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NCERT - Learn Chapter-wise Free NCERT Text books

NCERT - Learn Chapter-wise Free NCERT Text books

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NCERT Books for Class 8 2021

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Chapter 1 - How the Camel Got His Hump

Comprehension Check

Question 1:

What tasks, do you think, were assigned to the dog and the ox?


The dog was assigned the task of fetching and carrying. The ox was made to plough the fields.

Question 2:

Why did the camel live in the middle of the desert?


The camel lived in the middle of the desert because it didn’t want to work.

Question 3:

What made the dog, the horse, and the ox very angry?


The dog, the horse, and the ox were angry because man, their master, told them to work double time to make up for the camel’s idleness.

Question 4:

How did the Djinn know the horse was complaining against the camel?


The Djinn was the master of deserts. So he was able to know easily who the ani­mal with a long neck and long legs was.

Comprehension Check

Question 1:

The Camel was looking at his own reflection in the pool. What does it suggest to you about the camel?


This statement suggests that the camel loved its own image in the pool. Perhaps he considered himself handsome looking.

Question 2:

The camel said, “Humph” repeatedly. How did it affect him?


The word ‘Humph’ annoyed the Djinn. He turned ‘humph’ into the hump on the camel’s back.

Question 3:

What, according to the Djinn, was the use of the ‘humph?


The camel’s hump contained food material. It helped the desert animal go without any food for three days.

Question 4:

“…he has never yet learnt to behave.” In the light of this, what is the writer’s opinion about the camel?


The writer is of the opinion that the camel has not changed its nature and habits to this day.


Question 1:

Can this story be factually true?


No, the story is not factually true. It is just an imaginary one.

Question 2:

What according to you, is the story about?

Consider the following:

(1) How the world began.

(2) Why everyone should do his/her share of work seriously.

(3) How animals are important to humans.

(4) How the camel got his hump.


(4) How the camel got his hump.

Question 3:

What did you do over the weekend? Were you generally active or idle? Please check your back before starting to discuss or answer the question.


On weekend I got up late and relaxed. Late evening I watched my favourite TV serial. 1 played cricket in the afternoon. I have checked my back and there is no hump.

Question 4:

There are broadly two categories of workers— those who prefer to do today what they can do tomorrow, and those who prefer to do tomorrow what they can do today. Where do you belong?


I personally believe in doing my work promptly and well in time.

Chapter 2 - Children At Work

Comprehension Check


Velu stood on the platform but he felt “as if he was still on a moving train.” Why?

What made him feel miserable?

(i) Velu travelled without a ticket. Why?

(ii) How did he escape the ticket collector’s attention?

Why had Velu run away from home?

Why did he decide to follow the strange’ girl?


1. Velu had run away from home. Being a small boy he was naturally tired, hungry and afraid of the ticket examiner. He lay down near the compartment door. He could not get over the feeling that his train journey was over.

2. Velu was alone, tired and hungry. He didn’t have a ticket also. So he felt miserable.

3. (i) Velu travelled without a ticket because he had no money.

(ii) He escaped the ticket collector’s notice because the ticket collector did not come to that unreserved compartment.

4. Velu had run away from home because of the misdeeds of his father, who used to snatch all the money from him and his sister. He also beat the children.

5. Velu agreed to go after the ‘strange’ girl because he was hungry and the girl prom­ised to get food for him.

Comprehension Check


Can Velu read Tamil and English? How do you know?

“If you are not careful, you will soon be counting bars there,” the girl said.

(i)What is she referring to?

(ii) What does she mean when she says “If you are not careful.”?

(She says something a little later which means the same. Find that sentence.)

(i) Where did the girl lead Velu to?

(ii)What did they get to eat?

What work did she do? (Think of a one-word answer).


Velu could not read signboards in English. But he read the Tamil sign on the Central jail.

(i) She is referring to Central jail

(ii) She pointed out to Velu that doing wrong was not so important as escaping the police or getting caught.

The sentence is: ‘You don’t have to do anything. Just don’t get caught, that’s all’.

(i) The girl led Velu to a marriage hall.

(ii) They got some food from the garbage bin. It was leftover food.

Comprehension Check


(i) What material are the ‘strange’ huts made out of?

(ii) Why does Velu find them strange?

What sort of things did Jaya and children like her collect and what did they do with those things?

Is Velu happy or unhappy to find work? Give a reason for your answer.


(i) The ‘strange’ huts are made out of tin sheets, bricks, wood and plastic.

(ii) Velu finds those huts strange because in his own village the huts were made of mud and palm leaves.

Jaya and other children like her collected paper, plastic, and glass etc. They sold all that to a kabadi or junk-dealer.

Velu is not at all happy. He had never done such a dirty job in his village.

Exercise (Page 16)

Discuss the following questions in small groups. Write their answers afterwards.

Question 1:

Is Velu a smart boy? Which instances in the text show that he is or isn’t?


No, Velu is not a smart boy. He runs away from his home to escape his father’s beatings. He felt miserable at the railway station. He found himself alone and hungry. He accepted rag picking because he wasn’t fit for any other job.

Question 2:

Do you think Jaya is a brave and sensitive child with a sense of humour? Find instances of her courage, kind nature and humour in the text.


Yes, Jaya is a brave and sensitive girl. She takes pity on Velu and gets food for him. She herself earns her livelihood bravely by collecting discarded material and selling them. She has a sense of humour also. She calls the ‘dirty trickle of water Buckingham Canal’.

Question 3:

What one throws away as waste may be valuable to others. Do you find this sentence meaningful in the context of this story? How?


Yes, the plastic, the paper and rusty metal sheets were thrown away by the people, become valuable to ragpickers. They eat leftover food for survival. They sell junk food to some dealer to earn their livelihood.

Chapter 3 - The Selfish Giant

Comprehension Check (Page 20)


Why is the Giant called selfish?

On one occasion the children said: “How happy we are here!”

Later they said: “How happy we were there!”

What are they referring to in both the cases?

(i) When spring came, it was still winter in the garden. What does winter stand for or indicate here?

(ii) Winter has been presented like a story with its own characters and their activities.

Describe the story in your own words.

Was the Giant happy or sad over the state of the garden?

What effect did the linnet’s song have over Hail and the North Wind?


The Giant was called selfish because he wanted to keep his garden reserved only for himself. He banned the entry of outsiders there.

In both the cases, the children are referring to the Giant’s garden. In the first sentence, they say that they are enjoying in the giant’s garden. But in the second sentence, it is beyond their reach.

(i) Winter indicates that flowers did not bloom in the Giant’s garden. The birds

didn’t sing. There was no sign of joy and greenery.

(ii) Winter has been portrayed as a destroyer. It has its own characters. Snow and frost are the most prominent factors. Trees have been covered with a white cloak. The trees look lifeless. The north wind has come to stay there permanently. Hails settle on the roof.

The Giant felt sad to see the state of his garden. Different seasons brought no change in it.

As an effect of the linnet’s song, the Hail stopped dancing over his head. Similarly, the North Wind ceased roaring.

Comprehension Check (Page 24)


(i) The Giant saw a most wonderful sight. What did he see?

(ii) What did he realise on seeing it?

Why was it still winter in one comer of the garden?

Describe the first meeting of the little boy and the Giant.

Describe their second meeting after a long interval.

The Giant lay dead, all covered with white blossoms. What does this sentence indicate about the once selfish Giant?


(i) The Giant saw that through a little hole in the wall the children had entered

into the garden. They were sitting in the branches of the trees. In every tree that he could see there was a little child. And the trees were glad to have the children back again that they had covered themselves with blossoms and were waning their hands gently above the children's heads. The birds were flying and twittering with delight, and flowers were laughing.

(ii) He realised that he himself was to blame for the year-round winter in his garden. He called himself selfish.

Only in one comer of the garden, there was winter still. The reason was that a little boy could not climb the tree like other boys. He stood under a tree weeping.

In the first meeting of the boy and the Giant, the Giant lifted him gently and put him in the branch of that tree. The tree suddenly broke into flowers and the birds began to sing. The child kissed the Giant.

In the second meeting after so many years, the Giant saw wounds on the little boy’s palm and feet. He became furious. He wanted to kill the man who had wounded the child. But the boy said that those were wounds of love.

This indicates that the Giant had been blessed by Lord Christ himself. He was neither cruel nor selfish So Christ forgave him and took him to paradise.


Discuss the following topics in groups.

Question 1:

The little child’s hands and feet had marks of nails. Who does the child remind you of? Give a reason for your answer.


The nail’s marks on the child’s hands and feet remind us of Lord Christ. He was put on a cross and nails were hammered into his palms and feet.


Question 2:

Is there something like this garden near where you live? Would you like one (without the Giant perhaps) and why? What would you do to keep it in good shape?


A park is a public place. It is like the lungs in the human body. It gives us fresh air. The greenery is soothing to the eyes. A private garden, however, has to be used by the people with care and caution. The children must not spoil the flower beds and the grassy lawns even in a public park. I would never play football in a park nor let other children do so.

Chapter 4 - The Treasure Within

Comprehension Check (Page 28)


What did Hafeez Contractor have nightmares about?

What did the Principal say to him, which influenced him deeply?

“……………. that year I did not step out into the field.” What was he busy doing that


(i) What ‘distraction’ did Hafeez Contractor create one day?

(ii) Would you have liked to participate in the ‘distraction’ had you been with him?


A nightmare is a bad dream or haunting fear. Hafeez had nightmares about mathematics examination.

The Principal told Hafeez that he was a good student but he never studied. His mother had worked hard to bring him up. It was the time now to rise to the occa­sion and study.

He was busy studying books that year.

(i) For one whole hour, he along with his friends played ‘Chor-police’.

(ii) I would have avoided such distraction for fear of the teacher. Moreover, it was completely wastage of time.

Comprehension Check (Page 32)


Hafeez Contractor wanted to join the police force. Why didn’t he?

In the architect’s office, Hafeez Contractor was advised to drop everything and join architecture. Why?

(i) What was Mrs. Gupta’s advise to Hafeez Contractor?

(ii) What made her advise him so?

How did he help fellow students who had lost a button?

Which rules did he break as a school boy?

(i) What is Hafeez Contractor’s definition of Mathematics?

(ii) How would you want to define Mathematics? Do you like the subject?


Hafeez wanted to join the police force, but his mother advised him to do his graduation first. So he joined Jaihind College in Mumbai.

It happened quite by chance. One day he saw somebody drawing a window design. He pointed out that the drawing was wrong, and the window would not open. And he was proved right. His cousin’s husband was surprised. He asked him to design a house and he did that. After that, he told Hafeez to leave everything and join architecture.

(i) When he was in the second or third standard, one of his teachers Mrs. Gupta saw

his sketches and advised him to become an architect when he grew up.

(ii) She advised him soon seeing his fine sketches.

When a fellow student lost a button while playing or fighting, Hafeez would cut a button for him from chalk, using a blade.

As a school boy, he never studied, until his 11th He always copied to pass the examination.

(i) According to Hafeez Contractor, Maths is a combination of putting designs,

construction, psychology, and sociology together and making sketch from all that,

(ii) Mathematics is the best branch of science, but it is a bit difficult to be good in this subject. However, I like this subject.

Exercise (Page 32)

Answer the following Questions:

Question 1:

It is likely that someone who is original and intelligent does not do very well at school? Should such a learner be called a failure? If not, why not?


A learner who is original and intelligent may appear to be a failure at school, but the chances of his doing well in later life are bright.

Question 2:

Who, in your view, is an ‘unusual’ learner?


An unusual learner can be a genius in any subject. He will be different from the rest.

Question 3:

What can schools do to draw out the best in unusual learners? Suggest whatever seems reasonable to you.


School should stop treating all the learners as ordinary. They should not follow old mechanical methods of teaching. They should try to discover the hidden talent in each learner and encourage him to do his best developing it.

Chapter 5 - Princess September

Comprehension Check (Page 38)


How many daughters did the royal couple have?

Why were they named after the months of the year?

The King had a peculiar habit. What was it? Why is it called peculiar?

(i) What was Princess September’s reaction to the loss of her parrot?

(ii) What was her Mother’s reaction to it?

(iii) What do the reactions indicate about the nature and temperament of each?

What pulled the Princess out of her gloom?

How did the Maids of Honour come to know that the Princess and the bird had become intimate friends?

The new bird was full of new songs but the old parrots always repeated themselves. What did they say?

What is the king’s opinion about his Councillors? Why did he form that opinion?

(i) The eight Princesses made an offer to Princess September. What was it?

(ii) Why, in your view, did they do it?

What did the sisters advise the Princess to do about her bird?


The Royal couple had nine daughters.

They were named after the months of the year because the queen could not recall

their names easily.

The peculiar habit of the king was to give gifts on his birthday rather than receive them. Usually, people get gifts on their birthdays.

(i) Princess September took the loss of her parrot to heart. She wept continuously.

She was put to sleep without supper.

(ii) Her Mother said that Princess September’s weeping was simply nonsense. She asked the maids to put the child to sleep without supper.

(iii) The princess was very simple-hearted and sensitive. She was stricken with grief when her parrot died. But the Queen mother was not moved at all. She had nothing to console the child.

The coming of a little song bird into her room comforted Princess September. She was so enchanted that she forgot about her loss.

The Maids of Honour brought in the princess’s breakfast. The song bird ate rice out of the princess’s hand and then sang sweetly. The Maids were surprised to find September so much happy. They were convinced that the two had become good friends.

The old parrots only repeat what they had been taught. They could only say ‘God save the King’ and “Pretty Polly’.

The King had a low opinion about his Councillors because like parrots, they too repeated the same thing differently.

(i) They offered their pocket money to Princess September to buy another parrot,

(ii) They did that because they felt jealous of the song bird’s friendship with Princess September.

The sisters advised the Princess to put the little bird into the cage lest it should fly away forever.

Comprehension Check (Page 43)


In the following sentence elaborate the parts given in bold. Under the circumstances, it was a very unfortunate remark for the bird to make.

(i) What did Princess September do to ensure the safety of her pet?

(ii) How did the bird react to it?

Why did the bird refuse to be taken out in her cage?

(i) What persuaded Princess September to give the bird his freedom again?

(ii) How did the bird react to it?

Princess September kept her window open day and night.

(i) How did it help the bird?

(ii) How did it help the Princess herself?

The eight sisters kept their windows shut. How did it affect them?


The circumstance was that the bird hadn’t come back because of the party at his father-in-law’s house. The princess was naturally worried. The remark of the sis­ters added to her worry.

(i) Princess September put the bird into a cage to ensure his safety.

(ii) The bird disliked his imprisonment. He stopped singing.

The bird said that he won’t be really happy and normal if he was taken out in her cage. The rice-fields arid the lake looked quite different and dull when seen through the cage bars.

(i) The Princess freed the bird lest he should die in captivity.

