Saturday, September 02, 2006

Midsemester examination question paper

Here is the question paper of the recently concluded mid sem test, in case anyone feels like breaking their head on it.

Answer any ONE question. Where you are asked to complete a passage, your contribution should be at least as long as the given text.

1. This is a flat factual description of a street scene. Rewrite it, adding emotional colour in the form of scents, sounds, metaphors, and figurative language. Your additions should contribute to the vividness of the scene. Note: Do not introduce action or main characters.

It was a wide street with skyscrapers along it. The cars were mostly private, a few taxis, some buses. People were walking along, looking at the shops. The shops were smart with big windows and window displays. There were some beggars. The traffic island had a little garden on it. On the corner there was a café. There were tables on the street where people were sitting under umbrellas. College had just given over and kids were going home. Office goers were returning, carrying leather briefcases and looking for taxis.


2. Choose one of these plot outlines and finish it.
a) A girl is born blind. She is very intelligent, but her parents feel guilty for the way she is and overprotect her, not letting her go to school for fear she won’t be able to handle it. She spends most of the time on the roof, listening to an old tape-recorder and a selection of Rabindrasangeet. Next to their house, unbeknownst to them, an ex-convict has rented the rooftop room. He’s trying to rehabilitate himself, but no one will give him work. He wonders why he always hears music, and one day he spots her swaying alone in her little room on the roof. He calls her over and lends her a Rabindrasangeet tape. Invent what happens next.

b) A businessman’s car breaks down on the Mehrauli Road, in a very dark and deserted part of it. He tries to flag a car down but has no success. It’s late at night and the following day is a national holiday. He can’t get a connection on his mobile phone. He starts to walk north along the road. After a while a car stops. It’s full of young people coming back from a party. They’re all a little high, and they expansively agree to drop the businessman off at his Gurgaon home. They set off, but soon they seem to be lost. The young people aren’t bothered. They bring out food and wine and have a picnic on the car’s bonnet. The businessman’s watch now says two am. He’s really worried and a little out of his depth. Invent what happens next.


3. Create a plot outline using one item from each of the following sets. The item from category (a) should be your dominant mood, (b) should figure in some way in the story, (c) should be your main character (d) should be your setting. You may add other elements and characters as necessary:

a. Rage, love, resentment, gratitude,
b. A chain, a box, a mirror, a ball,
c. a housewife, a vagrant, a fireman, a painter,
d. a condemned house, a laboratory, a train compartment, a riverbank.


4. Complete the following dialogue:
‘Did you see that?’
‘That guy winked at me!’
‘He didn’t. Stop imagining things, Sonia, and read your book. There’s still five hours to go before we land at Dum Dum.’
‘You’re such a spoilsport, Mahua,’ Sonia pouted and looked out of the window.
Mahua sighed. ‘It is just possible, Sonia, that every guy in the world isn’t destined to fall automatically and hopelessly in love with you.’
‘And what would you know about it? All you ever do is tie guys in knots with your intellectual fundas. Guys don’t like brains, sweetie. It makes them go all awkward and spill their Coke.’

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