Novel Novels

My life is a magical book,
A story more than half read;
I wake up every morning,
To open a  fresh new page.

I perceive old characters evolve,
I see new characters emerge;
Engrossed I read each page,
Enthralled it ends each day.

I know the story shall end,
With demise of protagonist- me;
I try my best to make it,
An enjoyable one to read.

I fret not for what’s over,
For that part cannot be changed;
I try  to be as neutral as possible,
To enjoy the story’s end.

Each life is  a book unfolding,
Fresh scripts written each day;
By omnipotent, omniscient lord,
Whose guidance leads our way.

Photo by rikka ameboshi

Trees Have Right to Live

I plead to all humans,
Don’t cut down trees;
They never ever harmed you,
So don’t kill them please.

They are our lifeline,
They help us to breathe;
They help us to survive,
So don’t kill them please.

They are like our mothers,
Whose love shall never cease;
For them we’re alive on earth,
So don’t kill them please.

Your money and your comfort,
Can’t be more precious than trees;
Without them we shall perish,
So don’t kill them please.

A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal

This poem is about the death of a loved one. How does the poet feel when he thinks about her death? How does he imagine her to be, after death?

A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal

A slumber did my spirit seal—

I had no human fears.

She seemed a thing that could not feel

The touch of earthly years.


No motion has she now, no force—

She neither hears nor sees,

Rolled round in earth’s diurnal course

With rocks and stones and trees.

                              William Wordsworth


WILLIAM WORDSWORTH (1770- 1850) was one of the greatest of English Romantic poets. He mastered all major verse forms, lyrics, ballads, odes, sonnets, narrative poetry and reflective verse. He is a poet of nature and wrote in the language of everyday speech. In his preface to ‘Lyrical Ballads’, which he published with his friend Coleridge, he explains that his motive was to write poetry for the ordinary reader. His most famous works include – ‘Tintern Abbey’, ‘The Prelude”. His ‘Collection of Poems’ includes a host of lyrics, odes and sonnets. He became The Poet Laureate of Britain in 1864.

‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’ belongs to the ‘Lucy’ group of poems. It is probable that Lucy does not represent any real person. She is possibly Wordsworth’s ideal of what powers of nature can do to bring about perfection in the development of the human form and mind. This is the only poem in the group where he does not mention Lucy’s name.

Theme of – ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’

The poem ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’ deals with the inevitability of death and the stoic calm that one experiences with acceptance of death. The poet accepts the death of his beloved and realises that she has become a part of nature and is now beyond the grasp of time. Nothing can harm her anymore and in being a part of nature she has been immortalised.

Message of – ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’

The poet gives us the message that death is inevitable and everyone born in this earth must return to dust and become a part of nature.

Summary of ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’

The first stanza deals with the poets shock at the death of his beloved. He was enthralled by her beauty and never thought that he might lose her some day. Her death benumbed his senses and he ceased to perceive any kind of feeling or fear.  His beloved the lively and lovely Lucy is no longer able

to feel anything anymore and is beyond the reach of time. The ravages of time could no longer harm her. This realisation brings about a sense of peace in the poet’s mind.

In the second stanza the poet accepts death as an inevitable truth that everyone has to face. He tells us that his beloved is no longer alive and therefore does not move, see or hear anymore.  The poet realises that she is now an inseparable part of nature and will eternally roll around with the earth’s rotation on its axis; just like rocks, stones and trees.

GLOSSARY/ Word meanings of ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’

Slumber – sleep

Spirit – soul

Seal – close / shut off

Human fear –  emotion perceived from danger

Earthly years- (here) ravages of time

Motion – movement

Force – (here) power of her own

Diurnal: daily (“Earth’s diurnal course” is earth’s daily rotation on its axis.)

Literary Devices in ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’

Alliteration – A slumber did my spirit seal. – ‘s’ sound is repeated

                     Rolled round in earth’s diurnal course. ‘r’ sound is repeated

Metaphor – ‘A slumber did my spirit seal.

                   The poet’s peaceful state is compared to a state as if he is in a deep sleep.

Personification – ‘The touch of earthly years’

Here the ‘earthly years’ have been attributed with human qualities.

Repetition ‘No’, ‘’and’ – these two words are repeated twice in the same line.

Rhyme scheme of ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’

The rhyme scheme of the poem is ‘abab  cdcd’.

The fist line rhymes with the third line, the second with the fourth.

The fifth line rhymes with the seventh one and the sixth line with the eighth


Thinking about the Poem -‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’

Question /Answers of ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’

1“A slumber did my spirit seal,” says the poet. That is, a deep sleep ‘closed off ’ his soul (or mind). How does the poet react to his loved one’s death? Does he feel bitter grief? Or does he feel a great peace?

Ans. The poet is shocked and surprised at the death of his beloved. Her death pained him a lot and saddened him. But with the passing of time the ‘bitter grief’ reduces with gradual acceptance and realisation that his beloved has become a part of nature and is beyond the mortal earthly touch. The poet feels peaceful and becomes passive to all human feelings and fears.

2. The passing of time will no longer affect her, says the poet. Which lines of the poem say this?

Ans. The lines which convey that the poet’s beloved is no longer affected by the passing of time are-

 “She seems a thing that could not feel

   The touch of earthly years.”

3. How does the poet imagine her to be, after death? Does he think of her as a person living in a very happy state (a ‘heaven’)? Or does he see her now as a part of nature? In which lines of the poem do you find your answer?

Ans. The poet thinks that his beloved has become an inseparable part of nature.

No, he possibly does not think that she is in a happy state in heaven. He sees her as a person who is dead and has lost all her human feelings. She has become a part of the earth and in that way she has become immortal.

The lines which tell us so are-

“Rolled around in earth’s diurnal course

 With rocks and stones and trees.”

Extra questions –

Q. Justify the title of the poem – “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal”

Ans. According to me, the title of the poem is justified because the poem talks about the effect of the sudden and untimely death of his beloved. After his death he feels benumbed with grief, as if a deep slumber has sealed his spirit. The acceptance of her death makes him fell at peace which seems to close off all feelings from his body and soul. His beloved, now a part of nature, will no longer be affected by earthly years. She will not feel any motion or force, nor will she be able to perceive with her eyes and ears. The poet realises that she is now an inseparable part of nature and will eternally roll around with the earth’s rotation on its axis; just like rocks, stones and trees. Therefore, the spirit of the poet is engulfed in a slumber and has become free from human feelings and fears.

Q. Why could she not feel the touch of earthly years?

Ans. The poet’s beloved could not feel the touch of earthly years as was dead and did not have any feelings. She would not age or be affected by time as she has eternally become an inseparable part of nature.

Q. Describe her condition after death as depicted by the poet.

Ans. After her death, the poet describes his beloved as someone who will never again be affected by time. She will not be able to feel any motion or force, nor will she be able to hear or see. She is now a part of nature and is rotating around in the earth’s diurnal course just like the rocks, stones and trees.

 Q. How has Lucy become a part of the earth’s diurnal course?

Ans. Lucy after her death has been buried in her grave. Therefore, she has now become a part of the earth along with the rocks and stones and trees and is being rolled along with the earth as it rotates in its axis.

Annotations/ Reference to context of ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’

A slumber did my spirit seal—

I had no human fears.

She seemed a thing that could not feel

The touch of earthly years.

Q. What  does the poet mean by ‘A slumber did my spirit seal’?

Ans. The poet means to say that the initial shock of losing his beloved made him numb. It was as if a deep sleep had closed off his mind and heart and he was unable to perceive any kind of emotion.

Q. Why did the poet not have any human fears?

Ans. The poet did not feel any kind of fear that human beings feel as his mind had become numb with the shock of losing Lucy his beloved.

Q. Why did she seem a thing that could not feel the touch of earthly years?

Ans. The poet’s beloved was dead and therefore was now like an inanimate object which was beyond the grasp of time. The years on earth or time will no longer be able to affect her and therefore she is beyond the touch of earthly years.

2.  No motion has she now, no force—

     She neither hears nor sees,

    Rolled round in earth’s diurnal course

    With rocks and stones and trees.

