where did John Rowntree and his family make their first home at Guwahati? [2017]
Ans: John Rowntree and his family make their first home in a bungalow on the bank of Brahmaputra.

16. How did John Rowntree find the weather when he arrived at Gauhati? [2018]
Ans: John Rowntree fond that the weather was cold.

17. Name the book from which “Memoirs of a Chota Sahib” is taken. [2019]
Ans: “Memoirs of a Chota Sahib” has been taken from the book ‘’A Chota Sahib: Memoirs of a Forest Officer””

Short Answer Type Questions: (2 Marks)

1. Give a brief description of Peacock Island. [2014 2016, 2019]
Ans: Peacock island was located in the middle of the river Brahmaputra. When viewed from Rowntree’s bungalow on the other bank, it offered a splendid view with the dome of a Hindu Temple just visible through the trees. The author said jokingly that he never discovered peacocks but only monkeys on the island.

2. What does the Round tree state about the large, ‘Bheel’ close to the bungalow at Rajapara? [2015]
Ans: Close to the bungalow at Rajapara, there was a ‘Bheel’ where an earthquake had lowered the surface, and the land become inundated with water. It was an eerie ( strange and freighting) spot where tree skeletons still rose out of the water- a reminder that it had once been dry land.

3. What unusual visitor did Rowntree have in his bungalow one night? [2018]
Ans: Although Gauhati was said to be the port entry into Assam, most of the travellers passed through between Calcutta and Shillong or to districts further up the valley. The narrator had unusual visitors, for example, one of which was a tiger that had been washed up by a flood. The imprint of its foot was visible through the compound of the bungalow.

4. What is a mar boat and how is it operated? [2019]
Ans: The author gives a description of a mar boat-it was a ferry, consisted of a plank platform covering two open boats placed alongside one another. These were either paddled across the river or connected by a running cable to another stretched across the river. These were pushed forward from one side to the other by the force of the current.

5. What does Rowntree say about the river banks in the Manas Sanctuary? [2017]
Ans: The author gives very little information on Manas Wild Life Sanctuary. He says that in the Manas Sanctuary which was bordering the Himalayan state of Bhutan, there were few rhinos. There were full of mahseer (fish) in the rivers.

6. Give the author’s description of a sale forest.
An. According to the author, the south bank was more homely and distances were less and the terrain smaller than the north bank. The reserve forests were mostly in one block, not scattered. The south bank was full of low hills and valleys, the trees interspersed with villages and cultivation. The forests were like the English woodland with Sal tree. There were two comfortable bungalows in the forests used for their shelter. One was at Kulsi, very beautifully situated on a wooded spur above the river, the other was at Rajapara.

7. What is the belief about the dividing channel between Peacock Island and the mainland of Guwahati that the author mentions? [2015]
Ans: In that time, it was believed that if this channel between Peacock Island and the mainland of Guwahati ever dried up completely, it would indicate the end of the British Raj. In some years, it was about to dry up. The writer says that he was ignorant whether, in the time of the independence (in 1947), the channel was dried up or not, because, he would be no longer in Guwahati in that time.

READ MORE  Magh Bihu Or Maghar Domahi | Class 12 English - AHSEC

8. Describe the author’s experience of crossing a flooded river on horseback on the North Bank of the Brahmaputra. [2016]
Ans: Once, the narrator crossed a flooded river on horseback. With difficulty, he persuaded his horse to plunge into the water, then slopped over his croup and hung on to his tail, which he was able to use as a rudder. When the narrator pushed the horse to the right, it veered to the left and when he pushed to the left, the horse veered to the right and in this way, eventually, they made a safe landing on the other side of the river.

9. What was the impact of the earthquake on the heel near the bungalow?
Ans: There was a large heel (wetland) close to the bungalow. An earthquake had once lowered the surface of it and the land became inundated with water. It was a strange spot where tree skeletons still rose out of the water which reminded that once there had been dry land.

10. Why did a European family lease an area in the forest? Were they successful in their task?
Ans: Right in the middle of the forest, a European family, husband, and wife had leased a piece of land from the forest department to grow (simolu) tree for their match factory. They tried to protect their miles of land by giving electric fencing in an attempt to keep out the deer, but they were not successful in their attempt, as the deer were concerned about the matter, they jumped over it. The narrator never experienced an electric fence before and it needed the utmost care. He was doubtful whether it brought them profit or not.

Short Answer Type Questions: (3/4 Marks)

1. Briefly describe the scene observed by the author from the veranda of his bungalow on the bank of the Brahmaputra.
Ans: The author gives a very beautiful description of the scene observed from the veranda of his bungalow. The bungalow was situated on the bank of the river Brahmaputra and from it; the view of the river is very distinct and beautiful. In front of the bungalow was a raised portico and it was used as a carport and on top, a veranda from which the narrator and his companions had a splendid view of the river and its shipping and even the Himalayas.

In the centre was the Peacock Island with a Hindu temple, and the dome of the temple was only visible through the trees. The narrator jokes saying that though the name of the temple was Peacock, he only saw there monkeys, not peacocks.

