Detailed explanation of “Reach for the Top”, 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.
Introduction – Santosh Yadav
Summary – Santosh Yadav
Santosh Yadav is the first woman in the world who has climbed Mt Everest twice. She was born in a society where a son was considered as a blessing and a daughter was not welcomed. Once, a holy man visited the family to bless Santosh’s mother with a son but Santosh’s grandmother told him that they wanted a daughter. Santosh, a sister of five elder brothers, was born in a small village in Joniyawas of Rewari district in Haryana.
Santosh’s name means contentment or satisfaction but she was never satisfied with the traditional life of her society. So, she started to live her life according to her own terms. The other girls of the society wore traditional dresses while Santosh wore shorts. Santosh believed that if she followed the right path, the other people around her would have to change. Santosh’s parents were rich landowners. They had the capacity to send Santosh to the best schools of Delhi. But while her brothers were educated properly in good schools, she was sent to the local village school because of family custom. Santosh decided to fight this system.
Santosh’s parents wanted to marry her at the age of 16 because in her village, most of the girls got married at this age. Santosh refused to marry and threatened her parents that she would not get married until she gets proper education. Santosh left her home and got admission in a school in Delhi. Her parents, initially refused to pay the fees, but when she told them that she would work part time to pay the fees, they agreed to pay for her education.
Santosh passed her high school and got admission in Maharani college in Jaipur. She got a room in Kasturba Hostel which faced the Aravalli Hills. She used to see some villagers going up the hills and then disappearing after some time. One day, Santosh checked herself to know where the climbers were disappearing. She found that those people were mountaineers. They motivated Santosh to take interest in climbing. Santosh was a determined girl. She took admission in Nehru Institute of Mountaineering located in Uttarkashi. After completing her course in Jaipur, she directly left for Uttarkashi. Santosh wrote a letter to her father and apologised for taking admission in Uttarkashi without his permission.
In Uttarkashi, Santosh went on an expedition every year. She developed climbing skills and an amazing immunity to cold and high altitude. She as a mountaineer had an iron will, physical endurance (capacity to tolerate) and mental toughness. Santosh’s hard work and determination led her to climb Mt Everest, the highest peak in the world in 1992. She had climbed Mt. Everest at just 20 years of age. She became the youngest female to climb Mt Everest.
Apart from her mountaineering skills, Santosh also impressed her seniors with her humanity. Her concern for others and her desire to work together as a team made her a special person. During Everest mission in 1992, she provided special care to her teammate in South Col. Unfortunately, she could not save him. However, she saved another climber, Mohan Singh by sharing her oxygen with him.
After a year of her first success, Santosh, joined an Indo-Nepalese Women’s Expedition and again climbed Mt Everest. She became the first women to climb Mt Everest twice. Her achievements brought glory to her and also gave India a unique place in mountaineering. The Indian government recognised Santosh’s achievements and awarded her with the Padma Shri.
Santosh felt the happiest moment of her life when she climbed Mt. Everest. She describes the feeling as unreal. She felt proud when she unfurled the Indian flag. Santosh Yadav is not only a mountaineer but she is also an environmentalist. She collected and brought down 500 kgs of garbage from the Himalayas.
Extra Questions – Santosh Yadav
(1) What difficulties did Santosh face in her childhood?
(2) Why was holy man surprised when the blessing for a girl child was requested?
(3) How did Santosh begin living her life on her own terms?
(4) Why did Santosh Yadav leave home?
(5) Describe Santosh Yadav stay at Jaipur?
(6) In what kind of Society was Santosh Yadav born? How was her grandmother different from the others?
(7) How did Santosh begin to climb mountains?
(8) Why did Santosh go to Uttarkashi?
(9) How did Santosh save a climber whom she met on her climbing expedition to Mt. Everest?
(10) How did Santosh describe her feeling when she was on the top of Mt. Everest?
(11) What shows Santosh concern for the environment ?
(12) Why did Santosh want to fight the system?
(13) How did Santosh fulfill her wish to study in Delhi?
