The frog and the nightingale

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  • 1. `
  • 2. ikram eth
  • 3. Vikram Seth (born 20 June 1952) is an Indian novelist and poet. He has written several novel and poetry books. He has also received several awards including Padma Shri, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, WH Smith Literary Award and Crossword Book Award.
  • 4.  Once upon a time a frog Croaked away in Bingle Bog Every night from dusk to dawn He croaked awn and awn and awn Other creatures loathed his voice, But, alas, they had no choice, And the crass cacophony Blared out from the sumac tree At whose foot the frog each night Minstrelled on till morning night
  • 5.  Neither stones nor prayers nor sticks. Insults or complaints or bricks Stilled the frogs determination To display his heart's elation. But one night a nightingale In the moonlight cold and pale Perched upon the sumac tree Casting forth her melody Dumbstruck sat the gaping frog And the whole admiring bog Stared towards the sumac, rapt,
  • 6. And, when she had ended, clapped, Ducks had swum and herons waded To her as she serenaded And a solitary loon Wept, beneath the summer moon. Toads and teals and tiddlers, captured By her voice, cheered on, enraptured: "Bravo! " "Too divine! " "Encore! " So the nightingale once more, Quite unused to such applause, Sang till dawn without a pause.
  • 7.  Next night when the Nightingale Shook her head and twitched her tail, Closed an eye and fluffed a wing And had cleared her throat to sing She was startled by a croak. "Sorry - was that you who spoke? " She enquired when the frog
  • 8. Hopped towards her from the bog. "Yes," the frog replied. "You see, I'm the frog who owns this tree In this bog I've long been known For my splendid baritone And, of course, I wield my pen For Bog Trumpet now and then" 
  • 9. "Did you… did you like my song? " "Not too bad - but far too long. The technique was fine of course, But it lacked a certain force". "Oh! " the nightingale confessed. Greatly flattered and impressed That a critic of such note Had discussed her art and throat: "I don't think the song's divine. But - oh, well - at least it's mine
  • 10. "That's not much to boast about". Said the heartless frog. "Without Proper training such as I - And few others can supply. You'll remain a mere beginner. But with me you'll be a winner" "Dearest frog", the nightingale Breathed: "This is a fairy tale And you are Mozart in disguise Come to earth before my eyes".
  • 11.  "Well I charge a modest fee." "Oh! " "But it won't hurt, you'll see" Now the nightingale inspired, Flushed with confidence, and fired With both art and adoration, Sang - and was a huge sensation. Animals for miles around Flocked towards the magic sound, And the frog with great precision Counted heads and charged admission.
  • 12.  Though next morning it was raining, He began her vocal training. "But I can't sing in this weather" "Come my dear - we'll sing together. Just put on your scarf and sash, Koo-oh-ah! ko-ash! ko-ash! " So the frog and nightingale Journeyed up and down the scale For six hours, till she was shivering and her voice was hoarse and quivering.
  • 13.  Though subdued and sleep deprived, In the night her throat revived, And the sumac tree was bowed, With a breathless, titled crowd: Owl of Sandwich, Duck of Kent, Mallard and Milady Trent, Martin Cardinal Mephisto, And the Coot of Monte Cristo, Ladies with tiaras glittering In the interval sat twittering And the frog observed them glitter With a joy both sweet and bitter.
  • 14.  Every day the frog who'd sold her Songs for silver tried to scold her: "You must practice even longer Till your voice, like mine grows stronger. In the second song last night You got nervous in mid-flight. And, my dear, lay on more trills: Audiences enjoy such frills. You must make your public happier: Give them something sharper snappier. We must aim for better billings. You still owe me sixty shillings."
  • 15. Day by day the nightingale Grew more sorrowful and pale. Night on night her tired song Zipped and trilled and bounced along, Till the birds and beasts grew tired At a voice so uninspired And the ticket office gross Crashed, and she grew more morose For her ears were now addicted To applause quite unrestricted, And to sing into the night All alone gave no delight.
  • 16.  Now the frog puffed up with rage. "Brainless bird - you're on the stage Use your wits and follow fashion. Puff your lungs out with your passion." Trembling, terrified to fail, Blind with tears, the nightingale Heard him out in silence, tried, Puffed up, burst a vein, and died.
  • 17. Said the frog: "I tried to teach her, But she was a stupid creature Far too nervous, far too tense. Far too prone to influence. Well, poor bird - she should have known That your song must be your own. That's why I sing with panache: "Koo-oh-ah! ko-ash! ko-ash! " And the foghorn of the frog Blared unrivalled through the bog.
  • 18.  is very wet and • Bog- an area of land that • • • • • • • muddy. Awn- on Loathed- hated Cacophony- a very loud and unpleasant noise Minstrelled- sang Elation- great pride & joy Rapt- totally interesting Serenaded- sang beautifully
  • 19. Loon- a large water bird Teal- a small duck  Enraptured- filled with fascination and delight Encore- sing some more
  • 20.  Baritone- a male singing voice, fairly deep  Flushed- very excited & pleased  Sash- a long piece of cloth that you wear round the waist or over the shoulder, usually as a badge of honor  Scale- a sequence of musical notes that go up and down, one after the other  Hoarse- rough and unclear
  • 21.  Quivering- shaking, trembling  Subdued- quiet, with little energy  Tiara- a semicircular metal band decorated with jewels and worn by wealthy women on formal social occasions
  • 22.  Trills- singing two musical notes one after the other repeatedly and very quickly  Billings- publicity for a concert, show etc.  Zipped- sang quickly  Morose- miserable, bad-tempered  Panache- a very confident, elegant style  Foghorn- a very loud unpleasant noise
  • 23. UMMARY  Once upon a time a frog croaked in Bingle Bog all the night beginning from dusk to dawn. All the creatures hated his loud and unpleasant voice but still they did not have any other option. The voice came out from the sumac tree where every night the frog sang till morning. He was so determined and also shameless that neither stones, prayers or sticks nor the insults or complaints could divert him from singing.
