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The Lost Child

1. What are the things the child sees on his way to the fair? Why does he lag

Answer: A child’s mind wanders to each and everything which catches his fancy.
While his parents are going ahead with all their attention on reaching the fair, the child
enjoys every beauty of nature’s creation. The child enjoys the sight of dragonfly
fluttering. Next moment he is engrossed in collecting beautiful flower petals. The very
next moment he is appreciating the gait of swan.

Once in the fair his mind is wandering on everything on display. Right from colourful
sweetmeats to balloons to garland to the snake his eyes are devouring everything on

The child’s mind lives in the present and never thinks or bothers about past or future.
This is what the author has tried to portray.

While engrossed in enjoying the colourful fair, the child gets lost. Probably he is too
overawed by the colourful balloons, sweets, garlands, toys to keep pace with his

2. In the fair he wants many things. What are they? Why does he move on
without waiting for an answer?

Answer: Like any child he wants everything from the fair. He wants to have his cake
and eat it too. But he knows that his father won’t be buying anything and would give
some or other excuse for not doing so. In a way this shows that child has matured as
well. He knows how to control his urges. He also understands that because of some
reasons he won’t be in apposition to have each and everything from fair.

It is difficult to explain if he understands the right reason of his father refusing to get
most of the things for him. Like all good parents his father may be wishing not spoil his
kid. While the child may be getting a wrong message that his father is always furious
and adamant.

3. When does he realise that he has lost his way? How have his anxiety and
insecurity been described?

Answer: When he wishes to get a ride on the roundabout and calls for his parents he
gets no reply. Then the child realizes that he is lost and separated from his parents.

His anxiety has been described by explaining how the child reacts and tries to find his
parents. This is a very natural explanation and the author has avoided using difficult
allegory. This makes the narrative simple to read and enjoy.
The child looks to his front and back and left and right. Then the child tries to find his
father among people wearing yellow shirts but all his glimpse could catch yellow blobs
in the crowd. At last he goes to the shrine, in the hope of finding his parents there.

This shows that the child is quite courageous and instead of crying his heart out he
tries to find his parents. He doesn’t concede defeat at first go.

4. Why does the lost child lose interest in the things that he had wanted earlier?

Answer: For any child the security of cosy feeling of being with the family is the most
important. While, the kid is with his parents he is enjoying everything on display in the
fair and in the natural backdrop of butterflies, flowers and swan.

Once the harsh realization of being lost comes to his mind his top priority is to find his
parents. Because parents give you long term sustenance, which can’t be provided by
the neighbourhood uncle. The person who is trying to pacify the child by offering him
many goodies will at the most give a temporary succor to the child. But to continue
normal life he needs to be united with his parents. Although a child may not
comprehend this complex thing, but the natural instinct of parent child bonding makes
him behave the way he is behaving.

The Adventures of Toto

1. How does Toto come to grandfather’s private zoo?

Answer: Toto was in the captivity of a tonga owner. The grandfather gets sympathetic
with the monkey and thinks that his private zoo would be a better place for Toto. So
he purchased Toto from the tongawallah for five rupees.

2. “Toto was a pretty monkey.” In what sense is Toto pretty?

Answer: The definition of beauty can vary according to the subject. For an animal the
shining fur or long horns or mane can be adding beauty to its personality. In case of
Toto, its bright mischievous eyes along with pearly white teeth and tail enhanced its
personality. Monkeys are generally naughty, so the naughty glint in Toto’s eyes was
clearly telling about its nature. Teeth are used by animals to show ferocity and Toto’s
teeth were really helpful in frightening others.

3. Why does grandfather take Toto to Saharanpur and how? Why does the ticket
collector insist on calling Toto a dog?

Answer: Toto was a real menace for every living soul in the household. Other animals
in grandfather’s zoo were at Toto’s mercy even during night. So, grandfather decided
to provide some relief to other animals in the zoo and thought of taking Toto to

The ticket collector was following his rulebooks. As there seems to be no rule for fixing
a monkey’s fare so he equated Toto with dog. Ticket collector’s ingenuity tried to
categorize all pets of a certain size as dogs.
4. How does Toto take a bath? Where has he learnt to do this? How does Toto
almost boil himself alive?

Answer: Toto takes bath in a tub of warm water. It puts its legs in the water one by
one and applies soap as well. As monkeys are good at aping others, so Toto has learnt
proper steps of bathing while watching the narrator doing same.

Toto is fond of bathing with warm water. So once having tested the warmth of water in
the kettle Toto sits in the kettle. Probably he is not intelligent enough to understand
the risk boiling water so he pops his head up and down in the kettle.

5. Why does the author say, “Toto was not the sort of pet we could keep for

Answer: Toto’s nuisance was increasing by days. It was destroying everything it could
lay hands on. For a family of a middle class status buying dishes every day can be a
costly affair. Or for that matter it can be an unnecessary harassment for people from
any economic background. So keeping a naughty monkey like Toto can never be a
pleasant experience for anybody.

Iswaran The Story Teller

1. In what way is Iswaran an asset to Mahendra?

Answer: Iswaran was a good domestic assistant for Mahendra. Apart from cooking
and doing household chores he was a great entertainer for his master. He was good
at managing resources as he could find vegetables out of nowhere. And to top it all he
never had complain while accompanying his master.

2. How does Iswaran describe the uprooted tree on the highway? What effect
does he want to create in his listeners?

Answer: Iswaran describes the tree as giving illusion of a giant monster. It was so
huge with weird shape that even Iswaran was frightened initially, that is what Iswaran

This quality of describing even mundane things in an interesting way surely creates
attention in listener. Weaving a magic with words is what good story telling is all about.

3. How does he narrate the story of the tusker? Does it appear to be plausible?

Answer: First of all he creates the tension of fear by depicting how all students and
teachers hid in the classroom. Then he gives an add-on effect by telling other people’s
plight as well. Then he describes the havoc created by the elephant. And at last the
saviour or the hero comes in the form of Iswaran to get rid of that menace. That is
what we see in many Hindi movies. First the mayhem created by the villain which the
all powerful hero stops at the end of the climax.

The act of Iswaran leading to the fall and collapse of th elephant is not plausible but
makes an interesting story.
4. Why does the author say that Iswaran seemed to more than make up for the
absence of a TV in Mahendra’s living quarters?

Answer: Mahendra more often lives in isolated places which are usually construction
sites. Living in those places can be difficult especially during spare time. You don’t get
a means of entertainment. No TV, radio or anything. Remember the story is written in
a period when elephants were used to ferry heavy goods.

If you happen to have a person like Iswaran around then life becomes easier. Iswaran
works as 24X7 TV channel for Mahendra.

5. Mahendra calls ghosts or spirits a figment of the imagination. What happens

to him on a full-moon night?

Answer: May be because of effect of great narration by Iswaran or because of the

ambience of isolated moonlit night Mahendra gets an illusion of seeing the ghost. No
matter how courageous you are sometimes the fear factor tends to overpower you.
This is what seems to have happened in Mahendra’s case.

6. Can you think of some other ending for the story?

Answer: The story could have ended on a more positive note. Instead of resigning
from his job, Mahendra could have been shown as a real courageous man and proving
the ghost theory wrong.

Another ending can be of both Mahendra and Iswaran leaving the place together and
in turn continuing their bond which is depicted earlier in the story. Iswaran has been
explained as a man of all seasons for Mahendra.

In The Kingdom of Fools

1. What are the two strange things the guru and his disciple find in the Kingdom
of Fools?

Answer: Two strange things observed by the guru and his disciple are as follows. In
the kingdom people slept throughout the day and even animals didn’t dare venture out
during daytime. All work was done during night only. Everything cost one duddu, the
local currency. Be it gold or banana, for fools everything had same value. In a way
people were not capable of judging the true worth of a thing.

2. Why does the disciple decide to stay in the Kingdom of Fools? Is it a good

Answer: The disciple thinks of the easy life ahead. He thinks that he could afford all
pleasures of life without worrying about monetary budget. He dreams of relishing every
rich food on offer as everything cost same in that kingdom.

3. Name all the people who are tried in the king’s court, and give the reasons for
their trial.
Answer: The merchant was the first accused because his house’s wall collapsed and
killed the thief. The next person was the bricklayer as it was thought his bad
workmanship created a weak wall. Then the dancer was accused of distracting the
bricklayer resulting in poor quality of the wall. Next accused was the goldsmith who
called the dancer time and again to deliver the jewellery which in turn led to the
distraction of the bricklayer. The goldsmith passed the buck on the merchant’s father
as his pressure on the goldsmith delayed the finishing of dancer’s work. At last the
wheel turned full circle and the blame came back to the original merchant.

