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Showing posts from August, 2008


In a paper written and published in the American Journal of Psychiatry many years ago on Eating Disorders in India, we had argued that the need to do well in education is a stress for young students and their families, and in some vulnerable young girls and boys, it may lead to some psychopathology. The point we wanted to make was that education remains a very important means for upward mobility in Independent India.

For nearly two decades now, I have patronized Harish, a fruitwallah, in Kotla. Kotla is a versatile market for all household necessities in South Delhi known for its wholesale prices. It is not in the league of nearby up-scale markets of South Delhi like South Ex or Defense Colony. Harish has a ramshackle kiosk and specializes in some select fruits and sells full boxes only. I like to go there because he stocks fruits like mango, apple, grapes, oranges etc that I like to buy in bulk for our use and share with friends. When I went to him yesterday, he asked me if I could ma…


While in Beijing, it is almost customary to visit the Great Wall of China. Though China is known for many things, the Great Wall, one of the seven man-made wonders of the world, remains an attraction for all the visitors. So when we were planning to visit Beijing, I had made sufficient enquiries before hand if it was possible to make a day-long trip to the Great Wall from Beijing. After all the name ‘Great wall’ has been etched in my memory ever since I knew there was another country by the name of China in my primay classes many decades ago.

There are two or three areas of the Great Wall, within 100 km from Beijing, which have been well developed for tourists’ visits. The visit is also combined with other attractions enroute. We chose a package which combined it with Ming’s tomb. Also thrown in the package were visits to Jade factory, enamel factory, Tibetan herbal medicine house and tea house. All such factories had packaged these visits as an educational touri…


Hiking and Rock Climbing

The moment Las Vegas comes to mind, one thinks of the casinos, gambling, spectacular shows and all the adult entertainment that the city has to offer. The city thrives on the pleasure principles and has been nicknamed as the ‘Sin City’. It has some of the grandest hotels and fanciest malls in the world. Though Macau has fast grown in gambling opportunities, however, it is not at the cost of Las Vegas, which still remains as popular as ever. Undoubtedly Las Vegas is known more for its casinos and gambling, yet it has many other activities and recreations to offer. The state of Nevada boasts of two very popular recreation areas just outside Las Vegas: the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area and the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Park. The austere wilderness of both the areas is home to several plant and animal species that are unique to these areas; however, what attracts the adventure sports enthusiasts is the unique and varied climbing environment. Mountain…

Flight of the Condor

2nd August, 2008

While at the Grand Canyon, I was lucky to spot a condor soaring high above in the sky and shoot it, of course, with the camera. I had read and heard so much about the ‘flight of a condor’. We also attended the educational programme on the condor and its successful conservation which has brought it back from the brink of extinction.

On the wing, the movements of the condor, as it wheels in circles, are remarkably graceful. The birds flap their wings on rising from the ground, but after attaining a moderate elevation they seem to sail majestically on the air.
Wild condors inhabit large territories, often traveling 250 km (150 miles ) a day in search of carrion. They prefer large carcasses such as deer or cattle which they spot by looking for other scavengers. That led to their near extinction, since the caracasses of wild animals shot dead by bullets killed the condors too by lead poisoning. Attempts are being made to induce the hunters to use copper bullets instead of tho…