Home >> Learn English >> Class 10 >>

Madam Rides the Bus - CBSE Class 10 NCERT English First Flight Lesson 9 Explanation, Summary, Difficult words

By Ruchika Gupta

CBSE Class 10 English Lesson 9 Explanation Notes

Madam Rides the Bus Class 10 English First Flight Lesson - Detailed explanation of the lesson along with meanings of difficult words. Also, the explanation is followed by a Summary of the lesson. All the exercises and Question and Answers given at the back of the lesson has been covered.

 

Class 10 English (First Flight) Chapter 9 - Madam Rides the Bus

By Vallikkannan

 

madam rides the bus

 

Madam Rides the Bus - Introduction

The lesson “Madam Rides the Bus” is about a brave eight year old who had a strong desire and along with it, the courage to fulfill it. She liked gazing at the hustle and bustle of the street and her favourite part was the sight of a bus arriving and departing. Thus, she developed a deep desire to travel by bus. For that, she needed all sorts of information about the bus journey, collect the bus fare and then plan it so that she could be back at home before her mother woke up from her afternoon nap. Thus, the story brings us recounts of how innocently but responsibly she fulfilled her deepest desire and her experiences on the bus ride. How an incident makes her realize the reality of death.

 

Advertisement:

 

 

Madam Rides the Bus - Summary

The lesson is about an eight year old girl named Valli, who did not have friends to play with and so she would spend her time by looking at the outside affairs going on the street. Her favourite part was to look at the bus that passed by her village every hour. It gave her endless joy to look at the new set of passengers each time the bus crossed by. Gradually, even she wished to travel by bus. Soon, the wish turned into a desire and therefore, she made it her mission to fulfill it. She started listening to the conversations between her neighbours who frequently travelled by bus and in the process, would ask a few careful questions here and there to collect more information. Just like this, she knew that the town is six miles away from her village and it took the bus forty five minutes to travel one side. One-sided fare was thirty paise making it sixty for a back and forth ride. Therefore, she started planning and re-planning so that she could sneak out during her mother’s afternoon nap and come back without her knowing anything. She needed to save the money which was not easy as she had to resist the temptation of candy, peppermint and merry-go-round. Finally, she saved enough money and one fine day, the brave eight year old took the bus during it’s not very busy hours. She refused to take any help from the conductor or fellow passengers. It was an amusing sight for everyone to see such a small girl all alone acting like an adult. The conductor was of the joking sort and thus, referred to Valli as a grown up ‘madam’. Short-heighted Valli would stand on her seat to be able to see clearly from the window while everyone advised her to sit for her own safety. Each time someone would poke their nose in her business, Valli would get annoyed as she did not consider herself a child. She did not want to be friends with an elderly lady who was worried about her because she thought she was not socially-capable enough. She enjoyed seeing what was going on outside and the sight of a running cow in the middle of a road was abruptly a funny scenario for her. Upon reaching the town,  she refused to get down the bus because she was too afraid to do so alone. While returning, she carried extreme enthusiasm until she saw a cow lying lifeless on the road. It was the same cow that was so joyous previously. Valli got terrified at the fact that how a creature so full of life can instantly turn into something horrible. She sat down silently for rest  of the journey. Upon reaching home, she found her mother and aunt talking about the endless possibilities in the world outside. Valli affirmed to what her mother was sayingleaving both of them astonished. She then justified her reaction by mentioning that she was casually agreeing to what her mother was saying.  Her aunt then referred to Valli as a nose-poking child who acts like a grown up lady but only Valli knew what she was referring to because, after all, no one knew about her bus journey.

 

Ebook Img

 

Madam Rides the Bus- Lesson & Explanation

I.

THERE was a girl named Valliammai who was called Valli for short. She was eight years old and very curious about things. Her favourite pastime was standing in the front doorway of her house, watching what was happening in the street outside. There were no playmates of her own age on her street, and this was about all she had to do.

Curious- eager to know or learn something

valliammai

The story is about an eight year old girl named Valliammai, or preferrably Valli. Just like every child, Valli is eager to know about new and unknown things because of which she can spend all day looking at the hustle and bustle of the street. Moreover, she has no friends to play with, so the only option she has is to look at what is going on outside.

