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The little master's return

Picture of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore This is only a feeble translation of a short story by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. The objective is merely to exhort readers to read the original, or better translations. This is a sad tale, all about human relationships. Raicharan is a simpleton who finds employment in the house of a well-to-do family. His primary responsibility is to take care of his master's child. The little boy, Anukul, grows into a well-educated man and becomes a magistrate. Anukul marries and becomes the father of a son. Raicharan is now entrusted the care of Nabakumar, Anukul's son. Nabakumar is very fond of Raicharan. However, Nabakumar drowns in the Padma river. Raicharan is not responsible for the mishap; but, he should not have left the child alone near a swollen river. However, the child had insisted that he fetch him flowers, and Raicharan had to submit to the child's wishes. Raicharan is overcome with a feeling of guilt; even the child's mother suspects that he might have stolen her son. Raicharan returns to his own village. Despite her advanced age, Raicharan's wife gives birth to a son; she herself dies at childbirth. Raicharan develops a tremendous hatred for his son because he believes that the boy was born to usurp Nabakumar's place from his heart. All children, by and large, behave in the same manner but to Raicharan's guilty mind it seemed as though his son and Nabakumar shared similar traits. The simpleton that he was, and perhaps to assuage his guilty feelings, Raicharan starts believing that Nabakumar had indeed been returned to him by God in the form of his son. The belief takes such a firm hold of him that Raicharan starts treating his son, Felna, as though he were Nabakumar. The boy gets the best education, the best food and the best clothes; Raicharan serves him as a servant. The immature boy, seeing life as it is presented to him and unable to fathom the complex nuances, also starts believing that Raicharan is a servant. Felna, of course, is fond of Raicharan but it is not the fondness of a son towards his father. Anukulbabu accepts Felna as his lost son with some reservations, but his wife is certain that Felna and Nabakumar are one and the same. The immature boy, made to believe from the start that Raicharan was not his father, is slightly angry that he was stolen by the faithful servant. The boy, little understanding the tremendous hurt he was causing Raicharan, urges Anukulbabu to grant a monthly pension to the faithful servant!

(This story is being republished with a summary)

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Wrong house!

Funny picture of dog wearing hat Some people like it, others don't. Those in favour of transferable jobs argue that you get to see new places, make new friends, experience new culture; it widens your horizons. But dissenters like me don't usually look at this bright side. We feel distressed at being torn away from familiar surroundings. The mere thought of hunting for a new house, and starting all over again from scratch gives me goose bumps!

My office, of course, isn't bothered about my skin conditions, and one day a neat envelope was delivered to me which contained a neatly printed transfer order. I had to move to another city. I moved. I chose to move alone keeping my family behind.

One of my colleagues in the new office helped me find a flat in a housing society. My biggest problem was solved! It wasn't a large flat. But, then, a single person like me did not require a large flat. It was a cosy nest; the rent was affordable; it was quite near to my office. The housing complex had three floors with four apartments on each floor. All the apartments were identical in every respect; even the size and shape of the doors and windows, and their colours were the same! The flats were exact replicas. My nest was on the first floor.

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Weighty problem!

Weighing balance One of my friends is a grocer. My friend, to tell you the truth, is somewhat miserly. In this digital age, he continues to use a vintage weighing scale - the kind of scale for which you require those ugly and terrible-looking cast iron weights! The friend, however, needs another set of weights. He wants to buy only four weights which will allow him to measure from one kilogram upto 40 kilograms in a single weighing. Can you suggest what four weights he should get himself which will allow him to measure any whole number mass form one kilogram to 40 kilograms in a single weighing?

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

Please solve

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