QUESTIONS FROM TEXTBOOK SOLVED
THINK AS YOU READ
Q1. What is the “misadventure ” that William Douglas speaks about?
Ans. William O. Douglas had just learnt swimming. One day, an eighteen year old big bruiser picked him up and tossed him into the nine feet deep end of the Y.M.C.A. pool. He hit the water surface in a sitting position. He swallowed water and went at once to the bottom. He nearly died in this misadventure.
Q2. What were the series of emotions and fears that Douglas experienced when he was thrown into the pool? What plans did he make to come to the surface?
Ans. Douglas was frightened when he was thrown into the pool. However, he was not frightened out of his wits. While sinking down he made a plan. He would make a big jump when his feet hit the bottom. He would come to the surface like a cork, lie flat on it, and paddle to the edge of the pool.
Q3. How did this experience affect him?
Ans. This experience revived his aversion to water. He shook and cried when he lay on his bed. He couldn’t eat that night. For many days, there was a haunting fear in his heart. The slightest exertion upset him, making him wobbly in the knees and sick to his stomach. He never went back to the pool. He feared water and avoided it whenever he could.
THINK AS YOU READ
Q1. Why was Douglas determined to get over his fear of water?
Ans. His fear of water ruined his fishing trips. It deprived him of the joy of canoeing, boating, and swimming. Douglas used every way he knew to overcome this fear he had developed ’since childhood. Even as an adult, it held him firmly in its grip. He determined to get an instructor and learn swimming to get over this fear of water.
Q2. How did the instructor “build a swimmer” out of Douglas?
Ans. The instructor built a swimmer out of Douglas piece by piece. For three months he held him high on a rope attached to his belt. He went back and forth across the pool. Panic seized the author everytime. The instructor taught Douglas to put his face under water and exhale and to raise his nose and inhale. Then Douglas had to kick with his legs for many weeks till these relaxed. After seven months the instructor told him to swim the length of the pool.
Q3. How did Douglas make sure that he conquered the old terror?
Ans. Douglas still felt terror-stricken when he was alone in the pool. The remnants of the old terror would return, but he would rebuke it and go for another length of the pool. He was still not satisfied. So, he went to Lake Wentworth in New Hampshire, dived off a dock at Triggs Island and swam two miles across the lake. He had his residual doubts. So, he went to Meade Glacier, dived into Warm Lake and swam across to the other shore and back.Thus, he made sure that he had conquered the old terror.
UNDERSTANDING THE TEXT
Q1. How does Douglas make clear to the reader the sense of panic that gripped him as he almost drowned? Describe the details that have made the description vivid.
Ans. Douglas gives a detailed account of his feelings and efforts to save himself from getting drowned. He uses literary devices to make the description graphic and vivid. For example,
‘Those nine feet were more like ninety’, ‘My lungs were ready to burst.’ ‘I came up slowly,
I opened my eyes and saw nothing but water….. I grew panicky1 ‘I was suffocating. I
tried to yell, but no sound came out!’ ‘
Q2. How did Douglas overcome his fear of water?
Ans. When Douglas grew up, he took the help of an instructor to learn swimming. His training went on from October to April. For three months he was taken across the pool with the help of a rope. As he went under, terror filled him and his legs froze. The instructor taught him to exhale under water and inhale through raised nose. He made him kick his legs to make them relax. Then he asked him to swim. He continued swimming from April to July. Still all terror had not left. He swam two miles across Lake Wentworth and the whole length to the shore and back of Warm Lake. Then he overcame his fear of water.
Q3. Why does Douglas as an adult recount a childhood experience of terror and his conquering of it? What larger meaning does he draw from this experience?
Ans. The experience of terror was a handicap Douglas suffered from during his childhood. His conquering of it shows his determination, will power and development of his personality.
He drew a larger meaning from this experience. “In death there is peace.” “There is terror only in the fear of death.” He had experienced both the sensation of dying and the terror that fear of it can produce. So, the will to live somehow grew in intensity. He felt released- free to walk the mountain paths, climb the peaks and brush aside fear.
