Discursive Passages Practice Exercises for school students. The questions from previous Board exams are also included here to give an exam-oriented help to students.
A discursive passage may include the opinion of a person which are generally argumentative, persuasive and interpretative. It allows students to arrive at a conclusion through reasoning and understanding rather than intuition. It presents a balanced and objective approach towards the subject being discussed.
Discursive Unseen Passages
Q. Read the passage given below. [CBSE SQP, 2022-23] 10 Marks
1. Mountains have always been held in great awe by mankind. They have been a challenge to humans. Those brave among us have always wanted to conquer them. You see, the more incredible the mountains, the greater the thrill – a challenge to the bravery of the human race. Climbing mountains is an experience that is hard to put into words. You are in a beautiful environment and, when you reach the top, you feel incredible. But you also have to climb down, which is when most accidents happen – people are tired, it gets dark, it’s harder. So, mountain climbing is undoubtedly one of the most popular adventure sports along with being challenging and risky for the climber.
2. Without any perceived risk, there can’t be a feeling that any significant challenge has been surmounted. Fair, but we have to bear in mind that mountaineering is not a sport that can be embraced without preparation. The enthusiasts must develop in themselves the spirit of adventure, willingness to undertake hardships and risks, extraordinary powers of perseverance, endurance, and keenness of purpose before climbing a mountain. They should also know how to handle the mountaineering equipment. Then comes the penance of the rigorous training. This could very well be the lifeline up there. It helps inculcate and hone survival instincts that allow the climber to negotiate perilous situations. There are numerous institutes in India and abroad that offer such training.
3. Mountain climbers are unanimous in agreeing that the unpredictable weather is what they fear the most. There may be sunshine one moment and a snowstorm the other. At higher altitudes, snow is a regular feature and being decisive about setting up camps or proceeding further is crucial. The icy sheets after ice storms make walking treacherous, while the powdery snow makes a mountaineer sink deep into the snow. Up there, where the intention is to embrace Nature’s wonder, one realises that it cannot be done without facing its formidable glory. A true mountaineer may challenge the mountain, yet is always respectful to the powerful forces of nature.
4. Summiting mountains carries its own health risks such as oxygen and altitude sickness problems, frost bites, swelling of hands and feet, fluid collection in brain or lungs and exhaustion. Yet, the gratification mountaineers feel from mastering something that is so frightening, urges them to undertake these endeavours. We may think that the mountaineers are fearless, experts say, “Not at all. It’s fear that keeps them so intrigued with such arduous journeys.” Impulse and brazenness can be deadly foes. In the words of the Indian mountaineer, Bachendri Pal, “The biggest risk … is to not to take the risk at all. Remember that.” (444 words)
Adapted— https://evirtualguru.com/essay-on-mountaineering https://fairgaze.com/fgnews/mountaineering-origin-and-its-benefits_71549.html https://www.aplustopper.com/essay-on-mountain-climbing/
Based on your understanding of the passage, answer the questions given below. [1×10]
i. Why does the writer say that mountains inspire ‘awe’ in humans? (Paragraph 1)
A. They present us with opportunities for exciting sports.
B. They evoke the wish in us, to master them.
C. They inspire in us, deeds of valour.
D. They represent peace and calm, to us.
ii. Select the option that corresponds to the following relation below:
The more incredible the mountains—the greater the thrill (Paragraph 1)
A. The higher the stamina—the lower the food intake
B. The more you laugh—the lesser your illness
C. The smaller the car—the bigger the advantage
D. The heavier the luggage—the higher the penalty
iii. Select the option that displays what the writer projects, with reference to the following:
So, mountain climbing is undoubtedly one of the most popular adventure sports (Paragraph 1)
iv. Complete the following with a phrase from paragraph 1.
v. The writer compares training to penance in the line —Then comes the penance of the rigorous training. (Paragraph 2)
State 1 point of similarity between training and penance.
