The Question paper is divided into three sections:

  • Section A - Reading: 20 marks
  • Section B - Writing and Grammar: 25 marks
  • Section C: Literature: 25 marks

SECTION A - (Reading) 20 marks

1. Read the passage carefully:

I was born in the small but beautiful mountain village of Nakuri near Uttarkashi in Garhwal, with the gurgling, playful Bhagirathi river flowing nearby. My parents were a hard-working and extremely self-contained couple. Even though our family was poor, barely managing the essentials, my father taught us how to live and maintain dignity and self-respect — the most treasured family value till today. At the same time my parents also practised the creed, ‘‘Kindness is the essence of all religion.’’ They were large-hearted, inviting village folk passing by to have tea at our home, and gave grain to the sadhus and pandits who came to the house. This characteristic has been ingrained in me so deeply that I am able to reach out to others and make a difference in their lives — whether it is in my home, in society or at the workplace.

I was the third child in the family — girl, boy, girl, girl and boy in that order — and quite a rebel. I developed a tendency to ask questions and was not satisfied with the customary way of life for a girl-child. When I found my elder brother, Bachchan, encouraging our youngest brother, Raju, to take up mountaineering I thought, why not me ? I found that my brothers were always getting preferential treatment and all opportunities and options were open to them. This made me even more determined to not only do what the boys were doing, but to do it better.

The general thinking of mountain people was that mountaineering as a sport was not for them. They considered themselves to be born mountaineers as they had to go up and down mountain slopes for their daily livelihood and even for routine work. On the other hand, as a student, I would look curiously at foreign backpackers passing by my village and wonder where they were going. I would even invite them to my house and talk to them to learn more about their travels. The full significance of this came to me later when I started working. The foreigners took the trouble to come all the way to the Himalayas in order to educate themselves on social, cultural and scientific aspects of mountaineering, as well as to seek peace in nature’s gigantic scheme of things.

1.1 Answer the following questions: 1×8=8

(a) What does the author tell us about the financial condition of her parents ?

(b) What is the most treasured value of the author’s family ?

(c) Give an example to show that the author’s parents were very hospitable.

(d) What kind of girl was the author ?

(e) How do you know that the author’s parents discriminated between sons and daughters ?

(f) Why do the mountain people consider themselves to be born mountaineers ?

(g) Why would the author invite foreign mountaineers to her house ?

(h) Why were foreigners drawn to the Himalayas ?

2. Read the passage carefully:

1 One would imagine that at the very sight of the panther, deer, antelopes, and its other preys would just run for their lives. Nothing of the sort. They all stand their ground and make such a loud noise that the panther is left with no other choice except to leave quietly. I have seen a tiny chital baby standing in the middle of an opening in the forest, stamping its feet on the ground and shooing away a tiger. With the white of its erect tail showing, it kept up its shrill call until the tiger made itself scarce. No tiger in its senses would attempt to catch such an impertinent brat, just as you would not dream of catching an offending crow cawing away in your verandah. 

2 While the panther sticks to cover and hugs the edge of the forest, the game animals, on the other hand, like to assemble right out in open vast grazing grounds. Open spaces which the panther carefully avoids, are what the game animals deliberately seek. 

3 It is difficult to describe the pandemonium kicked up by various animals when they spot or suspect a panther around. The chital strikes a shrill note, the kakar emits a deafening bark and the sambar rings a bell. The peacock on its perch, the jungle fowl on the ground, and the monkey on treetops, all join in the chorus of condemnation of the panther. They curse the panther in their own inimitable language. The resulting confusion of sounds is so irritating to the sharp ears of the panther that it is left with no other option except to go away.

4 The panther has thus to deal with its ever alert and watchful associates who show no mercy and expect none. It is a fight between finesse and flight, between clever attack and skilful defence.

5 Contrary to the common belief, the panther never springs upon its prey. It stalks as close to its victim as it can manage, and then makes the final dash by rushing at it at a lightning speed.

2.1 Answer the following questions: 2×4=8

(a) What strategy do animals like deer, antelopes, etc adopt to drive away the panther ?

(b) How do the panther and the game animals (deer, antelopes, etc) react to open spaces ?

(c) What effect does the loud noise made by birds and animals have on the panther ?

(d) How does the panther kill its prey ?