4. Who is the real culprit according to the king? Why does he escape

Answer: The king applied to his weird logic to come to the conclusion that as the
merchant inherited everything from his father so he should take the share of his
father’s sin as well. As the merchant was too thin to fit on the new execution stake so
he escaped execution. The king concluded that a man fat enough to fit the stake will
serve the purpose.

5. What are the Guru’s words of wisdom? When does the disciple remember

Answer: The guru said that you never know what those foolish people would do to
you next. When disciple’s life was at stake then he remembered his guru’s words of
wisdom. This is normal human behavior. During good times we tend to forget the good
teachings of our teachers and well wishers. It is only when the going gets tough we
tend to remember them. We usually remember god during times of crisis.

6. How does the guru manage to save his disciple’s life?

Answer: The guru tries to confuse the king by expressing his desire to be killed first.
Then to further confuse the king he tells the story of becoming the king in the next
incarnation. Apparently it may sound like a case of pure lie to save your dear one’s
life. But if we go deeper consciously or unconsciously the sage is trying to save
everybody’s life in the kingdom. Ultimately he is able to pull everybody out of the
misery of living in the kingdom of fools.

The Happy Prince

1. Why do the courtiers call the prince ‘the Happy Prince’? Is he really happy?
What does he see all around him?

Answer: The courtiers are mentally conditioned in certain ways. This can be
compared with the way sycophants behave with political heavyweights. They are
conditioned to say pleasant things to their masters. The prince was brought up in a
protected environment where he lost touch with ground realities of life. He never
enjoyed the normal pleasures of childhood. So he may be having all the comforts
money can buy but not the true happiness. Now even after death he sees so much
misery and depravity all around. This makes him further sad.
2. Why does the Happy Prince send a ruby for the seamstress? What does the
swallow do in the seamstress’ house?

Answer: The Happy Prince sends ruby so that the seamstress can get good amount
of money after selling it. With money she can buy medicines for her child. She can be
in a position to pay more attention to her child. At present her economic needs don’t
permit her to pay proper attention to her child.

The swallow flutters her wings over the sick boy’s head so that he would feel easy.
Feeling the relief from high temperature the boy falls asleep.

3. For whom does the prince send the sapphires and why?

Answer: The young play-writer needs money to buy firewood which will keep him
warm. The little girl needs money to buy matchsticks. The Happy Prince wants to help
as many people as he could. Lifting people’s misery makes him happier. To help the
plawriter and the little girl the Happy Prince sends sapphire.

4. What does the swallow see when it flies over the city?

Answer: When the swallow flies over the city it sees the stark contrast of plenty and
poverty. It sees rich men making merry oblivious to the plight of the poor down the
lane. It sees the nadir of condition of poor when they are denied even a sound sleep
by police patrolling the street.

5. Why did the swallow not leave the prince and go to Egypt?

Answer: While helping people the Prince loses his eyes and becomes blind. The
swallow seems to be touched by Prince’s sacrifice. Moreover it is also touched by
poor’s plight. It thinks of helping poor with the help of the prince. So the swallow
decides to stay with the prince.

6. What are the precious things mentioned in the story? Why are they precious?

Answer: The precious thing mentioned in the story is the misery of people. This is
precious because it gives you chance to help out people. It helps you to share your
riches and happiness to others. It gives you an opportunity to do charity.

Weathering The Storm in Ersama

1. What havoc has the super cyclone wreaked in the life of the people of Orissa?

Answer: The super cyclone devastated everything in Orissa. Houses were destroyed,
people lost their families, belongings and source of sustenance. Any natural calamity
apparently damages physical things. But deep inside it wreaks a psychological
damage on a larger scale. Think about the plight of a village folk who loses everything
and may not be able to understand where to get his next meal. The scar of losing
every hope in life has a lifelong effect on people. From there it becomes very difficult
to bring the life back on rail.
2. How has Prashant, a teenager, been able to help the people of his village?

Answer: Prashant shows the true leadership qualities. He motivates people for self
help. His young energy works miracles in awakening people to fight with the after
effects of the super cyclone.

3. How have the people of the community helped one another? What role do the
women of Kalikuda play during these days?

Answer: Men and youth worked on arranging for food and shelter. While women took
care of cooking and looking after orphaned and injured. This happens in normal life
also. In most of the households menfolk go out earn the bread and butter. Women
manage the household nurturing everyone.

4. Why do Prashant and other volunteers resist the plan to set up institutions
for orphans and widows? What alternatives do they consider?

Answer: Prashant and other volunteers were of the opinion that orphans would be
devoid of love and affection which was their important need. Proper love is always
required for better psychological development of a child.

Widows would have to live with the stigma of widowhood throughout their lives. It was
necessary for them also to get a sense of belongingness. Society also plays a great
role in providing mental comfort to people.

To create a sense of belongingness and to foster love and affection they planned to
complement the needs of orphaned and childless people. They brought them under
one roof to heal their mental wounds.

5. Do you think Prashant is a good leader? Do you think young people can get
together to help people during natural calamities?

Answer: Yes, Prashant is a good leader. He didn’t ponder over his loss and started
helping everybody else. A good leader manages to utilize people and resources to
bring the fruitful results. The need of the hour was to fulfill physical as well as mental
needs of people in crisis. Prashant managed and motivated his village folks to fulfill
those needs.

In times of natural calamities if people come together then it gives them a sense of
strength to tide over the crisis. The feeling that somebody is with you is enough to lift
your spirits. The sense of loss and helplessness during crisis is almost impossible to
fight with if somebody is alone. People should and people do get together in times of
crisis. During floods and earthquakes usually it is people who take the initiative to fight
the mishap.

The Last Leaf

1. What is Johnsy’s illness? What can cure her, the medicine or the willingness
to live?
Answer: Johnsy is suffering from pneumonia. Pneumonia is a type of chest infection.
Even in modern days if not treated on time it can prove fatal. Medicines have a certain
role to play and apart from them body’s defense mechanism plays an important role
in fighting a disease. Moreover, research has proved that patient’s mental condition
also has a role in curing or worsening a disease.

As per the doctor, Johnsy is feeling depressed and has lost all hopes. Doctor is giving
her the required treatment but her condition is not improving. It would be a combination
of medicine and a willingness to live which is going to cure her.

2. Do you think the feeling of depression Johnsy has is common among


Answer: Teenagers are full of energy. Because of hormonal changes going in the
body they do experience mood swings. A slight pep talk can work wonders for their
motivation. Similarly, a little bit of set back can create a blue mood for them. It is the
way in which adults view teenagers which make them believe that teenagers are ore
prone to depression. Proper guidance and a caring upbringing can result in less
depressed teenagers which will help them realize their potential.

3. Behrman has a dream. What is it? Does it come true?

Answer: Behrman always dreamt of creating a masterpiece. A masterpiece is a

creation which withstands the test of time and people appreciate it for years to come.
For example, Mona Lisa, the famous painting by Leonardo Da Vinci was made in 15th
century and people still get awestruck after seeing it.

Behrman dream comes true because the painting of leaf he made helped save
Johnsy’s life.

4. What is Behrman’s masterpiece? What makes Sue say so?

Answer: The painting of leaf which Behrman made after the last leaf fell was really a
masterpiece. Sue has every reason to say so because it was able inspire Johnsy to
live her life. Quality or execution of painting can be debatable but inspirational value
of the painting can be vouched for because of the desired end result.

A House is Not A Home

1. What does the author notice one Sunday afternoon? What is his mother’s
reaction? What does she do?

Answer: While enjoying his Sunday he notices smoke billowing from the ceiling. His
mother tries to recover important documents and his father’s photographs. Like all
good homekeepers she knows the importance of documents. Moreover, she is also
aware of the fact that how precious her late husband’s photographs are.

2. Why does he break down in tears after the fire?

Answer: After fire the harsh realisaton that his cat might have perished in the fire
makes him cry. He gave a new lease of life when it was a small kitten. Cat and the
author are emotionally attached to each other. So it is a big emotional loss for the

3. Why is the author deeply embarrassed the next day in school? Which words
show his fear and insecurity?

Answer: His all arsenal seems to be lost with his backpack. His books, homework are
all lost. He is not even having decent clothing to wear. In a way he is feeling naked in
front of the outside world.

These kind of situation can be very embarrassing and depressing for anyone. He is
stripped of all mental protection.

His thought of unwillingness to grow up and willingness to die if life continued like that
gives us a glimpse of the way he is feeling.

4. The cat and the author are very fond of each other. How has this been shown
in the story? Where was the cat after the fire? Who brings it back and how?

Answer: The way the cat makes merry with the author shows the bonding between
them. She sleeps in his gowns pocket, she fiddles with his pen because she has
unlimited access to the author. The cat escaped the fire and ran far out of fear. A lady
finds her and from the telephone number written on her caller tries to find its owner.
As the telephone of author’s home was dead after fire so it can be assumed that the
lady must have searched for their name in the telephone directory.

