Bihar Board Class 12th English Unseen Passages for Comprehension Important Questions

Read carefully the passage given below and answer the questions that follow—

Passage No. 1

We had read a lot about Victoria Falls and had long dreamt of taking a close look at this awe-inspiring and magnificent spectacle of nature. At last the dream came true. I was standing on a huge rock on the edge of the Rain Forest. A vast panorama of magnificent shapes and colours stretched in front of me.

Looking down I saw the grey mist rolling up from the abysmal death. Hundreds of dragonflies are diving in and out of the falling rain like flying emeralds. Right in front of me, on the other side of the abyss. I saw the Zambsi sliding over the milelong edge of the precipice. The sight was frightening, but it was also beautiful. One loves to see the mass of water tumbling down. But the spectator is blinded by the spray and deafened by the roar.

(a) Answer the following questions briefly:
(i) What are the two adjectives which best describe the Victoria Falls?
(ii) What is the forest near the Victoria Falls called?
(iii) How do the dragonflies look like?
(iv) Why does the author describe the falls frightening and beautiful?
(a) The two such adjectives are—awe-inspiring and magnificent.
(b) The forest near the Victoria Falls is called Rain Forest.
(c) The dragonflies look like flying emeralds.
(c) The falls look beautiful because of the tumbling mass of water; but they look frightening because of the mighty roar.

Passage No. 2

So great is our passion for doing things for ourselves, that we are becoming increasingly less dependent on specialized labour. No one can plead ignorance of a subject any longer, for there are countless do-it yourself publications. Armed with the right tools and materials, newly-weds gaily embark on the task of decorating their own homes.

Men of all ages spend hours of their leisure¬time mistalling their own fire-places, laying out their own gardens, building garages and making furniture. Some really keen enthusiasts go so far as to make their own record players and radio transmitters.

Shops cater for the do-it yourself craze not only by running special advisory services for movices, but by offering consumers bits and pieces which they can assemble at home. Such things provide an excellent outlet for pent up creature energy, but unfortunately not all of us are bom handymen.

Wives tend to believe that their husbands are infinitely resourceful and versatile. Even husbands who can handly drive a nail is straight are supposed to be bom electricians, carpenters, plumbers and machanics. When lights fuse, furniture gets rickety, pipes get clogged or vacuum cleaners fail to operate, wives automatically assume that their husbands will some how put things right.

The worst thing about the do-it yourself game is that sometimes husbands live under the delusion that they can do anything even when they have been repeatedly proved wrong. It is a question of pride as much as anything else.

Last spring my wife suggested that I call in a man to look at our lawn- mover. It has broken down the previous summer, and though 1 promised to repair it, I had never got round to it. 1 would hear of the suggestion and said that I would fix it myself. One Saturday afternoon I hauled the machine into the garden and had a close look at it. As far as 1 could see, if only needed a minor adjustment: a turn of a screw here, a little tightening up there, a drop of oil and if would be as good as new. Invitably the repair job was not quite so simple.

The mower firmly refused to now, so I decided to dismantle it. The garden was soon littered with chunks of metal which had once made up a lawn-mower. But 1 was extremely pleased with myself. I had traced the cause of the trouble. One of the links in the chain that drives the wheels had shapped.

After buying a new chain I was faced with the insurmountable task of putting the confusing jigsaw puzzle together again. I was not surprised to find that the machine still refused to work after I had reassembled it, for the simple reason that I was left with several curiously shaped bits of metal which did not seem to fit anywhere.

I gave up in despair. The weeks passed and the grass grew. When my wife nagged me to do something about it, 1 told her that either I would have to buy a new mower or let the grass grow. Needless t o say that our house is now surrounded by a jungle. Buried some where in deep grass there is a rusting lawn-mower which I have promised to repair one day.

(a) Answer the following questions briefly:
(i) Who do people not rely on specialized labour so much now a days, according to the writer ?
(ii) How do shops encourage people to do thing for themselves ?
(iii) What do wives tend to believe about their husbands ?
(iv) Why do husbands think that they can do anything even when proved otherwise ?
(v) ‘Do-it-yourself craze has its own advantage. What is that ?

