Acceptance Summary Notes

Acceptance Author

Bhaswar Mukherjee runs his own learning solutions company in Chennai. He has a number of short stories published in anthologies: 21 tales to tell; Chronicles of Urban Nomads; something happened on the way to Heaven. His stories are appreciated for clarity of expression, use of metaphor, and puns. Some of his stories have been published by Notion Press, Readomania, Penguin Ran¬dom House, and Times of India. Acceptance is one of the twenty inspiring stories handpicked by Sudha Murthy from entries submit¬ted in an open competition run by Penguin.

Acceptance Summary

The given short story ‘Acceptance’ is by Bhaswar Mukherjee. It is an emotional and touching story of a eunuch who tries to seek employment as a house-keep to lead a normal life like other mainstream people in the society and thus integrate in the society. It describes the conditions of eunuchs in society but at the end of the story, we feel relieved that people have begun accepting such people slowly. We feelbappythat such people will ultimately integrate into society gracefully in the near future.

In ‘Acceptance’ we have a family dealing with the dilemma of hiring a eunuch as house help their biases against them and how wrong they were proved. Rama, the housewife in the story is courageous enough to go against society and employ a eunuch as her domestic help. The story reflects the apathy of the society towards the LGBT community whose identity has long since been unnoticed and ignored. It highlights the sad plight of a transgender trying to lead a normal life in society.

The short story, ‘Acceptance’, is centered in the household of Mr. Ashoke Srinivasan, his wife Rama and their three year old son, Vijay. Their house was located in Mylapore, Chennai, Tamilnadu. Both Ashoke and Rama were working couples and depended on the their maid, whether for household work or to look after Vijay. Rama was from Delhi. Savitri, Ashoke’s widowed mother was visiting the family for the Pongal festivities. The relationship between Rama and Savitri was -‘Cold at best and hostile at worst’. Savitri resented Rama’s modem upbringing in Delhi.

A few days ago their housemaid had quit her job because Rama was reluctant to give her a week’s vacation for the Pongal festivities. The situation in the household was tense. There was no one to look after Vijay, their son. Rama’s request for a week’s holiday had been rejected. Moreover, Rama didn’t went to burden her mother – in – law, to look after, Vijay.

That morning, Asohke was sitting in the living room reading an article in the Hindu, about the L.G.B.T community. Rama was frustrated and angry as she has to take up all the household work. She came and slammed a cup of coffee on a table beside her husband. Ashoke tried to calm her down. She was so angry that she stood there glaring at him. Ashoke felt like a man, who was participating in the bull-taming sport ‘ Jallikuttu’. ‘ Jallikattu’ is a bull – taming sport, popular in Tamilnadu. The bull – tamers either had to ‘fight’ the bull or take recourse to ‘flight’, from the irate bulls. She berated him for not lending a hand in the household work. To her, he appeared to be more interested in the newspaper articles. The agency that recruited housemaids had sent two housemaids and another one who was a little, girl, about the age of her son, Vijay.

Ashoke’s mother, Savitri, came to the living room to enquire what was wrong. The mother-in-law and daughter-in-law faced each other with hostility in their eyes. Rama saw her son, Vijay sucking on a chalk piece and turned upon him, shouting at him to stop it.

At that time someone rang their doorbell and everyone calmed down. When Rama opened the door, she was taken aback, seeing a huge tall lady dressed clumsily in a saree. She was built like a wrestler. Rama was shocked when she realized that the person was a eunuch. Rama had seen many eunuchs begging on the streets at traffic junctions. She wondered if they had become bold enough to come to beg at the houses.

The person spoke to her politely in a manly voice and asked Rama if it was true that they had been scouting for a housemaid. Rama was speechless and started babbling. Savitri became hysterical and asked Rama to close the door. Rama asked the person to wait and hastily closed the door. Savitri hysterically told Ashoke that a man disguised as the woman had come to rob them. Rama calmly told Ashoke that a eunuch was at the door asking if they were ready to hire her as a housemaid.

