1) Where was Ram at the start of this chapter? 

He was tied to a beam in a prison cell 

2) Why was Inspector Godbole beating Ram? 

Because he wanted Ram to sign a piece of paper saying that he had cheated on the quiz show and that he would not take any prize 

3) Why was Ram surprised to see Smita Shah? 

Because he had never seen the woman before and he didn’t have a lawyer. 

4) Later Smita and Ram watched the DVD of the quiz show. Why did Ram agree to do this and what did Smita want to find out? 

Ram agreed to do this because his lucky coin told him that he could trust Smita. Smita wanted to find out the truth about whether he cheated or not. 


1) Father Timothy gave the orphan boy three names. What were they and how would these names help the boy? 

Father Timothy called the boy Ram Mohammad Thomas. The first name was Hindu, the second Muslim and the third Christian. The names would help him to get on with people of all religions 

2) What did Ram learn when he was living with Father Timothy? 

Ram learnt to speak English. He also learnt about different religions from Father Timothy and the street children and their parents. 

3) Father Timothy told Ram something that made him very sad. What was it? 

Father Timothy told Ram that he was not his real father, but his priest, and that Ram was an orphan. 

4) Who was Prem Kumar and why did he change the first question in Who Will Win a Billion? 

Prem Kumar presented the quiz Who Will Win a Billion? He changed the first question to one that Ram could answer. He wanted the boy to win a little money 

5) How did Ram know the answer to the first question? 

He had seen the letters INRI on a crucifix in Father Timothy’s church


1) Ram did not like the Delhi Children’s Home for Boys, but some others boys did. Why was that? 

The Delhi Children’s Home for Boys was crowded, noisy and dirty compared to Father Timothy’s house. But for many of the other boys who came from slums or had been badly treated, it was a good home compared to what they were used to 

2) How were Ram and his new friend, Salim, like each other? 

They were both orphans, with no hope of finding a family, and they both enjoyed watching films. 

3) What did the boys find out from the fortune-teller? What did he give Ram? 

The fortune-teller said that Salim would be a very famous actor and that Ram would have many problems. He gave Ram a lucky one-rupee coin.

4) Who was Sethji and why did he visit the Children’s Home? 

Sethji was a big man who sometimes visited the Children’s Home. He was rich and looked like a gangster. He lived in Mumbai, where he had a school. Sethji chose boys from the Children’s Home to take to his school and teach them there. 

5) What did the boys learn about Sethji on the train to Mumbai? 

His real name was Babu Pillai, but he was also called Maman. He came from Kollam in Kerala, but had lived in Mumbai for a long time. His school was a school for disabled children. 

6) ‘I was sure that this was the best thing that had ever happened to me.’ What was Ram talking about? 

The boys thought their new lives in Mumbai would be a great chance to get a good education and have successful lives. 

7) Why were Ram and Salim really having singing lessons? 

Because Maman and his guards were going to blind them and send them on trains to beg for money by singing Surdas 

8) What did Ram and Salim do when they leant the truth? 

The boys ran away. They wanted to find the actress, Neelima Kumari, and ask her for a job. 


1) Neelima Kumari had been a very famous film actress. What did she have in her flat to remind her of that? 

She had a big TV, a DVD player, a video recorder, film magazines that had her picture on the front, video cassettes of all her films and all her acting awards. 

2) What changed after Neelima’s mother died? 

Neelima asked Ram to live in her flat. She also went out more often and sometimes stayed out all night. 

3) How did Ram find out that Neelima had a lover? 

Sometimes Neelima told Ram to stay in the chawl. One morning, he went back to the flat very early and saw a man leaving the flat. 

4) What did Neelima’s lover look like and what kind of man was he? 

The man was tall and he was wearing blue jeans and a white shirt. He was a cruel man, because every time he visited Neelima he hit her, cutting her face or giving her a black eye. 

5) What was Neelima’s ‘greatest role’? 

Neelima’s ‘greatest role’ was when she killed herself. She had made herself look beautiful and watched the video of her greatest film, before dying alone with the ‘Best Actress’ award in her hand. 


1) Who was Balwant Singh and what did he look like? 

He was an old soldier. He was tall and thin and had only one leg 

2) He talks about a war. When was it and which countries were fighting each other? 

