Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Madam Rides the Bus

       Madam Rides the Bus

                                           By Vallikkannan

Analysis :

T   The story ‘Madam Rides the Bus’ written by Vallikkannan in Tamil is translated into English by K. S. Sundaram. The caricatures used in story are created by the most illustrated cartoonist of India, R. K. Laxman

·        It is an anecdote from the life of Valliammai, an eight years old girl who was fond of standing in the doorway of her house and observing curiously what all was happening in the street outside.

·        Valli wisely planned, enquired, managed carefully and executed her plans. She took a bus ride alone to the nearby town and then back to her village.

·        Valli is curious, inquisitive, wise and courageous girl who knows how to fulfil her desire safely and wisely. She possesses a sense of maturity and self respect. She is mature enough to take care of herself.

·        The chapter conveys that this world is full of surprises, secrets and uncertainty. Each day we learn something new and many times we fail to understand the reason behind the things happening in this world.

Summary / Synopsis :

The protagonist of the chapter is an eight years old girl named Valliammai. She was a very wise, inquisitive and self respecting girl. She loved to explore things. She used to stand in the door way of her house and observe what was happening outside. She had no playmates as watching outside gave her more joy.

The most fascinating thing for Valli was to see a bus travelling between her village and the nearest town. She soon developed a desire to ride on that bus.

Valli listened to the talks of her neighbours and the people travelling in the bus. By this she learnt small details about bus journey that the town was six miles away, the fare was thirty paise one way and the time of the ride was forty five minutes one way. She planned that she would use the afternoon hours, for bus ride, when her mother takes her daily nap.

One day when she was able to save sixty paise after killing her desires to buy things, Valli took the bus. The conductor was jolly by nature and fond of joking. He got an insight about Valli when she refused to take his hand for help and spoke with pride. He offered Valli a front seat and told other passengers to make way calling her ‘madam’. There were few passengers in the bus due to slack hours.

Valli observed everything minutely about the bus, its seat, clock, overhead bars and paint. She had to stand up on the seat to see outside because of the window curtains and she was short in height. As the bus moved, she could see palm trees, mountains and the blue sky as well as green fields on the other side.

Suddenly, an elderly person asked Valli to sit addressing her ‘child’. She replied proudly that she was not a ‘child’ as she had paid fare just as others had done. The conductor in light humour asked Valli to sit comfortably as she had paid for the ticket.

At the next stand an elderly woman got into bus and sat beside Valli. She was wearing ugly earrings and chewing betel leaves, and betel juice was coming out of her mouth. The woman told Valli that she should not travel alone. Valli replied that she should not bother about her.

Suddenly, a cow with raised tail came in front of the bus. The driver sounded the horn again and again. But the cow continued jumping in front of the bus. Valli clapped and laughed.

Then, by the side of a railway crossing and Valli saw the speck of a train growing bigger and bigger as bus moved near. At last the bus reached the town. The conductor asked Valli to get down. But she told that she would go back on the same bus and gave him the money for the back journey. The conductor suggested that she should come down and have a cold drink. Valli declined saying that she did not have money. The conductor offered her the drink for free but Valli refused preserving her pride.

The bus started its journey back to her village. There were the same wonderful sights still Valli enjoyed them with same excitement. Suddenly she saw the young cow lying dead by the roadside. It had been struck by some fast moving vehicle. It was the same cow that they had seen while going to town. That’s what the conductor told after enquiring. Valli was too sad. The cow had looked earlier lovable and beautiful but now, it looked horrible, stained with blood. She no longer wanted to look outside. The bus reached the village and Valli got down. The conductor asked Valli to join them whenever she felt like having a bus ride. But, she must bring fare with her.

Valli reached home. She found her aunt talking with her mother. She was a real chatterbox. Valli heard her mother saying that so many things happen in this world without our knowledge. Even if one has knowledge about things happening, he/she can’t understand them. Valli replied in affirmative.

Valli’s aunt felt strange at her reaction and told that she took interest in things that didn’t concern her. Valli smiled to herself. She didn’t want them to understand her smile and know about her bus ride during which she came to know many new things. 

Important Question Answers :

Q1. How did Valli plan for bus journey?

Ans. Valli was a meticulous planner and a strong willed girl. She collected information by overhearing her neighbours and the people who used to travel frequently. She collected the details such as the town was six miles away, the fare was thirty paise one way and the time of the ride was forty five minutes one way. She fixed safe time for journey in the afternoon hours when her mother takes daily nap. She saved her pocket money, resisting her temptations, not buying things of her interests, not going on merry go round and collected 60 paise for her return journey.

