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  • CBSE Classes 1, 2, 3
    1. Class 1 English
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  • CBSE Class 4 "Wake Up"
    1. Wake Up; Neha's Alarm Clock
    2. Noses
    3. Run
    4. Why?
    5. Don't be Afraid of the Dark
    6. The Donkey
    7. Hiawatha
    8. A Watering Rhyme
    9. Books
    10. The Naughty Boy

  • CBSE Class 5 "Ice-cream Man"
    1. Ice Cream Man
    2. Wonderful Waste
    3. Bamboo Curry
    4. Team Work
    5. For Want of Nail
    6. My Shadow
    7. Robinson Crusoe
    8. Crying
    9. Food for Thought
    10. My Elder Brother
    11. The Lazy Frog
    12. Rip Van Winkle
    13. Class Discussion
    14. The Talkative Barber
    15. Topsy Turvy
    16. Gulliver's Travel
    17. Nobody's Friend
    18. The Little Boy
    19. Sing a Song of People
    20. The Village Child
    21. The City Child
    22. Around The World
    23. Malu Bhallu
    24. Who will be Ningthou

  • CBSE Class 6 "A Pact with the Sun"
    1. A Tale of Two Birds
    2. The Friendly Mongoose
    3. The Sheherd's Treasure
    4. The Old-Clock Shop
    5. Tansen
    6. The Monkey and the Crocodile
    7. The Wonder called Sleep
    8. A Pact with the Sun
    9. What Happened to the Reptiles
    10. A Strange Wrestling Match

  • CBSE Class 6a "Honey Suckle"
    1. Who did Patrick's Home Work
    2. How the Dog Found himself a Master
    3. The Quarrel
    4. Kalpana Chawla
    5. A Different Kind of School
    6. Who Am I
    7. Fair Play
    8. TA Game of Chance
    9. Vocation
    10. Desert Animals
    11. What If
    12. The Banyan Tree

  • CBSE Class 7, "Honey Dew"
    1. Three Questions
    2. The Squirrels
    3. A Gift of Chappals
    4. The Rebels
    5. The Shed
    6. The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom
    7. Chivvy
    8. Quality
    9. Trees
    10. Expert Detective
    11. Mystery of the Talking Fan
    12. The Invention of Vita-Wonk
    13. Fire: Friend and Foe
    14. A Bicycle in Good Repair
    15. The Story of Cricket

  • CBSE Class 8, "Honey Dew"
    1. The Best Christmas Present
    2. The Tsunami
    3. Macavity: The Mystery Cat
    4. Bipin Choudhury's Lapse of Memory
    5. The Summit Within
    6. This is Jody's Fawn
    7. A Visit to Cambridge
    8. A Short Monsoon Diary
    9. The Great Stone Face 1
    10. The Great Stone Face 2

  • CBSE Class 8a, "It So Happened"
    1. How the Camel got the Hump
    2. Children at Work
    3. The Selfish Giant
    4. The Treasure Within
    5. Pricess September
    6. The Fight
    7. The Open Window
    8. Jalebis
    9. The Comet Part 1.1
    10. The Comet Part 1.2
    11. The Comet Part 2.1
    12. The Comet Part 2.2

  • CBSE Class 9, "Beehive"
    1. The Fun They Had
    2. Sound of Music
    3. The little Girl
    4. Beautiful Mind
    5. The Snake
    6. My Childhood
    7. Packing
    8. Reach for the Top
    9. Bond of Love
    10. Katmandu
    11. If I Were You

  • CBSE Class 9, "Supplementary Reader"
    1. The Lost Child
    2. The Adventure of Toto
    3. Iswaran
    4. In The Kingdom of Fools
    5. The Happy Prince
    6. Weathering The Storm
    7. The Last Leaf
    8. A House is not a Home
    9. The Accidental Tourist
    10. The Beggar

  • CBSE Class 10, "First Flight"
    1. A Letter to God
    2. Nelson Mandela
    3. Two Stories
    4. Anne Frank
    5. Hundred Dresses 1
    6. Hundred Dresses 2
    7. Glimpses of India
    8. Mijbil the Other
    9. Madam Rides the Bus
    10. The Sermon
    11. The Proposal

  • CBSE Class 10, "Footprints"
    1. A triumph of Surgery
    2. The Thief's Story
    3. The Midnight Visiors
    4. A Question of Trust
    5. Footprints without Feet
    6. The Making of a Scientist
    7. The Necklace
    8. The Hack Driver
    9. Bholi
    10. The Book that Saved the earth

  • CBSE Class 11, "Snapshots"
    1. The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse
    2. The Address
    3. Ranga's Marriage
    4. Albert Einstein
    5. Mother's Day
    6. Ghat of the Only World
    7. Birth
    8. The Tale of Melon City

  • CBSE Class 11, "Hornbill"
    1. The Portrait of a Lady
    2. Afraid to Die
    3. Discovering Tut
    4. Landscape of the Soul
    5. The Ailing Planet
    6. The Browning Version
    7. The Adventure
    8. Silk Road

