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Gargi Pant

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Roman Holiday

Suitcase - checked. Diary - checked. I am writing my last lines before I take off in the time machine. Time machine - checked! This time it's going to ancient Rome at the height of its empire. Only this morning I read somewhere that when in Rome, do as the Romans do. If you want to accompany me, sit...

Reaching the Top of the World

May 23: Looks can be deceptive. At 16, Temba Tsheri Sherpa looks like any ordinary schoolboy from Kathmandu. But look closely. He is the youngest person to scale the world's highest peak - the 8,848-metre-high Mount Everest, The Telegraph newspaper reported.By climbing the peak 16 days after his 16th birthday, on May 22, he broke the record set by...

When Grandma challenged British Rule

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi salt march
Whenever I go to my ancestral home in Nainital, I never forget to brush my hand across an engraved name-plate and feel the name on it. The name belongs to my great grandfather who used to work for the British Empire. For his loyalty, he was rewarded with the title of 'Rai Saheb'.Having worked with the British for years,...

Flooded by disaster

July 31: Monsoon in Orissa has meant only one thing in the recent past: floods. It's no different this year. Floods have left 85 lakh people in over 15,000 villages homeless. The official death toll: 80. And one lakh hectare of crops have been submerged.About 5,000 kilometres of roadways, 500 kilometres of the national highways, and piped water supply...

Who invented Hello?

Who invented Hello?
Hello, Hullo, Hallo, Hull-oo-oo-oo. You may say it softly or you may holler at the top of your voice, but the person at the other end knows that all you are trying to do is get in touch with a greeting.Legend has it that Thomas Alva Edison was the first to say hello over the telephone. But Edison didn't...

Places That Care

How many of us have ever given even a fleeting thought to the inconvenience faced by disabled people in the public spaces in our country?How many of us have seen them shopping or visiting theatres, cinema halls or places of worship, leave alone historical monuments? Perhaps, none.For the 'differently abled', it is not just disability that makes life tough but...

From Heaven To Hell

A post nuclear apocalyptic scenario
Kaz Suyeishi will never forget the quiet peace of the cloudless August morning in 1945. The 18-year-old was in the front garden of her home in Hiroshima. She was chatting with a friend, when a gleam of silver in the sky caught her attention. "It looked like an angel," she said. "It was the most beautiful airplane. It looked...

It’s Hi Harry, Bye Hardy Boys

August 1: On July 31, as an army of children and adults got ready to "celebrate" Harry Potter's birthday, there was a young fictional heroine waiting to share the limelight with him. Her name? Lyra Belacqua, a girl with extraordinary powers, unusual friends, and living an orphaned life as well. Lyra Belacqua is the name of the latest craze...

Precious Boats

July 27: Grooms in West Bengal's Murshidabad district are singing a different tune these days. They are no more asking for jewels or hard cash. No, they haven't given up on the dowry. Instead they are demanding for something more practical and useful, a wooden boat. Along with it comes the demand for a bride who can swim, says...

Why Father’s Day

Happy father's day
Father's Day, contrary to what many people believe, was not established in order to help greeting card manufacturers sell more cards. It began in the US about a 100 years ago when cards were not as common as they are now.It was started by Sonara Louise Smart Dodd who lived in Spokane, Washington, in 1909.Her father, William Smart, a...

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