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China's first limo and Chinese leaders

Beijing, Feb 18 (IANS) What sedans did Chairman Mao Zedong choose for parade and daily use? Some of them can be found in a private classic car museum in the Chinese capital.

 
Housewife chefs: Delivering home food in star hotels

Varanasi, Feb 17 (IANS) It's nearly lunch time and homemaker Sangya Pandey is busy in the kitchen. An everyday routine for millions of women in India - but there's a difference here. People awaiting food cooked by Pandey are not family or even friends, but guests at a five-star hotel.

 
Ghalib's tomb, house lie forlorn on 144th death anniversary

'Koi virani si virani hai/Dasht ko dekh ke ghar yaad aaya' (It is desolation personified/ I saw the wilderness and remembered my abode) wrote Ghalib in what would be a prophetic couplet on the condition of his habitation and last resting place.

 
Now children being banned from economy class too

Families watch out. The no-kids campaign is spreading to the economy class on planes. From now on, no babies or children are allowed between rows seven and 14 (now renamed 'The Quiet Zone') in economy cabins on AirAsia X routes. Adults who want a seat in that block have to pay an extra US$11.

 
'Special' Paharganj trio followed Olympic dream to Seoul

New Delhi, Feb 14 (IANS) From the congested bylanes of central Delhi's Paharganj to icy arenas in glittering Seoul, it has been a journey to fame and honour for teens Raj Kumar Tiwari, Suman Chandraprakash and Alpana Jagdish who won golds at the Special Winter Olympics.

 
Maharashtra village hits Rs.125 crore jackpot

Chandrapur, Feb 13 (IANS) This sleepy, little village tucked away in the lesser known district of Chandrapur in Maharshtra is humming with life as its residents have hit a jackpot -- enhanced compensation for their land acquired by a public sector coal miner.

 
Valentine's Day could be austere this time: Survey

Chennai, Feb 11 (IANS) At a time when retailers are expecting business on the eve of Valentine's Day, a survey by industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) has put a dampener saying that lovers are likely to curb their spend on big ticket items.

 
Indian-language literature is thriving

New Delhi, Feb 11 (IANS) Literature in Indian languages is vibrant, thriving and more interlinked than is evident, say literary figures.

 
Rumours send officials into tizzy at Maha Kumbh

Allahabad, Feb 10 (IANS) Officials at the Maha Kumbh mela premises had a tough time Sunday as they found themselves caught between the incessant rush of devotees and the steady spin of rumour mills on Mauni Amavasya, the biggest bathing day.

 
If you die early, firm will cover up your secrets

Do you have dark secrets? Ever worry about dropping dead and having this grim, final thought: 'Oh no! I haven't cancelled my secret subscription to Totally Justin magazine, or hidden those fantasies I wrote about me and Judi Dench in the vegetable pantry. My memory will be tarnished forever!'

 
A train runs where the Buddha walked

Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh), Feb 2 (IANS) It's a trip down the Buddha's lane, into antiquity and serenity. Tracking the Buddha's path, the Mahaparinirvana Express is for the historian, the tourist and, of course, the pilgrim seeking salvation in retracing the footsteps of the man who walked this land some 2,400 years ago.

 
'Textese' creeps into answer scripts, teachers worried

Kolkata, Feb 1 (IANS) Asked to write about his summer holidays as part of his English examination, one student of Class VI in a Kolkata school began: "My smmr hldys were grt. I rly enjoyed them". (My summer holidays were great. I really enjoyed them)."

 
With waterbodies frozen, Kashmir's migratory birds foray into lakes

Srinagar, Jan 30 (IANS) As shallow waterbodies of the migratory bird's reserves in the Kashmir Valley remain frozen, flocks of geese, mallards, teals, gadwalls and pochards have started looking for alternate feeding grounds.

 
Where Gandhi died 65 years ago - this day

New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) The faintly heard traffic commotion does not affect the serenity of 5, Tees January Marg, a leafy avenue in the heart of the Indian capital, where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last 144 days of his life and where he was assassinated on Jan 30, 1948.

 
Seafood is latest craze of Kolkata foodies

Kolkata, Jan 29 (IANS) Let the nutty flavours of squid meat, the juicy sink-your-teeth-in flesh of prawns, the delicate texture of sweet crab meat and the creamy texture of octopus assail your senses. Fish is no longer the only aquatic offering that will satisfy the palate of the Kolkata foodie.

 
Chattai therapy: Making cancer bearable for kids

New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) On a sunny, winter morning, a group of about two dozen children, between the ages of three and 12, clap and recite poems along with an instructor in a courtyard outside the out-patients-department at the AIIMS, one of Asia's largest research and referral hospitals. It's that brief, transient tranquility in a day fraught with pain and uncertainty.

 
This man makes instant buildings!

Chandigarh, Jan 27 (IANS) At 46, Harpal Singh is a successful first generation entrepreneur. But that is not his only achievement. His company is now a record holder in erecting a fully-functional 10-floor building in just 48 hours. And there is no stopping him.

