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Who Invented The Pen?

Who Invented The Pen?

The history of writing instruments with which humans have recorded and conveyed thoughts, feelings and grocery lists, is the history of civilisation itself. This is how we know about our ancestors and their lives. The handy sharpened-stone, used for skinning and killing animals was adapted into the first writing instrument. Around 24,000 BC, the cave man started drawing pictures with the stone onto the walls of his cave dwelling. His drawings showed events in daily life such as the planting of crops or hunting victories....

Karl Marx

Karl Marx

German economist, philosopher, and revolutionist, Karl Marx’s writings form the basis of the body of ideas known as Marxism. As one of the most original and influential thinkers of modern times, Karl Marx produced, with the aid of Friedrich Engels, much of the theory of modern socialism and communism. Born on May 5, 1818, Marx lived in a period of unrestrained capitalism when exploitation and misery were the lot of the industrial working classes, and it was his and Engels’ humanitarianism and concern for social justice that inspired his work....

What Is The Origin Of Silk Fabric?

What Is The Origin Of Silk Fabric?

My mother took out her favourite blue silk saree for the dinner party. I looked at it, mesmerised by its shimmer and lustre. The rich fabric draped around her body, making her look so very elegant. Definitely no other fabric can match the qualities of silk. But have you ever wondered, how silk fabric came into existence? Silk production, or ‘Sericulture’ as it is known, has a long history, unknown to most of us. What Is The Origin Of Silk Fabric?...

Sumptuous Delights

History, Mystery, Dal and Biryani Written by Subhadra Sen Gupta Illustrations by Tapas Guha Published by Scholastic India Pvt. Ltd. Sumptuous Delights Don’t you sometimes wish you were on a time machine, able to go back and forth in time at will? Recently, while reading this book of 10 short stories by Subhadra Sen Gupta, curiously but appropriately named History, Mystery, Dal and Biryani, I felt like I was on one....

Schoolboy’s Diary – 4000 years ago

Schoolboy’s Diary – 4000 years ago

When I was in the fourth standard, I got my first real diary as a present from a cousin. It made me feel very important because it was gifted to me in the year for which it had been printed. Until then the elders had always shoved at me, two or three-year-old diaries in which the listed holidays and Sundays made no sense. Naturally! It was a diary bound in dark brown leather and was printed by some company that must have been making a lot of money....

All Human History is Just 10 Seconds Old!

All Human History is Just 10 Seconds Old!

Look at the dial of a clock. Imagine that the 12 hours showing on the dial are equal to earth’s history of four-and-a-half billion years. Now, this is how the earth’s evolution happened… We know very little about what happened in the first three hours of the earth’s existence. The first signs of life appeared in the form of bacteria when the earth was four hours old. Then came the first vertebrates (animals with skeletons). They were born when the earth was 10 hours and 35 minutes old....

Teaching a Lesson!

Teaching a Lesson!

“It’s my turn tomorrow,” mumbled Raghu to himself as he climbed the stairs of his school building, very slowly as if he were sleep-walking. He had been dreading this day ever since Pal declared his grand class prodigy scheme, two months ago. Pal was the much feared History teacher. “It has been said that genius is 99 per cent perspiration and one per cent inspiration,” he had said in his usual pompous manner. “I suggest we test this theory....

Back to School

Back to School

The day I joined as a teacher at P.S 18 (Public School 18) in New York was a decisive day for me. I came from a small town in Buffalo and New York really awed me. My friend, who was teaching at a nearby institute, had warned me about the big bad city and the kids at my school. They were a hearty bunch of future hoodlums, he warned me. I laughed away his warning. My heart was full of hope at the thought of shaping the minds of tomorrow....

The Hospitality of a True Blue Nawab

The Hospitality of a True Blue Nawab

April 21: Nawab Mir Jafar Abdullah entertains guests in the celebrated Awadhi style of his forefathers. The nawab (title of former rulers of princely states), hosts elaborate traditional dinners for foreign tourists at his grand palace called Sheeshmahal (glass palace), in Lucknow, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Lucknow flourished in the 18th century as the capital of the nawabs of the principality of Awadh. It became an important cultural centre for art, music, crafts and etiquette based on the idea of graciousness that may seem excessively laidback today....

Many Ramayanas

Many Ramayanas

Once, Aristotle, the famous ancient Greek philosopher, asked an old carpenter how long he had used his knife. Thirty years, the carpenter replied. He had changed a blade a few times and the handle a few times, but the knife was the same, added the carpenter. Something similar has happened to the Indian epic, Ramayana. Writers in different places and in different languages, have composed the Ramayana down the ages. They carry with them the flavours of local cultures, and each one proudly takes its place in the gallery of Ramayanas....

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