Thursday, September 21, 2023

Lemon-Yellow and Fig by Manohar Malgonkar - Literary Reader 7 - Class 7 Q&A Solved

Summary of Lemon-Yellow and Fig

In the story "Lemon-Yellow and Fig," the protagonist is a young salesman who has recently secured a job selling saris and choli pieces in a shop in Bombay. His employer, Mr. Ratnam, hired him based on his perceived honesty. The protagonist takes his job seriously and is doing well, even making significant sales in a short time.

However, a strange coincidence occurs when two women, one wearing a distinct perfume, visit the shop on the same day. The first woman purchases a sari and pays with a one-hundred-rupee note, and the second woman, also wearing the same perfume, comes in later. The protagonist becomes suspicious, thinking they might be attempting a scam where one woman distracts him while the other claims to have given a one-hundred-rupee note.

To outsmart any potential trick, the protagonist discreetly removes the one-hundred-rupee note from the cash box, pretending to send it to his brother in another shop nearby. He then proceeds to serve the second woman, who buys two saris, paying with ten-rupee notes. Everything seems fine until the arrival of Mr. Ratnam, the owner.

Mr. Ratnam conducts a stock check and praises the protagonist's customer service skills, mentioning that he had sent his daughter and sister to test his honesty. However, when they open the cash box, they discover that a hundred rupees are missing. The protagonist is stunned and cannot explain the discrepancy. Mr. Ratnam, disappointed and believing in the apparent theft, expresses his regret that the protagonist, who has such an honest face, has lost his job.

The story ends with the protagonist, now unemployed, seeking new opportunities and emphasizing his honesty.


Here is a list of some of the less common words from the story along with their meanings:

1. Saris - Traditional Indian women's garments, typically made of silk or cotton and draped elegantly around the body.
2. Choli - A short-sleeved, midriff-baring blouse worn with a sari.
3. Rupees - The currency used in India and several other South Asian countries.
4. Munim - An accountant or clerk responsible for financial matters.
5. Accomplice - A person who helps another in committing a crime or wrongdoing.
6. Superstitious - Believing in supernatural influences or events, often without logical reasoning.
7. Formality - An established or conventional practice or procedure.
8. Cursory - Hasty, done quickly with little attention to detail.
9. Discrepancy - A lack of compatibility or similarity between two or more facts or pieces of information.
10. Denomination - The face value or worth of a banknote or coin.
11. Scam - A fraudulent or deceptive scheme to trick or defraud someone.
12. Hunch - An intuitive feeling or guess based on limited information.
13. Prosperous - Successful, flourishing, or wealthy.
14. Complained - Expressing dissatisfaction or annoyance about something.
15. Simultaneously - At the same time, concurrently.
16. Satisfied - Pleased, content, or fulfilled.
17. Stock-taking - The process of counting and assessing the items or merchandise in a shop or inventory.
18. Disappointed - Feeling let down or unsatisfied due to unmet expectations.
19. Pocket - In this context, it means to steal or take something secretly.
20. Bohni - The first sale of the day in a shop, believed by some to influence the day's success.

Let's Infer

Q1. The narrator describes an experience that he had (Tick the right answer.)
a. a long time ago.  b. in the morning.

The narrator describes an experience that he had:
b. in the morning.

Q2. I have lost my job. What is the job that the narrator is referring to?  Did he like his job? How can you tell?

The job the narrator is referring to is selling saris and choli pieces in a shop. The narrator seemed to like his job because he mentions that it was a good job, and he was beginning to excel at it.

Q3. I was lucky to get the job.' Why does the narrator say this? 

The narrator says, "I was lucky to get the job" because Mr. Ratnam hired him based on a hunch that he had an honest face. The narrator recognises the opportunity and the trust placed in him, considering himself fortunate to have obtained the position.

Q4. Why do you think the young lady gave the narrator a one-hundred- rupee note rather than 40 in, say, ten-rupee notes?

The young lady gave the narrator a one-hundred-rupee note instead of smaller denominations to create an opportunity for a potential scam. By giving a higher denomination, she could later claim to have given a one-hundred-rupee note and demand change, even if she hadn't.

Q5. How did the narrator conclude that the two customers belonged to the same household? Did he guess correctly? How do you know? 

The narrator concluded that the two customers belonged to the same household because both women wore the same distinct perfume, which made him suspect a possible trick or scam. However, he later realises that he misjudged them, as Mr. Ratnam's visit confirms their legitimacy.

Q6. 'She took both the saris and paid for them: ninety rupees I looked at the notes carefully. I wondered if this was a new angle to the old trick. Why did the narrator examine the notes? What had he already concluded about the two women? Why was he not sure that it was the same 'old trick"?

The narrator examined the notes carefully because he suspected that the two women might be attempting a scam similar to the "old trick" where one distracts the shopkeeper while the other claims to have given a larger denomination note. He wasn't sure if it was the same trick because the second woman paid for the saris with ten-rupee notes, not a large denomination note.

Q7. Was Mr Ratnam's visit to the shop related in any way to the visit of the two ladies to the shop earlier? How do you know? 

Mr. Ratnam's visit to the shop was related to the visit of the two ladies. He sent his daughter and sister to test the narrator's honesty, as he wanted to ensure that he could trust the new salesman. This connection is evident when Mr. Ratnam mentions their visit and the one-hundred-rupee note during his conversation with the narrator.

Q8. What did Mr Ratnam do when he found that a sum of one hundred rupees was missing from the cash box? Why did he do so?

When Mr. Ratnam found that a sum of one hundred rupees was missing from the cash box, he expressed his disappointment and believed that the narrator had stolen the money. He took this action because he assumed the narrator was responsible for the missing funds based on the discrepancy he noticed during the stock check.