Working with the Text
Answer the following questions.
What was the author’s opinion about Mr Gessler as a bootmaker?
The author was very impressed with Mr Gessler. He liked the boots made only on order and those boots perfectly fitted the customers. Their boots had the best materials and lasted long. He found the work mysterious and wonderful.
Why did the author visit the shop so infrequently?
The author visited the shop so infrequently because the boots made by Gessler brothers lasted too long.
What was the effect on Mr Gessler of the author’s remark about a certain pair of boots?
Mr (Sessler at first found the remark unbelievable. He argued that the author might have got them wet. He was shocked. He told the author that he will either repair them or adjust the money in his bills.
What was Mr Gessler’s complaint against ‘big farms’?
Mr Gessler complained that the big firms didn’t value the money of the customers. They were capturing the markets from advertisements and not from the quality of their work. He was mostly out of work because of those firms and day by day the volume was getting reduced.
Why did the author order so many pairs of boots? Did he really need them?
The author felt bad for Mr Gessler who was really talented and made great boots. He ordered so many pairs to help the bootmaker. No, he didn’t really need them.
Working with Language
Study the following phrases and their
meanings. Use them appropriately to complete
the sentences that follow.
look after : take care of
look down : disapprove or regard as
look in : make a short visit
look into : investigate
look out : be careful
look up : improve
look up to : admire
- After a very long spell of heat, the weather is ………….. at last.
- We have no right to …………. people who do small jobs.
- Nitin has always ……………. his uncle, who is a self-made man.
- The police are …………… the matter thoroughly.
- If you want to go out, I will ………….. the children for you.
- I promise to ………….. on your brother when I visit Lucknow next.
- ……………. when you are crossing the main road.
- looking up
- look down
- looked up
- looking into
- look after
- look in
- Look out
Do you think Mr Gessler was a failure as a bootmaker or as a competitive businessman?
Mr Gessler was successful as a bootmaker because his customers were immensely satisfied with the boot he made.
This perfectly fit them and lasted long. Yes, he was a failure as a competitive businessman.
He didn’t have money like the big firms so couldn’t invest on advertisements. He lost his business to them. He took time in delivering the boots because he made them alone. He lost his customers because of the delay in delivery.
He worked hard, striving for long hours. Whatever, he earned went on paying the rent for his shop and for buying leathers. He spent days of great penury.
What is the significance of the title? To who or to what does it refer?
The title refers to the great quality boots Mr Gessler made. It is an ideal title for the lesson. It refers to the business practices followed these days where no one cares about quality.
For Mr Gessler, quality was of optimum significance. He worked for long hours, didn’t allow anyone else to touch his boots. He lost on business, was spending days in poverty still the man didn’t compromise on quality.
Notice the way Mr Gessler speaks English. His
English is influenced by his mother tongue. He speaks English with an accent.
When Mr Gessler speaks, p, t, k, sound like b,d,g. Can you say these words as Mr Gessler would say them?
It comes and never stops. Does it bother me? Not at all. Ask my brother, please.
Mr Gessler used to speak English with a German accent. His English sounded funny and a bit difficult to understand.
Mr Gessler would have spoken these lines as. Id comes and never sdobs. Does Id bodder me? Nod ad all. Ask my brodher blease.
Speak to five adults in your neighbourhood. Ask them the following questions (in any language they are comfortable in). Then come back and share your findings with the class.
Do they buy their provisions packed in plastic packets at a big store or loose, from a smaller store near their house?
Where do they buy their footwear? Do they buy branded footwear or footwear made locally? What reasons do they have for their preference?
Do they buy readymade clothes or buy cloth and get their clothes stitched by a tailor? Which do they think is better?
Yes, they prefer buying their provisions loose from the smaller stores near their house.
They buy footwear for daily purpose from local shops. For office and part purpose they prefer buying it from branded shops.
They don’t like spending too much on their regular footwear. So, they buy it from local shops.
For office and party they want to look good and want the footwear to last long and comfortable. So, they are fine spending on it.
They do the both. At times they buy readymade clothes and at times get them stitched from the tailor. They find it easy to buy readymade clothes. They get the latest fashion and it saves time as well.
Very Short Answer Type Questions
What proves that Mr Gessler was not an Englishman?
Mr Gessler spoke English with an influence of his mother tongue which proved that his wasn’t an Englishman.
Where did Mr Gessler live?
Mr Gessler lived in London in his shoe shop.
What distinction Mr Gessler’s shop had?
Mr Gessler’s shop didn’t had any other signs except Gessler Brothers written on it.
How did Mr Gessler found that the boot was not comfortable for author?
Mr Gessler pressed with his finger at a particular point and he could make it out that the left boot wasn’t giving comfort to the author.
What material Mr Gessler used to make the boots?
Mr Gessler made boots from the finest quality leather.
How did Mr Gessler described his brother?
Mr Gessler said that his brother was a good man. He made good boots.
Give one stance from the lesson that proves that Mr Gessler was getting older.
Mr Gessler failed to recognise the author during his final days which proves that he had really grown old.
Why did the author went to the shoe shop for the last time?
The author went to the shop for the last time to thank Mr Gessler for making the great boots.
Why was the name plate missing at Mr Gessler’s shop?
Mr Gessler had died and the shop was taken over by another man so his name plate was not there anymore.
Short Answer Type Questions
Why did author preferred boots made by Mr Gessler than that of big firms?
The author preferred boots made by Mr Gessler than that of big firms because Mr Gessler’s boots were durable, were made from best leathers and they fitted perfectly well. The author was very attached to Mr Gessler.
The author felt sorry for complaining about his boots. What made him feel so?
Mr Gessler was shocked at the complaint. He failed to believe it. He became silent and then started thinking deeply where he went wrong. This made the author regret making such a complaint.
Why the author called those boots bought from big firm ‘ill-omened’?
Seeing those boots Mr Gessler for the first time informed the author about the hardships of his trade and the hard times he was going through. Finding Mr Gessler in pain, the author called those boots bought from big firm ‘ill-omened’ ones.
Describe the boots made by Mr Gessler.
Mr Gessler made boots only on orders. His boots were perfect in size. They lasted long and wpre made from the best leathers.
For Mr Gessler bootmaking was an art which was exhibited perfectly in each pair carved by him.
Long Answer Type Questions
Mr Gessler in his last wasn’t in good health. Give three examples to prove this.
Author had mistaken Mr Gessler for his elder brother because he looked too old. There was very thin lining of hair left on the top portion of his head. During the last meeting with the author within a period of one year, Mr Gessler had grown older by around 10 years. He looked tired and exhausted.The hardships of the trade have taken a toll on his health. He even failed to recognise the author at first.
Mr Gessler was spending his days with great difficulty. Give suitable arguments in favour of this.
Mr Gessler was having a tough time in his final years. He had lost his customers because of the delay in delivery of his orders.
Value Based Question
He used to work really hard to make each pair of shoe. But still everything he earned went on paying the rent of his shop and in buying leather. There wasn’t much money with him. He nearly killed himself working for hours at the shop without any food and rest.
Quality is an important aspect of business. Elaborate
Quality plays an important role in business. Every customer looks for quality in the products they buy. Everyone wants to buy an item that has high quality. If we keep the quality of our products high then our customers will visit us again. Popularity of our products also increases in the market. But in other hand if, we sell products of low quality then people might buy them once but will feel being cheated. They will never lose our trust and we will lose them as customer forever.
Whom does ‘his’ refers to in the above lines?
‘His’ in the above lines refers to Mr Gessler.