Unseen Passage for Class 9 ICSE With Answers (2022)

Comprehension involves a thorough understanding of the given passage consisting of one or more paragraphs. It is meant to test the comprehending (understanding) skills of a student.

In the examination, there will be a passage followed by different types of questions that are to be answered on the basis of the information given in passage.

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Format of Questions
This question comprises a passage of about 500 words followed by three types of questions as follows
1. Vocabulary Based Questions (3 Marks) The first question is based on vocabulary and carries (3 marks). It asks to write the meaning and synonym of the given word on the basis of the passage.

2. Short Answer Type Questions (9 Marks) The second question contains 5 questions which are most of the time in chronological order of the passage. All these are to be answered in the context of the passage.

3. Summary Based Questions (8 Marks) The third question is based on summary. Here students need to summarise the given passage. The primary objective of this question is to test the students ability to extract the main ideas from supporting details and to extract salient points to re-express them in the form of a summary.

Important Steps to Follow While Attempting the Question

  • Read the passage quickly so as to get the main theme of the passage
  • At this stage, do not worry about the difficult words that you encounter.
  • Now, rapidly go through the questions once. This will facilitate the process of ‘comprehending’ the passage.
  • Now, read the passage carefully and comprehensively.
    • This time you should read the passage slowly so as to grasp even the minute details of every point talked about in the passage.
    • If you try to read the passage hurriedly, you will not be able to discover every detail and will end up wasting your time in repeated readings.
    • Try to make out the meanings of the words you have underlined.
    • Do not try to attempt the questions, before you have completely read the passage.

Points to be Kept in Mind While Answering the Questions

  • The answers must be in complete sentences.
  • The answers must be relevant and to the point.
  • No information from outside the passage should be included in your answer even if that information is related to the topic and you know that.
  • The answers must be written using
    • Your own language.
    • Simple, appropriate words.
    • Correct grammatical English.
  • The tense of the answers must be the same as that of the questions.
  • Do not use the language of the passage.

Sample Passage 1

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.
Every Monday, on his way back from work, Bipin Chowdhury would drop in at New Market to buy books. He had to buy at least five at a time to last him through the week. He lived alone, was not a good mixer, had few friends and didn’t like spending time in idle chat. Those who called in the evening got through their business quickly and left. Those who didn’t show signs of leaving would be told around eight o’clock by Bipin Babu that he was under doctor’s orders to have dinner at eight-thirty. After dinner he would rest for half an hour and then turn in with a book. This was a routine which had persisted unbroken for years.

Today, Bipin Babu had the feeling that someone was observing him from close quarters. He turned round and found himself looking at a round-faced, meek-looking man who now broke into a smile. ‘I don’t suppose you recognise me.’

Bipin Babu felt ill at ease. It didn’t seem that he had ever encountered this man before. The face seemed quite unfamiliar. ‘Have we met before?’ asked Bipin Babu.

The man looked greatly surprised. ‘We met every day for a whole week. I arranged for an ear to take you to the Hundroo Falls. My name is ‘Parimal Ghosh’. ‘Ranchi?’ Now Bipin Babu realised this man was making a mistake. Bipin Babu had never been to Ranchi. He smiled and said, ‘Do you know who I am?’

The man raised his eyebrows and said, ‘Who doesn’t know Bipin Chowdhury?’

Bipin Babu turned towards the bookshelves and said, ‘You’r making a mistake. I’ve never been to Ranchi.’ The man now laughed aloud.

‘What are you saying, Mr Chowdhury? You had a fall in Hudroo and cut your right knee. I brought you iodine. I had fixed up a car for you to go to Netarhat the next day, but you couldn’t because of the pain in the knee. Can’t you recall anything? Someone else you know was also in Ranchi at that time, Mr Dinesh Mukherjee. You stayed in a bungalow. You said, you didn’t like hotel food. I’ll tell you more: you always carried a bag with your books in it on your sightseeing trips. Am I right or not?’

Bipin Babu spoke quiedy, his eyes still on the books. ‘Which month in Nineteen fifty-eight aTe you talking about?’ The man said, ‘October’.

‘No, sir,’ said Bipin Babu. ‘I spent October Nineteen fifty-eight with a friend in Kanpur. ‘ You’re making a mistake. Good day’.

But the man didn’t go, nor did he stop talking. ‘One evening I had tea with you on the veranda of your bungalow. You spoke about your family. You said, you had no children and that you had lost your wife a decade ago.’

When Bipin Babu had paid for the books and was leaving the shop, the man was still looking at his in utter disbelief.

Bipin Babu’s car was safely parked in Bertram Street. He told the driver as he got into the car, ‘Just drive by the Ganga, will you, Sitaram.’ Driving up the Strand Road, Bipin Babu regretted having paid so much attention to the intruder. He had never been to Ranchi. He had an excellent memory. Unless he was losing his mind!

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) persisted
(b) decade
(c) intruder
Answer:
(a) continued, carried on
(b) a period of ten years
(c) trespasser or encroacher

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly using your own words.
(a) How did Bipin Chowdhury find time to read five
(b) How did he get rid of visitors who stayed late?
(c) Which sentence tells you that Bipin was uncomfortable?
(d) What strong argument did Bipin Babu give to prove that he was not in Ranchi at that time?
Answer:
(a) Bipin Chowdhury found time to read five booka week as he lived all alone in his house. He was not a good mixer and possessed less friends. He did’t like spending time in idle chat.
(b) He used to get rid of the visitors who stayed late by telling them that he was under doctor’s order to have dinner at eight-thirty and he could no longer spend time with them.
(c) Sentence ‘Bipin Babu fell ill at ease’ tells us that he felt uncomfortable.
(d) The strong argument given by Bipin Chowdhury was that in October 1958, he was with a friend in Kanpur. He said that he never been to Ranchi.
(e) Bipin Babu regrets having paid so much attention to the stranger who was giving false claims of having met him.

Question 3.
What memories of the trip does Parimal Ghosh evoke to prove that Bipin Babu was indeed in Ranchi? Describe in your own words and answer in not more than 50 words.
Answer:
Parimal Ghosh tried to remind Bipin Babu that it was he who had arranged a car for Bipin Babu when he was in Ranchi in October 1958. He also reminded Bipin Chowdhury that Parimal had brought iodine for him when he had a fall in Hudroo and had cut his right knee. Someone else known as Dinesh Mukherjee was also in Ranchi. Parimal reminded Bipin of his dislike for hotel food and that he always carried a bag containing books on sightseeing trips.

Sample Passage 2

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.
Ann Davison, the first woman to sail single-handedly to the Atlantic Ocean, was all set to begin her journey of hopes, aspirations and journey of troubles, when she received a gift pack. It was a Christmas gift from her friends. It contained greeting cards and small gifts that, instead of cheering her, made her feel more lonely.

Ann Davison had a passion for aviation and was among the few Americans to become a pilot. Her marriage to Frank Davison had changed her life. They had bought a motorsailer named Reliance. Ann lost her husband in a tragedy with ‘Reliance’. After that she got a job and a boat ‘Felicity Ann’ which created in her the desire to sail across the Atlantic Ocean.

That day, the boat was making only a half knot. So, she ran the engine for a while and this improved her spirits. She decided to run it a little everyday, while the ocean was calm. It kept the engine from corroding and the sound was good for her morale.

She was waiting for a little wind to blow. But, there was a squall and the boat, Felicity Ann was heeled over, dangerously. She was discovering the learning of many other long-distance sailors : the single hander’s main enemies were lack of confidence, discouragement and loneliness. Ann tried hard to reef the mainsail but was unsuccessful. She groped her way on deck and rested.

She gave up trying and instead of getting nervous, she consoled herself by reading poetry in the cabin and discovering memory games. In the afternoon, a little desirable wind blew and she could cover a short distance towards her goal. The lowering mark of fuel in her boat was alarming her. She knew she would not be able to sail everyday. Squalls had actually filled in her way more than calms. She kept her morale high, calculated miles and days. She knew she was only about seven hundred miles from Barbados.

Now, she was experiencing fatigue though the twin staysails were working again and she was slowly heading towards the goal. She suspected that it was due to the deficiency of vitamin, though she had faithfully taken her vitamin tablets. As a consequence, she decided to head for Barbados, the nearest West Indies island, though she had originally planned for Antigua.

This was also due to her mental depression which was another big concern. She struggled a lot to sail to the North-West reefing and changing sails constanly, usually in the middle of the night. Now, there was one more reason for Ann Davison to worry about. She had crossed the estimated sixty-day mark for her voyage. And the store of both food and water was going to be short. She tried heavy ropes astern to make Felicity Ann steer better.

But, the ropes got tangelled up as the directions of squalls were changing constantly. She had to pull the ropes into cockpit and untangle them. This exhausted her even more and her eyes were getting so swollen that her eyesight was getting poorer. Finally, on 18th January, weak and dispirited, she made out a faint shape on the horizon, the mountainous outline of Barbados.

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) morale
(b) consoled
(c) deficiency
Answer:
(a) The level of a persons self-confidence and
enthusiasm at a particular time.
(b) Comfort or sympathise somebody who is unhappy or disappointed.
(c) Lack of something.

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) What was Ann Davison discovering about the learning of other long-distance sailors?
(b) Why do you think the author says, “the sound was good for her morale”?
(c) What did Ann Davison do when squall struck and she could not sail any more?
(d) Why did Ann Davison decide to head for Barbados although she had originally planned for Antigua?
(e) What exhausted her even more?
Answer:
(a) The other long-distance sailors had learnt that the single-hander’s main enemies were lacking of confidence, having discouragement and loneliness. This was discovered by Ann Davison.

(b) One learns from the passage that sailing was a passion for Ann. But, since her boat was not working properly, she had decided to sail a little everyday. This would help her not to lose her confidence and keep her motivated. Hence, I think, the author says, “It was good for her morale”.

(c) When a squall struck her boat, Ann gave up trying to sail and consoled herself by reading poetry in the cabin.

(d) Ann was suffering from fatigue which she suspected was as a result of a vitamin deficiency. Therefore, owing to her deteriorating physical health and mental depression, she decided to head for Barbados instead of Antigua, as it was nearer.

(e) For steering better, Ann tried to stream heavy ropes backwards. But, due to the changing directions of the violent wind, the ropes got tangled up and she had to pull them to the cockpit to untangle them. This exhausted her even more.

Question 3.
Give a character sketch of Ann Davison in your own words. Do not exceed 50 words.
Answer:
Ann Davison was a very courageous woman with strong determination. The gift pack by her friends made her feel lonely. This shows that she was emotional too. The sudden strong and violent winds stopped her for a while but could not discourage her. Instead of being demoralised, she busied herself in reading and playing memory games. This shows her self-motivation. Deficiency of fuel and deteriorating health disheartened her a little but could not deviate her from reaching her goal.

SELF ASSESSMENT

PASSAGE 1

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

Writing is HARD, and it’s not with just a capital H, it’s with capital ARD too, or maybe even longer words like challenging or difficult or problematic with all their alphabets in capitals, underlined and in bold. It’s been a week since I decided to be amongst the 0.33 percent people who finish writing a book every year, but all I can think of are the beautiful books I have read, of how I will let them down if I write something pathetic and unreadable. It’s like performance pressure when drowning under the watchful eyes of a gaggle of coaches and parents.

I have just written half a sentence and it goes like, ‘As he entered …’ Post that I felt like death, stationary, stuck in place, and all pervasive. I felt light and disgusted, and soon, I was in a pit of inconsolable despair, clawing to get out. Staring at a blank computer screen is distressing, unromantic, and in stark contrast to feeling imprinted sheets of paper, yellowed by age and use, between your fingers.

There are 298 listed writers in the Wikipedia page under the category ‘Writers who committed suicide’, and like every list, I’m sure it’s incomplete. I shudder to think of the pressure writers are under to not write something that’s hated.

I have just finished reading Fahrenheit 451, a novel set in the future, when houses and buildings are fireproof, and firemen don’t stop fires, they start them. Their job is to burn all the books and stoke the fires that consume them, one page at a time, one story at a time.

451 Fahrenheit is the temperature at which the printing paper catches fire and I am that temperature. Anything that I write should catch fire and burn before anyone reads it, because reading it would destroy them. And I hope not to destroy.

I shut down my laptop, dump my register and the solitary printed sheet with half a sentence in my bag, and storm out of the library. I have come to realise that trying to write is the single fastest path to feeling worthless. But also, there is a little joy.

I take the Metro to college, which is conveniently located, at a ten-minute distance from Dad’s library. Today we have Advanced JAVA, C++ and IT security, but I’m not worried about the classes, I’m worried about not descending down the slippery slope of depression and nihilism.

I am reading a hardback and walking towards the class, wondering if the author battled with mediocrity like I am, trying not to fall in my own eyes. Often deep in my thoughts, my writing is shallower than the script of Pokemon.

The book I am reading is so brilliant that I want to cry and throw it away. Instead, I just keep reading, not thinking of writing a book, and soon enough I do crash into a stupid lamp-post, the book flies out of my hand and I am sprawled on ground with my legs wide open. My chest hurts and a few girls start giggling from a distance. In all the years I have been walking, a perfect upright homo-sapiens-type walk, this is when they choose to notice me, in my brightest hour.

‘Are you okay?’ a voice says from behind. I turn around to see Archana, my ex-girlffiend, and she’s not imaginary. Our relationship was brief but it happened. ‘I’ am fine, I say. ‘This lamp-post here. Stupid lamp-post, always there, never moving’. She giggles, like she always does, and covers her mouth with her slender fingers.

Questions
1. Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) pathetic
(b) drowning
(c) mediocrity

2. Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) What attempts has the writer made to convince the reader that writing is not an easy task? What does he want to express by saying ‘with all their alphabet in capitals, underlined and in bold’?
(b) What was the author’s situation after being unable to write anything more than half a sentence?
(c) What thoughts horrify the author?
(d) What is the job of the firemen in the book ‘Fahrenheit 451 ’?
(e) What is tragic, in the author’s opinion, about being noticed by the girls?

3. Describe the author’s state of distress and despair due to not being able to write something good, using your own language. Do not exceed 50 words.

PASSAGE 2

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

I believe forgetting can be an art. I would like to say I forgot my family’s past. It would make my task (and my life) much easier. But I didn’t forget my family’s past, I was ignorant of it. And this ignorance bothered me. Not in itself, mind you. It wasn’t as if they had all died before I had a chance to talk to them. No, I would see my mother every day, and my grandparents almost as often, and not once did I ask them a single question about the past. To put it more precisely then: it wasn’t my ignorance that bothered me, it was the fact I wasn’t bothered. I grew up in a small mining town in the coalfields of the Hunter Valley, in what at the time was an exotic family, and I couldn’t give a stuff.

It came to me sometime in High School. I couldn’t work it out then, but I think I can understand a little now of what was going on. As an adolescent, I hated the child I had been. I could have sympathised with him if he’d failed to learn his mothertongue (how often had I been told what a ‘hard’ language Russian was?), but he didn’t fail because he didn’t even try. It was the absence of desire I could never forgive myself; and though I couldn’t put it into words, I knew that it had something to do with cowardice, a fear of something too large (and dark) to grasp: A fear of being swamped.