But for Valli, standing at the front door was every bit as enjoyable as any of the elaborate games other children played. Watching the street gave her many new unusual experiences.The most fascinating thing of all was the bus that travelled between her village and the nearest town. It passed through her street each hour, once going to the town and once coming back. The sight of the bus, filled each time with a new set of passengers, was a source of unending joy for Valli.

Even though she couldn’t play with friends, looking at the outside affairs was just as entertaining. She learned a lot of new things in the process and the best part was the arrival and departure of the bus that routed from her village to a nearby town. The bus crossed the village street at hourly intervals, once while going to the town and the other, while coming back. Just gazing at the bus filled with a new set of passengers every time it crossed the street, gave Valli lasting excitement and joy.

Day after day she watched the bus, and gradually a tiny wish crept into her head and grew there: she wanted to ride on that bus, even if just once. This wish became stronger and stronger, until it was an overwhelming desire. Valli would stare wistfully at the people who got on or off the bus when it stopped at the street corner. Their faces would kindle in her longings, dreams, and hopes. If one of her friends happened to ride the bus and tried to describe the sights of the town to her, Valli would be too jealous to listen and would shout, in English: “Proud! proud!” Neither she nor her friends really understood the meaning of the word, but they used it often as a slang expression of disapproval.

Wistfully- longingly
Kindle- set alight (fire), here, feelings
A slang expression- informal words, often used within a close group

After continuously watching the bus arrive and depart for a couple of days, even she wished to take a ride on it just once. Soon, the wish grew stronger and became a desire which means that there was now more longing to travel in the bus. She would be fascinated by looking at people's faces who would step out of the bus. Her desire grew to the extent that she would be jealous if any of her friends would go by bus and recite their experiences. Upon listening to them, she would exclaim, “Proud!, Proud!”. Neither she nor her friends knew the actual meaning of  the word ‘proud’, but would use it in order to express disapproval.

Madam Rides the Bus - See Video:

 

 

valli

Over many days and months Valli listened carefully to conversations between her neighbours and people who regularly used the bus, and she also asked a few discreet questions here and there. This way she picked up various small details about the bus journey. The town was six miles from her village. The fare was thirty paise one way — “which is almost nothing at all,” she heard one well-dressed man say, but to Valli, who scarcely saw that much money from one month to the next, it seemed a fortune. The trip to the town took forty-five minutes. On reaching town, if she stayed in her seat and paid another thirty paise, she could return home on the same bus. This meant that she could take the one-o’clock afternoon bus, reach the town at one forty-five, and be back home by about two forty-five…
On and on went her thoughts as she calculated and recalculated, planned and replanned.

Discreet questions- careful questions
In order to fulfill her desire of travelling by bus alone, she needed to be prepared with all sorts of information. Therefore, she started paying attention to conversations between her neighbours who were used to travelling by bus and in the process, would ask a few more careful questions to gain further information. This way she prepared a plan and knew that the town was six miles from the village, one-sided fare was thirty paise which was nothing for a well-dressed man, but was too much for Valli and the trip duration on one side was forty-five minutes. The same bus upon finishing it’s trip till town would bring Valli back, if she paid thirty more paise. Thus, if she could get on the bus by one o’clock in the afternoon and reach there by one forty-five, the same bus could bring her back to the village by two-forty five. This way she calculated to save that much amount and time to sneak out without anyone noticing.

II.

Well, one fine spring day the afternoon bus was just on the point of leaving the village and turning into the main highway when a small voice was heard shouting: “Stop the bus! Stop the bus!” And a tiny hand was raised commandingly

After re-planning and re-calculating, finally came the riding day. Bus was on its usual route to the main highway when they heard a shouting voice commanding them to stop the bus.

conductor

The bus slowed down to a crawl, and the conductor, sticking his head out the door, said, “Hurry then! Tell whoever it is to come quickly.” “It’s me,” shouted Valli. “I’m the one who has to get on.” By now the bus had come to a stop, and the conductor said, “Oh, really! You don’t say so!” “Yes, I simply have to go to town,” said Valli, still standing outside the bus, “and here’s my money.” She showed him some coins. “Okay, okay, but first you must get on the bus,” said the conductor, and he stretched out a hand to help her up. “Never mind,” she said, “I can get on by myself. You don’t have to help me.”

