NCERT Textbook - The Fight Class 8 Notes | EduRev

English Class 8

Class 8 : NCERT Textbook - The Fight Class 8 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


I
• Ranji discovers a pool in the forest and plunges into it for a swim.
• There is serious trouble between him and someone else over who
has a right to the pool. A fight ensues.
• The first round  ends in a draw.
RANJI had been less than a month in Rajpur when he discovered the
pool in the forest. It was the height of summer, and his school had
not yet opened, and, having as yet made no friends in this semi-hill
station, he wandered about a good deal by himself into the hills
and forests that stretched away interminably on all sides of the
town. It was hot, very hot, at that time of the year, and Ranji walked
about in his vest and shorts, his brown feet white with the chalky
dust that flew up from the ground. The earth was parched, the
grass brown, the trees listless, hardly stirring, waiting for a cool
wind or a refreshing shower of rain.
It was on such a day — a hot, tired day — that Ranji found the
pool in the forest. The water had a gentle translucency, and you
could see the smooth round pebbles at the bottom of the pool. A
small stream emerged from a cluster of rocks to feed the pool. During
the monsoon, this stream would be a gushing torrent, cascading
down from the hills, but during the summer, it was barely a trickle.
interminably: endlessly  parched: hot and dry  translucency: clarity (possible to see
through)  torrent: rushing stream (of water)  cascading: coming down (like a waterfall)
trickle: weak or thin flow of water.
The fight
6
2019-20
Page 2


I
• Ranji discovers a pool in the forest and plunges into it for a swim.
• There is serious trouble between him and someone else over who
has a right to the pool. A fight ensues.
• The first round  ends in a draw.
RANJI had been less than a month in Rajpur when he discovered the
pool in the forest. It was the height of summer, and his school had
not yet opened, and, having as yet made no friends in this semi-hill
station, he wandered about a good deal by himself into the hills
and forests that stretched away interminably on all sides of the
town. It was hot, very hot, at that time of the year, and Ranji walked
about in his vest and shorts, his brown feet white with the chalky
dust that flew up from the ground. The earth was parched, the
grass brown, the trees listless, hardly stirring, waiting for a cool
wind or a refreshing shower of rain.
It was on such a day — a hot, tired day — that Ranji found the
pool in the forest. The water had a gentle translucency, and you
could see the smooth round pebbles at the bottom of the pool. A
small stream emerged from a cluster of rocks to feed the pool. During
the monsoon, this stream would be a gushing torrent, cascading
down from the hills, but during the summer, it was barely a trickle.
interminably: endlessly  parched: hot and dry  translucency: clarity (possible to see
through)  torrent: rushing stream (of water)  cascading: coming down (like a waterfall)
trickle: weak or thin flow of water.
The fight
6
2019-20
It so happened... 46 46 46 46 46
The rocks, however, held the water in the pool, and it did not dry
up like the pools in the plains.
When Ranji saw the pool, he did not hesitate to get into it. He
had often gone swimming, alone or with friends, when he had lived
with his parents in a thirsty town in the middle of the Rajputana
desert. There, he had known only sticky, muddy pools, where
buffaloes wallowed and women washed clothes. He had never seen
a pool like this — so clean and cold and inviting. He leapt into the
water. His limbs were supple, free of any fat, and his dark body
glistened in patches of sunlit water.
The next day he came again to quench his body in the cool
waters of the forest pool. He was there for almost an hour sliding in
and out of the limpid green water, or lying stretched out on the
smooth yellow rocks in the shade of broad-leaved sal trees. It was
while he lay thus that he noticed another boy standing a little
distance away, staring at him in a rather hostile manner. The other
boy was a little older than Ranji — taller, thickset, with a broad
nose and thick, red lips. He had only just noticed Ranji, and when
Ranji did not say anything, the other called out, “What are you
doing here, Mister?”
Ranji, who was
prepared to be friendly,
was taken aback at the
hostility of the other’s
tone.
“I am swimming,” he
replied. “Why don’t you
join me?”
“I always swim alone,”
said the other. “This is my
pool; I did not invite
you here.”
The stranger strode up
to Ranji, who still sat on
wallowed: rolled about (in mud or dirty water)  quench: cool (his body)  thickset: stout/
solidly built  taken aback: surprised  hostility: ill will/enmity
2019-20
Page 3


I
• Ranji discovers a pool in the forest and plunges into it for a swim.
• There is serious trouble between him and someone else over who
has a right to the pool. A fight ensues.