(ii) The Princess kept the window open so that the bird might fly in and out making fresh air charming. Freedom helped the bird to sing and enjoy himself.

(i) The bird opened his wings and flew away.

(ii) It helped the Princess herself by providing her fresh wind and natural light. It helped her make her beautiful.

The eight sisters who kept their window shut all night became extremely ugly and disagreeable. They were married to the councillors.

Exercise (Page 44)

Discuss the following questions in small groups. Write their answers later.

Question 1:

Are the sisters unkind and cruel? Find evidence in the text to support your idea.


Yes, the eight sisters of the princess were unkind and cruel. They were jealous too. They advised her to encage the bird. This suggestion might have killed the bird.

Question 2:

Which, to you, is the most important idea in this story, and why?

(i) importance of music (ii) value of freedom (iii) beauty of nature


(i) value of freedom.

Chapter 6 - The Fight

Comprehension Check (Page 49)


In what way is the forest pool different from the one which Ranji knew in the Rajputana desert?

The other boy asked Ranji to ‘explain’ himself.

(i) What did he expect Ranji to say?

(ii) Was he, in your opinion, right or wrong to ask this question?

Between Ranji and the other boy, who is trying to start a quarrel? Give a reason for your answer.

“Then we will have to continue the fight,” said the other.

(i) What made him say that?

(ii) Did the fight continue? If not, why not?


In the Rajputana desert, the pools were sticky and muddy where women washed clothes or buffaloes wallowed. But the forest pool was clean, cold and inviting. So Ranji leapt into the water for swimming.

(i) The other boy, Suraj, expected Ranji to say ‘sorry’.

(ii) Suraj was a bully. He was wrong to prevent Ranji from using the pool. The pool was common property.

It is Suraj who starts the quarrel. He asks Ranji to run away from the pool. He even threatens to beat him.

(i) Suraj spoke the above words because he was tired but he did not want to spare Ranji who refused to accept defeat. So he deferred the fight for the next day.

(ii) No, the fight didn’t continue the next day. Both Suraj and Ranji needed each other’s help, so they compromised. Suraj asked Ranji to teach him to dive and swim underwater. While Ranji agreed to become a wrestler with the help of Suraj.

Comprehension Check (Page 53)


What is it that Ranji finds difficult to explain at home?

Ranji sees his adversary in the bazaar.

(i) What does he wish to do?

(ii) What does he actually do, and why?

Ranji is not at all eager for a second fight. Why does he go back to the pool, then?

Who was the better swimmer? How do you know it?

What surprises the warrior?

Now that they are at the pool, why don’t they continue the fight?

Ranji’s superiority over the other boy is obvious in the following:

Physical strength:, good diving, his being a fighter, sense of humour, swimming under water, making a good point, willingness to help.

Underline the relevant phrases.

What, according to you, makes the two adversaries turn into good friends in a matter of minutes? Explain it as you have understood it.


Ranji had several cuts and bruises on his face and arms. He finds it difficult to explain the injuries at home.

(i) At first Ranji felt like turning away and look the other way. His second thought was to hit his enemy with the lemonade bottle.

(ii) He actually stands his ground and only scowls at Suraj.

Ranji decides to go back to the pool to gain self-respect. If he surrenders now, he will be beaten for all time

Ranji was decidedly the better swimmer. We know it when he swims across the pool as his opponent says. He dived for long into the water.

Ranji executes another perfect dive. Swimming underwater, he circles Suraj and comes upon him from behind. The warrior, Suraj, is surprised to see Ranji’s skill.

At the pool, the two contestants forgot to continue the fight. Their interest shifts to swimming and swinging (diving).

Good diving, swimming underwater, willingness to help, sense of humour.

Ranji and Suraj, two adversaries, turned into good friends in a few minutes for a couple of reasons. Both were tired of fighting. Both needed each other’s help, guidance and support. Suraj wanted to learn diving from Ranji. While Ranji liked the idea of becoming a strong wrestler with the help of Suraj.


Discuss the following topics in small groups.

Question 1:

Is fighting the only way of resolving differences of opinion? What else can be done to reach a mutually acceptable settlement?


Fighting is not the only way to resolve a dispute. The best course is to start a dialogue with a cool head. In case they fail to agree on any point, they can appoint an arbiter or middleman acceptable to both.

Question 2:

Have you ever been in a serious fight only to realise later that it was unnecessary and futile? Share your experience/views with others frankly and honestly.


People usually quarrel over minor issues which can be resolved over a cup of tea. Such violent quarrels harm both the parties. In a war, no party actually wins. Both suffer equally and feel sorry later on. Every person can recall one or two occasions of this type.

Question 3:

Why do some of us find it necessary to prove that we are better than others? Will you be amused or annoyed to read the following sign at the back of the car in front of you?


I May be going slow but I am ahead of you.

It is our common weakness to do better than others or to pull somebody down. Some pretend to be superior to others and try to hurt them. This is, in fact, a symptom of their inferiority complex. We should avoid ego clash.

Chapter 7 - The Open Window

Comprehension Check


Why had Framton Nuttel come to the “rural retreat”?

Why had his sister given him letters of introduction to people living there?

What had happened in the Sappleton family as narrated by the niece?


1. Framton Nuttel was suffering from some nervous disorder and worry. So he decided to spend a few days in some village and relax in peace.

2. His sister knew that Framton would meet very few people in the countryside. He would feel lonely and bored. His condition could grow worse. So she gave him let­ters of introduction to all people she knew there. One was addressed to Mrs. Sappleton.

3. The niece played a practical joke on Sappleton when she came to know that he was a total stranger. She said that her aunt’s husband, two brothers and a dog had gone for hunting through the window three years ago. They never returned. But the aunt was still hoping to see them back through the open window.

Comprehension Check


What did Mrs Sappleton say about the open window?

The horror on the girl’s face made Framton swing around in his seat. What did he see?


Mrs Sappleton said that her husband and brothers would be entering the house any time. The window was kept open till it was dark. They would enter through the open window

Framton swung around to know the reason for the girl’s horror. Soon he saw three figures coming towards the window.

Comprehension Check


Why did Framton rush out wildly?

What was the girl’s explanation for his lightning exit?


The niece had told Nuttel that her aunt’s husband and brothers had been missing, for three years. When Framton saw them coming, he thought they were ghosts. So he rushed out wildly in fear.

The girl explained that Framton had a bitter experience of the dogs. So he made a sudden exit on seeing the dog.


Discuss in Small groups.

Question 1:

Is this a mystery story? Give a reason for your answer.


The open window is not truly a mystery story. It shows the fertile imagination of a young girl. She plays a practical joke on Framton and tells a cooked up story. Poor Framton falls a prey to her prank and runs out of the house hurriedly.

Question 2:

You are familiar with the ‘irony’ of the situation in a story. (Remember the cop and the Anthem in Class VII Supplementary Reader!) Which situations in The Open Window’ are good examples of the use of irony?


“Irony’ refers to the contrast between what is intended or expected and what actually occurs. The open window has irony of situation. Poor Framton goes to countryside for rest and relief from his nervousness. But Mrs Sappleton’s niece plays such a joke that he suddenly rushes out. He mistakes Mrs sappleton’s husband and brother as their ghosts.

Question 3:

Which phrases/sentences in the text do you find difficult to understand? Select a few and guess the meaning of each. Rewrite a simple paraphrase of each.


Came into the nice division – The category of nice people.

Masculine habitation. – The room seemed to suggest that there lived some male persons there.

“Bertie, why do you bound? – Bound means ‘jump’. But here it means a person whose behaviour is unpleasant to other people.

Chapter 8 - Jalebis

Comprehension Check


Why didn’t he pay the school fees on the day he brought money to school?

(i) What were the coins ‘saying’ to him?

(ii) Do you think they were misguiding him?

Why didn’t he take the coin’s advice? Give two or three reasons.

(i) What did the oldest coin tell him?

(ii) Did he follow his advice? If not, why not?

He reached home with the coins in his pocket. What happened then?


The boy couldn’t pay the school fees on the day he brought to school because the teacher Master Ghulam Mohammed was on leave.

(i) The coins in the boy’s pocket urged him to buy hot and fresh jalebis.

(ii) Yes, the coins were misguiding him because the money was meant for paying school fees.

Initially, the boy didn’t take the advice of the coins seriously for a couple of rea­sons. He could not spend the money meant for paying school fees on jalebis. Sec­ondly, the boy knew the harsh nature of the master and the punishment.

(i) The oldest coin convinced him that they were telling him for his own good. He can pay his fee next day with his scholarship money. So he should not suppress his desire for jalebis. .

(ii) He didn’t follow his advice. He was a promising student. He was from a good family of repute. He didn’t want to get defame for it

After reaching home he couldn’t suppress his temptation for fresh Jalebis. He rushed to the shop of halwai. He bought jalebis and enjoyed them.

Comprehension Check


(i) Why didn’t he eat all the jalebis he had bought?

(ii) What did he do with the remaining Jalebis?

“The fear was killing me.” What was the fear?

“Children’s stomachs are like digestion machines.” What do you understand by that? Do you agree?

How did he plan to pay the fees the next day?

When it is time to pay the fees, what does he do? How is he disobeying the elders by doing so?


(i) He had bought jalebis for one rupee. But he couldn’t eat all of them because of their quantity.

(ii) He distributed the remaining jalebis among the boys from the neighbourhood.

He had eaten so many jalebis that there was the problem of digesting them all. His fear was that one jalebi or two would come out with a burp.

It means that children have the capacity to digest a lot of things that they overeat. I agree with the statement but only partly.

He planned to pay the fees the next day when he would get his monthly scholarship.

When the time draws near to pay the fees, he tucked the bag under his arm and slips out of the school. He had disobeyed his elders by crossing the railway track.

Comprehension Check


What was the consequence of buying jalebis with the fees money?

His prayer to God is like a lawyer’s defence of a bad case. Does he argue his case well? What are the points he makes?

He offers to play a game with Allah Miyan. What is the game?

Did he get four rupees by playing the game? What did he get to see under the rock?

If God had granted his wish that day, what harm would it have caused him in later life?


As a result of spending his fees money on jalebis, he had to be absent from school for the first time in his life.

He tries to please God with his requests and the recitation of the entire namaz. He admits that he made a mistake. He wouldn’t have spent his money on jalebis if he had known about the delay in scholarship. Thus, he argues his case like a lawyer.

The game is that he will go upto the signal, touch it and come back. And in the meantime God should put four rupees under a big rock.

No, he didn’t get four rupees by playing the game. When he lifted the rock, he saw a worm instead of coins.

If God had granted his wish that day he wouldn’t have learnt a lesson to do no wrong in future. He would have been like a bird and learnt no skill.


Work in small groups.

Question 1:

Select and read sentences that show

(a) that the boy is tempted to eat jalebis.

(d) that he is feeling guilty

(c) that he is justifying a wrong deed.


(a) Jalebis are meant to be eaten, and those with money in their pocket can eat them. But then, these jalebis are no common sort of Jalebis They’re crisp, fresh and full of syrup. My mouth watered. I rushed out of the house barefoot and ran towards the bazaar.

(b) My head started to spin.

When the recess bell rang I tucked my bag under my arm and left the school.

Now for the crime of eating a few Jalebis, for the first time in my life I was absent from school. Sitting under a tree, at first I felt like crying.

(c) I didn’t eat them all by myself, and I fed them to a whole lot of children. Allah Miyan! I am a good boy. I have memorised the entire namaz and the last – ten surats of the Quran by heart.

Question 2:

Discuss the following points.

(a) Is the boy intelligent? If so, what is the evidence of it?

(b) Does his outlook on the jalebis episode change after class VIII? Does he see that episode in a new light?

(c) Why are coins made to ‘talk’ in this story? What purpose does it serve?


(a) The boy is definitely intelligent. The first evidence is that he has won a schol­arship. He is a promising boy. He knows what is right and what is wrong. He argues his case before God like a lawyer.

(b) Yes, his outlook changed after class VIII. He later realised that nothing comes without a price. If God were to grant all one’s wishes for the asking, man would not learn any skill. He would be no better than birds.

(c) The coins are made to talk because they reflect the conflict going on in his own mind.

Chapter 9 - The COMET - I

Comprehension Check (Page 77)


Why does Indrani Debi dislike Duttada’s “hobnobbing’ with Dibya?

She is complaining and smiling. Why is she smiling? ‘

(i) What was Duttada’s secret ambition?

(ii) What did he do to achieve it?

What is the difference between a planet and a comet, as given in the story?

Why was Duttada hopeful that he would discover a new comet soon?

Why does Duttada say____ “I almost wish I had not discovered this comet”.

Why is his wife unhappy about the discovery?


“Dibya’ was the name given by Indrani Debi. It was a telescope. Dattada was always busy during night with Dibya. He never cared for his wife or about himself. So his wife disliked it as her rival.

She complains that Dibya has cast a spell on her husband. But she could not help smiling at his childlike behaviour. He did not bother to close the door and he forgot to put on his sweater.

(i) Duttada’s secret ambition was to buy a good telescope and to have enough of spare time to watch the stars.

(ii) He waited for his retirement. After retirement he got sufficient funds. Then he bought a telescope and he started gazing at the stars without caring for his wife and life.

A planet has a fixed orbit. A comet comes from the distant comers of the solar system. It keeps on changing.

Duttada was hopeful of discovering a new comet because he knew that professional astronomers did not consider them significant and ignored them.

The discovery of the new comet brought Duttada publicity which he did not like. He had to attend many receptions and functions. So he wished he hadn’t discov­ered that new comet.

The discovery of the new comet made Duttada’s wife unhappy. She was supersti­tious. She thought that the discovery would bring calamities on the family as well as on the earth.

Comprehension Check (Page 80)


How did Sir John get hold of James’ original manuscript?

What is the important point the paper makes?

Why does Sir John say that James's Paper should not be published?

What do the two men finally decide to do?


Sir John got hold of James’ original manuscript from Mr. Taylor who wanted to get his opinion before sending it to a professional referee.

The paper makes the important point that Duttada’s comet would collide with the earth.

Sir John opposes the publication of James’ paper because his prediction would cause widespread panic in the world.

The two men finally agree to organise a secret conference of international experts to plan how to avert the calamity.

Chapter 10 - The COMET - II

Comprehension Check

Question 1:

“For a moment James wondered if he had done his sums right.” Why was James doubtful about his sums and calculations?


James reached his hotel at 1 pm. He looked up from his window and saw the star- studded sky. He couldn’t believe that any untoward event could happen on such a peaceful night. He became doubtful about his calculations.

Question 2:

What did the scientists at the conference say about James’s ‘sums?


The scientists attending the conference came to the conclusion that James Forsyth’s calculations were correct. The new comet would collide with the earth.

Question 3:

Immediate action was needed, the scientists decided. Give one example each of ‘defensive’ and ‘offensive’ action mentioned in the text.


