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English CBSE Class 9 NCERT Moments Chapter 1 The Lost Child Line by Line Explanation and Meaning of Difficult Words

THE LOST CHILD

(Explanation)

IT was the festival of spring. From the wintry shades of narrow lanes and alleys emerged a gaily clad humanity.

Word Meaning
Wintry Of winter season, Cold, Chilly
Lanes Narrow roads
Alleys Narrow pathways
Emerged Appeared
Gaily Happily
Clad Wearing, Attired
Humanity Crowd

It was season of spring and a day of festival. The weather was cold. Several people were walking on roads and pathways. They all looked happy. They were wearing good clothes.

 

Some walked, some rode on horses, others sat, being carried in bamboo and bullock carts. One little boy ran between his father’s legs, brimming over with life and laughter.

Word Meaning
Brimming over Full of, To exhibit, To a great extent

Some people were walking. Some were riding on horses. Some were being carried in platforms made by bamboos. Some were travelling in bullock carts. Author wants to say that almost everybody of the town had come out of their houses. A person was walking with his little son. Father was walking while the boy had to run to keep pace with his father. Height of the boy was less than the height of legs of his father. They boy looked very happy.

 

“Come, child, come,” called his parents, as he lagged behind, fascinated by the toys in the shops that lined the way.

Word Meaning
Lagged behind Remained behind, Did not maintain pace
Fascinated Impressed, Attracted
Shops that lined the way Shops along the way

They boy was highly impressed and attracted to toys placed in the shops. His parents had to repeatedly ask him to move forward.

 

He hurried towards his parents, his feet obedient to their call, his eyes still lingering on the receding toys.

Word Meaning
Hurried Walked quickly
Lingering on Remaining, Continued to see
Receding Going behind

The boy obediently and quickly walked towards his parents. But he was still looking at the toys in a shop that had gone behind.

 

As he came to where they had stopped to wait for him, he could not suppress the desire of his heart, even though he well knew the old, cold stare of refusal in their eyes.

Word Meaning
Suppress Control
Stare Gaze
Cold stare Unemotional gaze

The boy came running to his parents. They had stopped for a while to wait for him. He could not control his desire to purchase that toy. Although he was aware that his parents will refuse to buy.

 

“I want that toy,” he pleaded.

His father looked at him red-eyed, in his familiar tyrant’s way. His mother, melted by the free spirit of the day was tender and, giving him her finger to hold, said, “Look, child, what is before you!”

Word Meaning
Pleaded Requested earnestly
Familiar Known, Normal
Tyrant Dictator
Melted by Became soft natured
Tender Soft, Kind, Mild

The boy requested that he wanted to buy that toy. His father looked at him with his red eyes. Father normally behaved like a dictator. His mother was a bit soft because it was a day of festival. She was kind to him. She asked him to hold her finger and advised him to look ahead. She did not want him to look towards shops.

It was a flowering mustard-field, pale like melting gold as it swept across miles and miles of even land.

Word Meaning
Swept across Spread across
Even land Plane land, Not uneven land

In the fields yellow flowers had grown on crop of mustard. It looked as if gold has been melted and poured on a large area. The area of field was fairly plane. It did not have much undulations or slope.

 

A group of dragon-flies were bustling about on their gaudy purple wings, intercepting the flight of a lone black bee or butterfly in search of sweetness from the flowers.

Word Meaning
Dragon fly Type of insect
Bustling about Moving
Gaudy Of dark colour
Intercepting Crossing

A group of dragon-flies was moving around. Their wings were of dark purple colour. Many times they crossed the path of a bee or a butterfly. Bees and butterflies had come to the field in search of sweetness of flowers.

 

The child followed them in the air with his gaze, till one of them would still its wings and rest, and he would try to catch it. But it would go fluttering, flapping, up into the air, when he had almost caught it in his hands. Then his mother gave a cautionary call: “Come, child, come, come on to the footpath.”

Word Meaning
Fluttering Sound produced by movement of wings
Flapping Moving the wings

The child looked at dragon-flies while they were flying in air. He continued to follow these till one of them sat somewhere. Then he tried to catch it. But he could not catch any. These would again move into the air before being caught. Probably he moved on the road while trying to catch a dragonfly. So his mother advised him to walk on footpath only.

 

He ran towards his parents gaily and walked abreast of them for a while, being, however, soon left behind, attracted by the little insects and worms along the footpath that were teeming out from their hiding places to enjoy the sunshine.

Word Meaning
Abreast of Ahead of
For a while For a short time
Teeming out Coming out in groups

He happily ran towards his parents. For a short period of time he walked ahead of them. But very soon he was once again behind them. This time he was attracted by insects and worms. These were coming out in large groups from their place of hiding. Probably they also wanted to enjoy the good sunshine of the day.