(14) What happened when Santosh’s parents refused to pay for her fees?
(15) What made Santosh scale Mt Everest the second time? How was it important?
(16) What is the secret of Santosh’s success?
(17) How was Santosh a kind of girl different from other girls?
(18) What qualities of Santosh Yadav would you particularly praise?
(19) Santosh Yadav possesses a deep feeling for others. What did she do on her expedition to Mt Everest to make a special place in the hearts of fellow climbers?
Introduction – (II) Maria Sharapova
Part II – This part is about Maria Sharapova, a teenager, who achieved number one position in World’s Women Tennis. In her journey, Maria had made many sacrifices and also had suffered through insults. However, all these only made her more determined and tough. Her hard work and her mental toughness finally led her to achieve her goal. She is a calm, confident, practical and a friendly girl who loves fashion.
Summary – (II) Maria Sharapova
On 22nd August, 2005, Maria Sharapova gained number one position in world’s women tennis. Maria was born in Siberia, Russia. She is a calm, confident and friendly teenager who reached the top position in only four years. Maria’s journey towards becoming the biggest women tennis player started when she was nine years old. She went to America to get formal training. In her journey only her father, Yuri went with her. Maria’s mother, Yelena could not go with Maria due to her visa restrictions. Maria lived without her mother for two years. During that time, Maria realised that she had to sacrifice a lot to gain excellence in Tennis.
In Us, Maria stayed alone and missed her mother very badly. Maria could not even spend much time with her father as he was working hard to earn money for Maria’s training. Maria was the youngest child at her training center so she used to sleep at 8 pm. But the other senior players used to wake her up by 11 pm. Then, they ordered her to clean the room. Maria’s experience of her training period made her more determined and tough. She struggled hard and learned to take care of herself. She was determined to reach her goal so she never thought about quitting. Due to her determination and toughness, Maria won the women’s singles crown at Wimbledon in 2004. She became number one women tennis player in the world in 2005.
Maria’s journey inspired many youngsters. She believes that all the sacrifices that she had made were worth it. Maria’s way of answering clearly indicated her confidence. She says that she is very competitive. She always works hard at what she does. For her, hardwork is her mantra for success. Maria speaks with an American accent but, she is very proud of her Russian nationality. She says US is a big part of her life but her blood is Russian. She also has Russian citizenship and wishes to play in Olympics for Russia.
Maria’s hobbies include fashion, singing and dancing. She loves reading the books of Arthur Conan Doyle and is very fond of evening gowns. She also loves to pancakes with chocolate spread and drink fizzy orange drinks. Maria’s talent, determination and readiness to sacrifice led her to the path of Success and fame.
Extra Questions – (II) Maria Sharapova
(1) Describe Maria Sharapova’s number one position in world tennis?
(2) Describe Maria Sharapova’s stay and training in the U.S.?
(3) Why was Maria Sharapova’s sent to the United States? Why couldn’t her mother accompany her?
(4) Why was Maria Sharapova’s feel so lonely while getting her tennis training in the U.S.?
(5) How did the senior tennis players bully young Maria Sharapova ?
(6) How did Maria Sharapova come to realise that excellence in tennis would only come in price?
(7) Why did Maria not retaliate against the humiliation at the hands of the other athletes?
(8) Why does Maria call herself totally Russian?
(9) What does Maria declare to be her ‘Mantra’ for success?
(10) Describe some hobbies of Maria Sharapova?
(11) Maria’s father play an important role in her success? How?
(12) Mental toughness and determination became a key to Maria’s success? Elaborate?
(13) How does Yuri help Maria on the path of success and stardom?
(14) How does Maria describe her journey from Siberia to United States?
|curse||a cause of trouble or bad luck|
|rational||logical or based on reason|
|affirmative||showing agreement or saying yes|
|endurance||capacity to bear|
|col||a pass between two mountain peaks or a gap in a ridge|
|bestowed||present an award, title, etc.|
|unfurled||spread or opened (a flag), hoisted|
|aloft||in the air|
|sink in||be understood|
|fervent||having strong and sincere feelings|