On hearing the voice, the bus slowed down and on seeing Valli, a small girl, the conductor asked her to tell the one supposed to travel to hurry up. When Valli told him that she was the passenger, he was shocked to see such a young girl and thus, stopped the bus. It was hard for the conductor to believe that she was about to travel alone. Then she handed him her bus fare. The conductor offered her help to climb up the bus, but responsible and proud as she was, she made her intentions clear that she needed no help.

The conductor was a jolly sort, fond of joking. “Oh, please don’t be angry with me, my fine madam,” he said. “Here, have a seat right up there in front. Everybody move aside please — make way for madam.” It was the slack time of day, and there were only six or seven passengers on the bus. They were all looking at Valli and laughing with the conductor. Valli was overcome with shyness. Avoiding everyone’s eyes, she walked quickly to an empty seat and sat down
Slack time-a time when there is not much work

When little Valli refused to take any help, the conductor sarcastically asked her not to be angry with him and that he is just trying to help. In a light tone, he addressed her ‘madam’ and escorted her to the seat while telling other passengers to make way for the ‘madam’. Since it was afternoon, not many people traveled during this time and thus, everyone’s eyes were at Valli. All of them adored her along with the conductor. While everyone was laughing, it made Valli shy and thus, she hurried to her seat.

“May we start now, madam?” the conductor asked, smiling. Then he blew his whistle twice, and the bus moved forward with a roar. It was a new bus, its outside painted a gleaming white with some green stripes along the sides. Inside, the overhead bars shone like silver. Directly in front of Valli, above the windshield, there was a beautiful clock. The seats were soft and luxurious.

Again in a sarcastic tone, the conductor seeks the approval of ‘madam’ before beginning the journey and then blows his whistle twice to signal the driver to start the bus. The bus was new as was evident from the overhead silver bars that were shining. There was a clock just in front of Valli and the seats were extremely comfortable. The outside was painted in glowing white with stripes of green along the sides.

Valli devoured everything with her eyes. But when she started to look outside, she found her view cut off by a canvas blind that covered the lower part of her window. So she stood up on the seat and peered over the blind.

Devoured- read quickly and eagerly (here)
Canvas- a coarse fabric
Blind- a partition

She quickly glanced at the insides of the bus and turned towards the window to have a view of the outside but couldn’t have the complete view for she was too short and the window blinds were obstructing her view. Thus, she decided to stand up to be able to look properly.

The bus was now going along the bank of a canal. The road was very narrow. On one side there was the canal and, beyond it, palm trees, grassland, distant mountains, and the blue, blue sky. On the other side was a deep ditch and then acres and acres of green fields — green, green, green, as far as the eye could see.

The bus was on a very narrow road. On  one side, there was a canal and beyond it, trees, distant mountains and a large blue sky could be seen. Whereas on the other hand, there was greenery all around.

elderly man

Oh, it was all so wonderful! Suddenly she was startled by a voice. “Listen, child,” said the voice, “you shouldn’t stand like that. Sit down.” Sitting down, she looked to see who had spoken. It was an elderly man who had honestly been concerned for her, but she was annoyed by his attention.

Valli was enjoying a lot when suddenly someone asked her to sit down. While sitting down to see who told her so, she saw an old man showing concern for her. Still in no mood for anyone’s help or advice, it made Valli annoyed.

 

madam rides the bus

 

“There’s nobody here who’s a child,” she said haughtily. “I’ve paid my thirty paise like everyone else.” The conductor chimed in. “Oh, sir, but this is a very grown-up madam. Do you think a mere girl could pay her own fare and travel to the city all alone?” Valli shot an angry glance at the conductor and said, “I am not a madam. Please remember that. And you’ve not yet given me my ticket.” “I’ll remember,” the conductor said, mimicking her tone. Everyone laughed, and gradually Valli too joined in the laughter. The conductor punched a ticket and handed it to her. “Just sit back and make yourself comfortable. Why should you stand when you’ve paid for a seat?” “Because I want to,” she answered, standing up again.