vi. Based on your reading of the text, list 2 reasons why the writer says that “mountaineering is not a sport that can be embraced without preparation”. (Paragraph 2)
vii. What connect does the writer draw out between unpredictable weather and setting up of camps? (Paragraph 3)
viii. The writer says, “A true mountaineer may challenge the mountain, yet is always respectful to the powerful forces of nature.” (Paragraph 3)
Select the reason the mountaineer is respectful to the forces of nature, up in the mountains.
ix. Supply 1 point to justify the following:
While mountain climbing, an impulsive mountaineer is either disaster-prone or as good as dead
x. Evaluate the INAPPROPRIATE reason for the feeling of exhilaration on reaching a summit, that the mountain-climbers experience.
A. Achievement of a seemingly impossible feat
B. Spectacular panoramic view
C. Application of the inculcated survival instincts
D. Opportunity to use sophisticated mountaineering equipment
Answers: (As given in CBSE Marking Scheme)
i. B. They evoke the wish in us, to master them.
ii. D. The heavier the luggage—the higher the penalty
iii. C. conviction
iv. hard to put in words
v. very difficult / requires perseverance (Any other relevant)
vi. (Any 2)
- Because mountaineering includes difficulties like having to walk on icy sheets that cannot be accomplished without proper preparation of equipment
- Because mountaineering includes dealing with several Health hazards that cannot be managed without preparation.
- Because managing unpredictable weather is essential in mountaineering and cannot be accomplished without being prepared with specific training
- Because mountaineering presents the risk of fatality due to faulty decision-making and cannot be addressed without being prepared by accompanying/ engaging experienced climbers
(Any other relevant/ correct from text)
vii. If the weather is unpredictable, it makes it difficult to decide when to set up camp as mountaineers would prefer to climb when its sunny and camp when it’s snowing.
viii. A. survival
ix. Survival is key in mountain climbing and it can be done with meticulously planning / careful decision-making/ careful application of training (any one or more)
It has no room for rash or impulsive decisions/ actions— these would lead to accidents or fatalities.
x. Opportunity to use sophisticated mountaineering equipment
Official Answers: (As given in CBSE Marking Scheme)
Q. Read the passage given below: [CBSE SET 2, 2022]
- Milkha Singh, also known as The Flying Sikh, was an Indian track and field sprinter who was introduced to the sport while serving in the Indian Army. He is the only athlete to win gold in 400 metres at the Asian Games as well as the Commonwealth Games. He also won gold medals in the 1958 and 1962 Asian Games. He represented India in the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome and the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo) He was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, in recognition of his sporting achievements
- The race for which Singh is best remembered is his fourth-place finish in the 400 metres final at the 1960 Olympic Games. He led the race till the 200 m mark before easing off, allowing others to pass him. Singh’s fourth-place time of 45.73 seconds was the Indian national record for almost 40 years.
- From beginnings that saw him orphaned and displaced during the partition of India, Singh became a sporting icon in the country. In 2008, journalist Rohit Brijnath described Singh as “the finest athlete India has ever produced”.
- He was disappointed with his debut performance at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. *1 returned to India, chastened by my poor performance in Melbourne. I had been so excited by the prospects of being part of the Indian Olympics team, but, hadn’t realized how strong and professional the competition would be. My success in India had filled me with a false sense of pride and it was only when I was on the track that I saw how inconsequential my talents were when pitted against superbly fit and seasoned athletes. It was then that I understood what competition actually meant, and that if I wanted to succeed on the international arena, I must be prepared to test my mettle against the best athletes in the world.”
- Then he decided to make sprinting the sole focus of his life. “Running had thus become my God, my religion and my beloved”. My life during those two years was governed by strict rules and regulations and a self-imposed penance. Every morning I would rise at the crack of dawn, get into my sports kit and dash off to the track, where I would run two or three miles cross-country in the company of my coach.”