Q2. What things can you learn from Valli? 

Ans. We can learn lot many things from Valli. We need to be inquisitive, wise, courageous, self respecting like Valii who knows how to fulfil her desires wisely and safely. Apart from that she was mature enough to plan her ride wisely, take care of herself and keep her pride intact. The spirit of learning in Valli is really commendable.

Monday, 18 April 2022

Bholi Class 10


                                By  K. A. Abbas

Analysis of the Chapter

·        The short story ‘Bholi’ is written by K. A. Abbas, the Indian film director, novelist and journalist in Urdu, Hindi and English languages.

·        It is a dramatic story of a girl, Bholi who went through complete transformation in her character, attitude and personality and a revolutionary change in the course of her life.

·        The story depicts how education casts strong impact upon a simple and fearful girl and brought big transformation in her personality and life. Education has enabled her to take the most important decision of her life.

·        The story highlights that a teacher can play an important role in shaping a child’s personality, moulding his/her career and bringing a positive change in our society.

·        This story is about the transformation of a simpleton, Bholi into Sulekha who was a completely confident and self respecting girl after education, that’s why she broke her marriage with Bishambhar Nath and told her parents that she would serve them in their old age. 

Summary  / Synopsis

·       ·        The story is about Sulekha who is nicknamed as ‘Bholi’ as she is a simple and innocent girl. When Bholi was ten months old, she fell from her bed and damaged some part of her brain. Due to that she remained backward in mental ability and she stammered, too. She suffered from smallpox when she was two years old, and it left deep pock marks over her body. 

·        Ramlal had seven children—three sons and four daughters. Bholi was the youngest. His sons went to cities for education. Two of his daughters were married. Ramlal was only worried about Bholi who was neither beautiful nor intelligent. All used to laugh at her.

·        When a primary school was opened in the village by the Tehsildar, he asked Ramlal to send his daughters to schools setting an example for the villagers. At first Randal’s wife objected but Ramlal felt that it would be difficult to get Bholi married so she should at least get little education.

·        Bholi was given some decent clothes to wear on the first day to school. New clothes had never been made for her. she used to wear the old dresses of her elder sisters. Bholi has never been out and she was scared to think that her cow, Lakshmi once went out of house and was sold. Bholi was scared in the school, too but, she was delighted to look at the pictures in her class.

·        The teacher asked Bholi her name. She stammered and could not tell her name properly. The teacher neither got angry nor laughed. She encouraged Bholi and patted her with love. No one had ever spoken to her in that manner. She also told her that she would speak rightly one day and then she would not be afraid of any body. The teacher gave Bholi a book and told her that soon she would be able to read more books and bigger books. She would then be more educated than anyone else in the village, no one would laugh at her and every one would respect her. Bholi felt as if the bells in the village temple were ringing. Her heart was beating with new hope and new life. 

·        After some time the village became a small town and the primary school became the high school. Ramlal received a marriage proposal for Bholi by Bishamber Nath who was the owner of a big shop and had a house of his own. He was about fifty years old. He limped also. He had the children from his first wife.

·        On wedding day Bishambhar came dressed as bridegroom with a big party and a great pomp and show. Everyone got jealous of Bholi's luck. At the time of garland ceremony, women slipped back Bholi’s veil. Bishamber looked at her face full of pock marks, so he asked for a dowry of five thousand rupees else, he would go back without marrying. Ramlal put his turban at Bishamber’s feet and requested to accept two thousand rupees but Bishambhar didn’t budge. At last he put five thousand rupees at Bishamber’s feet.

·        Then, Bishamber asked for the garland. But, now Bholi looked straight at Bishamber. As he raised the garland to put it round Bholi’s neck, she threw it into the fire. She told her father that she won’t marry Bishamber and asked him to take the money back. She told that she could marry the lame old man, but not a greedy person who can’t respect her parents.

·        All the women wondered how Bholi, a dumb cow had become so violent. Ramlal was down with shame and grief. He asked Bholi what she would do if no one marries her. Bholi told him that she would serve her parents in their old age and teach in the same school where she had got education. Her teacher was glowing with satisfaction and pride. She felt proud like a great artist does on the creation of his masterpiece.


