This is a picture of Premchand A boy, who is very naughty and unruly and whom the teacher has given up as hopeless, is certain to fail in life, right? Wrong.

"Prerna", a short story by Munshi Premchand, tells about how responsibility can bring the best out of a person.

The narrator of the story is a school teacher. Among his students is Suryaprakash who is very naughty and unruly. Suryaprakash is so troublesome that the narrator is certain the boy when he grows up, would find himself either in the jail or in the mental asylum.

The narrator is transferred to another place; he is quite happy to be transferred because he would no longer have to deal with Suryaprakash.

Years fly by. The narrator becomes the principal of a college. But he later faces many difficulties and is eventually driven to quit his job and move to a small village.

The narrator starts teaching children in that village. One day the district deputy commissioner comes to him while he is teaching, and touches his feet in reverence. The narrator is surprised. The deputy commissioner is no one else but Suryaprakash. How did this transformation come about? How did an unruly boy become a high-ranking officer? Suryaprakash tells his story.

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Slave to the Mobile Phone

This is my cell phone I, usually, receive quite a few calls on my mobile phone on any given day. So, even four hours after reaching the office when I did not receive a single call, I was really surprised.

I thought my mobile phone must have gone to sleep as it does on many occasions. During such occurrences, I switch off the phone for a couple of minutes and, then, switch it on again. This does the trick and the phone comes back to life.

I, therefore, reached into my pocket to carry out the trick when I discovered that the good old mobile phone was not in the pocket.

In my hurry to leave for the office in the morning, I must have forgotten it at home, I surmised. However, a little fear kept nagging me: what if I had dropped it somewhere on the way? I was almost certain I had forgotten the cell phone at home, but the doubt persisted and troubled me.

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Fake Note

This is a currecny note. Wish I had a lot of it. Recently, while reading the newspaper, I came across the following headline "What to do if ATMs spew out fake notes for you". I was alarmed. Do even ATMs spew out fake notes?

While on the subject of fake notes, I remember a very simple teaser a friend asked me a few years ago. It was a simple question and I had answered immediately (it is an altogether different matter that my answer was wrong, but I had answered almost immediately).

This is what my friend told me: A customer goes to a shop and buys an expensive pen worth Rs 200. The customer hands over a Rs 500 note to the shop-keeper. However, the shop-keeper does not have change and, so, goes to the neighbouring shop to get the change.

He comes back with the change, hands over the pen to the customer and also Rs 300 in change. The customer walks away with the pen and the money. There were a few more customers after that, and the shop-keeper now had enough change. But it proved to be a lean day thereafter and there were no more customers to cater. The shop-keeper dozed off...

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