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

Punctually at midday he opened his bag and spread out his professional equipment, which consisted of a dozen cowrie shells, a square piece of cloth with obscure mystic charts on it, a notebook, and a bundle of palmyra writing. His forehead was resplendent with sacred ash and vermilion, and his eyes sparkled with a sharp abnormal gleam which was really an outcome of a continual searching look for customers, but which his simple clients took to be a prophetic light and felt comforted. The power of his eyes was considerably enhanced by their position placed as they were between the painted forehead and the dark whiskers which streamed down his cheeks : even a half-wit’s eyes would sparkle in such a setting. To crown the effect he wound a saffron-coloured turban around his head. This colour scheme never failed. People were attracted to him as bees are attracted to cosmos or dahlia stalks. He sat under the boughs of a spreading tamarind tree which flanked a path running through the Town Hall Park. It was a remarkable place in many ways. A surging crowd was always moving up and down this narrow road from morning till night. A variety of trades and occupations was represented all along its way : medicine sellers, sellers of stolen hardware and junk, magicians, and above all, an auctioneer of cheap cloth, who created enough din all day to attract the whole town. Next to him in vociferousness came a vendor of fried groundnut, who gave his ware a fancy name each day, calling it “Bombay Ice Cream” one day and on the next “Delhi Almond,” and on the third “Raja’s Delicacy,” and so on and so forth, and people flocked to him. A considerable portion of this crowd dallied before the astrologer too. The astrologer transacted his business by the light of a flare which crackled and smoked up above the groundnut heap nearby. Half the enchantment of the place was due to the fact that it did not have the benefit of municipal lighting. The place was lit up by shop lights. One or two had hissing gaslights, some had naked flares stuck on poles, some were lit up by old cycle lamps, and one or two, like the astrologer, managed without lights of their own. It was a bewildering crisscross of light rays and moving shadows.

This suited the astrologer very well, for the simple reason that he had not in the least intended to be an astrologer when he began life; and he knew no more of what was going to happen to others than he knew what was going to happen to himself next minute. He was as much a stranger to the stars as were his innocent customers. Yet he said things which pleased and astonished everyone : that was more a matter of study, practice, and shrewd guesswork. All the same, it was as much an honest man’s labour as any other, and he deserved the wages he carried home at the end of a day.

He had left his village without any previous thought or plan. If he had continued there he would have carried on the work of his forefathers – namely, tilling the land, living, marrying, and ripening in his cornfield and ancestral home. But that was not to be. He had to leave home without telling anyone, and he could not rest till he left it behind a couple of hundred miles. To a villager it is a great deal, as if an ocean flowed between. He had a working analysis of mankind’s troubles: marriage, money, and the tangles of human ties. Long practice had sharpened his perception. Within five minutes was wrong. He charged three pies per question, never opened his mouth till the other had spoken for at least ten minutes, which provided him enough stuff for a dozen answers and advices. When he told the person before him, gazing at his palm, “In many ways you are not getting the fullest results for your efforts,” nine out of ten were disposed to agree with him. Or he questioned “Is there any woman in your family, maybe even a distant relative who is not well disposed towards you?” Or he gave an analysis of character: “Most of your troubles are due to your nature. How can you be otherwise with Saturn where he is? You have an impetuous nature and a rough exterior.” This endeared him to their hearts immediately, for even the mildest of us loves to think that he has a forbidding exterior.

A1] Global Understanding-[2]

A1) State whether the following statements are true or false. (2) 

1) The astrologer’s professional equipments also included cowrie shells and mystic charts.

2) The astrologer sat under the balcony of a Town Park.

3) The astrologer had left his village without any previous thought or plan.

4) The astrologer knew much more about the stars than his customers.

A2] Complex factual-[2]

Describe how the astrologer could understand the problem in five minutes.

A3] Analysis –[2]

Guess the reasons behind the astrologer’s success in his profession.

A4] Personal Response:[2]

Explain if you would like to consult an astrologer any time in your life?

A5] Language study -[2]

Do as directed:

1) The place was lit up by shop lights. (Rewrite the sentence beginning with –‘Shop lights…..’)

2) He said things which pleased and astonished everyone. (Remove ‘which’ and rewrite the sentence) 

A6] Vocabulary – [2]

Match the words from column ‘A’ with their meanings in column ‘B’

          A                                               B

1. Pies                                       a) baffling

2. Resplendent                       b) former monetary unit equal to 1/12 of an anna

3. Bewildering                        c) clever

4. Shrewd                                d) colourful & attractive

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