Unseen Passage

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The Adventure Class 11 English Notes

Please refer to The Adventure Class 11 English Notes and summary provided below. The following summary and solved questions have been designed as per the latest syllabus and books issued by CBSE, NCERT, and KVS. By going through and learning the below notes for Class 11 English you will be able to understand the entire chapter and easily solve questions in your exams. Also, refer to the Class 11 English Chapter Summary for all chapters in your textbooks.

Class 11 English The Adventure Summary and Questions

The following The Adventure Class 11 English Notes and questions answers will help you to easily learn the entire chapter. You will be able to solve all questions in upcoming Class 11 English exams and score better marks


The Jijamata Express train was running on Pune-Bombay route even faster than the Deccan Queen. The first stop came in 40 minutes. Then there was the Western Ghat section which Professor Gaitonde knew quite well. The train then passed through Kalyan station. it was, however, Gangadharpant’s first visit to Bombay.

Professor Gaitonde worked out a plan of action in Bombay. He was a historian who had published five volumes. He planned to go to a big library and find out what historical events had led to the present state of affairs. Next, he would return to Pune to have a long talk with Rajendra Deshpande for further clarification.

The train stopped beyond the long tunnel. At a small station called Sarhad, an Anglo-Indian ticket checker entered the compartment. The professor had a fellow traveller Khan sahib. Who was on way to Peshawar. Khan told gained that from Sarhad began the British Raj. The words painted on the blue carriages were Great Bombay metropolitan railway. The Union Jack was also painted on each bogey.

The train finally stopped at Victoria terminus. The station was neat and clean. The staff Was mostly made up of Anglo-Indians and Parsees. Gangadhar walked out of the station. He found himself standing in front of Head Quarters of East India Company. He hadn’t expected this. The company had been wound up after 1857 according to the history book. Yet here he found the company alive and flourishing. He wondered how and when it had happened.

He walked along Hornby Road. Lie found British firms and offices of British banks there. He then entered Forbes building. He wished to meet Mr Vinay Gaitonde, working there. The receptionist was sorry to say that there was no such person on the staff. This was a blow but not totally unexpected. If he himself was dead in the world, his son could not be alive.
He wanted to go to the Town Hall library. He took a quick lunch and reached there.

He now got all the five volumes he himself had written up to the death of Aurangzeb. There was no change in history. The change had occurred only in the last volume. He turned over the pages and came to the exact points where history had taken a different turn. The Battle of Panipat was fought between the Marathas and Abdali. Abdali was defeated and chased back to Kabul. The victorious Maratha army was led by Sadashivrao Bhau and his nephew, young Vishwasrao. This victory established the supremacy of the Marathas in northern India. The East India Company got the message to keep functioning for the time being. Its Influence was reduced to three cities—Bombay, Calcutta and Madras.

For political reasons, the Peshwas kept the puppet Mughal rule alive in Delhi. But in the 19th century, the Maratha rulers recognised the importance of science and technology. They set up their own centres of study and research. The East India Company grabbed the opportunity to extend its influence. It offered help as well as expertise.

The 20th century brought about further changes. India moved towards democracy and the grip of Peshwas grew weak. Gangadharpant began to admire the India that he had seen. He felt that India gave concession to Fast India Company from a position of strength and for commercial reasons. The Marathas leased out Bombay to the British in 1908. The lease was to expire in the year 2001. He could not help comparing the country he knew with what he was seeing around him.

He decided to find out how the Marathas won the Battle of Panipat. He found the clue in Bakhar. He read the three-line account of how close Vishwasrao had come to being killed. The young general guided his horse to the scene of actual fighting. A shot brushed past his ear, and he luckily escaped death.

The librarian reminded Gangadhar that it was time to close the library. The professor put some notes into his right pocket. Absent-mindedly he put the Bakhar also into his left pocket.
He put up for the night in a guest house. After a frugal meal, he set out for a walk towards the Azad Maidan, where a lecture was in progress. But table and chair on the dais were unoccupied. It was the presidential chair. The professor sank into that chair. There were protests. He proceeded with his lecture. But the audience was in no mood to listen. They hit him with tomatoes and eggs. It was his 999th lecture. He kept on talking. He was removed bodily and was thereafter seen nowhere.

