“Why do you do this?” I ask Saheb whom I encounter every morning scrounging for gold in the garbage dumps of my neighbourhood. Saheb left his home long ago. Set amidst the green fields of Dhaka, his home is not even a distant memory. There were many storms that swept away their fields and homes, his mother tells him. That’s why they left, looking for gold in the big city where he now lives. “I have nothing else to do,” he mutters, looking away. “Go to school,” I say glibly, realising immediately how hollow the advice must sound. “There is no school in my neighbourhood. When they build one, I will go.”
a) Who is ‘I’ in the above lines? • Anees Jung • Jack Finney • Alphonse Daudet • Colin Dexte
b) Which chapter has this extract been taken from? • Lost Spring • The Last Lesson • Deep Water • The Rattrap
c) What does the word ‘Amidst’ mean? • In the middle of • In the corner of • In the right side of • In the left side of
d) Why does the word ‘Glibly’ mean? • Superficially • Intrinsically • confidently • None of these
a. Anees Jung
b. Lost Spring
c. In the middle of
“If I start a school, will you come?” I ask, half-joking. “Yes,” he says, smiling broadly. A few days later I see him running up to me. “Is your school ready?” “It takes longer to build a school,” I say, embarrassed at having made a promise that was not meant. But promises like mine abound in every corner of his bleak world. After months of knowing him, I ask him his name. “Saheb-e-Alam,” he announces. He does not know what it means. If he knew its meaning — lord of the universe — he would have a hard time believing it.
a) Why does the narrator feel embarrassed? • For making a fake promise • For making a promise that she can keep • For making a real promise • For not making any promise
Unaware of what his name represents, he roams the streets with his friends, an army of barefoot boys who appear like the morning birds and disappear at noon. Over the months, I have come to recognise each of them. “Why aren’t you wearing chappals?” I ask one. “My mother did not bring them down from the shelf,” he answers simply. “Even if she did he will throw them off,” adds another who is wearing shoes that do not match. When I comment on it, he shuffles his feet and says nothing. “I want shoes,” says a third boy who has never owned a pair all his life. Travelling across the country I have seen children walking barefoot, in cities, on village roads. It is not lack of money but a tradition to stay barefoot, is one explanation. I wonder if this is only an excuse to explain away a perpetual state of poverty.
a) What is the factual reason for not wearing chappals? • Their Poverty • Their fashion • Their inability to not get the chappals down from the shelf • Their excuses
b) What does the word ‘Barefoot’ mean? • Without footwear • With footwear • Neither i nor ii • Both i and ii
d) Replace the phrase ‘Lack of’ from the following. • Deficiency of • Scarcity of • Shortage of • All of these
a) Their poverty
b) Without Footwear
d) All of these
I remember a story a man from Udipi once told me. As a young boy he would go to school past an old temple, where his father was a priest. He would stop briefly at the temple and pray for a pair of shoes. Thirty years later I visited his town and the temple, which was now drowned in an air of desolation. In the backyard, where lived the new priest, there were red and white plastic chairs. A young boy dressed in a grey uniform, wearing socks and shoes, arrived panting and threw his school bag on a folding bed. Looking at the boy, I remembered the prayer another boy had made to the goddess when he had finally got a pair of shoes, “Let me never lose them.” The goddess had granted his prayer.
a) Where is Udipi located in India? • Karnataka • Uttar Pradesh • Madhya Pradesh • Chennai
b) What does lost spring mean? • Lost childhood • Lost youth • Lost old age • None of these
c) What would the boy pray for? • For a good school • For pair of shoes • For pair of chappals • All of these
d) Name the author of this chapter. • Anees Jung • Selma Lagerlof • Virginia Woolf • None of these
b. Lost Childhood
c. For pair of shoes
d. Anees Jung
Young boys like the son of the priest now wore shoes. But many others like the ragpickers in my neighbourhood remain shoeless. My acquaintance with the barefoot ragpickers leads me to Seemapuri, a place on the periphery of Delhi yet miles away from it, metaphorically. Those who live here are squatters who came from Bangladesh back in 1971. Saheb’s family is among them. Seemapuri was then a wilderness. It still is, but it is no longer empty. In structures of mud, with roofs of tin and tarpaulin, devoid of sewage, drainage or running water, live 10,000 ragpickers.
