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Learn English Speaking Class 12

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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
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    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 12

    Kaleidoscope

    The Third Level.

    The presidents of the New York Central and the New York, New Haven and Hartford railroads will swear on a stack of timetables that there are only two. But I say there are three, because Iíve been on the third level of the Grand Central Station. Yes, Iíve taken the obvious step: I talked to a psychiatrist friend of mine, among others. I told him about the third level at Grand Central Station, and he said it was a wakingdream wish fulfillment. He said I was unhappy. That made my wife kind of mad, but he explained that he meant the modern world is full of insecurity, fear, war, worry and all the rest of it, and that I just want to escape. Well, who doesnít? Everybody I know wants to escape, but they donít wander down into any third level at Grand Central Station.

    But thatís the reason, he said, and my friends all agreed. Everything points to it, they claimed. My stamp collecting, for example; thatís a Ďtemporary refuge from reality.í Well, maybe, but my grandfather didnít need any refuge from reality; things were pretty nice and peaceful in his day, from all I hear, and he started my collection. Itís a nice collection too, blocks of four of practically every U.S. issue, first-day covers, and so on. President Roosevelt collected stamps too, you know.

    Anyway, hereís what happened at Grand Central. One night last summer I worked late at the office. I was in a hurry to get uptown to my apartment so I decided to take the subway from Grand Central because itís faster than the.bus.

    Now, I donít know why this should have happened to me. Iím just an ordinary guy named Charley, thirty-one years old, and I was wearing a tan gabardine suit and a straw hat with a fancy band; I passed a dozen men who looked just like me. And I wasnít trying to escape from anything; I just wanted to get home to Louisa, my wife.

    I turned into Grand Central from Vanderbilt Avenue, and went down the steps to the first level, where you take trains like the Twentieth Century. Then I walked down another flight to the second level, where the suburban trains leave from, ducked into an arched doorway heading for the subway ó and got lost. Thatís easy to do. Iíve been in and out of Grand Central hundreds of times, but Iím always bumping into new doorways and stairs and corridors. Once I got into a tunnel about a mile long and came out in the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel. Another time I came up in an office building on Forty-sixth Street, three blocks away.

    Sometimes I think Grand Central is growing like a tree, pushing out new corridors and staircases like roots.

    Thereís probably a long tunnel that nobody knows about feeling its way under the city right now, on its way to Times Square, and maybe another to Central Park. And maybe ó because for so many people through the years Grand Central has been an exit, a way of escape ó maybe thatís how the tunnel I got into... But I never told my psychiatrist friend about that idea.

    The corridor I was in began angling left and slanting downward and I thought that was wrong, but I kept on walking. All I could hear was the empty sound of my own footsteps and I didnít pass a soul. Then I heard that sort of hollow roar ahead that means open space and people talking. The tunnel turned sharp left; I went down a short flight of stairs and came out on the third level at Grand Central Station. For just a moment I thought I was back on the second level, but I saw the room was smaller, there were fewer ticket windows and train gates, and the information booth in the centre was wood and oldlooking. And the man in the booth wore a green eyeshade and long black sleeve protectors. The lights were dim and sort of flickering. Then I saw why; they were open-flame gaslights.

    There were brass spittoons on the floor, and across the station a glint of light caught my eye; a man was pulling a gold watch from his vest pocket. He snapped open the cover, glanced at his watch and frowned. He wore a derby hat, a black four-button suit with tiny lapels, and he had a big, black, handlebar mustache. Then I looked around and saw that everyone in the station was dressed like eighteen-ninety-something; I never saw so many beards, sideburns and fancy mustaches in my life. A woman walked in through the train gate; she wore a dress with leg-ofmutton sleeves and skirts to the top of her high-buttoned shoes. Back of her, out on the tracks, I caught a glimpse of a locomotive, a very small Currier & Ives locomotive with a funnel-shaped stack. And then I knew.