When he finally met Rajendra at Pune, he had no Idea where and how he had spent the past two days. He had met with a road accident and collided with a truck. At that time he was thinking of that crucial moment when history could have taken a U-turn. He produced a page torn out of a book to establish that his imagination was not running amuck. The book Bakhar was, however, lost somewhere in the Azad Maidan. Rajendra read that account how vishwas rao was hit by the bullet. It was material evidence. The professor’s account was not a mere fantasy or a trick being played by his mind.

Rajendra tried to rationalise gaitonde’s experience. He called it a catastrophic experience. This theory could be aptly applied to the Battle of Panipat. The two armies of the Marathas and Abdali were equally matched. So a lot depended on the leadership and the morale of the soldiers. The point at which Vishwas Rao, the heir-son of the Peshwa, was killed, proved to be the turning point. His uncle was also perhaps killed. The loss of their two leaders killed the fighting spirit of the Maratha troops and they suffered defeat.

But Rajendra pointed out that Vishwas Rao was saved and the Maratha troops won the battle. Similar statements are made about the Battle of Waterloo which Napoleon could have won.

Rajendra then explained the second point—we experience the reality directly with our senses. But It is limited to what we see. There are other manifestations of reality. Take the example of the atom and its particles. Their behaviour cannot be foretold definitely. If an electron is fired from source, it won’t go in the given direction as does a bullet from a gun. In one world the electron is found here, in another itis over there. The observer bases his experience on one finding. But other worlds exist just the same. The electron can make a jump from high to low energy level. Such transitions are common. In other words, the professor also had made a move from one world to another and back again. So far as reality is concerned, all alternatives are true but the observer can see only one of them at a time. Professor Gaitonde was able to experience two worlds or periods of history although only one at a time. The one was his present, the other was where he had spent two days after the accident. He travelled neither to the past nor to the future. He was in the present, but he was experiencing a different world of what might have been.

But the professor wanted to know why he made the transition. Rajendra explained that perhaps at the time of the accident, he was thinking about the catastrophic theory and its role in wars. Perhaps he was wondering about the Battle of Panipat. The professor admitted that he had been wondering what course history would have taken if the result of the Battle had gone the other way. In fact, that was going to be the topic of his thousandth presidential address. But he wasn’t going to deliver that thousandth lecture. He had tried to do that at the Azad Maidan where he was hooted down. So he had informed the organisers of the Panipat seminar about his inability to attend it.

Important Points

  • Professor Gaitonde was an eminent historian from Pune, India. He was a known author of tomes of books on History and had presided over 998 meetings, seminars, debates, jubilee, college days, birthdays and other similar functions. And now, he was waiting for his 1000th function, a seminar devoted to the Third Battle of Panipat.
  • The incidents in the story happened between the 998th and the 1000th, that is, on the occasion of his 999th public function on which he was to preside over a seminar on Catastrophe Theory in the Mathematic Department, Pune University.
  • In fact it was a chance that chanced! The other professors of the University, especially the Professor of Mathematics, had no idea what this catastrophe Theory was so they requested the historian, Professor Gaitonde, to preside over it. They knew, you know, that he would be ready and they were right.
  • “Well,” said Gaitonde, “What is this catastrophe Theory?” To get a good deal of information about Catastrophe Theory, Professor Gaitonde approached a research fellow, Dr. Rajendra Deshpande. The two discussed and debated and finally Professor Gaitonde understood this much: a little deviation in any course of act can cause unexpected effects.
  • “That is,” said Rajendra. “Like, a cricket side collapses all of a sudden, a mob gets out of control and runs amuck, share prices crash down unexpectedly, something happens to turn the tide in a battle…”
  • Professor Gaitonde got enough, because the Catastrophe Theory was not just Mathematics, it is history, too! It had always been a hobby of his to speculate what would have happened if some crucial battles had ended differently. Professor Gaitonde’s eyes lit up. He now wanted to know more about catastrophe theory. When he heard all, he liked it and agreed to preside over the seminar.
  • The 999th Seminar was another great event and now Professor Gaitonde was thinking about the 1000th function. That evening, walking home, Gaitonde’s mind was full of the third Battle of Panipat and Catastrophe Theory. He had this question – How could history have taken a different course if the Maratha troops defeated the troops of Abdali, the Afghan invader?
  • Thinking, lost in thoughts, Professor Gaitonde lost sight of the sidewalk and invaded the busy Bombay – Pune highway, and was hit by a passing truck. Though the driver and cleaner of the truck searched for the Professor, they could not find him. He vanished but 60 hours later, people in Bombay found him lying on the roadside and someone in the crowd recognized him.
  • Professor Gaitonde recalled his memory and contacted his son Vinay who worked at Fobes in Bombay. Though Vinay requested his father to stay in Bombay for a few more days, Professor Gaitonde boarded the Deccan Queen that passed Karjat, to Pune.
  • Still worried about how he had reached Bombay, Professor Gaitonde found his experience critically unbelievable. At Karjat Station, he found a very prominent material evidence to track the mystery. It was torn off page that he had stolen from Bombay! Slowly, the broken pieces of incidents, imagination and mystery came closer.

