Std 10th English Lesson 1.3 On Wings of Courage.


icon: a person or thing that is revered or idolized

war hero: a person who has performed some heroic or courageous deeds during a war

IAF: indian air force

attain: achieve

equivalent: equal to

potent: powerful and effective

monumental: of great importance, enormous.

epitome: a perfect example

profound: great

spectrum: a wide range

assiduously: working hard and showing careful attention to details commending: officially praising

squadron: a group of or a division of

crucial: important

brief stint: short time spent doing a particular activity

tenure: term or duration

AOC-in-C: Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief

flying currency: up – to – date skills and experience of flying aircraft contemporary: of present times

biplane: old type of aircraft having two pairs of wings one above the other

a fly-past: a ceremonial flight of an aircraft passing over a place

astute: sharp and intelligent

forward bases: a secured, forward operating military position

took over reins: took over control

gearing up: getting ready

constraints: restrictions

Warming Up!

(1) The ranks of officers in Indian Army, Navy and Air Force are jumbled up. Discuss with your group and put them in the appropriate boxes.

Commander, Brigadier, Wing – Commander, Vice-Admiral, Squadron Leader, Major, Colonel, Field Marshal, Air Marshal, Admiral of Fleet, Lieutenant – General, Flying Officer, Commodore, Rear Admiral, Air-Commodore

Army Navy Air Force
Field Marshal Commander Air Marshal
Lieutenant General Rear Admiral Air – Commodore
Brigadier Admiral of Fleet Wing – Commander
Colonel Vice-Admiral Flying Officer
Major Commodore Squadron – Leader

2 Homophones/ Homographs

(A) Make sentences to bring out the difference between

Ans. (i) (a) wear: We should wear cotton clothes in summer.

    (b) ware: Shyambabu displays his wares on hand cart.

(ii) (a) here: Mother had asked Sonia to keep the clothes here.

     (b) hear: Please hear the instructions carefully.

(iii) (a) there: But Sonia kept the clothes there.

      (b) their: Their house is very beautiful.

(iv) (a) cell: The cell is the smallest unit in our body.

      (b) sell: His cakes sell very quickly.

(B) Write what the underlined Homographs in the following sentences mean.

(1) (a) A bear is an omnivorous animal.

Ans. Name of an animal

(b) She could not bear the injustice

Ans. To tolerate

(2) (a) A bat is the only flying creature which is a mammal.

Ans. Name of an animal.

(b) His bat broke as it struck the ball.

Ans. A wooden instrument used to hit the ball in various games

(3) (a) He had to pay a fine for breaking the traffic signal.

Ans. An amount levied as punishment for breaking the law

(b) Use a fine cloth for the baby’s clothes.

Ans.  A delicate, soft or a cloth of good quality.

(4) (a) We enjoyed a lot at the temple fair.

Ans. A kind of public gathering for amusement during festivals

(b) She has a fair complexion.

Ans. A light complexion


1. Read the text and fill in the flow chart of the promotions received by Arjan Singh.

2. With the help of facts given in the text prepare a Fact file of Air Marshal Arjan Singh.

(a) Date of Birth – 15th April, 1919

(b) Place of Birth – Lyalpur (now Faislabad, Pakistan)

(c) Education – Montgomery (now Sahiwal, Pakistan)

(d) First Assingments – Flying Westland Wapiti biplanes in the North   – Western Frontier Province

(e) Important posts Held

(i) In Air Force – Air Force Marshal

(ii) After retirement –  Ambassador to Switzerland and

                                    Lieutenant Governor of Delhi                                     

(f) Awards – Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Padma Vibhushan

(g) Most outstanding contribution in IAF – He played a major role in transforming the IAF into one of the most potent air forces globally and the fourth biggest in the world.

(h) Retirement – in August 1969

3. Fill in the web.

4.  Say what actions preceded the following promotions of Arjan Singh in his career in the IAF.

(a) Selected for Empire Pilot training course at RAF

Ans. Arjan Singh completed his education at Montogomery.

(b) Promoted to Squadron Leader

Ans. Arjan Singh flew against the tribal forces and moved back to No. 1 Squadron as a Flying Officer to fly the Hawker Hurricane.

(c) Leader of a flypast over 100 aircrafts at Red Fort, Delhi.

Ans. Arjan Singh successfully led the squadron in combat.

