THE COMET II
To enable the students to share their personal experiences.
To enable them to express themselves in grammatically correct language.
To enable the learners to extrapolate from the given text.
To sensitise the students to the feelings of an individual.
To enable the students to think of an alternative ending to the story.
To enable them to use new words and phrases in their own language.
To enable the students to learn the fourfold skills of English i.e LSRW(Listening, Speaking, Reading & Writing)
Deliberations: Discussions; Deliberations and dialogues were held between India and Pakistan in New Delhi to solve the problem of Jammu & Kashmir.
Star Studded:Full of stars. Tonight, the sky is star-studded.
Calamity:Disaster, Misfortune. There was a great loss of life and property after the calamity of Cyclone Phallin.
Dispelled: Removed; The Debris and Garbages were dispelled from the town.
Respite: It was a great respite for the state of Odisha as the cyclone changed its direction.
Deflected: The cyclone Helen deflected from its path due to western disturbances.
Detonating: Exploding. Detonating bombs were kept in the motor cycle for explosion.
Rendezvous: Meeting place; The pre-arranged Rendezvous was held in a secret meeting place.
Sir John Macpherson proposed to call a meeting of experts from all countries in a week’s time.
James agreed with him though he thought it almost impossible to call the meeting at such a short notice.
Sir John dropped James at his hotel.
The Conference of experts: All the Experts who were invited were present.
James was surprised when he went to attend the conference.
Sir John had also invited Duttada.
Comet Duttada was sure to collide with the earth
Scientist’s plan to save the earth.
Scientist’s suggested an offensive action to change its course by sending a spaceship with nuclear power.
This project was named –Project Light Brigade.
Will the action succeed?
Duttada & Sir John had become good friends.
Sir John said he could not say anything about the success of the project with certainty.
But he would not buy his Christmas presents before December 15th.
Duttada returns home.
Preparations for a yajna to bless Duttada & to pacify the evil spirits behind the comet.
The charge of Project Light Brigade is successful.
The earth had been saved from complete destruction.
Who saved the earth?
Duttada wondered that even in this age the rational & superstitions exist together.
The conference of experts: James was surprised when he went to attend the conference.All the experts who were invited were present Sir John had also invited Duttada.
Scientists plan to save the earth.
At first the scientists checked James calculations and found that they were correct. Comet Dutta was sure to collide with the earth on December 15.
Some suggested a defensive action. They suggested that underground bunkers should be constructed for everyone to live in.
But this suggestion was not practicable. It was not accepted.
Then the scientists suggested an offensive action. They intended to give the comet a push to change its course. For this they planned to send a spaceship with nuclear power. The ship would intercept the comet at the right time and then it will be exploded by remote control. This project was named the Charge of Light Brigade. A time- table was drawn for the action.
Will the action succeed?
Duttada and Sir John had become good friends. Duttada asked Sir John’s opinion about the success of the project. He said he could not say anything with certainty but he would not buy his Christmas presents before December 15.
Duttada returns home: Duttada stayed in England for another week. He visited observatories and met astronomers. Then he came back to Calcutta.
Preparations for a yajna: There was a big crowd at his house.His wife Indrani Debi had consulted Guruji. He had advised performing a yajna to bless Duttada, and to pacify the evil spirits behind the comet.
But Duttada was displeased. He refused to have anything to do with the yajna. He explained that there was no connection between the appearance of a comet and the misfortunes of the world.
The charge of Light Brigade is successful: Comet Dutta came very close to earth. Millions of people admired it. But they didn’t know how dangerous it was. Duttada had been worrying. Then he received an urgent TELEX from Sir John. It said that he was going to buy his Christmas presents on December 15. No one could understand what it meant. But Duttada was extremely happy. He knew that the charge of Project Light Brigade has been successful. The earth had been saved from complete destruction.
Who saved the Earth? After the comet had disappeared, Duttada said to his wife, “Now you see that there is nothing harmful about a comet.” But she smiled. She said that the comet did not harm because the yajna was performed. Duttada’s grandson had performed the yajna on behalf of Duttada.
Rational and superstitions: Duttada was shocked. He wondered that even in this age the rational and the superstitions exist together, though the gap between the two was too wide.
The appearance of a comet has no correlation with disasters on the earth. Was it true of Comet Dutta too? If not, why not?
