Tiger, Tiger…Not Burning Bright

It is a sorry state of affairs in which India's national animal finds itself today. According to the latest tiger census report, there has been a 50 per cent decline in the tiger population across the country. To be more accurate, only 1,411 tigers can be found today in...

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“Falling” In Love?

The Shiv Sena, in their own “good” ways, were trying to protect people from becoming “victims” of the western culture and were concerned that such immoral celebrations would corrupt the youth and compel them to part ways with their values and traditions. They wanted the youth to understand the...

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Of Consumerism and Valentines

It is the age of consumerism and the world is driven by markets. It is the pervasive influence of a market oriented economy that an event like Valentine’s Day has become so significant in the country, something that would have been unimaginable 70 years ago. It has targeted consumption...

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Love Is In The Air

I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times... In life after life, in age after age, forever. My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs, That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms, In life after life, in age after age,...

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Legalisation of Organ Trade?

There is a yawning gap between the demand and supply of kidneys worldwide and this leads to black marketing of kidney. Whenever one law is broken, there will be a series of illegal activities such as exploitation of recipient and donor, human rights violation. The rich people are ready...

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United We Stand, Divided…

We are moving towards “homogenization” of cultures and heading towards a coherent identity as a nation. Or so is claimed. But, aren’t these only lofty words? The ground reality and the present situation actually spell out a different story altogether. Recurrent ludicrous incidents in Maharashtra, wherein the migrants have...

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The Nightmare of a Gang Rape Victim

A woman, having been violated so brutally, will find it very hard to come out of the complete despair which engulfs her and which threatens to slowly suffocate her. This mental torture will be aided by a society which tends to ostracise rather than support the poor victim.

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Listening to Arundhati Roy

Let me begin by offering due apologies to Arundhati Roy for the title. She is definitely not a bad omen, as the grasshoppers are in her lecture titled “Listening to Grasshopper: Genocide, Denial and Celebration”. But reading her cover story in Outlook, I realized just how imperative it is...

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Dr. Hyde In Action!

''I will charge Rs.15 lacs and the operation will happen in Kathmandu.'' These were the words of Dr Amit Kumar, India's most wanted doctor, stating how much a kidney transplant would cost. Dr. Kumar, a.k.a Dr. Santosh Raut, is the notorious Indian kidney thief who did not have a...

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Married at 18?

In what could be a very controversial decision, the Law Commission has recommended that the marriageable age for both boys and girls should be fixed at 18 years. Currently, the marriageable age for boys is 21 while that for girls is 18. It indeed needs to be considered whether...

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The New Face of India?

The ‘Mob culture’ is becoming a growing menace for the society. This problem exists not just in India but is prevalent worldwide. The Mumbai molestation case is a stark example that is practically glaring at us. How are we to protect ourselves from such people who have no concept...

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Time To Look Ahead

Is a test, whose result depresses the brightest of students into questioning their very existence, a healthy mechanism of scanning talent? Are we really getting the best through such exams? Can the journey of life be modeled around the outcome of a three hour paper? Are those three hours...

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Bird Flu Spreads in West Bengal

Even as laboratory tests have confirmed that the bird flu has spread to new blocks in Birbhum, Murshidabad and the Hooghly districts of West Bengal, the State Animal Husbandry Department officials said on Thursday, that more than 80 per cent of culling was completed. A report from the High...

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Polio Raises Its Head Again

The increase in victims affected by polio has not just been due to mismanagement at the Government level. There are other factors responsible for it. One such factor is the people's apathy to such campaigns, which lack credibility. Besides, lack of information about the polio vaccine being administered and...

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Flying Away From the Flu

Even after veteran actor Sanjay Dutt endorsed chicken meat all over the country, proclaiming loud and clear that it is safe and healthy, we yet again face the problem of Avian Influenza or bird flu, as it is commonly referred as. Already, it has spread its wings around the...

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Kill Me To Save Me

The other day my friend remarked that the term Euthanasia or ‘mercy-killing’ as it is commonly known, is an oxymoron at par with a virgin prostitute, a vegetarian hamburger and the likewise. She said, “Why? Isn’t ‘mercy’ all about saving someone?” For all those who subscribe to the above...

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Organs For Sale

It is said often that doctors are god’s gift on earth. Or are they? Doctors heal, they cure and provide a new lease of life to millions around the world. Doctors are a godsend or are they devil’s reincarnation on earth? What if these Holy Saviors turn into the...

