Class 9 NCERT Solutions English Chapter 1 - The Lost Child
The Lost Child Exercise 6
On his way to the fair, the child, saw a crowd of gaily clad people emerging from narrow lanes and alleys. Some walked, some rode on horses, others sat, being carried in bamboo and bullock carts. He saw toys in the shops that lined the way. He saw a flowering mustard-field, and a group of dragon-flies bustling about intercepting the flight of a lone black bee or butterfly between the flowers. He also saw little insects and worms along the footpath that were teeming out from their hiding places to enjoy the sunshine.
The child lagged behind as he was fascinated with the toys in the shops that lined the way. He followed the dragon flies and butterflies with his gaze and tried to catch them the moment they sat still. A shower of young flowers fell upon the child as he entered the grove, and he began to gather the raining petals in his hands. When he heard the dove he ran in wild capers round the banyan tree looking for it.
At the fair, the boy wanted many things. As he passed the sweetmeat seller, with his heap of coloured sweets, his mouth watered for his favourite sweet burfi. He wanted a garland of gulmohur flowers from the flower seller. He wanted to buy a balloon form the man selling balloons. He wanted to watch the snake charmer playing his flute for his snake and finally he wanted to go for a round on the roundabout.
He moves on without waiting for an answer because he knew his parents very well and he was sure that they would definitely not grant him all his requests. If he asked for burfi they would say he was greedy. They would not buy him flowers because they were cheap. They would never buy him balloons because they would say he was too old to play with such toys. As for watching the snake charmer, he knew his parents had forbidden him from listening to such coarse music.
He realises that he has lost his way when on reaching the roundabout; he stopped to observe it moving in full swing, with men, women and children enjoying themselves on it. Watching them intently he turned to his parents to ask for permission to go on the rounds but there was no reply from them. He turned to look for them but they were not there. He looked all around but there was no sign of them. A full, deep cry rose within his dry throat and with a sudden jerk of his body he ran from where he stood, crying out in real fear “Mother, Father.” Tears rolled down from his eyes, his flushed face was convulsed with fear. Panic-stricken, he ran from one side to the other, in all directions, knowing not where to go. His yellow turban came untied and his clothes became muddy.
The lost child loses interest in the things that he had wanted earlier because he was panic stricken on being separated from his parents. All he wanted was to be united with them. All the things that attracted him in the fair no longer appeal to him and now the only thing that matters is finding his parents.
In the end the parents, who continuously kept checking to see that he was with them right from the beginning of their journey may have suddenly realized that he was missing and come looking for the lost child. The kind and understanding man who tried to console the little boy by offering him various things at the fair may have also asked him for some description of his parents and helped him to be reunited with them.