Plus One English Textbook Answers Unit 4 Chapter 2 The Serang of Ranaganji (Short Story)

Kerala State Board New Syllabus Plus One English Textbook Answers Unit 4 Chapter 2 The Serang of Ranaganji Text Book Questions and Answers, Summary, Notes.

Kerala Plus One English Textbook Answers Unit 4 Chapter 2 The Serang of Ranaganji (Short Story)

The Serang of Ranaganji Textual Questions and Answers

Question 1.
What was notable about the appearance of the Indian sprang?
Answer:
He was squat and looked very ugly. He was with short legs and a large disproportionate head.

Question 2.
Who were the passengers were on the Ranaganji?
Answer:
The passengers were on the Ranaganji were tourists and pleasure seekers.

Question 3.
Who was Miss Jope-Smith? Write a short character sketch.
Answer:
Miss Jope-Smith was a passenger on the Ranaganji. She was a thrusting person. She was over thirty but she dressed herself smartly and in a dashing style to look younger. She was a first class passenger on the Ranaganji. She was always seen with her male companion Ronnie. She was a snob and a big bore. Her comment aboutjhe serang was ‘an absurdly comic creature’. When, aTthe end of the story, she asks the narrator whether he had kept the serang in a cage, the narrator gave her a befitting reply. He said that he had kept the serang in a cage but all the animals were outside. He meant that she was an animal with her rude remark about people and her showing off nature.

Question 4.
What was the condition of the seamen who were brought by the serang to Dr Cronin?
Answer:
The seamen did not look well. They complained of general illness, strong headache and severe bone pains. They looked frightened, as the doctor began to examine them. Both had fever. Theirtongueswere covered with thick sputum. They had dry skin, which is nature’s gravest warning. The doctor then discovered hard little nodules under the wrist skin of each man. It was the sure symptom of smallpox.

Question 5.
How did AJ Cronin conclude that the seamen were inflected with smallpox?
Answer:
AJ Cronin concluded that the seamen were inflected wi.th smallpox because he discovered hard little nodules under their wrist skin. It was the sure symptom of smallpox.

Question 6.
Describe Captain Hamble. What was his reaction when he heard about the breakout of smallpox on the ship?
Answer:
Captain Hamble was a thickset man of fifty five. He was known as a strict disciplinarian. When the doctor told him that two of the deckhands had small pox, Captain Hamble’s lips drew tightly together showing his tension. He was also a just and fair-minded officer. When he heard about the breakout of smallpox on the ship, he asked the doctor to do his best to keep the disease frorn spreading. He also wanted others not to know of the disease as passengers would then get panicky.

Question 7.
Where and how was the shelter for the infected patients made?
Answer:
The shelter for the infected patients was made in the back part of the ship where it wouldn’t be so visible to others. Hasan was the main person who made the shelter. In an hour he erected a large canvas shelter. Mattresses and sheets were then brought up and the two patients were placed there.

Question 8.
How did the serang take care of the diseased patients?
Answer:
The serang was very sincere and compassionate in caring for the diseased patients. It was a situation to test the strongest nerves. But the serang was calm and undisturbed. In attending the patients, he seemed untiring. The doctor had to beg him to be careful and asked him not to go too close to the patients. But the serang was not afraid and he continued taking care of the patients in all possible ways.

Question 9.
What information did Dr Cronin collect about the serang?
Answer:
Dr Cronin I gathered some information about the serang’s past history. His name was Hasan. He was from the Punjab. But his parents had moved into south India. There like many others in the coastal region he had taken to the sea-faring life. For nearly 40 years, he had been travelling in the various oceans of the world. In the Ranaganji he had spent 15 years. He had no place on shore; he had no friends or family. He had never married. He was a Muslim. All his life he had acquired nothing, neither money nor property. What he had was worth a few rupees and it was in the ship.

Question 10.
What was Hasan’s attitude to life, as explained to Cronin?
Answer:
Hasan thought money was of no use for someone who had all that he needed. He was quite happy with the way he was. He needed no extra money for his service. He had no respect for money and he despised it. He was never worried about tomorrow.

