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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. The story has two narrators: The first part of the story is narrated by detective Mahimchandra, and the second part is narrated by a friend or a professional colleague - it could be Harimati (my personal opinion). It is a hilarious read although the outcome may have been anything but hilarious for Mahimchandra. Mahimchandra is a police detective, and aspires to earn fame in his profession. He craves for some complex case to come his way so that he can prove his worth. He notices a youth near his house. The youth's furtive manner arouses his suspicion. Obsessed as he is with finding a complicated case, Mahimchandra is convinced that he has been presented with one on a platter. The detective devotes his energies towards unravelling the youth's secret. He befriends the youth, and takes up residence in the same lodge as Manmoth. He discovers that Manmoth is a college student who has preferred to stay back in his lodge instead of returning home during the vacations. Mahimchandra even enlists the assistance of Harimati, a female colleague; Mahimchandra tells Manmoth that he is in love with Harimati. In the end it turns out that Manmoth and Mahimchandra's wife were childhood friends, and Manmoth still admires her. Well, all along while Mahimchandra had been spying upon Manmoth, the youth had been keeping a sharp eye on the detective and his alleged love affair. Manmoth's intention was to report everything to Mahimchandra's wife so that she could take steps to correct her "wayward" husband. Thus, Mahimchandra's "complicated case" produces complications in his own life. At the very beginning of his narrative, Mahimchandra tells the readers that there were only two prime concerns in his life: his wife and his job. Although the story does not tell what actually happened in the end, it would not be hard to guess that the detective must have had a lot of explaining to do to his wife; as regards his job, well, if he continued to pursue cases like this he couldn't have progressed far in his career.

(This story is being republished)

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Language barrier!

Funny picture of dog wearing a hat The letter from my head office was terse and to the point. The one-paragraph letter brought down my world. It stated that I had been transferred to Ahmedabad in Gujarat and was to join the regional office there exactly one month from the receipt of the transfer order. Having spent most part of my life in Maharashtra, I was not keen to relocate to a different state. The biggest problem I foresaw was that of language. But my colleagues assured me that anyone who understood Marathi and Hindi would easily be able to pick up the Gujarati language. Even before going to Ahmedabad, I was aware of the Gujarati's penchant for pronouncing "hall" as "hole", "Paul" as "pole" and "snacks" as "snakes" but was not acquainted with the Gujarati numerals.

(This story is being republished)

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Magical pond!

Picture of pond I have to visit three temples T1, T2 and T3, and offer flowers at each temple. I pluck the flowers from my garden. The temples are far away from my home and, so, I cannot come back for flowers every time. I have to pluck as many flowers as I need only once. There are certain rules I need to obey: I have to offer flowers at each temple; and I must offer the same number of flowers at each temple. I must also step out of the last temple empty-handed, that is I cannot have any flowers remaining with me. Can you please advise me as to how many flowers I should carry so that I don't break any of the rules? Please help!

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

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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