Summary of Ranga’s Marriage

Protagonist Ranga belongs to the village of Hosahalli, situated in the erstwhile Mysore state in South India. There are not many people in the village who speak English. Ranga, the son of the accountant, is lucky enough to have obtained city education. He pursued his studies in Bangalore. His home-coming is a major event for the villagers. On the day of his arrival, a large crowd gathered at his house to take a look at the English-educated boy. A lot of people claim that those who obtain English education are losing their caste. But the sacred thread of Ranga, or ‘janewara,’ confirms his sanctity and proves that he retains caste, traditions and culture.

The narrator, Shyama, is also pleased to see Ranga. He’s taking an interest in the marriage of Ranga. Ranga, on the contrary, has no intention to marry shortly and expresses her displeasure at arranged marriages. It hurts the narrator, and he tries to find a way to get him married. He’s swift to judge that Ranga might be the best boy for Rama Rao’s niece Ratna. Ratna is a pretty 11-year-old girl from a major city. She came to stay in the village with her uncle after her parents died. The narrator is planning a meeting in which Ranga can see Ratna. He’s asking for Ranga as she sings. Ratna unexpectedly stops singing when she sees Ranga peeping at her and running inside the home. Listening to her sweet voice, Ranga develops a girl’s likeness in silence. He asks the narrator whether or not the girl is married. The narrator tells a lie by saying that she was married a year ago. Upon hearing this, the face of Ranga falls. The narrator realises that the girl liked Ranga, so he takes him to see Shastri – an astrologer. Shastri, who is tutored in advance by the narrator, pretends to read Ranga’s mind. He adds that the name of the girl he was going to name.

Marriage would probably be like the stuff found in the ocean, like ‘Ratna.’ Shastri also says that his marriage to Ratna will be a success. Finally, thanks to the efforts of the writer, the marriage of Ranga is arranged. After many years, Ranga shows his gratitude by inviting the narrator on the first birthday of his son. He honours the narrator by naming his son after him.

Character Sketch of The Narrator

Shyama, the narrator of the story ‘Rang’s Marriage. ‘ He is also the central character. His style of narrative evokes a great deal of humour in the storey. He is an elderly gentleman, referring to himself as a dark piece of oil cake. He is passionately in love with his village and the villagers, and he wanders incessantly and describes it. He is a keen observer of his surroundings and uses a colourful narrative style. He feels it is a disgrace to use English words in a native language. He’s a good judge of people, and he sees Ranga as a generous, thoughtful fellow. He’s conservative in his heart, and he feels unhappy about Ranga’s decision to remain single.

He means well and he is nice in his intentions. He schemes to wed Ranga. When Ratna was singing, he was called Ranga. He also arranges a meeting with Shastri, who he has extensively tutored. He had agreed that he would have Ratna as a fitting bride. He’s a shrewd foe, telling Ranga that Ratna was married. He does this to arouse the appetite of Ranga for the unattainable.

Meaning of Important Words

1. Rare breedan uncommon type

2. Pursue – carry on

3. Mill – gather

4. Mouth-filling – big and high sounding

5. Cartographer – one who draws maps of a territory

6. Shadow – trace

7. Karigadabu – a South Indian fried sweet

8. Stuck to – clung to

9. Glowingly – in a praising manner

10. Annayya – a respectful term for an elder

11. Flea – pestered – troubled by flea or insects

12. Sourness – tangy taste

13. Creeper – trailing plant

14. Behold – see

15. Rambling – going off the point

16. Disgraceful – humiliating

17. Change – loose small coins

18. Muttering – mumbling, not speaking clearly

19. Melted away – dispersed

20. Lump – a shapeless mass

21. Aspect – side

22. Assessed – estimated

READ ALSO:  Short Story | Origin and Development, Short Story as a Literary Form and Characteristics

23. Stiff – inflexible

24. Pleasantries – light conversation

25. Troupe – party of performers

26. Distressed – pained

27. Made up my mind – determined

28. Fetch – bring

29. Threshold – doorstep

30. Peeped in – looked in secretly

31. Abruptly – suddenly

32. Savouring – tasty

33. Glanced – looked

34. Embarrassed – ashamed

35. Overcome by shyness – feeling very shy

36. Vowed – took a pledge

37. Fled – ran away

38. Shrivelled – contracted

39. Tutored – instructed

40. Protest – objection

41. Paraphernalia – books

42. Moss – small green plant

43. Negotiations – talks about marriage

44. Bear fruit – prove successful

45. Face had fallen – looked sad

Questions Answers

Q1. How does the author mock geographers and cartographers for not mentioning the name of his village?

