ICSE English Language Previous Year Question Paper 2009 Solved for Class 10
ICSE Paper 2007
Answers to this Paper must be written on the paper provided separately,
You will not be allowed to write during the first 15 minutes.
This time is to be spent in reading the question paper.
The time given at the head of this Paper is the time allowed for writing the answers.
Attempt all four questions.
The intended marks for questions or parts of questions are given in brackets [ ].
You are advised to spend not more than 35 minutes in answering Question 1 and 20 minutes in answering Question 2.
Question 1: 
(Do not spend more than 35 minutes on this question.)
Write a composition (350 – 400 words) on any one of the following:
(a) Recall a remarkable event of social importance in your city or locality. Give a little of its background, the event as it occurred, and its impact on the lives of people.
(b) Cinema, both entertains and educates the masses. Express your views either for or against this statement.
(c) Siblings often grow up side by side in families; yet have very different life experiences. If you have one or more siblings and feel that your lives have differed significantly, write an essay explaining the reasons and the effects of such differences.
(d) Relate an incident or write a short story which has as its central idea ‘advice not taken’.
(e) Study the picture given below. Write a story or a description or an account of what it suggests to you. Your composition may be about the subject of the picture or may take suggestions from it; however, there must be a clear connection between the picture and your composition.
(a) The Jessica Lai murder case sparked off a wave of controversy and protest all over the country. This case was an open and shut case as the murderer had been identified many years ago. Still nothing was done about imprisoning him and bringing justice to Jessica’s family members.
The people of my city Delhi tried to do something about this case. They knew very well that “Justice delayed is justice denied.” Hence they thought of reminding the country of this unpunished murder case. It was well known that several years had passed since the murder and yet the killers were roaming scot-free.
A group of about twenty people, including the family members of Jessica Nal began a silent journey. They walled towards India Gate with lighted candles. As they marched towards it many people began to join them. People used their cell-phone to send SmS’s to others whom they knew. Within hours the crowd of people grew into hundreds. They marched in total silence.
Some of the people were singing inspirational songs. Soon the Doordarshan was also intimated. Other news channels like Aaj Tak, Zee News and NDTV also appeared on the scene in no time. Soon the journalists were covering the entire incident.
The peace-marchers kept their candles upon the gate in a very calm and composed manner. A photograph of Jessica was kept amidst hundreds of these burning candles. The soft golden yellow light of these candles fell upon the dead girl’s face and lit it up with a heavenly beauty.
The T.V. Channels then began to interview some of the family members. They spoke in soft hushed tones but were firm in their demand of justice. Pamphlets were distributed the next day together public opinion in their favour.
This unique march left a deep impression upon everyone’s mind. In fact this method of drawing public attention to any important issue has become very popular now. Many months later when the issue of reservations came up, the young doctors and students took up the same method of protest.
This was a remarkable event of social importance in my city Delhi. It had left a deep impact on the hearts and minds of the people. Now people do not have to shout slogans or resort to violence in order to raise their voice against any issue.
(b) Cinema is an extension of our lives. It takes us into a world where we forget ourselves for a couple of hours. I surely agree that cinema both entertains and educates us.
The basic purpose for which the silent black and white “Harishchandra” or the first talkie “Alam Ara” was created in India was to provide a new source of entertainment to the people. As the cinematic reels begin to unfold before us, the masses in large numbers, we relax, let loose our problems mid quietly gaze at the unfolding of a story before us.
The movies make us experience those pleasures which we may never ever have a chance to favour in real life. In this manner “reel life is quite different from real life.” We climb Mount Everest, we dive into the deep seas admiring the under-water flora and fauna, we go back into history and meet great people from the past, we even step into the future with the help of various scientific inventions, and feel the pulse of the times. If this is not education then what is?
Cinema takes us to exotic locations all over the world. We visit remote areas of Mexico and Chile, we go for a jungle Safari in the game-reserves of Africa, we gaze with wonder at the mammoth pyramids of Egypt, we peep into the lives of the tribals. All this is much more interesting than going through thick encyclopaedias. This definitely adds to our general knowledge.
Cinema as an entertainer has a very wide appeal. The movies made in Bollywood are shown not only all across our country but all over the world. The entertainment tax collected by the cinema is in crores. The song and dance sequences, the sale of music cassettes and C.D.s all go to prove how popular film music is. It surely entertains both the rich and the poor alike.