Short Questions

Question. What did the professor wish to find out in history books?
Answer: He wanted to find the answer to his question about how the Marathas had won the Battle of Panipat. He found a clue in the book on history titled Bakhars. Vishwasrao had a narrow escape from being killed by a bullet that brushed past his ear. This boosted the morale of the Maratha army and they fought bravely.

Question. What two things did the professor put into his pockets at the Town Hall?
Answer: He put some notes in his right pocket and the book, the ‘Bakhar’, into his left pocket.

Question. What was Gangadharpant’s experience on way to Bombay?
Answer: Gangadharpant travelled by the Jijamata express along the Pune-Bombay route. His plan was to consult some history books at the library. At Sarhad station, an Anglo-Indian checked the permits. That was the place where the British Raj began. He got the company of one Khan Sahib on the train. He noticed that the city was quite different from what he had known about it.

Question. What was Gangadhar’s experience when he reached a small station Sarhad?
Answer: It was Gangadhar’s first visit to this new Bombay. Every blue carriage carried the words Greater Bombay metropolitan railway’ and also a small Union Jack painted on it. It gently reminded him that he had entered the British territory. An Anglo-Indian checked the train permits of the passengers.

Question. ‘But why did I make the transition?’ What explanation did Rajendra give to the professor?
Answer: Rajendra guessed that the transition must have been caused by some interaction. Perhaps the professor had been thinking at the time of collision about the catastrophic theory and its role in wars. The professor admitted that he had been wondering at that time what course history would have taken if the Marathas had won the Battle of Panipat.

Question. Why did Gangadhar decide to cancel his thousandth address?
Answer: Gangadhar informed the organisers of the Panipat seminar that he won’t be able to keep his commitment. The reason was his bitter experience at the Azad Maidan meeting when the hostile crowd refused to listen to him and threw eggs and tomatoes at him.

Question. What had Professor Gaitonde not expected in Bombay?
Answer: Professor Gaitonde was prepared for many shocks but he had not expected to see the domination of East India Company in Bombay. History books said that the company had been wound up after 1857. But here in Bombay it still seemed to be alive and flourishing. He found a different set of shops and departmental stores and big bank buildings as in England.

Question.What sort of ‘Adventure’ has been narrated by Jayant Narlikar?
Answer: The adventure of Professor Gangadharpant was not real or physical. He was a historian. He wanted to know what would have happened if the Marathas had lost the Battle of Panipat. For two days during his unconsciousness, he visited the new Bombay and had a bitter experience in Azad Maidan.

Question. What bitter experience did the professor have at the meeting in Azad Maidan?
Answer: A lecture was in progress when the professor reached Azad Maidan. Seeing the presidential chair vacant, he occupied it swiftly. The audience protested. They said the chair was symbolic. But when the professor began to address the gathering, he was physically removed from the dais.

Question. How did Bakhar’s account of the Battle of Panipat differ from what other history books said?
Answer: All the history books said that the Maratha army had lost the battle. Vishwasrao was hit by a bullet and he fell. That broke the morale of the army. That was not what the professor’s own copy of the Bakhar said. It said that Vishwas Rao had a narrow escape as the bullet brushed past his ear. The professor was dying to know the facts.

Question. Who was Professor Gaitonde? What was his plan in Bombay?
Answer: Professor Gaitonde or Gangadharpant was a historian. He had written five volumes on history. But his research work was still going on. He was on his way to Bombay. He planned to go to a big library and consult the history books there to find out how the present state of affairs was reached.

Question. What for did Professor Gaitonde enter the Forbes building? What was his experience there?
Answer: The professor went to Forbes building to meet Vinaya gained, his own son. The receptionist searched through the telephone list and directory of employees. There was no one bearing that name. It was a big blow. He felt that so far everything had been shocking and surprising so the blow of non-existence of his son was not totally unexpected.

