Velankanni Church


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There is very few pilgrimage site for the Christians in India and one of the most prominent amongst them is the church at Velankanni also known as Our Lady of Good Health. I still remember from my childhood days that my aunts and other relatives often making this pilgrimage all the way from Kolkata just to pray at the church. My visit to Velankanni, however, was just a coincidence more of a detour during my trip to Thanjavur. On reaching Thanjavur I was informed by the car driver that many people often make a day trip to Velankanni. This was an opportunity that I did not want to miss as I was not sure if I would ever come back to Thanjavur again or for that matter come anywhere near Velankanni.

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Snake Milking At Madras Crocodile Bank


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While on a train journey to down south I happen to chance upon this article which came as a feed from The Washington Post. It was about the infestation of Burmese Pythons in the state of Florida in the US. Apparently with no other option in the site the state had hired two Irula tribe men from India and their translator flew them all the way to Florida to catch these Burmese Python and to kill them. They had previously tried various methods to catch these but failed and these Irula men managed to catch 13 pythons in two weeks. They plan to stay there until end of February for this project.

Irula tribe is famous for their snake and rat catching ability and was used extensively by the farming community to get rid of these from their farming lands. But with the concern of nature conservation snake hunting was banned in India thus depriving the basic livelihood of these people. Poisonous snakes cause a huge number of human fatality in India and with very few supply of anti-snake venom, many saw the need of these Irula men as a key factor in closing this gap.

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Chocolate And Rose To Wow Your Valentine


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Valentine’s Day during school years was fun, with zero possibility of a girlfriend me and my buddies used to eagerly wait for this day just to see the fun that would unravel in front of our eyes. There were always senior boys in class (most of the time failures or repeaters) who would be the friend, philosopher and guide to us. They would weave stories up in the air just to prove that he was the guy which we all should envy on Valentine’s Day.

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Sadras Fort


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Somehow the word temple often gets associated with Mahabalipuram after all this place has some of the finest shore temples but in reality, this place has another history attached to it. All along the coastline of ancient India various trading posts were present often operated by the English, Portuguese, French and Dutch. India was the hub for exports and these European powers found the perfect place to trade in muslin, gemstones, pearl, coir and other export goods. If you look at the present map of India you would find various forts and trading posts all along the coastline and one such is that of Sadras Fort.

Sadras was obviously not the real name, it was what the Dutch called it as they found it much easier to pronounce than Sadrangapatnam or Sadrafpatan. Nestled between the major ports of Nagapattinam and Madras (Chennai) this was more of a small fort which also acted as a trading post or trading office. Sadras along with Pulicat were the two most famous trading post built by the Dutch in the Coromandel Coast by VOC (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie) or better known as the Dutch East India Company. People are aware of Pulicat but Sadras is almost forgotten.

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My Grandmother’s Ballygunge Circular Road


My Grandmother’s Ballygunge Circular Road

“Should we take the bus or should we just take a rickshaw instead?” asked by grandmother. Walk, just walk I kept repeating. The reason being quite simple the more we walked the more time that we had together listening to stories of her childhood and of course Indian version of fairy tales.

It was around 1985 – 1986 and I had just joined St. Lawrence High School in the junior section. Being very sentimental school was not that very attractive for me. Seeing my mother vanish beyond the curve near our house every morning on my school bus ride to school was always a very teary affair. Often tears would roll down my eyes and the boy sitting next to me would console that the school would be over in no time and I would be back home soon. I still remember his name “Piu”, I am sure it was what his parents called him home but he stuck with that. And the best part was that Piu was of my age and in the same class. I have never ever met Piu after leaving that school.

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