A passage where the writer rambles from topic to topic is called a discursive piece of writing. The adjective discursive is often used to describe a speech or writing that tends to stray from the main point, but the word can also have almost the opposite meaning. Discursive can also be used to describe an argument based on reason instead of intuition, a writing that is well-argued and well reasoned. Also tending to depart from the main point or cover a wide range of subjects. While attempting a ‘discursive passage’ it is important to read through the passage, scan for details, and then answer the given questions.
This grammar section explains English Grammar in a clear and simple way. There are example sentences to show how the language is used. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English will help you to write better answers in your Class 10 exams. Because the Solutions are solved by subject matter experts.
Unseen Passage For Class 10 Discursive CBSE With Answers
Discursive writing expresses opinions. It can be argumentative, i.e. may give reasons, explanations, or explore cause and effect relationship. Passages of this kind are analytical. Sometimes the author presents his views with great depth of reasoning or force of argument with the intention of convincing the reader to his point of view. Such texts have great persuasive power.
Unseen Passage Discursive Solved Question for Class 10 CBSE
1. Read the passage given below:
1. We live in an era where it is difficult to miss fast and junk food and the rise in teenage obesity and related health issues due to it.
2. During teenage, weight gain is normal but when it goes beyond control, the person becomes obese. Our body requires energy to function, which is derived from the food we eat but when the intake of food becomes more than the amount that the body requires, the excess energy is stored as body fat.
3. Contemporary lifestyle sees an increasing consumption of junk food, and spending time watching television and playing computer games. Overeating along with lack of physical exercise are the major causes leading to teenage obesity. Large intake of high-calorie food and low-nutrient food leads to unnecessary weight gain. Besides these, obesity can also be genetically inherited where some people have the genetic tendency to bum calories more slowly compared to others. Stress is also a reason for obesity where people resort to overeating to alleviate their stress,
4. Teenage obesity is growing immensely and has been named an ‘obesity epidemic’. A number of health issues arise out of it like diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, sleeping disorders, hormonal imbalance, and asthma. Along with these, obesity can also result in psychological problems like low self-esteem due to the constant jeering of peers. Obese teens are more prone to being teased and physically bullied compared to others of their same age.
5. Therefore, it is necessary to control excessive weight gain. Inactivity is the major cause of obesity and regular exercise is the best way to control it. Physical activity like jogging, swimming and playing outdoor games can help to keep one fit. A balanced diet with lots of vegetables, fruit and whole grains is also essential. Junk food and soft drinks should be substituted with lots of vegetables, fruit and whole grains in the diet. Drinking around 8-10 glasses of water also helps to reduce calorie intake.
6. Parents have an important role in controlling teenage obesity as they should try to set examples by following a healthy diet and leading a healthy lifestyle. A combined effort of the parents and kids can help to control this eating disorder.
2. Read the passage given below:
1. During our growing up years we as children were taught–both at home and school–to worship the photos and idols of the gods of our respective religions. When we grow a little older, we were I holy books like The Bhagwad Gita, Bible and Quran; we were told that there are a lot of life lessons to be learnt from these holy books. We were then introduced to stories from ou mythologies which taught us about ethics and morality–what is good and what is bad. I also learnt to be respectful towards my parents who made my life comfortable with their hard work, love and care, and my teachers who guided me to become a good student and a responsible citizen. Much later in life, I realised that though we learn much from our respective holy books, there is a lot to learn from our surroundings. This realisation dawned upon me when I learnt to enquire and explore. Everything around us–the sun, the moon, the stars, rain, rivers, stones, rocks, birds, plants and animals–teach us many valuable life lessons.
3. No wonder that besides the scriptures in many cultures nature is also worshipped. The message that we get is to save our environment and maintain ecological balance. People are taught to live in harmony with nature and recognise that there is God in all aspects of nature.
4. Nature is a great teacher. A river never stops flowing. If it finds an obstacle in its way in the form of a heavy rock, the river water fights to remove it from its path or finds an alternative path to move ahead. This teaches us to be progressive in life, and keep the lighting spirit alive.
5. Snakes are worshipped as they eat insects in the field that can hurt our crops, thus protecting the grains for us. In fact, whatever we worship is our helper and makes our lives easy for us. There are many such examples in nature, but we are not ready to learn a lesson. Overcome with greed, we are destroying nature. As a result we face natural disasters like drought, flood and landslides. We don’t know that nature is angry with us.
6. However, it is never too late to learn. If we learn to respect nature the quality of our life will improve.
2.1. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions in 30–40 words each:
(a) What are we taught in our childhood and growing up years?
(b) Why should we respect our parents and teacher
(c) What message do we get when we worship nature?
(d) How does a river face an obstacle that comes in its way?
(a) We are taught in our childhood to worship the photos and idols. We are taught in our growing up years to read holy books like the Bhagwat Gita, Bible and Quran. We were taught that there are a lot of life lessons to be learnt from these holy books.
(b) We should respect our parents because they have made our life comfortable with their hard work, love and care. We should respect our teachers because they have guided us in becoming a good student and a responsible citizen.
(c) When we worship nature the message we get is to save our environment and maintain ecological balance.
(d) When an obstacle comes in its way, the water in the river fights to remove it from its path. The river water can also find an alternative path to move ahead.
2.2. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer of the following:
(a) In para 5, the synonym of ‘catastrophe’ is ………………………….. .
(b) In para 3, the antonym of ‘discordance’ is ………………………….. .
(c) When we worship nature, the message we get is to save our environment and maintain ecological balance. (True/False)
(d) The stories from our mythologies taught us about …..
ethics and morality
3. Read the following passage carefully:
1. Corruption, terrorism, communalism, greed for power and wealth and the list of ailments that affect modem society continue. More than half the population of India is below the age group of 25 and the future of the country will only be bright if youngsters are equipped to deal with these ailments.
2. A child is a storehouse of potential and it is important to nurture and develop these attributes s’ince a very young age. Since they spend much of the time in school, the curriculum in school should be such that it enables children to understand, care and practise ethical values like respect, justice and civic sense. Education should aim to develop a sense of rights and duties as well as moral values like honesty, responsibility and respect for others.
3. Moral education should be directed towards enhancing a child’s ability to critically analyse situations, make decisions, empathise with people and work in cooperation towards a common goal.
4. Asa means of direct instmction to students, schools are very influential in the character development of a child and the methods of education affect the development of morally upright citizens who can bring about the much needed change in the country.
5. The youth of today have to face a lot of problems like drug abuse, violent behaviour and family issues. If they are not taught morals, they would fail to differentiate between good and bad values. Hence, they would be incapable in dealing with different types of issues. A sound moral base would help a child make the right decisions, especially in an era where the youth is increasingly coming under the negative influence of the media.
