AHSEC – Class 12 Alternative English Solved Question Paper -2017


Table of Contents


Q. PAPER 2017

Full Marks: 100

Pass Marks: 30

Time: 3 hours

The figures in the margin indicate full marks for the questions.




1. Answer any five of the following:                              1×5=5

a)      What is the full name of the verger in the short story by the same name?

Ans: Albert Edward Foreman.

b)      Where does the verger work?

Ans: The verger works in St. Peter’s church, Neville Square.

c)       For how long, during Narayan’s ownership of the car, was the air conditioner switched on?

Ans: During Narayan’s ownership of the car, was the air conditioner switched on for a total periods of thirty minutes.

d)      What does an automobile mean to Narayan?

Ans. To Narayan an automobile meant means to an end that serves his necessity for travel.

e)      Who is the author of the story, ‘The Scarecrow’?

Ans: Satyajit Ray.

f)       Whom did Mriganko Babu’s father call in to find the lost watch?

Ans: Mriganko Babu’s father called in a local witch doctor to find the lost watch.

g)      What is the full name of Jim in the story, ‘The Gift of the Magi’?

Ans: Full name of Jim was Mr. James Dillingham Young.

h)      How much used Jim to earn earlier?

Ans: Jim used to earn thirty dollars earlier.

i)        What is the name of American poet philosopher whose work Robert Lynd has read?

Ans: Ralph waldo Emerson.

j)        Whom does Lynd want to conduct the laborious quest for wisdom?

Ans: Lynd wants the philosophers to conduct the laborious quest for wisdom.

2. Answer any five of the following:                              2×5=10

a)      What was the discovery that astonished the vicar?

Ans. The discovery that astonished the vicar was that the verger could neither read nor write . The vicar did not know that Albert Edward was completely an illiterate person. He could not imagine a verger in ST. Peter’s church who did not know how to read or write.

b)      What was the verger told by the vicar in the vestry?

Ans. In the vestry, the verger was told that St. Peter’s Church was a famous and dignified church. It was very surprising that being a verger of this church, Edward Foreman did not know how to read and write. He was also told that they would give him three months time to learn how to read and write and if he would fail to do that, then he had to leave the job.

c)       What made Narayan fear, he would soon become bankrupt?

 Ans. The writer was obliged to visit a workshop every other week to do the repairing of his car and he began to fear that at this rate, he would soon reach bankruptcy. He felt that he was in a strange world, without knowing them, be began to depend on them!

d)      Who fell on Narayan’s car when it was parked in front of the hospital?

Ans. Two cyclists fell on Narayan’s car when it was parked in front of the hospital.

e)      Why did Mriganko Babu go to Durgapur?

Ans. Mriganko Shekhar Mukhopadhyay was a famous and popular writer. A club in Durgapur had invited him to a cultural function, in order to felicitate him. Therefore, he went Durgapur. 

f)       Who was Abhiram?

Ans. Abhiram was a servant of Mriganko Babu. He served his family for long twenty years.

g)      Who were the Magi?

Ans. The Magi were the three wise men who travelled from the East to Jerusalem. They were guided by a star to see the infant Jesus. They carried precious gifts for Christ.

h)      What did Jim do to get a gift for Della?

Ans. Jin sold his most treasured watch, a family heirloom which even king Solomon might have been envious of. And with that money he bought a gift for Della.

i)        In what context does Lynd mention Solomon?

Ans. Lynd desired for wisdom as eagerly as Solomon. Lynd had the idea that wisdom is to be found somewhere in a book; and to be picked as easily as a shell from the sand.

j)        Who is Zeus?

Ans: Zeus is the king of the pantheon of Greek gods and goddesses and is the symbol of power and order.

3. Answer any three of the following:                            4×3=12

a)      Narrate the circumstances under which the verger had to lose his job at St. Peter’s.

