|Name||An Astrologer’s Day|
|Author||R. K. Narayan|
An Astrologer’s Day by R. K. Narayan Brief Summary
“An Astrologer’s Day” is a short story by Indian author R. K. Narayan. The story follows an astrologer who makes a living by giving predictions to people in his village. One day, a man comes to him asking about his missing son. The astrologer, who has a reputation for being accurate, tells the man that his son is dead and gives him the location of the body. The man is shocked and leaves, but later returns to thank the astrologer, as the prediction was correct. The astrologer reveals that he had actually just made a lucky guess, and that he had no real supernatural powers.
The story explores themes of fate, belief, and the power of perception. The astrologer is a charlatan, but his clients believe in him, and his predictions seem to come true. The story also highlights the cultural context of India, where astrology and other traditional practices are still widely accepted. The story ends with the astrologer contemplating on his own existence and abilities, and the irony of having a real person seeking his help in knowing the future, when he himself is not sure of what he is doing.
An Astrologer’s Day Questions and Answers
Q1: What are the professional quipments autjor is taking about?
Ans: The Astrologer had his equipments packed in his bag which consisted a dozen cowrie shells, a square piece of cloth with obscure mystic charts on it, a notebook and a bundle of palmyra writing. He aslo had sacred ash vermilion with him.
Q2: How has the Astrologer mastered the art?
Ans: The Astrologer now has become a Veteran in astrology. The Astrologer had no knowledge of Astrology or Astronomy. He knew as little of it as his customers. He did his job through guesswork and though common understanding of human psychology. First he would let a customer speak for at least ten minutes. It gave him enough stuff for the answer. By keen observation he had made an analogy which he said to every customer.
He would say, “you are not getting the fullest results fro your efforts” or “is there any woman in your family who is not well disposed towards you” or “he gave an character analysis”
Q3: What happened when the Astrologer was packing up his things?
Ans: The Astrologer was packing his professional equipments and was about to leave. While packing he looked up and saw a man standing before him. He sensed a possible client and said “he looks so carewon” and asked him to sit and have a chat with him. The stranger grumbled some reply vaguely. And the stranger offered him another invitation to which stranger responded furiously.
Q4: What was the pact that was made between the Astrologer and the aggressive passer by?
Ans: The client said to the Astrologer that he had to ask questions and that he was ready to pay the price he wanted. But he challenged the Astrologer that he was found bluffing, he has to return his money with interest.
The Astrologer then said, if his answers prove satisfactory the client has to give him five rupees. To which the stranger denied. The pact was accepted after a little arguement and negotiation.
Q5: Why did the Astrologer run from his village?
Ans: The Astrologer fled from his village without any previous thought or plan. He came to the city and just like that become an Astrologer. By the end of the story we came to know that the Astrologer was indulged in a murder of a young man in his youth. In order to escape from police he fled to city.
Q6: How did he give his face the look of an astrologer?
Ans: He put sacred ash and vermilion on his forehead. He kept dark whiskers which streamed down his cheeks. He wound a saffron coloured turban around his head. This gave him the look of an astrologer.
Q7: Where did he sit every day?
Ans: He sat under the boughs of a spreading tamarind tree which flanked a path running through the Town Hall Park.
Q8: Who were the other professionals on the road where the Astrologer carried on his business?
Ans: There were professionals belonging to a variety of trade and professions on the road. Among them were medicine sellers, sellers of stolen hardware and junk, magicians, an auctioneer of cheap cloth and a vendor of fried groundnut.
Q9: What were the different names given by the vendor of fried groundnuts to his groundnuts?
Ans: The vendor of fried groundnuts gave fancy names to his groundnuts like Bomabay Ice-Cream, Delhi Almond, Raja’s delicacy and so on.
Q10: What was the source of light used by the astrologer during the evening hours?
Ans: The astrologer did not have his own loght arrangement. He transacted his business by the light of a flare which crackled and smoked up above the groundnut heap nearpy. The place was also lit up by the lights in the nearby shops and by gas lights, cycle lamps and naked flares stuck on poles by the other vendors.
Q11: How does Narayan describe the astrologer’s knowledge of astronomy?
Ans: Narayan, the author, says that the astrologer was as much a stranger to the stars as were his innocent customers. It means that the astrologer did not have any authentic knowledge about astronomy.
Q12: How would the astrologer have done if he had continued to live in his old village?
Ans: If he had continued to live in his old village he would have carried on the work of his forefathhers-namely, tilling the land, living, marrying, and ripening in his cornfield and ancestral home.
Q13: How could the astrologer ‘guess’ his chlient’s problem?
Ans: The astrologer knew that the common problems faced by people were related to marriage, money and relations. Long practice had sharpened his perception. He never opened hid mouth till the other had spoken for at least ten minutes which provided him enough stuff for a dozen answers and advices.
Q14: What was the challenge thrown by the client to the astrologer?
Ans: The challenge thrown by the client was that he would ask the astrologer some questions, to which the astrologer should provide satisfactory answers. If he failed to do so, he would return the client’s money along with interest.
Q15: How could the astrologer rightly guess the past of the client?
Ans: The astrologer knew the client very well since the days of his youth. When he was a silly youngster he had drank and gambled along witht the client and had almost killed him. Therefore he knew his past very well.
Q16: What did astrologer tell his wife?
Ans: The astrologer told his wife why he had ran away from home, settled in the town and married her. He told her that he though he had killed aman, but later came to know that he was alive.
Q17: What advice did the Astrologer give to the stranger?
Ans: The astrologer advised the stranger to go back to his village as early as possible, because he looked that his life was into much danger.
Q18: What di astrologer tell Guru Nayak about his enemy’s death?
Ans: The astrologer told the stranger that his enemy was dead. He has died four months back in a distant town. He had been crushed by a truck.
Q19: Why did the astrologer feel very uncomfortable in the presence of the stranger?
Ans: The astrologer felt very uncomfortable. When he recognised that tranger, whom he had stabbed and had pushed him into a deep well thinking him to be dead.
Q20: What was the load that the astrologer had been keeping in his mind and how did he get rid of?
Ans: The great load that the astrologer had been keeping in his mind was that he had murdered a person. He got rid of the fear when he saw him alive.