Very Short Questions

Question 1 : Give the name of the book written by Stephen Hawking?

Answer : A Brief History of Time, one of the biggest best-sellers ever, was written by Stephen Hawking.

Question 2 : Why had the writer come to England?

Answer : The writer was working on his travels to England, for which he was also touring to Cambridge.

Question 3 : What makes the writer feel stronger in weak times?

Answer : Looking at physically disabled people like him, doing well in life, makes the writer feel stronger in weak times.

Question 4 : Who reminds Kanga of Hawking’s presence of Cambridge?

Answer : The guide of the walking tour to Cambridge mentions the name of Stephen Hawking to Kanga and Kanga is immediately filled with the desire to meet him.

Question 5 : List a couple of emotions that the writer saw in the scientist when he first saw him talking.

Answer : Exhaustion, frustration and anguish.

Question 6 : What does Stephen Hawking find most annoying?

Answer : The synthesiser was unable to convey the inflection or the rise and fall of the speaker’s voice. According to Kanga, this was one disadvantage of the synthesizer.

Question 8 : Hawking don’t talk much to the writer while they were in the garden. Why?

Answer : In the garden, the rays of the sun cast a glare over the letters on the machine, which made it difficult for Stephen to look for the appropriate letters to be able to talk much.

Short Questions

Question 1 : How does the writer overcome his depression over his disintegrated body?

Answer : On seeing the state of Stephen Hawking and how creatively he lived, the writer becomes glad at observing the possibilities of his own body. Unlike Hawking, the writer had been blessed with greater movement. He could move his body, his finger, his hands, his neck and so on. In case of Hawking, Hawking could only make use of his fingers.

Question 2 : Why does the writer’s association with England change altogether by the time his journey comes to an end? 

Answer : For the writer, England was synonymous with Cambridge. However, by the time his journey ends England had taken an entirely new meaning. This meaning was supplied through his meeting with Stephen Hawking. Now, England stood for much more than Cambridge. It now stood for creativity, positivity, optimism and much more.

Question 3 : While describing the scientist, what does the writer compare him to?

Answer : The writer compares the sight or appearance of Hawking to a picture that one sees in a newspaper or a magazine. It was a stiff and lifeless as those pictures, except for it being three-dimensional.

Question 4 : What were the six questions that the writer asked the scientist?

Answer : i) Had the scientist been brave?
ii) Did he laugh often?
iii) Did the scientist find it annoying when he is disturbed by people?
iv) What is the best thing of being a disabled person?
v) If he was relieved or felt better on knowing that people admired him.
vi) Hawking’s message for other disabled people.

Question 5 : What did the writer have to say about the body-soul nexus?

Answer : According to the writer he had never been a believer in the idea of transcendence of the soul. Yet, seeing Stephen Hawking, he became sure that the body was merely the irrelevant outward covering . The only thing worthwhile was the soul of the spirit of the human being.

Long Questions

Question 1 : Give detailed account of the appearance of Stephen Hawking.

Answer : When the writer first saw Stephen Hawking, he thought he was seeing a three-dimensional photograph of him and later thought him to be as stiff as a corpse. Hawking’s body had entirely tilted to one side, in it was also a shrunken body that visible through the pale blue shirt. However, his eyes seemed to be life like and talking still, they appeared convey something great and urgent. The scientist was entirely dependent on the automated sound produced by the computerised synthesiser for talking.

Question 2 : “I knew that my journey was over.” Why does the writer say so?

Answer : The writer was doing research and writing about his travels to Britain in a book. His meeting with Stephen Hawking, the living genius and a great source of inspiration , was the ultimate part of his journey. For the writer the journey had ended right there because he was fully content of his visit to England and couldn’t have asked for anything better. It was also a metaphorical way of calling it the end of journey as he had attained a merger with his inspiration and had become aware that this is exactly how he would like to view himself in future.

Value Based Question

Question 1 : Is it right to judge a person on the basis of his physical ability?

Answer : No, it is not right to judge a person on the basis of his physical ability. People should be judged on the basis of their mental strength. It is possible that people without any disability are weak and pitiable.

In the sametime, disabled people need not necessarily be weak. It is possible for such people to have a strong will power and determination to overcome challenges, as in the case of Stephen Hawking.

Question 2 : What lesson do we learn about learning?

Answer : The chapter ‘A Visit to Cambridge’ imparts a very important lesson about learning. It showcases how even a disabled person could be a source of inspiration. If a person has a zeal to learn and advance in life, no deformity or disability could he hindrance in his path. A man learns by his desire to learn and not through any external things such as physical ability.