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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Regional Takes

No luck with Hindi

Each time I head to the US, my elder sister has one demand: to get as much pre-school material that I can on teaching Hindi to her two daughters. She has an ardent desire to teach her children to read, and eventually write, in Hindi as they grow up in a foreign land. As I was headed to the US again, for a third time, her list was pretty much the same – books, puzzles, wall charts in Hindi; and yes, a few Indian paper flags to adorn the kids’ bedroom soft board. Writes Smitha Aggarwal

The great tragedy of First World War

One hundred years ago, the world saw the start of a great war in which worldwide more than 5 million soldiers and civilians were killed. A war which was started by the Austro- Hungarian empire against Serbia soon engulfed many others in a swirling pool of death and destruction. Writes Lt Gen Harwant Singh (retd).

That innocent look

A boy and a girl, both aged about 5, begin to walk from either side of the stage to the centre, and enter the shining circle of beamed light at their school's annual-day function. The dazzling ball of mercury flash makes them conscious, though they must have rehearsed their lines umpteen times. Writes Rajbir Deswal.

Teacher on the tank

The location — an unused service road adjacent to the highway — has been chosen carefully. Two gurdwaras are nearby, as much for divine intervention as for daily needs of food, washing, and sometimes shelter. Their tent’s roof is covered with tarpaulin, keeping the sun and rain out. Writes Aarish Chhabra.

Beware of discounted offs

The sale season is upon us. We are bombarded with persistent, fancy exhortations to splurge at the shops in the city square and other sectors. A pretty good deal, one would presume, but a ‘sharp’ business practice could sour the mood. Writes Madhusheel Arora.

First Indian troops to fight in WW-1

A century ago the First World War broke out in these days. Indian Expeditionary Force consisting of the 3rd (Lahore) and 7th (Meerut) Divisions and the 1st and 2nd Cavalry Divisions was sent off to fight in Europe landing at Marseilles in September-October 1914. Writes Mandeep Singh Bajwa.

Risk of a nasty nip

If a householder had not known the difference between a rat's tail and that of a spectacled cobra, there could have been an occasion for some deadly nips to be delivered while answering nature's call!!! A rat seeking refuge from a cobra in hot pursuit dived into the toilet hole of Sita Raman's house in the HRBR Layout, Bangalore. Writes Vikram Jit Singh

Friends for life, oops... like

“Papa, how long is your friend list?” Mohini, my daughter, asked surprising me since she knew I have all but four confirmed friends and the fifth one remains a maverick. “You know it sweetheart,” I replied, waiting for the next probe on the obvious. Writes Col Avnish Sharma (retd).

An evening with Leela

Music is so pregnant with nostalgia. In its passages, stride figures from our past. One such rose-tinted memory for me is that of Leela Naidu, the celebrated actress ranked by Vogue as one of the 10 most beautiful women of the world. Writes Vikram Jit Singh.

Jinxed encounters

The Boeing-737 evening flight on the Srinagar-Chandigarh-Delhi route in the 1980s was very popular. One came across film stars, politicians and corporate honchos on board. It was a convenient connection to catch the late evening flights from Delhi to the other metros. Writes Mahavir Jagdev.

I want to be a mobile

The 21st century is of the rise of the machines and the fall of human independence: a time when parents play with mobile phone and children grow up neglected. These stories are about not just one gadget but every plastic box that we have made our best companion and which has made us forget that machine is made for man, not the other way round. Writes Meenakshi Makkar.

The aimless rickshaw ride

All three of us sat in a rickshaw. For the eldest, it had been a means of transport for long; for the middle-aged, it was an old-world charm; and for the youngest, it was an object of mystery and wonder. Writes Suchita Malik.

When simplicity poured

Poetry came out of the rhythmic drumming on the tin roof of my neighbour’s house; the shadow of grey clouds covered the ungainly houses that were constructed without any architectural expertise; the ticklish soft wind floated around announcing the coming of rain in my village. Writes Yuvika Grewal.

As Badal rained on our office

Murder. That was the first thought in my hyperactive mind when I saw our office having been turned into a fortress. I'd been stopped and asked for my antecedents four times within a distance of 200 metres. There was tension in the air. Swarms of cops, rifles in hand, got denser and denser. Something was really wrong. Writes Aarish Chhabra.

Battle for the 'golak'

My nearly-five daughter has raised the banner of revolt. She wants total control of her 'golak' (piggy bank), which is getting heavier and heavier by the day. The defiant child has even set up the HGMC (Household Golak Management Committee), appointing herself as its president-cum-general secretary. Writes Vikramdeep Johal.
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