HSC English Question paper with solutions. Maharashtra state board.

Q1. (A) Read the following passage and answer the following questions.
It was Dave’s sister Barbara, however, who steeled herself to be his toughest taskmaster. Even the time he’d left his Braille watch upstairs and asked her to retrieve it, she’d said, “Get it yourself. What do you think – that somebody’s always going to be around to wait on you?”
            So David grew up considering blindness no tragedy – just an exasperating bother – and feeling he could do anything he set his mind to. Then at 13, he announced that he was going to be a doctor and unable to see the rueful headshakes that greeted this childish roclamation, he began preparing for his career. He insisted on leaving the local blind school, and enrolled at Havertown’s high school. He got good marks, won a place on the wrestling team, and was elected vice – president of the students council.
            Still, as impressive as his accomplishments were, they had always fallen into the realm possibility. But David’s ambition to become a doctor, a psychiatrist, was not in that realm, his family believed. So, after seeing him off to college, the Hartmans felt they had not been frank enough with Dave, and they were afraid he was heading for grief.
            At college, Hartman’s faculty advisers tried to reason with him. “Why not settle for something more within your capabilities, like history or psychology?” suggested biology professor Ralph Cavaliere.
1.      What was the belief of David’s family?          (1)
David’s family believed that his ambition to be a doctor, or a psychiatrist, was not possible for him.

2.      How did David consider his blindness?           (1)
David grew up without ever considering his blindness a tragedy, though, of course, he felt it irritatingly disturbing.

3.      Why did Professor Ralph Cavaliere suggest that David should settle for History or Psychology? (2)
Prof. Ralph Cavaliere suggested that David should settle for History or Psychology because he felt that they were within David’s capabilities.

4.      Why did the Hartmans feel that David “was heading for grief”?         (2)
The Hartmans, that is, David’s family, felt that they should have an open talk with him to make him understand the reality. As they saw David making all preparations for achieving his goal, they were scared to think of his disappointment after he realized the truth.

5.      Do you feel Barbara was justified in being David’s toughest taskmaster”?      (3)
Yes, I feel Barbara was fully justified in being tough with David. Like a true well – wisher, she wanted David to be self – sufficient. She decided not to be sentimental, but to be practical and allow him to learn to manage things on his own.

6.      Give the opposites of the following     (1)
a.       Impressive       b. frank
a. ordinary       b. reserved / restrained

7.      Give Adjective forms of                      (1)
a.       Accomplishment          b. possibility
a.       Accomplished        b. possible
(B) Grammar:
Do as directed: (4 marks)
1.      Multani mitti takes its name from a place in Pakistan. (Rewrite using the Present perfect tense.)
Multani mitti has taken its name from a place in Pakistan.
2.      He was unable to see their rueful headshakes. (Rewrite using ‘could’)
He could not see their rueful headshakes.
3.      I’d see you and run to get in your path. (Rewrite using ‘used to’)
I used to see you and run to get in your path.
4.      He’d need a massive home library. (Add a question tag.)
He’d need a massive home library, wouldn’t he?

Q2. Read the following passage and answer the following question.
I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms. I returned Coke bottles for the cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at  the Hare Krishna Temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Here’s one example: Reed College offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the county. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about what makes great typography great. 
Ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. If I had never dropped in on that course in college the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or for that mater even proportionally spaced fonts.
And since Windows just copied Mac, it’s likely no personal computer would have them. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very clear looking backwards 10 years later.
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that dots will somehow connect in you future. You have to trust in some thing your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life
1.      Why did the narrator decide to take a calligraphy class?          (1)
The narrator decided to take a calligraphy class because he had dropped out of college and didn’t have to take normal classes. It was an intuitive decision.

2.      What is the narrator’s approach to life?           (1)
The narrator’s approach to life is that one has to trust in something – one’s gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.

3.      What hardships did the narrator go through?   (2)
The narrator didn’t have a dorm room since he dropped out of Reed College and thus had to sleep on the floor in friends’ room. He returned Coke bottles for the 5 cent deposits to buy food with and he would walk seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one meal a seek at the Hare Krishna Temple.

4.      Describe how the narrator has used his knowledge of calligraphy.      (2)
The narrator has used his knowledge of calligraphy in designing the first Macintosh computer. Because of his calligraphic design the Macintosh computer and all personal computers have multiple type faced and proportionally typed fonts.

5.      Do you take a decision following you intuition?         (3)
It is not that I always follow my intuition while taking a decision. But sometimes. I do go by my intuition and I have been successful too. The narrator’s story obviously motivates me to trust my intuition, when I have to take many crucial decisions at this important part of my life.

6.      Pick out words/ phrases which mean the following     (2)
a.       Become involved in something by chance.
Stumble into
b.      Particular size and style of a set of printed letters.
c.       Desire to know.
d.      Immediate insight
 (B) Read the following table and prepare a short paragraph regarding the formation of different types of soil. (4)
Sr. No. 
Types of Soil
Laterite Soil
Washing of silica, salt, organic matter, accumulation of sesqui oxides. 
Sandy desert soil
The action of winds.
Black cotton soil
Mechanical weathering of igneous rocks
Alluvial soil
Depositing processes of rivers.