TALKING ABOUT THE TEXT
Q1.“All ice have to fear is fear itself” Have you ever had a fear that you have now overcome? Share your experience with your partner.
Ans. I must have been about eight or nine years old. It was the night of Diwali. All the houses were shining bright with the rows of candles, oil lamps and electric bulbs. Children were bursting crackers. Suddenly, a cracker went up and hit the thatched roof of a poor gardener. Soon the hut was in flames. His only son, a tiny infant had severe burns before he could be rescued. I began to tremble with fear as the police questioned the boys exploding crackers. From then on I had a fear of crackers, fire and police. My parents and I had to work very hard to remove this blemish. It was adversely affecting
my personality. By learning the safeguards against fire and safe handling of crackers, I
gradually overcame my fear. However, I still get panicked at the sight of a policeman in uniform. The fear of police remained now; My uncle came to my rescue. He got me dressed as a police inspector in one of his plays, I commanded many policemen and scolded them for misbehaving with the common people. I learnt that policemen were also, humans and not demons. Police protect and help us to maintain law and order. Thank God, I have overcome all my fears now.
Q2. Find and narrate other stories about conquest of fear and what people have said about courage. For example, you can recall Nelson Mandela’s struggle for freedom, his perseverance to achieve his mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor as depicted in his autobiography. The story ‘We’re Not Afraid To Die,’ which you have read in Class XI, is an apt example of how courage and optimism helped a family survive under the direst stress.
Ans. In his autobiography ‘Long Walk to Freedom’, Nelson Mandela tells the extraordinary story of his life. He brings vividly to life the escalating political warfare in the fifties between the African National Congress and the government, culminating in his dramatic escapades as an underground leader and the notorious Rivonia Trial of 1964, at which he was sentenced to life imprisonment. He recounts the surprisingly eventful twenty-seven years in prison and the complex, delicate negotiations that led both to his freedom and to the beginning of the end of apartheid. Mandela also struggled against the exploitation of labour and on the segregation of the universities. He persevered to achieve his mission and to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor. In 1990, he was freed from prison. The apartheid laws were relaxed. Mandela became the champion for human rights and racial equality. He also became the first non-white president of the Republic of South Africa.
THINKING ABOUT LANGUAGE
If someone else had narrated Douglas’s experience, how would it have differed from this account? Write out a sample paragraph or paragraphs from this text from the point of view of a third person or observer, to find out which style of narration would you consider to be more effective? Why?
Ans. The third person account or one from the point of view of an observer is detached and objective. Real-life personal account is subjective and focuses more on the person’s thoughts, feelings and emotional response. I would consider the first person narrative style more effective as it is quite authentic and depicts everything faithfully.
(From the point of view of a third personlobserver)
A big bruiser of a boy, yelled, “Hi, Skinny! How’d you like to be ducked?” with that he picked up the 10 year old tiny boy and tossed him into the nine feet deep end of the Y.M.C.A. pool. The kid struck the surface in a sitting position, swallowed water and at once went to the bottom. .
Watching all this from a distance filled me with anxiety for the kid. I rushed towards the side of the pool. By that time, the boy had risen twice to the surface but being unable to grab a rope or support on the side wall, he went down.
Before I could bail him out he sucked in more water and went down third time. I at once jumped into the pool. The boy’s legs were limp. All efforts had ceased. I carried him on my shoulder and swam to the side of the pool.
He was made to lie on his stomach. His back was slapped gently but firmly to make him vomit the water he had swallowed. He responded to the first-aid measures and soon regained consciousness.
Q1. Doing well in any activity, for example a sport, music, dance or painting, riding a motorcycle or a car, involves a great deal of struggle. Most of us are very nervous to begin with until gradually we overcome our fears and perform well.
