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picture of renowned writer Munshi Premchand This is a feeble translation of "Nimantran", a story by Munshi Premchand. The objective is merely to exhort readers to read the original story, or a better translation. This is a hilarious story about two friends who are always on the lookout for free meals. Their vocation is such that they do get invited to feasts quite often. Whenever one friend gets invited, he takes the other along. One day, one of the friends gets invited to a feast hosted by a prominent family. He decides to take his family along with him instead of the friend. That is when all the fun, rather the tragedy, starts.

(This story is being republished)

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Driving skills!

Funny picture of dog wearing a hat I had just learned to drive a motorcycle. However, I did not own a bike and, so, was always on the lookout to borrow motorcycles from friends. But this was easier said than done because no one would trust me with their vehicles. The thrill of driving, however, prompted me to request one and all, who owned a motorcycle, to allow me a ride. One day I asked to borrow from a soldier friend. At first he would not hear of it but after a lot of persuasion, he finally agreed to lend me the motorcycle for a small ride. He, however, sounded me on the safety aspects and threatened to recover any costs if his bike was damaged. I agreed to all these despite the fact that I had not a single rupee in my pocket.

(This story is being republished)

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What a race!

A keen race in progress Satish and his younger brother Tarun are having a race. It is a one-kilometre race. Satish is older than Tarun by three years and, so, has decided to give him a head start of 20 seconds. Thus, Tarun starts running 20 seconds earlier. Despite this early start, Satish beats Tarun by 40 metres. Now, if Satish had given Tarun a start of 25 seconds instead of 20 seconds, both would have breasted the tape at the same instant; both of them would then have touched the finishing line at the same instant and there would have been neither a winner nor a loser. Can you tell what are the speeds of Satish and Tarun?

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

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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