In "The Tiger in the Tunnel" by Ruskin Bond, what is the similarity between Baldeo and Tembu?

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The father, Baldeo, and his son, Tembu, both understand what they must do to provide for the family.

  • Because the small rice field that Baldeo owns only provides his family with a meager living, both Baldeo and Tembu understand that Baldeo is fortunate to have the job of Khalasi in spite of the dangers that this position presents. While Baldeo goes out at night to confirm that the lamp is burning for the overland mail train that runs through a tunnel in the middle of a thick forest, Tembu sometimes sleeps at the station. Like his father, Tembu knows the danger that Baldeo faces each night.

  • Both father and son are "unafraid of the darkness" of the forest. Baldeo goes out fearlessly to check on the lamp in the tunnel; later, after the tiger kills his father, Tembu goes out into the night to find his father. When he discovers his father's torn body, Tembu guards the body against the jackals and hyenas, "unafraid of the darkness" in which he waits for both the dawn and the next watchman. 

  • Like his father, Tembu understands that the family must be taken care of, so he assumes the job of Khalasi and performs the job that his father had. 

    "Life had to go on, and a living had to be made, and all the responsibility now fell on Tembu."

  • Like his father, Tembu knows how to use the axe of his parent.

    "He had the axe with him, his father’s axe, and he now knew to use it."

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Baldeo and Tembu are both courageous. Baldeo took up the job as a railway watchman in a dangerous part of their location. He heard stories about a marauding tiger, but he still reported to his night duty without fail. On the night of the attack, he stood his ground and defended himself against attacks by the tiger. Tembu knew how dangerous the job was, but he still took up his father’s post after he was killed by the tiger.

Baldeo and Tembu are both responsible individuals. They understood the economic importance of the job in spite of the dangerous working conditions. The rice farms barely sustained their family and the situation forced Baldeo and later Tembu to take up the job as railway watchmen.

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