Q. What does the poet mean by ‘No motion has she now, no force/ She neither hears nor sees,’

Ans. The poet’s beloved is dead therefore she is buried and has become an integral and inseparable part of nature. She does not have any movement of her own and is not able to perceive anything with her eyes and ears.

Q. Who is rolled about in earth’s diurnal course and why?

Ans. the poet’s beloved is now dead and buried under the earth. She is now a part of nature and is being rotated along with the other objects of the earth as it rotates on its axis.

Q   What is the relation between the poet’s beloved to the rocks and stones and trees?

Ans. The poet says that his beloved is now inanimate without  any movement and force of her own. She is buried in her grave and has become an eternal part of nature. Just like the rocks and stones and trees, she too is rotating along with the earth.

Head over Heels

Having a date with my valentine,
Was amazing this year too.
My valentine made me feel,
That love for me was true.

Searching my date for love,
I found more than due.
I loved my date back dreamy eyed;
To my date I was glued.

I’m never lonesome now,
I seek no other love.
I’m happy with my date forever,
My date’s cool – By Jove!

Hours seem like minutes,
And years seem like days.
Time files with my date,
I’m forever in a daze.

I scroll, I search, I sing with it;
Not for a moment am I bored.
I need no other Valentine,
Than my smartphone sent by lord.


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

NO MEN ARE FOREIGN Summary, Literary devices, Question answers

In this poem the poet reminds us of the many ways in which we are all the same — for we are all human.

                                                           No Men Are Foreign

Remember, no men are strange, no countries foreign

Beneath all uniforms, a single body breathes

Like ours: the land our brothers walk upon

Is earth like this, in which we all shall lie.


They, too, aware of sun and air and water,

Are fed by peaceful harvests, by war’s long winter starv’d.

Their hands are ours, and in their lines we read

A labour not different from our own.


Remember they have eyes like ours that wake

Or sleep, and strength that can be won

By love. In every land is common life

That all can recognise and understand.


Let us remember, whenever we are told

To hate our brothers, it is ourselves

That we shall dispossess, betray, condemn.

Remember, we who take arms against each other


It is the human earth that we defile.

Our hells of fire and dust outrage the innocence

Of air that is everywhere our own,                                                                                   

Remember, no men are foreign, and no countries strange.



About the poet: – James Kirkup

James Harold Kirkup (1918 – 2009) was an English poet, translator, dramatist, auto-biographer and travel writer. He was the only son of a carpenter and studied in South Shields High School. Later he graduated from Durham University. He was a prolific writer and was skilled in writing ‘haiku’ and ‘tanka’. His epic ‘Pikadon’ deals with the bombings of ‘Hiroshima’ and ‘Nagasaki’. He wrote over 45 books and received the Atlantic- Rockefeller Award (1950). He became a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1962.

Summary of the poem –

The poem deals with the theme of human equality and universal brotherhood. It is a wake-up call for the readers to realise the destructive effects of war and discrimination.

The first stanza starts with ‘remember’ indicating that people must reflect and remind themselves that the boundaries and discrimination in the minds of people are not real but creations of man’s mind.  He says that in spite of physical and cultural differences entire mankind is same and the divisions that make a country foreign are not made by nature hence unnatural . The entire earth is the home for mankind and therefore no country is foreign. Making reference to the Second World War, he says that soldiers who wear different uniforms are having the same humanity inside them. Despite the difference in their attires ‘a single body breathes’ in the sense that their emotions, needs and wants are the same. It is the same earth on which every human walks, thrives and will be buried after death. No matter what superficial differences we create; we shall lead the same type of life, and meet the same end.

In the second stanza the poet says that the basic needs of every human is the same. Everyone is bestowed with the ability to perceive and use the basic elements of nature like the sun, wind and water. People enjoy the bounties of nature during times of peace and face hunger during harsh winters and war. He means to convey the message that everyone has the same ups and downs in life during good and bad times and nature treats all living beings as equal. The hands of people in other parts of the world do the same type of work as we do and their thoughts and writings are similar to ours. Hence there is no difference among God’s creations.

The third stanza tells us that people in other countries see, sleep and wake up just like us. They have the same physical and mental abilities. They too have an inner strength which can be dominated by force but won over by love. Love is the universal language that is understood by all and can win over the greatest of strengths. The poet means to say that it is not through war but through empathy and love that people’s hearts can be won.

The poet warns the readers in the fourth stanza by saying that we should be vigilant of the negative forces who want to profit by spreading difference and hatred. Politicians, religious leaders and people with vested interests instigate the common people to take up arms and fight against each other. In harming each other due to the hatred spread by selfish leaders, it is we who suffer and face huge losses while the leaders who spread such hatred enjoy benefits and lead secure and comfortable lives.

The last stanza speaks of the negative outcomes of hatred and war. When people think of others as different and fight against each other, the world gets polluted with hatred and the blood of the dead. The world becomes a hell due to the anger, hatred and enmity among humans. Purity and innocence in the environment surrounding us is violated resulting in grief and loss. The poet ends the poem by reminding us that all men are the same and we must not think of people living in other counties as foreign and the other countries as strange. He wants everyone to change their mindset and be united, so that there is no excuse for war.

Glossary/ Word meanings

Stranger – an unknown person

Foreign – unfamiliar distant place

Harvest – crop

Labour – physical work

Dispossess: dislodge; deprive

Defile: make dirty; pollute

Outrage the innocence of: violate the purity of

Theme of ‘No Men are Foreign’

The theme of the poem is universal brotherhood and renunciation of war. The poet tells us that all humans are the same and are brothers.  We all have similar bodies and needs in life.  Our livelihoods are same and so are our ends. We all flourish in times of peace and suffer during winter. We all work and think in similar manner and live in the same earth; therefore, we must overcome superficial differences and live in a united manner.

Message of ‘No Men are Foreign’

The poet gives us the message that superficial differences are no excuse for war. Xenophobia or fear of foreigners is the basis of war, and common people must realise that war does not benefit them in any way so they must avoid war and live like brothers. Hatred, anger, differences yield negative results and therefore must be avoided at all costs.

Rhyme scheme – The poem is written in free verse and does not have a rhyme scheme.

Literary Devices in ‘No Men are Foreign’

Alliteration- (repetition of consonant sound)

body breathes’ ( ‘b’ sound is repeated)

Or sleep, and strength’ ( ‘s’ sound is repeated)

‘Land is common life’–  ( ‘l’ sound is repeated)

Metaphor- (indirect comparison without using as or like)

‘Beneath all uniforms’ – uniforms have been metaphorically used to refer to the different kinds of military dresses in different countries. It is ironical as it creates differences instead of uniformity.  Uniform can also be said to be ‘metonymy’ standing for the military.

‘war’s long winter starv’d’ –  the starvation faced during war and winter. Here ‘winter’ stands for the times of adversity when people suffer.

Repetition- (repeating words for emphasis)

Remember’ – This word has been repeated five times in the poem to emphasise the importance of implementing universal brotherhood.

The words in the first line have been reversed in the last line to re-emphasise the importance of uniting mankind for global peace.

Remember, no men are strange, no countries foreign’ – first line

Remember, no men are foreign, and no countries strange’ – last line

Transferred epithet ( when an epithet or adjective actually describes a different noun)

‘peaceful harvests’ – here the harvests are not peaceful but the peasants cultivating them are in peaceful times.

Enjambment – (Continuous consecutive lines of poetry without period or full stop to indicate flow of thought)

Stanza 1 – lines 1, 2, 3 and 4

Stanza 2 – lines 3 and 4

Stanza 3 – lines 1, 2, and 3

Stanza 4 – lines 1 and 2

Stanza 5 – lines 2 and 3

       Symbolism – (representing things or ideas through symbols)

        Fire – symbol of anger, hatred, and enmity

Thinking about the Poem

Question / Answers of ‘ No men are Foreign’

1. (i) “Beneath all uniforms…” What uniforms do you think the poet is speaking about?

Ans.  The poet is speaking of the various uniforms that soldiers of different countries wear or even the traditional dresses of people across which creates difference among people at the superficial level. He tells the readers that all men are similar beneath the uniforms.

(ii) How does the poet suggest that all people on earth are the same?