Ans. After the new vicar was appointed, the verger came in trouble with him. The new vicar represented the new, educated generation. He wanted all of the workers of St. Peter’s to be educated. Foreman, the verger was an illiterate person and the new vicar wanted his verger to be literate. For the vicar, it is impossible to have a verger who cannot read and write. He gave Foreman an option to learn the alphabets in three months. But for Foreman he did not need any education to help him do his job better. He in fact went to the two church wardens to ask for their support. But he was shocked to find them agreeing with the vicar instead. Therefore, for the verger there was only way left to have some education to continue with his job. The vicar gave him three months time to learn reading and writing. Foreman rejected the option on the ground that he was too old to learn new things and therefore he resigned the job.

b)      Why, do you think, the author, R.K. Narayan, regards himself as a fanatic in the context of walking?

Ans. The author regards himself a ‘fanatic’ in regard of walking, and he doesn’t regret it. He lacks automobile sensibility but he doesn’t mind it. The petrol hike or uproar of petrol price could never bother him because he believed that he has his two legs which can take him to wherever he wants to go, and they can operate without petrol or gas.

The most ambitious work he has been planning for years to be called “Testament of a Walker”. Whether written or not, this philosophy is deeply rooted in him. Once he used to walk ten miles a day, morning or evening. Though on a lesser scale, when he was having a car he used to continue with his habit of walking. If he is compelled to stay indoors because of the bed weather, he could still get the mileage out in his veranda, making odd up and down paces like a bear in his cage.

c)       What happened to Abhiram after he left Mriganko Babu?

Ans. When Abhiram was accused of stealing, he had to lose his job and move back to his village. There he was soon afflicted with dropsy. He was too poor to go to a doctor or buy medicines .He did not have money for food.He suffered and died. He was very sad that he could not prove his innocence to his masters.

d)      Show how the twist in the tale makes the story of Jim and Della a moral lesson.

Ans. The twist in the tale makes the story of Jim and Della a moral lesson. Narrator says that the story compares these two ‘foolish children’ with the magi. The narrator tells us that the magi were wise men, who invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Since they were wise, their gifts must have been wise too. The narrator intones, ‘Of all, those who give gifts, Jim and Della were the wisest, which means that they must be the magi. They unwisely sacrificed foe each other the greatest treasures of their house.

e)      Why does Robert Lynd end his essay with the phrase, ‘it was only a dream’?

Ans. The author feels that it would be possible to follow Epictetus’ path in a world where nothing happens. But on Earth, where a lot of disagreeable things happen, it is quite next to impossible. Most of us know that the philosophers are right enough when they say that most of the things we bother about are not worth bothering about Philosophers like. Socrates and Epictetus were right in their indifference to external things, yet most of us would not welcome if someone welcomes such philosophy into practice, even though we call them wisdom. Hence, bringing such philosophy into practice ‘was only a dream’.

4. Explain with reference to the context any two of the following:             4×2=8

a)      “He’s been nagging them he as”, said the verger to himself.

Ans: The quoted lines are an extract from the short story ‘The Verger’ written by William Somerset Maugham. These lines are a reflection of what Albert Edward Foreman, the verger was thinking as he went to meet the new vicar in the vestry of St Peter’s church. The new vicar was rather unhappy to know that the verger was an illiterate person and so he had asked the later to meet him in the vestry one evening after the christening ceremony was over and the guests were gone. As the verger entered the vestry along with the vicar, he found the two elderly churchwardens, who were his colleagues for the last sixteen years, already present there. This was rather surprising for him because he did not see them enter the vestry nor did he expect them to be there. Although the churchwardens gave pleasant nods to the verger on seeing him in the vestry, he could understand that the churchwardens were anxious about something. The vicar on the other had displayed a kind of resolute kindness which was in contrast to the troubled look on the faces of the churchwardens. It is in this context that the verger thought to himself that the vicar must have said or done something unpleasant that made these two elderly churchwardens anxious.

(b) I lack automobile sensibility and I do not regret it.

