CBSE Class 10 English Comprehension Passage (5)

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PASSAGE (5)

5. Read the following passage carefully.

During Emperor Akbar’s reign, there was a poor man in Agra, who was thought to bring bad luck. People believed that if anyone looked at his face in the morning, they would have a bad day.. “Get lost, you ugly fellow!” he would be cursed by one and all. “Hide your face before you kill someone with your evil eye!”

The emperor soon heard of this man’s reputation and wanted to see him. The poor fellow, who had not harmed a single person in his life, was brought to Akbar.

Akbar took a look at him and asked him to be brought back in the evening.

That particular day was especially full and tiring day for the emperor and his courtiers.

So, many matters had to be attended to, that Akbar even forgot to eat. By the end of the day the emperor was exhausted. To make matters worse, Akbar was informed that his favourite child, little prince Salim, had fallen ill.

Then the emperor suddenly remembered that he had seen the face of the ‘unlucky’ man that morning. That was it. It was that man’s entire fault, Akbar decided.

Akbar called his courtiers and told them that he was going to have ‘unlucky’ man executed.

All of them agreed immediately.

All except Birbal. Birbal started laughing.

“ What’s the matter, Birbal?” asked the emperor. “You seem to find something funny!”

“Nothing, your Majesty.” Replied Birbal.

“You say this man brings bad luck because you had to go without food ever since you saw him this morning. Look at his luck. Yours was the first face he saw today and he has to die because

of it.”

Akbar immediately realized his fault and rewarded Birbal for his wisdom.

Q. On the basis of your reading of the above passage answer the following questions briefly.

(a) Why had Emperor Akbar not eaten food?

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(b) What was Akbar informed about his favourite child?

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(c) Why did Akbar decide to execute the poor?

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(d) What was Birbal’s initial reaction when he heard that the poor man would be executed?

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(e) Why was Birbal rewarded?

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