I will do it – Comprehension passages

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Click ‘play’ to listen to the text ‘I will do it’.

Passage – 1:

He was short. He was sharp. He was the brightest boy in his class. His seniors used to ask him to solve their difficulties

in science. He could have gone unnoticed in a crowd, but once you asked him a question related to Physics or Maths,

there was a spark in his eyes. He could grasp theories of science faster than the speed of light.

1. Who does ‘he’ refer to here?

Here ‘he’ refers to ‘Narayana Murthy’.

2. Why could he have gone unnoticed in a crowd?

…because he was usually quiet.

3. Why was there a spark in his eyes when there was a question related to Physics or Maths?

…because he was good at Physics and Maths.

4. What does ‘spark’ mean here?

Here ‘spark’ means ‘small amount of feeling (excitement)’.

Passage – 2:

His father was a high-school teacher and an avid reader of English literature. He, like all the boys in his class, was trying to get admission into some engineering college. The brighter ones wanted to study in the Indian Institues of Technology or the IITs.

1. What was his father?

His father was a teacher.

2. ‘He was an avid reader of English literature.’ What does ‘avid’ mean?

‘Avid’ means ‘very enthusiastic’.

3. Where did the brighter students want to study?

The brighter students want to study in the Indian Institutes of Technology.

Passage – 3:

All these IIT aspirants would sit below the shade of a stone mandap close to Chamundi Hills inthe sleepy town of

Mysore. He was the guide for the others. While the others struggled to solve the problems in the question paper, he

would smile shyly and solve them in no time.

1. How did the students study for the entrance test?

The students sat under the shade of a stone mandap and studied.

2. What does ‘aspirant’ mean?

‘Aspirant’ means ‘a person with a strong desire to achieve something’.

3. Who helped the IIT aspirants in studies?

Narayana Murthy helped the IIT aspirants in studies.

4. How did he help his classmates?

He helped them as they struggled to do the problems in Physics and Maths.

5. How old was Murthy when he took IIT entrance test?

He was sixteen years old.

Passage – 4:

The D-Day came. He came to Bangalore, stayed with some relatives and appeared for the entrance test. He did very well but would only say ‘OK’ when asked. It was the opposite when it came to food. When he said ;ok; it implied ‘bad’, when he said ‘good’ it implied ‘OK’, when he said ‘excellent’ it implied ‘good’. His principle was never to hurt anyone.

1. What is meant by D-Day?

D-Day is the day on which something important is expected to happen.

2. What does ‘OK’ mean when it comes to food?

When it comes to food, ‘OK’ means ‘bad’.

3. What was Murthy’s principle?

Murthy’s principle was ‘never to hurt anyone’.

4. What is the antonym of ‘appear’?


5. What does ‘imply’ mean?

‘Imply’ means ‘to suggest that something is true, without saying directly’.

Passage – 5:

‘Anna, I have passed the exam.’

1. Who is addressed as ‘Anna’?

Narayana Murthy’s father is addressed as Anna.

2. What exam did the speaker pass?

The speaker (Murthy) passed the IIT entrance exam.

Passage – 6:

The teenager was disappointed. It seemed his dreams had burnt to ashes. He was so near to fulfilling his fondest hope, yet so far. His heart sank in sorrow.

1. Who is the teenager?

The teenager was ‘Narayana Murthy’.

2. What was his dream?

His dream was to study at the IIT.

3. Why was he disappointed?

He was disappointed because his father expressed his helplessness to send him to IIT.

Passage – 7:

The day came. His classmates were already there. They were excited and talking

loudly. The noise was like chirping of birds. They were all excited and discussing their

new hostels, new courses etc. He was not part of it. So he stood there silently. One of

them noticed and said, ‘You should have made it.’

1. Who were they?

They were Narayana Murthy’s friends.

2. Where were they going?

They were going to Madras to study in IIT.

3. Narayana Murthy stood there silently. What does this mean?

This means he was disappointed at not getting a chance to study in IIT.

4. ‘You should have made it.’ What does ‘it’ refer to here?

‘It’ means ‘joining IIT’/’studying in IIT’.

5. ‘He was not part of it.’ What was he not part of?

He was not part of his friends’ discussion.

Passage- 8:

He did not reply. He only wished all of them. They waved at him as the train slowly left the platform. He stood there even after he could no longer see the train or the waving  hands. It was the June of 1962 in Mysore city. Monsoon had set in and it was getting dark. It had started to drizzle. Yet he stood there motionless.

1. Where were they going?

They were going to Madras to study in IIT.

2. Why did he stand there even after the train had left?

He was lost in thoughts./He was absorbed in thoughts.

3. What was the season mentioned?


4. What does the phrasal verb ‘set in’ mean here?

Here ‘set in’ means ‘to begin and seem likely to continue’.

5. What does ‘drizzle’ mean?

‘Drizzle’ means ‘to rain in small light drops’.

Passage – 9:

‘I cannot afford your expenses at IIT. You can stay in Mysore and study as much as you want.’ Indeed it was a difficult situation for any father to say ‘no’ to his bright son. But circumstances were like that. It was common then for the man to be the single earning member with a large family dependent on him.

1. What was Murthy’s financial background?

He was from a poor family.

2. From the above lines, what do you understand about the status of women in those days?

Women stayed at home and did not earn money.

3. What does ‘afford’ mean?

‘Afford’ means ‘to be able to spend’.

Passage – 10:

Probably he was not aware that he was following the philosophy of the Bhagavad GIta.

1. What is ‘the Bhagavad Gita’?

‘The Bhagavad Gita’ is a holy book of Hindus.

2. Who does ‘he’ refer to here?

‘He’ refers to Narayana Murthy.

3. What was the philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita he was following?

‘Your best friend is yourself and your worst enemy is yourself.

Passage – 11:

He became a pioneer of India’s software industry and started the Information Technology wave. Today he has become an icon of simplicity, uncompromising quality and fairness, apart from being a philanthropist. He really believes in the motto, ‘Powered by intellect and driven by values’.

1. What good qualities of Narayana Murthy are mentioned in the passage?

Simplicity and fairness.

2. What is the name of the software company that Murthy started?


3. What does ‘philanthropist’ mean?

‘A person who helps the poor, especially by giving them money.’

4. Explain Naryana Murthy’s motto.

One should have intellectual power and should be guided by moral values, in order to succeed.

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