‘A Short Monsoon Diary’ Cass 8: In this chapter, Ruskin Bond shares an excerpt from his diary where he showcases the quiet wonders of nature, as well as the small moments of happiness and sorrow in life.
This chapter is taken from Ruskin Bond’s diary, where he depicts the wonders of nature and the small joys and sorrows of life.
On June 24th, Bond observes the onset of monsoon mist and notes how the birds stop singing as the hills disappear behind the mist. He hears Bijju calling his sister from somewhere in the mist.
The following day, June 25th, it rains again, and the first cobra lily emerges from the fern. When a schoolboy asks Bond to describe the hill station in one sentence, he replies, “A paradise that might have been.”
On June 27th, due to the rain, Bond observes seasonal animals like leopards and leeches. The previous day, a leopard had taken one dog and attacked one of Bijju’s cows. Leeches are plentiful, and he also spots minivet birds, drongos, and tree creepers feeding on insects.
August 2nd is a rainy day without any thunder, and Bond finds comfort in the sound of the rain on the tin roof, even though it is leaking.
On August 3rd, the rain stops, and Bond hears the sounds of a woman chopping sticks, cowbells, a crow shaking raindrops from its feathers, and water dripping from a leaking drainpipe. He also hears a pure and clean voice from the ravine.
August 12th is marked by endless rain and permanent mist, which has made everything damp and soggy. However, the hill sides are lush with late-monsoon flowers like wild balsam, dahlias, begonias, and ground orchids.
On August 31st, Bond notices the cobra lily seeds turning red, indicating the end of the rain. Ferns will turn yellow in a few days, but for now, they are still firm and straight. He also observes snakes and rodents emerging from their holes, and a shrew moving about the room, which delights the children. Bond’s grandmother tells them not to kill the shrew, as it is considered lucky. Coincidentally, that day, Bond receives a cheque.
Finally, on October 3rd, after hail and rain storms, Bond witnesses winter rain and snow at higher altitudes. The sky and hills look beautiful in the golden light.
|fall silent||stop chattering|
|melancholy||in very sad and gloomy mood|
|deathly still||silent like a dead body|
|genuine||original and real|
|humid||damp and wetty|
|rears||raises, brinhs up|
|aggressive||ready to quarrel|
|tree creeper||an insectivorous bird|
|drumming||beating as on a drum|
|steady||slow but constant|
|unaccountable||for which no reason can be given|
|tinkle||the ringing sound|
|caws||gives out the crowing voice|
|whistling thrush||a singing bird|
|bobbing||moving up and down|
|balsam , dahlias , begonias||flower|
|blunders||commit a big mistake|
Comprehension Check – Intext Questions
Comprehension Check (Page-115)
Q. 1. Why was the author not able to see Bijju ?
Ans. Due to the fog and mist, the author was unable to see Bijju.
Q. 2. What are the two ways in which the hills appear to change when the mist comes up ?
Ans. As mist comes up, the hills vanish from sight and the forests fall quiet.
Comprehension Check (Page-117)
Q. 1. When does the monsoon season begin and when does it end? How do you prepare to face the monsoon ?
Ans. The onset of the monsoon season is in June, and it concludes by August. To brace ourselves for the rainy season, we must organize raincoats or umbrellas.
Q. 2. Which hill-station does the author describe in this diary entry ?
Ans. The author is describing Mussoorie in this diary entry.
Q. 3. For how many days it rained without stopping? What does the author do on these days?
Ans. For eight or nine consecutive days, the rain poured down incessantly. The author paced back and forth inside the room, occasionally glancing out the window to observe a handful of umbrellas bouncing about.
Q. 4. Where do the snakes and rodents take shelter? Why ?
Ans. Due to the rain, snakes and rodents seek refuge in roofs, attics, and godowns after being forced out of their holes.
Q. 5. What did the author receive in the mail ?
Ans. He received a cheque in the mail.
Working with the text
Q. 1. Look carefully at the diary entries for June 24-25, August 2 and March 23. Now write down the change that happens as the rains progress from June to March.
Ans. On June 24, it was fog and mist on the hill side while on June 25 there was some genuine early monsoon rain. During the month of August, it was heavy rainfall and endless rains and by the end of the month it showed the list of monsoon growth has reached its peak. March is the end of winter.
Q. 2. Why did the grandmother ask the children not to kill the chuchundar ?
Ans. She asked the children not to kill the chuchundar because she believed chuchundars were lucky and they brought money.
Q. 3. What signs do we find in nature which show that the monsoons are about to end ?
Ans. The seeds of cobra lily were turning red, signifying that the rains were coming to an end.
Q. 4. Complete the following sentences:
(i) Bijju is not seen but his voice is heard because ______________ .
(ii) The writer describes the hill station and valley as ______________ .
(iii) The leopard was successful in ______________ but had to flee when ______________ .
(iv) The minivets are easily noticed because ______________ .
(v) It looks like a fashion display on the slopes when ______________ .
(vi) During the monsoon season, snakes and rodents are found in roofs and attics because ______________ .
(i) there was fog all around.
(ii) a paradise that might have been.
(iii) lifting a dog from near the servants’ quarter/Bijju’s mother came.
(iv) they are bright coloured birds.
