The bull Summary

The play starts with the character Laxminarayan who is murmuring with his wives and verbally abusing them with their abusive nicknames for not bringing his hookah in time and not careful towards his service. The two cowherds Jitman and Gore come to visit Laxminarayan where Laxminarayan asks about the reason for their visit and also about the health of the bull. The two cowherds deliver the news of the death of the bull named Male to Laxminarayan and make a further explanation to show their certainty of the death of the bull. They all become afraid and frightened regarding how the king will respond to this news. Laxminarayan murmurs that the king will shave his head and behead the two cowherds. The two cowherds plead with Laxminarayn to save their life. Laxminarayan thinks for a while and comes up with the plan and tells cowherds to go to the cowshed and tells them not to utter the news of the death of the bull.

Laxminarayan goes to the palace to visit the king and the king in a commanding voice asks about the matter to Laxminarayan. Laxminarayan greets the king and begs for the favour of the king and states the sickness of the bull. The king exclaims and asks if the bull has died. Laxminarayan replies cleverly that the bull is staring at them with his eyes but is unable to hear, speak and eat. The king after hearing these symptoms of bull from Laxminarayan comes to him and questions if he said the bull has died. Laxminarayan praises the bull and requests to the king that the bull should be moved to the hills before the temperature rises and waits for the order. The king agrees to move the bull to the hill and asks if he needs any supporting soldiers. Laxminarayan replies that the bull will be more comfortable with the cowherds rather than the soldiers. Laxminarayan requests for his departure however the king also wants to see the bull once.

The two cowherds are murmuring about the death of the bull and the possible dangers that might result. The convoy of the king arrives and Laxminarayan runs ahead of the convoy to tell the cowherds to act as if the bull is alive and unconscious due to its illness. He asks Jitman to massage the hind legs and Gore to wave the fan from the front. The king enters the cowshed and tries to make a conversation with the bull. Laxminarayan tells that since the night they all are in the service of the bull but the bull has not been responding to any activity. The king asks for fruits for the bull and he doubts that the bull has died. Hearing the death of the bull from the king, the cowherds start crying mentioning the relationship, love and affection with the bull. The king promises to give tips for consolation to the cowherds. Laxminarayan too starts crying. Hearing Laxminarayan crying the king scolds him for crying being a Subedar and Bichari. Also, the king Laxminarayan by promising to look after is worries orders Laxminarayan to bury the bull and perform the funeral rites. The king also consoles

Main Theme of the Play

“The Bull’ by Bhinnidhi Tiwari is one of the masterpieces of Nepalese literature. The play beautifully makes the satire of the Nepalese monarchy depicting how King Ranabahadur Shah of Nepal prioritized the beasts over his subjects. Another message that the play delivers is that one should not panic in a difficult situation; rather he/she should act wisely and be smart as per the situation. However, the main message the play imparts to the readers is that how the feudal system and some sly or cunning people keep the rulers in illusion with their tricks and slyness for their own benefits.

The bull Exercise Solution

Understanding the Text

Answer the following questions.

a.Why have Gore and Jitman come to see Laxminarayan? 

Ans.: Gore and Jitman have come to see Laxminarayan in order to give him the information regarding the death of the bull.

b.What, according to cowherds, is the reason behind the death of Male? 

Ans.: According to cowherds, the reason behind the death of Male is that it fed on the fine rice and the lentil soup of split red gram instead of grass which caused Male indigestion and later its death too.

C.Why does Ranabahadur want to see the bull himself? 

Ans.: Ranabahaur wants to see the bull himself because he gets disappointed when he hears the bad health of the bull since it was the dearest bull of Ranabahadur which he had admired the most.

d.Why does Laxminarayan run ahead of the convoy at Thulo Gauchar? 

Ans.: Laxminarayan runs ahead of the convoy at Thulo Gauchar in order to give instructions to the cowherds. He to instructs Jitman to massage the hind legs of the bull and Gore to wave fan from the front in order to show the king that they had really taken good care of the bull that the king admired the most.

e.Why do Gore and Jitman cry when the king declares that Male is dead? 

Ans.: Gore and Jitman cry when the king declares that Male is dead in order to make the impression in front of the king that they had provided great service to care Male and they wanted to make the king believe in them.

f.How do we learn that the bull is dead? 

Ans.: We learn that the bull is dead because the bull does not eat and breathe and the bull has dropped down the ears and the tail has loosened too.

g.How does the play make a satire on the feudal system? 

Ans.: The play makes the satire of the feudal system by depicting brilliantly how the feudal System kept the kings and the rulers in illusion. The play also shows the behaviours of the king where he has more interest in the beasts over his subjects.

h.Write down the plot of the play in a paragraph. 

