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World’s hottest chili takes on wild jumbos

Where: the north-eastern state of Assam November 14, 2007: For some time villages in Assam located close to forests have been having a tough time. Often the villagers find unwelcome guests in their backyards: herds of wild elephants in a wild mood. In the contest between human and animal there have been deaths on both sides. In recent times, more...

Wet behind the ears: Mumbai floods again

Where: Mumbai, India June 25, 2007: A kid of five would tell you that it rains in June. Especially in Mumbai, which being on the coast, takes a soak before the rains make their way to inland cities like Delhi. Yet, year after year, with unfailing precision, Mumbai goes under water. Knee deep water, with floating trash, stinking dead rodents...

On the tracks of a hero

Where: Delhi, India April 17, 2007: He does not look like Superman or Shaktimaan from any angle. Nor does he look like Batman or Spiderman. But 57-year-old Mahender Singh is a super hero in real life. In December 2006, he stood on a railway track to stop a train speeding towards him. It was the only way to stop the...

Chained Inmates of an Asylum burnt to Death

August 8: In a gruesome tragedy, 26 mentally challenged persons were burnt to death in Yerwadi, Tamil Nadu. When the fire broke out, the patients, who were chained to posts, in a makeshift asylum, were unable to escape. Eleven of the patients were women. Taking serious note of the fire, the Supreme Court issued notices to the central and the...

Jumbos have some oily fun

August 9: It's a slippery situation that has officials of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Assam religiously muttering the Ganesh Mantra. The public sector company owns and operates the world's oldest oil producing wells here and they're helpless against the antics of wild elephants who love the swooshing sound of oil spurting in Digboi's oil fields. According to a...

No Begging for Merit

May 25: When Nagarathna, a beggar girl from Mysore, was preparing for the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (Class X) examinations, she had to beg to buy books and study under street lights. She passed the exams with flying colours and the Indian Express newspaper published her success story. After the story appeared in the paper, Nagarathna has been receiving innumerable...

Advertisement for Dogs

If you are selling a dog's product, who should you ask to buy it - the dog owner or the dog? A British advertisement firm has decided to get the attention of dogs in their latest ad campaign on a pet awards show. The programme, to be conducted by the television channel Animal Planet, is being publicised with posters that have...

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...

Young girl’s earth-shaking courage

There is a ray of hope for quake hit-Gujarat. All it needs to do is listen to a 12-year-old girl, Prutha Desai. She might be small but towers over many in spirit. This girl who lost her right arm in the January 26 earthquake, six months ago, has shown great courage in starting life afresh, literally: from learning to...

Take Me Back

July 6: A clueless girl stands outside her school building, looking lost among the swirling mass of uniformed school students. She is not allowed to wear the school uniform, ususally sits in the last row without a partner, her notebooks go unchecked and her name does not appear in the attendance register. Meet six-year-old Ekta, who is being punished for...

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