Listening to dialogues – 207.
Giving short speeches – 208.
Understanding text organization. Understanding different registers. Understanding graphs, tables, charts, etc. – 210.
Using/identifying words foclipping and blending. Building words with particular suffixes. Using eponyms, euphemisms and cliché remade by – 225.
E: STUDY SKILLS:
Making notes - 233.
defining Using relative clauses – defining and non-defining clauses – 235.
Writing with correct punctuation – 238.
H: OCCUPATIONAL COMPETENCY:
Writing advertisements – 244.
I: STRATEGIC COMPETENCY:
Taking risks confident enough to try out something in English) (Feeling) – 248.
J: CREATIVE COMPETENCY:
Preparing the coan advertisement concept for – 249.
Task 1: The teacher will read a short dialogue. Listen carefully
and answer the questions given below:
(The teacher reads)
1. Name the two commuters speaking to each other.
2. How long has the bus been trapped in the traffic jam?
3. At what time was Ramu to have his presentation?
4. On which street do the two commuters work and in which offices?
5. Who suggested walking to their work places?
6. How long would it take to reach the office if they walked the distance?
7. Is there any mention of the reason for the traffic jam?
Suresh and Ramu meet again the next day at the bus stop. Listen to the teacher read the dialogue between them and answer the questions that follow:
(The teacher reads)
1. How did Ramu’s presentation go off?
2. What caused the previous day’s traffic jam?
3. Where were the children being taken?
4. What distracted the van driver, according to the report?
5. Were there any casualties?
The teacher will read a dialogue between a parent and a teacher. Listen to the dialogue and fill in the blanks in the statements given below.
(The teacher reads)
1. According to Vijay’s mother, Vijay has not ……. and is ……..
2. Vijay’s mother wants him to do ……………...
3. ............. are not the indicators of one’s..........
4. Vijay has ……………… competency.
5. Vijay has …………….
6. Vijay has a ……………… imagination.
7. Vijay has …………. in expression.
8. Vijay is extremely good in ………… presentation.
9. The teacher feels that Vijay can make it big in ……….
10. The teacher believes that success …………..
(i) The following is an address of welcome by the School Pupil
Leader of your school on the occasion of the Annual Day
“Honourable Chief Guest Dr. Kamala Sriram, Director,
Institute of Environmental Studies; Mr. Nagaraj, Director, SPCA,
respected members of the PTA, respected Principal, teachers and
my dear friends. It’s my proud privilege to extend a hearty welcome
to you all. (Turning to the Chief Guest) Madam, we are happy to
have you here to grace this occasion. (Turning to Mr. Nagarajan)
Sir, we are equally happy to have you in our midst to share with us
your experiences in the SPCA. We hope you will stay with us
through the programme to carry with you pleasant memories of
Practise the above speech.
Imagine you are the Principal of your school and welcome the gathering at the flag hoisting ceremony on Independence Day.
(ii) The following is a Vote of Thanks proposed by the Science
Club Secretary at the Valedictory function of the Science
It gives me immense pleasure to propose the vote of thanks
on behalf of the Science Club of our school. I express my gratitude
to the chief guest for having delivered a thought- provoking lecture.
It will go a long way in inculcating in us the much needed scientific
temper. I am thankful to our Science teachers for their constant
guidance. Without their valuable suggestions this project would
not have been possible. I’d like to thank our friends who man the
laboratory for providing us with the necessary equipment and
specimens. I thank the parents and visitors for their active
participation. I also thank all those who have recorded their
comments and suggestions in the visitor’s book.
Finally I thank my fellow-members of the club for their untiring
work in making this a big show.
Thank you once again!
Read the speech aloud and practise it.
Prepare a vote of thanks for the Annual Day celebrations in your School. Use the following phrases:
1. It gives me great/immense pleasure ………….
2. I am extremely thankful to …………
3. Our thanks in full measure goes to …………….
4. I’d like to thank ………………..
Prepare a Vote of Thanks for the Teachers’ Day celebrations organised by the Student Council.
1. Write down the unforgettable day of your middle school life.
2. Narrate it to the class.
3. Have you at anytime done something for fun or just to feel important, but found yourself in trouble instead?
4. What is your opinion about dissecting living creatures for research purposes in labs?
5. What creature are you most afraid of? Is it a walking, flying, creepy or crawly creature? Why are you afraid of ‘it’?
THE MARK OF VISHNU
“This is for the Kala Nag,” said Gunga Ram, pouring the
milk into the saucer. “Every night I leave it outside the hole near
the wall and it’s gone by the morning.”
“Perhaps it is the cat,” we youngsters suggested.