6. Schools in India have introduced moral education as part of their curriculum because they realise that morally sound citizens are the need of the hour. Since most children look up to their teachers as role models, it is most appropriate that they be the facilitators of moral values.
7. Thus schools should focus more on the personality development of children since it is one of the most important responsibilities of a school. Schools should take the initiative to mould children into better human beings so that they can make the world a better place to live in.
3.1 Answer the following questions with facts from the passage given above.
(a) Aim of a school should be to
(i) develop qualities of
(ii) ……………………………………………… .
(iii) ……………………………………………… .
(b) What are the negativities influencing children?
(i) drug abuse
(ii) ……………………………………………… .
(iii) ……………………………………………… .
(iv) ……………………………………………… .
(c) What is the role of the school curriculum?
(i) to enable children to understand and practise values like
(ii) ……………………………………………… .
(iii) ……………………………………………… .
(d) What is the role of teachers?
(i) ……………………………………………… .
(ii) to nurture students into good human beings
4. Read the following passage carefully :
1. Frankness may be among the most overrated of virtues! And here’s why. Because unrestricted and unfiltered frankness is a recipe for breaking relationships, even the closest ones. Such frankness is understandable, acceptable and even ‘cute’ only in children under the age of five.
2. Thinking before one speaks and using restraint are hallmarks of growing maturity and preparation for life. Learning to put a filter between thought and spoken word (and, even more importantly, written word) is an important life skill. Think is a popular acronym for Trúe, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary and Kind. This would do wonderfully well as a filter in our minds.
3. It is good to speak what’s true, but only along with the other attributes in the acronym, particularly the last one, kindness. In the righteous glow of speaking what we see as the truth, we often forget to be kind. We blurt out ‘truths’ even when it is totally unhelpful and unnecessary to do so, let alone inspiring! Too often, such truth–telling is destructive rather than noble. Only those who do not care about the consequences can afford the luxury of ‘speaking their minds’ whenever and wherever they please. When relationships are at stake, it is essential to choose the time, place and words appropriately when imparting unpleasant truths. And even then, only when absolutely necessary and with the utmost kindness.
4. Speaking without forethought can be even more dangerous in other circumstances, for example, when someone has entrusted us with a secret. A sign of maturity is the ability to keep a secret. Very young children are incapable of understanding the concept of a secret. To them, every piece of information is interesting, new and meant to be shared. As we grow older, we all learn how to keep a secret, but too often we keep only our own secrets and not those that others confide in us. We may blurt out something a friend told us in confidence, perhaps carelessly but often to appear important in other people’s estimation. It gives us a sense of power to know something that our friends don’t, and it requires conscious effort to keep the information to ourselves.
5. But this is the real test of an important life skill: self–restraint. Revealing a friend’s secret is to betrayal of the friendship. Indeed, the consequences may well spread way beyond the friendship alone. It may lead to gossip spreading like a forest fire, destroying peace of mind and even lives.
6. Words have power to hurt or heal. They are not mere tools for tweeting and messaging. Before the tongue speaks, before the fingers fly over the keyboard, it is important to pause and apply the THINK acronym filter. Is this True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary and Kind?
7. Of course it is important to communicate. But it is far more important to be considerate and compassionate. Speaking well is a skill: speaking kindly is a life skill.
4.1. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions in 30–40 words each:
(a) How much of frankness is acceptable?
(b) What does the term ‘put a filter’ mean in this context?
(c) According to the writer what is the best way to reveal the truth”?
(d) Why is it important to keep secrets?
(a) One should be frank to the extent that it does not affect relationships. Complete frankness looks good only in small children. As we grow old we should be smart and filter information.
(b) In this context ‘to put a filter’ means before speaking, a sensible person will filter whatever he wishes to say. He will think through his thoughts before uttering a word.
(c) The writer says that one must ensure that the place, time and the words are chosen with care. In addition to this, one must use very kind words to convey the truth.
(d) It is very important to keep secrets. We mayblurtout something a friend toldus in confidence, in a careless manner but often to appear important in other people’s estimation. So, it requires conscious effort to keep the information to ourselves.
4.2. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer of the following:
(a) The term “acronym’ used in para 2 denotes a/an …………………………. .
(i) bitter truth
(ii) abbreviation of the title/phrase
(b) The antonym of ‘cruelty’, used in para 3 is
(ii) utter suddenly
(iii) speak softly
(iv) wipe out
(c) The writer says that it is not necessary to use very kind words to convey the truth. (True/False)
(d) Words are not mere tools for tweeting and messaging, but they also have power to
hurt or heal
5. Read the following passage carefully:
1. What is Discipline? Is it absolute freedom to do what a person wants? Is freedom regardless of consequences? Does it mean corrective action after a problem occurs or a wrong is done? Is it imposition? Is it abuse? Does it take away freedom?
2. The answer is none of the above. Discipline does not mean that a person takes a belt and beats up kids. That is madness. Discipline is loving firmness. It is direction. It is prevention before a problem arises. It is harnessing and channelising energy for great performance. Discipline is not something you do to but you do for those you care about.
3. Discipline is an act of love. Sometimes you have to be unkind to be kind: Not all medicine is sweet, not all surgery is painless, but we have to take it. We need to learn from nature. We are all familiar with that big animal, the–giraffe. A mama giraffe gives birth to a baby giraffe, standing. All of a sudden, the baby falls on a hard surface from the cushion of mama’s womb, and sits on the ground. The first thing mama does is to get behind the baby and give him a hard kick. The baby gets up, but his legs are weak and Wobbly and the baby falls down. Mama goes behind again and gives him one more kick. The baby gets up but sits down again. Mama keeps kicking till the baby gets on its feet and starts moving. Why? Because mama knows that the only chance of survival for the baby in the jungle is to get on its feet. Otherwise it will be eaten up by wildcats and become dead meat.
4. Children brought up in a loving, disciplined environment end up respecting their parents more and become law–abiding citizens. The reverse is just as true. Good parents are not afraid of momentary dislikes by children to enforce the subject. Allowing a child to eat a box of chocolate could lead to sickness. At the same time, the discipline of eating one or two pieces a day can be an enjoyable experience for a longer time. Our instinct makes us do whatever we want regardless of the consequences. Freedom is not procured by a full enjoyment of what is desired but controlling the desire.
5.1. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions in 30–40 words each:
(a) What according to the writer is not discipline?
(b) How can we prevent a problem from Surfacing?
(c) Why do you think a mama giraffe kicks her baby immediately after birth?
(d) What is the role played by parents in creating law–abiding citizens?
(a) Discipline is not giving absolute freedom. It is also not hitting or abusing a child. Discipline is not force either.