Write an essay of about five paragraphs recounting such an experience. Try to recollect minute details of what caused the fear, your feelings, the encouragement you got from others or the criticism.
You could begin with the last sentence of the essay you have just read: “At last I felt released—free to walk the trails and climb the peaks and to brush aside fear.”
Ans. MY FIRST EXPERIENCE OF RIDING A MOTORCYCLE
At last I felt released, free to walk the trails and climb the peaks and to brush aside fear. This fear of injuries had been my old enemy and had thwarted me at crucial moments. I remember exactly when I started developing this fear. I was a toddler when I was given a tricycle. I would lose balance and the tricycle would fall over me.
As I grew older, I was given dwarfer versions of cycles but my road fear persisted. I would hit someone or something and fall down. Sometimes the injuries took time to heal. I felt annoyed with myself and cursed my fear. But fern assumed monster like proportions.
Now I had passed tenth class examination and joined the city school. My father gifted me a Hero Honda mobike on my birthday. My uncle volunteered to train me. After telling me in details the functions of various parts, he took me to the playground. He sat behind me and issued orders. He held me firmly at first. When I had learnt to start the vehicle,
change gear, increase and decrease speed, turn the vehicle and come to a stop, he asked me to take a round. I perspired from head to foot. He reassured me and encouraged me. I regained my confidence.
Then I took a short round of the playground. I still hesitated while tinning the comer. Uncle explained the mechanism and demonstrated how to handle the machine.
Finally, I took three rounds of the playground. Then uncle and I came to the side road. He trained me how to avoid the vehicles and give them passage. I drove to the city and returned safe. I had conquered fear and learnt how to ride a motorcycle.
Q2. Write a short letter to someone you know about your having learnt to do something new.
Ans. 23, King John’s Lane
12 March, 2007
You will be pleased to learn that at last I have learnt playing tennis. You know how I dotted on the players taking part in Wimbledon and had cherished a dream to play on the centre court.
Well, I have taken the first step in that direction. After years of perspiration and training I have learnt playing tennis. This year I am participating in the Junior County Championship.
I must take this opportunity of thanking you for you have been a constant source of inspiration and support to me, both on and off the court.
I am anxiously awaiting for the day when I’ll intimate to you my achievements in this newly learnt game.
With best wishes
THINGS TO DO
Q1. Are there any water sports in India? Find out about the areas or places which are known for water sports.
Ans. India provides exciting opportunities for the following watersports:
(i) White Water Rafting, (ii) Water Skiing, (iii) Canoeing and Kayaking,
(iv) Scuba Diving, (u) Snorkelling, (vi) Angling and Fishing.
Areas or places known for watersports:
(i) White Water Rafting and Kayaking : The Ganges (from Rishikesh); the Beas (from
Manali, the Indus (in Ladakh), Zanskar (in Zanskar), the Teesta (in Sikkim)
(ii)Water Skiing:The Ganges, the Beas.
(iii)Sailing, Yachting and Wind-surfing:Goa, Kovalam Beach in Kerala.
(iv)Scuba Diving:Andaman and Lakshadweep, Goa.
(v)Snorkelling:Andaman and Lakshadweep, Goa.
(vi)Angling and Fishing:Balukpung (Assam) Beas (Kullu Valley)
MORE QUESTIONS SOLVED
SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Q1. When did Douglas decide to learn swimming? What options were available to him to swim in? Which one did he choose and why?
Ans. Douglas was ten or eleven years old when he decided to learn swimming. He could swim in the Yakima River or the Y.M.C.A. pool at Yakima. The Yakima River was dangerous. Many persons had drowned in it. So, he chose the Y.M.C.A. pool. It was considered safe.
Q2. Which factors led Douglas to decide in favour of the Y.M.C.A. pool?
Ans. The Y.M.C.A. pool was safe. It was only two to three feet deep at the shallow end. It was nine feet deep at the other. Moreover, the drop was gradual. The Yakima River was treacherous and had drowned many. So, he decided in favour of the Y.M.C.A. pool.
