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     THERE was a girl named Valliammai who was called Valli for short. She was eight years old and very curious about things. Her favourite pastime was standing in the front doorway of her house, watching what was happening in the street outside. There were no playmates of her own age on her street, and this was about all she had to do.
 
     But for Valli, standing at the front door was every bit as enjoyable as any of the elaborate games other children played. Watching the street gave her many new unusual experiences.
 
     The most fascinating thing of all was the bus that travelled between her village and the nearest town. It passed through her street each hour, once going to the town and once coming back. The sight of the bus, filled each time with a new set of passengers, was a source of unending joy for Valli.
Explanation:
 
The lesson 'Madame Rides a Bus' by Vallikanan is originally written in Tamil as 'Oorvalam Pona Periya Manushi'. The story is about an eight-year-old young girl named Valliammai. She was called Valli in short. Young girls, especially those who grow up in small towns, are generally curious about a lot of things. The story is set in earlier times when technology had not taken over and the world was not very modern in its approach.
 
Similarly, Valli is also curious about everything. She was curious about everything that moved around her and life itself. She loved to stand outside her house and observe what is happening in the streets. It is always a different experience to observe busy streets as one may find people from different walks of life heading towards different directions. You might find a vendor trying to sell his fruits, little children trying to play hide and seek, or horse carts moving. These images give an insight into a lot of perspectives. Poor Valli did not have any friends of her age, which made her more lonely, giving her more need to observe the outer world. But Valli was not upset that she did not have friends as watching the street gave her a lot of unusual experiences. It was even better than playing games with other children.
 
geoffrey wiggins Shutterstock.jpg
Bus*
 
We all have dreams and goals in life. It keeps changing in different stages of life based on our maturity levels. When we were young, we had the simplest of dreams, like eating chocolates, going to the theme park etc. Similarly, Valli's deepest wish was to travel in a bus as she was mesmerised by how it moved swiftly from one place to the other. The bus transported people from her nearest village to the next town. People from the village generally go to the town to buy things, as a village only has some facilities. The bus passed by Valli's village every one hour, and it returned with people from the town to the village. Valli was filled with unending joy to see the passengers being shifted from the village to the town.
 
Words with difficult meanings:
 
S.No
Words
Meaning
1
Curious The eagerness to know or learn something
2
Pastime An activity to pass the time
3
Doorway The entrance to the door
4
Playmates Companions and friends
5
Elaborate To explain in a lengthy manner
6
Unusual Something strange
Reference:
  • National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. Madam Rides the Bus - Vallikannan (pp. 116-128). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.
  • Bus*: geoffrey wiggins / Shutterstock