The approaching comet needed immediate action. The scientists had two options. The defensive measure was that the people should live in bunkers. The offensive action was to do something to deflect the comet from its path. This could be done by exploding a nuclear payload near the comet.

Question 4:

“I am not buying any Christmas presents till December 15”. What did Sir John mean by that?


Sir John was not quite sure about the safety of the earth. So he deferred the buying of Christmas presents till December 15. By that time the situation was sure to become clear.

Comprehension Check

Question 1:

What is Duttada expected to do on his return from London?


Duttada on the return was expected to take part in a Shanti yajna to pacify evil spirit behind the comet.

Question 2:

What is his reaction to the proposal?


Duttada was very angry. He called it just a silly superstition to think that comets have ill-effects.

Question 3:

(i) What does “Project Light Brigade’ refer to?

(ii) What does Sir John say about the Project in his letter to Duttada in October?


(i) “Project Light Brigade’ refers to the plan to divert the comet from its path. The plan was to launch a spacecraft and explode the nuclear device near the comet.

(ii) The charge of the light Brigade has begun. Let us hope for the best.

Question 4:

Did Sir John Buy Christmas presents on December 15? How did Duttada get to know about it?


Duttada got to know from the letter that Sir John had bought Christmas presents on Dec 15. It indicated that the Project Light Brigade was successful.

Question 5:

Why, according to Indrani Debi, had the comet not been disastrous? Do you agree with her?


Indrani Debi thought that Comet Dutta could not harm the earth because of the Yajna performed at their house. I don’t agree with this.

Question 6:

Is Duttada’s general outlook

(i) rational?

(ii) moral?

(iii) traditional?

Choose the right word. Say why you think it right.


Duttada’s general outlook is rational because he had a scientific temper. He went by reason, not by custom or morality.


Discuss the following topics in small groups. Write your answers afterwards.

Question 1:

Should a scientist’s findings be suppressed if they seem disturbing? Give reasons for and against the topic.


No, the scientist tries to discover the truth, the factual position. His findings are based on thorough research. Hence, these should not be suppressed or ignored. Copernicus put forward the theory that the earth moves round the sun. He disproved the belief that the earth was the centre of universe. And he was right. But Galileo had to pay the price of telling a truth with his life. Let truth come to light.

Question 2:

Do you think ours is a traditional society? What are some of the things we do to be called traditional? Do you find these things useless or useful?


Ours is a traditional and conservative society. It is because of ignorance of the people. Our priests have full traditional beliefs in rites and rituals. We try to pacify the evil spirits and please God with offerings. These are futile and foolish practices.

Question 3:

Give two or three examples to show how science has been useful to us.


Science is pure knowledge, a ceaseless search to know the truth and to make new discoveries. The research is a never ending process. Science has made life comfortable and protected us from fire, floods and diseases. If we misuse the discovery of atomic energy, it is our fault.

Question 4:

Give one example to show how science has been misused, and has as a result been harmful to us.


Science discovered gunpowder and hydrogen bombs, lethal gases and other weapons of mass destruction. Instead of generating power from atomic reactors, we try to produce a bomb. Such misuse of science involves enormous loss of life and property.

Chapter 1 - The Best Christmas Present in the World

Comprehension Check


What did the author find in a junk shop?

What did he find in a secret drawer? Who do you think had put it in there?


The author found a roll-top desk for sale in a junk shop. It was made of oak wood, but it was in a very bad condition.

In the secret drawer of the desk, the author found a small tin box. It had a letter in it. I think the owner of the roll-top desk might have put it there.

Comprehension Check (Page 14)


Who had written the letter, to whom, and when?

Why was the letter written — what was the wonderful thing that had happened?

What jobs did Hans Wolf and Jim Macpherson have when they were not soldiers?

Had Hans Wolf ever been to Dorset? Why did he say he knew it?

Do you think Jim Macpherson came back from the war? How do you know this?


John Macpherson, a captain in the British army, had written that letter, dated Dec. 26, 1914, to his wife Connie.

The letter described a wonderful event. The two armies-the British and the Ger­man—fighting against each other celebrated Christmas together.

Before joining the army, Hans played the cello in the orchestra and Jim was a teacher.

No, Hans had never been to Dorset. He had only read about Dorset in Hardy’s novel ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’.

No, Jim Macpherson never came back home from the war. Perhaps therefore his wife Connie had preserved his letters.

Comprehension Check


Why did the author go to Bridport?

How old was Mrs Macpherson now? Where was she?


The author went to Bridport to meet Mrs Jim Macpherson and deliver to her Jim’s letter.

Macpherson was 101 years old. She was in a nursing home.

Comprehension Check


Who did Connie Macpherson think her visitor was?

Which sentence in the text shows that the visitor did not try to hide his identity?


Connie thought that the visitor was her own husband, Jim Macpherson.

That sentence is, “you told me you’d come home by Christmas, dearest,” she said, “And here you are, the best Christmas present in the world. Come closer, Jim dear, sit down.

Working with the Text

Question 1:

For how long do you think Connie had kept Jim’s letter? Give reasons for your answer.


Connie had kept Jim’s last letter till January 25, 1915. The letter was dated Dec. 26, 1914.

Question 2:

Why do you think the desk had been sold, and when?


The desk must have been sold when Connie’s house had burnt. The table had been damaged by fire as well as water.

Question 3:

Why do Jim and Hans think that games or sports are good ways of resolving conflicts? Do you agree?


Both Jim and Hans were soldiers. Both were warm hearted. They had seen the sufferings of war. So it was natural for them to hate war. They favoured a peaceful solution to settle disputes. Games or sports, they said, were good ways of resolving conflicts. I also quite agree with them.

Question 4:

Do you think the soldiers of the two armies are like each other, or different from each other? Find evidence from the story to support your answer.


All human beings are alike in many ways. They love peace and hate war. They want to live together. Examples from the story: “Then they were calling out to us from across no man’s land. “Happy Christmas, Tommy! Happy Christmas! When we had got over the surprise, some of us shouted back, “Same to you, Fritz! Same to you!” I thought that would be that. We all did. But then suddenly one of them was up there in his grey greatcoat and waving a white flag. “Don’t shoot, lads!” someone shouted. And no one did. Then there was another Fritz up on the parapet, and another. “Keep your heads down,” I told the men, “it’s a trick.” But it wasn’t.

Question 5:

Mention the various ways in which the British and the German soldiers become friends and find things in common at Christmas.


The British and the German soldiers belonged to different camps. They were enemies in war time. But after all they were human beings and therefore they had similar feelings. They shared the festive spirit of the Christmas. They got over hatred and played games, feasted and drank like good friends. Both hated war. Both were anxious to go back to their families at the end of war.

Question 6:

What is Connie’s Christmas present? Why is it the best Christmas present in the world?


Connie thought that Jim had come back home from war. She mistook the author for Jim. She had been waiting for her husband Jim. So the coming home of Jim was the best Christmas present in the world for her.

Question 7:

Do you think the title of the story is suitable for it? Can you think of any other title(s)?


Decidedly the title of the story is most suitable. For the old Connie, no other present could have given her such joy as the coming home of Jim, her husband. Her presumption might be wrong, but she got the greatest happiness of her life. Since the story revolves around Christmas, the alternate title of the story could be War and Peace’ or ‘Christmas Gift’. But neither can be a match to the present title.

Working with Language

Question 1:

Look at these sentences from the story.

I spotted it in a junk shop in Bridport… The man said it was made in the early nineteenth century… This one was in a bad condition…

The italicised verbs are in the past tense. They tell us what happened in the past, before now.

(i) Read the passage below and underline the verb in the past tense.

A man got on the train and sat down. The compartment was empty except for one lady. She took her gloves off. A few hours later the police arrested the man. They held him for 24 hours and then freed him.


A man got on the train and sat down. The compartment was empty except for one lady. She took her gloves off. A few hours later the police arrested the man. They held him for 24 hours and then freed him.

Now look at these sentences.

The veneer had lifted almost everywhere. Both fire and water had taken their toll on this desk.

Notice the verb forms had lifted, had taken (their toll).

The author found and bought the desk in the past. The desk was damaged before the author found it and bought it. Fire and water had damaged the desk before the author found it and bought it.

We use verb forms like had damaged for an event in the ‘earlier past’. If there are two events in the past, we used the ‘had ….’ form for the event that occurred first in the past.

We also use the past perfect tense to show that something was wished for, or expected before a particular time in the past. For example, I had always wanted one

Discuss with your partner the difference in meaning in the sentences below.

When I reached the station, the train left.

When I reached the station, the train had left.

(ii) Fill in the blanks using the correct form of the verbs in brackets.

My little sister is very naughty. When she———- (come) back from school yester­day, she had ———- (tear) her dress. We——————————————————— (ask) her how it had——– (happen). She—– (say) she——- (have, quarrel) with a boy. She———– (have, beat) him in a race and he——— (have, try) to push her. She——— (have, tell) the teacher and so he——- (have, chase) her and she———- (have, fall) down and——– (have, tear) her dress.


My little sister is very naughty. When she came back from school yesterday, she had torn her dress. We asked her how it had happened. She said she had quar­relled with a boy. She had beaten him in a race and he had tried to push her. She had told the teacher and so he had chased her and she had fallen down and had torn her dress.

(iii)Underline the verbs and arrange them in two columns, Past and Earlier

(a) My friends set out to see the caves in the next town, but I stayed at home, because I had seen them already.

(b) When they arrived at the station, their train had left. They came back home, but by that time I had gone out to see a movie!

(c) So they sat outside and ate the lunch I had packed for them.

(d) By the time I returned, they had fallen asleep!


Earlier Past



Earlier Past

(a) Set out, Stayed

Had seen

(b) arrived, came back

Had left, had gone

(c) sat, ate

Had packed

(d) returned

Had fallen

Question 2:

Dictionary Work

By the end of the journey, we had run out of drinking water.

Look at the verb run out of in this sentence. It is a phrasal verb: it has two parts, a verb and a preposition or an adverb. Phrasal verbs often have meanings that are different from the meanings of their parts.

Find these phrasal verbs in the story.


Write down the sentences in which they occur. Consult a dictionary and write down the meaning that you think matches the meaning of the phrasal verb in the sentence.


“House number 12 turned out to be nothing but a burned-out shell …………….. (destroyed by fire).

That was the moment her eyes lit up with recognition, and her face……………… (brightened).

Hans Wolf and I looked on and cheered, clapping our hand……… : (considered somebody to be somebody)

The time came, and all too soon when the game was finished, the schnapps and the run and the sausage had long since run out, and we knew it was all over, (become used up, finished)

Hans Wolf and I looked on and cheered clapping our hands and stamping our feet, to keep out the cold as much as anything, (to avoid)

Question 3:

Noun Phrase

Read the following sentence.

I took out a small black tin box.

The phrase in italics is a noun phrase.

It has the noun—box—as the head word, and three adjectives preceding it.

Notice the order in which the adjectives occur—size (small), colour (black) and material (tin) of which it is made.

We rarely use more than four adjectives before a noun and there is no rigid order in which they are used, though there is a preferred order of modifiers/adjectives in a noun phrase, as given below.


Question 4:

The table below contains a list of nouns and some adjectives. Use as many adjectives as you can to describe each noun. You might come up with some funny descriptions!




circular, striped, enormous, multicoloured,

round, cheerful, wild, blue, red, chubby,

large, medium-sized, cold





elephant—enormous, striped, wild

face—cheerful, round, chubby

building—circular, large, multicoloured

water—blue, cold.

Speaking (Page 19)

Question 1:

In groups discuss whether wars are a good way to end conflicts between countries. Then present your arguments to the whole class.


War means bloodshed, hate and destruction. It shows the animalism in man. Even the animals fight for some sound reason. But nations go to war to settle some petty dispute or in the name of religion. War solves no problem. Understanding alone can end differences. All religions condemn greed and bloody quarrels. Let us learn this great lesson from history.

Question 2:

What kind of presents do you like and why? What are the things you keep in mind when you buy presents for others? Discuss with your partner. (For ex­ample, you might buy a book because it can be read and re-read over a period of time.)


Personally I am against the practice of exchanging expensive gifts. A rose or a token of affection suits every person and every pocket. This is why some guests offer bouquets or greeting cards alone. In case the gift is essential, it should satisfy some need and1 have utility. When I go to buy a present, I first take into account the liking of my classmate, relative or girl/boy friend.

Writing (Page 20)

Question 1:

Imagine that you are Jim. You have returned to your town after the war. In your diary record how you feel about the changes you see and the events that occur in your town. You could begin like this

25 December,

1919 It’s Christmas today, but the town looks…..


Suppose you are the visitor. You are in a dilemma. You don’t know whether to disclose your identity and disappoint the old lady or let her believe that her dear Jim has come back. Write a letter to a friend highlighting your anxiety, fears and feelings.


25 December, 1919

It’s Christmas today, but the town looks very much different from what I had imagined. It has been ravaged by war. Buildings are in ruins and there is graveyard silence. My own house burnt when it was hit by a bombardment. The events of war have taken a toll of civilians as well as soldiers. I hate the fighting instinct in us and curse the war makers (monger). Can’t we live in peace like brothers?



12-A, Block 4,


August 10, 2009 Dear Smith,

I am in a dilemma. It seems to be insolvable. I, therefore, seek your help in making a decision.

You know I had purchased an old desk. Inside it I got a box containing an old letter. It was written by Jim, a British soldier, to his wife. I decided to deliver that letter to Mrs. Jim at Briport.

I reached her house. She was 101 years old. When I gave her the letter, her eyes lit up. She thought I was her long lost husband Jim, who had come home to keep his promise. She was excited and she kissed me. She didn’t listen to what I tried to tell her about my identity.

I don’t know whether or not I should tell who I am. I only walked away from her quickly.

Question 2:

Given below is the outline of a story. Construct the story using the outline.

A young, newly married doctor———- freedom fighter——– exited to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands by the British————– infamous cellular Jail———— prisoners tortured ——- revolt by inmates——— doctor hanged———- wife waits for his return —– becomes old——– continues to wait with hope and faith.


It was the year 1930. India was a British colony. But English education enlightened a section of people. They started fighting for freedom. A young, newly- married doctor was implicated in a conspiracy case. He was sent to Black Waters (Kalapani) It was a group of Islands in the Bay of Bengal. Many freedom fighters and revolutionaries were sent there for life. They were put in cellular Jail for a few years. They were subjected to torture. The doctor was hanged. But his wife kept waiting for the return of her husband. She grew old. However, her hope and faith did not fade.

Poem 1 - The Ant and the Cricket


Question 1:

The cricket says, “Oh! What will become of me?” When does he say it, and why?


The cricket speaks these words when in his home he finds no food to eat in winter.

Question 2:

(i) Find in the poem the lines that mean the same as “Neither a borrower nor a lender be” (Shakespeare).


The line is: But we ants never borrow; we ants never lend.