b) What did the squatters come from? • Bangladesh • Bengal • Arizona • All of these
c) Where is Seemapuri located? • In Delhi • In U.P • In M.P • None of these
d) Who is a ragpicker? • One who picks rags • One who sells rags • One who wanders here and there for rags • All of these
c. In Delhi
d. All of these
They have lived here for more than thirty years without an identity, without permits but with ration cards that get their names on voters’ lists and enable them to buy grain. Food is more important for survival than an identity. “If at the end of the day we can feed our families and go to bed without an aching stomach, we would rather live here than in the fields that gave us no grain,” say a group of women in tattered saris when I ask them why they left their beautiful land of green fields and rivers. Wherever they find food, they pitch their tents that become transit homes. Children grow up in them, becoming partners in survival.
a) Where do ‘They’ live? • Firozabad • Seemapuri • Daulatabad • Daya Basti
b) What does the narrator mean by ‘Food is more important than survival’? • That they came to India for food • That they came to India for survival • That they came to india for money • None of these
c) Find out the synonym of the word ‘Tattered’ from the following?’ • Worn and torn • Absolutely new • Battered • Both 1 and 3
d) What does the speaker mean by ‘Transit Homes’? • Permanent homes • Temporary homes • Water proof homes • None of these
b. They came to India for food
c. Both 1 and 3
d. Temporary Home
And survival in Seemapuri means rag-picking. Through the years, it has acquired the proportions of a fine art. Garbage to them is gold. It is their daily bread, a roof over their heads, even if it is a leaking roof. But for a child it is even more. “I sometimes find a rupee, even a ten-rupee note,” Saheb says, his eyes lighting up. When you can find a silver coin in a heap of garbage, you don’t stop scrounging, for there is hope of finding more. It seems that for children, garbage has a meaning different from what it means to their parents. For the children it is wrapped in wonder, for the elders it is a means of survival.
a) What makes the narrator call rag picking a fine art? • For it take brain to pick rags • For it take skill to pick rags • For it takes acumen to pick rags • All of these
b) What does the word ‘Scrounging’ mean? • Looking for • Searching • Seeking • All of these
c) What does rag picking mean to elders? • Wrapped in wonder • Means of survival • Way to enjoy their life • All of these
One winter morning I see Saheb standing by the fenced gate of the neighbourhood club, watching two young men dressed in white, playing tennis. “I like the game,” he hums, content to watch it standing behind the fence. “I go inside when no one is around,” he admits. “The gatekeeper lets me use the swing.” Saheb too is wearing tennis shoes that look strange over his discoloured shirt and shorts. “Someone gave them to me,” he says in the manner of an explanation. The fact that they are discarded shoes of some rich boy, who perhaps refused to wear them because of a hole in one of them, does not bother him.
a) What is Saheb by profession? • Bangle maker • Rag picker • Motor mechanic • None of these
b) What does the speaker mean by ‘Discarded shoes’? • Rejected shoes • Branded shoes • Used shoes • All of these
c) “He hums” means……. • He sings • He cries • He hates • He enjoys
d) When does the gatekeeper let Saheb go inside the club? • When everyone is inside • When no one is inside • When everyone is playing inside • All of these
a. Rag picker
b. Rejected shoes
c. He sings
d. When no one is inside
For one who has walked barefoot, even shoes with a hole is a dream come true. But the game he is watching so intently is out of his reach. This morning, Saheb is on his way to the milk booth. In his hand is a steel canister. “I now work in a tea stall down the road,” he says, pointing in the distance. “I am paid 800 rupees and all my meals.” Does he like the job? I ask. His face, I see, has lost the carefree look. The steel canister seems heavier than the plastic bag he would carry so lightly over his shoulder. The bag was his. The canister belongs to the man who owns the tea shop. Saheb is no longer his own master!