- On how he pushed himself through the tough days of vigorous training. “I practiced so strenuously that often I was drained of all energy, and there were times when I would increase my speed to such an extent that after my rounds, I would vomit blood or drop-down down unconscious through sheer exercise. My doctors and coaches warned me, asked me to slow down to maintain my health and equilibrium but my determination was too strong to give up. My only focus was to become the best athlete in the world. But then images of a packed stadium filled with cheering spectators, wildly applauding me as I crossed the finishing line, would flash across my mind and I would start again, encouraged by visions of victory.”
Based on your reading answer any five questions from the six given below: 1×5=5
(i) What is Milka Singh known as? What realization did Milkha Singh have when he was on the track during the Melbourne Olympics?
(ii) List any two of Milkha Singh’s achievements.
(iii) What strict rules and regulations did Milkha Singh follow?
(iv) State two consequences of his hard and strenuous practice.
(v) What motivated Milkha Singh to become the best athlete in the world?
(vi) Explain the phrase ‘I would start again’ in the last sentence.
1. Milkha Singh was known as ‘The Flying Sikh’.
He realised how inconsequential his talents were when pitted against superbly fit seasoned athletes. He also realised that he needed to prepare well to test his mettle against the best athletes in the world.
2. (i) The only athlete to win 400 meters at the Asian Games as well as Commonwealth Games.
(ii) Won gold in 1958 and 1962 Asian Games. His national record stood unbroken for 40 years.
(iii) He was awarded Padam Shiri for his sporting achievements.
3. Every morning he would rise at the crack of the dawn, get into his sports kit and dash off to the track, where he would run two or three miles cross-country with his coach.
4. ( i) He was drained of all energy.
(ii) He would vomit blood or drop-down unconscious through sheer exercise.
5. He was motivated by his vision of victory at a packed stadium with spectators cheering and applauding him as he crossed the finishing line.
6. ‘I would start again’ means here that he was encouraged to shun any complacency and start again with the double energy and determination to become the best athlete.
Q. Read the passage given below: [CBSE SET 1, 2020]
As the family finally sets off from home after many arguments there is a moment of lull as the car takes off. ‘’Alright, so where are we going for dinner now?’’ asks the one at the driving wheel. What follows is a chaos as multiple voices make as many suggestions.
2. By the time order is restored and a decision is arrived at, tempers have risen, feelings injured and there is at least one person grumbling.
3. Twenty years ago, you would step out of home, decision of meal and venue already made with no arguments or opposition and everybody looked forward to the meal with equal enthusiasm. The decision was made by the head of the family and the others fell in line. Today every member of the family has a say in every decision which also promotes a sense of togetherness and bonding.
4. We empower our kids to take their own decision from a very early age. We ask them the cuisine they prefer, the movie they want to see, the holiday they wish to go on and the subjects they wish to study.
5. It‘s a closely connected world out there where children consult and guide each other. A parent’s well-meaning advice can sound like nothing more than unnecessary preaching. How then do we reach our children through all the conflicting views and make the voice of reason be heard? Children today question choices and prefer to go with the flow.
6. What then is the best path to take? I would say the most important thing one can do is to listen. Listen to your children and their silences. Ensure that you keep some time aside for them, insist that they share their stories with you. Step into their world. It is not as complicated as it sounds; just a daily half an hour of the quality time would do the trick.
(A) On the basis of your reading of the above passage, answer the following questions in 30 – 40 words each: 2×4 = 8
- Write one advantage and one disadvantage of allowing every family member to be part of the decision-making process.
- In today’s world, what are parents asking their kids?
- Which two pieces of advice does the writer give to the parents?
- The passage supports the parents. How far do you agree with the author’s views? Support your view with a reason.
(B) On the basis of your reading of the above passage, answer the following:
- The synonym of ‘hurt’ as given in paragraph 2 is …………. .
- The word which means the same as ‘a style or method of cooking’ in paragraph 4 is:
(i) Cuisine (ii) Gourmet
(iii) Gastric (iv) Science
- The antonym of ‘agreeable’ as given in paragraph 5 is ……….
