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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 Day Christ Died

As a child, I did not know the significance of Good Friday for Christians. For me, all it meant was a day off from school. One evening, I let it slip to a friend that I thought 'Good' Friday meant something good must have happened on this day. My friend Lorraine stared at me in astonishment. Then she told me...

How did Christianity Come to India?

Would you doubt my word if I say that Doubting Thomas, one of the Apostles of Christ visited India and established Christianity? Don't. For its true. Among Christ's 12 apostles, Thomas Didaemus or Doubting Thomas, along with Peter and Paul were pre-eminent. Thomas Didaemus was called Doubting Thomas because he doubted Christ's word that on the third day after his...

Chakram

Chakram was a happy-go-lucky donkey who lived in the Rumpum Jungle. In the brains department he was sadly lacking, even as donkeys go. But on the scale of contentment he rated very high. He was a happy, carefree sort of fellow who wanted nothing but tender grass to chew on and the shade of a leafy tree under which to...

The Wooden God

Bablu hated the ritual of prayer and fast that his family had been observing for as long as he could remember. The entire family had to wake at dawn and have a dip in the village pond, even if it was in the middle of the bitterest winter. A chilly winter day would find a shivering Bablu trying hard not...

The Cloud That Refused To Cry

It was a stifling hot day in the second week of June and the animals of Jhilmil forest were miserable. The bumblebees no longer droned but sighed. A tail heavy with perspiration made Billori, the squirrel, sit sadly on a patch of dry earth, as hard as a turtle's hide. In another corner of the forest, just outside his cave,...

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...

The Clever Lioness

There once lived a clever lioness in the champak forest. She had four healthy and really adorable cubs. They were very young and their eyes hadn't still opened. They slept for most of the time and the only time they were awake was when their mother fed them. But if the mother was late even by a minute, they...

Looking at the World Upside Down

Have you seen trapeze artists hanging upside down from bars in a circus? They do it with great concentration. Bats also hang upside down from cave walls or tree branches. And they do not need to put in any effort to do so. For they hang upside down only when they are resting. They use their legs to hold on to...

Internet in the Jungle

Why are you looking so sad?" Ullu, the wise old owl, asked Kabbu, the white pigeon. "You too would look sad if you were going to lose your job," snapped Kabbu. Kabbu was the head of the Postal Department of their jungle Olango, which was the biggest and most prosperous jungle around. Kabbu and his fleet of 21 pigeons carried letters,...

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Why do Onions Make us Cry?

One of the earliest memories I have as a child is when I was approximately three or four years old. I remember watching my...

Who’s the Brainiest animal of Them All?

The next time someone calls you an ape or a bird brain, ask her to think again. Brain scans of animals have revealed similar...

Where Did Numerals Originate?

We deal with numbers all the time. Not just while doing math lessons at school, but also while counting money at the shop, memorising...

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...

The Butterfly in a Bottle

Poltu was wide awake in his bed. He had had a marvellous dream in which he had won the football match in the inter-school...