1. What was Valli’s deepest desire? Find the words and phrases in the story
that tell you this.
2. How did Valli plan her bus ride? What did she find out about the bus, and how did she save up the fare?
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’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 .”
4. Why does the conductor refer to Valli as ‘madam’?
5. Find the lines in the text which tell you that Valli was enjoying her ride on the bus.
6. Why does Valli refuse to look out of the window on her way back?
7. What does Valli mean when she says, “I was just agreeing with what you said about things happening without our knowledge.”
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?
1.Vali's deepest desire was to ride on the bus that travelled between her village and the nearest town. The sentences in the story which depict this are as follows: “Day after day she watched the bus, and gradually a tiny wish crept into her head and grew there: she wanted to ride on that bus, even if just once. This wish became stronger and stronger, until it was an overwhelming desire.”
2.Valli carefully planned and calculated her entire bus ride over many days and months. She carefully listened to the conversations between her neighbours and people who regularly used the bus. She asked discreet questions and learned upon that the town was six miles away from her village. The fare was thirty paise one way. The trip to the town took forty-five minutes. On reaching the town, if she stayed in her seat and paid another thirty paise, she could return home on the same bus. She had carefully saved whatever stray coins came her way, resisting every temptation to buy peppermints, toys, ballons ,fair rides and finally saved sixty paise for the ride.
3. (i) “Stop the bus! Stop the bus!” And a tiny hand was raised commandingly .
(ii) “Yes, I simply have to go to town,” said Valli, still standing outside the bus.
(iii) “There’s nobody here who’s a child,” she said haughtily. I’ve paid my thirty paise like everyone else.”
(iv) “Never mind,” she said, “I can get on by myself . You don’t have to help me. “I’m not a child, I tell you,” she said, irritably .1
(v) “You needn’t bother about me. I can take care of myself,” Valli said, turning her face toward the window and staring out.
(vi) Then she turned to the conductor and said, “Well, sir, I hope to see you again.”
4.While Vani was boarding the bus, the conductor stretched out his hand to help her. She immediately responded that she didn’t require his help and was completely capable to get on by herself. Even when the elderly man on the bus called her a child, she replied that nobody was a child on the bus. She stressed repeatedly that she had paid the fare just like everyone else and should not be treated differently. Seeing the grown up attitude of Valli , the conductor jokingly called her ‘Madam'.
5.The lines in the text which show that Valli was thoroughly enjoying her ride on the bus are:
(i) “Valli devoured everything with her eyes.”
(ii) “On the one side there was the canal and, beyond it, palm trees, grassland, distant mountains, and the blue, blue sky. On the other side was a deep ditch and then acres and acres of green fields ? green, green, green, as far as the eye could see. Oh, it was all so wonderful!”
(iii) “Everyone laughed, and gradually Valli too joined in the laughter. Suddenly, Valli clapped her hands with glee.”
(iv) “Somehow this was very funny to Valli. She laughed and laughed until there were tears in her eyes.”
(v) “Valli wasn’t bored to the slightest and greeted everything with the same excitement she’d felt the first time.”
6.During her trip to the town, Valli was excitedly looking out of the bus's window. She saw a young cow running in front of the bus. In her return journey, she she saw it lying dead by the roadside. The sight made her gloomy and the memory of the dead cow haunted her. Thus, she refused to look out of the window.
7.Valli's mother said that many things happen around us which we are completely unaware of. Valli had previously made a trip to the town and returned back without anyone’s knowledge. She saw people, places and things which she never knew existed. Thus, she agreed to what her mother had said about things happening without our knowledge.
8.The author has described the story with Valli’s point of view, i.e. with an eight year old's point of view. Just like a child, Valli was fascinated by the bus and the different people that rode it everyday. Her deepest desire was to ride that bus and make a trip to the town. For the same, she had saved money and resisted peppermints, toys and balloons and temptations of the rides at the fair. The descriptions given by the author when Valli looks outside are also typical for an eight year old. The ‘blue, blue sky' and the ‘acres and acres of green fields- green, green, green’ shows the enthusiasm of a kid on looking at different colors.Even when Valli saw the cow running before the bus she clapped excitedly and on the return journey when she saw the ‘ lovable, beautiful creature' dead she was struck with sadness. The memory of the dead cow haunted her and she refused to see outside. Thus, the author has entirely described the story with Valli’s perspective and emotions.