“Cat!” said Gunga Ram with contempt. “No cat goes near
that hole. Kala Nag lives there. As long as I give him milk, he will
not bite anyone in this house. You can all go about with bare feet and play where you like.”
We were not having any patronage from Gunga Ram.
“You’re a stupid old Brahmin,” I said. “Don’t you know
snakes don’t drink milk? At least one couldn’t drink a saucerful
every day. The teacher told us that a snake eats only once in several days. We saw a grass snake which had just swallowed a frog. It
stuck like a blob in its throat and took several days to dissolve and
go down its tail. We’ve got dozens of them in the lab in methylated
spirit. Why, last month the teacher bought one from a snake-charmer
which could run both ways. It had another head with a pair of eyes
at the tail. You should have seen the fun when it was put in the jar.
There wasn’t an empty one in the lab. So the teacher put it in one
which had a Russels viper. He caught its two ends with a pair of
forceps, dropped it in the jar, and quickly put the lid on. There was
an absolute storm as it went round and round in the glass tearing
the decayed viper into shreds.”
Gunga Ram shut his eyes in pious horror.
“You will pay for it one day. Yes, you will.”
It was no use arguing with Gunga Ram. He, like all good
Hindus, believed in the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva – the
creator, preserver, and destroyer. Of these he was most devoted to
Vishnu. Every morning he smeared his forehead with a V mark in
sandalwood paste to honour the deity. Although a Brahmin, he
was illiterate and full of superstition. To him, all life was sacred,
even if it was of a serpent or scorpion or centipede. Whenever he
saw one he quickly shoved it away lest we kill it. He picked up
wasps we battered with our badminton rackets and tended their
damaged wings. Sometimes he got stung. It never seemed to
shake his faith. The more dangerous the animal the more devoted
Gunga Ram was to its existence. Hence the regard for snakes;
above all, the cobra, who was the Kala Nag.
“We will kill your Kala Nag if we see him.”
“I won’t let you. It’s laid a hundred eggs and if you kill it all the
eggs will become cobras and the house will be full of them. Then what
will you do?”
“We’ll catch them alive and send them to Bombay. They
milk them there for anti-snake-bite serum. They pay two rupees
for a live cobra. That makes two hundred rupees straightaway.”
“You doctors must have udders. I never saw a snake have
any. But don’t you dare touch this one. It is a phannyar – it is
hooded. I’ve seen it. It’s three hands long. As for its hood!”
Gunga Ram opened the palms of his hands and his head swayed
from side to side. “You should see it basking on the lawn in the
“That just proves what a liar you are. The phannyar is the
male, so it couldn’t have laid the hundred eggs. You must have laid
the eggs yourself.”
The party burst into peals of laughter.
“Must be Gunga Ram’s eggs. We’ll soon have a hundred Gunga
Gunga Ram was squashed. It was the lot of a servant to be
constantly squashed. But having the children of the household make
fun of him was too much even for Gunga Ram. They were
constantly belittling him with their new-fangled ideas. They never
read their scriptures. Nor even what the Mahatma said about nonviolence. It was just shotguns to kill birds and the jars of methylated
spirit to drown snakes. Gunga Ram would stick to his faith in the
sanctity of life. He would feed and protect snakes because snakes
were the most vile of God’s creatures on earth. If you could love
them, instead of killing them, you proved your point.
What the point was which Gunga Ram wanted to prove was
not clear. He just proved it by leaving the saucerful of milk by the
snake hole every night and finding it gone in the mornings.
One day we saw Kala Nag. The monsoons had burst with all
their fury and it had rained in the night. The earth which had lain
parched and dry under the withering heat of the summer sun was
teeming with life. In little pools frogs croaked. The muddy ground
was littered with crawling worms, centipedes and velvety lady-birds.
Grass had begun to show and the banana leaves glistened bright
and glossy green. The rain had flooded Kala Nag’s hole. He sat in
an open patch on the lawn. His shiny black hood glistened in the
sunlight. He was big – almost six feet in length, and rounded and fleshy,
as my wrist.
“Looks like a King Cobra. Let’s get him.”
Kala Nag did not have much of a chance. The ground was
slippery and all the holes and gutters were full of water. Gunga
Ram was not at home to help.
Armed with long bamboo sticks, we surrounded Kala Nag
before he even scented danger. When he saw us his eyes turned a
fiery red and he hissed and spat on all sides. Then like lightning
Kala Nag made for the banana grove.
The ground was too muddy and he slithered. He had hardly
gone five yards when a stick caught him in the middle and broke his
back. A volley of blows reduced him to a squishy-squashy pulp of
black and white jelly, spattered with blood and mud. His head was
“Don’t damage the hood,” yelled one of us. “We’ll take Kala
Nag to school.”