Answer-No doubt comets come and go back without doing any harm. But Comet Dutta was a rare exception. It was moving towards the earth for a headon collision. If it had collided with the earth, all life on the earth would have been destroyed.
Q2. How did the experts decide to avert the imminent collision?
Answer-The experts decided to send a spaceship loaded with nuclear power. The ship was to intercept the Comet at the right place and at the right time. Then the nuclear power was to be detonated by remote control. They hoped that it would give the Comet a push and change its course away from the earth. In this way the collision would be averted.
Q3.How did Indrani Debi decide to save the earth from the evil Comet?
Answer- Though Indrani Debi was an educated woman, she believed that a yajna could save the earth from the evil effects of the comet. So, She arranged a yajna. Since Duttada refused to perform the yajna, she got it performed by her grandson, Khoka.
Q4. What did duttada find when he reached home?
Answer- Duttada found that a crowd has gathered under a pandal. The reason was that Indrani Debi had arranged a yajna. She had called priests to bless Duttada.
Q5. What was Duttada’s attitude to this ritual?
Answer- Duttada did not believe in these meaningless rituals. Duttada’s younger brother, Sibaji, explained that a shanty-yajna was organised. But duttada said that there was no specific advantage in this ceremony. He refused to perform the yajna and remarked that it was all superstitions.
. “For a moment James wondered if he had done his sums right.” Why was James doubtful about his sums and calculations?
Answer: James was not doubtful about his calculations. He wished to find some wrong calculations so that he could heave a sigh of relief that the world would not end. Deep in his mind he, like all others did not want the life on the earth to end.
2. What did the scientists at the conference say about James’s ‘sums’?
Answer: After rechecking James’ sum for the umpteenth time the scientist arrived at the horrifying conclusion that James was right. There was just a feeble chance of the comet scraping through the earth’s atmosphere. Even then also it would have caused great damage.
3. Immediate action was needed, the scientists decided. Give one example each of ‘defensive’ and ‘offensive’ action mentioned in the text.
Answer: The Defensive Option: It was planned to prepare underground bunkers to hide everybody for safety.
The Offensive Option: To deflect the path of the comet by using nuclear explosion. This was preferred as nobody was sure about the size of the comet.
4. “I am not buying any Christmas presents till December 15.” What did Sir John mean by that?
Answer: There is a saying that the Earth is like a small speck of dust in this universe and we are a minute part of that small speck. Against the powers of the universe human beings are simply powerless. Sir John was aware of this fact and, like everybody else, was not hundred percent sure of the success of the offensive measure planned in the meeting. So he was postponing all celebrations till the D-day.
5. What is Duttada expected to do on his return from London?
Answer: After his return from London he discovered that Indrani Debi had arranged for a yajna to be performed. She, along with other family members, planned it to ward off the evils of the comet’s visit.
6. What is his reaction to the proposal?
Answer: Duttada did not believe in such superstitions. So he refused to participate in the yajna.
7. (i) What does ‘Project Light Brigade’ refer to?
(ii) What does Sir John say about the Project in his letter to Duttada in October?
Answer: ‘Project Light Brigade’ referred to the plans to deflect the comet’s path by nuclear explosion.
In October Sir John wrote about the timely launch of the spaceship which was carrying nuclear materials for explosion near the comet.
8. Did Sir John buy Christmas presents on December 15? How did Duttada get to know about it?
Answer: When the scientific community observed that the comet started going away from the earth they were relieved that it did not do any harm. So Sir John decided to buy Christmas present on 15th December. He sent an urgent message in this regard to Duttada through the British High Commission in India.
9. Why, according to Indrani Debi, had the comet not been disastrous? Do you agree with her?
Answer: According to Indrani Debi it was the effect of the yajna which did not allow the comet to create disaster on the earth. For somebody who is as rational as Duttada this is impossible to believe. I belong to that category. For those who believe in comets bringing bad luck this is believable.
10. Is Duttada’s general outlook (i) rational (ii) moral (iii) traditional Choose the right word. Say why you think it right?
Answer: Duttada’s general outlook is rational. He is a scientist and he has a scientific outlook.He knows what the Comet are.
He knows that there is no connection between the appearance of comets and misfortunes of the earth.