When a person is mentally and physically tired, he looks forward to a good entertaining movie at the end of the weekend. People not only see a good movie once, but go there several times to see it. Why do they go there repeatedly? Obviously to get entertainment.
Thus there is no doubt that movies both educate and entertain.
Siblings! Brothers and sisters! Oh God! how I wish at times that I was the only child of my parents. I would be the only apple of their eye, the sole recipient of their love and affection. I would not have to share my room, my study, table, my cupboard, my clothes etc. with my siblings. Most of all there would be no fights in the house!
I do admit that what I have written is a purely selfish account of my desires. May be I am an attention seeker. But, speaking honestly it would be a very lonely life without my elder sister.
Although genetically we are the same but as far as our temperament goes, we are poles apart. The reasons for these differences can be traced to interesting roots. My sister is elder to me by six and a half years. When I was born, she became my second mother. She loved playing with me like a doll, she helped to feed me, she changed my nappies and can you imagine that she even gave me a bath. It is a different matter that once she nearly drowned me in the bath tub as I slipped away from her fingers and refused to be “a well-behaved younger sibling.”
This perhaps is the reason why even now she continues to mother me. When we go out of town we share our suitcase. It is she who lays out my clothes, footwear, my accessories neatly upon the bed as we get ready for the day. It is she who puts away the dirty clothes in a separate bag. It is she again who unpacks as well as re-packs our bags on leaving.
Being Pampered in this manner, I have reaped full benefits of being the younger sibling. Perhaps this is what which has made me a carefree irresponsible child. I continue to strew things around in my room. I do not share any trace of the love for cleanliness and tidiness which my elder sister displays. My study table is littered with books, while hero is neatly organized. When going out, she takes a few minutes to get ready while I take ages to decide what to wear.
Even when it comes to handling money, she controls the purse strings, keeps an account of each paisa spent while I tend to lose money constantly. She speaks softly and gently whereas I, the brat of the family screams and shouts. She likes to watch the Discovery Channel while I am glued to the MTV. She is fond of traditional dresses, whereas I go mad over western clothes. Even in the choice of music, our tastes vary diametrically.
The effects of such differences are to be seen clearly in our personalities. While my sister is a typical example of what an elder sister should be, I have remained a true specimen of a younger sister even carefree, disorganized and dependent upon my elder sibling for many things in life.
(d) “Advice not taken”
Like alf mothers, my mother too is a firm believer of the dictum that “Advice given day and night shall set your child right.” So whether it is six in the morning or twelve at night, I can never escape from her constant showers of advice. Some of them make sense some don’t.
Now when the chance to travel independently from Agra to Goa came my way I was ecstatic. I looked forward to the adventure of my first solo train journey. As my packing began, so did her advice, “Don’t forget your medicines,” “Don’t trust strangers on the way,” “Never get off the train till you reach Goa” etc. etc.
The train journey started off on a pleasant note, the weather was fine and I secured a window seat. I was fully furnished with snacks, water, soft drinks and my novel to read. Sitting across me was an extremely polite family. They had two teenaged daughters who kept me good company. We talked, shared our views about this and that. We joked and ate our lunch together.
Time flew as one station passed another. We commented on the kind of people who came in, giggling and cracking jokes at their expense. Mr. and Mrs. Bhargava and their two charming daughters Neha and Supriya kept me good company.
At night I went up to the upper birth. Neha helped me to climb up to it and everytime I had to come down, I would call for her assistance. “Such helpful people!”, I thought with joy.
Finally the Madhgaon station, just short of the Goa Central came. We packed our f bags and got ready to bid each other goodbye. My uncle was to receive me at the station. I got down and looked all around but there was no trace of him.
Mrs. Bhargava suggested that I should leave my bags with them at the platform and then go in search for my uncle. May be he was waiting for me at the exit gate. I quickly took their advice and sauntered off to the main entrance and exit gates. For about ten minutes I continued my search till at last I spotted him, hurrying towards me with apologies for being late.
He was surprised to see me empty handed. I told him that my two travelling bags were on the platform with my fellow passengers taking care of them. We walked to the spot where I had left them. Now it was my turn to be surprised. There was no trace of either the Bhargavas or my bags. I had been royally duped. It was then that my mother’s advice sounded in my ears, “Neelu, don’t trust strangers whom you meet on the way.” I wish I had taken that precious advice.