 

“Come, child, come!” his parents called from the shade of a grove where they had seated themselves on the edge of a well. He ran towards them.

Word Meaning
Grove A small group of trees

His parents sat in the shade of a small group of trees. There was a well in the shade. They were sitting on the edge of a well. They called their son to come to them. He came running.

 

A shower of young flowers fell upon the child as he entered the grove, and, forgetting his parents, he began to gather the raining petals in his hands.

Word Meaning
Young flowers Small flowers, New flowers
Gather Collect
Petals Leaves of flowers

When the child came in the shade of grove, many small flowers fell on him. He forgot about presence of his parents. He started collecting petals falling from trees in his hands.

 

But lo! he heard the cooing of doves and ran towards his parents, shouting, “The dove! The dove!” The raining petals dropped from his forgotten hands.

Word Meaning
Cooing of dove Voice of dove

Now he heard the voice of a dove. He was very excited to hear the voice. He ran towards his parent shouting ‘The Dove’. He forgot that he had collected petals in his hands. So all the petals fell on the ground.

 

“Come, child, come!” they called to the child, who had now gone running in wild capers round the banyan tree, and gathering him up they took the narrow, winding footpath which led to the fair through the mustard fields.

Word Meaning
Wild capers Flowers growing in a jungle
Winding footpath Footpath with many curves and bends

Now the child had gone behind a banyan tree. Several wild flowers had grown there. Parent called the child. Together they started walking on narrow curved footpath. That footpath was leading through the fields of mustard to the site of fair.

 

As they neared the village the child could see many other footpaths full of throngs, converging to the whirlpool of the fair, and felt at once repelled and fascinated by the confusion of the world he was entering.

Word Meaning
Neared Came near
Throngs Crowd
Converging Meeting
Whirlpool Huge movement
Repelled Distracted, Afraid

When they reached closer to the village of the fair, the child saw many footpaths leading to the fair. Each footpath was full of crowd moving towards fair. It was huge movement of people. The child was afraid. He was also attracted towards such a big gathering of people. Because of the large crowd there could be many confusions in the fair.

 

A sweetmeat seller hawked, “gulab-jaman, rasagulla, burfi, jalebi,” at the corner of the entrance and a crowd pressed round his counter at the foot of an architecture of many coloured sweets, decorated with leaves of silver and gold.

Word Meaning
Sweetmeat seller One who sells sweets
Hawked Shouted
A crowd pressed round his counter Crowd gathered at his counter

A seller of sweets was shouting names of various sweets available at his shop. This shop was at the corner near the entrance of the fair. A big crowd had already gathered in front of his shop. He had nicely arranged sweets at his counter. These sweets were decorated with leaves of golden and silver colour.

 

The child stared openeyed and his mouth watered for the burfi that was his favourite sweet. “I want that burfi,” he slowly murmured. But he half knew as he begged that his plea would not be heeded because his parents would say he was greedy. So without waiting for an answer he moved on.

Word Meaning
Openeyed Without closing eyelids
Murmured Whispered, Spoke in low voice
Half knew Almost sure
Plea Request
Would not be heeded Would not be accepted
Heed To accept

The child looked at burfi without closing his eyelids. It was his favourite sweet. He slowly whispered that he wanted to eat burfi. But he was almost sure that his request will not be accepted. His parent would tell that he was greedy. So he did not wait for an answer from his parents. He kept on moving.

 

A flower-seller hawked, “A garland of gulmohur, a garland of gulmohur!” The child seemed irresistibly drawn. He went towards the basket where the flowers lay heaped and half murmured, “I want that garland.” But he well knew his parents would refuse to buy him those flowers because they would say that they were cheap. So, without waiting for an answer, he moved on.

Word Meaning
Irresistibly Without any control
Drawn Attracted
Well knew Knew for sure
Cheap Not good

A seller of flowers was shouting to sell gulmohur flowers and garlands made of these flowers. The child could not control himself and he was attracted to the shop. He went towards the basket where flowers were kept. He softly said that he wanted to buy that garland. He was sure that his parent would not buy it for him. They would say that it was not a good garland. He did not wait for any answer from his parents. He kept walking.

 

A man stood holding a pole with yellow, red, green and purple balloons flying from it. The child was simply carried away by the rainbow glory of their silken colours and he was filled with an overwhelming desire to possess them all.

Word Meaning
Carried away Got attracted, Became happy,
Overwhelming Immense, Huge,
Posses To own

A man was holding a pole and standing near it. Balloons of various colours were tied on the pole. These looked like a rainbow. The child was fully attracted towards balloons. He had a huge desire to buy all the balloons.