2.2 Find the meanings of the words given below with the help of the options that follow: 1×4=4

(a) shrill (Para 1)

  • (i) rude
  • (ii) high
  • (iii) offensive
  • (iv) terrible

(b) deliberately (Para 2)

  • (i) immediately
  • (ii) cleverly
  • (iii) intentionally
  • (iv) naughtily

(c) condemnation (Para 3)

  • (i) disapproval
  • (ii) dismissal
  • (iii) revenge
  • (iv) annoyance

(d) associates (Para 4)

  • (i) rivals
  • (ii) neighbours
  • (iii) superiors
  • (iv) partners

SECTION B - (Writing and Grammar) 25 marks

3. Many students from different parts of the country come to Delhi to study. Finding affordable accommodation is the main problem faced by them. Landlords charge exorbitant rents and in some cases refuse to rent rooms to them because of their different food habits and culture. The hostel facility provided by educational institutions is too inadequate to meet the demand. Write a letter in 100 – 120 words to the editor of a local daily drawing attention of the authorities and requesting them to take appropriate action. You are Raman / Raveena, 12, Station Road, Delhi.

OR

Accidents happen when people violate traffic rules. Careless drivers cause suffering to themselves and to others. Write an article in 100 – 120 words on "‘Safe Driving".

4. Write a story in 150 – 200 words based on the input given below:

Travelling in metro — tunnel — lights went out — general panic — pushing and shoving — screams — phone flashlights switched on — an old man ........

OR

Mrs. Madhu alone in house — had lunch — watching favourite serial — doorbell rang — opened door — a sadhu ........

5. Complete the following paragraph by filling in the blanks with the help of the given options: 1×3=3

During (a) __________ hottest part of the year, many of our city streets seem to be on fire (b) __________ masses of Gulmohar flowers. This (c) __________ one of the most beautiful trees.

(a) (i) a (ii) the (iii) an (iv) some
(b) (i) from (ii) by (iii) with (iv) over
(c) (i) is (ii) was (iii) are (iv) be

6. The following paragraph has not been edited. There is one error in each line. Write the error and its correction as shown in the example. 1×4=4
Error Correction
Neil Armstrong was the commander for Apollo 11. e.g. for of
He was the first to walk over (a) ________ ________
the moon. What many people do not knew (b) ________ ________
is that unlike most of their fellow (c) ________ ________
astronauts, he was the civilian (d) ________ ________
and not part of the military.

7. Rearrange the following words / phrases to form meaningful sentences. 1×3=3

The first one has been done as an example.
poverty / the village people / from / most / suffer / of
Most of the village people suffer from poverty.

(a) in rural areas / is / employment opportunities / there / of / lack /
(b) come to cities / in / people / so / of work / search /
(c) appalling conditions / cities / they / in / live / in /

SECTION C - (Literature: Textbook and Long Reading Text) 25 marks

8. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow: 1×3=3

It all started a month ago. Dad and I had spent the entire Saturday afternoon at the Computer Fair.

(a) Who is the speaker ?

(b) Why had the speaker and his father gone to the Computer Fair ?

(c) What does the word, ‘entire’ mean ?

OR

Ah ! Well-a-day ! What evil looks
Had I from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.

(a) Why did the speaker have evil looks from the mariners ?

(b) Why did they hang the albatross around the speaker’s neck ?

(c) What does the word ‘evil’ mean ?

9. Answer any four of the following questions in 30 – 40 words each: 2×4=8

(a) How did Patol Babu initially react to the role allotted to him ?

(b) What kind of woman is Lavinia ?

(c) What was the aim of the game Dragonquest ?

(d) How does Decius Brutus interpret Calpurnia’s dream ?

(e) What do the expressions on Ozymandias’ face reveal about him ?

10. Answer the following question in 80 – 100 words: 4

Whenever we act against the voice of our conscience, the result is suffering. Explain with reference to the poet’s action against the snake and its consequences.

OR

Dedication and hard work are essential for success. Explain how these qualities enable Patol Babu to perform his small role to perfection.

11. Answer the following question in 150 – 200 words: 10

What does Anne’s diary reveal about the steadily worsening economic and social conditions during the war ?

OR

What is your impression of Peter ?

OR

Helen did not confine herself to acquiring knowledge, but also enjoyed herself by taking part in outdoor activities. Elaborate.

OR

Which traits of Helen’s character appeal to you most ? Give a reasoned answer.