(e) Picture Composition
The race-course was filling up. The cheerful crowds, fashionably dressed men and women and the green grounds before them made it a perfect picture. A voice on the loudspeaker began to request the people to take their seats.
I had gone along with my elder brother to the Mahalaxmi Race Course at Mumbai. I was quite a sportsman myself though horse racing was quite a new event for me. I had heard wild stories of people betting on horses and becoming millionaires in a day. I had in my heart of hearts always wished that I could also be a lucky winner some day.
My elder brother seemed shocked when I told him that I wanted to bet all my pocket money on the horses that day. He felt I was taking quite a risk. But something inside me compelled me to go ahead with my plan. At last I convinced my brother and betted my collected amount of Rs. 5000/- on the horse named “Thunder”.
The pistol was fired in the air, the jockeys were ready on their steeds and then the electronic gates opened out flowed the riders and their horses. They wore attractive colours and their horses showed their rippling, muscles and shining bodies. I wondered just how many hours of endless training, patience, skill and effort was behind the horsemen and their animals.
I cheered wildly and shouted with all my might when I saw Thunder. As the minutes rolled by, three other horses whose numbers were 25, 36 and 14 began to lead.
The riders were thorough professionals and the animals were extremely well bred. They soon left behind the entire lot of animals. My spirits fell, I thought I was about to . lose all my patiently gathered pocket money. I thought of the sacrifices I had made to gather this amount.
The lead continued and only four and a half minutes were left for the race to be over. I was tensed and prepared to go. Just when I had reached the exit gate I heard the voice on the microphone. It said, “And now, wonder of all wonders, number 36 has stumbled upon the obstacles, number 14 is also lagging behind and did you ever guess that number 9, Thunder is taking a lead.”
I could not believe my ears? I ran to my brother and held his hand as we both saw Thunder, my lucky horse number 9 winning the race.
Question 2: 
(Do not spend more than 20 minutes on this question).
Select ONE of the following:
(a) One of your grandparents has completed one hundred years of age. Write a letter congratulating him/her, expressing gratitude, praise and admiration for the way he / she has lived his / her life.
(b) A company has been marketing spurious medicines behind claims that its product could be effective in preventing the avian flue or other forms of influenza. W. ite a letter to the Drug Controller General of the Directorate of Health Services, examit. ing the claim of the company and explaining the harm these kind of claims could cause.
(a) D-37, LajpatKunj
14th May, 2007
The Drug Controller General
Directorate of Health Services
New Delhi: 1100049
Subject: Exposing the sale of spurious medicines
I am writing this letter on behalf of numerous residents of Agra. I would like to draw your attention to the recent advertisements published in our daily local newspaper “Amar Ujala” and “Dainik Jagran”. There is a pharmacentical company called “Miracle Cures” which is behind these advertisements. According to these advertisements the Avian-flu or Chicken-gunia as it is popularly called and other kinds of influenza can be cured within seven days after taking a regular dose of this medicine. They claim that it is a miracle which has no parallel in the world of medicine.
Those who have taken these tablets have a different story to tell. They say that these medicines are very expensive. A complete course for a week costs about Rs. 1500. To add to these there are some tonics and vitamin supplements which cost another Rs. 600. So the total amount comes to about Rs. 2100. This is a significant amount for an average man.
The section of people who are being fooled the most are the ignorant farmers. This medicine company has done much propaganda in the villages, distributing pamphlets and offering lucky draws and surprise gifts to those who buy the complete course of these medicines.
The doctors of the town say that these tablets are absolutely fake. They only suppress the symptoms and cause damage to our nervous system. Some patients have even complained of shivering, convulsions and fits after eating these medicines.
We make a serious and sincere appeal to you to please take charge of the situation. Get these tablets tested and expose the racket of spurious medicines. We will took forward to a speedy and favourable response from your side.
(b) 23-A, Kamla Nagar
14th May, 2007
My dearest Grandma,
Please do accept my heart-felt congratulations on this very special day, your birthday.
Just imagine you have completed a century grandma, you are hundred years old! All my friends join me in conveying our birthday wishes to you.
I am sorry that I am unable to be home on this grand day. Had it not been for my Engineering entrance exam, tomorrow, I surely would have been there with you. Grandma I would like to express my gratitude for all that you have done for me through all these years. Looking back on all these years I still remember the many happy hours we spent together. Remember, you never slept in the afternoons and kept busy with some craft or the other. During my 6th standard at school you helped me to complete my S.U.P.W. projects.