Haughtily- proudly

Valli was too proud to take anyone’s help and thus, told the old man that she was not a child. She said that she was just like everyone else travelling in the bus and could take care of herself. She had paid the full fare just like everyone else. The conductor made a remark that she is a ‘grown up madam’ because a child could never pay for his or her bus ticket. Valli annoyingly told the conductor not to call her madam and reminded him that she has not yet received the ticket. The conductor then responded by mimicking her tone, thereby making everyone laugh. Valli ended up laughing too. The conductor then handed her the ticket and asked her, “Just sit back and make yourself comfortable. Why should you stand when you’ve paid for a seat?” to which Valli proudly replied, that she’d do whatever she wanted to.
 
“But if you stand on the seat, you may fall and hurt yourself when the bus makes a sharp turn or hits a bump. That’s why we want you to sit down, child.” “I’m not a child, I tell you,” she said irritably. “I’m eight years old.” “Of course, of course. How stupid of me! Eight years — my!” The bus stopped, some new passengers got on, and the conductor got busy for a time. Afraid of losing her seat, Valli finally sat down. An elderly woman came and sat beside her. “Are you all alone, dear?” she asked Valli as the bus started again. Valli found the woman absolutely repulsive — such big holes she had in her ear lobes, and such ugly earrings in them! And she could smell the betel nut the woman was chewing and see the betel juice that was threatening to spill over her lips at any moment. Ugh! — who could be sociable with such a person?

Repulsive- causing strong dislike

They further tried on explaining her that they were genuinely concerned about her and she may hurt herself is she continued to stand. She again made it clear that she was eight years old and hence, not a child. The conductor did not leave this chance to have a good laugh too. The bus stopped and more passengers boarded the bus and in order to preserve her seat, she quickly sat down when an old woman sat near her. The lady was staring at Valli before asking her if she was all alone. Valli developed a strong dislike for the lady whose earlobes had big holes. She did not like her earrings too and looking at how she was chewing betel nut, she was the last person Valli would like to socialize with.

“Yes, I’m travelling alone,” she answered curtly. “And I’ve got a ticket too.” “Yes, she’s on her way to town,” said the conductor. “With a thirty-paise ticket.” “Oh, why don’t you mind your own business,” said Valli. But she laughed all the same, and the conductor laughed too. But the old woman went on with her drivel. “Is it proper for such a young person to travel alone? Do you know exactly where you’re going in town? What’s the street? What’s the house number?” “You needn’t bother about me. I can take care of myself,” Valli said, turning her face towards the window and staring out. 

Curtly- rudely brief or abrupt
Drivel- silly nonsense

Though annoyed by the elderly lady, Valli replied to her by saying that yes, she was travelling alone and that too, with a ticket of her own. Evidently, the conductor spared no chance to tease Valli and have a good laugh. Now, Valli laughed with him too while the old lady continued to interrupt by asking abrupt questions out of concern. She was bothered about Valli’s security and that if she could reach her destination safely all alone. Valli assured her that she can travel alone and started looking outside the window to avoid further conversation.

III.

Her first journey — what careful, painstaking, elaborate plans she had had to make for it! She had thriftily saved whatever stray coins came her way, resisting every temptation to buy peppermints, toys, balloons, and the like, and finally she had saved a total of sixty paise. How difficult it had been, particularly that day at the village fair, but she had resolutely stifled a strong desire to ride the merry go-round, even though she had the money.

Thriftily- spend money carefully
Resolutely stifled- suppressed/ controlled with determination

Undoubtedly, she had put innumerable amount of effort in planning and saving for her first ever bus journey. It was a dream ride for her. She resisted every temptation ranging from peppermints, toys, balloons to merry-go-round at the village fair. After so many efforts, she finally saved sixty paise.

After she had enough money saved, her next problem was how to slip out of the house without her mother’s knowledge. But she managed this without too much difficulty. Every day after lunch her mother would nap from about one to four or so. Valli always used these hours for her ‘excursions’ as she stood looking from the doorway of her house or sometimes even ventured out into the village; today, these same hours could be used for her first excursion outside the village.

