Q. 13.5( 4 Votes )

Read the passage given below :

1. When you grow up in a place where it rains five months a year, wise elders help you to get acquainted with the rain early. They teach you that it is ignorant to think that it is the same rain falling every day. Oh no, the rain is always doing different things at different times. There is rain that is gentle, and there is also rain that falls too hard and damages the crops. Hence, the prayer for the sweet rain that helps the crops to grow.

2. The monsoon in the Naga hills goes by the native name, khuthotei (which means the rice-growing season). It lasts from May to early or mid-October. The local residents firmly believe that Durga Puja in October announces the end of rain. After that, one might expect a couple of short winter showers, and the spring showers in March and April. Finally, comes the ‘‘big rain’’ in May; proper rainstorms accompanied by heart-stopping lightning and ear-splitting thunder. I have stood out in storms looking at lightning arc across dark skies, a light-and-sound show that can go on for hours.

3. This is the season when people use the word sezuo or süzu to refer to the week-long rains, when clothes don’t dry and smell of mould, when fungus forms on the floor and when you can’t see the moon or the stars because of the rainclouds. But you learn not to complain. Rain, after all, is the farmer’s friend and brings food to the table. Rituals and festivals centre around the agricultural rhythm of life, which is the occupation of about 70 percent of the population.

4. The wise learn to understand its ways. I grew up hearing my grandfather say, ‘‘It’s very windy this year. We’ll get good rain.’’ If the windy season was short and weak, he worried there might not be enough rain for the crops. I learned the interconnectedness of the seasons from childhood, and marvelled at how the wind could bring rain. Another evening, many rainy seasons ago, my paternal aunt observed the new moon and worried, ‘‘Its legs are in the air, we’re in for some heavy rain.’’ She was right. That week, a storm cut off power lines and brought down trees and bamboos.

5. Eskimos boast of having a hundred names for snow. Norwegians in the north can describe all kinds of snow by an equal amount of names : pudder, powder snow, wet snow, slaps, extra wet snow, tight snowfall, dry snow, and at least 95 more categories of snow. Likewise, in India we have names and names for rain. Some are common, some are passing into history.

6. The rains are also called after flowering plants and people believe that the blossoming of those plants draws out rain. Once the monsoons set in, field work is carried out in earnest and the work of uprooting and transplanting paddy in flooded terrace fields is done. The months of hard labour are June, July and August. In August, as the phrogü plant begins to bloom, a rain will fall. This August rain, also called phrogü, is a sign that the time for cultivation is over. If any new grain seeds are sown, they may not sprout; even if they do sprout, they are not likely to bear grain. The rain acts as a kind of farmer’s almanac.

7. The urban population of school-goers and office-goers naturally dislikes the monsoon and its accompanying problems of landslides, muddy streets and periodic infections. For non-farmers, the month of September can be depressing, when the rainfall is incessant and the awareness persists that the monsoons will last out till October. One needs to have the heart of a farmer to remain grateful for the watery days, and be able to observe — from what seems to the inexperienced as a continuous downpour — the many kinds of rain. Some of the commonly known rain-weeks are named after the plants that alternately bloom in August and September. The native belief is that the flowers draw out the rain.

8. Each rain period has a job to fulfil : October rain helps garlic bulbs to form, while kümünyo rain helps the rice bear grain. Without it, the ears of rice cannot form properly. End October is the most beautiful month in the Naga hills, as the fields turn gold and wild sunflowers bloom over the slopes, all heralding the harvest. Prayers go up for protecting the fields from storms, and the rains to retreat because the grain needs to stand in the sun and ripen. The cycle nears completion a few weeks before the harvest, and the rain does retreat so thoroughly from the reaped furrows that the earth quickly turns hard. The months of rain become a distant memory until it starts all over again.

On the basis of your understanding of the above passage, complete the statements given below with the help of options that follow :

(a) The rains are called after flowering plants because

(i) heavy rains kill plants.

(ii) flowers grow in the rainy season.

(iii) it is believed that the plants bring the rain.

(iv) flowers grow all the year round.

