Monday, November 24, 2014

L-2 A Pair of Mustachios - English Elective Class XI Notes - Woven Words

L-2 A Pair of Mustachios


  1. What do you understand of the natures of Ramanand and Azam Khan from the episode described?

    Ramanand, the grocer and the money lender, is quiet cunning and possess a servile nature that is fit for his business of selling groceries and money lending. He never gets angry but prevails on his customers like Azam Khan with cleverness and by provoking the so called pride. It is also evident that Ramanand regards his customers as always right at least in principle. So he always keeps his business first and pride secondary.

    Azam Khan on the other hand is a victim of so called pride. He is still lost in the past glory of his forefathers. He is arrogant, full of anger and short sighted. He is ready to sell all his property for the sake of keeping Ramanand’s moustaches down, which was suitable to his(Ramanand) class. Obviously Azam Khan is living in his past. He is impractical, short tempered and doesn’t know what is good or bad for him.

  2. Identify instances in the story that show the business acumen of Ramanand.

    Ramanand is a good businessman. His business acumen is evident from the fact that he readily agrees to lower his moustache on Azam Khan’s request. But he lowers only one tip of his moustache just to cleverly provoke Khan to bring in more of his property for mortgage. Unlike Khan he never gets angry and keeps his business interests above all his priorities.

  3. Both Ramanand and Azam Khan seem to have very fixed views. How does Ramanand score over Azam Khan towards the end of the story?

    Ramanand and Azam Khan have a fixed view regarding themselves and each other. They are part of the social milieu that believes in the categorization of people on the basis of their moustaches. Ramanand belonged to goat class while Khan sahib belonged to tiger class moustache. They are both in harmony with the fact that they should not trespass into each other’s boundaries.

    Ramanand scores over Azam Khan at the end of the story by turning up the tip of his goat moustache so that it looked like a tiger moustache. This enrages Azam Khan and he is tricked into selling all his property to Ramanand.


  1. Comment on the way in which the theme of the story has been introduced.

    The theme of the story-mustachios has been introduced in a scientific but light manner. The opening lines describe the rigid habit of various sections of Indian society regarding wearing moustaches according to their class.

    The writer is actually ridiculing the social mores which force people to live within false pride and put their honor and property at stake for something that has no value in the modern world.

    The writer then moves on to narrate a story from his own village about Azam Khan and Ramanand. Azam Khan represents that class of society which is still living in the world of yore. Whereas Ramanand is the representative of the business class, which is always bent upon leeching people out of their money and property by hook or crook.

  2. How does the insertion of dialogue in the story contribute to its interest?

    Inclusion of dialogues in a story enables the writer to express things in their actual perspective. It allows him to include words and expressions which a writer normally would not write on his own. For example when Azam Khan gets angry he says to Ramanand: “You know what I mean, seed of a donkey!” or “I tell you, turn that tip down or I shall wring your neck.

    Such dialogues add a dramatic effect in the story and make it more lively and interesting.

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