K. A. Abbas through ‘Bholi’ has brought out the message very clearly that ‘Education is that which liberates’. A dumb cow and a simpleton Like Bholi after getting education goes through a complete transformation. She is no more Bholi but she met with Sulekha, her real identity. Now, she could identify between what is right and what is wrong. She is no more fearful but a confident and courageous young lady who could take the most important decision of her life that she would not marry a greedy and disrespecting man. Education enabled her to decide that she would take care of her old parents and teach in the school where she got her education. 

Tuesday, 22 December 2020

On Killing a Tree

On Killing a Tree

                               By Gieve Patel


Analysis of the poem

§  The poem ‘On Killing a Tree’ is composed by Gieve Patel, an Indian playwright, poet and a doctor.

§  The tone of the poem is sarcastic and didactic as the poet teaches us to be kind, loving and sympathetic to nature.

§  The poet wants to sensitise the readers against cruel and unsympathetic treatment towards nature and indiscriminate felling of trees.

§  It is composed in blank verse and doesn’t follow any rhyming scheme. The poem is divided in four stanzas but the stanza division and line length is irregular.

§  The theme is that the trees and plants are alive just like all of us.

§  A very significant message is conveyed through the poem that we should not cut trees and trees have life, they take birth, feel pain and die.


Summary / Synopsis

·       The poem opens with a beautiful but sarcastic statement by the poet about ‘Killing’ a tree. He says that a tree can’t be killed so easily and so simply. Actually, he wants to convey something different. He taunts how trees are cut or ‘killed’ so mercilessly all over the world as man keeps cutting them, taking much time and much pain, but the trees shouldn’t be killed.

·       He further says that it is difficult to kill a tree with the knife or axe. It takes much time and much effort to cut a tree completely. The tree takes years to grow on the earth. It consumes the nutrients of soil, sunlight, air and water.

·       The poet says that simple cutting and chopping is not sufficient to kill a tree. After sometime its bleeding bark will heal and new leaves will come out from the bark, the leaves will grow into small branches and then the tree will grow to its earlier size.

·       Now, the poet tells how to ‘kill’ a tree. He says, its roots must be pulled out entirely from the soil which acts as the anchor to the tree. First. The tree must be tied with a root and pulled out using lot of efforts and strength. When it is pulled out of earth completely, its strength is exposed. The strength of a tree lies in its roots which are white and full of moisture as they keep hidden inside the earth for years. The roots are the most sensitive part of a tree as well as the source of its strength.

·       After the tree is pulled out with its roots, the roots get exposed, they lie in hot dry sun and the air sucks out its moisture. Thus, the roots become dry, brown and hard. They become twisted and lifeless. And finally it is killed as it can’t grow again.


Message of the Poem


This poem conveys the message that the trees are our lifeline. So, they must not be killed. He gives the message that trees are alive just like human beings. We should not cut trees because trees have life. They take birth, feed upon earth, air, light and water, feel pain, bleed and die. They are precious and significant so they must not be cut.


Theme of the Poem


The poet considers the tree as a living organism. But the man is killing it with utmost cruelty and callousness. It implies that a person shall be a murderer if he ‘kills’ a tree this way.

Rhyme Scheme

The poet is composed in blank verse as the lines of the poem don’t rhyme.


Poetic Devices

It takes much time to kill a tree – Alliteration, sarcasm

Slowly consuming the earth – personification,

Rising out of it, feeding – personification, enjambment

Years of sunlight, air, water – consonance,

And out of its leprous hide – metaphor

The bleeding bark will heal – personification

Which if unchecked will expand again – assonance, consonance

Out of the anchoring earth – metaphor

It is to be roped, tied – assonance, consonance, asyndeton

And pulled out — snapped out – repetition, consonance

Out from the earth-cave – metaphor

Of scorching and choking – consonance, assonance

Browning, hardening – assonance, consonance, enjambment, asyndeton

Twisting, withering – assonance, consonance, enjambment, asyndeton

And then it is done – assonance

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Tale of Custard the Dragon

The Tale of Custard the Dragon

                                          By Ogden Nash

Analysis :

·         ‘The Tale of Custard the Dragon’ is a humorous ballad composed by Ogden Nash, an American poet who is known for his light verse.

·        The poem is humorous in tone and being a ballad, it is lyrical in nature.

·        A Ballad is a story in form of poem or song. It is meant to be narrated, sung as well as performed on stage.