a) Where is Saheb employed now? • At a coffee shop • At a tea stall • At a bangle making industry • At a garage
b) What does the narrator mean by “The bag was his”? • He was a slave earlier • He was his own owner earlier • He is his owner now • None of these
c) What is Saheb’s attitude towards life? • Optimistic • Pessimistic • Reserved • Progressive
d) How has Saheb’s dream come true? • He has found a rupee note • He has found a ten rupee note • He has got a new pair of tennis shoes • He has got a rejected pair of tennis shoes
a. At a tea stall
b. He was his own owner earlier
d. He has go a rejected pair of tennis shoes
“I want to drive a car” Mukesh insists on being his own master. “I will be a motor mechanic,” he announces. “Do you know anything about cars?” I ask. “I will learn to drive a car,” he answers, looking straight into my eyes. His dream looms like a mirage amidst the dust of streets that fill his town Firozabad, famous for its bangles. Every other family in Firozabad is engaged in making bangles. It is the centre of India’s glass-blowing industry where families have spent generations working around furnaces, welding glass, making bangles for all the women in the land it seems.
a) What does the word ‘Mirage’ means? • Hypertension • Illusion • Intuition • Beautification
b) How is Mukesh different from other bangle makers? • For he wants to be a slave • For he wants to be his own owner • For he wants to open his garage • For he wants to befriend the saahukars
c) How long have the bangle-making families been working in Firozabad? • For months • For years • For centuries • For days
d) What is Mukesh’s attitude towards life? • Optimistic • Pessimistic • Omnipotent • None of these
b. For he wants to be his own master
c. For centuries
Mukesh’s family is among them. None of them know that it is illegal for children like him to work in the glass furnaces with high temperatures, in dingy cells without air and light; that the law, if enforced, could get him and all those 20,000 children out of the hot furnaces where they slog their daylight hours, often losing the brightness of their eyes. Mukesh’s eyes beam as he volunteers to take me home, which he proudly says is being rebuilt. We walk down stinking lanes choked with garbage, past homes that remain hovels with crumbling walls, wobbly doors, no windows, crowded with families of humans and animals coexisting in a primeval state.
a) What is illegal for children? • Working in bangle industry • Working as rag pickers • Working as labourers • All of these
b) What does the narrator mean by ‘Slog their daylight hours’? • Work doggedly • Slave away • Grind away • All of these
c) Under what conditions do these bangle makers live in? • Pathetic • Hazardous • Harmful • All of these
d) What does the speaker mean by ‘Primeval state’? • Modern state • Ancient state • Advanced state • None of these
a. All of these
b. All of these
c. All of these
d. Ancient State
Despite long years of hard labour, first as a tailor, then a bangle maker, he has failed to renovate a house, send his two sons to school. All he has managed to do is teach them what he knows — the art of making bangles. “It is his karam, his destiny,” says Mukesh’s grandmother, who has watched her own husband go blind with the dust from polishing the glass of bangles. “Can a god-given lineage ever be broken?” she implies. Born in the caste of bangle makers, they have seen nothing but bangles — in the house, in the yard, in every other house, every other yard, every street in Firozabad.