(d) Awarded Padma Vibhushan

Ans. Arjan Singh displayed his astute leadership during the war of the Air Force.

(e) First Air Chief Marshal of Indian Air Force.

Ans. Air Force contributed during the war and the rank of the CAS was upgraded.

5. Replace the underlined words/phrases with the appropriate ones, to retain the proper meaning.

(be the epitome of, gear up, a brief stint, play a major role, in recognition of, take over reins)

1. He contributed notably in bringing up the school.

Ans. He played a major role in bringing up the school.

2. Our school cricket team got ready for the final match against P. Q. R. High School.

Ans. Our school cricket team geared up for the final match against P. Q. R. High School.

3. After a short period of working as a lecturer, Ravi took up an important post in a multi-national company.

Ans. After a brief stint as a lecturer, Ravi took up an important post in a multinational company.

4. Our class monitor is a perfect symbol of duty and discipline.

Ans. Our class monitor is the epitome of duty and discipline.

5. Accepting the great value of his research; they awarded him with a Ph.D. (degree)

Ans. In recognition of his research, they awarded him with a Ph.D. [degree]

6. After the murder of King Duncan, Macbeth took over the control of Scotland.

Ans. After the murder of King Duncan, Macbeth took over the reins of Scotland.

6. Build the word wall with the words related with ‘Military’.

7. (A) State the different meanings of the following pairs of Homophones and make sentences of your own with each of them.

Word Meaning Sentence
(a) led     
to guide

a metal
The captain led the school football team to victory.
Lead is used in batteries and pencils.
(b) role      
a part in a play

move in a particular direction by turning over and over
All the children were given a role in the play.
The ball rolled in the grass and hit the fence.
(c) air          

the invisible gaseous substance surrounding the earth
a person legally entitled to the property of person on that person’s death
Air pollution leads to diseases of the lungs.    

As I am the only child, my father nominated me as his heir.
(d) feat            

An achievement that requires great courage

A unit of measurement
It requires a lot of determination and hard work to achieve great feats.
He was very happy when his height crossed 5 feet.
(e) reign       
rein        rain
The period of a rule of a monarch

a strap attached to a horse bit which helps you control it
Water that falls from clouds
The king’s reign spread far and wide.  
One should know how to use the reins before riding a horse.  
After a hot summer, everyone welcomed the rain.

(B) The following Homographs have the same spelling and pronunciation; but can have different meanings. Make sentences of your own to show the difference.

(a) firm (i) business- The four friends started a partnership firm.

                 (ii) strict – Rohan’s father was firm about his career.

(b) train (i) vehicle – They enjoyed the annual train journey to Nainital.

                 (ii) teach/learn a skill – One should always train hard to excel in a particular skill.

(c) type (i) particular kind of- There are many types of dog species.

              (ii) punch letters or numbers on a device – Sara can type very fast without making any mistakes.

(d) post (i) position – Mr. Suresh was promoted to a higher post.

               (ii) to give a letter to be delivered- Post this letter at once.

(e) current (i) flow of water – It is very difficult to row against the current.

                  (ii) present situation – The boss wanted a full report of the current sales.

8. Glance through the text and prepare notes from the information that you get. Take only relevant points. Don’t use sentences. Arrange the points in the same order. You may use symbols or short forms. Present the points sequentially. Use highlighting techniques.

(a) Date of Birth – 15th April, 1919

(b) Place of Birth – Lyalpur (now Faislabad, Pakistan)

(c) Education – Montgomery (now Sahiwal, Pakistan)

(d) Acheivements – • selected for the Empire Pilot Training Course at RAF (Cranwell) in 1938, at age 19
• promoted to rank of Squadron Leader in 1944
• led a fly-past over the Red Fort on August 15, 1947 promoted to rank of Wing Commander: promoted to rank of Air Commodore in 1949
• longest tenure as AOC 1949 to 1952 and 1957 to 1961
• appointed as Deputy Chief of Air Staff at the end of the 1962 war: appointed as Vice Chief of Air Staff in 1963
• rank of Air Marshal in August 1964; took over reins of IAF
• successfully led the IAF in 1965 Indo-Pak war
• promoted as Air Vice Marshal; appointed as AOC-in-C of an operational command
• first Air Chief to keep his flying currency till his CAS rank: has flown more than 60 different types of aircraft
• first and only Air Chief Marshal of the IAF

(e) Important posts Held

(i) In Air Force – Air Force Marshal

(ii) After retirement –  Ambassador to Switzerland and

                                    Lieutenant Governor of Delhi                                     

(f) Awards – Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Padma Vibhushan

(g) Most outstanding contribution in IAF – He played a major role in transforming the IAF into one of the most potent air forces globally and the fourth biggest in the world.

