Home MH STATE BOARD 1.1 An Astrologer’s Day-Maharashtra State Board-Class 12-English

1.1 An Astrologer’s Day-Maharashtra State Board-Class 12-English

1.1 An Astrologer's Day-Maharashtra State Board-Class 12-English
1.1: ‘An Astrologer’s Day’:
Maharashtra State Board
Class 12, English

R.K. Narayan

R.K. Narayan (Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami) was a renowned Indian author born on October 10, 1906, in Madras (Chennai). He is best known for his works set in the fictional South Indian town of Malgudi, where he explores the everyday lives and struggles of its residents. His writing is characterized by its simplicity, gentle humour, and keen observation of human nature.

Notable works include “Swami and Friends,” “The Bachelor of Arts,” “The English Teacher,” and “The Guide,” which won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1960 and was later adapted into a successful film. Narayan’s literary career spanned over six decades, and he received numerous accolades, including the Padma Bhushan in 1964 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2001, two of India’s highest civilian honours. He passed away on May 13, 2001, leaving behind a rich legacy of Indian English literature.

‘An Astrologer’s Day’

An Astrologer’s Day is a thriller, suspense short story by author R. K. Narayan. While it had been published earlier, it was the titular story of Narayan’s fourth collection of short stories published in 1947 by Indian Thought Publications. It was the first chapter of the world famous collection of stories ‘Malgudi Days’ which was later telecasted on television in 2006.

The narrative highlights a dramatic encounter between the astrologer and a man named Guru Nayak. Through this meeting, it is revealed that the astrologer has a dark past: he had once stabbed a man and left him for dead. The astrologer recognizes Guru Nayak as his former victim but keeps his identity hidden. Using his skills and intuition, he convinces Guru Nayak that the man he seeks (the astrologer himself) is dead, thus diffusing the threat and enabling both to move forward with their lives.

The story is notable for its twist ending and Narayan’s characteristic blend of humour, irony, and deep insight into human nature.


Activity: Write details about your Strengths:
an astrologer's day_1

ActivityThe scene in a local market of a village/town/city is very attractive. People with different occupations sell their wares. Give the variety of activities at the local market:

  • Selling Flowers & Grocery
  • Selling Vegetables & Fruits
  • Selling Artisan and Craft Goods
  • Selling Cosmetics & Imitation jewellery
  • Selling Fast foods & Snack
  • Selling Meat & Fishes
  • Selling Household Items

Activity: In a village /town /city it is quite a common sight to see an astrologer sitting by the roadside with his professional equipment. Give a list the requirements for his trade:

  • Cowrie shells 
  • Lemons, green chillies and flowers
  • Saffron colour clothes
  • ‘Panchang’
  • Palm Leaf Manuscripts/Books 
  • Notebook and Pen
  • Zodiac Signs Chart
  • Magnifying Glass
  • Statues or Pictures of Deities
  • Beads or Gemstones
  • Tarot Cards
  • Donation Box or Cash Collection Box

Activity:  There are certain unreasonable beliefs among people living in our society. Certain common events are linked with superstitions. List such events, discuss the superstitions linked with them and the means of their eradication:

  • Seeing face in broken mirror
  • A cat crossing your path
  • Avoid taking food during eclipse
  • Taking salt on palm
  • Hanging lemon and chillies in house & vehicles
  • Sweeping floors at night
  • Opening an umbrella indoors
  • Itchy palms

Means of their eradication:

  • Education & Counselling
  • Development of Scientific Approach
  • Effective Use of Social Media
  • Always Positive Thinking
  • Workshops and Seminars

Activity: Given below are some descriptions. Discuss them with your partner and find out one word for each of them. An example is given for you:

  • The scientific study of the universe and the objects in it, including stars, planets, nebulae and galaxies – Astronomy
  • The study of the movements of the planets, Sun, Moon, and Stars in the belief that these movements can have an influence on people’s lives – Astrology
  • A prediction of what will happen in the future – Prophecy
  • The scientific discipline that studies mental states and processes and behaviour in humans and other animals – Psychology


Activity: In the story we are told that the Town Hall Park was a remarkable place in many ways for an astrologer to build his business. List the exceptional qualities of the place:

  • A surging crowd
  • Auctioneers of cheap clothes
  • Medicine, stolen hardware & junk sellers
  • Fried groundnut sellers
  • Different kinds of trading

Activity: The astrologer never opened his mouth till the other had spoken for at least ten minutes. Discuss the reasons behind his act:

  • He is good at reading the people
  • He was very much eager to get information from the person
  • He could examine the person’s nature
  • He could easily satisfy the person
  • He could gather proper information
  • To create a sense of mystery and authority
  • To assess the situation
  • He knows that people often reveal more about themselves when they speak at length

Activity: Tactics used by the Astrologer to earn his wages:

