Mridu goes to Rukku Manni’s House
Mridu is a young girl living with her grandmother Tapi and grandfather Thatha in Chennai. Mridu goes alongwith Tapi to her aunt Rukku Manni’s place one afternoon. There she meets her cousins Lalli, Ravi and Meena. Everyone at Rukku Manni’s house was glad to see Mridu. There was a thick bitter-berry bush in their backyard. Ravi took her beside that. There was a small little kitten inside a torn football. The small creature was busy drinking milk that was kept inside a half-shell of a coconut.
Meena informed Mridu that they have found the kitten outside their house in the morning of that day. But, they must keep it as a secret otherwise the grandmother will leave their house immediately. Ravi was upset that they were being taught to be kind towards animals, but when he was trying to do so elders were screaming at them calling the kitten a dirty creature. His grandmother was suspicious while he was taking out milk for the kitten from kitchen. He had to drink more than half of the milk to make her believe that it was for him.
He also told Mridu that they have named the kitten as Mahendran. Mridu loved the name because it sounded real unlike those cute ones you keep for the kittens. Ravi further added that its complete name was Mahendravarma Pallava Poonai and M P Poonai in short.
He informed her he could make it from its fur that it was a fine breed cat, a close relative of lion family like the one that Pallava kings used in their emblem. To this Mridu giggled which instigated Ravi to prove his knowledge about the history further.
On his school trip to Mahabalipuram he had seen statue of a lion and he firmly believe that it was the ancestor of that kitten. He proudly announced that his small kitten is the descendant of Mahabalipuram Rishi-Cat. He reminded Mridu of cats being worshipped in ancient Egypt. He believed it to be a descendant of cat goddess, Bastet.
The ‘Kreech’ Noise
Ravi was busy in making all proud announcements about his kitten when a weired sound ‘Kreech–! Came from the window. Mridu was shocked while Mahendran was frightened. Mahendran jumped with fear on a tray of red chillies kept under the Sun for drying. With the ‘kreeching’ noise continuing on the background, Mridu enquired what it was? Ravi informed her that it was Lalli learning to play the violin. Mridu peeped from the window and she found Lalli was holding the violin in an awkward position sitting a bit away from her music teacher who had his back towards the window.
The teacher was bald with a fringe of oiled black hair falling around his ears. There was gold chain in the neck and a ring on this hand. He had a big toe with which he was thumping the ground. He was playing the notes perfectly on the violin while Lalli was struggling hard. His tracks were filled with melody while Lalli continued missing the notes.
Children were having fun peeping from the window when Rukku Manni called Ravi to send the beggar away. She was fed up with the beggar coming to their place for a week now and wanted him to find another house. The beggar had made himself comfortable at the garden. He was leaning against the neem tree with his upper cloth spread under it. He was about to snooze when he heard Ravi asking him to leave. He was shocked hearing this and called for the lady of the house. An irritated Rukku Manni told Ravi that there wasn’t anything left in the kitchen and asked the beggar not to come again.
Her voice was so loud that Ravi didn’t have to repeat her words to the beggar. The beggar told them that he would leave after taking rest for a while. It was too hot outside and there were blisters on his feet. The children were in pain seeing this and started making plans to give him chappals.
Mridu remembered seeing a pair of old grey chappals while she had entered Ravi’s house. She asked Ravi whom they belonged to. Ravi took the chappals and gave it to the beggar and asked him not to come again. The beggar went away wearing the chappals and blessing the children. It was time for the music teacher to leave. He was looking for his chappals. He called Lalli and they looked everywhere, but didn’t find them. Lalli informed Rukku Manni about it. Rukku Manni questioned the children if they had seen anyone picking up the chappals.
Rukku Manni was really angry and Mridu couldn’t control anymore. She told her that they have given the music teacher’s chappals to the beggar. Rukku Manni went inside and brought Gopu mama’s new chappals and gave them to the music teacher. The teacher was happy getting the new chappals, but still pretended as though it was tough for him to accept them.
Rukku Manni-the Loving Mother.
