An Astrologer’s Day

An Astrologer’s Day : R K Narayan

Punctually: at the proper time, on time, exactly, promptly
Equipment: necessary tools for particular purpose
Cowrie shells: a small sea creature with soft body and a brightly coloured shell
Obscure: unknown, vague, difficult to understand
Mystic: having magical qualities
Palmyra: a fan palm (Borassus flabellifer) grown in India, Sri Lanka, and tropical Africa for its durable wood, its edible fruits, its leaves used for covering, etc.
Resplendent: shining brightly
Sacred: holy
Vermilion: a bright red pigment
Sparkled: shining brightly
Gleam: light reflected from something
Continual: repeated, frequent
Prophetic: having power to predict
Considerably: to a great extent or degree
Enhanced: made better or more attractive, intense
Whiskers: hair growing on the sides of someone’s face or chicks
Streamed down: stretched out with a wavy motion, to extend, wave or float
a half-wit’s eyes: a stupid, foolish person
to crown: to dignify, elevate, perfect, raise
wound: coil, wrap around
saffron-colored: a dark yellow colour
turban: a traditional headdress consisting of a long scarf wrapped around the head
bees: a flying insect producing wax or honey
cosmos: various colours flowers
boughs: any of the larger branches of a tree
tamarind: long-lived tropical evergreen tree with long pods with edible chocolate- colored acidic pulp
flanked: be located at the both sides of path
surging: increasing
trades and occupations: commercial exchange of goods and services
Auctioneer: an agent who conducts an auction (The public sale of something to the highest bidder)
din: loud noise
Vociferousness: noisy outcrying
Flocked: moved as a crowd or in a group
Dallied: talk or behave amorously, without serious intentions
Transacted: conduct business
Light of a Flare: a sudden burst of flame
Crackled: made a crushing noise
Enchantment: a magical spell, fascination, attraction
Lit up: made lighter or brighter
Hissing gaslights: a fricative sound of flare
Naked flares: having no protecting or concealing cover to fire
Bewildering: confusing
Not in the least: not at all, not in any way
Astonished: filled with wonder or surprise
Shrewd guesswork: clever, intelligent
Tiling: Cultivation of the land in order to raise crops
Ancestral: inherited from an ancestor
Tangles: Something jumbled or confused
Perception: Knowledge gained by perceiving
Pie: Small old coin of British India
Disposed to: likely or inclined
Well disposed: favourable
Impetuous: acting without thinking, headlong, rash
Endeared: made attractive or lovable
Forbidding exterior: unfriendly or frightening appearance
Blew outː extinguished
Bundle up: make into a bundle, wrap up, pack
Shaft: here beam of light
Strayed: wandered aimlessly around some place
Paraphernalia: equipment
Blotted out: to cover or hide something completely
Sensed: perceived, comprehend
Careworn: showing signs of stress and worry
Do good: be beneficial to someone
Grumbled: made complaining sounds
Thrust under nose: Push forcefully in front of nose
Tilting: to move into a sloping position.
Piqued: aroused in anger, offended
Flung: Throw with force
Bluffing: to give false impression of strength, deceiving , misleading
Provided: On condition, usually followed by that
Cheroot: a short, thin cigar with both ends cut flat
Glimpse: a quick look
Hooted: to sound the horn, cry out, shout
Jutka: two wheeled horse-driven vehicle
Swore at: curse, use bad language
Babble of the crowd: sound of continues trivial talk, gossip
Agitate: to stir, disturb, trouble
Ruthlessly: In a ruthless, cruel manner
Dragged: Forced into some kind of situation, condition
Shivered: trembled or  shook with fear
Shook: Move with or as if with a tremor
Thrust: Push forcefully forward
Drying up: Lose water or moisture, become dry
Disgorge: to give up or hand over
Incantations: magical words, a ritual recitation of words or sounds believed to have a magical effect
Haggling: bargaining, arguing for better deal
Bared: Made visible, allowed others to see
Scar: a permanent mark on the skin caused by healing of a wound
Passer-by: A person who passes by casually or by chance
Overwhelmed: Become filled with uncontrollable emotion, joyful
Enthusiasm: A feeling of excitement
Clenching: to grip or hold tightly
Far-off: Very far away in space or time
Groaned: moan, grumbled, indicate pain, discomfort or displeasure
Taken aback: greatly surprised, became speechless
A pinch: a small amount of powder hold between thumb and forefinger
Reflectively: In a thoughtful manner, ponder
Choke out: kill by pressing neck
Regretfully: in a regretful, sorrowful manner
Look gratified: pleased, satisfied
Jaggery: unrefined coarse brown sugar made from sugar cane juice or palm sap.
The swine: a cruel person
Pyol: a string cot/low bench/verandah
Gasped: take a short quick breath through your mouth, especially when you are surprised, shocked, or in pain.
Yawning: to open the mouth wide and take a lot of air into usually when tired or bored
Stretch: put arms or legs straight.

