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'Hunger' Reference to the Context class 9 and 10 ICSE by Nasira Sharma

1- "with thoughts such as these crossing his mind , Rizwan stood at a shop selling cold drinks, looking for someone who worked for a living was not a shop-owner. ....., without any greeting placing a hand on his shoulder, enquired, "Your name?"

Question a- Who was Rizwan? Where was he standing and why?

Ans. Rizwan was an educated unemployed youth who earned his livings doing odd jobs like selling cold drinks. Through the help of one a cquaintance he somehow was successful in getting a job as a journalist in the Kihaan Newspaper. But there was a condition in the job as he would be considered suitable only on the basis of the articles he would contribute to the newspaper. Rizwan was standing in a crowded market near a cold drink shop, looking for someone to interview who is earning for livelihood but he is not a shop owner.

b-What thoughts crossed Rizwan's mind as he stood in the crowded market place?

Ans. Rizwan’ thoughts were engaged in thinking about the present prevailing condition of the society. The market atmosphere was crowded with people buying the expensive things. They were busy in eating and buying though the prices were soaring high. Rizwan was engrossed in thinking about how unemployment was prevailing in the society but people were still spending money on their food.

c-Who was the man walking in Rizwan's direction? What load was he carrying and why?

Ans: Kasim, a rag-seller was walking in the direction of Rizwan. As Kasim was a rag-seller he was carrying bundles of old clothes for selling so that he can earn something for his and his family livelihood.

d-Why did Rizwan stop at the man?

Ans: Rizwan stopped Kasim to take his interview in the crowded market. Rizwan has been instructed by the newspaper company to take interview of five people Who are earning but are not a shop owner by profession.

e-Why didn't Rizwan exchange any greetings with him? What did it tell about Rizwan's character?

Ans. Rizwan was looking for people to interview them to accomplish his task. He thought that it is insignificant to greet someone who belonged to lower strata of the society. Therefore he did not greet Kasim. Rizwan used to follow double standard of the society. Therefore he never used to greet anyone in the office as well as people from lower standard of the society.


2-"Don't get angry, Chcacha.All I asked was, where do you live..........no, but who are you?"

a-Who is the first speaker in these lines? Whom is he addressing? Why?

Ans: Rizwan is the first speaker in the given lines. Rizwan was addressing to Kasim to interview him. The newspaper company will offer the post if only Rizwan fulfills the orders then only he will be considered for the job. Therefore he wanted to interview Kasim for the job.

b-Why does Chacha get angry?

Ans: Chacha has been referred to Kasim and he was getting angry because Rizwan was forcing him to take his interview. He was fed of the questions of Rizwan.

c- Who are the people in Chacha's family? What is said about them?

Ans: Chacha possessed a small family of wife, son and father. There was no one except him to earn money because his son was only four years old who used to run around and chase dogs. Also his father was old enough to do anything.

d-How was the government apparently helping the poor farmers? What was Chacha 'S attitude towards the policies of the government? Why?

Ans. The government was helping poor farmers by providing land for farming. Chacha's attitude towards government was negative. As the government always used to make promises but nothing was done for the poors.

e-Who is 'tout’? What does the first speaker tell us about his profession?

Ans: A 'tout' is a person who solicits votes. The first speaker is Rizwan who is a journalist looking for people to interview them.


3-"Who was Shah?.......tell you anything?"

a-Who are the first speaker in these lines? Where are they present at the moment?

Ans: Rizwan and Kasim are the speakers in these given lines. They are present at the market place which is heavily crowded with people.

b-Who is the Shah referred to here? Explain the context in which he is referred to.

Ans: 'Shah' has been referred to as the ruler of Iran and Iran was going through the Islamic Revolution process. Rizwan, the interviewer mentions about the 'Shah' while interviewing the rag-seller, Kasim.

c-What does the second speaker say about what his father told him?

Ans. The second speaker that is Kasim says that his father had told him that his father died of hunger.

d-What do we get to know about the Shah's reign from the answers given by the second speaker?

Ans. The answer given by the second speaker reveals that during the Shah's reign there was widespread poverty. e-What does the second speaker's son do? What plan does his father have for the boy?

Ans. The second speaker's son was a child of four years who used to play around the village chasing dogs.


4-"Try to understand what am I saying.............But why"

a-What does Rizwan want to make the rag seller understand?

Ans. Rizwan wanted to tell the rag-seller, Kasim that the government was helping the poor farmers.

b- Do you think Rizwan was really sent by the government? Give a reason in support of your answer.