• The first round  ends in a draw.
RANJI had been less than a month in Rajpur when he discovered the
pool in the forest. It was the height of summer, and his school had
not yet opened, and, having as yet made no friends in this semi-hill
station, he wandered about a good deal by himself into the hills
and forests that stretched away interminably on all sides of the
town. It was hot, very hot, at that time of the year, and Ranji walked
about in his vest and shorts, his brown feet white with the chalky
dust that flew up from the ground. The earth was parched, the
grass brown, the trees listless, hardly stirring, waiting for a cool
wind or a refreshing shower of rain.
It was on such a day — a hot, tired day — that Ranji found the
pool in the forest. The water had a gentle translucency, and you
could see the smooth round pebbles at the bottom of the pool. A
small stream emerged from a cluster of rocks to feed the pool. During
the monsoon, this stream would be a gushing torrent, cascading
down from the hills, but during the summer, it was barely a trickle.
interminably: endlessly  parched: hot and dry  translucency: clarity (possible to see
through)  torrent: rushing stream (of water)  cascading: coming down (like a waterfall)
trickle: weak or thin flow of water.
The fight
6
2019-20
It so happened... 46 46 46 46 46
The rocks, however, held the water in the pool, and it did not dry
up like the pools in the plains.
When Ranji saw the pool, he did not hesitate to get into it. He
had often gone swimming, alone or with friends, when he had lived
with his parents in a thirsty town in the middle of the Rajputana
desert. There, he had known only sticky, muddy pools, where
buffaloes wallowed and women washed clothes. He had never seen
a pool like this — so clean and cold and inviting. He leapt into the
water. His limbs were supple, free of any fat, and his dark body
glistened in patches of sunlit water.
The next day he came again to quench his body in the cool
waters of the forest pool. He was there for almost an hour sliding in
and out of the limpid green water, or lying stretched out on the
smooth yellow rocks in the shade of broad-leaved sal trees. It was
while he lay thus that he noticed another boy standing a little
distance away, staring at him in a rather hostile manner. The other
boy was a little older than Ranji — taller, thickset, with a broad
nose and thick, red lips. He had only just noticed Ranji, and when
Ranji did not say anything, the other called out, “What are you
doing here, Mister?”
Ranji, who was
prepared to be friendly,
was taken aback at the
hostility of the other’s
tone.
“I am swimming,” he
replied. “Why don’t you
join me?”
“I always swim alone,”
said the other. “This is my
pool; I did not invite
you here.”
The stranger strode up
to Ranji, who still sat on
wallowed: rolled about (in mud or dirty water)  quench: cool (his body)  thickset: stout/
solidly built  taken aback: surprised  hostility: ill will/enmity
2019-20
The fight 47 47 47 47 47
the rock and, planting his broad feet firmly on the sand, said (as
though this would settle the matter once and for all), “Don’t you
know I am a Warrior? I do not take replies from villagers like you!”
“So you like to fight with villagers?” said Ranji. “Well, I am  not a
villager. I am a Fighter!”
“I am a Warrior!”
“I am a Fighter!”
They had reached an impasse. One had said he was a Warrior,
the other had proclaimed himself a Fighter. There was little else
that could be said.
“You understand that I am a Warrior?” said the stranger,  feeling
that perhaps this information had not penetrated Ranji’s head.
“I have heard you say it three times,” replied Ranji.
“Then why are you not running away?”
“I am waiting for you to run away!”
“I will have to beat you,” said the stranger, assuming a violent
attitude, showing Ranji the palm of his hand.
“I am waiting to see you do it,” said Ranji.
“You will see me do it,” said the other boy.
Ranji waited. The other boy made a strange, hissing sound. They
stared each other in the eye for almost a minute. Then the Warrior
slapped Ranji across the face with all the force he could muster.
Ranji staggered, feeling quite dizzy. There were thick red finger marks
on his cheek.
“There you are!” exclaimed his assailant. “Will you be off now?”
For answer, Ranji swung his arm up and pushed a hard, bony
fist into the other’s face.
And then they were at each other’s throats, swaying on the rock,
tumbling on to the sand, rolling over and over, their legs and arms
locked in a desperate, violent struggle. Gasping and cursing, clawing
and slapping, they rolled into the shallows of the pool.
