SEBA Class 10 English Question Answer|Chapter-4| Madam Rides the Bus

SEBA Class 10 English Question Answer|Chapter-4| Madam Rides the BusNCERT/SCERT Class 10 English Question Answer to each chapter is provided in the list of SEBA ইংৰাজী Class 10 Question Answer so that you can easily browse through different chapters and select needs one. SEBA Class 10 English Question Answer|Chapter-4| Madam Rides the Bus Question Answer can be of great value to excel in the examination.


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SEBA Class 10 English Question Answer|Chapter-4| Madam Rides the Bus

SEBA Class 10 English Chapter 3 Glimpses of India | Coorg Notes covers all the exercise questions in Assam Board SEBA Textbooks. The SEBA Class 10 English Beehive Chapter4| Madam Rides the Bus provided here ensures a smooth and easy understanding of all the concepts. Understand the concepts behind every chapter and score well in the board exams.

About the author-Vallikkannan

Vallikkannan is the pseudonym used by R. S. Krishnasamy. Born on 12 November 1920, Krishnasamy was a famous Tamil writer, journalist, critic and translator. He started writing at a very young age and had more than twenty five books to his credit by the time he turned thirty. Krishnasamy also worked under the pseudonyms “Nayandi Bharathi” and “Koranathan”..

Awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1978 for Tamil, Krishnasamy wrote a total of 75 books including novels, novellas, poems, plays and essay anthologies. A multifaceted talented writer, he died in 2006.


The prose piece Madam Rides the Bus written by Vallikkannan traces the journey of a little girl-Valliammai or Valli-as she undertakes a bus ride from her village to a town and back. Vallikkannan’s fluid writing helps the reader identify with the eight year old’s emotions as she takes in the new sights and sounds.

The story begins with the description of Valliammai, an inquisitive eight year old, who loved to observe the street in front of her house as it bustled with life. Preoccupied with observing and understanding the world around

her, with a maturity beyond her years, Valli’s interest was piqued by accounts of the bus journey between her village and the town. Valli finally decided to check it out for herself and planned her trip secretively so as not to alert any elders. She painstakingly saved money and finally managed to save just enough. Taking advantage of her mother’s sleeping routine, Valli sneaked out of the house and finally managed to ride on the bus and undertake the journey she longed for. But during the course of her journey Valli encountered the mysteries of life and death. After witnessing the death of a cow firsthand, Valli returned home a wiser girl, with a better understanding of the difference between the knowledge of death and the of it.

1. What was Valli’s favourite pastime?

Ans. Valli would stand at the front doorway of her house and watch the happenings on the street outside. This was her favourite pastime.

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

 Ans. A bus that ran from Valli’s village to town crossed her street every hour. The sight of this bus, loaded with different

passengers each time, was a source of unending joy for Valli Her strongest desire was to ride on the bus.

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

 Ans. Valli found out several small details about the bus journey. She learned that the town was six miles from her village, the fare was thirty paise one way and that the trip to the town took forty-five minutes. Valli also found out that on reaching town, if she stayed in her seat and paid another thirty paise, she could return home on the same bus.

 Valli gathered all the details regarding the bus journey by listening in to conversations between her neighbours and people who regularly used the bus. She also asked a few discreet questions to supplement her knowledge.

4, What do you think Valli was planning to do? 

Ans. Valli was planning to sneak away from home and ride the bus to town and back.

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

 Ans. Valli insisted that she was as grown up as any of the other passengers on the bus and tried her utmost to behave as one. Thus to humour her, the conductor called her as ‘madam.”

2. Why does Valli stand up on the seat? now?

Ans. Valli’s view is obstructed by a canvas blind that covers the lower portion of the bus’s window, so in order to get a better, unobstructed view of the world outside, Valli stands up on the bus’s seat.Valli sees that the bus is going through a narrow road, on one side of which lay a canal. Beyond the canal she can see palm trees, grassland, mountains in the distance, and the blue sky. On the other side of the road is a deep ditch and then acres of green fields as far as she can see.

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

 Ans. Valli was angry at being referred to as a child and indignantly replied that she was not one. She informed the elderly man that like the other adults she too had paid the complete bus fare, indirectly claiming that she deserved to be treated as an adult.