Now, as I write, I’m not so sure. Perhaps there was something heroic in my desire not to know, or at least something positive something necessary. And how could I know that my grandfather might have conspired in this ignorance, happy, for his own reasons, that I showed no inclination to push beyond what he had given? Because the truth is, the few stories I had were enough. During the first twelve years of my life I knew almost nothing about the Ukraine and while, on the surface at least, I cared little for its actuality, as a fabled place it became for me the source of almost all my romance. I understand now that it was precisely because I knew so little that this could be so.

Like almost all second generation Australians, I lived in two worlds as a child. And somehow that child sensed intuitively that it was essential to avoid actual knowledge; that by knowing just a little, not only was he able to establish his own sense of self, he could also, and more importantly, make himself however he wanted. Without knowledge, without language, there was no deceit and certainly no self-consciousness: it was the easiest thing in the world to see the forests of the Ukraine, to listen at night to the howl of the wolves, in the backyards of Cessnock.

Questions
1. Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) bothered
(b) swamped
(c) inclination

2. Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) What advantage did the writer see in being ignorant about his family’s history?
(b) Whom does the author refer to as ‘him’ in the second paragraph? When could the author have sympathised with ‘him’?
(c) Why does the author say that he could never forgive himself?
(d) Why does the author feel that his grandfather might have conspired?
(e) What was the easiest thing in the world for the author?

3. Write down in your own words, what kind of feelings did the author experience about not trying to know the past of his family. Do not exceed 50 words.

PASSAGE 3

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

Ashfaqulla Khan was a loyal friend, a great revolutionary, a real martyr who sacrificed his life for the cause of freedom. By his unique sacrifice, Ashfaqulla Khan became an immortal revolutionary, an unforgettable name in the Indian freedom struggle history.

Born in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, Ashfaqulla Khan was the son of Shafiqulla Khan. In 1921, Mahatma Gandhi had called on all Indians not to pay taxes to the government or cooperate with the British. This non-cooperation movement kindled the fire of freedom in the hearts of all Indians. However, with the Chauri Chaura violence which resulted into setting ablaze of a police station and death of some policemen, Mahatma Gandhi called off the non-cooperation movement in February, 1922. The youth of the country were greatly disappointed with this calling off the movement and they themselves resolved that the country should become free as early as possible. Ashfaqulla Khan joined the band of such revolutionaries.

Ramprasad Bismil who also hailed from Shahjahanpur was the leader of the militant group of these revolutionaries. A friendship was cultivated between Ashfaqulla Khan and Ramprasad Bismil. He was an Aryasamaji whereas Ashfaqulla Khan was a devout Muslim. They were so devoted to the cause of the nation that their religion did not come in the way of their firm resolve to join together for the freedom struggle.

Their friendship was so strongly fastened that they always moved together, ate together and worked together. They were called two bodies but one soul. An incident in this connection is worth mentioning. Once Ashfaq had severe fever and under the very high temperature he was muttering Ram, my dear Ram.

Ashfaq’s parents became much perturbed and thought Ashfaq had been overpowered by some evil spirit since he was uttering the name of Ram, the Lord of Hindus. They called their neighbour. The neighbour assured them, explaining that Ashfaq was remembering Ramprasad Bismil, his friend, whom he was in the habit of addressing as Ram. Bismil was called. Asfaq’s muttering came to a stop and both embraced each other.

They formed the Hindustan Republican Association. Shachindra Nath Sanyal was the founder of this organisation. Their objective was to win freedom for the country through armed revolution. The association published a manifesto called Krantikari in 1925, advocating the elimination of inequality and slavery. For the purpose of carrying out the revolution, they needed money.

The famous Kakori train robbery was conceived with the sole objective of getting money for carrying out their revolutionary activities. The train robbery was conceived by Ramprasad. Once while travelling from Shahjahanpur to Lucknow, he noticed money bags being taken into the guard’s van and dropped into an iron safe. Ashfaq opposed the idea saying that it would be a hasty step and will expose the revolutionaries to direct attack by strong government that will use the entire machinery to crush the revolutionary activities. However, the revolutionaries decided to go ahead with the plan. Like a disciplined soldier, Ashfaq vowed to join.

Questions
1. Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) immortal
(b) kindled
(c) muttering

2. Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) Who called the Indians for non-cooperation movement? How was it to be carried out?
(b) Why was the non-cooperation movement called off?
(c) Why were Ashfaq’s parents perturbed?
(d) What plan was proposed by Ramprasad Bismil in order to materialise the mission of revolution?
(e) What epithet did the friendship of Ashfaq and Ramprasad win them?

3. Describe the character and life events of Ashfaqulla Khan based on the passage in your own words. Do not exceed 50 words.

PASSAGE 4

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

In Banaras District, there is a village called Bira in which an old, childless widow used to live. She was a Gond woman named Bhungi and she didn’t own either a scrap of land or a house to live in. Her only source of livelihood was a parching oven. The village folk customarily have one meal a day of parched grains, so there was always a crowd around Bhungi’s oven. Whatever grain she was paid for parching, she would grind or fry and eat it.

She slept in a corner of the same little shack that sheltered the oven. As soon as it was light she’d get up and go out to gather dry leaves from all around to make her fire. She would stack the leaves right next to the oven, and after twelve, light the fire. But on the days when she had to parch grain for Pandit Udaybhan Pandey, the owner of the village, she went to bed hungry.

She was obliged to work without pay for Pandit Udaybhan Pandey. She also had to fetch water for his house. And, for this reason, from time to time the oven was not lit. She lived in the Pandit’s Village, therefore he had full authority to make her do any sort of odd job. In his opinion, if she received food for working from him, how could it be considered as work done without pay? He was doing her a favour, in fact, by letting her live in the village at all.

It was spring, a day on which the fresh grain was fried and eaten and given as a gift. No fire was lit in the house. Bhungi’s oven was being put to good use today. There was a crowd worthy of a village fair around her. She had scarcely any opportunity to draw a breath. Because of the customer’s impatience, squabbles kept breaking out. Then two servants arrived, each carrying a heaped basket of grain from Pandit Udaybhan with the order to parch it right away. When Bhungi saw the two baskets, she was alarmed.

It was already after twelve and even by sunset, she would not have time to parch so much grain. Now she would have to stay at the oven parching until after dark for no payment. In despair, she took the two baskets. One of the flunkeys aid menacingly, ‘Don’t waste any time or you’ll be sorry.’ With this command, the servants went away and Bhungi began to parch the grain.

It’s no laughing matter to parch a whole maund of grain. She had to keep stopping from the parching in order to keep the oven fire going. So by sundown not even half the work was done. She was afraid Panditji’s men would be coming. She began to move her hands all the more frantically. Soon the servants returned and said, “Well, is the grain parched?’

Feeling bold, Bhungi said, “Can’t you see? I’m parching it now.’ ‘The whole day’s gone and you haven’t finished any more grain than this! Have you been roasting it or spoiling it? This is completely uncooked! How’s it going to be used for food?

It’s the ruin of us! You’ll see what Panditji does to you for this.’ The result was that that night the oven was dug up and Bhungi was left without a means of livelihood.

Questions
1. Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) squabbles
(b) flunkeys
(c) maund

2. Answer the following questions briefly using your own words.
(a) How did Bhungi earn her livelihood?
(b) Why was Pandit Udaybhan against paying Bhungi?
(c) Which word in the passage shows that the old woman started working hastily in a disorderly manner out of anxiety?
(d) What did one of the servants of Pandit warn Bhungi?
(e) What does the author mean by ‘She had scarcely any opportunity to draw a breath’?

3. Describe the hard work and the plight of Bhungi, in your own words not exceeding 50.

PASSAGE 5

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

Lucie, a student from the United States, has just arrived at Charles de Gaulle in Paris, the airport that greets a million visitors to Paris every day. Paris; finally. It’s always been a dream of Lucie to live in the city of light, the city of fine arts, of the Latin Quarter, of wine, and who knows, perhaps the city of a little love story.

She plans to study in France for one year, to get her degree in Computer Science at the University of Versailles St Quentin-en-Sveline. It’s the university that offered her a scholarship to study. Plus, her friend Josephine studies there and Lucie can live with her in a small apartment.

She takes the RER which brings her straight to the St Lazare station at the’ city center. After arriving there, she looks for the platform that will take her to the train for Versailles. She boards the train and soon it’s heading into a black tunnel toward Versailles. Lucie is a little disappointed because she has to stay in Versailles when she’d like to live in Paris. Rut, she tells herself that Versailles is only a few minutes by train from the big city of Paris, and moreover, there are several attractions in Versailles.

The train exits the tunnel, and while passing the big city, she sees a large cemetery, the Eiffel Tower, and Montmartre with the Sacre Coeur cathedral nearby. A few moments later she arrives at Versailles station.

She has arrived. This is her destination. In front of her is the grand Chateau of Versailles where Lucie 14th, the Sun king, had parties and lived the high life with his mistresses. To the right is the avenue St Cloud where the apartment that she’ll live in with Josephine is tired, but joyful.

She starts looking for the address of the apartment. “All alone in a new country, knowing no one, future, I’m ready!” Lucie says to herself. Lucie has arrived at the Versailles train station.

She has already seen the Chateau of Versailles but she wants to come back later for a more in-depth visit. But, first she walks along avenue St Cloud to find her apartment. She finds the address in front of the police station in a little brick house. She sets her bags down in front of the gate of the little pathway that leads to the sidewalk of the house. She rings the yellow doorbell next to ‘Josephine Gerard’.

Her friend, Josephine, whom she met on the web, opens the door. Josephine gives her two kisses. Shocked Lucie asks why she did that. “That’s how it’s done in France. Girls give each other two kisses, guys give two kisses to girls and guys shake each other’s hands. We do all this to say hello”. Josephine says.

“Come with me”, says Josephine. “I’ll show you the apartment. It’s small but it’s our own little place.” Silently Lucie follows her. Awed, she looks at the apartment’s entryway. She can’t believe her eyes, she enters the hallway and sees the walls are painted red, completely red. The floors are wood, beautiful and possibly oak. The ceiling is painted black. On the left is an iron table with the telephone on it.

She goes on and to the left is a bathroom, which is across from Josephine’s room. A little farther, to the right is Lucie’s room. She puts all of her things in the corner, jumps into the bed, and stretches her arms and legs. “Finally at my own place,” she says to herself.

Questions
1. Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) scholarship
(b) disappointed
(c) destination

2. Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) What are the two reasons for Lucie to take admission to the University of Versailles?
(b) How does Lucie console herself about living in Versailles? What is her sorrow?
(c) What is Lucie ready for?
(d) How do people say ‘hello’ in France?
(e) Why does Lucie say “Finally, at my own place”, according to you?

3. Describe the apartment, in which Lucie goes to stay, right from the entry in your own words. Do not exceed 50 words.

PASSAGE 6

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

Curious as it may sound, I have always felt I am an Indian by accident. Let me explain why I say this. I was born in Bhagalpur. This ought to make me a Bihari. But I am not because my mother was a Bengali whose family had settled in Bihar. Within weeks of being born I came to Calcutta, where I spent all my growing up years. My school was founded by a Frenchman, a soldier of fortune. And though I scored far better marks in Bengali and Hindi there, the only language I learnt was English. How and why I have no clue since we all spoke Bengali at home. My first English article appeared in the Statesman when I was 13. Soon I published my first book of poems, again in English. I dropped out of college.

Wrote more books till the desire to change the world (yes, in those days we actually thought we could) brought me to what was then Bombay, to be a journalist.

Mumbai is where I have lived for most of my life. In between, for what seemed like six long years, I also lived in Lutyens’ Delhi. In a charming bungalow just opposite the BJP office on Ashoka Road, eating subsidised meals in Parliament and representing Maharashtra’s interests on a Shiv Sena ticket. So am I a Mumbaikar? Or a Bengali from Calcutta? A Bihari? Or a born again Anglophile like Nirad C Chaudhuri? I have no clue. Most Indians are like me, put together by accident. That’s the magic of being a migrant in your own land, trying to discover yourself through your many identities.

My mother’s maiden name seemed to suggest that someone in her family in the past had a Muslim connect though her first name was Hindu (or Bengali, depending on how you see it). The only place of worship I ever saw her visit was the St Paul’s cathedral on New Year’s eve more out of convention than faith. My father was born a Hindu and his family home was in Kalighat. His father remarried and chucked. them out my father, his mother and two sisters found themselves on the street trying to fend for themselves when a passing Jesuit took pity on them.

He gave them shelter in Bishnupur where he ran a school. The freedom struggle brought my parents together. They married and we three brothers were born. Never did it once strike me what my religion was, which state I belonged to, what my language ought to be, which culture I should fight for. (My adolescent years went in protesting against the Russians invading Czechoslovakia and the Americans, in Vietnam. My Bengali DNA I guess.)

If you look around you, you will find many people like me who in the midst of their many identities, accidentally chanced upon their Indianness. Each of them will swear by their regional culture, the language they speak, the faith they follow or (like me) do not. And, as they wander through all these, and discover themselves, they also discover the magic of being Indian.

(Video) How to deal with Comprehension in ICSE Class 9 and 10 English Language Paper

Questions
1. Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) chucked
(b) invading
(c) swear

2. Answer the following questions briefly using your own words.
(a) Why does the author say that he is an Indian by accident?
(b) What brought the author to Bombay?
(c) What pity a passing Jesuit on road took on the author’s family?
(d) What similarity does the author seem to have with Nirad C Chaudhuri as mentioned in the passage?
(e) What quality in himself does the author attribute to his Bengali DNA?

3. Write in your own words not exceeding 50, how the author discovers magic in being Indian.

PASSAGE 7

Read the following passage carefully and answerthe questions that follow.

Nails provide vital clues to the state of your health. Made up of protein, keratin and sulphur, they grow about one centimetre every 3 months and protect the highly sensitive nerve endings at the fingertips. It is not surprising, then, that nails can highlight very important changes in the body. What sort of complaints show up in fingernails? One problem, anaemia, is betrayed by spoon-shaped nails and often by a brittle texture and a whitish hue. Psoriasis, a skin problem, which affects two per cent of the population, can appear in the primary stages as yellow marks on the nails. Alopecia (circular patterns of hair loss, most commonly on the scalp) may be signified by multiple sunken pits on the nails.

The colour of the nails can also act as an indicator of a general health problem. A dysfunction in the lung, for instance, can be signalled by a bluish tinge to the nails accompanied by clubbing or excessive roundness and spreading of fingertips and nail tips. Heart disease is often revealed by reddish nails with white half moons. Yellowed nails, on the other hand, are a telltale sign of liver problems, while the appearance of brown streaks on the nail could indicate a melanoma, a type of cancer, under the nail.

Although nails can highlight serious illness, they are far more likely to show up nutritional or vitamin and mineral deficiencies, e.g., zinc deficiency is to blame for the white spots often wrongly attributed to a lack of calcium. Brittle, splitting nails could also be due to a lack of hydrochloric acid in the system, a deficiency often caused by stress. We know that vitamin deficiency can render the hair dull and lifeless, so it is only natural it should affect the nails, which are similarly composed.