(ii) What is your opinion of the ant’s principles?


The ant’s principle is not bad. It teaches a lesson to everybody to plan for the rainy day.

Question 3:

The ant tells the cricket to “dance the winter away.” Do you think the word ‘dance’ is appropriate here? If so, why?


The word ‘dance’ here means ‘merry making and wasting time.’ It is appropriate here. The irresponsible cricket does not deserve any sympathy.

Question 4:

(i) Which lines in the poem express the poet’s comment? Read them aloud.


The poet’s comment is expressed in the last two lines.

“Folks call this a fable, 111 warrant it true.”

(ii) Write the comment in your own words.


People say that this story of the cricket and the ant is imaginary or a fable with a moral. But I think that the story is true and educative. Some people live only in the present. They spend what they earn, and make merry. But they regret this habit later on.

Question 5:

If you know a fable in your own language narrate it to your classmates.


Attempt yourself.

Chapter 2 - The Tsunami

Comprehension Check

Say whether the following are true or false.


Ignesious lost his wife, two children, his father-in-law, and his brother-in-law in the tsunami.

Sanjeev made it to safety after the tsunami.

Meghna was saved by a relief helicopter.

Almas’s father realised that a tsunami was going to hit the island.

Her mother and aunts were washed away with the tree that they were holding on to.







Comprehension Check

Answer the following in a phrase or sentence.


Why did Tilly’s family come to Thailand?

What were the warning signs that both Tilly and her mother saw?

Do you think Tilly’s mother was alarmed by them?

Where had Tilly seen the sea behaving in the same strange fashion?

Where did the Smith family and the others on the beach go to escape; from the tsunami?

How do you think her geography teacher felt when he heard about what Tilly had done in Phuket?


Tilly’s family had come to Thailand to celebrate Christmas.

Both saw the sea rise and it started to foam and form whirlpools.

No, Tilly’s mother was not alarmed by them.

Tilly had seen the strange sea behaviour in a video.

They went to the third floor of the hotel and were saved.

She felt very pleased and satisfied.

Comprehension Check

Answer using a phrase or a sentence.


In the Tsunami 150,000 people died. How many animals died?

How many people and animals died in Yala National Park?

What do people say about the elephants of Yala National Park?

What did the dogs in Galle do?


Very few animals died.

Sixty visitors and two animals.

People say that the elephants ran from the beach an hour before the Tsunami hit the coast.

The dogs in Galle refused to go to the beach for their daily exercise.

Working With the Text

Discuss the following questions in class. Then write your own answers.

Question 1:

When he felt the earthquake, do you think Ignesious immediately worried about a Tsunami? Give reasons for your answer. Which sentence in the text tells you that the Ignesious family did not have any time to discuss and plan their course of action after the tsunami struck?


No, Ignesious did not think about the tsunami. He thought that it was just an earthquake. So he took the television off the table and put it on the ground. His family did not have time to discuss and plan their course of action. The following sentence tells about the chaos and confusion. “…two of his children caught hold of the hands of their mother’s father and mother’s brother, and rushed in the opposite direction.”

Question 2:

Which words in the list below describe Sanjeev, in your opinion?

(Look up the dictionary for words that you are not sure of.)



brave, heroic, selfless

Use words from the list to complete the three sentences below.

I don’t know if Sanjeev was cheerful, ………………. or……………….

I think that he was very brave, ……………….. and……………….

Sanjeev was not heartless, ……………….. or……………….


ambitious or brash.

heroic and selfless.

careless or humorous.

Question 3:

How are Meghna and Almas’s stories similar?


Meghna and Almas—both were lucky. Meghna was carried away with her parents and other people. But she alone survived. She was washed ashore by a wave. Almas climbed onto a log of wood. When she opened her eyes, she found herself in a hospital in Kamorta.

Question 4:

What are the different ways in which Tilly’s parents could have reacted to her behaviour? What would you have done if you were in their place?


Tilly foresaw the danger of tsunami at once. She became hysterical. Her parents didn’t ignore her. They were sure that something wrong must be going to happen. So they all left the beach and were saved. If I were in place of Tilly parents, I might not have believed her. I might have scolded her for making a nonsense situation.

Question 5:

If Tilly’s award was to be shared, who do you think she should share it with— her parents or her geography teacher?


It is very obvious. Tilly’s award should be shared with her geography teacher. Her parents could not guess the tsunami was coming.

Question 6:

What are the two different ideas about why so few animals were killed in the tsunami? Which idea do you find more believable?


Very few animals were killed in the tsunami. Perhaps they feel the tremor much before humans do. Secondly, the animals have sixth sense. They can guess the coming disaster and so run away to safer places/higher ground. The idea that the animals are gifted with the sixth sense is more believable. They move fast to get over the crisis.

Working with Language

Question 1:

Go through Part-I carefully, and make a list of as many words as you can find that indicate movement of different kinds. (There is one word that occurs repeatedly-count how many times!). Put them into three categories.

fast movement slow movement neither slow nor fast

Can you explain why there are many words in one column and not in the others?


Fast Movement

Slow Movement

Neither Slow or Fast

Fall (Once)

Rushed (3 times)

Swept away (3 times)

Washed away (once)




There are more words in column A. These are related to fast movements of escape from the tsunami. It was natural for men and animals to make fast movements in such situation. The waves also overtook some people very fast and washed them away.

Question 2:

Fill in the blanks in the sentences below (the verbs given in brackets will give you a clue).

The earth trembled, but not many people felt the………………………… (tremble)

When the zoo was flooded, there was a lot of……………………. and many animals es­caped into the countryside, (confuse)

We heard with………………. that the lion had been recaptured, (relieve)

The zookeeper was stuck in a tree and his ……………………… was filmed by the TV crew, (rescue)

There was much……………….. in the village when the snake charmer came visit­ing. (excite)







Question 3:

Study the sentences in the columns A and B.


Compare the sentences in A to the ones in B. Who is the ‘doer’ of the action in every case? Is the ‘doer’ mentioned in A, or in B?

Notice the verbs in A: ‘was swept away’, ‘was hit’, ‘were washed away’, ‘were found’. They are in the passive form. The sentences are in the Passive Voice. In these sentences, the focus is not on the person who does the action.

In B, the ‘doer’ of the action is named. The verbs are in the active form. The sentences are in the Active Voice.

Say whether the following sentences are in the Active or the Passive voice. Write A or P after each sentence as shown in the first sentence.

(i) Someone stole my bicycle. A

(ii) The lyres were deflated by the traffic police. ____________

(iii) I found it last night in a ditch near my house. _____________

(iv) It had been thrown there. ________

(v) My father gave it to the mechanic. __________

(vi) The mechanic repaired it for me. ___________


(ii) P

(iii) A

(iv) P

(v) A

(vi) A

Speaking And Writing

Question 1:

Suppose you are one of the volunteers who went to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands for relief work after the tsunami. You work in the relief camps, distributing food, water and medicine among the victims. You listen to the various stories of bravery of ordinary people even as they fight against odds to bring about some semblance of normalcy in their lives. You admire their grit and determination. Write a diary entry.

You may start in this way.

31 December, 2004

The killer tsunami struck these islands five days ago. But the victims are being brought in even now. Each one has a story to tell….


The killer tsunami struck these islands five days ago. But the victims are being brought in even now. Each one has a story to tell. Their stories are hair raising as well as heartening or inspiring. Many were determined to start a new life. They don’t want to stay in the camp for long. They feel small because living on charity was disgraceful. Most of them want to return to their cottages which are no more there, and to get a fishing boat to earn their livelihood. One woman, though old, recalled how she had saved a child from drowning.

Question 2:

The story shows how a little girl saved the lives of many tourists when a tsunami struck the beach, thanks to the geography lesson that she had learnt at school. She remembered the visuals of a tsunami and warned her parents.

Do you remember any incident when something that you learnt in the classroom helped you in some way outside the classroom?

Write your experiences in a paragraph of about 90-100 words or narrate it to the whole class like an anecdote.


For self-attempt

Poem 2 - Geography Lesson


Question 1:

Find three or four phrases in stanzas one and two which are likely to occur in a geography lesson.


scaled six inches to the mile

valleys were populated

land and water attracted man.

Question 2:

Seen from the window of an aeroplane, the city appears

(i) as haphazard as on ground.

(ii) as neat as a map.

(iii) as developed as necessary.

Mark the right answer.


(iii) as developed as necessary

Question 3:

Which of the following statements are examples of “the logic of geography”?

(i) There are cities where there are rivers.

(ii) Cities appear as they are not from six miles above the ground.

(iii) It is easy to understand why valleys are populated.

(iv) It is difficult to understand why humans hate and kill one another.

(v) The earth is round, and it has more sea than land.


(i); (iii) ; (iv) – these are correct statements.

Question 3:

Mention two things that are

(i) clear from the height.

(ii) not clear from the height.


(i) The earth is round and it has more sea than land.

(ii) Why men hate each other and build walls across the cities.

Chapter 3 - Glimpses of the Past

Comprehension Check


Look at picture 1 and recall the opening lines of the original song in Hindi. Who is the singer? Who else do you see in this picture?

In picture 2 what do you understand by the Company’s ‘superior weapons?

Who is an artisan? Why do you think the artisans suffered? (Picture 3)

Which picture, according to you, reveals the first sparks of the fire of revolt?


The opening lines of the Hindi Song are “Aye Mere Waten Ke Logon, Turn Khub Logo Nara: Ye Shubh Din Hai Hum Sab Ka Lehralo Tiranga Pyara, Par Mat Bhulo Seema Par Veron Ne Hain Pran Gawayen.” It was sung by Lata Mangeskar. We see Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Lai Bahadur Shastri and Mrs. Indira Gandhi in this picture.

The East India Company conquered India by using their superior weapons, the guns and diplomacy.

An artisan is a craftsman, skilled in some trade. They suffered because the goods that they produced lost demand in the Indian market.

Picture 7 reveals the first spark of the fire of revolt.

Working With the Text

Answer the following questions.

Question 1:

Do you think the Indian princes were short-sighted in their approach to the events of 1757?


Yes, the Indian princess were short-sighted in their approach. They fought against each other with the help of the British. Thus the British became the virtual rulers.

Question 2:

How did the East India Company subdue the Indian Princes?


The East India company spread their wings in India to promote their trade. They supported one Indian Prince to finish the other. As a result power passed onto their hands.

Question 3:

Quote the words used by Ram Mohan Roy to say that every religion teaches the same principles.


The words of Ram Mohan Roy spoken to his wife were: “Cows are of different colours, but the colour of their milk is the same. Different teachers have different opinions but the essence of every religion is the same.”

Question 4:

In what ways did the British officers exploit Indians?


The British rulers passed a resolution under which an Indian could be sent to jail without trial in a court. The goods manufactured in England were exempted from custom duty. The officers prospered on the company’s loot and their private business flourished.

Question 5:

Name these people.

The ruler who fought pitched battles against the British and died fighting.

The person who wanted to reform the society.

The person who recommended the introduction of English education in India.

Two popular leaders who led the revolt (choices may vary.)


Tipu Sultan of Mysore.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy of Bengal.

Lord Macaulay

Nana Sahib Peshwa, Kunwar Singh, Begum Hazrat Mahal.

Question 6:

Mention the following.

Two examples of social practices prevailing then.

Two oppressive policies of the British.

Two ways in which common people suffered.

Four reasons for the discontent that led to the 1857 War of Independence.


Untouchability and child marriage.

The British masters allowed imports in India tax free. They ruined Indian cottage industries,

The farmers were taxed heavily and the thumbs of skilled workers were cut.

(a) Santhals who lost their land became desperate and they revolted.

(b) The sepoys in the English army were paid much less than the white soldiers. So they were discontented and angry.

(c) The Brahmins were furious when they came to know that the bullets they had to bite, contained cow fat and pig-fat.

(d) Many landlords were sore because the British policies deprived them of their land and estate.

Working With Language

In comics what the characters speak is put in bubbles. This is direct narration. When we report what the characters speak, we use the method of indirect narration.

Study these examples:

First farmer: Why are your men taking away the entire crop?

Second farmer: Your men have taken away everything.

Officer: You are still in arrears. If you don’t pay tax next week, I’ll send you to jail.

The first farmer asked the officer why his men were taking away the entire crop.

The second farmer said that their men had taken away everything.

The officer replied that they were still in arrears and warned them that if they did not pay tax the following week, he (the officer) would send them (the farm­ers) to jail.

1.Change the following sentences into indirect speech.

(i) First man: We must educate our brothers.

Second man: And try to improve their material conditions.

Third man: For that we must convey our grievances to the British Parliament.

The first man said that________________ a__________________________________

The second man added that they _____b______________________________________

The third man suggested that___________ c__________________________________

(ii) First soldier: The white soldier gets huge pay, mansions and servants.

Second soldier: We get a pittance and slow promotions.

Third soldier: Who are the British to abolish our customs?

The first soldier said that______________ a___________________________________

The second soldier remarked that_____ b ______________________________________

The third soldier asked___________________ c________________________________



(a) they must educate their brothers.

(b) should try to improve their material conditions,

(c) they must convey their grievances to the British Parliament.


(a) the white soldier got huge pay, mansions and servants.

(b) they got a pittance and slow, promotions.

(c) who the British were to abolish their customs.

Speaking and Writing

Question 1:

Play and act the role of farmers who have grievances against the policies of the government. Rewrite their speech bubbles in dialogue form first.


(i)Ask one another questions about the pictures.

Where is the fox?

How did it happen?

What is the fox thinking?

Who is the visitor?

What does she want to know?

What is the fox’s reply?

What happens next?

Where is the goat?

Where is the fox now?

What is the goat thinking?


(i) The fox is in the well.

She fell into the well by accident.

The fox thinks how to get out of there.

The visitor is a goat.

She wants to know whether the water is sweet.

The fox replies that the water is very sweet and she had a lot of it.

The goat wanted to taste the water.

The goat is dragged into the water by the fox.

The fox comes out of the well.

The goat is thinking of her mother’s advice not to trust any stranger.

(ii)Write the story in your own words. Give it a title.


Once a fox fell into a well accidentally. She thought how to get out of the well. A goat arrived there by chance. She looked into the well. She asked the fox if the water was sweet. The cunning fox played a trick. She told a lie that the water was very, very sweet, and she had had enough of it. The foolish goat also wanted to taste the water. The fox invited her into the well. The goat reached there soon. Now the fox rode on the goat’s back and climbed out of the well. Then she thanked the goat for help. The goat was reminded of her mother’s words that she must never go by the advice of a stranger.

Question 2:

Read the following news item.

Based on this news item write a paragraph on what you think about this new method of teaching history.


Attempt yourself.

Question 3:

Find the chapters in your history book that correspond to the episodes and events described in this comic. Note how the information contained in a few chapters of history has been condensed to a few pages with the help of pictures and ‘speech bubbles’.