Q3. “I had an aversion to the water when I was in it?” says Douglas. When did he start having this aversion and how?
Ans. The aversion started when Douglas was three or four years old. His father had taken him to the beach in California. They were standing together in the surf. He had held his father tightly, even then the waves knocked him down and swept over him. He was buried in water. His breath was gone. He was frightened. There was terror in his heart about the overpowering force of the waves.
Q4. How did Douglas initially feel when he went to the Y.M.C.A. pool? What made him feel comfortable?
Ans. Unpleasant memories of the past were revived and childish fears were stirred. In a little while he gathered confidence. He paddled with his new water wings. He watched the other boys and tried to imitate them. He did so two or three times on different days. He began to feel comfortable.
Q5. What two things did Douglas dislike to do? Which one did he have to do and why?
Ans. Douglas hated to walk naked, into the pool and show his very thin legs. Secondly, he was fearful about going in alone. So, he sat on the side of the pool to wait for others. But he had to go into water as one cannot learn swimming without going into water.
Q6. In what connection does Douglas mention “a big bruiser of a boy ?”
Ans. Douglas mentions him for his misadventure in the Y.M.C.A. swimming pool in which he had nearly died. It was this boxer boy who had picked up Douglas and tossed him into the deep end. Later on, when Douglas was rescued, the boy said, “I was only fooling.”
Q7. Describe the boy who was responsible for the author’s misadventure?
Ans. He was a big boy, a bruiser. He was probably eighteen year old. He had thick hair on his chest. He was a beautiful specimen. His legs and arms had rippling muscles. He was a fun loving fellow and enjoyed teasing the younger and weaker boys.
Q8. How did the “misadventure” happen with Douglas?
Ans. Douglas was sitting alone on the side of the pool, waiting for others. A big, boxer boy of eighteen came there. Mocking him as ‘skinny’ he enquired how he would like to be plunged in water. Saying so, he picked up Douglas and tossed him into the nine feet deep end. Douglas struck the surface of water, swallowed water and at once went to the bottom.
Q9. “I was frightened, but not yet frightened out of my wits,” says Douglas. Which qualities of the speaker are highlighted here and how?
Ans. Douglas was frightened when he went down into the pool and was about to be drowned. He had an aversion to water and now he was filled with terror. He had remarkable self¬control. He used his mind even in the crisis and thought of a strategy to save himself from being drowned.
Q10. “On the way down I planned,” remarks Douglas. What plan had he devised and how far did it succeed?
Ans. While going down to the bottom, he made a plan to save himself from being drowned. He decided to make a big jump as his feet hit the bottom. He hoped to move up to the surface of water like a cork. Then he would lie flat on it, and paddle to the edge of the pool. The plan was only partly successful. He rose to surface twice. But each time he swallowed water and went down.
Q11. What did Douglas experience as he went down to the bottom of the pool for the first time ?
Ans. Going down to the depth of nine feet was not quick. It seemed a long way down. For him those nine feet were more like ninety. Before he touched bottom his lungs were ready to burst. He did not lose his presence of mind. Using all his strength, he made a great jump upwards.
Q12. How was the result of the ‘great spring upwards’ that Douglas made on hitting the bottom of the pool for the first time?
Ans. Douglas rose to the surface very slowly. When he opened his eyes he saw nothing but water with a dirty yellow colour. He grew panicky. He tried to grab a rope but his hands clutched only at water. He was suffocating. He tried to shout, but no sound came out. Then his eyes and nose came out of the water but not his mouth.
Q13. How did Douglas struggle before hitting the bottom of the pool for the second time? What was the outcome of his struggle?
Ans. Douglas moved his arms and legs around without control. He swallowed water and choked. His legs hung as dead weights, paralysed and rigid. A great force was pulling him down. He struck at the water with full force as he went down. He had lost all his breath. His lungs ached and head throbbed. He was getting dizzy. He went down through dark water and was filled with fear.