A person with weak nails is also often lacking in Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). Of course, brittleness can be hereditary, or even the product of external factors such as overexposure to detergents. One of the more intriguing conditions you can discern from the nails is arsenic poisoning which may be disclosed by white lines across their surface. But before you go running off to the doctor the next time you break a nail or spot a strange marking, you should remember that the state of the nails varies greatly from individual to individual.

John Eastman, a naturopath in London, points out: There may be ten separate reasons why ten different people have nails problem.

Questions
1. Give the meanings of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) betrayed
(b) for instance
(c) attributed

2. Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) What are the symptoms of anaemia that can be seen in nails?
(b) What changes are found in fingernails when there is a dysfunction in lungs?
(c) What is the common misconception about white spots in nails?
(d) Which part of the body is told to be similar to the fingernails in the passage? In what respect are they similar?
(e) What are the different causes of weak nails that are discussed in this passage?

3. In your own words, describe all the diseases or disorders the symptoms of which can be seen in nails, as discussed in the passage. Do not exceed 50 words.

PASSAGE 8

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow

Apollo Hospital group installed the world’s most advanced Cyberknife robotic radio surgery system at the Cancer Speciality Centre in Chennai, India. Although it meant substantial price for the hospital, Apollo decided to go ahead with the project due to the new-found enthusiasm for robotics in India.

From the Chandrayaan I project for sending robots to Moon, to biomedical engineering and the auto industry, India has been using robotics on a wide scale. In an increasingly technology-driven country, robotics has fast assumed significance not only for industrial applications, but also in various day-to-day human activities. According to the Oxford Dictionary, robotics . is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, structural disposition, manufacture and application of robots.

The word robotics was derived from the word robot. The word robotics was first used in print by Isaac Asimov, in his science fiction published in May 1941, in Astounding Science Fiction. Today it is a confluence science using the continuing advancements of mechanical engineering, material science sensor fabrication, manufacturing techniques and advanced algorithms.

Presently, robotics is the pinnacle of technical development. Though robotics in India is at a nascent stage, but industrial automation in India has opened up huge potential for robotics. Innovation coupled with consolidated research and development has catapulted India’s scientific position in robotic technology. Analysts claim that the Indian manufacturing industry has been growing at an average rate of 10 percent to 12 percent per year and the global market for robots is projected to rise by an average of 4.2 percent, while in India, the industry is expected to grow at a rate 2.5 times that of the global average.

In medicine, the importance of robotics has been growing. Robotic surgery is a new and exciting emerging technology that holds significant promise. Robotics are increasingly being used in a variety of clinical and surgical settings for increasing surgical accuracy and decreasing operating times and often create better healthcare outcomes than standard current approaches. Robotic technology will have a tremendous social and cultural impact on the future of healthcare. In providing healthcare, robots are expected to augment traditional treatment, resulting in humans and robots working side by side.

It has been proven that robotic systems have benefited in many ways. For instance, few robots have helped children with developmental disabilities, others have improved the health status of people with different deficiencies. People who have experienced therapy robots in their lives have commented that robots brought confidence in their lives as well as solved problems related to health.

The other fact is that in some industrial countries robots are helping children with deficiencies to develop faster and have positively influenced their behaviour. Experts predict that by 2020, robots will become more intelligent and irreplaceable as they would perform most household chores like laundry and home maintenance and would provide valuable services for children and elderly people. Thus, future robots promise important role in our lives.

Questions
1. Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or phrase will be accepted.
(a) significance
(b) pinnacle
(c) deficiencies

2. Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) In which sectors has India been using robotics?
(b) What does ‘robotics’ mean?
(c) Which word in the passage denotes that setting up a radio surgery system was an expensive deal for Apollo Hospital group?
(d) What is the current scientific position of India in robotic technology?
(e) Why are robotics being increasingly used in clinical surgeries?

3. Describe in your own words, the present scenario of robotic technology in India and its growing influence in medicine. Do not exceed 50 words.

PASSAGE 9

Read the following passage carefully and, answer the questions that follow.

“If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.”

These golden words are remembered by the people of the country as they mourn the death of Dr A P J Abdul Kalam; the great scientist and former President of India. Throughout his lifetime, he had been an inspiration for the students, the youth who are the aspirants of great India. And these ‘ignited minds’ illuminated by the character and influence of this great soul will keep spreading the light of their wisdom and virtues across the world. Kalam was born into a poor South Indian family in Rameshwaram.

His family lived a very frugal life and could hardly make their both ends meet. It was difficult for his father to pay even the school fees on time. So, Kalam had a habit of sparingly using his resources. Despite all unfavourable circumstances, he worked very hard and continued with his education and consequently became a highly respected aerospace scientist in the country.

His journey to success was not an easy affair. India’s ‘Missile Man’ also had some failure stories. He had narrowly missed his dream of becoming a fighter pilot as he ranked 9th in the list and there were only eight positions in the IAF. Also, when he was pursuing aerospace engineering in Madras Institute of Technology, his Dean was dissatisfied with the lack of progress that he exhibited in a project. It is another fact that he later accomplished it within the deadline of three days and impressed the Dean.

Abdul Kalam received Honorary doctorate from 40 universities. The Government of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan in 1981, and the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 for his work with ISRO and DRDO and as a scientific advisor to the government. The government also awarded him the highest civilian award ‘Bharat Ratna’ for his contribution to the Missile Programme in 1997.

Kalam’s message for the youth was that they should have the courage to think differently, to travel the unexplored path, discover the impossible and to overcome the problems and succeed. Above all they should work towards achieving ‘excellence’ was his most important lesson for the youth of the country.

He didn’t believe in doling out advice about the things he didn’t do himself. It is said that amidst his tight schedule, Kalam found time to put pen to, paper, almost everyday. His urge for excellence and fear of intellectual stagnation always provoked him to stretch his schedule beyond the daily routine.

When Kalam was President, a reporter who was interviewing him was referring to him as ‘Your Excellency’. Kalam cut him short, saying, ‘call me Kalam’. This is the key to Kalam’s personality. He was modest to the core.

This great philosopher and scientist who spread the message of spirituality, inspiration, and hardwork in the country passed away due to a cardiac attack while he was delivering a lecture on ‘Creating a livable Planet Earth’ at Indian Institute of Management in Shillong on the 27th July, 2015.

Questions
1. Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) ignited
(b) consequently
(c) stagnation

2. Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) What is Dr Kalam’s view regarding a nation bf beautiful minds?
(b) How did Kalam acquire a habit of using his resources sparingly?
(c) Why could Dr Kalam not become a fighter pilot in the IAF?
(d) What according to Dr Kalam should the youth of the country strive for?
(e) Why did Abdul Kalam stretch his schedule beyond the daily routine? What did he do?

3. Give the character sketch of APJ Abdul Kalam using your own language, in not more than 50 words.

PASSAGE 10

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

At the end of my first year at Hampton, I was confronted with another difficulty. Most of the students went home to spend their vacation. I had no money with which to go home, but I had to go somewhere. In those days very few students were permitted to remain at the school during vacation.

It made me feel very sad and homesick to see the other students preparing to leave and starting for home. I not only had no money with which to go home, but had none with which to go anywhere. In some way, however, I had gotten hold of an extra, second-hand coat which I thought was a pretty valuable coat. This I decided to sell, in order to get a little money for travelling expenses. I had a good deal of boyish pride and I tried to hide as far as I could, from the other students the fact that I had no money and nowhere to go.

I made it known to a few people in the town of Hampton that I had this coat to sell and after a good deal of persuading, one coloured man promised to come to my room to look the coat over and consider the matter of buying it. This cheered my drooping spirits considerably. Early the next morning my prospective customer appeared. After looking the garment over carefully, he asked me how much I wanted for it. I told him I thought it was worth three dollars.

He seemed to agree with me as to price, but remarked in the most matter-of-fact way: “I tell you what I will do; I will take the coat and will pay you five cents, cash down and pay you the rest of the money just as soon as I can get it.” It is not hard to imagine what my feelings were at the time.

With this disappointment I gave up all hope of getting out of town of Hampton of my vacation work. I wanted very much to go where I might secure work that would at least pay me enough to purchase some much needed clothing and other necessities. In a few days, practically all the students and teachers had left for their homes and this served to depress my spirits even more. After trying for several days in and near the town of Hampton, I finally secured work in a restaurant at Fortress Monroe.

The wages, however, were very little more than my board. At night and between meals, I found considerable time for study and reading and in this direction I improved myself very much during the summer. One day, during the last week of my stay in the restaurant, I found under one of the tables a crisp, new ten-dollar bill. I could hardly contain myself, I was so happy.

As it was not my place of business, I felt it to be the proper thing to show the money to the proprietor. This I did. He seemed as glad as I was, but he coolly explained to me that, as it was his place of business, he had a right to keep the money and he proceeded to do so. This, I confess, was another pretty had blow to me. I will not say that I became discouraged. I have begun everything with the idea that I could succeed. I determined to face the situation just as it was. At the end of the week, I went to the treasurer of the Hampton Institute, General J F B Marshall and told him frankly my condition. To my gratification, he told me that I could reenter the institution and that he would trust me to pay the debt when I could.

When I left school at the end of my first year, I owed the institution sixteen dollars that I had not been able to work out. It was my greatest ambition during the summer to save money enough with which to pay this debt. I felt that this was a debt of honour and that I could hardly bring myself to the point of even trying to enter school again till it was paid. I economised in every way that I could think of, did my own washing and went without necessary garments, but still I found my summer vacation ending and I did not have the sixteen dollars.

Questions
1. Give the meaning of the following words or phrases as used in the passage. One word answer or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) persuading
(b) prospective
(c) gratification

2. Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) What did the author hide from the other students? Why?
(b) What did the customer say regarding the deal of the author s second-hand coat?
(c) Which word in the passage expresses that the author was getting depressed?
(d) How did the author improve himself during the summer?
(e) What did the proprietor of the restaurant do when the writer showed him the money?

3. What kind of a personality do you visualise the author has? Write the answer in your own words not exceeding 50 words.

Unseen Passage Worksheets

PASSAGE 1

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

Granny knew I’d been in the train for two nights, and she had a huge breakfast ready for me.

Later she told me there’d been a letter from Uncle Ken.

‘He says he’s the manager in Firpo’s hotel in Simla,’ she said. ‘The salary is very good. It’s a steady job and I hope he keeps it’.

Three days later Uncle Ken was on the veranda steps with his bedding roll and battered suitcase.

‘Have you given up the hotel job?’ asked Granny? ‘No,’ said Uncle Ken. ‘They have closed down.’ ‘I hope it wasn’t because of you.’

‘No, Aunt Ellen. The bigger hotels in the hill stations are closing down.’

‘Well, never mind. Come along and have your lunch.’ Over lunch, Uncle Ken talked very seriously about ways and means of earning a living.

‘There is only one taxi in the whole of Dehra’, he mused. ‘Surely there is business for another?’

‘I’m sure there is,’ said Granny. ‘But where does it get you? In the first place, you don’t have a taxi. And in the second place, you can’t drive.’

‘I can soon learn. There’s a driving school in town. And I can use Uncle’s old car.’

‘I don’t think it will run now,’ said Granny. ‘Of course, it will. It just needs some oiling and greasing and a spot of paint.’

‘All right, learn to drive.’
So, Uncle Ken joined the driving school.
After a month Uncle Ken announced that he could drive and that he was taking the car out for a trial run.

‘You haven’t got your license yet,’ said Granny.

‘Oh, I won’t take it far,’ said Uncle Ken. ‘Just down the road and back again.’

He spent all morning cleaning up the car. Granny gave him money for a can of petrol.

After tea, Uncle Ken said, ‘Come along, Ruskin, hop in and I will give you a ride. Bring Mohan along too.’ ‘Mohan and I needed no. urging. We got into the car beside Uncle Ken.

‘Now don’t go too fast, Ken,’ said Granny anxiously. ‘You are not used to the car as yet.’

Uncle Ken nodded and smiled and gave two sharp toots on the horn. He was feeling pleased with himself.

Driving through the gate, he nearly ran over a cat. Miss Kellner, coming out for her evening rickshaw ride, saw Uncle Ken at the wheel of the car and ran indoors again.

Uncle Ken drove straight and fast tootling the horn without a break. At the end of the road there was a roundabout. ‘We’ll turn here,’ said Uncle Ken, ‘and then drive back again.’

He turned the steering wheel, we began going round the roundabout, but the steering wheel wouldn’t turn all the way, not as much as Uncle Ken would have liked it to …………

So, instead he went on-and straight through the Maharaja of Jetpur’s garden wall.

It was a single-brick wall, and the car knocked it down and emerged on the other side without any damage to the car or any of its occupants. Uncle Ken brought it to a halt in the middle of the Maharaja’s lawn.

Running across the grass came the Maharaja himself. When he saw that it was Uncle Ken at the wheel, the Maharaja beamed with pleasure. ‘Delighted to see you, old chap!’ he exclaimed. ‘Jolly decent of you to drop in again. How about a game of tennis?’

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) battered
(b) mused
(c) emerged
Answer:
(a) worn out
(b) said thoughtfully
(c) came out

Question2.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) Why did Granny hope Uncle Ken would Keep his job at Firpo’s hotel?
(b) When Uncle Ken arrived with his luggage, Granny remarked that she hoped the hotel had not closed down because of him. What does this remark tell you about Uncle Ken?
(c) Why did Uncle Ken think that driving a taxi in Dehra would be profitable?
(d) Which sentence tells you that the narrator and his friend were waiting to be invited for a drive in a car?
(e) Why did Miss Kellner run indoors when she saw Uncle Ken at the wheel of the car?
(f) What was Uncle Ken’s intention at the roundabout?
Answer:
(a) Granny hoped that Uncle Ken would keep his job at Firpo’s hotel as it was a steady job with a good salary.

(b) This remark tells us about Uncle Ken that he was not good at work or maybe he had created some problem due to which the hotel had closed down, all because Granny knew very well. Granny wanted to point out that Uncle Ken should be serious about earning a living.

(c) Uncle Ken thought that driving a taxi in Dehra would be profitable because there was only one taxi in the whole of Dehra; thus, there was enough business for another.

(d) The sentence which tells us this is : Mohan and I needed no urging.

(e) Miss Kellner had seen Uncle Ken nearly running over a cat, so she was afraid for her own safety. Thus, she ran indoors when she saw Uncle Ken at the wheel of the car.

(f) Uncle Ken’s intention at the roundabout was to take a turn and drive back again.

Question 3.
(a) In not more than 60 words, describe what happened after the car went through the wall.
(b) Give a title to your summary. Give a reason to justify your choice of the title.
Answer:
Uncle Ken stopped the car in the middle of Maharaja of Jetpur’s lawn. Seeing this, the Maharaja became alarmed and came running to see what had happened. When he saw it was Uncle Ken, whom he knew, he remarked that he was delighted to see his friend and would like to play a game of tennis with him.

(b) A title to the summary may be ‘Look at the positive aspect’. This title is suitable because the Maharaja was looking at the positive aspect of the incident, as he had met an old friend. He did not bother about the negative aspect, which was that his garden wall had been damaged.

PASSAGE 2

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

Rudyard Kipling, the great achiever of the honourable Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907, was a versatile writer with an articulate style of writing. He was an English short story writer, poet and novelist.

