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  • CBSE Classes 1, 2, 3
    1. Class 1 English
    2. Class 2 English
    3. Class 3 English

  • 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 8

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    It So Happened

    The Comet 2, Part 2.

    Duttada returns home to a warm welcome and a ceremony, which is not a scientist's delight.
    A secret communication sends him rushing to the local sweet shop.
    Indrani Debi says that Khoka, their eight-year-old grandson, has saved the world. Her husband is seriously puzzled.

    Arriving home he found another crowd gathered under a pandal. He glanced questioningly at Indrani Debi. Surely she knew how he hated crowds. Indrani, obviously uneasy, offered the explanation: "I have arranged a yajna and called priests to bless you."

    "But why? Just because I left the shores of India? You know it is no longer taboo! And in any case you know my views on these meaningless rituals."

    Indrani Debi looked at Sibaji babu, the younger brother of her husband. Sibaji babu coughed and explained, "We have all been very disturbed since you discovered the comet. Guruji recommended a shanti yajna to pacify the evil spirit behind the comet. We are all waiting for you to perform the yajna."

    "May I know what specific advantage there is in this ceremony?" Duttada was outwardly calm.

    "The comet you have discovered will not cause any ill effects on the Earth."

    At this remark Duttda blew up. "Don't you know that this is all superstition? It could be condoned in the olden times when man did not know what comets were. Not so in modern times. Comets are known for what they are, their movements are forecast precisely by mathematical calculations and it is clearly established by statistical studies that their visits have no correlations with disasters on the Earth ... All this is of course futile on my part to explain --- you and the likes of you never read even the elementary books on Science."

    Sibaji babu gently interjected, "But our wise forefathers recommended such yajnas."

    Since his return from London, Duttada was in regular correspondence with Sir John Macpherson. Their friendship had grown out of their appreciation of each other's virtues. Sir John admired Duttada's scientific outlook while the latter admired the former's discipline and efficiency. Their correspondence never mentioned the Project Light Brigade although once in a while Sir John would hint at its progress in a subtle manner that Duttada would understand.

    Meanwhile Comet Dutta was following its predicted path. In due course it developed its tail. It circled round the Sun without breaking apart; nor did it evaporate. The scientists on Project Light Brigade therefore knew that the threat of collision was now very much real. In the middle of October, Duttada got a letter from Sir John. In the midst of descriptions of the meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society, the unseasonably warm weather, the opening matches of the football season and a recent bye-election, Duttada spotted the sentence he was eagerly looking for: "The charge of the Light Brigade has begun. Let us hope for the best." So the spacecraft had been launched on time.

    But will it achieve the rendezvous in time and at the right place? Will the remote control detonation work? What if the gigantic nuclear pile fails to fire?

    Duttada could not share his anxieties with anyone around him. He had to participate in and outwardly enjoy the Puja ceremonies, the Diwali celebration and other festivals. His sole daytime relaxation was in the company of Khoka, his eight-year-old grandson, and of course at night looking through Dibya.

    He was regularly monitoring the comet, now clearly visible even to the naked eye. On November 18 a special messenger on a scooter from the British Council brought in an urgent telex message for him. The telex operator in Calcutta had wondered what was so special about it to make it so urgent. But on reading it Duttada lost all his lethargy and rushed to his favourite rasagolla shop. The message read:

    "I am confident now of buying my Christmas presents on December 15 --- John Macpherson."

    On December 15 Comet Dutta came closest to the earth --- at a distance of 80,000 kilometres. Millions saw it and admired it. Only a handful knew how close they had come to total annihilation.

    When the comet had gone far away and was seen no more, Duttada felt it safe to make the following comment to his wife: "Now that the comet came and went, are you satisfied that no major disaster took place that can be attributed to it?"

    "I agree that there has been no major disaster; but there could have been some. Do you know how they were averted?" Indrani Debi said with quiet confidence.

    Duttada looked at her. Did she know? How could she? He had never mentioned Project Light Brigade to her. He probed cautiously, "I don't understand what you mean."

    "It is very simple. There were no disasters because of the yajna at our house."

    "But I never performed the yajna. Don't you remember, I refused to have anything to do with it?"

    "Of course, I do. But we found a way out --- at least Guruji did. He said that if you were unwilling to perform the yajna, it would be all right if a descendant of yours did it. So we got Khoka to deputise for you. And it has worked! Isn't Guruji clever?" Indrani's voice had a ring of triumph.

    Duttada formed a mental picture of Khoka performing the yajna uttering mantras dictated to him which he did not understand,

    pouring ghee at specified intervals into the fire, offering flowers... And then the picture changed to an assembly of scientists at the conference analysing the problem, devising solutions and executing them rationally and efficiently.

    It seemed hard to believe that both pictures were different aspects of contemporary human society. Duttada was aware of the gulf that separates the rich from the poor, the educated from the illiterate, the privileged from the unprivileged. But this gap between the rational and the superstitious seemed to him far wider, far more sinister. Will human society ever succeed in eliminating it?

    Duttada did not know the answer.
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