Detailed explanation of “Madam Rides the Bus”, including definitions of difficult words. In addition, the explanation is followed by a lesson summary. Also, NCERT Question and Answers are also provided to help students understand this Chapter and do well in their exams.
This story is about an eight year old girl , who fulfills her desire to go for a bus ride on her own. Being a small child , she inherits all the qualities of a mature person , which gives her courage to go alone , all by herself for the ride.
This is a story about the first bus journey of an eight-year-old girl. Her name was Valliammai. She was called Valli for short. She was a curious girl. She wanted to know many things. She did not have any playmates of her own age. Her favourite pastime was standing in the front doorway of her house to see what was happening outside.
Watching the happenings in the street gave her many new unusual experiences. The most fascinating thing of all was the bus that passed through the street each hour. The bus travelled between her village and the nearest town. The sight of the bus was a source of unending joy for Valli. It was a great joy for her to watch new sets of passengers every time the bus passed through the street. As she watched the bus day after day, she developed a wish to have a ride on that bus. Her wish became stronger and stronger until it was an overwhelming desire.
Valli carefully listened to the conversations between her neighbours and people who had travelled on the bus or who regularly used it. She asked some casual questions as well. In this way, she discovered small details about the journey. She came to know that the town was six miles away from her village. It took forty-five minutes to reach there. The fare was thirty paise for one way. One could keep sitting on the bus and return to the village by paying another thirty paise. Valli planned her journey to the town and back. It would be her first journey out of her village. She saved every paisa by resisting her desire to buy ice cream, toys, balloons, etc. She had also killed her desire to visit the village fair and have a ride in the merry-go-round. When she had saved sixty paise, she was ready for her first bus journey.
Then, she planned how she would slip out of the house. She knew that her mother slept daily after lunch. So, she decided to use these hours for her journey. She decided to board the bus at one o’clock, so that she could be back by two forty-five. So, one fine spring day, Valli boarded the bus. The conductor, was so amused seeing her confidence, he allowed her to board the bus. He was a jolly fellow. He understood that Valli spoke with pride. He called her Madam and offered a seat. He asked others to make way for the madam’. There were only six or seven passengers on the bus. They were all looking at Valli. As a response, she was overcome with shyness. Avoiding everyone’s eyes, she quickly walked to an empty seat and sat down.
Valli looked around her in the bus. The bus was painted with green stripes on the white. It had a beautiful clock above the windscreen. It had soft and comfortable seats. It also had a beautiful clock above the windscreen. The overhead bars shone like silver. Then, she tried to look outside. She found her view cut off by a curtain that covered the lower part of her window, so she stood on her seat to enjoy the outside scene.
The bus was going along the bank of a canal. She saw palm trees, mountains and blue sky. On the other side, there were green fields. Suddenly, an elderly man warned Valli not to stand on the seat. He called her a child and said that she could fall and get hurt. But Valli does not care for him. She told him proudly that she was not a ‘child’. She had paid the full fare like the others. The conductor told the man that Valli was a grown-up madam. Valli looked at the conductor angrily and said that she was not a madam. The conductor told her that she should not stand on the seat. She could fall when the bus took sharp turns. But Valli ignored his remarks.
On the way, the bus stopped and some new passengers got on. Afraid of losing her seat, Vali finally sat. An elderly woman came and sat beside her. Valli looked at the woman. She found her repulsive. She had ugly earrings and was chewing betel nut. Valli could see that the betel juice was likely to spill over her lips. That woman asked Valli whether she was travelling all alone. Valli told her that she was alone and has got a ticket too. Then, the old woman asked her if it was proper for a child to travel alone. She also asked whether Valli knew exactly where she was going in town. Valli told the old woman that she need not bother about her. Then, she turned her face toward the window.
The bus moved on across a bare landscape. Valli enjoyed the outside scene. Trees came running towards them. Sometimes, the bus seemed to strike the oncoming vehicle. But both passed safely. Suddenly, Valli clapped her hands with joy. A cow was running in the middle of the road in front of the bus. The bus slowed down. The driver sounded the horn again and again. But the cow became more frightened and continued running before the bus. Valli laughed and laughed until there were tears in her eyes. At last, the cow moved off the road. The bus passed by the side of a railway crossing. Valli enjoyed the scene of trains. Then, the bus entered the city area. There were huge crowds of people. Valli looked at different things with surprise. Then the bus reached the city bus stand and stopped. Everybody got off the bus, except Valli. The conductor asked Valli if she was getting down.
But she told him that she was going back on the same bus. He was surprised and asked her why she had come to the city. She replied that she just wanted to take a ride on the bus. He asked Valli if she would like to have a look at the sights outside the bus. Valli said that she was afraid of that. He asked her to have a cold drink. Valli said that she did not have enough money for that. The conductor offered to pay for her drink, but Valli did not accept the offer. The bus resumed its return journey. There were the same wonderful sights. Valli enjoyed the scene again.
But suddenly, she saw a young cow lying dead, by the roadside. It had been struck by a fast moving vehicle. She asked the conductor if it was the same cow they saw earlier. The conductor nodded. Valli became sad. It had been a lovable, beautiful creature just a little ago. But now, the cow was without its charm and its life. The bus moved on. The memory of the dead cow haunted Valli. She no longer wanted to look out of the window. She kept sitting on her seat until her village came. She got down and wished the conductor to see him again. The conductor smiled. He told Valli that whenever she felt like riding the bus, she could come and join them.
Valli reached home. She found her mother was awake. She was talking to her aunt who lived in South Street. She was a chatterbox. She asked Valli where she had been. But Valli just smiled. Her mother and the aunt were discussing the things outside the world. Her mother said that no one could know everything. At this, Valli remarked that there were many things happening without our knowledge. Her mother asked what she meant. Valli’s aunt called her a chit of a girl. She took interest in things which did not concern her. She behaved as if she were a grown up lady. Valli smiled to herself. She didn’t want them to understand her smile.
|induction||the action or process of introducing
someone to something
|mystery||something that is difficult or impossible
to understand explain
|kindle||set alight (a fire) here, feelings|
|slang||a type of language consisting of words and
phrases that are regarded very informal
|disapproval||expression of an unfavourable opinion|
|discreet||not likely to be seen or noticed by many people|
|Crawl||to move slowly|
|jolly||happy and cheerful|
|slack||a time when there is not much work|
|roar||making a loud prolonged sound|
|overhead||above someone’s head|
|canvas blind||curtain of thick cloth|
|rattle||to make a rapid succession of
short, sharp noises
|traversed||travelled across or through|
|thoroughfare||a main road in a town|
|gape||to look in surprise or wonder|
|merchandise||things for sale|
|chit of a girl||immature girl|
|chimed in||to break into a conversation
|mimicking||copying the speech of someone|
|irritably||in a way which causes annoyance or anger|
|repulsive||causing strong dislike or disgust|
|drivel||talk in a very foolish or silly way|
|painstaking||diligent care and effort|
|thriftily||to spend money carefully|
|temptation||a strong urge or desire to
have or do something
|resolutely stifled||controlled with determination|
|excursion||a short trip, especially for pleasure|
|ventured out||went cautiously, courageously|
|pedestrian||a person travelling on foot|
|honked||sounded the horn|
|galloped||(of an animal) to run very fast|
|speck||a very small size|
|spreadeagled||lying with arms and legs stretched out|
|haunted||to be always in your mind|
|pokes her nose||take an interest in something that does not concern her|