Attempt yourself.

Question 4:

Create a comic of your own using this story.

Once the Sun and the Wind began to quarrel, each one saying that he was stronger than the other. At last they decided to test each other’s strength. A man with a cloak around his shoulders was passing by. The Wind boasted, “Using my strength I can make that man take off the cloak.” The Sun agreed. The Wind blew hard. The man felt so cold that he clasped his cloak around his body as tightly as possible.

Now it was the turn of the Sun which shone very hot indeed. The man felt so hot that he at once removed the cloak from his body. Seeing the man taking off the cloak, the Wind conceded defeat.


Attempt yourself.

Poem 3 - Macavity: The Mystery Cat


Question 1:

Read the first stanza and think.

(i) Is Macavity a cat really?

(ii) If not, who can Macavity be?


(i) Macavity is a cunning cat.

(ii) If not a cat, he can be an expert thief or criminal or a mysterious creature.

Question 2:

Complete the following sentences.

(i) A master criminal is one who …………………………..

(ii) The Scotland Yard is baffled because …………………..

(iii) …………………… because Macavity moves much faster than them.


(i) evades arrest and escapes from the scene of crime.

(ii) it fails to get a clue about the criminal.

(iii) Flying Squad is not able to catch hold of him.

Question 3:

“A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through”.

(Jules Verne)

Which law is Macavity breaking in the light of the comment above?


Newton’s Law of Gravitation.

Question 4:

Read stanza 3, and then describe Macavity in two or three sentences of your own.


Macavity is a very cunning and cautious cat. He is tall and thin. His eyes are sunken in, his forehead is wrinkled, and his head is dome like. His coat is soiled. Hair on his cheeks is not combed.

Question 5:

Say ‘False’ or ‘True’ for each of the following statements.

(i) Macavity is not an ordinary cat.

(ii) Macavity cannot do what a fakir can easily do.

(iii) Macavity has supernatural powers.

(iv) Macavity is well-dressed, smart and bright.

(v) Macavity is a spy, a trickster and a criminal, all rolled in one.


(i) True (ii) False (iii) True (iv) False (v) True

Question 6:

Having read the poem, try to guess whether the poet is fond of cats. If so, why does he call Macavity a fiend and monster?


The poet admires the cat for his swift movement, expert criminality and the way he gives a slip to the police. But he is a law breaker at the same time, so the poet calls him a devil and giant.

Question 7:

Has the poet used exaggeration for special effect? Find a few examples of it and read those lines aloud.


The following statements are examples of exaggeration.

• He is the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair.

• His power of levitation.

• A fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity.

Chapter 4 - Bepin Choudhury’s Lapse of Memory

Comprehension Check


Why did the man stare at Bepin Babu’s is disbelief?

Where did Bepin Babu say he went in October’ 58?

Mention any three (or more) things that Parimal Ghose knew about Bepin Babu.


The man, Parimal Ghose, was taken aback when Bepin failed to recognise him. He didn’t believe that Bepin had a lapse of memory.

Bepin Babu said that in October 58 he was in Kanpur.

Parimal Ghose knew that Bepin Babu’s wife was dead, and his only brother had died in the same year in a Ranchi lunatic asylum. He also knew that Bepin Babu had no children and he was a lover of books.

Comprehension Check


Why did Bepin Babu worry about what Parimal Ghose had said?

How did he try to decide who was right— his memory or Parimal Ghose?

Why did Bepin Babu hesitate to visit Mr. Mukerji? Why did he finally decide to phone him?

What did Mr. Mukerji say? Did it comfort Bepin Babu, or add to his worries?


1. Bepin Babu was taken aback to hear the intimate details about his life from Parimal Ghose. There seeded no reason why he should tell a lie. He wondered if he really had forgotten about his visit to Ranchi.

2. In order to resolve the puzzle about his visit to Ranchi, Bepin Babu decided to contact Dinesh Mukerji. Parimal had said that Mukerji was also in Ranchi at that time

3. Bepin Babu hesitated to visit Mr. Mukerji thinking that it would be ridiculous if he had really visited Ranchi. Mukerji would think Bepin Babu had gone mad. Hence, Bepin babu finally decided to phone him.

4. Mukerji didn’t reply clearly. But he said that he had been to Ranchi twice. He was not sure about the trip. Bepin Babu exactly wanted to know. It made Bepin Babu more puzzled. He lost his appetite.

Comprehension Check


Who was Chunilal? What did he want from Bepin Babu?

Why was Dr. Chanda puzzled? What was unusual about Bepin Babu’s loss of memory?


Chunilal was an old friend of Bepin Babu. He wanted a favour from Bepin Babu in his job.

Paresh Chanda was a young physician. He had never dealt a case of memory loss. So he was puzzled. He gave a suggestion to Bepin Babu to visit Ranchi again.

Comprehension Check


Had Bepin Babu really lost his memory and forgotten all about a trip to Ranchi?

Why do you think Chunilal did what he did? Chunilal says he has no money; what is it that he does have?


Perhaps not. He finally recollected his memory and admitted that he had visited. Ranchi in 1958.

Chunilal wanted some money from Bepin Babu, his old friend. So he went to him for help. He assured Bepin that the term of his fortune would be back again. Chunilal had no money but he had mind and wit.

Working With the Text

Question 1:

The author describes Bepin Babu as a serious and hardworking man. What evi­dence can you find in the story to support this?


Bepin Babu was a serious, honest and hardworking fellow. He went to office regularly. He was doing a responsible job. He was not a good mixer. Being serious minded, he didn’t waste time in idle chat.

Question 2:

Why did Bepin Babu change his mind about meeting Chunilal? What was the result of this meeting?


Bepin Babu first refused to meet Chunilal. He was in no mood to help Chunilal out of his trouble. But he changed his mind soon. He thought Chunilal might remember something about his trip to Ranchi in 1958.

Question 3:

Bepin Babu lost consciousness at Hundroo Falls. What do you think was the reason for this?


Bepin Babu might have slipped near Hundroo Falls that made him unconscious.

Question 4:

How do you think Bepin Babu reacted when he found out that Chunilal had tricked him?


Bepin Babu’s first reaction was that he regretted having refused to help Chunilal. He saw through Chunilal’s trick to test him, and learnt a lesson.

Working With Language

Question 1:

Look at these two sentences.

He had to buy at least five books to last him through the week.

Bepin had to ask Chuni to leave.

Had to is used to show that it was very important or necessary for Bepin Babu to do something. He had no choice. We can also use “have to’/ ‘has to’ in the same way.

Fill in the blanks below using ‘had to’/have to’/ ‘has to’.

(i) I _________________ cut my hair every month.

(ii) We _______________ go for swimming lessons last year.

(iii) She_______________ tell the principal the truth.

(iv) They_____________ take the baby to the doctor.

(v) We________________ complain to the police about the noise.

(vi) Romit_________________ finish his homework before he could come out to play.

(vii) I _________________ repair my cycle yesterday. ——————– Bepin Choudhury’s Lapse of Memory


(i) have to

(ii) had to

(iii) had

(iv) had to

(v) have to

(vi) had to

(vii) had to

Question 2:

Here are a few idioms that you will find in the story. Look for them in the dictionary in the following way.

First, arrange them in the order in which you would find them in a dictionary. (Clue: An idiom is usually listed under the first noun, verb, adjective or adverb in it. Ignore articles or prepositions in the idiom). To help you, we have put in bold the word under which you must look for the idiom in the dictionary.)

(i) at/from close quarters (close: adjective)

(ii) break into a smile (break: verb; look under “break into something”)

(iii) carry on (carry: verb)

(iv) have a clean record (you may find related meanings under both these words).

(v) beat about the bush (verb) (verb)

Now refer to your dictionary and find out what they mean.




(i) at/from close quarters

from nearby

(ii) break into a smile

Smile Suddenly

(iii) Carry on

Continue the task

(iv) have a clean record

Clean conduct throughout

(v) beat about the bush

to make guess without proper knowledge

to make a vague idea

Question 3:

Study the sentences in the columns below:

I saw this movie yesterday

I have seen this movie already

Bepin babu worked here for a week last year

Bepin babu has worked here since 2003

Chunilal wrote to a publisher last week

Chunilal has written to a publisher

I visited Ranchi once, long ago

I have visited Ranchi once before

Compare the sentences in the two columns, especially the verb forms. Answer the following questions about each pair of sentences.

(i) Which column tells us that Bepin Babu is still working at the same place?

(ii) Which column suggests that Chunilal is now waiting for a reply from the publisher?

(iii) Which column suggests that the person still remembers the movie he saw?

(iv) Which column suggests that the experience of visiting Ranchi is still fresh in the speaker’s mind?


(i) Column A_______

(ii) Column A_______________

(iii) Column B_____________

(iv) Column A________

Question 4:

Given below are jumbled sentences. Working in groups, rearrange the words in each sentence to form correct sentences.

You will find that each sentence contains an idiomatic expression that you have come across in the lesson. Underline the idiom and write down its meaning. Then use your dictionary to check the meaning. One sentence has been worked out for you as an example.

Jumbled sentence: vanished/The car/seemed to/into thin/have/air.


The car seemed to have vanished into thin air.

Idiom: vanished into thin air: disappeared or vanished in a mysterious way.

(i) Stop/and tell me/beating about/what you want/the bush.


Stop beating about the bush and tell me what you want.

Idiom: beating about the bush—talk vaguely

(ii) don’t pay/if you/attention/you might/the wrong train/to the announcement/ board.


If you don’t pay attention to the announcement, you might board the wrong train.

Idiom: Pay attention: be careful

(iii) The villagers/tried/the crime/on the young woman/to pin.


The villagers tried to pin the crime on the young woman.

Idiom: Pin the crime on (implicate the wrong person)

(iv) Bepin Babu/orders to/telling people/under/loved/doctor’s/eat early/that he was.


Bepin Babu loved telling people that he was under doctor’s order to eat early.

Idiom: Under one’s order (doctor’s): under instruction of someone

(v) the students/The teacher/his eyebrows/when/said that/all their lessons/ raised/they had revised.


The teacher raised his eyebrows when the students said that they had revised all their lessons, (showed his assessment).

Idiom: Raised the eyebrows—to feel annoyed: showing annoyance.

Speaking And Writing

Question 1:

What do you think happened after Bepin Babu came to know the truth?

Was he angry with this friend for playing such a trick on him? Or do you think he decided to help a friend in need?


Bepin Babu came to know the truth what Chunilal had done. In fact Chunilal had only played a trick with him to test his friendship. Bepin Babu had a mixed feeling of relief as well as anger. He was happy to know that he had not suffered the lapse of memory. He was a little angry with his friend who was not really helpful. But he had made Bepin feel awkward. He must have decided not to disappoint a friend in need.

Question 2:

Imagine you are Bepin Choudhury. You have received Chunilal’s letter and feel ashamed that you did not bother to help an old friend down on his luck. Now you want to do something for him. Write a letter to Chunilal promising to help him soon.


A prank is a childish trick. Do you remember any incident when someone played a prank on you or your friends? Describe the prank in a paragraph.


15th November, 20XX

My Dear Chunilal,

Let me first thank you for your letter dated 10th November. I am really feeling sorry for disappointing you. I can understand your resentment. Now allow me to give you a happy news. I spoke to my friend in Delhi, and he has agreed to engage you as assistant manager in his firm.

Please come to me on Sunday. I shall then introduce you to my friend.

With regards

Yours sincerely

Bepin Choudhury


On March 26, I received a letter from one of my friends. It contained a happy news that I had been granted scholarship from back date. He asked me to call on him in April, so that both would go together to the office of the Superintendent of the school. I was very glad. I even distributed sweets to my neighbours. But when I reached my friend’s house, I found him laughing at me. It was April the first. All Fools Day.’ I got over it soon and admired the practical joke or the prank.

Poem 4 - The Last Bargain


Question 1:

Who is the speaker in the poem?


A man looking for his employer is the speaker.

Question 2:

“The king, sword in hand” suggests

(i) wealth (ii) power (iii) more power than wealth

Mark the appropriate item in the context of stanza 1.


(ii) power

Question 3:

The old man offered the speaker a lot of money. Why did he turn down the offer?


The man didn’t need money. He valued his freedom more than becoming a slave for gold.

Question 4:

Find in the poem, lines that match the following. Read both one after another.

(i) I have nothing to give you except goodwill & cheer.


“I hire you with nothing”

(ii) Her happiness was no more than sorrow in disguise.


“Her smile paled and melted into tears”.

(iii) The king’s might was not worth much.


“But his power counted for naught”

Question 5:

How did the speaker feel after talking to the child on the beach?


The speaker felt after meeting the child that he would get satisfaction, joy and freedom.

Chapter 5 - The Summit Within

Comprehension Check (Page 80)

Question 1:

Standing on Everest, the writer was

(i) overjoyed

(ii) very sad.

(iii) jubilant and sad.

Choose the right item.

Question 2:

The emotion that gripped him was one of

(i) victory over hurdles.

(ii) humility and a sense of smallness.

(iii) greatness and self importance.

(iv) joy of discovery.

Choose the right item.

Question 3:

“The summit of the mind” refers to

(i) great intellectual achievements.

(ii) the process of maturing mentally and spiritually.

(iii) Overcoming personal ambition for common welfare.

(iv) living in the world of thought and imagination.

(v) the triumph of mind over worldly pleasures for a noble cause.

(vi) a fuller knowledge of oneself

Mark the item(s) not relevant.


(iii) jubilant and sad.

(ii) humility and a sense of smallness.

(vi) a fuller knowledge of oneself.

Working With the Text

Question 1:

Answer the following questions.

(i) What are the three qualities that played a major role in the author’s climb?


The three qualities that ensured the success of the author were ‘endurance, persistence and will power’.

(ii) Why is adventure, which is risky, also pleasurable?


Mountain climbing is a great adventure but is also risky. It is a great challenge and a doing challenging job is in itself pleasurable. It gives immense joy to the doers.

(iii) What was it about Mount Everest that the author found irresistible?


Mount Everest attracted the author because it is the highest, the mightiest and has defied many previous attempts. It takes the last ounce of one’s energy.

(iv) One does not do it (climb a high peak) for fame alone. What does one do it for, really?


Conquering summit is a great physical achievement. But more than that, it gives the climber the emotional and spiritual satisfaction. It satisfies man’s eternal love for adventure.

(v) “He becomes conscious in a special manner of his own smallness in this large universe”. This awareness defines an emotion mentioned in the first paragraph. Which is the emotion?


That emotion is ‘humility’.

(vi) What were the ‘symbols of reverence’ left by members of the team on Everest?


The author left on Everest a picture of Guru Nanak. Rawat left a picture of Goddess Durga. Phu Durgi left a relic of the Buddha. Edmund Hillary, being a Christian, buried a Cross under the rock. All these were symbols of reverence for God.

