1. Comment on the influence of English – the language and the way of life – on Indian life as reflected in the story. What is the narrator’s attitude to English?
The story ‘Ranga’s Marriage’ is set in a village Hosahalli, which was in the erstwhile Mysore state. In those days, there were very few people in Hosahalli who knew English. Like today, even during those days, English occupied a very prominent place in the hearts and the minds of people. The village accountant mustered enough courage to send his son, Ranga, to Bengaluru for higher studies. When Ranga returned home, it became almost a festive occassion for the entire village.
People had a lot of respect for Ranga because he knew English, which was a very precious commodity, but very few people in the village knew English. Even a simple word in English like ‘change’ was not heard of. When Rama Rao’s son uses this word, even the narrator could not understand. He had to ask Ranga the meaning of the word. The author, in his narration, shows that he has a positive attitude towards English, but he also asserts that learning a foreign’ language or .knowing it need not affect our tradition and culture. This is evident by the emphasis on Ranga wearing the sacred thread and doing ‘namaskars’ to the elders.
2. Astrologers’ perceptions are based more on hearsay and conjecture than what they learn from the study of the stars. Comment with reference to the story.
In today’s India and India of yesteryears, there is not much of a difference as far as the belief in astrology is concerned. People believed in astrologers then and now. What we do not understand is that no one can predict God’s design. The astrologers like Shastri, themselves, do not really know the correct calculations of the planets, but they pretend to do so. Most of these predictions are based upon the information supplied earlier by someone. In the story, ‘Ranga’s Marriage’, the Shastri is very well tutored by the narrator in advance. He tells Ranga exactly the same thing what the narrator asks him. He pretends to do all the calculations and moves his lips but these are all pretentions.
3. Indian society has moved a long way from the way the marriage is arranged in the story. Discuss.
In the story ‘Ranga’s Marriage’, the entire process of choosing a bride for Ranga is based upon the system, which was followed long back in our country. Now the scenario has changed completely. Rarely, marriages happen at a young age. People have become conscious about the fact that if the marriage has to last, a certain sense of maturity is required and this maturity can be obtained through education only. When the boys and the girls decide to get married, they always make a conscious decision. Now-a-days in India, marriages take place after the girl and boy consent to do so. Sometimes, the parents and the society do not approve but the Indian law supports this decision. In the story, ‘Ranga’s Marriage’, the initiative for Ranga and Ratna’s wedding was taken by the narrator. However, these days, we see a lot of changes taking place as far as the marriage scenario is concerned in India.
4. What kind of a person do you think the narrator is?
Shyama, a person who is too attached to his soil and his village, is the narrator of Ranga’s Marriage. According to the story,he is a very simple and kind hearted person. He seems to have a lot of admiration for his village and knows the smallest tit-bits about his place.
The narrator seems to have a clever perception and is a good judge of people. He realises that Ranga is a good groom for Ratna. He, then wastes no time and does everything for their marriage to be solemnised. His efforts culminate in a happy ending, for which he earns a lot of respect. This is evident when Ratna and Ranga name their son after him.