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9th Class CBSE English Beehive

Reach for the Top: 9th Class English Beehive Chapter 08

Reach for the Top: NCERT 9th Class CBSE English Beehive Chapter 08

Answer these questions in one or two sentences each. (The paragraph numbers within brackets provide clues to the answers.)

Question – Reach for the Top: Why was the ‘holy man’ who gave Santosh’s mother his blessings surprised?

Answer – Reach for the Top: The ‘holy man’ who gave Santosh’s mother his blessings was surprised because her grandmother sought blessings for a daughter. In this society most of the people ask the seers to bless for a son.

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

Answer: She used to wear shorts and not the traditional dresses meant for girls.

Question: Why was Santosh sent to the local school?

Answer: She was sent to the local school in line with the prevailing custom in the family.

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

Answer: She left home for Delhi to get proper education. She was sixteen at that time.

Question: 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: Her parents got ready because she informed them of her plans to earn money by working part time to pay her school fees.

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

Question: How did Santosh begin to climb mountains?

Answer: She wished to climb mountains when she watched villagers from her room, going up the hill and suddenly vanishing after a while. One day, she decided to check it out herself. She found nobody except a few mountaineers. Later she saved money and enrolled in a course at Uttarkashi’s Nehru Institute of Mountaineering. Then she began climb mountains every year.

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

Answer: Santosh Yadav provided special care to a climber who lay dying at the south pole in 1992 Everest Mission. She saved Mohan Singh, who would have lost his life had she not shared her oxygen with him.

Question: What shows her concern for the environment?

Answer: Santosh was really concerned for the environment. She collected and brought down 500 kilograms of garbage from the Himalayas.

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

Answer: She said that it took some time for the enormity of the moment to sink in. She was delighted at this moment and proudly unfurled the Indian tricolour.

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

Answer: She is the youngest woman who scaled the Everest. She is the only woman who climbed the Everest twice.

Complete the following statements:

  1. From her room in Kasturba Hostel, Santosh used to ………………
  2. When she finished college, Santosh had to write a letter of apology to her father because ………………
  3. During the Everest expedition, her seniors in the team admired her ……………… while ……………… endeared her to fellow climbers.


  1. … see the villagers going up the hill and suddenly vanishing after a while.
  2. … she was going directly for training and not home which she should have done.
  3. … climbing skills, physical fitness and mental strength while working together endeared her to fellow climbers.

Pick out words from the text that mean the same as the following words or expressions. (Look in the paragraphs indicated.)

  1. took to be true without proof
  2. based on reason; sensible; reasonable
  3. the usual way of doing things (para 3):
  4. a strong desire arising from within (5):
  5. the power to endure, without falling
    ill (7): …………………….


  1. blessing
  2. rational
  3. custom
  4. urge
  5. resistance / endurance

Thinking about the text

Working in small groups of 4-5 students, go back over the two passages on Santosh Yadav and Maria Sharapova and complete the table given below with relevant phrases or sentences.

Points of Comparison / Contrast Santosh Yadav Maria Sharapova
1. Their humble beginning
2. Their parents’ approach
3. Their will power and strong desire to succeed
4. Evidence of their mental toughness
5. Their patriotism


Santosh Yadav Maria Sharapova
1. Santosh’s parents were affluent landowners who could afford … My father was working as much as he could to keep ….
2. Wishing always to study ‘a bit more’, and with her father slowly getting used to her urge … The latter (her mother) was compelled to stay back in Siberia …. [My father working as much … either.]
3. Equipped with an iron will, physical endurance and an amazing mental… Instead of letting that depress me, I became more quietly determined and mentally tough.
4. The culmination of her hard work and sincerity came in 1942 … And that something in her lifted her on Monday, 22 August 2005 to the world number one position in women’s tennis.
5. Then I unfurled the Indian tricolour and held it….. indescribable…… I felt proud as an Indian … My blood is totally Russian. I will play the Olympics for Russia if they want me.

Thinking about language – Reach for the Top

Look at the following sentences. They each have two clauses, or two parts each with their own subject and verb or verb phrase. Often, one part (italicised) tells us when or why something happened.

  • I reached the market when most of the shops had closed. (Tells us when I reached.)
  • When Rahul Dravid walked back towards the pavilion, everyone stood up. (Tells us when everyone stood up.)
  • The telephone rang and Ganga picked it up. (Tells us what happened next.)
  • Gunjan has been with us ever since the school began. (Tells us for how long he has been with us.)

Identify the two parts in the sentences below by underlining the part that gives us the information in brackets, as shown above.

Question: Where other girls wore traditional Indian dresses, Santosh preferred shorts. (Contrasts her dress with that of others.)

Answer: Where other girls wore traditional Indian dresses, Santosh preferred shorts.

Question: She left home and got herself enrolled in a school in Delhi. (Tells us what happened after the first action.)

Answer: She left home and got herself enrolled in a school in Delhi.

Question: She decided to fight the system when the right moment arrived. (Tells us when she was going to fight the system?)