He was the first English language writer to receive Nobel Prize for Literature. On one hand, his writings depicted an aureate style of writing. Whereas, on the other hand, his works have also shown careless and colloquial styles.

Rudyard Kipling was born in Mumbai, on 30th December, 1865 to John Lockwood Kipling and Alice Kipling. His father who was a professor of archaeological sculptor, was appointed curator of the Government Museum in Lahore. So, his family had to move to Lahore, soon after his birth. At the age of six, he was sent to England for schooling. He did his further education from United Service College, Devon. When he returned to India, he was a reporter for the Lahore Civil and Military Gazette and the Allahabad Pioneer. After this he sailed back to England and also travelled through China, Japan and the United States.

Kipling was a versatile personality and had many qualities that made him extremely popular. He was more than a writer or journalist. His works include stories of Indian people, of children and of animals. His articles also talked about the value of the machine, his belief in progress, benefits of civilisation to the rest of the world. All these things carved him a niche in the hearts of many readers. He wrote about everything from adventure, to supernatural activities to romance and filled in everything a special feeling. Although many of his writings were very much different from those of the contemporary writers, he won the popularity of readers. He put a new life into the literature of 1890s.

After his daughter’s death, Kipling collected stories for ‘The Children.’ They were published in 1902. This was the year when he gained highest popularity. Till the first decade of the 20th century, he was at the height of popularity.

One critic described Kipling as, “A versatile and luminous narrative gift”. Henry James, the well known writer once said, “Kipling strikes me personally as the most complete man of genius that I have ever known”.

In 1936, when Kipling was 70, he underwent a surgery; a few days after which he died.

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) versatile
(b) contemporary
(c) luminous
Answer:
(a) all rounder or able to do many different things
(b) of or belonging to the same time (or era) as one lives in
(c) easily understood

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) What contrasting features of Rudyard Kipling’s writings does the author talk about in the first paragraph?
(b) What were the names of the parents of Kipling?
(c) Why did Kipling’s family have to move to Lahore?
(d) Why according to you, does the author say that Rudyard Kipling was a versatile personality?
(e) What all was the work of Kipling based on?
Answer:
(a) The author says that some of Kipling’s works exhibit a very decorative and expressive style of writing. While on the other hand, a few of his works have been written in informal and careless style.

(b) John Lockwood Kipling and Alice Kipling were the parents of Rudyard Kipling.

(c) Kipling’s father was appointed curator of the Government Museum of Lahore. Hence, they had to move to Lahore from Mumbai.

(d) Rudyard Kipling had many qualities that made him popular. He was not only a writer, but also a journalist. His works include short stories, novels and poems; with different styles of writing. Therefore, the author says he was a versatile personality.

(e) Kipling’s works included stories of Indian people, of children and of animals. His works also depicted the value of the machine, benefits of civilisation to the world.

Question 3.
Write the summary of the above passage in your own words. Do not exceed 50 words.
Answer:
Rudyard Kipling was born in Mumbai in 1865 and eventually his family moved to Lahore. He did his education from England and Devon. He was a prolific writer and a versatile personality.

His works include short stories, novels and poetry; based on Indian people, children and animals. He gained immense popularity though he wrote in different styles.

Kipling was the first writer in English to receive Nobel Prize for Literature. He died in 1936 a few days after undergoing a surgery.

PASSAGE 3

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

I rested for a moment at the door of Anand Bhavan, on Market Road, where coffee drinkers and tiffin eaters at their tables sat transfixed uttering low moans on seeing me. 1 wanted to assure them.

“Don’t fear, I am not out to trouble you. Eat your tiffin in peace, don’t mind me… You, nearest to me, hugging the cash box, you are craven with fear, afraid even to breathe. Go on, count the cash, if that’s your pleasure. I just want to watch, that’s all… If my tail trails down to the street, if I am blocking your threshold: it is because, I’m told, I’m eleven feet tip to tail.

I can’t help it. I’m not out to kill…I’m too full—found a green pasture teeming with food on the way. Won’t need any for several days to come, won’t stir, not until I feel hungry again. Tigers attack only when they feel hungry, unlike human beings who slaughter one another without purpose or hunger…”

To the great delight of children, schools were being hurriedly closed. Children of all ages and sizes were running helter skelter screaming joyously, ‘No school, no school, Tiger, tiger!’ They were shouting and laughing and even enjoyed being scared. They seemed to welcome me. I felt like joining them and bounded away from the restaurant door and trotted along with them, at which they gleefully cried ‘The tiger is coming to eat us; let us get back to the school!’

I followed them through their school gate while they ran up and shut themselves in the school hall securely. I ascended the steps of the school, saw an open door at the far end of a veranda and walked in.

(Video) ICSE 2021 Summary writing- Comprehension II Language Paper 1II Score high

It happened to be the headmaster’s room, I believe, as I noticed a very dignified man jumping on his table and heaving himself up into an attic. I walked in and flung myself on the cool floor, having a partiality for cool stone floors, with my head under the large desk which gave me the feeling of being back in the Mempi cave…

As I drowsed, I was aware of cautious steps and hushed voices all around. I was in no mood to bother about anything. All I wanted was a little moment of sleep; the daylight was dazzling. In half sleep I heard the doors of the room being shut and bolted and locked. I didn’t care. I slept.

While I slept, a great deal of consultation was going on. I learnt about it later through my master, who was in the crowd the crowd which had gathered after making sure that I had been properly locked up and was watching. The headmaster seems to have remarked some days later, “Never dreamt in my wildest mood that I’d have to yield my place to a tiger ……” A wag had retorted, “Might be one way of maintaining better discipline among the boys.”

‘Now that this brute is safely locked up, we must decide,’ began a teacher. At this moment my master pushed his way through the crowds and admonished. ‘Never use the words ‘beast’ or ‘brute’. They’re ugly words coined by humans in their arrogance. The human being thinks all other creatures are ‘beasts’, Awful word!.

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answer or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) transfixed
(b) helter-skelter
(c) admonished
Answer:
(a) unable to move because of great horror
(b) here and there
(c) to caution against something

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words
(a) What reassurance did the tiger give the coffee drinkers?
(b) In what way are tigers different from human beings?
(c) Why were the children delighted?
(d) What did the headmaster say some days later?
(e) What was the wag’s response?
Answer:
(a) The tiger reassured the coffee drinkers that he was there just to enjoy the sight and would not trouble them.

(b) Human beings kill one another, even their brethren without any reason or hunger. Whereas tigers attack only when they are hungry.

(c) The children were delighted because the schools were being closed hurriedly.

(d) Some days later, the headmaster remarked that he had never dreamt of leaving his office to a tiger.

(e) A wag cracked a joke which was surprising, saying that the tiger’s presence is for maintaining better discipline among the boys.

Question 3.
Describe the tiger’s activities from the time it followed the school children till it slept, in your own words. Do not exceed 50 words.
Answer:
The tiger watched the children (of different sizes) cheering and cherishing the joy coupled with fear. . He watched

PASSAGE 4

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

It was a dull autumn day and Jill Pole was crying behind the gym. She was crying because they had been bullying her. This is not going to be a school story, so I shall say as little as possible about Jill’s school, which is not a pleasant subject. It was coeducational, a school for both boys and girls, what used to be called a ‘mixed’ school; some said it was not nearly so mixed as the minds of the people who ran it. These people had the idea that boys and girls should be allowed to do what they liked. And unfortunately what ten or fifteen of the biggest boys and girls liked best was bullying the others.

All sorts of things, horrid things, went on which at an ordinary school would have been found out and stopped in half a term, but at this school they weren’t. Or even if they were, the people who did them were not expelled or punished. The head said they were interesting psychological cases and sent for them and talked to them for hours. And if you knew the right sort of things to say to the head, the main result was that you became rather a favourite than otherwise.

That was why Jill Pole was crying on that dull autumn day on the damp little path which runs between the back of the gym and the shrubbery. And she hadn’t nearly finished her cry when a boy came round the corner of the gym whisding, with his hands in his pockets. He nearly ran into her. “Can’t you look where you’re going?” said Jill Pole. “All right,” said the boy, “you needn’t start” and then he noticed her face, “I say, Jill,” he said, “what’s up?”

Jill only made faces; the sort you make when you’re trying to say something but find that if you speak you’ll start crying again. “It’s them, I suppose as usual,” said the boy grimly, digging his hands further into his pockets. Jill nodded. There was no need for her to say anything, even if she could have said it. They both knew. “Now, look here,” said the boy, “its no use…”

He meant well, but he did talk rather like someone beginning a lecture. Jill suddenly flew into a temper (which is quite a likely thing to happen if you have been interrupted in a cry).

“Oh, go away and mind your own business,” she said. “Nobody asked you to come barging in, did they? And you’re a nice person to start telling us what we all ought to do, aren’t you? I suppose you mean we ought to spend all our time sucking up to them and currying favour and dancing attendance on them like you do.” ‘Oh, Lord!’ said the boy, sitting down on the grassy bank at the edge of the shrubbery and very quickly getting up again because the grass was soaking wet. His name unfortunately was Eustace Scrubb, but he wasn’t bad sort.

“Jill!” he said. “Is that fair?”
“I don’t know and I don’t care,’’ sobbed Jill.

Eustace saw that she wasn’t quite herself yet and very sensibly offered her a peppermint. He had one too. Presently Jill began to see things in a clearer light. “I’m sorry, Eustace,” she said presently.

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) bullying
(b) expelled
(c) barging
Answer:
(a) to use strength to harm or intimidate those who are weaker
(b) made them to leave school
(c) to bump into someone

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) Why do you think she was crying behind the gym?
(b) Who is the ‘them’ referred to in the line 15.
(c) Why did Jill fly into a temper?
(d) Which sentences tell us that both Jill and Eustace Scrubb had suffered similarly?
(e) When did Jill begin to see things differently?
Answer:
(a) Jill was crying on the little damp path that ran between the gym and the shrubbery because she was being bullied by the malicious students.

(b) ‘Them’ refers to the malicious students of Jill’s school who liked to frighten and harm others.

(c) Jill flew into a temper because Eustace tried to preach her not to be saddened because of those bad students’ behaviour.

(d) The sentence, “I suppose you mean we ought to spend all our time sucking up to them and currying favour and dancing attendance on them like you do” indicates that both Jill and Eustace had suffered similarly.

(e) Jill began to see things differently when Eustace; understanding the delicacy of the situation; offered her a peppermint. She realised that he was not a bad fellow.

Question 3.
What kind of school did the children go to in above passage? Write your answer in your own words and not more than 50 words.
Answer:
It was a co-educational school. The people who ran the school were indifferent to the problems of the students. They had a strange and wicked idea that boys and girls should be allowed to do what they liked.

Some senior students who liked to harm and frighten others took advantage of this. They were immune to any fear of being expelled. But the other students suffered a lot due to being bullied by them.

PASSAGE 5

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

Lying in bed, Swami realised with a shudder that it was Monday morning. It looked as though only a moment ago it had been the last period on Friday; already Monday was here. He hoped that an earthquake would reduce the school building to dust, but that good building — Albert Mission School — had withstood similar prayers for over a hundred years now. At 9 o’clock Swaminathan wailed, “I have a headache.” His mother said, “Why don’t you go to school in a bullock cart?”

“So that I may be completely dead at the other end? Have you any idea what it means to be jolted in a cart?”
“Have you any important lessons today?”

“Important! Bah! That geography teacher has been teaching the same lesson for over a year now. And we have arithmetic, which means for a whole period we are going to be beaten by the teacher ………….. Important lessons !”

And mother generously suggested that Swami might stay at home. At 9:30, when he ought to have been lining up the school prayer hall, Swami was lying on the bench in mother’s room. Father asked him, “Have you no school today?”

“Headache,” Swami replied.
“Nonsense! Dress up and go.”
“Headache.”
“Loaf about less on Sundays and you will be without a headache on Monday.”

Swami knew how stubborn his father could be and changed his tactics. “I can’t go so late to class.”

“I agree, but you’ll have to; it is your own fault. You should have asked me before deciding to stay away.”

“What will the teacher think if I go so late?”
“Tell him you had a headache and so are late.”
“He will beat me if I say so.”
“Will he? Let us see. What is his name?”
“Mr Samuel.”

“Does he beat the boys?”
“He is very violent, especially with boys who come late. Some days ago a boy was made to stay on his knees for a whole period in a corner of the class because he came late and that after getting six cuts from the cane and having his ears twisted. I wouldn’t like to go late to Mr Samuel’s class.”

“If he is so violent, why not tell your headmaster about it?”

“They say that even the headmaster is afraid of him. He is such a violent man.” And then Swami gave a lurid account of Samuel’s violence; how when he started caning he would not stop till he saw blood on the boy’s hand, which he made the boy press to his forehead like a vermilion marking.

Swami hoped that his father would be made to see that he couldn’t go to his class late. But father’s behaviour took an unexpected turn. He became excited. “What do these people mean by beating our children? They must be driven out of service. I will see……”

The result was he proposed to send Swami late to his class as a kind of challenge. He was also going to send a letter with Swami to the headmaster. No amount of protest from Swami was of any avail: Swami had to go to school.

By the time he was ready, father had composed a long letter to the headmaster, put in an envelope and sealed it.

“What have you written, father?” Swaminathan asked apprehensively.

“Nothing for you. Give it to your headmaster and go to your class.”

Swami’s father did not know the truth, that actually Mr Samuel was a very kind and gentle man.

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
Answer:
(a) jolted
(b) stubborn
(c) avail
Answer:
(a) shaken up badly
(b) one who refuses to change one’s opinion
(c) use

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) What did Swami wish for on a Monday morning? Why was his wish unlikely to be answered?
(b) Which sentence tells us that Swami s father was completely unsympathetic to his sons headache?
(c) In what way was Swami’s mother’s response different from his fathers?
(d) Why did Swami give a colourful account of Mr Samuel to his father?
(e) In what way did father’s behaviour take an unexpected turn?
Answer:
(a) Swami wished there had been an earthquake and the school building had collapsed. His wish was unlikely to be fulfilled because calamities do not take place as a response to human wishes.

(b) The sentence, “Nonsense! Dress up and go” shows that Swami’s father was unsympathetic to his headache.

(c) When Swami informed his mother of his headache, she asked him to stay home and miss school. In this way, his mother’s response was different from his father’s who seemed adamant on sending his son to school.

(d) Swami knew that his father was bent on sending him to school. So, he gave a colourful account of Mr Samuel to convince him that he was very cruel and would punish him severely.

(e) Swami’s father was quite annoyed hearing about Mr Samuel and his behaviour changed all of a sudden. He decided to send Swami to school late as a challenge. He also decided to write a letter to the headmaster.

Question 3.
Describe how Swami tries to prove that Mr Samuel is a violent man in your own words and not more than 50 words.
Answer:
Swami gave a colourful account of Mr Samuel to his father as he did not want to go to school. He said that if he reached late to school, his teacher Mr Samuel would beat him. He added that his teacher was very violent, especially with boys who came late. He also narrated an incident of a boy who was made to stay on his knees for a whole period in a corner of the class because he came late. Only after beating him with the cane and twisting his ears, Mr Samuel made him sit.