2. What does the author say about the importance of Guwahati? Is the statement true in our time today also?
Ans: Although Guwahati was said to be the port entry into Assam, most of the travelers passed through between Calcutta and Shillong or to districts further up the valley. The narrator says about the geographical location of Guwahati. Guwahati was the headquarter of the Kamrup district. It was extended to both of the banks of the river Brahmaputra. The north bank had its own characteristics-a vast, lonely flat ageless land between the sandbanks of the Brahmaputra and the Himalayan foothills.

The statement is not true in our time today. Now Guwahati is not only the headquarter of Kamrup district, but it is also the headquarter as well as the capital of Assam. There is now no more forest areas or heels as mentioned by the author. It is now filled with houses and structures of concrete.

3. What character of the North Bank of the Brahmaputra does the author refer to?
Ans: The north bank had its own characteristics-a vast, lonely flat ageless land between the sandbanks of the Brahmaputra and the Himalayan foothills. It was a strange place as the rivers dried up in the hot weather or suddenly disappeared upon the ground. The narrator says that sometimes they had hard times for water.

They had to dig for water, which was so dirty that it had to be cleaned by dropping into the bucket to precipitate the mud. There were numerous heels (wetlands) full with wildfowl, peafowl walked through the grass. In the Manas Sanctuary which was bordering the Himalayan state of Bhutan, there were few rhinos. There were full of mahseer (fist) in the rivers.

4. Relate the author’s experience of the road accident during the monsoon on the North Bank.
Ans: As the author expresses, there was the utmost probability of the road accident during the monsoon season in the muddy roads of the North Bank. It caused great difficulty in travelling to different places on the muddy roads. The muddy roads became unusable by normal cars and the Jeep was not invented till then. Once the narrator was touring with his family on the north bank, and they returned late. The roads were still motorable but driving because distinctly risky.

Most of the main roads were built on top of embankments to raise them well above the normal flood level and these roads were narrow, single track affairs. The road, on which they were moving, became increasingly greasy, and finally, they slithered over the edge into a paddy field some six feet below the road. Paddy fields were divided into small enclosures by low banks so that flood water would not run away and at last, they had one of the roughest rides of his life and ultimately they found a way back onto the road.

READ MORE  The Tiger King | Class 12 English - AHSEC

5. Relate the author’s reminiscence of the forest bungalow at Kulsi.
Ans: The author became nostalgic remembering his old days. There were too comfortable bungalows in the forests used for their shelter. Once was at Kulsi, very beautifully situated on the wooded spur above the river, the other was at Rajapara. The second one was also beautiful and charming but in the roof of the bungalow, there were bats.

The narrator confesses that Kulsi was his favourite place. The bungalow was surrounded by teak plantations, planted some sixty years before and in that time, they became almost mature.

6. Relate the author’s observation on the use of mar boats as a mode of river transport in Assam.
Ans: The author gives a description of the mar boats. Generally, crossings were made by mar boat. He gives a description of a mar boat-it was a ferry, consisted of a plank platform covering two open boats placed alongside one another. These were either paddled across the river or connected by a running cable to another stretched across the river. These were pushed forward from one side to the other by the force of the current.

This locally made technique was very useful, but regular adjustments were required according to the rise and fall of the water level. A whole series of Ghats or landing places had to be constructed at different levels of the river bank. But, fortunately, traffic was light and although crossing took time, there were few delays.

7. Describe the author’s experience with bats in the Rajapara forests bungalow.
Ans: The author gives a vivid description of the Rajapara bungalow. This second bungalow was also beautiful and charming but in the roof of the bungalow, there were bats. The dropping of the bats always reminded them about their presence and they had to always bear the fusty smell of the bats. The fruit-eating huge bats were larger in number and they were less smelly.

They had wings about five feet of span and they lived in a tree outside the bungalow and came out at dusk in search of food. They looked ghostly gliding through the air on silent wings. There was a large heel (wetland) close to the bungalow. An earthquake had once lowered the surface of it and the land became inundated with water. It was a strange spot where tree skeletons still rose out of the water which reminded that once there had been dry land.

8. Give a description of the bungalow where the author made his first shelter.
Ans: After the long dusty journey throughout India, the writer and his companions arrived at Guwahati and made their first shelter on the bank of the river Brahmaputra. By this time, the cold weather was getting controllable and the climate was also becoming bearable. The Public Works Department had given the walls of the bungalow, where the narrator stayed, and a cost of fresh lime wash and had painted the woodwork sufficiently with cart oil.

The bungalow was situated on the bank of the river Brahmaputra and from it, the view of the rivers is very distinct and beautiful. In front of the bungalow was a raised portico and it was used as a carport and on top, a veranda from which the narrator and his companions had a splendid view of the river and its shipping and even the Himalayas. In the centre was the Peacock Island with a Hindu temple, and the dome of the temple was only visible through the trees.