- The antonym of ‘simple’ as given in paragraph 6 is:
(i) difficult (ii) complicated
(iii) easy (iv) tricky
- Advantage of taking every family member’s opinion is that it promotes a sense of togetherness and bonding. However, the disadvantage to this is that it creates confusion, leads to arguments and at least one person is left grumbling in the end.
- In today’s world, parents ask their kids about their favourite cuisine, the movie they want to see, holiday destinations and subjects that they wish to study.
- The writer advises the parents to listen to their kids and their silences and spend at least half an hour of their quality time with them.
- I agree with the author’s views of parents giving importance to their kids’ opinions and taking their choices into consideration. If parents do not pay heed to their kids’ views, it results in conflicts and negative approach within the child. This eventually takes a toll on the child’s self-esteem and overall personality.
2. (i) cuisine
4. (ii) complicated
Q. Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow: [CBSE, 2019]
Hyderabad — The City of Nizams GOLCONDA
1. In the 16th century, when Golconda was the capital of Qutb Shahi Kingdom, it is believed that a shepherd boy came across an idol on the hill. It was then that the Kakatiya dynasty’s ruler built the fort, which is 120 m high. After it was captured by Aurangzeb, the Mughal emperor, the fort fell into ruins.
2. The beautiful ruins of the fort have a story to tell. They make you wonder how the fort may have looked in its days of glory and grandeur. The fort also organises a sound and light show every day and the history of this fort is narrated in such an interesting manner that even a child can understand and enjoy it. The climb to the fort is a difficult one and unless you are physically fit, you should avoid the climb and relax in the gardens below. The view from the top is breath-taking.
3. The next place is Charminar. The literal meaning of the monument is ‘four minarets’. There is a mosque on the second floor. It is said that when the state was hit by severe plague, Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the fifth ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, prayed to end the plague and promised to build a mosque in the very place where he was praying. Thus, Charminar came into being!
4. The walk from the bottom to the top of the monument is a little frightening, owing to the narrowness of the pathway and the steepness of the steps. Once you reach the top, the view of the crowds moving below will surely lift your spirits.
5. Make sure you visit the nearby Laad Bazaar, where there are rows of shops selling the famous Hyderabadi glass bangles and lac bangles.
SALAR JUNG MUSEUM
6. The Salar Jung Museum is the third largest museum in the country and boasts of owning the biggest one-man collection of antiques in the world. A visit to the Salar Jung Museum is a must even if you are not a fan of antique stuff. You can view the Nizam’s collection of textiles, arms, metalware, ivory carvings, Indian bronzes and carpets.
7. The main attraction is definitely the Musical Clock, made by Cook and Kelvy of England. Inside the clock is a timekeeper. Every hour, he comes out and beats a gong as many times as the time indicates. Another attraction of the museum is the Veiled Rebecca, an amazing sculpture made by the Italian sculptor, Giovanni Maria Benzoni.
On the basis of your understanding of the above passage, answer any ten of the following questions: (any eight)(a) What led to the construction of the Golconda Fort?(b) What led to the destruction of the Golconda Fort?(c) How is the interest in the Fort kept alive?(d) What does the word ‘breath-taking’ in para 2 mean?(e) Why did Quli Qutb Shah build a mosque?(f) How does one feel after reaching the top of Charminar?(g) What is unique about the Salar Jung Museum?(h) What else can one find in this museum apart from antiques?(i) Name the two attractions of the Salar Jung Museum.
Answers by a topper
Q. Read the following passage carefully. [CBSE OD 2020] 8 Marks
- Caged behind thick glass, the most famous dancer in the world can easily be missed in the National Museum, Delhi. The Dancing Girl of Mohenjo-Daro is that rare artefact that even school children are familiar with. Our school textbooks also communicate the wealth of our 5000 years heritage of art. You have to be alert to her existence there, amid terracotta animals to rediscover this bronze image.
- Most of us have seen her only in photographs or sketches therefore the impact of actually holding her is magnified a million times over. One discovers that the dancing girl has no feet. She is small, a little over 10 cm tall – the length of a human palm – but she surprises us with the power of great art – the ability to communicate across centuries.