The teacher called Ravi a monkey, an incarnation of lord Hanuman, which seemed clear that Rukku Manni didn’t like. She wanted the teacher to leave immediately.
After he left, she called the children home and offered them some snacks. She thanked God that her husband doesn’t go to office in chappals, but needed them after coming home immediately. She wondered what she will tell him giving a hint that she will take the blame on herself.
Word Meaning in English
Scrawny thin (suggesting skinny toes)
Wonder a feeling of surprise
Protested objected, complained
Neatly tidily, carefully
Backyard back side of a house
Sacking made up of sack
Kitten baby of a cat
Mewing the sound made by a cat
Half-shell half rounded portion of a coconut
Set out to start a journey
Throw her off the scent mislead her so that she won’t understand the real purpose
Twig a woody shoot
Sparkling shining brightly
Scream to yell, to shout
Creature living being
Pour spill, transfer
Thatha grandfather (in Tamil)
Descended from a descendant of or comes from the same family
Shell hard outlining cover
Emblem sign, symbol
Stowaway someone who hides himself/herself in a ship or an aircraft to travel unnoticed
Weird strange or unusual
Shrieked an expression of excitement, pain or terror
Alarmed to be cautious of a potential danger
Startled to feel sudden shock
Bounced move quickly
Scurried move fast with short quick steps
Miserably unhappy or uncomfortable
Whizzing move quickly through the air
Howled cried, screamed
To go off weaken
Derailing cause to run off tracks
Glided moved along smoothly
Veshti dhoti (in Tamil)
Stumbled followed haltingly
Crept past and past participle of creep which means moving slowly
Jutting out extending out
Tuft a bunch or collection of something
Glean shine brightly
Beringed the music-master was wearing a ring
Effortlessly without making any effort
Wail cry, scream
Snooze short sleep
Kept my body and Soul together managed to stay alive
Fed up tired and unhappy
Leaned be in or moving into a sloping position
Gaze look steadily
Choke overwhelm and make someone speechless with emotion
Generosity the quality of being kind and generous
Feeble lacking physical strength
Rumble make a continuous deep sound
Withered become dry
Booming out resonant sound
Betel leaf piper leaf
Blisters boils/bubbles on skin, from burns or rubbing
Shabby in poor condition
Sturdy strongly built
Whisper to speak very softly
Nodded to move head up and down to show agreement with something
Glanced to see
Scurried around to move in hurry
Lurking waiting quietly (without attracting attention)
Groan to make a deep inarticulate sound in response to pain or despair
Brashly cheekily or smartly
Pleasant enjoyable, lovely
Shiver shake, tremble
Sores painful, tender
Hardly worn not worn
Flung past and past participle of fling which means to throw forcefully
Dropping to put down
Muttering speak softly, to murmur
Upsetting hurtful, shocking
Vendor salesperson, merchant
Catch sight of behold
Clattered off gone off noisily (with the noise or clatter of (chappals)
Incarnate come to life, in person
Stiff hard, rigid, firm
CHECK (NCERT Page 22)
- What is the secret that Meena shares with Mridu in the backyard?
Ans. Meena shares the secret of the kitten that they have found in front of their house and have kept in their backyard.
- How does Ravi get milk for the kitten?
Ans. Ravi brings milk from the kitchen saying that he was feeling hungry. He even drinks most of it to prove Paati that he was indeed hungry.
He then brings the tumbler in the backyard and empties it in the coconut shell.
- Who does he say the kitten’s ancestors are? Do you believe him?
Ans. Ravi said that the kitten’s ancestors were the lion of the Pallava kings, the Mahabalipuram Rishi-Cat which has the emblem of the Pallava dynasty. No I don’t believe his story.
- Ravi has a lot to say about MP Poonai. This shows that
(i) he is merely trying to impress Mridu.
(ii) his knowledge of history is sound.
(iii) he has a rich imagination.
(iv) he is an intelligent child.
Which of these statements do you agree/disagree to?