5. What actions of the schoolmates change the author’s understanding of life

and people, and comfort him emotionally? How does his loneliness vanish and
how does he start participating in life?

Answer: Everybody in the new school develop empathy with the author’s plight. His
schoolmates pooled resources to buy a set of everything he needed in the school. This
act of help creates a sense of solidarity among them. Now the author is realizing that
the new school is full of friends and well-wishers. This gives him motivation to start his
life afresh and to forget his past trauma.

6. What is the meaning of “My cat was back and so was I”? Had the author gone
anywhere? Why does he say that he is also back?

Answer: After the fire the author loses interest in life. He feels that he has lost
everything. After he gets books and other items from his schoolmates he feels a sense
of newfound security. The recovery of his cat is like the icing on the cake. He gets
back his best mate. Now both he and his cat are back to normalcy.

His statement is indicating that he has begun picking up fragments of life.

The Accidental Tourist

1. Bill Bryson says, “I am, in short, easily confused.” What examples has he
given to justify this?

Answer: Bill Bryson cannot do a simple day to day activity without creating a mesh.
He often forgets the way to lavatory. He finds it difficult to remember his hotel room
number. He can forget almost everything which is required to carry out our routine
activity. Most of us never ponder how effortlessly we carry out our routine activity. It is
all wired up in our brains. But some people, like Bill Bryson find it difficult and almost

2. What happens when the zip on his carry-on bag gives way?

Answer: His fingers get hurt by the zip. He is bleeding profusely. All belongings in his
bag are flying across the floor of the waiting hall of the airport. He seems to be making
a mockery of himself and of civilized way of behaving at a particular place.

3. Why is his finger bleeding? What is his wife’s reaction?

Answer: His finger is hurt by getting stuck in the zip of his bag. His wife is astonished
by the way he has created a mess all around himself.

4. How does Bill Bryson end up in a “crash position” in the aircraft?

Answer: Bill Bryson leans down to tie his shoelaces. In the meantime the person on
the seat ahead of him pushes back his seat. As a result he gets stuck in the kneel
down position. Certain people have this strange affinity with always getting stuck in an
awkward position.

5. Why are his teeth and gums navy blue?

Answer: While pondering over his writing he was chewing on his pen. He was so
careless that he did not notice the ink getting into his mouth. It took longer for him to
impress the lady sitting next to him. For ink also it was enough time to show the bizarre
effect in his mouth.

6. Bill Bryson “ached to be suave”. Is he successful in his mission? List his

‘unsuave’ ways.

Answer: Certain unwritten rules dictate the way we should behave in public places.
For example you should know proper manners while at dinning table. It is considered
uncivilized if you burp publicly. You should not make chomping noise while eating. The
list is endless.

Bill Bryson always met with some sort of accidents while following these rules. He
would always make chicken pieces fly after is fork’s stroke. If he would open the lid of
some edible chances are he would splatter it all over his clothes.

7. Why do you think Bill Bryson’s wife says to the children, “Take the lids off the
food for Daddy”?
Answer: His wife knew his knack of creating misery for himself. As a precautionary
measure she asked her children to do normal chores for their father.

8. What is the significance of the title?

Answer: The main character here is prone to create small mishaps. Especially during
tour this can lead to discomfort of fellow passengers. Think for a while, you are sitting
on a window seat in the train enjoying the beautiful scenery outside. Then somebody
sitting on the upper birth spills his favourite curry and spoils your new shirt and your
mood too. Those sort of persons are better at their homes. The way he creates
accidents justifies the title, “The Accidental Tourist”.

The Beggar

1. Has Lushkoff become a beggar by circumstance or by choice?

Answer: Lushkoff becomes a beggar by circumstances. He was a singer who used to

sing in the choir. Choir is sung in the church. He lost his job because of alcohol abuse.
After he was out of rehabilitation center the social stigma of being a drunkard
prevented him from getting a job. To make ends meet he had resort to begging.

2. What reasons does he give to Sergei for his telling lies?

Answer: He says that if he would tell the truth people would not give alms. We can
correlate it with the way beggars dress and crib about being hungry for days. In some
bigger cities there are criminal gangs keeping an army of beggars. They do the
required cosmetic make up and drop off beggars at strategic traffic points. They train
those beggars to cry properly so that people would show mercy on them. At the end
of the day the ganglord gets a hefty commission out of day’s booty.

3. Is Lushkoff a willing worker? Why, then, does he agree to chop wood for

Answer: Lushkoff is weak out of malnourishment and alcoholism. He knows he is not

strong enough to work. But once Sergei detects his lies then he is feeling ashamed.
His conscience pushes him to agree for chopping wood.

4. Sergei says, “I am happy that my words have taken effect.” Why does he say
so? Is he right in saying this?

Answer: Sergei thinks that because of his timely advice Lushkoff could get rid of
begging and is financially independent. He is right from his perspective because he
doesn’t know that it was Olga who chopped woods for Lushkoff. Anyway, the end
result is Lushkoff’s life is back on the right track. And there is a saying, “all is well that
ends well.”

5. Lushkoff is earning thirty five roubles a month. How is he obliged to Sergei

for this?
Answer: Had there been no encounter with Sergei Lushkoff wouldhave continued
begging. It was because of Sergei that he could get an opportunity to be helped by
Olga. The whole incident changes the way Lushkoff thinks about is future. Earlier he
had no confidence of getting a job. His stint with Sergei and Olga gives him a new
confidence which helps him land a decent job.

6. During their conversation Lushkoff reveals that Sergei’s cook, Olga, is

responsible for the positive change in him. How has Olga saved Lushkoff?

Answer: Olga takes pity on Llushkoff. She knows that such a weak man can’t chop
wood. She helped him by chopping wood in his place. No matter how much abusive
Olga was in her words, deep inside she had a helping attitude. The very act of Olga
changes Lushkoff’s heart. Had Olga not helped Lushkloff in chopping wood he
wouldnot have got the monety he needed. He would not have got the chance to listen
to Olga’s moral lessons.


The Fun They Had

I. Answer these questions in a few words or a couple of sentences each.

1. How old are Margie and Tommy?

Answer: Margie is 11 years old and Tommy is 13 years old.

2. What did Margie write in her diary?

Answer: Margie wrote in her diary, “Today Tommy found a real book”.

3. Had Margie ever seen a book before?

Answer: No, she had heard about a book from her grandfather.

4. What things about the book did she find strange?

Answer: They found many strange things about the book. One of the strange things
was that after reading the book became useless. Because the text written on it did not
change the way it happened on their computer screen. Moreover, one page was
having limited number of words, unlike computers where a page can display unlimited
number of words.

5. What do you think a telebook is?

Answer: A telebook can be an online book which can be browsed using internet. Or
it can be displayed through TV signals on TV screen.

6. Where was Margie’s school? Did she have any classmates?

Answer: Margie’s school was a virtual school in her house. She didn’t have
classmates the way present day children have. At present children go to physical
schools where they interact with real teachers and real classmates.

7. What subjects did Margie and Tommy learn?

Answer: There is mention of subjects like Geography, Maths and History. But
assuming a computer can be programmed to teach any subject they must be taught
all relevant subjects.

II. Answer each of these questions in a short paragraph (about 30 words).

1. What kind of teachers did Margie and Tommy have?

Answer: Margie and Tommy have virtual teacher. It is computer fitted with latest
gizmos. The computer is programmed to give lessons depending on a child’s age
group and previous learning history. The content are highly interactive and children
learn from the mechanical teacher. The child needs to submit test papers regularly to
the computer and he gets instant feedback in the form of the test result.

2. Why did Margie’s mother send for the County Inspector?

Answer: Margie was not performing up to the mark in her Geography tests. So her
mother was worried. She wanted the County Inspector to check if there was some
problem with the child or with the virtual teacher.

3. What did he do?

Answer: He found that the computer’s programme was not working properly and was
giving lessons, which was of higher level than what Margie’s age required. He rectified
the problem and it started giving lessons suitable for Margie’s age group.

4. What had once happened to Tommy’s teacher?

Answer: Tommy’s teacher developed some snag and its History section was blanked
out. So it was taken away for a month for repair.

7. Did Margie have regular days and hours for school? If so, why?

Answer: Margie did not have regular days and hours unlike conventional schools. The
benefit of virtual classroom is it can be accessed as per your convenience. No more
early morning rush for school. You can sleep as late as you wish and can compensate
for your study during day time as you wish.

7. How does Tommy describe the old kind of school?

Answer: Tommy said that centuries ago there used to be different kinds of school.
There a human teacher used to give same lesson to all boys and girls of same age
group. Students had to go to that school to study.
8. How does he describe the old kind of teachers?

