CBSE Class 7 English Chapter 10 An Alien Hand Summary, Explanation, Question Answers
An Alien Hand Class 7 – NCERT Class 7 English An Alien Hand book Lesson 10 An Alien Hand Summary and Detailed explanation of the lesson along with the meanings of difficult words. Also, the explanation is followed by a Summary of the lesson. All the exercises and Questions and Answers given at the back of the lesson have been covered. Take Free Online MCQs Test for Class 7 Click Here
This story is about a young boy named Tilloo who, along with his parents, lives beneath the ground and is curious about his father’s secretive job. The story is based on NASA’s exploratory missions Viking 1 and Viking 2 to Mars. These missions had the objective to find any possible signs of life through testing the soil samples.
An Alien Hand Summary
The story starts with a young boy named Tilloo getting scolded by his mother because he went down a secret passage. Tilloo, his family and all of humanity lived under the surface of Mars. The secret passage led to the surface of the earth, where he and the rest of the people were forbidden to go to. His father went down that passage because of his occupation. No one knew what the passage led to, not even Tilloo. One day, Tilloo’s father was relaxing and staying at home. Tilloo secretly took his security card which gave him access to the secret passage. He made his way to the forbidden passage when he saw that a metal door barred his entry. However, the metal door opened easily with the help of the security card. From there, the passage sloped upwards and led to the surface of the planet. However, he could never see what was at the end of the slope because of the various security arrangements. The Central Bureau was already aware that someone was trespassing and Tilloo was escorted by the security staff back home. Tilloo’s mother was both anxious and angry, and she scolded him for being a disobedient child. Tilloo’s father came and asked the mother to let him explain to Tilloo why he should not go there. He told Tilloo that he must not go where he worked because the air was too thin to breathe and the temperature was so low that he could freeze to death. Tilloo then asked his father how he managed to survive there. His father said that he was always well-equipped with a special suit and a reservoir of oxygen along with extra warmth and support. He had also been given some training to survive and work on the surface. Then, the father began to tell Tilloo about the past, when their forefathers lived on the surface. There were times when humans lived on the surface but this did not last for long. The very sun which had given them sustenance, turned hostile on the living beings. The birds, animals and even fishes could not survive this slight change in the sun, and the humans, who were able to survive due to their superior technology were still forced to move underground under artificial conditions. Their major source of sustenance was solar power. Some of the machines which helped them in getting the needed solar power were on the surface, and must always be in a perfect working condition. So, there was a team which was responsible for the maintenance of these machines and he was a part of that team. Tilloo asked if he could join the team when he grew up. The father said that he could join the team but for that, he had to be a good boy and do as he and his mother would tell him to do. The next day when Tilloo’s father went to work, he found the Control Room full of excitement. People were crowded around the big TV screen which showed a dot in an otherwise clear background. The Supervisor of the last shift said that the dot could not be a star and explain the reason behind it. According to him, the dot was coming towards them. Tilloo’s father asked if it could be a spacecraft. The Supervisor said that everyone else thought of the same and that the dot needs to be observed from time-to-time. Now, everyone was wondering where the spacecraft was coming from. According to all the astronomical research and studies, there was no life in the solar system except on Earth. They could not study further due to shortage of resources, and so they had no idea who these extra-terrestrial strangers were. The conference room in the Central Bureau was quiet but full of people. They were quiet because they knew that the President was going to make a momentous announcement. The President began his announcement, saying that there was a change in the situation.
