The Blue Bead Questions and Answers ICSE Class 9 and Class 10

Extract Based Questions

Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow.

Extract – I

From the day, perhaps a hundred years ago, when the sun had hatched him in a sandbank, and he had broken his hell, and got his head out and looked around, ready to snap at anything before he was even fully hatched – from that day when had at once made for the water, ready to fend for himself immediately, he had lived by his brainless craft and ferocity. Escaping the birds of prey and the great carnivorous fishes that eat baby crocodiles, he had prospered catching all the food he needed, and storing it till putrid in holes in the bank. Tepid water to live in plenty of rotted food grew him to his great length.

Question 1 : How has the crocodile been described?

Answer : The crocodile has been described in all its glory, as larger than life creature. From the time when he first hatched from his shell to his present length. It appeared to be an ancient creature, blacking brown in colour with yellowish white underside. He was twice as large as the tallest man and had a thick skin that couldn’t be pierced through.

Question 2 : What were sleepers? How were they?

Answer : Sleepers were heavy pieces of timber or wood. They were large in size and could not be moved till a lot of force was applied to dislodge them from their original position. They were stuck around the stones, where the crocodile came and enjoyed.

Question 3 : How did crocodile manage to grow to its present length?

Answer : As a baby crocodile, he managed to escape the birds of prey and the larger fishes, and for his food he depended on anything that he could swallow; from small fishes to insects, and deer and monkeys, everything lay rotten inside his stomach.

Question 4 : How did crocodile permanently settle in the water?

Answer : The crocodile rested in the depths of water from the point of his birth. He managed to rest in the grassy shallows, along the logs and other stones. He decided to remain in the lukewarm water and made it his permanent home, and therefore pushed out only his eyes and nostrils from the water.

Question 5 : Was the crocodile invincible? How could he be hit?

Answer : The thick skin of the crocodile made him invincible. There was nothing that could pierce through his thick skin, which was almost an inch dense. Even rifle bullets, if shot at him, could bounce off. Only his eyes and soft underarms were vulnerable and could lead to his death, if hit at.

Extract – II

Sibia was eating the last of her meal, chappati wrapped round a smear of green chilli and rancid butter; and she divided this also, to make it seem more, and bit it, showing straight white teeth. With her ebony hair and great eyes, and her skin of oiled brown cream, she was a happy immature child-woman about twelve years old. Barefoot, of course, and often goosey-cold on a winter morning, and born to toil. In all her life she had never owned anything but a rag. She had never owned even an anna – not a piece, not a pi, even, to buy, say a handful of blown glass beads.

Question 1 : What was Sibia eating for the last of her meal? Why did she tear it?

Answer : Sibia had a chapatti with green chilli paste spread over it as the last of her meal. The dry chapatti with a little butter that had an offensive smell was all that her family could afford. But Sibia was a happy child and in order to feel that she had a lot of food, Sibia tore the chapatti into several parts.

Question 2 : What does it tell about her economic background?

Answer : The coarse meal that Sibia enjoyed was a clear indicator of her humble economic background. She belonged to a poor family and therefore there was scarcity of food. Even there is mention of her wearing only rags and that is another indication that Sibia belongs to a poor family. She has to keep her mother in cutting grass, which could be sold off to earn some money. All these indicate that Sibia’s family was poor.

Question 3 : What did Sibia do with her only possession, the rag?

Answer : Sibia had no possessions, nor did she have any money to buy anything. All she possessed was an old tattered earth coloured rag. The child tore the rag into two parts to make do for both skirt and sari. She had no other set of clothes to wear except this rag.

Question 4 : What did all Sibia desire to buy from the stall in the bazaar?

Answer : Sibia had seen many fancy goods like anklets, earrings, nose rings, bangle being sold at the stalls in the bazaar. However, her heart was set upon colourful glass beads that she wished to string together for her necklace. She wanted to wear  a new necklace made of those new beads.

Question 5 : Why is Sibia called a ‘child-woman’? When did she begin to work?

Answer : Sibia, though was only twelve years old, had a certain maturity about her. For instance, breaking her food into several parts to feel happy that she had a ton of food to enjoy, were some tactics that she practised in order to deal with her situation. Also, she started working when she could toddle to support her family. Therefore, though she had the innocence of a child, she had the maturity of a grown up woman.

