Reading Comprehension Passage – II



Punctuality   is a necessary   habit   in  all  public   affairs  of a civilized society.  Without   it nothing   could  ever  be brought   to  a conclusion,  everything   would   be  in a stage  of chaos.  Only in a sparsely populated   rural  community   is it possible  to disregard it. In ordinary  living there  can be some  tolerance   of unpunctuality. The intellectual,   who  is working   on some  abstruse   problem,   has everything  coordinated   and  organised  for the matter  in hand.  He is therefore  forgiven,  if late  for the  dinner   party.  But people  are often  reproached    for  unpunctuality     when   their   only  fault   is cutting things  fine. It is hard  for energetic,   quick-minded   people to waste  time,  so they  are  often  tempted    to  finish  a job  before setting out to keep  an appointment.    If no accidents   occur  on the way, like punctured   tyres,  diversion   of traffic,  sudden  descent  of fog, they will be on time.  They  are  often  more  industrious    and more  useful   citizens   than   those   whose   are   never   late.   The over-punctual  can be as much  a trial to others  as the unpunctual. The  guest  who  arrives   half  an  hour   too  soon   is  the  greatest nuisance. Some friends  of my family had  this irritating   habit.  The only thing to do was to ask them  to come  half an hour  later  than the other guests.  Then they  arrived  just  when  we wanted  them.  If you are  catching   a train,   it is always   better   to  be  comfortable early than  even  a fraction   of a minute   too  late.  Although   being early may mean  wasting  a little  time,  this will be less than  if you miss the train  and  have  to wait  an  hour  or so for the  next  one. And you  avoid  the  frustration    of  arriving   at  the  very  moment when the train  is drawing  out  of the  station   and  being  unable  to get on it. And even a harder   situation   is to be on the platform   in good time for a train  and still to see it go off without  you. Such an experience  befell  a  certain   young   girl  the   first  time   she  was travelling  alone.  She entered   the  station   twenty  minutes   before the train was due, since her parents   had  impressed   upon  her that it would  be  unforgivable   to  miss  it  and  cause  the  friends  with whom she was going  to stay  to make  two journeys   to meet  her. She gave her luggage  to a porter   and  showed   him her  ticket.  To her horror  he said  that  she was  two  hours  too  soon.  She felt in her  handbag   for  the  piece   of  paper   on  which   her  father   had written down  all the  details   of the  journey   and  gave  it to  the porter. He agreed  that  a train  did come  in the  station  at the time on the paper  and  that  it did stop,  but  only to take  on water,  not passengers.  The  girl asked  to  see  a timetable,    feeling  sure  that her father  could not have  made  such  a mistake.   The porter  went to fetch  one  and  arrived   back  with   the   Station   Master,   who produced   it  with  a  flourish   and  pointed    out  a  microscopic   ‘0’ beside the time  of the  arrival  of the  train  at his station.  The girl, tears streaming   down  her face, begged  to be allowed  to slip into the guard’s  van.  But the  Station  Master  was  adamant:    rules will not  be  broken.   And  she   had   to  watch    that   train   disappear towards  her destination   while  she was  left behind.

  1. The author feels it is necessary   to be punctual   in a civilized society, because:  

(a)  it makes   people   think   that  you  are  a good  tempered person.
(b)  it elevates   your  social  status.
(c) it helps  to conduct   things  without   confusion.
(d)  it makes  your  friends  trust  you.

  1. The. author’s  family  asked  some  of their  friends  to  come half  an hour  later  than  others  because:

(a)  they  did  not  like their  friends.
(b)  they  did  not  want  them  to meet  other  guests.
(c)  these   friends   had  to  meet   some  other   people   on  the way.
(d)  they  were  in the  habit  of arriving  too early.

  1. The author   implies   that   it  is better   to  arrive  early  at  the station   so that:

(a)  there  is no  chance  of missing  your  train.
(b) there  is a chance  of meeting   the important   people  who travel  by train.
(c) you  can  get into  the  compartment    of your  choice.
(d) you can find porters  to help you and carry your luggage.

  1. The  expression   ‘to  her  horror’   used  in the  passage   comes nearest   in meaning   to

(a)  she was  very  scared  to see.
(b)  she was  disgusted   to discover.
(c) she was  disappointed    to find.
(d)  she was  surprised   to find.

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