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The lazy monk — a tale from the Panchatantra

The lazy monk — a tale from the Panchatantra

Note: This folktale has been adapted from the Panchatantra story originally titled “The lazy brahmin”.Panchatantra is an ancient Indian collection of interrelated animal fables in Sanskrit.

Double it up!

Double it up!

Raju and Savitri lived in Tanjore in the state of Tamil Nadu. Raju worked in the rice fields of a local landlord or zamindar for six months a year. In turn, he received four sacks of rice as salary. He would then sell three of them in the local market and keep one sack for himself for food. At the local market he would exchange the rice for vegetables, flour, and groceries. Savitri would do the cooking and washing and look after the home....

Who Invented Band-aid?

Who Invented Band-aid?

What happens when you have a small wound? Just apply a small piece of sticky plaster with gauze (a loosely-woven cotton surgical dressing), or band-aid on it for a few days, and ta-da, your wound is healed! What a stupendous item this band-aid is! So ideal for accident prone people, whether adults or kids. Well it was exactly for this reason that Earle Dickson invented it. He did it for his wife, who though not into rough contact sports was nevertheless accident prone....

What is the Rubik's Cube?

What is the Rubik's Cube?

My nephew Akshay was a brat. No two ways about it. When he was not occupied with dismantling everything that moved, ticked, or clicked he would be engaged in stuffing an icecube down your shirt when you were busy working on whatever it is that didn’t involve him. After a lot of thought, my uncle and I decided to purchase something that would rack his brains till kingdom come. We scouted the market for all sorts of things and luckily we came to a shop that sold a colourful cube – the Rubik’s cube....

When Humans had Tails

When Humans had Tails

A Saora folk tale from Orissa retold from ‘When the World was Young’, by Verrier Elwin. The book is a fascinating collection of folktales from the tribal peoples of India. Elwin was a pioneering anthropologist; he spent his entire life getting to know the ways of life of the tribal peoples. The Saora tribals of Orissa, in eastern India, believe that there was a time when humans had tails. Wherever they went, their tails swished along, sweeping the ground....

The Jester and the Stranger's Language

The Jester and the Stranger's Language

Maharaja Krishna Chandra was the king of Bengal during the middle ages. It was customary for kings in those days to patronise talented people. So every king had his own court poets, artists, singers, town planners, architects and what have you. And plenty of ministers to advise him on different matters. And every king had a court jester. The jester was a very important person for his ability to make people laugh and feel happy. The king had a lot of serious work to do, lots of difficult problems to solve and deal carefully with rival kings!...

Why Monkeys Mean Trouble

In the village of Sholingur in Tamil Nadu, is a temple dedicated to the Hindu monkey god Hanuman. The temple is on top of a small hill. In and around the hill in the thick forest live a group of monkeys. All they do is scare people and create trouble — even when people worship them as symbols of Hanuman. And there’s a story behind why they create trouble.… The story goes back a long time....

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