The Race – Nisha Punjabi

The Race by Nisha Punjabi is the story of Tarun, a brilliant athlete whose talents were not recognized by his father for a long time. Having felt lost and unwanted, Tarun lived a miserable childhood until he met Ram Narayan, a well known coach. The great man was of the first impression that Tarun could become an athlete.

The Race by Nisha Punjabi | Summary

Tarun, a 12 year old, was not good at studies. He failed in almost all the exams. His father was always angry with his poor results and his friends made fun of him. In spite of his poor academic scores, Tarun was good at running.

Once, when he lost in his terminal examination, Tarun was scolded by his father as usual, so, he went to the park and sat down on a bench. At this time, a famous coach, Ram Narayan, arrives and encourages him. An Olympian in the past and now a trainer, Ram Narayan listened to Tarun and agreed to train him if he could qualify in the upcoming race on the Children’s Day.

Tarun was excited. He promised and started preparation from that day. He spent many hours early in the morning and in the evenings. Finally the Children’s Day event arrived and Tarun got ready for the race with many other children. Only his mother watching him from the gallery and Ram Narayan cheering for him, Tarun ran first for a while but fell down on the track. He was shocked but Tarun stood up and ran again, overtaking a few of the participants. Fate not in his favour that day, Tarun slipped again and again.

Although Tarun came last in that race, the audience cheered for his determination. Ram Narayan was impressed. He invited Tarun to his training academy from the next day.

തരുൺ, പാവം! ഇത് അവൻ്റെയോ അവൻ്റെ ചേട്ടൻ്റെയോ കുഴപ്പമല്ല. അവൻ്റെ മാതാപിതാക്കളുടെയും സമൂഹത്തിൻ്റെയും കുഴപ്പമാണ്. എന്താണെന്നു നോക്കാം.
പഠിക്കാൻ തീരെ ബുദ്ധി ഇല്ലായിരുന്നു തരുണിന്. വേണമെങ്കിൽ “പഠിക്കാൻ താത്പര്യം ഇല്ലായിരുന്നു” എന്ന് വിചാരിച്ചോളൂ. അങ്ങനെ ആണല്ലോ സമൂഹത്തിൻ്റെ നിലപാട്. അവന് ഒരിക്കലും നല്ല മാർക്കുകൾ കിട്ടിയില്ല. എല്ലാ പരീക്ഷക്കും അവൻ തോറ്റു. അവനെക്കൊണ്ട് അവൻ്റെ മാതാപിതാക്കളും തോറ്റു. കുറ്റപ്പെടുത്തലുകൾ, ശാപവർഷം, ഒറ്റപ്പെടൽ, കുറ്റബോധം – പിന്നെ ദേഷ്യം.

തരുൺ ഓടും. ഏറെ ദൂരം ഓടും. ഓടിയോടി മടുക്കും. കിതക്കും. അങ്ങനെ ഒരുതരം അബോധാവസ്ഥയിൽ എവിടെയെങ്കിലും കിടക്കും. കുറെ നേരം. കണ്ടിട്ടുണ്ടോ ഇങ്ങനെ ഉള്ള കുട്ടികളെ?

അങ്ങനെ ഉള്ള കുട്ടികൾക്കു വേണ്ടിയാണ് ഞാൻ ഈ വെബ്സൈറ്റ് നടത്തുന്നത്. നിങ്ങൾ ഇംഗ്ലീഷിൽ അല്പം പിന്നോട്ടാണെങ്കിൽ, കണക്കിൽ, സയൻസിൽ പിന്നോട്ടാണെങ്കിൽ, ഇപ്പോൾ തന്നെ ഈ സൈറ്റിൽ രജിസ്റ്റർ ചെയ്യൂ. പേടിക്കണ്ട – ഫ്രീ ആണ്, ആദ്യത്തെ 1000 പേർക്ക്.

What’s Inside this Course?

  1. 10 Worksheets
  2. 100 Questions & Answers
  3. Writing Questions & Answers
  4. Grammar Questions & Answers
  5. Character Sketches
  6. Your “Lesson Passed” Certificate

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Sample Questions

What does ‘black-sheep of the family’ mean?

Black-sheep of the family means the most ruined son or daughter of a family. It is believed that every family has a black-sheep.

What were Tarun’s pent-up emotions?

Tarun’s pent-up emotions were sadness of not being able to afford training to be a good athlete, misery of not able to be good at studies, jealous of not being able to be as good as his brother and the depression of being the black-sheep of the family.

Why did Tarun think of himself as the black-sheep of the family?

Tarun’s parents were, like many parents in India, after academic grades and Tarun was never good at scoring high grades. He was not well to do in anything – singing, dancing, acting or painting. All he was good at was running for hours without pause. On the other hand, Tarun saw how proud his parents were of his elder brother who was going to be a future engineer. Having not been able to pick up anything worthy about him, Tarun began to feel like the black-sheep of the family.

Do you think Tarun was proud of being the black-sheep of the family?

No. Tarun was not proud of being a black-sheep. Unlike children who have the seed of wickedness in them, Tarun was upset because he was a black-sheep. He ran like a village dog to exhaust himself so that he could release his pent-up frustrations out of himself. This shows that Tarun was not glad to be the black-sheep of his family.

What does pent-up emotions mean? How do emotions get pent-up?

Pent up emotions are repressed emotions. Such emotions are stored in our mind each time we are not able to relieve them.

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Textbook Questions

“It was a day he wanted to wipe out from his memory….” Why?

The day when he failed in his terminal examinations was the day he wished to wipe out from his memory. He so wished because his father was angry with him and his friends made fun of him.

What was the day that Tarun wanted to forget forever?

The day that Tarun wished to wipe out from his memory was the day his terminal examination results were declared. It was the most painful day in his life because he had failed in the examination. His father was very angry with him and his friends made fun of him.

Extra Questions | The Race by Nisha Punjabi

In spite of his poor performance at exams, Tarun had excelled in something that his family could not see. What was that?

Although a mediocre student and consistent failure in examinations, Tarun was an excellent runner. He could run for hours without fatigue (tiredness). Rnning was a passion for Tarun.

Where did Tarun meet Ram Narayan? Under what circumstance?

Tarun met Ram Narayan seated next to him on a park bench. The meeting occurred at a very crucial time in Tarun’s life. He had been under great pressure and disappointment over his failure in the terminal examination.

What was Tarun’s reaction on meeting Ram Narayan?

Tarun was terribly thrilled at meeting Ram Narayan. He could not believe that he was talking to Ram Narayan for whom he had great regard and respect.

Tarun fell thrice and crossed the finishing line last of all yet the crowd applauded for him. Do you think Tarun was a winner, as Ram Narayan said? Support your opinion.

Success doesn’t always mean reaching first but reaching somehow even after repeated failures. If Tarun hadn’t got up and continued his race the first, second and third time, he was surely going to get no applause from the crowd. Falling is never a sign of defeat. Rising from the pit in which have fallen is real success in life.

Do you think this story truly portray Indian families?

In fact, not much. This story cannot be a real representation of Indian families for a couple of reasons. In India parents do not ignore children because they are absolute failures in studies. Tarun’s father doesn’t represent a typical father unless there is any other reason to hate a 12 year old child who was good at running and full of determination.

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The Race - Nisha Punjabi

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Discussion
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Worksheet 1
13 questions
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Worksheet 2
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Worksheet 3
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Worksheet 4
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Worksheet 5
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Worksheet 6
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Worksheet 7
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Worksheet 8
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Character Sketches
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Letter Writing
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The Race – Nisha Punjabi
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