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Blue bead

Extract - 1

i) What are sleepers? What made the timber float down the river?

Sleepers are rectangular pieces of timber, stone or steel which are


specifically cut for construction of building and railway tracks.

Timber is less denser than water. So it floats. British used rivers for
transportation of timber, not by boats, but by directly floating them till they
reach their destination.

ii) What is meant by dislodge? How can the sleepers be dislodged?

Dislodge is an act of forcefully removing something from its position.

Sleepers that are lying stuck in the stones can be dislodged by delivering
sufficient force, manually or mechanically, to the sleepers using a lever like
contrivance. Also, floods can lift them and jostle them along.

iii) From where did the crocodile come? Why did he come? What was he
doing in the shallow waters?

The crocodile had come from deep black. water of the river where the
flowing streams produced whirlpools.

He had come to glassy shallows of the river to rest.

He balanced his body on tiptoe on the rippled sand so that only his eyes and
nostrils were visible above the

water. He lay in the water motionless breathing clean sunny air.

iv) Why did the crocodile raise his eyes and nostrils out of water?

The crocodile raised his eyes to get a clear sight of the area around the
stepping stones and raised his nostrils to breath easily, this enabled him to
lay motionless and concealed, in ambush, for prolonged duration.

v); The author says, "Now nothing could pierce the inch-thick armoured
hide". What does she mean by the sentence given above? Why does she say so?

Over the years, the crocodile had grown, from a baby crocodile vulnerable
to birds of prey and carnivorous fishes, into a juggernaut so ferocious and
formidable that nothing could pierce his inch-thick armoured hide- The
author is suggesting that the crocodile is invincible as he is covered with
thick-armour like hide which even a bullet cannot pierce.

Extract - 2

i) What is a mugger crocodile?

A mugger crocodile is a species of freshwater crocodile with a short snout


found throughout the Indian subcontinent.

ii) Give Meaning of –

a) antediluvian saurian

It means a large reptile which is very old as if it belonged to the times


before the biblical flood-

b) Prehistoric juggernaut:

something which has been in existence from very old times and is
unstopable

iii) Describe the appearance of the crocodile. What made him move?

 The crocodile with a huge tail was twice the length of a tall
man.
 His colour was blackish brown on above and yellowy white on
underside.
 A throb in his throat and his mouth was closed and fixed in evil
bony.
 His hide was one inch thick and nothing could pierce it.
 The crocodile used unimaginable and irresistible power of his
huge tail to move in water.

iv) How can you conclude from the extract that the crocodile was a strong
and dangerous animal?

The crocodile is described as "an antediluvian saurian, a prehistoric


juggernaut, ferocious and formidable, a vast force in water, propelled by
unimaginable and irresistible power of the huge tail", suggests that he was
a strong and dangerous animal.

v) How did the crocodile rest in the shallows?

The crocodile balanced on tiptoe on the rippled sand of the shallows with
only his eyes and nostrils raised out of water so that he could see and
breathe easily.

Extract - 3
i) What is said about the birth of the crocodile? How can you say that the
crocodile was very active even before he was fully hatched?

The crocodile hatched from an egg, probably a hundred years ago, in a


sandbank.The crocodile was very active because as soon as he managed to
get his head out of his shell he was looking around ready to snap at
anything even before he was fully hatched.

ii) What is meant by brainless craft and ferocity?

It means making use of one's craft and ferocity guided purely by natural
instinct. The young crocodile could escape from predators by instinctively
using his skills and fierceness.

iii) What were the dangers facing the young crocodile?

The young crocodile faced the dangers of getting eaten by birds of prey and
great carnivorous fishes who fed on baby crocodiles.

iv)How did the young crocodile get the food and stored it? What did the big
crocodile feed on?

The young crocodile caught the food and stored it in holes in the river bank.

The big crocodile fed mostly on fish but had also caught deer, monkeys, and
ducks. He had also sometimes fed on pi-dog full of parasites and a skeleton
cow. Sometimes he went down to the burning ghats and fed on half-burned
bodies of Indians cast into the stream.

v) How is the body of the crocodile strong enough to protect him? How was
he vulnerable to an attack?

The body of crocodile is protected with one inch thick. layer of armoured
hide on the above-

 Nothing can pierce it, even rifle bullets would bounce off.

 His eyes and the soft underarms made him vulnerable to an
attack.

Extract 4

i) Describe the strange obect found near the crocodile.

