“A Shadow” is Short Story 4 from Tulip Series English for students of Class 7th. This post is precisely about A Shadow Class 7th Line by Line Explanation. The short story has been written by an Indian writer R.K. Narayan. This post contains a Detailed Line by Line Explanation of the story A Shadow. In the last post, you read about Question Answers and the Summary of the Short Story A Shadow. Let’s not waste time and get started:
A Shadow Class 7th Line by Line Explanation
The chapter “A Shadow” is written by R.K. Narayan. The chapter is a story about a boy named Sambu whose father was an actor and he had lost his father. Before his death, his father had acted in a movie which released after his death. Sambu would see his acting in the movies daily. He also persuaded her mother to come along with him to the cinema house and watch the movie. She agreed at the end but got very emotional at the end of the movie.
Detailed Line by Line Explanation of Short Story A Shadow
Sambu demanded, “You must give me four annas to see the film tomorrow.” His mom was horrified. How could this boy! She had been dreading for six months past the arrival of the film. How could people bear to see him on the screen when they knew he was no more?
Explanation: Sambu was a son of an actor who lost his life and a movie of his was released after his death. Sambu demanded four aanas from his mother to pay for the ticket as he wanted to watch the movie of his father. Sambu’s mother was surprised when he asked for money because she was not able to understand how his son could see the movie. She was not able to muster her courage to see the movie since its release six months ago. Sambu’s mother was surprised because she was not able to understand how his son will watch his father in the movie because he was aware that his father was no more now.
She had a vague hope that the producers might not release the picture out of consideration for her feelings. And when a procession appeared in the street with young boys carrying placards and huge coloured portraits of her husband, she resolved to go out of town for a while but it was a desperate and unpractical resolve. Now the picture had arrived. Her husband was going to speak, move, and sing, for at least six hours a day in that theatre three streets off.
Explanation: Sambu’s father had false hope that the producers of the movie may not release it respecting her sentiments and emotions. She decided to go out of the town when the procession appeared in the street with young boys carrying placards and huge coloured portraits of her husband. It was a temporary solution and after the movie was released, her husband was going to speak, move, and sing, for at least six hours a day in a theatre which was three streets from her residence.
Sambu was as delighted as if his father had come back to life. “Mother, won’t you also come and see the picture?”
“Please, please. You must come.”
She had to explain to him how utterly impossible it would be for her to see the picture. The boy had a sort of ruthless logic: “Why should it be impossible? Aren’t you seeing his photos, even that big photo on the wall, every day?”
“But these photos do not talk, move or sing.”
“And yet you prefer them to the picture which has life!”
Explanation: Sambu was very happy because he was going to watch the movie of his father. He asked his mother if she would come to watch the movie but she refused to do so. He requested his mother to come along with him but she refused to come and explained the reason to him that she couldn’t watch the movie since his father was not alive then.
The whole of the next day Sambu was in great excitement. In his classroom whenever his master took his eyes off him for a moment he leant over and whispered to his neighbour, “My father was paid ten thousand rupees to act in that film. I am seeing it this evening. Aren’t you also coming?” “To see Kumari!” his friend sneered. He hated Tamil pictures. “I won’t even pass that way.”
Explanation: Sambu was very excited for the whole next day because he was going to watch the movie of his father. Whenever his teacher took his eyes off him in the class that day, he whispered to the neighbouring students that his father was paid 10 thousand rupees for acting in that movie and he was going to watch that movie in the evening. He asked his friend if he would come to watch the movie. His friend refused to do so because he was not fond of Tamil movies and said that he would not even like to pass that way in which there was the cinema
“This is not like other Tamil films. My father used to read us the story every night. It is a very interesting story. He wrote the whole story himself. He was paid ten thousand rupees for writing and acting. I will take you to the picture if you are also coming.”
“I won’t see a Tamil picture.”
“This is not an ordinary Tamil picture. It is as good as an English picture!”
Explanation: Sambu tried to explain to his friend that it was not like other Tamil movies. The story of the movie was an interested one and was written by Sambu’s father himself. He was paid ten thousand rupees for writing the story and acting in the movie. Sambu’s friend was not ready to watch the movie. He tried to persuade his friend that it was not an ordinary Tamil film but was as good a movie as an English movie.
