November 2013



Ozone hole Science: The ozone hole that forms each year in the stratosphere over Antarctica was slightly smaller in 2013 than average in recent decades, according to NASA satellite data. Read more ....

Monkey At least 441 new species of animals and plants have been discovered over a four-year period in the vast,under-explored rainforest of the Amazon, including a monkey that purrs like a cat. Read more ....

Blood vessel Life-threatening blood clots can form in anyone who sits on a plane for a long time, is confined to bed while recovering from surgery, or takes certain medications. Read more .....

Curiosity rover Examination of the Martian atmosphere by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover confirms that some meteorites that have dropped to Earth really are from the Red Planet. Read more ....

Carbon worlds waterless Planets rich in carbon, including so-called diamond planets, may lack oceans, according to NASA-funded theoretical research. Read more ....




3

Now, they pass huge buildings. This is the court, this is a college, and that one is a club. Quite a large number of boys must be studying in such huge colleges. Not all of them are boys, sir; some of them are men, really! They have big moustaches - they have grown old, but are still studying. How long will they continue to study, and what will they do afterwards? There are two or three big boys in Hamid's class. They are dullards, and get caned by the teacher every day. There could be such kinds of boys here too. Magic shows are held in the clubs. I have heard they have a race of human skulls, but no one is allowed inside. The "sahebs" come here in the evenings to play, and the "mems" also play. If my mother is given that thing - what do you call it? a bat, yes - she will not be able to hold it; she will collapse under its weight if she tries to swing it.

Mahmood said, "My mother's hands will shake. Really!"

Mohsin said, "Pooh, she can grind mounds of wheat. How can her hands quiver holding a little bat? She can draw scores of pots of water - my buffalo alone drinks five pots of water. Any "mem" will see darkness beneath her eyes if she is asked to lift a pot of water from a well."

Mahmood: But our mothers cannot run, cannot hop and skip.

Mohsin: Yes, they cannot hop and jump. But yesterday, our cow ran loose and entered Chaudhary's field. My mother ran so hard that I could not keep pace with her. Really."

As the group went further, they came across a row of sweetmeat shops. The shops were especially decorated and illuminated today. Who can eat so much sweets? Just see, every shop has tonnes and tonnes of sweets. I have heard that djinns come late in the night and buy them off. Father says that a person arrives at the shops at midnight and takes away all the sweets that have remained unsold. He pays real money for them; exactly like the money we have.

Hamid was not convinced. From where could djinns obtain real money?

Djinns have no dearth of money; They can easily obtain money from anywhere, even iron doors cannot block their way, Mohsin argued. Mister, you are ignorant of their abilities. They have stores of diamonds and gemstones. If they are pleased with someone, they offer baskets laden with gemstones as gift. One moment they are here, and in five minutes they can reach Kolkata.

Hamid was curious. They must be very tall, he said.

Mohsin: Each of them is as tall as the sky. If they stand here on the ground, their heads touch the sky. But if they wish to, they can make themselves so small that they can enter a small mug.

Hamid: How do people please them? If someone tells me the secret, I will please a djinn.

Mohsin: I don't know how this is done, but Chaudhary saheb has many djinns under his control. If there is a theft somewhere, Chaudhary saheb can at once tell where the stolen goods have been hidden. He can even tell the names of the thieves. Jumrati's calf did not return home for three days. It could not be found anywhere. Finally, Chaudhary saheb had to be approached. He, at once, informed that the calf could be found at the animal pound. And, true, it was found there. The djinns come and tell him all that is happening in the world.

Now Hamid realised why Chaudhary had so much wealth and why he was respected.

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  • 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