Even in the water the fight continued as, spluttering and covered
with mud, they groped for each other’s head and throat. But after
impasse: (also pronounced ampass) deadlock; place or position from which there is no way
out  penetrated: gone through/into  muster: (here) use; collect or gather  staggered: felt
weak/unsteady (due to the blow)  assailant: the person who attacks; (here) enemy/ adversary
swaying: moving from side to side (in the fight)  spluttering: speaking quickly/confusedly
2019-20
Page 4


I
• Ranji discovers a pool in the forest and plunges into it for a swim.
• There is serious trouble between him and someone else over who
has a right to the pool. A fight ensues.
• The first round  ends in a draw.
RANJI had been less than a month in Rajpur when he discovered the
pool in the forest. It was the height of summer, and his school had
not yet opened, and, having as yet made no friends in this semi-hill
station, he wandered about a good deal by himself into the hills
and forests that stretched away interminably on all sides of the
town. It was hot, very hot, at that time of the year, and Ranji walked
about in his vest and shorts, his brown feet white with the chalky
dust that flew up from the ground. The earth was parched, the
grass brown, the trees listless, hardly stirring, waiting for a cool
wind or a refreshing shower of rain.
It was on such a day — a hot, tired day — that Ranji found the
pool in the forest. The water had a gentle translucency, and you
could see the smooth round pebbles at the bottom of the pool. A
small stream emerged from a cluster of rocks to feed the pool. During
the monsoon, this stream would be a gushing torrent, cascading
down from the hills, but during the summer, it was barely a trickle.
interminably: endlessly  parched: hot and dry  translucency: clarity (possible to see
through)  torrent: rushing stream (of water)  cascading: coming down (like a waterfall)
trickle: weak or thin flow of water.
The fight
6
2019-20
It so happened... 46 46 46 46 46
The rocks, however, held the water in the pool, and it did not dry
up like the pools in the plains.
When Ranji saw the pool, he did not hesitate to get into it. He
had often gone swimming, alone or with friends, when he had lived
with his parents in a thirsty town in the middle of the Rajputana
desert. There, he had known only sticky, muddy pools, where
buffaloes wallowed and women washed clothes. He had never seen
a pool like this — so clean and cold and inviting. He leapt into the
water. His limbs were supple, free of any fat, and his dark body
glistened in patches of sunlit water.
The next day he came again to quench his body in the cool
waters of the forest pool. He was there for almost an hour sliding in
and out of the limpid green water, or lying stretched out on the
smooth yellow rocks in the shade of broad-leaved sal trees. It was
while he lay thus that he noticed another boy standing a little
distance away, staring at him in a rather hostile manner. The other
boy was a little older than Ranji — taller, thickset, with a broad
nose and thick, red lips. He had only just noticed Ranji, and when
Ranji did not say anything, the other called out, “What are you
doing here, Mister?”
Ranji, who was
prepared to be friendly,
was taken aback at the
hostility of the other’s
tone.
“I am swimming,” he
replied. “Why don’t you
join me?”
“I always swim alone,”
said the other. “This is my
pool; I did not invite
you here.”
The stranger strode up
to Ranji, who still sat on
wallowed: rolled about (in mud or dirty water)  quench: cool (his body)  thickset: stout/
solidly built  taken aback: surprised  hostility: ill will/enmity
2019-20
The fight 47 47 47 47 47
the rock and, planting his broad feet firmly on the sand, said (as
though this would settle the matter once and for all), “Don’t you
know I am a Warrior? I do not take replies from villagers like you!”
“So you like to fight with villagers?” said Ranji. “Well, I am  not a
villager. I am a Fighter!”
“I am a Warrior!”
“I am a Fighter!”
They had reached an impasse. One had said he was a Warrior,
the other had proclaimed himself a Fighter. There was little else
that could be said.
“You understand that I am a Warrior?” said the stranger,  feeling
that perhaps this information had not penetrated Ranji’s head.
“I have heard you say it three times,” replied Ranji.
“Then why are you not running away?”
“I am waiting for you to run away!”
“I will have to beat you,” said the stranger, assuming a violent
attitude, showing Ranji the palm of his hand.
“I am waiting to see you do it,” said Ranji.
“You will see me do it,” said the other boy.
Ranji waited. The other boy made a strange, hissing sound. They
stared each other in the eye for almost a minute. Then the Warrior
slapped Ranji across the face with all the force he could muster.
Ranji staggered, feeling quite dizzy. There were thick red finger marks
on his cheek.
“There you are!” exclaimed his assailant. “Will you be off now?”
For answer, Ranji swung his arm up and pushed a hard, bony
fist into the other’s face.
