October 2013



Science: Data from NASA's Curiosity rover has revealed the Martian environment lacks methane. This is a surprise to researchers because previous data reported by US and international scientists indicated positive detections. Read more ....

If you got beat up by a bully on your walk home from school every day, you would probably become very afraid of the spot where you usually met him. However, if the bully moved out of town, you would gradually cease to fear that area. Read more ....

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory and telescopes on the ground may have found the most crowded galaxy in our part of the universe. Read more .....

Many viruses and bacteria infect humans through mucosal surfaces, such as those in the lungs, gastrointestinal tract and reproductive tract. To help fight these pathogens, scientists are working on vaccines that can establish a front line of defense at mucosal surfaces. Read more ....

Is your cable television on the fritz? One explanation, scientists suspect, may be the weather - the weather in space, that is. Read more ....

A study by University of Georgia ecologists has found that diversity in mammal immune system genes may have more to do with the opportunity to choose a mate than with exposure to parasites. Read more ....

Locked door Humour: Locked out of your own house can be an alarming eperience, especially if you are new to the neighbourhood where neighbours are yet to make your acquaintance. I should know because I have gone through that embarrassing situation. Read more ....




2

I could sense that someone had sat down on the other side of the mosquito net. Perceiving no way out, I said with some enthusiasm, "That will be nice. Tell me some story which will cheer me up."

"If you want to hear a really funny story then let me tell you about my life," the voice said.

The church clock struck the hour of two.

"When I was a human being and young, I used to be scared of one person - my husband. My state was like that of a fish caught by an angler. It was as if a total stranger had hooked me and was pulling me out of the deep and smooth waters - there was no escape. Two months after our marriage my husband died, and my relatives consoled me. My father-in-law, after much contemplation, told my mother-in-law, 'This girl is a beeshkanya (poison bride)'. I clearly remember those words ..... Are you listening to me? How is the story?"

I said, "It is a good story. The beginning is splendid."

"Then, listen further. I happily returned to my parental home. Days passed and I grew older. People tried to avoid me; but I knew I was very beautiful. What do you think?"

"That could be true. But I have never seen you."

"You haven't seen me! Why, you have seen my skeleton! Alright, I was only joking. How can I prove to you that there were two large and beautiful eyes in those two empty eye-sockets! And there could have been no comparison to the gentle smile that played on rosy lips; I feel like laughing and at the same time angry while describing the beauty that was blossoming every day over those few dry bones. Renowned doctors of those days would not have believed that my body would be used to study osteology. A doctor, while speaking to a friend of his, had described me as 'kanakchampa' - I was a beautiful flower; there cannot be a skeleton in a flower!"

"I could realize that when I walked, there would be a shower of beauty around me - just like a diamond which dazzles when shaken. I, occasionally, spent long hours looking at my two hands. I think Subhadra, who drove away Arjuna in a chariot, had similar arms and fingers."

"But my shameless and eternally-old skeleton has presented a false picture of me before you. I was helpless and could not speak for myself. It is for this reason that of all the people in this world, I hate you the most. I crave to appear as the gorgeous 16-year-old that I was and dazzle you with my beauty; to snatch away the sleep from your eyes, and to rid you of your desire to learn osteology."

I told the apparition, "If you had a body I would have touched it and sworn that I have no interest in osteology. And, your splendorous beauty has pierced through the darkness of the night and is dazzling. You do not have to say more."

The apparition continued, "I had no friends. My elder brother had vowed not to marry. I was, therefore, all alone. I used to sit under a tree in the garden and think that the entire world loves me, all the stars are watching me, and that the breeze is conspiring and blowing past me heaving sighs. All the young men in the world have gathered at my feet - this is what I used to think; But that caused an ache in my heart."

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  • Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
  • IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
  • Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
  • Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
  • Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
  • IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
  • Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
  • Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
  • Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
  • Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
  • Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu