5 Unusual Jobs From Around the World

Some people work for need, some for fun and some for the lack of their being any other option to fight boredom. In this curious world with ‘curious-er’ organisations, one gets to see a lot of unusual jobs and job titles. While everyone has a dream job in mind, rarely do any of us get […]


That Awesome Location in That Movie

With increasing budgets for making films, the struggle to find a unique location for shooting a Bollywood chart-buster song has given us film buffs a headache. The headache of not being able to identify that awesome bridge, that scenic hill station and that beautiful church in the backdrop. Worry not, dear earthlings, the placebo effect […]


Greatest Indian Sporting Victories You Don’t Hear Much About

In a country where most of our sporting success revolves around Kapil Dev lifting the cup in 1983 or Dhyan Chand and his successors winning successive Olympic Hockey golds, there have been certain other equally phenomenal victories that one doesn’t hear much about. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. Wilson Jones (1958) World […]


How LEGO Nearly went Bankrupt – and Survived

This is part of Issue #37: So Close Yet So Far “Change is the new constant.” What happens, though, if a company evolves too quickly and loses touch with the basics? A classic example is LEGO, the Danish toy giant whose products we’ve all grown up with – interlocking plastic bricks you can use to build […]


Hemu and the arrow that changed Indian history

This is part of Issue #37: So Close Yet So Far Nowadays Panipat is best known for its textiles and handlooms exports, earning it the title ‘City of Weavers’. But from a historical point of view it offers much of interest. Because of its location, at the junction between North India and the rest of the country, it […]


When the World Came Close to a Nuclear War

This is part of Issue #37: So Close Yet So Far Thirteen days is a 2000 film directed by Roger Donaldson about the 1962, 13-day tri-nation party called the Cuban Missile Crisis. The tagline used for the movie was ‘You’ll never believe how close we came’. The crisis was the closest that the Cold War era […]


Peter O’Toole: Always the Bridesmaid, Never the Bride

This is part of Issue #37: So Close Yet So Far Many good actors end their careers without any sort of major recognition, be it awards or public appreciation. But the Irish actor Peter O’Toole was a cut above the rest – which makes the ‘distinction’ he holds at the Oscars rather baffling. In a glorious acting […]


The Last Innings of Don Bradman

This is part of Issue #37: So Close Yet So Far Sir Donald Bradman’s ‘near-miss’ Test average of 99.94 is frequently quoted by fans as an example of his sheer brilliance. But did you know that his average actually stayed above 100 for most of his career?   Even when in poor form, Bradman scored […]


Issue #37: So Close Yet So Far

This week we seek inspiration from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s immortal words that best describe what it feels like to be caught in a situation where you’re close but not quite there- Day after day, day after day, We stuck, nor breath nor motion; As idle as a painted ship Upon a painted ocean.   Water, […]


Weekend Reads: The Top 5 Business Decisions Of All Time

1. Sheena Iyengar studies how we make choices — and how we feel about the choices we make. At TEDGlobal, she talks about both trivial choices (Coke v. Pepsi) and profound ones, and shares her groundbreaking research that has uncovered some surprising attitudes about our decisions. 2. The Academy has a solid track record of playing […]


War of the Currents and SI Units

This post is part of Issue #36: Choice The example of Burridan’s ass in the introduction to this week’s theme shows that having choices isn’t always a good thing. You can’t think rationally all the time, so having too many choices can be paralyzing. And even very intelligent people can make mistakes while analyzing their options. […]


Why did the British Shift the Capital to Delhi

This post is part of Issue #36: Choice The first couple of times when the British Durbar was held in Delhi was to celebrate the coronation of the then monarch as the queen empress and king emperor of India, in 1877 and 1903, respectively. But quite apart from providing a glorious pageant to flatter the princes […]


Interesting Election Facts From Around the World

This post is part of Issue #36: Choice Giving people the right to choose their leaders is wonderful in theory, but involves a lot of obstacles in practice. Some people can’t be bothered to vote, or don’t like any of the candidates. Make that a very large number of people – the last Indian general election […]


Theatre or Film: Every Actor’s Dilemma

There is nothing more challenging for an actor than to be alone on stage and hold the audience’s attention for an hour, singlehandedly.
~ Naseeruddin Shah ~

This post is part of Issue #36: Choice AK Hangal is one of the most recognizable faces in Indian cinema – the ‘elder’ in several Bollywood films from the 60s onward. Yet just before his death in 2012, his son – himself an actor – told the media that he could not afford to pay his […]