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The Story of Diwali

Deepavali or Diwali as it has come to be known as, means many things to many people. It means holidays from school, shopping expeditions for clothes, sweets, gifts and crackers to children. To the office-goer it means an annual bonus that can make all this happen. To the businessman Diwali means brisk business just as to the clay potter, Diwali is the occasion of the year when the bulk of his sales are made. Diwali has a special significance for the trading communities of India who usher in their new year and new accounting books (‘bahi khata’) during this time....

Here Comes Pujo!

Durga Puja is the most important festival for the people of West Bengal, the Eastern Indian state that has been home to three Nobel Laureates – Rabindranath Tagore, Amartya Sen, and Mother Teresa – as well as Oscar awardee Satyajit Ray. Durga Puja, or Pujo as it is usually referred to, ushers in a sense of well-being, with Diwali following close on its heels. The timing is just right: the sweltering heat, and the post-monsoon humidity gives way to Sharat or autumn....

Gaseous twist to the Delphic legend

Gaseous twist to the Delphic legend

August 26: In ancient Greece, like a magnet, the shrine at Mount Parnassus, in Delphi, attracted people from all over Europe. They were drawn by the prophetic powers of the Pythia, or priestess of Apollo, who was famous as the Oracle of Delphi. It was said she could foretell everything, from the result of wars to new twists in day-to-day family problems. But, from where did the Oracle get her prophetic powers? Legend says that high priest of the shrine, Plutarch, thought that the Pythia got her prophetic powers by inhaling some special gases, which would lead her to a state of trance....

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