Summary of Runner

Runner is a short story. It is written by Romen Basu. It deals with the theme of competitive spirit between two schoolboys. They become rivals.

Gouri and samara are the classmates. They are players. They are the competitors of each other as sportsmen. In the final years of their school life, they take the athletic competitions seriously. The school had held various sport events. These boys fought for the championship.

They consider themselves as the competitors. Samar depended on an athletic scholarship in his school life. It helped him. He was a good runner but Gouri was good in other sports events like cricket and jumps. In the event of the mile race, Samar won the race. He got a championship. Gouri was defeated. He had felt very bad. His luck could not favour him. He collapsed at the nick of the time.

Samar won in the sports events but Gouri became a great man in life. He thought it was good he lost the race. He was sent abroad for higher education and he showed to Samar that he was a real achiever through Samar was a good runner. The story throws light on the mindset and psychology of the schoolboys. They have a competitive
spirit. They look at their competitors or peers very seriously.

The two boys come from different family background. Gouri’s family is well-to-do. But Samar’s family is poor. So Samar could not complete with Gouri. He could not complete his education. Gouri could go abroad; enjoy foreign life and see different cultures. He could get a promotion and help his country. So he feels proud of his achievement. He looks at luck and bad luck in his own way. He accepts whatever has happened in his case in school life and in his later life.

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Family Background of Gouri

Gouri’s was from a well-to-do or rich family. His family could hire services of instructors to coach him in the sports events. They provided him every help. After he completed his college education in a reputed college he was sent abroad for his further education. The family of Gouri was educated and cultured. His grandfather was an officer of the order of the British Empire. He had served the British government.

2) Samar as a sportsman

Samar was from a poor family. His father could not give him money enough to pay his school fees. So he had to play and get an athletic sports scholarship. He could get the championship. He had a spirit of competition so he challenged Gouri and told him he could or would never beat him. Unfortunately, he had to leave his education incomplete and join the service in the British firm and play for the firm.

3) Gouri as the Achiever

Gouri lost the mile race. He was disappointed as he could not get a championship in school. He joined the college and then went abroad for higher education. He could compete with other career holders in the academic field. He got a job in an international organization and became a great man. He was a real achiever.

Questions and Answers

Answer the following questions in one sentence each.

1) Who had been rivals since they were eight years old?
2) Who was the captain of the football team?
3) Who was the captain of the cricket team?
4) Who looked like a T.B. Patient?
5) How was Gouris family economically?
6) How was Samar’s family economically?
7) Who were hired by Gouri’s father to coach him in the race?


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A) 1) Gouri and Samar
2) Samar
3) Gouri
4) Samar’s father
5) rich
6) poor
7) The instructors of the champion marathon runner.

B) Attempt the following questions on Vocabulary, grammar and phrases.
1) to egg on (use this phrase in your sentence)
2) mournful (Give the synonym of it)
3) to cater to (use this phrase in your own sentence)
4) rivalry (Give the antonym for it)
5) to compete (make noun)
6) endurance (make very)
7) Silly (Give synonym for it)
8) relax (Give noun)
9) Victory (Give adjective of it)
10) in exasperation (use this phrase in your own sentence)


B) 1) My friend egged me on to reach the target when we were racing on the bicycle.
2) Sad
3) The shopkeeper catered to the needs of his customers.
4) friendship
5) competition
6) to endure
7) foolish
8) relaxation
9) victorious
10) my employer asked to me in exasperation to take leave as I was late to
come to the office.

Answer the following questions

1) How was Gouri’s start in the mile race?

Answer: Gouri took off to win the race. He believed that nothing was more important for his entire future than to win the race. He was ahead of Samar in the beginning and then they were running parallel. He forgot the
instructions given to him by his instructors, well-wishers, and relatives.

2) How did the respective families of Samar and Gouri receive them after the mile race?

Answer: Samar’s father was very ill. He was taken to the hospital. So no one in his family even looked at his trophies. But Gouri’s family was very happy to know that he could break his own record. They do not mind even though he lost the mile race. They arrange a party to celebrate Gouri’s Success.

3) What did Gouri think when he Saw Samar’s name in the newspaper for scoring a century against the Indian Railways Cricket Team?
Answer: Gouri felt very bad. It pained him to see his rival’s name in the newspaper for playing to win the cricket matches. Gouri felt as if he could not lift a heavy stone from his chest. Gouri was a better cricketer than Samar. If his father had not sent him to England he could have been in the place of Samar enjoying as a cricket player.

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