Q14. What sort of terror seized Douglas as he went down the ‘water with a yellow glow?’ How could he feel he was still alive?
Ans. An absolute, rigid terror seized Douglas. It was a terror that knew no understanding or control and was beyond comprehension of anyone who had not experienced it. He was paralysed under water-stiff and rigid with fear. His screams were frozen. The beating of his heart and throbbing of mind made him feel that he was still alive.
Q15. ‘In the midst of the terror came a touch of reason.’ How did the two forces work in opposite direction and how did Douglas fare?
Ans. Reason told him to jump when he hit the bottom as he felt the tiles under him, he jumped with everything he had. But the jump made no difference. A mass of yellow water held him. Stark terror took an even deeper hold on him. He shook and trembled with fright. His arms and legs wouldn’t move. He tried to call for help, but nothing happened.
Q16. 7 crossed to oblivion, and the curtain of life fell.’ How did Douglas experience the sensation of dying before he actually crossed to oblivion?
Ans. As Douglas went down the pool the third time, he swallowed more water. All his efforts to jump up ceased. His legs felt limp. A blackness swept over his brain and it wiped out fear and terror. There was no more panic. It was quiet and peaceful. He felt drowsy and wanted to go to sleep.
Q17. In what state did Douglas find himself on regaining consciousness?
Ans. He found himself lying on his stomach near the pool. He was vomiting. The fellow who had thrown him in the pool was saying that he was only joking. Then someone remarked that the small boy had nearly died. He hoped that he would be all right then. Then he was carried to the locker room for change of clothes.
Q18. How did Douglas react to the frightening experience (i) that day and (ii) later when he came to know the waters of the Cascades?
Ans. (i) He walked home after several hours. He was weak and trembling. He shook and cried when he lay on his bed. He couldn’t eat that night. A haunting fear was there in his heart. The slightest exertion upset him. His knees became wobbly. He felt sick to his stomach. (ii) Whenever he waded the Tieton or Bumping River or bathed in Warm Lake of Goat Rocks, the terror that had seized him in the pool would come back. This terror would take possession of him completely. His legs would become paralysed. Icy horror would grab his heart.
Q19. “This handicap stayed with me as the years rolled by.” How did it affect his pursuits for pleasure?
Ans. The haunting fear of water followed Douglas everywhere. He rowed in canoes on Maine lakes fishing for landlocked salmon. He went for bass fishing in New Hampshire, trout fishing on the Deschutes and Metolius in Oregon, fishing for salmon on the Columbia, at Bumping Lake in the Cascades. Fear ruined his fishing trips. It deprived him of the joy of canoeing, boating, and swimming.
Q20. What efforts did Douglas make to get over his fear of water and why?
Ans. Fear of water was a handicap Douglas developed during his childhood. It stayed with him as he grew older. It ruined his pursuits of pleasure such as canoeing, boating, swimming and fishing. He used every method he knew to overcome this fear. Finally, he determined to get an instructor and learn swimming.
Q21. What was the first piece of exercise the Instructor gave Douglas? How long did it take to yield the desired result?
Ans. The instructor made him go across the pool an hour a day for five days with the help of a rope attached to his belt. The rope went through a pulley that ran on an overhead cable. The instructor held on to the end of the rope. They went back and forth across the pool. A bit of panic seized him every time. Moreover, the old terror returned and his legs froze when the instructor loosened his grip on the rope and Douglas went under water. It was after three months that the tension began to decrease.
Q22. Which other exercise did the Instructor prescribe for Douglas to make him shed the panic caused by water?
Ans. He taught Douglas to put his face under water and exhale. Then he was to raise his nose
and inhale. He repeated this exercise hundreds of time. Bit by bit he shed part of the panic that seized him when his head went under water.
Q23. Which exercise helped Douglas to loosen his stiff legs and make them work as he desired?