- A series of bangles – of shell or ivory or thin metal – clothe her left upper arm all the way down to her fingers. A necklace with three pendants bunched together and a few bangles above the elbow and wrist on the right hand display an almost modern art.
- She speaks of the undaunted ever hopeful human spirit. She reminds us that it is important to visit museums in our country to experience the impact that a work of art leaves on our senses, to find among all the riches one particular vision of beauty that speaks to us alone.
On the basis of your reading of the above passage answer the following questions.
(A) The dancing girl belongs to
(i) Mohenjo-Daro (ii) Greek culture
(iii) Hom sapiens (iv) Tibet
(B) In the museum she’s kept among
(i) dancing figures
(ii) bronze statues iii) terracotta animals
(C) Which information is not given in the passage?
(i) The girl is caged behind glass
(ii) She is a rare artefact.
(iii) School books communicate the wealth of our heritage.
(iv) She cannot be rediscovered as she’s bronze.
(D) ‘Great Art’ has power because:
(i) it appeals to us despite a passage of time.
(ii) it is small and can be understood.
(iii) it is seen in pictures and sketches.
(iv) it is magnified a million times.
(E) The jewellery she wears:
(i) consists of bangles of shell, ivory or thin metal.
(ii) is a necklace with two pendants.
(iii) both (i) and (ii) are correct.
(iv) neither (i) nor (ii) is correct.
(F) She reminds us:
(i) of the never say-die attitude of humans.
(ii) why museums in our country are exciting.
(iii) why she will make us come into money.
(iv) of dancing figures.
(G) The synonym of the word ‘’among’’ in para 1 is …………….
(H) The size of the dancing girl is equal to the length of human palm. (True/False)
(A) (i) Mohenjo-Daro.
(B) (iii) terracotta animals.
(C) (iv) she cannot be rediscovered as she’s bronze.
(D) (i) it appeals to us despite a passage of time.
(E) (i) consists of bangles of shell, ivory or thin metal.
(F) (ii) why museums in our country are exciting.
3. Read the following passage carefully. [CBSE 2020] 12 Marks
- As the family finally sets off from home after many arguments, there is a moment of lull as the car takes off. “Alright, so where are we going for dinner now?” asks the one at the driving wheel. What follows is a chaos as multiple voices make as many suggestions.
- By the time order is restored and a decision is arrived at, tempers have risen, feelings injured and there is at least one person grumbling.
- Twenty years ago, you would step out of home, the decision of meal and venue already made with no arguments or opposition and everybody looked forward to the meal with equal enthusiasm. The decision was made by the head of the family and the others fell in line. Today every member of the family has a say in every decision which also promotes a sense of togetherness and bonding.
- We empower our kids to take their own decisions from a very early age. We ask them the cuisine they prefer, the movie they want to see, the holiday they wish to go on and the subjects they wish to study.
- It’s a closely connected world out there where children consult and guide each other. A parent’s well-meaning advice can sound like nothing more than unnecessary preaching. How then do we reach our children through all the conflicting views and make the voice of reason be heard? Children today question choices and prefer to go with the flow.
- What then is the best path to take? I would say the most important thing one can do is to listen. Listen to your children and their silences. Ensure that you keep some time aside for them, insist that they share their stories with you. Step into their world. It is not as complicated as it sounds; just a daily half an hour of quality time would do the trick.
3.1 On the basis of your reading of the above passage, answer the following questions in 30 – 40 words each:
(a) Write one advantage and one disadvantage of allowing every family member to be a part of the decision-making process.
(b) In today’s world, what are parents asking their kids?
(c) Which two pieces of advice does the writer give to the parents?
(d) The passage supports the parents. How far do you agree with the author’s views? Support your view with a reason.
3.2 One the basis of your reading of the above passage, answer the following:
(A) The synonym of ‘hurt’ as given in paragraph 2 is ______.
(B) The word which means the same as ‘a style or method of cooking in paragraph 4 is
(a) cuisine (b) gourmet
(c) gastric (d) science
(C) The antonym of ‘agreeable’ as given in paragraph 5 is _________.
