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Abdullah's Gold

Abdullah's Gold

Abdullah was one of the richest men in town, but you could easily mistake him for a beggar. It was his theory that since there were so many people out to rob a rich man, it was safe to pretend to be poor. And so he did. But he really didn’t have to pretend. Stingy to the core he found it very easy to be poor. So what if people sniggered and children called out, “Kanjoos!...

Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Jacques-Yves Cousteau

If there is one person who single-handedly fascinated millions of landlocked viewers to venture underwater into the unknown, through television, it is the Frenchman Jacques Cousteau. Jacques-Yves Cousteau was born on June 11, 1910, in the town of St.-Andre-de-Cubzac near Bordeaux, in France, to Daniel and Elizabeth Cousteau. As a child, Jacques was quite sickly but he nonetheless learned to swim at the age of four. His initial dip led to his everlasting love for the sea....

Forgive and Forget?

Amar and Alok , two friends, set up a business venture together. Both invested a lot of money in the business and spent all their time trying to promote it. For a few years everything seemed to be working out fine. Then Alok wanted to diversify. He persuaded Amar to invest their profits in another venture. Amar wasn’t so sure – what if the venture failed? – but agreed after much persuasion by his friend....

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.

Who or What is a Gladiator?

Who or What is a Gladiator?

It all started in ancient Rome. The most brutal sport that has ever existed in the history of the world was the fights between gladiators. The ‘sport’ traces its roots to the custom among the Etruscan people, a civilisation in Italy that existed before the Roman civilisation. At the death of the master of the house, servants would duel to the death for the right to follow their owners in death and provide help and company....

The curious history of the world’s most popular board game

The curious history of the world’s most popular board game

There is a good chance that you have played this board game. And perhaps your parents and their parents before them too. According to the company, that makes it, over 275 million games have been sold in 111 countries. Over the last eight odd years over one billion people have traded make-believe real estate with fake money. If you guessed Monopoly, you would be right. Just in case you have not played this board game, a quick explanation is in order....

Hamid Buys an Eid Present

Hamid Buys an Eid Present

Festival of Eid English translation of ‘Eidgah’ (Hindi) Written by Munshi Premchand Translated by Khushwant Singh Published by National Book Trust, New Delhi Translated by the veteran columnist and writer, Khushwant Singh, Festival of Eid retains the compelling essence of the original work. This well illustrated book tells the story of Eid, as it is celebrated in a small village, and stresses that festivals are actually about showing the love and concern that we feel for our near and dear ones....

Programmed to learn

Programmed to learn

Two boys and two girls. They were to be found at one of the busiest traffic signals in south Delhi. The boys were about five or six years of age. The girls looked older, about eight or nine. As the traffic zipped along on the road, the four of them would play their own games on the divider. As soon as the traffic stopped on one side of the road, obeying the red signal, the children stopped their games....

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....

The Honest Thief

The Honest Thief

There was once a cunning thief, Bhairav, who always planned his moves carefully. One day he decided to rob the holy men who came to the local temple from far off lands for the temple’s annual festival. He calculated that all these people came from distant towns, so they must be carrying lots of money. So Bhairav dressed up like a holy man and went to attend the festival. At the temple, he slowly made friends with one particular person who appeared to be wealthy....

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