  • 24.  One night, a nightingale started casting her melody in the moonlight to which both the frog and the other creatures were left dumbstruck. The whole bog remained, rapt and admired her voice and applauded her when she ended. The frog was obviously jealous of his rival and had finally decided to eliminate her.
  • 25. So, the next night when the nightingale was again preparing to sing, the frog‟s croak disturbed her. On being asked about himself by the nightingale he answered that he owned the sumac tree and he had been known for his splendid voice. Also he said that he had written a number of songs for the Bog Trumpet.
  • 26. • The nightingale asked him whether he liked her song or not. The frog said that the song wasn‟t bad but too long and it lacked some force. The nightingale was greatly impressed that such a critic had discussed her song. She said that she was happy that the song was her own creation. To this the frog said that she needed a proper training to obtain a strong voice otherwise she would remain a beginner only. He also said that he would train her but would charge some fee.
  • 27.  Now, the nightingale was flushed with confidence and was a huge sensation, attracting animals from miles away and the frog with a great accuracy charged all of them admission fee. The frog began her vocal training despite of the bad and rainy weather where even the nightingale had first refused to sing. But the frog forced her to sing for six hours continuously till she was shivering and her voice had become rough and unclear.
  • 28. But, somehow her neck got clear the next day and she was able to sing again collecting a breathless crowd including rich ladies kings queens etc. To all this, the frog had both sweet and bitter feelings. Sweet because he was earning lots of money and bitter because of jealously as his rival was earning name and fame. Everyday, the frog scolded her to practice even longer finding out her little mistakes like nervousness not laying more trills and frills etc. He reminded her that she still owed him sixty shillings and that„s why the crowd should increase.
  • 29.  But the condition of nightingale was getting worsened. Her tired and uninspired song could no longer attract the crowd. She could not resist this as she had become used to applause and thus had become miserable too. The heartless frog scolded her even then calling her a brainless bird. She trembled, puffed up, burst a vein and died. The frog said that he had tried to teach her but she was foolish, nervous and tensed and moreover much prone to influence. Then, once again the frog‟s fog horn started blearing unrivalled in the bog.
  • 30.  The moral of the poem is that being inspired and influenced by someone much unknown and strange is indeed a foolish work. The nightingale could have very well judged that how could the frog with such a harsh voice be music maestro and she had to suffer for her misjudgment. Many people in the human society also try to take advantage of the innocence or ignorance of the people.
  • 31. THE FROG  The Frog Territorial and boastful – I‟m the frog who owns the tree /Technique was fine, But it lacked certain force  Patronizing – Without proper training …You‟ll remain a beginner.  Possessive, greedy – “We must aim for better billings…..”  Arrogant and condescending – “I tried to teach her… a stupid creature”
  • 32. Polite, soft, timorous. – “sorry was that you who spoke” Nervous and shy- “Did you, did you like my song” Timid and polite – “This is a fairy tale. And you are Mozart in disguise.
  • 33.  Question 1-(1): The frog's aim was to (a) make the nightingale a sensation (b) make the nightingale as good a singer as him (c) maintain his supremacy in the bog (d) make a lot of money Ans- (c) maintain his supremacy in the bog
  • 34. Question 1-(2):The animals reacted to the nightingale's song with (a) hatred (b) admiration (c) indifference (d) suggestions for improvement Ans- (b) admiration
  • 35.  Question 1-(3): The nightingale accepted the frog's tutelage as she (a) was not confident of herself (b) wanted to become as good a singer as the frog (c) wanted to become a professional singer (d) was not a resident of Bingle Bog Ans- (c) wanted to become a professional singer
  • 36. Question 2: a) How did the creatures of Bingle bog react to the nightingale's singing? Ans- the creatures of bingle bog were very Impressed by the nightingale. Creatures from distance places came to listen her.
  • 37. b) Which are the different ways in which the frog asserts his importance? Ans- The frog asserts his importance in the form of a musician as well as that of a critic of art. He flaunts his reign, and thus, power and supremacy in Bingle Bog. He also asserts himself as a trainer and asks the nightingale to take training from him.
  • 38. c) Why is the frog's joy both sweet and bitter? Ans- The frog‟s joy is sweet because he gets to earn a lot of money through the nightingale‟s singing. Secondly, he is also happy that he succeeds in torturing the bird and pushing her towards death. His joy is bitter because with passage of time, the nightingale‟s voice has deteriorated and thus, is bringing lesser money day-by-day.
  • 39. d) Why was the frog angry? Ans- The frog was angry because the nightingale didn‟t sing sweetly to enable him to earn more. Secondly, her voice was becoming „uninspired‟ as her song now zipped, trilled and bounced along. e) How did the frog become the unrivalled king of the bog again? Ans- The frog became the unrivalled king of Bingle Bog, after the death of the nightingale. Now no bird or animal would compete with the frog in singing. Secondly, all of them over there were greatly scared of him.