9. Give a geographical description of Guwahati as mentioned by the author.
Ans: The narrator gives a geographical location of Guwahati. Guwahati was the headquarter of the Kamrup district. It was extended to both of the banks of the river Brahmaputra. The north bank had its own characteristics-a vast, lonely flat ageless land between the sandbanks of the Brahmaputra and the Himalayan foothills. It was a strange place as the rivers dried up in the hot weather or suddenly disappeared underground. The narrator says that sometimes they had hard times for water.

They had to dig for water, which was so dirty that it had to be cleaned by dropping into the bucket to precipitate the mud. There were numerous heels (wetlands) full with wildfowl, peafowl walked through the grass. In the Manas Sanctuary which was bordering the Himalayan state of Bhutan, there were few rhinos. There were full of mahseer (fish) in the rivers.

10. Why, according to the author, during the rainy season, life in the north bank was miserable?
OR: Relate Rowntree experiences of floods in Assam. [2018]
Ans: According to the author, during the cold days, the north bank of the Brahmaputra River was delightful. But in the rainy season, it was best to avoid the place as it was the hot bed of malaria disease. Travelling at this time may also cause problems. The rivers were over flooded and the bamboo bridges erected at the start of the cold weather were washed away. These bridges swayed and creaked alarmingly when a car passed through it, but were immensely strong and extremely useful.

READ MORE  Lost Spring | Class 12 English - AHSEC

Once, the narrator crossed one of these flooded rivers on horseback. With difficulty, he persuaded his horse to plunge into the water, they slipped over his croup and hung on to his tail, which he was able to use as a rudder. When the narrator pushed the horse to the right, it veered to the left and when he pushed to the left, the horse veered to the right and in this way, eventually, they made a safe landing on the other side of the river.

11. How does the narrator describe his experience on the dusty road of Assam?
Ans: The narrator gives a vivid description of the dusty roads of Assam of that time. When they started their travel, before the rain broke, the roads, were so dry that the surface was almost invisible because of the dust. Driving was very difficult and no one could say whether he would be able to reach is destination safely or not. At one place, construction of road had been in progress and one of the favourite hazards of road workers, a raised ground (ramp), lay concealed from sight under a dust cloud.

There were no warnings signs used for the travellers, or if there were, those were invisible because of dust. It was about six inches high. In the car, there were the narrator, his wife, the baby, and her ayah, their servants and other camp equipments. It was strange that not a single spring of the car was broken and the writer expressed his gratitude towards the engineers but at the same time, he says that their bones were left unbroken as because they were packed like sardine fished in the car.

12. What was the author’s observation on teak and rubber plantation in Assam?
Ans: The bungalow at Kulsi was surrounded by teak plantations, planted some sixty years before and in that time, they became almost mature. The growth of the teak was so rapid in the climate of Assam that there could not be grown first class teak, and the local variety was never up to Burma standards though useful for furniture wood. Close by was a rubber plantation of the Focus elastic variety. But for some years, there had been no tapping as Indian rubber was no longer able to compete with para rubber commercially.

Focus realistic belongs to the fig family, and there are several species of this family found in Assam. Some of these trees grow to an immense size, having started life as climbing epiphytes on other trees. Eventually, the host tree becomes completely encased by the focus which forms a smooth bark around it, the host dies and the epiphyte takes over. Some rubber trees send down aerial roots like the banyan tree from their branches which help to buttress the huge bulk of the tree.

13. Give an account of the author’s experiences of the floods on the North Bank of the Brahmaputra during the monsoon.
Ans: During the cold days, the north bank of the Brahmaputra River was delightful. But in the rainy season, it was best to avoid the place as it was the hot bed of malaria disease. Travelling at this time may also cause problems. The rivers were over flooded and the bamboo bridges erected at the start of the cold weather were washed away. These bridges swayed and creaked alarmingly when a car passed through it, but were immensely strong and extremely useful.

Once, the narrator crossed one of these flooded rivers on horseback. With difficulty, he persuaded his horse to plunge into the water, then slipped over his croup and hung on to his tail, which he was able to use as a rudder. When the narrator pushed the horse to the right, it veered to the left and when he pushed to the left, the horse veered to the right and in this way, eventually, they made a safe landing on the other side of the river. Generally, crossings were made by mar boat.

He gives a description of a mar boat-it was a ferry, consisted of a plank platform covering two open boats placed alongside one another. There were either paddled across the river or connected by a running cable to another stretched across the river. These were pushed forward from one side to the other by the force of the current. Once the narrator was touring with his family on the north bank, and they returned late.

The roads were still motorable but driving became distinctly well risky. Most of the main roads were built on top of embankments to raise them well above the normal flood level and these roads were narrow, single track affairs. The road, on which they were moving, became increasingly greasy, and finally, they slithered over the edge into a paddy field some six feet below the road. Paddy fields were divided into small enclosures by low banks so that flood water would not run away, and at last, they had one of the roughest rides of his life and ultimately they found a way back onto the road.

1 thought on “Memoirs of Chota Sahib | Class 12 English – AHSEC”

Leave a Comment

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top