Q.1 : In what way is the forest pool different from the one which Ranji knew in the Rajputana desert?
ANS: The forest pool was clean, cold and inviting, whereas the Rajputana desert had sticky, muddy pools where buffaloes wallowed and women washed clothes.
Q.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?
ANS: (i) He expected Ranji to apologise to him and immediately leave the pool.
(ii) He was wrong to ask this question because the pool was in the forest. It was not his personal property.
Q.3: Between Ranji and the other boy, who is trying to start a quarrel? Give a reason for your answer.
ANS: Between Ranji and the other boy, the other boy was trying to start a quarrel. When Ranji saw him, he did not say anything. It was the other boy who asked Ranji to explain himself. Ranji was prepared to be friendly, but was taken aback by the boy’s hostile tone. He even asked the boy to come and swim with him. However, the boy said that it was his pool, and started a fight by calling himself a ‘warrior’.
Q.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?
ANS: (i) When even after a lot of fighting Ranji refused to leave the pool, the other boy said that they would have to continue their fight.
(ii) No, the fight did not continue. After they decided to continue the fight, neither of them took the initiative. Then, the other boy said that they would continue the fight the next day if Ranji dared to come back to the pool.
Q.5: What is it that Ranji finds difficult to explain at home?
ANS: At home, Ranji found it difficult to explain the cuts and bruises that showed on his face, legs and arms. It was difficult to hide the fact that he had been involved in a fight.
Q.6: Ranji sees his adversary in the bazaar.
(i) What does he wish to do?
(ii) What does he actually do, and why?
ANS: (i) When Ranji saw his adversary in the bazaar, he wished to turn away and look elsewhere. Then, he wished to throw the lemonade bottle at his enemy.
(ii) He actually stood his ground and scowled at the other boy. He did not throw the lemonade bottle because he did not want to start a fight in the bazaar.
Q.7: Ranji is not at all eager for a second fight. Why does he go back to the pool, then?
ANS: Ranji was not eager for a second fight, but he still went back to the pool because if he had not turned up, it would have been an acknowledgement of his defeat. He could not quietly accept his defeat. If he surrendered, he would be beaten forever. However, if he fought and got beaten, he could come again to fight and be beaten again. As long as he fought, he had the right to the pool in the forest.
Q.8: Who was the better swimmer? How do you know it?
ANS: Ranji was the better swimmer. When the other boy made fun of him by saying that he would not be able to swim across the pool, Ranji dived straight into the water and surfaced at the other end in a flash. The boy was amazed at how well Ranji had dived, and later, at how he had swum underwater. He said that he did not know how to dive or swim underwater, and asked Ranji to teach him both.
Q.9: What surprises the warrior?
ANS: The warrior was surprised to see how well Ranji had dived and later, at how he had swum underwater.
Q.10: Now that they are at the pool, why don’t they continue the fight?
ANS: The warrior asked Ranji to teach him how to dive. Ranji agreed. He even surprised the warrior by swimming under water. The warrior made efforts to dive and swim underwater. Ranji did not discourage him, and promised to teach him. In return, the warrior promised to turn Ranji into a wrestler. Consequently, they became friends and therefore, did not continue the fight.
Q.11: Ranji’s superiority over the other boy is obvious in the following:
physical strength, good diving, his being a fighter, sense of humour, swimming under water, making a good point, willingness to help.
Underline the relevant phrases.
ANS: The following are the areas in which Ranji is superior to the other boy: good diving, swimming under water and willingness to help.
Q.12: What, according to you, makes the two adversaries turn into good friends in a matter of minutes? Explain it as you have understood it.
ANS: The two adversaries admired certain skills in each other, which they themselves lacked. When the other boy saw how well Ranji dived and swam underwater, he forgot about the fight and asked him to teach him these skills. Ranji’s willingness to help the other boy made their friendship possible. Noticing Ranji’s thin body, the other boy promised him that he would turn him into a wrestler like himself. As a result, in a matter of minutes, the adversaries turned into good friends.