 
Patriotic song 'Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon" turns 50

Mumbai, Jan 25 (IANS) It is a song that is sung on every patriotic occasion, had moved India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, to tears and its strong morale-boosting words provided solace to a nation agonized by the defeat in the 1962 India-China war.

 
Bank automatically moves husband's money to wife's account

Executives at China Merchants Bank created a genius programme that automatically transfers the husband's earnings to the wife's account. Every time the guy's account balance reads more than US$160, the extra cash automatically moves into the woman's account.

 
Flashy cars, gold, tablets computers - Kumbh has them all!

Allahabad, Jan 24 (IANS) For reasons other than preaching salvation and guiding the teeming millions on faith and spirituality, the saffron-robed seers camping in the sprawling Kumbh mela premises are making waves for many other reasons too. Some are attracting eyeballs for their fondness for computers, IT accessories, pets, gold jewellery and even fleets of luxury cars!

 
New evidence of indentured Indians' mass graves in Suriname

New Delhi, Jan 23 (IANS) As the Suriname government granted permission in early January to researchers to begin operations to discover the forgotten mass graves of Indian indentured workers killed in police firing in 1902 in the tiny South American nation, where nearly 40 percent of its people are of Indian extraction, new evidence has emerged that could give significant pointers to the location of the graves.

 
'Ensure a girl's future before she's born'

New Delhi, Jan 23 (IANS) The gruesome gang-rape and death of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi last month has brought alive the issue of safety of women in public places. But how safe are girls and women in their own homes?

 
'For a woman's safety, mindsets need changing'

New Delhi, Jan 23 (IANS) The gruesome gang-rape and death of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi last month has brought alive the issue of safety of women in public places. But how safe are girls and women in their own homes?

 
With snow, skiers return to Himachal's slopes

Solang Valley, Jan 22 (IANS) "What a knee-deep powder," remarked Japanese skier Kawai Hiroshi after experiencing the bountiful snow on the slopes in Himachal Pradesh's Solang Valley. He and his family have been skiing in the western Himalayas for the first time.

 
Asian investors worried about buying homes with ghosts

Asian investors are outraged after a US court last week said home-sellers no longer have to reveal that their houses were the locations of "shocking or terrible deeds", which one presumes means murders, suicides, massacres, people watching Glee, people eating bacon ice cream sundaes, etc.

 
A Parsi couple's healing touch to Vidarbha's farmers

Nagpur, Jan 16 (IANS) As debt-ridden farmers continue to kill themselves in Maharashtra's Vidarbha region due to "government apathy", a Parsi couple from Mumbai has provided a healing touch to around 25 widows and their children in bringing their broken lives back on track.

 
Jantar Mantar: Beacon of hope for justice seekers

New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) Jagjeet Kaur, a 30-year-old rape victim from Punjab, was frustrated after running from pillar to post for two years seeking justice. Finally, she landed in Delhi, beginning her hunger strike at Jantar Mantar, the tourist landmark in the centre of Delhi that has been the month-long epicenter of the protests against the Delhi gang-rape that she says inspired her to fight on.

 
Exiled Tibetans still hope to return home

Dharamsala, Jan 16 (IANS) Though living in exile in India for over half a century, the longing to see their homeland has not waned among the Tibetan residents in this north Indian hill town.

 
'Sangam' of technology and tradition at Kumbh

Allahabad, Jan 14 (IANS) It was a rare 'sangam' of technology and tradition on day one of Maha Kumbh 2013 Monday with Google map integration, GPS and 'flying cameras' making their advent in the 55-day festival, the biggest religious congregation anywhere in the world that is estimated to draw tens of millions from India and around the world.

 
Assam's silk village: Weaving does not pay

Sualkuchi (Assam), Jan 14 (IANS) In Assam's Sualkuchi village, the rhythmic click-clock of the loom reverberates everywhere. Every house has a loom and in it the xipini, or weaver, weaves exotic mekhla chadors, the traditional Assamese attire, with an adept hand. Of late, there has however been a decline in the number of weavers, as weaving is no more seen as a paying proposition, changing the warp and weft of 'the silk village'.

 
Multilingual, multicultural theatre opening new dialogues on stage

New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) The spirit of multiculturalism and direct exchange of soft power is playing out in contemporary theatre, a hybrid form culling from different linguistic, traditional and literary sources.

 
Fully preventable, yet cervical cancer most common in India

New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) Cervical cancer can be fully prevented if there is the required awareness. The tragedy, however, is that because of lack of knowledge and an it-cannot-happen-to-me attitude, it is the most common kind of cancer in India today.

 
Man tries to board plane wearing 60 outfits

A MAN TRIED to get on a plane wearing 60 outfits. Too miserly to pay the excess baggage charge, he simply opened his suitcase and put on everything he owned.

