A railway bookstall in India.

बहुत पहले की बात है. सम्भवतः १९८० के आसपास की. मेरी पुस्तक ‘कश्मीर की श्रेष्ठ कहानियां’ राजपाल एंड संस, दिल्ली से छप रही थी. मेरा पोस्टिंग तब नाथद्वारा (उदयपुर) में था. समय निकाल कर मैं दिल्ली आया. राजपाल एंड संस में उस समय हिंदी का काम महेंद्र कुलश्रेष्ठजी देखते थे. मेरी पाण्डुलिपि के बारे में बातचीत हो जाने के बाद हम दोनों के बीच ‘पुस्तक-प्रेम’को लेकर चर्चा चली.

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The burning earth

The earth is now in the era of full-blown runaway climate change. Extreme weather events like in Bihar are affecting 10 million people in one shot in several regions of the world simultaneously. Land use change caused by capitalist farming practices and natural resource exploitation combined with feedbacks from the climate system are speeding up the process exponentially and making the impacts worse every year.

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Typical Bollywood item scene.

I love watching good films in the company of friends and family. By good films I mean the ones which have a strong story to tell or those that have soulful melodious songs. Having seen a good film, I inform all my remotely located relatives and friends about it. As they say, joy doubles when you share it. Try watching a good film alone and you will know what I am talking about.

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House in Araria with DESI Power.

The floods came on the 12th of August 2017, quite unexpectedly without any warning. It had been raining and apparently, the waters from various rivers came all of a sudden due to breeches in various river banks and embankments. Many bridges are broken and there is practically no communication in the district, except for the BSNL mobile services.

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Use of English words in Hindi language.

आज हर शिक्षित/अर्धशिक्षित/अशिक्षित की जुबां पर ये शब्द सध-से गए हैं। स्टेशन, सिनेमा, बल्ब, पावर, मीटर, पाइप आदि जाने और कितने सैकड़ों शब्द हैं जो अंग्रेजी के हैं मगर हम इन्हें अपनी भाषा के शब्द समझ कर इस्तेमाल कर रहे हैं।

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A Muslim-owned shop at Patna Junction.

Knowledgeable people having their fingers on the pulse of Bihar will not dispute that lawlessness in the State took a quantum jump since 1990 when Lalu Yadav became the Chief Minister marking the end of a corrupt Congress party regime under Jagannath Mishra.

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When we do manual work and look after other living things, when we live and die as joyous workers using only our hands and bodies to engage with all other living things around us, we contribute to the ecological wealth of which all living things are a part.

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Capitalism is lending money with interest and asking for the principle back. The money is created by private banks who keep a capital adequacy against which to lend. The voluntary Basel III norm is 8.35%. So, to lend Rupees 100 the bank needs Rupees 8.35 as equity in the bank. The Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines stipulate 10.35%. The terms and conditions on which to lend are entirely up to the bank.

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There is a tendency in the national press to judge the political parties in Bihar on the basis of their caste composition. The argument is that the JD(U) is a good enough fit with the BJP because they both represent an alliance of the majority of the absolutely disadvantaged with the minority of the absolutely privileged.

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Whilst NTPC is shifting to photovoltaic energy for purely commercial reasons across India, Bihar has 23480 MW of coal fired power in the pipeline. National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Indian Railways, Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation Limited, Abhijjit Group, Bihar State Electricity Board, Adhunik Group, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited, Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited, Hindustan Power Projects, National Hydro Power Corporation are all behaving very irresponsibly indeed by promoting coal-fired power plants in Bihar.

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Today Arun Jaitley, the Finance Minister of the BJP government at the Centre, is at the Life Insurance Corporation of India to launch a new Pension Policy for the elderly with 8% fixed rate of interest on a Policy costing Rs 7.5 lakhs.

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