Ans. Ravi has a lot to say about MP Poonai. This shows that his knowledge of history is sound, he has a rich imagination and he is an intelligent child.
- What was the noise that startled Mridu and frightened Mahendran?
Ans. It was the sound coming out of Lalli’s violin that startled Mridu and frightened Mahendran.
CHECK (NCERT Page 28)
- The music master is making lovely music. Read aloud the sentence in the text that expresses the idea.
Ans. The music-master’s notes seemed to float up and settle perfectly into the visible tracks of the melody.
- Had the beggar come to Rukku Manni’s house for the first time? Give reasons for your answer.
Ans. No, the beggar has been coming to Rukku Manni’s house for last one week. The beggar himself confirms this saying that he has survived for a week because of Rukku Manni’s kindness.
- “A sharp V-shaped line had formed between her eyebrows.” What does it suggests to you about Rukku Manni’s mood?
Ans. The V-shaped line suggests that Rukku Manni was very angry and was about to lose her temper on the children.
Working with the Text
(NCERT Pages 29 and 30)
- Complete the following sentences.
(i) Ravi compares Lalli’s playing the violin to ………………………………
(ii) Trying to hide beneath the tray of chilies, Mahendran ………….
(iii) The teacher played a few notes on his violin and Lalli …………….
(iv) The beggar said that the kind ladies of the household …………….
(v) After the lesson was over, the music teacher asked Lalli if ……….
(i) derailing of a train going off track
(ii) tipped a few chilies over himself
(iii) stumbled behind him on her violin
(iv) have been very generous and helped him survive for a week
(v) she had seen his chappals
- Describe the music teacher, as seen from the window.
Ans. The music teacher was a bony figure. He was sitting in front of Lalli with his back towards the window. He was a bald headed man with fringe of oiled hair falling around his ears. He had an old fashioned tuft.
He had a shinning gold chain in his neck and a diamond ring in his hand. He was wearing a golden-bordered dhoti, His large foot was stuck on the floor and he was beating the floor with his scrawny toe.
- (i) What makes Mridu conclude that the beggar has no money to buy chappals?
Ans. The beggar showed his feet to the children. There were pink blisters on his bare feet which made Mridu conclude that he didn’t have the money to buy chappals.
(ii) What does she suggest to show her concern?
Ans. Mridu was concerned about the beggar. She suggested giving an old pair of chappals to the beggar.
- “Have you children….” She began and then, seeing they were curiously quiet, went on more slowly, “seen anyone lurking around the verandah?”
(i) What do you think Rukku Manni really wanted to ask?
(ii) Why did she change her question?
(ii) What did she think had happened?
(i) Rukku Manni wanted to ask the children what they have done with the chappals.
(ii) She changed the question finding the children serious and quiet, She became sure that the children had something to do with the chappals.
(iii) She thought that the children would have hidden the chappals somewhere.
- On getting Gopu Mama’s chappals, the music teacher tried not to look too happy. Why?
Ans. Music teacher’s chappals were old, but he lied to Lalli saying that they were brand new. Gopu Mama had hardly used his new chappals.
The music teacher was happy getting them, but was trying to hide those feelings. He tried to show that he was upset with the children and with his loss.
- On getting a gift of chappals, the beggar vanished in a minute. Why was he in such a hurry to leave?
Ans. The beggar was in a hurry to leave after getting the chappals because he knew that the children have got them for him without seeking the permission of the elders. He feared they might be taken back from him, so he left in a hurry.
- Walking towards the kitchen with Mridu and Meena, Rukku Manni began to laugh. What made her laugh?
Ans. Rukku Manni was laughing imagining Gopu Mama without his chappals. He had the habit of taking out his shoes immediately after coming home and putting on those chappals.
She laughed wondering what excuse would she give to him and what would be his reaction.
Working with Language
(NCERT Pages 30 and 31)
- Read the following sentences.
(a) If she knows we have a cat, Paati will leave the house.
(b) She won’t be so upset if she knows about the poor beggar with sores on his feet.
(c) If the chappals do fit, will you really not mind?