·        The poem is composed in stanzas of four lines each rhyming aabb. Lot of poetic repetition and beautiful use of poetic devices make it a musical, rhythmic and lyrical in nature.

·        The poem conveys in a very light hearted manner that ‘barking dogs seldom bite’ or ‘thundering clouds seldom bring rain’.

·        The message of the poem is that humble and modest people don’t show but act on time.

Summary :

The poem is a story of a little girl, Belinda who lived in her little white house with her four pets. She had a kitten, a mouse, a dog and a dragon. She also had little red wagon which is her car.  The name of the kitten was Ink, mouse was called Blink. The dog’s name was Mustard as it was as sharp as mustard. The dragon was coward and shy, so Belinda called it Custard. Custard had sharp teeth, spikes on its upper body and scales underneath the body and sharp toes. The mouth of dragon was like a fireplace and its nose was like a chimney.

Belinda and her pets bragged highly about their bravery. But, Custard didn’t consider himself brave and never boasted about his power. He always cried for a nice safe place for himself. Belinda and her pets made fun of dragon’s cowardly nature and sarcastically called him ‘Percival’. The car would shake and the house would echo with their laughter.

One day they all heard an unpleasant sound. They cried helplessly as they saw a pirate who entered through a window. The pirate had pistols in both his hands and a bright knife held in his teeth. His beard was black and one of his legs was wooden. It was clear he didn’t mean any good.

Seeing the pirate, Belinda was fearful and cried for help. All ran away to hide themselves. However, Custard came forward and made fearful sounds, twisted his body and attacked the pirate. The pirate was surprised and terrified, so he drank little wine and fired two bullets but they did not hit Custard. Finally, Custard tore him into pieces and ate him.

Belinda and the pets being happy hugged Custard and danced around him joyfully. Not one of them was sad for the pirate.  However, things didn’t change much even after the incident. They continued speaking of their bravery and Custard remained as humble and meek as ever. Belinda still lives in her white house with her pets.

Stanza wise Explanation :

Stanza 1

The poem ‘The Tale of Custard the Dragon’ is a ballad. It is a story of a little girl named Belinda who lived in her little white house with her four pets. She had a little black kitten, a little grey mouse, a little yellow dog and a dragon. She also had little red wagon which is her car. They lived together like a happy family.

Stanza 2

The name of black kitten was Ink and grey mouse was named as Blink. The dog’s name was Mustard because it was as sharp as mustard. The dragon was really and truly very coward and shy. Belinda called it ‘Custard’.

Stanza 3

Describing the appearance of the dragon the poet tells that Custard had big and sharp teeth. It had spikes on its upper body and had scales underneath its body. The mouth of dragon was like a fireplace as it was very hot. Its nose was like a chimney. Its toes were like knives as it had sharp nails on its toes.

Stanza 4

Belinda and her pets always brag highly about their bravery. Belinda considers herself brave equal to many bears. Ink and Blink thought that they were so strong and brave that they could chase the lions and force them to run away. Mustard finds himself brave enough to defeat an angry tiger. But Custard never considered himself brave and never boasted about his power. On the contrary, he behaved as a coward. He always kept crying and seeking a nice safe place for himself.

Stanza 5

That’s why, Belinda used to tease and irritate the dragon rudely. Her pets also made fun of dragon and sarcastically called him ‘Percival’ who was a brave knight in the army of King Arthur. Belinda and her pets used to laugh at the dragon who was really and truly a coward. They used to make fun of him mercilessly and loudly while sitting in the red wagon.  

Stanza 6

Belinda laughed so loudly that she would shake the house and the whole house would echo with the laughter of the pets. Ink and Mustard would ask the dragon about his age in order to make fun of him and the dragon would seek a nice safe place to hide himself.

Stanza 7

Suddenly, they all heard an unpleasant sound. Mustard growled out of fear. They all looked around. Ink and Belinda uttered a loud cry because they saw a pirate who entered the house through a window.

Stanza 8

In this stanza the poet described the pirate making a beautiful use of imagery. The pirate had pistols in both his hands. He was holding a shining knife in his teeth. His beard was black and one of his legs was made up of wood. It means leg was artificial. His appearance made it clear that he didn’t mean any good. It was evident that he came to rob them.

Stanza 9

Seeing the pirate, Belinda lost colour of her face due to fear. She started crying for help. Mustard, being too much terrified, ran away from the place. The kitten ran to the innermost part of the house and mouse ran to the deepest hole to hide themselves.

