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Two brothers

Picture of Munshi Premchand This is a feeble translation of "Do bhai", a story by Munshi Premchand. The objective is merely to acquaint readers with Premchand's stories, and exhort them to read the original or better translations. The story is about two brothers who as children are the best of friends. The brothers get married, and this leads to a change in the circumstances. The changed circumstances, in turn, foments jealousy and hatred between the brothers. The two bothers, who as children could not live without each other, now find it difficult to not only live in the same house but even in the same village! The younger brother, Madhav, has eight children, four of them girls. Owing to the large family, his financial condition is bad. The expenses incurred during the marriage of the first two girls leaves him in dire straits. Whatever little he is left with is expended during the marriage of the third girl. The girl has not yet left her paternal home when Madhav receives a notice requiring him to pay up tax arrears. Madhav mortgages the girl's jewellery to raise money in order to pay up the arrears. Of course, he has no right over the jewellery since the girl is now married. The elder brother's wife, out of spite, clandestinely informs the family of the girl's husband about the mortgage. As per the prevailing custom, the family appoints intermediaries to recover the jewellery. Madhav's honour is at stake; if he fails to restore the jewellery he will be despised in the village. As a last resort, Madhav approaches his elder brother, Keshav, to help him. Keshav has the means to help Madhav, but he is unwilling to do so. Keshav and his wife hatch up a plan to acquire Madhav's share in the property. They assure him that they will help him obtain a loan from a money-lender against a mortgage of his share of the house. On the day when the agreement is drawn up, it becomes clear that there is no money-lender involved; it is Keshav himself who would be offering the loan after obtaining the right over his own brother's share of the property as security!

(This story is being republished)

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An up'lift'ing experience

Funny picture of dog wearing a hat I had been transferred to Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra. I set out for the metropolis with the advice of my friends ringing in my ears, "Be careful, always." I had to make a new beginning. The foremost task was to find myself a house. Thanks to my office colleagues, that problem was sorted out within a week, and I found myself a place where I could go and relax at the end of the day. I had found myself a little nest. Commuting, of course, was a big headache. The place I had found was almost 20 kilometres from my office. But I soon realised that I was indeed lucky; many of my colleagues traveled to work from neighbouring districts, and spent almost six to seven hours every day commuting to and fro!

(This story is being republished)

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Crash averted!

A train making its journey Mr Kumar, who works as a railway traffic controller, had the most scary experience ten years ago. This is what happened: The Gujarat Queen left Ahmedabad at 6.30 am and headed for Vadodara situated 100 kilometres away while travelling at a speed of 50 km per hour. The Vadodara Express, meanwhile, started from Vadodara at 7.00 am and travelled towards Ahmedabad at 40 km per hour. At 7.30 am, Mr Kumar, who was then at Vadodara, came to know that both the trains were running on the same track! Mr Kumar acted at once, and caused both the trains to halt. Thanks to Mr Kumar, a major accident was averted. But just supposing that the blunder had not come to anyone's notice, can you tell when the two trains might have collided?

(This puzzle had been carried before and is being republished)

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Some useful links for
your career:


  • Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
  • IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
  • Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
  • Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
  • Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
  • IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
  • Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
  • Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
  • Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
  • Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
  • Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu