NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English First Flight Chapter 9 – Madam Rides The Bus

NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English First Flight Chapter 9 Madam Rides The Bus

Oral Comprehension Check (Page No 97)

Q 1. What was Valli’s favorite pastime?

ANS: Valli’s favorite pastime was to stand at her house’s front doorway and observe what was happening in the street, which gave her many unusual experiences.

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

ANS: The bus that travelled between Valli’s village and the nearest town, with a new set of passengers getting on and off the bus, each time, was the source of unending joy for Valli.

Riding the bus for just once was her strongest desire.

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

ANS: Valli found out that the nearest town was six miles from her village; it takes forty-five minutes to cover that distance, and the fare is thirty paise one way. If she’ll pay another thirty paise, she can ride back home on the same bus. She got some extra details through the conversations between her neighbours and people who rode the bus regularly, as well as by asking questions here and there.

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

ANS: Valli was planning to ride the bus to the nearest town and come back home by the same, as she heard that it takes only forty-five minutes to reach the town takes thirty paise one way as fare, and if she pays an extra thirty paise, she will be taken back home by the same bus. She calculated that if she took the one-o’clock afternoon bus, then she would reach the town at 1:45 and be back home by about 2:45.

Oral Comprehension Check (PAGE NO. 100)

Q 1. Why does the conductor call Vall ‘madam’?

ANS: The conductor called Vall ‘madam’ as she was behaving in a very elderly manner, like an audacious and smart woman. She didn’t even accept his help, and she was very quick with her replies. Hence, the conductor called her madam in a teasing manner amused by her etiquette and manners.

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

ANS: Valli wanted to get a good view of the beautiful scenery outside but was finding it difficult to do so because of the canvas blind that covered the lower part of the window; hence, in order to get a good glimpse of the enchanting view, she stood up on her seat. As she was able to see everything crystal clear now, she saw on one side, a narrow road as the bus moved along the bank of the canal, palm trees, grassland, green fields, and a serene blue sky. On the other side, she enjoyed the view of the deep ditch and the many acres of greenery spread as wide as her eyes could see.

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

ANS:  When the elderly man called her child, Valli told the elderly man she wasn’t a child, as she had paid the full fare for the bus ride like other passengers on the bus, which made her grow up like them.

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

ANS: The repulsive image of the elderly woman restrained Valli from being friends with her. Her big earlobes with ugly earrings and betel nuts in her mouth that were overloaded with juice about to spill all over her lips made Valli think of the elderly woman as not being sociable enough to be friends with.

Oral Comprehension Check (PAGE NO. 103)

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

ANS: Valli saved every penny that she got by resisting her all desires, which included buying peppermints, toys, balloons, etc., to save up money for fulfilling her strongest desire. Being a small child, it must have taken a lot of self-control and resistance to control the temptation to fulfil her desire to enjoy a merry-go-round trip from village to town and vice versa. Her self-control resulted in successfully saving sixty pesos for her first bus trip.

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

ANS: A young cow, flinging his tail up in the air and hastily running in the middle of the road right in front of the bus, filled Valli with joy, and she burst out in laughter. In order to shoo the cow, the driver honked loudly, but it just made the cow more frightened and gallop as fast as possible. This whole scene made Valli laugh until her cheeks got wet with her joyous tears.

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

ANS:  Valli had already planned to take a merry-go-round trip the village to town and vice versa, for that she had saved only sixty paise for the two-way journey on the bus and, she also had to return home before her mom’s afternoon nap; hence, she lacked the money as well as time to explore the town, which made her not get off at the bus station.

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

ANS: Valli knew that she only had sixty paise that she saved up and couldn’t waste on anything unnecessary; therefore, when the conductor suggested she get off and have a drink, she refused, and also rejected his offer to get a drink that was free of charge. This behaviour of Valli portrays her as an independent girl who doesn’t need anyone’s help and is also quick-witted.


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

ANS: Valli’s deepest desire was to ride a bus just once and take a trip to the town like other passengers. There are many words and phrases that depict her desire in the story; some of them are ‘an overwhelming desire’, ‘source of unending joy’, ‘stare wistfully’, and ‘kindle in her longings, dreams and hopes’.

Q 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’s keen observation when she heard the conversation between her neighbours and the people who often rode the bus helped her learn about the bus. Apart from this, she also inquired about the bus here and there to plan her bus trip more accurately. This also led her to know that it takes forty-five minutes to reach the nearest town with a fare of thirty paise, and if she pays an extra thirty paise, she can return to the village by the same bus. In order to save up money, she possessed self-control and resistance towards the temptations that a small kid deals with, like buying toys, peppermints, etc., and she even resisted riding the merry-go-round in the village’s annual fair. She did all this to fulfil her strongest desire to ride the bus without her parents’ knowledge.

Q 3. What kind of 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’ve 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___________.”


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

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

ANS: Valli, being a little child, responded to the conductor in an elderly manner holding maturity in her words and she was also traveling alone on the bus like a grown woman. Not only did she refuse to take help from the conductor, but she also commanded him that she could get on the bus on her own. This behavior of hers made the conductor call her madam.

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

ANS: Following are some lines that are evidence of Valli’s joyous ride on the bus as her first journey:

  • “Oh! It was all so wonderful”.
  • “Valli devoured everything with her eyes.”
  • “Everyone laughed, and gradually Valli too joined in the laughter.”
  • “Suddenly Valli clapped her hand in glee. A young cow, tall and high in the air, was running very fast, right in the middle of the road, right in front of the bus.”
  • “She laughed and laughed until there were tears in her eyes.”
  • “Struck dumb with wonder, Valli gaped at everything.”

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

ANS: The heartbreaking memory of the dead cow, which was at one moment lively running and at another moment lifeless in the pool of blood, haunted little Valli’s heart and mind. This incident made her heart drown in sadness and took away all her excitement to look outside the bus.

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

ANS: Valli’s agreement with her mother’s statement that there are certain things that happen without their knowledge points towards her secret bus trip that happened without her mother’s knowledge and also reflects Valli’s victorious joy about her adventurous deed.

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

ANS: Yes, the author described various things in the story from the point of view of an eight-year-old kid. Some of them are:-‘she was fascinated by the buses and also ‘watching the bus filled with a new set of people each time was a source of unending joy for her’. These lines show the mindset of a small kid who is fascinated by the bus as well as by the passengers. That is something very usual to the adults; it was because of her being distanced from not just riding the bus but also from the struggles in life. The author has described the color of the bus and also the way Valli felt about the seats being soft and luxurious. Here again, it shows how a child gets excited about the usual bus trip and their fascination with the color of the bus. From this description, the author has made the statement that a child’s mind is free from materialist views and they are innocent souls. Valli, being unaware of the rough side of life, joyously enjoyed the bus trip, and as her mind and heart were not corrupted by the materialistic value of things, the seats of the bus also seemed luxurious. Lastly, Valli being haunted by the memory of the dead cow as well as being joyous after catching a glimpse of the scenery outside the bus shows her innocent mind and uncorrupted heart.

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