Stanza 10

When all of them ran away to save themselves, Custard came forward showing lot of courage and made fearful sound like that of an engine. It clashed its tail and made a loud sound as if he was hitting the iron bars in a dungeon. The dragon made sounds, twisted its body in a circular motion and attacked the pirate in the manner a robin jumps on the worm to eat it.

Stanza 11

The pirate was little surprised and terrified, a bit. He drank little wine from his pocket container to make himself energised. Then, he fired two bullets but, they did not hit Custard. Finally, Custard tore him into pieces and ate him.

Stanza 12

Belinda was so happy and excited that she hugged Custard. Mustard, being very pleased started licking him. Ink and Blink danced around the dragon joyfully. Not one of them was sad for the pirate. 

Stanza 13

However, things didn’t change much even after the incident. They started giving excuses for running away from the spot. Mustard said that he would have also shown his bravery, if he hadn’t been confused and dizzy. Similarly, Ink and Blink also gave excuses and spoke about their bravery. They all continued speaking of bravery and Custard remained as humble, meek and gentle as ever.

Stanza 14 & 15

The last two stanzas are repeated to emphasise and highlight that Belinda still lives in her white house with her pets joyfully and noisily. All of them continued speaking high of their bravery and Custard retained his meek and gentle nature.

Difficult words and terms

Wagon – car, vehicle

Realio trulio – really truly

Spikes – sharp pointed nails

Barrel – long, big container

Rage – anger

Tickled – teased, pinched to make fun

Percival – a knight in King Arthur’s army

Giggled – laughed heartily

Weeck – laugh of kitten

Nasty – unpleasant

Growled – angry sound of dog

Meowch – sound of cat

Winda – window

Cutlass – small sword, knife

Yelp – cry of dog

Strategically – creatively, in a planned way

Clashed – hit

Dungeon – prison

Squirm – moving in circular motion

Robin – crow

Gaped – looked in surprise

Gulped – drank

Grog – wine or rum

Flagon – container

Gobbled – ate, swallowed

Gyrate – dance

Glee – joy

Flustered – confused, dizzy


Poetic Devices

Note : Being a lyrical ballad it is full of poetic repetition and poetic devices based on sound such as alliteration, assonance and consonance can be found in almost all lines.

With a little black kitten and a little grey mouse – poetic repetition, assonance

And a little yellow dog and a little red wagon – polysyndeton, poetic repetition, anaphora

And a realio, trulio, little pet dragon – assonance, refrain, anaphora

And the little yellow dog was sharp as Mustard – simile, anaphora

But the dragon was a coward, and she called him Custard – alliteration, consonance

And spikes on top of him and scales underneath – alliteration, ploysyndeton, imagery

Mouth like a fireplace, chimney for a nose – simile, metaphor, imagery

Belinda was as brave as a barrel full of bears – alliteration, simile, hyperbole

And Ink and Blink chased lions down the stairs – repetition, assonance, hyperbole

Mustard was as brave as a tiger in a rage – simile, hyperbole, repetition

Ink, Blink and Mustard, they rudely called him Percival – allusion, sarcasm

Belinda giggled till she shook the house – hyperbole, alliteration, assonance

And Blink said Week! which is giggling for a mouse – onomatopoeia, assonance

When Custard cried for a nice safe cage – alliteration, refrain, assonance

And Mustard growled, and they all looked around – onomatopoeia, consonance

Meowch! cried Ink, and Ooh! cried Belinda – onomatopoeia, repetition

Pistol in his left hand, pistol in his right – poetic repetition, imagery

And he held in his teeth a cutlass bright – alliteration, imagery

His beard was black, one leg was wood – imagery

Belinda paled, and she cried, Help! Help – irony, repetition

But Mustard fled with a terrified yelp – irony, consonance, onomatopoeia

Ink trickled down to the bottom of the household – irony, assonance

And little mouse Blink was strategically mouseholed – irony

But up jumped Custard, snorting like an engine – simile, onomatopoeia, consonance

Clashed his tail like irons in a dungeon – simile, hyperbole, imagery

With a clatter and a clank and a jangling squirm – onomatopoeia, assonance, poetic repetition

He went at the pirate like a robin at a worm – simile, imagery

And gulped some grog from his pocket flagon – alliteration, imagery

Ink and Blink in glee did gyrate – alliteration, assonance, imagery