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The Nine Nights of Navaratri

This year, the end of September marks the onset of Navaratri or “nine nights” in the Hindu calendar. With this begins one of the most festive phases in India, with Durga Puja in east India, Dussehra in north, central and west India, and Saraswati Puja in South India. It also sets the stage for Diwali in the near future. Navaratri literally means ‘nine nights’. This nine-day period, sacred to Durga, is celebrated sometime in the months of October and November....

The Rainbow

Out in the lush, green garden Binnu chased the multi-coloured butterflies which flitted from flower to flower. Plants take root easily during the monsoon and with plenty of water to nourish them, new sprouts appear. The Rainbow [Translated by:Mala Singh] Suddenly there was a flash of lightening. Soon, the sky was completely overcast and it begun to rain. Binnu and his mother sheltered in the verandah and watched the rain. The rain stopped after a while and the sun peeped out from behind the clouds....

Don't Stop the Music, I Want to Dance

Don't Stop the Music, I Want to Dance

Joseph Templin or Joe is an American teenager who loves to dance. He knows how to do a moonwalk, a swing, a twirl – all popular dance steps. The minute the music begins to flow, this lanky but handsome nineteen-year old, is all charged-up and itching to dance . Nothing is extraordinary about this except for one little fact. Joseph is profoundly deaf. Which means that he cannot hear a note of the music he dances to so beautifully....

The Cool Firefly

The Cool Firefly

Firefly is just a name. They are actually very cool insects. And they are not even flies, they are beetles. They have a way of sending out light signals every now and then. If you see them at night on a tree, you might think it is a brightly lit Christmas tree. That is the kind of light these fireflies produce. But the light they send out does not have heat, like the bulbs we use....

Here Comes Pujo!

Durga Puja is the most important festival for the people of West Bengal, the Eastern Indian state that has been home to three Nobel Laureates – Rabindranath Tagore, Amartya Sen, and Mother Teresa – as well as Oscar awardee Satyajit Ray. Durga Puja, or Pujo as it is usually referred to, ushers in a sense of well-being, with Diwali following close on its heels. The timing is just right: the sweltering heat, and the post-monsoon humidity gives way to Sharat or autumn....

From Russia with Love : Rudolf Nureyev

The most photographed male dancer in the world, Rudolf Nureyev electrified the world with his ballet for close to three decades in the second half of the 20th century. In the world of ballet, dominated by the ballerina or the female artist, Nureyev brought male dancing to the limelight, and changed the nature of 20th century ballet. From peasantdom to stardom, he twirled his way to the very top in an eventful life. Rudolf Hametovich Nureyev was born in a train near Irkutsk in Russia, when his mother was on her way to meet his father, in 1938....

Excerpts from 'Everything has a History'

Haldane’s books are the best for communicating science to a layperson. He wrote almost 300 brilliant articles on popular science for ordinary workers, many of which were later collated into books such as ‘Everything has a History’, ‘Science in Everyday Life’ and ‘On Being the Right Size’. Here are two chapters from ‘Everything has a History’. How Bees Communicate: Eight years ago, I gave an account in ‘The Daily Worker’ of the early work of Von Frisch and others on the language of bees....

Welcome Rains?

Welcome Rains?

April 21: A few days ago, Delhi residents were pleasantly surprised when the sweltering April sky suddenly darkened with clouds and it began to rain heavily. A freak shower, they thought, since it hardly ever rains in Delhi in April. But, surprise, surprise… the rains occurred the next day, too. And the day after. The unseasonal showers have transformed the weather marvellously. It hasn’t happened in Delhi alone. Most of northern India, from Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh to Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, western Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, have been hit by the rains....

Slow Dance

Slow Dance

This poem came to us as a forwarded email and we do not know the name of its author. Have you ever watched kids On a merry-go-round? Or listened to the rain Slapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight? Or gazed at the sun into the fading night? You better slow down. Don’t dance so fast. Time is short. The music won’t last. Do you run through each day On the fly?...

Dancing to Glory

It was a children’s dance-drama festival with a difference. At New Delhi’s LTG Auditorium recently, a group of ‘disabled’ children left the audience spellbound with their natural, joyful performances. Some of the children could not hear, others could not see or had difficulty walking. And still others were grappling with mental challenges. But that was no dampener to their spirits as they performed to an appreciative audience of eager parents, teachers and children. Dancing to Glory The Annual Inter School Dance-Drama Festival saw over 300 children from 20 schools all over Delhi, participate in the event....

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