    To make sure, I walked over to a newsboy and glanced at the stack of papers at his feet. It was The World; and The World hasnít been published for years. The lead story said something about President Cleveland. Iíve found that front page since, in the Public Library files, and it was printed June 11, 1894.

    I turned toward the ticket windows knowing that here ó on the third level at Grand Central ó I could buy tickets that would take Louisa and me anywhere in the United States we wanted to go. In the year 1894. And I wanted two tickets to Galesburg, Illinois. Have you ever been there? Itís a wonderful town still, with big old frame houses, huge lawns, and tremendous trees whose branches meet overhead and roof the streets. And in 1894, summer evenings were twice as long, and people sat out on their lawns, the men smoking cigars and talking quietly, the women waving palm-leaf fans, with the fire-flies all around, in a peaceful world. To be back there with the First World War still twenty years off, and World War II over forty over forty years in the future... I wanted two tickets for that.

    The clerk figured the fare ó he glanced at my fancy hatband, but he figured the fare ó and I had enough for two coach tickets, one way. But when I counted out the money and looked up, the clerk was staring at me. He nodded at the bills. ĎĎThat ainít money, mister,íí he said, ĎĎand if youíre trying to skin me, you wonít get very far,íí and he glanced at the cash drawer beside him. Of course the money was old-style bills, half again as big as the money we use nowadays, and different-looking. I turned away and got out fast. Thereís nothing nice about jail, even in 1894.

    And that was that. I left the same way I came, I suppose. Next day, during lunch hour, I drew three hundred dollars out of the bank, nearly all we had, and bought old-style currency (that really worried my psychiatrist friend). You can buy old money at almost any coin dealerís, but you have to pay a premium. My three hundred dollars bought less than two hundred in old-style bills, but I didnít care; eggs were thirteen cents a dozen in 1894.

    But Iíve never again found the corridor that leads to the third level at Grand Central Station, although Iíve tried often enough.

    Louisa was pretty worried when I told her all this, and didnít want me to look for the third level any more, and after a while I stopped; I went back to my stamps. But now weíre both looking, every weekend, because now we have proof that the third level is still there. My friend Sam Weiner disappeared! Nobody knew where, but I sort of suspected because Samís a city boy, and I used to tell him about Galesburg ó I went to school there ó and he always said he liked the sound of the place. And thatís where he is, all right. In 1894.

    Because one night, fussing with my stamp collection, I found ó Well, do you know what a first-day cover is? When a new stamp is issued, stamp collectors buy some and use them to mail envelopes to themselves on the very first day of sale; and the postmark proves the date. The envelope is called a first-day cover. Theyíre never opened; you just put blank paper in the envelope.

    That night, among my oldest first-day covers, I found one that shouldnít have been there. But there it was. It was there because someone had mailed it to my grandfather at his home in Galesburg; thatís what the address on the envelope said. And it had been there since July 18, 1894 ó the postmark showed that ó yet I didnít remember it at all. The stamp was a six-cent, dull brown, with a picture of President Garfield. Naturally, when the envelope came to Granddad in the mail, it went right into his collection and stayed there ó till I took it out and opened it.

    The paper inside wasnít blank. It read:- "Charley, I got to wishing that you were right. Then I got to believing
    you were right. And, Charlie, it's true; I found the third level!
    I have been here two weeks, and right now down the street at the
    Daly's, some one is playing piano, and they'er all out on the front porch singing ĎSeeing Nelly Home.í And Iím invited over for lemonade. Come on back, Charley and Louisa. Keep looking till you find the third level! Itís worth it, believe me!"

    The note is signed 'Sam'.

    At the stamp and coin store I go to, I found out that Sam bought eight hundred dollarsí worth of old-style currency. That ought to set him up in a nice little hay, feed and grain business; he always said thatís what he really wished he could do, and he certainly canít go back to his old business. Not in Galesburg, Illinois, in 1894. His old business? Why, Sam was my psychiatrist.

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