The Serang of Ranaganji Textual Activities Questions and Answers

Activity -1 (Think and Respond)

Question 1.
Do you agree with A.J. Cronin’s remark that ‘the animals were all outside.’ Why?
Answer:
I partly agree with A.J. Cronin’s remark that ‘the . animals were all outside.’ People like Miss Jope- Smith and her companion Ronnie were definitely animals. They could not see a man as a man but as an animal. I don’t think all the 1500 passengers and the crew outside were as bad as these two people. That is why I said I partly, and not wholly, agree.

Question 2.
Do you think that A.J. Cronin should have reported the selfless efforts of Hasan to the authorities and recommended him for rewards and promotion?
Answer:
In normal circumstances, I would say ‘yes’. But in the case of Hasan he is already happy with his life and his position. I don’t think any rewards and promotion would make him happier. His is a contented man and contentment can’t be got through rewards and promotion.

Question 3.
How is the world view of the passengers in general different from that of Hasan?
Answer:
The .passengers are mostly tourists and pleasure seekers. They find joy in partying and such things. They strive all their life for success and earning more wealth, as the doctor himself testifies. But for Hasan, happiness is service and he is contented. He is neither interested in parties nor in wealth or success.

Question 4.
“Why, naturally it is me.” These words show that Hasan is very ready to shoulder any responsibility happily. Comment on Hasan’s ability to volunteer at the time of an emergency.
Answer:
Smallpox is a deadly disease and it is very contagious. Nobody would like to go near a person afflicted with smallpox. Hasan is a serang and he is no way obliged to nurse the sick people. He could have easily said he would not take care of the sick, as it does not form part of his job obligations. But the moment the doctor asked who would help him the ready reply comes from Hasan. By volunteering to nurse the sick men, he was risking his life. It is not easy to find such good people in the world which strives for success and wealth. People like Hasan are very rare and such people will always come forward in case of any emergency.

Activity – II (Letter)

Question 5.
You know that A.J. Cronin, the physician of the ship is extremely impressed by the service of Hasan. Imagine that after the voyage, Cronin writes a letter to the director of the company which owns the ship Ranaganji, detailing the selfless service Hasan rendered during the voyage. He also requests the director to reward Hasan with a promotion in return for his service. Draft the letter which Cronin would write.
Answer:
Government Hospital
Lord Curson Lane
Calcutta
17 July 1940

The Director
Eastern Import Export Company
Strand
London

Dear Sir,
Sub: Hasan, the Serang on Ranaganji

Our last trip to Calcutta was quite eventful. Ranaganji had nearly 1500 passengers – mostly tourists and pleasure seekers. The voyage to Calcutta began favourably in calm, clear weather and we passed Aden without any incident. Now we were in the Arabian Sea.

To our dismay and horror we discovered that two of our lascar deck hands had small pox. When I reported the matterto the Captain, Mr. Hamble, he told me to keep the matter a secret as the news would spread panic among the passengers. I was quite worried and did not know what to do and how to cope with the problem. It was then I realized what a good man Hasan, our serang, was. He told me not to worry. He made a shelter in the stern of the ship into which the infected patients were moved. He volunteered to nurse them without worrying about his own safety. Later more workers were diagnosed with smallpox. In all we had 14 cases and Hassan took care of all of them without murmur and complaint. I was astonished at his selfless service and devotion.

Later two sick men died. Hasan sewed their shrouds and read loud a short passage from the Ramayana. We should know that he himself was a devout Muslim but he read the Ramayana because the persons who died were Hindus. It showed his religious tolerance. After that he cast the bodies overboard at midnight. When we reached Colombo the sick men were taken to the hospital. Hasan was in the forefront to help them, although some of them were with running sores of smallpox. Normally no one would dare to do such things. But Hasan did it. He really loved men.

It is difficult to find such unselfish and self-sacrificing people like Hasan. I strongly recommend that Hassan be given a promotion in recognition of his great services to the company. He should be made the Chief Petty Officer of Ranaganji.