Activity Sheet No.1 on 1.1 An Astrologer’s Day

Q. Read the extract and complete the activities given below.          (12)

                    An Astrologers Day : Punctually at midday, he opened his bag and spread out his professional equipment, which consisted of a dozen cowrie shells, a square piece of cloth with obscure mystic charts on it, a notebook and a bundle of palmyra writing. His forehead was resplendent with sacred ash and his eyes sparkled with a sharp abnormal gleam which was really an outcome of a continual searching look for customers, but which his simple clients took to be a prophetic light and felt comforted.                  
The power of his eyes was considerably enhanced by their position—placed as they were between the painted forehead and the dark whiskers which streamed down his cheeks: even a half-wit’s eyes would sparkle in such a setting. To crown the effect he wound a saffron-colored’ turban around his head. This color scheme never failed. People were attracted to him as bees are attracted to cosmos or dahlia stalks. He sat under the boughs of a spreading tamarind tree which flanked a path running through the Town Hall Park.                 
It was a remarkable place in many ways: a surging crowd was always moving up and down this narrow road morning till night. A variety of trades and occupations was represented all along its way: medicine-sellers, sellers of stolen hardware and junk, magicians and, above all, an auctioneer of cheap cloth, who created enough din all day to attract the whole town. Next to him in vociferousness came a vendor of fried groundnuts who gave his ware a fancy name each day, calling it Bombay Ice-Cream one day, and on the next Delhi Almond, and on the third Raja’s Delicacy, and so on and so forth, and people flocked to him.

An Astrologers Day Activity: Activity Sheet No.1

A1. List      (2)

Make a list of astrologer’s professional equipment mentioned in the extract.

उताऱ्यात नमूद केलेल्या ज्योतिषाच्या व्यावसायिक उपकरणांची यादी तयार करा.


List of Astrologer’s Professional equipment:

1) Notebook

2) Cowrie shells

3) Square piece of cloth

4) Palmyra writing

5) Saffron-colored turban

6) Sacred ash

7) saffron-colored turban

8) dark whiskers

A2. Describe      (2)

Describe the market place given in the extract in 50 words.  

बाजाराचे 50 शब्दात वर्णन करा.


The market place was a remarkable place where surging crowd was always moving up and down on narrow road morning to evening. A variety of trades and occupations were seen there. It included medicine-sellers, sellers of stolen hardware and junk, magicians, an auctioneer of cheap cloth and a vendor of fried groundnuts. It was a noisy market due to the shouting of the traders.

A3. Find               (2)

The prophet made special arrangements to attract people. Find its proof from the extract

ज्योतिषाने लोकांना आकर्षित करण्यासाठी केलेल्या उपाययोजनांचा पुरावा द्या.


The prophet made special arrangements to attract people. He spread out his professional equipment in front of him. His forehead was shining with sacred ash. The painted forehead and the dark moustache which streamed down his cheeks enhanced the power of his eyes. He wound a saffron-colored turban around his head.

A4. Personal Response (2)

Write in 50 words about the career you like to choose in your life.

तुम्हाला आवडणाऱ्या करियर ची 50 शब्दात माहिती द्या.


Though there are many options to choose the career, I would like to join the field of administration. For this I have to appear for the competitive exams. This job would give me a chance to serve my country wholeheartedly. I would try to stop corruption and solve the problems of common people. I would also try to provide government facilities and reforms to the poor and needy people.

A5. Language Study (Do as directed)   (2)

1) This color scheme never failed.

(Choose the correct alternative showing affirmative sentence having the same meaning given here)

i) This colour scheme always failed.                

ii) This colour scheme always successful.

iii) This colour scheme was always successful.       

iv) This colour scheme is always successful.


iii) This colour scheme was always successful.

2) To crown the effect, he wound a saffron-colored turban around his head.

(Choose the correct alternative to rewrite the given sentence as a compound sentence)

i) He wound a saffron-colored turban around his head and crowned the effect.

ii) He wound a saffron-colored turban around his head to crown the effect.

iii) He wound a saffron-colored turban around his head which crowned the effect.

iv) He wound a saffron-colored turban around his head while crowning the effect.


i) He wound a saffron-colored turban around his head and crowned the effect.

A6. Vocabulary  (2)

Match the words given in ‘A’ with their meanings given in ‘B’.