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

Ans. The elderly woman had big holes in her earlobes and was wearing ugly earrings in them. This combined with the fact that she was chewing betel nut, the juice of which seemed intent on overflowing at any second, made the elderly woman appear repulsive to Valli and so she did not want to make friends with her.

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

Ans. Valli saved up money for her first journey by saving any stray coins that came her way. She even refused herself goodies like a ride on the merry go round at the fair, peppermints, toys, balloons and all the little things which are a great temptation to a child her age.

No, it was not easy for her because she was just a child. 

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

Ans. A young cow was running in the middle of the road with its tail held high. The bus driver slowed down and blew the horn incessantly to get the cow off the road, but this only served to scare the cow. The more the driver honked, the more scared the cow became, and the faster it ran, but always in the way of the bus. Valli found the entire situation very funny and she began laughing uncontrollably.

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

Ans. Valli did not get off the bus at the bus station because she had to return to her village by the same bus. Moreover, she was afraid of getting lost. Also her meticulous savings plan, allowed her enough money to buy only tickets for a two way journey between her village and the town. She had to return home before her mother discovered that she was missing.

4.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 firstly she did want to get off the bus; secondly she did not have money to buy herself a cold drink, and thirdly when the conductor offered to buy her one she had too much self respect to accept it.

This shows that she was a very determined child, not easily swayed by temptation. She knew what her limits were and stayed within them. She was also a cautious child with a great deal of self respect.


• Thinking about the Text

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 take a ride on the bus that ran between her village and the town.

Words and phrases from the story that tell us this are: This wish became stronger and stronger, until it was an overwhelming desire. Valli would stare wistfully at the people who got on or off the bus when it stopped at the street corner. Their faces would kindle in her longings, dreams, and hopes. If one of her friends happened to ride the bus and tried to describe the sights of the town to her, Valli would be too jealous to listen.

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 planned her bus ride over months by gathering information about it. She picked up knowledge from conversations between her neighbours and people who regularly travelled on the bus, and even asked a few questions here and there. She learnt that the town was six miles away, a one way journey took forty-five minutes, the one-way fare was thirty paisa, and that the same bus returned to the village. She saved up the two way fare of sixty paisa by saving every single penny, depriving herself of toys, peppermints and joy-rides in the fair.

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 out 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 ………..

Ans. (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 1 aise 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

(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.

Valli was a young girl of eight, yet she refused to be treated like a child by people around her. In her childlike simplicity she thought of herself as a grown up and expected all to treat her as one, especially now that she was taking a ride on the bus on her own and with her own fare. Anyone referring to her as a child, irritated her. She was a very determined young girl, who knew her mind very well. Independent and confident, she achieved what she set her eyes on. She was courteous to those who were kind to her.

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

Ans. Valli, right from the moment she stopped the bus, was determined that all treat her as an adult. On her part, she tried her utmost to appear all grown up and behave as one. The conductor found this amusing and to humour her, referred to her as ‘madam’. 

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

Ans. Lines in the text which tell us that Valli was enjoying her ride on the bus are: 

  • Valli devoured everything with her eyes.
  • Oh, it was all so wonderful!
  • She laughed and laughed until there were tears in her eyes.
  • Struck dumb with wonder, Valli gaped at everything. 

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

Ans. On her way back Valli was enjoying the sights outside, when she saw the cow which had been running around earlier, lying dead on the street. It’s bloody, spread-eagled, lifeless body, presented a horrible sight, shaking Valli badly. She could not bring herself to accept the fact that the very animal that had been so charming and full of life a while ago, had become a lifeless corpse in the little time it took her to return back. She forgot all her enthusiasm and was so upset, that she now refused to look out of the window.

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

Ans. When Valli returned from her discreet journey on the bus to town, she found her aunt and mother talking. She checkily expressed agreement to her mother’s statement that many things were happening without their knowledge, referring to her mother not knowing about her tour on the bus. 

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? 

Ans. The author has described the things that Valli saw from an eight-year-old’s point of view. This is seen in the author’s following descriptions of various things. 