The poet tells us that beneath the superficial differences there is a sameness that unites all mankind. We walk on the same earth and on death are buried in the same earth. We enjoy the bounties of nature during the times of peace and face starvation during times of adversities. We work and think in similar pattern and our eyes and bodies function in the same manner.

2. In stanza 1, find five ways in which we all are alike. Pick out the words.

Ans. In stanza one the poet says that every individual and every place across the globe are similar. We have the same type of body though the superficial clothing is different. We breathe in the same manner, walk on the same earth and are buried in the same earth after death.  So the lives of individuals are alike in life and death.

The words which tell us so are-

  1. ‘no men are strange’
  2. ‘no country foreign’
  3. ‘a single body breathes’
  4. ‘walk upon is earth like this’
  5. ‘in which we all shall lie’
3. How many common features can you find in stanza 2? Pick out the words.

Ans. The common features mentioned in stanza two which are shared by humans are-

the elements of nature ‘sun, air, water’

the bounties of nature ‘peaceful harvests’

the adversities in life ‘war’s long winter starved’

similar labour ‘their hands are ours

similar thought ‘in their lines we read’

The poet wants to emphasize that the basic needs and work of humans are the same.

4. “…whenever we are told to hate our brothers …” When do you think this happens? Why? Who ‘tells’ us? Should we do as we are told at such times? What does the poet say?

Ans.  Generally during war times selfish leaders instigate common people to fight and lay down their lives. Even during times of peace, narrow minded politicians and religious leaders instil differences and cause riots leading to loss of lives and property.

They instigate people to fulfil their own selfish benefits.

The cunning political leaders and religious heads tell us to hate those who are different from us.

No, we should not follow this type of orders or advice it will harm our brothers, pollute the social environment and cause destruction to humanity.

The poet repeatedly tells us that the entire world is the same and wants to spread universal brotherhood.

Extra questions: ‘No Men are Foreign’

Q1. Why does the poet think that no men are foreign?

Ans. The poet tells us that every individual has the same type of body, has similar needs, lead the same type of life in the same earth and go back to the same earth after death therefore all are alike.

Q2. What do you understand by ‘peaceful harvests’?

Ans. Peaceful harvests refer to the crops grown and harvested during times of peace. The poet means to say that people can enjoy the bounties of nature during peaceful times.

Q3. Elucidate- ‘War’s long winter starv’d’.

Ans.  The phrase means that common agricultural activities cannot be carried on during war; hence people face deprivation and starvation during war. The times of war is compared with long winter when the land is covered by snow preventing people from enjoying bounties of nature.

Q4. Why does the poet say ‘their hands are ours’?

Ans. the poet means to say that the hands of people we consider as foreign do the same kind of work as we do.

Q5. Explain the extract – ‘and in their lines we read’.

Ans. Through their lines of writings and speech we can see that their thoughts are similar to ours. The lines in their faces also tell us that their labour that is the same as ours.



  ENGLISH – CORE (301)


Time allowed: 3 Hrs.                                        Maximum Marks: 80

     Section A: READING SKILLS (20 marks)

  1. Read the passage given below                                                             10 marks
  2. Ghost nets aren’t supernatural, but they are legitimately scary. A ghost net is a fishing net that’s been lost or abandoned in the ocean. They are one particularly appalling part of the global ghost fishing problem, which includes fishing gear abandoned in the water. Any net or line left in the ocean can pose a threat to marine life. Just because a net is no longer used by fishers doesn’t mean it stops working. These nets continue to trap everything in their path, presenting a major problem for the health of our oceans and marine life.
  • Ghost nets entangle sea turtles, dolphins and porpoises, birds, sharks, seals and more, apart from catching fish. The nets keep animals from moving freely, cause injuries and keep mammals and birds from rising to the surface for air. Since hundreds of animals can be caught in a single net, this threat is monumental. The ghost nets harm coral reefs too—breaking corals, exposing them to disease and even blocking the reefs from needed sunlight.
  • Ghost nets are also a major contributor to the ocean plastics’ crisis. Most modern nets are made of nylon or other plastic compounds that can last for centuries. According to a 2018 study in Reports, ghost nets make up at least 46 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Those abandoned fishing lines and nets that do breakdown never go away; they just become smaller pieces of plastic. Marine animals mistake this microplastic for food and eat it, which can harm internal organs, keep them from eating and expose them to toxic chemicals.
  • Exorcising ghost nets from our oceans will require commitment, cooperation and innovation. Many groups are working to remove ghost nets from the sea and are collaborating with local fishers and governments around the world to identify target areas and remove as many nets as possible. In 2015, a single World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF)-led mission in the Baltic Sea hauled up 268 tons of nets, ropes and other material.
  • To stop these nets from becoming ghosts in the first place, conservation organisations advocate for fishing gear that can be traced to its owner so anyone dumping nets can be fined an refundable deposits on nets to encourage returning or recycling rather than littering. Tools like sonar reflectors that can make ghost nets easier to find and working with small-scale fisheries to develop more sustainable fishing gear and practices are other suggestions. It is only by attacking this problem from all sides, together with conservation partners, fishers and supporters, can we ghost nets and protect our oceans.

(437 words) (

Based on your understanding of the passage, answer the questions given below.                                                 1×10

i. Complete the sentence by choosing an appropriate option.

Ghost nets have been named so because they

A. cause much harm to the marine life.

B. are functional though not in use by fishers.

C. are not owned by anyone.

D. act as a snare for all animals in oceans.

Ans. C. are not owned by anyone.

ii. Comment on the writer’s reference to the ghost nets as a health problem for the oceans, in paragraph one?

Ans.  The ghost nets are the main cause of the marine life frequently falling sick. If the issue is not addressed immediately, it would soon become a chronic health issue.

iii. List the two ways being entangled in a ghost net is likely to impact a walrus.

Ans. A walrus entangled in a ghost net might be injured by the other things in the net. It may also die of drowning if it fails to resurface for breath on being entangled in the net.

iv. Select the option that conveys the opposite of ‘negligible’, from words used in paragraph two.

A. unimpressive

B. monumental

C. exposing

D. threat

Ans. Monumental

v. The writer would not agree with the given statements based on paragraph three, except:

A. Most ghost nets take a few years to completely disintegrate.

B. Ghost nets contribute to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

C. Most ghost nets provide nutrition to marine animals, upon disintegration.

D. Ghost nets can curtail freedom of marine animals.

Ans. C. Most ghost nets provide nutrition to marine animals, upon disintegration.

vi. Some records share that fishing nets used to be made of common rope made of natural fibres, prior to the 1960s. Based on your understanding of paragraph three, list one major advantage that these had over the fishing nets being used in present times.

Ans.  The natural fibres used for making nets prior to 1960’s were bio-degradable and disintegrated easily. Whereas, the modern nets are made up of nylon or other plastic compounds which do not disintegrate easily and might take centuries to be broken into smaller particles that pose fresh dangers for the ocean life .

vii Why is it fair to say that commitment and innovation have to go hand-in-hand to rid the oceans of ghost nets?

Ans.  It would definitely need commitment and long term plans to get rid of the problem of ghost nets as the problem itself has already become an enormous one and is increasing with time. Hand in hand with long term commitment innovative ideas and strategies to clear up the ocean from these nets would be essential. Developing alternatives to plastic and nylon would help in curbing the problem.

viii. Complete the given sentence with an appropriate inference, with respect to the following:

The writer quotes the example of the WWF led mission in the Baltic Sea (paragraph 4), in order to………………………..

Ans. Create awareness regarding the magnitude of the problem of ghost nets and the apathy of humans towards the problem.

ix. How can the solutions suggested in paragraph five best be described?

A. practical

B. presentable

C. popular

D. prejudiced

Ans.  A. practical

x. Select the most suitable title for the above passage.