There were now two spacecraft which were approaching them. One was orbiting their planet while the other was still far away. According to their present observations, both of them had come from the neighbouring planets. He then asked the people how they should react. He asked Number One to present his views on the matter. Number One, who was in charge of defence, was known for his courage and wisdom. He said that if the President wished then they could easily destroy the spacecraft with their missiles. However, that would not make them wiser. They did not have the capacity to render the craft unoperational in space. If the craft would land on the surface, they could render them ineffective anytime. Also, the craft contained instruments and not living beings. The President then asked Number two’s opinion. Number Two said that he recommended non-interference and passive observation. They did not know the power of the senders of those craft and the intentions of the senders. Hence, it was not wise to reveal their existence and rendering the craft ineffective would only reveal their existence. The President rarely agreed with Number Two, but that day was one of the rare occasions that he did. He then asked the opinion of Number Three, who said that he too agreed with Number Two. Number Three added that there was a need to make an impression in the senders that there was no life on Earth. Then, the President received a call on his personal telephone. After listening to the caller quietly, he announced that the first spacecraft had landed. That day was the red letter day in Tilloo’s life, as he was finally taken to the control room he had always wanted to go to. From there he could see the alien spacecraft on his TV screen. He asked his father what it contained. The Father said he didn’t know for sure as they were only allowed to observe it from faraway. Then Tilloo pointed out that some movement was occurring in the spacecraft. The others noticed it too and so their eyes became glued to the screen. A mechanical hand had emerged from the spacecraft and was now touching the soil. The telescopic lens of the TV camera zoomed into the tip of the mechanical hand. Meanwhile, Tilloo was attracted by the variety of buttons at the control panel. He wanted to push the most prominent button – the red one. When he pressed it, he became the centre of attention. A shrill whistle started ringing. Father pushed him aside roughly and put the situation to neutral but the damage was already done. The mechanical hand ceased to move.
Now, back at Earth, the scientists who sent the spacecraft studied the results of the mission. NASA gave a report saying that the ‘Viking Mission’ was going smoothly until they met with a small problem, which was that the mechanical hand stopped working. However, they had successfully collected the soil samples, and soon they would get to know if life on Mars could be possible. Mars is the only planet in the entire solar system whose physical conditions are most similar to that of Earth. Also, it is the nearest to Earth. However, the samples gave the result that there was no life on Mars.
An Alien Hand Lesson Explanation
“TILLOO! How often have you been told not to go that way?”
“But why does Daddy go there every day?”
“Because that’s his job, Tilloo!”
Tilloo’s mother scolds him from going towards a particular area and adds that she has stopped him many times earlier. Tilloo asks her that if he cannot go there then why does his father go there. Mother replies that the father goes there for work.
‘That way’ was an underground passage. Tilloo’s father went every day for work along that passage. And every day he came back from that direction. What lay at the end of that forbidden route? Not only Tilloo, but a great majority of the community would have liked to know. Tilloo’s father was one of the select few permitted to go that way. The above conversation invariably took place between Tilloo and his mother whenever he insisted on following his father.
The way where Tilloo could not go was under the ground. His father went there for work everyday and returned from there. Tilloo was curious to know what was there at the end of the path. Not only Tilloo but many other people of their area wanted to know where the path led to. Only a few persons were allowed to go there and the father was one of them. Whenever Tilloo wanted to follow his dad, this conversation between him and his mother would follow.
Today, however, was different. Tilloo’s father was enjoying a siesta at home and Tilloo managed to get hold of his security card. Then, evading his watchful mother’s eye, Tilloo made his way to the forbidden passage.
Siesta: short rest or nap after lunch
Forbidden: not allowed
One day when Tilloo’s father was taking a short nap after lunch, Tilloo managed to take his security card. He escaped his mother’s eyes who kept a careful eye on him. He went ahead on the path that he was told not to walk on.
A metal door barred his entry. But Tilloo had watched his father slip the magic card into a slot. He did the same… and the door opened noiselessly . A well-lit passage seemed to beckon him.
Slip: here, put or slide through
On the way, there was a door made of metal which stopped Tilloo from going further. He knew that he was supposed to put the card into the slot because he had seen his father do the same. He was able to open the door and was welcomed into a passage that was lit with lights.
Snatching the card which had come out of another slot in the wall, Tilloo started his march along a gentle upward slope—for the passage led from the underground habitat to the surface of the planet. Tilloo looked forward to seeing the sun (if it was daytime) or the stars (if it was night) about which he had heard and read so much.
Upward slope: a path going up
Habitat: shelter or home
The slot machine had sent the card out of another slot and Tilloo took hold of the card. He started walking up the passage which would lead him up and out of the underground shelter onto the outer surface of the planet. Tilloo was curious to see the Sun in the sky if it was daytime or the stars if it was nighttime. He had read a lot about these and had also heard many things.