Notice that each sentence consists of two parts. The first part begins with ‘if’. It is known as if-clause.
Rewrite each of the following pairs of sentences as a single sentence. Use ‘if’ at the beginning of the sentence.
(a) Walk fast, You’ll catch the bus.
If you walk fast, you’ll catch the bus.
(b) Don’t spit on the road. You’ll be fined.
If you spit on the road, you’ll be fined.
(i) Don’t tire yourself now. You won’t be able to work in the evening.
(ii) Study regularly. You’ll do well in the examination,
(iii) Work hard. You’ll pass the examination in first division.
(iv) Be polite to people. They’ll also be polite to you.
(v) Don’t tease the dog. It’ll bite you.
(i) If you tire yourself now, you won’t be able to work in the evening.
(ii) If you study regularly, you’ll do well in the examination.
(iii) If you work hard, you’ll pass the examination in first division.
(iv) If you are polite to people, they’ll be polite to you.
(v) If you tease the dog, it’ll bite you.
- Fill in the blanks in the following paragraph.
Today is Sunday. I’m wondering whether I should stay at home or go out. If I ………. (go) out. I ………. (miss) the lovely Sunday lunch at home. If I …………… (stay) for lunch, I …………. (miss) the Sunday film showing at Archana Theatre. I think I’ll go out and see the film, only to avoid getting too fat.
Ans. Today is Sunday. I’m wondering whether I should stay at home or go out. If I go out, I will miss the lovely Sunday lunch at home. If I stay for lunch, I will miss the Sunday film showing at Archana Theatre. I think I’ll go out and see the film, only to avoid getting too fat.
- Complete each sentence below by appropriately using any one of the following:
If you want to / if you don’t want to / if you want him to
(i) Don’t go to the theatre ………………………………………………………………………………..
(ii) He’ll post your letter ……………………………………………………………………………………………
(iii) Please use my pen ………………………………………………………………………………………………
(iv) He’ll lend his umbrella …………………………………………………………………………………………
(v) My neighbour, Ramesh, will take you to the doctor ………………………………………………
(vi) Don’t eat it ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………
(i) if you don’t want to
(ii) if you want him to
(iii) if you want to
(iv) if you want him to
(v) will take you to the doctor if you want him to
(vi) if you don’t want to
Speaking and Writing
(NCERT Pages 31 and 32)
- Discuss in small groups
- If you want to give away something of your own to the needy, would it be better to ask your elders first?
(a) If there is something that belongs to us we can give it to anyone without seeking the advice of the elders.
(b) Yes, we should ask the permission of our elders before doing anything. Everything we have has been given to us by our parents.
(c) It depends on the purpose and the value of the item that we are giving away to someone. We should decide it based on the situation we are in.
- Is there someone of your age in the family who is very talkative? Do you find/her/him interesting and impressive or otherwise? Share your ideas with others in the group.
(a) I have a cousin sister of 10 years of age. She talks a lot.
(b) I don’t have anyone in my family who talks a lot.
(c) My Mamiji talks a lot. But I like the way she talks and I am very fond of her.
(a) I also like my cousin sister the most. She gets close to everyone very easily and it is fun to be with her.
(b) I don’t like people who talk a lot.
(c) My Mamiji talks a lot.
- Has Rukku Manni done exactly the same as the children? In your opinion, then, is it right for one party to blame the other?
(a) Rukku Manni was wrong, she must have been more strict with the children. She should not have scolded Ravi when she herself was laughing at the incident after a while.
(b) Rukku Manni had been put in an embarrassing situation by the children. The music teacher’s chappals have gone missing from their home. She had to compensate for their act by giving the Gopu Mama’s chappals to the teacher. It was right on her part to be upset.
(c) Children and Rukku Manni were both doing the same so it was not right for either of them to blame each other.
- Read the following.
- A group of children in your class are going to live in a hostel.
- They have been asked to choose a person in the group to share a room with.
- They are asking each other questions to decide who they would like to share a room with.
Ask one another questions about likes/dislikes/preferences/hobbies/personal characteristics. Use the following questions and sentence openings.
