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The passengers watched sympathetically as the young woman with the white stick made her way carefully up the steps of the bus. She paid the driver and used her hands to feel for a seat. Then, she sat down with the stick resting against her leg.

It had been a year since Misha, thirty-four, became blind. Because of a medical problem, she was suddenly thrown into a world of darkness. Misha, who was finally ready to return to her job. She used to take the bus, but was now too frightened to get around the city by herself. So, how would she get there? Malik volunteered to drive her to work each day, even though they worked at opposite ends of the city.

At first, this comforted Misha and fulfilled Malik’s need to protect his wife, who had lost confidence in doing even the simplest task. Soon, however, this transport arrangement was becoming too tiring for him. He realised that she would have start taking the bus again, but just the thought of mentioning this to her upset him. She was still so fragile, so angry. How would she react?

Just as Malik had expected, Misha was horrified at the idea of taking the bus again. Her heart was full of anger. “How could you do this to me? I am blind!” She responded bitterly. “How am I supposed to know where I am going? I feel as if you are abandoning me. Don’t you love me anymore?”

Malik’s heart broke when he heard those words, but he knew what he had to do. He promised her that, each morning and evening, he would ride the bus with her, for as long as it took for her to get used to it. And that was exactly what happened. For two whole weeks, Malik, in full military uniform, accompanied Misha to and from work each day. He taught her how to rely on her other senses, especially her hearing, and how to adapt to her new situation.

Malik helped her make friends with the bus drivers, who would watch out for her. They even saved her a seat. Malik made her laugh, even on those bad days when she tripped as she left the bus or dropped her briefcase. Each morning, they made the journey together and Malik would take a taxi back to his office. Although his routine was even more expensive and more tiring than the previous one, he knew it was just a matter of time before she would be able to ride the bus on her own. He believed in her, in the Misha he used to know, who was not afraid of any challenges and who would never, ever quit.

Indeed, she soon became confident enough to start traveling on her own. One day, as she was about to get off the bus, the driver said, “Madam, I really envy you. It must feel so good to be taken care of and protected like you are.”

Misha had no idea what the driver was talking about, and asked, ” What do you mean?”

The driver answered, ” You know, every morning, a gentleman in a military uniform stands on the other side of the road watching you as you leave the bus. He makes sure you cross the road safely and he watches you until you enter your office building. Then he blows you a kiss and walks away. You are a fortunate woman.”

Tears of happiness flowed down her cheeks. Although she could not see her husband, she had always felt his presence. Misha was lucky, so lucky, for he had given her a gift more powerful than sight, a gift she did not need to see to believe – a gift of love that can bring light where there has been darkness.

From paragraph 1 :
  1.

Where was the young woman ?

   

From paragraph 2 :

  2.

(a) what caused her to lose her sight ?

(b) which word conveys the meaning of 'doomed' ?

  3.

(a) From paragraph 3 :

How did Misha first respond when she became blind ?

(b) From paragraph 4 :

'But just the thought of mentioning this to her upset him.'

What does this refer to ?

  4.

(a) From paragraph 7 :

State two ways how the bus drivers helped Misha.

(b) From paragraph 10 :

Who is the gentleman in the military uniform ?

  5.

In your opinion, what kind of person is Malik ? Using your own words, give a reason to support your answer.

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Answers
 

1.

She was in a bus.

 

2.

(a) A medical problem.

(b) condemned

 

3.

(a) She sank into despair.

(b) Her starting to take the bus again.

 

4.

(a) i. They would watch out for her.

     ii. They would save a seat for her.

(b) Malik, her husband

 

5.

I believe he is a loving, responsible and supportive husband. He tried to help his wife get back to normal life and at the same time did his best to protect her.

 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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