Ans: No,Rizwan was not sent by the government because he was interviewing on behalf of Kihaan newspaper.

c-Why does Kasim say that he did not want a better life?

Ans: Kasim said that he did not want a better job because he was satisfied with his lot and he had no faith in the promise made by the government for the welfare of the people.

d-What similar things, according to Kasim, happened on an earlier occasion? How did it affect his life?

Ans. The similar things which happened with Kasim earlier, included the promises made by the government to improve the lot of the poor and the government's total apathy towards the poor's conditions. There was no effect in his life and he has to earn his livelihood being a rag-seller.

e- Where does Kasim spend his nights? Why?

Ans: Kasim used to spend his nights in front of a shop under a bridge. Kasim used to sleep there because he had no home of his own.

f-Why does Kasim say that they couldn't meet the next day? What did he do next?

Ans: Kasim said that they could not meet each other the next day in the market because Kasim was going to his village. Kasim then told Rizwan that it was now time for him to start the work and carry his good.


5-"The rag-seller did not stop...............Kihan newspaper"

a-Why did the rag-seller simply walk away?

Ans. The rag-seller simply walked away because he did not want to waste any more time in discussing about the political promises of the government. It is because the government used to make a lot of such fake types of promises and purposely denies to fulfill it after coming in power.

b-What made Rizwan feel helpless?

Ans: Rizwan felt helpless after interviewing Kasim as the rag seller did not provide his address to Rizwan. c-What were the conditions laid down by the newspaper office, based on which Rizwan would be considered for the job?

Ans. The conditions laid down by the newspaper office based on which Rizwan would be considered for the job is that he has to contribute to the office a set of five articles comprising of interviews taken of different people regarding the reforms made by the government.

d- What made the task difficult for Rizwan?

Ans. The cause of Rizwan's difficulty was the lack of information regarding the permanent address of Rizwan. e-What personal problems did Rizwan face at the moment?

Ans. Rizwan was an educated unemployed person who was himself undergoing certain problems in his own life. His father died two years ago and his mother was ill. Moreover his two younger brothers were dropped out of their school for not paying the fees on time. he did not possess a permanent job to support his family and the household.


6-"AT seven, he was to submit the first interview at the newspaper office........was empty except for the bus pass."

a-What was Rizwan thinking of as he walked to the newspaper office? Why did he feel dejected?

Ans: Rizwan was thinking about the unending problems in his life that basically included the sickness of his mother and his brothers being dropped out of the school. Rizwan somehow managed to take the interview of a rag seller, Kasim but Kasim did not have any permanent address that made the task of Rizwan incomplete. This made him dejected over the matter. b-How was Rizwan's conduct with men at the newspaper office different from that with Kasim? What does this tell us about him?

Ans. At the office The conduct of Rizwan was totally different from that with Kasim. he greeted everyone nicely though he joined the office that very day. The given event tells us about the double standard followed by Rizwan while meeting with people who belonged to different stratas of life.

c-What did Rizwan do before submitting the interview at the newspaper office? Why?

Ans. before submitting the interview in the office Rizwan penned down his own name and address on the interview of Kasim. Rizwan did this because he was in the urgent requirement of a job. Therefore, he did not fail to leave any mistakes in his work.

d-As Rizwan came out of the newspaper office, what satisfaction did he feel? Why was he worried at the same time?

Ans: A Rizwan came out of the newspaper office he was satisfied that he was able to submit an interview in the office. This made him contended that he had at least a job for the next day. Rizwan was worried at the same time because he had no money at the present time as well as no food to serve his stomach as he felt hunger pangs.

e-Why did Rizwan want to reach home as quickly as possible?

Ans. It is universal truth that everyone wants to go home after the end of day's work. Similarly Rizwan desired to reach his home after his day's work. He was tired as well as suffering from hunger pangs.

f-How is socio-economic inequality brought out in the story?

Ans. The author has minutely brought out the socio-economic inequality prevalent in the society through this story 'Hunger'. The setting of this short story is Iran when it was undergoing the Islamic Revolution. At that time some people possessed enough money to satisfy their hunger whereas some people hardly had money to satisfy their stomach. Rizwan was one of the youth who was undergoing the adversity of having no job and enough food. He received a temporary job at Kihaan newspaper. He was required to take interviews of five people then he only he will be considered permanent for the job. He manages to take interview of Kasim, a rag seller but he employs a quite formal behavior with him while at the office he greets everyone nicely. This states about the double standard followed by him. However, Iran was undergoing a tough economic condition as it failed to satisfy the demands of every section of the society.

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