  • The most fascinating thing of all was the bus.
  • It was a new bus, its outside painted a gleaming white with some green stripes along the sides. 
  • The seats were soft and luxurious.
  • ….palm trees, grassland, distant mountains, and the blue, blue sky.
  • ….. acres and acres of green fields – green, green, green, as far as the eye could see. 
  • Oh, it was all so wonderful!
  • ……. such big holes she had in her ear lobes, and such ugly earrings in them! 
  • Sometimes the bus seemed on the point of gobbling up another vehicle that was coming towards them or a pedestrian crossing the road.
  • Trees came running towards them and simple stood there helpless for a moment by the side of the road before rushing away in the other direction. 
  • A young cow, tail high in air, was running very fast, right in the middle of the road, right in front of the bus.
  • A speck of a train could be seen in the d stance, growing bigger and bigger as it grew near. Then it rushed past the crossing gate with a tremendous roar and rattle, shaking the bus. 
  • Such big bright looking shops! What glittering displays of clothes and other merchandise! Such big crowds!


☐ Some More Questions: 

1. Did Valli know the meaning of the word ‘proud’? Why did Valli and her friends use this word? 

Ans. No, Valli did not know the meaning of the word ‘proud”. Valli and her friends used the word as a slang expression of disapproval.

2. Why was Valli irritated when the old man referred to her as ‘child’? 

Ans. Valli was trying her utmost to behave as an adult from the time she got on the bus. She wanted everyone to treat her as a grown up. So when the old man referred to her as ‘child’, it irritated her.

3. Describe the bus as Valli saw it.

Ans. It was a new bus; its outside was painted a gleaming white with some white stripes along the sides. Inside the bus, the overhead bars shone like silver. Directly in front of Valli, above the windshield, there was a clock. The seats of the bus were soft and luxurious.

4. Why did Valli stand on her seat? her sit down in the end? 

Ans. Valli’s view was cut off by a canvas blind that covered the lower part of her window. So she stood up on her seat and peered over the blind. At the next stop, when Valli saw more passengers getting on the bus, she decided to sit down; she feared someone else might take her place if she did not sit.

5. Wh first advised Valli not to stand on her seat? Why? What was Valli’s reaction? 

Ans. An elderly man who was also travelling on the same bus as Valli advised her not to stand on her seat. He was genuinely concerned for her safety and thus asked her to sit. Valli was irritated that the old man should pay attention to her and stop her from enjoying herself.

6. Who was the second person to ask Valli to sit down? What explanation did he/she give?

Ans. The second time, it was the bus conductor who asked Valli to sit down. He said that since she had paid money for the seat she should use it. But more seriously he added that she could fall and hurt herself when the bus made a sharp turn or hit a bump on the road.

7. How did Valli manage to slip out of the house? 

Ans. Valli’s mother always took a nap in the afternoon from about one to four. Valli used this time to satisfy her curiosity by looking at the goings on outside her house, or even going into the village. So, when she wanted to sneak out into the bus, she used this time to do so.

8. How did the approaching vehicles, pedestrians crossing the road, and tress on the roadside appear to Valli? 

Ans. As the bus sped on it appeared to Valli that her bus would swallow the approaching vehicles or even the pedestrians crossing the street – this shows that she felt the bus would collide with the vehicles or the people. The trees at a distance seemed to come running towards the bus, stand still for a while as it came next to the bus, and then rush away in the opposite direction.

9. When they reached the town what all did the conductor suggest that Valli do? What was her reaction? 

Ans. When they reached the town the conductor suggested that Valli get off and have a look at the sights, or at least have something to drink at the stall nearby. He even offered to buy her a cold drink. Valli responded by saying that she would be too scared to get off the bus and look around; she could not buy a drink as she did not have the money for it and she refused to let the conductor buy her one.

10. How do you know that Valli was not bored during the return journey?

Ans. We know Valli was enjoying her return journey and was not bored in the slightest because she greeted everything with the same excitement she had felt the first time.

1A letter To God
2Nelson Mandela (A Long
Walk To Freedom)
3Glimpses of India
IITea From Assam
4Madam Rides the Bus
5A Tiger in the Zoo
7The Ball Poem
8The Tale of Custard the Dragon
1The Midnight Visitor
2A Question of Trust
3Footprint without Feet
4The Hack Driver

Reference to the Context:

1. “Proud! Proud”

(i) Who is the speaker?

Ans. Valli

(ii) When and why did the speaker say these words? 

Ans. Whenever one of her friends returned after a ride on the bus to town, and began describing what she had seen in town, Valli would be so envious that she would not listen and instead would shout, “Proud! proud!” Neither she nor her friends really understood what ‘proud’ meant yet they used it to express disapproval.

