HBSE Class 12 English Unseen Passage Question Answer 2024 Solution

NCERT Class 12 English Grammar Unseen Passage for Preparation of Exams. Here we Provide Class 12 English grammar for Various State Boards Students like CBSE, HBSE, MP BOARD, UP BOARD, RBSE students.

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Unseen Passage for Class 12 English MCQ Test with Answer for CBSE, HBSE, Up board, Mp Board, RBSE and for Competitive Exams.

Class 12 English Unseen Passage MCQ 2024

Read the passage given below and answer the questions by choosing the most appropriate answer from the given options that follow. 

He college was closed on Saturday last on account of it being a fine day. The sky was overcast and a pleasant breeze was blowing. The birds were chirping on the branches of the trees. It was indeed a very pleasant morning. Three friends, Rama, Ganga and Mohan, thought of spending the day out on the banks of the river. They spent it in playing games, it is playing games, eating fruits and sweets and singing songs. They could not resist the templation of taking a plunge into the river. Rama and Mohan were expert swimmers. They were soon ahead of Ganga with their quick and vigorous strokes. The latter was yet a novice, but fired by a spirit of emulation, he tried to overtake them. He had hardly fought with the current for five minutes, when he found that it was too strong for him, that his whole strength was ebbing fast and that he was on the point of being engulfed. He cried for help, but his companions were too far ahead to hear his cries. He became hoarse after repeated cries but there was no response.

1. Why was college closed on Saturday ?
(a) It was a public holiday.
(b) Because of strike.
(c) Because of its being a fine day.
(d) Because of flood situation.


Ans. (c) Because of its being a fine day.

2.  What temptation could the three friends not resist ?
(a) Playing games.
(b) Eating fruits.
(c) Taking a plunge into the river.
(d) None of the above


Ans. (c) Taking a plunge into the river.

3. Which of the three friends was a novice in swimming ?
(a) Rama
(b) Ganga
(c) Mohan
(d) None of the above


Ans. (b) Ganga

4. How was the current of the river ?
(a) Strong
(b) Swift
(c) Slow
(d) both (a) & (b)


Ans. (a) Strong

5. What kind of morning was it on Saturday ?
(a) A very pleasant morning.
(b) A stormy morning.
(c) A foggy morning.
(d) A very cold morning.


Ans. (a) A very pleasant morning.

As we alighted from the plane onto the tarmac of one of the smallest international airports in the world, a picture – perfect sight greeted us. A quaint airport terminal surrounded by green mountains, so tranquil and beautiful even on a wet, grey morning, it simply took our breath away. We had landed in the kingdom of Bhutan, one of the most isolated nations in the world with more than 70 percent of the harsh terrain under forest cover. Out holiday was luxurious enough for the first couple of days in Thimpu and Paro. We saw the national animals, the Takin and the Dzong. We were put to test soon enough on a half-day trip to Taktsang, the most revered temple in Bhutan. The temple is perched high on a granite cliff some 800 metres above the Paro valley and the walk through the beautiful forest of poplar and pines is about 10 kms in all. For the first time we encountered the in genuous Bhutanese system of using power to run a rotating prayer wheel and a tinkling bell. The next day, armed with walking sticks, light jackets, sun caps and high spirits, we set off.

1. The airport of which country is being described in this passage ?
(a) India
(b) Bhutan
(c) Nepal
(d) England


Ans. (b) Bhutan

2.  The national animals of Bhutan are :
(a) Takin
(b) Dzong
(c) Both (a) & (b)
(d) None of the above


Ans. (c) Both (a) & (b)

3. “It simply took our breath away” means ………… .
(a) It shocked us too much.
(b) It delighted us too much.
(c) It was bad looking.
(d) It was not pleasant.


Ans. (a) It shocked us too much.

4.  The author and his team were armed with many things. Which of the following is non-materialistic ?
(a) Walking sticks
(b) Light jackets
(c) Sun caps
(d) High Spirits


Ans. (d) High Spirits

5.  Which is the most revered temple in Bhutan ?
(a) Paro
(b) Thimpu
(c) Taktsang
(d) None of the above


Ans. (c) Taktsang

At a time when the use of fossil fuels to power vehicles is making environmentalists angry, an alternative source of fuel – the bio diesel – has emerged as a useful solution. Additonally, its use solves a disposal problem. The fuel is nothing but used vegetable oil which has been tested satisfactorily. It has made a vehicle called the Veggie Van (a motor home), run more than 16000 Kms across the United States. Also, it has visited 20 major cities, causing absolutely no harm to the environment. Vegetable oil from various restaurants in America was all that was used along the entire journey. The novel experiment was started as a college project by two students, Joshna and Kaia. It eventually ended in a massive public awareness programme. The idea of using vegetable oil as fuel for a diesel engine first occurred to them when they visited a traditional farm in the pictures que Southern Germany where vehicles fuelled by vegetable oil were in use.

1. What is the alternative fuel suggested in the passage ?
(a) Petrol
(b) Diesel
(c) Bio-diesel
(d) None of the above


Ans. (c) Bio-diesel

2.  What is bio-diesel ?
(a) Used diesel
(b) Used petrol
(c) Used vegetable oil
(d) None of the above


Ans. (c) Used vegetable oil

3. What name was given to the vehicle that first used bio-diesel ?
(a) Mercedes
(b) Veggie Van
(c) Motor cycle
(d) Tractor


Ans. (b) Veggie Van

4. How many Kilometers has veggie van run ?
(a) 10000 Kms
(b) 12000 Kms
(c) 16000 Kms
(d) 14000 Kms


Ans. (c) 16000 Kms

5. Who were the inventors of veggie van ?
(a) Joshna and Kaia
(b) John and Kerry
(c) George and Joshna
(d) None of the above


Ans. (a) Joshna and Kaia

The college was closed on Saturday last on account of fine day. The sky was overcast with clouds. A pleasant breeze was blowing. The birds were chirping on the branches of the trees. It was indeed a very pleasant morning. Three friends Rama, Ganga and Mohan thought of spending the day out on the banks of the river. They spent it in playing games, eating fruits and sweets, and singing songs. They could not resist the temptation of taking a plunge into the river. Rama and Mohan were expert swimmers. They were soon ahead of Ganga with their quick and vigorous strokes. The latter was yet a novice, but fired by a spirit of emulation, he tried to overtake them. He had hardly fought with the current for five minutes, when he found that it was too strong for him, that his whole strength was ebbing fast and that he was on the point of being engulfed. He cried for help, but his companions were too far ahead to hear his cry. He became hoarse after repeated cries, but there was no response. The poor miserable boy was being tossed up and down by the whirling waves, his whole strength was exhausted, and his condition was most critical. A minute or two more, and he would have gone to his watery grave. Suddenly his companions looked back to see how far their friend Ganga was left behind. They saw him exhausted and struggling hard against the strong and swift current. Both of them, lusty swimmers as they were, rushed to his rescue, caught hold of him firmly by his arms and brought him safely to the bank. They thus saved the boy from the very jaws of death. They thanked God whose divine mercy had saved the boy and were happy that their trip had not ended in tragedy.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4
(i) Why was the college closed on Saturday ?
(a) Cloudy day
(b) Rainy day
(c) Fine day
(d) Marshy day

(ii) How did the three friends want to spend the day ?
(a) Playing games
(b) Eating fruits and sweets
(c) Singing songs
(d) All the three

(iii) Who amongst the three was not so expert a swimmer ?
(a) Rama
(b) Ganga
(c) Mohan
(d) Ram and Mohan

(iv) Who was saved from the jaws of death ?
(a) Rama
(b) Ganga
(c) Mohan
(d) All the three

Our earth has a fine layer of soil at the surface. All plants grow in this soil only. Under the soil, there are rocks of various kinds. Nature takes millions of years to form an inch of soil in thickness. But sometimes a single heavy shower can wash it off. Such a thing doesn’t happen in places where we have forests or lots of trees. The roots of trees hold the soil together and protect it from being washed off. We value trees not only for their usefulness, but also for their beauty. They refresh the eyes and bring peace to the mind. That is why our ancient rishis were attracted to the forests. They lived in their forest homes or ashramas in the company of nature. It was in these ashramas that they taught their pupils. When Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore started a school, he also chose a place full of trees. He called it Shantiniketan or the Home of Peace. There was a time when our hills, mountains and even plains were covered with huge forests. As the population grew, trees were cut down to meet the demand for fuel and timber. Thus our wonderful forests came to be destroyed. Now we don’t have enough trees to give us firewood even. So people are forced to burn cattle dung which ought to be saved for use as manure. Cattle-dung is very necessary to maintain the fertility of soil. Chemical fertilizers alone can’t help. In many areas, where only chemical fertilizers are used, the crop yields have started falling. There is another grave danger. Now we don’t have enough trees to treat all the carbon dioxide that is being produced in our homes, factories and by our autos. The air remains polluted and it can give us a number of serious diseases. Trees are man’s best friends. They are God’s greatest gift to man. They are the invaluable wealth of a nation. It is our sacred duty to protect them and look after them well. For every tree that is cut down, we must plant at least two new trees and take care of them. If we don’t care for trees, they too will stop caring for us. And then, imagine what will happen!