9. Develop a story suitable to the conclusion/end given below. Suggest a suitable title.

A strange encounter

In a remote village on the outskirts of Sangli, in Maharashtra, lived Sanyogita More with her father, mother and little brother Soham.

Since their village was a tiny hamlet of only 500 people including just 15 kids, their village lacked a school. The nearest school was in the next village. Every day Sanyogita and eight other kids, who were above the age of five, had to walk 2 km to and fro to reach school.

On the way they had to pass through a forest area. Sanyogita being the eldest among the kids would lead the way. As the kids had been traveling on this route day after day and year after year, they were very comfortable with the journey. In order to pass their time they would entertain themselves by singing songs or hymns aloud.

On Saturday, 16th September 2017, Sanyogita and the kids were

returning home from school when suddenly they heard a strange noise. At first they ignored it, but they heard it again, this time loud and clear. Sanyogita, sensed danger, she gestured to the kids to be quite. They stood still for a few moments. When they did not hear any more noise and not knowing what to do, Sanyogita and the kids very silently started walking on. All of a sudden they saw something leap in front of them. The kids started screaming. Right in front of them at a distance of about 100 ft was a cheetah staring at them. Sanyogita, shouted at the kids to climb the trees as fast as they could.

The cheetah started walking towards her. Sanyogita stood still. Though she was very scared she knew that she had to act quickly but tactfully.  The cheetah continued moving forward. Now it was just a few feet away. Sanyogita knew what to do. She had read about it in one of the stories in her text book. Just when the cheetah was about to pounce on her, with a flash of lightening she opened her big black umbrella in front of her. The cheetah was taken aback with this unexpected move. It leapt towards the left and sprinted off into oblivion. Sanyogita, told the kids to jump down and they all raced home without even glancing behind.

The kids narrated the incident to the villagers, who were shocked to hear of the encounter. Soon the story spread like wild fire. On 26th January, Sanyogita was invited to New Delhi and so with tears of joy and pride the 10 year old Sanyogita More received the National Bravery Award from the Prime Minister.

10. You wish to join any one of the Indian Armed Forces. Fill in the following application form.

(Students should fill in their own details)

Extra Textual Questions:

1. Why is Air Force Marshal Arjan Singh considered an outstanding military personality?

Ans. Air force Marshal Arjan Singh is considered as an outstanding military personality because he had successfully led a young IAF during the 1965 Indo-Pak war. He was the only officer to attain the highest post of Marshal, the Air Force equivalent to the Army’s five star Field Marshal. Singh was a fearless and exceptional pilot who had flown more than 60 different types of aircraft. He was an icon of India’s military history and will always be remembered as a war hero.

2. What personality traits of Arjan Singh are mentioned here?

Ans. Air Marshal Arjan Singh was considered to be a jewel of a person. He was quite efficient and firm, unexcitable and a very able leader. He was the epitome of military leadership and a very fearless man.

3. What enabled Arjan Singh to the DFC award?

Ans. In 1944 Arjan Singh had led a squadron against the Japanese during the Arakan campaign, flying close air support missions during the crucial Imphal campaign and later assisted the advance of the Allied Forces to Yangoon. In recognition of his feat, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) on the spot by the Supreme Allied Commander of South East Asia, the first Indian pilot to have received it.

4. At what age did Arjan Singh become a Squadron Leader?

Ans. When Arjan Singh was 25 years he became a squadron leader.

5. For how long did Arjan Singh hold the post of AOC?

Ans. Arjan Singh held the post of AOC from 1949-1952 and 1957-1961.

6. What uphill task did Singh face when he took over as Air Marshal?

Ans. Arjan Singh took over reins of IAF, at a time when it was still rebuilding itself and was gearing up to meet new challenges. These were the uphill task which Singh took over as Air Marshal.

7. What other important positions did Arjan Singh hold after his retirement?

Ans. After Arjan Singh’s retirement he held important position of Ambassadorship in Switzerland and Lieutenant Governor of Delhi from December 1989 to December 1990.