Bepin Choudhary’s Lapse of Memory Class 8 Summary, Questions – CBSE


Bepin Choudhary’s Lapse of Memory Class 8 NCERT Solutions, Summary, Questions & Answers

Summary of Bepin Choudhary’s Lapse of Memory

This story is about an old man namely Bepin Choudhary who has a habit of going to book stores and buying books. One day he goes to a book store and another person comes up and says they know him from his trip to Ranchi. The end of the story has four parts that go into detail about what happens. Initially, Bepin was not sure that the man was confusing him with someone else. But then, when Parimal told some things about Bepin, he became confused. He didn’t remember any of those past incidents that the stranger was talking about because he had never been to Ranchi before.

The man said that Mr. Dinesh Mukerji was also on the same trip with him. He told Bepin that he could confirm it from Mr. Mukerji himself. But Bepin did not believe it and continued his life as usual. Later, the incident kept bothering him and he finally checked with Mr. Mukerji who verified the story. This confused him even more since he didn’t remember visiting Ranchi in the past at all. Meanwhile, Chunilal often came to see Bepin looking for a job but Bepin fairly ignored him.

Bepin started worrying and wondered if he had lost his memory. So he went to the doctor for help. The doctor was confused because Bepin had never seen a case like this before. The doctor told him that maybe going to Ranchi would help him remember what happened. Bepin went to Ranchi with Dr. Chanda’s advice. Bepin wanted to remember the past incident there, but he couldn’t. He went back to Calcutta and called Dr. Chanda again.

A servant brought a letter to Bepin’s house before Dr. Paresh Chanda came for a check-up. It was marked as ‘Urgent and Confidential’. He opened it up and read the letter carefully. His friend Chunilal had played a trick on him, as revenge for when Bepin didn’t help him when he needed a job. Bepin was sad after reading the letter. He felt guilty for avoiding Chunilal when he asked for help. Finally, Dr Chanda arrived and Bepin lied to him. Bepin said that he had memories of his trip to Ranchi, but really wanted a painkiller for his hip pain.


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NCERT Solutions of Bepin Choudhury’s Lapse of Memory

Comprehension Check (Page 61)

Question 1: Why did the man stare at Bepin Babu in disbelief?

Answer: According to Parimal Ghose, he met Bepin Babu at Ranchi in 1958. When he saw Bepin Babu, he was confused because Bepin did not recognize him and had forgotten about the time they spent together in Ranchi.

Question 2: Where did Bepin Babu say he went in October ’58?

Answer: Bepin Babu said that he went to Kanpur in October ’58 where he had the Puja with a friend.

Question 3: Mention any three (or more) things that Parimal Ghose knew about Bepin Babu.

Answer: Given below are the things that Parimal Ghose knew about Bepin Babu:

  1. Bepin Babu had injured his right knee due to a fall in Hudroo
  2. Bepin Babu stayed in a house at Ranchi. He did not like the food from the hotel and he wanted to have his meals cooked by a cook.
  3. Bepin Babu’s wife died ten years ago and his only brother had died of insanity. He didn’t have any children.

Comprehension Check (Page 64)

Question 1: Why did Bepin Babu worry about what Parimal Ghose had said?

Answer: Bepin Babu was surprised that Parimal Ghose knew so many things about him. He knew Bepin’s leg injury, the bag of books and his wife’s death and brother’s crazy behavior. After hearing so many details from that man, Bepin Babu felt really sure that there was no way Parimal could be lying about his visit to Ranchi. This made him wonder if he had a memory loss about his trip to Ranchi.

Question 2: How did he try to decide who was right—his memory or Parimal Ghose?

Answer: Bepin Babu was really worried after his encounter with Parimal Ghose, who adamantly claimed of having known him since 1958 during his visit to Ranchi. Besides, when Bepin Babu checked the injury on his right knee, he realised he had no memory of this injury. Hence, to solve the confusing puzzle about his Ranchi visit, Bepin Babu decided to contact Dinesh Mukerji to check if the latter remembered the incidents that happened in 1958. This is the only way he felt all his doubts and confusion could be clarified.

Question 3: Why did Bepin Babu hesitate to visit Mr. Mukerji? Why did he finally decide to phone him?