I will talk to you more about the trip to Calcutta when I return to London.

With regards,

(A.J. Cronin)
Chief Physician of Ranaganji

Activity – III (Speech)

Question 6.
The Director of the Company receives a letter from A.J. Cronin. He is pleased with the service rendered by Hasan throughout the voyage. They arrange a special get-together of all the officials and crew of the ship. In that get-together, the Managing Director of the company announces that the company appreciates the service of Hasan and promotes him as the Chief Petty Officer of the ship. The Director invites Hasan to speak a few words on this occasion.
Answer:
Imagine that you are Hasan. What would be your reaction and feelings at this moment? Draft a speech that you would deliver on the occasion. My reaction would be that of gratitude to God and the company. Of course I will be happy on getting the promotion. When I am in a better position I will be able to give better service to people.

Dear Director, Dr. Cronin, respected officers and crew members, I am so happy to be given this kind of recognition by the Company and the officers. I don’t think I did anything great in serving the sick people in the ship.

Wasn’t it my duty to serve the suffering? Allah has given us this life to love and serve others. When we get a chance we should be able to of service to others.

I am a Muslim. But I believe we all are children of God. That is why I even read from the Ramayana some relevant part when I sewed the shroud for the dead people and wanted to cast them overboard. I was not worried about getting the disease because I felt that life is a gift from God. He will take it way whenever he likes. Whatever precautions you might take, you can’t prevent death from coming to you.

I don’t value money or position much. But I am happy that I am given promotion because it will help me to do more service to my brethren. I would like to end my humble words with a quotation from the Bible. It asks: What is the use of earning so much wealth in this world,’ if you lose your soul? So my advice to my friends is ‘Help others as much as possible.’

Before I close I want to thank Dr. Cronin and the Chairman forgiving me the promotion. I assure them that I will continue doing my best for the Company. May the Almighty Allah bless you all and thank you!

Activity – IV (Role-play)

Question 6.
Miss Jope-Smith soon hears about the promotion given to Hasan and the reason for the promotion. She feels sorry for her prejudiced remarks about him. She decides to meet Hasan in person, and congratulate him for his efforts and the promotion he has received.

Form pairs. Imagine that one of you is Ms Jose- Smith and the other is Hasan. Role-play the whole conversation between Jope-Smith and Hasan.
Answer:
Jope-Smith: Good evening, Hasan! I’m Jope-Smith, one of the travellers in the Ranaganji, going to Calcutta. Hasan: Good evening! Glad to you were on the ship.

JS: Congratulations on your promotion! You really deserve it.

Hasan: Thank you, Ms Jope-Smith. I thank Allah for all this wonderful things happening to me.

JS: I want to say one more thing to you. I want to say ‘sorry’.

Hasan: Say‘sorry’for what?

JS: For thinking ill of you and laughing at you. When I saw you first I talked ill of you for no reason. I guess I was very proud. I could never imagine that you were such a nice and brave person.

Hasan: I don’t think I am such a nice and brave person. I did what I ought to have done in the circumstances. When I knew some workers were having smallpox, had to take care of them. Does not Allah want us to help one another?

JS: You’re right, Hasan! We ought to help one another. I am ashamed of my prejudice. I’m sorry!

Hasan: It’s okay Madam! We all make mistakes. Forget it and be happy.

JS: Thank you, Hasan, I feel quite relieved now. Thank you very much.

Activity – V (Word power)

Question 7.
The parts of a ship Here is a picture of a ship. Mark as many parts as you know.
Plus One English Textbook Answers Unit 4 Chapter 2 The Serang of Ranaganji (Short Story) 5
Answer:
1. funnel
2. stern
3. anchor
4. hull
5. tank
6. bow’
7. mast
8. deck
9. cabins.

Question 8.
The crew of the ship Who are the professionals working in a ship? What do they do?