And then they were at each other’s throats, swaying on the rock,
tumbling on to the sand, rolling over and over, their legs and arms
locked in a desperate, violent struggle. Gasping and cursing, clawing
and slapping, they rolled into the shallows of the pool.
Even in the water the fight continued as, spluttering and covered
with mud, they groped for each other’s head and throat. But after
impasse: (also pronounced ampass) deadlock; place or position from which there is no way
out  penetrated: gone through/into  muster: (here) use; collect or gather  staggered: felt
weak/unsteady (due to the blow)  assailant: the person who attacks; (here) enemy/ adversary
swaying: moving from side to side (in the fight)  spluttering: speaking quickly/confusedly
2019-20
It so happened... 48 48 48 48 48
five minutes of frenzied, unscientific struggle, neither boy had
emerged victorious. Their bodies heaving with exhaustion, they stood
back from each other, making tremendous efforts to speak.
“Now — now do you realise — I am a Warrior?” gasped the
stranger.
“Do you know I am a Fighter?” said Ranji with difficulty.
They gave a moment’s consideration to each other’s answers
and, in that moment of silence, there was only their heavy breathing
and the rapid beating of their hearts.
“Then you will not leave the pool?” said the warrior.
“I will not leave it,” said Ranji.
“Then we shall have to continue the fight,” said the other.
 “All right,” said Ranji.
But neither boy moved, neither took the initiative.
The warrior had an inspiration.
“We will continue the fight tomorrow,” he said. “If you dare to
frenzied: violent  exhaustion: tiredness/fatigue  tremendous: great  rapid: quick/fast
inspiration: (here) a new idea.
2019-20
Page 5


I
• Ranji discovers a pool in the forest and plunges into it for a swim.
• There is serious trouble between him and someone else over who
has a right to the pool. A fight ensues.
• The first round  ends in a draw.
RANJI had been less than a month in Rajpur when he discovered the
pool in the forest. It was the height of summer, and his school had
not yet opened, and, having as yet made no friends in this semi-hill
station, he wandered about a good deal by himself into the hills
and forests that stretched away interminably on all sides of the
town. It was hot, very hot, at that time of the year, and Ranji walked
about in his vest and shorts, his brown feet white with the chalky
dust that flew up from the ground. The earth was parched, the
grass brown, the trees listless, hardly stirring, waiting for a cool
wind or a refreshing shower of rain.
It was on such a day — a hot, tired day — that Ranji found the
pool in the forest. The water had a gentle translucency, and you
could see the smooth round pebbles at the bottom of the pool. A
small stream emerged from a cluster of rocks to feed the pool. During
the monsoon, this stream would be a gushing torrent, cascading
down from the hills, but during the summer, it was barely a trickle.
interminably: endlessly  parched: hot and dry  translucency: clarity (possible to see
through)  torrent: rushing stream (of water)  cascading: coming down (like a waterfall)
trickle: weak or thin flow of water.
The fight
6
2019-20
It so happened... 46 46 46 46 46
The rocks, however, held the water in the pool, and it did not dry
up like the pools in the plains.
When Ranji saw the pool, he did not hesitate to get into it. He
had often gone swimming, alone or with friends, when he had lived
with his parents in a thirsty town in the middle of the Rajputana
desert. There, he had known only sticky, muddy pools, where
buffaloes wallowed and women washed clothes. He had never seen
a pool like this — so clean and cold and inviting. He leapt into the
water. His limbs were supple, free of any fat, and his dark body
glistened in patches of sunlit water.
The next day he came again to quench his body in the cool
waters of the forest pool. He was there for almost an hour sliding in
and out of the limpid green water, or lying stretched out on the
smooth yellow rocks in the shade of broad-leaved sal trees. It was
while he lay thus that he noticed another boy standing a little
distance away, staring at him in a rather hostile manner. The other
boy was a little older than Ranji — taller, thickset, with a broad
nose and thick, red lips. He had only just noticed Ranji, and when
Ranji did not say anything, the other called out, “What are you
doing here, Mister?”
Ranji, who was
prepared to be friendly,
was taken aback at the
hostility of the other’s
tone.
“I am swimming,” he
replied. “Why don’t you
join me?”
“I always swim alone,”
said the other. “This is my
pool; I did not invite
you here.”
The stranger strode up
to Ranji, who still sat on
wallowed: rolled about (in mud or dirty water)  quench: cool (his body)  thickset: stout/
solidly built  taken aback: surprised  hostility: ill will/enmity
2019-20
The fight 47 47 47 47 47
the rock and, planting his broad feet firmly on the sand, said (as
though this would settle the matter once and for all), “Don’t you
know I am a Warrior? I do not take replies from villagers like you!”