Answer: Old kind of teachers was human being. It is surprising how a human being
can be smart enough to teach a particular topic.

III. Answer each of these questions in two or three paragraphs (100 –150 words).

1. What are the main features of the mechanical teachers and the schoolrooms
that Margie and Tommy have in the story?

Answer: The mechanical teacher is a computer screen with good audio-video system.
It taught students in mechanical voice and tone. It was always prompt in giving
feedback after a child submitted his papers. It can store reams of information. Unlike
a page in the real books, the mechanical teacher’s page is its screen. The screen can
display unlimited number of words. The teacher is always present in their house and
they can study as per their timings.

The teacher sometimes goes wrong as well. There can be some virus playing havoc
with its programming. This may lead to inaccessibility of certain subjects. Sometimes
this can lead the teacher to throw really difficult tests, which may not be fit for a
particular child. Otherwise, the teacher is always programmed to suit each individual
student’s learning need and capability.

2. Why did Margie hate school? Why did she think the old kind of school must
have been fun?

Answer: Her school was always open, seven days in a week. Margie’s teacher was
always on at the same time except weekends, because her mother believed that
regular study hours result in better learning.

She had no classmates to interact and play with. She thought that old school must
have been fun, because, you got the opportunity to play and make fun, with your
classmates. It must have been a pleasant experience to study from a human instead
of impersonal machine.

The Sound of Music

I. Answer these questions in a few words or a couple of sentences each.

1. How old was Evelyn when she went to the Royal Academy of Music?

Answer: She was 16 when she went for the audition of the Royal Academy of Music.

2. When was her deafness first noticed? When was it confirmed?

Answer: Her deafness was first noticed when she was eight years old. When she
turned 11, her deafness was confirmed.

II. Answer each of these questions in a short paragraph (30–40 words).

1. Who helped her to continue with music? What did he do and say?

Answer: It was a percussionist named Ron Forbes who spotted her potential in music.
Everybody else discouraged her form pursuing music as they thought it impossible for
a deaf person to learn music. Ron Forbes advised her to feel the music instead of
listening it. He said her to feel it thorough her whole body.

2. Name the various places and causes for which Evelyn performs.

Answer: Evelyn performs at music concerts. Apart from that she also performs at
prison and hospitals. Through music she wants to spread the message of love and
peace to prisoners and sick people.

III. Answer the question in two or three paragraphs (100–150 words).

1. How does Evelyn hear music?

Answer: Evelyn hears music through her whole body. In fact she just feels the music.
She tries to feel the vibrations which create sound. While playing drums she uses her
upper and lower body to feel vibrations from different types of drums. While playing
xylophone she feels the music pulsating through her fingers. When she has to perform
on wooden floors, she removes her shoes. This enables her to feel the vibrations
through her bare feet. She even feels the music through her hair.

The Shehnai of Bismillah Khan

IV. Answer these questions in 30–40 words.

1. Why did Aurangzeb ban the playing of the pungi?

Answer: The pungi had an unpleasant shrill sound. Due to its irritating quality
Aurangzeb banned the playing of pungi.

2. How is a shehnai different from a pungi?

Answer: Shehnai is the refined version of pungi. A barber, who was a regular visitor
to the king’s palace, used a naturally hollow stems to put pungi’s reed into and made
shehnai. Shehanai had pleasant sound unlike pungi. As it was played by a barber (nai
in Hindi) before the king (shah in Urdu) so it was given the name Shahnai.

3. Where was the shehnai played traditionally? How did Bismillah Khan change

Answer: Traidtionally the Shehnai was played in temples and during wedding
ceremonies, as it was considered an auspicious instrument. Bismillah Khan brought
Shehnai into mainstream music and changed the way people perceived shehnai.

4. When and how did Bismillah Khan get his big break?
Answer: In 1938, when All India Radio started, Bismillah Khan got the big break of
performing for the All India Radio.

5. Where did Bismillah Khan play the shehnai on 15 August 1947? Why was the
event historic?

Answer: On 15th August 1947 Bismillah Khan played shehnai near the Red Fort in
Delhi. It was the India became an independent nation. The gathering was full of
eminent luminaries like Nehru and Gandhi.

6. Why did Bismillah Khan refuse to start a shehnai school in the U.S.A.?

Answer: Bismillah Khan was in love with Benares and the Gnages flowing there. He
used to get inspiration from the ambience of numerous ghats in Varanasi. He knew
that he won’t be able to get that ambience in the USA. So, he refused to start a shehnai
school in the USA.

The Little Girl

I. Answer the following questions in one or two sentences.

1. Why was Kezia afraid of her father?

Answer: Kezia’s father was a strict person, who always used to give commands to
everybody else in the house. He never seemed to smile. He was having an
overpowering personality. So Kezia was always in awe of him.

2. Who were the people in Kezia’s family?

Answer: Apart from Kezia and her father, there was Kezia’s mother, grandmother and
a cook in the family.

3. What was Kezia’s father’s routine

(i) before going to his office?

(ii) after coming back from his office?

(iii) on Sundays?

Answer: (i) Before going to office the father used to give a casual kiss and asked her
to say goodbye.

(ii) After coming back from office he would ask for newspaper and a cup of tea.

(iii) On Sundays he would sleep on the sofa with his face covered with his favourite

4. In what ways did Kezia’s grandmother encourage her to get to know her father
Answer: Kezia’s grandmother used to encourage Kezia to serve tea and to fetch
spectacles for her father, so that she could get opportunity to interact with him.

II. Discuss these questions in class with your teacher and then write down your
answers in two or three paragraphs each.

1. Kezia’s efforts to please her father resulted in displeasing him very much.
How did this happen?

Answer: Kezia’s grandmother asked her to make some surprise gift for the father’s
birthday. She wanted to make a nice pin cushion for her father. She wanted to stuff
the cushion with some scraps. While searching for scrap she found some pieces of
papers strewn on the bed. She used them to stuff the pin cushion.

But it was her sheer bad luck that those were not useless papers, but was speech
written by her father. He had to deliver that speech at some important function. This
made her father angry to the extent that he beat her up.

2. Kezia decides that there are “different kinds of fathers”. What kind of father
was Mr Macdonald, and how was he different from Kezia’s father?

Answer: Mr. Macdonald was of jovial nature. He used to play around with his kids. On
the other hand Kezia’s father was never seen in a playful mood and was always
serious. He always scolded Kezia for seemingly minor mistakes. This was his way of
bringing up a child.

3. How does Kezia begin to see her father as a human being who needs her

Answer: When Kezia’s mother falls sick she is feeling lonely. To take solace she goes
to sleep in his father’s lap. While consoling her he seems to be an affectionate person.
Kezia also feels the warmth of the proverbial bear hug of her father. Now she feels
quite safe and secure with her father. She realizes that because of his busy schedule
her father is unable to give enough time to the family. When her father falls asleep
before her, she realizes that her father is also a human being and he too needs

Rain on the Roof

When the humid shadows hover

Over all the starry spheres

And the melancholy darkness

Gently weeps in rainy tears,

What a bliss to press the pillow

Of a cottage-chamber bed
And lie listening to the patter

Of the soft rain overhead!

This poem is depicting the overall mood on a rainy night. During night the humid cloud
full of water create dark shadows over the star studded sky. The stars are seen as
beacons of light in the darkness and the clouds cover those bright stars and create a
somber mood. The sadness of darkness starts to weep and shed tears of raindrops.
In this situation it is a blissful experience to bury your head in your pillow on your
favourite bed. It is even more pleasant to listen to the pattering sound of raindrops on
a tin roof as if they are playing some music.

Every tinkle on the shingles

Has an echo in the heart;

And a thousand dreamy fancies

Into busy being start,

And a thousand recollections

Weave their air-threads into woof,

As I listen to the patter

Of the rain upon the roof.

Every raindrop on the tiles of the roof creates a rhythm with your heartbeat. This
evokes thousands of dreams making your thoughts busy. While you focus on listening
to the pitter-patter on the roof your mind starts weaving recollections of fond memories
of yesteryears.

Now in memory comes my mother,

As she used in years agone,

To regard the darling dreamers

Ere she left them till the dawn:

O! I feel her fond look on me

As I list to this refrain

Which is played upon the shingles

By the patter of the rain.

The poet goes back to his childhood and can remember his mother. His mother used
to tell stories to lull him into sleep full of dreams. The music being played on the rooftop
is like the affectionate look by which his mother used to see him, while he was a kid.


A Truly Beautiful Mind

1. Who had these opinions about Einstein?

(i) He was boring.

(ii) He was stupid and would never succeed in life.

(iii) He was a freak.

Answer: (i) Einstein’s playmates found him boring.

(ii) Einstein’s teacher thought that he was stupid and would never succeed in life.