Extract – III

There was no end to the wonders of the world. But Sibia, in all her life from birth to death, was marked for work. Since she could toddle , she had husked corn, and gathered sticks, and put dung to dry, and cooked and weeded, and carried, and fetched water, and cut grass for fodder. She was going with her mother and some other women now to get paper grass from cliffs above the river. When you had enough of it, you could take it down by bullock cart to the railhead and sell it to the agent who would arrange for its despatch to the paper mills. The women often toiled all day at this work, and the agent sat on silk cushions, smoking a hookah. Such thoughts did not trouble Sibia.

Question 1 : What do you understand by ‘wonders of the world’? What lured Sibia?

Answer : The ‘wonders of the world’ were the fineries that were sold at the stalls in the bazaar. They were the glass bangles, the silk and the cotton cloth, the sweets and other confectionaries prepared with brilliant honey and so on. These were the things that lured Sibia.

Question 2 : What daily chores did Sibia take care of?

Answer : Sibia from very early childhood was made to work. Sibia had a lot of responsibility to shoulder. She was required to husk the corn gather sticks, cook, wash, and weed, and also fetch water and cut grass from fodder. She had to go out to get paper grass which would fetch some money to the family.

Question 3 : What work did Sibia do with her mother?

Answer : Sibia went up to the cliffs above the river with her mother to fetch paper grass. The grass was to be sold to an anger who would sit on silk cushion, smoking a hookah.

Question 4 : What was the work of the agent? What did he do?

Answer : The agent arranged for the paper grass collected by the women to be despatched to the paper mills. Unlike, the toiling and sweating women who did a lot of work, he hardly did anything. He merely sat on silk cushions and earned profit.

Question 5 : Why didn’t Sibia care much about the work done by her father?

Answer : Sibia did not care much about the work done by her because most women of her community toiled in the same fashion. She also did not care much about the disproportionate work done by the agent because she was a happy child. Though she desired fineries, she was also content with her sitution.

Extract – IV

Sibia glanced at the Gujar women as she went past. They wore trousers, tight and wrinkled at the ankles, and in the ears large silver rings made out of melted rupees; and one of them was clinking a stick against the big brass gurrahs in which they fetched water from the river for the camp, to see which ones were empty. The men and boys were out of camp just now with the herd or gone were out of camp just now with the herd or gone to the bazaar to sell produce, but one or two buffaloes were standing about, creatures of great wet noses and moving jaws and gaunt black bones.

Question 1 : Who were the Gujars? Why were they called nomadic?

Answer : The Gujars were a nomadic tribe, who did not stay at one place for a long time. They roamed from one place to another. They lived in one place for a while, till their animals had finished all the grass within their easy reach or there is no market for their milk or butter to be sold. Then, they moved on in search of newer pastures.

Question 2 : What did Gujar women look like?

Answer : While going to fetch glass for fodder, Sibia noticed the Gujar women while passing from their place. Their attire drew her attention. Gujar women dressed in used to be trousers, wrinkled at the ankles. They wore large silver earrings made of melted rupees. They used to go to river to fetch water in versels called ‘gurrahs’.

Question 3  : What work did the Gujar men do?

Answer : The work had been divided between the women and the men. The women were to handle household works while the men were to take care of the animals and sell produce. Gujar men went out of the camp to tend the animals while they grazed in the fields and to sell their products in the bazaars.

Question 4 : What possessions did the Gujars have?

Answer : Gujars were the nomadic tribe who had to shift from one place to other constantly so they possessed only necessary articles. They possessed a few brass pots and animals. They had a herd of cows and buffaloes. They used to products of the animals such as milk and butter to sell in the bazaar.

Question 5 : Why did Sibia look intently at the Gujar women? What attracted her attention?

Answer : Sibia looked intently at the Gujar women because they looked different from the women of Sibia’s community. They dressed up differently and wore a lot of silver ornaments. Sibia stared at them while she passed for she did not have any ornaments but she wished to wear a necklace.

Extract – V

Sibia got her arms round the fainting woman, and somehow dragged her from the water. She stopped her wounds with sand, and bound them with rag, and helped her home to the Gujar encampment where the men made the litter to carry her to someone for treatment. Then Sibia went back for her grass and sickle and fork. The fork was lying in the river, not carried away, luckily, and as she bent to pick it up out of the water, she saw the blue bead. Not blue now, with the sun nearly gone, but a no-colour white-blue, and its shape wobbling in the movement of the stream.

