Q. 14.3( 8 Votes )

Read the passage given below:

1. If one early June morning you are suddenly stopped in your walk by a ringing

“piu-piu-piu-pee-pee-piu-piu” call coming from the trees in your park or garden, you will feel your heart suddenly lifted. Look around, and you may see two large, handsome, black-and-white birds with long coattails chase each other through the trees. They are pied cuckoos, that have come from Africa, and are said to announce the arrival of the greatest show on earth – the Indian monsoon. Be assured, the curtain will rise in a month or so.

2. To get a proper view of the onset of the monsoon, you really need to be stationed anywhere on the coastline of India or up in the hills. The grand show of grey clouds approaches like an airborne army, preceded by cool breezes, filling the air with electric charge so that you feel very happy. Spear of lighting flickers in the sky and the sound of thunder makes you feel excited. And then, it pours. The cracked earth without any green cover sucks down the flood of water-and then Mother Nature goes mad. Seeds scattered or buried like grains of sand or pebbles in the ground suddenly come to life. Shoots of plants rocket skywards, roots plunge into the soft, spongy earth sucking up water and nutrients. It’s a hint the grasshoppers have been waiting for. And bugs, beetles, caterpillars, centipedes, etc. emerge in their billions, feasting on the fresh green plants in the fields (to the annoyance of many a farmer) as also on each other.

3. There are miracles, and there is music too: singing golden frogs appearing in large numbers in a rain-filled ditch, taking part in a group song that Bollywood would have envied. They vanish the very next day. They’d been waiting patiently all through the blistering summer, deep underground, conserving whatever moisture they had soaked up. Fireflies wink through the trees in the hills, sending their greenish signals to one another in codes as precise as any we may use for our most secret messages.

4. All this is what the birds have been waiting for. Most birds have spent the spring and summer courting, and now it’s time to settle down. Baby birds need a lot of high protein at frequent intervals, which the rich supply of insect life so happily provides: Caterpillars are eaten up in their millions, as are furry moths, earthworms slurped down like noodles, spiky dragonflies beaten to bits to soften them up into baby food. The long-legged storks and herons – get busy with fishing. As for the big guys like lions and tigers in the jungles: they too had it relatively easy during the summer when their thirsty prey came to the waterholes. Now, with water easily available, in streams and ponds all over, they need to work harder for their meals. But yes, this is, perhaps, compensated by the arrival of baby deer – and fawns are sweet and soft, not very experienced in the merciless ways of the lions and tigers, even if they may seem more like a snack than a main meal. The animals get a rest from us, too, as parks and sanctuaries close down, not so much out of kindness as because the roads become impassable.

5. And then, just as you are beginning to tire of the green mould on your shoes, belts and bags, and of all the sniffles and snuffles that the rains also bring (bacteria and viruses also love this season), the clouds begin to disperse and float away in large armies. But before this happens, at least once, do go out in the midst of a downpour, raise your face to the heavens and dance and sing and celebrate this, the greatest show on earth.

1.1 On the basis of your understanding of the above passage answer each of the questions given below by choosing one of the options that follow:

(a) The winged messengers from Africa:

(i) bring rain from Africa

(ii) bring the message that the rains are coming soon.

(iii) Create a lot of horrible noise.

(iv) are not welcome.

(b) Baby birds benefit from the rains because:

(i) the mummy bird cannot fly in the rain.

(ii) they need a lot of noodles.

(iii) the rain brings a lot of insects which they eat.

(iv) they like wet nests.

(c) Humans don’t visit the animals in game sanctuaries during the rainy season because:

(i) humans don’t like to get wet.

(ii) the paths to the sanctuaries become waterlogged.

(iii) baby animals are born in the sanctuaries.

(iv) humans get bitten during the rainy season.

(d) The green mould that grows on leather comes :

(i) from the creepy insects that come with the rain.

(ii) because grass becomes very green during the rainy season.

(iii) because of the moisture in the air during the rainy season.

(iv) from fluffy clouds in the sky.

1.2 Answer the following questions briefly :

(a) What according to the author is the advantage of staying near the coast?

(b) How does Mother Nature react to the monsoon rain?

(c) What do bugs, beetles, caterpillars, etc. do after the rains?

(d) Why do lions and tigers have to work harder to catch their prey during the rainy season?

(e) Why are parks and sanctuaries closed during the rains?

(f) Mention one bad thing that the rainy season brings.

1.3 Find words from the passage which mean the same as each of the following:

(i) declare (para 1)

(ii) disappear (para 3)

Answer :

1.1 (a) (ii) bring the message that the rains are coming soon.

Option (i) is not an answer because the winged messengers cannot bring rain from Africa which is Impossible.

Option (iii) is not an answer because these are very sweet creatures they do not make a horrible noise.

Option (iv) is not an answer because it is wrong that they are not welcomed by human beings. These type of sweet creatures makes us feel happy.

(b) (iii) the rain brings a lot of insects which they eat.

Option (i) is not an answer because it's not a benefit that their mother cannot fly in the rain meanwhile it is a disadvantage for them because they would not get food if their mother would not fly.

