Asia

Stars Looking Benevolently Down

This was first published on 2nd December 2008. In Mumbai, people rarely look heavenwards because they don’t have time for this leisurely activity. They always move like a sea of crowds and will be trodden if they look upwards. After the end of the day, they reach homes totally exhausted by effects of  pollution and interminable journeys. There is no space anymore in the city downtown and almost all the middle class has moved to suburbs. In a way, the bridges connecting the Mumbai islands to mainland of India are like the tongues of dragons licking away the land without… Read More »Stars Looking Benevolently Down

Lascars: Indian Sailors on European Ships

Lascars were sailors on the European ships mostly the British ships at a time when the European powers were locked in great tussle for taking control of the routes and spices found in India. British finally ousted all others and took control of India, first as East India Company and from 1857’s mutiny onwards for almost 100 years as British India Empire. The term “Lascar” is derived from Persian word “Lashkar” which means army or a group of soldiers. They worked on the foreign ships under Lascar agreement which gave the owners more powers under which lascars could be shifted… Read More »Lascars: Indian Sailors on European Ships

Recycling for a Living

Dharavi is the largest slum in Asia. It is situated near Bandra in Mumbai, the economic capital of India. Mumbai was once upon a group of disjointed islands and one had to take the boat to reach an island from another. British got the island in dowry from Portuguese and saw its strategic importance chose to develop the place because it has the finest natural harbor in the world.  They encouraged the Parsees to come and open industries and develop the city. Soon the city began to expand and people flocked to it in search of better future. The islands… Read More »Recycling for a Living

Mccluskieganj-Little London in India

Mccluskieganj is a village in the Jharkhand. It is situated about 40 miles north-west from state capital Ranchi. It was established by Timothy McCluskie on the 10,000 acres of land he got from Ratu Maharaj who was local ruler. He wanted to establish a place where  Anglo Indians could live together. McCluskie was a property dealer based in Calcutta. He used to visit some villages in the area for hunting, and even built a hutment at a place called Harhu. His friend PP Sahib worked as the manager of Ratu Maharaja’s estate. And it was PP, who convinced the maharaja to lease out the land to McCluskie. So, in 1933, Colonisation Society… Read More »Mccluskieganj-Little London in India

Ratnagiri, Goa and Ganapatipule

If you go to Goa from Mumbai by train,  you have to cross Ratnagiri. It is a big historical town located on the coast of Arabian sea. The area still is not polluted because there are few industries. The area which is full of craggy hills and beautiful beaches is an treat to eyes. Arabian sea on the west coast of India is adjoined by the hilly area which is full of forests and rare birds and animals. At a distance of 25 kilometers from Ratnagiri is a place called Ganapatipule which has a historic Ganesha temple. There is a… Read More »Ratnagiri, Goa and Ganapatipule

History is too Complex

To understand the events as they happened in the past is one of the most complex exercises undertaken by the scholars. It is almost impossible to be unbiased and unconcerned while reconstructing the events. So history is mine, yours and other peoples’. As we go further and further back in the past, the evidence becomes meager and meagre and assumptions and conjectures and evaluators ability become crucial factors. Today archaeologists and historians are using latest scientific tools for age determination, composition of the materials used in pottery and heat treatment it was given. These pieces of evidence along with the… Read More »History is too Complex

School

When I go for morning walk, usually it is between quarter to six and eight of clock, there are few sticklers like me, CSIF jawans who have to assemble for morning exercises and some students, and working people going to Mumbai in the buses. On the whole that is all that is there. But situation is changing very rapidly and scene is also getting for a change. Far away in the East, darkness is is giving way to the day and there is darkness is fading fast. It is becoming reddish in the East. The street sodium lights seem to… Read More »School

Burden of Guilt !!

55 years ago, it was the beginning of 1965, Indo-Pakistan war. The history of two countries of Indian subcontinent is intertwined with one another. As if both were tied with an umbilical cord to each other. Despite being economically poor, both have squandered much of their resources on the mindless wars which have further steeped the population of both the countries in poverty. Both the countries are born of mistrust of each other. Yet on the level of common man, people from both countries yearn to meet each other. It is the politicians on both the sides who have failed… Read More »Burden of Guilt !!

Thibaw Min and Bahadur Shah Zafar: Unfortunate Kings

Bahadur Shah Zafar Lets talk first about Bahadur Shah Zafar. He was the last Mogul king of India. In the year 1857, a war of independence was fought by Indian princes and inspired people to drive the British out. Britishers in India called it a rebellion. When the rebellion was crushed by British, he was imprisoned and exiled to Rangoon Burma (now Myanmar) along with his family. He was sent away from his kingdom, his people, to yearn for his beloved country and his people. British has no room for sentiments, they were heartless and bent on exploiting the resources… Read More »Thibaw Min and Bahadur Shah Zafar: Unfortunate Kings

Arsenic Poison in Drinking Water

Uncontaminated drinking water is hardly available to most of the poor population in the developing or under-developed countries. Water contaminated with bacteria, virus and dissolved ions in excessive amounts cause so many disease. Contamination of water can be natural or man induced. The reason for the contamination of water is that water is a universal solvent. It leaches away so many chemical compounds from the rocks exposed to it. Secondly, water makes up more than 70% of the area available on the Earth surface. Life began in the water. So many reactions necessary for the growth and reproduction of life… Read More »Arsenic Poison in Drinking Water