Do you remember how patiently you taught me to hold my knitting needles? I still have that multicoloured muffler which you and I made together. I have preserved it for its memories attached to you. I am also very thankful to you for inspiring me to create beautiful objects out of waste material. I still take pleasure in creating paper machine boxes, small dolls made of old stocking, doll’s furniture made out of match boxes and what not! Some of my friends really wonder from where I learnt all these things and who was my brilliant’teacher. When I told them it was you, they were filled with admiration.
Even my first cooking-lessons were taken by you. During my tenth standard, I had taken home-science and you helped me to learn the various recipes by demonstrating r them. Not only I but many of my friends owe their culinary skills to you.
Let me take this opportunity to admire the manner in which you have lived your life. You faced many critical phases in your life. Grandpa’s death when you were just thirty five, the illness of my maternal uncle and the economic crisis at home. All these did not deter you. You still remained calm and positive. Perhaps your deep faith in God has also helped you to withstand all these difficulties.
Once again, do accept my regards and best wishes on this memorable day. I will try to come and meet you as soon as possible.
With love and regards,
Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:
The boy was idling in the market-place on the look out for mischief. All at once he saw it beckoning him. Workmen had been slating the church spire, and their ladders stretched invitingly from earth to steeple.
All children like scrambling up to high places to see if the world looks any different from an apple tree or a stable loft. Over and above his love for climbing, Michael had a longing to do things that had never been done before. As he gazed at the spire, crowned r by a golden ball and weather-vane, an idea crept into his mind—he would be the first person in flushing to stand on the golden ball beneath the weather-vane!
He glanced around. No one waslooking; Michael began to swarm up the ladder. At the top of the tower there rose a slated spire crowned by a golden ball and weather-vane. At last Michael found himself squatting on top of,the ball, holding on by the vane.
Presently he heard workmen moving below. He did not pper over or speak. He was not going to be hauled down before flushing had seen him. Tfhe voices died away and Michael sat resting.
At last he felt ready to startle the town. He pulled himself to his feet, and keeping tight hold of the weather-vane, managed to stand on top of the ball. It was well that he had a cool head and iron nerves.
Someone must have cast a casual glance up at the vane and seeing his little figure, cried out. In a minute or two Michael was delighted to see the market-place full of people who had rushed out of their shops and houses to gaze at the dizzy sight. It was splendid to have all those eyes and hearts glued upon you!
But Michael did not intend to stay there until he was fetched down, to be handed over to his father and cuffed before the crowd. After a while he prepared to descend of his own free will.
He leaned over the ball. The ladder had gone. The workmen had taken it away! A sudden feeling of sickness and giddiness came over Michael. He mastered it. To wait for rescue was a humiliating end to his escapade. He would come down alone, even if it cost him his life.
The spire at the base of the ball was only half slated, and Michael saw some hope of gaining a foothold on the old part. He clasped his arms round the top of the ball and let his body swing down; he was just able to feel the first slate with his toes. Those toes were shod with iron toe-caps, for Michael was hard on his shoes. Michael kicked with his marmoured toes till the slate crashed and fell in; then he got a foothold on the wooden laths beneath.
He rested for a minute, with aching arms and a stiff body. He must change his grip on the ball, which was too big to slide his arms down; he must get clear of it, and somehow grasp the spire beneath. One false move and he would be hurled to death on the cobbles below.
Slowly he began to slide his hands together at the top of the ball, and then downward over its bulging face. Every inch was packed with peril; every inch pushed him backward towards death. It seemed to him that he would be too weak to hold on when the time came for him to grasp the spire.
But at last the steady, deadly creeping of his fingers brought him to a point where he could bend forward. With a sudden snatch he caught the base of the ball.
The next moment he was kicking out a stairway in the old tiles and swarming swiftly down. He reached the foot of the spire, lifted the trapdoor of the tower, ran down the steps, and was caught by his father in the organ loft.
(a) Three words from the passage are given below. Give the meaning of each word as used in the passage.
One word answers or short phrases will be accepted: 
- startle (line 15)
- casual (line 18)
- grasp (line 37)
(b) Answer the following questions briefly in your own words:
- What was Michael doing in the market-place? What attracted his attention? 