Ans. Hosahali is a village in Karnataka, situated in the former state of Mysore. The author in the story describes Hosahali as a beautiful place with mangoes as its main attractions. However, it is upset that the Indian cartographer and the British cartographer did not mark Hosahalli on the map when it was made years ago. He also mocks them by naming them a flock of sheep, where one sheep goes into a pit and the rest of them follows it blindly. He explains why the Sahibs were possibly not aware in England that such a place existed in India.

Q2. What does the author say about the pond and creeper of his village?

Ans. Masti Venkatesha loves his village and is proud of his village, Hosahalli, and feels that his village is as important to Mysore as Mysore itself is important to India. Readers hear about the kind of creeper that grows in a village pond with the clearest water. The flowers are a feast to watch. In addition, the author says that the leaves of the creeper can be used to serve meals, which tells us how cute his village is.

Q3. What does the “change” incident reflect about the social status of English in those days?

Ans. Even when speaking in Kannada, the villagers carry English words. The narrator finds this to be a shame and demonstrates his point of view by providing an example. A bundle of firewood was brought to Rama Rao’s house, and his son asked the lady what the price was. When she said, “Four pice,” the boy told her that he had no change and asked her to come back the next day. The poor woman did not understand the word change and went away muttering to herself. Thus, the use of English before a native Kannada speaker created confusion. This illustrates the effect of English on the way of life of modern young educated Indians that the narrator does not approve of.

Q4. What special trait of Ranga is discussed in the story? How did Ranga do Namaskara?

Ans. Ranga was the son of an accountant and went to Bangalore to study. He was a well educated, well-mannered boy. He was a typical boy, very different from other boys of his own generation. He was very generous and thoughtful of people. He was also very fond of English and customs. Ranga had a proper namaskar to the writer, and he was very impressed with him. Not only did he fold his hands, but he also bent down to touch his feet, welcoming the narrator in a very traditional way.

Q5. How did people become convinced that Ranga hadn’t changed?

Ans. The crowd of villagers milled around Ranga’s house to see whether or not he had changed. People were very happy because Ranga had returned home after learning English in Bangalore. An old lady rubbed her hand over the chest of Ranga. She was gazing into his eyes. She was happy to see the sacred thread on her body. She was glad that he hadn’t lost his caste. People vanished from the scene until they understood that Ranga had not undergone any material change. Because of his modesty, Ranga was able to capture the hearts of the villagers. His schooling in the city did not bring him any improvement. Being humble and humble helped him to gain the affection of others.

Q6. Why did the narrator relate the story of the lion and he-goat? Elucidate.

Ans. As the Lion is caught by a he-goat, and so does the narrator with Ranga, so he compares Ranga to the lion. The narrator takes the help of a tale in which a goat threatens the lion with his cleverness. The narrator used this analogy to express the impression that he was the moderator, who had already married nine young men, such as Ranga. Now it was Ranga’s turn to fall victim to his urge to get him married. Getting someone married to a narrator is similar to having a lion eaten by a goat.

READ ALSO:  Elements of a Short Story

Q7. What role did Shastri play in bringing about Ranga and Ratna together?

Ans. The narrator sought Shastri’s assistance in getting together Ranga and Ratna. He tutored the astrologer, Shastri. Ranga was taken to his home. Shastri read and made measurements of the stars.

Finally, he announced that the name of something found in the ocean was the girl in Ranga’s mind. It may as well be Ratna. Ranga claimed that even the stars wanted him to marry Ratna.

Q8. Why did the narrator tell a lie about Ratna”s marital status?

Ans. The narrator noticed Ranga‟s growing interest in Ratna. Ranga enquired if she was married. The narrator told a lie that she was married a year ago. He said so to see Ranga”s reaction. Later on, he declared that she was not married yet. Ranga was surprised and happy, all willing to marry Ratna.

Q9. How did the narrator test the sincerity of Ranga’s feelings about Ratna?

Ans. The narrator employed the age-old trick “temptation for the unattainable”. He first mentioned that the girl had been married a year ago. He noticed Ranga’s disappointment. Ranga’s face fell when the narrator mentioned to the astrologer that Ratna was married. When he was sure of the sincerity of Ranga’s feelings about Ratna, he disclosed that she wasn’t married.

Q10. What kind of a person do you think the narrator is?

Ans. The narrator (Shyama) is a man of his land as he introduces his village with such enthusiasm that every reader would want to visit it at least once. His hospitality can also be appreciated as he promises to take good care of his readers. He is someone who believes in maintaining the authenticity of his culture that is why he thinks it is a disgrace to mix Kannada with English. He is a man with a good judge of character. He knows what type of man Ranga is and that Rama Rao”s niece Ratna would be a perfect partner for him. Shyama is a good strategist. The whole set-up he stages with the village Shastri to get Ranga and Ratna married, pose as evidence for that. He cleverly calls Ranga to his home when Ratna is singing a song. He notices Ranga”s reaction and interest in her and arouses his curiosity by arranging a meeting with the astrologer. First, he says that Ratna is married, but when he finds Ranga deeply interested in her, he confesses that he was wrongly informed. In short, the narrator tries his utmost to get the marriage settled. He is also funny in the manner he teases the village Shastri. Although clever, he seems to be a man with the best intentions at heart.