PASSAGE 6

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

A panther was terrorising the Khulna district of Bangladesh, just outside the Sundarbans. It had recently carried off a little girl. She was the seventh person killed in two months by the animal. And it was growing bolder. The previous victim was a man who had been attacked in broad daylight in his field. The beast dragged him off into the forest and his corpse was later found hanging from a tree. The villagers kept a watch nearby that night, hoping to surprise the panther and kill it, but it never appeared.

The Forest Department hired a professional hunter. He set-up a small, hidden platform in a tree near a river where two of the attacks had taken place. A goat was tied to a stake on the river’s bank. The hunter waited several nights. He assumed the panther would be an old, wasted male with worn teeth, incapable of catching anything more difficult than a human. But it was a sleek tiger that stepped into the open one night: a female with a single cub.

The goat bleated. Oddly, the cub, who looked to be about three months old, paid little attention to the goat. It raced to the water’s edge, where it drank eagerly. Its mother followed it. Of hunger and thirst, thirst is the greater urge. Only once the tiger had quenched her thirst did she turn to the goat to satisfy her hunger.

The hunter had two rifles with him: one with real bullets, the other with immobilising darts. This animal was not the man-eater, but so close to human habitation she might pose a threat to the villagers, especially as she was with a cub. He picked up the gun with the darts. He fired as the tiger was about to attack the goat. The tiger reared up and snarled and raced away. But immobilising darts don’t bring on sleep gently-they knock the creature out without warning. A burst of activity on the animal’s part makes it act all the faster.

The hunter called his assistants on the radio. They found the tiger about two hundred yards from the river. She was still conscious. Her back legs had given way and her balance on her front legs was shaky. When the men got close, she tried to get away but could not manage it.

She turned on them, lifting a paw that was meant to kill. It only made her lose her balance. She collapsed and the Pondicherry zoo had two new tigers. The cub was found in a bush close by, meowing with fear.

The hunter, whose name was Richard Parker, picked it up with his bare hands and remembering how it had rushed to drink in the river, named it Thirsty. But the shipping clerk at the Howrah train station was evidently a man both confused and diligent. All the papers received with the cub clearly stated that its name was Richard Parker, that the hunter’s first name was Thirsty and that his family name was none given. Richard Parker’s name stuck. I don’t know if the hunter was ever called Thirsty None Given!

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) corpse
(b) quenched
(c) reared
Answer:
(a) dead body
(b) satisfied
(c) (of an animal) to raise itself upright on its hind legs

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) Why does the author say that the panther ‘was getting bolder’?
(b) Why did the Forest Department hire a professional hunter?
(c) What did the hunter expect to encounter? What did he actually encounter?
(d) What did the tiger do before turning to attack the goat? Why did it do that?
(e) What name did the hunter give to the cub? Why?
Answer:
(a) The panther was getting bolder as it had killed seven persons in two months. Very recently, it carried off a little girl and the previous victim had been a man who was attacked in broad daylight in his field.

(b) The villager’s kept a watch for the panther hoping to surprise and kill it, but it never appeared. So the Forest Department hired a professional hunter to track and kill it.

(c) The hunter expected that the panther would be an old, wasted male with worn teeth, incapable of catching anything more difficult than a human. But what he actually encountered was a sleek tigress with a single cub.

(d) The tiger followed the cub to the water’s edge and drank water thirstly before she turned to the goat to satisfy her hunger because thirst is a greater urge than hunger.

(e) The hunter named the cub ‘Thirsty’ as he remembered how the cub had rushed to drink water in the river.

Question 3.
Narrate how the hunter and his assistants captured the tiger and her cub, in your own words and not more than 50 words.
Answer:
The hunter shot an immobilising dart at the tiger as she was about to attack the goat. The tiger rose and ran away. The hunter called his assistants. They found the tiger about two hundred yards from the river. She had lost balance. She tried to attack the men as they got close but collapsed. Then the men captured her.

PASSAGE 7

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

There were other boys in Manjari village, but Bisnu was the only one who went to school. His mother would not have fussed if he had stayed at home and worked in the fields. That was what the other boys did; all except lazy Chittru, who preferred fishing in the stream or helping himself to the fruit of other people’s trees. But Bisnu went to school. He went because he wanted to. No one could force him to go and no one could stop him from going. He had set his heart on receiving a good schooling. He wanted to read and write as well as anyone in the big world and so he walked to school every day.

A colony of langoors lived in the forest. They fed on oak leaves, acorns and other green things and usually remained in the trees, coming down to the ground only to play or sun themselves. They were beautiful, supple-limbed animals, with black faces and silver-grey coats and long, sensitive to tails. They leapt from tree to tree with great agility. The young ones wrestled on the grass like boys.

A dignified community, the langoors did not have the cheekiness or dishonest habits of the red monkeys of the plains; they did not approach dogs or humans. But they had grown used to Bisnu’s comings and goings and did not fear him. Some of the older ones would watch him quietly, a little puzzled. They did not go near the town; because the boys threw stones at them. And anyway, the forest gave them all the food they required.

Coming from another direction was a second path and at the junction of the two paths Sarru was waiting for him. Sarru came from a small village about three miles from Bisnu’s and closer to the town. They hailed each other and walked along. They often met at this spot, keeping each other company for the remaining two miles.

‘There was a panther in our village last night,’ said Sarru.

This information interested but did not excite Bisnu. Panthers were common enough in the hills and did not usually present a problem except during the winter months, when their natural prey was scarce.

‘Did you lose any animals?’ asked Bisnu.

‘No, It tried to get into the cowshed but the dogs set-up the alarm. We drove it off.’

‘It must be the same one that came around last winter. We lost a calf and two dogs in our village.’ ‘Wasn’t that the one the shikaris wounded? I hope it hasn’t become a cattle-lifter.’

‘It could be the same. It has a bullet in its leg. These hunters are the people who cause all the trouble. They think it’s easy to shoot a panther. It would be better if they missed altogether, but they usually wound it.’

………… ‘And then the panther’s too slow to catch the barking-deer and starts on our own animals’.

‘We’re lucky it didn’t become a man-eater. Do you remember the man-eater six years ago? I was very small then. My father told me all about it. Ten people were killed in our valley alone.’

‘What happened to it?’

‘I don’t know. Some say it poisoned itself when it ate the headman of the village.’

Bisnu laughed. No one liked that old villain. They linked arms and scrambled up the stony path to school.

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) agility
(b) hailed
(c) villain
Answer:
(a) the ability to move about quickly and easily
(b) to call and attract attention of someone
(c) a wicked man

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) How was Chittru different from other boys?
(b) What was Bisnu’s ambition?
(c) What information did Sarru give Bisnu?
(d) How did the information affect Bisnu?
(e) What joke does Sarru make?
Answer:
(a) While other boys worked in the fields, Chittru did fishing in the stream or engaged himself in plucking fruits from other people’s trees.

(b) Bisnu aspired to receive good schooling. He wanted to be known in the big world. So, he went to school regularly.

(c) Sarru gave Bisnu the information that a panther had entered their village the previous night. He also told that they didn’t lose any animal.

(d) The information interested Bisnu but did not excite him. This was so because panthers were common in the hills and they did not present any problem except during the winter months, when their natural prey was scarce.

(e) Bisnu asks Sarru what happened to the panther that purportedly killed ten people. Sarru replied that it ate the headman of his village and got poisoned to death.

Question3.
Describe what the narrator tells us about the behaviour of the langoors, in your own words and not more than 50 words.
Answer:
A colony of langoors lived in the forest. They fed on oak leaves, acorn and other green things. They lived in trees and moved quickly from one tree to another. They came down only to play in the Sun. The young ones of the langoors wrestled on the grass like boys. The langoors were honest and didn’t approach dogs or humans. But they would watch Bisnu quietly when he passed through the forest where the longoors lived.

PASSAGE 8

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

They pass me everyday, on their way to school—boys and girls of the surrounding villages and the outskirts of the hill station. There are no school buses plying for these children; they walk.

For many of them it’s a very long walk.

Ranbir, who is ten, has to climb the mountain from his village, four miles distant and two thousand feet below the town level. He comes in all weathers, wearing the same pair of cheap shoes until they have almost fallen apart. .
Ranbir is a cheerful soul. He waves to me whenever he sees me at my window. Sometimes, he brings me cucumbers from his father’s field. I pay him for the cucumbers; he uses the money for books or for small things needed at home.

Many of the children are like Ranbir—poor, but slightly better off than what their parents were at the same age. They cannot attend the expensive residential and private schools that abounded here but must go to the government-aided schools with only basic facilities. Not many of their parents managed to go to school.

They spent their lives working in the field or delivering milk in the hill station. The lucky ones got into the army. Perhaps Ranbir will do something different when he grows up.

He has yet to see a train but he sees planes flying over the mountains almost everyday.

“How far can a plane go?” he asks.

“All over the world,” I tell him. “Thousands of miles in a day. You can go almost anywhere.”
“I’ll go round the world one day,” he vows. “I’ll buy a plane and go everywhere!”

And maybe he will. He has a determined chin and defiant look in his eyes.

Up to a few years ago, very few girls in the hills or in the villages of India went to school. They helped in the home until they were old enough to be married, which wasn’t very old. But, there are now just as many girls as there are boys going to school.

Bindra is something of an extrovert-confident fourteen years old who chatters away as she hurries down the road with her companions. Her father is a forest guard and knows me quite well. I meet him on my walks through the deodar woods behind Landour. And I had grown used to seeing Bindra almost everyday.

When she did not put in an appearance for a week, I asked her brother if anything was wrong.

(Video) UNSEEN PASSAGE CLASS 9TH

‘Oh nothing,’ he says, “she is helping my mother cut grass.
Soon the monsoon will end and the grass will dry up.
So, we cut it now and store it for the cows in winter.”
“And why aren’t you cutting grass too?”

“Oh, I have a cricket match today,” he says and hurries away to join his teammate. Unlike his sister, he puts pleasure before work!

Cricket, once the game of elite has become the game of masses. On any holiday, in any part of this vast country, groups of boys can be seen making their way to the nearest field or open patch of land, with bat, ball and any other cricketing gear that they can cobble together. Watching some of them play; I am amazed at the quality of talent, at the finesse with which they bat or ball.

Some of the local teams are as good, if not better, than any from the private schools, where there are better facilities. But boys from these poor or lower middle-class families will never get the exposure that is necessary to bring them to the attention of those who select state or national teams. They will never get near enough to the men of influence and power. They must continue to play for the love of the game or watch their more fortunate heroes exploits on television.

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) defiant
(b) elite
(c) exposure
Answer:
(a) daring
(b) the richest people in a society
(c) the fact of experiencing something

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) In what way are the children better off than their parents?
(b) What was Ranbir’s ambition?
(c) How has the fate of the girls changed?
(d) In what way was her brother different from Bindra?
(e) Why is the narrator amazed?
Answer:
(a) The children are better off than their parents because they can attend school. Their parents never got a chance to go to school and spent their lives working in the fields or delivering milk in the hill station.

(b) Ranbir’s ambition was to buy a plane one day and go all around the world.

(c) In earlier days, a very few girls had the privilege of attending school. They had to do household work and would get married soon. But, the fate of girls has changed now because the number of girls going to school has equalled that of boys.

(d) Bindra was a hardworking and dutiful girl. But, her brother put pleasure before work. He preferred playing a cricket match to helping his mother to cut the grass.

(e) The narrator is amazed at the quality of talent and fineness with which the boys bowled or batted.
He observed that some of the local teams were as good as those from the private schools with better facilities.

Question 3.
Relate what difficulties the children face in their daily lives. How does the author feel about it? Write your answer in your own words and not more than 50 words.
Answer:
The children do not get buses to go to school. They have to walk. Some children walk up the hills. However, their condition is better than their parents who could not get the opportunity to study. Girls, earlier, didn’t get education and got married in early age. Now, they are getting the right of education. Many children are talented enough to get selected for state and national teams but don’t get exposure. Yet, they are better off than their parents.

PASSAGE 9

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

The boy was idling in the market place on the look out for mischief. All at once he saw it beckoning him. Workmen had been slating the church spire and their ladders stretched invitingly from Earth to steeple. All children like scrambling up to high places to see if the world looks any different from an apple tree or a stable loft. Over and above his love for climbing, Michael had a longing to do things that had never been done,before. As he gazed at the spire, crowned by a golden ball and weather-vane, an idea crept into his mind he would be the first person in flushing to stand on the golden ball beneath the weather-vane!

He glanced around. No one was looking; Michael began to swarm up the ladder. At the top of the tower there rose a slated spire crowned by a golden ball and a weather-vane. At last Michael found himself squatting on top of the ball holding on by the vane. Presently, he heard workmen moving below. He did not peer over or speak. He was not going to be hauled down before flushing had seen him. The voices died away and Michael sat resting. At last he felt ready to startle the town. He pulled himself to his feet and keeping tight hold of the weather-vane, managed to stand on top of the ball. It was well that he had a cool head and iron nerves.

Someone must have cast a casual glance up at the vane and seeing his little figure, cried out. In a minute or two, Michael was delighted to see the market place full of people who had rushed out of their shops and houses to gaze at the dizzy sight.

It was splendid to have all those eyes and hearts glued upon you! But Michael did not intend to stay there until he was fetched down, to be handed over to his father and cuffed before the crowd. After a while he prepared to descend of his own free will. He leaned over the ball. The ladder was gone. The workmen had taken it away! A sudden feeling of sickness and giddiness came over Michael. He mastered it. To wait for rescue was a humiliating way to end his escapade. He would come down alone, even if it cost him his life.

The spire at the base of the ball was only half slated and Michael saw some hope of gaining a foothold on the old part. He clasped his arms round the top of the ball and let his body swing down; he was just able to feel the first slate with his toes. Those toes were shod with iron toe-caps, for Michael was hard on his shoes. Michael kicked with his armoured toes till the slate crashed and fell in; then he got a foothold on the wooden laths beneath. He rested for a minute, with aching arms and a stiff body. He must change his grip on the ball which was too big to slide his arms down; he must get clear of it and somehow grasp the spire beneath. One false move and he would be hurled to death on the cobbles below.

Slowly he began to slide his hands together on the top of the ball and then downward over its bulging face. Every inch was packed with peril; every inch pushed him backward towards his death. It seemed to him that he would be too weak to hold on when the time came for him to grasp the spire.

But at last, the steady, deadly creeping of his fingers brought him to a point where he could bend forward. With a sudden snatch he caught the base of the ball. The next moment he was kicking out a stairway in the old tiles and swarming swiftly down. He reached the foot of the spire, lifted the trapdoor of the tower, ran down the steps and was caught by his father in the organ loft.

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) startle
(b) casual
(c) grasp
Answer:
(a) surprise
(b) not planned
(c) hold firmly

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) What was Michael doing in the market place? What attracted his attention?
(b) What did Michael long to do? What did he plan to accomplish this?
(c) What sight filled Michael’s heart with delight and why?
(d) Why did Michael not wait for rescue?
(e) Use the word ‘face’ in a sentence of your own such that it has a different meaning from that it carries in the passage.
Answer:
(a) Michael was freely wandering in the market place and was looking out to do some mischief. The ladders stretched from Earth to the steeple of the church and the workmen slating the church spire attracted his attention.

