March 2009 English

Section - A
(Reading Skill, Grammar, Vocabulary, Note-Making and Summary)
Q. 1 (A) Read the following extract and answer the questions given below: (11)
I was the last child of a small-time government servant, in a family of five brothers. My earliest memory of my father is as that of a district employment officer in Koraput, Orissa. It was and remains as back of beyond as you can imagine. There was no electricity; no primary school nearby and water did not flow out of a tap. As a result, I did not go to school until the age of eight; I was home-schooled.
My father used to get tranferred every year. The family belongings fit into the back of a jeep, so the family moved from place to place; without any trouble, my mother would set up an establishment and get us going. Raised by a widow who had come as a refugee from the then East Bengal, she was a matriculate when she married my father. My parents set the foundation of my life and the value system which makes me what I am today and largely defines what success means to me.
As district employment officer, my father was given a jeep by the government. There was no garage in the office, so the jeep was parked in our house. My father refused to use it to commute to the office. He told us that the jeep was an expensive resource given by the government; it was not 'his jeep' but the government's.
  1. Why was the writer home-schooled? (1)
  2. What was his father? (1)
  3. What details did the writer give about his mother? (1)
  4. Why did his father not use the jeep to go the office? (2)
  5. What values of life do your parents try to teach you to become a worthy
citizen? (2)
  1. Rewrite the following sentences in the ways instructed:
    1. My mother would set up an establishment.
(Rewrite the sentence by using 'used to') (1)
    1. There was no garage in the office. (Make it affirmative) (1)
    2. There was no electricity; no primary school. (Use 'Neither …. nor') (1)
(7) Find the words from the passage which mean- (1)
(i) travel regularly between two places
(ii) brought up by
(B) Grammar: Do as directed: (4)
(i) As soon as the leaf fell from the tree, the wind swept it away.
(Use 'No sooner ………. than') (1)
(ii) "I did not come to college, yesterday", Lata said to the teacher.
(Change it into indirect speech) (1)
(iii) We completed the work ……… thirty minutes and then left ……... the station.
(Use suitable prepositions.) (1)
(iv) …….. rich must always help ……… poor.
(Use suitable articles.) (1)
Q. 2 (A) Read the following extract and answer the questions given below: (11)
Ganukaka was relating the story of a neighbour of his. This man used to scrape up barely fifty rupees a month by doing odd jobs in the Bombay iron market. He would be at the end of his tether making both ends meet for half a dozen kids and a wife. The poor chap was always sulking. When the war started there was a boom in the iron market. He launched an independent partnership and his dealings reached the bracket of half a million. The family had enough to eat, plenty of clothes. Taxies became indispensable to him; but his business was growing so fast that he had hardly time for a few hours' sleep. When one of his children was ill he didn't have the time to call a doctor who recommended various medicines, but the child lost its life; and even at that time the man was not at home! When he returned, his grief knew no bounds. Six months ago he contracted tuberculosis, and he died recently.
'What I keep wondering about is this', said Ganukaka, 'When his partner came to settling the accounts, it was found that after dealings worth more than half a million, he had incurred a debt of an equal amount. The very house he had in the Konkan in his less adventurous days was now left to his wife and children after bigger dealings had reduced him.'
  1. What happened when the war started? (1)
  2. How much money did the man get by doing odd jobs? (1)
  3. What was left for his wife and children after his death? Why? (1)
  4. Why was he not at home when his child died? (2)
  5. What, according to you is more important - money or your family? Justify your answer. (2)
  6. Rewrite the following sentences in the ways instructed:
    1. His wife called several doctors.
(Begin your sentence with 'Several doctors ………') (1)
    1. He launched an independent partnership.
(Frame a 'Wh' - question to get the underlined answer.) (1)
    1. The poor chap was always sulking.
(Use Present Perfect Continue Tense.) (1)
(7) Match the words in column 'A' with their meanings in column 'B': (1)
Column 'A'
Column 'B'
  1. Sulking
  2. Indispensable
    1. Helpless
    2. Depressed
    3. Absolutely necessary
(B) Note-making: (4)
Draw a tree diagram that contains the main points and important supporting details from the following text about the 'Laser'.
Laser is a device that amplifies light. A laser produces a thin intensive beam of light that can burn a hole in a diamond or carry the signals of different television pictures at the same time.
There are three major kinds of lasers based on their light amplifying substance - solid lasers, gas lasers and liquid lasers. Solid lasers use a crystal, a glass or a semiconductor as the light amplifying substance. Crystal lasers, Glass lasers, Semiconductor lasers are different types of Solid lasers. Gas lasers have a gas or a mixture of gases as their light amplifying substance. Helium, neon, argon, ion and carbon dioxide lasers are the most widely used types of Gas lasers. Liquid lasers produce both bursts of light and continuous light. Liquid lasers that produce bursts of light use a flash tube as their source of power. Those that produce continuous light get their power from a gas laser.
Q. 3 (A) Read the following extract and answer the questions given below: (11)
Today, many people are very well-informed about nutrition. We worry about 'junk food', which is a legitimate concern, but shouldn't we be just as worried by the low-grade food we sometimes feed our minds? There is junk food, yes. But there are also 'junk thoughts'.