Ashoke was unsure how the security of the apartment had let her in. Savitri demanded to know what a ‘eunuch’ meant. Rama explained her in Tamil, Savitri was shocked to hear that a eunuch was ‘thiru nangi, an aravani’ in Tamil and she closed her eyes and sought deliverance from the Lord Almighty from the evil intrusion.

Ashoke asked Rama to give the eunuch some money and, some of her old sarees and get rid of her. Rama approached the eunuch and told her apprehensively that they really did not need a housemaid and tried to hand out the saree and money.

The eunuch did not make a move but desperately asked her if they had already hired someone else. She confided that she had heard from the watchman that they were yet to employa housemaid. She had pleaded with him to let her in. When the watchman refused she had threatened him and hail walked into their flat. The eunuch asked Rama to forgive her. She explained that most eunuch,s become furious when they see hate and fear in everyone’s eyes.

Rama felt ashamed she ventured to ask her name. The eunuch smiled and thanked her and told her that her name was Santhoshi and it was a very long time since someone had wanted to know her name. The eunuch pleaded with Rama to let her know if they had employed someone as their housemaid. Rama hesitantly replied that they still hadn’t employed anyone. The eunuch asked Rama not to pity her and said, “Please, Amma, if human beings more fortunate than we continue to fear, hate or pity us, then we will remain in the eclipse (Shadow) of society forever. We will continue to beg, coerce (force) people for money or peddle sex for the voyeuristic (sadistic) pleasures of deranged (mad) men”. Santoshi pleaded with Rama to lend a helping hand to the people of her ilk.

Savitri whispered a warning in Rama’s ears, pleading her not to be swayed by the eunuch’s words. She told her that she suspected that the eunuch might be a witch, who knew Blackmagic and was hypnotizing her with her sweet talk and asked Rama to be careful.

Santhoshi, the eunuch, heard her and justified herself by revealing her own story. Santoshi was bom as a boy in a poor family. Her father was murdered in a drunken brawl. Later some hoodlums had castrated her and was forced to beg for them. She told Rama that people like her lived in the slums behind the Kotturpuram bridge. She and some of her friends had started rescuing orphans, to save them from the same fete as hers. In order to provide food, and shelter to the rescued orphans people like her needed to work for a regular income. Santoshi joined her hands in prayer to Savitri saying, “Isn’t it a shame, Pati (grandmother)? On the one hand, we are considered auspicious and are invited to celebrate the birth o,f a child, but on the other, we are so cruelly kept on the periphery of human existence for no fault of ours”.

But Savitriwas insensitive to Santoshi’s pleadings. She dragged Rama inside the house and asked Ashoke to advice her against employing the eunuch. Rama entreated Ashoke to give Santoshi a chance to prove herself. Ashoke had his own fears. He asked Rama to use her commonserise and to think with her head and not with her heart. He feared the social stigma of hiring a eunuch moreover he thought that it was not wise to leave, Vijay in her care, because they didn’t know how reliable Santoshi was because she had not been referred by an agency to assure them of her integrity. Ashoke disagreed to employ Santhoshi.

Rama tried to convince Ashoke. She argued that people can’t be judged by there looks. Even regular domestic helps who are normal human beings commit crimes; moreover, it was the responsibility of educated people to bring such people into main stream society. Rama feared that she would lose her job if she is forced to stay home to look after Vijay.

Suddenly, Rama was reminded of Vijay, but the boy was not around. She saw the main door was open she ran out and found that no one was there outside in the veranda.

Ashoke, grabbed his mobile and the house keys, asking Rama to follow him, he ordered his mother to stay inside, beside the phone and not open the door for anyone.