(b) The rain is like a calendar for farmers because

(i) it tells them when to sow and when to harvest.

(ii) it tells them the birthdays of their children.

(iii) each month has time for plantation.

(iv) different kinds of rain tell different things.

(c) People who live in cities don’t like rain because

(i) it brings mud and sickness with it.

(ii) they are not bothered by the farmers.

(iii) they don’t like the plants that grow during the rain.

(iv) going shopping becomes difficult.

(d) People pray to ask the rain to retreat because

(i) the fungus and mould need to dry.

(ii) children don’t get a chance to play.

(iii) the crops need the sun and heat to ripen.

(iv) they like to pray.

Answer the following questions briefly :

(e) Why do the elders want you to understand the rains in the Naga hills?

(f) What does Durga Puja mean to the farmers of the Naga hills?

(g) What kind of rain is called sezuo?

(h) What is the occupation of more than half the population of the Naga hills?

(i) How is the heart of the farmer different from that of the city person?

(j) When does rain become a memory in the minds of the people of the Naga hills?

(k) Find words from the passage which mean the same as the following:

(i) flowering (para 6)

(ii) nonstop (para 7)

Answer :

(a) (i) heavy rains kill plants. This is not the correct answer and is irrelevant to the context of the question and passage.


(ii) flowers grow in the rainy season. Flowers don’t grow in the rainy season, and this is not the correct answer as it is not mentioned anywhere in the passage.


(iii) it is believed that the plants bring the rain. Yes, this is the correct answer as it is mentioned in the passage it gives the reason to the belief which is taken forward by the farmers that plants bring rain.


(iv) flowers grow all the year round. This is not mentioned in the passage. Thus it is not the correct answer.


(b) The rain is like a calendar for farmers because


(i) it tells them when to sow and when to harvest. Though technically true that it tells them when to do the harvesting and sowing, but the passage mentions that rains are like calendars as they tell many different things. Thus it is not the answer.


(ii) it tells them the birthdays of their children. This is not mentioned in the passage and is completely irrelevant to the context of this passage. Thus it is not the correct answer.


(iii) each month has time for plantation. Though technically true, This is not mentioned in the passage and is completely irrelevant to the context of this passage. Thus it is not the correct answer.


(iv) different kinds of rain tell different things. Yes, this is the correct answer as it is mentioned in the passage that the rains tell different things to the farmer thus it is called a calendar of the farmers.


(c) People who live in cities don’t like rain because


(i) it brings mud and sickness with it. Yes, this is the correct answer as mentioned in the passage, rains lead to sickness and stuffy and muddy environment.


(ii) they are not bothered by the farmers. This is not mentioned in the passage and is completely irrelevant to the context of this passage. Thus it is not the correct answer.


(iii) they don’t like the plants that grow during the rain. This is not mentioned in the passage and is completely irrelevant to the context of this passage. Thus it is not the correct answer.


(iv) going shopping becomes difficult. This is not the answer as none of the things are stopped by the rains also all everyday life chorus goes on. This is not mentioned in the passage and is completely irrelevant to the context of this passage. Thus it is not the correct answer.


(d) People pray to ask the rain to retreat because


(i) the fungus and mould need to dry. This is not the answer as it is obvious if the rain will retreat due to sun’s heat mould and fungus will dry, this is not mentioned in the passage.


(ii) children don’t get a chance to play. Though technically true this does not become the reason to stop the rains by praying.


(iii) the crops need the sun and heat to ripen. This is the correct answer as the rain goes crops will ripen and get heat because of the sun as mentioned in the passage.


(iv) they like to pray. This is not mentioned in the passage and is completely irrelevant to the context of this passage. Thus it is not the correct answer.


(e) The elders want us to understand rains in Naga hills; this is because rains in these hills are very frequent. One needs to understand these rains so that we don’t complain about these rains; these rains tell us different things. The farmer gets a lot of help due to these rains.


(f) The Durga puja to the farmers of Naga hills means the end of rain. After this month of October and Durga Puja, the local residents expect few winter showers and little spring showers in the summer months of March and April.


