MEMOIRS OF A CHOTA SAHIB BY JOHN ROWNTREE : Question Answer

 Give short answer of the following questions.

a) Who is the ' Chota Sahib ' in the ' Memoirs of a Chota Sahib ' ?
= Our author John Rowntree who was the last British Senior Conservator of Forest of Assam is the ' Chota Sahib ' in the ' Memoirs of a Chota Sahib ' .

b)What position did the John Rowntree hold before leaving Shillong a few days after independence ?
= Before leaving Shillong a few days after independence, John Rowntree held the position of Senior Conservator of Forest of Assam.

c) Where did John Rowntree and his family make their first home at Guwahati ?
= John Rowntree and his family made their first home at Guwahati on the bank of the River Brahmaputra.

d) How did John Rowntree find the weather when he arrived at Guwahati ?
= When John Rowntree arrived at Guwahati, he found the weather cool and becoming bearable.

e) Name the writer of the prose piece, " Memoirs of Chota Sahib " .
= John Rowntree is the writer of the prose piece " Memoirs of a Chota Sahib " .

f) Who made their first home on the bank of the river Brahmaputra ?
= Our author John Rowntree made their first home on the bank of the river Brahmaputra.

g) How were the walls of the bungalow decorated ?
= The walls of the bungalow were decorated a coat of fresh limewash and had painted the woodwork with earth oil.

h) What are bheels referred to by Rowntree in the Prose piece " Memoirs of a Chota Sahib "?
= Bheels are the large body of water in the middle of land. An earthquake had once lowered the surface, and the land became inundated with water.

i) What shrine was there at the peacock Island ?
= There at the peacock Island there was the shrine of a Hindu Temple.

k) What creature did the writer notice at the Peacock Island ?
= At the Peacock Island the writer noticed only monkeys.

l) With what does Rowntree compare the sal forest ?
= Rowntree compares the sal forest with the English Woodland.

m) What are epiphytes ?
= Epiphytes are a kind of plant that grows on another plants just for physical support, not for nutrients.

n)What was a favorite site for the Governor's Christmas camp ?
= The bank of the rivers of the Manash Sanctuary was a favorite site for the Governor's Christmas camp.

o) At what time of the year was the North Bank delightful ?
= During the cold weather the North Bank was delightful.

p) Give a brief description of Peacock Island.
= In size The Peacock Island was not so big. It was situated in the middle of the river Brahmaputra. There was a Hindu temple in the island. Though it's name was peacock Island, but unlike it's name there was not a single peacock. Only monkeys were available in the Island.

q) What was the belief about the dividing channel between Peacock Island and the mainland of Guwahati ?
= There was a strong belief regarding the dividing channel between the Peacock Island and the mainland of Guwahati. The belief was that if this channel ever dried up completely, it would mean the end of the British Raj. Really, in the year 1947 this channel dried up so less that one could walk to the island.

r) Give a brief account of the forest bungalow at Kulsi .
= The bungalow at Kulsi was delightfully situated on a wooded spur above the river. It was the favourite bungalow of the author. It was surrounded by teak plantation, planted sixty years ago.

s) What happened to the Brahmaputra at the end of hot weather ?
= At the end of the hot weather the river Brahmaputra shrank and the distance between Peacock island and the mainland grew less. Only a dividing channel remained by the end of the hot weather.

t) What does Rowntree say about the river banks in the Manas Sanctuary ?
= Rowntree says that the rivers of the Manas Sanctuary were full of Mahseer and their banks were a favourite site for the governor's camp, and it was his task to build the christmas camps, for which he sometimes received a polite letter of thanks from the governor.

u) What did the writer notice about a large 'bheel' at  Rajapara ?
= There was a large bheel close to the bungalow at Rajapara. Originally, there was not a bheel . Once an earthquake had lowered the surface, and the land become inundated with water. In this bheel the author noticed tree skeletons rising out of the water that reminds that it had once been dry land.