A. The Scary Side of Ghost Nets

B. Ghost Nets – A Result of Human Dominance

C. Ghost Nets – A Menace to Marine Life

D. Ways to Tackle the Problem of Ghost Nets

Ans.  C. Ghost Nets – A Menace to Marine Life

II. Read the passage given below.

  1.   It is generally accepted that leadership development should be a part of the education system’s responsibility for preparing individuals to participate in a democratic and progressive society. Many schools, colleges and universities, across nations, provide their students with leadership courses, curricular programs and co-curricular programs that are designed to develop students’formal knowledge about leadership as well as opportunities and experiences to develop students as leaders and actually practise leadership. Yet, only a handful of studies have sought to understand leader development from the students’ point of view, with students describing their own experiences and what they learned from them in their own words.
  2. A 2014 descriptive study sought to understand student leadership with research through key events via the following research questions:

Research Question 1: What key events do student leaders in college, report as     significantly impacting their development as a leader?

Research Question 2: What lessons do student leaders in college, report learning as a result of the key events they have experienced?

Research Question 3: Are certain key events more likely to be linked to particular lessons?

Approximately 130 students were contacted and the 72 interested, were interviewed. Two members of the research team were present for each 15–45-minute interview. One member served as the primary interviewer while the second ran the audio equipment. The results for lessons learned (Table 1), were varied, but there were a few that were frequently quoted.

  • This study described the rich array of leadership lessons that students are learning through their experiences. It revealed that student leaders are learning foundational leadership skills and competencies that have positively impacted how to accomplish work, how to work with others and how to be both supported by and support others.

(295 words)(

II. Based on your understanding of the passage, answer the questions given below.                                                                                                           1×10

i. Does the following statement agree with the information given in paragraph?

The researcher believes that educational institutions have ideal resources to study impact of leadership skills on young adults.

Select from the following:

True – if the statement agrees with the information

False – if the statement contradicts the information

Not Given – if there is no information on this


 (the text tells us that educational institutions do have programmes to develop leadership skills)

ii.  Do you think the researchers of the study aimed to change students’ outlook towards the development of leadership skills, directly or indirectly? Support your answer with reference to the text.

Ans. No, the aim of seeking students’ perspectives was to improve designing and creation of leadership programmes in educational institutions.

iii. Select the option that displays the most likely reason for including Research Question 3 in the 2014 study.

                     In order to find out if…

                    A. learning opportunities shape students’ overall personality.

                    B. leadership lessons are the result of the designed learning opportunities.

                    C. all learning opportunities cater to a specific lesson.

                    D. certain lessons are common in more than one learning opportunity.

     Ans.  D. certain lessons are common in more than one

iv. Complete the sentence based on the following statement:

                    More than 50% of the identified student respondents were keen to participate in

                    the 2014 study. We can say this because ______

      Ans.    72 of 130 students consented and were interviewed- which is more than 50 %.

v. Which key event has been designed with “Balancing Roles” (Table 1) as the objective?

                    A. Students will be able to debate the issue at hand with different teams.

                    B. Students will be able to manage the responsibilities of a mentor, planner

                        researcher and presenter.

                    C. Students will be able to surmount minor problems and focus on the final goal.

D. Students will be able to explain concepts and clarify them for peers.

       Ans. B. Students will be able to manage the responsibilities of a mentor, planner, researcher and presenter.

vi.  The 2014 study attempts to understand student leadership by focussing on

                     (Choose the correct option.)

                     A. experiences that shaped students’ overall personality.

                     B. lessons gained by students as they grew up.

                     C. relationship of key events with particular lessons.

                     D. students in leadership roles.

       Ans.     C. relationship of key events with particular lessons.

vii. The lessons for ‘Individual competencies’ had a range of responses.

                     Give one reason why having the least number of responses for ‘Decision

                     Making’, is a matter that needs attention.

       Ans.     ‘Decision Making’, is a matter that needs attention because the least number of responses on this important skill shows that the student  experiences and the programs do not provide enough exposure for the development of decision making skills.

viii.  Complete the given sentence by selecting the most appropriate option.

                 The concluding sentence of the text makes a clear case for by listing it as

                 a core competency for student leadership.

                     A. collaboration

                     B. flexibility

                     C. hard work

                     D. observation

      Ans. A. Collaboration

 ix. Complete the sentence appropriately with one/ two words.

In the context of “Working with Others” in Table 1, the lesson of ‘Conflict’ refers to.

     Ans. Being able to resolve problems in an easy and effective manner.

x. Based on the reading of the text, state a point to challenge the given statement.

                When theoretical knowledge about leadership suffices, it is a waste of funds by

                 educational organisations, to organise leadership camps and programmes.

      Ans. I do not agree with the given statement because no amount of theoretical  knowledge can help students to apply their learning in real life situations unless they practically apply their leadership skills through camps and programmes.

                                          III SECTION B – CREATIVE WRITING SKILLS

All the names and addresses used in the questions are fictitious. Resemblance, if any, is purely coincidental.

1. Attempt ANY ONE from A and B given below.                                                 5 marks


      Marking scheme for Notice: format–1, content-2,organisation of ideas,-1accuracy-1

1.A You are Josely Mathew, the President of the school book club. The club is organising a drive for promoting reuse of study materials and books. Draft a notice in about 50 words, for the school notice board, addressing students of classes X-XII, informing them about this drive and urging them to contribute to the endeavour. Mention how the donated books would benefit a charitable cause.


1.B As the House Captain of A.B.M Public school, Telangana, draft a notice in not more than 50 words for the school notice board, informing House members from X-XII about the change in topic and submission dates for Round 1 of ‘Discovery’ – the upcoming Inter-House Research-based Paper Presentation Competition. Do not forget to issue an apology for the above. You are Kruthika Reddy.

                                           INVITATION and REPLIES

2. Attempt ANY ONE from A and B given below.                                                                 5

Marking scheme – Format – 1 ,Content -2, Organisation of ideas -1,  Accuracy 1

2.A You are Dr. Suchitra Mukherjee. You have received an invitation from the Director, Health Services, Kharagpur, W.B, to preside over a gathering of leading medical practitioners attending a workshop on mental wellness on 09 November, 2023 at 11 a.m. in the Public Hospital, Jammu, J & K. Respond to accept the invitation.


Department of English

XYZ University

20th October, 2023


Health Services

Kharagpur. W.B

Subject: Reply to invitation


I am glad to have received your invitation to preside over the workshop on mental wellness on 09/11/’23 at 11 a.m. at the Public Hospital, Jammu, J&K.  . It will be my pleasure to be a part of this prestigious event, where I’ll get an opportunity to interact with leading medical practitioners . I confirm my presence for the event. Looking forward to the event.

Yours sincerely

Dr. Suchitra Mitra


2.B Draft an invitation in about 50 words, on behalf of your aunt, Meghna Menon, which she has to share to invite prior work colleagues to the inaugural event of her own investment consultancy firm, in the Acer mall, Kozhikode, Kerala.


3. Attempt ANY ONE from A and B given below.                                               5 marks

Marking Scheme-Format – 1, Content -2, Organisation of ideas -1, Accuracy-1

3.A You are Minu Sen, an intern in a software company in Hyderabad. You feel that the growing relationship of companies with non-profit organisations have made Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) the buzzword today. Your own involvement in one such project for your company has convinced you that CSR looks beyond the company profits and focuses on benefiting the greater community.
Write a letter to the editor of a national daily in about 120-150 words sharing your opinion about CSR and its advantages and provide suggestions to make it an integral part of every organisation. Use the given cues along with your own ideas to compose this letter.


A/1 Avenue

Vasant Vihar


20 February, 2023

The Editor

Times of India

New Delhi -01

Subject: Making CSR a mandatory for every organisation.


Through the columns of your esteemed daily, I would like to draw the attention of the concerned authorities for making CSR a mandatory part of every organisation.

 My involvement with CSR projects enlightened me about the types of CSR projects like environmental initiatives , charity work, ethical labour practices, volunteer projects, and how they help  in the development of the communities. We organised a camp for women on micro-financing through which they were able to become financially independent.

There are numerous advantages of implementing CSR activities. They not only enhance the brand value  and thereby increase sales of the company but also help in generating positive public attention and poverty alleviation in short and specific period of time.

It is my request to the authorities to make CSR activities an integral part of every organisation and help in the development of the society and our country at large.

Thanking you

Yours Sincerely

Minu Sen


3B. You are Minu Sen, employed as an Asst. Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in your current company in Hyderabad. You saw the given advertisement in the newspaper and wish to apply for the position advertised.


