Renunciation

This is a picture of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore "Renunciation" is a story about a "nice gentleman" who goes all out of his way to unite in marriage two young persons in love ... for revenge! After the lovers are married, Pyarishankar, the "nice gentleman", lets out a secret that sours the marriage.

"Renunciation", published in Youthaffairz, is only a poor translation of "Tyaag", a short story by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. The objective is to urge readers to read the original story or better translations. "Tyaag" was first published around 1892.

The story pertains to the period when the caste system was dominant. Orthodox Brahmins could not marry outside their caste; they could also not travel abroad. Anyone who violated these norms faced the prospect of being denounced by the community.

Pyarishankar was so ostracized. His son-in-law had stolen his daughter's jewelry to fund his stay abroad to study law. The son-in-law returned a few years later as a barrister. Now that her husband was back, the woman naturally wished to go to his home. But, Harihar Mukherjee from the neighbourhood instigated the villagers to ostracize Pyarishankar if he did not renounce his daughter for this act. Of course, a father could not renounce his daughter, and the community ostracized Pyarishankar; he had to leave the village and go and settle in Kolkata.

As if this was not enough, Harihar caused a wedding break-up in Pyarishankar's family by revealing the latter's ostracization. Pyarishankar vowed to take revenge.

Harihar's son, Hemanta, was in love with a girl who everyone believed was the daughter of Bipradas Chatterjee, a Brahmin. She was an orphan, a child widow, and from a lower caste; Bipradas had adopted her. Pyarishankar brought about the marriage between the lovers. Why did Pyarishankar, who had vowed to take revenge on Hemanta's father, go about doing this kind act?

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The Math Race

Youngsters running a race Saraswati Puja was celebrated last month, on February 5. I didn't even get to know about it. It was a subdued celebration because of the pandemic. Even otherwise, it has been many decades since I last attended the Saraswati Puja celebrations.

As children, however, we looked forward to the event. There were two reasons for this. The Puja was celebrated at the community level where we lived. Ma would send us to the Puja venue with our books.

"Place the books at the feet of Goddess Saraswati, and you will do well in your exams," Ma would say. I was not good at my studies; if I could pass the exams by just placing the books before Maa Saraswati, nothing like it!

The worship was held in the morning, and the organizers hosted cultural programs in the evening. Before the start of the cultural programs, prizes were distributed to the winners of sports events and games. That was the second reason why we loved to attend the celebrations. If not everybody, someone from our group always won a prize ...

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Borrowing a Bike Is No Fun!

A parking lot for two-wheelers and four-wheelers It was lunch break at the office. My home is quite close to the office, so I go home for lunch.

I went to the parking lot and, to my dismay, found that my bike had a flat. I had no time to fix the flat now; I could do it after the office closed for the day.

I rushed to the office cafeteria where Shaswat was having lunch. I told him about my troubles and requested him to lend me his bike. The guy gave me the key to his bike unwillingly.

"What is the registration number of your bike?" I knew the model, but you always find many bikes of the same model in the parking lot and they all look the same. I did not want to get beaten for picking up the wrong bike.

"The registration number of my motorcycle is a four-digit number. The first three digits of the number are in an arithmetic sequence, and the last three digits are in a geometric progression. The last digit is four times the first digit plus one. Figure out the number and go home and have lunch."

What a way to lend your bike! Please help me figure out the solution.

Please solve

Science Snippets

Antarctica environment Here is a random pick of some science news. The science snippets have been compiled from press releases issued by leading universities, scientific institutions, and other sources.

We have included these science snippets for educational and informational purposes only. The stories are aimed at sparking your interest in science. Who knows, the brief stories might inspire you to find answers to questions that have been puzzling or troubling people.

Wherever possible, we will provide links to the press releases at the bottom of each story. Please do read the original press releases for more information.

Read the stories

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