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  1. Read the passage carefully and answer the following questions:
  2. We sit in the last row, bumped about but free of stares. The bus rolls out of the dull crossroads of the city, and we are soon in open countryside, with fields of sunflowers as far as the eye can see, their heads all facing us. Where there is no water, the land reverts to desert. While still on level ground, we see in the distance the tall range of the Mount Bogda, abrupt like a shining prism laid horizontally on the desert surface. It is over 5,000 metres high, and the peaks are under permanent snow, in powerful contrast to the flat desert all around. Heaven Lake lies part of the way up this range, about 2,000 metres above sea level, at the foot of one of the higher snow-peaks.
  3. As the bus climbs, the sky, brilliant before, grows overcast. I have brought nothing warm to wear: it is all down at the hotel in Urumqi. Rain begins to fall. The man behind me is eating overpoweringly smelly goat’s cheese. The bus window leaks inhospitably but reveals a beautiful view. We have passed quickly from desert through arable land to pasture, and the ground is now green with grass, the slopes dark with pine. A few cattle drink at a clear stream flowing past moss-covered stones; it is a Constable landscape. The stream changes into a white torrent, and as we climb higher I wish more and more that I had brought with me something warmer than the pair of shorts that have served me so well in the desert. The stream (which, we are told, rises in Heaven Lake) disappears, and we continue our slow ascent. About noon, we arrive at Heaven Lake and look for a place to stay at the foot, which is the resort area. We get a room in a small cottage, and I am happy to note that there are thick quilts on the beds.
  4. Standing outside the cottage we survey our surroundings. Heaven Lake is long, sardine shaped and fed by snowmelt from a stream at its head. The lake is an intense blue, surrounded on all sides by green mountain walls, dotted with distant sheep. At the head of the lake, beyond the delta of the inflowing stream, is a massive snowcapped peak which dominates the vista; it is part of a series of peaks that culminate, a little out of view, in Mount Bogda itself.
  5. For those who live in the resort, there is a small mess hall by the shore. We eat here sometimes, and sometimes buy food from the vendors outside, who sell kabab and naan until the last buses leave. The kababs, cooked on skewers over charcoal braziers, are particularly good; highly spiced and well done. Horse’s milk is available too from the local Kazakh herdsmen, but I decline this. I am so affected by the cold that Mr. Cao, the relaxed young man who runs the mess, lends me a spare pair of trousers, several sizes too large but more than comfortable. Once I am warm again, I feel a predinner spurt of energy dinner will be long in coming and I ask him whether the lake is good for swimming in.
  6. “Swimming ?” Mr. Cao says. “You aren’t thinking of swimming, are you?”
  7. ” I thought I might,” I confess. “What’s the water like?”
  8. He doesn’t answer me immediately, turning instead to examine some receipts with exaggerated interest. Mr. Cao, with great offhandedness, addresses the air. “People are often drowned here,” he says. After a pause, he continues. “When was the last one ?” This question is directed at the cook, who is preparing a tray of mantou (squat white steamed bread rolls), and who now appears, wiping his doughy hand across his forehead. “Was it the Beijing athlete ?” asks Mr. Cao.

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

(a) One benefit of sitting in the last row of the bus was that:

(i) the narrator enjoyed the bumps.

(ii) no one stared at him

(iii) he could see the sunflowers.

(iv) he avoided the dullness of the city.

(b) The narrator was travelling to:

(i) Mount Bogda

(ii) Heaven Lake

(iii) a 2,000 m high snow peak

(iv) Urumqi

(c) On reaching the destination the narrator felt relieved because:

(i) he had got away from the desert

(ii) a difficult journey had come to an end

(iii) he could watch the snow peak

(iv) there were thick quilts on the beds

(d) Mount Bogda is compared to:

(i) a horizontal desert surface

(ii) a shining prism

(iii) a Constable landscape

(iv) the overcast sky

Answer the following questions briefly:

(e) Which two things in the bus made the narrator feel uncomfortable?

(f) What made the scene look like a Constable landscape?

(g) What did he regret as the bus climbed higher?

(h) Why did the narrator like to buy food from outside?

(i) What is ironic about the pair of trousers lent by Mr. Cao?

(j) Why did Mr. Cao not like the narrator to swim in the lake?