Question 1 : Describe Sibia’s act of courage. How did she save the woman?

Answer : She left the group of women on their way back home. While she was sitting on one of the stones she saw a Gujar woman being attacked by the crocodile, she jumped to help her. The crocodile’s tail could have killed Sibia, but unconcerned Sibia saved the Gujar woman.

Question 2 : In what manner did Sibia help the woman reach back to her camp?

Answer : Sibia attacked the crocodile with her hayfork, into his eyes. The giant crocodile disappeared in the water. Sibia pulled the bleeding woman from the water. She stopped her wounds with sand and bound them with rag and hleped her home by putting her arms across her shoulders.

Question 3 : Why did Sibia go back to the river side?

Answer : Sibia went back to the river to pick her scikle, hayfork and grass. She was happy that her sickle and hayfork did not sink in the water and she was able to find them. She picked these up and went back.

Question 4 : What did Sibia find there? How did she react?

Answer : On returning to collect her sickle and hayfork, Sibia finds a gleaming blue glass bead near the river. It was the blue bead. It did not look blue anymore but was nonetheless beautiful. She went up with joy as she wanted a bead to make her necklace and now she could make her own necklace.

Question 5 : What was the greatest triumph of Sibia that day? Why did she ignore her herosim?

Answer : To an ordinary reader, Sibia’s biggest triumph that day should have been her courageous act of saving the Gujar woman and also herself from the jaws of the crocodile. However, seeing Sibia and the kind of life she lived, it seemed an ordinary event to her. For Sibia, her greatest triumph that day was finding the blue bead; a bead for her necklace, that too the one that did not need piercing. This made her immensely happy.

Short Questions

Question 1 : Describe the glory with which the crocodile has been described in the story.

Answer : The mugger crocodile was blackish brown in colour and had a yellowish underside. The narrative describes him as the most ancient creature ever, for hundred years ago it hatched from its shell under the sun. The crocodile is described in all its glory, larger than life and twice as large as the tallest man. The description of the crocodile is awe-inspiring, the narrative tat some power propels him.

Question 2 : Describe the habitat in which the crocodile lived. 

Answer : The crocodile lived in the lukewarm water that travelled between cliffs and forested hills. A jungle track came out of scrubs from either sides. He rested in the grassy shallows, among logs and rippled sand. The place was quite suitable for him. The sun dried the clay on him quite white and from here he could pop off into the water immediately if a danger appeared.

Question 3 : Describe Sibia’s experience at the Bazaar. What were the things that filled her with wonder?

Answer : Sibia had a great experience at the Bazaar. The things that filled her with wonder were the fineries that were sold in the bazaar. They were the glass bangles, the silk and the cotton cloth, the sweets and other confectioneries , satin sewn with real silver thread and tin rays from Birmingham.

Question 4 : Discuss the formation of the blue bead.

Answer : The blue bead was not a bead, nor was it a gen not a semi-precious stone. The blue bead was basically a piece of glass that had broken off a bottle. Running through the river, it had been worn out by the sand. By chance, it had been pierced right through its centre. Lying in the water, it glimmered like a blue bead.

Question 5 : Why did Sibia not go back home with the other women? What stopped her?

Answer : Sibia’s imagination    took her to the bright waters, and golden air. In the cliffs she had hidden little bowls moulded of clay. She would stay back to rest on the stepping stones near the water and to examine her clay bowls. She thought if she could never find something to paint them with, they would look extremely beautiful.

Question 6 : What did Sibia do to injure the crocodile? Was the crocodile killed?

Answer : Sibia injured the crocodile by push in her hayfork into the eyes of the crocodile. The corcodile leaped up and down in pain and crashed back, exploding the water with his tail, and went back into the depths of the water, now turned bloody. He did not die at the stop but sooner or later he would meet his end due to pus in his eyes.

Long Questions

Question 1 : Describe the crocodile mentioned in the story. How is his life?

Answer : The crocodile mentioned in the story is quite large. He is twice as large as a tall man scaling over twelve feet. His mouth is running almost the whole length of his head. He has a long powerful tail that helps him to sail faster and drive off unwanted little dangers.

