Thursday, December 21, 2006

2006 End sem Question Paper

Here is the 2006 End sem question paper:

1. Complete this dialogue.

‘Why have you called me here?’ she asked, unable any longer to bear my silence.

‘Haven’t you guessed?’ I fingered the edge of the file I was carrying. Surely she had recognised it, understood why I was meeting her like this. ‘Malavika, how long has this been going on?’

She frowned. ‘You mean the financial irregularities? Since August, I guess. At any rate, it can’t have been longer than that.’

I put the file down on top of the water cooler and drew myself a glass. ‘Why did you take so long to tell me?’

‘I wanted to be sure.’

‘Who were you protecting?’

It seemed as if a shutter fell inside her face. Her lips thinned; she turned her face away and looked out of the floor-length window, her eyes tracing the line of the sea in the distance. I noticed the polish on one of her nails was chipped. ‘No one.’

2. Write a full story (not a plot outline) taking one element each from each column of this story grid.










Nuclear shelter




Beauty parlour







3. Here is the back-story of a character. Write a ‘front story’ (starting from this point in time) about him. You may make up any additional people or incidents.

Shantanu Mahajan is 43 years old. He’s a successful engineer with a construction company specialising in city planning. He grew up in Nasik in a middle class family; his father was the headmaster of a boys’ school and his mother a tribal from the interior of Madhya Pradesh, who went to school on a government scholarship and became a teacher of physics. Mahajan, an only child, is immensely proud of his mother, but also a bit defensive about her. When he went to his father’s school, he was acutely aware that it was his father’s status that prevented the boys from teasing him about her. He lives in Mumbai, and the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the city is a relief; he’s happy there but not very socially active, loves his work and relaxes by watching national geographic and going for hikes in the Western Ghats, which he loves. He belongs to a hiking club and has a photoblog of digital pictures he’s taken in the hills. But to his parents’ eternal grief he never married: he wasn’t good at finding anyone for himself, and caste considerations prevented them from finding a match for him. Now he’s comfortably settled, spends moderately on fine wines and his flat in Bandra, his pride and joy. Only once in a while, especially after his parents visit, he regrets the way his life has turned out and wonders if it could have been different.

4. Rewrite this descriptive passage, introducing colour and atmosphere:

The alley is cobbled. The houses on either side are high. Narrow windows occasionally look out onto it, but mostly the walls are blank and dirty. Here and there graffiti and torn posters can be seen. A stray donkey has made its home near the garbage dump at the end where it munches on kitchen waste and discarded leaves. The alley winds behind the houses, giving access to back doors where servants, traders and workers enter and leave the grand yet ancient buildings. From this side, it’s hard to recognise where one house ends and the other begins, although the fronts are painted in different colours and designs. If you don’t know where the alley opens, it’s easy to miss it altogether.

5. Here is a plot outline. Complete it and write a story based on it.

The fort is extremely old, most of its roofs decayed and gone. It frowns over the valley of Suvarnam. Bhanwarlal, the old master, is dying, but he has no children and only a young wife of seventeen years whom he married in the spring. She weeps bitterly, but no one pays her any attention. When he’s been carried to the river and burned with the last of the fort’s firewood, she comes back in her white sari and bars the door behind her. The valley and its village forget about her, except Munni Dai, who brought her here and is resigned to staying with her. The two women sit together, preparing their meagre meals and passing the time each day till the sun goes down. Sometimes Munni Dai scolds the young girl, saying no one in this day and age behaves like this, but she always calms down and goes back to cleaning the rice. Until one day …

Bonus Bootleg Track!

Some questions I didn’t use

1. This is the beginning of a story outline. Complete it. You may introduce one or two additional characters.

Rama is a spoilt rich girl who thinks she can have everything. Her parents have brought her up with the best of everything, and she’s used to always getting her way. Then she’s caught cheating in her board selection tests, using a state-of-the-art WAP mobile phone to download answers from the internet. She’s expelled from school. When her parents go to plead for her, the principal agrees to take her back, on one condition: she must earn the price of the phone, Rs 15,000, with her own labours.

[Describe what happens after that.]

2. Create a plot outline choosing one emotion, object, character or place from each of the following sets and weaving it into the outline. You may add other elements and characters as necessary, but the four things you choose must figure prominently. State your four choices at the head of your answer.





A policewoman

A condemned house



A cook

A shopping mall


Rolling pin

A fisherman

A train compartment



A painter

A riverbank



3. Complete any one of the following pieces of dialogue:

a. ‘What are we going to do?’ he cried in despair.

‘You ask me now?’ Rajlakshmi’s eye blazed. ‘When all our wealth has already been poured by you down the throat of that landlord, just because you can’t hold your liquor?’

Haranath hung his head. ‘Yes, there’s a devil in me, I know. That devil would drink the sea and kill me with the salt. But the deed is done, Raji, our land is gone, and now we must try to survive it. I am sorry.’
‘Will your sorry give my children education, or put food in their hollow bellies?’

‘I wish I could wring out of me all the liquor I’ve drunk,’ Haranath moaned, ‘and be a man again.’

‘Well you can’t,’ she said, and crossed her arms, ‘so you’d better start thinking fast.’

‘Where shall we go?’ he asked, and looked with fearful eyes at the rail track across the distant green fields.

b. ‘That’s interesting,’ she said softly.

‘What is?’ he asked, idly turning the pages of a magazine.

‘The Agarwals have called the painters in. Maybe at last they’re going to get that ugly daughter of theirs married off.’

He looked interested. ‘You mean Reshma? How old is she now?’

‘Twenty nine.’ She rolled her eyes. ‘The girl’s been twenty nine for the past five years.’

He crossed the room to join her at the window. ‘What a lot of activity. You know, you could be right.’

‘Hmmm. I wonder if they know she’s been secretly meeting that Rajat for years.’

‘I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve just found out.’

4. Rewrite any one of these paragraphs, giving the scene emotional colour. Invent the details you need to flesh out the scene, such as colours, sounds, sights, objects, activity, people and animals, smells etc. but do not introduce a plot or principal characters.

There is a busy road leading from the station. On one side is a market. On the other there is a pond. By the pond women wash clothes and pots. There are children and stray dogs in the field beyond the market. Many fruiting and flowering trees grow around the spot. The houses are mostly two-storeyed with verandahs. People watch the bustle from them.

There is a slick mall on the corner. Lots of people shop there, or pass the time. There are often traffic jams outside. All kinds of shops fill the mall. In the middle, there is a kids’ playground. On the top floor, there is a restaurant where they often have live music. There are also stalls in the middle, one for icecream and one for rolls. Young people hang out there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The second bonus bootleg track (hehe) came in the mid-sem.