(b) We can prevent a problem from surfacing by taking steps before the problem occurs. We need to anticipate and take precautionary steps rather than correcting it after the problem occurs.
(c) A mama giraffe knows the harsh ways of the world. It knows that if the baby does not stand up then the wild animals of the forest will eat it up. So it does this in the interest of the child.
(d) Good parents instil good habits and discipline in their children without worrying for their momentary dislikes. The children brought up this way become respectful and law–abiding citizens.
5.2. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer of the following:
(a) In para 1, the word ‘corrective’ means ……………………….. .
(b) In para 4, the opposite of ‘incapacity is ……………………….. .
(c) Discipline means not only absolute freedom but also a corrective action after a problem occurs. (True/False)
(d) Discipline brings true freedom by ……………………….. .
controlling the desires.
6. Read the following passage carefully:
1. Overpowering prey is a challenge for limbless creatures. Some species inject venom like Russell’s viper. Some others opt for an alternative non–chemical method – rat snakes, for instance, grab and push their prey against the ground, while pythons use their brawn to squeeze their quarry to death. But snakes can’t be neatly divided into venomous and non–venomo
2. Even species listed as non–venomous aren’t completely devoid of venom. The common sand boa, for instance, produces secretions particularly toxic to birds. So the species doesn’t hedge its bets – it constricts its prey and injects venom for good measure.
3. Do vipers need venom potent enough to kill hundreds of rats with just one drop? After all, they eat only one or two at a time.
4. While predators try their darndest to kill most efficiently, their prey use any trick to avoid becoming a meal, such as developing immunity to venom. For instance, Californian ground squirrels are resistant to Northern Pacific rattlesnake venom.
5. Competition with prey is not the only thing driving snakes to evolve more and more toxic venom. Snakes also struggle to avoid becoming prey themselves.
6. Some snake predators have partial immunity to venom. Famously, mongooses are highly resistant to cobra venom, and with their speed and agility, kill snakes with impunity. It would be the death of cobras as a species if they didn’t evolve more toxic venom to immobilise mongooses.
7. Venom has another important role. It’s an extreme meat tenderiser; specific enzymes disintegrate the innards of prey. Normally, a reptile depends on the sun’s warm rays to aid digestion. Venomous snakes have an advantage: enzymes in venom digest the meal from the inside before it rots in their guts.
8. But I wonder if we, cannot use venom in our favour. In remote parts of India, local hospitality often involves leather–tough meat. I chew and chew until my jaws ache. If I spit it out or refuse, our hosts would be offended. Eventually, I swallow like a python stuffing a deer down its throat and hope I don’t choke. If only I had venom.
6.1. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions in 30–40 words each:
(a) Russel viper and Rat snake have different methods to attack its prey. Explain.
(b) How does sand boa kill its prey?
(c) There is a constant tussel between the predators of the prey. Why?
(d) Snakes have to guard themselves against their predators as well. How do they do this?
(a) Russels viper is a venomous snake. It injects venom into its prey, whereas rat snakes use an alternative non–chemical method–push and grab their prey against the ground immobilising it.
(b) The sand boa first captures its prey and then injects venom. Though it belongs to the non venomous category but it does secrete some venom which is enough to kill the prey.
(c) This is but natural because the predator has to kill and the prey has to protect itself. The ground squirrels in California are resistant to the venom of rattle snake. They develop immunity from the venom. The predator has to then think of other ways.
(d) Snakes use their venom not only to kill their prey but also to prevent their predators from reaching them. Some of their predators, for example, mongooses are resistant to the venom. Therefore the snakes have to constantly evolve more toxic venom.
6.2. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer of the following:
(a) The synonym of another’, in para 1 is ……………………………… .
(b) The opposite word of ‘full in para 2 is ……………………………… .
(c) Snakes use their venom not only to kill their prey but also to prevent their predators from reaching them. (True/False)
(d) Mongooses, who are highly resistant to cobra venom, kill snakes ……………………………… .
with their speed, agility and impunity
7. Read the following passage carefully:
1. Science and technology not only dominate the psyche of humanity but also the whole biosphere. How does science influence civilisation and how is it related to human happiness?
2. The original, cosmic evolution of the biosphere was one that promoted, supported, nourished, sustained and enhanced life. Life went on adding to the evolution with newer species and ecosystems, even more beautiful and vibrant than the ones before. Our biosphere accommodated a pleasant weather cycle and climate system to support these newer species, keeping everything in dynamic equilibrium.
3. Now the biosphere is overburdened and ailing. Some of our ecosystems have already collapsed, while others are at death’s door. Ever increasing pollution coupled with over–exploitation of natural resources and greenhouse gas emissions is driving several species towards extinction. This phenomenon that has occurred by itself, and neither has it been caused by, human beings alone. But it definitely has been spurred by so–called advances in technology.
4. In this millennium, we no longer live in a, biosphere – we are inhabitants of a technosphere. A technosphere is an impaired biosphere that has no affinity with values of life nor with sustainability and evolution of life. Although technology has empowered civilisation, it has also reduced it to being a mere tool of science and technology. And when the whole civilisation turns technocratic, science and technology are bound to dominate, causing life to shrink. The intensifying climate crisis is but a symptom of the biosphere’s illness and life’s gradual collapse.
5. We’ve reached a point where we are intolerant of anything remotely “unscientific” in our contemporary world. Scientists look for alternatives, but even these solutions are sought in the same domain that has caused these problems. In short, we are stewing in a soup of our own making.
6. So, what would be meaningful for the welfare of humans? Naturally, something that would enhance life, serve to integrate ecosystems and cleanse our environment. Enhancement of lit includes betterment of human life and vice versa. If life shrinks, we cannot blossom.
7. Science and technology by themselves are neutral; it is the way we use them that has either a positive or negative impact on our lives and environment. And when we use science in a manner that increases unsustainability and unhappiness in our lives, how can we rely blindly on science for our happiness?
7.1. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions in 30–40 words each:
(a) How did the biosphere evolve over a period of time?
(b) How has this equilibrium got disturbed now?
(c) What is the difference between biosphere and technosphere?
(d) Man needs to use ‘science and technology’ in a sensible manner. Explain.
(a) Originally when cosmic evolution happened, biosphere supported and promoted the growth of species. As life continued more and more species evolved. Our biosphere also evolved and created the right weather and climate to support the new species.
(b) Today many of the ecosystems have collapsed, many species have disappeared from the face of the earth. This has happened due to increasing pollution, deforestation and over exploitation of natural resources.
(c) Biosphere is nature’s creation with plants, animals and the climat and animals live in harmony with the climate around. A technosphere is a biosphere that has been destroyed by the advancement of technology.