2. “Oh, please don’t be angry with me, my fine madam.” 

(i) Who is the speaker? 

Ans. The bus conductor is the speaker.

(ii) Who is the speaker addressing as ‘madam”? Why? 

Ans. Valli was being addressed as ‘madam’ by the conductor. From the very moment that she stopped the bus, Valli tried her utmost to behave as an adult. Thus to humour her, the conductor addressed her as ‘madam’. 

(iii) Why is ‘madam’ angry with the speaker? 

Ans. Valli was getting up on the bus to town. The bus conductor offered to help her up by stretching out his hand, but Valli retorted that she could get on by herself and did need help. So the jolly conductor asks her not to be angry with him.

3. “Listen child,” said the voice, “you shouldn’t stand like that. Sit down”

(i) Who is the speaker? 

Ans. The speaker is an elderly man, who is travelling on the same bus as Valli.

(ii) Who is being asked to sit down? Why? 

Ans. Valli is being asked to sit down. Valli wanted to look out of the bus window, but her view was obstructed by a canvas blind. So she stood up on her seat to look over the blind. Seeing this, the elderly man was concerned for her safety and so asked her to sit down.

(iii) What reply did the speaker get? 

Ans. Valli was annoyed by the man’s attention and retorted that she was not a child because she had paid her fare just like everybody else on the bus. 

4. “Are you all alone, dear?”

(i) Who is the speaker? Who is she speaking to? 

Ans. The speaker is an elderly woman who sat beside Valli in the bus. She is speaking to Valli. 

(ii) Describe the speaker.

Ans. The woman had large holes in her ear lobes with carrings which Valli found up ly. She was chewing betel nut, the juice of which was on the verge of spilling over her lips.

(iii) What other questions does she ask of the speaker? 

Ans. She also asks Valli if it was proper for someone as young as her to travel alone, if she knew exactly where she had to go in town, and if she knew the stree and the house number.

5. “Hey, lady, haven’t you laughed enough?” 

(i) Who is the speaker?

Ans. The bus conductor is the speaker. 

(ii) Who is the ‘lady’?

Ans. The ‘lady’ is Valli, a young girl who is travelling on the bus.

(iii) Why is she laughing?

Ans. A young cow had come in the path of the bus. The bus driver blew his horn incessantly which scared the cow so much that it began to run very fast, but kept getting in the way of the bus. Valli found this scene very humourous and began to laugh uncontrollably.

6. “Struck dumb with wonder, Valli gaped at everything.”

(i) Where was Valli and how did she get there? 

Ans. Valli was in town. She had got there on a bus that travelled from her village to town, by paying a fare of thirty paisa.

(ii) What had caused such a reaction in Valli? 

Ans. This was her first visit to town and so she was struck with wonder at the large and bright shops, and their glittering display of clothes and other goods. The large crowds of people also fascinated her.

(iii) What was Valli’s full name? 

Ans. Valli’s full name was Valliammai.

7. “Won’t your mother be looking for you?”

(i) Who asks this question to whom?

Ans. The bus conductor asks Valli this question. 

(ii) What is her reply? Why does she say so?

Ans. Valli replies that no one will be looking for her. She says so because she knows that this is the time her mother Took a nap daily, and so would not realise that Valli was not home.

Multiple Choice Questions:

1. What gave Valli many new unusual experiences? 

  1. Watching the street in front of her house
  2. Playing with her playmates
  3. Talking with her aunt
  4. Riding on the bus

Ans.(a) Watching the street in front of her house

2. How often did the bus pass through Valli’s street?

  1.  Twice a week 
  2. On Sundays
  3. Every hour
  4. Every two hours

Ans. (c) Every hour

3. The word ‘drivel’ means________

  1.  to care
  2. journey
  3. drive
  4. silly nonsense

Ans. (d) silly nonsense

4. How much did Valli pay the conductor for her two way trip? 

  1. Thirty paisa
  2. Sixty paisa
  3. Forty five paisa
  4. She travelled for free

Ans. (b) Sixty paisa

5. On the return journey, Valli’s enthusiasm was dampened by_________

  1.  the old woman
  2. the thought of returning home the dead cow
  3. the sight of
  4. exhaustion

Ans. (c) the sight of the dead cow

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