Word Meaning, Summary, Important Questions Of Chapter 6 Poets and Pancakes | Class 12

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Hindi Meaning Of Difficult Words | Chapter 6 Poets and Pancakes

About The Poet | Asokamitran | Chapter 6 Poets and Pancakes

Asokamitran (1931), a Tamil writer, recounts his years at Gemini Studios in his book My Years with Boss which talks of the influence of Movies on every aspect of life in India. The Gemini Studios, located in Chennai, was set up in 1940. It was one of the most influential film-producing organizations of India in the early days of Indian making. Its founder was S.S. Vasan. The duty film- of Asokamitran in Gemini studios was to cut out newspaper clippings on a wide variety of subjects and store them in files. Many of these had to be written out by hand. Although he performed an insignificant function he was the most well informed of all the members of the Gemini family. The following is an excerpt from his book My Years with Boss.

Short Summary Of Chapter 6 Poets and Pancakes In English

In this lesson, Poet and Pancakes, the author talks about the Gemini Studios situated in the present day Chennai, owned by S.S. Vaasan and worked by over 600 staff. It made movies for Tamil Nadu and other southern Indian states. Pancake was the make up material used by the Gemini Studios.

The makeup department was divided into hierarchy. And the office boy who was actually a grown up man in the Makeup Department was in charge of the crowd makeup. He applied pancake on their faces with the help of a dipped paint brush. Though his job was quite an easy one, the office boy considered him to be a greatly skilled artist.

The author was one of the staff whose job was to collect information, such as news events from newspapers and magazines and to paste them in files. The other staff considered his job out of place and most of them thought highly of themselves and considered the author free and available for their miscellaneous jobs.

Kothamangalam Subbu was another clerk. He was not as educated, as fortunate and as supported by as the Office Boy, yet he reached the top of the Gemini Studios. He was a genius man many a times able to direct even the directors. He could suggest dozens of ways to shoot a certain scene when the director failed to find one. He acted better than the heroes. He was a literary genius and wrote incredible poems. Besides, he also supported his far and near relatives. But he had only enemies everywhere because he was very much close to the Boss, Vaasan.

The legal advisor worked in the Story Department. He was a lawyer and provided legal advices to the writers yet he was known as the illegal advisor. Once a shooting was under progress. The heroine, a highly emotional girl, got angry with the director and producer. While the whole set stood stunned at this, the legal advisor recorded her voice without her permission and made her listen to the playback, thus resulting the end of a rising actress. This incident gave him the title of illegal advisor.

Communism was a new political order that was spreading throughout the world, especially in Asian countries. Communism preached equality of people and abolition of poverty and class divisions while it discouraged private ownership. But Communism won a negative impression due the Capitalist countries, such as America.

MRA or Moral Rearmament Army was an international team of actors and actresses that spread anti Communist feelings throughout the world. The MRA came to Chennai and saw how influential was Gemini Studios in the south of India. The team got permission from Vaasan to stage their plays. Vaasan was only happy to give them permission because he hoped that his staff would get inspiration from the international team. But little did Vaasan know of their intentions. MRA staged their plays with hidden anticommunist messages and went away and it was yet after some time that Vaasan realized that he had been fooled.

the other. Whatever he spoke was great, exciting and inspiring, but what use, his accent was such terrible one that none of the Gemini staff could clearly understand what Spender had spoken. They fell into shame for not being able to understand the poet and wished not to meet him again.

The chapter ends with two incidents in which the author, met Spender; not face to face, but in two different ways. While attempting to send his short story to England to participate in a contest, Anyway, Stephen Spender, who was once a Asokamitran happened to read The Encounter, a prominent communist editor and poet from magazine that had Stephen Spender as its editor. England, came to the studio and gave his speech. On another occasion he happened to read the His lecture was about Communism on one side book, The God that Failed, an article of which was and about his struggles to establish as a poet on written by Spender.

Important Previous Year Questions From Chapter 6 Poets and Pancakes

SA III (4 marks)

Read the extract given below and briefly answer the questions that follows

  1. He couldn’t have addressed a more dazed and silent audience – no one knew what he was talking about and his accent defeated any attempt to understand what he was saying.

(i) Identify the chapter. Who is ‘he’?

(ii) What was ‘he’ in real life?

(iii) How did the audience react to his speech?

(iv) Why was his speech not a success? (2020)

SA I (2 marks)

  1. What does the writer mean by ‘the fiery misery’ of those subjected to make-up’?
  2. What is the example of national integration that the author refers to?
  3. Why did the author appear to be doing nothing at the studios?
  4. Why was the office boy frustrated? Who did he show his anger on?
  5. Why was the legal adviser referred to as the opposite by others?

LA II (6 marks)

  1. What caused the lack of communication between the Englishman and the people at Gemini Studios? Why is the Englishman’s visit referred to as unexplained mystery?
  2. What do you understand about the author’s literary inclinations?

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Answer Of Chapter 6 Poets and Pancakes For The Above Questions

  1. (i) The name of the chapter is Poets and Pancakes. He was the English poet who came to deliver a speech.
  2. (ii) He was the editor of the British periodical, The Encounter.
  3. (iii) The audience was left dazed as no one understood his accent.
  4. (iv) His speech was not a success because he failed to make the audience understand his speech and the purpose of his visit.
  5. The make-up room of Gemini Studios looked like a hair cutting salon. It had around half a dozen mirrors with incandescent lights at all angles around them. The artists would feel the heat coming from these lights. Thus, the writer uses the term ‘fiery misery’ to denote the uncomfortable situation of those subjected to make-up.
  6. The division of the Gemini Studios’ make up room was an example of national integration. According to the author, this is so because people from different regions and religions worked together in that department. The department had hierarchy system. The department was headed by a Bengali who was succeeded by a Maharashtrian. The other helpers included a Dharwar Kannadiga, an Andhra, a Madras Indian Christian, an Anglo Burmese and the local Tamils.
  7. The job of the author was to cut newspaper clippings and file them. For the other employees, all he seemed to be doing is tearing newspapers, which according to them did not qualify as work. Therefore, they often considered him free and available for their miscellaneous work.
  8. The office boy had joined the studio years ago in the hope of becoming an actor or a screenwriter, or a director, or a lyricist. The fact that he ended up becoming none of these left him frustrated. According to him, “great literary talent was being allowed to go waste in a department fit only for barbers and perverts”. He used to direct his anger at the author even though it was meant for Kothamangalam Subbu.
  9. A lawyer used to be a part of the Story Department at the Gemini Studios. Though, as a legal adviser, he was supposed to be involved in legal matters, his cagey yet stupid idea led to the end of an actress’s career. Due to this, he was referred to as the illegal advisor, by the people.
  10. The accent of Stephen Spender, the Englishman, was the main cause of the lack of communication between him and the people at Gemini Studios. Apart from that, the people did not have any idea about what he was talking. The Englishman’s visit to the Gemini Studios is referred to as an unexplained mystery because no one could decipher his identity, whether he was a poet or an editor. Besides, when he spoke no one at the studio understood what he intended to say as his accent was beyond their comprehension.
  11. Though the author had a very tedious and unchallenging job at the studios, his interest in literature and writing is apparent in his willingness to participate in the short story contest organized by the British periodical, The Encounter. Moreover, the author appears to be a keen reader visiting libraries and buying books on wide-ranging topics whenever he could afford them. Besides, the narrative also establishes the fact that the author was one of the most knowledgeable persons in Gemini Studios. His idea about how prose writing was not meant for geniuses but for those with patience and perseverance, highlight his reflective and deep thoughts on literature and creative writing.

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