1.8 Voyaging towards excellence – Activity 3

Read the extract & complete the activities given below. [12]

One day, I was sitting at my mess table in the hostel sipping tea when a senior guy came and sat on the chair adjacent to me. He was a convent educated guy with fairly sophisticated English- at least spoken or colloquial English. He was a bit arrogant and wanted to pull my leg. He tried to engage in some conversation with me and started pointing out errors in just about every sentence or everything that I said. After about 5 minutes he walked away after insulting me.

I felt extremely humiliated and upset. As it is, I was feeling quite depressed and diffident and this incident was the last straw. I was almost broken. I felt out of place there and literally wanted to run away to Solapur that very moment. However, it was only my self-esteem which stopped me. Suddenly, a feeling of determination and strength came over me and gripped me. Despite hailing from Solapur, if I could be a rank holder in the school, college and IIT with many awards in Mathematics, there must be something right with me. Why should I give up? And that too for a silly and small thing like English? I was not to give up anymore, and I was determined to fight back and I was determined

As I climbed the stairs of my hostel room, my plan was ready in my mind. Normally most of us who are educated in vernacular languages such as Marathi, think in Marathi, before speaking in English, translate it in English and then somehow try to speak out these translated English sentences in an extremely awkward fashion. I had decided that I would do nothing of this sort. I wanted to achieve excellence. This urge to excel in anything that you try to do has been with me since the childhood. Whether I would succeed in this or not, I always set my aims high. In this case too, I wanted to speak excellent, elegant and fluent English.

A1] Global Understanding- [2]


Arrange the following statements as per their occurrences in the extract.

  1. The narrator wished to excel in English speaking.
  2. A senior student insulted the narrator.
  3. The narrator’s determination made him strong.
  4. The narrator was depressed initially.

A2] Complex factual – [2]

       Complete –

  1. The narrator wanted to achieve mastery in English because….
  2. The senior who insulted the narrator in the mess was …

A3] Analysis/ Interpretation – [2]

Comment on the last unpleasant experience, the narrator describes in this extract.

A4] Personal Response – [2]

In your opinion,  what are the benefits of reading.

A5] Language Study[2]

Do as directed:

  1. As I climbed the stairs of my hostel room, my plan was ready in my mind. [Use “No sooner ….than ” & rewrite the sentence]
  2. I was determined to fight [Rewrite the sentence using the gerund form of the underlined word]

A6] Vocabulary – [2]

 Write from the extract the antonyms of the following –

  1. Humble –
  2. Formal –
  3. Wise –
  4. Confident –



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