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Wanted : An Affordable Groom

I thought it was over, till I glanced through the newspaper. I thought people had stopped asking for it, till a TV sting operation showed us the ‘current price’ of an IFS Officer. I am talking about the much hyped and yet the extremely unpleasant topic of dowry. According...

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Rekindling The Lost Magic

Ever wondered, 58 years hence, why should republic day be celebrated? Has the Day has lost its meaning? It is reduced to just another holiday that everyone eagerly waits for. To the Delhi-ites, it just means more endless traffic jams. For all the disillusioned, let me put forth a...

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Indian Feminism

Have you heard the song “sajna ji vari vari” from Honeymoon Travels? Next time you hear it try and concentrate on the words. This song is all about how a woman must give her all to her husband. It shows that her husband is her whole world. If you...

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Little Genius’

I remember reading from film magazines how many actresses recall their beginnings in the film industry, when they were barely beginning to understand the world, and were made to slog hard by their own parents. So acute was the case of poverty in certain families that the only way...

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Wearing the Veil of Violence

More than half a decade back, in broad daylight on March 3rd, 2002, human animosity took on yet another form of petrifying disaster. A five month old pregnant Muslim woman, Bilkis Bano, was gang raped and stripped in public. When escorted to the police station, the police inspector refused...

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Where Are The Mavericks?

The Golden Bad-Boys of sport, the quintessential mavericks have all…gone. The past six months have seen a gradual yet startling change in the world of international sports. It is a change which, certainly, has contrasting consequences. it is a change which may either revolutionize the way a sport is...

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Hunt for India’s Pride

Besides the news of the extravagant unveiling of the Nano at the auto expo, and endless discussions on cricketers and racism, something else has been occupying a considerable space in the news columns. Our politicians are clamouring for attention from the media yet again and have succeeded in attracting...

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Read India

ASER is a household survey in which children are interviewed and assessed at home during weekends. The main objective is to assess whether children read...

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We, The People of a United India?

"Why do people in the Tibetan market charge us INDIANS more money than they charge you North Eastern people?" It seems like just a simple question to an onlooker but the implications are noteworthy. More often than not, people use terms like ‘we INDIANS’ and the North Easterns or...

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Stigma

Recently, there has been an innovative project put together by a popular organization fighting against street sexual harassment of women. This organization had the brilliant idea of putting together a wardrobe of thousands of dresses worn by women when they were eve-teased on the streets. The basic purpose of...

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A Swimsuit Calendar And A Shameful Mob

Every year, one of the leading businessmen of our nation collects the most elite models in the country, the best of photographers, and then gets a photo shoot done at one of the world’s most exotic locations. What comes out gets sold like hot cakes and that is the...

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Multiculturalism – Synonym Of Development

From a multiculturalist’s perspective, no political doctrine or ideology can represent the full truth of human life. Each of them – be it liberalism, conservatism, socialism or nationalism – is embedded in a particular culture, represents a particular vision of the good life, and is necessarily narrow and partial....

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Give and Take

The civilization we dwell in today was formed on the age-old principle of give-and-take. While altruists contradict this philosophy, emphasizing on the theory of ‘self-less KARMA’, practicalists rationalize the mutual process as quintessential to the peaceful & harmonious co-existence of mankind as a whole...

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Meowing the CAT away

The CAT which is short for the Common Admission Test is a starting point for the much sought after Indian Institutes of Management(IIMs). Out of the 200,000 candidates who take the exam, only about 5000 students receive a call from the IIMs and less than half of them finally...

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A Lot Like Hate

People are beginning to use social networking sites to vent their frustration against particular targets. Hate clubs are the coolest things on any social networking site. Be it Himesh Reshammiya or Ekta Kapoor, if you dislike anyone, now you can announce that fact to the whole world...

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Diversified wings

Just try observing the crows in your locality. Are they satisfied with the meal you are feeding them? At present, the crows exist in abundance but let us not take them for granted. They also exist on this planet with a right to be protected and survive...

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The Aliens Of India

There is a certain section of the society that has been conveniently ignored, whose interests are unprotected. They live in stigma, there are hardly any books or organizations to support their cause to address their issue. They are known as “Ladyboys” in Thailand, the “Two-Spirited” in native America, Eunuchs...

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The Darkness of Darfur

It is difficult to rake up a word that would aptly describe the appalling situation of Darfur. As a human being, it is quite discomforting to accept the fact that the perpetrators of this severe brutality belong to same species as mine. They cannot be civilized for sure...