(b) Select the appropriate expression from the giveii options to convey the writers message. Do-it-yourself activities are good to pursue because
(i) they always provide an excellent outlet for creative energy.
(ii) they help husbands feel important in the eyes of their wives.
(iii) they are making people less dependent on specialised labour.

(c) Find words in the passage which convey the simplar as the following :
(i) break
(ii) zealous
(iii) carried.
(i) They have developed a passion for doing things for themselves.
(ii) Shops cater to this passion by providing special advisory services for novices and also after consumers fits and pieces of machines for assemblage.
(iii) Wives think that their husbands are very resourceful and can put everything right.
(iv) Husbands are under illusion that they are very efficient; they also suffer from a sense of pride.
(v) ‘Do-it-yourself craze provides an excellent outlet for pent-up creative energy of a man.

They always provide an excellent outlet for creative energy.
(i) shap
(ii) enthusiast
(iii) hauled.

Passage No. 3

Punctuality is a necessary habit in all affairs of a civilized society. Without it.nothing could ever be brought to a conclusion; everything would be in a state of chaos. Only in a spersely populated rural community is it possible to disregard it. In ordinary living there can be some tolerance of unpunctuality. The intellectual, who**is working on some abstruse problem, has everything coordinated and organized for the matter in hand.

He is therefore forgiven, if late for the dinner party. But people are often reproached for unpunctuality when their only fault is cutting things fine. It is hard for energetic, quick-minded people to waste time, so they are often tempted to finish a job before setting out to keep an appointment. If no accidents occur on the way, like punctured tires, diversion of traffic, sudden descent of fog, they will be on time.

They are often more industrious citizens than those who are never late. The over-punctual can as much be a trial to others as the unpunctual. The guest who arrives half an hour too soon is the greatest nuisance. Some friends “of my family had this irritating habit. The only thing to do was to ask them to come half an hour later than the other guests. Then they arrived just when we wanted them.

If you are catching a train, it is always better to comfortably early than even a fraction of a minute too late. Although being early may mean wasting a little time, this will be less than if you miss the train and have to wait an hour or so for the next one.

And you avoid the frustration of arriving at the very moment when the train is drawing out of the station and being unable to get on it.” An even harder situation is to be on the platform in good time for a train and still to see it go off without you. Such an experience befell a certain young girl the first time she was travelling alone.

She entered the station twenty minutes before the train was due, since her parents had impressed upon her that it would be unforgivable to miss it and cause the friends with whom she was going to stay to make two journeys to meet her. She gave her luggage to a porter and showed him her ticket. To her horror he said that she was two hours too soon. She felt in her hand bag for the piece of paper on which her father had written down all the details of the journey and gave it to the porter.

He agreed that a train did come into the station at the time on the paper and that it did stop, but only to take on water, not passengers. The girl asked to see a time-table, feeling sure that her father could not have made such a mistake. The porter went to fetch one and arrived back with the station masters who produced it with a flourish and pointed out a microscopic ‘O’ beside the time of the arrival of the train at his station.

This little ‘O’ indicated that the train only stopped for water. Just at that moment the train came into the station. The girl, tears streaming down her face, begged to be allowed to ship into the guard’s van. But the station master was adamant: rules could not be broken. And she had to watch that train disappear towards her destination while she was left behind.

(a) Answer the following questions briefly:
(i) Why is punctuality necessary in a civilized society ?
(ii) What are the dangers of leaving the base minimum of time for appointment ?
(iii) The over-punctual can be as much a trial to others as the unpunctual. Why ?
(iv) Why did the author’s family ask some guests to come half an hour later than others ?
(v) Why, according to the author, is it better to wait on the platform before the train arrives ?

(b) Find words in the passage which convey similar meaning as the following:
(i) hard working
(ii) blamed
(iii) thinly

(c) Select three appropriate expressions from the above passage that may prove that the author greatly favours observance of punctuality in life:
(i) Punctuality is necessary for avoiding confusion and choas in the affairs of civilized society.
(ii) When we set out to keep an appointment we should leave early so that unexpected diversions and delays could not affect us.
(iii) Those who are over punctual can be a ruisance by arriving too early. They may disturb the arrangements that are being made.
(iv) The author’s family was forced to resort to this strategy in order to keep such guests who arrived too early away from interfering with the arrangements.
(v) It is better to wait a few minutes that to wait a whole hour or more for the next train.

