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In the Kingdom of Fools | Class IX | English | NCERT Solution

Lesson Architecture

Theme

Story-At-A-Glance

NCERT Solution

Extra Questions for Practice


Theme: The story highlights the fact that we should not fall prey to the traps devised by fools. Nor should we believe the sweet-sounding words of the people blindly. We should be rational and logical in our approach to interacting with people on a day to day basis. If we follow others blindly, we may be victim. In the story a guru decides to leave the kingdom of fools as the King himself made foolish laws, which his subjects had to blindly follow for the fear of death. But the disciple did not go with his guru and got into trouble. With his guru’s intervention only his life was rescued.


MAKING OF STRANGE LAWS IN THE KINGDOM OF FOOLS.


The king who ruled the Kingdom of Fools was extremely foolish, and he ruled with the assistance of an equally foolish minister. In order to be different from others kings, they turned night into day and day into night. They devised a strange rule for their subjects to follow. It was decided that their subjects should run their business only after it got dark. They should go to bed as soon as the sun was up. Anyone who violated the law would be condemned to death.


THE GURU AND THE DISCIPLE ARRIVE IN THE CITY


One day a guru and his discipline arrive in the city. It was broad daylight, but no one was around. They moved around the town till evening, when suddenly the whole town woke up and went about its business. The two men bought some provisions at the grocery store and were amazed at how cheap everything was. Everything cost the same –a single duddu-whether it was a measure of rice or a bunch of bananas. A vast quantity of food could be bought for a rupee.


THE GURU’S DECISION OF LEAVING THE KINGDOM:


The Guru could predict that it was not safe to stay in the kingdom of foolish king and his minister. He knew that in the kingdom of fools there was no certainty of life. He tells his disciple that the people living there are all fools, that their way of life couldn’t last and one never knew tht they would do next. So he expressed his opinion that both of them should leave the kingdom. His disciple, who was fond of eating cheap and delicious food, did not oblige his Guru. So the Guru left the kingdom of fools.

THE KING GIVES A STRANGE VERDICT :


One day a thief broke into a rich merchant’s house, and as he was fleeing with the things, a wall fell on him and killed him. The thief’s brother went to the king and demanded compensation. The king summoned the owner and told him that since it was his wall that had fallen on the man, he was guilty and must be punished. The merchant laid the blame on the bricklayer who had built the wall. When the bricklayer was brought and accused, he laid the blame on the dancing girl who had walked by and distracted him from his work. The dancing girl laid the blame on the goldsmith who had made her walk to his house many times as he had not completed making the jewellery she had asked for. When summoned, the goldsmith put the blame on the rich merchant who had demanded his jewellery to be made first as there was a wedding in the family. The king ordered the merchant to be put to death on a stake.


THE DISCIPLE FINDS HIMSELF IN A TRAGIC SITUATION


The stake built to execute the merchant is too big for him. On the behest of the king, his men went looking for a man fat enough to fit into the stake. The merchant was eventually selected for the hanging as he became fat on a cheap and rich diet and would easily fit into the stake. The disciple was brought to the palace for execution. However, he sent a silent prayer to his guru to rescue his life.


ARRIVAL OF THE GURU WITH AN INTELLIGENT PLAN


The guru who had magical powers responded to his disciple’s prayers. He arrived at the kingdom and share his plan to the disciple. Then he pleaded to the king that as a guru is greater than his disciple, he should be sent to the stake first and the disciple could be executed after the Guru. But the disciple kept fighting with his guru for his execution first.


KING’S INTERFERENCE IN THE FIGHT BETWEEN THE GURU AND HIS DISCIPLE


The king was puzzled and wanted to know why the Guru wanted to die. The guru took the king aside and told him that the stake was the god of justice and whoever was the first to be executed on it would be reborn as the king of the place and the next to be put on the stake would be reborn as the minister. He further added that he and his disciple became sick of leading the life of ascetics and wanted to be reborn as the King and the Minister.


GURU’S PLAN WORKS AND THE KINGDOM HAS A NEW RULER:


The king did not wish to dispense with his kingdom on his next birth. So he postponed the execution till the next day. At night he and his minister disguised themselves as the guru and disciple, and were taken to the stake and executed instead. On learning that the king and the minister were executed, the people of the kingdom became worried and chose the guru and his disciple as their next king and minister. All the old laws were changed and the kingdom was no longer a kingdom of fools.


