“Leela’s Friend” by R. K. Narayan (L.A.Q) Questions and Answers, Class XI, WBCHSE
Leela’s Friend by R. K. Narayan LAQ – Long Answer Type Questions (Class XI)
1)How did Leela try to teach Sidda to read and write? What was the result? [3+2] [Annual Exam. = 2014, 2020]
Ans. In R. K. Narayan’s short story “Leela’s Friend,” Leela wanted to play the role of the teacher to Sidda. She knew two or three letters of the alphabet. She could draw a kind of cat and crow. She wrote and drew them in her catalogue. Then giving Sidda a catalogue and a pencil she told him to copy these things.
Sidda was not efficient in writing and drawing. So he failed miserably. Leela checked his efforts, felt pity for his effort and so tried more and more to teach him. Thus Sidda had no scope of escape. So it looked as if Leela would keep him pinned to his seat until his wrist cracked.
2) “Don’t send him away. Let us keep him in our house.” – Who was the speaker and to whom was it spoken? About whom was it said? How did the person or persons spoken to react? [1+1+1+2 = 5] [Annual Exam. = 2015]
Ans: In R. K. Narayan’s short story “Leela’s Friend,” Mr. Sivasanker’s five year old daughter Leela said that to her parents.
It was said about Sidda who had just come to their house to ask for a job.
Mr. Sivasanker could not make up his mind whether to appoint Sidda or not. He also asked for his wife’s opinion who also looked confused. But when he observed that her daughter immediately liked Sidda, he reacted in favour of his daughter and took the decision of keeping Sidda as their servant. So it can be said that Mr Sivasanker reacted out of love for his daughter even though he was sceptical about Sidda.
3) “He looked her mutely, like an animal.” – Who looked at and to whom? What was the situation when this occurred? [2+3 = 5] [Annual Exam. = 2016]
Ans. In R. K. Narayan’s short story “Leela’s Friend”, the servant Sidda looked at Leela, the five year old daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Sivasanker.
One evening Leela’s mother discovered that the gold chain of Leela was missing. Sidda thought he would be accused of that and fled from the house in fear of the police. Sidda was taken into custody and brought back to Mr. Sivasanker’s home after four days. Leela was overjoyed to see Sidda. She had little interest in learning more about the chain. She wanted to play with him. They had a close relationship that was based on love and affection. The inspector instructed the policeman to take Sidda to the police station after they were unable to find any answer about the chain from Siddha. Leela clutched to his hand and Sidda looked at her mutely.
4) “In any case, we couldn’t have kept a criminal like him in the house.” – Who is the speaker? Who is the criminal referred to here? What led the speaker to such a comment? [1+1+3 = 5] [Annual Exam. =2018]
Ans. In R. K. Narayan’s short story “Leela’s Friend”, the speaker of the quoted line is Mr. Shivasanker.
The criminal referred to here is Sidda.
Sidda was accused of stealing the gold chain from Leela. Mr. Shivasanker went to the police station to file a complaint. He learned that Sidda had a criminal history from the police inspector. He had already served time in prison for robbing kids of their jewellery. A few you days later, the gold chain was found by Leela’s mother in a tamarind pot. Then Mrs. Shivasanker asked her husband what to do about Sidda. In reply to his wife, Mr. Shivasanker said the quoted line.
5) “Sidda, come and play!” – Who is the speaker? What would Sidda do when he heard this call? What kind of games did the speaker play? [1++1+3 =5] [Annual Exam. = 2019]
Ans. Leela, the five year old daughter of Mr. Shivasanker is the speaker of the quoted line in R. K. Narayan’s short story “Leela’s Friend”.
When Sidda heard this call, he ran to Leela leaving any task he might have been doing.
Leela played with a red ball with Sidda in the garden. Leela threw the ball at Sidda and he threw it back. Leela asked him to throw the ball in the sky. When the ball came down, Leela tried to find the traces of the moon on it. Sidda managed to show her the treces by peeping through his fingers. He also showed her how the moon followed him wherever he went. He told her that the moon was her friend and Leela believed this easily. Thus, they used to enjoy each other’s company very much.
6) “The inspector was furious …” – Who was the speaker? Why was the inspector ‘furious’? What did the inspector inform? [1+2+2 =5] [Annual Exam. = 2022]
Ans. Mr. Shivasanker, the father of five years old daughter Leela, was the speaker in R. K. Narayan’s short story “Leela’s Friend.”
The inspector was furious because Mr. Shivasanker appointed Sidda as a servant in their house before consulting him.
The inspector informed Mr. Shivasanker that they took a great risk in engaging Sidda. He was an old criminal. He had been in jail half a dozen times for stealing jewellery from children.
