Students of CBSE Class 12 can access English NCERT Solutions for Chapter 5 (Poetry) of Flamingo Textbook. The NCERT solutions have been provided after a detailed analysis of the marking scheme of CBSE by the subject experts. Chapter 5 of the Poetry section of the Flamingo textbook presents the lives of poor deprived people with pitiless clarity and with the deepest sympathy and humanity. Class 12th students can study the answers provided here to score well in school as well as Class 12th board exams.
NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English: Flamingo (Poetry) - Chapter 5: A Roadside Stand
Ques: Have you ever stopped at a roadside stand? What have you observed there?
Answer: (Share your own experience)
Ques: The city folk who drove through the countryside hardly paid any heed to the roadside stand or to the people who ran it. If at all they did, it was to complain. Which lines bring this out? What was their complaint about?
Answer: The relevant lines are:
“The polished traffic passed with a mind ahead,
Or if ever aside a moment, then out of sorts
At having the landscape marred with the artless paint
Of signs that with N turned wrong and S turned wrong”
Those stalls with inartistic signs stain the scenic beauty of the landscape according to the city residents.
Ques: Discuss in small groups.
The economic well-being of a country depends on the balanced development of the villages and the cities.
Answer: (Do it Yourself with a group of classmates)
Ques: What was the plea of the folk who had put up the roadside stand?
Answer: The poor farmers requested the passerby city dwellers to stop at their roadside stalls and buy something so that they too get a chance to earn their living, not just to make their ends meet but also to be able of affording some comfort in life.
Ques: Notice the rhyme scheme. Is it consistent or is there an occasional variance? Does it indicate thought predominating over sound pattern?
Answer: The rhyme scheme used by the poet is quite contradictory as the poem is not in free verse. In this poem, the poet addresses a serious issue. His emotions waver between remorse and anger. This also seems to have influenced the poem's rhyme scheme. The specific rhyme scheme also indicates his main concern when writing this poem was to reflect the villagers' plight rather than merely embellish his poem. And his thoughts appear to predominate over the pattern of sound.
Ques: The government and other social service agencies appear to help the poor rural people, but actually do them no good. Pick out the words and phrases that the poet uses to show their double standards.
Answer: The poet criticizes the government and other social service agencies' double standards which promise to improve the living standards of the poor farmers and show them the rosy side of life. And when the time comes to deliver on their promise, they either forget them or fulfill them with their own advantages in mind. They are named by the poet "greedy good-doers" and "profitable prey beasts" that "swarm over their lives." The poet says these greedy people make calculated and well-thought-out shrewd actions that are prey to the naive, ignorant farmers. Those clever people rob these modest and simple farmers of their peace of mind. The poet said,
That are calculated to soothe them out of their wits,
And by teaching them how to sleep they sleep all day,
Destroy their sleeping at night the ancient way.”
Ques: Notice the stanza divisions. Do you find a shift to a new idea in successive stanza?
Answer: The poet broke the poem down into four sections. Every stanza focuses on another facet of the poor villager's plight running a stall on the roadside. The poet introduces the character in the first stanza, the reason behind his establishment of a roadside stand and his plight. The second stanza focuses on how the Government and other social institutions abuse these poor farmers. The poem explains these farmers' childish waiting and the rich's attitude in the third stanza. It focuses, in the last stanza, on the actions needed to improve their lives.
Ques: What is the ‘childish longing’ that the poet refers to? Why is it ‘vain’?
Answer: The poet refers to the farmers' desire for customers as "childish longing" at their roadside stall. It is because nobody stopped and it was for asking direction or buying gas even if they did. This child-like waiting is, therefore, 'vain.'
Ques: Which lines tell us about the insufferable pain that the poet feels at the thought of the plight of the rural poor?
Answer: The poet, packed with empathy, can't bear the plight of the unassuming and innocent rural people. The lines underneath demonstrate his insufferable pain:
“Sometimes I feel myself I can hardly bear
The thought of so much childish longing in vain,
The sadness that lurks near the open window there,
That waits all day in almost open prayer”