Thursday, September 21, 2023

The Last Truck Ride by Ruskin Bond - Literary Reader 7 - Class 7 Q&A Solved

Summary of 'The Last Truck Ride' by Ruskin Bond

The story begins with Pritam Singh, a Sikh truck driver, driving his own truck along a mountain road with his young companion, Nathu. Pritam makes a living by transporting limestone from quarries to the depot, and Nathu works as his helper. Nathu had left his village due to a failed crop and found work with Pritam.

As they journey through the mountains, they encounter mules on the narrow road and the challenging conditions of the terrain. The story touches on their conversation about the barren landscape, the effects of limestone quarrying, and Nathu's memories of his village.

At the quarry, they load the truck with limestone rocks. Nathu helps the laborers with the loading, despite the contractor's objection. After loading, they begin their journey back, but a dangerous situation arises when a stray mule appears on the road. Pritam loses control of the truck, and it goes over the edge of a cliff, tumbling down the hillside.

Nathu, though injured and shaken, manages to find Pritam trapped inside the truck. With the help of others who arrive at the scene, they rescue Pritam and take him to the hospital. Pritam survives with injuries, but his beloved truck is beyond repair.

In the end, Pritam realizes that he can no longer continue as a truck driver and must return home to live with his sons. Nathu also decides to return to his village and work on the land, preferring to cultivate it rather than exploit it for its resources.

Pritam acknowledges the role of the scraggy old oak tree in saving his life during the accident and imparts a valuable lesson to Nathu about the importance of nature and the land.

This story explores themes of nature, environmental impact, the bonds formed in difficult circumstances, and the realization of the value of land and life.


1. Turbaned (adjective): Wearing a traditional head covering called a turban, often worn by Sikh men.
   Meaning: A type of headgear tied in a special way.

2. Quarry (noun): A place where stones, minerals, or other valuable materials are extracted.
   Meaning: A location where rocks are taken from the ground.

3. Dependant (noun): Someone who relies on or is supported by another person.
   Meaning: A person who needs help or support from someone else.

4. Independence (noun): Freedom from being controlled by others; self-sufficiency.
   Meaning: Being able to make decisions and live on your own.

5. Contractor (noun): A person or company hired to perform specific work or services.
   Meaning: Someone who is hired to do a particular job.

6. Overseer (noun): A person who supervises or manages the work of others.
   Meaning: Someone who watches over and directs the work of others.

7. Precipitous (adjective): Very steep or sheer, typically referring to a slope or hill.
   Meaning: A very steep and almost vertical incline.

8. Accelerator (noun): A pedal or control in a vehicle that makes it go faster.
   Meaning: A part in a vehicle that makes it speed up.

9. Collarbone (noun): The bone that connects the shoulder blade to the breastbone.
   Meaning: A bone in the upper chest area.

10. Dislocated (verb): To force a bone out of its normal position in a joint.
    Meaning: When a bone is moved from its usual place.

11. Fractured (verb): Broken, typically referring to a bone.
    Meaning: When something, like a bone, is cracked or broken.

12. Bandaged (adjective): Covered with bandages, usually to protect an injury.
    Meaning: Wrapped in cloth to protect or heal an injury.

Let's Infer

Q1. Was the relationship between Pritam Singh and Nathu 
a. warm and affectionate?
b. cold and formal?
Give a reason for your choice.

The relationship between Pritam Singh and Nathu was a. warm and affectionate.
Reason: Throughout the story, Pritam and Nathu share a camaraderie. Pritam treats Nathu with kindness and defends him when the contractor objects to Nathu helping with the loading. Nathu also cares for Pritam's well-being when the accident occurs.

Q2. Nathu said, 'It will retire before you do.'  
a. Who is 'it' here? b. What does it tell us about 'its' age?

'It' in the statement 'It will retire before you do' refers to Pritam Singh's truck. This statement tells us that the truck is quite old, as it has been in use for a long time and is showing signs of aging.

Q3. Select the words which describe the road to the quarry.
a. narrow
b. steep
C. uneven
d. well-maintained
C. tarred

(Tick all the right choices.) 

The words that describe the road to the quarry are:
a. narrow
b. steep
c. uneven

Q4. What kind of a driver was Pritam Singh?

a. good
b. careful
C. rash and reckless
Give an example in support of your choice. 

Pritam Singh can be characterised as c. rash and reckless as a driver based on his behaviour in the story. One example to support this choice is when he was driving fast on sharp bends in the challenging mountain terrain despite Nathu's discomfort and request to slow down. This risky driving behaviour ultimately leads to the accident where the truck goes off the road, endangering their lives.

Q5. What did Nathu mean by the statement, 'It's better to grow things on the land than to blast things out of it"?

Nathu's statement, "It's better to grow things on the land than to blast things out of it," means that he believes farming and cultivating the land for crops is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way of living compared to mining and extracting resources from the land, which can harm the environment.

Q6. What did Pritam Singh learn from the accident?

Pritam Singh learned from the accident that life is precious and that nature, represented by the scraggy old oak tree, can significantly save lives. He also likely realised the fragility of his own existence and the importance of valuing the land and the environment.

Let's Discuss

1. It is important to grow trees:
Growing trees is undeniably essential for numerous reasons:
  • Environmental Benefits: Trees are vital for maintaining a healthy environment. They absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen, and help mitigate the effects of climate change by reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. They also provide habitat for wildlife, which is crucial for biodiversity.
  • Air Quality: Trees act as natural air purifiers, filtering out pollutants and particulate matter from the air. They help improve air quality in urban areas, reducing the risk of respiratory diseases in humans.
  • Erosion Control: Tree roots stabilize soil and prevent erosion, particularly in hilly or forested regions. This helps maintain fertile soil for agriculture and prevents landslides.
  • Shade and Cooling: Trees provide shade and help cool the environment, reducing the urban heat island effect. They also conserve energy by reducing the need for air conditioning.
  • Aesthetic Value: Trees enhance the beauty of landscapes, making cities and rural areas more attractive and pleasant to live in.

2. A boy of Nathu's age should have been going to school. Making Nathu work was a violation of the rights of a child:

  • Right to Education: Every child has the fundamental right to education, as recognized by international conventions and most national laws. Denying a child access to education not only hampers their personal development but also hinders the progress of society as a whole. Education is crucial for acquiring knowledge, skills, and opportunities for a better future.
  • Child Labor: Making a child work when they should be in school is considered child labor and is widely condemned. Child labor deprives children of their childhood, subjects them to exploitative conditions, and often perpetuates the cycle of poverty.
  • Development and Well-being: Education is a pathway to personal development, empowerment, and social mobility. It equips children with the tools they need to make informed choices and contribute positively to society. Depriving children of education can have long-term negative consequences for their well-being.
  • Alternative Solutions: Rather than subjecting children to labor, societies should prioritize ensuring access to quality education and creating an environment where children can thrive academically and socially. Governments and communities must work together to eliminate child labor and promote education as a right for all children.
In the context of Nathu's situation in the story, his inability to attend school and being forced to work due to economic hardships is indeed a violation of his rights as a child. Efforts should be made to address such issues, provide opportunities for education, and protect the rights of children to ensure their well-being and future prospects.

1 comment: