Chapter 8 A Short Monsoon Diary

Comprehension Check (Page 115)


  1. Why is the author not able to see Bijju?
  2. What are the two ways in which the hills appear to change when the mist comes up?


  1. The author could not see Bijju because of the mist that concealed the hills. He could only hear his voice but could not see him.
  2. When the mist comes up, it covers the hills and spreads silence.

Comprehension Check (Page 117)


  1. When does the monsoon season begin and when does it end? How do you prepare to face the monsoon?
  2. Which hill-station does the author describe in the diary entry?
  3. For how many days does it rain without stopping? What does the author do on these days?
  4. Where do the snakes and rodents take shelter? Why?
  5. What did the author receive in the mail?


  1. The monsoon season in Mussorie begins from June 24/25. By August 2, the people are fed up with rain. It ends by August 31. Then begins winter rains which end by late March. We take out our rain coats and umbrellas to face the monsoon.
  2. Mussoorie
  3. It rains non-stop for eight or nine days. The author keeps pacing the room and looking out of the window.
  4. The rodents and snakes take shelter in roofs, attics and godowns. They do so because their holes are flooded with rain water.
  5. The author received a cheque in the mail.

Working With the Text (Page 118)

Question 1:
Look carefully at the diary entries for June 24-25, August 2 and March 23. Now write down the changes that happen as the rains progress from June to March.
Rains in Mussoorie begin in June and end by March. June 24 is the first day of monsoon mist which covered the hills and spreads silence. On August 2 it rained all night and made sleeping difficult. By late March ends winter as well as the rains.

Question 2:
Why did the grandmother ask the children not to kill the Chuchundar?
The grandmother told the children not to kill the Chuchundars because they brought good luck and money.

Question 3:
What signs do we find in Nature which show that the monsoons are about to end?
By the end of the monsoon the greenery is at its peak. The seeds of the cobra lily turn red. A rainbow is formed in the sky.

Question 4:
Complete the following sentences.

  1. Bijju is not seen but his voice is heard because__________ .
  2. The writer describes the hill station and valley as _________ .
  3. The leopard was’ successful in________ but had to flee when
  4. The minivets are easily noticed because _________ .
  5. It looks like a fashion display on the slopes when_________.
  6. During the monsoon season, snakes and rodents are found in roofs and attics because _________.


  1. dense mist covers and hides the hills.
  2. ‘A paradise that might have been.’
  3. killing a dog but had to flee when Bijju’s mother arrived crying curses.
  4. of their bright colours.
  5. they are covered by a variety of flowers.
  6. their holes are flooded with water and these places provide them conve­nient shelter.

Question 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.’

  1. Why has the writer used the word, ‘springing’?
  2. How is the writer untouched by the rain?
  3. How is the writer in touch with the rain at the same time?


  1. The word ‘springing’ is used to show suddenness with which water starts leaking.
  2. Because he is inside the room.
  3. He hears the drumming of rain on the tin roof. He also looks out of the window to see the rains.

Question 6:
Mention a few things that can happen when there is endless rain for days together?
A long spell of rain makes life miserable. One is closed up in his room. Everything becomes damp and soggy. Rodents, snakes and insects enter the house for shelter.

Question 7:
What is the significance of cobra lily in relation to the monsoon season, its beginning and end?
At first cobra lily appears with the arrival of the monsoon. When the cobra seeds begin to turn red, it indicates the rains are coming to an end.

Working With Language (Page 118)

Question 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?

downpour  floods   mist   cloudy   powercuts   cold   umbrella

rain, water, fog, raincoats, thunder, dampness, lakes etc.
In my language I find the alternative words like the following:
बौछार , बूंदाबांदी , तुषार, धुंध , सीत , छतरी, रेनकोट , आंधी , इत्यादी l

Question 2:
Look at the sentences below.

(i) Bijju wandered into the garden in the evening.
(ii) The trees were ringing with birdsong.
Notice the highlighted verb.
The verb wandered tells us what Bijju did that evening. But the verb was ringing tells us what was happening continually at same time in the past (the birds were chirping in the trees).
Now look the at 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.

  1. We (get out) of the school bus. The bell (ring) and everyone (rush) to class.
  2. The traffic (stop). Some people (sit) on the road and they (shout) slogans.
  3. I (wear) my raincoat. It (rain) and people (get) wet.
  4. She (see) a film. She (narrate) it to her friends who (listen) carefully.
  5. We (go) to the exhibition. Some people (buy) clothes while others (play) games,
  6. The class (is) quiet. Some children (read) books and the rest (draw).


  1. We got out of the school bus. The bell was ringing and everyone was rushing to class.
  2. The traffic stopped. Some people were sitting on the road and they were shouting slogans.
  3. I wore my raincoat. It was raining and people were getting wet.
  4. She saw a film. She was narrating it to her friends who were listening carefully,
  5. We went to the exhibition. Some people were buying clothes while others were playing games.
  6. The class was quiet. Some children were reading books and the rest were drawing.

Question 3:
Here are some words from the lesson which describe different kinds of sounds.

drum  swish  tinkle  caw  drip

(i) Match these words with their correct meanings.

  1. to fall in small drops.
  2. to make a sound by hitting a surface repeatedly.
  3. to move quickly through the air, making a soft sound.
  4. harsh sound made by birds.
  5. ringing sound (of a bell or breaking glass, etc.).

(ii) Now fill in the blanks using the correct form of the words given above.