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(Un)Comfortably Numb

Post 9/11, the already changing world went free-flying; tail diving to its basics. All the 'progress' took the hit as the twin towers came hurtling down at ten in the morning. Strange, isn't it? With all the hoo-hah that went into making the world that we knew of, its...

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Fashion 2008:What is In and Out!!

A new year beckons new things in fashion. The girls have a plethora of options. Now girls this is what is in fashion and out! Subtle Polo Necks in the winters are surely passé now. Deep cuts, boat necks and zipped-in-and-out are the new fashion statements...

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Fashion Fiesta

One reason why the high street is successful is the because of its sheer speed at ‘translating’ hot fashion trends. An action group in the United Kingdom called ACID (anti-copying in design), which was set up in 1996, has campaigned on behalf of designers to combat the accelerated trend...

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Christmas Wrapped Beautifully

Come, welcome the party pooper, me! This is my second shock on Christmas, the first being the stunning realization that my dear Santa is not for real. Now for the next shock – Christmas itself is not so Christian after all! Legend has it that Christmas was originally celebrated...

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Exceptional Children

Planet earth is inhabited by all kinds of people who have all kinds of mental abilities. The brain of each human being is unique. Each human being strives to be successful. In real world there are many despairing flocks of boys and girls trying to achieve success but falter...

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Freedom VS Faith

“Over the course of this century, religion has reinvented its own antithesis, modernism has created its own straw version of religion as a cloak of benighted ignorance that had to be destroyed by weapons of literary, artistic and scientific progressivism, but running parallel to this is also a fantastic...

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Women- India’s Broken Wing

It is intriguing that in spite of the bustling population density we have an extremely skewed population distribution in India. And, at the heart of the problem lies the scar of gender discrimination which manifests in the form of female feticide and sex selection. Gender bias is such...

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Different not Inferior

We worship true love, make movies glorifying love, desire, passion as long as the players are a man and a woman. If we can appreciate love between people of the opposite sex then why is it that we find it difficult to show the same appreciation for homosexuals ....

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Civil Society’s Disgrace

Pictures of an Adivasi woman running naked through a street in Guwahati, while men clicked photos of her from their mobile phones flashed across newspapers and television news channels on Sunday. As the nation watched in horror at the utter barbarism and shamelessness of the act, I was left...

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Chak De Women Cabbies!

Fancy a ride with a woman cabbie at the wheel? Well fancies do turn into reality. Priyadarshini Taxi Services have given this fancy a concrete shape. Frying pans to tennis rackets, war fronts to space, Indian woman has made a long journey in their revolution to earn their independence...

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Rules of the Game

Since the last few months, one can safely open the newspaper, expecting to read about at least one death caused by a speeding vehicle, a bus that went out of control and the likes. In fact, these incidents of accidental deaths and injuries have become so commonplace that those,...

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AIDS – Are We Really Safe?

For those of us who did not turn on our television sets, did not open the newspapers and missed the large banners saying “Fight AIDS- Keep the promise”, it was World AIDS Day only two days ago, i.e. the 1st of December. And for those of us who...

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Live Well, Die Better?

The US Supreme Court on March 31, 2005 allowed Terry Schiavo, a terminally ill Florida woman to die seven years after her husband filed an appeal for the removal of her feeding tube, her only means to life. Her deeply Catholic parents had opposed the move. The court...

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Indian Weddings!!!

Indian weddings are not larger than life, without any rhyme or reason. There is both rhyme and reason attached to it. In true bollywood style, we take our song and dance very seriously but when it comes to ringing wedding bells, it’s a different story all together...

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Enough! Put a full stop.

“Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice.” ...

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Delhi: Safe from Earthquakes?

Delhi has a long seismic history, being affected by earthquakes of local origin as well as those of Himalayan origin. It will be prudent to consider the effects of such a potential earthquake for developing a prevention-cum-preparedness plan. Those pockets high-risk houses exist without any specific consideration about...

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Kolkata On Fire

“Everything is entitled to everything, everything is for everyone in this world… nothing is dispensable…” India has stepped into a new era after completing her 60 years of independence. People have been awarded the right to live their lives according to their choice. Yet, in this free country there...

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Homeless in Homeland

The recent harassment being faced by Taslima Nasreen is no different from that faced by those art students in Baroda. Only this time I see no agitation or unrest among my fellow students across the country. Are we too – the modern, freethinking youth, falling prey to the dirty...

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Nandigram – Call of Justice

Fascism does not differ much from the ideological bent of communism that is so profoundly ingrained in the politics of the Bengal. In the name of democracy, voters are intimidated during elections especially in the communist states. I am reminded of the pre-independence era. West Bengal should wake up...

