AHSEC Class 12 Alternative English: Bina Kutir Chapter 5 Questions Answers - The Treasure Notes

Bina Kutir By Saurav Kumar Chaliha is a beautiful Story of AHSEC Class 12 Alternative English (Harmony: An Anthology of Prose and Poetry) Chapter 5.

AHSEC Class 12 Alternative English: Bina Kutir Questions Answers [H.S 2nd Year Alte. English Chapter 5 Solution]

Bina Kutir By Saurav Kumar Chaliha is a beautiful Story of AHSEC Class 12 Alternative English (Harmony: An Anthology of Prose and Poetry) Chapter 5. Here you will find Brief Summary of the poem and a detailed Question Answer of Bina Kutir with additional And Important Questions for Upcoming 2024 Examination. 

About the author: 

Saurav Kumar Chaliha is considered to be the foremost among the short story writers in Assamese. Saurav Kumar Chaliha is the pseudonym of Surendra Nath Medhi (1930-2011), who, however, refrained from interchanging the two identities. In a career spanning more than six decades, Chaliha brought ingenuity and exquisite craftsmanship to the form of modern storytelling, and he is undoubtedly the pioneering figure in this field as a practitioner in the Assamese language.


Narrated in first person, 'Bina Kutir' is a somewhat speculative account of a man's search for a rented house in Guwahati. The narrative is presented through a series of imagined situations in the form of story. It begins with the narrator entering a neighbourhood where there are a lot of concrete constructions, with some buildings at different stages of development. In the course of his search for a home conducive to his requirements, he comes upon a lone Assam-type house in the lane. As all the other buildings are many- storied concrete structures, the Assam-type house stands out clearly. The house, which is unoccupied, has a bina flower plant, on the basis of which the narrator speculates that the house is most likely called 'Bina Kutir'. However, that is not the actual name of the house. Yet, for his own imaginative purposes, the narrator refers to it as Bina Kutir. The word 'kutir' implies that the house is small in size and is therefore seen as a cottage.

Not quite knowing how and where to gather information from, the narrator approaches a vendor-shop facing the house and tries to elicit information from the young man sitting behind the counter. The young man does not have much information but over the course of the conversation, the narrator discovers, but not with absolute certainty, that a small family used to live there. The head of the family was apparently a teacher of Sanskrit, and his two sons and daughter lived with him. The elder son went on to become a teacher like his father, and the younger one pursued medical studies in Dibrugarh. The daughter, who the narrator imagines is named 'Bina', got married eventually and not much was known about her present whereabouts, Interestingly, these speculations are part of the narrator's wilful imagination even though the information that he derives contribute to his assessment of the situation.

He concludes that this family represented a tradition of the old times which did not evaluate everything in commercial terms. Which is why even after the passing away of the father, the children kept the house as it is, and this is perceived by the narrator to be a sign of good upbringing and a lack of interest in commercial gain. He also visualises that the second son's decision to go against the wishes of his father created a rift which perhaps remained unresolved. However, when the narrator learns that his imagined image of a tradition-loving family who did not harbour any interest in profit was misplaced, he gets lost in his imagination again.

A close reading of the story provides a picture of life in Guwahati more than five decades ago, illustrating the gradual urbanization in different localities of the city. The story presents a narrative where the process of storytelling is combined with the narrator's fertile imagination. He brings to life a past on the basis of the information he receives and adds his own visualization to create his version of the situation.


A. State whether these sentences are True or False.

1. Bina Kutir is an RCC building. 

Ans: False.

2. Rehana is the name of the daughter.

Ans: False.

3. The narrator sips Coca-Cola.

Ans: True.

4. The young man is preparing for an Economics exam.

Ans: False.

B. Answer these questions in one or two words.

1. Which car brand is mentioned in the story? 

Ans: Ford car.

2. Mr Mehta’s office is located in which city?

Ans: Calcutta.

3. Which alternative location was offered to the narrator  regarding a rented accommodation? 

Ans: Fatasil.

4. Where does the younger son go to pursue medical studies? 

Ans: Dibrugarh.

5. Who is Brajen Kalita? 

Ans: Brajen Kalita is PWD overseer.

C. Answer these questions in a few words each.

1. Name the places from Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram mentioned in the story. 

Ans: The place are Pasighat and Aizawl respectively.

2. What is name of the younger son’s wife and in which part of the house are they seen to be engaged in conversation? 

Ans: Rehana is the name of the younger son’s wife and they are seen to be engaged in conversation on the backyard of the Bina Kutir.

3. Who enquired about the monthly shipment of a product and what was that product? 

Ans: A couple enquired about the monthly shipment of a product and the product was Glaxo.

4. To which school were classes shifted for six months, and why? 

Ans: For six months the classes were shifted to Bishnuram High School because the school was taken over by military.