Answer: She decided to fight the system when the right moment arrived.

Question: Little Maria had not yet celebrated her tenth birthday when she was packed off to train in the United States. (Tells us when Maria was sent to the US?)

Answer: Little Maria had not yet celebrated her tenth birthday when she was packed off to train in the United States.

II. Now rewrite the pairs of sentences given below as one sentence – Reach for the Top

Question: Grandfather told me about the old days. All books were printed on paper then.

Answer – Reach for the Top: Grandfather told me about the old days when all books were printed on paper.

Question: What do you do after you finish the book? Perhaps you just throw it away.

Answer: Perhaps you just throw the book away after reading it.

Question: He gave the little girl an apple. He took the computer apart.

Answer – Reach for the Top: After giving the little girl an apple, he took the computer apart.

Question: You have nothing. That makes you very determined.

Answer: You have nothing which makes you very determined.

Question: I never thought of quitting. I knew what I wanted.

Answer: I never thought of quitting as I knew what I wanted.

Question: Imagine that you are Santosh Yadav, or Maria Sharapova. You have been invited to speak at an All India Girls’ Athletic Meet, as chief guest. Prepare a short speech to motivate the girls to think and dream big and make an effort to fulfill their dreams, not allowing difficulties or defeat to discourage them. The following words and phrases may help you.

  • Self confident / confidence / sure of yourself
  • self assured / assurance / belief in yourself
  • morale / boost morale / raise morale
  • giving somebody a boost / fillip / lift
  • demoralizing / unsure of yourself / insecure / lack confidence


Good Morning Everybody!

I am glad to see all the participants at this platform. Your life solely depends on the sincere efforts you are ready to make. Your indomitable faith in your potential, strong determination and hard work can help you in bringing laurels to your family, nation and yourself. One must not lose confidence while trying to achieve a challenging task. Those who devote themselves completely to their goals and are self-confident attain considerable success within a short span of time. Their achievements boost their morale and become a source of fascination to others. My advice to you is to maintain the spirit of sportsmanship and do miracles in whatever field you are.


Question: Working in pairs, go through the table below that gives you information about the top women tennis players since 1975. Write a short article for your school magazine comparing and contrasting the players in terms of their duration at the top. Mention some qualities that you think may be responsible for their brief or long stay at the top spot.

Top-Ranked Women Players

Question: The roll of honour of women who enjoyed life at the summit since everybody’s favourite player, Chris Evert, took her place in 1975.

Name Ranked on Weeks as No. 1
Maria Sharapova (Russia) 22 August 2005 1
Lindsay Davenport (U.S.) October 2004 82
Amelie Mauresmo (France) 13 September 2004 5
Justine Henin-Hardenne (Belgium) 20 October 2003 45
Kim Clijsters (Belgium) 11 August 2003 12
Serena Williams (U.S.) 8 July 2002 57
Venus Williams (U.S.) 25 February 2002 11
Jennifer Capriati (U.S.) 15 October 2001 17
Lindsay Davenport (US) 12 October 1998 82
Martina Hingis (Switzerland) 31 March 1997 209
Arantxa Sanchez, Vicario (Spain) 6 February 1995 12
Monica Seles (U.S.) 11 March 1991 178
Steffi Graf (Germany) 17 August 1987 377
Tracy Austin (U.S.) 7 April 1980 22
Martina Navratilova (U.S.) 10 July 1978 331
Chris Evert (U.S.) 3 November 1975 362

Answer – Reach for the Top: The long list of the women who topped the tennis arena. Different women enjoyed life being at the top for different durations. For example, Staff! Graf of Germany enjoyed the topmost rank for the longest duration of 377 weeks. She was followed by Chris Evert of the US who enjoyed this rank for 362 weeks. Martina Navratilova of the US enjoyed it for 33 weeks. It was Martina Hingis of Switzerland who had it for 209 weeks. Monica Seles of the US also enjoyed it for 178 weeks. After that Serena William and Lindsay Davenport of the US also remained world number one for 57 and 82 weeks respectively. Maria Sharapova of Russia enjoyed this rank for 1 week. All these women worked day and night to achieve the pinnacle. They sharpened their playing skills with determination. They had physical fitness and mental strength to succeed. They had talent, mental toughness and readiness to sacrifice. These qualities played an important role in their world achievements.

The above answer is only a sample provided to the students. We suggest students to answer these questions using their own creativity.

Question – Reach for the Top: Which of these words would you use to describe Santosh Yadav? Find reasons in the text to support your choices, and write a couple of paragraphs describing Santosh’s character

contented   determined   resourceful   polite  adventurous   considerate
weak-willed   fearful   independent    pessimistic   patient    persevering

Answer – Reach for the Top: Santosh Yadav was determined, considerate, polite and hard working. She was a rebel who did not want to follow the traditional ways of living. She developed a remarkable resistance to cold and altitude that is required for mountaineering. She proved herself repeatedly because of her iron will, physical endurance and amazing mental toughness. She was a fervent environmentalist who brought 500 kgs of garbage from the Himalayas.

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