 

But he well knew his parents would never buy him the balloons because they would say he was too old to play with such toys. So he walked on farther.

Word Meaning
Too old to play Not of the age to play with balloons
Farther Greater distance

But he was sure that his parent would not buy these for him. They would say that he was now a grown up child. He should not play with balloons. So he continued to walk away from balloons.

 

A snake-charmer stood playing a flute to a snake which coiled itself in a basket, its head raised in a graceful bend like the neck of a swan, while the music stole into its invisible ears like the gentle rippling of an invisible waterfall.

Word Meaning
Snake charmer Person who makes snake move on the music
Coiled Bent in the shape of circle
Graceful Stylish,
Swan A bird with long neck
Stole into Entered into
Invisible That cannot be seen
Gentle Soft, Moderate, Kind
Rippling Movement of water in the pattern of wave

A snake charmer was playing a flute. In the basket a snake was sitting in shape of a circle. It had raised its head in the style of the neck of a swan. It appeared that the music was entering into its invisible ears. The music was like the sound of water in a waterfall.

 

The child went towards the snake-charmer. But, knowing his parents had forbidden him to hear such coarse music as the snake-charmer played, he proceeded farther.

Word Meaning
Forbidden Prohibited, Not permitted
Coarse Harsh
Proceeded Went

The child started moving towards the snake charmer. He was aware that his parents had not given the permission to hear such harsh music played by snake charmer. So he went ahead with his parents.

 

There was a roundabout in full swing. Men, women and children, carried away in a whirling motion, shrieked and cried with dizzy laughter.

Word Meaning
Roundabout A swing that moves in circular motion
Whirling Circular
Shrieked Shouted loudly
Dizzy Very high, Loud

There was a swing that was moving in circular fashion. Many kids, men and women were riding that swing. They moved in a fast circular motion. They shouted and laughed loudly.

 

The child watched them intently and then he made a bold request: “I want to go on the roundabout, please, Father, Mother.”

Word Meaning
Intently Carefully
Bold Courageous

The child carefully looked at them. Then he made a courageous request to his parents. He wanted to ride that roundabout.

 

There was no reply. He turned to look at his parents. They were not there, ahead of him. He turned to look on either side. They were not there. He looked behind. There was no sign of them.

Word Meaning
No sign of them They were not seen, They were not there

The child did not receive any reply from his parents. His parent were not ahead of him. He looked back and to his sides. He did not see his parents.

 

A full, deep cry rose within his dry throat and with a sudden jerk of his body he ran from where he stood, crying in real fear, “Mother, Father.” Tears rolled down from his eyes, hot and fierce; his flushed face was convulsed with fear.

Word Meaning
Rolled down Started coming down
Fierce Causing fear
Flushed Became red
Convulsed Distorted, Shaking

He was now afraid, his throat became dry. He started crying loudly. Suddenly he started running. He was crying because of fear. He was shouting for his mother and father. Hot tears started coming down from his eyes because of fear. His face became red. Since he was crying, his face looked distorted. It was also shaking.

 

Panic-stricken, he ran to one side first, then to the other, hither and thither in all directions, knowing not where to go. “Mother, Father,” he wailed. His yellow turban came untied and his clothes became muddy.

Word Meaning
Panic Fear
Panic-stricken Very afraid, Very frightened
Hither and thither Here and there, In various directions
Wailed Cried loudly
Muddy Dirty

He was very afraid. he ran to one side. Then he started running in various directions. He did not know in which direction he should go. She started shouting for his parents. He cried loudly. His yellow turban opened. His clothes became dirty.

 

Having run to and fro in a rage of running for a while, he stood defeated, his cries suppressed into sobs. At little distances on the green grass he could see, through his filmy eyes, men and women talking.

Word Meaning
To and fro Constantly moving forward and backward
Rage Violent, Without any thoughts
Suppressed Changed by force, Restricted
Sobs Crying with sighs
Filmy Covered with something

He run in all directions and every time he came back to his original position. He could not find his parents. He accepted his defeat. His cries now converted into sobs. At a small distance there was green grass on the ground. Through his eyes covered by tears, he saw that some men and women were talking to each other.

 

He tried to look intently among the patches of bright yellow clothes, but there was no sign of his father and mother among these people, who seemed to laugh and talk just for the sake of laughing and talking.

Word Meaning
Patches Shades
For the sake of For the purpose of

He tried to carefully look at the patches of bright yellow clothes. He was trying to identify and locate his parents in the crowd. But he could not see his parents. Those people appeared to be laughing and talking for the only purpose of laughing and talking. Meaning that they were laughing without any reason.

 

He ran quickly again, this time to a shrine to which people seemed to be crowding. Every little inch of space here was congested with men, but he ran through people’s legs, his little sob lingering: “Mother, Father!”

