1. In what way is the forest pool different from the one which Ranji knew in the Rajputana desert?
Answer: The pool which Ranji was familiar with in the Rajputana desert was a full of muddy water. It was the favourite watering hole for buffaloes and the washboard for women. It was filthy at its best.
The forest pool was having crystal clear water and one could see the pebbles at the bottom of the pool.
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?
Answer: The other boy expected Ranji to confirm that Ranji was from some nearby village. Asking identity of strangers is not a bad thing, but the way the other boy was asking it was part of ill manners. One cannot claim ownership on public places.
3. Between Ranji and the other boy, who is trying to start a quarrel? Give a reason for your answer.
Answer: When the other boy arrived at the scene Ranji wanted to make friends with him. It was the other boy who insisted on fighting to prove his fiefdom on the pool.
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?
Answer: He conceded defeat but was not mentally prepared to show that he accepted the defeat. He wanted to leave the place without loss of face. So, he said that he would resume the fight next day.
The way Ranji gave a befitting reply to the other boy was enough to shake the confidence of the other boy. These type of people are big cowards, so chances are he may not have returned to the place at all. The way Ranji shows his willingness to make friends initially indicates towards the possibility of beginning of a friendship between them if they happen to meet in future.
5. What is it that Ranji finds difficult to explain at home?
Answer: It was difficult for Ranji to explain the cuts and bruises which he had because of fighting with the boy. Anybody of Ranji’s age will try to hide fights with his parents.
6. Ranji sees his adversary in the bazaar.
(i) What does he wish to do?
(ii) What does he actually do, and why?
Answer: On seeing his adversary in the bazaar first of all Ranji wanted to turn his face and later wanted to throw his lemonade on his adversaries’ face. But instead he stood his ground and passed comments on the other boy. This was his way of showing that he did not concede defeat and was ready for another fight. This was to show that he was a real courageous boy.
7. Ranji is not at all eager for a second fight. Why does he go back to the pool, then?
Answer: Ranjit did not want to miss the joy of swimming in the pool. So, he went back to the pool.
8. Who was the better swimmer? How do you know it?
Answer: The way the boy was surprised after seeing the swimming skill of Ranji tells that Ranji was a better swimmer.
9. What surprises the warrior?
Answer: Ranji’s diving skills surprises the warrior.
10. Now that they are at the pool, why don’t they continue the fight?
Answer: Before resuming their fight they started the usual exchange of war cries. Once Ranji established his superiority in swimming it all boiled down to the warrior accepting Ranji’s superiority which resulted in their friendship.
11. Ranji’s superiority over the other boy is evident 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.
Answer: All except physical strength as the wrestling ended in a draw.
12. What according to you, makes the two adversaries turn into good friends within a matter of minutes?
Answer: It was combination of many factors. The first was the realization on warrior’s part that Ranji was more than a match for him in terms of physical strength and mental strength. The next was Ranji’s show of superior swimming and diving skills. And the final factor is Ranji’s willingness to befriend people and his willingness to share things.