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) We value trees for :
(a) Beauty
(b) Usefulness
(c) Both beauty and usefulness
(d) Neither beauty nor usefulness

(ii) Where did the rishis teach the pupils ?
(a) In the forests
(b) Ashramas
(c) Schools
(d) Colleges

(iii) What was Rabindranath Tagore’s Shantiniketan known as ?
(a) Home of Peace
(b) Home of solitude
(c) Home of loneliness
(d) Home of Joy

(iv) What are trees called ?
(a) Man’s best friends
(b) God’s greatest gift to man
(c) Invaluable wealth of nation
(d) All the three

The eastern skies were turning slowly from black to pale green with the coming of dawn, and we still had not found our elusive amphibian. The hunters explained that it was useless continuing the search once it was light, for then the frog would not show itself. This meant that we had some two hours left in which to track down the beast and capture it. At last damp, cold and dispirited we came to a broad flat valley filled with great boulders through which a stream picked its way like a snake. We had moved about half-way up this valley when I decided to break off for a cigarette. I came to a small pool that lay like a black mirror ringed all around with tall rocks. Choosing a smooth dry stone to sit on I switched off my torch and sat down to enjoy my smoke. Almost immediately afterwards something jumped into the pool with a loud plop. I switched on my torch quickly and shone it on the surface of the water, but there was nothing to be seen. Then I flashed the beam across on the moss-covered rocks which formed the lip of the pool. There, not a yard from where I was sitting, squatting on the extreme edge of a rock. sat a great, gleaming, chocolate-coloured frog. His fat thighs and the sides of his body were covered with a tangled belt of something that looked like hair. I sat there hardly daring to breathe, for the frog was perched on the extreme edge of the rock, overhanging the pool; he was alert and suspicious, his legs bunched ready to jump. If he was frightened, he would leap straight off the rock and into the dark waters. For perhaps five minutes I remained as immobile as the rocks around me, and gradually, as he got used to the light, the Hairy Frog relaxed.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) What expedition is described in the passage ?
(a) Eating
(b) Fighting
(c) Hunting
(d) Mountaineering

(ii) Which animal has been found to jump into the pool ?
(a) A water snake
(b) A crocodile
(c) A whale
(d) A hairy frog

(iii) Why was the colour of the sky changing ?
(a) Coming of dawn
(b) Coming of rain
(c) Coming of storm
(d) Coming of night

(iv) What for did the narrator stop ?
(a) For drinking
(b) For smoking
(c) For jumping in the pool
(d) No reason

As we alighted from the plane onto the tarmac of one of the smallest international airports in the world, a picture perfect sight greeted us. A quaint airport terminal surrounded by green mountains, so tranquil and beautiful even on a wet, grey morning, it simply took our breath away. We had landed in the kingdom of Bhutan, one of the most isolated nations in the world with more than 70 percent of the harsh terrain under forest cover. Our holiday was luxurious enough for the first couple of days in Thimpu and Paro. We saw the national animal, the Takin and the Dzongs that serve as the administrative and religious nerve centres. We were put to test soon enough on a half-day trip to Taktsang, the most revered temple in Bhutan. The temple is perched high on a granite cliff some 800 mtr. above the Paro valley and the walk through the beautiful forests of poplar and pines is about 10 kms. in all. It gave us an idea of the terrain we would be up against and it possibly helped reassure our trek guide. For the first time we encountered the ingenuous Bhutanese system of using running streams to power a rotating prayer wheel and tinkling bell. The next day, armed with walking sticks, light jackets, sun caps and high spirits, we set off. Enjoying the sunny weather, we walked through small villages and scenic farmlands on our way into the wilderness. For the first three days of our trial followed the fresh water river, the Paro Chhu through forest of blue pine-thick with the dangling Spanish Moss that is believed to be an indicator of the level of the oxygen in the air. The mountains were never far away in this stunning scenario.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) Name the country whose airport has been described in the passage :
(a) India
(b) Pakistan
(c) China
(d) Bhutan

(ii) What is the national animal of Bhutan ?
(a) Takin
(b) Dzong
(c) Both (a) & (b)
(d) None of the above

(iii) What ingeniuous Bhutanese system of running stream is mentioned here ?
(a) Power of rotating prayer wheel
(b) Tinkling bells
(c) Both (a) & (b)
(d) Neither (a) nor (b)

(iv) What is behind to be an indicator of the level of the oxygen in the air ?
(a) Spanish Moss
(b) Spanish Loss
(c) Russian Moss
(d) Russian Loss

All round development of man is the true aim of education. It should train not only the head, but also the hands and the heart. But our present system of education has miserably failed to achieve this aim. It suffers from many grave defects. The present system of education was founded by the British for their own convenience. Lord Macaulay was the father and founder of this system. He wanted it to produce clerks to help the British in running their administration. Today the English have gone but the same old system of education still continues. We are free but we are still slavishly following the system evolved by the British. This system of education has many defects. It must be changed and overhauled. The great defect in our present system of education is that it is too theoretical. An educated man has only bookish knowledge. He knows nothing about practical things. He finds that his education has not made him fit to do any useful work for his society. The present system of education does not teach us the dignity of labour. A student is not taught or trained to do things with his hands. Manual or physical labour finds no place in education. Educated young men are fit only to be clerks in office. They look down upon manual labour. They consider it below their dignity to work with their hands in fields or factories. Vocational education is the need of the hour. We need more and more technicians, engineers and doctors. But the number of vocational institutions-Engineering and Medical Colleges, Polytechnics and ITI’s-is limited. A large number of young men and women, who can do well as technicians are deprived of technical or vocational training.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) What is the true aim of education ?
(a) Training of head
(b) Training of heart
(c) All round development
(d) All of the above

(ii) What is the great defect in our present system of education ?
(a) Theoretical
(b) Bookish knowledge
(c) Both (a) & (b)
(d) Neither (a) nor (b)

(iii) What does the present system of education not teach ?
(a) Dignity of labour
(b) Training of soul
(c) Spiritual knowledge
(d) Polytechnic course

(iv) What is the need in the present system of education ?
(a) Law education
(b) Polytechnic
(c) Mechanical education
(d) Vocational Education

Reading books is one of the best kind of amusement which a man has after the day’s hard work. It is better to be a poor man living in a Garett with plenty of books than be a king who does not love reading. Books contain the history of our race, the accumulated knowledge and experience of ages, the best that ever has been thought and said. Books fill our mind with ideas and good happy thoughts. They comfort and console us during our time of difficulties. Books turn our dull, disgusting and despairing moments into delight. They present before us the beauties of nature. When we read a good book, it seems as if the kings and the palaces they live come alive to our mind’s eye. We seem to transport ourselves to the mountains or sea shore and visit the most beautiful and virgin parts of the earth without putting in any bodily exertion and expense. Good and entertaining books linger in our mind for longer time and become the source of our bright and happy thoughts. They are our true and life-long friends who never fail us. They give us the purest, the most durable and the most exquisite of all human happiness. We should develop a taste for reading good books.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) What is one of the best kind of amusement ?
(a) Reading books
(b) Writing books
(c) Talking books
(d) e-books

(ii) What do the books contain ?
(a) History of race
(b) The accumulated knowledge and experience of ages
(c) Best that ever has been thought and said
(d) All of the above

(iii) What do books present before us ?
(a) Beauties of nature
(b) A huge wealth
(c) Material things
(d) None of the above

(iv) What do books give us ?
(a) Purest thoughts
(b) The most durable human happiness
(c) The most exquisite human happiness
(d) All of the above

Grammar can be a way of comparing different language. To most people, grammar is a set of rules for speaking and writing a language correctly. Usually, before you can speak any language well-even your own language which you have gradually been learning since you were little-you have to know something about its grammar. Small children start to pick up the grammar of their own language almost by instinct, by hearing how their parents talk and seeing how words are put together in sentences in the books they read. Before long, they learn that some expressions sound wrong or are ‘bad grammar’, such as ‘the boys fighted for an hour instead of ‘the boys fought for an hour’. By being exposed to the language over a period of time, they eventually know how to say the right things and avoid saying the wrong things in order to be understood. However, when children begin to learn a foreign language, they find that they have to set about deliberately learning its grammar rules by heart. It is not simple to know the words of a new language, or a person could learn it just by reading a dictionary. The words by themselves do not mean very much until they are fitted together to form sentences, and it is grammar that shows how to do this. When you learn grammar, you learn how to make words work for you, and you also learn a great deal about the way words behave. For instance, you find out that words are divided into different classes according to what they do. The words that name things, such as horse or train, are called nouns. Action words like run and see are verbs and there are several other kinds. They are called parts of speech.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) How do small children pick up the grammar of their language ?
(a) By instinct
(b) Parents talk
(c) Words put in sentences in book
(d) All of the above

(ii) How do children learn to say the right things and avoid saying bad things ? It is due to their exposure to language over :
(a) A period of time
(b) One hour
(c) Two months
(d) Three years

(iii) What do you do when you learn grammar ?
(a) Learn to make words work for you
(b) The way words behave
(c) Both (a) & (b)
(d) Neither (a) nor (b)

(iv) What is required for learning a foreign language ?
(a) Learn grammar rules by heart
(b) Learn grammar rules by brain
(c) Learn but instinct
(d) Nothing required

Good communication skills require a high level of self-awareness. Understanding your personal style of communicating will go a long way towards helping you to create a good and lasting impression on others. By becoming more aware of how others perceive you, you can adapt more readily to their styles of communicating. This does not mean you have to be a chameleon, changing with every personality you meet. Instead, you can make another person more comfortable with you by selecting and emphasizing certain behaviours that fit within your personality and resonate with another. In doing this, you will become an active and patient listener. We should use non-verbal behaviours to raise the channel of interpersonal communication. Non-verbal communication is often, referred to as body language, facial expressions like smile, gestures, eye contact, and even your posture. This shows the person you are communicating with that you are indeed listening actively and will prompt further communications while keeping costly, time-consuming misunderstandings at a minimum.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) What is the basic requirement of good communication skills ?
(a) Self-awareness
(b) Self esteem
(c) Self-study
(d) Self-requirement

(ii) What will your personal style of communication do ?
(a) No impact
(b) Create good image
(c) Help earn job
(d) Create a good and lasting impression on others

(iii) How can we raise the channel of interpersonal communication ?
(a) By using non-verbal behaviour
(b) Verbal behaviour
(c) Both (a) & (b)
(d) Neither (a) nor (b)

(iv) What does non-verbal communication refer to ?
(a) Body language
(b) Facial expressions
(c) Posture
(d) All of the above