The quoted line is from the essay ‘The Testament of a Walker’ by R.K. Narayan. In this essay, the author reflects upon his experience of owning an imported car. When the author came to owning an imported car by chance, he was indifferent to it unlike others around him. The sophisticated parts of the car did not impress him because the car was only a means to the end and was useful only as long as it served the purpose of taking him around. Besides, Narayan also believed that a man’s destiny lies in walking-god has given a pair of legs to man that does not need fuel or gear. He also loved to walk great distances and was in the habit of walking for several miles. On days when he was unable to walk owing to bad weather, he would compensate it by walking up and down the verandah of his home. Therefore, Narayan did not repent his lack of automobile sensibility as he was not dependent solely on his car unlike most people.

( c ) Mriganko Babu tried very hard but failed to remember. Yet he felt sure that he had seen someone wear such a shirt, a long time ago.

The quoted lines are from Satyajit Ray’s short story ‘The Scarecrow’. These lines are reflective of Mriganko Babu’s thoughts as he was standing near a patch of land which had a scarecrow in the middle of it. The scarecrow that stood in the middle of the small patch of land was made of bamboo poles and an earthen pot which was placed upside down. The scarecrow was placed to frighten the birds that came to eat the crops. As Mriganko Babu was looking at it, he noticed that it was wearing a printed shirt. The torn shirt which was printed red and black seemed familiar to Mriganko Babu. He felt that he had seen the shirt worn by someone but he was unable to remember exactly who had put on the shirt. However, he was certain that he had seen someone wearing that shirt long time ago.

(d) Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a grey cat walking a grey fence in a grey backyard.

The quoted lines are from O’ Henry’s short story ‘The Gift of the Magi’. The story is about the James Dillingham Youngs, a couple who are rather poor to afford the best gifts for one another on Christmas Eve. Della was crying desperately when she found that she had too little money to buy a gift for her husband Jim. She realised that there was always some kind of financial problem in their life and therefore, everything around their home also seemed reflect this want of money. However, there was immense love and warmth between her and Jim which perhaps made up for the absence of money. As Della was pondering over these thoughts, she was in tears. Then she stopped crying and got up. The depression within her seemed to be reflected by the scene outside the window as she looked out and saw a dreary sight of a grey cat walking on a grey fence in a grey backyard. All the greyness that Della sees outside perhaps symbolises her sad mood.

5. Answer any five of the following:                              1×5=5

a)      Who is the fair lady the narrator speaks of in Toru Dutt’s poem?

Ans: The fair lady is Sita

b)      Where are the three happy children?

Ans: The three happy children are sitting together listening to a story narrated by their mother.

c)       What bird skims over the brook?

Ans: Swallows skim over the brook.

d)      What flowers grow by the brook for happy lovers?

Ans: Forget-me-nots grow by the brook for happy lovers

e)      Where does the traveler in Shelly’s poem come from?

Ans: The Traveller comes from ‘antique land’.

f)       Which country is referred to as an antique land?

Ans: Egypt is referred to as an antique land.

g)      Who are the opening lines of ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ addressed to?

Ans: The opening lines addressed to the knight.

h)      Whom did the knight meet?

Ans: The knight met a beautiful lady.

i)        What tempted the village girl to tarry?

Ans: The song of the boatman tempted the village girl to tarry

j)        What is it that might smite the village girl?

Ans: Evil spirit might smite the  village girl.

6. Answer any four of the following:                             2×4=8

a)      Name the birds and animals mentioned in Toru Dutt’s poem.

Ans: White swans,peacocks and the wild deer are mentoned in the poem.

b)      What is a brook?

Ans: A brook is a small stream that originates from the highest hill ranges where the water birds dwell.

c)       What did the traveler come upon in the desert?

Ans. The traveler came across a broken statue in the desert. He saw tow vast and trunk-less legs, standing on a pedestal, in the desert. And there was a half sunk visage (face) near there the pedestal.

d)      What did the lady give to the knight at Arms?

Ans: The lady gave him sweet roots, wild honey and manna dew.

e)      What are the shadows of the evening compared to in ‘Village Song’?

Ans: The shadows of the evening are compared to blackbirds in the sky.

7. Answer any three of the following:                            4×3=12

a)      How are the children affected by the mother’s song?

