Manohar Malgaonkar was born in 12 July,  1913 in Mumbai. He was a famous novelist and short story writer who has 25 publications already to his credit. Some of his main creations are – ‘A Bend in the Ganges’, ‘Distant Drum’, ‘Bombay Beware’ etc. he usually wrote comical short stories. His narrative with profound comedy ties up the reader’s excitement until the end. He died in 12 June, 2010 in Uttara Kannada. 


The present short story, ‘A Pinch of Snuff’ is initially taken from ‘Contemporary Indian Short Stories in English’. This story is a comical and adventurous story that ties up reader’s excitement until the end.

Initially, the narrator’s mother announces the expected arrival of Nanukaka, her brother who has to stay there for 2-3 days. The narrator on
hearing this news from his mother advised her to send a telegram to him informing him of narrator’s transfer to avoid Nanukaka but she retorts that he must have started his travel. On asking the purpose of his arrival; he was acquainted that it was to meet some minister. The narrator perceives that Nanukaka would stay there for a long time because ministers do not see people for months but his mother assured him that Nanukaka would manage everything. The narrator is under-secretary on probation and has been taught to regard ministers higher than God.

The narrator goes to the station and he sees Nanukaka who has an impressive personality with white hair and mustache. When Nanukaka asks him the question to arrange his meeting with minister, the narrator explains that he is only an undersecretary on probation and can’t arrange for their interview. Nanukaka takes a pinch of snuff and seems to be lost in thoughts.

Narrator’s mother was very excited when Nanukaka arrived home, but to narrator’s hard luck, he had to give up his bedroom to Nanukaka. Narrator once took Nanukaka to the north block to see the welfare minister but after exactly two hours Nanukaka returned from the office with expletives in his mother tongue Marathi because he could not meet the minister but only could get an appointment with minister three days later. When they were driving back to home, a yellow car passed ahead of them and somebody waved his hand to the narrator. Nanukaka inquired about it and was told that he was Ratiram, the son of Sohanlal Ratiram, the party boss in Delhi. Sometimes later, Sohanlal said to Nanukaca that his son was in balance ministry but due to some reason some body had poisoned the ambassador’s mind against his son. Nanukaka announced that he will manage the problem.

Nanukaka then opened his snuff box and had a pinch of it and started to talk about the welfare minister. By the reaction of Sohanlal he came to know that the minister and he were now at daggers drawn because the minister has refused the proposal of his daughter’s marriage with his son and instead had decided to marry her to the prince of Ninnore. When they came back to home, (the narrator and Nanukaka) Nanukaka was strangely silent but the next morning he was back to usual. This day he decided to pay a visit to minister’s house. By using brain, Nanukaka managed to get an enormous, princely and outlandish car and the narrator was made its driver.

Nanukaka dressed himself and looked every inch like a pandit from the princely state. When the minister’s secretary asked his purpose of coming to the place he said that he had no wish to disturb the minister. He asked for visitors book and wrote his name as hereditary astrologer to Maharaja of Ninnore and gave out address and without delay, he ordered me to get to Sutkatta’s palace which he really did not meant, it was to show off. We drove quickly to home. We just had tea when a car with white triangle stopped in front of our house and the welfare minister stepped out. Nanukaka received him respectedly. After the meeting with minister, Nanukaka departed from my house next day.

The narrator thinks that if minister comes to know about the reality of Nanukaka what will happen and he also hopes that in a situation like this Nanukaka will not let his head down but he wants to be far away from the place when such thing happens.


‘A Pinch of Snuff’ is an exciting story full of wit and humor written by Manohar Malagaonkar .This story is taken from his book “Contemporary Indian Short Stories in English“. Nanukaka is the main character of this story. He is a man equipped with tricks to deal with any kind of situation anywhere. Nanukaka comes to her sister’s house in Delhi, as he has to meet the welfare ministerin Delhi. He goes to the minister’s office to meet him, but even after waiting for hours, the minister does not meet him and calls him after three days. While returning, Nanukaka meets the head of a political party, where he comes to know that the welfare minister’s daughter is going to be married to the son of the Maharaja of Ninor. He plays a trick. He tells his sister’s son to rent a grand car and pretend to be his driver and he himself arrives at the minister’s residence dressed like an astrologer. In the visitors’ book there, he describes himself as the astrologer of the Maharaja of Ninor and returns by writing his current address.

