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Song of the Dawn

Cover of Narayan Gangopadhyay's Tenida Samagra This is only a poor translation of "Probhat Songeet" by Narayan Gangopadhyay. Four friends - Tenida, Paalaram, Kaabla, and Habul Sen reside at Potoldanga in Kolkata; Tenida is the leader. Tenida has devised a plan - well, it has actually been conceived by Habul, and Kaabla has given it the finishing touches - to raise funds for an exercise club, which the group has launched. The plan is that the four of them should go around the neighbourhood, at the crack of dawn, singing a song that extols the virtues of exercise. The onus of writing the song falls upon Paalaram who, incidentally, is the narrator of the story. Paalaram has done a good job of writing the song; he has included the names of Lord Hanuman and Bhima, mythological heroes, in the song and has also tried to tempt the audience by mentioning a list of fruits. The friends have reasoned that people are usually in a good mood when they wake up in the morning, and that is the time when they would be more willing to make a donation. The reasoning proves false. But the friends do receive a donation of one hundred rupees, quite a large sum few decades ago. The hundred rupees are paid in two instalments; the donation is made for a reason entirely different from the one that the friends had envisaged.

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Head Turner!

Funny picture of dog wearing a hat I have always felt jealous of suave, good-looking, and well-dressed men. The reason: they make heads turn wherever they go. Everybody ignores me! Well, on one occasion I, too, had caused heads to turn. That was the only occasion. My company transferred me to a new location. Everything was unfamiliar, even the language. The first thing that needed to be addressed was to find myself a place to live; my office colleagues helped me find a rental flat. Second, some place had to be found where you could get affordable healthy food. After eating at fancy restaurants for the first few days, it didn't take me long to realize that money doesn't grow on trees! This problem was also soon resolved; there was an eatery quite close to the place where I lived. It was a nondescript joint situated on the first floor of a commercial complex and, therefore, easily overlooked. I noticed it one day and gave it a try; the food was alright and affordable. The biggest advantage was that it was not popular; you could always be assured of a vacant table. It was a small eatery and had only four tables; at any given time, only two or three tables used to be occupied. I became a regular patron...

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Loss-making Venture

Fruits displayed by a seller I will never make a good seller. Years ago when mangoes were quite cheap, I took to selling mangoes. I learned the tricks of the trade from a friend who also sold mangoes. I parked my cart a little distance away from my friend's cart. Both of us sold only 30 mangoes each every day. My friend sold mangoes in twos. He sold two mangoes for one rupee (mangoes were quite cheap in those days). Thus, my friend sold two mangoes for one rupee, and collected 15 rupees at the end of the day after selling all his 30 mangoes. I sold mangoes in threes and sold them cheaper. I sold three mangoes for one rupee. Thus, at the end of the day, I collected 10 rupees after selling all my 30 mangoes. One day my friend had to attend some other work, and could not sell mangoes. He requested me to sell his mangoes along with mine on that day. He asked me to sell his mangoes at the same rate at which he sold them: two mangoes for one rupee...

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  • Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
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  • Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
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  • 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