1.8 Voyaging towards excellence – Activity 1

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

I had a very simple upbringing. We were a lower middle-class family. Our 300 square feet house did not even have basic amenities such as a fan, a refrigerator, a geyser, a dining table or a gas stove; leave alone an air conditioner or a car. It was only when I entered the college that I got a watch and we got a dining table and a gas stove at home. Nevertheless, culturally, I had a rich childhood. Poets like Vinda Karandikar, Mangesh Padgaonkar and Vasant Bapat used to visit our home and for hours. I could listen to the discussions about poetry and literature-Marathi and English. They used to talk about Keshavsut, Mardhekar, Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy. I did not fully   understand their discussions in depth, but I was immensely impressed. We also were lucky to have Pt. Kumar Gandharv, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi and Pt. Jasraj visit our place and talk about Indian music till late night or sometimes dawn. This is how and why I developed my interest in literature and music during my school days. I did not and even today don’t understand the ‘grammar” of music, but I began to love it tremendously since then.

Most of the times, the topics of discussion at our home were about music, literature, paintings, sculptures etc. I could listen to the discussions about Van Gogh, Mozart and Michael angelo etc. It was because of such a milieu around me that I had a firm belief which I still hold that all arts are equally, if not more, important in our lives than Science or Technology. I had learnt from my childhood that money does not mean everything in life. It is necessary, but if at all there is something which enriches our lives and puts meaning to our existence, it is the arts, music and literature.

This is not to say that I did not like Science or Mathematics. In fact, I loved these subjects. However, I did not study them only for scoring maximum marks in the examinations. I used to study these subjects or any subject for that matter for its inherent beauty. I found Newton’s law of motion beautiful and Pythagorean Theorem elegant. I loved solving problems of Physics and Mathematics of the 9th standard when I was in the 7th, not to show off, but just because I used to get involved in solving them. I used to love problem-solving and used to enjoy finding out the most elegant method of solving them. Obviously, these problems were not a part of the curriculum, but I enjoyed the whole process. This attitude of looking beyond marks or examinations and to seek joy in solving any challenging problem helped me to develop a ‘problem-solving’ attitude which came handy when I appeared for my IIT entrance (JEE) because this exam is completely based on your problem-solving ability and the ability to think not only logically but quickly and rapidly.

A1] Global Understanding- [2]

Complete the web about the discussion of topics by eminent personalities at the narrator’s home.


A2] Complex factual – [2]


  1. The narrator’s problem-solving attitude helped him …………..
  2. The narrator’s opinion about money is …………

A3] Analysis/ Interpretation [2]

Explain narrator’s belief about arts.

A4] Personal Response[2]

Explain in brief the subjects that you like most to study.

A5] Language study – [2]

Do as directed:

  1. These problems were not a part of the curriculum, but I enjoyed the whole process. [Rewrite the sentence using ‘though’]
  2. I developed my interest in literature and music during my school days. [Frame a wh-question to get the underlined part as the answer]

A6] Vocabulary – [2]

 Find words from the extract & Complete the Crossword puzzle  –

Across ͢

  1. Social setting (6)
  2. Existing as permanent (8)


  1. facilities  (9)
  2. graceful(7)


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