Pollution has been defined as the addition of any substance or form of energy to the environment at a rate faster than the environment can accommodate its dispersion, breakdown, recycling or storage in some harmless form. In simpler terms, pollution means the poisoning of the environment by man. Pollution has accompanied mankind ever since large groups of people settled down in one place for a long time. It was not a serious problem during primitive times when there was more than ample space available for each individual or group. As the human population boomed, pollution became a major problem and has remained as one ever since. Cities of ancient times were often unhealthy places, fouled by human wastes and debris. Such unsanitary conditions favoured the outbreak of diseases that killed or maimed many people living in those times. The rapid advancement of technology and industrialization today is something that man can be proud of. However, it has brought along with it many undesirable results, one of which is the pollution of our environment. Humanity today is threatened by the dangers of air, water, land and noise pollution. The air that we breathe is heavily polluted with toxic gases, chemicals and dust. These consist of the discharge from industrial factories and motor vehicles. The emission of tetraethyl lead and carbon monoxide from exhaust fumes is a major cause for concern too. Outdoor burning of trash and forest fires has also contributed to air pollution. They cause the smarting of the eyes, bouts of coughing and respiratory problems. Owing to the burning of fossil fuels, the level of carbon monoxide in the air is more than desirable. Too high a level of carbon dioxide will cause the Earth’s temperature to rise. The heat will melt the polar caps, thus raising the sea level and causing massive floods around the world. The burning of fuels also produces gases which form acid rain. Acid rain has a damaging effect on water, forest and soil, and is harmful to our health. Man has reached the moon and invented supersonic crafts that can travel faster than the speed of sound. However, these inventions emit pollutants which contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer. This depletion of ozone, which absorbs the harmful rays of sun and prevents them from reaching the Earth, will have drastic effects on all living things. It will lead to a rise in the number of people suffering from skin cancer. Water pollution has become widespread too. Toxic waste has found its way into our lakes, streams, rivers and oceans. This waste is released by factories and seagoing vessels. Spillage of oil by tankers during the recent Gulf War has caused irreparable damage to marine life. Thousands of sea animals have died or were poisoned by the pollutants in their natural habitat. As such, it is dangerous for humans to consume sea food caught in polluted waters. Dumping of used cars, cans, bottles, plastic items and all other kinds of waste material is an eyesore. Much of the refuse is not biodegradable and this interferes with the natural breakdown process of converting substance from a harmful form to a non harmful one. As such, it becomes a hazard to one’s health. We are often faced with noises from construction sites, jet planes and traffic jam. We may be unaware of it but noise pollution has been attributed to causing a loss of hearing, mental disturbances and poor performance at work. To control environmental pollution, substances which are hazardous and can destroy life must not be allowed to escape into the environment. This calls for united decision making among the world leaders and a public awareness of the dangers of pollution.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) Pollution was not a serious problem in ancient times because :
(a) people were unsettled
(b) lot of space was available
(c) population was less
(d) all of the above

(ii) Acid rain does not cause :
(a) smarting of eyes
(b) water pollution
(c) soil pollution
(d) damage to forest

(iii) The number of people suffering from skin cancer will rise because :
(a) man has invented supersonic aircraft’s
(b) ozone layer is depleting
(c) no efforts are being made to repair the ozone layer
(d) inventions emit pollutants that deplete the ozone layer which absorbs the cancer causing rays

(iv) If the refuse is not biodegradable, it :
(a) becomes an eyesore
(b) interferes with natural breakdown
(c) remains a health hazard
(d) both (b) and (c)

We are all judgmental. Yes, even you. I certainly am, many times. I think it’s human nature. And yet, while it is in our nature to be judgmental, I don’t think it’s always useful to us. We look down on others, as if we are so much better and that creates division between people. Think about it for a second: we see someone, and based on their looks or actions, we pass judgment on them. Not good judgment, either. Usually without even knowing the person. And that’s it – that’s usually the extent of our interaction with that person. We don’t make an effort to get to know the person, or understand them, or see whether our judgment was right or not. And let’s consider what happens when we pass judgment on people we do know. We see something they do, and get angry at it, or are disappointed in the person, or think worse of them. We judge, without understanding. And that’s the end of it – we don’t try to find out more, and through communication begin to understand, and through understanding begin to build a bridge between two human beings. Can you build a bridge with every single person you meet ? Probably not. That takes time and effort, two things we’re usually short on anyways. But I’ve found that taking that extra time, even just once a day, can make a huge difference. Avoid passing judgment and instead build a bridge between two human beings. If you find yourself being judgmental, stop yourself. This takes a greater awareness than we usually have, so the first step (and an important one) is to observe your thoughts for a few days, trying to notice when you’re being judgmental. This can be a difficult step. Remind yourself to observe. Once you’re more aware, you can then stop yourself when you feel yourself being judgmental. Then move to the next step. Instead of judging someone for what he’s done or how he looks, try to understand that person. Put yourself in their shoes. Try to imagine their background. If possible, talk to them. Find out their back-story. Everyone has one. If not, try to imagine the circumstances that might have led to the person acting or looking like they do. Once you begin to understand or try to understand, try to accept him. Accept that person for who he is, without trying to change him. Accept that he will act the way he does, without wanting him to change. The world is what it is, and as much as you try, you can only change a little bit of it. It will continue to be as it is long after you’re gone. Accept that, because otherwise, you’re in for a world of frustration. Once you’ve accepted someone for who he is, try to love him. Even if you don’t know him. Even if you’ve hated him in the past. Love him as a brother or love her as a sister, no matter who they are – old or young, light skinned or dark skinned, male or female, rich or poor. What good will loving someone do ? Your love will likely only be limited. But it could have an effect on two people: yourself and possibly on the person you’ve found love for. Loving others will serve to make you happier. Trust me on this one. And loving others can change the lives of others, if you choose to express that love and take action on it. I can’t guarantee what will happen but it can be life-changing.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) When we pass judgment on known people, we :
(a) try to find out more about them
(b) communicate with them
(c) build bridges with them
(d) none of the above

(ii) Stopping oneself from being judgmental is :
(a) not easy
(b) is not required to build bridges
(c) does not take greater awareness
(d) does not require observing oneself

(iii) Understanding people requires :
(a) putting yourself in their shoes
(b) finding out their back story
(c) imagining the circumstances which may have led them to act in a particular manner
(d) all of the above

(iv) Non acceptance can lead to frustration because :
(a) the world can’t change much
(b) all people are different
(c) both (a) and (b)
(d) people have a back story

“It is impossible to think about the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is impossible for a bird to fly on only one wing.” – Swami Vivekananda Women are not born, but made. What is better than India to exemplify this statement by Simone de Beauvoir. With the whole world celebrating International Women’s Day with great pomp and show, it would be only apt to analyse the position and space Indian women occupy today, and comparing it to the times 60 years ago when the country had just gained independence. With the women participating in nationalist movements to being pushed into domestic household place, to their resurgence as the super-women today, women in our country have seen it all. There have been innumerable debates about gender in India over the years. Much of it includes women’s position in society, their education, health, economic position, gender equality, etc. What one can conclude from such discussions is that women have always held a certain paradoxical position in our developing country. On the one hand, the country has seen an increased percentage of literacy among women, and women are allowed to enter into professional fields, while on the other hand the practices of female infanticide, poor health conditions and lack of education still persist. Even the patriarchal ideology of the home being a woman’s real domain and marriage being her ultimate destiny hasn’t changed much. The matrimonial advertisements, demanding girls of the same caste, with fair skin and slim figure, or the much criticized fair and lovely ads, are indicators of the slow changing social mores. If one looks at the status of women then and now, one has to look at two sides of the coin; one side which is promising, and one side which is bleak. When our country got its independence, the participation of women nationalists was widely acknowledged. When the Indian Constitution was formulated, it granted equal rights to women, considering them legal citizens of the country and as an equal to men in terms of freedom and  opportunity. The sex ratio of women at that time was slightly better than what it is today, standing at 945 females per 1000 males. Yet the conditions of women screamed a different reality. They were relegated to their households, and made to submit to the male-dominated society, as has always been prevalent in our country. Indian women, who fought as an equal to men in the nationalist struggle, were not given that free public space anymore. They became homemakers, and were mainly meant to build a strong home to support their men who were to build the new independent country. Women were reduced to being secondary citizens. The national female literacy rate was an alarmingly low 8.9 percent. The Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) for girls was 24.8 percent at primary level and 4.6 percent at the upper primary level (in the 11 – 14 years age group). There existed  insoluble social and cultural barriers to education of women and access to organised schooling.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4
(i) The writer says that the women have seen it all because :
(a) They participated in the nationalist movements.
(b) They were pushed into household space.
(c) They have become superwomen today.
(d) All of the above.

(ii) Pick one statement which brings out the paradoxical nature of women’s position in society today :
(a) They are entering professional fields and becoming literate.
(b) They lack education and female infanticide is still rampant.
(c) They are still victims of patriarchal mindset.
(d) While they are allowed to enter professional fields they are still victims of patriarchal mindsets.

(iii) The Indian Constitution did not ensure :
(a) that women get equal rights.
(b) that they were considered equal to men.
(c) that the sex ratio would be 945 females to 1000 males.
(d) that they were legal citizens of India.

(iv) Despite the provisions of the constitution :
(a) women were relegated to the household.
(b) women were not allowed free space.
(c) women were dictated by patriarchy.
(d) all of the above.