But alas, that wasn’t to be!
Tilloo had underestimated the security arrangements. Invisible mechanical devices had already detected and photographed the small intruder, sent his picture to the Central Bureau where it was thoroughly checked… And before he had advanced ten paces a strong hand fell heavily on his shoulder. Gently but firmly he was escorted by the security staff back home to an anxious and angry mother. While he was being scolded he received help from an unexpected quarter.
Intruder: one who enters a place without permission
Firmly: with little possibility of movement
Escorted: taken or led
Tilloo’s plan was unsuccessful.
He had incorrectly judged the security arrangements. The invisible security machines had found a small human who was there without permission. His picture was sent to the Central Bureau which checked his information. He had only taken ten steps when a strong person held his shoulder. It was the security staff. He was gentle but held him firmly. Tilloo was given back to his mother who had been curious as to his whereabouts and also angry with him. While the mother was scolding him, Tillo got an unexpected help.
“Let me explain to him, darling!” said his father who had just got up. “If he is properly briefed, he will not do such a thing again.” He started to explain.
“Listen, Tilloo! I work on a surface where an ordinary person cannot survive because the air is too thin to breathe and where the temperature is so low that you would freeze to death.”
Briefed: told or informed
The father told the mother to calm down and added that he would explain everything to Tilloo. He added that if Tilloo was told everything well then he would not repeat this.
The father told Tilloo that he worked on a surface where a normal person could not continue to live because the air was too thin and lacked enough oxygen, and the temperature was too low that it would freeze the person to death.
“But, Daddy, how do you manage to survive?”
“Because I go well-equipped, in a special suit with a reservoir of oxygen. I can keep warm and my boots are specially designed to make it easy for me to walk on the surface. What’s more, I’ve been trained to survive and work on the surface.
Well-equipped: supplied with the necessary things
Reservoir: large supply
Tilloo asked the father how he managed to survive in such harsh conditions. Father replied that he carried the necessary things and went in a special dress which had a huge supply of oxygen attached to it. He could remain warm and the boots that he wore were of a special design which made it easier to walk on the surface. He had also received training to remain alive and work on such surfaces.
“There was a time when our forefathers lived on the surface quite naturally. Indeed they did so for millions of years. But times changed. The very sun, which had provided us with sustenance, turned hostile. It changed only slightly but the change was sufficient to upset the balance of nature on this planet.
forefather: ancestor, previous generations
sustenance: maintenance, nourishment
hostile: showing or feeling opposition or dislike; unfriendly
Tilloo’s father tells Tilloo that there had been a time when their ancestors lived on the surface of Mars. And they had lived there for millions of years. But the times changed and soon, there came a time when the sun which gave them all the necessary things required for their maintenance, nourishment and living, started opposing this and stopped being giving and friendly towards the living beings. The sun had shown a very minimal change, but that change was still too much to bear for the living beings. The slight change resulted in some bad consequences, which were enough to disturb the balance of nature on the planet. Hence, the slight change in the sun ruined the balance of nature on the surface.
“First the birds became extinct. The animals followed. The fish couldn’t bear it anymore either. We managed to survive only because of our superior technology, but we were forced to live underground under artificial conditions. Thanks to solar energy, we can generate sufficient power to make our life comfortable. But the machines which make this possible must always be in good working condition. Some of them are on the surface—I belong to the team whose responsibility it is to keep watch on them and to service them.”
superior: something which is higher in rank, status or quality
The change in the sun resulted in the end of the birds. This was the first result. The second consequence was the end of animals. The third consequence was the extinction of fish. The fourth consequence would have been the extinction of humans but their technology saved them, which was better than the living beings as their quality made them resistant to the change in the sun. Although they had managed to survive, they were forced to move underground and live there under artificial or man-made conditions. They were grateful towards solar energy, which was generating enough power to make their life comfortable. The machines which provided them solar energy are on the surface of the planet. Since they were so dependent on the machines, it was necessary that the machines must be in good working conditions. That was the purpose of the team he belonged to – to watch and maintain the machines.