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Dilli ki Sardi

Diwali is over and Delhi is getting sleepy again. As winter approaches rapidly, it is time to reflect on the city’s most-talked about season. ndeed, there is something almost poetic about the way winter approaches this city and casts its spell over its inhabitants. So what is it about...

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Hi or Namaskar?

I am sure that right from childhood we have always been cutting a cake on our birthday with our name on it. Have you ever thought why we do it? What is the significance of cutting a cake with our name on it? I do understand that we cut...

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A Lesson Well Learned…

This world is strange!! . There is always a huge gap between ideals and reality. Well, I am one of those individuals who never make an attempt to realize this truth until an incident that I witnessed proved this fact to me. I am a bit too keen about...

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My Favourite Women of Myth

They’ve are some women who’ve been so (un)popular in history that their several layers of personality continue to intrigue us even today. To begin with a Naiad who captured a man simply for her own sexual pleasure – the one and only, Calypso. But if Calypso was a temptress,...

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Every Child is Special!

Children’s day is a special day for children. Universally, Children’s Day is celebrated on 20th November, every year. But in India, it is celebrated on 14th November, because it marks the birth anniversary of legendary freedom fighter and independent India’s first Prime Minister – Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru. As...

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The Beauty of Tea

Early in the morning, the sunrise looks so beautiful. What more can one desire for, than the chirping of the birds and the cool breeze? Yet, there is more to the morning than these natural beauties. The tinkling cups of tea. Yes, the bed tea to refresh oneself...

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Abstinence Might Not Be The Best Policy

Many of the nation’s leading performing artists are asking the U.S. Congress to roll back the Bush administration’s policy to fight HIV/AIDS worldwide, which requires abstinence from sex until marriage. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has allocated one third of...

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Of Diamonds and Hearts

Growing up in an atmosphere where Diwali meant lights, crackers, Kali Puja, sweets and a thousand guests, I was understandably surprised when I heard the about the concept of ‘taash parties’ (parties where one plays games of cards) a year ago. I come from a family where almost everyone...

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The Inheritance Of Loss…

I stood looking at it. It stood looking at me. Neither of us was going to be the same. But the loss was mine. Turning my back on its crème coloured uneven walls, saying my goodbyes to those who once occupied it, I have a vague feeling that the...

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The Big Brother of Racism

Often only a spark is needed to ignite a fire. The British reality show Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 4 did just that. Shilpa Shetty’s ongoing feud with Jade Goody ended with Jade being evicted and Shilpa taking home the booty. This show has brought into focus the larger...

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Responsibilities Shunned

”Employment and death casualties go hand in hand.” Ever heard or thought about that???The oxymoronic statement entails an ominous ringing when we come to terms with a growing menace to the society: of road rage. The persistently occurring and steadily growing incidents of fatal accidents occurring in the capital...

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It is Costly to be a Woman: A Thought

It is not a new thing to hear loud cries protesting against gender inequality, and discrimination. I would not like to dwell on any particular case or quote glaring worrisome numbers here as I am in no didactic mood. Myriad ideas strike my mind as I pen down this...

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It’s your choice

Ever found yourself cringing when you find out that someone is gay? Wondered why that uneasy feeling always comes over you, in spite of knowing that ones choice of sexual orientation is an entirely natural process, which cannot be controlled? Formulaic generalizations about LGBT . . .

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LOVE: The New Bittersweet Symphony

Love: the technical or rather literal definition as per Oxford dictionary is-’a very strong feeling of affection’ and then there are other different meanings to follow. What has compelled me to write on this topic is a recent piece of news that I heard –A supposed lover attacked...

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Another World: Life on the Banks of Yamuna

Like most people, the River Yamuna did not constitute the core of my thoughts and imagination of life in the capital city of India for a very long time. A five-year residence, sprinkled liberally with numerous visits to pubs and glittering shopping malls on one hand and to “intellectually...

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Growing Old. Growing Apart.

How many times have we asked ourselves, ‘When did I grow so old?’A question that sometimes worries us, a little too much. If the very thought of growing old can give us the jitters, then what about those who experience its pangs? What about the millions of elderly men...

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Showing off Charity

Today when I went to pick up my younger brother from school, while waiting for him to come, outside the gate I saw this beggar walking up to a lady and ask her alms. From what I gathered I presume she said no, and this evoked no emotion in...

