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The Day Mother raised the Flag

On August 15, at the stroke of midnight, the Indian flag replaced the Union Jack of the British Empire. And millions of Indians went to sleep in a state of excitement. For, they would literally wake up in a free country. Among them was a five-year-old girl called Amrita Rangasami. She lived with four siblings and a young widowed...

India Quiz : Road to Freedom

India was freed from British rule on August 15, 1947. Can you map the way India took to achieve independence?

When Grandma challenged British Rule

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,...

The Empire Strikes Back

October 28: The roots of the present-day education system in India lie in British attempts, more than one and a half century ago, to raise a breed of English-speaking Indians who were 'babus' or clerks and could manage the affairs of the British rulers. That is why the study of English has always been stressed in India, even if it...

The South Indian Sikh

October 21: Sardar Bhupinder Singh is 91 years old. He is also a bit of an oddity where he lives - in Kadakarapally, Kerala. He is the only one in his area to keep his hair long, wear a turban and visit the gurudwara or Sikh temple in nearby Kochi. Bhupinder Singh is one of the few living Malayalee Sikhs...

Where did Coffee Originate?

The aroma of coffee beans was one of the earliest smells to intoxicate me as a child - such was its flamboyant richness. That, and the lush sight of frothy white milk becoming creamier as it mixed with the nut-brown coffee decoction, served in steel tumblers, was perfect happiness. It is a memory shared by many Indians living in the...

Rabindranath Tagore

Mystic, painter and Nobel laureate for literature, Rabindranath Tagore was a prolific writer (3,000 poems, 2,000 songs, 8 novels, 40 volumes of essays and short stories, 50 plays), who drew inspiration both from his native Bengal and from English literary tradition. His major theme was humanity's search for God and truth. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature...

The Friends of Custard House

Robert Custard was a gentleman to be sure. Though he was only three-and-a-half feet off the ground and sometimes he even sported a milk moustache, he was still, quite definitely, a gentleman at the age of nine. Now, you must consider that we are talking about the India of the 1930s. The British were ruling the country. Little boys and...

Bhagat Singh

March 23 is the death anniversary of one of the most heroic figures of the Indian freedom movement. Few people remembered it, though. Forget the rest of India, even the children of the village where he was born, do not know anything about him. And to think that the young man in question, Bhagat Singh, gave up his life for...

Ali Sardar Jafri

He was a poet who spoke out for the poor. He was also one who truly believed that India and Pakistan could be friends, if the countries tried hard enough. From the time he was arrested for writing against British rule in India, to when he climbed onto the famous Lahore "peace" bus with Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee...

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The Scent of an Enemy

It seems the fish were always a smart lot. Only, humans took some time to realise the fact. Some years ago, scientists had discovered...

Himalayas Have a Deep Impact on the Climate of the World

Tibet is known as the roof of the world. That is because it is on a region which has the highest altitude in the...

How Do Fish Survive in Icy Waters?

In cold winter months, lakes and rivers freeze over forming ice. Yet, fish and other aquatic animals manage to survive. Animals like seals, penguins, walruses...

Why do Plants Lean Toward Sunlight?

Plants kept inside a room always grow in the direction of the window. In woodlands where there is a thick canopy of trees and...

Do You Like Fruits?

Apples in the winter time Chikoos in the fall Mangoes in the summer time I like it best of all! Oranges and kinnows bright Sugar-cane so sweet Melons and the...