Professionals Duties
Captain the person in charge of a ship

Answer:

Professionals  Duties
Captain  the person in charge of a ship
Master  supervises the officers.
Boatswain  In charge of maintenance of the ship
Gunner  trains gun operators and is in charge of ammunition
Quartermaster  in charge of navigation and signals
Mate  Petty officer who assists and warrant officer
Doctor  in Charge of health
Lascars  Workers who do various small jobs in the ship

Activity – VI

Question 9.
The past participle as Adjective Study the following expressions carefully:
a. smartly-dressed woman
b. Well-bred voice
c. amused gaze
d. titled friends

The expressions smartly-dressed, well-bred, amused and titled are used as adjectives. They are participle forms of the verbs dress, breed, amuse and title.

A.J. Cronin has used many such expressions in the story. Find out more expressions from the story where the past participle forms of the verbs have been used as adjectives. Explain the meaning of these expressions to your friends.
Answer:
Added source – a source which is added to something,
Looked frightened – looked afraid
Thickly furred tongues – like fur
Young and inexperienced – not having enough experience
Lined and battered face – face full of creases and looked sad
I am overloaded and understaffed -1 have too much work, and very few workers
Baffled, I looked – worried and confused
Serang, who, undismayed – calm and cool
Protected from view-safe, hidden
Calm and unperturbed – undisturbed

Note: Prefixes like under-, over-, etc. can also be added to the past participle form of a verb to function as an adjective, e.g. over-crowded ship, understaffed crew.

Activity – VII (Think and discuss)

Question 10.
Adverbs of frequency
Read the notes and explanations given on below.
a. He had never married.
b. Money had no interest for him, he had always despised it.

  • What is the meaning of the words underlined?
  • What is the function of these words?

Language tips

  • ‘Never’ and ‘always’ are adverbs of frequency – which tell you how often an action is done.
  • Here is a continuum which will help you to understand some of the adverbs of frequency and their meanings.

Plus One English Textbook Answers Unit 4 Chapter 2 The Serang of Ranaganji (Short Story) 1

Practise: (Inversion of word order with adverbs)
The sentences 1-5 given on below contain errors. Identify the errors and correct them.
1. Seldom they have reached the office on time.
2. Only when the last visitor left the museum he closed the gate.
3. Little he knew about the nature of the job he was undertaking.
4. Not until next year, there will be a new vacancy.
5. Hardly I had reached the station when the train arrived.
Answer:
1. Seldom have they reached the office on time.
2. Nosoonerdidthe last visitor leave the museum than he closed the gate.
3. Little did he know about the nature of the job he was undertaking.
4. Not until next year will there is a new vacancy.
5. Hardly had I reached the station when the train arrived.

Activity-VIII (Passivisation)

Question 11.
Study the following sentences carefully:
a. Soon the sick men had been taken off to the hospital.
b. Mattresses and sheets were then brought up and the two patients were comfortably installed.

In both the above sentences, we are not told who did the action. The doer of the action is unknown.

Rewrite these sentences without changing the meaning. (Begin tije sentences with ‘they’)
Answer:
Soon they had taken off the sick men to the hospital. They brought mattresses and sheets and installed the two patients comfortably.

Plus One English Textbook Answers Unit 4 Chapter 2 The Serang of Ranaganji (Short Story) 2
Plus One English Textbook Answers Unit 4 Chapter 2 The Serang of Ranaganji (Short Story) 3
there is a chart that offers clues about the steps taken by Cronin and Hassan to prevent the spreading of smallpox in the ship. Go through it carefully and prepare a report of how they controlled the spreading of smallpox in the ship.

Hasan found two deck lascars with fever and he brought them to Dr. Cronin. Dr. Cronin examined both the patients. He found that they had smallpox. Hasan prepared an evacuation room and moved the patients there. On examining all the crew members Dr. Cronin discovered fresh cases of small pox. Dr. Cronin isolated all the patients and gave them treatment. He kept the outbreak of smallpox a secret from other passengers because it might scare them. There were altogether 14 patients. Two of the patients died. But the others survived. Dr. Cronin and Hasan were successful in preventing the killer disease from spreading.