“So you like to fight with villagers?” said Ranji. “Well, I am  not a
villager. I am a Fighter!”
“I am a Warrior!”
“I am a Fighter!”
They had reached an impasse. One had said he was a Warrior,
the other had proclaimed himself a Fighter. There was little else
that could be said.
“You understand that I am a Warrior?” said the stranger,  feeling
that perhaps this information had not penetrated Ranji’s head.
“I have heard you say it three times,” replied Ranji.
“Then why are you not running away?”
“I am waiting for you to run away!”
“I will have to beat you,” said the stranger, assuming a violent
attitude, showing Ranji the palm of his hand.
“I am waiting to see you do it,” said Ranji.
“You will see me do it,” said the other boy.
Ranji waited. The other boy made a strange, hissing sound. They
stared each other in the eye for almost a minute. Then the Warrior
slapped Ranji across the face with all the force he could muster.
Ranji staggered, feeling quite dizzy. There were thick red finger marks
on his cheek.
“There you are!” exclaimed his assailant. “Will you be off now?”
For answer, Ranji swung his arm up and pushed a hard, bony
fist into the other’s face.
And then they were at each other’s throats, swaying on the rock,
tumbling on to the sand, rolling over and over, their legs and arms
locked in a desperate, violent struggle. Gasping and cursing, clawing
and slapping, they rolled into the shallows of the pool.
Even in the water the fight continued as, spluttering and covered
with mud, they groped for each other’s head and throat. But after
impasse: (also pronounced ampass) deadlock; place or position from which there is no way
out  penetrated: gone through/into  muster: (here) use; collect or gather  staggered: felt
weak/unsteady (due to the blow)  assailant: the person who attacks; (here) enemy/ adversary
swaying: moving from side to side (in the fight)  spluttering: speaking quickly/confusedly
2019-20
It so happened... 48 48 48 48 48
five minutes of frenzied, unscientific struggle, neither boy had
emerged victorious. Their bodies heaving with exhaustion, they stood
back from each other, making tremendous efforts to speak.
“Now — now do you realise — I am a Warrior?” gasped the
stranger.
“Do you know I am a Fighter?” said Ranji with difficulty.
They gave a moment’s consideration to each other’s answers
and, in that moment of silence, there was only their heavy breathing
and the rapid beating of their hearts.
“Then you will not leave the pool?” said the warrior.
“I will not leave it,” said Ranji.
“Then we shall have to continue the fight,” said the other.
 “All right,” said Ranji.
But neither boy moved, neither took the initiative.
The warrior had an inspiration.
“We will continue the fight tomorrow,” he said. “If you dare to
frenzied: violent  exhaustion: tiredness/fatigue  tremendous: great  rapid: quick/fast
inspiration: (here) a new idea.
2019-20
The fight 49 49 49 49 49
come here again tomorrow, we will continue this fight, and I will
not show you mercy as I have done today.”
“I will come tomorrow,” said Ranji. “I will be ready for you.”
They turned from each other then and, going to their respective
rocks, put on their clothes, and left the forest by different routes.
Comprehension Check
1. In what way is the forest pool different from the one which Ranji knew
in the Rajputana desert?
2. The other boy asked Ranji to ‘explain’ himself.
(i) What did he expect Ranji to say?
(ii) Was he, in your opinion, right or wrong to ask this question?
3. Between Ranji and the other boy, who is trying to start a quarrel? Give
a reason for your answer.
4. “Then we will have to continue the fight,” said the other.
(i) What made him say that?
(ii) Did the fight continue? If not, why not?
II
• Next day the two claimants face each other across the pool.
• They throw challenges and counter-challenges at each other.
• The best solution, they realise, lies not in fighting each other but
fighting together for something.
When Ranji got home, he found it difficult to explain the cuts
and bruises that showed on his face, leg and arms. It was difficult
to conceal the fact that he had been in an unusually violent
fight, and his mother insisted on his staying at home for the
rest of the day. That evening, though, he slipped out of the
house and went to the bazaar, where he found comfort and
solace in a bottle of vividly coloured lemonade and a banana
leaf full of hot, sweet jalebis. He had just finished the lemonade
when he saw his adversary coming down the road. His first
impulse was to turn away and look elsewhere, his second to
throw the lemonade bottle at his enemy. But he did neither of
2019-20
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