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Where are the Shaking Minarets?

Among the many architectural marvels of the world, like the leaning tower of Pisa, the whispering gallery at St Paul’s Cathedral at London or the musical pillars of South India, are the astonishing and historical shaking minarets of Ahmedabad, in Gujarat state, India. The minarets are so unique that if one minaret in shaken, the other sympathetically shakes too! Barely a kilometre away from the Ahmedabad city railway station is the Sidi Bashir mosque (Muslim equivalent of a temple) famed for its jhulta minars or shaking minarets (tall tower-like structures, either at the entrance gate or on the four corners)....

The Quake that rocked Gujarat

The Quake that rocked Gujarat

Where: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India February 5, 2001 : It was 8.45 am on January 26, 2001. A day when the country was celebrating Republic Day. Like their counterparts across India, the people of Ahmedabad, in the western state of Gujarat, were settling down to watch the Republic Day Parade on television. Basant Rawat was one of them. Suddenly the earth began to shake under his feet. Basant ran out of his house. And, the sight that greeted him seemed to be straight out of an action film – Tagore apartments, a five-storeyed building, 400 yards from his house, collapsed like a pack of cards, says a report in ‘The Telegraph’....

Friendly Neighbourhood Bank: For Kids Only

Friendly Neighbourhood Bank: For Kids Only

June 24: This is a bank with a difference. For, you hardly meet any adults here. The place is run by children and has children as members. Welcome to the kids bank of Juhapura, a working class locality in Ahmedabad. It is called the Sarjan Bank. The bank was started 22 years ago as part of a programme called Sarjan. It was started by a group called the Ahmedabad Study Action Group. This organisation has been working for poor people in Gujarat since 1973....

They See!

They See!

March 19: Among the relief workers who rushed to Kutch, Gujarat, to help the quake-affected people, was 26-year-old Sudha Patel. Sudha, who is the sarpanch or village head of Changa village in the Anand district of Gujarat, began by collecting woollen clothes, foodgrains, blankets and donations of food packs and mineral water. Then she began to send “family kits” consisting of tea, sugar and other necessary items, to the quake victims. Sudha is visually impaired....

Say Cheese!

Say Cheese!

My nephew was six when he received the first whiff of a peachy odour, later identified to him as Parmesan cheese. A gift from a “foreign returned” relative, the cheese by the time it came home had got slightly rancid. But all the same, he gobbled it up with relish. There was never a dull moment thereafter and he started ferreting out large chunks of cheese and butter from sundry fridges without as much as a whey and what-for....

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