Gargi Pant

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All features, stories and articles authored by: Gargi Pant


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Long bony fingers

Long bony fingers

Somu loved to read ghost stories. Every time he paid a visit to the library, he got back a teeth-chattering horror tale. It was a signal that he was getting ready to play a scary trick on his friends. He was 10 years old. His parents had learnt to recognise the signs now. The days on which the slim boy’s cocker spaniel eyes shone brighter than ever, and his brown wavy hair seemed to have a movement of their own, they knew that he must have read a ghost tale and was hatching a plot to scare someone....

Who Invented The Pen?

Who Invented The Pen?

The history of writing instruments with which humans have recorded and conveyed thoughts, feelings and grocery lists, is the history of civilisation itself. This is how we know about our ancestors and their lives. The handy sharpened-stone, used for skinning and killing animals was adapted into the first writing instrument. Around 24,000 BC, the cave man started drawing pictures with the stone onto the walls of his cave dwelling. His drawings showed events in daily life such as the planting of crops or hunting victories....

Why Do We Have Wrinkly Fingers After Swimming?

Why Do We Have Wrinkly Fingers After Swimming?

You’ve been playing in the pool for almost an hour now, practicing your best underwater somersaults. Now it’s time to get out, and as you look at your hands, it’s . . . it’s . . . it’s the attack of the wrinkly fingered monster! Don’t get frightened or run for cover under your towel yet. After spending lots of time in the water, it’s totally normal for fingers (and sometimes toes) to wrinkle. Why Do We Have Wrinkly Fingers After Swimming?...

Guddu's Lucky Day

Guddu's Lucky Day

The sun shone through Gayatri’s window. It teased her eyelids open. She yawned, stretched and got out of bed – things she had done a thousand times before. For Gayatri, today began like any other day. Gayatri Verma was a bright, 12-year-old girl with sparkling eyes and dimpled smile. She was an eighth grade student in a local school, forever praying to God for a new bicyle. She hated travelling in a school bus. After all she was big enough to ride the bike on busy streets....

Where Did Shoes Come From?

Where Did Shoes Come From?

Ooh, aah, ouch! People in ancient times must have yelped like this when they walked on rough ground without any shoes on. And it was probably the pain and discomfort that propelled them to cover their feet for protection. Footwear has a history which goes back many thousands of years, and has long been an article of prestige for people in different societies. Where Did Shoes Come From? [Illustration by Anup Singh] The earliest footwear, probably made of plaited grass or rawhide held to the foot with thongs was undoubtedly born of the necessity to provide some protection when moving over rough terrain in varying weather conditions....

What Is The Origin Of Silk Fabric?

What Is The Origin Of Silk Fabric?

My mother took out her favourite blue silk saree for the dinner party. I looked at it, mesmerised by its shimmer and lustre. The rich fabric draped around her body, making her look so very elegant. Definitely no other fabric can match the qualities of silk. But have you ever wondered, how silk fabric came into existence? Silk production, or ‘Sericulture’ as it is known, has a long history, unknown to most of us. What Is The Origin Of Silk Fabric?...

How Wool Came Into Existence

How Wool Came Into Existence

It must have been a very intelligent human who looked at a sheep walking past and thought of the use its fleece might have! Although the oldest surviving textile made out of wool is around 3,500 years old, the oldest fine woolen fabric dates to the fifth century BC (about 2,500 years ago) and was found in an ancient Greek colony. How Wool Came Into Existence Wool was probably the first fiber to be woven into a textile....

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 invent ‘hello’ by a long shot. As a matter of fact, the greeting has been around for centuries much before the invention of telephone in 1885....

Dress like an Egyptian

Dress like an Egyptian

I am writing this as I am travelling in my time machine. I know how important it is to keep a diary of happenings. The machine is making strange rattling noises, because I forgot to clean its aching joints this morning. It’s an old contraption, after all. Hullo! Where am I? I thought I was visiting ancient India, but this decidely looks like a pyramid. Oops! Looks like I have reached ancient Egypt. Never mind, as they say – enjoy!...

The Greek Barber

The Greek Barber

I wonder what others think of when they hear a mention of Greece. I think of the first Olympics and I think of the poison Socrates the philosopher was forced to drink. But I want to see something different today. Athens, here I come! The Greek Barber [Illustrations by Anup Singh] My machine says we have reached the Athens of 2005 years ago (5th century BC). I stretch myself and walk out of the machine....

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