Ravi learns a lesson in humility. He is so overwhelmed by the fact that he wins the game that he forgets to do the one thing to seal his victory—touch the den.
He could have slipped out long ago, dashed across the yard to the veranda, and touched the "den.'' It was necessary to do that to win. He had forgotten. He had only remembered the part of hiding and trying to elude the seeker.
He is utterly distraught at this realization, and when he does go out to claim his success, it is much too late! The children ceased playing hide-and-seek hours ago and have been partaking in some other activities since then. Ravi was forgotten during this time.
When the unfortunate lad goes to claim his victory, it is much too late. The game is not relevant or valid anymore. Ravi has, while gloating over his supposed success, wasted a golden opportunity to gain the other children's respect. What he gets instead is a scolding and an expression of concern from his annoyed mother:
Stop it, stop it, Ravi. Don’t be a baby. Have you hurt yourself?'
He also earns their derision:
"Don’t be a fool,'' Raghu said roughly, pushing him aside, and even Mira said, "Stop howling, Ravi. If you want to play, you can stand at the end of the line,'' and she put him there very firmly.