(vii) What according to the writer, did his experience as an Everester teach him?


The experience of having conquered Mount Everest changed him completely. It made him realise his own smallness.

Question 2:

Write a sentence against each of the following statements. Your sentence should explain the statement. You can pick out sentences from the text and rewrite them. The first one has been done for you.

(i) The experience changes you completely.

One who has been to the mountains is never the same again.


(ii) Man takes delight in overcoming obstacles.


(iii) Mountains are nature at its best


(iv) The going was difficult but the after-effects were satisfying


(v) The physical conquest of a mountain is really a spiritual experience



(ii) The obstacles in climbing a mountain are physical. A climb to a summit is a test of endurance and will power. It is a challenge that is difficult to resist.

(iii) Everest is the highest and the mightiest and has defied many previous attempts.

(iv) When the summit is climbed, there is the joy of having done something, one has the feeling of victory and of happiness.

(v) Mountains are a means of communion with God.

Working with Language (Page 82)

Question 1:

Look at the italicised phrases and their meanings given in brackets.

Mountains are nature (nature’s best form and appearance)

at its best.

Your life is at risk. (in danger; you run the risk of losing your life.) (it was his best/worst performance.)

He was at his (it was his best/worst performance.)


in the last meeting.

Fill in the blanks in the following dialogues choosing suitable phrases from those given in the box.

at hand at once at all at a low ebb at first sight

Teacher: You were away from school without permission. Go to the Principal________________ and submit your explanation.

Pupil: Yes, Madam. But would you help me write it first?

Arun: Are you unwell?

Ila: No, not___________________ Why do you ask?

Arun: If you were unwell. I would send you to my uncle.

He is a doctor.

Mary: Almost every Indian film has an episode of love________________________ .

David: Is that what makes them so popular in foreign countries?

You look depressed. Why are your spirits_______________________ today?

(Use such in the phrase)

Ashok: I have to write ten sentences using words that I never heard before.

Your big moment is close______________________ .

Jyoti: How should I welcome it?

Shieba: Get up and receive the trophy.


at once

at all

at first sight

at such a low ebb

at hand.

Question 2:

Write the noun forms of the following words adding -ance or -ence to each.

endure ______________________




maintain ___________________









Question 3:

(i) Match words under A with their meanings under B.




Difficult to overcome


Most prominent


Be overcome/overpowered




far away from





Difficult to overcome


Most prominent


Be overcome/overpowered




far away from

(ii) Fill in the blanks in the sentences below with appropriate words from under A.

There were ___________________ obstacles on the way, but we reached our destination safely.

We have no __________________ of finding out what happened there.

Why he lives in a house ______________________ from any town or village is more than I can tell.

__________________ by gratitude, we bowed to the speaker for his valuable advice.

The old castle stands in a _______________________ position above the sleepy town.







Speaking and Writing

Write a composition describing a visit to the hills, or any place which you found beautiful and inspiring.

Before writing, work in small groups. Discuss the points given below and decide if you want to use some of these points in your composition.

Consider this Sentence

Mountains are a means of communion with God.

Think of the act of worship or prayer. You believe yourself to be in the presence of the divine power. In a way, you are in communion with that power.

Imagine the climber on top of the summit—the height attained; limitless sky above; the climber’s last ounce of energy spent; feelings of gratitude, humility and peace.

The majesty of the mountains does bring you close to nature and the spirit and joy that lives there, if you have the ability to feel it. Some composition may be read aloud to the entire class afterwards.


For self attempt

Poem 5 - The School Boy


Question 1:

Find three or four words/phrases in stanza 1 that reflect the child’s happiness and joy.


The words/phrases that reflect the child’s happiness are the song of birds and the skylark, and the sound of hunter’s horn.

Question 2:

In stanza 2, the mood changes. Which words/phrases reflect the changed mood?


The words/phrases reflecting the child’s mood are:

(a) drives all joy away

(b) cruel eye outworn (of the Teacher)

(c) sighing and dismay.

Question 3:

‘A cruel eye outworn (stanza 2)’ refers to

(i) the classroom which is shabby/noisy

(ii) the lessons which are difficult/uninteresting

(iii) The dull/uninspiring life at school with lots of work and no play.

Mark the answer that you consider right.



Question 4:

“Nor sit in learning’s bower worn thro’ with the dreary shower’

Which of the following is a close paraphrase of the lines above?

(i) Nor can I sit in a roofless classroom when it is raining.

(ii) Nor can I learn anything at school though teachers go on lecturing and explaining.

(iii) Nor can I sit in the school garden for fear of getting wet in the rain.



Chapter 6 - This is Jody’s Fawn

Comprehension Check (Page 90)


What had happened to Jody’s father?

How did the doe save Penny’s life?

Why does Jody want to bring the fawn home?

How does Jody know that the fawn is a male?


1. Jody’s father had been bitten by a rattlesnake.

2. Jody’s father killed the doe or she dear. He used her heart and liver to draw out the snake’s poison. In this way the doe saved Penny’s life.

3. Jody’s father had killed the doe. Without the mother-deer, the fawn was likely to starve to death in the forest. So Jody wanted to bring the young fawn home.

4. The spots on the fawn’s body made Jody know that it was a male.

Comprehension Check (Page 91)


Jody didn’t want Mill-wheel with him for two reasons. What were they?

Why was Mill-wheel afraid to leave Jody alone?


Jody didn’t want Mill-wheel to join him in the search for the fawn. The reason was that he was not sure about the fawn’s safety. He didn’t want Mill-wheel to see his disappointment.

Mill-wheel was afraid that Jody might be lost in the jungle.

Comprehension Check (Page 94)


How did Jody bring the fawn back home?

Jody was filled with emotion after he found the fawn. Can you find at least three words or phrases which show how he felt?

How did the deer drink milk from the gourd?

Why didn’t the fawn follow Jody up the steps as he had thought it would?


Jody picked up the fawn into his arms and proceeded to home. After some dis­tance, he kept the fawn down and took rest. Later on, the fawn followed him. Thus he brought the fawn back home.

(i) (The fawn) shook him through with the stare of its liquid eye.

(ii) The touch of the fawn made him delirious.

(iii) As though the fawn were a china deer.

Jody dipped his fingers in the milk. Then he left the fawn suck his fingers. He did so several times. Finally, the fawn drank off all the milk from the gourd.

The fawn didn’t know how to raise its feet to climb the steps.

Working With the Text (Page 94)

Questions 1:

Why did Penny Baxter allow Jody to go find the fawn and raise it?


Penny was convinced by Jody’s argument that it would be ungrateful if they left the fawn in the forest to starve. He realised that Jody was right.

Question 2:

What did Doc Wilson mean when he said, “Nothing in the world ever comes quite free”?


Doc Wilson meant that Penny must pay back to the doe whom he had killed for his own gain by bringing up her fawn.

Question 3:

How did Jody look after the fawn, after he accepted the responsibility for doing this?


Jody looked after the faWh like a mother. He made it drink milk with his fingers dipped in milk. This is how a mother feeds her baby. Jody was glad that he had found the fawn.

Question 4:

How does Jody’s mother react when she hears that he is going to bring the fawn home? Why does she react in this way?


Jody’s mother turned her nose when she heard that he was going to bring back the fawn. She gasped with surprise because she didn’t want to see an animal in her home.

Working With Language (Page 94)

Question 1:

Look at these pairs of sentences.

Penny said to Jody, “Will you be back before dinner?”

Penny asked Jody if he would be back before dinner.

“How are you feeling, Pa?” asked Jody.

Jody asked his father how he was feeling.

Here are some questions in direct speech. Put them into reported speech.

Penny said, “Do you really want it son?”

Mill-wheel said, “Will he ride back with me?”

He said to Mill-wheel, “Do you think the fawn is still there?”

He asked Mill-wheel, “Will you help me find him?”

He said, “Was it up here that Pa got bitten by the snake?”


Penny asked his son if he really wanted the fawn.

Mill-wheel enquired if Jody would ride back with him.

Jody asked Mill-wheel if he thought the fawn was still there.

He asked Mill-wheel if he would help him find the fawn.

Mill-wheel wanted to know if that was the place where Pa had got bitten by the snake.

Question 2:

Look at these two sentences.

He tumbled backward.

It turned its head.

The first sentence has an intransitive verb, a verb without an object. The second sentence has a transitive verb. It has a direct object. We can ask: “What did it turn?” You can answer. “Its head. It turned its head.”

Say whether the verb in each sentence below is transitive or intransitive. Ask yourself a “what’ question about the verb, as in the example above. (For some verbs, the object is a person, so ask the question ‘who’ instead of ‘what’).

(i) Jody then went to the kitchen.

(ii) The fawn wobbled after him.

(iii) You found him.

(iv) He picked it up.

(v) He dipped his fingers in the milk.

(vi) It bleated frantically and butted

(vii) The fawn sucked his fingers.

(viii) He lowered his fingers slowly into the milk.

(ix) It stamped its small hoofs impatiently.

(x) He held his fingers below the level of the milk,

(xi) The fawn followed

(xii) He walked all day.

(xiii) He stroked its sides.

(xiv) The fawn lifted its nose.

(xv) Its legs hung limply.


(i) intransitive

(ii) intransitive

(iii) transitive

(iv) transitive

(v) transitive

(vi) intransitive, transitive

(vii) transitive

(viii) transitive

(ix) transitive

(x) transitive

(xi) transitive

(xii) intransitive

(xiii) transitive

(xiv) transitive

(xv) intransitive

Question 3:

Here are some words from the lesson. Working in groups, arrange them in the order in which they would appear in the dictionary. Write down some idioms and phrasal verbs connected to these words. Use the dictionary for more idioms and phrasal verbs.



The words would appear in the following sequence in the dictionary:

Clearing, close, draw, light, make,

parted, pick, scrawny, sweet, wonder

Idioms or phrasal verbs connected to the above words.

Clearing: clearing, campaign

Close: close shave, close up, close quarters

Draw: draw the curtain on/over, draw a blank

Light: in the light of, bring to light

Make: make the most of, make up

Part: part with, parted comparing

Pick: pick up, pick and choose

Scrawny: the scrawny neck

Sweet: have a sweet tooth, sweet seventeen, sweet tongued, sweet nothings

Wonder: wonder world, wonder load, nine day’s wonder, wonder about, do wonders.

Speaking (Page 96)

Question 1:

Do you think it is right to kill an animal to save a human life? Give reasons for your answer.


Most of the animals are our friends. Dogs, horses, elephants, cows are a few such animals that serve us. But man has been killing codfish or the whales for oil. Tigers are killed for their skin and bones. This is not fair. But there is no harm if any of them are killed strictly to save human life, properly and agriculture.

However, killing animals is a crime. It is wrong to kill wild life for their hide or for pleasure.

Question 2:

Imagine you wake up one morning and find a tiny animal on your doorstep. You want to keep it as a pet but your parents are not too happy about it. How would you persuade them to let you keep it? Discuss it in groups and present your argu­ments to the class.


The young ones of cats, dogs and some birds attract us as does a human child. When I was a child, I wanted to adopt a kitten or a puppy as pet. I found a good breed puppy at my doorstep one day. But it created a commotion in the house. My mother got irritated at the very presence of pets in the house. They bite and bark, enter the kitchen or sit on our beds and make things dirty. But I assured her that I would look after my puppy and train it. The loyal dog would act as security guard and a playmate. My parents finally relented and let me have the poor puppy as a pet.

Writing (Page 96)

Question 1:

Imagine you have a new pet that keeps you busy. Write a paragraph describing your pet, the things it does, and the way it makes you feel. Here are some words and phrases that you could use.

frisky, smart, disobedient, loyal, happy, enthusiastic, companion, sharing, friend, rolls in mud, dirties the bed, naughty, lively, playful, eats up food, hides the newspaper, drinks up milk, runs away when called, floats on the water as if dead.


I have taken a kitten as my pet. It is female with silky fur and skin. She keeps me busy. My mother does not take interest in my pet. She curses the little one for doing mischief, for moving about in the house, for making the bed and floor dirty. The kitten enters the kitchen and drinks up milk. She is naughty and disobedient also. She is most unlike a dog which is loyal, obedient and strong. Still I like my pet because it is lively, playful and frisky.

Question 2:

Human life is dependent on nature (that’s why we call her Mother Nature). We take everything from nature to live our lives. Do we give back anything to nature?

(i) Write down some examples of the natural resources that we use.

(ii) Write a paragraph expressing your point of view regarding our relationship with nature.


(i) Man and nature are complementary to each other. Man for ages has been using forests, minerals and chemicals for his survival. Earth and nature are our lifelines. They help us directly or indirectly. Take for example the paper we print, our books and newspapers. They are products of trees. We get fruits, flowers and fodder from nature. We get water and air free from nature. It is unfortunate that we are over using the limited resources and are also polluting them.

Nature is our Mother. We must not use up anything to the extent that it is not restored naturally. By cutting down trees or killing whales we are, in a way, depriving our children of their share. Let us give back to nature for the benefits we get from it.

(ii) Some of the natural resources that we use are water, coal, mineral oil, etc.

Question 3:

In This is Jody’s Fawn, Jody’s father uses a “home remedy’ for a snake bite. What

should a person now do if he or she is bitten by a snake? Are all snakes poisonous?

With the help of your teacher and others, find out answers to such questions. Then write a short paragraph on—What to do if a snake chooses to bite you.


Snakes are the most dreaded of wild creatures. This is why we use sticks to kill them. There are many poisonous snakes. Green snakes or water snakes are not poisonous. Still we cannot be sure of it. So we don’t take a chance. We call in a snake charmer to draw the cobra out of the house. A snake-bite can kill the victim in a few minutes. But the victim can be saved if he gets the first aid in the form of blood-letting and anti-venom serum. The cure for snake bite is prepared front the snake’s poison.

In case I am bitten by a poisonous snake, the first thing I would do is to put a band tightly over the bitten part. Then I shall use a blade or knife to make a small cut on the bitten part, and press the poisonous blood out. Then I shall go to hospital for medical help. I shall not go to sleep until I feel better and safe.

Poem 6 - The Duck and the Kangaroo

Question 1:

Taking words that come at the end of lines, write five pairs of rhyming words. Read each pair aloud.

For example, pond — beyond


Kangaroo — too; hop — stop

back — quack; pond — beyond;

duck — luck.;

Question 2:

Complete the dialogue.

Duck : Dear Kangaroo! Why don’t you

Kangaroo : With pleasure, my dear Duck, though


Duck : That won’t be a problem. I will



Duck: Dear Kangaroo, why don’t you plan a world tour with-with me.

Kangaroo: With pleasure, my dear Duck though I am afraid your webbed feet would trouble me.

Duck: That won’t, be a problem. I will cover them with woollen socks.