Ans. The effect of the story was so strong that all her three children started crying whenever their mother mentioned the pain and sadness of Sita. They were moved. The children were imagining Sita weeping in a deep dark forest. They were touched with her sadness. They too felt sad for her. And with every single drop of tear that fell from Sita’s eyes, three more pairs of eyes were shedding tears.

b)      Describe the journey of the brook till it reaches Philip’s farm.

Ans: The journey of the brook begins in the highest hill ranges which are the dwelling place of water birds like the coot and the heron. It then flows down the long narrow hill ranges and twenty tiny villages. It crosses a little town and half a hundred bridges till it flows by the farm of Philip.

c)       What do the ‘Wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command’ signify?

Ans. “Wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command” signifies the pride and cruelty of king Ozymandias. The moods of tyrants will survive on the visage of the statue of king Ozymandias. His tyranny, cruelty and boastfulness could clearly be seen in the face of the statue.

d)      Attempt a description of the dream that the knight has in the cave.

Ans. The beautiful lady took the knight to her elfin grot and there she spoke her grief out to the knight. The knight consoled her and caressed her. She then lulled him asleep. There in the lady’s cave, the knight had a strange dream. He saw a number of kings, princes and warriors in his dream. All of them were looking death-pale. With their gnarled lips, their faces seemed horrible to look at. All of them were warning the knight that he had fallen in the trap of the beautiful lady who had no mercy.

e)      Briefly describe the fears of the village maiden.

Ans. The white crane is making sounds and she is afraid as if it is the sounds of the owl. It is a dark night, and the moonlight is not sufficient to show her path. She is afraid, there may be some snakes lying on the road to bite her. She is afraid, there may be some evil spirit haunting the place which would cast wicked charms on her and she would die. In utter terror, she utters the name of God.

8. Explain with reference to the context on any one of the following:                           5×1=5

a)      I chatter over stony ways,

     In little sharps and treble

     In bubble into eddying bays,

     I babble on the pebbles.

Ans: These lines have been taken from the poem ‘The Brook’

Composed by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

The poet invokes the sounds and sights of the countryside as he follows the journey of the brook from the high hills down to the villages and towns. The brook slides over stony ways with a high pitched sound and lot of noise. The movement of the brook is sometimes forceful and strong and sometimes very leisurely. As it moves and glides in a spiral manner, it creates bubbles and makes a sound that resembles that of one talking gaily.

b)      The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.

Ans:  These lines have been taken from the poem ‘Ozymandias of Egypt’ composed by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

The narrator here refers to the ability of the sculptor who skillfully reproduced the vain nature of the powerful ruler. The hand refers to the hand refers to the hand of the sculptor who has been able t carve, or ‘mock’ – in the sense of ‘copy’ – the arrogance and vanity of the king. The feelings the ruled the heart of the king inspired the sculptor’s creativity. It is ironical that this show of arrogance has been reduced to nothing but ruins.

c)       And this is why I sojourn here,

     Alone and palely loitering,

     Though the sedge has wither’d from the Lake

     And no birds sing.

Ans: These lines have been taken from the poem ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ composed by John Keats.

The knight has been bewitched by a beautiful lady who had professed her love, and gave him sweet roots, wild honey and manna dew. But she was a lady without mercy who vanished without fulfilling the promise of love. The chill has withered the sedge from the lake and no birds are singing. But the knight is forced to loiter all alone, aimlessly with the burden of unrequited love.




9. Change any five of the following sentences as per the directions given in brackets without changing their meaning:                                                                                                                     1×5=5

a)      Only corrupt people are protesting against demonetization. [Change into negative]

b)      Is there any nation in the world that is not taking notice of India today? [Change into affirmative]

c)       The nation is taking big strides to turn digital. [Change into interrogative]

d)      I left my phone behind at your place. [Change into interrogative]

e)      Who does not know that the sun shines in the East? [Change into affirmative]

f)       She is known to me. [Change into active]

g)      He placed the book on the table. [Change into passive]

h)      Wasn’t Kothanodi a unique film? [Change into assertive]