(i) What do you enjoy doing after school? I enjoy ……………………………………………….
(ii) What do you like in general? I like ………………………………………………………………………….
(iii) Do you play any game? I don’t like ………………………………………………………………………..
(iv) Would you mind if I listened to music after dinner? I wouldn’t ………………………………
(v) Will it be all right if I ………………………………. It’s fine with me ………………………………..
(vi) Is there anything you dislike, particularly? Well, I can’t share …………………………………
(vii) Do you like to attend parties? Oh, I ………………………………………………………………………..
(viii) Would you say you are ……………………………….. I think ……………………………………………..
(i) watching TV
(ii) playing video games in general
(iii) playing outdoor games. I play indoor games like ludo and carom.
(iv) because I love music
(v) switch on the light, you can switch on the light whenever you want
(vi) my pillow with anyone
(vii) love going to parties
(viii) a creative person. yes, I am creative
Questions and Answers
Very Short Answer Type Questions
- Who is Mridu and with whom Mridu went to Rukku Manni’s place?
Ans. Mridu is a young girl Mridu went to Rukku Manni’s place alongwith her Tapi.
- Why was Ravi dragging Mridu towards the backyard?
Ans. Ravi was dragging Mridu to the backyard to show her the newly found cat.
- Why were the red chilli kept in the backyard?
Ans. Red chillies were kept in the backyard for drying.
- The beggar was leaning against what in Ravi’s garden?
Ans. The beggar was leaning against the trunk of the neem tree in Ravi’s garden.
- Mridu had noticed in front of Meena’s house a pair of chappals. Whom did they belong to?
Ans. The pair of chappals that Mridu had seen in front of Ravi’s house belonged to the music teacher.
- Who used to give away everything he had, which even included his gold earrings?
Ans. Karna from Mahabharata used to give away everything he had which even included his gold earnings.
- With whom did the music teacher compared Ravi with?
Ans. The music teacher compared Ravi with the Jord Hanuman and called him a Hanuman incarnate.
Short Answer Type Questions
- What was in the cat’s name that pleased Mridu?
Ans. Ravi had named the kitten Mahendravarma Pallava Poonai, MP Poonai in short. They were calling him Mahendran. Mridu liked the name because it sounded real to her and was different from the usual cute names kept for cats in general.
- How did Ravi link his cat with the Pallava kings?
Ans. Ravi felt that his cat was a descendant of the Rishi Cat of Mahabalipuram. He claimed that during his class trip to Mahabalipuram, he had seen statue of a cat there which he believed was an ancestor of this cat. He felt that the lion in the emblem of the Pallava king was a close relative of his cat.
- What made Ravi feel that Lalli will never learn to play the violin?
Ans. Ravi felt that Lalli will never learn to play violin. The music teacher used to play the perfect notes, but she kept on going off tracks. It was like her train getting derailed again and again while the teacher’s was running smoothly on the track.
- Why Rukku Manni asked Ravi to send away the beggar?
Ans. Rukku Manni was fed up with the beggar coming to her place daily for over a week now. She was tired giving him food and other items. She wanted him to find another house and stop coming to their place. So she asked Ravi to send him away.
- What did the beggar feel about the ladies of the household?
Ans. The beggar felt that the ladies of the household were very kind. They have enabled him survive for a week by giving him food to eat. He called them generous and found it hard to believe that they wanted to send him away.
Long Answer Type Questions
- Describe Ravi’s character in the story.
Ans. Ravi was an intelligent child. He had good observation skills and possessed sound knowledge of history. He was playful, but had a good sense of humour. He managed to get milk for the kitten in front of Paati’s eyes. He also applied his intelligence and gave music teacher’s chappals to the beggar. He was kind and generous and remembered the story of Karna which Rukku Manni had told him.
- Compare how the music teacher played the violin with that of Lalli’s.