Both ran out of house. Ashoke asked Rama to take the lift and he ran down the stairs. They both met in the lobby, and ran out of the apartment. They both searched for Vijay in the kid’s park. Ashoke feared that Santoshi had kidnapped Vijay. His fear was confirmed when he found the main gate was unmanned.
He ran towards the gate and saw Bahadur, the security guard and asked him if he had seen Vijay or Santoshi. But the guard shook his head. Ashoke thought of going to the other gate, but Rama spied Santoshi and Vijay near the entrance of the building and ran towards them.

Rama tried to pull Vijay from Santoshi, but he held on to her. Rama was surprised. Santoshi clarified that when she had been waiting in front of their flat, she had seen Vijay run out and enter the lift. Before she could react, the lifted doors closed and started moving down floor. She had taken the stairs, down and had managed to catch Vijay in the lobby She had immediately taken the boy upstairs at their flat, but Savitri had refused to open the door.

Ashoke asked her suspiciously why she hadn’t taken the other lift to go down. Santoshi looked at him with disbelief and said that she feared that the boy would get off the lift on a random floor and get hurt falling down the stairway. She had felt that it was the right thing to do to get hold ofVjjay. Luckily the lift had gone down straight to the ground floor and she had managed to get hold of Vijay.

Ashoke felt ashamed at his suspicious. He turned to Rama and said, “I think you have found your domestic help”.

Rama thanked Santoshi and invited her to their flat to discuss her payment. They went up to their flat happy and relieved, with Santoshi following them at a respectable distance. Vijay had found a guardian angel in Santoshi.

Rama quipped to Ashoke, ‘And dear, the best decisions are made with the heart and not the head’. Do you think I would have agreed to our marriage if it was the other way round”. It was indeed a decision made with the heart.

Acceptance Glossary

tandem                : having two things arranged one in front of the other.
concatenation      : series of interconnected things, sequence, succession
huff                      : express feeling of annoyance
matador               : a bullfighter whose task is to kill the bull
trepidation           : a feeling of fear or anxiety about something that may happen
foyer                    : an entrance hall or other open area in a building used by the public
melee                   : a confused fight or scuffle
salubrious            : beneficial, healthy
temerity               : excessive confidence, boldness, audacity
predicament        : difficult, unpleasant or embarrassing situation

Acceptance Questions & Answers

Comprehension

Question 1.
Where did Srinivasan’s family live?
Answer:
The Srinivasan’s lived in a flat on the seventh floor of a large apartment complex in Mylapore in Chennai, Tamilnadu.

Question 2.
Mention the three principal seasons in Chennai as mentioned in the story.
Answer:
The three principal seasons in Chennai as mentioned in the story are hot, hotter, and hottest.

Question 3.
What does the writer compare the atmosphere in Srinivasan’s household to?
Answer:
The writer compares the atmosphere in Srinivasan’s household to the weather in Chennai which was already hot in a month that was still winter in most parts of the country.

Question 4.
What news in “The Hindu” caught the attention of Ashoke?
Answer:
The news that caught Ashoke’s attention was an article that was lobbying for the recognition of and equal opportunities of transgender people as the legitimate third sex.

Question 5.
Why was Rama angry and frustrated?
Answer:
Rama was angry and frustrated because their housemaid had quit her job, and was burdened with all the house-work. There was no one to take care of Vijay, Rama did not what to burden Savitri, her mother-in-law to look after Vijay. Moreover Rama was also not granted a few day’s leave from work. Rama had to balance between houwork and office and also look after her son Vijay. Hence she was frustrated, because they were still not able to find another house-maid.

Question 6.
________ is the sport popular in Tamilnadu during Pongal celebrations.
Answer:
Jallikattu.

Question 7.
Savitri was
(a) Vijay’s mother
(b) Ashoke’s mother
(c) Rama’s mother
Answer:
(b) Ashoke’smother

Question 8.
What bothered Rama’s family?
Answer:
The absence of a housemaid to do the housework and to take care of Vijay bothered them.