Take a close look at the entertainment pages of your newspaper, for example. We have become so used to this kind of fame that we seldom even question it. I can imagine what people who lived in the Dark Ages would say if they would see today's paper from the Bay Area: "They would think we live in the Dark Ages! What about them?" Millions of people spend hours everyday feeding their minds and the minds of their children with unadulterated junk.
It is not just a few bold scenes or explicit language, which are often more juvenile than alarming, but the terribly unkind attitudes people display toward each other on the screen, on stage, and on the printed page, which they vent in harsh words and harmful acts. All this goes into our minds and gets absorbed; it cannot help but resurface in our behaviour. It is not that we want to live in a germ-free world, which is impossible, but we need to remember that mental states are affected by what we see, hear, and read everyday.
(1) How do millions of people spend hours everyday? (1)
(2) What is the theme of the passage? (1)
(3) What effects do junk thoughts have on our minds? (1)
(4) What kind of books do you like to read? Why? (2)
(5) Rewrite the following sentences in the ways instructed:
(i) Shouldn't we be just as worried by the low-grade food? (1)
(Make it assertive)
(ii) We worry about 'junk food'. (1)
(Use modal auxiliary verb showing 'compulsion'.)
(iii) Millions of people spend hours everyday feeding their minds and the minds of their children with unadulterated junk. (1)
(Use the infinitive form of the underlined word.)
(6) Write the opposites of the following from the passage -
(i) illegitimate (ii) harmless (1)
(B) Summary: (4)
Write a brief summary of the above extract and suggest a suitable title.
Section - B: Poetry
Q. 4 Read the following extract and answer the questions given below: (8)
Nothing endures but personal qualities.
What do you think endures?
Do you think a great city endures?
Or a teeming manufacturing state? or a prepared
constitution? Or the best built steamships?
Or hotels of granite and iron? or any chef-d' oeuvres of
engineering, forts, armaments?
Away! these are not to be cherish'd for themselves,
They fill their hour, the dancers dance, the musicians
play for them.
The show passes, all does well enough of course,
All does very well till one flash of defiance.
A great city is that which has the greatest men and
If it be a few ragged huts it is still the greatest city in the
whole world.
  1. State any two things mentioned in the poem which cannot make a city great? (1)
  2. What makes a city great? Why? (2)
  3. Why do you think the poet says that a city even with few ragged huts can be the greatest city? (2)
  4. Give and explain the example of Alliteration from the poem. (1)
  5. How does the poetic device of interrogation help the poet to highlight the central theme? (2)
Section - C: Rapid Reading and Composition
Q. 5 (A) Read the following extract and answer the questions given below: (4)
It started when they were going to school in the school-bus. Someone started to talk about marbles, and he was always so interested in marbles that, as he listened, he began to forget. At first only a little, but as the fervour of the discussion increased, he joined in the talk and it was then that he forgot completely. And afterwards, he did not know how he could have forgotten like that. But perhaps it was not so strange after all. Everyone had always said he was 'too sensitive' and 'so absent-minded at this age'. Perhaps it was he who was strange.
The bus rolled in through the gates and crunched on the gravel. It was always the familiar crunch that told him they were in. They broke up and jumped out with their bags and boxes, and cool, clean and fresh, and the birds were chirping in the row of trees that ran along the gravel way. When the last boy was out, the bus rolled out of the gates again and they crunched along the gravel towards the stone entry porch.
As they went in someone observed, "Why, today's Saturday! Always like Saturday because the next day is Sunday. Don't you?" He answered, "Yes!" He tought, Saturday; no day like it. Even class on Saturday was not as bad as on other days, and everyone, including the teacher, seemed happier with the prospect of the evening and the morrow.
  1. What was the boy interested in? (1)
  2. Why did the boys like Saturday? (1)
  3. What information do you get about the boy from the extract? (2)
  1. Composition: (4)
Imagine that you were the boy in the story and rewrite the extract.
Section - D: Written Skills
Q. 6 (A) Letter Writing:
Write any ONE of the following letters: (4)
(1) Write a letter to the Municipal authority of your area complaining about inconvenience caused by prolonged road-repaid work going on in your locality.
(2) Your friend has secured very good marks in MH-CET exam and has got an admission into a medical college in Mumbai. Write a letter to congratulate him on his success.
(B) Write on any ONE of the following items as direct: (4)
Your college has organized a drive against smoking and chewing tobacco in your area. Prepare an appeal in the form of a hand out to create an awareness with the help of the following points -
  • 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, intro and short continuing paragraph:
(i) Teachers Day Celebrated.
(ii) Petrol Pump owners observe one day strike.

(C) Read the following tree-diagram and prepare a short paragraph. (4)
(Paragraph regarding Mr. Rao's family)
Prepare a paragraph to be used for the counter-view section on the following topic:
Modern man lives a very fast life. This kind of life has some merits and demerits. This following points show its 'merits'. Write a paragraph as 'counter-view' showing its 'demerits'.
Fast Life is the Destiny of Modern Man.
View - Section
● Need of modern times
● Fulfills people's desire to earn more money
● Helps to fulfill ambitions.
● Give more luxuries and more comforts.
● Leads to success.
Q. 7 Essay Writing: (7)
Write an essay on any ONE of the following in about 250 words:
  1. Changing Face of an Indian Village.
  2. Old Age - A Boon or Curse.
  3. My Parents - My Best Teachers