Chapter 6 The Ghat of the Only World


The Ghat of the Only World  11 English Snapshots Chapter 6

The Ghat of the Only World NCERT Text Book Questions and Answers

Question 1.
What impressions of Shahid do you gather from the piece?
Introduction. Shahid came to befriend with the writer Amitav during his last days of life. Shahid was basically an Indian like the author. As the very name suggests, he was a Muslim He belonged to Kashmir. He sought his education in Delhi. While in India they shared common friends and nothing more. But as Shahid shifted to Brooklyn in 2000, he came to entrust a very important task to the writer.

An Endless Revealer. Shahid had great love for fun and festivity. The smell of food would make him cry ‘Kya Badia Khana Hat.’ He was fond of exactitude in the cooking of food. He himself would host parties almost daily. He would do long preparations and cooking to host such parties. He always liked to hold ‘addas’ and surrounded with friends and relatives. ‘Food, fun, friends and poetry all were his weaknesses.

Aware of Impending Death. Shahid suffered from brain tumour. The fact came to be established a year or so before his death. Before that also he had been under treatment for cancer. He had sensed his death. But he didn’t want to cry to death. He wanted to sip up the last drop of joy of life with great relish and enjoyment. He described about his approaching death in many of his works. But he was quite cool and at ease and peace with death, as he had consoled himself that he was going to reunite his departed mother in the “other life” after the earthly life.

His friendship with Amitav : After shifting to Brooklyn, Shahid started meeting and eating with Amitav almost everyday. He entrusted him to write about him after he was gone. He didn’t want that he should he remembered just through the words of memory but he wanted to be remembered through some writing about him. This Amitav did successfully later on keeping his friendly pledge.

A Peaceful End. Shahid, it seems was tom due to the stormy and voilent political atmosphere in Kashmir. During his last days, he would talk about Kashmir a lot. He actually wanted to die there, to lie peacefully beside his mother’s grave. But due to logistic reasons he had to change his idea. Still there is Northampton, in the vicinity of Amherst, the sacred place of his beloved Emily Dickinson, he felt he would rest peacefully. So on Dec. 8 at 2 a.m. he died a quite, serene and peaceful death while in deep sleep.Conclusion. To conclude with we can say, that apart from being a great poet, Shahid was an incarnation of joy, optimism, love and wisdom.

Question 2.
How do Shahid and the writer react to the knowledge that Shahid is going to die?
Shahid had gone for scan-test. It was scheduled for 2.30 in the afternoon. The writer got restless and he started calling at his home. He phoned many a times in the afternoon in the evening to have the latest information about the position of the ailment of his dear friend.

Nobody responded. But he couldn’t be hindered and he phoned in the early next morning. This time Shahid responded. Without any preambles he straightway started giving the bad news of his ailment which had already taken a devasting form. He told that the doctors had stopped his all the medicines and treatment like chemotherapy. They just would give him radiation a little later. But they didn’t hope much from that also.

At this writer is dazed and lost the sense of uttering some words of consolation. He could merely ask, “What would you do now, Shahid?” At this Shahid in a quite untroubled a matter of fact manner told that first he would arrange his passport, set his will and then leave for Kashmir to die there. He didn’t want to trouble his children there. Moreover, he wanted to have some moral support from his father, who was still in Srinagar. He wanted to lie in peace in his grave beside his mother’s grave there.

So we see that Shahid wore quite a bold upfront as if he was all prepared to welcome his impending death. He just wanted to complete his all the due responsibilities so that his children have no problems after he is gone. Whereas the writer is too shocked and stunned to react properly according to the occasion.

Question 3.
Look up the dictionary for the meaning of the word ‘diaspora’. What do you understand of the indian diaspora from this piece?
‘Diaspora’ simply means ‘dispersion’ or a ‘scattering’ as per dictionary. The present extract ‘The Ghat of the Only World’, dabs a very morbid line of Indian diaspora. First of all the writer talks about indian citizens living in different parts of the world like America, England and so on. Their life-style go with them to foreign lands. Like Shahid went to settle in Brooklyn.

But his love for rogan josh, Heeng never ceased. He won’t throw parties where Indian dishes, well cooked and delicately served were the main attractions. He was fond of Kishore Kumar. His love for poetry and in that too Kashmir had almost become a universal topic during his declining days.

Secondly, I feel perhaps that the writer felt somewhat scattered and greatly affected due to the violent political atmosphere in his beloved State Kashmir. He wanted that politics and religion must be kept secret. He expressed his desire to die in Kashmir.

It proves clearly, that in spite of all the worldly luxuries his soul craved to touch his home land. So it was an ‘emotional diaspora’ on the part of Shahid, which I feel every Indian settled in foreign land must be suffering from. Finally, his own residence in New York, presented various tastes of various continents.

