November

30Nov2018

Once upon a time there lived a bird named Bharunda. Everything about him was normal, he had two feet, wings and one stomach but for his head; he had two of them!

One day while wandering on the banks of the lake, one of the heads saw a delicious fruit. He started to devour it.

He smacked his lips and said, “This is the most delicious fruit I have ever eaten!” […]

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29Nov2018

A miser, over a period of years, had naturally accumulated a lot of wealth as he did not spend a penny. He carefully stored the money in a box and hid it in a hole that he had dug under a tree in his garden. Almost every day, he dug out the box, counted the money and put the box back in the hole.

A thief who had been watching the miser for some time, correctly concluded that he had wealth hidden in the hole. One day he promptly dug up the hole, grabbed the box, filled the hole up and ran away with the box. […]

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27Nov2018

If you love dogs, then there’s some good news for you. Did you know that having a dog is good for your health? According to a report in the Harvard Health Letter companion animals have more dependable behaviour in comparison to our human companions. Dogs, as we all know, offer unconditional love and form a completely non-judgemental bond with their owner. Dogs are being recommended as a holistic way of dealing with stress because having a furry friend lowers blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety levels. […]

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26Nov2018

Dum-Dum-Dum, I can hear them loud and clear: the sound of drums!

As I enter the Jus Drums school, I can see about 15 children and a few drum kits in the room. Some of them are playing a beat over and over again, a couple of them discussing, a parent waiting for his turn to ask a question. I see an animated Murali “sir”, their teacher, asking the eldest student in the room why a doubt is being cleared just a day before a crucial exam. […]

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24Nov2018

Dev Deepavali, which literally means ‘Deepavali of the Gods’ is celebrated 15 days after Deepavali (Diwali) in Varanasi (Benaras) in Uttar Pradesh. The 5-day festival is marked by the lighting of clay oil lamps along the banks of the Ganges in honour of the river. The festival is on a full moon day (Poornima), and taking a dip in the Ganges on this day is said to be of special significance, as the Gods themselves are said to come down to bathe in the holy river on this day. […]

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24Nov2018

Sushruta, a physician in ancient India (800-600 BC), described cataract as a disorder of the lens, and even performed minor surgery to remove the cloudy part. He is said to have been the first physician to have performed such a surgery, which is now known as ‘couching,’ and described the procedure in his book, Sushruta Samhita (Compendium of Sushruta). The procedure involved using a curved needle to push the opaque matter in the eye out of the way of vision; the opaque, phlegm-like matter was then blown out of the nose. The eye was later soaked with warm ghee and then bandaged. However, ‘couching’ was regarded by later physicians as a dangerous method as the slightest mistake could result damage to the cornea and possible blindness. The removal of cataract by surgery is to have been introduced to China from India, where it flourished in the Sui (AD 581-618) and Tang dynasties (AD 618–907). […]

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23Nov2018

Speed is so important isn’t it? The fastest runner wins the Gold Medal, you choose the fastest route to get from one place to another, the faster you finish your homework, the sooner you can go out to play. Speed is important in computers too. Guess what makes a computer fast? –It is the processor. […]

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23Nov2018

Turmeric is a root belonging to the ginger family. It is an imperative part of every kitchen as it is a staple in many recipes that are of Indian origin. It is bright orange to yellow in colour, has a heady fragrance and an earthy taste. […]

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22Nov2018

Gilli Danda is a game played mostly in rural areas. It is said to have originated in India around 2,500 years ago. The game is played with two sticks: a large one called a danda, which is used to hit a smaller one called the gilli. It is also known as ‘Tipcat’ (in English). […]

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21Nov2018

Makki di roti is a flat, unleavened bread made corn meal. It is similar to the tandoori roti, which is made from wheat flour, but is cooked on a heated pan or tava instead of a tandoor. […]

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21Nov2018

There are 29 States in India. And 22 major languages are spoken in our country! Wow! These languages are listed in our Constitution, under what is known as Schedule 8. Therefore, they are also known as Scheduled Languages. They are, in alphabetical order, Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. […]

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20Nov2018

Everyone in India knows that Diwali, or Deepavali, as it is called in the South, is a festival of lights. But did you know that the reasons for celebration are different in different regions of India?

In the north, it marks the return of Lord Ram to Ayhodha after 14 years in exile. During that time he had killed many demons, including Ravana, the king of Lanka. The people of Ayodhya welcomed him with fireworks and lighted lamps, and that practice continues today. […]

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20Nov2018

The earliest known written record of surgical procedures done in India are found in a book named Sushruta Samhita, written more than 2,500 years ago! It is also probably the world’s oldest written detailed record of surgeries. The surgeries described include plastic surgery – the science of repairing and reconstructing damaged parts of the body.  Sushruta, the author of the book, was probably the first person to perform such operations. […]

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19Nov2018

If you answered ‘Jana gana mana’, you got it wrong. Jana gana mana is our national anthem. The national song is Vande Mataram written by Bankim Chandra Chatterji. In fact, earlier, it was more popular than Jana Gana Mana written by Rabindranath Tagore, and was almost chosen as the national anthem. […]