Question 9.
Which newspaper was considered to provide the staple diet of news for the city of Chennai?
(a) The Indian Express
(b) The Hindu
(c) The Times of India
Answer:
(b) The Hindu

Question 10.
Why was the doorbell not welcome in the mornings?
Answer:
The doorbell was not welcome in the mornings because the family was busy trying to rush off to work or school.

Question 11.
Who rang the doorbell and why?
Answer:
A eunuch rang the doorbell. She had heard that the family was looking for a maid and wanted to know if they were ready to accept her as a housemaid.

Question 12.
Why was the family reluctant to offer the maid’s job to Santoshi?
Answer:
The family was reluctant to offer the maid’s job to Santoshi because Ashoke had his own fears. He asked Rama to use her commonsense and to think with her head and not with her heart. He feared the social stigma of hiring a eunuch moreover he thought that it was not wise to leave, Vijay in her care, because they didn’t know how reliable Santoshi was because she had not been referred by an agency to assure them of her integrity. Ashoke disagreed to employ Santhoshi.

Question 13.
What suggestions were given by Ashoke to his wife, to get rid of Santoshi?
Answer:
Ashoke asked Rama to give Santoshi some money and some of her old Saris and get rid of her.

Question 14.
Where had Vijay gone? Who found him?
Answer:
Vijay had run out of the house and taken the lift downstairs to the Lobby. Santoshi found Vijay.

Question 15.
According to Rama, the best decisions are made with the heart and not with the head. Do you think so?
Answer:
Yes, Sometimes best decisions are made with the heart but not always. It is better to think both with the heart and head to make sensible, safe and judicious decisions.

Question 16.
What were the causes that lead to ‘the raise in mercury levels’ in Srinivasan’s house?
Answer:
A series of interconnected events led to the raise in the mercury levels in the Srinivasan’s houshold. It started when a few days age their house-hold maid had quit her job because Rama was relectant to give her a week’s holiday for the Pongal festivities. The situation in the house-hold was already tense, following the arrival of Ashoke’s mother Savitri. The relation-ship between Rama, Srinivasan’s wife and his mother was ‘cold at best and hostile at worst’. Savitri resented Rama’s modem upbringing in Delhi.

Both Ashoke and Rama were working couple, they depended on their house maid, whether for house-hold work or to look after Vijay, their four year old son. Now that their house-maid had quit, the burden of house-hold work fell entirely on Rama. Rama also was refused leave from her school. Rama worked as a school teacher. More-over Rama did not want to burden her mother-in¬law to look after Vijay. They still were to able to find another house¬maid. The only option for them was that Rama quit her job as a teacher, which wasn’t a sensible decision.

Question 17.
What made Rama frustrated? How did Ashoke try to pacify her?
Answer:
Rama’s frustration started with the arrival of her mother-in-low, Savitri. The relationship between the daughter-in-law and mother-in-law was “cold at best and hostile at worst”. Both resented each other. Both Rama and Ashoke were working couple. Rama was teacher. They had a four-year old son, Vijay. The house-maid looked after Vijay when they were at work. A few days ago, their house-maid had quit in a huff because Rama had declined to give her a week’s holiday for the Pongal festivities. They were yet to find another house-maid. Rama thought it was not prudent to depend on her mother-in-law to look after Vijaya, because Savitri was old and she did not want to burden her to look after Vijay.

Rama had to invariably balance between house-hold work and her teaching job. Moreover Rama’s request for a week’s leave had been rejected.

That day Ashoke sitting in the livingroom and reading the newspaper. Rama came and slammed a cup of coffee on a table beside him. Sensing her anger an frustration, Ashoke tried to calm down Rama saying that they will eventually find a solution for their predicament. Rama truned angrily upon him like the bull in the bull¬taming sport ‘ Jallikattu’, a popular sport inTamilnadu. In ‘Jallikattu’, those daring to tame the ball adopt strategtes of either ‘fight’ or ‘ fright’. It was same problem that Ashoke had brought upon himself, but he was saved by the bell, i.e., the ringing of their doorbell.