Activity: An astrologer’s appearance helps to create an impression on his clients. Complete the following:

  • The turban on his head
  • Face covering dark whiskers
  • Sparkling & gleaming eyes
  • Sacred ash on forehead
  • Warm and approachable look
  • Traditional attire

Activity: Read the following sentences and choose the correct one: 

a. The astrologer says that if Nayak leaves his village again, he would-
i. return the money
ii. face danger
iii. go back home and stop looking for the  man who tried to kill him
iv. not find the killer
Answer: face danger

b. According to the narrator the astrologer’s success in his profession is primarily due to-
i. luck
ii. the bargains he drives
iii. his appearance
iv. his understanding of people
Answer: his understanding of people

c. The story suggests that the astrologer’s comments and observations please people by-
i. promising them success and good fortune
ii. proving, as time passes, to have been true
iii. flattering them or supporting their own views
iv. helping them to learn to solve their own  problems
Answer: flattering them or supporting their own views

d. Guru Nayak consults the astrologer because he wants to-
i. understand the past
ii. find out who the astrologer is
iii. make some money through a bet
iv. get the answer to a specific question
Answer: get the answer to a specific question

e. Guru Nayak is looking for the man who tried to kill him-
i. to take revenge
ii. to get an apology
iii. to demand an explanation
iv. to prove that the man was unsuccessful
Answer: to take revenge

f. The astrologer’s remark makes Guru Nayak feel all of the following except-
i. relieved
ii. suspicious
iii. impressed
iv. disappointed
Answer: suspicious

g. Reactions of the astrologer’s wife to his news suggest that she-
i. was unaware of his past
ii. has been worried about his safety
iii. has known him since he was young
iv. is concerned about her future with him
Answer: was unaware of his past

Activity: Read the following sentences and find out True and False sentences. Correct the False sentences:

(a) The astrologer gave a correct prediction to the client about his past that he was stabbed, thrown into a well and left for dead.- True
(b) When the astrologer came to know that the man whom he killed is alive he felt that he was relieved of his guilt. – True
(c) The astrologer tried to back out of the deal and talked about the client’s past. – False (The astrologer demanded more money to tell the past)
(d) The astrologer rescued himself from Guru Nayak’s revenge. – True
(e) The moral of the story is that we must be responsible about what we have done and should not run away from our mistakes. – True

Activity: The astrologer has changed his appearance and his persona when he arrived in the city. Give specific reasons:

an astrologer's day_2

Activity: ‘The darkness load that was inside the astrologer has disappeared’. Through this sentence, explain the significance of the title ‘An Astrologer’s Day’:

The Astrologer thought that he had killed Guru Nayak. He has been carrying the burden of this thought. He is feeling guilty about it. When Guru Nayak appeared before him as a customer, Astrologer identified him suddenly. But Guru Nayak could not identify him. The Astrologer became very happy and relaxed to see Guru Nayak alive. The dark load of the thought of murder suddenly disappeared. This is the happiest day in his life, an Astrologer’s Day.

Activity: The astrologer wins/gets the sympathy of criticism of the reader in the end. Express your opinion with the support of the main story:

The Astrologer won the real sympathy of the readers at the end of the story. I too sympathize with the Astrologer. His intention was not to kill Guru Nayak. When he started to lead a new life, still he was feeling guilty over his deed. It shows his greatness and humanity in him. So I sympathize with the Astrologer. I’m very happy to know that the Astrologer can live happily in future.

Activity: In the story, astrologer has a great listening power. Listening helps in developing good relations with people. Express your opinion:

Of course, listening helps in developing good relations with people, because-

  • Good listeners are always appreciated
  • They might get some good advices
  • It develops patience and tolerance
  • Your relations will be more harmonious
  • Likely to gain respect of others
  • Builds trust and understanding
  • Improves communication
  • Encourages openness and sharing
  • Encourages positive interactions

Activity: In the story, the following characters reveal their qualities through words and actions. Pick out the words that describe them and write before the characters:

Astrologer Guru Nayak Astrologer’s wife
shrewd manipulative caring
clever shrewd demanding
suspicious arrogant protective
mean overconfident rational
worried cunning humanistic
cunning aggressive
intuitive antagonistic
skeptical quarrelsome
mystical gullible

Activity: Match the suffixes with the words and make nouns:

Activity: Figure of Speech- IRONY

‘An Astrologer’s Day’ has ironic elements where the astrologer pretends to have ‘supernatural knowledge’ that coincidently turns out to be the truth’.

Irony means a situation or statement characterized by a significant difference between what is expected and what actually happens, or between what is understood and what is meant.”

Find out the examples of Irony from the story and write them down:

  • He knew no more of what was going to happen to others than he knew what was going to happen to himself the next minute.
  • The Astrologer is quite innocent regarding the murder. He uses his skill by telling that the murderer is dead. This is the Ironical end of the story.
  • The Astrologer had a working analysis of human troubles. He would let the person speak for ten minutes so that he would get something to answer.
  • The Astrologer said -‘Guru Nayak’. At This time Guru Nayak was surprised how the Astrologer knows his name. Then he really started to believe in Astrologer.