Ventured out- went cautiously, courageously

When the financial obstacle had been dealt with, the next problem was to be able to sneak out without anyone noticing. Usually, Valli’s mother used to sleep from one to four every afternoon. Valli used to benefit from this and used to go for excursions in the village. This time it could be used for an excursion outside the village.
The bus rolled on now cutting across a bare landscape, now rushing through a tiny hamlet or past an odd wayside shop. Sometimes the bus seemed on the point of gobbling up another vehicle that was coming towards them or a pedestrian crossing the road. But lo! somehow it passed on smoothly, leaving all obstacles safely behind. Trees came running towards them but then stopped as the bus reached them and simply stood there helpless for a moment by the side of the road before rushing away in the other direction.

Hamlet: a small settlement with a few houses.
Gobbling up: to swallow or eat hastily

Now the bus reached an area which did not have trees. It was barren land with a few shrubs here and there. It crossed a small settlement and a shop by the road. As the bus went with high speed, Valli thought that it would swallow the oncoing vehicles and pedestrians but it passed safely, crossing all hurdles. When the bus was moving, it seemed as if trees were rushing towards the bus and would stop as soon as the bus reached them. As the bus crossed them, it appeared as if the trees were running away from the bus.

 

bus cow

 

Suddenly Valli clapped her hands with glee. A young cow, tail high in the air, was running very fast, right in the middle of the road, right in front of the bus. The bus slowed to a crawl, and the driver sounded his horn loudly again and again. But the more he honked, the more frightened the animal became and the faster it galloped — always right in front of the bus.

Glee- happiness and joy

Valli was filled with happiness and joy. Suddenly, a cow came running in the middle of the road right in front of the bus. The bus slowed down to give her way and honked repeatedly. Unfortunately, it became more terrified and ran in front of the bus. As the driver blew more horns, the cow became wild and kept on running faster and faster.

railroad crossing

Somehow this was very funny to Valli. She laughed and laughed until there were tears in her eyes. “Hey, lady, haven’t you laughed enough?” called, the conductor. “Better save some for tomorrow.” At last the cow moved off the road. And soon the bus came to a railroad crossing. A speck of a train could be seen in the distance, growing bigger and bigger as it drew near. Then it rushed past the crossing gate with a tremendous roar and rattle, shaking the bus. Then the bus went on and passed the train station. From there it traversed a busy, well-laid-out shopping street and, turning, entered a wider thoroughfare. Such big, bright-looking shops! What glittering displays of clothes and other merchandise! Such big crowds! Struck dumb with wonder, Valli gaped at everything.

Thoroughfare- a busy public road
Merchandise- things  for sale
Railroad crossing- an intersection where a railway line crosses a road or path

Valli found the cow incident extremely humorous and laughed to the extent that brought tears to her eyes. Again the conductor teased her by telling her that it was enough for the day and she should save some laughter for the next day. Somehow, the cow went off the road on its own and the bus stopped at a level crossing from where the train was visible as a tiny dot. As the train came  nearer, it grew larger. The train passed with a huge roar thus, shaking the entire road and the bus along with it. The bus started moving and reached a narrow street. On taking a turn, it reached a wider road. There were big and brightly lit shops on the road that displayed merchandise for sale. Valli was attracted towards all the lights and decorations. She glanced at each and every thing.

Then the bus stopped and everyone got off except Valli.  “Hey, lady,” said the conductor, “aren’t you ready to get off? This is as far as your thirty paise takes you.” “No,” Valli said, “I’m going back on this same bus.” She took another thirty paise from her pocket and handed the coins to the conductor. “Why, is something the matter?” “No, nothing’s the matter. I just felt like having a bus ride, that’s all.” “Don’t you want to have a look at the sights, now that you’re here?” “All by myself? Oh, I’d be much too afraid.” Greatly amused by the girl’s way of speaking, the conductor said, “But you weren’t afraid to come in the bus.” “Nothing to be afraid of about that,” she answered.
The bus arrived at its destination and everyone except Valli, deboarded the bus. The conductor informed her that this was the last stop and just then she took out another thirty paise from her pocket to buy a ticket back to village. She expressed that she only intended to take a bus ride and upon being asked to wander nearby, she told him that she was too afraid for that. Conductor, while maintaining his nature all throughout the journey replied by saying that she wasn’t afraid to travel alone in the bus without anyone’s help, then why was she afraid of roaming in the town. To this, Valli replied confidently as far as the bus ride was concerned, there was nothing to be afraid of in that.