So we slid a bamboo stick under the cobra’s belly and lifted
him on the end of the pole. We put him in a large biscuit tin and
tied it up with string. We hid the tin under a bed.
At night I hung around Gunga Ram waiting for him to get his
saucer of milk. “Aren’t you going to take any milk for the Kala
“Yes”, answered Gunga Ram irritably. “You go to bed.”
He did not want any more argument on the subject.
“He won’t need the milk any more.”
Gunga Ram paused.
“Oh, nothing. There are so many frogs about. They must
taste better than your milk. You never put any sugar in it anyway.”
The next morning Gunga Ram brought back the saucer with
the milk still in it. He looked sullen and suspicious.
“I told you snakes like frogs better than milk.”
Whilst we changed and had breakfast, Gunga Ram hung
around us. The school bus came and we clambered into it with the
tin. As the bus started we held out the tin to Gunga Ram.
“Here’s your Kala Nag. Safe in this box. We are going to
put him in spirit.”
We left him standing speechless, staring at the departing bus.
There was great excitement in the school. We were a set of four
brothers, known for our toughness. We had proved it again.
“A King Cobra.”
“Six feet long.”
The tin was presented to the science teacher.
It was on the teacher’s table, and we waited for him to open
it and admire our kill. The teacher pretended to be indifferent and
set us some problems to work on. With studied matter-of-factness
he fetched his forceps and a jar with a banded Krait lying curled in
muddy methylated spirit. He began to hum and untie the cord
around the box.
As soon as the cord was loosened the lid flew into the air,
just missing the teacher’s nose. There was Kala Nag. His eyes
burnt like embers and his hood was taut and undamaged. With a
loud hiss he went for the teacher’s face. The teacher pushed himself
back on the chair and toppled over. He fell on the floor and stared
at the cobra, petrified with fear. The boys stood up on their desks
and yelled hysterically.
Kala Nag surveyed the scene with his bloodshot eyes. His
forked tongue darted in and out excitedly. He spat furiously and
then made a bid for freedom. He fell out of the tin onto the floor
with a loud plop. His back was broken in several places and he
dragged himself painfully to the door. When he got to the threshold
he drew himself up once again with his hood outspread to face
Outside the classroom stood Gunga Ram with a saucer and a
jug of milk. As soon as he saw Kala Nag come up he went down
on his knees. He poured the milk into the saucer and placed it near
the threshold. With hands folded in prayer he bowed his head to
the ground craving forgiveness. In desperate fury, the cobra hissed
and spat and bit Gunga Ram all over the head – then with great
effort dragged himself into a gutter and wriggled out of view.
Gunga Ram collapsed with hands covering his face. He
groaned in agony. The poison blinded him instantly. Within a few
minutes he turned pale and blue and froth appeared in his mouth.
On his forehead were little drops of blood. These the teacher wiped
with his handkerchief. Underneath was the V mark where the Kala
Nag had dug his fangs.
contempt /kEn'tempt/ : total lack of respect
patronage /'pGtrEnIdZ/ : support or encouragement
methylated spirit : type of alcohol used for
/meTIleItId 'spIrIt/ preserving dead insects and
animals in the lab
Russels viper /'rVslz vaIpE/ : a type of poisonous snake
forceps / 'fC:seps/ : pincers or tongs used for gripping things
battered /'bGtEd/ : hit hard and often
anti-snake-bite serum : a medicine for treating snake/GntI sneIk baIt sIErEm/ bite victims produced with the help of the snake’s poison
udders /'VdEz/ : bag-like organs of a cow or female goat which produce milk
basking /'bA:skIN/ : sitting or lying enjoying warmth
squashed /'skwBLt/ : silenced or subdued
belittling /bI'lItlIN/ : making one seem unimportant or worthless
new-fangled /'nju: fGNgld/ : newly introduced into fashion
sanctity /'sGNktItI/ : holiness
vile /vaIl/ : evil
parched /pA:tLd/ : very dry and hot
teem /ti:m/ : be present in great numbers
littered /'lItEd/ : scattered
slithered /'slIQEd/ : slided unsteadily
/skwILI skwBLI/ : squeezed and smashed
spattered /'spGtEd/ : splashed, scattered or sprinkled in drips
sullen /'sVlEn/ : silent, bad-tempered
suspicious /sEs'pILEs/ : showing doubt or mistrust
clambered /'klGmbEd/ : climbed with difficulty
indifferent /In' dIfErEnt/ : showing no interest
banded /'bGndId/ : striped
krait /kraIt/ : a type of poisonous snake yellow in colour with black spots
embers /'embEz/ : small pieces of burning or glowing wood or coal in a dying fire
petrified /' petrEfaId/ : motionless with fear hysterically /hI'sterIkElI/ : with uncontrollable emotion
surveyed /sE'veId/ : looked carefully from a distance
plop /plBp/ : sound of a smooth object dropping onto the floor
Match the italicised word in the sentence to the appropriate synonym in the given responses.