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19Nov2018

Ghum (also known as Ghoom) is a small hilly region in Darjeeling, West Bengal – and is home to the highest railway station in India at an altitude of 7,407 feet. The place is also the home of the Ghum Monastery and the Batasia Loop, a bend of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Construction of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway started in 1879, and the railway track reached Ghum on April 4, 1881. Presently, after climbing from Siliguri to Ghum, the train starts descending about 1,000 feet to Darjeeling, whereby it first crosses the double loop at Batasia. […]

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17Nov2018

INS Vikrant (name drawn from ‘vikranta,’ which means ‘brave’ or ‘courageous’ in Sanskrit) was an aircraft carrier of the Indian navy. The ship was initially to be built as HMS Hercules for the British Royal Navy during World War II but the ship’s construction was put on hold when the war ended. India purchased the incomplete carrier in 1957, and finished building it in 1961. INS Vikrant was commissioned as the first aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, and Captain Pritam Singh was the ship’s first commanding officer. On May 18, 1961, the first jet, piloted by Lieutenant Radhakrishna Hariram Tahiliani, landed on her deck. INS Vikrant formally joined the Indian Navy’s fleet in Mumbai (then Bombay) on November 3, 1961. […]

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16Nov2018

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (September 5, 1888 to April 17, 1975) was independent India’s first Vice President, and second President. He was the recipient of several distinguished awards, including the Bharat Ratna (India’s highest civilian award), honorary membership of the British Royal Order of Merit and knighthood. Dr. Radhakrishnan was one of the most influential thinkers of modern India, and he stressed on the need for the “best minds in the country” to become teachers, so as to groom the upcoming generations. He was himself regarded by many in politics as a wise mentor, who put the country’s above his own at all times. It is said that, after Dr. Radhakrishnan became the President of India, a group of students wanted to celebrate his birthday as Radhakrishnan Jayanti. He gently refused and instead suggested that they think of a way to honour their teachers. What followed was that his birthday was marked as ‘Teachers’ Day’ in India, and has been celebrated as such since 1962. […]

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15Nov2018

Mrs. Leela was a school Principal in a small village in Vellore. She was about 55 years of age and had been a teacher for the longest time, more than 30 years to be precise. Mrs. Leela was not just a teacher, but also a very good friend to all her students. There was not one student in school who didn’t like her. She was a favourite for almost everyone. Not just the students, even the teachers and all the other non-teaching staff always had high regards for her. They knew that in case of any need, she would always be there to support in whatever way she could. […]

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14Nov2018

Ask any child about his/her favourite board game and the answer is bound to be ‘Snakes and Ladders.’ This all-time favourite board game originated in our very own country. In fact, India is responsible for giving to the world many board games including Ludo. Of course they were originally called by different names. […]

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12Nov2018

Have you ever wondered how your life would be without any failures? The thought itself might bring a smile on our faces, but as a matter of fact, is that ever possible? Well, let’s face it. Never really. Success and failure are two sides of the same coin. What we achieve as an end result might not be in our hands, but dedicatedly working towards achieving a goal is definitely in our hands itself. […]

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10Nov2018

Hindu mythology speaks of a great churning of the Ocean of Milk to get Amritham or the nectar of immortality, a precious liquid which would give anyone who drank it everlasting life. There was a battle between the Devas or heavenly beings, and the Assuras or demons. The Devas had been weakened by a sage’s curse. Vishnu advised them to join hands with the Assuras, and churn the Ocean of Milk to find Amritham. The deal was that the nectar would be shared by the Devas and Assuras, but Vishnu promised that he would see that only the Devas got it, so that the demons wouldn’t gain control. […]

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9Nov2018

Dharamshala literally means a place dedicated to religious and charitable work. It is the name of a famous town in Himachal Pradesh, located in the foothills of the Himalayas. Apart from its scenic beauty, it is also a very popular tourist spot because it is the present home of the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama is the spiritual head of the Tibetans. When there was a political problem in Tibet, the Dalai Lama and his followers came to India, and settled in Dharamshala. […]

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8Nov2018

In a forested area in Kerala, there is famous temple dedicated to the Snake God Nagaraja.

The story goes that, originally, the soil in Kerala was very salty and nothing would grow there. Lord Parasuram was told by Lord Shiva that the land would be fertile only if the poison of snakes was spread into it. So Parasuram and his disciples worshipped Lord Nagaraja, who granted the wish. Thousands of snakes poured their poison into the ground. The saltiness disappeared and Kerala became green and prosperous. Parasuram built a temple to Lord Nagaraja at Mannarasala, where the Snake God appeared to him, and left it in the care of a Brahmin family. […]

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3Nov2018

The Indian Rhino is a big, huge animal. An adult male weighs about 2,200 kilos. That’s a LOT more than you do, isn’t it? There are several types of rhinos, but the Indian Rhino can be easily identified because it has only one horn. And that horn can grow up to 25 inches in length. Therefore, it is also sometimes called the Greater One-Horned Rhino. […]

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