“Well, then, why not go to that stall over there and have something to drink? Nothing to be afraid of about that either." “Oh, no, I couldn’t do that.” “Well, then, let me bring you a cold drink.” “No, I don’t have enough money. Just give me my ticket, that’s all.” “It’ll be my treat and not cost you anything.” “No, no,” she said firmly, “please, no.” The conductor shrugged, and they waited until it was time for the bus to begin the return journey. Again there weren’t many passengers.
The conductor asked her if she wished to have a drink at the nearby stall or if he could bring her a drink if she was afraid to go out of the bus but Valli told her that she didn’t have enough money. The conductor insisted on it being his treat but Valli denied and both of them waited for a new set of passengers to board. This time too, there were fewer passengers.

IV.

Won’t your mother be looking for you?” the conductor asked when he gave the girl her ticket. “No, no one will be looking for me,” she said.

Concerned about Valli, the conductor asked if her mother would be looking for her as she was all alone. Valli instantly replied by saying that no one was waiting on her.

The bus started, and again there were the same wonderful sights. Valli wasn’t bored in the slightest and greeted everything with the same excitement she’d felt the first time. But suddenly she saw a young cow lying dead by the roadside, just where it had been struck by some fast-moving vehicle. “Isn’t that the same cow that ran in front of the bus on our trip to town?” she asked the conductor. The conductor nodded, and she was overcome with sadness. What had been a lovable, beautiful creature just a little while ago had now suddenly lost its charm and its life and looked so horrible, so frightening as it lay there, legs spreadeagled, a fixed stare in its

 

young cow dead

 

lifeless eyes, blood all over…

Spreadeagled- spread out

The return journey began and Valli was just as excited as the first time. She was looking at everything enthusiastically when she suddenly noticed a cow lying dead by the roadside. It must have been hit by a fast moving vehicle. Valli confirmed with the conductor that it was the same cow they had seen earlier. Her mood experienced a shift towards sadness. She wondered how a lovable and playful creature instantly transformed into a horrible and lifeless one.

The bus moved on. The memory of the dead cow haunted her, dampening her enthusiasm. She no longer wanted to look out the window. She sat thus, glued to her seat, until the bus reached her village at three forty. She stood up and stretched herself. Then she turned to the conductor and said, “Well, sir, 1 hope to see you again.” “Okay, madam,” he answered her, smiling. “Whenever you feel like a bus ride, come and join us. And don’t forget to bring your fare.” She laughed and jumped down from the bus. Then away she went, running straight for home.

Haunted- returned repeatedly to her mind; was impossible to forget

The sight of the dead cow robbed Valli of her enthusiasm and thus, she stopped looking out of the window. She sat silently on her seat until she reached home at around three-forty. While deboarding, she conveyed her intention of seeing the conductor again to which the conductor replied in a sarcastic manner, he told her not to forget her fare the next time she intended to travel. Valli went home.

When she entered her house she found her mother awake and talking to one of Valli’s aunts, the one from South Street. This aunt was a real chatterbox, never closing her mouth once she started talking. “And where have you been?” said her aunt when Valli came in. She spoke very casually, not expecting a reply. So Valli just smiled, and her mother and aunt went on with their conversation.

Valli found her mother awake from her afternoon nap when she returned home. Her mother was talking to one of her aunts who lived in the South street. The aunt spoke so much that Valli called her ‘a  real chatterbox’. It was difficult to make her stop talking. She even asked Valli a question and without giving her enough time to reply, resumed talking. Valli also took the benefit of the moment and avoided any conversation regarding where she had been.

