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Read the passages given below and answer the questions that follow them:
I have visited over 100 places, away from tourist traps, over the past two decades. Yet I feel my travels have not even begun. I have not even experienced a fragment of the natural bounty we Indians are fortunate to possess. In truth, India is many countries rolled up in one. Not because of its size, but its diversity. Cold deserts and frozen, snowbound mountains, sweeping, windswept coastlines, dripping rainforests, arid scrublands fading into sandy deserts, islands in the sun where travellers can walk under shady green canopies or dive beneath azure, glassy blue waters.
Himalayan havens in Kashmir, Ladakh, Garhwal, Himachal Pradesh, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh are all dotted with sanctuaries and national parks of indescribable beauty. Such remote wildernesses protect the vast bulk of our water sources and have been revered for centuries. Apart from ancient civilizations and cultures, these biodiversity vaults harbour black bears, pheasants, deer and carnivores, all of which cling to a fragile existence, in a world decorated by orchids and towering peaks. These are also places where people can discover themselves.
There is something humbling about nature. Even as the deep sea, or a towering mountain or even a complex rainforest forces humility upon you, nature manages to leave you with your ego intact. No one in their right mind can seriously contemplate being in ‘competition’, with anything so perfect and all-encompassing. In fact, I smile inwardly when I heard people talk of ‘conquering’ mountains. The mountain actually lets you climb it. If it was less ‘benevolent’ you would be dead.
On the other hand, if you respect its power and tread lightly upon its earth, the Himalaya will protect you and deliver to you the satisfaction of being cocooned in pure nature. Take my word for it. Almost anywhere you go, the traditional hospitality of the hill people will ensure that you obtain a hot meal, a friendly welcome and a place to rest a tired body for the night. All you need to pack is humility, essential trust and low-key demands along with a good pair of walking boots and a sleeping bag.
It is surprisingly easy to visit untrodden trails without it costing an arm and a leg, provided one does not fall prey to the enticing promise of five-star facilities. These promise physical comfort at steep prices, but the cost paid by the environments in which such facilities are located is incalculable. Besides, the sanitized options available take most of the organic pleasure away from most destinations.
I. Answer briefly:
1. Why does the narrator feel that his travels have not even begun?
2. How is India many countries rolled into one?
3. Give your own comments on the Himalayan havens in India.
4. Differentiate between the sanitized options and natural pleasures.
1.The word ‘bulk’ means:
(a) stream (b) volume (c) value (d) area
2. The opposite of the word ‘near’ is:
(a) farthest (b) distance (c) remote (d)further
3. Choose the correct antonym of ‘simple’ from the following options
(a) complex (b) arduous (c) difficult (d) hard
4. The word ‘untrodden’means:
(a) not walked before (b) walked (c) visited (d) not used
I.1. India is a vast country. It offers diverse travels in deserts, mountains, rainforests and coastlines. The narrator feels that he has not seen even a fragment of the natural bounty. Hence, his travels have just begun.
2. India is a country of huge dimensions and vast diversities. They make it many countries rolled into one.
3. Himalayan havens in Kashmir, Ladakh, Garhwal, Himachal Pradesh, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh are all dotted with sanctuaries, national parks, water sources, orchids and towering peaks.
4. Sanitized comforts in five-star hotels are very costly but quite unnatural and artificial. They can’t match the organic pleasures provided by nature.
II.1. (b) volume
2. (c) remote
3. (a) complex
4. (a) not walked before
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