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Coaching, Anyone?

October 21: Open any newspaper and chances are that you will find yourself staring at a full page advertisement of some coaching college proudly claiming that the bright young girl who topped the IIT entrance examination (her photograph is so smudged that you can't see) had been coached by their able guides.If there isn't an advertisement in the newspaper...

The Earthworm’s Good Turn

Earthworms busy decomposing (recycling) waste
Every day, countless dustbins are emptied in dumping grounds. A lot of this garbage ends up polluting the ground water and also the rivers and seas.Actually, a large part of this junk, especially the biodegradable waste (waste that can be decomposed) can be disposed in a more efficient manner, without polluting water bodies. Many countries are now doing it...

The Truth about Zoos

A group of wild animals
Last week we carried a piece about the relevance of zoos as the last refuge of endangered species. But in India it appears that zoos should be the last place for animals of any sort, let alone the endangered variety.It is no secret that most Indian zoos are in a bad state. Although zoos claim to educate people and...

Asia’s First Floating Museum

October 16: Wouldn't it be exciting to visit a war museum of vintage aircraft on a huge ship floating in the ocean ? And when the ship in question happens to be INS Vikrant, the experience promises to be truly memorable.INS Vikrant is India's first aircraft carrier and came into service in 1961. Once the hallmark of the Indian...

Rat Menace

August 12: About 26 people in Mumbai and nearby Thane died recently due to a strange fever. Initially the doctors in Mumbai were unsure which disease had afflicted these people, because no tests were conducted to find out the nature of the fever.Most patients had avoided getting the test done because it cost a lot of money (Rs. 750)...

Talkie Star from the Silent Era

August 19: At times the story of an actor's life is no less adventurous than the exciting roles he plays on the film screen. P Jairaj was such an actor, who chose to leave the comfort of an aristocratic life for the ups and downs of a career in the magical art of cinema, which was a big novelty...

Green Fields in a Concrete Jungle

August 5: Imagine green paddy fields and a calm pond next to it. The breeze that blows over the still waters is cool and refreshing in the afternoons. Imagine all this in the middle of a city.Sounds dreamlike?Actually that is what Govind Mhatre's farm is like. Like a dream. It looks like it has been displaced from a picture...

Monsoon in Mumbai

To the people of Mumbai, the thought of rain is as natural as breathing. And they think they are always prepared for it. As the temperature drops, and there is a slight nip in the air they cannot help thinking of piping hot pakoras and garam chai or hot tea. But the visitor often drops down from the sky unexpectedly....

Eastward Ho!

Britain wants Indian engineers to help modernise their London-Glasgow railway link, and that's a real about turn! Nearly 150 years ago, Britain was the first country to use steam locomotives.The British also built the first rail tracks in India and set up India's railway network with one purpose - they wanted to collect raw material such as cotton from...

I Carried the Olympic Torch

In his early 40s, George Abraham is known as the man who has used the game of cricket to encourage a competitive spirit and confidence among the blind. He is the man who singlehandedly put cricket for the blind on the world map, literally.It was Wednesday, July 10, 1996, the time 11.30 p.m. The telephone rang. It was...

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