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The Ride to Bondage

Chintu and Gullu were very, very excited. They were going to ride camels! Both of them worked in a fireworks factory where they made firecrackers for Diwali and other festivals. Their meagre earnings helped their families to make life worth living. Now their lives would totally change. Mr. Ali had seen to that. Mr. Ali was Chintu’s father’s new friend. He lived far, far away. He had told Chintu’s father that Chintu was exactly right for riding camels — the right size and the right weight....

The Scent of an Enemy

The Scent of an Enemy

It seems the fish were always a smart lot. Only, humans took some time to realise the fact. Some years ago, scientists had discovered that they identify family members with their smell. Now, scientists in Glasgow University, have discovered something new, according to a report in the journal ‘New Scientist’. They have discovered that the salmon fish go a step further. They actually keep a nose out for fish that smell like outsiders and not like family....

Long Memory of Female Elephants is Responsible for the Well Being of their Families

Long Memory of Female Elephants is Responsible for the Well Being of their Families

You must have heard the phrase ‘elephant’s memory’ being used for people with a long memory. It seems the long memory of elephants, especially female elephants, is directly responsible for the well being of their families. This fact was discovered by a group of researchers of the University of Sussex who studied the elephants of Amboseli National Park in Kenya, the Telegraph newspaper reported. Elephants live in matriarchal families or families that are headed by the mothers....

The Lame Groom and his English Bride

The Lame Groom and his English Bride

Kamini loved her dolls. She had three of them. Two of them were Indian and she had named them Rukmani and Ranjani, so that they rhymed with her name. Her uncle had gifted her another doll that he had brought from London, who she had named Jenny. Kamini’s dolls were her babies. She brushed their teeth in the morning, washed them and dressed them up. When she had her breakfast she would have them sitting by her side....

Weave of Survival

Weave of Survival

To unravel the story behind the famed Kota doria sari, Aditi De of the Women’s Feature Service, travelled to Kota in Rajasthan recently. From there she went to the hamlet of Kaithoon, 15 km from Kota. Kaithoon is the real home of the legendary Kota Doria sari. The creation of each sari is a work of art, involving the labour of the entire family of the weaver. The weaving is mainly done by the daughters of the family, most of whom are small girls too busy working to go to school....

Human Robots

Human Robots

Human Robots [Illustration by Shinod AP] March 27: At one time we considered robots as machines to do our work. But now we have begun to think of them differently. We want them to be more human than humans themselves! Or else why would the Japanese have designed a new robot to help humans interact with each other? One significant feature of most industrialised societies in the developed world is the breaking-up of the family and the rise of individualism....

Where are the Children?

Where are the Children?

Where are the Children? [Illustration by Shinod AP] April 21: Slavery was banned in south America several decades ago. But in west and central Africa, it still continues. Now, child slaves from poor African countries are being sold to the rich African countries. Poor families sell their children to work for almost nothing in Gabon, a country in west Africa. Gabon is rich in oil. Despite international efforts to stop this trade, it continues, reports The Asian Age newspaper....

The Business of Festivals

The Business of Festivals

What is special about Durga Puja is that it’s a community celebration. In Calcutta, specially, almost every neighbourhood has a Puja Committee to organise the Puja in their locality, every year. Come September and the Committee members begin to meet at each other’s houses and chalk out plans for grand celebrations over endless rounds of cha(tea) and adda (discussion). Anyone can qualify – all one needs is boundless enthusiasm. These people set up the pandal or the tents that house the festivities....

A Soldier's Death is a Soldier's Death

A Soldier's Death is a Soldier's Death

Where: New Delhi, India May 16, 2000: Today’s newspapers must have given some relief to Indian Army men. For, George Fernandes, the Defence Minister of India, has finally agreed to their demands. Their demand was that the family of every jawan, or soldier, killed in action must get the same compensation amount of Rs 1 million ($23,255) from the Government of India. It did not matter where the soldier died: Kargil, Srinagar, or the north-eastern part of India....

'Your dam is our death'

'Your dam is our death'

August 26: Last week, 70 children from the Narmada Valley were in the Capital, meeting with other children, journalists, activists and supporters in an attempt to share with them their very real apprehension that soon their homes and villages would be under water. They hoped that their voices would be carried to the President and that he would respond positively to their call. Every evening, the India Gate lawns, in New Delhi, become one vast picnic spot....

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