Ans.: The play starts with the character Laxminarayan who is murmuring with his wives for not being careful towards his service. The two cowherds Jitman and Gore come to visit Laxminarayan to deliver the news of the death of the bull of the king. They all become afraid and frightened about how the king will respond to this news. Laxminarayan comes up with the plan and tells cowherds to look after the bull while he visits the king. Laxminarayan goes to the place and gives news to the king. The king wants to visit the bull as he gets the news about the illness of the bull. As the king goes to visit the bull, Laxminarayan goes to the cowherds earlier than the king and tells the cowherd to act like the bull is alive and unconscious due to its illness. As the king discovers the death of the bull the cowherds start crying and the king consoles the cowherds and promises them rewards for their loyalty and care to the bull. Knowing this Laxmibarayan too starts crying and the king too promises him his reward.

Reference to the context

a.Discuss the late eighteenth-century Nepali society is potryed in terms of the relation between the king and his subjects as portrayed in the play. 

Ans.: According to the play, in the late eighteenth century, the writer suggests the autocratic rule of the king in the country. The king used to have different subjects of various posts who work and they all must follow the order of the king. In the play, Laxminarayan is the veterinary doctor who cares for the bull of King Rana Bahadur Shah. The king had threatened the doctor to punish him if he delivers the death news of the bull. From this line, we can understand the autocratic ruling system of the king because the king prioritized the bull over his subjects. The eighteenth-century highlights the inhumane behaviour and culture prevalent in the society where the subjects of the king were not able to utilize freedom and rights properly. The play also shows that if the subjects are able to make their king happy then they can receive several rewards from the king. Eventually, the play portrays a message. The play also brilliantly shows how the feudal system kept the kings and the rulers in illusion with their tricks and slyness.

b.What does the relation between Laxminarayan and his wives tell us about the society of that time? To what extent the Nepali society changed since then? 

Ans.: Laxminarayan has seven wives in the play and he states that he is not happy even after marrying seven wives. He mentions them as immoral and carefree as his hookah is delayed. He insults them one by one calling them with different names like flat-nosed, ugly, swallow, etc. He even curses them to their death. He seems successful to keep seven wives at home at a time. This represents that women were used as an object of satisfaction and as household workers. It is clear that the polygamy system was quite popular at that time. The women of that time were living in the shadows of men and were the victims of domestic violence. They did not have their own identity. They had to tolerate all the insults and violence of their husbands. There was no freedom and rights for women as of now. There were no punishments and laws against the polygamy practice of marriage of the then society.

Nepali society has changed drastically since then. As of now, rules and regulations have been imposed against polygamy. So, most men have a single spouse as their life partner at present time. Women are given equal rights by the constitution and most people respect the laws. However, there are still some problems regarding women empowerment, rights and opportunities that women get and the discrimination they encounter even in this twenty-first century. And, we can hope that these problems get fixed soon in the near future.

c.Shed light on the practice of chakari as portrayed in the play. Have you noticed this practice in your society ? 

Ans.: In the play, chakari system is clearly visible. Chakari system is that system where the person carries a job or profession of making their senior happy rather than doing focusing on their works. In this system, the persons of lower posts do a chakari of the persons of higher posts. In the play, Laxminarayan is a Subedar and bull doctor too. He seems to do chakari of the king. Likewise, Jitman and Gore do chakari of Laxminarayan. According to play, chakars or the persons of the lower post should show respect to the seniors and should devote their time fully to keep their masters happy. In the play; they are previously warned that if something bad happens to the bull, then the job and life of the servant would be in danger and all Gore, Jitman and Laxminarayan were frightened with the matter of the death of the bull. But if they are loyal and able to make happy to their master, then the masters reward them with different kinds of prizes. In the play when Jitman, Gore and Laxminarayan were able to console the king about their extreme hard works and devotion to the king, they were promised to get rewards from the king.

Speaking of the practice of chakari system in my society, yes, I have noticed this system in my society quite often. A striking example of this system is the job promotion to those who remain loyal and make impressions to their boss. In the present-day society too, people even without qualifications are getting jobs and contracts only through their links and connections- a form of modern-day chakari. This chakari pratha at present have taken several deviated forms in society from a private organization to governmental organizations. 

d.How does Laxminarayan outsmart Ranabahadur ?

Ans.: Laxminarayan is the Subedar and a bull doctor who looks after the bull of Rana Bahadur Shah. He was warned that if the bull dies by any means, then he would be shaved and punished by the king. Laxminarayan had kept two cowherds to take care of the bull. They were Jitman and Gore. One morning, Laxminarayan receives the news about the death of a bull by cowherds. He along with cowherds is too frightened and shocked by the news. They fear the king will kill them and beg to save them. Laxminarayan goes to the king and modifies the news and reports to the king that the bull was sick and it needs to be taken to the hills. Ranabahdur Shah agrees but wishes to see the bull at once. When they are all in possible danger, Laxminarayan comes up with an idea and states the bull is sick and only sees but cannot hear, eat and breathe. He commands his cowherds to act as if they are taking intense care of the bull. The cowherds began to cry when the king knows the bull is dead and they all are able to fool the king. Instead of punishment, they are rewarded by the king.

In this way, Laxminarayan outsmarts the king.

e.Sketch the character of Laxminarayan.