(जोड्या लावा)

1) punctuallya) unclear
2) remarkableb) holy
3) obscurec) striking
4) sacredd) at the proper time

1) punctuallyd) at the proper time
2) remarkablec) striking
3) obscurea) unclear
4) sacredb) holy


See the video on An Astrologer’s Day
1.1 An Astrologer’s Day: First video

2.1 Song of the open Road

Activity Sheet No.2 on 1.1 An Astrologer’s Day

Q. Read the extract and complete the activities given below: (12)

       “Stop,” said the other. “I don’t want all that. Shall I succeed in my present search or not? Answer this and go. Otherwise I will not let you go till you disgorge all your coins.” The astrologer muttered a few incantations and replied, “All right. I will speak. But will you give me a rupee if what I say is convincing? Otherwise, I will not open my mouth, and you may do what you like.” After a good deal of haggling the other agreed. The astrologer said, “You were left for dead. Am I right?”
“Ah, tell me more.”
“A knife has passed through you once?” said the astrologer.
“Good fellow!” He bared his chest to show the scar. “What else?”
“And then you were pushed into a well nearby in the field. You were left for dead.”
“I should have been dead if some passer-by had not chanced to peep into the well,” exclaimed the other, overwhelmed by enthusiasm.         
“When shall I get at him?” he asked, clenching his fist.
“In the next world,” answered the astrologer. “He died four months ago in a far-off town. You will never see any more of him.”
The other groaned on hearing it.
The astrologer proceeded.
“Guru Nayak— 
“You know my name!” the other said, taken aback.  
“As I know all other things, Guru Nayak, listen carefully to what I have to say. Your village is two days’ journey due north of this town. Take the next train and be gone. I see once again great danger to your life if you go from home.” He took out a pinch of sacred ash and held it out to him. “Rub it on your forehead and go home. Never travel southward again, and you will live to be a hundred.”
“Why should I leave home again?” the other said reflectively. “I was only going away now and then to look for him and to choke out his life if I met him.” He shook his head regretfully. “He has escaped my hands. I hope at least he died as he deserved.”
“Yes,” said the astrologer. “He was crushed under a lorry.”   
The other looked gratified to hear it.

A1. Rewrite the following sentences and state whether they are True or False: (2)

(a) The name of the astrologer was Guru Nayak.

(b) A passer-by had saved the other man.

(c) The astrologer took out a pinch of salt and held it to the other man.

(d) A knife had passed through the other man long ago.


(a) The name of the astrologer was Guru Nayak.- False

(b) A passer-by had saved the other man.- True

(c) The astrologer took out a pinch of salt and held it to the other man.- True

(d) A knife had passed through the other man long ago.- True

A2. The other man looked gratified, because———-

(Choose Two correct alter-natives from the following): (2)

(a) His enemy was going to meet him in his own village.

(b) The astrologer told him that his enemy was crushed under a lorry.

(c) His enemy died as he deserved.

(d) His enemy was very happy and contented.


(b) The astrologer told him that his enemy was crushed under a lorry.

(c) His enemy died as he deserved.

A3. The astrologer suggested the other man never to travel southward again:

Guess and write the purpose behind the astrologer’s suggestion.


The astrologer suggested the other man not to travel southward again because he wanted to get rid of Guru Nayak once and for all. He never wanted to see him again. He was afraid of getting his true identity revealed, and possibility of Guru Nayak taking revenge if they ever met face to face again.

A4. Give/express your views on the effect of superstitions. (2)


Superstitions have a negative impact on the persons in the society. Many persons become passive and stop their work fearing failure. The different types of superstitions have different bad effect on individuals’ risk-taking behaviour. They also decrease the confidence of the person. So in my opinion, superstitions are bad and we should avoid superstitions.

A5. Language study: (2)

(i) He shook his head regretfully.

(Choose the correct alternative to get the Present Perfect Tense form of the given sentence.)

(a) He shakes his head regretfully. shaken his head regretfully.

(b) He has shaken his head regretfully.

(c) He had shaken his head regretfully.

(d) He will shake his head regretfully.


(b) He has shaken his head regretfully.

(ii) I will not open my mouth.

(Choose the correct alternative to get affirmative form without changing the meaning of the sentence.)

(a) I will not close my mouth.

(b) I will open my mouth.

(c) I will shut my mouth.


(c) I will shut my mouth.

A6. Find and write the words which have similar meaning for the following from the extract:

(a) bargaining

(b) surrender under pressure

(c) made a low sound of distress

(d) to look cautiously


(a) bargaining- haggling

(b) surrender under pressure- disgorge

(c) made a low sound of distress- groaned

(d) to look cautiously- peep

See more

1.2 On Saying “Please”

1.3 The Cop and the Anthem

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  1. People say that education is the third eye of human being…but I say that showing and explaining education by this way is the third eye of human being in modern era.


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