Unseen Passage: Learn from Surroundings

Reading Comprehension

During my growing years, my siblings and I were taught — both at home and school – to worship the photos and idols of the deities of our respective religions. When we grew a little older, we were introduced to scriptures like the Bhagwad Gita, Bible, Quran, we were told that there are lot of life lessons to be learnt from these holy books. We were then introduced to mythological stories, through which we learnt about ethics and morality. I also learnt to be respectful towards my parents who made my life comfortable with their love and sacrifice, and my teachers who guided me to become a good student and responsible citizen.

Much later in life, I realised that though we learn much from our respective scriptures, there is a lot to learn from our surroundings. This realisation dawned upon me when I learnt to enquire and explore. Everything around us — sun, moon, stars, rain, rivers, stones, rocks, birds, plants and animals – teach us many valuable life lessons.

No wonder that besides the scriptures, in many cultures, nature is also worshipped. The message that is transmitted is that of maintaining environment and ecological balance. People are taught to live in harmony with nature and, recognise that divinity is there every-where.

Nature is a great teacher. A river never stops flowing. If it finds an obstruction in the form of a heavy rock, the river water fights to remove it from its path or finds an alternative path to move ahead. This teaches us not only to be nurturing but also to be progressive in life; keeping the fighting spirit alive.

We learn a lot in nature’s lap but are unwilling to comprehend it. Rather than being considerate to our surrounding and environment, we are being senselessly insensitive. Overcome with greed, we are destroying nature, the extent of which is so profound that we are frequently facing natural disasters like droughts, floods and landslides. We refuse to accept that nature is angry with us. We forget that if the dam of patience bursts, the result is destruction.

However, it is never too late to learn, if we imbibe the life-giving and nurturing aspects of Mother Nature, the quality of our life will improve dramatically.

Q. Answer the following questions:

  1. What do the mythological stories teach us?
  2. What is the message given by the writer about nature?
  3. What lesson of life do we learn from rivers?
  4. What are the causes of frequent natural disasters?


  1. Mythological stories teach us to be respectful towards teachers, parents and become good students and citizens.
  2. The message given by the writer about nature is that we should maintain ecological and environmental balance, and live in harmony with nature.
  3. The lesson we learn from rivers is to be progressive in life, keeping the fighting spirit alive.
  4. Our greed to destroy nature results in great natural disasters like drought, flood and landslides.

Q. Choose the correct alternatives:

  1. Find a word in Para 1 which means the same as ‘Gods’.
    1. worship
    2. ethics
    3. deities
    4. scriptures
  2. Which word in Para 2 means the same as ‘examine’?
    1. enquire
    2. learn
    3. explore
    4. lessons
  3. Find a word in Para 3 which is the antonym of ‘received’.
    1. transmitted
    2. maintaining
    3. balance
    4. divinity
  4. Find a word in Para 6 which means the same as ‘assimilate’.
    1. dramatically
    2. quality
    3. nurturing
    4. imbibe


  1. deities
  2. explore
  3. transmitted
  4. imbibe

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