Short Stories Read:
Do you have a good memory? Has your memory ever played any tricks on you? Forgetfulness often puts you in a tight spot. But forgetting a part of your life completely may drive you crazy. In this story, Bepin Babu goes nearly crazy because he cannot recollect his stay at Ranchi.
He is the protagonist of the story who thinks he is sick. He meets people who tell him about an incident which he does not remember at all. This confuses Bepin a lot because he feels only one memory is missing. He remembers everything well but not what the other gentlemen convince him of.
Short Stories For SUMMARY
This is a humorous story about a man named Bepin Choudhury who was made to think that he had completely lost his memory of a certain period in his life. Bepin Choudhury lived all alone and had few friends. He used to read books
to pass his time. He was fond of reading crime stories, ghost stories and thrillers. Every Monday he visited a shop in the New Market to buy books.
On Monday he found a man looking strangely towards him. He seemed surprised that Bepin Babu had not recognised him. He reminded Bepin of his Ranchi visit in 1958.
My name is Parimal Ghose.” “Ranchi?”
He introduced himself as Parimal Ghose and said that he was also with him. But Bepin Babu had never been to Ranchi.
He tried to convince Mr Ghose of this, but he would not agree. He told Bepin Babu many details of his private life and claimed that he himself had told him all these things.
He also narrated some incidents which occurred during his stay in Ranchi. Bepin Babu left the shop and tried to forget all about Mr Ghose but to no use. The man seemed to know some intimate details like the bag of books, his wife’s death, his brother’s insanity and so on.
But Bepin was dead sure that he had never visited Ranchi in all his life. Parimal Ghose had also said that Mr Dinesh Mukerji was in Ranchi at that time. Bepin Babu knew him well. So he thought of going to him. He, then, rejected the idea because it looked ridiculous and may even prompt Dinesh to suspect the soundness of his mind. Moreover, Bepin Babu feared that such a query would invite bitter sarcasm from Dinesh, who is known for his ruthless ways with his friends.
The next day in his office, the incident again came to his mind. He rang up Dinesh. To his surprise, Dinesh too confirmed his visit to Ranchi. In despair, Bepin Babu slammed the receiver and held his head with his hands. Bepin Babu had a reputation for being a tireless worker in his firm. But that day he was feeling tired and giddy. He left his office and came home.
When he lay in his bed, his servant told him that Chuni Babu wanted to see him. Though at first, he refused to meet Chuni Babu, the nagging thought about the trip which he had supposedly taken to Ranchi compelled him to seek confirmation about it from Chuni Babu. He hurried down the stairs.
He asked Chuni Babu if he remembered something about the trip to Ranchi. Chunilal confirmed the facts in such a manner that it struck him like a hammer. Bepin Babu sighed and shook his head. He decided to visit a specialist, Dr Paresh Chanda.
After listening to his problem, Dr Chanda said that he must have been to Ranchi but due to some reason the entire incident had slipped out of his mind. He suggested Bepin Babu go to Ranchi once again. The sight of the place might remind him of the trip.
Bepin Babu, as suggested by the doctor, undertook a visit to Ranchi. He went from place to place but nothing came to his mind. His head was getting burdened and he felt more sure that he had never been there.
So he fell down unconscious and came to himself only in the evening when he was discovered by a group of picnickers. The next morning, Bepin Babu was back home. He was totally hopeless. He realised that he was going to lose the balance of his mind. He immediately called Dr Chanda.
Then after a shower, he got into bed. Just then he received a letter from Chunilal. After reading it, he came to understand the entire episode. It was all planned by Chunilal who wanted to punish him for his unfeeling behaviour.
Now all the tension of Bepin Babu was gone.
So when Dr Chanda came, he invented a funny excuse. He said that he was fine. He had sent for him only for a painkiller as his hip was in pain due to a fall in Ranchi.
CHECK Part – I
Answer the following questions :
1 ) Why did the man stare at Bepin Babu in disbelief?
Ans. The man stared at Bepin Babu in disbelief because Bepin Babu did not recognise him even though the man was
sure that he knew him and had met him in Ranchi.
2 ) Where did Bepin Babu say he went in October ’58?
Ans. Bepin Babu said that he spent the Durga Puja of October 1958 with a friend in Kanpur and he didn’t go to Ranchi at all.
3 ) Mention any three (or more) things that Parimal Ghose knew about Bepin Babu.
Ans. Parimal Ghose knew the following things about Bepin Babu :
– That Bepin Babu slipped near Hudroo falls and hurt his leg.
– That Bepin Babu stayed in a Bungalow because he preferred food by Kawachi.