On seeing the name of the astrologer of the Maharaja of Ninor, Welfare Minister rushed to meet the astrologer and himself arrives at Nanukana’s residence.

Thus, Nanukana easily meets the minister.


  1. Wire –  संदेश  देना  / तार 
  2. Fawning –  चापलूसी
  3. Puckering – पक रहा है 
  4. Wreathed – माल्यार्पण किया 
  5. Swearwords – गंदी  भाषा 
  6. Tramping – तेज़ी  बढ़ना 
  7. Expletives – बुरी भाषा  
  8. Garnish –  सजाना / सुंदर 
  9. Convention – समेल्लन
  10. Trailed off – कमजोर हुआ 
  11. Waddling – चलना 
  12. Sparred – तर्क दिया / बहस किया 
  13. Ingratiating – चापलूसी करना 
  14. Evacuee property – ऐसे व्यक्ति की सम्पति खतरे के कारन घर चोर के जा चूका है 
  15. Legitimate – वैध 
  16. Flicking – झटका देना 
  17. At daggers drawn –झारन 
  18. Auspicious – शुभ 
  19. Chirpy – खुश 
  20. Liveried – वर्दीधारी 
  21. Outlandish – काफी विचित्र 
  22. Blandly – सापट लहजे में  
  23. Brandishing – हिलाते हुए 
  24. Stickler – हटी / झगड़ालू 
  25. Reassuring – फिर से विश्वास दिलाते हुए 
  26. Probation – परख / परीक्षयमान अवधि 
  27. Enormous – विशाल 
  28. Ducked – डूबा हुआ 
  29. Mingled – मिश्रित 
  30. Squeezed – निचोड़ा हुआ 
  31. Escorted – बच गया 
  32. Amicably – सौधर्यपूर्ण 
  33. Perhaps – शायद 
  34. Clucked – कुरकुराया 
  35. Squeals – चिल्लाहट 
  36. Mumbling – अस्पस्ट बोली 
  37. Linguistic – बहुभाषी 
  38. Flashed – चमका हुआ 
  39. Blaring – धब्बा लगाना  
  40. Uninterrupted – बिना बिच में बोले 
  41. Leaned Back  – पीछे की ओर झुका  
  42. Adjoining – निकट का / समीप का 
  43. Swallowed – निगल लिया 
  44. Smothered – गाला घोटकर मारना 
  45. Bustling off  –  जल्दी से काम करना  
  46. Snuff – खैनी / तम्बाकू 
  47. Grin – मुस्कान 
  48. Snorted – फुफकारना 
  49. Disgraceful – अपमानजनक 
  50. Porch – बरामदा 
  51. Appealed – अनुरोध किया 
  52. Acquaintance – परिचय 
  53. Breezily – मन्द पवन बहते हुए 
  54. Chauffeur – ड्राइवर 
  55. Demonstration – प्रदर्शन 
  56. Hereditary – वंशानुगत 
  57. Drove away – गाड़ी  से चल देना 
  58. Merely – केवल 
  59. Admiration – प्रसंसा 
  60. Flourish – फूला फुला  अंदाज़ 
  61. Glanced – देखा 
  62. Peering – झाक रहा 
  63. Puddle – पोखरी / 
  64. Accomplished –पूर्ण किया