But Sambu’s friend was adamant. Sambu had to go alone and see the picture. It was an attempt at a new style in Tamil films – a modern story with a minimum of music. It was the story of Kumari, a young girl, who refused to marry at fourteen but wanted to study at a university and earn an independent living, and was cast away by her stern father (Sambu’s father) and forgiven in the end.
Sambu sitting in the four-anna class was eagerly waiting for the picture to begin. It was six months since he had seen his father, and he missed him badly at home.
Explanation: Sambu tried his best but his friend didn’t agree to watch the movie so Sambu went alone. It was a new attempt in Tamil films. It was a modern type of story having very less music. It was the story of a young girl named Kumari. She refused to marry at an early age of 14 to continue her study at university and earn her living independently.
Sambu was waiting eagerly for watching the movie. Sambu’s father died six months ago and he was missing him badly at home.
The hall darkened. Sambu sat through the trailers and slide advertisements without enthusiasm. After all his father came on the screen. He was wearing just the dhoti and shirt he used to wear at home. And then a little girl came up, and he patted her on the head and spoke to her exactly as he used to speak to Sambu. And then the father taught the girl arithmetic. She had a slate on her knee and he dictated to her: “A cartman wants two annas per mile. Rama has three annas on hand. How far will the cartman carry him?” The girl chewed her slate pencil and blinked. Father was showing signs of impatience. “Go on Kumari,” Sambu muttered. “Say something otherwise you will receive a slap presently. I know him better than you do.” Kumari, however, was a better arithmetician than Sambu. She gave the right answer. Father was delighted. How he would jump about in sheer delight whenever Sambu solved a sum correctly! Sambu was reminded of a particular occasion when by sheer fluke he blundered through a puzzle about a cistern with a leak and a tap above it. How father jumped, out of his chair when he heard Sambu declare that it would take three hours for the cistern to fill again.
Explanation: The light of the cinema hall was turned off and Sambu watched the trailers of the movie. After trailers and advertisements finally, his father came on the screen wearing the clothes he used to wear at home. Soon a little girl appeared on the screen, he patted her and talked to her the way he would talk to Sambu. He taught her to solve the arithmetic and gave her questions to solve. She was an intelligent student and solved the problem correctly. It made Sambu’s father as happy as he used to be when Sambu would solve the sum correctly.
When the film ended and the lights were switched on, Sambu turned about and gazed at the aperture in the projection room as if his father had vanished into it. The world now seemed to be a poorer place without a father. He ran home. His mother was waiting for him at the door. “It is nine o’clock. You are very late.”
“I would have loved it if the picture had lasted even longer. You are a perverse mother. Why won’t you see it?”
Throughout the dinner, he kept talking. “Exactly as father used to sing, exactly as he used to walk, exactly…”
Explanation: After the movie ended, the lights of the cinema hall were switched on and Sambu turned around and gazed at the aperture of the projector and felt as if his father vanished into it. He was feeling lonelier now without his father and he ran home. His mother was waiting for him and when he came back, she said that it was very late.
He replied that he would have loved to watch the movie if it has lasted for some more time and she also said that she should also watch the movie.
He kept talking, singing and walking exactly like his father while they were having dinner that night.
His mother listened to him in grim silence. “Why don’t you say something, mother?
“I have nothing to say.”
“Don’t you like the picture?”
She didn’t answer the question. She asked, “Would you like to go and see the picture again tomorrow?”
Yes, mother. If possible, every day as long as the picture is shown. Will you give me four annas every day?”
“Will you let me see both the shows every day?”
“Oh, no. You can’t do that. What is to happen to your lessons?”
“Won’t you come and see the picture, mother?”
Explanation: Sambu’s mother was listening to him with a sad face. Sambu asked him why he was not saying anything. She replied that she had nothing to say. He further asked if she don’t like the movie, but she didn’t answer his question and instead asked him if he would like to watch the movie again the next day. Sambu replied that he would love to watch as long as it was shown in the theatre and asked her if she would give her four annas to watch the movie every day and she replied positively but refused for both the shows. She was more concerned about his studies and told him to watch one show daily. He asked him to watch the movie but she refused to do so.
For a week more, three hours a day, Sambu lived in his father’s company and felt depressed at the end of every show. Every day was a parting for him. He longed to sit down and see the night show too, but his mother bothered too much about school lessons. Time was precious but the mother did not seem to understand it; lessons could wait but not for the father. He envied those who were seeing the picture at night.