(d) By itself science and technology is neither good nor bad. It is how we use them. If we use it to increase instability, then we are creating unhappiness around us. Also the environment around us gets polluted.
7.2. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer of the following:
(a) In para 3, the synonym of ‘disappeared is ………………………. .
(b) In para 5, the antonym of ‘nearly’ is ………………………. .
(c) A biosphere that has been destroyed by the advancement of technology is called an ecosystem. (True/False)
(d) Today many of the ecosystems have collapsed due to increasing ………………………. .
pollution and over exploitation of natural resources.
8. Read the following passage carefully:
1. Music is perhaps one of the most popular and widely practised forms of Fine Arts, transcending all kinds of cultural and linguistic barriers. Any form of fine art is difficult to master and almost impossible to perfect and music is no exception.
2. Nature, it is learnt, has blessed almost two thirds of the human race with musical ability of some sort. Music has the power to bring out the deepest emotions. It can make one cry or bring a smile on one’s face. In fact it is a magic medicine and many seek refuge in it when they are depressed or stressed. It is this intimacy that makes us listen to music or even hum or sing sometimes. This singing, or realistically speaking, expressing one’s emotion musically, sometimes takes a serious. turn. This desire to showcase musical expression in public domain then transforms into serious business profession. And from here the musical journey begins.
3. This desire to sing before an audience is innocent and beautiful and indeed it is perfectly alright to have such a genuine desire. But it is also important to understand that singing is an intricate art – a highly refined one at that, which requires systematic, prolonged and rigorous training, even to pass muster. This is an aspect we forget in our keen desire to reach the stage and perform. It is almost like preparing a formal meal for some specially invited guests, without even having learnt and experienced the basic aspects of cooking. This is why we have more noise and less music in the present.
4. These days almost everyone sings and it does not stop here. Most of us want to become professional singers. Result, a complete disregard for and ignorance of the training part, as the need is never felt to go through one and the urge to get to the stage and perform overpowers the slight inclination to learn, if any. If at all, somewhere along the way one feels the need to gain some knowledge and training, it leads to hurried shortcuts and half–hearted attempts, best described as “Crash Courses.”
5. It is observed that those who have attained the so called partial success, suddenly feel that they lack the required knowledge and are not learned enough. But it is too late by then. It should be understood here that the stage or a performance brings in a different mindset within the artist. It is always recommended and rightly so, that while on stage, cover the mistakes and weaknesses if any, and get along. But the contrary is true when it comes to acquiring knowledge and during the learning process. While under training, the student is expected to make mistakes but then rectify those mistakes under the supervision and guidance of the teacher. Therefore it is good to make mistakes and then be corrected during the process of learning as this subsequently makes one flawless and educated. This is a different mindset. And these two mindsets discussed above, (those of a performer and that of a student) cannot co–exist.
8.1. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions in 30–40 words each:
(a) How can we say that music is magic?
(b) How do people get transformed from humming tunes to becoming professional musicians?
(c) The desire to sing in public overpowers singing capability Elaborate.
(d) Why cannot the mindset of a performer and a student co–exist?
(a) Music can lift the spirits of sad people and it can make people laugh and cry as well. It has the power to bring out the deepest emotions. In fact, it is a magical medium and many seek refuge in it when they are depressed or stressed.
(b) From humming music, in the case of some people it takes a serious turn and they develop the desire to perform in public and make it their profession, and from here the musical journey begins.
(c) In their urge to sing in public people fail to understand that it requires hours of practice and training to gain expertise in this fine art. And they end up becoming mere performers not good singers.
(d) The mindset of a performer and a student cannot co–exist because a performer is told to make amends if a mistake happens while presenting on the stage whereas a student is told that it is o.k. to make mistakes as they help us to learn better.
8.2. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer of the following:
(a) The synonym of ‘exceeding’ in para 1 is …………………………. .
(b) In para 4, the antonym of ‘aversion’ is …………………………. .
(c) Music has neither the power to bring out the deepest emotions nor can make people laugh and cry. (True/False)
(d) The writer says that music is perhaps one of the widely practised forms of Fine Arts, going beyond all kinds of …………………………. .
cultural and linguistic barriers
9. Read the following passage carefully:
1. In 1924, two brothers inherited their father’s craft and opened Dassler Brothers’ Shoes Factory in the town. Very soon, by virtue of learning from their father’s outstanding shoe making craft over years, a different style sole was invented by them. They nailed some pegs into soles so as to keep from slip. Despite of being odd, they did more than most when people wore slippery shoes. With this kind of shoes being popular in the town, some of the residents from surrounding towns began to come to order these shoes.
2. For the bigger market, the little brother Adolf came up with a marketing idea that let customers try for free. This kind of commercial sales had never been heard at that moment. After a month, with the experience of trying, the customers all flooded into the factory: Some of them bought the shoes at once and some continued to order. Since that, Dassler Brothers’ Shoes Factory won the big market.
3. At that time, the German people were very fond of soccer, even though sports were not popular at all. Their mania to soccer was matchless in the world or even could be described as demonic. Consequently, a good pair of soccer shoes became almost all the German people’s dreams. Dassler brothers had a keen business sense even when they were only children, and they began to study again in the factory and design football shoes at once. The very simple design may seem outdated today, but at the time they were totally new and advanced design.
4. Several years later, the brothers built a bigger shoes factory and began to sell to the whole Germany. The new factory was named as Adidas Factory which was the predecessor of today’s famous Adidas. In the third and fourth decade of the 20th century, the brothers’ shoes became well known in larger areas and they kept enlarging their business. Especially, the track and field star Jesse Owens wore the spiked shoes made by Dassler brothers and got four championships in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. This set the whole sporting world on fire and Dassler brothers’ name was known by more and more people.
9.1. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions in 30–40 words each:
(a) How did the brothers improve upon their father’s design?
(b) Adolf came up with an innovative idea. What was it?
(c) How were the brothers different from other businessmen?
(d) How did the Adidas factory come into existence?
(a) The brothers invented a new sole. They nailed some pegs to it. This was done to prevent the shoe from slipping. So they became popular and people from other towns came to buy them.
(b) Adolf for the first time came up with a marketing idea of letting people try shoes for free and then deciding whether they want to buy it. This kind of commercial sale had never been heard at that time.
(c) The brothers had a keen sense of business and understood that people in Germany love the game of football. They studied the design and then came up with their own shoes for football players.
(d) As their popularity grew tie brothers built a bigger factory and entire Germany was buying shoes from them. Slowly their shoes became very popular and they expanded their business. Most of the track and field event participants including Jesse Owens wore Adidas shoes for the Berlin Olympics.