1) Nanukaka in a linguistic emergency always uses his ____
A. Mother tongue
B. Hindi
C. English
D. French
2) NanuKaka took out his cheque book and wrote a cheque for __
A. Five thousands rupees
B. Two thousands rupees
C. A thousand rupees
D. Three thousands rupees
3) ________is a humorous story.
A. The Artist
B. A pinch of Snuff
C. A child is Born
D. The earth
4) NanuKaka has tied a huge ______turban round his head.
A. Red
B. Orange
C. Yellow
D. Green
5) Manohar Malgaonkar was the ____on probation
A. Secretary
B. Under Secretary
C. Chief Secretary
D. Joint secretary
6) NanuKaka has a unique quality of telling-
A. Truths
B. Lies
C. Stories
D. Dicta
7) NanuKaka has to meet a minister in the _______
A. North block
B. South block
C. West block
D. East block
8) NanuKaka managed to travel in 2nd class on a ticket of _____.
A. 1st class
B. 3rd class
C. General Class
D. Sleeper class
9) NanuKaka handed over a cheque of a thousand rupees to a ___
A. Dhobi
B. Carpenter
C. Blacksmith
D. Gold Smith
10) NanuKaka portrayed himself as the hereditary astrology of the Maharaja of _______.
A. Bikaner
B. Jaipur
C. Udaipur
D. Ninnore
11) NanuKaka went to the _________Auto Dealers.
A. Sikka
B. Rikka
C. Mohit
D. Alankar
12) NanuKaka gave the _______a two ruppees note as a reward.
A. Dhobi
B. Plumber
C. Rickshawpuller
D. Carpenter
13) NanuKaka gave the minister the adress of the____.
A. Narrator
B. Novelist
C. Dramatist
D. Poet
14) Angocha was kept by _________.
A. Manohar malgaonkar
B. Nanukaka
C. Welfare minister
D. Sohan Lal
15) The portfolio of the minister is the
A. Welfare
B. Home
C. Railway
D. Finaince
16) Nanukaka was to stay for ___days
A. Three or four days
B. Two or three days
C. One month
D. Fifteen days
17) Nanukaka was a very___man
A. Clever
B. Fool
C. Stupid
D. Honest
18) A pinch of snuff” is a _____
A. Story
B. Novel
C. Essay
D. Poem
19) It was not very essay for the narrator to get sent on____
A. Royal business
B. Holy works
C. Entertainment purpose
D. Foreign assignment
20) Mother said, “Nanukaka is coming to see some___
A. Monuments
B. Minister
C. Monster
D. State
21) When was Manohar Malgoankar born?
A. 1917
B. 1916
C. 1912
D. 1913
22) Who was coming to visit the narrator‟s family?
A. Ratiram
B. Minister
C. Nanukaka
D. Sohanlal
23) Nanukaka was related to the narrator, as he was his___
A. Uncle
B. Nephew
C. Cousin
D. Son
24) Name of the son of Sohanlal Ratiram was_____
A. Hariram
B. Raviram
C. Ratiram
D. Sohanram
25) Sohanlal Ratiram was the Party Boss in___
A. Patna
B. Delhi
C. Mumbai
D. Rajsthan
26) Nanukaka‟s Meeting with Sohanlal Ratiram was___
A. A failure
B. Cancelled
C. Very successful
D. Postponed
27) The second important person Nanukaka had planned to meet, was__
A. Business man
B. Welfare Minister
C. State Minister
D. Zamindar
28) The new role Nanukaka gave the narrator under secretary, was of___
A. Look
B. Driver
C. Professor
D. Minister
29) Nanukaka managed to impress the Sikka Auto Dealer by demonstration of___
A. Country
B. Knowledge
C. Wealth
D. Politeness
30) The type of Situation in which a person from time to time turns to his mother tongue___________.
A. Hesitation
B. Linguistic emergency
C. Revolving
D. Consequence
31) Nanukaka told- “Take me to the Maharaja Sutkatta‟s palace to return the _________.
A. Cheque
B. Coat
C. Horoscopes
D. Driver
32) ______informed the under secretary about Nanukaka‟s visit?
A. Minister
B. Sohan Lal Ratiram
C. Mother
D. Secretary
33) The narrator was _______on probation.
A. Under- secretary
B. Secretary
C. Manager
D. Minister
34) Nanukaka was the narrator‟s _________.
A. Maternal Uncle
B. Father
C. Cousin
D. Mother
35) Mother did lot of___over Nanukaka
A. Trumult
B. Fuss
C. Uproar
D. None of these
36) Nanukaka came out of minister‟s office mumbling colorful _________swear words.
A. Jodhpuri
B. Dakhni
C. Marathi
D. Maithali
37) A pinch of Snuff is _______.
A. A Comic Story 
B. Novel 
C. Story 
D. Essay
38) The Kitten had just made a ___ on the floor.
A. Mark 
B. Puzzle 
C. Puddle 
D. House -break 
39) Nanukaka went to minister in ____
A. Car
B. Plane 
C. Taxi 
D. Cycle
40) Nanukak snuffbox is _____
A. Gold
B. Silver
C. Copper 
D. Brass


