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Supreme Court gets Tough After Ragging Death and Torture

Where: New Delhi, IndiaMarch 16, 2009 : Ragging was at one time considered to be a fun way for seniors to interact with freshers in college. It has now become nothing less than systematic torture by bullying groups of seniors.Three shocking ragging incidents occurred in the past week. Aman Kachroo, a student of Dr. Rajendra Prasad Medical...

The Boy Who Could Do Nothing Right!

Portrait of a child performing yoga asana
Do you know of anyone who stumbles on a flat stretch of road, or walks into chairs and tables all the time? I knew one such boy. His name was Tarun. I met him in the hill retreat of Shimla in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. I had gone there for a holiday some time ago.For...

Starving in the Midst of Plenty

May 19: People in the rural areas of six states of India - Orissa, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhatisgarh and Maharashtra - are experiencing famine-like conditions. But the governments are refusing to give them relief. The terrible thing is that they are doing so at a time when their godowns are overflowing with grain.Which is why an organisation called...

Microbes begin Deforestation

May 19: The conifer trees on the hills of Himachal Pradesh may soon become history. No, they are not being cut by humans. This time, it is the turn of microbes to go on a rampage.Insects, fungi and various kinds of insects are eating into the deodar, pine and kail trees of Chopal and the stretch that lies between...

This Bird Paradise Stinks!

March 19: Are you a bird lover? If you live in Delhi, then the river Yamuna is the place to go to. Yes, that same river that was once Delhi's pride but has got reduced to a polluted dump with mounds of plastic islands floating on its surface and toxic effluents flowing in from fields.And yet, birds flock to...

Welcome Rains?

April 21: A few days ago, Delhi residents were pleasantly surprised when the sweltering April sky suddenly darkened with clouds and it began to rain heavily. A freak shower, they thought, since it hardly ever rains in Delhi in April.But, surprise, surprise... the rains occurred the next day, too. And the day after. The unseasonal showers have transformed the...

The Story of Dussehra

Dussehra, also called Vijayadashmi (or Bijoya in Bengal), is the culmination of the nine-day Navaratri celebrations. It is a festival that marks the killing of Ravana, his son Meghanatha and brother Kumbhakarna, by Rama. It is seen as the vistory of good over evilThe RamayanaThe epic Ramayana, describes the story of Rama. Rama was the exiled prince of...

Why is Snow White?

Why is Snow White?
I am sure like my two kids, all of seven and three years, you too may find the cold in Delhi a bit too extreme. It is cold and clammy and some days it is foggy making it dangerous to drive. Some days I would like them to be adequately muffled up in warm winter clothing, while they feel...

Polite Police

July 8: Very soon, a banner will appear in the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport in Delhi. It will read:The Tourist Police For you, with you, Always.But, most people are scared that it might actually mean "The Tourist Police, For you, with you, after you, Always.Disappointed with the police force and its rude ways of dealing with the public, the Ministry...

The Lake and the Birds

Where: Himachal Pradesh, IndiaMarch 8, 2001: The picturesque Pong Dam lake region in the mountainous state of Himachal Pradesh, is losing its lustre. A great deal of its charm has lain in the fact that it is north India's largest refuge for migrating birds escaping harsh winters abroad. But not for long, if recent trends are any indication.A low...

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