“Daddy, can I join the team when I grow up?” “Of course, if you want to,” said his father. “But for that you must be a good boy and do as your parents tell you.” His mother had, as usual, the last word.
Tilloo was so fascinated by all this that he wanted to join the team and maintain the machines too. He asked his Father if he could join the team when he grew up. His father said that he could join the team but for that, he must be a good boy and obey and do as his parents tell him. Tilloo’s mother was the one who usually had the last word, meaning that Tilloo had to obey his mother the most.
Next day when Tilloo’s father went to work, he found the Control Room full of excitement. People were crowded round the big TV screen. It showed a dot in an otherwise clear background. “It isn’t a star—for it’s changing its position. Our computer has given a trajectory for this ‘thing’. It’s heading towards us.” The Supervisor of the last shift explained. “A spacecraft?” Tilloo’s father asked. By now he was joined by his teammates on the new shift. “So we think; but it needs watching.”
trajectory: the path followed by a projectile flying or an object moving under the action of given forces
shift: work period
The day ended. Next day, when Tilloo’s father went to work, he found the Control Room full of excitement. There was a crowd near the big TV screen, which showed a dot. People were excited to see a dot on the screen because usually the screen has a clear background. The Supervisor of the last work period came up to father and explained to them what the dot was. He told them that it was not a star because it was changing its position. Their computer had given the path in which the thing was moving in. According to that path, the thing was coming towards them. The whole team had now arrived for their work period. Tilloo’s father asked the Supervisor if it was a spacecraft. The Supervisor said that they thought that it was a spacecraft, but it needed to be watched for further results.
A spacecraft? Where from? The solar system wasn’t known to have any life anywhere else except on their planet. Tilloo’s father recalled the ancient days recorded in the archives at the Central Bureau when their ancestors had a well-developed space programme and had searched the solar system with manned and unmanned spacecraft and found that they were indeed ‘alone’. Now, in the days of energy shortage and underground life, they had no space programme. They could only watch impotently from their vantage point. Who were these strangers?
archive: a collection of historical documents or records providing information
manned: having a human crew
impotently: in a manner that is helpless or powerless
vantage: a place or position affording a good view of something
Tilloo’s father wondered what the thing was and if it really was a spacecraft. He then wondered where the spacecraft had come from. According to all the historical documents and records in the archives at the Centra Bureau, there was no life on any planet in the solar system except on Mars. He then recalled the well-developed space programme in which two types of spacecrafts, one having human crew and the other not having human crew, searched the solar system. The programme gave them the result that no other planet except Mars supported life and that they were alone. However, ever since they started living underground, they had no space programme due to energy shortage and the underground life. They could only do one thing – watch the spacecraft from their position, giving them just a good view of the spacecraft. In the other words, they had no knowledge of who those strangers were and they had no instruments to find out who they were.
The conference room in the Central Bureau was so quiet that an outsider would have thought it was empty. Far from it. It was full to capacity but the members of the Central Committee were unusually quiet. They knew that the President was going to make a momentous announcement.
conference: a formal meeting of people with a shared interest
outsider: someone who is not a part of an organisation, someone who is just visiting
capacity: the maximum amount that something can contain
momentous: of great importance or significance, especially in having a bearing on future events
There was a conference room in the Central Bureau. Although there were so many people in the conference room that its capacity was full, someone who was just visiting the Central Bureau would have thought that the room was completely empty. This was because the members of the Central Committee, who were there in the conference room, were unusually quiet. They knew that the President was going to make an announcement which was very important. The announcement would have a great impact on the future events, and so they were serious and quiet about it.
“Colleagues! I will give you the report as I have it. While I speak there may be a change in the situation,” the President paused to get his papers in order and then continued. “Two spacecraft are approaching us. One is in fact orbiting our planet while the other is still far away. We guess that they are coming from our neighbouring planet. How should we react? Number One, your views please.”
colleague: a person with whom one works in a profession or business
approaching: coming closer
orbiting: move around something in a circular path
The President began his announcement by addressing the members of the Central Committee as colleagues, because the members were working with him in a particular profession. He added that there was a possibility that there might be a change in the situation while he was making the announcement. In other words, they were really uncertain about the spacecraft and what they should do about it. The President then paused to get his papers in order and announced that two spacecrafts were coming closer to their planet. One of the two spacecrafts was revolving around the planet in its fixed orbit whereas the other one was still far away. Right now, they could only guess from where the spacecrafts were coming and they thought that they came from the neighbouring planet. Then, the President asked the members how they should react to the spacecraft. He then asked Number One to present his views on the matter.