Option (ii) is not an answer because it is very illogical that they need lots of noodles in the rain, it does not sense anything.

Option (iv) is not an answer because there is nothing like that they need wet insects. They like insects of all type whether it is wet or dry.

(c) (ii) the paths to the sanctuaries become waterlogged

Option (i) is not an answer because mostly all human beings like rain and love to get wet in the rain.

Option (iii) is not an answer because there is nothing like that babies of animals born in the rainy season. All animals have different breeding time.

Option (iv) is not an answer because we don’t see anything that animals only bite human at the time of rainy season.

(d) (iii) because of the moisture in the air during the rainy season.

Option (i) is not an answer because creepy insects cannot produce mould.

Option (ii) is not an answer because there is no connection between green grass and mould.

Option (iv) is not an answer because we see no connection between mould and fluffy sky.

1.2 (a) The advantage of staying near the coast is to get a proper view of the monsoon. We can feel and take a full view of monsoon activity near the coast.

(b) The cracked earth without any green cover sucks down the Flood of water-and then Mother Nature goes mad.

(c) They feast on the fresh green plants in the fields as also on each other because they get lots of newborn insects on which they feast.

(d) Lions and tigers have to work harder to catch their prey during the rainy season because in rainy season water is easily available in streams and ponds all over.

(e) Parks and sanctuaries are closed during the rains because the roads become impassable.

(f) Rainy season brings bacteria and viruses with it.

1.3 (i) Announce (another synonym of declaring is announce, both means same.)

(ii) Vanish (another synonym of disappearing is Vanish which also means to disappear.)

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NEXTRead the passage given below and answer the questions that follow:1. South India is known mainly for its music, arts and rich literature. Madras or Chennai can be called the cultural capital and the soul of Mother India. The city is built low in pleasant contrast to the ugly tall structures of Mumbai and Kolkata. It has vast open spaces and ample greenery. The majestic spaciousMount Road looks like a river, wide and deep. A walk along the Marina Beach in the evening with the sea shining in your face is totally refreshing. The breeze soothes the body, it refreshes the mind and brightens the intellect.2. One can never feel dull in Chennai. The intellectual and cultural life of the city is something of a marvel. Every street corner of Chennai has a literary forum, a debating society, and music, dance or dramatic club. The intelligent arguments, the sparkling wit, and dashing irony make every meeting very interesting. There is a young men’s association which attracts brilliant speakers and equally brilliant listeners to its meetings. It is a treat to watch them use their speaking skills. Chennai speakers are by and large sweet and civilized, though angry and noisy variety is also often witnessed during election time. The more urbane speakers weave their arguments slowly like the unfolding of a melody set toCarnatic music.3. Music concerts and dance performances draw packed houses. There is hardly any cultured family in Chennai that does not learn and patronize music and dance in its original form. Rukmani Devi Arundale’s ‘Kala Kshetra’ is a renowned international centre. It has turned out hundreds of celebrated maestros and dancers who have brought fame and glory to our country. Carnatic music has a beautiful charm of its own. It has the moon’s soft beauty and soft pace. Thousands of people flock to the temple ‘maidans’ to enjoy the sweet melodies of their favourite singers. They sit out all night even in the unbearable heat, swaying to the rhythm of ‘nadaswaram’ and the measured beats of ‘mridangam’.4. The gods might descend from heaven to see a South Indian damsel dancing. There are several varieties of South Indian dance – Bharat Natyam, Mohini Attam, Kathakali etc. Age cannot wither, nor custom stales its beautiful variety. Bharat Natyam is the most graceful and enchanting dance form whereas Kathakali is most masculine and virile. South Indian dances combine pleasurewith purity. Here, every muscle and fibre of the body vibrates into life, and as the movement increases, a divine flame-like passion comes out as if making an effort to reach heaven.5. South Indian dress, particularly of the males, is puritanically simple. There you cannot distinguish a judge from a ‘peon’ by his dress. South Indian ladies to look charming and graceful in their colourful Kanjeevaram and Mysore Silk Saris.6. South Indian cuisine, especially ‘dosa’, ‘idli’ and ‘vada’ are so delicious that now we enjoy them almost everywhere in India and even in some foreign countries. The Madrasi ‘idli’ which was a favourite of Gandhiji is served with ‘sambhar’ and ‘chutney’.2.1 On the basis of your understanding of the above passage, answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate options:(a) South India is known mainly for its:(i) tasty food.(ii) traditional music, art, and literature.(iii) scenic beauty.(iv) delicate and precise ways.(b) In South Indian cuisine, Gandhiji's favourite was:(i) dosa.(ii) vada.(iii) uttapam.(iv) idli.2.2 Answer the following questions briefly:(a) How does the breeze on Marina Beach affect the body?(b) Why does one never feel dull in Chennai?(c) What is usual for a cultured family in Chennai?(d) What makes Carnatic music charming?(e) What is special about ‘Kathakali’?(f) What has ‘Kala Kshetra’ achieved?2.3 Find words from the passage which are similar in meaning to the following:(a) wonder (para 2)(b) promote / support (para 3)
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