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Memories of Monkey – Man

Recently, during a Delhi – Amritsar train journey, I picked up one of India’s less popular regional dailies, and was shocked, surprised, and greatly amused by one of the articles I came across. It was a four paragraph long article written in Gurmukhi that ga. . . .

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Love that dare not speak its name

What you, perceptive readers, are now going to read may in the beginning seem scandalous. You may denounce me as not mature enough to speak on such issues. Indeed, you may not agree with me. But the fact is that I care about my country; I care about its...

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An Ancient Sacred Secret

Traditions and ethos have a way of transforming most noble intentions religious practices. And that is why for many cults, the conservation of ecology takes place in the form of nature worship. A patch of land, the size of which can vary anywhere between a band of few trees...

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MY CUBICLE…

James Blunt would be turning in his grave, if he ever came across this…the only hitch is, he isn’t dead. Maybe more alive than a lot of us. After all musicians aren’t exactly management consultants,lawyers, editors or even college students…and all those various varieties of people whose life is...

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The Other Side of the River…

Does religion dominate every other relationship? Is it strong enough to question liaisons based on pure economic needs, formed out of the basic human instinct to survive and earn a livelihood? Is religion significant only for people who do not have to worry about feeding their stomachs every...

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Not ‘My Fate’

She concentrates her gaze on her fingers, There is no life left in them she figures. The stark paleness revolts her, The superficial lines are merely a blur. She shuts her eyes tightly for a few moments, The girl is tired of the inevitability. Tears fall, as the eyelids embrace, She is Tired, because very...

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Of All The Things…

Of all the things, it is intolerance that seems to be in fashion these days and it is getting difficult to tolerate this. Poor Mary cannot have her little lamb as it hurts people’s sentiments. ‘A’ cannot be for ‘Apple’ because ApricotsLovers Co. feels that it is propaganda to...

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THE BEAUTIFICATION OF BEAUTY

That Beauty is not, as fond men misdeem, An outward show of things, that only seem; But that fair lamp, from whose celestial ray That light proceeds which kindleth lover’s fire, Shall never be extinguished nor decay; But, when the vital spirits do expire, Unto her native planet shall retire, For it is heavenly born and...

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LIVING WITH THE DEVIL

Recently our maid entered the house, wearing her threadbare sari which entirely failed to conceal the ugly purple bruises all over her body. Her wretched condition was a reminder of a feature of their life common to all the maids who had worked in our house. It is the...

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Are You Listening?

DISCLAIMER: This article is more for fun than anything else. Please read it in that tone. I am not making any sweeping generalizations and am only talking about a marginal section of the students! If I ask you for a moment to think of a context relating the phrases “peer...

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Damned Daughters

It’s Daughter’s Day. What will the daughters of India be doing to celebrate this day that celebrates them? They will be sitting in a candlelight vigil at Central Park, Cannaught Place, the heart of the capital city of India. They will be doing this because they have finally decided...

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L’angoisse.

L’angoisse. Angoisse (n) Anguish, Distress. A film on Child Sexual Abuse. Direction and Screenplay: Shayoni Sarkar [MEDIA=7] When I first started out on the concept of the film, I realised that I am handling a very sensitive topic. Child Sexual Abuse is visibly kept under wraps and to...

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THE ANSWER MY FRIEND…

As the winding road descends right into the lap the Khasi hills, the familiar smell which I have learnt to love all my life comes back, with it come back a million thoughts. An unexplained feeling of curiosity , anticipating changes and wishing that everything is just the way...

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Words on Terror

Six years ago, all hell broke lose. Six years ago, the pages of history were tainted red. Six years ago, the repulsive face of terrorism surfaced. September 11, 2001. A day when the world was muted as the majestic twin towers crumbled to the ground, while millions and millions of us...

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Ganesha Ala Re

In Indian tradition, the principle of “Athithi Devo Bhava” or “Guest is God” is well known, but when it comes to the Ganesh festival, the opposite holds true; “Devo Athithi Bhava”. Indeed for the duration of the festival, which can be anything from 2 to 11 days, Lord...

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PARADISE LOST…AND REGAINED

Waking up to the sounds of chirping of birds and splashing of water in the Dal Lake is an experience inconceivable to those who have never lived in the lap of nature. The glistening lakes, gurgling rivers, soaring snow capped mountain peaks and tall pine and chinar trees all...

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Hunger

“My father sold me because we had nothing to eat”, says 8-year-old Sakeena of Afghanistan, who was sold by her father to a forty year old man as his third wife. Roger Moore on his return from Zambia had this to say-“ People have to walk miles to get...

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