NCERT Solutions For Class 12th English
SUMMARY OF THE ADVENTURE
Professor Gaitonde, who is a historian, is on his way to lecturing in The Third Battle of Panipat on the implications of catastrophe theory when his car collides with a truck and he goes into a coma where he is now experiencing a completely changed history that is different from the real world. The Marathas were defeated in the real world in the Third Battle of Panipat Afghans and their leader Vishwas Ra was killed. But as Vishwas Rao narrowly escapes the bullet and survives, the parallel world in which the Professor now sees things for him Marathas won the war. According to him, this victory brought significant changes and reforms to the country.
When he regains his consciousness back, his friend Rajendra Deshpande tries to rationalize his experience based on two theories that are Catastrophe Theory and Quantum Theory’s lack of determinism. The narrator, meanwhile, is still talking about the parallel world in which Professor Gaitonde is on his way from Pune to Bombay. It’s a pre-independent India where he finds Anglo, Indians and Jack from Union.
The professor goes to the library where he reads four volumes of history books from the Asoka period up to Panipat’s Third Battle. Bhausahebanchi Bakhar’s fifth volume that he read tells a different story where Marathas won Panipat’s Third Battle. Absent as a proof, Professor tucks a copy of the book into his pocket and reaches Azad Maidan where a lecture is taking place. Without the chairman, the meeting is taking place and he decides to go on stage and snatch the mike he begins to speak. He wasn’t welcomed by the crowd and he was finally thrown out with eggs and tomatoes showered on him and then he gets lost in the crowd. After this strange experience, we find the Professor talking to his friend Rajendra in the real world.
Rajendra describes the two scientific theories responsible for Professor’s strange behaviour. According to the theory of Catastrophe, a small change can bring about a sudden shift in behaviour, and if the same is implied in the battle of Panipat, it can be seen that the Marathas went through a crucial time when their two leaders Vishwas Rao and Bhausaheb died, leading to a loss of morality. So, another way that the crucial event has gone may change the course of history. So, the copy of the book he’s supposed to keep in the pocket is nothing but the notes he’d prepared for his lecture where he’d imagined the battle’s fate would be different. The bullet hitting Viswas Rao was a catastrophic event and the present has been reached because of such a catastrophic incident in the battle.
According to the Lack of determinism in Quantum theory the behaviour of electrons orbiting the nucleus in an atom cannot be predicted. They are in higher and lower state and can jump from high to low energy level and send out a pulse of radiation that can knock it out from state number 2 to state number 1 and these can apply to the world too and therefore Professor Gaitonde made a transition from the world we live into a parallel world. He neither travelled to the past nor to the future in the fact he was experiencing a different world in present itself. At the time of the collision with the truck, he was thinking about the catastrophe theory and its implications in war. He was probably wondering about the battle of Panipat. Perhaps the neurons in his brain acted as a trigger and he made a jump from this world to the parallel world.
THINKING ABOUT LANGUAGE
1. In which language do you think Gangadharpant and Khan Sahib talked to each other? Which language did Gangadharpant use to talk to the English receptionist?
Ans. Gangadharpant and Khan Sahib talked to each other in Urdu or Persian. Gangadharpant used English while talking to the English receptionist.
2. In which language do you think ‘Bhausahebanchi Bakhar’ was written?
Ans. ‘Bhansahebanchi Bakhar’ was written in Marathi.
3. There is mention of three communities in the story, the Marathas, the Mughals, the Anglo-Indians. What language do you think they used within their communities and while speaking to the other groups?
Ans. Within their communities, the Marathas used Marathi, the Mughals used Urdu and the Anglo-Indians used English. While speaking to the other groups they used the language which was intelligible to the listener and helped them to express their thoughts. Sometimes it could be a mixture of two languages.
4. Do you think that the ruled always adopt the language of the rulers?
Ans. The masses do not always adopt the language of the rulers, but the classes always do so. It is because in courts, offices, banks, educational institutions, etc. the language of the rulers gets the place of pride. So, that section of the ruled who want to get any benefit from the rulers do adopt the language of the rulers.
WORKING WITH WORDS
I. Tick the item that is closest in meaning to the given phrases:
1. to take issue with (i) to accept (ii) to discuss (iii) to disagree (iv) to add
2. to give vent to (i) to express (ii) to emphasise (iii) to suppress (iv) to dismiss
3. to stand on one’s feet
(i) to be physically strong (ii) to be independent (iii) to stand erect (iv) to be successful
4. to be wound up (i) to become active (ii) to stop operating (iii) to be transformed (iv) to be destroyed
5. to meet one’s match (i) to meet a partner who has similar tastes (ii) to meet an opponent (iii) to meet someone who is equally able as oneself (iv) to meet defeat.
Answers 1. (iii) to disagree, 2. (i) to express, 3. (ii) to be independent, 4. (ii) to stop operating, 5. (iii) to meet someone who is equally able as oneself.
II. Distinguish between the following pairs of sentences:
1. (i) He was visibly moved.
Ans. He was moved in a way that was easily noticeable.
(ii) He was visually impaired.
Ans. His sight was impaired.
2. (i) Green and black stripes were used alternately.
Ans. Green and black stripes were used one after the other.
