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How do Humans Balance on Two Legs?

How do Humans Balance on Two Legs?

Four-year-old Rohit couldn’t understand why his parents and grand parents were so happy on seeing his 10-month-old sister, Ruchi, take a few unsteady steps towards her favorite toy. What was so unusual about her walking -after all, he could walk and run without anyone’s help, yet no one ever clapped nor hugged him, the way they were doing it for his sister. Unable to hold his curiosity any longer he decided to talk about it to his closest friend and guide – his mother....

How Many Kinds of Rhinos are There?

How Many Kinds of Rhinos are There?

A modern day rhino or rhinoceros looks pretty much like its ancestor that existed on earth more than 30 million years ago. Its status as an animal “biggie” hasn’t changed much either. The ancestors of the modern-day rhinoceros – the 4 feet tall Uintatherium and the 15 feet high Indricotherium – were the largest land mammals ever. Today’s rhino is the largest living land mammal, after the African elephant, in terms of size and weight....

R.K. Narayan

Nearly 70 years ago, India’s greatest living writer in English, took out a brand new exercise book and wrote in it: “It was Monday morning.” With those four words, Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Narayan (just R.K. Narayan to most) took off on a journey to that oddly populated fictional continent called Malgudi, with the young boy Swami and his eclectic mix of friends. “The very first line I wrote was ‘It was Monday morning.’ And then I had an idea of a railway station, a very small railway station, a wayside station....

Vaikom Mohammed Basheer

We Indians are story-lovers. We were all, at one point or the other, children at our grandmother’s feet, listening wide-eyed to her tales of days long gone. And if we love to hear stories, there are many among us who love to tell them as well. Nowhere is this truer than in the world of Indian languages. India abounds in storytellers who write in their mother tongue. There are several reasons why such writers are special....

Which is the World's Oldest Working Locomotive?

Which is the World's Oldest Working Locomotive?

The Indian Railways is one of the world’s oldest railways dating back to 1849. It also has the largest network in terms of route length covering nearly 63,000 route kilometres touching every nook and cranny of India. The Indian Railways is also the world’s single largest employer with about 1.6 million people working in nine zones. Among its many unique gems are the toy train that runs on the Darjeeling Himalayan rail route, the rack railway at Udagamandalam in south India, the busiest narrow gauge network in the world, etc....

How are Frogs Different From Toads?

How are Frogs Different From Toads?

If you travel back tens of millions of years to the age of dinosaurs, you may possibly hear a rhythmic musical croaking from marshy ponds or even under your feet. And if you look closely you would probably find the common frog goggling away at you. Amazing isn’t it? Not many people know how ancient frogs are. Scientists have traced their ancestry to 200 million years and found that these animals haven’t changed in the least!...

Joy of Making Indian Toys

Introduction The best thing a child can do with a toy is to break it. The next best thing is to make it. This book is about toys which children can make and break freely. The low cost or rather no-cost toys documented in the book are the everyday playthings of millions of Indian children, past and present. Joy of Making Indian Toys [Illustrations by D. K. Sharma] Strictly speaking, most of the toys documented here do not have a technical or standard name....

When Grandma challenged British Rule

When Grandma challenged British Rule

Whenever I go to my ancestral home in Nainital, I never forget to brush my hand across an engraved name-plate and feel the name on it. The name belongs to my great grandfather who used to work for the British Empire. For his loyalty, he was rewarded with the title of ‘Rai Saheb’. Having worked with the British for years, Rai Saheb gained in wealth and name. And everyone in the household feared him. Well, not exactly....

Where is the Rare Blind Dolphin Found?

Where is the Rare Blind Dolphin Found?

What comes to mind at the mention of Varanasi? The peals of temple bells in this ancient pilgrim town; people performing puja at the ghats and elsewhere; bodies being cremated at the banks of the river Ganga. Do dolphins come to mind? Dolphins?! That happy looking performing artist which looks more like a shiny inflated balloon toy? Yes, and this freshwater dolphin is a rare specie, found in Indian and Pakistan – in the Ganga and in the Indus....

These Bold Police Women

These Bold Police Women

April 21: These days Nirbhay (Fearless) Singh Gujjar, is not really living up to his name. This dreaded outlaw who operates in India’s most notorious dacoit-infested region, the Chambal Valley in the Bhind district of northern Madhya Pradesh, is on the run because he is scared of a 28 year-old police officer. Her name is Priyanka Mishra and she is the first woman police officer to be posted in the Chambal range. Gujjar is wanted by the police of two states – Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh....

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