“Yes, you’re right,” her mother said. “So many things in our midst and in the world outside. How can we possibly know about everything? And even when we do know about something, we often can’t understand it completely, can we?” “Oh, yes!” breathed Valli. “What?” asked her mother. “What’s that you say?” “Oh,” said Valli, “I was just agreeing with what you said about things happening without our knowledge.” “Just a chit of a girl, she is,” said her aunt, “and yet look how she pokes her nose into our conversation, just as though she were a grown lady.” Valli smiled to herself. She didn’t want them to understand her smile. But, then, there wasn’t much chance of that, was there?

Pokes her nose- takes an interest in something that doesn’t concern her

While her mother and aunt were conversing, her mother was heard talking about the endless possibilities in the world one was unaware about and even if one knew, it was another thing to understand it. Valli affirmed to what her mother was saying, leaving both of them astonished. She then justified her reaction by mentioning that she was casually agreeing to what her mother was saying.  Her aunt then referred to Valli as a nose-poking child who acted like a grown up lady but only Valli knew what she was referring to because, after all, no one knew about her bus journey.

 

Madam Rides the Bus- Question and Answers

1. What was Valli’s favourite pastime?

A. Valli’s favourite pastime was to gaze at the hustle and bustle of the street.

 

2. What was a source of unending joy for Valli? What was her strongest desire?

A. Valli enjoyed watching the bus and its new set of passengers every time it crossed the village. It gave her a never ending joy. Her strongest desire was to travel in the bus and take a ride to the nearby town and back.

 

3. What did Valli find out about the bus journey? How did she find out these details?

A. Valli found out that the town was six miles from the village and it cost thirty paise to travel one side. It took forty five minutes to reach town and the same bus could bring you back as well. Once she decided to travel by bus, even if just once, she started listening to her neighbour’s conversations about their bus rides very carefully. In the process, she would herself ask some careful questions here and there in order to enhance her knowledge about the journey.

 

4. What do you think Valli was planning to do?

A. Valli was planning secretively to fulfill her desire of travelling by bus without her mother noticing.

 

5. Why does the conductor call Valli ‘madam’?

A. Well prepared and proud Valli got annoyed if someone called her a child or treated her like one. On the other hand, the bus conductor was of the joking sort and began addressing her ‘madam’ as she was grown enough, bought her ticket and could take care of herself.

 

6. Why does Valli stand up on the seat? What does she see now?

A. Valli was short in height and thus, when she tried looking out of the window, the window blinds would come her way obstructing her outside view. Thus, she decided to stand on her seat. She saw that the bus was moving on a very narrow road. It had a canal on one side, beyond which palm trees, mountains and blue sky could be seen. On the other side, there was a deep ditch followed by greenery as far as one could see.

 

7. What does Valli tell the elderly man when he calls her a child?

A. On being advised by a concerned old man to sit down, Valli told him that she was not a child and she could take care of herself. She told him that she was just as capable and responsible like other passengers as she had paid the fare of thirty paise for the ticket.

 

8. Why didn’t Valli want to make friends with the elderly woman?

A. Valli was already annoyed with how everyone was treating her like a child. When that elderly woman came and showed concern about her, it irritated her further. Moreover, she had large holes in her earlobes with ugly earrings that Valli developed strong dislike for. The lady was chewing betel nut and it’s juice could have spilled any moment, automatically making her a less socially desirable person according to Valli.

 

9. How did Valli save up money for her first journey? Was it easy for her?

A. Undoubtedly, she had put innumerable amount of effort in planning and saving for her first ever bus journey. It was a dream ride for her. She resisted every temptation ranging from peppermints, toys, balloons to merry-go-round at the village fair. After so many efforts, she finally saved sixty paise. No, it was not easy for her.

 

10. What did Valli see on her way that made her laugh?

A. Valli saw a cow that was running along the road and came in front of the bus. As the driver honked, it started running in front of the bus. The more the driver blew the horn, faster did it run but did not get out of the way. This was funny for Valli and she kept on laughing till she had tears in her eyes.

 

11. Why didn’t she get off the bus at the bus station?

A. Valli didn’t get off the bus on reaching the town because she only boarded the bus with the intention of taking a ride to and from the nearby town. Moreover, she was too afraid to even casually have a look at her surroundings as she was all alone.