The Ghat of the Only World Extra Questions and Answers

The Ghat of the Only World Extra Questions Short Answer Type 

Question 1.
Which characteristic of Shahid strikes you the most?
Shahid is a quite lucid fellow. He is an endless scholar. He has the socerer’s ability to transform a commonplace thing into magical. His liveliness strikes me the most.

Question 2.
When and where did the writer befriend Shahid?
The writer befriended Shahid, when the latter came to stay and settle in Brooklyn.

Question 3.
What were the basis of their friendship progressing so fast?
Shahid and Amitav were familiar with each other since their college days. When Shahid came to stay in a building a few blocks away from the writer’s in Brooklyn both came closer. Soon they started meeting on lunch. Their friendship progressed fast, as they both had similar taste in food, music and films.

Question 4.
What responsibility did Shahid hand over to the writer and why?
Shahid handed over the responsibility to the writer to write something about the former after his death. He did so as he wanted to be remembered not through the spoken recitatives of memory and friendship but through the written words.

Question 5.
How did the writer keep his promise made to Shahid ? How did he feel before taking this responsibility?
The writer kept his words quite honestly. Just after promising Shahid, he picked up his pen and started jotting down the details of the conversation with the former quite sincerely and regularly. Later he wrote about Shahid as per promise, earlier he felt that some other writer friend of Shahid could do the job better who knew him better close and longer.

Question 6.
Why did Shahid want to return to Kashmir?
Shahid wanted to return to Kashmir to die. He wanted to lie for eternal rest beside his mother’s grave. Besides he didn’t want his siblings to make journey afterwards for his final ceremonies. Finally, he wanted to spend some time and have some moral support while living with his father during his final time.

Question 7.
What was the sole consolation to Shahid during his final days of life?
Though Shahid knew it quite well that his death was approaching fast to grab him by neck, yet he was not afraid. The sole consolation during those days was that he would reunite with his mother after his death in the another world, if there is any.

Question 8.
How did the writer feel after Shahid’s death?
The friendship of the writer and Shahid was quite new. Though they talked a lot and shared many common tastes. So their friendship in spite of a short life had become quite firm. After Shahid’s death, the writer felt as if a void had occurred. The writer still felt Shahid’s presence even after his death in his own living room.

Question 9.
How did Shahid behave in the hospital on May 21?
On May 21, Shahid had gone to the hospital to undergo a surgical procedure. It aimed at relieving the pressure on his brain. When he was leaving ward, a wheelchair was brought. But he refused to sit on it telling that he could still walk. But his knees bent soon after and he had to accept the wheelchair this time.

Question 10.
Shahid’s gregariousness had no limits. Explain.
Shahid really loved to be surrounded by friends, relatives, poets and writers all the time. It proves his gregariousness that there was never an evening when there was never wasn’t a party in his living room. He had once told the writer, ‘I love it that people come and there is always food….’

The Ghat of the Only World Extra Questions Long Answer Type 

Question 1.
Comment on the friendship between the writer and Shahid.
Shahid and the writer both were basically Indians settled in England. The both had studied in Delhi University. Their common period at university was very short. Hence they didn’t grow any friendship. But they both had common friends. They remained as acquaintance while in India. Shahid’s work ‘The Country Without A Post Office’, impressed the writer very much. They had become phone friends as well.

But as Shahid shifted to Brooklyn where the writer was already settled, the warmth of their friendship increased. They shared same neighbourhood. So they started meeting on meals. They found their tastes in rogan josh, Kishore Kumar and Bombay films same. So they became now bosom friends.

The writer found him always jolly and lucid. Though he was under treatment for the last fourteen months, he never talked about his death. But as the doctors told that even radiation won’t help much, he lost hope for the life hut not for joy and happiness. He behaved quite sensibly even during the last moments of life. He asked the writer to write something about the former after his death.

Except this, he never troubled anybody in his life. He enjoyed the last drop of the drink of life. He never complained. Finally, he died a peaceful death, just in sleep. It left a void in the life of writer. He felt Shahid’s presence in his living room even after his death. Their friendship had become so fast.

Question 2.
Justify the title of the story ‘The Ghat Of The Only World.’
The ‘ghat’ is a Hindi word which simply means shore. Shahid, the protagonist of the excerpt, was standing on the Ghat of the only world i.e. on the verge of death. He was being consumed by brain tumour already. He was undergoing surgical procedures, operations and medication. But nothing was helping much. Finally, the doctors stopped all treatments and recommended radiation though the chances of his survival were quite bleak. They had given him a year’s time. At this Shahid felt as if he was standing on the last end of life after which his journey to another life would start.

Moreover, the terrace at the top of Shahid’s residence gave significant view of Manhatten skyline across the East River. He loved this scene of Brooklyn water from slipping like a ghat into the East River. He made his last days lovely by seeing and enjoying beautiful things. He once had said, that he had no time to be sad and depressed. So he found joy, love, friendship and poetry everywhere and in everyone.

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