 
Using theatre to sensitise people to the differently-abled

Kolkata, Jan 10 (IANS) Offering a glimpse of what cerebral palsy patients go through via mime, hand model performance and dance theatre, British performer Andrew Dawson feels people's perception towards the differently -abled is "beginning to change".

 
Angst is new mantra of Indian progressive arts

New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) The new performing arts of contemporary India are chanting the mantra of social angst and the slow transformation the country is going through on the road to a new order.

 
A fishy tale and five misprints you'll never forget

No celebration party today is complete without party hats, noisemakers, and of course a large dead fish. At the climactic moment, the host will wave the huge seafood carcass at guests, who will exclaim: Yeah! Go, us! Dead fish! Stinky! Etc

 
Assam's village of magic now more of a tourist hotspot

Mayong (Assam), Jan 4 (IANS) An eerie silence envelopes Assam's Mayong village, well known for its magic and sorcery, as one drives towards it from the nearby city of Guwahati. With a history that is bound to scare the daylights out of believers and make others gape in wonder, the peaceful ambience somehow looks like a cloak of mystery.

 
Braving cold and illness - outside AIIMS

New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS) The cold is icy, the traffic noise overpowering and the environment inhospitable. As they sit huddled over a makeshift stove making a meal outside the gates of AIIMS, the group of women are amongst those who fight an hourly battle everyday to keep their patients warm and fit enough for another day's treatment at India's premier hospital.

 
Braving illness - and the clammy cold outside AIIMS

New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS) The cold is intense, the ground icy and the skies above a dull grey. As they sit huddled over a makeshift stove making a meal right outside the gates of India's premier hospital AIIMS, the group of women are amongst those who fight an hourly battle to keep their families warm - and healthy.

 
In Punjab, Jatts do it!

Chandigarh, Jan 3 (IANS) "Jatts the way aha aha" they like it in Punjab - where Jatt denotes not just the Jat-Sikh community but also a success mantra and even a lifestyle statement - finding its way into songs, film names and trendy tags like "Jatt Boyz".

 
Contemporary artist helps revive traditional Krishnanagar clay dolls

Kolkata, Jan 2 (IANS) Hoping to inspire the potters of Krishnanagar in West Bengal to revive their dying traditional craft of clay doll making, Kaushik Biswas, a contemporary artist, has taken it upon himself to sculpt and showcase the lost grandeur of the exquisite forms to the masses.

 
He plays Pied Piper for children in Maoist area

Sukma/New Delhi, Jan 1 (IANS) Sodi Mada has a thing for children. Just like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, this resident of Sukma district of Chhattisgah lures children away - but to school.

 
Winter casts sombre silence on Valley

Srinagar, Dec 31 (IANS) The cackle of the migratory graylag geese or the occasional howl of a jackal waiting in ambush for its prey are the only distractions in the long, dull silence of chilly nights in Kashmir's countryside in the winter.

 
Global luxury brands woo Indian fashionistas

New Delhi, Dec 30 (IANS) More than five international luxury brands, including Roberto Cavalli, Armani Junior, Tumi and Hackett, opened shop at the capital's swish DLF Emporio mall this year. For officials of these brands, choosing the destination was half the battle won because of its elite clientele and the presence of other "exquisite brands".

 
Adieu, adieu to you and you and you

New Delhi, Dec 28 (IANS) They inspired with their brilliance, humbled with their talent. Sometimes controversial but always effective, they held us in thrall and left an indelible mark on the lives of thousands. As 2012 winds down, time to once again remember the magic of some of those we said goodbye to:

 
Yes, you are being filmed, even if you are in India

Smile please. YOU'RE ON candid camera. This is not a joke. The likelihood is that there are now more cameras than human beings in your community, assuming that your community is my apartment. I used to be irritated when my children wandered into the toilet when I was using it. Now I worry about them wandering in with camera-phones. The last time it happened, I threw toilet rolls and shouted: "I hope you're not filming this for YouTube." They replied: "Of course not, that's SO last month. It's going out as a hi-def live streaming video feed."

 
Those who made news in 2012

New Delhi, Dec 27 (IANS) Some grabbed eyeballs for the controversies they kicked up, some for their politics, and others for making people smile and applaud. A look at the top newsmakers of 2012 in different sectors:

 
Life beyond needle, thread: Designers explore new creative mediums

New Delhi, Dec 27 (IANS) From entering lifestyle space, writing books to becoming an entrepreneur, the year 2012 saw a bevy of designers like Rohit Bal, Suneet Varma and Ritu Berry exploring new creative mediums and adding value to their brands.

 
10 best independent films of 2012

Chennai, Dec 27 (IANS) In a year when big-budget, star-studded Bollywood films and the Rs.100 crore club made headlines, there were some small-budget independent films too, which managed to attract eyeballs, with their strong storylines and visual appeal, without any backing from studios or actors.

 
Indian workers lead world in resolution-making: Survey

Chennai, Dec 26 (IANS) Eighty-three percent of the Indian workforce make New Year resolutions that have to do with work, a survey by global human resource services company Randstad India found.

 

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