5. What did the girl go to watch when it passed by the gate? 

Ans: The girl went to watch the band party.

D. Answer these questions briefly in your own words.

1. What is your impression of the neighbourhood where Bina Kutir is located?

Ans: In Assam, people used to build Assam type house because it is earthquake resistant. Traditionally, people live in Assam type house but with the advent of modernism building are have been constructed everywhere. Bina Kutir was also an Assam type house in the midst of the large concrete buildings. Around the house there was very little space for the house itself to claim its own.

2. What does the presence of trade and commercial establishments signify regarding the growth pattern of city life depicted in ‘Bina Kutir’?

Ans: Change is a part of our life; the same thing is mentioned in the story. The author also depicted the changes found in the city where Bina Kutir was located. He describes how with the advent of modernisation the city was totally changed. The serenity and peace of the house has totally gone. Now the house is fully surrounded with commercial godowns, crowd and the honking of the vehicles. Going through the stories of Saurav Kumar Chaliha, one feels profound familiarity with the varied moods of urban life. The aim of the writer is to bring before his readers the follies and vices, timidity and hypocrisy of modern citizen life under different circumstances.

3. How does the narrator use the Coca-Cola bottle to facilitate the flight of the narrator’s imagination in the story? 

Ans: The narrator uses the Coca Cola bottle to facilitate the narrator’s imagination swift and interesting. To give the story a more alive inspiration, Coca-Cola has been used continuously in each and every step. It starts when the author goes to inspect the house where the shopkeeper offered him the Coca Cola. Again the speaker made a conversation with the shopkeeper where he advice him to keep a refrigerator to increase the demand of the drink. In the next visit, the speaker saw two Punjabi men drinking Coca Cola and again he took a sip of the drink. So, from the beginning to the ending of the story the author gave a vivid imagery by adding the Coco Cola. 

4. What plans do the two sons have regarding commercial growth mentioned towards the end of the story?

Ans: According to the author, the elder brother is a professor and writes book so he is planning to have a publication house in his own home. While the younger one is a doctor, he wants to construct a huge RCC building and give it on rent with his own chamber in the ground floor.

E. Answer these questions in detail.

1. Comment on the significance of the title of the story ‘Bina Kutir”. 

Ans: The name ‘Bina Kutir’ is given by the author. The narrator for hi own imaginative purpose gave the name ‘Bina Kutir’. The word ‘Kuti implies that the house is small in size and ias therefore seen as cottage. It becomes apparent in the story ‘Bina Kutir’ (Bina Cottage) how in the modern era the old but eternal values have been degraded coming into contact with newly formed city-centric cash-all mentality. The setting of the story is Guwahati city. The protagonist of the story sets out in search of a rent-house, but he discovers himself in an extraordinary situation in which he becomes aware of the existence of several curious characters with diverse mentality. The owner of the house named Bina Kutir was a teacher. Being a studious person and a writer, he was of a steady and firm nature. The conflict between the values he upheld and those of his professor and doctor sons becomes obvious throughout the story. Although the characters of the story-the teacher, his two sons, his younger daughter-in-law, his daughter and son-in-law-have not been directly presented in the story, the writer gives ample proof of his skill by depicting the conflicts, actions and reactions in the mental world of these characters through light and shade technique. Out in his mission for a rented house, the protagonist takes coca-cola at a shop and comes to know from the shop boy the history of the house Bina Kutir and the family of its owner.

2. How much of the narrator’s speculation do you think is responsible for the characterisation in the story? Give a well- reasoned answer. 

Ans: The extent to which the narrator’s speculation influences characterisation in a story can vary depending on the specific narrative style and the intentions of the author. In general, the narrator’s speculation can play a significant role in shaping the reader’s understanding of the characters, but it is important to consider the context and reliability of that speculation. The narrator’s speculation can provide insights into a character’s thoughts, motivations, and emotions that might not be explicitly stated or shown through their actions. By offering interpretations and judgments, the narrator helps guide the reader’s perception of the characters, their relationships, and the overall narrative. These speculations can be based on the narrator’s observations, knowledge, or biases. However, it’s crucial to recognize that the narrator’s speculation is not necessarily the definitive truth about the characters. Different narrators may have their own perspectives, limitations, or prejudices that can colour their interpretations. These speculations are often subjective and may not align with the characters’ actual experiences or intentions.

Moreover, authors may intentionally create unreliable narrators who provide biased or distorted speculations to challenge the reader’s assumptions and encourage critical thinking. In such cases, the reader must carefully analyze the narrator’s reliability and consider alternative interpretations to fully understand the characters.

Ultimately, the narrator’s speculation can significantly contribute to characterization by providing valuable insights and interpretations. However, readers should be mindful of the narrator’s subjectivity and critically evaluate their speculations to form a more nuanced understanding of the characters and their motivations.


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