9.2. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer of the following:
(a) The antonym of ‘reducing’ in para 4 is ………………………….. .
(b) The synonym of ‘obsolete’ in para 3 is ………………………….. .
(c) This was Adolf’s father who came up with a marketing idea of letting people try shoes for free. (True/False)
(d) The brothers soon understood that people in Germany were ………………………….. .
very fond of soccer.
10. Read the following passage carefully:
1. Crash dieting may help you lose weight, in the short term, but, ultimately it can hinder weight loss in the long term, as most of the weight that you have lost with crash dieting will bounce back, meaning you will gain all the weight that you have lost and more. Crash dieting not only removes fat but also leans muscle and tissue. Contrary to the belief of many who start this diet, this form of dieting is neither healthy nor successful in achieving long term weight loss as it induces the slowing down of the body’s basal metabolic rate – the body seeks to conserve every calorie and so weight loss becomes increasingly difficult. Basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories your body needs on a daily basis, to maintain its regular activities. This means your body will need fewer calories than it did previously, making weight gain more likely once you stop dieting.
2. Most crash diets involve eating low–calorie foods for several weeks or eating the same food or food groups for several weeks. Even if you’re only trying the diet for a week or two, eating such a strict diet of the same foods can cause nutritional deficiencies. Eliminating one or more food groups will not provide you with adequate, long–term nutrition. Nutritional deficiencies such as this can have multiple immediate side effects such as haggard look, dark under eyes, dull skin, sloppy posture and less stamina.
3. This is also why exercise is recommended in any weight–loss plan to build muscle and maintain your metabolic rate. Again common mistakes that are observed with exercise are joining the gym only till the New Year, so that you can lose weight and once the party is over, the party for not exercising continues. On the other hand, we have some who make New Year resolutions and with the gym memberships which are so tempting during the New Year, take up annual memberships, which is not bad, What is bad is to break the resolution. It is good to take up an exercise programme during the new year and to make a resolution about exercise, provided you do not break your resolution, and continue exercising year long. What is important is consistency.
4. It’s strongly recommended not to go on a Crash Diet, even if you are motivated to lose weight to fit into clothes a couple of sizes smaller. What is good is to make a conscious effort to lead a healthy lifestyle. This in the long run will help you achieve normal weight and help you be energetic and cheerful. Safe weight loss is considered to be no more than half a kilogram to one kilogram per week. No single food can be considered good or bad. A single meal does not make or break a healthy diet, as all foods can fit into a good diet when consumed in moderation.
10.1. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions in 30–40 words each:
(a) What harm does crash dieting do? Mention any two.
(b) There is a basic flaw in diet plans What is it?
(c) Why is exercise important?
(d) What is the writer’s view on gym membership?
(a) Firstly, crash dieting weakens muscle and tissue along with removing fat. The weight that you have lost with crash dieting will bounce back. Secondly, it induces the slowing of basal metabolic rate. The body seeks to conserve every calorie and so weight loss becomes increasingly difficult.
(b) All the diet plans recommend same food or food groups. This can cause nutritional deficiency in the longer run. Eliminating one or more food groups will not provide you with adequate, long–term nutrition.
(c) Exercise is recommended in any weight–loss plan as it increases metabolic rate and helps in building muscle mass. It should be made a habit of one’s lifestyle. Make a resolution to continue exercising year long. Consistency is very important.
(d) According to the writer people get tempted before New Year and take memberships to lose weight and then do not bother to continue with them. Secondly there are people who take membership because gyms announce a discount during New Year. Both these category people are not interested in the exercise or fitness.
10.2. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer of the following:
(a) In para 2, the synonym of ‘sufficient is ………………………… .
(b) In para 3, the antonym of ‘opposed’ is ………………………… .
(c) According to the passage, one should make a conscious efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle instead of going on a crash diet. (True/False)
(d) The amount of calories, our body needs on a daily basis to maintain its regular activities is called ………………………… .
basal metabolic rate
11. Read the following passage carefully:
1. A youngster quit Facebook in December after spending over three years on the social networking site. With that one act, he bid a silent adieu to more than 300 contacts that he had added to his account during the period. Like almost everyone from his “friends’ circle,” the 20–year–old was a regular on the service; visiting it everyday to post photos and status updates. But last week, a new feature on Facebook called Timeline forced him to reconsider the pros and cons of being on the networking site.
2. ‘Everyone has some skeletons in their closet and I am just not comfortable with Facebook digging up and displaying all the facets of my life on a bulletin board,’ says this youngster who joined the network in July 2007 while he was in Class 11.
3. Facebook, you see, had compressed the time he spent on the site and arranged it in chronological order. And while he initially liked the new, neatly organised scrapbook–like feature, he wasn’t happy to reveal posts from the past, those that, until recently, were hidden under layers and layers of recent updates. Just clicking on a date on the timeline could transport his friends back in time and enable them to view every embarrassing comment, link or photo he had posted on his profile.
4. “I think it’s a recipe for disaster,” he says. “In 2007, I had some wall posts, which seemed appropriate at the time, but now after a lapse of four years, I have moved on and don’t want them to be openly displayed for all to see.”
5. And he is not alone. Many users, worried about how Facebook activity could possibly affect their offline lives, are choosing to commit ‘Facebook suicide’. While some have privacy concerns, others feel that the site that was meant to bring them closer to their friends actually does the opposite – it reduces their friendship to something superficial.
6. “Poking and liking are not enough to keep a friendship going,” says a business analyst. Having quit Facebook three years ago, she prefers meeting her ‘real’ friends face–to–face, instead of reading their trite posts online.
7. “On Facebook, people hype everyday issues including what they ate and where they went on a daily basis,” says this analyst who continues to use Twitter.
8. Similarly, an engineering student, quit Facebook last December four years after joining it. One fine day, he exported all the data from his account into a little zip file and hit the delete button.
9. “I realised that when it came to my friends who really mattered, I could actually keep in touch with them over the phone or by meeting them in real life,” he wrote on his blog.
11.1. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions in 30–40 words each:
(a) What feature of Timeline takes away a person’s privacy?
(b) What was the youngster’s initial reaction to Timeline?
(c) Why did the youngster change his mind later?
(d) What does term ‘Facebook suicide’ mean?
(a) By clicking on a date on the Timeline one can see the posts, the embarrassing comments and thoughts, photos and links that a person has put on his profile in the past. This takes away his privacy.
(b) Initially the youngster found it to be well–organized as it had scrap–book like features. But only later he realized that it stores all the past information which can be seen by your friends if they go on to Timeline.
(c) The youngster changed his mind later because he realized that an information or poster put in the past may have been relevant then but today it may not be. People move on in life and sometimes they do not want their past to haunt them, they do not want their friends to see that and comment.
