NCERT Solutions for class 10th English Chapter 9 Madam Rides the Bus



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Que 1. What was Valli’s favorite pastime?

Ans. Valli’s favorite pastime was standing in the front doorway of her house. She watched what was happening in the street outside.

Que 2. What was a source of unending joy for Valli? What was her strongest desire?

Ans. The most fascinating thing of all for Valli was the bus that traveled between her village and the nearest town. It passed through her street each hour, once going to town and once coming back. The bus was filled each time with a new set of passengers. This sight was a source of unending joy for Valli. Her strongest desire was to ride on the bus, even if just once.

Que 3. What did Valli find out about the bus journey? How did she find out these details?

Ans. Valli found out about the details of the bus journey by listening carefully to conversations between her neighbors and people who regularly used the bus. She also asked a few careful questions here and there. She came to know that the town was six miles from her village. The fare was thirty paise one way. The trip to the town took forty-five minutes.

Que 4. What do you think Valli was planning to do?

Ans. Valli was planning a visit to the town. The trip to the town took forty-five minutes. If she could manage sixty paise, she could make a trip to the town. She could take the one o’clock afternoon bus, and reach the town at one forty-five. She could be back by about two forty-five.


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Que 1. Why does the conductor call Valli ‘madam’?

Ans. The conductor was surprised to see a small girl going to town. He thought that she wouldn’t be able to board the bus without help. So he stretched out a hand to help her up. But Valli said that she could board herself without the conductor’s help. The conductor was a jolly fellow, fond of joking. So, he asked Valli not to be angry with him and called her ‘Madam’ by way of a joke.

Que 2. Why does Valli stand up on the seat? What does she see now?

Ans. Valli wanted to look outside the bus. But a canvas blind covered the lower part of the window and blocked her view. That is why she stands up on the seat and looks over the blind. She sees that the bus is moving along the bank of a canal. The road is very narrow. There are palm trees beyond the canal, grassland, distant mountains, and the blue sky. On the other side there is a deep ditch and then green fields as far as the eye could see.

Que 3. What does Valli tell the elderly man when he calls her a child?

Ans. Valli is annoyed when the elderly man calls her a child. She haughtily says that there is nobody who is a child. She has paid her thirty paise like everyone else.

Que 4. Why didn’t Valli want to make friends with the elderly woman?

Ans. The elderly woman looked ugly with big holes in her ear lobes. Valli could smell the betel nut that the woman was chewing. The betel leaf juice could spill over lips any moment. She found the woman absolutely repulsive. That is why Valli didn’t like to make friends with her.


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Que 1. How did Valli save up money for her first journey? Was it easy for her?

Ans. Valli didn’t buy peppermints, toys, balloons, and the like. She had saved whatever stray coins came her way. She finally saved a total of sixty paise. She had overcome a strong desire to ride the merry-go-round at the fair. It was difficult for her to save this money.

Que 2. What did Valli see on her way that made her laugh?

Ans. Valli saw a young cow right in the middle of the road in front of the bus. The bus slowed and the driver blew the horn loudly again and again. But the more he horned, the more the cow got frightened and ran faster. This made Valli laugh.

Que 3. Why didn’t she get off the bus at the bus station?

Ans. Valli did not get off the bus as she had to return by the same bus. When the driver asked her to have a look at the sights, she told him she would be afraid because she was all alone.

Que 4. Why didn’t Valli want to go to the stall and have a drink? What does this tell you about her?

Ans. Valli did not want to go to the stall and have a drink because she had no money. She also declined the offer of a cold drink by the conductor. It tells us that she is a self-respecting girl and can overcome temptation.


Que 1. What was Valli’s deepest desire? Find words and phrases in the story that tell you this.

Ans. Valli’s deepest desire was to enjoy a ride on the bus. The words and phrases that tell us this are:

(i) The most fascinating thing

(ii) the sight of the bus

(iii) a source of unending joy

(iv) a tiny wish crept into her head

(v) she watched the bus

(vi) wanted to ride on that bus (vii) became stronger and stronger

(viii) picked up small details about the bus journey.

Que 2. How did Valli plan her bus ride? What did she find out about the bus, and how did she save up the fare?

Ans. Valli had a strong desire to travel on a bus. So she collected information about it from her neighbors who were regular travelers. Then she planned intelligently. She saved up the fare by resisting the temptation of buying balloons, chocolates, peppermints, etc. She saved sixty paise which was the fare for to and fro journey in a bus to town.

