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A digital media house. Binding stories from India & beyond. History | Culture | Sports | Politics | Life
প্রদীপ্ত মৈত্র (Pradipto Moitra) Profile picture #HappyBirthdaySRK Profile picture 🄳🅄🄴🄽🄳🄴 Profile picture Sunil Kumar Banerjee Profile picture Gina Marrone Profile picture 23 subscribed
Dec 6 18 tweets 5 min read
In Colonial India, locals in Himalayas and Punjab region had used inflated bullock skins as boat service to carry passengers across rivers. A short thread on this unusual and strange medium of transport.

(1/16) The technique of using inflated animal skins as a floating raft has been practised for centuries across cultures, from Babylon to China, from Tibet to Egypt. India too adopted this brilliant ancient technique.

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Dec 4 20 tweets 6 min read
Tintin fans may recognize this odd character from "The Broken Ear." Inspired by a real-life figure known as the "Merchant of Death," his intriguing tale intertwines with the genesis of an iconic Indian Army machine gun.

A thread 1/17 Image Basil Bazarov, a shrewd arms dealer representing Korrupt Arms GMBH (Vicking Arms in French) in the book selling weapons to both the San Theodoran and Nuevo-Rican governments, is closely based on the real-life arms tycoon, Sir Basil Zaharoff (1849-1936).

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Dec 2 11 tweets 3 min read
On 20th October, 1962, Chinese PLA launched attacks on Indian positions in both Ladakh and NEFA, sparking off the Sino-Indian border war. The conflict hides a resonating story that would shape Kolkata's vibrant food culture in years to come (1/9) Image There was a small family of Chinese immigrants who lived in Shillong and owned a small eatery. But things changed for them as the war broke out and on a cold November morning, the sounds of army boots woke the family up (2/9)
Nov 30 16 tweets 3 min read
Are you still grooving to ‘Khalasi’ by Aditya Gadhvi and Achint Thakkar? Though the song is entirely in Gujarati, its multicultural charm is unmistakable, and we couldn’t help but draw a connection to a country bar in good old Calcutta. Let's begin. 1/15 Image The song speaks of a Khalasi, a sailor who is on this arduous journey through the shores of Gujarat. The word itself according to historians originates from Arabia and has come to define seafaring people who are skilled in making boats. 2/15
Nov 27 26 tweets 9 min read
With planes and politicians being the trending topic of the weekend, we decided to take a trip down memory lane to the time an Indian politician was lauded by Indonesia and the Soviet Union for his piloting exploits. Intrigued? Read on (1/21) Image Sometime in the early 1920s. An aircraft, possibly a military one, landed in Cuttack’s Barbati Fort. Among the curious onlookers was a young boy. Amazed, he tried to move closer to get a better look at the flying marvel but was chased away by guards (2/21)
Nov 23 13 tweets 3 min read
Few stories never get old. It is Thanksgiving Day today, so we thought of revisiting the mind-bending word origin of the turkey. This is a history of global geographic mess and mistaken identity.

A thread.

1/11 Image The origin of turkey, a bird that is now a traditional feature of American Thanksgiving dinner 🦃and Christmas supper in the United States, has long been a source of curiosity.

Nov 21 14 tweets 5 min read
The #Netflix series #TheRailwayMen based on the infamous Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984 just dropped to rave reviews. Today, we look back at one of the real life railway men who emerged as an unlikely savior on that tragic night - a thread (1/12) Image It was the night of 2nd Dec, 1984. The deputy station master of Bhopal railway station, Ghulam Dastagir was doing routine paperwork in his office. It was time for the Bombay-Gorakhpur Express to arrive any moment (2/12) Image
Nov 19 21 tweets 6 min read
The highly anticipated  #CWCFinal today evokes vivid memories of the iconic 2003 clash. But the most thrilling clash between India and Australia dates back to a 1986 World Series game, because during that gripping match, a murder mystery was solved. Thread 1/20 Image The game was the penultimate group fixture at the 1985–86 Benson & Hedges World Series hosted in Australia. Today is a perfect day to reminisce about this gripping story that is quite popular, thanks to intense research by @tintin1107 2/20
Nov 18 18 tweets 6 min read
#OTD 51 years ago, the Royal Bengal Tiger was officially named as the national animal of India. Today, we look back at one of the most incredible stories involving this majestic animal and a man, one which is in equal parts both endearing & heartbreaking (1/16) Image Saroj Raj Chowdhury is a legendary name in the annals of environmental conservation in India. He was the first forest conservator of the government of Odisha, the founder-director of Odisha’s Simlipal Tiger Reserve, and a pioneer of pugmark-based tiger census technique (2/16)
Nov 14 10 tweets 2 min read
2017 Grammy awards had an unlikely entry from India - Jawaharlal Nehru. American jazz musician Ted Nash had won the Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition for his composition Spoken At Midnight inspired by the Tryst with Destiny speech given by Nehru. A thread. (1/9) Image Jawaharlal Nehru delivered this speech, "Tryst with Destiny," to the Indian Constituent Assembly in the Parliament towards midnight on 14 August 1947, on the eve of India's Independence. (2/9) Image
Nov 11 21 tweets 7 min read
In 2020, while the country was under lockdown, a grave near the Jamia Millia Islamia campus was defaced and damaged by unknown assailants. The man who’s laid to rest in this grave is one of the finest soldiers ever born in India - this is his story (1/18) Image As a 12-year old kid, Mohammad Usman displayed rare bravery when he jumped into a well to save a child. It was thus not surprising when he decided to join the army (2/18)
Nov 8 17 tweets 5 min read
Question - What could possibly connect Amelia Earhart, the daredevil aviator, Queen Elizabeth II, and Adolf Hitler?

