|Watch this 1954 B& W Hindi Movie about
a brother and his sister. The movies shows their
relentless efforts and great fortitude to
lead a life of self-respect.
(Q & A)
Q1: What are the qualities of a gentleman?
- Hard working
Q2: Based on your reading of the story answer the
following questions by ticking the correct
(i) The driver did not approve of the narrator buying fruit from the two boys because:
(a) the boys were untidy and poorly dressed
(b) the strawberries were not fresh
(c) they were asking for a heavy price
(d) the driver did not approve of small boys who worked
Answer: (a) the boys were untidy and poorly dressed
(ii) The narrator was most impressed by the boys’:
Answer: (c) ability to perform many tasks
(iii) Nicola was not pleased when Jacopo asked the narrator to drive them to Poleta as he:
(a) did not want a stranger to become involved with their plans
(b) preferred going to Poleta by train so that he could enjoy the scenery
(c) did not want to ask anyone for favours
(d) did not want to take help from someone he did not know well
Answer: (a) did not want a stranger to become involved with their plans
(iv) The narrator did not go inside Lucia’s room as :
(a) he did not want to intrude into their privacy
(b) he thought that the boys would object
(c) Lucia would not welcome a stranger
(d) the boys would feel he was spying on them
Answer: (a) he did not want to intrude into their privacy
(v) The boys were the first to join the resistance movement against the Germans because :
(a) the Germans had hurt their sister
(b) the Germans ruled the city
(c) the Germans had ruined their family
(d) the Germans had destroyed their home
Answer: (d) the Germans had destroyed their home
(vi) The author did not speak to the boys on their return journey because
(a) he thought the boys would prefer to keep their secret
(b) he thought the boys were ashamed of their sister’s condition
(c) he thought they won’t tell him the truth
(d) he thought the boys might ask him for money for their sister.
Answer: (a) he thought the boys would prefer to keep their secret
Q3: What do you understand by the following statements
(a) “We do many things,sir,”Nicola answered seriously. He glanced at us hopefully.
Answer: The above statement means that both Nicola and Jacopo were trying very hard to earn their
living. At the same time they were expecting that the narrator also would ask for their services,
so that they could earn some money.
(b) He coloured deeply under his sunburn,then grew pale.
Answer: The statement shows that the boys were shy. Nicola felt embarressed when the narrator enquired about their earnings and what they do with the money. He was not used to such questions. Therefore, he grew pale.
(c) He smiled uncomfortably.”Just plans,sir,” he answered in a low voice.
Answer: Nicola felt uneasy when the narrator asked whether they had plans to emigrate to the States.
He was evasive and do not want to share their sufferings with anyone.
(d) Yet in both these boyish faces there was a seriousness which was far beyond their years.
Answer: Although the boys were very small, but they possess maturity in their understanding and work. They were extremely hard-working, sincere and committed to work. These qualities are very uncommon in children.
Q4: Why didn’t Luigi, the driver,approve of the two boys?
Answer: Luigi found both the boys shabby and uncouth. They had tangled hair, dark earnest eyes,brown skin and looked quiet ill-clad. They appeared to be pathetic. Moreover he thought that they might sell fruits that are not fresh.
Q5(CBSE 2011): Why were the narrator and his companion impressed by the two boys?
Answer: They were very impressed by the boys because they were highly committed and devoted towards work at such a tender age. They were ready to do all sorts of odd jobs to earn money. They
exhibited dedication,determination and sincerity while working.
Q6: Why was the author surprised to see Nicola and Jacopo working as shoeshine boys?
Answer: During his first meeting with Nicola and Jacopo, the boys were selling fruits. Next time, they were polishing shoes to earn money. So,it was a surprise for him to see that at this tender age, they were ready to do any type of work.
Q7: How were the boys useful to the author?
Answer: Nicola and Jacopo proved themselves useful. If they want a pack of american cigrattes, seats for the opera or the name of a good restaurant, Nicola and Jacopo could be relied upon to satisfy their needs.
Q8: Why were the boys in the deserted square at night? What character traits do they exhibit?
Answer: The boys were in the deserted square at night because the last bus from Padua was expected to come there at that time and they hoped to sell the bundle of unsold newspapers to the passengers in
the bus. They exhibited extreme hardwork, dedication, sincerity, determination, devotion towards work, tolerance,tremendous self respect and dignity.
Q9: The narrator asks the boys,” Must you work so hard? You both look rather tired.” The boys reply,”We are not complaining,sir.” What do you learn about the boys from their reply?
Answer: From their reply we can make out that the boys were highly commited and devoted towards work at such a tender age.They had extreme patience, endurance and tolerence. They were also extremely hard-working.They were non-complaining, rough and tough children who wanted to maintain their dignity and self-respect.
Q10: When the narrator asks the boys about their plans, they were evasive.Why don’t they disclose their problems?
Answer: The boys don’t disclose their problems to the narrator when the latter ask them about their
plans because they do not want to loose their dignity and self-respect by not asking anyone for
sympathy or financial help.
Q11(CBSE 2011): ‘When the resistance movement began secretly to form they were among the first to join. When the war was over and we had peace at last, they came back to their beloved sister.’
(a) Who are the “they” referred to here?
(b) Why did they join the resistance movement?
(c) What had happened to their sister?
Answer : (a) Here ‘they’ refers to the two brothers, Nicola and Jacopo.
(b) They joined the resistance movement because the war waged by Germany had destroyed their family. It had killed their father. Their house had been destroyed and the war had separated them from their sister.
(c) Their sister, Lucia, who wanted to be a singer, had tuberculosis of the spine due to cold and starvation.
Q12(CBSE): Why didn’t the two boys disclose their problems to the author?
Answer: Despite leading a destitute life, the boys didn’t disclose their problems to the author because they did not want their private suffering be made public. They would like to live with self-respect and had strong will power to accept responsibility for their own lives.