(d) Many people have started feeling that their Facebook activity could affect their real life. So they are getting out of Facebook. This is called ‘Facebook suicide’.
11.2. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer of the following:
(a) The meaning of the word ‘share’ in para 3 is ………………………… .
(b) The opposite meaning of the word “retained in para 8 is ………………………… .
(c) Timeline is a new feature on Facebook that forced the youngster to reconsider the advantages and disadvantages of being on Facebook. (True/False)
(d) Many people are getting out of facebook as they feel that their facebook activity
could affect their real life
12. Read the following passage carefully:
1. I came to California during spring; that alone was stressful. Then I discovered that academics here were much harder than back home. Add to this that I didn’t know anyone and had trouble making friends. I was getting more anxious by the day, and I didn’t know what to do. However, as time went by my shyness changed to excitement, and that excitement generated an adventurous spirit in me. I wanted to go out and explore Berkeley, and I was building up the courage to talk to more people.
2. I stayed in the dorms when I first arrived. Although most people on the floor had already formed their cliques, I’m still grateful to have lived there. I met people who introduced me to many clubs, classes, and activities that I might otherwise have missed out on.
3. Still, all the changes and challenges were really getting to me. I used to overeat when I was anxious, which didn’t benefit my body at all–my stomach would hurt, and then I’d be even more stressed that I didn’t feel well! “Talking” to someone wasn’t an idea that occurred to me until much later, when I learned that expressing my feelings might be a healthier (and less stomach–ache–inducing) way to relieve stress.
4. One of my first friends happened to be in the Health Worker Program (HWP). She was so amazing! I felt like I finally found someone to talk to, someone who would listen to me. Eventually, by the end of my first semester at California, things started to look up. I made more friends, I adjusted to the academics at Berkeley, and I learned how to live in a city completely different from my hometown. I don’t think I would have managed, though, if it had not been for my friend’s empathetic nature and peer counselling training. My experience with her led me to become a health worker as well. When one thinks of health, many images come to mind; the flu, a cough, medicine. With my major being Linguistics (read: a social science!), I was very apprehensive about applying to such a program. I quickly discovered, however, that being a health worker wasn’t about playing doctor–it’s about learning life skills (which I continue to use in my daily life, on and off campus) and becoming an advocate of health for your peers.
12.1. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions in 30–40 words each:
(a) What were the causes of stress for the writer?
(b) What recourse did the writer take to as time went by?
(c) What is the essential job of a health worker?
(d) How did meeting with the health worker help the writer?
(a) The writer was new to California. He was away from his hometown and also the classroom learning was very different from what it was back in his hometown. That caused lots of stress and he had nobody to talk to about it.
(b) Initially he was a shy person but with time he developed interest in the things around him and slowly started talking to people, made friends and this helped him to beat the stress.
(c) Health workers are people whom you can go to, talk to and discuss your issues. Essentially they are life–skill trainers. They care for the health of their peers.
(d) Meeting the health worker gave more confidence to the writer, helped him adapt to the new surroundings and he decided to become a health worker himself so that he could help his peers with their problems.
12.2. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer of the following:
(a) In para 4, the synonym of ‘surprising’ is ……………………… .
(b) In para 1, the antonym of ‘relax’ is ……………………… .
(c) The writer was not a shy person, so soon he developed interest in the things around him and made friends easily. (True/False)
(d) Health workers who care for the health of their peers are basically
life skill trainer
13. Read the following passage carefully:
1. Every form of human activity upsets or changes the wildlife complex of the area unceasingly and unavoidably. Man has destroyed many forms of wildlife for no reasonable purpose. Small sections of the community, for their own narrow, selfish ends, have destroyed many things of general interest. Expediency has often led man to make grave blunders in land use, habitat destruction, and the extermination of many forms of wildlife.
2. In his everyday life, man’s attitude is determined in the main by purely practical considerations; ethical or moral considerations come afterwards. Looked at in this way, the disappearance from Britain of such animals as the wolf and wild boar can be more easily understood. In our intensively cultivated and over–populated country there was no room for such large mammals, the one a predator of big livestock and the other a pest to agriculture. Thus, man’s first attitude to animals is the result of their effect on his own survival, or what he considers to be their effect on his survival.
3. Then there is his concern with sport. The animals he sets aside for this purpose are given special protection and war is waged unceasingly on any other creatures that may be a danger to them. This creates many problems and man has made serious errors in his destruction of predators. Until recent years all hawks and falcons were destroyed as “vermin” by game preservers. This meant the destruction of kestrels, which are useful to the farmer: it meant the destruction of owls, which are useful to the farmer; so here you had sport acting against the interests of food production. agedy of all this is that all the killing of predators did not in any way improve man’s sport. It has been clearly shown by modern research that eagles, hawks, falcons and predatory mammals have not the slightest effect on the numbers of game birds anywhere.
4. Broadly speaking, man wages war against the creatures which he considers harmful, even when his warfare makes little or no difference to the numbers of his enemies. And he encourages those creatures which are useful, even though their attacks on pests make little difference to the numbers of those pests. It would be true to say, therefore, that our attitude to song–birds, to most birds of prey and to many of our predatory animals, arises from the fact that they have either been proved useful or of no consequence. Either way, from this, we have developed the idea of conservation which means preserving what we have left of our heritage of wildlife and even finding room for rarities which may do a little damage on the side.
13.1. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions in 30–40 words each:
(a) What has been man’s attitude towards wildlife?
(b) How is the justification given for the killing of wolves and wild boar in Britain?
(c) Why has man been killing predators?
(d) In the last paragraph the writer talks about contradictory opinions. Explain.
(a) Man is selfish and self–centred. He has no morals and ethics. For him it is practical aspects first and then other things. He can kill any animal, over–cultivate crops, cut forests and all this for his survival.
(b) Britain, being intensely cultivated and over–populated, destroyed its wolf and wild boar population because of man’s preoccupation with preserving only those animals that had practical implications therefore, the wolf, a predator of livestock and the boar, a pest to agriculture, were destroyed.
(c) Man has been killing predators because he thinks that they are a danger to the birds useful in sports. But killing these animals has had no effect on the number of game birds. In nature it is a cycle. If man disturbs this cycle everything gets disturbed.
(d) Man kills those animals which he thinks are harmful and protects those which he thinks are worth preserving. But in all this he forgets that it is his idea of conservation and not nature’s.
13.2. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer of the following:
(a) In para 1, the synonym of ‘opportunism’ is ………………………… .
(b) In para 4, the antonym of ‘endangering’ is ………………………… .
