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Summary and Exercise of the Bull by Bhim Nidhi Tiwari || Compulsory English Grade 12 Literature || One act Play

Summary and Exercise of the Bull by Bhim Nidhi Tiwari || Compulsory English Grade 12 Literature || One act Play


One Act Plays


3. The Bull

-Bhimnidhi Tiwari


Before Reading

Answer the following Questions.

a. Which animal do you like most? Why?

b. How do you take care of your domestic animal or pet?

c. How do you feel when your domestic animal or pet dies?



About the Author

v  He was born in 1911 in Dillibazar, Kathmandu to Lal Nidhi Tiwari and Nanda Kumari Tiwari and died in 1973 at the age of 62,

v  He served as a government employee for 32 years, was a section officer in the Minister of Education and afterwards served as an Assistant Secretary

v  He is a leading Nepali poet, novelist and playwright,

v  He established the "Nepal Sahitya Press" which later merged with "Pashupati Press",

v  He also established Nepal Nakak Sangh aiming to promote Nepalese Literature and Drama

v  He was a firm believer is social reformer and wrote against smoking, drinking and gambling

v  He wrote short stories, poems, lyrics and satires providing insight to Nepalese lifestyles, culture, mythologies and history

v  He received Madan Puraskar in 1960 and PrakhyanTrishaktiPatta, RajyabisekhPadak, and GyanpadSewa in his life time,

v  "Dagbatti" is one of his best-knownpoems, and other famous writings are- Matoko Maya, Shilanyas, Sahansheela Sushila.


About the Play

The play "The Bull" was written based in the era the late 18th century, when Ranabahadur Shah (1775-1806), the grandson of King Prithvi Narayan Shaw as the king of Nepal (1777-1799). During the time the kingdom was expanded by conquest to include the Garhwal and Kumaon regions (now part of India). He is also known as the "insane" king of Nepal and was an example of social reforms. He took bold steps to break orthodox and superstitious practices of the society.  He was fond of bulls. He was fond of rearing of four-footed animals like bulls. It is believed that he had started a custom of releasing a bull with a burnt mark every month at Pashupatinath temple. It is claimed that he had maintained Thulo Gauchar, where an airport has been built now.


Among many bulls, he had a bull named "Male" which fell sick and he had threatened the bull doctor to save his life at any cost. But the Bull died. This play has been written based on that incident. In the play "The Bull" Tiwari dramatizes an incident related to Ranabahadur Shah's craze forbulls to make a biting satire on the feudal system, which dehumanizes human beings to such an extent that their existence depends of their respectful treatment towards the four-footed animals like bulls.



1. Ranabahadur Shah- King of Nepal, 23 years old

2. Laxminarayan Dahal also known as Jaisi, Subedar with Samarjug Company, bichari of the Ita, Chapali court and the bull doctor, aged 40 years,

4. Jitman- Cowherd

5. Gore-Cowherd





Scene I - Laxminarayan's Yard, Dawn, Ashwin (1854)

In the early morning, in the moth of Aswin, 1854, Laxminarayan Dahal is squatting on the carpet at his home. Although he has seven wives, he is not happy since he doesn't get a puff of hookah. He is shouting at his wives. Jitman and Gore, two cowherds arrive at his home out of breath and inform about the death of the daring bull of Kind Ranabahadur Shah. He is scared when he hears this news. All three people are worried about the dread punishments from the King. The king is so strict. Once he burnt the mouth of Laxmi for speaking in a loud voice. However, Laxmi thinks for some solutions. He asks the cause of bull's death. Gore says that the bull has died because of unable to digest rice, lentil soup of split red gram and fruits provided every day. People like Gore and Jitman are unable to have basic needs but Male is provided such kind of food everyday. Laxmi accepts the miserable condition of people in comparison to animals. He orders them to go to the cowshed and not to tell anybody about the death of the bull. He suggests them to take care of the bull. Then he goes to the palace.


Scene-II - A courtyard of Basantapur Palace, Ashwin

Laxmi is standing in the courtyard of Basantapur palace looking up towards the window. Ranabahadur asks Laxmi why he has come early in the morning. In a reverent manner, Laxmi informs that the bull is not getting up however the sun has already gone high in the sky. He further reports that the bull is sleeping with still eyes in a relaxed way without having breakfast or moving or speaking. Ranabahadur suspects if the bull has dies. He wishes to visit the bull. The kind comes down and asks if the bull has died. Laxmi says that he has not passed away yet. Laxmi, being merely a bigger, admires the King for his name, fame and deeds. And he admires the bull for having a solid body, beauty and strength. He says that he is much worried about the health of the bull and asks his favor for taking the bull to the hill comfortable for a change of temperature. The king grants the permission offering the supporting soldiers. Laxmi intends to take the bull to the hill with the help of cowherds because they can better understand the condition of the bull. The king agrees and tells Laxmi to support the cowherds. Then he goes inside. But the Kings again wishes to see the bull. He wants further treatment to prevent him taking to the hill. Laxmi recommends a change in climate. The King insists and wishes to see the bull once again before he is taken to the hill. He orders the palanquin and gets ready to go with Laxmi.


