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Book This is a feeble translation of a story by Munshi Premchand; it is only to acquaint non-Hindi readers with Premchand's stories. Much better translations are available which the readers may wish to read. We are republishing this story. This is a delightful a story which aptly portrays the frailties of human nature through use of humour. It all begins when members of a family buy a lottery ticket each. The narrator, a school teacher, also buys a lottery ticket in "partnership" with his friend who is a member of this family. The purchase of lottery tickets immediately causes a change in behaviour; everyone starts believing the prize money is theirs - it is akin to counting the chickens before they have hatched. The narrator's friend finalises the details of his world tour; business plans are made. The friend's father and uncle, who were staunch atheists earlier, turn very pious all of a sudden. Incidentally the two, who had been ideal brothers before the purchase of the lottery tickets, are now even ready to move the court against each other over sharing of the prize money, and that too even before the lottery results are announced! The narrator, too, develops a feeling of distrust against his friend; what if the friend refuses to give him his share of money! Well, all for the sake of a lottery ticket, astrologers are consulted; fierce hermits, who hurl stones at devotees, are approached - hurling of stones is considered to be the hermit's blessings! So, a mere lottery ticket brings about a transformation in the lives of the people. Of course, things return to normal when the lottery results are declared; no one from the family wins the lottery. In fact, no one from the city, no one from the country even, had won it. It is won by a black American!

(This story is being republished)

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Professional hazards!

Funny picture of dog wearing hat I work as a newspaper reporter. I admit that many people in my profession have certain notions about themselves. One of the beliefs that they harbour is that they have the right to invade upon the privacy of others, and at any time of the day and night! The crime reporter, that is the reporter who reports on matters of crime, has to have good relations with the police since the latter is the main supplier of news. The crime reporter, therefore, maintains the phone numbers of all the police officers and others. It would be all right if the reporter calls up a police officer on some serious matter. But this does not always happen. This is an incident narrated by a police officer himself.

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Set the labels right

Eggs and tomatoes in a basket I have three baskets. Unlike the picture above, the baskets that I have are fully covered and you cannot see the contents inside. One of the baskets contains only eggs. Another basket contains only tomatoes. While the third basket contains both eggs and tomatoes. Accordingly, I prepared three labels - "Eggs", "Tomatoes" and "Eggs and Tomatoes". I called my son and told him to paste the labels on the baskets according to their contents. The son was in a hurry as his friends were calling him for a game of cricket. So, without looking into the baskets, he just pasted the labels arbitrarily. In his hurry, the boy labelled all the baskets incorrectly. Please label the baskets correctly by looking into just one basket.

(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