(c) Conservation is an idea to preserve our heritage of wildlife from the damaging effect of human activity. (True/False)
(d) Killing of predators by the man, who are a danger to the birds useful in sports has had no effect ………………………… .
on the number of game birds
14. Read the following passage carefully:
1. Once upon a time, there lived a poor farmer with his wife and son in a small village. He toiled a lot in his field but the fruits of his labour were meagre. One day, exhausted by the heat, he laid down under the shadow of a tree to take a nap. All of a sudden, he saw a giant cobra crawling out of an ant–hill.
2. The farmer thought to himself, “Sure, this snake must be a deity guarding my field. So far I have not noticed it and that is why all my farming is in vain. Let me pay my respects to it now and worship it hereafter.” He then made up his mind, brought some milk in a bowl and placed it before the ant–hill. He said aloud,“ O! Lord! Guardian of my field! I did not know that you dwell here. Please forgive me for not paying respects to you.” He left the milk bowl there and went back to his house. The next morning, he was surprised to see a gold coin in the bowl.
3. Since then, the farmer placed a bowl of milk every day and got back a gold coin the next morning. Soon the farmer became rich and happy. This continued for sometime. One day, the farmer had. to go to a nearby city for a few days and so he directed his son to place the milk bowl near the ant–hill every day. The son kept the milk bowl and left, only to find a gold coin next day. He then thought to himself, “This ant–hill must be full of gold coins; I’ll kill the serpent and take all of them”.
4. The next day, while placing the bowl of milk, the farmer’s son struck the snake with a club. But the serpent escaped and bit him with his sharp fangs instead. He was dead at once. When the farmer returned, he learnt about his son’s fate and grieved. The next morning, he took the bowl of milk and went to the ant–hill.
5. The snake came out and said, “Your greed made you overlook even the loss of your son. Your son struck me in ignorance and I had bitten him to death. I cannot forget the blow on my head and you cannot forget the loss of your son. Hereafter, the friendship between us is not possible.” So saying, the snake gave a costly coin and disappeared. The farmer returned home cursing the foolishness of his son.
14.1. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions in 30–40 words each:
(a) Why did the farmer think of the snake as a deity?
(b) Was it right on the part of the farmer to presume that the snake was guarding the field?
(c) Did the farmer’s son get all the gold coins? Why?
(d) Why did the farmer give milk to the snake even after his son’s death? How did the snake react to the farmer?
(a) The farmer had been toiling hard but had not received the fruits of his labour. The day he saw the giant cobra he thought that it must be a deity and since he had not offered his respects to the creature, he had not been able to flourish in life.
(b) In my opinion the farmer should not have presumed this way. That was probably the place where the cobra anyway lived. These are the places where creatures such as snake live. It was a mere co–incidence that the snake came out at that time. People have lot of superstitions and beliefs that have no basis and this is one such thing.
(c) No, the farmer’s son instead of feeding milk to the snake tried to kill it but it managed to escape and bit him with its sharp fangs instead. He was dead at once.
(d) This goes to show that the farmer was a greedy person. Even his son’s death did not deter him from going for the gold coin. On seeing him the snake came out and told him that their friendship was not possible, gave a gold coin and disappeared.
14.2. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer of the following:
(a) In para 2, the antonym of ‘neglecting’ is ………………………….. .
(b) In para 1, the synonym of ‘abundant is ………………………….. .
(c) Farmer’s son also placed a bowl of milk for snake and got back a gold coin the next morning (True/False)
(d) The farmer was a greedy person because even his son’s death did not deter him
from giving milk to the snake for the gold coin.
15. Read the following passage carefully:
1. Work is something that we do, all through life. More important than the work we do, is our attitude to it. From the moment we are born, till we die, work is being done all the time, whether we like it or not, whether we want it or not. Even sitting idle or lying in bed is an activity, a work. Breathing, digesting, sleeping, waking up, blinking, keeping up our muscles tone, the slow process of formation of new cells and destruction of old ones, all these activities are work that goes on, with or without our consent. It is only in death that work truly ceases. Many people feel that they would like to retire at the age of 60 and do ‘nothing’. But as long as we are alive, it is impossible to do ‘nothing’.
2. Having agreed that work is unavoidable, we need to look at how we do the work. Whether it is a child who is playing, a mother who is feeding her child, a house help who is sweeping the floor, or a physician who is saving lives – what is important in all these activities is our attitude. Are you doing your work with a happy, creative, cheerful outlook, or are you constantly complaining and wishing for ‘something else to do? Because if you are miserable doing the work allotted to you, rest assured that you’ll remain miserable in whatever work you do.
3. Since work and activity is unavoidable, why not do it with pleasure, with interest, with involvement, with joy? What is in our hands, is how to react to the work that we do. When you are, standing in the queue to pay your child’s fees, or waiting at a government office to renew your licence or passport, you have only two choices: either spend the time relaxing and making friends with others standing in line, or spend the time irritated, angry and frustrated.
4. What is worship? It is offering something to God. Here, we are offering our work to God. We normally work only for our own benefit, for our own profits. When we are ready to give up this benefit, this profit, and accept anything and everything that comes our way as a blessing from God, then, our work becomes worship.
15.1. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions in 30–40 words each:
(a) What is more important work or attitude and why?
(b) What are the various things happening inside our body which we are not aware of?
(c) What kind of attitude should we possess towards our work?
(d) What are the choices we have when there is some urgent work that we have to complete?
(a) Attitude is more important than work because of attitude we can do any work with a happy, creative, cheerful outlook. So, it is our attitude that makes the work a happy or a miserable experience.
(b) There are various things which we are not aware of. Even lying in bed is an activity. Blinking, sleeping, waking up, formation of new cells are all work that keep going on in our body without our knowledge.
(c) We should adopt a pleasurable attitude towards our work. This will make us feel involved in the work and make it a relaxing pre–occupation instead of feeling irritated, angry and frustrated by it.
(d) The choices that we have when performing an urgent piece of work is to accept everything that comes our way as a blessing from God and then the work becomes a form of worship.
15.2. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer of the following:
(a) The synonym of ‘advantage’ in para 4 is ……………………………. .
(b) The antonym of ‘cheerful in para 2 is ……………………………. .
(c) Work becomes worship when we worry about its fruits and profits, and do it with our personal interest. (True/False)
(d) Attitude is more important than work because it is our attitude that makes the work
happy or miserable experience
16. Read the following passage carefully:
1. Henry Ford was convinced that belief in self, whether positive or negative, always showed results. So if you believe you are capable, it’s true for you. Likewise, if you believe you’re incapable, that’s true for you as well.
