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Gandhi’s Belongings Auctioned for Millions

Where: New York, USAMarch 6, 2009 : Indian industrialist Vijay Mallya bought Gandhi's belongings at a New York auction for $1.8 million (Rs 9 crore). The trademark wire frame spectacles, pocket watch, brass bowl and plate set and a pair of leather sandals had belonged to Mahatma Gandhi, India's most revered national leader. They were owned by American...

The Day Mother raised the Flag

Indian flag fluttering in the wind
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...

When Grandma challenged British Rule

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi salt march
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,...

Iftar: The Meal that Breaks the Fast at Ramadan

People waiting for Iftar
It is the month of Ramadan (Ramzan) in the Islamic calendar and, for those who believe in it, each day of the month follows an identical routine: a fast from sunrise to sunset. At sundown, after a whole day of not eating or even taking a sip of water, the fast is broken. It is the time when the...

Still Going Strong!

December 27: Something momentous happened at London's West End theatre a few days ago on December 16. A play by famous mystery writer Agatha Christie, The Mousetrap, was staged to a standing ovation yet again.Nothing unusual in that except for one thing. It was the 20,000th stage performance of The Mousetrap. And this makes the play the longest running...

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...

Gandhi’s School is Dying

Where: Wardha district in the western state of Maharashtra, IndiaOctober 6 : Every year, October 2 is observed as Gandhi Jayanti in India. Both children and adults look forward to this day, but not to commemorate the birth of 'the greatest Indian since the Buddha, as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi has been called. It is more to enjoy the national...

Duped Again

October 21: There are two Indias - the India of the powerful, privileged classes and the India of the masses. The powerful have good jobs and enviable lifestyles while the masses are precariously perched on the brink of survival. A large proportion of the masses lives in villages, which, as Mahatma Gandhi said long ago, is where the real...

Simputer: The Low-cost Computer

September 23: For all those who thought computers were expensive items and not in the list of "essential buys", think again. A new computer is here, priced at an easily affordable Rs 9,000 (about $200)! And cheaper than a colour TV. Does that grab your attention?It is called Simputer. And it's the answer to your prayers.As the name suggests,...

How Did the Indian Postal Service Start?

Stamp printed by India, shows post office
Although methods of postal delivery varied from one country to another, it is believed that in India, Emperor Chandragupta Maurya who ruled the country between 321-297 BC, was the first to introduce a form of postal communication to dispatch confidential reports to distant posts in his empire.However, the first recorded mention in history is to be found in the...

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