Ans. The Instructor held Douglas at the side of the swimming pool. Then he made Douglas kick vfith his legs. He did just that for weeks. At first his legs refused to work. But gradually they relaxed. Finally, he was able to command them.
Q24. Why does Douglas say: ‘The Instructor was finished. But I was not finished?’ How did he overpower tiny vestiges of the old terror?
Ans. The Instructor’s work was over when he built a swimmer out of Douglas piece by piece and then put them together into an integrated whole. However, Douglas was not satisfied
as the remnants of the old terror would return when he swam alone in the pool. He would frown on terror go for another length of the pool.
Q25. Why did Douglas go to Lake Wentworth in New Hampshire? How did he make his terror flee ?
Ans. Douglas was not sure whether all the terror had left even after the training from October to April and practice till July. So, he went to Lake Wentworth and swam two miles. Terror returned only once when he was in the middle of the lake. He had put his face under and saw nothing but bottomless water. The old sensation returned in a smaller size. He laughed and rebuked terror. His terror fled away and he swam on.
LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Q1. “There was terror in my heart at the overpowering force of the waves.” When did Douglas start fearing water? Which experience had further strengthened its hold on his mind and personality’?
Ans. The water waves which knocked down young Douglas and swept over him at the beach in California filled him with fear. He was then three or four years old. All this happened when he had clung to his father. He was buried under water. His breath was gone and he was frightened. His father laughed, but there was terror in his heart at the overpowering force of the waves.
His introduction to the Y.M.C.A. swimming pool revived unpleasant memories and stirred childish fears. He had gathered some confidence when a misadventure happened as a big boy threw him at the nine feet deep end of the pool. His efforts to rise to the surface and paddle to the side failed twice. He would have drowned if he had not been rescued in time. This terror of water overpowered his limbs and made them stiff. His mind was haunted by fear of water. It was, in fact, a handicap to his personality.
Q2. Give an account of the fears and emotions of Douglas as he made efforts to save himself from being drowned in the Y.M.C.A. swimming pool.
Ans. Douglas was frightened as he was going down. His active mind suggested a strategy to save himself from being drowned in water. He knew that water has buoyancy. He must make a big jump as his feet hit the bottom. He hoped to rise up like a cork to the surface, lie flat on it and paddle to the edge of the pool.
Before he touched bottom, his lungs were ready to burst. Using all his strength, he made a great jump. He rose up very slowly. He saw nothing but yellow coloured dirty water. He grew panicky and he was suffocated. He swallowed more water as he tried to shout. He choked and went down again. His stiff legs refused to obey him. He had lost all his breath.
His lungs ached and head throbbed. He was getting dizzy. He went down through darkwater again. An absolute terror seized Douglas. He was paralysed under water. His reasoning power told him to jump again. He did so, but his aims and legs wouldn’t move. His eyes and nose came out of water, but not his mouth. He swallowed more water and went down third time. Now a blackness swept over his brain. He had experienced the terror that fear of death can produce as well as the sensation of dying.
Q3. How did the misadventure in Y.M.C.A. swimming pool affect Douglas ? What efforts did he make to conquer his old terror? Did he succeed?
Ans. Douglas had nearly died in the swimming pool. For days there was a haunting fear in his heart. The slightest exertion upset him. He avoided going near water as he feared it. The waters of the cascades, fishing for salmon in canoes, bass or trout fishing-all appeared attractive activities. However, the haunting fear of water followed Douglas everywhere and ruined his fishing trips? It deprived him of the joy of canoeing, boating and swimming.
The fear of water became a handicap. He used every method he knew to overcome this fear. Finally, he decided to engage a trainer and learn swimming. In seven months the Instructor built a swimmer out of Douglas. However, the vestiges of the old terror would return when he was alone in the pool. He could now frown on terror and go for another length of the pool. This went on till July. Douglas was not satisfied.
He went to Lake Wentworth and swam two miles. The terror returned only once when he had put his face under water and saw nothing but bottomless water. In order to remove his residual doubts he hurried west to Warm Lake. He dived into the lake and swam across to the other shore and back. He shouted with joy as he had conquered his fear of water. He finally succeeded in his effort.