Scene-II - A Cowshed at Thulo Gauchar, Morning, Ashwin

The bull is lying on a thick mattress at a cowshed at Thulo Gauchar. Jitman and Gore are squatting beside him. They are scared; however, Gore has a hope at Laxmi. Jitman doubts if Laxmi saves them. He thinks that Laxmi will save himself leaving them ruined. So, he wishes to run away from there. Gore sees no way to escape. He sees the king on his convey far ahead. Jitman identifies Laxmi baje following the palanquin on foot, Khatri is waking the horse. Gore doesn't know what to do. Jitman scolds the bull. The palanquin stops, and Dahal baje is running towards Gore and Jitman. Hurriedly Dahal tells Jitman to massage the hind feet of the bull and tells Gore to wave the fan. He warns them not to tell that the bull has died. Ranabahadur arrives and calls "Male! Eh, Male! What happened to you? Get up! Get up!" Pointing towards Jitman, Laxmi says that he has been massaging the feet since midnight. And pointing to Gore, Laxmi says that he has been waving. He requests the King that he has been administering medicine for a long time. He says that Bull sir is swallowing medicine but neither he gets up, nor he moves, nor he bellows nor he eats anything. He keeps listening to them. The King orders Laxminarayan to bring some fruits. He brings bananas. While feeding banana, the Kings senses that the bull is not breathing. He assumes if the bull has died. Laxminarayansays that the bull is looking so well with his eyes. The king is sure that the bull has died because his ears have dropped down, tail has loosened. When the king says that the bull has died, Jitman and Gore start crying leaving massaging and waving. Jitman bellows that the bull has left him alone. He also wants to be burnt with the bull. Ranabahadur consoles him. Jitman also does same. The king again consoles him too. Laxmi says there is no way to console them because they have taken care of the bull a lot. Gore and Jitman pretend to be at a great loss after the bull has passed away. Both of them express their intense care they provided before the bull died. Ranabahadur gives tip of four hundred and five hundred to Gore and Jitman respectively for they reverential treatment to the bull. Laxmi also shows that he is hit by a great agony for losing the bull. He further says that the death of the bull has ruined his fate. The king scolds Laxmi to shut up and orders his to bury the bull with his own hand along with funeral rites. Then king goes away. All three become happy being survived.


Understanding the Text

Answer the following questions.

a. Why have Gore and Jitman came t see Laxminarayan?

Ans: - Gore and Jitman have come to see Laxminarayan to inform about the death of the dearest bull named "Male" belongs to the King Ranabahadur Shah.


b. What, according to cowherds, is the reason behind the death of Male?

Ans: - According to the cowherds, the reason behind the death of Male is the problem on indigestion as it has been being provided rice, grans and fruits instead grass every day.


c. Why does Ranabahadur want to see the bull himself?

Ans: - Ranabahadur wants to see the bull himself since he wants to see the bull himself to check if the bull can be treated without taking him to the hill for climate change.


d. Why does Laxminarayan run ahead of the convoy at Thulo Gauchar?

Ans: - Laxminarayan runs ahead of the convoy at Thulo gauchar for making Gore and Jitman alert about reverential treatment of Male continuously to show the King Ranabahadur as if the bull has not been dead. To wants to leave an impress that the bull is still alive but lying without moving and eating just keeping his eyes still. He hopes that the great care of the bull lowers the anger of the King and to prevent on the spot declare of dread punishments to them.


e. Why do Gore and Jitman cry when the king declares that Male is dead?

Ans: - Gore and Jitman cry when the king declares the Male is dead to show an impression that they don't know that the bull has already been dead. They don't want the king to know that they are pretending to be caring of the dead bull. They do so to show that they are not responsible for the death of the bull and to get forgiveness from the King's punishment.


f. How do we learn that the bull is dead?