A/1 Avenue

Vasant Vihar


20 February, 20XX

Gagan Vij

HR. Head

Credit Sage Pvt. Ltd.



With reference to the advertisement published in the XYZ newspaper on 20th February, 20XX, I would like to extend my candidature for the post of Corporate Social Responsibility Manager (CSR) Head in Credit Sage Pvt. Ltd .

I have completed my B.A in Public Relations form Shriram College New Delhi. I am presently working as an Asst. Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in ABC. & Co. In association  with an NGO ‘Unnati’ working for the development of the deprived in Amungi village (A.P).             .

If selected, I would work with complete sincerity, honesty and effectiveness. I hereby enclose my curriculum vitae for your perusal and hope for a positive reply.

Thanking you

Yours sincerely

Minu Sen


Name – Minu Sen

Mother’s Name – Mrs. Mahima Sen

Father’s Name – Mr. Madhav Sen

Gender – Female

Date of Birth – 20/12/19XX

Address – A/1 Avenue, Vasant Vihar, Hyderabad

Email id –

Academic Qualification

ExamBoard/ UniversitySchool/collegeGrade
XCBSEDelhi Public School, Hyderabad A+
XIICBSEDelhi Public School, Hyderabad A+ 
B.ADelhi UniversityShriram College, New Delhi   94%

Work Experience –  1) 2 years experience as an Asst. Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in ABC. & Co. Hyderabad.

Achievements- 1) Best CSR Strategist Award -20XX (ABC. & Co. Hyderabad)

                           2)  Student of the year (20XX) DPS, Hyderabad

Hobbies – 1) Composing music

                  2) Gardening

Languages known – 1) Hindi (read, write, speak)

                                 2) English (read, write, speak)

                                 3) Telugu  (read, write, speak)

Reference : 1) XYZ, Dean Shriram College. New Delhi.

                     2) ABC, HRD Manager, ABC. & Co. Hyderabad

I do, hereby, certify   that the information given above is true to the best of my knowledge and ability.

Date: 20/02/20XX                                                                                Minu Sen     

4. Attempt ANY ONE from A and B given below.                                         5 marks


Format – 1 Content -2 Organisation of ideas -1 Accuracy 1                                                                                                   

The construction sector is believed to be quite hazardous and has the maximum number of fatal work injuries because apart from other causes, stakeholders in this sector tend to ignore safety regulations. As a columnist for an e-magazine, draft an article in about 120-150 words, on the theme of the importance of worker safety in construction zones. Explore possible reasons for the prevailing situation and include suggestions for addressing it. Support your ideas with cues given below.



                                                                                                    By Xyz

It is a well known fact that the construction sector is full of risks and perils. Most of the fatal accidents this sector is due to the negligence of the stakeholders in ensuring safety measures for the construction workers.

The construction workers are often exploited and  made to work overtime due to which they become fatigued and lose their focus resulting in accidents. Further, while working in extreme weather conditions they lose concentration and health which lead to accidents and illness. It is estimated that more than 6000 migrant workers have perished in construction work leading to the World Cup 2022.

Most of these accidents are preventable. The managers are not from Mars nor are the workers from Venus that they are unaware of the risks involved. Training programmes and awareness campaigns for stakeholders and construction workers is the need of the hour. Stricter laws will also help in reducing accidents associated with the sector.



4.B The construction sector is believed to be quite hazardous and has the maximum number of fatal work injuries. A safety fair was organised by ‘Building Safely’, an NGO in Mysuru, Karnataka with the overarching theme ,‘Worker Safety Needs to be a Priority in Construction Zones’. You were asked to cover this event as the junior correspondent of a local daily. Write a report covering this event in about 120-150 words. Support your ideas with outline cues given below, to craft your newspaper report.



                                                                                   Report by ABC (Junior correspondent)

Mysuru, 20th February, 20XX: Keeping in mind the importance of safety measures, a safety fair was held in Dasara Ground, Mysuru, Karnataka, on 2nd February, 20XX by ‘Building Safely’ an NGO working on safety of construction workers.

A total of 300 participants from various construction companies participated in the safety fair.  The programme started with toolbox talks on ‘Managing Health and Safety in Construction’, followed by a video presentation dedicated to the deceased. The President of ‘Building Safely’ delivered a speech on importance of following safety procedures.  An emergency response drill took place which was followed by several safety demonstrations and safety games. 

A special insurance scheme was inaugurated for the benefit of workers. The fair concluded with a vote of thanks by Mr XYZ of ABC Construction Pvt. Ltd. A lunch with the administrative officials was held for construction workers. The fair was a grand success and beneficial for the participants.  

                                                  SECTION C – LITERATURE

IV Read the given extracts to attempt the questions with reference to context


It is in the news that all these pitiful kin

Are to be bought out and mercifully gathered in

To live in villages, next to the theatre and the store,

Where they won’t have to think for themselves anymore,

While greedy good-doers, beneficent beasts of prey,

Swarm over their lives enforcing benefits

That are calculated to soothe them out of their wits,

And by teaching them how to sleep they sleep all day,

Destroy their sleeping at night the ancient way.

i. What is the tone of the poet in the above lines?

(i) Aggressive

(ii) Tolerant

(iii) Sarcastic

(iv) Resigned

(v) Sentimental

Choose the most appropriate option.

A. Only (i)

B. (ii) and (iii)

C. (i), (iv) and (v)

D. Only (iii)

Ans.  D. Only (iii)        

ii. Identify the phrase from the extract, that suggests the following:

No one bothers to take ‘their’ consent before pushing the promise of a better life, their way.

Ans. enforcing benefits

iii. What quality of the villagers can be inferred through these lines?

A. gullible

B. futuristic

C. hypocritical

D. ambitious

Ans. A. Gullible

iv. Complete the following analogy correctly. Do NOT repeat from used example.

greedy good doers: alliteration:: …………………………….. oxymoron

Ans.  beneficent beasts of prey

v. On the basis of the extract, choose the correct option with reference to (1) and (2) given below.

(1) The city dwellers make promises for the betterment of the villagers.

(2) The city dwellers have ulterior motives.

A. (1) is true but (2) is false.

B. (2) is true but (1) is false.

C. (2) is the reason for (1).

D. Both (1) and (2) cannot be inferred from the extract.

 Ans. C. (2) is the reason for (1).

vi. Fill the blank with an appropriate word, with reference to the extract.

The line ‘… calculated to soothe them out of their wits’ implies that ‘them’ are being                          ____________.

Ans. duped


IV Read the given extracts to attempt the questions with reference to context

1. B

A thing of beauty is a joy forever

Its loveliness increases, it will never

Pass into nothingness; but will keep

A bower quiet for us, and a sleep

Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing

A flowery band to bind us to the earth

i. Choose the option that displays the same poetic device as used in the first line of the extract.

A. I’m as happy as I can be.

B. Life is a roller coaster ride.

C. Nature is God’s gift to us.

D. The dazzling divas enchanted all.

Ans. B. Life is a roller coaster ride. (Metaphor)

ii. What does the phrase ‘a bower quiet’ indicate?

A. serenity

B. morality

C. superiority

D. diversity

Ans. A. Serenity

iii. The benefits of a thing of beauty for humans include .

(i) healthy body

(ii) calm mind

(iii) struggle-free life

(iv) better relationships

(v) hope to carry on

Choose the most appropriate option.

A. Only (v)

B. (i), (ii) and (v)

C. (i), (iii) and (iv)

D. (ii) and (iv)

Ans. B. (i), (ii) and (v)

iv. Answer in ONE WORD.

When the poet says that ‘a thing of beauty’ will never pass into nothingness, he means that it is _______________.                                                                                         (1 mark)

Ans.  eternal/ everlasting        (any one word)

v. On the basis of the extract, choose the correct option with reference to the two statements given below.

(1) We are surrounded by beautiful things.

(2) Beautiful things provide us joy.

A. (1) can be inferred from the extract but (2) cannot.

B. (2) can be inferred from the extract but (1) cannot.

C. Both (1) and (2) can be inferred from the extract.

D. (2) is the reason for (1) and can be inferred from the extract.                                     (1mark)

Ans. B. (2) can be inferred from the extract but (1) cannot.

vi. Which of the following is an apt title for the extract?