(ii) Green stripes could be used to alternatively black ones.
Ans. Either green stripes or black ones could be used.
3. (i) The team played the two matches successfully.
Ans. The team achieved success in the two matches it played.
(ii) The team played two matches successively.
Ans. The team played two matches one after the other.
4. (i) The librarian spoke respectfully to the learned scholar.
Ans. The librarian spoke with respect to the learned scholar.
(ii) You will find the historian and the scientist in the archaeology and natural science sections of the museum respectively.
Ans. You will find the historian and the scientist in the archaeology and natural science sections of the museum in the same order as the people or thing already mentioned.
III. Notice these expressions in the text. Guess the meaning from the context:
blow by blow account
gave vent to
Ans. blow by blow account: a description of an event which gives you all the details in the order in which they happen
morale booster: encouraging/increasing confidence
relegated to: ignored/pushed to lower position
political acumen: political sharpness
de facto: real, actual, in fact
astute: shrewd, crafty
doctored accounts: manipulated (false) descriptions
gave vent to: expressed.
The story deals with unreal condition and hypothetical situations. Some of the sentences used to express this notion are given below:
1. If I fire a bullet from a gun in a given direction at a given speed, I know where it will be at a later time.
2. If I knew the answer I would solve a great problem.
3. If he himself were dead in this world, what guarantee had he that his son would be alive.
4. What course would history have taken if the battle had gone the other way? Notice that in an unreal condition, it is clearly expected that the condition will not be fulfilled.
THINGS TO DO
I. Read the following passage on the Catastrophe Theory downloaded from the Internet.
Originated by the French mathematician, Rene Thom, in the 1960s, catastrophe theory is a special branch of dynamical systems theory. It studies and classifies phenomena characterized by sudden shifts in behaviour arising from small changes in circumstances. Catastrophes are bifurcations between different equilibria, or fixed point attractors. Due to their restricted nature, catastrophes can be classified based on the basis of how many control parameters are being simultaneously varied. For example, if there are two controls, then one finds the most common type, called a ‘‘cusp’’ catastrophe. If, however, there are more than five controls, there is no classification.Catastrophe theory has been applied to a number of different phenomena, such as the stability of ships at sea and their capsizing, bridge collapse, and, with some less convincing success, the fight-or-flight behaviour of animals and prison riots.
II. Look up the internet or an encyclopedia for information on the following theories: (i) Quantum theory (ii) Theory of relativity (iii) Big Bang theory (iv) Theory of evolution.
Answers (i) Quantum Theory. Quantum means a very small quantity of electromagnetic energy. Quantum theory is based on the idea that energy exists in units that can’t be divided.
(ii) Theory of relativity. Einstein’s 1905 paper ‘‘On the Electro dynamics of Moving Bodies’’ introduced the special theory of relativity. Special relativity considers that observers in inertial reference frames, which are in uniform motion relative to one another, cannot perform any experiment to determine which one of them is stationary. This is known as the principle of relativity. Einstein’s theory of relativity is his theory of universe which states that all motion is relative and treats time as a fourth dimension related to space.
(iii) Big Bang theory. The Big Bang theory is an effort to explain what happened at the very beginning of our universe. Discoveries in astronomy and physics have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that our universe did in fact have a beginning. Prior to that moment there was nothing; during and after that moment there was something: our universe. The big bang theory is an effort to explain what happened during and after that moment. After its initial appearance, it (the ‘‘Big Bang’’), apparently inflated, expanded and cooled, going from very, very small and very, very hot, to the size and temperature of our current universe. It continues to expand and cool to this day and we are inside of it: incredible creatures living on a unique planet, circling a beautiful star clustered together with several hundred billion other stars in a galaxy soaring through the cosmos, all of which is inside an expanding universe that began as an infinitesimal singularity which appeared out of nowhere for reasons unknown. This is the Big Bang theory.
(iv) Theory of Evolution. Biological evolution ia s genetic change in a population from one generation to another. The speed and direction of changareis variable with different species lines and at different times. Continuous evolution over many generations can result in thdevelopmentnt of new varieties and species. Likewise, failure to evolve in response to environmental changes can, and often does, lead to extinction. Charles Darwin modified his religious beliefs, as a result of the discovery of convincing proof of evolution. In his famous book, ‘On the Origin of Species’, Darwin states his theory of evolution. Simply put evolution is the process of gradual development of plants, animals features over many years from simple to more complex forms.
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS SOLVED
A SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS (Word limit: 40 words)
1. What plan of action had Professor Gaitonde arrived at?
Ans. Professor Gaitonde had decided to go to a big library at Bombay and browse through history books. Then he would find out how the present state of affairs was reached. On his return to Pune, he would have a long talk with Rajendra Deshpande. He hoped that Rajendra would help him understand what had happened.
2. Gangadhar Pant had not been to ‘this Bomabay before’. How was ‘the Bombay’ different?
Ans. This Bombay was under the British Raj. An Anglo-Indian in uniform checked permits. Each of the blue carriages of GBMR had the tiny Union Jack painted on it. The Victoria Terminus station looked very neat and clean. The staff was mostly of Anglo-Indians and Parsis along with a handful of British officers.
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