Madam Rides the Bus – NCERT Solutions

Q. What was Valli’s favourite pastime?

Ans. Valli’s favourite pastime was standing in the front doorway of her house. She watched what was happening in the street outside.

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

Ans. The most fascinating thing of all for Valli was the bus that travelled between her village and the nearest town. It passed through her street each hour, once going to town and once coming back. The bus was filled each time with a new set of passengers. This sight was a source of unending joy for Valli. Her strongest desire was to ride on the bus, even if just once.

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

Ans. Valli found out about the details of the bus journey by listening carefully to conversations between her neighbours and people who regularly used the bus. She also asked a few careful questions here and there. She came to know that the town was six miles from her village. The fare was thirty paise one way. The trip to the town took forty-five minutes.

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

Ans. Valli was planning a visit to the town. The trip to the town took forty-five minutes. If she could manage sixty paise, she could make a trip to the town. She could take the one o’clock afternoon bus, reach the town at one forty-five. She could be back by about two forty-five.

Q. Why does the conductor call Valli ‘madam’?

Ans. The conductor was surprised to see a small girl going to town. He thought that she wouldn’t be able to board the bus without help. So he stretched out a hand to help her up. But Valli said that she could board herself without the conductor’s help. The conductor was a jolly fellow, fond of joking. So, he asked Valli not to be angry with him and called her ‘Madam’ by way of joke.

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

Ans. Valli wanted to look outside the bus. But a canvas blind covered the lower part of the window and blocked her view. That is why she stands up on the seat and looks over the blind. She sees that bus is moving along the bank of a canal. The road is very narrow. There are palm trees beyond the canal, grassland, distant mountains and the blue sky. On the other side there is a deep ditch and then green fields as far as the eye could see.

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

Ans. Valli is annoyed when the elderly man calls her a child. She haughtily says that there is nobody who is a child. She has paid her thirty paise like everyone else.

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

Ans. The elderly woman looked ugly with big holes in her ear lobes. Valli could smell the betel nut which the woman was chewing. The betel leaf juice could spill over lips any moment. She found the woman absolutely repulsive. That is why Valli did’t like to make friends with her.

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

Ans. Valli didn’t buy peppermints, toys, ballons and the like. She had saved whatever stray coins came her way. She finally saved a total of sixty paise. She had overcome a strong desire to ride the merry-go-round at the fair. It was difficult for her to save this money.

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

Ans. Valli saw a young cow right in the middle of the road in front of the bus. The bus slowed and the driver blew the horn loudly again and again. But the more he horned, more the cow got frightened and ran faster. This made Valli laugh.

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

Ans. Valli did not get off the bus as she had to return by the same bus. When the driver asked her to have a look at the sights, she told him she would be afraid because she was all alone.

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

Ans. Valli did not want to go to the stall and have a drink because she had no money. She also declined the offer of a cold drink by the conductor. It tells us that she is a self-respecting girl and can overcome temptation.

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

Ans. Valli’s deepest desire was to enjoy a ride on the bus. The words and phrases that tell us this are:

  1. the most fascinating thing
  2. the sight of the bus
  3. a source of unending joy
  4. a tiny wish crept into her head
  5. she watched the bus
  6. wanted to ride on that bus
  7. became stronger and stronger
  8. picked up small details about the bus journey.

Q. 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 had a strong desire to travel in a bus. So she collected information about it from her neighbours who were regular travellers. Then she planned intelligently. She saved up the fare by resisting the temptation of buying balloons, chocolates, pepperments etc. She saved sixty paise which was the fare for to and fro journey in a bus to town.

Q. 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.

  1. “Stop the bus! Stop the bus!” And a tiny hand was raised ___________ .
  2. “Yes, I ___________ go to town,” said Valli, still standing outside the bus.
  3. “There’s nobody here ___________ ,” she said haughtily. “I have paid my thirty paise like everyone else.”
  4. “Never mind,” she said, “I can ___________ . You don’t have to help me. I’m not a child, I tell you,” she said ___________.
  5. “You needn’t bother about me. I ___________ ,” Valli said, turning her face toward the window and staring out.
  6. Then she turned to the conductor and said, “Well, sir, I hope ___________.”


  1. commandingly
  2. simply have to
  3. who’s a child
  4. get on by myself; irritably
  5. can take care of myself
  6. to see you again.

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

Ans. Because Valli reminds him that she had paid the full fare for the journey.

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


  1. Oh, it was all so wonderful!
  2. Suddenly Valli clapped her hands with glee.
  3. Somehow this was very funny to Valli.
  4. She laughed and laughed until there were tears in her eyes.
  5. Struck dumb with wonder, Valli gaped at everything.

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

Ans. Valli refuses to look out of the window as she sees a young cow lying dead by the roadside. She is overcome with sadness. This is because she realizes that it is the same cow which was running before the bus joyfully when the bus was going to the town.

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

Ans. When Valli returned home, she found her mother talking with an aunt. They were talking about things happening without their knowledge. Valli agreed to what was said. It was true also because Valli had enjoyed a bus ride without their knowledge.

Q. 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. The most fascinating thing was the bus.
  2. Valli devoured everything with her eyes.
  3. On one side there was the canal, and beyond it palm trees, grassland, distant mountains and the blue sky.
  4. Somehow this was very funny to Valli.
  5. From there is traversed a busy, well, laid-out shopping street and, turning entered a wide thoroughfare. Such big, bright looking shops.
  6. Struck dumb with wonder, Valli gaped at everything.

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