Que 3. What kind of a person is Valli? To answer this question, pick out the following sentences from the text and fill in the blanks. The words you fill in are the clues to your answer.

(i) “Stop the bus! Stop the bus!” And a tiny hand was raised ____.

(ii) “Yes, I____ go to town,” said Valli, still standing outside the bus.

(iii) “There’s nobody here____ ,” she said haughtily. “I have paid my thirty paise like everyone else.”

(iv) “Never mind,” she said, “I can____ . You don’t have to help me. I’m not a child, I tell you,” she said .

(v) “You needn’t bother about me. I ____,” Valli said, turning her face toward the window and staring out.

(vi) Then she turned to the conductor and said, “Well, sir, I hope ___.”

Ans. (i) commandingly (ii) simply have to (iii) who’s a child (iv) get on by myself (v) can take care of myself (vi) to see you again.

Que 4. Why does the conductor refer to Valli as a ‘madam’?

Ans. Because Valli reminds him that she had paid the full fare for the journey.

Que 5. Find the lines in the text that tell you that Valli was enjoying her ride on the bus.

(i) Oh, it was all so wonderful!

(ii) Suddenly Valli clapped her hands with glee.

(iii) Somehow this was very funny to Valli.

(iv) She laughed and laughed until there were tears in her eyes.

(v) Struck dumb with wonder, Valli gaped at everything.

Que 6. Why does Valli refuse to look out of the window on her way back?

Ans. Valli refuses to look out of the window as she sees a young cow lying dead by the roadside. She is overcome with sadness. This is because she realizes that it is the same cow that was running before the bus when the bus was going to the town.

Que 7. What does Valli mean when she says, “I was just agreeing with what you said about things happening without our knowledge.”

Ans. When Valli returned home, she found her mother talking with an aunt. They were talking about things happening without their knowledge. Valli agreed to what was said. It was true also because Valli had enjoyed a bus ride without their knowledge.

Que 8. The author describes the things that Valli sees from an eight-year-old’s point of view. Can you find evidence from the text for this statement?

Ans. (i) The most fascinating thing was the bus.

(ii) Valli devoured everything with her eyes.

(iii) On one side there was the canal, and beyond it palm trees, grassland, distant mountains, and the blue sky.

(iv) Somehow this was very funny to Valli.

(v) From there traversed a busy, well, laid-out shopping street and, turning entered a wide thoroughfare. Such big, bright-looking shops.

(vi) Struck dumb with wonder, Valli gaped at everything.


This story has a lot of people talking in it. The conductor jokes and laughs with Valli, some passengers try to show their concern for her, and her mother and her aunt spend time chatting.

Read the conversations carefully. Then think of similar people, or similar situations that you have experienced. Mimic is a person or persons who spoke to you, saying what they said, along with your replies.

Ans. Do yourself.


Write a page about three paragraphs on one of the following topics.

Que 1. Have you ever planned something entirely on your own, without taking grown-ups into your confidence? What did you plan, and how? Did you carry out your plan?

Que 2. Have you made a journey that was unforgettable in some way? What made it memorable?

Que 3. Are you concerned about traffic and road safety? What are your concerns? How would you make road travel safer and more enjoyable?

Ans. My Unforgettable Journey

Last year my friend, Hitesh, and I planned a trip to Darjeeling. We reached Siliguri by train. Thereafter the journey up the mountain to Darjeeling was long and twisty. As we moved on, the landscape started changing to tea plantations. The journey on ‘Toy Train’ on the 53-mile-long Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was an unforgettable experience. Darjeeling is the home to thousands of Tibetan refugees where people of all creeds and nations mingle freely. During British rule in India, Darjeeling was developed as a hill station and became known as the ‘summer capital’.

We visited the former center for EWSCFI at Sai Prashanti. On our visit, the children performed dances played violins, and sang songs. We were impressed by their performance as the children belonged to very poor families living in slum areas.

Other highlights of our journey included a tour of Hayden Hall, providing opportunities to poor families. We had a very enjoyable tour of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute with a statue of Everest Conqueror Tenzing Norgay. We also had the memorable experience of watching the sun rise over Mt. Kanchenjungha and other Himalayan mountains from Tiger Hill. Shopping in the market for excellent fabrics and crafts was also enjoyable. The people of Darjeeling were friendly and courteous.

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