Describe Sibia's experience at the Bazaar

Collection of Short Stories (10)

Answer the following questions with reference to Norah Burke’s short story "The Blue Bead"

(i) Describe Sibia’s experience at the Bazaar. What were the things that filled her with wonder?

(ii) Who were the Gujars? Give a brief description of their lifestyle.

(iii) Describe how Sibia rescued the Gujar woman from the crocodile. What did Sibia regard as the highlight of that fateful day? What does this tell us about Sibia?


(i) Amazed at the sweetmeats - brilliant honey confections - smelled wonderful - sweets were green and magenta

Cloth stall with rolls of new cotton cloth

Satin sewn with silver thread

Tin trays from Birmingham

Sari with bits of glass embroidered into it.

Dawn coloured silks sold by a Kashmiri travelling merchant.

The little locked chest with turquoises and opals belonging to the merchant

Best of all a box - when you pressed it a bell tinkled and a yellow chicken jumped out.

Milling people or crowds / dogs and monkeys full of flees / gossiping and bargaining people / bell of the sacred bull / spitting betel juice

(ii) Nomadic graziers (nomads) / junglis / born and bred in the forest / man in pastoral wandering age

Lived in grass huts - temporary shelters / they got their living from the animals, grass and trees

Fetched water from the river

Counted wealth in large herds and silver jewellery/ wore large rings made with melted coins

Since the Gujars were nomads they moved on when plants and shrubs for grazing their animals were depleted.

Other reasons were inability to sell butter and milk.

They would leave a place when a tiger was taking away their cattle.

(iii) Gujar woman was attacked when she came to collect the water.

The woman screamed, dropped her pots and turned away but the crocodile’s jaws closed on her leg.

She clung to a log jammed between rocks - crocodile pulled on her leg.

Sibia saw this - leapt over the rocks - reached the spot.

She aimed at the crocodile's eye - drove the hayfork at the eyes - one prong went right in.

Crocodile reared up in pain - tail and nose almost meeting as it convulsed - crashed back into the water and vanished.

Sibia helped the fainting woman - dragged her from the water - bound her wounds with a rag and helped her home to the Gujar camp.

Finding the blue glass bead for her necklace.

That she is at heart an innocent little girl no different from other girls her age despite all her bravery and her heart is gladdened by something she considers pretty / it speaks about her poverty / happy in all achievements / overlooked a brave achievement.