The war was in 1971, and India and Pakistan were fighting each other. 

3) Balwant Singh told some heroic stories, but they were not true. How die everyone find this out? 

A man who was collecting money for a soldiers’ charity told them the truth about Balwant Singh. 

4) What was the truth about Balwant Singh? 

Balwant Singh was not a war hero. He had run away from the fighting and lost his leg when his home was bombed. 

5) How did the old soldier’s stories help Ram with the answer to the next quiz question? 

The old soldier had told everyone the names of the highest awards given to the bravest soldiers in the Indian army. 


1) What was Mr Ramakrishna’s job? Did he do it well? Explain your answer 

Mr Ramakrishna was the manager of the chawl where the boys lived. He collected rent and looked after the building, but he did not do his job well. He did not repair things, for example the part of the first-floor wooden railing which had become weak and dangerous. 

2) Describe the boys new neighbours 

Their new neighbours were called Shantaram. Mr Shantaram was a short man who was about fifty years old. He was really an astronomer but was currently managing a shop. His wife had grey hair, and his daughter was older than Ram with long black hair. Mr Shantaram said that they would all be moving to a very nice apartment in Nariman Point very soon. 

3) Mr Shantaram’s daughter, Gudiya, had a cat. Why did she call it Pluto? 

Her father had told her that Pluto was the smallest planet. The cat was very small, so she called it Pluto too 

4) Why did Gudiya have to go to hospital? 

Mr Shantaram had thrown a cup of boiling tea at his wife. Gudiya had tried to save her mother and the girl’s face was badly burnt by the tea. 

5) Ram made Gudiya a promise after she left hospital. What was it and how did he keep it? 

6) Ram left Mumbai and went to Delhi, because he thought that he had killed Mr Shantaram. Ram was afraid that the police would arrest him and hang him. 


1) They Taylors were Australian. What were they doing in Delhi? 

Colonel Taylor was a diplomat for the Australian government. 

2) Why was Colonel Taylor called ‘The Man Who Knows’? 

The Taylors had many servants. Every time any of them did anything wrong, Colonel Taylor knew about it, although he wasn’t there at the time 

3) What was the secret of the Colonel’s Den and how did Ram discover it? 

There were tiny cameras, books about spying and secret papers in The Den. There were also lots of video tapes with the names of different people on them, including his servants and children. These tapes had been taken from hidden cameras in all the other rooms – Colonel Taylor had been spying on his servants. Ram discovered this because another servant, Jai, had broken into The Den to steal money while the Colonel was away. 

4) Why did Colonel Taylor have to leave Delhi? 

The Colonel had to leave Delhi because he had been discovered taking secret papers from a man called Jeevan Kumar, who worked at the Ministry of Defence 

5) Who do you think phoned the inspector about Colonel Taylor and Jeevan Kumar? 

It must have been Ram. He had practised speaking like an Australian. 


1) What did Ram take with him when he left Delhi? 

Ram took nearly all his salary from Colonel Taylor, fifty thousand rupees. He had spent two thousand rupees on clothes, his train ticket to Mumbai and a game for Salim. He also took some Australian Geographic magazines. 

2) Where was his salary from the Taylors and why? 

He kept his salary from the Taylors inside his trousers. This was because he had heard many stories about thieves on trains who took your luggage when you were asleep. 

3) Who was the young man with the beard and what did he want? 

He was a train robber with a gun who wanted everyone’s money, watches and jewellery. 

4) ‘Fifty thousand dreams had suddenly been taken from me.’ What did Ram mean? 

Akshay told the robber about Ram’s fifty thousand rupees, which the robber took and put in his bag. Ram had been dreaming about how he would spend the money and now he had lost it. 

5) What happened to the robber and his gun? 

Ram shot and killed the robber with his own gun. Later, Ram threw the gun into a river. 

6) Which is true? A) Eam wanted go to Mumbai, but he got on the wrong train. B) Ram was afraid to go to Mumbai. C) Ram had planned to go to Agra? LA B 


1) Where did Ram live in Agra who helped him find the place? 

He lived in a room in an outhouse of a big house called Swapna Palace. The house belonged to a rich woman called Swapna Devi. A boy called Shankar took Ram there. 