Question. How did Rajendra rationalise the professor’s experience?
Answer: Rajendra tried to explain the professor’s experience on the basis of two scientific theories. The professor had passed through a catastrophic experience. The Maratha and the Abdali army were well matched. So a lot depended on the morale of the troops and the leadership. The point at which Vishwas Rao was killed, proved to be the turning point. They lost their morale and suffered defeat. But the Bakhar’s page presented an opposite view. It said that the
bullet missed Vishwas Rao, and that boosted the morale of the soldiers. The professor was thinking of this aspect when he was hit by the truck.

Question. How did Rajendra try to explain the mystery of reality?
Answer: We normally experience reality directly with our senses. But what we see is not the whole truth. That is proved if we take the example of an electron. Fired from a source, it can go in any direction, breaking all laws of physics. This is called lack of determination in quantum theory. The professor, said Rajendra, had made a transition from one world that he knew to another that could have been. The observer can experience one reality, but alternative realities also exist. The professor had also experienced a different world without any physical movement when he became unconscious after being hit by a truck.

Question. What did the professor do in the Town Hall library?
Answer: The professor asked for the history books he himself had written. There was no change in the events up to the death of Aurangzeb. The change had occurred in the last volume. He read the description of the Battle of Panipat. Abdali was defeated by the Maratha army led by Sadashiv Rao Bhau and his nephew Vishwas Rao. This event led to a power struggle. It established the supremacy of the Marathas. The British company was reduced to pockets of Influence near Bombay. The Marathas set up their science research centres. They accepted the help of English experts.

Question. What is the professor’s opinion was the cause of expanding British influence in India?
Answer: Professor Gangadhar felt glad to learn that the white men could not have expanded their hold if the Marathas had not allowed them for commercial reasons to stay on in Bombay. That lease was to expire in 2001 according to the treaty of 1908.

Long Answer Questions

Question. Give a brief account of Professor Gaitonde’s stay and study of history books at Town Hall library. What riddle was he keen to solve?
Answer: In Bombay, the professor went to the Town Hall library. He asked for the five volumes he had written. Up to the death of Aurangzeb, there was no change in history. The change had taken place in the last volume. Turning over the pages, he reached the exact point where history had taken a different turn. It was the Battle of Panipat in which the Maratha army had defeated Abdali. The victorious army was led by the young Vishwasrao. Thereafter began the power struggle in India. It was his own style of writing.
The Maratha victory dampened the spirit and plans of the East India Company. its influence was reduced to Bombay region. In the 19th century, the Peshwas needed the help of the British at their centres for science and technology. They gave an opportunity to the company to extend its influence. Then came democracy. The professor could not help comparing the country he knew with what he was witnessing around him.

Question. Describe Gangadharpant’s journey by train from Pune to Bombay.
Answer: Professor Gaitonde (Gangadharpant) travelled from Pune to Bombay by train. The Jijamata express had its first stop at Lonavala. The ghat section was quite familiar to him. The train passed through Kalyan.
He made a plan of action in Bombay. He was a historian. He had written five volumes. He planned to go to a big library and read history books to find out how the present state of affairs had been reached. Thereafter, he would discuss his findings with Rajendra Deshpande.
The train stopped beyond the long tunnel at a small station, Sarhad. An Anglo-Indian checked the permits. This was the place where the British Raj began. Pant had not been to this Bombay before. He talked with his fellow passenger Khan sahib. The professor got some information on life in British India. He also noticed the words written and the Union Jack painted on the carriage. He had not expected all that.

Question. How did Rajendra Deshpande apply his theory of catastrophic experience regarding the Battle of Panipat?
Answer: Gangadharpant narrated to Rajendra his experience at the Azad Maidan meeting. For two days he was in a coma. He had met with an accident. He had now returned to the world he was familiar with. He asked Rajendra to explain where he had spent those days.
He admitted that just before the collision he had been thinking of the catastrophic theory and how it could change the course of history. He produced a page from the Bakhar to prove that his mind was working normally. The page described that Vishwasrao had not escaped the bullet, he had rather been hit and killed by the bullet. It was just contrary to what his own history book said. And he wanted to know the facts.

The Adventure Class 11 English Notes

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