2. Ford spoke from experience. For his humble beginnings as an apprentice machinist, when he had nothing with him except his passion for mechanics, to successfully founding the Ford Motor Company, his life was a fine example of belief in self. When Ford was working on designing a gasoline–powered car, his friend, the great Thomas Edison was not convinced about it. But Ford believed in his idea and carried on until he succeeded. A century later, cars still run on gasoline.
3. It is easy to see how positive beliefs work for us: when we believe we can achieve a goal, we work diligently and do what it takes until it sees the light of day – like Ford did.
4. There are those who look for reasons why things won’t go their way. And there are others who are only concerned about how they’ll make it work, and they do. This is because self–doubt and self–belief are products of the same mind.
5. Before 1970, experts believed that a man could not lift more than 500 pounds. Then along came Russian Olympian Vasily Alexeev, who decided to break the 500 pounds barrier. Initially, he could not lift more than 499 pounds. Then one day. his trainers put 501.5 pounds on his par without his knowledge, which he lifted thinking it was 499. Within a week of Vasily’s record–breaking lift, Serge Redding of Belgium and Ken Patera of USA also lifted more than 500 pounds.
6. So what was preventing these great weight lifters from crossing the 500–pound mark before 1970? It was their self–limiting belief. Once a new belief replaced the old one, there was no doubt left in their minds about their ability. William Shakespeare said: “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”
7. Shakespeare uses the word ‘traitors’ to describe our doubts. He knew that despite being created by our own mind, our doubts cripple us, immobilise us and prevent us from reaching our potential. And just as a positive belief works in our favour, doubt – a negative belief – works against us. When you don’t have faith in your abilities, you have little motivation to–accomplish your goals. Consequently, you end up putting little, if any, effort towards making them a reality – and your goals never materialise.
16.1. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions in 30–40 words each:
(a) How do our beliefs affect us?
(b) What was that unique character trait that made Ford a successful businessman?
(c) What was happening to the weight lifter?
(d) ‘Our doubts are traitors”. Explain these words of Shakespeare.
(a) Our beliefs affect us in both positive and negative ways and show results accordingly. If we think of ourselves as capable performer, we will be capable. If we consider ourselves incapable, our work will reflect likewise.
(b) The unique character trait that made Ford a successful businessman was his belief in himself. Even when others tried to convince him otherwise, as did Edison about gasoline powered engines, Ford remained unwavering in his self–belief and has been proved right.
(c) The weight lifter was convinced about his disability to lift above 500 pound. When unknowingly he lifted 501.5 pounds it was proved that a mental block was holding back his ability to cross the 500 pound mark in weight lifting.
(d) Shakespeare was absolutely right to say that ‘our doubts are traitors’ in his play ‘Measure for Measure’. Here ‘traitors’ imply doubts. It is a negative belief in us. If we do not have faith in our abilities, we can never reach our goal.
16.2. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer of the following:
(a) In para 3, the synonym of ‘earnestly’ is ……………………… .
(b) In para 7, the antonym of ‘strengthen’ is ……………………… .
(c) Here ‘traitors’ imply doubts that are positive blief in us and enhance our working to our full potential. (True/False)
(d) ‘Self doubt’ in this context means ……………………… .
not having faith in oneself
17. Read the following passage carefully:
1. The river flows on. but sluggishly. Its surface is calm and smooth. It turns a bend at a clump of bamboo, gently passes a grove of coconut, and now drifts along with scarcely a murmur. It is wide, too. The engineers had needed unspeakable amounts of concrete and rupees to build a. bridge across and when that went into disrepair with age and neglect, they had needed even more to build another.
2. A white flock of river terns appears. The terns energetically flap their pointed wings but mill around in an effort to go slow with the flow. They swoop and pick off the surface of the river small silvery fish, floating strangely immobile on their side. It is easy work, for the fish are already dead. Dozens of dead fish follow, sprinkled and sparkling on the river, killed by poison or by the shock of a dynamite blast upriver. Some feed the terns, others drift here and there and below the culverts and into the nearby fields.
3. The waters had travelled far to get here. Blown by winds from across the ocean, meeting the great escarpment of the Western Ghats, rising as vapours and clouds, and bringing wafting mists and torrential rains, they had drenched the slopes of the mountains a hundred miles away. Not all the rain had travelled to the ocean, though much had arisen from the forest itself, ascending of roots and stems and transpiring through billions of leaves and leaflets. The forests pump hundreds of thousands of litres of water into the air, and the air returns some of it, falling as rain condensing as dew.
4. Some water flows overland, much sinks in, sponged by the leaf litter and soil. Below the surface, the water travels through pipes and aquifers far and wide, recharging ground waters, emerging as springs, and draining into streams feeding the wide river.
5. The clear waters from the forest join other waters; waters that gather the dust and carry the soil from the road–scars and the mine–wounds on the hill slopes. Waters deadened by passage through dams and reservoirs, through stagnant pools and ponds with hyacinth and algae. Waters carrying earth from furrowed and exposed soils under alien plantations of acacia and eucalyptus and from forests whose litter–blankets are harvested to enrich the nearby fields with nutriment. Waters course in with the wastes of villages, towns, and cities, the effluents of factories and the oil and fuel spilled from lorries washed on the banks.
6. The river passes a rice mill. The mill faces away from the river, with a neat garden in front and a mound of waste dumped at the back, on the banks.
7. The story of the river seems so familiar. The river gives us water for irrigation, drinking, washing, bathing, navigation, and power. It provides us fish and fertile plains, reeds and recreation. But, does the river really give to us all this or do we just take it? And what do we give back, if anything?
17.1. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions in 30–40 words each:
(a) What is the course that a river takes?
(b) What are terns? What do they pick from the river that is strange?
(c) The river is a combination of different waters. What are these?
(d) The writer says at the end ‘whether the river gives us or we take it. What is the difference between the two?
(a) River flows on its own slowly, bends here and there, passes across trees and groves and then widens on to the plains.
(b) Terns are water birds which come in flocks to the river. Their food is the fish. They swoop over the river and catch the fish. The strange thing in this case is that these fishes are dead.
(c) There is the water that comes from the mountain clear and pure, goes into the forests, around trees and then there is the rain water. To this gets added water that comes as effluent from factories, waste from villages and towns and then this becomes impure.
(d) When somebody gives something to us we will take it with respect, gratitude and reverence. But ‘Man’ believes in taking, we take water as we need it for everything but never show respect to it.
17.2. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer of the following:
(a) In para 5, the synonym of ‘motionless’ is ……………………….. .
(b) In para 5, the antonym of ‘deplete’ is ……………………….. .
(c) The strange thing in case of the water birds, terns is that they catch only those fish which are alive. (True/False)
(d) The river not only gives us water for irrigation, drinking, bathing, power, etc. but also provides us ……………………….. .
fish and fertile plains, reeds and recreation