Read the passages given below and answer the questions that follow them:
1. A couple of weeks ago, while detailing the many ways in which coping with the bleak economy can actually better our lives, I touched upon the romance of train travel and suggested that we would do well to introduce our children to its charms.
2. I have to confess that I was surprised by the kind of response triggered by readers with stories to tell of their own rail adventures.
3. Browsing through them reminded me yet again why trains have such a special place in our lives. Well, perhaps not in the lives of a generation brought up on the dubious pleasures of cheap air travel. 4. I still vividly recall every detail of my first such excursion, taking a train from Sealdah station in Calcutta to visit my aunt’s tea garden in Assam. I settled down at my window seat and even before the train had pulled out, I was burrowing deep into the pleasures of Indian mythology.
5. But as the scene outside grew more rustic, even picturesque, my attention wandered to the marvellous moving display outside my window. There were gently rolling fields, green and lush, more palm trees than I could count and endless expanse of bright blue sky.
6. Just then, a man entered my peripheral vision. Scythe in hand, he was intently cutting down some tall grass in the fields. “Oh look,” I cried out to my mother, “It’s a farmer, a real-life farmer!” A city-bred child, I hadn’t realised until then that farmers actually had an independent existence outside of my storybooks.
7. That wasn’t the only discovery I made in the course of that first train journey or the many others to follow. Gazing out of the train window as I travelled across the country, I was introduced to a new India that was far removed from the bland boundaries of my middle-class urban existence. And I like to believe today that this made me more aware of the complexities of the society that we live in.
Word-Meaning: Detailing—explaining in detail, Bleak—not bright, Economy—relationship between production, trade and the supply of money, Charms—magical beauty, Confess—admit, Response—reaction, Triggered—produced, Adventures—bold acts or events, Browsing—studying, Reminded—made me remember, Dubious—uncertain, Excursion—a short journey, Vividly—clearly, Burrowing—lost deeply, Mythology—old religious stories, Rustic—of the countryside, Picturesque—scenic, Wandered—flew aimlessly,Marvellous—wonderful, Display—show, Rolling—spreading out, Expanse—spreading out, Peripheral—outer area, Vision—sight, City-bred–brought up in a city, Existence—presence, Gazing out—looking out, Bland—(here) dull, Urban—related to the city, Complexities—intricacies
Attempt any eight of the following questions on the basis of the passage you have read.
1.What did the narrator touch upon?
2. Why was the narrator surprised?
3. Why do the trains have no special place in the lives of the modem generation?
4. How does the narrator recall his first train journey?
5. What effect did the marvellous moving display outside his window have on the narrator and what did he see?
6. What did the city-bred child not realise?
7. What was beyond his middle-class urban existence?
8. How was the narrator benefitted by that experience?
9. Find a word in paragraph 3 which is similar in meaning to the word ‘uncertain’.
1. The narrator touched upon the romance of the train travel and even suggested to introduce our children to its charms.
2. He was surprised by the kind of huge response from readers to tell of their own rail adventures.
3. The modem generation brought up on the dubious pleasures of cheap air travel has no fascination for trains and train travels.
4. He still vividly recalls his first rail journey from Calcutta to Assam. He was lost deep into pleasures of Indian mythology.
5. The narrator was fascinated by the marvellous moving display outside his window. He saw the green fields, palm trees and the endless sky.
6. The city-bred child didn’t realise that farmers actually had an independent existence outside his storybooks.
7. The narrator was introduced to a new India that was beyond the boundaries of his middle-class urban existence.
8. The railway journey made him more aware of the complexities of the society that we live in.