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

(i) sellers (para 4)

(ii) increased (para 7)

  1. Read the passage carefully and answer the following questions:

If you live in a rapidly urbanising India, especially in the North, and feel that things are getting from bad to worse as far as civility, sensitivity and respect for law is concerned, you are not alone.
I go out cycling almost every morning, at the crack of dawn. The total lawlessness that has come to grip the society scares me. As early as 5 am, our cycling group notices people huddled around their cars, drinking outside eateries or liquor joints, fighting, arguing loudly, or simply passing lewd comments at the women riders in our group. The comments do not vary from a Mercedes or a Maruti Swift. They are uniformly distasteful. We often see police vehicles at these joints too, and they are certainly not there attending to an SOS call.
Several of you would remember the horrific accident that took place in Gurgaon. Forty seven year old Avinash Shah, driving his small car with his wife and daughter was hit by a businessman test driving a powerful new Audi. Avinash died instantly and his wife and daughter barely survived.
The gent who rammed the big Audi into the small car, is out on bail. According to eye-witnesses, soon after ramming into Avinash’s car, this gent got out, made a few phone calls using his mobile, and got picked up by his own driver in his car and vanished. The police said they did not have his address for two days despite knowing that he was on a test drive and had deposited his driving licence at the car showroom before taking the car out. Two days later, this gent reappeared, with a lawyer in toe and surrendered, only to be bailed out in a jiffy.
Why is it that things are reaching such a pass? Sudden wealth, easy availability of ‘good things’ in life, general feeling that money can buy anything, or what else? Is it just a North Indian phenomenon or nationwide? Why it is that uncouth, uncivil and insensitive behaviour is all pervasive?,,Why is the society so willing to circumvent, indeed buy, law at will? Do you think the media is responsible having abdicated its responsibilities by concentrating on flashy things alone while bypassing the real issues that would positively impact the society?
Whatever the answer to those questions is, the solution lies with us alone. We need to stop accepting being pushed around. An individual cannot take on those who mock at our law, but together we can do wonders. The choice is ours, whether to stare down the barrel of the gun as lawlessness gains ground faster than these guys drive their fast cars, or start coming together to challenge the perpetrators of these crimes. I have often heard the argument that our economy is growing rapidly and this is just a brief side effect of such growth. I would rather have a slower growth rate of economy, but a saner, civilised society to live in.

  1. On the basis of your reading of the above passage make notes on it using headings and sub-headings. Use recognizable abbreviations, wherever necessary.
  2. Write a summary of the above passage in 80 words using the notes made and also suggest a suitable title.


REPORT WRIYING: Points to Remember:

  • Mention the place, date, time and other relevant facts about the event.
  • Include information collected from the people around or affected by the event.
  • Write the name of the reporter.
  • Provide a suitable title/heading.
  • Write in past tense.
  • Write in reported speech and use passive form of expression.
  • Develop ideas (causes, reasons, consequences, opinions) logically.
  • Write in a less formal and more descriptive manner, while writing a report for a school magazine.
  • Present your ideas and impressions to make the report interesting.

Marks will be awarded for:

  • Title
  • Reporter’s name
  • Content
  • Expression: Accuracy + Fluency
  1. Recently your school held a Seminar on Conservation of Water as a part of World Water Day celebrations. As the School Pupil Leader of Maryland School, Gurgaon, write a report in 100-125 words for a local daily. Sign as Pritham/Preeti.
  2. Recently your school held a Seminar on Conservation of Water as a part of World Water Day celebrations. As the School Pupil Leader of Maryland School, Gurgaon, write a report in 100-125 words for a local daily. Sign as Pritham/Preeti. (Delhi 2010)


  • Name of the issuing agency (school, etc)
  • Date of issue/release of the notice
  • Title/Subject of the Event (what?)
  • BODY-Date/time/duration/Place/Venue (when and where?)
  • Authorized signatory: Name and signature (contact details)
  1. You are Pushpak /Pooja. As the Secretary of the Social Service League of your school; you have organised a cultural benefit show in aid of mentally handicapped children of your town, Vijayawada. Write a notice in not more than 50 words for your school notice board, giving necessary information about the programme.
  2. Water supply will be suspended for eight hours (10 am to 6 pm) on 6th of March for cleaning of the water tank. Write a notice in about 50 words advising the residents to store water for a day. You are Karan Kumar/Karuna Bajaj, Secretary, Janata Group Housing Society, Palam Vihar, Kurnool.
    (CBSE 2016)



Answer the following questions in 30- 40 words each.

  1. Why was Franz confused? What added to his confusion?
  2. How did M. Hamel praise the French language and why?
  3. Why has the poet’s mother been compared to the late winter’s moon?
  4. Explain ‘Put that thought away’.
  5. Bring out the significance of the smile of the poet as she bade farewell to her mother?

Answer the following questions in 120 words each.

  1. Explain “M.Hamel was an epitome of patience that day- a true patriot”.
  2. What announcement did M. Hamel make in the class room? What was the impact of this on Franz?
  3. After reading the chapter ‘The Last Lesson” you realize that man has an intense desire to subjugate others. You feel that in the modern world there is a strong need of brotherhood. Write an article based on the statement.
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