Class 10 NCERT Solutions English Chapter 9 - Madam Rides the Bus
This chapter is about a brave eight-year-old girl who had a desire to fulfill something and was committed to her desire. She loved the bustling streets and looking at them. Her favourite part about the streets was the bus and the arrival and departure of it from the bus stop.
Madam Rides the Bus Exercise 119
Valli's favourite pastime was to stand in the front doorway of her house and watch what was happening in the street outside.
A source of unending joy for Valli was the sight of the bus that travelled between her village and the nearest town. The bus was filled with a new set of passengers each time it passed through her street. Her strongest desire was to ride on that bus just once.
Valli found out that the town was six miles from her village. The fare was thirty paise one way. The trip to the town took forty-five minutes. On reaching the town, if she stayed in her seat and paid another thirty paise, she could return home on the same bus. She found out these details by listening carefully to the conversations between her neighbours and the people who regularly used the bus. She also gained information by asking them a few questions.
Valli was planning to travel on that bus to the nearest town.
Madam Rides the Bus Exercise 122
When the conductor stretched out his hand to help her get on the bus, Valli said commandingly that she could get on by herself, and that she did not require his help. She did not act like a child, but like a grown-up girl and therefore, the conductor called her 'madam'.
Valli stood up on her seat because when she tried to look outside her view was cut off by a canvas blind that covered the lower part of her window. She stood up to look over the blind. She saw that the bus was going along the bank of a canal. The road was very narrow, on one side was the canal and beyond it were palm trees, grassland, distant mountains, and the blue sky. On the other side, there was a deep ditch and many acres of green fields.
When the elderly man called her a child, Valli told him that there was nobody on the bus who was a child. She had paid her fare of thirty paise like everyone else.
Valli did not want to make friends with the elderly woman because she found her absolutely repulsive. She saw that the woman had big holes in her ear lobes and very ugly earrings in them. She could smell the betel nut the woman was chewing, and could see the betel juice that was almost about to spill over her lips. That is why she did not want to be sociable with her.
Madam Rides the Bus Exercise 125
Valli had carefully saved whatever stray coins came her way, resisting every temptation to buy peppermints, toys, balloons, and the like. Finally, she had saved sixty paise.
No, it was not easy for her, especially at the village fair where she was tempted to ride the merry-go-round as she had the money. However, she suppressed her strong desire and saved the money for the bus ride.
Valli saw a young cow, whose tail was high in the air, running very fast, right in front of the bus in the middle of the road. The bus slowed and the driver sounded his horn loudly. However, the more he honked, the more frightened the cow became and it kept running faster and faster, right in front of the bus. Valli found it so amusing that she had tears in her eyes. At last, the cow moved off the road.
She did not get off the bus at the bus station because she had to go back on that same bus. She took out another thirty paise from her pocket and handed the coins to the conductor. She just wanted to ride on the bus.
Valli did not want to go to the stall and have a drink because she did not have any money for that. Even when the conductor offered her a cold drink free of charge, she refused firmly and said that she only wanted her ticket. This shows that Valli was a very principled, determined little girl and had a lot of self will and pride. Possibly, she did not want to take anything for free, particularly from a stranger.
Madam Rides the Bus Exercise 127
Valli's strongest desire was to ride on the bus she saw everyday. The sentences in the story which depict this are as follows:
"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 planned that she would take the one o'clock afternoon bus, reach the town at one forty-five, and be back home by about two forty-five. She found out that the town was six miles from her village. The fare was thirty paise one way. The trip to the town took forty-five minutes. On reaching the town, if she stayed in her seat and paid another thirty paise, she could return home on the same bus. She had carefully saved whatever stray coins came her way, resisting every temptation to buy peppermints, toys, balloons, and the like, and finally she had saved sixty paise. She even controlled her desire to spend her money at the village fair where she was tempted to spend it on a ride.
(i) "Stop the bus! Stop the bus!" And a tiny hand was raised commandingly.
(ii) "Yes, I simply have to go to town," said Valli, still standing outside the bus.
(iii) "There's nobody here who's a child," she said haughtily. I've paid my thirty paise like everyone else."
(iv) "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, irritably.
(v) "You needn't bother about me. I can take care of myself," Valli said, turning her face toward the window and staring out.
(vi) Then she turned to the conductor and said, "Well, sir, I hope to see you again."
For Valli, the bus journey probably symbolised the adult world. Like anyone else, she spent her money to buy the ticket. She must have attained a great sense of pride and satisfaction in doing so. Therefore, though a child, Valli wanted to be treated as a grown-up on the bus. She was a very confident little girl and had a great sense of self respect which prevented her from taking anyone's help. She felt she was able to take care of herself very well, and was easily irritated when anyone treated her as a child. She was so delighted with the success of her trip that she was determined to do it again.
When the conductor stretched out his hand to help her get on the bus, Valli said commandingly that she could get on by herself, and that she did not require his help. She did not act like a child, but as a grown-up girl and therefore, the conductor called her 'madam'. When the elderly man called her a child and asked her to sit down on her seat, she replied that nobody was a child on the bus. She kept stressing on the fact that she had paid her fare like everybody else and therefore, she should not be treated differently.
The following lines in the text show that Valli was enjoying her ride on the bus:
(i) "Valli devoured everything with her eyes."
(ii) "On the 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. Oh, it was all so wonderful!"
(iii) "Everyone laughed, and gradually Valli too joined in the laughter. Suddenly, Valli clapped her hands with glee."
(iv) "Somehow this was very funny to Valli. She laughed and laughed until there were tears in her eyes."
(v) "Valli wasn't bored to the slightest and greeted everything with the same excitement she'd felt the first time."
Valli refused to look out of the window on her way back because she saw a young cow lying dead by the roadside, just where it had been struck by some fast-moving vehicle. It was the same cow that was running in front of their bus, during their trip to the town. She was overcome with sadness. The memory of the dead cow haunted her and therefore, she refused to look out of the window.
Valli's mother said that many things happen around us, but we are usually unaware of them. Valli had gone on a bus ride to town, all alone, and had come back without any harm. She did all this without the knowledge of her mother. Hence, she agreed with what her mother said.
The author has described the things that Valli saw from an eight-year-old's point of view. She was fascinated by a bus. Watching the bus filled with a new set of people each time was a source of unending joy for her. Her strongest desire was to ride the bus. She saved money by cutting on peppermints, toys, and balloons, and even resisting the temptation to ride the merry-go-round at the fair. When the author describes the bus, the points he stresses on are the colour and look of the bus. It was a 'new bus', painted a 'gleaming white'. The overhead bars 'shone like silver'. The seats were 'soft and luxurious'.
The description of the elderly woman with “such big holes in her ear lobes, ugly earrings and betel juice threatening to spill over her lips are all repulsive to the eight year old!
The movement of the bus –“at sometime it seemed on the point of gobbling up another vehicle that was coming towards them!
The descriptions that the author gives when Valli looked outside are also typical for an eight-year-old. The 'blue, blue sky' and the 'acres and acres of green fields - green, green, green' show the enthusiasm of a kid on looking at different colours. Valli clapped her hands in glee on watching a cow run right in front of the bus. She found it so funny that tears came into her eyes.
The description of the thorough fare- “Such big, bright looking shops! What glittering displays of clothes! Such big crowds!
Finally , she was overcome with sadness on her way back when she saw the same cow lying dead. It had been a 'lovable, beautiful creature' and later it 'looked so horrible'. The memory of the dead cow haunted her so much that she refused to look outside the window. These are the typical reactions of a young child.