  • CBSE Class 12, "Flamingo"
    1. Lost Spring
    2. Deep water
    3. Rat Trap
    4. Indigo
    5. Poet & Pancakes
    6. The Interview
    7. Going Places
    8. My Mother at Sixty-six
    9. An Elementary School
    10. Keeping Quiet
    11. Thingofbeauty
    12. Road Side Stand
    13. Aunt Jennifer's Tigers

  • CBSE Class 12, "Kaleidoscope"
    1. Sell My Dreams
    2. Eveylin
    3. A Wedding in Brownsville
    4. Tommorrow
    5. One Centimeter
    6. Poems by Milton
    7. Poems by Blake

  • CBSE Class 12, "Vistas"
    1. The Third Level
    2. The Tiger King
    3. Journey to the end of the Earth
    4. The Enemy
    5. Wizard hit Mommy
    6. ontheface
    7. Evans
    8. Memories of Childhood



  • English Class 11

    Hornbill

    We're Not Afraid to Die if We Can All Be Together.

    Author: Gordon Cook and Alan East

    IN July 1976, my wife Mary, son Jonathan, 6, daughter Suzanne, 7, and I set sail from Plymouth, England, to duplicate the round- the-world voyage made 200 years earlier by Captain James Cook. For the longest time, Mary and I — a 37-year-old businessman — had dreamt of sailing in the wake of the famous explorer, and for the past 16 years we had spent all our leisure time honing our seafaring skills in British waters.

    Our boat Wavewalker, a 23 metre, 30 ton wooden-hulled beauty, had been professionally built, and we had spent months fitting it out and testing it in the roughest weather we could find.

    The first leg of our planned three-year, 105,000 kilometre journey passed pleasantly as we sailed down the west coast of Africa to Cape Town. There, before heading east, we took on two crewmen — American Larry Vigil and Swiss Herb Seigler — to help us tackle one of the world’s roughest seas, the southern Indian Ocean.

    On our second day out of Cape Town, we began to encounter strong gales. For the next few weeks, they blew continuously. Gales did not worry me; but the size of the waves was alarming — up to 15 metres, as high as our main mast.

    December 25 found us 3,500 kilometres east of Cape Town. Despite atrocious weather, we had a wonderful holiday complete with a Christmas tree. New Year’s Day saw no improvement in the weather, but we reasoned that it had to change soon. And it did change — for the worse.

    At dawn on January 2, the waves were gigantic. We were sailing with only a small storm jib and were still making eight knots. As the ship rose to the top of each wave we could see endless enormous seas rolling towards us, and the screaming of the wind and spray was painful to the ears. To slow the boat down, we dropped the storm jib and lashed a heavy mooring rope in a loop across the stern. Then we double-lashed everything, went through our life-raft drill, attached lifelines, donned oilskins and life jackets — and waited.

    The first indication of impending disaster came at about 6 p.m., with an ominous silence . The wind dropped, and the sky immediately grew dark. Then came a growing roar, and an enormous cloud towered aft of the ship. With horror, I realised that it was not a cloud, but a wave like no other I had ever seen. It appeared perfectly vertical and almost twice the height of the other waves, with a frightful breaking crest.

    The roar increased to a thunder as the stern moved up the face of the wave, and for a moment I thought we might ride over it. But then a tremendous explosion shook the deck. A torrent of green and white water broke over the ship, my head smashed into the wheel and I was aware of flying overboard and sinking below the waves. I accepted my approaching death, and as I was losing consciousness, I felt quite peaceful.

    Unexpectedly, my head popped out of the water. A few metres away, Wavewalker was near capsizing, her masts almost horizontal. Then a wave hurled her upright, my lifeline jerked taut, I grabbed the guard rails and sailed through the air into Wavewalker’s main boom. Subsequent waves tossed me around the deck like a rag doll. My left ribs cracked; my mouth filled with blood and broken teeth. Somehow, I found the wheel, lined up the stern for the next wave and hung on.

    Water, Water, Everywhere. I could feel that the ship had water below, but I dared not abandon the wheel to investigate. Suddenly, the front hatch was thrown open and Mary appeared. “We’re sinking!” she screamed. “The decks are smashed; we’re full of water.” “Take the wheel”, I shouted as I scrambled for the hatch.

    Larry and Herb were pumping like madmen. Broken timbers hung at crazy angles, the whole starboard side bulged inwards; clothes, crockery, charts, tins and toys sloshed about in deep water. I half-swam, half-crawled into the children’s cabin. “Are you all right?” I asked. “Yes,” they answered from an upper bunk. “But my head hurts a bit,” said Sue, pointing to a big bump above her eyes. I had no time to worry about bumped heads. After finding a hammer, screws and canvas, I struggled back on deck. With the starboard side bashed open, we were taking water with each wave that broke over us. If I couldn’t make some repairs, we would surely sink.

    Somehow I managed to stretch canvas and secure waterproof hatch covers across the gaping holes. Some water continued to stream below, but most of it was now being deflected over the side. More problems arose when our hand pumps started to block up with the debris floating around the cabins and the electric pump short-circuited. The water level rose threateningly. Back on deck I found that our two spare hand pumps had been wrenched overboard — along with the forestay sail, the jib, the dinghies and the main anchor.