(i) industrious
(ii) reproached
(iii) sparsely.

(i) Punctuality is a necessary habit in all affairs.
(ii) People are often reproached for unpunctuality.
(iii) Without it, nothing could be brought to conclusion, everything would be in a state of choars.

Passage No. 4

The New Year is a time for resolutions. Mentally, at least most of us could compile for midable lists of do’s’ and ‘don’ts’. The same old favorites recur ‘ year in and year out with monotous regularity. We resolve to get up earlier each morning, eat less, find more time to play with the children, do a thousand and one jobs about the house, be nice to people we don’t like, drive carefully, and take the dog for a walk everyday. Past experience has taught us that certain accomplishments are beyond attainment. If we remain deep-rooted lions, it is only because we have so often experienced the frustration that results from failure.

Most of us fail in our efforts at self-improvement because our schemes are too ambitious and we never have time to sany them out. We also make the fundamental error of announcing over resolutions to every body so that we look even more foolish when we slip back into our bad old ways. Aware of these pit falls, their year I attempted to keep my resolutions to myself.

I limited myself to two modest ambitions : to do physical exercise every morning and to read more in the evening. An all right party on New Year’s Eve provided me with a good excuse for not carrying out either of these new resolutions on

The daily exercise lasted only eleven minutes and I proposed to do them early in the morning before anyone had got up. The self-discipline required to drag myself out of bed eleven minutes earlier than usual was considerable. Nevertheless, I managed to creep down into the living-room for two days before anyone found me out.

After jumping about on the carpet and twisting the human frame into uncomfortable positions, I sat down at the breakfast table in an exhausted condition. It was this that betrayed me. The next morning the whole family trooped into watch the performance. That was really unsettling but I fended off the tanents and jibes of the family good humouredly and soon everybody got used to the idea.

However, my euthusiasm waned, the time I spent at exercises diminished. Little by little the eleven minutes fell to zero. By January 10th I was back to where I had started from. I argued that if I spent less time exhausting myself at exercises in the morning I would keep my mind fresh for reading when I got home from work.

Resisting the hypnotizing effect of television, I sat in my room for a few evenings with my eyes glued to a book. One night, however, feeling cold and lonely, I went downstairs and sat in front of the television pretending to read. That proved to be my undoing, for I soon got back to the old habit of dozing off in front of the screen. I still haven’t given up my resolution to do more reading. In fact, I have just bought a book entitled. ‘How to Read a ‘Thousand words a Minute’. Perhaps it will solve my problem, but 1 just haven’t had the time to read it.

(a) Answer the following questions briefly:
(i) What has past experience of New Year Resolutions taught us, according to the writer ?
(ii) According to the writer, why do most of us fail in our efforts for self-improvement ?
(iii) Why is it a basic mistake to announce our resolutions to every dody ?
(iv) Why did the writer not carry out his resolutions on New Year’s Day ?
(v) ‘The writer feels that the New Year Resolutions are not meant to be implemented’. Quote two expressions from the passage to prove it.

(b) Find words in the above passage which convey similar meaning as the following:
(i) over whelming
(ii) drawbacks
(iii) decrease

(c) Select the appropriate sentence-ending from the following given options:
The writer failed to implement his New Year Resolutions because-
(i) his family members disturbed him.
(ii) his resolutions were too ambitious.
(iii) he was looking for some convincing excuse to forget them.
(i) Past experience has taught us that we have been very ambitious in setting our targets. The failures therefore make us frustrated.
(ii) The writer feels that most of us fail in our efforts at self-improvement because we do not sincerely follow our goals.
(iii) It is a basic error to announce our resolutions to everybody as it invites unnecessary observation and scruting of our programme. When we ship back to old habits people taunt us.
(iv) As the writer attended an all night party on the new year’s we it , provided him a valid excuse for not carrying out his resolutions on the New Year’s Day.,

(v) (a) ‘Certain accomplishments are beyond attainment’.
(b) ‘Our schemes are too ambitious and we never have time to carry them out’.