RECAPITULATION:


  • In the kingdom of fools the king and his minister were idiots, they changed the day into night and the night into day.

  • Anybody who violated the rule would be punished , so people slept during the day and worked at night.

  • One day a guru and his disciple came, they were surprised to see this strange scene. They came to know they can buy anything for a single duddu.

  • The guru realized that it will be good to leave this place while the disciple remained there.

  • One night a thief died when he was stealing as the wall fell on him.

  • The incident was investigated and finally the rich merchant was ordered to death by the king.

  • The stake did not fit therefore the king ordered to find a fat man for the execution and the soldiers captured the disciple.

  • The disciple remembered his guru and prayed to save him.

  • Guru befooled both the king and his minister by saying that who so ever would die first he would become the king in next birth.

  • Both the king and minister agreed to die. After their death people begged the guru and his disciple to be their king and minister.

  • They accepted this and announced that now the day would be the day and the night would be night and nothing would cost a single duddu.

NCERT SOLUTION


THINK ABOUT IT


1. What are the two strange things the guru and his disciple find in the Kingdom of Fools?

Ans. The Guru and the disciple found that in the Kingdom of Fools people used to work during nights and sleep during days. Everything was cheap and cost the same.

2. Why does the disciple decide to stay in the Kingdom of Fools? Is it a good idea?

Ans. Everything was cheap in the Kingdom of Fools. The disciple had peculiarity of diet. He was tempted by the cheap food. So, he decided to stay in that kingdom. It was not a good idea to stay there for a long time as one could be in danger any time because of unpredictable behaviour of fools.

3. Name all the people who are tried in the king’s court, and give the reasons for their trial.

Ans. The owner of the house i.e. the merchant, the bricklayer, the dancing girl and the goldsmith were tried in the king’s court. They all were tried as the thief died when the wall of merchant’s house collapsed. The merchant was tried for building a weak wall. The bricklayer was tried for doing his work carelessly. The dancing girl was tried for disturbing the concentration of the bricklayer. The goldsmith was blamed for making the dancing girl walk up and down to his house a dozen times.

4. Who is the real culprit according to the king? Why does he escape punishment?

Ans. The merchant’s dead father was held responsible for making the wall weak. But according to the king the rich merchant was the real culprit because he had inherited both sins and riches of his father. He escaped the punishment because he was too thin to fit the stake.

5. What are the Guru’s words of wisdom? When does the disciple remember them?

Ans. The Guru was full of wisdom and knew well that the unpredictable behaviour of the fools could create danger anytime. The Guru’s words were, “They are all fools. This won’t last very long, and you can’t tell what they’ll do to you next”. The disciple remembered them when he was arrested by the men of the king to execute merely because he fitted the stake. It was because of the Guru’s words of wisdom that the execution was postponed.

6. How does the Guru manage to save his disciple’s life?

Ans. The Guru arrived on time to save his disciple and created a drama. He told the king that it was not an ordinary stake and whoever went to the stake first would become the king in next life. The second to die would become his minister. The king wanted to avail himself of the opportunity. The Guru and his disciple were released. Thus the Guru managed to save his disciple’s life.

TALK ABOUT IT

In Shakespeare’s plays the fool is not really foolish. If you have read or seen Shakespeare’s plays such as King Lear, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, you may talk about the role of the fool.


Ans: Google about the role of fools in the plays of Shakespeare and make a podcast on the same.

Do you know any stories in your language about wise fools. Such as Tenali Rama or Gopal Bhar? You can also read about them in Ramanujan’s collection of folk tales.

Ans. Class Room Activity.


EXTRA QUESTIONS:

  1. Why were the guru and the disciple astonished on entering the Kingdom of Fools?

  2. What advice did the Guru give to his disciple?

  3. Why did not the disciple listen the advice of the Guru?

  4. Why did the King decide to execute the merchant in spite of the later's defense?

  5. How did the dancing girl defend herself when she was summoned?

  6. How did the Guru trick the King and save the life of his disciple?

  7. How did the Guru change the old laws of the Kingdom?


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