Question 18.
Write a note on Jallikattu as described in the story.
Answer:
Jallikattu is a bull-taming sport popular in Tamil Nadu as a part of the Pongal Celebrations. Unlike the Spanish running of the bulls, the bulls used in Jallikattue are neither killed, nor does the ‘Matador ’ use any weapons. The bulls are picked predominantly from the pulikulam breed of cattle, which attacks not because they are irritated or agitated or frightened, but because that is their basic nature. Those daring to tame the bulls adopt itrategies of either ‘fight’or‘flight’.

Question 19.
Compare the attitudes of Rama and Ashoke towards people like Santoshi.
Answer:
The Srinivasan house hold was in dire need of a house-maid because their house-maid for years had quit in a huffbecause Rama Srinivasan had refased to give her a week’s holiday for Pongal festival. Rama also worked as a teacher and her request for leave had also been rejected. So Rama was frustrated and their was a hostile environment in the house – hold. That morning Rama and Ashoke where in a heated arguement when the door-bell of their flat rang. Rama opened the door and was taken aback. She was astounded to see ahuge tall lady with muscular build, dressed clumsily in a saree. Rama realized that the person was an eunuch. Rama had seen many eunuchs begging on the streets at traffic junctions. She wondered if they had become bold enough to come to beg at house. At first she was alarmed and thought that it was better to be cautious then express her annoyance. So she closed the door just enough to engage the safety chain lock reserved asked the eunch what she wanted;

The eunuch politely answered in a manly voice that she was soory to distarb them but she knew that they were in need of a house-maid. Rama, had often experienced the aggression of these marganilised people. They clapped their hands in her face or knocked on car windows demanding money. Hence she was taken aback by the politeness. She did not know how to respond to her request. So she asked her to wait and hastily closed the door. Rama thought that it was strange that an eunuch was seeking employment. Rama told Ashoke there was an eunuch at the door asking if they were ready to hire her as house-maid.

Ashoke could not believe his ears when he heard Rama say that an eunuch was seeking to be employed as a housemaid. He grew suspicious and wondered how the securing allowed her in. Rama was pained when she heard Ashoke calling the eunch a ‘creature’. But she was relieved when Ashoke asked her to give the eunuch some money and a few ofher sarees and get rid of her.

When the eunuch narrated the story ofher life, Rama was very moved at her plight and took pity on her and thought of giving the eunuch an opportunity to prove herself. But Ashoke feared the consequences of hiring the eunch. He was unsure whether it was safe to leave their four year old son, Vijay, alone in her care. He doubted her integrity as she had not been referred to them by an agency. He had heard enough stories of gangs of eunuch kidnapping small children for ransom or even worse. He feared the social stigma ofhiring an eunuch as a house-maid and thought that it would be embarrasing to explain the employment to family and friends. He was entirely against hiring her and asked Rama to think with her head and not her heart.

Rama requested Ashoke to not call the eunuch a ‘creature’ she tried to convince Ashoke by arguing that even regular domestic helps who are normal human being also commit crimes. She wondered how employing the eunuch will affect them. She tells him that she can’t even imagine the inpact of their decision on their friends, family and society, she argued that it was prudent for educated people to take the first step in employing eunuch’s otherwise such poor souls would never make it to the mainstream society.

But in the end when Santoshi proved that she is reliable and also an able guardian for Vijay they both accepted her as their house¬maid.