Word Meaning
Shrine Place of worship
Crowding Gathering
Congested Over crowded
Lingering Continued

He again quickly ran to a place of worship. Lot of people were there. Every space there was overcrowded with people. He ran between legs of people. His height was small. He was sobbing and continued to shout for his parents.

 

Near the entrance to the temple, however, the crowd became very thick: men jostled each other, heavy men, with flashing, murderous eyes and hefty shoulders.

Word Meaning
Crowd became very thick Lot of overcrowding
Jostled Pushed
Flashing Shining
Murderous Angry
Hefty Strong, Big

Near entrance to the temple, there were so many people. It was really overcrowded. People pushed each other. They were really big people. Their eyes were shining and they looked angry. They were really strong people. Meaning that he found difficult to move through the crowd.

 

The poor child struggled to thrust a way between their feet but, knocked to and fro by their brutal movements, he might have been trampled underfoot, had he not shrieked at the highest pitch of his voice, “Father, Mother!”

Word Meaning
Poor child Helpless child
Thrust Push
Brutal Violent, Cruel
Trampled Crushed under feet
Highest pitch Loudest voice, At top of voice

The helpless child was struggling to push himself through legs of people. But he fell down because of movement of people. People might have crushed him under their feet. But he shouted in loudest voice for his parents.

 

A man in the surging crowd heard his cry and, stooping with great difficulty, lifted him up in his arms.

Word Meaning
Surging Increasing, Moving ahead
Stooping Bending low

In the crowd that was increasing, a man heard cries of the child. With great difficulty, he bent low and lifted the child in his arms.

 

“How did you get here, child? Whose baby are you?” the man asked as he steered clear of the mass. The child wept more bitterly than ever now and only cried, “I want my mother, I want my father!”

Word Meaning
Steered Moved
Mass Crowd
Bitterly At higher intensity

The man moved away from the crowd. The man asked him how he came there. Who are your parents? The child started crying more loudly. The only thing he said was that he wanted to meet his parents.

 

The man tried to soothe him by taking him to the roundabout. “Will you have a ride on the horse?” he gently asked as he approached the ring. The child’s throat tore into a thousand shrill sobs and he only shouted, “I want my mother, I want my father!”

Word Meaning
Soothe Assure him, Give comfort
Shrill Loud high pitched voice

The man tried to give him comfort by taking him to the roundabout. The man asked the child if he would like to have a ride on the horse of the roundabout. The child again started sobbing loudly. He shouted that he wanted to meet his parents.

 

The man headed towards the place where the snake-charmer still played on the flute to the swaying cobra. “Listen to that nice music, child!” he pleaded. But the child shut his ears with his fingers and shouted his double-pitched strain: “I want my mother, I want my father!”

Word Meaning
Swaying Moving sideways

The man now came to the place where snake charmer was sitting. He was still playing his flute and the cobra snake was moving sideways. The man requested the kid to listen to the music. The child shut his ears with his fingers. He shouted very loudly, almost twice high, that he wanted to meet his parents.

 

The man took him near the balloons, thinking the bright colours of the balloons would distract the child’s attention and quieten him. “Would you like a rainbowcoloured balloon?” he persuasively asked. The child turned his eyes from the flying balloons and just sobbed, “I want my mother, I want my father!”

Word Meaning
Distract Divert
Quieten To calm
Persuasively Persuading, In requesting mode

The man took the child to the place where balloons were being sold. He thought that attractive colours of balloons would divert attention of the child. So he may become calm. But the child turned his eyes from balloons. He continued to cry and told that he wanted to meet his parents.

 

The man, still trying to make the child happy, bore him to the gate where the flower-seller sat. “Look! Can you smell those nice flowers, child! Would you like a garland to put round your neck?” The child turned his nose away from the basket and reiterated his sob, “I want my mother, I want my father!”

Word Meaning
Bore him Moved him, Took him
Reiterated Once again

The man still wanted to make the child happy. He took the child to the gate where flowers were being sold. The man told him that smell of those flowers was nice. The man asked the child if he wanted to put a garland around his neck. The child turned away from the basket of flowers. He again started crying. He said that he wanted to meet his parents.

 

Thinking to humour his disconsolate charge by a gift of sweets, the man took him to the counter of the sweet shop. “What sweets would you like, child?” he asked. The child turned his face from the sweet shop and only sobbed, “I want my mother, I want my father!”

Word Meaning
Humour To make happy
Disconsolate Unhappy

The man thought that a gift of sweets will make the unhappy child happy. So he took the child to the sweet shop. The man asked what sweets he would like to eat. The child did not look at sweets. He continued to sob. He told that he wanted to meet his parents.

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