What would we do without humour ? How would we enjoy talks with others if we did not use humour to invite a smile or a laugh ? And how would we manage the times when we feel sad and alone ? With humour we lighten up each day, and we find common ground with others. We build healthy relationships with others by knowing what to say and to do that helps, and what hinders, a conversation. Humour often takes us to the edge of uncertainty when we exaggerate, or tease others to make our point. When humour is successful, we build trust and cooperation. We discover that we are not alone, we learn to accept our mistakes, and we look for the good in others and in ourselves. Most importantly, we create common ground. However, when we lose our sense of humour, we often get critical or defensive, and, we often get critical of ourselves for what was said, and how it was said. Humour is an essential skill needed to communicate well with others. A few well chosen words get the attention of others and make a serious point without their getting defensive. Whether we prefer to be the centre of attention or shy and quiet, humour can be adjusted to suit our personality. The challenge for everyone is to become more aware of how to add humour, and when to avoid it. Too much humour, like too much spice often annoys others. Humour that is perceived as insensitive often leads others to shut down, or become argumentative. But when we each maintain our sense of humour, we look for the good in others and in ourselves. To ensure that our humour is welcomed by others, we need to combine our humour with speaking clearly and listening effectively. Have you ever noticed that successful individuals use selfdeprecating humour to humble themselves, without putting themselves down ? These individuals understood that every person has strengths and weaknesses and that self deprecating humour invites others to feel more confident and equal. Having humour helps us keep our perspective, stay responsive to others, and resolve differences. Do you already have some things that you say to diffuse tension ? Words like “At times like this, my uncle used to say … ” can help the conversation to become less confrontational. If you can’t think of a humourous comment that will be helpful, you can try looking for clarification by mirroring back their words and clarifying their point. Assume that there is always something that you can find to appreciate when you are looking for common ground. Focus on preventing an argument. Remember, humour is often not the best choice to handle conflict. Opportunities to add a touch of humour happen all of the time. In December when I visited my friend Tim in the hospital, I came wearing antlers from the Dollar Store. And when I was accepted into the graduate programme at the University of Waterloo, I wrote my acceptance letter as a poem. In each situation my small change from the everyday stirred others to smile, and expect positive conversations in the future. Much of our humour comes from reconnecting to our playful inner child. For many of us, it only takes a Playful voice tone, wearing a funny hat, or holding a stuffed toy to get started. Take a risk. Add a bit more humour, and do it in the way that is right for you.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) Humour helps us :
(a) to find common ground with others
(b) lighten up each day
(c) exaggerate
(d) both (a) and (b)

(ii) When we lose humour we :
(a) often get critical
(b) often get defensive
(c) often get critical for what was said
(d) all of these

(iii) Humour is not the best tool to :
(a) resolve a conflict
(b) be a successful conversationalist
(c) to find common ground
(d) stay responsive to others

(iv) The writer gives the example of wearing a funny hat to exemplify that :
(a) humour comes from reconnecting with our inner child
(b) opportunities to add humour are always present
(c) humour requires common ground
(d) humour involves risk

Russia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was a massive empire, stretching from Poland to the Pacific, and home in 1914 to 165 million people of many languages, religions and cultures. Ruling such a massive state was difficult, and the long term problems within Russia were eroding the Romanov monarchy. In 1917 this decay finally produced a revolution which swept the old system away. Several key fault lines can be identified as long term causes, while the short term trigger is accepted as being World War – I. It’s important to remember Tsarist Russia collapsed under its own flaws, with the top rending, not by an attack from people at the bottom, e.g. workers. That (and Lenin) would come later in 1917, when the Tsar was gone. The revolution was also not inevitable: the Tsars could have reformed, but the last ones didn’t want to and went backwards. It cost them their lives. In theory their life had improved in 1861, before which they were serfs who were owned and could be traded by their landowners. The year 1861 saw the serfs freed and issued with small amounts of land, but in return they had to pay back a sum to the government, and the result was a mass of small farms deeply in debt. The state of agriculture in Russia was poor, using techniques deeply out of date and with little hope of improving thanks to the widespread illiteracy and no capital to invest. Families lived just above the subsistence level, and around 50% of the families had a member who had left the village to find other work, often in the towns. As the central Russian population boomed, land became scarce. Their life was in sharp contrast to the rich landowners, who held 20% of the land in large estates and were often members of the Russian upper class. The western and southern reaches of the massive Russian Empire were slightly different, with a larger number of better off peasants and large commercial farms. The result was, by 1917, a central mass of disaffected peasants were angry at increased attempts to control them, and at people who profited from the land without directly working on it. The common peasant mindset was firmly against developments outside the village, and desired autonomy. Oddly, although the vast majority of Russia in population was rural peasants, and urban expeasants, the upper and the middle classes knew little of real peasant life, but a lot about myths: of down to earth, angelic, pure commercial life, etc. Legally, culturally, socially, the peasants in over half a million settlements were organised by centuries of community rule, the mirs, which were separate from elites and the middle class. But this was not a joyous, lawful commune, it was a desperate struggling system fuelled with the human weakness of rivalry, violence and theft, and everywhere was run by elder patriarchs. A break was occurring among the peasants between the elders and a large number of young literate peasants, due to the culture of deeply ingrained and frequent violence. The peasants were not without a world view, and it was a mixture of odd folk memory, custom, and opposition to the interference of the Tsar – Inside vs outside. Stolypin’s lands reforms of the years before 1917 attacked peasant concept of family ownership and tried to capitalise it; revolutionary peasants often went back to communal systems. This wasn’t so much class but a view based on justice of poor vs strong. In central Russia, the peasant population was rising and land was running out, so eyes were on the elites who were forcing the debtridden peasants to sell land for commercial use. Even more peasants travelled to the cities in search of work. There they urbanised and looked negatively on the peasants left behind.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4
(i) The decay that caused the Russian revolution was due to :
(a) massive empire
(b) failure of the czars to reform themselves
(c) world War-I
(d) all of the above

(ii) The agriculture was in bad condition as :
(a) farmers were in debt
(b) techniques were outdated
(c) both (a) and (b)
(d) serfs could be traded by their landowners

(iii) Which of the following was the trigger for the revolution ?
(a) World War – I
(b) urbanisation of the peasants
(c) break between the elders and the young
(d) excessive control of the upper classes

(iv) The peasants were organised into communes by :
(a) mirs
(b) farmers
(c) middle classes
(d) elites

Nanotechnology is science, engineering, and technology conducted at the nanoscale, which is about 1 to 100 nanometers. Nanoscience and nanotechnology are the study and application of extremely small things and can be used across all the other science fields, such as Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Material Science, and Engineering. The ideas and concepts behind nanoscience and nanotechnology started with a talk entitled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” by physicist Richard Feynman at an American Physical Society meeting at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) on December 29, 1959, long before the term nanotechnology was used. In his talk, Feynman described a process in which scientists would be able to manipulate and control individual atoms and molecules. Over a decade later, in his explorations of ultraprecision machining, Professor Norio Taniguichi coined the term nanotechnology. It wasn’t until 1981, with the development of the scanning tunnelling  microscope that could ‘see’ individual atoms, that modern nanotechnology began. It’s hard to imagine just how small nanotechnology is. One nanometer is a billionth of a meter, or 1.109 of a meter. Here are a few illustrative examples: There are 25,500,000 nanometers in an inch: A sheet of newspaper is about 100,000 nanometers thick. On a comparative scale, if a marble were a nanometer, then one meter would be the size of the Earth. Nanoscience and  nanotechnology involve the ability to see and to control individual atoms and molecules. Everything on Earth is made up of atoms – the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the buildings and houses we live in, and our own bodies. But something as small as an atom is impossible to see with the naked eye. In fact, it’s impossible to see with the microscopes typically used in a high school science classes. The microscopes needed to see things at the nanoscale were invented relatively recently – about three years ago. Once scientists had the right tools, such as the Scanning Tunnelling Microscope (STM) and the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), the age of nanotechnology was born. Although modern nanoscience and nanotechnology are quite new, nanoscale materials were used for centuries. Alternate-sized gold and silver particles created colours in the stained glass windows of medieval churches hundreds of years ago. The artists back then just didn’t know that the process they used to create these beautiful works of art actually led to changes in the composition of materials they were working with. Today’s scientists and engineers are finding a wide variety of ways to deliberately make materials at the nanoscale to take advantage of their enhanced properties such as higher strength, lighter weight, increased control of light spectrum and greater chemical reactivity than their larger – scale counterparts.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) Materials at nanoscale are desirable as they :
(a) have higher strength
(b) have light weight
(c) increased control of light spectrum
(d) all of the above

(ii) Pick a statement that is not true :
(a) Food is made of atoms
(b) Our bodies are made of atoms
(c) High school microscope can reveal atoms
(d) Atoms can be seen with the naked eye

(iii) Nanotechnology can be used in :
(a) chemistry
(b) making newspaper
(c) marking artworks using colours
(d) both (a) and (b)

(iv) Who coined the term ‘nanotechnology’ ?
(a) Einstein
(b) Norio Taniguichi
(c) Newton
(d) Richard Feynnan