Answer: Initially Bepin Babu hesitated to visit Mr. Mukerji because he was afraid of Dinesh’s ruthless sarcasm that he might need to face. He rather ignored whatever details that Parimal divulged in the book store and regarded all as false. Nonetheless, the thought of how Parimal Ghose knew so many of his personal details troubled him and he decided to finally check with Mr. Mukerji for clarity. Hence, he decided to contact Mr. Mukerji over call to avoid embarrassment right on his face.

Question 4: What did Mr. Mukerji say? Did it comfort Bepin Babu, or add to his worries?

Answer: Mr. Mukerji quickly checked his diary and confirmed both he and Bepin Babu had visited Ranchi in October 1958. This confirmation put Bepin Babu in a fix and he was unable to figure out why and how come he didn’t have any memory of his Ranchi visit.

Comprehension Check (Page 67)

Question 1: Who was Chunilal? What did he want from Bepin Babu?

Answer: Chunilal was Bepin Babu’s school mate. He had been having a rough time lately and had been coming to see Bepin Babu for a job. Bepin Babu knew he could not do much to help Chunilal. However, Chuni kept turning up often at his house like a bad penny.

Question 2: Why was Dr. Chanda puzzled? What was unusual about Bepin Babu’s loss of memory?

Answer: Dr. Chanda became puzzled after listening to Bepin Babu’s lapse of memory. He mentioned that this medical condition was typically outside his field of experience. Bepin Babu’s case was a little complex because he remembered everything related to his past except for his Ranchi visit. Hence, Dr. Chanda suggested him to visit Ranchi to try recollecting any bygone incident that might remind him of the past.

Comprehension Check (Page 69)

Question 1: Had Bepin Babu really lost his memory and forgotten all about a trip to Ranchi?

Answer: Perhaps, no. Bepin Babu didn’t have any lapse of memory or forgotten all about a trip to Ranchi. From the letter sent by Chunilal, it was evident that he played a trick on Bepin Babu who didn’t help him to get a job.

Question 2: Why do you think Chunilal did what he did? Chunilal says he has no money; what is it that he does have?

Answer: Chunilal had plotted the entire incident because Bepin Babu never helped him to get a decent job and he was completely penniless. As Bepin Babu never helped him, he wanted to punish him by rekindling a haunting memory of his fall near Hudroo at Ranchi. Chunilal might not have a job or money, but he had a strong imaginative power which he felt would help him to fight the ill phase of his career. Hence, he wrote a novel which was being considered by a publisher and he was hopeful that it would give him a source of income.

Working with the text (Page 69)

Question 1: The author describes Bepin Babu as a serious and hardworking man. What evidence can you find in the story to support this?

Answer: Bepin Babu was described as a serious and hardworking man. He was working daily in his office. It was a big firm and he was doing a responsible job. He had been associated in this firm for the past twenty-five years and had a reputation for being a tireless and conscientious worker.

Question 2: Why did Bepin Babu change his mind about meeting Chunilal? What was the result of this meeting?

Answer: Chunilal often visited Bepin Babu to ask for a job. But Bepin Babu refused. But one day he changed his mind and decided to meet Chunilal and ask him about his visit to Ranchi. Chunilal confirmed the visit. Hearing this, Bepin Babu was puzzled and decided to see a doctor for memory loss treatment

Question 3: Bepin Babu lost consciousness at Hudroo Falls. What do you think was the reason for this?

Answer: Bepin Babu lost consciousness at Hudroo Falls. He realised this was the final place that would help him to remember his memory of Ranchi in 1958. But he couldn’t remember anything and soon he fell down beside a boulder near Hudroo Falls and broke his hip by accident.

Question 4: How do you think Bepin Babu reacted when he found out that Chunilal had tricked him?

Answer: When Bepin Babu found out that he had been tricked by Chunilal, he regretted not helping him when he was in need. He realised that this was because of the fact that when one is wealthy, it is easy to forget about being a friend.

Working with language (Page 70-72)

Question 1: Fill in the blanks below using ‘had to’/ ‘have to’/ ‘has to’.

(i) I ________________ cut my hair every month.

(ii) We ________________ go for swimming lessons last year.

(iii) She ________________ tell the principal the truth.

(iv) They ________________ take the baby to the doctor.

(v) We ________________ complain to the police about the noise.

(vi) Romit ________________ finish his homework before he could come out to play.

(vii) I ________________ repair my cycle yesterday.


(i) I have to cut my hair every month.

(ii) We had to go for swimming lessons last year.

(iii) She has to tell the principal the truth.

(iv) They had to take the baby to the doctor.