How He Survives : When he came out of his egg by breaking his shell, he was a tiny creature that could be hunted by a bird, by the great carnivorous fish that eat baby crocodiles. But he escaped their sight and fend of himself. He ate whatever he could get by catching fish and devouring leftover by the other big fellows until he himself learned to hunt. Now he hunts everything that comes within his reach from fish to monkeys and dogs. Sometimes at the ford he gets to eat a pi-god full of parasites and a skeleton cow. Sometimes, his hunger force him to go down the burning ghats and find the half burnt bodies of Indian cast into the stream. With no threat of scarcity of food, he is prospering well.

His Surrounding : The river where the crocodile resides is an ideal location for him with plenty of food and secure place to have sunlight to warm his body. Adjacent to the river, there is a forest. The timber logs come down from the forest and struck around the stones. The crocodile comes to rest in the place where water is not deep and enjoys sunny air. He lays on a place where rocks and sandbanks are warm with sunlight and from where he may go in to the water as soon as he realises that a danger is approaching.

His Vulnerability : The crocodile is full of grown size. His armoured hide is so thick that even a bullet shot cannot penetrate it, so attacking him on upper side is vain. His weakest area are his eyes and underarms. If one becomes successful hitting him on these places, one may have a stand against him.

Question 2 : Why is Sibia ignorant of her poverty? Describe.

Answer : Sibia was born in a poor family. Her parents are extremely poor and they have other children too. Her house is located near the river far from the civilization where children are pampered. On the name of clothes she possesses a rag. She seems to be very well aware of her parents condition hence has no problem with poverty.

No Requirement of Money : Sibia does not require money to buy anything so she does not value money. She is quite young and does not have to deal anything in money. She is happy whatever she has or has not, she does not wish anything more. She has been living in the jungle so whatever she needs the jungle provides her free of cost. Thus, she does not need money so knows no poverty.

Stays Busy : Sibia has been performing all the household work from husking corn to cut grass for fodder since the day she started toddling regardless of her age and size. Her work keeps her busy without allowing her to think of playing and recreation. She eats whatever and whenever she is given and again works. Thus, she has no time to think about anything but her work.

Belongs to a Poor Community : Sibia belongs to a poor community . In her village , houses are made of mud. Her surroundings is full with the people of the same condition as of her family. She sees no one getting better facility than her so finds everybody of same status. Thus, she sees no role of poverty in her life.

Question 3 : How does Sibia save the Gujar woman?

Answer : Sibia is going to fetch grass from the cliffs above the river. On the way, she notices an encampment of Gujar people who have made the place their temporary home. The women carry water in earthen pitchers and look after animals, the men and the boys go to market to sell their products.

A Gujar Woman Comes to the River : While sitting on the boulders, Sibia watches a Gujar woman coming to the river. She has two gurrahs to be filled with clean water. She seems to be in hurry as she walks on the stepping-stones where the danger of aquatic brutes looms constantly.

The Attack : The great crocodile is hiding in the water. He cannot be spotted easily as the sun is going down and it is getting dark. The waves of the river cannot be seen properly. So the crocodile, finding the woman within his reach; lungs at her and grabs her leg with his mighty jaws yawning and all his teeth flashing as he slashes at her leg.

Heroism of Sibia : Sibia who has seen all of this at once comes in her rescue and reaches the spot where the woman in struggling to get free from the clutches of the crocodile’s jaws. With amazing speed Sibia drives her hayfork at his eyes and the prong goes right into the  eyes. In utter pain the crocodile releases the woman and swims away into the water.

Sibia takes the Woman Home : After the crocodile disappears. Sibia gets her arms round the fainting woman and drags her out from the water. She dresses her legs with sand and rag. She helps her to reach home and leaves her with her people.

Question 4 : Describe how Sibia rescued the Gujar woman from the crocodile. What did Sibia regard as the highlight of that fateful day? What does this tell us about Sibia?

Answer : When Sibia saw the Gujar woman being attacked by the crocodile, she leapt forward from boulder to boulder. She threw her hayfork at the crocodile and it wedged right in its eyes. Groaning in agony, the crocodile lets go to the woman. Then Sibia dragged the woman from the water by putting her arms around her. She stopped the blood coming out of her wounds by putting sand on them and tied them with a rag. After that Sibia helped the woman to reach her home. Sibia regarded the finding of the blue bead by her as the highlight of the fateful day.

This tells us that Sibia was a humble and brave girl who was delighted to find the blue bead. She considered it worthy as she was a poor girl who could not afford buying it.