There was a sand worn glass that had been rooling about in the river for a
long time. It was perfarated right through the neck of a bottle perhaps it
was a blue bead.
ii) From where did the little girl come ? What did she wear ? What was she
eating ?

The girl came from a mud house , in a shrill noisy village above the ford.
She was dressed in earthed coloured rag. She was eating a chapati.

iii) Describe the physical appearance of little girl.

The little girl was dark coloured , thin and was dressed in earthed coloured
rag and was barefoot. She was a happy immature child-woman about
twelve years old.

iv) Give evidence to prove that girl was from a poor household.

 The girl was dressed in eather coloured rag.


 The girl divided the chapati in parts to make chapati seem
more.
 She had never owned anything but a rag.
 She had divided the rag in two to make it skirt and saari which
shows that she was not having money even to buy clothes.

From above evidences we can conclude that girl was from a poor household.

v) Why was the little girl known as child-woman and born to toil ?

The little girl known as child-woman and born to toil because the
circumstances had made the girl to sacrifice all her wishes and to tolerate
the conditions like a mature women. She was born to toil as she was poor
and had to earn for her livelihood.

Extract – 5

i) Where was the bazaar ? How did the girl know about it ?

The bazaar was in the little town at the railhead.

ii) What had she seen and heard while passing through bazaar ?

She saw the milling people , and dogs and monkeys full of fleas, the idling
gossiping bargaining humanity spitting betel juice, heard the bell of a
sacred bull clonking as he lumped along through the dust and hubbub.

iii) What was her experience at the sweetmeat stall ?

She had paused , amazed , before the sweetmeat stall, to gaze at the
brilliant honey confection, abuzz with dust and flies. They smelled
wonderful, above the smell of drains and humanity and cheap cigarettes.

iv) What did she sometimes taste at home?


At home she sometimes tasted wild honey , or crunched the syrup out of a
stalk of sugarcane.

v) Describe what Sibia saw at the cloth stall . Did she like the stall ? Why ?

She saw a cloth stall stacked with great rolls of new cotton cloth stamped at
the edge with the maker’s sign of a tiger’s head. Yes , she liked the stall as it
was smelling very wonderful of dressing, straight front from the mills.
Smell was so nice that she could have stood there all day.

Extract – 6

i) Mention any two of the wonders Sibia had seen in the bazaar.

The wonders Sibia had seen in bazaar were the satin sewn with real silver
thread and tin trays from Birmingham.

ii) What did the kashmiri merchant sell?

The kashmiri merchant was selling dawn-coloured silks that poured ice
cream , a little locked chest with turquoises and opals in it, and a box
which when pressed tinkles out a bell and a yellow woolen chicken jumpes
out from the box.

iii) Describe the box having the best of merchant’s goods.

The best of all was a box which , when pressed tinlkes a bell and a yellow
wollen chicken jumps out.

iv) How was Sibia spending her time since her childhood?

Sibia worked to earn for her livelihood since her childhood. She had
husked corn, and gathered sticks , and put dunk to dry, and cooked and
weeded, and carried , and fetched water, and cut grass from the fodder.

v) What did Sibia life show abou her family status?

Life of Sibia shows that status of her family was too low to even feed their
children properly and send them to school. Not only the parents but olso the
children had to work hard in order to earn their livihood.

Extract – 7

i) What thoughts did not trouble Sibia?

The thought of being toiled whole day and working hard to earn her
livelihood did not trouble Sibia.

ii) Where was the Sibia going? Why?


Sibia was going to get paper grass from the cliffs above the river.

iii) Who were with Sibia during her journey? Why couldn’t Sibia skip
during her return journey?

Sibia was going with her mother and other women of the village. Sibia
could not skip work, when she was on her way back from the cliffs, since at
that point, her body would always ache with tiredness, and there was also a
great load to carry on her back as well.

iv) Decribe the necklace worn by women. Why did they want to wear several
necklaces.

Some of the women were wearing necklaces made out of lal-lal-beeges, the
shiny scarlet seeds, black one end, that grew everywhere in the jungle. The
wanted to wear several necklaces as they like to hear rattling swish round
their neck

v) What type of ornaments did Sibia wish to wear?

Sibia wished to wear ornaments which would make rattling swish round
her neck, as she froushed along with lots of necklace.

Extract – 8

i) Why were the women going to the river?