(v) ground orchids, mauve lady’s
Q. 5. ‘Although tin roofs are given to springing unaccountable leaks, there is a feeling of being untouched by, and yet in touch with, the rain.’
(i) Why has the writer used the word, ‘springing’?
(ii) How is the writer untouched by the rain ?
(iii) How is the writer in touch with the rain at the same time ?
(i) The writer has used the word ‘springing’ to denote that the leaks appear suddenly.
(ii) The writer is untouched by the rain as he is inside the room.
(iii) The writer is in touch with the rain at the same time as it was a leaking roof
Q. 6. Mention a few things that can happen when there is endless rain for days together.
Ans. Few things that can happen when there is endless rains for days together are dark night, people coming out of their homes with coloured umbrellas, rodents and snakes coming out etc.
Q. 7. What is the significance of cobra lily in relation to the monsoon season, its beginning and end ?
Ans. When the monsoon season begins cobra lily rears its head from the ferns while the seeds of the cobra lily turns red when monsoon season comes to an end
Working with Language
Q. 1. Here are some words that are associated with the monsoon. Add as many words as you can to this list. Can you find words for these in your languages?
Ans. Downpour = heavy rainfall,
Floods = overflow of a large amount of water,
Mist-fog = cloudy, having thick cloud,
Cold = cool temperature,
Umbrellas = protect against rain or sunlight.
Some more words:
- Monsoon season
- Grey skies
Q.2. Now look at the sentences below. They tell us about something that happened in the past. They also tell us about other things that happened continually, at the same time in the past.
Put the verbs in the brackets into their proper forms. The first one is done for you.
(i) We (get out) of the school bus. The bell (ring) and everyone (rush) to class.
We got out of the school bus. The bell was ringing and everyone was rushing to class.
(ii) The traffic (stop). Some people (sit) on the road and they (shout) slogans.
(iii) I (wear) my raincoat. It (rain) and people (get) wet.
(iv) She (see) a film. She (narrate) it to her friends who (listen) carefully.
(v) We (go) to the exhibition. Some people (buy) clothes while others (play) games.
(vi) The class (is) quiet. Some children (read) books and the rest (draw).
Ans. (i) We got out of the school bus. The bell was ringing and everyone was rushing to class.
(ii) The traffic stopped. Some people were sitting on the road and they were shouting slogans.
(iii) I wore my raincoat. It was raining and people were getting wet.
(iv) She saw a film. She was narrating it to her friends who were listening carefully.
(v) We went to the exhibition. Some people were buying clothes while others were playing games.
(vi) The class was quiet. Some children were reading books and the rest were drawing
Q. 3. Here are some words from the lesson which describe different kinds of sounds.
(i) Match these words with their correct meanings.
(a) to fall in small drops.
(b) to make a sound by hitting a surface repeatedly.
(c) to move quickly through the air, making a soft sound.
(d) harsh sound made by birds.
(e) ringing sound (of a bell or breaking glass, etc.)
(ii) Now fill in the blanks using the correct form of the words given above.
(a) Ramesh _______ on his desk in impatience.
(b) Rain water ________ from the umbrella all over the carpet.
(c) The _______ pony its tail.
(d) The _______ of breaking glass woke me up.
(e) The _______ of the raven disturbed the child’s sleep.
Ans. (i) (a) drip (b) drum (c) swish (d) caw (e) tinkle.
(ii) (a) drummed (b) was dripping (c) swished (d) tinkling (e) caw.
Q. 4. And sure enough, I received a cheque in the mail.
Complete each sentence below by using appropriate phrase from the ones given below.
(i) I saw thick black clouds in the sky. And _________ it soon started raining heavily.
(ii) The blue umbrella was _________ for the brother and sister.
(iii) The butterflies are _________ to get noticed.
(iv) The lady was _________ to chase the leopard.
(v) The boy was _________ to call out to his sister.
(vi) The man was _________ to offer help.
(vii) The victim’s injury was _________ for him to get admitted in hospital.
(viii) That person was _________ to repeat the same mistake again.
(ix) He told me he was sorry and he would compensate for the loss I said, ‘_________ ’.
(i) sure enough (ii) big enough (iii) colourful enough (iv) brave enough (v) anxious enough (vi) kind enough (vii) serious enough (viii) foolish enough (ix) fair enough
Q. 1. Write a paragraph describing an incident that occurred during the rains which you can never forget.
06 March, 2023
Last Friday, I was scurrying back from work with a sense of urgency. The clouds above were threatening to burst at any moment, and I knew I had to make it home before the downpour. However, fate had other plans for me. Just as I arrived at the bus stop, the heavens opened up, and rain poured down in sheets. I was trapped under a flimsy shelter, cursing my luck. But then, something magical happened. Across the road, I spotted three tiny puppies scampering about, looking lost and confused in the deluge. Suddenly, out of nowhere, their mother appeared and scooped up one of them in her jaws. Without hesitation, she sprinted over to a nearby tree and gently placed the pup in a hole in its trunk. She repeated the process with the other two, all the while shielding them from the pelting rain. As I watched this incredible display of motherly love and ingenuity, I couldn’t help but marvel at the power of nature. Here I was, cursing the rain for inconveniencing me, while a mother dog was using it as a tool to protect her precious offspring. It was a poignant reminder of how nature can both take away and provide refuge, all in the same breath. Truly, the beauty of nature knows no bounds.