 

12. Why didn’t Valli want to go to the stall and have a drink? What does this tell you about her?

A. Valli was too afraid to get off the bus alone. Moreover, she didn’t have enough money to buy herself a drink. Therefore, she didn’t intend on going to the stall for a drink. This shows that Valli was a responsible and careful child who was aware that getting off the bus without an adult could get her in trouble. Moreover, as she did not have the money, she denied the treat offered by the conductor which showed that she was a mature child.

 

13. What was Valli’s deepest desire? Find the words and phrases in the story that tell you this.

A. Valli’s deepest desire was to travel by bus. Words and phrases like “the most fascinating thing of all” and  “source of unending joy” have been used to describe Valli’s deepest desire.

 

14. How did Valli plan her bus ride? What did she find out about the bus, and how did she save up the fare?

A. Once she decided to travel by bus, she started listening to her neighbour’s conversations about their bus rides very carefully. In the process, she would herself ask some careful questions here and there in order to enhance her knowledge about the journey. Valli found out that the town was six miles from the village and it cost thirty paise to travel one side. It took forty five minutes to reach town and the same bus could bring you back as well. She collected the money with utmost determination. She resisted every temptation ranging from peppermints, toys, balloons to merry-go-round at the village fair. After so many efforts, she finally saved sixty paise.

 

15. What kind of a person is Valli? To answer this question, pick out the following sentences from the text and fill in the blanks. The words you fill in are the clues to your answer.

  1.  “Stop the bus! Stop the bus!” And a tiny hand was raised ________.
  2.  “Yes, I ______ go to town,” said Valli, still standing outside the bus.
  3. “There’s nobody here _________ ,” she said haughtily. “I’ve paid my thirty paise like everyone else.”
  4. “Never mind,” she said, “I can _______. You don’t have to help me. ”I’m not a child, I tell you,” she said, .
  5. “You needn’t bother about me. I ________,” Valli said, turning her face toward the window and staring out.
  6. Then she turned to the conductor and said, “Well, sir, I hope ________.”

A.

  1.  “Stop the bus! Stop the bus!” And a tiny hand was raised commandingly.
  2.  “Yes, I simply have to go to town,” said Valli, still standing outside the bus.
  3. “There’s nobody here who’s a child ,” she said haughtily. “I’ve paid my thirty paise like everyone else.”
  4. “Never mind,” she said, “I can get on by myself. You don’t have to help me. I’m not a child, I tell you,” she said, .
  5. “You needn’t bother about me. I can take care of myself,” Valli said, turning her face toward the window and staring out.
  6. Then she turned to the conductor and said, “Well, sir, I hope to see you again.”

These words show that Valli is a mature, determined and independent girl. Although she is only eight years of age, she has confidence and can take care of herself.

 

16. Why does the conductor refer to Valli as ‘madam’?

A. When the conductor gave Valli a hand in order to help her climb the bus, Valli denied. She further denied all the help that she was being offered, because she considered herself not to be a child. Moreover, the conductor was of the joking sort and thus, started addressing Valli as a grown up ‘madam’.

 

17 Find the lines in the text which tell you that Valli was enjoying her ride on the bus.

A. The text which tells that Valli was enjoying her ride on the bus is as follows-

  1. Oh, it was all so wonderful!
  2. Suddenly Valli clapped her hands with glee.
  3. Somehow this was very funny to Valli. She laughed and laughed until there were tears in her eyes.
  4. Struck dumb with wonder, Valli gaped at everything.

 

18. Why does Valli refuse to look out of the window on her way back?

A. On her way back to the village, Valli saw a lifeless cow lying on the road. It was the same cow that was so joyful on their journey to the town. She got devastated as to how something that was so full of life at one moment can turn into something horrible in just a blink of an eye.Thus, she sat on her seat silently after this and refused to look out of the window.

 

19. What does Valli mean when she says, “I was just agreeing with what you said about things happening without our knowledge.”

A. Valli agreed to her mother’s statement that things happened without our knowing about them. She meant to say that her mother was ignorant about her bus ride.