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. 

Glimpses of India

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. She planned and replanned, calculated and recalculated and most importantly executed her plan wisely and bravely.

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. Valli wisely planned, enquired, managed carefully and executed her plans meticulously. She was wise and smart enough to take the bus ride alone to the nearby town and then back to her village. The spirit of learning in Valli is really commendable. She was fond of standing in the doorway of her house and observing curiously what all was happening outside as she was curious to learn new things. Apart from that she was mature and brave enough to take ride alone, take care of herself and keep her pride intact during the journey. She only spent the money that she could save and declined the offer of the conductor to enjoy the cold drink. It's so astonishing that a girl of 8 years is wiser, smarter, more courageous and self respecting than many older people.

Q3. How did Valli grow mature in her experience and learning during her bus journey?

Ans. The spirit of learning in Valli is really commendable. Valli being inquisitive asked questions from passengers and neighbours about all the necessary details on how to travel in bus. During her journey she kept trying to capture/observe every little detail about bus, surroundings, landscapes on the way. She learnt a lot about human behavior through her conversation with the conductor and passengers. Most important learning experience she got when she saw the young cow on the road, especially her sad experience after the fatal accident of cow which gave her a different perspective of life and death. The mystery of life and death unfolded to her during journey when she saw the young cow lying dead on the street and she lost all the interest in watching the landscapes. At the end she was able to understand that there are more mysterious truths in the life and we are not able to comprehend these mysteries.

Q4. Why did Valli agree with her mother’s statement, “There happen many things in the world beyond our knowledge and even if we know, we may not understand”? What does she mean by that?

Ans. Valli agreed with her mother’s statement, “There happen many things in the world beyond our knowledge and even if we know, we may not understand” because the secrets of life and death unfolded to her during her bus ride. She learnt many new things on the way about passengers, bus and surroundings. She explored secrets of life and death after the accident of young beautiful cow that made her sad. She also wanted to keep the secret about her journey from her mother with a secretive smile telling herself that there was also something which her mother didn’t know about, and that was her bus journey.

The Sermon at Benares

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. 

Important Question Answers

Q1. How does the story 'Bholi' highlight social evils prevalent in Indian Society?

Ans. The story 'Bholi' highlights many social evils prevalent in Indian society such as stereotypes related to having a girl child, her marriage being a burden, money and property involved in marriage, and compromise with the objectives of love, perfect match and happiness for the prospects of estate and social status. Due to such stereotypes many social evils take birth in the society, naming a few gender bias, girl education, early marriage, dowry, etc.

Bholi’s father sent his sons to schools and colleges for education but not his daughters, an educated girl is difficult to get married, Bholi’s marriage was the greatest concern as if a girl without marriage is unacceptable by society, a girl’s physical and facial beauty being a major concern without that a girl is worthless and such girl's father has to pay the price by giving dowry.

Q2. “Education is that which liberates.” How did right education make a big difference in the life of Bholi enable her to take decisions for herself?

Ans. Right education imbibes the children with values and awareness towards their rights and the teacher of Bholi has done a great job. with the help of her teacher Bholi is educated in right sense who knows her duties towards her parents and her school and is happily ready to undertake them. After education she got to know her rights that nobody can force her to accept a wrong match and has courage to go against it. Bholi has been presented as a real example that "education is that which liberates".