Q4. Comment on the appropriateness of the title ‘Deep Water’
Do you think the title Deep Water’ is apt? Give reasons in support of your answer.
Ans. The title ‘Deep Water’ is quite appropriate to this extract from ‘Of Men and Mountains’ by William O. Douglas. The title is highly suggestive and at once focuses our attention on the main theme—experiencing fear of death under water and the efforts of the author to overcome it.
All the details in the essay are based on his personal experience and analysis of fear. The psychological analysis of fear is presented from a child’s point of view and centres round deep water and drowning.
The overpowering force of the waves at the California beach stir aversion for water in Douglas. His mother warns him against swimming in the deep waters of the treacherous Yakima River. The nine feet deep water of the swimming pool appears more than ninety to Douglas. However, when he conquers fear he can dive and swim in the deep waters of Lake Wentworth and Warm Lake. :
Thus the title is apt and suggestive.
Q5. What impression do you form of William O. Douglas on the basis of reading Deep Water?’
Ans. William Douglas leaves a very favourable impression on us. He appears quite truthful and courageous. He gives a detailed account of his fears and emotions as he struggles against deep water to save himself from being drowned. Confessing one’s faults and shortcomings is not easy. It needs courage, honesty and will power. Douglas has all these qualities.
His efforts to overpower the fear of water show his firm determination, resolution and strong will power. He has an analytic mind which diagnoses the malady and prompts him to search the cure. He is frightened of deep water, but not yet frightened out of his wits.
In his heroic struggle against fear, terror and panic, he rises to heroic stature. He becomes an idol, a living image of bravery and persistent efforts. He typifies the will not to surrender or yield. His indefatigable zeal is a source of inspiration for all and specially for the youth.
In short, William Douglas impresses us as a frank, truthful, honest and determined person.
Q1. It is often said that ‘No Pains, No Gains’. One cannot get anything if one does not work hard. Write an article on the ‘topic, mentioned above, in not more than 120 words. You can take ideas from the following lines:
“I went to a pool and practiced five days a week, an hour each day. A rope attached to the belt went through a pulley that fan on an overhead cable. He held on to the end of the rope, and we went back and forth, back and forth across the pool, hour after hour, day after day, week after week.”
Ans. No Pains, no Gains
The dictum implies that one can’t attain phenomenal success without making sincere efforts. There is no substitute to hard work. There is no short cut to success. All successful persons have emphasised the importance of hard work in life. Nobody achieved greatness overnight. The secret of their success was hard and systematic work. Destiny never obliges the shirkers. God helps those who help themselves. Rome was not built in a day. Man must comprehend the significance of doing hard labour. One must bum the midnight oil to succeed in this world of intense competition. Never forget that rest is rust and work is worship. A person who toils and work hard gets applause and recognition everywhere. Hard work is the only key to success. Those who work hard flourish and those who are passive rain their earthly existence. They lose their identity. Industrious people reach at their long cherished destinations. They lead their fellow human beings with politeness and humility.
Q2. People say that failures are the stepping stones. They are the best teachers. Discuss the aphorism taking ideas from the following lines:
“I feared water. I avoided it whenever I could. A few years later when I came to know the waters of Cascades, I wanted to get into them. And whenever I did … the terror that had seized me in the pool would come back… I decided to get an instructor and learn to swim. ”
Ans. Failures are the Pillars to Success
It is rightly said that failure plays an important role in a man’s life. Failure in one field becomes the cause of exploring success in other fields. It is a sure key to many a riddle. Failures make us familiar with our weaknesses and flaws. They become the stepping stones and inspire us to fight against odd circumstances. Man should learn from his mistakes and strive hard to reach at his destination. Most of the successful peoples failed at any step but could get their target because failures guided them and encouraged them to try harder. One should never give up one’s target. Our duty is to do our ‘karma’. The result is in the hands of the Almighty. It is certain that failure inspires us to work with more strength and vigour. One should never get depressed and dejected. All leaders, fighters, businessmen, bureaucrats firmly say that failures are the pillars to success.