(iii) Einstein’s mother thought that he was a freak because he behaved abnormally.

2. Explain what the reasons for the following are.

(i) Einstein leaving the school in Munich for good.

(ii) Einstein wanting to study in Switzerland rather than in Munich.

(iii) Einstein seeing in Mileva an ally.

(iv) What do these tell you about Einstein?

Answer: (i) Einstein hated the regimented environment of his school in Munich. He
always argued with his teachers. His mind was not made for the normal strict and
disciplined environment of a school. That is why he left school to enjoy his

(ii) Switzerland was more liberal than Munich. Einstein must have hoped to find a less
stifling environment in Switzerland compared to that in Munich. So he wanted to study
in Switzerland.

(iii) Mileva was just opposite to Enstein’s parents. Unlike them she used to appreciate
arts and finer things of life. Her mindset matched with that of Einstein. So, Einstein
saw a friend in Mileva.

(iv) These snippets from Einstein’s life gives an idea about the extraordinary thinking
power Einstein was having since his childhood, because only a person with above
normal intelligence can think beyond the accepted systems of behaviour and actions.
Enistein always liked to take his own decisions which is evident from his insistence on
leaving Munich for a better future.
3. What did Einstein call his desk drawer at the patent office? Why?

Answer: It is not mentioned in the passage, but it can be safely assumed that most of
the applications for patent were of minor tweaking of older scientific theories and
practices. This is the prevalent practice even today. Really original and innovative
ideas rarely come on a routine basis. Moreover, as Einstein was himself a genius he
could see the follies in patent applications as most of them must be of pure theoretical
value with no resultant benefit for the mankind. That is why Einstein called his desk,
‘the bureau of theoretical physics.

4. Why did Einstein write a letter to Franklin Roosevelt?

Answer: From the passage it is not clear if Einstein wanted the US to stop Nazis from
making the bomb or wanted to encourage the US to make a bomb to utilize its
destruction potential. The end result was the US made the nuclear bomb and used it
against Japan. This led large scale destruction and loss of lives in the cities of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

5. How did Einstein react to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Answer: Einstein was deeply shaken by mishaps in the cities of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki. He wrote letters to the United Nations urging it to make a world government
to stop nuclear race. He traveled all over the world appealing to leaders of nations for
ensuring world peace.

6. Why does the world remember Einstein as a “world citizen”?

Answer: Einstein’s discovery has impacted the whole world by initiating new
discoveries about the universe. His theory of relativity changed the perspective
through which scientists saw the universe earlier. Apart from this he worked to wards
world peace and nuclear disarmament. Because of his scientific and geopolitical
contribution Einstein is called a “world citizen”.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:

Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,

And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow

Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;

There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evenings full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day

I hear the lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,

I hear it in the deep heart’s core.


The poet is reminiscing about his good old childhood days in a place called Innisfree.
The poet remembers the peaceful life he had during his stay at the isle of Innisfree.

He wants to go there once again to relive his good olden days. He wants to make a
small hut out of clay and wooden sticks. Further he wants to start beekeeping to enjoy
the humming of bees while laying in the vast open space of his favourite place.

The poet wants to enjoy the tranquility of that place. The tranquility or the peace comes
at a slow and leisurely pace from the foggy veil of early morning. During the night the
cricket shatters the calm by continuous singing and the morning brings a sense of
calm by shutting up crickets.

The midnight is like a glimmer of hope in Innisfree and this is unlike the complete
darkness which is full of void. The afternoons are not harsh but glow with soft purple
lights and the evenings are full of flattering wings of small birds giving the place a
surreal look.

The poet wants to proceed for his favourite place right now. He wants to hear the
music created by waves breaking at the shores of the lake. He cannot wait to
experience the bliss which is the isle of Innisfree.

The Snake And The Mirror

I. Answer each question below in a short paragraph (30–40 words)

1. “The sound was a familiar one.” What sound did the doctor hear? What did
he think it was? When and why did the sounds stop?

Answer: When the doctor entered his house he heard the familiar sound of rats
scurrying through the beams of the roof. The statement that he and rats were
housemates gives an impression that the house was full of rats. Doctor was used to
noises made by rats. So he was not bothered about the noise. When a snake fell from
the roof the sound stopped because the snake must have come there to catch its prey.

2. What two “important” and “earth-shaking” decisions did the doctor take while
he was looking into the mirror?

Answer: The first important and earth shaking decision taken by the doctor was to
shave daily to look handsome. The second decision was to smile the way he was
smiling when looking at the mirror. He thought that he should look handsome because
he was a bachelor and a doctor, so he was one of the most eligible bachelors.

3. “I looked into the mirror and smiled,” says the doctor. A little later he says, “I
forgot my danger and smiled feebly at myself.” What is the doctor’s opinion
about himself when: (i) he first smiles, and (ii) he smiles again? In what way do
his thoughts change in between, and why?

Answer: In the first instance the doctor is smiling to appreciate his youthful beauty.
This happens to most of the people when they are of certain age group.

In the second instance when he is playing eyeball to eyeball with the snake, then he
is smiling feebly as if to laugh at his helplessness.

A legend of the Northland

Away, away in the Northland,

Where the hours of the day are few,

And the nights are so long in winter

That they cannot sleep them through;

Where they harness the swift reindeer

To the sledges, when it snows;

And the children look like bear’s cubs

In their funny, furry clothes:

In this stanza the poet has tried to create a vivid picture of the background of the poem.
The poem is set in the backdrop of Scotland, which is near the northern tip of the
United Kingdom. This place is also somewhat nearer to the northern pole. Closeness
to the north-pole gives this place a cold weather with very few hours of sunlight. The
poet has written that here hours of the day are few and nights are so long in winter
that people are unable to spend the whole night sleeping. When it snows in Scotland
people harness their reindeers to pull their sledges. Because of extreme cold children
look like bear’s cubs in because of funny and furry clothes.

They tell them a curious story —

I don’t believe ’tis true;

And yet you may learn a lesson

If I tell the tale to you.

A story is quite famous and has been passed on through generations in the Scotland.
The poet doesn’t believe in the authenticity of the story but yet is tempted to share the
story. Mythological stories may not relate to realities but they always carry some good
messages with them and that is why the poet is narrating the story.

Once, when the good Saint Peter

Lived in the world below,

And walked about it, preaching,

Just as he did, you know,

He came to the door of a cottage,

In travelling round the earth,

Where a little woman was making cakes,

And baking them on the hearth;

And being faint with fasting,

For the day was almost done,

He asked her, from her store of cakes,

To give him a single one.

Once Saint peter was on his usual round of traveling and preaching people, he felt
hungry. He chanced upon an old cottage where a little woman was making cakes.
Saint Peter went near the woman and asked for some cakes to eat.

So she made a very little cake,

But as it baking lay,

She looked at it, and thought it seemed

Too large to give away.

Therefore she kneaded another,

And still a smaller one;

But it looked, when she turned it over,

As large as the first had done.

Then she took a tiny scrap of dough,

And rolled and rolled it flat;

And baked it thin as a wafer —

But she couldn’t part with that.

For she said, “My cakes that seem too small

When I eat of them myself

Are yet too large to give away.”

So she put them on the shelf.

The little woman started to bake a small cake for Saint Peter. After the cake was done
she found it too big to be given for free. So she decided to bake an even smaller cake.
This went on and on till she made a paper thin wafer for Saint Peter. She even kept
that wafer instead of giving it to Saint Peter because she was too greedy to part with
a single morsel of food.

Then good Saint Peter grew angry,

For he was hungry and faint;

And surely such a woman

Was enough to provoke a saint.

And he said, “You are far too selfish

To dwell in a human form,

To have both food and shelter,

And fire to keep you warm.

Now, you shall build as the birds do,

And shall get your scanty food

By boring, and boring, and boring,

All day in the hard, dry wood.”

On observing her greed Saint Peter became very angry at her. He said that she was
too selfish to dwell in human form. He cursed her to become a bird and live searching
for scant food in the jungle, by boring all day in the dry and hard wood.

Then up she went through the chimney,

Never speaking a word,

And out of the top flew a woodpecker,

For she was changed to a bird.

She had a scarlet cap on her head,

And that was left the same;

But all the rest of her clothes were burned

Black as a coal in the flame.

And every country schoolboy

Has seen her in the wood,

Where she lives in the trees till this very day,

Boring and boring for food.

After Saint Peter’s curse the little woman went up through the chimney and got
changed to a woodpecker. Her whole body turned to coal black because of going up
through the chimney. Her red cap turned to red plumage of the woodpecker. After that
people have been seeing her in the wood where she lives by boring and boring the
dry wood in search of food.