Activity: CODE-MIXING. Find out the examples of Code-mixing words from the story and write them down.

Code-mixing is the mixing of two or more languages or language varieties in speech.

Activity: There are some phrases where the word ‘crown’ is used with different shades of meaning. Use the following phrases to complete the sentences meaningfully.

  • crowning achievement                
  • to crown the effect                                                          
  • crown of thorns                               
  • crowning glory                                           
  • to crown it all

  • Medical science has great inventions, but organ transplantation is definitely a crowning achievement for human beings.
  • To crown the effect, he wound a saffron-coloured turban around his head.
  • In her pursuit of success, Radha has distanced herself from her family. Her fame has become a real crown of thorns.
  • The works of Shakespeare are the crowning glory of English drama.
  • They threw a wonderful party for me with costumes, games and to crown it all my favourite kind of ice cream.

Activity: Word Usage. Use the words given in the brackets and rewrite the sentences.

Word Usage

1. The power of his eyes was considerably enhanced. (enhancement)
There was a considerable enhancement in the power of his eyes.

2. He had a working analysis of mankind’s troubles. (worked)
He had worked for the analysis of mankind’s troubles.

3. He knew what was going to happen to himself next minute. (happening)
He knew what was happening to himself next minute.

 4. If you find my answers satisfactory, will you give me five rupees? (satisfaction)
If you find my answers to your satisfaction, will you give me five rupees?

5. He shook his head regretfully. (regret)
He shook his head with regret.

6. It was a bewildering crisscross of light rays. (bewildered)
It was a bewildered crisscross of light rays.

7. “I should have been dead if some passer-by had not chanced to peep into the well,” exclaimed the other, overwhelmed by enthusiasm. (enthusiastically)
The other exclaimed enthusiastically, ‘I should have been dead if some passer-by had not chanced to peep into the well!’

8. You tried to kill him. (killing)
You tried killing him.

9. I will prepare some nice stuff for her. (preparation)
There will be a preparation of some nice stuff for her by me.

10. The other groaned on hearing it. (heard)
The other heard it and groaned.

Activity:  Expansion of Ideas:

The Expansion of an Idea is a process of developing a simple or basic idea into a more detailed, comprehensive, and elaborated form. This process includes adding explanations, examples, descriptions, and related information to provide a clearer, fuller picture of the initial concept.

More details about ‘Expansion of Idea’

Activity: Surf the Internet and find out the Career Opportunities in Astronomy:

  • Planetary Astronomer
  • Astrophysicist
  • Astrobiologist
  • Professor
  • Government Researcher
  • Meteorologist
  • Museum & Planetarium Director                   
  • Government and Policy Advisor
  • Space Mission Specialist
  • Science Communicator/Journalist
  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Data Analyst
  • Astronomical Instrumentation Specialist
  • Planetary Scientist
  • System Programmer for Space
  • Space Medical Consultant

Activity: Speech- Science & Superstition

Respected teachers and my dear friends…

Today, we are celebrating ‘National Science Day’ in our school. National Science Day is celebrated in India on 28 February, in the memory of Sir C.V. Raman, to mark his discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’.

Science and superstition are two very different ways of understanding the world around us. Science is based on facts, evidence, and experiments. It helps us understand how things work, from the tiny cells in our bodies to the vastness of the universe. Superstition, on the other hand, is based on beliefs that are not backed by evidence. These beliefs often come from traditions, myths, or fear of the unknown.

Science has given us incredible gifts. Because of science, we have modern medicine that can cure diseases, technology that connects us with people around the globe, and knowledge that helps us make better decisions. Scientists ask questions, conduct experiments, and share their findings so that everyone can benefit from their discoveries. This method of learning and discovering has made our lives healthier, safer, and more convenient.

Superstitions are beliefs that certain actions, events, or objects can bring good or bad luck. For example, some people believe that breaking a mirror will bring seven years of bad luck, or that finding a four-leaf clover will bring good luck. While these beliefs can be interesting and even fun, they do not have any scientific basis. Superstitions often arise from a lack of understanding or fear of what we do not know.

Science encourages us to ask questions and seek evidence. It teaches us to be curious, to learn, and to grow. When we understand the world through science, we are better equipped to make decisions that improve our lives and the lives of others.

Really, Superstition is the curse to society. To develop more scientific approach among people, is the only solution to overcome it. 

Let’s fight against Superstition! Let’s embrace science and its methods, so we can move forward into a future filled with knowledge, progress, and endless possibilities.

That’s all! Thank You Very Much!!!

1.1: ‘An Astrologer’s Day’: Download PDF

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