Reading comprehension exercise for class 9

Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow.

Many years ago, when the art of stunting plants was quite unheard of except in remote areas of India, Buddhist monks in isolated monasteries in Tibet stunted trees like oak and orange. They watched with excitement the trees flowering and bearing fruit regardless of this ‘deformity’. The trees looked so artistically beautiful and enchanted everyone. Some Chinese monks learnt the art from Tibetan monks and soon ‘Bonsai’ making became a popular hobby and art in China and every garden had at least six bonsais. India and China claimed rights to the art till Japan followed enamoured by its beauty. Today Japan leads in Bonsai making and has invented new methodologies to make the plants look aesthetic and artistic. The most beautiful is the cherry blossom that is breathtakingly attractive. Bonsais need constant pruning, watering, shaping and correct environment. The trees can be planted in colorful containers of your choice.

Numerous schools have mushroomed where the art is taught and cultivated. Best known among them is the Indian Bonsai Association. India has great demand for bonsais. Hotels, homes, farm houses, restaurants and guest houses use these decorative plants to adorn their lobbies, dining halls and drawing rooms. It is aptly said that a thing of beauty is a joy forever. Indeed the bonsai lasts in one’s imagination long after the plant has lived its life span.

Bonsai gardeners use methods including wiring branches, extreme pruning of roots and branches, root binding, grafting and custom soil and cinder mixtures. But perhaps the most important element of all is patience. Instructions for achieving the ‘roots over rock’ effect give insight into the work of a bonsai artist: trim the roots, place the rock, bind roots, then re-pot and wait for two years. Often a bonsai is created by many hands over the years – a highly priced tree is one where the hand and the ego of the artist become invisible as in the Zen concept of ‘artless art’.

Questions

1. Who first began to stunt trees and plants?

2. Which bonsai is breathtakingly beautiful?

3. Which country leads in the art of stunting today?

4. How can we take care of bonsais?

5. Name a few places where bonsais are used for decoration

6. Why does the writer say ‘a thing of beauty is a joy forever’?

7. The word ‘enamoured’ means ………………..

Answers

1. Indians first began to stunt trees. (Even before the Tibetan monks started stunting trees, the art was known in some remote areas of India.)

2. The cherry blossom is breathtakingly beautiful.

3. Japan leads in the art of stunting today.

4. We can take care of bonsais by providing the correct environment. We also need to prune, water and shape the plants.

5. Bonsais are used for decorating the lobbies, dining halls and drawing rooms of hotels, homes, farm houses, restaurants and guest houses.

6. The writer says that a thing of beauty is a joy forever because the bonsais last in our imagination even after the plant has lived its lifespan.

7. Fascinated, captivated or enchanted

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