madam rides the bus
This is a sensitive story of an eight year old girl’s first bus journey into the world outside her village .The girl Valli, at a very tender age, tries to understand the mystery of life and death. The outside world for Valli is charming and fascinating but mysterious. She longs to experience it by herself. The talks of the village people about the town added fuel to the fire. She decides to go to the town all by herself without anybody’s support. She asked the bus conductor to take her to the town .She herself paid her fare. She wanted to devour everything with her eyes. She saw the canal, palm tree, grass land, distant mountain and the blue sky. She also saw great stretch of green field as far as the eye could see. She was overjoyed when she saw a cow running with her raised tail on the road ahead of the bus. While returning she noticed that the body of the same cow was crushed and bled. She was moved from within. Perhaps she was trying to understand the meaning of life and death in her own terms. She returned home in time. None of the family members could know her adventurous journey.
short questions & Answers
Q1. Who was Vlliammai?
A: Valliammai was an eight year old girl.
Q2. What was her favourite pastime?
A: To stand at the front doorway and look into the street.
Q3. What was the most fascinating scene for Valli in the street?
A: The bus with new set of passengers every time.
Q4. What did Valli wish?
A: She wanted to have a bus ride.
Q5. How did she collect information about the bus?
A: From the bus users, asking some discreet questions.
Q6. What did Valli do one fine spring day?
A: She slipped from her house and caught the bus to the town.
Q7. What did the conductor call Valli?
A: He called her ‘Madam’.
Q8. What amused Valli the most?
A: The sight of cow running in front of the bus.
Q9. What did the conductor offer Valli at the bus stop in the town?
A: Soft drink.
Q10. How much money did Valli pay for her to and fro journey?
A: She paid sixty paise.
text book questions & answers
Q1. What was Valli’s favourite pastime?
A: As Valli had no playmate of her age, so her favourite pastime was to stand in her doorway and watch the street. The street outside used to be full of activities which were enough to keep her amused and engaged.
Q2. What was a source of unending joy for Valli? What was her strongest desire?
A: The bus was a source of unending joy for her. The bus used to bring a new set of passengers every-time it came from the town. The diversity of people, their activities were a treat to watch for Valli. Her strongest desire was to take a ride in the bus at least once.
Q3. What did Valli find out about the bus journey? How did she find out these details?
A: Valli tried to listen to her neighbours to get the desired information about the bus journey. She would ask some discrete questions to get more information. She got information about distance of the town from her village and the total journey time it usually took.
Q4. What do you think Valli was planning to do?
A: Till now information provided in the story indicate towards her plan to fulfill her strongest desire which was to go on a bus ride.
Q5. Why does the conductor call Valli ‘madam’?
A: Valli is trying to behave more mature than her age. She is trying to look overconfident and smart. The conductor is amused at her behaviour and in an effort to tease her calls her ‘madam’.
Q6. Why does Valli stand up on the seat? What does she see now?
A: Valli’s view was obstructed because of a canvas blind on the window and because of her small height as well she was unable to have a good view outside. She stood up on her seat to have a better view of the scenery outside. She could see a canal with palm trees, grasslands, distant mountains and blue sky as backdrop. On the other side there was a ditch followed by vast tract of greenery.
Q7. What does Valli tell the elderly man when he calls her a child?
A: Valli doesn’t like to be called a child. She thinks that she is grown up. She says that she had paid her full fair the way adults do. This is typical behaviour shown by many kids of Valli’s age.
Q8. Why didn’t Valli want to make friends with the elderly woman?
A: The elderly woman was having big earlobes with bigger holes. She chewing betel nut and the betel juice was about to seep out of her mouth. She was giving a sight of unrefined elderly lady. That is why Vaali did not want to make friends with her.
Q9. How did Valli save up money for her first journey? Was it easy for her?
A: Valli saved every coin that came her way. She made great sacrifices by controlling her normal childish urges of having candies, toys and joyrides. This must have been difficult for her. Kids find it very difficult to savour a candy or to enjoy a toy.
Q10. What did Valli see on her way that made her laugh?
A: A scared cow was running for her life in the middle of the road. It was jumping with tails up. The more incessantly bus driver honked the more furious its scamper became. Valli could not control her laughter after seeing this.
Q11. Why didn’t she get off the bus at the bus station?
A: She did not know anything about the town so was afraid of getting lost. Moreover, her meticulous savings plan allowed her enough money to buy only tickets for her journey. Additionally, she had to return before her mother could find her missing.
Q12. Why didn’t Valli want to go to the stall and have a drink? What does this tell you about her?
A: She did not want to take obligation from the conductor. This indicates that she is taught of not taking anything from strangers. She may be a small child but she knows how to behave properly in the outside world.
online home work submission