What does it mean to live a healthy lifestyle ? It is a way of living that allows you to enjoy more aspects of our life in a more fulfilling way. It is not just about trying to avoid one illness after another, or trying to just not feel as bad as you normally do. It is about feeling and being well physically, mentally and socially. It is about making specific choices that give you the opportunity to feel your best for as long as you can. Living a healthy lifestyle is about saying YES to life. Do you want to have a body that can support you well in your old age ? Do you wish to have mental clarity, quality relationships, good working internal functions or even an overall feeling of wellbeing ? Well, living a healthy lifestyle is what can get you there, or at least improve your condition. There are three specific things that you should do: You shouldn’t be surprised that this one is on the list. It is  navoidable. Physical activity is essential to healthy living. The body is meant to move, and when it does not, it can become unhappy and ill. Physical activity stimulates the body’s natural maintenance and repairs systems that keep it going. It improves circulation to our heart and lungs. It gives us strength to stave off injuries, and it increases the mobility in our muscles and joints. Physical activity also releases endorphins; the feel good hormones that create a sense of general wellbeing. Physical activity is good for the body and the mind. Exercises include brisk walking, cycling, dancing, swimming, rowing, elliptical workouts and jogging. Yoga and Pilates are also good exercise workouts; however, they should be performed in conjunction with the cardiovascular type workouts mentioned above. Have you ever heard of saying “You are what you eat” or “Garbage in garbage out”? Well, it is true. What you put into your body directly affects how you feel physically, your mood, your mental clarity, your internal workings, and even your skin. Eating healthy does not mean eating expensive foods with little taste. As a matter of fact, there are some fantastic health recipes online and in cookbooks that are very healthy. Basically, you want to aim for a diet that is low in salt, fat and unprocessed foods and is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and omega – 3 fatty acids. It is also good to take a multivitamin to ensure you are meeting your nutrient requirements. We have got to get rid of all of this stress. Stress happens when your life becomes out of balance physically, mentally or emotionally. This imbalance can be caused by internal stress like worrying too much, environmental stress like pressure from work, family or friends, or by stress from being fatigued or overworked. Being stressed out has the potential to affect your health in a variety of ways. You can become tired, sick, tense, irritable, and unable to think properly. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle, you will need to manage the stress in your life so that it does not overtake you. This means taking charge of your thoughts, emotions, tasks, and environment to get your body back in balance. “Instead of dealing with the outcome of your angry outburst, deal with it scientifically,” says alternative healer, Rama Awasthi.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) Healthy living means :
(a) Just avoiding illness
(b) Feeling better than normal
(c) Eating expensive foods
(d) Enjoying more aspects of life in a more fulfilling way

(ii) Physical activity :
(a) improves blood circulation
(b) improves natural response system
(c) releases feel good hormones
(d) all of the above

(iii) Which of the following is not a cardiovascular exercise ?
(a) Brisk walking
(b) Swimming
(c) Yoga
(d) Jogging

(iv) Stress management does not involve :
(a) managing thoughts
(b) taking multi-vitamins
(c) balancing one’s body
(d) managing one’s environment

New Year is the time for resolution. Mentally, at least most of us could compile formidable lists of ‘do’s and don’ts’. The same old favourites recur year in and year out with monotonous regularity. We resolve to get-up early each morning, eat healthy food, exercise, be nice to people we don’t like and find more time for our parents. Past experience has taught us that certain accomplishments are beyond attainment. If we remain deep rooted liars, it is only because we have so often experienced the frustration that results from failure. Most of us fail in our efforts, at self-improvement because our schemes are too ambitious and we never have time to carry them out. We also ‘make the fundamental error of announcing our resolution to everybody so that we look even more foolish when we slip back into our bad old ways. Aware of these pitfalls, this year I attempted to keep my resolutions to myself. I limited myself to two modest ambitions, to do physical exercise every morning and to read more in the evening. An overnight party on New Year’s Eve provided me with a good excuse for not carrying out either of these new resolutions on the first day of the year, but on the second, I applied myself diligently to the task. The daily exercise lasted only eleven minutes and I proposed to do them early in the morning before anyone had got up. The self-discipline required to drag myself out of bed eleven minutes earlier than usual was considerable. Nevertheless, I managed to creep down into the living room for two days before anyone found me out. After jumping about on the carpet and twisting the human frame into uncomfortable positions, I sat down at the breakfast table in an exhausted condition. It was this that betrayed me. The next morning the whole family trooped in to watch the performance. That was really unsettling but I fended off the taunts and jibes of the whole family good-humouredly and soon everybody got used to the idea. However, my enthusiasm waned. The time I spent at exercises gradually diminished. Little by little the eleven minutes fell to zero. By January 10th, I was back to where I had started from. I argued that if I spent less time exhausting myself at exercises in the morning, I would keep my mind fresh for reading when I got home from work. Resisting the hypnotising effect of television, I sat, in my room for a few evenings with my eyes glued to a book. One night, however, feeling cold and lonely, I went downstairs and sat in front of the television pretending to read. That proved to be my undoing, for I soon got back to the old bad habit of dozing off in front of the screen. I still haven’t given up my resolution to do more reading. In fact, I have just bought a book entitled ‘How to Read a Thousand Words a Minute’. Perhaps it will solve my problem, but I just have not had time to read it.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) What were the writer’s two resolutions ?
(a) Physical exercise in the morning
(b) Read more in the evening
(c) Both (a) and (b)
(d) Not to make more resolutions

(ii) How much time did the daily exercise last initially ?
(a) 10 minutes
(b) 11 minutes
(c) 5 minutes
(d) 8 minutes

(iii) How many days did the narrator continue his resolution ?
(a) 8 days
(b) 9 days
(c) 10 days
(d) 7 days

(iv) Which book did the narrator buy ?
(a) How to read a thousand words a minute
(b) How to be a good reader
(c) How to be firm on your resolutions
(d) The importance of exercising

Many of us believe that ‘small’ means ‘insignificant’. We believe that small actions and choices do not have much impact on our lives. We think that it is only the big things, the big actions and the big decisions that really count. But when you look at the lives of all great people, you will see that they built their character through small decisions, small choices and small actions that they performed every day. They transformed their lives through a step-bystep or day-by-day approach. They nurtured and nourished their good habits and chipped away at their bad habits, one step at a time. It was their small day-to-day decisions that added up to make tremendous difference in the long run. Indeed, in matters of personal growth and character building, there is no such thing as an overnight success. Growth always occurs through a sequential series of stages. There is an organic process to growth. When we look at children growing up, we can see this process at work; the child first learns to crawl, then to stand and walk, and finally to run. The same is true in the natural world. The soil must first be tilled, and then the seed must be sowed. Next, it must be nurtured with enough water and sunlight, and only then will it grow, bear fruit and finally ripen and be ready to eat. Gandhi understood this organic process and used this universal law of nature to his benefit. Gandhi grew in small ways, in his day-to-day affairs. He did not wake up one day and find himself to be the “Mahatama”. In fact, there was nothing much in his early life that showed signs of greatness. But from his midtwenties onwards, he deliberately and consistently attempted to change himself, reform himself and grow in some small way every day. Day-by-day, hour-by-hour, he risked failure, experimented and learnt from mistakes. In small and large situations alike, he took up rather than avoid responsibility. People have always marvelled at the effortless way in which Gandhi could accomplish the most difficult tasks. He displayed great deal of self-mastery and discipline that was amazing. These things did not come easily to him. Years of practice and disciplined training went into making his successes possible. Very few saw his struggles, fears, doubts and anxieties, or his inner efforts to overcome them. They saw the victory, but not the struggle. This is a common factor in the lives of all great people: they exercised their freedoms and choices in small ways that made great impact on their lives and their environment. Each of their small decisions and actions, added up to have a profound impact in the long run. By understanding this principle, we can move forward, with confidence, in the direction of our dreams. Often when our “ideal goal” looks too far from us, we become easily discouraged, disheartened and pessimistic. However, when we choose to grow in small ways, taking small steps one at a time, performing it becomes easy.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) The main idea in the first paragraph is that :
(a) Big things, big actions and big decisions make a person great
(b) Small actions and decisions are important in one’s life
(c) Overnight success is possible for all of us
(d) Personal changes are not important

(ii) What does the writer mean by saying ‘chipped away at their bad habits’ ?
(a) Steadily gave up bad habits
(b) Slowly produced bad habits
(c) Gradually criticized bad habits
(d) Did not like bad habits

(iii) Which of the following statements is true in the context of the third paragraph ?
(a) Gandhi became great overnight
(b) Gandhi showed signs of greatness in childhood itself
(c) Every day Gandhi made efforts to change himself in some small way
(d) Gandhi never made mistakes

(iv) What is done by great people to transform their lives ?
(a) They approach life on a day-by-day basis
(b) They build character in small ways
(c) They believe in performing everyday
(d) All of these

I had submitted an article ‘Reforming our education system’ recently wherein the need for our educational system to shift its focus from insisting upon remembering to emphasizing or understanding was stressed upon. This article brought back the memory of an interesting conversation between my daughter and myself in the recent times wherein I had learnt that Economics and Physics were a few of the most difficult subjects for her as she had to mug up the answers. Though I offered to help her out with the immediate problem on hand, I learnt subsequently that many a time it pays to mug up the answer properly because the teachers find it easier to evaluate that way. It seems, the more deviation there is from the way the sentences are framed in the textbook, the more risk one runs of losing marks on that count many a time. This reminded me of a training session I had attended at work wherein we were required to carry out an exercise of joining the dots that were drawn in rows of three without lifting the pen and without crossing the trodden path more than once Though the exercise seemed quite simple, almost 95 percent of us failed to achieve he required result, no matter how hard we tried. The instructor then informed us cheerily that it happened all the time, because the dots that appeared to fit into a box like formation do not allow us to think out of the box. That was when I realised that all of us carry these imaginary boxes in our minds. Thanks to our stereotyped upbringing that forces our thinking to conform to a set pattern. “What is the harm in conforming as long as it is towards setting up a good practice ? someone might want to ask. Perhaps, no harm done to others but to the person being confined to “think by rote” may mean being deprived of rising to the heights he/she is capable of rising to, even without the person being aware of the same. If we instil too much fear of failure in the children right from the young age, the urge to conform and play safe starts stifling the creative urge which dares to explore, err and explore again. As we know, most of the great inventions were initially considered to be most outrageous and highly impractical. It is because the persons inventing the same were not bothered about being ridiculed and were brave enough to think of the unthinkable that these inventions came into being. For many children, studies are the most boring aspect of their lives. Learning, instead of fun is being considered the most mundane and avoidable activity. Thanks to the propagators of an educational system which is more information oriented than knowledge oriented. Too much of syllabus, too many students per teacher, lack of enough hands-on exercises, teaching as a routine with the aim of completing the syllabus in time rather than with the goal of imparting knowledge, the curriculum more often than not designed keeping in view the most intelligent student rather than the average student are important factors in this regard. Peer pressure, high expectations of the parents in an extremely competitive environment, the multitude of distractions in an era of technological revolution are adding further to the burden on the young minds. For a change, can we have some English/Hindi poems ickle, tickle and pickle the young minds and send them on a wild goose chase for the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow ? Can we have lessons in History that make the child feel proud of his heritage instead of asking him to mug up the years of the events ? Can the physics and chemistry lessons be taught more in the laboratories than in the classrooms ? Can a system be devised so as to make the educational excursions compulsory for schools so that visits to historical/botanical places are ensured without fail ? Can the educational institutes start off inter school projects on the Internet, the way the schools abroad do, so as to encourage the child to explore on her own and sum up her findings in the form of a report ? Finally, can we make the wonder of the childhood last and get carried forward into the adulthood instead of forcing pre-mature adulthood on children ? I, for one, have realised that it is worth doing so, hence I have asked my child to go ahead by choosing to write the answers on her own, in her own language by giving vent to her most fanciful imagination !

