1. Why didn’t he pay the school fees on the day he brought money to school?
Answer: The teacher who was in charge of collecting the fees was on leave on that day. So the child did not pay the school fees on the day he brought the money.
2. (i) What were the coins ‘saying’ to him?
(ii) Do you think they were misguiding him?
Answer: The coins were ‘saying’ to him to buy jalebis and enjoy them. The money was meant for the school fees and coins were tempting him to divert it for pleasure of jalebis.
3. Why didn’t he take the coins’ advice? Give two or three reasons.
Answer: He was an honest boy. He was studious and had a image to protect in the school. He did not want to misuse the money meant for school fees. He did not want to get caught doing wrong things.
4. (i) What did the oldest coin tell him?
(ii) Did he follow his advice? If not, why not?
Answer: The oldest coin advised him to buy jalebis on that day and pay the fees from scholarship money. The scholarship money was to arrive on the very next day. The boy was proud of getting scholarship and did not want to hurt his reputation so he did not follow the coin’s advice.
5. He reached home with the coins in his pocket. What happened then?
Answer: When he reached home the coins started to choke their voices in an effort to persuade the boy. Then the boy ran towards the shop selling jalebis to follow coin’s advice.
6. (i) Why didn’t he eat all the jalebis he had bought?
(ii) What did he do with the remaining jalebis?
Answer: The quantity of jalebis was too much to be finished by one child alone. He ate as much as he could. Later on he distributed rest of them to children in the gali.
7. “The fear was killing me.” What was the fear?
Answer: The fear of getting caught of doing the dishonest act was killing him. If he would have refused to have dinner then everyone would have asked for the reason. He could not even fake an illness because he feared that the doctor would be in a position to know about jalebis.
8. “Children’s stomachs are like digestion machines.” What do you understand by that? Do you agree?
Answer: This statement is to convey the robust digestive ability of children’s stomach. As children are constantly growing and spend their time in lots of physical activities so usually they can digest more than usual diet.
9. How did he plan to pay the fees the next day?
Answer: He was expecting his scholarship to come the next day. From that money he had planned to pay his fees.
10. When it is time to pay the fees, what does he do? How is he disobeying the elders by doing so?
Answer: After he fled from the school he reached the railway station. His elders had always advised him against crossing the railway line, but he was hell bent on crossing that line.
11. What was the consequence of buying jalebis with the fees money?
Answer: The consequences of buying jalebis were worse than what the boy expected. It was as if even the God wanted to teach him a lesson. He got the news that his scholarship money would be paid the next month. He was at a loss for how get out of that situation. So, he fled from the school and went to sit under an isolated tree near the railway station to hide himself from everybody.
12. His prayer to God is like a lawyer’s defence of a bad case. Does he argue his case well? What are the points he makes?
Answer: He made good arguments in his defence. He gave examples of his being an ideal child till the jalebi mishap. He said that he was a good student and was a good follower of the religious scriptures as well. So God should help him out of the bad situation he was in.
13. He offers to play a game with Allah Miyan. What is the game?
Answer: He said that he would run to touch the signal and come back and in the meantime the God can put four rupees either in his bag or below the rock. This would delight him.
14. Did he get four rupees by playing the game? What did he get to see under the rock?
Answer: Magic doesn’t happen in the real life. He didn’t get the desired money under the rock. When he lifted the rock he was horrified to see a hariy worm coiled up like a coin.
15. If God had granted his wish that day, what harm would it have caused him in later life?
Answer: If God had granted his wish that day it would have been bad for his future. There was a danger of him falling into the bad habit of misuse of money. He would have become dependent on the God for all problems of his life.
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