My Childhood

I. Answer these questions in one or two sentences each.

1. Where was Abdul Kalam’s house?

Answer: Abdul Kalam’s house was on mosque street in Rameshwaram.

2. What do you think Dinamani is the name of? Give a reason for your answer.

Answer: The fact that Abdul Kalam used to read headlines, to know about the WWII
and the fact that he assisted his cousin in collecting newspaper bundles thrown from
the train indicate that Dinamani is the name of a newspaper.

3. Who were Abdul Kalam’s school friends? What did they later become?

Answer: One of his friends Ramanadha Shasrty became a priest in Rameshwaram,

Arvindam went into a business of tour operator and Shivaprakasham became a
catering contractor with Southern Railways.
4. How did Abdul Kalam earn his first wages?

Answer: When stoppage of trains was cancelled at Rameshwaram because of WWII,

then his cousin asked him for help in collecting newspaper bundles which were thrown
from the moving train. This task helped Abdul Kalam earn his first wages.

5. Had he earned any money before that? In what way?

Answer: Before the newspaper episode there was unusually huge demand of
tamarind seeds. Abdul Kalam used to collect tamarind seeds and used to sell them for
a princely some of one annah a day.

II. Answer each of these questions in a short paragraph (about 30 words)

1. How does the author describe: (i) his father, (ii) his mother, (iii) himself?

Answer: The author has described his father as a man following austerity, but giving
due care to all needs of his family. He has described his mother as a woman with a
large heart who used to cook for everyone visiting the household. Moreover, Abdul
Kalam has described himself as a short and thin boy from tall and handsome parents.

2. What characteristics does he say he inherited from his parents?

Answer: He inherited honesty and self discipline from his father. From his mother he
inherited a sense of kindness and faith.

III. Answer in two or three paragraphs each.

1. “On the whole, the small society of Rameswaram was very rigid in terms of
the segregation of different social groups,” says the author.

(i) Which social groups does he mention? Were these groups easily identifiable?

Answer: Kalam has mentioned Hindus and Muslims as two distinct social groups
living in Rameshwaram. They had their different dress codes and rituals. For example
Kalam used to wear a cap while his friend Ramanadham used to wear the sacred

(ii) Were they aware only of their differences or did they also naturally share
friendships and experiences?

Answer: Kalam has mentioned three childhood friends and all of them have Hindu
names, so their friendship is evident. Kalam has also mentioned about bedtime stories
from Ramayana being told by his mother. Moreover, Kalam’s family used to arrange
for carrying idols of Hindu gods. This explains the natural Hindu Muslim cooperation
in most parts of India. They were aware of their different identities but they were living
harmoniously as people do in any normal society.
(iii) The author speaks both of people who were very aware of the differences
among them and those who tried to bridge these differences. Can you identify
such people in the text?

Answer: The first person mentioned was Ramanadhan’s father. He, after hearing that
the new teacher tried to segregate pupils on the basis of religious divisions, called the
teacher and convinced him to revert his decision.

The second person was Shivasubramania Iyer, the science teacher. He invited Kalam
to have meal with him. This way he changed his conservative wife’s mindset.

(iv) Narrate two incidents that show how differences can be created, and also
how they can be resolved. How can people change their attitudes?

Answer: The new teacher in Kalam’s school tried to create communal differences
among students. Science teacher’s wife did not want to serve food to Kalam as he
was a Muslim boy.

In both incidences the persons who are trying to change the mindsets stood firm on
their ground. They did the straight talk and practiced what they preached. This created
a change of attitude among people who were of old thoughts.

2. (i) Why did Abdul Kalam want to leave Rameswaram?

(ii) What did his father say to this?

(iii) What do you think his words mean? Why do you think he spoke those

Answer: Kalam wanted to get a better ambience to study which was available in the
city. So he wanted to leave Rameshawaram. His father encouraged him to leave
Rameshwaram. He took example of young seagulls who leave their parents’ nest to
learn to fly.

His words have very deep meanings. Unlike human beings most of the animals grow
on their own after a certain age. This makes them more independent and courageous.
Even in the plant kingdom most of the seeds cannot germinate if they are left lying
under the mother tree. They get spread by various means and then only they are able
to sprout to become a new plant and ultimately a tree.

For human also after a certain age certain degree of responsibility and independence
is always helpful in making a perfect adult.

No Men Are Foreign

Remember, no men are strange, no countries foreign

Beneath all uniforms, a single body breathes

This poem is about the fact that all human beings are same. This is a message for
armies fighting in the battlefield and a message for those political leaders who instigate
wars. The poet says that beneath the uniforms of any colour there is similar body.

Like ours: the land our brothers walk upon

Is earth like this, in which we all shall lie.

Everywhere the land is same upon which all of us walk and all of us will be buried
some day under it.

They, too, aware of sun and air and water,

Are fed by peaceful harvests, by war’s long winter starv’d.

No matter if it is a friend or an enemy everyone is aware of the same sun, the same
air and the same water. Everyone gets the food from the harvest which gets prepared
in peaceful lands.

Their hands are ours, and in their lines we read

A labour not different from our own.

Enemy’s hands are similar to friend’s hands and their lines also tell the same story of
hardwork which is similar to ours.

Remember they have eyes like ours that wake

Or sleep, and strength that can be won

By love. In every land is common life

That all can recognise and understand.

Everyone’s eyes see dreams in the same way and when awake can ooze love in the
similar manner. The common life is same everywhere.

Let us remember, whenever we are told

To hate our brothers, it is ourselves

That we shall dispossess, betray, condemn.

Remember, we who take arms against each other

It is the human earth that we defile.

Our hells of fire and dust outrage the innocence

Of air that is everywhere our own,

Remember, no men are foreign, and no countries strange.

Whenever someone is told to fight a war against the so called enemy, then he is told
to betray his own brother and in the process defile the mother earth. The innocent air
present everywhere is destroyed by the fire of our internal hells in the process.



I. Answer each question below.

1. How many characters are there in the narrative? Name them.

Answer: There are four characters in the story, viz. Jerome, George, Harris and the

2. Why did the narrator (Jerome) volunteer to do the packing?

Answer: Narrator was of the opinion that he was the best at packing.

3. How did George and Harris react to this? Did Jerome like their reaction?

Answer: George and Harris agreed to Jerome, because they wanted to loaf around
while Jerome would do the packing.

4. What was Jerome’s real intention when he offered to pack?

Answer: Jerome’s real intention was to show off his talent at packing the things.

5. What did Harris say after the bag was shut and strapped? Why do you think
he waited till then to ask?

Answer: After the bag was shut and strapped Harris asked if Jerome forgot to pack
the boot. He wanted to enjoy the irritation on Jerome’s face so he waited till last.

6. What “horrible idea” occurred to Jerome a little later?

Answer: Jerome was not sure if he packed his toothbrush or not. In the past also
Jerome has similar mishaps with packing or unpacking of toothbrush.

7. Where did Jerome finally find the toothbrush?

Answer: After searching through everything Jerome found the toothbrush inside a

8. Why did Jerome have to reopen the packed bag?

Answer: After packing the bag Jerome realized that he packed his tobacco pouch
inside, so he had to reopen it once again.
9. What did George and Harris offer to pack and why?

Answer: George and Harris offered to pack the bag which would contain edible items.
They also wanted to show off their packing skills.

10. While packing the hamper, George and Harris do a number of foolish and
funny things. Tick the statements that are true.

(i) They started with breaking a cup.


(ii) They also broke a plate.


(iii) They squashed a tomato.


(iv) They trod on the butter.


(v) They stepped on a banana.


(vi) They put things behind them, and couldn’t find them.


(vii) They stepped on things.


(viii) They packed the pictures at the bottom and put heavy things on top.


(ix) They upset almost everything.


(x) They were very good at packing.


II. What does Jerome say was Montmorency’s ambition in life? What do you
think of Montmorency and why?
Answer: Monmorency’s ambition in life was to disturb people and be sworn at in the
bargain. It always made a mess of everything the way most of the pet dogs do while
in a playful mood.

III. Answer the following questions in two or three paragraphs (100 –150 words)

1. Of the three, Jerome, George and Harris, who do you think is the best or worst
packer? Support your answer with details from the text.

Answer: In spite of forgetting certain things to pack or getting confused about some
things, Jerome seems to be the best packer. He packs things the way they should be.
He knows what to keep first and what to keep last. He doesn’t create a mess all

It is difficult to select the worst packer from Harris and George. Harris smashes tomato
while packing the bottle of jam over it. George treads on butter and creates a mess all
around. Then he tries to put it in the kettle. After this Harris sits on the butter kept on
the chair. After the butter sticks to Harris’ behind both of them start searching for it.

They put lighter things at the bottom and heavier things at the top. This is like putting
potatoes on top of tomatoes while shopping for vegetables.

