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Reach For the Top | English | Class 9 | NCERT Solution

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

Lesson Architecture:

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  • Lesson-At-A-Glance

  • NCERT Solution

  • Extra Questions

  • Maria Sharapova


  • Hard work & Commitment pay off towards the end.

  • Every individual needs to be self-aware and explore the potential to scale the height of success.

  • One needs to be unique to break away from shackles of traditional obligations to do something different for the society.

  • The story gives an account of two iconoclastic women- Santosh Yadav & Maria Sharapova.


  • Santosh Yadav was born in the village of Joniyawas of Rewari District, Haryana. She is the sixth child in a family of five sons.

  • Her parents were affluent landowners. However, they sent their daughter to a local school where all local girls went.

  • Santosh refused to get married at a tender age when her parents insisted on it.

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

  • Initially her parents refused to pay for her education. But they eventually paid for the fees when they saw the tenacity in their daughter.

  • Santosh passed her high school examinations and joined Maharani College in jaipur.

  • While in college from her hostel room once Santosh watched villagers going up a hill.

  • She joined some mountaineers and felt motivated to become a mountaineer herself. She saved money and enrolled in a course at Uttarkashi's Nehru Institute of Mountaineering.

  • She saved money and enrolled in a course at Uttarkashi's Nehru Institute of Mountaineering.

  • When she turned twenty, she became the youngest woman in the world to climb Mt. Everest.

  • As a member of an Indo-Nepalese Women's Expedition, she set a record as being the only woman to have scaled Mt. Everest twice.

  • She was hounoured with the Padmashri Award by the Govt. of India.

  • During the 1992 Everest mission, she provided care to a dying fellow climber. She managed to save a climber named Mohan Singh by sharing her oxygen with him.

  • She is credited to have brought down 500 kgs of garbage from the Himalayas.

  • Her deep love for her country is reflected in the pride she describes experiencing when unfurling the tricolor on the summit of Everest.

NCERT Solution :

Thinking about the Text

Answer these questions in one or two sentences each.

(i) Why was the 'holy man' who gave Santosh's mother his blessings surprised?

The holy man thought that the family wanted a son. However, when Santosh's grandmother told him that they wanted a daughter, the holy man was surprised.

(ii) Give an example to show that even as a young girl Santosh was not ready to accept anything unreasonable.

Ans: She used to wear shorts unlike girls of her community and not the traditional dresses .

(iii) Why was Santosh sent to the local school?

In line with the existing practice of sending girls to local village school, Santosh was sent to the local school.

(iv) When did she leave home for Delhi and why?

At the age of sixteen she left for Delhi to get herself enrolled in a school.

(v) 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?

Ans: When Santosh's parents saw that she decided to take up a part time job in the city to support her education in Delhi, they decided to pay for her schooling in Delhi.

She is a bold, committed, responsible and self-confident woman.

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

1. How did Santosh begin to climb mountains?

Ans: Santosh used to see villagers go up the mountain from her hostel that faced Aravalli Hills. She expressed her desire to join a few mountaineers. They motivated her to take to climbing.

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

Ans : During her Everest mission in 1992 Santosh provided care to a fellow climber who lay dying at the south Col. On another occasion she saved the life of Mohan Singh , another fellow climber by sharing her oxygen with him.

3. What shows her concern for the environment?

Ans: Santosh's concern for the environment can be evident when she collected and brought down 500 kilograms of garbage from the Himalayas.

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

Ans: she describes it as 'indescribable'. According to her, unfurling the Indian flag on the top of the world was a spiritual moment and she felt proud to be an Indian.

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

Ans: When she scaled Mt. Everest for the first time, she was credited to have become the youngest woman in the world to achieve this feat.

When she scaled for the second time, she became the only woman who had been able to scale it twice.

III. Complete the following statements:

1. From her room in Kasturba Hostel, Santosh used to ___________.

Ans: (see the villagers going up the hill and suddenly  vanishing after a while.