The Serang of Ranaganji Textual Extended Activities Questions and Answers

Activity -1

Question 12.
Given below is a list of some of the cases in which first-aid would be required. You may add more to the list.
Answer:

  • Injured leg – bleeding
  • Fractured hand
  • Burnt fingers
  • Fits
  • Snake bite
  • Fainting
  • Asthmatic attack

What first aid would you give in these situations? Get the information from the internet or from a medical practitioner.

Here is an example: In the case of a snake bite, the first thing to be done is to prevent the spreading of the infected blood. Using a long piece of cloth tie the limb above the site of the bite. This will prevent the blood from spreading. Then with a sterilized blade or a knife widen the wound so that the infected blood can flow out. Then try to get medical help as fast as you can.

Activity – II (Read and compare)

Read the story “On Courage” by A.G Gardiner given on below of the Text.

On Courage

… But if I were asked to name the instance of individual action which had most impressed me, I should find the task more difficult. Should I select something that shows how war depraves, or something that shows how it ennobles? If the latter, I think I would choose that beautiful incident of the sailor on the Formidable.

He had won by ballot a place in one of the boats. The ship was going down, but he was to be saved. One pictures the scene: The boat is waiting to take him to the shore and safety. He looks at the old comrades who have lost in the ballot and who stand there doomed to death. He feels the passion for life surging within him.

He sees the cold, dark sea waiting to engulf its victims. And in that great moment – the greatest moment that can come to any man – he makes the triumphant choice. He turns to one of his comrades. ‘You’ve got parents,’ he says. ‘I haven’t.’ And with that word – so heroic in its simplicity – he makes the other take his place in the boat and signs his own death warrant.

I see him on the deck among his doomed fellows, watching the disappearing boat until the final plunge comes and all is over. The sea never took a braver man to its bosom. ‘Greater love hath no man than this …’

Can you read that story without some tumult within you – without feeling that humanity itself is ennobled by this great act and that you are, in some mysterious way, better for the deed? That is the splendid fruit of all such sublime sacrifice. It enriches the whole human family. It makes us lift our heads with pride that we are men – that there is in us at our best this noble gift of valiant unselfishness, this glorious prodigality that spends life itself for something greater than life. If we had met this nameless sailor, we should have found him, perhaps, a very ordinary man, with plenty of failings, doubtless, like the rest of us, and without any idea that he had in him the priceless jewel beside which crowns and coronets are empty baubles. He was something greater than he knew.

Question 13.
“The sea never took a braver man to its bosom. ” What does Gardiner mean by this expression? Do you agree with Gardiner? Write your views in a paragraph.
Answer:
I quite agree with Gardiner. The ship named ‘Formidable’ was sinking. Only a few could be saved by using the life boats. So lots were taken to see who will be taken in the boats to safety. A sailor gets the lot and he can board the boat to safety. The boat is waiting for him. He looks at his comrades who are doomed to death. The he turns to one of his comrades and tells him, ‘You’ve got parents, I haven’t.’ He then makes the comrade take his seat on the boat and thus signs his own death warrant. The doomed ship sinks taking with it the courageous sailor who offered his place to his comrade.

The sea never took a braver man to its bosom. Jesus said, “There is no greater sacrifice than giving up one’s life for his friend.” Here we see that happening. What a sacrifice! The story brought tears to my eyes and I was proud to know that there are still people like the sailor who chose to die for his comrade.

Now, examine the pictures on below carefully.
Plus One English Textbook Answers Unit 4 Chapter 2 The Serang of Ranaganji (Short Story) 4

Question 14.
Can you recognise the ship and the incident?
Answer:
The ship is The Titanic’ and the incident is its sinking on 14th April 1912, as it collided with an iceberg.

Question 15.
Do you know how the passengers and the crew of the ship responded to this situation?
Answer:
Yes, I know. They responded quite bravely and gallantly. Some passengers showed the greatest acts of courage, heroism and sacrifice.

Read and Enjoy

Question 1.
This poem is about one of the greatest tragedies at sea. On 14 April 1912, the Titanic, which carried 2100 passengers and crew, collided with an iceberg and sank into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. However, this tragedy brought out some of the greatest acts of courage and heroism.