  1. Ramesh _______ on his desk in impatience.
  2. Rain water_____ from the umbrella all over the carpet.
  3. The pony______ its tail.
  4. The_____ of breaking glass woke me up.
  5. The_____ of the raven disturbed the child’s sleep.


(i) (1) drip (2) drum (3) swish (4) caw (5) tinkle.
(ii) (1) drummed (2) dripped (3) was swishing (4) tinkle (5) caw

Question 4:
And sure enough. I received a cheque in the mail.
Complete each sentence below by using appropriate phrase from the ones given below.

sure enough            colourful enough        serious enough
kind enough           big enough                    fair enough
brave enough         foolish enough           anxious enough

  1. I saw thick black clouds in the sky and___ ____ it soon started raining heavily.
  2. The blue umbrella was___ ____ for the brother and sister.
  3. The butterflies are___ _____ to get noticed.
  4. The lady was___ _____to chase the leopard.
  5. The boy was____ ____ to call out to his sister.
  6. The man was____ ____ to offer help.
  7. The victim’s injury was____ _____ for him to get admitted in hospital.
  8. That person was____ _____ to repeat the same mistake again.
  9. He told me he was sorry and he would compensate for the loss. I said, ‘___ _____’.


  1. sure enough
  2. big enough
  3. colourful enough
  4. brave enough
  5. anxious enough
  6. kind enough
  7. serious enough
  8. foolish enough
  9. Fair enough

Speaking (Page 120)

Question 1:
Do you believe in superstitions? Why, or why not? Working with your partner, write down three superstitious beliefs that you are familiar with.
Truly speaking, I don’t believe in superstitions. These are blind beliefs. The ignorant and conservative people observe them. Superstitions have no scientific base or proof. The common superstitions are:
(i) 13 is an ominous number.
(ii) Don’t start a new project on Saturday.
(iii) Stop if a black cat crosses your path.

Question 2:
How many different kinds of birds do you come across in the lesson? How many varieties do you see in your neighbourhood? Are there any birds that you used to see earlier in your neighbourhood but not now? In groups discuss why you think this is happening.
We come across different kinds of birds in this lesson. These are minivets, drongos, tree creepers and crows. We see sparrows, pigeons, and nightingales in our neighbourhood. Earlier we used to see big birds like kites and parrots in our neighbourhood. But these have become extinct now.

Writing (Page 121)

Question 1:
The monsoons are a time of great fun and even a few adventures: playing in the rain and getting wet, wading through knee-deep water on your way to school, wa­ter flooding the house or the classroom, power cuts and so on. Write a paragraph describing an incident that occurred during the rains which you can never forget.
(See NCERT Text Book Page 121)
Write a poem of your own about the season of spring when trees are in full bloom.
Attempt it yourself.



Question 1:
What is a diary? What do the extracts from Ruskin Bond’s diary portray?
A diary is a record of personal experiences/events that occur in one’s life. It is written day after day over a long period of time. The extracts from Ruskin Bond’s diary portray monsoon season and the changes that occur as the rains progress from June to March.

Question 2:
How does the author describe the first day of monsoon mist?
On the first day of monsoon mist all the birds suddenly fall silent and with it absolute silence is spread. The hills got hidden by the mist. The forest is deadly still as though it were midnight.

Question 3:
How does the author describe the scarlet minivets?
The scarlet minivets are seen during rainy season. They flit silently among the leaves like brilliant jewels. No matter how leafy the trees, these brightly coloured birds cannot hide themselves.

Question 4:
Why couldn’t the author sleep on August 2 night?
On August 2 it rained throughout the night. The rain had been drumming on the corrugated tin roof. There had been a steady swish of a tropical downpour. The author, therefore, couldn’t sleep.

Question 5:
What happened on August 12?
Heavy downpour started on August 12. The rain continued for eight or nine days. Everything got damp and soggy. The author had to stay inside during these days.

Question 6:
Name the flowers that you come across in the lesson.
Wild balsom, dahlias, begonias, ground orchids, cobra lilies etc.


Question 1:
Who are the seasonal visitors? How does the author describe them?
The seasonal visitors are a leopard, several thousand leeches and different kinds of birds. The leopard created nuisance. It lifted a dog from near the servants’ quarter below the school. In the evening, it attacked one of Bijju’s cows. The scarlet minivets flitted silently among the leaves like brilliant jewels. No matter how leafy the trees, these brightly coloured birds could not conceal themselves. There was also a pair of drongos. They looked aggressive and chased the minivets away.
A tree creeper moved rapidly up the trunk of the oak tree, snapping up insects, all the way.

Question 2:
Sum up the main ideas of the author’s Monsoon Diary in about 100 words.
The writer was in Mussoorie, a hill station in U.P. The first day of monsoon brought mist. The birds got silent and the hills became invisible. On June 25, came the early monsoon rain. He described the hill station as A paradise’ that might have been’ to a school boy. With the onset of the monsoon one could see leopards and leeches and the colourful minivet birds. There was no dearth of insects for the birds to eat. On August 2, it rained heavily and non-stop. The roofs began to leak. The rain stopped on August 3. The sunlight fell on the hills and the song birds began to sing. On August 12, there was heavy downpour and mist for more than a week. Everything was damp. Meanwhile wild flowers began to appear. August 31 saw the greenery at its peak. Snakes and rodents came out of their flooded holes and hid in roofs or godowns. Winter rain, hailstones and snow came on October 3. The author couldn’t go outside and he felt very lonely in his room. Late March saw the end of winter. He received a cheque in the mail.