Almost exactly in the centre of India is a town called Gwalior. In this town is the tomb of Tansen, one of the greatest musicians that ever lived.
Next to his beautifully carved stone tomb stands a little tamarind tree.
It all started in ancient Rome. The most brutal sport that has ever existed in the history of the world was the fights between gladiators. The ‘sport’ traces its roots to the custom among the Etruscan people, a civilisation in Italy that existed before the Roman civilisation.
Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Everyone knows that. Do you know the entire story of his birth?
Let me narrate it in brief. Over 2000 ago, Roman emperor Caesar Augustus, issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
Its nearly midnight and with a jingle of bells a sled comes streaking from the north, pulled of course by Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer. Sitting in the sled is a jolly round red robed figure with flowing white beard and a bag slung over his shoulder that lands on the rooftop with a merry ho-ho-ho.
Excerpts from the book “Festivals of India”
Sravani, the sacred thread changing ceremony, and Raksha Bandhan are celebrated on the full moon day of the month of shravan (June-July) and are often regarded as two names for the same festival.
Excerpts from ‘Books Forever’
Written by Manoj Das
Published by National Book Trust, New Delhi
India’s literary past is indeed great. It’s a known fact that many of the parables of the Bible, the fables of Aesop of Greece, the folktales collected by the Grimm brothers of Germany and the tales retold by Hans Andersen of Denmark had their origin in India.
It happened more than 400 years ago. Mughal emperor Akbar was very fond of taming elephants and riding them. Hawai was the most magnificent elephant in the royal stable. Despite his huge size, the male elephant was a swift runner.
Almost 400 years ago, Mughal emperor Jehangir acquired a new animal in his private collection or zoo – the zebra. This unusual, striped animal fascinated him so much that he wrote about it in his memoirs as a strange creature.
Children are always asking questions, like ‘Why is the sky blue’, or ‘Why do we have only one nose’. And sometimes they also open up things like clocks to understand how they work. Emperor Akbar was also like that — always wanting to know this or that.
Akbar was three years old in 1545. He was then staying with his uncle Kamran. On a special day, there was a feast. And Kamran had bought a kettle drum for his son, Ibrahim Mirza. Akbar took a fancy to it and decided he must have it.
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