The Serang of Ranaganji About the Author:

Plus One English Textbook Answers Unit 4 Chapter 2 The Serang of Ranaganji (Short Story) 6
– A.J. Cronin

A.J. Cronin (1896-1981) was a Scottish novelist. He was a physician by profession. He has published a number of world-famous novels. His strengths are his keen observation, his graphic description and his narrative skill. The excerpt is taken from ‘Adventures in two Worlds’, his autobiographical novel. It is an anecdote from his experience as a surgeon in the Royal Navy.

The Serang of Ranaganji Summary

Page 112:
A smartly dressed woman, who was a first class passenger on the Ranaganji asked her companion, pointing to a man, if he had seen such an absurdly comic creature. They were standing before me. The Ranaganji is a ship and it was about to sail from Liverpool to Calcutta. I and the lady and her companion were on the ship’s upper deck. Following their gaze, I saw a squat, very ugly native seaman, with short legs and a large disproportionate head. He was the Indian serang, orquarter-master(a small naval officer, in charge of navigational matters) of the ship. He was quietly supervising the crew of lascars (petty naval workers) who were completing the loading of the luggage. The companion of the woman said that the serang looked hardly human. He further added that by seeing the serang, one would think that Darwin was right.

The voyage began in calm, clear weather. We crossed the Bay of Biscay without suffering much from the turbulent waters. Soon we passed through the Strait of Gibraltar, passing through the calm Mediterranean under blue skies. The Ranaganji was a big ship, manned by white officers. The crew was entirely Indian. I was the physician on tie ship.

Page 113:
The ship was crowded with pleasure seekers and tourists. There was a large number of Anglo- Indian army officers. Many of them were with their wives and families. From the start, there was gaiety on board. The chief among the social promoters was Miss Jope- Smith. She was over 30, but she had a dashing style to look younger. She was snob and a bore. We reached Port Said. Everyone went ashore excitedly. They bought silks, shawls, cigarettes, scent and jewellery. We passed the Red Sea, and the barren rock of Aden. Now we were in the Arabian Sea.

The following morning, the serang, Hasan, came bringing with him two of his lascars (deck hands). He greeted me and then told me that those two men were sick. The seamen did not look well. They complained of general illness, strong headache and severe bone pains. They looked frightened, as I began to examine them. Both had fever. Their tongues were covered with thick sputum. They had dry skin, which is nature’s gravest warning. I then discovered hard little nodules under the wrist skin of each man. It was the sure symptom of smallpox.

I was young and inexperienced in my profession. I had not learned to control my feelings. My expression must have altered visibly. Although the serang said nothing, his face assumed a look of seriousness. I quickly went to the ship’s control room.

Captain Hamble was not there. He was in the chartroom below. He looked up as I burst in. I told him that two of the deckhands had small pox. I saw his lips drawing tightly together. He was a thickset man of 55 and a strict disciplinarian. But he was also a just and fair-minded officer.

Page 114:
He came close to me and told me that I was in charge of the health of the ship. It was entirely up to me. He could not give me any of his officers as he was overloaded and understaffed. But he would give me the serang, who was the finest man he had. He wanted me to keep the disease from spreading. He also wanted others not to know of the disease as passengers would then get panicky.

I left the chartroom realizing my grave responsibility. We were in the middle of the Arabian Sea with 1500 passengers aboard. There was no way of vaccinating them. Smallpox was the most deadly contagion.

Back in my surgery I found that one lascar was in the grip of violent rigour (rigidity of body) and his body was shaking. I told the serang that we had to isolate these men. There was no sick bay on board and not even an inch was available in the cabin space. Worried.

I looked at the serang. He looked undisturbed and told me that a shelter could be made on the rear-deck. It was very cool there with plenty of fresh air.

Plus One English Textbook Answers Unit 4 Chapter 2 The Serang of Ranaganji (Short Story) 7

In the back part of the ship, he began to work. In an hour he erected a large canvas shelter. Mattresses and sheets were then brought up and the two patients were comfortably installed there.

