Lesson 62: The Paperboy

The morning headlines were full of the usual sad stories.

“No good news again!” Rajesh’s father said. “Kidnappings! Murders! Earthquakes! Floods!”

Rajesh wished he could have been able to cheer up his father. He moved quickly from house to house leaving papers on the verandah or in the mailbox. It helped being a fast cyclist – the fastest in his school.

Rajesh wished he could bring only good news to his family, also to his friendly neighbours. “There’s that paper boy bringing sad news again,” they were probably saying.

“How could he make things better for everyone?” he wondered as he continued to deliver his papers.

He met Suresh near Hauz Khas Park. Rajesh really liked Suresh, even if his words sometimes got mixed up. Rajesh didn’t care. Suresh was his friend.

Rajesh noticed Rakhi on the road. She was in his class. He liked Rakhi even if people called her, “Kana (one eyed),” behind her back. He didn’t realise how much it helped her, having a friend like Rajesh.

Rajesh waved to everyone on his route. His smile was like the rising sun.

Rajesh noticed that a little boy had fallen and hurt his leg. Rajesh calmed him down until the boy’s mother arrived. “I’m glad you’re my paperboy,” she told Rajesh.

He continued on his route. He had ten more customers to go. But, he didn’t feel tired. It was fun doing what he did, helping others.

His friend Maya came by to pick up her paper. It saved him from going all the way to the second floor. He liked Maya a lot.

And then there was Mr.Mandal, who was such a grouch, but Rajesh didn’t mind. He noticed that Mr.Mandal’s lawn was overgrown. Rajesh decided that he would come back later, cut the grass and earn some money.

He cycled up the street to his last customer. Rajesh still had quite a bit of energy left, as he bounded up the stairs. Mrs.Jerath saw him coming and had her usual cup of tea waiting for him. She wondered how such a lively boy always had time to chat with an old lady. She liked the paperboy immensely.

Even though the papers he delivered had no good news to communicate, Rajesh’s bright smile, politeness and cheerfulness brightened up everyone’s day!

Yes, Rajesh was a very special paperboy.

A) Vocabulary:Please make your own sentences with the following words. Please make sure that your sentences show that you understand the meaning of the words.

Grouch (noun)   – a bad-tempered, complaining person
Grouchy (adjective) – easily annoyed, bad-tempered and complaining
Bound (verb) – to move by jumping or leaping
Immensely ( adverb) – greatly

B) Discussion Points:

  1. Do you receive the newspaper in your home?
  2. Who in your family reads the newspaper every day?
  3. Can you name the two most widely-read English newspapers in your home-town?
  4. Can you recollect any interesting news article that you have read recently?
  5. Please decide with your mentor which article you will read in today’s newspaper, and have a discussion on it during your next interaction.
  6. What is a person who writes articles for the newspaper called?
  7. Imagine you are interviewing a politician/an actor/a cricketer for a newspaper article.Write down 6 questions you would ask them.
  8. Why was Rajesh sad when he started his delivery of papers?
  9. Do you think Rajesh enjoyed his work or not? Please give reasons.
  10. How does being cheerful help you and others?
  11. Give this story a new title. Use your imagination!