Both George and Harris are equally horrendous in packing.

2. Do you find this story funny? What are the humorous elements in it?

Answer: This is a really funny story but at the same time it can be from many people’s
real life. To start with the language itself is humorous while depicting as mundane an
activity as packing. Discovery of toothbrush inside a boot is funny. George stepping
on butter is funny incident. The list can go on and on, like Harris sitting on butter,
packing of jam over tomato, packing of heavier thing over lighter things. The
disturbance by the dog brings its own amount of fun in the story. Even in the end their
argument about exact wakeup time is also full of humour.

Reach for the Top

I. Answer these questions in one or two sentences each.

1. Why was the ‘holy man’ who gave Santosh’s mother his blessings surprised?

Answer: The part of India where Santosh was born has a negative bias against girl
child. So the holy man was surprised because Santosh’s grandmother wished for a
girl child.

2. Give an example to show that even as a young girl Santosh was not ready to
accept anything unreasonable.

Answer: Santosh liked to wear shorts instead of traditional dress prevalent in her
village. This shows her rebellious attitude and shows that since early age she had a
mind of her own.
3. Why was Santosh sent to the local school?

Answer: It is a customary to send a girl child to local school because the aim is to
make them literate enough to enable them to read and write. The purpose is not
education but literacy.

4. When did she leave home for Delhi, and why?

Answer: When she turned 16 she wanted to pursue higher education so she left for

5. Why did Santosh’s parents agree to pay for her schooling in Delhi? What
mental qualities of Santosh are brought into light by this incident?

Answer: Santosh threatened to work part time to manage her school fees. On hearing
this her parents agreed to pay for her schooling in Delhi. This incidence shows Santosh
level of determination towards her goal.

II. Answer each of these questions in a short paragraph (about 30 words).

1. How did Santosh begin to climb mountains?

Answer: While she was staying at her hostel in Jaipur, she used to see people
climbing the Arawali hills. When her curiosity compelled her to go for looking for those
people she found them to be mountaineers. On her request they agreed to let her join
them in mountain climbing. This is how her journey to become a great mountaineer

2. What incidents during the Everest expedition show Santosh’s concern for her

Answer: During her Everest expedition she tried save her fellow climber’s lives. She
shared her oxygen cylinder with her team mates. Although one of her team mates
could not be saved but another one could be saved because of Santosh’s help.

3. What shows her concern for the environment?

Answer: While returning from the Everest she brought back 500 kgs of rubbish from
there. Many mountaineers go for conquering the Everest every year. They leave lots
of garbage in their trail. This is threatening the ecology of the Everest. Sontosh’s act
of bringing back some garbage shows her concern for the environment.

4. How does she describe her feelings at the summit of the Everest?

Answer: She describes that she was overawed by the experience of reaching at the
top of the world. The feeling took its own time to sink in. Then she unfurled the tricolour
on the roof of the world. This was a spiritual experience for her.

5. Santosh Yadav got into the record books both times she scaled Mt Everest.
What were the reasons for this?
Answer: When she scaled the Everest for the first time she became the youngest
woman to reach there. When she went there next time she became the only woman
to achieve the feat twice.

On Killing a Tree

It takes much time to kill a tree,

Not a simple jab of the knife

Will do it. It has grown

Slowly consuming the earth,

Rising out of it, feeding

Upon its crust, absorbing

Years of sunlight, air, water,

And out of its leprous hide

Sprouting leaves.

This poem is appreciating the resilient qualities of a tree. It takes years for a tree to
grow into a full sized one. A tree grows at a slow pace consuming the earth. It keeps
on absorbing water, air and sunlight for years and sprouts leaves from its skin in the
process. In a sense a tree contains all the powerful energy which the mother earth
provides. So this is very difficult to kill a tree. A simple knife injury won’t do the trick.
This is opposite to frail human beings who can be killed by a knife.

So hack and chop

But this alone wont do it.

Not so much pain will do it.

The bleeding bark will heal

And from close to the ground

Will rise curled green twigs,

Miniature boughs

Which if unchecked will expand again

To former size.
One needs to chop the full tree, but even this won’t be enough. The tree heals it injured
bark and from the ground it will once again rise with another miniature replica of its
original self, which will ultimately grow to a full size tree. This is a great quality of rising
from the ashes which we should try to learn. No matter how much adversity is around
the corner one should never say it quits.


The root is to be pulled out —

Out of the anchoring earth;

It is to be roped, tied,

And pulled out — snapped out

On Killing a Tree

Or pulled out entirely,

Out from the earth-cave,

And the strength of the tree exposed

The source, white and wet,

The most sensitive, hidden

For years inside the earth.

Then the matter

Of scorching and choking

In sun and air,

Browning, hardening,

Twisting, withering,

And then it is done.

More than cutting the outer tree one needs to strangulate the real source of life of the
tree. This is the root of the tree. This is the pure white and most sensitive part of the
tree, which remains hidden inside the earth. The hidden root gives all the sustenance
to a tree. One needs to snap this source of life to kill a tree.

Trees go on to live on for years. There are some trees in the Amazon forest which are
said to be more than five hundred years old. We may take some lesson from them to
spread our roots deep inside the earth. There had been some great people of
yesteryears who still live in our memories. They had spread their roots inside our
consciousness and as a result refuse to die.


The Bond of Love

Answer the following questions in 30 to 40 words each.

1. On two occasions Bruno ate/drank something that should not be eaten/ drunk.
What happened to him on these occasions?

Answer: Once Bruno ate the rat poison which was kept to get rid of rats from the
library. Bruno became paralysed to the extent that he couldn’t stand on his feet. He
was taken to a veterinary doctor for treatment. Finally the antidote worked and Bruno
could spring to life once again.

Next time Bruno drank the discarded engine oil which was kept in the garage. Luckily
nothing happened to him after drinking the mobil oil.

2. Was Bruno a loving and playful pet? Why, then, did he have to be sent away?

Answer: Bruno had become too big to be kept in the household. He had to be chained
for children’s safety. Being a wild animal it needed lots of space which was not
available in the author’s household. They thought that it will be taken care of in better
way by trained personnel at a zoo. So they decided to send it away to the zoo.

3. How was the problem of what to do with Bruno finally solved?

Answer: As Bruno was not feeling happy after getting separated from its foster family
and was getting weak as a result, the author’s wife went to meet Bruno. After seeing
Bruno’s pitiful condition they decided to bring it back to their home. They built a special
cordoned area for Bruno with all the facilities befitting a playful bear. And finally Bruno
was back to its home.

The Snake Trying

The snake trying

to escape the pursuing stick,

with sudden curvings of thin

long body. How beautiful

and graceful are his shapes!

He glides through the water away

from the stroke. O let him go

over the water

into the reeds to hide

without hurt. Small and green

he is harmless even to children.

Along the sand

he lay until observed

and chased away, and now

he vanishes in the ripples

among the green slim reeds.

Snakes are one of the many beautiful creatures of the nature. This poem is about how
a snake is trying to escape the onslaught by someone’s stick. It slithers making
beautiful curvaceous shape from its slender and thin body. The snake tries to glide
through the water to be away from the onslaught. Anyone should let it go unharmed
because it is a harmless green snake. When it lies in the bushes it gets unnoticed
because of the camouflage of its green colour. Until it is disturbed it is difficult to notice.
They are harmless and beautiful so we should let them go their own ways.


The Green Snake

Early morning, the day before yesterday,

under a slab of stone,

in a crack,

eyes glittering,

forked tongue licking and flashing,

a frog swelling his belly,

he lay there quietly:

a baby snake, two hands long,

a green snake.
“Poor thing. It’s a green snake. Still a baby.

What harm can it do?” I said.

My father replied,

“A snake’s a snake.”

And mother,

“That’s where everyone walks.

We don’t need trouble. Kill it.”

“I can’t,” I said.

Father struck him with a piece of firewood,

chased him outside,

and killed him flat.

This poem is contrasting to the earlier poem. Here a green snake is lying lazily after
savouring a frog. It is lying under a stone slab with glittering eyes and flashing forked
tongue. The flashing tongue of a snake can send shivers down anyone’s spine. The
narrator is trying to argue with his parents that it is a harmless creature. But age old
beliefs and fears about a snake are so powerful that his parents go on and kill the
snake in the end.

This is sad but quite normal that most of the people give a fearful response upon
seeing a snake. As a result so many innocent snakes are killed every year.



I. Answer these questions in one or two words or in short phrases.

1. Name the two temples the author visited in Kathmandu.

Answer: The author visited the Pashupati Nath Temple and the Budhnath Stupa.

2. The writer says, “All this I wash down with Coca Cola.” What does ‘all this’ refer to?

Answer: The author purchased a bar of marzipan and corn cooked on charcoal fire, alongwith s
comics and a Reader’s Digest. He ate the edibles while reading those books.