2. When she finished college, Santosh had to write a letter of apology to her father because ___________.

(she had got herself enrolled at Uttarkarshi's Nehru Institute of Mountaineering without his permission)

3. During the Everest expedition, her seniors in the team admired her ___________ while ___________ endeared her to fellow climbers.

( climbing skills, physical fitness and mental strength , her concern for others and desire to work for together with them )

IV. 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 (1): __________

2. based on reason; sensible; reasonable (2): __________

. 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. assumed

2. rational

3. custom

4. urge

5. resistance



  • This lesson describes the relentless effort and insatiable desire for excellence that Maria Sharapova displayed in her struggle to excel in the field of lawn tennis.

  • At the tender age of nine years, she got separated from her parents to undergo training in tennis in the United States.

  • Her readiness to sacrifice was evident when her senior students in hostel in the US would bully her by waking her up and making her clean and tidy the room.

  • She underwent the emotional turmoil, but her strength of character helped her tide over the crisis in her life in the end.

  • Eventually she was successful in reaching the number one position in women’s tennis.

Lesson in a Nutshell

  • Maria Sharapova is a Siberian born tennis player.

  • At a tender age of nine-years she left for Florida in United States with her father, Uri.

  • Maria felt lonely in the US and missed her mother badly. Her father, on the other hand, worked hard to pay for her tennis training.

  • During her stay in the hostel, she used to sleep at 8 in the evening. However, her senior tennis trainees would wake her up at 11 pm, wake her up and instructed her to tidy her room.

  • She was very competitive in nature and her relentless effort helped her bag the women’s singles crown at Wimbledon in 2004.

  • On August 22, 2005 she won the number one position in women’s tennis. It took her just four years as a professional player to reach the pinnacle.

  • Maria also enjoyed pursuing fashion, singing, dancing and reading the novels of Arthur Conan Doyle.

NCERT Textbook Quesions:

Before You Read ( page 104)

As you read, look for the answer to these questions:

Why was Maria sent to the United States ?

Ans: Maria was sent to the US for the training in lawn tennis.

Why didn't her mother go with her?

Maria's mother could not go with h er because she did not get a visa to travel to the US.

What are her hobbies? What does she like?

Ans: Maria's hobbies are fashion, singing and dancing. She loves reading the novels of Arthur Conan Doyle. She is fond of wearing sophisticated evening gowns, eating pancakes with chocolate spread and drinking fizzy orange drinks.

What motivates her to keep going?

Ans: The desire to become the number one tennis player in the world keeps Maria going. The money she makes from tennis is another source of motivation for her.

Thinking about the Language:

Identify the two parts in the sentences below by underlining the part that gives

us the information in brackets, as shown above.

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

(Contrasts her dress with that of others)

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

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

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

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

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

4. 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)

Ans: 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.

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

Ans: Grandfather told me about the old days when all books were printed on paper.

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

Ans: After you finish the book, perhaps you just throw it away.

3. He gave the little girl an apple. He took the computer apart.

Ans: He gave the little girl an apple before taking the computer apart.

4. You have nothing. That makes you very determined.

Ans: Having nothing makes you very determined.

5. I never thought of quitting. I knew what I wanted.

Ans: I never thought of quitting because I knew what I wanted.

Extra Questions:

1. How did Maria’s father help Maria in her success in lawn tennis? Ans : Maria's father Yuri contributed a lot in helping her mould her career. He took her for training in Florida in the United States. He worked hard to earn money to finance the expenses of Maria's training and lodging. Q2. How did Maria react to humiliation by her seniors at Florida in the United States? Ans : Maria being the youngest trainee in the hostel, was bullied by her seniors. Her seniors used to wake her up at 11 o' clock at night and ask her to clean the room. As a result, she became more committed to her cause and learnt how to adopt to challenging situation in life. Q3. What was the secret of Maria’s success? Ans : Mental toughness and undying passion to excel were the secret of Maria’s success. She was highly competitive and worked hard at whatever she did. Q4. What shows that Maria was proud of being a Russian? Ans : Maria Sharapova is a Russian. She spent most of her time in the United States. She speaks with a pronounced American accent but she is proud of her Russian identity. She pronounced that she was ready to represent Russia in Olympics.


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