Ans: - As an audience and reader, we know that the bull has been died when we hear the conversation between Laxminarayan and cowherds Gore and Jitman in the first scene. Jitman reports that the body of the bull is stretched and eyes have grown still. Gore adds that the tail of bull is loosen.


g. How does the play make a satire of the feudal system?

Ans:-  The play "The Bull" presents they picture of feudal system of the past realistically. Humanity has no value and common people live on the mercy of the ruler. The ruler is dictator and exercise absolute power. They even burnt mouth if somebody speaks in a loud voice. Common people always fear of their lord if they commit any mistake. Common people always have to show a great respect and have to work hard to please their lord. The dearest animals of the lords are superior to the common people. The miserable condition of common people is not a matter of concern in comparison to the animals the lord keeps. Animals are treated as humans and humans are treated as animals.


h. Write down the plot of the play in a paragraph.

In the month of Aswin, 1854, Laxminarayan, a bull doctor of Ranabahadur is squatting on the carpet of his yard scolding his seven wives for not making him a puff of hookah by any one. Meanwhile, Gore and Jitman, the two cowherds, visits Laxminarayan running breathlessly at his yard to convey a message of the death of the bull reared by the King Ranabahadur Shah. The entire are scared of the possible punishment from the king for not saving the life of the bull. The bull has died being unable to digest rice, grain and fruits provided daily instead of grass. Laxminarayan thinks about some solutions so he sends Gore and Jitman at cowshed and orders them not to talk about the death of the bull to anybody. Laxminarayan visits the King Ranabahadur at Basantapur palace to inform that the bull has not awakened till late morning. He reports that the bull is not taking its breakfast, not moving and not speaking either. King gets surprised and doubts if the bull has died. Laxminarayan praises the King and the bull both. He shows that he is very anxious about the health of the bull and wishes to take the bull to the hill for recovery. He gets permission with support to send the bull to the hill but before the bull is taken to the hill, King wishes to visit the bull himself. He supposes if the bull can be cured without taking to the hill. The king, then, goes to the cowshed at ThuloGauchar with Laxminarayan and his supporters. Gore and Jitman are squatting beside the lying bull. They are scared. Gore hopes Dahal may save their lives but Jitman doesn't believe. Both of them see the King with his supporters and Dahal approaching towards them. Laxminarayan runs towards them first and orders Gore and Jitman to continue taking care of the bull. King calls the bull "Male, Eh, Male!" Laxmi points both Jitman and Gore and informs the king that they have been taking care of the bull since midnight. Ranabahadur goes close to the bull to feed bananas. When he extends his his hands, he finds the bull is breathless. He sees dropping ears, loosened tail, and he confirmed about the death of the bull. When the king declares that the bull is dead, Jitman and Gore start sobbing. Both of them show that they are in a great loss due to the death of the bull. The pain is unbearable to them. The king consoles them and gives them tips for their care of the bull. Laxminarayan also show that he is in a great loss. The king asks Laxminarayan to shut up and manage funeral of the bull.


Reference to the context

a. Discuss the late eighteenth-century Nepali society as portrayed in terms of the relation between the king and his subjects as portrayed in the play.

Ans: - The one act play "The Bull" by Bhimnidhi Tiwari is written based on the social context of the late 18th century when King Ranabahadur Shaw was ruling. He ruled Nepal from 1777 to 1799 after the demise of his father Pratap Singh Shah. During the time the supreme power lied in the King. In other words, the king was exercising absolute power and all people were his subjects. Common people were treated like servants of the king and they have to obey every word of the king. If they raised their voice against the King, they were given severe punishment. He was considered to be the center of power and the government was operated according to his will. People were deprived of any kind of life, liberty and happiness.


The characters in this play portray the same context of the time. Ranabahadur, the then king of Nepal, was exercising absolute power. He would declare cruel punishments to his subjects if they were against his will. The system of society was patriarchal or male dominated. One could have many wives as Dahal baje had seven wives. People like him, who praise and flatter king could have a little better life than common people. King was fond of rearing four footed animal like bulls and people would be rewarded and punished on basis of people treatment to his bull. In the initial the three characters are show scared after the passes away. They think that they would get death punishment by the king after the death of the bull. This shows that how people were living under the terror of the king. When we compare the situation between the bull and common people, the dearest animals like bullare receiving reverential care than people.


b. What does the relation between Laxminarayan and his wives tell us about the society of that time? To what extend has the Nepali society changed since then?