Q3. (A) Read the following passage and answer the following questions.
I didn’t mind vegetable shopping, specially since I loved the old Dhobi Talao market and was on first – name terms with the vendors. I still enjoy buying plump, fresh vegetables and bantering with the sellers. I picked the veggies with utmost care, making sure the brinjals were not too soft or spotted; the bhindis were firm and green, the palak crisp and alert. Looking for groceries was another matter. My parents preferred to patronize just one store – the government controlled Sahakari Bhandar. Nothing wrong with that – or the store. But being government controlled meant just one thing – long queues for every little item, and dozens of little bills. I’d spend more time paying for a bar of soap that I would have if I was buying half the store.
            I tried to circumvent the problem by sneakily making similar small purchases from a privately owned shop closer to home, I got caught each time. I tried arguing, ‘But what difference does it make? It’s the sake bar of soap, the same toothpaste, the same talcum powder.
1.      What according to the writer, were the problems of purchasing from a Sahakari Bhandar?(1)
According to the writer, the problems of purchasing from a Sahakari Bhandar were that one had to stand in a long queue for every little item and that resulted in the collection of dozens of bills and delay in payment.

2.      Give reason: “I didn’t mind vegetable shopping.” (1)
The writer didn’t mind vegetable shopping since she loved the old Dhobi Talao market where she was on first – name terms with the vendors.

3.      Why was the writer angry with her mother’s argument? (2)
The writer was angry with her mother’s argument as she felt that her mother was not giving any importance to the value of her time. 

4.      Write two sentences of your own to describe the writer’s shopping. (2)
The writer did not mind vegetable shopping as she loved Dhobi Talao market, where she knew every vendor very well. Moreover, she was fond of bargaining with the sellers. But she completely disliked standing in the long queue in the Sahakari Bhandar for every little item.

5.      Do you agree with the writer as she refers to “value of time” in the context of the text? (3)
I do agree with the writer as she talks about the value of time. But at the same time I also feel one should not pay a higher price just to save a few minutes. Thus, I find the writer’s solution to the problem quite unsuitable in such a situation.

6.      Give noun forms of the following adding suffixes.
a.       Enjoy   b. prefer           c. circumvent   d. argue
a.       Enjoyment             b. preference   c. circumvention          d. argument.
(B) Write a brief summary of the above extract and suggest a suitable title. (4 marks)

Q4. (A).  Read the following poem and answer the following questions.
‘Sweet, my dear, what ails you?’
‘No, but I am well.
The night was cold and frosty,
There’s no more to tell.’
‘Ay, the night was frosty,
Coldly gaped the moon,
Yet the birds seemed twittering
Through green boughs of June.
Soft and thick the snow lay,
Stars danced in the sky –
Not all the lambs of May – day
Skip so bold and high.
Your feet were dancing, Alice,
Seemed to dance on air,
You looked a ghost or angel
In the star – light there.
Your eyes were frosted star – light;
 Your heart, fire and snow.
Who was it said, “I love you”?’
‘Mother, let me go!’

1.      How does Alice avoid her mother’s questions?
To her mother’s question on her ailment Alice says in a matter – of – fact manner that she is well and she has nothing else to tell. When her mother asks her directly about love, she avoids answering it by asking her to let her go.

2.      Why does the mother say, “You looked a ghost or angel”?
The mother understands that the daughter is nervous as she is inexperienced about her first emotion of romantic love. That is why she looks scared and nervous as she would have looked on seeing a ghost. But, at the same time, she feels that the sweetness and joy of the passion of love has given her an angelic look.

3.      Do you like the mother in the poem, in spite of her nagging her daughter? Explain your answer.
Yes, I like the mother. She is concerned about her daughter, who feels irritated at her repeated questions. But I feel the mother is very sweet in making the daughter feel relaxed as she talks in a light – hearted manner. She also indirectly refers to the beautiful things in nature to make her child feel the heavenly experience of the first passion of romantic love.

4.      Pick out an example of personification.
“Stars danced in the air”

5.      Pick out the expressions which show the contrasting emotion in the daughter
“You looked a ghost or angel.”
“Your heart, fire and snow”.

Q5.  Read the following poem and answer the following questions.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must --- but don’t you quit,
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow---
You might succeed with another blow.

1.      Pick out at least two situations mentioned in the poem for a person to lose his her confidence.
The two situations when a person may lose his / her confidence, as mentioned in the poem, are:
a.       “When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill”.
b.      “When funds are low and the debts are high.”
2.      How does the poet advise the reader to come out of a difficult situation?
The poet tells the readers in a matter – of – fact manner that there is bound to be ups and downs in everyone’s life. But one should never feel frustrated and give up soon. One may rest a bit and start afresh to strike again slowly but steadily.
3.      Do you easily feel frustrated enough to give up?
No, I do not easily feel frustrated to give up soon. I do feel upset if I am not successful in achieving my goal. But I pull up my socks and motivate myself to carry on with new energy. My parents are always there to inspire and encourage me to come out of my difficult times. 
4.      Explain the figure of speech in the given sentence “When funds are low and the debts are high”
Two opposite ideas are placed side by side. So it is Antithesis.
5.      What type of poem is this?
This is a reflective poem where the poet reflects on adverse situations in life and advises the readers how to come out of it.
Section – D
Q6. (A) Letter writing: (4)
1.                   Write a complaint letter regarding over flow of gutter in your locality / village.
2.                   Letter to your friend explaining him about the importance of Joint family system.

(B) Your college has organized a drive against smoking and chewing tobacco in your area. Prepare an appeal in the form of handout to create awareness with the help of the following points. (4)
- Prepare an effective slogan.
- Use a logo / picture.
- Stress the evils of smoking and chewing tobacco.
- Use attractive language.
Read the following headlines of news items. Choose ONE of them and write the date line, into and short containing paragraph.



(C) Write a tourist leaflet of a place of your interest keeping in mind the following.  (4)
a.       Name of Place
b.      Conveyance
c.       Distance from Mumbai.
d.      Climate
e.       Things to do

Write a speech to be delivered among your class mates, regarding blood donation.

Q7.  Essay writing: (7)
Write an essay on any ONE of the following in about 250 words.
1.      Has Science Brought Real Happiness?
2.      India of My Dreams.
3.      The Person Who Influenced My Life. 

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