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Go For It, Bablu!

Go For It, Bablu!

It happened on the day school started after a heavenly two months of summer holidays. Shankar refused to wake up at 6 am. He wanted to dream more about his visit to his grandparents’ home. They lived in the picturesque city of Mysore in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. He particularly wanted to remember his two trips to the Bandipur National Park. It was a magical forest in the shade of the Nilgiri mountains which always seemed to have their heads in the clouds!...

Sadako’s Cranes

Sadako’s Cranes

The atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima ten years ago. I lived a mile away from the city so nothing much happened to me, though the city and its people were burnt. The bomb didn’t do anything to me — so I thought for ten years. I love running. A few months ago, while I was practising for a relay event, I felt dizzy. I thought it was only because I was tired. Then a few weeks after that, I fell down in the field and couldn’t get up....

Robot That Changes Form

Robot That Changes Form

Did you know that the word robot is derived from the Czech word robota? It means compulsory labour or work. The word robot was first used in a Czech drama in 1921. It described a mechanical device that looked human but lacked emotions. It worked mechanically. Modern-day robots do not necessarily look like humans. But they are programmed to handle tasks that are normally carried out by humans, especially in big factories that manufacture products like cars....

The Beggar who is a Money Lender

The Beggar who is a Money Lender

August 5: A beggar is someone who is so poor that she has to beg people for money. For, she generally has little that belongs to her. No money to buy food, no proper shelter to live in, not even perhaps, two sets of clothes to wear. Or, at least that’s what we’re told to believe. But Bhanwari Sethani forces us to take a new look at the tired, old pictures of the beggar that we have in our mind....

History was Made Here

History was Made Here

November 4: It is a dirty and dimly-lit room, located on the first floor of the government-run JJ Hospital at Byculla, Mumbai. It includes a table, a chair and pieces of equipment occasionally used by the hospital staff, and is used as a safe refuge by tired employees looking for a quiet corner to doze off. History was made over a hundred years ago in this room, when a German bacteriologist called Robert Koch discovered the vaccine against the tuberculosis and cholera bacteria, in it....

Who's Stealing the Doctors' Clothes?

Who's Stealing the Doctors' Clothes?

August 5: Some thieves are lurking in the corridors of Delhi’s Lady Hardinge Hospital. They steal clothes. But, not any clothes. It has to be a doctor’s clothes. Or perhaps, the clothes are the only items of value around that place as all other valuables are locked carefully. For over a year now, doctors who go into the operation theatre after leaving their clothes in the changing room, have not seen them again. Doctors change before getting into the operation theatre to leave behind any germs of infection that their clothes might carry inside....

The Cure is Laughter

The Cure is Laughter

It is not a new way of spreading happiness. The method has been practised for a while and has also been captured on celluloid by Hollywood in the film ‘Patch Adams’. In the film (based on a true story) Patch Adams is the name of a student of medicine, who decides to use humour to help patients. The role was played by Robin Williams, Hollywood’s leading comedian. This technique has been adopted in Brazil, to great success....

Smart Ones and Fools

Smart Ones and Fools

This morning we got a call in our office from a friend who gave us us the news that the Taj Mahal had collapsed in an earthquake in the wee hours of dawn. As soon as we let out shocked gasps we realised that we had all been made fools. For it is April 1 or Fool’s Day today! Last year, one of India’s most well known TV networks put out a news report that left the viewers speechless....

Eastward Ho!

Eastward Ho!

Britain wants Indian engineers to help modernise their London-Glasgow railway link, and that’s a real about turn! Nearly 150 years ago, Britain was the first country to use steam locomotives. The British also built the first rail tracks in India and set up India’s railway network with one purpose – they wanted to collect raw material such as cotton from different parts of the country so that they could be shipped to Britain. And later, when the ready-made products came back to India, they used the rail network to sell them by reaching different corners of the country....

When Everyone Counts

When Everyone Counts

March 28: Have you been counted yet? But you must have been! There’s one head count that cannot afford to leave anyone out. It is the Census 2001. Census is a small Latin word meaning register. But to the people responsible for conducting it, it implies a marathon task. Census means counting each and every person in the country and gathering data related to them. In India, the first Census was conducted in 1872. Thereafter, it has been held every 10 years....

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