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The tale of two bullocks

Image of Munshi Premchand This is only a poor translation of a story by Munshi Premchand. The objective is to exhort readers to read the original, or better translations. Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits and emotions to animals. Do animals feel the same way as people? I don't know; I don't think it is likely. But if they could, it would have have been fun; it would have been easier for people to understand animal behaviour. This is a tale about the adventures of a pair of oxen who have been loaned by their master to his in-laws. Heera and Moti are very good friends. Just as you get to see in human friendship, these two have very different characteristics; even in friendship, opposites attract! Moti is rather aggressive and hot-tempered and, if he has his way, wouldn't mind taking his enemies head-on; Heera, on the other hand, is tolerant and wise. The two, of course, don't realise that they have been loaned but think that Jhuri, their master, has sold them. They refuse to go, but are forced to go anyway. Then, begin their adventures! The two break free and return to Jhuri. But, once again, they are taken away by Jhuri's brother-in-law Gaya. The two are ill-treated and not fed properly. The bullocks escape once again, and this time are helped by a little girl. The girl unties the ropes and releases the bullocks. Moti wants to flee at once but Heera hesitates; he knows that the girl would be suspected of releasing them. That's Heera's compassion and wisdom for you! Next, the friends encounter a bull. Here, again, Heera's cool-headed nature saves the day; he devises a plan and the bull is defeated. Moti's rashness gets them into trouble once again. Despite Heera's caution, Moti enters a field to feed on peas. The guards catch them; Heera could have run away and escaped, but being a loyal friend he does not flee. The two are taken away to a cattle pound. The two are able to help other animals in the pound to escape but they themselves are unable to do so because Heera is tethered. Now Moti could have escaped but, this time, it is he who chooses to remain by Heera's side. Their greatest crisis looms when the two are sold to a slaughter house. Would there be an escape for the friends this time? Yes! This time it is luck which favours them, and the two are able to return back to Jhuri, their affectionate master, to heroes welcome.

(This story is being republished with a summary)

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Smoked out!

Funny picture of dog wearing hat I have a confession to make .... I took to smoking at an early age. Wish I had kept a distance from cigarettes; they are really injurious to health. After over three decades of smoking, I can vouch for the consequences. Hey, wait! This isn't meant to be a sermon; I only wish to narrate an embarrassing situation I got into owing to this habit. It was, perhaps, peer pressure that led me into smoking. We experienced no real pleasure from puffing, but considered it a macho thing to have a cigarette dangling from the lips.

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Very musical!

Guitar, violin and flute I had always wanted to learn to play the guitar. Recently I purchased a guitar, and enrolled myself in a music school near my home. At the time of enrolling, I made inquiries and learned there were 20 music teachers in the school. The clerk behind the desk informed me there were ten teachers who taught guitar, nine taught violin, and seven taught flute. That left me confused! Now, I know enough arithmetic to figure out that ten plus nine plus seven is 26. But the clerk had said there were 20 teachers in the school. The clerk wanted me to figure out how many teachers taught both violin and flute. Please help.

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

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  • Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
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  • Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
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  • 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