The answer takes us to the western deserts of India, more specifically to the region of Marwar. Do read on. 1/15 Image Towering over the city of Jodhpur, the Mehrangarh Fort defines the whole landscape of the principal city of Marwar, almost feeling like an ominous presence at times. But Jodhpur has other tales to tell, one in particular regarding a fashionable trend. 2/15
Nov 5 16 tweets 4 min read
It was a hidden gem of nostalgia, a charming bar nestled in Little Havana's lively streets. During a candid conversation, the wise bartender asked, "Do you know why it's always 'rum and coke', and never 'rum and Pepsi?' We leaned in, eager for the story. 1/15 Image This quaint bar, tucked away in the heart of Miami's most interesting neighbourhood, is adorned with vintage Cuban decor that transports visitors back in time. As we stepped inside, we found every element conspiring to evoke the essence of a bygone era. 2/15
Nov 3 18 tweets 6 min read
The trailer of Ishan Khattar & Mrunal Kaushik-starrer "Pippa" dropped this past week. The film draws inspiration from the events of the Battle of Garibpur - one of the most intense battles of 1971 India-Pakistan war. Let's look back at the momentous events of this conflict. 1/16 Image As 1971 rolled towards an end, it became clear that another armed conflict between sub-continental neighbours, India and Pakistan, was inevitable. By late 1971, Indian defence HQ had started making plans to seize initiatives in East Pakistan. 2/16
Oct 29 19 tweets 5 min read
Netherlands' stellar win over Bangladesh yesterday led us on a cross-cultural journey, bringing to mind a group of individuals with the surname "van Bengalen." Who exactly are they? Believe it or not, the humble nutmeg is at the heart of this story. Thread. 1/17 Image The ubiquitous preposition "van" in Dutch surnames often signifies an individual's origin, indicating "coming from" a particular place or having some association. For example, ancestors of Dutch and Arsenal superstar Robin van Persie possibly traded with Persia in the past. 2/17
Oct 28 17 tweets 4 min read
Name an Indian war hero who became a legend not only in his home but more so in a foreign land. So much so that when local people commemorate their ancestors, they remember him in every prayer. Read on to know who he is. 1/15 Image Qingming Festival, otherwise known as the Tomb-Sweeping Day is a 1,300-years-old ritual observed by the people in mainland China. On the day of the festival, everyone comes together to clean the tomb and offer flowers to pay respect to their ancestors. 2/15
Oct 24 14 tweets 5 min read
Every year, as September ends, a smell of festivity lingers in the air in Eastern India. The region is awash with anticipation of the arrival of Maa Durga. But for one small group of people, it is not a time for celebration but of mourning. Read on to find out (1/) Image At the same time when everyone around them is caught-up in a celebratory mood, a tribal community in Jharkhand, parts of Odisha and western borders of West Bengal observe martyrdom of Hudur-Durga - their name for Mahishasura (2/12) Image
Oct 23 20 tweets 9 min read
Today is Maha Nabami – the final day of the annual Durga Puja worship – before the Goddess returns to her abode in Mt. Kailash on Dashami. Today, we take a look at some of the memorable moments of Durga puja on the silver screen (1/16) Image It is best to start with Satyajit Ray. Ray’s first bow – "Pather Panchali"- has Durga Puja weaved into the plot intricately (2/16) Image
Oct 22 20 tweets 7 min read
Today is #MahaAshtami - the most auspicious day of the five day Durga Puja festival. A unique ritual of Maha Ashtami is the Kumari Puja at the Belur Math, originally started by Swami Vivekananda. Today, we look back at its intriguing origin (1/14)
Kumari Puja involves worship of a very young girl as the personification of the Mother Goddess. Swami Vivekananda, the legendary radical monk, was inspired to introduce this ritual by his mentor Ramakrishna Paramahansa (2/14)
Oct 21 23 tweets 5 min read
Mahishasuramardini" marks the commencement of Debi Pokhkho, the period when it is believed goddess Durga descends from Kailash to visit her parental home on earth. The story of how this magnum opus was brought to life, amidst debate and hate mails, is no less interesting. 1/22 Image Let's start at the very beginning. Radio came to Calcutta in 1927 with the establishment of the "Indian Broadcasting Company (IBC).'' Pankaj Kumar Mullick, the legendary singer- composer, joined the company in September that same year. 2/22
Oct 19 20 tweets 5 min read
Have you ever grabbed your favourite soap box and wondered why the word “soap" sounds so similar in different languages? The more we delved into it, the more fascinated we became. And when we found out that Queen Elizabeth I favoured 'sabon nabulsi', it took us to Palestine.1/17 Image Our curiosity was piqued when we stumbled upon this popular soap brand in an international market. Instantly, we were struck by the different yet similar names it had in various languages. 2/17 Image