Number One was in charge of defence. He was known for his courage and wisdom. “Sir, if we wish we can totally destroy these spacecraft with our missiles. But that won’t make us any wiser. We do not have the capacity to render these craft unoperational in space; but should they land we can render them ineffective anytime we choose. Our reports say that they do not contain living beings, they only have instruments.”
render: cause to be, make
unoperational: something which does not operate or function
ineffective: something which has no effect
The first person whose opinion was asked was Number One, who was in charge of defence. Hence, Number One’s responsibility was to defend the planet from any external harm. He was known for his bravery and wise thoughts. He told the President that they could absolutely destroy the spacecraft with their missiles. However, being aggressive towards the spacecraft would not make them wise. They had to be wise in order to handle the situation perfectly. They did not have sufficient technology to make those spacecrafts unoperational. Also, if they landed on their planet, they could then definitely make those spacecrafts unoperational so that they would have no ill effect on them. He added that their reports said that the spacecrafts contained only instruments and not living beings. So, there was a possibility that those spacecrafts would not harm them at all.
“Number Two, your opinion please,” the President asked the scientist on the committee.
“I recommend non-interference and passive observation. Since we do not know the power of the senders of these spacecraft, and we are still in the dark about their intentions, it is wise not to reveal our existence. If we destroy these spaceships or render them ineffective, we might reveal our existence.”
non-interference: an act of not interfering
passive: not giving any response or reaction
existence: state of living
The President then asked Number Two’s opinion on this matter. Number Two was the scientist on the committee. He said that he recommended non-interference and just observation. He suggested that they should not interfere with what the spacecrafts were doing and they should observe without giving a response or a reaction. They did not know how much power the senders of those spacecraft had. Also, they had no knowledge of the intentions of the senders. Hence, it was not wise for them to disclose the fact that there is someone on this planet who is in a state of living. If they destroy those spacecrafts or make them ineffective, the senders would get to know that they exist.
The President looked at Number Three, a social scientist. He rarely agreed with Number Two. But this was one of those rare occasions when he did.
“I agree with Number Two, sir. In fact I will go so far as to say that we should keep our surface activities to the minimum, thus creating the impression that there’s no life on this planet. Fortunately, our surface conditions do give that impression.”
impression: an idea, feeling, or opinion about something or someone, especially one formed without conscious thought or on the basis of little evidence
The President agreed with Number Two, even though he rarely agreed with him. That day was one of the rare occasions when he agreed with Number Two. He then asked Number Three to present his opinion. Number Three was a social scientist. He said that he agreed with Number Two and that they should keep their surface activities to the minimum. That would create an impression that there was no life on this planet. They were lucky that the condition of the surface of the planet gave the feeling that there was no life on the planet.
Before the President could speak his personal telephone rang. He lifted the receiver and listened quietly for a minute.
“Colleagues!” he announced, “the first spacecraft has landed.”
receiver: part of the telephone which receives the sound of the caller at the other end
Before the President could say anything else regarding the matter, his personal telephone rang. He lifted the receiver so that he could listen to the caller. He listened quietly and after a minute, he announced to his colleagues that the first spacecraft had landed.
It was a red letter day in Tilloo’s life—the day he was waiting for. For his father had at last taken him to the Control Room. From here he could see the alien spacecraft on his TV screen.
“What a funny looking thing, Daddy! What does it contain?” Tilloo asked.
red letter day: a day that is pleasantly noteworthy or memorable.
alien: something which is not from their planet
The announcement led to a red letter day in Tilloo’s life as his father finally took him to the Control Room. It was the day Tilloo was waiting for, and going to the Control Room was a noteworthy and memorable experience. There on the TV Screen, he could see the spacecraft which had come from some neighbouring planet. Tilloo found the spacecraft to be funny-looking. He asked his father what it contained.