Question 3:

The Kangaroo does not want to catch ‘rheumatism. Spot this word in stanza 3

and say why it is spelt differently. Why is it in two parts? Why does the second part begin with a capital letter?


roo — Matiz = rheumatism

The word ‘roo’ rhymes with the Kangaroo.

The other word ‘Matiz’ refers subtly to rheumatism. The word ‘rheumatism’ has been split in two parts for the sake of rhyme and a disease.

Question 4:

Do you find the poem humorous? Read aloud lines that make you laugh.


Yes, the poem is humorous. Take for example:

“But quite at the end of my tail.”

“And every day a cigar I’ll smoke”.

Chapter 7 - A visit to Cambridge

Comprehension Check (Page 104)

Which is the right sentence?


1. “Cambridge was my metaphor for England.” To the writer

(i) Cambridge was a reputed university in England.

(ii) England was famous for Cambridge.

(iii) Cambridge was the real England.

2. The writer phoned Stephen Hawking’s house

(i) From the nearest phone booth.

(ii) From outside a phone booth.

(iii) From inside a phone booth.

3. Every time he spoke to the scientist, the writer felt guilty because

(i) He wasn’t sure what he wanted to ask.

(ii) He forced the scientist to use his voice synthesiser.

(iii) He was face to face with a legend.

4. “I felt a huge relief…in the possibilities of my body.” In the given context, the highlighted words refer to

(i) Shifting in the wheelchair, turning the wrist.

(ii) Standing up, walking.

(iii) Speaking, writing.


(ii) England was famous for Cambridge.

(i) From the nearest phone-booth.

(ii) He forced the scientist to use his voice synthesiser.

(i) Shifting in the wheelchair, turning the wrist.

Working With the Text (Page 104)

Answer the following Questions.

Question 1:

Did the prospect of meeting Stephen Hawking make the writer nervous? If so, why?

Did he at the same time feel very excited? If so, why?


The writer felt nervous because he was doubtful whether he would be granted the interview.

He felt excited at the same time because he had been there to see Prof. Hawking for half an hour.

Question 2:

Guess the first question put to the scientist by the writer.


The writer’s first question might be about Hawking’s disability and how he had accepted it.

Question 3:

Stephen Hawking said, “I’ve had no choice.” Does the writer think there was a choice? What was it?


Living creatively with the reality of his weakening body was a choice.

Question 4:

“I could feel his anguish.” What could be the anguish?


Prof. Hawking’s mind was full of great ideas but he couldn’t speak them out clearly and forcefully.

Question 5:

What endeared the scientist to the writer so that he said he was looking at one of the most beautiful men in the world?


Prof. Hawking’s one-way smile.

Question 6:

Read aloud the description of ‘the beautiful’ man. Which is the most beautiful sentence in the description?


The line is “before you like a lantern whose walls are worn so thin, you glimpse only the light inside, is the incandescence of a man”.

Question 7:

If ‘the lantern’ is the man, what would its ‘walls’ be?

What is housed within the thin walls?

What general conclusion does the writer draw from this comparison?


The walls of the lantern in Hawking’s case were his skeleton like physical structure.

The glow of the eternal soul was housed within the thin walls of his body,

The writer draws conclusion that the eternal soul is more important than the body.

Question 8:

What is the scientist’s message for the disabled?


Prof. Hawking’s message for the disabled is that they should concentrate on what they are good at. It is foolish to try to copy the normal people.

Question 9:

Why does the writer refer to the guitar incident? Which idea does it support?


The writer spent many years trying to play a big Spanish guitar. One night he loosened the strings joyfully. This incident supports the idea that the disabled people should practise only what they are good at.

Question 10:

The writer expresses his great gratitude to Stephen Hawking. What is the gratitude for?


The author felt much inspired after meeting with Stephen Hawking. Therefore he felt grateful to him.

Question 11:

Complete the following sentences taking their appropriate parts from both the boxes below.

There was his assistant on the line…

You get fed up with people asking you to be brave….

There he was ………

You look at his eyes which can speak, ……..

It doesn’t do much good to know…


tapping at a little switch in his hand

and I told him

that there are people

as if you have a courage account

and they are saying something huge and urgent


trying to find the words on his computer.

I had come in a wheelchair from India.

on which you are too lazy to draw a cheque.

smiling with admiration to see you breathing still.

it is hard to tell what.


There was his assistant on the line and I told him I had come in a wheelchair from India.

You get fed up with people asking you to be brave, as if you have a courage account on which you are too

lazy to draw a cheque.

There he was tapping at a little switch in his hand, trying to find the words on his computer.

You look at his eyes which can speak and they are saying something huge and urgent it is hard to tell what.

It doesn’t do much good to know that there are people smiling with admiration to see you breathing still.

Working With Language (Page 106)

Question 1:

Fill in the blanks in the sentences below using the appropriate forms of the words given in the following box.

guide , succeed , chair , travel, pale , draw ,true

I met a_________ from an antique land.

I need special_________ in mathematics. I can’t count the number of times I have failed in the subject.

The guide called Stephen Hawking a worthy__________ to Issac Newton.

His other problems ________ into insignificance beside this unforeseen mis­hap.

The meeting was by the youngest member of the board.

Some people say “yours________ ’when they informally refer to themselves.

I wish it had been a________ We would have been spared the noise of celebrations, at least.









Question 2:

Look at the following words.

walk stick

Can you create a meaningful phrase using both these words? (It is simple. Add ing to the verb and use it before the noun. Put an article at the beginning.) …a walking stick

Now make six such phrases using the words given in the box.

read / session smile / face revolve / chair

walk / tour dance / doll win / chance


a reading session

a smiling face

a revolving chair

a walking tour

a dancing doll

a winning chance

Question 3:

Use all or both in the blanks. Tell your partner why you chose one or the other.

He has two brothers. _________are lawyers.

More than ten persons called. _________ of them wanted to see you.

They_________cheered the team.

_________ her parents are teachers.

How much have you got? Give me_____ of it.


(i) Both (ii) All (iii) all (iv) Both (v) all

Question 4:

Complete each sentence using the right form of the adjective given in brackets,

My friend has one of the cars on the road, (fast)

This is the _________ story I have ever read, (interesting)

What you are doing now is_________ than what you did yesterday, (easy)

Ramesh and his wife are both________ (short)

He arrived________ as usual. Even the chief guest came________than he did. (late, early)



most interesting



late, earlier

Speaking and Writing (Page 107)

Question 1:

Say the following words with correct stress. Pronounce the parts given in colour loudly and clearly.


(i) In a word having more than one syllable, the stressed syllable is the one that is more prominent than the other syllable(s)

(ii) A word has as many syllables as it has vowels.


(iii) The mark (‘) indicates that the first syllable in ’manner’ is more prominent than the other.


Attempt yourself.

Question 2:

Underline stressed syllables in the following words. Consult the dictionary or ask the teacher if necessary.



Attempt yourself.

Question 3:

Writing a notice for the School Notice Board.

Step 1

Discuss why notices are put up on the notice board.

What kinds of “notices’ have you lately seen on the board?

How is a notice different from a letter or a descriptive paragraph?

Step 2

Suppose you have lost or found something on the campus.

What have you lost or found?

You want to write a notice about it. If you have lost something, you want it restored to you in case someone has found it. If you have found something, you want to return it to its owner.

Step 3

Write a few lines describing the object you have lost or found. Mention the purpose of the notice in clear terms. Also write your name, class, section and date.

Step 4

Let one member of each group read aloud the notice to the entire class. Com­pare your notice with the other notices, and make changes, if necessary, with the help of the teacher.


Imagine that you are a journalist.

You have been asked to interview the president of the village panchayat.

Write eight to ten questions you wish to ask.

The questions should elicit comments as well as plans regarding water and electricity, cleanliness and school education in the village.



The questions that I would ask the president of the Village Panchayat:

1. What steps will you take for the development of education in your area?

2. What will you do for health facilities?

3. What will you do for roads?

4. What will you do for civil amenities?

5. How will you improve agriculture of your village?

6. What will you do for farmers?

7. What do you plan for female child promotion?

Poem 7 - When I Set Out For Lyonnesse



1. In the first stanza, find words that show

(i) that it was very cold.

(ii) that it was late evening.

(iii) that the traveller was alone.

2. (i) Something happened at Lyonnesse. It was

(a) improbable.

(b) impossible.

(c) unforeseeable.

(iii) Pick out two lines from stanza 2 to justify your answer.

3. (i) Read the line (stanza 3) that implies the following.

“Everyone noticed something, and they made guesses, but didn’t speak a word’.

(ii) Now read the line that refers to what they noticed.



(i) The word “rime’ shows that it was very cold.

(ii) The word ‘starlight’ shows that it was late evening.

(iii) The word ‘lonesomeness’ shows that the traveller was alone.


(i) Unforeseeable.

The relevant lines are:

No prophet durst declare

Nor did the wisest wizard guess

What would be chance at Lyonnesse

Chapter 8 - A Short Monsoon Diary

Comprehension Check (Page 115)


Why is the author not able to see Bijju?

What are the two ways in which the hills appear to change when the mist comes up?


The author could not see Bijju because of the mist that concealed the hills. He could only hear his voice but could not see him.

When the mist comes up, it covers the hills and spreads silence.

Comprehension Check (Page 117)


When does the monsoon season begin and when does it end? How do you prepare to face the monsoon?

Which hill-station does the author describe in the diary entry?

For how many days does it rain without stopping? What does the author do on these days?

Where do the snakes and rodents take shelter? Why?

What did the author receive in the mail?


The monsoon season in Mussoorie begins from June 24/25. By August 2, the people are fed up with rain. It ends by August 31. Then begins winter rains which end by late March. We take out our raincoats and umbrellas to face the monsoon.


It rains non-stop for eight or nine days. The author keeps pacing the room and looking out of the window.

The rodents and snakes take shelter in roofs, attics and godowns. They do so because their holes are flooded with rain water.

The author received a cheque in the mail.

Working With the Text (Page 118)

Question 1:

Look carefully at the diary entries for June 24-25, August 2 and March 23. Now write down the changes that happen as the rains progress from June to March.


Rains in Mussoorie begin in June and end by March. June 24 is the first day of monsoon mist which covered the hills and spreads silence. On August 2 it rained all night and made sleeping difficult. By late March ends winter as well as the rains.

Question 2:

Why did the grandmother ask the children not to kill the Chuchundar?


The grandmother told the children not to kill the Chuchundars because they brought good luck and money.

Question 3:

What signs do we find in Nature which show that the monsoons are about to end?


By the end of the monsoon the greenery is at its peak. The seeds of the cobra lily turn red. A rainbow is formed in the sky.

Question 4:

Complete the following sentences.

Bijju is not seen but his voice is heard because__________ .

The writer describes the hill station and valley as _________ .

The leopard was’ successful in________ but had to flee when

The minivets are easily noticed because _________ .

It looks like a fashion display on the slopes when_________.

During the monsoon season, snakes and rodents are found in roofs and attics because _________.


dense mist covers and hides the hills.

‘A paradise that might have been.’

killing a dog but had to flee when Biju's mother arrived crying curses.

of their bright colours.

they are covered by a variety of flowers.

their holes are flooded with water and these places provide them conve­nient shelter.

Question 5:

‘Although tin roofs are given to springing unaccountable leaks, there is a feeling of being untouched by, and yet in touch with, the rain.’

Why has the writer used the word, ‘springing’?

How is the writer untouched by the rain?

How is the writer in touch with the rain at the same time?


The word ‘springing’ is used to show suddenness with which water starts leaking.

Because he is inside the room.

He hears the drumming of rain on the tin roof. He also looks out of the window to see the rains.

Question 6:

Mention a few things that can happen when there is endless rain for days together?


A long spell of rain makes life miserable. One is closed up in his room. Everything becomes damp and soggy. Rodents, snakes and insects enter the house for shelter.

Question 7:

What is the significance of cobra lily in relation to the monsoon season, its beginning and end?


At first cobra lily appears with the arrival of the monsoon. When the cobra seeds begin to turn red, it indicates the rains are coming to an end.

Working With Language (Page 118)

Question 1:

Here are some words that are associated with the monsoon. Add as many words as you can to this list. Can you find words for these in your languages?

downpour floods mist cloudy powercuts cold umbrella


rain, water, fog, raincoats, thunder, dampness, lakes etc.

In my language I find the alternative words like the following:

बौछार , बूंदाबांदी , तुषार, धुंध , सीत , छतरी, रेनकोट , आंधी , इत्यादी l

Question 2:

Look at the sentences below.

(i) Bijju wandered into the garden in the evening.

(ii) The trees were ringing with birdsong.

Notice the highlighted verb.

The verb wandered tells us what Bijju did that evening. But the verb was ringing tells us what was happening continually at same time in the past (the birds were chirping in the trees).

Now look the at sentences below. They tell us about something that happened in the past. They also tell us about other things that happened continually* at the same time in the past.

Put the verbs in the brackets into their proper forms. The first one is done for you.

We (get out) of the school bus. The bell (ring) and everyone (rush) to class.

The traffic (stop). Some people (sit) on the road and they (shout) slogans.

I (wear) my raincoat. It (rain) and people (get) wet.

She (see) a film. She (narrate) it to her friends who (listen) carefully.

We (go) to the exhibition. Some people (buy) clothes while others (play) games,

The class (is) quiet. Some children (read) books and the rest (draw).


We got out of the school bus. The bell was ringing and everyone was rushing to class.

The traffic stopped. Some people were sitting on the road and they were shouting slogans.

I wore my raincoat. It was raining and people were getting wet.

She saw a film. She was narrating it to her friends who were listening carefully,

We went to the exhibition. Some people were buying clothes while others were playing games.

The class was quiet. Some children were reading books and the rest were drawing.

Question 3:

Here are some words from the lesson which describe different kinds of sounds.

drum swish tinkle caw drip

(i) Match these words with their correct meanings.

to fall in small drops.

to make a sound by hitting a surface repeatedly.

to move quickly through the air, making a soft sound.

harsh sound made by birds.

ringing sound (of a bell or breaking glass, etc.).

(ii) Now fill in the blanks using the correct form of the words given above.

Ramesh _______ on his desk in impatience.

Rain water_____ from the umbrella all over the carpet.

The pony______ its tail.

The_____ of breaking glass woke me up.

The_____ of the raven disturbed the child’s sleep.


(i) (1) drip (2) drum (3) swish (4) caw (5) tinkle.

(ii) (1) drummed (2) dripped (3) was swishing (4) tinkle (5) caw

Question 4:

And sure enough. I received a cheque in the mail.

Complete each sentence below by using appropriate phrase from the ones given below.

sure enough colourful enough serious enough

kind enough big enough fair enough

brave enough foolish enough anxious enough

I saw thick black clouds in the sky and___ ____ it soon started raining heavily.

The blue umbrella was___ ____ for the brother and sister.

The butterflies are___ _____ to get noticed.

The lady was___ _____to chase the leopard.

