Tuesday, December 7, 2010


1.      How did Datta know that the photograph was very valuable to the customer? Why did he have treject many of the photographs from his collection while looking for a substitute the photograph?                                                                                           (or)
Datta found a solution for his problem.  Did it really work for him? Justify your answer.

            Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Iyer Laxman: (born 23rd October, 1924) is an Indian cartoonist, illustrator and humorist.  He is widely regarded as India’s greatest-ever cartoonist and is best known for his creation ‘The Common Man.’  He is the brother of R.K. Narayan.

            Datta was the owner of a small shop called The Modern Frame Works.  He used to put pictures into frames.  One day a customer comes to Datta’s shop with a faded picture of an elderly person.  The man in the picture has whiskers and a huge turban.  It is a standard portrait taken in a by-gone era.  The customer speaks with reverence about the great qualities of the man.  He demands that the best frame be used and, after considerable discussion, settles on an imported German frame with an oval cut mount.

            Though the work is to be delivered after a fortnight, the customer shows up after just ten days and asks if it is ready.  He understands then that the customer is quite serious about getting the photo framed.  Obviously the photo is a cherished possession and the customer has immense regard for the person in the photo.

            Datta decides to begin work at once.  But then a terrible thing happens.  A tin of enamel paint accidentally spills over the photo.  Datta tries to rub the paint on the photo with a cloth but unfortunately half the face and the entire turban get erased. Datta is panic-stricken.  He does not know what to do as the photograph is completely spoilt.  As he looks around in dismay, an idea takes shape in Datta’s mind. He plans to substitute the damaged photo with another photo which is somewhat similar.  He finds a suitable photo for this purpose and puts it in a dazzling gold gold frame.  He hopes that his deception will go unnoticed.  Nonetheless, he is anxious and nervous.

            The customer arrives and asks if the work has been completed.  Datta slowly removes the cover and hands over the photo.  The customer eagerly looks at it.  Datta waits with bated breath.  Almost at once the customer shouts in anger, “What have you done?” Datta fears the worst.  He thinks that his deception has been noticed.  He had practiced several times how he would feign ignorance or deny it if he was occused of using a different photo. 

            But before Datta can open his mouth, the customer continues shouting that while he had asked for an oval frame, Datta had used a square one! Datta realizes then that the customer had not noticed that the photo itself was different.  He had merly objected to the frame.  He is relieved, as he knows that at the most, he might have to change the frame.

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