10. Add tag questions in any five of the following sentences:                              1×5=5

a)      The new five hundred rupee note is smaller than the old one,

b)      Your house faces the river,

c)       We will go for the movie together,

d)      They are going to Gangtok on an excursion,

e)      Rome was not built in a day,

f)       Our winters are very pleasant,

g)      You will show me your new bike,

h)      Your computer hasn’t crashed,

11. Fill in any five of the blanks in the sentences given below with suitable prepositions:               1×5=5

a)      A bird ____ hand is worth two in the bush.

b)      Seeing the lion, the leopard ran ____ the tree.

c)       The rangers drove the rhino ____ the enclosure.

d)      I have left your watch ____ the drawer.

e)      Who stole the cookie ____ the cookie jar?

f)       He dived ____ the swimming pool.

g)      I had just a few coins left ____ my pocket.

h)      The grocer’s shop is just two blocks ____ the road.

12. Rewrite any five of the following sentence using the verbs given in brackets in their correct forms:                   1×5

a)      He ____ (commute) by bus every day.

b)      By the time the police arrived, the thief ____ (flee)

c)       Reliance Jio ____ (offer) free services upto April next year.

d)      Jayalalitha ____ (pass) away in December.

e)      The harder he ____ (try) the better he gets.

f)       We ____ (go) to Shimla last winter.

g)      It ____ (snow) heavily when we got there.

h)      We ____ (hunt) high and low for a foot to fit the slipper.

13. Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow:

The mountains that clustered around Bafert were mauve and grey in the dim morning light, striped and patterned with deep purple and black in the valleys, where it was still night. The sky was magnificent, black in the West where the last stars quivered, jade green above me, fading to the palest kingfisher blue at the eastern rim of hills. I leant on the wall of the verandah where a great web of bougainvillaea had grown, like a carelessly flung cloak of brick red flowers, and looked down the long flight of steps to the road below, and beyond it to the Fon’s courtyard. Down the road, from both directions, came a steady stream of people, laughing and talking and beating on small drums when the mood took them. Over their shoulders were Long wooden poles, and tied to these with creepers were big conical bundles of dried grass. The children trotted along carrying smaller bundles of their saplings. They made their way down past the arched opening into the Fon’s courtyard and deposited their grass in heaps under the trees by the side of the road. Then they went through the arch into the courtyard and there they stood about in chattering groups; occasionally a flute and a drum would make up a brief melody, and then some of the crowd would break into a shuffling dance, amid handclaps and cries of delight from the on-lookers. They were a happy, excited, eager throng.

(a) What is the name of the place being described?

Ans:- The name of the place that is being described here is Bafert.

(b) Attempt a description of the sky.

Ans:- The sky was magnificient, black in the west where the stars quivered, jade green about the author, fading to the palest kingfisher blue at the eastern sin of hills.

(c) What are the colours mentioned in the piece?

Ans:- The colours mentioned in the piece are-

         i.      Grey dim morning light,

       ii.      Deep purple, striped and patterned.

      iii.      Magnificent black sky and valleys,

     iv.      Jade green sky

       v.      Brick red flowers

(d) Where is the author and what is he doing?

Ans:- The author is at his house at Bafert.

The author is leaning on the wall of the Verandah, where a great web of Bangainvillaea, had grown. He is witnessing a crowd of people celebrating their happiness by people on small drums, laughing and talking to each other.

(e) What were the people carrying on their shoulders?

Ans:- The people were carrying Long Wooden poles, tied with creepers and big conical bundles of dried grass. The children trotted along carrying smaller bundles of their saplings.

(f) Describe the scene in the Fon’s courtyard.

Ans:- The pass age gives an idea of some sort of juliliation or processions being carried on or around the Fon’s courtyard. The courtyard was thronged with happy people who were talking, laughing and beating on small drums. Younger people carried long wooden poles over their shoulders while children trotted along carrying smaller bundles of dried grass. They gathered at the courtyard where the chat, played on a flute or beat the drum, broke into shuffling dance amid hand claps.




14. Answer any five of the following:                            1×5=5

a)      Who is it who once said that most statesmen are rogues?

b)      What does Narayan lack but does not regret?

In which city was the workshop Narayan had to take his car to?

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