Q3. The story “Deep Water” has made you realize that with determination and perseverance one can accomplish the impossible. Write a paragraph in about 100 words on how a positive attitude and courage will aid you to achieve success in life. [Delhi 2014]
Ans. Will power plays a pivotal in the life of a human being. Determination and persistent hard work are the hallmarks of success. A person who has passionate desire to do something achieves his goals within the stipulated time. There are numerous ways which lead to the desirable goals. Will power of a human being gives him strength, energy, vigour and enthusiasm. It determines the fate of a human being. Absolute determination has the uncanny ability to face and overcome obstacles. No hindrance can defeat the will power. It is invincible and insurmountable. A man who lacks enthusiasm, will power and determination is like a ship which has no helm. It floats on the surface of water according to the wind. There is no problem in this world which has no solution. It has been proved by great personalities that all obstacles can be overcome by sheer determination. Man has the knack to achieve anything. Nothing is impossible in this world of science and technology. He must not be fatalist. He should not believe in destiny, but on karma. Man can accomplish every assignment if he desires. Strong desire is the prerequisite to success. There is no scope for disappointment in the life of a person who has iron will and dogged determination. He puts in tremendous efforts to achieve greatness.
Q4. The significance of training cannot be underestimated. Saint Cyprian said, “The helmsman is recognised in the tempest; the soldier is proven in warfare’. Substantiate the words quoted above in your own words. You may take ideas from the given lines:
“I decided to get an instructor and learn to swim… he taught me to put my face under water and exhale, and to raise my nose and inhale… Bit by bit I shed part of the panic that seized me when my head went under water.”
Ans. Training: An Essential Component of Success
Training sharpens the consumate skills of trainees. Acquiring the profound knowledge of the work we do is of utmost importance. Nobody can refuse to accept and acknowledge the wider and potential significance of training. Soldiers receive training to overcome the greatest obstacles they can face in the battlefield. Doctors are given training so that they
may not become the cause of a patient’s life. Teachers receive training to dispel the darkness of ignorance. Training keeps the trainees abreast of the latest developments in their specific fields. The trainers apprise them of all the fundamental and significant instructions. A fresher who joins any profession without receiving proper training may devastate everything. Experience matters a lot. It teaches us the way things are to be done. It is rightly said that ‘the best way really to train people is with an experienced mentor… and on the job’. The experienced advice of the trainer enlightens the trainees. They are made exceptionally skilled in the basic techniques. The overwhelming importance of training can be neglected at our own peril. This perception of beings would bring them perilously close to disaster.
Q5. FD Roosevelt says in his Inaugural Address in 1933 that ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’ Write an article on this topic. You may take ideas from the given lines:
“I used every way I knew to overcome
this fear, but it held me firmly in its
Fear stifles innovation, erodes creativity and limits the exponential growth. It is said that Those who love to be feared, fear to be loved. Some fear them, but they fear everyone. Montaigne wrote that The thing I fear most is fear’. Fear is the principal source of superstition, and one of the primary sources of cruelly. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom. Seneca says that ‘If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living. A person who is afraid of something cannot enjoy life in totality. Fear makes us weak, and cowardly. But it does not mean that one should become arrogant. A person of peevish nature cannot be called a brave fellow. Aijuna said that a warrior’s fear always helps him in understanding and analysing the potential of the opponent. Cervantes wrote in Don Quixote that ‘Fear has many eyes and can see things underground’. Man should not have unnecessary fear. It discourages him to achieve the lofty aspirations. Fear impedes action and it is a well known fact that those who do not act lose the battle of life. One has to face the challenges of life. They can never be ignored and neglected. They help us in honing our skills and tapping our untapped potential. Hence, one must shed fear.