His father shook his head, “Can’t say for sure. We are only allowed to observe it from far. But we control all its parts and can exercise our power if it is up to any mischief.” He pointed to an impressive panel with several coloured buttons on it. Tilloo looked at them wistfully.
exercise: utilise, use
wistfully: with a feeling of longing
Tilloo’s father shook his head and said that they were unable to tell what was inside. They were only allowed to observe it from afar, and so they were using passive observation. However, they did have the power to control all the parts of the spacecraft. They could use their power on the spacecraft if they observed that the spacecraft was doing something mischievous. He said this while pointing at an impressive panel containing several coloured buttons on it. Hence, he could use their power by pressing some buttons. Tilloo was attracted to the colourful buttons and he looked at them with a feeling of longing. Thus, he wanted to see something cool and awesome happen, meaning that he wanted to press those buttons and see how it affected the spacecraft.
“Look, it’s up to something, Daddy,” Tilloo suddenly noted some movement in the spacecraft. Others in the Control Room saw it too. All eyes were now glued to the screen.
A mechanical hand was emerging from the spacecraft. It was approaching the surface of the planet. It bent and touched the soil. What was it up to? People crowded towards the screen for a closer look. The telescopic lens of the TV camera zoomed into the tip of the mechanical hand.
up to something: doing something which other person has no knowledge of
glued: paying close attention to something
emerging: coming out of something
telescopic: capable of viewing and magnifying distant objects
Suddenly, the TV screen showed that there was some movement in the spacecraft. Tilloo told his father that the spacecraft was now doing something. Other people in the Control Room noticed it too. Now, all eyes were paying close attention to the screen. They saw a mechanical hand come out from the spacecraft. It was coming closer to the surface of the planet. It bent and touched the soil. Everyone in the Control Room wondered what it was up to. They formed a crowd near the screen because everyone wanted a closer look, so that they could figure out the intentions of the mechanical hand. The lens of the TV camera had the ability to view distant objects and it magnified the tip of the mechanical hand for a clearer view.
Tilloo was staring at the control panel and its attractive buttons. An irresistible desire got hold of him to press the most prominent of all buttons, the red one. He moved…
There was a shrill whistle and Tilloo found himself the centre of attention. His father pulled him away roughly and restored the red button to neutral position. But the damage was done.
The mechanical hand from the spacecraft ceased to work.
irresistible: something one cannot resist, temptation
prominent: something which stands out from the rest
roughly: violently, harshly
restore: bring something back to normal
neutral: something which has no prominent characteristics
Tilloo was staring at something else. He was looking at the attractive buttons on the control panel. He had a desire to press the most prominent button of all, the red one. He was unable to resist the temptation. He moved and pressed the button. Immediately, there came a high-pitched whistle. Tilloo noticed that everyone in the room was looking at him, and so he became the centre of attention. His father pulled him away violently from the control panel and brought the situation back to normal. His father’s behaviour shows that Tilloo was not supposed to press the button. Even though the button was restored to its neutral position, the damage had been done. The mechanical hand stopped working. The button must have destroyed the mechanical hand.
At a press conference held by NASA, a scientist was briefing the world press:
… Everything has been going on smoothly with the Viking Mission. There is a small hitch. The mechanical hand which was to dig out the Martian soil for examination has developed a malfunction… We don’t know the cause but our technicians are confident they’ll sort it out…
press conference: an interview given to journalists by a prominent person in order to make an announcement or answer questions
hitch: a temporary difficulty or problem
malfunction: state of not function properly
Now we go back to Earth, from where the spacecraft had come. NASA was carrying out the Viking Mission, and now a scientist from NASA was informing the world press about the ongoing mission in an interview with journalists. He said that everything had been going smoothly with the Viking Mission. There was a small problem which was just temporary. The mechanical hand which was supposed to dig out the Martian soil for examination had developed a problem. The mechanical hand was not functioning properly after that. The cause was not known to them but the technicians in NASA were confident that they would find the solution to the malfunction.