Question 20.
How did Santoshi establish that she was badly in need of a job? Did she succeed in persuading Rama to offer a job to her?
Answer:
An eunuch named Santoshi, had come seeking employment as a house-maid at the Srinivasan’s house hold. She knew that they were in need of a housemaid. BothAshoke Srinivasan and his wife Rama and Ashoke’s mother had second thoughts about hiring her. Ashoke suggested Rama to give her some money and a few of her saree’s and get rid ofher. But the eunuch Santoshi, politely refiised Rama’s afferings, but insisted to know if they had already hired someone else as their housemaid. Rama could not bring herself to lie to her and blabbered that they hadn’t yet hired someone else. The eunuch, was delighted when Rama wanted to know her name. She told her that it was the very first time that someone had asked for her name. She told that her name is Santoshi. She told her that if human beings more fortunate than the eunuchs continue to fear, hate or pity them, then the eunuchs would remain in the fringes of the mainstream society forever. They would still have no other way to am a decent living except to beg, coerce people for money or peddle sex. She pleaded Rama to lend support people like them so that they could also mingle with mainstream society.

Santoshi narrated the story of her life. She was bom as a boy to a poor family, when she was two years old, her father was killed in a drunken brawl. Taking advantage of situation some miscreants castrated her and forced her to beg for them, when she began to call herself Santoshi. Later she joined a batch of eunuchs who lived in the slum beneath the Kotiurpuram bridge. She and her friends had started social work where they tried to protect the poor slum children from the same fate as their’s by providing food antf shelter, they had no means to do that on a long time basis and need to seek a steady income because begging was not enough. She prayed Rama to help them. She stated that during auspicious occassions people invited them to celebrate the’birth of their children but were inconsiderate enough to keep people such as her in the fringes of human existence for no fauit of theirs except their fate.

Santoshi thus established that she was badly in need of a job and effectively persuaded Rama to offer a job to her.

Question 21.
Describe the situation that led to the acceptance of Santoshi into Rama’s household.
Answer:
When the eunuch Santoshi narrated her life story and their effort to protect the slum children from the same fate as hers, Rama felt that Santoshi would be a reliable and honest house-maid and than able guardian to Vijay.

While she was discussing the issue with Ashoke, Vijay slipped out the front door unnoticed, When Rama realized the Vijay was not in the house, she rushed out of the house and could not find both Vijay or Santhoshi there.

Ashok, grabbed his mobile and the house keys, asking Rama to follow him, he ordered his mother to stay inside, beside the phone and not open the door for anyone.

Both ran out of house. Ashoke asked Rama to take the lift and he ran down the stairs. They both met in the lobby, and ran out of the apartment. They both searched for Vijay in the kid’s park. Ashoke feared that Santo shi had kidnapped Vijay. His fear was confirmed when he found the main gate was unmanned.

He ran towards the gate and saw Bahadur, the security guard and asked him if he had seen Vijay or Santoshi. But the guard shook his head. Ashoke thought of going to the other gate, but Rama spied Santoshi and Vijay near the entrance of the building and ran towards them.

Rama tried to pull Vijay from Santoshi, but he held on to her. Rama was surprised. Santoshi clarified that when she had been waiting in front of their flat, she had seen Vijay run out and enter the lift. Before she could react, the lifted doors closed and started moving down floor. She had taken the stairs, down and had managed to catch Vijay in the lobby She had immediately taken the boy upstairs at their flat, but Savitri had refused to open the door.

Ashoke asked her suspiciously why she hadn’t taken the other lift to go down. Santoshi looked at him with disbelief and said that she feared that the boy would get off the lift on a random floor and get hurt felling down the stairway. She had felt that it was the right thing to do to get hold ofVijay. Luckily the lift had gone down straight to the ground floor and she had managed to get hold of Vijay.

Ashoke felt ashamed at his suspicious. He turned to Rama and said, “I think you have found your domestic help”.

Rama thanked Santoshi and invited her to their flat to discuss her payment. They went up to their flat happy and relieved, with Santoshi following them at a respectable distance. Vijay had found a guardian angel in Santoshi.