Ans.: Laxminarayan is the major character of this play. He is about 40 years old is a Subedar of Samarjug Company, bicahari of the Ita Chapali court and a bull doctor. He seems to be of a

male-dominated nature as he had seven wives. He also insults them with their different names when they delay his hookah. He blames them for being careless and not making him happy. He seems to be very loyal to the king. Rather than loyal, we can say that Laxminarayan is a very clever and smart character who knows how to please the king. At the end of the play, when there was a situation of being punished by the king, Laxminarayan with his cunning and sly personality outsmarts the king and creates such an environment that the king promises him to reward along with his helpers instead of punishment.

Reference beyond the text

a.Write an essay in about 300 words on “The Nepali Society: Past, Present and Future”. 

The Nepali Society: Past, Present and Future

Nepal is a multi-ethnic, multicultural, multi-religious and multilingual country for a very long period of time. Nepalese society has a very long history and was ruled by kings of several dynasties from the very early period of time. However, at the present time, the monarchy has been replaced by the republican government.

Talking about the past Nepalese society, Nepal was divided into several kingdoms and ruled by different kings at that time. The unification campaign of Nepal was initiated by great king Prithvi Narayan Shah. He fought against several kingdoms to unify all states as one. In 1846, Rana overthrew the power of the kings and ruled Nepal as prime ministers vesting sole power of the rule. People then had a very simple life and most people were illiterate as education was not easily accessible to normal citizens. So, people only from royal backgrounds or of the higher posts could study. Society followed several cultures and traditions and with many social evils and superstitions incorporated into them. Different social malpractices practised at that time include: caste system, sati pratha, chhaupadi pratha, child marriage, dowry system, etc. However, people were loyal and full of moral values during that time in comparison to the people of the present time. Agriculture including animal rearing was their main occupation. The most notable and unique system practised during our ancient time was the division of labour according to caste. Brahmins used to be priests and religious leaders, Chhetris used to look after the defence of the country and worked as soldiers, Baisyas used to work as businessmen and Sudras used to work as manual workers as well as skilled craftsmen who used to make different useful things of daily use.

At the present time, Nepal is a democratic republic country. Nepalese society has advanced a lot in terms of social, economic and political life. People now enjoy a lot of political, social and economic freedom as guaranteed by the Nepalese constitution in comparison to the past Social life now is very active and there are many social organizations working for the welfare of society. Education has become accessible to almost all citizens and the literacy rate has increased in past. Foreign employment, agriculture, services, trade and business are the main sources of employment. The infrastructures are more developed and are accessible have to people in comparison to the past. Likewise, the social malpractices to a great extent h diminished in comparison to the past but still, they are in practice in different regions

However, the Nepalese society is losing its own culture and tradition by import and influence of western civilizations.

The future of the Nepalese society depends upon the present situations. If we are unable to adopt our culture and traditions, then there is a great risk of losing our culture in the future. As per the analysis of present practice, it seems obvious that there will be the hegemony of the western culture and languages among the Nepalese people. The increasing rate of foreign employment will have both positive and negative impacts during the future time. The infrastructures will be quite advanced and people may enjoy them quite often. The future Nepalese life too will be greatly shaped by technological advancement that will occur throughout the world. The social malpractices and evils, as well as discriminations among the people, are hoped to get highly diminished. The overall literacy and education rate of the people will rise high. If there gets political stability, the country tends to utilize the available means and resources to the maximum and it may enhance our country Nepal to be a rich and prosperous country. Overall, if the politics and policies go in the right direction, the future of Nepalese society seems to be a perfect one.

b.In his “Satire 9”, Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux says:

But satire, ever moral, ever new

Delights the reader and instructs him, too. She, if good sense refine her sterling page, Oft shakes some rooted folly of the age.

Do you agree with the poet? Discuss the lines with reference to Bhimnidhi Tiwari’s play “The Bull”. 

Ans.: Satire is a genre of literature which makes the use of humour, irony, exaggeration or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues. Making the use of satire in literary texts serves two functions, one – entertaining the readers or audiences and another making the concerned bodies and personnel responsible and accountable for their responsibilities and duties. In the above-provided lines too, Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux mentions the same purpose of using satire in literature by laureates. She too states that on the one hand, the use of satire delights the readers and makes the readers too, be aware of if she/he has been involved in practising rooted folly (irrational things).

Bhiminidhi Tiwari too brilliantly does the same job with his play “The Bull’. Tiwari with the use of satire makes the reading or watching of the play very interesting on one hand and he too satires the ongoing rulers whether they are being fooled by the persons like Laxminarayan. In addition to this, the play also successfully entertains as well as awares the persons sitting in ruling position whether they value the people who have elected with them as there is the irony in the play which depicts how the king Ranabahadur Shah of Nepal prioritized the beasts over his subjects. Likewise, the play also shows that how the feudal system and some cunning people keep the rulers in illusion with their tricks and slyness. Hence, we can state that satire is one of the very remarkable genres of literature that entertains and awares its readers at the same time.