Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here is a set of English Comprehension Quiz for IBPS Clerk Prelims 2015.
Directions (Q. 1-10): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/phrases in the passage are printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
Emperor Yayati was one of the ancestors of the Pandavas. He had never known defeat. He followed the dictates of the shastras, adored the gods and venerated his ancestors with intense devotion. He became famous as a ruler devoted to the welfare of his subjects. But he became prematurely old by the curse of Sukracharya for having wronged his wife Devayani. In the words of the poet of the Mahabharata: “Yayati attained that old age which destroys beauty and brings on miseries.” It is needless to describe the misery of youth suddenly blighted into age, where the horrors of loss are accentuated by pangs of recollection. Yayati, who found himself suddenly an old man, was still haunted by the desire for sensual enjoyment. He had five beautiful sons, all virtuous and accomplished. Yayati called them and appealed piteously to their affection: “The curse of your grandfather Sukracharya has made me unexpectedly and prematurely old. I have not had my fill of the joys of life; for not knowing what was in store for me, I lived a life of restraint denying myself even lawful pleasures. One of you ought to bear the burden of my old age and give his youth in return. He who agrees to this and bestows his youth on me will be the ruler of my kingdom. I desire to enjoy life in the full vigour of youth.” He first asked his eldest son. That son replied: “O great king, women and servants will mock at me if I were to take upon myself your old age. I cannot do so. Ask of my younger brothers who are dearer to you than myself.” When the second son was approached, he gently refused with the words: “Father, you ask me to take up old age which destroys not only strength and beauty but also – as I see – wisdom. I am not strong enough to do so.” The third son replied: “An old man cannot ride a horse or an elephant. His speech will falter. What can I do in such a helpless plight? I cannot agree.” The king was angry and disappointed that his three sons had declined to do as he wished, but he hoped for better from his fourth son, to whom he said: “You should take up my old age. If you exchange your youth with me, I shall give it back to you after some time and take back the old age with which I have been cursed.” The fourth son begged to be forgiven as this was a thing he could by no means consent to. An old man had to seek the help of others even to keep his body clean, a most pitiful plight. No, much as he loved his father he could not do it. Yayati was struck with sorrow at the refusal of the four sons. Still, hoping against hope, he supplicated his last son, who had never yet opposed his wishes: “You must save me. I am afflicted with this old age with its wrinkles, debility and grey hairs as a result of the curse of Sukracharya. It is too hard a trial! If you will take upon yourself these infirmities, I shall enjoy life for just a while more and then give you back your youth and resume my old age and all its sorrows. Pray, do not refuse as your elder brothers have done.” Puru, the youngest son, moved by filial love, said: “Father, I gladly give you my youth and relieve you of the sorrows of old age and cares of State. Be happy.” Hearing these words Yayati embraced him. As soon as he touched his son, Yayati became a youth. Puru, who accepted the old age of his father, ruled the kingdom and acquired great renown.
1. What was/were the reason(s) for Yayati’s premature old age?
1) He was addicted to opium.
2) He was cursed for not devoting his life for the welfare of his subjects.
3) He was cursed by Sukracharya for having wronged his wife, Devayani.
4) He had been punished by the gods for not following the dictates of the shastras.
5) All the above
2. What was the desire which haunted Yayati when he turned old suddenly?
1) The desire for reputation
2) The desire for wealth
3) The desire for youth
4) The desire for sensual enjoyment
5) None of these
3. What did Yayati ask his five sons to do for him?
(A) He asked them to send him to the forest where he would live an austere life to attain mental poise.
(B) He asked them to bear the burden of his old age and give their youth in return.
(C) He asked them to bring him a harlot so as to gratify his lust.
1) Only (A)
2) Only (B)
3) Only (C)
4) Both (A) and (C)
5) Both (B) and (C)
4. Why did Puru accept the old age of his father?
1) He was moved by filial love for his father.
2) He wanted to rule the kingdom and deny the share of property to his elder brothers.
3) He wanted to experience premature old age just like his father.
4) He wanted to impress his father so that he could get the throne instead of his brothers.
5) None of these
5. What message does the author want to leave behind through the passage?
1) Human desire for everlasting youth is irrelevant.
2) Nothing can ever satisfy the desire of a man.
3) One should learn to bear with one’s infirmities.
4) One should live austerely.
5) None of these
Directions (Q. 6-8): Choose the word/group of words which is MOST SIMILAR in meaning to the word/ group of words printed in bold as used in the passage.
1) reduced 2) refused 3) rebuked
4) accepted 5) agreed
1) curbed 2) reposeful 3) respite
4) repression 5) solvent
1) enhanced 2) adopted 3) praised
4) acquiesced 5) greeted
Directions (Q. 9-10): Choose the word/group of words which is MOST OPPOSITE in meaning of the word/ group of words printed in bold as used in the passage.
1) strength 2) impotency
3) gloom 4) virility
1) weaknesses 2) rigidity
3) capabilities 4) skills