Descriptive Essay ICSE 2009

This Descriptive Essay was asked in ICSE 2009 board exam. You can find Previous Year Descriptive Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams.

Descriptive Essay ICSE 2009

Recall a time in your life when you were certain about 68 something but were later proved terribly wrong. (ICSE 2009)

Numbers always scared me, because of which I scored poorly in Mathematics.

  • I was certain that teachers’ gave hints of important questions to students taking tuition.
  • I befriended Mohan who took tuition and got the important questions before the examination.
  • I memorised the answers to the questions
  • The questions were entirely different and I failed.

Learnt an important lesson “Success is ninety nine percent perspiration and one percent inspiration”.

I have always been scared of numbers which was the reason for my poor score in Mathematics. This had been my Achillies heel, for in spite of doing well in all subjects, my poor performance in Maths always let me down.

I therefore devised a strategy to overcome my weakness. I somehow was certain, that teachers gave hints of important questions to students taking tuition from them. Since my parents did not share this conviction, I befriended Mohan, who was taking tuition in Maths from my class teacher. Showering him with chocolates and gifts, I soon became one of his best friends.

As the final examinations approached, I decided to put my strategy to work. I broached the subject subtly, seeking hints of important questions given to him by the teacher. He was taken aback, but denied any such hints. I kept pestering him to ask the teacher and he finally agreed.

A day before the exams, I went over to his place and jotted down all the important questions, specified by the teacher. I spent the night memorizing the answers to the questions. By morning I felt reasonably pleased with myself, for I had at last found the solution to my problem. In the examination hall I confidently surveyed the surroundings. The sight of boys nervously flicking pages of books amused me. A little later as the bell rang the examination commenced.

I stared at the question paper in disbelief. It was an entirely different paper, with different set of questions for which I was totally unprepared. My mouth turned dry and my limbs felt weak and numb. With considerable effort, I tried to gain composure, but in vain. The invigilator noticed my discomfort and enquired if I was unwell. She sent me to the dispensary, where after taking a tranquiliser I was advised rest.

Needless to mention, I got a big zero in Mathematics and consequently was not promoted. It was indeed a heavy price I paid, for realising an old adage “Success is ninety nine percent perspiration and one percent inspiration”.


  • Recall a time in your life when you were afraid of something but were later proved terribly wrong.
  • Give an account of how you spend your summer vacations.

The waiting room at a railway station presents a wonderful opportunity to observe human behaviour. Describe an experience when you were early for a train and had to spend some time in the waiting room with different kinds of people. (ICSE 2009)

Waiting at Lucknow Railway station to catch the Lucknow Mail, which was an hour late.

  • Description of the waiting room
  • Took a chair in the comer of the room, registered my presence in the register
  • Talked to the couple in the room
  • Woken by a loud thud as a passenger sleeping on the table fell

Walked out of the waiting room as the train arrived

“Train number 2229 from Lucknow to New Delhi is late by an hour and half and shall now be coming at 11.30 pm.” This loud and crisp announcement greeted me, as I entered the railway station with my strolley in tow. I shrugged my shoulders in despair and proceeded to the first class waiting room. My wish of having a good night’s sleep, to be fresh for the interview the next day, lay in shreds.

I walked into the waiting room, which was the size of a small auditorium, with steel armchairs lined up on all the sides. In the centre were two large tables, on which four young men lay fast asleep, with their bags and briefcases tucked under their head. On one side of the room at shoulder height was a TV monitor, displaying the status of trains.

Looking for a place to park myself, I noticed a chair vacant in the extreme comer of the room. No sooner had I seated myself, a man wearing a dark blue shirt, limped towards me with crutches in his hand. He held out a small register. Chewing tobacco he murmured, “Please write your name and ticket number in the register.” The strong smell of tobacco nauseated me. I quickly did his bidding, sparing myself the agony of putting up with him for long. Putting the strolley under my seat, I thankfully stretched out on the steel armchair preparing for the long wait.

Glancing around, I saw a middle aged couple seated next to me. The man with a receding hairline and bushy moustache smiled, as I looked his way.

“ Going to Delhi?”
“ Yes “ I replied.
“Same here”

The ice being broken, he gave vent to his feelings on the working of the Indian Railways and their pathetic record of punctuality. Being weary I just nodded in approval. His wife seated beside him, nudged him to silence, pointing to the passengers sleeping around us.

Relieved, I shut my eyes to take a small nap. I had hardly fallen asleep when a loud thud woke me. I opened my eyes to see a man who had been sleeping on the table before me, lying on the floor. His briefcase lay open, with its contents spilling out on the floor. His face was contorted with pain as he tried to stand up. I rushed to help him and made him sit on my chair. He thanked me profusely, as I packed his belongings in his briefcase.

A little later the Public Address system cackled to life, announcing the arrival of Lucknow Mail on platform number one. I pulled the strolley from under the seat and waving to the couple, who had also scrambled to catch the train, walked out of the waiting room.


  • The waiting room at a bus station presents a wonderful opportunity to observe human behaviour. Describe an experience when your bus was late and you had to spend some time in the waiting room with different kinds of people