1. He picked up wasps we battered with our badminton rackets.
a) The Queen of hearts thrashed the knave of hearts for
stealing her tarts
b) The carpenter hammered the nail into the wood.
c) The batsman struck the ball for a sixer.
2. Snakes were the most vile of God’s creatures.
a) The terrorists are cruel people.
b) The robber was so stealthy that even though the inmates
were awake, they did not hear him.
c) Socrates’ wife had a bad and evil temper.
3. He fell on the floor and stared at the Cobra, petrified with
a) The boy trembled with fear when he was caught copying
in the test.
b) The child screamed with fear when she saw the man with
c) The elephant suddenly charged at the mahout who stood
immobile with fear.
In the sentences below fill in the blanks with words from the
lesson which are opposite in meaning to the words italicised.
1. While Brahma is the creator, Shiva is the ………….
2. Our teacher is interested in monitoring those students who
are …………… to studies.
3. Though the employer trusted the authenticity of his
certificates, he was …………… of his capabilities.
4. There are many people who despise the snake but there are
as many who ……………. it.
I. Level I
Answer the following questions briefly:
1. Who was Gunga Ram?
2. Why did the author consider Gunga Ram as a stupid old
3. What was Gunga Ram’s opinion about the narrator and his
4. Why did Gunga Ram never hurt animals?
5. How did the narrator and his brother manage to capture the
6. When did Gunga Ram realise that the boys had captured the
7. Narrate briefly the incident in the classroom.
8. How did Gunga Ram show his devotion to Kala Nag when
he realised that it had been captured?
9. Why did the Kala Nag bite Gunga Ram?
10. Do you think the snake recognised Gunga Ram as the one
who had been feeding it every day? Give reasons for your
II. Level II
1. This story brings out certain differences of opinion between
the young and the old, the liberal and the conservative, and
the rational and the superstitious. Highlight them in the context
of the narration.
2. Gunga Ram’s death was ironical. Do you agree? Support
your answer with details from the narration.
III. Write a paragraph on:
1. The capture of the Kala Nag.
2. Gunga Ram’s regard for snakes.
IV. Write an essay on:
Gunga Ram’s Kala Nag
I. Understanding Text Organisation:
As the story unfolds you see Gunga Ram’s reactions at every
stage. It starts with his contempt at the youngster’s suggestion that
it was a cat which drank the milk every night.
Task 1: Given below in Column A are Gunga Ram’s various
reactions. Arrange his reactions in the order of
sequence and match the reaction to the situation in
1. Dismay When he told the children that he
would not let them kill Kala Nag
2. Contempt When the saucer still contained milk
3. Remorse At the suggestion that the cat, not
Kala Nag drank the milk
4. Derision When he placed the saucer of milk
at the threshold
5. Confidence At what was done to the snakes in
6. Suspicion That the snake had been attacked by
7. Horror When the boys talked about milking
the snakes for anti-snake-bite serum
Task 2: The following is D.H. Lawrence’s observation when
he gave his mother a book that he had written. He
describes his mother’s reaction. The sentences
however, are jumbled. Rearrange the sentences to
make a sensible paragraph.
1. She looked at the outside, and then at the title-page, and
then at me with darkening eyes.
2. Somewhere, in the helpless privacies of her being, she had
wistful respect for me.
3. And though she loved me so much, I think she doubted
whether it could be much of a book since no one more
important than I had written it.
4. The very first copy of the “The White Peacock” that was
ever sent out, I put into my mother’s hands when she was
5. But for me in the face of the world, not much.
II. Understanding different registers:
You learnt about different registers in Std XI. The following
passages are taken from various sections of ‘The Hindu’. Note the
registers used under each section.
1. “The vitality of the music of Sanjay Subramanian is to stress
the depths and foundations of Carnatic music at the cost of
Sangita Sowkhyam. In the raga alapanas, there were
expressions with occasional vocal exaggeration and with a
catchy technique of presentation (Magazine section, Friday
Review - Arts and Fine Arts).
2. He drew the attention of academics to the new paradigm,
whereby higher education was getting “transformed from
being faculty-centred to student–centred like the Montessori
system,” that too in a media-rich environment. Learning was
becoming life-long, interactive, and ubiquitous ‘for both
students and faculty’ (News: Education)
3. Sharapova breezed through the first set in 30 minutes and
then held off Osterloh who had a break point at 4 – 3.