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a Missing Tribe, a Shrinking Island, a Forgotten State

‘A Missing Tribe on a Shrinking Island in a Forgotten State.’ A Puzzle of A Title. A little like the ‘Smile without the Cat’ in Alice in Wonderland. Isn’t it lovely? Isn’t the Smile almost lovelier without the Cat? Let’s break the puzzle into its pieces! The Forgotten State; A tribe called Missing and a…

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The Goddess Ganga – presides at Varanasi too

Our Goddess Ganga presides at Varanasi too. It’s one of the oldest, continually inhabited cities of the world. At Varanasi long stretches of steps, called ‘ghats’, slip down her banks. Here people of India wash clothes, do yoga, offer blessings, sell flowers, get massages, play cricket, fly kites, wash buffaloes, take ‘holy dips’ and cremate…

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The Goddess Ganga – presides at Allahabad

The Ganga, the river Ganges! It collects its water from the Himalayas. It flows for 2500 km across India. A formidable water resource! The holiest of rivers! Hindus sanctify the river as a goddess; the Goddess Ganga, the Mother Ganga. She is a beautiful woman and devotes Lord Krishna. This infuriates Radha, the lover of…

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‘Incredible’ Heady Heights

Hinduism captivates us, kicking and screaming! Its heady heights are incredible. We read it’s a polytheistic religion (poly=many, theos=gods). But, behind these many gods there stands a single extreme power (Brahman). So the many gods we see are simply physical expressions of this formless spirit. Dare, we draw a parallel with saints or gurus or…

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Sikhs and Swords

Harry and I rush, like fools, into the stuff of rebellions. Smack bang, face-first … hurt and angry young men rise from the ground and stop us … We ride peacefully in the agricultural region of the Punjab. Then out of the blue, clusters of branches lie across the road. They stretch-out and alternate from…

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! A Mother’s Reach !

LOSAR looms LARGE in our minds. It’s the last village before the hardest stretch of the Hindustan / Tibetan Highway. A riverbed of a road that separates two icy passes; the Kunzum La and the Rohtang La. The last translates as ‘pile of dead bodies’. Yikes! – After the hundreds of travellers who freeze to…

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High on a Hill

Shimla hides high on a hill, in the northern most corner of India. This hill top has an incredible tale to tell. It rules a quarter of the world, every summer, from 1864 to 1939! The plains of India are hot and humid in summer. And to beat the heat anybody, with means, escapes to…

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The SENSE in NON-SENSE

Colonial Britain rules over present day Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Burma. The decision to leave in 1947 presents a dilemma. “How do we deal out this land!” Meetings, missions and accords hold forth with this faction (The Muslim League) and then with that faction (The Congress Party). So the Muslims get Pakistan. The Hindus get…

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That’s our Spot!

We ride from New Delhi, the country capital, to Chandigarh, a regional capital, to Shimla, a district town. New Delhi and Chandigarh pile up on hot flat plains. Shimla, a mass of villages, flops over hilltops, of mountainous Himalayan proportions. We ride for 8,5 hours to cover the 245 km from Delhi to Chandigarh. It…

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‘Deep Throat’ & ‘Linda Lovelace’ debut in New Delhi

                                                         

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