Explanation: For the next one week Sambu would watch the movie about his father for three hours daily and felt very sad after the completion of the show daily. He does not like to leave the cinema hall and wanted to watch the night show too but his mother was worried about his studies. Sambu would feel that time was very valuable for him to spend in the company of his father because he can learn the lessons later too. He would be jealous of the people who would watch the evening show of the movie.
Unable to stand his persuasions anymore, his mother agreed to see the picture on the last day. They went to the night show. She sat in the women’s class. She had to screw up all her courage to sit down for the picture. She had a feeling of great relief as long as the slide advertisements, and trailer pieces lasted. When the picture began, her heart beat fast. Her husband talking to his wife on the screen, playing with his child, singing, walking, dressing; same clothes, same voice, the same anger, same joy – she felt that the whole thing was a piece of cruelty inflicted on her. She shut her eyes several times, but the picture fascinated her: it had the fascination of a thing which is painful.
Explanation: At last Sambu’s mother failed to refuse him and agreed to watch the movie on the last day. They went to watch the night show. His mother sat on the woman’s seat and she had mustered all her courage to watch the film. When the movie started her heartbeat got faster when she saw her husband walking, talking and singing in the film because he was not alive now and it was extremely painful for her to see him on screen.
And then came a scene in which he reclined in a chair reading a newspaper. How he would sit absorbed in a newspaper! In their years of married life, how often had she quarrelled with him for it! Even on the last day, he had sat thus after dinner, in his canvas chair; with the newspaper before him: she had lost her temper at the sight of it and said, “You and your newspaper! I could as well go and sleep off the rest of the day,” and left his company. When she saw him later, he had fallen back in his chair with the sheets of newspaper over his face…
Explanation: Then came a scene in the movie in which Sambu’s father was shown reclined in a chair reading a newspaper. He used to do that daily when he was alive and there were often quarrels over this between Sambu’s parents even at his last time he was sitting in the same manner and died on the chair too.
This was an unbearable scene. A sob burst from her. Sambu, sitting in his seat on the men’s side, liked to see his father in the newspaper scene because the girl would presently come and ask him what he was reading, annoy him with questions, and get what she deserved: father would shout: “Kumari! Will you go out or shall I throw you out!” That girl didn’t know how to behave with her father, and Sambu intensely disliked her…
Explanation: It was unbearable for Sambu’s mother and she started crying. Sambu, on the other hand, would love to watch the scene because in this scene Kumari used to irritate Sambu’s father and he shouted at her and it made Sambu happy because he disliked Kumari.
While awaiting eagerly the snubbing of the girl Sambu heard a burst of sobbing in the women’s class: presently there was a scramble of feet and a cry. “Put the lights on! Accident to someone!” The show was stopped. People went hither and thither. Sambú, cursing this interruption, stood up to see what the matter was. He saw his mother being lifted from the floor. “That is my mother! Is she also dead?” screamed Sambu and jumped over the barrier. He wailed and cried. Someone told him, “She has only fainted. Nothing has happened to her. Don’t make a fuss.” They carried her out and laid her in the passage. The lights were put out again, people returned to their seats, and the show continued. Mother opened her eyes, sat up, and said, “Let us go away.”
Explanation: While Sambu was waiting for his father to scold Kaumari in the film he heard his mother’s cry and also there was some sound. The lights of the hall were put on and the show was stopped. Sambu saw his mother being lifted from the floor. She was terrified and screamed that if his mother was dead too and he started crying but he was told by someone from the crowd that she only fainted. They took her out and laid her in the passage. The show started again and people started watching the show again but Sambu’s mother told him to leave for home.
“Yes, mother.” He fetched a jutka and helped her into it. As he was climbing into it himself from the darkened hall a familiar voice said, “Kumari! Will you go out or shall throw you out! On hearing it Sambu’s heart became heavy and he burst into tears. He was affected both by his mother’s breakdown and by the feeling that this was the final parting from his father. They were changing the picture the next day.
Explanation: Sambu agreed and he fetched a horse-driven carriage and helped his mother to climb into it. When he was climbing into the carriage, he heard the voice of his father from the cinema hall. When he heard it, he gets sad and started crying. He was sad at his mother’s breakdown and felt that he was parting final ways with his father because the cinema hall was changing the movie the next day.
That’s it for A Shadow Class 7th Line by Line Explanation. Hope you liked it. Do share your views about this post in the comment section below.