Very Short Questions

Question 1 : What did James do as Sir John dropped him at the Regent Street?

Answer : James looked up in the star studded sky to observe the Comet Dutta among those stars. It was difficult for him to imagine the calamity on such a peaceful night.

Question 2 : Who all attended the conference arranged by Sir John?

Answer : Renowned experts like astronomers, computer scientists, nuclear physicists, space technologists and biologists attended Sir John’s conference. Man of Dutta was also present to attend the same.

Question 3 : How long did the conference last?

Answer : The conference went on for a week.

Question 4 : How long was Duttada away from home, in the foreign land?

Answer : For about three weeks. He spent a week in London to attend the conference and two weeks to tour the British Isles.

Question 5 : On receiving the telex message from John Macpherson, what did Duttada do?

Answer : On reading the telex message from Sir John which informed him about the success of the operation, Duttada ran to his favourite rasagolla shop.

Short Questions

Question 1 : In whom did Duttada find a good friend?

Answer : During the conference, Duttada developed closed affinity with the Defence Advisor, John Macpherson. Both admired each other. Duttada admired Sir John’s discipline and efficiency.

Sir John admired Duttada’s scientific outlook. Both remained in contact even after Duttada came back from London.

Question 2 : What was the progress of Comet Dutta in first half of October?

Answer : Comet Dutta was following its predicted path. Till the month of October, it had already developed a tail. It was also circling around the sun and it neither broke apart nor did it evaporate. The experts had, therefore, become sure that the threat of collision was quite real.

Question 3 : What kind of welcome did Duttada enjoy on his return from London?

Answer : On his return from London, Duttada was greeted by a vast crowd of friends, social leaders, students and the usual mob. He was loaded with questions and bombarded with questions from the press. At home he had a very different reception. His wife arranged a yajna and had called the priests to bless him.

Long Questions

Question 1 : Why did Duttada not succeed in explaining the science behind the comets to his wife?

Answer : No. Duttada doesn’t manage to explain to his wife the science behind the comets because his wife was steeped neck deep in superstitions. His wife asked the priest to perform the yajna, a shanti yajna, to ward off the evil associated with the comet. Duttada was inwardly very upset about all this. He would have liked to explain to his wife and younger brother the truth but the details of the conference had to be kept secret. In the end, he tried to tell the truth, but his wife believed that the yajna saved everyone from the comet. Duttada understood the wide gulf that existed between his and his wife’s outlook.

Value Based Questions

Question 1 : Comment on the outlook of Indrani Debi and Sibaji babu.

Answer : Indrani Debi and Sibaji babu, Duttada’s wife and younger brother, respectively had regressive outlooks.

They were superstitious in their thinking and failed to view matters rationally and logically. Their way of thinking should be strongly condemned.

For if all people begin to think in this manner and decide to perform pujas and yajnas without taking any concrete and constructive action, disaster is bound to happen.

Such thinking can save nobody.