a) Who is ‘He’ in the above lines? • Mukesh • Mukesh’s elder brother • Mukesh Father • None of these
b) What of the following trait suits the personality of Mukesh’s grandmother? • Superfluous • Superstitious • Super woman • All of these
c) What is the common business of the all the people in Firozabad? • To pick rags • To make bangles • To make cooperatives • All of these
d) How do bangle makers get blind? • Due to the dust of glass • Due to the dust • Due to rags • Due to being barefoot
a. Mukesh’s Father
c. To make bangles
d. Due to dust of glass
Spirals bangles — sunny gold, paddy green, royal blue, pink, purple, every colour born out of the seven colours of the rainbow — lie in mounds in unkempt yards, are piled on four-wheeled handcarts, pushed by young men along the narrow lanes of the shanty town. And in dark hutments, next to lines of flames of flickering oil lamps, sit boys and girls with their fathers and mothers, welding pieces of coloured glass into circles of bangles. Their eyes are more adjusted to the dark than to the light outside. That is why they often end up losing their eyesight before they become adults.
a) What does the word ‘Shanty’ mean? • Hovel • Shack • Hut • All of these
b) What does the speaker mean by “Their eyes are more adjusted to dark than to the light outside”? • Their eyes are bright • Their eyes are weak • Their eyes like darkness • Their eyes like light
c) Why do all the people of Firozabad have to make bangles? • Because of politicians • Because of bureaucrats • Because of sahukars • All of them
d) What kind of life do bangle makers live? • Pathetic • Miserable • Ancient • All of the above
a. All of these
b. Their eyes like darkness
c. All of them
d. All of the above
“Why not organise yourselves into a cooperative?” I ask a group of young men who have fallen into the vicious circle of middlemen who trapped their fathers and forefathers. “Even if we get organised, we are the ones who will be hauled up by the police, beaten and dragged to jail for doing something illegal,” they say. There is no leader among them, no one who could help them see things differently.
a) Who can’t the bangle makers organize themselves into cooperatives? • Because of pressure of politicians, bureaucrats etc. • Because of lack of money • Because of lack of initiative • All of these
b) What does the phrasal verb ‘Hauled up’ mean? • To force someone • To urge someone • To pressurize someone • All of these
c) Why is there no leader among them? • For they are illiterate • For they have no money • For they are insisted by the bureaucrats • All of these
d) What does the word ‘vicious’ imply? • Barbarous • Wicked • Roughshod • All of these
a. All of these
b. All of these
c. All of these
d. All of these
Their fathers are as tired as they are. They talk endlessly in a spiral that moves from poverty to apathy to greed and to injustice. Listening to them, I see two distinct worlds— one of the family, caught in a web of poverty, burdened by the stigma of caste in which they are born; the other a vicious circle of the sahukars, the middlemen, the policemen, the keepers of law, the bureaucrats and the politicians. Together they have imposed the baggage on the child that he cannot put down. Before he is aware, he accepts it as naturally as his father. To do anything else would mean to dare. And daring is not part of his growing up.
b) What does the word ‘Apathy’ imply? • A state without emotions • A state without enthusiasm • A state without zeal and zest • All of these
c) Why doesn’t any bangle maker dare to speak against bureaucrats? • For they are illiterate • For they are backwards • For they want to pursue the same professions • For they don’t want to waste their time
d) Find out the synonym of the word ‘Stigma’ from the following? • Mark • Stain • Both i and ii • None of these
b. All of these
c. For they are illiterate
d. Both i and ii
When I sense a flash of it in Mukesh I am cheered. “I want to be a motor mechanic,’ he repeats. He will go to a garage and learn. But the garage is a long way from his home. “I will walk,” he insists. “Do you also dream of flying a plane?” He is suddenly silent. “No,” he says, staring at the ground. In his small murmur there is an embarrassment that has not yet turned into regret. He is content to dream of cars that he sees hurtling down the streets of his town. Few airplanes fly over Firozabad.
a) Why does the narrator feel cheered on seeing Mukesh? • For he is different from others • For he is as same as others • For he wants to be a rag picker • For he wants to remain a bangle maker forever
b) What does the word ‘Murmur’ imply? • Speak softly • Speak harshly • Speak fastly • None of these
c) Why does Mukesh not dream of flying planes? • For he has no money • For he knows his limit • For he is determined to be a motor mechanic • All of these