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) What were the difficult subjects for the narrator’s daughter ?
(a) Biology and Chemistry
(b) Economics and Physics
(c) Political Science and English
(d) History and Maths

(ii) Why does it pay to mug up answers ?
(a) Because teachers find it easy to evaluate
(b) Because students find it easy to write
(c) Because teachers find it easy to teach
(d) Because students find it easy to remember

(iii) What stifles the creative urge in children ?
(a) The urge to be always right
(b) The urge to do well in everything
(c) The urge to conform and play safe
(d) The urge to take risks

(iv) Learning is now being considered ………… .
(a) an interesting activity
(b) a mundane and avoidable activity
(c) a fun filled activity
(d) an interesting but avoidable activity

From the moment a baby first opens its eyes, itis learning. Sight and sensation spark off a learning process which will determine in large measure the sort of person it will become. Language stands head and shoulders over all other tools as an instrument of learning. It is language that gives man his lead in intelligence over all the other creatures. No other creature can assemble a list of ideas, consider them, draw conclusions and then explain his reasoning. Man can do all this because he possesses language. And if thought depends on language, clearly the quality of an individual’s thought will depend on that person’s languagerudimentary or sophisticated, precise or approximate, stereotyped or original. Very young babies are soothed by human voice uttering comforting words close to them. This essentially emotional response provides early evidence that feeling is an important component of language learning. Children learn to use language in interaction with other human beings and this learning proceeds best against a background of affectionate feedback from the person who is closest to them. This is seen to perfection in the interaction between parent and a baby: eyes locked together, the adult almost physically drawing ‘verbal’ response from the baby, both engulfed by that unique experience of intimate and joyful ‘connecting’, which sets the pattern of the relationship between two people. Thus, long before they can speak, children are involved in a two-way process of communication, which is steadily building a foundation on which their later use of language will be based. Constantly surrounded by language, they are unconsciously building structures in their minds into which their speech and reading will later fit grammatical constructions, tense sequences and so on. The forms of these structures will depend on the amount and complexity of speech they hear. Fortunate are those children who listen to articulate adults, expressing ideas and defending opinions. They will know, long before they can contribute themselves and understand that relationships are forged through this process of speaking and listening; that warmth and humour have a place in the process, as have all other human emotions. Using books is the most important means of ensuring a child’s adequate language development. None of us can endlessly initiate and maintain speech with very small children; we run out of ideas or just get plain sick of it. Their lives are confined to a limited circle and they do not have enough experience to provide raw material for constant verbal interaction. Parents and children who share books share the same frame of reference. Incidents in everyday life constantly remind one or the other of a situation, a character, an action, from a jointly enjoyed book, with all the generation of warmth and well-being that is attendant upon such sharing. All too often, there is a breakdown of communication between parents and children when the problems of adolescence arise. In most cases, this is most acute when the give and take of shared opinion and ideas has not been constantly practised throughout childhood. Books can play a major role in the establishment of this verbal give and take, because they are rooted in language. Young children’s understanding greatly outruns their capacity for expression as their speech strains to encompass their awareness, to represent reality as they see it. Shades of meaning which may be quite unavailable to the child of limited verbal experience are startlingly talked to toddler. All the wonderful modifying words – later, nearly, tomorrow, almost, wait, half, lend, begin to steer the child away from the simple extremes of “Yes” and “No” towards the adult word of compromise; from the child’s black and white world to the subtle shades and tints of the real world. The range of  imaginative experience opened up by books expands the inevitably limited horizons of children’s surroundings and allows them to make joyful, intrigued, awestruck acquaintance with countless people, animals, objects and ideas in their first years of life, to their incalculable advantage. Books also open children to new points of view besides their own as they unconsciously put themselves into other people’s places – ‘if that could happen to him, it could happen to me.’ This imaginative selfawareness brings apprehensions and fears as well as heightened hopes and joys. In books, children can experience language which is subtle, resourceful, exhilarating and harmonious; languages which provide the human ear (and understanding) with  a pointed and precise pleasure, the searing illuminating impact of good and true words.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) What is an important component of language learning ?
(a) Feeling
(b) Linguistics
(c) Emotions
(d) Environment

(ii) What are the things that a baby can do that enable it to learn about the world around it ?
(a) See and hear
(b) Sense and analyse
(c) Understand and use language
(d) See, hear and sense

(iii) Why do books help in establishment of verbal give-and take ?
(a) Because they help in interaction with others
(b) Because they are rooted in language
(c) Because they are beautiful to look at
(d) Because they have varied topics

(iv) How do books help children see things from other’s point of view ?
(a) Books help in imaginative self-awareness
(b) Books have beautiful cover
(c) Books generate a lot of discussion
(d) Books create awareness about various topics

For four days, I walked through the narrow lanes of the old city, enjoying the romance of being in a city where history still lives – in its cobblestone streets and people riding asses, carrying vine leaves and palm as they once did during the time of Christ. This is Jerusalem, home to the sacred sites of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. This is the place that houses the church of the Holy Sepulchre, the place where Jesus was finally laid to rest. This is also the site of Christ’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Built by the Roman Emperor Constantine at the site of an earlier temple to Aphrodite, it is the most venerated Christian shrine in the world. And justifiably so. Here, within the church, are the last five stations of the cross, the 10th station where Jesus was stripped of his clothes, the 11th where he was nailed to the cross, the 12th where he died on the cross, the 13th where the body was removed from the cross, and the 14th, his tomb. For all this weighty tradition, the approach and entrance to the church is nondescript. You have to ask for directions. Even to the devout Christian pilgrims walking along the Via Dolorosa – the Way of Sorrows – first nine stations look clueless. Then a courtyard appears, hemmed in by other buildings and a doorway to one side. This leads to a vast area of huge stone architecture. Immediately inside the entrance, is your first stop. It’s the stone of anointing: this is the place, according to Greek tradition, where Christ was removed from the cross. The Roman Catholics, however, believe it to be the spot where Jesus’ body was prepared for burial by Joseph. What happened next ? Jesus was buried. He was taken to a place outside the city of Jerusalem where other graves existed and there, he was buried in a cave. However, all that is long gone, destroyed by continued attacks and rebuilding; what remains is the massive – and impressive – Rotunda (a round building with a dome) that Emperor Constantine built. Under this, and right in the centre of the Rotunda, is the structure that contains the Holy Sepulchre. “How do you know that this is Jesus’ tomb ?” I asked one of the pilgrims standing next to me. He was clueless, more interested, like the rest of them, in the novelty of it all and in photographing it, than in its history or tradition. At the start of the first century, the place was a disused quarry outside the city walls. According to the gospels, Jesus’ crucifixion occurred ‘at a place outside the city walls with graves nearby … ‘ … Archaeologists have discovered tombs from that era, so the site is compatible with the biblical period. The structure at the site is a marble tomb built over the original burial chamber. It has two rooms, and you enter four at a time into the first of these, the Chapel of the Angel. Here the angel is supposed to have sat on a stone to recount Christ’s resurrection. A low door made of white marble, partly worn away by pilgrims’ hands, leads to a smaller chamber inside. This is the ‘room of the tomb’, the place where Jesus was buried. We entered in single file. On my right was a large marble slab that covered the original rock bench on which the body of Jesus was laid. A woman knelt and prayed. Her eyes were wet with tears. She pressed her face against the slab to hide them, but it only made it worse. Most Important

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) How does Jerusalem still retain the charm of ancient era ?
(a) There are narrow lanes
(b) Roads are paved with cobblestones
(c) People can be seen riding asses
(d) All of the above

(ii) Holy Sepulchre is sacred to __
(a) Christianity
(b) Islam
(c) Judaism
(d) Both (a) and (c)

(iii) Why does one have to constantly ask for directions to the church ?
(a) Its lanes are narrow
(b) Entrance to the church is nondescript
(c) People are not tourist friendly
(d) Everyone is lost in enjoying the romance of the place

(iv) Where was Jesus buried ?
(a) In a cave
(b) At a place outside the city
(c) In the Holy Sepulchre
(d) Both (a) and (b)

