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6. Reading Skills Comprehension: Addicted to Letter Writing

Addicted to Letter Writing

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow-  

My uncle, who was addicted to letter writing, was the role model in our extended family. He lived in a village and often judged people on the basis of how quickly his letters were replied to. Uncle spent an hour every morning writing detailed letters. He kept a small aluminium box next to him. It contained the postal stationery, pens and an old paling dog-eared address book. This book had numerous crosses and arrows to signify changes in addresses.

While my uncle wrote the letter, Aunt would be squatting on the straw mat with knives, vegetables and some old newspapers, preparing for the next meal. After writing the main news, he would read it aloud to Aunt and relied on her remarkable memory to add important details like birth stars, offerings at the local temple or marriage proposals for someone in the family. He was adept at using the card and the inland letter to their fullest potential. After writing the main story which covered news from all family nooks, he would add information of lesser significance in very small characters and utilize every millimetre of available space. In fact, the letter had to be turned in different directions for all the news to be read.

Gone. are those days! After my uncle’s death, his sons who live in Mumbai could not maintain his routine. ‘Who writes letters nowadays ?‘ was the defence preferred by my jet-setting cousins to my father when he complained of not getting any news about their family.

Two of my cousins are business executives. They come home to sleep in the wee hours of the morning leaving little scope for headline news, leave alone details. A third cousin is a software professional. He writes only short e-mails once a month, something that starts like, ‘Hi, how’re u?’ I’m OK and ends there!

On the basis of your reading of the above passage, choose the correct option from the ones given. Write the correct option in your answer sheet:

(a) The narrator’s uncle’s address book contained many crosses and arrows because of _______

(i) he used to draw crosses and arrows while writing something

(ii) he used to cross out the old addresses and show the new changed addresses with arrows.

(iii) his address book had numerous addresses

(iv) he was fond of making such graffiti

(b) He used to depend on his _________ memory to add some important details in his letters.

(i) wife’s                (ii) own               (iii) son’s               (iv) daughter’s

(c) His letters had to be turned in different directions for all the news to be read because of ______-

(I) he used to write in a haphazard way

(ii) he used to write the information of lesser significance in very small characters

(iii) he used to utilize every millimetre of available space to write all the information

(iv) he was a great miser

(d) As a letter writer the uncle was very _________

(i) careful               (ii) careless              (iii) ignorant            (iv) forgetful

 (e) The uncle used small letters for _________

(I) important information (ii) date (iii) main story (iv) trivial information

(f) After the death of the narrator’s uncle, his sons could not maintain his routine because

(i) they were awfully busy

(ii) they were not interested in maintaining it

(iii) they did not want to remain in touch with their relatives

(iv) they were self-centred

(g) They came home to sleep in the ‘wee’ hours of the morning ‘wee’ means _________

(i) late                  (ii) very early             (iii) early              (iv) very late


(a) (ii)          (b) (i)                    

(c) (iii)         (d) (i)                    

(e) (iv)         (f) (i)                     

(g) (iii)

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