THE COMET I
to enable the students to get knowledge of science fiction.
to enable the students to get knowledge of comets.
to enable them to express themselves in grammatically correct language.
to enable the learners to extrapolate from the given text.
to make conscious the students about pre-existing superstitious beliefs.
to enable the students to think the power of science.
to enable them to use new words and phrases in their own language.
Hobnob – (with sb)-to spend a lot of time with somebody
Repress – to try not to have or show an emotion, feeling etc. he burst in, making no effort to repress his fury.
Precautions - preventive measures
Tete-a-tete –(noun)(from french) private meeting
Ensnared – trapped
Amateur – a person who is not skilled. this work was done by a bunch of amateurs.
Eccentric – unusual/strange. most people considered him a harmless eccentric.
Orbit – path of revolution
Gigantic – huge
Comets are like small planets and they revolve round the sun. But they come from afar, and so they appear after years, and even after centuries. Then they disappear. That is why; you can always discover a new comet.
Duttada is an amateur scientist. He has a small telescope. his secret ambition of life is to discover a comet. He watches the dark night skies. One day he discovers a new comet. It is called ‘comet Dutta.
Many people, like Dutta’s wife, Indrani Devi, cherish superstitions about comets. They think that comets bring calamities in the world. But the scientists do not believe that comets have any harmful effect. But ‘comet Dutta’ is surely dangerous. it is calculated that in ten months time it is going to be collide with earth. And if it does, it will mean the end of life on the earth.
Manoj Dutta lived on the outskirts of Kolkata. He had a secret ambition to discover a comet. When he retired, he bought an 8-inchc telescope. He named it ‘dibyachakshu’. His wife called it simply dibya. Duttada, as he was popularly known, spent many nights looking at the stars through dibya.
one moonless night, Duttada detected a new faint star. in fact, it was a new comet. after watching it for two nights, he informed the indian institute of astrophysics at Bangalore. They confirmed that Duttada had discovered a new comet. The comet was called ‘comet Dutta’.
Duttada liked to lead a quiet life. but his discovery made him famous. He was invited to a number of functions. Duttada was fed up. He wished he had not discovered the comet. His wife also agreed with him. but her reasons were different. She was unhappy because her husband was associated with the discovery of an evil object.
Duttada told her that comets were harmless. Like planets they orbit the sun. But their orbits are too eccentric. They come from afar. They have a longish tail. When they come near the sun, they shine brightly. After sometime, they disappear again and do not appear again for years.
Dr. James Forsyth was a professor at king’s college, Cambridge. He learnt about comet Dutta. He made his calculations. he found that in ten months’ time, comet Dutta was going to collide with the earth. He wrote a paper and sent it to a scientific magazine, ‘nature’. He wanted to have his paper published immediately.
Taylor, the editor of ‘nature’, was a friend of sir john Macpherson, who was defense science advisor to the British government. Taylor showed the paper to sir john for his opinion. Sir john did not want the paper to be published immediately. He sent for Dr. Forsyth.
A special messenger went to Cambridge to bring Dr. Forsyth to Macpherson’s office at night. the visit was kept secret. Sir John gave Dr. Forsyth’s manuscript to him. He said that he had verified his calculations and the collision between the earth and comet Dutta was imminent. He insisted that this prediction should be made known to the whole world. But Sir John said that if this information reached the people, they would be panicked. The collision meant the end of all living beings on the earth. so he advised Dr. James Forsyth to rewrite his paper. He wanted it to tone it down. He should say that there was a probability of the comet colliding with the earth. But collision was not certain. Then sir john decided that a secret meeting of experts from all over the world should be held.
short question answers
What is the name of Duttada’s telescope?
Ans: the name of Duttada’s telescope is ‘dibyachakshu’.
What was Duttada’s secret ambition?
Ans:Duttada’s secret ambition was to discover a comet.
Why was duttada fed up with his discovery?
Ans: duttada was an introvert. so, he felt disgusted with the receptions and functions organised for him. and so, he was fed up with his discovery.
What is duttada’s opinion about comets?
Ans: duttada said that comets have nothing to do with calamities on the earth. There is nothing harmful about them.
Who was sir John Macpherson?
Ans: sir john Macpherson was the defense science advisor of the British government.
Who was James Forsyth?
Ans: James Forsyth was an astrophysicist of England.
What is the name of the science magazine in this passage?
Ans: the name of the science magazine in the passage is ‘nature’.
What did sir john Macpherson decide to do finally?
Ans: he decided to call a secret conference of international experts to discuss the matter.
textual question answers
Why does Indrani Debi dislike Duttada’s hobnobbing with dibya?
ans: Indrani Debi dislikes her husband’s hobnobbing with dibya because she looks upon dibya like a designing woman.
She is complaining and smiling. Why is she smiling?
ans:She smiles to think of childlike forgetfulness of her husband. she has to take care of his needs.
i. What was Duttada’s secret ambition?
ii.What did he do to achieve it?
ans: i. Duttada’s secret ambition was to discover a new comet.
ii. After his retirement, he bought an eight inches telescope and set it on the roof of his house. He regularly gazed at the sky on dark nights.
What is the difference between a planet and a comet, as given in the story?
ans: both planets and comets orbit round the sun but the orbit of a comet is highly eccentric. It comes from remote corner of the solar system. It has a longish tail that is lit brilliantly when it comes nearer the sun.
Why was Duttada hopeful that he would discover a new comet soon?
ans: Duttada had a tiny telescope. Still he hoped to discover a comet soon because the professionals with gigantic telescopes had pre-assigned programmes. They hardly took notice of the appearance of a new comet. and indeed, he saw a stranger among the known stars. he hoped that it was a comet.
Why does Duttada say –”I almost wish I had not discovered this comet?”
ans: Duttada was an introvert. His discovery of a comet brought in unwelcome publicity. He was often invited to receptions which he did not like. He was so fed up that he wished he had not discovered the comet.
Why is his wife unhappy about the discovery?
ans: Indrani Devi believed that comets brought in calamities in the world. She wished her husband not to associate with such a sinister object.
How did sir john get hold of James’ original manuscript?
Ans: James sent his manuscript to ‘nature’ for publication. Nature’s editor, Taylor, was sir john’s friend. He gave it to sir john to give his opinion about it.
What is the important point the paper makes?
ans: the important point in the paper is that comet Dutta is sure to collide against earth in ten months’ time.
Why does sir john say that James’ paper should not be published?
ans: Sir John realizes that if James’ paper is published as it is, it will create panic all over the world.
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