Black pepper, now commonly used as a seasoning around the world, originated in India – it was grown primarily in the Malabar coast or present-day Kerala. It was used in Indian cooking as early as 2000 BC, and spread from India to Southeast Asia. The spice, which imparted a great deal of flavor even when used minimally, was seen as a valuable spice by the ancient European traders, and was referred to as ‘black gold’. Following this, in the Dutch language, ‘pepper expensive’ (peperduur) is an expression for something very expensive. It was in search of trade in this spice that Vasco de Gama even led an expedition to India. […]
One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out a way to get him out. Finally he decided it was probably impossible and the animal was old and the well was dry anyway, so it just wasn’t worth it to try and retrieve the donkey. So the farmer asked his neighbours to come over and help him cover up the well. They all grabbed shovels and began to shovel dirt into the well. […]
According to the ancient Indian epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, the region south of the Vindhya mountains was once thickly forested, and ruled by the Vannars. Van means forest, and nar man in Sanskrit. So Vannar could mean forest men or monkey men. In the Ramayana, the Vannars, and their kingdom, Kishkinda, play a very important role. […]
When you think of camels, you always think of deserts too, don’t you? After all, the camel is known as the ‘ship of the desert’. But not all camels live only in deserts. There is a special breed of camel which can swim in the sea! It is found only in one place in the world – Gujarat. […]
The Dal Lake is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Srinagar, the summer capital of the northern-most State of India – Jammu and Kashmir.
It has a shoreline of around 15 km. It’s not just one water body, but several inter-linked ones. It has islands as well as ‘floating gardens’. These gardens are known as Rad in the local language. They are not attached to the lake bottom but float on the water. They are very fertile, and vegetables and fruits are cultivated on them. […]
Bidar is a little town in the southern Indian State of Karnataka. It is famous for a special type of metal craft known as Bidri – taking its name from the town itself.
Bidri art is a technique of making designs in silver in a base of a mixture of metals like zinc and copper, which combine to become black in colour. The silver patterns gleam and glow against the black background. The technique is used to make vases, wall plates, jewellery boxes, and other handicraft items. […]
Bindis are dots placed on the forehead, just above the space between the eyebrows. The majority of Indian women wear bindis. The word bindi comes from bindu, which means dot in Sanskrit. They are also called pottu or bottu in south India. Traditionally, bindis are red in colour. […]
When asked to name a favourite board game, the one that instantly springs to mind is Chess. This popular board game has been ruling the roost for nearly 1500 years and do you know where it originated from? Our very own India!
Chess started out as Chaturanga and was developed in the Gupta dynasty as early as the 6th century AD. It was designed as a strategy game and went on to initiate the board games of chess, sittuyin, xiangqi, makruk and janggi. […]
One rainy season, the south-west monsoon brought such heavy and incessant rains that the cities were flooded in the course of a week. All the people vacated their homes and moved to safer places.
A man, on the way to a shelter with his family, noticed that the priest of the Church had not left. He went to him and said, ‘Father, the city will soon be flooded. We are moving to a safer place. Please come with us.’ […]
‘I am tired of writing exams,’ wailed Vivaan, ‘I wish we had an exam-free year.’
‘Well, exams are getting over tomorrow. So what’s the use of your wish now?’ grinned Arjun.
‘I don’t know if an exam-free year is feasible. But at least we can have an exam-free term,’ pondered Aarav. […]
With so many things happening in our lives on an everyday basis, it might not only be difficult, but almost impossible to keep a control on everything. And when situations aren’t favorable, it is always better to look at the positives than cry over it unnecessarily. As the famous Hindi proverb goes, “ab pachtaye hoth kya, jab chidiya chug gayi khet,” literally meaning, what is the point of crying, when the birds ate all the farm. Or in other words, why cry over something when the damage is already done or why cry over something that has already happened. […]
Satyagraha can be described as a ‘weapon’ developed by Mahatma Gandhi to fight unfair laws introduced by the British for people of India and other places. It is not a weapon like a gun or a knife, but a force used to correct something wrong without causing any harm. India won Independence from British rule using this idea. […]
If you are a comic buff (especially Marvel), you would know of Cain Marko or the ‘Juggernaut’. The gigantic man with superhuman strength, who is unstoppable once he starts to run, and can smash mountains and skyscrapers with ease.
The character’s name is derived from an English word – Juggernaut – which is used to describe something or someone who is powerful and dominant. […]
Chinnu loved her pet puppy Browny more than anything in the world. she was a gift that her parents gave her for her fifth birthday last year. Chinnu enjoyed playing with Browny in her big garden. Browny was just a little more than a year old. For Browny too Chinnu was the most special friend. The two never got tired in each other’s company. Mithu, the parrot who stayed in one of the orange trees in the garden often enjoyed seeing the two friends play. Mithu too became a good friend and a well-wisher of the two best friends. […]