(d) The antonym of ‘simple’ as given in paragraph 6 is
(a) difficult (b) complicated
(c) easy (d) tricky
(a) (i) The advantage is that when everyone in the family has a say in every decision it promotes presence of togetherness and bonding.
(ii) Disadvantage is that feelings are injured, tempers have risen and there is at least one person grumbling.
(b) They empower their kids to take their own decision from a very early age.
(c) Parents should step into their children’s life by listening to them and their silences, and should also insist them to share their stories. Parents should also give at least half an hour of quality time to their children.
(d) Yes, the passage supports the parents. It describes about how parents can develop a friendly relation with their kids, and how they can bridge the generation gap between them as in everybody’s life there comes a time when they need to lessen the gap. Being parents, they only think about the betterment of the children so one step should be taken by the kids and one by the parents. There is no comparison, no ego, and no support and against in the relationship between parents and children.
(B) (i) cuisine
(D) (ii) complicated
Q. Read the following passage carefully. [CBSE Delhi 2019] 8 Marks
- Few guessed that this quiet, parentless girl growing up in New York City would one day become the First Lady of the United States. Even fewer thought she would become an author and lecturer and a woman much admired and loved by people throughout the world.
- Born Anna Eleanor Roosevelt in 1884 to wealthy, but troubled parents who both died while she was young, Roosevelt was cared for by her grandmother and sent to school in England. In 1905, she married her distant cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She and her husband had six children. Although they were wealthy, her life was not easy and she suffered several personal tragedies. Her second son died when he was a baby. In 1921, her strong athletic husband was stricken with polio, which left him physically disabled for life.
- Eleanor Roosevelt was a remarkable woman who had great intelligence and tremendous strength of character. She never let things get her down. She nursed her husband back to good health and encouraged him to remain in politics. She then helped him to become Governor of New York, and in 1933, President of the United States.
- While her husband was President, she took a great interest in all the affairs of the country. She became her husband’s legs and eyes; she visited prisons and hospitals; she went down into mines, up scaffoldings and into factories. Roosevelt was tireless and daring. During the depression she travelled all over the country bringing goodwill, reassurance and help to people without food and jobs. During World War II she visited American soldiers in camps all over the world. The United States had never known a First Lady like her.
- Roosevelt also kept in touch with the American people through a daily newspaper column called ‘My Day’. She broadcast on the radio and delivered lectures, all first for a First Lady.
On the basis of your understanding of the above passage answer the following questions: (any eight)
(a) How was Eleanor Roosevelt’s personality in contrast to what she became?
(b) Apart from being the First Lady what else did she have to her credit?
(c) What challenges did she face in her personal life but remained unfazed?
(d) Eleanor was a strong woman who helped her husband become the President of America. How?
(e) What does the statement: ‘she became her husband’s legs and eyes’ mean?
(f) What was her special contribution during the depression?
(g) How did she motivate soldiers during World War II?
(h) What did she do for the first time as a First Lady?
(i) What side of her personality is reflected in this passage?
(a) As a child Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was a quiet, parentless girl who grew up to become a remarkable woman, an author, lecturer and the First Lady of the United States.
(b) Apart from being the First Lady, she was an author, lecturer and a woman much admired by people. She visited prisons and hospitals, went down into mines, etc.
(c) Anna was born to wealthy, but troubled parents who died while she was young. Her second son died when he was a baby and then her physically strong husband was stricken with polio. But she remained unfazed and handled every situation with poise.
(d) Roosevelt nursed her husband back to good health and encouraged him to remain in politics. She helped him become the Governor of New York and then, the President of the United States in 1933.
(e) ‘She became her husband’s legs and eyes’ means she visited prisons, hospitals, went into mines and factories on his behalf to help him in his job. She also interacted with people and brought feedback to her husband about the state of affairs.
(f) During the Depression she travelled all over the country bringing goodwill, reassurance and help to people without food and jobs.