Maharana Pratap ruled over Mewar only for 25 years. However, he accomplished so much grandeur during his reign that his glory surpassed the boundaries of countries and time turning him into an immortal personality. He along with his kingdom became a synonym for valour, sacrifice and patriotism. Mewar had been a leading Rajput kingdom even before Maharana Pratap occupied the throne. Kings of Mewar, with the cooperation of their nobles and subjects, had established such traditions in the kingdom, as augmented their magnificence despite the hurdles of having a smaller area under their command and less population. There did come a few thorny occasions when the flag of the kingdom seemed sliding down. Their flag once again heaved high in the sky thanks to the gallantry and brilliance of the people of Mewar. The destiny of Mewar was good in the sense that barring a few kings, most of the rulers were competent and patriotic. This glorious tradition of the kingdom almost continued for 1500 years since its establishment, right from the reign of Bappa Rawal. In fact, only 60 years before Maharana Pratap, Rana Sanga drove the kingdom to the pinnacle of fame. His reputation went beyond Rajasthan and reached Delhi. Two generations before him, Rana Kumbha had given a new stature to the kingdom through victories and developmental work. During his reign, literature and art also progressed extraordinarily. Rana himself was inclined towards writing and his works are read with reverence even today. The ambience of his kingdom was conducive to the creation of high quality work of art and literature. These accomplishments were the outcome of a long-standing tradition sustained by several generations. The life of the people of Mewar have been peaceful and prosperous during the long span of time; otherwise such extraordinary accomplishment in these fields would not have been possible. This is reflected in their art and literature as well as their loving nature. They compensate for lack of admirable physique by their firm but pleasant nature. The ambience of Mewar remains lovely thanks to the cheerful and liberal character of its people. One may observe astonishing pieces of workmanship not only in the forts and palaces of Mewar but also in public utility buildings. Ruins of many structures which are still standing tall in their grandeur are testimony to the fact that Mewar was not only the land of the brave but also a seat of art and culture. Amidst aggression and bloodshed, literature and art flourished and creative pursuits of literature and artists did not suffer. Imagine, how glorious the period must have been when the Vijaya Stambha which is the sample of our great ancient architecture even today, was constructed. In the same fort, Kirti Stambha is standing high, reflecting how liberal the then administration was which allowed people from other communities and kingdoms to come and carry out  construction work. It is useless to indulge in the debate whether the Vijay Stambha was constructed first or the Kirti Stambha. The fact is that both the capitals are standing side by side and reveal the proximity between the king and the subjects of Mewar. The cycle of time does not remain the same. Whereas the reign of Rana Sanga was crucial in raising the kingdom to the acme of glory, it also proved to be his nemesis. History took a turn. The fortune of Mewar – the land of the brave, started waning. Rana tried to save the day with his acumen which was running against the stream and the glorious traditions for sometime.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) Maharana Pratap became immortal because :
(a) he ruled Mewar for 25 years
(b) he added a lot of grandeur to Mewar
(c) of his valour, sacrifice and patriotism
(d) both (b) and (c)

(ii) Difficulties in the way of Mewar were :
(a) lack of cooperation of the nobility
(b) ancient traditions of the kingdom
(c) its small area and small population
(d) the poverty of the subjects

(iii) During thorny occasions :
(a) The flag of Mewar seemed to be lowered
(b) The people of Mewar showed gallantry
(c) Both (a) and (b)
(d) Neither (a) nor (b)

(iv) Mewar was lucky because :
(a) Most of its people were competent
(b) Most of its rulers were competent
(c) Both (a) and (b)
(d) Neither (a) nor (b)

We often make all things around us the way we want them. Even during our pilgrimages, we have begun to look for whatever makes our heart happy, gives comfort to our body and peace to the mind. It is as if external solutions will fulfil our needs, and we do not want to make any special efforts even in our spiritual search. Our mind is resourceful – it works to find shortcuts in simple and easy ways. Even pilgrimages have been converted into tourism opportunities. Instead, we must awaken our conscience and souls and understand the truth. Let us not tamper with either our own nature or that of the Supreme. All our cleverness is rendered ineffective when nature does a dance of destruction. Its fury can and will wash away all imperfections. Indian culture, based on Vedic treatises, assists in human evolution, but we are now using our entire energy in distorting these traditions according to our convenience instead of making efforts to make ourselves worthy of them. The irony is that humans are not even aware of the complacent attitude they have allowed themselves to sink to. Nature is everyone’s Amma and her fierce blows will sooner or later corner us and force us to understand this truth. Earlier, pilgrimages to places of spiritual significance were rituals that were undertaken when people became free from their worldly duties. Even now some seekers take up this pious religious journey as a path to peace and knowledge. Anyone travelling with this attitude feels and travels with only a few essential items that his body can carry. Pilgrims traditionally travelled light, on foot, eating light, dried chickpeas and fruits, or whatever was available. Pilgrims of olden days did not feel the need to stay in special AC bedrooms, or travel by luxury cars or indulge themselves with delicious food and savouries. Pilgrims traditionally moved ahead, creating a feeling of belonging towards all, conveying a message of brotherhood among all they came across whether in small caves, ashrams or local settlements. They received the blessings and congregations of yogis and mahatmas in return while conducting the dharma of their pilgrimage. A pilgrimage is like penance or sadhana to stay near nature and to experience a feeling of oneness with it, to keep the body healthy and fulfilled with the amount of food, while seeking freedom from attachments and yet remaining happy while staying away from relatives and associates. This is how a pilgrimage should be rather than making it like a picnic by taking a large group along and living in comfort, packing in entertainment, and tampering with environment. What is worse is giving a boost to the ego of having had a special darshan. Now alms are distributed, charity done while they brag about their spiritual experiences! We must embark on our spiritual journey by first understanding the grace and significance of a pilgrimage and following it up with the prescribed rules and rituals – this is what translates into the ultimate and beautiful medium of spiritual evolution. There is no justification for tampering with nature. A pilgrimage is symbolic of contemplation and meditation and acceptance, and is a metaphor for the constant growth or movement and love for nature that we should hold in our hearts. This is the truth!

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) How can a pilgrim keep his body healthy ?
(a) By travelling light
(b) By eating small amounts of food
(c) By keeping free from attachments
(d) Both (a) and (b)

(ii) How do we satisfy our ego ?
(a) By having a special darshan
(b) By distributing alms
(c) By treating it like a picnic
(d) Both (a) and (c)

(iii) Who is referred to as ‘everyone’s Amma’ in this passage ?
(a) Humans
(b) Animals
(c) Nature
(d) Insects

(iv) What have been converted into tourism opportunities ?
(a) Pilgrimages
(b) Temples
(c) Gurudwaras
(d) Churches

I’ve always held the belief that rationale or logic has no place in faith. If you have faith in the Supreme then you must also accept that you are not out there to defend your faith based on any scientific evidence. Those who don’t share your belief have an equal right to their opinion. What matters is your personal stand. If you feel peaceful and joyous, if you feel inspired to do good deeds by having your faith, then by all means keep it, there’s no reason to abandon it. Einstein once got a letter asking if he believed in the Supreme. Einstein sent a telegram in response stating, “I believe in Spinoza’s idea of the Supreme who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in someone who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.” In case you are not familiar, Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) was a Dutch philosopher (yes, not just brilliant engineers, they have philosophers too). An unorthodox and independent thinker, his views were revolutionary at the time. His philosophy is thought-provoking. So, where does that leave us in regards to faith ? To me, faith is a sentiment, it’s an emotion. Just like you fall in love and you surrender in love and you find yourself willing to do anything for the person you love, same is with faith. Faith is love When you have faith, you let go off your worries of the future, you let go of your guilt of the past, because you have surrendered to the divine will. You remain committed to a life of goodness and action. But you also recognize that there are other bigger forces, of immense scale, in play in the grand scheme of things and it’ll do you much good to play along. You gain this courage, zest and zeal to work hard, to excel, to serve. Life looks beautiful and everything looks priceless then, because it truly is. Even our suffering is priceless. It gives you strength, it makes you reflect on you. It is priceless because you appreciate life more, it brings you closer to you, the real you. Don’t limit yourself by asking petty things from the Supreme. Trust the immensity of nature. Faith does not mean all your dreams will come true, it simply means you look upon everything that’s granted to you as a blessing. Just focus on your deeds, and before long, you’ll be filled beyond measure. Accepting the transient nature of this world, and its eternal impermanence, is the definitive path to inner peace. Either live in complete surrender or exercise total control. If your boat is neither anchored nor guided, it’ll just drift then. It’ll drift in the direction of your thoughts, desires and emotions. Here today, there tomorrow. Cosmic intelligence is infinitely more subtle, smart, organized and selfless than individual intelligence. Anchor your ship if you are tired of rowing. Have faith.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) Faith :
(a) does not depend on rationale and logic
(b) is a personal stand
(c) fills us with joy and peace
(d) all of the above

(ii) ‘Here today, there tomorrow’ refers to :
(a) our thoughts
(b) our emotions
(c) our desires
(d) all of the above

(iii) Baruch Spinoza was :
(a) a Spanish writer
(b) a Dutch philosopher
(c) an American teacher
(d) an African engineer

(iv) Who believes in Spinoza’s idea of the Supreme ?
(a) Albert Einstein
(b) Thomas Alva Edison
(c) Michael Faraday
(d) Sir Isaac Newton

About one in five of all the people in the world follow the teachings of the Buddha, who lived about 2600 years ago. He was born in 563 B.C. The Buddha is a title, not a name. It means ‘The Enlightened One’ or ‘The One Who Knows.’ The Buddha’s real name was Siddhartha. He was the son of a Sakya King in northern India. He and his family were all Hindus and belonged to the Gautama clan. Gautama Siddhartha was brought up in luxury. He lived in his father’s palace and saw nothing of the outside world until he was a young man. Then one day accompanied by his charioteer Channa, Prince Siddhartha went round the city. On his way, he saw some sights that he had never seen before. First, he saw a man who was very old and bent with age. Then he saw a man who was suffering from a terrible disease, possibly leprosy. And then he saw a dead man who was being taken to the cremation ground. These sights made the prince very sad.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) ‘The Buddha’ means …………. .
(a) Gautama the Buddha
(b) Siddhartha the Buddha
(c) Siddhartha Gautama the Buddha
(d) The Enlightened One

(ii) The real name of the Buddha was …………. .
(a) Siddhartha
(b) Gautama
(c) Sakya
(d) The Enlightened One

(iii) Who was Channa ?
(a) Prince Siddhartha’s charioteer.
(b) The chief of the Gautama clan.
(c) A Sakya King in northern India.
(d) A cook in the King’s palace.

