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Nothing is going to induce me to sleep at night in a room which has a skeleton model hanging from the wall, and nothing is going to induce me to read spooky stories at night.
I read "Konkal", a story by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, in broad daylight and hours before I hit the sack. The narrator of the story begins by mentioning that the room, adjacent to the one where he and his two childhood friends slept, had a human skeleton hanging from the wall. This is going to be really scary, I thought to myself. But, it didn't turn out to be a scary story after all. It did touch upon the dark side of life but the story wasn't intended to scare; rather, it deals with a number of social issues.
The childhood friends used the skeleton to study osteology. It was a real skeleton that belonged to a pretty young woman. The woman was married off as a child when she probably didn't understand the meaning of marriage. But, obviously, she had no say in the matter. She was scared of her husband. The husband died two months after the marriage and the in-laws branded her as vishkanya or a girl who brought ill fate to others. She was turned away from the house and the girl came to live with her elder brother. Over the years, the girl turned into a pretty woman. The brother was quite a recluse and did not have many friends. So, the woman did not get to meet many young men. The brother had a friend who was a doctor. The doctor was a regular visitor to the brother's house, and he eventually rented a portion of the house to start his own clinic. He was the only man from the outside world with whom the woman got an opportunity to interact. It was, perhaps, natural for this reason that she fell in love with him. The doctor, it seemed, somewhat reciprocated her feelings. But, he became engaged to another woman because she was bringing him a good sum of money. A few hours before his wedding, the doctor is enjoying a few glasses of wine with the brother when...well, the story then goes on to tell of the circumstances that leads to the woman's transformation into a skeleton and the doctor's plans of getting married going awry.
(This story is being republished)
I recently visited the civic administration's office to obtain some important document.
This is a work I would have gladly shoved on somebody else's shoulders because I had heard and had myself experienced in the past, that you cannot hope to get your work done in the civic office on a single visit; you had to make several trips before you could expect to get your work done.
Anyway, there was no one on whom I could shift the responsibility; I had to go myself. I located the appropriate department and told an officer of my requirement. The officer directed me to a clerk. The clerk sifted through a number of physical files to find the relevant one. She had to move quite a few files to withdraw the correct one, and they had to be rearranged again. I felt grateful to her...
(This story is being republished)
Forgetful Father and Marching Son
My friend, Swapnil, picks up his son from school every day. Swapnil has a motorcycle; every day he starts from home and rides at constant speed to reach school at exactly 5pm, when the school gets over. He picks up his son and immediately rides back home following the same route.
However, every Saturday the school gets over at 4pm, an hour earlier. Swapnil is absent-minded; last Saturday he forgot what day it is and started from home at his usual time so as to reach school at 5pm. The poor boy, of course, started walking towards home immediately after school got over at 4pm.
Swapnil realized his mistake only when he met his son on the way. Anyway, nothing could be done about it now. Swapnil and his son returned home on the motorcycle. They returned home 30 minutes earlier than on any other day. The question is: How long (the length of time) did the boy walk before he was picked up by his father?
Some useful links for
- 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