(g) Sezuo refers to the kind of rain which is week-long and unstoppable. In this season clothes don’t get dried easily, and there is fungus and moulds formation on the floor. The clouds cover the whole sky, so the celestial bodies are not visible.


(h) Agriculture is the occupation of more than half of the population of the Naga hills. Festivities and other activities centre around the agriculture all around the year.


(i) The heart of a farmer appreciates for rains and loves it, waits for it all year round. But the city people hate it because it brings rain and congestion, mud and potholes. All the activities are stopped due to the rains.


(j) Prayers are done to protect the fields from different storms in this rainy season, and for the return journey of the rains. The grains in this season need sun and air to ripen thus the rain cycle is completed, and it reaches its end till then the only few weeks are left for the harvest, and the soil becomes hard and free from excess moisture. Thus this rain becomes a memory that the farmers of Naga hills remember till the time it starts again.


(k) (i) blossoming


(ii) incessant.


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NEXTRead the passage given below :1. Every morning Ravi gives his brain an extra boost. We’re not talking about drinking strong cups of coffee or playing one of those mind-training video games advertised all over Facebook. ‘‘I jump onto my stationary bike and cycle for 45 minutes to work,’’ says Ravi. ‘‘When I get to my desk, my brain is at peak activity for a few hours.’’ After his mental focus comes to a halt later in the day, he starts it with another short spell of cycling to be able to run errands.2. Ride, work, ride, repeat. It’s a scientifically proven system that describes some unexpected benefits of cycling. In a recent study in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, scientists found that people scored higher on tests of memory, reasoning, and planning after 30 minutes of spinning on a stationary bike than they did before they rode the bike. They also completed the tests faster after pedalling.3. Exercise is like fertilizer for your brain. All those hours spent on exercising your muscles, create rich capillary beds not only in leg and hip muscles but also in your brain. More blood vessels in your brain and muscles mean more oxygen and nutrients to help them work. When you pedal, you also force more nerve cells to fire. The result : you double or triple the production of these cells — literally building your brain. You also release neurotransmitters (the messengers between your brain cells) so all those cells, new and old, can communicate with each other for better, faster functioning. That’s a pretty profound benefit to cyclists.4. This kind of growth is especially important with each passing birthday because as we age, our brains shrink and those connections weaken. Exercise restores and protects the brain cells. Neuroscientists say, ‘‘Adults who exercise display sharper memory skills, higher concentration levels, more fluid thinking, and greater problem-solving ability than those who are sedentary.’’5. Cycling also elevates your mood, relieves anxiety, increases stress resistance, and even banishes the blues. ‘‘Exercise works in the same way as psychotherapy and antidepressants in the treatment of depression, maybe better,’’ says Dr Manjari. A recent study analyzing 26 years of research finds that even some exercise — as little as 20 to 30 minutes a day — can prevent depression over the long term.6. Remember: although it’s healthy, exercise itself is stress, especially when you’re just getting started or getting back into riding. When you first begin to exert yourself, your body releases a particular hormone to raise your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels, says Meher Ahluwalia, PhD, a professor of integrative physiology. As you get fitter, it takes a longer, harder ride to trigger that same response.On the basis of your understanding of the passage, complete the statements given below with the help of the options that follow :(a) Ravi gets his brain to work at peak level by(i) drinking three cups of coffee.(ii) playing games that need brain activity.(iii) cycling on a stationary bike.(iv) taking tablets to pump up his brain.(b) When nerve cells work during exercise then(i) the body experiences stress.(ii) the bran is strengthened by multiplying them.(iii) you start to lose your temper.(iv) your stationary cycle starts to beep.Answer the following questions briefly :(c) How does exercise help the brain ?(d) Why does Ravi do a circuit of ‘ride, work, ride’ ?(e) What is the work of neurotransmitters ?(f) What benefits other than greater brain activity does one get from cycling ?(g) Why is exercise so important for adults ?(h) How is exercise itself a stress ?(i) Find words from the passage which mean the same as the following :(i) manure (para 3)(ii) inactive (para 4)
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