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Irrepressible Lalu

Cover of a book containing stories by Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay This is a feeble translation of a story by Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay. Manohar Chatterjee has arranged for the worship of Goddess Kali at his house. In those days the worship involved sacrificing a lamb. But the person engaged to carry out the sacrifice does not show up. Chatterjee's men rush to his house and discover that he is incapacitated with a stomachache. The religious belief of the people is that if no lamb is sacrificed at the worship, they will incur the Goddess's wrath. A lamb must be sacrificed. But who will do it? Lalu is the person who can be relied upon for help during difficult situations. The devotees rush to Lalu's house, but Lalu refuses to help. He is against animal sacrifices. However, Lalu's father tells him to assist the devotees; father cannot be disobeyed. Lalu accompanies the worshippers and sacrifices two lambs; but afterwards he creates such a scare that Manohar Chatterjee pledges never to sacrifice animals ever again.

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Scared Stiff!

Funny picture of dog wearing a hat The Mumbai to Pune bus halted in front of a food mall at Lonavala. It was a relief! The bus had travelled nonstop for over 90 minutes; the passengers were feeling cramped and needed to stretch their legs.

I was out of the bus in a jiffy, making a 100-metre dash for the toilet. After finishing my business in the toilet, I made for the tea stall. Nothing like a steaming cup of tea! I paid another visit to the washroom just as a precautionary measure - Pune was still an hour's run; couldn't take any chances!

The driver had warned that the bus would resume its journey after 20 minutes; passengers must return to their seats well before time, or else face the prospect of being left behind.

After soaking up the sunlight for 15 minutes, I decided to return. The other passengers had also started returning, and they appeared unfamiliar. This did not bother me because I had kept my eyes closed during the first half of the journey in a bid to sleep off the tedium. So, barring my immediate neighbour, I had not taken a close look at the others...

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What is the Average Speed?

This is a picture of my motorcycle It was chilly and I felt the strong urge to make myself a steaming cup of tea. But, there was no sugar. I took out my motorcycle and rode to the store. I drove at 20 kmph and returned by the same route at 30 kmph. Discounting the time spent at the store, what was my average speed?

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  • Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
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  • 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