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Practice Notes On English Literature

Published in: English
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The Notes that will help students to preapare their English Literature for their Board Exam.

  • 1
    Skeleton in the Cupboard 1. The old Green's Hotel was established by an Englishman, Mr. Henry Green, in 1920, just after the conclusion of the Great War and was already in a state of decline when the owner sold it to a Sikh businessman from Ludhiana and left for England before the beginning of the Second World War. It is in this hotel that Ruskin Bond's mother worked for somefime as a Manager and this is where the skeleton was found in one of its cupboards. Also, a few years later, the hotel Itself was to disappear and be part of Dehra Dun's unrecorded history. 2. clearing an old store room, the author's mother found a lot of old furniture, rotting carpets, dusty files, broken flower pots and a mounted tiger's head. The first two of the three cupboards yielded nothing much, but the third cupboard gave everybody a fright because it yielded a skeleton. Also there were some chipped or cracked plates and dishes and sheets of old newspapers that were used to cover the shelves. 3. * (The question has been framed wrongly because the newspapers excited the author and not his mother.) The author was excited by the newspapers because he intended to find through his own intuitions and investigative skills if they could in any way provide any clues about the identity of the skeleton. 4. Tirloki had said that a German spy had once put up at the hotel just before the outbreak of the Second World War, who used to regularly visit the Gurkha Lines and the armaments factory, passing on information to a dentlst who visited Germany every year. When the War broke out, the dentist was kept in a prisoner-of-war camp and the spy escaped, purportedly, to Tibet. Tirloki believed that the spy could have been silenced and the skeleton was his. As it was a woman's skeleton, there was also the possibility that the spy was a woman, dressed as a man to hide in the hotel. 5. Mrs. Kellner informed the author's mother that Mr. Green's hotel was very famous for its food and service and flower garden. He himself was very popular among the ladies because very few women could resist the charms and polished manners of that dapper and handsome man, who was also a great dancer. Mrs. Kellener further added that Mr. Green had married his wife for her money and she came from a good English family. Her father owned hotels in Brighton and the old man was persuaded by his son-in-law to finance a couple of hotels in India one in Poona and the other in Dehra. Once married, Mr. Green neglected his wife and poor Mrs. Green had to put up with his amours and affairs. 6. The skeleton was given a Christian burial because it was believed that the skeleton was that of Mrs. Green's who was a Christlan. 7. The skeleton was retrieved from the local police station by Padre Dutt and interred in a corner of the cemetery, not far from the grave of the author's grandfather. The funeral was attended by two or three old-timers who had known the Greens'. It was raining heavily and In his absent- mindedness, padre Dutt had read out the 'Burial at Sea', although nobody seemed to notice.
  • 2
    Padre Dutt had also arranged for a decent coffin and a tombstone also, paid for out of the church funds and with a contribution from Sardarji, the then owner of the hotel. 8. The lady standing at the doorway was an elderly woman, very fluffy and very pink because of her pink cheeks and pink dress. Her white hair was bunched up and she looked like Miss Marple from Agatha Christie's novels. This old lady was Mrs. Green. 9. The skeleton was actually that of an unknown woman's someone who belonged to the streets undoubtedly, was unclaimed and unwanted and had been bought by Mr. Green from Lady Hardinge Medical College in New Delhi when he took over the hotel in the nineteen twenties. Mr. Green was suddenly enthusiastic and convinced about the need of a medical school or college in Dehra. He set about preparing the ground for one, and was ready to finance the project or part of it, by buying the skeleton so that medical students could use it for their studies. Therefore it was varnished as well as articulated, that is, connected up at the joints so that the whole thing didn't fall apart.


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