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Class 9 NCERT Solutions English Chapter 8 - Reach for the Top

Reach for the Top Exercise 103

Solution 1

1. At the time when Santosh’s mother was expecting, society considered the birth of a son a blessing, and a daughter, though not considered a curse, was not generally welcome. The 'holy man' who gave Santosh’s mother his blessings was therefore surprised because he had assumed that Santosh's mother wanted a son.

However, the unborn child's grandmother told him that they did not want a son.
2. Santosh began living life on her own terms from the start. Where other girls wore
traditional Indian dresses, Santosh preferred shorts. From the very beginning she was quite

determined that if she chose a correct and a rational path, the others around her and not herself had to change.
3. Even though Santosh's parents could afford to send their children to the best schools, she was sent to the local village school due to the prevailing custom in the family.
4.  At sixteen, most of the girls in her village used to get married. Santosh was also under pressure from her parents to do the same. She threatened her parents that she would never marry if she did not get a proper education. She therefore left home and got herself enrolled in a school in Delhi.
5. When Santosh's parents refused to pay for her education, she politely informed them of her plans to earn money by working part time to pay her school fees. Then, her parents agreed to pay for her schooling in Delhi.
This shows that Santosh was a mentally-strong girl and was determined to work very hard to get herself properly educated.

Solution 2

1. From her room in Kasturba Hostel, she watched people going up the Aravalli Hills and vanishing after a while. On investigating, she found nobody except a few mountaineers, and she asked if she could join them. They agreed and even motivated her to take to climbing and so she later accompanied them on their climbing expedition. This was how she began climbing mountains.
2.  During  the  Everest  mission,  Santosh  provided special care to  a  climber who lay dying at the South Co,  but  she  was unsuccessful in saving him. However, she managed to save another climber, Mohan Singh, by sharing her oxygen with him. These incidents show her concern for her team-mates.
3. Santosh was a fervent environmentalist. She collected and brought down 500 kilograms of garbage from the Himalayas.
4. Santosh says that the feeling at the summit of the Everest was indescribable. It took some time for the enormity of the moment to sink in. Unfurling the Indian flag on the top of the world was a spiritual moment for her. She felt proud as an Indian.
5. When Santosh Yadav first scaled Mt Everest, she became the youngest woman in the world to achieve the feat. On repeating this feat, she became the only woman to have scaled Mt Everest twice and secured for herself and India a unique place in the annals of mountaineering.

Solution 3

1. From her room in Kasturba Hostel, Santosh used to watch villagers going up the hill and suddenly vanishing after awhile.
2. When she finished college, Santosh had to write a letter of apology to her father because she  had  got  herself  enrolled  at  Uttarkashi's  Nehru  Institute  of Mountaineering without his permission.
3. During the Everest expedition, her seniors in the team admired her climbing skills, physical fitness and mental strength while her concern for others and desire to work together with them endeared her to fellow climbers.

Solution 4

1. took to be true without proof (1): Assumed
2. based on reason; sensible; reasonable (2): Rational
3. the usual way of doing things (3): Custom
4. a strong desire arising from within (5): Urge
5. the power to endure, without falling ill (7): Resistance

Reach for the Top Exercise 104

Solution 1


Something disarming

Something that makes you feel friendly, taking away your suspiciousness


at odds with

In contrast to ; not agreeing with


glamorous attire

Attractive and exciting clothes


in almost no time

Quickly, almost immediately


poised beyond her years

More calm, confidents and in control than people of her age usually are


packed off

Sent off





heart wrenching

Causing strong feeling of sadness


  2. (i) Maria was sent to the United States for her tennis training. That trip to Florida with her father launched her on the path to success and stardom.

  (ii) Her mother could not go with her because of visa restrictions.

  (iii) Her hobbies are fashion, singing and dancing. She likes reading novels of Arthur Conan Doyle. On one hand, she is fond of sophisticated evening gowns and on the other, of pancakes with chocolate spread and fizzy orange drinks.

  (iv)  Apart from money, the motivation to become the number one in the world keeps her going. Her talent, unwavering desire to succeed and readiness to sacrifice have lifted her to the top of the world.

Reach for the Top Exercise 107

Solution 1


Points of Comparison/Contrast

Santosh  Yadav

Maria Sharapova


Their humble beginning

She was born in the small   village   of  Joniyawas of Rewari District in Haryana.

She was born in the frozen plains of Siberia.


Their parents’ approach

At sixteen, most of the girls in her village used to get married.

Santosh was also under pressure from her parents to do the same.

Her  parents disapproved of her going to Delhi to get a

better   education. When her parents refused to pay for her education, she politely informed them of her plans to earn money by working part time to pay her school fees. Her parents then agreed to pay for her education


Her father worked as much as he could to keep her tennis-training going and that is why he took her to



Later they got used to her urge for more education.


the United States


Their will power and strong

desire to succeed

She saved money and enrolled herself at Uttarakashi’s Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, went on an expedition every year, and eventually scaled Mt Everest.

She never thought of quitting as she knew what she wanted. Her will to become ‘number one in the world’ kept her going.


Evidence of their mental


She went on an expedition every year. Her skill matured rapidly and equipped with an iron will, physical endurance and an amazing mental toughness, she

proved herself repeatedly and finally she scaled Mt Everest.

She was lonely as her mother could not be in the U.S. because of visa restrictions and her father was working as much as he could to keep her tennis training going.

The other tennis pupils came in at 11 p.m. and ordered her to tidy up the room and clean it. Instead of letting that depress her, she became more determined and mentally tough.


Their patriotism

When she unfurled the Indian flag at the summit of the Everest, the feeling was undescribable, it was a truly spiritual moment and she felt proud to be an Indian.

Though the U.S. is a big part of Maria Sharapova’s life, and she speaks with a pronounced American accent, she proudly parades her Russian nationality, says her

blood is totally Russian, and she would play the Olympics for Russia if they wanted  her to.

Solution 2

Reach for the Top Exercise 108

Solution 2

  1.  Grandfather told me about the old days when all books were printed on paper
  2.  After finishing the book, perhaps you just throw it away.
  3.  He gave the little girl an apple and took the computer apart.
  4.  Having nothing makes you very determined.
  5.  I never thought of quitting as I knew what I wanted.
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