Lalu Causes a Scare

This is a cover of a book by Sharatchandra Chattopadhyay This is a story by Sharatchandra Chattopadhyay. There is an outbreak of cholera in the narrator's village. Those were the days when cholera was a dreaded disease. People felt scared to cremate those who had died.

But Gopal Uncle's mission in life is to assure a decent funeral for the deceased. He shows no fear. A team of youngsters, including the narrator and Lalu, assists Gopal Uncle in this work.

The youngsters had learned their alphabet from Bishtu Master. So, when Bishtu Master's wife died of cholera, they rushed to his help at once. Bishtu Master is poor and very weak; he cannot even go to the crematorium, which is very far away. Lalu assures him that he will light the funeral pyre on his behalf.

When the young men reach the crematorium, it begins to rain. There is no cover. The volunteers run for shelter, abandoning the body. The rain stops as suddenly as it had begun, and the volunteers return. But Lalu is nowhere to be seen.

Is Lalu such a coward that he ran off home despite assuring Bishtu Master that he will light the funeral pyre?

(This story is being republished)

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It's Praying Time

Praying mantis wants to make a telephone call Life can be gloomy if you have to remain indoors the whole day. But a cup of tea and a praying mantis can enliven up things.

I made myself a cup of tea and stood by an open window. Suddenly, some flying object hit me in the face causing me to spill the tea. A few droplets entered my eyes, blurring my vision.

I rubbed my eyes clean with a handkerchief, cleaned up the mess on the floor, and turned my attention towards identifying the culprit.

I found the culprit; it was a fresh green leaf. Oh no, it was not a leaf! Closer inspection revealed it was a praying mantis.

After slapping me, it was clinging to the edge of the table-covering. It was swaying from side to side like a drunk.

I must evict the trespasser. I lunged at it, but it side-stepped and crouched behind the telephone ...

(This story is being republished)

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Age-Old Problem!

A boy riding a bicycle on a rope Never ask a mathematician his age or the age of any of his family members.

My friend, Ajit, did not take my advice and asked our mathematics teacher the ages of his three children. Before I tell you the whole incident, I must inform you that Ajit is good at mathematics himself.

One day Ajit went to the teacher's house. The teacher's three children were present there at that time.

"How old are they?" Ajit asked the teacher.

That was a mistake!

Without giving a straight answer, the teacher said, "The product of their ages is 72. The sum of their ages is the same as my house number."

Ajit, as I told you, is good at mathematics. He felt he had enough data to work out the ages of the three children. He stepped out to see what the house number was. After noting down the house number, he made some rapid calculations in his note-book but drew a blank ...

(This puzzle is being republished)

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