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Can Two People have Identical Fingerprints?

I was once watching a detective serial on T.V. where the fingerprints of the suspect are required. The hero invites the villain to his home and offers him a glass of water. The bad guy takes the glass and drinks the water from it. After he leaves the hero dramatically whips out a handkerchief and picks up the glass....

Which is the World’s Oldest Working Locomotive?

The Indian Railways is one of the world's oldest railways dating back to 1849. It also has the largest network in terms of route length covering nearly 63,000 route kilometres touching every nook and cranny of India. The Indian Railways is also the world's single largest employer with about 1.6 million people working in nine zones. Among its many unique...

The Day it Rained Fish

August 12: Last weekend saw some 'fishy' happenings across the world. In Britain, for example, it rained fish. It happened in Great Yarmouth, a fishing port in Norfolk. Residents found a shower of dead but still fresh fish called sprats raining down on them. "I thought at first I might have had something wrong with my eyes. The whole of my...

This Time Teachers are the Students

August 12: About 55,000 teachers in West Bengal are going back to school. They are going to be taught English so that they can teach the language to their students. The West Bengal government has realised that most primary school teachers in the state do not know the ABC of English. Rather, they don't remember. The reason is not hard to...

The Master of ‘Mithaai’

It was the summer of 1997. I was travelling through the villages of West Bengal in search of the famed folk musicians of Bengal. They were simple people who journeyed from village to village, singing and performing. But something happened along the way… The afternoon sun was at its height when I reached Kankalitala, in the northwestern part of West Bengal. The...

Fun’tastic Ramlila, Dandiya, Jatra

Whether it is a pesky 11-year-old Dashrath struggling to maintain his flowing beard during the enactment of the Ramayana in a street Ramlila, or handsome young artistes enacting Rama and Sita on a professional stage, the feeling is the same for the viewers. They know the story of Sita and Ram by heart, but every year they wait with bated...

Tiger Move

Santhals are a tribe found in rural Orissa and West Bengal. They believe that every individual born on earth comes destined to die by some specific stroke of fate. How the individual dies is determined at birth and this is called Dana or move (like the moves of a chess game). This move determines the kind of death the...

From Cave Drawings to Floor Drawings

See this drawing? It was painted by our early ancestors on the walls of the caves in which they lived. Often they would draw bulls and bisons. These were the animals they went out to hunt. Drawing them was a way of getting the courage to go and hunt successfully. They knew that if the animal did not die, there...

Footprints on Earth

Have you ever been to a national park? If so, you must have tried to trace or locate a wild animal by trying to see its footprints on the soil. For example, people who go to Jim Corbett National Park, in Uttar Pradesh, India, spend most of their time looking for tigers. They do so by trying to look...

Satyajit Ray

One of India’s most distinguished film directors Satyajit Ray, was born on May 2, 1921 in West Bengal. Ray’s films are of universal interest despite the fact that most of his films were made in Bengali. His films are essentially about those things that make up the human race – relationships, emotions, struggle, conflicts, joys and sorrows. Satyajit Ray, the...

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Which is the Oldest Church in India?

In 52 A.D. Thomas Didaemus, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ is believed to have landed at Musiris (Cranganore) in Kerala. He...

Welcome to Blind Cow Restaurant

Almost two years ago, a blind pastor, Reverend Jorge Spielmann started a restaurant for the blind in the city of Zurich, in Switzerland. Almost...

Long bony fingers

Somu loved to read ghost stories. Every time he paid a visit to the library, he got back a teeth-chattering horror tale. It was...

How Does Ice float?

A cool glass of water topped with huge chunks of ice is sure to quench your thirst on a hot summer day. But, before...

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...