(g) During World War II, she visited American soldiers in camps all over the world to motivate and empathise with them.
(h) She kept in touch with the American people through a daily newspaper column called ‘My Day’. She broadcast on the radio and delivered lectures, all first for a First Lady.
(I) Anna Eleanor Roosevelt comes across as a helpful, caring, intelligent, benevolent and a strong woman of substance through the paragraph.
Q. Read the passage given below carefully and answer the questions that follow: [12 marks] (Delhi 2019)
- Overpowering prey is a challenge for creatures that do not have limbs. Some species like Russell’s viper inject poison. Some others opt for an alternative non-chemical method rat snake, for instance, catch and push their prey against the ground, while pythons use their muscle power to crush their prey to death. But snakes can’t be neatly divided into poisonous and non-poisonous categories.
- Even species listed as non-poisonous aren’t completely free of poison. The common Sand Boa, for instance, produces secretions particularly poisonous to birds. So, the species doesn’t take any chance – it crushes its prey and injects poison as an extra step.
- Do vipers need poison powerful enough to kill hundreds of rats with just one drop? After all, they eat only one or two at a time.
- While hunting animals try their worst to kill most efficiently, their prey uses any trick to avoid becoming a meal, such as developing immunity to poison. For instance, Californian ground squirrels are resistant to Northern Pacific rattlesnake poison.
- Competition with prey is not the only thing driving snakes to evolve more and more deadly poison. Snake also struggle to avoid becoming prey themselves.
- Some snake killers have partial immunity to poison. Famously, mongooses are highly resistant to cobra poison, and with their speed and agility, kill snakes fearlessly. It would be the death of cobras as a species if they didn’t evolve a more deadly poison to stop mongooses.
- Poison has another important role. It’s an extreme meat softener; specific enzymes break up the insides of the prey. Normally, a reptile depends on the sun’s warm rays to aid digestion.
- 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, I swallow like a python stuffing a deer down its throat and hope I don’t choke. If only I had poison.
5.1 Read the questions given below and answer any four in 30–40 words each.
(a) Russell’s viper and rat snake have different methods to attack their prey. How?
(b) How does Sand Boa kill its prey?
(c) There is a constant tussle between the hunting animal and its prey? Why?
(d) What makes mongoose a snake predator?
(e) What difficulty does the writer face when he is entertained in the remote parts of India?
5.2 One the basis of your reading of the above passage fill in any two of the following blanks.
(i) Overpowering …………..is a challenge for creatures that do not have limbs.
(ii) Poison ……….. meat.
(a) enhances taste of
(d) breaks down
(iii) Californian squirrels are ……….. rattlesnake poison.
(a) afraid of
(b) helpless against
(c) resistant to
(d) indifferent to
5.3 Find words from the passage which mean the same as: (any two)
(a) Another (para 1)
(b) Liquid substances released from glands (para 2)
(c) Particular (para 7)
(a) Russell’s viper inject poison whereas the rat snakes catch and push their prey against the ground.
(b) The common Sand Boa produces secretions particularly poisonous to birds. They generally don’t take any chance and crush their prey and inject poison as an extra step.
(c) Hunting animals try their worst to kill most efficiently, their prey on the other hand use any trick to avoid becoming a meal, such as developing immunity to poison. This marks the constant tussle between the hunting animal and its prey.
(d) Mongooses are highly resistant to cobra poison and with their speed and agility, kill snakes fearlessly.
5.2 (i) (d) prey (ii) (c) softens (iii) c
5.3 (a) alternative; (b) secretions (c) specific
Q. Read the passage given below: [CBSE 2018]
1. Tourists to Jammu and Kashmir have another attraction — a floating post office on the Dal Lake in Srinagar, the first in the country. ‘Floating Post Office, Dal Lake’s— claimed to be the only one such post office in the world is built on an intricately carved maroon houseboat, fastened on the western edge of the Dal Lake.