7) “Doesn’t seem to be a bad sort.” – Who said this and when? Why was the speaker unable to make up his mind? [2+3]
Ans: Mr. Sivasanker said this quoted line after carefully scrutinising the appearance of Sidda in R. K. Narayan’s short story “Leela’s Friend.”
When Mr. Sivasanker enquired of Sidda’s whereabouts, he gave vague response. Sidda told Mr. Sivasanker about his past working experience. When Sivasanker asked why his employer sent him away, Sidda gave a stock answer. He said that his employer had left the town. As a result, Mr. Sivasanker was unable to make up his mind and sought his wife’s viewpoint.
8) “What a risk we took in engaging that fellow.” – Who is the speaker? Who is ‘that fellow’? What was the ‘risk’ referred to here? [1+1+3]
Ans: In R. K. Narayan’s short story “Leela’s Friend”, Leela’s father, Mr. Sivasanker is the speaker of the quoted line.
Here ‘that fellow’ is the newly appointed servant, Sidda.
The ‘risk’ referred to here is to appoint Sidda as a servant in their house by Mr. Shivasanker just by looking at his appearance and to fulfil his daughter’s request without doing a thorough background check. Later Sidda was accused to be a criminal. Trusting him and giving him the responsibility to take care of their daughter Leela was a risk.
9) “Why should not Sidda sit in our chair?” – Who said this to whom? What is the significance of this question? [2+3]
Ans. In R. K. Narayan’s short story “Leela’s Friend”, Leela, the five years old daughter of Mr. Sivasanker said this to her mother.
RK Narayan provides some insight into class prejudice through this remark. It illustrates how unfairly and unequally the upper class treats the lower ones. Leela’s innocent but important query addresses the problem in the society. Not only is the inquiry aimed at the socially advantaged class, but it also calls for a response that Leela’s mother was unable to provide.
10) Briefly discuss the character of Leela. 
Ans. In R. K. Narayan’s short story “Leela’s Friend”, Leela, the five-year-old daughter of Mr. Sivasanker, was very innocent and simple. Leela became very glad when she saw Sidda for the first time. She always liked to have his company. She wanted to play with Sidda and to listen to his imaginary stories. She played the role of a teacher to Sidda and enjoyed it. But she was careless and lost her gold chain. When Sidda was ill-treated and abused by her parents and the policeman, she cried and tried to save Sidda. She believed and loved Sidda heartily. So, Leela was the symbol of innocence and simplicity.
11) Briefly describe the character of Sidda. 
Ans. Sidda is the main character inn R. K. Narayan’s short story ‘Leela’s Friend’. He was a young man who was homeless and indigent. His job was to wash clothes, tend the garden, chop wood, run errands, and look after Leela. In return he got only four annas per month and two meals a day. He was happy with it. He played with Leela, told her imaginary stories and made her happy. He eventually developed into Leela’s true companion and mentor. Leela’s parents, however, regarded him as a thief when Leela’s gold chain went missing. He was kept in police custody. Finally, after the gold chain was discovered, he was refused a room at Mr. Sivasanker’s home. He was simply mistreated and neglected. He put up with everything. In his personality, we discover stoicism. He stands for the lower class of society.
12) briefly describe the character of Leela. 
Ans. Leela, the five-year-old daughter of Mr. Sivasanker in R. K. Narayan’s short story “Leela’s Friend” was very simple and innocent. When Leela finally got to meet Sidda, she was overjoyed. She has always enjoyed his company. She yearned to play with Sidda and hear his made-up tales. She adored playing the character of Sidda’s teacher. However, being careless, she lost her golden chain. She cried and tried to protect Sidda when her parents and the policeman mistreated and abused Sidda. She was devoted to Sidda and had faith in him. Leela thus represented purity and simplicity.
13) How did Sidda’s company make Leela supremely happy? 
Ans:- In R. K. Narayan’s short story “Leela’s Friend,” Sidda was always ready at the call of Leela and used to give her company whenever Leela desired it. Sidda used to play with Leela, tell her imaginary stories, make her happy. He used to take her wherever he went, acted as her student so that she could play the role a teacher, make her eat her food and sing her to sleep. In this way he kept Leela with him throughout the day and took care of her as her friend, mentor and guardian. With his experience working with kids, Sidda used to provide anything a creative little girl requested. For all of these reasons, Leela was incredibly content in Sidda’s company.
Written by Koushik Kumar Kundu
Koushik Kumar Kundu was among the toppers when he completed his Masters from Vidyasagar University after completing his Bachelors degree with Honours in English Literature from The University of Burdwan. He also completed B.Ed from the University of Burdwan.