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The Hospitality of a True Blue Nawab

April 21: Nawab Mir Jafar Abdullah entertains guests in the celebrated Awadhi style of his forefathers. The nawab (title of former rulers of princely states), hosts elaborate traditional dinners for foreign tourists at his grand palace called Sheeshmahal (glass palace), in Lucknow, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Lucknow flourished in the 18th century as the capital of...

Cruising in the Sky

December 9: You remember how plush and huge the Titanic was? It was a ship any one would want to travel in. Don't you wish travelling in an aeroplane could be made as comfortable instead of you being crammed into a place where you can't even stretch out to sleep? Well, very soon you will actually be able to...

The Night of the Women

March 19: A few days ago, the streets of Bogota, the capital of South American country Colombia, wore a very unusual look at night. Not one man was visible outside. Bogota's eccentric mayor, Antanas Mockus, had declared March 9, 2001, as the Night of the Women. All the city's men were ordered to stay indoors and leave the city free...

Tintin Storm in ‘Millionnaire’ Show

October 14: A couple of weeks ago, the French version of the game-show, 'Who wants to be a Millionaire' ( the Indian version, Kaun Banega Crorepati, is the most popular programme on Indian TV these days ), asked Frederic a real teaser of a question. The question was: in the adventures of Tintin, which doctor takes care of Captain Haddock...

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...

The Empowered Woman of Nyala

September 23: For someone who has never travelled beyond the village, a trip to New York is something to be excited about. And it's no different for Shakuntala Bai, of Nyala, in Rajasthan. She attended a two-day conference in New York organised by the Hunger Project and in the process met US President Bill Clinton too! Representing India, she spoke...

Too Much Information

October 28: Over 1400 years ago, Chinese scholar Hiuan Tsang travelled thousands of miles from his home to reach the city of Nalanda in Bihar. His objective was to study precious Buddhist manuscripts at the University of Nalanda, which was famed in those days for its library of Buddhist manuscripts. In the process, he also recorded his observations of...

Villagers go Online

October 28: The internet is quietly transforming the lives of over 20,000 people in six villages around the South Indian state of Pondicherry. Whether it's sugarcane farmers in Kizhur village using the net to consult an entomologist ( one who fights bugs ) online, to save their crops from being ravaged by bugs, or a farm-worker making incense sticks...

The Misfortunes of Kera..la

December 9: What are the images that come to mind when one hears the name - Kerala? Beaches, backwaters and… coconut trees. Rows and rows of coconut (kera) trees swaying in the breeze along the coastline, a picture perfect sight in this coastal state in South India. But this image might be in danger of disappearing. A very poor demand...

Prized Skeleton in Museum Closet

September 23: A newcomer has joined the exhibits at Delhi's prestigious National Museum. She is all of 5000 years old, from the time of the Harappan Valley civilisation, and in skeletal form. Discovered from Rakhigarhi, in the northern Indian state of Haryana, the skeleton is remarkably well-preserved. Even the shell bangles in her left hand, are still intact, says a report...

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