Read the following passage:
The Postmaster felt like a fish out of water in village like this. His office was in a dark thatched hut. There was a pond next to it, scummed over with weeds, jungle all around. The indigo agents and employees in the village had hardly any spare time. They were not suitable company for him. His Calcutta background made him a bad mixer. In a totally unfamiliar place he appeared either arrogant or ill at ease. So there was not much contact between him and the residents of the village where he had come to work. But he had very little work to do. Sometimes he tried to write poems. His poems expressed the bliss of solitude, the pleasure of watching leaves trembling in the light breeze or the sailing cloudlets in the sky. But, God knew, if a genie out of an Arab tale had come and cut down all the trees overnight, made a road and blocked out the sky with rows of tall buildings, this half-dead, well-bred, educated young man would have come alive again and thrown away all his poems only too eagerly.
The Postmaster’s salary was meager. He had to cook for himself. An orphaned village-girl did his house work in return for a little food twice. Her name was Ratan and she was about twelve or thirteen. In the evenings the Postmaster would light a dim oil-lamp in a corner of the room and call for Ratan. As smoke curled up from the village cowsheds, crickets grated in the bushes, leaves made rustling sounds in the evening darkness, the Postmaster, seated alone on the dark verandah, might have shuddered a little and longed for human company. Ratan, sitting at the door-step, would call back, “What is it Dadababu, what do you want?”
A) Complete each of the sentences which follow, choosing the correct answer from the alternatives given: 1x7=7
i) Feeling like “a fish out of water” means – a) feeling uncomfortable; b) feeling feverish; c) feeling out of sorts.
ii) There was jungle all around – a) the post office; b) the Postmaster’s hut; c) a pond next to the post office.
iii)The Postmaster could not mix with the village people – a) because he was arrogant; b) because he was educated; c) because of his Calcutta background.
iv) Rattan was a – a) teenage girl; b) an adult; c) a baby.
v) In return of her service Ratan got – a) a very poor salary; b) a little food twice; c) only tiffin.
vi) Rattan was an orphan. It means she had lost – a) her father; b) her mother; c) both her parents.
vii)The Postmaster wanted human company – a) during his work in the post office; b) in his spare time; c) in the evenings when darkness engulfed his surroundings.
B) Answer the questions which follow (each in about 20 words): 2x4=8
i)Where was the village post office situated?
ii) What did the postmaster’s poems express?
iii)What did Ratan do at postmaster’s hut?
iv) How were the evenings in the village?
C) Rearrange the following sentences in their proper order: 5
i)Sometimes he tried to write poems.
ii)He would go inside and light a dim lamp in a corner of the room.
iii) The postmaster had not much work to do in the post office.
iv) Postmaster’s background made him a bad mixer.
v)The post office was in a thatched hut.
A) i—a; ii—c; iii—c; iv—a; v—b; vi—c; vii—c.
i) The village post office was situated in a dark thatched hut beside a pond, scummed over with weeds, jungle all around.
ii)The postmaster’s poems expressed the bliss of solitude, the pleasure of watching leaves trembling in the light breeze or the sailing cloudlets in the sky.
iii) Rattan, an orphaned village-girl did house work at the postmaster’s hut in return for a little food twice.
iv)In the evening, smoke curled up from the cowsheds, crickets grated in the bushes, leaves made rustling sounds in darkness in the village.
C) The proper order of the given sentences is ----v, iv, iii, i, ii.