(iv) Prince Siddhartha knew nothing of ……….. until he was a young man.
(a) luxuries and joys of life
(b) the life outside his father’s palace
(c) the life inside his father’s palace
(d) anything inside and outside the palace

Today we know about each and every part of the world. There is no land or sea that is not known to us. Man has explored every corner of the world, and he knows all the ways and routes from anywhere to everywhere in the world. He can reach from one place to the other as safely, easily and quickly as he likes. He has maps to guide him and fastest means of transport to carry him. But for ages most of the world was unknown to man. To begin with, he lived in caves. Then he came out of caves and started making homes in little corners of forests or behind the hills. He was afraid of wild animals and also of the clouds and the winds. He offered prayers and sacrifices to gods who, he thought, controlled the clouds and the winds. But, slowly through long centuries, men began to explore what lay beyond their caves, hills and forests where they had their homes. They went in their boats, first on the rivers and then across the seas. At first they remained close to the shore and each new voyager went a little farther than the previous one.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) Today there is no part of the world that is ………… .
(a) unknown
(b) unexplored
(c) Both (a) & (b)
(d) Neither (a) nor (b)

(ii) To begin with man lived ………… .
(a) in caves
(b) in forests
(c) in small homes
(d) in little villages

(iii) The early man used to offer prayers and sacrifices to gods because ……….. .
(a) he was afraid of the clouds and the winds.
(b) he thought gods controlled the clouds and the winds.
(c) he lived in caves and forests.
(d) he had very little homes in the corners of forests.

(iv) What did the early explorers do ?
(a) They went in boats on the rivers.
(b) They went in big ships across the seas.
(c) They went farther and farther into the sea.
(d) They used steamships in place of boats.

To make our life a meaningful one, we need to mind our thoughts, for our thoughts are the foundations, the inspiration and the motivating power of our deeds. We create our entire world by the way we think. Thoughts are the causes and the conditions are the effects. Our circumstances and conditions are not dictated by the world outside; it is the world inside us that creates the outside. Self awareness comes from the mind, which means the soul. Mind is the sum total of the state of consciousness grouped under thought, will and feeling. Besides self-consciousness, we have the power to choose and think. Krishna says, “No man resteth a moment inactive.” Even when inactive on the bodily plane, we are all the time acting on the thought plane. Therefore, if we observe ourselves, we can easily mould our thoughts. If our thoughts are pure and noble, naturally actions follow the same.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) How can we make our life meaningful ?
(a) By praying to God
(b) By working hard
(c) By minding our thoughts
(d) By working for the poor

(ii) What is it that motivates our deeds ?
(a) Our thoughts
(b) Our actions
(c) Our surroundings
(d) Our relations

(iii) What constitutes our state of consciousness ?
(a) Our thoughts
(b) Our will
(c) Our feelings
(d) All the above

(iv) How can we mould our thoughts ?
(a) By observing our surroundings
(b) By observing our seniors
(c) By observing our juniors
(d) By observing our ourselves

There is an enemy beneath our feet –– an enemy the more deadly for his complete impartiality. He recognizes no national boundaries, no political parties. The enemy is the earth itself. When an earthquake comes, the whole world trembles. An earthquake strikes without warning. When it does its power is immense. If it strikes a modern city, the damage it causes is as great as if it has struck a primitive village. Gas mains burst, explosions are caused and fires are started. Underground railways are wrecked. Whole buildings collapse. Dams burst. Bridges fall. Gaping crevices appear in busy streets. If the quake strikes at sea, huge tidal waves sweep inland. If it strikes in a mountain region, avalanches roar down the valley. In 1968, an earthquake stuck Alaska. As this is a relatively unpopulated part of the world, only a few people were killed. But it is likely that this was one of the most powerful quakes ever to have hit the world. Geologists estimate that during the tremors, the whole of the state moved above 80 feet further west into the Pacific Ocean.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) Why has earth been called an enemy ?
(a) Because it is becoming hotter.
(b) Because it is full of sins.
(c) Because it causes great damage when it shakes.
(d) Because it kills many people when there are floods.

(ii) How does an earthquake strike ?
(a) with a warning
(b) without a warning
(c) with a thunder
(d) with a lighting

(iii) What happens when an earthquake strikes ?
(a) Gas mains burst
(b) Dams burst
(c) Bridges fall
(d) All the above

(iv) When did an earthquake strike Alaska ?
(a) in 1968
(b) in 1928
(c) in 1988
(d) in 1998

People travelling long distances frequently have to decide whether they would prefer to go by land, sea or air. Hardly can any one positively enjoy sitting in a train for more than a few hours. Train compartments soon get cramped and stuffy. It is almost impossible to take your mind off the journey. Reading is only a partial solution, for the monotonous rhythm of the wheels clicking on the rails soon lulls you to sleep. During the day sleep comes in snatches. At night, when you really wish to go to sleep you rarely manage to do so. If you are lucky enough to get a couchette, you spend half the night staring at the small blue light in the ceiling, or fumbling to find your passport when you cross a frontier. Inevitably you arrive at your destination almost exhausted. Long car journeys are even more unpleasant, for it is quite impossible even to read. On motorways you can travel fairly safely at high speeds, but more often than not, the greater part of the journey is spent on narrow, bumpy roads which are crowded with traffic.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) Why can’t a railway passenger enjoy sleep during the day ?
(a) People go on talking.
(b) Wheels produce noise.
(c) Sleep comes in snatches.
(d) Whistle breaks sleep.

(ii) How does one spend half the night while crossing a frontier ?
(a) Staring at the small red light.
(b) Fumbling to find passport.
(c) Waiting for customs officers.
(d) Guarding your goods.

(iii) How does one feel on reaching the destination after a long train journey ?
(a) Fresh
(b) Active
(c) Smart
(d) Exhausted

(iv) How are the long car journeys incomparison to train journeys ?
(a) Pleasant
(b) Risky
(c) Unpleasant
(d) Smooth

Few animals are as useful or as unpopular as the goat. From ancient times it has supplied people with milk and meat. Its skin has been made into leather and the wool of some breeds woven into soft, warm cloth. Goats are hardy creatures, and can live on the green remains of a thorny bush or a poor grassland. Nevertheless, they have always had a bad reputation. Perhaps this is because the billy goats (males) often have a bad temper and a strong, unpleasant smell. Goats also do serious damage to young trees and other plants, and can quickly reduce lush grazing land to barren wasteland. For its size the goat provides man with more useful things than almost any other animal, yet it often does not receive the food and care given to other animals. The goat will try to eat anything and will put up with the most uncomfortable surroundings. But if it is well fed and carefully housed, the goat will produce much better milk, flesh and wool.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) The goat is a ……… animal.
(a) useful and popular
(b) useful and unpopular
(c) useless and unpopular
(d) useless yet popular

(ii) The goat supplies us with ……….. .
(a) milk and meat
(b) meat and butter
(c) butter and wool
(d) milk, meat and wool

(iii) What type of creatures are goats ?
(a) Delicate
(b) Hardy
(c) Useless
(d) Greedy

(iv) The goats can give us better milk, flesh andwool if it is ………. .
(a) not killed
(b) not fed on grasslands
(c) not allowed to damage our vegetation
(d) fed and looked after properly

Three-fourths of the surface of our planet is covered by the sea, which both separates and unites the various races of mankind. The sea is the great highway along which man may journey at his will, the great road that has no walls or hedges hemming it in, and that nobody has to keep in good repair with the aid of pickaxes and barrels of tar and steamrollers. The sea appeals to man’s love of the perilous and the unknown, to his love of conquest, his love of knowledge, and his love of gold. Its green and grey and blue and purple waters call to him, and bid him fare forth in quest of fresh fields. Beyond their horizons, he has found danger and death, glory and gain. In some great continents, such as America and Australia, there are  towns and villages many thousands of miles from the coast, whose children have never seen or heard or felt the waves of the sea.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) How much of our planet is covered by the sea ?
(a) 33 percent
(b) 50 percent
(c) 75 percent
(d) 80 percent

(ii) The sea …………. the various races of mankind.
(a) Separates
(b) Unites
(c) Both (a) and (b)
(d) Neither (a) and (b)

(iii) The sea is the great highway ………… .
(a) that man can travel by at his will.
(b) that has no walls or hedges.
(c) that nobody has to keep in good repair.
(d) All the above

(iv) In some big continents, children have never seen the sea because ………… .
(a) they live very far away from the sea.
(b) they have never heard of the sea.
(c) they are afraid of the sea.
(d) they are poor and have no money to travel.

I wish to declare with all earnestness that I do not want any religious ceremonies performed for me after my death. I do not believe in any such ceremonies and to submit to them, even as a matter of form, would be hypocrisy and an attempt to delude ourselves and others. When I die, I should like my body to be cremated. If I die in a foreign country, my body should be cremated there and my ashes sent to Allahabad. A small handful of these ashes should be thrown into the Ganga and the major portion of them disposed of in the manner indicated below. No part of these ashes should be retained or preserved. My desire to have a handful of my ashes thrown into the Ganga at Allahabad has no religious significance, so far as I am concerned, I have no religious sentiment in the matter. I have been attached to the Ganga and the Jamuna rivers in Allahabad ever since my childhood and, as I have grown older, this attachment has also grown.

Questions : 1 × 4 = 4

(i) What does Nehru not want after his death ?
(a) Any speeches
(b) Any burial or cremation
(c) Any religious ceremonies
(d) Any tomb or monument

(ii) How does Nehru want his body to be disposed of if he dies in a foreign country ?
(a) He wants his body to be brought to India and cremated at Allahabad.
(b) He wants to be cremated there and his ashes brought to India.
(c) He wants his body to be buried in the country where he dies.
(d) He wants his body to be cremated there and his ashes thrown into some river of that country.

(iii) Where does Nehru want a handful of his ashes to be thrown ?
(a) Into the Yamuna
(b) Into the Ganga
(c) Into the Satluj
(d) Into the Mahanadi

(iv) Why does Nehru want a handful of his ashes to be thrown into the Ganga ?
(a) Because religion demands it.
(b) Because the Ganga is a sacred river.
(c) Because Nehru was attached to the Ganga since his childhood.
(d) Because the Ganga falls into the sea.

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