1) Why Under- Secretary always obeyed Nanukaka ?
Under-Secretary (Narrator) always obeyed Nanukaka because He was his Mother’s brother (maternal uncle) and his mother insisted on it and he couldn’t displease his mother.
2) “This Tie and collar business is no good these days” What did Nanukaka mean to say?
Through this statement Nanukaka means to say that tie and collar had become a very common dress. We should leave this tie adn collar and wear traditional clothes.
3) What did the Under-Secretary change his appearance to accompany Nanukaka?
The Under- Secreatary change his appearance into a close collar Jodhpuri coat and put on a turban, to accompany Nanukaka.
4) Who is  a Zamindar? 
A person is called Zamindar who has owned much land or large land.
5) How did Nanukaka impress Sohanlal Ratiram?
Nanukaka impress Sohanlal Ratiram in a way he talked about his foreign tours with politicians and ministers. Then he began to tell about Hazarat barkat Ali who was the ambassador. He talked in such a way as if they were his best friends.
6) What important information did he collect at Ratiram’s Place?
He collect the information at Ratiram’s place is that “When the minister refuses the marriage of his daughter with Sohanlal’s son. The ministers had made up to marry his daughter to the Prince of Ninnore.
7) Who is a Prince? 
A prince is the son of the King of a country. he is next claimant for the ruler’s post.
8) Who was the second important person Nanukaka had planned to meet ?
The second important person Nanukaka had planned to meet was ‘the welfare minister’
9) What preparation did he make to meet him?
He firstly managed to get an enormous, outlandush car to drive to the minister’s office. Secondly he got undersecretary dressed in his Jodhpur coat and turban and lastly he dressed and sat on the car in a manner that he looked a heriditary pundit from a princely state.
10) How did he manage to impress the Sikka Auto Dealers?
He managed to impress to Sikka Auto Dealers by the demonstration of his wealth. He made a plan with the Dhobi, “When he went to Sikka Auto Dealers, the Dhobi came with an old coat of Nanukaka in his hand showed him the cheque saying  that he left a cheque of Rs 1000 in his coat. 
11) What did he do at the minister’s residence?
12) How did Nanukaka impress the minister?
Ans. After writing his name in the visitor’s book, he told his ‘chauffeur’ to drive to Maharaja Sutkatta’s place because he had to return the horoscopes. This trick impressed the minister.
13) Is the under secretary impressed with Nanukaka at any point? When and why? Find out the evidence from the story.
Ans. The under secretary is impressed with Nanukaka when the Welfare Minister, whom he wanted to meet, comes to see Nanukaka early in the morning. The minister gladly does what Nanukak wants him to do. It is indeed a miracle
14) What is the relation between Sohanlal Ratiram and Ratiram?
Ans. They are father and son. Sohanlal Ratiram is the party boss in Delhi.
15) In what dress did the writer go to the minister along with Nanukaka?
Ans. Writer went there in Jodharpur coat with a huge orange turban tied round his head.
16) Where did Nanukaka go to meet the minister with whom?
Ans. Nanukaka went to the North Block to meet the minister along with the writer
17) What preparation did he make to meet him?
Ans. To meet minister Nanukaka hired an outlandish large car. He asked the under secretary to act his liveried chauffeur.
18) What new role did Nanukaka give the under secretary to play?
Ans. He gave the under secretary to the role of his chauffeur to play.







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