Wednesday, 4 November 2015

English : Reading Comprehension Passage : 13

Directions (1-15) : Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.

The new queen was ailing. Her heart was heavy. The doctor brought along his pills. He stirred them in honey and gave her the mixture in a cup. The king heard the news. He left his court in a hurry and rushed to her side. He sat down beside her and asked, " What ails you?" Go away, all of you. Just send my companion to me," she said. When her companion arrived the new queen took her companion's hand in hers. Her companion asked, "Tell me, what is on your mind ?" The new queen said, "At first, my elder sister-in-law", the old queen had three blocks beside my seven storeyed mansion. Then she had only two, then one, and finally she was removed from the palace grounds altogether. Gradually I forgot all about the old queen, the vanquished one. Then one day from my chariot, I spotted a mud hut on the riverbank, in the shade of a champak tree. The fence was covered with blue flowers hanging from the creepers. I asked my handmaiden 'What a pretty hut who lives there? The old queen.' she replied. I came home and sat in the dark. I heard nothing. The king came and asked 'What's wrong? What does your heart desire?' I said', 'I shall not live here in this room, 'will The king said, ‘I’ ll build you a new mansion with marble tiles on the floor which will be white as milk and I shall have them embroider the sides with pearl shells in a lotus pattern. 'I said, 'My heart really desires to live in mud hut in a corner of the palace gardens. 'He built the mud hut. My desire for it wilted. I went inside to stay and came out feeling ashamed.

Later, one day I went to the temple with a hundred and seven handmaidens in tow. On my way back, I peeped out of the chariot and saw the serene old queen with people respectfully talking to her. I asked, 'In which temple does she pray?' I then came back home and sat in the dark. The king came and asked, 'What does your heart desire?' I said 'My heart desires to have a bath in the river every morning and to walk to the temple carrying the water from the river. I bathed in the river and carried a pot of sacred water back home. At the palace doors, I hurled the pot to the ground in despair. I did not feel serene. I felt ashamed yet again. And then the other day, it was the Harvest Festival. Tents were put up in the woods and I enjoyed singing and dancing all through the night. The next morning the royal seat was mounted on the elephant. I was on my way back home when I saw this young child ambling through the woods. He carried a basket laden with fruits from the trees and wild greens. I asked my handmaiden. 'Whose child is that?' She replied. That's the old queen's son. He is taking those flowers, fruits and greens for his mother. 'I retired home and sat in the dark. The king came and asked, 'What does your heart desire? I said, My heart really desired wild fruits and greens everyday which my son should pick with his own hands. 'The king said, 'All right, I shall see that he does. 'My son brought me the basket of fruits and flowers. He was dripping with sweat and fury over having to do something he did not want to had made his limbs stiff. The basket lay untouched. I felt ashamed. Although I am the privileged one, I am too ashamed to tell anyone what my heart desires. That is why I sent for you, my friend. My final desire is to have the old queen's sorrow."

 1. Which of the following cannot be said about the old queen?
 (A) She was respected by the people of the kingdom although she was no longer queen.
 (B) No matter where she lived she enjoyed every luxury.
 (C) She was happy only because she went to the temple and prayed every day.

(1) Only (A)
(2) Only (B)
(3) Both (B) and (C)
(4) Both (A) and (C)
(5) None of these 

2. How did the new queen feel after visiting the temple?
(1) She was angry because the priests had not performed the ceremonies upto her expectations.
(2) She was unhappy because the river water was polluted.
(3) She was unhappy because she realised that the old queen's son loved his mother more than her own  son loved her.
(4) She was discontented because she did not feel at peace as she had imagined she would after visiting the temple.
(5) She was ashamed because she had dropped the vessel containing the holy river water, which was an Inauspicious sign. 

3.  Why did the young queen send for her companion?
(1) To relate her life story
(2) To confess the reason for her illness
(3) To poison her mind against the old queen
(4) To ask her companion's advice
(5) She was confident that her companion would cure her. 

4. Why was the new queen ill?
(1) She refused to take the medicine that the doctors had percribed
(2) The king only gave her what he felt would be best for her not want she requested.
(3) Her companion was unable to fulfill her wishes.
(4) She did not maintain a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables.
(5) None of these 

5. What was the king's immediate reaction upon hearing of his wife's illness?
(1) He sent for the best doctors in the land.
(2) He requested her companion to attend to her.
(3) He refused to give her what she wanted
(4) He banished the old queen from the palace.
(5) He rushed to be with her at once 

6. What did the young queen really want?
(1) To have the old queen's sorrow
(2) Her son to be as resourceful as the old queen's son
(3) The ki ng to be more devoted to her
(4) To serve the people in the same way as the old queen had.
(5) None of these 

7. How did the queen celebrate the Harvest festival ?
(1) She watched the festivities seated on the royal elephant.
(2) She sent her son to gather fruits and vegetables.
(3) She participated whole heartedly in the celebrations.
(4) She visited the temple before participating in the singing and dancing.
(5) None of these 

8. Why was the young prince angry ?
(1) His mother refused to eat what he had painstakingly gathered.
(2) He had been forced to do something he was reluctant to.
(3) He had hurt leg while hunting for whatever his mother desired.
(4) The king had not taken care of his mother, the queen.
(5) None of these 

9. Why was the old queen living in a hut?
(1) She had been exiled from the palace.
(2) She was uncomfortable living in the palace and wanted to leave.
(3) She wanted her son to grow up in the forest so that he could enjoy the beauties of nature.
(4) She was unhappy with the palace that she had been asked to shift to
(5) She wanted people to feel sorry for her. 

10. Which of the following describes the young prince ?
(A) He was devoted to his mother because he was very upset when she was ill.
(B) He was physically fit and enjoyed climbing trees.
(C) He was afraid of his father and would obey him immediately.

(1) None
(2) Only (A)
(3) Only (B)
(4) Both (B) and (C)
(5) Both (A) and (C)

Directions (11-13) : Choose the word/phrase which is most nearly the SAME in meaning as the word printed in bold as used in the passage.

11. removed
(1) sent away
(2) lost from
(3) stolen
(4) kidnapped
(5) disappeared 

12. ambling
(1) playing
(2) strolling
(3) stumbling
(4) aimless
(5) following 

13. heavy
(1) weight
(2) strict
(3) obese
(4) burdened
(5) guiltily

Directions (14-15) : Choose the word which is most OPPOSITE in meaning to the word printed in bold as used in the passage.

14. heard
(1) deaf
(2) acted
(3) ignored
(4) listened
(5) silent 

15. wilted
(1) fell
(2) stand
(3) tall
(4) flourished
(5) uprights

Answers :

1 2
2 4
3 2
4 5
5 5
6 1
7 3
8 2
9 1
10 1
11 1
12 2
13 4
14 3
15 4

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