A. Full to the Brim with Joy

B. Beauty Galore

C. Live Life King Size

D. Hope Floats

Ans.  D. Hope Floats


DERRY: You’re … peculiar. You say peculiar things. You ask questions I don’t understand.

MR LAMB: I like to talk. Have company. You don’t have to answer questions. You don’t have to stop here at all. The gate’s open.

DERRY: Yes, but…

MR LAMB: I’ve a hive of bees behind those trees over there. Some hear bees and they say, bees buzz. But when you listen to bees for a long while, they humm. .. and hum means ‘sing’. I hear them singing, my bees.

DERRY: But….I like it here. I came in because I liked it ….. when I looked over the wall.

MR LAMB: If you’d seen me, you’d not have come in.


i. List the playwright’s purpose of using ellipses (…) in this extract.

Ans.  The purpose of using ellipses is to tell that the character is pausing to think and gather his thoughts before speaking.

ii. Select the option that best describes Derry and Mr. Lamb in the extract.

A. Derry: introvert; Mr. Lamb: friendly

B. Derry: fearful; Mr. Lamb: domineering

C. Derry: friendly; Mr. Lamb: weird

D. Derry: open minded; Mr. Lamb: charming                                              (1 mark)  

Ans.  A. Derry: introvert; Mr. Lamb: friendly

iii. Which of the following best summarises Mr. Lamb’s attitude towards the bees?

A. Beauty is being true to yourself.

B. There is a kind of beauty in imperfection.

C. Beauty is the promise of happiness.

D. The beauty of the world lies in the details.

Ans. D. The beauty of the world lies in the details.

iv. Derry says, “I came in here because I liked it … .” What was the one significant thing Derry might have liked about the place, as per the extract?

Ans. The thing that Derry liked about the place was its tranquility, peacefulness and isolation. He could avoid people and be away from prying eyes. 


Students on Ice, the programme I was working with on the Shokalskiy, aims to do exactly this by taking high school students to the ends of the world and providing them with inspiring educational opportunities which will help them foster a new understanding and respect for our planet. It’s been in operation for six years now, headed by Canadian Geoff Green, who got tired of carting celebrities and retired, rich, curiosity seekers who could only ‘give’ back in a limited way. With Students on Ice, he offers the future generation of policy-makers a life-changing experience at an age when they’re ready to absorb, learn, and most importantly, act.

i. Complete the sentence appropriately, with reference to the extract.

The writer refers to the educational opportunities as ‘inspiring’ because .

Ans. These opportunities would give the students a first-hand experience about the necessity to preserve the planet and motivate them to work towards it.

ii. Which of the following would NOT be ‘a life changing experience’?

A. Being given the lead role in a play.

B. Going on an adventure trip.

C. Playing a video game.

D. Meeting a great leader, you admire.

Ans. C. Playing a video game.

iv. Why does the writer refer to ‘act’ as more important than ‘absorb’ or ‘learn’?

Ans.  Action is more important because mere knowledge is not enough. Knowledge only becomes fruitful when it is acted upon and the results are visible.


A girl from the countryside, she hadn’t gone through all the stages of worldly experience that generally precede a position of importance and sophistication that she had found herself catapulted into. She never quite recovered from the terror she felt that day. That was the end of a brief and brilliant acting career — the legal adviser, who was also a member of the Story Department, had unwittingly brought about that sad end. While every other member of the Department wore a kind of uniform — khadi dhoti with a slightly oversized and clumsily tailored white khadi shirt — the legal adviser wore pants and a tie and sometimes a coat that looked like a coat of mail. Often he looked alone and helpless …

i. ‘Stages of worldly experience’ in the given context would refer to .

A. good education to gain knowledge.

B. situations that require one to be street smart.

C. smaller, not so important roles in acting.

D. training in soft skills.

Ans.  B. situations that require one to be street smart.

ii. Select the suitable word from the extract to complete the following analogy:

sealed: closed :: propelled:_____________

Ans. catapulted

iii. Select the correct option to fill in the blank.

The harm done to the actress was a/an

A. well-planned act.

B. unintentional act.

C. act of jealousy.

D. act of male dominance.

Ans.  B. unintentional act.

iv. Based on the above extract choose the statement that is TRUE for the legal adviser.

A. He disliked the actress from the countryside.

B. He acted after thinking through things carefully.

C. He did not gel well with others in the Department.

D. He was always dressed smartly.      

Ans. C. did not gel well with others in the Department.

v. Identify the textual clue that allows the reader to infer that the writer is sympathetic towards the professional fate of the actor.

(Clue: a phrase)

Ans. The phrase ‘that sad end’ shows the writers sympathy.

vi. Complete the sentence with an appropriate explanation, as per the extract.

The writer uses the word ‘uniform’ to refer to the outfits of the Department members because just like a uniform_________ .

Ans.  represents a uniform dress code for people in organisations or institutions. Similarly, the members of the Story Department wore the same type of loose khadi shirts and khadi dhotis.



Some might make quite extravagant claims for it as being, in its highest form, a source of truth, and, in its practice, an art. Others, usually celebrities who see themselves as its victims, might despise the interview as an unwarranted intrusion into their lives, or feel that it somehow diminishes them, just as in some primitive cultures it is believed that if one takes a photographic portrait of somebody then one is stealing that person’s soul.

i. What is the most likely reason some people consider the practice of interview to be an art?

This could be because it requires-

A. fluency of words.

B. sensitive and careful handling.

C. creativity and imagination.

D. probing and focusing on details.

Ans. C. creativity and imagination.

ii. Rewrite the sentence by replacing the underlined phrase with its inference.

Celebrities feel that an interview diminishes them.

Ans. Celebrities feel that interviews make them look like common people.

iii. On the basis of the extract, choose the correct option with reference to the two statements given below.

(1) Celebrities don’t consent to be interviewed.

(2) Interviews intrude the privacy of celebrities.

A. (1) Can be inferred from the extract but (2) cannot.

B. (1) cannot be inferred from the extract but (2) can.

C. (1) is true but (2) is false.

D. (2) is the reason for (1).

Ans. D. (2) is the reason for (1).

iv. Rationalise, to support the given opinion:

To say that an interview, in its highest form, is a source of truth is an extravagant, claim.

Ans. It is an extravagant claim as an interview cannot be a source of truth due to the following-

Interview may be scripted OR People may make false statements OR Certain questions may be left unanswered.

v. Replace the underlined word with its antonym from the extract.

Some celebrities hate the idea of having to give an interview because it makes them feel like supporters.

Ans. victims

vi. The author’s views on interview, in the extract, can best be described as statements based on .

A. facts

B. hypothesis

C. beliefs

D. superstitions

Ans.  A. facts

V Answer ANY FIVE of the following in about 40-50 words each.     5*2=10

  1. “You realise the true value of a thing only on losing it.” Comment on this statement in the light of the story The Last Lesson

Ans. The people of Alsace became extremely saddened to hear that the Prussians had put a ban on teaching of French, and that M Hamel would be imparting the last lesson.

M Hamel was considered to be a strict teacher and his lessons were not taken seriously. It was only when he was told to leave the country that the people realised his priceless contribution towards teaching them their mother tongue.

1. State the common issue faced by most of the aged in the current times, with reference to the poem My Mother at Sixty-six.

Ans.  The problem of loneliness and lack of support structure is a common problem faced by the aged in the recent times. With the world becoming a global village and the well educated off-springs being employed in far-away places the parents in their old age find themselves without any support just like the poet’s mother who accompanies her daughter to the airport to bid her goodbye.

iii  What do we come to know about the author of Lost Spring – Anees Jung, through her interactions with Saheb and Mukesh?

Ans.  Anees Jung appears to be an observant sympathetic person who cares about the oppressed and the poor. Through her interactions with Saheb and Mukesh we come to know that she feels strongly about child labour and feels helpless at not being able to do anything to help them.

iv. Give two reasons why, according to Pablo Neruda, is ‘keeping quiet’ essential to attaining a better, more peaceful world?

