Understanding the Text
1. Tick the statements that are true.
(i) The story is an account of real events.
(ii) The story hinges on a particular historical event.
(iii) Rajendra Deshpande was a historian.
(iv) The places mentioned in the story are all imaginary.
(v) The story tries to relate history to science.
Ans.2 and 5 are true statements
II. Briefly explain the following statements from the text.
1.”You neither travelled to the past nor the future. You were in the present experiencing a different world.”
Ans. This statement of Rajendra Deshpande answers the query of Gangadharpant. It tells us that the historian had after the accident lost consciousness. In that state, he experienced two different worlds—the past and the future without physically travelling at all. His study of the incident about Vishwas Rao on the battlefield created that illusion.
2. “You have passed through a fantastic experience: or more correctly a catastrophic experience.”
Ans. Gangadharpant’s experience was fantastic because it was unusual and strange. Rajendratried to explain the historian’s mental journey on the basis of the catastrophic theory of physics. The professor before the collision had been reading about the Battle of Panipat in which the Marathas were shown to win the battle. In that case, history would have taken a different turn.
3. Gangadharpant could not help comparing the country he knew with what he was witnessing around him.
Ans. Gangadhar was witnessing a new India about him. It showed that the British territory was limited to Bombay and not the whole of India. This fantasy was created on a historical assumption about the fate of the Marathas in the Battle of Panipat. He knew well the Bombay of the Pre-British rule. But during his visit to Bombay, he saw new sets of shops and bank buildings as in Britain. He was naturally surprised and couldn’t help comparing the two.
4. “The lack of determinism in quantum theory!”
Ans. It means that the quantum theory in physics can measure the energy produced, and the movement of an electron in some direction. But it cannot tell exactly where it would land. The tack of determinism’ means the inability of the scientist to be sure about the direction in which the electron might move. They take different routes. The same thing had happened in the wars of Waterloo and Panipat.
5. “You need some interaction to cause a transition.”
Ans. Gangadhar failed to understand how a person could move between two totally different worlds at one and the same time. Rajendra explained the mystery. It had happened because he had been wondering before the accident what course history would have taken if the result of the Battle of Panipat had gone the other way.
Talking about the Text
(Discussion groups of four)
1. Discuss the following statements in pairs, each pair taking opposite points of view.
(i) A single event may change the course of the history of a nation.
Ans. It is very true that a single event can change the destiny and history of a nation. Battles are also often won or lost because of some unexpected development. Had Prithvi Raj not forgiven and let off Ghori, whom he had defeated and taken captive, India would not have suffered repeated attacks by Ghori. Had Hitler avoided attacking USSR in the Second World War, he might have ruled over a major part of the world.
(ii) Reality is what is directly experienced through the senses.
Ans. The reality, as we see with our own eyes, is only a part or just one aspect of the actual position. No observer can see both sides of a coin at one and the same time. What we directly experience through the senses is not the absolute truth. Man experiences things through mysterious ways of the mind and imagination and supernatural forces.
(iii) The methods of inquiry of history, science and philosophy are similar.
Ans.History, science and philosophy are three branches of knowledge. All the three need constant inquiry or experiments. They adopt the same methods to verify the facts and draw conclusions. But truly speaking, they are poles apart from one another. If history is based on stray facts and writing, philosophy is speculative. Only science is exact, thoroughly tested and universally true.
2.(i) The story is called ‘The Adventure’. Compare it with the adventure described in We’re not afraid to die ……’
Ans.‘We’re not afraid to die’ narrates the story of a family that sets sail to conquer the sea. The parents with their two children and two crew challenge the might of the ocean with their own seafaring skill and determination to win. Their experience was actual and physical. But the adventure of Gangadhar takes place imagination. His mind alone travels to the past and future. This happens during the two days he remained unconscious after a collision.
(ii) Why do you think Professor Gaitonde decided never to preside over meetings again?
Ans. Professor Gaitonde had a bitter experience, not actual but in imagination, at the public meeting in Azad Maidan. In his state of unconsciousness, he saw the presidential chair on the podium vacant. He tried to force himself into the president’s chair and started addressing the audience. The people unwilling to hear remarks usually made by the president, protested, shouted and threw eggs and tomatoes at him. They lifted him physically off the stage. That experience prompted Gangadhar to never again take a chance to preside over a seminar or meeting.
Thinking about language
1. In which language do you think Gangadharpant and Khan Sahib talked to each other? Which language did Gangadharpant use to talk to the English receptionist?
Ans. Gangadhar was a Maratha while Khan Sahib was a Muslim or Baluchi. So they must have talked to each other in Hindustani or Hindi. But Gangadhar must have talked to the English receptionist in English.
2. In which language do you think Bhausahebanchi Bakhar was written?
Ans. The book must have been written in Marathi.
3. There is mention of three communities in the story. The Marathas, the Mughals, the Anglo-Indians. Which language do you think they used within their communities and while speaking to the other group?
Ans. The Muslims were Urdu speaking, the Marathas spoke Marathi, while the Anglo-Indians generally used English to speak within their communities. But while interacting with other groups they must have used the local dialect of Hindustani.
4. Do you think that the ruled always adopt the language of the ruler?
Ans. Yes, the rulers generally impose their language also on those they rule. With the passage of time, the ruled have to adopt the language of the ruler.
Working with Words
1. Tick the item that is closest in meaning to the following phrases.
1.to take issue with
(i) to accept (ii) to discuss
(iii) to disagree (iv) to add
2.to give vent to
(i) to express (ii) to emphasise
(iii) suppress (iv) dismiss
3. to stand on one’s feet
(i) to be physically strong (ii) to be independent
(iii) to be transformed (iv) to be successful
4. to be wound up
(i) to become active (ii) to stop operating
(iii) to be transformed (iv) to be destroyed
5. to meet one’s match
(i) to meet a partner who has similar tastes
(ii) to meet an opponent
(iii) to meet someone who is equally able as oneself
(iv) to meet defeat
Ans. 1.to disagree 2.to express 3.to be independent
4. to stop operating 5. to meet someone who is equally able as oneself
II. Distinguish between the following pairs of sentences.
1.(i) He was visibly moved :
(ii) He was visually impaired :
Ans. (i) obviously, clearly
(ii) with defective eyesight
2.(i) Green and black stripes were used alternately.
(ii) Green stripes could be used or alternatively black ones.
Ans. (i) one after the other (ii) in place of
3.(i) The team played the two matches successfully.
(ii) The team played two matches successively.
Ans. (i) with success or victory (ii) one after the other
4.(i) The librarian spoke respectfully to the learned scholar.
(ii) You will find the historian and the scientist in the archaeology and natural
Science sections of the museum respectively.
Ans. (i) with respect, decently (ii) In sequence or same order