And shortly afterwards there was another press release from NASA:
… The mechanical hand is working again, thanks to the efforts of our technicians. Soil samples are being collected and examined… Soon we will know the answer to the question whether there is life on Mars.
press release: an official statement issued to newspapers giving information on a particular matter
After that press conference, there was soon an official statement issued to newspapers from NASA. The statement stated that the mechanical hand was working again by the efforts of their technicians. The samples of Martian soil were being collected and examined. Soon, they or the world would get to know whether or not there was life on Mars.
Life on Mars? Of all the planets in our solar system, Mars is nearest in location and physical conditions to our Earth. So the scientists behind the Viking Mission were hopeful of finding life on Mars. But they were in for a disappointment. The Viking Mission found no signs of life on Mars.
Everyone on Earth wondered if there was any chance of having life on Mars. There was a possibility that Mars had life on Earth because it was nearest in location and physical conditions to our Earth. The scientists behind the Viking Mission were hopeful of finding life on Mars. However, they were soon disappointed. The Viking Mission gave the result that there was no life on Mars.
An Alien Hand Question and Answers
Q1. How does Tilloo manage to find his way to the ‘forbidden passage’?
Ans. Tilloo’s father, who went through the ‘forbidden passage’ was enjoying a siesta at home. Tilloo managed to get hold of his father’s security card. He then evaded his mother’s watchful eye and went to the passage. There was a metal door which barred his entry. He had seen his father put the card into a slot. He did the same and the door opened noiselessly, giving him access to the forbidden passage.
Q2. What did Tilloo hope to see once he emerged from his underground home?
Ans. Tilloo knew that the passage led to the surface of the planet. So, he hoped to see the sun if it was daytime or the stars if it was night.
Q3. Why did Tilloo’s father advise him not to try to reach the surface of the planet?
Ans. Tilloo’s father advised him not to try to reach the surface of the planet. He explained that an ordinary person like Tilloo could not survive the surface as the air was too thin and the temperature was so low that one could freeze to death.
Q4. What changes had occurred, which forced people to live in underground homes?
Ans. There was a slight change in the sun, which ruined the delicate balance of nature. This led to the extinction of wildlife. Humans were forced to live underground because they would have been extinct too.
Q5. Why was everyone in the Control Room greatly excited?
Ans.Everyone in the Control Room was greatly excited the day when Tilloo’s father came back to work. People were crowded near the big TV screen, which showed a dot in an otherwise clear background.
Q6. Was the spacecraft manned or unmanned? How do you know it?
Ans. The spacecraft was unmanned, meaning that it did not contain human beings. We know this because Number One told the President that according to their observations, the spacecraft contained instruments.
Q7. What did Number One and Number Two suggest should be done about the alien spacecraft?
Ans. Number One suggested that they should let the spacecraft land on their planet. Since there was a possibility that the spacecraft could do no harm, destroying it would not be wise. If it turned out that the spacecraft was something dangerous, they could render it ineffective when it would land on the planet. Number Two suggested that they should use non-interference and passive observation. They had no knowledge of the spacecraft’s intentions, so they should not destroy it. Destroying it would reveal their presence, which might lead to something bad in the near future.
Q8. What do you think the mechanical hand was trying to do?
Ans. I think the mechanical hand was trying to collect some samples of the Martian soil. The samples would be taken to the scientists in NASA to figure out if there could be life on Mars.
Q9. Tilloo pressed the red button and “the damage was done”. What was the damage?
Ans. According to Tilloo’s father, the buttons on the control panel could be used to destroy the spacecraft if it did something mischievous. So, the red button damaged the spacecraft in such a way that the mechanical hand stopped working.
Q10. Where had the spacecraft come from?
Ans. The spacecraft had been built by the scientists and technicians of NASA and hence had come from the planet Earth.
Q11. On which planet do Tilloo and his parents live?
Ans. We know that the planet to which the spacecraft was sent to was nearest to location and features of Earth. Also, the press conference from the scientist at NASA stated that the spacecraft had been sent to collect some samples of ‘Martian’ soil. Hence, Tilloo and his parents lived under the surface of the planet Mars.