v) What information does the author give us about Manas Wild Life Sanctuary ?
= Manas Wild Life Sanctuary was situated in the north bank of the river Brahmaputra. It is extended to the Himalayan state of Bhutan. The author says that it is the home of Assam Cheetals, rhinos and birds. He noticed  a few rhinos there. Once he witnessed the delightful sight of a she - sloth bear carrying her cuddlesome cub on her back. The rivers of the Manas Sanctuary were full of Mahseer, a kind of fresh water fish. Their banks were a favourite site for the governor's camps, and it was his task to build the Christmas camps, for which he sometimes received a polite letter of thanks from the governor.

Q) Relate the author's observation on the use of mar boats as a mode of river transport in Assam.
= During the rainy season the transportation in the North Bank became disconnect. The rivers were in flood and the bamboo bridges erected over the rivers were washed away. The roads became greasy and travelling on them was risky. More usually mar boat was used to across the rivers and it was the sole transportation. The mar consisted of a plank platform covering two open boats placed alongside one another. These were either paddled or connected by a running cable to another stretched across the river, were propelled from one side to the other by the force of the current.

            This ingenious device worked very well, but constant adjustments had to be made to allow for the rise and fall of the rivers. A whole series of ghats or landing places, had to be constructed at different levels on the river bank.

Q) Give an account of the author's experiences of the floods on the North Bank of the Brahmaputra during the monsoon.
= During the cold weather the North Bank was delightful. But in the rainy season it was best avoided. Travelling at this time of the year could also pose problems. The rivers were in flood and the bamboo bridges erected over the rivers washed away. The transportation became disconnect. Once the author had to across a flooded river on horseback. With difficulty, he persuaded his mount to plunge into the water. But unfortunately, he slipped over his croup and hung on its tail, which he was able to use as a rudder. When he pushed it to the right the horse veered to the left and when he wished to veer to the right he pushed it to the left, and eventually made a safe landing on the other side of the river. More usually, crossings were made in a mar boat, a tedious performances at the best of times. During the monsoon the roads of the North Bank became greasy and was quite risky to travel on them.

Q) What character of the North Bank of the Brahmaputra did John Rowntree refer to ?
= The North Bank had a character of its own. It was a vast, remote stretch of flat, ageless land between the sandbanks of the Brahmaputra and the Himalayan foothills. It was a strange place, where the rivers dried up completely in the hot weather and suddenly disappeared under the ground. The North Bank was the home of Assam Cheetals. During the cold weather the North Bank was delightful. But in the rainy season it was a hot bed of malaria and was best avoided.

Q) Give a brief account of the South Bank .
= South Bank was more homely than the North Bank. Its distances were less and terrain smaller. It was a country of low hills and valleys, the trees interspersed with villages and cultivation. There were two comfortable forest bungalows. One was at Kulsi and the other was at Rajapara.

Q. Give a description of the North Bank as mentioned in " Memoirs of a Chota Sahib ".

= The North Bank had a character of its own. It was a vast, remote stretch of flat, ageless land between the sandbanks of the Brahmaputra and the Himalayan foothills. It was a strange place, where the rivers dried up completely in the hot weather and suddenly disappeared under the ground. The North Bank was the home of Assam Cheetals. During the cold weather the North Bank was delightful. But in the rainy season it was a hot bed of malaria and was best avoided.

          Manas Wild Life Sanctuary was situated in the north bank of the river Brahmaputra. It is extended to the Himalayan state of Bhutan. The author says that it is the home of Assam Cheetals, rhinos and birds. He noticed  a few rhinos there.

            During the cold weather the North Bank was delightful. But in the rainy season it was best avoided. Travelling at this time of the year could also pose problems. The rivers were in flood and the bamboo bridges erected over the rivers washed away. The transportation became disconnect. More usually, crossings were made in a mar boat, a tedious performances at the best of times. During the monsoon the roads of the North Bank became greasy and was quite risky to travel on them.

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