(b) Michael longed to do the things that had never been done before. He planned to be the first person in flushing to stand on the golden ball at the top of the spire of the church which was beneath the weather-vane.

(c) The market was full of people who had rushed out of their shops and houses to gaze at the precarious view of Michael standing at such a giddy height. His heart was delighted to see all eyes centred at him.

(d) Michael did not wait for rescue because he did not want to be handed over to his father and rebuked
before the crowd for his escapade.

(e) Bold people do not hesitate to face the challenges of destiny.

Question 3.
With close reference to the last five paragraphs of the extract, trace Michael’s descent from the top of the ball to the foot of the spire. Describe in your own words and not more than 50 words.
Answer:
Michael clasped his hands around top of the ball and let his body swing down. His toes; somehow reached the first slate. He kicked the slate with his iron toecaps and got a foothold on the wooden laths beneath.

Slowly and precariously sliding his hands downward over the bulging face of the ball, he finally reached its base, where he got a stairway to run down.

PASSAGE 10

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

At school everybody seemed to be overwhelmed by the thought of the examinations. It was weeks since anybody had seen a smile on Shankar’s face. Somu had become brisk and businesslike. Pea took time to grasp jokes and seldom made any either.

And as for Rajam, he came to school at the stroke of the first bell, took down everything the teacher said and left at the stroke of the last bell, hardly uttering a dozen words to anybody. Mani was beginning to look worried and took every opportunity to take Shankar aside and have his doubts (that arose from time to time as he plodded through his texts) cleared.

He dogged the steps of the school clerk. There was a general belief in the school that the clerk was omniscient and knew all the question papers of all the classes. One day Mani went to the clerk’s house and laid a neat bundle containing fresh brinjals at his feet. The clerk was pleased and took Mani in and seated him on a stool.

The clerk looked extremely amiable and Mani felt that he could ask anything at that moment and get it. The clerk was murmuring something about his cat, a lank ill fed thing, that was nestling close to him.

Most of what he was saying did not enter Mani’s head. He was waiting feverishly to open the topic of question papers. The clerk had meanwhile passed from cats to eye-flies; but it made little difference to Mani, who was waiting for the other to pause for breath to launch his attack. ‘You must never let these eye-flies buzz near your eyes. All cases of eyesore can be traced to it. When you get eyesore, the only thing you can do is to take a slice of raw onion…..’ Mani realised that the other would not stop and butted in, ‘There is only a week more for the examinations sir……’

The clerk was slightly puzzled : ‘Yes. Indeed, a week more …… You must take care to choose only the juicy variety, the large juicy variety, not the small onion …… ’ ‘ Sir,’ Mani interrupted, ignoring the juicy variety. ‘I am much worried about my examination.’ He tried to look pathetic.

‘I am glad. If you read well, you will pass,’ said the Oracle. ‘You see, sir, I am so worried, I don’t sleep at nights, thinking of the examination …… ’ If you could possibly tell me something important….. I have such a lot to study.

I don’t want to study unnecessary things that may not be necessary for the examination. He meandered thus the clerk understood what he was driving at, but said, ‘Just read all your portions and you will pass.’ Mani realised that diplomacy was not his line. He asked bluntly, ‘Please tell me, sir, what questions are we getting for our examination?’

The clerk denied having any knowledge of the question papers. Mani flattered him by asking, he did not know the questions, who else would. By just a little more of the same judicious flattery the clerk was moved to give what Mani believed to be valuable hints. In spite of the fact that he did not know what the first form texts were, the clerk ventured to advise ‘you must pay particular’ attention to Geography. May be you will have to practice map-drawing a lot. And in Arithmetic make it a point to solve at least five problems every day and you will be able to tackle Arithmetic as easily as you swallow plantains.’

‘And what about English?’

‘Oh, don’t worry about that. Have you read all your lessons?’

‘Yes, sir,’ Mani replied without conviction. ‘It is all right then. You must read all the important lessons again and if you have time, yet again and that will be ample.’ These answers satisfied Mani greatly. On his way home, he smiled to himself and said that the four annas he had invested on brinjals was not after all a waste.

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) plodded
(b) amiable
(c) conviction
Answer:
(a) to work slowly and continuously without interest
(b) friendly
(c) belief that what he said was true

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) What effect did the coming examination have on Shankar, Somu, Pea and Rajam?
(b) Which word in the passage describes the clerk as all knowing?
(c) Why did Mani give the clerk fresh brinjals?
(d) What did the clerk believe was the reason for eyesore? What was the remedy?
(e) Why did Mani ask the question bluntly?
Answer:
(a) The coming examination had made everyone grave about studies. Shankar had not smiled for weeks. Somu had become confident and serious. Pea didn’t indulge in cracking jokes and also took time to understand any. Raj am came to school exactly at the first bell, took down everything that the teacher said, without wasting time in chatting and left at the stroke of the last bell.

(b) The word ‘omniscient’ in the passage describes that the clerk was all knowing.

(c) There was a general belief in the school that the clerk knew everything. Therefore, Mani took fresh brinjals to please him and wheedle him into telling him what questions would appear in the examination.

(d) The clerk believed that the eyeflies were mainly responsible for eyesore and the only remedy for it was a large juicy variety of onion.

(e) Mani wanted to extract the exact information about the questions and was not satisfied with the clerk’s diplomatic and wandering replies. So, he asked the question bluntly.

Question 3.
What did Mani really want to know? What valuable hints was he given? Write your answer in your own words and not more than 50 words.
Answer:
Mani wanted to know which questions would appear in the exam in order to do selective study and avoid reading unnecessary things.

After giving a diplomatic reply first and then being flattered by Mani, the clerk told him that he should practise map-drawing more for Geography and five problems everyday for Mathematics. For English, he advised Mani to read all lessons; giving more emphasis on important lessons.

PASSAGE 11

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

The affairs of Vijayanagara Empire with Portugal grew so gracious under the regime of King Krishnadeva Raya that a Portuguese traveller named Domingo Paes even visited Vijayanagara to observe its grandeur.

This traveller spent significant periods in the Bhuvana Vijayam (Royal Court) and even gave a vivid account of his visit.

Once an affluent Portuguese lady desirous of visiting the architectural marvels of Lord Venkateshwara, Virupaksha
and Vithalaswamy temples accompanied Domingo Paes to the imperial capital city of Hampi. When the king was apprised of this, he invited Domingo Paes and the lady to the majestic palace for a lunch. The king was informed that the Portuguese lady spent a lot of time and money on her makeup and was an egoisticlady who liked people admiring her.

Just before the lady visited the royal palace, the king cautioned all his courtiers to be extra careful while conversing or responding to the lady. The lady was given an affectionate reception and admired the courteousness extended by the king. Soon after the lunch, the king and the lady conversed. During the tete-a-tete, the lady asked the king, “What do you think about my age?”

The king was perplexed to hear such a question and looked at the lady for sometime. He knew that it was difficult to answer the lady and to keep her blissful. However, the king said, “You are an elegant lady and it’s very difficult for anybody to precisely arrive at your age. It requires a rational person to guess your age. Only my witty courtier Tenali Raman is capable of answering your question.”

Sighting the king to be in a shaky position, Tenali took control of the situation and said, “Madam, if I consider your dazzling teeth, your age should be 19; but from your wavy brown hair, you can be placed around 18. But if I consider your gentle complexion, you can be said to be no more than 16.” The lady felt extremely flattered at this idea of her age and insisted, “Thank you for your kind opinion, but please do tell me what you consider to be my age?”

“Ma’am, I have already given you my estimate of your age. As I am too weak in calculations, you just have to add 19, 18 and 16 and you will arrive at my guess of your age,” replied Tenali and gave her a broad smile!

The lady was so amazed to hear such an intelligent reply from Tenali that she suddenly burst into laughter. The king joined her.

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) affluent
(b) egoistic
(c) flattered
Answer:
(a) rich
(b) thinking that one is better and more important than other people
(c) pleased by the praise

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) Why did the Portuguese lady visit the imperial capital city of Hampi?
(b) Why did the king caution all his courtiers? What did he caution them?
(c) What reply did the king give the lady to her question?
(d) What was the lady’s response to Tenali’s estimate about her age?
(e) Which three words in the passage describe the splendid architecture and ambience of the palace?
Answer:
(a) The Portuguese lady wished to see the architectural marvels of Lord Venkateshwara, Virupaksha and Vithalaswamy temples. Therefore, she visited the imperial capital city of Hampi.

(b) The king had learnt that the lady was very egoistic and loved to be praised. This is why the king cautioned all his courtiers to be extra careful while conversing with or responding to the lady.

(c) The king adopted a diplomatic attitude in answering the lady. He told her that she was such an elegant lady that only a person with reasonable intellect could guess her age.

(d) The lady was extremely amazed at Tenali’s estimation of her age and suddenly burst into laughter.

(e) The three words that express that the architecture and ambience of the palace was splendid are grandeur, majestic and marvels.

Question 3.
Describe in your own words the scene of the king’s deviating the question to Tenali and Tenali’s handling the situation. Do not exceed 50 words.
Answer:
The king answered the lady in a subtle, sensible way that she was so elegant that only a person with high intellect and reason could guess her age. He tactfully deviated the question to his courtier Tenali, appreciating his wisdom.

Tenali, satisfying her ego, gave different guesses suiting her dazzling teeth, wavy hair and gentle complexion. He then asked her to add all the figures to arrive at his estimation of her age. The lady was impressed with his answer.

PASSAGE 12

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

The term dietary fibres refers collectively to indigestible carbohydrates present in plant foods. The importance of these dietary fibres came into the picture when it was observed that the people having diet rich in these fibres, had low incidence of coronary heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, dental caries and gall stones. The foodstuffs rich in these dietary fibres are cereals and grains legumes, fruits with seeds, citrus fruits, cabbage, green leafy vegetables, apples, melons, peaches, pears etc.

These dietary fibres are not digested by the enzymes of the stomach and the small intestine whereas most of other carbohydrates like starch and sugar are digested and absorbed. The dietary fibres have the property of holding water and because of it, these get swollen and behave like a sponge as these pass through the gastrointestinal tract. The fibres add bulk to the diet and increase transit time in the gut. Some of these fibres may undergo fermentation in the colon.

In recent years, it has been considered essential to have some amount of fibres in the diet. Their beneficial’effects lie in preventing coronary heart disease and decreasing cholesterol level. The fibres like gums and pectin are reported to decrease postprandial (after meals) glucose level in blood.

These types of dietary fibres are recommended for the management of certain types of diabetes. Recent studies have shown that the fenugreek (Methi) seeds, which contain 40% gum, are effective in decreasing blood glucose and cholesterol level as compared to other gum containing vegetables. Some dietary fibres increase transit time and decrease the time to release of ingested food in colon. The diet having less fibres is associated with colon cancer and the dietary fibres may play a role in decreasing the risk of it. The dietary fibres hold water so that stool are soft, bulky and readily eliminated. Therefore, high fibre intake prevents or relieves constipation.

The fibres increase motility of the small intestine and the colon and by decreasing the transit time there is less time for exposure of the mucosa to harmful toxic substances. Therefore, there is a less desire to eat and the energy intake can be maintained within the range of requirement. This phenomenon helps in keeping a check on obesity. Another reason in helping decrease obesity is that the high-fibre diets have somewhat lower coefficients of digestibility.

The dietary fibres may have some adverse effects on nutrition by binding some trace metals like calcium, magnesium,
phosphorus, zinc and others. Therefore preventing their proper absorption. This may pose a possibility of nutritional deficiency especially when diets contain marginal levels of mineral elements. This may become important constraints on increasing dietary fibres. It is suggested that an intake of 40 grams dietary fibres per day is desirable.

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) incidence
(b) property
(c) toxic
Answer:
(a) happening
(b) attribute
(c) poisonous

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) How is the diet rich in dietary fibres beneficial for human beings?
(b) Which dietary fibres are beneficial in the management of certain types of diabetes?
(c) In what way does the high fibre intake prevent constipation?
(d) How do the fibres help in keeping a check on obesity?
(e) Do the dietary fibres have some adverse effect on nutrition too? What are they?
Answer:
(a) The diet rich in dietary fibres helps in preventing diseases like, coronary heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, dental caries and gall stones. Dietary fibres also help in managing diabetes, relieving constipation and reducing obesity.

(b) The dietary fibres like gums and pectin that decrease post prandial glucose levels in blood, are beneficial in the management of certain types of diabetes.

(c) The dietary fibres hold water to make stool soft and bulky and facilitate its easy elimination. This is how high fibre intake prevents or relieves constipation.

(d) The fibres decrease the time for exposure of mucosa to harmful toxic substances and increase motility of the small intestine and the colon. Consequently the desire to eat is under control and obesity is put on check.

(e) Yes, dietary fibres may have some adverse effects too. They may prevent absorption of some trace metals and minerals leading to a possibility of nutritional deficiency.

Question 3.
Describe some benefits and some adverse effects of dietary fibres in your own words. Do not exceed 50 words.
Answer:
Dietary fibres are obtained from foodstuffs like cereals and grains, legumes, fruits with seeds, citrus fruits, cabbage, green leafy vegetables, apples, melons, peaches, pears etc. They help in preventing coronary heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, dental caries, gall stones, constipation etc.

They also help in management of diabetes and obesity. Dietary fibres may also cause nutritional deficiency by binding some trace metals and minerals (and preventing their absorption).

PASSAGE 13

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

In seventeenth century, London was no stranger to the pestilence. The earliest records note its occurrence in the seventh century. There had been several outbreaks during the 1600 hundred, killing a large number of the population. More than twenty-five thousand had died in the plagues of 1603 and 1625 and other epidemics that followed. But the plague of 1665 was the most widespread and disastrous and gave rise to the name ‘The Great Plague’.

It began to spread in the summer months, although there is evidence that it was around in the winter of 1664-65 in the parish of St Giles. However, the winter was severe and the plague did not spread dramatically until the hot, windless summer took hold. Life was lived in public and the city streets were usually teeming with life. There were market stalls, shops and traders of various kinds who sold their wares in the streets, so illness spread quickly. The population of London had also been growing and there were many poor people living in dwellings clustered together on the edge of the city. At its height in September, the plague claimed approximately eight thousand victims a week.

Hygiene hardly existed and rubbish was thrown or left in the street, despite the authorities’ attempts to regulate waste disposal. Foul-smelling kennels ran down the sides or along the middle and there were open sewers. These were ideal places for the mosquitoes to breed and the ague was a feature of the period as well as plague, flux, smallpox and typhus. Disease was rife and death, common. Pneumonic plague, which also caused many deaths, was spread by coughing and affected the lungs. Lists of the dead and the diseases from which they had died were regularly published in the bills of mortality.

The symptoms of the plague were easily recognisable: fever, sickness, muscle pain and sometimes plague spots, which were haemorrhages under the skin. But the most telling sign of all were the buboes under the armpits and in the neck and groin. The cause was not known and the house rat, rattus, or more precisely, its flea, was not suspected. Instead, a range of culprits was lined up. The foul city odour, the fog, rotten food, pigeons, pets and other domestic animals were all blamed. Thousands of creatures were needlessly slaughtered. Some people thought the epidemic was a judgement from God.