2) Ram’s new friend had a problem, but he was not mentally disabled. Explain 

Shankar spoke in a strange language of his own. But in his dreams, he spoke normally. He could draw very well too 

3) Ram soon had a job. What did he do and how did he learn the things he needen to know for the job? 

Ram worked as a Taj Mahal guide. He learnt all about the building by listening carefully to the English-speaking guides and trying to remember as much as he could. 

4) Ram and Nita fell in love. But why could they not get married? 

Ram and Nita could not get married because she was already engaged to a rich man who would pay her family forty thousand rupees when Nita married him. Ram didn’t have that money and they were afraid to run away together 

5) Why did Ram ask Swapna Devi for forty thousand rupees? 

Shankar got rabies and Ram was told that the treatment would cost forty thousand rupees. Ram had found out Swapna Devi’s secret – Shankar was her son. Swapna Devi was a very rich woman, so Ram asked her for the money to save her child’s life. 

6) What happened to Shankar and what did Ram do as a result? 

Shankar died in Ram’s room. Ram took the boy’s body to Swapna Devi and put it on the dining room table. He told her to pay for her son’s funeral. 

7) Why was Nita in hospital? 

Nita had been badly hurt by the rich man who wanted to marry her after she had told him that she wanted to marry Ram. 

8) Why did Ram need forty thousand rupees for the second time? 

Nita’s father was angry when he saw Ram at the hospital. He said that Ram would have to pay forty thousand rupees if he wanted to marry Nita. 

9) How did he get the money? 

Ram decided to steal the money from Swapna Devi. She had a safe in her room and Ram knew where the key was, so when she was out one night he went into her room and took 39,844 rupees from the safe. Added to the 156 rupees in his pocket, he then had the forty thousand rupees that he needed. 

10) Why did Ram decide to go to Mumbai? 

Because in the hospital, he saw a newspaper advertisement on the floor for the television show Who Will Win a Billion? There was a picture of a man holding money and an address in Mumbai. Ram decided to go there at once. 

11) Why did Ram give money to the man in the hospital and what was he given in return? 

The man was at the hospital because his son had rabies. He needed forty thousand rupees to save his son’s life. So Ram gave him the money. In return, the man gave Ram his business card. Later on, Ram would use the card to contact the man and get help with the next question on the quiz show. 


1) Where did Ram meet his friend Salim? 

Ram bumped into Salim as he was walking along the street in Mumbai. 

2) Explain how Salim had become a junior actor 

Salim found out from a customer who was also a junior actor that he needed photographs of himself to show to a film producer. So he bought a cheap camera, took the pictures and a few others of people and places too. Later, he gave the photographs to the customer, who showed them to a film producer – and he got a very small part in a film. 

3) How did Salim meet Maman? 

While he was taking photographs of people and places, Salim took a picture of Maman without knowing who he was. Maman then recognized him and tried to catch him. 

4) How did Ahmed Khan help Salim? 

Salim jumped on a bus while trying to escape from Maman. As Maman also tried to get on the bus, Ahmed Khan came between them and pushed Maman off. Ahmed Khan then gave Salim a job as his servant. 

5) What did Salim find out about Ahmed Khan? 

Salim found out that Ahmed Khan was a paid killer 

6) How did Salim and Abbas Rizvi help each other? 

One day, Salim found out that Ahmed Khan was going to kill Abbas Rizvi, who had been helping Salim with his acting. So Salim told Rizvi, who then ran away to Dubai. In return, Rizvi promised to make Salim a hero in his next film and to pay for his acting lessons 

7) What happened to Maman in the end? 

Maman was killed by Ahmed Khan. Salim had changed Abbas Rizvi’s photograph and address in the yellow envelope for those of Maman, so Ahmed had killed Maman instead of Rizvi. 

8) What happened to Ahmed Khan and how did Salim find out about it? 

Ahmed Khan was shot dead by the police. Salim found out about it on Mumbai Crime Watch. 

9) How did Salim’s story help Ram with the next question? 

Ram remembered Salim saying that Ahmed Khan had lost a lot of money betting that India’s greatest batsman Sachin Malvankar would make his thirty-seventh test century in a match against Australia. So when Prem Kumar told Ram in the quiz show that India had not played another country since Australia, Ram knew that the answer was still 36