(b) (i) formidable
(ii) pitfalls

(c) (iii) he was looking for some convincing excuse to forget them.

Passage No. 5

The Scandinavian countries are much admired all over the world for their enlightened social policies. Sweden has evolved an excellent system for protecting the individual citizen from high handed or incompetent public officers. The system has worked so well that it has been adopted in other countries like Denmark, Norway, Finland and New Zealand. Even countries with large populations are now seriously considering imitating the Swedes.

The Swedes were the first to recognize that public officials like civil servants, police officers, health inspectors or tax collectors can make mistakes or act over-zealously in the belief that they are serving the public. As long ago as 1809, the Swedish Parliament introduced a scheme to safeguard the interest of the individual.

A parliamentary committee representing all political parties appoints a person who is suitably qualified to investigate privale grievances against the state. The official title of the person is ‘Justice ambudsman’, but Swedes commonly refer to him as the ‘ J.O.’ or ‘Ombudsman’.

The Ombudsman is not subject to political pressure. He investigates complaints large and small that come to him from all levels of society. As complaints must be made in writing, the Ombudsman receives an average of 1200 letters a year. He has eight lawyer assistants to help him, and he examines every single letter in detail.

There .is nothing secresive about the Ombudsman’s work, for his correspondence is open to public inspections. If a citizen’s complaint is justified, the Ombudsman will act on his behalf. The action he takes varies according to the nature of the complaint. He may gently reprimand an official or eves suggest to parliament that a law be altered. The following case is a typical example of the Ombudsman’s work.

A foreigner living in a Swedish village wrote to the Ombudsman complaining that he had been ill treated by the police, simply because he was a foreigner. The Ombudsman immediately wrote to the chief of police in the district asking him to send a record of the case.

There was nothing in the record to show that the foreigner’s complaint was justified and the chief of police stoutly denied the accusation. It was impossible for the Ombudsman to take action on the complaint, but when he received a similar complaint from another foreigner in the same village, he immediately sent one of his lawyers to ftivestigate. The lawyer ascertained that a policeman had indeed dealt roughly with foreigners on several occasions.

The fact that the policeman was prejidiced against foreigners could not be recorded in the offical files. It was only possible for the Ombudsman to find this out by sending one of his representatives to check the facts on the spot. The policeman is question was severely reprimanded and was informed that if any further complaints were received against him, he would be prosecuted. The Ombudsman’s prompt action in the matter at once put an end to an unpleasant practice which might have gone unnoticed.

(a) Answer the following questions briefly:
Why did Sweden introduce the institution of Ombudsman ?
How is an Ombudsman chosen in Sweden ?
How does the Ombudsman deal with the complaints ?
How can the public find out about die Ombudsman’s work ?
What action does the Ombudsman take, if a complaint is justified ? How old is the Swedish institution of Ombudsman ?

(b) Select the appropriate sentence-ending from the following given options:
The Ombudsman is not subject to political pressure because : he is empowered to take action aganist any public official, he derives his strength from his appointment by the parliament, he is assisted in his work by a good number of qualified lawyers.

(c) Find words in the above passage which convey similar meaning as the following:
(i) aggressive
(ii) project
(iii) biased.
(i) Sweden introduced the institution of Ombudsman to project the individuals against high-handed public officials.

(ii) The Ombudsman is chosen by a parliamentary committee, composed of the representatives of all the political parties.

(iii) The Ombudsman receives a written complaint from the people who are victims of high-handed .officials. If the complaint is justified, the Ombudsman takes suitable action against the offending official. He is assisted in his wqrk by a panel of eight qualified lawyers.

(iv) The Ombudsman’s work is transparent; his correspondence is open to public inspection.

(v) The action against the guilty official varies according to the nature of the complaint. The Ombudsman can reprimand the official and he can even recommend amendment of the law.

(vi) The institution of Ombudsman is 196 years, old; it came into ‘ existence in 180?