Ans. The music teacher played the violin smoothly. His notes seemed to float up and then settled down perfectly into the invisible tracks of the melody. His hand moved the violin’s stem effortlessly and produced a melodious music. Lalli on the other hand seemed to struggle with the violin. The instrument appeared unhappy and helpless in her hands. She kept on missing the tracks and produced a kind of noise which even scared Mahendran.
- Why was Ravi upset with the elders?
Ans. Ravi was upset with the elders because he had always been told by them to be kind towards animals, but whenever he had tried to do so he had received screaming in return.
He had found the same elders calling these animals’ dirty creatures. Rukku Manni had told her about Karna who would give away everything he had to help others. Ravi had tried to help the beggar by giving away the music teacher’s chappals to him, but still Rukku Manni was angry with him.
Value Based Questions
- What is the moral of the story, elaborate it.
Ans. The moral of this story is to help people in need. The beggar was in need of the slippers. He had blisters in his feet. They did the right thing Gopu Mama can buy another pair of slippers but the beggar didn’t have the money to buy them. We should help people in need. There is no harm in giving away a bit of those things that are surplus to us. We should give food, dresses and sweaters to poor. For us that might not have much value, but it can save someone else’s life.
- Was Rukku Manni right when she took the side of the children?
Ans. Yes, Rukku Manni did the right thing taking the side of the children. Elders should understand the reasons behind the acts of the kids. At times they might not seek their permission frightened, that they will be scolded but might be doing the right thing.
Parents and elders must see the situation from the point of view of the children and if they are right they should be applauded. If they have gone wrong at a point the same should be explained to them with ease.
Extra Questions and Answers
Directions (Q. Nos. 1-6) Read the extract given below and answer the following questions.
People are always telling us to be kind to animals, but when we are, they scream. ‘Ooh, don’t bring that dirty creature here!” said Ravi. Do you know how hard it is just to get a little milk from the kitchen? Paati saw me with a glass in my hand just now. I told her I’m very hungry, I want to drink it, but the way she looked at me!
- Who is the speaker in the above lines?
Ans. Ravi is the speaker in the above lines.
- With whom Ravi was speaking to?
Ans. Ravi was speaking to Mridu in the above lines.
- Whom did the speaker want to get a little milk for?
Ans. Ravi wanted to get a little milk for his kitten Mahendran.
- ….. but the way she looked at me! This sentence shows that
(a) Paati was angry.
(b) Paati didn’t believe the speaker.
(c) Paati didn’t care what was going one.
(d) None of the above
Ans. (b) Paati didn’t believe the speaker.
- What follows immediately after this?
(a) The speaker left the kitchen hurriedly.
(b) The speaker had to drink the milk.
(c) The speaker left the milk in the kitchen.
(d) Paati screamed at the speaker.
Ans. (b) The speaker had to drink the milk.
- One word that can replace ‘hard’ in the above lines is
Ans. (c) difficult
Direetions (Q. Nos. 1-6) Read the extract given below and answer the following questions.
It was like the wheels of a train fitting smoothly into the rails and whizzling along, as Ravi said. Mridu stared at that huge beringed hand moving effortlessly up the violin’s stem making lovely music.
Squak! There was Lalli derailing again!
‘Amma!’ came a wail from the gate. ‘Amma-oh!
- It was like the wheels of a train fitting smoothly into the rails…. What does ‘it’ refers to in this line?
Ans. In the above line ‘it’ refers to the violin played by the music teacher.
- What ‘beringed hand’ refers to?
Ans. Beringed hand refers here to the music teacher with a diamond ring in that.
- ‘Amma!’ came a wail from the gate. ‘Amma-oh!’ Who came at the gate?
Ans. The beggar was at the gate.
- In the given lines with what the wheel of a train has been compared to?
(a) The music teacher
(b) The music produced by the music teacher
(c) The music produced by Lalli
(d) The violin
Ans. (b) The music produced by the music teacher
- One word from the given lines that means ‘with ease’.
(d) Both ‘a’ and ‘b’
Ans. (d) Both ‘a’ and ‘b’
- Past tense of ‘stare’ used in the given lines is
(d) None of these
Ans. (c) stared