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) disastrous
(b) disposal
(c) culprits
Answer:
(a) causing great harm or suffering
(b) the act of getting rid of something
(c) things responsible for causing plague

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) When was the plague first recorded in London? (Roughly how long did The Great Plague occur?)
(b) Why was the plague of 1665 called ‘The Great Plague’?
(c) When did the plague begin to spread dramatically?
(d) Which sentences in the passage show that the plague of 1665 was really disastrous?
(e) What was the most telling sign of the plague?
Answer:
(a) It was in the seventh century when the plague was first recorded in London. The Great Plague occurred after around ten centuries, i.e. in the seventeenth century.

(b) The plague of 1665 was the most widespread and most disastrous. Therefore, it was given the name of ‘The Great Plague’.

(c) The plague began to spread dramatically in the hot summer of 1665 though it had actually started in the winter of 1664-65.

(d) The sentences that express that the plague of 1665 was really disastrous are
(i) At its height in September, the plague claimed approximately eight thousand victims a week.
(ii) Disease was rife and death, common.

(e) The most telling sign of the plague were the buboes under the armpits and in the neck and groin.

Question 3.
Describe the seventeenth century London that was it fated by the epidemic of The Great Plague. Describe in your own words and do not exceed 50 words.
Answer:
It was hot windless summer of 1665 in London. The evil of the plague was sprawling across the city. Poor people lived in public on the streets and on the edge of the city. Vendors sold articles on road. There was no hygiene. Waste and sewage were released in the open, giving way to mosquitoes to multiply. All this led to the spread of the disease because of which thousands of people were dying every week.

PASSAGE 14

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

As far as I can remember, Grandmother’s birthday has always been a unique occasion for everyone in my family. It was a day when everyone would gather together to celebrate. Although many of my relatives lived abroad, they would always make it a point to be back home for the celebration.

This year was no different. Mother was up very early in the morning, before dawn, as she headed to the wet market for the freshest choice of meat, fish and vegetables. After an hour or so, she returned home with two full baskets and looked ready to cook a feast. Together with our maid, Aminah and my aunt, my . mother washed, cleaned, chopped, mixed, prepared and fried the ingredients of the many special dishes for dinner. They worked without any rest almost non-stop until six in the evening, just as the guests and relatives started to arrive.

Grandmother was sitting in the living room and smiling benevolently. Everyone had either a present or a red packet to give her and together they wished her a very happy birthday with traditional Chinese greetings. Grandmother responded with a wide smile and for the little ones who were crowding around her yelling for attention, she gave a red packet each.

Being her favourite grandson, I was always given an extra big red packet, which I would afterwards squeeze into my piggy bank. After all the greetings and excitement, the children rushed into the garden to join the others who were already on the slides and swings, jostling for their turns.

At seven o’clock, everyone had arrived and settled themselves comfortably at the dinner table. The children including myself had a table all to ourselves. On the tables were plates of steaming hot food all looking so delicious and tempting. Amidst mouthfuls of food, the adults updated each other on what was happening in their lives. The children also had a good time eating while teasing one another. With everyone almost talking and laughing excitedly at the same time, it was hard to hear one’s voice but somehow it did not matter.

My Grandmother was happiest during her birthday for she loved having her children and grandchildren around her and knowing that they were all well and happy. During these dinners, she would tell us about her life in China; how poor they were and how entire families starved because of famines.

She would always end her stories by saying that no matter how hard life was in China during those days, everyone was still glad to be together as a family. For me, Grandmother’s birthday celebration has always been a good reason for the family to get together. It gave me the opportunity to see my cousins, some of whom I only get to meet once a year. I am looking forward to this family reunion again next year.

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used
in the passage. One word answers or short . phrases will be accepted.
(a) yelling
(b) teasing
(c) reunion
Answer:
(a) shouting loudly as you are excited
(b) making fun of or attempting to provoke a person
(c) the act of reuniting

(Video) How to write a Summary | The 8 mark question in Comprehension | ICSE English Language Class 9 & 10

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) Why does the narrator call his grandmother’s birthday ‘a unique occasion?
(b) What did the narrator’s mother do before starting the preparation for his grandmother’s birthday party?
(c) How did everybody greet the grandmother on her birthday?
(d) What does the narrator mean by the phrase ‘smiling benevolently’?
(e) Why was the narrator’s grandmother the happiest person during her birthday?
Answer:
(a) All the relatives of the narrator including those who stayed abroad got together to celebrate his grandmother’s birthday. That’s why it was a unique occasion for him.

(b) The narrator’s mother woke up very early in the morning, went to the market and brought fresh vegetables, meat and fish before starting the preparation for the party.

(c) Everybody carried with himself either a present or a red packet to give her. They all wished her a very happy birthday with traditional Chinese greetings.

(d) The phrase means ‘smiling with happiness and generosity for everyone’.

(e) The grandmother was the happiest person because she loved having her children and grandchildren around her. She felt satisfied to see them well and happy.

Question 3.
Portrait the ‘scene at the dining table’ on the grandmother’s birthday, using your own words, in not more than 50 words.
Answer:
All the children were occupying one side of the dinner table that displayed a variety of hot, sizzling and tempting dishes. They enjoyed food, teasing one another and laughing. On the other side, the adults were sharing their life experience.

The grandmother looked contented to see all of them happy. She told everyone how miserable a life she had led in China owing to poverty and famines and was yet happy to have such a loving family.

PASSAGE 15

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

For some time Mother had greatly envied us, our swimming, both in the daytime and at night, but as she pointed out when we suggested she join us, she was far too old for that sort of thing. Eventually, however, under constant pressure from us, Mother paid a visit into town and returned to the villa coyly bearing a mysterious parcel. Opening this she astonished us all by holding up an extraordinary shapeless garment of black cloth, covered from top to bottom with hundreds of frills and pleats and tucks.

‘Well, what do you think of it?’ Mother asked.
We stared at the odd garment and wondered what it was for.
‘What is it?’ asked Larry at length.

‘It’s a bathing-costume, of course’, said Mother. ‘What on Earth did you think it was?’

‘It looks to me like a badly-skinned whale,’ said Larry, peering at it closely. ‘You can’t possibly wear that, Mother,’ said Margo, horrified, ‘why, it looks as though it was made in nineteen-twenty.’

‘What are all those frills and things for?’ asked Larry with interest. ‘Decoration, of course’ said Mother indignantly.’

‘What a jolly idea! Don’t forget to shake the fish out of them when you come out of the water.’ ‘Well, I like it, anyway,’ Mother said firmly, wrapping the monstrosity up again, ‘and I’m going to wear it.’

‘You’ll have to be careful you don’t get waterlogged, with all that cloth around you,’ said Leslie seriously. ‘Mother, it’s awful; you can’t wear it,’ said Margo. ‘Why on Earth didn’t you get something more up to date?’

‘When you get to my age, dear, you can’t go around in a two-piece bathing suit… you don’t have the figure for it.’
‘I’d love to know what sort of figure that was designed for,’ remarked Larry. ‘You really are hopeless, Mother,’ said Margo despairingly. ‘But I like it… and I’m not asking you to wear it,’ Mother pointed out angrily.

‘That’s right, you do what you want to do,’ agreed Larry; ‘don’t be put off. It’ll probably suit you very well if you can grow another three or four legs to go with it.’

Mother snorted indignantly and swept upstairs to try on her costume. Presently she called to us to come and see the effect, and we all trooped up to the bedroom. Roger, the dog, was the first to enter, and on being greeted by this strange apparition clad in its voluminous black costume rippling with frills, he retreated hurriedly through the door, backwards, barking ferociously.

It was some time before we could persuade him that it really was Mother, and even then he kept giving her vaguely uncertain looks from the corner of his eye. However, in spite of all opposition, Mother stuck to her tent-like bathing-suit, and in the end we gave up. In order to celebrate her first entry into the sea, we decided to have a moonlight picnic down at the bay, and sent an invitation to Theodore, who was the only stranger that Mother would tolerate on such a great occasion. The day for the great immersion arrived, food and wine were prepared, the boat was cleaned out and filled with cushions and everything was ready when Theodore turned up.

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) peering
(b) ferociously
(c) immersion
Answer:
(a) look closely or carefully
(b) aggressive or violent
(c) putting into a liquid

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) Why did mother not join the swimming in the beginning?
(b) Briefly describe her swimming costume.
(c) What did Larry think it was?
(d) Which sentence tells you that Margo thought it was old-fashioned?
(e) What was Leslie’s concern?
Answer:
(a) Mother did not join swimming in the beginning as she was far too old for that sort of thing.

(b) The swimming costume was an extraordinary shapeless garment of cloth, covered from top to bottom with hundreds of frills and pleats and tucks.

(c) Larry thought it was a badly-skinned whale.

(d) Margo was horrified and thought that the swimming costume looked as though, it was made in nineteen-twenty.

(e) Leslie was concerned that their mother might get waterlogged with all that cloth around her.

Question 3.
In not more than 50 words describe what happened after mother went upstairs to try on her costume?
Answer:
The children could not stop their mother from wearing her swimming costume. She went upstairs to try it on. Meanwhile, the children continued with their apprehensions as to how will their mother look in that shapeless black cloth. They wanted their mother to get something more up to date, like a two-piece bathing suit. Larry thought she would look like a badly-skinned whale, Margo thought it was old-fashioned, Leslie thought she might get waterlogged in it. These children didn’t understand the age difference and the body changes which come with age.

PASSAGE 16

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

There came to our town some years ago a showman, who owned an institution called the Gaiety Land. Overnight, our Gymkhana Grounds became resplendent with banners and streamers and coloured lamps. From all over the district, crowd poured into the show. Within a week of opening, in gate money, they collected five hundred rupees a day. Gaiety Land provided us with all sorts of fun and gambling and side-shows. For a couple of annas, in each booth, we could watch anything from performing parrots to crack motor cyclists. In addition to this, there were lotteries and shooting galleries, where, for an anna, you always stood a chance of winning a hundred rupees.

There was a particular comer of the show which was in great favour. Here, for a ticket costing eight annas, you could be lucky enough to acquire a variety of articles—pin cushions, sewing machines or even a road engine. One evening, they drew a ticket number 1005 and I happened to own the other half of the ticket.

Glancing down the list of articles, they declared that I had become the owner of a road engine! I looked stunned. People gathered around and gazed at me as if I were some sort of a curious animal. Some people muttered and giggled, ‘Fancy anyone becoming the owner of a road engine!’

It was not the sort of prize one could carry home at short notice. I asked the showman if he could help me to transport it. He merely pointed at a notice which decreed that all the winners should remove their prizes immediately after the draw and by their own effort. However, they had to make an exception in my case. They agreed to keep the engine at the Gymkhana Grounds till the end of the season and then, I would have to make my own arrangements to take it out.

When I asked the showman if he could find me a driver, he just smiled and said, “The fellow who brought it here had to be paid a hundred rupees for the job and five rupees a day. I sent him away and made up my mind that if no one was going to draw it, I would just leave it to its fate.”

“Can’t I sell it to some municipality?” I asked innocently. He burst into a laugh. “As a showman, I have enough trouble with municipal people. I would rather keep out of the way.”

My friends and relatives poured in, to congratulate me on my latest acquisition. No one knew precisely how much a road engine would fetch, all the same they felt that there was a lot of money in it. “Even if you sell it as scrap iron, you can make a few thousands,” some of my friends declared.

Everyday I made a trip to the Gymkhana Grounds to have a look at my engine and I grew very fond of it. I loved its shining brass parts. I stood near it and patted it affectionately, hovered about it and returned home everyday only at the close of the show. I thought all my troubles were coming to an end. How ignorant I was! How little did I guess that my troubles had just begun!

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) resplendent
(b) stunned
(c) acquisition
Answer:
(a) having a very bright or beautiful appearance
(b) shocked or surprised
(c) the act of acquiring or gaining possession of something

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) Which two sentences in the first paragraph show that Gaiety Land was popular?
(b) Give two reasons foi the popularity of Gaiety Land.
(c) What is meant by the sentence “it was not the sort of prize one could carry home at short notice”?
(d) What was the showman’s response to the narrator asking for help to transport the road engine?
(e) Why was the showman ready to leave the road engine to its fate?
Answer:
(a) The two sentences in the passage that show Gaiety Land was popular are

  • From all over the district, crowd poured into the show.
  • Within a week of opening, in gate money, they collected ? 500 a day.

(b) Gaiety Land became very popular because it provided a lot of entertainment as well as an allure of winning prizes, that too, at very low and affordable prices.

(c) This is the expression made by the narrator. It was compulsory on the winners part to remove their prizes immediately after the draw and by their own effort. But the narrator’s prize, the road engine was too big and heavy to carry home at such a short notice.

(d) The showman showed him the notice that declared that all the winners should remove their prizes immediately after the draw and by their own effort. However, he went out of the way in his case and offered to keep the engine there till the end of the season.

(e) The showman had already spent a lot on transportation and the upkeep of the engine. Now, it had become a burdensome possession for him. Therefore, he made up his mind to leave the engine to its fate.

Question 3.
In note more than 50 words, describe the reactions of the public, friends and relatives towards the narrator on his winning the road engine in your own words. How did he treat his proud possession?
Answer:
People were astonished at the narrator’s miraculous achievement, the road engine. He was overwhelmed with the greetings by his relatives. He was also overjoyed to hear his friends saying that even a scrap of it would fetch him thousands of rupees.

The narrator started loving his road engine. He went to the Gymkhana Grounds everyday and patted the engine affectionately. But he didn’t know that it would become a burdensome possession for him.

PASSAGE 17

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

A good argument is the one that involves a calm, logical exposition of the facts. A bad argument will descend into adding personal insults and appealing to cheap emotional responses. Hence, somebody has rightly said, “Sometimes arguments lost are arguments won”. Always remember that silence is a powerful tool of a wise argument, for a good argument is about interchanging of ideas, modifying your views and not about winning or losing it. This is well illustrated in the following lines “True words aren’t eloquent; eloquent words aren’t true. Wise men don’t need to prove their point, men who . need to prove their point aren’t wise.”

In talking with people don’t begin by discussing the things on which you differ. Begin by emphasising the things on which you agree. Keep emphasising, if possible, that you are both striving for the same end and your only difference is one of method and not of purpose. Get the other person saying ‘Yes, Yes’, at the outset. Keep him, if possible, from saying ‘No’.

A ‘No’ response is a most difficult handicap to overcome. When a person has said ‘No’, all his pride of personality demands that he remains consistent with himself. He may later feel that the ‘No’ was ill-advised. Nevertheless, there is his precious pride to consider. Once having said a thing, he must stick to it. Hence, it is of very great importance that we start a person in the affirmative direction. A skilful speaker gets at the outset a number of ‘Yes’ responses. He has thereby set the psychological process of his listeners moving in the affirmative direction. It is like the movement of a billiard ball. Propel it in one direction and it takes some force to deflect it, far more force to send it back in the opposite direction.

The psychological patterns here are quite clear. When a person says ‘No’ and really means it, he is doing far more than saying a word of two letters. His entire organism glandular, nervous, muscular gathers itself together into a condition of rejection. There is, usually in a minute but sometimes in observable degree, a physical withdrawal or readiness for withdrawal. The whole neuro-muscular system, in short, sets itself on guard against acceptance.