Question 22.
Comment on the significance of the title of the story.
Answer:
The Srinivasan house hold was in dire need of a house-maid because their house-maid for years had quit in a huffbecause Rama Srinivasan had refased to give her a week’s holiday for Pongal festivals. Rama also worked as a teacher and her request for leave had also been rejected, so Rama was frustrated and their was a hostile environment in the house – hold. The morning Rama and Ashoke where in a heated arguement when they door-bell of their flat ring. Rama opened the door and was taken aback. She was astonded to see a huge tall lady with musenlar build, dressed clumsily in a saree. Rama realized that the person was an eunuch. Rama had seen many eunuchs begging on the streets at traffic Junctions. She wondered if they had become bold enough to come to’bet at house. At first she was alarmed and thought that it was better to be cautious then express her annoyance. So she closed the door just enough to engage the safety chain lock reserved asked the eunch what she wanted. The eunuch politely answered in a manly voice that she was soory to disturb them but she knew that they were in need of a house-maid. Rama, had often experienced. The aggression of these marganilised people.

They clapped thfeir hands in her face or knocked on car windows demanding money. Hence she was taken a back by the politeness. She did noffcnow how to respond to her request. So she asked her to wait and hastily closed the door. Rama thought that it was strange that an eunuch seeking employment. Rama told Ashok there was an eunuch was at the door asking if they were ready to hire her as house-maid.

Ashoke could not believe his ears when he heard Rama say that an eunuch was seeking to be employed as a housemaid. He grew suspicious and wondered how the securing allowed her in. rama was pained when she heard Ashoke calling the eunch a ‘creature’. But she was relieved when Ashoke asked her to give the eunuch some money and a few ofher sarees and get rid of her.

When the eunuch narrated the story ofher life, Rama, was very moved at her plight and took pity on her and thought o f giving the cunch an opportunity to prove herself. But Ashoke feared the consequences of hiring the eunch. He was unsure whether it was safe to leave their four year old son, Vijay, alone in her care. He doubted her integrity as she had not been referred to them by an agency. He had heard enough stories of gangs of eunuch kidnapping small children for ransom or even worse. He feared the social stigma ofhiriBg an eunuch as a house-maid and thought that it would be embarrasing to explain the employment to family and friends. He was entirely against hiring her and asked Rama to think with her head and not her heart.

Rama requested Ashoke to not call the eunuch a ‘creature’ she tried to convince Ashoke by arguing that even regular domestic helps who are normal human being also commit crimes. She wondered how employing the eunuch will affect them. She tells him that she can’t even imagine the inpact of their decision on their friends, family and society, she argued that it was prudent for educated people to take the first step in employing eunurch’s otherwise such poor souls would never make it to the mainstream society.

But in the end when Santoshi proved that she is reliable and also an able guardian for Vijaythey both accepted her as their house¬maid. Thus the title ‘Acceptance’ is apt for the short story.

Question 23.
Trace the change in the attitude of Ashoke towards Santoshi.
Answer:
Ashoke could not believe his ears when he heard Rama say that a eunuch was seeking to be employed as a housemaid. He grew suspicious and wondered how the securing allowed her in. Rama was pained when she heard Ashoke calling the eunch a ‘creature’. But she was relieved when Ashoke asked her to give the eunuch some money and a few ofher sarees and get rid of her.

When the eunuch narrated the story ofher life, Rama was very moved at her plight and took pity on her and thought of giving the cunch an opportunity to prove herself. But Ashoke feared the consequences of hiring the eunch. He was unsure whether it was safe to leave their four year old son, Vijay, alone in her care. He doubted her integrity as she had not been referred to them by an agency. He had heard enough stories of gangs of eunuch kidnapping small children for ransom or even worse. He feared the social stigma ofhiring an eunuch as a house-maid and thought that it would be embarrasing to explain the employment to family and friends. He was entirely against hiring her and asked Rama to think with her head and not her heart.

Rama requested Ashoke to not call the eunuch a ‘creature’ she tried to convince Ashoke by arguing that even regular domestic helps who are normal human being also commit crimes. She wondered how employing the eunuch will affect them. She tells him that she can’t even imagine the impact oftheir decision on their friends, family and society, she argued that it was prudent for educated people to take the first step in employing eunurch’s otherwise such poor souls would never make it to the mainstream society.

