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 E xpressions
Of crows, mynahs and laughing doves…
I love birds because they are like natural aeroplanes. Quite a few of Kerala’s birds also live in Sharjah. I see mynahs, laughing doves and crows at the bus-stop, and in my school yard there are many small sparrows.
 
Greening the desert
I study at The Millennium School, Dubai. As you must know, Dubai is surrounded by desert and sea. There are no thick forests or countless species of birds and animals like there is in India.
 
In the land of the Vikings
The Vikings are well known for their daring seafaring adventures. They struck fear in the hearts of people and countries across the ocean as they embarked on merciless raids, ransacking everything in their path.
 
Slavery sucks!
Sometimes grown-ups can be so wrong. Like Kavi’s father in the movie Kavi (all shiny after its recent glittering Oscar nomination). As an impatient Kavi asks, “When will I go to school?”, his father explains wearily, “Some children go to school, and some children work”.
 
Kashmir's self-taught Mr Fixit
Gulam Nabi, 57, is a semi-literate scientific genius who lives in Anantnag in Kashmir. Born into a family of blacksmiths, Nabi always knew he was good with mechanical and electronic gadgets and chemicals. "I couldn't complete my education due to poverty, and I quit school after the eighth grade," he says. Four decades later there isn't a machine that Nabi can't fix.
 
Courage under fire
We jumped up as soon as the bell rang releasing us from the dreadful grip of studies. It was time to make our way to the National Institute for Speech and Hearing (NISH) for a show that was being put on by the hearing impaired.
 
Ghostly encounters in the palace of tombs
The car snaked its way through the busy streets. We were on our way to Humayun's tomb, in Delhi. Suddenly our driver announced: "Hum paunch gaye!"(We’ve reached!) A huge structure loomed up in front of us. My first reaction was: "That’s the Taj!" My dad explained to me that Humayun's tomb indeed looks quite like the famous Taj Mahal.
 
The amazing Daya Bai
Daya Bai is an amazing lady. I still remember the night she came to our house. I thought she was a tribal woman. She came with Fr Augustin who is a priest and well-known social worker in Kochi. When she got out of the car, her bangles and anklets made a clinking noise. I stood there looking at her wrinkled face thinking she was a poor woman who had never been to school. Then I heard her speaking fluent English!
 
Wah, Taj!
The Taj Mahal. I had heard of it, read a lot about it, and seen some amazing pictures of it. I knew that it was a great monument to love built by Emperor Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. But I had never been to Agra or visited the Taj. Was it really so worth seeing?
 
Tales from Varanasi...
It was an unforgettable sight! The birds were flying around the boat in flocks, shrieking; they had white wings and orange beaks. I had never seen such birds before. Our guide handed us a packet of chips and I threw some into the water. The birds swooped down and snatched the pieces from our hands!
 
Cambodia: Green and serene
Cambodia is a beautiful landmass situated between Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. The capital of Cambodia is Phnom Phen. Unlike India, Cambodia does not have a very large population: a 'mere' 14.5 million.
 
Land of shoguns and mermaids
What a pleasant surprise it was to discover that part of our annual family holiday was to be spent in Japan! I had always been curious about the Land of the Rising Sun -- the land of samurais and shoguns.