2. This post office lets you avail of all the regular postal services available in the country while being afloat. The seal used on everything posted from the Floating Post Office is unique — along with the date and address, it bears the design of a boatman rowing a shikara on the Dal Lake. The special feature of this post office is that letters posted from here carry a special design which has the picturesque scenery of Dal Lake and Srinagar city. These pictures reach wherever these letters are posted to and hence promote Kashmir as a tourist destination across the world.
3. This is actually a heritage post office that has existed since British times. It was called Nehru Park Post Office before 2011. But then the chief postmaster John Samuel renamed it as ‘Floating Post Office’
4. The post office’s houseboat has two small rooms—one serves as the office and the other a small museum that traces the philatelic history of the state postal department. It has a shop that sells postage stamps and other products. Passage 5 Read the passage given below:
5. But for the locals, the Floating Post Office is more than an object of fascination. ‘ 1-2 crore is deposited per month in the Floating Post Office by communities living in and around the Dal Lake. The lake has several islets that are home to more than 50,000 people.
6. The greatest fear is the recurrence of 2014 like floods in which the houseboat had gone for a toss uncontrollably pushed by the flood. Rescue teams had to anchor it using special mechanism in a nearby highland. Then it was brought back on the Dal after the water receded. The biggest boon is that at no time of the year do you need a fan in this post-office.
Attempt any eight of the following questions on the basis of the passage you have read:
(i) What is the location of the Floating Post Office in Srinagar?
(ii) What is special about the seal used in the post office?
(iii) How is the post office helpful in promoting tourism?
(iv) Who renamed the post office as ‘Floating Post Office’?
(v) What are the two rooms of the post office used for?
(vi) How is the post office beneficial to the locals?
(vii) What is the greatest fear that the post office has?
(viii) How is the post office a big boon to the people?
(ix) Find the word from the passage which means the same as ‘attraction’. (Para 5)
ANSWERS by Toppers
Q. Read the passage given below: [CBSE 2017]
Then all the windows of the grey wooden house (Miss Hilton used to live here. She expired last week), were thrown open, a thing I had never seen before. At the end of the day a sign was nailed on the mango tree: FOR SALE.
Nobody in the street knew Miss Hilton. While she lived, her front gate was always locked and no one ever saw her leave or saw anybody go in. So, even if you wanted to, you couldn’t feel sorry and say that you missed Miss Hilton.
When I think of her house, I see just two colours. Grey and green. The green of the mango tree, the grey of the house and the grey of the high iron fence that prevented you from getting at the mangoes.
If your cricket ball fell in Miss Hilton’s courtyard you never got it back. It wasn’t the mango season when Miss Hilton died. But we got back about ten or twelve of our cricket balls. The house was sold and we were prepared to dislike the new owners even before they came. I think we were a little worried. Already we had one resident of the street who kept on complaining about us to our parents. He complained that we played cricket on the pavement; and if we were not playing cricket, he complained that we were making too much noise anyway.
One afternoon when I came back from school Pal said, “Is a man and a woman. She pretty, but he ugly like hell.’‘ I didn’t see much. The front gate was open, but the windows were shut again. I heard a dog barking in an angry way.
One thing was settled pretty quickly. Whoever these people were they would never be the sort of people to complain that we were making noise and disturbing their sleep. A lot of noise came from the house that night. The radio was going at full volume until midnight when the radio station closed down. The dog was barking and the man was shouting. I didn’t hear the woman.
On the basis of your understanding of the above passage, complete the statements that follow:
- Nobody went into Miss Hilton’s house because her front _.
- Her house had only two colours, (i)____ and (ii) _____
- The high iron fence did not let the boys get _______.
- They never got it back if their ______ fell into her courtyard.
- The boys were already to dislike the ______.
- One resident of the street always _______.
- The new owners of Miss Hilton’s house were (i) ______ , and (ii) _______ .
- The man was shouting, the dog was barking, only _____ .
- gate was always locked
- (i) grey (ii) green
- at the mangoes
- cricket ball
- new owners even before they came
- kept on complaining about us to
- (i) a man (ii) a woman
- the woman was not heard/the woman was quiet.