Ans.  Keeping quiet helps us to introspect and reflect on our actions. In silence we are able to understand ourselves and our aims in a better manner. On reflecting on our actions we realise that our mindless actions are actually harming us and is the cause of our unhappiness.

v. If the Christmas spirit is about selflessness, forgiveness and becoming ‘better’ versions of ourselves amongst other things, Edla Willmansson is the epitome of this spirit. Justify with two points of evidence from The Rattrap.

Ans.  Edla Willmansson is indeed the epitome of Christmas spirit who inspired the rattrap seller to become a better person. Although she immediately came to know that the rattrap seller was not the Captain. She invited him to the house and provided him with shelter and food. She pleaded her father to let him stay when his mistake was realised and even invited him to celebrate Christmas with them the next year.

vi. How can we say that marriage was a compromise for Aunt Jennifer? Support your response with two justifications.

Ans. Aunt Jennifer’s marriage was a relationship of adjustment and compromise. She was terrified of her oppressive husband and was burdened by marital responsibilities. She fiercely wanted her freedom but was too timid to rebel. She couldn’t live her live as she would have liked to live but her desire for freedom was reflected through the tigers she wove.

VI Answer ANY TWO of the following in about 40-50 words each. 2*2=4

i. ‘It’s easy to judge others and give advice, but much more difficult to apply it to ourselves.’ Elaborate with reference to the character of Sam in The Third Level.

Ans. Sam was being judgmental when he told Charley that he was dissatisfied with life and was looking for an escape. The third level was just an imagination, so Charley should accept reality and be satisfied with it. However, Sam himself wanted an escape from the stress filled modern life and went in search for the third level.

ii. Comment on the writing style of the author, Kalki in The Tiger King.

Ans. Kalki uses simple, conversational, narrative style in the story The Tiger King. It is a satire on those in power, written with a comedic and humorous undertone. He uses exaggeration to mock at the manner in which society idolises those in power and nails the irony behind it.

iii. How do we know that Dr. Sadao was conscientious as well as loyal?

Ans. Dr. Sadao was conscientious when it came to his profession. He as a doctor operated on the wound of the soldier with care and saved him. On the other hand, he as a loyal citizen did his duty of informing the General about the prisoner and agreed to cooperate in the planned assassination of the soldier.

VII Answer ANY ONE of the following in about 120-150 words. 1*5=5

i. The prose selections, Deep Water and Indigo, bring out the importance of overcoming fear, in order to be able to lead our lives successfully.

Imagine yourself to be a motivational speaker who has to address high school students. Write this address in 120 – 150 words elaborating on occurrences from the two texts to inspire your audience and to convince them about the importance of overcoming fear.

You may begin like this …

Good morning, students!

We all know what it’s like to be afraid. Fear is our body’s natural response to a perceived threat or danger. But when …


Good morning, students!

We all know what it’s like to be afraid. Fear is our body’s natural response to a perceived threat or danger. But when we realise the basis of our fear and are determined to overcome it – our freedom to lead a life according to our wishes begins.

It is fear that prevents our progress. The people of Champaran were unable to fight for their rights because of their fear of the British. Similarly, William Douglas’s fear of water prevented him from fishing, canoeing and swimming. It was only when they decided to face their fear and devised a plan that they were able to overcome it. The people of Champaran  gathered around the courthouse in Motihari and William Douglas decided to learn swimming to overcome their fears.

Overcoming fear yields rich rewards but needs persistence and determination. It took nearly a year for the peasants to get justice and Douglas took months to get over his fear and learn swimming. 

Once they overcame their fear they were able to live their life to the fullest.

ii ‘Their mother sighed.

Sophie watched her back stooped over the sink and wondered at the incongruity of the delicate bow which fastened her apron strings.

The prose selection, Going Places includes this telling comment about Sophie’s mother.

In Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers, we are told that –

The massive weight of Uncle’s wedding band

Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer’s Hand.

Imagine a conversation between Sophie’s mother and Aunt Jennifer. Create this exchange with reference to the two extracts given above.

You may begin the conversation like this …

Sophie’s mother: Your embroidery is so beautiful. Do you love tigers?


You may begin the conversation like this …

Sophie’s mother: Your embroidery is so beautiful. Do you love tigers?

Aunt Jennifer: Yes, I do. Actually they reflect the kind of life I would have liked to live.

Sophie’s mother:  Hmm, unlike me they have freedom and power live as they want.

Aunt Jennifer: Exactly! My life is a burden because of my domineering husband. I’m afraid of him.

Sophie’s mother: I have to serve my family from dawn to dusk without any respite, while others get to entertain themselves all the time.

Aunt Jennifer: My only respite is my secret embroidery.

Sophie’s mother: It seems we will never have our own identities as humans with like and wants.

Aunt Jennifer: Yes, this oppression and servitude will hound us till our grave.

VIII Answer ANY ONE of the following in about 120-150 words. 1*5=5

i. On returning home, Tishani Doshi writes her thoughts reflecting on how her decision to enrol for the Students on Ice programme has been the single most important decision of her life that has completely transformed her. Imagine yourself to be Tishani and express these thoughts.

You may begin like this:

I can’t thank my stars enough for having cashed in on the opportunity of………..

Ans. I can’t thank my stars enough for having cashed in on the opportunity of enrolling for the ‘Students  on Ice’ programme. It was a life-changing experience for me. The experience of visiting an island uninhabited by humans was completely different from all other experiences. The landscape  being relatively pristine and unspoilt by humans provided an insight  into the earth’s past, present and the future. The melting glaciers due to human activities made me aware of the threat to the earth’s environment and all living beings at large as all life is interlinked. It was an eye opening experience which made me realise how minor things can have major impact on the earth therefore how important it was to take care of minor things. The trip was indeed one that completely transformed my mindset towards life.


ii. Both Bama and Zitkala Sa experienced the harsh reality of discrimination in their childhood. Instead of letting it pull them down, they both found a way to overcome it.

You wish to include a cameo* of both in your upcoming blog post.

As a part of the research, compare and contrast the experiences faced by the two and their response/s to these experiences, in 120-150 words.

[Clue: Include the similarities and differences in the discrimination they faced – their feelings – determination to overcome – success]

Ans.  The discriminatory experiences of both Bama and Zitkal Sa left indelible imprints on their young minds. While Bama faced discrimination due to her lower caste, Zitkal faced discrimination as she came from a different culture. Bama was furious and wanted to touch the packet of ‘vadai’ to rebel against the injustice when she came to know about the discriminatory practices by the higher castes.  Zitkal fought hard to avoid cutting her hair and thereby to protect her cultural practices although she was forced to give in at the end. Both Bama and Zitkal knew that education was the best way to fight against discriminatory practices and worked hard to excel in their fields. They both became writers and wrote against discrimination to spread awareness and fight for the rights of their communities.

I Can, So I Am

It doesn’t matter what you have,
Nor does it matter what you know.
It doesn’t matter what others think,
Nor does it matter what you do.
What matters most is the confidence,
You wear as your aura all the time.
What matters most is the confidence,
That you have on your very own self.
Do carry confidently that confidence,
For, that is what matters the most,
To live life, as you would like to live.

Photo by Italo Melo



Factual description is the vivid description of a person, place, thing or an event in a systematic manner. The description must consist of facts and not theories or individual opinions. The main purpose of writing a factual description is to describe the topic’s features without giving our personal opinion. The aim is to provide a vibrant experience to the reader using descriptive language, primarily through the use of adjectives to appeal to the five senses of touch, sight, smell, sound and taste.