(b) he derives his strength from his appointment by the parliament.

(i) high handed
(ii) safeguard
(iii) prejudiced.

Passage No. 6

When a brave mountaineer is assailing the Everest he is as great a hero as a cosmonaut rocketing towards Mars in his space capsule, and thousands of men and women in different countries back his progress with their good, wisher and share the thrills and anxieties of his hazardous journey to the roof of the world, while scores of anxious scientists wish him success in the hope of obtaining valuable information on atmospheric conditions in the upper regions of the earth.

Mountaineering is indeed a source of pleasure and a mine of useful knowledge which is constantly enriching the scientific vocabulary of geologists, mineralogists and glaciologists of the world.

Mountaineering is a perennial source of joy to those who have eyes that can appreciate beauties of nature. Nowhere does nature reveal her charm is greater abundance than as green and flowering mountaintops with transparent streams of water flowing down their slopes or on snow-clad hills where sunlight weaves its magic colours into their virginal whiteness.

To lovers of mountains, the sound of water falls is like the joyful clapping of merry, primitive dancers, and the howling of night winds contains a musical pleasantness which surpasses the highly Sustained rhapsodies of man-made organs. Lakes in high altitudes, holding within their cup-like mountainous enclosures the watery wealth of surrounding glaciers, treeless plateaus covered with rare varieties of grass, plants and flowers and yawning charms into whose dark, unfathomable interior, natures countless species of animals and plants carry on their fight for existence, are attractions so powerful and irresistible that no man or woman who is a member of a mountaineering party or club can turn a deaf ear to their call.

These widely scattered, ever-alluring treasures of nature are the climber’s greatest inducement to wander with a hungry heart in search of beauty, adventure and fame along the dangerous slopes of sky-embracing heights.

Mountaineering is an awfully risky venture in the case of those ambitious souls who are dreaming of conquering such majestic peaks as Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Everest, and who wish to be.ranked among the world’s greatest climbers, Sir Edmund P. Hillary and tenzing Norgay.

Dozens of advanturers belonging to different nations with Their Hearts burning with a passion to conquer the highest peak in the world perished in the immortal shows of the Himalayas, after painfully inching their way to heights which were inclose proximity to the summit.

Expedition after expedition turned back exhausted, frost-bitten, and utterly disappointed Men the mighty Himalayas hurled icy winds, snow storms and blizzards at those who wanted to conquer Everest, thus banning their way to this pinnacle of glory. The bones of many men of unrealised ambition lie buried in the glacial wilderness which is the home of the highest peak is the world.

Such awful setbacks, however, did not dampen the enthusiasm of succeeding generations of mountaineers; the failures of early expeditions did not defer Colonel Hunt and his brave companions from trying to plant on the summit the flag of the victory of human defiance of nature’s death dealing agents in high altitudes.

(a) Answer the following questions briefly:
(i) Mountaineers are considered as heroes, why ?
(ii) In what way does mountaineering become a source of knowledge ?
(iii) What are the beautiful sights which catch a mountaineer’s eye ?
(iv) Why is mountaineering considered risky ?
(v) Setbacks in mountaineering do not dampen the spirit of many mountaineers. Why ?

(b) Find words in the above passage which convey similar meaning as the following:
(i) One who studies the science relating to the history and development of the earths’s crust
(ii) Lasting through the year
(iii) A blinding storm of wind and snow.

Mountaineers are considered as real heroes because their hazardous journey to the roof of the world provides thrills and anxieties to thousands of men and women throughout the world. Mountaineering is a great source of knowledge as it provides valuable information on atmospheric conditions of the upper regions, minerals and glaciers.

The mountaineer’s eye catches many beautiful sounds, colours and sights of nature. Claciers, snow-clad hills, new flowers and birds provide rare experiences of beauty at the great heights. Mountaineering is risky as people have to face icy winds, snow storms and blizzards.

Setbacks never dampen the spirit of mountaineers who are determined to hoist the flag of human victory on summits,
(i) geotogist
(ii) perennial
(iii) blizzard.

Bihar Board Class 12th English Important Questions