Reach for The Top

NCERT Solution

Answer these questions in one or two sentences each

Question 1: Why was the ‘holy man’ who gave Santosh’s mother his blessings surprised?

Answer: The part of India where Santosh was born has a negative bias against girl child. So the holy man was surprised because Santosh’s grandmother wished for a girl child.

Question 2: Give an example to show that even as a young girl Santosh was not ready to accept anything unreasonable.

Answer: Santosh liked to wear shorts instead of traditional dress prevalent in her village. This shows her rebellious attitude and shows that since early age she had a mind of her own.

Question 3: Why was Santosh sent to the local school?

Answer: It is customary to send a girl child to local school because the aim is to make them literate enough to enable them to read and write. The purpose is not education but literacy.

Question 4: When did she leave home for Delhi, and why?

Answer: When she turned 16 she wanted to pursue higher education so she left for Delhi.

Question 5: Why did Santosh’s parents agree to pay for her schooling in Delhi? What mental qualities of Santosh are brought into light by this incident?

Answer: Santosh threatened to work part time to manage her school fees. On hearing this her parents agreed to pay for her schooling in Delhi. This incidence shows her level of determination towards her goal.

Answer each of these questions in a short paragraph (about 30 words)

Question 1: How did Santosh begin to climb mountains?

Answer: While she was staying at her hostel in Jaipur, she used to see people climbing the Arawali hills. When her curiosity compelled her to go for looking for those people she found them to be mountaineers. On her request they agreed to let her join them in mountain climbing. This is how her journey to become a great mountaineer began.

Question 2: What incidents during the Everest expedition show Santosh’s concern for her team-mates?

Answer: During her Everest expedition she tried to save her fellow climber’s lives. She shared her oxygen cylinder with her team mates. Although one of her team mates could not be saved but another one could be saved because of Santosh’s help.

Question 3: What shows her concern for the environment?

Answer: While returning from the Everest she brought back 500 kgs of rubbish from there. Many mountaineers go for conquering the Everest every year. They leave lots of garbage in their trail. This is threatening the ecology of the Everest. Sontosh’s act of bringing back some garbage shows her concern for the environment.

Question 4: How does she describe her feelings at the summit of the Everest?

Answer: She describes that she was overawed by the experience of reaching at the top of the world. The feeling took its own time to sink in. Then she unfurled the tricolour on the roof of the world. This was a spiritual experience for her.

Question 5: Santosh Yadav got into the record books both times she scaled Mt Everest. What were the reasons for this?

Answer: When she scaled the Everest for the first time she became the youngest woman to reach there. When she went there next time she became the only woman to achieve the feat twice.

On Killing a Tree


Meaning of Poem

This poem is appreciating the resilient qualities of a tree. It takes years for a tree to grow into a full sized one. A tree grows at a slow pace consuming the earth. It keeps on absorbing water, air and sunlight for years and sprouts leaves from its skin in the process. In a sense a tree contains all the powerful energy which the mother earth provides. So this is very difficult to kill a tree. A simple knife injury won’t do the trick. This is opposite to frail human beings who can be killed by a knife.

One needs to chop the full tree, but even this won’t be enough. The tree heals it’s injured bark and from the ground it will once again rise with another miniature replica of its original self, which will ultimately grow to a full size tree. This is a great quality of rising from the ashes which we should try to learn. No matter how much adversity is around the corner one should never say it quits.

More than cutting the outer tree one needs to strangulate the real source of life of the tree. This is the root of the tree. This is the pure white and most sensitive part of the tree, which remains hidden inside the earth. The hidden root gives all the sustenance to a tree. One needs to snap this source of life to kill a tree.

Trees go on to live on for years. There are some trees in the Amazon forest which are said to be more than five hundred years old. We may take some lesson from them to spread our roots deep inside the earth. There had been some great people of yesteryears who still live in our memories. They had spread their roots inside our consciousness and as a result refuse to die.

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