Women were going to the river in order to get paper grass which they would
sell to the agent who arrange and dispatch it for paper mills.

ii) What is meant by ‘nomadic graizers’? How long do these people stay in
one place?

Nomadic graizers are the people who roam around place to place,
frequently, or without a fixed pattern of movement. Their occupation is
cattling (here). They stay in one place until their animals had perhaps
finished all the easy grazing within reach, or they were not able to sell
enough of their butter and white milk in the district, or there was no one to
buy the young male buffaloes for tiger bait.

iii) Describe the appearance of Gujar women as seen by Sibia?

The Gujar women wore trousers,tight and wrinkled at the ankles, and In
the ear, they would wear large silver rings, made out of melted rupees; and
one of them was clinking a stick against the big brass gurrahs in which
they fetched water from the river for the camp, to see which one were empty.

iv) Where were the men and boys from the camp?
The men and boys were out of the camp just now with the herd or gone to
the bazaar .

v) Explain why the Gujars are called the “men in the wandering Pastoral
Age”.

Extract – 9

i) How was Sibia compared to the bird in the passage ?

The author compared Sibia with bird as she looked down the cliff, the same
way the bird look down from height when they fly.

ii) What did she keep in the cave ? Why ?

She had stored some little bowls moulded of clay while they hardned.

iii) Why was the mother angry with her? How did Sibia react to the
situation?

The mother was angry with Sibia because she stopped worked and went to
see the litle bowls moulded of clay in the cave.

iv) Why did the women carrying the load go?

The women carrying the load went to see their animals and to have evening
meal.

v) At the end of the day, how did Sibia feel?

Sibia hung back. She would just dawdle a bit as she was tired. She was
heavily weighted, her muscles streched and aching.

Extract – 10

i) What happened when the Gujar woman walked on to the stepping stones?

When the Gujar woman walked on to the stepping stones , the crocodile
lunged at her and alshed at her leg.

ii) When the crocodile attacked women , how did she react?

The woman screamed , dropped both brass pots with a clatter on the
boulder. The Gujar woman recoiled from crocodile but at the same time she
fell on a bone-breaking stone.She cluthed one of the timber logs to save
herself. (if elaborated answer is asked)

iii) Describe the struggle between the woman and the crocodile?
The Gujar women recoiled from the crocodile, but his jaws closed on her leg
at the same moment as she slipped and fell on the bone-breaking stone, and
clutched one of the timber logs to save herself.

iv) Show how Sibia came to help the woman immediately ?

Sibia came leaping like a rock goat in order to help the woman.She came on
wings choosing her footing in midair without even thinking ablut it, and in
one movement she was beside the shrieking woman.

v) Briefly state the theme of conflict between human beings and wild
nature as shown in the story?

This is a personal understanding question. Refer to Page no. 162 , Critical


Appreciation – Wild Nature and Page no. 158 – Struggle for survuval .
Some important points are :-

 While nature is benefitial to human beings, it can also be wild,


awful and savage
 Blue Bead presents both the aspects.

Extract – 11

i) Why did crocodile go into convulsion? What happened during his


convulsion?

The crocodile went into convulsion because his one eye was poked by Sibia
using a hayfork. He reared up in convulsion , till half his lizard body was
out of the river, the tail and nose nearly meeting over his stony back. Then
he crashed back , exploading the water, and in an uproar of bloody foam he
disappered.

ii) How did Sibia attend to the Gujar woman?

Sibia got her arms round the fainting woman, and somehow dragged her
from the water. She stopped her wounds with sand, and bound them with
rag, and helped her home to the Gujar encapmpment where the men mad a
litter to carry her to someone for treatment.

iii) Where was Sibia’s sickle and fork? What strange object did she see in
the water?

The fork was lying in the rive, not carried away by water. The strange object
that Sibia saw in water was a blue bead whose shape was wobbling in the
movementof the stream.

iv) How did she take possesion of the strange object? Describe the object.
Sibia reached her arm down into a yard of the cold silk water to get it.
Missing it first of all, because of refraction. The object was perfect,white-
blue and even pierced ready for use, with the sunset shuffled about inside it
like gold-dust.

v) State why Sibia was not exctied at saving the Gurjar woman but she was
thrilled at finding the blue bead

Sibia was not excited at saving the Gurjar women as ‘daily heroism’ has
become a part of her life while what is of worth in her poverty-striken life is
the glittering blue bead.