Our next step was to get the crew for a thorough medical inspection. One of the stokers (people who tend the furnace) who complained of fever and headache showed signs of the rash. He was placed with the other cases. I then asked Hasan who would help me in attending these men. Hasan told me that he would help me. I then told him that he should be careful as the disease was most contagious. Hassan told me he was not afraid.

Hasan and I sponged the patients and gave them medicines. We hung sheets soaked in disinfectant round the shelter. We set up a cooking stove where liquids could be heated and simple meals prepared.

The next day there was fresh cause for worry. Three new cases were found among the deckhands. The segregated men were much worse. The same afternoon 4 more of the crew were sick. We now had ten cases in our small isolated shelter. It was a situation to test the strongest nerves. But the serang was calm and undisturbed. In attending the patients, he seemed untiring. I had to beg him to be careful. I asked him not to go too close to the patients. Smilingly he asked me whether I was careful rrjyself. I told him I was and it was my work.

I was so weighed down by responsibility that I was a bit worried for myself. The ship was going with maximum speed. Colombo was the nearest port and it was still 8 days away. In the course of another 2 days, 4 more stokers became sick. Now there were 14. One of the earlier victims had gone into a coma. He seemed likely to die any time. Under this added worry I could not sleep.

The serang was always there helping me. When he stood in meditation, his long arms folded on his bare chest, motionless as a statue, even I felt comforted. When a sick man made any sound of pain, he would move towards him with help. He would return and then again fold him arms in prayer. The ship was moving forward with speed.

Hasan had no liking for speech. Still I gathered some information about his past history. He was from the Punjab. But his parents had moved into south India. There like many others in the coastal region he had taken to the sea-faring life. For nearly 40 years, he had been travelling in the various oceans of the world. In the Ranaganji he had spent 15 years. He had no place on shore; he had no friends or family. He had never married.

He was a Muslim. All his life he had acquired nothing, neither money nor property. What he had was worth a few rupees and it was in the ship. This thought pained me. In a moment of sympathy, I told him that in that emergency, the company ought to give him extra pay. He was silent for a moment and then asked me what use money had for someone who has all that he needs. He was quite happy with the way he was.

He was sincere and he needed no extra money for his service. He had no respect for money and he despised it. He had courage, self-control and faith. The men among whom he worked lived poor and died poor. It had become his habit not to worry about tomorrow.

Standing with him in the moonlight I felt a strange pain. Beside his simplicity the world’s values seemed worthless. A great party had started in the saloon. I had a passionate desire for success and wealth and I felt ashamed when I compared myself with this serang.

On the next day two patients died. Hassan sewed their shrouds. In his hoarse dnd low voice he read a short passage from the Ramayana before their bodies. They were wrapped in sailcloth, with a weight at their feet and were thrown overboard at midnight. No fresh cases developed. A week later we reached Colombo. Soon the sick men were taken to hospital. Most patients had passed the crisis. But three were in bad shape with running sores. They were carried in the arms of Hassan. I could see tears flowing through his dark cheeks.

Our passage through the Bay of Bengal was brief and uneventful. We soon reached Calcutta. Suddenly I heard the voice of Miss Jope-Smith. She was pointing to Hasan and telling her companion Ronnie that the ‘absurd creature’ was there again. Hasan was busy in the procedure of unloading the baggage. Then she turned to me and asked me where I had kept the absurd creature during the entire voyage. Did I keep him in a special cage? I told her that in a way he was in a cage. But all the animals were outside.

The Serang of Ranaganji Glossary

Plus One English Textbook Answers Unit 4 Chapter 2 The Serang of Ranaganji (Short Story) 8
Plus One English Textbook Answers Unit 4 Chapter 2 The Serang of Ranaganji (Short Story) 9
Plus One English Textbook Answers Unit 4 Chapter 2 The Serang of Ranaganji (Short Story) 10
Plus One English Textbook Answers Unit 4 Chapter 2 The Serang of Ranaganji (Short Story) 11

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