Friday, September 3, 2021

The Tale of Melon City;NCERT Solutions and Summary for Class 11

                      The Tale of Melon City
                                              -Vikram Seth
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Summary:
"The Tale of Melon City" is a poem extracted from the book "Mappings" and is included in the "Collected Poems" by Vikram Seth.The poem describes about a king who carries his notion of justice a bit too far.

The poem begins with a description about the king who ordered an arch to be built.When he rode down thta arch,it hit his head and his crown fell down.It was because it was built too low.

The king thought it was dishonourable and thus commanded the chief of builders to be hanged.The chief of builders put the blame on the workmen who in turn,blamed the bricks.Teh king ordered the execution of the architect.The architect blames the king for the wrongly constructed arch.

The king's mind compelled him to form a counsel which would let him decide who is the real culprit.The king behaved like a fool at this moment and asserted that the nation wants a hanging and someone must be hanged immediately.

A noose was set up and each man was measured.But only one man fitted it and he was the King.The ministers heaved a sigh of relief upon finding someone to execute.According to old customs,anyone who would be passing the City Gate next would choose the king.The person was actually an idiot and used to  answer melons to ever question he was asked.So,when he was asked the same,he told that a 'Melon' would be sworn-in as the next King.The melon was given the throne and tne city lived happily ever after.

The message of the poem is quite unique.One may follow principles duely but should never go far in that path eventually leading to harmful circumstances.

Difficult Words:
1)Arch:A curved symmetrical structure                              spanning an opening.
2)Triumphally:Celebrating or commemorating a                           victory.
3)Thoroughfare:A main road in a town.
4)Edify:Instruct or improve someone morally.
5)Gallows:A structure used for the hanging of                        criminals.
6)Ordain:Order something officially.
7)Counsel:A formal advice.
8)Quavering:Shake or tremble during speaking.
9)Scaffold:A raised wooden platform.
10)Mused:Say to oneself in a thoughtful manner.
11)Noose:A loop with a running knot used to                          hang somebody.
12)Heralds:An official employed to oversee                              state ceremonial messages.
13)Reverently:With deep and solemn respect.
14)Laissez Faire:The policy of leaving things to                                  take their own course.

About Author:
Vikram Seth is an Indian novelist notable in this sphere.He is known for his books which are simple yet touching.He was born on 20th June,1952 at Kolkata of West Bengal.He has been presented with many prestigious awards such as Padma Shri,Sahitya Akademi Award as well as Pravasi Bharatiya Samman.

NCERT Questions:
A)Reading with Insight.

1)"TheTale of Melon City" runs like a folk tale.Once a fair and just king ruled over a state.He got an arch built across the thoroughfare.As he was passing below the low arch,it struck his head and he lost his crown.He thought that it was a disgrace and ordered the chief of builders to be hanged.The chief lay the blame on the workmen who further blamed that bricks were of the wrong size.The masons,however,shifted the blame on to the architect. The architect in directly blamed the king as he had amended his original plan. The king sought a wise men's council. He decided that anybody  who would be found guilty would be hanged. People and soldiers were becoming restless with the passage of time and demanded a hanging.Only the kings head could feed the nooe and he was eventually hanged. According to customs, it was decided that the person who would pass the City Gate next would choose the king. The person was actually an idiot and answered 'a melon' to everything he was asked. So,a melon was crowned the king finally.

2)The State where the king was just and placid seems to be a backward region full of ignorant fools and ruled by a whimsical king.The king's word is a command and unwritten law.The whole process of changing judgements on the respective appeals seemed like a mock trial.The ministers and councillors are selfish and speak highly of him to flatter him only.The people don't bother much about the king and want their survival only.

3)Various people advocate various means of maintaining peace and liberty in a State.We think the best course lies in good governance. Whatever is well administered is most fruitful for both the citizen as well as the rulers.A strong state is safe against any external threat. Free expression of opinions must be allowed but respect for law should also be observed. People should be conscious of their rights as well as responsibilities.

4)"The Tale of Melon City" is full of instances of humour and ironies. The way the people who are accused smear-campaign each other is quite funny. The king's anger and inability to act calmly also creates more humour. The king is hanged by his own order and the custom of choosing the next King further adds to the humour and irony of the story.

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