Ans:- Laxminarayan is one of the major characters in the play 'The Bull'. He is also known as 'Dahal Baje' and by profession he is a bull doctor. He is receiving favor of the king for providing care to the lovely bull of the king. He is 40 years old and has already married seven wives. In the first scene, he doesn't seem happy even he has seven wives. This shows that the role of women in that time was to satisfy the males to whom they are married to. He scolds his wives for not pleasing him. Like males are servant to the King, females are servants to the males. People like Laxminarayan were getting a little higher position as a result of the Chakari they provide to the king. This shows that the society was very bad at that time when illiteracy, child marriage, polygamy, slavery and feudalism were the components. Bhimnidhi Tiwari has better portrayed the society of the that time in this play.


After the shah rule, Ranas started ruling people in the past. In comparison the Shah kings, Ranas were more dictator and cruel. People suffered a lot during Rana Regime. Due to different people's movement onward 2007 B.S. different systems of government were established aiming to change Nepali society. In the present time, we have overthrown dictatorship and established republic. Now our country has been being ruled under people friendly constitution since 2072 B.S. It has given given every sort of people's right. There is not caste based, religion based and gender-based hierarchy in our society. Every human being is free seeking life, liberty and happiness. People are educated, and there is no biasness.  All are equal and ruled by their represented. They have right to select they're their government and can overthrow if they don't meet people's sentiment. A common people can be minister, prime minister even a president. Polygamy, child marriage, child labor, untouchability and other social evils no longer exist. Women are as liberate as males. They can peruse their better life. There is any discrimination between males and females interns of voting rights, education, and marriage, economic, political and other rights.


c. Shed light on the practice of chakari as portrayed in the play. Have you noticed this practice in your society?

Ans:-  The word chakari means domestic or more commonly clerical service provided by an individual to his/her lord in the feudal system of society. It is also called serfism in feudal social and economic system. Before the democracy, the term was most popular. Not only in King's rule, but also during the time of Zamindar or Mahajan, the term was quite popular. Most of the kings, leaders, rulers, masters, during feudal system of society had special people who by their serfism satisfied them and in return they would get some tips such and money and land. People who involved in serfism were clever to impress their lords. Similar kind of context is found in the play 'The Bull'. There was also a hierarchy in such people. In the Play Dahal baje, Jitman and Gore are shown doing chakari of the King Ranabahadur. But in comparison to Jitman and Gore, Dahal baje is a little closer to the King. The act of chakari is beneficial as well as harmful. If they satisfy the master/ruler/lord they get tips but if they commit even a minor mistake there were severely punished. Once, King Ranabadhur burnt the mouth of Dahal Baje when he spoke in a loud voice to him. They have to act according to the mood of the king.


The way Chakari is done in the present system has been changed quite a lot these days. In the past people used to do chakari to the king, Mahajan or Money Lender, but now not all some people, do chakari of the people who are rich, have power, or are in higher rank government job. Even we see some people doing chakari of political leaders etc. It has taken a modern form of chakari.


d. How does Laxminarayan outsmart Ranabahadur?

Ans:- Laxminarayan Dahal, a 40 years old brahmin, is a doctor of the Valliant bull of the King Ranabahadur Shah. He has been administering the bull under two cowherds Jitman and Gore. One morning the cowherd finds that the bull is dead. The cowherds pass the news to Laxminarayan. He knows that the King is fond of that bull and this news may enrage the king if he tells the king immediately. So, the cunning 'baje' tells the news artistically without enraging him. Instead of saying the bull has died, he says that the bull is not getting up late morning. Laxmi cunningly says the bull is sleeping in a relaxed mode with still eyes without having anything and moving without uttering the word 'died'. He informs that the bull might have some sickness and it need climate change. He asks permission from the king to take the bull on the hill for treatment. When the king goes to visit the bull himself, Dahal baje tells Gore and Jitman keep on going taking care of the bull. Later the king himself finds the bull is dead. If he had heard about the death of the bull either by Dahal or by the cowherds, he would punish them severely. But later he himself finds that the bull is dead despite the care Gore and Jitman provided. Laxminarayan saves the lives of himself and two cowherds.


e. Sketch the character of Laxminarayan.

Ans:- Laxminarayan is the main character is the play 'The Bull'. He belongs to Brahmin cast and known as 'Dahal Baje'. He is 40 years old, and by profession he a bull doctor of the King Ranabahadur Shah. He is very much cunning and clever person. He has married to seven wives and still he is not happy with anyone. He is a member of a male dominated society and he believes that females are to please males. He is such a clever person who even outsmarts the king Ranabahadur Shah when is favorite and Valliant bull dies being unable to digest rice, grains and fruits instead of grass. He has gained his position and luxury by doing chakari to the king, and he handles his chakari skillfully.

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