    Then I remembered we had another electric pump under the chartroom floor. I connected it to an out-pipe, and was thankful to find that it worked.

    The night dragged on with an endless, bitterly cold routine of pumping, steering and working the radio. We were getting no replies to our Mayday calls — which was not surprising in this remote corner of the world.

    Sue’s head had swollen alarmingly; she had two enormous black eyes, and now she showed us a deep cut on her arm. When I asked why she hadn’t made more of her injuries before this, she replied, “I didn’t want to worry you when you were trying to save us all."

    By morning on January 3, the pumps had the water level sufficiently under control for us to take two hours’ rest in rotation. But we still had a tremendous leak somewhere below the waterline and, on checking, I found that nearly all the boat’s main rib frames were smashed down to the keel. In fact, there was nothing holding up a whole section of the starboard hull except a few cupboard partitions.

    We had survived for 15 hours since the wave hit, but Wavewalker wouldn’t hold together long enough for us to reach Australia. I checked our charts and calculated that there were two small islands a few hundred kilometres to the east. One of them, Ile Amsterdam, was a French scientific base. Our only hope was to reach these pinpricks in the vast ocean.

    But unless the wind and seas abated so we could hoist sail, our chances would be slim indeed. The great wave had put our auxilliary engine out of action.

    On January 4, after 36 hours of continuous pumping, we reached the last few centimetres of water. Now, we had only to keep pace with the water still coming in. We could not set any sail on the main mast. Pressure on the rigging would simply pull the damaged section of the hull apart, so we hoisted the storm jib and headed for where I thought the two islands were. Mary found some corned beef and cracker biscuits, and we ate our first meal in almost two days.

    But our respite was short-lived. At 4 p.m. black clouds began building up behind us; within the hour the wind was back to 40 knots and the seas were getting higher. The weather continued to deteriorate throughout the night, and by dawn on January 5, our situation was again desperate.

    When I went in to comfort the children, Jon asked, “Daddy, are we going to die?” I tried to assure him that we could make it. “But, Daddy,” he went on, “we aren’t afraid of dying if we can all be together — you and Mummy, Sue and I.”

    I could find no words with which to respond, but I left the children’s cabin determined to fight the sea with everything I had. To protect the weakened starboard side, I decided to heave- to — with the undamaged port hull facing the oncoming waves, using an improvised sea anchor of heavy nylon rope and two 22 litre plastic barrels of paraffin.

    That evening, Mary and I sat together holding hands, as the motion of the ship brought more and more water in through the broken planks. We both felt the end was very near.

    But Wavewalker rode out the storm and by the morning of January 6, with the wind easing, I tried to get a reading on the sextant. Back in the chartroom, I worked on wind speeds, changes of course, drift and current in an effort to calculate our position. The best I could determine was that we were somewhere in 150,000 kilometres of ocean looking for a 65 kilometre-wide island.

    While I was thinking, Sue, moving painfully, joined me. The left side of her head was now very swollen and her blackened eyes narrowed to slits. She gave me a card she had made. On the front she had drawn caricatures of Mary and me with the words: “Here are some funny people. Did they make you laugh? I laughed a lot as well.” Inside was a message: “Oh, how I love you both. So this card is to say thank you and let’s hope for the best.” Somehow we had to make it.

    I checked and rechecked my calculations. We had lost our main compass and I was using a spare which had not been corrected for magnetic variation. I made an allowance for this and another estimate of the influence of the westerly currents which flow through this part of the Indian Ocean.

    About 2 p.m., I went on deck and asked Larry to steer a course of 185 degrees. If we were lucky, I told him with a conviction I did not feel, he could expect to see the island at about 5 p.m.

    Then with a heavy heart, I went below, climbed on my bunk and amazingly, dozed off. When I woke it was 6 p.m., and growing dark. I knew we must have missed the island, and with the sail we had left, we couldn’t hope to beat back into the westerly winds.

    At that moment, a tousled head appeared by my bunk. “Can I have a hug?” Jonathan asked. Sue was right behind him.

    “Why am I getting a hug now?” I asked.

    “Because you are the best daddy in the whole world — and the best captain,” my son replied.

    “Not today, Jon, I’m afraid.”

    “Why, you must be,” said Sue in a matter-of-fact voice. “You found the island.”

    “What!” I shouted.

    “It’s out there in front of us,” they chorused, “as big as a battleship.”

    I rushed on deck and gazed with relief at the stark outline of Ile Amsterdam. It was only a bleak piece of volcanic rock, with little vegetation — the most beautiful island in the world!

    We anchored offshore for the night, and the next morning all 28 inhabitants of the island cheered as they helped us ashore. With land under my feet again, my thoughts were full of Larry and Herbie, cheerful and optimistic under the direst stress, and of Mary, who stayed at the wheel for all those crucial hours.

    Most of all, I thought of a seven-year-old girl, who did not want us to worry about a head injury (which subsequently took six minor operations to remove a recurring blood clot between skin and skull), and of a six-year-old boy who was not afraid to die.

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