But in the end when Santoshi proved that she is reliable and also an able guardian for Vijay they both accepted her as their house¬maid.

Question 24.
How does the story address the issue of the challenges faced by LGBT community?
Answer:
The short-story ‘Acceptance’ by Bhaswar Mukerjee, is an emotional and touching story of a eunuch who tries to seek employment as a house-keep to lead a normal life like other mainstream people in the society and thus integrate in the society. It describes the conditions of eunuchs in the society but that the end of the story we feel relieved that people have began accepting such people slowly. We feel happy that such people will ultimately integrate into the society gracefully in the near future.

In ‘Acceptance’ we have a family dealing with the dilemma of hiring a eunuch as house help, their biases against them and how wrong they were proved. Rama, the house wife in the story is courageous enough to go against the society and employ a eunuch as her domestic help. The story reflects the apathy of the society towards LGBT community whose identity has long since been unnoticed and ignored. It highlights the sad plight of a transgender trying to lead a normal life in society.

The story is centered in the household of Mr. Ashoke Srinivasan who are in dire need of a house-maid, as both are working couple, and to look after their two year old son Vijay. The eunuch, named Santohsi, approaches they seeking employment as a house¬maid. At first both Rama and Ashoke were reluctant to accept her as a housemaid. The author effectively brings out the long embeded notions about transgenders by highlighting the delimma of the Srinivasan couple and their apprehensions in hiring an eunuch as a housemaid.

That morning Rama and Ashoke where in a heated arguement when the door-bell of their flat rang. Rama opened the door and was taken aback. She was astounded to see a huge tall lady with muscular build, dressed clumsily in a saree. Rama realized that the person was an eunuch. Rama had seen many eunuchs beggine on the streets at traffic junctions. She wondered if they had l , me bold enough to come to beg at house. At first she was alarmed and thought that it was better to be cautious then express her am, nee.

So she closed the door just enough to engage the safety eff lock reserved asked the eunch what she wanted. The eunuch politely answered in a manly voice that she was soory to distarb them but she knew that they were in need of a house-maid. Rama, had often experienced the aggression of these marganilised people.
They clapped their hands in her face or knocked on car windows demanding money. Hence she was taken a back by the politeness. She did not know how to respond to her request. So she to wait and hastily clo sed the door. Rama thought that it was strange that an eunuch was seeking employment. Rama told Ashoke there was an eunuch at the door asking if they were ready to hire her as house-maid.

Ashoke could not believe his ears when he heard Rama say that an eunuch was seeking to be employed as a housemaid. He grew suspicious and wondered how the securing allowed her in. Rama was pained when she heard Ashoke calling the eunch a ‘creature’. But she was relieved when Ashoke asked her to give the eunuch some money and a few ofher sarees and get rid of her.

When the eunuch narrated the story ofher life, Rama was very moved at her plight and took pity on her and thought of giving the eunuch an opportunity to prove herself. But Ashoke feared the consequences of hiring the eunch. He was unsure whether it was safe to leave their four year old son, Vijay, alone in her care. He doubted her integrity as she had not been referred to them by an agency. He had heard enough stories of gangs of eunuch kidnapping small children for ransom or even worse. He feared the social stigma ofhiring an eunuch as a house-maid and thought that it would be embarrasing to explain the employment to family and friends. He was entirely against hiring her and asked Rama to think with her head and not her heart.

Rama requested Ashoke to not call the eunuch a ‘creature’ she tried to convince Ashoke by arguing that even regular domestic helps who’ are normal human being also commit crimes. She wondered how employing the eunuch will affect them. She tells him that she can’t even imagine the impact of their decision on their friends, family and society, she argued that it was prudent for educated people to take the first step in employing eunuch’s otherwise such poor souls would never make it to the mainstream society.

But in the end when Santoshi proved that she is reliable and also an able guardian for Vijay they both accepted her as their house¬maid.

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