On the contrary, when a person says ‘Yes’, none of the withdrawing activities take place. The organism is in a forward moving, accepting, open attitude. Hence, the more, ‘Yeses’ we can, at the very outset induce, the more likely we are to succeed in capturing the attention for our ultimate proposal.

It is a very simple technique- this ‘Yes’ technique. And yet how much neglected! It often seems as if people get a sense of their own importance by offending at the outset. The radical comes into a conference with his conservative brother and immediately he must make them furious! What as a matter of fact, is the good of it? Indeed, he is only psychologically stupid.

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) emphasising
(b) handicap
(c) psychological
Answer:
(a) giving special importance to something
(b) obstacle
(c) related to mental or emotional state of a person

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) Why does the writer say “Sometimes arguments lost are arguments won?” Also, give your viewpoints to justify the statement.
(b) How does the writer advise to begin an argument or discussion? Why?
(c) Which word in the passage means one who is averse to change or innovation?
(d) Why does a person stick to his negative response for long?
(e) How does a clever speaker move his listeners in the affirmative direction?
Answer:
(a) A good argument is meant for interchange of ideas, thereby modifying one’s views by being receptive not for merely winning or losing. It is wise to stay silent if you can’t prove your point rather than foolishly arguing even if you are right. Hence, the writer says, “Sometimes arguments lost are arguments won.”

(b) The writer advises to begin a discussion or an argument by emphasising the things on which we agree with others by telling them that our goal is the same though the methods may be different. This will soothe the listeners and will in turn invite their affirmative responses.

(c) Conservative

(d) A person sticks to his negative response for long owing to his pride of personality. It is his pride that prevents him from amending even when he realises that he has made a wrong statement.

(e) A clever speaker begins his discussion with affirmative responses to other’s arguments, thereby invoking a lot of ‘Yeses’ to his arguments. This is how he sets the psychological process of his listeners moving in the affirmative direction.

Question 3.
Give a summary of the above passage in your own words. Do not exceed 50 words.
Answer:
A wise argument should aim at logical exposition and thoughtful exchange of facts and ideas and modifying individual’s views. It shouldn’t aim at thrusting one’s own biased or personalised viewpoints. A winning argument begins with positive responses by oneself thereby invoking the same from others. Too many negative responses reflect badly on oneself. They show one’s pride and obsession. One who wins affirmation of others is a real winner.

PASSAGE 18

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

In the winter of 1975, I saw Hassan run a kite for the last time. Usually, each neighbourhood held its own competition. But that year, the tournament was going to be held in my neighbourhood, Wazir Akbar Khan and several other districts — Karteh-Char, Karteh-Parwan, Mekro-Rayan and Koteh-Sangi had been invited. You could hardly go anywhere without hearing talk of the upcoming tournament.

One night that winter, with the big contest only 4 days away, Baba and I sat in his study in overstuffed leather chairs by the glow of the fireplace. We were sipping tea, talking. Ali had served dinner earlier potatoes and cauliflower over rice and had retired for the night with Hassan. Baba was fattening his pipe and I was asking him to tell the story about the winter a pack of wolves had descended from the mountains in Herat and forced everyone to stay indoors for a week, when he lit a match and said, casually, ‘I think may be you’ll win the tournament this year. What do you think?.’

I didn’t know what to think. Or what to say. Was that what it would take? Had he just slipped me a key? I was a good kite fighter. Actually, a very good one. A few times, I’d even come close to winning the winter tournament once, I’d made it to the final three. But coming close wasn’t the same as winning, was it? Baba hadn’t come close. He had won because winners won and everyone else just went home.

Baba was used to winning, winning at everything he set his mind to. Didn’t he have a right to expect the same from his son did win.? And just imagine, if I Baba smoked his pipe and talked. I pretended to listen. But I couldn’t listen, not really, because Baba’s casual little comment had planted a seed in my head: the resolution that I would win that winter’s tournament. I was going to win. There was no other viable option.

I was going to win and I was going to run that last kite. Then I’d bring it home and show it to Baba. Show him once and for all that his son was worthy. Then maybe my life as a ghost in this house would finally be over. I let myself dream: I imagined conversation and laughter over dinner instead of silence broken only by the clinking of silverware and the occasional grunt.

I envisioned us taking a Friday drive in Baba’s car to Paghman, stopping on the way at Ghargha Lake for some fried trout and potatoes. We’d go to the zoo to see Viarjan the lion, and maybe Baba wouldn’t yawn and steal looks at his wrist watch all the time. Maybe Baba would even read one of my stories. I’d write him a hundred if I thought he’d read one. Maybe he’d call me Amir Jan like Rahim Khan did.

Baba was telling me about the time he’d cut fourteen kites on the same day. I smiled, nodded, laughed at all the right places, but I hardly heard a word he said. I had a mission now. And I wasn’t going to fail Baba. Not this time.

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) overstuffed
(b) slipped
(c) occasional
Answer:
(a) filled heavily with something
(b) passed
(c) not frequent or regular

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly using your own words.
(a) What was so special about the tournament of kite flying this time?
(b) What had forced everyone to stay indoors for a week?
(c) Why was coming close not the same as winning, according to the author?
(d) “Baba’s casual little comment had planted a seed in my head….” What does the author imply by this statement?
(e) What did the author keep doing when his father was narrating his experience of cutting fourteen kites on the same day?
Answer:
(a) The tournament of kite flying was special this time as it was going to be the biggest tournament in 20 years. Moreover, it was to be held in the author’s neighbourhood.

(b) During one winter, a pack of wolves had entered the author’s locality threatening and preventing the people from going out of their homes.

(c) Coming close was not the same as winning according to the author because winner could be only one and those who didn’t win lagged behind irrespective of the level of their performance.

(d) By these words, the author implies that his father’s statement had stirred his innate talent of fighting kites well. His father had shown his trust in him and he wanted to prove to be worthy of it.

(e) The author kept nodding, smiling and laughing wherever, it was required to show a correct response. But he hardly paid any sincere attention to his words.

Question 3.
Describe in your own words the inspiration the author received from his father’s words and the thoughts that overwhelmed his mind? Do not exceed 50 words.
Answer:
The author’s latent talent was evoked by his father’s words. He was a good kite fighter. So, he felt that he too could win. He was lost into the world of dreams. He wanted to see the satisfaction on his father’s face.

He was fancied by the thought of winning and started visualising the lively scene at the dining table after his winning the tournament, where usually only silence prevailed.

PASSAGE 19

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

When, owing to a disagreement about some questions of administrative policy, I threw up my post at Junagarh and entered the service of the Nizam of Hydria, they appointed me at once, as a strong young man, collector of cotton duties at Barich. Barich is a lovely place. The Susta ‘chatters over stony ways and babbles on the pebbles,’ tripping, like a skilful dancing girl, in through the woods below the lonely hills. A flight of 150 steps rises from the river and above that flight, on the river’s brim and at the foot of the hills, there stands a solitary marble palace. Around it there is no habitation of man the village and the cotton mart of Barich being far off.

About 250 years ago the Emperor Mahmud Shah II had built this lonely palace for his pleasure and luxury. In his days, jets of rose-water spurted from its fountains and on the cold marble floors of its spray-cooled rooms young Persian damsels would sit, their hair dishevelled before bathing and splashing their soft naked feet in the clear water of the reservoirs, would sing, to the tune of the guitar, the ghazals of their vineyards.

The fountains play no longer; the songs have ceased; no longer do snow-white feet step gracefully on the snowy marble. It is but the vast and solitary quarters of cess-collectors like us, men oppressed with solitude and deprived of the society of women. Now, Karim Khan, the old clerk of my office, warned me repeatedly not to take up my abode there. I passed it off with a light laugh. The house had such a bad name that even thieves would not venture near it after dark.

At first the solitude of the deserted palace weighed upon me like a nightmare. I would stay out and work hard as long as possible, then return home at night jaded and tired, go to bed and fall asleep. Before a week had passed, the place began to exert a weird fascination upon me. It is difficult to describe or to induce people to believe; but I felt as if the whole house was like a living organism slowly and imperceptibly digesting me by the action of some stupefying gastric juice.

Perhaps the process had begun as soon as I set my foot in the house, but I distinctly remember the day on which I first was conscious of it. It was the beginning of summer and the market being dull I had no work to do. A little before sunset I was sitting in an arm-chair near the water’s edge below the steps. As the Sun sank behind the hill-tops, a long dark curtain fell upon the stage of day and the intervening hills cut short the time in which light and shade mingle at sunset.

I thought of going out for a ride and was about to get up when I heard a footfall on the steps behind. I looked back, but there was no one. As I sat down again, thinking it to be an illusion, I heard many footfalls, as if a large number of persons were rushing down the steps. A strange thrill of delight, slightly tinged with fear, passed through my frame and though there was not a figure before my eyes, methought I saw a bevy of joyous maidens coming down the steps to bathe in the Susta in that summer evening.

Not a sound was there, but I distinctly heard the maidens’ gay and mirthful laugh, like the gurgle of a spring gushing forth in a hundred cascades, as they ran past me, in quick playful pursuit of each other, towards the river, without noticing me at all. As they were invisible to me, so was I, as it were, invisible to them. I felt a thrill at my heart. I cannot say whether the excitement was due to fear or delight or curiosity.

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) damsels
(b) deserted
(c) gushing
Answer:
(a) a young unmarried woman
(b) abandoned
(c) flowing suddenly and quickly

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly using your own words.
(a) What luxuries did the emperor enjoy in his palace?
(b) What is the present condition of the palace?
(c) Why must the clerk Karim Khan have warned the author against living in the palace?
(d) What did the author do to subdue the fear of the haunted palace?
(e) What does the author compare the ‘gurgle of a spring’ with?
Answer:
(a) The emperor’s palace was splendid with rose water fountains and marble floors. And below the cool showers; the young beautiful Persian girls sang ghazals of their vineyards to the tune of the guitar.

(b) The palace has become an abandoned and solitary place. It has lost its grandeur and beauty.

(c) The clerk Karim Khan feared that the palace must be haunted since nobody dared to go near it after dark. Therefore, he must have warned the author against living in it.

(d) The author spent more hours out of the home. He worked a lot to exhaust himself so that he might fall asleep immediately after going back home.

(e) The maidens laugh merrily as they pursued one another and ran past the author. This laughter of theirs is compared with ‘the gurgle of a spring’ by the author.

Question 3.
Describe in your own words the scene at the river Susta when the author was sitting there during the sunset on one evening. Do not exceed 50 words.
Answer:
The author was sitting in his arm-chair near the water’s edge. The sunset was followed by the dark. Dropping his idea of a ride, he again sank in his chair. He experienced a thrill mixed with delight when he heard a number of people walking down the steps but there was no one. He had an illusion that maidens were happily coming to bathe in the Susta.

PASSAGE 20

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

There is no doubt that much of the intellectual refinement and superiority of Boston is referable to the quiet influence of the University of Cambridge, which is within three or four miles of the city. The 50 resident professors at that university are gentlemen of learning and varied attainments; and are without one exception that I can call to mind, men who would shed a grace upon and do honour to any society in the civilised world.

Many of the resident gentry in Boston and its neighbourhood and I think I am not mistaken in adding, a large majority of those who are attached to the liberal professions there have been educated at this same school. Whatever the defects of American universities may be, they disseminate no prejudices, rear no bigots, dig up the buried ashes of no old superstitions; never interpose between the people and their improvement, exclude no man because of his religious opinions; above all, in their whole course of study and instruction, recognise a world and a broad one too, lying beyond the college walls.

It was a source of inexpressible pleasure to me to observe the almost imperceptible, but not less certain effect wrought by this institution among the small community of Boston and to note at every turn the humanising tastes and desires it has engendered; the affectionate friendships to which it has given rise; the amount of vanity and prejudice it has dispelled.

The golden calf they worship at Boston is a pigmy compared with the giant effigies set-up in other parts of that vast counting-house which lies beyond the Atlantic and the almighty dollar sinks into something comparatively insignificant, amidst a whole Pantheon of better Gods. Above all, I sincerely believe that the public institutions and charities of this capital of Massachusetts are as nearly perfect as the most considerate wisdom, benevolence, and humanity can make them.

I never in my life was more affected by the contemplation of happiness, under circumstances of privation and bereavement, than in my visits to these establishments. It is a great and pleasant feature of all such institutions in America that they are either supported by the State or assisted by the State; or (in the event of their not needing its helping hand) that they act in concert with it and are emphatically the people’s. I cannot but think, with a view to theprinciple and its tendency to elevate or depress the character of the industrious classes, that a Public Charity is immeasurablybetter than a Private Foundation, no matter how munificently the latter may be endowed.

In our own country, where it has not, until within these later days, been a very popular fashion with governments to display any extraordinary regard for the great mass of the people or to recognise their existence as improvable creatures, private charities, unexampled in the history of the Earth, have arisen, to do an incalculable amount of good among the destitute and afflicted.

But the government of the country, having neither act nor part in them, is not in the receipt of any portion of the gratitude they inspire and offering very little shelter or relief beyond that which is to be found in the workhouse and the jail, has come, not unnaturally, to be looked upon by the poor rather as a stern master, quick to correct and punish, than a kind protector, merciful and vigilant in their hour of need.

Questions and Answers of Comprehension

Question 1.
Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
(a) disseminate
(b) imperceptible
(c) immeasurably
Answer:
(a) spread
(b) a change which is so slight that it cannot be measured
(c) to a great unmeasurable extent

Question 2.
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(a) How has the University of Cambridge influenced the intellectual refinement and superiority of Boston?
(b) What are the special features of the American universities as described in the passage?
(c) What does the writer experience after visiting the public institutions of America?
(d) What according to the passage has not been the fashion amongst government institutions in the country of the author?
(e) What is the view of the poor towards the government of the author’s country?
Answer:
(a) The resident professors of the University of Cambridge are highly learned persons. Most of the people engaged in liberal profession in Boston are from this university. Hence this University has influenced the intellectual refinement and superiority of Boston.

(b) American universities are free from the evil of prejudices and bigots. They are not ill affected by superstitions. Also, these universities neither exclude anyone because of his religious opinions nor interfere between people and their progress. Moreover, they recognise a broad world lying beyond college walls.

(c) The writer feels that only most considerate wisdom, benevolence and humanity can make such perfect institutions as the public institutions of America were. He experienced immense happiness after visiting these institutions.

(d) In the country of the author, there has not been any fashion with government to show any regard for the great mass of the people who are deprived of right to education. They are not considered as likely to be educated and elevated.

(e) The government of the author’s country offers least help or relief to the poor. Hence, the poor consider the government as a strict master who implements harsh rules to correct and punish and is not at all lenient.

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Question 3.
Describe in not more than 50 words the feelings of the writer for American institutions in your own words.
Answer:
The universities of America had many learned and scholarly professors. They influenced not only the city of Boston and whole America, but also the writer’s mind. These universities didn’t show any prejudices or bigots for any religion.

The public institutions of America reflected the perfection of wisdom, benevolence and humanity. The writer was very pleased to see them.

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