It was the evening of November 23, 1956, when a storm lashed Ariyalur district of Tamil Nadu and led to the derailment of the Madras-Tuticorin Express while it was crossing the Maradaiyar river bridge, leaving 154 people dead. Vaibhav writes
It's been a rocking time not only for the earth but also the corridors of power and the "Wall" that in the cricketing Hall of Fame does tower. Barely had the aftershocks of earlier earth-shaking tremors receded when there were fresh tremors. This time, not just of the terrestrial kind but also of the ministerial kind. Chetna Keer writes
Last year, some very dear friends of mine had gifted me with four volumes (bound in two) of District and State Gazetteers of the Undivided Punjab (Low Price publication), a province that covered the entire northwest tract of the country. Khushwant Singh writes
I often wonder what makes youngsters of today flock to the cities. A mass exodus appears to be taking place, with the youth making a beeline for the attractions of the metropolis. One valid reason which comes to mind is, of course, job opportunities and the lure of a fast life. Pallavi Singh writes
In October 1962, Wing Commander Dilbagh Singh (later Air Chief from 1981 to 1984), Squadron Leaders MSD Wollen (later Air Marshal) and SK Mehra (Air Chief from 1988 to 1991) and Flight Lieutenants AK Mukherjee (later Wing Commander), HS Gill (later Wing Commander), AK Sen, Denzil Keelor (later Air Marshal) and BD Jayal (later Air Marshal) set off to do the conversion course on the newly purchased Mig 21 fighter. Mandeep Singh Bajwa writes
Those were the dark days of my life when I was branded a criminal and the ordeal continued for five years. It was like hell. It all started on a Sunday morning when I left for a friend's wedding. My driver was behind the wheels.As we were going, a bus stopped near a village along the highway. It was the conductor's village and he had gone to fetch his lunchbox. Suddenly, a person came out of nowhere running towards the bus with a lunch box in hand, and got hit by my car. Dr AS Nagpal writes
The tragic end of Sarabjit Singh in the Lahore jail unplugged long-frozen memories of my journalistic encounters with the surreal and secretive world of cross-border spies. Documenting tales of these real-life spies who had survived years of torture and incarceration in Pakistan was a bone-chilling experience that can still send a shiver down the spine. Hindustan Times Resident Editor Ramesh Vinayak writes
The Lok Sabha elections are on their way, and each party is busy considering the "right" candidates. But a lobby of candidates active in every party is above any selection criteria. It consists of people like me who have blood relations with influential leaders. Manpreet Singh writes
I am a skimpy reader. Perhaps because I have an inborn short attention span. I have read few books, completely. During our art school days, it was considered a must to read popular classics of Irving Stone - Lust for life (a novel based on the life of Vincent van Gogh) and Agony and Ecstasy (another voluminous one based on the life of Michelangelo). Balvinder writes
Come a new day and amid the many colourful aspects of Indian culture there is one facet or the other that is going a shade lighter. To watch a madari (monkey trainer) ride past on his black Hero bicycle (covered in patchwork of rust) has become a rare sight. The man balanced his life by balancing the popular couple, Raja and Rani, on his carrier. Yuvika Grewal writes.
Yes, I am talking about the same state-of-the-art, indigenous fabrication called 'jugaad' in north India. It does have an engine and moves on four wheels, albeit like a Christmas tree. You don't need to wear the seat belt since there isn't any. Even the brakes are applied differently as if you are part of a tug-of-war competition. Rajbir Deswal writes.
Why have the Chinese made so many intrusions into the Indian territory, the latest being near Daulat Beg Oldi in Ladakh? It's partly because of the eternal Chinese lust for testing their opponents' resolve and political will. In the last five years the Indian move to bolster defences along the border with China - raising new formations, upgrading and boosting infrastructure have upset the Chinese. Mandeep Singh Bajwa writes
The recent intrusion by the Chinese in the Burthe area of Depsang valley near Daulet Beg Oldi is different from the numerous earlier violations in the Ladakh sector. On previous occasions, Chinese troops would withdraw across the Line of Control; however, this time they have established a camp approximately 10 km inside the Indian territory. Lt Gen Harwant Singh (retd) writes
Off-season discounts and sales are a rage. Before the practice started in India, genuine sops on merchandise were accredited to Westerners. The special homecomings of our relations abroad were always eagerly awaited. The reception was an event, but the focus of observation was the hefty suitcases they carried, obviously containing goodies for us. Col Avnish Sharma (retd) writes
At 48, Ashok Khemka is arguably India’s most well-known bureaucrat. For, the 1991-batch Haryana-cadre IAS officer has been riding the storms he routinely kicks up by putting his foot down against the wrongs of powers-that-be. A fiercely argumentative Khemka, who refuses to call himself a whistleblower, answered a wide range of tough questions in an interview with Resident Editor Ramesh Vinayak
and Haryana bureau chief Hitender Rao