3. What does Vikram Seth compare to the quills of a porcupine?

Answer: The flute seller’s stock of flutes was looking like the quills of a porcupine.

4. Name five kinds of flutes.

Answer: Bansuri, Reed, Murli, Shakuhachi, and Neh.

II. Answer each question in a short paragraph.

1. What difference does the author note between the flute seller and the other hawkers?

Answer: The author notes that the flute seller was not at all bothered about selling his wares. He
more engrossed in playing his flutes and sometimes talking to fellow vendors. The sale was incide
for him.

2. What is the belief at Pashupatinath about the end of Kaliyug?

Answer: There is a small temple near the banks of the river Baghmati, which is partly submerged.
age old belief is if the water recedes enough to expose the goddess then the Goddess will leave
place and that will herald the end of the Kaliyug. Kaliyug is the era of all sins as per Hindu mytholog

3. The author has drawn powerful images and pictures. Pick out three examples each of

(i) the atmosphere of ‘febrile confusion’ outside the temple of Pashupatinath

(ii) the things he sees

(iii) the sounds he hears

Answer: Febrile confusion means a situation of complete chaos or confusion. Like most of the H
pilgrimage centres Pashupathinath temple is also buzzing with people and mindless activity. The cro
monkeys, devotees attempt to get preferential treatment, calls of hawkers all of these cera
completely noisy situation.

III. Answer the following questions in not more than 100–150 words each.

1. Compare and contrast the atmosphere in and around the Baudhnath shrine with
Pashupatinath temple.

Answer: The atmosphere in Pashupatinath Temple is utterly noisy and it can get on nerves of pe
who are not used to this kind of situation. People jostle with each other to touch the idol of the G
Monkeys are prevalent near temples in India and Nepal. They live in not so perfect harmony with hu
beings. Because of Hindu God Hanuman nobody disturbs them. The hawkers selling their wares
taut trying to dupe tourist is common at places like Pashuptinath temple.

On the other hand, the atmosphere at Budhnath stupa is full of calm. The way of Budhist worsh
more about meditation and it is far from ritualistic worship of the Hindus. The Budhnath stupa is
some Tibetans selling nick-nacks but the huge crowd of the Hindu pilgrimage is missing there. The
calm as opposed to chaos near the Pashupatinath temple.
2. How does the author describe Kathmandu’s busiest streets?

Answer: Kathmandu’s busiest streets are narrow. They are full of life. There are small temples
colourful deities along these streets. The street is full of vendors and shops. Some are selling th
which are used in worship. Then there are hawkers selling fruits. There is a flute seller as well pla
melodiously on his flute. There is total cacophony as loudspeakers are blaring different kinds of mu

3. “To hear any flute is to be drawn into the commonality of all mankind.” Why does the au
say this?

Answer: The flute is one of the basic musical instruments. It is the simplest yet closest to the hu
breathing. One needs to breathe life into it to play it soulfully. If the flute player stops to catch his br
then the flute stops playing. Moreover, almost all civilizations have some kind of flute.

Because of its prevalence around the world and its closeness to the human breathing the author s
that to hear any flute is to be drawn into the commonality of all mankind.

A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal

A slumber did my spirit seal—

I had no human fears.

She seemed a thing that could not feel

The touch of earthy years.

No motion has she now, no force—

She neither hears nor sees,

Rolled round in earth’s diurnal course

With rocks and stones and trees.

In this poem the poet is mourning the death of a loved one. He says that a deep sleep has taken
spirit or joy or the desire to live. After her death it seems that she cannot fell the touch of earthy ye
This is a way to tell that after death the time stops and stands still and the person who is dead need
fear about growing old. She is motionless, and cannot hear or see a thing. Even planet earth’s rou
course of moving on its axis has no effect on her, although it can move the stationary rocks and sto
along with it. In other words after the death she has reached beyond earth’s power as well because
no more a mortal being.


Fear No More

Fear no more the heat o’ the sun,

Nor the furious winter’s rages;

Thou thy worldly task hast done,

Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages:

Golden lads and girls all must,

As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Fear no more the frown o’ the great,

Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke;

Care no more to clothe and eat;

To thee the reed is as the oak:

The sceptre, learning, physic, must

All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more lightning-flash,

Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;

Fear not slander, censure rash;

Thou hast finished joy and moan:

All lovers young, all lovers must

Consign to thee, and come to dust.

This poem is about the inevitable which happens to all of us. After someone dies he is free of his phy
body. The soul is free and it need not fear the heat of the sun or the ferocity of the winter. Everyb
including superstars, has to turn to the dust someday and nobody can escape from the inevitability ca
death. Once a person is free of the physical body he need not worry about clothes and food. For h
flute is same as a tree. The lightning or thunder cannot harm the soul.

This is more or less like Krishna’s preaching in the Gita. In the Gita Krishna says that soul is the
thing and body is like a cloth which we take off after it becomes worn out. Fire cannot burn it, w
cannot dissolve it and air cannot sweep it off. After the death the soul becomes free of all the wo

Basic Concept and Important Points
1. Natural Numbers: Numbers from 0 (zero) onward are known as Natural numbers, denoted by ‘N’.
N = {1, 2, 3, 4,......}
2. Whole Numbers: Numbers from 0 (zero) onward are known as Whole numbers, denoted by ‘W’.
W = {0, 1, 2, 3, 4, ......}
3. Integers: The collection of all whole numbers and negative of natural numbers are called Integers,
denoted by ‘Z’ or ‘I’.
Z or I = {...... –3, –2, –1,0,1,2,3 ......}

4. Rational Number: A number which can be expressed as where q ≠ 0 and q, q εZ is know as rational
number, denoted by ‘Q’.
5. Irrational Number: A number which can’t be expressed in the form of p/q and its decimal representation
is non-terminating and non-repeating is known as irrational number.

6. Number Line:

7. Method to find two or more rational numbers between two numbers p and q:

If p < q, then one of the number be and other will be in continuation as

8. The sum of a rational number and an irrational number is always an irrational number.
9. The product of a non-zero rational number and an irrational number is always an irrational number.

is an irrational number.
10. The sum of two irrational numbers is not always an irrational number.

11. The product of two irrational numbers is not always an irrational number.

12. If a is a rational number and n is a positive integer such that the nth root of a is an irrational number,
then a1/n is called a surd.

13. If a is a surd then ‘n’ is known as order of surd and ‘a’ is known as radicand.
14. Every surd is an irrational number but every irrational number is not a surd.
15. Laws of radicals:

16. A surd which has unity only as rational factor is called a pure surd.
17. A surd which has a rational factor other than unity is called a mixed surd.
18. Order of a given surd can be changed by using following steps:
(a) Let the surd be a and m be the order of surd to which it has to be converted.

(b) Compute and let

(c) Write which is the required result.
19. Surds having same irrational factors are called similar or like surds.
20. Only similar surds can be added or subtracted by adding or subtracting their rational parts.
21. Surds of same order can be multiplied or divided.
22. If the surds to be multiplied or to be divided are not of the same order, we first convert them to the
same order and then multiply or divide.
23. If the product of two surds is a rational number, then each one of them is called the rationalising factor
of the other.
are rationalising factors of one another.
24. A surd consisting of one term only is called a monomial surd.
25. An expression consisting of the sum or difference of two monomial surds or the sum or difference of a
monomial surd and a rational number is called binomial surd.

26. the binomial surds which differ only in sign (+ or – ) between the terms connecting them, are called
conjugate surd

27. Rational exponents:

(a) If x, y be any rational numbers different from zero and m be any integer, then
xm × ym =(x × y)m.
(b) If x be any rational number different from zero and m, n be any integers, then
xm × xn = xm+n and (Xm)n = xm×n.
28. Reciprocals of positive integers as exponents:
If q be any positive integer other than 1, and x and y be rational numbers such thatxq = y then y1/q = x.
We write y1/q as and read it as qth root of y. is called a radical and q is called the index of
the radical.
29. Positive rational numbers as exponents:

If be any positive rational number (where p and q are positive integers prime to each other) andlet
x be any rational number. We have already given a meaning to xp/q. This can be done very easily.
That is xp/q is the qth root of xp.
Thus, (4)3/2 = (43)1/2 = (64)1/2 = 8.

30. If is a negative rational number, then xp/q (x ≠ 0) is equal to

31. If x be any rational number different from zero, and a and b be any rational numbers, thenxa ÷ xb = xa–b.

1. Find two rational numbers between 0.1 and 0.3

2. Express in the form of decimal.

3. Simplify :

4. Rationalise the denominator of

5. Express as a fraction in teh simplest form.
6. If find the value of
7. Simplify
8. Find the value of x in

9. If find the value of

10. What is the value of