The Blood-Stained Sapphire

Cover of a book, which contains the story 'The Blood-Stained Sapphire' A few gemstones have been stolen from the collection of a scion of a royal family. Among the gemstones stolen is a blue sapphire, the precious stone of Saturn (Shani). Blue sapphires are said to change the fortune of its possessor - it can either bring good luck or it can bring misfortune.

The thief is caught; the gemstones are recovered from him, but he does not surrender the blue sapphire. The thief does not reveal where he has hidden it.

In this story by Saradindu Bandopadhyay, detective Byomkesh Bakshi finds the blue sapphire. It was hidden all these years in... Oh no! Can't tell you that; it is what the story is all about. But, honestly, the hiding place seemed to me as most improbable.

After reading the story, I read about pharyngeal diverticula on the Web. An article entitled "Self-Induced Lateral Pharyngeal Diverticula" on was particularly interesting. I suggest that the reader also read this article and also look up pharyngeal diverticula, but only after reading the story.

(This story is being republished)

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Empty Words of Advice!

Funny picture of a dog wearing a hat My sister fell ill and was admitted to a hospital.

After a four-day stay in the hospital, she was discharged. We paid the bill, obtained the discharge certificate, and walked out of the ward. Sister was still rather weak and her pace was sluggish.

As we made for the hospital exit, I decided to repeat all the advice that the doctor had given. "Take your medicines regularly; don't skip them," I told her.

"You must start exercising a little; take a 30-minute walk every day," I continued.

"Reduce the intake of salt," my words of wisdom continued to flow.

"Use less amount of oil while cooking," I told her.

But my words of advice seemed to be falling on deaf ears because there was no response from my sister...

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Oh No! Enough Handshaking

A hand extended for a handshake Prakash and his wife have been invited to a party. The party is attended by five other couples. Thus, there are six couples in all. This means there are twelve people - six men and six women.

When people meet, they shake hands or greet one another in other ways. At this party, people chose to shake hands or join their hands in a "namaste". Of course, a husband did not shake hands with his wife or vice versa. One cannot shake his or her own hands.

After the greeting session was over, Prakash wanted to know with how many people each person had shaken hands. So, he asked each person (including his wife) how many people they had shaken hands with. The question was, thus, addressed to eleven persons and Prakash received eleven different answers.

How many people did Prakash's wife shaken hands with?

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