‘Leela’s Friend’ by RK Narayan – Questions and Answers(L.A.Q.), class 11, WBCHSE

1) “Don’t send him away. Let us keep him in our house.” – Who was the speaker and to whom was it spoken? About whom was it said? How did the person or persons spoken to react? [1+1+1+2 = 5] [Annual Exam. = 2015]

Ans. Leela, the daughter of Mr Sivasanker was the speaker and it was spoken to her father Mr Sivasanker.

It was said about Sidda who had just come to ask for a job in their house.

Mr Sivasanker was unable to make up his mind whether he should engage Sidda as a servant in their house. He called his wife who was also looked confused. But as soon as Leela saw Sidda she liked him and wished to keep him in their house. And the decision of employing  Sidda as a servant was confirmed by them.

2) “Sidda, come and play!” – Who is the speaker? What would Sidda do when he heard this call? What kind of games did the speaker play? [1++1+3 =5] [Annual Exam. = 2019]

Ans. Leela, the five years old daughter of Mr Sivasanker is the speaker.

When Sidda heard this call, he ran to Leela leaving any work he might be doing.

Leela flung her red ball at Sidda and he flung it back. When Sidda threw the ball into the sky, he told her that it had touched the moon and come back. Leela tried to find the traces of the moon but did not see it. Sidda managed to see Leela the traces of the moon peeping through his fingers. Sidda claimed how he used to touch the moon standing on the coconut tree on every big moon. Sidda showed his acquaintance with the moon as it was following them everywhere.

3) How did Leela try to make Sidda write? What was the result? [3+2 = 5] [Annual Exam. = 2014, 2020]

Ans. Leela got a great joy to play teacher to Sidda. Every day in the evening she used to hold a class for him. She had learnt two or three letters of the alphabet and could draw pictures of cats and crows. She made him squat on the floor with a pencil and asked him to copy whatever she wrote in the pages of her catalogue. In this way, Leela tried to make Sidda write.

The result was horrible. As Sidda was incapable of plying the pencil, he could not even remotely copy the crow or the letter ‘B’. Leela scolded him and redouble her efforts to teach. Sidda sought relief by saying that her mother was calling her for dinner.

4) “He looked her mutely, like an animal.” – Who looked at and to whom? What was the situation when this occurred? [2+3 = 5] [Annual Exam. = 2016]

Ans. The servant Sidda looked at Leela, the daughter of Mr Sivasanker.

One evening Leela’s mother noticed that the gold chain of Leela was missing. Sidda thought he would be accused of that and in fear of the police, he fled from the house. After four days, Sidda was arrested and brought back to Mr Sivasanker’s house. Leela was overjoyed. She did not want to know anything about the chain. She wanted to play with him. A strong bond of love and affection was grown between them. When they did not find any answer about the chain from Sidda, the inspector ordered the constable to take him to the police station. Leela clung to his hand and Sidda looked at her mutely.

5) “The inspector was furious…………….” – Who was the speaker? Why was the inspector ‘furious’? What did the inspector inform? [1+2+2 =5] [Annual Exam. = 2022]

Ans. Mr Sivasanker, Leela’s father was the speaker.

The inspector was furious because Mr Sivasanker did not consult him before he appointed Sidda in his house as a servant.

The inspector informed Mr Sivasanker that Sidda was an old criminal. He had been in jail half a dozen times for stealing jewellery from children.

6) “In any case, we couldn’t have kept a criminal like him in the house.” – Who is the speaker? Who is the criminal referred to here? What led the speaker to such a comment? [1+1+3 = 5] [Annual Exam. =2018]

Ans. Mr Sivasanker is the speaker.

The criminal referred to here is Sidda.

When Leela’s chain was lost and Sidda fled from the house, Mr Sivasanker went to complain to the police station. There he came to know from the police inspector that Sidda had a criminal background. He had been in jail several times for stealing jewellery from children. This confirmation by the inspector was misleading and misunderstanding to Mr Sivasanker. When Leela’s chain was recovered, he did not show any sign of regret and uttered the words.

7)What did Leela’s mother do when she found the gold chain in the tamarind pot? How did Leela’s father react? [1+4 = 5]

Ans. When Leela’s mother found the gold chain in the tamarind pot, she took it to the tap and washed off the tamarind coating on it.

When Leela’s father was informed about the recovery of the chain, he ordered his wife not to give Leela any chain thereafter. All the problems were created on account of her. Mr Sivasanker did not feel any sympathy or regret for innocent Sidda. Sidda was unjustly put into jail. He would inform the inspector but would not keep the criminal in their house.

8) What message is conveyed by Mr Sivasanker’s final words in the story – “In any case, we couldn’t have kept a criminal like him in the house.” [5]

Ans. Mr Sivasanker’s final words convey a serious message prevailing in our society. Sidda’s criminal background is a curse for him. He is innocent in the case of Leela’s missing gold chain. Yet he was punished. The incident shows that a person who had a previous criminal record would always be neglected by society. They are arrested without any concrete evidence. They are prone to be suspected. On the other hand, we can say that it is a class contradiction between financially strong and weak people. Sidda represents the poor who are always oppressed by the rich.

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