Horegallu - Assignments

Sample Answers

1.  Horegallu is a stone bench.

2.  The travelers blessed the horegallu in the village because
    a) It provided them a place to rest
    b) It helped them quench their thirst
    c) They would often meet up with old friends
    d) By resting and venting out their worries they would regain strength to go on with their remaining journey
Ans: d

3.  Rewrite the sentence given below by substituting the words in italics without any change of meaning.
    Cold water would be kept in clay pots close to the bench.

4.  Identify the figure of speech used in the sentence
    The banyan tree was like a massive umbrella with its branches providing shade and succour to the travelers.

5.  Why did grandfather love to spend hours every day sitting under the tree?
Grandfather knew that just like a horegallu that helps people unburden themselves, an empathetic listener can help people unburden their worries and problems by simply listening to them.  He knew that it was essential in any journey.  He was becoming a horegallu for the villagers by listening to them.

 6.  Horegallu gives everyone the opportunity to regain their strength.  What does the author try to indicate here?
A man carrying a heavy load gets tired on the way.  He needs a horegallu to unburden himself and regain his strength to continue the journey.  Just like that people are carrying mental and emotional burdens.  An empathetic listener can help them to unburden themselves and regain their strength to continue their journey of life.

7.  How did Ratna remind the author of the old stone bench?
Ratna told the author that just by listening to the troubles and worries of her colleagues, she was relieving their burden short while.  This would give them strength to pick themselves up and carry on with their journey.  This was exactly what her grandfather was doing back in the village.  He too had told her the same thing.  So Ratna reminded the author of her own grandfather.

8.  List the qualities of a good listener.
Patience, Sympathy, Non-judgemental attitude, Ability to keep secrets, Not betraying other people's confidence and love.

9.  Can we relate grandfather and Ratna to a horegallu? Why?

A horegallu is a stone bench.  It used to be a common sight on every country road in the past.  But today with all the transport facilities available, they have become outdated.  People carrying heavy loads on their heads would unload them on the horegallu and sit on it to take rest.  After taking some rest, they would regain their strength and continue their journey.

Like physical horegallus, people need emotional horegallus as well.  We all go through troubles and worries at some point in our lives.  In those moments we need somebody to rely on for support.  Such a person is taking the role of a horegallu. 

In the story we see two human horegallus.  The grandfather used to sit on the horegallu, listening to the problems of the villagers.  In the modern context, we see Ratna, a clerk in a Mumbai office listening to the troubles of her colleagues during lunch breaks.  Both of them are doing a much-needed social service.  People often do not need expert advice to regain their confidence.  They just need an empathetic listener.

Human horegallus are increasingly becoming necessary in the present world.  People are busier and they have less opportunities to socialise and make friends.  People have become more selfish and the number of people who are ready to listen to others is shrinking.  Like the real horegallus, human horegallus are also disappearing fast.  But actually, we need more of them.  We can also become horegallus to each other.

10. Imagine yourself to be Nomita and narrate your problems to Ratna in about 75 words.

Hello Ratna, I am Nomita. I am a little upset about what happened at home yesterday.  My husband Ajit belongs to a rich joint family.  We live there with more than fifty family members.  Unfortunately, I come from a poor family. 

My widowed mother writes letters to me seeking financial help once in a while.  My husband has an ugly habit of opening my letters.  For that matter he even hides my letters.

Yesterday I came across on such letter in his pocket.  He had kept it from me deliberately.  It was my mother's letter seeking immediate help.  When I confronted him, he said that he would do it again and I would not be able to do anything.  This was humiliating.  As I have no income of my own, I have to depend on him for money.  He is questioning my self-esteem. 

In a fit of anger, I tried to set fire to my sari.  He got panicked and put out the fire.  But I am unable to share this to anyone at home.  I can't even tell my own mother.  Back in my village, everybody thinks that I am living like a princess and my husband is a large-hearted man.  I am keeping all worries to myself.  I needed somebody to share this. 

Thank you very much for patiently listening to me.  Your mere presence gives me some confidence.  You don't look at me with judgemental attitude.  After telling you this, I get some relief. Thank you for sparing your time for me. Thanks again.

A summary / review of "Horegallu".
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