The boy was____ ____ to call out to his sister.

The man was____ ____ to offer help.

The victim’s injury was____ _____ for him to get admitted in hospital.

That person was____ _____ to repeat the same mistake again.

He told me he was sorry and he would compensate for the loss. I said, ‘___ _____’.


sure enough

big enough

colourful enough

brave enough

anxious enough

kind enough

serious enough

foolish enough

Fair enough

Speaking (Page 120)

Question 1:

Do you believe in superstitions? Why, or why not? Working with your partner, write down three superstitious beliefs that you are familiar with.


Truly speaking, I don’t believe in superstitions. These are blind beliefs. The ignorant and conservative people observe them. Superstitions have no scientific base or proof. The common superstitions are:

(i) 13 is an ominous number.

(ii) Don’t start a new project on Saturday.

(iii) Stop if a black cat crosses your path.

Question 2:

How many different kinds of birds do you come across in the lesson? How many varieties do you see in your neighbourhood? Are there any birds that you used to see earlier in your neighbourhood but not now? In groups discuss why you think this is happening.


We come across different kinds of birds in this lesson. These are minivets, drongos, treecreepers and crows. We see sparrows, pigeons, and nightingales in our neighbourhood. Earlier we used to see big birds like kites and parrots in our neighbourhood. But these have become extinct now.

Writing (Page 121)

Question 1:

The monsoons are a time of great fun and even a few adventures: playing in the rain and getting wet, wading through knee-deep water on your way to school, wa­ter flooding the house or the classroom, power cuts and so on. Write a paragraph describing an incident that occurred during the rains which you can never forget.

(See NCERT Text Book Page 121)


Write a poem of your own about the season of spring when trees are in full bloom.


Attempt it yourself.

Poem 8 - On The Grasshopper and Cricket


Question 1:

Discuss with your partner the following definition of a poem.

A poem is made of words arranged in a beautiful order. These words, when read aloud with feeling, have a music and meaning of their own.


Very true. Poetry is different from prose because it arranges best words in a musical order. However, a poem being short, musical and interesting is easy to learn by heart and to remember for a long period.

Question 2:

The poetry of earth’ is not made of words. What is it made of, as suggested in the poem?


The poetry of earth is made of the chirping of birds in trees, and a grasshopper’s sound. They sing joyfully without a long break.

Question 3:

Find in the poem lines that match the following:

(i) The grasshopper’s happiness never comes to an end.

(ii) The cricket’s song has a warmth that never decreases.


(i) He has never done with his delights.

(ii) The cricket’s song in warmth increasing ever.

Question 4:

Which word in stanza 2 is opposite in meaning to ‘the frost’?



Question 5:

The poetry of earth continues round the year through a cycle of two seasons. Mention each with its representative voice.


The two major seasons in a year are summer and winter. Both are rich in music. In summer, the representative voice is that of the birds and the grasshoppers. In winter, the cricket is the prime singer.

Chapter 9 - The Great Stone Face-I


Write ‘True’ or ‘False’ against each of the following statements.

The Great Stone Face stood near where Ernest and his mother lived.

One would clearly distinguish the features of the Stone Face only from a distance.

Ernest loved his mother and helped her in her work.

Though not very rich, Gathergold was a skilful merchant.

Gathergold died in poverty and neglect.

The Great Stone Face seemed to suggest that Ernest should not fear the general.









Answer the following questions.

Question 1:

What was the Great Stone Face?

What did Young Ernest wish when he gazed at it?


The Great Stone Face was the work of nature. The rocks were put one over the other on the mountain side. They resembled the features of a human face.

Young Ernest wished that the stone face could speak. He wished to love the man dearly whoever resembled that face.

Question 2:

What was the story attributed to the Stone Face?


The story attributed to the Stone Face was that some day a child with the likeness of that face would be born. He would become the greatest and noblest person of his age.

Question 3:

What gave the people of the valley the idea that the prophecy was about to come true for the first time?


A young man named Gathergold had left the valley many years ago. By the time he grew old, he had grown rich. When he returned to his native valley, a rumour spread that he resembled the Stone Face. People thought that the prophecy had come true.

Question 4:

Did Ernest see in Gathergold the likeness of the Stone Face?

Who did he confide in and how was he proved right?


No, Ernest did not see any likeness of the Stone Face in Gathergold.

He confided in the Great Stone Face. After Gathergold’s death as his wealth and gold had already disappeared, it was generally agreed that Gathergold had no resemblance with the Great Stone Face.

Question 5:

What made people believe General Blood- and-Thunder was their man?

Ernest compared the man’s face with the Stone Face. What did he conclude?


General Blood-and-thunder had risen to high position from a soldier. When he returned to the valley, his childhood friends said that the General had always looked like the Stone Face.

Ernest could not find any likeness between the General and the Stone Face.


Question 1:

Look at the following words.

Like — likeness

punctual — punctuality

The words on the left are adjectives and those on the right are their noun forms.

Write the noun forms of the following words by adding -ness or -itv to them appropriately. Check the spelling of the new words.

lofty _____________

able _____________

happy _____________

near _____________

noble _____________

pleasant _____________

dense _____________

great _____________

stable _____________












Question 2:

Add-iv to each of the following adjectives, then use them to fill in the blanks.

NCERT Solutions for class 8 English Honeydew The Great Stone Face-I-130-2

Why didn’t you turn up at the meeting? We all were ______ waiting for you.

______ write your name and address in capital letters.

I was______ surprised to see him at the railway station. I thought he was not coming.

It is______ believable that I am not responsible for this mess.

He fell over the step and ______ broke his arm.







Question 3:

Complete each sentence below using the appropriate forms of the verbs in brackets.

I ______ (phone) you when I (get) home from school.

Hurry up! Madam ______ (be) annoyed if we ______ (be) late.

If it ______ (rain) today, we ______ (not) go to the play.

When you ______ (see) Mandal again, you ______ (not/recognise) him. He is growing a beard.

We are off today. We ______ (write) to you after we ______ (be) back.


shall phone: get

will be; are

rains, shall not go

see; will not recognise

shall write; are


Question 1:

Imagine you are Ernest. Narrate the story that his mother told him.

Begin like this: My mother and I were sitting at the door of our cottage. We were looking at the Great Stone Face. I asked her if she had ever seen any one who looked like the Stone Face. Then she told me this story.


She had heard that story from her own Mother that some day a child would be born resembling the Stone Face. In manhood he would become the greatest and noblest person of his time.

Question 2:

Imagine you are Gathergold. Write briefly the incident of your return to the valley.

Begin like this: My name is Gathergold. I left the valley of the Great Stone Face fifty years ago. I am now going back home. Will the people of the valley welcome me? Do they know that I am very rich?


I drove to my native village in a horse drawn carriage. The people mistook me for the Great Stone Face. They welcomed me and shouted, “Sure enough, the old prophecy is true and the great man has arrived at last”.

Chapter 10 - The Great Stone Face-I

Comprehension Check (Page 136)


Write ‘True’ or ‘False’ against each of the following statements.

Ernest’s words reminded people of the wise old sayings. __________

Total strangers from far away, who visited Ernest in the valley, found his face familiar. _______

The Great Stone Face confirmed Ernest’s view that the poet could be worthy of its likeness. _______

When Ernest and the poet met, they respected and admired each other equally. ________

The poet along with Ernest addressed the inhabitants of the valley. ___________

The poet realised that Ernest’s thoughts were far nobler than his own verses. _________








Working With the Text (Page 137)

Answer the following questions.

Question 1:

How was Ernest different from others in the valley?


Ernest was unlike other commoners in the valley. He was a good, simple hearted, noble and thoughtful person. He had been under observation. He did not go with the crowd. He welcomed total strangers as the prophets.

Question 2:

Why did Ernest think the poet was like the Stone Face?


The poet wrote wonderful songs. He had celebrated the Great stone Face in one of his poems. When Ernest read this poem he became convinced that the poet was like the stone face.

Question 3:

What did the poet himself say about his thoughts and poems?


The poet confessed that he was not worthy to be compared with the Stone Face. His actions did not match with his thoughts.

Question 4:

What made the poet proclaim Ernest was the Stone Face?


Ernest and the poet together went to a meeting place. Ernest addressed the gathering. His words had power and his thoughts had depth. They were the words of life, a life of good deeds and selfless love. The poet was convinced that Ernest – was much nobler than him. Ernest’s face had such a grand expression that he declared that Ernest bore the likeness of the Great Stone Face.

Question 5:

Write ‘Ernest’ or ‘Poet’, against each statement below.

(i) There was a gap between his life and his words.

(ii) His words had the power of truth as they agreed with his thoughts.

(iii) His words were as soothing as a heavenly song but only as useful as a vague dream.

(iv) His thoughts were worthy.

(v) Whatever he said was truth itself.

(vi) His poems were noble.

(vii) His life was nobler than all the poems.

(viii) He lacked faith in his own thoughts.

(ix) His thoughts had power as they agreed with the life he lived.

(x) Greatness lies in truth. Truth is best expressed in one’s actions. He was truthful, therefore he was great.


(i) Poet (ii) Ernest (iii) Poet (iv) Poet (v) Ernest

(vi) Poet (vii) Ernest (viii) Poet (ix) Ernest (x) Ernest

Question 6:

(i) Who, by common consent, turned out to be like the Great Stone Face?

(ii) Did Ernest believe that the old prophecy had come true? What did he say about it?


(i) Ernest was accepted by common consent exactly like the Great Stone Face.

(ii) No, Ernest still was not convinced that the old prophecy had come true. He hoped that some day, a man wiser and nobler than him would come, and would look truly similar to the Great Stone Face.

Working With Language (Page 137)

Question 1:

Mark the meaning that best fits the word or a phrase in the story.

(i) (sun) going down

(a) becoming smaller

(b) weakening

(c) setting

(ii) brightening

(a) making (it) look bright and cheerful

(b) lending (it) a special glow

(c) causing (it) to appear hopeful

(iii) spacious

(a) lonely and wild

(b) big and wide

(c) special and important

(iv) prophecy

(a) proverb

(b) prediction

(c) rumour

(v) marvellous

(a) wonderful

(b) surprising

(c) shocking

(vi) proclaim

(a) reveal

(b) declare

(c) shout

(vii) cease

(a) happen

(b) stop

(c) remain

(viii) (a night’s shelter)

(a) stay

(b) safety

(c) hospitality

(ix) gazed

(a) wandered about

(b) stared at

(c) thought of

(x) took on (an expression)

(a) challenged

(b) resembled

(c) assumed


(i) c (ii) a (iii) b (iv) b

(v) a (vi) b (vii) b (viii) a

(ix) b (x) c

Question 2:

(i) Read the following sentences.

(a) I do hope I’ll live to see him.

(b) He will come! Fear not, Earnest: the man will come.

(c) Gathergold is arriving tomorrow, people said.

(d) Blood-and-Thunder starts his journey back to the valley next week, everyone proclaimed.

(e) The great man is going to spend his old age in his native town.

Notice that in the above sentences, verbs in bold type are in four different forms, denoting four important ways of expressing future time. None of these can be said to be exclusively used to show future time, though each is used to refer to some action in future.

(ii) Which form of the verb is more natural in these sentences? Encircle your choice.

(a) I’m not free this evening. I will work/am working on a project.

(b) Have you decided where you will go for your higher secondary? Yes, I have. I will go/ am going to the Kendriya Vidyalaya.

(c) Don’t worry about the dog. It won’t hurt/isn’t hurting you

(d) The weatherman has predicted that it will snow/is snowing in Ranikhet tonight.

(e) Swapna can’t go out this evening. Her father will come/is coming to see her.


(a) am working

(b) am going

(c) won’t hurt

(d) will snow

(e) is coming.

Question 3:

(i) Complete these pieces of conversation using will or going to with the verbs


(a) am going to listen

(b) will lend

(c) is going to rain

(d) will have

(e) am going to make

(f) will go

(g) am going to get, will get

(ii) Let pairs of children take turns to speak aloud the dialogues.


For class activity

Speaking and Writing (Page 139)

Question 1:

Each of the following words has the sound /f/ as in feel/ The words on the left have it initially. Those on the right have it finally. Speak each word clearly.

flail life

philip puff

flowed deaf

fact tough

fail laugh

fast stiff


Attempt yourself.

Question 2:

Underline the letter or letters representing / f/in each of the following words.

file slough faint lift

cough defence afford enough

photograph staff tough aloof

affront philosophy sophistry


file slough faint life

cough defence afford enough

photograph staff tough aloof

affront philosophy sophistry

Question 3:

Imagine that you are the poet. You have come to your native valley to meet a famous preacher called Ernest. the incident of your first meeting with him.


I lived so far away from the valley. But I had heard about Ernest’s character and wisdom. One summer day I called on him. I found him reading a book. We sat down together and talked. I found Ernest wise, gentle and kind. Ernest greeted me warmly and called me a ‘gifted guest’ Then I introduced myself as one who wrote the po­ems Ernest was reading.

Ernest compared my face with the Stone Face. He had hoped to see the fulfilment of the prophecy but he was disappointed. I told him I was not worthy of that like­ness. I said that my thoughts and actions had no harmony.

I went with my host to a meeting place. I heard his address and found depth in his thoughts. In the golden light of the setting sun, Ernest appeared to me exactly like the Great Stone Face. The gathering also agreed with me.

Question 4:

(i) Put each of the following in the correct order to construct sentences.

a resident of Noida near Delhi/is visually impaired/George Abraham.

confidence and competitive spirit/and infuses discipline among the participants/It provides.

he has helped/The brain behind the World Cup Cricket, /the disabled to dream.

to the blind school in Delhi/It was a chance visit/that changed his life.

sport is a powerful tool/the disabled/He believes that/for rehabilitation of.


George Abraham, a resident of Noida near Delhi, is visually impaired.

It provides confidence and competitive spirit and infuses discipline among the participants.

The brain behind the World Cup Cricket, he has helped the disabled to dream.

It was a chance visit to the blind school in Delhi that changed his life.

He believes that sport is a powerful tool for rehabilitation of the disabled.

(ii) Now rearrange the sentences above to construct a paragraph.


George Abraham, a resident of Noida near Delhi, is visually impaired. The brain behind the World Cup Cricket, he has helped the disabled to dream. It was a chance visit to the blind school in Delhi that changed his life. He believes that sport is a powerful tool for rehabilitation of the disabled. It provides confidence and competitive spirit and infuses discipline among the participants.

Read CBSE Class 8 English Notes for all Chapters

In this page, candidates can find the NCERT Solutions for Class 8 English for all Chapters. By checking the NCERT Solutions for class 8 English notes given here helps you to find answers for textbook questions so you complete your homework. Moreover, the NCERT Solutions for Class 8 English given here is useful for you to prepare for your monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, and Annual Exams. Find the complete NCERT Solutions for Class 8 English in this page.

Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.
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