– That Bepin Babu’s wife died 10 years before his Ranchi trip in ’58.
– That Bepin Babu’s brother died insanely and that is why Bepin Babu did not want to visit the mental asylum in Ranchi.
Short Stories CHECK Part – II
1 ) Why did Bepin Babu worry about what Parimal Ghose had said?
Ans. Bepin Babu continuously worried about what Parimal Ghose had said because he had shown that he knew many intimate facts about him. He knew about the bag of books, his wife’s death and his brother’s insanity. Considering that Parimal Ghose knew so much about him, Bepin Babu couldn’t say with conviction that he was making a mistake about the Ranchi trip.
2 ) How did he try to decide who was right – his memory or Parimal Ghose?
Ans. He tried to decide whether his memory was right or Parimal Ghose by looking at his right knee where Parimal had claimed that there would be a cut. There was certainly a mark of an old cut. However, he could not decide if the cut was the result of his fall in Ranchi or due to some incident in his childhood. Then, he decided to ask Dinesh Mukerji, who according to Parimal Ghose was with him in Ranchi. He felt that asking him would put an end to his confusion.
3 ) Why did Bepin Babu hesitate to visit Mr Mukerji? Why did he finally decide to phone him?
Ans. Bepin Babu hesitated to visit Mr Dinesh Mukerji because he was afraid of the ruthless sarcasm he would have to face. He felt that if the whole story about Ranchi was false, then Mr Mukerji would think that he had gone insane.
Being constantly troubled by the incident at the bookshop and having no other means for verifying the claims of Parimal Ghose, Bepin Babu finally decided to ask Mr Mukerji. However, he decided to phone him because that way his embarrassment wouldn’t be visible to Dinesh.
4 ) What did Mr Mukerji say? Did it comfort Bepin Babu, or add to his worries?
Ans. Mr Mukerji said that they had indeed gone to Ranchi in ’58. This added to Bepin Babu’s worries as he could not figure out how he could possibly have forgotten about the trip.
Short Stories CHECK Part – III
1 ) Who was Chunilal? What did he want from Bepin Babu?
Ans. Chunilal was an old schoolmate of Bepin Babu. He had been having a rough time lately and had been coming to see Bepin Babu for a job.
2 ) Why was Dr Chanda puzzled? What was unusual about Bepin Babu’s loss of memory?
Ans. Dr Chanda was puzzled because he had never dealt with a case such as Bepin Babus. It was outside his field of experience. The unusual thing about Bepin Babu’s case was that he remembered everything in his past except for one particular incident. Dr Chanda said that Bepin Babu must have been to Ranchi. However, due to some unknown
reason, the entire episode had slipped out of his mind.
Short Stories CHECK Part – IV
1 ) Had Bepin Babu really lost his memory and forgotten all about a trip to Ranchi?
Ans. Neither had Bepin Babu lost his memory nor had he forgotten about a trip to Ranchi. The trip was just a story made up very cleverly by Chunilal to take revenge on his unfeeling old schoolmate.
2 ) Why do you think Chunilal did what he did? Chunilal says he has no money; what is it that he does have?
Ans. Chunilal wanted to take revenge on his unfeeling schoolmate. As he hadn’t any money, he could not plan an elaborate plan. The only thing he had in abundance was imagination. So he concocted a story to disturb Bepin Babu’s mind and make him suffer. Even though the plot hatched by Chunilal was cruel. It was quite ingenious.
4 ) The author describes Bepin Babu as a serious and hardworking man. What evidence can you find in the story to support this?
Ans. The author has described Bepin Babu as a serious and hardworking man. He worked daily in his office. It was a big firm and he was doing a responsible job. He had been with the firm for twenty-five years. He had a reputation for being a tireless, conscientious worker
5 ) Why did Bepin Babu change his mind about meeting Chunilal? What was the result of this meeting?
Ans. Bepin Babu changed his mind about meeting Chunilal because he thought that it might be possible that the latter remembered something about the Ranchi trip. When Chunilal confirmed that Bepin Babu had been to Ranchi, Bepin Babu decided to see a specialist doctor.
6 ) Bepin Babu lost consciousness at Hudroo Falls. What do you think was the reason for this?
Ans. Bepin Babu lost consciousness at Hudroo Falls because he had a fall. He had broken his hip.
7) How do you think Bepin Babu reacted when he found out that Chunilal had tricked him?
Ans. After finding out that Chunilal had tricked him, Bepin Babu must have been filled with remorse for his ‘unfeeling behaviour’ towards an ‘old friend down on his luck. He would have realised that he had indeed been a victim of forgetfulness as he had forgotten the meaning of friendship in a time of ‘affluence’.
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