- What did Michael long to do? What did he plan to do to accomplish this? 
- How did Michael display‘a cool head and iron nerves’? 
- Which sight filled Michael’s heart with delight and why? 
- Why did Michael not wait for rescue? 
- Use the word ‘face’ (line 40) in a sentence of your own such that it has a different meaning from that it carries in the passage. 
(c) With close reference to the last five paragraphs of the extract and in not more than 60 words, trace Michael’s descent from the top of the ball to the foot of the spire. 
(d) Give a title to your summary in 3 (c). State a reason to justify your choice. 
- Michael was just passing his time in the market place, idling around looking for something naughty to do. Suddenly he saw long ladders resting on the ground, reaching up to the church spire.
- Michael was looking for some mischief. On seeing the spire of the church, crowned by a golden ball and weather vane, an idea entered his mind. He wanted to be the first person in this town of Flushing to stand on the golden ball beneath the weather vane.
- Michael managed to stand on top of the golden ball, holding on to the weather vane. This required much courage and therefore he showed that “he had a Cool head and iron nerves.”
- The sight of people rushing out of their shops in the market place and crowding below to watch him standing on top of the church, made Michael extremely delighted.
- Michael did not wait for rescue because that would have been a shameful end to his brave act. He decided to come down alone even if it cost him his life.
- The principal said to me, “If your attendance is less than seventy percent then you must face the consequences.”
(d) “A Narrow Escape” is the title of the summary. It was a very narrow or dangerous escape as Michael could have died at any step.
(a) In the following passage, fill in each of the numbered blanks with the correct form of the word given in brackets. Do not copy the passage, but write in correct serial order the word or phrase appropriate to the blank space. 
Example: (0) am convinced.
I (0) ………. (convince) that my father (1) ………… (remember) by all those who value integrity. He (2) ………… (be) a man of learning and also saw to it that he (3) ……….. (teach) his pupils with passion and patience. He, at times (4) ……….. (use) to lose his temper, but that was because he always (5) ………….. (want) his pupils to learn and learn well. As a person, he was honest and simple. His greatness (6) ……….. (lie) in the fact that he (7) ………. (have) a pure heart, devoid of malice. Such a man is always valued and (8) ………. (be) very rare to find.
(b) Fill in the blanks with appropriate words: 
- Truth always prevails ………. the long run.
- Sujata stood ……….. the river and saw the ship pass by.
- She took some money ………… her father to buy a video game.
- Shilpa gave me a rare gift ………. my birthday.
- Deepak was very upset ……….. me.
- Michael is longing ……….. meet me.
- It has been a long time ……… I met my sister.
- The worker asked ………. his wages.
(c) Join the following sentences to make one complete sentence without using and, but or so. 
- John gave me the novel. John wanted me to review it.
- Debjani received my note. She sent her reply within a week.
- Raja is a great footballer. He is also popular.
- Jennifer saw that I was confused. She came to my rescue.
(d) Re-write the following sentences according to the instructions given after each. Make other changes that may he necessary, but do not change the meaning of each sentence: 
- Anne paid a heavy price for her recklessness.
(Begin : It …………..)
- No sooner had Ram narrated the story than hfe was praised.
(Begin : Hardly…………..)
- Tanuja is a very friendly girl and is always cheerful.
(Begin : Besides………….)
- They had to put off the garden party because of the heavy rain.
(Begin : The heavy………….)
- Margaret said to me, “Please do not forget to meet me tomorrow”.
(Begin : I was…………)
- Inspite of my warning Dev, he ignored me.
(Begin : Though…………)
- The business talks failed because neither side was willing to compromise.
(Begin : Since…………)
- They were very afraid and so they could not speak.
(Begin : Being…………)
- will be remembered
- John wanted me to review the novel which he gave me.
- Debjani replied to my note within a week.
- Raja is a popular, great footballer.
- Jennifer came to my rescue when she saw that I was confused.
- It was a heavy price which Anne paid for her recklessness.
- Hardly had Ram narrated the story when he was praised.
- Besides being a very friendly girl, Tanuja is always cheerful.
- The heavy rain made them put off the garden party.
- I was told by Margaret not to forget to meet her the next day.
- Though I had warned Dev yet he ignored me.
- Since neither side was willing to compromise the business talks failed.
- Being very afraid, they could not speak.