Q.11. “The best way of getting to know a place is to visit it.” Which place does Masti Venkatesha Iyengar refer to? What do you learn about it?

Ans. The author refers to Hosahalli, the village of Rangappa and the narrator. From the narrator”s point of view, it is an important village in the Mysore state. People may not have heard of it, as there is no mention of it in Geography books. The place has been ignored both by British and Indian authors. No cartographer has put it on the map. The raw mangoes from the mango trees in the village are quite sour. The extreme potency of the sourness of these mangoes is amply illustrated by the comment – “Just take a bite. The sourness is sure to go straight to your, Bahmarandhra.” The creeper growing in the village pond has beautiful flowers and broad leaves. The latter can serve as plates for serving afternoon meal. The village doctor Gundabhatta also speaks glowingly of Hosahalli.

Q.12. Give a brief account of the narrator’s two meetings with Ranga after the latter’s return from Bangalore.

READ ALSO:  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Ans. After being educated in Bangalore, when Ranga returned home, crowds of people gathered around his home to see him. The narrator was drawn to that crowd. He marched and stood in the courtyard, too. Having a smile on his face, Ranga came out. The narrator asked Rangappa, after everyone had gone, how he was. Ranga saw him and moved next to him. His hands folded and he touched the narrator’s foot. He said he was all right, with the blessing of the narrator. The narrator blessed him and hoped that he would soon be able to marry him. They shared some fun and respectful remarks. The narrator then left. Ranga came to his house that afternoon, while the narrator was sleeping, with a few oranges in his hand. The narrator thought that Ranga was a kind and thoughtful fellow. He was of the view that it would be all right to have him married, settled and serve society.

Q.13. What opinion do you form of Ranga?

Ans. Ranga is a typical young South Indian man whose feet are firmly rooted in traditional Indian culture, but the latest acquisition of the English language and ways of life influences the brain. According to the expectations prevailing in society at that time, he seems to have reached marriageable age. He is considered generous and considerate by the narrator. Ranga seemed to be in favour of love marriage at first, marrying a girl of one’s choosing, whom one loved and who would be mature enough to comprehend and react to love-talk. The systematic measures taken to marry Ratna by the narrator to rope in Ranga indicate that the young man has a sensitive heart. The act of Ranga naming his golden boy “Shyama” after the narrator reveals his adherence to the English tradition of naming the boy after anyone you like. Ranga appears, on the whole, as a smart but lovable fellow.

Q. 14 There is an episode in the story related to an astrologer where the narrator narrates how these things are based more on guesswork and hearsay. This can be seen as an indictment against such superstitious practices and a call for a more rational approach. Do you agree?

Answer: Astrologers act on the premise that human relations are affected by the role of stars. Simple-minded people are swept in by these arguments and end up giving the astrologers a hefty amount. Very few astrologers, though most of them are dupes who are out to make money, may have true knowledge. The narrator sets up the local astrologer in the storey to offer some forecasts that would support his plan to marry Ranga to Ratna. He sees the astrologer in advance and teaches him everything he wants him to say.

People like Ranga, who, though living and educated in the region, still believe in such superstitions and base their choices on the conjectures created by such astrologers. Pleasant pokes the writer at all those gullible people. He lets the reader see the situation’s ridiculousness and thus learn the importance of life’s rationalism.

Q. 15 The story is about a marriage that was cleverly planned and arranged by the narrator. What do you think is the value of marriage in our society? Comment keeping in mind all the different opinions expressed about marriage in the story.


What is the theme of the story Ranga’s marriage?

Answer: In the novel, the narrator recounts how cleverly he orchestrated a guy’s marriage who did not believe in the notion of marriage. During his stay in Bangalore, Ranga, who is introduced to new ideas about marriage and relationships, agrees to remain a bachelor. The story shows the effect of modern ideas and other cultures on impressionable youth and the subsequent desire for modification or alteration of conventional values such as marriage.

In India, traditionally marriages have been arranged by the parents and relatives and young people were not given any choice. However slowly things began to change and young people started asserting their opinion and preferences as is the case with Ranga in this story.

Thus, the theme of the story is the conflict between tradition and modernity. The conflict occurs when Ranga, against his rationality, falls in love with Ratna, an eleven-year-old girl and finally gets married to her.

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our newsletter

Have something to say

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.