(v) We have to complain to the police about the noise.

(vi) Romit had to finish his homework before he could come out to play.

(vii) I had to repair my cycle yesterday.

Question 2: Here are a few idioms that you will find in the story. Look for them in the dictionary in the following way.

First, arrange them in the order in which you would find them in a dictionary.

(Clue: An idiom is usually listed under the first noun, verb, adjective or adverb in it. Ignore articles or prepositions in the idiom).

To help you, we have put in bold the word under which you must look for the idiom in the dictionary.)

(i) at/from close quarters (close: adjective)

(ii) break into a smile (break: verb; look under ‘break into something’)

(iii) carry on (carry: verb)

(iv) have a clean record (you may find related meanings under both these words)

(v) beat about the bush (verb)

Now refer to your dictionary and find out what they mean.


(i) at/from close quarters – This means to stay nearby or close by.

(ii) break into a smile – This means to smile suddenly.

(iii) carry on – This means to continue with some task or work.

(iv) have a clean record – This means to have a clean conduct or track record.

(v) beat about the bush – This means to make rough guesses without proper knowledge.

Question 3: Study the sentences in the columns below.

I saw this movie yesterday. I have seen this movie already.
Bepin Babu worked here for a week last year. Bepin Babu has worked here since 2003.
Chunilal wrote to a publisher last week. Chunilal has written to a publisher.
I visited Ranchi once, long ago. I have visited Ranchi once before.

Compare the sentences in the two columns, especially the verb forms.

Answer the following questions about each pair of sentences.

(i) Which column tells us that Bepin Babu is still working at the same place?

(ii) Which column suggests that Chunilal is now waiting for a reply from the publisher?

(iii) Which column suggests that the person still remembers the movie he saw?

(iv) Which column suggests that the experience of visiting Ranchi is still fresh in the speaker’s mind?

Answer: (i) Column B

(ii) Column A

(iii) Column B

(iv) Column B

Question 4: Given below are jumbled sentences. Working in groups, rearrange the words in each sentence to form correct sentences.

You will find that each sentence contains an idiomatic expression that you have come across in the lesson. Underline the idiom and write down its meaning. Then use your dictionary to check the meaning.

One sentence has been worked out for you as an example.

Jumbled sentence: vanished/ The car/ seemed to/ into thin/ have/ air.

Ans: The car seemed to have vanished into thin air.

Idiom: vanished into thin air: disappeared or vanished in a mysterious way

(i) Stop/and tell me/beating about/what you want/the bush

Ans: _______________________________________________________

Idiom: _____________________________________________________

(ii) don’t pay/If you/ attention/you might/the wrong train/to the announcement/board

Ans: _______________________________________________________

Idiom: _____________________________________________________

(iii) The villagers/tried/the crime/on the young woman/to pin

Ans: _______________________________________________________

Idiom: _____________________________________________________

(iv) Bepin Babu/orders to/telling people/under/loved/doctor’s/eat early/that he was

Ans: _______________________________________________________

Idiom: _____________________________________________________

(v) the students/The teacher/his eyebrows/when/said that/all their lessons/raised/they had revised

Ans: _______________________________________________________

Idiom: _____________________________________________________

Answer: (i) Stop beating about the bush and tell me what you want.

Idiom: Beat about the bush – To avoid coming to the main point and talk vaguely

(ii) If you don’t pay attention to the announcement, you might board the wrong train.

Idiom: Pay attention – To listen carefully

(iii) The villagers tried to pin the crime on the young woman.

Idiom: Pin the crime – To place the blame or responsibility of a crime and implicate it on a wrong person

(iv) Bepin Babu loved telling people that he was under doctor’s orders to eat early.

Idiom: Under doctor’s orders – To follow someone’s instructions

(v) The teacher raised his eyebrows when the students said that they had revised all their lessons.

Idiom: Raised his eyebrows – To express surprise or doubt

Speaking and writing (Page 72)

Question 1: What do you think happened after Bepin Babu came to know the truth? Was he angry with this friend for playing such a trick on him? Or do you think he decided to help a friend in need?

Answer: When Bepin Babu found out the truth about how Chunilal tricked him, he was ashamed and felt bad that he had not helped Chunilal when he asked. He was also angry at how badly Chunilal treated him. But then Bepin Babu realized that his forgetfulness had made all of this happen because he forgot what friendship is really about. This incident taught him a lesson, which is to help friends in need.


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