Short Questions and Answers
Question 1 : Who was Valli? Why did she keep standing in front of the door?
Answer : Valli was the short name of Valliammai. She was an eight year old girl who was very curious. SVallie kept standing in front of the door as there were no playmates of her age in her street. So, she used to keep on watching the street outside her house.
Question 2 : What was the most fascinating thing that Valli saw in the street?
Answer : The most fascinating thing that Valli saw on the street was the bus that travelled between her village and the nearest town. It passed through her street each hour, once going to the town and once coming back.
Question 3 : How did Valli gather all the information about the bus?
Answer : Over many days and months Valli listened carefully to conversations between her neighbours and people who regularly used the bus. She also asked a few discreet (sensible) questions here and there. This way she gathered all the information about the bus.
Question 4 : Where was the town located? What was the fare to travel there by bus?
Answer : The town was located six miles from Valli’s village. The fare to travel to town by bus was thirty paise for one way. The trip to town was about forty-five minutes.
Question 5 : What did Valli keep on planning and calculating continuously?
Answer : Valli kept on planning and calculating which bus to take, how much time it will take to reach the town and the fare that would be required in completing her journey. She even asked some regular travellers few questions regarding the trip.
Question 6 : How did Valli save money to travel by bus?
Answer : Valli had economically saved whatever stray coins came her way. She resisted every temptation to buy peppermints , toys, balloons and ride on the merry-go-round at the village fair to save money for her bus journey.
Question 7 : How was the interior and exterior of the bus?
Answer : It was a new bus. Its outside was painted a gleaming white with some green stripes along the sides. Inside the overhead bars shone like silver. There was a beautiful clock above the windshield and its seats were soft and luxurious.
Question 8 : How was the view outside the bus when it went through the canal?
Answer : On one side there was the canal and, beyond it, palm trees grasslands, distant mountains, and the sky. On the other side was a deep ditch and the acres and acres of green fields. She even saw a cow running in front of the bus that made her laugh and clap.
Question 9 : Why did the conductor want Valli to sit?
Answer : The conductor initially told Valli that as she has paid for the ticket, she should sit. When she refused , he told her that she might fall and hurt herself when the bus takes a sharp turn. He also addressed Valli as ‘madam’ and asked her to sit right up there in front.
Question 10 : Why didn’t Valli want to talk to the elderly woman? What questions did the old woman ask Valli?
Answer : The elderly woman was wearing ugly earrings and was chewing betel nut.
The betel juice was about to flow out of her mouth. Valli found all this repulsive and hence did not want to talk to her.
The old woman asked Valli if she was travelling alone. She also asked Valli whether she knew where exactly she had to go in the town.
Question 11 : How did Valli feel on seeing the dead cow on the road?
Answer : Valli was filled with sadness. She thought what had been a lovable, beautiful creature just a little while ago had now suddenly lost its charm and its life and looked so horrible and frightening. After that she did not even look outside the bus.
Question 12 : What did Valli see when she reached home?
Answer : One reaching back home. Valli saw that her mother was awake and talking to one of her aunts. That gave her a sigh of relief because she had not told her mother about her secret trip of bus to the village.
Long Questions and Answers
Question 1 : In such a fast moving world when we hear so many incidents happening with people, do you think Valli did right by not telling her mother about the bus journey?
Answer : No. I don’t think that Valli did the right thing in travelling alone to the town without informing her mother. By doing this, she put herself in a vulnerable (unsafe) position as she could have easily been a victim of child abuse had she come in contact with wrong people. In fact, she was lucky to return home safely. Children should always travel along with their parents or elders as they are easy targets for criminals.
We hear a lot of instances of crime committed against children these days like kidnapping, child abuse, molestation, rape etc.
Valli could have expressed her desire of travelling in the bus to her mother. I am sure that her mother would have fulfilled her wish by taking her on a bus ride. It might happen that her mother would not allow her that time. But being a caring mother, she would definitely take her on a ride of bus. Travelling alone is never safe because one has no idea about the routes and might get lost. So it is always better to inform your parents before doing such acts.
Question 2 : The people and surroundings are a great book to learn. Valli in the lesson ‘Madam Rides The Bus’ learns a lot from others. Mention the traits of her character which help her to learn from her surroundings.
Answer : Valli dreamt of riding on the bus. Her eagerness to fulfill her dream fired her curiosity. This curiousness led her to listen to the conversations of people going on the bus ride and asking discreet questions so that she could gather as much information as she can regarding the bus journey.
On the bus journey, Valli acted confidently and behaved maturedly. She did not consider herself to be any less than an adult. She focussed on fulfilling her dream and did not get tempted to go outside the bus and explore the town when the bus reached the town.
On the return journey, she learnt about death when she came to terms with the dead cow. This made her aware of the fact that death is a part of life and should be accepted as it is a natural phenomenon (incident or situation). Thus, the bus journey made her learn a lot of things.
Question 3 : Once we decide to achieve something, so many difficulties come in our way. With focused attention we can make that achievement. How did Valli succeed in fulfilling her desire of riding a bus?
Answer : In today’s era, it is really difficult to achieve something as we have to face so many hurdles (difficulties) which make us to stop doing our best to achieve our goals. Pressure of doing good, competition, parental and peer pressure and many a times our age are the barriers when it comes to doing something different and great. It is really difficult to get encouraged by the people around us when they got to know our ideas. But with focused attention we can get that achievement.
From the story, we can easily understand that with passion for doing something, we can achieve our goals. Valli an eight year old girl, decided to travel in the bus alone but for an eight year old girl it was not a safe idea. She as not different form others, except that she had certain characteristics that made her fulfil her dream of travelling in a bus to town.
She was a very confident and bold girl. She had always desired to fulfil her dream and for that she saved money for the fare of bus. She planned everything very carefully. She was a good observer and learner. All these qualities made her realise the dream of visiting the town. Hence, once should always remember that there is no age to learn and experience new things. Only with focused attention and planning one can achieve something in life.
Question 4 : What kind of person is Valli? Illustrate your answer from the text that you have read.
Answer : Valli was determined, confident and brave girl. she was also a good planner and executioner. She sacrificed a lot of things to achieve her dream. For example, she curbed the temptation to buy sweets and riding on the merry-go-round in the fair so that she could save money for the bus ride. Sacrificing all these things at such a tender age is very difficult for a child. She also behaved confidently in the bus and did not get hesitated and disturbed in the presence of elders.
When the bus reached the town, Valli did not succumb (surrender) to the temptation of going out to explore the town or having a drink. She did this as she had a limited amount of money which she wanted to save for her return journey. So, Valli used her money wisely. When the conductor offered her a drink, she showed good manners in refusing to have it. This shows that she was also a polite and careful girl as in today’s era it is really difficult to believe others. All these qualities make her different from other children of her age.