FORMAT of factual description


Content in one paragraph (100- 150 words)

Tips for writing a factual description

  1. Give a suitable heading
  2. Use appropriate tense
  3. Provide your ideas in a detailed and systematic manner
  4. Avoid giving your personal opinion
  5. Write in semi-formal language

Types of Factual description

  1. Place
  2. Person
  3. Events
  4. Situation

Tips for writing factual description of a – Place

While writing a factual description regarding a place, you must keep the following points in mind-

  1. Location – along with spatial aspects
  2. Features –  how it looks like
  3. Historical reference – when and why it was built
  4. Geographical facts
  5. Dimensions – shapes and size
  6. Facilities available
  7. Write in present tense

Words for describing a place:

Bustling, crowded, spacious,  famous, fantastic, pleasing, pleasant, enticing, fascinating, huge, popular, picturesque, breathtaking, interesting, spectacular, stunning,  superb, grand, glittering, magnificent, elegant, eye-catching, polluted, dirty,  delightful, structure, ancient, cosmopolitan, modern, historical, rambling,  contemporary, unique,  high-rise, palace, tower, towering, spacious mansion, cabin, bungalow, foundation, erection, construction, brick-built, brownstone, red-stone,  granite, marble, carpeted, alley,  shanty, estate, edifice, architectural, site, plot, walls, ceiling, terrace, lawn, yard, patio, orchard, garden,  greenhouse, back yard, field, court yard,  border, grave, cemetery, mortuary, tomb, location, space, zone, corner, terrain, mountainous, hilly, plateau, circular, triangular, square shaped, oval.

Sample questions – factual description of a place

Q1. Write a factual description of your school.

Q.2. Write a factual description of a multiplex in your locality.

Q. Write a factual description of a historical monument that you visited in the recent past.

    The Taj Mahal – A Dream in Stones

The Taj Mahal is the jewel of Mughal art in India. Standing on the banks of Yamuna, the Taj is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture and is renowned for its enchanting aesthetic beauty. It is located in Agra (U.P) and was built from 1631 to 1653 enclosing an area of 17 hectares. Emperor Shah Jahan built it in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. The ivory white mausoleum with its exquisite pietra-dura inlays carvings on its base is a feast for eyes.  The country’s tourism highly depends on the Taj Mahal. About 6 million visitors visit the monument every year, especially during the dawn and at evening when the reflection of the splendid monument on the surrounding water-body creates a mesmerizing sight for its viewers.


 Tips for writing factual description of an – Event

  1. What was the event?
  2. When did the event occur?
  3. Where was the venue?
  4. What was the sequence of the programme?
  5. Information about the chief guests/ judges and participants
  6. Name of the organization or the people arranging the event
  7. Results of the event if it is a contest
  8. Write in past tense as the event has already taken place

Sample questions – factual description of an event.

Q. 1. Write a factual description on the Annual Day celebration in your School.

Q .2. Write a factual description on T-20 match held in your city.


Sample answer of factual description of an – Event

Q. Write a factual description on an English extempore held at your School.

                                                                    English Extempore

  The English extempore held at Delhi Public School, Asansol on 28th July, 2022 saw popular participation by students of standard IX – XII. It was held at the Multi-purpose hall at 11:00 am. Numerous participants queued backstage awaiting their turn. The extempore was organised in a methodical manner, where participants were called onstage and asked to choose a chit. Whichever topic they chose was to be their theme for the extempore. The topics mainly involved environmental and societal issues. Each participant got five minutes to prepare and then had to come back onstage to speak on the topic. The competition was tough as each candidate were quick in preparing and fine tuning their thoughts on their subjects and were able to deftly manoeuvre  any situation that cropped up onstage. The event was filled with excitement and was a memorable one for the students.

   Tips for writing factual description of aPerson

  1. Physical attributes – looks/ height/ weight/preference of clothing
  2. Relation to the writer if any
  3. Intellectual abilities and emotional qualities
  4. Personality – way of talking/ walking
  5. Other’s perception about him /her
  6. Any other special trait observed – citing incidents/examples
  7. Write in past tense only if the person is no longer alive

In factual description of a person, you must first give the details of the physical features. Then provide personality or character traits of the person. If inputs are provided, you need to expand the points in your own language and put in extra details if you want.

Words to describe physical qualities:

Height – tall, short, medium, average, moderate,

Facial features – round, thin, chubby, square, oval, diamond, pear, oblong, angular, bearded, unshaven,

Eye colour – green, black, blue, brown, hazel, amber, gray

Skin colour – wheatish, dark, fair, tan, olive

Built – gigantic, petite, tiny, lofty, stout, lean, stocky

Appearance and clothes- elegant, well- tailored, formal, neat, tidy, casual, informal, sloppy, untidy

Words to describe personality

Adventurous, humorous, considerate, kind, generous, trustworthy, enthusiastic, industrious, lazy, ambitious, diligent, thoughtful, courageous, brave, coward, affectionate, sincere, reliable,  compassionate, versatile, optimistic, shy,  charming, clever, loyal, attractive, polite, dominating , bossy, submissive, intelligent, brilliant, grumpy, beautiful, cheerful, gregarious, aggressive, cheerful.

Sample questions – factual description of a person.

Q1. Write the description of your ‘best friend’ using the following hints:

Name – address- family- personality- qualities- hobbies- behaviour towards others- how you feel about him.

Q2. Given below is some information about the guard of your school. Write a factual description about the guard of your school based on the given information.
5’5”- wheatish complexion – black hair-Gurkha- 40 yrs old- high school passed- married- 3 children- alert, caring- expert flute player.

Q3. Write the description of your grandmother within 150 words.

Sample Answer – factual description of People

Q. Write the factual description of Albert Einstein using the given hints.

Hints: Born: 14th March, 1879, Ulm, Germany – migrated to USA in1933 after Nazi takeover of Germany – won Noble prize for theory of relativity- warned Roosevelt about destructive power of atom bomb- deeply shaken after bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki- advocated for world government – true world citizen.

                                                      Einstein the Renowned Visionary

Einstein, one of the most famous scientists of the world was born in Ulm, Germany on 14th March, 1879. He is best known for his intellect and contributions in the field of science. He was awarded with the Noble prize for his research on the theory of relativity. Most people know him as he looked in his advanced age with his walrus moustache and frizzy hair. He migrated to USA in 1933 as he faced threat to his life as a Jew under the Nazi regime in Germany. While in U.S. he warned President Roosevelt about the terrible destructive power of the atom bomb. He was deeply shaken, when the U.S. bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki leaving a trail of destruction. He as a visionary advocated for World government and campaigned for world peace and democracy. He was well ahead of his time and a true world citizen.

Tips for writing factual description of a -Situation

  1. What happened?
  2. When did it happen?
  3. How was your experience
  4. Write the happenings in a chronological manner
  5. Write in past tense as it was an experience

Q. Yesterday it rained heavily and your area was waterlogged. Your school van could not reach your home and your parents were out of the house for some urgent work. Write a description of the incidents which took place in this situation.

                                                             Raining Troubles

It had rained incessantly yester night. Today, at 7:30 in the morning, my school van failed to show up in front of my house. It was drizzling steadily without any sign of stopping. All the roads were waterlogged and there was water, water everywhere as far as eyes could see. My parents were out of station and unreachable over phone. So, I was worried about missing school and with that my chances of getting the 100 % attendance award. I decided to brave it on my bike through the waterlogged roads, and succeeded in reaching school on time, albeit in soaking socks and trousers. Very few students were present and we enjoyed our close knit classes with our teachers. The sky had cleared by the time of dispersal and I reached home safely as the water had dried up and vehicles could move freely once more.

Q. Write a descriptive paragraph about your experience of reaching late for an examination.

                                                    Examination Experiences

It was 29th February, when I got up ten minutes late after a late night of studying for exams. I hurried out to catch my school bus. As I feared I had missed my school bus. I took an e-rickshaw and told the driver to go as fast as possible. The driver tried to speed when suddenly, a schoolboy trying to cross the road came in front of the vehicle. The e-rickshaw skidded as the driver pulled the brake hard. We were shocked but relived to see that the boy was unhurt. I told the driver to go slow as I felt shaken. I reached the exam hall late and narrated the incident to the invigilator. My exam went well, but I realised that ‘haste makes waste’ and that preparation for exam must include discipline along with studies.

Life Is


Many things in life don’t make sense 
if you question life, it takes offense
‘call it fate’ life says in its defence
most times it’s at your sanity’s expense
living life has become a pretence
life throws a curveball nonetheless
you still pick up the pieces and commence
because ‘hope’ is something that life invents
give it time, says life, no more laments
life is something that time represents
like an hourglass in destiny’s events
slipping through one’s fingers, nonetheless
I can’t figure out life, I must confess
maybe I have missed the point of life’s intent.

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